Is This the Outbreak of The American Civil War II?

Sarah Palin targets liberal democrats
People on this side of the Atlantic and further afield have been wondering for a long time what’s going on in the U.S.A., and what is it all building up to? Please permit me to suggest that the American Civil War II, which has been brewing for past four decades (roughly since I departed for good; I never should have left them alone…) has suddenly, in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011, turned into a shooting war. Continue reading


I’m at a Loss for Words

Albrect Dürer\'s Rhinocerous

In a week in which it comes to light that President George W. Bush revealed that God told him to invade Iraq–with all that implies–and former Repulican presidential candidate–and pretender to the vice-presidential slot along with John McCain–Mike Huckabee made a supposedly jocular comment in the middle of a speech to the American Rifle Association to the effect that his Democratic opponent, Barak Obama, was taking cover as someone had him in their sights, I am at a loss for words. Continue reading

Gringo Baghdad: Luxury Hotels and Golf

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

Pentagon Plan Re-Defines Surrealism
According to an article in this morning’s Guardian, the Pentagon has plans to emulate Samuel Taylor Coleridge and convert the Baghdad Green Zone into a stately pleasure dome with the new billion-dollar American Embassy surrounded by “fashion boutiques, swanky cafés, and shiny glass office towers.” There are even luxury hotels and a golf course in their plans. Continue reading

The Presidential Candidates As Polymorphous Panderers

Albrecht Dürer\'s \

Who and What the U.S. Presidential Candidates Must Pander to in Order to Get Elected:

  • To extreme right-wing Christians, who don’t require reasons. They have the agenda of their angry God. They’ve formed a group called Christians United for Israel (CUFI). One of their spokesmen, Pastor John Hagee recently declared:The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West… a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation […] and [the] Second Coming of Christ.”

    That is to say, they want to bring on the Apocalypse, which would expedite their own ascent into heaven and send their enemies straight to hell. Continue reading

Guantánamo Torture Records “Lost”

Guantanamo prisoners at recess.


This from today’s Guardian.

These guys are so predictable. I’m constantly reminded of the old saw: “Military intelligence is to intelligence as military music is to music.”

Why the U.S. Can’t Leave Iraq

Just ran across this fascinating article by Christopher King on the Al Jazeera website. I was impressed not so much by the premise, which is familiar, as by the numbers, which are bruising. If you have ever asked yourself: “When will this American madness end?” you’ll be smitten by this article.

But before you go have a look at this montage by Mark Fiore, a real trip down memory lane. The title is “We Stopped the Vietnam War, So We Can Stop the Iraq War.”

American Legion Convention 1964

This photograph by Gary Winogrand, taken 44 years ago, seems to me not to have lost any of its powerful meaning. If anything, it’s more relevant today than when it was made. It is, I think, a reminder of lessons that were never learned.

American Legion Convention 1964

Scan courtesy of Masters of Photography