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Further Thoughts on Politics and Despair

I don’t want to make a habit of using blog posts to respond to comments, but a reply to a recent piece in which I did just that seemed to me to call for a more substantial response than a comment thread can easily contain. So, begging your indulgence once again, here is the exchange: first the commenter’s message, and then my answer. From “Pjerome58:As much as I admire, and regularly read, Chris Floyd’s blog, this response to Pinquot was disturbing in itself.  Politics is more than a toxin to be flushed and “waste managed.”  Although I can agree that

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Bloodbath in Yemen: No UN Action for the Peace Laureate’s Pal

(UPDATED BELOW) (UPDATED AGAIN)This just in: spurred on by the United States and Saudi Arabia, the UN Security Council has just authorized immediate military intervention in Yemen to stop the government’s wanton slaughter of innocent civilians engaging in peaceful protest. The vote came just hours after government security forces in Yemen opened fire on unarmed, peaceful protestors in the capital city of Sana. Tens of thousands of ordinary citizens had turned out for the demonstration, which was part of  an ongoing campaign of non-violent dissent against repression, injustice, inequality and deprivation in the nation, ruled by strongman President Ali Abdullah

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A People Betrayed: West Launches New War for Oil in Libya

And so now, another war. Led by the United States and the religious extremists in Saudi Arabia, the UN Security Council voted to intervene on behalf of one side in the Libyan civil war. Having already armed and trained Moamar Gadafy’s armies and security forces, the Western war-profiteers have now decided to do the same for his opponents. These opponents, it must be noted, are at present led by top players who only weeks ago were at the center of Gadafy’s murderous, repressive regime — which was itself, only weeks ago, considered a worthy partner by Western governments and business

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The Peacenik’s Payback: Obama Slaughters Pakistani Civilians to Revenge CIA Embarrassment

Another day, another two dozen human beings blown to bits in a marketplace by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. What was the occasion for this new bonanza of carnage? It was a release of pent-up fury at Pakistan for embarrassing the Potomac Poobah by actually arresting one of his hired guns for shooting people in the back in the street in broad daylight. For weeks, Washington wiggled around in twisted knickers as the Pakistanis put CIA goon-squader Raymond Davis through the horrible, evil process of … er … Western jurisprudence, which Pakistan inherited from colonial times. They arrested Davis, charged

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Across the Universe: The Power of Disillusionment and the Politics of Despair

A comment appeared on the website the other day from someone who seemed driven to utter despair — even to the consideration of suicide — by the current state of our politics. This was disturbing enough, but I was also struck — jarred — by this remark: “Sharing Floyd’s views and values is literally disabling.” I thought this warranted a more substantial reply than a quick riposte in a comment thread. So below is the original message from the reader, followed by my  response. (The post in question, by the way, was “Of Arms and the Man: War-Profiteers and Progressives

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Shoe Drops, Boot Comes Out for Crowley

This was so obviously predictable that I didn’t bother to predict it, but now we have it: “PJ Crowley resigns over Bradley Manning remarks.” Crowley, as you recall, was the official spokesman at the State Department who dared utter a fragment of the truth last week when he said that the Obama Administration’s torture of Bradley Manning is “counterproductive and stupid.” To be sure, Crowley hastened to assure his audience — an MIT seminar — that he thought Manning belonged behind bars for throwing some light on the violent, witless and criminal grindings of the American war machine. But his

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Of Arms and the Man: War-Profiteers and Progressives Make Common Cause for Obama

Do you want to know why Barack Obama will be re-elected President of the United States? It is not because he has signaled his willingness to eviscerate the last remaining shreds of the sparse “safety net” of social programs set in train by the New Deal. It is not because he has shown which side he is on in the elite’s war against workers who serve the public by freezing federal salaries. It is not because he has appointed Wall Street insiders to guide not only his economic policies but the daily operations of the entire executive branch. It is

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“Kingdom of Evil”: Arthur Silber’s Searing Wisdom on the Torture of Bradley Manning

Arthur Silber rises from his sickbed to pen a powerful piece on the torture of Bradley Manning by the Nobel Peace Laureate in the White House — torture which has only gotten worse since I wrote about it here yesterday. You should read the entire article by Silber (and give him some financial support in a grave hour of need while you are there, if you can); but here are a few excerpts: A human being can be destroyed in a seemingly infinite number of ways, as history repeatedly demonstrates. Our capacity for cruelty is limitless. It would appear to

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A Nation Stripped Bare: Fascism Has Come to America

It is a question that has sparked much debate, at least in certain rare quadrants where the unvarnished reality of the American imperium is recognized. But surely now the debate is over. Question it no more; the supposition, the fear, the heartbreaking intimation is a fact. It is real. It is here. Fascism has come to America. And no, it didn’t come in jackboots. It didn’t come in massed, marching ranks. It didn’t come in greasy-haired frothers ranting on a stage. It came with cool. It came with savvy. It came wearing the mask of past evils redeemed by the

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Taking the Cake: The Creeping Militarization of the Libyan Crisis

The howling hypocrisy of the American response to the uprising in Libya has been so jaw-dropping and nauseating that I’ve hardly been able to address it. Fortunately, Seamus Milne is on the case, and voices much of my thinking about the matter: The same western leaders who happily armed and did business with the Gaddafi regime until a fortnight ago have now slapped sanctions on the discarded autocrat and blithely referred him to the international criminal court the United States won’t recognise. Yes, does this not, as they say, take the cake … and the plate and the forks and

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