The Heart Of Darkness In Portland

| Resist!

Above Photo: By Mike Hastie. Troops charging protesters in Portland.

Note: After writing this column, Mike Hastie confronted the militarized federal troops outside of the courthouse in Portland. He talked to them about their oath of office and was pepper-sprayed in the face at close range. He kept talking.  This video in the tweet below has received millions of views.

Hastie has also been featured in Street Roots, “Feds sprayed chemicals into the eyes of a retired ER nurse and veteran” and in Newsweek “Federal Officers Pepper Spray Photojournalist Military Veteran During Portland Protest.” Hastie is a long time antiwar activist who is a member of Veterans for Peace and a co-founder of Popular Resistance.  –  KZ

People in Portland have seen the truth since this Heart of Darkness.

Soon it will be 60 straight nights of demonstrations and ear-shattering protests in Portland, Oregon. There is a continuous drum corps that is beating hypnotic rhythms that gives thousands of Portlanders a reason to be alive.

The energy is electrifying, as people take turns chanting their built-up frustrations of what they see as utter failure in the U.S. Government. They  are extremely angry at President Trump for sending in Federal police to make matters much worse. It is tear gas, pepper spray, flash-bang grenades, rubber bullets and cops hitting protesters with their batons.

The chant:  “All Cops Are Bastards,” is becoming much louder since the Feds started kidnapping protesters off the street in unmarked vans, with police not identifying  themselves. It has been swift and terrifying for those who have been arrested in this black ops fascist mentality. It is against the law, as people are being stolen without probable cause, which is a nice way of saying it is a crime being committed by people who took an oath not to do these kinds of things. But, then again, when I was in Viet Nam, the U.S. Government had absolutely no rules in warfare. Geneva Convention Rules were for fools. In a  way, this is the tragedy of what is happening in Portland and all over the country. What is happening domestically in this country, especially involving police who have been militarized, is we are seeing the accumulation of terror that the United States Government commits all over the world. Since the end of World War II, the United States Government has bombed 30 countries. The reason most people don’t believe what I just wrote, is because whenever the truth threatens one’s core belief system, there is an urgent need to deny its reality.

People in Portland, Oregon have seen the truth, especially since this Heart of Darkness has been non-stop for almost 60 nights. How much longer is the United States Government going to live with the illusion that we are a country built on law and order? If I started talking about U.S. atrocities that were committed in Viet Nam, this current Heart of Darkness would get overwhelmingly much darker. If the American people knew what their country does in a time of manufactured war, they wouldn’t be able to go to work the next day.

So, how did I go from just writing this last sentence, to what is currently happening in Portland, Oregon? Everything is interconnected–everything! The big question that so many people are asking at these nightly demonstrations, based on the absolute turmoil that is going on in this country right now, can the U.S. Empire be stopped with a peace sign?

Our government is destroying this country, and I am tired of seeing so many veterans in this nation committing suicide. I had two veteran friends hang themselves, because of hopelessness, and others who died from Agent Orange.

It overruns my soul when I read about the U.S. Government killing innocent people in so many countries in the world.

I get the profound feeling that American corporations can’t make a killing off of peace.

Our Government belongs in a straitjacket!

The Pentagon is evil!

The United States represents 4% of the world’s population, yet we have the most powerful military force the world has ever seen. WHY!

This Heart of Darkness is destroying us!

Our government is overrun with cowards!

America– get out of your goddamn coma!

COVID-19 is not the only pandemic in America!

Mike Hastie served as an Army Medic in Vietnam.

  • jim james

    It’s been going on a long, long time, longer than the US has been in existence. They’re really nothing more than the new kid on the block. That’s why it’s so impossible to believe things can change. Take Lenin. He tried and briefly succeeded. FFS, Castro is the greatest man of the 20th century for surviving fifty, sixty years with the Evil Empire throwing everything they had at him…Lenin lasted four, five tops. Lenin shows you, as much as Rosa L., that you can’t win. Trotsky, too, shows you that you’ve got to play their game (and it is a game to them) to have any chance in this world.


    Because to these people who’ve been ruling for the world for at least the past 500 years, more like 800 to 1,000, if not two, is that they view events a whole lot different than humans. They view things as Statesmen. In fact, for them, there’s no higher compliment to be called a Statesman, even though in that word lies the crux and core and gravamen of the problem. Either innately (not) or they’re taught how to react to events. They’re taught to see everything as a threat unless they opponent plays by the same rules as them, which means they’re not an opponent at all, they’re a member of the Club. Shoot, they might even go to war but daresay will never go for a head strike or decapitation. No, the peons die, never the heads of State. That’s why they get so upset when you assassinate them. YOu’re not playing by the rules!!! It’s the western mind-set that’s insane and frankly evil. Sadly, it might even be the homo-sapien side of the brain that’s defective. You know the blood-thirsty, ultra-violent, ultra-savage, ultra-primitive. Me, I like to believe the little good you see in humans comes from our Neanderthal ancestors. That’s why there’s so little of it in the world today (certainly at the top).

  • mwildfire

    You need to look into the Parable of the Tribes. This isn’t human nature. It’s the nature of sociopaths, who in complex societies are able to rise to the top and run things, for their own benefit at the expense of everyone else. You don’t much see this in tribes, because in small groups people can see the sociopaths for what they are, having known them since birth (sociopaths learn how to pass, but as children they aren’t sophisticated enough). The problem is that once an expansionist, aggressive tribe is anchored in place, with agriculture and food storage and stratification, their numbers rise (though they’re less healthy than neighboring hunter-gatherers) and they start looking to take over their neighbors’ lands. They have higher numbers and better weapons than the peaceful, egalitarian tribes they live near, so they generally win these contests–eventually they need to expand some more as their numbers are still growing and they’re exhausting their better croplands. Now their neighbors are eying them warily. Their choices are to fight back and lose–or perhaps win if they expand their own numbers, develop better weapons and training and thus become another aggressive and expansionary tribe–or flee, seek someplace they can live in peace. In each case, their lands are now occupied by an aggressive tribe. Which is becoming a chiefdom, a kingdom. Fast forward several thousand years and the last few egalitarian, non-aggressive, ecologically aware tribes are defending territories in remote places against corporations bent on mining or drilling or putting in a dam. We have never come up with a solution for the problem if the aggressive neighbor–which is now effectively one global culture with a pretense of democracy and the rule of law.
    We can’t just give up–the trajectory we’re on leads to our extinction, along with much other Earthly life, some time this century.

  • Joshua Msika

    That’s why I find the elves in fantasy literature – Lord of the Rings, Eragon – so fascinating. They are the tribes that have solved the problem of the aggressive neighbour. Too bad they don’t exist.

  • As long as we have a government sponsored by corporatocrazies, the people will never be served. We need to restructure gov’t. from vertical top-down to horizontal bottom-up which is virtually incorruptible: Please share this animation.

  • JRiverMartin

    mwildfire, Did you learn about The Parable of the Tribes from the book by that title from Andrew Bard Schmookler? I “googled” [parable of the tribes] and that’s what I found. Are you recommending this book as a way to learn about that of which you speak?

  • mwildfire

    I actually don’t know. I came up with this some years ago myself, and put it in my how-to-save-the-world book, The Meek are Getting Ready–and someone who reviewed it mentioned Schmookler’s book, so I looked it up…it is the same idea and it may be that I read this years ago–decades ago–and was influenced by it. But when I looked at Schmookler’s book, the Parable of the Tribes is only a small part of it. So I guess people could probably pull the relevant idea from Wikipedia.

  • jim james

    Nah, it’s the human being.

  • billothinks

    “Their choices are to fight back and lose–or perhaps win if they expand their own numbers, develop better weapons and training and thus become another aggressive and expansionary tribe.” Exactly how the Romans defeated successively the Etruscans, the Carthaginians, the Guals, the Britons and many other former enemies! Defensive pretensions invariably mask ulterior offensive intentions.