20 June 2005

Odds and Ends (CS)

First of all, Google (as Google comes first in all things). Google is searching for the truth. Google is always apparantly looking to do new things, never staying stagnant, and i like how a Google spokeswoman put it as "evolving all the time." So hey, if we're gonna find an ultimate Truth, why not through Google.

Speaking of the truth, long censored stories by an American journalist who was able to get into Nagasaki not long after the atomic bomb was used on it will finally be released. Let's please try to take this as a "look how shitty war/nuclear arms are" rather than "look at the terrible wrath of the United States" whether it's in a "fear us!" or "loath us!" sense.

We sure seem to have it in spades when it comes to sowing the seeds of destruction, however. All Bush's haughty talk and warhawkish demands seem to have only served to be damaging to pro-reform groops and strenghtened the presence of hardline conservative clerics. I had a professor recently who pointed out how, in the course of history, when often you try too damned hard to achieve one thing, you will get the opposite result. The country has been liberalizing (albeit, painfully slowly), but Bush's administration, the champions of freedom, may have just turned this process entirely on its head.
I remember doing my senior research project in high school on Iran, particularly the events leading up to the revolution in 1979. The hostage situation in Iran came as a shock to most Americans at the time, but targeting Americans and calling America "the Great Satan" doesn't happen on a whim. It was our own fear of Communism that had us propping up the Shah, out of touch with his own country and reviled by Iran. Between his actions and some of the questionable clandestine shit the CIA was pulling over there (all in the name of thwarting communism of course) they sure had enough legit reasons to hate America.... and of course, the culture gap cannot have helped. Then the people just latch on to the first guy with enough power and inertia to get them out from under the thumb of foreign influence. Sometimes i think it's slightly analogous to Vietnam and Diem, except with "Islamic Fundamentalism" latched onto instead of "communist anti-colonialism." We don't seem to have policy makers who really know their history anymore, do we?

And finally, along the lines of understanding history, here is a quite interesting take on the development, current state, and future fate of Marxism in the world. And remember, folks... Just cuz you understand/read up on Marxism, it does not make you a communist. Trying to understand history and the modern world without an understanding of Marxist thought and economic/dialectic construction of history leaves one quite unprepared and with what can only generously be called part of the picture. And if you coudln't follow that, don't bother reading the essay, it's a bit thick (i enjoyed it, though).

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