Does anyone out there remember World War II?
Remember the great signing of the Peace Treaty on the Battleship Missouri?
Photo Courtesy: Signal Alpha
Something like that, 2 SEPT 1945?
Did the US just up and leave a couple of years later? No, we didn't. We actually stayed around for some time in force until 28 APR 1952. We did that to help stand up a new type of government and to make sure the Japanese People would have a voice in it and be able to be free from Imperial ambitions. A mere 2, 430 days! To help a people with almost no ethnic or cultural diversity to finally get to the point of being self governing and not to be a future threat to the United States.
Final surrender... remember that? Not so picturesque, but with all due German military propriety involved.
Photo Courtesy: Cold War Files
Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel on 7 MAY 1945 surrendering, officially, at the Russian HQ in Berlin.
Did the US then just leave Germany? You know, pack up and go home? Nasty old war all done with wasn't it?
Apparently the US stuck around for a while and implemented this thing called the Marshall Plan. Huge amount of the American budget and production capacity devoted to helping Europe out after the War with about $13 billion in aid over the next couple of decades. A puny amount by today's standards, even adjusted for inflation from 1945... only about $148 billion today. Congress can sneeze that away faster than you can say 'Pork Barrel Politics'. Mind you we had just come out of spending 50% of GDP, per year on WWII, so diverting just a smidge of that so it could help out Europe a bit wasn't really missed too much. Had a pretty good post-war economic boom in any event.
Say have we LEFT Germany yet?
I mean we are now working with Japan to withdraw the last of our troops from Japanese territory... any sign of that in Germany? Well, EUCOM does cover a large swath of Africa, but, really, we seem to have about 115,000 troops there and, outside of the Balkans and a bit of democracy sustainment in Georgia and some light peacekeeping duties, are that many really needed to defend Europe?
Apparently America likes to stick around after a war to make sure that things get rebuilt, civilization has a chance to stand on its own and that Empires will not rise again after we leave. Pretty piss-poor thing to do, that. Spend lots of blood and money and time to knock down a tyrant and *then* leave the place in a shambles so that some new tinpot dictator can take over. Just means our sons and daughters will have to go BACK to that place, someday. Its happened before with Haiti, which seems to get regular attention from the US every couple of decades. Go in, bust up, leave and then be right back there again in a few more years.
Pretty asinine, that.
And even before that was the Philippine-American war, which ended very sprightly on 4 JUL 1901! Victory and all that declared and so forth. Yes a bit of goings on with some holdouts... but then the entire Moro business got way out of hand. That didn't end until 1911-13, thereabouts, to finally get the Philippines together without a family feud going on that would cause grief for decades on end. Pretty brutal, that, with folks being skinned alive and their stuffed skins hung up by trails and such. Not this petty 'panties on the head' or 'waterboarding' sort of deal, but just flensing knives without anesthetic. No point to it, just being brutal to show you can be and lower the morale of the enemy. Good thing the US Army put a stop to that, isn't it?
Quite a few Moros, to this day, have names like John and Pershing. To remind them of what a *real* commander and soldier IS.
So, when I get a nice little email from the Edwards Campaign, I really do have to wonder exactly WHICH United States they think they are in. Why is that? Well here is a nice bit from the email, which was a mass one so lots of folks should have gotten it:
Four years ago today, George Bush landed an S-3B Viking jet on the USS Lincoln and told America that major combat operations were over—mission accomplished. It wasn't. The troops have done everything they were asked. They deserve a hero's welcome. They deserve to come home.Aren't they just the Sweetest? And even from a real, live veteran and all, too! Mr. Bonior currently works at American Rights at Work, a union and labor place for support of worker's rights and such. Just a quick look at one of their sponsored trips to have some international labor activists tour the US for human rights abuses at workplaces in America, and we can tell the sorts of people they get involved with:
Last November, we sent a new Congress to Washington with their own mission: stand up to President Bush and end the war. Congress has taken a critical first step, but it's up to us to make sure they finish the job.
We must send our voice directly to Washington: We're sending Congress customized postcards, calling on them to stand strong until they've accomplished their mission and brought the troops home. You can customize and send yours by clicking below: [link removed]
And we must speak up in our communities: MoveOn.org and a coalition of progressive groups are organizing emergency rallies in hundreds of cities nationwide, calling on Congress to stand firm. You can find and join a rally by clicking here [link removed].
However you choose to speak out, please encourage others to join you. It will take all of us working together to end this war.
Campaign Manager, John Edwards for President
Veteran, United States Air Force (1968-1972)
P.S. -- Here’s a larger version of the postcard you can customize and send to Congress:
One of the co-sponsors of that tour was the Equal Justice Center for a stop in Austin, TX, and it has a lowdown on the happenings. And their list of folks includes: Central Texas Immigrant Worker's Rights Center, Religion and Labor Network of Austin, Poultry Worker's Justice Project, Transnational Worker's Rights Clinic - UT Law School.That is the sort of people that David Bonior is sharing idea space with: Leftist, Socialists, 'Progressivists' and a Professor from Leftist Central at UC Berkley. Why am I not enthused to actually do anything for the Edwards campaign?
Mariclaire Acosta Urquidi - The folks at the Equal Justice Center characterize her with - "former Vice-Minister for Human Rights and Democracy (2001-2003) in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Mexico, international human rights expert and activist". She currently heads up the fund for global human rights, an organization handing out all sorts of little grants on the topic. In 2006 they funded this little gem:Border Justice (Frontera con Justicia)So good of them to be looking out for such things, isn't it? Notice that they are called by the generic 'migrants'. Perhaps they actually stopped some folks from going North illegally? Somehow I doubt that, given the nature of the grant. Somehow 'Border Justice' should include the idea that one does NOT break the law by illegally entering a foreign Nation. But then they don't seem to be too hot on borders, either, given another piece from the 2006 grant list:
$15,000 for general support of this organization, whose activities include documenting human rights abuses committed by the police and providing legal aid to migrants in the northern state of Coahuila on the U.S. – Mexico border.Fray Matías de Córdova Human Rights CenterActually, Mexico does frown on that sort of thing and really doesn't want Central Americans flooding over their southern border. Well, that is Transnational Progressivism, for you - demeaning the idea of Nation State as much as they can. Still, not a bad organization, although one could hope that they actually would help with enforcing the laws and discouraging folks from breaking them, instead of just trying to clean up messes afterwards.
$8,000 for general support of this organization, whose activities include documenting human rights abuses and providing legal aid to Central American migrants in the Mexico – Guatemala border region.
Véronique Marleau - Of whom the EJC say - "Ms. Marleau’s interests and expertise include comparative and international law, human rights, policy development and governance, labour law and labour relations, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), administrative and constitutional law, legal theory, jurisprudence and epistemology." Ms. Marleau can be found looking for gender equality in the workplace along with all sort of other intersting things going on, like working with Jobs with Justice. Here is a bit from one of their worker's rights tours with ARW in OCT 2005:On October 21st, one group from the delegation went to New Bedford to speak with Guatemalan worker in the fish houses. These workers told of dangerous, dirty work that they were often under paid for. Workers pointed to their immigration status as the reason why fish house employers can get away with the poor working conditions and pay. Another group of delegates joined Rep. James McGovern (D- Mass) at a Workers Rights Board Hearing at Clark University in Worcester. Workers from central Massachusetts told of being fired for wanting a union on their job site. Workers from St. Gobain recounted their 5-year struggle, with the company demanding a decertification election, or they would close. The delegates Marieclaire Acosta and Veronique Marleau joined Rep. McGovern in expressing their outrage at the treatment of workers in Worcester. Massachusetts Jobs with Justice will be compiling the local stories for a report from the Workers’ Rights Board to be delivered on Dec. 8th in honor of International Human Rights Day.Their 'immigrant status'? Yes, thats right, they are not here legally! Oh, bolding in that is theirs, italics mine. So, let me get this straight: come to the US illegally, complain that the 'good job' you came for is underpaying and cruddy and then be miffed when you can't form a Union because you are here illegally? Say what? That is just, plain whacko because no matter how much one puts forward the lovely Universal Declaration of Human Rights that only pertains to when one is someplace legally. As Nation States are the only bodies that can sign Sovereign Treaties, that must be the case of the very framework of diplomacy is undermined. Break the basis for the agreement by your actions and you do NOT get covered by it.
Maria Adela Mejia Perez - Again from the EJC - "Mary also played a key role in supporting apparel assembly workers in El Salvador in their organizing and bargaining campaigns and is well known and recognized throughout Central America for her organizing skills and her willingness to support fellow Central Americans to gain a voice at work. Mary is presently in the United States and is a political asylum petitioner."Say, couldn't she work a bit more for 'social justice' back home? Or is that such a bad thing to do there that she has to come here to organize? Yes, I do applaud her the actual achievements, and if she is under death threat from her government for her views, then, by all means, a good petition. It would be more impressive if she documented that a bit more and helped those who would campaign against such a horrific regime rather than aid others trying to undermine a democracy.
Rev. Dr. Calvin Morris - (Source: The History Makers) - "Morris is a board member of the Golden Apple Foundation, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Chicago Theater Company, Sojourner and the Wieboldt Foundation.
He is a co-convener of the Justice Coalition of Greater Chicago and is a co-chairman of Jobs for Justice Clergy Committee. Morris was elected treasurer of the Board of Trustees of Lincoln University, his alma mater. He lives near his daughter in Chicago."
Rev. Morris gets invited to Plenary Meetings of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism at their National Session, and that has such panels as the following from their 2006 shindig:
Makes one feel so warm, doesn't it, having Mr. Bonior rub elbows with a Progressivist with Socialist viewpoints?
- SOCIALIST VISION and CCDS
- POLITICAL CONTEXT FOR BUILDING A PROGRESSIVE MAJORITY IN 2006
- BUILDING A SOCIALIST LEFT WITHIN THE BROADER PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT: THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF CLASS, RACE, AND GENDER
Allie Robbins, National Organizer for United Students Against Sweatshops. The following is from a GW Hatchet (An Independent Student Newspaper - it so boldly says on its masthead) article on Ms. Robbins on 10 MAY 2004:One really does have to admire that! That said I have gone to school with similar in my time, and know the condition of loud, closed eared and protesting for just about everything but working to build very little. Great for political indoctrination, though! Needless to say she is on the JwJ folks' board as Vice-Chair.Criticizing GW gets seniors award
by Brandon Butler
In March, University officials had senior Allison Robbins arrested for protesting in the Marvin Center. At Sunday's Commencement ceremony, they will honor her for it.
Robbins, along with senior Graham Murphy, will receive the first Manatt-Trachtenberg awards at the May 16 ceremony for "their efforts to inspire social consciousness" at the University. The newly created award is named for University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg and Board of Trustees Chairman Charles Manatt.
The award honors the two students by giving them a $250 cash prize and engraving their names on a silver plaque. A committee comprised of an administrator, two faculty members, two staff members and two students looked at nominated seniors and referred a list of recommendations to Trachtenberg and Manatt, who selected the final winners.
Trachtenberg said the two leaders have left an indelible impact on the school.
"I may or may not agree with them, but you can't deny their enthusiasm, their sincerity and their commitment," he said.
Robbins, a workers' rights activist, is a member of the Progressive Student Union and has helped to organize marches, rallies and a sit-in at the Marvin Center March 29 where she and ten other students were arrested. Given all the controversy surrounding Robbins' actions, even she wondered why the University would choose to give her the award.
Murphy also said it was ironic that the University will honor Robbins with the award.
"I thought Allie was going to get the 'Pain in the Ass Award' from the administration," Murphy said. "I definitely think that she is more worthy than I am for this award."
Professor Harley Shaiken - from the ECJ - "Shaiken is the author of three books: Work Transformed: Automation and Labor in the Computer Age; Automation and Global Production; and Mexico in the Global Economy, as well as numerous articles and reports in both scholarly and popular journals. He is an advisor on trade and labor issues to public and private organizations and leading members of the United States Congress. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Center for American Progress."
That last is, of course, a Progressivist place, the CAP. He is Professor of Education and Geography, Chair for Latin American Studies at Berkley.
Could it be that I prefer my Nation *not* to head in the Socialist direction?
And just why, is Mr. Bonior working to undermine support for this Nation's military and its outlook on what a 'just peace' is? Does he have any interest in *having* a Nation at all?
John Edwards - Defeatocrat.