THE ABSURD TIMES
From the Great Latuff
Who Rules the World?
Malaise is strong in our minds today and during the last few weeks. Few things seem amusing and the thin line between the ludicrous and the insane no longer exists. There is little point in talking about our election here when the future of the planet, much less individual nations, seems extremely grim.
There are a few encouraging signs, however. Since optimism is needed, we have the cheerful outlook of Noam Chomsky below, and we say this without any trace of scarcasm. Indeed, his outlook on what things are like is about as cheerful as possible these days.
He also mentions an article worth reading (see below). It discusses how Germany, at the pinnacle of cultural and intellectual history during the 1920s was able to descend into barbarism within a decade. While such comparisons are often disparaging to barbarians, it is probably time to accept the vulgate definition of this term as it is handy in describing activities we see all-too-often recently.
Some important points are the analysis of the Clinton/Sanders debate over whether Israel’s response was disproportional. Clinton essentially said “no” and Sanders “yes”. Corporate media frames the discussion in such a way that the reality, that there should have been no response, and that whatever the provocation was, it was driven by Israel in the first place, such a reality can not be acknowledged. The same applies to the settlements in the occupied territories. Are they expanding too rapidly or not, when the truth is that they are all illegal, the fact is that the occupations are all directly in violation of every conceivable law.
So, to stop the diatribe, here is Noam:
President Obama has just passed a little-noticed milestone, according to The New York Times: Obama has now been at war longer than any president in U.S. history—longer than George W. Bush, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Obama has taken military action in at least seven countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Just last month, President Obama announced the deployment of 250 more Special Operations troops to Syria in a move that nearly doubles the official U.S. presence in the country. As war spreads across the globe, a record 60 million people were driven from their homes last year. Experts warn the refugee crisis may also worsen due to the impacts of global warming. Over the weekend, NASA released data showing 2016 is on pace to be by far the hottest year ever, breaking the 2015 record. Meanwhile, many fear a new nuclear arms race has quietly begun, as the United States, Russia and China race to build arsenals of smaller nuclear weapons. These multiple crises come as voters in the United States prepare to elect a new president. We speak with one of the world’s preeminent intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, institute professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught for more than 50 years. His latest book is titled “Who Rules the World?”