May 11, 2004

I Don't Believe in the Sun

* Tom Engelhardt's Postcard from the Edge, concludes:

"We see the grim results of that in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. We see it in the continuous growth of the Pentagon despite the loss of all major military enemies. We see it in the grim, helter-skelter way the Bush administration has been replaying its own primal experiences -- the Cold War and Vietnam. In particular, though it's hardly been noted, we see it in the way this administration is acting out the one policy that, in the era of two superpowers, remained a fantasy.

"Given the power of the Russian military, especially once it nuclearized, the American position in the Cold War was generally considered one of 'containment.' But particularly in the early years, another policy was discussed with fervor. John Foster Dulles, President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Secretary or State (and brother of then-CIA Director Allen Dulles) called it 'rollback.' We were to rollback the borders of the Soviet empire by subversion and by military power. Never practiced (except in a few heady Korean-War months), it was much dreamt about.

"Now, in the post-Soviet era, our government has taken aspects of the worst Cold War dreams of both sides. It wants to dominate the world. (Remember when this is what we swore they wanted to do?) It wants to control an extrajudicial penal system for its enemies, a kind of global Siberia shielded from prying eyes of any sort; and it wants rollback of the now pathetically impoverished remnants of the Soviet Union, Putin's Russia (still dangerously nuclear armed). So as NATO has, with our enthusiastic support pushed deep into the western borderlands of the old Soviet Union, the U.S. military has driven its own bases deep into the former Yugoslavia, the former Islamic SSRs, those ‘stans of Central Asia, into Afghanistan (where the Soviet Union essentially expired in a brutal lost war that also gave birth to al Qaeda), and prospectively into the former SSR of Georgia which sits on a crucial oil pipeline meant to bring Caspian oil to Europe and beyond.

"This then is the world according to Bush, the world from which those photos emerged."

* From Michael Brownstein's World on Fire:

"And so, dear one, what about accountability?

Who's responsible for this pirate raid we call Western
Civilization?

No one in particular.

According to the legal definition of a corporation, no
one is responsible for its actions because the
corporation itself is defined as a fictitious person.

It's defined as no one in particular.

Bhopal, Exxon Valdez, Love Triangle, Times Beach.
Who's to blame?

No one in particular.

The corporate imperative ensnares all players.

CEOs of Union Carbide and Exxon genuinely grieving the
day after disasters in India and Alaska.

Two weeks later, they take refuge in damage control
and cover-ups.

Who's responsible?"

* Annoy your co-workers with the virtual drumkit.

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