Three years into the conflict in Iraq, the front line in the American drive to prepare troops for insurgent warfare runs through a cluster of mock Iraqi villages deep in the Mojave Desert, nearly 10,000 miles from the realities awaiting the soldiers outside Baghdad and Mosul and Falluja.
The above is from "Mock Iraqi Villages in Mojave Prepare Troops for Battle" in this morning's New York Times. The Go Go Boys of the Green Zone are back and the United States has them (trust me, no one put up a fight) doing what they do best, getting all itchy in the loins and soft in the hand when war is turned into a game.
You already heard the tale on Democracy Now! but minus the implied "Dude!"s and "gnarly"s that populate the writings of the Go Go Boys. War is cool . . . to them. One's tarnished his own reputation, the other's created a rep as the non reporting reporter. Read for amusement only.
Heather notes John Nichols' "Galbraith for President" (The Online Beat, The Nation):
Had it not been for the accident of his birth in Iona Station, Ontario, John Kenneth Galbraith, the greatest public intellectual of the second half of the American century, would surely have been considered presidential timber. As it was, the man whose Canadian birth barred him from seeking the nation's highest office had to settle for shaping every presidency since that of Franklin Roosevelt – either as a trusted counselor to the occupant of the Oval Office, a wise critic or, as was frequently the case, both.
One of the last veterans of the Roosevelt's epic first term – during which he worked with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration – he would go on to advise FDR's National Defense Advisory Committee and then to serve as an administrator of the Office of Price Administration, where the man who was as quick with a quip as he was with economic charts and tables noted that he ''reached the point that all price fixers reach -- my enemies outnumbered my friends."
It will be his epigrams, his one-liners and his sharp asides that many of his friends will miss most about Ken Galbraith, who has died at age 97. The genius of the economics professor so long associated with Harvard and with most of the good – or at least tolerable – presidencies of the 20th century, was that he was never so impressed by his immense knowledge or his powerful positions that he could not find a humorous, and sometimes cutting, phrase with which to note the obvious.
Remember to listen, watch or read Democracy Now! today. And Pacifica will broadcast hourly updates on the protests and rallies today. (WBAI and KPFA have noted this on air. Others will probably participate as well.)
Just saw Zach's e-mail. If you're confused or need more background with regards to May Day,
on KPFA today (time given is Pacific):
Against the Grain
On May Day and in the context of the mass strike/boycott in support of immigrant rights, a look at the challenges, as well as enormous potential, of organizing immigrant workers and how connecting their movement to the left as a whole could reinvigorate the latter. With Victor Narro, of the UCLA Downtown Labor Center, and radical labor historian Paul Buhle.
Thanks Zach and remember that all Pacifica programs can be heard on the airwaves if you're in a broadcast area but also online over the internet if you're able to stream audio.
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
the new york times
john f. burns
against the grain