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JackRiddler

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 24,471

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One could go back to any given historical point

to justify any statement made about which invented nationlet supposedly belongs on what patch of holy soil in the Balkans. (I speak as someone with family ties to one of the many constructs.) Especially in the Balkans, every nationalism dreams of borders that conflict with every other, based on the claims and myths of long-dead generations that are often valid in their historical context, but border on the absurd or worse as justifications for present-day action.

What has been the result? The best damned idea was to fashion a single multi-ethnic Yugoslavia, and it's tragic that the various revanchists revived the micronationalisms (with support from the same old Great Powers) and brought on civil war when the economic crisis hit.

But anyway, I'm not getting into the Kosovo '99 business here. It's complicated, even if I have a firm opinion.

The Rwandan and Cambodian cases are much more clear cut. Both involved long-running RISK-style interventions by the U.S. (and France in Rwanda) so it's ridiculous to say there should have been a magical switch to a more high-minded form of intervention that saved people's lives at the decisive point. (How about a confession of the U.S. role and exposure of the French role, with an end to arms supply and a demand that all killing cease, for a start? It might actually provide the moral standing if you then want to play shining knight who prevents further killing.)

But more importantly from the present day, here too, it's arbitrary to choose one past moment over another as the one to debate on the question of "intervene or not intervene," especially in retrospect.

Rather, a rational policymaking elite would have stopped the geopolitical wankery known as "realism" and sought a long term global vision with integrity for peace decades earlier.

The big global power could have and still can lead the way in fostering a vision for peace that adopts a perspective of decades, rather than one focused on gaining next week's advantage in some geopolitical tabletop game with real blood on the ground 6,000 miles away. It is on the U.S. as top dog to initiate an end to the global arms trade and military aid system, cease supporting "enemies of my enemy" (no matter how evil), lead negotiations to scale back all militaries, abjure secret policies and covert interventions of all kinds, open records, stop developing the next generation of kill machines (and selling the last generation to despots), etc. etc.

Hardly. The U.S. was intervening the whole time.

The U.S. had armed the RPF, which had been organized in Uganda under the U.S.-backed Museveni. Kagame was training at Ft. Leavenworth when he received word he'd be leading the RPF on the death of its former commander. The indisputably government-run genocide took place in the context of this government losing the civil war against RPF forces entering from Uganda. At that point the U.S. was not going to intervene directly, because this might have had the effect of suspending hostilities in a war that its side was about to win.

France meanwhile backed the genocidal government with arms and special forces, and used a UN resolution as the pretext to intervene, securing a safe zone for the retreat of government troops and genocidaire militias into then Zaire. In the context of what was (also) a proxy war between the imperialist powers of France and U.S., the myth of Western "inaction" is a bitter joke on the victims. But it has persisted because it buttresses the R2P ideology (a.k.a. Samantha Power doctrine) that has justified other interventions since. Such as in Libya.

What if Western powers had shown vision and principle? What if they had steered clear of any covert or overt interventions, and given no military support to any side in the region, in the decades before 1994? What if they had consistently encouraged peaceful development and created fair trade conditions with these countries? We can never know if the outcomes would have been different in any given case.

They hope to get at his phone lists...

Also, the platform, being worth nothing, is an easy concession.

In fact, the ritual of concession is more important than anything that will be gotten in the way of platform planks.

Platforms are even less meaningful than spoken campaign promises. Once elected a president is going to do what they do, promises be damned, and let The Daily Show run footage of the flip-flops.

But the platform? How many people will know what's in it? How many will care? How many presidents can even quote their own party's? Let's get real.

Sanders at least has been consistent in his messages -- which is why I laugh when people say, hey it's always the same stump speech. Why not? And he's honest in rationally admitting he can't get anything without a fight, without a big movement in the streets and workplaces. These are good signs as far I am concerned.

Could be apocryphal so editing away...

(It's possible this never happened and anyway I don't even know who Allen Iverson is, but the purported speech was funny and true to me so I posted it.)

Allen Iverson on the "violence" of Sanders supporters in Nevada:

"But we're talking about **flipped chairs** man. What are we talking about? Chairs? We're talking about chairs, man. We're talking about chairs. We're talking about chairs. We ain't talking about capitalism running amok, racism everywhere, ecological crisis, political system run by rich people. We're talking about **flipped chairs** man. But we're talking about chairs right now."

Sorry, can only find FB link.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154132146818361&set=a.10151061949538361.454442.648013360&type=3&theater

An outfit that claims to be the one-stop for rating "facts" is already dodgy.

And then then they get themselves involved in this? The facts are not particularly in dispute (unless they want to take on the "chair-throwing" and "violence" claims - an interesting choice to avoid those, although they are much more clearly definable as facts with clear options of true or untrue). The meaning is in dispute, and these would-be heroes of positivism have no special authority.

This is an editorial stance, not a "fact check."

Caution: Possible images of violence.

Debate: Which of these pictures shows violence in progress?





Thesis: Only one does.

Yes exactly.

Although they are on a global level and there's been a small but not inisignicant diversification of the topmost wealthy group - in principle more than in reality.

But the economy more than ever is built for the very wealthy and their immediate operational servants in the transnational corporations and political realms. With old privileges not yet broken down at lower class levels, but no longer meaning strong household incomes down here, and with inequality worse and poverty more peristent than ever (whatever the ostensible macroeconomic measures say). And no fully rational direction in the face of the system's self-generated ecological apocalypse.

So the neoliberal age (if we may call it that) shouldn't be touted as an improvement. Do we agree on that much?

"Childish spite and hubris"

is a relatively minor part of it.

Clintonism is neoliberalism in economics and domestic policy and more than ever a hawkish foreign policy. Beneath the pandering and deception of sometime-progressive rhetoric and the identity politics (which accounts for much of the voter support), there is a core political substance that is hostile to the unapologetic and consistent New Deal politics of Sanders. What is she going to do to court his supporters, endorse single payer and tuition-free public universities? Denounce Kissinger and call for an end to military interventionism? Break with Saudi Arabia and endorse a peace initiative with Iran and the BRICS? Her options, if she wanted them, are also limited.

It's classic anti-protest ratfucking.

Like when 100,000 people show up to protest a war and instead of reporting that, or actually speaking with organizers or showing the speakers, the media instead shows pictures either of a) isolated, strange-looking hippies or b) someone angry or violent.

In this case they didn't have pictures of any violence so they sheer made it up. Maddow used WWE footage and spoke of chairs thrown, in the plural.

The trick is to define away the issues.

Let's not talk about the increased pesticide use, oh no.

Let's not talk about the ecological dangers through monocultures, oh no.

Let's not talk about the effects of the GMO propaganda, which sell the incredible lie that these are somehow a solution to world hunger (thus distracting from the actual causes and ways to solve world hunger).

Let's especially not talk about the business model, which amounts to Monsanto & Co. getting to claim ownership of life-forms so as to shakedown the world's farmers for an annual tribute, reaping unearned profits and destroying countless lives.

Let's focus on an aspect - their possible direct health effects on humans of the crops themselves - that cannot be definitively proven either way, because controlled conditions separating the effects of given foods out of thousands of others are nearly impossible to achieve.

Now declare that global fuck-over safe!
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