Friday, August 11, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: 'We're living in 1984' - Roger Waters [great interview]

Pueblo Resurgence, White Revisionism: The Bloody Truth about the Santa Fe Entrada -- from The Red Nation Blog

Last year, dozens of Indigenous peoples, Pueblos, and their allies protested the annual racist celebration of the Santa Fe Entrada.
by Elena Ortiz and Jennifer Marley
Every fall the city of Santa Fe celebrates a revisionist historical account of the so-called “bloodless reconquest” of Santa Fe. Most New Mexicans have no idea of the origins of this celebration or its evolution. There are claims that the Entrada is the oldest community celebration in this country, but even that is historically inaccurate.
The first documented celebration of the reconquest of Santa Fe was in 1712. This celebration was primarily religious in nature with the main focus being  processions featuring the Corpus Christi and La Conquistadora. This version continued through the mid-1700’s. Then, in 1883, after a lapse of more than 100 years, the Fiestas was revived. As a way of promoting Santa Fe business and tourism, the focus shifted to a more civic celebration. Ironically, it was moved to the Fourth of July to coincide with US independence.
In 1919, Fiestas was reorganized and revitalized by mostly Eastern-educated, non-Native board members of the Museum of New Mexico and School of American Research. These outsiders, led by the much-heralded grave-robber Edgar Lee Hewitt, added elements to the celebration to make it more appealing to white tourists and visitors to Santa Fe. Hewitt, a well known anthropologist was known for unlawfully excavating remains and artifacts from holy Pueblo sites, and even trespassing into Pueblo residential homes without consent. Hewitt and his ilk also romanticized the Spanish colonial era through the creation of the contemporary Entrada with images of Catholic and military glory and a bygone era.
Soon this romantic enactment of Spanish conquest made it’s way into public schools with visits by a costumed Don Diego de Vargas and his murderous merry men. Such Disneyland historical celebrations glorify the Eurocentric Spanish heritage as the dominant narrative among a population of schoolchildren more likely to have indigenous, Latinx/Chicanx heritage than Spanish, thus marginalizing the very people they seek to convert.
In 1977 The All Indian Pueblo Council and the Eight Northern Pueblos expressed their condemnation of the Entrada. Because of this the Fiesta Council sent a letter to Eight Northern asking Pueblo vendors vacate their space underneath the portal at the Palace of the Governors during Fiesta. The Fiesta Council, it seems, only wanted Pueblo people to participate in Fiestas if they were willing to play the roles prescribed by the script celebrating their subjugation and humiliation at the hands of the conquistadors.
This marginalization of Native people should be anathema for a city whose main source of revenue is tourism and when one of the main draws for primarily white tourists are the vibrant Native communities and their artistic traditions. But it is evident in the amount of money doled out by the city to promote Fiestas which, in 2015 was $50,000 compared to $31,000 for Indian Market. Both of these monies come from lodgers’ tax whose sole purpose is to promote tourism to the city. Neither total includes the additional costs, such as an increased police presence. Interestingly enough, there were no SWAT team snipers on the rooftops around the Plaza during Indian Market like there were during Fiestas. Indian Market is the largest event of its kind in the world and brings in millions of dollars to Santa Fe every year, more so than any other single event — and certainly more than Fiestas.
Much like the original Entrada, last year the city of Santa Fe deployed armed men to defend its racist celebration against protesting Pueblo and Indigenous peoples. Pictured here, Santa Fe SWAT snipers survey peaceful Pueblo-led protests at the Plaza, the same place Spanish colonizers and missionaries hanged 70 Pueblo patriots.
How does this uneven allocation continue year after year? You only have to look at the demographics on the City Council to understand why. Mayor Javier Gonzales and Councilors Carmichael Dominguez and Ron Trujillo have all played De Vargas in the Entrada.
The Entrada itself is produced by Los Caballeros de Vargas, a non-profit Catholic ministry. The President of Los Caballeros, Joe Mier, describes the Entrada as “a celebration, not that we conquered anyone. It’s a religious celebration. That should be the main focus.”
If it is a religious celebration, then the use of public funds to promote it is in clear violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment which prohibits the use of religious symbols in public displays or celebrations, i.e. the “Separation of Church and State.” And it is a violation of our children’s civil rights to allow these murderous “religious figures” – Don Diego and his party — into the public schools.
The Entrada is a public commemoration of the Spanish conquest of the Southwest, supported by the Catholic Church through the Doctrine of Discovery. This legacy of settler colonialism serves only to perpetuate the myth of Euro-Spanish superiority and Indigenous, Mestizo, and Chicanx inferiority.
Santa Fe Fiesta Council president, Dean Milligan, was quoted in a recent article describing Native people on Native land as “outside agitators.” This narrative that frames Indigenous people as foreign and burdensome on their own land is not new. This is the same accusation that has been used for centuries to naturalize settlements occupying Native land. By making Native people “outsiders” or “foreigners” the settler seeks to replace the Native, naturalizing himself as the “new Native.” What this ideology allows is unrestricted access to Native land, resources, wealth, livelihood, and culture by occupying powers. We see that there is a very clear correlation to the normalization of reenactments of conquest and the normalization of resource extraction. It is with this in mind that we link our struggle to abolish revisionist history to the struggle to protect sacred sites. The growing struggle to protect Chaco Canyon a holy site Sacred to Pueblo people and DinĂ© people concerns alike must be centered as one of the many resistance efforts that the imagery and rhetoric of the Entrada and the fabricated history perpetuates actively erases.
The challenge to Abolish the Entrada does not stand apart from the centuries old history of resistance that Pueblo people continue to uphold.
As Native people we need to remember that before Don Diego De Vargas, the Fiesta Queen and La Conquistadora became conquest theater; before the Great Lie was constructed that has perpetuated the Santa Fe Fiestas celebration of Native cultural genocide; before Anglo Euro-centric marginalization of Native heritage in Northern New Mexico — there was the Pueblo Revolt.
“The Pueblo Indian Revolution of 1680,” writes Alfonso Ortiz, a Pueblo scholar from Ohkay Owingeh, “is to be understood most profoundly as an act of restoration by the ancestors. What was restored was life, peace and the freedom of the Pueblo people whose human, political and economic rights were routinely violated by the Spaniards of the 17th century. The ancestors knew that they must fully restore the ancient teachings ‘as it has been left among us from the time of the Earth’s dawn, when all was young and green’. Thus the vision of the beginning, a fresh ever-renewable and vigorous beginning had to be fully restored and reaffirmed or the Earth would die.”
Let us remember that when DeVargas returned Pueblo People did not submit to conquest. Let us remember the continued rebellion that took place in late December of 1692, after which DeVargas proceeded to hang 70 Pueblo warriors at a gallows that stood where the Entrada takes place to this very day.
Pueblo scholars like Herman Agoyo, Joe Sando, and Alfonso Ortiz remind us that without our spirit of resistance against colonialism we would not have held onto the depth of Traditions and ceremonial life that we have today. And in order for our traditions to flourish we must make it known that celebrations that erase our history and celebrate our conquest must come to an end.
It is our mandate, drawn from the legacy of our ancestors, to enact change where change is necessary, to show courage in the face of overwhelming odds and to work to restore, respect, and preserve that which we hold sacred.
Join the Pueblo People and The Red Nation on September 8 to protest the racist Santa Fe Entrada.
In the Spirit of Po Pay!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Bannon and Blackwater Want to Outsource Afghan War -- STOP THE WAR ON THESE PEOPLE!

#FreePalestine Vigil Continues in Seattle, August 4, 2017 @Voices4Pals


Saturday, August 05, 2017

"War Is What the U.S. Does to Others" -- John Pilger

The title quote here come from this John Pilger article:

The genius Randy Newman wrote about this U.S. mania for violent world domination also:

Randy Newman - A Few Words in Defense of Our Country


Friday, August 04, 2017

Moral Principles and Flexible Sanctions -- Brian Cloughley [Some Bold Snarks Amidst These Sad Truths]


There is generally a degree of hypocrisy about the imposition of sanctions on a country by another country or group of countries. Those who inflict sanctions assert that their target has done something terribly wrong which will be corrected following its recognition that superior beings are setting an international example of flawless moral rectitude, but it is doubtful that such perfection exists.
If the sanctioning countries were in reality superior in moral behaviour to everyone else on the planet, this might possibly excuse sanctioning in some cases; but at times the unwelcome fact emerges that imposing sanctions is usually an act of sanctimonious humbug.
Take India and Pakistan, for example. India conducted nuclear tests in May 1998 and Pakistan followed suit «to even the score» in an ill-advised counterstroke. There was outrage in Washington. President Clinton, notable for his high moral standards, declared that India’s tests «clearly create a dangerous new instability in their region and... I have decided to impose sanctions against India». Then he took the same action against Pakistan.
Both countries were subjected to severe economic penalties at the instigation of Washington. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were forbidden to help them, and there were all sorts of other punishments. The western world, and especially Israel, which had been quietly producing nuclear weapons for years, expected sanctions to have the effect of halting the nuclear weapons programmes of both countries.
The US Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs quoted the President’s righteous indignation to the Senate by repeating that «this action by India not only threatens the stability of the region, it directly challenges the firm international consensus to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction».
But today India and Pakistan each have about 130 nuclear warheads in bombs and ballistic missiles and their nuclear weapons programmes are at full throttle. There has been massive nuclear proliferation. So what could have happened? Why didn’t sanctions work?
What happened was that another paragon of moral rectitude, George W Bush (he of «we found the Weapons of Mass Destruction» after his catastrophic invasion of Iraq) decided to remove sanctions on India and Pakistan because, as his spokesman explained, «We intend to support those who support us. We intend to work with those governments that work with us in this fight [against terrorism]».
As the great Groucho Marx once said, with a cynical eye on the world around him,
The latest sanctions on Russia are a prime example of malevolent spite, and are intended to make life as difficult as possible for its citizens in the hope that they will revolt and overthrow President Putin, just as sanctions on Cuba were intended to have Cubans topple President Castro, if the CIA couldn’t murder him first. (They tried many times.) The US has sanctioned Cuba for almost sixty years, but, as observed by the Cato Institute, «The embargo has been a failure by every measure. It has not changed the course or nature of the Cuban government. It has not liberated a single Cuban citizen...»
Obama tried to end the mindless, petty, spiteful anti-Cuba campaign, but the psychotic Trump got things back to normal by announcing introduction of even harsher sanctions, including a ban on tourism. That will teach these evil people to support their government. The workers in ports and airfields and hotels and night clubs and restaurants will condemn Washington, and not their government, for destroying their jobs.
Then there were the years of sanctions against Iraq which penalised its citizens to a criminal degree. The US attitude was summed up by Ambassador Madeleine Albright, who was asked on television if she considered the deaths of half a million Iraqi children a reasonable result of US sanctions. She replied «This is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it». This callous, pitiless, utterly heartless statement was indicative of US official policy — which continues, world-wide.
But that’s what sanctions are all about. And the latest bout of gutter vindictiveness centres on Russia. To the joy of the sabre-rattlers, and especially of NATO, so desperately seeking a reason for its continued existence, the Cold War has begun again.
But there’s a little problem for the warmongers...
Unfortunately for US national pride, there are some things for which it has to rely on Russia, and a difficulty for Washington is that US astronauts are ferried to and from the International Space Station in Russian rockets, and that some American rockets rely on Russian engines.
So among its vicious measures to try to punish Russia the US Congress didn’t include sanctions that might be awkward for their space programmes. There were no mainstream media reports about this embarrassing tap-dancing, but one observation was that «Officials at Orbital ATK [an American aerospace and military equipment manufacturer] and ULA [a Lockheed-Boeing space venture] breathed sighs of relief as the US Senate voted overwhelmingly to exempt rocket engines from a sanctions bill targeting Iran and Russia. The amendment to the sanctions measure exempted RD-180 engines used by ULA in the first stage of its Atlas V booster and the RD-181 engines Orbital ATK uses in the first stage of its Antares launch vehicle. Both engines are produced by NPO Energomash of Russia».
And the really funny thing is that the Atlas V rocket launches US spy satellites. On 1 March NASA reported the seventieth mission by an Atlas V, when «a final launch verification took place at T-16 seconds, leading to the start sequence of the RD-180 engine at the base of the Atlas V core at T-2.7 seconds». It would be too much to expect them to admit that the RD-180 is made in Russia.
The US Senate and House of Representatives support imposition of sanctions all round the world on the most principled grounds — except when their actions would interfere with the profits of the US aerospace industry and Washington’s ability to spy on Russia from space.
The International Space Station is a heart-warming example of US-Russia teamwork which is anathema to every Senator and member of the House of Representatives. Not one of them has ever mentioned the gratitude the US owes Russia for its many years of willing cooperation. As recorded by NASA on 28 July — at the height of the Senate’s war-crazed anti-Russia hysteria — «This morning, a trio of astronauts will make their way to the International Space Station, launching on top of a Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan. They will join the three astronauts already living on board the ISS».

Groucho Marx put it so well by saying «Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others». He was joking, but the US Congress is deadly serious. What a bunch of pathetic hypocrites.