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Showing posts from March, 2019

The End of the Liberal World? Hans Köchler March 27 2019

The End of the Liberal World? History has not come to an end. The self-appointed enforcers of the existing order have triggered a chain of unintended consequences. After the failure of Western liberalism, a multi-polar balance of power seems to emerge with new centers of gravity on all continents that will not anymore accept ideological hegemony by whichever global player. Entering the long list of false prophets, Francis Fukuyama, in the summer of 1989, emphatically announced the “end of history,” suggesting that the progressive collapse of the Communist bloc and the supposed victory of its erstwhile adversary marked the “end point of mankind’s ideological evolution,” and that there existed a “remarkable consensus concerning liberal democracy as a system of government.” Nothing could have been further away from the truth: While history has continued unabated, it is “liberal democracy” that – 30 year’s after its apotheosis as cornerstone of a “New World Order” – seems to …

From the Archives: "Defeated by Democracy" Seth Ackerman JUNE 1, 2005

In the months before the January 30, 2005 elections in Iraq, gloom and dissension began creeping into the media’s usual cheerleading for the war. Casualties were mounting, Iraqi resentment was growing, and the Army was facing an alarming shortage of manpower. In a December column (12/27/04), Washington Post editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt—a staunch supporter of the invasion—lamented “the deteriorating conditions in Iraq” and warned that “the insurgents . . . are succeeding.” But with the impressive outpouring of Iraqi enthusiasm over the January 30 elections, the “purple revolution,” captured on film and broadcast around the world, caused a sea change in the mood of the press. Not only did perceptions of the war effort improve, but the elections themselves were widely portrayed as a vindication of the administration’s “forward strategy of freedom” in Iraq and beyond. Coming just 10 days after Bush’s inaugural address (1/20/05), in which he announced that “it is the policy of the Uni…

Brecht’s Poetry: Angry or Evil? Michael Wood THE LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS March 21, 2019

Brecht’s Poetry: Angry or Evil? An extended ode to the revolutionary German playwright-genius Bertolt Brecht, whose exhaustive new collected poems exalt combating injustice while keeping faith in his fidelity to dissent. March 21, 2019 Michael Wood  THE LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS
Bertolt Brecht, Your spectator is sitting not only
In your theatre, but also
In the world. ‘I live in dark times,’ Brecht said, but he liked to believe the darkness would end. In the poem containing those words, written in the 1930s, he apologises to ‘those born after’, saying that Hatred, even of meanness
Makes you ugly.
Anger, even at injustice
Makes your voice hoarse. Oh, we
Who wanted to prepare the land for friendliness
Could not ourselves be friendly ‘Could not be friendly’ is a discreet but painful understatement, a too amiable hint at horrors. Dark times mean not only that terrible things happen to the world and to us but also that we have had a hand in the terrible things. In a remarkable late poem Brecht imagines a l…

It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD Matt Taibbi on the failures of the press in the Russia-gate hysteria.Mar 23 2019

It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed itMar 23 Note to readers: in light of news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation is complete, I’m releasing this chapter of Hate Inc. early, with a few new details added up top. Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media. As has long been rumored, the former FBI chief’s independent probe will result in multiple indictments and convictions, but no “presidency-wrecking” conspiracy charges, or anything that would meet the layman’s definition of “collusion” with Russia. With the caveat that even this news might somehow turn out to be botched, the key detail in the many stories about the end of the Mueller investigation was best expressed by the New York Times: A senior Justice Department official …