Why rebellions are sweeping the Middle East, Africa and Asia

Join anti-war demonstrations on October 6-7

September 15, 2012

U.S. Marines have been sent to Libya and Yemen. U.S. drones dominate the air space of Libya.

Until NATO bombers destroyed its government last year, Libya was a truly sovereign country. No one can make that claim now. It will be the Pentagon and CIA who will determine what should be done in Libya in pursuit of those whose demonstration at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi led to the death of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

The Libyan revolution led by Colonel Qaddafi evicted the Pentagon’s important Wheelus Air Force Base from the country in 1970.

But the Pentagon is back now. Some things seem not to change. The U.S. Marine’s first foreign expedition was in 1806 and the battleground was Tripoli.

“From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country's battles in the air, on land, and sea.” This begins the official hymn of the U.S. Marines Corps, enshrining the history of U.S. expansionism. The U.S. Marine Corps is staying true to that hymn today, as Marines set sail yet again for the coast of Libya, as well as Yemen—putting elite special operations units of U.S. troops in two new countries in a matter of two days.

The Marines don’t actually fight for “our country” as the hymn exalts. This is just patriotic propaganda. It is endlessly repeated, but that doesn’t make it true. They are being sent to the Middle East to shore up the position of the Empire as rebellions sweep the region.

As Marine General Smedley Butler, who won two Congressional Medals of Honor, famously put it when he retired and became an anti-war proponent:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

What is the real role of the U.S. military in the Middle East?

U.S. troops and aircraft are dispatched again in the Middle East today. For the past half century, this pattern has been repeated time again.

When the Iraqi people carried out a truly revolutionary overturn in 1958 against the British-backed monarchy in Baghdad, President Eisenhower rushed 10,000 troops to Lebanon and the British sent troops into Kuwait. The troops were to secure the position of the colonial powers against indigenous revolutions from the people of this oil-rich region. For the British, of course, its stakes in Kuwait were similar to its stakes in Hong Kong. Both were artificially carved, colonial-administered port areas taken from their mainland for the benefit of the colonizers at the expense of Iraq and China, respectively.

Is it any wonder that there is smoldering anger today at the United States and the former colonizing powers?

Angry protests targeting U.S. and other western embassies and businesses swept across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia on Sept. 14. The widespread demonstrations followed attacks on U.S. embassies in recent days in Egypt, Yemen and Libya, where the U.S. ambassador and three other U.S. personnel were killed on Sept. 12. The Sept. 14 protests, took place in many countries, including Egypt, Nigeria, Mali, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Pakistan, with embassies breached in Libya, Yemen, Tunisia and Sudan.

The trigger for the demonstrations was the internet circulation of a deliberately offensive and insulting film produced in California about Mohammed regarded by Muslims as prophet and founder of the Islamic faith. As insulting and inflammatory as the film is, the widespread and militant response it can only be understood by taking into account the historic role of imperialism, which has left a deep reservoir of anger toward the United States, Britain, France and the other colonizers.

Among the actions of the United States are: the invasion of Iraq, support for brutal military dictatorships and royal monarchies, arming and funding for Israel in its non-stop war against the Palestinian people, the overthrow of the democratic government in Iran in 1953, the installing of client police states, notorious illegal torture, the genocide in Iraq over 20 years, military occupations, and now skies buzzing with robotic killers who blow up civilians—and then their funerals—on a regular basis. This backdrop of colonial violence gives some insight as to why small sparks can create region-wide upsurges against the perpetrators of those crimes.

The shock and surprise of the U.S. government at the embassy protests shows its imperial arrogance, believing it can act as a wrecking ball in the region, bombing and occupying countries, without triggering a response from the victims.

The ANSWER Coalition has been organizing for over a decade against the military operations of the Empire in the Middle East.

The people of the United States want this endless war against the people of the Middle East to end.

Join us and others in locally coordinated anti-war demonstrations on Oct. 6 and 7, which will mark the 11th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Tell your friends and family to join a protest in your area (see calendar below) or let us know of a protest in your area so that it can be posted on the ANSWER Coalition website.

Please make an urgently needed tax-deductible donation to help support his critical work.


Find a protest near you to mark the
11th anniversary of the Afghanistan war:

Saturday, October 6

Los Angeles, CA
Oct. 6, 12 noon
March & Rally to shut down Army recruitment center
Hollywood & Highland
More info: - 213-251-1025

San Francisco, CA
Oct. 6, 12 noon
March & Rally
Powell & Market Sts.
More info: - 415-821-6545

Albuquerque, NM
Oct. 6, 2pm
UNM Bookstore
Central & Cornell
More info:

Seattle, WA
Oct. 6, 11 am
Military recruiting center on 5th Ave NE near Northgate
More info: 206-568-1661 or

Portland, OR
There is also an event in Portland on Oct. 7.
Oct. 6, 12noon-5pm
Rally and march
Shemanski Park (South Park Blocks at Salmon)
More info: 503-236-3065

Tulsa, AZ
Oct. 6, 12noon
Corner of 41st and Yale Ave.
More info: Sponsored by Tulsa Peace Fellowship

New York City, NY
There is also an event in NYC on Oct. 7.
Oct. 6, 12noon
Times Square, Military Recruiting Center
March to Union Square
More info: World Can't Wait at 866-973-4463

Buffalo, NY
Oct. 6, 11am-12noon
Protest and leafleting
Elmwood & Bidwell
More info:

Boston, MA
Oct 6, 1:30pm
Park St.

Philadelphia, PA
There is also an event in Philadelphia on Oct. 7.
Oct. 6
Details TBA
More info: Sponsored by Philadelphia Against War

Pittsburgh, PA
Oct. 6, 1pm-4pm
East Liberty Presbytarian Church
116 South Highland Ave
More info:

Lewisburgh, PA
Oct. 6, 12noon-1pm
Peace Vigil
Corner of Market and S 3rd St. Post Office sidewalk
More info:

Tampa, FL
There is also an event in Tampa on Oct. 7.
Oct. 6, 11:30am-2:30pm
Vigil, possible march to main gate of MacDill
Crosstown Mobil
3699 W. Gandy Blvd.
More info: 727-525-8769,

Vancouver, Canada
Oct. 6, 1pm
Vancouver Art Gallery
Robson & Howe St
More info: 604-322-1764 or

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Oct. 6, 1pm
Federal Building: 55 Bay Street North
More info: or 905-383-7693

Sunday, October 7

Portland, OR
There is also an event in Portland on Oct. 6.
Oct. 7, 12noon-5pm
PCC Cascade (N Albina and Killingsworth)
More info: 503-236-3065

Olympia, WA
Oct. 7, 1pm-6pm
Sylvester Park
Sponsored By: Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation and others

Salt Lake City, UT
Oct. 7, 3pm-5pm
Salt Lake City & County Building
451 south State Street
More info:

New York City, NY
There is also an event in NYC on Oct. 6.

Oct. 7, 4pm
125th St and Adam Clayton Powel Jr. Blvd in Harlem
More info: Sponsored by UNAC and others

Philadelphia, PA
There is also an event in Philadelphia on Oct. 6.
Oct. 7, 1pm
Vigil/Demonstration/Kite Flying
University of Pennsylvania
34th & Walnut Streets
More info:

Columbus, OH
Oct. 7, 5pm
Vigil & Rally
OSU Main Entrance
15th Avenue and N. High St.
More info:

Minneapolis, MN
Oct. 7, 1pm
March & Rally
Gather along the sidewalks at Hennepin and Lagoon Avenues in Uptown
March at 1:30pm to closing rally
More info: 612-522-1861 or 612-827-5364

Chicago, IL
Oct. 7, 3pm
Gather at Tribune Tower: 435 N. Michigan Ave.
March to Boeing headquarters
More info:

Richmond, VA
Oct. 7, 6:30pm
Public forum at William Byrd Community House: 224 So. Cherry St.
Info: 804-644-5834,

Talahassee, FL
Oct. 7, 12:30pm-2:30pm
400 Monroe St.
More info: Sponsored by Tallahassee Network for Justice and Peace and others

Tampa, FL
There is also an event in Tampa on Oct. 6.
Oct. 7, 11:30am-2:30pm
Vigil, possible march to main gate of MacDill
Crosstown Mobil
3699 W. Gandy Blvd.
More info: 727-525-8769,

Hilton Head, SC
Oct. 7, 10:30am
Rt. 278 and Beach City Rd.
More info: Sponsored by Hilton Head For Peace

London, England
Oct. 7
Details TBA
Info:, 0207 561 9311

Islamabad, Pakistan
Oct. 7
Rally opposing drone attacks

El Volcan, Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Oct. 7, 10am
Jesus Mediador Church
More info: or 787-619-5175

Before October 6-7

Albany, NY
Oct. 3, 6pm-7pm
Vigil & Speak-Out
Dana Park at the intersection of Delaware Ave, Lark Street and Madison Ave
More info: 518-466-1192 or

Teaneck, NJ
Oct. 3, 4:30pm-6pm
5pm rally/press conference
National Gaurd Armory
Teaneck Road and Liberty Road

Sacramento, CA
Oct. 4, 11am
Protest and Rally
Quad Area, Sacramento State University (6000 J St)
Info: 707-227-9803,

Detroit, MI
Oct. 5, 4pm-5:30pm
Entrance of Hart Plaza on Jefferson at Woodward Ave.

Duluth, MN
Oct. 5, 6pm
Lake Ave. & Superior St, Downtown Duluth
More info:

Monterey, CA
Oct. 5, 5pm-6pm
Window on the Bay, Del Monte Ave near Camino El Estero
more info: 831-372-5762 or

After October 6-7

Mankato, MN
Oct. 8, 11am-12:30pm
Outside of the Centennial Student Union at Minnesota State College

Rochester, NY
Oct. 10, 4-5:30pm
Federal Building
More info:

Please make an urgently needed tax-deductible donation to help support his critical work.


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