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      Iraq Invades Oakland

      The predicted police violence rapidly is coming true. First, on October 18, US Marine Sgt. Shamar Thomas, back from two tours in Iraq, intervened to reproach the NYPD for wanton attacks on peaceful protesters in Manhattan. Nine days later, a 24-year old Iraq war veteran, Scott Olson, was felled with a skull fracture on the streets of Oakland after being struck by a projectile fired by police into a crowd.

      President Obama announced the full withdrawal of American troops from Iraq on the day of the first incident. It was not soon enough for Scott Olson.

      It appears that a mass outbreak of post-traumatic stress syndrome is occurring all across America because of a toxic combination of economic crisis, cuts in social programs and the continuance of a Long War of unknown duration.

      Scott Olson is expected to recover his speech and brain functions. But the 1.2 million returning Iraqi veterans will have to address war-caused memories largely on their own.

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      Reader Comments (1)

      Hi, Tom --

      To the best of my knowledge, it has not yet been confirmed that the projectile that injured Scott Olsen was fired by the police.

      For the “Occupy” movement to keep growing and not lose the goodwill that has been generated so far, there are a few things I think deserve a much broader discussion than I have heard to date:

      1) The motivations and tactics of anarchists are not the same as those of non-violent civil disobedience practitioners.

      2) Political leaders call the shots on physical force being used against civilian populations, and the buck ultimately stops with them. This is true whether it’s military forces overseas or the local police. The current situation in Oakland has brought a long-simmering dysfunction in City Hall to a head.

      3) Instances of police brutality certainly exist, and they need to be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted whenever and wherever they occur. But the police in general are not alien storm troopers out of a science fiction film. The corporate media that profits off such two-dimensional, sensationalist stereotypes is part of the problem, not the solution (although hopefully it will prove itself capable of evolving...)

      November 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie Battle
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