cartoonist Khalil Bendib didn't set out to draw a holiday greeting card, but his November 28 creation was just so damn good, readers couldn't help but treat it like one. We've been informed that readers have been emailing Feast of the Parasites (one of our informal titles for the cartoon, not Khalil's) to friends and colleagues, during this lean and dangerous season. It appears that Hallmark has been totally outclassed.

Bob Beattie sends his compliments to Khalil, from Oregon:

Right on the target! Says it all and bluntly enough to make a difference.

Fred Jakobcic, of Marquette, Michigan, stepped back, cocked his head awhile in thought, and offered an interpretation.

It is sad to say that this is a great cartoon, and very reflective of our times and the politics that have been taking place, far too long, under the reign of the duopoly, a.k.a. democrats and republicans. What's the difference between the two? This could be reflective of either party, most especially since the infamous days of r.r.(nancy's hubby).

And, Dale Banks gives Mr. Bendib his props.

I couldn't have done it better myself. Sometimes, a picture says a thousand words. Keep up the good work.

What the Pilgrims wished on the bone

Conquest and profit are, of course, the real roots of America's unique national holiday. We decided to wait until after the festivities to share with you a concise history of Thanksgiving:

In 1620, English Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts. We are told they were searching for religious freedom. The truth is they had all the freedom they could stand in Holland. So did other religious outcasts. What they really wanted was a land they could absolutely rule and control with their own ideas of religion, morality, and law.

When the Mayflower landed at Plymouth, the starving Pilgrims raided Indian storehouses, and even the bags of ceremonial grain buried in Native graves. Aware of their extreme misery, the Wampanoags under Massasoit forgave the capital crime of grave robbing. They taught the English how to farm, how to hunt and harvest the foods of the area, and the following year brought 20 deer to a feast that was supposed to be a treaty.

Within a few years, the English had repaid the hospitality of their Wampanoag hosts by launching hostilities against them, which would culminate in 1676 with the execution and dismemberment of Massasoit's son Metacomet.

Relations with neighboring nations deteriorated as well. In the autumn of 1637, their neighbors the Pequots were gathered for their annual harvest festival near modern Groton [CT]. A detachment of English soldiers and Dutch mercenaries surrounded the village, and shot the Indians as they came out of the longhouse. At the end, they sealed exits and burned the village, killing some 700 men, women, and children.

The surviving Pequots were split into three groups: one-third were exiled to the Narragansett territory in Rhode Island (today's Paucatuck Pequots), one-third to the Mohegan territory in Connecticut (today's Mashantucket Pequots), and the remaining were shipped into slavery in the British West Indies colony of Barbados.

The next day, the English governor William Bradford declared "a day of Thanksgiving," thanking God that they had eliminated the Indians, opening Pequot land for white settlement. That proclamation was repeated each year for the next century.

We found this glimpse of genocide under the heading, Thanksgiving for Indians, at

Two years before the Wampanoag made their fatal mistake of feeding the Massachusetts newcomers, the English at the Jamestown, Virginia colony had begun trading in Black flesh. Little is known other than that, in 1619, a Dutch vessel unloaded "20 and odd" Africans in the land of the Powhatan. In 1622, the Powhatan tried to oust the English, killing 349 of them, but lost the war and their status as free men and women. Africans and Indians have been entwined ever since.

LaVerne Arther knows her roots in some detail, and welcomed our November 28 Guest Commentary, Trail of Heritage and Tears, by Eleanor "Gypsy" Wyatt.

I was quite excited to read this, among many interviews and articles by Ms. Wyatt. She is a very powerful voice in the struggle of the so-called "Freedmen" Indians. I too have attempted to receive the elusive C.D.I.B. (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) for my family. In fact, I am in the process of appealing a denial by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Hopefully, the public will recognize that we are indeed descendents of Native American Indians and not the "Made for television Indian" that society has so erroneously portrayed.

Thank you for publishing this article.

As normal people draw up their holiday gift lists, the Bush regime is exhorting its minions to lengthen the lists of citizens to be neutralized in a future national emergency. Paul Wolf took time to read our commentary, Bush's Domestic Enemies List - November 28, while studying for the bar, in Washington. Wolf hopes to spoil Bush's big surprise party.

Excellent article - "preventive" measures will definitely be taken, the whole direction the FBI is going is to try to prevent terrorist attacks before they occur. Cointelpro had the same idea, that there were dangerous subversive people out there, and what you had to do was draw them out by provoking them so you could neutralize them before they got too far in their plans.

When you assign thousands of agents to do this, and there are no real terrorists, or perhaps a few dozen, then what the thousands of agents do is come up with the most dangerous people they can find, in their opinion. According to William Sullivan (Asst. FBI Director and author of the CPUSA cointelpro) it's a very small step from intelligence to counterintelligence. According to his autobiography, once you find out what these groups are up to, you can't just sit there and watch, you have to do something about it.

The other factor that is very important is careerism. I understand the environment at the FBI is very competitive. So if you are assigned to an eco-terrorist investigation, or nuns from El Salvador, then you do your best to come up with something. The biggest problem I see is that so many people are working on domestic terrorism investigations, and there are no actual terrorists to investigate. Maybe there are a few dozen, but there is no terrorist invasion.

I'm in law school and have been reading about federal torts claims. One thing these victims can do is sue the government for violating their rights. It may sound farfetched but I am putting together a list of people who have gotten good sized settlements from the government, hundreds of thousands or in the case of Earth First!, millions of dollars. As the government takes harsher and harsher measures against innocent people, there will be more cases popping up that would really offend a jury. I wouldn't waste my time lobbying Congress, I would go directly to a jury with the most offensive cases.

Keep up the good work. It's amazing to me that every day there is some new repressive idea that turns into a law and the whole country is still terrified and believes we are under attack, more than a year after 9/11. And even if Henry Kissinger could prove that we knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance and allowed them to occur, people would still think we are under attack.

Mr. Wolf's letter was moving along just fine - until he said "we" might have known about 9/11. As Tonto replied to the Lone Ranger, What you mean we...?

Brooklyn's Melissa Ennen has joined the brilliant ranks of readers.

A friend just alerted me to your site. The survey analysis and the war for private profit articles are two of the best I've read in some time. Re the latter, it's the first time I've read someone emphasizing the "cyclonic speed" of recent events. This "blizzard" is terrifying, and I sense that the worst is yet to come. I'm glad you're going weekly.

Yes, Ms. Ennen, we must get as many issues out as possible in the time we have left to us. However, that has always been the case, in one sense or another.

Kurt Nimmo contributes to the indispensable publication, We are pleased that he is also a reader.

Excellent commentary. But what is truly scary is the fact so few in the media see these trends, or are they aware of history or how the people in power react to opposition, especially when that opposition is comprised of people of color (e.g., Fed Hampton, whom you mentioned). As you say, white liberals may hear the wake up call when they end up on the list of political enemies, or somebody they know who may be a bit more "radical" than they are ends up on it. The Bush administration is so rightwing, so paranoid, dare I say so vicious, that eventually even moderate critics will face censor or possible detainment. It is the dynamics of fascism - and it is fascism we face.

Keep up the good work.

Shannon Scott from Savannah, Georgia, marks the return of Henry Kissinger, The Great Intriguer, now entrusted to unravel the secrets of September 11. (See Secret Bomber to Probe Secrets of Bombing, November 28.)

Although a used copy of "The Unauthorized Biography of George Bush [Sr.]" will set any buyer back over $200, I cannot emphasize the worthwhileness of its purchase (or free download for that matter), to anyone seeking to understand the greater historical particulars that have lead up to the Bush family's rise to power and Kissinger as its mastermind.

I mean, our whole country's proverbial eyebrow must've raised when suddenly out of the political nowhere, Kissinger's name has made it to the top of the A-list??? Is anyone else out there kind of saying to themselves, "W-H-A-T?" Perhaps some were also asking the same question when Donald Rumsfeld made the top dog list also? Surely some then smelled Kissinger's return around the corner?

Kissinger was right there behind the smoke and mirrors of the now dated New World Order, but has jumped from behind the cloak to defend the more dumbed down and ambiguously termed War On Terrorism. This has been the moment he and his gang have been banking on with the Bushs, the IMF and World Bank for over 30 years.

I realize I'm poking somewhat generically at certain editorial and readership sentiments within the Black Commentator itself, and am the last to want to express an alarmist view, but considering that the majority of us (I hope...), are leading basic, peaceful and neighborly lives, how much longer are WE going to let another set of failed wannabees lead us into the open mouth of Hell.

We hesitate to quibble with Mr. Scott, but Henry Kissinger is no wannabe. He is the most experienced mass murderer on Earth - yet still tormented by unfulfilled passions. If J.R.R. Tolkien were alive, he would recognize Kissinger as his creature Gollum, lusting for The Ring.

A Ford in our future?

The re-ascension of the genocidal Kissinger has served to diminish by comparison the smaller players of international crime. We had hoped to pass a week without mentioning any of the Black congressional members of Bush's supporting cast, the Four Eunuchs who voted to give The Sneerer kinglike war powers. However, in response to our November 21 commentary, The Harold Ford Show vs Serious Democratic Business, reader Aubrey J. Howard has forced the issue. Mr. Howard, aware that the 32 year-old lawmaker has his eyes on a U.S. Senate seat, believes there's hope for Rep. Ford, yet.

The commentary was quite interesting. I was chastised, at one point in my life, for sticking to principles and leaving a potentially very rewarding position which could have opened many doors for Blacks. The person who succeeded me had no interest in advancing our cause. I could have eaten a little crow and helped our folk. Even at the face of criticism, to advance our cause we sometimes have to take difficult and not popular stands! Harold Ford, Jr. recognizes he is Black but he also realizes that unless he can attract white votes he cannot become senator in our great state of Tennessee. However he achieves that goal, I worry not that he will lead Black folk down the wrong path! Continue the battle as it is most important to have divergent views no matter how distasteful.

We welcome and respect the opinions of Mr. Howard, who describes himself as a "conservative democrat." As students of opinion surveys, we have found that Black self-described "conservative democrats" tend to be as progressive as whites who call themselves "liberal." In any event, great changes loom in our nation and the world, which will occasion a reshuffling of many self-evaluations.

We hope Anita Johnson doesn't change a thing. Clearly, she is a decisive woman of quick intelligence.

I just discovered this site through a Buzzflash link. Very good! It is now on my list of favorites and I will revisit.

Keep writing.

Kurt Nimmo, Counterpunch, The Son of COINTELPRO

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Issue Number 19
December 5, 2002



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Other commentaries in this issue:

Commentary 1
Rule of the Pirates: The $200 billion payday

Commentary 2
College SATs Incompatible with Black Mobility: Abolish the racial tyranny of the tests

Guest Commentary 1
Harvard: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Institution. by Shelton Amstrod

Guest Commentary 2
AIDS - Discrimination is Deadly. by Salih Booker

Commentaries in Issue 18 November 28 , 2002:

Commentary 1
Bush’s Domestic Enemies List... Preparing for "National Emergency"...

Commentary 2
Black Democrats Urge Media Counteroffensive... But media is no substitute for substance

Commentary 3
Secret Bomber to Probe Secrets of Bombing...

Tom Paine challenged... Young Congressman spurned... Reputable publication tomfoolerized

Guest Commentary
Trail of Heritage and Tears; Black Indians to meet in Oklahoma to claim their rights. By Eleanor "Gypsy" Wyatt

Iraq's Nuclear Non-Capability: Iraqi scientist tells of impoverished colleagues, defunct program. By Imad Khadduri

You can read any past issue of The Black Commentator in its entirety by going to the Past Issues page.