!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Rolla Peace Newsletter, November 23, 2015

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Rolla Peace News

November 23, 2015


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

4. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          Of Empires, Terrorists and Climate Change




We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2015, (and all subsequent Thursdays until peace is established) from Noon to 1:00 PM. Please try to join us. The temperature is predicted to be in the 50s. If you do not feel comfortable standing with us in front of the Post Office, please consider driving by and showing your support for our message by honking your horn and flashing a peace sign.


Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the vigil will be held on Wednesday, November 25th. Next week and following weeks the vigil will be back on Thursdays.


There's another war going on, besides the one you see on TV: It's between love and peace vs. hate and fear. It's easy to get caught up in the latter, especially after an event like the Paris attacks. Governments in Europe and the United States are crying out for revenge, not knowing or caring that those who will pay the highest price are not the ones who committed the crimes. In these same countries, and most others as well, the folks in control are encouraging fear and hatred — have been doing this all along via advertising and other forms of propaganda. Presidential candidates are advocating putting Muslims in concentration camps; police routinely target young black men; poor people of all colors are called lazy, “useless eaters,” shiftless, etc.

This is not coincidental — there is a movement afoot to put ever-more control into the hands of ever-fewer people, just as the economy is set up to put ever-more money into the hands of ever-fewer people. Divide and conquer is the name of the game, and it has worked pretty well for those few. Lately, some significant opposition has begun to arise in the populace. Ordinary citizens are realizing that they have been had. Things that have been done in secret are starting to be revealed.

As Bernie Sanders says, nothing short of a revolution will put things right. But if we let hate and fear propel us into violence, we will only perpetuate what we are really up against. Our revolution must be peaceful and nonviolent. We need to show by example what human beings can be when they act from love. Evil feeds on fear and hatred. Don't give it to them.

This article on Common Dreams shows how polarized we are becoming. It also gives reason to hope. Not everyone is consumed with vengeance, even those most harmed by the terror in Paris, and other places. The more people who come over to the side of love and peace, the more hope there is for the continuation of the human race. There is so much good in us — let's work on that.

4. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)


Maybe I'm prescient. Last Tuesday I wrote:
“My greatest fear about the Paris attacks are that they will be used as an excuse to crack down on the Real Enemy, non-violent protesters who will come to Paris en masse later this month to demand that world leaders at the COP21 climate talks take real action to protect the Earth from further climate degradation, and maybe, horror of all horrors, end the wars which are the primary drivers of climate change.”
Wednesday, it was announced that because of “security concerns,” the COP21 opening day march, slated to draw 200,000 climate activists, was canceled. Up to 5,000 protesters will be permitted to protest in a sealed off box far from the conference. Meanwhile, 30,000 police officers will keep close watch on climate activists.

What a joke! There wasn't a single climate activist involved in the Friday the 13th attacks in Paris that claimed the lives of 129 victims. Purportedly, there wasn't a single refugee involved either. Yet, those who are most responsible for creating some 60 million refugees, use the attacks in Paris as an excuse for washing their hands of the whole affair. In its lust for revenge, France has stepped up the bombing of Syria, creating even more refugees.

But maybe it wasn't prescience. Maybe it was just so obvious and predictable, I couldn't miss it.

Deja vu? Yes. Remember 9/11? The first casualty was protest, rational discussion, and independent thought. Everyone was expected to toe the party line and get behind the lust for revenge. First Afghanistan was attacked and totally destroyed, in spite of the fact that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by 15 Saudis and 4 others from Egypt, Lebanon and United Arab Emirates — not a single Afghan among them — nor a single Iraqi either. Iraq was the second country to be attacked and destroyed in our lust for revenge.

We are supposed to feel sorry for the French, having been attacked on their own soil; but who in the United States feels any compassion at all for France's victims. A century ago, France's colonial empire was second only to the British and so was their bestiality and cruelty.

Algeria: The French occupied Algeria in 1830. Soon the local population was slashed to 1/3 its former size to make way for French settlers. In 1961, 200 Algerians participating in a march against colonialism, were murdered in Paris, many tortured by the police, their bodies thrown in the Seine. In 1962 Algeria won its independence from France, at a cost of many thousands dead.

Central Africa: Whole villages were wiped out, just for sport. Here's an example of cruelty and bestiality from the 1898 French Central African Expedition:
“I had done nothing to them. I gave them everything they asked for. They ordered me to hand over six horses and thirty head of cattle within three days. I did so. And yet they killed everyone they could get hold of. A hundred and one men, women and children were massacred.” —Chieftain Kourtey, Sansan-Hausa Village (quoted in “Exterminate All the Brutes,” Sven Lindqvist, p166)
Haiti, Syria, Vietnam — the list goes on — we think of the Vietnam disaster as ours, but Vietnam was a French colony long before the first US soldier arrived.

But if you believe we here in the United States are superior to the French, think about the Trail of Tears, Sand Creek, Wounded Knee, My Lai... and if you want a more recent example, take last month's bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

So now, with the Pentagon in total disarray, the French are returning — bombing their former colonies — first Mali now Syria. The Friday the 13th attacks offer an excellent excuse to do what imperialists love to do best, spread terror and destruction. It couldn't have worked out better if they had planned it themselves — well — maybe they did. Like 9/11 — whatever the government's complicity in the attacks may have been, they took full advantage of the situation to invade and occupy abroad while stifling dissent at home — and as a plus, garner a whole lot of sympathy from other imperial powers. Just as the UN Security Council endorsed the bombing of Afghanistan 14 years ago, they now endorse French atrocities in Syria without so much as listening to a word from their victims or adversaries.

Bombing is a wonderful thing. Especially when your adversary has no air force. You can kill your enemy's loved ones with impunity. This is how Europe and the United States created their great empires — killing from afar with impunity. Technology and Might make Right — and let no one dare strike back. AKs, rocks, IEDs and such are the puny weapons of terrorists and illegal combatants. Real armies use drones, depleted uranium, white phosphorous, cluster bombs and daisy cutters to “shock and awe” their victims.

Now I wait to see what the climate activists will do. This may be a wake-up call for climate activists. So much of the movement to combat global warming and runaway climate change has ignored the military — as if we could avoid climate disaster while the US military, the single largest user of fossil fuels and the single largest creator of greenhouse gases continues to receive, with little opposition, an almost unlimited budget to fight wars in every corner of the globe.

I'm beginning to see articles linking climate justice and peace. This one by Nick Dearden is a good example. However, the broad acceptance by the climate justice movement of the French crackdown on the upcoming climate protests, simply makes me want to puke. I think Katherine Ball said it best,“The most eco-friendly thing you can do is be anti-war.” And indeed, if War and Climate Change continue apace, there is unlikely to be much left to fight over or save from climate destruction.

Note: When I decided to write this snippet, I first reread Sven Lindqvist's “Exterminate All the Brutes.” Exterminate All the Brutes is an inquiry into 19th Century European colonial depredations in Africa and provides background material to Joseph Conrad's classic novel on the subject, “Heart of Darkness.” I highly recommend both books.


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Wage peace,

helenm (at) fidnet.com