Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Guns for Jesus

Terror for Christmas

Well the terror alert had been raised to high,
so our F-15's were patrolling the sky.
Keeping us safe, keeping us free,
protecting the homeland security.
Every day of the week, every week of the year,
we're armed to the teeth so we got nothing to fear---
except maybe,
fear itself.
Except maybe,
fear itself.

The kids were asleep all snug in their beds,
while visions of Predators shot through their heads.
They were slaughtering badguys like you wouldn't believe,
with their Hellfire missiles there on Christmas Eve.
They were pint-sized heroes in an army of one,
and for Jesus's birthday all they wanted was guns;
guns for Jesus,
and fear itself.
Guns for Jesus,
and fear itself.

Well the terrorists are always around,
so you better never lower your guard.
So while we celebrate the baby Jesus,
you know they're trying extra hard.

It was just after midnight and NORAD radar
showed that something big was coming in fast.
There was no time to think, and no time to argue,
act now or it might just be your last.
And they mighta thought twice,
and they mighta thought better,
but the terror was already so high,
well that was the night that the US Air Force
blew Santa Claus outta the sky.
We blew Santa Claus outta the sky.

And it was raining bits of blown up reindeer
for hours and hours on end,
and none of our jets,
and none of our missiles
could put Santa back together again.
And though fear and hate,
may keep you safe,
from everything the enemy sends,
the problem with answering fear with guns,
is that you're gonna end up killing your friends.
The trouble with answering fear with guns,
is that you always end destroying your friends.
With nothing to fear,
and nothing to love,
except maybe
fear itself.
Except maybe,
fear itself.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Text the Page

Text the Page

Well you watch the parents testify,
‘Til your day is through,
Out there in the hearing room,
what are they to do?
Victims of some predator,
but if they only knew-ew-ew

There I go,
grabbing my Blackberry,
Don’t I know
I should act my age.
There I go,
with the explicit emails,
There I go,
text the page.

You know they might not follow you,
all the friendly words you said,
you’re hoping that they’ll swallow you,
you both want to get ah-head.
You’ve got your towel all ready,
as you climb into your be-he-head.

There I go,
grabbing my Blackberry,
Don’t I know
I should act my age.
There I go,
with the explicit emails,
There I go,
text the page.

Other congressmen are busy,
there’s important work to do,
taking bribes from Abramoff,
making torture legal too.
No bid contracts for the oil wars,
but none of that’s for you.

There I go,
grabbing my Blackberry,
Don’t I know
I should act my age.
There I go,
with the explicit emails,
There I go,
text the page.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"A Guy Named Arkhipov Just Saved the World"

"A Guy Named Arkhipov Just Saved the World"

There are times when I wonder if I've ever achieved much, or anything really, anything worth mentioning in my entire life.

Remarkably these times occur most often when I'm applying for a job, or working on my resume. Which is to say, not so much when I'm just living my life, but most often when I'm trying to express the meaning of my life to others in terms that I think will most duly impress them. It's the business of what ought to impress others, or what they think most ought to impress them, it's at exactly those times that I'm most lost as to the meaning of my own life.

Which has made me covet a killer resume, one chock full of easily encapsulated nuggets of indisputable achievement, and which has given me a highly acute perceptiveness about what would make for the most awesome resume fodder.

Who wouldn't be thrilled, for example, to be able to claim, like Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union: First Woman in Space. Think of how you'd always be surprising potential employers, whetting their interest with the fact that you'd made it to space nearly 20 years before Sally Ride, and people would never know why Sally Ride's name was on the tip of their tongues, but Tereshkova would be almost anonymous.

Tim Berners-Lee, now there's a real jaw-dropper in my estimation. Imagine being able to line-item the entry on your resume: Invented the World Wide Web. This multi-media extended and enhanced electronic consciousness accessed by billions of people a day: we're talking boffo resume material here.

It's even to the point where I ponder resume entries for non-human life forms. I think back to those early methane-eating bacteria that first excreted oxygen and think what awesome bullet points that would make:

* first successful emission of atmospheric oxygen
* created the sky.

We're talking quadruple bold underscored italics here.!!!

But for some reason lately, I'm not sure why, the one line item that's been preoccupying me lately is for Vasily Arkhipov.

That's right, Vasily Arkhipov.

He was an officer on a Soviet submarine back during the Cuban missile crisis.

Unbeknownst to the boy-geniuses and turd blossoms of the Kennedy White House, the Russians had succeeded in putting nuclear warheads on their submarines by then, the same submarines that were escorting ships carrying nuclear missile technology to Cuba.

Moscow had given authority to the subs to launch their nuclear torpedoes if all three of the officers on board were in agreement that there was an all out war which would justify a nuclear response.

A U.S. ship, while supporting the "quarantine" of Cuba dropped depth charges to warn Arkhipov's sub away from approaching. Not recognizing this as a warning rather than an attack, two of the three Russian officers voted to launch their nukes. But Arkhipov said nyet. As Thomas Blanton of the National Security Archives puts it: "A guy named Arkhipov just saved the world."

How's that for a resume builder: SAVED THE WORLD.

Or would it be better as "Personally and singlehandedly saved the world."

"Prevented nuclear Armageddon?"

"Assured the continued survival of human life on this planet, temporarily at least."

Maybe it's because the God squad wackos in the White House these days keep talking about putting all sorts of crazy weapons in space, like putting plutonium up there, or putting giant bundles of kinetic tungsten in space to create Hiroshima equivalent instant death missiles they call "rods from God" in near earth orbit. Maybe its because they want to build a whole new generation of "bunker busting" nuclear weapons. Maybe its because one of the Pentagon's ten over-arching "commands" is called "space command", and the guy in charge of it is named General "Lord". Or maybe it's the sound of the words "full spectrum dominance", or the fact that 15 years after the end of the Cold War the U.S. still has a hare-trigger launch-on-warning posture meaning that nuclear war could easily be triggered by a radar-glitch. Maybe it's because of none or all of these, but lately the killer resume entry I can't stop thinking about is that one of Arkhipov's: SAVED THE WORLD.


Something even those methane-eating bacteria might be impressed by.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Rhetorical Pediatrics --- The Slam Edit

Rhetorical Pediatrics

Baby baby baby
baby baby baby
baby baby baby
light my way
--- Bono, U2

Baby. I love you so much I can't even begin to tell you.
Baby. I love you like
the ultimate four by four,
some cliff-climbing piece of Detroit V8 muscle machine,
the kind of thing that could scale the Matterhorn in cruise
control towing a god-damned 747 behind it like a paper plane.
Baby, yer just like that
but without the catalytic converter.
Baby. Yer like the ultimate calzone.
Some crisp-crusted mozarella-stuffed hunk of
scorching-oven, monkey-tongued, belly-bust basted
in dragon-flame tomato sauce.
Baby. I love you like (heh hah heh hah) Lamaze.
Baby. The minute I see you I start hyperventilating harder than
a phone-stalker on an ether binge, my pelvis contracting in rhythmic
spasms so strong I'm sure I'll give birth.
Baby. I love you like some mythological Greek river of forgetfulness.
Some Lethean passage into the afterlife, coz when you're near
I feel newly braced from that river, can't remember anything
or anyone else now I'm washed up here on the other shore of you.
Baby. I love you like some high-end supercomputer with more giga-hertz
than the Pentagon, more disc space than Motown, more Ram than a
shepherd, more cache than the Federal Reserve, --- totally
Baby. I love you like Osama bin Laden loves his cave.
Baby. Not the way some world banker loves some bantustan's
bagman, some sadistic Sese Seko-an psycho, but like a
French existentialist loves fast food and slow women, but
really loves the opposite.
Baby. I love you like Frank Gehry loves architecturally undulating titanium.
Baby, the way a charged particle loves a magnetic storm,
some foreign born invader thrashing through the atmosphere
in glowing swarming turbulence of borealis solar wind, some
cosmic kayaker churning in the dance of a whitewater sky.
You're my annihilation radiation.
Baby. I love you like the Bomu river, flowing 500 miles through a
central African republic to join the Uele and form the Ubangi.
Baby. I love you like a body builder loves a pose off.
Like a cigar loves a humidor.
Like a fight promoter loves trash talk.
Baby, baby, baby. I love you like some soot-caked dust-drenched, air-dropped
mountain wild-fire fighter loves a cloudburst, an effortless natural answer to a threat
with no human solution, a liquid prayer come true unifying the land, the sky,
the forest and the flame, man and woman in a single rain, like tears of joy,
eroding clean channels on thankful skin, soothed and cooled, a smile within a desperate and often aching life, a soft surcease from this world of pain.

--- Terry Provost

Friday, June 23, 2006

Arbeit Macht Frei

Last time I consulted the annals of ex post facto casus belli in Iraq, our official rationale for slaughtering 200,000 Iraqis was to free the Iraqi people. Hence the brand name, Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Why then are we using slave labor in support operations there?

To be precise, why are we paying Halliburton subsidiary KBR for its slave operations promoting freedom? Note in particular the fate of the 12 Nepalese mentioned by the Tribune at the above link.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Unwarranted warrantless totalitarian police state spying

The performance of the propaganda system in covering(up) the Bush/NSA totalitarian police state surveillance program is highly impressive. I just did two Google News searches, one using "warrantless surveillance" and the other "unwarranted surveillance."

1,690 hits for warrantless surveillance. 2 hits for unwarranted surveillance.

"Unwarranted" is a far more common word, as shown by 10 million hits, as opposed to 3.4 million for "warrantless" (a number that was probably much smaller before the propaganda system began evading the unwarranted nature of the current police state program.)

Using "unwarranted" makes clear from the get-go that the program was bogus. This however is not what the propaganda system is paid to do. Hence, "warrantless" is 845 times more likely.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Primum Non Nocere

Although not in the Hippocratic oath, the principle "first do no harm" does trace to Hippocrates.

The principle is not "first do no net harm."

Doing harm while not doing any net harm is a morally tenuous proposition routinely abused by for-profit medicine. Net harm cannot be honestly assessed by for-profit medicine, or by "non-profit" research funded by for-profit medicine.

For-profit medicine invariably stilts the terms of debate to favor for-profit harm.

This is how you get, for example, Vioxx. (See the VIGOR study.)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Amplified Noise Censorship

Everyone has the right to speak.

Only the rich have the right to be heard.

Information theory requires a signal-to-noise ratio of 1.0 or higher for signal to be detected. Thus any message signal can be effectively censored by amplifying the noise that surrounds it. Corporate media, i.e. the corporate propaganda system, functions to drown meaningful signals in meaningless for-profit noise.

I call this process “amplified noise censorship”.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Combating Poverty

In "Failed States", Chomsky notes the Bush administration reduced the projected budget for the Millenium Challenge Corporation "by billions of dollars." It had been set up to "combat poverty in the developing world."
(Chomsky, p.4)

What remarkable homonymy that "Millenium Challenge" refers also to the major U.S. war game preparatory to the invasion of Iraq, of which General William Wallace ("The enemy we're fighting is a bit different than the one we war-gamed against") apparently mis-spoke.

Not only that, but the war game was apparently rigged.

Combating poverty indeed.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Diebold: No Taxation without representation.

Although it’s convenient to be angry at Diebold for the Cleveland election disaster of May 2006, it is worth recalling, as the Plain Dealer points out, that “Tuesday's meltdown, which pushed the vote counting into today, was not the first, the second or even the worst in the board's history.” Beyond having polling places that opened as much as seven hours late, it was discovered on Wednesday, a day after the voting “5:30 p.m.: Fifty memory cards are missing, and elections workers begin considering going to the paper receipts inside the election machines to count votes in precincts covered by the missing cards."

Even "the CEO of the board of elections gave Tuesday's performance a failing grade."

A media interested in protecting the people's interests, and not those of "the opulent few" would give voice to a sensible remedy to a culture of contempt for democracy: no taxation without representation. Specifically, those denied the vote, since they are denied effective representation should be exempted from paying taxes. All taxes.

Then perhaps the power that be would take voting rights seriously.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Conceptual Insulin

Conceptual Insulin

After a decade or two of pro-forma numbers,
suck-up-journalism, and war becoming the theater-
of-war, terrorism starts bringing you that old pay-per-view
in sensurround.

And demonstrating the classic symptoms of mind-candy-
diabetes, you start jonesing to shoot up some

The pollution of history surges past like so much
the orthographic complexities of the-"N"-word,
General Baccus' "philosophical-differences" with Guantanamo
"interrogations", EPA hazardous-waste-databases swirling away in some
Koyanisqaatsian twilight-of-the-real.

Despite your mortgaged life's coming with significant
the war-salesmen are still on every channel hawking
an Iraqi Hirohito, or an Iraqi MacArthur,
and name-checking Halabja like one of Aesop's

It out-Orwells
Orwell. It out-Kafkas
Kafka. It simply outs
Pete Williams. Remember the Maine.
Remember the Alamo. Remember 9-1-1. And you say,
what does Allende or Pinochet have to do with anything,
with the price of Baghdad-tea in Pyongyang? With non-denial
denials-of-service? With no-child's-left-
behind? With a dimwit for president single-handedly refuting
by example?

Now that the latest image-campaign has rebranded bribery as a truth-
now that we enforce amnesia to remember only the Passover massacres of our
now that we've accustomed ourselves to the spectacle of the West Bank as a stay-at-home
Palestinians taken-out, a la Ze'evi,
like lice,
who needs to cavil about the innocent few like Daraz Khan,
or Veronica Bowers, shot down by the omniscience of an un-manned-

The Falwell Wahhabi-wannabes preach abstinence-
education, not so much teaching against sex, as abstaining against
teaching. CNN is satellite-bouncing their pedagogy straight
into Castro's kitchen, an NTSC bazaar of rightwing follies, and
lip-synching triple-speak doubletalk decked out in all the
synchronized majesty of a plutogogical
June Taylor Dancers.

Someone is declaring the U.N., declaring international law
irrelevant. Someone is canceling the FBI investigation of
Abdullah bin Laden. Someone at a CIA funded terrorist-
think-tank is lecturing on total-quality-
terrorism and asking, who is
the customer?

And Castro wonders "do they need school vouchers
for this? I mean, call me a neo-Luddite, but since when is murder
an assisted-martyrdom-operation? Preemptive-
counterproliferation, preemptive-retaliation, my Bay-of-Pigs

And from his permanently insecure location,
Saddam Hussein is watching Wolf Blitzer,
and the sentencing of Noelle Bush from his
gold-fixtured toilet,
squeezing his Charmin.
He feels like Peter Sellers, but
isn't certain whether it's Strangelove,
or Chance the Gardener:
either he wants to change the channel,
or blow this whole we'll-meet-again thing
up. But he's 100% sure, George W.
is inspector Clousseau.

And you, me,
etherized like a patient spread out on
300 channels of fiberoptic sky,
glue-eyed to this electronic
civilization, this pyramid of lightbulbs:
industrial-glass surrounding
a flagrant thread of heavy metal,
encased in engineered

Does it shine, does it
go out, does it oppose the current,
does it flicker in doubt?
Does it shatter,
will it burn,
does it electrocute,
can it learn?
Does it persuade,
does it corrode,
does it dream,
ever so peacefully,
or surging with power preemptively,
does it explode?

----- Terry Provost

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Media Crusade Hellfire Misfire

In February 2002 headlines were abuzz with speculation that a CIA Predator drone might have killed Osama bin Laden with a Hellfire missile. (In passing, wouldn’t it be nice, as long as we are fighting a Crusade, not to use religiously tendentious names for our advanced weapons systems?)

As it turned out, it was not bin Laden, but a villager named Daraz Khan.

When this became clear, the headlines disappeared. The murder of Khan was erased. And because the Predator is such a remote control weapon, who even knows who the murderer was?

The thing I find remarkable is how the news media knew this was no longer a story. (There was of course follow-up on the victim. Briefly. But no follow-up, to my knowledge, as to his murderer.)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Lice takeout

"I believe there is no place for two people in our country... Palestinians are like lice. You have to take them out like lice."
---- Rehavam Ze'evi, Israeli Minister of Tourism, assassinated by
Palestinian extremists in October, 2001.

When Israeli's recently stormed a jail in Jericho, forcing prisoners to come out in nothing but their underwear, it was to seize Palestinians accused of assassinating Ze'evi.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Margulis, Einstein, Darwin, and Newton

Darwinism is a lousy theory, and not particularly scientific. One of the worst things about the theory of “intelligent design” is that it distracts attention from far better alternatives to Darwin. The best is biologist Lynn Margulis’ theory of endosymbiosis. Not only does it refute Darwin, it has been verified, and pertains to very nearly every plant and animal cell on the planet.

Although her groundbreaking work is accepted in the scientific community, it is little known in the broader culture.

This may be because our culture wants to believe that women can’t do science (for convenient sexist reasons Larry Summers): that there can’t be a female giant of science on a par with Newton, Einstein, and Darwin.

It may also be that the message of Margulis’ theory is inhospitable to dominant dogma about economic competition and survival of the fittest: Margulis believes that cooperation is the dominant force at work in evolution.

In passing let us observe that theories of intelligent design are insults to religious belief: only a theory of omniscient design would be compatible with an omniscient creator.

In the human realm it is not so much intelligent design or survival of the fittest as survival of the witless that dominates survival chances, as witness his Cluelessness-in-Chief.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Ex nihilo, ex post facto casus belli

Whereas the U.S. had dubious pretexts for war with Spain, (the Maine), and Vietnam (the Maddox), it had no pretext at all for the invasion of Iraq save perhaps Saddam’s nonexistent WMD and Saddam’s nonexistent connections to 9-1-1. (Saddam had about as much to do with 9-1-1 as Salvador Allende and Augusto Pinochet who overthrew him on 9/11/73 in a U.S. backed coup).

Then came the ex nihilo, ex post facto casus belli of “democracy promotion” in the Middle East.

Quite a trick, ex nihilo, ex post facto casus belli.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hirohito does Iraq

Does anyone remember the Bushies planning for postwar Iraq to be governed by an Iraqi MacArthur and an Iraqi Hirohito? Guess Allawi and the dog-gone generals of Abu Ghraib (Miller, Sanchez, Karpinski) didn't measure up.

And while we’re on the subject of phony war crimes tribunals, what’s wrong with this picture? What was Rummy doing in Iraq anyway? Maybe selling Saddam the chemicals for his poison gas attack on Halabja.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Koyaanisqatsi, industrial terrorism, and the twilight of the real

Shortly after completing his Qatsi film trilogy, (Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi), Godfrey Reggio said in an NPR interview that he looked “at the world from the point of view of we’re in the twilight of the real.” This as the U.S. staged (theater of war, theater of cruelty, theater hospital) its real invasion for unreal reasons in Iraq.

The real keeps disappearing, like documents being secretly removed from the national archives and “reclassified”. Like EPA hazardous waste databases,(see March 2002 at link) meant to provide localities with information to protect themselves from industrial poisons, but disappeared to protect people from terrorism (not, of course, chemical industry terrorism, or to protect chemical industry profits.)

Friday, April 14, 2006

"Philosophical Differences" over Torture

My understanding is that all of the interrogation(torture) techniques that were approved at Abu Ghraib were also approved at the U.S. torture facility at Guantanamo Bay. I remember thinking at the time that the departure of General Rick Baccus (October 2002) amid reports of his “philosophical differences” with the new direction at Guantanamo... that those reports were a pretty sure sign that there was torture going on at Guantanamo (final confirmation of this is abundantly clear from Alfred McCoy’s “A Question of Torture”.)

Officially Baccus left because of the "merging of detention and interrogation missions" which in turn was what General Antonio Taguba called "doctrinally unsound" at Abu Ghraib, and what he credited with leading to "sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses" there.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mind candy diabetes

Eye candy. Ear candy. Nose candy. What about mind candy?

The mass media menu is full of mind candy. And too much sugar does lead to diabetes.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Pro forma war numbers

It should be remembered that the costs of the Iraq war are being kept “off-budget” through the use of “emergency supplemental appropriations”, and so do not contribute to the officially reported totals for the budget deficit. The process is akin to the use of “pro forma numbers” by WorldCom and others to defraud billions from markets: a process that ended with the biggest bankruptcy in history.

Giving intellectual-head

In his book “Second Front”, John MacArthur quotes Dan Rather to the effect that “suck-up journalism” had aided and abetted the selling of Iraq War I.

To state the obvious, the underlying metaphor is of intellectual prostitutes giving intellectual-head.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


"There's a front row seat,
for the chosen few.
The latest war,
as a pay-per-view.
Famine and disaster
right in front of you,
and the more you watch
the less you do."

----- Jackson Browne, Information Wars

Friday, March 31, 2006

To always err on the side of life

One year after the death of Terri Schiavo, and one day after the release of Jill Carroll, it is perhaps worth remembering the shooting of journalist Giuliana Sgrena, and the death of Italian secret agent Nicola Calipari in March of 2005, by U.S. troops. Imagine the reaction if Carroll had been shot by heroic U.S. forces after her release. How would this fit with the statement by George W. Bush that we should try “to always err on the side of life?”

200,000 dead from Bush’s war of unprovoked aggression in Iraq, a top (war crime) ally slaughtered, and he recommends trying “to always err on the side of life.”

Always err on the side of life: I guess that was what Cheney was doing when he blasted his hunting buddy in the face with his Italian shotgun.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Terror B U.S.

Let us recall today the Casey/CIA-organized car bomb assassination attempt against Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in Lebanon, in March of 1985. It killed 80 and wounded nearly 200 innocent civilians. Exactly the sort of thing that most people mean by terrorism.

80 people murdered under the auspices of the U.S. government, and no (public?) investigation.

According to Bob Woodward in his book The Veil, this was outsourced through the offices of then Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and contracted through the then head of Saudi intelligence, (and now Saudi ambassador to the U.S.) Prince Turki bin Faisal al Saud.

Under the doctrine that those who harbor terrorists are just as guilty as the terrorists, it follows that both the U.S. and the Saudis are guilty for harboring Prince Turki, and that the U.S. is guilty of terrorism for continuing to "harbor" the C.I.A.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

U.S. immigration as a right of return

With 1 million demonstrating in L.A. against making felons of illegal immigrants, and 300,000 in Chicago, and with the senate now taking up the issue, it is worth considering that Latino(a) presence in the U.S. can be viewed as a “right of return”, given that nearly 90% of Mexicans are of Amerindian descent. Americans have no business excluding the original inhabitants of the country from the country.

(From the wikipedia: “Mexico is racially and ethnically diverse. According to the CIA World Factbook, about 60% of the population is mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European), and another 30% is Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian.”)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Potemkin Puppet

In his recent book of interviews with David Barsamian, Imperial Ambitions, Noam Chomsky reiterates several of the central arguments he’s been making now for decades:

1. That mass media in the U.S. function as a highly effective propaganda system.

2. Within the propaganda system, the sins of the powerful are either excused or positively praised, whereas the sins of state enemies are denounced vehemently.

3. One of the central functions of the intellectual in a system like ours is to practice the hypocrisy mentioned in point 2.

A case in point: contrast the media’s handling of the Abdul Rahman, the Afghan convert to Christianity, and that of Abdur Sayed Rahman, (see the CIC post for March 8, 2006) who has spent years in the U.S. torture facility at Guantanamo Bay for the crime of having a name similar to the terrorist Abdur Zahid Rahman (not really all that different from the Christian convert.)

The case of Abdur Sayed Rahman has already been consigned to the media Gulag of human rights organizations.

This example is tricky since Hamid Karzai has been deputized to sainthood by American Power, and so it is the Afghan judiciary that must be to blame for possibility of executing Abdul Rahman, not Karzai.

Karzai is not only an American puppet, but oddly exerts little control beyond Kabul. In effect, Karzai is a Potemkin Puppet.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Death and Taxis

Why doesn't the press report all the good things that are happening in Iraq?

Perhaps, because when they are not busy getting their heads blown off a la Bob Woodruff, they can't afford the cab fare (i.e. $35,000 for the 6 miles from Baghdad to the airport.)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Weapons of Mass Destruction Used in Terrorist Attack on America after 9/11

There is a widespread misperception that "there has not been another terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11." (For example CNN, 2004. New York Review of Books, 2006.) This, or a similar formulation, is repeated so often one could be forgiven for believing it.

The problem is, it is totally untrue.

There is, to my knowledge, only one time that the U.S. has been attacked by terrorists with weapons of mass destruction: the anthrax attacks on the U.S. Senate, prominently on Senators Daschle, and Leahy. It should be emphasized that the senate attacks used weaponized anthrax, constituting a weapon of mass destruction. This was in October of 2001.

You would think people would remember.

Why has this attack virtually vanished from public consciousness?

Perhaps because it was proven early on that the source of the attack was the U.S. government, specifically, "the original source [of the terrorist material] had to have been USAMRIID" (U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease in Fort Detrick, Maryland.)

At a bare minimum USAMRIID failed to adequately police its own stockpiles of WMD, for which then, the U.S. government and the U.S. military are explicitly responsible.

A remarkable exercise in enforced amnesia.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

His Cluelessness-in-Chief in Cleveland

On the same day Juan Cole described U.S. involvement in Tal Afar as one the ten worst catastrophes to befall Iraq in the past year, GW (his Cluelessness-in-chief) Bush hailed it as a U.S. success. Who's right? My money is on the guy who did not give a "Mission Accomplished" speech on May 1, 2003.

Cole excerpt:

"4. The US military used Kurdish and Shiite troops to attack the northern Turkmen city of Talafar in August. Kurdish troops, drawn from the Peshmerga militia, were allowed to paint lasers on targets in the city, which were then destroyed by the US air force. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed, and much of the population was displaced for some time. Shiite troops and local Shiite Turkmen informants were used to identify and interrogate alleged Sunni insurgents. Turkey was furious at the attack on ethnically related Turkmen and threatened to halt its cooperation with the US. Although the attack was allegedly undertaken to capture foreign forces allegedly based in the city, only 50 were announced apprehended. The entire operation ended up looking like a joint Kurdish-Shiite attack on Sunni Turkmen, backed by the US military. Turkmen and Kurds do not generally get along, and Turkmen accuse Kurds of wanting to ethnically clense them from Kirkuk. The entire operation was politically the worst possible public relations for the US in northern Iraq, and seems unlikely to have put a signficant dent in the guerrillas' capabilities."

His Cluelessness-in-Chief in Cleveland

On the same day Juan Cole described U.S. involvement in Tal Afar as one the ten worst catastrophes to befall Iraq in the past year, GW (his Cluelessness-in-chief) Bush hailed it as a U.S. success. Who's right? My money is on the guy who did not give a "Mission Accomplished" speech on May 1, 2003.

Cole excerpt:

"4. The US military used Kurdish and Shiite troops to attack the northern Turkmen city of Talafar in August. Kurdish troops, drawn from the Peshmerga militia, were allowed to paint lasers on targets in the city, which were then destroyed by the US air force. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed, and much of the population was displaced for some time. Shiite troops and local Shiite Turkmen informants were used to identify and interrogate alleged Sunni insurgents. Turkey was furious at the attack on ethnically related Turkmen and threatened to halt its cooperation with the US. Although the attack was allegedly undertaken to capture foreign forces allegedly based in the city, only 50 were announced apprehended. The entire operation ended up looking like a joint Kurdish-Shiite attack on Sunni Turkmen, backed by the US military. Turkmen and Kurds do not generally get along, and Turkmen accuse Kurds of wanting to ethnically clense them from Kirkuk. The entire operation was politically the worst possible public relations for the US in northern Iraq, and seems unlikely to have put a signficant dent in the guerrillas' capabilities."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Nayirah. Lemmings. WMD: No News is Good News.

"Lemming" populations go through rapid growths and subsequent crashes that have achieved an almost legendary status, largely because of the Walt Disney Pictures film, White Wilderness, which was produced in 1958 and reappeared on television at regular intervals for many years afterwards. White Wilderness popularized, using staged footage, the myth that during population booms Norway Lemmings become suicidal and leap en masse off cliffs into the sea. For this reason, the term "lemming" is often used in slang to denote those who mindlessly follow the crowd, even if destruction is the result."

Nayirah. Hill and Knowlton. Al Haideri. Rendon. Lemmings. Truth.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

World Oil's Corrupt Control

According to Robert Baer (former CIA), "five extended dysfunctional families own about 60 percent of the world's oil reserves..."

A back of the envelope calculation puts the value of this at $100 trillion (assuming $50 a barrel oil.) By way of comparison, that amounts to about 9 years of U.S. total economic output.

This fact suggests a degree of political and economic power that is barely imaginable.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Stealing Iraqi Oil --- liberating Iraq

CBS/60 Minutes noted that nearly $9 billion was totally unaccounted for in the "reconstruction" of Iraq. Custer Battles was found guilty for $3 million of this in fraud. To put this in perspective, imagine that $9,000 had been stolen. The whereabouts of $3 worth of that total has now been located. Now what about the missing 99.9% of the money.

Also, since much of the missing money was from Iraqi government oil revenues, it looks like this war really was about stealing Iraq's oil (albeit circuitously.)

"Liberating Iraq" was Bush code for liberating Iraqis from their oil.

Illegal British nuclear shipments to Israel

This story is not getting nearly as much coverage as Iran's nuclear programs, but it is unclear why. Apparently, the entire British government was subverted in the process of providing plutonium, among other things, to Israel. The world needs to know exactly how unauthorized nuclear shipments could take place in order to safeguard against such unauthorized shipments, potentially to terrorists, in the future.

A free press would be all over this story.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Woodruff news blackout eases

Only three days after CIC's call for the news blackout to end, good news. Woodruff is starting to walk and talk. Let's hope the blackout is over.

Republicans support forced abortion

Pity the poor people on the Christian right who think they are opposing abortion when they are in fact supporting it in the guise of DeLay/Abramoff and congressional Republicans.

The larger point is that any government that has the right to force a woman not to have an abortion claims, in that act, the right to force women to have abortions.

Pro-choice is the only true pro-life position.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

United States of Unpersons

The case of Abdur Sayed Rahman renews the term "unperson".

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Stop the news blackout on Bob Woodruff

I’m just so worried about Bob Woodruff, and the news blackout on him has only increased my fears.

Shortly after the bombing and ambush that injured him about a month ago, it was reported that he “will be weaned off a breathing tube”: but subsequent news reports have never actually stated that he is now off the breathing tube. Early reports said he “has increasingly shown signs of consciousness,” but subsequent reports have never mentioned him actually regaining consciousness (based on Google News searches, March 3, 2006., only 3 hits for Bob Woodruff and consciousness, only 6 for "breathing tube.")

The news blackout on this story should be lifted in order to ease people's fears about this widely loved and admired news anchor, the first in American history to be severely imaged in a war zone.

Friday, March 03, 2006

It's worth remembering, Israel created Hamas

Bit hypocritical of Israel not to deal with Hamas, given that they created it.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Iraq: The Bottom Line

How many people realize the Iraq war was fought to put the people responsible for the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon (the Dawa party) in charge of Iraq?

They say 90% of U.S. troops think we're there to punish Saddam for his role in 9/11. What if they realized we're really there to reward Jaafari and company for murdering 240 Marines?