Empire Burlesque 
October 27, 2011
I had the honor of talking with Cindy Sheehan tonight, recording an interview for her radio show, which I believe will air on Sunday. She made mention of the “police riot” — as she aptly phrased it — in Oakland Tuesday night, as a Democratic administration moved in with gas and other weapons of war to clear the streets of American citizens taking part in the Occupy movement.
Ms. Sheehan also noted the fact that the Occupy movement’s terminology about “the 99 percent vs. the 1 percent elite” is not entirely accurate; far too many of the 99 percent are serving as willing tools of the 1 percent — in the police forces, in the media, even in the general public, where you can always find plenty of people eagerly genuflecting to the high and mighty, even as they and their own families and communities sink deeper into the mire.
The Oakland debacle is a prime example of this, as cops — putative public servants whose pay scales put them deep into the 99 percent — waded into the Occupy citizens, breaking heads and driving away the very people trying to stand up for their interests.
The New York Times reports  on one victim of these first strike-backs by our panicky overlords. And he is a most telling victim indeed: a military veteran, who had served two tours in the imperial war of aggression in Iraq, then turned against the War Machine and joined that stalwart band of humanity’s patriots, the Iraq Veterans Against the War: (See original for links and video.)
Two veterans groups say that a protester who was badly wounded in Oakland on Tuesday night is a former marine who is now hospitalized with a fractured skull.
According to Iraq Veterans Against the War, the protester, Scott Olsen, is a member of their group who left the Marines in 2010, after serving two tours in Iraq. In a statement, the group’s executive director Jose Vasquez, claimed that Mr. Olsen “sustained a skull fracture after being shot in the head with a police projectile while peacefully participating in an Occupy Oakland march,” on Tuesday night. Mr. Vasquez added that Mr. Olsen, a systems network administrator in Daly, Calif. “is currently sedated at a local hospital awaiting examination by a neurosurgeon.”
A series of bloody photographs that appear to show Mr. Olsen after he was wounded were posted on the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center’s site, Indybay.org. Those images show that Mr. Olsen was wearing a brown military shirt with his last name on the front. Jay Finneburgh, the photographer who shot the images of Mr. Olsen, wrote on Indybay: “This poor guy was right behind me when he was hit in the head with a police projectile. He went down hard and did not get up. The bright light in the second shot is from a flash-bang grenade that went off a few feet from us. He looks like he might be a veteran. he was eventually taken to highland hospital.” ….
We will see more, much more of this. You can smell the fear in the boardrooms (and in their bought-and-paid-for extensions, the government offices) around the world, as our mighty statesfolk flail at the global economic meltdown their own policies have unleashed — with no other answer than to keep imposing “austerity” measures, one after another, destroying the societies they’ve feasted upon for so long. And has there even been such a gaggle of fourth-rate poltroons, of shallow, witless, gormless goobers as the leaders of the “developed” world these days? Sarkozy, Cameron, Merkel, Berlusconi, Obama ….? It’s like the last tribal council on Easter Island. All they have left are lies, delusions — and brutality.