[-empyre-] WH vs sanctuary cities

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Wed Mar 29 14:04:44 AEDT 2017

On Tue, 28 Mar 2017, Brian Holmes wrote:

You're not off the mark, Alan. You're also right that blindness is not a 
very good word. By blind, I mean blind to consequences that ultimately 
fold back on the agents of violence as well as their victims. This is a 
kind of blindness that inhabits the most precise forms of vision. But 
you're a poet, right? We need new words.

I read a family biography of the Kochs. Smart, precise, driven, violent
people. Maybe we also need a new conception of sight, an ethicopoetics of
sight, so as to see and embrace the world in a different light than these
people do.


I agree with you re: an ethicopoetics of sight, absolutely. I do wonder if 
it would make any difference. All these analyses! (Mine, too, on "semiotic 
splatter.") We feel we understand what's occurring, we constantly come up 
with scenarios, alternative solutoins, but it makes no difference to those 
in power. What they do understand is violence (military, environmental, 
etc.) and its employment/dissemination. And a good example of this us the 
emerge/agency (thinking of Ulmer here) reflected in this from the New York 
Times, more or less just now:

"WASHINGTON The senior United States commander in Iraq said on Tuesday 
that an American airstrike most likely led to the collapse of a building 
in Mosul that killed scores of civilians this month.

But the commander, Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, indicated that an 
investigation would also examine whether the attack might have set off a 
larger blast from explosives set by militants inside the building or 

It was the fullest acceptance of responsibility by an American commander 
since the March 17 airstrike.

My initial assessment is that we probably had a role in these casualties, 
said General Townsend, who commands the American-led task force that is 
fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But he asserted that the 
munition that we used should not have collapsed an entire building.

That is something we have got to figure out, he added.

With an increase in reports of civilian casualties from the American 
bombing of Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria, some human rights 
groups have questioned whether the rules of engagement have been loosened 
since President Trump took office.

Pentagon officials said this week that the rules had not changed. But 
General Townsend said on Tuesday that he had won approval for minor 
adjustments to rules for the use of combat power, although he insisted 
they were not a factor in the Mosul attack.

General Townsend acknowledged, however, that steps had been taken to speed 
up the process of providing air power to support Iraqi troops and their 
American Special Operations advisers at the leading edge of the offensive 
to recapture Mosul from the Islamic State. The goal, he said, was to 
decentralize decision-making.

General Townsend did not describe the changes in detail, but he cast them 
as a return to the militarys standard offensive doctrine, in contrast to 
the very centralized approach he said was initially put in place after 
President Barack Obama sent American forces back to Iraq to combat the 
Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL."

- the latest count seems to be over 200 civilians killed as a block was 
leveled. And this is something the general has to "figure out."

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