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Showing posts from September 23, 2007

‘Stunning admission’ by Clinton, Obama, Edwards is tantamount to a permanent occupation of Iraq

Yeah, it's a campaign press release, but still, it's accurate. Lovely, lovely Democrats: how I love them so.

Is Saint Obama still beatific? Is Hillary still just terrific? Or Edwards, the "left-wing" candidate according to the presstitutes and sheeple?

My "liberal" friends will tell me, no doubt, that Kucinich hasn't a chance, and that anyone's better than any Republican in 2008. That excuse is wearing very thin. Sure, there will be differences, but I can hardly see any in the truly important issues: more like disaster or total, complete disaster. Meanwhile, and against the public's desire when the Hitler-of-the- month-club propaganda machine isn't in full swing, all possible presidential candidates drift ever rightward. Funny how you don't see a leftward drift up there among the immortals, ain't it?

What to do? Give as much money as possible to Kucinich and tell everyone you know about him. A strong challenge at the polls might force s…

The Bollinger/Ahmadinejad farce, Rosa Brooks, LAT

Exactly right: farce. I guess I now have to say:
No, I'm not a Nazi holocaust-denier. I'd have a few more relatives if not for that event.No, I'm not a fan of Ahmadinejad. He's about as much of an ignorant fool as Bush, but he hasn't killed a million people over the past four years.
No, I don't hate America.However, Brooks analysis is spot-on. The endless self-congratulation makes me want to puke like the kid in The Exorcist, not least because it's all rolled up into the march to an air war, led by both parties, with Iran.

You all know goddamn well that if Ahmadinejad was "our kind of guy," like the Shah was, he could act identically and no one would give a tenth of a shit about nuclear energy, bombs, civil liberties, or anything else.

Here's the whole farce:

Note the propaganda on Fox if you don't like al-Jazeera English. No, I don't think AJE should have cut into Bollinger's speech.

Nice pause by Bollinger on the "weakness" -…

Democracy Now! on Burma

From various reports over the last few days, in chronological order:

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007
Burmese Protesters Defy Military Warning to Continue Marches Against Ruling Junta

Thursday, September 27th, 2007
Burma Military Junta Cracks Down on Protesters; 8 People Killed, Hundreds of Monks Rounded Up

Friday, September 28th, 2007
More Dead in Burma as Troops Fire on Defiant Anti-Government Protesters

And one from IPS: RIGHTS-BURMA: Soldiers Fire Into Crowds, Regain Rangoon Streets

It's particularly rich to see Bush, and many others, clucking their tongues over Burma. Yes, obviously, what is going on there is hideous. That's not the point I'm making. The point is the hypocrisy required by people who are slaughtering thousands upon thousands in Iraq, and who are planning on bombing Iran. That doesn't get much notice, does it?

As Chomsky and Herman pointed out long ago (and followed up with much more detail here and here), some bloodbaths are more worthy than others. Guess w…

Bush-Aznar Transcript: The War Crime of the Century

From Juan Cole's Informed Comment [I had originally written "Informed Consent," and only now just noticed that no doubt wish-fulfillment parapraxis!]. More here, here, here, and here.

I made two claims about the transcript published by El Pais of Bush's conversations with Spanish leader Jose Maria Aznar on 22 February, 2003, at Crawford, Texas.

The first is that the transcript shows that Bush intended to disregard a negative outcome in his quest for a UN Security Council resolution authorizing a war against Iraq. Bush wanted such a resolution. He expressed a willingness to use threats and economic coercion to secure it. But he makes it perfectly clear that he will not wait for the UNSC to act beyond mid-March. He also explicitly says that if any of the permanent members of the UNSC uses its veto, "we will go." That is, failure to secure the resolution would trigger the war.

Uh, that is the opposite of the way it is supposed to work. If you can't get a UNSC…

Great Artists

The whole series -- Giotto, Leonardo, Dürer, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Bruegel, El Greco, Rubens, Velazquez, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner, and Van Gogh -- with an extra movie on Michelangelo at the end (or, the last video in the list).

Sallust, The Conspiracy of Cataline, Cato's Speech

From S.A. Hanford's translation (linked in title above), pp. 221-225. Cataline has been found guilty of conspiracy against the Roman state; Cato is responding to Caesar's plea against the death penalty and for life imprisonment, both of which are punishments that departed from precedent. The date is December 5, 63 BC.

I record the speech here for obvious echoes it has for our own context; there is a lot of debate about just who was guilty of what in the Cataline Affair.

When I turn, gentlemen, from contemplating the dangerous situation in which we stand to reflect upon the opinions of some of the previous speakers, the impression made on my mind is very different. If I understood them rightly, they were discussing the punishment to be meted out to these men who have planned to make war on their country, parents, altars, and hearths. But the situation warns us rather to take precautions against them than to deliberate what sentence we shall pass on them. Other crimes can be punis…

De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Section 4: "Influence of Democratic Ideas and Feelings on Political Society"