Saturday, March 06, 2010

Hillary Clinton in Latin American
But she has been even more diplomatically clumsy that Bush, who at least recognised that there were serious problems and knew what not to say. "The Honduras crisis has been managed to a successful conclusion," Clinton said in Buenos Aires, adding that "it was done without violence."

This is rubbing salt into her hosts' wounds, as they see the military overthrow of President Mel Zelaya last June, and subsequent efforts by the US to legitimise the dictatorship there as not only a failure but a threat to democracy throughout the region.

It is also an outrageous thing to say, given the political killings, beatings, mass arrests, and torture that the coup government used in order to maintain power and repress the pro-democracy movement. The worst part is that they are still committing these crimes.

[...]In Brazil, Clinton continued her cold war strategy by throwing in some gratuitous insults toward Venezuela. This is a bit like going to a party and telling the host how much you don't like his friends. After ritual denunciations of Venezuela, Clinton said "We wish Venezuela were looking more to its south and looking at Brazil and looking at Chile and other models of a successful country."

Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim responded with diplomacy, but there was no mistaking his strong rebuff to her insults: he said that he agreed with "one point" that Clinton made, "that Venezuela should look southwards more … that is why we have invited Venezuela to join MERCOSUR as a full member country." Clinton's rightwing allies in Paraguay's legislature – the remnants of that country's dictatorship and 60 years of one-party rule – are currently holding up Venezuela's membership in the South American trade block. This is not what she wanted to hear from Brazil.

The Brazilians also rejected Clinton's rather undiplomatic efforts to pressure them to join Washington in calling for new sanctions against Iran. "It is not prudent to push Iran against a wall," said Brazilian president Lula da Silva." The prudent thing is to establish negotiations."

"We will not simply bow down to an evolving consensus if we do not agree," Amorim said at a press conference with Clinton.
Two links from Helena Cobban on Turkish democracy, the Armenians and Israel. The second link to M.J. Rosenberg, continuing his long march to the left. He links to the JTA: The Zionist right was against genocide resolutions when the Turkish military were in control.

The religious parties in Turkey are more modern than the secular military. As I've said before, the facts of cosmopolitan modernity undermine the logical ideas of rationalist anti-cosmopolitan modernism.

Related: reading Quine.
Modern empiricism has been conditioned in large part by two dogmas. One is a belief in some fundamental cleavage between truths which are analytic, or grounded in meanings independently of matters of fact and truths which are synthetic, or grounded in fact. The other dogma is reductionism: the belief that each meaningful statement is equivalent to some logical construct upon terms which refer to immediate experience. Both dogmas, I shall argue, are ill founded. One effect of abandoning them is, as we shall see, a blurring of the supposed boundary between speculative metaphysics and natural science."
Another refutation of the law of non-contradiction as applied to communicative acts: a brilliant man can be an idiot. That's a truism (and the dictionary says Truism is a synonym for Cliché).

Numbers are in formal relation to one another and that formal relation is seen roughly to parallel the world of facts, words are in a formal relation to one another and simultaneously are used to "represent" the world of facts. Parallelism is not representation. Quine ignores perception and perspective and the psychological weight that accrues to both. If numbers operated on a formalism akin to natural language the French would eat with their assholes and shit from their mouths, and the writings of Georges Bataille would be considered treatises on physiology.
Once the theory of meaning is sharply separated from the theory of reference, it is a short step to recognizing as the business of the theory of meaning simply the synonymy of linguistic forms and the analyticity of statements; meanings themselves, as obscure intermediary entities, may well be abandoned
The willing away of debate over meanings is the end of politics, whether in the name of naming or of the holy name of god.

Quine's empiricism of ideal forms (or idealized relations), Weinberg's straight Platonism. and Chomsky's theoretical rationalism (as well as the empiricist practice that is the only basis for his continuing fame) are all varieties of formal systems as enclosed as the ideologies of the Turkish military the American foreign policy elite or the founders of Zionism, in the service of rationalized but otherwise irrational ends.

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