Posted by: quiscus | August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010

1.  “Dirty Tricks

The story, you see, is no longer about WikiLeaks, the Afghan logs, war crimes committed by the US under cover of darkness, or the US government’s frantic efforts to cover them up – it’s now about Assange’s sexual habits, and Manning’s, too.

So why am I so certain this is what Assange says it is: a coordinated effort by Washington to smear and discredit him?

Because it’s all so very American, i.e. sex-obsessed. In what other country would their spooks exhibit such an unhealthy interest in the erotic routines of their quarry? The combination of voyeurism and puritanism is a national characteristic: this smear campaign has “Made in America” stamped all over it.

It’s a new low for the War Party, even by their debased standards, but not really all that surprising. A debased empire reveals its character in little things, and large: the lies they spin are perfervid projections of their own decadent appetites, sprung from the depths of a culture that resembles Rome in full decline.”

2.  From a soldier:

“I returned home in September 2005, grateful and safe, but stripped of the illusions I had taken with me. My experience proved that contrary to countless official pronouncements, the Bush administration has no interest in the Iraqi army training program. We were fighting a war to establish permanent bases in Iraq to better manipulate the flow of Middle East oil. For if this war was about human rights, why were we not in Rwanda? If our mission was about bringing democracy to a region, then why were we not in Cuba? And if the intelligence leading up to this war was merely faulty, why was no one fired?”

3.  “What would Martin Luther King Say? Mosques and the New Jim Crow in America

The controversy of the siting of the Muslim community center in lower Manhattan is nothing new in American history. Although we now forget previous decades of residential and religious discrimination, telling people where they can live and worship within a city was common in the first half of the twentieth century. “Protective Associations” agitated to keep Buddhist temples or even Japanese churches from being built. In Los Angeles, African-Americans and Japanese were only allowed to live in certain neighborhoods. Synagogues were also carefully policed. Limitations on where places of worship could be built were central to this effort to create and and preserve privileges for people who thought of themselves as white Christians.

Just as the rights of African-Americans were recognized under Jim Crow, but it was simply insisted that they practice their rights somewhere else than in white department stores and build their churches somewhere else than in white bastions, so too in today’s America Muslims’ requests to local councils for permission to build a mosque is too often being denied on grounds that all Muslims are dangerous (just as it was thought by many whites in the early twentieth century that all African-Americans, all Jews, etc., were dangerous in one way or another).

As for those who counsel the Park 51 Muslims that now is not the time, that Manhattan is not the place, that they should not hurt feelings, they are taking exactly the same line as the clergymen who wrote Martin Luther King to urge him to desist from his direct action campaign in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, as a result of which he had been jailed. King wrote in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” . He says that they called his campaign “unwise and untimely,” characterized it as “outsiders coming in,” and asserted that negotiations would be better than direct action. They implicitly accused him of impatience, of rocking the boat, of hurting the feelings of white folk who were not ready for his message.

King replied, in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”:

‘We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant ‘Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” ‘

Muslim Americans are Americans. There can be no government Establishment of Judeo-Christian traditions, and no prohibition on how and where Muslim Americans worship. We are seeing attempts to foment a new Jim Crow, centered on mosques, which involves all the same fear-mongering, segregation, and special pleading for the majority that characterized the old one. It is important that this campaign against a Muslim community center in lower Manhattan not succeed, or it will be only the first in a long series of discriminatory policies throughout the country, as opportunistic politicians jump on the Islamophobic bandwagon. Those who believe that giving the Lazios and Palins and Gingriches this one will deflate the tension are misreading the historical moment. These are ravenous beasts, and giving them red meat will only send them into a greater frenzy, not satiate them. Asking people to give up their rights for too long will undermine those rights, just as justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

4.  “Portions of the Gulf are So Toxic that Dolphins, Fish, Crabs, Stingrays and Other Animals are “Trying to Crawl Out of the Water”

5.  “Who Actually Owns BP?

Too many sites fail to mention who owns a whopping 28.34% of BP—more than the other 9 out of the top 10 together. That would be Wall Street’s JPMorgan Chase. And that certainly explains why our own government has offered mostly limp and phony bluster and coverup as BP has done pretty much whatever it wants in our new energy sacrifice zone—such as the deliberate blockage of oil collection in favor of bringing in “Carolina Skiffs” and huge aircraft to spray dispersants at night. BP lies, our government lies and covers, and the Gulf dies. Evidently, our government’s top priority is limiting BP’s liability.”

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