Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ready for War

I just picked up a copy of Jeremy Scahill's Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army (Nation Books, 2007). A ton of research went into this -- exactly the kind of thing we need to help stay alert. Re: What's going on behind the scenes in Iraq and elsewhere. It's a shadow army. Thanks to independent journals like The Nation and brave people like Scahill, there is still real investigative journalism being done.

Here's a link to the companion website:

Meanwhile, I renewed my membership with the ACLU -- something I've done annually since the days of Ronald Reagan. A link: Excellent research database, too.

Just out: Naomi Wolf's The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot (Chelsea Green, September 2007). Looks terrific. The short version is "Fascist America, in 10 easy steps" (The Guardian, April 24, 2007). Hopefully this link will remain live:,,2064157,00.html

Naomi Wolf is always provocative -- and cool.

Inset from a cover of The Nation. Wake Up, America!

Today's Rune: Initiation.

Birthdays: Euripides, Augustus Caesar, Kublai Khan, Victoria Woodhull, Walter Lippmann, Friedrich Paulus, Aldo Moro, Mickey Rooney, John Coltrane, George Jackson, Julio Iglesias, Bruce Springsteen, Michelle Thomas, Ani DiFranco. And happy birthday to Joe McGeary!

Achtung: Auf Wiedersehen!


the walking man said...

Erik I know it sounds schizophrenic or at least a diachotomy in what I write but it IS NOW the time for every Patriot to arm themselves because POSSEE COMATATUS is the next stp in this fanatical regime of the Bush Reich, Americans are soon going to be killing Americans.

Beth said...

I hope you write a review of Blackwater when you're done.

MacGuffin said...

I think Naomi Wolf is pretty hot. Does that make me weird?

The mere existence of Blackwater is an outrage.

JR's Thumbprints said...

"From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.."

That's some powerful words! I'm sure if Bush has his way The Guardian will be dismantled.

Bubs said...

An acquaintance of mine is now working for Blackwater in Afghanistan, he's doing firearms and defensive tactics training there.

And Macguffin is right, the mere existence of Blackwater is an outrage. It follows the trend of upscale gated communities hiring their own private security/cops, only writ large. The best trained military in the world, available to the highest payer.

Charles Gramlich said...

I was appalled when I heard about the private mercenary armies in Iraq. I simply couldn't believe it, but I soon found out that it was true and became appalled at my own naivety. History shows clearly that a nation who starts to use mercenaries soon finds themselves in trouble.

Johnny Yen said...

Yes, I may have to go back to being, as W's father said, a "card-carrying member of the ACLU." I think it may turn out to be a good investment in this nation's future.