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Books, Literature & Ideas

Donald Trump Is Proof That America’s Wars Come Home

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President Donald Trump in Virginia in 2017. (AP Photo / Steve Helber)

… And other lessons from 17 years of American defeat abroad.

Tom Engelhardt, the Nation 

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April 12, 2018 | The lessons of history? Who needs them? Certainly not Washington’s present cast of characters, a crew in flight from history, the past, or knowledge of more or less any sort. Still, just for the hell of it, let’s take a few moments to think about what some of the lessons of the last years of the previous century and the first years of this one might be for the world’s most exceptional and indispensable nation, the planet’s sole superpower, the globe’s only sheriff. Those were, of course, commonplace descriptions from the pre-Trump era and yet, in the age of MAGA, already as moldy and cold as the dust in some pharaonic tomb.

Let’s start this way: you could think of the post–Cold War era, the years after the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991, as the moment of America’s first opioid crisis. The country’s politicians and would-be politicians were, then, taking street drugs (K-Street and military-industrial-complex ones, to be exact) and having remarkable visions of a planet available for the taking, as well as the keeping, forever and ever, amen.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR0FvP30d4rg9aflKARO8FK2gjRkNebNlY8B4lIK7euCelFiGbvaa1goC4 Tom Engelhardt created and runs Tomdispatch.com, a project of The Nation Institute where he is a Fellow. He is the author of a highly praised history of American triumphalism in the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture, and of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing, as well as a collection of his Tomdispatch interviews, Mission Unaccomplished.

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When A Government Declares A Verdict Before An Investigation, It’s Because There’s A Preexisting Agenda.

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  • Isn’t it interesting how just as its data begins warning that the western empire is approaching post-primacy and will likely lose its dominant position in the world if it doesn’t take drastic action, all this information begins pouring out about a longtime rival of that very empire? It’s almost as if there is a preexisting vendetta to cripple oppositional governments, and then crimes are being discovered which just so happen to advance that preexisting agenda.
  • Related: The Normalization of War

Caitlin Johnstone, Medium

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor S. Brian Willson for this contribution.

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April 9, 2018 | Hours after an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria, long before any investigation into the matter could have possibly even begun much less been completed, the US State Department declared that “the Assad regime must be held accountable” and Russia “ultimately bears responsibility” for it. Anyone who questioned such proclamations was branded a delusional conspiracy theorist.

Days after an alleged poisoning of an ex-spy in Salisbury, the UK’s Foreign Office was telling reportersthat the Kremlin would be held responsible. Anyone who questioned such proclamations was branded a delusional conspiracy theorist. Weeks later, we learned that laboratory forensics had still determined no such culpability, and crime scene forensics were all over the map positing many contradictory theories about what happened and how.

Caitlin Johnstone‬: Rogue journalist. Bogan socialist. Anarcho-psychonaut. Guerilla poet. Utopia prepper.

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Related:

The Normalization of War, Andrew J. Bacevich, TomDispatch / Truthdig

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  • A memo to the publisher of the New York (NY) Times
  • Crudely put, the central question that goes not only unanswered but unasked is this: What the hell is going on? Allow me to deconstruct that in ways that might resonate with Times correspondents.
  • Related: Media Owned By Warlords, Gov’t Owned By Big Money, Shock Doctrine
  • Related: How the Media Conditions, Controls, and Programs Society

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Selected Articles | It’s past time for white supremacy to die, Week Ending April 7, 2018

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  • The belief that whites are inherently superior to other races and therefore should dominate society is as American as apple pie. It is an idea that has caused much pain and suffering in the world, is an artifact of “white culture,” but still plays a role in American society.
  • We must dismantle the white supremacy that's embedded so deeply in American society.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Facebook / #SheMeansBusiness <https://shemeansbusiness.fb.com>

 





White Anti-Racism Must Be Based in Solidarity, Not Altruism, Jesse A. Myerson, the Nation
February 5, 2018 | Altruism is too often carried along by the currents of racist capitalism.

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Barber_Moral_Mondays_ap_img.jpg?scale=896&compress=80The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II (center) leads a Moral Mondays march in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, July 13, 2015. (AP Photo / Chuck Burton)



Bishop lays out plans for 'eradicating this plague' of racism, Heidi Schlumpf, National Catholic Reporter (NCR) 

February 5, 2018 | "Why does it appear that the church in America has been incapable of taking decisive action and incapable of enunciating clear-cut principles regarding racism?" asked Bishop George Murry of Youngstown, Ohio. 



The American Right Wing Is In A Death Spiral Of Denial And Racism, Justin Rosario, Liberals Unite

March 26, 2018 | When future historians look back at early 21st century politics, they will note that the political right was engaged in a level of denial not seen since since the band kept playing as the Titanic sank.



Why won't Discover cut off white supremacist groups? Evan Feeney, Color Of Change

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button_0.jpg February 16, 2018 | Discover is funding white supremacist groups similar to the one that gave Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz weapons training.
  • Demand Discover take immediate action and cut off hate groups from their financial service platforms.

 




From the Archives | Close Encounters of the Racist Kind: A Guide to the Modern Far-Right, Alexander Zaitchik, Alternet  / Southern Poverty Law Center / Portside

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  • Pseudo-scientific research, lost Aryan super-civilizations and biblical giants.
  • Related: Trump and the GOP Fuel Fantasies of White Victimhood, Disregard Black Lives

 



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Exposing the Whitewashed 'Fable' of the Civil Rights Movement

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  • Review of “A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History” ~ Jeanne Theoharis
  • A new book argues that the memorialization of the movement becomes "a veil to obscure enduring racial inequality, a tool to chastise contemporary protest, and a shield to charges of indifference and inaction."
  • Click here to read long excerpts from “A More Beautiful and Terrible History” at Google Books.
  • Related: Series | 1968 Reduxed and Revisited: Look How Far We’ve Come (That Was Sarcasm) — Part 5 of 5

Randall Kennedy, Truthdig



 

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Feb 23, 2018 | “A More Beautiful and Terrible History” is a critique of what its author derides as the ascendant fable of the civil rights movement—the black protests that challenged the racial status quo between the 1950s and the 1970s. Brooklyn College professor Jeanne Theoharis contends that influential shapers of public memory have attempted with considerable success to whitewash and truncate recollections of the movement. The culprits include academics, journalists and politicians. What they have done, she charges, is depict a movement devoid of unsettling militance, with narrow aims that were accomplished on account of an attentive citizenry that only needed to glimpse injustice in order to respond nobly. The fable, she argues, is complacently triumphalist, offering a distorted mirror that misleadingly celebrates observers.

She makes her argument tellingly, offering example after revealing example. She notes, for instance, the trajectory of President Ronald Reagan’s stance toward the most prominent episode of civil rights movement iconography—the creation of a national holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Initially Reagan opposed the King holiday. Then, when pressure for it became overwhelming, he adopted a strategy of co-optation. When he signed the King holiday legislation, he asserted that “we can take pride in the knowledge that we Americans recognized a grave injustice and took action to correct it”—as if King’s aspirations had been attained. She notes a troublingly similar exaggerated sunniness in Barack Obama’s remarks, starting with his campaign for the presidency in 2007, when he declared at the historic Brown Chapel in Selma, Alabama, that the movement generation “took us 90 percent of the way there”—a perceived propinquity to the racial promised land that Theoharis rightly finds preposterous.

Randall Kennedy is the Michael R. Klein professor of law at Harvard Law School.

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Related:

Series | 1968 Reduxed and Revisited: Look How Far We’ve Come (That Was Sarcasm) — Part 5 of 5, John Fisher <>, Medium
https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/2000/1*UYUi-OR4I1cKjQyXwZi4hw.jpeg The Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, on the day of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Photo: Joseph Louw

  • The Series: As the country approaches the 50th anniversary of one of the most controversial, volatile, and important years in our country’s history, We the People of the United States of America find ourselves facing many of the same issues that led us to the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel, the bloodiest year of the Vietnam War, screams of “the whole world is watching” at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the floor of the Ambassador Hotel, and Black fists being raised in the air at the Mexico Summer Olympics. So much has changed, true. We’ve come so far, but in a lot of ways, we’re right back where we started and even further behind.
  • Part 5: Death Is Necessary: The Civil Rights Movement and the Provocation Of Violence


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Decrypting the Appointment of John Bolton

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So perhaps the dominant wing of the Deep State is finally willing to cut a deal with Trump.

Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Bomb%20with%20US%20Flag_0.jpg March 26, 2018 | To many observers, the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor is the functional equivalent of appointing the Anti-Christ--or maybe worse. Indeed, these observers would, when comparing the two, find grudging favor with the Anti-Christ.

Bolton is a founding member of the neoliberal, neoconservative, neo-colonial interventionist Globalist wing of the Deep State. The antipathy he inspires is partly due to the enjoyment he takes in wielding power. (Note that the Anti-Christ is not a victim--he enjoys being the Anti-Christ.)

Charles Hugh Smith: Here are some links which contain more information about my work and interests.

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Related:

Noam Chomsky, Why National Security Has Nothing to Do With Security, Noam Chomsky, TomDispatch

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  • As General Butler observed, it is a near miracle that we have escaped destruction so far, and the longer we tempt fate, the less likely it is that we can hope for divine intervention to perpetuate the miracle.
  • Related: Cold War Then. Cold War Now.

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