Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Welcome To The War Blog


If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable.

John F. Kennedy

I have spent the last week and a half talking with Americans from every walk of life.

Co-workers, college students, neighbors, family and various friends. I've even struck up conversations with strangers and worked my way around to the topics I was curious about.

Iraq, terrorism, Vietnam, social unrest, protest, patriotism, sacrifice.

I've talked a great deal about those things with all sorts of people.

I've been trying to come to terms with where we are in America and just how we might change the headlong rush towards the abyss we seem destined for.

I started Green September a little less than a year ago in the aftermath of Katrina and the desperation and desolation that followed our government's deliberate non-response and outright criminal negligence in dealing with that disaster.

It was a bold idea, not a new one. I'm sure others have had the same thoughts.

Try to start a new movement, a new political party, a grassroots movement to change our government and insure tragedies like Katrina's aftermath would never happen again. In those heady days as the leaves began to turn and the brutal summer sun turned to fall's beautiful grace, I believed it might be possible.

You see, I knew that there had to be a popular uprising after Katrina. Tens of thousands of displaced and angry people, the whole world watching as critical patients on hospital roofs died waiting for helicopters that never came.

No just society would tolerate this sort of callous disregard for the common welfare of it's citizens.

I was right.

No just society would tolerate such things.

Anybody know how many people died during and after Katrina?

No one knows. Not the government. Not the families of victims. No one has an accurate assessment.

It reminds me of a quote about Iraq: "We don't do body counts."

Does anyone know how many civilians have died in Iraq?

Here's the Daily Double: Does anyone know what the people of Iraq and the victims of Katrina have in common?

That's right: Both groups are poor and dark skinned.

They do not matter.

From the innocents murdered in Fallujah and Haditha to the crowds of refugees fired on by police and kept from crossing bridges out of New Orleans into the white suburbs, they are the same. Powerless and poor.

In the aftermath of Katrina I wrote letters. I posted flyers. I called talk shows. I talked about Green September and how we could, if enough of us got together, change how our government did business.

I lobbied philanthropists. The people at George Soros' Open Society Institute finally wrote back and told me to quit writing and support my local Green Party, that political organizations needed more than just good intentions.

A strange thing happened. As the weeks wore on, more celebrities had babies and the fall television season started and no one rose up to shout about Katrina's criminal accomplices.

My good and dear friends on the Internet wrote to me and told me that they were on board and trusted me with their true, and often closely guarded identities. It was one of the most touching moments of my life.

But I failed them. Despite knowing that I knew nothing about organization of such things and the fact that there was no uprising demanding justice, I still feel that I failed.

So, we used the Green September blog to begin to organize like-minded individuals together and to gather information on what Bush and his criminal band were up to. We kept the blog under the radar, not leaving trails that could be followed back to us, not registering with various blog search engines that increase traffic. Just little things to protect our small community.

We have our loyal regulars and what I think of as irregulars. The ones that never comment but from time to time drop me an e-mail and say thank you for saying such and such. Not a lot. Just a handful.

But they are growing. A trickle here. A trickle there. I linked from MySpace after a friend introduced me to it (thanks Fran, I'm holding you to that quarter promise) and lo and behold young people who never were curious about politics are asking me questions. Just a few.

Just a few.

But Green September has failed. I look at the blog and it brings a sense of unrealized potential.

It also brings memories of more personal and painful failures that cut very deeply.

I had considered a change for a while, then a good friend and trusted advisor showed me what I had forgotten: That a name is just a name, but the hope and integrity behind it remains.

Green September failed. Green September is over.

I will leave the site where it is for archival purposes, but it is finished.

Green September was about working to repair a system that could be changed from within using political parties and ideas I thought that Americans respected. I was wrong.

R.I.P. Green September.

Thorn Tree is a war blog.

Take that in whatever way you see fit.

Because like it or not, those who love freedom and self determination are in a war for their lives and for the future of civilization. We face a dark age of Christian dominionists and military-industrial zealots that care not one bit for decency, peace, and human dignity.

Today, we fight with words.



Anonymous UT said...


Just a smiley, you know what it means.

Wed May 31, 06:49:00 PM  
Anonymous b said...

I like the new blog, but please don't think you failed with GS. I'll miss it but at the same time am looking forward to watching this one grow.

You're a rare bird, Robert Keef.

Wed May 31, 08:35:00 PM  
Anonymous UT said...


I just hope he's got his shit together. I understood some things in his personality. I don't think he is mixing up real things intertwened in his own business, these are 2 separate issues. And as long as he vents out, then I am okey with it :) European and American culture are 2 separate things yanno. Americans have been cocooned in a lie, then some day they wake up and find out that their History was pure bullshit. There are different ways to express feelings, as long as he writes, I am fine with that. IF ever he stops writing, then I would be worried. WE are not inhuman, we do care about people, and we do care as long as they are honest. I've always been honest with you guys. Sometimes I feel angry, sometimes I feel happy, sometimes I feel sad, sometimes I feel like shit, and that's the way I am. Somewhere I think we will be able to cheer RK up :) although sometimes he worries me but I understand where he is coming from. Let us the time to think who he is, it does not mean he is a bad person. "People have to get their own shit together".

BTW I miss Paula.

Wed May 31, 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger Again said...

thanks b, ut, to have said it already...

But I failed them.

no - as i'm proud that you call me your friend - i can say you: you don't fail me. Especially ME you never failed, because you and all the few (<grin>) others of Green September let me NOT go the easy way of just disgusting America because she tries to be "better" Nazis than we were

there is this silent, slow motion here i observe since months - all know what's going on "beyond the sea" - but we don't really care about as the others didn't care about us half a century ago (while also, as we know now, nearly exactly knowing what happened) - there are this cute little notes in press and discussions: "the (still ubiquitous) patriotism of the americans" which tells you clearly that the author doesn't believe in the ratio and decency of those people, because (as we in particular know) patriotism and peace/ratio/decency/humanity don't go together...

that's a situation where the killers and the careless become an intertwined bunch of guilt - and when the time of judgment comes, the careless have to demonstrate hate to show distance, to show "innocence"...

so i fear when America will have reached the end of her way, the whole wide inactive world will start to hunt her to demonstrate "goodness"

and at least at that time, Green September (and successors) will be part of the wall against the hate (even of your own children!) - because you and the others proved that you did something against, you didn't let it be for various reasons...

no, Robert, for me - you and the others - never failed. Remember the words of decency?

We are not stupid, we are just too few

Thu Jun 01, 12:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Robert: I'll admit, I was somewhat taken aback by the sudden shift, since I'm one of those people who's relatively "allergic" to change -- even the *good* ones. But hey, what the hell?? Change is what life is all about! ==== I'm especially glad that you're maintaining GS for the sake of archiving -- it was a sad day when WB scrapped its own archives, thereby eradicating a significant source of information. (One SUGGESTION: After a few weeks, *do* consider locking down the Comments at GS entirely. An idle blog, as I've witnessed occasionally, is the very epitome of the "devil's workshop" for wayward right-wing boys and girls. Leaving GS wide open to *new* comments for very long will likely just result in the dilution of its value as a resource, due to an influx of cat-calls, barbs, and what have you. ==== To add to what the others have already said, any notion of "failure" regarding GS as a "movement" seems all too hypothetical to me. You certainly didn't fail *us*, as others have already noted. Nor did you "fail" in any way that remotely impugns your character. To the contrary, you proceeded with that idea in the very best tradition of "Man of LaMancha" ("The Impossible Dream"). I always did suspect that *perhaps* you'd "bitten off more than you could chew" with those proposals. But I NEVER seek to "rain on anyone's parade" regarding *possibilities* -- my own knowledge is FAR too limited to ever engage in such "predictive" naysaying. Besides, I always felt enormous respect for Bobby Kennedy's fine words: "Some men see things as they are, and ask, 'Why?' I see things as they never were, and say, 'Why Not?' " ==== Your endeavors to elevate GS to the stature of a full-fledged political movement were a sterling example of those memorable words in action. And it's ultimately far more *noble* to have strived in vain to achieve a worthy goal than to "stand back and let it all be," opining that it simply "can't be done." Bravo, Robert!

Thu Jun 01, 04:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Again: I think I just realized something of "translation" value. In the past I've been confused by your use of the word "ratio", which seemed somewhat incomprehensible in the context. But it now strikes me that you're, in a sense, speaking Latin with that one. I think the English word you really want is "reason" While the Latin "ratio" forms the root of a great many *related* terms in English -- "rationalization, rationale, etc." -- "ratio" itself has come to refer rather strictly to matters of "proportion". (For example, a statement of numerical odds expressed as "1:1000" is a ratio.) ==== It seems that the "founding father" of those other English words got displaced somewhere along the way by the French "raison" [reason] when used to signify "balanced thinking". (Probably attributable to those "damn Normans" of 1040 AD!) ;-) ==== Nevertheless, those who exercise "reason" are typically called "rational"; those who do not, "irrational" (or perhaps, "unreasonable"); but the root itself has been thoroughly "uprooted" for other uses. ==== Hope this helps. Of course, I may be mistaken about what you're getting at. (But I *think* that's it -- "reason".)

Thu Jun 01, 05:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Barnita said...

PS- u failed noone. You reached us and a tonne of other people. You started debates, got the crowd thinking and posted some of the most inspiring and heartfelt posts that stirred us all.

We love you.

The only people u failed were the righteous right- nd keep failing them man!!

Thu Jun 01, 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger Again said...

(But I *think* that's it -- "reason".)

you are perfectly right ;-)

i always have problems with "ratio" and "quote" - because Ratio is, as you said, a "germanized" word for reason and "Quote" dito for "proportion"/"ratio" (and that "rational" means the same in German and English doesn't help much!). It's much easier to remember english words not that similar to german ones...

Thu Jun 01, 06:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

The path of active resistance -- starting points: Anti-War Protests Continue at Port of Olympia (Washington) [AP] ==== Anti-war protesters gathered Wednesday at the Port of Olympia to demonstrate against a 950-foot military cargo ship bound for Iraq. ==== ... Twenty-two people were arrested Tuesday and police pepper-sprayed a handful of protesters who pulled down a port fence. ... Twenty people were arrested for trespassing after they tore down a gate at the port entrance and laid down; two others were arrested for failing to disperse and grabbing officers. ==== Olympia City Councilman TJ Johnson said Wednesday he was shoved by state troopers trying to clear the area the night before. He said people were dispersing, but that pepper spray was shot off anyway. ==== He said county sheriff's deputies "chose to escalate the situation." ==== Authorities used pepper spray several times, including once when some in the crowd started hurling bottles and rocks at the approximately 70 law enforcement officers on scene, [sheriff's deputy] Kimball said. ... [Typically lame, establishment-friendly AP "reporting" -- which I had to edit dramatically, just to eliminate the mass of "chaff" woven in, seemingly to dilute the central issues -- but you get the idea. And it doesn't require "reading between the lines" to clearly recognize that, of the *several* times "authorities used pepper spray" on demonstrators, only ONE was tentatively "justified", not very convincingly considering that the admission and single "defense" came solely from a police spokesman. (Word to the Wise: Plan to take along a good pair of goggles for any expected civil disobedience. Gas mask optional.) :-)]

Thu Jun 01, 08:12:00 AM  
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