Saturday, October 14, 2017

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's September 24, 2017 Letter

The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge--who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group's newsletter.
   
“September 24, 2017

“Dear Comrades

“I want to thank everyone who supported me during this difficult time. Cedric died on Sunday September 10. After a difficult year health-wise, he’d been in hospital for almost three weeks fighting yet another infection, perhaps multiple infections, and been given hefty doses of antibiotics and subjected to numerous tests, but it became clear he wasn’t responding, so we faced the heartbreaking decision of removing all life support and letting him die in peace.

“We sent him off in great style, celebrating his life at the Unitarian Church. It was warm and personal and a fitting tribute to this man who was my soul mate. We had been married for 64 years. I’m so thankful he didn’t end up in a nursing home.

“But life goes on. And while the world stands on the brink, with devastation and loss of life across the Caribbean and Mexico, Trump made his debut speech before the United Nations General Assembly, a 40-minute rant attacking socialism and communism and ‘rogue states’ Iran, Venezuela and Cuba. He openly threatened to wipe North Korea off the face of the earth, a nation that can barely feed its people and yet has to defend itself against an onslaught of Western hostility, ferocious UN sanctions and ongoing US/South Korean war games.

“America’s historical destruction of North Korea and today’s ongoing threats should be considered in the context of the living memory of its older generation. Pyongyang, a city of half-a-million people before 1950, at the end of hostilities had only two buildings left intact.

“Trump’s UN tirade was tailored for Americans who were born yesterday. It will go down in history as a marker of the final collapse of a terminally corrupt and rotten regime where any pretense of global co-operation has gone. And yet our local media hacks felt it was more important to treat his words with amusement and then headline a stupid story about a Tasmanian who shoved Abbott in the guts.

“But Trump is merely a ventriloquists’ dummy who read from a teleprompter transmitting to Americans words written by the Generals, all of them a distortion of historical fact. In a sane world, UN delegates should have handcuffed Trump and hauled him before a criminal court and shouted him down or walked out instead of listening to his litany of lies.

“The US has become the 4th Reich and we question whether the world can survive its brutal foreign policy. To our great shame, Australia supported his psychopathic threats, already up to our neck in America’s war crimes around the world. No wonder we’re on the skids. Amongst the world leaders, there was one who almost exceeded Trump in its mendacity and malignancy. Benjamin Netanyahu. For Israel’s leader, lying has become a creed.

“Robert Fisk honed in on Trump’s warped view of WW2 pointing out that it was Russia that bore the brunt of Hitler’s Wehrmacht and it was Russia’s destruction of Hitler’s military power that broke the Nazis. And it was Stalin who’d been pleading for a Second Front for two years. When Hitler marched into Poland and Norway and Holland and Belgium and Luxembourg and then France and threatened to invade Britain, the United States enjoyed a profitable period of neutrality - as it did for most of WW1 - until the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, more than two years after WW2 began. We should also remember that it was Hitler who then declared war on the US, not the other way round.

“John Pilger writes about a heavily publicized recent TV series on ‘The Vietnam War’ shown on America’s highly corporatized PBS network (the ’P’ stands for Pentagon and Petroleum) directed by Lynn Novick and Ken Burns, experts at whitewashing the crimes of US imperialism. Their biggest backer, the Bank of America.

“The title itself is absurd. The Vietnamese called it ‘The American War’ which broadens the geographic lens to include Laos and Cambodia, when the world’s most powerful military empire invaded and assaulted a small peasant nation and its neighbors for more than a decade, spraying millions of tons of Agent Orange on to forests and crops ravaging and poisoning a once bountiful land, and frying human beings with napalm. No mention of Vietnamese dead, only Americans, justifying one of the great crimes of the 20th century, all too familiar to those who observe the close relationship between Hollywood and the Pentagon and the CIA (with 70 years of high crimes under its belt).

“The rewriting of history never stops and the blood never dries, it seems, with the bloodthirsty invader purged of guilt, legitimizing subsequent wars of aggression. As Pilger writes: ‘The true scandal is the insidious assumption of power by sinister warmaking vested interests for which no American voted’…an historic shift of power in Washington.

"But where are the angry people? Where are the protests? Bishop Desmond Tutu put it this way. ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.’


“Joan Coxsedge”

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Does Cambridge's Draper Laboratory's Work For Trump's Pentagon Violate Nuremberg Accords and International Law?



According to Principle VI of the 1950 Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunals, “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances” are “crimes against peace.” And according to Principle VII of the 1950 Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunals, “complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.”


Yet at 555 Technology Square in the “Warmakers’ Republic of Cambridge” some of the folks at the “non-profit” Draper Laboratory who have apparently been personally enriching themselves by working for the U.S. military-industrial-university complex’s “permanent war machine” in the 21st-century are still being allowed by the “People’s Republic of Cambridge” to now do weapons technology development work for the Trump administration’s Pentagon in 2017—even if such war preparation research violates international law and helps prepare the Pentagon for a possible Trump administration military attack on North Korea.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Who Rules "Warmarkers' Republic of Cambridge"'s Draper Laboratory?



Sitting next to Scowcroft Group Principal Franklin Miller on the “non-profit” Draper Laboratory board of directors in recent years have been folks like the following people:

John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Director Emeritus Richard Roca, who was paid $45,000 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors;

Escalade Inc. Chairman of the Board, G-III Apparel Group Director and Oppenheimer & Co. Managing Director Richard D. White, who was paid $40,824 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors;

Former Lockheed Martin Space Systems Executive Vice-President and CommScope Holdings, Visteon and Tetra Tech Inc. corporate board member Joanne Maguire, who was paid $39,628 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors;

Former Lockheed Martin Vice-President and former Aerospace Corporation CEO and current OSI Systems Director William Ballhaus, Jr., who was paid $37,000 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors;

Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer, former Fidelity Investments Vice-President and General Counsel and BlackRock Equity-Bonds Funds Director Lena Goldberg, who was paid $33,895 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors;

MIT Professor and Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology CEO/Director Daniel Hastings, who’s also a trustee of the Aerospace Corporation that “operates a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for the United States Air Force” which provides “engineering and acquisition management support as well as objective technical analyses and assessments to the Air Force,” according to the Aerospace Corporation’s website. And between June 2015 and July 2016, Aerospace Corporation Trustee and MIT Professor Hastings was paid $31,500 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors.

Former Central Intelligence Agency Operative and former Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency David Shedd, who was paid $7,625 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors;

Flybridge Captal Partners General Partner David Arnoff, of the Boston and New York-based speculation/venture capital investment firm, who was paid $6,125 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors; and


Lt. General Frank Kearney, a former Deputy Combatant Commander for United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) who “served in operational and command assignments at every level with combat tours in Grenada, Panama, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan” and “commanded all Theater Special Operations forces in the middle-east including OIF and OEF from March 2005 to June 2007”, according to the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point’s website, before setting up his own “consulting” company, Inside-Solutions-LLC, of which he is president. And between June 2015 and July 2016, Lt. General (Ret.) and Inside-Solutions President Kearney was paid $6,125 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Cambridge's Draper Laboratory's Brent Scowcroft/Scowcroft Group Connection



Coincidentally, the Draper Laboratory Chairman of the Board since October 2013--a “Principal” of former Kissinger Associates Vice-Chairman Brent Scowcroft’s Scowcroft Group named Franklin Miller---previously worked “twenty-two years in the Department of Defense…and four years as a Special Assistant to President George W. Bush” before joining The Cohen Group of former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen for five years, according to The Scowcroft Group’s website. And between June 2015 and July 2016, Scowcroft Group Principal Miller was paid $71,625 for being Draper Laboratory’s board chairman, according to Draper Laboratory’s 2015 Form 990 financial filing.

Besides being Draper Laboratory’s chairman of the board, Scowcroft Group Principal Miller—who “provides clients both strategic and tactical advice on defense”—has also, coincidentally, been a member of the Defense Policy Board, the U.S. Strategic Command Advisory Group and the Council on Foreign Relations. And in addition, he has, coincidentally, sat on the board of directors of EADS North America (a subsidiary of Airbus Group that profits from its Pentagon war and homeland security government contracts), the Sandia Corporation (which develops more modern nuclear weapons for the Pentagon) and the Atlantic Council of the United States (whose board of directors and international advisory chairman emeritus is, coincidentally, Scowcroft Group President and Principal Brent Scowcroft).

After joining former Nixon Administration Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s for-profit Kissinger Associates “consulting”/influence-peddling firm in 1982, Draper Laboratory board chairman Miller’s business partner at the Scowcroft Group, Brent Scowcroft, was hired by the government of Kuwait’s Kuwait Petroleum Corporation [KPC] to sit alongside Ali Jabar Al Ali Al-Sabah on the board of directors of KPC’s U.S. subsidiary at that time, Santa Fe International; and Scowcroft sat on the Kuwait government’s Santa Fe International corporate board in 1984, 1985 and 1986, according to Poor’s & Standard’s Register of Corporations. Yet in the early 1990’s the former director of Kuwait’s major U.S. subsidiary at that time—Scrowcroft Group President Scowcroft—was allowed to sit in a White House office as then-President H.W. Bush I’s National Security Affairs advisor. As the Scowcroft Group “consulting”/influence-peddling firm’s website notes:

“As President of The Scowcroft Group…Brent Scowcroft provides clients with unparalleled strategic advice and assistance…Brent Scowcroft served as the National Security Advisor to both Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, the only individual in U.S. history appointed to the position under two different Presidents. From 1982 to 1989, he was Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm. In this capacity, he advised and assisted a wide range of U.S. and foreign corporate leaders on global joint venture opportunities…His…twenty-nine-year military career…included… Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Military Assistant to President Nixon….Out of uniform, General Scowcroft...formerly served as the Chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board...”


And not surprisingly, when the Iraqi troops of the now-executed Saddam Hussein marched into Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, it was the presentation of Scowcroft-- the former member of the corporate board of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s Santa Fe International U.S. subsidiary-- -- at a National Security Council meeting on Aug. 3, 1990, “that made clear what the stakes were, crystallized people’s thinking and galvanized support for a strong response” to the Iraqi military occupation of Kuwait, according to a Feb. 2, 1991 New York Times article;  and, at this meeting, “Scowcroft stated that..he believed the United States had to be willing to use force” and “that Saddam had to be toppled…covertly through the CIA, and be unclear to the world,” according to Bob Woodard’s 1991 book The Commanders. But after the United States began “to use force” in Iraq in January 1991,  U.S. military forces apparently killed around 100,000 Iraqis people in the 1991 Gulf War to restore Al-Sabah family monarchical rule in Kuwait, while at least 849 U.S. troops were either killed or wounded in the same war; and during the next 10 years more than 9,600 of the U.S. soldiers involved in the first Gulf War, who “were often required to enter radioactive battlefields unprotected and were never warned of the dangers of Depleted Uranium” weapons, reportedly also died, according to Project Censored’s Censored 2004 book.

Coincidentally, Draper Laboratory Chairman Miller’s 91-year-old Scowcroft Group business partner also currently is a “Strategy Partner” at Torch Hill Investment Partners, whose for-profit investment portfolio includes stock in Zephyr Photonics, which “is a US-based…photonics company that is focused on providing solutions to the Department of Defense, aerospace, and intelligence markets” that “has developed its unique technology over 60 contracts from US Government agencies…and defense prime contractors,” according to the Torch Hill Investment Partners website. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

`New York City Refugee' folk song lyrics


A folk song about how real estate developers, landlords, and their political allies gentrified New York City after 1971; and created a native New Yorker refugee population.

lyrics

I was born in the Bronx
And I grew up in Queens
But then I became
A New York City refugee.

The millionaires came
From all over the globe
And bought up Manhattan
And drove me from my home.

I was born in the Bronx
And I grew up in Queens
And when forced out of Brooklyn
Became a New York City refugee.

They gentrified Brooklyn
And part of the Bronx
They co-oped Manhattan
And Queens apartments.

I was born in the Bronx
And I grew up in Queens
On Staten Island I lived
But now I'm a New York City refugee.

Landlords and their lawyers
De-controlled rents
And with Wall Street developers
Ripped-off their tenants.

I was born in the Bronx
And I grew up in Queens
Many native New Yorkers
Are now New York City refugees.

But on the Lower East Side
These words are now heard:
"New York City refugees
Have the right to return!"

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Is Cambridge's Draper Laboratory Profiteering From War Research?





According to the tax-exempt and “non-profit” Draper Laboratory Form 990 financial filing for 2015, between June 27, 2015 and July 1, 2016 the Strategic Systems weapons technology development program of Draper Laboratory earned over $67 million more in revenues from its contract work than what it spent to do the contract work; between June 2015 and July 2016, Draper Laboratory’s Strategic Systems program’s revenues exceeded $445 million, while the Strategic Systems program’s expenses were only just under $378 million. Draper Laboratory’s 2015 Form 990 financial filing also noted that its Strategic Systems program has “been responsible for all of the U.S. Navy’s strategic guidance systems and are currently extending MK6 system life to 2042 through an extensive modernization effort that utilizes common processor and other key technical innovations to improve reliability and system performance” and has “also developed the guidance system for the air force peacekeeper ICBM.”

The National Security and Space program of the “non-profit” Draper Laboratory also earned more from its contract work than what it spent to do the work. Between June 2015 and July 2016, for example, Draper Laboratory’s National Security and Space program revenues of over $158 million exceeded its expenses of over $139 million by $19 million.  And Draper Laboratory’s 2015 Form 990 financial filing described the weapons technology development work of its National Security and Space program in the following way:

“Draper delivers national security systems and combat solutions as a highly valued government partner and design agent for our sponsors’ most difficult problems. We provide trusted, reliable mantime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), extreme miniature solutions for precision engagement, highly accurate guided aerial delivery, soldier-centered solutions, secure electronic and communications, and early intercept guidance for missile defense engagements. We help our sponsors to clarify their requirements, establish government owned designs and create system prototypes…”


From all of its sources of revenues between June 2015 and July 2016 (including income from dividends on the corporate stock it owns, for example), Draper Laboratory’s total revenues were over $676 million; which exceeded its total expenses (that included $1 million spent on lobbying) of over $639 million by nearly $37 million, although Draper Laboratory claims to be a “non-profit” organization. And during the same period, the value of Draper Laboratory’s net assets increased from over $364 million to over $379 million. In addition, between October 2014 and September 2016 the annual dollar amount of Pentagon weapons technology development contracts awarded Draper Laboratory increased from $273 million to $360 million, making it the 73rd-largest recipient of U.S. war research contracts in 2017.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Is Cambridge's Draper Laboratory Developing Weapons For Trump's War Machine?




Most people who live in Cambridge, Massachusetts don’t think that weapons technology development and “precision targeting”-related work for the Trump administration’s Pentagon war machine should be done in the “People’s Republic of Cambridge” in 2017. Yet in the “Warmakers’ Republic of Cambridge,” near MIT, Draper Laboratory is doing weapons technology development and “precision” targeting”-related work for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency—while Trump and his Secretary of Defense, former General Dynamics board member, James Mattis, threaten to issue orders for a war against people in North Korea. As a Sept. 7, 2017 Draper Laboratory press release, titled “Draper Awarded $36.M for Guidance, Navigation & Control Technology,” stated:

“The U.S. Missile Defense Agency has awarded Draper a $36.9 million contract to perform technical and analytical services in support of the Agency’s efforts to evaluate, maturate, integrate and test guidance, navigation and control technologies.

“Under the contract, Draper will focus its work on sensors, modeling and simulation, radiation hardening, survivability, precision targeting and missile avionics development. The work will primarily be performed in Huntsville, Alabama and Cambridge, Massachusetts….”

According to the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency website, “North Korea has expanded the size and sophistication of its ballistic missile forces — from close-range ballistic missiles to ICBMs — and  has conducted an unprecedented level of nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches since 2016,” but “Missile defenses can provide a permanent presence in a region and discourage adversaries…”

In the “Warmakers’ Republic of Cambridge,” nuclear war weapons technology development work, for the Trump administration’s and UK Tory government’s nuclear-armed missile-launching Trident submarines, is also being done in 2017 at Draper Laboratory. As Trump and Mattis’s Department of Defense noted in a Jan. 26, 2017 press release, “Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc. is being awarded a $53,530,167 million fixed-price-incentive, cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the Trident (D5) MK 6 guidance system production," and the $53.5 million nuclear war preparation contract “includes failure verification, test, repair and recertification of inertial measurement units, electronic assemblies, and electronic modules." According to a Jan. 27, 2017 Sputnik news article:

“The Trident D-5 is a three-stage, solid-fueled submarine-launched intercontinental-range ballistic missile…It is…deployed on the US Navy's Ohio and newer Columbia class nuclear missile submarines.

“Work will be performed in the US states of Minnesota, Florida and Massachusetts…US Navy funds in the amount of $45,663,167 million and UK funds of $7,867,000 are being released for the award….”

Draper Laboratory is also doing U.S. Army weapons technology development work in Cambridge for the Trump administration’s Pentagon war machine in 2017. As a March 7, 2017 Draper Laboratory website press release, titled “Draper Joins Teams Awarded U.S. Army Contract for Defense of Space, Missile, Ground and High Altitude,” noted:

“…Draper plans to help…provide rapid response to immediate warfighter requirements to the U.S. Army. Draper has been selected to join several teams of defense contractors that will design, develop, demonstrate and integrate products and systems focused on the development of space, high altitude and missile defense and ground system capabilities, enabling warfighters to effectively support their mission….Draper’s contribution will be in support of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/ Army Forces Strategic Command’s (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) Design, Development, Demonstration and Integration, or D3I, Domain 1 program….Under the D3I Domain 1 contract, Draper brings capabilities to the contract teams in mission-critical areas including space systems, integrated air and missile defense, avionics, surveillance, reconnaissance and guidance, navigation and control (GN&C). Draper’s contract work will primarily be performed in Huntsville, Alabama and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“Draper has supported the U.S. military’s strategic mission for more than 60 years. For the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), Draper has developed image navigation for precision guidance of munitions even when GPS is not available. In addition to working with navigation systems, Draper has assisted the Army with projects including cybersecurity, technology protection and miniature cryptography for high stress environments. Draper and the Army have also worked together on a vision-aided navigation system that addresses current limitations, including cloud cover, which degrades the system’s ability to correlate vision sensor inputs with satellite imagery.”

A May 19, 2016 press release of the Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey-based U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center’s website provided some additional details on the kind of weapons technology development work Draper Laboratory has been doing for RDECOM in recent years:

“Picatinny Arsenal engineers are among a group of researchers developing image navigation that would be used for precision guidance of munitions even when GPS is not available. The Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC, is leading the development of image-navigation techniques for precision-guided munitions.

“With image navigation, a target can be identified on any type of digital map, which along with its metadata, can be loaded into the munition-guidance processor….Other partners involved in the research are from Draper Labs, Army Research Laboratory, Air Force Research Laboratory and the Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center. Using the reference image, along with the image the munition sees, the munition can determine where it is and what course corrections are needed to precisely guide it to the desired aim point.

"`This technology has the potential to be a game-changer for how precision munitions are employed in various contested environments on the future battlefield,’ said [Christopher] Stout [the ARDEC project officer for Affordable Precsion Technologies]…

“The developing technology is designed to mitigate the current reliance on GPS for precision munitions and achieve the potential to transition to future increments of Excalibur, High Explosive Guided Mortar, or HEGM, and other future precision munitions.



“Ensuring the survivability of cameras and optics under the `high G’ shock of gun shock launch is being done by using ARDEC's modeling and simulation capabilities...ARDEC and Draper Labs are working closely to develop this simulation environment capable of virtually assessing system performance across all terrain and weather scenarios…”

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

`Simon Legree Killed Tom' folk song lyrics






A protest folk song whose lyrics tell the story of Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic 19th-century anti-slavery protest novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," that was written after re-reading Stowe's novel in 2005.

lyrics

(chorus)
Simon Legree killed Tom
When Tom did not inform
Simon Legree was master
But Slavery was wrong.

(verses)
Tom lived in Kentucky
Where he sang religious songs
He worked hard for Mr. Shelby
Whose Kindness made Tom feel secure
But Shelby owed some money
To a greedy slave trader
So he sold him his slaves Tom
And Eliza and her kid. (chorus)

Eliza and her child
Ran away in the night
Crossed the Ohio River
By walking across on ice
But Tom was taken South
And forced to leave his wife
Yet another kindly master
Put hope back in Tom's life. (chorus)

Then Tom's master was stabbed
While breaking up a tavern brawl
To Tom he had promised freedom
Yet failed to sign all the forms
So when the master died
His cruel wife now sold Tom
At an auction in the slave market
Where mothers and children sobbed. (chorus)

Tom's new master was brutal
His name was Simon Legree
Ex-slaves were his overseers
And they whipped without mercy
In the field of the plantation
Picking cotton seven days a week
No time to read his Bible
Tom felt the worst kind of slavery. (chorus)

Simon Legree tried to make Tom
Become a person less saintly
By beating Tom all the time
To get him to renounce his beliefs
But Tom would not sell his soul
And when Legree's slave women escaped
Legree said "Tell me where they hide
Or a slave's death is your fate." (chorus)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

`Remember Lumumba' protest folk song lyrics



An historical protest folk song from 2017 about role of Belgian and U.S. governments, UN and former Columbia University administration officials in eliminating democratically elected Congolese PM Patrice Lumumba, between July 1960 and January 1961.

lyrics

(chorus)
Lumumba
Remember Lumumba
Lumumba, Lumumba
Spoke for freedom. 


(verses)
The Belgians pulled out
The U.S. moved in
They wanted a puppet
Who wouldn't stand firm
. (chorus)

Katanga they took
Belgium returned
UN troops came
Then changed their whole mission. 
(chorus)

Columbia Trustee Burden
Named Lumumba as his foe
And helped by the UN's Cordier
Lumumba was overthrown. 
(chorus)

He would not submit
They carried out a coup
They threw him in jail
And Patrice Lumumba they slew. 
(chorus)

They still want their empire
They still want their mines
And they still try to kill
Those who expose their crimes. 
(chorus)

Lumumba lives!
Lumumba lives!
Lumumba lives!
Lumumba lives!

Lumumba lives!
Lumumba lives!
Lumumba lives!
Lumumba lives!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's August 2017 Letter

 

The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge--who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group's newsletter.
   
“August, 2017

“Dear Comrades

“August already. I haven’t got my head around July yet. Must have missed it. And so the year zips by. Pity some individuals and institutions don’t zip by and disappear over the horizon never to return, creeps who treat us like mugs as if we can’t see through their lies and corruption and stupidity.

“In a line-up of morons, Barnaby Joyce wins the jackpot (attacked Four Corners for exposing serious water theft by cotton growers and officialdom and he’s the water minister!). Cotton should never be grown here anyway.

“He’s followed closely by the fellow who blamed his mum for turning him into an Italiano, which shows he’s not fit to be an MP. He’s not on his Pat Malone. We should be marching in the streets about the incredible powers given to Dutton as super cop in charge of a range of secretive outfits which have outrageously repressive laws at their disposal.

“Few Australians seem to know or care that without a Bill of Rights we have absolutely no protection, especially with Dutton in charge. Turnbull made the announcement against a backdrop of heavily armed masked commandos. Pathetic and childish at one level, but deliberately creating a nasty atmosphere.

“We’re just the patsies, surrogates for the ones yanking our government’s strings to play Little Brother for Big Brother. Have you counted the number of senior US military figures popping in to Canberra recently? And what do you know, on cue a terrorist plot has turned up.

“So here we are tightly tied to a country going down the tubes that if allowed, will bring us all undone. ‘Liberal’ America isn’t worth two bob, while conservative America with Trump at the helm is off the planet ideologically. Uninformed, abysmally ignorant, venal, insular, who believe implicitly in ‘American exceptionalism,' ignoring startling statistics about how little Americans know about world geography and history.

“US author William Hawes pulls no punches when he says that America’s political leaders are ‘mentally unfit for office, unable to listen, take advice or think rationally.’ They are not simply anti-intellectual and religious and economic extremists, but are ‘seriously unhinged’ and represent a danger for everyone. It beggars belief that these aggressive cretins accuse North Korea of ‘threatening world peace’.

“I know I’ve talked about Syria many times, but the statistics continue to appall me. At least 475,000 dead, 5 million driven into exile, another 6 million internally displaced and 11 million forced from their homes into wretched living conditions and near famine and with ancient Christian peoples fleeing for their lives. Two of Syria’s greatest and oldest cities, the once beautiful and prosperous Damascus and Aleppo, pounded into ruins by massacres and airstrikes. If this isn’t wickedness I don’t know what is.

“And that is just the tip of a monstrous iceberg. After overthrowing Saddam Hussein in 2003 and Qaddafi in 2012, the fighting and killings continue, while yet another humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Yemen.

“‘They make a desert and call it peace,’ said Calgacus of the Romans he fought in the first century, just like the current military crop who claimed ‘victory’ over the battle for Mosul, where more than 40,000 civilians died with Mosul a heap of rubble. The world should be outraged, but isn’t.

“ Meanwhile the Americans spend $600 billion every year on the military, are $20 trillion in debt, run $800 billion trade deficits and seem incapable of fixing their health care system, reform their tax code or fund an infrastructure programme, and are gearing up to fight more wars. And we help them. 
  
"Next cab off the rank, Venezuela. From the moment Chavez was elected, the US Empire worked around the clock to destroy his revolution. Chavez died and the Empire never let up. After a fake referendum, America’s propaganda mill is churning out lies that President Maduro is no longer its legitimate president. When it’s all about oil. Venezuela has the largest known reserve of oil in the world, which Venezuela controls and uses for the benefit of its people. But the vultures are circling.

“Somewhere in Washington DC, politicians, generals, spies and oil company executives from ExxonMobil are plotting to create more chaos, more destabilisation and how to pull off a coup d’etat. And it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference who is president. Nothing gets in the way of the Empire’s foreign policy objectives, especially when we’re talking about oil. ‘The United States will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles’, trumpeted Trump, with the danger he is preparing for a full-scale military intervention.

"A positive from the recent Paris climate agreement. Trump was isolated and the US was left out in the cold, a 19-1 standoff over the most important issue of our time. It’s hard to disagree with filmmaker James Cameron when he says that humans have a nasty habit of letting market forces dictate our future. ‘Market forces have put us into runaway climate change and resource depletion and all forms of environmental collapse and the sixth great mass extinction which, if we don’t change, could be a slate-wiper for the planet.’

“Our wildlife is dying out due to habitat destruction, toxic pollution and climate change, when our lives depend on the plants, animals and micro-organisms of Earth to maintain a liveable climate. Assuming we survive a climatic catastrophe, the next big question is ‘can we prevail in a world where machines that we’ve built are as smart or smarter than we are?’ No time to waste.

“Joan Coxsedge”

Monday, August 7, 2017

Columbia University and the Elimination of Patrice Lumumba Revisited--Part 2




“…I would like to refer specifically to the painful case of the Congo, unique in the history of the modern world, which shows how, with absolute impunity, with the most insolent cynicism, the rights of peoples can be flouted. The direct reason for all this is the enormous wealth of the Congo, which the imperialist countries want to keep under their control…How can we forget the betrayal of the hope that Patrice Lumumba placed in the United Nations? How can we forget the machinations and maneuvers that followed in the wake of the occupation of that country by UN troops, under whose auspices the assassins of this great African patriot acted with impunity?...”

--Che Guevara in his Dec. 11, 1964 speech to the UN General Assembly

“…Cordier was part of the Congo Club, a group of senior UN officials intent on making sure that the international organization safeguarded Western interests in the Congo…. “

--Ludo De Witte in his 2001 book, The Assassination of Lumumba

“Lumumba’s fall and assassination were the result of a vast conspiracy involving U.S., Belgian and UN officials…My own research in the United Nations Archives in New York has yielded data on…the anti-Lumumba activities of Andrew Cordier…”

--Howard University Professor Emeritus of African Studies Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja in his 2003 book, The Congo From Leopold to Kabula: A People’s History

“Students for a Democratic Society will hold a rally today to protest the University's expansion policies and the alleged involvement of Acting [Columbia University] President Andrew W. Cordier in the assassination of former Congolese Premier Patrice Lumumba….The radical student organization has…accused President Cordier, who was formerly dean of the School of International Affairs…of helping to plot…the downfall of his government…A leader of the Brooklyn Black Panther Party, known as Captain Ford, is scheduled to speak at this evening's rally…”

--from a Sept. 26, 1968 Columbia Daily Spectator article

“…Mr. Lumumba, the Prime Minister….is completely irresponsible—if not a mad man…He is wildly ambitious, lusting for power and strikes fear into anyone who crosses his path. There is really no such thing as a Congolese Government…There is a cabinet, but Lumumba uses it as his tool. Some members of the Cabinet share his vision and lust for power…The only real solution of the problem is a change of leadership. It will not be easy, however, to remove Lumumba from his position…"

--Former Columbia University President and School of International Affairs [SIPA] Dean and United Nations Under-Secretary General Andrew Cordier in an Aug. 18, 1960 letter to Manchester College in Indiana Emeritus Professor V.F. Schwalm

Columbia University and the Elimination of Patrice Lumumba Revisited—Part 2

In his 2009 book Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the late 1960s, Professor of History and African American Studies Stefan Bradley noted that on Aug. 23, 1968--three months after they had requested on May 22, 1968 that New York City police be used to clear Columbia University’s campus of protesting students for a second time--“Grayson Kirk and David Truman stepped down as the president and vice president” of Columbia University; and “Andrew Cordier, from the School of International Affairs [SIPA]” of Columbia University “took over the reins of the university as acting president.” Cordier then spent two years as Columbia University’s fifteenth president until September 1970, before spending an additional two years as Dean of Columbia’s School of International Affairs [SIPA] prior to his 1975 death--from cirrhosis of the liver--at the age of 74.

Before being appointed as Columbia’s School of International Affairs Dean in 1962 (by a Columbia University board of trustees that included the former U.S. Ambassador to Belgium between 1959 and 1961, Columbia Life Trustee William A.M. Burden), Cordier had worked since 1946 at the United Nations as advisor to the President of the General Assembly and executive assistant to the Secretary General. And, as UN Under-Secretary General, Cordier, coincidentally, “had a large role in the Congo” in the summer of 1960, 57 years ago, according to Professor Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Professor of History Emmanuel Gerard and University of Pennsylvania Professor of History Bruce Kuklick’s 2015 book, Death in the Congo: Murdering Patrice Lumumba.

As Carole Collins observed in an article, titled “The Cold War Comes to Africa: Cordier and the 1960 Congo Crisis,” that appeared in the June 22, 1993 issue of the Journal of International Affairs:

“…In early September 1960, while filling in as the Secretary-General's interim special representative to the Congo... Cordier's decisions effectively…reinforced U.S. and Belgian efforts to oust Lumumba… Some scholars argue that Cordier's actions ultimately served to help abort the Congo's transition to democracy, set in motion a series of events culminating in the murder of Lumumba -- the Congo's first democratically elected prime minister -- and facilitated the rise to power of a young Congolese army officer, Joseph Desire Mobutu...The Zairian [Congolese] people are still grappling to this day with the tragic legacy of these decisions…

“…Several sources, including Madeleine Kalb's study based on declassified diplomatic cable traffic, document the extent to which Cordier continually briefed and was briefed by U.S. diplomats and collaborated with them on Congo policy….

“…Cordier's 15 September [1960] letter to[Manchester College in Indiana Emeritus Professor V.F.] Schwalm reveals that he had advance notice of Kasavubu's intent to dismiss Lumumba, and that he welcomed the move…Cordier notes he met four times with Kasavubu…to discuss the firing of Lumumba… When Kasavubu announced his dismissal of Lumumba from office on the radio on Monday, 5 September, Cordier…made his `two most important decisions:’ to send U.N. troops to close the airport and to seize the radio station.

“These…actions…primarily hurt Lumumba because only Kasavubu enjoyed access to radio facilities in the neighboring state of Congo Brazzaville. Similarly, Kasavubu's allies were allowed to use the ostensibly closed airport to travel into the Congolese interior to mobilize support for the president while Lumumba's supporters were grounded….Near the end of his three-week stay in early September, Cordier …authorized the United Nations to offer food and pay to the Congolese Army… This action…allowed Mobutu -- a one-time Lumumba aide who had been appointed chief-of-staff of the army by Kasavubu just days earlier -- to win credit for paying the soldiers their past-due salaries…and to pave the way for his coup attempt a few days later…. The combination of U.N. and U.S. support was pivotal for Mobutu's subsequent seizure of power.

“…On 14 September
 [1960], Mobutu seized power… In the end, Cordier's actions served to fuel the Congolese civil war…. After his dismissal by Kasavubu, Lumumba was placed under virtual house arrest, but even this failed to dampen his popular or legislative support….In January 1961, he was killed through the coordinated efforts of Mobutu, Kasavubu, Tshombe and the CIA…[Connor Cruise] O'Brien – the…Irish diplomat…who had represented the United Nations in Katanga in 1961…believes that Cordier deliberately helped Washington plot Lumumba's ouster…”

Howard University Professor Emeritus of African Studies Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja’s 2003 book,The Congo From Leopold to Kabula: A People’s History, also contains a reference to the role that former Columbia University President Cordier played in Congolese history:

“…The dismissal [of Lumumba] was…clearly a civilian coup and therefore illegal. Both houses of[the Congolese] parliament, where Lumumba still had a working majority, gave him a vote of confidence and rejected Kasa-Vubu’s decisions as null and void…Cordier and U.S. Ambassador [to the Congo] Timberlake worked hand in hand to implement U.S. policy objectives. Acting as a viceroy, Cordier helped engineer and execute the illegal overthrow of Lumumba from power, beginning with his active support of the Kasa-Vubu coup of 5 September [1960]…”

Conor Cruise O’Brien’s 1962 book To Katanga and Back: A UN Case History, also indicated how former Columbia University President Cordier contributed to the illegal overthrow of Patrice Lumumba’s democratically-elected Congolese government in September 1960:

“…Andrew Cordier…had taken a decision which, politically, had broken the back of Lumumba—the Prime Minister who had called in the United Nations [to end Belgian military intervention in support of the illegal Belgium-backed secessionist Tshombe regime in the Congo’s Katanga province]…Had it not been for Mr. Cordier’s…action, there is little doubt that the support Lumumba could have rallied at this crucial moment would have been most formidable…Mr. Cordier’s actions…had played a decisive part in this crucial series of events, as a result of which the Congo no longer possessed a universally recognized Government…”

But as Kwame Nkrumah [the democratically-elected Ghanaian president who was overthrown in a CIA-backed military coup in 1966] argued in his 1967 book Challenge Of The Congo, “how could such action of the United Nations be justified when Lumumba was the lawful Prime Minister?” Nkrumah also noted in the same book that “the executive assistant to the Secretary-General, Andrew Cordier, knew in advance of Kasavubu’s plan to dismiss Lumumba;” and during the period in early September 1960 when former “acting” Columbia University President Cordier was the “acting” head of the UN Congo Mission in Kinshasa[Leopoldville], “press correspondents in Leopoldville at the time were convinced that the UN were helping to oust Lumumba…”

Coincidentally, a now de-classified “Telegram From the Station in the Congo to the Central Intelligence Agency” that was sent from Leopoldville[Kinshasa] on Sept. 5, 1960 also stated:

“…An unimpeachable source…advised [Embassy] that Kasavubu plans to oust Lumumba…As soon as this step taken, he plans to broadcast a message to Congolese people from Radio Congo requesting them to remain calm and accept the new government….Kasavubu plan includes following steps: A. For the UN Operation Congo (UNOC) to guarantee his personal safety with UN troops. B. Request UNOC to guard the radio station, thus guaranteeing his personal safety when he speaks and insuring that Lumumba forces will not be able take control of the radio and mount a propaganda campaign in support of Lumumba. C. Airports Congo would be closed to all departures. 4. Kasavubu’s plan has been coordinated with UNOC at highest levels here. He already has taken the first step, to demand protection by UN troops. The rest of the plan was to be implemented 5 September but timing may well be changed.”

According to Ludo De Witte’s 2001 book The Assassination of Lumumba, as Acting Head of the UN Operation Congo [UNOC] in Kinshasa/Leopoldville during early September 1960, Cordier “did exactly what was expected of him.”

In discussing, at a September 2004 Woodrow Wilson International Center for Cold War Studies conference at Princeton University, what happened in the Congo between July 1960 and the Jan. 17, 1961 murder of the democratically elected, but illegally ousted, Congolese Premier Lumumba and two of Lumumba’s colleagues, CUNY Emeritus Professor of Political Science Herbert Weiss characterized former Columbia President Cordier’s historical role in the following way:

“There is a very important event…that is the closing of the airport and the closing of the radio, without which the dismissal of Lumumba would have had a very different end…The key person there is Andrew CordierCordier was, at the very minimum, a profoundly non-neutral person whose writings suggest that he was a racist…It’s Cordier’s actions that cut the feet from under Lumumba…”

And at the same September 2004 conference, another conference participant, Thomas Kanza, the Congo’s first permanent representative to the UN, said: 

“If I may, I would like to support what Herbert said….Your…points are really correct. When Cordier came to Kinshasa…and Cordier stepped in, as special representative of the Secretary General. Number one, the dismissal of Lumumba…Cordier stepped in and said that he must be dismissed… Cordier was really acting as the number one UN [man] in the Congo...Cordier, as far as I’m concerned, was responsible for many things, including what would happen later….”

According to the Death in the Congo book, in the month before the former Columbia president used his UN power in the Congo to coordinate with Kasa-Vubu’s plan to illegally dismiss Lumumba in early September 1960, Cordier had personally interviewed Lumumba in New York City on Aug. 1, 1960, when “Lumumba made a last visit to the UN;” and the following personal interaction happened during this interview:

Cordier began his interview with Lumumba with a lengthy and condescending exposition…Ignoring the white man’s speech, Lumumba made his own long reply. He admonished Cordier and expressed disappointment…that the UN had not evicted the Belgians…”

During the same month that Cordier was coordinating with Kasa-Vubu to illegally remove Lumumba from power in a “civilian coup,” the CIA’s Chief of Station in the Congo, Larry Devlin (using illegally the diplomatic cover of “consul” at the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa/Leopoldville), was also covertly working to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Patrice Lumumba. In his 2007 book Chief of Station, Congo: A Memoir of 1960-67, Devlin (who died in 2008) describes what happened when he visited the Congolese presidential palace shortly after the “civilian coup” of Kasavubu that Cordier backed:

“…[Congolese National Army/ANC] Colonel Mobutu stood in the doorway flanked by two soldiers…`Wait for me outside,’ he said softly to the soldiers. He closed the door and shook hands with me…Finally, he said, `Here is the situation: the army is prepared to overthrow Lumumba. But only on the condition that the United States will recognize the government that would replace Lumumba’s…’

[CIA Director] Allen Dulles had made it absolutely clear to me that the United States wanted Lumumba removed from power, but I had always thought in terms of a legal or parliamentary change, not an army coup…Yet the more I considered Mobutu’s plan, the better it sounded…

“`I’ve got to get back to my commanders,’ Mobutu said, turning to leave. `I have to give them a `go’ or a `no go’ order. Lumumba doesn’t know they’re here, so they must get back to their bases before he finds out.’…

“…I held out my hand to Mobutu and said with as much conviction as I could muster: `I can assure you the United States government will recognize a temporary government composed of civilian technocrats.’

“…`The coup will take place within a week,’ he said. `But I will need five thousand dollars [equivalent o around $41,000 in 2017 U.S. dollars] to provide for my senior officers…’

“…I assured Mobutu that the money would be available and arranged to meet him in his office…I left the presidential palace without further incident…I arrived at army headquarters at the early hour agreed upon with Mobutu…Mobutu said he had met his area commanders and told them that the coup was on. `I’ll be setting a date and time shortly but it will be within the next week,’ he said. `I’ll take control of the radio station, announce the formation of new government.’…On the evening of Sept. 14 [1960]…at a party…at the home of Alison `Tally’ Palmer, the American vice-consul…I…had a call with the news that Mobutu was on the radio announcing that the army was installing a government of technocrats…Our efforts to remove Lumumba…were at last bearing fruit…”

In a statement at a Dec. 10, 1960 UN Security Council meeting, the Moroccan representative to the UN, Mhamet Boucetta, indicated how the CIA-supported Mobutu used some of the Congolese National Army [ANC] troops (that Cordier had paid with U.S. government-provided UN money)  to “install a government of technocrats” between Sept. 13 (when a joint meeting of the Congolese Chamber of Representatives and Senate restored full power to the illegally “dismissed” Lumumba by 88 votes to 5 with 3 abstentions) and Sept. 14, 1960:

“I should like to tell you something I saw with my own eyes. I was present at the last two meetings held by this [Congolese] Parliament…By an overwhelming majority, the Parliament gave the legitimate Government a vote of confidence and renewed its mandate…

“The next morning, a hundred soldiers with helmets and submachine guns at the ready and an old tank with a rusty gun were stationed in front of the Parliament building. The elected representatives of the people were not allowed to enter…The members of Parliament were rounded up and hustled away, payment of their allowances was stopped…That is what…we saw…”

And less than five months after Mobutu’s first CIA-backed coup in September 1960, the 35- year-old Lumumba was murdered in the Katanga region of the Congo. As The Congo From Leopold To Kabila: A People’s History book observed:

As it turned out, Mobutu played a critical role in every step leading to Lumumba’s assassination…He did so by the coup of 14 September [1960], Lumumba’s arrest on 1 December [1960], and his incarceration at the elite military garrison of Mbano-Ngungu[Thysville]. And Mobutu was among the…Congolese involved in the…plan of sending Lumumba to his death in Katanga…”

And, according to Death in the Congo:

CIA turncoats, among others, have testified that in the immediate aftermath of the assassination Devlin boasted to people in the Agency about his role in the murder…In 1960 he persisted in trying to finish off Lumumba and immediately took credit when the African was killed; he later persisted in denying that he tried…Justin O’Donnell, a senior officer from CIA headquarters got to Leopoldville[Kinshasa] on November 3[1960]. O’Donnell would oversee the murder and report to Devlin. In asking for O’Donnell after Washington’s encouragement, Devlin let headquarters know that he still had…poisons, but also wanted a `high-powered foreign make rifle with telescopic and silencer.’…Devlin asked for the rifle in writing a week after an unusual appearance by Lumumba on the balcony of his residents where he spoke to a crowd below…Devlin and those around him in the Congo would not rest until someone finished the job…The Belgians and the American fixated on murder…”

 In a 2010 AllAfrica website column, a former Staff Director of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Africa, Stephen R. Weissman,  also asserted that “Devlin gave a green light to delivering Lumumba to men who had publicly vowed to kill him” and “shortly before” Lumumba’s “transfer” to where he was murdered, “Mobutu indicated to Devlin that Lumumba `might be executed,’ according to a Church Committee [of the U.S. Senate] interview,” but “Devlin did not suggest that he offered any objection or caution.”

In an Aug. 18, 1960 letter to Manchester College in Indiana Emeritus Professsor V.F. Schwalm, former Columbia University President Cordier wrote the following about the democratically-elected Congolese prime minister that he would help oust from power less than a month later:

“…Mr. Lumumba, the Prime Minister….is completely irresponsible—if not a mad man…He is wildly ambitious, lusting for power and strikes fear into anyone who crosses his path. There is really no such thing as a Congolese Government…There is a cabinet, but Lumumba uses it as his tool. Some members of the Cabinet share his vision and lust for power….The only real solution of the problem is a change of leadership. It will not be easy, however to remove Lumumba from his position…In various ways the Secretary-General has given encouragement to the moderates and they are also receiving encouragement from other powerful political sources…”

Patrice Lumumba, however, presented an alternative historical point of view in the last letter he wrote from the Camp Hardy military prison in Mbano-Ngungu[Thysville]--a letter to his wife--before being assassinated on January 17, 1961:

“My dear wife,

“I am writing these words not knowing whether they will reach you, when they will reach you, and whether I shall still be alive when you read them…What we wished for our country, its right to an honorable life, to unstained dignity, to independence without restrictions, was never desired by the Belgian imperialists and the Western allies, who found direct and indirect support, both deliberate and unintentional, amongst certain high officials of the United Nations, that organization in which we placed all our trust when we called on its assistance. Neither brutal assaults, nor cruel mistreatment, nor torture have ever led me to beg for mercy, for I prefer to die with my head held high, unshakable faith, and the greatest confidence in the destiny of my country rather than live in slavery and contempt for sacred principles. History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that is taught in Brussels, Paris, Washington or in the United Nations, but the history which will be taught in the countries freed from imperialism and its puppets…   Love live the Congo! Long live Africa!

“Patrice”

(end of article)