Grand Delusions: The Regressive Results of Progressive Markets

Written by Chris Floyd 18 November 2010 7454 Hits

There are a number of basic facts that are largely ignored in today's world, at a great cost to a great many people. Here's one: Military forces are designed to carry out military operations. You cannot use them for nation-building or constructing a civic society; if you do, you will fail. This fact is so evident, so banal, that one is almost embarrassed to point it out. Yet apparently it remains a wonderment, an unfathomable conception, to the makers of state policy -- even those reportedly intelligent enough to play 11-dimensional chess. Now here is another blatantly obvious, common-as-dirt fact: The market is designed to make money. If you rely on the market to achieve social goals -- such as the allieviation of poverty, or the provision of public services necessary for the common g...

Read more ...Grand Delusions: The Regressive Results of Progressive Markets

The Obscure Ruination of a Single Human Life

Written by Chris Floyd 16 November 2010 6954 Hits

Decades before you were born, an invading army occupied your native land. The army of occupation has blighted and repressed your people for generations. You have heard your parents and your grandparents talk of all that they have lost, all that was taken from them, the friends and relatives they have seen killed, how the brutal, stifling occupation has bred extremism (often funded and promoted by the occupiers) that has riven your society, and how all hope of an ordinary peaceful life has been taken from your family, and from you. You are 13 years old. One day, you see some soldiers of the occupation army. They are bristling with weapons and body armor, they are protected by watchtowers, helicopters, they are equipped with radios that can call down a missile or an airplane to destroy ...

Read more ...The Obscure Ruination of a Single Human Life

Blind Man's Bluff: Hitchens Pays Obeisance to His One True God

Written by Chris Floyd 15 November 2010 7426 Hits

One hates to kick a man when he’s down – and Christopher Hitchens, facing an almost certain doom from cancer, is certainly down. But as he has lived his life pulling no punches against those whom he felt (by whatever standards he held at the time) to be spewing murderous bullshit, let us honor this cherished principle of his by applying it to his own words. 

Hitchens was given a lavish and almost entirely adulatory spread in The Observer this weekend, holding forth in his usual “young trendy leftist turned aged imperial apologist” manner. There is not much of interest in the interview, and I would have passed over it in silence if not for one extraordinary passage, in which Hitchens demonstrates to perfection the wilful self-blindness of all those who end up worshipping at the alt...

Read more ...Blind Man's Bluff: Hitchens Pays Obeisance to His One True God

Brought to Book: Texas Twerp Tweaked in Times

Written by Chris Floyd 10 November 2010 6558 Hits

I had the lead letter in The Times today, concerning their recent interview with the book-hawking George W. Bush. The circumspect editors cut my text down to the gist -- although it was pretty circumspect already by my standards -- but at least the message got out to a wider audience. The Times website is now notoriously behind a paywall, of course, so I can’t link to it -- but thanks to the miracle of cut-and-paste technology, here is the letter as they ran it:

Read more ...Brought to Book: Texas Twerp Tweaked in Times

Obama's Peace Dividend: War Profiteering in the land of Gandhi

Written by Chris Floyd 07 November 2010 9083 Hits

The Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama, who in his prize-claiming speech boldly claimed the mantle of Mahatma Gandhi, is now visiting India. And why has he made this pilgrimage to the homeland of his spiritual mentor? Has he come to drink more deeply of the wellsprings of satyagraha, to steep himself more thoroughly in the Gandhian principles of courageous, active, non-violent resistance to evil, to the Mahatma's ceaseless dedication to the poor and the outcast? No: he has come to seal the deal on the sixth largest sale of war weapons in the history of the United States: $5 billion for the bristling, burgeoning Indian military, currently waging war on millions of its own people in Kashmir and the poverty-devastated state of central India, where the despair is so deep that suicide among...

Read more ...Obama's Peace Dividend: War Profiteering in the land of Gandhi

Show Time: Kangaroo Courts and the Crimes of Continuity

Written by Chris Floyd 06 November 2010 7572 Hits

"Somewhere in hell, Joseph Stalin is smiling." So says Tony Keller, quite aptly, in his report on one of the great travesties of justice in our time (and that is a long, long list): the outrageous show trial of Omar Khadr, a young Canadian who recently pleaded guilty to various spurious "terrorism" charges after spending eight years in the maw of the American gulag, since his capture in Afghanistan at the age of 15. While America's attention was diverted by the witless (and war-avoiding) blather of the recent election campaign, the Pentagon prosecutors of the Peace Laureate in the White House were finishing their persecution of the child soldier. Having wrung a false confession to a non-existent charge from him in the early days of his captivity, when he was seriously wounded, they f...

Read more ...Show Time: Kangaroo Courts and the Crimes of Continuity

Deliberate Evil: The American Strategy of Seeding Civil War

Written by Chris Floyd 02 November 2010 8524 Hits

Pressing business elsewhere precludes me from giving proper attention to this, but I must take a moment to urge you to read -- immediately -- the new article by Gareth Porter at Antiwar.com: "Torture Orders Were Part of US Sectarian War Strategy." Porter delves into the latest Wikileaks trove to find new and detailed evidence of how the vicious sectarian civil war in Iraq in 2004-2008 -- which killed thousands of people, subjected thousands to brutal and macabre tortures, drove hundreds of thousands of people from their homes -- was deliberately seeded and constantly fueled by the leaders of the American occupation. More specifically, Porter shows that the instigation and exacerbation of civil war and sectarian "cleansing" was the brainchild of the supposed master of "counterinsurgen...

Read more ...Deliberate Evil: The American Strategy of Seeding Civil War

First Bad Deal Gone Down: Origins of the Current Democratic Debacle

Written by Chris Floyd 01 November 2010 7250 Hits

The last, wan hope for real change in the American system was not lost through the imperial dithering of Barack Obama's "Bush-Clinton Terror War Continuity" administration during the past two years. No; those last wan hopes went down the drain in 2006 -- the year that the Democratic Party regained control of Congress ... and promptly made a screeching U-turn on virtually every anti-war, anti-imperialist, pro-liberty, pro-people position it had taken against George W. Bush. The sell-out -- or rather, the pay-off to the corporatist-militarist power factions who actually control the Democrats -- was immediate, brazen and deeply destructive. It helped entrench the vast abuses of power of the Bush Regime (and its bipartisan predecessors), it guaranteed the deaths of thousands of innocent pe...

Read more ...First Bad Deal Gone Down: Origins of the Current Democratic Debacle

Cargo Cult: Questions on the Latest Terrorist Threat

Written by Chris Floyd 31 October 2010 6913 Hits

First we were told that the recently intercepted package bombs sent, we are told, from Yemen, were targeted at synagogues in Chicago. Now we are being told that they were intended to blow up the cargo planes themselves. We are also told that the bombs' design shows the mark of a "highly sophisticated" operation by extremist Islamists, most likely al Qaeda. All of which prompts one question. If you were indeed a "highly sophisticated" Islamist extremist operation wishing to blow up cargo planes bound for the United States with package bombs, would you really a) mail those bombs from Yemen, a country currently under intense counterterrorism scrunity by the United States, and b) address these packages, from Yemen, to Jewish institutions -- in Barack Obama's home city? Either a) or b) al...

Read more ...Cargo Cult: Questions on the Latest Terrorist Threat

Recent Popular Articles

Word Association: White House Threatened By Drones

Jan 26, 2015 1657 Chris Floyd
WASHINGTON – The White House faces a serious threat from drones, administration officials said today, after a recent incident in which a small, private drone crashed on the lawn near the president’s…
Read More...

Letter Head: The Enduring Sorrows of the Savvy Liberal

Jan 28, 2015 1566 Chris Floyd
Rooting around in my files for something else tonight, I ran across a letter I sent to the Guardian a few months back. They didn’t print it, of course. They ran a fair few of my letters back in the…
Read More...

Waltzing To Armageddon: The West's Dance With Death in Ukraine

Feb 06, 2015 1298 Chris Floyd
Last week, the Obama Administration announced it is sending troops to Ukraine to "train" the Ukrainian National Guard. The folly of this move -- which, as later stories showed, is only the beginning…
Read More...

The Wrong Kind of Victim: No Hashtag for Dead Hostage in ISIS War

Feb 16, 2015 1273 Chris Floyd
Ordinarily the death of an American hostage held by Islamic extremists is the occasion of bellicose, ballyhooed, bloody shirt-waving rage, stoked in tandem by government and media. It usually evokes…
Read More...

Life of Brian: The Unbearable Lightness of American Being

Feb 08, 2015 1233 Chris Floyd
One thing I always wonder about: when did the people who consider themselves hip start to worry about what the hell was on television? When did they begin to write long, earnest disquisitions about…
Read More...

Shame and Shame Again: Obama Signs Death Warrant for Somalis

Feb 11, 2015 991 Chris Floyd
The American record in Somalia is shameful beyond measuring. Few people even know that 10 years ago, the US had a direct military involvement in Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia, which destroyed the…
Read More...