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Family Values: The Roman Rigor of Obama’s Death Squad

It is not enough for the Peace Laureate to murder American citizens without charges, without trial and without warning; he must also murder their children too — in the same cowardly, cold-blooded fashion. Last week, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki — an American teenager — was ripped to shreds by an American drone missile in Yemen. The boy, like his father, Anwar al-Awlaki — had not been charged with any crime whatsoever, much less convicted and sentenced. So what was his offense? He missed his father — who had been in hiding from the Peace Laureate’s publicly stated intention to assassinate him —

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A Personal Opinion: I Don’t Get It

I have to say, I honestly don’t understand why so many ‘dissidents’ want the OWS crowd to either a) overturn the government tomorrow morning, or b) be mowed down by the cops as soon as possible. These seem to be two of the strongest reactions to the Occupy movement from lots of people who have spent years railing against the Empire and its many depredations. I mean, it seems obvious to me that this particular instance of protest in Wall Street is going to “fail” — i.e., at some point, they will be removed, peaceably or otherwise, from the sacred

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A Revolution of Values: Brooms and Bravery in the Oligarchy’s Park

While other matters keep me from my appointed rounds in these precincts for the nonce, Chris Hedges has a few pertinent things to say: Resistance, real resistance, to the corporate state was displayed when a couple of thousand protesters, clutching mops and brooms, early Friday morning forced the owners of Zuccotti Park and the New York City police to back down from a proposed attempt to expel them in order to “clean” the premises. These protesters in that one glorious moment did what the traditional “liberal” establishment has steadily refused to do — fight back. And it was deeply moving

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Changing of the Guards: The New Road of the Occupation Movement

Bob Dylan, when a young man, knew the enemy: the “masters of war,” the profiteers and bureaucrats of death and domination, who wring money and power from bloodshed, torment and fear. He knew too that these wretches of lamed humanity were not confined to a single country or culture or political structure or time. Beyond this, though, he also knew that conventional politics was not the answer to the evils that beset — and tempt — us. Instead, he saw that the answer was “blowing in the wind” — which is to say that there is no answer, there are

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A Low, Dishonest Decade: Marking 10 Years of Quagmire

Simon Jenkins fires a powerful salvo of scorn and spleen to mark the 10th anniversary of the imperial quagmire in Afghanistan. Among the glories and triumphs of this magnificent adventure, Jenkins notes the fact that international agencies are now calling for emergency aid to combat the imminent threat of mass starvation in the liberated land. This is what 10 years, thousands of deaths and trillions of dollars worth of “nation-building” have produced: a broken, brutalized, bankrupt society on the verge of murderous famine. The whole piece is well worth reading, but here are some highlights: Ten years of western occupation

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The Sickness Unto Death

Sick drones flying over our headsSick drones dropping ten tons of leadNobody controls the ghostly machineHacked and cracked, they still make the sceneThe bombs go off, the babies are deadSick drones flying over our heads War Drones Keep Flying Despite Computer Virus (NYT)

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Absence of Evidence: The Progressive Policy of Imperial Murder

The president of the United States murdered two American citizens this morning. He had some nameless functionary — who was sitting comfortably and safely at a computer console somewhere on a well-guarded, probably secret military base — push a button. A missile was then fired from a robot drone buzzing maleovently in the sky over Yemen. The missile then murdered two American citizens who — let it be carefully noted — had not even been charged with a crime, much less tried and convicted in a court of law of any offense. The New York Times story on the murders

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Injustice, Aggression and the Instruments of Evil

Our guest blogger today is Lev Tolstoy. The passages below are from Tolstoy’s Letters, Vol. II, 1880-1910, translated by R.F. Christian. First is  an excerpt from a letter sent in December 1899 to Prince Grigory Mikhailovich Volkonsky, who had sent Tolstoy some pamphlets criticizing the Boer War: …When people tell me that one side is solely to blame in a war, I can’t agree. You may admit that one sides acts worse in any war that flares up, but an analysis of which one it is that acts worse doesn’t explain the immediate cause of thee origin of such a

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Riddle Me This: Paper of Record Puzzled by Death Count Claims

The New York Times puzzles and puzzles until its puzzler is sore, but it still can’t figure out the deep, deep mystery addressed by this recent story: “Libya Counts More Martyrs Than Bodies.” The Paper of Record — primus inter pares of the national press, shaper and sifter of the zeitgeist itself — struggles for 27 whole paragraphs in its Sept. 16 story, trying to account somehow for the vast discrepancy between the “martyr count” claimed by Libya’s NATO-nudged rebels and the actual number of bodies found so far in the wake of the conflict. Rebel leaders claim that the

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