Archive for June, 2007

Friday nature blogging

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Lovers and dreamers and me

Lovers and dreamers and me
What’s at the end?

With this post, Deep Blade Journal ceases publication. I’ve been mulling this decision for a long time now. I can’t keep this thing going by myself any more. People I have tried to engage in writing for this blog in order to help me build it just have not been inspired. In the last several weeks, I’ve had a ton of posts in mind. Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan–all of the places where events are streaming like they’re coming out of a flame thrower–could use a great deal of anti-imperial analysis that just isn’t happening within the empire’s media systems (including in many so-called liberal blogs). But there just doesn’t seem to be enough traffic here to warrant me continuing to try to provide that analysis.

I may post HERE at times. However, one of my greatest disappointments blogging is the public reaction to THIS (also posted HERE). That reaction was a big fat nothing. I asked the hundreds of people involved in the March actions to “think this through…, and arrive at some positions and then focus and maximize our organizing power.”

Guess what? Nobody came to my posts and indicated that they had thought it through much. Then not entirely unexpectedly, the Democrats folded before the highly unpopular Bush. War funding continues, and will continue apace. This empty thud really illustrated for me how much time I have been wasting trying to hammer things out in this medium. Realize that I am not blaming others here for not responding as I had envisioned. I’m just realizing that I am not using my own time most effectively if I really want to help organize the next steps needed to end this war.

This brings us to the Horse Race that will obsess bloggers for the next 18 months running up to election 2008. I’m not going to waste my time on that either. Obviously, various factions of the ruling class dearly want to acquire the US presidency after Bush. But we must realize that working for a Democrat means accepting ruling class prerogatives. I can’t make that compromise and live with myself any more.

We can elect all of the Democrats we want. They’ll tell us, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did on March 23, that they are acting to end the war. But that is an obvious charade. The politicians are in a full-gallop retreat away from public opinion, and the common discourse is about making sure the public does not understand what is really going on. The only real choices in the field all must incant the canonical texts of those ruling class prerogatives in order to receive funding. Hence, “all options” must be “on the table” with respect to relations with Iran, for example. Certainly valid arguments exist that a Democrat winning would be “better” than a Republican. But the fundamental nature of US empire and ruling-class domination will not change.

So what are the prospects for Iraq? First, general US public opinion will remain totally irrelevant to the warmakers. The US has acquired Iraq and it will stay there until an essential component of the imperial project, the US military for example, breaks down completely. That day may be many years away. Meanwhile, the recently-escalated program of bombing the Iraqis into submission will go on, and on, and on. Well into the next administration for sure. They’re gonna keep Iraq come hell or high water because it’s an ultra-strategic imperial asset. If Democrats and Republicans have to talk Terror War to keep the public scared enough to retreat into the happier places inside their televisions and their Wal Marts then that’s what they’ll do. It seems to have worked so far.

I will try to keep adding to peacecast.us, the podcasting site that accompanies this one. I have a ton of material collected over the last few months that I have intended to post there. But apart from a few very good friends who are very, very generous people, peacecast.us is not generating enough interest that would seem to justify its existence either. But a decision on that will wait for another day.

With that, this blog is over.

Media pro-torture campaign

Friday, June 1st, 2007

“Capture one of these killers, and he’ll be quick to demand the protections of the Geneva Convention and the Constitution of the United States. Yet when they wage attacks or take captives, their delicate sensibilities seem to fall away.” –Vice President Richard B. Cheney, May 26, 2007

Lately the notion that America is on the “moral high ground” no matter what it does to its “killer” enemies–who are always doing worse things–is making the rounds through wingnuttia. Glenn Greenwald dissects the phenomenon in a typically smashing post today. Here he studies how reactionary outlets like the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Professor Instapundit have picked up on the theme that weak-kneed liberal media is failing to properly position tales of “discovery” of al-Qaeda torture manuals.

GREENWALD: But now this “Al-Qaeda-does-it-too” song has become a little cause cèlèbre among our brave, pro-torture, right-wing warrior class. This “idea” — that something sinister is going on because the media reported America’s torture so extensively but is giving little coverage to Al Qaeda’s torture manuals — is now spreading rapidly among Bush followers….

Greenwald sarcastically questions the mentality of the “Epic, Existence-Threatening, Unprecedentedly-Dangerous” Islamophobic war where torture supporters are “resorting to the third-grader mentality that ‘Al Qaeda does it, too.'”

So far, the American public largely has been willing to accept “techniques such as hypothermia and waterboarding (for which some Gestapo defendants were convicted and sentenced to death at a 1948 war crimes trial).” It’s a truly disheartening situation. From Cheney on down, America has lost sight of what is supposed to make us different than the Gestapo, or al Qaeda for that matter. Instead, the wingnut justification that because they may not observe the Geneva Conventions, we don’t have to either seems to carry the day.