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Christmas 2008: Hell in the Holy Land

UPDATE DEC. 27: Here is an iron rule of the modern age. Whenever you think a situation has gotten so hellish that it can’t get worse — it will get worse. The piece below examined the literally atrocious condition of Gaza at Christmas. Now, of course, that situation has grown infinitely worse, with a massive Israeli airstrike, killing at least 200 people so far — children among them, of course — with more hell promised to come. (Photo via the Angry Arab.) **** What is happening in the Holy Land during this holiest of seasons? Sara Roy reports in the

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Update on the Crash

Our experts now agree that the website was most definitely hacked, in a sophisticated and savage raid that wiped out the entire database. This website has been hacked and attacked more than any other site that I know of, despite a bristling array of ever-more complex and thorough defenses. I guess somebody out there doesn’t like us very much — although given what sweethearts we all are around here, that’s hard to fathom. Anyway, more defenses, more tweaking, better procedures and other measures are being put in by Rich, so we hope to fend off the assailants for awhile. But

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A Correction, an Apology, and the Second Battle of New Orleans

(This was originally posted on Dec. 19.) In a brief post yesterday, I wrote (This was originally posted on Dec. 19.) that African-Americans were treated as second-class citizens in the United States. I would now like to apologize for making such a controversial — and flagrantly incorrect — statement. Obviously, I was letting my knee-jerk liberal PC prejudices run wild. For as a new article in The Nation forcefully demonstrates, African-Americans are not treated as second-class citizens in the United States; they are treated as wild animals to be hunted down and shot in cold blood. The article is a

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Notes From All Over

1. It seems that one of the chief poisoners of American politics has died. Good thing for Richard Weyrich (the rouged and ghoulish figure at right; the extreme right) that the afterlife portrayed in the pig-ignorant fundamentalism he used to push his vicious agenda doesn’t really exist; otherwise, he’d be howling and gnashing in the flames of hellfire this very moment. 2. Speaking of pig-ignorant fundamentalism, there’s not much I can say about Barack Obama’s choice of Rick Warren — the bloated, bigoted suburban megachurch bullshit purveyor — to give the invocation at his inauguration, except to note that it

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American Politics 101

(A restored version of a post originally published on Dec. 21.) 1. Justice is for SuckersDick Cheney’s recent admission on national television that he approved the waterboarding of a Terror War captive is, of course, the most prominent salvo in an on-going campaign to secure presidential pardons for the war criminals of the Bush Regime before the War Criminal-in-Chief leaves office next month. As many others have noted, Cheney’s declaration that he — and by implication, everyone else at the top level of government — approved a torture technique that is a flagrant violation of United States law is aimed

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Dying of Sadness in the Shadow of Empire

Britain and America cut a secret deal: land for nukes. London sliced off a sliver of its imperial dominions and gave it to Washington, in exchange for a price reduction on some sleek new nuclear missiles. Together, the two great democracies then drove the inhabitants of the sliver from their homes by force, dumping them into poverty-ridden exile hundreds of miles away. Washington built an imperial outpost on the stolen land, a military base which it used to “project dominance” over strategic regions in Central Asia and the Middle East. Later, the outpost became yet another link in Washington’s chain

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Kangaroo Country: “Terror” Verdict Against Charity a Bitter Fruit of Bipartisan Policy

If the Holy Land Foundation “terrorism” case had been held in Russia, we would now be enduring a flood of thundering commentary from every leading orifice of the corporate media, denouncing yet another travesty of justice in the sham democracy controlled by the Kremlin. Yet a decorous editorial silence covers the convictions of five charity officials whose only crime was helping needy and oppressed people through agencies used by international charities such as the Red Cross, and by the United States government itself. As reports: On Monday afternoon, a jury in Dallas, Texas found five Palestinian men guilty of

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Security Blanket: Western Democracy and the Strategy of Tension

The idea that a democratic government would deliberately create fake “extremist groups” then send them out to foment violence and terrorism — in order to discredit legitimate opposition to elite rule and to “justify” authoritarian powers — has long been derided in “serious” circles as that worst of modern heresies: “conspiracy theory.” Anyone advancing such a preposterous notion is instantly relegated to the ranks of the “lunatic fringe,” and dismissed with varying degrees of contempt and condescension. And the woeful fact that millions of the ruminants out there in the vast public herd swallow these wild tales and believe that

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Surge and Destroy, or the Dangling Participle of Presidential Power

A few short takes on a long, cold night: Bernard Chazelle applauds the Iraqis’ long-overdue public appreciation of George “Liberator” Bush. (See picture.) Jeremy Scahill reads the tea leaves in Obama’s mug of advisors and sees a bitter brew ahead: This Is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama’s White House. John Pilger finds himself less than enthralled by the election of Barack Obama, who “represents the worst of American power.” A brief excerpt: No serious scrutiny of this is permitted within the histrionics of Obama mania, just as no serious scrutiny of the betrayal of

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Plus ça change: “Progressive” Leaders Ride War Machine Deeper Into Darkness

Armed with the same invincible ignorance and arrogance that have for generations led their imperial forbears to bitter defeat in Afghanistan, Barack Obama and Gordon Brown have both pledged themselves to a substantial escalation of the Anglo-American adventure in Central Asia. Thus these two self-proclaimed “progressive” champions of benevolent change are guaranteeing more of the same bitter fruit already produced by this misbegotten enterprise: more death, more ruin, more suffering, more corruption – and more violent extremism. The latter, of course, is where we came in, with the Carter-Reagan marshalling of extremist jihadis — known as “freedom fighters” in those

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