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August 19, 2010

government abuses of power make me wouldn't like me when I'm angry



That’s how I imagine his writing process goes.

I feel like today is a good day to talk about Howard Zinn. As you might know, yesterday was the day the final combat troops left Iraq. This is “an historic moment” according to some nerd in Washington. And it is. The 4th stryker brigade has left Iraq through Kuwait, and the US has officially changed its role in Iraq, seven years and five months after the initial US-lead invasion.

What does this mean for the people of Iraq? For the US foreign relations or the soldiers? Who knows. But we did it two weeks ahead of schedule.

I’m currently reading Howard Zinn on War, and it’s a fascinating book. It’s definitely a trip, in part because of the style in which it is written. The meat of the book is a collection of publications from the late Howard Zinn, ranging all the way from the Vietnam War era to the Clinton administration, and introductions to each article by the author. The trippy thing about it is that Zinn throws around these names, like Rumsfeld, Cheney, Kissinger, Bush. Except he’s not referring to the period of time from 2000 to 2008. He’s talking about the Nixon regime, the Regan era, and the FIRST Bush presidency.

To put things in perspective is a wonderful series by the Photographer Richard Avedon

from left to right is Reagan, Rumsfeld, Bush Sr. Kissinger, and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

So instead of talking about the more familiar scandals, like the suspension of Habeus Corpus, illegal wiretapping and surveillance, and the dubious reasons for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, Zinn throws around controversies like Watergate, Iran-Contra Affair, suspension of Habeus Corpus, illegal wiretapping, and the dubious reasons for invading Vietnam and the bombing of Cambodia.

Wait a second…

And it’s exactly that bizarre parallel that Zinn talks about. His writing always seems to bring to light those inevitable links between money, power, and the abuse of power.

oh, and something along those lines that I heard just today: turns out two advisors to Jan Brewer are heavily involved with the private prison corporations. Paul Senseman is a former lobbyist of the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and his wife continues to work for them. The other, Chuck Coughlin is president of HighGround Public Affairs Consultants, which lobbies for CCA. Contracting to CCA costs the state of AZ around $11 MILLION every month, and they will take on the responsibility of housing undocumented immigrants for the state.

Follow the money.

But I digress.

more on this later!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Orion permalink
    August 20, 2010 2:57 am

    Rrr. Why am I only getting a snippet of this whole story on my feed? Did you do it? Is it your fault?

    Interestingly, Jan brewer’s Republican opponents for gubernatorial candidate, including Buz Mills, who spent over $2 million out of pocket on his campaign, have mostly all dropped out since she signed SB1070. That one act cemented her role for much of conservative Arizona. She has been gaining in popularity along with decreasing faith in Democrats nationwide. She continues to spend federal money for education on border stuff, make up lies about headless bodies and Hitler killing her dad, and eliminate healthcare coverage for LGBT folk and poor kids. Meanwhile former mayor of Phoenix (elected five times) and generally cool guy Attorney General Terry Goddard at first appears to be biding (or wasting) his time until after the primaries. Maybe the non-incumbent side of the race doesn’t sell papers yet. Or maybe he’s busy doing his job. I don’t know.

    Here’s Terry talking about his campaign, (~23 min.) and how it’s there even though you haven’t heard about it. His issues page is here.

    Both major candidates are running on mostly public money: $707,447 each.

    You should lend me that book when you are done.

  2. August 20, 2010 8:16 am

    I am so glad you say INVASION and not the word war.

  3. August 20, 2010 3:08 pm

    Good post. It’s understanding these critical “links” you talk about that make me love the late radio journalist Mae Brussell. In the days prior to the Internet, she subscribed to 150 different periodicals and clipped and cross-referenced thousands of articles. It was in this way she (not the Washington Post) broke the original story on Watergate in the Realist – and the Nazi connection to the JFK assassination, and the Merrill Lynch pizza connection (about brokerage houses laundering illicit drug money) and scores of other State Crimes Against Democracy. I am thinking of writing a biography about Mae. I also write about her in my recent memoir THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY ACT: MEMOIR OF AN AMERICAN REFUGEE (

  4. January 9, 2011 4:05 pm

    It’s a new year, Corbi! Time to write!

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