Traditional Values: Obama Backs Oligarchic 'Continuity' Down South

Written by Chris Floyd 01 July 2010 8852 Hits

"In [the country] right now there is a military-business regime, with a little bit of democratic makeup." This sounds like an excellent -- indeed, near-perfect -- description of the true state of the United States in these degraded days of ours. While the sinister comic opera of factional in-fighting amongst the elite provides an increasingly thin and cracked patina of democracy, the militarist-corporatist machines continue their ravenous devouring of the fat of the land and the flesh of the weak. But, as it happens, the quote comes not from an observer of the American scene, but from a Honduran activist -- one of many trying to fight off the depredations being visited upon their land by the repressive, coup-born regime now backed to the hilt by the progressive champion of human right...

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Extreme Measures: Arming the Zealotocracy, Serving the Elite

Written by Chris Floyd 26 June 2010 9299 Hits

One of the most significant developments in the modern world -- history may find it to be a decisive one -- has been the deliberate cultivation of religious extremism by ruling elites trying to sustain and expand their power. The rise of virulent extremism in almost every major religion -- Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism -- has many other causes, of course. Chief among these is the turbulent encounter between modernity and tradition, a confrontation that has played out -- and is playing out -- in so many different ways both within and across various cultures. Modernity encompasses not only the technologies and techniques of capitalism that in its many guises (including state capitalism) has plowed up so much ancient ground and overturned so many ancient certainties, but also ...

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Only Connect: Searing Insights From Arthur Silber

Written by Chris Floyd 20 June 2010 7067 Hits

As I've said here many times before, no one that I know writing today is making the kinds of profound connections that Arthur Silber makes, year after year: drawing out the deeper implications of the operations of power on every level of our lives, from the global scope of high politics to the still, dark night of the individual psyche. His latest post is a masterpiece of his insightful art. He uncovers the (literally) deadly dynamic by which the ruling elites not only enforce their ravenous and ravaging will -- but also how they make their victims "become collaborators in their own destruction." Go there now, or as soon as you can, and read the piece in its entirety. Don't cheat yourself of a rare draught of wisdom when it's offered.

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Sincerely Yours: Another Legal Triumph for the Obama-Yoo Administration

Written by Chris Floyd 17 June 2010 10261 Hits

James Bovard at Antiwar.com points out one of the more egregiously sick-making of the many atrocious "arguments" employed by Barack Obama in his successful effort to block the efforts of Maher Arar to seek justice for his unjust rendition and proxy torture in the Great War of Global Terror. Obama bade his legal henchmen -- his own personal John Yoos, as it were -- to tell the Supreme Court that it should kill the Canadian citizen's case seeking compensation for his unlawful arrest by U.S. officials, who then rendered him not unto Caesar but to the untender mercies of Syria's torture cells. The Robed Ones agreed, dismissing, without comment, Arar's appeal of a lower court ruling that quashed his case -- a decision that Scott Horton rightly likened last year to the Dred Scott case, which...

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Trillion-Dollar Bash: Mineral Find Means More Blood Money in Afghan War

Written by Chris Floyd 14 June 2010 8038 Hits

The New York Times reports on the discovery by American geologists that Afghanistan contains "vast riches" in untapped mineral deposits: at least $1 trillion worth -- including huge troves of lithium, "a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys," as the paper breathlessly relates. Unfortunately, given the realities of our world, one's first reaction to such news is not a cheery "How nice for the Afghan people!" but rather a heart-sinking, dread-clammy "Uh oh." For what this discovery almost certainly portends are many more decades of war, warlordism and foreign intervention, as the forces of greed and power fight like hyenas to tear off the juiciest chunks of this windfall. It also guarantees many more years of American military occupation (in one ...

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War on the World: Obama's Surge in State Terror

Written by Chris Floyd 04 June 2010 12912 Hits

Most sentient beings have long recognized that murdering civilians in foreign countries -- especially through the cowardly methods of "secret war" -- is entirely counterproductive ... if your actual aim is to enhance America's national security by reducing violent extremism and hatred for the United States, that is. However, if your aim is to perpetuate and expand a militarist empire and the bloated, brutal, corrupt, war-profiteering system that supports it, why then, secret war and civilian slaughter are perfectly logical and remarkably effective methods. And that is why our highly intelligent and cool, pragmatic president is now vastly expanding the use of secret war, subversion, sabotage and murder into even more countries around the world, and giving America's secret, unaccountable...

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Lie of the Land: The Dark Heart of a Special Relationship

Written by Chris Floyd 03 June 2010 7463 Hits

Israel's deadly attack on the relief boat bound for Gaza almost defies comment. Its wanton criminality is so blatant and its "justifications" so transparently false that condemnation seems almost superfluous; the evil of the action is self-evident. Likewise, the reactions of the American power structure – timorous appeasement from the White House, unhinged bloodthirstiness from Congress – have been so wildly inappropriate and utterly divorced from reality that they can scarcely bear any serious consideration; they are simply roars of meaningless noise, set loose in hopes of drowning out the truth. Perhaps the most significant aspect of the incident (beside the loss of innocent life) is its glaring confirmation of this long-established, deeply destructive fact: there is no outrage that...

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Memory, Meaning, Moments and Madness: Wanderers in No Man's Land

Written by Chris Floyd 31 May 2010 8623 Hits

Zachary Mason's remarkable new novel, The Lost Books of the Odyssey, is based on a grain of fact. Before the stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey were crystallized and canonized in the books of Homer sometime in the 8th century B.C., various (and often conflicting) tales of the Trojan War and its heroes had floated around in various forms for hundreds of years. Some of these variants survive in fragments of other ancient works, like ghostly echoes of alternative universes. Mason's intriguing fictional conceit is that he is translating one of these: a "pre-Ptolemaic papyrus excavated from the desiccated rubbish mounds of Oxyrhynchus" which "contains forty-four concise variations on Odysseus's story."

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