Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Chalmers Johnson, one of the best analysts anywhere of US foreign policy, briskly described the basis for asymmetric terrorism (Blowback) like that of Al-Qaeda a few years ago: "Blowback" is a CIA term. It was first invented after the CIA intervention against the government of Iran in 1953 when we overthrew an elected government there for the interests of the British and American petroleum industries. Blowback refers to the unintended consequences of clandestine policies that have been kept secret from the American public. I think it's important to stress that any policy may have unintended consequences, but here we're talking about unintended consequences of policies that the public knows nothing about, therefore, has no context within which to place them, and ends up with a daffy president going around asking, "Why do they hate us?"
Johnson: "My analysis was that the things we had done during the cold war, and the first decade after the cold war, were generating almost uncontrollable blowback. I did not, obviously, specifically anticipate anything like 9-11, but I certainly did anticipate and predict terrorist acts against Americans-military and civilian, abroad and at home-and therefore, was not particularly surprised when the attacks came on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in September of 2001. At the time, I did not think that they were necessarily Islamic terrorists; I thought they could have been from Argentina, Chile, Indonesia, Okinawa, Greece, or any number of places on earth where we have carried out clandestine activities that unquestionably generate hostility toward the United States."
Chamers Johnson continues:
First of all, I think the obvious thing right now is our mistaken reaction to 9-11. It became almost taboo in this country after 9-11 to even ask what the motives of the attackers were. The public has now been so confused by lies from our government that they believe Saddam Hussein was the one behind it. Of course, we know he wasn't, and since there is no evidence that he could have been, the people have gotten that idea only from listening to the disinformationthat comes from the White House and the Pentagon.A Note on Johnson: Chalmers Johnson served in the Navy during the Korean War. He earned his Ph.D. in political science at UC Berkeley and taught there and at UC San Diego until 1992. He served as chairman of the Center for Chinese Studies and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Chalmers Johnson is president and co-founder of the Japan Policy Research Institute (www.jpri.org). He has written numerous articles and reviews and twelve books on Asian subjects, including, Peasant Nationalism and Communist Power, MITI and the Japanese Miracle, and Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire. His latest book is titled, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic.
September 11th was not an attack on America's values or America's democracy or America's wealth. It was an attack on American foreign policy and there were some fairly obvious things that should have been done at once which would have defused the situation. First, we should have withdrawn the troops at once that we had based in Saudi Arabia. Since the first war with Iraq in 1991, they were just exacerbating the situation rather than serving any real function. Second, we should have said that we do support the continuity of the state of Israel, but we do not support Israeli Zionist imperialism. And that until the settlements in the West Bank are closed-which are a cancer working on Israeli society in a destructive manner-we're going to cease our continued bankrolling of Israel, both financially and militarily. Last, we should have instituted at once a crash program of fuel conservation that could have easily eliminated our dependence on Persian Gulf petroleum imports.
We didn't do any of those things. Instead, we set out to use our massive military power against two peculiarly puny and defenseless targets-Afghanistan and Iraq-producing untold misery. This will without question generate and recruit more people committed to the idea of attacking the United States.
The Department of Defense has said for years that nobody can meet us militarily except in one of two ways: one, with the use of nuclear weapons, which would deter us; and the other is what they call, in typical Pentagon jargon, "asymmetrical warfare," meaning the weak attacking the super powerful via terrorism. There is every reason to anticipate that we will have more terrorism as we increasingly sink into the two quagmires that we have created in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Bumskipper # 7 sleevenotes by Pete Um
The central chunk of lyrics for this were sourced from a schoolgirl’s biology exercise book. Her homework was to explain what sound consists of and how we hear it. As soon as I mentioned schoolgirls Man From Uranus popped over to donate some keys. Thanks Phil.
- Get Out Of (Dodge)
This is a cowboy song. You can almost hear him slopping around in the saddle. There is neither rest nor welcome for him or his horse, but this way of life has its own rewards.
- Blessing For Cervix
Some off the cuff looping action meant to bless cervixes for luck.
- Water Buffalo
We used to have a buffalo’s skull next to the pool. I’m guessing you didn’t.
This one’s been hanging around for ages and should have been on Giraffe Outtakes, chronologically speaking. Mortality/hypochondria/fear of flying etc. It takes place in an airport departure lounge.
I can’t help myself
I’ve fallen on my shoulder
On airport seating
I’m mortal at Mach 2
And I need somebody
Like you, to help me out
Come closer as I breathe,
My last words to you:
- They Made Me Market Myself.
The trouble with art for art’s sake is that it’s virtually impossible, in practical terms, for various reasons. Art and money are like an old married couple who loathe each other, but cannot separate.
- Big Weight (Can’t Travel About).
For some reason it sounds like I’m saying “Big Pete, can’t travel about…” which is true enough. This is one of those generalised, non-specific, bear-with-a-sore-head type of Um songs about the fuckedness of the Um situation. The Kate is Tunstall.
The video for this would be filmed from the back of a speeding pick-up truck on an Iraqi highway, with occasional passing vehicles.
- Foreign Boy
Some plain-speaking, or moaning, I suppose. That’s Christoforou at the start!
- Don’t Lose Your Shape.
Be true to thyself, and be good to yourself too.
This was entirely created in the back of a Bedford Auto Sleeper camper van on a very hot day. Syd on vox and disingenuousness.
- Our Shared Toilet.
You know how objects can begin to stand for ideas, and how when you’re taking a leak you end up staring at the same thing each time, like the cover of a magazine, and it becomes a bit wearisome?
- The Man Who Lived Too Slow.
Been smoking too long.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Something kind of spooky about this, possibly to do with the fact that you can't make out the details of his face, and the fact that the sonics all seem to be coming from outside, and the fact that it seems to be in a loo, and the fact that a couple of the guy's moves are just so uncannily good.
Oh, and his ARMY t-shirt.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Anybody give me a little potted history of Clueless at the time and since?