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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?]
Dark Glass: Hateful Echoes and Hidden Costs
First published in Empire Burlesque earlier today, 6 November 2009
Hitler and Himmler "justified" their extermination programs as "pre-emptive defense" against an existential threat.
Seventy-one years ago, almost to the very day, a member of a religious minority fatally shot a government official – an act by a troubled individual that was seized upon by hateful minds to set off an orgy of blood and destruction against his co-religionists.
While the Ft. Hood shootings will not spark a rerun of Kristallnacht – the anti-semitic pogrom launched by the Nazis after 17-year-old Herschel Grynszpan shot German diplomat Ernst Vom Rath in Paris on Nov. 7, 1938, in retaliation for Nazi depradations against the Jews – the upswelling of racial, ethnic and religious hatred against Muslims and Arabs we will now see in many quarters will ring with ugly echoes.
The entire lexicon of Islamophobia is already filled to bursting with Nazi tropes – "the enemy within," the dark, monolithic mass of "prodigious breeders" threatening to overwhelm Western Civilization, the "maniacal extremists" who will not rest until they destroy the sacred Homeland, the sinister, secret worldwide conspiracy which bribes and suborns Western leaders into doing its bidding, etc. etc. This sinister discourse is accepted, and used, among the highest circles of power – senators, representatives, "serious" commentators, academics, think-tank apparatchiks. And all of this is being constantly regurgitated even while the armed forces and covert operators of the United States are in the midst of an apparently endless campaign of death and violence that has killed, so far, well in excess of a million innocent people – the vast majority of them Muslims, or of Muslim heritage – while planting great, bristling fortresses of domination and excess in the midst of wretchedly poor lands.
In this too, our modern Islamophobes mimic their German forbears. It was the Nazis who held – and exercised – violent, overwhelming sway over the Jews within their reach, even as they bleated constantly about the "Jewish threat" to "destroy the German people." Perhaps many of them, at some level, believed this fantastical projection of their own murderous desires and unquenchable anxieties; certainly, we know that top Nazis like Hitler and Himmler "justified" their extermination programs as "pre-emptive defense" against an existential threat from the "Judeo-Bolshevik" conspiracy. (For in this disordered mindset, every Jew was considered a Bolshevik -- and even rich, capitalist Jews were seen as part of the same overarching conspiracy -- just as our Islamophobes consider every Muslim a terrorist or an extremist.) In a similar manner, all of our Terror Warriors – not just the strident Islamophobes, but the entire bipartisan political establishment, including the "progressive" president – paint the "Long War" as a strictly defensive measure against dark forces who irrationally "hate us for our freedoms" and seek to "destroy our way of life."
Comparisons are not equivalencies, and history does not repeat itself -- but it often rings with disturbing assonances.
At this stage, with so much about the Ft. Hood case still unknown, there is little point in commenting on the substance of the case. But all kinds of rumors and conjectures and second-hand reports about the alleged shooter are richoceting around the media echo chamber.
For example, the New York Times, the nation's most "serious" newspaper, filled some of its early reports with pro-terrorist comments culled from the internet, left there by people who have the same or similar names as the accused. (This just days after the media had been burned by numerous "false positives" in the White House guest list.) The fact that it is unlikely that an Army officer on active duty would post such comments in his own name was obviously no bar to getting the most the most inflammatory factoids into circulation as soon as possible.
This might be considered irresponsible, if it didn't come from a paper that has been instrumental in selling the Terror War, with its ever-mounting toll of civilians deaths (three more children, and other civilians working in a field, were killed by a NATO missile on the same day of the Ft. Hood shooting), and all the despair and suffering and hatred it is engendering. In any case, at this point, I think the only relevant thing one can say about this particular case appeared on the website of the Iraq Veterans Against the War on Thursday: "The shootings that happened today are a tragic reminder of the hidden costs of war."
* * *
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 in the Baltimore Chronicle on November 6, 2009.
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