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Out of the Darkness Onto a Road of Darkness

Still marking time, laying in some firewood, getting my back wheels aligned. Reading strange testaments, sitting in a French cafe, listening to music from the days of troubled sleep. When the rain lets up,  I’ll take my cane from the coat-rack and slip out the door. Till then.

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Angels in Heaven Gonna Sign My Name

Lingering illness and pressing business have kept me away from blogging for the past few days, but I shall return to the fray — untanned, unrested, and, like Ethelred, unready — as soon as possible. Meanwhile, I urge you to the check out a remarkable compendium that Arthur Silber has put together at his site, drawing together several essays from over the years that touch upon some of the deepest wellsprings of our various bedevilments, both public and private. In a world more just, humane and sane, this collection would be published in book form, to stand as an honored

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Influence Peddling: Defending Democracy With Dictators and Dosh

It turns out that Benito Mussolini, inventor of fascism and promulgator of vast atrocities in Ethiopia and elsewhere, had his sinister career kick-started with dollops of secret cash from — where else? — the intelligence service of one of the great and good world-leading democracies of his day. The Guardian reports that Britain’s MI5 reached out and touched young Mussolini when he was still a Fox News-style "journalist" railing against peaceniks opposed to Italy’s involvement in the pointless slaughter of World War I. The British security organs were afraid that reason and human fellow-feeling would run rampant in Italy if

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Of a Fire on the Moon

As’ad AbuKhalil on the recent moon shot by NASA, in which missiles were fired into the Moon’s surface as part of a scientific experiment: Let me guess. The people of the moon will greet US missiles with "sweets and flowers". The people of the Middle East will be inspired by the US invasion of the moon. Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami will assure Obama that the people of the moon only understand the language of force. I would say that the Al-Qa`idah cells on the moon will be wiped out. 

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A Simple Observation

The logical conclusion of militarist nationalism (often called "patriotism") is always, in one way or another, a "Final Solution." Set foot on that road, and you will get there. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not in this generation — but you will get there. The blood-and-iron logic of domination — of self-assertion and self-aggrandizement at the expense of all others — will take you there. The choice is simple, the choice is stark, the choice is laid upon us all. 

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Well, Nobel Was the Inventor of Dynamite, After All

(UPDATED BELOW) (UPDATED AGAIN) Sometimes you run across a story that defies all comment, rational analysis — even parody. This is one of those times: In Surprise, Nobel Peace Prize to Obama for Diplomacy (NYT). To give a peace prize to the commander-in-chief of a war machine now churning its way through the populations of three countries (Iraq/Af-Pak), with innumerable black ops, lightning raids and drone shots on the side …. to a man who even as we speak is deciding just how he wants to kill even more civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan …  a man who has enthusiastically

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Vile Bodies: Reagan Revenants Return to Enforce Empire’s Agenda

They avidly, eagerly helped perpetuate militarist tyranny, torture, death squads and corruption in Latin America during the high and palmy days of the Reagan-Bush years – and now they’re back in the saddle, riding as hired guns for the democracy-killing coup-coup birds in Honduras: Leader Ousted, Honduras Hires U.S. Lobbyists (New York Times): In the months since soldiers ousted the Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, the de facto government and its supporters have resisted demands from the United States that he be restored to power. Arguing that the left-leaning Mr. Zelaya posed a threat to their country’s fragile democracy by trying

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Squeeze Play: Militarists and Media Close Off Alternatives to War

We wrote here last week of Arthur Silber’s telling insights into the misuses, abuses — and ultimate uselessness — of the “intelligence” reports produced by the security organs of powerful states….particularly the world’s self-proclaimed “hyper-power” as it careens around the world in its obsessive-compulsive urge for domination. Silber’s rule can be boiled down thusly: “Intelligence” is always — always — a political tool for the agenda of power, and it can never — never — be used to support an argument over policy. You can only argue and infer from the facts; if your case relies on “intelligence” – even

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On the Unintelligent Uses of Intelligence

I urge you most strenuously to repair immediately to Arthur Silber’s site, and there set yourself to school on the dangerously unintelligent uses of "intelligence" – not only by ever-deceitful regimes and their sycophantic courtiers, but also, most grievously, by staunch opponents of the imperial system as well: "Fools for Empire (II): The Inescapable Pervasiveness of the Ruling Class Paradigm." The essay is eloquent, cogent, deeply informed, insightful – and important. In addition to his own unique insights, Silber mines wisdom from such trenchant observers as Chalmers Johnson, Ray McGovern, Barbara Tuchman and Gabriel Kolko to give the lie to

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