Mohsen Abdelmoumen: You participated in the march on the Pentagon in October 1967 against the Vietnam War. What do these historic moments represent for you?
Carolyn L. Karcher: The Vietnam War and the mass movement against it transformed my consciousness and changed my life. Although I grew up in Japan and did not come to the US until entering Stanford University in 1962, I attended an American school in Japan that gave me the standard indoctrination. I believed the US was a beacon of democracy with the mission of imparting its benefits to other countries and saving them from oppressive governments. The Vietnam War shattered this belief. The October 1967 march on the Pentagon was the third demonstration against the war in which I participated, but it was the one that marked the beginning of my political re-education. During the night I spent at the Pentagon, I saw soldiers with gas masks and fixed bayonets knocking peacefully seated demonstrators on the head with their rifle butts and kicking them with their heavy boots, while the march’s leaders reiterated instructions for us to remain passive and not resist. What got me through that terrifying experience was the conviction that the press would inform the American public of how US soldiers had treated citizens exercising their constitutional rights, and that the incident would lead to an inquiry and redress. Instead, the next day’s headlines in the Washington Post read: “Troops use restraint against violent crowd.” It would take years before the US press finally started to report the truth about the war and to portray anti-war protesters more sympathetically. I would never again read the mainstream press uncritically.Lire la suite »
Frank Joyce : “Very few U.S. Americans have any idea that their country has killed at least 20 million people just since the end of WWII”
Frank Joyce. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: You co-authored The People Make the Peace: Lessons from the Vietnam Antiwar Movement. What about the anti-war movement in the United States today?
Frank Joyce: What is most often overlooked about the massive opposition by U.S. Americans to the invasion of Viet Nam is what an aberration it was. The violence inherent in settler colonialism and slavery established the worship of militarism, guns and brutality toward people of color that remains dominant to this day. The current absence of significant organized opposition to war represents the regression-to-the-mean, that is returning to the commitment to war and violence that is at the core of the identity of the U.S. Lire la suite »
Prof. Robert Jensen. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: How do you explain the silence of Western media and governments regarding the massacre of the people of Yemen by the coalition led by Saudi Arabia, strategic ally of the US?
Prof. Robert Jensen: I am not an expert on the war in Yemen, but it is clear that the Saudi-led coalition has used tactics that have caused widespread civilian suffering. The US media have not completely avoided the story but also have not focused on those humanitarian disasters in the same way they would if the forces responsible were US enemies. This is a longstanding pattern, what Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky called the distinction between “worthy” and “unworthy” victims, depending on who is doing the killing. It’s one way we see that an allegedly “objective” US news media tends to fall in line behind US foreign policy. Lire la suite »
Dr. Roy Casagranda. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is your opinion about the first year of the Trump Presidency?
Dr. Roy Casagranda: OMG! Train wreck! I can’t stop staring! The US has never had a more volatile leader, as incompetent, with so little legislation, with such high turnover, as blatantly corrupt, as overwhelming ignorant of the Constitution, state operations, world affairs, and economics. The effect has been a polarization of the electorate, like we have not seen since the 1850s! It is the best thing to happen to the US since the 1960s. Lire la suite »
Dr. William Alberts: “Unlike the United States, North Korea and Iran have not invaded, or bombed, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Vietnam”
Rev. William Alberts. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Do you think that Donald Trump’s statement to the United Nations General Assembly to destroy rogue states is justified? The United States, which has destroyed Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, among others, and organized permanent coups in the countries of Latin America, and who have been involved in many conflicts, are not they themselves a rogue state?
Dr. William Alberts: President Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea is not only unjustified, it reveals just how psychopathic and criminally dangerous he is. “Totally destroy” a country of over 25 million human beings! That is a most horrible war crime threat. And, amazingly, he made it under the self-contradictory pretext that North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons “threatens the world with unthinkable loss of life.” Trump is a dangerous war-criminal-in-waiting. He should be removed from office – by impeachment or Congress’s determination that he is unfit for office — as soon as possible so that he does not hurt countless more people. Lire la suite »
Ron Jacobs. DR.
What do Frantz Fanon and Algerian Revolution represent for you?
Frantz Fanon is to me an anticolonialist writer who, perhaps more than any other writer familiar to me, explains the nature of European and US colonialism and imperialism and its effects on the colonized and the colonizer. When using his writings as a viewfinder, I am able to understand the psychological meanings of imperialism and the resistance to it. This applies to situations overseas and in what the Black Panthers and others called the internal Black colony in the United States. Lire la suite »
In the current historical moment in the United States, the emptying out of language is nourished by the assault on the civic imagination. One example of this can be found in the rise of Donald Trump on the political scene. Trump’s popular appeal speaks to not just the boldness of what he says and the shock it provokes, but the inability to respond to shock with informed judgment rather than titillation. Marie Luise Knott is right in noting, « We live our lives with the help of the concepts we form of the world. They enable an author to make the transition from shock to observation to finally creating space for action – for writing and speaking. Just as laws guarantee a public space for political action, conceptual thought ensures the existence of the four walls within which judgment operates. » (1) The concepts that now guide our understanding of US society are dominated by a corporate-induced linguistic and authoritarian model that brings ruin to language, politics and democracy itself. Lire la suite »