Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Best Not Miss: Trump Assassination Tango

 Best Not Miss
Trump Assassination Tango

Jim Kavanagh

The first and worst thing to say about the attempted assassination of Trump is that it is going to divert attention from the much more important and horrific mass slaughter of Palestinians that is taking place daily in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as the constant Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Syria. Nothing that did happen, or could have happened, to Donald Trump or any American politician supporting that atrocity is worth an ounce of concern that should be going to the killed and amputated children of Gaza. In that context, it’s particularly sickening to witness the spectacle of politicians across the US political spectrum proclaiming the unacceptability of “political violence”—meaning violence against establishment politicians—while they vie to manage the country MLK correctly called “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”

Nonetheless, I’ll succumb to discussing what is, however ultimately diversionary, an unavoidable event that’s symptomatic of the present, tense, American political paradigm and of the peculiar, fascinating history of such events in American history. It’s impossible to ignore, and kind of fun to discuss, presidential-level political assassination.

So what are we dealing with here? What we seem to know now is that shots were fired at Donald Trump—a volley of three evenly spaced shots followed by another volley of five more quickly spaced shots; Trump was injured, either directly by a bullet or indirectly by the glass of a shattered teleprompter that was hit by a bullet; a spectator was killed and two others critically wounded; a man, identified as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks, was seen climbing onto a roof with a rifle by witnesses who pointed him out to police and Secret Service personnel, and was shot and killed by a Secret Service sniper after shots were fired at Trump.

We know, from Butler County Sheriff Michael Slupe, as interviewed by Pittsburgh CBS affiliate KDKA-TV, that an armed police officer “had both hands up on the roof to get up on the roof, never made it because the shooter had turned toward the officer, and—rightfully and smartfully—the officer let go.”

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

The Democrats’ Painful Suicide

The Democrats’ Painful Suicide
Jim Kavanagh

So, Biden’s debate debacle clarified a number of things and opened a slew of bizarre and unprecedented questions that will have to be resolved quickly.

The first thing that’s been clarified beyond question is that Joe Biden, the President of the United States, is seriously cognitively impaired, suffering from a worsening dementia—as Seymour Hersh says: “simply no longer there…a captive [who has] rapidly diminished over the past six months.”

Also thus clarified is the fact that those of us who were saying this for years were correct, were capable of recognizing and telling the truth, and those who were denying it were wrong , were lying (perhaps to themselves first of all, but definitely to their audiences), and were engaged in a desperate program of gaslighting anyone who did tell the truth.

Let's be clear: No one in the Democratic, liberaloid cohort who claims to be shocked or surprised by what happened Thursday night deserves anything but scorn and ruthless critique. Here's a bit of what “dog-face pony soldier” Joe Biden was doing 4-5 years ago:

November, 2019

January, 2020 

If you did not know—or, more precisely, did not admit that you knew—that Joe Biden had major, rapidly worsening, cognitive impairment, for at least the last few years, it's because you inexcusably refused to recognize what you were seeing with your own eyes, and attacked the people who were telling you.  

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Out of Touch: The Empire Has Lost Its Mind

 Out of Touch: The Empire Has Lost Its Mind

Jim Kavanagh

I've been trying to figure out something to say that captures the insanity of the present conjuncture, and a friend steered me to an article in the Washington Post about American strategy towards China that epitomizes the delusional and dangerous thinking that underlies American policy around the world.

In the piece, titled “Preparing for a China war, the Marines are retooling how they’ll fight,” WaPo National Security Reporter, Ellen Nakashima explains the U.S. “military’s latest concept for fighting adversaries like China from remote, strategic islands in the western Pacific…striving to adapt to a maritime fight that could play out across thousands of miles of islands and coastline in Asia.”

The strategy, dubbed “Force Design” involves the “forward deployment” of “smaller, lighter, more mobile” Marine units called Littoral Combat Teams throughout the  First Island Chain, “a crucial stretch of territory sweeping from Japan to Indonesia.” These smaller, lighter Teams will be “as invisible as possible to radar and other electronic detection,” and will “gather intelligence and target data… as well as occasionally sink ships with medium-range missiles”— thus “enabl[ing] the larger joint force to deploy its collective might.”

Of course, there is no other “adversary like” China, and this is the “latest concept” for nothing else but winning a war against the People’s Republic of China (PRC), blocking any attempt by the PRC to forcibly reunify its Taiwan province with the mainland. What’s remarkable is that, in carefully describing how this innovative war-fighting strategy might work (“The reality of the mission is daunting”), Nakashima makes painfully clear how utterly ridiculous it actually is.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The Wall: American Students Hit The Iron Wall of Zionism

American college students have launched a movement that has run into the Iron Wall of Zionism


It was the subject of a foundational book by a founding father of modern Zionism. It was the object that Zionist soldiers ruthlessly defended in 2018. It is what protesting American students have just run into. Concretely and conceptually, it is the keystone of the Zionist project: the Wall.

The first rule of Zionism is that the wall must be absolutely impenetrable.

The material wall must be impenetrable because, in the context of an ethno-religious supremacism, it's the boundary that separates the elect, the chosen, the ubermenschen from the rejected, the dispossessed, the untermenschen. Any breach in the wall will lead, inexorably and quickly, to a breakdown of the essentialist exceptionalism and the social order premised thereupon.

In the white-supremacist segregated south, the police and the dogs and the nightsticks had to be used to prevent even one black child from entering a white school because, they knew, that would mean the end of Jim Crow.

In Jewish-supremacist apartheid Israel, as Israeli academic and political advisor Arnon Soffer said years before the Great March of Return in 2018, it is necessary for Israel to “put a bullet in the head of anyone who tries to climb over the security fence.” Israel must prevent even one Gazan from crossing the wall, because “when 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe. … The pressure at the border will be awful. … So, … we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day…. If we don’t kill, we will cease to exist.”  

Saturday, December 2, 2023

No Respect: Bernie, Gaza, and Liberal Zionism

No Respect: Bernie, Gaza, and Liberal Zionism

Jim Kavanagh

After Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, November 1, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Al-Masri/File photo 

With a New York Times op-ed on November 22nd, Bernie Sanders chimed in with his take on what’s happening in Gaza right now, and what must be done to “balance our desire to stop the fighting with the need to address the roots of the conflict.” It’s worth examining his piece as an example of the liberal-Zionist framework of thought, which begins with the assumption that Zionism is a necessary and virtuous project that "we" must support and that takes priority over everything else in the context, including the lives of Palestinians, and ends—after conjuring a happily-ever-after version of Zionism that pleases the minds and consciences of Western liberals like himself—right where it started.

Bernie begins by insisting that “we must first be cleareyed about facts” and immediately recounts the facts he finds relevant thusly:

On Oct. 7, Hamas, a terrorist organization, unleashed a barbaric attack against Israel, killing about 1,200 innocent men, women and children and taking more than 200 hostage.

Unfortunately, Bernie’s account of root facts is tendentious and factually incorrect. It does not “address” but obscures “the roots of the conflict,” by starting “On Oct. 7.” It is not clear-eyed but tendentious in trying to pass off as fact the characterization of Hamas as “a terrorist organization.”

Bernie’s use of “terrorist” here echoes the hypocrisy of all Western mainstream politicians and media, and it’s worth delving into.

Reign of “Terror”

Of course, “terrorist” is a terrible word, almost always used dishonestly—and Bernie knows it.  Even Ronald Reagan knew that “One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.” Insofar as it can be used factually, the word “terrorism” denotes a tactic used sporadically by virtually every state army and armed resistance group in history.

Those who support a group’s objective never dismissively use “terrorism” to describe its actions, let alone to condemn the group. They accept such tactics as unfortunate and morally problematic, but non-dispositive, elements of a legitimate struggle. On the other hand, when a group whose objective they oppose uses the same tactics, they insist that group must be condemned and eliminated. It’s never the tactic, always the objective, that’s the deal-breaker, the thing that determines when and how “terrorism” will be used.

Nobody had more contempt for this hypocrisy than the proudly self-identified “terrorists” who were the vanguard fighting founders and, latterly, Prime Ministers, of the Zionist state—like Menachem Begin, who embraced the title of ”Father of terrorism in all the world,” and Yitzhak Shamir, who wrote an article forthrightly entitled “Terror,” saying:

Neither Jewish morality nor Jewish tradition can be used to disallow terror as a means of war…We are very far from any moral hesitations when concerned with the national struggle….First and foremost, terror is for us a part of the political war appropriate for the circumstances of today, and its task is a major one: it demonstrates in the clearest language, heard throughout the world including by our unfortunate brethren outside the gates of this country, our war against the occupier.

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