The Peacer's Prayer: War Without End, Amen

Written by Chris Floyd 24 August 2010 7671 Hits

The Peace Laureate and his apologists – along with all the well-wadded neoconmen and their strange bedfellows, the liberal interventionists – may like to proclaim that the Iraq War is over (and we won!), but those actually fighting the war know that – as Cab Calloway liked to say of the stories you’re liable to read in the Bible – it ain’t necessarily so. From the Army Times: Combat brigades in Iraq under different name.

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The Laureate and the Leaker: Swedish Warrant a Salvo in Team Obama's War on Wikileaks

Written by Chris Floyd 21 August 2010 8624 Hits

Here it comes: with the bizarre "rape-no rape" charges against Julian Assange, the War Machine's assault against Wikileaks has now begun in earnest. These days, the powers-that-be don't go straight to the shiv in the back or the poison in the drink or the faked suicide or the tragic car accident on a dark road; no, today we are a bit more circumspect in taking down high-profile irritants of empire. The modern way is to begin the takedown with a smear campaign -- preferably some sort of ""moral turpitude" to sully their public image and discredit their entire cause. And so on late Friday we had the announcement that Swedish authorities had issued an arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on charges of rape and molestation. This was followed a few hours later -- after Wikileaks mounted a ferocious defense against the charges, and promised to carry on with its work regardless -- by a sudden decision to withdraw the warrant, with officials now saying the rape charge was unfounded -- although they said nothing about the lesser charge of molestation, leaving that vague but turpitudishly resonant charge hanging in the air for the moment. This rigmarole is about as blatant a smear as can be imagined, coming as it does just after the Obama Administration has been caught out in an outright lie about Wikileaks attempts to redact its next release of classified war documents to ensure that no Afghans named in the papers will be put at risk. Not only has the Peace...

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Back to the Heart of Darkness in America's Unended War in Iraq

Written by Chris Floyd 21 August 2010 9219 Hits

In a week when the American establishment has been ludicrously lauding "the end" of the most decidedly unended war in Iraq, a new book takes us back to the very heart of darkness in this still ongoing war crime, which is nowhere near its end. In the Guardian, novelist and Vietnam War veteran Edward Wilson reviews what he calls "the best book by far about the Iraq war": Black Hearts: One Platoon's Descent Into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death, by Jim Frederick. The book tells the story of the horrific rape and multiple murder carried out one night by American soldiers in an Iraqi village in 2006. As Wilson puts it:

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Profiles in Pusillanimity: Obama and the 'Ground Zero Mosque'

Written by Chris Floyd 15 August 2010 6247 Hits

There was great rejoicing on the port side of the blogosphere this weekend after Barack Obama took the "brave step" of announcing "his support for the Ground Zero mosque." (There was also much rejoicing on the starboard side as well, as it "proved" the Right's contention that Obama is a double-secret Islamic Muslim Moslem Mohammedan out to convert every American into Islamic Muslim Moslems.) Even stern critics of many aspects of the Obama regime declared that here, at last, the pusillanimous progressive prez had taken a worthy stand, and should be praised. [I confess that I have never understood this latter stance, especially when it comes from those who continually lay out the high crimes and atrocities of the current administration in devastating detail. Why should we make a point of praising leaders whom we know are engaged in criminal, immoral and unconstitutional actions? As I've noted here many times before, every government in the history of the world has done "good" things, in some areas, for some people, or even many people -- even the worst regimes of the last century. They built roads, established social programs, dug sewers, built hospitals, schools, parks, museums, brought electricity to rural regions, lifted millions out of poverty and illiteracy, and so on and so forth. Their leaders often made speeches about their abiding belief in freedom and peace and a decent life for all; Stalin's constitution, for example, promised a virtual paradise of democracy,...

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A Counsel Against Despair

Written by Chris Floyd 15 August 2010 7238 Hits

MANY THINGS ARE POSSIBLE Not everything. Not paradise or perfection. But many things. Better things. Clearer, deeper ways of seeing. Richer, deeper ways of being. Many things are possible. Despair is a disease spread by the powerful, like smallpox laced in a blanket, to keep us weak, distracted, and in thrall. Time is against us, always against us, the mortal tincture working its way. But while breath and blood still flows behind the caging bone, MANY THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

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Quick Takes and Wrong Turns

Written by Chris Floyd 13 August 2010 6095 Hits

Luminous Landmark As we noted here recently, Arthur Silber is in the midst of a landmark series on the Wikilieaks revelations -- a series whose profound implications and insights extend far beyond the particulars of the current controversy (although he has many pertinent things to say about those as well). I'm sure I will be drawing on these essays in the days to come. Circumstances prevent me from doing them justice at the moment, so for now I just want to point you to them once again (several more have appeared since their first mention here), and urge you to read them, if you have not done so already. A Brief History of Hell It's a story we have oft told here -- how the Potomac Empire brought fresh hell to Somalia -- but in light of the current imperial seat-warmer's "continuity" with the insane and inhumane policies of his predecessor, Charles Pena provides a very useful overview of "Blowback, Somali Style." Long Gone Wrong Turn Neil Ascherson writes of an exhibit which I just attended at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford: The Lost World of Old Europe. As he notes:

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The Ricorso

Written by Chris Floyd 09 August 2010 5984 Hits

Back to the world again, after 10 days of total media de-tox: no internet, no television, no radio, no newspapers, nothing but those quaint cubical constructions of paper and ink known as books. I would highly recommend one of those cubes to anyone interested in elucidating the cultural, political, social, spiritual, and psychological bedevilments that inform our bruising and battering age: The Master and the Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, by Iain McGilchrist. For me personally, the book has been not only a richly fecund field of new insights and connections, but also, in many ways, a ricorso, a thunderclap of return to some deeply-felt intimations and understandings of Being that had once -- in their rough, inchoate, unrefined early forms -- seemed to be moving me in the direction of a deeper, more holistic engagement with life, if I may put it that way. I lost most of these intimations along the way somewhere, wandering away from the deep, swift, churning river down many dismal, swampy by-paths, pushing through murk, tangled in vines, anxious, fearful, diminished. It's strange to have stumbled suddenly out of the undergrowth to catch a glimpse of the old river, still there (though not the same water, of course; never the same water), still surging, still alive. Whether I can hew my way down to the water again is another question, of course; the vines are still thick, the murk is heavy, and the spirit and flesh much weaker than...

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