mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Monday, March 31, 2003

US Marines turn fire on civilians at the bridge of death

Young soldiers, trained to defend America, not to invade, told they were to undergo the noble task of liberation, are faced with orders to shoot anything on wheels that moved. Remorse, hatred, and survival instincts kick in for both American and Iraqi. This is heartwrenching, useless, and a complete waste of human energy. Damage, death and destruction, in the quest for domination in lieu of diplomacy. Disgusting, demoralising damn-nation building.
Though civilians on foot passed by safely, the policy was to shoot anything that moved on wheels. Inevitably, terrified civilians drove at speed to escape: marines took that speed to be a threat and hit out. During the night, our teeth on edge, we listened a dozen times as the AVVs' machineguns opened fire, cutting through cars and trucks like paper.

Next morning I saw the result of this order - the dead civilians, the little girl in the orange and gold dress.

Suddenly, some of the young men who had crossed into Iraq with me reminded me now of their fathers' generation, the trigger-happy grunts of Vietnam. Covered in the mud from the violent storms, they were drained and dangerously aggressive.

In the days afterwards, the marines consolidated their position and put a barrier of trucks across the bridge to stop anyone from driving across, so there were no more civilian deaths.

They also ruminated on what they had done. Some rationalised it.

"I was shooting down a street when suddenly a woman came out and casually began to cross the street with a child no older than 10," said Gunnery Sergeant John Merriman, another Gulf war veteran. "At first I froze on seeing the civilian woman. She then crossed back again with the child and went behind a wall. Within less than a minute a guy with an RPG came out and fired at us from behind the same wall. This happened a second time so I thought, 'Okay, I get it. Let her come out again'.

She did and this time I took her out with my M-16." Others were less sanguine.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Offense and Defense

by Seymour M. Hersh
The battle between Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon.
just read it.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The tragedy of this unequal partnership

I was asking just the other day, 'what exactly does Bush hold over Blair to keep him aboard this madness, knowing it is his political demise?'
While this article doesn't quite answer my question, it does explain the smothering bout of conservatism being rubbed in our faces in America. If, as is surmised, "exemplars of a civilisation the rest of the world must want to copy" being the reason, then I grieve for the rest of the world, just as I grieve for the loss of American democracy.

The rise and rise of American conservatism is neither well documented nor well understood in Britain - but it's one of the pillars on which I build my case for Europe in The World We're In*. Ever since the pivotal Supreme Court judgement in 1973 legalising abortion (the Roe v Wade case) which marked the high water mark of American liberalism, it's been downhill all the way. American conservatism, an eccentric creed even within the pantheon of the western conservative tradition, now rules supreme. Domestically it offers disproportionately aggressive tax cuts for the rich and for business, reforms that shrink America's already threadbare social contract and a carte blanche for the increasingly feral, unaccountable character of US capitalism.

Internationally it is this philosophy that lies behind pre-emptive unilateralism and the wilful disregard of the UN. American conservatives are bravely willing to use force to advance democracy and markets worldwide - the exemplars of a civilisation the rest of the world must want to copy. No other legitimacy is needed, the reason for the wrong-headed self-confidence that could launch war in Iraq expecting so little resistance. Rumsfeld's exploded strategy is ideological in its roots. This conservatism is a witches brew - a menace to the USA and the world alike. read more
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Checkerboard Cowboy

pawned off like soldiers
in the theatre of insignificance
the voice of the world battered
to the beat of the mighty tomahawk
ripped from the heart of natives

a checkerboard cowboy with his chessboard
pivoting recklessly
unbalanced on it's axis
as he pauses to rearrange pieces
and redefine rules

the game of Rummy and the boy who cried Wolf
instrumental in his sandbox of power
his plastic toy soldiers
melting under the heat, forgotten
as he packs his bags for camp
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Say What??? US soldiers in Iraq asked to pray for Bush

They may be the ones facing danger on the battlefield, but US soldiers in Iraq are being asked to pray for President George W Bush.

Thousands of marines have been given a pamphlet called "A Christian's Duty," a mini prayer book which includes a tear-out section to be mailed to the White House pledging the soldier who sends it in has been praying for Bush.

"I have committed to pray for you, your family, your staff and our troops during this time of uncertainty and tumult. May God's peace be your guide," says the pledge, according to a journalist embedded with coalition forces.

The pamphlet, produced by a group called In Touch Ministries, offers a daily prayer to be made for the US president, a born-again Christian who likes to invoke his God in speeches.

Sunday's is "Pray that the President and his advisers will seek God and his wisdom daily and not rely on their own understanding".

Monday's reads "Pray that the President and his advisers will be strong and courageous to do what is right regardless of critics".

Touch Ministries had better get in touch with something.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Why Americans Will Believe Almost Anything

"You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad." - Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley's inspired 1956 essay, The Doors of Perception, detailed the vivid, mind-expanding, multisensory insights of his mescaline adventures.

By altering his brain chemistry with natural psychotropics, Huxley tapped into a rich and fluid world of shimmering, indescribable beauty and power.

With his neurosensory input thus triggered, Huxley was able to enter that parallel universe described by every mystic and space captain in recorded history.

Whether by hallucination or epiphany, Huxley sought to remove all controls, all filters, all cultural conditioning from his perceptions and to confront Nature or the World or Reality first-hand - in its unpasteurized, unedited, unretouched, infinite rawness.

Those bonds are much harder to break today, half a century later.

We are the most conditioned, programmed beings the world has ever known. Not only are our thoughts and attitudes continually being shaped and molded; our very awareness of the whole design seems like it is being subtly and inexorably erased. more

The Doors of Perception
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Mideast Vacation

Neil Young

I used to watch "Highway Patrol"
Whittlin' with my knife
But the thought never struck me
I'd be black and white for life
I was raised on law and order
In a community of strife
Became a restless boarder
And I never took a wife

I went lookin' for (Bin Laden)
Aboard Air Force One
But I never did find him
And the C.I.A. said "Son,
You'll never be a hero
Your flyin' days are done
It's time for you to go home now
Stop sniffin' that smokin' gun"

I was travellin' with my family
In the Mideast late one night
In the hotel all was quiet
The kids were out like little lights
Then the street was filled with jeeps
There was an explosion to the right
They chanted "Death to America"
I was feelin' like a fight

So I ran downstairs
And out into the street
Someone kicked me in the belly
Someone else kissed my feet
I was Rambo in the disco
I was shootin' to the beat
When they burned me in effigy
My vacation was complete

listen to the mp3 (970 KB) as recorded by Craig

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

They see no blood but chessboard

And so we have a war. If you listen to American President George W. Bush, this is a noble war, indeed. It is about freeing Iraqis from the shackles of a cruel dictator. It is about creating a model for democracy in the Middle East. It is about eliminating terrorism from its roots.

Don’t listen to this stuff too early in the morning; you may lose your breakfast. If you believe America is merely reacting to the horrific, unprovoked terrorism emanating from Arab nations, here’s something interesting to consider. The author George Monbiot recently chronicled the activities of the Project for the New American Century, a pressure group established by, among others, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush and Paul Wolfowitz. These gentlemen are now high-profile members of the US Government, and have been instrumental in orchestrating the lead-up to the war.

More than five years ago, these men urged the "removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power". They stated, even then, that "American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council."

In 2000, their inner plan was seeing light. A confidential report said: "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." The wider strategic aim was "maintaining global US pre-eminence".

These people are in power now, and their elevation made this war truly inevitable. Saddam is merely a pawn whose previous atrocities made him an easy target. September 11 provided the excuse and the means to rally Americans behind this madness. Iraq is merely step one. The ultimate goal is ‘full-spectrum dominance’ by the US. America will feel the backlash to this leadership for generations to come. more

referring to this George Monbiot article: a wilful blindness
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Serbian police seeking arrest of Milosevic's wife

Police said on Friday they were looking for Markovic because of well-founded suspicion she was involved in Stambolic's murder, which they said was politically motivated.

Police looked for Markovic, an influential figure during her husband's turbulent rule, in her Belgrade home on Friday and in the couple's home town of Pozarevac. Belgrade media said she was believed to be on the run.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, March 28, 2003

Eliminating Truth: The Development Of War Propaganda

The hackneyed phrase maintains that truth is the first casualty of war, but this does not suggest nearly clearly enough that it is a casualty because the US and UK governments are making a concerted attempt to destroy it.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The Propaganda of Victory

Why are Americans so gullible? Was the media used by the Pentagon? What happens now? Lisa English of Ruminate This examines the idea of easy victory planted in the public's mind, and the possibility that we aren't necessarily the victors we think we are.
War isn't fair, but if you're a chickenhawk like George Bush and you're surrounded by a cabal of warmongering advisers who similarly have never stepped foot on the battlefield, it's easy to believe your own boardgame spin.

Well, thanks to a hyper-commercialized media, Americans have been snookered into buying this spin, too. Instead of asking hard questions and analyzing the Bush answers, the US media has been obsessed with technological toys and military might. The end result is that we've been fed a steady diet of hard sell, straight from the marketing departments of Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, et al. We know more about missiles and other hardware of war than we do reasons for prosecuting this war in the first place. Imagine that!

But not everyone has been hoodwinked... read it all!

Bush was a little testy yesterday when asked about the timeline. It was ugly, defensive and childish. I'm not surprised, considering he is naturally arrogant. I suppose he was also hoodwinked. Oh,,wait..this was his job to make informed decisions?
"Bush administration officials and their hawkish supporters now say they never promised an easy war -- but the record shows otherwise."
Richard Perle, recently resigned chairman of the Defense Policy Board, in a PBS interview July 11, 2002:

"Saddam is much weaker than we think he is. He's weaker militarily. We know he's got about a third of what he had in 1991."

"But it's a house of cards. He rules by fear because he knows there is no underlying support. Support for Saddam, including within his military organization, will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder. "

Vice President Dick Cheney, on NBC's "Meet the Press" March 16:

"The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but that they want to get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that."

"My guess is even significant elements of the Republican Guard are likely as well to want to avoid conflict with the U.S. forces and are likely to step aside."

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN March 23:

"The course of this war is clear. The outcome is clear. The regime of Saddam Hussein is gone. It's over. It will not be there in a relatively reasonably predictable period of time."

"And the people in Iraq need to know that: that it will not be long before they will be liberated."

Odd how I heard Bush repeat that very last sentence yesterday, only he added, "and the Iraqi people will be liberated." He could have as well added, "whether they want to be or not".

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Practice to Deceive

A look at the neo-cons

...This willingness to deceive--both themselves and others--expanded as neocons grew more comfortable with power. Many spent the Reagan years orchestrating bloody wars against Soviet proxies in the Third World, portraying thugs like the Nicaraguan Contras and plain murderers like Jonas Savimbi of Angola as "freedom fighters." The nadir of this deceit was the Iran-Contra scandal, for which Podhoretz's son-in-law, Elliot Abrams, pled guilty to perjury. Abrams was later pardoned by Bush's father, and today, he runs Middle East policy in the Bush White House...

...Today, however, the great majority of the American people have no concept of what kind of conflict the president is leading them into. The White House has presented this as a war to depose Saddam Hussein in order to keep him from acquiring weapons of mass destruction--a goal that the majority of Americans support. But the White House really has in mind an enterprise of a scale, cost, and scope that would be almost impossible to sell to the American public. The White House knows that. So it hasn't even tried. Instead, it's focused on getting us into Iraq with the hope of setting off a sequence of events that will draw us inexorably towards the agenda they have in mind.
via sTaRe incuBLOGula
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Plans Under Way for Christianizing the Enemy

Do we have a country full of people who just don't think? (I'm really not feeling well.)

Two leading evangelical Christian missionary organizations said Tuesday that they have teams of workers poised to enter Iraq to address the physical and spiritual needs of a large Muslim population.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the country's largest Protestant denomination, and the Rev. Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse said workers are near the Iraq border in Jordan and are ready to go in as soon as it is safe. The relief and missionary work is certain to be closely watched because both Graham and the Southern Baptist Convention have been at the heart of controversial evangelical denunciations of Islam, the world's second largest religion.

Oh..and this doesn't help my mood either:
House Seeks National Day of Prayer, Fasting (LATImes sign-in)
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

For Broadcast Media, Patriotism Pays

Now, apparently, is the time for all good radio and TV stations to come to the aid of their country's war.

That is the message pushed by broadcast news consultants, who've been advising news and talk stations across the nation to wave the flag and downplay protest against the war.

"Get the following production pieces in the studio NOW: . . . Patriotic music that makes you cry, salute, get cold chills! Go for the emotion," advised McVay Media, a Cleveland-based consultant, in a "War Manual" memo to its station clients. ". . . Air the National Anthem at a specified time each day as long as the USA is at war."

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Police kill suspects in Serbian prime minister's slaying, find body of missing former president

Police have found the grave of a missing former Serbian president they believe was killed by an elite police unit also suspected in the slaying of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, authorities said Friday.

The announcement came less than a day after two main suspects in Djindjic's assassination died in a shootout with police.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, March 27, 2003

More on Perle resignation

He's still sitting on the board. Damn....
Richard Perle, a U.S. architect of the war on Iraq who faced questions about conflicts of interest, offered to resign as chairman of a Pentagon advisory panel, according to a letter obtained by Reuters Thursday.

"As I cannot quickly or easily quell criticism of me based on errors of fact concerning my activities, the least I can do under these circumstances is to ask you to accept my resignation as chairman of the Defense Policy Board," Perle wrote to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Iraq hawk Richard Perle quits Pentagon job

Date: Thursday, March 27, 2003 6:07:23 PM EST

WASHINGTON, March 27 (UPI) -- A top adviser to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigned his post Thursday. Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard Perle said he was concerned controversies surrounding his finances might distract Rumsfeld from the management of the war with Iraq.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Press and Public Abroad Seem to Grow Ever Angrier About the U.S.

Bush said this war would bring peace to the world, he was the great uniter.

If there was a common image summoned up by the protests and angry commentaries, it was of the United States as an imperial power intoxicated by its military supremacy but receiving a lesson in the price of arrogance by unexpected Iraqi resistance.
"Armed force and coercion are the antonyms of democracy," the editorial said, "so isn't using tanks and cannons to spit out `liberty' and `democracy' a mite ironic?"
"What Bush is doing is conquering with military force anybody who opposes him," said Shinichi Iida, a 25-year-old university student. "I think it's the most barbaric act in the world."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

U.S. planning more invasions, McGovern says

Former U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern charged Wednesday that President Bush intends to invade North Korea and Iran after finishing with Iraq.
"Even now, these wars are being planned by the current administration," McGovern said. "I'm positive, based on conversations with people close to the White House, that plans are in place for the next invasions."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

All in the Neocon Family

This list of intricate, overlapping connections is hardly exhaustive or perhaps even surprising. But it helps to reveal an important fact. Contrary to appearances, the neocons do not constitute a powerful mass political movement. They are instead a small, tighly-knit clan whose incestuous familial and personal connections, both within and outside the Bush administration, have allowed them grab control of the future of American foreign policy.
via American Samizdat

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Freedom of speech threatened, Gore says

With fewer companies owning more media outlets, the lack of tolerance for opposing views increases, former Vice President Al Gore told a college audience here last night....

like this? Unembedded Journalist's Report Provokes Military Ire
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Posters for Peace
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Robert Fisk: 'It was an outrage, an obscenity'

It was an outrage, an obscenity. The severed hand on the metal door, the swamp of blood and mud across the road, the human brains inside a garage, the incinerated, skeletal remains of an Iraqi mother and her three small children in their still-smouldering car.

Two missiles from an American jet killed them all – by my estimate, more than 20 Iraqi civilians, torn to pieces before they could be 'liberated' by the nation that destroyed their lives. Who dares, I ask myself, to call this 'collateral damage'? Abu Taleb Street was packed with pedestrians and motorists when the American pilot approached through the dense sandstorm that covered northern Baghdad in a cloak of red and yellow dust and rain yesterday morning.

It's a dirt-poor neighbourhood, of mostly Shia Muslims, the same people whom Messrs Bush and Blair still fondly hope will rise up against President Saddam Hussein, a place of oil-sodden car-repair shops, overcrowded apartments and cheap cafés. Everyone I spoke to heard the plane. One man, so shocked by the headless corpses he had just seen, could say only two words. "Roar, flash," he kept saying and then closed his eyes so tight that the muscles rippled between them. more
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

FERC finds widespread power manipulation in California

We've been distracted but we haven't forgotten.

Seven Enron Corp. subsidiaries and five other energy companies manipulated natural gas and electricity prices and supplies in California, federal energy regulators ruled Wednesday.

As a result of the manipulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Pat Wood said California would receive more than the $1.8 billion in refunds recommended by a FERC judge in December.

The exact amount is to be determined in the coming months, but FERC spokesman Kevin Cadden estimated that the total would be $3.3 billion. California is seeking $9 billion.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Suspect in Serbian premier's slaying reportedly tied to organized crime

The man arrested for allegedly assassinating Serbia's pro-Western prime minister ran an elite police unit tied to organized crime and former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, authorities said Tuesday...

...Since Djindjic's assassination, authorities have imposed a state of emergency and launched a major hunt for leading crime figures and their associates in the judiciary, police and other state services. More than 1,000 suspects have been arrested....

...The ferocity and scope of the authorities' crackdown drew a warning Tuesday from U.S.-based Human Rights Watch, which said in a letter to Zivkovic that certain restrictions imposed after the assassination "may not be justified under international law."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Cheney daughter - human shield in Baghdad???

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The Prince of Darkness Richard Perle

Take an indepth look at Richard Perle at the link above and then come back to see what Rep John Conyers is doing about it here.
If that isn't enough for you check this conversation with Perle by David Corn, and this new Asia Times article, Perle: 'Prince of Darkness' in the spotlight.

I think the spotlight is getting a little hot for him. Let's keep it shining. Perhaps he'll retire to his summer home in France!
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

A Baaad Feeling

I've learned to pay attention when Liberal Oasis talks. I love how they take a difficult subject and outline it in an easy to understand format, back it with credible links for further reference, and often offer solutions. Here the discussion is about the 'uprising' in Basra. As they readily admit: "Predicting anything in the midst of war is a sucker’s game."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Too much TV war might hurt mental health

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Relentless attempt at Eli Lilly protections

It's Back! The same sneaky stuff that was tacked onto the homeland security bill regarding vaccine protections for Eli Lilly.
Senator Bill Frist, with the help of Judd Gregg (R-NH), is resubmitting the Eli Lilly Thimerosal provison, with additional devastating changes to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Markup was scheduled for yesterday. (I found this a little late.)Frist thinks he may have the votes. Wampum has more details and Committee members to contact.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Man held for murder of Serbian leader

Serbian police have arrested the suspected assassin of Zoran Djindjic, the pro-western prime minister who was killed two weeks ago, his successor said yesterday.

Zoran Zivkovic named the suspect as Zvezdan Jovanovic, 38, a Kosovan Serb and the deputy commander of the Red Berets, a notorious paramilitary unit used by the Serbian regime to perpetrate atrocities and conduct ethnic cleansing in the wars in former Yugoslavia of the 1990s.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

New Scrutiny of Role of Religion in Bush's Policies

The President's Rhetoric Worries Even Some Evangelicals
An intriguing question is the extent to which Americans share the apocalyptic views of some evangelicals that we are heading into the last days of the final battle between good and evil. Polls indicate that some 40 million do.

What's clear is that while evangelicals greatly value the renewed moral tone and religious conviction in the presidency, they, like other Americans, differ over how the president expresses that conviction and the implications for his decisionmaking. Bush has said he tends to make decisions by gut instinct. Many Americans are wondering which religious instincts might hold sway as he acts to determine the course of history.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Do you Support Impeachment?

I want to repost this. I posted it on the 20th, and since then have seen the momentum of support grow tremendously. Send him a short note!

Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) is tallying support for impeachment of Bush & Co. Please send him an e-mail: Now!
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Remarks By The President On The Wartime Supplemental

Despite repeated requests of our Congressional representatives this administration waited until the war was well underway to ask for funding for it. I find this to be just one more example of deception and overriding of the supposed democratic process. (We all know the reconstruction funds are lining this adminstration's pockets) An excerpt:
...America has accepted this responsibility. We also accept the cost of
supporting our military and the missions we give it. Today, I'm
sending the Congress a wartime supplemental appropriations request of
$74.7 billion, to fund needs directly arising from the Iraqi conflict
and our global war against terror. My request to Congress will pay for
the massive task of transporting a fully-equipped military force, both
active duty and reserve, to a region halfway around the world.

This money will cover the current cost of fueling our ships and
aircraft and tanks, and of airlifting tons of supplies into the
theater of operations. The supplemental will also allow us to replace
the high-tech munitions we are now directing against Saddam Hussein's

My request includes funds for relief and reconstruction in a free
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Bush administration readying for 2004 invasion of Iran

While the slaughter continues in Iraq, the United States has its sights set on the real prize: the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Even though Syria is next on the chopping block according to the authors of A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Real--chief among them Richard Perle and Douglas Feith--it is Iran that they covet.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Blogger Flies to Iraq To Report War

Meet Christopher Allbritton, a blogger who has spent some time in Kurdish Iraq last summer, who now has raised money to return. He asked people on the Internet to help in supporting independent journalism, and they did. He is on his way back to Iraw to report the war.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

New Rubber Soul Newsletter

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, March 24, 2003

Mary Ann Wright's letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The following is a copy of Mary (Ann) Wright's letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wright was most recently the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She helped open the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in January 2002.
Dear Secretary Powell:

When I last saw you in Kabul in January, 2002 you arrived to officially open the US Embassy that I had helped reestablish in December, 2001 as the first political officer. At that time I could not have imagined that I would be writing a year later to resign from the Foreign Service because of US policies. All my adult life I have been in service to the United States. I have been a diplomat for fifteen years and the Deputy Chief of Mission in our Embassies in Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan (briefly) and Mongolia. I have also had assignments in Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Grenada and Nicaragua. I received the State Department’s Award for Heroism as Charge d’Affaires during the evacuation of Sierra Leone in 1997. I was 26 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and participated in civil reconstruction projects after military operations in Grenada, Panama and Somalia. I attained the rank of Colonel during my military service.

This is the only time in my many years serving America that I have felt I cannot represent the policies of an Administration of the United States. I disagree with the Administration’s policies on Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, North Korea and curtailment of civil liberties in the U.S. itself. I believe the Administration’s policies are making the world a more dangerous, not a safer, place. I feel obligated morally and professionally to set out my very deep and firm concerns on these policies and to resign from government service as I cannot defend or implement them.

I hope you will bear with my explanation of why I must resign. After thirty years of service to my country, my decision to resign is a huge step and I want to be clear in my reasons why I must do so.

I disagree with the Administration’s policies on Iraq

I wrote this letter five weeks ago and held it hoping that the Administration would not go to war against Iraq at this time without United Nations Security Council agreement. I strongly believe that going to war now will make the world more dangerous, not safer. much more of this very eloquent resignation
via Craig's BookNotes

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

John Brady Kiesling's talk at the Bechtel Auditorium at UC Berkeley

allaboutgeorge linked to coverage of John Brady Kiesling's talk March 20 at UC Berkeley. Courage Comes in All Forms
His resignation letter was just a touch of the eloquence and grace this man exudes. I deeply admire his form of courage.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Outrage in Baghdad

April Hurley, MD, Iraq Peace Team
In America, the saying goes goes: If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

In Bagdhad, at Al Kindi Hospital Emergency, Fatima Abdullah is screaming in outrage: "Why do you do this to us??!"

Her 8 year old, Fatehah is dead, two other daughters are on stretchers wounded by a missle that crushed her uncle's home where they were staying outside Baghdad, near the Diala Bridge. An extended farming family, they have suffered with sanctions and ecomonic devastation shrinking their stock of animals to one cow, a donkey and chickens; they are barely able to feed themselves.

Muhammed, the four year old crying in her arms has cuts from shrapnel and debris criss-crossing the right side of his face and head, eyelids swollen shut.

Nada Adnan, 13 years old and a student at high school for girls, states "I wish that God would take Bush. Why did he do this to us? to me?". She has an open gash on her right cranium with underlying fracture and a large, deep shrapnel gauged cut into her upper left thigh. She has no narcotic relief and cries out as aides press guaze into her leg wound. 9 year old, Rana Adnan needs oxygen for a chest laceration and lung contusion with a concussion, head laceration, and shrapnel in her left arm.

And then there is Nahla Harbi who was a passenger driving away from Bagdad with her two year old in her arms when a military school for boys was hat and the explosion rolled the car fracturing both of her legs. Her child sustained head injuries.

Less than 100 meters from Alyermouk Hospital and a school, bombing crushed the foot of 28 year old man who was walking outside his home.

And the list keeps going on. A 70 year old man shopping for food for his family now has a compound fracture of his left upper arm, chest wound through his lung requiring a chest tube and making answers and complaints more dificult.

He has rage and opinions, just as the multitude of families do these several days. How can I explain reasons to them? They know that Bush's Administration is interested in oil control and that they have no interest in democracy for these people. Why don't
Americans know this? Why did we elect this man without human feelings, they ask.

It's not easy being an American in a Baghdad Emergency room seeing victims and their families. I wish that George Bush was here with his answers to their outrage.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

A Quick look

Robert Fisk says Iraq Will Become a Quagmire for the Americans
Daily Kos says Quagmire? Not Yet, but does proceed to outline recent propaganda.

A quick view of massive problems that lie ahead. Who said this was going to be easy?
Americans stunned by U.S. casualties, POWs in Iraq
A random sampling found Americans fearful, angry and even indignant at those who thought war would be easy.
..."I can't believe anyone is surprised by the casualties," said Nicholas Anton of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. "If anyone thought the Iraqis were going to be flag-waving and welcoming us, they were wrong. That crazy euphoria everyone had in the beginning was very short-lived, and now people have to deal with the consequences of a real war."

Franks' war strategy in Iraq deemed full of risks
Military analysts said on Monday that Franks, the head of U.S. Central Command, may be taking unnecessary risks in the strategy he is employing, including stretching supply lines, allowing concentrations of enemy forces in the rear of his advancing troops, and using an invasion force that simply may be too small for the task at hand.

Atrios finds this:
Defence experts have warned up to 12,000 allied forces may be killed in the battle for Baghdad.
One expert said yesterday a force of up to 120,000 soldiers would be needed to capture the Iraqi capital and 10 per cent could die in the fight. more

As "Where is Raed" servers bog down, CNN finds him:
Salam Pax updates his blog
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Crimes of War, What the Public Should Know

Excellent resource! I recommend keeping this handy. It appears to have sections, links, and articles updated frequently. Be sure to explore the site.
Crimes of War was conceived as a handbook for reporters. But just as war is too important to be left to the generals, war coverage is too important to be left uncritically to the news media. The general public, too, should know the moral and legal benchmarks contained in the law. One reason for a commonality of interest is that coverage of contemporary conflicts increasingly is available to the public without a filter or a framework or context. A second is that every close observer has a restricted field of vision.

Journalists who cover wars and humanitarian emergencies of the post- Cold War world know far better than their audiences or their critics how much they are operating in uncharted territory. Understanding what is going on in the midst of all the havoc, confusion, and disinformation is anything but simple. And almost nothing in their training prepares reporters to be able make the necessary distinctions between legal, illegal, and criminal acts.
via Electronic Iraq

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

'We're in a Dark, Dark Tunnel'

...The family met privately with a journalist today, without the presence of a requisite government escort and with a promise that their identities would not be published. Over a lunch of Iraqi dishes -- pickled mango, kibbe, kufta and chicken cooked with rice, peanuts and raisins -- they spoke with unusual candor about politics and war. At times brashly, they discussed subjects that are usually hinted at, as if Baghdad were already in limbo between its past and its future...

..."Iraq is ready for change," the father said. "The people want it; they want more freedom."...

...But family members expressed anger at the U.S. government, which has promised to liberate them. They criticized President Saddam Hussein and his dictatorial rule, but insisted that pride and patriotism prevent them from putting their destiny in the hands of a foreign power...

...But they bitterly denounced the war the United States has launched. Iraq, perhaps more than any other Arab country, dwells on traditions -- of pride, honor and dignity. To this family, the assault is an insult. It is not Hussein under attack, but Iraq, they said. It is hard to gauge if this is a common sentiment, although it is one heard more often as the war progresses....

..."We complain about things, but complaining doesn't mean cooperating with foreign governments," the father said. "When somebody comes to attack Iraq, we stand up for Iraq. That doesn't mean we love Saddam Hussein, but there are priorities."...

A friend of the family interrupted. "Bombing for peace?" he asked, shaking his head.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, March 23, 2003

How women's roles are camouflaged

It's a struggle to be heard above the male-driven din of conflict
...John Keegan, defence editor of the Daily Telegraph, has a use for women in the combat zone. He writes that far from reducing the effectiveness of men under fire, making them 'over-protective', their presence encourages men to 'perform better... as if to emphasise their masculinity... '. He does not expand on the effect males have on the behaviour of their female colleagues...

...Forget the debates about who 'we' are, (divided and troubled is the most accurate answer). Chuck out those mostly male driven dialogues about 'new' nationalism, 'new' patriotism, a 'new' Britain (' and personal... less macho and miserable... a more feminised place...' wrote commentator Jonathan Freedland in 1997.) War reduces the turmoil to the dimensions of a dreadful old-fashioned western. Who are we? The good guys, and the women are expected to stay mum...

.... 'I'm not opposed because I'm nicer,' said one woman marching in London yesterday. 'I'm opposed because I'm informed.' ...

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

God Damn You

...and I mean that sincerely, George W. Bush
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Bin Laden's victory

A political system that delivers this disastrous mistake needs reform
by Richard Dawkins
Osama bin Laden, in his wildest dreams, could hardly have hoped for this. A mere 18 months after he boosted the US to a peak of worldwide sympathy unprecedented since Pearl Harbor, that international goodwill has been squandered to near zero. Bin Laden must be beside himself with glee. And the infidels are now walking right into the Iraq trap.

There was always a risk for Bin Laden that worldwide sympathy for the US might thwart his long-term aim of holy war against the Great Satan. He needn't have worried. read it all !
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Electronic Iraq Selections

Enheduanna's Lament to the Spirit of War

You hack everything down in battle...
You slice away the land and
charge disguised as a raging storm,
growl as a roaring hurricane,
yell like a tempest yells,
thunder, rage, roar, and drum,
expel evil winds!
Your feet are filled with anxiety!

Like a fiery monster
you fill the land with poison.
As a rage frrom the sky,
you growl over the earth,
and trees and bushes collapse before you.

You're like blood rushing down a mountain,
Spirit of hate, greed and anger,
dominator of heaven and earth!
Your fire wafts over our tribe,
mounted on a beast,
with indomitable commands, you decide all fate.

You triumph over all our rites.
Who can fathom you?

circa 2300 B.C.
via Electronic Iraq

Spring Morning: After "Shock & Awe"
Kathy Kelly, Iraq Peace Team
22 March 2003
Here in Baghdad, along the Tigris River, a gentle dawn and the sweetest of birdsongs were more precious than ever following a horrific night of intense bombardment. With the calm morning came relief after learning that the families of friends who work at the hotel are "o.k." Abu Hassan, a pro at charades, pantomimed what happened in his home. He pointed to the windows in my room, held up five fingers, touched the floor and then affirmed, “Finished.” Five windows had shattered. Then he swung his arms around to imitate a ceiling fan, also “finished,” – it had crashed to the floor, and next he crouched down with his hands on his head to indicate what the children had done. Riyadh then told us that his brother and father were “finished” in the 1991 Gulf War – making a gesture of falling asleep, which meant that both had been killed during the war, and then he mimicked wiping tears from his eyes to explain that his mother had wept through the night, remembering past agony while quivering through the present one. Abu Hassan and Riyadh live in the impoverished Saddam City section of Baghdad. more

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, March 22, 2003

No Sign of Scuds or Banned Arms in Iraq Yet -U.S.

U.S. forces in Iraq of the have yet to find any evidence suspected chemical or biological weapons that prompted the invasion, a U.S. general said on Saturday.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, vice director for operations on the U.S. military's Joint Staff, also told a briefing that none of the missiles fired by Iraq so far in the war had been a Scud.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Deep Concerns

by Noam Chomsky; March 20, 2003
At this grim moment, we can do nothing to stop the ongoing invasion. But that does not mean that the task is over for people who have some concern for justice, freedom, and human rights. Far from it. The tasks will be more urgent than before, whatever the outcome of the attack. And about that, no one has any idea: not the Pentagon, the CIA, or anyone else. Possibilities range from the horrifying humanitarian catastrophes of which aid and relief agencies that work in Iraq have been warning, to relatively benign outcomes – though even if not a hair is harmed on anyone’s head that will in no way mitigate the criminality of those willing to subject helpless people to such terrible risks, for their own shameful purposes.

As for the outcomes, it will be a long time before preliminary judgments can be made. One immediate task is to lend what weight we can to more benign outcomes. That means, primarily, caring for the needs of the victims, not just of this war but of Washington’s vicious and destructive sanctions regime of the past ten years, which has has devastated the civillian society, strengthened the ruling tyrant, and compelled the population to rely on him for survival. As has been pointed out for years, the sanctions therefore undermined the hope that Saddam Hussein would go the way of other murderous tyrants no less vicious than he. That includes a terrible rogues gallery of criminals who were also supported by those now at the helm in Washington, in many cases to the last days of their bloody rule: Ceausescu, to mention only one obvious and highly pertinent case.

Elementary decency would call for massive reparations from the US; lacking that, at least a flow of aid to Iraqis, so that they can rebuild what has been destroyed in their own way, not as dictated by people in Washington and Crawford whose higher faith is that power comes from the barrel of a gun.

But the issues are much more fundamental, and long range. Opposition to the invasion of Iraq has been entirely without historical precedent. That is why Bush had to meet his two cronies at a US military base on an island, where they would be safely removed from any mere people. The opposition may be focused on the invasion of Iraq, but its concerns go far beyond that. There is growing fear of US power, which is considered to be the greatest threat to peace in much of the world, probably by a large majority. And with the technology of destruction now at hand, rapidly becoming more lethal and ominous, threat to peace means threat to survival. more

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Marchers stretched more than three miles down Broadway in New York City

"Unofficial estimates put the crowd at 150,000 to 250,000.
"Unilateral action is something the U.S. wants to discourage in the world. The downside is this (war) is setting a precedent, that this is OK," said Fred Wood, a computer scientist from Arlington, Va."

Protests Are Worldwide
Worldwide protest against the US-led war on Iraq shows no sign of abating with many demonstrations planned for today.

Anti-war protests sweep Africa
In the coastal town of Mombasa in Kenya, hundreds of youths marched carrying placards and banners, with messages condemning the United States government and Britain.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Paratroopers interested in anti-war sentiment

...almost all they ask about are the war protests back in the United States. They only get snippets of information about life back home, and want to know how widespread the protests are, and how common the anti-war feelings are...

...I asked if he thought some protesters might be against the war, but still support the troops. I've heard a couple of dozen soldiers talking about the protests, and this is a distinction I haven't heard them raise. It may also be a distinction that protesters haven't thought about much. When soldiers ask me about the protests, I bring this up as a possibility, but few buy the idea...

I think it's very important that these distinctions are clear. If they haven't considered the possibility, then we aren't making that distinction clear enough.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

We should all Shut Up??

Bush set sights on Saddam after 9/11 and never looked back. In his march to war, President Bush inadvertently united the people of the world as he pushed for and implemented a war without anyone's permission. Although Bush is not bothered by inconsistencies (or lies ) many of us are. We are bothered that the USA lied about Iraq's weapons. We are bothered that House Budget Resolution Will Slash $9.7 Billion from Veterans Medical Care and $15 Billion from Disability Compensation and Other Benefit Programs. As we set our sights on the World Time Clock, Let's be clear about what this war is, and what it is not.

We have a little matter called the Master Plan (PNAC) which includes Richard Perle's motivation for the article in which he declared Thank God for the death of the UN , and the issue of Insiders Making Billions in the War on Terrorism and headlines such as this: Dollar soars as air bombing of Iraq begins and, Halliburton profits from business in Iran while three of our precision bombs inadvertantly go astray in Western Iran. The US actions in the Middle East spur unexpected 'reforms' inconsistent with US ambitions for the region

We have moral inconsistencies as well. A recent Gallup poll shows that church-going Americans are more likely to support war against Saddam Hussein than are Americans as a whole. while the leadership body of major Churches deplore war in Iraq .

We have major problems with the interpretation of our Constitution by Justice Scalia.

We are moving dangerously close to having a state controlled media.

Senator Biden says, "we should all shut up."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, March 21, 2003

World Poetry Day

Lost in a sea of pillows
looking for words
inside the arms of thought
mechanical birds
flying in the mountains
lost native wings
the red cloud of the desert
a mushroom it brings
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Pay attention Joe Biden:

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we
are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and
servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
- Theodore Roosevelt (1918)
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Will Bush Be Impeached?

A Reckless Path
Good questions by conservative writer Paul Craig Roberts. I still can't bring myself to link to the Washington Times, so I found it online elsewhere. If you'd rather read it in the times, here's the URL:

Will Bush be impeached? Will he be called a war criminal? These are not hyperbolic questions. Mr. Bush has permitted a small cadre of neoconservatives to isolate him from world opinion, putting him at odds with the United Nations and America's allies.
What better illustrates Mr. Bush's isolation than the fact that he delivered his March 16 ultimatum to the U.N. concerning Iraq from an air base in the Azores, where there was no prospect for massive demonstrations against his policy. Standing with Mr. Bush against the world were Britain and Spain.
The U.S., once a guarantor of peace, is now perceived in the rest of the world as an aggressor. Its victim is a small Muslim nation unable to defend its own air space, much less to project power beyond its borders. If Iraqis attempt to resist invasion, they will be slaughtered.
On the eve of Mr. Bush's ultimatum, it came to light that a key piece of evidence used by the Bush administration to link Iraq to a nuclear weapons program is a forgery. Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has asked the FBI to investigate the origin of the forged documents that the Bush administration used to make its case that Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. more

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

What a great town I live in! I was thinking all evening as I watched people gather for the protest how lucky I am to live in a town that respects the rights of people and gives people the space to protest. No herding of the crowd by the police, instead, the communication lines were well established and the roads were blocked accordingly to allow for peaceful dissent.
I was only there for the evening but Bob, who helped organise, was there much of the day. His account of the day is inspiring and hopeful. He writes a proactive view of the next steps we should all consider taking.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Clear Channel and Bush Connections

Some of the biggest rallies this month have endorsed President Bush's strategy against Saddam Hussein, and the common thread linking most of them is Clear Channel Worldwide Inc., the nation's largest owner of radio stations. You recall the recommended radio playlists after Sept 11? There are more media recommendations now.
...R. Steven Hicks and his brother Tom both founded major radio companies that merged in ’99 into AMFM, Inc. After Clear Channel Communications devoured AMFM later that year, Tom Hicks became its vice chair. Tom Hicks made Bush a millionaire 15 times over when he bought the Texas Rangers in ’99....
...Tom Hicks heads the corporate raider firm Hicks Muse Tate & Furst (Bush’s No. 4 career patron). Hicks Muse long wanted to tap the $13-billion University of Texas (UT) endowment for its takeover deals. As Bush assumed office in ’95, Hicks was confirmed as a University of Texas Regent and hired lobbyists to push a bill creating the UT Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO). more
UPDATE: Channels of Influence by Paul Krugman March 25 article

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


The No War Wiki has gathered a lengthy collection of lies hoisted on us by the administration. Which has more negative implications for the security of the world, a lie about a blow job, or lies designed to expand an imperial fascist world power? Are we willing to be lied to further, or are we willing to push for impeachment?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Do You Support Impeachment?

Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) is tallying support for impeachment of Bush & Co. Please send him an e-mail: Now!
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Much More Democratic Obstruction

Democrats move to kill an entire slate of Bush nominees.
Acting in concert, Michigan Democratic Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow told the Judiciary Committee they will block the nominations of Richard Griffin, David McKeague, Susan Bieke Neilson, and Henry Saad to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, Levin and Stabenow said they will block the nomination of Thomas Ludington to a seat on the U.S. District Court. That means the two senators are attempting to kill every Bush nominee from the state of Michigan.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

NSC Senior Director for counter-terrorism has suddenly resigned

More about Rand Beer's resignation here and at Moonie Times here
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Arrogance of Power

Today, I Weep for my Country...
by US Senator Robert Byrd
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

An Opposition Reader

A Clickable Compendium On The Iraq War at TomPaine
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Vocabulary word of the day


SYLLABICATION: spe.cies.jack
PRONUNCIATION: spee-shiz'-jak
TRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: species.jacked,, species.jacks
1a. Informal. To stop and rob a class of individuals or objects grouped by virtue of their common attributes and assigned a common name, i.e., the human race; humankind. b. To steal (hope, good-will, destiny, future, determination) from a species in transit. c. To seize control of or be controlled by (a sovereign, occasionally maddening country run by a psychopathic leader and his aides) by use of pre-emptive force, rapid dominance or shock and awe, especially in order to reach an alternate geopolitical stance. 2a. To steal from (humanity) as if by hijacking. b. To swindle or subject to extortion (of global proportions).
NOUN: The act or an instance of speciesjacking.
ETYMOLOGY: Probably back-formation from highjacker, perhaps from jacker, holdup man, from jack, to jacklight.
OTHER FORMS: speciesjacker --NOUN
from allaboutgeorge

I search for the language
that is also yours--
Almost all our language has been taxed by war.
--Allen Ginsberg

and to further expand...a video by Craig (.mov quicktime required)
To Evolve a Species

If you want to evolve a species what you do is you keep it from becoming adult.
--Timothy Leary
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Bush cites al-Qaeda link to justify Iraq attack in formal justification to Congress

George Bush on Wednesday sent Congress a formal justification for invading Iraq, citing the attacks on the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001.
The Constitution gives Bush authority to "take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001," the note said.

White House spokesperson Sean McCormack said the reference is to Iraq. Bush has said Iraq has links with al-Qaeda, the organization blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Other countries remain unconvinced about the link.

No words I care to print about this except for...

Where is the evidence?

Unbelievable distrust for our system. Impeachment links below.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Government has room to scale back individual rights during wartime

without violating the Constitution Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Tuesday.
Here we go, it's going to get ugly. Red alerts akin to house arrest in NJ.
Now, more than ever, we need to stand for our rights, speak out, and change our regime at home.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Into the Darkness

By William Rivers Pitt

Welcome to the timeline
read it
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Carl Levin Senate Floor Speech March 17

..."The issue is not whether we need the UN's permission to use force - we don't. The issue is whether it would be wise to have its support, and whether we will be more secure from terrorists and other threats if we initiate a military action against Iraq without the support of the world community. If there were an imminent threat against us, we would not and should not hesitate to use force. But attacking in the absence of an immediate threat is a very different scenario with very different risks..."full text of speech

I'm proud to say this is my representative. One of the very few who did not give Bush a blank check in October and one of the few who still asks questions. Where are the others??
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Confronting Our Fears So We Can Confront the Empire

...I think people all over the world whose capacity to feel has not been occluded by power or hate are feeling something like this. It is not a fear of terrorists or weapons of mass destruction or even necessarily of this particular war, as frightening as all those things may be. I believe it is a fear of something more difficult to pin down, a fear of the forces that will be unleashed when the United States defies the world and launches a war that -- while couched in talk of protecting people from threats -- is so obviously about projecting U.S. power to achieve a kind of world domination that was never possible before....

...This fear I feel is not just of the unchecked power of the United States but of the fact that Bush and his advisers seem to think they understand their own power and can control it. It is the arrogance of virtually unlimited power married to lifelong privilege. It is hubris, and in a nuclear world there is no sin that is potentially more deadly....

...If you feel this fear and aren't sure that, in the face of it, you can remain involved -- or get involved for the first time -- in the antiwar movement, all I can say is, "Where else will you go?" If we retreat into our private spaces, thinking we can hide, we will find out quickly that this fear will follow us everywhere.

Our only way out is together, in public, facing not only our fears but the fears that others will project onto us, and inviting them to join us. It will be painful. It will carry with it certain risks. But it is the only way we can hang onto our own humanity....more

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

We have officially become an aggressor nation.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Another Lie

The United States says American forces will enter Iraq to search for weapons of mass destruction even if President Saddam Hussein complies with an ultimatum to leave.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

This Is War

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Cook's resignation speech

Ironically, it is only because Iraq's military forces are so weak that we can even contemplate its invasion. Some advocates of conflict claim that Saddam's forces are so weak, so demoralised and so badly equipped that the war will be over in a few days.

We cannot base our military strategy on the assumption that Saddam is weak and at the same time justify pre-emptive action on the claim that he is a threat.

Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term - namely a credible device capable of being delivered against a strategic city target.

It probably still has biological toxins and battlefield chemical munitions, but it has had them since the 1980s when US companies sold Saddam anthrax agents and the then British Government approved chemical and munitions factories.

Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for 20 years, and which we helped to create?
full text of speech

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Things to Come

A look at Things to Come, There will absolutely be no dissension expect more Lies, Damned Lies, and Ultimatums and questions whether the Attack on Iraq could turn Bush into criminal and probably no further questions about The Corporations That Supplied Iraq's Weapons Program.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

A faith-by-faith guide to where the major religious denominations stand on war with Iraq

Only the Southern Baptist Convention supports the war.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Full text of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 on the disarmament of Iraq

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

To Washington

Eight years of peace and prosperity
Scandal in the White House
An election is what we need
From coast-to-coast to Washington

So America voted on a president
No one kept count
On how the election went
From Florida to Washington

Goddamn, said one side
And the other said the same
Both looked pretty guilty
But no one took the blame
From coast-to-coast to Washington

So a new man in the White House
With a familiar name
Said he had some fresh ideas
But it's worse now since he came
From Texas to Washington

And he wants to fight with many
And he says it's not for oil
He sent out the National Guard
To police the world
From Baghdad to Washington

What is the thought process
To take a humans life
What would be the reason
To think that this is right
From heaven to Washington
From Jesus Christ to Washington

download John Mellencamp's song here
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Serbia-Montenegro Council of Ministers appointed

The Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro elected on Monday the Council of Ministers to be headed by the Serbia and Montenegro President, Svetozar Marovic. The Council of Minister comprises five ministers: foreign affairs, defence, international economic relations, internal economic relations, and human and minority rights.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Papandreou vows to get Serbia in EU

Standing over the grave of Zoran Djindjic on Saturday, and addressing the assassinated Serb prime minister, Foreign Minister George Papandreou vowed that Greece would do all possible to get Serbia into the European Union.

"I swear to you, Zoran, that our vision of Serbia joining the European Union will become reality. As a Greek I swear eternal friendship with the Serb people," a moved Papandreou said. He was representing Greece and the EU presidency. Hundreds of thousands attended the funeral at Belgrade's Saint Sava Cathedral.

Papandreou and his aides played a key role in helping Djindjic and the Serb opposition topple Slobodan Milosevic from the Serb leadership in 2000. Greeks and Serbs have enjoyed a strong friendship over centuries. Both are Orthodox Christian nations which fought wars of liberation against the Ottoman Empire. Greece was Yugoslavia's greatest supporter in the EU during Milosevic's reign, but Papandreou's Foreign Ministry helped oust the Yugoslav leader and maintained close ties with the new government.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, March 17, 2003

Draft Impeachment Resolution Against President George W. Bush

I had problems with my page loading quickly when using the vote to impeach logo so I took it off the page for now. Hopefully the site is getting a lot of traffic which makes loading slow!

There is another place you can visit. Impeach Bush Now, led by Professor Francis Boyle at the University of Illinois. You can reach both sites from the 'Impeach Bush Now' link. View the Draft Impeachment Resolution by Frances Boyle here. I know, at this point it's a long shot, but we can't sit by and do nothing.
Thanks to Estimated Prophet for this info. His link to a Granny D article pulled me up.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The Three Strategic Fallacies of the Bush Administration

  • American Global Hegemony
    George W. Bush has adopted, as official U.S. policy, the grand strategy of unilateral American global hegemony or domination devised by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and other leading 'neoconservatives' during the 1990s..
  • Preventive War
    The Bush administration has announced that it reserves the right to invade countries and topple regimes that pose speculative-not imminent-threats to the United States.
  • The War on Terror
    The conceptual confusion of the Bush administration is at its worst and most dangerous in its approach to terrorism. This administration has used the vague term 'the war on terror' to treat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to 'rogue states' like Iraq and North Korea and anti-American terrorism by non-state groups like al-Qaeda as one phenomenon instead of two. more
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party

Bookmark this, read it and understand it!
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

I was okay as long as I thought the voices of world opinion mattered, that somehow the very idea of the US attacking another country not posing an immediate and imminent threat to anyone, would be channeled into something productive through diplomatic means.

Now that it's obvious a long planned strategy is being implemented by the hand of some power hungry religious fanatic which will effectively destroy all meaning to the idea of democracy and unleash violent destruction world wide, I find myself barely functional.

The spark that was, the hope that was, the country that was, the person I was...
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Declaring Opposition to Federal Measures That Infringe on Civil Liberties

This is New Mexico

This is New Mexico's New Bill
The state of New Mexico has passed a bill that affirms Constitutional liberties, no matter what the Feds say. The bill instructs state cops to refuse to cooperate in unconstitutional searches and wiretaps, to abstain from assisting the INS and to ignore TIPS snitches. Likewise, librarians are required to post signs warning patrons that the FBI could be snooping on their reading habits, and the state official in charge of homeland security is required to get twice-annual disclosure from the Feds about the names and dispositions of every victim of unconstitutional secret arrest, detainment and surveillance. found at incuBLOGula via BB

The town I live in now has passed a similar resolution, but this is the first State resolution that I know of.
During these times in which our Constitutional rights are being chiseled away by the federal government, secret trials and secret evidence are being legitimized by the PATRIOT Act, individuals are being jailed for months without charge, and fear is being used as a tool for shaping domestic policy, it is up to local governments to take a stand for due process, civil liberties, and human rights. For more information about getting a resolution like this passed in your community
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Giant Kroger Plus Shoppers Card

I had just finished the last bite of my french bread pizza and was relaxing with my glass of fine wine, when there was a knock at the door. I was going to ignore it, as I often do, but the knock was persistent and loud.

Grudgingly I opened the door and saw him, a Giant Kroger Plus Shoppers Card, his eyes, peering through the embossed advertisement of fruit were familiar in an eerie way. They had the sunken dark-circle effect of a WWII nazi general, the tell-tale sign of a man who has never had good sex, and probably never will. Yes, the eyes of a man intimidated by the breast of a statue, and calico cats.

"Yes?", I asked, through a half open door.

The Giant Kroger Plus Card pushed his rectangular body against the door, flinging it so hard the doorknob hit the wall. "Ya got a minute? I'm here to ask about purchases you made this past Sunday morning, purchases you made, mind you, when you should have been at church."

"Yes, go on", I replied, trying to recall if one of the new rules of this emerging society mandated I go to church. I didn't think so, after all, this is America. That couldn't happen, could it?

"Your shopping habits are subject to scrutiny, and the data-cruncher in our Kroger database, which has yet to be cross-checked with other data, has shown you to be highly suspect. In addition to shopping on Sunday, it shows you've had a habit of buying French products, jalapeno flavored hummus and pita bread, incense, zig-zags, and french bubble bath. Oh, yes, raspberries and grapes from Chile are also red flags. Organic milk doesn't help your case one iota either ma'am", he bellowed.

"My case?" I asked, blinded by the absurdity of this Giant Kroger Plus Card on my doorstep.

"Well, ma'am, we don't even need to have a case to haul you away. I can simply imply you're a terrorist and be off with you. However, I want to test the capability of the newly developed data-mining that we've spent big bucks on, therefore, I won't be hauling you away just yet. It's a grand hobby of mine to instill fear and demand complicity. Have a pleasant evening and I'll see you at the Assembly of God Church next Sunday. Oh, yes, we will be paying attention to your monetary donations. The faith based abstinence program Free Teens USA will be a prime beneficiary. Our media financier Rev Moon founded the program and it will please him. I'm sure you agree that those irresponsible safe sex education programs only prove to make sex attractive to teens."

I locked the door.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Serbia's Lesson

Police states don't just fade away. Their remnants persist -- through deeply intertwined networks of secret police, paramilitary units and criminal groups that have enriched themselves while serving as pillars of support to tyrants. No one knew this more than Zoran Djindjic, the pro-reform Serbian prime minister who was assassinated on Wednesday. And no one appears to know this less than Bush administration officials who assume that sweeping tyranny from Iraq will be as simple as a few days of precision bombing. more
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

March 16 Freedom of Information Day

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." --The Constitution of the United States, Amendment 1
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Companies to Boycott

You'll notice that I added a banner for 'vote to impeach' at the top of this page. Because it's drafted by Ramsey Clark, I will assume he has his legal bearings in order. He isn't calling for just the impeachment of Bush. "Mr. Clark has also prepared historical notes on the power of impeachment, for consideration in the impeachment of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and Attorney General Ashcroft".
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from
Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and

Read the Articles of Impeachment
Momentum! Grow it!. We the People.
You can also boycott companies that make significant financial contributions to this administration.
Taking our voice for Peace to the next level.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Medical marijuana bill passes Senate

MONTPELIER -- A bill that would allow people with serious illnesses to legally possess and use marijuana to alleviate their symptoms passed the Senate Thursday with broad bipartisan support and now moves to the House for consideration.

The 22-7 vote came after senators amended the bill to require minors under age 18 to have a parent or guardian sign the application to participate in the medical marijuana program.
Supporters of the bill stressed that they were not changing marijuana’s status as an illegal drug. more

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, March 14, 2003

Serbian premier's killing has "enormous" political repercussions

The political repercussions of the murder will be enormous and extensive. Djindjic was the leader of a reform-minded group, the motivator behind all reforms, favouring closer ties with Europe and cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Obituary: Zoran Djindjic
A former philosophy teacher, Mr Djindjic first came to international attention when, in October 2000, he spearheaded the popular demonstrations which toppled the then Serbian leader, Slobodan Milosevic.

"The spiral of violence and political murders, in which politicians and criminals play the danse macabre hand in hand, has long been a characteristic of Serbia." (see The July Crisis 1914)
~Croatia's Vjesnik
What next? Stunned Serbs fear for the future
Web Site of Serbian Government
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Straight from the horse's mouth into the notebook

Spotlight on Huxley from Liberty Think
and more! What happened to Aldous Huxley via abuddhas memes
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Book Review: Out Of Sight

by Clive James
The curious career of Aldous Huxley.

...time might have arrived for Huxley's return to the discomfort zone, where we have to deal with what he said as a permanently disturbing intellectual position rather than dismissing it as an obsolete set of fads and quirks. How should we live? Can nothing harmonize the turbulence of our existence? How can we stop development from destroying the human race? The questions that racked his brain are still with us. They drove him to mysticism in the end. If we don’t want them to do the same to us, we had better find out how so brilliant a man should come to believe in the All, the Good, the Transcendental, and a lot of other loftily capitalized words that look like panic disguised as tranquillity...

...He wasn't the only one who thought that industrial society was turning out too many idiots, and he was on the side of the angels, or seemed so, in proclaiming that one of the greatest dangers the idiots posed was that they might elect dictators. Not liking dictators qualified him as a progressive in a period when George Bernard Shaw saluted Hitler as an exemplar of creative energy and H. G. Wells nose-dived to the foot of Stalin's throne. As early as 1928, in "Point Counter Point," the crowning novel of his early success, Huxley had created a British proto-Fascist called Everard Webley....
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Collection of the National Museum of the Central Bank of Ecuador presents: Sex in Prehistoric Times
Pieces from the exhibition Eros in Ecuatorian Art
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Serbia under state of emergency after assassination

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Waiting for War -- In White House

This one's for Bob who says "no way". Of course he's right. I was snowed for awhile thinking we had a glimpse of sanity in all this mess, but still, if it could only happen...
The key now is Powell. He could unhinge the Bush administration in a New York minute. He’s never been fully trusted by the Bush innermost circle. He wasn’t among the group of advisers who briefed Bush in Austin as he prepared for a presidential campaign in 1999. More important, Powell has too much of an independent political (and media) base to suit the president. Bush values loyalty above all, and he likes to dominate the room. He doesn’t like knowing that one critical word from Powell could cause chaos in Washington.
Is there one, and will we hear it? more
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

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.


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.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The legal case for war with Iraq

The prohibition of the use of force is a foundational rule of international law. Only two exceptions are permitted: the use of force in self-defence, or with the express authorisation of the UN security council exercising its powers under chapter VII of the UN charter.

The article addresses these questions:
  • Is war illegal without a second UN resolution?
  • What about UN resolution 1441?
  • Why, then, does the government say there is a legal case for war?
  • Did the UN give permission for military action in Kosovo?
  • Are there any other precedents for action such as that which is being contemplated over Iraq?
  • Could the UK be prosecuted under international law?
  • Could Tony Blair follow Slobodan Milosevic into the dock?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, March 13, 2003

War out of compassion

This is how most of the world sees the US
from Der Spiegel Cover Story
By attacking Baghdad, US president George W. Bush wants to fulfill a divine order. In the highly religious United States, there has rarely been such a deep connection between national power interests and fundamentalist false piety. Christian fanatics are calling for a crusade against Islam.

via Seeing the Forest
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Video of MOAB test

I haven't been able to get into blogger for most of the morning. It seems to be up now.
Here is the video(real player file) that my referrer logs indicate people are searching for. It's a blatant display of destruction that I find disgusting. I'm not sure why I'm even putting a link here, except perhaps with the hope that others see it and agree.
There is more info on the MOAB below and here: Detonations And Deceit
More importantly, if you're looking for an indepth account into the history of weapons of this nature having been already utilized, and the ongoing destruction and aftermath read Into the Lake of Fire.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Anti War Songs

Bold Marauder
By Richard Farina

It's hi, ho, hey,
I am the bold marauder.
And hi, ho, hey,
I am the white destroyer.

For I will bring you silver and gold
And I will bring you treasure
And I will bring a widowing flag
And I will be your lover
And I will show you grotto and cave
And sacrificial altar
And I will show you blood on the stone
And I will be your mentor

And night will be our darling
And fear will be our name

It's hi, ho, hey,
I am the bold marauder.
And hi, ho, hey,
I am the white destroyer.

For I will take you out by the hand
And lead you to the hunter
And I will show you thunder and steel
And I will be your teacher
And we will dress in helmet and sword
And dip our tongues in slaughter
And we will sing a warrior’s song
And lift the praise of murder

And Christ will be our darling
And fear will be our name

It's hi, ho, hey,
I am the bold marauder.
And hi, ho, hey,
I am the white destroyer.

For I will sour the winds on high
And I will soil the river
And I will burn the grain in the field
And I will be your mother
And I will go to ravage and kill
And I will go to plunder
And I will take a fury to wife
And I will be your father

And death will be our darling
And fear will be our name
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Serbian premier assassinated

The pro-reform, pro-Western leader was shot in the stomach and in the back outside government offices at around 1300 (1200 gmt), and died of his wounds in hospital...
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Senate Remarks: America the Peacemaker Becomes America the Warmonger

Excellent! US senator Robert C. Byrd
...I believe this coming war is a grave mistake, not because Saddam Hussein does not deserve to be disarmed or driven from power, not because some of our allies object to war, but because Iraq does not pose an imminent threat to the security of the United States. There is no question that the United States has the military might to defeat Saddam Hussein, but we are on much shakier ground when it comes to the question of why this nation, under the current circumstances, is rushing to unleash the horrors of war on the people of Iraq....

....The world is awash in anti-Americanism. The doctrine of preemption enshrined in the Bush Administration's national security strategy -- the policy on which the war with Iraq is predicated -- has turned the global image of the United States from that of a world class peacemaker into what many believe is dangerous warmonger....

....War against Iraq may prove to be a fatal distraction from the war on terror. The danger to Americans today is from al Qaeda. Intelligence officials predict that war with Iraq will precipitate a new wave a terrorism against the United States and its allies, and will serve as a powerful recruiting tool for anti-American extremists....

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Pat Robertson's Reward (Tom Paine)

In this rather long but extremely informative article, Bill Berkowitz explores a very complicated issue.
If Bush *is* a religious fanatic, and has unlimited power we are in for one rough ride. We cannot be complacent. I can't even begin to understand it all, but what I do understand scares me terribly. I'd love some feedback.

Jewish Conservatives Join Forces With Christian Evangelicals
by Bill Berkowitz

How seriously do American Christians consider the "end times"? According to Time: 36 percent of Americans believe "the Bible is the word of God and is to be taken literally"; 59 percent believe "the prophecies in the Book of Revelation will come true"; 35 percent "say they are paying closer attention to news events and how they relate to the coming end of the world since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11"; and 36 percent "support Israel...because they believe in biblical prophecies that Jews must control Israel before Christ will come again."

Please also see : Whose War?
and The Unannounced Reason Behind American Fundamentalism's Support for the State of Israel which states: "In order for most of today’s Christians to escape physical death, two-thirds of the Jews in Israel must perish, soon. This is the grim prophetic trade-off that fundamentalists rarely discuss publicly, but which is the central motivation in the movement’s support for Israel."

I don't know many fundamentalists personally, but I had a rather vigorous discussion with one person a while back and she is absolutely thrilled about the power Bush holds to bring about the 'rapture'. If we consider that 36% of Americans are fundamentalists and vote and support war accordingly, and another percentage are basing their pro-war stance on something else entirely, (racial, macho, misinformation..) that would explain the polls.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

It's time for Powell to resign

If Powell has any honor left:
John Kiesling (and John H. Brown) have shown their boss the way. It's time for Powell to show his true mettle and leave the fray while his honor is still relatively intact.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

When Bombs Fall, U.S. Will Join Ranks of War Criminals

by Robert Scheer
The maiming or killing of a single Iraqi civilian in an attack by the United States would constitute a war crime, as well as a profound violation of the Christian notion of just war. That is because the recent report of the U.N. inspectors has made indelibly clear that disarmament is working and that Iraq at this time poses no direct threat to the well-being of the American people....
.... Terrifyingly, we are hours away from doing irreparable harm to our democratic heritage by launching a risky, arrogant crusade that most of the world opposes, all at the behest of a small coterie of neoconservative ideologues plotting to remake the world in their image and who unfortunately have the ear of our accidental president.

All this in the name of the victims of 9/11, an attack carried out by Muslim fanatics originally embraced and trained by the U.S. during the Cold War and whose proven ties have been with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, not Iraq.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

I Vant to Be Alone

by Maureen Dowd
It will go down as a great mystery of history how Mr. Popularity at Yale metamorphosed into President Persona Non Grata of the world.

The genial cheerleader and stickball commissioner with the gregarious parents, the frat president who had little nicknames and jokes for everyone, fell in with a rough crowd.

Just when you thought it couldn't get more Strangelovian, it does. The Bush bullies, having driven off all the other kids in the international schoolyard, are now resorting to imaginary friends.

Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, spoke to the Veterans of Foreign Wars here yesterday and reassured the group that America would have "a formidable coalition" to attack Iraq. "The number of countries involved will be in the substantial double digits," he boasted. Unfortunately, he could not actually name one of the supposed allies. "Some of them would prefer not to be named now," he said coyly...more
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

U.S. tests massive bomb

Designed for use in 'psychological operations'
CNN video here
The U.S. Air Force tested a new 21,000-pound bomb Tuesday, dropping the device from a military transport plane over a test site at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida just after 2 p.m.
The Tuesday test was carried out at an Eglin Air Force Base test site, 60 miles east of Pensacola, Florida. The National Earthquake Information Center said it found no seismic activity as a result of the explosion.

more here, here and now, this...British Prime Minister Tony Blair faces enormous public opposition to his stance in support of Bush; which leads to this: We can do without Brits: Rumsfeld
War Crimes being based on the premise of world opinion.... and Bush stands alone.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Eglin ready to test MOAB today

A monster bomb with an explosive blast so massive it is similar to a nuclear weapon is scheduled to be tested at Eglin Air Force Base next week, possibly as early as Tuesday, a Pentagon official said.

Eglin would not comment on the test of the 21,000-pound MOAB, short for "massive ordnance air burst," and referred all questions about its development and testing to Pentagon officials.

So far, the MOAB has not been tested, said Gloria Cales, a spokeswoman for Air Force Headquarters at the Pentagon.
"Eglin's Air Force Research Lab started developing the technology for the weapon in 2002, it was scheduled to be ready for use this year " she said.
It is likely this test might be in preparation for an air strike on Iraq.

See also:Mother of All Bombs

The MOAB would be used in Iraq primarily and intentionally to cause high casualties. While US sources may say that the MOAB would be used in open country against the Iraqi military, there is every indication that the Iraqis will concentrate their forces in and around cities, especially Baghdad.

‘Massive Ordnance Air Burst’ Bomb Set to Go if War Begins
When and if the United States does go to war, military sources say the United States is preparing a monster new weapon to be used during the first nights.
It's called MOAB, short for 'massive ordnance air burst' bomb. It is a modern, bigger version of the 15,000-pound 'Daisy Cutter' used in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War and Afghanistan.

Sources say MOAB -- still experimental -- is a 21,000-pound bomb that will be pushed out the back of a C-130 transport and guided by satellite. Because it is not dropped by parachute, as was the old Daisy Cutter, the aircraft can let it go from far higher altitudes, making it safer for U.S. pilots.
The MOAB's massive explosive punch, sources say, is similar to a small nuclear weapon.

Reasonable, responsible, and righteous in proportion to the threat Iraq poses to the US? Proud, powerful provocation...What kind of pitiful people are we?

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, March 10, 2003

Pluto is a Planet Dammit!

I found this today:
Pluto may lose planet status

I remember Clyde Tombaugh fondly, having grown up in the town he taught. Desert skies and empty darkness, filled with a twinkle of possibility and wonder. Clyde Tombaugh found his possibility at the tender age of 23 and opened windows of mystery and hope.
Mike Finley took a walk with him in Future Shoes
"I always say that it feels nice to have discovered a planet," Tombaugh says. "Nice" might not be the most adequate word to describe such a claim, but then, what would be? The magnitude of the universe, Tombaugh says, has kept him from getting a swelled head about his achievements."

Sentimental it may be, but Pluto is just as much of a planet as my childhood dreams were real.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The "Bush & God" Scam: Don't Buy It

The Bush & God Scam argues:
As antiwar sentiment mounts, the White House may be using this "Bush and God" gambit as a way to say: Forget it. March and lobby as much as you want. Nothing can stop this Christian soldier from marching out to war.

and goes on to say:
Only two things can stop us. We could tear our alliance apart with internal squabbling and demands for ideological purity. More likely, we will slow our own momentum by convincing ourselves that war is inevitable, because Bush is an irrational fanatic. That is what I hear in antiwar circles, over and over again, far too often. The more we tell each other that our efforts are doomed to fail, the more we come to believe it.

If Bush is an irrational fanatic, then it is even more a duty of ours to stop him.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

George W. Bush: War criminal?

Is Pope John Paul II telling the world that if President George W. Bush goes ahead with his plans to invade Iraq without United Nations sanctions,the Catholic Church will consider Bush a war criminal?

"A war would be a defeat for humanity and would be neither morally nor legally justified", the Pope told Bush in a papal message delivered last week by a special envoy. "It is an unjust war."

This leads even conservatives like John McLaughlin, host of the syndicated McLaughlin Group and a longtime supporter of both conservative and Republican causes, to have second thoughts.

"The Pope is saying an invasion of Iraq would be criminal," says McLaughlin, who is also a former Jesuit priest. "A statement that strong cannot be ignored."....

...."I want to think my President is right in this cause," said a longtime Republican member of Congress on Saturday, "but I also have to listen to my conscience and the leader of my religious faith. The phone calls from my Republican district are running 4-1 against invading Iraq. I also have to listen to my constituents."more

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Victory of the Loud Little Handful

After going back to pick up more from abuddhas memes about propaganda techniques, of which he has expanded on since I first linked a couple days ago, I was reminded of Mark Twain's "The War Prayer" which in turn, prompted me to dig this up:

Victory of the Loud Little Handful
Mark Twain, "The Mysterious Stranger" (1910)

The loud little handful - as usual - will shout for the war. The pulpit
will - warily and cautiously - object... at first. The great, big, dull
bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there
should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, "It is unjust and
dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it."

Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will
argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will
have a hearing and be applauded, but it will not last long; those others
will outshout them, and presently the antiwar audiences will thin out and
lose popularity.

Before long, you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the
platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men...

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the
nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those
conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse
to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince
himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he
enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Blitzer Transcript

Several segments here, including a segment with Sen Carl Levin of Michigan

I'm not willing to give anybody a veto over whether it's in our security interest to attack or initiate an attack on Saddam Hussein. If we are threatened, if there's an imminent threat or an immediate threat against us, we obviously will use military force. But there is no immediate or imminent threat against us.

So then the question is, is it wise for us without the U.N. authority to initiate that attack? And it seems to me that there the risks are huge. We will be isolated in the world. A likely terrorist response would be even fueled if we proceed without U.N. authority.

and... another segment in which Richard Perle tries to defend his own questionable business deals by accusing Seymour Hersh of being a terrorist!
BLITZER:There's an article in the New Yorker magazine by Seymour Hersh that's just coming out today in which he makes a serious accusation against you that you have a conflict of interest in this because you're involved in some business that deals with homeland security, you potentially could make some money if, in fact, there is this kind of climate that he accuses you of proposing.

Let me read a quote from the New Yorker article, the March 17th issue, just out now. "There is no question that Perle believes that removing Saddam from power is the right thing to do. At the same time, he has set up a company that may gain from a war."

PERLE: I don't believe that a company would gain from a war.(emphasis mine) On the contrary, I believe that the successful removal of Saddam Hussein, and I've said this over and over again, will diminish the threat of terrorism. And what he's talking about is investments in homeland defense, which I think are vital and are necessary.

Look, Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist, frankly.

BLITZER: Well, on the basis of -- why do you say that? A terrorist?

PERLE: Because he's widely irresponsible. If you read the article, it's first of all, impossible to find any consistent theme in it. But the suggestion that my views are somehow related for the potential for investments in homeland defense is complete nonsense.

BLITZER: But I don't understand. Why do you accuse him of being a terrorist?

PERLE: Because he sets out to do damage and he will do it by whatever innuendo, whatever distortion he can -- look, he hasn't written a serious piece since Maylie

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

After 777 days, the Bush agenda provides more questions than answers

by Cowboy Kahlil

Absolutely the most comprehensive assessment of the man and the machine, the implications, the history and the questions.
Required reading indeed.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Late Night Ramble

by George Partington (March 9 entry)
This is the end game of the military industrial complex. The department of defense has never been about defense; it has been about war, war for domination and subjugation both at home and abroad. You can feel it when you compare the budget for our military to the budget for education and social services. Or when you consider the fact that we have the nuclear capacity to kill every living thing on earth 77 times. Our military is not in our hands, as our country is not in our hands. There has been an extremist coup, and an extremist act of criminality was the shock needed to pounce, to push the power all the way, to finally take this military machine for a global spin. We are the world’s only superpower, there is nothing holding us back. And why, these extremists reason, should we wait, when our enemies may be gaining strength? more

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

War would be illegal

The UN charter outlaws the use of force with only two exceptions: individual or collective self-defence in response to an armed attack and action authorised by the security council as a collective response to a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression. There are currently no grounds for a claim to use such force in self-defence. The doctrine of pre-emptive self-defence against an attack that might arise at some hypothetical future time has no basis in international law. Neither security council resolution 1441 nor any prior resolution authorises the proposed use of force in the present circumstances.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Could it be that Jimmy Carter's voice in this NYTimes article Just War -- or a Just War? will be the mandatory nudge that gets the democratic process functioning again?
As a Christian and as a president who was severely provoked by international crises, I became thoroughly familiar with the principles of a just war, and it is clear that a substantially unilateral attack on Iraq does not meet these standards. This is an almost universal conviction of religious leaders, with the most notable exception of a few spokesmen of the Southern Baptist Convention who are greatly influenced by their commitment to Israel based on eschatological, or final days, theology.

There. Someone said it. Not just anyone. Now, had he gone just a little further and explained just how the Southern Baptist Convention spokesmen are playing Israel as a pawn to the end in a self-fulfilling prophecy, we might be getting somewhere.

Other news from the Washington Post:
For Bush, War Defines Presidency
"In the coming weeks, all signs indicate, President Bush will launch the first war without direct provocation in the nation's history.
The consequences of invading Iraq, supporters and opponents agree, will extend far beyond the Tigris and Euphrates. Repercussions of the war are likely to define not just the Bush presidency, but also the U.S. role in the world and even the course of domestic policy for years to come.
It is the largest of gambles -- except that Bush, in rhetoric and in temperament, sees it not as a gamble but as a historical inevitability." more

Since day one it's been clear to me that Bush was interested in making history, it doesn't matter what he's know for, simple history will do.

Other attention grabbers in the Washington Post:

A key piece of evidence linking Iraq to a nuclear weapons program appears to have been fabricated

Democrats Bemoan U.S. Image

GOP Leader Challenges Bush Statements

House Minority Leader Opposes War Now
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, March 08, 2003

The Mother of all Bombs

how the US plans to pulverise Iraq
The bomb, known as the Massive Ordnance Air Burst (MOAB) weapon, contains 9.5 tons of a very powerful explosive. It is intended primarily for targeting against infantry and armoured vehicles. It can kill people within several hundred metres of the point of detonation, and cause lung damage and other injuries over an even wider area.

The MOAB is an airburst weapon designed to be used against surface targets or shallow trenches, not deep underground bunkers. It represents a more powerful development of a 7.5 ton bomb, the BLU-82, originally produced during the US war in Vietnam; there, it was employed, among other things, for instant clearance of forest to provide helicopter landing zones. The BLU-82, sometimes called Big Blue or even daisy-cutter, was kept in the USAF weapons inventory after the end of the Vietnam war in 1975.
Take some time to read this. Maybe if everyone could feel as sick as I do after reading this, we could stop it from happening.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, March 07, 2003


A great Flash movie-Trip! I'm not sure if it ever ends! (requires Flash)
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Go For It Jim Capozzola!

not that I can vote for him, but the idea that he was somehow sparked into action, in part by the pulse of blogging interaction, which is clearly not regional, gives him an edge for seeing a bigger picture and acting accordingly.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Halliburton wins contract on Iraq oil firefighting

Shares of Halliburton: up $0.22 to $20.22, rose in midday trading.

Now isn't that just tidy..

Halliburton Theft Ups Terror Fears
Halliburton Co., the world's No. 2 oil field services firm, said Thursday it has started a probe involving U.S. and Nigerian government officials over theft of a radioactive device used at its Nigerian operations.
A report by the Wall Street Journal Thursday said officials were concerned that the device's radioactive material could be used to create a "dirty bomb," an explosive device designed to scatter radioactivity in a densely populated area.

Hmmm..not so tidy..
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Dear Mr. Vonnegut

Vonnegut has agreed, on an occasional basis, to entertain readers' questions. If you would like to submit a question, write to, and the editors will pass along your question to him.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Did I misunderstand this?

I think I'm missing something here. Does this not say to the effect, that to spend money further on a war, Congess will have to vote on a supplemental? If so, I think we have some quick work to do! (Please explain to me why I have it wrong, because to me, it seems like a second chance for Congress to rectify their huge mistake)

Q Mr. President, good evening. Sir, you've talked a lot about trusting the American people when it comes to making decisions about their own lives, about how to spend their own money. When it comes to the financial costs of the war, sir, it would seem that the administration, surely, has costed out various scenarios. If that's the case, why not present some of them to the American people so they know what to expect, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: Ed, we will. We'll present it in the form of a supplemental to the spenders. We don't get to spend the money, as you know. We have to request the expenditure of money from the Congress, and, at the appropriate time, we'll request a supplemental. We're obviously analyzing all aspects. We hope we don't go to war; but if we should, we will present a supplemental.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Propaganda Techniques

After listening rather carefully to Bush last night, in hindsight, I can see how a variety of these techniques were played out..
See especially: Categories of Plain Folk Devices: A VERY interesting read! Certainly an area we should be familiarizing ourselves with!
more at abuddhas memes
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Stealth Misogyny

Bush's War on Women

"From the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, now headed by a staunch opponent of affirmative action, to the Food and Drug Administration, which recently welcomed a doctor who advocates prayer as a treatment for PMS, stealth misogyny is making its mark."

"Take David Hager, Christ's messenger on PMS. As a physician, he refuses to discuss contraception with unwed female patients. Now he's part of the Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee at the FDA. An outcry forced Bush to withdraw Hager's nomination to head that panel, which, under Clinton, played a major role in legalizing RU-486, the drug that can terminate a pregnancy at the zygote stage. With the religious right pressing for repeal of that authorization, it remains to be seen who will chair this crucial committee. "
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

George W. Bush is Out of Control!

Bush IS Out of Control!
"This is about failed leadership, and the despoiling of everything that makes this place precious and unique and sacred."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Troops 'Told of March 17 Invasion'

with a huge bombing campaign being launched four days earlier
also see here

I listened to the press conference. I went into another room because I couldn't stand to watch it. The dishonesty perpetuated in the continual reference to 9/11 = Iraq by Bush makes me physically ill. His smugness is deplorable. The tone of his toned-down, unnatural-for-him rhetoric, screamed of falseness.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Division Multiplied

the whole
sliced by absolute lines
of fuzzy arithmetic
peaces broken
into factions of disunion
severed violently
from harmony

inverted perverted
multiplication of unity
propagating a newly formed Bush
spread by tubers and suckers
into an army of weeds

foundations of separation
melted into sludge
by the radiation of a vision
evangelical unification
the operand of division
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years, 1953-2002

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Aspirin may cut risk of throat cancer

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Have You Forgotten?

Wow...Ray Sweatman gave me an education this morning.
He has a response to a popular country song called "Have you Forgotten?" by Darryl Worley and Wynn Varble, if you must know. Yes, Ray has the original lyrics. Once you read them and realise where the 44% of the population who still think 'Osadama bin Lussein' get their education, you'll be rushing to read his finely crafted reply, "Don't You Know?"
I'm thinkin' Johnny Cash!
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Pope to Bush: Go into Iraq and you go without God

If he doesn't like what the pope has to say, what about the National Council of Churches?
Of God, and Man, in the Oval Office
I guess we'll see just how religious he is.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Bush faces "humiliating" defeat on UN resolution

Should I believe this:
We've always needed an exit strategy

"You will lose, Mr. President," Powell told Bush. "You will lose badly and the United States will be humiliated on the world stage."

Powell told Bush he has only four of the nine votes needed for approval of a second resolution. As a result, some White House advisors are now urging the President to back off his tough stance on war with Iraq and give UN weapons inspectors more time.

"We have no other choice," admits one Bush advisor. "We don't have the votes. We don't have the support."

Or should I believe this:
Iraq war in 10 days
'It will be soon, it will be swift and it will be short'

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

How to Fight Back

I just found this and haven't had time to read it indepth. It will be a few hours before I can get back to it, however, I can tell it's ripe with great info, resources and action ideas.
Go there now. via Seeing the Forest
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, March 03, 2003

Emergency Appeal to the U.N.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

On College Campuses, Students See Military With New Set of Eyes

Where are some of our 15 yr old boy's heads right now?
My son sent this article to me from one of his musical fan sites. It is a reply to the editor of the NY times regarding an article in which they were mentioned. The article was written Nov 26 2001.
Article headline: “On College Campuses, Students See Military With New Set of Eyes”.
Excerpt where Anti-Flag is noted: “Mr. Carpe said he used to worship
anti-establishment punk-rock groups like Anti-Flag, ‘but I feel totally
weird listening to that now.’ A fan of Neil Young, Bob Dylan and other
singer-song writer icons of the 60’s, he suddenly finds the lyrics of
protest to be off-key.”

An excerpt of their reply:
"Free speech and dissent are the backbone of democracy. In modern times, it has been the unofficial role of the artist to encourage alternative discourse and ideas."
The letter discusses domestic policy, and alternatives to militarization, and the demonization of artists who question.

My son is quite bright and sees the facism, but is beginning to feel discouragement, hopelessness, powerlessness and fear. He said, 'There's nothing we can do'.
A 15 yr old really has no voice, but the drive to defend a democracy has to be kept alive. I'm trying to give him an idea of what could be possible when information is shared and how to share it. I put the article up permanently in the musings/social issues section of this site.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Fierce cyber war predicted

There are far more implications than even this article relays. Take some time and grok.
CNN will retire this article Apr 2. I may try to salvage it somewhere

"President Bush already has signed a secret order to develop guidelines on launching cyberattacks. Once bombs start dropping, Bamford said, the military and intelligence communities will likely get all the authority they want. "

"They'll use this whole thing as a big training ground," Bamford said. "They'll experiment with everything they've been thinking about for a long time."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Los Alamos makes first map of ice on Mars

"Lurking just beneath the surface of Mars is enough water to cover the entire planet ankle-deep, says Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Bill Feldman.

It's becoming increasingly clear that Mars has enough water to support future human exploration," Feldman said. "In fact, there's enough to cover the entire planet to a depth of at least five inches, and we've only analyzed the top few feet of soil.”
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

New World Disorder Magazine

I'm going to treat myself to a break today and spend time reading the delectable goodies I see in the debut issue of New World Disorder Magazine
Where shall I begin??
I think I'll begin with the interviews... or, maybe the articles... umm...the editorial might be the logical place to start, but I'm not logical nor predictible.. Fiction...ah! the ultimate escape...

See ya there!
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Mastermind Died Six Months Ago?

This article was written in October, so who was it that was arrested yesterday, and why?

"Now it has emerged that Kuwaiti national Khalid Shaikh Mohammed did indeed perish in the raid, but his wife and child were taken from the apartment and handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in whose hands they remain."
Kurt Nimmo may have some answers. (March 2 entry)
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Lazy Links

Today I feel a little more like curling up with a book so I'll be lazy and throw some links up.
Many, you may have seen, but I want a place to keep them handy.

Poets' Basement
DoD News: Briefing on Human Shields in Iraq
Giant gas ring found encircling Jupiter
Ashcroft Out of Control by Nat Hentoff
Why does Bush push to silence free speech?
A sense of wonder Why are humans losing their sense of smell?
Michigan researchers achieve quantum entanglement of three electrons
Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war
Angry Hill Republicans say Bush is screwing his own party
Pounding the Pavement, Still
Blog Publishers Stealing Web Limelight
Bush not much of a soldier, as records shows
10 obvious, but overlooked, questions on Iraq
Bush and God
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Coalition of the Willing

Expanding on the entry below, I ran across these links at Testify, who promises more this weekend.
Attack not yet legal
Coalition of the "Willing"? -- Make That "War Criminals"
I was also reminded of this letter from veterans for peace:
Vets To Top US Military Commanders: Remember Nuremberg; an open letter to fifteen generals and admirals in the top ranks of the US Military advising them of their possible liabilities, under international law, to criminal prosecution for being part of a pre-emptive war against Iraq.

"We members of VFP remember well our military service. We swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We were informed of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the conviction and punishment of soldiers for following illegal orders. We were taught that we must not follow an illegal order. US military leadership must not only know and teach the obligations of international law but must respect and follow them."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

War Crimes

What is a war crime?

Rumsfeld says that human shields 'will be treated as such'.
"These are not tactics of war, they are crimes of war," Rumsfeld said earlier this month. "Deploying human shields is not a military strategy, it's murder, a violation of the laws of armed conflict and a crime against humanity, and it will be treated as such."
The Pentagon Releases a Proposed List of War Crimes to Be Judged by Tribunals, the final draft will be issued in early March.

How will the world look at this war? What are the implications if this is deemed an illegal war?
Follow Me Here has posted A Duty to Disobey All Unlawful Orders

"World opinion at the highest levels, and among the general population, is that a U.S. first strike on Iraq would be wrong, both politically and morally. There is also considerable evidence that Bush's plans are fundamentally illegal, from both an international and domestic perspective. If the war is indeed illegal, members of the armed forces have a legal and moral obligation to resist illegal orders, according to their oath of induction."

I don't know what the authors credentials relating to military/international law are, but he makes a very compelling argument.
I do believe that world opinion is the key here.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


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