"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Depressing Reading

Much as I'd like to believe there's some light at the end of this tunnel, it appears that there is not. Christopher at Back to Iraq has a piercing analysis of the diplomatic situation, and a depressingly accurate (to my eyes) assessment of the likely outcomes.

This isn’t the start of World War III, it’s the start of World War I — a very stupid war, started thanks to a tangle of alliances, national pride and personal egos involved. It never had to happen...

...When it’s over and the dust has settled, the United States will stand supreme in the world, powerful but hated, its boot on the throat of Iraq. The international frameworks built over the last 50 years, including the United Nations, will lie in ruins or will be about to collapse. Resentful young men, hearts full of fear, hate and Allah will find refuge and a raison d’etre as explosive martyrs. The world will be less safe — for everyone. And thousands of people — soldiers, civilians, innocent or not — will be dead. And for no good reason at all.

The whole thing is here.

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NYC Opposes War

Bam! NYC opposes war with Iraq in a City Council resolution that just passed, albiet with some softer language that other cities have used. My representitive, David Yassky was one of the primary sponsors. Now if only this would prevent the administration from using our tragedy as a conver for their aggression...

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You Can't Make this Up

So there's been all this noise about the Big Bad Scary Iraqi BioWarfare Drone, yeah? Turns out it's made of balsa-wood and duct tape, with an eyesight-guided range of 5 miles. Seriously. Not only that, but the original declaration did include the drone, but misstated the wingspan by 10 feet. A subsequent letter from Iraq clarified this w/inspectors. No kidding. Salon.com breaks the story.

And here's a laugh-out-loud user comment from the blog that turned me on (daily kos):

Why wouldn't the Iraqis just go ahead and attack us with the small balsa wood gliders that are powered by rubber bands? They could strap a vial of some sort of chemical agent to the underside and let 'em go. Of course, if the wind shifted, the planes could crash on their helmets, thereby creating a friendly fire incident. Or, how about those rockets you pump up creating water pressure and then releasing the rocket. Maybe you could put a small warhead on one of those. In fact, just yesterday I saw someone of Middle Eastern origin in the toy isle at WalMart...

Welcome to Dick Cheney's America, where the WallMart greeters are watching you!

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McCain Sells Out

Heavy blogging, I know. What can I say. Coffee!

But let's get right down to the point, Fuck You, John McCain. I used to like you and your straight talk. I used to think you stood for something, but it looks like you're falling into line, just like every other spineless GOP toadie. Come on man! Listen to this bullshit he got published in todays NYT:

The main contention is that we have not exhausted all nonviolent means to encourage Iraq's disarmament. They have a point, if to not exhaust means that America will not tolerate the failure of nonviolent means indefinitely.

This is complete doublespeak. Nonviolent means resulted in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of munitions and thousands of tons of chemical and biological agents as well as the dismantling of their nuclear program. If we hadn't been using the UNSCOM team to spy for the Pentagon, they might have gotten even more done. Nonviolent means have by no means "failed." Iraq has not attacked America or any other nations with or without WMD since inspections began in 1991. That's success, people.

These critics also object because our weapons do not discriminate between combatants and noncombatants. Did the much less discriminating bombs dropped on Berlin and Tokyo in World War II make that conflict unjust?

Let's ignore for a second the absolutely luidicrous assertion that the military and moral imperative of stopping Nazism and imperial Japan equates with disarming Iraq and remember that what we did to Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Hamburg and Berlin were absolutely awful things that may or may not have had anything to do with winning the war. Then let's stop ignoring the fact that the analogy is ridiculous. By Mr. McCain's logic, why not just nuke Baghdad? I know it won't be such a boon to Northrop and Boeing (3,000 cruse missiles is $3 billion in their pockets) but it sure would show those damn A-Rabs we mean business. Again, I can't believe he's actually saying this.

Many critics suggest that disarming Iraq through regime change would not result in an improved peace. There are risks in this endeavor, to be sure. But no one can plausibly argue that ridding the world of Saddam Hussein will not significantly improve the stability of the region and the security of American interests and values.

What? What!? No one can argue that Saddam magically disappearing wouldn't be a good thing. However, there are many many very plausable arguments suggesting that a US invasion could radically destabilize the region in very bad and unpredictable ways. McCain is either grossly underinformed, or is spouting pure and unadulterated lies to rally support for the war.

Isn't it more likely that antipathy toward the United States in the Islamic world might diminish amid the demonstrations of jubilant Iraqis celebrating the end of a regime that has few equals in its ruthlessness?

John, did you let Wolfie slip you a happy pill? I don't doubt that the surviving Iraqis will be glad to be out from under Saddam's thumb, but people don't dance in the streets for you after 3 days of non-stop ariel bombardment. People don't cheer you when you killed their brother/sister/mother/father/grandma/lover/friend. People don't cheer for you when your sanctions regime has resulted in outbreaks of polio because your government isn't allowed to import chlorine to purify the water. And don't doubt for a second that there won't be teams of terrorist recruiters there to photograph all the carnage, or that Saddam won't take steps to make things even worse than they already are. This is not going to make us look good to the rest of the Islamic world.

I used to think John McCain was a straight-talker with a true grasp of military realities. Looks like I was wrong.

(Sorry for all the cursing. It's getting to the point where I honestly feel explitives are needed for me to adequately express my outrage.)

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Anti-War Tracks/Polling Data

The Beasties have dropped a new jam. You can get it for free if you get through, though I'm betting it's all over gnutella by now. I listened to the streamed version, pretty strident. Shout out to A-Stock for the link.

George Bush you’re looking like Zoolander
Trying to play tough for the camera
What am I on crazy pills? We’ve got to stop it
Get your hand out my grandma’s pocket
We need health care more than going to war
You think it’s democracy they’re fighting for?

This is exciting. I hope it gets some top 40s airplay. When popular musicians start making anti-war jams, it will be a good time for the peace movement.

Also, in answer to the $64,000 question, Americans once again proove themselves to be grossly misinformed. Let's all say it together, one more time: Saddam Hussein had no connection to 9-11. He's a bad man and was probably happy that it happened, but he didn't have any involvement in planning it. Maybe if I just repeat this enough people will get it.

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Blogs Over Bhagdad

In a narccistic hunt for those who've linked to me, I turned up this blog (restlesslord) which seems to be an older gentleman in the UK having a romance with at 20-year-old woman in New York. No idea how he found me, but that's part of the intrigue of the 'net, innit? I was thinking, gee, what a neat little thing to find out until I found in this person's blogroll, the most important thing I ever seen on the internet.

His blogroll contained this site, which (unless it's a troll) is being blogged from within Iraq! Amazing! It seems legitimate and it's the most astounding thing I've found online. Ever. Go read now, and tell all your friends.

This, by the way, is the real promise of the internet, folks: if we can meaningfully and culturally interconnect enough people in enough countries, future wars based on disinformation and manipulation by the elite of one nation vs another should be pretty hard to pull off. Anyone know of any other Iraqi blogs?

Jeeszus fucking christ. The more I read of this the sicker I feel. Check the comments sections. Oh God, what the hell are we doing?

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Coming Around

It seems that people are coming around to the fact that the 9-11 justification for war is utter and complete bullshit. There's a nice article in Salon (day pass BS notwithstanding) which makes a rather logical case for diallowing the use of September 11th as any real reason for war, and also makes the salient point that the real people behind this idea (Wolfowitz, Perle, Cheany, et al) have been chomping at the bit to do this for more than 10 years.

Allow me to make a less logical argument on this point. THE USE OF 9-11 AS A JUSTIFICATION FOR WAR IN IRAQ IS AN AFFRONT TO HUMAN DECENCY. IT IS MANIPULATION AT ITS MOST CRAVEN AND MALIGNANT, AND SICKENS ME ON A PERSONAL LEVEL. I've written before about how the way in which the government and media handled the anniversary was not to my liking, but I tend to stay away from how it's specifically being used as a goad for war. I stay away because this tends to stir up very ugly feelings in my heart, feelings of physical violence and visceral hatred towards those who are callous and frankly evil enough to use it as such. I become highly agitated, angry and irrational. Sometimes I feel like crying. No one I know was killed in the attacks, yet I was there. I am a New Yorker, and a part of that tragedy belongs to me. The fact that it is so blatantly and falsely being used as a fear-generating tactic and as an excuse to unleash the horrors of war on an unrelated people literally nauseates me. These lying, murdering motherfuckers have got to go.

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When in Doubt, Turn to Satire

One of the leading mavens of the technorati blogosphere has a brilliant ready.gov satire. Choice quote:

Going to a fall out shelter is for sissies. And pointless, too as the artificially intelligent radiation will just follow you down the stairs. But if you are just looking to get laid, this is the place, brother.

As things just continue to get worse and worse, I find myself retreating a bit into the world of satire. It's a coping mechanism. Get your fix today.

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Bush to Iraq: Here Comes the Pain

Declaring that "diplomacy hasn't worked," Bush tonight basically declared war on Iraq. He seemed somber, but still arrogant. He's not the idiot we'd love to make him out to be. He's far more dangerous than that. His mind is made up and he's convinced of his own righteousness. The only question now is when, and to make things interesting Frank and I have wagered a sixer of Zywiec on it. I say before St Paddy's day. There will be a vote, and then there will be war. Tonight I am ashamed of America.

Update:Additional thoughts on the speech. I also found it telling that Bush said there would be time for reporters and inspectors to get out. I suppose when the inspectors leave, we'll know it's zero-hour, but the incitement for reporters to go is a double-pronged thrust. On the one hand, he surely doesn't want to blow up Nic Roberts. On the other hand, he surely doesn't want anyone there to film what "shock and awe" looks like on the ground level. On the other other hand, Foxnews lost their man in Baghdad in a game of diplomatic tit for tat, so what does this administration really care anyhoo?

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Philippines: Good War Analogy

Stand Down turned me on to The Mabablog which features an insightful look into the American Imperial incusion into the Philippines as part of the Spanish American war more than a century ago. This is a great antidote to the "Saddam is like Hitler and peace is appeasement" meme that's been going around.

Though the rhetoric is different and we've learned the full use of DoubleSpeak, I have to say this is a better analogy for current events than WWII. By the way, for any of my readers who don't do newtechspeak, a meme is a mind virus (ala Burroughs's "word is virus).

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