Saturday, June 04, 2005

A Brit looks at the US press

Some memorable quotes, including this one about the result of the Bush administration's constant attack on those who report its mistakes:
The result of this climate of fear and caution is that few Americans have any
idea of the circumstances in which 1,600 of their countrymen have lost their
lives in Iraq, the hideous injuries suffered by both Iraqi and American victims
of suicide bombers, or even the profound responsibility that lies with Rumsfeld
for mishandling practically every facet of the occupation. The mission to
explain has been replaced by the mission to avoid.

If you ever doubted

the similarities between the wars in Iraq and Viet Nam, check out this story, and, in particular, the photo.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Orwell Watch

In addition to my fascism watch (actually, to supplement it), I'm instituting an Orwell Watchto track instances (not all of them, there are so many) in which the Bush administration is delivering us to 1984.

Here's a prime example of its employment of "the memory hole" called to my attention to by a website of the same name.

The smoking bullet in the smoking gun

Ya know, the massive pre-war airstrikes inside Iraq by the US, that were contemporaneously reported by AP and others, struck me at the time as worthy of comment, since the US had no authority to conduct such attacks--even under its twisted reading of the UN resolution that the Kurds and Shiites be protected (which the Brits and the US claimed justified their armed clearance of the "no-fly zones" in the north and south of Iraq). But not being a blogger, I thought about it but did nothing but think.

Now this article in The Nation puts those attacks into the context, revealed by the Dowing Street Memo and confirmatory testimony and paperwork, of a pre-planned attack on Iraq, wholly inconsistent with Bush's statements to Congress and--as if it matters anymore--entirely in violation of international law.

It is a "high crime" to wage illegal war. Bush has committed an impeachable offense and should be removed from office.

Query: Will the Democrats follow Conyer's lead to that end?

Oh, Wouldn't it be loverly?

If the Iraqi workers' unions successfully resisted privatization of Iraq's oil, so that Bush and his buddies ended up without their spoils after all?

I am speechless

with outrage. Is this how we support the troops--by killing them after they've been wounded in battle?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Tillman tragedy

So, the Army--that's gotta include Rummie, DOD boss--knew NFL star Pat Tillman was killed by "friendly fire" and lied to hide the fact until weeks later. Now that the truth is out and Tillman's parents are publicly expessing their outrage, will he give them a call? Will Bush? Or will they, as is their habit, somehow dodge the issue of these lies, as they've dodged all others? Or will they, as is their more habitual habit, somehow find something to tar Tillman's parents with?

It makes sense to me now

I've been truly baffled about my fellow citizens' behavior, that is, the behavior of those who, despite his lies, continue to trust Bush to govern. Well, now I understand, and I forgive them. It's genetic. Their systems produce too much oxytocin.

Why I march

As readers of this blog know, I weekly march in protest of the war in Iraq, carrying a sign that counts the dead and wounded G.I.'s and Iraqis, and demands that Bush order our immediate withdrawal. We (five regulars and an average of five irregulars) cover a two-mile loop in downtown SB, singing peace songs and chanting anti-Bush slogans. I also hold the sign up at various intersections here in SB, about two hours a week. In both settings the response by passers-by is overwhelmingly supportive, with the honks and thumbs-up outnumbering the middle-finger salutes and jeers by a two to one margin, and the favorable ratio is increasing weekly.

I call attention to this because some friends have wondered why I persist, especially since the 2004 election gave Bush the White House for four more years, and there doesn't seem to be much articulation of a protest movement, or a demand for withdrawal from Iraq, in Congress or on other streets of the U.S.

Well, my answer is simple. I just can't not protest, not simply in this blog with a readership (maybe) of five or six like-minded souls, but in some way that maybe will be noted by someone who'll reflect for a moment on this ongoing outrage and maybe, just maybe, be affected in some positive way. Maybe someone will see the figures (to date)--1667 dead G.I.'s, and 12,222 wounded; 24,000 dead Iraqi civilians; $300,000,000,000 wasted--and be affected. Maybe.

To me, the question isn't Why do we march?, but Why aren't more people marching? I've seen little discussion of this question, particularly in view of the polls showing that a large majority of Americans feel that the war in Iraq isn't "worth it." Here's one columnist who's asked the question, Why isn't there more protest? His answer--not comforting--is that Americans aren't sufficiently moved to react because the body count isn't high enough. Well, if he's right, then I suppose all we have to do is keep marching and wait a while.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Maybe I'm a bit crazy

but isn't it big news that the Iraqi government has just today formally asked for, and received,an extension of the UN mandate authorizing the continued occupation of Iraq by US and coalition troops? I mean, given the fact that Iraq's "duly constituted sovereign government" could theoretically ask for an end to the occupation at any time, shouldn't it be important that it didn't, both to the Bush administration (which is probably nearly passed out in relief) and to the anti-occupation Westerners, like me (who is deeply disappointed). Maybe neither side wants to publicize the event for its own reasons and so no news is no news.

You're not alone

According to Rasmussen's polls, the percentage of persons (44%) who believe the US is winning the war on terr'r has fallen to its lowest level ever.

The insurgents' latest weapon

is poisoned watermelon. (Scroll down to middle of story.)

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Four more years!

How comforting. Cheney says the war in Iraq will be over by the end of Bush's term. Of course he's right. Sometime before election day 2008, Bush will have declared the conflict over so that whoever the neo-cons put up to run for his office will be able to claim victory.

Basra revisited

Remember Basra? That's Iraq's second largest city, the port city that's occupied by British troops, not American. It's been relatively quiet, without the car bombs and razor wire that pervades Baghdad and the towns in the "Sunni Triangle." So what's its status? Well, according to the Iraqi general who's in charge of the place, not good, not good at all.

Downing Street Memo remembered

Here's a site, with a lengthy exposition, related to the status of the Downing Street memo, or rather its lack of status in the MSM. It's actually an entire website devoted to tracking, and calling the MSM's attention to, the "smoking gun" document.

Next time you're in eastern Pennsylvania

drop in and have a beer, and congratulate the owner, at Keystone Pub.

Body count

"Things are getting better in Iraq." So goes the Bush/Cheney refrain, repeated in news conferences and interviews. Well, to check just one "metric" (Rummie's word), here are the numbers of American soldiers who've died, showing that the contrary is true. May's total of coalition soldiers killed is exactly the same as May last year, both of which are among the highest totals since the war began.

Update: The coalition troop body count for May 2005 turns out to be higher than a yearago.

MoJo radio

News Flash! Mother Jones magazine is launching a radio program, starting June 5. An hour-long show will be carried on Air America Radio, available here in SB on 1340AM. Listings for other areas are available on the above website. For those of you (us) who tire of Al Franken, this is good news indeed.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Fascism watch

Further to my previous post--I've decided to maintain a fascism watch. The latest sighting: MTV.

I don't like the sound of this

"Widening the focus against extremism?" With this administration, such a concept can only mean one thing. Two, actually: Perpetual war and invasion of civil rights.

You heard it here first (or maybe for the hundredth time): We are becoming a fascist state.