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The Pistols are Popping and the Power is Down

Sorry that service continues to be interrupted, but the problems are being worked on, and I hope we will be able to be less intermittent in transmission soon. As we have noted before, if you find the site down for a long period of time, you might check out our former stomping grounds, now known as Empire Burlesque 1.0.  If I have some burning word to say to the world but this site is down, I will post at the old homeplace. Meanwhile, here’s a glimpse of a man who sure enough has a burning word to say to the

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Making Their Bones: The American Elite’s Bi-Partisan Murder Racket

You want to climb to the top of this seething pit, You got to walk and talk real nice. But the secret price of power here is Human sacrifice. Yesterday we wrote about the sudden-onset amnesia of our media-political class concerning the officially confirmed operations of American death squads. As we noted, official Washington is in a minor flutter at the moment over reports that Dick Cheney ordered and then concealed the existence of a planned program of targeted assassinations — a program which was supposedly never implemented and was then supposedly cancelled by Obama CIA chief Leon Panetta. We

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Unreality Check: Amnesiac Controversy Ignores CIA’s Real Death Squads

The unreality that has long pervaded American politics, policy-making and media reportage is by now almost totally impenetrable. Both action and analysis in the most powerful nation in history now take place in a fantasy world, a simulacrum, a state of permanent amnesia in which facts — established, confirmed, published — vanish almost in the very moment of their appearance. Anyone who tries to reason their way through this feverish hallucination is bound to fail — or succumb to the madness themselves. This hallucinatory quality of American public life has been on vivid display in recent days, with stories in

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Squeeze Play: Israel Keeps Gaza on Near-Starvation Diet

As we noted a few days ago, Israel’s creation of a "Warsaw Ghetto" in Gaza continues apace, using control of the food supply as a primary weapon against the civilian population. Haaretz takes up the case again in a new story: Every time Gazans sit down for a meal, they face a depressing reality. The selection of foods available to them is dictated almost entirely by a harsh policy imposed by the Israeli government, which, as of late, has even refused to allow such innocuous-seeming foods as pumpkins, pasta or beans to cross the border. The goal behind Israel’s tight

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The Comeback Trail: A Post-Hacking Note for Readers

It will not have escaped your notice that we have had some technical difficulties of late. This was due to a rather nasty hack that has occasioned major revamping, overhauling, reconfiguring and all manner of other labor-intensive, time-consuming operations, now being undertaken by our indefatigable webmaster, Richard Kastelein. Rich has gotten the core of the website up and running again, but it will still take some time before full functionality is restored. Meanwhile, Rich asks if all registered readers would mind re-registering. Because of the nature and extent of the damage, it is uncertain whether we can recover all of

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Keep the Change: Obama Backs Bush’s Political Prisoner Operation

We all know about the vaunted — not to mention shameless — “continuity” between the Bush and Obama administrations in foreign policy and “national security,” with Bush’s generals, and even Bush’s Pentagon honcho, still running — and expanding — the Terror War under Barack Obama’s orders, while he also wages legal war in the courts to uphold Bush’s authoritarian perversions of the Constitution, and defend the war criminals in Bush’s gulag — some of whom Obama has elevated to even greater heights of power. But surely there is some real “change” going on elsewhere in government, isn’t there? How about

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Conquest Non-Interruptus: Keeping the Boot on Iraq’s Neck

To paraphrase our question from the other day, when is a withdrawal not a withdrawal? When it is a continued occupation. The indispensible Dahr Jamail reports on the reality behind the media hoopla over the putative pullout of American troops from Iraq’s cities [see original for links]: We have passed the June 30 deadline that, according to a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) signed between US Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on November 17, 2008, was the date all US forces were to have been withdrawn from all of Iraq’s cities. Today, however, there are at

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Slip Sliding Away: Joe Biden Gives Iran Green Light to Attack Israel

Words strain,Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place….— T.S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton” In a surprise move, Vice President Joe Biden signaled that the United States would not intervene to stop Iran from launching a “pre-emptive” attack on Israel. Biden’s declaration came during an appearance on the ABC news-talk show, “This Week,” with former Bill Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos. Here are Biden’s exact words, as reported by the New York Times: “Look, we cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a

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The Base Court: Another Fortress Rising in America’s Ring of Iron

While President Obama circumnavigates the globe, talking loftily of peace and engagement with the peoples of the world — in language largely cribbed from old George Bush speeches, but presented in a far more photogenic, plausive package — this is the real face that the United States is showing to the world. Chalmers Johnson writes: The U.S. Empire of Bases — at $102 billion a year already the world’s costliest military enterprise — just got a good deal more expensive. As a start, on May 27th, we learned that the State Department will build a new “embassy” in Islamabad, Pakistan,

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Lean Cuisine: Counting Calories On the Checkpoint Diet

Remember, no matter what the facts say, just keep repeating to yourself: This is not a ghetto. This is not a ghetto. This is not a ghetto…. A West Bank checkpoint managed by a private security company is not allowing Palestinians to pass through with large water bottles and some food items, Haaretz has learned…. The private security company Modi’in Ezrahi…stops Palestinian workers from passing through the checkpoint with the following items: Large bottles of frozen water, large bottles of soft drinks, home-cooked food, coffee, tea and the spice zaatar. The security company also dictates the quantity of items allowed:

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