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Ear to the Ground

U.S. Reportedly Gives Up Pakistan Drone Base

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Posted on Apr 22, 2011
U.S. Air Force Photo

A MQ-9 Reaper drone, shown above, is known for being a powerful “hunter-killer” of new targets.

Following a suspected U.S. drone attack that slaughtered 25 people – including eight civilians – in northwest Pakistan, American military personnel have allegedly vacated the Pakistani Shamsi Air Base, a key hub for U.S. drone activity. —JCL

CNN:

U.S. military personnel have left a southern base in Pakistan said to be a key hub for American drone operations in the country’s northwestern tribal areas, a senior Pakistani intelligence official told CNN on Friday.

Drones are said to take off and get refueled for operations against Islamic militants from the Shamsi Air Base in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.

News of a possible U.S. departure comes amid a public furor over American drone attacks, which have killed civilians.

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By ardee, April 24, 2011 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

Ardee, where did your computer come from?  Where do you get the power to
surf the web?  What do you put in the tank of that sweet ride of yours? (That’s
not sarcasm, it really is pretty sweet.)

Gee thirdman I guess my computer came from the same place as yours…as does the power. Sorry that your own powers to think critically are so impaired.

Further, my “sweet ride” gets about 38 mpg while I am running at 85 mph along some beautiful 2 lane rural road up in the Sierra foothills, and over 40 mpg when ridden more temperately. My pick up, on the other hand, gets only 20 mpg, thus I choose to use the bike for most transportation needs. But thanks for asking.

The real question, I think, is why the fuck do you have no problem with our invasions of other nations, slaughtering of innocents and treating the rest of the world as colonies and the people as chattel? To refresh your memory I re-post this heinous and rather despicable by any standard of decency comment of yours:

I’m really not even that opposed to invading other countries for their resources.  It is, after all, what we owe our everyday material comfort to.

With an attitude like yours critique of my Harley seems a rather forced and smarmy retort.

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By Cliff Carson, April 23, 2011 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

About Drones

These are robot Airplanes - some guided by humans using a joy stick in a remote setting ( some in Florida) and others that are totally human free in their search and kill.

How many of you have been paying attention to our Government?  If you paid close attention, you might have seen the blurb where Obama approved the use of these armed drones over the United States.  I think that was two weeks ago.

General McCrystal said on TV a few months ago that there were approximately 100 Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
There have been thousands of Afghans killed by these drones.  A couple of weeks ago another General was asked the same question.  He answered about 100.

Assuming both were right, who were the thousands of Afghans killed by the Drones?

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fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, April 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

Bush Regime made 2 wars - Obama Regime has made 2 more - with operatives
working throughout ME states, the mission is to fail as many as possible
without opening new obvious theaters of war

to be clear, this has nothing to do with whichever puppet POTUS is on the hot
seat - the global oligarchy’s hegemonic agenda will be fulfilled - one way or
another - most likely through Depleted Uranium Depopulation - any boot on
the ground is nothing more than cannon fodder - e.g.


Israel’s Declining Sperm Quality Tied to Depleted Uranium Exposure

by Tim King - posted: Friday, 16 April 2010 05:19

http://tinyurl.com/3s6l637

Israel’s population is facing a dire threat: a drastic depopulation, from the use
of weapons that leave behind Depleted Uranium (DU). Depleted Uranium leads
to the word Omnicidal, as DU kills everything in the food chain, everywhere the
wind blows. Experts say the dramatic drop in Israel’s sperm count could
eliminate their ability to reproduce.

[...]

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By Alan MacDonald, April 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

An excellent and much needed essay by Chomsky at this critical juncture in history.

“I do not want to end without mentioning another externality that is dismissed in market systems: the fate of the species. Systemic risk in the financial system can be remedied by the taxpayer, but no one will come to the rescue if the environment is destroyed.”

This is the first time I have heard Chomsky speak of the externality ‘gaming’ of the world—- which Empire is based upon.

It would be even more encouraging to hear such a notable as Chomsky speak of global ‘Empire’ itself, instead of global hegemon.

Empire, elitism, externalities, and extinction are critically connected concepts to understand if we are to survive.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine
Liberty & democracy over violent empire—People’s Party 2012
Global People’s Anti-Empire Action—2011/NOW!

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By Updated News, April 23, 2011 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When will US will stop its drone basis???
I am not at all against to the other countries but i am just talking about the truth

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, April 23, 2011 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

Nobel Peace Drones

By Glenn Greenwald


“April 22, 2011 “Salon”—- A U.S. drone attack in Pakistan killed 23 people this morning, and this is how The New York Times described that event in its headline and first paragraph:

When I saw that, I was going to ask how the NYT could possibly know that the people whose lives the U.S. just ended were “militants,” but then I read further in the article and it said this:  “A government official in North Waziristan told Pakistani reporters that five children and four women were among the 23 who were killed.”  So at least 9 of the 23 people we killedat least—were presumably not “militants” at all, but rather innocent civilians (contrast how the NYT characterizes Libya’s attacks in its headlines: “Qaddafi Troops Fire Cluster Bombs Into Civilian Areas”).

Can someone who defends these drone attacks please identify the purpose?  Is the idea that we’re going to keep dropping them until we kill all the “militants” in that area?  We’ve been killing people in that area at a rapid clip for many, many years now, and we don’t seem to be much closer to extinguishing them.  How many more do we have to kill before the eradication is complete? 

Beyond that, isn’t it painfully obvious that however many “militants” we’re killing, we’re creating more and more all the time?  How many family members, friends, neighbors and villagers of the “five children and four women” we just killed are now consumed with new levels of anti-American hatred?  How many Pakistani adolescents who hear about these latest killings are now filled with an eagerness to become “militants”?

The NYT article dryly noted: “Friday’s attack could further fuel antidrone sentiment among the Pakistani public”; really, it could?  It’s likely to fuel far more than mere “antidrone sentiment”; it’s certain to fuel more anti-American hatred: the primary driver of anti-American Terrorism. Isn’t that how you would react if a foreign country were sending flying robots over your town and continuously wiping out the lives of innocent women, children and men who are your fellow citizens? What conceivable rational purpose does this endless slaughter serve? Isn’t it obvious that the stated goal of all of this – to reduce the threat of Terrorism – is subverted rather than promoted by these actions?

Regarding the announcement yesterday that the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner was now deploying these same flying death robots to Libya, both The Washington Post’s David Ignatius and The Atlantic’s James Fallows make the case against that decision. In particular, Ignatius writes that “surely it’s likely that the goal was to kill Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi or other members of his inner circle.”

I don’t know if that is actually the purpose, though if Ignatius is good at anything , it’s faithfully conveying what military and intelligence officials tell him. If that is the goal, doesn’t that rather directly contradict Obama’s vow when explaining the reasons for our involvement in the war (after it started): “broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.” It already seemed clear from the joint Op-Ed by Obama and the leaders of France and Britain—in which they pledged to continue “operations” until Gadaffi was gone—that this vow had been abandoned. But if we’re sending drones to target Libyan regime leaders for death, doesn’t it make it indisputably clear that the assurances Obama gave when involving the U.S. in this war have now been violated. And does that matter?”


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27944.htm

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By PatrickHenry, April 23, 2011 at 4:57 am Link to this comment

U.S. ‘gives up’ drone base???

How about U.S. is kicked out of drone base.

Rightfully so.

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By Igor Slamoff, April 23, 2011 at 2:04 am Link to this comment

Hezbollah has an international perspective. That’s why they perpetrated 2 bloodbaths in Argentina 20 years ago. They wanted to kill Jews, and Argentine Jews were perfectly acceptable victims.

Their Prophet Mohammed used to preside at mass executions. According to his faithful biographer Ibn Ishaq, Mohammed once tortured a man all night, including building a campfire on his chest – because Mohammed wanted to seize a hidden treasure that his victim was reputed to know of.  At dawn Mohammed gave up in disgust and had the poor devil beheaded by one of the thugs who were constantly in attendance. 

The followers of that sadistic cutthroat now converge on certain points in Paris ostensibly for Friday prayers, which involves prominent heavenward thrusting movements with their buttocks. They prevent the natives from opening their shops and sometimes even confine them in their dwellings for hours while they engage in their grotesque mumbo-jumbo.

When I lived in Europe in the 1970s I found the Moslems picturesque and simpaticos. However now that they smell imminent triumph, they seem much less congenial. Especially when I found out that in many northern European cities Pakistani taxi drivers constitute an espionage web to track down disobedient Moslem women so they can be honor-killed. And perhaps they make photographs of strategic locations, too, and pass them on to their capos.  But we don’t have any definite proof of this yet.

So I respectfully request that you refrain from criticizing people who are defending their homeland from a shapeless mass that is indistinguishable from barbarism. It is a mean rhetorical trick to call people of unimpeachable democratic credentials “Fascists” because they are dissatisfied with being bullied and harassed by an aggressive and ignorant alien minority.

Actually, European Fascists have a rather ambivalent attitude toward Moslems. Adolf Hitler admired Islam because it produced fearless fighting men … you know, Islamo-Fascists like your buddies in the Hezbollah. Hitler’s genocidal ambitions were inspired by the Turks, who had slaughtered millions of Armenians, Greeks and other non-Moslem minorities living in the Ottoman empire between 1895 and 1922. Nobody ever punished the Turks for their recurring bouts of genocide. Hitler thought he could get away with it too. In the second World War, many Moslem minorities in Eastern Europe formed militias to assist the Fascist barbarians in their crimes.

But I found the rest of your article quite good, on the whole. You still haven’t lost your spark.

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By Virginia777, April 23, 2011 at 1:00 am Link to this comment

Yes. The World is too big to fail. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need each and every one of us, to prevent that from happening.

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By radson, April 22, 2011 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment

Gerard:Did you finally wake up?

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By thethirdman, April 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ,
I am no Chomsky expert, but I have read quite a few of his books.  I think I
understand the moral context from which he writes quite well.  I do not think he
is irrelevant in the least.  In fact, what drew me to him in the first place was his
admirable ability to see straight through the BS and analysis the world by
actions and not rhetoric. 
As far as pragmatism goes, what other choice does one have?  You can live in
the world of ideas, but you and I are just just trading jabs over an electronic
network of computers.  Get ‘er done.
I don’t make any assumptions about you at all.  In fact, I think you are 100%
sincere.  You do make assumptions about me though.  A sociopath cares about
nothing and no one and fails to even recognize the social conventions that
allow us to exist in harmony.  I am full of self interest, yes, I am after all an
animal. But I would say I am pretty human in the sense that I have circles of
“concern for the welfare of others” that radiates outward.  Starting with my
inner circle, I have my family, then friends, then community, then state, you get
the picture.  Some are “imagined communities” indeed, but what can I do, I
halfway believe in them?  I don’t think that must be sociopathy. It’s rather quite
human. I am just asking you to be real.  You know deep down that you don’t
really care about some Korean family in Yeoju.  They are just too far out of your
realm of perception.  Your moral indignation is admirable, but in the end, it
affects nothing.
Woofwoofboy, well done.  You struck a nerve I must admit.  I did have the name
since I came to this site, but your analysis is spot on.
I am afraid I have to agree with your ultimate outcome.  The US is well on its way
to Third World status.  It doesn’t have to be, but until we change our ways, it’s a
losing battle.  Pity.
What you perceive as triumphalist rhetoric should have been more melancholy. 
I’ll take the blame for tone.  I really like your writing style.
Prisnersdilema, “No, third man you are incorrect we don’t owe our Comforts to
the murder of the people in the rest of the world.”
Haha, okay.  Keep on believing that.  You are a good person.  You are a moral
being.  You cause no harm to others.  This world would be a wonderful place if
everyone believed what you believe.  Maybe you could show them the light.
TDoff, I don’t know if that was sarcasm, hard to tell on the net sometimes, but
I’ll take it that you half agree with half of what I said?  Maybe we are not so
unlike, you and I.  Good to see ya.

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By TAO Walker, April 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

Noam Chomsky and others here don’t lack for a grasp of how dire are the straits the domesticated peoples are in.  What they’re missing, though, is an understanding of the actual nature of their CONdition.  It is a disease, the “civilization” disease, and its symptoms are all the havoc and devastation, social and ecological, cataloged by Chomsky and Hedges and at-least a few more….and regularly seconded, even by-omission or denial, in the ensuing comments.

It is exactly this missing ‘piece,’ however, that prevents our tame Human Relations from seeing their way clear of this helluva-mess they’re sure-as-hell in.  So they go on trying the same things over-and-over-again, vainly hoping to buy or shoot or rationalize or vote their “self” some temporary relief.  Even Albert Einstein would be scratching his hoary head.

For those who would really rather get well, for a real CHANGE!, who will take The Medicine, there is always The Tiyoshpaye Way….ALWAYS!

HokaHey!

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By woofwoofboy, April 22, 2011 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

prisnersdilema, it’s true that as private citizens
Americans are very generous when it comes to donating
for humanitarian causes (as in the case of Haiti or
Japan). But their take on foreign (development) aid
is different:

When Americans guess how much their
government spends on foreign aid, they usually
estimate 25% of the total budget. In reality, it is
less than 1%.

This sobering statistic underscores a huge disconnect
between what the US public thinks is spent on foreign
aid – which includes development and other forms of
aid – and the actual amount. It also helps to explain
why the public supports cutting foreign assistance,
even though they tell pollsters about 10% of US
government spending would be the right amount. A
recent Gallup poll found that 59% of Americans wanted
to reduce foreign aid.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-
matters/2011/feb/14/us-foreign-aid-cuts

These are hard times for many Americans so I suppose
we should be grateful for the 41% that does not want
to cut aid.

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By prisnersdilema, April 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

No, third man you are incorrect we don’t owe our Comforts to the murder of the people
in the rest of the world. Last time I checked Americans have been quite generous in
terms of our aid to the rest of the world. Our military behavior elsewhere is a result of
the Randian belief system of a relative small number of criminals at the top of our
society.  We owe our comforts to those that chose to live a civilized existence rather
than eat each other raw.  Our military has been sorely weakened by that same group of
sociopaths, who run things. That same group once again has chosen to continue to
prevent technological progress to maintain monopolistic control over our economy. You
get real third man, world thermonuclear war would kill us all. The East and West coast
would sustain heavy losses due to massive bombardment from thermonuclear war
heads. Bunkers would not be sufficient protection, nor would they be able adequate
supplies non radioactive air to sustain human life. For human life to continue me must
cooperate with the rest of the world. It will be much easier in the long run to jail the 400
Randian dveiants now in charge, than become a charred desert of nuclear waste.

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, April 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

I always thought that Noam Chomsky was and is one of the intellectual giants of all times; a man of brilliant mind and superior heart and soul. However, after reading this latest article, I realize, to my distress, why a man of such caliber was never vetted by successive stupid American administrations for say, a Secretary of State position or any any other prestigious political office.

Alas, in the world where mental midgets dominate, intellectual giants are depreciated if not totally ignored or scorned!!!

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By gerard, April 22, 2011 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Glad I listened to “Democracy Now” before I read through these comments.  Vandana Shiva, Maud Barlow, Tim DeChristopher, Bill McKibben, Van Jones, Amy Goodman ... Noam Chomsky, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, Evo Morales, to name just a few heroic leaders ... all is not lost yet.  As Bruce Levine’s new book challenges us all:  “Get Up, Stand Up”.

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By woofwoofboy, April 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, thethirdman, I get that your username
references Harry Lime’s famous sentiments in the
movie of the same name:

You know, I never feel comfortable on
these sort of things. Victims? Don’t be melodramatic.
Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any
pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If
I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot
that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to
keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots
you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old
man. Free of income tax - the only way you can save
money nowadays.

Too clever by half, old chap. You do remember what
happened to Harry at the end, don’t you?

As repellent as I find his brutalitarian Realpolitik,
I’m afraid that thethirdman may have a point, which
predictably he backs into with elephantine grace.
Have you ever tried to accommodate your taken-for-
granted Western standard of living to Third-World
conditions? I lived and worked with some indigenous
peoples in Africa who subsist at what most Americans
would regard as an intolerable level of material
discomfort.

The liberals/progressives with whom I discussed my
experiences didn’t seem particularly eager to join me
in taking vows of poverty to help The Less Fortunate
(if poverty is even the right world, per the old
distinction about the difference between poverty and
misery). It’s always easier and way more convenient
to write a check—-not a negligible thing, since
without money things would be much worse. But
actually being with these people… Sorry, I’d
like to help out more but I’m afraid my iPad might
never show up in baggage claim. These foreign
airports, you know… 

Words are breath and spit in someone’s mouth or
serried armies of pixels marching across the screen.
It’s far too easy to scorn in rhetoric what you
submit to in practice on a daily basis. Sociopathy
may be a prerequisite to continue functioning as a
Good American. Exactly what are you willing to give
up?

BTW, thethirdman, GE’s Jeffrey Immelt says, “We’ve
globalized around markets, not cheap labor. The era
of globalizat­ion around cheap labor is over. Today we
go to China, we go to India, because that’s where the
customers are.”

You do of course realize that what GE’s Hit Man for
All Seasons is really saying is that major consumer
markets are no longer in God’s country and in fact
America will third-world its way into being a primary
source of cheap labor (hence union-stripping,
tweaking child-labor laws, etc.) Might want to check
that triumphalist rhetoric at the door.

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By samosamo, April 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

****************


I gave up several years ago in not believing the truly prescient
authors trying to inform people of reality, not the hocus-pocus
of corporate government public relations rhetoric. Chomsky is
one of them as was Zinn and there are others, really for me so
many others whose works I just won’t have the time and
probably money to read. But these are the people that will tell
the truth, any thing coming from Mordor-on-the-Potomac is
obfuscation, balderdash and bunkum and Orwellian.

What Chomsky says here is also just another continuation of the
deviously demented and avarice minds from europe and the
middle east brought with them when they invaded the western
hemisphere.

And the u.s. has never really been anything more than a staging
area for those who’s self proclaim authority allows them to
create insidious organizations such as the world trade
organization, international monetary fund, world back, trilateral
commission or the council of foreign relations that are all use to
give the ‘elite’ their ‘edge’ or as chomsky defined it their
‘stability’, being nothing more or less than a bastardization of
some kind of legitimacy.  Witness how well these pieces are used
to manipulate global economics all for the benefit of the 1%ers.

Look how well it worked in South America over a half a century
ago and how most of those south american countries don’t even
want to think about having any of those insidious organizations
being allowed to dictate their sovereign nation agendas again.
Same as what happened lately in the east, maybe less so to
Korea, Japan and Indonesia. All fell to the hopes that what was
provided economically for them would hold them up and
through the various ‘economic downturns’ of the the 20th
century until to day.

I also ask ‘how can this planet with all its infections, horrors,
greed and indiscriminate flippant treatment of the environment
ever hope to maintain 7,000,000,000 people’? It won’t.

Herb Stein of nixon’s administration’s security advisors said it
best and succinctly: “Things that can’t go on forever, don’t”.
Nothing is permanent except change.

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, April 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

It’s not necessary for me to condemn you; you have condemned yourself, openly, and unashamedly. Apparently, you do believe that Chomsky is relevant, as far as his writing serves your sociopathic self interest, but you ignore the context in which he writes. Chomsky writes from a moral perspective; a perspective that you find irrelevant in so much as it does not serve your sociopathic philosophy of self interest.

You seek to portray your sociopathic beliefs as being mere rational pragmatism, and you suggest that I will come to my senses when my security and safety are threatened, but it is my belief that security and safety are in jeopardy because of sociopathic nationalism and unbridled quest for hegemony and empire that Chomsky documents, but it is not just me that is threatened, it is those who inhabit nations seen as being potential threats to the objectives of empire that are threatened by the rapacious instincts of empire. One does not have to be a statistician to count the numbers victimized by the objectives of empire;  Chomsky has documented those numbers in his writings, those numbers have been documented by the United Nations, Human Rights Organizations, world renowned Medical Journals, and by the very acts of empire.

I’m convinced that the false assumptions you make about me result from the fact that what I believe is so foreign to you that you can not believe I’m sincere, but I am sincere, especially when I say that you are guided by a sociopathic self interest devoid of concern for the welfare of others. The contention that you are a serial killer might strike you as being totally absurd, but I am firmly convinced that you and your ilk are, in the final analysis, serial killers.

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By TDoff, April 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

Three things seem apparent, that might be called undeniable ‘truths’ in this hypocritical world.

Noam Chomsky and thethirdman have their s**t together, and a good grasp of reality. That’s two things.

The third is that as much fun as it can be to rant and rave and espouse here, not a single freakin’ word written on the ‘Net will make a bit of difference in or to the world as it is. Unless…

It’s part of a true call to action, an actual movement, the beginning of doing something concrete to change the status-quo. Keeping in mind that ultimately what needs to change is human nature. Hypocrisy and greed, for example. Good luck with changing those.

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By thethirdman, April 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

You guys all talk a big game, but none of you are ready to admit that your
entire existence is built upon the death and destruction of the rest of the world. 
I know you wish it weren’t true, but it is.

Every time I read these posts, the number one argument is that the United
States says one thing, yet does another.  Okay, we got it, we are hypocrites.  All
I am advocating is that we get past this silly need to justify our resource grab
and see why we are doing what we are doing.  Then at least we could do it more
efficiently.  It doesn’t have to be war.  In fact, places like South Korea are
bleeding us dry and offering us NOTHING in return.  That’s just silly on our
part.  What do we get for upholding the House of Saud? We do stupid shit
around the world, and then wonder why we are going broke?

Ardee, where did your computer come from?  Where do you get the power to
surf the web?  What do you put in the tank of that sweet ride of yours? (That’s
not sarcasm, it really is pretty sweet.)

aprohricht, “I think when we just start looking at each other as simply human
beings and stop defining who we are by our race, ethnicity, nationality, gender,
sexual orientation, religion, etc. is when we can start to repair the damages.” 
Good luck with that buddy.  Oh and it’s not a material comfort you wish to
have?  I call BS.  I bet you’re not quite as ready as you thought to renounce your
lot in life…

Prisnersdilema, get real man.  If it’s not the US it will be China in this power
grab.  I presume you read the article.  You think the rest of the world will stop
spinning if we renounce power and hold hands around the camp fire?

JDmysticDJ, thanks for recognizing my sociopathic ways, but I think you’re
missing my point.  I find Chomsky very relevant; I think he has a pretty good
idea of what is taking shape around the world.  If we could ever have real
discussions about what we need as a nation, and what we are willing to sacrifice
to get it, we would want to choose smart, capable leaders.  Not the Trumps or
the Palins our shit society would like to share a beer with.  We need leaders that
take issues like global warming seriously, leaders who don’t believe in invisible
men in the sky.  You may feel good about yourself with your high morals and
ability to understand the great intellectuals, but I bet you might feel a little
different when empire runs its course and the safety and security you love
begins to fall apart around you.  This world could be a very different place, and
not always for the better.

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By JDmysticDJ, April 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

Thethirdman should be recognized for the sociopath that he is, but there is a danger in not taking him seriously. Thethirdman echoes Trump in his philosophical outlook and pronouncements. It should be pointed out that Trump’s popularity with Republicans is equal to Reagan’s popularity with Republicans in 1976, and exceeds Hitler’s popularity in Germany in 1928. Also, just two short years ago, many considered the Tea Partiers to be laughable morons; today they are a powerful force in our governments, local and Federal. I have been arguing, since their appearance, that the Tea Partiers were the vanguard of a neo-fascist movement. I continue to believe that is the case, and I believe that my assertion has been validated by recent political events. Tea Party supported and elected politicians are moving to centralize political power, and to usurp the authority of elected local governments within their domains.

A seemingly unrelated discussion, that I believe is of the utmost importance, is the recent disclosures about Ayn Rand, and the suggested role model for her political novels, William Edward Hickman. The real life story of William Edward Hickman is brutal beyond belief, and the fact that Ayn Rand would expound on the virtues of Hickman’s philosophy as a support for her sociopathic dialectic is revealing. There is no evidence that Ayn Rand was advocating monstrous serial killing, but the fact that she would see virtue in Hickman’s thought processes should be illuminating to people not already contaminated by the ideology of self interest. It is my often stated belief that human goodness diminishes as it moves from Left to Right on the political spectrum.

In conclusion, I’ll offer my opinion that Chomsky is a huge intellect, and that his knowledge and intelligence dwarfs that of ordinary human beings such as we, but I fear that his use of irony and subtle sarcasm will be lost on the intellectually challenged, and that they will come away without the foggiest notion of what Chomsky is writing, while others such as thethirdman, will find Chomsky’s writing irrelevant.

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By Cliff Carson, April 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

And you would be correct.  That would be the difference in a Democracy and a Republic, which is what our Government is.

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de profundis clamavi's avatar

By de profundis clamavi, April 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

Yes, if we all stopped being apathetic and passive, things might get a little bit better, but only very, very slowly, under our current constitution. The “Founding Fathers” (bless their Holy Names) made sure nothing was going to change very fast, certainly not fast enough to maintain the interest and participation of the vast majority of citizens who, inevitably, must devote the most of their time and energy to keeping themselves housed and fed, in good times or bad, and even more so in bad times. So the worse things get for ordinary citizens, the easier they are to control, apart from a few activists who can be eliminated relatively easily.

That leaves our purposefully designed system of institutional gridlock to the control of the only class of citizens who have billions of dollars and plenty of free time to spend on lobbying, propaganda (euphemistically called “news media”) and the endless election cycle: the richest 0.1%

Who has been getting richer while 90% of us get poorer? The richest 0.1%. Who will continue to get richer and more powerful under the current constitution? The richest 0.1%.  Who designed the American constitutional system? The richest 0.1% of 1788.

And what are the flaws that have to be removed before America can start resembling a “democracy”?

The Senate.

The independent Executive branch.

The lifetime tenure of Federal judges.

Everything else that is wrong with America flows from these constitutional features - I call them “flaws” because I support the idea of a true democracy in America, but our ruling elite calls them “Checks and Balances” designed to thwart the “Tyranny of the Majority”. What do YOU call the “Tyranny of the Majority”? I call it “Democracy”.

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By aprohricht, April 22, 2011 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

“I’m really not even that opposed to invading other countries for their resources.  It
is, after all, what we owe our everyday material comfort to.”

It is this “us” versus “them” attitude that got us in this predicament in the first place. I think when we just start looking at each other as simply human beings and stop defining who we are by our race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. is when we can start to repair the damages. Yes, we do owe our material comforts to other countries. We have these comforts at the cost of millions of lives all over the world. That is not comfort that I want.

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By Cliff Carson, April 22, 2011 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

What an excellent and illustrative presentation of what is wrong and how it can get easily much worse.

I think a couple of weeks ago I stated in a comment on one of these threads that when we start looking for the culprits who have enabled the take over of our lives by the Elite, we should look in the the mirror.  So much better stated by Chomsky:

“As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome.”

The future is not set - it can be re-determined by those of us who will be most harmed if change is not forced on our current system of corruption that favors the immoral.

Please remember the statement of Eisenhower in a speech in the early fifty’s:

“America is Great because America is Good, If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be Great.”

One thing is for sure - Things Change - what we need to do is see that the change is for the better.

What can you do?  What are you prepared to do?

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, April 22, 2011 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

The third mans answer is the one chosen by the plutocracy, turn this, Country into the
4th Reich. Then that makes good Germans of us all.

Except, for the fact that we’re losing two wars, already, and economically we’ve been
gutted,by the same people that are now trying to gut the world.

members of The plutocracy are already taking refuge in their own Fuher bunkers like
Hitler did in the end.

Maybe, like WW II the military will try to take over before the end rather than see their
country and the world destroyed by meglomaniacs. Even without that many Americans
will resist, there are many millions of good people that remain in this country and in the
world.

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A Khokar's avatar

By A Khokar, April 22, 2011 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

Seeing as how the UN top five after targeting a specific country gang up to get pass a resolution to make it legal and commit atrocities like we have seen in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now in Libya; UN secretary must be a man of no conscious

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By ardee, April 22, 2011 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

thethirdman, April 22 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

I’m really not even that opposed to invading other countries for their resources.  It is, after all, what we owe our everyday material comfort to.

If any look for reasons why this nation is increasingly isolated, increasingly cruel, and increasingly turning towards third world status the above cited comment should certainly demonstrate the almost flabbergasting ignorance of many of our own citizens. Such stupidity lends itself to control by forces they remain totally unaware control them, contributes greatly to our being increasingly despised by the majority of the worlds population and , perhaps worst of all, makes change more difficult.

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By thethirdman, April 22, 2011 at 4:55 am Link to this comment

I’m really not even that opposed to invading other countries for their resources.  It
is, after all, what we owe our everyday material comfort to.  Just don’t tell me it’s
to spread democracy or freedom.  What ever happened to “let’s take it because
we’re stronger” and “we love us more than them?”  At least those are ideas to fight
for.  If Chomsky is correct, the whole world is in a lot of trouble.  If that’s the case,
I’m not so upset about living under the greatest power the world has ever known. 
It would appear, however, that we are not doing a very good job at using our
resources wisely.  The sooner we can get over our need to justify what we do, the
sooner we can take smart rational action when it comes to dealing with the rest of
the world.

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By NZDoug, April 22, 2011 at 2:36 am Link to this comment

The world is too fail to big.
http://www.wired.com/images/multimedia/magazine/1705/Wired_May_2009_Geor
gia_Guidestones.pdf

Total destructions the only solution..%)

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, April 22, 2011 at 12:51 am Link to this comment

Would you want to buy a radioactive car?

The world is failing, and the props that are holding things up, only ensure a more catastrophic, and quicker end to it all…..

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