Denying the Obvious: Leftists and Crimestop

by Edward Curtin

And thus the U.S. left leadership sits in the left chamber of the hall of mirrors, complaining about conspiracy theories while closing its eyes to actual conspiracies crucial to contemporary imperialism.” Graeme MacQueen, Beyond Their Wildest Dreams: September 11, 2001 and the American Left

It is well known that effective propaganda works through slow, imperceptible repetition. “The slow building up of reflexes and myths” is the way Jacques Ellul put it in his classic, Propaganda. This works through commission and omission.
I was reminded of this recently after I published a newspaper editorial on Martin Luther King Day stating the fact that the United States’ government assassinated Dr. King. To the best of my knowledge, this was the only newspaper op-ed to say that. I discovered that many newspapers and other publications (with very rare exceptions), despite a plethora of articles and editorials praising King, ignored this “little” fact as if it were inconsequential. No doubt they wish it were, or that it were not true, just as many hoped that repeating the bromide that James Earl Ray killed Dr. King would reinforce the myth they’ve been selling for fifty years, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary that is available to anyone wishing to investigate the truth.
The general attitude seemed to be: Let’s just appreciate MLK on his birthday and get on with it. Don’t be a spoil-sport.
That this is the approach of the mainstream corporate media (MSM) should not be surprising, for they are mouthpieces for official government lies. But when the same position is taken by so many liberal and progressive intellectuals and publications who are otherwise severely critical of the MSM for their propaganda in the service of empire, it gives pause. Like their counterparts in the MSM, these liberals shower King with praise, even adding that he was more than a civil rights leader, that he opposed war and economic exploitation as well, but as to who killed him, and why, and why it matters today, that is elided.
Amy Goodman at Democracy Now in a recent piece about an upcoming documentary about King is a case in point. Not once in this long conversation about a film about the last few years of King’s life and his commitment to oppose the Vietnam War and launch the Poor People’s Campaign is the subject of who killed him and why broached. It is a perfect example of the denial of the truth through omission.
Propaganda, of course comes in many forms: big lies and small; half-truths, whispers, and rumors; slow-drip and headlong; misinformation and disinformation; through commission and omission; intentional and unintentional; cultural and political, etc. Although it is omnipresent today – 24/7 surround sound – when it comes from the mouths of government spokespeople or corporate media the average person, grown somewhat suspicious of official lies, has a slight chance of detecting it. This is far more difficult, however, when it takes the form of a left-wing critique of U.S. government policies that subtly supports official explanations through sly innuendos and references, or through omission.
Reading an encomium to Dr. King that attacks government positions on race, war, and economics from the left will often get people nodding their heads in agreement while they fail to notice a fatal flaw at the heart of the critique. The Democracy Now piece is a perfect example of this legerdemain.
I do not know the motivations or intentions of many prominent leftist intellectuals and publications, but I do know that many choose to avoid placing certain key historical events at the center of their analyses. In fact, they either avoid them like the plague, dismiss them as inconsequential, or use the CIA’s term of choice and call them “conspiracy theories” and their proponents “conspiracy nuts.” The result is a powerful propaganda victory for the power elites they say they oppose.
Orwell called it “Crimestop: [it] means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short means protective stupidity.”
There are many fine writers and activists who are very frustrated by their inability, despite a vast and continuous outpouring of excellent critiques of the machinations of the oligarchical rulers of the U.S., to convince people of the ways they have been brainwashed by government/media propaganda. Most of their anger is directed toward the most obvious sources of this intricate psychological warfare directed at the American people. They often fail to realize, however – or fail to say – that there are leftists in their ranks who, whether intentionally or not, are far more effective than the recognized enemies in government intelligence agencies and their corporate accomplices in the media in convincing people that the system works and that it is not run by killers who will go to any lengths to achieve their goals.
These leftist critics, while often right on specific issues that one can agree with, couch their critiques within a framework that omits or disparages certain truths without which nothing makes sense. By truths I do not mean debatable matters, but key historical events that have been studied and researched extensively by reputable scholars and have been shown to be factual, except to those who fail to fairly do their homework, purposely or through laziness.
There is no way to understand today’s world without confronting four key historical events out of which spring today’s conditions of oligarchic rule, constant war, and the growth of an intelligence apparatus that makes Orwell’s 1984 look so anachronistic.
They are: the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK by elements within the U.S. intelligence services, and the insider attacks of September 11, 2001. These are anathema to a group of very prominent left-wing intellectuals and liberal publications. It is okay for them to attack Bush, Obama, Clinton, Trump, the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders, liberals in general, creeping fascism, capitalism, the growth of the intelligence state, etc.; but to accept, or even to explore fairly in writing, what I assert as factual above, is verboten. Why?
When President Kennedy was murdered by the CIA, the United States suffered a coup d’état that resulted in years of savage war waged against Vietnam, resulting in millions of Vietnamese deaths and tens of thousands of American soldiers. The murder of JFK in plain sight sent a message in clear and unambiguous terms to every President that followed that you toe the line or else. They have toed the line. The message from the coup planners and executioners was clear: we run the show. They have been running it ever since.
When Martin Luther King declared his opposition to the Vietnam War and joined it to his espousal of a civil rights and an anti-capitalist program, he had to go. So they killed him.
Then, when the last man standing who had a chance to change the direction of the coup – Robert Kennedy – seemed destined to win the presidency, he had to go. So they killed him.
To ignore these foundational state crimes for which the evidence is so overwhelming and their consequences over the decades so obvious – well, what explanation can leftist critics offer for doing so?
And then there are the attacks of September 11, 2001, the fourth foundational event that has brought us to our present abominable condition. One has to be very ignorant to not see that the official explanation is a fiction conjured up to justify an endless “war on terror” planned as perhaps the prelude to the use of nuclear weapons, those weapons that JFK in the last year of his life worked so hard to eliminate after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
In refusing to connect the dots from November 22, 1963 through April 4 and June 5 1968 and September 11, 2001 until today, prominent leftists continue to do the work of Crimestop. For the moment I will leave it to readers to identify who they are, and the numerous leftist publications that support their positions. There are two famous left-wing American intellectuals, one dead and one living, who are often intoned to support this work of propaganda by omission: Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, both of whom dismissed the killing of JFK and the attacks of September 11 as inconsequential and not worthy of their attention. They have quite a few protégés whose work you probably read and agree with, despite the void at the heart of their critiques. Why they avoid accepting the truth and significance of the four events I have mentioned, only they can say. That they do is easy to show, as are the dire consequences for a united front against the deep-state forces intent on reducing this society and the world to rubble because of their refusal to confront the systemic evil that they render unspeakable by their acquiescence to government propaganda.
In his groundbreaking book on the assassination of John Kennedy, JFK And The Unspeakable: Why He Died & Why It Matters, James Douglass quotes his guide into the dark underworld of radical evil and our tendency to turn away from its awful truths, the Trappist Monk Thomas Merton, who said of the Unspeakable:

“It is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said; the void that gets into the language of public and official declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss.”

Can you hear it on your left?


Edward Curtin teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His writing on varied topics has appeared widely over many years. He writes as a public intellectual for the general public, not as a specialist for a narrow readership. He believes a non-committal sociology is an impossibility and therefore sees all his work as an effort to enhance human freedom through understanding. His website is edwardcurtin.com

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Edward Curtin teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His writing on varied topics has appeared widely over many years. He writes as a public intellectual for the general public, not as a specialist for a narrow readership. He believes a non-committal sociology is an impossibility and therefore sees all his work as an effort to enhance human freedom through understanding. His website is edwardcurtin.com

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flaxgirl
Reader

These leftist critics, while often right on specific issues that one can agree with, couch their critiques within a framework that omits or disparages certain truths without which nothing makes sense.

To me, this sentence is so very, very key. These truths are essential, easily recognisable but ignored and without them, it’s a bit of a “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing” exercise.

intergenerationaltrauma
Reader

Excellent post by Curtin. I would also add the name of Malcolm-X to his list of important assassinations carried out either by the government itself, or in Malcolm’s case, most likely “facilitated” by the FBI “through” the Nation of Islam, in typical COINTELPRO fashion. This is how the FBI set up the Black Panthers and United Slaves in a shooting war, and sewed dissension within the American Indian Movement. “No drugs,” “Any means necessary” increasingly internationalist Malcolm was no doubt seen as a clear and present danger to the U.S. establishment.

Edward Curtin
Reader
Edward Curtin

Yes, Malcolm X should be there. I left him out for brevity sake – probably a mistake. Thanks.

Matt
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Matt

My view is the exact opposite. We saw how the anti-imperialist Left promoted conspiracy theories in tandem with the alt-Right, like the Seth Rich hoax, PizzaGate, etc. And the alt-left fell hard for the Russian state media’s anti-Ukrainian propaganda, suddenly becoming experts on the country’s socio-political history overnight. Not to mention the 9/11 and the “Zionists did it!” conspiracy theories. But two examples stand out to me above all: The first is the promotion of Russian imperialism by self-proclaimed “anti-imperialists”. Several alt-left websites, which mainly rely on Russian nationalist media, have written articles and posted memes about how Ukraine “isn’t… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

Not to mention the 9/11 and the “Zionists did it!” conspiracy theories. People who speak disparagingly about “9/11 conspiracy theories”, without bothering to notice that the Official Story, of four airplanes being simultaneously hijacked by order of an evil mastermind living in a cave in Afghanistan, is itself a “conspiracy theory”, are necessarily either dupes or shills, either the victims or the instruments of a CIA psychological warfare campaign. In what follows, I shall attempt to reorient analysis of the phenomenon that has been assigned the derisive label of “conspiracy theory.” In a 2006 peer-reviewed journal article, I introduced the… Read more »

Thomas Peterson
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Thomas Peterson

“Around a dozen or so contradictory conspiracy theories were pumped out by Russia shortly after MH17 came down.”
By the Russian government? No they werent.

Hannah Edmonds
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Hannah Edmonds

That’s right, the Rus government never offered any theory. But the western media has persuaded many many decent people this is what happened. It’s just a lie, but people believe it.

Nancy Grayson
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Nancy Grayson

Anyone can use loaded language in place of facts and argument. Just calling something a “conspiracy theory” doesn’t mean anything and no one falls for that sort of propaganda, especially not a sophisticated audience of the sort you’ll find here, so if that’s a rhetorical device I would let it go in favor of something less in your face. If it’s not a rhetorical device you should be asking yourself why you are thinking in memes, and why you need to bolster your sense of certitude with these redundancies. FYI Ukraine really isn’t a “real” country, in the sense it… Read more »

Matt
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Matt

“Anyone can use loaded language in place of facts and argument. Just calling something a “conspiracy theory” doesn’t mean anything.” When a country makes multiple, contradictory claims, based off of zero evidence, then yes, it is perfectly right to call them “conspiracy theories”. You mostly rely on RT and maybe some other pro-Kremlin blogs for your Russian news. You have no clue what the Russian media tells its citizens, nor are you aware of the contradictions by Russia. Remember the SU-25 theory? What happened to that? Because the Russian government tried implying that was what shot down MH17. Then they… Read more »

Hannah Edmonds
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Hannah Edmonds

Imperialism comes in many forms and involves the subjugation of nations Sure thing, but what nations does Russia currently subjugate? It only has two military bases outside its own territory, both in former Soviet republics. Its own different cultures and ethnic groups are treated with total tolerance under the current government. I am just at a loss at where you see subjugation. When a country makes multiple, contradictory claims, based off of zero evidence, then yes, it is perfectly right to call them “conspiracy theories” “Conspiracy theory” doesn’t = “contradictory claim”. A conspiracy theory is a theory involving conspiracy. The… Read more »

Matt
Reader
Matt

Hello Hannah, Sure thing, but what nations does Russia currently subjugate? It only has two military bases outside its own territory, both in former Soviet republics. Its own different cultures and ethnic groups are treated with total tolerance under the current government. I am just at a loss at where you see subjugation. It’s adventures in Ukraine would qualify as subjugation. The Russian government never made a single claim about how MH17 was shot down. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the Kremlin’s own website. You have to look at sources from both sides t get balance. The SU-25… Read more »

MLS
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MLS

And this holds true for many modern day countries. That doesn’t mean that Russia should interfere Why not? Eastern Ukraine attempted peaceful solutions for many months. They sent deputations to Kiev to ask for guarantees of language rights etc. The Kiev govt refused to hear them. They peacefully protested in the streets and the Kiev govt sent in armed police. They occupied govt buildings in protest and the Kiev govt declared a War on Terror against them. This was so unconstitutional most of the regular army (those who hadn’t already quit after the coup) laid down their arms an refused… Read more »

Matt
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Matt

Hi MLS, Russia didn’t like that Ukraine broke free of its grip. It needed Ukraine to be under control so it could maintain a buffer and use Crimea. Hence, it annexed Crimea with the BS excuse that it was under attack by hordes of Nazis. The same excuse was made about the new Ukrainian government. The Russian state media, including useful idiot “anti-imperialist” blogs repeated the claim that Ukraine is a “fake country”, etc. That’s irredentism – classic imperialism. Regarding Julia Davis, she is the only person in the English-language internet who regularly watches Russian media and quotes them, always… Read more »

Admin
Reader

No they didn’t. They began occupying government buildings, on orders from Russia, mere weeks after the Crimean annexation. Kiev sent in armed police to prevent a Russian takeover of E. Ukraine with “little green men.” Should they have repeated the same mistake as with Crimea? This is factually incorrect even according to western news sources.The peaceful petitions sent from Donbass to Kiev that were ignored, the peaceful protests in Donbass, the mass defections in the military after being told to fire on unarmed civilians and the subsequent use by Kiev of right wing militia in the ATO is all well… Read more »

MLS
Reader
MLS

I follow Julia Davis on Twitter, who watches Russian state TV everyday. From what I’ve seen, they invite a token opposition member and then the hosts, along with the audience and other panelists, proceed to badger him/her. Not to mention the blatant lying that goes on

This Julia Davis?

Is she a reliable and objective source?

MLS
Reader
MLS

It’s adventures in Ukraine would qualify as subjugation.

How?

Big B
Reader
Big B

Excellent comment Hannah, I couldn’t endorse it more – “In real world terms currently Russia is doing less harm in the world than the western powers.” Exactly: in its various neocon, Russophobe, and Sinophobe military policy and posture reviews (NSS{Draft}; NDS; and NPR) …the US imperium has shown its hand in a militaristic proliferation, conventional and nuclear, and the ease with which the neocons contemplate a containable and winnable nuclear war. There is no subtext: this is spelled out, for the hard of thinking, in black and white. The corresponding Russian ‘posture’ review makes abundantly clear that they would not… Read more »

flaxgirl
Reader

Too right, Nancy. Matt, to my mind your post indicates cliched thinking. PizzaGate is no conspiracy theory. The elephant-in-the-room question is, “Why has no one asked John Podesta what the code in the emails means? – no one can deny there is some sort of code here. https://medium.com/@kimholleman/has-anyone-actually-asked-john-podesta-to-explain-the-emails-with-pedophile-code-words-c28324c43863 And one has to ask the question: Why on earth were TWO e-fits of allegedly ONE suspect released 5 years after Madeleine McCann’s “disappearance” each of which resembled one of the Podesta brothers, John and Tony, with no action taken on these e-fits? Scroll to bottom – https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3408355/chilling-e-fits-of-suspects-wanted-in-the-hunt-for-madeleine-mccann-over-the-10-years-since-she-vanished/. It really puzzled me… Read more »

flaxgirl
Reader

And just to add that not questioning Podesta about the seeming code is EXACTLY the phenomenon in the title of this article: Crimestop. Even if Podesta were to come back with some plausible explanation for why there is, in fact, no code, THE QUESTION ABOUT IT IS RIGHT THERE and it hasn’t been asked.
Also, in her article (first link in comment above), Kim talks about Podesta’s kind of Freudian slip in using the word “subterranean” when describing Pizzagate as fake news. However, according to the phenomenon that the power elite are always giving us clues, this could easily be deliberate.

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

Ray McGovern contacted Amy Goodman of Democracy Now about the reporting of Ahed Tamimi slapping an Israeli soldier; He pointed out that she omitted to mention that the girl’s cousin had just been shot by soldiers intruding into her home and village. Apparently, she ignored him and reported the same information the next day. I was loathed to post this as I feel slightly that we are doing the establishment’s work when we attack journalists known for their excellent work but if this is crimestop then it needs to be highlighted. On a totally facetious (playful with an edge) note,… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

we are doing the establishment’s work when we attack journalists known for their excellent work
Here’s some more excellent work from Ford-Foundation-funded Amy Goodman. Watch as she investigates what’s really going on in Syria by interviewing a New York Times reporter who admittedly hasn’t been in the country for over a year, while a White Helmets propaganda video loops continuously in the background.
These, of course, are the kind of reliable sources that serious leftists should get their information and opinions from. Or at least, that’s what excellent journalists like Amy Goodman would like us to believe.

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

Damn, just when I thought it was safe to come out of the cupboard……

mog
Reader
mog

I have been struggling with this issue in my mind again recently. As we seem to be at a point where many so-called Left progressives are actively promoting imperialist propaganda and pushing us toward global war, all the while denouncing critics as ‘conspiracy theorists-Russian trolls-Trump supporters’ – we are at a point where ‘Crimestop’ seems to be threatening humanity. I read a few pieces by Richard Seymour recently, trying to get a flavour for how a well read intellectual of the Marxist Left approaches an interpretation of ‘deep events’. http://www.leninology.co.uk/2007/07/ones-divine-incipience.html He certainly has studied the context of parapolitical history, and… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

In his writing on 9/11, Seymour challenges just one single evidential point, one that is moot anyway, then returns to arguments based upon the assumption that all factual challenges can thereby be disregarded. This is fraudulent argumentation. He must be following Noam Chomsky’s excellent example. What would happen to Richard Seymour’s (or Monbiot’s) comfortable job writing for the Guardian, if he were to seriously address the 9/11 evidence? How many fraudulent arguments must someone present, before it would be reasonable to conclude that they are themselves a fraud? “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

Noam Chomsky’s excellent example

flaxgirl
Reader

It’s absurd. A priori, an uncontrolled building collapse by fire is easily distinguishable from a collapse by controlled demolition. WTC-7’s “collapse-by-fire” is the greatest case of the Emperor’s New Clothes the world has ever known. The gatekeepers simply do not want to know the truth just as the majority of the rest of the population doesn’t. The truth is too inconvenient, way more inconvenient than the truth of man-made climate change. Until 2014, when I happened to watch JFK to 9/11 Everything is a Rich Man’s Trick I didn’t believe 9/11 was an inside job, however, it only took a… Read more »

milosevic
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milosevic

mog
Reader
mog

typo : ‘STRUCTURES’ …. I note that Novaramedia as a prime example of new Left online journalism is continuing the tradition of promoting the same intellectually bankrupt tropes : http://novaramedia.com/2018/02/05/free-speech-and-freemasons/ Bastani as well : Articles and tweets from Novara promote the notion that 9/11 Truth is principally a phenomenon of the alt Right. Like Monbiot’s conflation of 911 inquiries with climate change denial, this is- before anything else- counterfactual. Look at the researchers who actually tried to draw our attention to critiques of the 9/11 Commission, they were pretty far from the Trumpery brigade. Griffin, for example has written a… Read more »

mog
Reader
mog

Don’t know what has happened there.
Bastani on Watson uses same ‘tin foil hat’ meme and infers same adherence to 9/11 Commission Report.
Look it up on Youtube if interested.
Shameful.

lordbollomofthegrange
Reader

Geez, no control of links. Bastani on Tom Watson

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

1984 was both antifascist and anticommunist although it’s pretty obvious the world realised in Orwell’s masterpiece was inspired primarily by Stalin’s Soviet Union, yet it is elements on the right who have been responsible for taking us to the brink of another trans-global catastrophe, and who have manufactured the sort of media landscape that is absolutely nailed in Curtin’s astute analysis. So from this point of view one might have thought left-wing intellectuals would be like yapping dogs after each act of right-wing infamy, not least because the deep state in the USA has progressed from taking out prominent political… Read more »

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

I’ve taught Orwell’s 1984 many times. I think the establishment viewpoint mostly taught within our indoctrination system, sorry, education system, that it refers to the USSR is a propaganda falsehood. Many, many people haven’t read the book and many, many, people accept the establishment view of communism – so it is easy to push them into accepting this trope.
Orwell was a left wing intellectual and I think he saw exactly how 1984 would come about and how his ‘class’ would slowly morph into the controlling system – I don’t think he would be surprised.

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

Orwell’s views about the communists, and in particular Stalin changed irrevocably after his experiences in Spain.
Don’t forget when Orwell went to fight in the civil war he joined a Marxist group (POUM) rather than the International Brigade – by the end of the conflict communists were hunting down POUM members and killing or imprisoning them.
“As time went on, the Communists and the POUM wrote more bitterly about one another than about the Fascists.”
― George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

The POUM were anarcho-syndicalists, not communists. That’s why the communists hated them so much.

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

We are straying deep into anorak territory now, but I said POUM were Marxists (not communists).
In Spanish POUM stands for ‘Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista’, or in English, the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification.
I suppose the substantive point is that factionalism on the left led to a clash with pro-Stalin, communist forces.

TS
Reader
TS

Wrong: the POUM was an anti-Stalinist communist party.
You are probably thinking of the CNT union and the associated FAI, which were anarcho-syndicalist.

Paul
Reader
Paul

With Orwell it’s hard to forget his list of 87 subversives he gave to the spooks. Many had their lives ruined by intelligence services interfering in their lives and careers, especially the Communist academics with whom Orwell buddied. He reverted to his old occupation as a Colonial police officer. No wonder he became a Hero of the liberals.

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

Surely we need a bit of context before depicting Orwells motives in such crass terms (a man with an inner copper wanting to appease the establishment according to your take). Don’t forget he was a man who fought and nearly died for his beliefs. Timothy Ash Garton presents an alternative as to why he might have did what he did? “George Orwell was lying in a sanatorium in the Cotswolds, very ill with the TB that would kill him within a year. That winter, he had worn himself out in a last effort to retype the whole manuscript of 1984,… Read more »

Paul
Reader
Paul

Orwell’s victims and their families, subject to surveillance and all the rest of it, should have seen their sacrifice as part of the war against Russia? They saw it as snitching on ex-comrades in a way that became familiar in East Germany with the Stasi.

rtj1211
Reader
rtj1211

The motivation of prominent Leftists was summarised superbly by the appalling Emily Thornberry QC on BBC’s Question Time this week: ‘All I am interested in is Power’. A female QC MP representing the poor, dispossessed and marginalised? Get real…..she plays the game like the rest of them. The theory goes that without power you can achieve nothing. The reality in a world where power is misused is that by obsessing about gaining power, your actions betray your ideals and gradually, long before you acquire power, you accept the Rules of the Game. Once you do that, any chance your original… Read more »

flaxgirl
Reader

This article captures so well what I believe it nearly made me cry. 10 stars.

Brutally Remastered
Reader
Brutally Remastered

The author fails in his one theme. There is a link to at least two of his examples; JFK and the Twin Towers and also extends to Syria. The current crisis in DC and the stupifying negligence of the MSM regarding same are in this chain.
Look at the names, the names. What links them?

archie1954
Reader

The US is a grossly dysfunctional nation with a dystopian future ahead of it. This din’t have to be the case but, but Americans as a whole are amazingly insouciant. They just can’t drum up the interest to correct the direction their nation is heading. Unfortunate but true.

Big B
Reader
Big B

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated.” – Martin Luther King Jr. MLK was murdered because he stood against – and was actively participating in the organisation of the dismantling of – the two central columns of American culture: war and capitalism. But beside the anti-war; anti-capitalist; anti-racist tenets to his practical philosophy: there was a another central pillar, the unifying principle of his deep seated religious conviction that remains under-reported to this day …his ecological thinking. The ultimate remedy to crimestop: the saving of the left: and the environment …is to reclaim MLK’s legacy from… Read more »

flaxgirl
Reader

Great comment, Big B. Almost prepared to forgive you over the Seth Rich hoax – I truly am kidding 🙂

BigB
Reader
BigB

Also under-reported and under-estimated was the influence of another peace activist and Nobel Laureate – the Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. It was he who persuaded MLK to broaden his focus to encompass the anti-war movement (against the advice of many of the the Civil Rights leaders.) His teaching encompasses “interbeing”, the inter-relatedness of humanity and nature. IMHO, between them, writing before the ecology movement of the 70s …they tapped into the fundamental force for peace: our shared commonality and humanity. That is what made their actions and words plenipotential: they were backed by the full force of nature.… Read more »

TS
Reader
TS

That Thich Nhat Hanh collaborated with MLK was entirely new to me.
But from an encounter with him I knew that he was far more than another Oriental guru for Westerners looking for exotic teachings.

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

Thic Nhat Hanh was actually once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by MLK:

Later that year, Dr. King nominated Nhất Hạnh for the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize. In his nomination Dr. King said, “I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of [this prize] than this gentle monk from Vietnam. His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity”.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Thai wrote to MLK in 1965 to tell him about the immeasurable human suffering caused by the Vietnam War. He wrote “You are fighting for human rights. We are struggling for peace. We are in the same front. We should join together.” They only met twice, it was two days after there final meeting that MLK gave his first searing condemnation of the war in his revolutionary anti-war speech at the Riverside Church. Collaboration might be a strong word, but they certainly deeply influenced each other. Thai called MLK a “Bodhisattva” – which is good enough for me!
http://www.stillwatermpc.org/dharma-topics/thich-nhat-hanh-martin-luther-king-jr-and-the-dreams-we-hold-3/
http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_beyond_vietnam_4_april_1967/

BigB
Reader
BigB

Erratum: the speech at Riverside was not his “first” anti-war speech: but it was his “most” searing condemnation. Also, above: MLK nominated Thai for the Nobel Peace Price in 1967; but it was not awarded that year. So, in my dotage, I appear to have awarded Thai the Nobel Prize he undoubtedly deserved …but never actually won.

labrebisgalloise
Reader

I don’t doubt that all these claims may well be true but it is very likely that no one will ever be able to prove it. A similar campaign is almost certainly underway today; the very same “dark forces” (for want of a better expression) you allude to are attempting to overturn the democratic will of the British people as expressed when they voted to leave the European Union. They will probably attempt to assassinate Jeremy Corbyn should he ever come near the levers of power. It is entirely possible that they killed Hugo Chavez and many others whose deaths… Read more »

flaxgirl
Reader

What do you mean can’t prove it? Easiest thing in the world to prove that 9/11 was an inside job with the collapse of WTC-7 by controlled demolition. And JFK also very easy to prove – for goodness sake – the Mafiosi involved in the conspiracy have come out and admitted it. I know shamefully nothing about the other two events but certainly those two are easily proved … and have been proven, in fact. If you watch JFK to 9/11 Everything is a Rich Man’s Trick and you don’t think the assassination of JFK by a conspiracy involving government… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

Paul
Reader
Paul

There is a Left of sorts in the US as we saw with support for Sanders. The real culprits are the Democrats who are more Right Wing than the British Tories. They have no real opposition to the policies of Trump because they are very much what they would do. In desperation they chose to attack him on the basis he was some sort of secret Russian agent, an absurdity. When Trump sent 57 Tomahawk missiles to a Syrian air base last year Mrs Clinton immediately complained he was being “soft” and she would have bombed ALL Syrian air bases… Read more »

Alan
Reader
Alan

What would the author have Ms Goodman or Mr Chomsky say and for what purpose? Their not proclaiming a very risky message doesn’t undermine their overall work, it just means they aren’t saying what we would like to hear.

intergenerationaltrauma
Reader

Alan – there is a very real difference in “not saying” anything about 9/11 say, or not talking about the theatre of the absurd – “magic bullet” Warren Commission – and instead making very disparaging remarks about any who question the official story of these events. I have watched video of Chomsky literally morph into a spot-on Glenn Beck impersonation (irrational, evidence-free, ranting) when simply asked about the possibility that 9/11was carried out with government complicity. I’ve also read comments by several Counterpunch editors, made as asides in articles about unrelated topics, that simply take clear shots at and dismiss… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

When do you hear any discussion of 9/11 or false flags on DN? Instead we get totally fictional war propaganda (“Gaddafi’s viagra fueled rape camps”) come to mind. No, remaining silent is one thing.
Let nobody accuse Amy Goodman of remaining silent. What a disgusting imperialist shill she is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNcLUxsubqo

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

Sadly, CounterPunch was once a worthwhile publication. But it’s now rapidly moving in the direction of HuffPo.

flaxgirl
Reader

And just to add … if other intellectuals such as Graeme MacQueen and David Ray Griffin can come out why can’t Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman?

flaxgirl
Reader

Couldn’t disagree more with you on that. I don’t think you grasp the import of the article.

Brutally Remastered
Reader
Brutally Remastered

Er, it is pretty difficult to trust them if they avoid, by omission, some rather basic questions. Try talking to someone who practices this regularly: it will drive you mad.

tubularsock
Reader

EXCELLENT! What you don’t know, WILL kill you!

Joseph W. Walker
Reader
Joseph W. Walker

In this case, what you do know and say will also kill you.

mohandeer
Reader

It’s far worse than even Ed Curtin reasons in this article. If the Left continue to pour out articles the Pentagon would be proud of in writing the case for US foreign interventionism, more people will be walking away from Socialism as a lost cause or as false socialism.

Paul
Reader
Paul

But the Left is not the Democrat Party. Never was, never will be.

mohandeer
Reader

Reblogged this on Worldtruth.