Biden in Rags

“You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse
When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you’ve got no secrets to conceal”

– Bob Dylan, “Like a Rolling Stone”

It’s always encouraging when a country’s military commander-in-chief – President Biden, in this case – announces in advance that he knows how he is going to respond militarily to the killing of three American soldiers at a base that supports an illegal and immoral U.S. “covert” war against Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Iran, and all those who oppose the US/Israel slaughter of Palestinians.  Such anxiety to show antecedently that he’s not sitting on his hands is touching.  It’s the kind of announcement that all great military leaders make.  It is the kind of arrogant stupidity that has long been the norm for U.S. presidents who love war but lose them all while masquerading as conquerors.  So it goes, and so it will go.

To add to that, Biden says he doesn’t want a wider war as he creates one, since you can always take him at the opposite of his words. Yet he really has no secrets since his transparent corruption is almost palpable: He supports the Israeli/U.S. genocide in Gaza, the Ukrainian war against Russia, has expanded the war in the Middle East over the past few weeks, and will soon widen it further while the mass media report that he and his cast of fools are trying to “manage” their violent responses to prevent a wider war.  The narrative has it that he is trying to outfox Netanyahu, who has often bragged how he has the U.S.A. in his back pocket.

It is hard not to laugh derisively.  Now Biden issues an executive order to sanction some Israelis on the West Bank, as if this blatant political move to help his election chances with Muslim Americans is an act of moral statesmanship, while the blood of over 27,000 Palestinians drips from his shaky hands and increases daily.

My guess is that he will, as CIA veteran Larry Johnson suggests, execute his militarily meaningless bombing late today, Groundhog Day, not so much because he has to endlessly repeat similar macho acts of a Napolean in rags (which he does), but because the South Carolina primary is tomorrow and acts of war are appealing to the state’s military connected voters.  Additionally, to timely “avenge” the lives of the three black soldiers killed in Jordan might help Biden with the crucial black vote in this primary that will positively launch his reelection campaign or set him back on his heels.

Acts of war have long been the magic rabbit American presidents have relied on to bail them out of political jeopardy and to show their macho toughness.  In this case, as in others, such as Trump’s 2017 attack on Syria with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles for the false accusation of Syrian chemical weapons use (a continuation of Obama’s war against Syria), the actual damage inflicted is often minor while the headline grabbing showmanship is major.  That these presidents legally justify these acts of war based on the war authorization Congress passed following September 11, 2001 is telling.  The so-called war on terror and a supine Congress is the gift that keeps giving the warfare state carte blanche to attack and kill whomever it damn well pleases.

In Biden’s case today, these are the actions of a desperado, a war-loving bumbling puppet who is over or under or out of his head as he feigns outrage at the killing of three soldiers who were placed in a spot where their lives were at risk because they were cogs in an imperial war machine.  Pawns in the game.  A very dangerous game in which the Zionists leaders of Israel are as desperate as Biden and whose secret operatives are no doubt plotting a desperate scheme to try to expand the war.  Who is jerking whose chain may be questionable, but the dogs of war are barking.

“When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”

As Finian Cunningham has just written, “Biden has led U.S. imperialism out of the quagmire of Afghanistan into an even bigger quagmire in the Middle East. With the goading by his equally brainless political rivals, the Americans are plowing further into disaster.”

No rival politician to Biden dares challenge his allegiance to the Israel Lobby and what the inestimable CIA veteran Ray McGovern calls the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex, (MICIMATT), for they too are captives of it.  A small demurral on this or that minor point they may make, but they essentially support the imperial hubris of the warfare state and its symbiotic relationship with Netanyahu and his ilk.

We are talking about very stupid leaders who have never learned from their losses and are risking a major war.

Cunningham writes, “With over 50 military bases strung across the Middle East in 10 countries and with over 50,000 U.S. troops stationed in the region, the Americans are sitting ducks for the resistance. The advent of drones and newer missile technology is a new realm of warfare the Americans have not adapted to with their land garrisons in remote deserts and gaudy warships. . . . They have no idea what is coming to them given the long history of U.S. aggression, provocation, and illegal occupation in the region.”

There are even many usually astute critics of U.S. foreign policy who have recently claimed that the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) recent ruling was a win for the Palestinians, which it was not, as the ICJ appointed Netanyahu to “prevent and punish” those responsible for “genocidal acts.”  Should one laugh?  (See this and this.) The savage Israeli attacks on Gaza continue apace with 124 Palestinians killed in the past 24 hours and well over a thousand killed since the ruling.  Spinning the ruling to accord with one’s hopes and well-intentioned wishes will not help the victims of the genocide but will only intimate that international law is somehow still operative when it is not.

So the emperor has no clothes or is dressed in rags and we all await Punxsutawney Joe to tell us which way the wind blows.

“He’s not selling any alibis/ As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes/And say, ‘Do you want to make a deal?”

7 thoughts on “Biden in Rags”

  1. Hello Mr. Curtin.
    This comment is on the Immense Hunger one — unfortunately I see that after some set time comments on entries are disabled.

    For 39 years I was one of those “who rove without respite” (alas, there are people like us).
    Then I began roving (Christian) churches.
    I loved them in the empty hours — the very rare church here or there that was open in the hours when the only thing the “Church” care about was on, business with noisy crowds.

    I started loving them because the air was cooler than anywhere else (I live in a Mediterranean country, and it was summer), and unlike anywhere else there was silence inside, with also good insulation from the noise the world outside produces non-stop.

    Step by step I began attending mass. It was interesting, yes.
    I couldn’t help though but smile when the moment came a queue of people formed, and each of them walked to the priest to get what I saw as “the circular sugarless biscuit”; even more so smile at the few of them who, once they had gotten back to their seating spot, set on their knees to complete the savorless biscuit ingestion.

    Though something within me softened, as slowly as to make the softening imperceptible consciously.

    But: the folks managing parishes are earthbound, the “Church” is earthbound. Everything felt not like something I could hope my hunger to be quelled with, rather like a not-so-bad appetizer.
    I kept on roving churches in the neighbouring urban centers, driven by a novel kind of hunger, a… sweet, quiet yet surely driving me appetite.

    One day I entered, “random”, the church of a Poor Clares’ monastery. I had never thought of attending mass at the church of a monastery: I was sure that, while the secular clergy generally was earthbound and low-worth, monks had to be the culmination of either foolishness or out-of-mindedness.

    Instead, as I passed one hour there, it happened.
    “What did happen”, you ask?

    It happened that the Only — the only solution to our hunger, as well as anguish, chose that time and place to let my eye catch a glimpse of its light.
    Through the medium of those Clares’ dedication to liturgy.
    I saw a peace, and, well, hunger-freedom, in them that I had never observed in anyone in the world (nor have I since).
    I started going there day in and day out.

    Soon I knew I wanted to become a priest, and give my skills and energies to bringing to everyone out in the world the “happy news”, the Gospel.
    The course to try to enter seminary took me 3 years, before being denied access to both seminary and a life with meaning for me by those folks.

    With exceptions, the “Church” is a circle of hell. A specific one, with set characteristics. Whose dwellers indulge (or are condemned to?) a specific kind of play-acting. Of lowliness. With their specific, clergy-common way of slapping Christ in the face, spitting on his face; flogging him, then nailing him to ignominy and death by blood spilling.

    They embody what every Christian will always feel his/her duty to fight, and oppose, with all the might of his/her will, as well as prayer.
    Except of course for the “stupid and ignorant” in the MLK’s quote I saw on this blog — to those ones these Gospel-hating Christ-despising trash is “Holy Fathers”, and an object of reverence.

    I don’t know if you have met God. If you haven’t or if you have, I wrote all of this mostly to recommend that you attend liturgy (meaning the Hours, not mass only) at a Clare monastery, one day.
    Maybe you know what it is like there already: I can’t be sure.


    1. Thank you Fabio…I enjoyed your commentary. I did not understand most of it for I am slow to learn many things. I don’t know anything about a Clare Monastery. My very brief experiences with the catholic church when I was very young ended quickly. I think a pair of nuns were after my young body?
      An old friend, she was also a lawyer, told a group of religious merchants that if their christ appeared right then, they would be the first to lead the crucifixion! I agreed.
      We’re confused, desperate, anxious for something, some meaning, some answers…, that our indoctrination does not provide nor does it offer a quality of thinking that encourages us to search for real knowledge. I think, usually we only search out of a feeling of desperation. This is what I think. So we continue to march in place in quick sand.



    We can affirm that without a leader, without a vanguard, there is no revolution. The leader, the vanguard, equipped with a revolutionary theory, establishes a connection with the masses and that, mass plus vanguard, is what we can call the people, capable of founding worlds, of changing history. The bourgeoisie, the upper bourgeoisie, the middle bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie have given prestige to theories that seek to fracture this mass-avant-garde binomial; In this way, mass without leaders, leaders without mass, are harmless to the system. Many revolutionary attempts lie on the ashes of this pairing.

    In the United States there is a process of maintenance of capitalism, which in its political phase contemplates the installation of a bourgeois democracy with Biden or a fascist democracy with Trump, and the dismantling of the revolutionary vanguard, leaving the masses without revolutionary leaders, only in the hands of idols of publicity, dismantling any possibility of great politics in which the leadership of society is disputed by two systems, capitalism and socialism, to turn politics into a showbiz tournament.

    This process is moving fast, today we are witnessing bipartisanship, represented by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. And orbiting this binomial, the left trapped in the logic of bourgeois elections, without a strategy. This circus, this carnival, functions as an effective insurance of the capitalist system. The masses without a communist-revolutionary vanguard are lulled to sleep by electoral opium.

    There is still time, the system has problems installing the spirituality of its domination, the electoral capitalist system refuses to alternate, it blocks the electoral game that almost has the table set, the opponents are there waiting for the function to begin. In the near future, however, these obstacles will be overcome, either by agreements or by a coup. And we will enter a hundred years of darkness.

    Everything will be more difficult, we already know this situation with the darkness of representative democracy, the reference that was the protests of the 1960s and 1970s defeated, the Occupy Wall-Street movement, defeated, and the revolutionary progressive leaders all murdered by the Zionist right, the orphaned masses wandered like zombies in the sands of the political hardware. Everything was limited to changes of men and the same material and spiritual misery.

    In this pretense of maintaining capitalism, it has succeeded in reducing the American socialist resistance to individual, heroic, self-sacrificing, but ineffective demonstrations. It has persecuted the leaders, it has shot them on the wall of the media, on the networks, it has used its powerful state communication system. It is imperative that the socialist vanguard appear, that the masses begin to identify its leadership, that the rescue of the thought and example of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, Abraham Lincoln, Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Fred Hampton, Eugene Debs begin. It’s time to reclaim their images battered by the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Let the masses know that John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King live, Socialism lives.

    There is hope, the revolutionary window that opened with John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King has not yet closed, people are protesting, it indicates that there is resistance. It is necessary to go one step further, for the leaders to appear, the leader who brings together the vanguard. There is the socialist masses, there is theory, there is the strategic goal, socialism. These are very good conditions… The masses, the history, awaits them…


  3. The piece strikes a chord and the above comments rivet it to truth. The Dinah Washington Song This Bitter Earth has been floating around my head since I heard it again a few weeks ago. Something has been lost to this world and needs to be found.
    This bitter earth
    Well, what a fruit it bears
    What good is love
    Mm, mm, that no one shares?
    And if my life is like the dust
    Ooh, that hides the glow of a rose
    What good am I?
    Heaven only knows
    Lord, this bitter earth
    Yes, can be so cold
    Today, you’re young
    Too soon, you’re old
    But while a voice within me cries
    I’m sure someone may answer my call
    And this bitter earth
    Ooh, may not, oh, be so bitter after all

  4. Alice Nevada

    Capitalism dressed to the nines; us in tatters and rags. Question should be: whether western civilization’s latest atrocities and genocides will bring end to our gangster, disaster Capitalism?

    At least Marx never lost sight of the fact Capitalism — our USA State Religion — represent antithesis of any social system. And the terrorism and mayhem required to perpetuate and sustain, root cause of injustice.

    Faceless Capitalism

    Our Liberal Capitalism demands “everything is permitted” “the ends justify the means” — this liberty, this having no limits, since it’s taken for granted, means we’re always suffering fragmented consciousness, when queasy facts, like killing, killing civilians, become spectacle. Because the ends justify the means is amoral perspective.

    Invariable, given our State Religion, instead of examining a root cause: instead narrative and discourse rumps into something like: shit happens.

    When “we” do it, it always ends up “collateral damage”, i.e., shit happens.

    And since we all have stake in our State Religion, we all cling to the excuses, irrespective whether we, at individual level, like them, or not, as a society. All critique dissolve into our own complicity, big or small, within this great panopticon womb.

    In coming decade[s?] as our Faceless Capitalism dies of its own weight, systems may emerge on world scale that begin to take into account individual human beings.

    For now, the slaughterhouse vortex to prop up, to perpetuate Faceless Capitalism, in fuller and fuller swing, by the day. And we watch, and we pout, and we, indissolubly tethered, linked, yoked to this: our wretched barbarism of capital accumulation system; ultimately stand impotent, naked, hollow, stuffed men.

    The chains of our imprisonment may have once seemed laden in gold.

    Does anyone know, can anyone name the few hundred faceless oligarchs, our lords & masters in the western world? What does it mean that we don’t know such basic information, and what does it mean they, whoever exactly they are, are always above the law?

    The system we toil under is theirs; and we pledge allegiance to it. . . .Yes, this State Religion is the Opiate of the Masses. . . .

    Follow the typical signs
    the hand painted lines
    down prairie roads
    past the lone church spire
    past the talking wire
    from where, to who knows. . .

    Who were the homestead wives, who were the gold rush brides
    does anybody know?
    Do their works survive their yellow fevered in pages that they wrote?. . . .


  5. For more than a hundred years, American foreign policy has been about making money for the favored and connected, whether the MIC directly, or the connected investment houses. From the Carribean and Philippines (War is a Racket) to the whole world after WW2, the business of foreign policy has been business. This is why “wins” and “losses” don’t matter to these people … it’s only and ever about keeping busy making chaos and $$$.

    But now the bit players in the game, the foreign crowds behind the stage who have been doing the bulk of the dying all through these years for the racket to continue, these people are getting tired of the role and want to change the rules. No more cheap money … no more easy chaos … no more easy propaganda.

    The empire’s rags are on display for all to see now who care to see, because things that can’t go on forever don’t. Tighten your belts, fellow Americans … we need to learn how to live on our own means.

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