Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
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 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...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
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]
11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]
11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
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.]
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.]
International & Futurism
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!]
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.]
11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
Cloud of Unknowing: Ignorance and Arrogance in the Af-Pak 'Surge'
US Oligarchy is immoral and illogical
Sunday, 17 May 2009
Señor, señor, do you know where we're headin'?
The nightmare scenario of subcontinental nuclear war that is evoked so shamelessly by Obama and his sycophants to "justify" the "Af-Pak" escalation is in fact made much more likely by Obama's own policies.
Yesterday, we briefly took up a Daily Kos piece that declared, with quivering fervor, that America's ever-expanding and ever-more-deadly military intervention in Central Asia is actually an act of purest altruism, aimed solely -- solely, we were told -- at preventing those lesser breeds under the law on the subcontinent from blowing their silly-billy selves up in a nuclear war. We were also informed that anyone who didn't like Barack Obama's "continuity" -- and expansion -- of Bush's policies in the region was just a malevolent malcontent who didn't care about the millions of people who would surely die if America withdraw its entirely benign protection from Pakistan.
I didn't engage in a point-by-point rebuttal of the post -- even thourgh there was certainly meet food to feed upon in that regard -- because, quite frankly, I couldn't see the point in wasting time and energy on such a -- how to put it charitably? -- jejune production.
So today let us depart from the fairy tale Pakistan concocted by our ever-earnest "progressives" in their increasingly desperate, well-nigh contortionist efforts to justify the brutal, bloody, lawless policies of the latest "safe pair of hands" picked to manage the militarist empire for a season or two. Instead, let's listen to someone who might actually know what he's talking about -- always a rarity in our modern political discourse. Here's Eric Margolis on "stirring a hornet's nest in Pakistan." It's worth quoting at length:
By the way, these many deaths and gargantuan discolations are what our eternally hopeful progressives call the positive results of "our policy in Pakistan." [Emphasis added.] Yes, many progressives now identify themselves personally with the same war machine -- and the same policies -- they were condemning with such vociferous heat just a few months ago. It becomes clearer all the time that for many, many "dissidents" of the past decade, it was not really the substance of the Bush Regime's high crimes and monstrous follies that bothered them; it was the fact these crimes and follies were being committed by the wrong side in the factional tussles of the imperial court. Once their guy had been draped with the purple, the Terror War and its discontents were suddenly transformed into wise, far-seeing acts of benevolence. Now back to Margolis:
That's right: the nightmare scenario of subcontinental nuclear war that is evoked so shamelessly by Obama and his sycophants to "justify" the "Af-Pak" escalation is in fact made much more likely by Obama's own policies. Indeed, it would probably not be too much to say that at this juncture in history, it is only such American policies that could tip the region over into nuclear war. For as Margolis makes clear, the jejeunistas' fearmongering fantasies of a "nuclear Taliban" are baseless. The real dangers lie elsewhere:
This genuine nightmare scenario -- Pakistan's proxy-warring against the Pashtuns on behalf of America's energy-driven dominationist policies -- is growing apace. Pakistani military forces are preparing to follow the American leader in an upcoming attack on the largest town in the Swat Valley, ready to turn Mingora into another Fallujah. As AP reports:
In Fallujah, American forces ringed the city for months -- after one failed attempt to take the town -- and allowed thousands of citizens to flee into destitute exile, while thousands more remained behind, with nowhere to go. Shortly after Bush's re-election in 2004, Fallujah was systematically destroyed -- Gronzy-style, Guernica-style -- in an operation that openly targeted medical centers (to prevent bad press about civilian casualties) and mowed down many civilians in its relentless churning.
The Fallujah operation was of course only one small part of a vast, sprawling, still-ongoing war crime that has killed more than one million innocent human beings -- an "extraordinary achievement" indeed, in President Obama's laudatory words. But even in the midst of this burning lake of corpses, the murderous beserkers in the Beltway and the Pentagon have the gold-plated gall to criticize the Pakistanis for their "heavy-handedness" in an operation urged on them by -- the Americans! McClatchy:
Really, this sort of thing is almost beyond comment. "Do they understand it the way we understand it?" says the spokesman of a military that launched a Hitlerian war of aggression on knowingly false pretenses, and has just had one of its main practitioners of murderous "dirty war" put in charge of its entire "Af-Pak" operations -- at the order of the "progressive" president. To find apt comparisons to such horrific irony, you'd have to reach back to the Eastern Front in World War II: "Reichsfuhrer Himmler, I regret to inform you that some of our Lithuanian auxilliaries have been entirely too primitive in their counterinsurgency tactics against the Jews. Our proxies are too openly brutal -- sometimes clubbing old men and children to death right in the center of town, causing unnecessary distress among the locals. They are sorely lacking in the efficiency and professionalism of our SS cadres, who escort their charges calmly and humanely to carefully pre-prepared pits far beyond the outskirts. It is more regrettable."
Washington is also upset because Pakistan refuses to put its military entirely at the disposal of the imperial agenda:
Just think of that: a sovereign nation having the nerve to decide its own strategic priorities, and actually commiting the bulk of its forces to defend against a much larger, nuclear-armed nation with which it has fought several major wars over the decades across a still highly volatile, hotly disputed border! What effrontery to the Great Sahib!
Meanwhile, even as Pakistan's American-fueled "surge" in Swat was driving more than a million people from their homes, Washington was throwing more gasoline on the flames of extremism with more drone strikes, killing at least 40 people, as Pakistan's The News reports:
Yes, there does seem to a bit of miscommunication between the imperial center and its servants in the hinterlands. But not to worry: soon they'll all be singing from the same hymn sheet, as AP reports:
I think they mean "resting place," but never mind.
Obviously, the War Machine is floating a trial balloon to habituate the hoi polloi -- and the dimbulbs of the political and media elite -- to the idea of a direct, on-the-ground American military presence in Pakistan. Hey, it's only "advisers"! It's only a bit of training, a bit of "schooling" -- you know, like those nice old lady teachers in your grammar school. How dangerous could it be? I mean, come on -- when in American history has the presence of a few American military "advisers" in country roiled by civil conflict ever led to any kind of bad result?
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.
Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.
This story was published on May 19, 2009.
Public Service Ads: