The Poetry of Death: Patterns of State Terror

Written by Chris Floyd 10 May 2010 9774 Hits

The found poetry of state terror continues its strange mutilations of the English language. The bizarre verbal heavings of Donald Rumsfeld, for example, are rightly celebrated as choice examples of the genre. And noted English playwright David Hare once fashioned a whole play built largely on the "thought-tormented music" wrought from verbatim transcripts of the principal authors of the war crime in Iraq. In this regard, as in almost every aspect of the Terror War, "continuity" has been the hallmark of the Obama Administration. But we would do the progressive, forward-looking president a grave disservice if we were to imply that this dynamic, historic figure has confined himself to mere continuity. No, in field after field of governmental endeavor, Barack Obama has striven mightily not...

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After the Fire: Militarism in Ruins

Written by Chris Floyd 09 May 2010 6371 Hits

Der Spiegel has published a series of striking pictures recently discovered in the forgotten archives of a Berlin publishing house: photographs of city scenes in the immediate aftermath of Nazi Germany's surrender. First, in what the magazine aptly calls a "surreal image," Red Army soldiers gather before the ravaged Brandenburg Gate for a poetry reading, with the city still smoking from its death-struggle.

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Cold Irons Bound: All Together on the Road to Ruin

Written by Chris Floyd 06 May 2010 8695 Hits

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings." -- Shakespeare, Julius Caesar "Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." -- Homer Simpson Our text today is from Tom Englehardt, who is on the case with yet another ignored atrocity by our super-duper Special Ops boys in the goodest good war of them all out in Afghanistan. (See the original for the many links):

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It's Not Dark Yet, But It's Gettin' There

Written by Chris Floyd 05 May 2010 6783 Hits

"Don't even hear the murmur of a prayer...." -- Brother Bob Illness and other aggravations have hindered the blogivating of late, so below are some choice items from other quarters that are well worth your attention. The Children's Crusade Andy Worthington tells the truly horrendous story of Omar Khadr, who was taken captive as a child by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and has now spent eight years in the lower depths of the American gulag. He is now being "tried" in the kangaroo "tribunals" of the Bush-Obama Continuum, under arbitrarily concocted, illogical "laws" whose cruel absurdity would shame a Stalinist show trial, including this arbitary ruling by the Department of Defense: “a detainee may be convicted of murder in violation of the law of war even if they did not actually viola...

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The Revenant: Brief Glimpses of Empire's Reality

Written by Chris Floyd 01 May 2010 8953 Hits

I. The Ghost Who Walks Last week, the reappearance of a figure from the recent past briefly stirred the amnesiac fog that enfolds the brutal reality of the American empire. Former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega was taken from the American prison which has been his home for the past 21 years and flown to Paris, where he is to stand trial for decades-old drug-trafficking charges. The extradition was itself illegal. Noriega, who was captured after the illegal American invasion of his country in 1989, was classed by the United States as a "prisoner of war." In fact, he is the only official POW in American hands today; the empire's innumerable Terror War captives have been denied this designation and its legal protections under the Geneva Conventions. But of course the United States long ...

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Love and Strife: Don't Spill A Drop

Written by Chris Floyd 26 April 2010 11087 Hits

Listen now to a further point: no mortal thing Has a beginning, nor does it end in death and obliteration; There is only a mixing and then a separating of what was mixed, But by mortal men these processes are named 'beginnings.' -- Empedocles *** "Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and as we pass through them they prove to be many-coloured lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus." -- R.W. Emerson *** A conversation during Civil War. (From Bright, Terrible Spirit): "But in days past, I was a lawyer. Yes, a lawyer, can you believe it? It seems….ridiculous now, doesn't it? An orderly system meant to govern human society, to establish justice, to advance the ...

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Waste Management: Congress Pushes Surge in Ongoing War Against Iran

Written by Chris Floyd 24 April 2010 10105 Hits

There was a striking story in the papers on Friday: "Congress OKs Surge in Undeclared War against Iran!" Well, that wasn't exactly the headline – but it was the truth behind the reports about the vote in the House of Representatives to tighten the ligature of sanctions around the neck of Iran, as Antiwar.com reports. In accordance with the "diplomacy" of the Peace Laureate in the Oval Office, the House wants to "cripple" the Iranian economy by starving the human beings who live there of gasoline and other vital goods necessary to maintain a modicum of ordinary life. In other words, the popularly elected leaders of the world's greatest democracy – champions of liberty, justice and human rights – want to stop ambulances from transporting sick and dying children to the hospital. They w...

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Monster's Ball: Drawing Back the Veil on the 'Death State'

Written by Chris Floyd 21 April 2010 10368 Hits

Arthur Silber is back, with piercing insights that rip the veil which even self-proclaimed dissenters still draw across the blood-soaked reality of what Silber aptly calls the "Death State" that has long "wrapped the world in flames" (to quote the preferred method of resolving diplomatic conflicts famously voiced by Abe Lincoln's secretary of state) from its mephitic base on the Potomac. As always with Silber, you must read the whole piece (and follow the links) to get the full force of the argument, which is nuanced, multifarious and deeply considered, but here is just the briefest excerpt to send you on your way:

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Howling Wind: The Unrepented Genocide

Written by Chris Floyd 18 April 2010 12081 Hits

The other day I was reading the New York Review of Books in a bookstore café. I saw a large ad in the bottom corner of a page; it began with this quote, in bold capitals: "WHY IS IT A CRIME FOR ONE MAN TO MURDER ANOTHER, BUT NOT FOR A GOVERNMENT TO KILL MORE THAN A MILLION PEOPLE?" My first reaction, before I read further, was a feeling of surprise that someone had articulated the case against the Iraq war so clearly – and had bought expensive space in the magazine to bring this unpunished, unrepented – indeed, unacknowledged – war crime to the national consciousness again. A moment later, I saw that it was actually an ad for an exhibition in New York City about Raphael Lemkin, the Polish-Jewish exile and U.S. government advisor who first coined the term and developed the con...

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