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“Killing Gaza” captures culture of resistance

“Killing Gaza” captures culture of resistanceMax BlumenthalThe Electronic Intifada17 May 2018 Watch the trailer of Killing Gaza above or stream the whole film on demand here. Westerners witnessed Israel’s massacre of protesters at the culmination of Gaza’s Great March of Return on 14 May mostly through bytes of imagery transmitted onto flat screens and smartphones. They saw montages of horse-drawn carts carrying bloodied bodies and zig-zagging through thick clouds of teargas, flashes of young men charging at the high-tech fences and militarized fortifications that hold their lives in a soul-sapping stasis, rescue workers overwhelmed by the sheer number of casualties, and grainy footage of snipers in olive drab hunting their prey with laser range finders and terminating 62 lives with the flick of a trigger. For too many in the West, the scenes of death in Gaza’s Israeli-declared no-go zone were simulacra of devastation detached from the lived reality of those who flocked to the seven week…
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Ian Buruma on "Occidentalism"

Ian Buruma on "Occidentalism"
posted to www.marxmail.org on February 5, 2004
Dear Professor Ian Buruma,
As a BardCollege graduate from the class of 1965, I continue to be impressed by the transformation of what Walter Winchell called "the little red whorehouse on the Hudson" into a wholly owned subsidiary of George Soros's Open Society. Along with your fellow NY Review of Books contributor Mark Danner on the Human Rights faculty, Bard seems uniquely positioned to lead the legions of the Cruise Missile liberal-left.
In the latest Chronicle of Higher Education (http://chronicle.com/free/v50/i22/22b01001.htm), you have an article titled "The Origins of Occidentalism" that stakes out the rather courageous position that the West must resist Islamic radicalism. One reading it is reminded of those propaganda films from WWII when a swastika was seen sweeping across Europe like a vast oil spill on the Atlantic. By 1947 the swastika had been replaced by the hammer-…

Pentagon Can't Account for $21 Trillion

MAY 14, 2018TD ORIGINALS The Pentagon Can't Account for $21 Trillion (That's Not a Typo)Then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates during a 2008 visit to Kosovo with U.S. Army troops on foot patrol in the town of Gnjilane. (The U.S. Army / CC BY 2.0) Twenty-one trillion dollars. The Pentagon’s own numbers show that it can’t account for $21 trillion. Yes, I mean trillion with a “T.” And this could change everything. But I’ll get back to that in a moment. There are certain things the human mind is not meant to do. Our complex brains cannot view the world in infrared, cannot spell words backward during orgasm and cannot really grasp numbers over a few thousand. A few thousand, we can feel and conceptualize. We’ve all been in stadiums with several thousand people. We have an idea of what that looks like (and how sticky the floor gets).
But when we get into the millions, we lose it. It becomes a fog of nonsense. Visualizing it feels like trying to hug a memory. We may know what $1 mill…

Land of the Free. Home of the Brave

US State Passes Law Defining Any Criticism of Israel as ‘Anti-Semitic’ Just As They Kill 60 Civilians As many Americans criticize the number of civilian deaths on the Gaza Strip, a state has passed a measure labeling criticism of Israel as "anti-Semitism." By Rachel Blevins
 -  May 16, 2018 The news that Israel killed more than 60 Palestinians on Monday alone, has sparked criticism from Americans who are frustrated with the United States’ failure to hold one of its closest allies accountable for the human rights violations it is committing—and individuals in one state will soon be labeled as “anti-Semitic” for openly voicing their opinion. South Carolina will become the first state to legally define criticism of Israel as “anti-Semitism” when a new measure goes into effect on July 1, targeting public schools and universities. While politicians have tried to pass the measure as a standalone law for two years, they finally succeeded temporarily by passing it as a “proviso” that …

Time’s Up for Israel’s Impunity

MAY 16, 2018TD ORIGINALS
Time’s Up for Israel’s Impunity
Israeli soldiers stand guard at a watchtower along the Israel-Gaza border Tuesday. (Ariel Schalit / AP) Side by side on the screen, the images could hardly be more grotesque. In Jerusalem, a beaming Ivanka Trump, clad all in white, extends her hand like a game-show hostess, unveiling the plaque of the new American embassy that bears her father’s name. Scarcely 40 miles away, dozens of unarmed Palestinians, children and a baby among them, are slaughtered by Israeli soldiers near a fence in Gaza. In the hours following the massacre, U.S. officials followed a familiar script to convey upon Israel, yet again, a blanket impunity. As Gazans were still counting their dead, a White House spokesman blamed “a gruesome and unfortunate propaganda attempt” by Hamas. Jared Kushner declared the Gazans to be “part of the problem.” At the U.N., U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley managed to blame Iran. And the president, icon of oblivious disregard, prai…

It's the End of the World, and I Feel Terrible

MAY 16, 2018TD ORIGINALS
It's the End of the World, and I Feel TerribleIvy Mike was a hydrogen bomb and the first thermonuclear weapon ever tested. The U.S. detonated it on Nov. 1, 1952, on the island of Elugelab in Enewetak Atoll, part of the Marshall Islands in the western Pacific Ocean, as part of Operation Ivy. (National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office)
I’ve written many hundreds of columns. The one below has caused me the most uncertainty about going public with it. I’m accustomed to writing about facts, quotes, documented history, while offering assessments. But this piece extrapolates from the current zeitgeist, going into realms of events that must be speculative and—until too late—unprovable. Diary So lucky to be here. Tiny island of dreams.

The serenity is unbelievable, except I want to believe it. Bluest waves with silver froth. Sun through the palms is damn near orgasmic. And solitude! If I can’t finish the book here, it’ll be my own fault. *** Sort o…