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THE DECAY OF AMERICAN MEDIA — Patrick L. Smith on the decline and fall of American journalism; Peter Lee on China and its Uyghur problem; Dave Macaray on brain trauma, profits and the NFL; Lee Ballinger on the bloody history of cotton. PLUS: “The Vindication of Love” by JoAnn Wypijewski; “The Age of SurrealPolitick” by Jeffrey St. Clair; “The Radiation Zone” by Kristin Kolb; “Washington’s Enemies List” by Mike Whitney; “The School of Moral Statecraft” by Chris Floyd and “The Surveillance Films of Laura Poitras” by Kim Nicolini.
Stuff and Nonsense

Theatre of the Absurd

by GUI ROCHAT

Looking last week Tuesday at the televised senate hearings about a possible Syrian attack I could not but wonder at the unreality and cruelty of it all.

It was Kerry’s finest hour: he almost shouted, got red in the face and argued using the same loaded words time and again in order to make a deep impression on the viewing public about his boss’s plans. It was a star performance well rehearsed and excellently produced.

Behind him sat Teresa Heinz Kerry like a tricoteuse from the French revolution (women who attended every guillotine execution while knitting presumably socks and scarves for their men folk), nodding her head each time in full agreement with the martial plans of General Dempsey.

While a naive viewer might wonder why a powerful nation like the USA would not use its enormous power to influence the parties in Syria and bring them together for a peace conference, it became clear that no other option than a military attack was even on the table.

It does say a lot therefore about the foreign policies of this important nation, that peace is never given a chance but that the only way to act is to confront and attack. No wonder that within this nation people will behave the same way: strike first, talk later.

Moreover no reasonable cause was ever mentioned or given except whenever Kerry came near to an explanation it was carefully shoved off to the next day when a closed and by security protected session was going to be held for the senators. Thus anything of value to be considered was hidden from the US public who obviously have little say in what their government wants or will do. The claque of senators and representatives secures for the executive full protection from national and international law.

Homeland security was mentioned (of course, it is a salient and favorite propaganda vessel) as if Madame el-Asad would be arriving here with a stink bomb in her Hermes hand bag to be secretly set off in the middle of Grand Central Station in New York.

Crocodile tears were then to be shed over the dead children in Damascus while the short criminal memories are closed to the horrors of the Vietnam War where napalmed naked children were photographed while screaming and running away from a destroyed village.

Even the refusal of the British government to participate in the slaughter could not stop the warmongers who behave like the Red Queen in Alice’s Wonderland: ”Sentence first, Verdict later”. No wonder that Alice rightly said: “Stuff and Nonsense !” “History repeats itself first as tragedy, second as farce” like once stated, but horribile dictu as an extremely cruel one.

Gui Rochat is an art dealer and consultant, specializing in in seventeenth and eighteenth century French paintings and drawings. He lives in New York.