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Choosing Atrocity: Israel, America and the Strangling of Gaza

Although Professor Juan Cole is lamentably jejune in his abiding trust in Barack Obama’s good intentions in Iraq, he has been doing yeoman service in covering the ongoing atrocity in Gaza. The inhuman conditions in the world’s largest open-air concentration camp have slipped almost entirely from notice in the Western press. At most one sees a few comforting headlines or crawl-lines about “pledges of aid” from the world community for poor Gaza, which seems to have suffered some sort of unavoidable natural disaster, like a flood or earthquake. Forgotten is the fact that Gaza was ravaged in a relentless, murderous

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Floyd Unmasked: A Savage Purveyor of Violence

Well Georgia Sam he had a bloody noseWelfare Department they wouldn’t give him no clothesHe asked poor Howard where can I goHoward said there’s only one place I knowSam said tell me quick man I got to runOl’ Howard just pointed with his gunAnd said that way down on Highway 61. — Bob Dylan Empire Burlesque has received an interesting communication from a Mr. John Howard. (Not, presumably, the former Australian Prime Minister, but obviously someone of equal intellectual heft.) Mr. Howard objects most vociferously to my excerpting of an analysis of the economic crisis by Professor Michael Hudson. (See

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Feudal Gestures: Bailout Lords and Their Modern Peons

Following the example of Arthur Silber, today we look to the work of Professor Michael Hudson to cut through the bewildering thicket of cant, con and deliberate deceit that surrounds the various “solutions” to the economic crisis. In his latest Counterpunch piece, Hudson addresses the seemingly counterintuitive spectacle of watching Alan Greenspan, the Arch-Druid of the “free market” cult, calling for nationalization of the nation’s banks: How is it that Alan Greenspan, free-market lobbyist for Wall Street, recently announced that he favored nationalization of America’s banks – and indeed, mainly the biggest and most powerful? Has the old disciple of

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Taking Heart: An Investment Opportunity in Truth

Longtime readers know what a great value we put on the work of Arthur Silber here. We draw on it constantly, because he offers illuminating insights and courageous perspectives that you simply cannot find anywhere else. Longtime readers also know that Silber’s health is very precarious, and that like many truth-tellers through the ages, he has been forced to live on the margins of society, in poverty, with no insurance to provide care for his ailments, and no income other than what he is given by readers for his writing. Now we learn that Silber’s health has taken a serious

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Orwell in Babylon: Obama’s War-Continuing “Withdrawal” Plan

It would be superfluous in us to point out that a plan to “end” a war which includes the continued garrisoning of up to 50,000 troops in a hostile land is, in reality, a continuation of that war, not its cessation. To produce such a plan and claim that it “ends” a war is the precise equivalent of, say, relieving one’s bladder on the back of one’s neighbor and telling him that the liquid is actually life-giving rain. But this is exactly what we are going to get from the Obama Administation in Iraq. Word has now come from on

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Drum Machine: Spinning for War with Iran

Chris Hedges, Truthdig, Feb. 23:There is a lot riding on whom President Obama names as his special envoy to Iran. If, as expected, it is Dennis Ross…we will be in deep trouble…. The New York Times, Feb. 24:Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday appointed Dennis B. Ross, a seasoned Middle East negotiator under Republican and Democratic presidents, as her special adviser for the [Persian Gulf] and Southwest Asia, a portfolio that will include Iran….Mr. Ross had advocated a tough approach toward Iran that included persuading Europe to increase economic pressure on the government in Tehran. He is a

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Updates: Child Sacrifice and Gitmo Torture, Progressive Style

(UPDATED BELOW.) I. We reported here last week about another in the barrage of stories detailing civilian deaths at the hands of American-led forces in the “good war” in Afghanistan, now being escalated by Barack Obama. (And not only in Afghanistan; Obama is also rapidly expanding American attacks inside Pakistan to include forces there with little or no involvement with the war in Afghanistan — along with the usual blood-fruit harvest of civilians, of course.) In last week’s post, we took note of Washington’s claim that U.S. missiles had killed “15 militants” in a raid that Afghan officials said actually

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General Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Surge

(UPDATED BELOW.) I was in the process of writing a piece on Joan Walsh’s remarkable review of “The Gamble” — the latest book by Thomas Ricks, in which the intrepid Washington Post reporter hooks up (in just about every sense of that phrase) with General David “Ovalbound” Petraeus, to explain just how Ovalbound and his inner circle pretty much “won” the Iraq War single-handedly with the great “surge” — when I found that Justin Raimondo was already on the case, and had covered it well. So I’ll just weave in a few bits of my unfinished post with excerpts from

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Field of Nightmares: Fixing the Economy to Death

Here’s a combination more deadly than Tinkers to Evers to Chance: Silber to Hudson to Whitney. Once again, Arthur Silber draws on the analysis and reportage of Michael Hudson and Mike Whitney as he explains the truth of the economic fix we’re in — and just how the economic fix is in. You think it’s not a rigged game? Then check out this revealing passage that Silber highlights from Whitney’s article: In truth, Geithner did us all a big favor on Tuesday by exposing himself as a stooge of the banking industry. Now everyone can see that the banks are

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Operation Uptick: Obama Launches Afghan Surge

(UPDATED BELOW.) And so it begins: the great Obama “surge” in Afghanistan. Before withdrawing a single soldier from Iraq, Barack Obama is throwing 17,500 more troops into the boiling Afghan cauldron. The deployment is the first installment of what Obama aides affirm could be a much larger escalation down the road: as soon as the vaunted “strategic review” of Afghan policy – led by hawks like Joe Biden, Richard Holbrook and General David “Pre-President” Petraeus – is completed. Most of the new troops are apparently going to be sent on a fool’s errand to eradicate the only means of support

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