Phil Maynard and Ken Macfarlane
Monday 2 December 2013, © The Guardian
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or 'drones', is one of the most controversial elements of modern warfare. The technology allows for the delivery of bombs and bullets with no risk whatever to the attacker. But does the use of drones create new ethical problems? Guardian columnist Seumas Milne and Peter Lee, a military expert at Portsmouth University, discuss the moral and political questions raised by drones full article>
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.
04-12-2013, © somoscuervos.com.ar
Lejos de esconderse luego del empate en cero ante Estudiantes, Matías Lammens no dudo a la hora de hablar sobre el polémico arbitraje de Pablo Lunati. "El penal sobre Cavallaro fue clarísimo, no hay dudas. El árbitro había dirigido bien, pero ese error fue determinante y me preocupa porque nos podría costar demasiado caro", contó. full article>
Friday 29 November 2013, © The Guardian
More than 50 public figures in Britain, including high-profile artists, musicians and writers, have put their names to a letter opposing an Israeli plan to forcibly remove up to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins from their historic desert land - an act condemned by critics as ethnic cleansing. full article>
Sunday 24 November 2013, © The Independent
It marks a victory for the Shia in their growing conflict with the Sunni Muslim Middle East. It gives substantial hope to Bashar al-Assad that he will be left in power in Syria. It isolates Israel. And it infuriates Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Kuwait and other Sunni Gulf States which secretly hoped that a breakdown of the Geneva nuclear talks would humiliate Shia Iran and support their efforts to depose Assad, Iran's only ally in the Arab world. full article>
Now mind is clear as a cloudless sky. Time then to make a home in wilderness.
What have I done but wander with my eyes in the trees? So I will build: wife, family, and seek for neighbors.
Or I perish of lonesomeness or want of food or lightning or the bear (must tame the hart and wear the bear).
And maybe make an image of my wandering, a little image–shrine by the roadside to signify to traveler that I live here in the wilderness awake and at home.
24 NOV 2013, © El País
Da pena. En Madrid, las estatuas dedicadas a nuestros artistas parecen sacadas de una caja de Legos. La de Valle-Inclán en Recoletos, la de Lorca en la plaza de Santa Ana, la de Velázquez en su calle. Son estatuas más propias de un jardín de infancia que de los grandes espacios públicos. Se diría que sus dimensiones reflejan la idea inconsciente que nuestras autoridades han tenido siempre de la cultura: con supuesta generosidad promueven una estatua a un gran escritor, pero jibarizándolo hasta hacerlo más pequeño que el ser humano que se va a parar a contemplarlo. Las estatuas de artistas en Madrid no dan sombra, dan lastimilla. También las calles que se dedican a los grandes de la literatura son las más pequeñas. La de Pérez Galdós hay que verla. El escritor que más páginas dedicó a Madrid tiene una calle del tamaño de una culebrilla. Tal vez a él no le importaría porque está en pleno centro y en una zona en la que seguro vivía una de aquellas mujeres del pueblo que, con frecuencia, le trastornaron la vida. full article>
El tiempo es un espejo con distintas imágenes que brillan en su fondo como una procesión de fuegos fatuos hasta que el humo las dispersa, y entonces siempre ocurre lo mismo: aparece tu rostro, y sé que para verte tengo que hacer un gran viaje desde mis ojos a los tuyos,
y desvivir distancias, advertencias y defunciones, pues sólo puedo verte traspasando un espejo y se astilla el cristal cuando paso por él, y cada esquirla es una herida, y vivir es tan sólo un espejo sangrando, un espejo que se vuelve a quebrar todos los días cuando paso por él para mirarte, porque no hay solución, no hay claveles adrede, y al romperse el espejo se multiplican las imágenes y apareces en todas ellas como eres: radiante y casual, pero no puedo verte, no te veo, pues en el fondo de mis ojos queda un poco de humo.
Esto es lo que me pasa, porque el humo me llama por mi nombre, habla mi propia lengua, para hacerme saber que todo lo profundo es doloroso, y hay que ser consecuentes con el humo, llevarle de la mano mientras quede en el aire una vedija, pero esto no es tan fácil, pues al hacerlo muchas veces, puedes quedar desencarnado, como si te estuvieras viendo en un espejo que se deshiela; y por esta razón vivimos juntos mientras nacen las cosas si las tocas, y van haciéndose reales, contributivas, tuyas, porque te quiero tanto, de tal modo que me sangran los ojos al mirarte como si todo lo que nos une fuese una despedida.
24 NOV 2013, © El País
Cristiano Ronaldo no recibe el apelativo de "inmigrante", sino el de "extranjero", pese a que técnicamente cumple los requisitos del inmigrante. Lo mismo sucede con el brasileño Mazinho, instalado en España tras su paso por el Celta. A su compatriota Diego Costa incluso le ha propuesto el seleccionador de fútbol, Vicente del Bosque, que se vista de rojo. No adjudicamos tampoco la palabra "inmigrante" a los altos ejecutivos alemanes, franceses o italianos de BMW o de Crédit Lyonnais o de Telecinco que dirigen esas empresas en España. full article>
Memoria de tránsito
Abril, porque siento, creo, pon calma en los ojos míos, ¿los montes, mares y ríos, qué son sino devaneo?; mirando la nieve veo memoria de tu hermosura, y cuando vi en su blancura tu inmediata eternidad, ¿fuiste si no claridad, temblor, paciencia y dulzura?
Tu leve paso indolente deja en mis ojos su aroma, los ojos en donde toma revelación permanente; bienaventuradamente nacieron para el olvido, tu piel de asombro encendido, tus ojos de limpio viento, y esta ternura que siento "herido de amor huido".
Los sitios donde has estado en la memoria los llevo sólo para ver de nuevo el rastro que allí has dejado; la tierra que tú has pisado vuelvo a pisar; nada soy más que este sueño en que voy desde tu ausencia a la nada. me hizo vivir tu mirada: fiel al tránsito aquí estoy.
Rafael Vilasanjuan Periodista
Sábado, 23 de noviembre del 2013, © elPeriódico.com
Queda solo medio año para las próximas elecciones europeas y se intuye que no van a ser unas elecciones más. A medida que vamos recortando los seis meses que quedan hay tendencias que empiezan a adquirir cuerpo. Por un lado el ascenso de partidos xenófobos y de extrema derecha y por otro el renacer del proteccionismo económico. Son dos corrientes distintas pero ambas se alimentan de lo mismo, el temor general de la ciudadanía. full article>
¿En dónde empieza nuestra sombra?
Sabes que llega un día en que el suelo que pisas se convierte en pared, ésta es la gran lección y la medianería que separa los muertos de los vivos; los extremos se tocan, no podemos salir de su contigüidad, más tarde o más temprano en cada orilla queda un muerto nuestro.
Sábado, 23 de noviembre del 2013, © elPeriódico.com
Todo conocimiento que pretenda comprender un pedazo de realidad se obtiene con un método y se expresa con un lenguaje. La ciencia cambia sobre todo cuando cambia el contenido. Es lo que diferencia a la mecánica clásica (cuerpos no demasiado pequeños ni demasiado rápidos) de la mecánica cuántica (cuerpos muy pequeños), a la zoología (animales) de la botánica (plantas) o a la oftalmología (el ojo) de la nefrología (el riñón). full article>
By Carolyn Kellogg
November 23, 2013, © Los Angeles Times
Poet Wanda Coleman died Friday after a long illness, her husband said. She was 67.
Coleman was a key figure in the literary life of Los Angeles. She, as our book critic David Ulin recently wrote, "helped transform the city's literature." She was a finalist for the National Book Award for her poetry collection "Mercurochrome" in 2001.
Born and raised in Watts, Coleman often wrote of issues of race, class, poverty and disenfranchisement. "Words seem inadequate in expressing the anger and outrage I feel at the persistent racism that permeates every aspect of black American life," she once said. "Since words are what I am best at, I concern myself with this as an urban actuality as best I can."
Despite the driving theme of anger in her work, Coleman was a delightful presence: sharp, funny and powerfully charismatic.
She began writing as a young woman and was part of the Watts Writers Workshop that began after the 1965 riots. She was also involved with Beyond Baroque in Venice.
She published her first poetry collection, "Mad Dog Black Lady," in 1979. Her poetry was primarily published by Black Sparrow Press, home of Charles Bukowski.
She succeeded in all kind of writing. She won an Emmy for her work on "Days of Our Lives" and produced essays and short fiction. But she was primarily known as a poet, publishing a dozen poetry collections in her lifetime. full article>
di MAURIZIO CROSETTI
05 giugno 2011, © Repubblica Sport
ASTI - I sogni, il mistero, le illusioni, la tecnica, ma soprattutto la bellezza. Il calcio, per Eduardo Galeano, è un favoloso groviglio di splendore e miserie: questo il titolo di un suo famoso libro che è, ormai da anni, un classico. E attorno alle due parole-chiave, splendore e miseria, ruotano anche questi giorni convulsi per il nostro povero pallone. full article>
Por Adrián Pérez
Sábado, 16 de noviembre de 2013, © Página/12
El gobierno de Mariano Rajoy fue llamado una vez más a ocuparse de los crímenes del franquismo. Ayer, el Comité de Desapariciones Forzadas de Naciones Unidas invitó a España a adoptar las medidas necesarias para investigar el destino que tuvieron los fusilados y represaliados por la dictadura de Francisco Franco. En su declaración, el Comité aseguró que esas desapariciones sólo prescriben cuando se conoce la suerte de las víctimas. Desde España, la Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica celebró la decisión del Comité de la ONU y manifestó que el Estado debe asumir su responsabilidad por esos delitos. "El gobierno español no puede seguir mirando para otro lado y negar a las víctimas de la dictadura, sus derechos y debería disculparse públicamente por haberlas maltratado", señaló la ARMH en un comunicado. full article>
"Siempre fuiste mi espejo, quiero decir, que para verme tenía que mirarte."
Por Sandra Russo
Sábado, 16 de noviembre de 2013, © Página/12
Dice Jaime Duran Barba que no fue su intención. Primero trató de echarle la culpa a otro -el periodista que le hizo la nota-; dijo que lo habían sacado de contexto. Cuando eso falló, porque la grabación era muy clara, y Duran Barba decía inequívocamente que "Hitler era un tipo espectacular", el consultor del PRO emitió un comunicado que parece obedecer a alguna de sus máximas políticas, algo que podría formularse por ejemplo así: "Si tú te diriges con total seguridad ante millones de personas, aunque estés mintiendo, ellos te creerán. Diles cualquier cosa, por ejemplo, que en el lugar de donde tú vienes, la palabra espectacular significa otra cosa, algo ni bueno ni malo, sólo espectacular". full article>
POR DANIEL CONTRERAS JAVIER QUINTELA
13/11/13, © Clarín.com
El sábado, con Belgrano, llegará a una cifra impactante de partidos en el equipo. "Cuando me siento en el vestuario del club, es como si lo hiciera en el sillón del living de mi casa", dice.
El sol pega de frente en el centro del campo del Nuevo Gasómetro. De tanto en tanto, un viento fresco se hace sentir, obligando a levantar las voces en ese ida y vuelta de pregunta- respuesta. El ídolo, el referente, el símbolo, ese tipo dueño de infinitos adjetivos para el pueblo sanlorencista del presente, frunce los ojos y hasta se hace visera para observar mejor. full article>
by ESAM AL-AMIN
NOVEMBER 8-10, 2013, © COUNTERPUNCH
When Egypt's Defense Minister, General Abdelfattah El-Sisi, deposed President Muhammad Morsi in a military coup depicted as a popular revolt, on July 3, coup leaders were confident that Morsi and his supporters, led by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), would quickly capitulate and recognize the new reality.
Within hours of the coup, hundreds of MB and other anti-coup leaders and popular public figures were rounded up, as most TV and satellite channels deemed to be anti-coup or simply critical of the army's brazen intervention, were swiftly banned and closed down. At the time, Sisi claimed that he had intervened in order to prevent an impending civil war, and he promised security, stability, and prosperity. But it seems that the generals and their enablers have badly miscalculated. Four months into the bloody coup, Egypt's deep and unprecedented crisis keeps growing. full article>
Por Juan Manuel Herbella
7 de noviembre de 2013, © 442
Albert Camus fue un escritor y filósofo argelino-francés, Premio Nobel de Literatura en 1957 y, también, arquero de fútbol. En la historia de la literatura contemporánea, fue una estrella fulgurante y revolucionaria de mitad del siglo XX. Para el fútbol, también fue un revolucionario: no por sus paradas sino por ser el primer intelectual que osó exaltarlo, al mezclarlo en sus escritos. full article>
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
Wednesday 6 November 2013, © The Guardian
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the computer scientist who created the world wide web, has called for a "full and frank public debate" over internet surveillance by the National Security Agency and its British counterpart, GCHQ, warning that the system of checks and balances to oversee the agencies has failed. full article>
Melting ice on a cliff off the coast of Cape Denison in Antarctica in 2009.
By DAN BILEFSKY
November 1, 2013, © The New York Times
PARIS — International negotiations aimed at creating one of the world's largest marine reserves in the waters off Antarctica ended in failure this week in the face of resistance from Russia, China and Ukraine, delegates to the talks said Friday. full article>
Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.
Recueilli par Maria Malagardis
1 novembre 2013, © Libération
Pour l'historien Achille Mbembe, le statut d' "homme-marchandise" de l'esclave a resurgi avec l'avènement du néolibéralisme. Et se propage au-delà de la couleur de peau. full article>
The Associated Press
Nov 03, 2013, © cbcnews
Many of the ills of the modern world — starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease — are likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change, a leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts. full article>
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
Monday 4 November 2013, © The Guardian
Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, has attacked the US government for apparently breaking into the connections that link the company's data centres around the world as "outrageous" and described other surveillance practices as "possibly illegal". full article>
Saturday, Nov. 02 2013, © The Globe and Mail
David Cronenberg doesn't watch his old films and keeps few souvenirs from them, so his recent viewing of the many props, posters and costumes laid out in a new Toronto exhibition about his five decades of filmmaking must have been a bit like rediscovering favourite toys in the attic. But the renowned director has so often groped for the shapes of things to come that it's no surprise that David Cronenberg: Evolution got him thinking not just about the past, but the future as well. full article>
There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out.
Monday 28 October 2013, © The Guardian
As a teenager I would try to imagine what I would say to Lou Reed if I ever met him. I'd turn questions over in my mind: perhaps I'd be able to eke out some hitherto unrecorded detail of Factory life, or draw him on the meaning of an obscure lyric. Maybe he could tell me whether he'd really been about to kiss David Bowie in that famous picture. Or whether he did in fact detest poor Nico. But no question I could think of felt right. He'd be bound to get pissed off, which would be the last thing I'd want. My fantasy ended with us just sitting there in silence, and he'd smile at me. I'd smile back. That was enough. full article>
Music was what bothered me, what interested me.
Monday 28 October 2013, © The Guardian
The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has summoned the US ambassador to explain the latest revelations to emerge from the files leaked by Edward Snowden, which suggest the National Security Agency tracked more than 60m phone calls in Spain in the space of a month. full article>
10 OCT 2013, © El País
"Tienen que saber que estos cursos los estoy improvisando muy poco antes de que ustedes vengan aquí: no soy sistemático, no soy ni un crítico ni un teórico, de modo que a medida que se me van planteando los problemas de trabajo, busco soluciones". Es cuando menos inquietante que un profesor empiece su primera sesión dirigiéndose a los alumnos de esta guisa. Pero se perdona si el docente es Julio Cortázar. Además, no era exactamente así. El escritor argentino llevaba su aparato de notas y un buen número de libros marcados para dar un curso sobre las claves de su obra entre octubre y noviembre de 1980 en la Universidad de Berkeley. full article
La bêtise insiste toujours.
Sunday 20 October 2013, © The Independent
Major General Jamaa Jamaa was not a popular man in Beirut. One of Syria's most senior intelligence officers in Lebanon until the withdrawal of Bashar al-Assad's troops in 2005, he was headquartered in the run-down Beau Rivage Hotel in west Beirut and also in the Bekaa town of Anjaar, where Lebanese men would be taken for interrogation and later emerge – or not emerge at all – sans teeth or nails. He was a loyal, ruthless apparatchik for Bashar's father Hafez, and his mysterious killing last week in the Syrian war provoked no tears in Beirut. The UN had interviewed Jamaa about the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri whose 2005 assassination brought about the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon. But how did Jamaa die? Syrian state television would say only that he was "martyred while carrying out his national duties to defend Syria and its people and pursuing terrorists (sic) in Deir el-Zour". full article
La fin justifie les moyens. Mais qu'est-ce qui justifiera la fin ?
WEDNESDAY 23 OCTOBER 2013, © The Independent
The Muslim world's historic – and deeply tragic – chasm between Sunni and Shia Islam is having worldwide repercussions. Syria's civil war, America's craven alliance with the Sunni Gulf autocracies, and Sunni (as well as Israeli) suspicions of Shia Iran are affecting even the work of the United Nations. full article
Il faut mettre ses principes dans les grandes choses, aux petites la miséricorde suffit.
Viernes, 25 de octubre de 2013, © Página/12
Luego de que trascendiera que las mandatarias de ambas naciones fueron alcanzadas por el espionaje de la Agencia Nacional de Seguridad norteamericana, los dos países defenderán la semana próxima en la Comisión de Derechos Humanos del organismo "el derecho a la protección de la privacidad en Internet", texto que ya le fue adelantado a la Alta Comisaria de DH de la ONU, Navi Pillay. full article>
Hacer. Hacer algo, hacer el bien, hacer pis, hacer tiempo, la acción en todas sus barajas.
October 25, 2013, © The Nation
What do Congressman Justin Amash, the libertarian-leaning Republican from Michigan, and former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who mounted unapologetically progressive campaigns for the Democratic presidential nod, have in common? full article>
Yo en realidad tengo muy pocas ideas. Yo no sé pensar. Creo que tengo intuiciones. Que veo cosas y luego, naturalmente, hay un proceso intelectivo que trata de apretarlas, de meterlas ,de conceptuarlas, con grandes pérdidas.
by Brother Elias
October 24, 2013, © disinformation.com
Pope Francis has made yet another enemy today with his new statement on faith and ideology. During Wednesday's mass, the Pope took serious issue with Christians who turn their religion into an ideology. He explained that Christianity becomes ideology when there is a lack of prayer. The Pope said that the "Christian ideology" is a sickness within the Church. He claims ideology makes people "hostile and arrogant," frightens followers, and scares people away from the Church. full article>
Cada vez que entramos en una crisis es el absurdo total, comprendé que la dialéctica sólo puede ordenar los armarios en los momentos de calma.
By Tom Philpott
Wed Oct. 23, 2013, © MotherJones
Argentina's agricultural transformation over the past 20 years—from prime producer of grass-finished beef to one of the globe's genetically modified crop-producing powerhouses—is often hailed as a triumph of high-tech ag. Starting in the 1970s and accelerating recently, high crop prices and various government policies inspired ranchers in the fertile Pampas and Chaco regions to plow up pasture—releasing large amounts to carbon in the process—to plant soybeans, mainly for export markets. In the mid-1990s, when Monsanto rolled out its soybean seeds engineered to resist herbicide, Argentina's new crop farmers were early adapters full article>
Lo absurdo no son las cosas, lo absurdo es que las cosas estén ahí y las sintamos como absurdas.
by Jim Hightower
Tuesday, October 22, 2013, © JimHightower.com
The failure of our corporate and political leaders to make sure every worker gets good health care is causing some unpleasant consequences – not just for them, but for all of us. Consequences like stomach flu.
Ill workers often spread illness. This is because millions of employees who deal directly with the public, as well as with co-workers, are not covered by paid sick leave policies. So, when they come down with something like stomach flu, they still tend to drag themselves to work rather than going to bed until they recover, for staying home means a loss of pay... or even loss of their jobs. full article>
Lo que llamamos absurdo es nuestra ignorancia.
LAURA FERNANDEZ RODRIGUEZ
25 OCTOBRE 2013, © Libération
ENQUÊTE Une candidate FN a comparé la ministre de la Justice à un singe, et ce n'est malheureusement pas un incident isolé sur les réseaux sociaux.
"Priez dans les rues, imposez-nous du halal, interdisez-nous le porc, prenez nos filles, dirigez notre pays... Tant que le Front national ne sera pas au pouvoir, vous avez tous les droits. Ouais, sauf que le Front national sera bientôt au pouvoir !", écrit Jean-Bernard Formé, tête de liste à Lorgues (Var) pour les prochaines municipales, sur sa page Facebook. Ce post, daté du 2 juillet dernier, se trouvait toujours en ligne jeudi 24 octobre. full article>
La vida, como un comentario de otra cosa que no alcanzamos, y que está ahí al alcance del salto que no damos.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2013, © Democracy Now
We look at how the United States uses drones in war, and their impact, through the eyes of one of the first U.S. drone operators to speak out. Former U.S. Air Force pilot Brandon Bryant served as a sensor operator for the Predator program from 2007 to 2011, manning the camera on the unmanned aerial vehicles that carried out attacks overseas. After he left the active duty in the Air Force, he was presented with a certificate that credited his squadron for 1,626 kills. In total, Bryant says he was involved in seven missions in which his Predator fired a missile at a human target, and about 13 people died in those strikes — actions he says left him traumatized. "The clinical definition of PTSD is an anxiety disorder associated with witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event," Bryant says. "Think how you would feel if you were part of something that you felt violated the Constitution." full article>
Probablemente de nuestros sentimientos el único que no es verdaderamente nuestro es la esperanza. La esperanza le pertenece a la vida, es la vida misma defendiéndose.
25 de octubre de 2013, © EL PAÍS
por REYES MATE
A este perdedor le van bien las cosas. Se le edita y se le cita como una autoridad indiscutible. Está a punto de convertirse en objeto de veneración y consumo, justo lo contrario de lo que él pretendió. Este éxito tiene el inconveniente de mellar su aguijón crítico y, por tanto, de traicionar su pensamiento. La cosa tiene su gracias si observamos que su escritura es todo menos de fácil digestión. Hay frases e imágenes brillantes, pero su textura es críptica y árida. ¿Cómo leer a Benjamin para sortear tantas trampas? full article>
En literatura no hay temas buenos ni temas malos, hay tan sólo temas bien o mal tratados.
By Robert Parry
October 25, 2013, © Consortiumnews.com
With the blessing of the New York Times, the Obama administration has succeeded in cementing a dubious conventional wisdom about the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons last Aug. 21 – without presenting a shred of actual evidence.
In a front-page story co-written by Michael R. Gordon, who also co-wrote the infamous "aluminum tube" article falsely accusing Iraq of building nuclear centrifuges in 2002, the Times included the U.S. allegations about Syria's chemical weapons use into its storyline as flat fact, not a point in serious dispute. full article>
Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it.
By Robert Parry
October 25, 2013, © Consortiumnews.com
Former Vice President Dick Cheney, out promoting his new book Heart about how his life was saved by very expensive heart-transplant surgery, is simultaneously praising the Tea Party, which is hard at work trying to prevent less fortunate Americans from getting anything close to the government-financed care that spared Cheney. full article>
Thursday 10 October 2013, © The Guardian
It's hardly news that the Obama administration is intensely and, in many respects, unprecedentedly hostile toward the news-gathering process. Even the most Obama-friendly journals have warned of what they call "Obama's war on whistleblowers". James Goodale, the former general counsel of the New York Times during its epic fights with the Nixon administration, recently observed that "President Obama wants to criminalize the reporting of national security information" and added: "President Obama will surely pass President Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom." full article>
("La lámpara del cuerpo es el ojo, así que si tu ojo fuere sincero, todo tu cuerpo será luminoso.")
SAN MATEO, VI, 22
Verte, qué visión tan clara.
Vivir es seguirte viendo.
Permanecer en la viva
sensación de tu recuerdo.
Verte. La distancia nace.
El cielo suprime al cielo.
La vida se multiplica
por el número de puertos.
Todo colmado por ti.
No ser más que el ojo abierto,
y eternizar el más leve
escorzo de tu silencio.
Verte para amarlo todo.
Claustro en tranquilo destierro.
Dulzor de caña lunada.
Luz en órbita de sueño.
Mortal límite de ti.
Cielo adolescente y tierno.
Núbil paciencia de playa.
Vivir es seguirte viendo.
¡Verte, Abril, verte tan sólo!
Verte: qué oración tan pura,
islas, nubes, mares, vientos,
las cinco partes del mundo
en las yemas de los dedos.
Si le monde était clair, l'art ne serait pas
CANCIÓN DONDE SE EXPLICA, BIEN EXPLICADO...
(A Dámaso Alonso)
La palabra que decimos
viene de lejos,
y no tiene definición,
Cuando dices: nunca,
cuando dices: bueno,
estás contando tu historia
Guerra de amor
El tiempo que la barba me platea
cavó mis ojos y agrandó mi frente,
va siendo en mí recuerdo transparente,
y mientras más el fondo, más clarea.
Miedo infantil, amor adolescente,
¡cuánto esta luz de otoño os hermosea!,
¡agrios caminos de la vida fea,
que también os doráis al sol poniente!
¡Cómo en la fuente donde el agua mora
resalta en piedra una leyenda escrita:
el ábaco del tiempo falta una hora!
¡Y cómo aquella ausencia en una cita,
bajo las olmas que noviembre dora,
del fondo de mi historia resucita!
La última luz
Eres de cielo hacia la tarde, tienes
ya dorada la luz en las pupilas,
como un poco de nieve atardeciendo
que sabe que atardece.
Y yo querría
cegar del corazón, cegar de verte
cayendo hacia ti misma
como la tarde cae, como la noche
ciega la luz del bosque en que camina
de copa en copa cada vez más alta,
hasta la rama isleña, sonreída
por el último sol,
¡y sé que avanzas
porque avanza la noche! y que iluminas
tres hojas solas en el bosque,
que la sombra te hará clara y distinta,
que todo el sol del mundo en ti descansa,
en ti, la retrasada, la encendida
rama del corazón en la que aún tiembla
la luz sin sol donde se cumple el día.
Par Éric Dahan, Clément Ghys, Éric Loret, Didier Péron et René Solis
7 octobre 2013, © Libération
L'homme de théâtre et de cinéma est mort hier à 68 ans. De Milan à Bayreuth ou Nanterre, il a révolutionné la mise en scène.
Parfois, on se disait : Chéreau, c'est un peu hystérique, non ? Ou électrique, selon les jours. Mais d'une hystérie qu'on reconnaissait comme la nôtre, un peu honteuse, quelque chose de mis à jour et d'irrité, de terriblement humain. Ceux qui l'avaient pris en train par le cinéma ne savaient parfois pas qu'il avait d'abord été un jeune génie de la mise en scène. Et puis les opéras. D'autres qui aimaient Nanterre n'aimaient pas ses films. Dans tous les cas, c'était une histoire galvanique, une histoire de corps. full article>
La tarde está muriendo
como un hogar humilde que se apaga.
Allá, sobre los montes,
quedan algunas brasas.
Y ese árbol roto en el camino blanco
hace llorar de lástima.
¡Dos ramas en el tronco herido, y una
hoja marchita y negra en cada rama!
¿Lloras?...Entre los álamos de oro,
lejos, la sombra del amor te aguarda.
9 October 2013, © The Times Literary Supplement
The timing is propitious for the publication of this collection of Albert Camus's newspaper writings on his native Algeria, which falls on the centenary of the author's birth – he was born in Mondovi on November 7, 1913. Equally important, Arthur Goldhammer's brilliant translation of Actuelles III (the collection's original title) also appears at a moment when Camus's writings have tragic resonance for events today in that part of the world. full article>
Friday 27 September 2013, © The Guardian
The Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday held a hearing, ostensibly to investigate various issues raised about the NSA's activities. What the hearing primarily achieved instead was to underscore what a farce the notion of Congressional oversight over the NSA is. full article>
Comment la fin justifierait-elle les moyens ? Il n'y pas de fin, seulement des moyens à perpétuité.
29/09/2013, © Huffington Post
Uno de los clérigos conservadores más importantes de Arabia Saudí, el jeque Salé al Lohaidan, ha asegurado que las mujeres que conducen coches corren el riesgo de lesionarse los ovarios y tener hijos con problemas clínicos. full article>
The mistake we make is to attribute to religions the errors and fanaticism of human beings.
—Tahar Ben Jelloun
Payne: Black Youth Are Killing Each Other "In Part, Because They Embrace A Progressiveness, Progressivism"
September 28, 2013, © MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
A modern civilization is only possible when it is accepted that singular beings exist and express themselves freely.
—Tahar Ben Jelloun
By Maggie Severns
Sat Sep. 28, 2013, © Mother Jones
Friday morning in Stockholm, the the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a key section of its Fifth Assessment Report on global warming, which found that climate change is "unequivocal," that humans are "extremely likely" to be the cause, and that the recent slowdown in the rate that surface temperatures are rising doesn't contradict any of this. full article>
L'impossible, nous ne l'atteignons pas, mais il nous sert de lanterne.
By Chris Mooney
Fri Sep. 27, 2013, © MotherJones
We woke up early to get a copy of the new United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's "Summary for Policymakers" of its Fifth Assessment Report—and pored over its very technical language so that you don't have to. full article>
Don't wait for the last judgment - it takes place every day.
25 SEP 2013, © El País
Paseaba con su hijo por Westgate el sábado pasado, el día que un comando de Al Shabab eligió para irrumpir a tiros en el centro comercial de Nairobi. El intelectual ghanés Kofi Awoonor, de 78 años, murió en el ataque y su hijo resultó herido. Debía su presencia en la capital de Kenia a su participación en un festival literario, el StoyrMoja Hay Festival, en el que figuraba como invitado más célebre, a la vera de nombres como Teju Cole, Clifton Gachagua o Nii Parkes. Precisamente la víspera de su muerte impartió una clase magistral para poetas junto al escritor y editor Kwame Dawes, que además es su sobrino y el responsable de su presencia en la cita literaria. La muerte de Awoonor coincidió con el aniversario del nacimiento de Kwame Nkrumah, líder de la independencia de Ghana. full article>
La vraie générosité envers l'avenir consiste à tout donner au présent.
All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State.
"Novelar lo que sucederá en El Cairo sería contar lo que ya pasó en Argel"
Ignacio Cembrero Madrid
25 SEP 2013, © El País
Otra vez a vueltas con la Argelia colonial. Cuando Yasmina Khadra, el más prolífico y célebre de los escritores argelinos francófonos, agarra un tema, no lo suelta hasta haberle consagrado varias novelas. Los ángeles mueren por nuestras heridas (editorial Destino) es la última que acaba de publicar, casi simultáneamente en España y en Francia, y está de nuevo dedicada a la Argelia colonial en Orán, la ciudad donde creció, aunque nació en el Sáhara. full article>
Il faut être l'homme de la pluie et l'enfant du beau temps.
Saturday 28 September 2013, © The Guardian
There is ample reason for skepticism that anything substantial will change in Iran-US relations, beginning with the fact that numerous US political and media figures are vested in the narrative that Iran is an evil threat whose desire for a peaceful resolution must not be trusted (and some hard-line factions in Iran are similarly vested in ongoing conflict). Whatever one's views are on the prospects for improving relations, the first direct communications in more than 30 years between the leaders of those two countries is a historically significant event. full article>
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 22, 2013, © The New York Times
FALFURRIAS, Tex. - By the time the woman perished, she had probably slogged 25 miles through dry ranch lands in her quest to enter the United States. She was found just feet from a highway where she might have been picked up and taken to Houston with other migrants making the same journey. full article>
Prabhjot Singh's jaw was broken by roughly two dozen assailants yelling 'Osama' and 'terrorist' on Saturday night at W. 110th St. and Lenox Ave.
By Edgar Sandoval AND Corky Siemaszko
September 23, 2013, © NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The turban-wearing Columbia University professor who was beaten up by a Harlem hate mob said Monday he'd like to give his attackers a good talking to about the Sikh religion. full article>
Por Rubén Pereyra
11.09.2013, © Revista Veintitrés
La experiencia socialista chilena y el legado político de su líder abrieron el debate en la izquierda latinoamericana. La vía pacífica al socialismo, la resistencia al golpe, las internas de las fuerzas armadas y el coraje de morir por las ideas.
"¿Viva Chile! ¿Viva el pueblo! ¿Vivan los trabajadores! Estas son mis últimas palabras y tengo la certeza de que mi sacrificio no será en vano, tengo la certeza de que, por lo menos, será una lección moral que castigará la felonía, la cobardía y la traición". full article>
"On était catholique comme on est français, cela oblige à un certain nombre des rites. À vrai dire, ces rites étaient exactement au nombre de quatre: le baptême, la première communion, le sacrement du mariage (s'il y avait mariage) et les derniers sacrements. Entre ces cérémonies forcément très espacées, on s'occupait d'autre chose, et d'abord de survivre."
"...elle ne savait pas l'histoire de France, ni ce qu'était l'histoire. Elle connaissait un peu la sienne, et à peine celle de ceux qu'elle aimait, et ceux qu'elle aimait devaient souffrir comme elle."
"...il essayait en vain de revoir, d'imaginer son père qui disparaissait derrière ce pays immense et hostile, fondait dans l'histoire anonyme de ce village et de cette plaine."
—Le premier homme, d'Albert Camus
By Peter Hart
September 19, 2013, © FAIR
Always read the Corrections box in the New York Times–you never know what you might find. From today's edition:
Because of an editing error, a picture caption on September 9 with an article about a request by Secretary of State John Kerry that the European Union suspend its planned restrictions on financial assistance to Israeli institutions to show the Israeli public the benefit of pursuing a peace agreement with the Palestinians misidentified the setting of the photograph. It is the Palestinian village of Beit Jala in the West Bank–not Gilo, a nearby Israeli development in Jerusalem.
The print edition of the paper had a caption that called Gilo "an Israeli development."
This is inadequate. Gilo is an unlawful Israeli settlement–or colony, if you prefer–on the occupied West Bank. full article>
by ROB URIE
SEPTEMBER 20-22, 2013, © COUNTERPUNCH
There is a long-standing tension between political, cultural and economic explanations of national policies and international relations. Cultural explanations have tended to either tie closely to artifact—e.g. the Sharia prohibition against paying interest on loans, or to devolve quickly into antique racist blather, e.g. the 'Arab character' in Western narrative. The tension between political and economic explanations relies on a different dynamic. Political power and economic power are both forms of social power. But as the saw regarding the Western academic practice of separating economics from politics has it, 'economics only deals with solved social problems.' And as any reading of mainstream (capitalist) Western economics has it, the structure of its fundamental premise is (1) we are all in this economy together so (2) whatever arrangement of circumstance produces the most income / wealth / 'utility' is best regardless of how it is distributed. However, as France's King Louis 16th found as his head was being forcibly separated from his body, distribution matters.
Economism, or crude economic explanations of social relations such as Nobel Prize winning economist Gary Becker's 'utility maximizing' choice of spouse / partner, is clearly devoid of history, culture and political context. But explanation outside of context is the goal of Mr. Becker and mainstream Western economics—to posit theories that apply, however implausibly, across time and space, geography and circumstance. Keynesian economics brings social life back into the picture in the sense that Mr. Becker's utility maximizing individuals produce collective outcomes that are different from the mere aggregation of individual economistic 'satisfactions,' sometimes catastrophically so. But as current circumstance in 'the West' has it, Keynesian economists can proffer more plausible explanations of social-economic relationships in capitalist economies than 'micro-economists' can but the last time Keynesian economics had the ear of the political class was when the White House was surrounded by angry citizens ready to burn it to the ground. Apparently the political class is maximizing some more complicated notion of utility.
The necessary starting point of any discussion relating capitalism to broader political economy is to distinguish between capitalism in fact versus theory. To be clear, this exercise bears no relation to the 'realist' school of thought. Capitalism in theory comes with a large and intrusive institutional structure needed to keep a political economy capitalist while in fact the accumulation of capital produces the political power to push it out of the way. Like the celibate religious sects of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, free market capitalism—that without the developed institutions needed to 'manage' it, tended to last for one generation, two at the most before its concentrated political-economic power shut the door on subsequent 'market' competition. Recognition of this tendency was behind the anti-monopoly regulations and forced de-consolidation of industries in the progressive era and in the broader attempts to regulate capitalism at the industry and macroeconomic levels coming out of the Great Depression. Having now shoved aside these lessons of history the current era of finance capitalism is in the later stages of the consolidation of political-economic power. Discussion of 'capitalism' without its theoretical content being placed in the modern context of highly concentrated wealth and its subsequent hold on Western political systems is to say nothing when the implied intent is to say something.
What is often an unfathomable mystery in one dimension finds relatively simple, or at least straightforward, explanation in another. The great political mystery of this age is how in an alleged democracy, where citizens can express their approval or disapproval of government policies at the ballot box, these very same government policies almost exclusively benefit a tiny minority of the already wealthy? (Increasing income concentration is tied in history and fact to finance—the same Wall Street that was bailed out in 2008 – ???? and continues to exist on government guarantees). Classical liberal political theory posits a tight bond between capitalism and political democracy. The U.S. economic system is a complex hybrid of 'capitalism' and the overwhelming majority of citizens favor policies that broadly benefit the public, and yet the policies favored by a tiny minority of wealthy 'citizens' are the law of the land. In the political dimension this is a mystery but in the economic dimension the use of economic power to buy political power is relatively straightforward—'Citizens United' anyone? Anyone? And in a Marxian frame the relation becomes symbiosis—in capitalist economies the state exists as a tool of the concentrated economic power in whose interests it acts.
In political space one of the great mysteries is why / how the tiny state of Israel achieves such capture over U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East? The typical less than helpful answer is 'the Israel lobby,' one step removed from 'Israel' but no more illuminating. According to the CIA the GDP of Israel in 2012 is, depending on the method of calculation, between $240 and $252 billion USD and U.S. GDP is about $16.6 trillion. $16.6 trillion is sixteen thousand and six hundred billion dollars. There is no direct economic relationship to explain the power of Israel over U.S. foreign policy because the scale is so wildly imbalanced on the side of the U.S. The answer then must be geo-political and a quick glance at a map of the Middle East places Israel in the vicinity of Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia, the very centers of oil geo-politics by the U.S. for the last century. Before the Iranian Revolution in 1979 Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel were strategic allies of the U.S. in the region. Following the revolution—largely unforeseen by the U.S. at the time, U.S. allies dwindled to Saudi Arabia and Israel. Israel's ascendance as close strategic ally of the U.S. dates to this period. With the Cold War now 'officially' over, the only plausible geo-political 'value' of Israel to the U.S. is its proximity to Middle Eastern oil. And to be clear, the oil and gas industry has been among the most profitable capitalist enterprises in the history of the world.
There was a time as the George W. Bush administration was selling its war on Iraq that the point was regularly made that Mr. Bush himself was an 'oil man,' as was his father, George H.W. Bush, his powerful Vice President Dick Cheney, his National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice and his Commerce Secretary Don Evans. And they were launching war on a nation believed to have the world's second largest supply of oil reserves. Geo-political rationales were offered by the neo-cons in the Bush administration, largely the protection of Israel and 'friends in the region' from WMDs (link below). But the major architects of the war believed Iraqi WMDs were but a future possibility (link below) shortly before they came to office. At that time they, including Mr. Bush's Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, argued publicly that protecting the world's supply of oil was a central reason for attacking Iraq. Taking the totality of circumstance—former oil company executives launching war on an oil rich nation on a pretext they publicly proclaimed they didn't believe shortly before taking office—and that upon launching their war proved to be non-existent, requires a willingness to overlook the obvious—that the war on Iraq was for oil, that is difficult to support.
That the Bush administration sold the American press and public the geo-political rationales for war while the economic dimension was kept out of 'polite' discussion goes far toward illuminating the diversionary role of geo-politics in U.S. foreign policy—were the actual reasons for U.S. foreign policy given the American public wouldn't support, fight and die for them, or so it is implied by those doing the selling. Again, the Bush administration went out of its way to insist its war on Iraq had no relation to Iraqi oil. Oil most certainly does have geo-political import outside of direct commerce—'capitalism,' and it is a major factor in the conduct of war. One of the largest challenges in running the machinery of modern warfare is to maintain a secure supply of energy. This was a major logistical challenge in WWII and in all U.S. wars since. But note the circular logic at work here– success in wars requires access to oil and wars for oil in turn then make geo-political sense. This is a recipe for ongoing global social catastrophe just as seems to be playing out in the Middle East. The largest consumer of oil in the U.S. is reported to be the Pentagon. And to cut through the chatter, oil company profits and oil executive paychecks went through the roof during Mr. Bush's war on Iraq and remain near their highest in history.
Rough variants of capitalism were behind the growth of industry in the West and industry is the primary military / non-military user of oil. The strategic economic importance of oil to capitalist economies precedes its geo-political import because industry (an economy) is needed to build the military materiel of geo-politics before modern warfare is even possible. This is true from the genesis of industrial capitalism through the production – destruction cycles of economic / geo-political actors across modern history. The oil shocks of the 1970s were sold as geo-political in nature with the first in 1973 even called the 'Arab Oil Embargo' even though Iran, then still a U.S. client state, and Venezuela, were the main OPEC members in favor of embargo and both had little quarrel with U.S.-Israeli relations. And multi-national oil companies based in the U.S. were the primary actors holding oil off of world markets to raise the price. What was demonstrated with the embargoes was the effect that suddenly limited access to oil had on Western industrial economies that were structured to be wholly dependent on plentiful supplies at relatively low cost. Lacking the independent imperial relations needed to secure plentiful, cheap oil France and Japan both aggressively moved their nuclear energy programs forward. Given the relative immobility of nuclear energy, as opposed to nuclear weapons, these programs were conceived and built for economic purposes. The embargoes caused swift, steep recessions and the paradox in Western economics of rising prices coincident with falling economic production. The modern storyline of U.S. energy dependence / independence was borne here and the last embargo in 1979 resulted from oil-rich Iran declaring its independence from the U.S. And the hard turn right in Western academic economics evolved from the seeming paradox of 'stagflation.'
The point is sometimes made that political instability runs counter to the interests of capitalists inferring that the desire for profits provides a 'natural' check against the historical tendency of capitalist economies to go to war at the drop of a hat and keep fighting years or decades after the possibility of achieving geo-political goals has passed. The theory itself requires a quaint notion of capitalism akin to antique Scottish economist Adam Smith's petite bourgeois shop keeps who may have feared they would lose business if the rabble chased good paying customers away. With Wall Street as an example, this theory fails in two central ways—Wall Street uses economic power backed by the threat of state power and the power of Western institutions like the IMF (International Monetary Fund) to insert itself into political economies around the globe and then restructure them for its own benefit. (For examples: see Goldman Sachs' currency swaps and their effect on Greek political economy or the effect of IMF 'structural adjustment' programs in South America). The great mystery of the 'austerity' hoisted on Western economies (that defies 'political' explanations) is straightforwardly the same creditor's view of corporate accounts—the banker's view used in 'workouts' of corporate debt, applied to national accounts. The point: through exploitative economic extraction based on naked power relationships Wall Street is both economically and politically destabilizing around the globe. Capitalist imperialism isn't the mutually beneficial system of trade between equals of theory—the IMF, the supreme tool of finance capitalism, is one of the most economically and politically destabilizing forces in world history
The second way Wall Street is destabilizing is through an internal paradox of capitalism itself. Even if Wall Street were populated by Adam Smith's shop keeps opening their doors in the morning and waiting for customers to come in and transact for a modest profit, the 'system' of capitalism, its social component that produces a collective outcome different from the simple aggregation of the parts, is fundamentally destabilizing. In recent years the late American economist Hyman Minsky has become best known for his theory that 'stability is destabilizing,' that in capitalist economies with developed financial institutions periods of sustained stability lead to increased risk taking that produces financial bubbles that in turn cause economic crises when these bubbles inevitably burst. Mr. Minsky developed his theories for 'finance' capitalism, capitalism where finance plays a prominent role. But even industrial capitalism in which finance plays a less prominent role has regularly recurring crises caused by commodities booms and busts and wars. Economists and capitalists can disagree over the causes of these crises but their history as regularly recurring events is undeniable.
One other dimension of the de-stabilizing effect of capitalism is illustrated through the economic crises in Western economies of recent decades. Wall Street in particular, and the corporate West more broadly, has been provided its wish list in terms of the freedom to conduct business as it sees fit. Wall Street was effectively deregulated, allowed to increase leverage, allowed to shift risks (within the system of finance and without) and allowed to engage in predatory practices that actively harmed 'its' customers under the rationale that business leaders know what is best for business. In 2008 Wall Street hung itself with the rope it had asked for and took the global economy down with it. If these same Wall Street executives were asked if they wanted periodic crises of increasing intensity that produce widespread economic catastrophe the most likely answer is 'no.' But the desire for both economic stability and profits goes to Keynes' insight that individual rationalities don't lead to systemic rationalities. Wall Street got exactly what it thought would be good for business and economic catastrophe was the result. But the more potent insight from Marx is that the system of capitalism itself is unstable—prone to crises, from the symbiosis of concentrated economic power and the state power that serves its interests. In practice capitalism is a system of economic imperialism. The capitalist cartoon of bourgeois shop keeps trading celery for shoes or corporate CEOs wishing for political stability as they install warmongering political leaders is just that, a cartoon.
When the U.S. neo-cons in the George W. Bush administration argued that Iraq's, and more broadly the Middle East's, oil is of strategic importance they left unstated the historical development that makes it strategically important. The circular logic of the geo-political explanation, that oil is strategically important because it is strategically important, leaves out how Western capitalist development made it so through strategies of engineered dependence. Capitalism, to the extent the term is descriptively accurate, is the political economy that built this world where 'energy' plays the economic role it does. In the early twentieth century a group of industrialists lobbied local governments to tear out existing mass transit systems so that they could sell cars, tires, gasoline and roads. The last serious discussion of energy conservation in the U.S. was when Jimmy Carter was in the White House. In the middle of the most recent U.S. war on Iraq the George W. Bush administration passed a tax subsidy to encourage businesses to purchase the largest gas-guzzling cars in existence—'Hummers.' Global warming caused by burning fossil fuels threatens the continuing existence of life on this planet. So put another way, over a million people in Iraq died so 'we' in the West can drive SUVs. And Iraq was but one of America's wars fought for oil.
Comedian Jon Stewart, among others, has made the point that for the all of the death, destruction and carnage the U.S. caused in Iraq 'we'— U.S. corporations, don't even control the oil—the Chinese have been large purchasers of Iraq's oil without having launched a devastating war to get it. What this argument misses is that oil industry profits went through the roof from the higher energy prices geo-political unrest tends to generate. The George W. Bush administration probably had no concept of the catastrophe it would create with its war in Iraq. But if you go to the neo-con literature their theories have it that engineered chaos is a form of 'winning' because preventing other monopolies, both economic and political, from arising is as important as achieving local monopoly power when you already have global monopoly power. And for those who weren't paying attention, through illegal short selling, CDS (Credit Default Swaps) depredations and backdoor deals through the New York Fed, Wall Street was in full cannibalization mode during the very worst of the financial calamity in 2008. Capitalism is a catastrophe-generating machine.
Finally, for those who have moved on from the U.S. war on Syria story, the war is proceeding largely as planned. The CIA is arming and training 'rebels' and when oil and military industrial profits dictate a pretext for broadening the war will be created. Look for geo-political explanations like 'humanitarian intervention,' 'U.S. interests in the region,' and 'democracy' to know the fix is in.
Rob Urie is an artist and political economist in New York. His book Zen Economics will be published by CounterPunch / AK Press in Spring 2014.
By Peter Hart
Sep 19, 2013, © FAIR
On last night's NBC Nightly News (9/18/13), correspondent Ann Curry had a big exclusive: a sit-down interview with new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The newscast kicked off with anchor Brian Williams announcing:
Our NBC News exclusive: Ann Curry in Iran with that nation's new president. His first interview tonight, big revelations about nuclear weapons. How big? Curry came on to explain that Rouhani was "clearly trying to send a message" that "there is a different Iran." full article>
By Lawrence S. Wittner
September 17, 2013, © Consortiumnews.com
The apparent employment of chemical weapons in Syria should remind us that, while weapons of mass destruction exist, there is a serious danger that they will be used. That danger is highlighted by an article in the September/October 2013 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Written by two leading nuclear weapons specialists, Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris of the Federation of American Scientists, the article provides important information about nuclear weapons that should alarm everyone concerned about the future of the planet. full article>
by JOHN PILGER
SEPTEMBER 19, 2013, © COUNTERPUNCH
The most important anniversary of the year was the 40th anniversary of 11 September 1973 – the crushing of the democratic government of Chile by General Augusto Pinochet and Henry Kissinger, then US secretary of state. The National Security Archive in Washington has posted new documents that reveal much about Kissinger's role in an atrocity that cost thousands of lives.
In declassified tapes, Kissinger is heard planning with President Richard Nixon the overthrow of President Salvador Allende. They sound like Mafiosi thugs. Kissinger warns that the "model effect" of Allende's reformist democracy "can be insidious". He tells CIA director Richard Helms: "We will not let Chile go down the drain", to which Helms replies: "I am with you." With the slaughter under way, Kissinger dismisses a warning by his senior officials of the scale of the repression. Secretly, he tells Pinochet, "You did a great service to the West."
I have known many of Pinochet's and Kissinger's victims. Sara De Witt, a student at the time, showed me the place where she was beaten, assaulted and electrocuted. On a wintry day in the suburbs of Santiago, we walked through a former torture centre known as Villa Grimaldi, where hundreds like her suffered terribly and were murdered or "disappeared".
Understanding Kissinger's criminality is vital when trying to fathom what the US calls its "foreign policy". Kissinger remains an influential voice in Washington, admired and consulted by Barack Obama. When Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain commit crimes with US collusion and weapons, their impunity and Obama's hypocrisy are pure Kissinger. Syria must not have chemical weapons, but Israel can have them and use them. Iran must not have a nuclear programme, but Israel can have more nuclear weapons than Britain. This is known as "realism" or realpolitik by Anglo-American academics and think-tanks that claim expertise in "counter-terrorism" and "national security", which are Orwellian terms meaning the opposite.
In recent weeks, the New Statesman has published articles by John Bew, an academic at Kings College war studies department, which the cold warrior Laurence Freedman made famous. Bew laments the parliamentary vote that stopped David Cameron joining Obama in lawlessly attacking Syria and the hostility of most British people to bombing other nations. A note at the end of his articles says he will "take up the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations" in Washington. If this is not a black joke, it a profanity on those like Sara de Witt and Kissinger's countless other victims, not least those who died in the holocaust of his and Nixon's secret, illegal bombing of Cambodia.
This doctrine of "realism" was invented in the US following the second world war and sponsored by the Ford, Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations, the OSS (forerunner of the CIA) and the Council on Foreign relations. In the great universities, students were taught to regard people in terms of their usefulness or expendability: in other words, their threat to "us". This narcissism served to justify the cold war, its moralising myths and cataclysmic risks, and when that was over, the "war on terror". Such a "transatlantic consensus" often found its clearest echo in Britain, with the British elite's enduring nostalgia for empire. Tony Blair used it to commit and justify his war crimes until his lies got the better of him. The violent death of more than a thousand people in Iraq every month is his legacy; yet his views are still courted, and his chief collaborator, Alastair Campbell, is a jolly after-dinner speaker and the subject of obsequious interviews. All the blood, it seems, has been washed away.
Syria is the current project. Outflanked by Russia and public opinion, Obama has now embraced the "path of diplomacy". Has he? As Russian and US negotiators arrived in Geneva on 12 September, the US increased its support for the Al-Qaeda affiliated militias with weapons sent clandestinely through Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Gulf. The Godfather has no intention of deserting his proxies in Syria. Al Qaeda was all but created by the CIA's Operation Cyclone that armed the mujahedin in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Since then, jihadists have been used to divide and Arab societies and in eliminating the threat of pan-Arab nationalism to western "interests" and Israel's lawless colonial expansion. This is Kissinger-style "realism".
In 2006, I interviewed Duane "Dewey" Clarridge, who ran the CIA in Latin America in the 1980s. Here was a true "realist". Like Kissinger and Nixon on the tapes, he spoke his mind. He referred to Salvador Allende as "whatshisname in Chile" and said "he had to go because it was in our national interests". When I asked what gave him the right to overthrow governments, he said, "Like it or lump it, we'll do what we like. So just get used to it, world."
The world is no longer getting used to it. In a continent ravaged by those whom Nixon called "our bastards", Latin American governments have defied the likes of Clarridge and implemented much of Allende's dream of social democracy - which was Kissinger's fear. Today, most of Latin America is independent of US foreign policy and free of its vigilantism. Poverty has been cut almost by half; children live beyond the age of five; the elderly learn to read and write. These remarkable advances are invariably reported in bad faith in the west and ignored by the "realists". That must never lessen their value as a source of optimism and inspiration for all of us.
John Pilger's new film, Utopia, will have its premiere at the National Film Theatre in London on 3 October and open in cinemas in November. www.johnpilger.com
By Robert Parry
September 19, 2013, © Consortiumnews.com
False history can kill, as the American people have seen again in the slaughter of 12 people working at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. on Monday, when an emotionally disturbed gunman gained access to the military facility and opened fire, adding the site to a long list of mass-murder scenes across the United States.
Though the focus after the latest rampage has been on the need for better mental health detection and for better security at bases, the underlying story is again how easy it is for people in the United States, like the troubled Aaron Alexis, to obtain lethal weaponry - and how hard it is to keep guns away from dangerous individuals. full article>
Por Juan Sasturain
Lunes, 16 de septiembre de 2013, © Página 12
Este año, de una revista futbolera, a contramano de las facilidades y el verseo, me pidieron que escribiera algo sobre el Huracán del '73, del que se cumplían años justos. Mi respuesta fue vaga, amistosa, enredada y muy sentida. Escribí lo que me parecía a partir de demasiadas salvedades (aclaraciones previas que -como su nombre no lo indica- no "salvan" a nadie) y terminé redactando(me) algo que si no era un manual de instrucciones sobre "Cómo ganar la sortija para un viaje en Globo" (sic), tenía algo de mapa de ruta ideológico -si eso existe-, o de recetario acaso inútil para la supervivencia en tiempos no sólo futboleramente desangelados. Quiero volver ahora sobre la idea y sobre aquel texto. full article>
September 11, 2013, © Democracy Now
April 29, 2013, © Your Middle East
On 5th July, Algeria will celebrate its independence anniversary, marking half-a-century of being set free from the convulsions of a deep, protracted, bloody and divisive war. Algeria's independence was the coup-de-grâce for French hegemonic rule in North Africa, heralding the final installment in the chapter of European colonialism. full article>
September 11, 2013, © Democracy Now
In this web-only exclusive, MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky talks about the past 60 years of U.S.-Iranian relations since the 1953 coup organized by the CIA. "The crucial fact about Iran, which we should begin with, is that for the past 60 years not a day has passed in which the U.S. has not been torturing Iranians," Chomsky says. "It began with a military coup which overthrew the parliamentary regime in 1953." full article>
By Alon Pinkas
12.09.13, © Haaretz
You knew it was coming. After several weeks of prudent and calculated silence; after numerous clarifications that Israel in neither involved nor has a stake in the Syrian civil war; after consenting to a request to assist President Obama in his efforts to muster support in Congress and all that time knowing that a U.S. strike on Syria may not necessarily benefit Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu just had to say full article>
Thursday 12 September 2013, © The Guardian
Exactly 20 years have passed since the Oslo accords were signed on the White House lawn. For all their shortcomings and ambiguities, the accords constituted a historic breakthrough in the century-old conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. It was the first peace agreement between the two principal parties to the conflict: Israelis and Palestinians. full article>
10 SEP 2013, © El País
El golpe de Estado de Pinochet, la muerte de Salvador Allende en el Palacio de la Moneda y la dictadura en Chile han proporcionado a las artes, y particularmente a la literatura, un material excepcionalmente poderoso para redibujar el imaginario del país y desde ahí iluminar con más crudeza y estremecimiento la historia reciente de Chile. Sin duda que otros oficios y disciplinas como el periodismo de investigación y la historia también han contribuido a revelar lo que está detrás de las versiones oficiales y la enumeración cronológica, pero es en la novela, el cuento y la poesía donde mejor se revela el poder de la palabra para construir un relato que tiene más fuerza y hondura. full article>
11/09/2013, © La Vanguardia
Ha sido el reportaje de su vida, aunque probablemente preferiría no haberlo tenido que escribir. Domenico Quirico, del diario turinés La Stampa, plasmó su experiencia de 152 días de cautiverio en Siria en un largo artículo, emotivo y escalofriante, en el que no ahorró juicios muy severos sobre sus secuestradores y sobre los rebeldes sirios en general. "Nos tenían como a animales", recordó Quirico, que cayó en manos de los rebeldes el 9 de abril, junto al profesor belga que le acompañaba, full article>
Tuesday 10 September 2013, © The Guardian
On my wall is the Daily Express front page of September 5 1945 and the words: "I write this as a warning to the world." So began Wilfred Burchett's report from Hiroshima. It was the scoop of the century. For his lone, perilous journey that defied the US occupation authorities, Burchett was pilloried, not least by his embedded colleagues. He warned that an act of premeditated mass murder on an epic scale had launched a new era of terror. full article>
James Ball, Julian Borger and Glenn Greenwald
Thursday 5 September 2013, © Guardian Weekly
US and British intelligence agencies have successfully cracked much of the online encryption relied upon by hundreds of millions of people to protect the privacy of their personal data, online transactions and emails, according to top-secret documents revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden. full article>
by ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
SEPTEMBER 6-8, 2013, © Counterpunch
Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky gained much notoriety from their seminal book, Manufacturing Consent, more than two decades ago. The central thesis of that book - that political and media elites construct propaganda narratives in order to build support for U.S. foreign policy - remains as relevant today as ever. Obama's proposed intervention in Syria is a case in point. Public support for military action remains quite low - ranging from between one-quarter to one-third of Americans according to recent polls. That's likely to change in coming weeks to months as the administration ramps up its pro-intervention rhetoric, and as political elites, reporters, and media pundits uncritically repeat and embrace his messages. full article>
By Noam Chomsky
Saturday, Aug 17, 2013, © Salon.com
I'd like to comment on topics that I think should regularly be on the front pages but are not — and in many crucial cases are scarcely mentioned at all or are presented in ways that seem to me deceptive because they're framed almost reflexively in terms of doctrines of the powerful.
In these comments I'll focus primarily on the United States for several reasons: One, it's the most important country in terms of its power and influence. Second, it's the most advanced – not in its inherent character, but in the sense that because of its power, other societies tend to move in that direction. The third reason is just that I know it better. But I think what I say generalizes much more widely – at least to my knowledge, obviously there are some variations. So I'll be concerned then with tendencies in American society and what they portend for the world, given American power. full article>
June 4, 2013
The influential Egyptian Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi recently issued a fatwa, or religious proclamation, with regard to Syria. The sheik called for Sunni Muslims throughout the Middle East to join the rebels in their fight against the regime in Damascus. Formerly an advocate of improved relations between the Sunni and Shiite sects, including the Lebanese Shiite guerrilla organization Hizballah, Qaradawi's decree further points to sectarian relations moving in the opposite direction. A week earlier, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah openly declared involvement in the civil war on the side of Damascus and promised victory. Sectarian lines—within Syria and across the greater region—are growing sharper by the minute. full article>
Demande beaucoup à l'homme et exige peu de Dieu.
In Other Words
Nothing in life is to be feared.
It is only to be understood.
Nothing is easier than to
denounce the evildoer;
nothing is more difficult
than to understand him.
I do not study in order to know more, rather to be less ignorant.
—SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ
We must make haste then,
not only because we are daily
nearer to death, but also
because the conception of
things and the understanding
of them cease first.
Our latest release
Perceval Press is pleased to announce the release of HIJOS DE LA SELVA/SONS OF THE FOREST. The book outlines the story of German Ethnographer and explorer Max Schmidt, and includes many of the remarkable photographs that he made in the field while studying the cultures of the Mato Grosso region of Brazil and remote areas of Paraguay between 1900 and 1935.
Conquered people tend to
Wild Horse Preservation
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come.
Words are like days:
coloring books or pickpockets,
signposts or scratching posts,
fakirs over hot coals.
Certain words must be earned
just as emotions are suffered
before they can be uttered
- clean as a kept promise.
Words as witnesses
testifying their truths
squalid or rarefied
But, words must not carry
more than they can
it's not good for their backs
or their reputations.
For, whether they dance alone
or with an invisible partner,
every word is a cosmos
dissolving the inarticulate