Friday, December 28, 2012

Goodbye Occupy

The progressive movement in this country brought major victories to American history - women's rights, Civil Rights, the end of slavery, labor rights and unionization, education reform and reproductive rights. There's nothing that makes me smile more than to see left-wing causes being discussed in our increasingly corporate and right-wing media. So when the Occupy movement started last year, I thought it was the PERFECT answer to the Tea Party and the right-wing paranoia engulfing our nation and our people. My super left-wing heart soared. I went to the protests, I got involved. I had hope in the movement. But sadly, I would be very disappointed.

In its beginnings, Occupy seemed like it had a future. It felt like we actually has a springboard for change. We could make this happen. The people were speaking with one voice. But all of a sudden, it hit its crescendo, and started to slowly spiral. It seems Occupy has since turned into a mess of people, unwilling to be organized or have any sort of centralized message. They never once reached out to field candidates to run for office so the changes we all hoped for could be enacted, which is where the process begins.

What really brings us here today is what I read on Facebook. This afternoon I noticed I was still a 'fan' of Occupy, and something they posted caught my attention. The article in question, titled, "Resisting Genocide: Syria, North Korea and Cuba" is a real hoot. It blames the US for all the worlds ills, and uses the Ron Paul libertarian argument of "leave all nations alone. Let them deal with their own problems." Yes, let's let countries run by dictators with a disregard of human rights, run rabid and do as they please. If Assad made good on his promise of using chemical weapons, the world is supposed to sit by and watch? The author essentially argues that US imperialism and intervention around the world is the sole basis for the reasons Syria, North Korea and Cuba are having the problems they are, yet gives examples that said country's are far better than we realize. To some degree, that's absolutely correct. Because of America's unnecessary embargo on Cuba, for example, it does not have access it needs to quality healthcare equipment (no matter what Castro says.) America has caused undo destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we had no business being in the first place. However, the article seeks to deceive the reader by using flawed claims, dubious and inflammatory language and assumes the general reader is not going to actually do research, which, when distributing propaganda for the masses, isn't hard. It's easy to read that the former head of the World Health Organization thinks the "DPRK had a healthcare system that should be the envy of the entire developing world." Really? In what universe? In actuality, Amnesty International (which the author of the article, Gearóid Ó Colmáin, doesn't seem to care for. So much for prisoner's rights) has reported that North Korea's healthcare system is some of the worst in the world.

“North Korea has failed to provide for the most basic health and survival needs of its people.  This is especially true of those who are too poor to pay for medical care,” said Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Asia-Pacific"

According to the World Health Organization’s last available figures, North Korea spent less on healthcare than any other country in the world – under US$1 per person per year in total. 

Well, there goes that glowing review of North Korea's failed healthcare system. Looking for an unbiased, unfiltered view into North Korea? check out the Vice Guide to North Korea. It's a terrific inside account at the truth of North Korea. No filters, no political blinders, no propaganda. After, watch the video Vice did about traveling to a North Korean "work camp" in the outskirts of Sibera. It's eerie but worth the watch.

In Syria, Bashar Al-Assad - the man who slaughters his own people, has cabinet members fleeing from Syria in droves (Ask Syria's former military police chief why he defected) and even went so far as to threaten to prepare chemical weapons to use on his own people, has given the Syrian military one order - kill those who do not comply. Genocide Watch has tallied at least 37,000 people have been killed since the start of the Syrian civil war. Something I found interesting was that the article makes note that bakeries in Syria are "open and ready for business." In actuality, these places are shells of their former selves. Bakers are barely able to make enough food to feed the tremendous lines of starving people who stand and wait all day, hoping they might be able to eat. Humanitarian groups, who do not idly by and watch people die, have been able to bring in small batches of rationed ingredients so people may be able to eat that day. Also, this happened. A few days ago, warplanes bombed one of those bakeries, killing scores of people. But you must suppress any outrage you have at that, because you know, Syria will just work it out.

This is not an endorsement of war with these nations, or violent interventions I don't believe there's use for war and that's because I truly believe with all I am, that there are peaceful, non-violent solutions to the worlds problems. We wouldn't sit and watch someone kick a dog, would we? Of course not. So why should we stand back and let dictators run the world? Occupy craves freedom and liberation here at home. It's the central core in their mess of messages. Doesn't that extend beyond the borders of America? If we are struggling to fight for freedom here, it's the height of hypocrisy to deny it elsewhere. Human Rights are universal. It's an issue everyone should hold near and dear.


  1. If the Occupy Wall St. movement is ever going to suppress the overwhelming corporatist and institutionalized violent brutality and oppression on it's supporters so it can be heard, seen, taken seriously and, eventually, succeed, it has to adopt the symbol of the Christian Cross as its Standard (aquila). It has to use that symbol and every Psalm and Word and Quote of and by Christ on every one of its signs, online messaging and through other media in all forms of protest. This is not to say the organization has to become Christian, but let’s face it, the unifying message of Occupy – and all other Liberal and Progressive organizations - should be, and really is, the Words of Christ, when you get right down to it, But Occupy has to hold up the Cross and the Word of Christ, front and center, as it's leading offensive and defensive asset. No militarized governmental or corporatist organization is going to want to be seen bashing the symbol and Word of Christ and the Cross in the press. That Cross would be Occupy’s strongest assest… if they would only become organized enough to understand and adopt a great strategy.

  2. (If by mis-reading your nom de plume, Mitt Romney, I have not recognized snark, forgive me...)

    The trouble is the "Words of Christ" have been said and rewritten over and over again, then twisted and ignored over and over again by the very folk who memorized those words. The ideas you attribute to a Christ were said by revered men and women before him and after him because they are only Human common sense.

    No religion is going to save the human race from its failings. No religion is Universal. A great dogma will not unify our energies against our own destruction. Action will. To be progressive is to believe in Universal Humanity. Individuals can listen to any one of the various mouthpieces but if they hear a deity they could miss the whimper of a baby.

    Like they say about addicts and criminals (and that is what our civilizations have created out of humanity): You have to want to change for yourself. Humans have to want to change for Humanity. No religion will bring that consensus.

    Despite what anyone says the energy of OCCUPYs have created action and some are alive today because participants saw formed important action plans and strategies for other necessary work discovered under their noses.


  3. I'm not sure why a rant against Occupy turned into a regurgitation of American propaganda against the current government of Syria, but since it did, I have a few points to make:

    -The Syrian conflict is so complex and American journalism so filled with disinformation that's it's nearly impossible for us to judge what is truly taking place there. It's a safe bet that we are only getting a small part of the picture.

    -Syrian government ministers aren't defecting in "droves". It doesn't help to make a point by overstating it.

    -The protest movement for greater democracy was quickly hijacked by foreign Jihadists who are funded by Saudi Arabia, the oil Emirates and facilitated by the U.S. These Jihadists model themselves after Al-Qaeda and are currently engaged in an ethnic cleansing campaign against Christians, Shiites, Druze and Kurds. We should ask ourselves why the United States is now helping to funnel arms and money to terrorists as well as training them in Jordan.

    -Chemical weapons. Yes, Syria has them, as would any country threatened by a neighbor such as Israel that is armed with nuclear weapons and yes, chemical weapons. The recent activity around Syria's chemical weapons involved their movement to centralize their location so as to better defend them against the heavily armed terrorists roaming the countryside. Would we really like the Jihadists to get their hands on chemical weapons?

    -In the city of Aleppo the foreign terrorists demanded support from the merchants of the city's ancient souk. When the merchants shut their shops in protest, the entire souk was burned to the ground by the freedom fighters. This was blamed on the Syrian government by the U.S. media. Nice guys, these freedom fighters.

    -The Jihadists deliberately take positions in populated areas so that the maximum civilian casualties result from the fighting. This is then portrayed as an atrocity by the Syrian government. This tactic also aids the terrorists in their ethnic cleansing campaigns. In areas under Jihadist control, Saudi Arabian style religious police have been set loose on the population to enforce strict moral codes. I wonder how women's rights are faring in those areas?

    -The Jihadists are also fond of using car bombs in urban neighborhoods, especially Christian ones. This makes it all the more disgusting that the American mass media is falling all over itself to glorify these animals.

    -What is the strategy of the United States? We will continue to aid the terrorists until Syria has been brought to it's knees. Once the country is unable to defend itself, we will invade, claiming to be on a humanitarian mission to restore order. Nice warm-fuzzy feelings everywhere and perhaps another Peace Prize for Obama.

    -This will be followed by Israel seizing part of Syria and then invading Lebanon. Enjoy.

    -Speaking of Presidents who kill their own people, our President has also reserved for himself the divine right to kill his own people, albeit one at a time, not to mention imprisonment without trial and torture.

    -As far as religion goes, we might follow the wisdom of the Muslim Prophet Jesus, who said: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

  4. Gareth,

    Wow, you've made a lot of assumptions here! I'm not entirely sure where to begin. First and foremost, I wrote my feelings on Occupy first to hit home my points of annoyance at the article in question that was posted on a Occupy page. Sort of a "This is why this movement sucks." But hey! If you support anarchists, Stalinists, foreign dictators, and a ruler in North Korea who starves his own people, then you certainly fit in with the current Occupy crowd. Did you get your new tent for this year so you can go sleep in a park and get nothing accomplished?

    1. Where did I take sides with the rebels in Syria? I'm on the side of the people who are caught in the Civil War. Don't assume that because I hate Assad, that means I like the other side.

    2. No country needs chemical weapons. Whether it's Israel or Syria. Remember when Saddam used them? (also a Ba'ath member, as is Assad.) Remember how well that turned out? I assume you're endorsing the usage of them, which, Jesus, I can't imagine a more worse fait for innocent people. I don't know how they could understand your justification (especially coming from an American) when they live in fear everyday. You don't. You get the luxury of living in the US.

    3. Do you know anyone from Syria? Or do you just fall for the propaganda you read? One of my very near and dear friends is from Syria. He fears for the lives of his family and friends everyday. Could you put yourself in his shoes?

    4. You're openly supporting a dictator who is killing his own people. I just want to make that clear. That's the message I'm getting from you. He uses the military, the police, hit squads and drops bombs from the skies. Screw Assad, screw the rebels. Don't you care about the mother whose baby just got half its body blown off? don't you have any feelings for the separated families?

    5. Did you not read my closing sentences? I called for a non-violent way of ending the bloodshed. Syria needs to be seriously about have bilateral talks with the rest of the world, and China and Russia need to stop aid and abetting a terrorist regime. When those things happen, the area will know peace. I think I made it clear I was calling for a non-violent solution. I don't know how that got lost on you.

    6. I'll clarify that I'm a staunch supporter of Palestine. Please remember that.

    7. Did you read the article I am writing about? The author advocates Stalinist tactics and policies that didn't work in the Soviet Union, and they wouldn't work now. Who in the hell would take any movement seriously with that kind of talk? I don't even take friends I have seriously that say the same crap. Since you're defending the basis of the article, I assume you're supporting that as well. No wonder Occupy didn't work. Also, no one over the age of 15 thinks anarchy is cool. Anarchists infiltrated Occupy and turned tons of people off, including the high-end supporters it did have, like politicians, labor groups and important people. You know, people who could've helped it have a chance of making a difference.

    "Speaking of Presidents who kill their own people, our President has also reserved for himself the divine right to kill his own people, albeit one at a time, not to mention imprisonment without trial and torture." <-----That's the most laughable thing I've ever heard. And if you're so concerned with that (not like it's true) why are you supporting a man doing it to people in another country? Or are you the typical hypocrite "I don't want that here! But I don't care if it happens to the rest of the world!" I assume you're talking about the NDAA and if I had a nickel for every time someone had no idea what it's really about, I'd be a millionaire.

    Have a nice weekend!

  5. Defecting Syrian officials

    Remember when Russia decided to leave?

  6. meg-- josh landis at is very informed about syria.