"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Jun 29, 2010

The Totempwog and the Pwogfather: A Corollary


Whenever the Pwogfather (or in very rare instances, usually during an interregnum, a Pwogmother) violates some part of the liberal canon, look for liberals to turn to the Totempwog for succor. So that the amount of attention paid the Totempwog has an inverse relation to the amount of canon violation currently undertaken by the Pwogfather.

Thanks to Spartacus and Charles Oxtrot for the inspiration.


The federal death state still holds this man:

Don't forget for a moment that the power of this government rests in the willingness of its hundreds of millions to ignore (or cooperate in) the incarceration of tens of millions of others, mostly poor, mostly brown, mostly demonized by a lap dog press.

In A Nutshell

"What the fuck does Bacevich think the heads of G20 countries are talking about behind closed doors other than using permanent war to alter the 'terms of civic obligation, fiscal policies and domestic priorities.'"


Shiny brilliant sum up, this.

Jun 28, 2010

Das Totempwog

Wherein Diggly transforms Grayson into the New Kucinich:

"...And it's not surprising that the person speaking out for peace today is none other than the progressive congressman from Florida. I don't know about you, but I am convinced that it takes political fighters to keep us out of war, and there's no smarter or more effective fighter in the Democratic Party than Alan Grayson...."


Grayson, alike to all Congress beasts, wants to raise money in order to get his seat at the capitalist-militarist imperial country club wicked awesome Congressional digs back, with the lifetime pension, the stupendous health benefits, and the not-too-shabby annual stipend.

Apparently, yon pwoggies have an operating principle: let us call it the Rule of Das Totempwog. The Totempwog serves a single purpose. He* represents everything pwoggies want others to believe about all yon pwoggies, whenever those pwoggies go about doing things which do not fit the pwoglander bill.

It goes back a bit, including such notables as Martin Luther King, Jr., that war hero guy who replaced Bobby K, Bobby Kennedy his damned self, and even ol' fighting Bob LaFollette.

But, for nearly twenty of the most recent years - the true blue Totempwog title had fallen to Ralphman Nader. For decades, yon pwoggies would turn to Nader whenever they needed someone to make a moral case they would later compromise, betray, abandon or criticize a month down the road, from the "realist" perspective.

Then, when Nader proved a wee bit of a real gadfly, and threatened (not really) to stymie the efforts of Algore, who never really had a chance to play the role, what with Daddy's money and all those oil stock portfolios, the pwogzone turned to wee Denny Kucinich.

And for a decade, the Gnome of Ohio had a good run.

He even got to raise money pretending he had a chance to sit in the Oval Office as the main occupant, and not as a subsidiary member of the fellatiating harem of power.

But, alas, Denny took a stand. Not a strong one, mind you. But, you know, he put his big left toe into the kiddie pool and managed to cough up a criticism of the Pwogfather himself, Imperial Barack.

Imp. Barack, of course, took wee Denny on a ride at twenty klicks high, and the rest of that history you already probably know.

Which sad fact has deprived the the latest crop of pwoglanders of Das Totempwog. Until spake Digby. And here we go again...

* - let's take a moment to thank the imaginary god and unreal fates, in the name of Cindy Sheehan. They almost inaugurated her into the role, until she had the godawful wicked gall to keep her focus on their hairy hypocritical issues.

An Important Event

Judging from all the blogs and news articles, an Important Event has occurred. Apparently, some really old guy who once thought it fine to string black men up by their necks until they died, but later thought differently, and who always had enough money to sit in a Senate seat for a modern eternity, has died.

A ruling class white man who hated black men until he didn't hate them anymore, and then used his change of heart to stay a ruling class white man, eh?

Whatever will Bill Clinton do now that he's the most prominent southron gentlestooge with that modus operandi?

Jun 27, 2010

Feinstein: Give Petraeus What He Wants

Stanley McChrystal may have fallen on an imaginary sword for this:

"A senior Senate Democrat on foreign policy issues said on Sunday that the president's pledged July 2011 timeline for a troop drawdown in Afghanistan was malleable to the requests of military command.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Cali.), whose hawkish grounding has angered progressive in the past, likely facilitated that anger again, when she told 'Fox News Sunday' that if General David Petraeus asked for more troops next summer, he should be granted them. 

'I would say give it to him, absolutely,' said the California Democrat."


Notice how the article casts "progressives" (not a group I have much inclination to defend, honestly) as anger prone in response to the (unstated, but implied) decision of realistic, flexible adults.

Feinstein continues with:

" 'Now, let's talk about the deadline. This is a transition point toward the beginning of a withdrawal or a drawdown as Petraeus said in his transcript before the Armed Services [Committee]. And I think he has flexibility realistically. Ten years is a long time to fight a war, particularly with what happened before the 10 years. And so we need to understand that [we have] to get the military trained, get the government online, secure and stabilize, and I think do away with the drugs to a great extent, because the drugs are now fueling the Taliban.' "

Out of one corner of her mouth, she discusses the duration of armed hostilities, waged against the people and factions of Afghanistan, posturing about "transition points" following the re-appointment of Petraeus as a proconsular fixer.

Immediately upon concluding this thought, though, she presents a series of goals which counter any likelihood of a transition.

On the one hand, she expresses the idea that Petraeus ought to have the flexibility to escalate the Afghan war even further. Feinstein argues that he needs this capacity (which, we ought to understand, means more young men and women handling and operating death machines, killing others on the way to destroying their own selves), and that Congress and the President ought to facilitate it, because the United States has fought a prolonged war that Obama has asked Petraeus to bring to and end. Petraeus' job, bringing the prolonged war to a "transition point," demands of Congress and the President a loosening of commitments to earlier promises.

On the other hand, and with no narrative pause or break in her preceeding logic, she leaps to a set of additional goals which, if pursued, can only negate the presumption of the first.

In order to "secure and stabilize" a now non-existent government, as well as eradicate a drug regime which flourishes because the whole country serves as a US weapons testing ground, the man hired to end the conflict must have an open ended contract to continue and escalate it into the foreseeable future, and beyond.

Feinstein's argument, in short, amounts to this: the US government must provide Petraeus with the bodies and tools to escalate, expand and continue the Afghan war in order to end it. He has to do more of a thing in order to do less of it.

The war, in order that it might end, must go on.

Put into other terms, this sounds like a wife beater begging the cops for an additional six days with which to beat his wife, so that he can stop beating her later, at an undefined future date.

Jun 26, 2010

Lady Bits For Israel

My problem, which the 3.5 readers of this blog probably remember, with feminist essentialism lies not in the feminism part, but with the essentialism.

In the same way that I reject arguments about natural male dominance, so too do I reject the argument that women with power bring a necessarily improved perspective to the use of power, as women.

Power almost universally trumps gender, or any other defining category. Power represents a universal which invariably overwhelms the categorical particulars.

Case in point:

"...Jewish leaders welcomed the appointment of Australia’s first female prime minister, who has been supportive of Israel.

Julia Gillard was elected unopposed in a Labor Party caucus meeting Thursday after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd agreed to a leadership ballot triggered by a slump in the polls.

Gillard, from Labor’s left faction, was widely considered an unknown quantity on Israel when she was elected deputy leader in 2006.

But she 'stood like a rock during the Gaza incursion [in 2009], reiterating again and again that Hamas began the conflict by rocketing Israel,' said Michael Danby, a Jewish lawmaker in the Labor government.

Dr. Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, agreed.

'Having been to Sderot, unlike so many of Israel's critics, she understood and defended Israel's right and need to defend its civilian population against repeated and indiscriminate missile attacks from Gaza,' Rubenstein said...."

Some might want to celebrate that a person with an inordinate amount of mastery over others happens to have "lady bits."

I still prefer to consider what said persons do with their power. Power, understood rightly, has everything to do with doing. People don't really have power. They do power.

And I contend, yet again, that anyone - eh nee won - who has what it takes to climb up over human remains and broken human lives, into a position where she or he can order people to their deaths and take reward for it, such a person by definition has many things wrong with her or him...

The Fire This Time

"Texas A&M University oceanography professor John Kessler, just back from a 10-day research expedition near the BP Plc oil spill in the gulf, says methane gas levels in some areas are 'astonishingly high.'

Kessler's crew took measurements of both surface and deep water within a 5-mile (8 kilometer) radius of BP's broken wellhead.

'There is an incredible amount of methane in there,' Kessler told reporters in a telephone briefing.

In some areas, the crew of 12 scientists found concentrations that were 100,000 times higher than normal.

'We saw them approach a million times above background concentrations' in some areas, Kessler said."


"More than 12 months ago some geologists rang the warning bell that the Deepwater Horizon exploratory rig might have been erected directly over a huge underground reservoir of methane.

Documents from several years ago indicate that the subterranean geologic formation may contain the presence of a huge methane deposit...

...By some geologists' estimates the methane could be a massive 15 to 20 mile toxic and explosive bubble trapped for eons under the Gulf sea floor. In their opinion, the explosive destruction of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead was an accident just waiting to happen...

...Yet the disaster that followed the loss of the rig pales by comparison to the apocalyptic disaster that may come.

According to worried geologists, the first signs that the methane may burst its way through the bottom of the ocean would be fissures or cracks appearing on the ocean floor near the damaged well head.

Evidence of fissures opening up on the seabed have been captured by the robotic submersibles working to repair and contain the ruptured well. Smaller, independent plumes have also appeared outside the nearby radius of the bore hole itself.

According to some geological experts, BP's operations set into motion a series of events that may be irreversible...

...With the emerging evidence of fissures, the quiet fear now is the methane bubble rupturing the seabed and exploding into the Gulf waters. If the bubble escapes, every ship, drilling rig and structure within the region of the bubble will instantaneously sink. All the workers, engineers, Coast Guard personnel and marine biologists measuring the oil plumes' advance will instantly perish.

As horrible as that is, what would follow is an event so potentially horrific that it equals in its fury the Indonesian tsunami that killed more than 600,000, or the destruction of Pompeii by Mt. Vesuvius.

The ultimate Gulf disaster, however, would make even those historical horrors pale by comparison. If the huge methane bubble breaches the seabed, it will erupt with an explosive fury similar to that experienced during the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens in the Pacific Northwest. A gas gusher will surge upwards through miles of ancient sedimentary rock—layer after layer—past the oil reservoir. It will explode upwards propelled by 50 tons psi, burst through the cracks and fissures of the compromised sea floor, and rupture miles of ocean bottom with one titanic explosion.

The burgeoning methane gas cloud will surface, killing everything it touches, and set off a supersonic tsunami with the wave traveling somewhere between 400 to 600 miles per hour.

While the entire Gulf coastline is vulnerable, the state most exposed to the fury of a supersonic wave towering 150 to 200 feet or more is Florida. The Sunshine State only averages about 100 feet above sea level with much of the coastline and lowlands and swamps near zero elevation..."


Chew on that, friends and strangers.

A company knowingly risks the truly catastrophic because an infinitesimally small number of very wealth people might have the opportunity to get a whole lot wealthier.

They did it eyes wide open.

If you cannot identify these people as the enemy, you deserve what you get.

You really do.

The rest of us won't deserve it, however the future unfolds, but we will still have to suffer it.

A pox - a truly horrible pox - on all their houses...

h/t to John Smart


"...Dr. Robert Bea, Director of UC Berkeley's Catastrophic Risk Management Center, reported to AP that leaked BP documents reveal that dislodged methane hydrate, which had contaminated recently poured cement, was the culprit in the Gulf disaster. There are tests to detect leaky cement, but there is no record of Halliburton, the cement contractor, using them. Deepwater Horizon workers told Bea that blasts of natural gas had troubled the rig in the weeks and days before the explosion, one so forceful that operations were shut down to avoid igniting the fumes.

At last Wednesday's congressional hearings, Rep Henry Waxman reported that on the day of the explosion, the rig failed a critical pressure test, indicating high gas levels in the well bore. Nonetheless, eager to move to lucrative production and move off of the expensive ($500,000 a day) rental rig, two hours before the explosion BP removed heavy mud (expensive, reusable drilling fluid) from the well and replaced it with sea water, creating the perfect low-pressure environment for the methane hydrate pockets in the cement to turn from solid to gas, and shoot up.

In its repair efforts BP has remained inattentive to deepwater drilling's natural nemesis -- methane hydrate. The 4-storey container lowered to the ocean floor to trap the gushing oil quickly clogged with the icy compound. At the very spot where methane crystals started their ascent only a week before, from a seabed known to contain a good portion of the world's methane hydrates, how could they have expected otherwise?..."


Let's wash, rinse and repeat:

With foreknowledge.
And in collusion.
With its partners.
With a blind eye.
Turned by the State.
A known.
A fucking known.
Methane pocket.
The explosion.
Or explosive surfacing of which.
Trigger a boundary event.
Doing all this.
So that those who run it.
And those it patronizes.
Can live.
Penultimate excess.
Repeat again - 
They willingly risked.
A geological catastrophe.
So that.
They could have luxury.
And the like.
At hand.
And wherever.
They please.

That is all...


"The evidence is growing stronger and stronger that there is substantial damage beneath the sea floor. Indeed, it appears that BP officials themselves have admitted to such damage. This has enormous impacts on both the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf, and the prospects for quickly stopping the leak this summer."


See also this and this.

h/t ICH

Jun 24, 2010

....and fairly soon, we will have waited too long...

 A while back, we mused on the ever growing national security state, and perhaps a reason or two why:

"...the very wealthy in the US have neared the terminal point of their oil based power, and have begun the project of triage, dismantling the welfare state, shifting created wealth out of public systems and into private ones, increasing 'national security' and 'anti-terrorism' expenditures as a means of consolidating power using the rump of the liberal state. A similar process unfolds in Western Europe, and follows a pattern set in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. These measures, imposed first externally on Argentina, South East Asia and Brazil, as well as Mexico, now threaten Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain with the liberation of the wealthy from the reaches of the remaining poor. China and India will face crisis situations, driven by population and food/fuel consumption, which will precipitate resource conflicts within and beyond their own borders, so that 'this disparity between the Euro-American dominions, the territorially expansive but unevenly developed nations such as Russia, Turkey, Brazil, China and Iran, and the 'underdeveloped' peripheries compel the several factions and combinations of capital and control to vie for access to remaining convertible resources, by simultaneously withdrawing public commitments to superfluous domestic populations and extending armed authority over regions ripe for extraction.'

This may present a useful way of understanding the seemingly 'knee jerk' reaction of American elites, to failed and minor acts of "terrorism," as well as to any protest or provocation which calls into question the means, methods or morality of their power.

As justifications for the militarization of the commons, and the capture of the creative class as dependents of the corporate-state.

As the world approaches a climate tipping point for which no solution present itself, coupled with the collapse of the one hundred year historical anomaly of cheap, reliable energy, the ruling factions approach a final plateau - sacrifice their power, luxury and wealth, or sacrifice the rest of us.

(See also.)

Already, states use computer modeling systems to predict behaviors in populations, as well as with regard to individuals. Corporations have done so for quite some time. Following the British example (perfected in Belfast), several American cities have begun to develop extensive camera systems, for widespread passive and active surveillance (funded of course by the federales) which the feds and the States will coordinate in data conglomerates called "fusion centers."

Now, let's meet the new machines coming soon to a city near you, which will add an extra stratum of data collection, as well as the requisite intimidation.

This one " integrates advanced controls technology with agile airframes to synergistically mesh sensor and aircraft capabilities into a system capable of navigating through natural and urban canyon environments:"

 (note the laughable corporate speak)

This one, designed to look like a bird, apparently works well enough to fool turkey vultures in its test environment:

This one, small enough to fit on a dinner plate, functions as a tracking and targeting device:

Passive and active surveillance, for the busy American death state.


Why would a government need so many tools to control its population?

In a word, austerity.

Van Creveld had it right, nearly two decades ago: the Westphalian Age has come to its conclusion. States across Europe, Asia and the Americas continue the process of redefining citizenship and the strictures of obedience, as we live and breathe. Right here. Right now.

Happening, in our lifetimes.

And in short order, we will have waited to long to do anything about it.

For real.

h/t American Samizdat

The Carnifex Covers for the New MacArthur

The Carnifex has fallen. Or has he risen from the ashes of the flailing Obama Regime, awaiting his set piece re-introduction to Homeland Salvation, come the coming purification of "socialism" in the name of flag wrapped Jeebus?

He's now a guaranteed hero to the sort of people who love themselves some Palin. He'll have dinner with McCain. Boeing knows his future, and its own.

The future lies off the coasts of Colombia, Venezuela, the Horn of Africa and Iran.

The empire expands, or the empire falls.

McChrystal will have his Restoration.

Methinks, also, that Petraeus serves the interests well. No better man for the run up to Iran, what what.

So mayhap I'll stake a claim: this ain't about Off-Ghan-Ee-Stonn.

'Tis 'bout Iran.

"A Thing That Evokes Fear And Wonder"

A few questions, on the way towards some future post:

What difference can an attentive observer detect between person, persona and personality?

Why do the ruling powers spend so much loot and devote so much capital to the shaping of personality and the undermining of personhood?

Why do they insist so strongly that we must fear, most of all, the monsters among us?

So much, in fact and deed, that we cannot define them except to use their own terms - as bad men, as monsters, as betrayers of the common good?

Thereby perhaps reinforcing the colonization of the mind and persona which makes their power so stable, despite the many changes in leadership?

Jun 21, 2010

Minor Thought: Israeli Blockade

The Israeli State signed a cynical truce with Hamas, in the run up to the Gazan Incursion of 2008-2009.

Anyone want to wager on what the easing of the blockade portends?

Do you?

IOZ has a screed about - surprise surprise - more arrogation of the forms of power, of formal authority itself, by the executive and the judiciary.

"Providing material support" can now include advising groups to not take up arms.

You know what will come of this, and the predictable outrage from Greenwald, Hamsher and the rest of the lefty word warriors?


The whole damned pyramid threatens to crumble, with the ruling classes falling the longest and the hardest. The oil empire approaches its collision with the hard fact of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and with the measurable, calculable, cold facts of the EROEI heading into negatives for the vast majority of us.

The ruling class - in its aggregate parts and its competing factions - needs us to suck up some austerity (the end result of the Gulf Oil Eruption will not follow as a demonstrable cleanup, but as clearly defined austerity measures, maskirovka'd as reform) and some authority.

Everything provides a pretext now. Idiot car "bombers." Deep ecos burning ski lodges. Grannies gathering to collect monies for Palestinian refugees. Tea Party drips and dolts. All of it.

In that light, considerable yourself expendable.

Unless you want to do something about all this.

Do you?

Jun 19, 2010

Ice Fire, Fire Ice

If you have the inclination, bone up on methane clathrates.

And then: the Compleat Idiocy™ of nuking the Gulf oil eruption should come into sharper focus. A case where politics, and the pressure to appear "pro-active," could quite literally kill off a large number of us.

Hip hip huzzah for the appearance of democracy, for the verisimilitude of the Spectacle as "participatory politics." For the polling response to depositioned poles.

In staving off public pressure, our overlords may find themselves tempted to do their worst.



Also, see already massive methane eruption, accompanying the oil gusher.

h/t Corrente, for that one

UPDATE 5ish pm:

Singularity, also on topic.

Liberatory Nihilism, Or how I faced the future my children have inherited...

The endless wars and police actions, the entertainment-industrialization of murder, the rapid increase in the expropriation of the Commons, the bank and insurance company bribes, the war on drugs, the expansion of the prison-slavery complex, the whole damned lot of it - fairly depressing shit.

But, in truth, human shit. It has the stink of a medieval sewage runnel because that comparison really works. Our massive degradations, in plain, shitty sight. We did this shit, and we could - in theory at least - not do it.

Unlikely that we mere peons can stop it, but the betting chance remains.

We could, with a lot of violence, or on an even off-er off chance, a whole lot of nonviolent resistance, put some breaks on the industrial march into our own obsolescence.

But that "oil spill," and Hubbard's Peak?

No fix available. The oil "leak" will likely keep on erupting a jovian magnitude storm of petrochemicals into the Gulf, and therefore the world oceans, for years to come. And nothing can prevent the unfolding of the logic of EROEI. Ineluctable. Inevitable. Second Law of Thermodynamics, it shall not budge.

And that leaps right beyond depressing into nihilism inducing.

Which, for me at least, has the feel of liberation.

I - merest of mere peons - cannot stop it.

My rage lacks the quality of wrath. It has no force, no effect, no power. So, it only poisons me, and the environments in which I move.

It doesn't work, this outrage. It has no play.

I care, but that too amounts to nil. As does, in all likelihood, your concern. I plus you plus you plus us, plus they and them - we don't add up. If we did, we would.

But, we don't. We won't, or we can't or we just came into our own too late, heirs to a rich tradition of revolt and resistance, but with none of the tools, and few of the emotional loyalties. Ancient pistols aimed away from the target. Or a newly discovered Grimm's tale, with half the references lost to obscurity, lost in the translation from a Latin no one speaks, to a German no one cares about, into an English few have the heart to hear.

We provide a distraction, a cautionary tale, a warning to the newest class of Veblenites and technocrats. We inhabit the last outpost down a lost highway which recedes only into the distance of yesterday, and yesterday's forgotten tomorrow.

It doesn't end well for us, this leftishness.

We don't frighten, anymore. We lack the quality of kobolds, and goblins. Or even of Puck, gone off the reservation.

Red threat?


"Faggots and feminists," a lawyer* once told me. "Or book heads. That's the left in America." Crudely put, and missing the point by focusing on it. But, a fiction which shows the truth.

We obsess the margins, because we live there. It doesn't compute.

We don't translate.

Pointillists tiddly winking words sidereal, off putting and off pole, positioned with self as spectator, watching the Spectacle as it glues us to each other in anonymity and entertainment.

United by anonymous disgust.

And it doesn't work.

Outrage reveals the love, the compassion, the care. The desire for justice, or whatever word you prefer. It doesn't self obsess. It demands an Other, a meeting and a meeting place. You cannot strip it to 140 characters and announce it to equally voided strangers, all out on a doe-see-doe dance, bouncing along with mirrors in hand, filterless gyrovagi in a flattened space of bits and bytes and the Self as an arrangement of symbols meant only for consumption. It doesn't network, this angry love.

It really doesn't compute.

Well, fuck all that.

And fuck me, too.

Sick of the seeping wound, and sick of the pain.

Sick of the degradation.

These words - they don't travel. They don't go anywhere. They have no place.

These words won't stop the oil eruption. They won't stop wars. They won't make Imperial Barack or Georgie the Lesser wake up and grow a conscience, even shared between them - never mind the noble and ennobling desire to take a samurai view of their manifold failures.

Impotence, impotence.

I don't yield. Far from it. But, in these wee hours at least, the nihilism liberates.

Clarity, like Camus once mused. Because the Absurd inhabits real time and real space.

It really does. I've pared it down for myself: monster, or machine part?

I chose the monstrous.

And for that reason, barely reasonable and hardly rational, this world has value.

We cannot stop what we've unleashed.

But, fuck all and fuck the fucking fuck, we will all greatly suffer it.

And that has value.

Yes, yes it does.

So - I'm off to join the goblin horde, to turn my love another angle.

I give the Morrigu mother her due, and await the beautiful, horrible, lovely reckoning.


Emily H is a goddess.

Talk about the transubstantiation of real tragedy into actual self-mastery.

Awe. Just awe.

* - not really, but he fancied himself a legal expert. He owns a bar, now, or some such. A "libertarian" of the Kim Stanley Robinson characterization.

Jun 18, 2010

Raison d'État

"...Afghan officials have interpreted their mining regulations in such a way that if a company is awarded a concession to explore and then discovers valuable minerals, the government can tender the concession back and rebid it, undermining any incentive for a foreign firm to actually find large deposits, he said. 

'They can take it back after you discover something,' Mr. Yeager said. 'That needs to be corrected.'
Several mining executives and other experts said that the multibillion-dollar investment required to build a large copper mine, for example, meant that the industry would focus on other deposits in less risky countries before they turned to Afghanistan. 

'The industry is going to take a look at Afghanistan, but they will weigh their risks carefully,' said Steve Vaughn, a Canadian lawyer and mining expert. 'There is every indication that these deposits are very large. But as political risks increase, they will lay off spending'...” 


(emphasis mine)

Sometimes, they out with the plain truth. Government, we must understand, serves the interests of those with the juice. They make the state which protects their wealth, or barring that, capture one which will do the same.

If one state wants to protect wealth and resources for its patrons, and faces up against a larger racket, we can all probably guess what happens.

It gets co-opted, coordinated, corrupted or cooperatively ass fucked with bombs and "counter-terrorism." Oil off the coast of Somalia, oil in Darfur, gold, silver, copper and coca in Colombia, oil in Venezuela, rubber plantations and dirt cheap laborers in Indonesia and East Timor, et cetera ad nauseam ad infinitum = "War On Terror."

So, when the Afghan racket decides it has had enough of the really nasty shit the American racket can rain down from the skies, it will come to its collective senses, rediscover its own raison d'etat, and kick all in for some serious pacification, for its share of the stake.

Unless, of course, it can play the Russian, Persian, Indian and Chinese rackets into the mix...

H/T SwoonPo

Jun 15, 2010

Update: Militarizing the "Homeland"

First this.

Then this.

Now, this:


Out of commentary, myself, but BDR has the right of it:

"Odd times: there's something weird going on in what remains of the blogosphere well beyond the traditional slowdowns of the Blog Days of Summer. People, normally prolific people, are posting less; those blogrolls at some friends' places that automatically update when sites post are remarkably static.

I've a theory: what I find myself - and maybe some of you - avoiding lately is saying what I say you say I say you say; it's not boredom as much as the depressive repercussions of reiterating duh's plenitude, pennies on the hundred-bushel. 

What, dad's an apocalyptic megalomaniac addicted to zero-sum gaming, mom's a corrupt enabler, my brothers and sisters are vile and self-entitled, fighting so viciously over the dwindling inheritance the fighting accelerates the inheritance's dwindling, and I'm considered the hypocritical parasite of empire's destruction for saying? 

Yes, yes I am. I find not giving a fuck as problematic as giving a fuck given I need give a fuck in my complicity to eat and have shelter. The silly illusions stripped away, I'm behind the curtain. How many times need I write that?"

All About the Punishment, Stupid

Self-imposed week long hiatus fails.

I owe it to this:

"...Barack Hussein Obama's decision to become a candidate for President of the United States was undoubtedly influenced and motivated by many things that occurred in his life prior to November 4th, 2008.

Obama's deep and abiding religious beliefs appear to have been an important part of his personal journey. In announcing his candidacy in front of the Illinois State Capital on that cold windy day in Springfield, it may be that Obama was responding to an inner voice within his soul, similar to that of Isaiah in 6:8: "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"

The current "perfect" political storm confronting Obama says more about his supporters than about him. This "storm" may be a litmus test of the political maturity and wisdom of President Obama's organizational and voter base. They have a choice: They can either become 24-hour cable news surrogate piranhas, cannibalizing the actual and potential public reception and support for Obama's efforts during this "Perfect Storm"; Or, they can marshal grassroots support to enhance the political power of his leadership.

I am not suggesting that the president be given an uncritical "blank check." I am saying, however, that the political and ideological maturity of Obama's election supporters requires, during this "storm," that in their desire for immediate successful results, the "perfect" does not become the "enemy of the good," and, that criticism be constructive and prudent so that measurable and achievable goals do not become the unintended hostage of political nihilism..."

I suppose I ought to take the time to understand this sentiment from the point of view of the author, in the same way I suppose I should care about the female, black or Christian point of views of other politicians and pundits.

I mean, like ain't it wicked cool that Hillary Clinton has female parts? Don't her gonads and "gender experience" matter, when considering her politics? Doesn't Obama's blackness? His Christianity? Shouldn't I care that Pat Buchanan doesn't have a lot of the Jew love in him? Or that Joe fucking Biden, Al Gore and John Edwards all suffered family tragedies?

In a word, no. In four words, fuck the fuck no.

I don't care one bit whether or not Poppy Bush didn't like the way Reagan dismissed him, or whether or not Junior's faith in Jesus turns on falsehoods. I don't care if Barack Hussein Obama really, really loves himself some Jeebus.

And neither should you.

This shit adds up to nothing more than gloss. Lipstick on a pig, as the old-new addage goes.

Sure, one Clinton has a penis and the other a vagina. So what? One, a poor boy from the trailer parts of a trailer happy state, the other a daughter of no small privilege, allegedly special for not having the penis her husband uses with prolix abandon.

Sure, Obama topically resembles any number of other, far less fortunate black folks. He shares an outward appearance. Who'll contest that?

None of that matters, once we understand that all this United Colors of Benetton, Many Shades of Jesus and Gloria Steinem With A Bullhorn bull shit works as cover for what each member of the two party ruling class has in common:

They. Rule. Us.

They decide, we obey, or we get punished.

It's about the punishment, stupid.

Full stop.

More women, black people, Hispanics, Asians and gays with power won't change the with power part of the equation. It won't alter the punishments, condemnation and ostracism meted out to those - leftish or rightwing - who resist. It won't change the real, actual conditions of real, actual women, black folk, Hispanics, homosexuals, et al. In fact, if American history proves any merit, it makes it worse for minorities, because the dominant society accepts the tokens as a stand in for justice, and not as compromises with power, for power.

Which brings us back to that swill, quoted above, and what it reveals. Let's take the heart of the vampire lover and stake it plain to the page:

"Or, they can marshal grassroots support to enhance the political power of his leadership."

We can all shut up and make the boss look pretty, because he loves Jesus and because "we" elected him to bring "us" all sorts of measured, calm and chess mastery historical historicality - or we can become the enemies of the good.

News flash to the author: Barack Pendragon fucking Obama does not even begin to represent "the good," surely not the common good, and he has come no where near to the commonweal - never mind embody it.

Barack fucking Hussein Obama belongs to the ruling class, you woeful and dolorous scolding little shit.

He wanted the power because he wanted the power. 

And when you ask people to get his back - and this always amounts to time and money - you ask them to endorse their own submissions to the ruling class which demands our obedience and subservience, and rewards us with punishment.

So here's my either/or to you, you sanctimonious fucktard: either you resist power, or you apologize for it.

And if you apologize for power - whether you have female parts, poor people origins, a fresh new love of Jesus, more melanin per square inch than Michael Jackson, a special place in your heart for a softer, gentler Torah, or The Compleat Forgiveness for your wandering penis parts - you are the actual enemy of the actual good. You support those who rule through punishment. You have broken faith with humanity.

And you can fuck off and die for all I care.

Jun 10, 2010

Christ On A Stick

Oil in the Gulf. Oil wars. Israeli commandos holding down the forward fire base of the American oil imperium. Water shortages, but Vegas and LA gulp the Colorado dry. Monsoon season in New England. I dump a gallon of benzene, I go to jail. Dow dumps ten thousand, they pay a fine. You run an unlicensed gambling room, you lose everything and do big time. Goldman Sachs does it on a global scale, and buys itself a President. Some one else, anywhere across the span of a continent, cultivates cannabis - and off to the federal penitentiary. GlaxoSmithClineWhatever produces tons and tons of toxic waste, slaps a "medicine" label on it, and buys up half of Congress.

Christ on a stick, people still vote?

They still think it matters?

Still, some solace: it all falls. All of it. No empire lasts. Perhaps we will have the good fortune of watching this one fall. Or helping out a bit...

Jun 8, 2010

When Imperial Barack Needs Gall, Imperial Barack Has Gall

"...The U.S. administration has also been discussing with Israel the establishment of an investigative committee. Senior administration officials reportedly believe that Ban's proposal - a committee with an Israeli and a Turkish representative - includes very important components.

The officials said that such a committee could expose links between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the IHH, a Turkish humanitarian aid fund with alleged terror connections, and thus bring out the real story and rehabilitate Israel's image internationally. The senior American officials said that a suitable mandate must be created in which Israeli soldiers are not questioned, but a committee of this nature is not a bad idea..."

As Jason Ditz notes, at Antiwar. com,

"Now administration officials are said to be demanding that the probe, if one happens at all, preclude any questioning of the behavior of Israeli soldiers, and instead focus on investigating the Turkish aid group responsible for the ships."

When faced with Republican "opposition" to health care legislation, Imp. Barack had no ability to twist arms or break counter coalitions.

But, when he needs to make sure that the "permanent aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean" stays staffed and funded, towards the needs of the Imperium, well, you know...

...it of course follows that the mildly less than traditionally secular Turkish PM will find himself linked to that most pre-eminent of fictions, Al Qaeda.

Ceteris paribus, the agitprop has served its purpose. Obama and Bibi verge on getting away with it:

"Only 19% of Americans believe Israel is to blame for clash aboard Gaza-bound aid ship Mavi Marmara last week.

Nearly half - 49 percent - of likely U.S. voters believe that pro-Palestinian activists were to blame for the deaths that occurred when the Israel Defense Forces raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last week, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Only 19 percent believe that Israel was to blame. Another 32 percent said they were not sure."

Imperial Barack knows that upwards of 75% of Americans wanted some sort of public health insurance. That didn't move him. He had interests to serve, and serve them he did. Let's face it, the man knows who brought him. And he pays his debts, yes he does.

Now, though, that the corporate media/Israeli hasbara campaign has largely succeeded, trust that Barack Obama and Joe Biden will have their running dogs all over those figures.

Jun 7, 2010

Insidious, in Two Parts

Thanks to Marisacat for the link to the comments section, which revealed this gem:

And then, this (Saw the original aired on the telly tonight. Want to say that my blood boiled, but it didn't. Coming to expect this sort of shit. I mean, if the State can do this sort of theater, why not a corporate tyranny too?) Well:

How Stuff Works IV

I originally intended another pictorial/video demonstration, but in all honesty I couldn't do it. I don't do death and war porn. Below, in the other parts of this series, I have shown the effects of DU (picture of deformed child). The decision to use the photo proved more difficult than I imagined, but in the end I posted it because it did not show the direct use of violence.

For this installment, I had intended to use a video which depicted the hanging of an Iranian woman, for murder and adultery, which sparked much outrage in the West, several years ago. A hanging which followed the alleged executions of two homosexual men and which accompanied the usual clarion calls for sanctions and war against Iran. For mine own, I despise the death penalty. I hate it with an unmitigated loathing, with an unvarnished and unadulterated disgust and contempt that borders honestly on the supra-rational.  I understand murder and the stupidity of human moments. I understand killing in warfare, especially for those who just want to make it to tomorrow.

I sympathize with Lucy Parsons, too.

But perhaps no act other than colonial warfare puts the claims of the State into sharper focus, revealing them as a charlatan's game and rank hypocrisy for all with eyes to see, than the death penalty.

The State that executes demonstrates the deception and evil inherent any States' claim to righteous protection of their subjects.

All the same, I had intended to juxtapose that video which sparked so much outrage with the images of the men executed by the Israeli commandos sent to do that wetwork by a beloved and coddled US protectorate.

I just cannot do it. Even a rat bastard asshole, like myself, has limits.

In both cases, we have executions. In the first incident, much bleating and chest thumping about Iranian oppression, human rights violations and enmity to "Western Values."

In the other case, no one in the corporate press or the American government expresses anything approaching condemnation, outrage or even disavowal. Nothing. No mention of human rights. No mention of shared values. Just nothing.

As Lindorff writes for Counterpunch (full link below),

"...Of the other eight dead, the medical examiners found that five had been shot in the back, or in the back of the head. This critically important information has not appeared in US news reports. Some American news organizations have left out the autopsy information entirely from their reports as of Saturday. CNN, in its report on Friday, did note that five of the nine were shot in the head, and at close range, but the all-important fact that most of the victims were shot from behind was left out. ABC had the same information on Thursday, again without mentioning the shots from behind. In its article on Friday, the NY Times had yet to even name Dogan, the American victim, much less mention the bullets that hit him or how he was shot."

 Full Counterpunch Story.

Yep. Shot in the back of the head.

Iranians hang people?

Drum beats for war.

Israelis gang land execute Turks delivering aid to Gaza?

Silence. Fucking silence.

In other words: How. Stuff. Works.

Jun 6, 2010

Marking Assets, Marking Enemies

Reading Balloon Juice, quoting the Belgravia Dispatch:

"...Operationally, it’s largely no-brainer fare what went wrong, as various military experts have opined ad nauseam. Why was the intelligence about the ‘activists’ on board so sub-par, to include presuming a more docile reaction to airborne commandos crashing the party at an ignoble pre-dawn hour? What of the somewhat surreal tidbit about paintball rifles, as the FT reports typically 'used to bruise and mark suspects for later arrest,' as if either of these crowd-dispersal techniques on a sea-borne vessel make any sense whatsoever?..."

(emphasis mine)

Got me to wondering about this technique, so I looked it up and found:

"Police declared the protest an unlawful assembly at 6:05 p.m. after demonstrators clashed with riot police at the corner of Ontario Street and Valois Avenue. Protestors threw paint bombs and food at officers with riot shields and shot fireworks at those on horseback. Riot police responded by shooting offenders with a paintball gun in an attempt to mark them for future arrest."

Ain't that rich?

How soon, then, until the police and the milice start firing tracking devices into crowds of protesters? Or do they already do that?

Not quite yet, but we're getting there.

First, you soften the public up, get the taxpayers and subjects used to tracking systems:

"...In Madison, Wisconsin, where law enforcement agents used GPS to track someone suspected of violating a restraining order without first getting a warrant, it's very, very real. Unfortunately, according to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, we should let go of the expectation that police need permission to track our movements.

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals held in State of Wisconsin v. Sveum that the use of a GPS device was not a "search or seizure" and didn't fall under the Fourth Amendment. The consequence of this reasoning is that the police are free to track individuals' vehicular movements wherever they go and without any approval by a court. This is true even though tracking someone's movements can give a detailed picture of someone's personal associations—they can be tracked to churches, bars, protests or their doctor's office...."

And you get them, as employees, used to constant surveillance (all in the name of "productivity"):

"Businesses large and small all have valuable assets needing protection, whether those assets be vehicles, heavy machinery, freight, tools, appliances and more. Before the era of technology, many of businesses had to rely on security guards to watch over an entire facility, and hope staff members were not stealing from the company. Now, monitoring technology has became so affordable it doesn't make sense not to utilize either video surveillance equipment or GPS trackers to watch over vehicles, people and other valuable company assets."

(emphasis mine)

"....people and other valuable company assets," eh?

Cat, meet the opening in the bag. And let's have no illusions that Uncle has a kinder view of subject-taxpayers...

Jun 5, 2010

All Borders Serve the Purpose of War

 We have arrived:

"Predator B aerial drones, which have proved successful fighting insurgents in Afghanistan, were deployed this week along the border between Texas and Mexico. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection began flying unmanned surveillance missions along the Mexican border on Tuesday, according to congressional sources briefed on the matter. 

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), who was instrumental to pushing the issue in the Senate, applauded the news Friday. 

'The beginning of UAV flights over the west-Texas portion of our border with Mexico marks an important advancement for border security in our state,' she said in reference to the unmanned aerial vehicles, which have been used by the military to survey the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

'We are working hard to make round-the-clock aerial surveillance the standard for all 2,000 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, and I hope this development is the first of many steps to bring our border detection and security efforts into the 21st century,' Hutchison added. 

Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from south Texas, has also praised the deployment of drones."


You read it here: cheer leaders in both corporate parties. Because this drive to militarize the commons, starting first at the borders and in the "drug war," plays no mean part for both broad factions of the corporatist hegemony.

At the risk of reinforcing this point too much, again:

"The ruling class - represented in this age by corporations, military hierarchies, academia and managerial service institutions - has already cast its lot against the Commons as shared public space. It has begun the revaluation of the state, and therefore of social relations, towards the preservation of economic and social advantage in the face of oil contraction, resource scarcity and rising population. Towards this end, deconstructive crisis hastens the project of redefining the Commons as a policed military space, and away from three centuries of construction and agitation for the Commons as commonweal and social amelioration."

Let's elucidate the reason any state* or proto-state (see, for example, multinational corporations operating in the "third world") has borders. Borders delineate populations. Borders, when enforced, demonstrate (a) who controls the territory within them, and (b) whom they control.

Borders define captivity.

As such, all borders** serve the purpose of warfare, since a border marks the boundary between competing powers who have captive population groups upon which they can draw for labor, arms and fealty.

The division of persons into territorial, ethnic, religious and branded factions, by those who rule, allows the same ruling classes to isolate population groups by manipulable categories, categories which the state and other powers reinforce through compulsory education, religious indoctrination, language barriers, advertising and punishment.

Borders work, in short, because people believe them. The violence employed against border and boundary violators, the blood spilled or the lives imprisoned, serves a very specific purpose: the inculcation of identity through fear. Identity which, when accepted, marks the relevant parties as captives of the ruling power. As discussed earlier, here:

"[This] blood soaks the hands of every single beneficiary of the American imperial project. Everyone who votes. Everyone who pays taxes. Every single person who puts gasoline in her tank, and the credit card through the card scanner.

That state - that Death State, to quote Art Silber - depends upon the passive acquiescence and compliance of those who accept its protection in exchange for obedience, as much as it depends on its active servants, its gunslingers and toy soldiers, its thug cops and workaday jailers."

In that vein of thought, take a moment to ponder the excellent insight of John Caruso:

"...No doubt they [Gaza Freedom Flotilla] knew (as we did) that Israel's desire to avoid an international incident would give them a measure of protection—but they also knew the Israelis had rammed and nearly sunk a boat in a previous flotilla, and that much worse could follow.  They went anyway because they cared enough about the inhuman levels of suffering Israel has inflicted on the people of Gaza to risk their lives to challenge the blockade and try to bring the world's attention back to the Occupied Territories.

And they were spectacularly successful at that and much else besides--more so than any other action I can remember.  The flotilla story dominated the news all week, with over 20,000 articles registered on Google News (one of the highest totals I've ever seen).  The flotilla participants managed to turn Israel into more of a pariah state than it already was, doing even more damage to Israel's image than the 2009 attack on the Gaza strip (which is saying a lot).  They drove a massive wedge between Israel and Turkey, which may well lead to a permanent fracture in the unholy US/Israeli/Turkish trinity...

...They put the Gaza blockade squarely in the spotlight and raised tremendous opposition to it, to the point where even US politicians are calling for changes (not for the right reasons, of course, but the very fact that they feel compelled to say it is a major victory).  They dealt a serious blow to Israeli propaganda, which reached new depths of ludicrousness in its attempt to sell the notion that people sailing in international waters have no right to defend themselves against heavily armed attackers--an argument that impressed Israel's army of liars, its conservative loon fellow-travelers, and nobody else.  And finally, they planted a seed of discord that may eventually drive a stake in the heart of NATO."

While I take a more cautious approach to the durability of hegemonic hierarchies (states and corporations, like kingdoms and empires, have a marked capacity to last), we cannot ignore John's fundamental insight:

Those people who violate borders, who challenge their enforcers, who break blockades and risk the punitive force of the state, challenge the very rationale of power and warfare. Even in death and defeat, we must see the defiance of borders as the defiance and rejection of both war and captivity.

To break a border is to liberate not only oneself, but those persons bound by it.

Which explains precisely why Imperial Barack, with support from Democrats and Republicans, has brought the weapons of the Terror Wars back to the homeland. 

The War has come home. And we, seeing each other as we pass through our days, see those captives that war intends to keep.

We are the population they need to maintain their power.The police actions, punishment regimes and wars they employ to enforce it should disabuse of us of any notions to the contrary.

Until they don't need us anymore.

In the spirit of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, the MV Rachel Corrie and every person hopping the Rio Grande or coming down from Canada - break them. Break them all.

h/t Suburban Anarchist

* - The "state," a fiction, serves as shorthand for "people organizing themselves in hierarchies, with armed staffers, with control over a large enough resource base to allow for the continued application of population controlling violence.

** - Borders overlap. Mafia organizations have territorial and ethnic rivalries contained within national borders, as well as operating in spaces controlled by competing corporations and other hierarchies.

It Bears Repeating

"And at some point the Israelis will find a pretext to go hot on Gaza, again. I imagine it will have something to do with the "breaking" of the blockade, and newly "discovered" eternal terrorist threats to Israel's existence because the garrison state dared to let down its guard, or worse, was forced to do so by shameless Eurotrash and Turkish traitors..."

~ Moi

Oh Noes!

Some iron spined elderly woman with a caustic wit and a sharp tongue suggests that white colonists should head back to Europe and stop keeping their captives in open air cages.

Cue outrage.

Prepare moral turgidity.

Embrace swooning disbelief.

Castigate and condemn!

How dare she? She must hate Jews! She's an enemy of civilization. A Nazi! A friend of evil Mooslims! Worse - a crone with an uppity mouth, a terrible fiendish bitch who refuses to retire gracefully!


Apparently, agents of the Israeli apartheid garrison state have begun to shadow (some reports state "seized," some "intercepted") the MV Rachel Corrie:



Cue more video of poor Israeli commandos suffering their lynching in the wee hours of a new Mediterranean morning, on ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, FOX, the BBC, the CBC and across the intertubewebz...


Also - please, any and all defenders of Israeli atrocities, please go self-defenestrate. That is all.

UPDATE:  If you have the urge to defend Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Fucking Biden or Hillary Clinton, for any reason, at any time, the above mentioned self-defenestration applies to you, too.

Jun 4, 2010

Stan Goff

What happened to you, man?

Full Spectrum Disorder was the great wake up call, for me. I simply had no ability to turn back, after reading it. Already moving leftishly, it sealed the deal, so to speak.

Now you're reviewing movies for Christian content?

I'm not bagging on the Jesus thing. I get it, I guess. I get the full on deconstruction of patriarchy and gender, with the new Methodist twist.

But, man...

The Rachel Corrie, Within Hours of Gaza

"The MV Rachel Corrie, a cargo ship in the Freedom Flotilla whose passage from Ireland was delayed by mechanical difficulties, is now hours away from its destination."

Here's to the IDF and Bibi's government not doing anything truly stupid.

And I guess it's worth repeating: The Brits didn't get their hands on all the IRA's guns, nor most of its people. Not by a long shot. A strange world a'coming? One where the IRA's fundraisers in Boston and NYC start collecting for a campaign against Israeli interests?

Jun 3, 2010

Never Leaving, Not Until the Empire Falls, And Probably Not Even Then

"The Army is looking to spend as much as $100 million to expand its Special Operations headquarters in northern Afghanistan.

All around Afghanistan, from Kandahar Airfield to the Bagram jail, the U.S. military is on a building spree, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on wartime encampments. By one count, America and its allies now have 700 bases in Afghanistan. But most of the construction — and most of the extra troops “surging” into the country — are going to the violent south and the dangerous east.

Until recently, northern Afghanistan was considered quiet. Regional hub Mazar-e-Sharif was the first major city in Afghanistan to be taken from the Taliban. But, especially in nearby Kunduz province, violence is bubbling up once again.

The Amy’s expects its expanded Special Operations HQ in Mazar-e-Sharif to occupy 70,000 square meters. It’ll include a 'Joint Operations Center, billeting facilities, communications building, Tactical Operations Center, training facility, medical aid station, Vehicle Maintenance Facility, logistics operations facility, logistics storage facility, dining facility, laundry facility, and a kennel to support working dogs,' according to a request for proposals. 'Supporting facilities include roads, power production system and electrical distribution, water well, non-potable water production, water storage, water distribution, sanitary sewer collection system, communication manhole/duct system, curbs, walkways, drainage and parking. Additionally, the project will include site preparation and compound security measures to include guard towers.'

Construction is supposed to take a year. At which point, the U.S. is allegedly supposed to begin drawing down its forces in Afghanistan. Allegedly."


Do you want to know the purpose of perpetual warfare?

More warfare.

And as these wars and occupations continue, so will the encroachments on still legal rights and liberties, here at home. Militarization does not remain contained in war zones.

We cannot separate over there from here.

If we don't want them building $100 million dollar assassination complexes over there, we have to force them to spend it here.

If we don't want $3 billion a year shipping off to the openly fascist Israeli garrison state, make 'em spend it here. 

The "homeland," already militarized, already seized as a means of transforming the Commons into the policed property of the ruling classes, must either become the arena we force them to occupy, control and ultimately over control (yes - real risks obtain, down that path), or they will continue to expand wherever resource extraction can follow the force of arms. 

UPDATE 8:10 PM (h/t Skookum, from the comments):

CENTCOM proconsular AoR.

Global Security: CENTCOM.

Jun 2, 2010


What no one is discussing right now:

Call me cynical (in the ancient and modern senses of the term; hell, that's Diogenes up there at the top of the page), but I don't think it matters one bit what sort of "international" response the Israeli state will face over the coming weeks.

Mayhap even the blockade will break, for an hour, a month or a year.

Then what?

Think the US federal death state- whether run by Obama or whomever replaces him - will abandon Israel?

Bibi could nuke Isfahan, and the US will hold its ground on Israel, even if it had to sacrifice a few scapegoats before the Hague.

The Israeli garrison state will get the dollars, material and machines of warfare.

And that means that the increasing pace of colonization, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, will still get US support.

While we watch Gaza, and the posturing of the Turks, Israel proper grows.

And at some point the Israelis will find a pretext to go hot on Gaza, again. I imagine it will have something to do with the "breaking" of the blockade, and newly "discovered" eternal terrorist threats to Israel's existence because the garrison state dared to let down its guard, or worse, was forced to do so by shameless Eurotrash and Turkish traitors...

UPDATE 10:50 PM:

"US Vice President Joe Biden has offered the Obama administration's strongest defence of Israel's Gaza flotilla raid to date, in a interview on US television this evening, saying: 'Israel has an absolute right to deal with its security interest.'

Appearing on PBS's Charlie Rose Show, Biden defended Israel's action in boarding the Gaza flotilla as 'legitimate.' After suggesting the flotilla's cargo of aid could have been unloaded elsewhere, Biden appears to brush off the international criticism, asking: 'So what's the big deal here? What's the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza?'

He then makes it clear that Washington is happy for Israel to conduct its own investigation of the incident that led to nine deaths and dozens of injuries, although Biden added: 'but we're open to international participation'...

...Joe Biden: Look, you can argue whether Israel should have dropped people onto that ship or not and the – but the truth of the matter is, Israel has a right to know – they're at war with Hamas – has a right to know whether or not arms are being smuggled in. And up to now, Charlie, what's happened? They've said, 'Here you go. You're in the Mediterranean. This ship – if you divert slightly north you can unload it and we'll get the stuff into Gaza." So what's the big deal here? What's the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza? Well, it's legitimate for Israel to say, 'I don't know what's on that ship. These guys are dropping eight – 3,000 rockets on my people.' Now, the one thing we have to do is not forget the plight of these Palestinians there, not Hamas – they're in bad shape. So we have put as much pressure and as much cajoling on Israel as we can to allow them to get building materials in, glass..."


Well, there you go...

UPDATE 11:20 PM (or why I should not read Haaretz before I go to bed):

"The Foreign Ministry is planning to use front groups to transmit hasbara (public relations ) messages in order to influence senior politicians, opinion shapers and journalists in Europe, ministry sources said.

The goal is to create a public diplomacy track parallel to the one used by the Foreign Ministry, whose message does not bear the "fingerprints" of the Israeli government, the source said...

...'When an Israeli ambassador speaks of Palestinian incitement or weapons smuggling from Syria to Hezbollah - the Europeans immediately cast doubt on it,' said a senior Israeli diplomat. 'But if those same messages are delivered by someone who supposedly has no official ties to Israel, it is likely to be more effective.'

In addition, ministry sources say such a system will enable Israel to convey messages that it cannot issue officially for political and security reasons." 


Well, there you go. See, people explaining the Israeli line - say, about murdering humanitarian aid workers delivering food, medicine and wheelchairs to the largest concentration camp on the planet - really should not sound like Israelis explaining Israeli atrocities.

People might not believe Israelis qua Israelis, what with all the murdering of humanitarian aid workers and the largest concentration camp on the planet, and the ongoing twenty-first century colonization and pogrom campaign.

So, let's have Joe Fucking Biden do it...

Echoing Ethan, rightfully: "Fuck Joe Biden, fuck all of them."

UPDATE 11:50 PM (still reading Haaretz, instead of sleeping or watching bad George Clooney film):

"The United States has proposed a possible way for Israel to avoid an international probe of the events surrounding the Gaza flotilla, but at this point Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is leaning against it, in part because Defense Minister Ehud Barak is opposed to it. 

The Americans have proposed that Netanyahu announce that an independent Israeli commission of inquiry will look into the events of the flotilla clashes and accept the participation of an American observer.

On Monday and Tuesday, advisers of Prime Minister Netanyahu, Yitzhak Molcho and Uzi Arad, traveled to Washington. On Tuesday they were at the White House with Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, and met National Security Adviser James Jones, and President Barack Obama's adviser on the Middle East, Denis Ross, as well as Dan Shapiro, who holds the Middle East portfolio at the National Security Council. 

One of the main issues discussed was the American demand that Israel investigate the events surrounding the handling of the flotilla. 

A senior U.S. official delivered an American proposal to the two senior Israeli advisers, which would both assuage the international community and also would not be too hard a blow for Israel's wish to undertake its own investigation without massive foreign involvement." 


Go fuck yourself, Barack Obama. Fuck you and everyone like you. And Bibi, auto-erotic self penetration is too good for you...

Jun 1, 2010

Will They Sink Her?

The Rationale

As mentioned below, the Israelis believe they have the authority to seize and attack blockade breakers.

Here, perhaps, the pretext rationale:


Neutral merchant vessels 67. 

Neutral merchant vessels

67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

(a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;
(b) engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy;
(c) act as auxiliaries to the enemy s armed forces;
(d) are incorporated into or assist the enemy s intelligence system;
(e) sail under convoy of enemy warships or military aircraft; or
(f) otherwise make an effective contribution to the enemy s military action, e.g., by carrying military materials, and it is not feasible for the attacking forces to first place passengers and crew in a place of safety. Unless circumstances do not permit, they are to be given a warning, so that they can re-route, off-load, or take other precautions.

68. Any attack on these vessels is subject to the basic rules in paragraphs 38-46.

69. The mere fact that a neutral merchant vessel is armed provides no grounds for attacking it.


I don't know if this section actually applies, but the Israelis have formally declared a blockade.

This took a while to find - so if I've gotten it wrong, I'd appreciate a nod in the correct direction.



It would appear that the Israeli's will get their way, officially. They will define the investigation, thanks to formal US intervention at the UN:

"The United States has blocked demands at the UN security council for an international inquiry into Israel's assault on the Turkish ship carrying aid to Gaza that left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead.

A compromise statement instead calls for an impartial investigation which Washington indicated could be carried out by Israel.

Turkey pressed for the security council to launch an investigation similar to Richard Goldstone's inquiry into last year's fighting in Gaza which prompted protests from Israel when it concluded that Israel and Hamas were probably guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Ankara wanted the investigation into the raid on the Mavi Marmara to result in the prosecution of officials responsible for the assault and the payment of compensation to the victims.

But in hours of diplomatic wrangling, the US blocked the move and instead forced a statement that called for 'a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards.' The US representative at the security council discussions, Alejandro Wolff, indicated that Washington would be satisfied with Israel investigating itself when he called for it to undertake a credible investigation."


h/t Glenn Greenwald


So, will this above rationale make it into the formal, official, super-duper legal finding?

Anyone want to wager?

Over Ian Welsh's way, I wondered up a few questions. Seems the US has officially answered at least one of them:

1. Do the Turks (the gov’t, the major companies) really still want into the failing EU? If not, do the Germans have any carrots to offer them, other than better treatment of Turkish second class citizens, in Germany proper?

2. Do the Israelis have tacit support from the US? If so, do we have to ask seriously if the Israeli state can survive a “bold move” by Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman? How far will the US state go to preserve the Israeli state, as it is?

3. How close will the Turkish state draw to Iran, Hizbollah and Hamas? As Ian notes above, to Syria? Is this, in part, a Turkish move to join Iran as a regional dominant couplet - especially as Europe’s economy unravels?

4. Will the Russians involve themselves, especially since they already have effective control of the Black Sea?

5. What about all those pipeline end points in Turkey? How much oil and natgas do the Israelis get from those sources? How much do they use to keep their still formidable ground and air wings fueled and battle ready?

6. What about India?

(re-emphasis added)

What the...?

"WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court says suspects must explicitly tell police they want to be silent to invoke their Miranda protection during interrogations..."



This has Kagan's fingerprints all over it.



The Rachel Corrie Continues Towards Gaza

In what I can only call stunning moral symmetry, the MV Rachel Corrie continues onward to Gaza, following a two day delay which kept it separated from its sister ships:

"The MV Rachel Corrie will go ahead with its attempt to deliver aid to Gaza despite yesterday’s attack by the Israeli navy on Gaza-bound ship the Mavi Marmara. 

The cargo ship, which has four Irish nationals aboard, is due to arrive in Gazan waters tomorrow, a spokeswoman for the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign said.

The vessel became separated from the main aid flotilla after being delayed for 48 hours in Cyprus due to logistical reasons.

Nobel laureate Maireád Corrigan-Maguire, former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday, and husband and wife Derek and Jenny Graham are the Irish nationals on board.

Speaking from the ship today, Mr Graham said the vessel was carrying educational materials, construction materials and some toys. 'Everything aboard has been inspected in Ireland,' he said. 'We would hope to have safe passage through.'

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Pat Kenny , Ms Maguire said none of the aid ships carry arms and are 'purely humanitarian'. She said it was necessary for the vessel to complete its mission to assure the people of Gaza the world does care."


And from a Malaysian report, earlier:

"KUALA LUMPUR: The humanitarian aid ship Rachel Corrie, which has six Malaysians on board, is pressing ahead in rough seas to breach the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

It is now about 300km from Gaza and the rough seas mean that it would be about 48 hours before it could reach Gaza, according to the the NGO Global Perdana Global Peace Organisation.

Sufi Yusoff, secretary to the NGO’s chairman Tun Mahathir Mohamad, said that he spoke to journalist Shamsul Akmar, who is on board the Rachel Corrie, at about 10am Tuesday on satellite phone and was told that the rough seas made it difficult to predict when they would reach Gaza. Sufi said that the small ship had a total of 19 people on board - six Malaysians, five Irish and eight crew.

'We would like to emphasise that this is a totally humanitarian exercise. There are no terrorist elements on board. The Israelis have no reason to attack this ship,' he said.

Aside from veteran journalist Shamsul, they are lawyer Matthias Chang, Parit MP Nizar Zakaria, activist Ahmad Faizal Azumu and TV3 crew members Halim Mohamed and Jufri Junid.

Among the Irish are Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire and former UN Assistant Secretary-General Denis Halliday.

'These are hardly terrorist elements. The Israelis can have no excuse to raid the Rachel Corrie,' Sufi said."

Nineteen people who, knowing that their international compatriots have already been kidnapped or murdered by Israeli storm troopers, press on anyway.

So - will we read, tomorrow, of nineteen more victims of Israeli aggression?

Or of the nineteen people who broke the Siege of Gaza, on a ship named after Rachel Corrie?


As to the continuing project of willfully self-blinding, unbelievable chutzpah, the HuffPo published this swill:

"...As we look out at Jews across the world, we're just assessing who gets Jewish history, and who's so thoroughly intellectually assimilated that they're actually embarrassed that that Jews don't have to continue to be victims. I'm horrified by what happened on the ship, and I'll be shocked if after all is in, we find that Israel made no mistakes. (This was pretty clearly an intelligence failure, at the very minimum, sending those soldiers into something for which they had not at all been prepared or armed.) But if that had been my kid on the ship, and he'd gone in to prevent the blockade from being broken, but had no intention of fighting, and had then been attacked, I'd want him to defend himself. No matter what. I'd want him to come home whole, because that's part of the new Jewish reality that this country is supposed to make possible.

The loss of life is tragic. So are the injuries to soldiers, including serious head wounds. But most tragic of all is that the world is so willing to be blinded to what's really going on here.

At the end of this excruciating day in Israel, at least given what I know at this moment, I'm saddened but not apologetic. I'm not surprised by most of the world's reactions. But I haven't lost sight of who provoked this, and why they did that. But you're a very smart guy. Why have you?"


(emphasis mine)

Words, right now, fail me.


UPDATE 8:48AM EST: Israeli Minister of Public Affairs on Morning Joe (MSNBC) bemoaning the injuries to Israeli commandos, decrying the failure of peace activists to act like passive slaves and take their beatings from said commandos.

Echoing MJS, I think I might just allow myself to hate Israel. Damn it.



"'Next time we'll use more force'

Navy prepares for expected arrival of 2 more activist ships.

'Israel will use more aggressive force in the future to prevent ships from breaking the sea blockade on the Gaza Strip', a top Navy commander told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

'We boarded the ship and were attacked as if it was a war,' the officer said. 'That will mean that we will have to come prepared in the future as if it was a war.'"



Does the MV Rachel Corrie now sail to its meeting with history?

According to one analysis (h/t DoM) - the Israelis can claim the legal right to sink any vessel breaking the blockade:

"...The truly scary part is that under international laws governing maritime blockades, Israel could have outright sank the ship instead of board it as an alternative enforcement of the maritime blockade, and Israel still been within their rights under international law. Such an action could have led to war with Turkey, but even if the ship would have been sunk, Turkey would still be on the wrong end of international law in this situation. Turkey will likely find plenty of populist political support in NATO countries over these events, but if they attempt to escalate they may find that support is fleeting among their NATO allies.

No one in NATO is going to support Turkey with anything other than political rhetoric in this situation. Rhetoric is free, but if a financial cost to NATO nations supporting Turkey becomes necessary - international law regarding naval blockades will quickly become the new foundation of NATO countries, and Turkey would quickly find themselves on the wrong end of the shifting political winds. Turkey finds a political victory in the present condition, and needs to do nothing outside of political rhetoric to secure it. The likelihood of taking some meaningful action against Israel by Turkey is very low."

Will they do it?

Will Israel force NATO to abandon Turkey, in all but name? Will the Israeli government force the hands of Malaysia and Ireland? Can they count on the US aegis, in all this?

We may soon find out.