By Chris Bray
Illustration by Miguel Davilla
On a September afternoon in the peacetime year of 1821, a regiment of Rhode Island militia completed its annual review and prepared to go home. Suddenly the regiment’s parade field in Providence became the scene of a spontaneous military riot.
In a confrontation that exploded over the space of a few minutes, the regimental commander was arrested and men in the ranks shouted for fellow militiamen to “fix bayonets” and resist orders by force. Ordered to take command in place of his arrested colonel, the senior battalion commander instead marched his men off the field, breaking the regiment apart to prevent the possibility of its obedience. Finally, as men in the ranks lashed out to strike a brigadier general’s horse with the butts of their weapons, a staff officer grabbed the general and dragged him away to safety.
By Justin Raimondo
On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee, a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, proffered a resolution declaring:
“That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
It was the beginning of the first act of the American Revolution. The second and third acts – the long continental incubation and the emergence of the US as a world empire – would not be long in coming, as such things are measured. The seeds planted in Britain’s North American colonies were a vigorous stock, rooting quickly and sending forth leaves and runners in riotous profusion. The process culminated in a blossom such as the world had never seen.
Suicides are surging among America’s troops, averaging nearly one a day this year — the fastest pace in the nation’s decade of war.
The 154 suicides for active-duty troops in the first 155 days of the year far outdistance the U.S. forces killed in action in Afghanistan — about 50 percent more — according to Pentagon statistics obtained by The Associated Press.
The numbers reflect a military burdened with wartime demands from Iraq and Afghanistan that have taken a greater toll than foreseen a decade ago. The military also is struggling with increased sexual assaults, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and other misbehavior.
Seven UN peacekeepers have been killed in a remote area of southwestern Ivory Coast. They were ambushed during a mission to protect civilians threatened by attack. Over 40 of their colleagues who stayed on guard remain in danger, the UN said.
A group of peacekeepers were on a reconnaissance patrol investigating rumors of “movement of armed people” and “threats on the security of civilians” near the village of Para in the Tai region, near the border with Liberia, said UN spokeswoman Josephine Guerrero. The patrol was attacked by a large group of people. Around 40 other peacekeepers were deployed to the area to prevent any further attacks on the village during the night.
Listen to the interview.
Robert Stark interviews Paul Craig Roberts. Topics include:
- PCR’s role in the Reagan administration and supply-side economics;
- How job outsourcing was engineered by Wall Street and corporations;
- The military-industrial complex;
- Neoconservatives, foreign policy in the Middle East, and war with Iran;
- Policy toward China;
- Why we can’t take back the country by the ballot box.
By Doug Casey
There have been a fair number of references to the subject of “phyles” in this publication. But it occurs to me that I’ve never discussed the topic myself in any detail. Especially how phyles are likely to replace the nation-state, one of mankind’s worst inventions.
Now might be a good time to discuss the subject. We’ll have an almost unremitting stream of bad news, on multiple fronts, for years to come. So it might be good to keep a hopeful prospect in mind – although I hate to use the word “hope,” as much as it’s been degraded by OBAMA! and the kleptocrats, incompetents, and sociopaths that surround him.
Let’s start by looking at where we’ve been. I trust you’ll excuse my skating over all of human political history in a few paragraphs, but my object is to provide a framework for where we’re going, rather than an anthropological monograph.
Mankind has, so far, gone through three main stages of political organization since Day One, say 200,000 years ago, when anatomically modern men started appearing. We can call them Tribes, Kingdoms, and Nation-States.
From the Guardian.
In other news, Gary Glitter has been appointed chairman of UNICEF…
by David Smith
With a line-up that includes Drew Barrymore, David Beckham, Orlando Bloom, and Ricky Martin, the UN’s choice of ambassadors has been known to cause raised eyebrows or the odd smirk.
Seldom, however, has there been such anger, or questioning of the organisation’s credibility, as that greeting the appointment of a new international envoy for tourism: Robert Mugabe.
Reuters/Lee Jae Won
Around 12,000 troops from more than 19 nations are wrapping up a massive military training drill in the Middle East. But for some of those servicemen, these exercises might be just the beginning of something much bigger to come.
The United States, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan are just a sampling of the many countries — along with European allies — that have been involved in the nearly month-long Eager Lion 2012 exercise expected to end this week. Although much of the drills have been kept under wraps, it isn’t a secret that these states have spent the last month cooperating together through mock combat drills and comprehensive training. Some sources overseas report, however, that as many as 3,000 troops aligned with US forces have conducted a simulated landing and attack on Iran, preparing America and its allies for a war that becomes more likely by the day.
By Justin Raimondo
We might as well get rid of Memorial Day, for all the good it does us. Originally “Decoration Day,” the last Monday in May has been the designated time for us to remember the war dead and honor their sacrifice – while, perhaps, taking in the lessons of the many conflicts that have marked our history as a free nation. In line with the modern trend of universal trivialization, however, the holiday has beenpaganized to mark the beginning of summer, when we get out the barbecue grill and have the neighbors over for hamburgers and beer. As for contemplating the meaning of the day in the context of our current and recent wars, that is left to those few pundits who pay attention to foreign policy issues, or else to writers of paeans to the “Greatest Generation” – World War II being the only modern war our panegyrists deign to recall, since it is relatively untouched by the ravages of historical revisionism.
Indeed, as far as our wars are concerned, the very concept of historical memory has vanished from the post-9/11 world. It seems the earth was born anew on September 11, 2001, and only ragged remnants of our mystified past – mostly from World War II and the Civil War – survived the purge. In the new version our victories areexaggerated and glorified, while our defeats – e.g. Vietnam, Korea, our nasty little covert wars in Central and South America – are not even mentioned, let alone considered in depth.
The abolition of historical memory is one of the worst aspects of modernity: it is certainly the most depressing. For the modern man, it’s an effort to recall what happened last week, never mind the last century. The news cycle spins madly and ever-faster, and the result is that we are lost in the blur of Now: for all intents and purposes, we are a people without a history, who recall past events – if we remember them at all – as one would summon a vague and confusing dream.
By David McElroy
It’s Memorial Day in the United States, a day we set aside to remember men and women who’ve died in wars. Politicians make a lot of speeches today and lay a lot of wreaths, but the best way to honor the fallen would be to quit using the men and women of the military as expendable pawns in a global game for world influence.
There’s something honorable about fighting for something you believe in, and I respect the dedication and bravery of many thousands of those who’ve died. But since we can’t bring them back to life (and we can’t change the horrors they lived through), the best we can do is change how the U.S. government conducts itself around the globe so that fewer Americans will join the ones being honored today in military cemeteries — and fewer loved ones will face living without them, as the woman in the picture above had to do when her fiance was killed in Iraq in 2007.
Even if we set aside the question of the legitimacy of the state, there’s much to be gained from making U.S. foreign policy less intrusive and less aggressive. It’s not the business of the U.S. government what happens around the world, and it’s not U.S. taxpayers’ responsibility to pay for whatever happens elsewhere. It’s not U.S. soldiers’ legitimate role to die invading countries which haven’t invaded their homeland.
From the Tehran Times
KUALA LUMPUR — It’s official — George W. Bush is a war criminal.
In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former president of the United States and seven key members of his administration were found guilty of war crimes on Friday.
By David Swanson
(Remarks prepared for Richmond Peace Education Center Event in Richmond, Va., May 24, 2012)
I have a friend who’s a compulsive liar.
OK it’s not a friend. It’s my television. And my newspaper.
According to them, the United States, as one among equals, in coalition with most of the world’s good countries, is asking the evil nation of Iran for some very reasonable requests, Iran is refusing, and the result, very regrettably and reluctantly — as an absolute last resort, albeit one we will celebrate with flags and music — will be war.
An op-ed in the Washington Post last Friday (and you know you can trust the Washington Post, because its fervent push for war on Iraq worked out so well) said:
“If Iran is willing to put hard ceilings on all aspects of its nuclear program, it can avoid a near-term conflict, but if it pushes forward, it will invite a strike that will be much more painful for itself than it is for the United States. . . . This proactive approach should help calm nerves in the region about Obama’s mettle, and could forestall Israel from taking matters into its own hands.”
Let me ask you this: if someone threatened to bomb you, would it calm your nerves?
In WaPo Land, the strange region where the Washington Post dreams up its own reality, Iran is threatening war, and the way for the good countries of the world to prevent that outrage is — you guessed it — to threaten war first. This makes sense to people. Or at least people who want to be on television badly enough are able to pretend it makes sense to them. Here’s why I think it’s crazy.
Tom Naylor is interviewed by Anthony Wile
The Daily Bell is pleased to present this exclusive interview with Thomas H. Naylor (left).
Introduction: Thomas H. Naylor, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University, is a writer and a political activist who has taught at Middlebury College and the University of Vermont. For 30 years he taught economics, management science and computer science at Duke. As an international management consultant specializing in strategic management, Dr. Naylor has advised major corporations and governments in over 30 countries. During the 1970s he was President of SIMPLAN Systems, a 50-person computer software firm whose clients were Fortune 500 companies in the US and abroad. Recognizing that the United States had become more like its former nemesis the Soviet Union than most Americans care to admit, in 2003 he founded the Second Vermont Republic, a nonviolent citizens network and think tank opposed to the tyranny of corporate America and the US government and committed to the return of Vermont to its status as an independent republic. Ode Magazine editor Jay Walljasper dubbed him, “Tom Paine for the 21st century.” The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Adbusters, Christian Science Monitor, The Nation and Business Week have published his articles. For additional information, visit http://www.vermontrepublic.org.
Daily Bell: Can you give us some background on yourself?
Thomas H. Naylor: I grew up in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1950s where my father admonished me to “be cautious” and always be concerned about “what people will think.” I was never very cautious nor very concerned about what people thought. I used to refuse to stand when Dixie was played at Ole Miss football games, and I understood fully the significance of that decision.
After three years at Millsaps College I moved to the Great Satan, New York City, and entered Columbia University where I earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. Two years later I received my M.B.A. from Indiana University. Summer jobs at International Paper Company, Sun Oil and Dow Chemical convinced me that Corporate America was not for me. At I.U. I became interested in computers, which played an important role in my life for the next 20 years.
By Justin Raimondo
A recent Rasmussen poll has 51 percent of Americans favoring the pullout of all US troops from Europe – and yet not a single major American politician would even consider endorsing such a move. Why is that? I thought politicians were supposed to be consummate opportunists, whose weather vane-like views shift with the winds of public opinion. If so, then they should be jumping on the anti-NATO, anti-interventionist, “mind-our-own-business” bandwagon – right?
By Anthony Gregory
If President Obama has his way, the last U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan could be Americans born five years after 9/11. The administration has signed a pact to maintain a military presence there until 2024. After initially claiming the rumors of such a deal were false, the administration has since described this pledge as a means of providing “training” assistance to Afghan forces. The White House continues to issue mixed messages on the war, simultaneously insisting that the war is “over,” but that U.S. troops will face “hard days ahead” in the conflict.
Obama has long claimed that he would bring an end to the war will end by 2014, which is still way too long to wait. As for sticking around for another 12 years, the very idea should be maddening to anyone. A president that makes such behind-the-scenes arrangements should be a target for censure or impeachment.
This amuses me on many a level.
From the Huffington Post…
Over five centuries after the famed explorer’s death, historians are taking a fresh look at what motivated Christopher Columbus to make his voyage across the Atlantic — and how his faith may have played into those motivations.
Some scholars, after analyzing Columbus’ will and other documents, have devised a new theory about the explorer. They believe he was a Marrano, or a Jew who pretended to be a Catholic to avoid religious persecution. These historians also theorize that Columbus’ main goal in life was to liberate Jerusalem from Muslim control, and that he decided to take his historic quest to North America in order to find a new homeland for Jews who had been forced out of Spain.
By Alexander Cockburn
The news is in. White births are no longer a majority in the United States. The Bureau of the Census confirms that non-Hispanic whites accounted for 49.6 of all births in the year ending July, 2011, while minorities including Hispanics, blacks, Asians and those of mixed race — reached 50.4 percent.
I felt lonely and went out on the porch and hollered for my neighbor, a white German-American. Nothing stirred. I went back to my computer. At least someone is thinking constructively. The World Wildlife Fund says we need two planets. The rationale is that we create too much waste for one, but the roots of American environmentalism were always nourished by dislike of “those of mixed race”, and some over there at WWF has got their thinking cap on.
Is whitey ready for a fresh start? Face it, we may be a minority, but we got the firepower.
Where did we go wrong? Too much atonal music, maybe. Richard Pryor probably put his finger on it. Pryor to a white audience:
“What the matter, y’all stop fuckin’? There will be no shortage of niggers. Niggers is fuckin’.”
I began to sort things out for the big move to Planet 2. What a mess whitey had made of things! One horrible move after another. What will we Americans handing on to the new majority? The news is not good. At almost exactly the moment we yielded majority status, we – not the people to be sure – but our president and our Congress were putting the finishing touches to our modern system of government, known as fascism.
By Paul Atwood
The Great Recession is the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and, like the aftermath of Katrina, or the BP calamity, or the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, is a man-made disaster. Many signs point to worse tidings. Many of us who live in this the most advanced capitalist country are indoctrinated at an early age to believe our system is by far the most efficient and best ever created, especially if we are affluent and live well. We tend to believe it obeyed the laws of evolution toward ever higher form, more or less as we imagine the human species itself. We go to lengths to ignore the fact that our system began as the brainchild of a minority that imposed its will by brute force against others who had good reason to oppose it. It is impossible to separate our republican form of government from our economic system. As former Secretary of State John Hay put matters as far back as the 19th Century: “This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is government of corporations by corporations.” It has been the case since the American Revolution, and remains the case, that the American government has been owned and operated by the financial and corporate elites and government policies, and most definitely foreign policy, are largely their agendas set out for their interests. Bankers and immense industrial corporations largely run the global show, backed by the Executive, Congress and the Supreme Court, America’s gargantuan military power and the connivance of corporate media.