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Staying Sane in a Mad World

Jun 29, 2014 Dahr Jamail
On Staying Sane in a Suicidal Culture…
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Seeds of Hatred Past Sprout in Iraq

Jun 27, 2014 Danny Schechter
Reaping the Seeds of Iraqi Hatred by…
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The Critical Journey From Apathy to Empathy

The Critical Journey From Apathy to Empathy: The Battle Against a Tyrant Named “George”
by Shelley Bluejay Pierce
(Part one in series May 9, 2008)
Like many students in the Unites States of America, I have read and studied the Declaration of Independence written and adopted by the new Congress on July 4, 1776.  I must admit however, that many decades have past since my last real study of this important political document. The study of our own history here in the USA is part of all formal studies across the country. However, most of us never have cause to revisit these critical pieces of written history that are still meant to guide our country and its leadership in all dealings with the citizens here.

Most average Americans can recall certain famous passages, but I doubt that many can recite larger portions of this document from memory. With a growing need to remind myself of these earliest political platforms, I felt compelled to return to these historic words once again.

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Fallujah Comes to Sadr City

Fallujah Revisited: Bush, Petraeus Prepare 'Cleansing' of Sadr City        
by Chris Floyd
I. George W. Bush and David Petraeus are preparing to make a new Fallujah in Sadr City, home to two million Shiites in Baghdad. Thousands of people are already fleeing the area before the full-scale slaughter and destruction begin.
 
image: Fallujah 2004 
 
As in Fallujah, the multitudes who cannot escape will be trapped in a "free fire zone", subjected to ruthless bombardment and ground assault. Thousands -- perhaps tens of thousands -- of innocent civilians stand in the shadow of imminent death.

The assault is part of the run-up to the coming attack on Iran -- an attempt to secure the rear of that new front by destroying Iraq's Shiite nationalist forces. It is also part of an on-going effort to eliminate the strongest rival to the Shiite extremists that Bush has installed in office in Iraq, before the conquered land's fall elections.

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Palestine/Israel: Conditionally Unresolved Conflict

Anatomy of a Conditionally Unresolved Conflict
by Gilad Atzmon
According to Hegel, attaining ’self-consciousness’ is a process that necessarily involves the other. How am I to become conscious of myself in general? It is simply through desire or anger, for example. Unlike animals that overcome biological needs by destroying another organic entity, human desire is a desire for recognition.

In Hegelian terms, recognition is accomplished by directing oneself towards non-being, that is, towards another desire, another emptiness, another ‘I’. It is something that can never be fully accomplished.
 
“The man who desires a thing humanly acts not so much to possess the thing as to make another recognise his right. It is only desire of such recognition, it is only the action that flows from such desire, that creates, realizes and reveals a human, non biological I.” (Kojeve A., Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, 1947, Cornell Univ. Press, 1993, p. 40).
 
 
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The Road that Never Should Have Been

The Road that No-One Wanted; The Road that Never Should Have Been
by 'T Soeur
I write this as the grand arbutus forests are crashing down the steep slopes all around us. It is Langford. In the midst of self-proclaiming "Mass Wasting" (just a development strategy - a style) one lost ravine, almost a canyon, deserves mention.

"The Powers that Be" once again acted in defiance of the wishes of long-standing residents along this "so-called" roadway just off Florence Lake Road. Many have lived there for decades on the shores of Florence Lake. And, they clearly expressed their opposition to development; to roads and driveways, and to wide paved cement "trails" in the ravine just behind them and immediately adjacent to their properties.
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Reviewing Muqtada

Reviewing Muqtada
by Jim Miles
An excellent work, Muqtada ends off right where current events pick up with the recent Iraqi army attacks ordered by Nuri al –Maliki in southern Iraq, Basra in particular. The media view that this was purely an Iraqi effort is put into place with one of author Patrick Cockburn’s closing comments that Maliki “had limited real power” and felt “that he could not move a company of troops without American permission.” 
 
This morning’s news on al-Jazeera fully demonstrates American involvement with the new surge into Sadr City - the Baghdad stronghold of Muqtada’s Mehdi army – supported by American Abrams tanks and aerial bombing.

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Flushing Finally 'Mainstream' Cred

Pity the Poor Mainstream Media!
by Ernest Partridge
It is very difficult for an old liberal like me to be sympathetic about the plight of the corporate media, given the way they have behaved of late. But the simple fact of the matter is that the commercial news media have fallen into a deep financial pit, and that is both good news and bad news for the political health of our republic.

In 2005, newspaper circulation declined over the previous year by 2.6 percent, with the largest declines posted in the major newspapers. Still worse, in 2007, newspaper advertising revenue fell by 9.4 percent. As a result of this shrinkage, in 2007 2,400 journalists lost their jobs, and 15,000 have been canned in the last decade.


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Grabbing Wall St. Crime by the Horns

Investigating Wall St. Crime
by Danny Schechter
The Question: As The Feds Broaden A Mortgage Fraud Probe, Will The White Collar Perps Of Subprime Crime Ever Do Time?

New York, May 6: There is a time in the life of every writer when you find yourself fearing that you have become a robo call phone machine—repeating the same message over and over with diminishing results.

That’s how I felt after eight months of silence after labeling the credit crisis a “subcrime” scandal, lashing out at the fraudulent activity at its core and calling for the investigation and prosecution of wrong doers. Almost no media outlets accepted this way of framing the problem, although, as usual, the British press was ahead of its American cousins in putting the blame on the bankers, not the borrowers.


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Air Force Uber Alles

The Air Force Above All: Dominating the Air, Space, and Cyberspace
by William J. Astore
When I first joined the Air Force, its mission statement was straightforward: to fly and fight. The recruiting slogan was upbeat: the Air Force was "a great way of life," and the ROTC program I enrolled in was the "gateway to a great way of life."

Mission statements and slogans are easy to poke fun at and shouldn't, perhaps, be taken too seriously. That said, the people who develop them do take them seriously, which is why they can't be ignored.

Consider the Air Force's new slogan: "Air Force -- Above All."


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Reviewing the New Imperialist

Reviewing the New Imperialist
by Jim Miles
The new imperialism is part a recognition that, yes, the United States is an imperial power as accepted and supported by various neocon pundits and apologists, and part a recognition that it takes a different form than previous empires, no longer so much as colonial-settlement projects but an economically-ideologically based empire.  
 
There is still very much a land base to the empire with over seven hundred fifty military establishments of one form or another in over one hundred thirty countries. Yet it is the institutional structuring of global enterprises that now determines the nature and kind of empire, with a somewhat different rationale behind these structures. 

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Gitmo: America's Pride, American's Shame

Ashamed to be American
by Mickey Z.
I was reading Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo, by Murat Kurnaz, when I came across a passage about Kurnaz being subjected to gruesome electric shock torture at the hands of America’s brave volunteer warriors. After passing out and being tossed back in his cell to sleep it off, Kurnaz was soon awakened by harrowing screams.

He saw two valiant American soldiers hitting a man who was lying on the ground—his head wrapped in a blanket. Five more patriotic heroes eventually joined in on the beating, hitting the man’s head with the butts of their rifles and kicking him with their heavy boots. “Then,” says Kurnaz, “they walked away, leaving him lying there.”


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Perpetual War: Descending into Madness in Iraq -- and Beyond

The Last War and the Next One
Descending into Madness in Iraq -- and Beyond
by Tom Engelhardt
The last war won't end, but in the Pentagon they're already arguing about the next one.

Let's start with that "last war" and see if we can get things straight. Just over five years ago, American troops entered Baghdad in battle mode, felling the Sunni-dominated government of dictator Saddam Hussein and declaring Iraq "liberated." In the wake of the city's fall, after widespread looting, the new American administrators dismantled the remains of Saddam's government in its hollowed out, trashed ministries; disassembled the Sunni-dominated Baathist Party which had ruled Iraq since the 1960s, sending its members home with news that there was no coming back; dismantled Saddam's 400,000 man army; and began to denationalize the economy. Soon, an insurgency of outraged Sunnis was raging against the American occupation.


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