Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

This is Zionism.

August 31st, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from LENIN'S TOMB.

"An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday.

"The soldier, who has only been identified as "Captain R", was charged with relatively minor offences for the killing of Iman al-Hams who was shot 17 times as she ventured near an Israeli army post near Rafah refugee camp in Gaza a year ago.

"The manner of Iman's killing, and the revelation of a tape recording in which the captain is warned that she was just a child who was "scared to death", made the shooting one of the most controversial since the Palestinian intifada erupted five years ago even though hundreds of other children have also died."

Copyleft of Lenin's Tomb

[Read the original at LENIN'S TOMB (2010-08-31)...]

Revolutionary Letter #4 by Diane di Prima

August 29th, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from ARTHUR MAGAZINE.

Revolutionary Letter #4
by Diane di Prima

Left to themselves people
grow their hair.
Left to themselves they
take off their shoes.
Left to themselves they make love
sleep easily
share blankets, dope & children
they are not lazy or afraid
they plant seeds, they smile, they
speak to one another. The word
coming into its own: touch of love
on the brain, the ear.

We return with the seas, the tides
we return as often as leaves, as numerous
as grass, gentle, insistent, we remember
the way,
our babes toddle barefoot thru the cities of the universe.


from Revolutionary Letters

[Read the original at ARTHUR MAGAZINE (2010-08-29)...]

Nancy Lugosi

August 24th, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from Who Is IOZ?.

Digby issues one of the tackiest (and dumbest) hit jobs in her blurgh's sordid and incoherent history. Digby is a dick.

History: Ron Paul issues an unequivocal statement of support for the rights of Muslims in America. Not only that, but he uses the opportunity to roundly condemn Barack Obama's America's War Against Islam. Naturally this offends La Digs, because Paul catches liberals in the sweep of his condemnation. Liberals, you may recall, currently control the legislative and executive branches of our government, and they are directing Barack Obama's America's War Against Islam.

She is outraged, outraged that Paul's J'accuse contained some general economic prescriptions with which she disagrees. Oh. Um. Wait. IT DIDN'T. Dear Digby: do not imply things that can be disproven by following the links that you yourself provide. She says in effect that because Paul has elsewhere and otherwise said things about economic matters that she finds objectionable, ergo his strong statement in support of religious liberty and the rights of private citizens to conduct their own private business on their own private property as they see fit are to be discarded, are of suspect origin and motive. She tars him with the views of his adult son--"his boy"--which is more than mildly amusing since she was just bitching about some or other preacherman claiming that Obama was Muslim by bloodline. How dare they!? Lady, you are a fucking hack.

Paul says that the angry sentiments surrounding the Islamic center are being stirred up by all sides in order to distract from the ongoing theft of wealth and property for the purpose of making a few very rich people even richer. He's right. Digby, a tribalist, wishes to cast this issue once again as nobel Progressives defending religious liberty against the evil, yokel xenophobes of the right:
And anyway, as Greenwald points out today, this is a real issue whether we want it to be or not and it speaks to some very dangerous and important cross currents in American political life. It's not a distraction.
Oh, bullshit. Total and utter. Can I just emphasize for the ten millionth time that it is not a conservative government that is currently waging war against Islam. It is not a tea-party protest that is bombing Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and who knows where else. It is not a conservative government that is trying a child soldier for war crimes in a secret trial. Ad infinitum. The popular sentiments shouted at "Ground Zero" are uncomfortable, but they aren't killing Muslims; they are, however, distracting everyone from the bankrupt American military project of killing Muslims. Their superficial anger at Islam is insignificant compared to Barack Obama's real and actual policies toward Islam, which is to bomb the living shit out of it every day.

On a more minor note, Digby doesn't seem to have any idea what a neoconservative is. She seems to believe that neoconservatives are advocates of laissez-faire classical liberalism when the exact opposite is the case. Neoconservatives are social moderates and social democrats on matters cultural and economic. Most of them started out as "liberals". That they became influential in the conservative government of George W. Bush, and that the policies of that supposedly conservative government were then adopted and expanded by the subsequent liberal administration, ought to tell you something about the nature of party divisions within the decision-making echelons of the American State. If, that is, you're not an idiot.

[Read the original at Who Is IOZ? (2010-08-24)...]

Imperial Doublespeak About Iraq

August 19th, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from The Libertarian Standard.

In a series of Orwellian twists, the United States is pulling out (prematurely some say) “all” “combat” troops from Iraq but doubling down (for starters) on mercenaries.

The Obama Administration gets away with “fulfilling” Obama’s promise to end US combat operations in Iraq by removing the last (officially-labeled) combat brigade from the country, yet 50,000 troops will remain until (supposedly) 2011. These 50,000 troops make up 7 “Advise and Assist” Brigades, which are brigade combat teams like the one that just left but with special training, and 2 combat aviation brigades. “The troops are officially there to assist and advise the Iraqi government, but will carry weapons to defend themselves and will join Iraqi troops on missions if requested.”

After 2011, the “military” presence in Iraq is supposed to be “limited to several dozen to several hundred officers in an embassy office who would help the Iraqis purchase and field new American military equipment,” but military officers are saying that “5,000 to 10,000 troops might [still] be needed.”

Meanwhile, “the State Department is planning to more than double its private security guards, up to as many as 7,000.” Can we really still call security personnel ‘civilians’ or ‘private security’ anymore when they’re working for the state in foreign lands, particularly in a combat zone? They’re mercenaries, troops that are conveniently not part of the official US military. The NYT reporter couldn’t help calling them “a small army of contractors.”

The US is building military bases, fortified compounds, outposts, and the largest “embassy” in the world in Iraq. Iraqi politicians still haven’t been able to come to an agreement and form a government after the last elections, making Iraq vulnerable to a coup if the Iraqi military leadership get too frustrated by the ineffectual, in-fighting politicians. The US empire will not be completely out of there anytime soon.

But hey, “we” won…right?

Related Posts

  1. America’s love affair with generals
  2. The price others pay for our “freedoms”
  3. I Guess It’s the Singer, Not the Song

[Read the original at The Libertarian Standard (2010-08-19)...]

By James Nachtwey

August 16th, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from riot rite right clit clip click.


By James Nachtwey

[Read the original at riot rite right clit clip click (2010-08-16)...]

Darth Nader

August 13th, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from Who Is IOZ?.

Shared by Ryan
This should be required reading for everyone.

But what's dangerously myopic about going ballistic as Gibbs did in his statements is that just 10 years ago we had a little event in which only a tiny portion of the base went with a third party bid from the left --- and the consequences were catastrophic. Democrats, of all people, should remember that every vote matters.

-La Digs
Dangerously mypoic! Terrifyingly farsighted! Horrifically astigmatic! Every vote! Thanksralph!

What the events of the last ten years have demonstrated is that a drawly Southern Republican and a clipped Northern Democrat will substantively govern in the same manner, engage the same means, and pursue the same ends. If Barack Obama, a man with a modest-yet-demonstrable history as something resembling a liberal, embraces aggressive war, the surveillance state, and the necessary eradication of social security, how the hell do they imagine that Al Gore, one of the most conservative and staunchly pro-military Democrats in the modern history of the party would've governed? You think one of the architects of the decade-long collective punishment of Iraq and America's official policy of "regime change" would've overlooked the opportunities of nineleven? Because . . . because in the alternate future history in which we're living the Norse Dynamite Commission gave him a Best-in-Show award? They gave that shit to Obama, too. I'll say this, for Al. At least he resisted the temptation to address the dignitaries from atop that monstrous pile of Afghan skulls and weeping Pakistani women.

By the way, the natural counterpart to thanksralphery is wouldyouprefermccaineration. The implication, apparently, is that in place of the blood-drinking crocodilian overlord we got, we could've gotten one who was also snippy . . . and old! How crazy would he have been? Whew, really dodged the bullet! I am increasingly conviced that this alternative isn't merely couterfactual, but wildly so. Now, you can argue that Barack Obama won the election because people were tired of Gee-dub, or because Obama ran a masterful political campaign, or simply because the economy crashed at exactly the right moment, but the reality is that Obama won because the system whereby American political parties select their candidates is weird and the Republicans ended up with McCain, a truly lousy contestant, a lurching, senescent grouch with a whiny voice and shaky hands who selected as a running mate a pneumatic PTA chief whose hee-haw antics offended the professional class. He never had a chance. If, on the other hand, the Republican party had produced a reasonable establishment candidate--let's call this hypothetical character Ritt Momney--with good hair, a ready smile, and a program of technocratically plausible, bureaucratically feasible empty promises, and if that grinning Gorgon had picked as a partner some sort of reassuringly homey, vaguely Christian backslapper--let's call him, oh, I don't know, Huck Mikeabee--then that candidate very well might've beaten back the challenge of the guy with the funny name, the windy style of speechifying, and the poor debating skills. And Ritt Momney, well, a guy like that, presumably, would've done, uh, what now? Would've largely continued the policies of his predecessor, even as he deplored certain rhetorical excesses and sought a more competently business-like demeanor to paste over the operations of the empire? Sounds familiar, nay?

The "activist base" . . . oy, you've got to love this self-conception: the scurrying loyalists of a top-down factional hierarchy perceiving themselves as engaged in activism, like the catering staff considering themselves titans of industry because they lay out the water bottles before a meeting of the board of directors. The "activist base" persists in believing that The Obama is An Historic Candidate who was handed An Historic Moment and is in the process of squandering it, when plainly Obama is a very ordinary administrator at a fairly ordinary moment doing an entirely ordinary job. Empires get embroiled in simmering conflicts in the provinces. Recessions happen. The imperatives and intertia of the empire are larger than the current emporer. He'll probably get drummed out after this term, and the next guy will probably benefit from a modest economic recovery that will ensure him eight years, even if he's got bad table manners. You heard it hear first. The motto of this blog bears repeating: plus ça change, motherfuckers.

[Read the original at Who Is IOZ? (2010-08-13)...]

A Poem for Hiroshima Day

August 9th, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from Young Anabaptist Radicals.

The Necessity of Hiroshima: why we must believe

Act I

in The Year of Decisions, our savior Harry asked

"a committee of top men"
                                    Men all carved from the same superior
                                    Aspen, carefully lathed of their
"to study with great care"
                                    care. Eviscerated as children, smiling
                                    beneath strange fruit. They died for
"the implications the new"
                                    the new; our idolatrous messiah. Our
                                    silicon steel colossus will consume
"weapon might have for us"
                                    us, our civilization. As surely as
                                    Saturn Devouring His Son.

the scientific advisers of the committee reports:

"We can propose no technical demonstration likely to bring an end to the war;
we see no acceptable alternative to
direct military use."

Act II

And so, 65 years ago today, an orange cloud blossomed above a city full of them for our salvation.

DSC_0243-1

Act III

And in the end, today, we must believe
in the bomb
in its righteousness, its compassion, its justice.

Because the thread of the necessary Hiroshima
and Nagasaki
is woven through the cloth of Iraq, Afghanistan and Deepwater Horizon

to pull that sacred strand is to unravel the torturous tapestry of our exceptionalism;
to send 200,000 burned, irradiated bodies crashing through the streets of
our city upon a hill

Source for Truman quotes: Deaton, Paul, "Hiroshima Day 2010 in Iowa"  accessed at http://www.blogforiowa.com/blog/_archives/2010/8/6/4596871.html

[Read the original at Young Anabaptist Radicals (2010-08-09)...]

Gomer Warhol

August 9th, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from Who Is IOZ?.

Whenever and wherever a human does something of which the Times is not certain it approves, the grey lady turns to psychology, like an eleventh-grader with a collection of Capote stories and a looming term paper deadline. The wounded loner narrative is thus their second most popular plotline, a whisker behind the fake trend story. It is marvelously elastic; I've read it regarding murderers, lefty politicians, preachermen, domestic terrorists, stand-up comedians, indie actors, and small-label musicians. And now Pfc. Bradley Manning.

As is usually the case in the venerable rag, newsgirl Ginger Thompson seeks to portray Manning's convictions as symptomatic of an implicitly flawed personal character. Gay computer-nerd loser is the pathology, and revealed government secrets is how it presents clinically. That Manning's convictions and willingness to act upon them might in fact reveal the core of his character does not occur to her; I suspect it would only frighten her if it did. Early episodes in which Manning defends his beliefs and principles despite the social opprobrium and unpopularity it brings him are inverted and reinterpreted as a lonely child acting out.
At school, Bradley Manning was clearly different from most of his peers. He preferred hacking computer games rather than playing them, former neighbors said. And they said he seemed opinionated beyond his years about politics, religion, and even about keeping religion out of politics.
Even about keeping religion out of politics. Hallelujah. We've got a gen-u-wine weirdo.

The Times throws in the usual soupçon of sexual confusion, even though Manning does not appear to be sexually confused in the slightest, and ties up the package neatly with a strongly implied motive of self-aggrandizement, ascribing an "inflated sense of purpose" to the young private, before--and this is why we can be glad that the Times appears to be run and edited by illiterates--dropping in a damning quote that makes exactly the opposite point it was plainly included to make.
“I wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much,” he wrote, “if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me plastered all over the world press.”
Well, a negative statement followed be a negative subordinate clause is a little hard to parse. Either Thompson and her editors sought to undermine the entire thesis of the story in its ultimate paragraph, or else, far more likely, they misread the quotation and thought they'd caught out Manning proclaiming that he did it for fame.

[Read the original at Who Is IOZ? ()...]

War is a racket

August 8th, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from Unqualified Offerings.

By Thoreau

I just read War is a Racket by Gen. Smedley Butler.  Butler served in various interventions in the Philippines, China, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America in the first quarter of the century, as well as World War I.  He does not regard any of those conflicts as justified in retrospect, and views them as having been fought for the sake of big business.  He doesn’t even spare the military from his wrath, saying that the standing army doesn’t just exist for the sake of the weapons industry, but also for the sake of generals and admirals who would lose positions and prestige if they didn’t have  fleets and armies to preside over.  The only people he has any pity for are the troops, and even then he doesn’t glorify them as the foot-soldiers of freedom, but rather says:

Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the fields and offices and factories and classrooms and put into the ranks.  There they were remolded; they were made over; they were made to  “about face”; to regard murder as the order of the day.  They were put should to shoulder and, through mass psychology, they were entirely changed.  We used them for a couple years and trained them to think nothing at all of killing or of being killed.

Descriptions like that cannot be countenanced in our culture.  Our culture will not allow us to use the word “murder” in regard to what the military does.  Even Lt. William Calley was only regarded as a “murderer” by one faction of our political culture, with the other faction regarding him as a victim.  (If you don’t believe me, read Nixonland.)  We are supposed to revere The Troops as being better than regular citizens, and regard their task as admirable rather than, at best, a sometimes necessary evil.

But it gets better.  He said of his career:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Rhetoric like that is not acceptable in our political discourse.

The biggest difference between then and now is that whereas his book describes the way that profits go up during war, now we have such a massive and permanent military-industrial complex that the weapons manufacturers don’t need a war to turn a nice profit (although a war always helps).  Indeed, as much as I support massive cuts in military spending, a part of me does worry about the short-term economic impacts of such cuts, when so much of our economy is devoted to the tasks of murder and espionage, oh, sorry, I meant, defense and homeland security.

[Read the original at Unqualified Offerings (2010-08-08)...]

The A-Bomb 65 Years Later

August 7th, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from Free Association.


Yesterday was the 65th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, one of President Harry Truman's two acts of butchery against Japan in August 1945. There isn't much to be said about those unspeakable atrocities that hasn't been said many times before. The U.S. government never needed atomic bombs to commit mass murder. It's "conventional" weapons have been potent enough. (See the firebombing of Tokyo.) But considering how the "leaders" saw The Bomb, its two uses against Japan stand out as especially heinous acts. The U.S. government may not have used atomic weapons since 1945, but it has not yet given up mass murder as a political/military tactic. Presidential candidates are still expected to say that, with respect to nuclear weapons, that "no options are off the table."

The anniversary of the Nagaski bombing is Monday.

Mario Rizzo has pointed out that Americans were upset by the murder of 3,000 people on 9/11 yet seem not to be bothered that "their" government murdered hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in a few days.

As Harry Truman once said, "I don't give 'em hell. I just drop A-bombs on their cities and they think it's hell." (Okay, he didn't really say that, but he might as well have.)

Rad Geek People's Daily has a poignant post here. Rad says: "As far as I am aware, the atomic bombing of the Hiroshima city center, which deliberately targeted a civilian center and killed over half of the people living in the city, remains the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of the world."

Finally, if you read nothing else on this subject, read Ralph Raico's article here.

[This post appeared previously. It has been amended.]
Atom

[Read the original at Free Association (2010-08-07)...]