Hi folks. This is not a substantive post. I wanted to explain my absence and a few things that I hope to do here in the next few days.
I have had a few weeks in a row that have been busy, one of which is well worth writing about here (the others are not for this blog). The week in question is Oct 25-Nov 1, the week of the Toronto Palestine Film Festival, which was an amazing experience. I will do a detailed review here.
Much has been happening in Colombia as well that I need to report on. President Uribe met with the indigenous who’d been mobilizing, but didn’t listen and missed the point. He fired some military personnel who’d been involved in shooting civilians, and General Montoya – the very general who planned the operation that freed Ingrid Betancourt – stepped down amid scandals. These are important events that aren’t getting much attention, like the election night invasion of Gaza that the Israelis conducted.
On the election, I’ll also see if I have anything to add to the unbelievable flood of material. One of the most forwarded pieces I have written was one I wrote just after the 2004 election called “the morning after”. The point of that one was something that my friend Robert Jensen would argue in Pakistan sometimes. People would say, “it’s not the American people we have a problem with, it’s the government”. Jensen would point out that the government isn’t a dictatorship and the people have responsibility, to the degree that they have power, which is to some degree. So, if the 2004 election was cause for despair, even though the election didn’t change the structure of power within the US or between the US and the rest of the world, then perhaps the 2008 election is cause for – don’t make me say it, please. I can say that I couldn’t disagree more with Mickey Z. He mocks leftists for trying to be strategic (I think they should be). He mocks the idea that leftists can pressure Democratic administrations based on a list of bad things that Democrats did (that doesn’t prove an absence of pressure, Mickey, just that there wasn’t enough pressure or that it was canceled out by stronger pressures). He mocks liberal shows like Jon Stewart’s and Stephen Colbert’s (I think these shows made a big difference in the past few years and positive influences on the culture in various ways). Since I’ve said more than once that I don’t really think there’s something called “the left” in North America, I don’t think it’s fair game to mock that entity – I would rather think through some suggestions about how to bring such an entity into existence than read mockery of something that doesn’t exist (and needs to).
More writing (actual articles) soon…