Archive for September 5th, 2013

by lizard

One of the most important anthologies of poetry, IMHO, is Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness, edited by Carolyn Forché (W. W. Norton & Company, 1993)

This week’s poetic selection comes from that anthology, from a poet who calls himself Adonis:

Adonis, the pseudonym of Ali Ahmad Sa’id, was born in a village in Syria. He attended the lycée in Tartus, studied law and philosophy at the University of Damascus, and began writing poetry early. After emigrating to Lebanon in 1956, he founded the journal Shi’ir, which was pivotal in establishing modern Arabic poetry. He was an influential member of the first generation of Arabs to break with the traditional Arabic forms and write free verse. His work is also marked by a strongly nontraditional sense of social commitment.

Here is a section from a longer poem titled Elegy for the Time at Hand:


Chanting of banishment,
exhaling flame,
the carriages of exile
breach the walls.

Or are these carriages
the battering sighs of my verses?

Cyclones have crushed us.
Sprawled in the ashes of our days,
we glimpse our souls
on the sword’s glint
or at the peaks of helmets.
An autumn of salt spray
settles on our wounds.
No tree can bud.
No spring…

Occupy Libya

by lizard

Under the YOU BREAK IT SO FIX IT doctrine, it’s clear NATO needs to occupy Libya.

Patrick Cockburn reports at Counterpunch today about the disaster Libya is facing with its diminishing oil production:

As world attention focused on the coup in Egypt and the poison gas attack in Syria over the past two months, Libya has plunged unnoticed into its worst political and economic crisis since the defeat of Gaddafi two years ago. Government authority is disintegrating in all parts of the country putting in doubt claims by American, British and French politicians that Nato’s military action in Libya in 2011 was an outstanding example of a successful foreign military intervention which should be repeated in Syria.

In an escalating crisis little regarded hitherto outside the oil markets, output of Libya’s prized high-quality crude oil has plunged from 1.4 million barrels a day earlier this year to just 160,000 barrels a day now. Despite threats to use military force to retake the oil ports, the government in Tripoli has been unable to move effectively against striking guards and mutinous military units that are linked to secessionist forces in the east of the country.

Libyans are increasingly at the mercy of militias which act outside the law. Popular protests against militiamen have been met with gunfire; 31 demonstrators were shot dead and many others wounded as they protested outside the barracks of “the Libyan Shield Brigade” in the eastern capital Benghazi in June.

Though the Nato intervention against Gaddafi was labeled as a humanitarian response to the threat that Gaddafi’s tanks would slaughter dissidents in Benghazi, the international community has ignored the escalating violence. The foreign media, which once filled the hotels of Benghazi and Tripoli, have likewise paid little attention to the near collapse of the central government.

Do Americans feel any sense of responsibility for what the Obama regime did to Libya under the cloak of NATO legitimacy? If Americans even knew about the crippled state of Libya, maybe they would, but luckily corporate media isn’t interested in exposing post-humanitarian-intervention Libya for what it is: a failed state incapable of protecting its citizens or its most lucrative industry.

To the latter point, here is a CNBC article from the end of last month describing the situation.

Back to the impending war with Syria, John McCain is doing his best to entangle the US with the following amendment language:

It is the policy of the United States to change the momentum on the battlefield in Syria so as to create favorable conditions for a negotiated settlement that ends the conflict and leads to a democratic government in Syria.


Early next week, the Senate and House will vote. Whichever way the vote breaks, one thing is for sure, it will be a political scramble of widespread constituent demand to vote NO up against the narrow focus of interest groups like AIPAC to vote yes.

What a mess.

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