Starved of Truth: The Assonance of Atrocity in the Afghan War "Review"

Written by Chris Floyd 17 December 2010 11126 Hits

History never repeats itself, of course. But human nature being what it is -- and the tropes of power and dominance being what they are -- there is a great deal of assonance in history: near-rhymes, recurring echoes in the present which do not chime exactly with the past but fall closely enough to resonate with meaning. Reading Timothy Synder's account of the genocidal famine in Soviet Ukraine in the early 1930s (in his new book, Bloodlands), I ran across the following passage. In it, Snyder describes how Stalin sought to explain away the manifest, catastrophic failure of his policy of forced collectivization, which had led to millions of deaths by starvation:

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Spooky Action at a Distance: The Strangulators of Truth Strike Again

Written by Chris Floyd 14 December 2010 8004 Hits

At 3:25 p.m. on Tuesday, a UK judge reverses an earlier court decision and granted bail to Julian Assange, who is being held in a British prison on a warrant for "sexual misconduct" charges in Sweden. The bail is attached with heavy conditions, including the demand for a large wad of cash upfront, a daily curfew (which will keep Assange off the prime-time news), and the requirement of wearing an electric tag. The ruling does not free Assange, however; he is sent back to jail pending the gathering of the cash, and pending a decision by Swedish authorities to appeal the bail ruling. At 4:18 p.m., outside the courtroom, film director Ken Loach, one of the many people putting up money for Assange's case, makes this comment:

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Memento Mori: Looking at the Face

Written by Chris Floyd 11 December 2010 9053 Hits

It has always seemed the strangest thing to me, the way that people will lacerate others -- with cruelty, with lies, with dirty dealing, with petty spite, with cold neglect, with violence, violence on the body and the soul -- just to gain, for just a moment, some bestial sense of dominance, on one level or another, from the highest to the lowest, turning the inexpressible miracle of existence, this paradise of consciousness and sensation we've been given, into a stinking, churned-up living hell. I look at all this, and I think: These people don't know they're going to die. They don't believe the blow will come. They think they've got all the time in the world to churn in the filth and make themselves "important" -- an importance that will be ripped out of them like a disemboweled gut ...

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Indecent Exposure: WikiLeaks Hounded for Showing Power Its True Face

Written by Chris Floyd 06 December 2010 11389 Hits

Even as WikiLeaks fights for its life --  a phrase that becomes less metaphorical by the day, especially for Julian Assange, hounded and hunted by several governments -- its revelations continue to shake the world's power structures. Every day we are treated to the edifying spectacle of the most powerful and privileged people on earth scurrying around like panicked rats, trying to escape the streams of light pouring into their filthy backrooms, exposing their ruthless machtpolitik -- and their monumental incompetence at every level. The trove of leaked diplomatic cables is too rich to encompass or fully process right away. Dip your hand into one batch and you come out with a whole handful of jewels, each one worthy of careful, in-depth analysis, buttressed with innumerable links to cur...

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"Why Aren't You Dead Yet?" The Enlightened War Policies of the Peace Laureate

Written by Chris Floyd 01 December 2010 8788 Hits

One of the most important stories of the day continues to be almost universally ignored, both by the corporate media and most 'progressive' bloggers, eternally absorbed with the shallow and pointless factional foolery amongst the cliques at the imperial court. But Jason Ditz at Antiwar.com has continued to shine a high, harsh light on this sinister development, which is adding a vast storehouse of anguish, hatred and violence that will be the Peace Laureate's chief legacy to future generations. We refer of course to the Obama Administration's escalation of air strikes in Afghanistan. As Ditz has been noting for some time, the coming of the media-sainted General David Petraeus to take direct command in the contentious satrapy has seen a spike in civilian deaths, as the vaunted "counteri...

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The Downward Road is Crowded

Written by Chris Floyd 23 November 2010 7848 Hits

A few quick takes, as we dig out from the latest hack. Money for Old Rope This is what $70 billion a year in whiz-bang, top-shelf "intelligence" buys you: Taliban Leader in Secret Talks Was an Impostor. The United States of Insouciance Since his return from a self-imposed hiatus, Paul Craig Roberts has been a man on fire, penning a series of riveting, ravaging articles that speak hard truth to the imperial state -- and to a society seemingly content to countenance, if not cheer, that state's worst malefactions. Roberts has done it again with his latest piece: "Insouciant Americans." Get thee hence, and read. Mission Accomplished It's hard to understand why all our serious commentators are writing that Barack Obama's presidency is in trouble, and offering sage advice, from...

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