March 4, 2011

Rewarding non-violence in Palestine: Send pizza to the West Bank as well as Wisconsin

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Jane Stillwater @ 11:59 am

Yeah well, talking about injustice in Palestine is always a thankless task. But we still gotta do it because Palestine is still a big thorn in the foot of the Middle East and if the Middle East ain’t happy, then ain’t nobody happy — at least nobody who likes to drive cars.

If you want Middle Eastern gas in your tank without having to spend a bunch of trillions of dollars more on war toys in order to steal it at gunpoint, then you are gonna have to come to terms with ending the illegal Palestine occupation.

“But Palestinians send rockets into Israel! And they have suicide bombers! We have to support the occupation because Palestinians are violent!” you might say. But are they? Violent? Not really. Not any more. That’s just old-skool thinking.

For approximately the last ten years, more and more Palestinians have become non-violent in the tactics they have used to protest against being illegally occupied by one of the largest and most combat-ready armies in the world. But are Palestinians getting any kind of recognition, kudos or rewards at all for having gone all non-violent? No. Hell no. Nothing, zip, nada.

For over fifty years, Palestinians had already tried the old “Red Dawn” armed-resistance scenario and it hadn’t been working. And so in approximately the last ten years they have noticeably changed their tactics and given non-violent protests a try instead. But so far the only results that have resulted from Palestinians’ non-violent protests have been to get shot at — and shot at and shot at — by one of the largest and most combat-ready armies in the world.


So. If Americans truly want peace in the Middle East and cheap gas in their tanks, perhaps instead of continuing to give billions of dollars in military aid to one of the largest and most combat-ready armies in the world as it illegally occupies Palestine, perhaps we should try something else and actually start REWARDING Palestinians for their efforts to be non-violent — while still trying to express their deep frustration with being constantly under the thumb of a violent and illegal occupation force.

And if we truly want to reward and encourage Palestinians for trying to be the next Gandhis, then what can we do?

“Order Pizza!”

Hey, it worked in Wisconsin.

I have friends in the small Palestinian town of Ni’lin and every Friday for the last several years, they have bravely gone out and non-violently protested the seizure of their small quiet town by one of the largest and most combat-ready armies in the world — and these ordinary towns-people are getting gassed, shot at and killed one by one. However, non-violence, while heroic as hell and very New Testament and all that, isn’t really working for them so far because one of the largest and most combat-ready armies in the world clearly doesn’t give a rat’s behind about Palestinians.

So I am suggesting that you do to my friends in Ni’lin the same thing that the people of Egypt did for the people of Wisconsin. “Order Pizza.”

Is there a pizza place in Ni’lin that takes credit cards? If so, give me its e-mail address and, instead of waiting patiently for Hillary Clinton to do it, I’ll reward these non-violent protesters myself — and order them pizza.

And imagine if everyone else in the world who could afford to spare a few dollars also barraged one of the largest and most combat-ready armies in the world with pizzas as well? Problem solved. Cheap gas for all.

And then what if we also barraged Wall Street, K Street, the Federal Reserve and even the Taliban with pizzas? It’s the volume that counts.

PS: Everyone’s always talking about ending America’s huge deficit. Hey that’s easy to do. Just make major cuts in our out-of-control military spending, duh. And then let’s replace all those pricey Bradley tanks and luxurious F16s with pizzas.

Let’s build a huge wall of pizza (deep-dish Chicago-style with anchovies and olives) all around our shores and forget about the rest of America’s “empire”. And then let’s turn America back into a country that is self-sufficient in manufacturing again. And let’s start by manufacturing pizzas.

“But Jane, that’s just crazy!” Not as crazy as wasting our country’s resources and patrimony on manufacturing weapons — cold merciless steel weapons designed only to kill, maim and hurt.

PPS: In his recent article on US polices toward Israel, Israeli peace activist Jeff Halper stated that, “Israel is the number-two supplier of arms [in the world].”

And of course we all know who is the Number One supplier of arms.

So why is everyone relying on the United States and Israel to be in charge of keeping the peace — both in the Occupied Territories and in the rest of the world?

Isn’t that a bit like expecting two very hungry bears to be in charge of guarding a honey tree?

PPPS: Even Thomas Friedman of the New York Times has a few unkind words to say about Israel, believe it or not: “Israel’s previous prime minister, Ehud Olmert, had to resign because he was accused of illicitly taking envelopes stuffed with money from a Jewish-American backer. An Israeli court recently convicted Israel’s former president Moshe Katsav on two counts of rape, based on accusations by former employees. And just a few weeks ago, Israel, at the last second, rescinded the appointment of Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant as the army’s new chief of staff after Israeli environmentalists spurred a government investigation that concluded General Galant had seized public land near his home. (You can see his house on Google Maps!)”

Perhaps we should be sending the Israelis some pizza too.

PPPPS: What if all of us little people from all over the world who are sick and tired of being bossed around by military thugs, bullies and sadists for the sole reason that their, er, guns are bigger than our guns — what if we all got together and refused? Refused to be soldiers, refused to make weapons, refused to murder, refused to…just refused. Then what would happen?

Ultimately it’s all in the numbers.

For every one of the bullies, sadists and thugs that hide behind the largest and most combat-ready armies in the world, there are at least 99 more of us who are sick of all this bloodshed.

Tunisia, India, Egypt, South Africa, Jesus and the American South have all shown us that non-violent tactics really do bring about peace — if you have the numbers. In fact, Tunisia and Egypt apparently even consciously took a leaf from Ni’lin’s non-violent playbook. So. Let’s put all of the world’s largest and most combat-ready armies on notice. “Chill out now — or else risk ending up like Mubarak, Bull Connor, apartheid and the British Raj.”

We’re armed and dangerous too — we’ve got pizza!


February 2, 2011

Non-violent protests in Egypt: BRING IN THE WOMEN!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Jane Stillwater @ 5:04 pm

Hosni Mubarak is once again acting like the slimeball that he truly is — shamelessly employing his mafia thugs against peaceful protesters. Even as we speak, that creep is using paid thugs on camels and horses to cut a bloody swath through the non-violent demonstrators in Tahrir Square. Mubarak is still a monster. Nothing has changed.

And faced with all this new slimy outrageousness, what should Egypt’s non-violent protesters do now? Should they fight back? Absolutely not. Would Gandhi have done that? No way! He would have done something else — but what?

These protesters need to bring in their secret weapon, their Second Line Club, their last-ditch Hail Mary play. They should BRING IN THE WOMEN!

If Mubarak’s scum-patrol also attacks non-violent women who are standing up for Democracy (they’ve already attacked poor sweet Anderson Cooper), then Mubarak will be truly exposed (once again) for the pond-scum lowlife that he really is.

Women hold up half the sky on this planet — and also in Egypt. And I’m sure that if Mubarak’s mother were around to see what her misbehaving son is up to right now, she would give him a rigorous timeout and send him off to bed without any supper. And then she too would go out and join the non-violent protesters in Tahrir Square. Go mom!

PS: The women of Egypt — and the world too! — all need to unite against violence. Lighten up, guys. As soon as the guns come out, all the fun goes away.


February 1, 2011

Cairo & Katrina: A tale of two cities

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Jane Stillwater @ 2:12 pm

I just read an article by Chris Hedges, wherein he stated that the revolt in Egypt is a Muslim thing. I usually agree with Prof. Hedges on most things, but in this instance he is wrong. Sorry Chris, but the revolt in Egypt isn’t a Muslim issue. It’s a Gandhi thing. Yay!

Here’s what I’m thinking: In the last several decades the Arab world has witnessed how ineffectual its violent pre-1967 attacks on Israel were, how Arafat’s Fatah violence failed to stop the spread of Israel’s brutal occupation, how violent insurgency against the American occupation of Iraq turned out to be futile, how the insurgency in Afghanistan is such a bloody mess, and how Pakistan is getting chewed up and spit out by violence. Under these sorry circumstances, the Arab world’s violent protest against their Western occupation seems to have lost some of its charm.

And then along came a hopeful example — set by the obscure little farming villages of Budrus and Bil’lin, on Palestine’s West Bank. In these two small and inconsequential villages, poor and simple farmers were being tear-gassed, shot at, imprisoned, tortured and surrounded by a very ugly apartheid Wall. Their olive orchards were being stolen, their children were being injured and killed. “What can we do? What can we do?” the village elders asked themselves.

How could these simple villagers possibly fight back against the sixth-largest standing army in the world? They couldn’t. So instead of using stones and pitchforks against the intruders, they simply organized some non-violent protests against the injustice of having their lands and homes stolen by a gang of outlaws and rustlers driving REALLY big tanks.

And the next thing you know, the villagers’ plans began working! Whether Israel got tired of being shamed by the sudden negative publicity that it began to receive all over Europe or just finally got tired of tired of shooting at peacefully-protesting women and children, Israel’s occupying armies and tanks and fighter jets and what-have-you actually began backing off!

And the Arab world began taking note of this — and started to read up on its Yasu, Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

Always remember that there are many more people under occupation in the Middle East than there are people doing the occupying. And if you are gonna be nasty about how you occupy countries, then you’re gonna build up resentment. “Oh, that’s okay. Let them resent us all they want. No problem. We have guns and tanks and knives and torture kits and prisons. We’ll keep them in line.” However, that attitude only goes so far when you are stealing a whole BUNCH of people’s land, water and/or oil.

“Okay, Jane, you’ve made your point. I can see how non-violence might actually work in the Middle East. But how does Katrina fit into all this?” Well. I was just noticing that there is a similarity between what is happening in Cairo today and what happened in New Orleans back in 2005 — with regard to the tone and style of American evening news reports concerning both incidents.

When New Orleans first got hit by its disastrous hurricane and flood, American newspapers went out of their way to report NOLA residents as being uncivilized barbarians. Major news media jumped all over themselves talking about all the violent looting and all kinds of horrors going on there. But after the dust had settled a bit, it became clear that most of the victims of Katrina had been peaceful and helpful — and even that many of the shootings and atrocities there had been actually perpetrated by the police.

According to the New York Times, “The narrative of those early, chaotic days — built largely on rumors and half-baked anecdotes — quickly hardened into a kind of ugly consensus: poor blacks and looters were murdering innocents and terrorizing whoever crossed their path in the dark, unprotected city. ‘As you look back on it, at the time it was being reported, it looked like the city was under siege,’ said Russel L. Honoré, the retired Army lieutenant general who led military relief efforts after the storm. Today, a clearer picture is emerging, and it is an equally ugly one, including white vigilante violence, police killings, official cover-ups and a suffering population far more brutalized than many were willing to believe. Several police officers and a white civilian accused of racially motivated violence have recently been indicted in various cases, and more incidents are coming to light as the Justice Department has started several investigations into civil rights violations after the storm.”

So my point here is that this kind of reporting based on ugly rumors and “half-baked anecdotes” is apparently happening with regard to Cairo as well as NOLA. Also according to the New York Times, “Looters from Cairo’s vast shantytowns attacked gleaming suburban shopping malls, wild rumors swirled of gunfights at the bridges and gates to the most expensive neighborhoods and some of their residents turned wistful about Mr. Mubarak and his authoritarian rule.”

However, eye-witness reports surfacing on the internet reveal a completely different story. “Most of the thug types who are doing most of the attacks are prisoners who have been released by that bastard Mubarak in return for their services to beat up civilians…. You know about the secret service police guys who were citizen arrested at the museum and handed over to the army? You know so many of the protesters held hands, man, and formed like this long cordon around the museum so that these police pretending to be looters could not go in and destroy our history…and then they found out that these secret police guys were already inside and even damaged some Mummies. I mean people were so furious and they just handed them to the army.”

And as the true story comes out, I think we will find that most Cairenes have been non-violent and peaceful — and that they are simply peacefully protesting their lot, after having endured over 30 years of indignity and bondage at the hands of a brutal dictatorship financed by the United States.

The spirit of Gandhi truly has arrived in Cairo. And if you believe otherwise, just remember back to how the media happily spurred us on to think the worst of New Orleans residents as well.

Now all we have to do is to try to figure out who is going to benefit from us Americans thinking poorly of Egypt — as well as who benefited when we were all instructed to think poorly of New Orleans.


January 30, 2011

Beck, Boehner, Limbaugh & Monsanto: Love America or leave it!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Jane Stillwater @ 5:57 pm

Once again I’ve just received yet another e-mail from someone telling me that if I don’t like America, then I should leave it. Me? I hardly barely even whine about America at all — when compared to all the right-wingers and corporatists who haunt the media, the White House, the Supreme Court, Congress and K Street. Those guys REALLY know how to whine!

Take John Boehner for instance. He whines about America constantly. But if he hates this country so much, why doesn’t he leave? “Why?” Because if he pulled the same stunts in almost any other civilized country that he has pulled here, he would probably get jailed for corruption — or even treason. Stop crying all the time, John, and either love America or leave it.

And Glenn Beck? I whine and he doesn’t? Yeah right. Send him off to Egypt! Let him keep company with his buddy Hosni Mubarak. Let’s see how long he would last in Egypt right now.

There’s a new day of peace and freedom dawning all over the world these days, one wherein everyone gets a slice of the pie — not just the corporatists and oligarchs and dictators. And when this new dawn comes to America and the uber-rich who have shamelessly plundered our country for decades finally get the boot that they deserve, corporate shills like Beck and Limbaugh are gonna have to fall back on the very same government “safety nets” that they currently decry. And when the average working stiff in America finally gets fed up with doling out corporate welfare, then Wall Street, CitiBank, the Koch brothers and Monsanto aren’t gonna save these shills any more and they’re gonna end up BEGGING for Social Security, single-payer healthcare and unemployment benefits! Ha.

“Help me, America!” they’ll whine. “I can no longer afford payments on my yachts or my Porsche!”

In the end, corporatism is a great leveler and it ultimately levels the fat cats at the top as well as those of us at the bottom. Didn’t we learn anything from Bernie Maddoff’s sad end? Or even Hitler’s? Apparently not.

And Rupert Murdoch needs to be careful of what he is wishing for too. Look what just happened in Tunisia. That could happen to him as well if he doesn’t stop whining all the time about salt-of-the-earth types like you, me and us.

After the recent success of non-violent resistance against the apartheid Wall in Palestine, the Arab world seems to be finally wising up and going all Gandhi on its Washington-supported dictators.


If Palin, Angle, Chevron, Wall Street, General Motors, Fox News, Boeing and Diebold keep on whining and moaning about how terrible America’s government is — even though for the most part they own it — then the kind of revolution that they seem to be trying to stir up here won’t be non-violent at all. It will come out of the barrel of a Glock.

And do you really want Beck and Palin fans running around YOUR city locked and loaded? Good grief. Heck no.

So. All you corporatists out there who insist on complaining and whining about MY country all the time? I strongly suggest that you pack up and leave for someplace else ASAP — that is, if you can find any other country that will take you.

PS: And after all the corporatist whiners have gone, I bet we could make America a really cool place. “But how?” you might ask. The answer to that question is obvious.

Let’s start by limiting the amount of money that political candidates can spend on their campaigns. $200,000 max — or go to jail. And then let’s make all those large corporations and rich guys actually start paying income tax like the rest of us. And then let’s bring our troops home where they belong. Duh.


June 1, 2010

Update on Paul Larudee: Non-violent pacifist badly beaten by Israeli commandos

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Jane Stillwater @ 6:14 pm

San Francisco Bay Area resident Paul Larudee, who is instrumental in Berkeley’s Free Palestine Movement, was taken and detained by Israeli commando forces on Monday. Official Israeli sources are stating that their peaceful boarding parties were met with violent resistance by passengers on the ships they were boarding and that the boarding parties only used force when necessary to protect themselves.

However, I have known Paul for many years and his whole credo is one of non-violent resistance. Working with the NorCal branch of the International Solidarity Movement since approximately 1996, Paul is very much a believer in and practitioner of Gandhi’s principles of non-violence.

Given what I myself know about Paul, it seems rather odd that Paul would have been mercilessly beaten by Israeli forces. Yet I and other members of FPM just received the following e-mail stating that he was badly and, according to another e-mail I just received, “brutally” beaten:

“Hello, my name’s Lindsey, I’m living with Betty Larudee while her husband Paul is overseas with the Gaza flotilla. We just got an email from the Israeli Consulate General Andrew Parker in Jerusalem.

“He said that Paul is alive and seriously beaten. Paul told him to call us so this is the closest contact we’ve had so far. He asked us to spread the word as much as possible. Betty was the one that talked to Parker but now she is upset and doesn’t want to talk to anyone until she gets an email from the consulate tomorrow.

“Paul silently refused to follow Israeli orders so they beat him. Now he’s being held in prison. He’s in the same room with the captain of the boat. They have no windows, no telephone, nothing. He refused treatment by Israeli doctors, and only let the ship doctor give him aspirin.”

Furthermore, I am currently receiving several other reports from various European, Greek and Turkish eyewitnesses that the Israeli boarding forces hit the ground running, armed with stun guns, tear gas, metal batons, rubber bullets, etc., and with clearly violent intent.

Powered by WordPress