Jack Random

Jack Random is the author of the Jazzman Chronicles (Crow Dog Press) and Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press). See The Chronicles have been posted on the Albion Monitor, Bellaciao, Buzzle, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Pacific Free Press and Peace-Earth-Justice. www.jazzmanchronicles.blogspot.com


Sunday, 01 July 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
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alt“It is…for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolved that these dead shall not have died in vain.” - Abe Lincoln, Gettysburg Address.

When do we finally admit that our soldiers are dying in vain?

The people have come to accept that the Iraq War was from the beginning unnecessary, immoral and painfully misguided. Our nation has not yielded on the contracts that transfer essential control of Iraqi oil to international oil companies. We have not given up or even disavowed the permanent military installations that would keep the Iraqi government under our thumb in perpetuity.

 
Sunday, 01 July 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
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ImageOn the day Senator Hillary Clinton announced her preliminary candidacy for the office of president, American soldiers in Iraq suffered one of the deadliest days in a war approaching four years. As the death toll rang for 24 Americans, it rang again for 50-65 Iraqis in and around Baghdad.

The president’s plan for “success” in Iraq, featuring an escalation of 21,500 troops and targeting Shiite militias, is already taking a toll in blood. Saturday’s bloodbath was largely viewed as a response to Friday’s arrest of Abdul Hadi al Darraji, an aide to Muqtada al Sadr, the leader of the Mahdi Army. 

 
Monday, 11 June 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
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alt"They blew up one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam – the Golden Mosque of Samarra – in a calculated effort to provoke Iraq’s Shia population to retaliate. Their strategy worked. Radical Shia elements, some supported by Iran, formed death squads and the result was a vicious cycle of sectarian violence that continues today.” - George W. Bush, Address to the Nation, 1/11/07.

As we look back at the chain of events and circumstances that led us to the current disaster in Iraq, we should recall that it was not simply a deceitful and unscrupulous White House that made it possible; it was a widespread conspiracy (there is no other word) of deception, fear mongering and cowardly abdication enveloping a collaborative mainstream media, a rubber stamp congress and a spineless opposition.

 As the full extent of the train wreck in Mesopotamia has unfolded, one by one our media and congressional leaders have stepped forward to accept responsibility for past lapses and to vow: Never again.

 
Friday, 08 June 2007 19:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
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ImageIf a man cannot confront hard truths, the fiber of his character begins to change. The seed of disease is planted. A vibrant, life-affirming individual begins to rot from the inside. The process of decay settles until the man is no longer recognizable even to himself.

It is no different with a woman, a family, a village or a nation. The seed of corruption is planted and the nation in perpetual denial begins to decay.

Is there anything we can accuse our adversaries of that we are not now guilty of ourselves: Intervention in foreign affairs, violations of international law, defiance of the Geneva conventions, contravention of democracy, fostering conflict and supplying arms to hostile forces?

From torture to aggressive war, from the nullification of Habeas Corpus to illegal spying, from denial of human rights to denial of planetary catastrophe, we have as a nation mastered the art of denying hard truths.

In the eyes of the world, we are a nation that has lost its way. In the eyes of our leadership, we are a nation that never makes mistakes. We are a nation of impregnable virtue. We are a nation incapable of nefarious intent or crimes against humanity.

 
Friday, 01 June 2007 19:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
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ImageIn days of old, a select society of imaginative minds so mystified the reigning elite that they were welcomed into aristocratic circles of influence.

They were known as the alchemists, purported holders of the secret knowledge of transmutation, and they were wined and dined by the crowned royals of medieval Europe. Their company was sought, their attendance rewarded, their words treasured as prescient jewels, their speculative musings preserved as if they could unfold the mysteries of life.

Inevitably, it ended badly for the alchemists because the root and core of their artful deception charading as science was as false as a wanton lover.


History will attest that the alchemists were able to perpetuate one of the greatest frauds in recorded time because the dream was universally appealing and the people, even the educated and privileged, were willing to suspend logical thought for the promise of a miracle.

The concept of turning common metals into gold has never lost its pull on the human psyche. The gullibility of our peculiar species will always grab hold of the grandest, most majestic and magical of dreams.

 
Thursday, 31 May 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
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altWith the people still buckling from the grief and rage of a terrorist attack on our own soil, as our government laid the ground works for perpetual war with a doctrine of aggressive warfare, the marginalized voices that would become the heart of the antiwar movement rose up in opposition.

When the doctrine was christened with an invasion of Afghanistan, we knew we were facing long odds in the struggle for the hearts and minds of the American people. We fully understood the necessity of striking back at Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda but our military actions went far beyond that objective. 

Rather than negotiating an immediate surrender of Al Qaeda forces with a willing government or, failing that, focusing our attack on Al Qaeda strongholds, we declared war on the Taliban government, setting in motion a process of nation building that would require long term occupation on unfriendly terrain.

 

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