Wise man William Blum has spent decades shredding the tired pieties of empire to reveal the rotten reality of the American war-and-domination machine, as it churns its way back and forth across the world, chewing up individual lives and whole countries. And so, as you might imagine, he has a few choice words to say about the bogus "end" to the American war crime in Iraq, recently praised to the highest heavens by our presidential Peace Laureate as "an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making." Here are few excerpts from Blum's take on this extraordinary achievement, from his latest "Anti-Empire Report." (Go here to sign up for the newsletter.)
Lately there has been a minor imbroglio in the blogosphere between progressive stalwart Roy Edroso and Salon.com columnist Glenn Greenwald. The former took umbrage at the latter's comparison of the foreign policy positions of Barack Obama and Ron Paul. I won't bore you with the meat of the matter, but I would like to focus momentarily on Edroso's umbrage, which is so unfortunately emblematic of the progressosphere at large.In sum, Edroso's "eyes filled with blood, he said -- from outrage and insult, presumably -- at Greenwald's description of what any supporter for Barack Obama is actually supporting. To wit:
It's already the new year here, but probably not where most of this blog's small remnant of readers are residing. So here are some "echoes from the future" to you folks still back in 2011. I hope you -- and all of us -- have a good year in 2012. As long as our sister, Life, is still with us, we'll keep plowing on, I reckon.(And if you have any spare coinage to keep the plow going here, it would be much appreciated. The tip jar is empty at the moment. However, as always, be sure to first give to any and all who need it more -- such as Arthur Silber, who depends solely on his blog to survive amidst much pain.)Meanwhile, here's a little reprise of a Pasternakian echo: "My sister, Life, is calling .... "
I had much to say about the recent terror bombings in Baghdad, which were framed almost universally in the American media as the result of the withdrawal of the steadying, beneficent hand of the U.S. military. For example, the New York Times spoke of "a country reeling from political and sectarian turmoil that erupted after the departure of the American military."It is hard to fathom the level of moral blindness -- not to mention the wilful ignorance -- required to write such a statement. To pretend to oneself, much less the rest of the world, that political and sectarian strife has only now "erupted" in Iraq, out of the blue, or more likely, due to the inherent savagery of those poor primitives we liberated -- think what a pathetic, self-deluded wretch you would have to be to hold such an belief. Think what it must be like to lose so much of your humanity and to have your intellect so stunted and diminished. Yet this is the viewpoint of the overwhelming majority of the American political and media elite. No causal connection is made between the unprovoked invasion by U.S. forces and the "eruption" of violence and political chaos in the conquered, broken, blood-soaked land.So yes, there is much to say about the continuing obscenity of the American war crime in Iraq, and its most recent manifestation in the eviscerated bodies on Baghdad's streets. But I think in this instance, I should put my voice aside and let an actual Iraqi speak of the situation and its implications...
In the end, it doesn’t matter if love comes to you or not, or if doesn’t come to you in the form or with the force you may have wanted.All that matters is that love exists somewhere in the world, and that we strive to make a world where this astonishing fact — which alone gives meaning to life, and is itself immortal — can flourish in all of its manifestations.
Apologies for the duplicate posts, and for the fact that in trying to fix it, I seem to have eliminated the copy that had comments on it. We may possibly be having some hack attacks, but it's being looked into, and we crave your patience. Thanks.
In March 2003, the United States of America launched an entirely unprovoked act of military aggression against a nation which had not attacked it and posed no threat to it. This act led directly to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. It drove millions more from their homes, and plunged the entire conquered nation into suffering, fear, hatred and deprivation.
The U.S. presidential campaign is now in full swing. (In truth, it never actually ends; the savage grasping and grappling among damaged souls seeking their brief season of domination and death-dealing goes on daily without respite.) In the months to come, we will be subjected to an ever-growing, ever-roaring flood of rhetoric about the unique, unquestionable, divinely ordained goodness of America. (And how the "other side" would destroy or demean this precious moral specialness.)
Now what's that little baby doingDressing up in banker's clothes?-- Gillian Welch and Dave RawlingsMany people have commented on the Congressional vote to codify the authoritarian powers asserted by George W. Bush and Barack Obama, i.e., the arbitrary, unchallengeable power to declare anyone on earth -- including American citizens -- an "enemy of the state" and incarcerate them, indefinitely, outside of due process, in military custody. There is, at this writing, an outside chance that Barack Obama might possibly veto this "enabling decree" -- but only on the grounds that to accept Congressional approval of these tyrannical powers might encroach upon the presidential autocrat's authority to do whatever he or she damn well pleases to anyone he or she wants to destroy. But in any case and every case, the bipartisan political ruling class is united in its steadfast determination to eliminate any last vestige of constitutional liberty or rule of law in the United States.And whatever the outcome of this particular bill, the reality will remain the same: the President of the United States will continue to claim -- and exercise -- absolute arbitrary power over the life and liberty of every person on earth. As we've said here before, not even Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin at their most megalomaniacal ever dreamed of asserting the kind of universal power now asserted by American presidents and the lickspittlish lackeys in the United States Congress.There is, alas, no "news" in...
Just a note to say that the comment function on the blog will be shut down for the time being, while a few issues get ironed out. Apologies for any inconvenience.
A recent painting by American artist R.A. Zimmerman offers oblique but apt observations on the eternal bullshit of empire:
On Wednesday -- the day before Britain's unions launched the largest strike the country has seen in almost 90 years -- the UK's coalition government finally removed its mask of 'moderation' and showed its true, ravenous face. The government's economic honcho, George Osborne -- a young, smirking, smarmy upper class twit who makes George Bush look like Will Rogers -- announced yet another round of savage cuts that will batter and cripple the lives of the poor, the vulnerable, the young, the sick, and ordinary working people. It is all part of a relentless program of "austerity" that is ostensibly designed to "cut the deficit" but is actually a ruthless, draconian -- and very deliberate -- attempt to radically remake society for the benefit of the wealthy few. (And considering how elitist British society has always been, this is ideological extremism at it most fanatic and frothing.) But it's important to remember that this is not just a Conservative government. It is a full and formal coalition with the Liberal Democrats -- precisely the kind of "moderate centrists" and "serious, savvy progressives" so highly praised by the American commentariat. The LibDems are, in essence and practice, "Blue America": the goodhearted liberal folks who know "the perfect is the enemy of the good" and are willing "to work within the system," making the "tough choices" and sausage-grinding compromises necessary to mitigate the system's worst elements and maybe, just maybe, make things a...