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Showing posts from March 9, 2003
Remora Not funny, LI. Not original. Not eccentric. Not arty. Obsessive. One-noted. One- fingered. Over and over again. Yes, we admit it. The war has sucked our very soul into the maelstrom. We see the war as more than simply the attack on Iraq -- we see it as a structure of rule. We see it as a sort of re-coding, a way of transferring and overwriting cellular codes for parasitic ends, for zombie purposes. How it is dead, and deadly, how it is leaden, how it trickles roach powder through the veins, how it perverts the fountains of inspiration and prophecy, how it pursues a cancerous course in the very ore under us and marrow within us, how it is a poison in our eyes, a narrowing of our breath, a sugar substitute in our sex. We see it as a return to deadly habits, a corpse like masturbation, churning with numb fingers the numb blind rod of no sensation whatsoever, De Sade's hoped for end, channeling a gray, waste seed into test-tubes, a sign of some essential deviation at the
The War will not be subsidized. In the dark months of 2001, as the U.S. was starting to campaign against the ever collapsable Taliban, D.C. rang with stories about post-Taliban Afghanistan. Of course, we knew that post-Taliban Afghanistan would be a paradise. US aid money flowing in. Reconstruction everywhere. Unveiled women, everywhere. Peasants and donkeys and chickens, all of them setting up little businesses, or... or franchises, on the American model, as you see it in Florida or one of those Southwest states. And when the war was won -- or when, at least, the Taliban had done its leaking act in Kabul -- the pledges became official. On April 18, 2002, Bush spoke at VMI and said : "Peace will be achieved by helping Afghanistan develop its own stable government. Peace will be achieved by helping Afghanistan train and develop its own national army. And peace will be achieved through an education system for boys and girls, which works." In order to achieve these ai
Remora Comrades one and all.... There's a rather genteel exchange between Doug Ireland and Christopher Hitchens in this week's LA Weekly. It begins, unpromisingly enough, with Ireland writing: "My old friend Christopher Hitchens will be in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 15, for a debate at the Wiltern Theater." The phrase "old friend" pops up with distressing frequency whenever anti-war media people start writing about Hitchens. It's the friendship that blinds them, perhaps, to the kind of figure he is. This kind of transplant from the left to the right is a familiar figure in times of violent reaction. In France in the thirties, Drieu de la Rochelle moved from a radical branch of the Communist party to Nazi sympathizer, leaving behind a similar trail of "old friends." In Drieu's case, his politics had an echo on the national level in Doriot. The political fault lines aren't as hyper-charged at present, but the phenomenon Hitch
Remora LI recommends our long suffering readers turn to Carlos Fuentes piece in the LA Times today . It is as clear as baby's breath: Mexico has always followed the policy of opposing unilateral, unprovoked intervention by the U.S. in Latin America, and it should continue to follow that policy in the Middle East. In other words, gently but firmly dissent from the Bush juggernaut. "Mexico actively opposed U.S. aggression and intervention in Guatemala in the 1950s; in Cuba and the Dominican Republic in the 1960s; and in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and Granada in the 1980s. During the Central American wars, Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda Sr. built, with French minister Claude Cheysson, the Franco-Mexican accord that gave political status to the Salvadoran guerrillas over the objections of the United States. Then-Foreign Minister Bernardo Sepulveda was the engine behind the Contadora Group -- Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela -- that sought solutions for peace.
Remora The response to 9/11 -- that Magna Carta for a heady dose imperialism with the riding whip, according to the Bushies -- is most interesting in the refusal to, well, see 9/11. How many articles begin just like this one, from John Lloyd, in March 7's Financial Times: "Violence," says Joseph Nye, former US assistant secretary of defence, now dean of the Kennedy School at Harvard, "is democratised. War has been privatised. The price of entering a communications network is very low. Terrorists can operate much more easily, do much more damage, than at any time since terrorism began." That technological advances have put mass destruction in the hands of small groups or individuals has become a familiar concern. The mobilisation of tanks and army units around London's main international airport at Heathrow recently was assumed to be against such a threat: several newspapers sketched a lone rocketeer peeking out, SAM missile-launcher on shoulder, from b
Remora �I have no hope that things will go right or that men will think reasonably until they have exhausted every mode of human folly�. -- James Froude The Salisbury Review is a hugely enjoyable enterprise. Every quarter it is filled with weepy forebodings about the future, imprecations of the present, and misty yearning towards the past. The past as scripted by Walter Scott, we believe. The quote from Froude is taken from an article about him in the Winter, 2000 issue. One gets a whiff, here, of a sort of Bertie Wooster Toryism that is relieved, marginally, by the sex appeal of Margaret Thatcher, but reverts to a pottering melancholia as instinctively as the groundhog reverts to his burrow: "The race to which Victorian England was committing itself in his day � which I suppose is what ordinary people now refer to as the �rat race� � has provided the Labour Party and the Liberals (in all their varieties) with the opportunity to recover every item of clothing stolen f