1. Occupational Hazards
As'ad AbuKhalil's headline on his brief post says it all: "Tragic accidents happen – every single day." He is referring to the latest killing of civilians by American occupation troops – not in Afghanistan this time, but in the now-forgotten war in Iraq, where death, corruption, repression and blowback are still raging.
2. Tony Blair: Liar, No. 876
It turns out that Tony Blair was told years before the Iraq invasion – in fact, even before the 9/11 attacks "that changed the world" and "made everything different" – that invading Iraq would be illegal (i.e., a Nuremberg-level war crime), as well as costly, destablizing and ineffective. This is revealed in documents from 2000 which the Independent has obtained, even though the "blue-ribbon" Chilcot Inquiry has refused to release it. What's more, the documents give the lie to Blair's recent testimony to the panel, and his claims elsewhere, that he had never discussed using troops to remove Saddam Hussein until after 9/11. Tony Blair, a liar? Imagine that!
3. All the Warmongering That's Fit to Print
Peter Casey at Antiwar.com does a remarkable thing: he actually reads the recent IAEA report, and finds that the New York Times deliberately distorted, even falsified the report's findings, in order to demonize Iran and mendaciously inflame fears of mad mullahs dropping nukes on America's holy heartland, and its plucky little outpost over in Israel. The NYT, plumping for imperial war? Imagine that!
4. Suburban Warfare
The Los Angeles Times brings us yet another story about America's brave, brave long-distance warriors: the Homeric heroes who sit in front of computer screens 10,000 miles away from battle, push buttons to kill people with robot-fired weapons, then go home to cozy suburban homes. Naturally, the story focuses on the great stress suffered by these bold 'soldiers,' as they go from shredding the viscera of some ragged Afghan walking around in his native land to pitching a ball with Junior in the backyard. In 10 years time, or less, most of our imperial slaughter will be carried out this way: no muss, no fuss, no risk, no mess – except for those piles of viscera on the other end.
5. Package Deal Chris Hedges reminds us of why we should boycott FedEx, and how the unchallenged ascendancy of corporate power is, literally, crippling and killing working folk.
6. The Bitter End Juan Cole brings word of a learned Theban at Harvard who has come up with a novel solution for the Middle East crisis: stop feeding the Palestinians, so they will quit breeding. Harvard Fellow Martin Kramer goes on to laud Israel's strangulation of Gaza for helping "break Gaza's runaway population growth." It is of course superfluous in us to point out that the deliberate decimation of a people by starvation and neglect is not unknown in recent history, and was in fact the first fatal step toward a somewhat more – how to put it? – final solution to a religio-ethnic conflict. The ironies here, as in so many policies of the plucky little outpost, are the bitterest imaginable.