The United States of Atrocity

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ikosmos ikosmos's picture
The United States of Atrocity

Democracy Now: Mass Graves of Immigrants Found in Texas, But State Says No Laws Were Broken

Quote:
Texas says there is "no evidence" of wrongdoing after mass graves filled with bodies of immigrants were found miles inland from the U.S.-Mexico border.

I figured a grab bag of blessings of US civilization might be a useful thread. Because freedom.

lagatta

They are hardly alone these days, with all the migrants drowning (and being deliberately drowned) in the Mediterranean. And there are other atrocities about which we know less. More Fortress Capital than anything else.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

So criticism of Russia is "Russophobia" and requires its own thread.

Criticism of the USA is "God's work" and also requires its own thread.

And neither is any kind of discussion.  The conclusion has already been reached -- it's right there in the thread title.

Unionist

Yeah, ikosmos, why are you demonizing and delegitimizing the United States of the World Amerika??

Are you an anti-Semite?

Whoops, sorry, wrong meme.

Are you a Putin-loving patsy?

How dare you single out the U.S. for criticism when, like, um, because, North Korea? Hey???

What about NORTH KOREA??

 

lagatta

These threads quickly become echo chambers. Sad, because there is a migration crisis in MANY parts of the world - there is a long wall between Bangladesh and India, for example - and it is hard to find practicable solutions.

The Russophobia one in particular - anyone who has lived abroad knows that there is a hell of a lot of sloppy, inaccurate and stereotypical reporting about EVERYWHERE. I certainly don't think Canadians tend to be prejudiced against Russians, who are normal people with crappy long winters and good hockey players.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

I really have no objection to putting interesting, non-atrocity, news from the US. I just couldn't find any. The other stuff is easy to find ... even from US sources. Fill your boots. Maybe a story with a boy scout helping a little old lady across the street.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

How about a compromise?  If you have to open a new thread just to masturbate, hang a sock on the door handle or something.

lagatta

The Russophobia one is a lot worse. It is taking various negative stories about Russia and insinuating that they are proof of "Russophobia". One can find such stories about many nation states and cultural groups. And there is nobody involved but the usual suspects.

Migration and migrant deaths are real issues, but certainly not limited to one of the wealthy countries.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Quote:
Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old from Illinois who had been a vocal participant in the #BlackLivesMatter movement, died in police custody three days after being arrested for “assault on a public servant,” a third-degree felony. Her death was ruled a suicide.

At least she wasn't "shot while attepting to escape".

#BlackLivesMatter Participant Mysteriously Dies in Police Custody

Sean in Ottawa

ikosmos wrote:

Quote:
Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old from Illinois who had been a vocal participant in the #BlackLivesMatter movement, died in police custody three days after being arrested for “assault on a public servant,” a third-degree felony. Her death was ruled a suicide.

At least she wasn't "shot while attepting to escape".

#BlackLivesMatter Participant Mysteriously Dies in Police Custody

Sad to hear this

lagatta

I am too, but I believe we have a topic or two about these racist killings.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

How about a compromise?  If you have to open a new thread just to masturbate, hang a sock on the door handle or something.

I guess the title was too subtle a clue for the deliberately clueless. I have a suggestion if you don't want a masturbation thread then don't sit down in the middle of a circle jerk. Just get shocked and leave the room quietly.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:
How about a compromise?  If you have to open a new thread just to masturbate, hang a sock on the door handle or something.

I guess the title was too subtle a clue for the deliberately clueless. I have a suggestion if you don't want a masturbation thread then don't sit down in the middle of a circle jerk. Just get shocked and leave the room quietly.

OK, I'm naiive. There's an embarrassment of riches for a thread like this. Endless, really. Maybe "Empire in Decline" or "Late Capitalism in the USA" could be titles; whatever.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Amerika. Love it or leave it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og5T-3Q8mDs

Unionist

Ikosmos - thank you for this thread, thank you for being back here again. Your voice is vital and was missed. Keep it up!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

???

ikosmos posts here pretty much every day.  Google "site:rabble.ca Russia".

sherpa-finn

Or check out anything to do with Malaysia airliners shot down by UFOs. (The U stands for Ukrainian; the F stands for Fascist.)

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

To be fair though, prior to starting this thread, he had been absent for 25 minutes.  That can seem like a lifetime.

Todrick of Chat...

I missed him, he had me at "Russia"

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

You know what's so amazing about a thread like this? It's so ridiculously obvious. And yet, all sorts of angry bumblebees start buzzing around like its something to get stung about.

Buzz buzz buzz. Bees like honey. And so do bears. Bears! Must be a Rooooosky!!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

HE'S BACK!!!

ikosmos ikosmos's picture
BRF

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

ikosmos wrote:

Quote:
Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old from Illinois who had been a vocal participant in the #BlackLivesMatter movement, died in police custody three days after being arrested for “assault on a public servant,” a third-degree felony. Her death was ruled a suicide.

At least she wasn't "shot while attepting to escape".

#BlackLivesMatter Participant Mysteriously Dies in Police Custody

Sad to hear this

Bland was pulled over for not signalling a lane change. During the traffic stop her head was pounded on to the pavement. Likely she received head injuries during her arrest that proved fatal three days later. The DA has turned the investigation over to the police department involved. The uptake is a women payed with her life (black life) for not signalling a lane change. It seems the American brown shirts accept nothing other than complete subjugation and will use deadly force if someone does not immediately comply by talking back or being unwilling to be humiliated over failing to signal a lane change. We all know of this type of cop behaviour in the USA; the question is whether or not the homogenation of the North Ameican Union will bring this attitude by the police to Canada?

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

BRF wrote:
Bland was pulled over for not signalling a lane change. During the traffic stop her head was pounded on to the pavement. Likely she received head injuries during her arrest that proved fatal three days later. The DA has turned the investigation over to the police department involved. The uptake is a women payed with her life (black life) for not signalling a lane change. It seems the American brown shirts accept nothing other than complete subjugation and will use deadly force if someone does not immediately comply by talking back or being unwilling to be humiliated over failing to signal a lane change. We all know of this type of cop behaviour in the USA; the question is whether or not the homogenation of the North Ameican Union will bring this attitude by the police to Canada?

For those at the bottom of the social arrangements, like FN women, the blithe indifference at the highest level of government in Canada [i.e., even the Prime Minister] to the many missing and murdered women encourages such attitudes. And we all know about Robert Tsiekanski's police execution because a passer-by filmed it. Then there are the "starlight rides" by police in prairie towns given to FN people to the edge of town on a bone-chilling night. What we are missing is the terrible scope and ubiquitousness of the atrocities.

Those who cannot help providing giddy and gushing enthusiasm for everything American, and forget sometimes the name of their own country, need to  be reminded of the oceans of violence, and not just by the police, right next door.

voice of the damned

"Those who cannot help providing giddy and gushing enthusiasm for everything American"

Can you name some of the people on this board who have expressed a "giddy and gushing enthusiasm for everything American"? Or, at least, give us some specific details about what they have said that qualifies as "giddy and gushy enthusissm", if you don't want to provide their names.

I mean, seeing as how that is now your stated rationale for starting this thread.

voice of the damned

And, by the way, the abuse and oppression of First Nations people in Canada has little, if anything, to do with Amercianization. I'm pretty sure the US State Depatrment weren't the ones running the residential schools, for example.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

voice of the damned wrote:
I mean, seeing as how that is now your stated rationale for starting this thread.

Actually, no. It's just an added benefit of the thread. Canada is awash in US culture, and not just the ubiquitous police and other forms of violence, in mass media, in public consciousness, and so on. That culture, in a word, is mammon: spiritually impoverished, narcissistic, sociopathic, and death-loving. Henry Giroux writes about the four fundamentalisms that, like the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, ride the land and lay waste to all good things: economic fundamentalism, military fundamentalism, educational fundamentalism, and, of course, religious fundamentalism. Chris Hedges, a greatly honoured journalist, now basically travels the land, like some modern-day John the Baptist,  dryly noting that the only thing that can save the USA is a revolution. As I noted, it's truly an embarrassment of "riches".

I've often used the image of Barad-dûr to describe the bellicose foreign policy of Washington, whatever the flavour of the regime of the moment. The shoe fits.

voice of the damned

Okay, but who has been giving uncritical admiration to that culture, on these boards(even if that wasn't your original rationale, you have stated it as an apparent phenomenon.)

Personally, I more or less majored in American Literature at university. I guess you could surmise that I enjoyed it enough to make it the plurality of my English-lit course load. Out of curiousity, does enjoying the writing of Poe, Emerson, Whitman, Hemingway, and Theodore Dreiser make me some sort of sociopathic mammon-worshipping death-lover? (Well, Poe I could see, but he's more European in his outlook anyway.)

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

voice of the damned wrote:
And, by the way, the abuse and oppression of First Nations people in Canada has little, if anything, to do with Amercianization. I'm pretty sure the US State Depatrment weren't the ones running the residential schools, for example.

 

Babbler BRF raised a legitimate question for general discussion, i.e., will the economic integration of Canada ever closer into the orbit of the US Death Star bring the same social consequences as we see in US cop behaviour?

It's well known that the practices of Israel against the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories provides a rich motherlode of data and information for police forces and military organizations around the whole world. Practice makes perfect. We see the commercialization of the educational system in Canada stealthily developing like the cancerous disease in the USA. So I don't really see why it isn't useful to look at the police, and their practices, as well.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

VOTD, I'm as much a student of American Literature and writing as you are. And of living writers and journalists too - I provided a couple of examples in Giroux and Hedges. Maybe you could do the same.

voice of the damned

ikosmos wrote:

VOTD, I'm as much a student of American Literature and writing as you are.

Well, if you read any of those writers for enjoyment, does that constitute participation in a death-loving, mammon-worshipping culture?

As for providing the names of living journalists and writers, I can't honestly say I'm overly impressed with what I've seen from Hedges, as I find a lot of his writing kind of boilerplate progressivism, dealing in truisms, and with the kind of religious overtones that I distrust in political discourse(you seemed to allude to this with your John The Baptist comparison). Possibly the latter is related to his background as a Diviinty student, I don't know.

As for other American left-wing writers, I've actually found the European-influenced emigre culture, especially the Frankfurt School in its American incarnation, more interesting than the the more populist homegrown variety(where I would probably categorize Hedges, though I haven't read much of him). Mostly Marcuse, but also Adorno, at least as interpreted by commentators.

voice of the damned

^ Oh, and for living journalists, I used to read The Nation and The Progressive regularly when I lived in Canada. Don't follow them as much on-line from overseas, mostly due to pssively overlooking them. I'd probably get back to them in Canada, though.

voice of the damned

re: First Nations and policing...

"Babbler BRF raised a legitimate question for general discussion, i.e., will the economic integration of Canada ever closer into the orbit of the US Death Star bring the same social consequences as we see in US cop behaviour?"

Yes, but I really don't think that the American "Death Star" has anything to do with the indifference to the missing and murdered aboriginal women(which you reference in your post). It's not as if the police in BC or elsewhere were employing American techniques when they didn't investigate the disappearances; they weren't really employing ANY techniques at all.

The standard progressive analysis here is that the police indifference was rooted in anti-FN racism, a social phenomenon which in Canada long predates NAFTA.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Hedges, Giroux are just 2 of a great number of American writers on social issues, including alt journalists like Amy Goodman, Doug Henwood, Dave Zirin, John Bellamy Foster at Monthly Review, Stephen Cohen on all things Russian, etc.  But I have to admit that I'm currently reading for summer not so many Americans with Doestoyevsky, Arundhati Roy, Eduardo Galeano, Upton Sinclair. There is a Vintage collection of American writers that's on the list.

The ruling ideas of a society, like mammon-worship in the USA, doesn't stop the alternatives from existing. Quit being silly.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

By the way, you might be interested in the following bit of news from the USA ...

Native Lives Matter: Police Killing Native Americans at Astounding Rate

Ruth McCambridge wrote:
A recent report by the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice reports that Native Americans are killed by police at a higher rate than any other ethnic group.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that Native Americans make up almost two percent of those killed by police though they are only 0.8 percent of the population. While police kill young black men more than any other group, they kill Native Americans at a higher rate.

As with African Americans, these killings are not isolated from the larger problem of police and societal violence, as this devastating article in Counterpunch discusses in the particular context of New Mexico, which in 2014 had the highest rate of police killing in the country. That article reports that “according to a 2003 study by the New Mexico Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Native people experience ‘acts of ethnic intimidation; threats of physical violence, assaults, and other potential hate crimes’ as part of everyday life in border towns like Gallup, Farmington and Albuquerque.”

voice of the damned

As for your article, I don't doubt for a sec that Native Americans are getting the worst of it from the US justice and policing systems.

But I also seriously doubt that, in the absence of Americanization, the group with the highest arrest, incarceration, or police-killing rate in Canada would be WASPs.

voice of the damned

ikosmos wrote:

Hedges, Giroux are just 2 of a great number of American writers on social issues, including alt journalists like Amy Goodman, Doug Henwood, Dave Zirin, John Bellamy Foster at Monthly Review, Stephen Cohen on all things Russian, etc.  But I have to admit that I'm currently reading for summer not so many Americans with Doestoyevsky, Arundhati Roy, Eduardo Galeano, Upton Sinclair. There is a Vintage collection of American writers that's on the list.

The ruling ideas of a society, like mammon-worship in the USA, doesn't stop the alternatives from existing. Quit being silly.

You didn't originally say the "ruling ideas" of American society, you said "American culture".

And, just to be a pedant, not that there is any shame in being wrong on a minor point, but Upton Sinclair was American. I was supposed to read that Jungle book about the meat-packers for one of my American Lit classes, but didn't.

swallow swallow's picture

I'm poretty sure that Canadas's structural racism against indigenous peoples is a Canadian phenemenon, not one derived from south of the border. 

lagatta

I'm so sick of this crap, trying to insinuate that the audience of this board is by-and-large pro capitalism, imperialism and what have you.

I'm so bloody sick of Putinist trolling screwing up progressive websites.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

lagatta wrote:
I'm so sick of this crap, trying to insinuate that the audience of this board is by-and-large pro capitalism, imperialism and what have you.

Absolutely! Now show evidence of that on this thread. And no, some general remarks about US (or Canadian) culture doesn't really count.

The USA is awash in blood. Their best and brightest minds are in alternative media, drowned out by FoxNews and gunplay on the big screen. If discussion of that offends you, then contribute to other threads. I do. For example, discussion of Canadian electoral politics, by and large, bores me. I really don't put a lot of hope in it, even with the recent admirable successes of Tom Mulcair in the NDP. So it would just be rude of me to troll those threads lamenting the worthlessness of the subject. Don't you agree?

lagatta

You seem to know f-all about Québécois culture.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

lagatta wrote:
You seem to know f-all about Québécois culture.

Where did that non sequitur come from?

Unionist

voice of the damned wrote:
ikosmos wrote:

Hedges, Giroux are just 2 of a great number of American writers on social issues, including alt journalists like Amy Goodman, Doug Henwood, Dave Zirin, John Bellamy Foster at Monthly Review, Stephen Cohen on all things Russian, etc.  But I have to admit that I'm currently reading for summer not so many Americans with Doestoyevsky, Arundhati Roy, Eduardo Galeano, Upton Sinclair. There is a Vintage collection of American writers that's on the list.

The ruling ideas of a society, like mammon-worship in the USA, doesn't stop the alternatives from existing. Quit being silly.

 

You didn't originally say the "ruling ideas" of American society, you said "American culture".

 

And, just to be a pedant, not that there is any shame in being wrong on a minor point, but Upton Sinclair was American. I was supposed to read that Jungle book about the meat-packers for one of my American Lit classes, but didn't.

At the risk of being called a pedant, where, exactly, did ikosmos say that Upton Sinclair wasn't American?

And why, exactly, have people here decided to stomp on ikosmos? That includes you, lagatta - what was that non-sequitur about??

I repeat my support for this thread. I don't believe the evils of Canadian society are attributable to the United States. But I think one evil of Canadian society is to turn a blind eye to the worst crimes of U.S. imperialism, both domestically and abroad. That deserves to be combatted.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Unionist wrote:
I repeat my support for this thread. I don't believe the evils of Canadian society are attributable to the United States. But I think one evil of Canadian society is to turn a blind eye to the worst crimes of U.S. imperialism, both domestically and abroad. That deserves to be combatted.

Thanks for that. I'd put things differently. Especially here on babble where, by and large, contributors ARE aware of plenty of such crimes and the most bellicose views are shunned. I'd say it's almost impossible to exaggerate those crimes.

Sidebar: I find it surprising that basic truths, such as the number and extent of foreign US military bases, the statements by leading public figures in the country that can only be construed as war brinksmanship, the plutocratic nature of US social life and politics, the endless and soul destroying violence, the vast wasteland of television, the Jesuitical exaggeration of cosmetic differences in politics to cataclysmic importance, etc. , etc., somehow lead to the idea that the domestic and foreign policy of Canada should be guided by the example of this hegemonic juggernaut. I can't think of a worse possible neighbor than that regime. If capitalism continues as the dominant social system in North America for the next 100 years, and humanity survives, i really don't see any future other than a Borg-like absorbtion of Canada into the USA. And then this discussion will be about what will then be OUR country. Sorry for the pessimism.

takeitslowly

i like this thread. I dont see the reason for this hatred. Everybody has their own views and pet issue.

swallow swallow's picture

Quote:
somehow lead to the idea that the domestic and foreign policy of Canada should be guided by the example of this hegemonic juggernaut

I'd venture to suggest that no babblers would take this stance. I'd also venture to guess that the implication that many bablers are pro-American imperialism, is what turns those babblers off. 

How about a thread discussing whether independent Canadian imperialism is real, or just a sub-set of American imperialism? 

lagatta

Yes, I've been involved in such activism since the Vietnam war, when I was very, very, very young. And of course to comrades in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay (some of whom I knew personally) facing the US-backed military dictatorships. That is why I write about those countries frequently.

But I agree with swallow, and also with the danger of giving the European Union and other imperialist or military blocs a pass.

Pondering

Unionist wrote:

And why, exactly, have people here decided to stomp on ikosmos?

Because people here get very annoyed if anyone tries to have a conversation about something babble oldtimers aren't interested in discussing, for example gun laws.

Pondering

Canada does tend to follow behind the US in a lot of ways.

There was a time when it was unheard of for a police officer to shoot and kill unarmed people, or even someone with a knife.

We followed the states in post 911 security laws, claiming the right to arrest people without charge and not even tell anyone they are in custody.

We hand Canadians over to other countries where they can be tortured.

Looks like we may have our own financial disaster brewing with growing private debt and inflated house prices.

We elected our own Bush and gave him mandate after mandate.

I would not say that means the US is responsible for what happens here. They are simply ahead of us.

Thatcherism started in the UK, spread to the States then to Canada.

voice of the damned

Unionist:

In regards to where ikosmos said that Upton Sinclair wasn't American...

"But I have to admit that I'm currently reading for summer not so many Americans with Doestoyevsky, Arundhati Roy, Eduardo Galeano, Upton Sinclair."

Again, not that it's a huge issue, but there it is.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

swallow wrote:
How about a thread discussing whether independent Canadian imperialism is real, or just a sub-set of American imperialism?

Good idea but ... a sub-set? Yves Engler, whose work graces rabble.ca quite a bit, has meticulously documented the evidence for Canadian imperialism as a subject in its own right. His latest outlines ...

Canadian crimes against humanity in Africa

but there is a great deal that precedes this effort: The Ugly Canadian, The Truth May Hurt, Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid, The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy, Canada in Haiti, etc. Engler is by no means the first here, just a most recent, and most excellent, contributor ...

It takes a more conscious historian and researcher to look beyond the representation of Canadian foreign policy and actions as some sort of benevolent generosity. Engler and others have really torn the mask off here. Of course, Noam Chomsky, long ago, bored by criticizing the US foreign policy from afar (ie, from Peter Gzowski's Canadian radio show) , decided to drolly remark that our former PM, Lester Pearson, was a war criminal and calmly referred to the evidence.  Gzowski had a famous and public kanipshin and despite all sorts of mock apologies, never invited Chomsky back to Canada for anything substantial.

If anyone here imagines that, in drawing attention to the horrific and endless crimes of US imperialism, I'm somehow aiming to trivialize similar Canadian crimes, then you're mistaken. At the same time, differences between the two imperialisms can and should be taken advantage of by those who oppose both. Right now Canada and the US have differing views on the TPP, for example.  The socialist-oriented left in Canada has a long history of furious debate around this issue, in the NDPs Waffle, in differing analysis in which the virtues of more nationalistic capitalists, as opposed to the more obsequious pro-US kind, are extolled, etc. Right now the dominant trend is clearly, as represented by S Harper, extreme pro-US. This puts Harper in a difficult position when he can't decide whose boots to lick first, ie. the thuggish Republicans or the current President, Israel or the US (on Iran), etc.

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