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War Without End, Amen: The Reality of America’s Aggression Against Iraq

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. This is the reality of what actually happened in Iraq: aggression, slaughter, atrocity, ruin. It is the only reality; there is no other. And it was done deliberately, knowingly, willingly. Indeed, the bipartisan American power structure spent

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Grand Delusion: Resisting the Siren Song of Specialness

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.) This rhetoric will come both from the radical, society-shaking extremists laughingly called “conservatives” in our fun-house political system, and from the reactionary defenders of elite wealth

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If the Republic Had Not Died a Long Time Ago, This Would Indeed Be the Death of the Republic, Chapter XLVII; or, That’s the Way the Cornbread Crumbles, That’s the Way the Whole Thing Ends

Now what’s that little baby doingDressing up in banker’s clothes?— Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings Many 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

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A Brief Comment about Comments

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.

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The Age of Extremism: Mammon Worshippers Launch All-Out War

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

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Over a Barrel: The Enduring Idiocies of Empire

Taking down the dribbling idiocies of Thomas Friedman is, of course, like shooting dead, bloated fish mired in utter, immovable stillness on the surface of a barrel full of thick, congealed liquid. Even so, as this gormless goober continues to serve as one of the most respected and representative voices of our gooberish overlords, it remains a salutatory exercise to pull out the shotgun now and again and point it, once more, into the festering barrel. Belen Fernandez at the LRB blog performed this yeoman service for us this week, in a short piece reprising some of Friedman’s latest and

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Imp of the Perverse: Obama’s Bellicose China Syndrome

William Pfaff casts a cold eye on the Peace Laureate’s latest tinpot strutting in Australia: One might think that a bitter Central Asian war in Afghanistan, spilling into Pakistan, with no sign of ending, and an as yet ambiguous military commitment to a defeated and incompletely reconstituted Iraq, now overshadowed by Iran and the Arab Awakening across the Middle East, would be enough for President Barack Obama to cope with. Why then does he now want a war with China? No one seems to have made much of this in American press reports and comment, but others have noticed, most

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Down by Law: Vulture Funds Feeding on the Dispossessed

I am glad to see the renewal of interest in “vulture funds,” where predatory elites buy up bits of the debt of impoverished nations from various creditors – at pennies on the dollar – then use the courts of the ‘developed,’ ‘civilised’ world to force the debtor to cough up the full amount, plus punitive interest payments. The Guardian is running a series of articles on this heinous practice (here, here, here, here, here, here and here), and CounterPunch has a good piece as well. I wrote about vulture funds back in 2007. This was one of the many posts

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