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Angry Mob Greets Colin Powell in Santa Barbara

by Geof Bard Saturday, Feb. 18, 2006 at 11:25 PM

Angry throngs bedecked in a dazzling array of costumes, sporting signs and guerrilla theatre regalia opposed Colin Powell on his self-serving speaking engagement where he waxed profound on general themes of leadership and barely mentioned his role in the lead up to the bloody Iraq war. Protesters were forcibly evicted by a coterie of muscle men as apparent supporters of the alleged war criminal chided them and Arlington Theatre ticket price.

Angry Mob Greets Col...
anangryman.jpg, image/jpeg, 90x126

Santa Barbara, CA

Friday February 17, 2006

Indymedia Exclusive

Geof Bard Reports

A hundred protesters strung along State Street as ticket holders lined up to hear former Secretary of State Colin Powell deliver a talk at the landmark Arlington Theatre. Sponsored by the University of California over the strenuous protest of local peace activists, the Bush functionary was greeted with the same outrage which has accompanied his appearances elsewhere: extreme indignation. Powell is sharply criticized for his notorious speech before the UN Security Council February 5, 2003. Yet,according to protesters, he has a long history of coverup and complicity.

Ten protesters infiltrated the theatre with concealed T shirts which read: WAR CRIMINAL!

Standing in silence, they drew some applause but also jeers from apparent supporters of Mr. Powell and his role in the tragic Iraq conflagration which has caused in excess of 100,000 civilian lives.

An exit survey disclosed that Powell expressed no remorse for the toll in human suffering caused by the war. He is frequently alleged to have been one of the few people on the planet that might have prevented the horrible toll of bloodshed. Stating only that there was "faulty intelligence", he, with a cavalier shrug, waxed profound about themes of "leadership".

Locals expressed serious concerns that his career is exemplary of one of the most atrocious failures of leadership in recorded history. Among them was Bob Handy, retired career military who was active in three major phases of the Vietnam war.Although in the US Navy, he was attached to the 3rd USMC Division and the 1st USMC in the difficult period prior to the Tet offensive.

"Colin Powell", said the veteran, "covered up the My Lai massacre. After that he went on and was part of [misconduct in] Central America. He was part of Ollie North and those boys." The My Lai massacre was first publicized by legendary journalist Seymour Hirsch, a scoop which would have immortalized him in the history of war journalism. In more recent times, the New Yorker reported broke the Abu Ghraib story, one of the most important scoops in these times. In that tragic, shameful massacre, stressed out troops obeyed the command of Lt. Caley and proceeded to kill the civilian inhabitants of an entire village, throwing their bodies into a mass grave reminiscent of the well-documented atrocities of WWII.

Oliver North was prosecuted for felony violations of Federal law in connection with a convoluted scheme in which he dealt with Iran, then designated as a terrorist regime, and attempted to obtain release of American hostages by supplying the Ayatollah Khomenei with weaponry which would be available for use in the Iran-Iraq war. There is still dispute as to how much Reagan knew about the illicit transaction, but North had his convictions dismissed, for technical reasons, on appeal, and to this day maintains that he was only doing his best, as a Marine, to serve his country and obtain release of Americans whose lives were endangered.

Handy is unimpressed by North's justifications and is concerned that the money obtained from the illegal arms deal was funneled to the anticommunist contras, a grisly group of hard core mercenaries whom even their supporters find difficult to justify. In the mid eighties, thousand upon thousands of people simply disappeared as Central American "escquadrons dela muerte" dealt death to union activists, journalists, campesinos who happened to live in a village suspected of aiding Marxist insurgents, and even low ranking soldatos who drew the wrathe of their superiors. To this day, many undocumented Central Americans fear deportation which could place them in the hands of old enemies, enemies who are not known for their tender mercies.

When asked if Saddam Hussein didn't possess the making of weapons of mass destruction, Handy retorts, "yeah, we know he had it. We had the receipts for them." He was accompanied by John Goulert, a student at UCSB, who pointed out that whatever was going on with Saddam, the threat was "not imminent".

That directly contradicts the statements made by Colin Powell in his notorious speech before the security council. As several protesters pointed out, Powell is on record indicating that he was aware the claims which he was asked to bring before the UN were "bullshit". Yet he went forward with the contentions anyway, suggesting that he knew that his claims were patently false. The majority of commentators have concluded that the contentions were false, and even Bush administration officials such as Powell and his successor Condoleza Rice admit they are false.

None of this is lost on the protesters. They angrily denounced him not only as a war criminal but as a prostitute and whore. One protester was clad in an army helmet, black lace, a corselette, fishnets and a profusion of "9-11" dollars in the manner of a Paris hooker. Another wore a Colin Powell mask and was lead around on a dog leash by an apparent capitalist pig.

This colorful display was tolerated with cool detachment by SBPD, but soon protesters started to trickle out of the a head lecture - to soon to have gotten their money's worth, if Powell could possibly have said or done anything of value aside from express contrition for his shameless lack of spine in the run up to the Iraq war, which even Kofi Annan has characterized as "illegal".

A retired lawyer who gave his name only as Erik reported that he stood up while wearing the shirt, and then sat down. As he remained seated, management from the Arlington Theatre approached him and demanded he leave. After a good deal of back and forth, he left "under duress" and is considering going to small claims court for a refund.

An employee of the theatre identified only as Michelle told Indymedia that there would be no refunds for "disrupters". Other protesters who were evicted reported that they were deceived by burly "thugs in suits" who pretended that they merely wanted to talk, and then blockaded re-entry of the evictees.

Further investigation disclosed that there was a small but vocal coterie of attendees who actually created loud verbal disturbances as soon as the well behaved protesters stood up. They continued to make noise, clap, holler and complain, themselves thus being responsible for any disruption.

Protesters conducted a quick strategy session outside and concluded that an effective tactic, aside from attempting to refuse to leave, which many had employed, would be to state "OK I promise that will not stand again, but I refuse to leave." It was concluded that such a statement would then make it quite clear

that the silent protesters were not the ones doing the disruption, and also if there were any legal difficulties that such a statement would prove advantageous in court.


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The dark side of Mr. Powell

by Geof Bard Saturday, Feb. 18, 2006 at 11:25 PM

The dark side of Mr....
andmoreange.jpg, image/jpeg, 99x74

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Would you buy a used car from this man?

by Geof Bard Saturday, Feb. 18, 2006 at 11:25 PM

Would you buy a used...
angrier.jpg, image/jpeg, 116x80

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Would you send your son to war for this man?

by Geof Bard Saturday, Feb. 18, 2006 at 11:25 PM

Would you send your ...
ascreamingcolin.jpg, image/jpeg, 106x83

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