Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's March 26, 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   

“March 26, 2017

“Dear Comrades,

“Spring has sprung and thankfully we’ve had some rain. And that’s the good bit. For the rest? Western societies are completely out of whack and getting even wackier in a world of lies and shadows.

“Fintan O’Toole wrote in the Irish Times that ‘the mendacity of politics in 2016 has indeed been astonishing both in its brazenness and its effectiveness…lying floats freely, with no pretense to be anchored in evidence’. O’Toole specifically named Facebook and Google, now directly involved in publishing fake news stories and neo-Nazi propaganda. ‘Trump is not Hitler’, he said, ‘although there’s a kind of theatrical fascism about his performance. He’s more Duce than Fuehrer, moving swiftly from impulsiveness to caution, generosity to cruelty, like other tinpot right-wing politicians’.

“Our young and not-so-young are drowning in the unfiltered sewer of the internet and social media, the addiction of our age. To an extent never witnessed before, large numbers of people believe things that are simply not true.

“‘Terrorism’ is on everyone’s agenda. Dictators and far right leaders are now fighting ‘the terrorist menace’ without looking at the underlying causes of war and poverty, especially when it comes to the Palestinians who’ve been living among other people’s lies for more than sixty years. Tariq Ali speaks for most of us when he bemoans the state of the world and the ‘apologetics of a servile media’.

“Not servile enough, apparently. Last December President Obama created a new $160 million bureaucracy called ‘Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act’ to combat anything that challenges Washington’s version of what passes for reality. The new law mandates a range of agencies ‘to lead, synchronize, and co-ordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining US national security interests.’ And aren’t we lucky! The law directs that its ‘expertise’ should be ‘co-ordinated’ with allied nations, and we’re about as ‘allied’ as you can get.

“The law was initiated as the demonization of Vladimir Putin was gathering steam amid allegations of ‘Russian hacking’ around the US election and mainstream’s media furor over ‘fake news’. A marriage between McCarthyism and Orwellianism. Ironic, seeing that Washington and its agencies are the world’s biggest pushers of propaganda and out-right lies.

“We’re also reading a lot of nonsense about bugging and wiretapping as if presidents and prime ministers direct the work of secret agencies, when they haven’t got a clue about who they are and even less about what they do.

“But not content with creating the ‘counter foreign propaganda’ outfit, in 2011 Obama set up a new spy agency, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), at a cost of $1.4 billion plus. Its massive HQ sits on a heavily protected military base south of Washington DC with the principle function of analyzing billions of images and miles of video captured by drones in the Middle East and spy satellites circling the globe. Inevitably, technology used to spy on ‘enemies’ abroad will be turned on its own citizenry.

“The US has been growing increasingly bonkers for a very long time. I first became aware of its lunacy in the 1960s when we were assailed with the bull that if we allowed Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh to unify Vietnam, `the dominoes would fall and world revolution would engulf us’. The lunacy reached a high point when we were told that US troops had ‘destroyed a village in order to save it’. But nothing was learned as we saw the same hubris and arrogance repeated again and again unleashing violence and destruction on an industrial scale.

“In 2015 the Russians came in to clear up the mess Washington has made in the Middle East, for which they have never been forgiven. And now left-leaning newspapers like The Guardian are ‘rehabilitating’ prime war criminals George W. Bush and Tony Blair. The 43rd president ‘should be applauded’, it wrote, with not a word about the millions of victims or the way ‘their war’ gave rise directly to the evolution of the Islamic State (IS).

“After the Iraq disaster - too drenched in blood for even the propagandists to deny - Obama’s job was to reassert the myth of US benevolence, that with him at the helm the US was under new compassionate management which we know as total bull.

“History has shown that any country not sufficiently defended is liable to be destroyed by Washington. Wherever there is easy prey, it will do so with the utmost barbarity, adding insult to injury by calling it ‘nation building’.

“Cuba resisted and inspired the world. Its brave Revolution took place just a few miles from the shores of the United States. It sent teachers and doctors all around the world, spreading optimism, solidarity and kindness, while its revolutionaries fought against colonialism in Congo, Angola and Namibia. Obama attempted to weaken the resolve of the Cuban people and failed miserably.

“Lewis Lapham is well-known for his articles in Harpers Magazine and has put some of them in a book, Age of Folly: America Abandons its Democracy (2016), although it’s questionable that America ever had a democracy in the first place.

“Lapham writes on 9/11 and never actually says it was an inside job, but cleverly describes how the orchestra and chorus were miraculously ready to play the required tune, just as somehow the US military was ready and able to invade Afghanistan less than one month after 9/11. In other words, the invasion force was assembled waiting for the pretext, and the orchestra and chorus were ready and waiting for the 9/11 conductor’s baton…”

“Joan Coxsedge”