American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, May 31, 2003
Legitimacy Crisis In The Making
The anti-Times jihad advances not because of any intrinisic merit, but because ideological entrepreneurs like Glenn Harland Reynolds promote it endlessly. It's only because of the tireless work of his supporting hacks that Andrew Sullivan is regarded a serious media critic instead of a an aggrieved shitcanned ex-Times contributor. The Blair witch hunt is a story because they make it a story.

It's not beyond the power of the anti-Sullivans to make the non-discovery of WMDs that Bush et al assured us were there a story. The good for nothing crypto-fascist Europeans are growing plenty pissed. Seems the Merc's John Walcott is too:
The senior Marine general in Iraq said Friday that extensive searches had failed to locate any chemical weapons.

``It was a surprise to me then -- it remains a surprise to me now -- that we have not uncovered weapons,'' Lt. Gen. James Conway, the commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, told reporters at the Pentagon in a video teleconference.

...

``Believe me, it's not for lack of trying. We've been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they're simply not there,'' Conway said.

Bush, however, told a Polish television network: ``We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories . . . and we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, we found them.''
After watching this hate vomit, be sure to check out who the creator gives "special thanks" to.
Friday, May 30, 2003
The case for war is blown apart
From the Independent:
The build-up to war: What they said

Intelligence leaves no doubt that Iraq continues to possess and conceal lethal weapons

George Bush, US President 18 March, 2003


We are asked to accept Saddam decided to destroy those weapons. I say that such a claim is palpably absurd

Tony Blair, Prime Minister 18 March, 2003


Saddam's removal is necessary to eradicate the threat from his weapons of mass destruction

Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary 2 April, 2003


Before people crow about the absence of weapons of mass destruction, I suggest they wait a bit

Tony Blair 28 April, 2003


It is possible Iraqi leaders decided they would destroy them prior to the conflict

Donald Rumsfeld, US Defence Secretary 28 May, 2003
Somebody's got to hold these lunatics accountable for their words. And the above are their words.
Thursday, May 29, 2003
Rumsfeld pushes for regime change in Iran

Donald Rumsfeld, US defence secretary, is spearheading efforts to make "regime change" in Iran the official policy goal of the Bush administration, but his campaign is meeting with considerable resistance from other senior figures, according to officials and analysts.
Iraqi Looters Tearing Up Archaeological Sites
Throughout Iraq, US troops allow looters to tear up Iraq archaeological sites
Iraqi Looters Tearing Up Archaeological Sites
The Arrogance of Rumsfeld
The Scotsman attacks Rummy
The Arrogance of Rumsfeld
Telegraph | News | Telegraph man is first British reporter inside Camp Delta
America’s case against Iran is full of holes
MidEast paper The Daily Star takes apart US accusations against Iran
America’s case against Iran is full of holes

American T.V. Personality Dennis Miller is confronted by his younger self. An excerpt:

DENNIS MILLER (1988): We were all scared when those planes swan-dived into the towers, OK? But what separates real Americans from the faux variety is that real Americans don't turn in their spines to the hatcheck lady in times of stress. People in this country today hear the word terrorist and immediately snap into action -- which means locking themselves in the loo, defecating on the Constitution and using the Bill of Rights to wipe their ass. We're made of better stuff than that, and all the shrieking Rush Limbaughs in the world are not worth one brave man who will stand up and say, "hey, the emperor is starkers, and besides that, he wants all of Yemen's oil." I wasn't around, but I'm pretty sure the guys at Valley Forge weren't eating sautéed rat so that George W. could attempt a three-point landing on an aircraft carrier moored three miles off the coast of Catalina.
Selective Targeting in the anti-Times Jihad
Andrew Sullivan continues to blather on about the Rick Bragg nonstory. Glenn Harlan Reynolds, as per his usual, is noting the "story"'s progress and adding precisely nothing. Meanwhile neither has so much as mentioned the fact that the Raines Times had Ahmad Chalabi's niece set up the paper's Kuwait bureau. Imagine their reaction if, say, Yasser Arafat's niece had once even taken an escorted tour of the paper's offices.
Lying the Public to War, Continued...
Despite Bush's specific and unambiguous assertion that the war against Iraq would be fought because of the urgent threat posed by Saddam's arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, administration scumbags are now saying the WMD line was but a "bureaucratic convenience," and that the real reasons for the war elsewhere:
Wolfowitz said another reason for the invasion had been "almost unnoticed but huge" -- namely that the ousting of Saddam would allow the United States to remove its troops from Saudi Arabia, where their presence had long been a major al Qaeda grievance.
So the war against Iraq was fought to appease al Qaeda? Way to let the terrorists win!

The heat being felt by the Bushites, should activists and others bang away on this fraud to the widest possible audience, may just erupt into a full-on conflagration. Even the willfully deluded Rumsfeld is questioning the WMD claims, and a pathetic Undersecretary Bolton can do no better than to claim that, no WMDs found, the war was really fought to impair Iraq's "intellectual capacity...to recreate systems of weapons of mass destruction." Graduate students in the physical and chemical sciences everywhere are no doubt terrified....

The BBC has a round-up of the disinformation circulated to date, including the latest allegation that the Blair dossier portraying Saddam as having the "capacity to activate his biological and chemical weapons in just 45 minutes" had been re-written, with "unreliable" information added to make the document "sexier."
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
"...The Residents' first touring show tells the story of two very different cultures being forced into contact with one another. The dourly religious but hard working Moles are forced out of their underground habitat by a natural disaster. They are reluctantly forced to seek refuge in the land of the Chubs, who are more technologically advanced and materialistically better off. While life may not be so harsh there however, they don't take too kindly to 100,000 refugees. The Chubs exploit the Moles. They take on some of them as cheap labour and consign the rest to poverty in ghettos. One Mole, a scientist, decides to build a great machine which will bring 'freedom in the holes.'" From The Moles Present The Residents. The Residents, the whole Residents and nothing but The Residents.

"Hi, my name's Andy,
and I cover scandals at the Times
as comprehensively as I
cover myself with testostogrease."

The Weapons of Mass Disappearance which threatened us so imminently that we had to wage a war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq are nowhere to be found. Handily, a chap "clad in nondescript clothes and a baseball cap" is then located by New York Times reporter/Pentagon flak Judith Miller. Cap-clad chap is said, via Army intermediaries, to vouch for everything the Bushites have said re: WMDs. No need to worry ourselves about Administration duplicity and the fraudulent sale of a criminal war to the public. Everything is fine.

More than a month passes. A spat erupts at the Times when a bureau chief charges Miller with poaching stories on his turf, namely a piece on the convicted swindler installed by the Bushites as head of post-war Iraq, Ahmad Chalabi. In accounting for her appropriation of the story, Miller makes a stunning disclosure: Chalabi "has provided most of the front page exclusives on WMD to" the Times. So the only person in the world with more to gain from the alleged existence of Saddam's vast stockpile of WMDs than My So-Called President is in fact the source for the most public affirmations of the actual existence of same.

Meanwhile, the WMD-detection team that liaised between Miller and the aforementioned clap-cad gentleman leaves Iraq without finding anything.

The usual venues for Times-bashing, jam-packed to capacity with spectators to the Jayson Blair lynching and the Rick Bragg incident, are giving this one a by. It hasn't gotten so much as a mention in Andy Land, where Howie's canonical and Howell's worse than Hitler.
In criticizing Moore, it's hard not to sound like sour grapes. Moore's defenders will claim I'm jealous because I lack a camera and large audience and my views are consigned to small magazines. I grant the point. Moore has expended a great deal of energy and time to ensure his views reach a wide audience. For that, he deserves respect. My point is simply that he's paid a price in the process of getting heard. Here is what I would call the Moorean dilemma: do leftists stay on the margins or do we bust through and play by the rules of the entertainment industry? I am not against humor (ask my friends). But I am worried about what happens to the vision of the left when it plays on the grounds of the sound-bite society. [more]
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Vancouver is North America's Most Skateboard-friendly city
By the mid-1990s, Mr. Cutler said, skateboarding had entered its darkest days. All downtown plazas were "capped" and police were confiscating boards. Mr. Cutler, encouraged by Mr. Gordon, decided to fight city hall. He formed a lobby group and began to press politicians until, this spring, the effort paid off.
Stating the Obvious
Paul Krugman: Stating the Obvious the people now running America aren't conservatives: they're radicals who want to do away with the social and economic system we have, and the fiscal crisis they are concocting may give them the excuse they need. The Financial Times, it seems, now understands what's going on, but when will the public wake up?
Capital Games
The Dems are finally raising questions about the Bush Iraq fiasco
Capital Games
Classified: Censoring the Report About 9-11?
The bush administration is refusing to release the 9/11 report that documents bush's daily briefings on dangers of al Qaeda attack and connections of al Qaeda with Saudi Arabia, this could be some smoking guns
Classified: Censoring the Report About 9-11?
As a result of the cuts, 275,000 fewer Texan children will receive health care, and in Nebraska almost 25,000 low-income mothers have lost medical cover for their families because eligibility thresholds have been raised. Over this year and next, 1.7m Americans risk losing their health insurance.

And I'm sure that's just for starters . . .
Sunday, May 25, 2003
The Absurdity Matrix .1
Americans are so deluged with the ridiculous these days that it is impossible to keep up. We were flabbergasted over 2 years ago when our presidential office was wrestled away in a multi-faceted coup and our open jaws have only gotten dull spasms from being open so damn long since.

As Tom Tomorrow denotes, it's all enough to make your head explode.

We all know that in ten years some cute little coffee table book will be made which sifts out all of the most absurd actions of our day and cuts them up into easily manageable reading-bits. I.e.: President-Select who was AWOL stays an aircraft carrier in the ocean for one extra day after committing them to a war based on a lie when they want nothing more than to get home to their families, at a million dollar taxpayer expense, just to fly in in a fuckin' pilot suit with socks stuffed down your pants to get slaphappy with the cuckholded servicemen and all the American media shouts: TOP GUN!

Kurt Nimmo is right, absurdity must have reached it's peak. If we don't slide back into a more empirical attitude toward dealing with the world then the concept of universal balance must be a crock. You want good, solid evidence? You want good, solid facts? I will sell you their meaning for 10 dollars. Exchange for other words which sound better and quicken the blood. Whatever.

But instead of waiting ten years I will slow things down and give you an example, now: "Moore bowls over some key facts."

This is the title of the article. Note that the title doesn't say: "Moore accused of thwarting facts," which would be a more balanced approach (assuming this attack on Moore's movie is newsworthy in the first place, such as it is). Apparently, the journalist has already made up his mind. 'Moore bowls over some key facts.' Done deal. The rest of the actual article body is superfluous now--case closed; go home.

But we must persist--what was the evidence that this journalist had that gave him such a damning opinion?

Here's one piece of it:

[Moore critic] Hardy strongly disagrees with Moore's assertions about Canada, especially the claim that we can buy as much ammunition as we want at Wal-Mart outlets. He points out something that a Canuck lover like Moore should have known: Canadian law requires all ammo buyers to present proper identification, and non-Canadians must have both picture ID and a gun importation permit.


Now, if we didn't already know anything else about this particular point of dissent, let's look at the two opposing views presented in this paragraph: 1) Moore claims that in Canada, you can buy as much ammo as you want in Wal-Mart. 2) Canadian law requires ammo buyers to present proper ID and a gun importation permit if you're not Canadian.

Now, this is supposed to be evidence refuting a Moore claim? Number 2 doesn't even mention the main point of number one: buying as much ammo as you want. Number 2 just tells you about needing id and maybe a permit--which, at least on the face of this paragraph, is not even linked to the amount of ammo bought. It would seem apparent to a logical reader that as long as you have the right paperwork, you can buy as much ammo as you want in Canada.

Example two:

Hardy makes many other anti-Bowling points, but he misses one that is made elsewhere on the Web: even the title of the movie is inaccurate. According to police, Harris and Klebold didn't go bowling the day of the shootings; they skipped their bowling class because of their rampage. (Moore contests this, saying that at least five witnesses, including their teacher, saw one or both of them at the bowling alley.)


Ok, so let me get this straight: the cops say Harris and Klebold didn't go bowling that day, but Moore says 5 witnesses (including a teacher) say they did. Well, I guess if you've read the headline already you'd know that Moore is already the one with his ethics impugned, so of course the cops are right and Moore is lying--it's not a case of conflicting statements, it's the word of the cops versus an obvious liar, right? Memo to populace: "Cop Word Trumps All. Especially When Dealing With Leftie Freaks."

I mean, this must be the rock solid case positively bursting with deadly and damning evidence for Pete Howell to get up on the roof of his insurpassable moral tower and sadly proclaim:
We do indeed live in "fictitious times," as Moore observed, and it would seem he's part of the problem.

Or perhaps the Toronto Star is going pomo on our ass, deliberately fusing the heretofore uncombinable categories of article and editorial, previously unthinkable to traditional newspapers. Or, perhaps, this whole way of presenting an arguable piece of "news" has something to do with item number two of this newspaper's founding principles:
Social Justice: Atkinson [paper founder] was relentless in pressing for social and economic programs to help those less advantaged and showed particular concern for the least advantaged among us.

Which would explain perfectly why this godawful excuse for a hatchet piece was written in the first place, yes? George Bush stands for helping "those less advantaged among us" and Michael Moore is his diabolical opposite. George W. Bush lies to a nation and the world as an excuse to invade another country already devastated by a decade of sanctions--in the process unhinging the democratic relationship between the US and the majority of the rest of the world (not to mention the thousands of lives lost, sprayed across windshields and dirt)--and yet it's one of Bush's number one critics who is designated to be attacked for his truthfulness on evidence that couldn't convict a common housefly of being low on the evolutionary ladder?

These are absurd times, ladies and gents. And, in the cultural flavor of said times, we suppose that you could even call it this: the Absurdity Matrix.

[next up on the Absurdity Matrix Webwatch: "Hipublicans?"]
According to a report in a UK tabloid, The Mail on Sunday, the "US has floated plans to turn Guantanamo Bay into a death camp, with its own death row and execution chamber." Prisoners could therefore be "tried, convicted and executed without leaving its boundaries, without a jury and without right of appeal."
So what it appears we were really after was for Saddam to produce the 'nuclear mujahadeen' those who knew how to produce weapons, scientists and technicians and such ostensibly for lobotomies. No wonder they seemed reluctant.


The official, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John Bolton, spoke here at a luncheon hosted by the National Defense University Foundation.

Explicitly addressing the lack of WMD stocks found in Iraq so far, Bolton said, “There has been a lot of misunderstanding as to exactly what it was we expected to find and when we expected to find it.”

Since the first Gulf War, he said, “The most fundamental, most important thing that was not destroyed [by international weapons inspectors] was the intellectual capacity in Iraq to recreate systems of weapons of mass destruction.”

Bolton said U.N. and International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors “could have inspected for years and years and years and probably never would have found weapons-grade plutonium or weapons-grade uranium.”

“But right in front of them was the continued existence of what Saddam Hussein called the ‘nuclear mujahadeen,’ the thousand or so scientists, technicians, people who have in their own heads and in their files the intellectual property necessary at an appropriate time … to recreate a nuclear weapons program.”

Bolton said the United States was justified in attacking Iraq because of that alleged capacity.


Evidence is mounting to suggest that between 5,000 and 10,000 Iraqi civilians may have died during the recent war, according to researchers involved in independent surveys of the country.

None of the local and foreign researchers were willing to speak for the record, however, until their tallies are complete.

Such a range would make the Iraq war the deadliest campaign for noncombatants that US forces have fought since Vietnam....

US and British military officials insisted throughout the war that their forces did all they could to avoid civilian casualties. But it has become clear since the fighting ended that bombs did go astray, that targets were chosen in error, and that as US troops pushed rapidly north toward the capital they killed thousands of civilians from the air and from the ground....

[Human Rights Watch researcher Reuben] Brigety and his colleagues in Baghdad say they are especially concerned by the wide use of cluster bombs during the war in Iraq.

They say they have found evidence of "massive use of cluster bombs in densely populated areas," according to Human Rights Watch researcher Marc Galasco, contradicting coalition claims that such munitions were used only in deserted areas.

Dispersing thousands of bomblets that shoot out shards of shrapnel over an area the size of a football field, such weapons become indiscriminate and thus illegal under the laws of war, if used in civilian neighborhoods, Human Rights Watch has argued during past conflicts.

"At one level it is unhelpful to talk about large or small numbers" of civilian casualties, says Brigety. "It is more important to ask if the deaths were preventable."

The combination of cluster-bomb use, inaccurate artillery fire at Iraqi troops concentrated near civilian areas, and street fighting in towns throughout Iraq means that the number of civilian deaths might be as high as 10,000....


[Mahmoud Ali] Hamadi's family died in Rashidiya, a village of palm groves and vegetable plots on the banks of the Tigris, half an hour north of Baghdad.

Nearly 100 villagers were killed by US bombing and strafing on April 5, including 43 in one house, for reasons that they do not understand. "There was no military base here," says Hamadi. "We are not military personnel. This is just a peasant village."
Plutocracy
The Bushite money-and-death juggernaut advances. To secure his anointment as Resident in 2000, G.W. raised a full $193,088,650 from supporters. Comprising the vanguard were the so-called "pioneers," those raising $100,000 to help install Bush as President. The implicit quid pro quo secured access for the pioneers.

This time around, the elite - rebranded "Rangers" - are to secure $200,000 apiece. If the Bush junta contents itself with $193,088,650, then those to whom the president would respond would number at just 965.

They call this "grass-roots" organizing.
The Bush administration, alarmed by intelligence suggesting that al Qaeda operatives in Iran had a role in the May 12 suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia, has suspended once-promising contacts with Iran and appears ready to embrace an aggressive policy of trying to destabilize the Iranian government, administration officials said.

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