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
04.21 Dutch engineers build world's biggest sun-seeking solar farm [A replacement of lost Arctic ice?]
04.10 Glaciers and arctic ice are vanishing. Time to get radical before it's too late [Willfully ignorant "conservatives" and corporately-bribed liberals diddle self-obsessively while life on earth dies]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
04.18 Bernie Sanders 'Raises the Bar Even Further' on Climate With Vow to Ban Fracking, All New Fossil Fuel Projects [Mindlessly killing ourselves must stop]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
04.21 Progressive Capitalism Is Not an Oxymoron [For the good of the public and healthier economic growth, can we make government and financial markets behave morally?]
04.19 The Pentagon’s Bottomless Money Pit [pdf; Until the Pentagon can pass audits, use their allocated budget to fight causes of global warming]
International & Futurism
04.19 Ways to Save the World
"PUPPET POWER" RULES!
Master and Pupil: Sowing Tyranny in Iraq, Spreading Slaughter in Afghanistan
First published in Empire Burlesque earlier today, 11 November 2009
Quoting The Economist: "The Shia-led government has overseen a ballooning of the country’s security apparatus. Human-rights violations are becoming more common. In private many Iraqis, especially educated ones, are asking if their country may go back to being a police state."
Here's the kind of freedom and liberation you get in exchange for a million dead bodies: Iraqi court rules Guardian defamed Nouri al-Maliki.
What exactly did the Guardian do to merit this judgment -- which, perhaps not incidentally, directs them to put more than $100,000 in Nouri al-Maliki's pocket? Something which, admittedly, is quite shocking in our day: reporting.
The Guardian's Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who has contributed a remarkable series of stories from the frontlines and backrooms of the Iraqi cauldron, interviewed three members of the Iraqi national intelligence service "who claimed that the prime minister was beginning to run Iraqi affairs with an authoritarian hand."
And for this "revelation" -- which is akin to claiming that the sun rises in the east, or that the Pope served with the Nazis -- the Guardian was hauled into an Iraqi court for defamation. After a number of expert witnesses demolished the case on legal grounds, a new five-member panel of government toadies weighed in to argue that "Iraqi publishing law did not allow foreigners to publish articles critical of the prime minister or president, or to interfere in Iraqi internal affairs." To which the Guardian laconically appended this little fact: "The advice appeared to overlook the fact that Abdul-Ahad is an Iraqi citizen."
It surely comes as no surprise that the court rejected the expert testimony in favor of the toadies' playful sporting with the truth. But this is to be expected given the, well, authoritarian hand that the local satrap has been given by the occupying power. As the Guardian notes:
And as we noted here just a few weeks ago, it is not only the Guardian who is nailing the truth about the grubby, kleptocratic police state that America is building in the conquered land; even the Economist --
As we noted in that piece, Maliki's burgeoning repression is growing from the deep loam provided by his American masters, who have assiduously fostered the use of torture, unlawful detention, death squads and other "covert ops" by a plethora of security services and militias, from the very beginning of the occupation. (For more on this, see the full post excerpted above, and also A Furnace Seal'd: The Wondrous Death Squads of the American Elite.)
But hey, overall, this Iraq war thing has been "an extraordinary achievement," hasn't it? That's what Barack Obama calls it. And no doubt that's why he's put the architects of this achievement -- like David Petraeus, Stanley "Deathsquadder" McChrystal, and lifelong Bush family apparatchik and covert operator Bob Gates -- in charge of replicating this great success in Afghanistan.
Speaking of good old Bob Gates, it is certainly heartening to read in the New York Times that he "commands considerable respect from the president." This would be the same Bob Gates "who was hip-deep in the Iran-Contra arms-drugs-terror scam, who doctored, spun and manipulated intelligence for partisan purposes and also steered secret U.S. military intelligence to help Saddam Hussein launch WMD attacks .. and has no experience whatsoever of the military," right? The same.
The Times story tells us that the considerably respected Gates is pushing Obama to order a "surge" of 30,000 more troops to stoke the flaming quagmire in Afghanistan. Apparently he is being backed by Joint Chief poobah Mike Mullen, and -- surprise, surprise! -- Hillary "The Obliterator" Clinton. However, despite this high-profile hyping of what is obviously the preferred option of our "serious" elites, we are warned that Obama has not yet made up his mind just how he intends to escalate the slaughterfest in Central Asia.
But continue it he will, one way or another, come hell or high water. For despite his dithering on the precise form of escalation, he has already forthrightly rejected the only honorable solution: ending the war. [For more on this theme, see Chris Hedges (here and here), Patrick Cockburn and Dahr Jamail and Sarah Lazare.] Obama has neither the courage nor vision -- nor the desire -- to end the war. His unusual history and background could have given him a different perspective on the true nature of American power at home and abroad -- but he decided long ago to embrace that brutal nature, to serve it, to advance it, to carry its corruption forward to future generations, and to the far ends of the earth.
And so the war -- the wars -- will go on.
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 in the Baltimore Chronicle on November 11, 2009.
Public Service Ads: