May 18, 2007
Paul Wolfowitz resigned from the World Bank after careful negotiations in which the bank’s board noted that his mistakes were in “good faith.” How nice.
His “ethical mis-step” involved getting his girlfriend a nice job and good pay. Period. He engineered the unfolding nightmare in Iraq, led the decimation of worker’s rights and the deepening emisseration of the poor around the world in the name of “restructuring,” oversaw huge transfers of wealth from the Third World to the imperial headquarters, and this was the best the board could do? Well, of course, on those deeper and more fundamental ethical issues the board is in full agreement with Wolfowitz. It’s a through-the looking-glass world, and any hope for ethical clarity from those gangsters is a fool’s errand.
Let’s look forward to the day Wolfowitz will be tried as a war criminal. Let’s work for peace, and let’s never forget.
May 16, 2007
The prewarUS goal (!!) of three million barrels of Iraqui oil production a day has never come close, and now a new government report estimates that between $5 and $15 million dollars a day of declared oil production has gone missing over the four years of occupation. Billions in theft and graft. Like we don’t know.
May 13, 2007
I heard an interview with an American in Iraq who claimed that the Marines deplored all “needless killing.” Well, of course. But how to seperate the needless from the other kind— the killing most needful? If you buy the Big Lie that got the US to Iraq in the first place the distinction may seem reasonable if bizarre, otherwise it’s the rantings of a madman, a down-the-rabbit-hole picture of the world, his brain on drugs. It’s all needless, all the blood and destruction on the hands of Bush and Cheney to start.
The American went on to express sympathy for the troops, noting that he knew “the pressure they’re under.” Hmmmm? Pressure from Bush? From Big Oil? And by the way, any sympathy for the pressure experienced by the people living under the boot of occupation?
He answered that— cliche alert— “this is a new kind of war” because it’s a “counter-insurgency” (see, e.g., Viet Nam, Algeria, India, Afghanistan, Mozambique…). He elaborated by way of a Marine slogan he’d learned: “Be kind and courteous, and plan to kill anyone you meet.”
May 6, 2007
The logic of occupation, the corruption of empire is what the liberals refuse to challenge–and in that refusal they show themselves as accomplices, hypocrites, and apologists for misery and mayhem and murder. Occupation always elicits the same series of idiotic and impossibly thick observations: we mean well so why do they resist us? I can’t tell friend from foe on the streets so who should I shoot? I’m trying to help them so why aren’t they gratefully working harder to help me help them? And on and on…
Nationanal Propoganda Radio had a heart-warming puff piece last week about an “ethics” course taught at West Point– oxymoronic in the extreme, though the reporter didn’t seem to notice. The course is “Winning the Peace” and the premise is that winning wars is the easy part for the US military machine, but that those nettlesome hearts and minds–have we learned nothing?– aren’t so easy to capture or subdue, especially after they’ve been invaded, destroyed, killed and maimed and tortured. The little scenarios for ethical reflection and discussion are about whether to pay a young boy to photograph suspected terrorists, things of that ilk. No ethical discussion of whether occupation and preemptive war is moral. No talk of saying “no” or speaking the unwanted truth to power. So luckily our paid killers are being asked to behave well in a hell of their own creation– to be ethical actors at the level of a slave-holder who paid his bills on time and always attended church on Sunday.
May 5, 2007
A Pentagon study reveals that young people who experience combat for extended periods find their mental health at great risk. DUH!
Viet Nam vets still suffer from PTSD and other mental illnesses, and now a fresh batch for the slaughter and the misery that follows being made into a killing thing.
These old men who order kids to war are criminals and should be impeached and taken out of civilized society.
May 2, 2007
The May 1 marches for immigrant and human rights were a marvelous and magic moment for those of us who chose to become a small part of this community-in the-making. The mediot-savants reported crowd estimates and missed the heart of the matter: folks stood up and named themselves in new and surprising ways, they faced one another as authentic and free, they pointed to something in need of repair, transformed their sense of who they are as well as who they might become, and in that moment they altered the world. A public space emerged and a vision of freedom appeared. That cannot easily be stuffed back into a corked bottle and tossed under an anonymous rock.
May 2, 2007
The current “human face” masking the massive war crimes in Iraq belongs to General David Petraeus who said in an interview this week that young men selling trinkets in the large outdoor markets around Baghdad was a mark of real progress since when left idle these same young men were prone to violence. Hmmmmmm…maybe we need these markets and trinkets at home so that our idle young men won’t be bribed and seduced to travel the globe in the service of the most violent government on earth.