Saturday, September 20, 2003

Put a Tiger Under Your Tank - Baghdad tiger v

CNN has picket up the tiger story too. That's just sad, sickening and sad. Is this where we all stand up and say Support the Troops? I'm embarassed. ... Pax Americanus?

Oh, For God's Sake!!

What isn't going wrong over there!!? Now a drunk US soldier has shot and killed a rare Bengal tiger in the Baghdad zoo after it bit another soldier who had crawled past an outer cage and was standing against the bars of the inner cage. The soldiers were apparently having a party in the once-fabulous zoo (now a wreck), having entered the place after hours.
No wonder the Iraqis want us out of there.

Only in Today's America

Howard Stern's program is deemed a "bona fide news" show by the FCC, and hence exempt from "equal time" restrictions. Ahnold's appearance, therefore, won't require Stern to have the other 150 candidates for California governor on his show. Walter Cronkite must be rolling over on his ranch.


Oh yes, Watson, the game is afoot. There's a change on the wind. It's subtle, but [snif snif] smells vaguely of pork. Check out this full-page ad from's new site. You can sign up for the newsletter, or stay tuned to this blog for the best and the dumbest of presidential prevarication.

Is everybody going crazy--or is it I?

Let's see: (1) Within twenty-four hours General Clark, the latest of the now-ten dwarfs, flip-flops on his position on voting to authorize war against Iraq. (2) Bush, after months of lies, admits there never existed any evidence that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attacks (not, mind you, that he's recently learned there was no such evidence, but that it never existed) and most of the dailies treat his disclosure as a nonevent, relegating it to their back pages, if reporting it at all. (3) Our troops mistakenly fire at an Italian functionary in Baghdad and kill his interpreter because their car didn't stop quick enough when ordered. (4) The attacks on our troops increase, always increase. and (5) The "military vote," that--in Florida, certainly--provided Bush's margin for victory in 2000, is turning against Bush.
All this stuff is driving me crazy. My only solace: It's driving Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Powell/Rice even crazier.

Friday, September 19, 2003

The Oldest Profession

President Wilson wasn't very prophetic, was he? Little did he know that by the beginning of the next century, it would be the guys in civilian suits running amok with the army.

"I am not one of those who believe that a great army is the means of
maintaining peace, because if you build up a great profession those who
form parts of it want to exercise their profession."
-Woodrow Wilson
28th US president, Nobel laureate (1856-1924)

Thursday, September 18, 2003

de Villepin for President!

I've Googled Dominique de Villepin, the French Foreign Minister, and, damn it all, he was born in France and hence can't become a candidate for president. Having read the translation of his recent remarks about how to extricate ourselves (all concerned parties, including the Iraqis themselves) from the quagmire the US has created, he's my man!!

Another day, another insight

Okay, I know you're getting tired of my regular referrals to the Baghdad Burning weblog, but if you're not moved by Riverbend's post entitled Terrorists, you're immobile.
My co-blogger, Kyle, senses the Gestapo among us. I get the feeling from Riverbend's story that the Iraqis think the Gestapo is among them. Her story reads like it's straight out of Anne Frank's diary, except the Wehrmacht didn't have choppers.

No Pax, and no pox

According to the Associated Press, a group of US biological-agent inspectors, self-dubbed "Team Pox," has reported, after months of searching, no evidence of Iraq's having created batches of smallpox virus. There goes another peg of the Bushie's evidence of WMD.
And after reading Ted Kennedy's rant that the invasion of Iraq was a "fraud" concocted in Texas, and announced to the Republican leadership two months before the attack as "good for politics," I'm wondering this: Can Mary Jo Kopechne be forgotten? After all, it was almost 35 years ago. And if so, can Kennedy be elected President? Too old? Too fat? Too liberal? Probably all of those things. Too bad: He's one of the few Senators who voted against the resolution to invade Iraq.
Good to see him teeing off, finally. Now if Clinton would weigh in bigtime (Bill C., not the shrew, Hillary), we could see some serious rock 'n rollin'.

Comments on Fun Fun Fun

"Zaius ... it's Doomsday." -- George Taylor (Charlton Heston), Beneath the Planet of the Apes

"Today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids." -- General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), Dr. Strangelove

"Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines." --General Turgidson (George C. Scott), Dr. Strangelove

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

I'm falling behind

I'm presently writing a novel that relates the efforts of an aging activist to obstruct the cancer-like growth of the military-industrial complex--its insinuation into a complex of media, global corporations, intelligence operations and the like. Among the difficulties I'm having in plotting the story is keeping up with the present Administration's various outrages in this regard. Bush, Ashcroft, the NeoCons and the compliant media keep trumping my most imaginative horribles. And now, with the fantastic growth of outsourcing of military functions to private corporations, I'm falling still farther behind.
This excellent Business article , detailing the growing utilization of these "corporate mercenaries" points out the many deficiencies of "privatization" of military functions (including that an outsourced mechanic can, rather than fix a broken tread on a tank on the battlefield, simply hand in his resignation to his employer or request vacation time). Indeed, as the article points out, the reason for the lousy state of amenities (such as cooked food, toilets, water) available to our troops in Iraq is that the private suppliers didn't want to get in harm's way. They didn't even deliver the mail for some weeks for fear of being shot at.
At the end of the article, the authors equate this phenomenom to that of which Eisenhower spoke in his farewell address to the nation in 1961, when he warned of the growth of the military-industrial complex. It is here in Iraq, in a new form, and it's called Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Dick Cheney's Halliburton Industries.
So, it's off to the computer. I've got to revise my novel again.

Fun, fun, fun

The headline in the Guardian is "Saudis Consider Nuclear Bomb." The most enjoyable article about nuclear proliferation I've ever read. I cannot wait, cannot wait, to learn (if we learn anything at all) how the Bushies deal with this development. Talk about rock and a hard place. I can't stop smiling.

Blair on the hotseat

On a single page of Yahoo! News are presently links (which, however, shift constantly) to stories about Iraq in which (1) Condi Rice denies having ever said Saddam was involved in the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.; (2) Rumsfeld says there is no evidence to support Saddam's involvement; (3) the U.S. Commander concedes that some of the attacks on our troops are ordinary Iraqi citizens' "revenge" for our soldiers' misdeeds during the occupation; (4) six Americans and two Brits have been rounded up in Iraq as part of U.S. military sweeps of opposition elements in Iraq. In view of this one page of adverse developments in Iraq--and there are more reported on that same page--one wonders what pressure Tony Blair will feel from the heads of state of Germany and France when he meets with them over the weekend, one topic of the meeting being to "find a common ground" to pressure the United States into making concessions of its control over postwar Iraq in order to gain Security Council support for UN involvement in reconstruction and security.
A press conference is scheduled for Saturday. It will be interesting to hear what Blair says about this issue. Will he signal that he's jumping ship, joining "old Europe," Russia and China; or has he irrevocably sold his soul to the Bushies? Or will he, as is his wont, waffle?

Couldn't Resist this Quote

I found the following quote at History News Network, reminding us that as times change so do opinions of our leaders, not always becoming wiser, however:
"If you're going to go in and try to topple Saddam Hussein,you have to go to Baghdad. Once you've got Baghdad, it's not clear what you do with it. It's not clear what kind of government you would put in place of the one that's currently there now. Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime or a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Baathists, or one that tilts toward the Islamic fundamentalists? How much credibility is that government going to have if it's set up by the United States military when it's there? How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for that government, and what happens to it once we leave?"
Dick Cheney, then Secretary of Defense, April, 1991, explaining President George H.W. Bush's decision not to order the US Army to proceed into Baghdad.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Hans Blix: Iraq Destroyed WMD 10 Years Ago

Yahoo! News - Hans Blix: Iraq Destroyed WMD 10 Years Ago

Oh, come on, Hans. We're gonna find 'em. The VP was just on Faze the Nation, assuring everyone that finding them is inevitable. If he's wrong, that means the whole war was just ... a farce! Can't be. Soon as the locals learn to love us and stop shooting, our guys can look under more rocks. I'll be waiting right here, out of range of everybody, except possibly North Korea.

Shared Intelligence?

In Australia, shouts from the aisles are being heard about the existence of a prewar British Intelligence conclusion that invasion of Iraq would increase, rather than decrease, terrorist attacks in the West. Surely the Brits made this conclusion known to its U.S. allies. Will someone in power here be asked what became of that conclusion: due consideration followed by deliberation followed by soundly made rejection; immediate out-of-hand discard; agreement, but coverup in order not to obstruct the march to war? Even if questions are asked, will the answer ever be known, will it matter, will we care?

Monday, September 15, 2003

The True Cost is More than Bush Asked For!

Headline: America's hidden battlefield toll

Think I'm kidding about Vietnam? Exaggerating maybe? According to this article, "more than 6,000 American servicemen have been evacuated for medical reasons since the beginning of the war, including more than 1,500 American soldiers who have been wounded, many seriously." Add to that over 300 dead.

Oh man, I hate to do this. I really hate it and you're going to hate me for it, but I'm a writer and I have to tell the truth when I see it. The number of US military dead in Iraq since March will soon equal the number of firefighters killed at Ground Zero on 9/11/01 (343).

One is unspeakable tragedy, the other a patriotic and political necessity? Is there anyone out there who wouldn't have pulled those NYFD heroes out of that building before it was too late? Is Iraq any less a collapsing futility? This war has got to stop.


Yes, I concur with Erik that doomed is the right word. Oh, we could win. But only if we start carpet bombing the general populace. Say it with me, folks: Vietnam.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Don't read this article if you're a believer

This Knight-Ridder report, should dispel any doubts, for those who might still (against all facts) harbor some, that Bush's policy in Iraq is doomed. We have simply got to get the hell out of there, now. Leave a bundle of cash at the border and scram.