July 03, 2003
Cost of the War in Iraq

From their webpage, costofwar.com:

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower
April 16, 1953

War affects everyone, not just those directly involved in the fighting. This webpage is a simple attempt to demonstrate one of the more quantifiable effects of war: the financial burden it places on our tax dollars.

To the right you will find a running total of the amount of money spent by the US Government to finance the war in Iraq. This total is based on estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. Below the total are a number of different ways that we could have chosen to use the money. Try clicking on them; you might be surprised to learn what a difference we could have made.

Embed a counter in your own web page!

Posted by Brian Stefans at 01:13 PM
June 18, 2003
MoveOn Primary

Leading up to the MoveOn Primary next Tuesday, we've offered to forward emails from the three candidates who polled highest with our members. You can also view letters from all nine candidates here. Here's the first email, from Governor Dean:
____________

Dear MoveOn member,

Our country is at stake. The Bush Doctrine of preemptive war is wrong for America. The Bush tax cuts are not about cutting taxes; they are about starving and destroying Social Security, Medicare, and our public schools. They call polluting our air "The Clear Skies Act," destroying old growth "The Healthy Forest Act," and taking away our civil liberties "The Patriot Act."

If you are as tired and angered as I am by the manipulation and lies, then please join my campaign by signing the Pledge to Take Back America. Let's show that millions of us are not ashamed to stand up for our values:

http://www.deanforamerica.com/moveon

Too many in my party have failed to stand up to this administration's assault on our country's ideals. Let's show them that the era of conservative intimidation is over. People in Washington worry about "electability" but they forget why they were elected in the first place. Silence equals defeat. Victory requires educating, organizing, and convincing.

Defeating George Bush will take nothing short of a massive grassroots movement. That's why we've taken a page from MoveOn's book and provided tools on our website to help you build the movement in your community. Click below to see what's happening near you and to join in. And please forward this email to your friends -- I want everyone to know that there is a way to get involved, no matter where they live, or how much time they have:

http://action.deanforamerica.com

Candidates who continue to say whatever it takes to be elected will lose. What Americans want is a leader who believes in and will fight for sensible and principled positions, including balanced budgets, health care for every American, and a defense policy consistent with American values. The only way we can beat George W. Bush is to stand for a clear alternative.

I stood up against this President's attack on Iraq. I did not support his huge tax cuts. I did not support the misnamed "No Child Left Behind Act," which is raising property taxes all over America and bankrupting our public school system. Unlike all but one of my opponents, I have balanced a budget and I have appointed judges -- and I am the only candidate who has made health care available to 99% of the children and 90% of the adults in my state.

On my first day in office, I will tear up the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war. I will end this President's policy of domestic division. I will repeal those parts of the Patriot Act that betray the Bill of Rights. And I will roll back this President's tax cuts, because we will never achieve social justice in this country unless we balance the budget.

I believe that we can protect ourselves from terrorism and protect the civil liberties that make our nation strong. I believe that we can grow and prosper while also protecting our environment. I believe that a free and brave nation will always be stronger than a fearful nation, and I refuse to submit to fear any longer.

Abraham Lincoln said that a government of the people, by the people and for the people would not perish from this earth. Only you -- we -- have the power to ensure that the ideals of America are not destroyed by this President's radical agenda. If you share my beliefs, then join me in pledging to take back America in 2004:

http://www.deanforamerica.com/moveon

To plan or to join campaign events near you -- including a nationwide day of rallies and house parties on June 23 -- please click here:

http://action.deanforamerica.com

We can undo the damage this President has done only by coming together as Americans today. MoveOn members like you have proven that the grassroots has more power today than at any time in history. Yet MoveOn took years to grow to the size it is today. We do not have years. Years from now will be too late. We must come together now to defeat George W. Bush -- so please pass this email along to all of your friends who believe, as you do, that we must act now to take back America.

Sincerely,

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

Posted by Brian Stefans at 10:00 AM
June 02, 2003
Geneva 03 Free Global Internet TV: G8 Protests

[streaming video of this weekend's G8 protests--complete with riot police, tear gas, window smashing.]

Read a FirstAccount of last night's police raid of the Independent Media Center at the 'L'Usine' Cultural Centre.

Watch and listen to the Realvideo live stream here:

http://www.geneva03.org/static/live.ram or http://indymedia.nl/live/3.ram

(Please try again later if the live-stream seems down, it could just be some network/server/traffic difficulties)

Other live streams links: http://indymedia.nl/live

Download the needed RealPlayer 8 Basic for free here: http://forms.real.com/real/player/blackjack.html

For more info go to: http://www.geneva03.org/ and http://www.indymedia.org/

AUTONOMOUS MEDIA COLLECTIVE BESIEGED IN GENEVA by Jamie King (jamie@jamie.com)

At approximately half past nine Sunday Jun 01, the L'Usine, a center of anti-g8 activity in Geneva, was raided by police. The police were dressed in 'black bloc' gear, only identified as police by pink armbands and ID.

After surrounding the L'Usine during a gradual accretion of forces in the preceding hours, the police eventually massed in front of the building on the side of the public square that had become a meeting point for many demonstrators and activists. The police made one abortive attempt to enter the building in a small number, then fell back, regrouped, and made another sortie.

They were stopped temporarily by some activists who formed a chain. It is confirmed that these activists were beaten. Some few were injured, but not, it currently appears, badly.

Fighting then broke out in the 'Zoo' section of the L'Usine building. Activists trapped in the 'Zoo' were chased around by the police wielding telescopic batons.

Eventually the activists were subdued, or sent into hiding. Police then set to work on the inner doors, cheering and shouting, seeking to make their way into back sections of the L'Usine building. This section hosts the Geneva03 streaming project, which has been covering the anti-g8 demonstrations since late last week. Geneva03 continued to cover the raid live. The stream was taken down temporarily as activists rushed to save equipment, but is now up and running again at . Footage of the raid will be shown throughout the next days.

Also in the back section of L'Usine is the Forde, an art school/practice, and some art studios. It is rumored that one of the motives behind the police action, however, were allegations made in the national media today that L'Usine was also home to so-called 'black bloc' activity, a claim rejected by the Geneva03 team and others within L'Usine.

Police battered at the door inside the Zoo section of L'Usine for about fifteen to twenty minutes, while activists were besieged in the media room. There, workers from Indymedia, Mute, Candida, Everyone Is An Expert, Lora Radio and other groups struggled to remain calm and. The fact that police could be heard shouting and smashing things, made this difficult. A significant number of those present, especially from the Italian contingent, had also been present in Genoa at the raid of the media centre there.

An escape route was determined in the event that police broke through the doors violently with intent to harm the activists inside. This was an exit through a back window with a significant drop. The activists trapped in the center attempted to address Indymedia dispatch for a vehicle to break their fall, and also to call to legal aid outside.

It was discovered that the keys given to the Geneva03 workers to secure their studio were made available to the police, presumably at some stage after they smashed the inner door down. Although significant damage was cause to the building inside by police, they gained entry to the Geneva03 streaming studio peacefully, using the keys supplied by administrators of L'Usine.

Once inside, it was extremely fortunate that there were moments to talk privately with the police, and to explain clearly and without panic that those trapped inside were media workers. It is certain that the authorities knew this already, since they had observed us openly filming them out of the window and talking to the legal help. They were clearly aware of the stream since they immediately demanded it be turned off and that microphones be removed. The activists inside were told to put their hands on their heads. Some collected essential tapes and managed to first hide them, and then hand them to legal aid.

The activists were soon split into two groups and searched. Their personal effects were laid on the floor in front of them. These effects were then examined by the same 'black bloc' style police, who were by now peaceable and made all efforts to appear reasonable and controlled. Passports were examined and taken. The police phoned a source to check each passport. Of the nine people arrested throughout L'Usine, three people are thought to be media activists from the Geneva03 collective, or at least amongst those trapped in the streaming media center.

After much consideration, orders 'from high up' came and the media activists were told that they could go about their work. All passports were returned. Contrary to early statements by the police, no tapes were taken. It seems that the decision has been taken to go on streaming from . There is footage from inside the building from at least four cameras. The activists in Geneva03 are now free to leave and enter the building, which has otherwise been temporarily closed. The local state of affairs in the late hours of Sunday seems calm, although it is understood that there is significant trouble in nearby parts of Geneva.

Posted by David Perry at 01:13 PM
May 13, 2003
bushwarsblog.com: The Bombing Attacks in Saudi Arabia

[There's a great little feature about the Saudi Arabia bombings on bushwarsblog.com with tons of links.]

sperry_W.jpg

Perry: Bush Wars :

Posted by Brian Stefans at 10:07 AM
May 12, 2003
Additional Korea Links

Someone called "invisible worm" dropped these links and message into the comments section of the story Korean News & Information Sites. I'm making the links live here, not knowing just yet whether these sites are any good.]

Base21
http://base21.org/

Korea Times
http://times.hankooki.com/

JoongAng Daily
http://joongangdaily.joins.com/

ZNet Korea Watch
http://www.zmag.org/asiawatch/koreawatch.htm

There are also a number of blogs from Korea. I'm living in Korea now and although I (http://www10.brinkster.com/invisibleworm/) don't focus on Korea on a daily basis I certainly try to keep on top of any major developments. Also check out:

Empty Bottle
http://www.emptybottle.org/index.php

The Magnificant Melting Object
http://meltingobject.blogspot.com/

locrianRhapsody
http://www14.brinkster.com/locrianrhapsody/

Korea Life Blog
http://korealife.blogspot.com/

The Korean Blog List
http://korea.banoffeepie.com/

Posted by Brian Stefans at 12:49 PM
May 07, 2003
Salam Pax Returns

[Taken from the first new post to the blog since before the invasion.]

A Post From Baghdad Station

Note: Salam Pax sent me this in a Word attachment earlier today. After weeks of silence everything's happening at once: yesterday I received an email from his cousin with his satellite phone number. I called it; Salam’s father decided to play grumpy patriarch and told me to call back in “two minutes," which I did. Salam sounds fine. We discussed as many things as we could in a short amount of time. Without further ado, I present his latest posts. Diana Moon PS Please excuse any formatting weirdnesses; I've already been warned not to blog at work, so can't take the time to clean anything up.

If you are reading this it means that things have gone as I hope and either Diana or my cousin has posted to the blog. One of the funniest things was talking to my boss in Beirut after the war (Thuraya should make an ad saying : “Operation Iraqi Freedom, brought to you in association with Thuraya phones”) and him telling me that someone called Diana Moon is bugging us about a certain Salam Pax. I can’t even remember telling her where I work. Diana you are the wise oracle of Gotham. [Note: I didn't bug nobody. I sent him one email. Evil Boss Unit is undoubtedly a sexist]. .

Today while going thru Karada street I saw a sign saying “Send and receive e-mail. Affordable prices” I am checking out the place tomorrow. If the price really is affordable I might be able to update the blog every week or two.

Let me tell you one thing first. War sucks big time. Don’t let yourself ever be talked into having one waged in the name of your freedom. Somehow when the bombs start dropping or you hear the sound of machine guns at the end of your street you don’t think about your “imminent liberation” anymore.

Where is Raed ?

Posted by Brian Stefans at 01:12 PM
May 05, 2003
The Command Post

Darren actually posted this a long time ago, but after investigating some of the personal blogs of the contributors I somehow got convinced this was some crazy, gun-toting hawkish venture, but I think I just hit one of the bad ones. Lots of good stuff here, with sections devoted to Iraq, North Korea, and the "War on Terrorism."

header.gif

The Command Post - A Warblog Collective

Posted by Brian Stefans at 04:34 PM
Korea News & Information Sites

Here are three sites covering issues pertaining to Korea, in some cases specifically North Korea. One of them, koreawatch.org, appears to be down, but I had just looked at it a few weeks ago and it didn't show signs of going away -- hmmm. Please note that I am not advocating the perspectives of any of these sites; just starting a collection. If you know of any other English-language Korea-oriented websites that are still actively updated, please send them along. Many, but not all, of these links come from world-newspapers.com, which has pages of links for both North and South Korea.

KP_map_tn.gif

Human Rights Watch: Democratic Republic of Korea

koreawatch.org (temporarily down)

countrywatch: North Korea

Korean Central News Agency of DPRK (official organ)

Lonely Planet Guide to North Korea (wtf!?)

Korea Herald (ROK)

Digital Chosun Ilbo (ROK)

Guardian UK Korea

North Korea Daily (aggregated North Korea news from international sources)

Posted by Brian Stefans at 10:05 AM
May 01, 2003
bushwarsblog.com

sperry_W.jpg

Steve Perry has started a weblog, subtitled "Daily notes and links on the adventures of the Bushmen of the Beltway." Latest entry:

"It says so right here at CNN.com--when W arrives on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln later today, he'll be in the co-pilot's seat:


[Capt. Kevin] Albright said Bush could fly the plane en route to the carrier if he so desires.

"I imagine he will. He's an old fighter pilot," he said. "It shouldn't take a very long time, but I imagine if he wants to fly around a little bit, it'll take a little longer. We'll have a ready deck when he gets here."


Great. They should turn off the auto-pilot and let him fly Air Force One every now and then, too. Of course you remember what happened the last time Bush found himself in the driver's seat of a military jet--he promptly went AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard. We should be so lucky now."

Posted by Brian Stefans at 12:28 PM
April 16, 2003
POLI SCI: political science writings of Language poet Bruce Andrews

For those of you who like to be amazed, you can preview the collected
political science writings of Language poet Bruce Andrews at:

www.arras.net/andrews_poli_sci.htm

An introduction by Jeff Derksen and interview with Andrews are forthcoming after the long hot summer. But for now, the titles, all downloadable for free at the above link:

poli sci 01: social rules and the state as a social actor (1975)
poli sci 02: explaining and understanding state action (1976)
poli sci 03: public constraint and american policy in vietnam (1976)
poli sci 04: representation & irresponsibility in foreign policy (1977)
poli sci 05: the piecing together of humpty dumpty: graduate education in
international political economy (1978)
poli sci 06: economic diplomacy & the new international order: rhetorical
questions (1979)
poli sci 07: the language of state action (1979)
poli sci 08: privacy and the protection of national security (1980)
poli sci 09: surplus security & the domestic paradigm (1980)
poli sci 10: criticizing economic democracy (1980)
poli sci 11: the political economy of world capitalism: theory and practice
(1982)
poli sci 12: the prison-house of the capitalist world system (1982)
poli sci 13: the domestic content of international desire (1984)

Posted by Brian Stefans at 01:47 PM
April 15, 2003
gvus.org: Global Vote for U.S. President

centerdemonstration.jpg

As America invades, judges and acts without regard to world opinion it exposes more clearly the dire need to hold the President accountable to world opinion for re-election. Change America from with-in and from with-out. End geopolitical barriers to justice.

The final two candidates that America produces will be voted on by every country that has a legitimatized voting system. Each foreign vote will count 1/8th the American citizen's vote.

Posted by Brian Stefans at 07:09 PM
April 11, 2003
Staged "Liberation" media event?

April 6th: Iraqi National Congress founder, Ahmed Chalabi is flown into the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah by the Pentagon. Chalabi, along with 700 fighters of his "Free Iraqi Forces" are airlifted aboard four massive C17 military transport planes. Chalabi and the INC are Washington favorites to head the new Iraqi government. A photograph is taken of Chalabi and members of his Free Iraqi Forces militia as they arrive in Nasiriyah.

April 9th: One of the "most memorable images of the war" is created when U.S. troops pull down the statue of Saddam Hussein in Fardus Square. Oddly enough... a photograph is taken of a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to one of Chalabi's militia members... he is near Fardus Square to greet the Marines. How many members of the pro-American Free Iraqi Forces were in and around Fardus Square as the statue of Saddam came tumbling down?

The up close action video of the statue being destroyed is broadcast around the world as proof of a massive uprising. Still photos grabbed off of Reuters show a long-shot view of Fardus Square... it's empty save for the U.S. Marines, the International Press, and a small handful of Iraqis. There are no more than 200 people in the square at best. The Marines have the square sealed off and guarded by tanks. A U.S. mechanized vehicle is used to pull the statue of Saddam from it's base. The entire event is being hailed as an equivalent of the Berlin Wall falling... but even a quick glance of the long-shot photo shows something more akin to a carefully constructed media event tailored for the television cameras.

Staged "Liberation" media event? : SF Indymedia

Posted by Brian Stefans at 01:21 AM
April 08, 2003
PNAC: Rebuilding America's Defenses

I'm sure a lot of you have come across this elsewhere, but here is a quote from the blueprint drawn up by The Project for the New American Century -- Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumseld and Jeb Bush are members -- for maintaing a "pax Americana" around the world. Neil Mackay's September 2002 article about the document is all over the internet.

Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century

"In the Persian Gulf region, the presence of American forces, along with British and French units, has become a semipermanent fact of life. Though the immediate mission of those forces is to enforce the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq, they represent the long-term commitment of the United States and its major allies to a region of vital importance. Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein. In East Asia, the pattern of U.S. military operations is shifting to the south: in recent years, significant naval forces have been sent to the region around Taiwan in response to Chinese provocation, and now a contingent of U.S. troops is supporting the Australianled mission to East Timor. Across the globe, the trend is for a larger U.S. security perimeter, bringing with it new kinds of missions."

Posted by Brian Stefans at 02:28 PM
April 06, 2003
The Iraq Body Count Database

[This site may have already appeared on Circulars but I'm posting the link again since, with the mixture of news reports coming out about what's happening over there, one might need help keeping count. But IMHO, I think these figures are much too low -- the army has employed a policy (since Vietnam, I think) of not counting the enemy war dead, and so it's left to journos to put the figures together, either through eyewitness or interviews. You can put a body count counter on your site if you want -- I opted out as this page takes long enough to load, and the Javascript might give the blog some problems.

See story below from the Red Cross about how they can't even keep count of the casualties.]

ibc_cube_grey.gif

Iraq Body Count | DATABASE | Latest Updates

This is a human security project to establish an independent and comprehensive public database of media-reported civilian deaths in Iraq resulting directly from military actions by the USA and its allies in 2003. Results and totals are continually updated and made immediately available on this page and on various IBC counters which may be freely displayed on any website, where they will be automatically updated without further intervention. Casualty figures are derived solely from a comprehensive survey of online media reports. Where these sources report differing figures, the range (a minimum and a maximum) are given. All results are independently reviewed and error-checked by at least three members of the Iraq Body Count project team before publication.

GENEVA - The number of casualties in Baghdad is so high that hospitals have stopped counting the number of people treated, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Sunday.

"No one is able to keep accurate statistics of the admitted and transferred war wounded any longer as one emergency arrival follows the other in the hospitals of Baghdad," the ICRC said in a statement.

"Ambulances are picking up the wounded and running them to the triage areas and on to hospitals," it said. "Some of the wounded try to reach the nearest hospitals by foot."

The neutral Swiss-run organization - the main aid agency left in Iraq - gave no estimates on the number of deaths and did not confirm U.S. Central Command estimates that between 2,000 and 3,000 Iraqi fighters were killed in Saturday's foray into Baghdad by American armored vehicles.

"All of the hospitals are under pressure and the medical staff is working without respite," said the ICRC statement. "Despite the intense and desperate activity, hospital staff is still managing the situation."

But it said that hospitals urgently needed more water supplies. Given the general power outage in Baghdad, most hospitals and water installations are now being powered by backup generators. It said it was getting many requests for service kits, spare parts and repairs for water plants.

The ICRC said that Red Cross delegates who reached the southern city of Basra reported that the medical situation was generally under control and that there were no signs of epidemics. But it said it feared the worst for other hospitals outside Baghdad and Basra.

Commondreams.org / AP

Posted by Brian Stefans at 03:04 PM
April 04, 2003
Slate: The Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld

The Unknown

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

—Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

Slate has posted this toothsome little lyric, along with a few other examples of the poetry of "D.H." Rumsfeld. The critics rave (at least, I think it's raving; there seems to be a tongue firmly wedged in -- or possibly between -- someone's cheek[s]): "Rumsfeld's poetry is paradoxical: It uses playful language to address the most somber subjects: war, terrorism, mortality. Much of it is about indirection and evasion: He never faces his subjects head on but weaves away, letting inversions and repetitions confuse and beguile. His work, with its dedication to the fractured rhythms of the plainspoken vernacular, is reminiscent of William Carlos Williams'. Some readers may find that Rumsfeld's gift for offhand, quotidian pronouncements is as entrancing as Frank O'Hara's."

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 05:38 PM
365Gay.com: Gay Eye On Baghdad

[I'm sure a lot of you know about Salam Pax already but this is an angle that has been largely ignored.]

by Doug Windsor

March 29, 2003 12:01 a.m. ET/+5GMT/-3PT (New York City) A website by a mysterious gay man is attracting tens of thousands of readers around the world seeking updates on the situation in Baghdad.

He calls himself Salam Pax, a nom de plume which means "peace" in Arabic and Latin.

His site (http://dear_raed.blogspot.com) is a web log called a blog, a sort of online diary. His entries not only criticize Saddam Hussein but also the U.S. led invasion of Iraq.

While little is known about Salam Pax, it appears he is a 28 or 29-year-old Iraqi architect who lived as a teenager in Europe. His writings provide an eerie look at a city under seige.

"Our brightest and most creative minds fled the country not because of oppression alone but because no one inside Iraq could make a living, survive," he wrote of economic sanctions, telling the U.S. government to "get a clue."

"There are no waving masses of people welcoming the Americans nor are they surrendering by the thousands. People are ... sitting in their homes hoping that a bomb doesn't fall on them," he wrote.

In yet another entry he writes: "Houses near al-salam palace ... have had all their windows broke, doors blown in and in one case a roof has caved in," Salam wrote in his journal. "I guess that is what is called 'collateral damage' and that makes it OK?"

"How could 'support democracy in Iraq' become to mean 'bomb the hell out of Iraq'? ... Nobody minded an undemocratic Iraq for a very long time, now people have decided to bomb us to democracy? Well, thank you! how thoughtful," he wrote.

Before the invasion began several of his entries detailed persecutions against gays in Iraq.

Some of his entries are witty, others profoundly disturbing glimpses at Saddam's regime and the fears of Iraqis about the bombing campaign.

The site has become so popular that exceeded the amount of bandwidth he was allotted.

Google, the company which operates the company that hosts his blog has upgraded his account last weekend gratis so he could continue writing and posting photos. This week it added a mirror site to keep up with the ever growing traffic. (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gulfwar-2/)

Salam Pax has his detractors who believe he is actually an American or Israeli agent - and may not even be in Baghdad. But his supports point to the meticulous detail in his postings which even include the price of vegetables. One internet sleuth tested the code behind the Internet address of his blog and determined it most likely came from Iraq.

The site was knocked off the air on Monday prompting fears that Iraq's secret police may have discovered him, but it came back up on Friday night.

©365Gay.com LtdÆ 2003

Posted by Brian Stefans at 01:09 AM
April 03, 2003
Saddam SMS

saddamsms.jpg

... sorry, no idea what the text says.

[photo by Nasser Shiyoukhi, AP]

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 07:55 AM
April 02, 2003
Daniel Cohn-Bendit debates Richard Perle

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/issue_mayjune_2003/debate.html

Posted by Ron Silliman at 06:37 PM
Experimental National Committee: "We The Blog" Activated

WE THE BLOG
"In order to form a more Artistic Union"
wetheblog.org
 
Washington, D.C. - The Experimental Party today announces "We the Blog," a bold, new initiative to re-activate the ideals of democracy through discussion among artists, cultural critics and other creative people who are "repositioning themselves as new leaders in the governance of this planet, particularly in these times of crisis," according to Founder Jeff Gates.

"We the Blog" offers information and dialogue - from artistic expression to political activism - as a tool for facilitating the artist's need to extend aesthetic inquiry into the broader culture where ideas become real action.

"As technology fuels new ways of communicating, the blog (web log) is resulting in certain kinds of human actions that were never possible before," said Gates, a Principal Artist of the Experimental Party. He adds, "We the Blog will offer an artistic alternative to the spin-doctors of the Republican and Democratic parties. "We the Blog" will be the virtual community to participate in as the War rhetoric ramps up."

Under Secretary of the Office of Freedom of Speech, Mark Amerika, comments, "True blog, then, is not blog as we know it, but as we un-know it. It incites creation - more invention - so that you yourself have to get down and dirty into the developmental process activating the network with your own mixillogical discourse. This is blog as inventive remix machine placing value on what it sees, what it links to, how it appropriates the Other and strips it of its isolation."

Abe Golam, Director of the Office of Economic and Homeland Insecurity of the US Department of Art & Technology has declared, "Under the banner of the Experimental Party, 'We the Blog' is guaranteed to stir up controversy in the global computer networks, that 'non-place' place where the true battle for democracy in America will be fought and won."

Since September 11, an existential darkness has possessed our government, grips its soul, threatening the American way of life. In defending our homeland, artists must now fight to protect the democratic ideals and principles of freedom on which our nation was founded. People increasingly are forgetting what shaped their past. When a people fails to know why it exists and what it stands for, it cannot be expected to long endure.

According to Secretary Randall M. Packer: "We are artists united by common purpose - freedom of expression. Our strength lies in our shared artistic ideals. The Experimental Party is activating "We the Blog" for the very survival of participatory democracy. As James Madison said 'the diffusion of knowledge is the only true guardian of liberty.'"

******

We the Blog Founding Statement:

In order to form a more Artistic Union, to enhance the Social Condition, and to provide for the Avant-Garde; to prevent Homeland Insecurity; and to promote the Artist Voice in reshaping public policy; to guarantee Creative Freedom for the Old, the Young and the Disenfranchised. 

The Experimental Party's "We the Blog" is located at:
http://www.wetheblog.org


*******

The Experimental Party
http://www.experimentalparty.org

The Experimental Party - the "party of experimentation" -  is an artist-based political party that has been formed to activate citizens across the country in an effort to bring the artists' message to center stage of the political process. This is a political awakening, 'representation through virtualization' is the major political thrust of the Experimental Party, it is the driving force.

The US Department of Art & Technology
http://www.usdept-arttech.net

The US Department of Art and Technology is the United States principal conduit for facilitating the artist's need to extend aesthetic inquiry into the broader culture where ideas become real action. It also serves the psychological and spiritual well-being of all Americans by supporting cultural efforts that provide immunity from the extension of new media technologies into the social sphere.

*****
 
Contact:

Experimental National Committee | Washington, DC
Fax: 202.342.1293 | E-mail: info@experimentalparty.org

Posted by Brian Stefans at 10:04 AM
March 31, 2003
Philadelphia Inquirer: Op-Ed Poems

Today's Philadelphia Inquirer has a page of poems by Sandy Solomon, Charles Bernstein, Daniel Hoffman and Rachel Blau Duplessis (links below)...

Taking in the news
Sandy Solomon

In the stupid computer game
to which I devote myself
as the world hurls itself
at war's impersonal fires
and bright-faced youths in fatigues ...

War stories
Charles Bernstein

War is the extension of prose by other means.
War is never having to say you're sorry.
War is the logical outcome of moral certainty. ...

A Riddle
Daniel Hoffman

If all but one desire me, I am not.
The Greeks had gods for everything but me. ...

From Draft 51: Clay Songs
Rachel Blau Duplessis

Why does it begin again and again?
Why insist on the jagged line
the lightning hitting precariously clear
the flooded splashbacks of political despair?

Posted by Brian Stefans at 06:36 PM
Join the MoveOn Media Corps

From MoveOn.org:

"American media outlets have chosen to stifle or simply not show the most terrible and saddening aspects of this war. They are reluctant to air the voices of critics who are raising important questions about its effectiveness and purpose. And they appear to have acceded to the Bush Administration's desire to black out pictures or footage of civilian casualties.

We need to demand the full picture. The MoveOn Media Corps is a group of committed MoveOn volunteers who will mobilize to push the media to fairly cover this war. The action ideas we send you won't generally take longer than 15 minutes, but to be part of the Corps we ask that you commit to taking up to one action per day. The actions could include calling media outlets when they air especially bad coverage, pushing Clear Channel radio to stop censoring anti-war songs, or writing letters to the editor."

Interested parties can join by filling out this form. MoveOn is extending a special request to AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) users: "we especially need your help. We're developing an IM-based instant response network. By adding your handle, we'll be able to contact you with urgent, time-sensitive alerts that can make an impact more quickly than ever possible before."

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 12:13 AM
March 27, 2003
Politech: What Are The Odds On Hussein?

From Politech: a sudden price drop in the market for predictions on Saddam's date of demise indicates that gamblers think he may be able to hang onto power well into June.

Sites like Tradesports allow gambling on world political future events as well as sports. Clicking on the site's "Trading Screen" tab presents a set of odds on whether or not Hussein will be president of Iraq into April, May or June. In the last few days the graphs have shown a sharp decline in the percentage chance that he will be gone soon. The numbers change by the minute, just like stock futures.

War-hungry bettors can also trade on the colors for the monthly US national Security Alert Level March 2003 -- red, orange, yellow, blue and green.

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 12:20 PM
March 26, 2003
Toy War

saddamtoon.jpg

Mike Gerhardt's site features a series of screenshots of a Japanese TV show called Kodomo News ("Kids' News") that was "using toys and cartoons to show a trio of very glum-looking kids what was happening in Iraq. It was too bizzare to pass up, so I grabbed my camera and started snapping photos." The caption for this screenshot (there are 15 on the site) reads "Hussein in the middle of his Baghdad defenses."

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 02:11 PM
March 25, 2003
The Mother of All Snacks

ricecrackers.jpg

MSNBC.com reports that a Taiwanese company is selling rice crackers wrapped in images of U.S. President Bush and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. If only they had instituted some sort of polling system based on purchases.

And over on the Far Right is Star-Spangled Ice Cream, a self-described "conservative alternative to Ben & Jerry's" for Americans who "enjoy ice cream but do NOT enjoy seeing your money funneled to wacko left-wing causes". 76 bucks will get you four quarts of I Hate The French Vanilla, Iraqi Road, Smaller Governmint, and Nutty Environmentalist ...

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 10:45 PM
NY Times: Dixie Chicks CD-Smashing Rallies and The New Oligarchy
A crowd gathered in Louisiana to watch a 33,000-pound tractor smash a collection of Dixie Chicks CD's, tapes and other paraphernalia. To those familiar with 20th-century European history it seemed eerily reminiscent of . . . . But as Sinclair Lewis said, it can't happen here.

So begins a new op-ed piece by Paul Krugman for the Times, who uses the incident to segue into a discussion of the string of pro-war rallies that have been organized across the US by Clear Channel Communications, a key player in the radio industry with strong ties to the Bush presidency.

Krugman argues that "we're now seeing the next stage in the evolution of a new American oligarchy", where big business interests have an increasing say in government policy as "scores of midlevel appointees [...] now oversee industries for which they once worked." More depressing yet, he ends by noting that the role of the press as a watchdog for such matters has also been severely eroded, because "these days, the scandalmongers are more likely to go after journalists who raise questions."

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 01:04 PM
Not In My Name

question_authority.gif

[from Samantha Sigler]

The Not in My Name Music project is a collaboration of artists (begun by DJ Spooky, Coldcut and DJ Goo) dedicated to forwarding a culture of resistance worldwide. The Not In My Name EP will soon be for sale worldwide, on Ninja Tune in Europe and the rest of the world and on Synchronic Records in the US. They are also providing MP3s of their music for free download on their home page, as well as on the Ninjatune and Synchronic Records sites.

All DJs and mashup aficionados should note that the Not in My Name home page also provides a vocal acappella track for the the Pledge of Resistance tune; the site says "Feel free to throw this into your mix whenever possible! For remix requests beyond live mixing, please contact us and we'll send you to the right people to discuss this further."

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 11:36 AM
March 24, 2003
More Protest Music: March of Death

Zack de la Rocha, ex vocalist of Rage Against the Machine, and the one and only DJ Shadow have released a new protest tune, "March of Death," on the subject of the current war. It's available for download on de la Rocha's website. "Artists, be they painters, actors, writers or musicians, have a responsibility to reflect and interpret the world around them. Our current administration's foreign policy strikes me as being reckless, inhumane and hopelessly out of step with the so-called 'values' it claims to defend." -- DJ Shadow

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 04:42 PM
March 21, 2003
Iraq Body Counters

[I'll probably put one of these on the site Monday, but with some reservations -- I'll have to look into how this information is being collected, etc., and whether or not it is more an object of bitter fascination rather than something that could rally support for the anti-war cause.]

Download Your IRAQ BODY COUNT Web Counter Here

The IBC Counters provided on this page carry our rolling update of total civilians reported killed, with both a Minimum and Maximum estimate given for accuracy, and are designed for extremely quick & easy installation on any website.

The white squares containing the actual numbers are provided directly from our webservers so that visitors to your site will always see the latest updates (which is why it's not necessary to include that part of the counter in the downloads below). The graphic with "Updating..." is a background which will appear only if there's a pause while the numbers are being downloaded from our server. To account for different web page layouts we provide a range of shapes and sizes, with a more eye-catching "red text" version of each graphic.

Posted by Brian Stefans at 01:47 PM
Moveon.org: Citizens' Declaration

Dear friend,

I'm writing to ask you to join me in signing a Citizens' Declaration reaffirming our commitment to international cooperation.

The outbreak of war is not the end of the fight for peace -- only the beginning. Around the globe, people are joining together in the declaration below. We will be announcing it in a press conference on Friday, and we need your help to make it as big as possible.

Signing up will only take a minute of your time, but it'll send a message that the momentum built through our opposition to war in Iraq will only keep growing.

You can sign up at:

http://www.moveon.org/declaration/

Here's the text of the Declaration:

A CITIZENS' DECLARATION

As a US-led invasion of Iraq begins, we, the undersigned citizens of many countries, reaffirm our commitment to addressing international conflicts through the rule of law and the United Nations.

By joining together across countries and continents, we have emerged as a new force for peace. As we grieve for the victims of this war, we pledge to redouble our efforts to put an end to the Bush Administration's doctrine of pre-emptive attack and the reckless use of military power.

------------

Thank you.

Posted by Brian Stefans at 02:06 AM
March 20, 2003
New Iraq Leaflets

On Tuesday, before the bombs, the US dumped another 2 million leaflets on Iraq, bringing this year's total up to 17 million.

Three contained several references for Iraqis to tune to radio frequencies where Coalition forces are broadcasting information about United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's reign and other topics. Another type of leaflet warned Iraqi troops not to use weapons of mass destruction, emphasizing that "unit commanders will be held accountable for non-compliance." One leaflet warned Iraqi troops that the Coalition will destroy any viable military targets and does not wish to destroy any Iraqi landmarks, and that the "Coalition forces do not wish to harm the noble people of Iraq. To ensure your safety, avoid areas occupied by military personnel." One more leaflet type told Iraqi troops "not risk their life and the life of their comrades," and to "leave now, go home, and learn, grow, prosper."

Pictures are available on the CENTCOM website.

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 12:01 PM
Iraq Body Count Database

[from Jason LeHeup]

The IRAQ BODY COUNT Database is a human security project to establish an independent and comprehensive public database of civilian deaths in Iraq resulting directly from military actions by the USA and its allies in 2003. Results and totals are continually updated and made immediately available on this page and on various IBC counters which may be freely displayed on any website, where they will be automatically updated without further intervention. Casualty figures are derived from a comprehensive survey of online media reports. Where These sources report differing figures, the range (a minimum and a maximum) are given. All results are independently reviewed and error-checked by at least three members of the Iraq Body Count project team before publication.

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 11:27 AM
March 19, 2003
Rabble: Blogs Against War

Over at Rabble.ca, poet Angela Rawlings has compiled a list of links to Canadian and international blogs on the subject of the impending war with Iraq.

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 02:15 PM
March 18, 2003
The Last Time

Peter Turnley's photographs of the first Iraq War.

http://digitaljournalist.org/issue0212/pt_index.html

Posted by Ron Silliman at 10:58 AM
The Sniper's Tale

The Guardian has an extensive series of excerpts from Marine Lance Corporal Anthony Swofford's book Jarhead, detailing his expereinces as a sniper during the last Gulf War. Swofford came from a military family. He was a US marine to the bone. But when he was sent to fight in the 1991 Gulf war and saw the devastation he was part of, doubts and despair set in. What were they fighting for? He tells how it felt to be a soldier on the ground, under fire from the enemy, and, worse, from his own side. Sobering stuff.

Then we send a few guys downtown to rent all of the war movies they can get their hands on. For three days we sit in our rec room and drink beer and watch all of those damned movies [...]

There is talk that many Vietnam films are anti-war, that the message is war is inhumane and look what happens when you train young American men to fight and kill. But, actually, Vietnam war films are all pro-war, no matter what Kubrick or Coppola or Stone intended. Mr and Mrs Johnson in Omaha or San Francisco will watch the films and weep and decide war is inhumane and terrible, but Corporal Johnson at Camp Pendleton and Sergeant Johnson at Travis Air Force Base and Lance Corporal Swofford at Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base watch the same films and are excited by them, because they celebrate the terrible and despicable beauty of their fighting skills.

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 10:55 AM
British Resignationblog

People in Britain are leaving the David Blair Labour government rapidly enough that the BBC is maintaining a weblog to keep track of the dissenters. Watch for the vote later today ...

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 10:47 AM
The Death of Rachel Corrie

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article1248.shtml

Rachel Corrie, 23 year old peace activist from Olympia, Washington, was murdered in Gaza while opposing the bulldozing of a Palestinian home. The photos that accompany the story make it quite clear that her death was, in fact, murder.

Posted by Ron Silliman at 07:14 AM
March 17, 2003
Michael Neumann: An Unfounded Rush to Cynicism

[Bob Perelman sent me this link... I haven't read it yet.]

I usually think Perry Anderson is great. His piece on Iraq assumptions, though, seems awfully slanted toward Bush's p-o-v. Surprising. There's a good rebuttle on the Counterpunch website:

http://www.counterpunch.org/neumann03102003.html

Posted by Brian Stefans at 10:17 AM
March 16, 2003
SF Direct Action In Case of War

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and are interested in learning about or participating in non-violent protests readied for the morning following the onset of war against Iraq, click here. You'll also find coverage of recent protests, and other useful links.

Posted by Joshua Clover at 03:31 PM
March 14, 2003
Disinfopedia II

[Here's the photo Ron Silliman alludes to below, which is hard to find on the site...]

www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Weapons_of_mass_deception

Handshake3002.png

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983.

Posted by Brian Stefans at 02:06 PM
March 13, 2003
Disinfopedia

www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Disinfopedia_Main_Page

Check out the 1983 photo of Rummy shaking Saddam Hussein's hand, on the Weapons of Mass Destruction page.

Posted by Ron Silliman at 01:25 PM
March 12, 2003
Letter of Resignation by John H. Brown, Foreign Service Officer

To: Secretary of State Colin Powell

March 10, 2003

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am joining my colleague John Brady Kiesling in submitting my resignation from the Foreign Service (effective immediately) because I cannot in good conscience support President Bush's war plans against Iraq.

The president has failed...

--To explain clearly why our brave men and women in uniform should be ready to sacrifice their lives in a war on Iraq at this time;

--To lay out the full ramifications of this war, including the extent of innocent civilian casualties;

--To specify the economic costs of the war for ordinary Americans;

--To clarify how the war would help rid the world of terror;

--To take international public opinion against the war into serious consideration.

Throughout the globe the United States is becoming associated with the unjustified use of force. The president's disregard for views in other nations, borne out by his neglect of public diplomacy, is giving birth to an anti-American century.

I joined the Foreign Service because I love our country. Respectfully, Mr. Secretary, I am now bringing this calling to a close, with a heavy heart but for the same reason that I embraced it.

Sincerely,

John H. Brown
Foreign Service Officer

John H. Brown, a Princeton PhD, joined the Foreign Service in 1981 and has served in London, Prague, Krakow, Kiev, Belgrade and, most recently, Moscow.

A senior member of the Foreign Service since 1997, he has focused his diplomatic work on press and cultural affairs. Under a State Department program, he has, up to now, been an Associate at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, where he was assigned in August 2001.

Letter of Resignation by John H. Brown, Foreign Service Officer

Posted by Brian Stefans at 10:11 PM
Gurrillanews.com: See No Evil: What Bush Didn't (Want To) Know About 9/11

[Two more things I haven't had a chance to look into just yet, but on first glance very good...]
 
serious
http://www.guerrillanews.com/government/doc1148.html
 
and amusing
http://www.guerrillanews.com/redux/qt_hi.html

Posted by Brian Stefans at 02:27 PM
Depleted Uranium Website

[Haven't had a chance to look at this yet...]

Jawad Metni, a wonderful documentary maker from Brooklyn, did a documentary on DU in 2001 --- you can get it from his website www.pinholepictures.com, where he also has a number of links to resources on DU, including a RAND report. The documentary includes interviews with army reps among others.

Posted by Brian Stefans at 02:22 PM
Poems About War

Vancouverite blogger Caterina has dedicated a section of her blog to posting poems about war.

Posted by a.rawlings at 12:28 AM
March 10, 2003
Gulf War 2: A Video Game that Says It All

We know it's happening, but rarely give it a second thought -- some of the best political satire today is in the form of video games.

http://www.idleworm.com/nws/2002/11/iraq2.shtml

When you're done with that, find your Patriot Rating at Ashcroft Online:

http://www.idleworm.com/nws/2002/12/aol10.shtml

Posted by Brian Stefans at 08:52 PM
March 04, 2003
Currency War

Many analysts believe that the real reason for the upcoming US war on Iraq is the Bush administration's goal of preventing further Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) movement toward the euro as an oil transaction currency standard (Iraq has already made the switch). As long as oil is traded predominantly in US dollars, it's easier for the US to maintain economic control over world oil reserves.

Following are links to a number of stories on this subject:

Backgrounder: OPEC Speech: The Choice of Currency For The Denomination of the Oil Bill

Backgrounder: U.N. To Let Iraq Sell Oil For Euros, Not Dollars

Analysis: The Geopolitics of Oil

Analysis: The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq: A Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth

Analysis: It's The Oil Stupid

Analysis: Iraq – Oil And Its Currency Impact

Analysis: Oil, Currency and the War on Iraq

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 10:58 AM
February 28, 2003
"We Can See Everything"

everything.jpg

"We can see everything ... The Coalition has superior satellite technology."

If you're curious about the kind of propaganda that the US is currently dropping on Iraq, you need look no further than this leaflet gallery.

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 09:00 PM
RE: Where Have All The Protest Singers Gone?

enemy.jpg


... they've gone to find two turntables and a microphone. Asian Dub Foundation's Enemy of the Enemy is everything you could want in a protest album ... politically, at least. Tim Perlich writes "Enemy Of The Enemy is their furious response to the current global mayhem, with pointed attacks directed at Bush, Blair and the enemies they helped create."

Do the beats hold up? Reviews are mixed; the Adrian Sherwood mix rocks along mightily, and Radiohead's Ed O'Brien plays guitar on several tracks. Sinead O'Connor adds vocals to "1000 Mirrors", which tells the story of Tsoora Shah, accused of murdering her husband, after he had continually beaten and humiliated her for years. However, the crew is suffering from the loss of MC Deedar Zaman, and the album lacks some of the vocal consistency that previous ADF efforts show.

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 09:46 AM
February 27, 2003
More "Ready" Parodies

[This from the indefatigable Darren Wershler-Henry.]

UPDATE: It didn't take long for the "Ready" parodies to start to appear (like they used to say at SUCK, "A Fish, A Barrel, A Smoking Gun") ... you can find a few of them here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.

Posted by Brian Stefans at 04:39 PM
Watch The Virtual March On Washington

Thanks to MoveOn.org, it's now possible to watch the virtual march on Washington. A map of the USA displays popup windows containing the text of the faxes that people are sending to Congress, in real time. It's not too late to join the march and send a free fax. Rock.

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 02:34 PM
February 24, 2003
Nicholas von Hoffman: An Imperial Adventure For Anglo-Saxon Powers

[Christopher Stackhouse asked me to post this to Circulars with a specific request for commentary / feedback from our readers. You can either reply in the comments section or write to him directly. This story is taken from the New York Observer.

It’s not about the oil. God bless every one of the antiwar spirits, but the prevalent conviction—that the oil industry is behind this sale guerre, as the froggies say—is simply mistaken. This war isn’t of the oil companies’ making. I wish it were, because it would be settled over a weekend in Davos. We know that business people can be as stupid, shortsighted and blind to their own self-interest as the rest of us, but they’re not all incompetent. Hence, the oil industry has enough halfway-smart people running it to know that the odds on making money via a war on Iraq aren’t worth the betting.

Given the Iraqi performance when they were driven out of Kuwait by the United States, we can assume that their own oil fields will be destroyed in a desert version of a scorched-earth defense. The billions of dollars and years that it will take to reconstitute them tells us that any profits to be made by the big oil companies will be a long time coming.

From an oil company’s point of view, the present situation is tolerable. Thanks to the sanctions imposed on Iraq, that country’s oil production is a fraction of what it could be, and therefore a fraction of the oil the Iraqis might otherwise be dumping on the world market, dragging down the prices charged by Exxon or B.P. or the rest of them. There are so many ways an oil company can do a profitable business without a war in the Middle East—and its attendant dangers to oil-company investments in the other countries in the region—that the idea the industry is behind aggression is farfetched. Besides, with an administration committed to encouraging profligate energy consumption, the oil industry has no motive for joining the war lobby. Naturally, after the war, the American oil industry will do its best to get possession of the Iraqis’ oil fields, but that’s a far cry from instigating the war.

So why is the United States determined to strike against a country which has about as much firepower as the Cleveland Police Department? To defend itself? The preemptive-strike proposition? You could make almost as good a case for it as Adolf Hitler made for his invasion, with his Communist allies, of Poland in 1939. The Germans dressed up their own soldiers in Polish Army uniforms and had them pretend to invade Germany for their casus belli. The American discovery of nonexistent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction is a close parallel: two examples of two governments —one fascist and one democratic—lying and making up evidence for waging unjust war. We have been brought up to think that democracies and republics are always the good guys, the nonaggressors, the defenders of the weak, but history teaches otherwise. The classic case for all times of a great democracy going sour and becoming the terror of its neighbors is ancient Athens. Athenian behavior was so predatory and invasive that the other Grecian city-states joined in a defensive alliance, headed by authoritarian Sparta, to save themselves from Athens.

To justify the indefensible, the administration and its defenders are prone to talk about "appeasement" and compare Saddam Hussein with Hitler. But one of the reasons Hitler was appeased was that he commanded a frightening, nearly invincible war machine. It took almost the entire world to defeat him, and it was a close thing at that. The Second World War lasted from 1939 to 1945. Will it take six years to defeat Saddam, or six days, or six hours? Whatever his intentions, he has no tanks, no airplanes, no submarines, no nothing. Anyone comparing this guy with Hitler has no understanding of how terrible Hitler was. That Saddam is a despicable gangster politician does not make his country a military power. It is all but defenseless against the United States, which has been bombing the place for years without losing a single aircraft or pilot. It even lacks the military capabilities of North Korea, a country which does have a set of sharp little teeth, and you can see the difference in George W. Bush’s approach to Kim Jung Il. Instead of the nailed boot, he gets the pussied foot.

Preemption is but one reason given for attacking Iraq. Other reasons for letting fly with the bombs are to demonstrate "credibility" for the United States or just for George Bush; a lack of proactivity by Saddam Hussein; the impossibility of keeping the armed forces keyed up for battle over many months; the weather; Saddam Hussein’s murderously criminal career; the dictator’s provocative attitude, arrogance and indifference to American wishes; the fear that he will supply terrorists with weapons of mass destruction; George Bush’s loss of patience, his irritation and his need to show leadership and strength of resolve—persuasive reasons all for endangering the lives of thousands of human beings.

So what is going on here? Some day they may call this the Bait-and-Switch War. George Bush promised us Osama bin Laden in the ads, but when we called up to place an order, he gave us Saddam Hussein—whose only affinity with Osama seems to have been that he also was armed and encouraged by American officials, some of whom are still in office. It remains to be seen if bait-and-switch politics will work, but there are other aspects, hysteria aside, to this Middle Eastern adventure.

What jumps out is how much of an Anglo-Saxon crusade this is turning into. It is almost literally the case that the only nations which are buying into the dirty war with anything like enthusiasm are English-speaking ones controlled by Anglo-Saxons: the United States, England, Canada (albeit with increasing reluctance), Australia (always willing to shed its blood when England calls) and New Zealand. The non-Anglo-Saxons, be they in Africa, Asia or Europe, aren’t having any, thank you. It must be said that many Jews, in Israel and the United States, are also hot for this bloodletting, but many are not and, in any case, the Jewish population of the earth is minuscule.

Mr. Bush’s war derives its greatest support among the Anglo-Saxon elements of the population. You don’t need to hire the Gallup organization to realize that the enthusiasm for this killing spree among persons of color—or persons of non-color who don’t identify with the ruling circles of Anglo-Saxon culture—is decidedly tepid. If war comes, it is going to be a churchgoers’ war. The huge and obvious divide between the Anglo-Saxons and the rest of us goes little commented on. From the snake-handling Christian fundamentalists to the J. Press–clad propagandists who issue forth from their think tanks, this is an Anglo-Saxon operation —their religion, their world view, their missionary zeal, their intolerance, their disdain for people who speak other languages and have other histories.

The last time the United States launched itself into an Anglo-Saxon crusade of this sort was 1898. Just as, 40 years later, Hitler would begin a war by perpetrating a clumsy fraud, so America initiated its war of conquest against Spain by insisting that the battleship Maine, which blew up in Havana harbor after its boilers exploded, was surreptitiously destroyed by the Spaniards. The United States commenced an Anglo-Saxon war in the name of its superior values, to rid Cuba and the Philippines of the Roman Catholic religion, poor sanitation practices, degenerate other cultures and a pride unseemly in little brown men. The Spaniards gave up and decamped for Spain early, leaving the Americans to fight a perfectly vile war of oppression against the native inhabitants by means which Saddam Hussein would intuitively understand. Today, similar assumptions of the inferiority of the Muslim religion and Arabic civilization suffuses every statement coming out of Washington, where the Anglo-Saxon chieftains are poised to let loose a firestorm on the inhabitants of the region of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

The threat of a religio-cultural, imperial war of domination has terrified the Middle East. The officialdom in those parts is suffering premonitions about what happens after Iraq is destroyed. The Anglo-Saxons haven’t exactly been discreet about their intentions: Saudi Arabia is next as, one by one, the United States lops off the present heads of states, installs its own puppets and calls it democracy.

You may reach Nicholas von Hoffman via email at: nvonhoffman@observer.com.

Posted by Brian Stefans at 10:56 AM
February 20, 2003
Wake the World: More Protest Posters

uswastika.gif

... another well-designed set of downloadable posters resides at Wake the World. These should meet all of your leafleting needs.

Posted by Darren Wershler-Henry at 04:06 PM
February 16, 2003
Petition: No to war on Iraq .... No to dictatorship

[A petition signed by 1600+ at the time of posting; from Ammiel Alcalay.]

No to war on Iraq .... No to dictatorship Petition

Posted by Brian Stefans at 11:24 PM
February 08, 2003
Paul Chan: This is the Baghdad You Are About to Destroy

[Just got back from a great talk by Paul Chan, an artist who was in Iraq in December/January and has been giving talks all over the place -- colleges, artist spaces, etc. -- for the past several weeks. Besides a great series of dispatches that he managed to get out of there, he's also took a series of powerful, if very humble and unpretentious, photographs -- both texts and images are posted on his site, nationalphilistine.com.]

025.jpg


025c.jpg

Posted by Brian Stefans at 12:53 AM