by William Skink
The Nation recently celebrated 150 years of publishing its magazine, described by Wikipedia this way:
The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States, a successor to William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as “the flagship of the left”.
Astute political observers who are capable of seeing past the borders of America can see how sorry the state of the left is in the states. I don’t think Alfred McCoy, writing for The Nation, is one of them. Here is the title of McCoy’s recent Nation article: Barack Obama Is a Foreign Policy Grandmaster. This is how the piece opens:
In ways that have eluded Washington pundits and policymakers, President Barack Obama is deploying a subtle geopolitical strategy that, if successful, might give Washington a fighting chance to extend its global hegemony deep into the 21st century. After six years of silent, sometimes secret preparations, the Obama White House has recently unveiled some bold diplomatic initiatives whose sum is nothing less than a tricontinental strategy to check Beijing’s rise. As these moves unfold, Obama is revealing himself as one of those rare grandmasters who appear every generation or two with an ability to go beyond mere foreign policy and play that ruthless global game called geopolitics.
Read the whole article for McCoy’s argument. I don’t have the stomach to excerpt more of it here.
Instead, let’s take a look at Ajamu Baraka’s piece at Counterpunch today, titled Yemen Tragedy and the Ongoing Crisis of the Left in the United States:
In Yemen, six months of relentless and seemingly indiscriminate bombing by the repressive Wahhabaist dictatorship of Saudi Arabia has cost the lives of over four thousands human beings, who according to the United Nations and major human rights organizations have been primarily civilians.
Along with this wanton murder, the Saudi government and its allies from the contemptuous gang of corrupt Arab monarchies known as the Gulf Cooperation Council benefit from the diplomatic cover and military support from the equally contemptuous U.S. state. Together, they have created a humanitarian catastrophe in one of the poorest nations on the planet.
Yet, for the majority of the people in the U.S., the carnage in Yemen simply does not exist because it has not been in the interests of the rulers to draw the attention of the American people to it.
Therefore, the U.S. public is unaware that the U.S. is participating in the naval blockade of a country that imports 80% of its food by sea. They don’t know that the bombing, blockade, and massive displacement has resulted in widespread famine with more than 78% of the population now in need of humanitarian assistance. They never read the report from Peter Maurer, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who said that “Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years.”
And while U.S. propagandists are preparing the people for an even more direct intervention into Syria, using the absurd pretext that somehow the imposition of a “no fly zone” is an appropriate response to the humanitarian concerns of refugee flows from Syria to Europe, the humanitarian emergency created by the war in Yemen is largely uncovered and outside the bounds of polite conversation in the U.S.
This conspiracy of silence has translated into impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity. It has meant that the central role played by the U.S. in this criminal assault occurred without any opposition from mainstream politicians or most radicals and leftists in the U.S.
Yep, our corporate media isn’t showing pictures of dead Yemeni children, so why would anyone give a shit about that particular humanitarian crisis? We can even look at the Saudi slaughter of Yemen as an American jobs program, because who do you think Saudi Arabia will turn to when they need to buy more weapons of mass destruction?
I’m sure this is all part of Grandmaster Obama’s plan: allow Saudi Arabia to get mired down in Yemen so they can’t meddle too much in the Iran deal and America’s continued pivot to Asia.
I stand humbled in the presence of such brilliance. Who cares about Yemen when America has a new century to dominate?
I read the Nation piece earlier this am. Those Onion writers must be jealous.
Liz, you may not have the stomach to excerpt more of McCoy’s piece, but I do:
Seems like McCoy has done a pretty good job of following the rise of neoliberalism and its replacement of the “left” (with its bastion of peace and progressivism) with a geopolitical drive to dominate the planet at any cost. And now with the pretend left embracing neoliberalism, what is the real left going to do?
“what is the real left going to do?” For me, i just delete that phrase and read in something like what are different people of diff ages doing now. Then the entire piece is for me,
a very worthwhile read.
Bob, sorry your comments took a while to post. For some reason, Akismet — the WordPress spam filter — flagged all your comments as spam. Most likely other WordPress sites have tagged your comments as spam, unfortunately, and Akismet carries that across sites.
And welcome to the conversation… yes, I should have quoted “real left” as I was just trying to be snarky.
“Real Left” also works fine for me. Matter of fact that’s why i came here after watching the CNN debaters race to the bottom, then corporate media reponses, amidst politico mediated blog responses. Thankyou for un-spamming me. Kind of wondering (what)(who) tagged my stuff as spam.
I knew I knew the name Alfred McCoy, author of Politics of Heroin. Very good book, caused a stir, and then was ignored to the margins, but recommended reading.
Polish Wolf refers to the remnants of the left as the “radical” left or some such slam, positioning himself and Pogie as the true left. when in fact they have merely become right wingers and do not know it. So, in this land, we have a far right, a right, and a few remnants of a left that died in 1968.
The Nation Magazine is a gatekeeping operation, controlled opposition, each year having to put out a funding appeal, and each year getting a new lease on life, probably from some right wing source. They like for the left to be corralled by such journals, as it lets them know what we are thinking, gives us an an emotional outlet, and puts the brakes on any truly dissident thought. Vanden Huevel, the current editor unless I am way behind the times, comes from a military background. I just ran across her Dad recently in other reading. I’ll have to look that up.