Our world beyond 9/11

A teardrop of water fell from the ceiling sky landing in the ceremonial pool below slowly sending ripples and rings outward to the installation’s coping. Eleven Tears is a memorial work of art to 9/11 victims at the World Financial Center building overlooking the ongoing One World Trade Center construction site. On Sunday, May Day, I visited Ground Zero for the first time. It was a somber pilgrimage—and little did I realize—while there, the attack on Osama Bin Laden’s compound was taking place.

Like for so many others, 9/11 had been a life shattering, and ultimately, life transforming event for me—hearing of Bin Laden’s death brought up conflicting emotions of elation and sadness. All the trauma and travail of the last ten years came rushing forward. A sudden attack on home soil, 3000 dead, the absolute determined brutality of the hijackers—being rid of the individual who inspired multiple acts of mass murder was a relief—but how could the healing begin?

9/11 fundamentally changed our way of life, the way we travel, it instigated wars leading to hundreds of thousands of dead, wounded, displaced; we’ve wiretapped without warrant, tortured, and sent the drones in. Protected civil liberties have been sacrificed for security.

The war on terror has brought our nation to an existential precipice upon which we stare down into an abyss of overreaching militarism and secrecy—both enemies of republican democracy—which would forever be left behind should we now succumb to the gravity of fear.

With the leader of Al Qaeda now dead, we have come to a crossroads in which our nation’s larger priorities can, and should be, examined.

Deep Security embodies a philosophical and political shape-shift from a classic Newtonian and mechanistic view of the world, to the deeper universe of the Quanta, where the impossible not only becomes possible, but probable; it morphs the politic of leading from the center, left, or right, toward leading from below. It pops a third dimension into what currently is a very two-dimensional political world.

Read the whole article.

Are Mexico drug cartels terrorist?

El Universal urges the government of Mexico to request the UN to label the cartels as terrorists. (Translated by Borderland Beat)

The attacks that have been executed by the criminal groups in Mexico against the authorities and the civilian population would be the very definition of terrorism that the United Nations put forth during one of its international conventions.

“The definition establishes that these are acts of physical or psychological violence against the civilian population that is meant to cause a regime change. Los Zetas and other groups are trying to change the structure within the Mexican state in order to put their own people in power,” said Eduardo Buscaglia.

The deliberate targeting of non-combatants for death and injury is a primary component in the definition of terrorism so, by most any criteria, the cartels are terrorist.

Journalism is not an Attack, Wikileaks is not Warfare

I am the Afghanistan Blogging Fellow for Brave New Foundation. You can read my work on Firedoglake or at Rethink Afghanistan. The views expressed below are my own.

Wikileaks is under attack!

Journalists and politicians are calling for the criminalization of Wikileaks, or worse, the assassination of its members. The US government is coercing companies into blocking access to Wikileaks, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is normally very strong on internet freedom, has been forced to “evolve” her positions.

If you’re a supporter of Wikileaks, or even a relatively dispassionate observer, you likely find these actions to be offensive, or even downright criminal. How dare the US move so arrogantly, so aggressively, against Wikileaks for what seems to be nothing more than the second coming of the Pentagon Papers? We believe in free speech, in transparency and accountability for our government. It’s outrageous that Washington would move so decisively to crush a project like Wikileaks.

But are Wikileaks’ supporters actually feeding this response from the government? In our rush to rationalize and defend Wikileaks and their actions, have we inadvertently opened the door to attacks by the US government?

The answer can be found in how we’ve chosen to frame the debate so far. Continue reading “Journalism is not an Attack, Wikileaks is not Warfare”

Homeland Security and Walmart join on national informer’s campaign

The U.S. Homeland Security Department said Monday its “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign has been expanded to Walmart stores across the country” after starting in the New York City MTA. Imagine my excitement.

Dale Sommers just said on his Roaddog Trucking talk show (Sirius 147), it’s guaranteed someone will be walking down the street, ask a 7 yo girl for directions, then someone will decide he could be a terrorist or pedophile and report him, where he will languish in detention for a while.

He also said asking Walmart customers to be alert for terrorism is dumb because most of them (and us) have no idea what to look for and have no training.

He calls himself “The Truckin’ Bozo” but is anything but. This is also true of most of the talk shows on Road Dog Trucking, high quality and intelligent. Seriously.

I’m undecided as the whether this is just another HSA overkill clusterfuck or a deliberate attempt to scare, intimidate, and monitor us. However, since one should “never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity,” I’ll go with the clusterfuck.

This plan is really quite condescending, isn’t it? Like most of us don’t already have the smarts to call authorities if we spotted some genuinely suspicious? I would. I bet you would too. Besides, if HSA genuinely wants help from the citizenry, it should tell us what to look for.

It’s the occupation, stupid

Extensive research into the causes of suicide terrorism proves Islam isn’t to blame — the root of the problem is foreign military occupations.

The researchers examined over 2,200 suicide attacks from 1980 until now across the world. Even more telling, their research shows that when the occupations end, so does the terrorism.

End the Iraq and Afghanistan wars now!