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MARX: A HERO FOR OUR TIME? — Suddenly, everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone seems to be talking about Karl Marx. Louis Proyect delves into this mysterious resurgence, giving a vivid assessment of Marx’s relevance in the era of globalized capitalism. THE MEANING OF MANDELA: Longtime civil rights organizer Kevin Alexander Gray gives in intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and the global struggle of racial justice. FALLOUT OVER FUKUSHIMA: Peter Lee investigates the scandalous exposure of sailors on board the USS Reagan to radioactive fallout from Fukushima. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT: Kim Nicolini charts the rise of Matthew McConaughey. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the coming crash of the housing market. JoAnn Wypijewski on slavery, torture and revolt. Chris Floyd on the stupidity of US policy in Ukraine. Kristin Kolb on musicians and health care. And Jeffrey St. Clair on life and death on the mean streets of an America in decline
At the End of My Rope

Hanging With Saddam

by DOUGLAS VALENTINE

My qi gong master tells me not to think about these things. Of course, Shi Fu tells me not to think about anything too much.

So, I tried not to think about it. I tried not to read the newspapers or listen to TV; the slew of government communiqués putting us in the proper state of mind for the greatest public execution since Nuremburg.

They want us to think that justice has been done. But when I picture Saddam dangling from the end of a rope, and George Bush gloating and holding the other end, the only thing I feel is very disturbed.

Forgive me Shi Fu, but if there really were any justice in this world, Bush would be dangling right there beside Saddam; along with Cheney, Rice, our glorious CIA torturers, all the other war profiteers, and, of course, the rex sacrocum of America the publishers and editors of the newspapers and TV shows that spread their propaganda.

With the public execution off Saddam, Bush America has sunk to a new low. I can feel it dragging me down. Sometimes it feels like I’m at the end of my rope.

Well, off to qi gong class. If there was ever a time to quiet and clear the mind, this is it.

Tell me again, Shi Fu, what’s it all about?

DOUGLAS VALENTINE is the author of The Hotel Tacloban, The Phoenix Program, and TDY. His fourth book, The Strength of the Wolf: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 1930-1968, is newly published by Verso. The Strength of the Wolf, has received the Choice Academic Excellence Award and is being published in Russia. Tthe sequel, The Strength of the Pack, is being published by University Press of Kansas in December 2005. For information about Mr. Valentine, and his books and articles, please visit his web sites at www.DouglasValentine.com and http://members.authorsguild.net/valentine