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A Ricercare of Random Quotes of No Particular Consequence

In his tour de force Planet of Slums, Mike Davis observes, "the Pentagon's best minds have dared to venture where most United Nations, World Bank or State Department types fear to go [T]hey now assert that the feral, failed cities' of the Third World --especially their slum outskirts -- will be the distinctive battlespace of the twenty-first century." Pentagon war-fighting doctrine, he notes, "is being reshaped accordingly to support a low-intensity world war of unlimited duration against criminalized segments of the urban poor."

The military system that Rumsfeld and his precursors created is increasingly dysfunctional and meant only to suit the expensive demands and pretensions of the powerful companies in the military-industrial complex. The emphasis on expensive weaponry is good for the American economy; successful counterinsurgency war costs too little to maintain full employment. It bears scant relationship to the political problems that the U. S. has confronted for decades-and more now than ever.

In other words, for Bush and his friends, defeat really is "unthinkable", just as it was to Kaiser Wilhelm when Wilson proposed a "victorless Peace" to Germany in 1917. Unless there is victory, the entire NeoCon world gets swept away, as do the Likudniks.

For that reason, expect a savage campaign to clear Baghdad of insurgents - which will fail with the loss of a great deal of American and Iraqi blood, followed by an all out bombing attack on Iran.

For the NeoCons, there is no other choice available to them, that is the tragedy.

Washington's Hidden Agenda

US foreign policy is not geared towards curbing the tide of Islamic fundamentalism. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The significant development of "radical Islam", in the wake of September 11, in the Middle East and Central Asia is consistent with Washington's hdiden agenda. The latter consists of sustaining rather than combatting international terrorism, with a view to destabalizing national societies and preventing the articulation of genuine social movements directed against the American Empire. Washington continues to support—through CIA covert operations—the development of Islamic fundamentalism, particularly in China and India.

Throughout the developing world, the growth of sectarian, fundamentalist and other such organizations tends to serve US interests. These various organizations and armed insurgents have been developed, particularly in countries where state institutions have collapsed under the brunt of IMF economic reforms.

The application of IMF economic medicine often breeds an atmosphere of ethnic and social strife, which in turn favors the development of fundamentalism and communal violence.

These fundamentalist organizations contribute by destroying and displacing secular institutions.

In the short term, fundamentalism creates social and ethnic divisions. It undermines the capacity of people to organize against the American Empire. These organizations or movements, such as the Taliban, often foment "opposition to Uncle Sam" in a way which does not constitute any real threat to America's broader geopolitical and economic interests. Meanwhile, Washington has supported their development as a means of disarming social movements, which it fears may threaten US economic and political hegemony.

A RAY gun that makes people run off because they think they are on fire could be in use by early next year.

The Active Denial System - dubbed the Goodbye Gun by US military chiefs - fires a harmless beam which causes an intense burning sensation.

It will be used to disperse large crowds and is set to be deployed in Iraq.

Tests showed a person can withstand the beam for up to five seconds before wanting to step away.

Documents acquired for Wired News using the Freedom of Information Act claim that most of the radiation (83 percent) is instantly absorbed by the top layer of the skin, heating it rapidly.

The beam produces what experimenters call the "Goodbye effect," or "prompt and highly motivated escape behavior." In human tests, most subjects reached their pain threshold within 3 seconds, and none of the subjects could endure more than 5 seconds.
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The beam penetrates clothing, but not stone or metal. Blocking it is harder than you might think. Wearing a tinfoil shirt is not enough -- you would have to be wrapped like a turkey to be completely protected. The experimenters found that even a small exposed area was enough to produce the Goodbye effect, so any gaps would negate protection. Holding up a sheet of metal won't work either, unless it covers your whole body and you can keep the tips of your fingers out of sight.

Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."

President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is "martial law."

Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act, which grants the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion for its ill-advised adventures, is entitled, "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies." Section 333, "Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law" states that "the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of ("refuse" or "fail" in) maintaining public order, "in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy."

For the current President, "enforcement of the laws to restore public order" means to commandeer guardsmen from any state, over the objections of local governmental, military and local police entities; ship them off to another state; conscript them in a law enforcement mode; and set them loose against "disorderly" citizenry - protesters, possibly, or those who object to forced vaccinations and quarantines in the event of a bio-terror event.

The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters, so called "illegal aliens," "potential terrorists" and other "undesirables" for detention in facilities already contracted for and under construction by Halliburton. That's right. Under the cover of a trumped-up "immigration emergency" and the frenzied militarization of the southern border, detention camps are being constructed right under our noses, camps designed for anyone who resists the foreign and domestic agenda of the Bush administration.

The greatest danger in every democratic community has always arisen from the tyranny of the majority which asserts itself most strongly when the respect for free expression of opinion becomes weak and demagogues lustful for power, or when privileged minorities turn the ignorance of the masses to their own advantage.

Here's the evolution of the Democrats' war platform since November 7, 2006, the day the voters presented a clear mandate: "End the war! Get out of Iraq!" and took the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives away from the Republicans.

So somewhat to their surprise the Democrats recaptured both the Senate and the House. Then they went to work--to obliterate the mandate.

WASHINGTON [AP] - The first of up to 20,000 additional U.S. troops will move into Iraq by month's end under President Bush's new war plan, a senior defense official said Tuesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged to hold a vote on the increase, which many Democrats oppose.

Our democracy is but a name. We vote? What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

[Never] will the vicious control without the aid of law. Society ever has and must ever have a very large majority who naturally fall into order, social adjustment and a rational, permissible means of life. The disorganized vicious would be far less powerful than the organized vicious, and would soon disappear.

...murder, robbery, pillage, rapine, have often been commended by the ruling powers, not only permitted, but under certain conditions that seemed to work to the advantage of the ruler, this conduct has been deemed worthy of the greatest praise.

The rulers make penal codes for the regulation and control of the earth and all the property thereon — the earth which was made long ages before they were evolved, and will still remain ages after they are dust. Not only do they make these rules to control the earth for their brief, haughty lives, but they provide that it may pass from hand to hand forever. The generations now living, or rather those that are dead and gone, fixed the status of unborn millions, and decreed that they shall have no place to live except upon such terms as may be dictated by those who then controlled the earth. To retain all the means of life in the hands of the few and compel the many to do service to support these few requires the machinery of the state. It is for this that penal laws are made...

The public functionaries are not, as is commonly believed, the guardians of order. Order, which is harmony, doesn't need guardians, precisely because it is order. That which needs guardians is disorder and a disorder which is scandalous, shameful, and humiliating to those of us who weren't born to be slaves, a disorder which reigns over the political and social life of humanity.

To maintain disorder, that is, to maintain political and social inequality, to maintain the privileges of the ruling class and the submission of the ruled, that is why governments, laws, policemen, soldiers, jailers, judges, hangmen, and the whole mob of high and petty functionaries who suck the energies of the humble people are needed. These functionaries don't exist to protect humanity, but to maintain its submission, to keep it enslaved for the benefit of those who have contrived to retain the land and the factories for themselves up to this moment.

...General Tira proposes an even more aggressive political tactic, "We must clandestinely cooperate with Saudi Arabia so that it also persuades the US to strike Iran. For our part, we must prepare an independent military strike by coordinating flights in Iraqi airspace with the US. We should also coordinate with Azerbaijan the use of airbases in its territory and also enlist the support of the Azeri minority in Iran. In addition, we must immediately start preparing for an Iranian response to an attack."

Based on the urgency of General Tira's extraordinary pleas, it is immediately apparent that he has been shocked by the turn of political events inside America. By this time, he has learned from official US sources that the long-anticipated attack against Iran has been shelved because of tectonic shifts in American politics.

Now that the Democrats are back in power, the American public can finally exhale. Bush is doomed. Cheney is on the ropes. Condi is updating her resume while Rove prepares his exodus. Well, such an optimistic outlook is boldly misguided...