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Health Care & Environment
01.17 As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]
01.14 V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care [The most public and efficient healthcare in America has been demonized and will be destroyed rather than improved, raising total per-capita costs]
01.14 Why thousands of Los Angeles teachers are going on strike [Well at least we got a big tax-cut for the super-rich, that was the most important thing.]
01.08 Monarch butterfly numbers plummet 86 percent in California [0:58 video; Do You Care?]
01.08 Carbon emissions up as Trump agenda rolls back climate change work [Making America Less Great Again]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
01.18 With Mattis Gone, Trump Is Already Sowing More Global Chaos [Trump plays General—what could go wrong...]
01.18 Impeach Donald Trump
01.18 President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project [An impeachable offense]
01.18 10 Things We All Lose If Bernie Chooses Not to Run in 2020 [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.17 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lambasts US government shutdown in first House speech [3:27 video; Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 Bill Maher: If We Don’t Impeach President Donald Trump, Where Is The Bar? [9:49 video; Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 With US 'Drilling Towards Disaster,' Report Warns Anything Less Than Urgent Green New Deal Will Be 'Too Little, Too Late' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 Trump plans to relax Obama rules for oil companies put in place after BP disaster [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 Trump's war on science: how the US is putting politics above evidence [Consistently stupid and harmful policies... Seeing a pattern?]
01.16 Can Philadelphia 'stop people from dying' as drug crisis and gun violence rage on? [Whole country suffers from lack of effective federal policies... Seeing a pattern? P.S.: The answer is not a Wall!]
01.16 Why are more Americans than ever dying from drug overdoses? [graphs]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
01.17 Trump's economy is great for billionaires, not for working people [chock-full of pesky facts that government and media ignore and distort]
International & Futurism
01.17 White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It's not [More equality requires us to fix ignored and distorted problems]
01.16 Global tensions holding back climate change fight, says WEF [Consistently stupid and harmful policies... Seeing a pattern?]
First Blood: Pictures From Life's Other Side
Monday, 26 January 2009
Amal Abed Rabbo, age 2, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers...
What is the lifeless body of little Amal, killed in an action defended by Obama as a legitimate act of "self-defense," in comparison to President Obama's amazing "First 100 Hours"? Let her be dead and buried, and Gaza be forgotten. There is no place for such stubborn remembrances in the cool, swift flow of our New Age.
Already, Gaza has faded from the front pages of the Western press. Already it is yesterday's news, yesterday's massacre, just another in a long, long, endless line of human debauchery. After all, the Western press, the Western establishments, indeed, Western popular opinion, have often countenanced -- even championed -- far worse atrocities. The establishments and power structures of most Arab nations are also hastening to forget, to downplay, to bury, once again, the suffering of the Palestinians, in the interests of political gamesmanship, both domestic and diplomatic.The reality of the actual human beings in Palestine who have been inflicted with horrific suffering matter no more than the reality of the human beings in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Somalia, or Kurdistan, or Chechnya, or Colombia, or Sri Lanka, or Burma, or the Congo, or anywhere else on the far-flung earth where the machines of power wring the blood and terror that is their fuel from the flesh of men and women and children. (And this geography of suffering includes the sacred Homeland itself, of course, where, for example, more than two million citizens are now held in cages, most of them for the "crime" of temporarily deranging their senses to escape the pain of the world that power has made.)
What do the men and women and children of Gaza matter to these brokers and drivers of power? Why speak of Gaza -- where the relentless and ruthless Israeli assault on civilians ended almost precisely with the ascension of Barack Obama to high office -- when that newly-ascended embodiment of hope is already drawing first blood in his marshalship of the "War on Terror"? Already, Obama has ordered his first drone missile attacks on the sovereign territory of Pakistan, an American ally; already he has killed his first civilians with the faceless, soulless weapons of remote-control mass death.
What's more, the Commander-in-Chief has already overseen his first mass slaughter of civilians in Afghanistan, the land he calls "the central front in the War on Terror," where he plans to commit tens of thousands of more troops in a massive escalation of a war that his new Terror War envoy, Richard Holbrooke, now says will last longer than the Vietnam War. As MSNBC reports, none other than the U.S.-installed Afghan president himself, Hamid Karzai, condemned the killing of 16 Afghan civilians, including three children and two women, in a ground-and-air attack by U.S forces on Saturday. Escalating the conflict will mean much more of this, of course. In any case, Karzai's protests will cut no ice with the new regime in Washington; he is yesterday's man, yesterday's puppet, and his increasingly frantic and forthright denunciations of the mass slaughter of his people by American and NATO forces will not be tolerated much longer. Obama and his team are already manipulating the politics of the occupied land to ensure that a "dream ticket" of politicians beholden to Obama, not Bush, will "wrest control away from Mr Karzai," as the Independent reports.
And why not? Shouldn't the new Caesar be allowed to appoint his own men to govern his dominions?
One could also add the three Americans and 75 Iraqis killed in the empire's Babylonian province since Obama took office to the first fruits of the new leader's war-like reign. But then again, the debauchery in Iraq has been long, long forgotten, written off even by Obama himself, who proclaimed months ago that he was as one with Bush in regarding the "surge" as a "success beyond our wildest dreams."
So again, what is Gaza in the face of such a momentous event: the new Imperator (which originally meant "commander") emerging from the Temple of Mars with his face stained red with the blood of holy sacrifices? Why on earth would "serious" people want to be bothered with the suffering of worthless nobodies in some distant hellhole?
But alas, we are not "serious" here, and never have been. And so, sick, perverted and trivial as we are, we continue to look at the faces of Gaza, the living and the dead, as they stare out from the ruins.
On Saturday -- the same day that Obama was being blooded in Afghanistan -- the Guardian ran a harrowing story relating "the terrible toll on the child victims of war in Gaza." This was accompanied by several photographs, with brief stories attached. The story of the dead child shown above, Amal Abed Rabbo, age 2, is one of them. For some reason, the Guardian is not running the full accompanying text on its website, so I have filled that in from the print version:
You can find many more pictures of Gaza's suffering not only in the Guardian piece but also in these photos from As'ad AbuKhalil, the "Angry Arab."
Of course, such things aren't serious. They don't really matter. Why should you waste your beautiful mind on something like that?
Especially when you can be mesmerized by Obama's amazing "First 100 Hours," when he has already revolutionized American policy by, for example, restricting the overt use of torture to the torture techniques approved of by the Pentagon -- although his own intelligence supremo, Dennis Blair, refuses to say if "waterboarding" should be considered torture, and assures Congress that he will examine "whether certain coercive techniques have been effective"; i.e. which torture techniques should be continued. There is also Obama's bold ordering of the (eventual) closure of the Gitmo camp and the handful of CIA detention centers, while leaving alone the Pentagon's numerous and far worse gulag centers -- where thousands of Terror War captives languish without charges, representation, or the slightest legal recourse. And of course, there is his heartening decision to go to court to defend Bush's multiple rape of American liberty: the years-long illegal surveillance scheme, which Obama had voted to support while still in the Senate.
What is the lifeless body of little Amal, killed in an action defended by Obama as a legitimate act of "self-defense," in comparison to such wonders? Let her be dead and buried, and Gaza be forgotten. There is no place for such stubborn remembrances in the cool, swift flow of our New Age.
Chris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at email@example.com.
This column is republished here with the permission of the author.
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This story was published on January 26, 2009.
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