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Health Care & Environment
11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]
11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder
11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]
11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]
11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]
11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]
11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]
11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
International & Futurism
11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
FAILING AN I.Q. TEST:
Killing the Song: Unholy Alliances and Hate-Spawning Surges in the Terror War
Monday, 9 March 2009
The further radicalization and destabilization of Pakistan is virtually guaranteed if Barack Obama continues on his announced path of military escalation in Afghanistan.William Dalrymple has been one of the more insightful Western historians of South Asia -- especially when it comes to the region's centuries-long encounter and enmeshing with Islam. In the light of the recent terror attack in Pakistan, Dalrymple has penned two articles in the UK press which draw attention to one of the most neglected aspects of the rise of Islamic extremism in the modern era: the vast resources and ceaseless energy applied by the Saudi royals to propagate the harsh, unbending sect of Wahhabi Islam around the world.
The high-living plutocrats and playboys of the Saudi ruling clan long ago made a deal with the obscurantist Wahhabi clerics of Arabia. The plutocratic playboys would get the religious cred needed to "justify" their repressive, corrupt rule, while the Wahhabis would see their narrow-minded zealotry protected and promoted by state -- and, in the last few decades, transformed into a global movement by the endless supply of petrodollars pouring into Saudi coffers from the West. As the Western-backed dictatorships and kleptocracies of Muslim lands increasingly failed to provide a decent life and basic freedoms for their peoples, the flood of Saudi oil money stepped in to fill the social and educational breach with Wahhabi schools, Wahhabi mosques, and Wahhabi doctrines.
It is all very reminiscent of the deal struck between the old-line plutocrats of the Republican Party and the extremist Christian nationalists in the United States. The plutocrats get "God's" blessing -- and "God's" political shock troops and fundraising prowess - for their rapacious economic and militarist agenda, while the Christian nationalists get a slice of earthly power to help push and promote their own narrow-minded zealotry.
These two unholy alliances made a most monstrous beast with two backs when they came together to fight the Great Satan of Communism in Afghanistan. The Plutocrat-Christianist alliance in Washington vastly expanded the relationship with Saudi-backed jihadis in Afghanistan that had begun under Democrat Jimmy Carter. The rest, as they say, is history: the history of our Age of Terror, where the "civilized" world inflicts state terror on a scale unseen since World War II, while "asymmetrical" groups -- most with ever-murky, impossibly tangled, volatile links with various states at various times -- go about their bloody business on a much smaller scale.
[There is yet another aspect of these interlocking dirty deals: the American plutocratic elite has long been in bed with the Saudi royals. This is perhaps best exemplified by the close personal and business relationship between the Saudi elite and the Bush family -- close ties that encompassed the Bin Laden clan as well as the Saudi royals -- but America's eternal coddling of the Saudi tyrants is of course a thoroughly bipartisan affair.]
In his most recent piece, in the Observer, Dalrymple notes how Saudi-sponsored Wahhabi extremism is undermining the traditional religious, social and cultural structures of Pakistan:
But of course we will only see more American military materiel pouring into Pakistan: some of it given to Pakistan's draconian military-security elite -- but more and more of it being operated by U.S. forces themselves: more drone missile attacks, more covert Special Forces units, and, as seems increasingly likely, more regular troops and planes in "hot pursuit" of Pakistan-based Afghan insurgents.
The further radicalization and destabilization of Pakistan is virtually guaranteed if Barack Obama continues on his announced path of military escalation in Afghanistan, egged on by such hawkish courtiers as Richard "L'il Kissinger" Holbrooke, Joe "Bankruptcy Bill" Biden and Hillary "The Obliterator" Clinton. Obama has embraced both the Terror War rhetoric and most of the Terror War policies of his murderous predecessor; he has also retained the Terror War's military leadership as well. In the Guardian last week, Dalrymple described the past fruits of this approach:
And here he details this most dangerous development, where, once again, playboys and plutocrats combine with religious extremists to breed a hell on earth:
Dalrymple also points out the dangers of the plutocratic strategy of setting extremist forces in motion to advance your own agenda. Like the German conservatives in the early 1930s who thought they could control and manipulate the jumped-up little corporal, Adolf Hitler, elites ultimately find that the extremists they nurture not only end up biting the hand that feeds them -- they often chop off the head of their benefactors as well. For example, Dalrymple says that a "large share of responsibility that must be put at the door of Pakistan's army and its Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, or ISI:"
When you follow the sword, and stop listening to the singer, when you worship power -- whether it be derived from your understanding of God or from your identification with empire and domination -- then you sow thorns that will make the whole world bleed. As I said in a column I wrote the day after 9/11:
A song might do it. But a "surge" sure as hell will not.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column is republished here with the permission of the author.
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This story was published on March 10, 2009.
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