Posted by: quiscus | October 21, 2012

October 21, 2012

1. “Thirteen Days That Shook the World – and Nearly Ended It

crafty Khrushchev. He offered to take Soviet missiles out of Cuba if the US pledged never to invade the island. Kennedy readily accepted the deal. In a secret codicil, Kennedy agreed to quietly withdraw US nuclear-armed Thor and Jupiter missiles targeted on the USSR from Turkey and Italy.

The deal was done. Washington hailed it as a huge victory for President Kennedy who became a national hero and icon. This mythology persists in the US today. The American public is still largely unaware of the secret deal.

In the end, the Soviet Union came out ahead in the crisis. Cuba was saved from a US invasion, which was Moscow’s principal strategic goal, along with preserving the Castro regime, which remains to this day.

US missiles in Turkey and Italy (and likely Britain) threatening the USSR were removed but the story remained secret for decades.

Unaware of it, the Soviet politburo ousted Khruschev a year later for “reckless, hare-brained schemes” and made the plodding Leonid Brezhnev chairman. He lead the USSR directly into economic collapse by wildly over-spending on arms to keep up with the Americans and their wealthy allies, and by failing to renew the USSR’s industrial and agricultural base.

Fortunately, the US military was not allowed to invade Cuba: Unknown at the time, Soviet troops there were authorized to use 100 tactical nuclear weapons against any invading force and their bases in South Florida. As Wellington said after Waterloo, “it was a damned near-run thing.”

But this “victory” misled America into hubris and over-relying on military action to resolve its future political problems.”

2. “Gaza Aid Ship Estelle Commandeered by Israeli Navy; Israel kidnaps European Members of Parliament”

3. “Were TSA Scanners Dangerous? Ionizing X-Ray Machines Removed from Airports (Grabell)

The Transportation Security Administration has been quietly removing its X-ray body scanners from major airports over the last few weeks and replacing them with machines that radiation experts believe are safer.”

4. Leo Strauss is the “father’ of the neocons:

“But to really understand Strauss – and thus the Neocons – one must understand his main influence: Carl Schmitt, the leading Nazi legal scholar and philosopher who created the justification for “total war” to destroy those labeled the “enemy” of the Nazi state. Strauss was a life-long follower of Schmitt, and Schmitt helped Strauss get a scholarship which let him escape from Germany and come to America.

Not only was Strauss heavily influenced by Schmitt, but Strauss and Schmitt were so close that – when Strauss criticized Schmitt for being too soft and not going far enough – Schmitt agreed

The sovereign is the name of that person (legal or actual) who decides not only that the situation is a state of exception but also what needs to be done to eliminate the state of exception and thus preserve the state and restore order. Note the circularity of the definitions: the sovereign is the one who decides that there is a state of exception; a state of exception is that which the sovereign deems to be so.

Moreover, Schmitt argued that war against one’s enemy is total – lacking any legal constraints – but the sovereign can use ever-shifting definitions of who one’s enemy is:

“War is the existential negation of the enemy.”

Indeed, Schmitt says that “politics” is not the process of debate, making trade-offs, building consensus or letting the best ideas win. Instead, the sovereign – through an act of will – makes a decision, and then the political system should carry it out, and the military effectuate it.

Indeed, Schmitt believed that demonization and war must be maintained for their own sake, or else a horrible world where peace and culture reined would be created:

Schmitt writes that if war became impossible, then “the distinction of friend and enemy would also cease” and what remained would be “neither politics nor state, but culture, civilization,economics, morality, law, art, entertainment, and so on”….

Only a re-connection with ourselves, our communities and our souls will act as antibodies to the insane ramblings of those who would manipulate us in order to gain total control over society and to carry out their infantile fantasy of destroying all enemies.

Schmitt, Strauss, Yoo and all of the other boneheads who have adopted a crazed disconnection from reality are worshippers of “thanatos” … the “drive towards death” diagnosed by Freud and others. Many of them write lustfully about the beauty of the noble death on the battlefield.

Sanity lies in reconnection with the beauty of the everyday: the beauty of nature, of lovers, of children, of community, of an intellectual insight, of a brilliant engineering breakthrough, of a life of service, of art, of quiet prayer and meditation.

We need to reconnect with the beauty of life … and the fact that deep down inside (despite different clothes, languages and customs) everyone’s blood is red, and everyone wants the same basic things: a little food, a little comfort, a little love, a little inspiration.

In the end, the brutal murderers and tyrants are children. Real men stand up to fascism.

Fear makes people stupid and cowardly … and willing to follow the authoritarian leader into the depths of hell. On the other hand, real courage and strength comes from love for life and passion.

Insanity may be contagious. But courage is contagious as well. And as scared as we may be of the powers-that-be, they’re even more terrified of us.

Love and courage are the antitodes: they are what make us fully human, and able to defeat the psychosis of Schmitt, Strauss and the perennial crazies who would crush humanity.”


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