Global Independent Analytics
Joshua Tartakovsky
Joshua Tartakovsky

Location: USA

Specialization: Israel and the Middle East, US politics

Oregon: The United States Cracking Down on Farmers Under Liberal Pretenses.

The seizing of US federal land by an Oregon militia is a reaction to the many years of the government abusing its citizens

Is it Possible?

Is it possible that the United States, created on the basis of settler-colonialism that drove Native Americans from their lands, on which it created federal parks although this does not seem to fly with the Constitution, is now turning against small farmers? Small and middle-size farms have already seen revenues decline by 36% this past year and corporate farming has been driving small farms out of business.

Is it possible that the Federal Government has been taking lands from the Hammonds farm in Oregon for years, although, their open range farm has been cultivating non-GMO food? Is it possible that this land takeover is resulting in the impoverishment of farmers and in lesser healthy food available?

Is it possible that a white farmer trying to ranch his fields, has faced constant threats from the federal government authorities coveting his fields where cows wander freely uncaged, has seen growing amounts of land being seized for decades, and has been put to trial for setting a backfire on his own yard in order in order to stop a fire, caused by lightening, from reaching his home? Is the 53% of Oregon land that the Federal Government owns not enough?

Is it possible that the farmer and his son, whose crime has been remaining steadfast on their land and harvesting it, while the fire mentioned above reached just a few acres into federal property, have been accused of “terrorism” under the Federal Anti terrorism Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 for setting up a backfire on their own land?

Is it possible that in October 2014, after already being imprisoned for several months following a course case in 2012, which was based on the testimony of a 24 years old family member who may be mentally disturbed and was 13 at the time, a judge resentenced the 74 years old Dwight Hammond and his son Steven, for four years each in prison, once again and that the Hammonds must pay a $200,000 fine, after already paying another $200,000 in fines?

Is it possible that despite many pleas of the Hammonds, which fell on deaf ears, volunteers from other parts of the United States, such as Ammon Bundy, felt compelled to come to their cause, and after many petitions to the Federal authorities, courts, representatives and the sherrif, organized by activists resulted in a naught, the Federal authorities threatened the Hammonds that if they do not distance themselves from Bundy, they will put them in an even worse federal prison, which could possibly result in the death of 74 years old Dwight, who will also be forced to leave his 74 years old wife, Susy, behind?

Is it possible that after all these attempts to struggle against an injustice failed, when Bundy and many other farmers and militamen, ex-service men of the US armed forces who realize they have been betrayed by the Federal Government, came to the headquarters of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, and reclaimed the land for popular use so that, as Bundy said, “the public land… will be under multiple use, so that the rancher will be able to ranch, the hunter will be able hunt, the activist will be able to ride and the camper will be able to camp, and that’s the beautiful part about the west,” they were demonized by the liberal media ‘terrorists’? That after Bundy said that ‘what happeneing to them [the Hammonds] is only a symptom of a greater problem, happening to other people” and that “we care about all people around the world,” progressive media accused them of being white supremacists?

Is it possible, that after Bundy said that "I want to emphasis that the American people are wondering why they can't seem to get ahead or why everything is costing more and you are getting less, and that is because the federal government is taking and using the land and resources, and if it is continued, it will put the people in poverty,” the progressive media mocked the protest of farmers in Oregon as inauthentic due to the fact that they purchased their supplies from Walmart? Must one buy a pricey rebellious shirt in an Urban Outfitters store to be taken seriously?

Is it possible that we are being told by the liberal media that this is a story of privileged farmers, white settler-colonialists, seeking to take over a national park which belongs to all, when in fact the land belonged to them and the Federal Government has been working throughout the country to rob farmers from their land?  And not only in Oregon. In Texas, for example, farmers who have been working on their lands for 70 years now see their land being taken away, despite years of hard work and of paying taxes. Furthermore, the uranium that is supposedly in the area in question can be mined once it becomes Federal land.

Is it possible that even the ‘radical’ and ‘anti-imperialist’ leftists who criticised harshly American imperialism in Syria, Ukraine, Vietnam and Venezuela, suddenly believe that the US Regime which engages in brutal practices abroad will not do so at home? Or that if it kills white farmers, this is legitimate? Have they suddenly discovered that the United States is built on Native Land? Has the American Government displayed such examplary behavior abroad, that it must have good motives when it develops federal parks? Will the liberals in Manhattan give back their lands to the indigenous natives now? Are the café-going hipsters who work in various niches, aware of the economic plight faced by American farmers, as a direct result of the war against private farming by the Obama regime?  Which body has been driving the Natives off their land? The United States today with the casinos it places in small reserve-ghettos or modern day white farmers?

Is it possible that we are told that the activists in Oregon are being funded by the Koch brothers, and are part of right-wing conspiracy to privatize the land, when the land belonged to the farmers in the first place, when the Koch brothers have not been involved in the Oregon standoff, and when their own federal government, is taking land from private farmers and handing it over to foreign corporations? Did members of the House of Representatives not vote on December 2014 to trade off 2,400 acres of Apache Land after years of corporate lobbying, with the support of John McCain, parts of which belong to the Tonto National Park in Arizona to a foreign corporation? The Apache Land was rich in copper, held sacred by neighboring tribes, will now be drilled on. But that must be ok, because the Big Brother, the Federal Government, is doing it, and whatever the authorities do, must be ok.

Is it possible that the white American Left is so blinded by hatred, that it cannot recognize the deep economic crisis that white farmers have been facing, at least partly due to the criminal actions of the Federal Government as well as due to the crisis of capitalism itself? Must white farmers in Oregon pay the price for liberal white American guilt? Must they pass a litmus test of fighting for blacks and Muslims in order for their social claims to be taken seriously and state a politically-correct credo? We are often told, that had they been black, they would have been cracked down upon already. And that is most certainly true. But once the crack-down will come, and judging by how things are going it most certainly will, white Americans may be massacred mercilessly by Obama’s troops while American progressives cheer him on for bringing ‘law and order,’ confiscating private land and turning it into a federal park,  and killing the physical reminder of their very own settler-colonialism, which is a moral issue for all Americans. This happened before in Waco.

Is it possible that white American liberals cannot consider the plight of a 74 years old farmer, due to the fact that the Oregon protesters believe in God, and have the Constitution and the Bible under their arm and not Das Capital? When Muslims proclaim their faith in Allah, do progressives take an issue standing with them? Bundy is mocked for getting on his knees in prayer. Did progressive activists ever mock Muslims for prostrating on the floor and carrying out the Salaat before the Creator? Must one belong to a particular group and look a certain way, or speak in a New England accent, to have his Constitutional rights respected? And will charges of terrorism, now brought up against farmers, not be brought up against others later down the road? As one of the signs of the protesters rightly stated “Someone You Know May Be Held As Terrorist Next.” Similarly, Bundy said "I feel we are in a situation where if we do not do something, if we do not take a hard stand, we'll be in a position where we'll be no longer able to do so." Naomi Wolf already pointed out at the fact that the US is rapidly becoming a totalitarian state.

Is it possible that American liberals, so accustomed to hating the white working class and small farmers, have failed to realize that the protesters in Oregon stand in a lone fight as they have been betrayed by Republican representatives as well? That Ted Cruz and Sean Hannity both disavowed them? That Marxist analysis should now place small white farmers as victims of corporate agricultural production? And that the Republican establishment is as sold-out as the Demoracts?  Perhaps it is the fate of karma, that white Americans who once exploited the Natives for whom no one stood up, now stand on their own facing the federal tyranny (yes, tyranny without quotation marks). But standing up for justice is a matter of principle and having compassion for suffering farmers is an expression of basic humanity, as well as a physical necessity if one wishes to still enjoy healthy hamburgers. As far as the concern for wildlife, there have been reports that birds flock more to farms than to federal lands.

Is it possible that the liberal media is intentionally obscuring the fact that US capitalist development reached such a stage where it cannot really allow for private farming anymore since it must suck that out too for the elite to see continued profit? And that the core problem today is that the middle class is vanishing and that the state is not only no longer a democracy, and also may very well going to transform itself into a totalitarian, neo-feudalist state and to enslave all of us?

EXPERT OPINION

Joshua Tartakovsky

I may have conflated at times between ranchers and farmers.  But they both suffer from the same plight: prosecution by the Federal Government. For example, while ranchers have seen their lands being taken away by the federal Birds and Livestock Management (BLM), and there have been cases reported of  fires caused by the BLM that kill animals while the court do not press charge,  farmers have been facing an onslaught by the USDA with its “war on raw milk,” and the EPA has taken over waterways and wetlands and preventing their availability to farmers.  There are many other examples, which perhaps deserve a separate essay. In fact, what has been going on is that the Obama administration has been using environmental laws to make life harder for farmers, supposedly to protect the environment. At the same time, USDA has approved of genetically modified food,  and has allowed for pesticides while being sued for repressing scientific findings which argue that this presents a health risk, and Monsanto food is now to be found in many food products in the US while citizens may not always be aware. Furthermore, as corporations buy more and more private lands and farmers face economic difficulties, the government has revealed whose priorities it has in mind.

What I find most disturbing about the demonization of the protesters in Oregon by the American liberals, is that they are entirely silent about the fact that the Hammonds were sentenced for terrorism under the Federal Anti terrorism Effective Death Penalty Act for setting up a fire. I would have expected more progressives to stand up for them, but American progressives too are widely constructs of their environment and despise the physical reminders of the colonial past, although the real crimes today are committed by the government itself.  I suppose they really believe in the government's noble intentions regarding federal parks, and that these cowboys are seen as wild and as spoiling it for everyone else. Even if the ranchers are not perfect, it is outright naïve and dangerous to blindly trust the Federal Government. As far as the hatred with which American socialist regard white ranchers, those who claim to be socialists should recall Lenin did not hesitate to work with bitter and disillusioned Navy soldiers against the system while rallying for their cause.
 

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