11 September, 2006

news 'n quotes - "ambulant vagrant bastardy"

"At the invitation of Iraqi resistance groups, Al-Jazeera's senior investigative reporter, Yusri Fudah, infiltrated into Iraq. His report was aired this weekend. Very revealing. The extent to which the groups are operating rather freely and with the use of advanced weapons and planning was surprising to me. You watch the report and realize the extent to which the US coverage of the "insurgency" is so flawed and so propagandistically influenced because the US media seems to imply that it is all about Zarqawi and his successors. The report focuses instead on the major groups that actually constitute the resistance and which restricts its attacks on occupation soldiers and Iraqi troops. The groups are a melange of Arab nationalist and Islamist organizations fused into one sometimes. Fuda inserts himself in his stories but meaningfully and interestingly. It is implied in the report that infiltration into Iraq takes place not from Syria but from . . . Turkey.

"PS An American correspondent who met him in Iraq tells me that he entered from Syria." As'ad AbuKhalil

& on cue:
Iraq's biggest province has suffered a total breakdown in law and order in which al-Qaida has emerged as the dominant political force, according to descriptions of a classified US military intelligence review reported today.

The report, by the US marine corps colonel Peter Devlin, focuses on the vast, arid region of Anbar in the west, which contains the insurgent-held towns of Fallujah, Ramadi and Haditha.

The Washington Post quoted military officers who had seen the report as saying the area was "beyond repair".

"We haven't been defeated militarily, but we have been defeated politically - and that's where wars are won and lost," was one army officer's summary of the review quoted by the newspaper.

The same officer concluded that there were no functioning Iraqi institutions in the province, and that al-Qaida in Iraq, the insurgent group founded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was Anbar's most powerful political force. Guardian

". . . the most interesting and explorative literary writing in French of the last fifty years has not come from Paris, but from the periphery of the old colonial empire — the Maghreb and the Antilles." Pierre Joris interview . . . & on his book of translations (into English), 4x1, he says:

. . . What would such strange bedfellows as Tzara, Rilke, Duprey and Tengour have to say to each other? Did anything link them besides the fact that I had liked them enough to invest the time and energy to translate them? . . . those four trace a weirdly exemplary, if abbreviated, poetic map of the 20th century for myself (& others, I hope). I end that text [the "Introduction"] by suggesting that “though compiled in early 2001, now, as I write this preface in these post-9/11 days, the book feels like a psycho-topography that leads from matters involving late 19th century colonialism all the way through the long and torturous 20th century to leave us exactly there where we have to start to think a new cultural constellation that will, finally, have to include the heritage of the excluded third — Islam & Arab culture."

They are all important and map a long investigation into 20C writing . . . those who interest me most deeply are the two who frame the book, Tzara and Tengour, the first because he is truly a great eye-opener, a major inventor of new forms, a breaker of taboos, a generator of laughter and pleasure, and the second because it is in the questioning his work (and that of a number of other writers from the Maghreb and elsewhere) proposes — involving questions of exile, of nomadism, of rereading euro-classics (here the Odyssey), of working through & beyond & in the process renewing the genres we have come to take for granted — that I recognize my own quests the most. Tzara is he who opened the 20C and remains a delightful, anti-authoritarian model; Rilke & Duprey, at different levels are essential figures of the successes and failures of what will have been the last euro-centric century, but Habib Tengour is my brother in arms as we enter this new century.

"The selection of particular examples from a large group is always a social act. By choosing to install certain narratives somewhere between history, mystic speech, and poetry, I have enclosed them in an organization, although I know there are places no classificatory procedure can reach, where connections between words and things we thought existed break off. For me, paradoxes and ironies of fragmentation are particularly compelling.

"Every statement is a product of collective desires and divisibities. Knowledge, no matter how I get it, involves exclusion and repression. National histories hold ruptures and hierarchies. On the scales of global power, what gets crossed over? Foreign accents mark dialogues that delete them. Ambulant vagrant bastardy comes looming through assurance and sanctification." p. 45

"If history is a record of survivors, Poetry shelters other voices." p. 47

"Once dams, narratives are bridges." p.48

Susan Howe, from "Incloser", in The Birth-Mark (1993)

"Language is a wild interioriy. I am lost in the refuge of its dark life.
[SH, from The Difficulties (1989).]

. . . "black sites" inhabited by "ghost" prisoners beyond the reach of any authority, whether Congress, the Red Cross or US and international law.

According to officials and reports here, there were eight camps in all. Among the locations were Afghanistan, Qatar, Thailand, the Indian island base of Diego Garcia (leased by the US from Britain) as well as Poland and Romania. The system was set up at the start of 2002. In the four and a half years since, some 100 inmates have passed through the network. Independent

not a bad day to remember Amiri Baraka's:

Who make money from war
Who make dough from fear and lies
Who want the world like it is
Who want the world to be ruled by imperialism and national oppression and terror
     violence, and hunger and poverty.

Who is the ruler of Hell?
Who is the most powerful

Who you know ever
Seen God?

But everybody seen
The Devil

Like an Owl exploding
In your life in your brain in your self
Like an Owl who know the devil
All night, all day if you listen, Like an Owl
Exploding in fire. We hear the questions rise
In terrible flame like the whistle of a crazy dog

Like the acid vomit of the fire of Hell
Who and Who and WHO (+) who who ^
     Whoooo and Whooooooooooooooooooooo!

(from "Somebody Blew Up America")


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