Daily Archives: February 12, 2011

Ghosts of a Wound

Birthday LettersBirthday Letters by Ted Hughes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have the 1999 paperback edition from Faber of this book, in a rather unattractive blue with text in gray and red. Whatever Plath defenders may say (or stab with), this is a moving and painful collection that is worth reading over and over. Here Hughes dresses a wound that refuses to heal.

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The Chill in the Bones of the Puppet Masters

Nice title.  I could sell it to a hack novelist. 🙂

George Galloway writes in The Morning Star:

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All the lies deployed to justify the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan took this great lie as their premise – that the West must bomb and blast the people of those countries into “democracy” because they are incapable of changing their societies themselves.

The fall of Ben Ali and the rise of the Egyptian masses has put paid to that essentially racist stereotype. The women in Egypt – young and old, with hijabs or not, university educated and from the slums – are showing that they do not need Laura Bush or Cheri Blair giving a faux-feminist gloss to F16s to liberate them. The sisters are doing it for themselves alongside men drawn from across the base of Egyptian society.

And the US State Department, British Foreign Office and French Quai d’Orsay don’t like it one bit. It’s not only their close personal connections with the torturing regimes of Ben Ali and Mubarak which now stand fully exposed. We know a little about Tony Blair, who still found Mubarak a force for good as the death toll from his clinging onto power climbed above 300.

More is at stake than these politicians’ personal connections with Mubarak. The cornerstone of decades of US and Western policy of holding down the mass of the people in the region in the interests of oil, corporate control of trade and investment and Israel is shattering. Every Arab despot ruling the region almost without exception from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf knows it. Which is why the wind of change that is intoxicating their people is bringing a chill to each of those regimes.

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