Radicalize for peace

The official storyline on the Boston Marathon bombing paints a picture of Tamerlan Tsarnaeva being “radicalized”.

The official storyline also ignores the fact that neither Tamerlan’s all black backpack nor his brother Dzhokar’s mostly white backpack resemble the blown up backpack which was black with a white rectangle on the top (probably a logo). The official storyline also refuses to ask or answer any questions whatsoever about the presence of at least 7 individuals near the bombing site dressed as Craft International mercenaries. At least two of these individuals are wearing black backpacks and at least one of these black backpacks has a white rectangle on the top similar to the one on the backpack that held one of the bombs. This has all been documented by independent journalist David Lindorff at ThisCantBeHappening.net: “Why Such Secrecy about Private Military Contractor’s Men Working the Event?”

There are many other discrepancies in the official storyline that just don’t add up, including CIA and FBI ties, but I would like to put all that aside here and concentrate on Tamerlan’s alleged “radicalization”. What exactly is radicalization? A dictionary definition: thoroughgoing, extreme, favoring drastic political, economic or social reforms.

I in no way support or condone attacks on innocent people, whether done by a government that ostensibly represents me or done by individuals or organizations that are opposed to that government’s actions. That said, it comes as no shock that some Muslims in the U.S. and across the globe are drawn to resisting in any way they can the illegal, immoral U.S. wars and war crimes against Muslim people. Years ago Malcolm X aptly referred to the “climate of hate” that led to JFK’s assassination as “the chickens coming home to roost.” Today the same could be said of those who oppose U.S. empire.

In 1996 and 1998 when Osama bin Laden declared jihad or holy war against the U.S. he listed three reasons for doing so:

  1. The U.S. economic sanctions against Iraq during the Clinton years that resulted in the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five. (UNICEF estimate)
  2. The U.S. governments lockstep support of the Israeli government in denying the rights of the Palestinian people.
  3. The permanent stationing of U.S. troops in the Muslim holy land of Saudi Arabia.

John F Kennedy warned us years ago. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Yet our society blithely marches along as we make war on poor people across the globe that have done nothing to us, occupy their countries, torture and imprison with no due process of law innocent people and we stand back in amazement when this “radicalizes” someone who feels empathy for the victims.

It matters not whether there is a Republican or Democrat in the White House. Both political parties represent elite corporate interests that profit handsomely from war, militarism and empire. Obama was successfully marketed to the American people as being an antiwar candidate. This was necessary for him to win the Democratic primary in 2008, but, in reality, he was and is nothing of the kind. The sum total of his antiwar stance was giving one speech in 2003 before we invaded Iraq calling it a stupid war. As a U.S. senator he voted to fund the illegal wars, increase U.S. militarism and further the reach of U.S. empire. His continuation of these policies as president should surprise no one. Upon acceptance of his Nobel Peace Prize he was quick to make the case for his concept of just war.

He escalated the Afghanistan war; followed Bush’s timetable on the Iraq war and occupation; vastly increased the detested drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia with their ever mounting civilian casualties; failed to prosecute those responsible for illegal wars and torture; and initiated his own signature war of choice in Libya. We destroyed the Libyan infrastructure and lives of the people to get rid of a political leader that refused to bow down and kiss the ring of Western capitalism. Sure, Gaddafi was a dictator. If he wasn’t, he would have been overthrown long ago by our CIA. In 40 years of rule, Gaddafi took Libya from being the poorest country on earth to having the highest standard of living in Africa. The Libyan people under Gaddafi enjoyed: 100% free government healthcare, free education, including university and graduate school, women’s equality and a $50,000 housing grant given to all newlywed couples. Now the country is destroyed and ruled by misogynist Islamists that are the same people we fought in Iraq and continue to fight in Afghanistan.

In Syria we have chosen to side with the Islamist/al Qaeda types against another dictator who, while certainly no saint, had the support of the majority of Syrians and did provide more stability to the Syrian people than they will get when the U.S. supported Islamists take power.

Democratically Elected Governments Overthrown by CIA Supported Military Coups:

  1. Cuba (1952)
  2. Iran (1953)
  3. Guatemala (1954)
  4. Zaire (1961, 1965)
  5. Dominican Republic (1963)
  6. Brazil (1964)
  7. Indonesia (1965)
  8. Greece (1967)
  9. Laos (1967–1973)
  10. Ecuador (1961, 1963 and unsuccessful 2010)
  11. Chile (1973)
  12. Nicaragua (1979–1990)
  13. Haiti (1991, 2004)
  14. Venezuela (unsuccessful 2002)
  15. Honduras (2009)

This is what happens when the people of a foreign country democratically choose a more equal way of life and the sharing of the country’s resources through a socialist leaning government.

When Hugo Chavez with socialist leanings was overthrown in a CIA supported military coup in 2002, the Venezuelan people took to the streets in massive demonstrations and Chavez was reinstated. With Chavez now dead, his vice president, Nicholas Maduro, won the presidency, defeating U.S. backed candidate Henrique Capriles on April 14. Capriles and the U.S. refuse to recognize the Maduro victory of 1.8%, despite the Venezuelan election process being called the “best in the world” by former President Jimmy Carter and his Carter Center that monitors elections across the globe. Thus hangs the Venezuelan democracy by a thread and the determination of their people, as the U.S. works its will to dictate to others how they should live.

The U.S. Guantanamo Bay Prison holds 166 individuals in the “War On Terror” who have been characterized by U.S. authorities, such as former Vice President Cheney, as “the worst of the worst”. In reality, most are innocent civilians sold to U.S. authorities for bounties of a few thousand dollars. Many have been held at Guantanamo for 11 years with no charges filed, no due process and no hope on the horizon that anything will change in their status. Only 6 of 166 have charges of any kind pending against them. 89 of the men detained have been cleared by U.S. authorities for release, but none have been released since 2010.

Stress positions, continuous loud music, 24 hour bright lights and then rousting prisoners that start to fall asleep under these conditions to move them to another cell and keep them from sleeping for days on end; was typical of the treatment prisoners at Guantanamo and other locations received. Water-boarding was also used, although probably not as frequently. A recent 600-page report by the Constitution Project, a legal research and advocacy group, stated that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” and that the nation’s highest officials bear the ultimate responsibility for it.

Three months ago, after guards at Guantanamo raided inmates’ cells and mishandled their Korans (denied by U.S. authorities), the prisoners began a hunger strike. Mistreatment of their Korans may have been the final straw, but the strike became more about the hopelessness of men detained for years and years with no legal recourse. Latest reports are that 100 of the men have joined the hunger strike. On April 13 guards forcibly moved many of those cleared for release from their communal cell blocks to private cells. Those that have been on the hunger strike the longest are being force-fed with tubes in their noses, considered by the ACLU and many others an inhumane and unlawful practice.

These are some of the reasons that people violently radicalize against the U.S. There is only one way to stop people from radicalizing as terrorists and it will not be accomplished by Homeland Security fusion centers, local police departments doing the bidding of their federal big brothers, FBI agents provocateur and the massive unwarranted spying on peaceful citizens and their organizations by the U.S. security state.

Everyone reading this has the power and the responsibility to oppose the aforementioned crimes of our government by peacefully radicalizing in protest; by joining those who are already on the front lines, creating a culture of resistance to government crime. While the number of visible opponents to war, empire, the destruction of the earth’s environment, the progressively greater and greater inequality of capitalism and an undemocratic democracy is relatively small, the cause is just and your participation is necessary. Every person that joins the culture of resistance to official government crimes makes it easier for the next person to join. Silence and inaction in the face of unspeakable crimes is complicity. To paraphrase war criminal and ex-President Bush, ‘you’re either with us or against us.’

Nick Egnatz is a Vietnam veteran. He has been actively protesting our government’s crimes of empire in both person and print for some years now and was named “Citizen of the Year” for Northwest Indiana in 2006 for his peace activism by the National Association of Social Workers. Contact Nick at OccupyNick@yahoo.com.

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