…there is a tide in the affairs of men (and women)…
Today, the VII Summit of the America (SoA) ends. And, there, as evidence of the nobility of US intentions, would be that momentous handshake between Cuban President Raúl Castro and the US President Barack Obama – and for the corporate US MSM that symbolic event would be more than sufficient for those who still refuse to look elsewhere for reliable and accurate news.
So we put some context to this. US President Obama had no option but to meet with Castro – he had been warned by most countries at the VI SoA in Cartagena that no Cuba at the VII SoA, then no VII SoA. Simple. Of course, being the US one step forward must always be met by more than one backward. So, the US President, to placate the Cuban elites in the US and the right-wing nutters in both corporate parties, would then go forward and declare, just few weeks before the VII SoA, Venezuela a threat to the security of the United States, thereby provoking undiminishing ridicule, not to mention criticism from even close allies. Read the rest of this entry »
…the final granting of a national holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. did serve to sedate the restless US ‘natives’, not the real ones, and appeared to calm a world bemused by the constant prattle about the the uniqueness of democracy that is the US…
Chris Hedges uses the occasion of the US holiday to frame the ‘lecture’ of the US President to his citizens on the surveillance practices of the US corporate surveillance state. But before getting to Hedges, couple quick glances elsewhere.
For starters, when even the NYT declares the reforms proposed by the President, ‘…were frustratingly short on specifics and vague on implementation...’ we know that the jig is basically up, though most would observe that the NYT phrase has long been applicable to most of the President’s pronouncements. In any case the thing has just started, for along comes the BBC, which is strictly establishment conformist. One of its reports, Obama’s NSA speech leaves more questions than answers. And here the BBC frames the speech with the US President framed within the frame of his teleprompter. Would that that were all to it, when comes another post from the ‘Beeb’, Obama’s NSA speech reflects American apathy. And from that, we have this critical observation, Read the rest of this entry »
…the holiday in honour of Martin Luther King, Jr. will see the ritual platitudes, ‘I have a dream…’ and all…
Absent will be his keen observation on the US society and its government. This old blog post, The Martin Luther King You Don’t See on TV, over at fair deserves a ritual posting. A snippet to ensure that sceptical view of the ‘truth’ of the corporate MSM,
An alert viewer might notice that the chronology jumps from 1965 to 1968. Yet King didn’t take a sabbatical near the end of his life. In fact, he was speaking and organizing as diligently as ever.
Almost all of those speeches were filmed or taped. But they’re not shown today on TV.
It’s because national news media have never come to terms with what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for during his final years.
In foreign policy, King also offered an economic critique, complaining about “capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries.”
And, yes, that blog post dates to 04 Jan 1995. And with regard to his speech on Vietnam, Beyond Vietnam (4 April 1967), we find the predictable responses of the two leading corporate MSM of the US – no opposition to US military adventures will be brooked. Nothing has changed; and if so, for the worse. There alone the value of the blogs and new media…
To keep Dr King’s Dream alive, on 14 January 2011 Peter Hart of FAIR posted an article from Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon of the same blog. Dated 4 January 1995, the title of their article is, ‘The Martin Luther King You Don’t See on TV’ that highlights the cynical glossing over of Dr King’s philosophy by the US corporate media…
On Wednesday, 28 August 2013, the predictable sanctimoniousness of the preening pretenders should be sufficient to ensure the farce is one to be missed.
Of the principal aims of Martin Luther King’s march on Washington, DC in 1963 two were, to achieve social justice and to achieve meaningful jobs, employment, for all qualified, willing and able to work. Were he here today he would see a dearth of opportunities amid crass materialism. Not only that, he would also see a dearth of the intended beneficiaries and a surfeit of the wrong beneficiaries, beneficiaries who would fit perfectly the apt description Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael, both deceased, had for such folk.
We look to Dr King’s Sermon at RiversideChurch in New York City on 4 April 1967 for lessons after those 50 years of his march, when much of mainstream media are busy re-creating the history of their subtle involvement in racism in denouncing Dr King at the time.
One observation Dr King made then was,
“…As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through non-violent action. But, they asked, what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, my own government….”
Dr King also reflected on ‘noblesse oblige’, the additional responsibilities from being awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace,
“As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1964; and I cannot forget that the Nobel Prize for Peace was also a commission, a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for the “brotherhood of man. This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances, but even if it were not present I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ…”
[Bold added for emphasis.]
His statement juxtaposes nicely with this observation from Tom Englehardt in his Praying at the Chapel of St Drone,
You get a sense of this from the language of the piece itself. (“A parallel, more cloistered selection process at the C.I.A. focuses largely on Pakistan…”) The president is presented as a particularly moral man, who devotes himself to the “just war” writings of religious figures like Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine, and takes every death as his own moral burden. His leading counterterrorism advisor Brennan, a man who, while still in the CIA, was knee-deep in torture controversy, is presented, quite literally, as a priest of death, not once but twice in the piece.
Of course, thought about another way, that “terror Tuesday” scene might not be from a monastery or a church synod, but from a Mafia council directly out of a Mario Puzo novel, with the president as the Godfather, designating “hits” in a rough-and-tumble world.
[Bold added for emphasis.]
Englehardt is writing of another winner of the Nobel Prize, an awardee who never had a track record in anything before being awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.
In the profitable game of war (and now the fabricated and very lucrative terror industry), Dr King observed,
“…We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for our troops must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy and the secure while we create a hell for the poor…’
[Bold added, as indicated, for emphasis.]
Nothing changes but the name of l’ennemi du jour, as the title holder for ‘greatest purveyor of violence in the world today’ has remained unchanged.
And if we look at some of the reality Dr King’s Dream has realized: Gen Colin Powell and his test tube and his evidence of WMD and rewards; Dr Condoleeza Rice and her evidence of WMD and policy of torture and rewards; Dr Susan Rice and her Viagra of Libya and genocide in Rwanda and rewards; revolving door, Attorney-General Holder of bankers too big to jail, Covington & Burling representing Chiquita, of pardoning Marc Rich and rewards; and, then, President Barack Obama. Republican or Democrat, only difference is in spelling. And they are all clean and articulate, and lack the ‘dialect’, fitting neatly the observations of Messrs Biden and Reid regarding one. In contrast, there is Congressman John Lewis.
The Dream has an even longer way to go to realisation, as corporate control of society and the economy has become even tighter.