Monday, February 24, 2003


Raven is back. His feathers are a little rumpled around the edges, I think. And his affect is a bit subdued. It isn’t easy for the Bird for All Seasons to admit to his animal inclinations. (It isn’t easy for me, either.)

In today’s La Jornada there is a piece by Carlos Fazio, “De canallas y amigos” (Of Rogues and Friends), which treats the rhetorical use of the label “Rogue State” by the US to justify its new “doctrine of preventive war”, whose most novel aspect is its so-called “anticipatory self-defense.” (Essentially, it means a non-declared war against international norms as well as the US Constitution.)

Fazio points out that “based on the frequency and durability of its unilateral acts of force on a global level, the most visible case of an interfering Rogue State in the 20th century was the United States. (Others, such as the German Nazis and the Italian Fascists had an ephemeral duration.”)

He gives several examples, including Reagan’s Secretary of State George Shultz’ comments when the Tribunal of La Hague was considering Nicaragua’s accusations regarding the mining of its harbor at Corinto--where he laughed at the people who advocated “utopian and legalist means such as external mediation, the United Nations and the International Tribunal of Justice, and did not take into account the ELEMENT OF POWER in the equation.” The Tribunal condemned the US for its illegal use of force against Nicaragua, and imposed the obligation to pay substantial damages. Washington never obeyed....

Typical bully on the corner behavior. Right, Rave?

“If you say so. If you are including my recent lapse from grace in that paradigm, please remember that I was protecting my own turf.”

Fascinating. I didn’t know that birds had turf, Rave.

“Don’t be ingenuous. Everybody has his own turf, his personal space.”

Fazio goes on to indicate that a “rogue superpower has to maintain its credibility, constructing its ideology with the active collaboration of universities, research institutes and the chains of mass media of communication (CNN, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, etc.)...this industry of ideological persuasion generates processes of suggestion and collective contagion: today’s panic in regard to the “devil” Hussein, yesterday’s in regard to the “evil” Bin Laden. To this end the CIA, the Pentagon, the FBI and the DEA use psychological warfare and covert activity, disseminating disinformation in order to influence public opinion and political leaders in both friendly nations and enemy nations.”

“Yeah. Every 15 minutes the FBI or one of those other groups is predicting another terrorist attack.”

State-sponsored terrorism, Rave. Scare the shit out of the citizenry.

A country that does not respect the rogue superpower can expect to pay the price. Mexico has been advised that it will pay a high price if it doesn’t support the US in the UN Security Council. Bush’s buddy Tony Garza, the US ambassador to Mexico, made it very clear in his speech in Puebla last week that all bets for an agreement regarding migrant workers would be off, as well as any possible NAFTA renegotiation, if Mexico didn´t vote to attack Iraq.

“This guy Fazio is right: it’s the dialectic of master and slave.” Raven is indignant.

You didn’t see the paper yesterday, Rave, but Oliver Stone said he was thinking of leaving the US because he can’t accept the government’s terrorist tactics.

“Wow! When Hollywood threatens to pack up and leave, you know the dream is over....”

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