"The wealthy, not only by private fraud but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the people some part of their daily living. Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind these commonwealths which nowadays do flourish, I perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men in procuring their own commodities under the name and authority of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that which they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labor of the people for as little money and effort as possible."

Thomas More, Utopia

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Reading Material

Hello friends, its been a while huh? I've been somewhat overwhelmed lately with life's demands and, try as I might, there was just no putting them aside. Things are finally back in alignment to a large degree and I can feel my energy returning to the point where thinking and writing is again feasible.

Ok, enough of that. It's time to get back to the subject nearest and dearest to my heart: my country's fucked up foreign and domestic policies. Today I came across an essay on TomDispatch.com which is without question one of the most important sources for information that's generally downplayed or ignored in the mainstream media. This particular essay was penned by Chalmers Johnson whose trilogy on American Empire, Blowback [written before 9/11 yet remarkably prescient], The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemisis: Fall of the American Republic are simply must reads for anyone who gives a damn about this country and where it's headed.

Johnson reviews The Matador's Cape, America's Reckless, Response to Terror by Stephen Holmes--itself a review of several books by various neo-cons explaining away the shit-pile they helped construct. What I found most striking about this essay was a quote Johnson includes from Andrew Bacevich, writer of The New American Militarism, about our prospects under possible Democratic leadership in 2008:

"None of the Democrats vying to replace President Bush is doing so with the promise of reviving the system of checks and balances…. The aim of the party out of power is not to cut the presidency down to size but to seize it, not to reduce the prerogatives of the executive branch but to regain them."

Encouraging isn't it? Read on.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great reading Coldie!!! Thanks.

I also went on to antiwarradio.com which there is a link. It is very interesting especially the program on Jose Padilla.

The Democrats, as stated in your post, are more concerned about regaining the Oval Office rather than doing the right thing and getting us the hell out of there.

When co-officers tell me it is wrong to abandon the Iraqi people, I ask them the following: "Oh, so you were concerned about the Iraqi people BEFORE we invaded their country?"

Nope, they could care less about the people there. They only wish to support their leader.

Coldtype said...

"Nope, they could care less about the people there. They only wish to support their leader"
-5:19 PM

Exactly. If the war were going "well", that is to say if our forces were succeeding in subjugating the Iraqi people to the will of Haliburton and Exxon/Mobil, then the campaign would have their full support.

francina larmon said...

I read a small portion of blowback a few months ago, and I thought it was really incredible while I was reading it, and I liked it for a lot of reasons, some of which still stand, but I have become concerned that a lot of my interpretation of it is limited, not by the usual western arrogance, and exceptionalism, but because I may put too much power in the hands of those responsible for scenarios like "blowback." The simplest (and sometimes only) way I look at our foreign policy is in terms of where money and weaponry (and death) are flowing, and where the cycle of violence inhabits most often. I've read a little bit from you many months ago in a long volley at another site, and recently reopened that to see who of the decidedly small population who venture where I do, were involved.

I was wondering if there were any special insights into Chalmers Johnson that you could deliver to me, and if you are familiar with any of the criticisms Blowback has received, if you would be willing, maybe, to crush any of those you are familiar with?