Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rant in Response to Attempted Defenses of President Obama's Drone Assassination Policy

(in response to various comments on this piece-->
where a man, though troubled by deeds[indiscriminate mass murder], reaffirms his faith in Obama with an emphatic comment)

Nice to see REALPOLITIK along with historical precedent not even remotely analogous(Barbary Pirates) trotted out to defend a policy of indiscriminate mass murder. "Terrorist" is a term used to dehumanize insurgents. People hate a brutal occupation by foreigners. Torture, indiscriminate violence, mass murder are common occurrences(McChrystal, "Amazing how many people we've killed..."). Afghanistan and The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11. They offered to hand Bin Laden over to President Bush if they were shown evidence of his complicity. The US was offended by that demand and bombs fell. In short, President Obama was wrong in 2008, Afghanistan was never "the right war". It was just as criminal as Iraq(Earlier this year Obama issued a proclamation making the Anniversary of the Iraq War a "Day of Honor").

If you wish to look inside the heart and mind of an unapologetic warmonger then read President Obama's Memorial Day speech at the Vietnam Memorial. He used the myth of soldiers returning from Vietnam being spit on to set up a counterpoint where he, the patriotic Warlord, lauded them as undefeated heroes in battle. The Vietnam War destroyed millions of Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians for no reason. Vietnam was never a threat. Still, our boys were undefeated! They died for freedom! Their "service to the nation" was valorous! Obama believes protests and lack of political will prevented our mass murdering "heroes" from taking their undefeated record in battle to a complete aggressive war(greatest crime of all according to Nuremberg Tribunal) victory. 

Militarism is bankrupting this nation materially and spiritually. Its zeal for rapine is imitated by our masters of finance. President Obama absolves their past crimes and enables their aspirations. Torturers, war criminals, and financial fraudsters nestle, like the Children of Abraham, in his bosom. Whistle Blowers catch his wrath. In public he makes jokes and boasts(Jay Leno) about drone strikes. He's the face of a Top Secret due process free assassination program not subject to public examination. Why can't he, the star of the Star Chamber, crack jokes and wax proud?  

As others have noted, what if every nation on the planet began killing anyone anywhere in the world because they felt they might be a present or future threat? The US supports terror groups in Iran assassinating scientists and promoting regime change. Those are real threats. Does Iran have a right to bomb the White House for funding acts of terror and leading the effort to levy collective punishment(sanctions) on their people? Assassinate former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Governor Rendell, etc. for supporting MEK? 

A guy posting youtube videos critical of US foreign policy is not a threat to the greatest military machine in human history or the "homeland". The United States visits this kind of psychotic violence on poor destabilized nations(Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya--Muslim nations). The bomb plots breathlessly reported on by our courtier media are invariably planned and supplied by our own security organizations here and abroad. These plots serve to create a predicate for the psychotic violence. It does not surprise me that Americans support drone strikes. Decades of dehumanizing Muslims(by our gov't, news media, literature, movies, etc) has laid the groundwork. The War on Terror is a lie. It is a war of aggression against any kind of insurgence(youtube videos, familial relations, spatial relations too) that dares to even hint at resisting US hegemony. Also, every government loves creating "threats" to justify increased security powers(destruction of human rights, more spending for arms etc).    

Friday, May 25, 2012

Executioner's Pride, from Ned Dennis to John Brennan

"In proportion as Mr. Dennis exercised these intellectual qualities with which he was gifted, in reviewing his best chances of coming off handsomely and with small personal inconvenience, his spirits rose, and his confidence increased. When he remembered the great estimation in which his office was held, and the constant demand for his services; when he bethought himself, how the Statute Book regarded him as a kind of Universal Medicine applicable to men, women, and children, of every age and variety of criminal constitution; and how high he stood, in his official capacity, in the favor of the Crown, and both Houses of Parliament, the Mint, and Bank of England, and the Judges of the land; when he recollected that whatever Ministry was in or out, he remained their peculiar pet and panacea, and that for his sake England stood single and conspicuous among the civilized nations of the earth: when he called these things to mind and dwelt upon them, he felt certain that the national gratitude must relieve him from the consequences of his late proceedings, and would certainly restore him to his old place in the happy social system."
                       ---Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, Chapter 74, (the hangman's thoughts).

Well, President Obama agrees.  And that is why I am here today.
I stand here as someone who has been involved with our nation’s security for more than 30 years.  I have a profound appreciation for the truly remarkable capabilities of our counterterrorism professionals, and our relationships with other nations, and we must never compromise them.  I will not discuss the sensitive details of any specific operation today.  I will not, nor will I ever, publicly divulge sensitive intelligence sources and methods.  For when that happens, our national security is endangered and lives can be lost. At the same time, we reject the notion that any discussion of these matters is to step onto a slippery slope that inevitably endangers our national security.  Too often, that fear can become an excuse for saying nothing at all, which creates a void that is then filled with myths and falsehoods.  That, in turn, can erode our credibility with the American people and with foreign partners, and it can undermine the public’s understanding and support for our efforts.  In contrast, President Obama believes that done carefully, deliberately and responsibly we can be more transparent and still ensure our nation’s security.

---John Brennan, "The Efficacy and Ethics of U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy", (speech given at Wilson Center).

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Market Makers, Cartesian Demons

"Uncertainty is gripping world financial markets, after elections in Greece and France raised concerns about the future of austerity measures to help rescue Europe's debt-ridden governments and its ailing economies."
   ---Voice of America, "Uncertainty Grips World Financial Markets in Wake of European Elections", 05/07/12.

"Accordingly I shall now suppose, not that a true God[Market], who as such must be supremely good and the fountain of truth[Wealth], but that some malignant genius exceedingly powerful and cunning has devoted all his powers[Capital] in the deceiving of me; I shall suppose that the sky, the earth, colors, shapes, sounds and all external things[Property] are illusions and impostures of which this evil genius has availed himself for the abuse of my credulity[Labor Power]; I shall consider myself as having no hands, nor any senses, but as falsely opining myself to possess all these things[Property]."
      ----Descartes, Meditations On First Philosophy, Meditation I. 

(Bracket Material Added by Evil Genius)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hipsterism: The Liturgy and Vestments of Submission to Imperial Culture

"'I am not concerned with jurisdiction of the courts as Hess or others are.'(Laughs.)"
Albert Speer(Hipster Archetype), Interview before Nuremberg Trials, 1946.

Accepting the benefits of Empire while not giving a shit about it is not only a narcissistic defense, it's obscene collaboration. Here ironic detachment becomes abasement masters find most pleasing.

***Thanks to Pere Lebrun for a series of valuable posts on Hipsters.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Experimenta lucifera(Fried Bacon)

"Now experiments of this kind have one admirable property and condition: they never miss or fail."
---Bacon, Novum Organum, Bk 1, xcix.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Obama 2012: Just Drone It

"You don't see any dead people. All you see are wobbly gun sights and then hits. Bull's-eyes supposedly. It's like a game..."
"Right. Because CNN's got the TV rights for this war---and the next and the one after that..."
---- Gunter Grass, My Century, 1991.