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They Got Nothin’: Progressives Turn Palinesque on Egypt

I know one can never underestimate the impregnable insularity of the American commentariat, but even so, I still find my jaw dropping slightly at the weak, wan, shoulder-shrugging response of some our leading “progressives” toward the world-shaking events in Egypt. We’re talking about people who consider themselves to be educated, informed individuals: alert, aware, engaged with the world. And as such, they feel able to opine on a broad range of topics: economics, culture, military operations, political campaigns, legislative processes, judicial rulings, infrastructure, transportation, energy, the environment, law enforcement, health care – and, decidedly, foreign policy. Yet when it comes

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Kairos in Cairo: Seizing the Moment of Moral Courage

I was among the million people who marched through London on February 15, 2003, to protest the imminent invasion of Iraq. I don’t think anyone in the crowd thought a single march would stop the Anglo-American coalition from launching a war of aggression, but most felt it was important that the widespread anger and dismay at this murderous course of action be embodied, literally, on the streets, by a broad cross-section of the public. This was done. And it was not totally unimportant, as an act of bearing witness. But now, years later, the people of Egypt — especially the

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Cry Freedom: Cairo Crowds Shred the Lies of the Power Players

“The American power structure has been set reeling by something that is simply outside the boundaries of their mental universe: a non-violent, non-sectarian, non-ideological, leaderless revolution by ordinary people.” For a few days, the imperial gang thought they had turned the tide — and their stenographers in the mainstream media followed suit. The protests in Egypt were running out of gas, we were told; now the power players were coming to the fore, in Washington and Cairo, to take charge of the situation and move things along — slowly, moderately — down a path of gradual reform and stability. Newspapers

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Torturers R Us: The Continuity Kid Does Cairo

Below is a piece that never got posted in all the hackfoonery that was going with the site recently. It was written in the first heat of Egypt’s uprising, but in some ways, it is even more pertinent today, as the Obama Administration rallies around the suave and vicious torturer they have installed in Cairo, in a desperate attempt to produce the kind of “continuity” of militarist-elitist corruption in Egypt that Barack Obama has achieved so magnificently at home in his takeover from the Bush Regime. This is when you know a regime is in on the ropes: when its

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Back to the Future: Progressives, Repression, and the Echoes of History

Hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens rise up in protest against a long-entrenched dictatorship backed by the United States. The dictatorial regime warns of chaos and instability if the uprising is not suppressed; otherwise, they say, the country will fall into the hands of America’s chief global enemy, the representatives of an extremist ideology that “hates us for our freedoms.” In the White House, the progressive Democratic president gathers with his foreign policy advisers to consider the American reaction. In the end, they opt — of course — for “stability.” They back the installation of the client nation’s intelligence chief

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Last Note on Hackery; Reprise on Website’s Purpose

I received the following comment on my last post about the hacking of the website. I thought I would offer the exchange here, in hopes that it will clarify some things, not just about the hacking but about the website itself. And this is the last thing I’m writing about the current hack — except to say, once again, a very heartfelt thanks to all the readers who expressed their support in so many ways. A commenter writes: I must preface this whole comment with a statement that I consistently enjoy reading this work. I am a college kid, who,

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The Target Talks Back: To Hell With the Hacking Lackeys of Power

Thanks very, very much to everyone for coming up with the lost texts of previous posts. I really appreciate all these efforts, and the very kind words of support as we sort through this latest bout of hacker wreckage. For a long time, I resisted the idea that these hacks had some kind of political motivation. I thought they were probably the work of twerpish hooligans, the kind of nasty-minded little goobers who get their jollies from sticking gum in doorlocks, or else some trainee hackers trying to prove their mettle or make their bones for some more sophisticated network

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Hacked Again; Can You Help Find Lost Texts?

You will have noticed that this website was hacked again on Thursday, another savage assault that hijacked the front page and, worse, ransacked files behind the scenes as well. We’ve lost all the most recent posts, dating back to January 18. Owing to the often difficult circumstances in which I put together most of these posts, I rarely have the text on hand once a piece has been published on the website. If in the unlikely event that any reader out there has kept a copy of the recent posts in some form — or even remembers the headlines —

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Hackwatch Report

As you may have noticed, Empire Burlesque is currently in the midst of yet another vicious hack attack. Measures are being taken to try to fend off the sleazy, greasy little cowards who are taking the site down, but it may take some time. As always, if you find the site is hard to reach consistently, you can check the old place — Empire Burlesque 1.0 — for any new posts. Apologies for the bother.

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Speech Pathology: Rain Puddles in Heaven, Hellfire on Earth

(UPDATED BELOW) Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. …  And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for ‘the universal brotherhood of man’ — with his mouth. — Mark Twain, The Damned Human Race As President Barack Obama consoled the nation Wednesday with talk of “rain puddles in heaven,” his agents were murdering four more people in his illegal war in Pakistan.

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