Chapter 18 (Part 2) – My political awakening

The political assassinations in the 1960s were a foreboding of what was going to come  later. It was becoming very clear that there are no limits to the extreme and blatantly illegal actions Washington would resort to, via the CIA mainly, in order to achieve their set goal of dominating the world. The hubris of those men and women is beyond belief. 

There was in 1961 the killing of Patrice Lumumba in a vicious coup led by the U.S.-supported Mobutu Sese Seku. Lumumba was the first Prime Minister in the former Belgian Congo, which had declared its independence in January 1960. The country now became the Democratic Republic of the Congo (or DRC). After a civil war that broke out soon after Independence, Mobutu Sese Seko, supported by the United States and Belgium, had Patrice Lumumba viciously tortured and then assassinated on January 17, 1961. This was a cruel blow to a newly independent African country and to a man of integrity who was an inspiring and intelligent leader of the new nation. His political organization, le Mouvement National Congolais (MNC) had a pan-African platform and fought for Africanization of the government. The Guardian wrote in 2011

Patrice Lumumba: the most important assassination of the 20th century

The US-sponsored plot to kill Patrice Lumumba, the hero of Congolese independence, took place 50 years ago today

And this is The Guardian that writes such a searing indictment of UK’s Big Brother. Amazing. Even in 2011 The Guardian could clearly be counted on for reliable news. Well, at least occasionally.

Patrice Lumumba, the inspiring leader of the newly liberated Democratic Republic of the Congo, who was murdered by his opponents on Jan 17, 1961

This assassination can certainly be seen as one of the first steps towards fast spreading neo-colonialism, which is still ravaging this continent. Lumumba was seen as being pro-Soviet, which he was, but mainly because the U.S. and Belgium had refused to support him in the civil war. The United States was not at the time seen as the deeply corrupt and imperialist country it is now known to be.

Arthur Chatora in January 2016 in Opinion Lifestyle describes him as “one of Africa’s foremost liberation heroes and anti-colonial leader Patrice Émery Lumumba, [who was] murdered in a coup in 1961”.

Mobutu Sese Seko became the president in 1965 (after the presidency of Joseph Kasa-Vubu) with the military and financial support of the United States. The name of the country was then changed to Zaïre and that was the beginning of mega-corruption in this country that abounded in various natural resources – the most sought after being uranium.

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The same year as Patrice Lumumba was assassinated, another horrible event occurred that was most probably linked to the first one. Dag Hammarskjöld, a Swedish diplomat, economist and writer, who served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations (after the Norwegian Trygve Lie), was killed in a plane crash close to Ndola in northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). The Secretary-General was on his way to Ndola for face-to-face talks with Moise Tshombe, governor of Katanga province, who wanted an independent Katanga state, separated from the DRC. Tshombe was clearly acting in the interest of white industrialists.

Dag Hammarskjöld (1905–1961) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 1961 for his peacekeeping work in the UN. (Copyright Uppsala Universitet – www.uu.se)

In 1951, Hammarskjöld was vice chairman of the Swedish delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in Paris. He became the chairman of the Swedish delegation to the General Assembly in New York in 1952. On 20 December 1954, he was elected to take his father’s vacated seat in the Swedish Academy.

Dag Hammarskjöld  served as the Secretary-General of the United Nations from April 1953 until his death in September 1961.

President John F Kennedy said his name would be “treasured high among the peacemakers of history”.

The Guardian writes in August, 2011

“Dag Hammarskjöld: evidence suggests UN chief’s plane was shot down

New evidence has emerged in one of the most enduring mysteries of United Nations and African history, suggesting that the plane carrying the UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld was shot down over Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) 50 years ago, and the murder was covered up by British colonial authorities.

“A British-run commission of inquiry blamed the crash in 1961 on pilot error and a later UN investigation largely rubber-stamped its findings. They ignored or downplayed witness testimony of villagers near the crash site which suggested foul play. The Guardian has talked to surviving witnesses who were never questioned by the official investigations and were too scared to come forward.

“The residents on the western outskirts of the town of Ndola described Hammarskjöld’s DC6 being shot down by a second, smaller aircraft. They say the crash site was sealed off by Northern Rhodesian security forces the next morning, hours before the wreckage was officially declared found, and they were ordered to leave the area.

“Formally, the UK backed the UN mission, but, privately, the secretary general and his aides believed British officials were obstructing peace moves, possibly as a result of mining interests and sympathies with the white colonists on the Katanga side.”

The death of Dag Hammarskjöld for us in Sweden was a tremendous blow. This was one of the most remarkable Swedes of his day, and his death was followed by deep mourning. Evidently it was not just because he was a Swede, but because he was a promise for a just solution to the many international problems at the time – not the least in Africa where colonies were in the process of being liberated.

In Sweden we were from the very beginning fairly sure that Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane had been shot down. The entire event, seen against the background of his peace mission in Katanga, which went against vested interests, and knowing as well that Dag Hammarskjöld was a ferociously independent man who did what he thought was morally right, it seemed clear to us at the time that the crash was not an accident. We mourned our Dag.

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The next horrible blow in the history of the sixties that shook the world was the shooting of President John F. Kennedy. On a sunny day In November1963, John F. Kennedy was fatally shot in the open limousine in which he was riding through the center of Dallas, Texas with his wife Jacqueline at his side. People were cheering all around them when the shot rang out from the top of a building next to the motorcade.

‘PRESIDENT DEAD

at killed the president

John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline in the motorcade in Dallas on November 22, 1963, shortly before the shot rang out that killed the President. (Wikipedia)

screamed newspapers headlines. The nation was in shock. I was still in Sweden, but the shot that rang out in Dallas was  a shock to the entire world. The world was wondering what was so terribly wrong with the USA. I learned much later the truth about the reasons why the CIA had JFK assassinated. It is true that he in a way started the Vietnam war, but it is also true that he changed his mind and actually wanted to withdraw the U.S. advisers he had sent to Vietnam. He clearly realized the dangers of a nuclear war that would wipe out what we refer to as civilization and he wanted to avoid such a catastrophic scenario. He, and even more his brother Robert, was obsessed by the threat of Communism, but he clearly saw that fighting a war in Vietnam had no future as a deterrent to the Communist North Vietnam and their leader, Ho Chi Minh – obviously heavily influenced by Mao Zedong. and Communist China.  At the time we couldn’t even begin to imagine that the CIA, could possibly commit a crime of this kind, but it has since then become common knowledge to those who don’t close their eyes and ears.

The CIA obviously felt threatened by JFK’s faltering stand on anti-Communism and the entire Establishment was getting very worried that the Military-Industrial Complex was not going to get what they have always wanted – unending wars, whatever or wherever they may be.

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The next vicious blow to our belief that the United States was anything close to a sane nation was the assassination of Malcolm X. This impressive Black human rights activist spent six years in prison for burglary, and he then became acquainted with Elijah Muhammad and of The Nation of Islam, commonly called the Black Muslims, and he became one its most influential leaders.

Later he became disillusioned by their blatant racism, the separation of Whites and Blacks and by their leader, Elijah Muhammad. He disavowed racism and after much traveling, among other places he went on a Hajj to Mecca, he founded Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. He also changed his name to Malik el-Shabazz.  He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.

Malcolm X was killed on February 21, 1965 by Nation of Islam members while speaking at a rally of his organization in New York City.

Malcolm X as a bartender in Smalls’ Paradise on 135th Street in Harlem meeting the boxer and activist Cassius Clay who changed his name to Muhammad Ali, giving up what he called his ‘slave name’ after converting to Islam and affiliating with ‘The Nation of Islam’. (Copyright bob gom time pix)

Malcom X became a beacon for Black Power, and there were many of us who saw him as a hero. I read his autobiography, as I believe did everyone who was the least bit moved by a Black Power movement and strongly against discrimination against Black people.  The spirit of discrimination seems to be so strongly entrenched in the minds of white Americans that it will take many generations to change, if ever.

In his autobiography, Malcolm outlines his “philosophy of black pride, black nationalism, and pan-Africanism”. (Black pride)

In those years before and after Malcolm’s assassination, I also read Eldridge Cleaver’s ‘Soul on Ice‘, which impressed me very much. I had before that read all the books by black writers I could get hold of, most of which were recommended to me by my then husband Allan – from Richard Wright’s Black Boy to Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man and several books by James Baldwin. From there I went on to books about the sad state of education for minorities, recommended to me by my colleague, the wonderful woman, Eve Levinson. There was Death at an Early Age, a shocking account about Boston Public Schools by Jonathan Kozol and Our Children Are Dying, a deeply moving book by Nat Hentoff, who, from being a renowned jazz music critic, had switched over to this very different kind of writing. Quote: “This is the story of Dr. Elliott Shapiro, the tireless and controversial former principal of P.S. 119 in central Harlem, and his crusade in education. The Enrollment of P.S. 119 is 95% Negro, the remainder being Puerto Rican and Chinese. Poverty, sickness, and dirt are the basic realities of many children.”

This was a world of the oppression of minorities, a fight for civil rights and equality that set an everlasting mark on me. It was also so very far from sedate Swedish culture that I felt as if I was being reborn.

As far as I know it was never implied by anyone that the government was behind the assassination of Malcolm X. Violence in the United States, or elsewhere, does not necessarily have its origin in a paranoid and corrupt government. It must however be seen as the result of tensions in the nation caused by racial injustice and the outrageous discrimination that Blacks and also poor people in general are subjected to.

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There was the nefarious year of 1968 that will always live in my memory as the year the world openly began to go insane. I had by now more or less been integrated into the U.S. way of life.

The two violent assassinations that occurred in 1968 were a premonition of what was to come some 40 years later.

Martin Luther King was fatally shot in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.

This legendary man had been allowed to fight for civil rights for black people. He had led the March from Selma to Montgomery , Alabama in 1965 with, among many other celebrities, my favorite American singer, Harry Belafonte. Quote: “During the final rally, held on the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, King proclaimed: ‘‘The end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man’’” ( Selma to Montgomery March – 1965)

Mrtin Luther King Jr. is addressing the enormous crowd of people on the Mall in Washington D.C. in 1963 (Copyright www.history)

And, above all, there was the March on Washington  in August 1963 – Quote from www.history:

“On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 Americans gathered in Washington, D.C., for a political rally known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Organized by a number of civil rights and religious groups, the event was designed to shed light on the political and social challenges African Americans continued to face across the country. The march, which became a key moment in the growing struggle for civil rights in the United States, culminated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, a spirited call for racial justice and equality.” – (Martin Luther King, Jr. I Have A Dream Speech – a video)

I have a Dream. How many tears have been shed over the decades since then, first from hope and joy after hard suffering and even by us, the people who felt as if we were in the fight with the black people, and later there was more deep sadness and more tears when we saw that there was never going to be any fulfillment of that dream. It does not seem as if there were any more hope for justice and equality in the U.S. The United States of America is a lost country. It lost its way as it was trying by unending wars to dominate the world, to destroy all the countries that stood in its way. And in a parallel to these illegal aggressions there were the Big Corporations who wanted to own the world. Is the world, their world, ever going to become anything close to livable again?

Martin Luther King’s speech ‘I have a dream’ became immortal and the Establishment had to put up with his egalitarian stand and movement for justice for blacks. But when he began to denounce the evils of U.S. foreign policies, especially the war in Vietnam, he became a distinct threat to the powers that be and he had to be done away with.

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Robert F. Kennedy, U.S. senator and U.S. Attorney General from January 1961 to September 1964, serving under his older brother President John F. Kennedy and his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson. (Wikipedia)

Robert Kennedy, Jack Kennedy’s younger brother, a U.S. senator and a former Attorney General under his brother’s presidency, was fatally shot in Los Angeles, California on June 5, 1968. He was in the middle of his presidential election campaign and he had already won the California and South Dakota presidential primaries. The U.S. was clinically insane and it has been that way ever since. That’s how we got Richard Nixon, who may be considered the first one in a row of undignified and more or less criminal U.S. presidents. I remember well how, when I was at Mamaroneck High School, in 1972, I could hardly believe that Nixon actually got re-elected. After the overwhelming protest movements against the Vietnam war, I naïvely believed that his reelection would be a clear impossibility. But, first of all, the Democratic candidate George McGovern was a very weak candidate and a lackluster speaker. Secondly, he had too openly showed his stand against the Vietnam war and the Establishment overruled his potential win. They wanted a warmonger president, and so they got one.

Those years were filled with foreboding of what was to come in terms of government crimes, and especially what was brewing in total darkness by the Deep State, the people who really rule over the U.S. and its Western Empire. 1

The fast spreading of U.S. military bases all over the planet, beginning right after the end of World War II, and the criminal meddling in the politics of sovereign nations, not to say undeclared outright wars, be it in Vietnam or Africa (Angola, to name one country) or Latin America (Chile and many other nations, accounted for in the eye-opening book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins). With the multinational corporations that virtually rule the world, the U.S. entrenched itself more and more deeply in the politics of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Washington was firmly set on global dominance. NATO and the European Union, which started discretely with the European Coal and Steel Community, was one crucial link in this dominance. The Coal and Steel Union as it was usually referred to, seemed to all of us as a very positive union that would secure peace in Europe, maybe for the entire future. When the first European Union was created on the basis of this already existing union we also took that as a positive organization. Little did we suspect that NATO and the EU were created with the purpose of securing a complete subservience by Europe to Washington. EU has become a U.S. colony, and it was until very recently (March, 2017) an obedient one.

The U.S. had a line of more or less disastrous presidents and the rule of the Empire took a truly sinister turn after 9/11, which was intended to clear the way for the beginning of the New World Order. PNAC, the Project for a New American Century, by the means of spreading fear, a deeply rooted sense of fear of what was introduced to the people of the world as terrorism. Any illegal killing or invasion of a sovereign state was now made possible since those deeds, which were indeed unconstitutional, were now made possible without opposition by Congress. The deep state did in fact get a free pass to do anything it perceived as being in the interest of the U.S. Empire by referring to the notion of a ‘war on terror’. The U.S. set as its goal the enlargement of its ‘grand area’, which notion in a totally one-sided way referred to the area on the planet that the U.S. had the self-given ‘right’ to control, and even the ‘duty’ to control, according to the deep state.. The notion of the ever growing ‘grand area’ was born right after World War II, but the means to enlarge it became more easily available after 9/11. By then a firmly installed imperial rule based on hate of Muslims and the fear of ‘terrorism’ was made possible through incessant propaganda. This ‘opium of the people’ deafened people’s ability to independent and critical thinking. U.S. propaganda made people into unthinking robots.

Continued; Chapter 19 — New York, New York

  1.  The idea of a deep state in the United States is a conspiracy theory whose adherents assert that there exists a coordinated effort by career government employees to influence state policy without regard for democratically elected leadership. The term, which was originally used to refer to sophisticated shadow governments in countries like Turkey, has also been used in U.S. political science to refer to entrenched government institutions wielding power, without necessarily implying a conspiracyWikipedia