Sunday, June 4. 2017
These weekend posts are killing me. I didn't even make it through
my tabs this time -- nothing from Alternet, the New Yorker, Salon,
TruthOut, Washington Monthly, nor much of what I was tipped off to
from Twitter. Just one piece on the upcoming UK elections, which
would be major if Jeffrey Corbyn and Labour pull an upset. Just a
couple links on Israel, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary
of their great military land grab in 1967, which is to say 50 years
of their unjust and often cruel occupation. A couple of uncommented
links on the problems Democrats face getting out of their own heads
and into the minds of the voters. And only a mere sampling of the
Trump's administration's penchant for graft and violence. Just an
incredible amount of crap to wade through.
Big story this week was Trump's decision to pull the United States
out of the Paris climate change deal, joining Nicaragua and Syria as
the only nations on record as unwilling to cooperate in the struggle
to keep greenhouse gases from pushing global temperatures to record
highs. One might well criticize the Paris accords for not going far
enough, but unlike the previous Kyoto agreement this one brought key
developing nations like China and India into the fold.
Here are some pertinent links:
Vicki Arroyo: The US is the biggest loser on the planet thanks to
Trump's calamitous act:
The Paris agreement was a groundbreaking deal that allowed each
country to decide its own contribution to reducing greenhouse gas
emissions. Even though it is non-binding, the agreement puts the
world on the path to keep global temperatures from rising more
than 2C, which scientists warn would be disastrous for our planet.
By abandoning the agreement, we are not only ceding global
leadership but also effectively renouncing our global citizenship.
The US is joining Nicaragua (which felt the agreement did not go
far enough) and Syria (in the midst of a devastating civil war) as
the only nations without a seat at the Paris table. As an American,
I am embarrassed and ashamed of this abdication of our responsibility,
especially since the US has been the world's largest contributor of
carbon emissions over time. We have become a rogue nation.
Perry Bacon Jr/Harry Enten: Was Trump's Paris Exit Good Politics?
They look at a lot of polling numbers, and conclude it was fine with
the Republican base, but unpopular overall. Key numbers:
Only a third of Republicans rate protecting the environment from the
effects of energy production as a top priority. Polling from Gallup
further indicates that 85 percent of Republicans don't think that
global warming will pose a serious threat in their lifetime. Education
was a major dividing line in the 2016 election, but Republicans of all
education levels think the effects of global warming are exaggerated. . . .
An overwhelming majority of Democrats (87 percent) and a clear
majority of independents (61 percent) wanted the U.S. to stay in the
climate agreement, according to a poll that was released in April and
conducted jointly by Politico and Harvard's School of Public Health.
Overall, 62 percent of Americans wanted the U.S. to remain part of the
accord (among Republicans, 56 percent favored withdrawal). . . .
It's also possible that Trump gave a win to his base on an issue
they don't care that much about while angering the opposition on an
issue they do care about. Gallup and Pew Research Center polls indicate
that global warming and fighting climate change have become higher
priorities for Democrats over the past year.
As of this writing, 538's "How Popular Is Donald Trump?" is at 55.1%
Disapprove, 38.9% Approve, so down a small bit since the announcement.
Daniel B Baer, et al: Why Abandoning Paris Is a Disaster for America:
The president's justifications for leaving the agreement are also
just plain wrong.
First, contrary to the president's assertions, America's hands are
not tied and its sovereignty is not compromised by the Paris climate
pact. The Paris agreement is an accord, not a treaty, which means it's
voluntary. The genius (and reality) of the Paris agreement is that it
requires no particular policies at all -- nor are the emissions targets
that countries committed to legally binding. Trump admitted as much in
the Rose Garden, referring to the accord's "nonbinding" nature. If the
president genuinely thinks America's targets are too onerous, he can
simply adjust them (although we believe it would be shortsighted for
the administration to do so). There is no need to exit the Paris accord
in search of a "better deal." Given the voluntary nature of the agreement,
pulling out of the Paris deal in a fit of pique is an empty gesture,
unless that gesture is meant to be a slap in the face to every single
U.S. ally and partner in the world.
The second big lie is that the Paris agreement will be a job killer.
In fact, it will help the United States capture more 21st-century jobs.
That is why dozens of U.S. corporate leaders, including many on the
president's own advisory council, urged him not to quit the agreement.
As a letter sent to the White House by ExxonMobil put it, the agreement
represents an "effective framework for addressing the risk of climate
change," and the United States is "well positioned to compete" under
the terms of the deal.
Action on climate and economic growth go hand in hand, and are
mutually reinforcing. That is why twice as much money was invested
worldwide in renewables last year as in fossil fuels, and why China
is pouring in billions to try to win this market of the future. A
bipartisan group of retired admirals and generals on the CNA Military
Advisory Board is about to release a report that will also spell out
the importance of competitiveness in advanced energy technologies --
not just to the economy, but also to the country's standing in the
world. Pulling out of climate will result in a loss of U.S. jobs and
knock the United States off its perch as a global leader in innovation
in a quickly changing global economic climate.
The article especially harps on "Trump is abdicating U.S. leadership
and inviting China to fill the void." As you may recall, China pretty
much torpedoed the Kyoto accords in the 1990s by insisting on building
their burgeoning economy on their vast coal reserves, but lately they've
decided to leave most of their coal in the ground, so agreeing to the
Paris accords was practically a no-brainer. The same shift has actually
been occurring in the US, admittedly with Obama's encouragement but more
and more it's driven by economics, even without anything like a carbon
tax to factor in the externalities. And unless Trump comes up with a
massive program to subsidize coal use, it's hard to see that changing,
and even then not significantly.
Another point they make: "Pulling out of Paris means Republicans
own climate catastrophes." Over the last several decades, we've all
seen evidence both of climate drift and even more so of freakish
extreme weather events, and the latter often trigger recognition of
the former, even when they are simply freakish. But also, despite
the popularity of Reagan's "I'm from the government and I'm here to
help" joke, when disaster strikes, no one really believes that.
Rather, they look immediately (and precisely) at the government for
relief, and they get real upset when it's not forthcoming, even
more so when it's botched (e.g., Katrina).
Coral Davenport/Eric Lipton: How GOP Leaders Came to View Climate
Science as Fake Science: Trump's decision shows how completely
his mind has been captured by a propaganda campaign orchestrated
by "fossil fuel industry players, most notably Charles D. and David
H. Koch, the Kansas-based billionaires who run a chain of refineries
(which can process 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day) as well as
a subsidiary that owns or operates 4,000 miles of pipelines that
move crude oil." The Kochs run Americans for Prosperity, perhaps
the single most effective right-wing political organization (e.g.,
they've been critical in flipping Wisconsin and Michigan for Trump).
One of their major initiatives has been to get Republicans they
back to sign their "No Climate Tax Pledge," which appears here:
Americans for Prosperity is launching an initiative to draw a line
in the sand declaring that climate change legislation will not be
used to fund a dramatic expansion in the size and scope of government.
If you oppose unrestrained growth in government at taxpayer's expense
and hidden under the guise of environmental political correctness,
then sign the pledge at the bottom of this page and return it to
our office, or visit our website at www.noclimatetax.com.
Regardless of which approach to the climate issue you favor,
we should be able to agree that any climate-change policy should
be revenue neutral. Revenue neutrality requires using all new
revenues generated by a climate tax, cap-and-trade, or regulatory
program, dollar for dollar, to cut taxes. There must also be a
guarantee that climate policies remain revenue neutral over time. . . .
Any major increase in federal revenue should be debated openly
on its merits. We therefore encourage you to pledge to the American
people that you will oppose any effort to hide a revenue increase
in a feel-good environmental bill.
Thus they ignore any substantive environmental impacts while
tying the hands of lawmakers, preventing the people from using
government to do anything for our collective benefit. That's one
prong of their attack. Denying climate science is another, and
a third is their long-term effort to undermine collective efforts
through international organizations -- a complete about-face from
the 1940s when the US championed the UN and the Bretton-Woods
organizations as a way of opening the world up and making it more
hospitable to American business. Back then Americans understood
that they'd have to give as well as take, and that we as well as
they would benefit from cooperation. That's all over now, thanks
to the right-wing propaganda effort, itself based on the premise
that dominant powers (like corporate rulers) can impose dictates
to mold their minions to their purposes.
When I opened the opinion page in the Wichita Eagle today, I
found an op-ed piece,
Withdrawing from Paris accord is a smart decision by Trump.
The contents were total bullshit. And the author, Nicolas Loris,
was identified is "the Morgan Research Fellow in Energy and
Environmental Policy at The Heritage Foundation."
By the way, the Eagle's other op-ed was by Sen. Jerry Moran:
A strong national defense also means a strong economy,
which was almost exclusively taking credit for some work on the B-21
("the world's most advanced stealth bomber") will be done in Spirit's
Wichita plant. Evidently no problem with spending precious taxpayer
money to better threaten a world that Trump has clearly shown nothing
but contempt for.
Geoff Dembicki: The Convenient Disappearance of Climate Change Denial
in China: "From Western plot to party line, how China embraced
climate science to become a green-energy powerhouse." The transition
seems to have occurred in 2011, when the leadership stopped publishing
tracts decrying climate change as a Western plot and started investing
heavily in renewables. One thing that helped tip the balance was air
pollution in Chinese cities. Another was a purge of corrupt managers
in the oil industry.
Shortly after Donald Trump won the presidency, Xi told him in a call
that China will continue fighting climate change "whatever the
circumstances." Though the new U.S. president has staffed his
administration with skeptics such as Scott Pruitt, the head of the
Environmental Protection Agency, China released data suggesting it
could meet its 2030 Paris targets a decade early. "The financial
elites I talk with," Shih said, "they think that the fact that the
Trump presidency has so obviously withdrawn from any global effort
to try to limit greenhouse gases provides China with an opportunity
to take leadership."
The paths both countries are taking couldn't be more divergent.
While Trump rescinded Obama's Clean Power Plan with a promise to end
America's "war on coal," China aims to close 800 million tons of coal
capacity by 2020. The U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable
Energy is facing a budget cut of more than 50 percent when China is
pouring over $361 billion into renewable energy. All this "is likely
to widen China's global leadership in industries of the future,"
concluded a recent report from the Institute for Energy Economics
and Financial Analysis.
Michael Grunwald: Why Trump Actually Pulled Out of Paris: "It
wasn't because of the climate, or to help American business. He
needed to troll the world -- and this was his best shot so far."
No, Trump's abrupt withdrawal from this carefully crafted multilateral
compromise was a diplomatic and political slap: It was about extending
a middle finger to the world, while reminding his base that he shares
its resentments of fancy-pants elites and smarty-pants scientists and
tree-hugging squishes who look down on real Americans who drill for oil
and dig for coal. He was thrusting the United States into the role of
global renegade, rejecting not only the scientific consensus about
climate but the international consensus for action, joining only Syria
and Nicaragua (which wanted an even greener deal) in refusing to help
the community of nations address a planetary problem. Congress doesn't
seem willing to pay for Trump's border wall -- and Mexico certainly
isn't -- so rejecting the Paris deal was an easier way to express his
Fortress America themes without having to pass legislation. . . .
The entire debate over Paris has twisted Republicans in knots. They
used to argue against climate action in the U.S. by pointing out that
it wouldn't bind China and other developing-world emitters; then they
argued that Paris wouldn't really bind the developing world, either,
but somehow would bind the United States. In fact, China is doing its
part, dramatically winding down a coal boom that could have doomed the
planet, frenetically investing in zero-carbon energy. And it will
probably continue to do its part even though the president of the
United States is volunteering for the role of climate pariah. It's
quite likely that the United States will continue to do its part as
well, because no matter what climate policies he thinks will make
America great again, Trump can't make renewables expensive again or
coal economical again or electric vehicles nonexistent again.
California just set a target of 100 percent renewable energy by
2045, and many U.S. cities and corporations have set even more
ambitious goals for shrinking their carbon footprints. Trump can't
do much about that, either.
Mark Hertsgaard: Donald Trump's Withdrawal From the Paris Accords
Is a Crime Against Humanity; also
Sasha Abramsky: Trump Echoes Hitler in His Speech Withdrawing
From the Paris Climate Accord.
Zachary Karabell: We've Always Been America First: "Donald Trump
is just ripping off the mask." Also cites
David Frum: The Death Knell for America's Global Leadership.
Frum was actually talking more about Trump's refusal to commit
to Article 5 of the NATO treaty, but the two go hand-in-hand.
Karabell also wrote:
Pay attention to Donald Trump's actions, not his words.
Naomi Klein: Climate Change Is a People's Shock: Long piece,
prefigured by her 2014 book This Changes Everything: Capitalism
vs. the Climate. Also includes a link to Chris Hayes' 2014 piece
The New Abolitionism, about "forcing fossil fuel companies
to give up at least $10 trillion in wealth" (by leaving that
much carbon in the ground).
Tom McCarthy: 'Outmoded, irrelevant vision': Pittsburghers reject
Trump's pledge: "The president said he was exiting the Paris
climate deal on behalf of Pittsburgh -- but his view of the
environmentally minded city is off by decades, residents say." Also:
Lauren Gambino: Pittsburgh fires back at Trump: we stand with Paris,
not you; and
Lucia Graves: Why Trump's attempt to pit Pittsburgh against Paris is
Daniel Politi: John Kerry: Trump Plan for Better Climate Deal Is
Like OJ Search for "Real Killer"
Joseph Stiglitz: Trump's reneging on Paris climate deal turns the
US into a rogue state
Hiroko Tabuchi/Henry Fountain: Bucking Trump, These Cities, States
and Companies Commit to Paris Accord
Katy Waldman: We the Victims: "Trump's Paris accord speech projected
his own psychological issues all over the American people."
Ben White/Annie Karni: America's CEOs fall out of love with Trump:
An amusing side story is that several corporate bigwigs have started
to distance themselves from Trump, especially over the decision to
pull out of the Paris climate accords. As the US evolves from hegemonic
superpower to tantrum-prone bully, laughing stock, and rogue state,
America's global capitalists have ever more to disclaim and apologize
for, and it won't help them to be seen as too close to Trump. On the
Trump regularly touts himself as a strongly pro-business president
focused on creating jobs and speeding up economic growth. But both
of those depend in part on corporate confidence in the administration's
ability to deliver on taxes and regulation changes. . . .
One corporate executive noted that Trump is often swayed by the
last person he talks to, so, the executive said, remaining in the
president's good graces and keeping up access is critical. The senior
lobbyist noted that next week is supposed to be focused on changing
financial regulations with the House expected to pass a bill rolling
back much of the Dodd-Frank law and Treasury slated to release a
report on changing financial laws.
One problem here is that so many of the things corporations and
financiers want from Trump come at each other's expense, Thus far,
Republicans have been remarkably sanguine about letting business
after business rip each other (and everyone else) off, because few
businesses look at the costs they incur, least of all externalities
like air and water, but those costs add up. For instance, one reason
American manufacturing is at a disadvantage compared to other wealthy
countries is the exorbitant cost of health care and education, and
making up the difference by depressing wages isn't a real solution.
There are corporations that love Trump's Paris decision -- ok, the
only one I'm actually sure of is Peabody Coal -- but they're actually
few and far between. Most don't care much either way, or won't until
the bills come due.
By the way, this piece also includes this gem:
From a purely political perspective, the distancing of corporate
CEOs may not be especially bad for Trump. He won as a populist
railing against corporate influence, specifically singling out
Since the election, he has continued to single out Goldman Sachs:
he's tapped more of their executives for key administration jobs
than any other business.
Richard Wolffe: Trump asked when the world will start laughing at
the US. It already is
Paul Woodward: Trump believes money comes first -- he doesn't care
about climate change
Plus more on the Trump administration's continuing looting and
Daniel Altman: If Anyone Can Bankrupt the United States, Trump Can
Bruce Bartlett: Donald Trump's incompetence is a problem. His staff
should intervene: The author is a conservative who worked in the
White House for Reagan and Bush I, though he was less pleased with
Bush II. Still, his prescriptions hardly go beyond what was standard
practice for Reagan: "He should let his staff draft statements for
him and let them go through the normal vetting process, including
fact-checking. And he must resist the temptation to tweet or talk
off the top of his head about policy issues, and work through the
normal process used by every previous president." Of course, what
made that work for Reagan was that he was used to being a corporate
spokesman before he became president -- after all, he worked for GE,
and he was an actor by trade. Trump has done a bit of acting too,
but he's always fancied himself as the boss man, and bosses in
America are turning into a bunch of little emperors. On the other
hand, Reagan's staff were selected by the real powers behind the
throne to do jobs, including keeping the spokesman in line. Trump's
staff is something altogether different: a bunch of cronies and
toadies, whose principal job seems to be to flatter their leader.
And that's left them sadly deficient in the competencies previous
White House staff required -- in some cases even more so than the
Jamelle Bouie: What We Have Unleashed: "This year's string of brutal
hate crimes is intrinsically connected to the rise of Trump."
Juliet Eilperin/Emma Brown/Darryl Fears: Trump administration plans
to minimize civil rights efforts in agencies
Robert Faturechi: Tom Price Bought Drug Stocks. Then He Pushed Pharma's
Agenda in Australia
David A Graham: The Panic President: "Rarely does a leader in a
liberal democracy embrace, let alone foment, fear. But that's exactly
what Donald Trump did in response to attacks in London, as he has done
before." Graham starts by showing how London mayor Sadiq Khan responded
to the attack, then plunges into Trump's tweetstorm. Also see:
Peter Beinart: Why Trump Criticized a London Under Attack; and
David Frum: What Trump Doesn't Understand About Gun Control in
Matthew Haag: Texas Lawmaker Threatens to Shoot Colleague After Reporting
Protesters to ICE
Whitney Kassel/Loren De Jonge Schulman: Donald Trump's Great Patriotic
Purge: "The administration's assault on experts, bureaucrats, and
functionaries who make this country work isn't just foolish, it's
suicidal." The most basic difference between Republicans and Democrats
is how they view the government bureaucracy: Republicans tend to view
everything government does as political, so they insist on loyalists
consistent with their political views; Democrats, on the other hand,
see civil servants loyal only to the laws that created their jobs.
Republicans since Nixon have periodically tried to purge government,
but those instincts have never before been so naked as with Trump,
nor has the Republican agenda ever before been so narrow, corrupt,
or politically opportunistic. Moreover, instilling incompetency
doesn't seem to have any downside for Republicans, as they've long
claimed that government is useless (except for lobbyists).
In a signature theme of its first 100 days, the Trump administration,
encouraged by conservative media outlets, has launched an assault on
civil servants the likes of which should have gone out of style in
the McCarthy era. Attacks on their credibility, motivations, future
employment, and basic missions have become standard fare for White
House press briefings and initiatives. In doing so, the administration
and its backers may be crippling their legacy from the start by casting
away the experts and implementers who not only make the executive agenda
real but provide critical services for ordinary Americans. But in a move
that should trouble all regardless of political affiliation, they also
run the risk of undermining fundamental democratic principles of
Searching for policy-based or political rationale for these moves
overlooks a key point: that the United States civil service can be an
enormous asset for presidential administrations regardless of party,
and undermining it belies a misunderstanding of what public servants
actually do. These good folks, the vast majority of whom do not live
in Washington, get up in the morning to cut social security checks,
maintain aircraft carriers, treat veterans, guard the border, find
Osama bin Laden, and yes, work hard to protect the president and make
his policies look good. Many of them earn less than they would in the
private sector and are deeply committed to serving the American people.
Any effort to undercut them is irrational on its face.
Mark Mazzetti/Matthew Rosenberg/Charlie Savage: Trump Administration
Returns Copies of Report on CIA Torture to Congress
Daniel Politi: Democratic Challenger to Iowa Lawmaker Abandons Race
Due to Death Threats
CIA Names the 'Dark Prince' to Run Iran Operations, Signaling a
Tougher Stance: Michael D'Andrea.
Rebecca Solnit: The Loneliness of Donald Trump: "On the corrosive
privilege of the most mocked man in the world." She cites a Pushkin
fable on green, and is surely not the first to apply F. Scott Fitzgerald's
classic line to Trump: "They smashed up things and creatures and then
retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever
it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess
they had made." She goes on, adding to the mocking of "the most mocked
man in the world":
The American buffoon's commands were disobeyed, his secrets leaked at
such a rate his office resembled the fountains at Versailles or maybe
just a sieve (this spring there was
an extraordinary piece in the Washington Post with thirty anonymous
sources), his agenda was undermined even by a minority party that was
not supposed to have much in the way of power, the judiciary kept
suspending his executive orders, and scandals erupted like boils and
sores. Instead of the dictator of the little demimondes of beauty
pageants, casinos, luxury condominiums, fake universities offering
fake educations with real debt, fake reality tv in which he was master
of the fake fate of others, an arbiter of all worth and meaning, he
became fortune's fool.
Still, if someone made him read this, he would surely respond,
"but I'm president, and you aren't." And while he goes about his
day "making America great again," he gives cover to a crew that
is driving the country into a ravine. When they succeed, all this
mockery will seem unduly soft and peculiarly sympathetic. On the
other hand, I suspect that treating Trump and the Republicans as
badly as they deserve will provoke a kneejerk reaction to defend
them. Even now, the scolds are searching hard for instances where
they can argue that satire has crossed hypothetical boundaries; e.g.,
Callum Borchers: Maher, Griffin, Colbert: Anti-Trump comedians are
having a really bad moment. I found the Griffin image amusing --
not unsettling like the first time I saw an image of one person
holding up the severed head of another, because this time the head
was clearly fake and symbolic. The other two were jokes that misfired,
partly because they used impolite terms but mostly because they made
little sense. That's an occupational hazard -- no comedian ever hits
all the time -- but singling these failures out reveals more about
the PC squeamishness of the complainers. (Where were these people
when Obama was being slandered? Or were they just overwhelmed?) And
note that Maher is often a fountain of Islamophobic bigotry, but
that's not what he's being called out for here.
Lisa Song: Trump Administration Says It Isn't Anti-Science as It
Seeks to Slash EPA Science Office
John Wagner: Trump plans week-long focus on infrastructure, starting
with privatizing air traffic control: During his campaign one of
Trump's most popular talking points was on the nation's need for
massive investment in infrastructure. After the election, Democrats
saw infrastructure investment as one area where they could work with
Trump, but as with health care the devil's in the details. Since he
took office, it's become clear that Trump's infrastructure program
will be nothing but scams fueling private profit with public debt.
It's worth noting that the scam for "privatizing" air traffic
control has been kicking around for years, backed by big airlines,
but it's very unpopular here in Kansas because it portends higher
charges to general aviation users. That should cost Trump two votes,
so his only hope of passing the deal is to pick up Democrats, who
should know better.
Paul Woodward: Donald Trump plays at being president. He doesn't
even pretend to be a world leader:
At this stage in his performance -- this act in The Trump Show
which masquerades as a presidency -- it should be clear to the audience
that the motives of the man-child acting out in front of the world are
much more emotive than ideological.
Trump has far more interest in antagonizing his critics than pleasing
No doubt Trump came back from Europe believing that after suffering
insults, he would get the last laugh. A senior White House official
(sounding like Steve Bannon) described European disappointment about
Trump's decision on Paris as "a secondary benefit," implying perhaps
that the primary benefit would be the demolition of one of the key
successes of his nemesis, Barack Obama.
Thus far, The Trump Show has largely been ritual designed
to symbolically purge America of Obama's influence.
Matthew Yglesias: Trump has granted more lobbyist waivers in 4 months
than Obama did in 8 years; also by Yglesias:
An incredibly telling thing Trump said at today's Paris event wasn't
about climate at all ("He simply has no idea what he's talking
about on any subject"); and
Jared Kushner is the domino Trump can least afford to fall in the
Russia investigation ("His unique lack of qualification for
office makes him uniquely valuable").
And finally a few more links on various stories one or more steps
removed from the Trump disaster:
Decca Aitkenhead: Brendan Cox: 'It would be easy to be consumed by
fury and hatred and bile': Interview and extract from Cox's
book about his British MP wife's murder by a right-wing racist,
Jo Cox: More in Common.
Marc Ambinder: The American Government's Secret Plan for Surviving
the End of the World: "Newly declassified CIA files offer a
glimpse of the playbook the Trump administration will reach for if
it stumbles into a nuclear war." The documents in question date
from the Carter and Reagan administrations.
William J Broad/David E Sanger: 'Last Secret' of 1967 War: Israel's
Doomsday Plan for Nuclear Display: This week is the 50th anniversary
of the fateful "Six Day War," which resulted in Israel's ongoing
occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Syrian
(Golan) Heights. It's well known that Israel considered using its
nuclear weapons arsenal during the 1973 war had they not been able
to turn back Syria and Egypt, but this is the first I've heard of
a 1967 plan. The most striking point I gleaned from Tom Segev's
1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle
East (2007) was the extraordinary confidence Israel's military
leaders had in launching their war, in stark contrast to the fear
and terror most Israelis were led to feel.
Some more pieces on the war and occupation:
James North: Israel provoked the Six-Day War in 1967, and it was not
fighting for survival; North also published an interview:
Norman Finkelstein on the Six-Day-War and its mythology.
Nathan Thrall: The Past 50 Years of Israeli Occupation. And the
Thomas B Edsall: Has the Democratic Party Gotten Too Rich for Its
Maria Margaronis: Could Labour's Corbyn Actually Win the British
Elections? Tory Prime Minister Theresa May called the election
expecting a landslide to bolster her majority. After all, the New
Labour elites, unable to win themselves, hate Corbyn enough to
sabotage him, and Corbyn is so far out of the cozy neoliberal
mainstream his election would be unimaginable. But polls have
narrowed from 22 points to something like 5. I don't know much
more than that, and don't have time tonight to search further.
Election is June 8.
Mujib Mashal/Fahim Abed/Jawad Sukhanyar: Deadly Bombing in Kabul Is
One of the Afghan War's Worst Strikes: Truck bomb, killed at
least 80, disclaimed by the Taliban. Comes just a few weeks after
the US dropped its own "mother of all bombs" on Afghanistan.
Rajan Menon: What Would War Mean in Korea? Makes the key points
I and many others have been making ever since Trump started rattling
sabres, so make sure you understand. By the way, just noticed that
Menon has a book called The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention
(2016). That's a good word for it: conceit. It denotes narcissistic
self-regard, crediting yourself for helping others when more likely
you're doing them great harm. It's an excuse for more war, not a
solution for real suffering. And everywhere the US has done it, the
humanitarian impulses are quickly discarded when it rapidly decays
into a struggle for self-defense and propping up the tarnished image
of American omnipotence.
Ijeoma Oluo: LeBron James reminds us that even the rich and famous
face racist hatred
Jeffrey D Sachs: It isn't just Trump: The American system is broken
Matt Taibbi: Republicans and Democrats Continue to Block Drug Reimportation --
After Publicly Endorsing It
Douglas Williams: The Democratic party still thinks it will win by
'not being Trump'