Friday, May 20, 2005

"Proud to be an American?"

This lengthy NYT article about US military prisoner abuse in Afghanistan leaves no doubt: Our military is no different from other nations'. It is a cruel tool of a war-mongering empire that is due to fail as have all others before it because of the inherently bestial nature of war. We were taught, as citizens of previous empires were taught, that we have a special place in history, that we are a benign force. Wrong. We're not only not special, we're more dangerous than any previous force because of our global dominance.

I pray for all of us--for America, sure; but more urgently for the rest of the world.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Baghdad seething

Riverbend's latest post, describing Condi Rice as The Vampire and relating the horror of car bombs in Baghdad, concludes with this compelling observation:

Detainees coming back after weeks or months in prison talk of being forced to eat pork, not being allowed to pray, being exposed to dogs, having Islam insulted and generally being treated like animals trapped in a small cage. At the end of the day, it's not about words or holy books or pork or dogs or any of that. It's about what these things symbolize on a personal level. It is infuriating to see objects that we hold sacred degraded and debased by foreigners who felt the need to travel thousands of kilometers to do this. That's not to say that all troops disrespect Islam- some of them seem to genuinely want to understand our beliefs. It does seem like the people in charge have decided to make degradation and humiliation a policy.

By doing such things, this war is taken to another level- it is no longer a war against terror or terrorists- it is, quite simply, a war against Islam and even secular Muslims are being forced to take sides.

We have guided missles, why can't they?

It's a bit chilling, but it seems the insurgency in Iraq has found a way to make sure their car bombs get to the target. Duct tape.

"The officer said that in two of the recent Baghdad bombings, investigators
had found indications that the men driving the cars had been bound with duct
tape before the attacks. He said the foot of one of the attackers, in a
marketplace bombing last week that killed 22 people in south Baghdad, had been
found taped to his vehicle's accelerator. In another case, the officer said, the
attacker's hands were taped to the vehicle's
"The implication was that those planning the
attacks wanted to be sure that the vehicles would continue to their targets even
if the drivers were killed by American or Iraqi gunfire as they

Modern medicine, modern war

There have been various reports of this before, but here's a chilling one: The prevalence of brain trauma among US soldiers who're wounded in Iraq. Our modern medicine saves their lives, keeping them from being counted as war dead, but at what cost?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

What does it take

for the "smoking gun" story to get legs. For weeks (two-plus, now) bloggers have been beating the drum about the "fix the facts" memo that surfaced in Britain and so far, besides some random mentions, nothing, nada, nichts, in any MSM publication, including cable TV. Maybe the publication of the entire memo in the NYT Review of Books will change that, but I wouldn't hold my breath, especially in light of Newsweek's recent cave-in on the Koran-flushing story.

If Nixon had managed equally to cow the press, he'd have served out his term and been hailed as a much-maligned leader of the free world.

My hope: The Bushies weather all of these early storms, only to have all the revelations pile up at the end of his term so that he leaves in disgrace and his Republican successor loses to anybody in a landslide.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Surprise, surprise

Rummie, and now Condie, have made surprise visits to Iraq of late. Here's another example of how the media is cowed by the administration's verbiage. These visits aren't surprises to anyone but the media and the Iraqi insurgents. Obviously both our military and the administration knows of the visits in advance. The only people who're surprised are the media and the Iraqis, who, if they were told, would make the visits impossible due to the overwhelmingly negative response, and possible danger, the visits would engender.