America's "Murder, Inc."
As Elizabeth Schulte explains, it used to be that when the United States carried out its imperial assassinations, it did so in the shadows, covertly using CIA-trained proxies. NOT ANY MORE! Today, America assassinates its enemies in the OPEN and celebrates its "hit men" as heroes: all this indicates the distance down which the United States has traveled; and more than that, it indicates the degree to which the American public has been transformed into MONSTERS in precisely the same way Germans were transformed into cruel fiends in the 1930s and 1940s.
As I have said so many times before, prophecy is like a road sign saying: "Slow down, sharp right hand turn ahead!" But if we fail to heed the sign, if we fail to slow down before we get to the turn, it will be too late to brake once we finally get there, and we will surely slide off the road and crash. Like a road sign, prophecy tells us things BEFORE they happen so that we can take action BEFORE events catch up with us. If we wait until they finally overtake us, it will be too late to do anything - we will crash! Watch, therefore, for the "signs of the times," and don't wait to take action. You may wait too long!
Listen to me, brothers and sisters: the Bible warns us that we are in danger of being turned into MONSTERS in these "last days," (Revelation 9:1-11) and it specifies what we must do to avoid such an outcome; but if we fail to take the action that the Bible indicates, that fate will surely overtake us.
Jesus said, "... When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the signs in the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (Matt. 16:2-3) And Paul warns us, "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober." (I Thess. 5:4-6)
But this is pure nonsense! FATALISM is nothing more than AN EXCUSE FOR INACTION, a pathetic reason for Christians to avoid uncomfortable choices and to put off hard decisions which might inconveniently impact the way they live, and cause their friends and loved ones to disassociate themselves from them. FATALISM is a dissimulation - a hypocrisy that allows Christians to CHEAT insofar as their responsibility to God is concerned.
LET ME BE PERFECTLY CLEAR here: When Christians CHEAT in this fashion, they give time for Satan to trap them in the wickedness that America is perpetrating all over the world — AND SO MUCH SO THAT THEY MUST IN THE END BECOME PARTICIPANTS IN IT, just as the German people ultimately became participants in Hitler's wickedness.
If that happens to you, you will not be forgiven — not in this life, and not in the next. [Please see our article, "Come out of Her."]
THE NEW York Times read more like a Cold War spy novel than the "newspaper of record" when it came to describing the assassination of Osama bin Laden on May 1.
Its reporters breathlessly narrated events in the White House Situation Room--complete with a flurry of acronyms and code names, including "Geronimo" for bin Laden … According to the Times, CIA Director Leon Panetta spoke to the room via video screen, describing Osama bin Laden's killing as it unfolded in Abbottabad, Pakistan:
"They've reached the target," he said.
"We have a visual on Geronimo," he said.
A few minutes later: "Geronimo EKIA."
Enemy Killed In Action. There was silence in the Situation Room.
Finally, the president spoke up.
"We got him."
"This is a good day for America," Obama told reporters on Monday. Hailing the orgy of patriotic celebrations in the aftermath of the assassination, he added, "Today, we are reminded that as a nation there is nothing we can't do."
What Obama meant by "nothing we can't do" is that the U.S. government can go absolutely anywhere in the world to assassinate anyone it chooses--or for that matter, bomb or occupy any country that suits U.S. foreign policy interests.
The U.S. government is above the law and above reproach, period--Obama didn't use these words, but that was the crystal clear message from him and other U.S. leaders in the past few days.
Actually, the message should be familiar. We heard it 10 years ago from George W. Bush, who promised that Osama bin Laden would be taken out, like the "old poster out West that says, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive.'"
But this time, it's not a dimwitted Republican cowboy promising rough frontier justice. It's a liberal Democrat, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner to boot.
A MORE clear-headed look at what happened on May 1 reveals a less heroic and more bloodthirsty story--bin Laden, the one-man global threat who gave the U.S. government's "war on terror" its reason for being, wasn't even armed when a U.S. Navy SEAL shot him dead. Nor was it the case, as originally reported, that he used his wife as a human shield. But the SEALs shot her anyway. A quick burial at sea in the middle of the night, and it's another so-called victory for U.S. democracy--with no investigation, no trial and no testimony, just "public enemy number one" dumped in a watery grave.
No risk that bin Laden might say anything harder to explain later--such as his past ties to the U.S. government, working with the CIA in the 1980s to build up an ultra-fundamentalist Islamist presence in Afghanistan to resist the invasion of the country by the former USSR.
Even former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had a trial of sorts--a trumped-up, U.S.-choreographed show trial, though carried out in the name of "the Iraqi people." But afterward, there was the leaked video of Saddam's botched execution by hanging--more Old West-style justice--that inspired even George W. Bush to comment that he wished Saddam Hussein "had gone in a more dignified way."
Of course, the difference between these two enemies of the U.S. is that Saddam Hussein, unlike bin Laden, was an actual head of state.
Totally different...or is it? The fact of the matter is that the U.S. government has a long and sordid history of carrying out political murders that no other country could dream of--liquidating the leaders of other countries, including former allies, when they got in the way of U.S. interests.
You can call it "regime change" or assassination or something else. It amounts to the same thing--in the name of upholding the empire, the U.S. government has never been afraid to use trained killers whose actions would shock the Mafia's Murder, Inc.
Gunmen working for Al Capone took out rival members of the Moran gang in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929.
There was another example of a political hit that was overshadowed by bin Laden's a day later--Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi was targeted for assassination. NATO missiles struck Qaddafi's home in Tripoli on April 30, killing his youngest son and three grandchildren under the age of 12.
NATO missiles struck Qaddafi's home in Tripoli on April 30, killing his youngest son and three grandchildren under the age of 12.
This isn't the first time that the Libyan leader has been a target of a U.S. hit job. Between 1980 and 1986, the U.S. attempted to assassinate Qaddafi on several occasions. In 1986, a U.S. air strike against Qaddafi resulted in the deaths of between 40 and 100 Libyan civilians, among them the Libyan president's infant daughter.
More recently, Qaddafi had become a dictator the U.S. could tolerate and do business with. But now he's a target once again.
QADDAFI ISN'T the only example of someone who went from guest list to hit list.
The U.S. helped anti-communist Ngo Dinh Diem become president of the Republic of Vietnam in 1955. Once in power, Diem presided over a corrupt and brutal regime, which the U.S. portrayed as a fierce bulwark against the communist threat in Vietnam. Diem served well as a loyal puppet, working hand in glove with the CIA to terrorize any and all opposition.
But this came to an end in 1963 when Diem, proving incapable of defeating rebellions in the South, outlived his usefulness to the U.S. He and his brother Nhu, the head of the secret police, were assassinated in a coup orchestrated by the CIA and U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam Henry Cabot Lodge.
But if the U.S. government is ruthless against former allies, it reserves special brutality for forces that undermine its influence around the globe.
Eisenhower with Ngo Dinh Diem in better times;
Patrice Lumumba immediately drew the attention of the U.S. when he became the first prime minister of the newly independent Congo in Africa in 1960. At Independence Day ceremonies, Lumumba said:
"Our lot was 80 years of colonial rule...We have known tiring labor exacted in exchange for salary which did not allow us to satisfy our hunger...We have known ironies, insults, blows which we had to endure morning, noon and night because we were 'Negroes'...
"We have known that the law was never the same depending on whether it concerned a white or a Negro...We have known the atrocious sufferings of those banished for political opinions or religious beliefs...We have known that there were magnificent houses for the whites in the cities and tumble-down straw huts for the Negroes."
The U.S. government was determined not to let this stand. Attempts on Lumumba's life included importing a lethal virus that was supposed to produce a fatal disease indigenous to the Congo. [Please see our article, "The Drug Epidemic, Viruses, Ebola and AIDS — It's Not What You Think."]
As left-wing author William Blum wrote in his book Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Intervention Since World War Two:
"In 1975, the Church committee went on record with the conclusion that [CIA Director] Allen Dulles had ordered Lumumba's assassination as "an urgent and prime objective" (Dulles's words). After hearing the testimony of several officials who believed that the order to kill the African leader had emanated originally from President Eisenhower, the committee decided that there was a "reasonable inference" that this was indeed the case." [Please see our articles, "MK-Ultra and the Search for the Manchurian Candidate," "The Men Who Gathered Themselves together at the Dallas Home of Clint Murchison Forty-Five Years Ago" and "Now Is the Time to Do Something; It May Be too Late Tomorrow."]
PATRICE LUMUMBA SHORTLY BEFORE HE
Patrice Lumumba, prime minister of newly independent Congo, was the second of five leaders of independence movements in African countries to be assassinated in the 1960s by the CIA.
A sixth, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, was ousted in a western-backed coup in 1966, and a seventh, Amilcar Cabral, leader of the west African liberation movement against Portugal of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, (Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde or PAIGC) in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, was assassinated in 1973.
Lumumba's death in 1961 followed on from that of the opposition leader of Cameroon, Felix Moumie, poisoned in 1960. Sylvanus Olympio, leader of Togo was killed in 1963. Mehdi Ben Barka, leader of the Moroccan opposition movement was kidnapped in 1965 and his body never found. Eduardo Mondlane, leader of Mozambique's Frelimo, fighting for independence from the Portuguese, died from a parcel bomb in 1969.
The loss 50 years ago of this group of leaders, who all knew each other, and had a common political project based on national dignity, crippled each of their countries, and the African continent. The effects are still evident today.
In the end, the CIA helped Mobutu Sese Seko capture Lumumba and turn him over to his opponent, Moise Tshombe. Lumumba was assassinated on December 1, 1961. Mobutu took power in 1965, ruling with an iron fist until 1997.
Covert plots by the CIA to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro are fairly well known--including attempts to poison Castro's food, procure a mob hit man and hide explosives in sea shells on the beach.
The list of world leaders that have become the target of the U.S. government and its Murder, Inc., is long and includes: Iran's Mohammad Mosaddegh, Chile's Salvador Allende, Indonesia's Sukarno, Cuba's Che Guevara, India's Jawaharlal Nehru and Panama's Manuel Noriega (who has endured a fate worse than death locked away first of all in a prison in the US, and later in France).
FROM TOP LEFT TO LOWER RIGHT: Iran's Mohammad Mosaddegh, Chile's Salvador Allende, Indonesia's Sukarno, Cuba's Che Guevara, India's Jawaharlal Nehru and Panama's Manuel Noriega.
While the CIA's sordid history may make it seems as if it's an agency out of control, the people at the top know precisely what they're doing. Former CIA agent Philip Agee explained the CIA's role in his 1975 exposé Inside the Company: CIA Diary:
"[W]hat counter-insurgency really comes down to is the protection of the capitalists back in America, their property and their privileges. U.S. national security, as preached by U.S. leaders, is the security of the capitalist class in the U.S., not the security of the rest of the people."
Lately, the U.S. government's covert assassins haven't been so covert, as the government goes boldly over the globe to attack targets in the "war on terror." In all this, the White House can count on the backing of Obama's liberal supporters. Consider the New York Times, which until recently condemned the Bush administration's justification of torture and its "extraordinary rendition" program in the interrogation of "war on terror" suspects.
Not any more, to judge from this front-page story:
"For an intelligence community that had endured searing criticism for a string of intelligence failures over the past decade, Bin Laden's killing brought a measure of redemption...
"The raid was the culmination of years of painstaking intelligence work, including the interrogation of CIA detainees in secret prisons in Eastern Europe, where sometimes what was not said was as useful as what was." [Please see our article, "I Was in Prison and Ye Visited Me Not" and "Remembering Dachau while Pondering the Fate of the CIS's Prisoners."]
But while the administration bathes in the glory of its recent assassination, there are others who, though they oppose bin Laden's views, are appalled by the carnival of patriotism and hate whipped up after his murder. Many more say they feel no more safe today after bin Laden's death than they did a few days ago--the latest New York Times/CBS News poll found only 16 percent felt more safe.
With its recent assassination success, the government aims to prop up and extend--not end--its worldwide war on terror. Which means more assassinations and more wars abroad.
God bless you all!
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO WANT TO FELLOWSHIP ON HOW TO GO ON IN THESE DANGEROUS AND TROUBLED TIMES, WE URGE YOU TO CONTACT US AT: email@example.com.
IN ADDITION, WE URGE YOU TO DOWNLOAD THE NEW ANTIPAS PAPERS, PRINT THEM OUT YOURSELF, AND STUDY THEM CAREFULLY; SHARE THEM WITH YOUR FRIENDS.
FINALLY, WE URGE YOU TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT OUT THE FLYER WE SENT TO YOU RECENTLY.
Then make copies and take these copies out to the campuses where you live; pass them out; OR if that seems too "daring" for you right now, post them on telephone poles, the sides of buildings, on campus bulletin boards; post them in union halls, in the neighborhoods of the poor and downtrodden, near employment offices, wherever you can.
Once again, we URGE you to read (or re-read):
WAITING FOR GODOT
Waiting for Godot (GOD-oh) is an absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for someone named Godot to arrive.
Waiting for Godot follows two days in the lives of a pair of men who divert themselves while they wait expectantly and in vain for someone named Godot to arrive. They claim him as an acquaintance but in fact hardly know him, admitting that they would not recognize him were they to see him. To occupy themselves, they eat, sleep, converse, argue, sing, play games, exercise, swap hats, and contemplate suicide — anything "to hold the terrible silence at bay".
The play opens with the character Estragon struggling to remove his boot from his foot. Estragon eventually gives up, muttering, "Nothing to be done." His friend Vladimir takes up the thought and muses on it, the implication being that nothing is a thing that has to be done and this pair is going to have to spend the rest of the play doing it. When Estragon finally succeeds in removing his boot, he looks and feels inside but finds nothing. Just prior to this, Vladimir peers into his hat. The motif recurs throughout the play.
The pair discuss repentance, particularly in relation to the two thieves crucified alongside Jesus, and that only one of the Four Evangelists mentions that one of them was saved. This is the first of numerous Biblical references in the play, which may be linked to its putative central theme of the search for and reconciliation with God, as well as salvation: "We're saved!" they cry on more than one occasion when they feel that Godot may be near.
Presently, Vladimir expresses his frustration with Estragon's limited conversational skills: "Come on, Gogo, return the ball, can't you, once in a while?" Estragon struggles in this regard throughout the play, and Vladimir generally takes the lead in their dialogue and encounters with others. Vladimir is at times hostile towards his companion, but in general they are close, frequently embracing and supporting one another.
Estragon peers out into the audience and comments on the bleakness of his surroundings. He wants to depart but is told that they cannot because they must wait for Godot. The pair cannot agree, however, on whether or not they are in the right place or that this is the arranged day for their meeting with Godot; indeed, they are not even sure what day it is. Throughout the play, experienced time is attenuated, fractured or eerily non-existent. The only thing that they are fairly sure about is that they are to meet at a tree: there is one nearby.
Estragon dozes off, but Vladimir is not interested in hearing about his dream after rousing him. Estragon wants to hear an old joke about a brothel, which Vladimir starts but cannot finish, as he is suddenly compelled to rush off and urinate. He does not finish the story when he returns, asking Estragon instead what else they might do to pass the time. Estragon suggests that they hang themselves, but they quickly abandon the idea when it seems that they might not both die: this would leave one of them alone, an intolerable notion. They decide to do nothing: "It's safer," explains Estragon, before asking what Godot is going to do for them when he arrives. For once it is Vladimir who struggles to remember: "Oh ... nothing very definite," is the best that he can manage.
When Estragon declares that he is hungry, Vladimir provides a carrot, most of which, and without much relish, the former eats. The diversion ends as it began, Estragon announcing that they still have nothing to do.
Lucky and Pozzo
Their waiting is interrupted by the passing through of Pozzo and his heavily-laden slave Lucky. "A terrible cry" from the wings heralds the initial entrance of Lucky, who has a rope tied around his neck. He crosses half the stage before his master appears holding the other end. Pozzo barks orders at his slave and frequently calls him a "pig", but is civil towards the other two. They mistake him at first for Godot and clearly do not recognize him for the self-proclaimed personage he is. This irks him, but, while maintaining that the land that they are on is his, he acknowledges that "the road is free to all".
Deciding to rest for a while, Pozzo enjoys a pre-packed meal of chicken and wine. Finished, he casts the bones aside, and Estragon jumps at the chance to ask for them, much to Vladimir's embarrassment, but is told that they belong to the carrier. He must first, therefore, ask Lucky if he wants them. Estragon tries, but Lucky only hangs his head, refusing to answer. Taking this as a "no", Estragon claims the bones.
Vladimir takes Pozzo to task regarding his mistreatment of his slave, but his protestations are ignored. When the original pairing tries to find out why Lucky does not put down his load (at least not unless his master is prevailing on him to do something else), Pozzo explains that Lucky is attempting to mollify him to prevent him from selling him. At this, Lucky begins to cry. Pozzo provides a handkerchief, but, when Estragon tries to wipe his tears away, Lucky kicks him in the shins.
Before he leaves, Pozzo asks if he can do anything for the pair in exchange for the company they have provided him during his rest. Estragon tries to ask for some money, but Vladimir cuts him short, explaining that they are not beggars. They nevertheless accept an offer to have Lucky dance and think.
The dance is clumsy and shuffling, and everyone is disappointed. Lucky's "think", induced by Vladimir's putting his hat on his head, is a lengthy and disjointed verbal stream of consciousness. The soliloquy begins relatively coherently but quickly dissolves into logorrhea and only ends when Vladimir rips off Lucky's hat.
Once Lucky has been revived, Pozzo has him pack up his things and, together, they leave. At the end of the act (and its successor), a boy arrives, purporting to be a messenger sent from Godot, to advise the pair that he will not be coming that "evening but surely tomorrow." During Vladimir's interrogation of the boy, he asks if he came the day before, making it apparent that the two men have been waiting for an indefinite period and will likely continue to wait ad infinitum. After the boy departs, they decide to leave but make no attempt to do so, an action repeated in Act II, as the curtain is drawn.
Act II opens with Vladimir singing a recursive round about a dog which serves to illustrate the cyclical nature of the play's universe, and also points toward the play's debt to the carnivalesque, music hall traditions, and vaudeville comedy (this is only one of a number of canine references and allusions in the play). There is a bit of realization on Vladimir's part that the world they are trapped in evinces convoluted progression (or lack thereof) of time. He begins to see that although there is notional evidence of linear progression, basically he is living the same day over and over. Eugene Webb writes of Vladimir's song that "Time in the song is not a linear sequence, but an endlessly reiterated moment, the content of which is only one eternal event: death."
Once again Estragon maintains he spent the night in a ditch and was beaten — by "ten of them" this time — though once again he shows no sign of injury. Vladimir tries to talk to him about what appears to be a seasonal change in the tree and the proceedings of the day before, but he has only a vague recollection. Vladimir tries to get Estragon to remember Pozzo and Lucky but all he can call to mind are the bones and getting kicked. Vladimir realizes here an opportunity to produce tangible evidence of the previous day's events. With some difficulty he gets Estragon to show him his leg. There is a wound which is beginning to fester. Only then Vladimir notices that Estragon is not wearing any boots.
He discovers the pair of boots, which Estragon insists are not his but nevertheless fit when he tries them on. With no carrots left, Vladimir offers Estragon the choice between a turnip and a radish. He opts for the radish but it is black and he hands it back. He decides to try and sleep again and adopts the same fetal position as the previous day. Vladimir sings him a lullaby.
Vladimir notices Lucky's hat, and he decides to try it on. This leads to a frenetic hat swapping scene. They play at imitating Pozzo and Lucky, but Estragon can barely remember having met them and simply does what Vladimir asks. They fire insults at each other and then make up. After that, they attempt some physical jerks which do not work out well, and even attempt a single yoga position, which fails miserably.
Pozzo and Lucky arrive, with Pozzo now blind and insisting that Lucky is dumb. The rope is now much shorter, and Lucky — who has acquired a new hat — leads Pozzo, rather than being driven by him. Pozzo has lost all notion of time, and assures them he cannot remember meeting them the day before, and does not expect to remember the current day's events when they are over.
They fall in a heap at one point. Estragon sees an opportunity to extort more food or to exact revenge on Lucky for kicking him. The issue is debated at length. Pozzo offers them money but Vladimir sees more worth in their entertainment value since they are compelled to wait to see if Godot arrives anyway. Eventually though, they all find their way onto their feet.
Whereas the Pozzo in Act I is a windbag, he now (as a blind man) appears to have gained some insight. His parting words — which Vladimir expands upon later — eloquently encapsulate the brevity of human existence: "They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more."
Lucky and Pozzo depart. The same boy returns to inform them not to expect Godot today, but promises he will arrive the next day. The two again consider suicide but their rope, Estragon's belt, breaks in two when they tug on it. Estragon's trousers fall down, but he does not notice until Vladimir tells him to pull them up. They resolve to bring a more suitable piece and hang themselves the next day, if Godot fails to arrive.
Again, they agree to leave but neither of them makes any move to go.