BreakThrough News on Aug 25, 2022
Welcome to a special crossover of Dispatches with Rania Khalek and The Socialist Program with Brian Becker!
This is a reblog of an article from last year.
The slow-motion execution that the U.S. empire is subjecting Julian Assange to, where Washington’s satellite state the U.K. is depriving him of the conditions necessary for a sound physical and mental state, is an external version of how the empire’s internal settler state creates political prisoners. Within the borders of the U.S. occupier regime, African liberation fighter Kevin Rashid Johnson and indigenous liberation fighter Leonard Peltier continue to be unjustly imprisoned. Should Assange be convicted, the empire will expand the arbitrary incarceration powers it exercises upon its internal subjects to a global scale, with the added effect of making war crimes journalism criminally prosecutable throughout this expanded range of tyranny.
This article is Part Two in a series on American collapse and the potential for a U.S. civil war. Read part one for a detailed explanation of the ideas I’ll mention here about the U.S. empire’s internal cognitive warfare.
The imperialists are the architects of their own demise. Through reacting to the decline of U.S. hegemony by domestically applying Washington’s tactics abroad—highly militarized policing, exploitative policies, covert CIA propaganda, clampdowns on journalism, paramilitarism—the imperialists are ultimately accelerating this unraveling. This is because when these and other imperialist tactics are used abroad, they have the effect of making the places they target more unstable.
This article is Part One in a series I’m doing on American collapse, and on how this has the potential to lead to a civil war within U.S. borders.
The “imperial boomerang” effect—where the types of violence an empire commits abroad inevitably become directed at that empire’s own people—is caused by the fact that actions have consequences. When a country subjugates other peoples, this has repercussions for those within that country. A society built on exploitation and violence can’t last. Whether that society wants to face it or not, its greed comes at a cost.
The ruling class of the U.S./NATO empire justifies the heinous actions of its military forces, the brutality of its internal police states, and the cruelty towards the poor of its neoliberal economic deprivation by claiming that everything it does is necessary to combat some grand evil. Whether this evil is Islam, or communism, or the very presence of opposition to Washington’s war narratives, the threat is portrayed as being so all-encompassing and enormous that it should solely occupy our political concerns.
Liberalism, particularly the type of liberalism from after World War II, has advertised itself as the only alternative to chaos and barbarism. As Henry Kissinger said in order to rationalize helping the side of the liberal geopolitical bloc:
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Mar 28, 2020
Chris Hedges talks to D. D. Guttenplan, editor of The Nation, about the great investigative journalist, I. F. Stone. Guttenplan’s biography of Stone is entitled, American Radical: The Life and Times of I. F. Stone.
Cold War Number One: 70 years of daily national stupidity
Cold War Number Two: Still in its youth, but just as stupid
“He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.” – President Trump re Vladimir Putin after their meeting in Vietnam.
Pete Seeger, as almost every reader of these pages will know, passed away at the age of 94 on Jan. 27, 2014. Pete was a great folksinger, explorer of US music, and song writer. In his younger days he was also a great banjo picker, and learned how to play the 12-string guitar (a difficult instrument in its own right) from the legendary Afro-American blues singer Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly. He worked with one of the founding US folklorists, Alan Lomax, as well as his with his father, Charles Seeger and his step-mother, Ruth Crawford Seeger (mother of Pete’s step-sister, the folk singer Peggy Seeger). And of course he was a close colleague of the iconic Woody Guthrie.
After 94 years, on January 27, 2014, the world lost Pete Seeger. The world is the lesser for that loss. The accolades for this giant of folk songs and herald of all causes just, are pouring in from around the world. He is celebrated for regularly showing up at mass protests, for singing songs so transcendent (This Land is Your Land; We Shall Overcome; Where Have All the Flowers Gone) they are sung in many foreign languages all over the earth and for his mentoring and motivating of millions of people and children.
Pete Seeger overcame most of his doubters and adversaries. On his famous five string banjo, he inscribed the slogan, “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.”