ED CURTIN—So yes, I do think most people are victims. No one chooses their parents, or to be born into poverty, or to be discriminated against for one’s race, etc. No one chooses to have their genuine experience poisoned from childhood. No one chooses to be born into a mad society. This is all true. Some are luckier than others. Suicides, fast and slow, are victims. But not just victims. This is not about blame, but understanding. For those who commit to lives of slow suicide, to the squelching of their true selves and their consciences in the face of a rapacious and murderous society, there is always the chance they can break with the norm and go sane. Redemption is always possible. But it primarily involves overcoming the fear of death, a fear that manifests itself in the extreme need to preserve one’s life, so-called social identity, and sense of self by embracing social conventions…READ ON
P. GREANVILLE—Every single day, from cradle to grave, the American population is subjected to a nonstop barrage of lies, omissions of truths and outrageous distortions, with the sole purpose of maintaining the nation’s allegiance to the imperialist/capitalist status quo anchored in constant war and unstoppable inequality. The American system of disinformation, evolved over more than a century, fools just about everyone with its apparent diversity of sources. After all the US has literally thousands of “news” outlets, from radio stations to tv stations, newspapers and other channels, and people reckon that this enormous quantity of media must automatically guarantee a vigorous debate of the issues at hand and the presentation of all viewpoints. They could not be more wrong. This diversity is an illusion.READ ON
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY—The Western media’s reporting of President Putin’s speech to Russia’s Federal Assembly on March 1 was intriguing. It concentrated almost entirely on Russian weapons’ developments, with the New York Times, for example, reporting that the President “used the speech to reassure Russians that the military buildup was taking place.” The 1500 words of the NYT report were almost entirely devoted to Putin’s description of Russian weapons designed to deter US-NATO adventurism, and a mere 65 words covered the social improvement programs he described.READ ON
GILBERT DOCTOROW—Winter sports are essentially elite sports. Winter sports are very often feats of individual athletes that are nominally credited to the national teams. Furthermore, winter sports in the Olympics are often sports of a small handful of nations with little or no following elsewhere. In this past year’s Olympics in Korea we heard a lot about curling which till then was a rather exotic sport known to few.
Football, on the other hand, is one sport played according to rules that everyone understands and loves globally.
RON UNZ—Consider the example of entertainer Bill Cosby. Over the years, one or two individual women had come forward claiming that he had drugged and raped them, and the charges had been largely ignored as unsubstantiated or implausible. However, over the last year or two, the dam suddenly burst and a total of nearly sixty separate women came forward, all making identical accusations, and although there seems little hard evidence in any of the particular cases, virtually every observer now concedes that the charges are likely to be true.READ ON
MOON OF ALABAMA—There is sneaking suspicion that the U.S. directed the ongoing ISIS attack on Abu Kamal to gain control over the crossing and to disable road supplies from Iran through Iraq into Syria. Such suspicion is reinforced when U.S. military analysts openly muse about the new possibilities the ISIS move creates: #Daesh #Iran ISIS crosses the Euphrates and takes Abu Kamal. The U.S. then ‘attacks ISIS’ in Abu Kamal and takes over the border town. It would thereby hold both main road crossings between the government held parts of Syria and Iraq. The much feared “Iranian corridor” from Tehran to Beirut would be interrupted. Syria’s economic exchange with Iraq would continue to be hampered. The U.S. would gain ‘leverage’ for further ‘regime change’ negotiations.READ ON
NILES NIEMUTH—Times columnists Nicholas Kristof and Thomas Friedman, who both jump at any opportunity to denounce with the utmost moral outrage alleged atrocities carried out by the Assad regime or Russian forces in order to clamor for an escalation of US “humanitarian” intervention, apparently caught a joint case of writer’s block. The editorialists and commentators in the American media, by and large, argue that Trump has not gone far enough in Syria, and that the US wars and occupations which have been raging for more than 15 years must be expanded to counter any challenge by Russia and Iran to US domination over the Middle East.READ ON