"Ain't Gonna Study War No More"

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Right-To-Life Party, Christian, Anti-War, Pro-Life, Bible Fundamentalist, Egalitarian, Libertarian Left

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Revelation Song - Kari Jobe

Lifehouse Everything Drama

Fred Hammond He's a Rock

Fred Hamond & R.F.C | Let The Praise Begin

Fred Hammond & Radical No Weapon Formed

Martin Luther King A Time to Break Silence part - 1

Martin Luther King A Time to Break Silence part - 2

The Martin Luther King You Don't See on TV

It's become a TV ritual: Every year on April 4, as Americans commemorate Martin Luther King's death, we get perfunctory network news reports about "the slain civil rights leader."

The remarkable thing about these reviews of King's life is that several years — his last years — are totally missing, as if flushed down a memory hole.

What TV viewers see is a closed loop of familiar file footage: King battling desegregation in Birmingham (1963); reciting his dream of racial harmony at the rally in Washington (1963); marching for voting rights in Selma, Alabama (1965); and finally, lying dead on the motel balcony in Memphis (1968).

An alert viewer might notice that the chronology jumps from 1965 to 1968. Yet King didn't take a sabbatical near the end of his life. In fact, he was speaking and organizing as diligently as ever.

Almost all of those speeches were filmed or taped. But they're not shown today on TV.


It's because national news media have never come to terms with what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for during his final years.

In the early 1960s, when King focused his challenge on legalized racial discrimination in the South, most major media were his allies. Network TV and national publications graphically showed the police dogs and bullwhips and cattle prods used against Southern blacks who sought the right to vote or to eat at a public lunch counter.

But after passage of civil rights acts in 1964 and 1965, King began challenging the nation's fundamental priorities. He maintained that civil rights laws were empty without "human rights" — including economic rights. For people too poor to eat at a restaurant or afford a decent home, King said, anti-discrimination laws were hollow.

Noting that a majority of Americans below the poverty line were white, King developed a class perspective. He decried the huge income gaps between rich and poor, and called for "radical changes in the structure of our society" to redistribute wealth and power.

"True compassion," King declared, "is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."

By 1967, King had also become the country's most prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, and a staunch critic of overall U.S. foreign policy, which he deemed militaristic. In his "Beyond Vietnam" speech delivered at New York's Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 — a year to the day before he was murdered — King called the United States "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." (Full text/audio here. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2564.htm)

From Vietnam to South Africa to Latin America, King said, the U.S. was "on the wrong side of a world revolution." King questioned "our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America," and asked why the U.S. was suppressing revolutions "of the shirtless and barefoot people" in the Third World, instead of supporting them.

In foreign policy, King also offered an economic critique, complaining about "capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries."

You haven't heard the "Beyond Vietnam" speech on network news retrospectives, but national media heard it loud and clear back in 1967 — and loudly denounced it. Time magazine called it "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi." The Washington Post patronized that "King has diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people."

In his last months, King was organizing the most militant project of his life: the Poor People's Campaign. He crisscrossed the country to assemble "a multiracial army of the poor" that would descend on Washington — engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience at the Capitol, if need be — until Congress enacted a poor people's bill of rights. Reader's Digest warned of an "insurrection."

King's economic bill of rights called for massive government jobs programs to rebuild America's cities. He saw a crying need to confront a Congress that had demonstrated its "hostility to the poor" — appropriating "military funds with alacrity and generosity," but providing "poverty funds with miserliness."

How familiar that sounds today, nearly 40 years after King's efforts on behalf of the poor people's mobilization were cut short by an assassin's bullet.

In 2007, in this nation of immense wealth, the White House and most in Congress continue to accept the perpetuation of poverty. They fund foreign wars with "alacrity and generosity," while being miserly in dispensing funds for education and healthcare and environmental cleanup.

And those priorities are largely unquestioned by mainstream media. No surprise that they tell us so little about the last years of Martin Luther King's life.

By Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon


Debussy: The Snow is Dancing (HD 720p)

Crazy Yodeling

Most Say it is Time for Someone New as President

Just 38% say President Barack Obama deserves re-election

April 05, 2011 "Zogby"

UTICA, NY - A new IBOPE Zogby Survey finds a majority of likely voters are ready for someone new in the White House, as just 38% say Obama deserves to be re-elected and 55% say it is time for someone new. The poll of 2,125 voters was conducted from April 1-4, 2111.

Do you think President Obama deserves to be re-elected or do you think it is time for someone new?

Response All voters Democrats Republicans Independents
It's time for someone new 55% 17% 94% 55%
Obama deserves
to be re-elected
38% 72% 4% 35%
Not sure 7% 10% 2% 10%

The interactive poll of 2,126 likely voters has a margin of error of +/-2.1%. A sampling of Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the U.S., was invited to participate. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender, and education to more accurately reflect the population.


Lifting the Veil: Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy

Lifting the Veil from S DN on Vimeo.

Gaza: the Stain Remains on Israel's War Record

Human Rights Watch and the Goldstone Report

The Netanyahu government is doing everything it can to interpret a recent Washington Post op-ed article by Justice Richard Goldstone as vindication of Israel's conduct in the 2008-09 Gaza conflict. It is nothing of the sort. Israel's reluctance to confront that reality finds a parallel in its refusal to date to conduct credible investigations into the serious violations of the laws of war that it committed in Gaza. The Goldstone article does not relieve it of the obligation to pursue those investigations.

As is well known, Goldstone led a UN commission that issued a detailed and damning report on the Gaza war, finding that both Israeli and Hamas forces committed war crimes. In his article, Goldstone backed away from a particularly controversial charge in the report – the allegation that Israel had an apparent high-level policy to target civilians. He now says that information from Israeli investigations indicates "that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy".

Goldstone was right to make that amendment. Human Rights Watch also investigated some of the cases in which Israeli troops fired at and killed Palestinian civilians. In seven cases, for example, Israeli troops killed a total of 11 Palestinian civilians who had been waving white flags to signal their civilian status. In six other cases, Israeli drone operators fired on and killed a total of 29 Palestinian civilians, including five children, even though drone technology offers the capacity and time to determine whether the targets were combatants. Deeply troubling as these cases were, they were too isolated for us to conclude that the misconduct of individual soldiers reflected a wider policy decision to target civilians.

But Goldstone has not retreated from the report's allegation that Israel engaged in large-scale attacks in violation of the laws of war. These attacks included Israel's indiscriminate use of heavy artillery and white phosphorus in densely populated areas, and its massive and deliberate destruction of civilian buildings and infrastructure without a lawful military reason. This misconduct was so widespread and systematic that it clearly reflected Israeli policy.

What has Israel done to redress these violations? Mainly, it has investigated the common soldier while leaving the top brass and policymakers untouched. Israel's investigations look good only by comparison with Hamas, which has done nothing at all to investigate its war crimes. The Hamas justice minister responded to the Goldstone article by attempting to justify deliberate rocket attacks on populated areas of Israel as part of the "right of self-defence of the Palestinian people" – a position wholly at odds with the laws of war.

As for Israel, a recent UN report mentioned in Goldstone's article found that the Israeli military has examined the conduct of individual soldiers in about 400 cases of alleged operational misconduct in Gaza. But the report raised serious questions about the thoroughness of these investigations. When Human Rights Watch scrutinised Israel's investigative response, we found that military prosecutors had closed some cases in which the evidence strongly suggested violations of the laws of war.

To date, Israeli military prosecutors have indicted only four soldiers and convicted three. Only one soldier has served jail time – seven and a half months for stealing a credit card.

Most important, Israel has failed to investigate adequately the policy-level decisions that apparently lie behind the large-scale indiscriminate and unlawful attacks in Gaza. Those decisions are obviously the most sensitive because they involve senior officials, not just troops on the ground.

Part of the problem is that the military has been asked to investigate itself – never an ideal way to arrive at the truth. Moreover, the person leading the military investigations – Israel's military advocate general – probably took part in the policy decisions that should be investigated. That's why a genuinely independent investigation is needed, as Israeli human rights groups have requested.

The Netanyahu government's eagerness to bury the Goldstone report is understandable, but the report will live on. Even after Goldstone's article, the report still represents a serious indictment of the way Israel and Hamas chose to fight the war in Gaza. The open question is whether the two sides will live up to their duty to investigate these charges credibly and to bring violators to justice. We all know that Hamas hasn't done what is needed. The theatrics in Jerusalem cannot hide the fact that so far Israel hasn't either.

By Kenneth Roth