Tag Archives: war

The Early History of the Robot Wars, Part IV

9 May

In which we discuss the possibility of autonomous AI class warfare, mullets as resistance, Big Brother iPhones, the Kaczynski-bot  and other shit of great and creepy importance.nuR4V

by Russ McSpadden / Carbon-based humanoid correspondent for the King Ludd & John Connor Institute of Anti-Technology

Roboter Proletarier Aller Länder Vereinigt Euch!

Etymologists trace the word robot back to robota  from old Church Slavonic, a language standardized by Byzantine Greeks in the 9th Century to Christianize the Slavic peoples. It translates variously as “servitude,” “forced labor” and “drudgery.” With cognates in German, Polish, Russian and Czech, it is a word rooted in the European system of serfdom whereby bonded tenants paid rent through forced labor, maintaining the crops, roads, mines and forests of a lordly class. So, if you are slinging double fudge yuppie lattes against your will to pay for the right to have water, food, and shelter, then you are, according to its classic usage, a fucking robot. You know the feeling right? Continue reading

Puerto Rico Struggles With Contamination 10 Years After Activists Expel U.S. Navy

2 May

Cross Posted from Democracy Now!:

“While the cleanup has taken 10 years so far, the U.S. military is only scratching the surface.” – Vieques activist

 

On the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, thousands are commemorating the 10th anniversary of when the U.S. Navy stopped using their home as a bombing range. Since the 1940s, the Navy used nearly three-quarters of the island for bombing practice, war games and dumping old munitions. The bombing stopped after campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience, but the island continues to suffer. At the current cleanup rate, the Navy says, it will take until 2025 to remove all the environmental damage left by more than 60 years of target practice. A fisherman recently discovered a giant unexploded bomb underwater. The island of about 10,000 people also lacks a hospital to treat illnesses such as asthma and cancer that may be attributed to the military’s former bombing activity. “We believe the military is really not interested in cleaning up Vieques and rather interested in continuing to punish Vieques for having thrown the U.S. Navy out in 2003,” says Robert Rabin of the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques. “This is a process that we believe is happening with no real supervision, no genuine community participation.”

Monsanto’s Dirty War

12 Apr

by Zach Kaldveer and Ronnie Cummins / Counterpunchmonsanto3

The biotech industry, led by Monsanto, will soon descend on the state of Washington to try their best to defeat I-522, a citizens’ ballot initiative to require mandatory labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Voters should prepare themselves for an onslaught of discredited talking points, nonsensical red herrings, and outright lies designed to convince voters that they shouldn’t have the right to know what’s in the food they eat.

Topping the biotech industry’s propaganda playlist will no doubt be this old familiar tune: that requiring retailers to verify non-GMO ingredients in order to label them will be burdensome and costly, and the additional cost will be passed on to consumers who are already struggling to feed their families. Continue reading

‘Nintendo Medal’ for Military Drone Pilots

6 Mar

by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News

[The text of this work is free to share and distribute under the following Creative Commons License CC-BY-ND 3.0]

Department of Defense

Department of Defense

The U.S. has a growing corps of cyber-warriors and drone pilots who target human populations with bomb strapped drones. Now  the Pentagon is commending their all-too-real virtual combat with a new medal.

Last month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta approved the military’s first new combat medal in nearly a century. The Distinguished Warfare Medal is bestowed to  individuals in recognition of “extraordinary contributions” to combat operations conducted from afar.

In the military hierarchy of honor, the new ‘lethal gamer’ medal is the eighth highest award behind the Medal of Honor.

Some are calling it the “Chair-borne Medal,” “the Nintendo Medal,” “the Purple Buttocks,” and the “Distant Warfare Medal,” demeaning the computer-based iWarriors because they are not exposed to imminent mortal danger like traditional combat soldiers. A growing alliance of veterans groups and politicians are lobbying the Pentagon and President Obama to downgrade the award, which is ahead of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart in terms of distinction.

Regardless of the kerfuffle over the proper accolades for the military’s deadly computer nerd-core, little argument has been put forward questioning the ethics of bestowing an honorary trinket on a group of techno-assassins that spy on and bomb suspected terrorists, American citizens, wedding parties and children from the comfort of a computer screen.

Read more on techno-monstrosities in McSpadden’s “The Early History of the Robot Wars” Part 1 and Part 2

Beautiful Justice: Prayers for Roadkill

16 Jan

Cross posted from Deep Green Resistance News Service

By Ben Barker / Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin

I don’t know how this opossum died. There were no predator marks on thImage by Colin Purringtone body, and the middle of a highly frequented trail seems a peculiar place to make a death bed. Something forced this situation. Maybe it’s the poisons put on lawns, or the fact that this half-acre of trees is surrounded on all sides by cars and roads and houses. Opossums are indigenous to this land and under assault as surely as indigenous human cultures are. In the native Powhatan language, opossum is derived from the word apasum, which means “white animal.” They’ve long been the largest population of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere. But now, civilization encroaches upon the homes of all nonhumans, and opossums, despite adapting as scavengers, now struggle against a massive decrease in food and habitat.

The opossum deserved more. The passing of life into death deserves a deep respect and commemoration. There’s nothing so humbling. This is what is missing in the dominant culture, and what we all need to learn once again. If I could go back in time, and if I had the words, this is what I wish I had said. Continue reading

Filthy War Machine: US Military Industrial Complex, World’s Worst Polluter

2 Oct

The United States Military, the Pentagon. Most fossil fuel burned, most greenhouse gases released, biggest source of Mercury released into the environment, biggest source of radiological (Uranium, Plutonium) releases and the biggest amount of HAZMAT materials released into rivers, lakes, oceans and the environment and the biggest discarder of medical waste pollution — worldwide.

Retired professor and prolific author Barry Sanders spent a long time looking closely at the US Military where others hadn’t: he looked at the environmental effects and the sheer devastation that the military leaves in its wake. He compiled a frightening collection of numbers into his book The Green Zone. The Earth First! Journal interviewed him back in 2009. The devastation continues. relates in today’s OpEdNews article, Army That Poisons Together Metastasizes Together — Cruelly and Unusually, the ecological damage of the world’s most destructive force…

US Military pollution gets little notice, as the Pentagon is exempt from the US EPA-reporting criteria. Lead from firing ranges, Uranium from so-called “Depleted” Uranium munitions pollute land, lakes and streams and oceans both domestically and overseas; but the US military is exempt from US EPA Superfund regulations. Continue reading

Geronimo’s Name Used in bin Laden Operation an Insult to Indigenous Resistance

6 May

The code name “Geronimo”, used during the US navy seals special operation that resulted in the reported death of Usama bin Laden, references the 19th-century Chiracahua Apache who spent his life fighting the encroachment of the states of Mexico and the US. into indigenous territory.

Geronimo (right) with a group of Apache in northern Mexico in 1886

Despite valiant bravery against the well armed militarys’ of the two imperialist nations, Geronimo was eventually captured by US forces in 1886. He and other Apache captives were transported as prisoners to Fort Pickens, in Pensacola, Florida, and his family was sent to Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida. Geronimo died, unable to return to his homeland, in 1909.

Upon hearing the use of Geronimo’s name as the code word for Usama bin Laden, several Native American activist groups have voiced their outrage.

The Navy Seals who killed bin Laden dispatched this message soon after: “Geronimo E-KIA.” E stands for enemy.

Time magazine reported the use of Geronimo’s name in the operation as follows:

The President sat stone-faced through much of the events. Several of his aides, however, were pacing. For long periods of time, nobody said a thing, as everyone waited for the next update. … So when word came that a helicopter had been grounded, a sign that the plan was already off course, the tension increased.

Minutes later, more word came over the transom. “Visual on Geronimo,” said a disembodied voice, using the agreed-upon code name for America’s most wanted enemy, Osama bin Laden. Word then came that Geronimo had been killed. Only when the last helicopter lifted off some minutes later did the President know that his forces had sustained no casualties.

According to CIA Director Leon Panetta:

Once those teams went into the compound, I can tell you that there was a time period of almost 20 or 25 minutes where we — you know, we really didn’t know just exactly what was going on. And there were some very tense moments as we were waiting for information. But finally, Adm. McRaven came back and said that he had picked up the word “Geronimo,” which was the code word that represented that they got bin Laden.

Comparing the legendary Apache leader to a terrorist and enemy of the United States was deeply insulting and did real damage to Native Americans of all ages, said Suzan Shown Harjo to the Associated Press. She is president of the Morning Star Institute, a Washington-based Native rights organization.

“It is shocking, really shocking, that this happened,” said Harjo, a member of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.

“Our names are stolen and then we’re renamed in order to control us, frankly,” she told the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

In a post in Indian Country Lise Baik King described the use of the name Geronimo as an attack on Native America.

Geronimo as a U.S. prisoner in 1905

The “bin Laden is dead” news story will make thousands of impressions on the minds of people around the globe, and the name Geronimo will now be irrevocably linked with the world’s most reviled terrorist.

Potentially the most disturbing fact is what this says to American Indian children. It equates being Native American with being hated, an enemy to the world, and someone to be hunted down and killed, and re-casts one of their heroes into a villainous role.

Time Magazine’s Swampland blog first reported the details yesterday that the target, Osama bin Laden, was code-named Geronimo, in keeping with The White House’s afternoon press conference.

But the story coming from the White House evolved by evening, with what appears to be a “re-tooling” of the message, which now states that the “mission” was code-named Geronimo.

The CNN White House blog featured a historic black and white photo of Geronimo and the headline, “Osama bin Laden codename “Geronimo”, for the duration of the afternoon at whitehouse.blogs.cnn.com. There is currently a post with the title “Osama bin Laden mission codename ‘Geronimo” (emphasis added) with a timestamp of 4:46 PM, though some commenters express outrage over the earlier title.

Tribal members from around the country are turning to social networking sites Facebook and Twitter as an outlet to express their anger and sadness at the unwelcome association. “This sucks,” said Harold Monteau, an attorney and tribal member from Rocky Boy, Montana, “A lot of people are angry about the obvious stereotypes it implies.”

“It’s another attempt to label Native Americans as terrorists,” said Paula Antoine from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. Beaver North Cloud, a JemezPueblo tribal member from Albuquerque, New Mexico expressed her frustration, saying “Damn it!!!!! Why am I not surprised, yet so disappointed beyond words.”

And someone is already selling the stupid t-shirts: