Of Swine and Scapegoats: Reflections on Racism and Right-Wing Nuttery By Tim Wise

6 May, 2009 – SleptOn Magazine


In ancient times, when plagues or widespread epidemics would descend upon a community, it was somewhat common for those in the vicinity of the crisis to offer up a sacrifice, presumably to the gods, in order that the problem might dissipate. Often, the sacrifice would be a lamb (thus, the phrase sacrificial lamb), or a goat, from which practice we derive the concept of ‘scapegoating.’ To scapegoat means to lay blame upon something or someone, for some ill effect in the community, for which the one blamed is not, in fact, responsible. To seek to transfer guilt to the goat, ancient communities sought to escape what they thought must be divine punishment for some wrongdoing on their part. The fact that sacrifices rarely brought about the cessation of whatever crisis the people were facing–and if it did, ever, this was only a matter of coincidence–never seemed to much faze them. Again and again this ritual would be repeated, joined with the fervent hope that if the people were perhaps a bit more contrite to the gods, a bit more pious, or the goat a bit fatter, all would be right with their world. But of course it never was.

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Pathway To Darkness, Part 1: “The Easter Bombers”

12 May 2009 – Winter Patriot

bombers-1.jpgOn April 8, 2009, amid a blaze of publicity, police in the north of England arrested 12 men who were Officially Described As (ODA) “terror suspects”.

England’s Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, congratulated the police and intelligence agencies on having broken up “a very big plot”.

Police spokesmen were mostly mum but anonymous sources told the British media that the authorities had foiled an imminent attack which would have involved multiple suicide bombers.

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Fidel Ordered Chavez ‘Rescue’ By Fidel Castro and Ignacio Ramonet

22 April, 2009 – Venezuela Analysis

chavez-fidelThey attempted to execute Chavez but the firing squad refused to shoot.

In the book Fidel Castro, a two-voiced biography, published by the Debate Publishing House, the Cuban president told Ignacio Ramonet information not previously released about the events of April 2002 in Venezuela.

Castro states that he phoned Miraflores Palace before Chavez surrendered and told him: Dont kill yourself, Hugo. Dont do like Allende, who was a man alone. You have most of the Army on your side. Dont quit, dont resign.

Later, Fidel directed Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque, to fly to Caracas in one of two planes to pick up Chavez and fly him to safety.

Castro contacted a general who sided with [Chavez] to tell him that the world knew the president had not resigned and to ask the general to send troops to rescue the president.

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Unfit for Combat By Dahr Jamail

12 May, 2009 – t r u t h o u t

This Monday at 2 PM Baghdad time, a US soldier gunned down five fellow soldiers at a stress-counseling center at a US base in Baghdad. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a news conference at the Pentagon that the shootings occurred in a place where “individuals were seeking help.” Admiral Mullen added, “It does speak to me, though, about the need for us to redouble our efforts, the concern in terms of dealing with the stress…. It also speaks to the issue of multiple deployments.”

Commenting on the incident in nearly parallel terms, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that the Pentagon needs to redouble its efforts to relieve stress caused by repeated deployments in war zones that is further exacerbated by limited time at home in between deployments.

The condition described by Mullen and Gates is what veteran health experts often refer to as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

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Israel Knows That Peace Doesn’t Pay By Amira Hass

11 May, 2009 – Haaretz

Successive Israeli governments since 1993 certainly must have known what they were doing, being in no hurry to make peace with the Palestinians. As representatives of Israeli society, these governments understood that peace would involve serious damage to national interests.

Economic damage:

The security industry is an important export branch – weapons, ammunition and refinements that are tested daily in Gaza and the West Bank. The Oslo process – negotiations that were never meant to end – allowed Israel to shake off its status as occupying power (obligated to the welfare of the occupied people) and treat the Palestinian territories as independent entities. That is, to use weapons and ammunition at a magnitude Israel could not have otherwise used on the Palestinians after 1967. Protecting the settlements requires constant development of security, surveillance and deterrence equipment such as fences, roadblocks, electronic surveillance, cameras and robots. These are security’s cutting edge in the developed world, and serve banks, companies and luxury neighborhoods next to shantytowns and ethnic enclaves where rebellions must be suppressed.

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