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Mixed Signals: Iranian Show Interferes With Warmonger Imagery

The catapulters of propaganda in the Bush Regime — and their eager collaborators in the corporate media and throughout the rightwing bootlickosphere — bombard us with relentless images of Iran as a dark and sinister land peopled by black-clad clerics and cranks: raving Hitlerian madmen, bent on the utter destruction of everything good and decent in the world.

So what do you think is one of the most popular TV shows in this hellhole of sectarian savagery? Something like “Terrorism in

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Make Sense, Not War: Scott Ritter on Iran

Here’s something you don’t see every day: someone talking sense about Iran. But when that someone is Scott Ritter, we shouldn’t be surprised. He’s talked sense for years, and he knows what he’s talking about (another rarity in our gasbaggy age). So take a gander at this excellent interview with Ritter by Detroit’s Metro Times. (Via, as so often, the indispensable Buzzflash.) Here are some excerpts: MT: What’s the motivation [for a U.S. attack on Iran]?Ritter: The ideologues who are in there believe the United States in the post-Cold War environment needed to fill the gap created by the demise

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A Change Ain’t Gonna Come: Democrats Openly Embrace Aggression and Torture


It was a remarkable display even by the hideous standards that the Democrats have already set for themselves. Over the past week, the party’s leaders have put forward not one but two architects of Bush Regime war crimes as standard-bearers for Democratic policies and principles. In so doing, they have aligned themselves as completely and publicly as possible with the Hitlerian war crime of military aggression in Iraq and the Stalinist filth of deliberate, calculated and brutal torture, as exemplified by (but in no way limited to) the sickening

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Arrows of Desire: William Blake and True Political Dissent

This is the birthday of William Blake, born 250 years ago today. He is rightly celebrated by Terry Eagleton in the Guardian as a political radical in the truest, deepest sense, committed to the liberation of mind and body from the “Beast and the Whore” — state and church — and to the common good. At Eagleton notes, Blake’s sense of transcendence was undergirded with a grim realization of the abiding perfidy and imperfection of all human kind; he was

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Quick Takes on a Burdened Day


*A prize of 150 imaginary dollars (and aren’t they all pretty much imaginary these days?) to the first reader who spots the obscure Gore Vidal reference.*

Arthur Silber waxes eloquently wroth in A Country Ready to Follow Orders – Even Into Hell. [And give him some support, for God’s sake! Don’t let this national treasure slip from our grasp.]

Alexander Cockburn has more on the authoritarian draconia that

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A Little Change: Aussie Election a Harbinger of American ‘Reform’?

The departure of John “Bush Boy” Howard from office in Australia is most welcome, of course, but the administration of new Labor Party PM Kevin Rudd may less of a rupture than meets the eye. Rudd has clearly cast himself in the Bill Clinton-Tony Blair mode: a “pragmatist” steering his nominally progressive party firmly toward the right, jettisoning any platforms and principles that might hinder “electability” – i.e., assuring the elite that their wads won’t be threatened if the “progressives” take power.

A first

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Hard Rain, Clean Water: Singing to Stave off Want and War

Bob Dylan has stepped out to lead promotional efforts for the International Exposition on Water and Sustainable Development in Zaragoza, Spain next summer. Dylan has recorded a new version of “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” – 45 years after laying down the original track – exclusively for the Expo, and will be appearing in European ads touting “the mission to make water safe and clean for every human being living in this world,” as Dylan puts it in the ad. The Expo website

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Scribes of Hate: Culture Vultures and the Terror War

I’m sure that a great many Americans don’t know who Martin Amis is. If they do, they are more likely to know him as the author of “The Rachel Papers,” which was made into quirky teen-comes-of-age movie years ago, or perhaps as the son of Kingsley Amis, whose acerbic, slightly racy (for their day) novels were once mainstays on the British literary scene.  But Martin himself has become something of a Brit mainstay in his middle age, routinely touted as one of the island’s top writers and definitely one

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Curveball 2.0: The Proven Liar Leading the Way to War on Iran

To hone that headline a bit more finely, we should say that we are speaking here of  one of the proven liars leading us toward a war against Iran. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Norman “Abnormal” Podhoretz and the rest of the serial dissemblers who strut their ersatz macho across the national stage may get more ink, but the lesser-known Amir Taheri is certainly doing sterling service in sowing the seeds for another outbreak of mass murder by the Potomac Empire, as Jon Schwarz relates at Mother Jones. Taheri is a former pro-Shah propagandist — or “journalist” in the Michael

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