‘The Wire’ Writers Call For Resistance To The Drug War

Via Tom @ Automatic Preference: If you don’t know about the Wire, I would find out if I were you, the writers here include the creators and include a former journalist, a former detective & teacher, all award winning writers who in  The Wire have crafted something that appears to be a TV drama but was something far more significant a depiction of the failing dysfunctional institutions of a city, the drugs war, the police, the schools, the working class, the media, politics and how capitalism is devaluing human beings day by day. Here they call for civil disobedience and becoming part of resistance to the failed policies rather than a collaborator-

The Wire’s War on the Drug War
By Ed Burns, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, David Simon

We write a television show. Measured against more thoughtful and meaningful occupations, this is not the best seat from which to argue public policy or social justice. Still, those viewers who followed The Wire — our HBO drama that tried to portray all sides of inner-city collapse, including the drug war, with as much detail and as little judgment as we could muster — tell us they’ve invested in the fates of our characters. They worry or grieve for Bubbles, Bodie or Wallace, certain that these characters are fictional yet knowing they are rooted in the reality of the other America, the one rarely acknowledged by anything so overt as a TV drama.

These viewers, admittedly a small shard of the TV universe, deluge us with one question: What can we do? If there are two Americas — separate and unequal — and if the drug war has helped produce a psychic chasm between them, how can well-meaning, well-intentioned people begin to bridge those worlds?

And for five seasons, we answered lamely, offering arguments about economic priorities or drug policy, debating theoreticals within our tangled little drama. We were storytellers, not advocates; we ducked the question as best we could.

Yet this war grinds on, flooding our prisons, devouring resources, turning city neighborhoods into free-fire zones. To what end? State and federal prisons are packed with victims of the drug conflict. A new report by the Pew Center shows that 1 of every 100 adults in the U.S. — and 1 in 15 black men over 18 — is currently incarcerated. That’s the world’s highest rate of imprisonment.

The drug war has ravaged law enforcement too. In cities where police agencies commit the most resources to arresting their way out of their drug problems, the arrest rates for violent crime — murder, rape, aggravated assault — have declined. In Baltimore, where we set The Wire, drug arrests have skyrocketed over the past three decades, yet in that same span, arrest rates for murder have gone from 80% and 90% to half that. Lost in an unwinnable drug war, a new generation of law officers is no longer capable of investigating crime properly, having learned only to make court pay by grabbing cheap, meaningless drug arrests off the nearest corner.

What the drugs themselves have not destroyed, the warfare against them has. And what once began, perhaps, as a battle against dangerous substances long ago transformed itself into a venal war on our underclass. Since declaring war on drugs nearly 40 years ago, we’ve been demonizing our most desperate citizens, isolating and incarcerating them and otherwise denying them a role in the American collective. All to no purpose. The prison population doubles and doubles again; the drugs remain.

Our leaders? There aren’t any politicians — Democrat or Republican — willing to speak truth on this. Instead, politicians compete to prove themselves more draconian than thou, to embrace America’s most profound and enduring policy failure.

“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right,” wrote Thomas Paine when he called for civil disobedience against monarchy — the flawed national policy of his day. In a similar spirit, we offer a small idea that is, perhaps, no small idea. It will not solve the drug problem, nor will it heal all civic wounds. It does not yet address questions of how the resources spent warring with our poor over drug use might be better spent on treatment or education or job training, or anything else that might begin to restore those places in America where the only economic engine remaining is the illegal drug economy. It doesn’t resolve the myriad complexities that a retreat from war to sanity will require. All it does is open a range of intricate, paradoxical issues. But this is what we can do — and what we will do.

If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented. Save for a prosecution in which acts of violence or intended violence are alleged, we will — to borrow Justice Harry Blackmun’s manifesto against the death penalty — no longer tinker with the machinery of the drug war. No longer can we collaborate with a government that uses nonviolent drug offenses to fill prisons with its poorest, most damaged and most desperate citizens.

Jury nullification is American dissent, as old and as heralded as the 1735 trial of John Peter Zenger, who was acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, and absent a government capable of repairing injustices, it is legitimate protest. If some few episodes of a television entertainment have caused others to reflect on the war zones we have created in our cities and the human beings stranded there, we ask that those people might also consider their conscience. And when the lawyers or the judge or your fellow jurors seek explanation, think for a moment on Bubbles or Bodie or Wallace. And remember that the lives being held in the balance aren’t fictional.

Mehdi Kazemi Safe For Now

The campaign worked-

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced the review of his case on Thursday.
“Following representations made on behalf of Mehdi Kazemi, and in the light of new circumstances since the original decision was made, I have decided that Mr. Kazemi’s case should be reconsidered on his return to the U.K. from the Netherlands.”

But it is not a granting of asylum just acknowledgement that the public furore over it means they don’t want a PR disaster, they may well hope when no one is looking to quickly deny him permanent asylum and fly him to Iran. Safe for now, but their general position remains the same and this is one case against an institution wide corruption & barbarity.

200 Strong!

Just got a message from GodlessLiberalHomo that the anti-war Iraq blogswarm is now 200 strong! Next week, next Wednesday from the mouths of shills, fools and war criminals shall come lies and excuses, already the mainstream media is pregnant with their whining putrescence. The punditocracy who have been 100% wrong still haunt the airwaves, the nexus of money, power, imperialism and elitism keeping them all merrily employed and malignant as ever. Shameful, corrupted, arrogant and confident the unearned deference shown to them will continue until they slither into their stinking grave.

They lied us into a long plotted war of choice that has killed over a million people and made 5 million people into refugees.

The poison of state approved torture has metastasised, so that raping, burning, beating, electrocuting and drowning a person is called ‘coercion’ or ‘interrogation’. Habeas corpus has been rescinded and illegal mass surveillance is routine, the idea of a politician saying “The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself” seems alien to these demagogic liars, they prefer colour coded threat warnings. So even a child can be told to be afraid. And they Will. Not. Stop.

So fuck that. Letting the worst amongst us run things seems a bit stupid. Bring the noise. Join the 200, join the resistance.

Join the March 19 Blogswarm Against the Iraq War

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Fuck Your Militarist Propaganda

Only a short time ago the government was making noises of a review of whether to encourage the military to wear uniforms while out in public, well it seems that review is ongoing but the government has already concluded to encourage uniforms. And just in time for stories of personnel getting some aggro for wearing uniforms off base of RAF Wittering. What is the source of these reports? The MOD, are they spinning some weekend drunken shouting into patrio-porn enabling militarism? Vietnam vets being spat on redux? No police record of abuse just reports via the government and the CO (officers!) that claim verbal abuse. ‘Churnalism‘ in service of the establishment. Up pops Gordon and before you know it we have the ‘Queen & country’ spiel, combined with the recent well staged Prince Harry media campaign. This is clearly a coordinated push to use the respect and sympathy we have for troops who have been used to support America’s imperialism (and keep memories alive of ours) to quash dissent towards these wars (and mention of the lies perpetrated) as the 5th anniversary approaches. But the worship of empty uniforms does not extend to Ben Griffin, he is still gagged, one report today said the gag had been extended but the link to that story comes up error ridden.

Gag bid against ex-SAS man
TeleText – Scotland,UK
At an earlier hearing an interim order granted to the MoD in relation to Ben Griffin was continued by consent pending further argument in the case. …

Link (not working as far as I can see, the above text is from the email alert I got)
So the fascistic fetishising of the military is about forcing us to identify with the agenda of the ruling class by means of our feelings for those in the military. When a soldier speaks truths that conflict with establishment narratives he has the entire legal might of the government’s apparatus gag him under threat of prison. Where is their respect for the service of that soldier? This country was manipulated to show solidarity with a Royal Prince who revelled in his role in killing people while an exceptional soldier (both in his professional abilities and in his character and personal morality) from a more humble background is attacked and silenced, hidden from view lest people start to…God, Queen & Country forbid…identify with something other than the elite’s simulacrum.

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Tasers: Children Stunned By Encroaching Police State

Via RawStory

Police have been given the go-ahead to use Taser stun guns against children. The relaxing of restrictions on the use of the weapons comes despite warnings that they could trigger a heart attack in youngsters…they can now be used against all potentially violent offenders even if they are unarmed.

It is the decision not to ban their use against minors that is likely to raise serious concerns. Home Office Police Minister Tony McNulty said medical assessments had confirmed the risk of death or serious injury from Tasers was “low”.

But he failed to mention Government advisers had also warned of a potential risk to children. The Defence Scientific Advisory Council medical committee told the Home Office that not enough was known about the health risks of using the weapons against children. The committee, which is made up of independent scientists and doctors, said that limited research suggested there was a risk children could suffer “a serious cardiac event”.

It recommended that officers should be “particularly vigilant” for any Taser-induced adverse response and said guidance should be amended to “identify children and adults of small stature” as being at potentially greater risk from the cardiac effects of Tasers. The Government scientists were also asked to test whether the weapons could cause a miscarriage if used on a pregnant woman.

While not saying whether police would be allowed to Taser an expectant mother, the Home Office said the DSAC committee had “specifically asked” for computer simulations to be carried out to analyse the effect on “a pregnant female”.

Now call me a troublemaker, but tell the anti-abortion mob about the expectant mother issue, hell any ally in pushing back this assault by authoritarians. Oh and to call the Defence Scientific Advisory Council ‘independent’ is some new hitherto unknown definition of ‘independent’ that someone should call the OED about (cross reference with the IPCC).

Minijust Buggery

Apparently the media prefer Gitmo show trials and Archbishop bashing to y’know Big Brother ‘n’ shit, well the real Big Brother not the sadistic ‘reality’ teevee gameshow. Did you know Scottish lawyers treat this as routine?

LEADING Scottish criminal lawyers believe their conversations are routinely bugged by the security services and some have resorted to interviewing clients in streets and parks to avoid eavesdroppers, it emerged last night. Lawyers admit they have no hard evidence for their claims but simply assume MI5 is listening in to their conversations with terror suspects and other major criminals. Such is their level of cynicism about state surveillance, lawyers have told Scotland on Sunday there is no point complaining because the security services will simply find another way to spy on them.

This article from the Times suggests a conflict, the courts consider legally privileged discussion off limits, the government and the police think otherwise-

This weekend there were further claims that hundreds of lawyers had been bugged during visits to see their clients in British prisons. If it could be proved legally privileged conversations had been taped, then defence lawyers might move for cases to be retried.

While the extent of the surveillance might be surprising, it was not illegal. Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, senior police officers can authorise such bugging without a warrant from a government minister.

It also says this-

THE public are led to believe that surveillance and bugging are strictly controlled in Britain. Warrants must be obtained, permission given by ministers and safeguards met. A number of important-sounding watchdogs, such as the surveillance commissioner, report annually that the rules are being properly met and all is well.

The truth is that the law and standards for different types of surveillance vary enormously.

To bug your home telephone or e-mail in the UK, spies need a warrant authorised by a secretary of state, usually at the Home Office. About 1,800 such warrants are issued each year.

Many other methods of spying are permitted with far lower safeguards. Your car can be bugged on the authorisation of a senior officer in the security services or the police. Covert surveillance in a public place can be conducted just on the say-so of a senior officer. Informants can also be recruited on the authorisation of a senior officer.

There is more, it finishes with a roundup of UK surveillance where it says “the many forms of surveillance that make Britain ‘similar to Russia” (trust a Murdoch rag to get in a dig at the Soviets, decades out of date though it is!). I think maybe we are more like…well it looks like we might be world leaders in this. No one is like this, the technology makes this evolving authoritarian culture unique. Is this the British net curtain twitching tendency writ large into a totalitarian surveillance state? And there’s no denying Nulabour’s clear enthusiasm for this Panopticonism. Paddles, lack thereof, canoe, shit creek. Hello! George Orwell, he was British, we should be up on this shit. And what the fuck else is going on we don’t know about? They can shove their ID card up their fucking arse, this has to be stopped. Bring it Paddy my boy-

19th March, 5th Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion- Blogswarm

This March 19th will be 5 years of the Iraq war. Consequently the prescient GodlessLiberalHomo has come up with a blogswarm and inveigled me into helping getting it going. Neither he nor I own this, we’re just getting it going, this is everyone’s who wants to participate. So you may have questions, what is a blogswarm?

This blogswarm will promote blog postings opposing the war in Iraq and calling for a full withdrawal of foreign occupying forces in Iraq. Five years of an illegal and catastrophic war is five years too many. On the March 19 anniversary of the conquest of Iraq by the Bush Administration, there needs to be a loud volume of voices countering the pro-war propaganda from far too many politicians and corporate media outlets.

Q. How do I become involved?

Go to the swarm homeblog march19-blogswarm.blogspot.com and- Post a comment with your blog’s title and URL. If you join up by the fifth anniversary of mass actions against the war, February 15, 2008, you will be included in the listing of “Charter Blogs” displayed on the home blogs menu.

Q. Hey, how about some badges? I’m glad you asked-




You can just save them to your computer and post onto your blog linking to


…if you wish. Making up your own badges/promotions is heartily encouraged, which leads to…

Q. How do I help promote the blogswarm to make it an enormous chorus of disapproval for the Iraq war ? Well for now the basic approach is the well worn spreading the word by commenting on blogs you frequent/know of, leaving information about the blogswarm and including a link to the homeblog http://march19-blogswarm.blogspot.com/ and emailing your friends/contacts.

Q. What is the point? Wars are bad, we should be doing less of them. It isn’t rocket science. The blogswarm is not a replacement for other actions it is as well as anything else you might be doing. Around the 5th anniversary you can be sure the same people who lied us into this war will be unapologetically continuing their propaganda and unless we counter that there will be more conflict and more death. Specifically for Iraq it could mean a long term occupation that would most likely not end until the last drop of oil is sucked out of the ground, that would mean an unending insurgency and counter insurgency which is the dirtiest most brutal kind of warfare there is. Quite apart from the fact that the invasion was an illegal war of aggression and it continues killing people on all sides and causing generational damage in all those involved, from homeless veterans to traumatised children.

Q. And on the day? Write something or several somethings relevant to the the Iraq war, raise a chorus of voices. Let’s not be having to do this for the 10th anniversary. In fact this is an election year in the US, let’s not let year 6 go by without withdrawals.

Q. This question and answer format is a bit overused, unoriginal and tedious isn’t it? Quite possibly, just so long as you participate in countering the pro-war narrative, you really need to do nothing more than post about the Iraq war on/around the 19th March and notify http://march19-blogswarm.blogspot.com/ of it, so more people see your work and thoughts, ideas and passions are exchanged and shared. There are forces in the world who want war, people who rarely pay the price but often reap a profit, we can do better than let them run the Earth.

“Freedom of the press only applies to people who own printing presses. And now everyone with net access owns a printing press.”


Spread the Word.

The Writing On The Wall


Thanks to www.sendamessage.nl (click pic for bigger size) and you too can have any message you want sprayed on the wall by Palestinian artists for a bargain 30 euros (or equivalent dollars) up to 100 characters and all the proceeds go to NGO‘s, FAQ here. My mum will see this on Sunday and I am quietly confident I have cornered the more unusual end of the get well greetings market (ok it’s missing a second ‘as’ so sue me). Now, what other artefacts of oppression can I advertise on? (Crass, moi?)

Also a good opportunity to mention Chest Doc in Palestine again- In summer 2007, a UK doctor spent two weeks in the West Bank. This is his story. Really worth your time to read his account.
(ht2 People’s Geography)

UK ID ‘Coercion’ Document Leak

No 2 ID appeal for the leaked document to be mirrored so here it is on the internet archive (pdf annotated by NO2ID), now spread it around!

The Government is looking at using “coercion” tactics as a way of introducing the controversial ID card scheme, a leaked memo suggests. The Home Office document said that young people could be made to apply for an ID card when they applied for a driving licence.

Gordon Brown has always insisted that ID cards would remain voluntary unless Parliament decided otherwise. But the latest memo – headed Options Analysis – suggests that officials are already thinking about how they can be made compulsory.

It states: “Various forms of coercion, such as designation of the application process for identity documents issued by UK ministers (eg, passports) are an option to stimulate applications in a manageable way.

“There are advantages to designation of documents associated with particular target groups, eg, young people who may be applying for their first driving licence.” (ht2 Andrew & BoingBoing)

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Taking Liberties & The ID Card Resistance


Woohoo! ‘Taking Liberties’ (ht2 Dave @ Complex System of Pipes & Throw Away Your Telescreens) the entertaining doco on the UK’s descent into a police state has hit YouTube, using the spiffy autoplay feature the 11 parts begin and automatically load and play the next part for a seamless viewing experience. Click here to start watching.And now the dawn of the ID resistance, some time ago I pledged to this-

 “I will refuse to register for an ID card and will donate £10 to a legal defence fund but only if 10,000 other people will also make this same pledge” back in 2005. In fact 11360 other people also did.

So off goes my ten pounds (current US dollar value $8,326! Ok just kidding, the dollar could never collapse, oh no…) to the NO2ID peeps. Believe me if you watch ‘Taking Liberties’ it is actually very good to find there is something immediate to be done to halt the oncoming lockdown state, so I send my £10 (in fact £11 to cover paypal fees, be generous) with pleasure. Check out the NO2ID site and join the resistance here.

Nov 6th, Impeach Cheney Day

Yep, today Dennis Kucinich introduces a privileged resolution to have Vice President Richard B. Cheney impeached. The charges-

Cheney has purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States by fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the use of the United States Armed Forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security interests. 

Cheney purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States about an alleged relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda in order to justify the use of the United States Armed Forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security interests. 

Cheney has openly threatened aggression against the Republic of Iran absent any real threat to the United States, and done so with the United States proven capability to carry out such threats, thus undermining the national security of the United States. 

Cheney led a campaign of retribution against whistleblower Joseph Wilson, including the outing of a covert CIA operative.

Cheney led efforts to torture. 

Cheney played a key role in setting up illegal spying programs. 

Cheney led manipulation of pre-war intelligence.

Cheney created the secret Energy Task Force which operated in defiance of open-government laws.

Cheney’s lawyer, David Addington, advocated the “Unitary Executive Theory” which is used by the White House to defy laws duly enacted by Congress and thereby justify dictatorial action.

Cheney directed massive no-bid contracts to his company, Halliburton, and profitted from the same illegal war he defrauded the American public to launch.

Cheney increased the danger of climate change.

Cheney Suppressed Evidence in California Energy Crisis.

Read the Evidence.

Happy Guy Fawkes!

Wherein Britain celebrates a terrorist attack on its own parliament (ok it failed).

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.”

And today the government are hawking a big scary report there are 2,000 terrorist supporting scoundrels in the UK, which is wildly inaccurate because tonight there are millions! As Blairwatch wonders- New Draconian Anti-Terror Legislation On Its Way?

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They’re Coming Across The Atlantic To Kill You

All three companies [UnitedHealth, Aetna and Humana] figure prominently in Michael Moore’s new film Sicko, a compelling indictment of the US health system – under which 18,000 Americans die a year because they are uninsured. Hardly the ideal players, you might think, to take a central role in the reform of the National Health Service.

But it is precisely these three corporations, along with 11 other private firms including KPMG, McKinsey and Bupa, that the government this month announced have been lined up to advise on or even take over the commissioning of the bulk of NHS services. Primary care trusts, which control most of the NHS’s £90bn budget, will now be encouraged to buy in advice from the 14 selected companies on health needs, contracts and local provision. Potentially, these corporations could take over the management of the heart of the NHS.

…a mixture of market dogma, business lobbying and a revolving door syndrome that saw Simon Stevens, former adviser to Tony Blair and a succession of New Labour health secretaries, move effortlessly on to become European president of UnitedHealth.

Of course ethically it is entirely consistent when your life is threatened to defend yourself, just because their rationale is choosing increased profit over life saving medical treatment doesn’t make them any less a threat to life than overt terrorism. Killing with a spread sheet in tasteful business attire in fact makes them a more insidious menace. We shall fight them on the beaches etc. Join the resistance.

Also, John Pilger on Sicko.

The Church Of The Free Market: Larry Summers- Convert…& Die

Or: Capitalism- Paragon of Humanitarianism. Because you might not have read this at Lenin’s Tomb, or you may already have seen this (it is old news, but hey I can’t know everything) a memo from Lawrence Summers in ’91 then chief economist at the world bank-

DATE: December 12, 1991
TO: Distribution
FR: Lawrence H. Summers
Subject: GEP

‘Dirty’ Industries: Just between you and me, shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Less Developed Countries]? I can think of three reasons:

1) The measurements of the costs of health impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality. From this point of view a given amount of health impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.

2) The costs of pollution are likely to be non-linear as the initial increments of pollution probably have very low cost. I’ve always though that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City. Only the lamentable facts that so much pollution is generated by non-tradable industries (transport, electrical generation) and that the unit transport costs of solid waste are so high prevent world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste.

3) The demand for a clean environment for aesthetic and health reasons is likely to have very high income elasticity. The concern over an agent that causes a one in a million change in the odds of prostrate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostrate cancer than in a country where under 5 mortality is is 200 per thousand. Also, much of the concern over industrial atmosphere discharge is about visibility impairing particulates. These discharges may have very little direct health impact. Clearly trade in goods that embody aesthetic pollution concerns could be welfare enhancing. While production is mobile the consumption of pretty air is a non-tradable.

The problem with the arguments against all of these proposals for more pollution in LDCs (intrinsic rights to certain goods, moral reasons, social concerns, lack of adequate markets, etc.) could be turned around and used more or less effectively against every Bank proposal for liberalization.

{Mr. Summers, was appointed the U.S. Treasury Secretary on July 2nd, 1999, and served through the remainder of the Clinton Admistration. Afterwards, he was named president of Harvard University.}

He also thinks women are inferior to men, backed the shock treatment in Russia and ain’t so keen on black academics. So a great big pustulating cretin, and he is richer and far more powerful than almost all of us. Let that inform you of the nature of our ruling classes. We are a herd to be used…and culled.

Evo Morales Tells SOA/WHINSEC To Fuck Off!

Hell Yeah!

“We will gradually withdraw until there are no Bolivian officers attending the School of the Americas,” said Morales. Questioning the U.S. government’s foreign policy he noted that “they are teaching high ranking officers to confront their own people, to identify social movements as their enemies.”  

This is a great victory for torture survivors, social movement leaders and human rights activists of Bolivia and the Americas. The SOA/WHINSEC has played a significant role in Bolivia’s recent political history, Hugo Banzer Suarez, who ruled Bolivia from 1971-1978 under a brutal military dictatorship attended the school in 1956 and was later inducted into the school’s “hall of fame” in 1988. The SOA has trained tens of thousands of Bolivian military officers in the past fifty years. In October of 2006, two former graduates of the SOA/WHINSEC, Generals Juan Veliz Herrera and Gonzalo Rocabado Mercado were arrested on charges of torture, murder, and violation of the constitution for their responsibility in the death of 67 civilians in El Alto Bolivia during the “Gas Wars” of September-October 2003.

In March 2006 a School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) delegation led by Lisa Sullivan-Rodriguez, Salvadoran torture survivor Carlos Mauricio, and SOA Watch founder Father Roy Bourgeois met with President Evo Morales to request that Bolivia cease to send troops for training at the SOA/WHINSEC. -SOA Watch email bulletin

This is part of what Morales announced about removing the empires stormtroopers from Bolivian soil-

President Evo Morales said he expects U.S. military aid to Bolivia to stop soon, as his government plans to bar U.S. troops from assisting in anti-drug operations.

“Happily, it’s ending,” Morales told reporters at a news conference Tuesday night. “No foreigner in uniform will be operating here.”

Morales also suggested on Tuesday that Bolivia’s new constitution, now being drafted by a popularly elected assembly, should include a clause banning foreign military bases on Bolivian soil. 

Much is happening in Bolivia and all due to the empire’s grip being rejected-

The Cold War in South America was financed through the arms and drugs trade, although few cases became as well known as the “Iran-Contra affair” that involved the late US President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

The current Bolivian President, Evo Morales, puts it bluntly: “The Americans used the drug trade to infiltrate our countries. They brought cocaine to Bolivia, as here we only used to chew the coca from the times of the Incas.

“We believe in a democratic revolution, an indigenous revolution, to claim back our land and all of our natural resources.”

An intricate ideological struggle is taking place within the government that will determine the movement’s revolutionary identity. A coca peasant once told me that all his people wanted was a decent house, a job, their kids to go to school, just like everybody else.

Two years after President Morales came to power, the poorest peasants have free healthcare and literacy programmes have been set up across the country. A new constitution is being written that will ideally borrow less from the political systems of the West and more from the Inca traditions and political system, entirely based on the idea of community as opposed to the individual, and on the balance between man, nature and cosmos.

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