Tag Archives: Occupy Wall Street

‘In Iraq the US is getting exactly what it wants’

Iraqi Shi’ite Turkmen fighters take part in an intensive security deployment in the town of Taza, south of the northern oil city of Kirkuk, June 19, 2014.

by – Caleb Maupin

The US wants no stable force in the Middle East, no opposition, no basis for anything that could become a stable economy, exporting oil and competing with it on the world markets, political analyst Caleb Maupin told RT.

RT:Obama said the US troops won’t be going back into combat on the ground in Iraq. Will he keep his promise?

Caleb Maupin: Many US military adventures began with so-called military advisors. The classic example is Vietnam. In recent history we have seen many examples of the US using so-called military advisors to advise local officials who actually do the fighting on behalf of the US. What’s very clear in the Iraq situation right now is that the US is attempting to form a sectarian war, not only in Iraq but in the entire Middle East. ISIS/ISIL is an organization that receives support from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states that ally with the US and have worked to form and fund this kind of extremist terrorist organization and send them to Syria, engaging in civil war, and now they are in Iraq. This fighting is very helpful to the US because it makes sure that there is no stable opposition to the US and there are no stable competitors in the world market. The US wants chaos in the Middle East and this latest episode with the ISIS and sending advisors is an example of the US achieving its aim of chaos, fighting and leaving instability in the Middle East in order to remove competitors in the oil market.

RT: Around 300 so-called military advisers have been sent by Washington to Iraq. Are they really just advisers?

CM: Military advisors in Africa and different parts of the world that the US sends, they generally play the role of organizing proxy forces, forces that do what the US wants to be done. They kind of play a central role in directing them, telling them where to go. 300 military advisors could get quite a bit done in order to achieve the aims that the Pentagon would like to achieve. They work with local forces and give them a direction, that’s what generally the military advisors do.

RT: The US President also stressed the Iraq crisis should be solved politically… Hasn’t the situation already passed that point?

CM: Absolutely. The US is attempting to ferment a sectarian civil war throughout the Middle East and it is achieving it very effectively. The support for ISIS from Saudi Arabia, the fighting now between the ISIS and the Maliki government – this is exactly what the US wants. It wants no stable force in the Middle East, no opposition, no basis for anything that could become a stable economy, exporting oil and competing with the US on the world markets. This is the US getting exactly what it wants.

Caleb Maupin is a political analyst who lives in New York City, and is an activist with the International Action Center and Workers World Party. He was part of the Occupy Wall Street mo


NYC court unable to find impartial jury to decide Occupy Wall Street trial

Occupy Wall Street protesters march along 47th Street in New York September 17, 2013.

An Occupy Wall Street protester facing seven years in prison for an alleged 2012 assault may wait even longer to hear her fate as New Yorkers have proven to be so divided on the issue that finding impartial jurors has so far been nearly impossible.

Jury selection in the trial of Cecily McMillan began on Monday but has gone on longer than anticipated because attorneys on both sides of the case have been unable to agree on a juror pool willing to approach the case with a fresh perspective. The trial is the last criminal trial relating to the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York.

McMillan, 25, is charged with assaulting a police officer during a March 17, 2012 protest in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. Prosecutors are expected to argue that McMillan intentionally assaulted Officer Grantley Bovell when he was making arrests at the demonstration. The young woman has maintained that she was unaware Bovell was a police officer and that she was only trying to fend off a man who grabbed her breast from behind.

Occupy Wall Street began on September 17, 2011 with a small encampment in the heart of New York City’s financial district. The movement quickly multiplied, attracting demonstrators from throughout the world who rallied around the idea that the wealthiest one percent of the population had for too long taken advantage of the other 99 percent.

The “We are the 99%” slogan immediately made headlines and inspired countless other protests around the US and elsewhere in the world.

For all the talk about income inequality, though, the left-leaning Occupy movement has been as divisive as the Tea Party, its rival counterpart on the right. Nowhere was that divide more evident than in the movement’s birthplace, where bankers, lawyers, and executives walked past Occupiers’ tents and signs on their commute into offices located dozens of floors above.

That tension lasts through today, with prosecutors and defense attorneys quickly filing through prospective jurors for the McMillan trial. Alan Moore, one potential juror, told the court his wife worked on Wall Street as a bond strategist, so it would be difficult for him to judge McMillan’s actions with a clear lens.

“I like to think of myself as fair,” he said, as quoted by the Guardian, which first reported on the dilemma. “But in terms of Occupy Wall Street in general, I would give less credibility to that group than average…They seem to be people moving a little outside regular social norms and regular behavior. Therefore I don’t give them the same level of respect as people who follow the line.”

The notion was shared by many. The court hoped to fill the 12 juror seats by Monday’s end, although they were only able to fill seven of those seats by the time Tuesday came to a close.

“For 20 years, my occupation has been, in some fashion, on Wall Street,” said equity trader Jason McLean, who lives with his wife, also an equity trader, in the Murray Hill neighborhood of New York City. “Everything I believe – my morals – are kind of the antithesis of what they represent. I don’t know that I could be completely objective.”

Other possible jurors were excluded after reporting negative experiences with police in the past. Patrick Grigsby, who works as an actuary on the Upper West Side, was expelled when he admitted that learning Officer Bovell had been disciplined as part of the so-called “Bronx ticketing scandal” of 2011 would impede his view of the incident in question.

Martin Stolar, McMillan’s attorney, told the Guardian both he and his client are confident that the two sides would eventually “find the people who fit the profile” of impartiality. His co-counsel Rebecca Heinegg agreed.

“A surprising number of people are actually willing to say they can’t be fair,” she said.

The defense team previously told journalist Jon Swaine that McMillan was a frequent visitor to Zucotti Park and known for her peaceful disposition. She had brought a friend down to visit for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration on the day when the incident with Bovell occurred. The young woman had bruises on her back, head, feet, and breasts that the defense says were incurred when Bovell assaulted her.

“An innocent woman is being accused of something that could send her to prison for seven years,” Stolar said outside a previous hearing in Manhattan. “She was leaving the park pursuant to the police department’s orders when she was brutally assaulted by a police officer and subsequently accused of assaulting that police officer.”

The prosecution, perhaps unsurprisingly, disagrees. A criminal complaint obtained by the New York Times claims that Bovell suffered “swelling and bruising and substantial pain to his left eye” in the confusion.

Jury selection is scheduled to resume Friday.

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