Tag Archives: Imperialism

Israeli Soldiers Use Palestinian Civilians as Human Shields

The lies that the IDF and the Israeli propaganda machinery try desperately to force-feed to major media outlets can only be countered by the accounts of their victims.

Watch THIS VIDEO.

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To Remember

anti-war protest rally in London image from wikipedia

To remember is an attempt to piece together what can never be one again. The time, the place, the scent of flesh once beating. Today marks the invasion of Iraq. It seems the rest of the world has forgotten.

The following poems appear in my book Alien to Any Skin (UST Publishing House, 2011). Should I thank GW Bush for writing them?

Just This One

Art. 33. No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she
has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures
of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
The Fourth Geneva Convention

When someone says “Think about the bigger picture,”
I hide. My life has the legs of an ant. I find the resilience
of pebbles more inviting. They smooth themselves on riverbeds,
current rushing over their backs, pushing them to cling
with other pebbles or grains of sand pounded to near nothingness.

There are so many of them, too many to count. Each one
has something the others do not possess. Perhaps the thinnest streak
of brown, the sligthest indentation, the faintest crack.
Even when they are broken they are never the same. Caress
the jagged edge of this one with your index finger. Just this one.

July 2008
-o-

The Day the Dead Tree Fell

years of fear
have come to this

roots unearthed
longer than the arms of men
pointing skyward

the drone
of foreign planes

a hollow in the ground
deep enough
for a coffin

the silence
of loaded guns

all those fine veins
where something
used to flow

November 2008 – August 2010
-o-

Questions
for the leader of invading forces

When you put your shoes on this morning,
do you remember which foot came first?

Does someone tell you when your collar gets stuck inside your shirt?
Do you let that person touch you?

What colours make your eyes stop searching?
Are those the ones you like or the ones you hate?

How many people have you met that had an extra finger
and wasn’t shy about it?

Have you ever held a firefly in your palms?
Was it warm? Were you alone?

When you close your eyes,
whose face lingers?

What was the first word you learned to write?
Did you use a pencil or a crayon or a borrowed pen?

If you had a dog, would you name it
after the person who blew up your house?

Is there something on my forehead
that only you can read?

Can you tell if someone is lying
or just scared?

Will my name be on a piece of paper?
Spelled correctly?

August 2008
-o-

Going Retro: The Victorious Army of Gobbledygooks Penetrates the City

“Why do they hate us? We’re setting them free!”
A foot soldier

They were expecting
sweaty hugs and kisses
from dark veiled women
and their adoring children.

Ears cocked, they anticipated the struggle
of the local band in playing
their beloved anthem,
as if it were not foreign.

But only hollow,
sporadic shouting of men
who gathered from nowhere
welcomed the forces.

The army was laden
with a quick,
calculated victory,
craving for popular jubilation.

Instead, this caricature of a show
put on by these nowhere men.
Stick figures in the desert sun,
sure of only one thing:

Tear down the giant statue
designed originally
by a previous generation
of gobbledygooks.

This show had been triangulated
for the world to see
moment by breathless moment
on their most trusted TV.

And then what? An awkward silence
as the statue grates to a stop,
refusing to crash down. A monologue broken
by coughing in the background, off camera.

Days later when the local population
finally came out with their voices raised,
the victorious gobbledygooks felt
strangely welcome, unable to decipher

Joy and ecstasy from utter hatred.
It is only now with proper translation
years later that we have
a clear understanding of gang rape.

December 2008
-o-


Ukraine and the Holy Triumvirate

Ever since I read one of his books, William Blum has continued to astonish me. In his latest post he makes it possible to see clearly and simply what has been happening in Ukraine.

Read and wake up.

ANTI-EMPIRE REPORT #126


If you could

Would you join this dedicated group so you can see what mainstream media blanks out?

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT


Vampires that do not Fear the Light

Read two articles from the Mail & Guardian online that should scare all those who think international law can protect sovereign countries and their population from a special breed of Vampires.

-o-

Mbeki: We should learn from Libya’s experiences

Recent events in Libya should raise alarm bells about the threat to Africa’s hard won right to self-determination, former president Thabo Mbeki said on Saturday.

Addressing the Law Society of the Northern Provinces in Sun City, Mbeki said it “seemed obvious” that a few powerful countries were seeking to use the council to pursue their selfish interests.

They were also determined to behave according to the principle and practice that “might is right” and to sideline the principle of self-determination.

“I must state this categorically that those who have sought to manufacture a particular outcome out of the conflict in Libya have propagated a poisonous canard aimed at discrediting African and African Union (AU) opposition to the Libyan debacle.”

He said this was done on the basis that the AU and the rest of “us” had been “bought by Colonel Gadaffi with petro-dollars”, and felt obliged to defend his continued misrule.

He said all known means of disinformation was being bandied about, included an argument that Gadaffi’s Libya had supported the ANC during the apartheid struggle.

“The incontrovertible fact is that during this whole period, Libya did not give the ANC [African National Congress] even one cent, did not train even one of our military combatants and did not supply us with even one bullet…

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.

-o-

West rushes to grab its Libya reward

Britain’s new defence secretary, Philip Hammon, announced that British companies should “pack their suitcases” and head to Libya to snap up lucrative reconstruction contracts.

It all sounds disturbingly familiar. Think of the American companies streaming into Iraq to aid the “reconstruction effort” after the invasion. If there was any doubt, this modus operandi may soon define what seems no more than a new form of neocolonialism in the Middle East. American, Nato (or both) armies will destroy your country under the guise of ushering in democracy, and Western companies will assume the lion’s share of contracts to build it up again.

And with Libya’s National Transitional Council having already announced it would “reward” those countries that were in its corner during the “revolution”, it’s anyone’s guess who will be the biggest of the war profiteers.

Whereas in the past Gaddafi’s Libya was only dealing with China, Russia and Italy, the playing field has now been levelled, in a manner of speaking. Though it has portrayed itself as having had only a “back-room” role in toppling Gaddafi, the United States wants to be the number-one oil buyer from Libya, to compensate for its decades of deprivation of Libyan oil. There can be no doubt that in due course we will see that the US will want a far bigger cut of Libyan oil supplies than it is currently letting on.

It will be said in the future that the end justified the means: the removal of a hated dictator who terrorised his own people for four decades. This may be so, and nobody in their right mind could endorse what the colonel did to Libya. But there are some questions to be asked about the selective morality at play here.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.

-o-

Please proceed to the nearest toilet to throw up.  Now pull yourself together and fight the propaganda machine of these Vampires.


One Step Forward and the Bullies Gang Up

When will these giant firms learn that the truth is not just for some?

Apple joins in ganging up on Wikileaks.  Nice one.  A bit like… “Buy our stuff and fall in line.  De-braining apps (and of course, consumerist stuff) only.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE


Volcanoes and Ulcers


When I was doing a course on African Literature many centuries ago under Susan Evangelista (a brilliant teacher who happened to be born in the US, married a Filipino, came to live in the Philippines and learned the local language and culture — ok, that was too long for a parenthetical remark!  Isn’t anyone editing this thing?), we discussed a traditional poem called “A Baby is a European.”  At that time I have to admit I was terribly naive and ignorant – or just stupid I suppose (or more stupid then).  I knew very little about imperialism outside of my own country’s experience.

In other words, I had no idea what the poem was about.  But it made me laugh.  It took me a long time and a lot of reading other poetry and some European history to place this poem in its proper context (or some context).  Eureka!  It was funnier than the first time around!

Fast forward to April 2010.  For over a week now world news – even as reported by Al Jazeera! – has been mostly about the volcanic ash clouds from Iceland.  You would think the rest of the world had been frozen, or set to pause like on a dvd player (or blu-ray for you rich kids), and that nothing, oh, nothing else mattered but the woes of poor airline passengers in Europe!

I can understand the inconvenience.  Worse if you were stuck in crowded airports with your small children.  I can imagine the disappointment, the hassles, all magnified by the uncertainty of the situation.

Let’s pull back a bit shall we?

Has anyone died?  Was there massive destruction of property even?  Baggage lost or misplaced perhaps, but really, tell me how bad has it been?

Here is a link to an article from the BBC about the destructive power of this volcanic eruption: “Iceland volcano not  in big league, say experts”

When Mount Pinatubo  in the Philippines erupted in 1991, we in Manila – many safe kilometres away – were treated to an alien landscape – ash covered cars, roads, everything!  The ground was soft and white, I suppose like newly fallen snow – but I wouldn’t know, I’ve never seen snow fall. Sunsets became more spectacular, as if to make up for all the horrors that befell those who were directly affected.

Around the volcano it wasn’t a dreamland.  People were evacuated to safety long before the biggest eruptions started.  If I recall correctly, tens of thousands of people had to be moved out of the danger zone.  Six lives were lost at the time.

The destruction that followed did not end when the volcano had calmed down again.  The indigenous people who lived around that mountain were permanently displaced, many resorted to begging on city streets, some reaching as far down as Manila – reduced to a life that was completely hostile to them.

When the rainy season arrived massive mudslides with volcanic debris swept away houses and farmlands, and in some tragic cases, lives were lost.  Once fertile lands were destroyed.  When the rains and the floods had subsided what was left was eerie to behold.  There was a photograph I remember where the only thing that stuck out of the ground was the cross on top of a church.

One good thing I remember came from that catastrophe.  The US Military Bases in Olongapo and Angeles were finally abandoned after many decades of protests from activists and human rights movements.  Not even a thank you, goodbye.

I ramble.  I meant to say something about this poem and about suffering, something about perspective and sense of helplessness.  But I think I got lost along the way.  So here, then, is one version of that traditional African poem I thought was very funny the first time I read it. (“European” is completely interchangeable with whatever you may think fit.)

A Baby is a European

A Baby is a European
he does not eat our food:
he drinks from his own water pot.

A Baby is a European
he does not speak our tongue:
he is cross when the mother understands him not.

A Baby is a European
he cares very little for others:
he forces his will upon his parents.

A baby is a European
he is always very sensitive:
the slightest scratch on his skin results in an ulcer.

-o-