Saturday, December 18, 2004

Blogging away

I'm away from my cable connection, surviving on an iffy dialup connection in Tucson, and so will be unable to post more than occasionally for the next two weeks. But I couldn't, just couldn't let the results of this poll go undisplayed. Seems that forty-plus percent of Americans want to curtail the civil liberties of Muslims in America. And who are these folks, these unAmericans? Why, they're the religious right, of course, in particular those who get most of their news from TV. Let's see, what demographic does that describe? You got it--Bush's base.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Ya know, this just might work

Here's a plan--long-range and iffy, to be sure--that just might work. Antiwar efforts should be channeled toward making military service, in the outrageous context of this Commander-in-Chief, an uncool thing for military-age youth. It would seem possible to convince them that these wars are wars of old whities, for the protection of corporate interests. A decline in recruitment could occur, requiring that the war machine be fed by a draft; and when that happens--look out. A powerful peace movement, fed by the Internet and encouraged by already-prevalent youth entertainment personalities, would not be far behind.

Rewarding failure

This WaPo editorial about Bush's latest public relations idiocy--his awarding of Medals of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, to Bremer, Franks and Tenet--is spot on.

To make these awards in the face of failure -- the mounting American death toll,
the awful suffering of the Iraqis, the looming possibility of civil war, the
nose-thumbing of the still-at-large Osama bin Laden and the madness of making
war for a nonexistent reason -- has the creepy feel of the old communist states,
where incompetents wore medals and harsh facts were denied.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Somebody please watch Bush's inauguration proceedings

because I'm sure not going to, for obvious partisan reasons. But I do need to know how much it looks like a Nazi gathering at Nuremberg in the 1930's.

Blog trolling

Is the US government--that is, the Bush administration--funding "independent" bloggers from Iraq so that they'll be supportive of the US occupation? A couple of Iraqis, two brothers, are apparently being feted in Washington by Wolfowitz and the gang because of their favorable postings on their website; while those Iraqis who are critical are being left to suffer the miserable, dark, freezing Badhdad. So, be warned: Not all of what you read on Iraq's blogosphere is "independent."

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Here are two relatively brief accounts of the present effort by the Bush administration to oust the US nuclear weapons inspector, Mohammed ElBarradei, one from The Nation, the other from the New York Times. Their content is similar, but their cant differs significantly. I'm not certain which form of information I prefer. I believe The Nation piece accurately reflects reality, but the NYT story is more complete. (Of course Fox News would carry the report under this headline: "US seeks replacement of pro-Iran UN functionary".)

Monday, December 13, 2004

Just when you thought it couldn't get any weirder

Halliburton hires twenty-five Columbian gunmen to guard its facilities in Iraq. The pay is $7000 per month, with quarterly vacations in Europe and free life insurance.

Exit strategy

There's a saying in AA: The way to stop drinking is to stop drinking. Same with Iraq. The way to get out of Iraq is to get out of Iraq.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Has it come to this?

Tapping the phone of the UN's nuclear-weapons inspector? Apparently so.

What to do, what to do?

Four years ago I "sat out" the presidential election, voting as a Green for its candidate, Ralph Nader. (Fortunately, California was a "safe" state that went solidly for Gore, so I didn't end up losing sleep over my vote--and in fact, at the time, I regarded the choice of Bush/Gore as a tweedledee-dum situation.)

This time, I voted as if my vote counted, even though Kerry was a lock in California and I wasn't enamored of his candidacy much.

Now, if I were a Sunni Muslim in Iraq, what would I do? One Imam calls for a boycott, others believe participation is imperative. This article spells out their dilemna, and for them the stakes are as high, if not higher, than ours were in 2004.

The Power of Nightmares

This three-part documentary on BBC TV needs to be aired in America. Its premise is that those who are engineering the "war on terror," on all sides, have a stake in its maintenance. On our side, the film points out that the same folks (you know who they are) who neo-conned Reagan (and us) into beefing up our forces with mock armaments in the eighties are once again at it, creating phantoms for us to make war on.

Thom Hartmann synopsizes the film here.

For regular readers of this blog, this may not be news. It certainly isn't to its author. I long ago realized that both bin Laden (and now his formal and informal cohorts) have a stake in the ongoing "war on terror," without which they'd have no function, no purpose. The same is true of the Bush administration, commanded by the same forces that long ago made war (on the Soviets, now on terror) their reason for existence.

We who don't want war--the vast majority of human beings--are at their mercy. They've now gained control over the political and military power and with continued feints toward more attacks and uncertainty and fear will maintain it until they're at last found out. It will take a huge upheaval in the US to dislodge them. The media loves war--check out the rise in ratings of both escapist fare and newscasts during our several wars--and so the mainstream broadcasters can't be counted on to focus on the reality that our warmongering leaders are continuing war to continue in power.

Well then, Who will arise to bring us to our senses? You? Me? Us? I guess so.