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Showing posts from July 16, 2006
American papers, ranging from mildly pro-Israel to loony tones WAPO editorial types, have presented an odd picture of the Arab world supporting Israel against Hezbollah. This is so absurd it does rival the “good news from Iraq” meme, that sturdy craft of lies and bullshit, that has been afloat these last three years. The Financial Times, more shrewdly, notes: “events in Lebanon have served as a reminder of how quickly Washington can drop an Arab ally - in this case the Siniora-led government in Beirut - when Israel's "right to self-defence" is at play.” In fact, beyond the war crime committed by bombing a civilian population and targeting Lebanese infrastructure – beyond the fact, staring anyone in the face, that Israel has chosen a small provocation to launch a war against Lebanon - Israel’s attempt to destroy its neighbor and Bush’s nursing of the Israeli enterprise is going to bring grief down on both the U.S. and Israel. As Israel goes into next week, massacring Sh

Calasso's perpetual war

Continuing the line of thought from our last post…. There’s an essay by Arthur Machen about a spiritualist who surprises himself by successfully conjuring up a dead spirit. Looking at the vision he has been pursuing, the spiritualist feels a hand go through him, which does not press his physical organs so much as it squeezes something unknown – his very soul. This contact proves to be so overwhelming that the spiritualist never again tries to conjure up a spirit. Well, LI can’t claim to have experienced anything that grotesquely metaphysical when we read Roberto Calasso’s essay, Perpetual War, but we did feel contacted. The essay is about Kraus’ “The Last Days of Mankind.” This is a five hundred page play, an epic theater event never, actually, staged. Kraus wrote it during World War I, and read from it in lecture halls. Elias Canetti, among others, has described the fevered atmosphere that surrounded Kraus in the twenties at those readings. Calasso’s essay does a number of bril

American stupidity -- let me count the ways

GOP lawmakers, meanwhile, appear to be lining up closely with the president on foreign policy. It has not helped the neoconservative case, perhaps, that the occupation of Iraq has not gone as smoothly as some had predicted. – Charles Babbington, Washington Post, Conservative Anger Grows Over Bush's Foreign Policy “The American energy secretary, Samuel W. Bodman, who met with Iraq’s oil and electricity ministers in Baghdad, had a rosy view of progress here since his last visit in 2003. “The situation seems far more stable than when I was here two or three years ago,” he said in an interview in the fortified Green Zone. “The security seems better, people are more relaxed. There is an optimism, at least among the people I talked to.”” ... “United Nations officials said Tuesday that the number of violent deaths had climbed steadily since at least last summer. During the first six months of this year, the civilian death toll jumped more than 77 percent, from 1,778 in January to 3,14

no goodies from this war

In the Man without Qualities, Ulrich – the man himself – staying at his father’s house after his father’s death, sits down and solves a mathematical problem that he has been working on for years. He has taken up other work, and takes up the problem as a way of passing the time. He thinks about what this means. If he publishes this, perhaps his career as a mathematician will take off, perhaps he will find a place in academia. And suddenly he thinks: I’m too old for that. For the first time, he has decided that some bold move in his life is barred by age. He is thirty five, I believe. Myself, I think that about acid. While I enjoyed it in my twenties on rare occasions, and took it once past that equinoctal age, thirty, I’m too old for that now. Pot, alcohol, cocaine I can still take. But acid is now off the menu. So, probably, is heroin – a drug I’ve never tried, and always wanted to try. The big biography of Timothy Leary by Robert Greenfield was released this spring. I was happy to

RWG Communications

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