A few days ago, Rick Perry implied that it is OK to overlook the recently released video of US soldiers pissing over dead Afghan bodies because they are just “19-year-old kids”. He additionally “accused the Obama administration of ‘over-the-top rhetoric’ and ‘disdain for the military’ in its condemnation of (this) video”. Yesterday a crowd of Americans in South Carolina chanted “U.S.A! U.S.A!” in a homicidal manner as they stood in front of their idol, Newt Gingrich; a person who suggested that the way for Black people to get out of poverty is to make their children work as janitors. In December last year Gingrich said that the Palestinians are an invented people, who have no right to Israel’s promised land. This man has a PhD. in History. George H.W. Bush (and more recently Mitt Romney) has time and again repeated that he “will never apologize for America!”
In Crito, Socrates refuses to escape from Athenian prison, even though he knows that he is going to be sentenced to death. He argues that he has a moral obligation to honor his legal obligation, since he owes all he has to the city. So do we support everything our country does, provided it deems itself a Republic?
What when the state turns against humanity in the name of security? In the fiscal year 2011, the US was providing Israel with $8.2 million/DAY in military aid to murder Palestinians in broad daylight. The Republic of India stations approximately 700,000 troops in the tiny valley of Kashmir, the most militarized region in the world, and commits human rights abuses daily.
How much nationalism is too much?
This film, titled “The Truth and Lies of 9/11” by Michael Ruppert, an author, investigative journalist and former LAPD officer investigates the real reasons behind the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Ruppert does not base his analysis on any sort of speculation about the 9/11 attacks, but on substantive evidence. A good book to read by Ruppert covering this subject is “Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil”.
This year, the GOP has decided not to let anyone who exhibits even a smidgen of intelligence or honesty run. It is the race to the least vile and abhorrent. Amongst all the clowns, Gingrich and Perry take the cake. Huntsman has a very lackluster candidacy and seems like he should belong in the Democratic party, and Santorum is a hypocritical and loony Christian fanatic. I ultimately think that it will come down to Paul, who is suddenly being touted as some sort of hero and Romney, who will say anything to win. I will be outlining and comparing these two in this article.
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“To a distraught, confused people whose pride has just been wounded, whose loved ones have been tragically killed, whose anger is fresh and sharp, the inanities about the “clash of civilisations” and the “good v evil” discourse home in unerringly. They are cynically doled out by government spokesmen like a daily dose of vitamins or anti-depressants. Regular medication ensures that mainland America continues to remain the enigma it has always been – a curiously insular people, administered by a pathologically meddlesome, promiscuous government”.
- Arundhati Roy, 'Brutality Smeared in Peanut Butter' (2001)
Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/oct/23/afghanistan.terrorism8
Fearless author Arundhati Roy’s first and only novel to date, The God of Small Things is a critically acclaimed best seller and winner of the prestigious Booker Prize award. The book, published in 1997, is well worth the hype. Not only is it a literary delight in terms of the construction of the plot, the richness of the prose and the mastery with which Roy illustrates imagery; the several underlying themes in the fairly straightforward plot paint a vivid and brutally accurate picture of the political and social issues in modern India.
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Anna Hazare is a great admirer of Narendra Modi, the architect of the 2002 genocide of Muslims in the state of Gujarat; and once supported Raj Thakeray’s Maratha movement, which essentially calls for Hindu radicalism and widespread discrimination against immigrants in Bombay who came from other areas in the country.
Anna Hazare’s protest was led by a host of NGO activists funded by Ford Foundation, Coca Cola, the Lehman Brothers, real estate companies, and other multinationals. The Jan Lokpal bill, which is what his protest is fighting for, is one that calls for the setup of a draconian institution which will give a handful number of people to persecute supposed corrupt individuals. Anna Hazare’s movement simply capitalizes on the genuine rage that people in India have over corrupt, high-ranking employees in the public sector.
For protest movements of the powerful, protest movements where the media is on your side, protest movements where the government is scared of you, protest movements where the police disarm themselves, how many movements are going to be there like that? While you are talking about this, the army is getting ready to move into central India to fight the poorest people in this country, and I can tell you there are not disarmed. I don’t know what lessons you can draw from a protest movement that has privileges that no other protest movement I have ever known has had.
When you take up the national flag; when you are fighting colonialism it means one thing, when you are a supposedly free nation, that national flag is always about exclusion, and not inclusion. You took up that flag and the state was paralyzed – a state which is not scared of slaughtering people in the dark suddenly was paralyzed. You talk about the fact that it was a non-violent movement; yes, because the police were disarmed. They were just too scared to do anything. You had “Bharat mata’s” photo first, and then it was replaced by Gandhi. You had people who were openly part of the (Krantikari Manuwadi Morcha) there. So you had this cocktail of very dangerous things going on… Imagine Gandhi going to a private hospital after his fast! A private hospital that symbolizes the withdrawal of the state from healthcare for the poor. A private hospital where the doctors charge Rs. 100,000 every time they inhale and exhale.
Arundhati Roy is an Indian novelist, and winner of the Booker Prize for her Novel, The God of Small Things. Her writings on various social, environmental and political issues have been a subject of major controversy in India.
Zeitgeist: Moving Forward is the third installment in Peter Joseph’s film series of the same name. The movie was released on January 15, 2011, in over 60 countries and in over 30 languages. It presents a case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society. Here is the trailer:
Watch the entire movie at http://www.zeitgeistmovingforward.com/
Sovereignty is a much discussed topic today, in lieu of globalization and increased transnationalism. It is a notion that has been highly misunderstood, misconstrued and abused by individuals and nation states. Sovereignty is often described as a state in which a nation has complete and utmost authority over its territory and the government of the nation is independent in making decisions. The biggest problem with this perception of sovereignty is that it is heavily focused on states and territorial independence. I will be arguing throughout this essay that sovereignty cannot be tied down to these issues.
Sovereignty in the state-centric view is outdated and inapplicable to the highly transnational world we live in. Indeed, many groups and individuals who believe that being sovereign is inexplicably tied to not being affected or linked with any global processes on a transnational level are highly mistaken and naïve: “The glittering bribe the globalists are extending to us is this: Enhanced access to global markets –in exchange for your national sovereignty!” (Buchanan 1994). An anti-globalist, primarily due to fears about this supposed threat to sovereignty, people like Mr. Patrick Buchanan try to rile up hatred against anything “un-American”, arguing that this will lead to the betterment of the USA. There are scores of publications that are promote xenophobia, isolationism, symbolism and national pride as a backlash against the adverse effects of globalization and transnationalism on this cherished idea of sovereignty. Indeed, as Mary Tsai puts it, sovereignty “remains a jealously guarded right of every state.” (Tsai 2000). I will firstly be studying the concept of sovereignty, how it came about and how this history is interpreted and understood today. Following this, I will be examining the importance of sovereignty in our world today, how it is affected by capitalism, the role that international institutions and agreement play in the supposed eradication of sovereignty, and the possible future of sovereignty in the world.
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