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Blog: Barbara Lee Sends

Message In NewsSpeak

In the recent, Newsweek article, coauthored by Mark Pocan,“It's Time to Repeal the President's License for Endless War,” Barbara Lee calls for a dramatic cut in the $717 billion Pentagon budget. Lee is either urging Congress to move in a new direction or bolstering Biden’s election bid with newspeak.

Eugene Stovall
Oakland, California October, 2020

More Americans have now died from COVID-19 than from the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Yet the United States is poised to continue spending more money on the Pentagon than the next 10 countries combined with some 1 million troops deployed in about 175 countries. In other words, there's no end in sight for our forever wars. Mark Pocan & Barbara Lee, Newsweek, September, 2020

Barbara Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against the post-9/11 She criticizes the blank check Congress gave the White House to deploy military personnel, assassinate foreign leaders and overthrow governments around the world. The AUMF sets up a national socialist economy for the benefit of the war profiteers embedded in the military industrial complex. With a nearly trillion-dollar war budget, the US military has caused hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties, created millions of refugees and destroyed property in the billions of dollars. In addition, the military industrial complex has stolen billions in gold bullion and oil from conquered territories. Barbara Lee says that while America wages its endless wars, homelessness, poverty, a global pandemic and a climate crisis threatens to destroy the homeland.

American taxpayers paid the military industrial complex to arm military aircraft, manned and unmanned, with every variety of bomb and missile, imaginable. In 2019, the Pentagon killed people in Afghanistan using 7,423 missiles and bombs of various types and killed Iraqis and Syrians using 4,829 missiles and bombs. These weapons were originally developed by the same Nazis who developed the V-1 and V-2 rockets that Hitler used to terrorize the English.

Air-To-Air Sidewinder missiles cost American taxpayers pay $420,000 each for Air-To-Air missiles. Air-To-Surface missiles cost $31,000 each. Hellfire missiles cost $76,143 each. Precision-Guided bombs cost $39,000 each.

Barbara Lee says that the military conducts invasions around the world without congressional oversight or outside public scrutiny. Lee wants Congress to repeal the laws authorizing the use of military force and reclaim its own constitutional authority to declare war. Lee amended the defense appropriations bill to repeal the 2001 and 2002 AUMF laws. Her amendment passed the House Appropriations Committee and her amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act passed the full House of Representatives. But her amendments were not even considered by the Senate. Lee says her amendments could frame the debate for a Biden administration to enact stricter war guidelines.

America has institutionalized white privilege through the process of systemic racism, which threatens to destabilize the entire society. Yet, America’s power elite continues to rely on repression, mass incarceration and domestic surveillance as a means of maintaining white supremacy while restoring domestic tranquility. The power elite does not share Barbara Lee’s concerns about America’s endless wars of terror on non-white populations around the world. The power elite wants to obtain a similar blank check to terrorize and murder non-white populations inside the United States. ICE, Homeland Security and local police departments have already tested the limits of racial profiling, ‘stop and frisk’ arrests, enhanced interrogations and arbitrary killings in suppressing civil rights and human rights. But public reaction to America’s sustained program of racial subjugation has heightened social instability around the country. The power elite believes that intensifying its propaganda will allay the growing impact of homelessness, hunger, sickness and despair that is turning American cities into powder kegs waiting to explode. Surfeit with a belief in its own invincibility, the power elite turns a blind eye to the nightmare that they have created. Instead, they are building multi-billion dollar sports arenas and heating up the stock market. But the gross injustices, economic inequities and institutionalized violence which the power elite has instigated will not disappear.

Increasingly the president of the United States promotes lawlessness and violence in defense of white supremacy and white privilege. Defending his nascent fascist government, he has announced that he will not be bound by any election result that does not return him to power. So while Lee is calling for democratic reform, the government continues to behave as if an authorization to use military force applies domestically as well as internationally.

A Biden Surrogate

As a former chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman Barbara Lee has the type of impeccable progressive credentials that Joe Biden needs to win progressive support. Joe Biden was a staunch supporter of the authorization to use military force laws and advocates total engagement in America’s international war of terror. As Obama’s vice-president, Biden approved of the missile attack on Libya that led to Qaddafi’s overthrow and murder. He agreed with Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton that America should begin it’s overthrow the Libyan government by launching missiles on the University of Tripoli so when they overthrew Qaddafi there would be no students around to protest. Biden provided material support for the neo-fascists who overthrew Ukraine’s government and murdered the government officials and their families. Biden is a leading advocate of America’s ongoing proxy war against Russia. Biden criticized Trump’s withdrawal of American troops from Syria. He was a part of the Obama administration that inserted American troops over the objections of the Syrian government and in violation of international law. In his campaign ads, Biden quotes Pope John Paul II to signal his commitment to the Vatican’s agenda in America.

During WWII, Karol Josef Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, was a young chemist working for the Solvay Chemical Company. In Nazi-controlled Poland. Poles collaborated with, resisted or were victims of the Nazis. Collaborators like Karol Wojtyla worked for Polish companies that supported the death and work camps that the Nazis installed all over Poland. Solvay Chemical Company had a contract with I.G. Farben to develop and produce poisonous gas. Karol Josef Wojtyla fulfilled the contract by producing Zyclon-B, which he distributed on behalf of I.G. Farben to the death camps. After the war, Karol Josef Wojtyla entered a Catholic seminary. Within a year, he was ordained a priest. In 1958, Bishop Wojtyla became a cardinal. Following the mysterious death, some say poisoning, of Pope John Paul I, Cardinal Karol Josef Wojtyla was consecrated Pope John Paul II, the only Polish pope in Catholic history.

World domination has been a primary goal of the Vatican since the Arians seized control of the papacy in the ninth century during the reign of Julian. In pursuit of its goal, the Vatican created numerous secret military orders. According to the Catholic theologian, Malachi Martin, none of these orders has been more single-minded and ruthless in the pursuit of power than the Jesuits. With the consecration of Pope Francis, under mysterious circumstances, the Jesuits seized control of the papacy in 2013 for the first time in history. Along with Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden supported the Jesuit takeover of the Vatican.

Though Barbara Lee’s comments are positive and represent the humanistic approach that millions of Americans hope that a new Democratic administration might adopt, Joe Biden is a warmonger. Barbara Lee’s Congressional Black Caucus manipulated the black vote away from anti-war candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris to make Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee. Ignoring the fact that Joe Biden’s political mentors were the arch-racists, James O. Eastland and Herman Talmadge, the Black Caucus urged black voters to make Biden the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

Negro Democrats Play ‘Plantation Politics’

“How we gonna get them down on the farm after they’ve seen Pariee…” Popular post-WWI song expressing concern over black veterans returning from the European War

During WWI, three hundred and fifty thousand black men were armed and trained to kill. As black war veterans began returning from Europe, wearing uniforms, exuding a newfound confidence, white people worried about the possibility of a violent black reaction to the lynchings, Jim Crow segregation laws and economic discrimination. Army Intelligence was tasked with tracking the returning black army veterans and monitoring overall Negro political activity. Joel Spingarn, a Captain in the Army assigned to military intelligence, created the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP] to conduct Army espionage and intelligence. Through the NAACP, Army Intelligence chose the Negro leaders and spied on the Negro population. Spingarn put coloreds, half-breeds and high yellows into leadership positions not only in the NAACP but also in academic, union, civic and government institutions as well. So successful was the Army’s control over Negro affairs and leaders, that, after WWII, the Southern Baptist Convention, which was allied with the Ku Klux Klan, created the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to control the Negro civil rights movement.

Despite Barbara Lee’s call to end the 2001 and 2002 laws authorizing the use of military force, only 59 Democrats voted against the $717 billion Pentagon spending bill. Democrats were as supportive of the bloated defense budget and war profiteering as the Republicans. Barbara Lee was one of only 13 members of the Congressional Black Caucus opposed to the Pentagon budget.

Members of Congressional Black Caucus supporting the $717 Billion Pentagon Budget were:
Alma Adams (NC); Sanford Bishop (GA); Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE); Anthony Brown (MD); G.K. Butterfield (NC); Andre Carson (IN); Wm. Lacy Clay (MO); James Clyburn (SC); Danny Davis (IL); Val Butler Demings (FL); Dwight Evans (PA); Marcia Fudge (OH); Al Green (TX); Alcee Hastings (FL); Sheila Jackson Lee (TX); E.B Johnson, ( TX); Robin Kelly (IL); Brenda Lawrence (FL); Al Lawson (FL); Donald McEachin (VA); Gregory Meeks (NY); Cedric Richmond (LA); Bobby Rush (IL); David Scott (GA); Bobby Scott (VA); Terri Sewell (AL); Bennie Thompson (MS); Marc Veasey (TX) Members of Congressional Black Caucus voting against the $717 Billion Pentagon Budget were:
Karen Bass (CA); Joyce Beatty (OH); Yvette Clarke (NY); Emanuel Cleaver (MO); Keith Ellison (MN); Hakeem Jeffries (NY); Hank Johnson (GA); Barbara Lee (CA); Gwen Moore (WI); Donald Payne (NJ); Maxine Waters (CA); Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ); Frederica Wilson (FL)

Only 11 Black Caucus members opposed the Protect and Serve Act, a law proposed by John Rutherford, a Florida Republican that makes any assault on a police officer, a hate crime. When the police beat up a citizen, The Protect And Serve Act will allow the police to charge the victim with a crime despite evidence to the contrary. The only Congressional Black Caucus Members opposing the law were:
Karen Bass (CA); Yvette Clarke (NY); Wm. Lacy Clay (MO); Alcee Hastings (FL); E.B. Johnson (TX); Barbara Lee (CA); Gwen Moore (WI); Donald Payne (NJ); Bobby Scott (VA); Maxine Waters (CA); Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ)

In 2014, during the Michael Brown, Ferguson Missouri disturbances, the Grayson Amendment was introduced to stop the transfer of military weapons and heavy equipment from the Pentagon to local police departments. Only 8 Black Caucus members opposed militarizing the police: John Conyers (MI); Donna Edwards (MD); Keith Ellison (MN); Hank Johnson (GA); Barbara Lee (CA); John Lewis (GA); Bobby Scott (VA); Maxine Waters (CA)

The Congressional Black Caucus with its 55 members including two non-voting members fails to support key black issues. Increasingly, the caucus has become reactionary supporting legislation like the Phase-in $15 Wage Act, proposed by black caucus member Terri Sewell. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Representative Sewell’s bill will force 40 percent of the workforce to earn $10.50 an hour or less beyond 2024. Sewell crafted her bill to nullify legislation introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Bobby Scott to boost the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2024. The Sanders/Scott Raise the Wage Act also raised the federal minimum wage as the national median income increases. Yet with the help of other Congressional Black Caucus members, Terri Sewell passed legislation that would delay wage increases for millions of low wage Americans all over the country.

Punitive laws like Sewell’s Phase-in $15 Wage Act demonstrates that the NAACP and the SCLC not only have a reactionary influence on the Black political agenda, but is responsible for electing reactionary black politicians who play plantation politics. If Barbara Lee hopes to repeal military force laws, she would need the support of her fellow black representatives. But the reactionary Congressional Black Caucus is as unlikely to support a reduction in the military budget and a elimination of laws authorizing military force around the world as Speaker Nancy Pelosi is to support such legislation. Just as Army Intelligence and the Ku Klux Klan control the Congressional Black Caucus, the Vatican controls the Speakers office and the Supreme Court.

“The Squad”

Observers of Congress call congressional representatives Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib as “The Squad.” Defiant and unapologetic, the squad voices the aspirations and concerns of communities that are traditionally unrepresented. These four progressive Democrats push for diversity, liberalism and progressivism. They are criticized by mainstream Democrats who want them to observe the traditions of Congress and mind their place, as do members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

However the squad has different values and a different agenda than many of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus and possibly even Barbara Lee, herself. Ayanna Pressley broke with tradition when she told her constituents we don’t need black faces that don’t raise a black voice; we need black voices to represent black faces. Rashida Tlaib’s “Lift + Act” bill advances the radical economic principle of a universal guaranteed income. Ilhan Omar condemned Elliott Abrams, a Trump official, for supporting Central American death squads in the 1980s. Though urged by Democrats and Republicans, alike, to stay in her place, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez violated protocol to introduce the Green New Deal without obtaining party leadership support. All of the squad, along with some few other Democrats, call for the outright abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] because of its widely publicized torture and murder of immigrant families and the caging of their infant children. These congresswomen view their role in Congress differently than most black congressional representatives. They are uninterested in cozying up to the leadership for congressional perks and personal aggrandizement. They recognize that Congress exploits minority and low-income communities in order to support the wealthy with tax write offs, bailouts, farm and oil subsidies and guaranteed incomes.

The squad angered Nancy Pelosi by advocating Palestinian rights. The Speaker retaliated by supporting the Trump and Israeli ban on Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib entering Israel. The two squad members planned to visit the occupied West Bank. Israel, Trump and Pelosi blocked the squad’s entrance into Israel, citing their support for the global boycott and disinvestment campaign against Israel. On any day of the year, Israel’s Zionists who run the world’s last apartheid state give congressional delegations from the US the ‘red carpet’ treatment. Forty-one congressmen were in Israel on the day that Trump and Pelosi announced the Israeli travel ban against Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Nevertheless, as America leads the world into a new age of barbarism, the squad has reanimated a fighting spirit among progressives and the disenfranchised. The squad exposes the Congressional Black Caucus as a tool of a Democratic Party that is as committed to white supremacy and white privilege as is the Republican Party. The squad does not urge black people to stand in seven hour voting lines to vote for a racist and a warmonger. So if Barbara Lee is serious about repealing the 2001 and 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force laws, she and the other few progressive members of Congress should join The Squad