Rebecca Gordon is a member of the War Times/Tiempo de Guerras organizing committee. She has been a political activist for more years than she cares to remember, working on issues of feminism, war and peace, economic and racial justice, and specifically torture in the post-9/11 United States.
Rebecca's new book, Mainstreaming Torture comes out in May 2014 from Oxford University Press. She's also the author of Letters From Nicaragua, a record of six months spent in the war zones during the contra war.
Like many people around the world, four-star Marine General John Kelley is really worried about Ebola.
But he’s not worried about the more than 4,000 people who have died of the disease in western Africa. And he’s only tangentially worried about people dying in this country. What is the real threat Ebola presents to the United States, according to Kelly? Increased immigration.
June is Torture Awareness Month, so this seems like a good time to consider some difficult aspects of torture people in the United States might need to be aware of. Sadly, this country has a long history of involvement with torture, both in its military adventures abroad and within its borders. A complete understanding of that history requires recognizing that U.S. torture practices have been forged in the furnace of white supremacy. Indeed the connection between torture and race on this continent began long before the formation of the nation itself.
“Modern policing has always been integrated in some way with the military,” says Rachel Herzing of Critical Resistance. Today’s integrations involve new technologies, new relationships, and new funding streams, but the military-police connection has existed since the invention of professional police forces in the 19th century. In this country, federal law prohibits the military from engaging in law enforcement on U.S. soil.
1. It’s still happening.
The New York Times reports that John Kerry has finally explained why the United States wants to lob Cruise missiles at Syria:
“This matters also beyond the limits of Syria’s borders,” Mr. Kerry said. “It is about whether Iran, which itself has been a victim of chemical weapons attacks, will now feel emboldened in the absence of action to obtain nuclear weapons.”
“Honéstamente, me encantaría volver,” Aliou told us. “Honestly, I would love to go home.” Aliou is from Guinea Bissau, a small Portuguese-speaking country in West Africa. For the last two weeks, he’s been living in a migrant workers’ camp outside the little town of Bérchules. It’s one of a string of white villages nestled like clutches of eggs in the Alpujarras, an area in the foothills of Spain’s Sierra Nevada.
Osama bin Laden is dead. The desire to "capture or kill" this man provided the pretext for two wars and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of Afghans and U.S. soldiers. The institutions and infrastructure of a modern developed state were all but destroyed in one country. In the other, a vile, murderous and misogynist regime was replaced with a vile, corrupt, and less overtly, but equally misogynist regime.
Washington's Wars and Occupations: Month in Review #71
By Rebecca Gordon, and the War Times/Tiempo de Guerras editors
What a month!
Uprisings continued in the Arab world, presenting the first serious threat to U.S. power in that region since the 1970s, when OPEC nations first combined to hike oil prices, and the Iranian people tossed out the Shah, a long-time U.S. ally.
Long before 2001, the day September 11 held tremendous significance for friends of justice and democracy around the world. It was on September 11, 1973 that a U.S.-backed coup in Chile deposed the elected president, Salvador Allende, and began a 17-year reign of terror under General Augusto Pinochet. In the days immediately following the coup, 5,000 people were rounded up, herded into a Santiago stadium, tortured, and murdered.