A Fairly Short List of Goodies for Wikileaks Santa
I have been waiting. I have been searching and reading. I have been waiting impatiently while searching and reading the initial pile of recently released Wikileaks’ documents, specifically those pertaining to Turkey. I have received many e-mails asking me impatiently to comment and provide my analyses on this latest international exposé. I am being impatiently patient in doing so, and here is a brief explanation as to why:
God’s mysterious sense of humor strikes again, afflicting the lunatic fringe with this especially ludicrous zinger: the delusion of infallibility. Beyond the ‘50’s jingoism of “America, right or wrong,” the right now stays this course, “America, never wrong.” We must be special, the chosen elect, morally superior to every other country. Why else would an omnipotent God put us in charge? End of discussion.
Frankly, the Roman Empire was more culturally tolerant.
Wikileaks has committed the unforgivable sin of revealing the inner workings of Empire, what the servants of Empire really think and in so doing it has also revealed the extremely comfortable relationship between the media and the state in making sure that the truth behind the headlines is kept from us.
Fascinating, the world of inter-state relations or diplomacy has been by ‘tradition’ (not mine) a closed house, members only with its own private language and rules of conduct. But of course diplomacy has two faces, one public and one private. The private face is not a pretty one but then you knew that already, didn’t you?
Interview with Chris Hedges author of “Death of the Liberal Class”
He has written nine books, including “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle”, “I Don’t Believe in Atheists”, “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” and the best-selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America”. And he is here to talk about all that and his new book “Death of the Liberal Class”.
In one narrative of the “War on Terror,” President Bush scrapped the protections of the Geneva Conventions — including Common Article 3, which prohibits “cruel treatment and torture” and “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.” — for prisoners at Guantánamo, and established the prison as an offshore interrogation center to protect the United States from further terrorist attacks. This narrative is distressing enough, as it involves a deliberate attempt to discard domestic and international laws and treaties so that prisoners seized in wartime — mixed up with a handful of terrorist suspects — could be held indefinitely and subjected to torture, but it is not, in fact, the most compelling explanation of the purpose of the detention policies implemented in the “War on Terror.”
If the house where Julian Assange of Wikileaks is staying is destroyed by a Predator drone, and the United States denies any involvement … Well, I’ll believe them.
One of the most common threads running through the Wikileaks papers is Washington’s manic obsession with Iran. In country after country the United States exerts unceasing pressure on the government to tighten the noose around Iran’s neck, to make the American sanctions as extensive and as painful as can be, to inflate the alleged Iranian nuclear threat, to discourage normal contact as if Iran were a leper.