January 19, 2005

we're special in other ways, ways our mothers appreciate

by Kim Keever, 2000 [via travelers diagram]

* War is the truest expression of the state, and its most powerful reinforcement. Just as capitalism must create artificial needs for its increasingly superfluous commodities, the state must continually create artificial conflicts of interest requiring its violent intervention. The fact that the state incidentally provides a few 'social services' merely camouflages its fundamental nature as a protection racket. When two states go to war the net result is as if each state had made war on its own people — who are then taxed to pay for it. The Gulf war was a particularly gross example: Several states eagerly sold billions of dollars’ worth of arms to another state, then massacred hundreds of thousands of conscripts and civilians in the name of neutralizing its dangerously large arsenal. The multinational corporations that own those states now stand to make still more billions of dollars restocking armaments and rebuilding the countries they have ravaged.

- The War and the Spectacle, Ken Knabb, Bureau Of Public Secrets, 3 April 1991 [via wood s lot]

* The Pentagon lashes out at Seymour Hersh for his "claims that President George W. Bush plans to drastically expand the war on terrorism, and has already signed executive orders authorising secret commando operations against terrorist targets in as many as ten middle eastern and south Asian nations, including Iran." excerpt:

Lawrence DiRita, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, said in a statement on Monday that many of the facts upon which the story is based are inaccurate. Neither he nor Dan Bartlett, the White House spokesman, commented directly on the commando operations claim, however.

"Mr Hirsch's sources feed him with rumour, innuendo, and assertions about meetings that never happened, programmes that do not exist, and statements by officials that were never made," the Mr DiRita said.

"It is rare for the Pentagon to issue such a long and detailed response to a single news account; DiRita's two-page statement includes four specific refutations of claims made in the piece, including an alleged post-election meeting between Donald Rumsfeld and the joint chiefs of staff in which the defence secretary claimed the 2004 US election was a referendum on aggressive action in the Middle East.

"It is also rare that defence officials single out a specific journalist for such vitriol. In one part of his statement, Mr DiRita appears to accuse Hersh of anti-Semitism. Mr Hersh reported that Douglas Feith, the number three civilian at the Pentagon, has worked with Israeli military planners to find targets in Iran, a claim the Pentagon said built on 'the soft bigotry of some conspiracy theorists.' Mr Feith is Jewish. The Pentagon said not such contacts exist."

Of course, Hersh's reporting is generally spot on.


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