Tag Archives | American Empire

How to Survive the Empire

Pic: therightclick (cc)

Pic: therightclick (cc)

It takes very little today to get many of us into froth over global injustice, the rape of the earth, the bombing of children, the mistreatment of captives; the list goes on and on.  It is as if we are in some kind of violent squeeze, penance for past sins, or just wicked men behaving wickedly.  Regardless of whom or what is behind the endless cavalcade of charred carcasses, those of us who look on in horror feel a sense of grief; inability to change as if we were in the middle of a living, breathing night terror from which we cannot awake.  But how do we fight this beast of a million heads that mines our hearts for the last drop of fear and anxiety it can draw until we collapse, punctured and poisoned by its necrotizing fangs?

If ever there was a growing sense that we are still under the rule of a malevolent empire, that time is now.… Read the rest

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Is the US in Terminal Decline?

You might very well think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment. BBC News‘ North America editor Mark Mardell has some interesting thoughts, however:

It is eerie to walk so close to a weapon of mass destruction.

The B-52 bomber is one of the ultimate expressions of American power. If the president decides to drop a nuclear bomb, this is the sort of aircraft that would do it.

I am careful not to step over the red line around the plane. A sign painted on the ground warns lethal force can be used against those who cross it without authorisation.

I’ve come to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, filming for the new BBC One programme The Editors.

The programme aims to get the BBC’s on-air editors to explore – and hopefully answer – a big question. My chosen subject is the decline of American power.

There’s little evidence of it at the base, where the sign above the gate reads: “Only the best come North”.

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Top 15 Issues On Which Romney and Obama Are No Different

The unending War on Drugs and shift towards a prison-based economy, Wall Street bailouts, deregulation of telecom giants, pushing for further “free trade” agreements and outsourcing, drones strikes and extrajudicial killings overseas…all this is among what we can look forward to regardless of which party wins in November. Writing for Black Agenda Report, Bruce A. Dixon presents his 15 most important things on which Romney and Obama agree:

The 40 year war on drugs must continue, and even mention of the prison state is unthinkable. There are 2.3 million people in US prisons and jails today, a per capita total that beats the world. But as Michelle Alexander points out, if the US prison population were rolled back to say, only 1 million, the level it was about 1980, this would mean one million jobs, as contractors, sheriffs, cops, bailiffs, judges and functionaries of all kinds would have to go out and find real jobs.

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J’Accuse: Where Is MY Rocket-Powered Jet Pack, Mr. Gingrich?!!!

elroyWell, haven’t we all been treated to quite the show lately?  Of course I’m talking about the debates for the Republican Party’s primary in Florida, which have degenerated into an unseemly picking over the corpse of Reagan-era optimism, each candidate trying to prize from Zombie Ronnie’s rigor mortised grasp the famed Talisman of Americana.  Shameful and disgusting.

The mind readily grasps the allure of laying claim to the mantle of the august Uncle Dutch (i.e., being the only legitimate basis of rule, the “One Meme to Rule Them All”).  Therefore it is hardly surprising that its power should attract the devious lust of unsavory creatures from beneath even the dankest rocks in the even the darkest corners of America’s mushroom garden.  That is merely natural and expected, actually a necessary function of narrative causality, being all the better to highlight by means of contrast the enlightened munificence and nobility of the True Heir of the king who single-handedly defeated the corrosive and perverse troglodytes of The Evil Empire.… Read the rest

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America’s Secret Plan To Arm Libya’s Rebels

Obama/ReaganRobert Fisk writes in the Independent:

Desperate to avoid US military involvement in Libya in the event of a prolonged struggle between the Gaddafi regime and its opponents, the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a “day of rage” from its 10 per cent Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington’s highly classified request, although King Abdullah personally loathes the Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago.

Washington’s request is in line with other US military co-operation with the Saudis. The royal family in Jeddah, which was deeply involved in the Contra scandal during the Reagan administration, gave immediate support to American efforts to arm guerrillas fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in 1980 and later – to America’s chagrin – also funded and armed the Taliban.

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$1.2 Trillion: The Real Cost of U.S. National Security

TomDispatchChristopher Hellman writes on TomDispatch.com:

So the big week is here as the federal budget heads for the Washington operating table. The question in the media will be: to shut or not to shut the government down — and whether that shutdown is likely to happen now, two weeks from now, or in the spring when raising the debt ceiling comes up for debate. In the meantime, the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives is intent on taking out fuel subsidies for the poor, federal funding for Planned Parenthood, money for National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System, and the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant that “supports state-based prenatal care programs and services for children with special needs,” among many other programs, but not (as New York Times columnist Gail Collins pointed out recently) the millions of dollars the U.S. Army sinks into its “relationship” with NASCAR.  The House voted down a proposal to eliminate that program a week ago by a wide margin.

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