Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

On October 5, 2009, I witnessed my mother, a 55 year old grandmother be assaulted by your Secret Service right in front of your house. It was so frightening for me, and what your protectors did in your name destroyed any faith that I had left in your willingness to listen to your citizens to end the violence being committed by our country.

My mother, Joy First, is the most peaceful, loving person that I have ever met. She has always had a completely selfless altruism that has led her to take care of others, even when it puts her own personal comfort and safety in jeopardy. As a mother and grandmother, she has always given up much for her children and grandchildren, in an effort to see us not suffer. In the past several years, my mother, Joy has extended this mothering and altruism to all of the children of the world. She has put her comfort and safety on the line countless times in an effort to stop the killing of the world’s children and grandchildren. On October 5th, my mother, Joy, went to your front door to plead with you to stop bombing and shooting of innocent children in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

My mother, Joy, was joined by a group of almost 2 dozen other peaceful civil resisters who were asking you to end the senseless killing in the Middle East. Instead of engaging in civil dialogue with these resisters, someone from the house where you live with your family sent out around two dozen armed secret service agents to assault these peaceful people. So, as I was watching what I believed to be a demonstration of our American democracy, I saw the scene descend into what frighteningly became much more like a scene from an Orwellian novel than from the America I had learned about in Social Studies. And then all of the sudden, people were being dragged, and then, there was my mother, being bounced around like a ping pong ball and being pushed violently by members of your Secret Service.

I ran over to where my mother, Joy, was finally pushed on the ground, and she was sobbing as she was being helped up by her friend. Her friend was so angry that he began to yell that the Secret Service was pushing people’s mothers; they were pushing grandmothers. And I felt the anger swell up inside of me as I saw my mother crying, and I looked at the large, strong men who had been violently pushing my 55 year old mother to the point of tears. Resisters and their supporters wisely moved to a park across the street to process what had happened and decide what to do next. And in the park, I comforted my mother, as I sat next to her in shock.

I don’t mean to make this personal, but you have made this personal to me when your Secret Service attacked my mother, and you have made it personal to the families of the world when you have killed their relatives. How would you feel if your daughters Sasha or Malia witnessed their mother Michelle being assaulted by armed guards? How do you think your daughters would feel? What would it do to Michelle? What would the world say? Well then, please imagine how I felt and how my father felt when he heard when happened right in front of your house where your family lives.

Mr. President, I voted for you in November because I believed in you. I believed that you would put an end to the policies and unjust wars of the Bush administration. Since you have been in office for the past 9 months, I have listened to the excuses that people have made for your continuation of the wars, and I have felt torn between feeling sympathy for your situation and a childish expectation that you will rise to the occasion to protect the children of the world from harm. But on that day, Mr. President, you stole my youthful naiveté and innocence. I left Washington without faith in my government or in my president. It was instead replaced with fear. I am lucky that I have seen such strength and resolve in my mother and her community of peaceful resisters. So I have faith that this senseless killing will stop, but I know that it will not be by your hand.

Jennifer First

Jennifer First is an antiwar activist. Read other articles by Jennifer.

28 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. rosemarie jackowski said on October 17th, 2009 at 1:53pm #

    Jennifer…Good wishes to you and your family. I, too was arrested in a peaceful protest of the war on my 66th birthday. I was arrested, put in solitary confinement, photographed, fingerprinted, and tried. The jury found me guilty with less than 10 minutes deliberation. I Appealed my conviction to the State Supreme Court. The Supremes reversed my conviction. Then the government announced plans to re-try me a second time for the same ‘crime’. After years of legal wrangling, all charges were finally dropped.

  2. Smiddy said on October 17th, 2009 at 1:57pm #

    hey Jenny.. the guy is a peacemaker…… so says a bunch of marauding Vikings.

  3. Don Hawkins said on October 17th, 2009 at 3:15pm #

    War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Orwell

    We could just turn that around about one hundred an eighty degrees.

    Peace is war. Slavery is freedom. Strength is ignorance.

  4. Hector said on October 18th, 2009 at 12:22am #

    How are men in uniform so robotic, so blind, and so utterly senseless to fail to realize what they’re doing sometimes?!? If some officer -any officer- ever lays his hands on my 54yr old mother… Well, I’m pretty sure he’d have to call for backup, lets just say that.

  5. beverly said on October 18th, 2009 at 6:05am #

    Jennifer, you say you voted for Obama because you believed he would end the policies of unjust wars of the Bush admin.

    Let this unfortunate, facist event that happened to your mom and the other protesters be a learning experience for you. Stop relying on the mainstream media (including public radio and TV) for your info. If you did, cease immediately believing that the Democratic party will cure any or all ills inflicted by the Republicans. They abet and instigate as much of the mayhem as their right wing counterparts. Those of us turned on to indy media knew from the get go that Obama was another corrupt SOB hustler whom the powers that be “chose” for us to elect. His evasive, don’t pin me down on anything specific rhetoric was another tip off to not drink the kool aid.

    I’m glad you have discarded childish expectations and naivete. Spread the word to your friends and community so they might shake off their kool aid with a politically correct chaser hangover too.

  6. William Green said on October 18th, 2009 at 7:51am #

    To shake off the kool aid means that people not only will have to discern all that they read and hear critically; they are going to have to take as much time researching the facts as the do defending fallacies.

  7. B99 said on October 18th, 2009 at 11:52am #

    Well, Obama may be another SOB corrupt hustler, but there are reasons for one to have voted for him. If you are black, or empathize with the position of blacks in the US, the election of Obama was the only chance that social programs would not continue to be cut. Certainly McCain/Palin would continue to escalate the process of channeling money upward. And Obama was the only one who might install court judges throughout the system who are something other than clones of Alito and Thomas (or the Louisiana judge who recently nixed a request for a marriage certificate because one partner was black, the other white).

  8. Max Shields` said on October 18th, 2009 at 5:05pm #

    B99 there are always “reasons” to vote for someone. There were those who voted for Obama – I would say other than the diehard Dems who vote Dem almost regardless of who he is, and yes African-Americans convinced themselves that he was just like them (and most vote Dem in all elections certainly since FDR, so no real “reason” there).

    I think the idea of an African-American as President appealed to some people like a Catholic appealed to some when Kennedy ran in 1960, but so what? Some people commit suicide for less reasons than that.

    On the one hand, some people were just delusional. I must admit I didn’t hear everything Obama said during the campaign, but what I did hear is pretty much what he’s doing. There are no surprises. He was crafty in his presentation, always, swinging one way and then the other as if to appeal to a sense of intellectual ambiguity – you know it’s not all this or that, afterall…blah blah…blah.

    No, the man is crafty, but only people so intent on seeing and hearing what they wanted/needed, would ever think that he was change of any real sort.

    He said he’d re-focus US military efforts on the “good war” in Afghanistan and away from Iraq. Well we’re still in Iraq, but he has re-focused the US killing in AfPak like he said he would.

    I think it’s important to understand how the world has evolved, and thus “works”. There are really very few nations. Afghanistan and Pakistan, for instance are not really nation-states; nor are the so-called African nations; nor does the US look at Latin America as comprising individual nation-states with sovereign rights.

    The US is a hub of power in a globalized economy built on commodity chains that transact across so-called “nation” boundaries. These “nations” are really colonies, used as as links in the supply chan of global corporate capitalism. This captures some of the legacy of colonialism but it is very new in many ways primarily do to the integration of capitalism, the speed with which capital traverses the globe, and the kinds of deregulated trade that connects/enslaves these so-called “nations” to the commodity chain – just follow our food, the making of a shoe or auto from resource extraction to production and distribution.

    Once you get your mind around how the US policies and power works, where the centers of power are, you’ll see 1) that the commodity chain rules, and 2) US policy follows that chain. It is dictated primarily by our aggressive liberalization of trade that is power based; and all of the power runs primarily through DC and a few other localities.

    War, invasion, occupation….all follow.

  9. B99 said on October 18th, 2009 at 6:48pm #

    No – African-Americans voted for Obama not only because he was black (which I didn’t say) but because of Republican’s open intent to shred social programs for the undeserving poor – i.e. blacks. The presence of a very large black population (like no where else in the world) is why Republicans are dead set against even modest changes to a health insurance program – and they are just as dead set against providing money to black people, in the form of social welfare programs, as they were when they were Southern Democrats during the Truman administration.

    For Blacks, this is a no-nonsense political equation – the left talks a good game but has no power. The only viable option for the large majority of blacks is to vote Democrat (which is what I was suggesting). This goes beyond Obama, it’s a question of maintaining what small piece of the pie they have. The Republicans would have them return to the Hoover era.

    As important as the war in Iraq is, for most blacks it is secondary to social programs. As for the world economic order – that is most definitely of a different realm – almost no poor black is going to vote for a third party candidate because he or she has a better position on global geopolitics. International affairs is mostly understood as a political game separate from the need for jobs, good jobs, good schools, medical care, and protection from discrimination and outright race warfare.

    I know the arguments about the global political economy. For most African-Americans, that does not put butter on the table. The left does not have either the answers or the power to implement change. We know this from this very site. We don’t talk race on DV but on rare occasion.

  10. Sam said on October 18th, 2009 at 11:46pm #

    B99 wrote this:

    “the election of Obama was the only chance that social programs would not continue to be cut. Certainly McCain/Palin would continue to escalate the process of channeling money upward. ..”

    Hmmmmm. Aren’t bank bailouts “channeling money upward?”

    Obama pledges more bank bailouts, cuts in social programs

    Obama prepares sweeping cuts in social programs

    Social programs would have done very well under true progressives Nader or McKinney, therefore war criminal Obama was not the only choice. Granted, most voters didn’t have the intelligence or foresight to vote for Nader or McKinney. I can hear someone scream, “but Nader and McKinney couldn’t win.” Well they can’t win if most people don’t have the intelligence to vote for them. Duh.

  11. Max Shields` said on October 19th, 2009 at 5:46am #

    B99 instead of trying to talk for African Americans, I’d suggest you ante up on your support for the big O.

    Your use of the words The Left, are curious. What Left? Did you ever stop to think that there are a sizeable numbers of African Americans who are progressive aka leftists?

    There is something demeaning and condescending in your posts, but particularly when you attempt to talk about butter issues.

  12. b99 said on October 19th, 2009 at 7:03am #

    Sam – Blacks KNOW they will lose under Republican rule – they’ve got plenty of experience with it. You know, with the exception of an imaginary white Jesus, there is likely one one white person’s picture you would have found in a Harlem household circa 1965 – and that would be JFK, or sometimes JFK with RFK. Is that misguided? I don’t know – but I do know that blacks as a group believe in Social Security, Medicaid, the food stamp program, aid to families with dependent children – they believe in job creation (something Democrats do light-years better than Republicans), they believe in good neighborhood schools, anti-discrimination laws – and a host of other programs under the rubric of social welfare. Whatever the faults of the New Deal and the Great Society – these are Democrat programs. To the extent that any of this makes a difference it is because Democrats do it – Republicans would leave blacks, other minorities, and the poor entirely drifting the wind.

    Obama is no liberal – but neither is he a McCain or Bush or Reagan. And Obama, in fact, can get away with social program cuts precisely because he is a Democrat and Dems, especially Black Dems, are still forgiving. Because the alternative is the continuation of a reactionary nightmare.

    McKinney is now post-Democrat because Jews and Republican southerners teamed up to have her defeated. Now she is free to take all the positions she only took guardedly as a Democrat. But she is also out of power. It is only among Democrats that someone like a McKinney will emerge – you’ll not find them among Republicans. Blacks understand this. So not voting Republican is in their best interest.

    I voted for Nader twice. He did not get my vote this time because he had no party behind him to speak of. If blacks had voted for Nader (or McKinney) there may have been a long-term payoff – but in the short run, McCain/Palin would be in the White House – maybe for eight years. Life is short.

  13. b99 said on October 19th, 2009 at 8:36am #

    Max – Something demeaning in MY posts??? as you ONCE AGAIN go on the personal attack – you never change do you?

    Where do you think blacks are from, Neptune? – that black political positions and attitudes should not be discussed here.

    Did you ever stop to think that African-American leftists – ‘sizeable’ in your words – regularly vote Democrat? Maybe it’s because they have one foot in the real world.

    I think I’m about as qualified as any to talk about butter issues. I grew up and lived for 19 years in an inner-city 99% black public housing project ghetto, and lived the next 19 in a mixed ethnicity working class neighborhood tenement. I am the son of two low-wage unskilled laborers who had neither checking accounts nor credit cards unti they were in their sixties. I am wholely qualified to speak on these issues.

  14. Max Shields` said on October 19th, 2009 at 8:41am #

    The point isn’t who runs the empire, life is in fact short and such discussions simply divert attention from the change needed, at what ever level it can be successful.

    But understanding how the world works, as it is still driven by US-based corporate and liberal trade agreements is essential if we are to make any advance. To toss this out as non-important, as you seem to have, because African Americans are concerned about putting butter on their table seems completely an utterly counterproductive.

    If X creates condition Y, and you don’t want to discuss X because you are so focused on Y, we have the pathology of a circular and meaningless rush to the bottom.

  15. Max Shields` said on October 19th, 2009 at 8:49am #

    On this McCain Versus Obama, I am not the least bit convinced that on balance McCain would be doing anything different than what Obama is carrying out. He most likely would not have won a Nobel Price for Peace, that we can pretty safely speculate.

  16. B99 said on October 19th, 2009 at 9:33am #

    As I wrote before, issues that are paramount for much of poor America – and especially poor black America are jobs, good jobs, good schools, school lunch programs, medical care, fair housing, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, the food stamp program, protection from discrimination in schooling, housing, and jobs and protection from outright race warfare. These are the issues important to a people that when not blatantly exploited, are either marginalized or made invisible (until say, a Hurricane Katrina puts them on tv). That does not mean African-Americans do not have opinions on other issues, they have not tossed out the global system as unimportant – it means that the left analysis of the global geopolitical order does not resonate nearly as well because it is removed from the daily consideration of what will make life better now.

    The task of the left is not to wait until African-Americans find them, but to help make life better for all oppressed people in America WHILE pursuing a global change agenda. One foot must always be in the present and on the ground.

    I think if McCain had become president, the privatization of Social Security would likely be a foregone conclusion. Followed by the disappearance of Medicaid. And it would not be Sotomayor on the court now (for what she is worth) but yet another reactionary.

  17. Max Shields` said on October 19th, 2009 at 9:46am #

    In fact if McCain had won, we’d still have pressure on the continued escalation of war. Obama has kept the lid on in ways McCain could never have done.

    The notion that social security would have been privitized seems rather baseless given how far – right after his re-election – Bush got with that notion. It’s dead, and probably as likely to happen as single-payer health care.

    Marginal, court appointments hardly make anyone’s life better.

    The real problem needs a real solution. I don’t think those African-Americans who think they are represented by the NAACP are likely to find a reprieve from despair. The truth, most Americans are going to find their lot pretty deep in the economic rut. That there is always a racial component of whatever white’s experience in hardship is worse by some X-factor by minorities. But pain is pain.

    Jobs are not in the offing. If things get as bad as they look like they will, dictatorial fascism is certainly a possibility. Some of it will remedy the economics by untangling the US’s liberal trade agreements, returning jobs back to US shores; and under such a regime, a nationalistic one, tariffs will be employed thus protecting national interests from imports.

    Alternatives need to understand the larger context or fall by the wayside in short order. Pretending these issues can be worked through by ignoring the larger dynamics is foolharder and very dangerous.

  18. bozhidar balkas vancouver said on October 19th, 2009 at 10:06am #

    US like many other countries/empires appears an acquisitor. And as all others before, US also uses violence to acquire lands.
    In this regard, no observer wld, ithinks, dare say that dems are not for the acqisition. In effect, we have on this issue one thought and not in any degree two different thoughts.

    This is commonly known as “defending US interests”. Not, of course, “imperialism” of the past and not “platenetism” going on now and to go on with more wars to come.

    Nearly all americans vote for acquision of land. Only hobos and prisoners don’t vote.
    Vast number of poor americans are rewarded for this. Uncle’s designated champion of poor people are dems.
    So, to continue illusion that there is a two party system in US.

    Commenters on DV do not keep in mind that anything in existence is related
    to every other phenomenon.
    Thus, to them ‘religions’, schooling, movies, multiethnicities, cults, constitution, laws, etc., do not play any role in neither domestic nor foreign policies.

    I think that deadbeat, among others, do not see that the US, Canadian, and australians rulers, have brought in so many ethnicities, ‘religions’, schools of thought {and ‘jews’} into their respective lands because a multiethnicity and multireligional one is much easier to sheppard than a homogeneous one.

    The phenomena i listed are mere parts of a whole but controled by some parts much more than other parts.
    Monied people, clergy control the whole much more than 99.99% of latins and blacks.
    Whites may fare better. Perhaps 99% of them has much less influence in control of US than the clergy, pols, leading ‘educators’, other disinformers and deformers.

    Such structure cannot be changed overnight.If ever??!! Plutocratic planetary rule is here to stay.
    Perhaps in decennia, centuries, or millennia people may end it and establish a structure with a human face.

    However, casting the widest look offers the best elucidation. It certainly soothes my nervous system much more than talking ab. a few phenomena; disconnectely from one another, instead of all phenomena being connected; thus influencing one another.

    Trolls appear more afflicted with this methodology. They dwell on one, two, or three events, but in a disconnected way with reality or the whole of or as much of a whole as space-time allows. tnx

  19. Max Shields` said on October 19th, 2009 at 1:56pm #

    B99 I did not use the word demeaning I said condescending. It is your tone. An observation that is not meant nor stated as a “personal attack”.

    Nor did I ever say that African American issues should not be discussed here. They are quite frequently, though I couldn’t tell you how many regular posters are African American. Still it’s an open subject and anyone can talk about it and other topics.

    You seem to want to keep this impersonal but can’t resist mentioning your upbringing in an urban center with 99% black population. So what? You’ve been anointed African American spokesperson for DV?

    In any case, your politics are pretty centrists Dem with some thoughtfulness regarding the Palestinian cause. That is not a “personal attack” by the way. Just an observation.

  20. Max Shields` said on October 19th, 2009 at 2:02pm #

    When I think African American progressives – I think Black Agenda; realizing there are a small number who keep trying to play Dem politics with the hope of change…but that’s long since past.

  21. dan e said on October 19th, 2009 at 4:39pm #

    In this particular debate on this particular thread, I have to support Max’s position, on the whole. I have found B99’s posts to often have merit, but those on this thread are so noxious I can hardly contain myself. This “Demockrats are better for Blacks” crap is so stupid.

    But rather than appoint myself as a spokes for “Black America”, let me echo Max and refer readers to Black Agenda Report, and Cynthia McKinney’s recent Paris speech reprinted therein. There is a lot of good stuff published in SF Bay View National Black Newspaper, but also quite a bit that is off lesser quality, IMHO.

    I would differ with Max however in my estimate of the numbers of Black activists who continue to play “Dem politics”; from what I can tell most Blacks, politically active or not, are still enthusiastic about Obama & resent any criticism of him.

    Oops: first time around I failed to focus on this para:
    “…dictatorial fascism is certainly a possibility. Some of it will remedy the economics by untangling the US’s liberal trade agreements, returning jobs back to US shores; and under such a regime, a nationalistic one, tariffs will be employed thus protecting national interests from imports.”
    This is pure nonsense. Max, you don’t know any of this for a fact, and the fact that your speculations run in this direction exposes the fact that you have very little understanding of US politics or/and global economic realities.
    What could “dictatorial fascism” do that zionized Friendly Fascism* ala Obama can’t do?
    *cf. Bertrand Gross, 1980
    But B99 has even less, with his wishful thinking about how the Demockrats are going to save the social safety net & entitlement programs. The actual fact is that the Obama Admin in partnership with Repugs when convenient has already begun cutting all the New Deal and Great Society programs. Medicaid used to pay enough dental care; that a recipient could get an abcessed tooth pulled: now that is gone. There will be no COLA for Social Security recipients in 2010.
    I could go on, but BAR documents this stuff so if you want details go there.
    This crap about Oh we have to hold our noses and vote for the Dems because if we don’t the Klan will take over the country is so old, so tired. It’s all a bunco game, good cop/bad cop. The Republicans talk about it, then the Dems do it.
    Remember “Integration”? Turned out to mean Incarceration:)

    Back to Max: well if your protestant upbringing won’t allow you to read Karl Marx, how about W E B Dubois?
    B99 would probably enjoy Melville’s “The Confidence Man”:)

  22. Max Shields said on October 21st, 2009 at 8:54am #

    I don’t think that Karl Marx, who I have read, is required to look directly at the problem today.

    It is a question of power and how that power is sustained. All of the talk about Israel and Palestinians cannot begin to be understand outside this context of world power. And that power lies right HERE, in the American Empire. Whether there are “Rothchilds” or Zionists behind the American Empire it’s almost immaterial. Just look at what exists, the players come and go. Zionists didn’t create the price of oil or the use of the USD as currency of “choice” upon which to base oil. Nor can one tie them to the whole arrangement of American empire and the eradication of nation-states into an integrated system of trade agreements that subverts national sovereignty.

    That in NO WAY reduces the atrocities of Israel, it mere faces the underlying and pervasive role of US power in the world. Until we grapple with and understand how this power has been concentrated along with the consumption of the world’s wealth, we are just doing a long death dance around issues about this historical detail or that. Some of which have a bit role.

    Obama is an actor of and for the empire. No more or less. Could he be something else, yes, but there is little doubt that he would find himself eliminated, either figuratively or literally.

    This is just too big and the rhetoric is merely window dressing. The media baffles and further subverts and confuses so as to keep the centers of power in control while the rest just march around in circles, powerless.

  23. Deadbeat said on October 21st, 2009 at 11:58am #

    Very interesting discussion and I see the merits of what b99 is saying as well as Max. I too have argued that the Left’s weakness (and why I am critical of the Left) ignores day-to-day needs and its discombobulation and lack of veracity prevent it from being a viable alternative to African Americans. This is where I agree with b99. Also African Americans as a whole was AGAINST the war on Iraq from the start.

    I also agree with Max regarding analysis. Analysis must be incorporate how the larger forces affect the day to day condition and what REALLY must be done. Especially now that the election/selection of Obama is behind us. I agree with Sam pointing out how Obama has encouraged the continued transfer of wealth UPWARD with the bank bailouts while Obama is letting unemployment to grow upwards of 10% (in reality 20 %) and has bailed out the banks while the black working class continued to be foreclosed and debts allowed to growth rather than repudiated.

    Also can bozh explain the following remark …

    I think that deadbeat, among others, do not see that the US, Canadian, and australians rulers, have brought in so many ethnicities, ‘religions’, schools of thought {and ‘jews’} into their respective lands because a multiethnicity and multireligional one is much easier to sheppard than a homogeneous one.

    I not sure I understand his point so I’m not in a position to construct a response to his criticism. Marx called for the workers of the world to unite. I’m sure Marx understood that the world is multi-ethnic. So I would like bozh to explain his comment. thx

  24. Deadbeat said on October 21st, 2009 at 1:32pm #

    Max writes …

    The media baffles and further subverts and confuses so as to keep the centers of power in control while the rest just march around in circles, powerless.

    Then what do you suggest be done? How would you counter our powerlessness? What I have seen over the past 30 years especially from the “Left” has been a withdrawal of ideas and solidarity. There has to be some reconfiguration and organization whereby people can get on the offensive against the system (without being “offensive” to each other of course).

    The tactic that I’ve seen and being encourage seem rather “single issue” oriented and lack an integrative approach. The question is how will people obtain that greater understanding. Right now it seems that the “activist” are primarily defensive and primarily trying to restore at best “Liberalism” meaning reform and regulation and don’t want to get beyond those limits.

  25. dan e said on October 21st, 2009 at 2:41pm #

    the price of oil is determined by Wall St speculators acting for the biggest banking interests, some percentage of which are Jews with ties to Israel and the ZPC. The biggest single presence in this category is the Rothschild dynasty.
    The other category worth mentioning is the Rockefeller/Morgan interests.
    These two groupings exist in a relationship of simultaneous competition and collaboration. At the time the Bretton Woods system was set up, the elements for whom Zionist goals were a high priority were relatively minor players in the game of international finance. At present however, they have taken control of many of the institutional levers which determine the “slant of the playing field”, including the US Congress, the Treasury Dept, the top level of the Federal Reserve, plus the IMF/Worldbank.
    It appears from what I can tell that there is a struggle going on over the direction of BIS policy, which seems to involve at least a handful of players.
    It is true that people unhappy with conditions in the US or/and with US actions in the world need to learn about a lot more than Zionism or the role of Jewish capitalists in the overall system. It is imperative to grasp how Capitalism emerged from feudalist Europe, then how US capitalism grew from a minor anomalous factor to become the biggest single factor in the system as a whole. This entails studying a lot of history.
    It also entails studying and understanding the works of Karl Marx and F. Engels and those of their most outstanding and influential followers such as Jas Connolly, Plekhanov, Rosa Luxembourg, Baron Ulanov aka V I Lenin, esp. in the present context his “Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism” with special focus on his discussion of “InterImperialist Rivalry”; also Trotsky, Mao, Amilcar Cabral, and many others, none of whom are necessarily completely right but all of whom you need to be familiar with.
    Actually, Max, given your views on the relative insignificance of the Jewish Zionist role in global imperialism, you should join the ANSWER Coalition:) Richard Becker makes the same arguments you do re Zionism and the Empire, but does it in a much more knowledgeable and sophisticated way.
    You claim now that you HAVE read Marx? Does this mean that after proclaiming, even boasting earlier that you had NOT read him, something impelled you to check him out?
    I’m joking:) It doesn’t matter when you did your reading of whatever it is that you read, because obviously whatever it was you didn’t understand it. Which is not unusual, Capitalist-minded people often have great difficulty grasping Marx’s approach.

    Let me put you on hold for a sec, Max, I need to say something to Deadbeat about Bozh’s comment. Marx did in fact understand “that the world is multiethnic”, but he also understood the way capitalists use every difference between groups of workers to undermine workingclass solidarity. This also applies to members of other bottomlevel classes such as subsistence farmers and the lower strata of peasants.
    There is even a technical term: “Structuring the Labor Force”. A good example is post-annexation Hawaii: since the native Kanakas resisted becoming plantation laborers, the Haole agricultural enterpreneurs imported large numbers of Chinese. When the Chinese workers started thinking they could demand better wages & conditions, the Haoles started bringing in Japanese laborers. When restiveness started to appear in the Japanese “compounds”, plantation owners turned to Filipino labor.
    But I gotten away from what I need to say sthg about, so let me post this and start over.

  26. dan e said on October 21st, 2009 at 3:15pm #

    Focus on Zionism or focus on “Empire”? Both terms refer to aspects of reality.

    Just as it is impossible to even think about Zionism without realizing that it only became a political possibility in the context of capitalist domination of the planet, it is impossible to think intelligently about the actions of the US State Apparatus without acknowledging the extraordinary role played in determining those actions by the Zionist Power Configuration. The ZPC is most visible to most followers of the news as it acts in the realm newspapers call “politics”, that is as it acts in the electoral arena, lobbies Congress, pressures the Executive Branch. It is less visible to the casual observer in the Financial Sector, but even a cursory investigation reveals its massive presence and impact. Of course the Jewish Zionist domination of the Media is hard to miss.
    Another aspect is the massive presence of Israeli Intelligence in the USA, and the way the ZPC cum Israeli state operatives are able to operate outside US laws, cf. Grant Smith.
    So much for bkgrnd, lets get to the point: what is Obama going to do? Will he escalate in Afghanistan? Will he okay a first strike on Iran?
    There’s a good article in this issue of the Counterpunch hardcopy newsletter by Kevin Alexander Gray: “Obama & Black America”, which talks about many of the key problems faced by those of us who are concerned about what the current administration is up to, and what to do about it.
    Black Agenda Report did a “Report Card” on Obama’s First Hundred Days. I think it would be a good task for somebody to produce a “midterm” report card focussed on what Obama has and has not done to benefit or injure the interests and wellbeing of the main body of African Americans. It is vital to focus on what his election has meant to workingclass and poorclass US Blacks, because this is the only group that can successfully challenge the “Obama Is Us” consensus among “successful” African Americans.
    We can attack Obama all day about his foreign & military policies, but this doesn’t cut a lot of ice when day to day survival leaves little room in your mind for less immediate concerns.
    Okay, that’s one point. More to come.

  27. dan e said on October 21st, 2009 at 3:32pm #

    Obama is caught in the middle, between two competing centers of power both seeking to achieve dominance over the US State Apparatus in order to use it to further differing policy agendas.
    One power center is of course the ZPC and the Israeli State, with their neocon gunsels and Christinane Zionist allies. Certain financial sector entities would seem to be closer to this center than the other.

    The other has its own presence in the Financial Sector, and because of its long history as the dominant alliance within US capitalism, has hegemony over a sector of the Ideological State Apparatus as well as considerable influence, even control, over what seems to be an expanding fraction of the political class.
    So Obama stalls for time. Will it be the lady of a return to a rational colonial policy based on manipulation of local elites, or will the violence-intoxicated Zionist tiger be able to continue to impose its will as it did in earlier stages of “AfPak”?
    Stay tuned:)

  28. Deadbeat said on October 21st, 2009 at 6:02pm #

    Thanks Dan E that clears up a lot and clearly outlines the forces that we face. I think the term “empire” is being used to hide these forces especially the inflence of the ZPC. It is clear that may Jews are rather skittish in exposing “their” influence and power and would rather conceal it under the guise of “empire” or blame the old guard “Rockefellers and Mellons”.

    Both are evil and both needs to be confronted. I think the “Left” for far too long has been disingenuous in their analysis by framing only one side of this faction as being the most reponsible. What it has done is allowed Zionism to flourish and grow into the powerful force it now is.