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.
Tag Archives: Imperialism
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.
The Day the Dead Tree Fell
years of fear
have come to this
longer than the arms of men
of foreign planes
a hollow in the ground
for a coffin
of loaded guns
all those fine veins
used to flow
November 2008 – August 2010
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?
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,
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
by a previous generation
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.
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.
If you could
Would you join this dedicated group so you can see what mainstream media blanks out?
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
NEWS ITEM: Journalist attempts citizen’s arrest of Blair in EU parliament
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – A Brussels reporter attempted to place Tony Blair under a citizen’s arrest on Monday (22 March) for his role in the invasion of Iraq, during a visit by the former UK prime minister to the European Parliament for a hearing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
On the seventh anniversary of the invasion almost to the day, late afternoon, David Cronin, an Irish journalist with the Inter Press Service news agency and a regular writer on European Union affairs for The Guardian, the British centre-left daily, approached Mr Blair, as he was due to discuss with MEPs his current work as a Middle East special envoy.
Placing his hand on the former prime minister’s arm, Mr Cronin said: “Mr Blair, this is a citizens’ arrest.”
ISRAEL ATTACKS JUSTICE BOAT; KIDNAPS HUMAN RIGHTS WORKERS; CONFISCATES MEDICINE, TOYS AND OLIVE TREES
30 June 2009
[23 miles off the coast of Gaza, 15:30pm] – Today Israeli Occupation Forces attacked and boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights workers from 11 countries, including Noble laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (see below for a complete list of passengers). The passengers and crew are being forcibly dragged toward Israel.
“This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip,” said Cynthia McKinney, a former U.S. Congresswoman and presidential candidate. “President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. We’re asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey.”
According to an International Committee of the Red Cross report released yesterday, the Palestinians living in Gaza are “trapped in despair.” Thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed earlier during Israel’s December/January massacre are still without shelter despite pledges of almost $4.5 billion in aid, because Israel refuses to allow cement and other building material into the Gaza Strip. The report also notes that hospitals are struggling to meet the needs of their patients due to Israel’s disruption of medical supplies.
“The aid we were carrying is a symbol of hope for the people of Gaza, hope that the sea route would open for them, and they would be able to transport their own materials to begin to reconstruct the schools, hospitals and thousands of homes destroyed during the onslaught of “Cast Lead”. Our mission is a gesture to the people of Gaza that we stand by them and that they are not alone” said fellow passenger Mairead Maguire, winner of a Noble Peace Prize for her work in Northern Ireland.
Just before being kidnapped by Israel, Huwaida Arraf, Free Gaza Movement chairperson and delegation co-coordinator on this voyage, stated that: “No one could possibly believe that our small boat constitutes any sort of threat to Israel. We carry medical and reconstruction supplies, and children’s toys. Our passengers include a Nobel peace prize laureate and a former U.S. congressperson. Our boat was searched and received a security clearance by Cypriot Port Authorities before we departed, and at no time did we ever approach Israeli waters.”
Arraf continued, “Israel’s deliberate and premeditated attack on our unarmed boat is a clear violation of international law and we demand our immediate and unconditional release.”