Bob's Links and Rants -- Fair and Balanced

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Be sure to check out my Post 9/11 website for links to lots of stuff I care about. I have put all of my 2002 rants into a single file.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Confirmed: Precision weapons can't even find the right country. U.S. Apologizes to Iran for Errant Missile.

Allan from Ottawa forwarded this "dialogue" between a peacenik (PN) and a warmonger (WM):
PN: Why did you say we are invading Iraq?
WM: We are invading Iraq because it is in violation of Security Council resolution 1441. A country cannot be allowed to violate Security Council
PN: But I thought many of our allies, including Israel, were in violation of more Security Council resolutions than Iraq.
WM: It's not just about UN resolutions. The main point is that Iraq could have weapons of mass destruction, and the first sign of a smoking gun could
well be a mushroom cloud over NY.
PN: Mushroom cloud? But I thought the weapons inspectors said Iraq had no nuclear weapons.
WM: Yes, but biological and chemical weapons are the issue.
PN: But I thought Iraq did not have any long range missiles for attacking us or our allies with such weapons.
WM: The risk is not Iraq directly attacking us, but rather terrorists networks that Iraq could sell the weapons to.
PN: But couldn't virtually any country sell chemical or biological materials? We sold quite a bit to Iraq in the eighties ourselves, didn't we?
WM: That's ancient history. Look, Saddam Hussein is an evil man that has an undeniable track record of repressing his own people since the early
eighties. He gasses his enemies. Everyone agrees that he is a power-hungry lunatic murderer.
PN: We sold chemical and biological materials to a power-hungry lunatic murderer?
WM: The issue is not what we sold, but rather what Saddam did. He is the one that launched a pre-emptive first strike on Kuwait.
PN: A pre-emptive first strike does sound bad. But didn't our ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, know about and green-light the invasion of Kuwait?
WM: Let's deal with the present, shall we? As of today, Iraq could sell its biological and chemical weapons to Al Qaida. Osama Bin Laden himself
released an audio tape calling on Iraqis to suicide-attack us, proving a partnership between the two.
PN: Osama Bin Laden? Wasn't the point of invading Afghanistan to kill him?
WM: Actually, it's not 100% certain that it's really Osama Bin Laden on the tapes. But the lesson from the tape is the same: there could easily be a
partnership between Al Qaida and Saddam Hussein unless we act.
PN: Is this the same audio tape where Osama Bin Laden labels Saddam a secular infidel?
WM: You're missing the point by just focusing on the tape. Powell presented a strong case against Iraq.
PN: He did?
WM: Yes, he showed satellite pictures of an Al Qaida poison factory in Iraq.
PN: But didn't that turn out to be a harmless shack in the part of Iraq controlled by the Kurdish opposition?
WM: And a British intelligence report...
PN: Didn't that turn out to be copied from an out-of-date graduate student paper?
WM: And reports of mobile weapons labs...
PN: Weren't those just artistic renderings?
WM: And reports of Iraqis scuttling and hiding evidence from inspectors...
PN: Wasn't that evidence contradicted by the chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix?
WM: Yes, but there is plenty of other hard evidence that cannot be revealed because it would compromise our security.
PN: So there is no publicly available evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
WM: The inspectors are not detectives; it's not their JOB to find evidence. You're missing the point.
PN: So what is the point?
WM: The main point is that we are invading Iraq because resolution 1441 threatened "severe consequences." If we do not act, the Security Council
will become an irrelevant debating society.
PN: So the main point is to uphold the rulings of the Security Council?
WM: Absolutely. ...unless it rules against us.
PN: And what if it does rule against us?
WM: In that case, we must lead a coalition of the willing to invade Iraq.
PN: Coalition of the willing? Who's that?
WM: Britain, Turkey, Bulgaria, Spain, and Italy, for starters
PN: I thought Turkey refused to help us unless we gave them tens of billions of dollars.
WM: Nevertheless, they may now be willing.
PN: I thought public opinion in all those countries was against war.
WM: Current public opinion is irrelevant. The majority expresses its will by electing leaders to make decisions.
PN: So it's the decisions of leaders elected by the majority that is important?
WM: Yes.
PN: But George Bush wasn't elected by voters. He was selected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
WM: I mean, we must support the decisions of our leaders, however they were elected, because they are acting in our best interest. This is about
being a patriot. That's the bottom line.
PN: So if we do not support the decisions of the president, we are not patriotic?
WM: I never said that.
PN: So what are you saying? Why are we invading Iraq?
WM: As I said, because there is a chance that they have weapons of mass destruction that threaten us and our allies.
PN: But the inspectors have not been able to find any such weapons.
WM: Iraq is obviously hiding them.
PN: You know this? How?
WM: Because we know they had the weapons ten years ago, and they are still unaccounted for.
PN: The weapons we sold them, you mean?
WM: Precisely.
PN: But I thought those biological and chemical weapons would degrade to an unusable state over ten years.
WM: But there is a chance that some have not degraded.
PN: So as long as there is even a small chance that such weapons exist, we must invade?
WM: Exactly.
PN: But North Korea actually has large amounts of usable chemical, biological, AND nuclear weapons, AND long range missiles that can reach
the west coast AND it has expelled nuclear weapons inspectors, AND threatened to turn America into a sea of fire.
WM: That's a diplomatic issue.
PN: So why are we invading Iraq instead of using diplomacy?
WM: Aren't you listening? We are invading Iraq because we cannot allow the inspections to drag on indefinitely. Iraq has been delaying, deceiving,
and denying for over ten years, and inspections cost us tens of millions.
PN: But I thought war would cost us tens of billions.
WM: Yes, but this is not about money. This is about security.
PN: But wouldn't a pre-emptive war against Iraq ignite radical Muslim sentiments against us, and decrease our security?
WM: Possibly, but we must not allow the terrorists to change the way we live. Once we do that, the terrorists have already won.
PN: So what is the purpose of the Department of Homeland Security, color-coded terror alerts, and the Patriot Act? Don't these change the way
we live?
WM: I thought you had questions about Iraq.
PN: I do. Why are we invading Iraq?
WM: For the last time, we are invading Iraq because the world has called on Saddam Hussein to disarm, and he has failed to do so. He must now face the consequences.
PN: So, likewise, if the world called on us to do something, such as find a peaceful solution, we would have an obligation to listen?
WM: By "world", I meant the United Nations.
PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the United Nations?
WM: By "United Nations" I meant the Security Council.
PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the Security Council?
WM: I meant the majority of the Security Council.
PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the majority of the Security Council?
WM: Well... there could be an unreasonable veto.
PN: In which case?
WM: In which case, we have an obligation to ignore the veto.
PN: And if the majority of the Security Council does not support us at all?
WM: Then we have an obligation to ignore the Security Council.
PN: That makes no sense.
WM: If you love Iraq so much, you should move there. Or maybe France, with all the other cheese-eating surrender monkeys. It's time to boycott their wine and cheese, no doubt about that.
PN: I give up.

Somethin's happening here; what it is ain't exactly clear...
When I first checked the CNN web site this morning about 7:20 EST, they had a "Breaking News" banner across the top saying a U.S. cruise missile had hit something in southern IRAN (no typo). It said "details to come." Well, the banner is gone, but no details have arrived. Perhaps evidence that those beloved "precision" weapons can't even hit the targeted country isn't intended for mass consumption. Unless, of course, Iran WAS the targeted country. I wouldn't put it past the neocon-men.

Bush whacked from the right:
Right-wing Washington Times columnist Paul Craig Roberts rips Bush in no uncertain terms for starting the war in Iraq:

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.
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.
Secretary of State Colin Powell denies that the Bush administration created the phony documents. "It came from other sources," Mr. Powell told Congress, but he could not identify the source.
Mr. Bush and his advisers have forgotten that the power of an American president is temporary and relative. The U.S. is supposed to be the world's leader. For the Bush administration to pursue a policy that sets the U.S. government at odds with the world is to invite comparisons with recklessness that we have not seen in international politics since Nikita Khrushchev tried to install nuclear missiles in Cuba. Is Saddam Hussein worth this much grief?

They've condemned Bush from both sides now, from left and right, but still somehow, it's Bush's war crimes we recall, we really can't stand all. The Washington Times, aka Moonie Times, has been a right-wing propaganda machine from its inception. For it to run a strongly-worded column highlighting the criminality of the war seems quite significant (link from Atrios).

Friday, March 21, 2003

The Onion saw this coming.

Another one for the honor roll! Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) calls bombing Baghdad an "act of extreme terrorism." And you can vote to agree with him!

The Globe and Mail has another poll.

Bush Didn't Watch the Attack:
Q And can I ask one more question about television, just a very direct question? Did the President not see the pictures on television this morning, the very dramatic pictures of the bombs and the explosions over Baghdad? He did not see those?

MR. FLEISCHER: I was with the President just as the operation was beginning, at about 1:00 p.m., and he was not watching TV at that time. I wasn't with him for the duration of it, so I couldn't answer in all instances about it. I probably shouldn't answer a question like this in this room, but the President does not watch a lot of TV.

Q No, but they were very, very dramatic pictures. It's hard to imagine the President of the United States who had ordered this attack did not see any evidence of it.

MR. FLEISCHER: Elizabeth, I don't know that the President needed to watch TV to understand what it means to authorize military force and to know that the mission has begun and the mission is underway.
--from Ari the Liar's daily briefing.

The president is one sick individual.

Report from Baghdad:
In an operation officially intended to create "shock and awe'', shock was hardly the word for it. The few Iraqis in the streets around me ­ no friends of Saddam I would suspect ­ cursed under their breath.

From high-rise buildings, shops and homes came the thunder of crashing glass as the shock waves swept across the Tigris river in both directions. Minute after minute the missiles came in. Many Iraqis had watched ­ as I had ­ television film of those ominous B-52 bombers taking off from Britain only six hours earlier. Like me, they had noted the time, added three hours for Iraqi time in front of London and guessed that, at around 9pm, the terror would begin. The B-52s, almost certainly firing from outside Iraqi airspace, were dead on time.

Police cars drove at speed through the streets, their loudspeakers ordering pedestrians to take shelter or hide under cover of tall buildings. Much good did it do. Crouching next to a block of shops on the opposite side of the river, I narrowly missed the shower of glass that came cascading down from the upper windows as the shock waves slammed into them.
-- Robert Fisk from Baghdad.

Shockingly Awful

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said there are clear signs that the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is "starting to lose control of their country." -- from CNN.

Meanwhile, in America, the country has lost control of the regime of President George W. Bush.

From Cafe Shops.

The Toronto Globe and Mail asks: Given the way George W. Bush has handled his 'War on Terror,' should he be elected to a second term as U.S. President? Currently it's NO 71%, YES 29%. Go Vote!

The caption says the soldier is flashing a "victory" sign. I think it is something else.
Other photos available here.

Oh My God...

Indonesia demands UN Security Council meeting.
Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation, denounced Thursday's U.S.-led attack against Iraq (news - web sites), saying it was illegal and demanding that the U.N. Security Council stop the war.

"The government and people of Indonesia strongly deplore the unilateral action taken by ... the United States and its allies," President Megawati Sukarnoputri told reporters at the state palace following an emergency Cabinet meeting.

"Indonesia deeply regrets that the multilateral process through the UN Security Council has been sidelined," she said. "The use of military force against Iraq ... constitutes an act of aggression which is a contravention of international law."

Gee, what food gets renamed over this? Meanwhile, chief architect of the end of the world Richard Perle has written the UN's obituary. There are insane maniacs everywhere; why are they running this country?

Powell complains about Belgium's war crime laws.
Seven Iraqi families filed a lawsuit Tuesday, March 18, in Belgium against former U.S. president George Bush, incumbent Vice President Dick Cheney, Powell and retired U.S. General Norman Schwarzkop for the bombing of a civilian shelter in Baghdad that killed 403 people on the night of February 12-13, 1991.
"We have cautioned our Belgian colleagues that they need to be very careful about this kind of effort, this kind of legislation, because it makes it hard for us to go to places, it puts you at such easy risk," Powell said.

Message to Colin, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc.: If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

Does this mean we'll be seeing "freedom waffles" on the menu at Denny's?

It looks like "shock and awe" has begun. I keep hoping I'll wake up from this nightmare. Many innocent Iraqis never will.

I Don't Believe the Corporate Media A Washington Post-ABC poll claims to show that 71% of Americans support the war. It just ain't so! Here in Ann Arbor, I'd say 7.1% would be more accurate. The Post and Disney, two key cogs in the Republican propaganda machine, are trying to make those of us who know this genocidal war is illegal, immoral and unconstitutional feel isolated. Blaming this war on Iraq or the French or anybody besides the Bush administration is pure nonsense. Thinking it's a good thing anyway is pure evil.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Axis of Evil

Add one to the "Honorable Few:"
Those Americans who opposed our going to war with Iraq, who wanted the United Nations to remove those weapons without war, need not apologize for giving voice to their conscience, last year, this year or next year. In a country devoted to the freedom of debate and dissent, it is every citizen's patriotic duty to speak out, even as we wish our troops well and pray for their safe return. Congressman Abraham Lincoln did this in criticizing the Mexican War of 1846, as did Senator Robert F. Kennedy in calling the war in Vietnam "unsuitable, immoral and intolerable."

This is not Iraq, where doubters and dissenters are punished or silenced --this is the United States of America. We need to support our young people as they are sent to war by the President, and I have no doubt that American military power will prevail. But to ensure that our post-war policies are constructive and humane, based on enduring principles of peace and justice, concerned Americans should continue to speak out; and I intend to do so.
-- Vermont Governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean.

Okay, I'm a big Kucinich fan, but Dean is VERY cool. Plus, governors become president all the time, by hook or by crook (Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Dubya). Members of Congress hardly ever do, at least directly (I think JFK was the last one, and I'm not sure there was another one in the 20th century: Eisenhower was a general, Bush Sr., Ford (although never elected as either veep or prez), Nixon (after 8 years off), Johnson, Truman, Coolidge, Teddy Roosevelt were all vice presidents. I think Harding, Taft and McKinley were governors, while Wilson was an academic. (Sorry, too tired to look all this up.) So somehow we need to make sure the Democratic race narrows down to Dean and Kucinich (deep apologies to Sharpton and Moseley Braun--I just haven't heard anyone suggest that either is remotely electable). Warmongers Lieberman, Gephardt, Kerry and Edwards all need to be washed out with the next flush.

I've heard rumors that Representative John Conyers made a fine speech condemning the war yesterday, which would place him solidly among my "honored few," but I can't find it. He has spoken at many anti-war rallies, including both of the ones I went to in Washington this year. He is also taking a count of people who want Bush impeached: Join in!

Ann Arbor's the best!

Downtown was rocking from before 3 pm until well after 7 with protests. High school students gathered at their schools at 2 and then proceeded downtown for a mass rally at 3: I saw both the beginning and the end (though not the middle) of their rally; I'd guess there were 300 or so students. About six girls stood across the street holding puny pro-war signs; while I question their sanity and humanity, I have to admire that they stood there for a long time in the face of scorn from their classmates who outnumbered them 50 to 1. Must have watched LOTS of FoxNews to be that brainwashed. One girl from Pioneer High School, my alma mater, told me that they weren't allowed to leave the building for the rally until the school day was over. Minus 1000 points for Pioneer. Community High probably had the best representation, being both the most liberal of the high schools and the closest to downtown.

After the high school rally died out around 4:30, I headed for the Diag at the University of Michigan, where maybe 500 students were gathered to protest the war, countered by maybe 20 warons. Campus cops wouldn't let me sell my T-shirts there; minus 200 points for UM. I then headed back to the Federal Building, where the main protest of the day was scheduled to start at 6 pm. I would guess there were at least 1000 people there by the time the marching part started around 6:20. I sold about 18 shirts by wandering through the crowd, seeing many friends that I have made in just the past few months from my anti-war activities. The march was great; the crowd went down Fourth Street to Washington, Washington to Main, Main to Liberty, and back to the Federal Building. We moved very slowly and chanted very loudly. Pro-warons were almost non-existent. When we arrived back at the Federal Building, candles were distributed and the vigil began, with singing and speeches. Thunder, lightning and rain broke the vigil up about 10 minutes early, but I think everyone was energized and reassured by our community in the face of the horror going on in Iraq.

I think it has given me some direction for what to do next. While I would love for the bombing and invading to stop right now, I'm fairly resigned to the fact that that's not going to happen now. While disgusted by seeing imperial terrorism succeed, it seems as though a quick capitulation by the Iraqi regime at this point may spare the people from the full brunt of "shock and awe," and save U.S. forces from casualties as well. We should still protest the war because it is illegal, immoral and unconstitutional, and Bush should be held to account no matter what the outcome. But I think the place where we can contribute most right now is on the home front. The articles I posted yesterday, one by William Rivers Pitt and the other about red alert in New Jersey depressed me a lot, making me question whether I could continue living in this country. (The drivers who are so rude to me when I ride my bike don't help, either--must be from out of town.) But after the rallies here in Ann Arbor, and seeing how many "Peace" yard signs there are all over town, AND not seeing a single stupid car flag ALL DAY, I'm encouraged that I'm living in a pocket of sanity. Compared to many states, Michigan is relatively sane as well, with two Democratic senators and a Democratic governor, and numerous cities besides Ann Arbor which passed anti-war resolutions and/or civil liberties resolutions. So I'm thinking that my efforts should be focused on local and state government and peace communities working together to guarantee our liberties in the face of Patriot Acts, Homeland Security gestapos, and other unconstitutional goings on at the Federal level. With no intent to sound racist, quite the opposite actually, I suggest that states' rights and local rights be stressed: the Feds will not come into Michigan or Ann Arbor and arrest our immigrants, harrass our protesters, or investigate what we're reading. New Mexico recently passed strong civil liberties legislation along these lines. Ann Arbor has something like it; I think pressing for it on a state level is a doable goal, given that there are large numbers of liberals and libertarians in the state. With a strong commitment from the state in place, we could work more confidently in bringing about the many other political changes necessary in the state and especially the country.

So, thanks, Ann Arbor, for giving me hope!

Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) is tallying support for impeachment of Bush & Co. Please send him an e-mail:

NSC Terror Chief Resigns. Rand Beers didn't explain why he quit, but the Washington Times had this quote:
"Hardly a surprise," said one former intelligence official. "We have sacrificed a war on terror for a war with Iraq. I don't blame Randy at all. This just reflects the widespread thought that the war on terror is being set aside for the war with Iraq at the expense of our military and intel resources and the relationships with our allies."

Remember, the Washington Times is an extreme right-wing newspaper started by Rev. Sun Yung Moon and has been an ardent supporter of the Reagan and both Bush administrations.

Oh Canada! Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal on Bush:
I think it's really regrettable and unfortunate that he's made this decision when the whole world is crying out for peace. The world expects someone who's the president of a superpower to be a statesman. I think he's let not only Americans, but the world, down by not being a statesman.

Thanks to Allan in Ottawa for this link and the one below. Allan suggests the FoxNews set will soon be boycotting Canadian bacon and Canada Dry ginger ale. Soon the right-wingers' diets will be restricted to British beef, American cheese, and freedom fries. This should have them all dead within about five years; then we can get our country back.

Florida radio station drops Canadian broadcasts. The article features this stupid quote from Jack Spencer, a senior policy analyst at the right-wing Heritage Foundation in Washington:

If Canada doesn't want to support the U.S., that's up to Canada. I would bet anything that most people aren't even aware of Canada's position on this and they would assume that Canada is behind us on this. But at the end of the day, if Canada wants to put its national security in the hands of Guinea, that's up to them.

Frankly, I think Canada would be wise to trust Guinea for its national security, if the only alternative is the U.S. Canada still has lots of natural resources that the U.S. is running out of, especially water, and many Republican senators from bone-dry western states would like nothing better than to steal that water, one way or another. I have to agree with Spencer on one thing: Most Americans aren't aware of Canada's position, probably even on a map. And how are they ever going to find out if Canadian shows get cancelled?

Meanwhile, U.S. troops continue to torment another Muslim nation 17 months after a "quick and decisive" victory.

The Face of America

The Honorable Few

This is a sad day for America, the world community, and the people of Iraq. Tonight, I hope and pray for the safe return of our troops and the end to this unjustified war.

President Bush has launched an unprovoked attack against another country. Iraq does not pose an imminent threat to the United States or any of its neighboring nations. Iraq was not responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11. Tonight, President Bush has commanded U.S. forces to go to war in violation of American traditions of defensive war that have lasted since George Washington. This war is wrong; it violates the Constitution and international law.
-- Rep. Dennis Kucinich

This is a needless war. Inspections and engagement were working; they were successfully addressing the question of the potential threat presented by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. The United States is not in imminent danger from Iraq. -- Rep. Barbara Lee

The case this Administration tries to make to justify its fixation with war is tainted by charges of falsified documents and circumstantial evidence. We cannot convince the world of the necessity of this war for one simple reason. This is a war of choice.
This Administration has directed all of the anger, fear, and grief which emerged from the ashes of the twin towers and the twisted metal of the Pentagon towards a tangible villain, one we can see and hate and attack. And villain he is. But, he is the wrong villain. And this is the wrong war.
-- Sen. Robert Byrd

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Into the Darkness: William Rivers Pitt. (Warning: seriously depressing.)

One bit of good news: the Senate voted down oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

God, I hate that man...

It's the end of the world as we know it--the war has begun.

Byrd flies again.

Ugh. Iraqi body count.

Red Alert = Martial Law?: If the nation escalates to "red alert," which is the highest in the color-coded readiness against terror, you will be assumed by authorities to be the enemy if you so much as venture outside your home, the state's anti-terror czar says. That's in New Jersey.

A red alert would also tear away virtually all personal freedoms to move about and associate.

"Red means all noncritical functions cease," [anti-terror czar] Caspersen said. "Noncritical would be almost all businesses, except health-related."
"The state will restrict transportation and access to critical locations," says the state's new brochure on dealing with terrorism. "You must adhere to the restrictions announced by authorities and prepare to evacuate, if instructed. Stay alert for emergency messages."

That does it. Where's the exit?

We'll only know what we're told by the Pentagon: They've threatened to kill independent journalists reporting from Iraq. The U.S. corporate media is fully "embedded;" international media will apparently be embalmed.

France and Germany have spoken out against war with Iraq at a meeting of the UN Security Council, just hours before the American deadline for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq expires.
Germany's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, said his country "emphatically rejects the impending war" - a sentiment echoed by his French counterpart Dominique de Villepin, who said the use of force would only exacerbate international terrorism.
-- BBC .

The Bush team needs an "attitude lobotomy" — it needs to get off its high horse and start engaging people on the World Street, listening to what's bothering them, and also telling them what's bothering us. -- Thomas Friedman. Friedman has been like a worn-out vacuum cleaner lately (sucking less), and I definitely liked that sentence.

Excellent op-ed piece about dissent from Stanley I. Kutler in the Chicago Tribune. Here are a couple of quotes from the column:

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.

The president's justification for war was "from beginning to end the sheerest deception." -- Congressman Abraham Lincoln, referring to President James K. Polk's reasons for the Mexican war in 1848.

I said yesterday that I've never been so scared. Robert Jensen is scared too. He suggests we need to stick together and try to bring sanity back to America.

It's August 31, 1939, and we're in Nazi Germany. The invasion of Poland is just hours away. We'll have some smashing victories and appear unstoppable. But the world will eventually rise against us, kill many of us, and leave our nation in ruins. With time, we'll realize that our own hubris led to the meaningless loss of millions of lives and the hatred of the world for us. We'll dedicate ourselves to seeing that it never happens again, and wish profoundly that we had checked ourselves before so much death and destruction occurred.

It's March 19, 2003, and we're in Bush's America...

CNN Online Poll: Have Bush and Blair made the case for war against Iraq? Vote! (Warning: This one appears to have pre-stacked, just like the ridiculous poll released the other day. Remember: the government IS the media.)

Stephen Zunes critiques Bush's war speech.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Some dimwits have suggested returning the Statue of Liberty to France. This guy is posing for the "Statue of Security" which will take its place.

I've never been so scared in my life. Our country is being controlled by a dim-witted maniac who has the world's largest military and police-state machinery at his disposal, and he has not a single qualm about using either one to push his evil agenda. Congress appears to be rolling over as the Constitution is destroyed. While millions of Americans have taken to the streets in a desperate attempt to stop it, millions more are filling out their basketball brackets and waiting for the fireworks show on CNN. It's the end of the world as we know it.

"It's hard to assess what Senator Daschle means when his remarks are so inconsistent," Fleischer said. "He's essentially blaming President Bush for the fact that we may be on the verge of war." -- Washington Post.

I sure hope Daschle is blaming Bush. He is responsible! I liked life a lot better on the other side of the looking glass.

Lying Media Bastards has a good list of sources from inside Iraq.

Making the world safe for drugs: Record Afghan Poppy Crop Forecast.

I guess this says it all. There is no limit to stupidity.

Maybe this will make more Americans take notice: NCAA may postpone tournament games if war starts.

There's no 'automaticity' and this is a two-stage process, and in that regard we have met the principal concerns that have been expressed for the resolution. Whatever violation there is, or is judged to exist, will be dealt with in the council, and the council will have an opportunity to consider the matter before any other action is taken. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Negroponte, quoted as the final draft of U.N. Security Council resolution 1441 neared passage last November.

Josh Marshall explains in detail how this completely undercuts Bush's argument that war is justified under 1441. Much of the Security Council at the time agreed to 1441 fully believing that the SC would decide whether Iraq was in compliance or not, not the U.S. and U.K. alone. In Negroponte's defense, he is a convicted liar, so the S.C. was stupid to believe anything he said.

The Night Before Baghdad, take four

I first wrote this in September, then changed some of the senators mentioned after the war resolution in October, and improved some of the rhymes and added another verse at the end in February. Here I've added four more stanzas; unfortunately, it appears that we have arrived at "The Night Before Baghdad."

The Night Before Baghdad, by Bob Goodsell

'Twas the night before Baghdad, and through the White House
Not a Bushie was thinking, not even his spouse
The war maps were hung by the table with care
In hopes that Dick Cheney soon would be there.

They'd bribed and extorted, threatened and lied
Not a one of them cared how many would die
Pope's, vets' and citizens' thoughts do not count
When you've an Iraqi invasion to mount.

No weapons were found by those sent to inspect
But all this meant naught to the pres'dent select
It matters not the UN closed the door
Our very own Hitler will have his own war.

People will die by the thousands and more
America's name soiled by blood and by gore
Lying for truth and warring for peace
The whole world suffers from Bush's disease.

The prez he was nestled all snug in his bed
While visions of 2004 danced in his head
With Condi on keyboard and Colin on bass
Rummy on vocals sang "Bush won't lose face!"

When out on the south lawn there rose such a noise
It had to be Rummy's destructive war toys
But astonished we were as our startled eyes fell
On a tall bearded man riding high on a camel.

"Tell me," asked Condi, "is that a llama?"
"No, token black woman! That is Osama!"
He hopped off his camel and gathered his rifle
Clearly this was someone with whom we won't trifle.

He walked to the door and passed in front of us
He asked to be taken to the Oval Office
The Senate had some of its members in there
And when he arrived he gave them a scare.

"Out Daschle! Out Feinstein! Out Smiling Joe Lieberman!
Out Lott! Out Hatch! Out Schumer! Out Clinton!
You're self-serving pawns of the corporate swine
Selling your souls to the Bush-Cheney line.

"I wanted a war 'twixt Islam and West
You've given me everything! Thanks, you're the best!
Thanks Condi, thanks Rummy, and thanks Colin, too!
And when he wakes up, please thank W!"

He went to the warroom and smiled at the plans
"The hated Saddam is soon a dead man!
The world in turmoil will be fertile ground
For radical Islam to be spread around!"

And flipping a finger toward one and all
He laughed so hard that it shook down the wall
It made so much noise that the prez left his sack
And came down to ask "Is it time to attack?"

And back to the garden Osama did go
No chicken hawk stopped him as he walked out the do'
Not Rummy, not Condi, not one of the staff
Stopped Osama bin Laden or his terrible laugh.

Then George Bush the Senior entered the room
By reading his lips we all sensed the gloom
"You've tried your best, George, I'll give you that, son
But make no mistake: the terrorists have won."

Meanwhile in Iraq Saddam slipped away
He’d be nowhere around on the bloody next day
He’d go into hiding and show up no more
’Til another dumb Bush sought another dumb war.

And back in the states with the press all embedded
Comes the crackdown on freedom that we've all dreaded
When ruled by a man who's conscience bereft
The right to be silent is all we'll have left.

Q: What would Ollie North look like after a lobotomy?

Now the administration knows that it can make unsubstantiated claims, without paying a price when those claims prove false, and that saber rattling gains it votes and silences opposition. Maybe it will honorably refuse to act on this dangerous knowledge. But I can't help worrying that in domestic politics, as in foreign policy, this war will turn out to have been the shape of things to come. -- Paul Krugman .

Monday, March 17, 2003

Rachel Corrie.

Well, I guess we've got 48 hours. Let's get the virtual march going again; tell Congress that Bush's behavior is not acceptable--he must be stopped. Call tomorrow: 800-839-5276. Use the "Contact Congress" form on the right to flood them with faxes and e-mails.

We did "Honk for Peace" for an hour today in front of the Ann Arbor News building, after the News published a nasty pro-war editorial on Sunday. We were getting close to 75% of drivers to honk. Bush has no support here.

What an Arrogant Son of a Bush! He's about to commit one of the biggest war crimes in history and he's warning Iraqi soldiers that "I was just following orders" isn't an acceptable defense. I sure hope our soldiers heard that line. And claiming that he's enforcing the "will of the world." I guess successful liars are usually audacious.

Of course, he ends with "May God continue to bless America." I'd say God has sent us a terrible curse named George W. Bush.

Cyndy at MouseMusings has written an excellent nightmare story about the Kroger Plus Card.

Time to talk to Wolf again!

How Congress Responds to Israel Killing a U.S. Citizen:
In an unusual show of unity, Congress's top Democratic and Republican leaders have urged President Bush to include a multibillion-dollar package of "urgent" military and economic aid for Israel in a war-related emergency spending request being prepared by the White House. Israel, already the top U.S. aid recipient, is seeking $8 billion in U.S. loan guarantees and at least $1 billion to $2 billion in new military aid. -- from the Washington Post.

Rachel Corrie--In Her Own Words. Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli bulldozer yesterday. Last month she wrote to her parents in Olympia, Washington about her experiences in Gaza. That letter and a letter from her parents wriiten yesterday can be seen here.

New Mexico passes strong civil liberties legislation! It directs New Mexico state police not to assist the INS, FBI or other Federal agencies unless assurance is given that full constitutional rights, including the right to an attorney, are given to anyone arrested in New Mexico. Or something like that. It's great--please read it yourself, and then contact your state representatives to get a similar bill passed in your state (or to thank them if you live in New Mexico!). Thanks to Cyndy at MouseMusings for the link!

American Killed by Israeli Bulldozer in Gaza Strip. Rachel Corrie of Olympia Washington died yesterday after being run over by an Israeli bulldozer which was about to demolish a Palestinian house. Nine Palestinians were killed, including a four-year-old girl and two policemen, in other violence in the occupied territories.

Candlelight Vigils

Along with thousands of other communities around the world, Ann Arbor had a candlelight peace vigil last evening. Approximately 2800 people lined Main Street with candles for several blocks starting at 7 o'clock; most were still there until after 8. Even when people started to leave, many got in their cars and drove down Main Street honking their horns while holding their candles out the windows or flashing peace signs to those still on the sidewalks.

MoveOn has a web page which is posting pictures from vigils around the world; I'll post or link to pictures from ours as I find them. I suggest that everyone forward vigil photo links to your congressional representatives along with any personal experiences that you had last night.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

I'm baaaack! The rally march on the White House was a huge success, with at least ten times as many protesters as what you may hear anywhere, including here! There were lots of first-time protesters, and they were all so excited, saying "no way he can ignore this!" and such. I'm heading to two local peace actions today, so blogging will remain slow. I'll offer you this gem from Peter Freundlich of NPR, courtesy of Phillis and Max who forwarded it to me:

All right, let me see if I understand the logic of this correctly. We are going to ignore the United Nations in order to make clear to Saddam Hussein that the United Nations cannot be ignored. We're going to wage war to preserve the UN's ability to avert war . The paramount principle is that the UN's word must be taken seriously, and if we have to subvert its word to guarantee that it is, then by gum, we will. Peace is too important not to take up arms to defend. Am I getting this right?

Further, if the only way to bring democracy to Iraq is to vitiate the democracy of the Security Council, then we are honor-bound to do that too, because democracy, as we define it, is too important to be stopped by a little thing like democracy as they define it.

Also, in dealing with a man who brooks no dissension at home, we cannot afford dissension among ourselves. We must speak with one voice against Saddam Hussein's failure to allow opposing voices to be heard. We are sending our gathered might to the Persian Gulf to make the point that might does not make right, as Saddam Hussein seems to think it does. And we are twisting the arms of the opposition until it agrees to let us oust a regime that twists the arms of the opposition. We cannot leave in power a dictator who ignores his own people. And if our people, and people elsewhere in the world, fail to
understand that, then we have no choice but to ignore them.

Listen. Don't misunderstand. I think it is a good thing that the members of the Bush administration seem to have been reading Lewis Carroll. I only wish someone had pointed out that "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass" are meditations on paradox and puzzle and illogic and on the strangeness of things, not templates for foreign policy. It is amusing for the Mad Hatter to say something like, `We must make war on him because he is a threat to peace,' but not amusing for someone who actually commands an army to say that.

As a collector of laughable arguments, I'd be enjoying all this were it not for the fact that I know--we all know--that lives are going to be lost in what amounts to a freak, circular reasoning accident.