American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, April 05, 2003
Well into the war that was supposed to rid Iraq of its alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, a senior British official admitted on Saturday that no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons of mass destruction may after all be found.

Making the startling confession in a radio interview, British Home Secretary, David Blunkett, added in the same breath that he would in any case rejoice the “fall” of Saddam Hussein and his regime — regardless of whether any weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq or not.
Introducing: PNAC.info - Exposing the Project for the New American Century

Site creator Lance Brown: "I think exposing the PNAC to the general public is the best way to challenge this war (and the subsequent wars that are coming up down the road)."

I couldn't agree more. In addition to targeting PNAC, I think we should also compile extensive dossiers on all the key players in the Bush admin now (Blair and Sharon included). The bottom line is we cannot let these 20 or so evil men commit mass murder, snub international law and continue to attempt to reshape the world into their delusional fundamantalist vision. It's not America against the rest of the world--it's the PNAC and their golem. It's the PNAC and their golem who are sending American kids to die overseas. It's the PNAC and their golem who are murdering Iraqi civilians. It's the PNAC and their golem who are also conducting a War on America as they pursue their international imperialism: enlargening the gap between rich and poor, cutting social programs including health benefits for vets, and giving millionaires generous tax breaks (and this is just a thumbnail). It's time to stop these truly evil fucks.

See also: Lance Brown's How To Stop The War.org

Friday, April 04, 2003
"The Bush administration has devised a strategy to declare victory in Iraq even if Saddam Hussein or key lieutenants remain at large and fighting continues in parts of the country, officials said yesterday."

Apparently, saying makes it so. With this in mind, I'm declaring myself President for Life of the Empire of America. All hail me.
Rushkoff's Law
Friedrich Engels (at least that's who I think it was) wrote in the 19th century about how quantitative changes can cross a threshold and become qualitative changes. In contemporary terms that notion has come back (and perhaps truly come of age) with the idea of the Tipping Point. Think Robert Metcalfe's Law (the value of a network equals the square of the number of users) or David Reed's (the value of a social network equals the square of the number of possible connections between individual users). In a follow-up to his New Rennaissance piece (blogged the other day) Douglas Rushkoff posits a comparable (perhaps even more important tipping point) occurring now in communications media. Call it Rushkoff's Law: (something like this) the potential of democracy in media is the relationship of "the sum total of computer processing power and media dissemination technology in the hands of real people to the sum total held by government and corporate conglomerates". Due to the ubiquity of affordable camera, microphone and network-enabled cell phones and wireless computer devices the numbers have tipped for the first time in favor of decentralized people's vs. centralized information power. Rushkoff riffs inspiringly on the qualitative implications of that quantitative shift.
Veteran journalist Hedges on the resistance shown coalition forces:
It reminds me of what happened to the Israelis after taking over Gaza, moving among hostile populations. It's 1967, and we've just become Israel. I fear what happened there will happen here."
He could have been talking about the home front, with its increasingly martial mind state, anxiety over terror attacks it can be seen as inciting, and casual acceptance of anti-Arab agitprop.

[Found at Cursor]

Bringing aid and the Bible, the man who called Islam wicked
Muslim worries have been heightened because the man leading the charge into Iraq is the Rev Franklin Graham, who delivered the invocation at President Bush's inauguration, the son of Billy Graham and a fierce critic of Islam. He is on record as calling it a "wicked, violent" religion, with a God different from that of Christianity. "The two are different as lightness and darkness," he wrote.

He runs an organisation called Samaritan's Purse, whose workers are in Jordan, waiting to move into Iraq. It has a strong record of charitable help built up over more than 30 years, but its official aim is clear: "The organisation serves the church worldwide to promote the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."
'Liberated' city where looters run wild and death stalks the streets
Nasiriyah is a city of suffering. After some of the most intense and bloody fighting yet of this war, the United States has now declared this city of up to 300,000 people in its control – the largest city in Iraq to have been "liberated". Liberation has come at a price of undoubted suffering for the people of this settlement on the Euphrates: doctors claim that up to 250 people were killed by US air strikes or artillery attacks, and that up to 1,000 were injured.

Umm Qasr aid effort 'a shambles'
I have just returned from working in Angola and never expected to see exactly the same sort of poverty in Iraq - a country floating on oil.

From the TV pictures of Umm Qasr, I had been led to believe it was a town under control, where the needs of the people were being met.

The town is not under control. It's like the Wild West. And even the most major humanitarian concern, water, is not being adequately administered.

Everywhere I went, the local people asked me for water. I went into the two rooms occupied by a family of 14, they were drinking from an oil drum half full of stagnant, dirty water. It was water I certainly would not have drunk.
Thursday, April 03, 2003
Man who would be 'king' of Iraq
Bush's choice for the next ruler of Iraq is a pro-Israel General who has ties with JINSA, and is close to Rumsfeld and other administration "hawks".
Exclusive: Sources in Baghdad indicate Saddam alive, hidden, and in command
Saddam's own appearances on television are all recordings that were made before the war started, and he has not made any new television appearances since he went into underground. Workers at the Iraqi Television spoke of a vault inside the Information Ministry with hundreds of recordings, each enscribed only with two letters and a number. It is said that Saddam decides which of the tapes to air on television by a short note indicating the code of the appropriate cassette. Three different taped recordings for when the Americans are about to enter Baghdad are already waiting at the television, they added, delivered on Tuesday this week.

Picking up clues from another man wanted dead by the Americans, Bin Ladin, Saddam has learned, according to experts, that Americans analyze the background and even the air clarity of the videos for clues to the location where it was taken, so he has pre-recorded his most important messages and instructions to the Iraqi people. He has also seen that they can identify where a phone call originated from by the background noise, and this has lead to his decision to avoid making live radio broadcasts to his people. Saddam assumes that if the Americans hear him broadcasting, a guided missile will be quick to arrive.
Say It Again
Mr. Bush You Are Not The President of This World

An anti-war song from the a cappella-band Llittle Big Men from Switzerland You'll find it near the bottom of the page.
Wednesday, April 02, 2003
The masters of social control:
When the NICA (National Identity Card Act) gets passed, the Posse Comitatus Act gets overturned, a few other pieces of legislation yet to be proffered get passed, the White House will have more control over the American people than the Kremlin had over the Russian people when Stalin was alive. He said that and then he laughed.

Primakov continued by saying that he had been hired as a consultant and he was consulting on other "security" matters, an ongoing policy in various agencies of government (some of these offices haven't even been created yet) to consistently narrow the rights of the American people and to expand the power of government. He professed not to know why, the reason for all this was, other than he admitted that "it doesn't have much to do with 'fighting terrorism.'"

Marine who said no to killing on his conscience
The first American conscientious objector from the Iraq war will give himself up at a marine base in California this morning. He said he believed the war was "immoral because of the deception involved by our leaders".

Fighting not to fight
Of 2.7 million men and women in the active and reserve forces in the US, 29 were discharged as conscientious objectors in 2002.

The Center on Conscience and War in Washington, which counsels prospective COs, reported 3,500 calls for advice in January, twice the normal rate.
The Pentagon sought Wednesday to lower expectations that the Iraqi capital could be taken quickly or easily. "We are planning for a very difficult fight ahead in Baghdad," Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal told a Pentagon news conference. "We are not expecting to drive into Baghdad suddenly and seize it."
Americans may not have heard about or seen the the 62 dead and hundreds of injured, but new evidence unearthed by the Independent reveals that it was indeed an American missile which slammed into a crowded Baghdad marketplace.
"Swaziland radio's 'man in Baghdad' was in broom cupboard," announced an Ananova headline. How different would Wolf Blitzer's coverage be if he were reporting not from Kuwait City but from an Alabama bus terminal? Probably not very.
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
Zionism, he says, “is a very compelling narrative, but it is totally self-contained, a bubble in which Israelis separate themselves from all others.” Israelis regard everyone else as irrelevant. When it is suggested that fear motivates this self-absorption, Halper disagrees. “It’s not so much fear,” he says; Israelis “just don’t give a damn. They make everyone else a non-issue. They see themselves as the victim, and if you’re the victim, you’re not responsible for anything you do.”

“Why was there so ferocious a reaction to the intifada?” Halper asks rhetorically. It cannot be explained by what the Palestinians did, he says, since in the early days after the intifada began, the Palestinians used no arms and no Israelis were killed, while large numbers of Palestinians were shot to death by Israeli soldiers. But, he says, “they had the chutzpah to call into question our right to have the whole country,” and Israel could not let this stand. “For Israelis, there are not two sides. This is our country,” and Arabs have no rights here. “You’ll notice,” he says, “that Israelis refer to the Palestinians as Arabs, not Palestinians. For Israelis, all Arabs are the same, they’re undifferentiated. If you point out that Palestinians are distinct from other Arabs, they brush it off with a dismissive ‘whatever.’ They say this is our country, there’s a bunch of Arabs here, they should go live with other Arabs.”
For Israel Lobby Group, War Is Topic A, Quietly
Half of all Senators and 1/3 of the House showed up for the yearly AIPAC meetings. Condi Rice was one of the featured speakers at the event, however her speech was closed to the media and outsiders.
Cheney Named Poster Child for National White Imperalist Month
Raetgers - In a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House today, George W. Bush announced that Vice President Dick Cheney would serve as Chairman and Poster Boy for National White Imperialist Month.

"We have tolerated National Black History Month in February, and National Women's Month in March, so it's only fitting that us white imperialists finally get their own month," the commander-in-chief said today, reading off a teleprompter. "And when it comes to white imperialism, Dick Cheney is 'Da Man!"

Cheney, wiping a tear from his eye in an undisclosed location, said via remote satellite hook-up that he was proud to accept this honor, and kickback from Halliburton for the reconstruction of Iraq contract.

"I pledge to do everything i can to bring the problems of white imperialists everywhere to the forefront of Freepers all across this great land of ours, except for New York, California and parts of Wisconsin," the Vice President said.

For other great celebrations of "make fun of Dick Cheney" day, see neal pollack's the maelstrom (including links to suckful's and maxspeak's entries)!
In solidarity with Make Fun of the Cheneys day, we bring you the Ask Dick Cheney! Unofficial Official Simulator. It’s as plausible as the man himself:
    Sample question: Isn’t this war a complete fiasco?

    I think from the standpoint of this basic proposition, we are right I think people know we’re right and we’ll do everything we can to sustain that position. Containment is not possible when dictators obtain weapons of mass destruction, and are prepared to share them with terrorists who intend to inflict catastrophic casualties on the United States. The President has asked Congress for a one-year increase of more than $48 billion for national defense, the largest since Ronald Reagan lived in the White House. Great decisions and challenges lie ahead of us. He has not complied with the Resolution, he’s now kicked the inspectors out, there’s a lot of evidence that he does in fact have and is continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction.


The Unofficial Official Simulator also comes in four other exciting fruit flavors: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Condi Rice, and Paul Wolfowitz.
Under the plan, the government will consist of 23 ministries, each headed by an American. Every ministry will also have four Iraqi advisers appointed by the Americans, the Guardian has learned.

The government will take over Iraq city by city. Areas declared "liberated" by General Tommy Franks will be transferred to the temporary government under the overall control of Jay Garner, the former US general appointed to head a military occupation of Iraq.

In anticipation of the Baghdad regime's fall, members of this interim government have begun arriving in Kuwait.

Decisions on the government's composition appear to be entirely in US hands, particularly those of Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defence.

...

Last week Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, told Congress that immediately after the fall of President Saddam's regime, the US military would take control of the Iraqi government.

His only concession was that this would be done with the "full understanding" of the international community and with "the UN presence in the form of a special coordinator".
Let's not forget how this Administration views its "special coordinator."
Monday, March 31, 2003
. . . after having just been sacked a day or so ago by GE/NBC/MSNBC for telling Iraqi TV what any Iraqi would know if he or she were able to get a copy of the New Yorker . . . Funny thing is, when Americans complete their invasion and implant their "democracy" into Iraq, saying anything bad about the US on Iraq tv will still be a fireable offense. GE/NBC/MSNBC: "You dropped the pom-poms, asshole! Now, git!"
My 15 Minutes of Fame Are Up Over At Changesurfer Radio. I dunno. I don't think I sucked that bad. But like my last radio interview, uh, 17 years ago I think, I say "uh" way to much. It's almost like nervous punctuation. Thanks to my fellow Better Humans columnist James Hughes for letting me rant in public. Short version: I say nice things about Doc Menlo and Eric Blair and the Russian Spy Bloggers. I openly dis Glenn Reynolds, Pejman and Postrel. Good times, good times.
When invading an oil-rich country like Iraq you might not want to name your helicopter bases in the country "Exxon" and "Shell" -- especially when some of world believes your war against terrorism is really a war for oil.
Powell Booed by AIPAC
Powell did take pains to say that Israel as well as the Palestinians must make sacrifices for the sake of peace. To an unsurprisingly partisan audience, he said that terrorism against Israel must end (standing ovation), but also that “settlement activity in the occupied territories must end” (mixed claps and boos) and that Israel must help “diminish the daily humiliation of life under occupation” (hisses).

At the same speech,before a gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, "Israel’s most powerful lobby group in the United States", Powell warned Iran and Syria that they might be next if they did not drop support for Palestinian groups such as Islamic Jihad and Hamas.
"President Bush's aides did not forcefully present him with dissenting views from CIA and State and Defense Department officials who warned that U.S.-led forces could face stiff resistance in Iraq, according to three senior administration officials. Instead, Bush embraced predictions of top administration hawks, beginning with Vice President Dick Cheney, who predicted Iraqis would joyously greet coalition troops as liberators and that the entire conflict might be over in a matter of weeks, the officials said."

Oh, really?

It's a narrow enough designation that I think you can say clearly that there simply aren't "three senior administration officials" at the State Department. Indeed, this has all the looks of a story leaked right out of the White House. Presumably, we can scratch Dick Cheney's name off the list since they finger him as the person most responsible for selling the president a bill of goods. Of course, we said months ago that Cheney was the living, breathing disaster at the heart of this administration. But we'll get back to that later.

Also see: OFFENSE AND DEFENSE: The battle between Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon (found on mousemusings)
FAIR ACTION ALERT: Do Media Know That War Kills?
Despite daily reports about the "showdown" with Iraq, Americans hear very little from mainstream media about the most basic fact of war: People will be killed and civilian infrastructure will be destroyed, with devastating consequences for public health long after the fighting stops.

Since the beginning of the year, according to a search of the Nexis database (1/1/03-3/12/03), none of the three major television networks' nightly national newscasts-- ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News or NBC Nightly News-- have examined in detail what long-term impact war will have on humanitarian conditions in Iraq. They've also downplayed the immediate civilian deaths that will be caused by a U.S. attack.
Sunday, March 30, 2003
There Is No End To This
"There's no end to this. What we are dealing with is guerilla warfare. Are we prepared to obliterate the whole country. You can call it 'Search and Destroy' or 'Seize and Destroy' . Either way it's 'Destroy and Destroy'. There is no good way to end it. — John Irving " A Prayer For Owen Meany" p.408
Evan Daze Threatened with Lawsuit
Evan Daze has been threatened with a lawsuit for linking: Vee Speers.

Which only leads us to proclaim, of course: Vee Speers, Vee Speers, Vee Speers!

Patriotic Posters and Morans

More Patriotic War Posters!

And furthering the warblogger-mullet connection:

Ah-hah! So two can play at that "So Let's-Take-The-Silliest-Looking-Person-Of-Your-Entire-Point-Of-View-To-Embarass-The-Rest-Of-You" game!

(pic by way of gordon coale by way of dratfink)

"We had a great day,

"We killed a lot of people."

"I'm sorry,

"But the chick was in the way."

[attention harbingers: if you want to link to any NYT article like this one, please use this id: drmenlo and this password: samizdat (readers please use this id and password, too). if anyone knows of a way to link to the NYT without signing in, please let me know - drmenlo -at- well.com . . . I will add this information to the sidebar soon.]

Dear God, please help George Bush in his holy quest to get more oil. I know that I am doing everything I can, including leaving my family behind possibly forever, facing death, hunger, sand storms and more, killing enemy soldiers and occasionally the civilian, too (I don't intend to! Honest to God, but combat is confusing, Lord, and can rouse the inner demon that is hard to control!) . . . I don't know how much more I can sacrifice for Bush, Lord, but if you give me a hint, I will certainly try. And just because the Republican-led House last week voted to cut veterans health care and benefits programs by nearly 25 billion over the next ten years, I know that doesn't mean that Bush doesn't love me, really I don't. He does--he just wants me to work harder for my health care, that's all. Maybe I can take a second a job at Kwiki-Mart when I get back in order to get me back some of them benefits and health care! Thank you Bush for making me be such a hard workin' honest man! Now, I'm gonna get back to the front lines now to help you secure your oil fields, sir, because I know you deserve them! And I know if you had another chance to be in the military and not go AWOL again, you'd do it, mister Commander-In-Chief! Ok, back to God: thank you God for another day. Thank you for having the Supreme Court install brave Bush into the White House and send us out here on this mission from you--I know the Pope is full of it, haw haw--You're talking to Bush, not the man with the funny hat, aintcha?? God Bless America, and God Bless George W. Bush!!!

It could happen?

iraq
vietnam on internet time

I've noticed that this war has been unfolding very fast and, as much as the White House and the Pentagon are trying to hide things, Al-Jazeerah and the Intenet are accelerating the flow of information at a rate that is breathtaking. A comment at The Agonist used the term Vietnam on Internet time. So true.

For a continous war update: The Agonist
For analysis: dailyKOS and Talking Points Memo
For a blog of an unembedded journalist: Back to Iraq 2.0

Josh, at Talking Points Memo, is on a roll. These posts are all a must read: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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