Tuesday 25th of April 2017

myopia...

 

myopia

The international relations of the United States of America is masterminded by three apes - one of which is blind, another deaf and the third, dumb. They do not see underlying causes, they do not listen to or respect others, there is no dialogue. Instead there is blackmail, bullying and belligerence. Bombing, violence, torture. It's the American way.

In just one week, President Trump has ordered a murderous terrorist strike against the Syrian authorities outside any forum of law, confusing this with a strike against Iraq in an interview (Has he any idea where these countries are? Has he any notion that both these countries are based on civilizations which are thousands of years older than his own?); and then yesterday launching a Massive Ordnance Air Blast against Islamic State assets in Afghanistan.

- See more at: http://www.pravdareport.com/opinion/columnists/14-04-2017/137506-foreign...

 

protecting war criminals...

The private prosecution concerns the 2003 invasion of Iraq, seeking the trial of then-Prime Minister Blair, then-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, and then-Attorney General Lord Goldsmith for the crime of “aggression,” the newspaper reported.

Legal documents seen by the Guardian show that Jeremy Wright formally asked to join future hearings, and for the bid to prosecute Blair and his top aides to be rejected.

A spokesperson for Wright told The Press Association: “It’s not unusual for the attorney general to intervene in cases in order to represent the public interest. He has sought to intervene in this case because it raises important issues about the scope of the criminal law.” According to the Guardian, the private prosecution is based on the findings of the Chilcot report into the UK decision to join the invasion of Iraq. Britain undertook its role in the invasion before peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted, and military action was “not a last resort,” the Chilcot Inquiry found, among other things. The report also said that then-Prime Minister Tony Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by the Iraqi regime as he sought to make the case for military action to MPs and the public. Blair disregarded warnings about the potential consequences of military action and relied too heavily on his own beliefs, Chilcot noted.

The attorney general allegedly claims the case is hopeless, since the crime of aggression, which exists in international law, does not exist in English law.

However, in a March 7, 2003 memo on the legality of the Iraq War, then-Attorney General Goldsmith actually acknowledged the key point of those now calling for his prosecution. “Aggression is a crime under customary international law which automatically forms part of domestic law,” Goldsmith wrote“It might therefore be argued that international aggression is a crime recognised by the common law which can be prosecuted in the UK courts,”he added.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/uk/385020-blair-iraq-war-prosecution/

a lesson in presidential "philosophy"...

 

There’s no question that past presidents have lied. And Trump is nothing if not a cynical manipulator. But Trump’s relationship to the truth seems novel, if only because he doesn’t try to hide his relativism. Mexican immigration, Islamic terrorism, free trade: For Trump, truth is always more about how people feel than what may be empirically verifiable. Trump admits as much in “The Art of the Deal,” where he describes his sales strategy as “truthful hyperbole.” For Trump, facts are fragile, and truth is flexible.

Trump and Stephen K. Bannon probably don’t spend evenings poring over Jean Baudrillard’s “Simulacra and Simulation” or Michel Foucault’s “The Archaeology of Knowledge” (although Bannon’s adviser, Julia Hahn, did write her undergraduate thesis on the psychoanalytic theorist Leo Bersani). But the parallels between Trump’s attacks on accepted knowledge and critical philosophy’s insistence that we interrogate truth claims suggest that not all assaults on the authority of facts are revolutionary.

Indeed, the social theorist Bruno Latour saw Trump coming back in 2004. In his essay “Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam?” Latour observed that conservatives had begun using methods similar to those of critical theory to muddy debates around issues, like climate change, that required immediate and decisive action. Conservatives were casting doubt on the reality of planetary warming by pointing to “the lack of scientific certainty” around the issue. Latour had made a career questioning “scientific certainty” and worried that his critical “weapons” had been “smuggled” to the other side:

Entire Ph.D. programs are still running to make sure that good American kids are learning the hard way that facts are made up, that there is no such thing as natural, unmediated, unbiased access to truth, that we are always prisoners of language, that we always speak from a particular standpoint, and so on, while dangerous extremists are using the very same argument of social construction to destroy hard-won evidence that could save our lives.

Some liberals have argued that the best way to combat conservative mendacity is to insist on the existence of truth and the reliability of hard facts. But blind faith in objectivity and factual truth alone has not proven to be a promising way forward.

read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/17/opinion/has-trump-stolen-philosophys-critical-tools.html

See also Bruno Latour at (it is most likely that this NYT article went to the YD source below. It's too uncannily connected):

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/33195

 

See also: 

the western media got trapped in its own bullshit...

saving beautiful babies...

 

 

 

Saving beautiful babies

https://overland.org.au/2017/04/saving-beautiful-babies/

By Ben Brooker

 

In his recent book Against Empathy, psychology professor Paul Bloom cautions against using empathetic responses to the suffering of individuals as a basis for the actions we take. Bloom writes:

"It would be bad enough if empathy were simply silent when faced with problems involving large numbers, but actually it’s worse. It can sway us toward the one over the many. This perverse moral mathematics is part of the reason why governments and individuals care more about a little girl stuck in a well than about events that will affect millions or billions. It is why outrage at the suffering of a few individuals can lead to actions, such as going to war, that have terrible consequences for many more."


On 6 April, US President Donald Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian Government airbase in retaliation for a chemical weapon attack in Khan Sheikhoun that killed around 100 people. According to the Pentagon, Trump’s strike saw fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles fired from US warships at Al-Shayrat airbase, the site from which the chemical attack was allegedly launched. It was reported that seven civilians were killed and nine wounded.

The only rationale offered by Trump for the strike was that he had been motivated to act by pictures of gassed victims – including, in Trump’s words, ‘beautiful babies’. Noting the sudden reversal of the President’s isolationist, ‘America-First’ campaign rhetoric, Foreign Policy’s Max Boot wryly suggested: ‘The Trump doctrine appears to be: The United States reserves the right to use force whenever the president is upset by something he sees on TV’. Nevertheless, Boot was broadly supportive of the Al-Shayrat attack. ‘It is a good thing he did act,’ he wrote.

In fact, for the first time in Trump’s presidency, large swathes of the liberal press applauded a man they had expended many thousands of spoken and written words denouncing as a neo-fascist bigot and buffoon. The missile strike, according to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, marked the moment ‘Donald Trump became president of the United States’. Even more absurd examples abounded. On MSNBC, Brian Williams described the missile strike in terms worthy of the romantic poets:

"We see these beautiful pictures at night from the decks of these two US Navy vessels in the Eastern Mediterranean. I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen: ‘I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons’. And they are beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments making what is, for them, a brief flight over this airfield."

Williams made no mention of the strike’s civilian casualties, or of the presumably pertinent fact that Trump invests in Raytheon, the military contractor that built the ‘beautiful’ missiles for $1.4 million apiece. Perhaps Williams simply forgot these details in his war fever, just as his colleagues in the liberal media seemed to have erased from their minds what Trump has said he thinks of them: that they are ‘among the most dishonest human beings on Earth’ and that they are ‘the enemy of the people’.

Meanwhile the New York Times – which Trump has repeatedly accused of ‘failing’ – had it that ‘On Syria Attack, Trump’s Heart Came First’. This ‘heart’, which had so patently failed to guide its owner in matters of personal ethics (‘grab them by the pussy’), was now being advanced by a pillar of the liberal media as a reliable moral guide to world affairs. The bipartisan consensus that Trump did a good thing – evident throughout much of the mainstream media as well as the political class – has been remarkable, as noted this week in the Australian by conservative commentator Janet Albrechtsen:

"The US President’s targeted strikes last week, which send an overdue message to other tyrants about the use of WMD, has [sic] drawn applause from wide and far. Sections of the media not known for praising Trump have lauded his decision. Republicans and Democrats in the US have united. Major parties in Britain, France, Australia. Israel. Turkey. All on side."

 

Read from top... and read more at: 

https://overland.org.au/2017/04/saving-beautiful-babies/