Silence Equals Death: 2023 In Review
by C.A. Matthews
The very last post of the year for the past couple of years has been a review and summarization of events that happened in that year. And so it will be again. Why mess with success?
If there’s one short, pithy phrase that summarizes everything that has happened in the year 2023—and I believe future historians will agree with me—it’s this: Silence equals death.
Looking at the first half of the year, death was occurring in the usual places where it had been in the year previous: In Ukraine, at the US Southern Border, in US prisons and jails and at the hand of the police in their never-ending crusade to terrorize people of color for the sake of satisfying the bourgeoisie class.
Silence factors into each of these events in the manner that nothing was done to prevent the deaths of countless civilians and innocent bystanders. In the conflict between Russia and Ukraine over the protection of ethnic Russians in the Donbas region, a potential peace negotiation hosted by Turkey was revealed that would have taken place in March of 2022, a mere month after the hostilities began. The US dismissed it summarily, the US military-Congressional-industrial complex being the primary supplier of armaments to Ukraine, of course.
To think a peace deal could have been made within a month of the conflict’s start, saving the lives of thousands of Ukrainians and Russian soldiers and civilians. So many needlessly killed in the twenty months plus afterward because the US egged on the fighting for its own gain. There was no need for so much loss of life and destruction to have been leveled on that part of the planet. The two sides could have worked things out at the negotiation table.
|by Mark Taylor https://mark192.substack.com/
The US could have spoken up at any time and ended the weapons dump, encouraged the Ukrainians to avail themselves of the peace negotiations offered in March 2022, but instead it chose to do nothing and say nothing.
Silence equals death.
The horrors of a barbwire floating “wall” in the middle of the Rio Grande exemplifies the US immigration policy in 2023. While many in the immigration advocacy field (myself excluded) thought they could “push Biden left” to improve some of the most heinous aspects of our immigration laws, nothing got better for immigrants in 2023.
In many ways, things stayed the same or got even worse than they were under the previous administration. Human beings fleeing terror and discrimination in their homelands weren’t allowed to step on US soil and claim asylum, as is their right under both US and international law. After the “Title 42” policy expired, a new way to thwart asylum seekers was initiated, the “CBP One app” program. Poor and technologically disadvantaged asylum seekers cannot access CBP One from outside the US, therefore, they cannot apply for asylum in the US.
Insult to injury, wealthier, more connected immigrants can step off a plane and plead for asylum without going through the onerous CBP One app process. Money and political popularity with the present administration means doors to immigration open far more easily for these migrants, such as the blue-eyed, blond Ukrainians, but not so much for Haitians, Hondurans, and other persons of color.
If the drownings of men, women and children in the Rio Grande, along with the heat exhaustion/suffocation of immigrants being smuggled into the US in shipping containers on trains and semi-trucks doesn’t convince you the US government doesn’t care one bit about those fleeing persecution caused by US funded coups d’etat and economic sanctions in the Global South, then what will? What will make you speak out against these injustices?
Silence equals death.
Here are some of the blog articles from the first part of 2023 covering these subjects:
Targets On Our Backs https://continuousrev.blogspot.com/2023/01/targets-on-our-backs.html
The Unwelcoming Society https://continuousrev.blogspot.com/2023/05/the-unwelcoming-society.html
The New Title 42 https://continuousrev.blogspot.com/2023/05/the-unwelcoming-society.html
The Endless and Unnecessary Proxy War
Pay For Your Own Wars, Big Oil!
Clusterf*cked: The Cruelty is the Point https://continuousrev.blogspot.com/2023/07/clusterfcked-cruelty-is-point.htmlThe second half of 2023 proved no less bloody. More migrant lives were lost in the deserts and in the Rio Grande, the fighting needlessly continued on in Ukraine, and many pundits forecast a war breaking out between the US and China over its runaway province of Taiwan. Nobody else in the world seemed overly enthused about taking on the Chinese outside “the Five Eyes” nations who had momentary lapses about who their largest trading partner really was. (Hint: It’s not the US.)
Good-bye, BlackRock! So Long, Petrodollar! Hello, Peace!
Nuclear sub deals made between US and Australia helped the Aussies to forget and to deny imprisoned publisher Julian Assange as being one of their own, leaving him to slowly die in the UK’s infamous Belmarsh Prison while awaiting extradition to the US this coming February. Once in the US, he’ll be locked up in solidarity confinement and never heard from again. All this evil committed against one individual simply because Assange had the audacity to publish the truth about US war crimes during the Iraq War. It's almost as if Westerners don't want to hear the truth and take comfort in state propaganda.
And if that isn't enough, our earth's warming is accelerating at such a rate it soon could be at the point of no return. Facts like this aren't stopping oil drilling operations like the Willow Project any. Big Oil and the US government acts as if we have all the time in the world.
Silence equals death.
Perhaps the single worse incident in 2023 of people remaining silent while thousands are being slaughtered in real time on social media is the ongoing genocide in Gaza. Every country on Earth knows what is going on there apparently except the US and Israel, as it has been openly acknowledged by the United Nations and international human rights organizations. The Israelis continue to pay huge sums of money in order to purchase billboards in Times Square and ads on social media—as well as paying for “false flags” on US college campuses—just to keep their “victim card” current while playing the role of the only ethnic group to suffer a holocaust while perpetrating an ethnic cleansing. US politicians (such as Rep. Marcy Kaptur) play dumb (not stupid per se, but by not talking) while their constituents plead with them to call for a permanent ceasefire.
It must be that by never calling what the UN and every human rights group on the planet call a “genocide” an actual genocide then it never ever happened. It’s not happening, so we can all just forget about the unpleasant photos and videos of dead Palestinian children and their families lying in the bombed out rubble of their homes. We can forget all about those horrible images of tiny babies lying dead in their incubators where Israeli soldiers sentenced them to die all alone by forcing their doctors away from the hospitals they were bombing. What we don’t acknowledge or witness can’t be happening, right?
Oh, well, never fear—Israeli real estate mavericks have already started selling off Gazan beachfront property. It’s not like the land had ever been occupied by 2.2 million indigenous Palestinians. It’s “always” belong to Israel—even before the 1948 Nakba… whatever that was.
Silence equals death.
So, we come to the end of another year of Biden’s “Nothing will fundamentally change” administration and nothing has changed except for the rapidly increasing death count of Palestinians slain by US-backed Israeli forces, more deaths of asylum seekers to the US along our Southern Border, more Ukrainians and Russians dead who all could have been saved back in March 2022 if the US hadn’t forced Zelensky to continue the carnage, more Americans dead because they cannot afford health care, food, fuel and rising housing prices… while the world continues to heats up because of fossil fuel burning.
What’s on tap for 2024? More of the same most likely. US hegemony knows no bounds and has zero empathy for the poor, the indigent, the immigrant, the indigenous peoples of the globe. It just wants more war, more war profits along with more grabs for oil and natural gas.
The only way things could get better in 2024 is by following my practice, what I call “The New Litmus Test,” when it comes to whom to vote for or follow in any matter whatsoever. (I recommend using this litmus test for everyone or else you could wind up with some nasty surprises such as the ones I encountered in “How Do We Live With Ourselves?”) Because if we don’t get brutally honest with ourselves about how horribly we’re treating our fellow human beings and the planet that sustains us all, then we don’t really deserve to be here in the first place, in my humble opinion.
Silence equals death—but speaking out and taking action can sustain our consciences and sustain life. We can stop a genocide. We can stop a useless conflict over natural gas sales to Europe around a peace negotiation table. We can offer sanctuary to those seeking protection and asylum. We can protect journalists who tell the truth—no matter how “harmful” the military-industrial complex thinks revealing their war crimes are.
Support those who speak up even louder when those in authority shut them down. Don’t choose death or silence. Choose life.
Here are some of the blog articles from the second part of 2023 covering these subjects:
Big Oil's control of our world
Happy Co-Dependence Day, America (Boiling Frogs)
The Root of All Evils
The Choice (Climate scientist Peter Kalmus on global warming)
Weaponizing Free Speech (censorship)
The morality of our elected officials and others
Your Congressmember At Work--For Israel
The New Litmus Test
How Do We Live With Ourselves?
Cancel Genocide. Keep Christmas. https://twitter.com/DrJillStein/status/1739444921717670213
Other Related Articles and Interesting Links
At This Point We Have To Always Assume Israel Is Lying Until Proven Otherwise https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/at-this-point-we-have-to-always-assume
On Tuesday Israel killed a Palestinian baby girl who was born during the IDF bombing campaign on Gaza. They’ve been killing children so aggressively for so long now that they’re starting to kill children who were born after the child-killing began.
Seventeen days. Al-Amira Aisha got seventeen days on this planet before being crushed to death by an Israeli airstrike on her home in Rafah, alongside her two year-old brother Ahmed and 25 others who’d been living in the same apartment building. She never knew a day of peace.
A Palestinian baby girl, born 17 days ago during Gaza war, is killed with brother in Israeli strike https://apnews.com/article/israel-palestinians-gaza-war-children-6e69c73aa6f9c60ffeb07b4b1ff294e9
Christmas Wishes for “Peace on Earth” Are Empty Without Ceasefire in Gaza https://truthout.org/articles/christmas-wishes-for-peace-on-earth-are-empty-without-ceasefire-in-gaza/
As of this writing, over 20,000 Gazans have been slaughtered, the vast majority of them women and children. Over 1.9 million of the 2.2 million population is now homeless, still subjected to relentless bombing, with no protection, no shelters or anywhere to run to, as Israel continues to pummel them like fish in a barrel. This campaign is not only allowed, but actively supported by the United States, which supplies 2,000-pound bombs to be dropped on the hapless Palestinians. More importantly, it supplies a diplomatic umbrella that justifies and legitimizes what has been described as an ongoing genocide of apocalyptic proportions, and provides Israel relative immunity from international law, the International Criminal Court and outraged international public opinion.The Atrocities In Gaza Are The Perfect Embodiment Of 'Western Values' https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/the-atrocities-in-gaza-are-the-perfect
Amid U.N. Security Council Intrigue, U.S. Privately Moves To Block Another Option For International Accountability For Gaza
Israeli Evidence of Hamas Command Center in al-Shifa Hospital Falls Short: Report (from Washington Post)
Israeli forces blow up dozens of residential buildings in Gaza's Shujaiya neighbourhood https://www.newarab.com/news/israeli-forces-detonate-bomb-destroy-over-50-gaza-buildings
Going Mask-Off About The Two-State Solution Lie
After all the lies and atrocities we’ve seen over the last two and a half months, everyone should be reflexively disbelieving any claims by the Israeli government and begging the forgiveness of Palestinians for not believing everything they’ve been claiming for generations.Blood Money: The Top Ten Politicians Taking the Most Israel Lobby Cash https://scheerpost.com/2023/12/20/blood-money-the-top-ten-politicians-taking-the-most-israel-lobby-cash/
UNICEF Warns 'Many More Children Will Die' in Gaza Without Safe Water https://www.commondreams.org/news/israel-gaza-water
GAZA WAR UPDATE: Israeli Trade Destroyed by Yemen Siege, Resistance Targets Officers & More rumble.com/v427he8-gaza-war- update-israeli-trade-destroyed-by-yemen-siege-resistance-targets-o.htm
UN calls for probe as Israeli army accused of killing unarmed Palestinians https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/12/21/idf-executed-palestinian-men-in-front-of-their-families-un-confirms
Meet the Companies Profiting From Israel's War on Gaza
Use The Right Language: AMERICAN War Crimes & AMERICAN Genocide In Gaza https://mark192.substack.com/p/a-call-to-substackers-use-the-right
80+ Groups Descend on DC Demanding Gaza Cease-Fire, Migrant Rights https://scheerpost.com/2023/12/20/80-groups-descend-on-dc-demanding-gaza-cease-fire-migrant-rights/
Meta Is Systematically Censoring Pro-Palestine Posts, Human Rights Watch Finds https://truthout.org/articles/meta-is-systematically-censoring-pro-palestine-posts-human-rights-watch-finds/
Biden Is Paying Growers to Replace Farmworkers With Bracero Contract Labor https://truthout.org/articles/biden-is-paying-growers-to-replace-farmworkers-with-bracero-contract-labor/
‘The Way Things Are Going, Biden Is Going to Lose On His Own’: An Interview With Jill Stein https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-way-things-are-going-biden-is-going-to-lose-on-his-own-an-interview-with-jill-stein/
Our leaders are the most immoral and cowardly people imaginable
US Abstains From UN Gaza Resolution After Lobbying to Weaken It
Israel: Starvation Used as Weapon of War in Gaza https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/12/18/israel-starvation-used-weapon-war-gaza
In unprecedented slaughter of Gaza civilians, US claims Israel is the “victim” https://www.aaronmate.net/p/in-unprecedented-slaughter-of-gaza
How Israel Buys Support From Celebrities & Influencers w/Lee Camp https://youtu.be/ma1autOZcPc?si=7z5u7RqJOsGEIPEN
Israel's Killing of Journalists in Gaza 'Unparalleled,' Says Watchdog
Ukraine Grenade Attack Heralds Coming Terror Wave
How Big Oil Is Taking Us for a Fossil-Fuelized Ride https://scheerpost.com/2023/12/21/how-big-oil-is-taking-us-for-a-fossil-fuelized-ride/