We’re Still Bombing Afghans = The War Is Not Over

Imagine for a moment that you’re a person who loves a little child who was killed by aerial bombing, burnt to a crisp, by the U.S. military. It could be 1945, 1950, 1969, 1995, or pretty much any year in the 21st century.

Malika Ahmadi, two, died in a U.S. drone strike on Kabul today, her family says. Has the war of 20 years cost us the ability to care?” Source: David Swanson, Pressenza

Now imagine that it just happened yesterday. And that the U.S. corporate press is proclaiming that the war they’ve been waging for decades on your country is “over.”

That the U.S. corporate press lies for a living — right out in the open — makes no difference to you in your grief.

It mostly makes a difference to the taxpayers and voters of the country thousands of miles away where citizen are sold horseshit like, “We’ve got to fight terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.”

The lies that sell wars and buy elected officials use bogus concepts and slogans like “The war on terror” to incite fear and make compliance much easier than opposition.

A few people will go on social media platforms that are heavily censored in favor of corporate rule to express the truth laced with dark humor.

The U.S. has bombed little children to death under alternating Democratic and Republican administrations my entire life. 

It began bombing Afghan children following the unfortunate events of 9/11 in 2001 after a speech by then President George W. Bush proclaimed that “their harbors” would no longer be safe. (Note: Afghanistan is a land-locked country with no harbors.)

The current Democratic administration has announced that it will continue using flying killer robots to bomb Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. (It’s also drone bombing Somalia, and plenty of other places, at will.) 

“Enough is enough,” Edward Ahmed Mitchell, national deputy director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement. “For more than ten years, our government’s drone strikes have killed thousands of innocent people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and elsewhere in the Muslim world—destroying family homes, wedding parties, and even funeral processions. The civilian casualties in Kabul are simply the latest victims of this misused technology.”

Source: https://scheerpost.com/2021/08/30/demand-for-moratorium-on-drone-warfare-follows-latest-u-s-killing-of-afghan-civilians

Besides the warped views about war sold constantly over corporate airwaves, why is there a steady supply of men and women willing to remotely bomb children in Afghanistan?

Because after young people turned against the military draft for the war on Vietnam, U.S. corporate interests have made damn sure that the poverty draft continues blowing a steady gale force.

With no money for college and no money for dental care and no money for rent, food, and car expenses many young people in the U.S. feel they have no choice but to enlist. The poorer the state — like my home, Maine — the harder the poverty draft blows.

But some folks prospered during the 20 year war that’s still not over.

(Feel like finding out how much war profiteers donated to the campaign coffers of your elected officials that refuse to actually end the war on terror? You can look it up here on OpenSecrets.org).

Water For Life, Not For Profit Theme Unauthorized At Maine’s Bicentennial Parade

Lead organizer Luke Sekera-Flanders and educator Jake Kulaw carry a water defense banner in Lewiston Aug 21, 2021 created for Community Water Justice by the Artists Rapid Response Team (ARRT!). Photo credit: Nickie Sekera

A breathtakingly hot bicentennial celebration parade saw 100+ vehicles belching CO2 into the atmosphere as it wound its way from Auburn to twin city Lewiston yesterday in Maine.

Bringing up the rear was Community Water Justice walking entry “Bicentennial B-roll: The Villagers vs. The Pillagers!” (There were good banners in need of carrying, so I decided to leave my pitchfork in the car.)

It was a parade dominated by the corporate entities who treat Maine as a resource extraction colony: among them Poland Springs, the odious Central Maine Power, and Casella waste “management” i.e. trucking in construction debris from away and incinerating it as Maine-sourced waste.

We were an unauthorized entry to the parade and police twice ordered us out of the street, which we ignored. (Yes, white people can get away with that.)

Many people clapped and cheered our message, and twice at different points on the parade route someone shouted, “They saved the best for last!” As police tried to shoo us away the audience shouted, “Let them march!”
Besides our banners we wore or carried Stolen Spring logos, Maine Natural Guard, and “God bless the corporations for giving us candidates.”

photo credit: Nickie Sekera

Getting press coverage was the usual struggle (one sentence in the Lewiston Sun Journal, crickets elsewhere) but Luke was well-prepared with a press release. An excerpt:

The parade…is sponsored by many of Maine’s worst environmental offenders, including Poland Spring (who is the headline sponsor), Casella, and Central Maine Power. Nestle recently sold Poland Spring to a pair of private equity firms now operating as BlueTriton Brands, playing Wall Street games with our water sources. These companies’ sponsorship of the bicentennial celebrations showcases the State of Maine’s relationship with these polluting corporations, and presents a great opportunity to show solidarity in our collective struggle for a healthier future. While many residents are aware of individual issues such as the CMP Corridor, industrial fish farms, Casella, Metallic Mining or Poland Spring bottled water, they are not aware of the larger context – that Maine’s environment is the target of exploitative international private interests.

Beyond being detrimental to Maine’s long-term economic, environmental and social stability, 

these corporations’ presence in Maine is contradictory to any reasonable path to mitigating the effects of harmful changes in our climate. 

Earlier this month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report, revealing that the key window for action to prevent the worst effects of climate change is within the next decade. Its findings confirm what Indigenous and environmental activists have been saying for decades – unless we dramatically reduce carbon emissions and pollution, we will face the consequences. 

The purpose of this action is to engage the public with the reality and urgency of Maine’s position as an object of corporate hyperfocus, and elevate the struggles for Indigenous sovereignty, water security, and environmental health into the public eye.

Indigenous sovereignty might save us if we listen in time. How much indigenous wisdom was evident at this celebration of Maine’s statehood? None that I saw besides our messaging. I know that Penobscot elders were holding a water ceremony that day, and also that former chief Barry Dana regards the bicentennial as a celebration of the long colonial genocide on Native people of the region.

When I was a small child in Maine it seldom got hot enough for swimming, according to my California girl mother. Yesterday in Lewiston-Auburn it was a 89 degrees and very humid. 

But why worry about all the carbon-belching parade vehicles and the lead sponsorship by Poland Spring, formerly owned by the multinational water extractor Nestle. 

The banner Luke carried had been modified to reflect that private equity water investors doing business as Blue Triton now own Poland Springs water extraction sites in Maine. What could go wrong?