...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



I never imagined that I would never care about dumb things anymore. I never imagined I'd be a person who could transcend that kind of nonsense. But beyond that, I never imagined I would be penalized for speaking out in favor of social justice. I never thought that anyone who spoke out for peace, and diplomacy, and social justice would be pilloried.

I'm frequently depressed, just have a general malaise. And I don't mean a malaise of indifference, I mean a malaise of sadness and fear. I've always been alarmed by some of the things that the mainstream media does and by what the government does, no matter who's in office, but the broken heart is new.

Janeane Garofalo interview in Progressive Review May 2003
link path thru from robotwisdom

{for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory...}

Halliburton Corporation solicited Hudak to purchase about 2,400 warheads. Bob Gorence says the company offered the warheads as demolition charges and not as the government-owned military items that are illegal to posses.

H.E.A.T president David Hudak has been indicted on charges of the unlicensed exportation of defense services and use of explosive materials during the commission of a felony. H.E.A.T. trained anti-terrorism teams -- predominantly from foreign countries on the use -- of explosives to raid structures and airplanes.

KRQE News 13 / AP April 28, 2003
{like having a crack house down the block... no matter how nice you keep the lawn...}

back in the jungle, Jim


The venerable bird (Puffinus puffinus) was first captured and ringed by ornithologists in May 1957, when it was between four and six years old. But Steve Stansfield, warden of the Bardsey island Bird Observatory, caught the seabird again on Tuesday.


Some time after 9pm, a crowd of about 100 demonstrators descended on a school that had been taken over by about 100 American soldiers four days earlier.

The ostensible reason for the march, which was unusually late in the evening, was to demand that the troops depart because the people wanted the school to reopen. But there were also wild rumours going around that the Americans had been peering into their homes � and at their women � with night-vision goggles.


The American claim that there were 25 guns in the crowd would also indicate that the demonstrators had had a death wish or were stupid. Iraqis have learnt in the past few weeks that if they fail to stop their cars quickly enough at an American-manned checkpoint, they may well be shot.

To walk, at night, up to a US army outpost brandishing guns and chanting anti-American slogans would have been an act of madness.

But these facts � all of which point to a frightened, panicked and trigger-happy force that opened fire because it did not feel its base was safe � matter less than the larger political implications of the event.

The occupiers of Iraq are running into trouble. Last week, six Iraqis were shot dead in Mosul by US troops. Every such incident deepens the bedrock of Iraqi public sympathy for armed resistance against the troops.Leaving the scene of this mayhem yesterday, one person's words were unforgettable. They came, not from a protester or a gunman, but from the headmaster of the school where this bloodshed happened. Many of his students were among the protesters...

Phil Reeves 30 April 2003 Independent UK

There may not be any pictures of dying children on television, but this slow-burn humanitarian crisis is now at a critical point and in many countries, such as Ethiopia, the situation is worse than forecast. Last week, James Morris, the World Food Programme's director, warned the UN security council that 40 million people needed emergency food aid - far more than expected. This week Ethiopia has revised its estimates and appealed for a further $205m of food.

John Vidal Guardian UK

Mexico has, nonetheless, seen a hair-raising increase in population size. At any given time during the last 40 years, more than half the population has been under sixteen years old. The cause sure as hell has not been any kind if irresponsibility. On the contrary: the growth has come from the most responsible of actions.

I keep mentioning that in the community I started studying in 1958, there are good records showing that prior to 1954 approximately half the children born alive failed to survive past the age of five. That rate of infant mortality was typical of rural areas all over the country -- and most of Mexico was decidedly rural in those days. Infants and young children died of perinatal infections; they died of parasites ingested with impure water; they died of malaria or measles or typhoid or cholera or polio; they died of malnutrition; they died of neglect.

mike salovesh at Anthro-L
{concise cogent reasoned rebuttal to the 'them Mexicans don't do it right' racist bullshit arguments over immigration. but. it has the ring of truth and the welcome freshness of clarity, but only because the real argument is so buried to begin with. where does it say that this constant attack on what is after all a balancing and helpful part of life, individual death, is a good thing? I'm sure there's a logical fallacy that covers this. arguing the general from the specific. it's been my main rap for a month now. you take the position of gods, with the power and the omniscient vision, and you bring to that position the petulance and immaturity of over-indulged ten year olds. when you take God-like power you take God-like responsibility, or you become demons.
you have no problem saving lives and feel justifiably proud and we all agree it's unthinkable to stand and watch someone die when you have the medicine that will save them in your hand. but. subverting what were after all natural processes that worked, that gave the grace and beauty of the real to every creature that has it now, the wolf the hummingbird the butterfly the elk the lion the antelope the shark the finest most beautiful human you've ever seen. all that is the result of the waves of birth and death. now you want to stop that. but you have nothing to put in its place.
how sick to stop evolution here.
we're not done, anyone can see that. how cowardly to want to stop it now.}

Erin Brockovich and attorneys filed 25 claims against the city's school district Monday, alleging that former students of Beverly Hills High School got cancer from being exposed to toxic fumes emitted from an on-campus oil field.

Brockovich, who inspired a movie named after her about the landmark water pollution case that won the residents of a California desert town $333 million, said up to 300 claims could eventually be filed on behalf of students who attended the school between 1975 and 1997 and have been treated for Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's or thyroid cancer.

SFGate April 28, 2003

  • Mike Hawash is a U.S. citizen, and is being held without being charged with any crime;
  • Mike is being held in a high-security federal prison;
  • Mike is being held as a material witness, but is not charged with any crime. The Government has not said that they have questioned Mike. In similar cases, Arab-Americans have been held for weeks or months as material witnesses before being released without even being questioned;
  • Mike has been a U.S. citizen and resident for 14 years. He is an Arab-American. His wife Lisa was born and raised in Roseburg, OR, and stepchild and children were born and raised in Hillsboro, OR, where they live;
  • The warrants and subpoenas in Mike's case are all secret, sealed by the court at the U.S. government's request. Mike's two detention hearings have both been secret. No information about the reasons for his detention have been released.
  • Mike has a job, a home, a family, and deep roots in his community. Historically, "material witness" arrests were solely for grand-jury or trial witnesses who were a "flight risk". The U.S. has held other Arab-American and Muslim men for as long as 15 months without charge as "material witnesses"
    from the Free Maher "Mike" Hawash site
    {an armband, say red with a yellow crescent on it? something to make them readily identifiable, and then later as the economy tilts over into out and out depression, some camps...}

  • Unexploded ordnance and landmines littering northern Iraq have killed or maimed more people - many of them children - since the end of the war than during the fighting, a Guardian investigation has revealed.

    In the two weeks after the cessation of hostilities on the northern frontline, which divided the Kurdish self-rule area from government-controlled territory, as many as 80 civilians have died and more than 500 have been injured.

    "We are facing an emergency situation," said Sean Sutton of the UK-based Mines Advisory Group, which is coordinating an operation in the region to clear unexploded ordnance and mines.

    "Across Iraq, the detritus of war is killing, maiming and scarring for life adults and, most tragically, children."

    Michael Howard The Guardian UK April 28, 2003
    {each one of those 'civilians' was and is just as real as Polly Klaas or Laci Peterson}


    ETC group is dedicated to the conservation and sustainable advancement of cultural and ecological diversity and human rights. To this end, ETC group supports socially responsible developments in technologies useful to the poor and marginalized and it addresses governance issues affecting the international community. We also monitor the ownership and control of technologies, and the consolidation of corporate power.

    It is also worth noting that this week, while the headlines were clogged with war, President Bush signed an executive order making it easier for government agencies, including the White House, to keep documents classified and out of public view.

    The order does a number of things. It authorises a further three-year delay to the declassification of any government materials. It adds any documents sent by foreign governments to the US, no matter how routine, to the classified category, and it expands the powers of the CIA to prevent declassification of sensitive documents.

    However, of most concern to White House detractors is the power given, for the first time, to the vice president to veto the release of information by designating what should be classified. Given Mr Cheney's clear disregard for the public's right to know what is going in inside the White House, that is a worrying development.

    David Teather GuardianUK March 28, 2003 {gosh, a whole month already}

    In the Peterson case, victim advocate groups from all over California offered their expertise to help Laci Peterson's family keep the story in the news, the pressure on the cops, and the American public wanting more.

    Marc Klaas, father of Polly Klaas, a 12-year-old girl who was abducted from her Petaluma home in 1993, started a foundation and has offered his services to dozens of family members who have lost loved ones to violence. And he knows what it takes to attract media attention.

    "Pretty white girls get the attention first," Klaas told the Associated Press last week.

    That brutally honest assessment is based on experience and history.

    The Carole Sund/Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation -- formed after the deaths of Yosemite tourists Carole Sund, her daughter, Juli, and their family friend Silvina Pelosso in 1999 -- quickly offered a $500,000 reward after Laci Peterson was reported missing Dec. 24.

    In contrast, a small group of Houston's friends launched searches for her and named a memorial scholarship fund in her name, but not one organization with the resources to help came forward.

    It's time for that to change, so that the light shines on the unsolved mysteries of others whose lives were just as valuable as Laci Peterson's.

    Chip Johnson SFGate April 28, 2003

    One of the things that struck me watching the crowds tearing down the statues of Saddam Hussein was that I didn't see any women. Another thing that struck me was that no one commented on this -- as if streets without women were entirely normal. Pardon my stereotypically feminist response, but to me a world wiped clean of women is a little disturbing. It seems to say, "Here is the future of Iraq. And people of your gender aren't in it." I don't want to be a party-pooper, but it seems that about 65% of Iraq didn't get its invitation to the party.

    I hope that's not the future of Iraq.

    It's not just what it says about Iraq that makes me uncomfortable. I don't like what it tells me about my own country either. At some point in my life, I'd like to live in a country where people looked at a place devoid of women and noticed that there was something strange about that, and where I didn't feel like I was committing a faux pas by bringing it up.

    Body and Soul nails that one with exactly the right amount of emphasis
    {abramic religions, occupying every square on this particular chessboard, Islam versus Christianity, with Judaism pulling the strings for the Christian side. all the power involved is abramic, Old Testament, patriarchal. a woman's place is...up to her man to decide just where.}

    {I saw fate...
    Portland Ore. '75, a little bag of kids' wooden blocks, with alphabet letters and pictures of ducks and bees and giraffes carved in them. there were 26. the game being to make something using all of them. they weren't a set, all letters weren't represented, some had two letters some didn't. there were big ones with rough imprints and littler possibly german or scandinavian ones with finer carving. I had a desk that faced a window that looked out on the Willamette. there was an upright piano...}



    Days later a Boston newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor (CSM), dwarfed the Telegraph's 'scoop' by claiming documents found in a house belonging to Saddam's son Qusay, showed payments totalling $10m paid to Galloway from 1992 to this year. In the CSM report, Qusay's accounts department is told by him to 'issue the check and deliver to Mr George Galloway -- do this fast and inform me'.

    Learning the full content of the CSM report, Galloway says this has moved the case against him 'from tragedy to farce', adding: 'I'm now clear. I am the target of a systematic campaign of forgery.'

    Before the arrival of the $10m allegations, Galloway's initial belief that all the Telegraph's documents were forgeries was beginning to slip. He was coming round to the idea that he may have been set up from the inside, and had begun backtracking, considering that the Telegraph's material may have been genuine.

    No longer. The CSM account puts Galloway in Iraq in 1992, lists meetings with Qusay Hussein, and talks of issued cheques. Claiming the report is a farce, he adds : 'It talks of cheques. But the whole point of sanctions is that Iraq has no banking facilities. The only way of cashing a cheque is to go to a bank in one of the presidential palaces, so why bother with the cheque? And I never set foot in Iraq till 1993. No-one had heard of me in Iraq in 1992.'

    article by James Cusick


    George Galloway claims he has been set up by the British and US governments to 'exact revenge' for his high-profile anti-war campaigning over the invasion of Iraq.

    In an exclusive interview yesterday with the Sunday Herald, Galloway said: 'What is clear is that the war party, meaning both the US and UK, are determined to exact revenge and to silence the remaining opponents they have for what they have done.'

    As evidence of their desire to punish their political opponents, Galloway cited US Secretary of State Colin Powell's statement last week that France would face 'consequences' because of its opposition to the US-led war in Iraq.

    Galloway believes his leadership role in both the mass demonstrations that saw two million protesters take to the streets and the largest parliamentary revolt in Commons history left him a clear target.

    Galloway said that smear tactics had been used against outspoken critics before: 'Arthur Scargill was systematically smeared for years over a story that his mortgage had been paid by Libya during the time his members [of the NUM] were out on strike. The story later turned out to be false.'

    He added that forged documents had also been used to justify the war against Iraq, most notably the publication of false invoices said to be part of a plan to import uranium from Niger into Iraq. The UN is currently investigating the now discredited claims.

    Galloway said the origin of the documents that refer to him was so far impossible to verify and that it was unlikely British intelligence agencies had any direct involvement, instead pointing the finger at the US, the Iraqi National Congress and uhohIsraeli intelligence.

    James Cusick Sunday Herald (Glasgow) April 27, 2003

    In addition to his aggressive debating style, he has the reputation of a man who likes money and foreign travel. He enjoys fast cars, expensive suits and top-of-the-range cigars, and revealed during the week that he has mortgages totalling around �366,000 on two properties in London and Portugal, suggesting he faces monthly repayments that would make an appreciable dent in a backbench MP's salary of �56,000. However, Mr Galloway supplements his MP's income with at least �70,000 a year from journalism.

    In 2000-01 he made 11 trips which were paid for by the Mariam Appeal, a trust he founded to help a young Iraqi girl receive treatment for leukaemia, which is now being investigated by the Charity Commission. These were only some of his trips, almost all paid for from Arab sources.

    When he was a young secretary of the Dundee Labour Party, his early career was dogged by allegations of financial irregularities in the running of a drinking club. More allegations cropped up when he was general secretary of War on Want. An auditor cleared him of misuse of funds. He repaid �1,720 in contested expenses.

    Soon after his arrival in the Commons in 1987, after he had unseated Roy Jenkins in Glasgow Hillhead, Mr Galloway admitted to having conducted two extramarital affairs while he was a charity worker, helping earn him the nickname Gorgeous George. His first marriage ended that year, and he later married a Palestinian biologist, Dr Amineh Abu-Zayyad, who is assumed to provide much of the inspiration for his fierce support of the Arabs.

    Independent Uk 27 April 2003

    Black-on-black slavery in Ghana

    link path from plep

    Discrepancies between what someone says and how they say it can arise for many reasons. Emotions don't tell us their source. To avoid Othello's error - not recognising that the fear of being disbelieved looks the same as the fear of being caught in a lie; hence convincing himself wrongly of Desdemona's infidelity, from her reactions - we need to investigate why the person is showing an emotion that doesn't fit what they are saying.

    Paul Ekman the Observer April 27, 2003
    {speaking of lies, this guy seems bogus to me, though I can't pin why. maybe that breezy 'picked the lock' when anybody who could do that in my boyhood circles would have been up there with Spiderman and the Green Lantern. which is not to impute bogosity upon the subject of the site itself.}


    Later, there was some open terrain. The Marines were advancing and taking up position, hiding behind mounds of earth. They were still really tense. A small blue van was moving towards the convoy. Three not-very-accurate warning shots were fired. The shots were supposed to make the van stop. The van kept on driving, made a U-turn, took shelter and then returned slowly. The Marines opened fire. All hell broke loose. They were firing all over the place. You could hear 'Stop firing' being shouted. The silence that set in was overwhelming. Two men and a woman had just been riddled with bullets. So this was the enemy, the threat.

    A second vehicle drove up. The same scenario was repeated. Its passengers were killed on the spot. A grandfather was walking slowly with a cane on the sidewalk. They killed him too (SEE PHOTO IN LE MONDE). As with the old man, the Marines fired on a SUV driving along the river bank that was getting too close to them. Riddled with bullets, the vehicle rolled over. Two women and a child got out, miraculously still alive. They sought refuge in the wreckage. A few seconds later, it flew into bits as a tank lobbed a terse shot into it.

    Marines are conditioned to reach their target at any cost, by staying alive and facing any type of enemy. They abusively make use of disproportionate firepower. These hardened troops, followed by tons of equipment, supported by extraordinary artillery power, protected by fighter jets and cutting-edge helicopters, were shooting on local inhabitants who understood absolutely nothing of what was going on.

    Michel Guerrin interview with Laurent Van der Stockt in Le Monde April 12, 2003
    translated and reprinted in Counterpunch April 16, 2003

    The Guardian, a British newspaper, printed a number of Rachel's e-mails to her family (strange how gutless the American press is when it comes to Israel). They are a very sad read. She told her mother she had nightmares about bulldozers and tanks, and in one prophetic paragraph said: "When I come back from Palestine, I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here ... coming here is one of the better things I've ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide."

    Speaking of the Palestinians, with whom she was living, she wrote: "I know that the situation gets to them � and may ultimately get them � on all kinds of levels, but I am nevertheless amazed at their strength in being able to defend such a large degree of their humanity � laughter, generosity, family time � against the incredible horror occurring in their lives and against the constant presence of death.

    "I'm witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I'm really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. ... I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my co-workers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel."

    Rachel Corrie.
    {many of us are trained to feel immediately wrong whenever we do almost anything. that sounds silly but it's very real. constant self-questioning and doubt. a nagging sense it's wrong to single her out, so many are dying have died will die, but it's not wrong. she was there. she died. it is an abomination. let her stand for the thousand others whose names we haven't heard, may never hear. Rachel Corrie didn't die because she was mistaken or duped or in the wrong place at the wrong time. she died because she was opposing a vicious and psychotic evil, and she did it unarmed, with more bravery than any soldier. especially the soldiers that killed her so cowardly. Rachel Corrie died March 16, some time ago as deaths of this kind go. many other innocents have overtaken her on that road, blasted into eternity by greed and heartlessness. but I remember her. and so does Charlie Reese.}
    link path from onegoodmove

    sue coe
    The Tragedy of War: And the Dogs Howled

    The proposed rules changes and the Republican bills provide a strong financial incentive for employers to lengthen the workweek, on top of an already staggering load. By 1999, in one decade, the average work year had expanded by 184 hours, according to Kevin Phillips' book "Wealth and Democracy."

    He writes, "The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the typical American works 350 hours more per year than the typical European, the equivalent of nine work weeks."

    The bills give employers a new right to delay paying any wages for overtime work for as long as 13 months. According to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, under the new bills an employee who works overtime hours in a given week might not receive any pay or time off for that work until more than a year later, at the employer's discretion.

    Molly Ivins 04.24.03

    "The Dixie Chicks have taken a big hit lately for exercising their basic right to express themselves. To me, they're terrific American artists expressing American values by using their American right to free speech. For them to be banished wholesale from radio stations, and even entire radio networks, for speaking out is un-American.

    The pressure coming from the government and big business to enforce conformity of thought concerning the war and politics goes against everything that this country is about - namely freedom. Right now, we are supposedly fighting to create freedom in Iraq, at the same time that some are trying to intimidate and punish people for using that same freedom here at home.

    I don't know what happens next, but I do want to add my voice to those who think that the Dixie Chicks are getting a raw deal, and an un-American one to boot. I send them my support."

    Bruce Springsteen
    link path from Bob Harris at Tom Tomorrow


    {I just read that 'Sweetwater' thing. it's against group policy here to link to the execrable so you'll have to find it on your own. it does remind me why I'm glad I don't read metafilter any longer. though of course I miss a lot of what was there.
    without doing any more research, an unthinkable task, speculation must serve.
    Sweetwater. it's a irony. accent on the 'i'.
    but the kicker for me is right behind that. all Judaic/Christian law/morality is intentionality driven. outcome means almost nothing.
    it's why. why you did it. why you didn't. not what happened.
    and yet every bit of the natural world, the real world, the one we hide from, crouched in these bright little caves, is only about what. why means nothing to nature.
    this isn't so much a delusional mistake as it is an over-extending of crucial and necessary 'human' social organzation.
    within the family, to a child, around children, to children, why is more important than what, for the most part, most of the time.
    for the exception, I would point to the nomadic values of the Plains Indians, the Tuareg, the Inuit, the Tatar, but that too is mostly speculation, for more tragic reasons.
    in those small groups children learn quickly that certain behaviors are terminal and must not be done, but for the most part most of the time in most of the world, children are taught, not by the harsh and unforgiving world outside the home, but in a miniaturized version of that, a workable version that allows them room to fail and rise.
    but our time is filthy with psychotic irrationality, which may possibly have its part to play, genetically, it's just that I've become too tired of it. I don't want to see any more madness like this, I don't want to see it or think about it. if I have to become something I'm not to stop it, so be it, I will.
    back to the discussion.
    the society is an interface, between the family and the real world, and as such it combines the loving forgiveness of the family with the cold and inarguable response of the natural. this explains the urge to domination that has brought us to this precipice. the denial of natural law, its replacement by human law, and, once it's been denied and replaced, the constant desperate lunge forward of rationalizing and retro-fitting that has accompanied organized religion down to this bleak moment.
    these are weak men trying to preserve, to continue, their genetic lineage. this morality of intention is vital to them. it's the underpinning of the artificial world we all now live in. that's part of the desperation of these times. it's becoming impossible to preserve the architecture.
    miscarriages pass unnoticed in many women's lives, in others, the recognized pregnancies, trauma and nightmare and slow bleak healing.
    miscarriages. God's little abortions.
    but these are not intentional. you see? no crime. dead baby. no crime. because it wasn't on purpose.}

    The Canadian government rules out acquiring its own nuclear weapons, opposes nuclear proliferation, and asserts that "the only sustainable strategy for the future is the elimination of nuclear weapons entirely." But it also supports the continued possession of nuclear weapons by its allies, participates in a nuclear-armed alliance, and endorses NATO's plan to retain nuclear weapons "for the foreseeable future."

    Oh Canada, at pugwash

    "The end of the cold war brought one unexpected result," says Rotblat. "The general public began to believe this also meant an end to the nuclear threat. People are no longer worried about nuclear weapons, and this has been taken advantage of by a group of hardliners in the United States. For all the years of the Cold War we thought of nuclear weapons as weapons of last resort. One year ago this changed completely. The Bush administration came out with a new nuclear policy, which stated that nuclear weapons should be treated like any other weapon in the military armoury. In other words you can now use nuclear weapons as you would any conventional weapon.
    "People don't realise how dramatic a change this is. And moreover, following this policy the Americans are building new weapons. And if they build new weapons they have to be tested. We had a moratorium on testing which the Americans signed but never ratified and now they are going to break this moratorium. China will follow if it feels threatened � then India, then Pakistan. We are definitely going to have a new nuclear arms race. This is why I feel the present situation is far more dangerous than what we had through the entire period of the Cold War."

    at Radio Netherlands, Joseph Rotblat, the only scientist to resign, due to moral objections, from the first atomic bomb project in Los Alamos.
    Head of an organization called "Pugwash"
    In 1995 he and the organisation were awarded the Nobel peace prize.

    Richard Anthony Delgaudio, prominent Republican fund-raiser who once said former President Bill Clinton was "a lawbreaker and a terrible example to our nation's young people", was arrested in November 2001 with a book of obscene photographs he had taken of 15- and 16-year-old girls, according to court documents. The teen-agers went with him on several occasions to a hotel on Pulaski Highway, where they had sex and he paid them to pose in erotic positions for his camera, records show. The girls told Delgaudio their ages, according to police.

    As part of his restitution to the community, his attorney said Delgaudio would contribute $5,000 to "young mothers who are in distress and in need."

    Allison Klein April 24, 2003


    peaceful tomorrows

    Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?

    B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

    Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

    B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

    Zbigniew Brzezinski interview in Le Nouvel Observateur 1998
    quoted by William Rivers Pitt in truthout 21 April 2003
    original interview here, in french

    Spokesmen of CENTCOM refuse to answer questions about Franks� background, which is very sketchy, and few details are found in any of the published biographical sources. Biographical entries about Franks are quite unusual in that they do not include the names of his parents or his religion.

    �My faith in God is important,� Franks said in an interview, however, it is not known which faith he belongs to. Although it has been said that Franks is of Russian Jewish extraction, the son or grandson of Khazar Jewish refugees from the Soviet Union, like Gen. Wesley Kanne Clark (who was raised as a Protestant in Little Rock), the religious and ethnic background of Tommy Franks is simply not known.

    Truth Seeker UK 07/03/2003

    Paul Wolfowitz

    The deputy defence secretary is the arch-ideologue of the Bush administration and the key architect in the Pentagon of the post-war reconstruction of Iraq.

    Like many of the reconstructors Wolfowitz of Arabia, as he is known, is a ranking member of the leading neo-conservative think-tank the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which advocated regime change in Iraq even before George W Bush took office. He is also, like many of the reconstruction team, a key member of the ultra-right-wing Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa) � a think-tank that puts Israel and its security at the heart of US foreign policy. Many of the reconstuctors � known as Wolfie�s People or the True Believers � are hand-picked place-men chosen by the defence deputy. Wolfowitz is the ideological link in Team Bush�s grand scheme. His thinking is and was central to the war and its aftermath.

    Neil Mackay Sunday Herald (Glasgow)
    also thumbnails on:

    Lewis Libby
    Donald Rumsfeld
    Richard Perle
    Dick Cheney
    Michael Joyce
    James Woolsey
    Lt Gen Jay Garner
    Lt Gen Ron Adams
    Lt Gen John Abizaid
    Maj Gen Bruce Moore and Gen Buck Walters
    Cap Frederick �Skip� Burkle
    Gen Jerry Bates
    Col George Oliver
    Col Richard Naab

    As of last July, the delivery of $5.4 billion worth of supplies to Iraq was blocked by the Bush/Blair Pair. It didn�t really make the news. But now under the loving caress of live TV, 450 tons of humanitarian aid-a miniscule fraction of what�s actually needed (call it a script prop)-arrived on a British ship, the Sir Galahad. Its arrival in the port of Umm Qasr merited a whole day of live TV broadcasts. Barf bag, anyone?

    Nick Guttmann, head of emergencies for Christian Aid, writing for the Independent, said that it would take 32 Sir Galahad�s a day to match the amount of food Iraq was receiving before the bombing began.

    We oughtn�t be surprised though. It�s old tactics. They�ve been at it for years. Consider this moderate proposal by John McNaughton from the Pentagon Papers published during the Vietnam War:............(more)

    Arundhati Roy
    In These Times 4.11.03

    As I raise my head to broadcast my objection
    As your latest triumph draws the final straw
    Who died and lifted you up to perfection?
    And what silenced me is written into law.

    I can't believe where circumstance has thrown me
    And I turn my head away
    If I look I'm not sure that I could face you.
    Not again. Not today. Not today.

    If hatred makes a play on me tomorrow
    And forgiveness takes a back seat to revenge
    There's a hurt down deep that has not been corrected
    There's a voice in me that says you will not win.

    And if I ignore the voice inside,
    Raise a half glass to my home.
    But it's there that I am most afraid,
    And forgetting doesn't hold...

    M.Stipe REM The Final Straw
    link path from Lynne d Johnson
    archive for March 2003{lots of good hiphop peace love}


    In an effort to maintain their sense of identity and solidarity, Iraqi Christians have kept alive the centuries-old languages such as Assyrian or Aramaic, the latter being the language spoken by Jesus and still used today by Christian communities in some parts of Syria. It is doubtful that the evangelical Christian Zionists in the US administration, of whom Bush himself is one, are aware of the complex and rich history of Arab Christians.

    Dramatizing the plight of his community, the Assyrian Catholic Patriarch of Iraq, Monsignor Ignace VIII Abdel Ahad, recently stated that the "Christians of Iraq are foremostly in solidarity with their Muslim compatriots. Like all Iraqis who are proud and attached to their land, they will defend their country." Referring to the US-UK invading troops, Abdel Ahad stated: "Iraqis do not consider foreign armies as liberators but colonizers. Those who are now invading the country are not here to defend human rights." 22 april 2003


    Hey now don't those days go by

    hair gettin' almost white as mom's

    the fate of the world in your hands

    the dog gnawing at your brainstem

    and winter comin' in

    I mean summer

    summer comin' in


    The Ministry for Religious Affairs was set on fire, destroying thousands of Korans, some a thousand years old. "When Baghdad fell to the Mongols in 1258, these books survived," said a ministry official. "If you talk to any intellectual Muslims in the world, they are crying right now." A poll found that most Americans believe that the war against Iraq will have been worthwhile even if weapons of mass destruction are never found and Saddam Hussein is never captured or killed.

    Harper's Weekly Review April 22, 2003

    The beautiful spring weather over the Easter weekend has caused an exodus of people travelling to the coast and major recreational areas. Amusement parks have also welcomed large numbers of visitors. Many foreign tourists have visited Amsterdam and the country's bulb-growing areas.

    As a result of the exceptionally dry weather, there is an increased risk of forest fires in the Dutch national parks. At the weekend, fires broke out in three different nature reserves in the northeast of the country. They were quickly brought under control, and the damage was limited.

    Radio Netherlands 21 April 2003

    As death has been shoved out of the house and moved to the hospital, emotions have been kept to the minimum, and those who might mourn in public are avoided and viewed negatively. In contemporary America such processes in the denial of death have taken a somewhat unique form. In sharp contrast to the medieval attitude towards death and its representation in daily life, the deathbed scene has all but been removed. Death is usually a moment that occurs at hospitals; it has left the home where it once identified the close relationship between individuals in the household from the time of their birth to their demise in the natural process of life.

    almost a side-note in a stunningly brilliant piece by Babak Rahimi, at Bad Subjects. link path from the steady and comforting randomwalks

    A recently published report from the COC, the Dutch association for the integration of homosexuality, shows that attitudes towards homosexual teachers and pupils have worsened over the past few years. Many homosexual teachers and pupils are becoming increasingly isolated as a result of pestering, name-calling and even physical abuse.
    Most school boards prefer to ignore the problem to avoid difficult discussions with pupils and parents. The problem is partly caused by the more conservative attitudes of the increasing number of immigrant children at Dutch high schools. The COC has called on the government to take measures to address the problem.

    Radio Netherlands 21 April 2003


    British forces detained Al-Jazeera TV correspondent Mohammad Al-Sayed Mohsen on Sunday in the Iraqi city of Basra where he is covering the US-led occupation.
    Two British armoured vehicles approached the crew as they were preparing a report in the Tanouma area on the eastern bank of the Shatt Al-Arab River and asked to see their press cards. Mohsen said a British soldier "became furious" when he read the cards, issued from the Iraqi Information Ministry, and confiscated his camera.
    The Al-Jazeera correspondent said it was the third time British forces had harassed him.
    Weapons were pointed at Mohsen and his driver. The Al-Jazeera correspondent said the British soldier said US-led forces "were dealing only with listed journalists who accompanied coalition forces."

    Al Jazeera Monday 21, April, 2003

    Perhaps it's time to give Mr Ritter another chance. It may, in fact, be time to reassess who exactly has been the deceiver and who the dupe in this whole affair. What Mr Ritter and others now allege, with increasing confidence, is a pattern of false information emanating from both Washington and London since last September � lies and distortions that launched a major war and are only now beginning to be widely exposed.

    Andrew Gumbel Independent UK 19 April 2003
    {but of course Ritter's a child molester right? so nothing he says has any merit. because they told us.
    but wait a minute.
    the same guys he says are lying told us he's a child molester. but then, if they really are lying, and we stop pretending to believe them, there won't be anyone to take care of us.}

    the as-yet-unexecuted will of Ingrid Newkirk:

    The second beneficiary is Kenneth Feld, owner of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. He can expect to receive her pointing finger to stand as "the greatest accusation on Earth" on behalf of animals used for public entertainment.

    Her stipulations are in accord with the spirit of outrage fostered by Peta, which is based in the United States. In the past, its members have dropped a dead raccoon on the plate of a lunching Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue, over the use of fur in the magazine and claimed � without evidence � that the fat in milk contributed to the prostrate cancer of the former mayor of New York, Rudy Guiliani.

    Ms Newkirk also said in her will that she hoped foot-and-mouth disease would reach the US since it would harm those "who profit from giving people heart attacks".

    Ms Newkirk, 53, who was born in England, is still going strong as the mainstay of Peta. She stressed that the final decision over the use of her body remained with Peta. When she does die, lunching fashion editors may feel the need to examine the contents of their plates a little more carefully than usual.

    Terry Kirby Independent UK 19 April 2003

    The forest fires raging across Scotland this weekend are set to cost landowners and local authorities millions of pounds, with the cost of the Ayrshire blaze alone estimated at between �2 million and �3m.

    Firefighters were last night struggling to battle the heath, moorland and forest fires extending across Scotland as forecasters predicted only a slight respite from the unseasonably dry spring weather.

    Sunday Herald (Glasgow)

    Percentage points by which wearing a swimsuit increased the average math test score among men in a Michigan study : 4

    Percentage points by which wearing a swimsuit decreased the average score among women : 6

    Harper's Index online March 2003

    WHO SARS data

    {double the total number of deaths and you have less than 400. since November. it could become some kind of plague-level death trip but, at this moment, it may, after 5 months, just barely be pushing the daily mortality numbers for road fatalities world-wide.}


    More than 20,000 people marched through Baghdad yesterday in the biggest anti-American protest so far, just nine days after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.
    The demonstrators poured on to the streets from mosques after the first Friday prayers since United States forces captured the Iraqi capital.
    Waving Korans, placards and banners, they demanded the establishment of an Islamic state and the withdrawal of the "army of occupation".
    The protest, well organised and orderly, sent a forceful signal of the widespread and steadily growing anger against the American forces and the near-anarchy that has followed their arrival. Days of looting have gone unchecked and US authorities are also being blamed for not restoring electricity and water to the capital.
    Shia and Sunni clerics urged the congregation, in fiery sermons, to show their bitterness to the Americans. The marchers came from several mosques and converged in Azamiyah, a central district, for the peaceful protest.

    independent uk 19 April 2003

    Around 20 high-ranking North Korean military officers and scientists have defected during the past six months, some of them to the United States. A report in the Australian newspaper The Weekend Australian says the North Koreans were smuggled out of the country to the West in a secret operation using embassies in China. The island state of Nauru in the Pacific played a key role.

    A diplomatic solution to the issue of North Korea's nuclear programme still seems far off. It is still not clear whether talks between Pyongyang, Washington and Peking scheduled for next week will now go ahead, following reports that North Korea is trying to obtain plutonium for nuclear weapons.

    Radio Netherlands 19 April 2003


    After that, a carefully selected �Military Governor� would be installed, followed by a carefully selected �Interim Administrator�, both of whom could be relied on to look after Israel�s best interests, rather than those of America. The Israeli-Jewish lobby in New York vetted a few possible candidates, then made their final choices.
    The new �Military Governor� of Iraq will be retired American Lieutenant General Jay Garner, a very close and ardent supporter of Israel. In fact, Garner is a member of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a cabal of Jewish American military officers who have long advocated putting Israel's security needs before those of the United States. From Israel�s viewpoint, Garner is their perfect point man in Iraq, guaranteed to solve any little �problems� that might be encountered while setting up the two massive oil pipelines running from Iraq to Haifa.
    Following in Jay Garner�s footsteps will be new �Interim Administrator� Ahmad Chalabi, who was convicted in Jordan in 1992 of 31 charges of embezzlement and misuse of funds while running the Petra Bank, a known Mossad front. Chalabi was sentenced to 22 years imprisonment, but somehow managed to �escape� from police custody in Amman before he could be transported to prison.

    Steve Seymour(?)'s somewhat shrill anti-Israel pages
    {anti-Israeli is not anti-Semitic, whatever semitic means now.
    these are independently verifiable facts. Garner either is or isn't a member of Jinsa, Jinsa has a website. the problem of course is that at a certain point it will no longer matter whether these things are true. because it will be too late to do anything about them.}

    Spokesmen of CENTCOM refuse to answer questions about Franks� background, which is very sketchy, and few details are found in any of the published biographical sources. Biographical entries about Franks are quite unusual in that they do not include the names of his parents or his religion. "My faith in God is important", Franks said in an interview - however, it is not known which faith he belongs to.
    Although it has been said that Franks is of Russian Jewish extraction, the son or grandson of Khazar Jewish refugees from the Soviet Union, like Gen. Wesley Kanne Clark (who was raised as a Protestant in Little Rock), the religious and ethnic background of Tommy Franks is simply not known.

    Truth Seeker UK 07/03/2003

    Paul Wolfowitz

    The deputy defence secretary is the arch-ideologue of the Bush administration and the key architect in the Pentagon of the post-war reconstruction of Iraq.

    Like many of the reconstructors Wolfowitz of Arabia, as he is known, is a ranking member of the leading neo-conservative think-tank the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which advocated regime change in Iraq even before George W Bush took office. He is also, like many of the reconstruction team, a key member of the ultra-right-wing Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa) � a think-tank that puts Israel and its security at the heart of US foreign policy. Many of the reconstuctors � known as Wolfie�s People or the True Believers � are hand-picked place-men chosen by the defence deputy. Wolfowitz is the ideological link in Team Bush�s grand scheme. His thinking is and was central to the war and its aftermath.

    Neil Mackay Sunday Herald (Glasgow)
    also thumbnails on:

    Lewis Libby
    Donald Rumsfeld
    Richard Perle
    Dick Cheney
    Michael Joyce
    James Woolsey
    Lt Gen Jay Garner
    Lt Gen Ron Adams
    Lt Gen John Abizaid
    Maj Gen Bruce Moore and Gen Buck Walters
    Cap Frederick �Skip� Burkle
    Gen Jerry Bates
    Col George Oliver
    Col Richard Naab

    {ok I'll admit it. I want to be liked, respected. paid attention to, the things that I value about myself, were they honored by others, well, it wouldn't ruin my day. so I wrote to the already mentioned Making Light's comments on the looting of the antiquities in Baghdad, implying in my own odd way that the Jewish religion and its adherents worldwide had a lot to do with what was happening there, including of course that saintly land, that holy land, that...Israel. and the mistress of light says in the brief time she had for such nonsense that of course any sensible person would know that was nonsense. surreal in the words of her moderator. of course. and this Jinsa horseshit? nonsense. Wolfowitz? nonsense. Israel? even more nonsense.

    but I'm right and I know I'm right. and I'm sick of having to try to explain the difference between a pure hatred and disgust for Israeli death trips, and a recognition of the presence of Jewish people among the races of the world. the agents of our doom, the bringers of the death of all of us, are operating behind the shield that confusion creates. and they've won almost everything now.

    Is Hezbollah really more of a threat to the U.S. mainland than Al Qaida? Get real. Throughout its history, Hezbollah has focused primarily on a military campaign in and around Lebanon, although the Iraq invasion has led to new calls for action against Western troops in other Arab lands. Meanwhile, Al Qaida has repeatedly stated its intent to continue bringing terror to Western civilians in their own countries. Acknowledging the distinction may be gruesome Realpolitik, but that's how the hawk game is played, isn't it? Armitage is a fool if he believes Hezbollah is more of a threat to the United States than Osama's crew.

    Monkey Media April 2003

    Palestinian spokesman Erekat reports that Abu Abbas visited Palestine on various occasions with the knowledge of the US and Israel.

    His arrest is an example of disingenuousness on the part of the US administration. A deal was cut concerning Abu Abbas in Oslo more than 10 years ago. There is no drama in the arrest.

    Guess who had some involvement with the first bring me the head of Abu Abbas gig back in 1985: Oliver North.

    LiberalArtsMafia (04.16.03)


    {well I put my foot in it yesterday. now I feel like a Martian again. I hate that. the unedited cause is here, though the real cause is more deeply woven. the immediate is my lack of sense, the idea that anything would be posted that was at least readable. but no. these are chat room alumni, with protocols and cultural biases that are as rigid and conservative as any country club's. I am right now this minute right here biting my tongue figuratively. it's so disgusting. the hippie version of that did the same thing to me back in the 70's. all these smug little counter-cultural agents. but cowards ultimately. so I can't get a real take on whether I fucked up or not. because they're so wimpy I'd feel contaminated by their praise. but right now I'm making my own little postings and pretending someone is there to read it. them.
    all this hand-wringing over the 'antiquities' is, what do they call that on the couch, deflection? projection? one of those. and hey, I love art, artifacts, old things. though I did have a minor epiphany one day when I gave myself permission to say out loud I thought virtually all 'pre-Columbian' meso-American stuff was ugly. but here's the current thing, these antiquities are data mostly, some ornaments, some art, some prayers, but a lot of ancient books. these are bookish people. so there you go. neither better nor worse than moms decrying the deaths of so many Iraqi children. but the tears in Making Light are mostly for the things. and I'm only exploiting that for combat purposes, I'm numb, and I'm not even looking toward Iraq anymore. that's not what's going on now. Iraq is over. and what's coming is maybe a little more culturally irresponsible than the looting of the Baghdad museums. maybe.
    but maybe it'll quiet down now, and stay that way for a long time.
    what disgusts me most is the refusal of all these well-fed intellect-bunnies to confront whatever did what they so loudly lament.
    what did it? who did it? well that was what I was trying to get to. not Bush, not even Sharon and all those behind the scenes manipulators. something bigger than all them I think, but something that needs them to do its work. something that wouldn't exist without a human presence. either that or it's all just a terrible mistake, a big mistake that just keeps going on and on, getting bigger and more terrible every day.}


    Syria has submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council, calling for a ban on weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. The resolution, which has the support of the 22 members of the Arab League, calls on all countries in the region to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

    Middle Eastern countries would also have to abide by international treaties which ban the possession of biological and chemical weapons. The Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, Mikhail Wehbe, said Israel possesses weapons of mass destruction.

    His American counterpart, John Negroponte, said the United States favours the abolition of weapons of mass destruction, but for the time being is concentrating on looking for hiding places in Iraq. The United States, which has accused Syria of hiding Iraqi weapons, says Damascus possesses chemical weapons.

    Radio Netherlands 17 April 2003

    I imagined leadership that would take this incredible energy, this generosity of spirit and create a new unity in America born out of the chaos and tragedy of 9/11, a new unity that would send a message to terrorists everywhere: If you attack us, we will become stronger, cleaner, better educated, and more unified. You will strengthen our commitment to justice and democracy by your inhumane attacks on us. Like a Phoenix out of the fire, we will be reborn.

    And then came the speech: You are either with us or against us. And the bombing began. And the old paradigm was restored as our leader encouraged us to show our patriotism by shopping and by volunteering to join groups that would turn in their neighbor for any suspicious behavior.

    In the 19 months since 9-11, we have seen our democracy compromised by fear and hatred. Basic inalienable rights, due process, the sanctity of the home have been quickly compromised in a climate of fear. A unified American public has grown bitterly divided, and a world population that had profound sympathy and support for us has grown contemptuous and distrustful, viewing us as we once viewed the Soviet Union, as a rogue state.

    Tim Robbins April 15, 2003 (via common dreams)

    "They made a big show," said Haitham Gizzy, a physician at the public hospital here who treated Lynch for her injuries. "It was just a drama," he said. "A big, dramatic show."

    Gizzy and other doctors said no Iraqi soldiers or militiamen were at the hospital that night, April 1, when the U.S. Special Operations forces came in helicopters to carry out the midnight rescue. Most of the Saddam's Fedayeen fighters, and the entire Baath Party leadership, including the governor of the province, had come to the hospital earlier in the day, changed into civilian clothes and fled, the doctors said.


    Lynch, 19, a supply clerk with the Army's 507th Maintenance Company, was captured March 23 when her unit made a wrong turn near Nasiriyah and was ambushed. Initial accounts reported how she was shot and stabbed and continued battling Iraqi fighters until she ran out of ammunition. But the doctors here who treated her said she suffered fractures to her arms and lower limbs and a "small skull wound," sustained when her vehicle overturned.

    Lynch's U.S. doctors have said she suffered fractures in her upper right arm, upper left leg, lower left leg and right ankle and foot. Her father, Greg Lynch Sr., told reporters she had no penetration wounds.

    "It was a road traffic accident," Gizzy said. "There was not a drop of blood. . . . There were no bullets or shrapnel or anything like that." At the hospital, he said, "She was given special care, more than the Iraqi patients."
    Keith B. Richburg washington post April 15, 2003


    Terry Jones

    Sunday April 13, 2003

    The Observer

    Well the war has been a huge success, and I guess it's time for congratulations all round. And wow! It's hard to know where to begin.

    First, I'd like to congratulate Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) and the Bechtel Corporation, which are the construction companies most likely to benefit from the reconstruction of Iraq. Contracts in the region of $1 billion should soon coming your way, chaps. Well done! And what with the US dropping 15,000 precision-guided munitions, 7,500 unguided bombs and 750 cruise missiles on Iraq so far and with more to come, there's going to be a lot of reconstruction. It looks like it could be a bonanza year.

    Of course, we all know that KBR is the construction side of Halliburton, and it has been doing big business with the military ever since the Second World War. Most recently, it got the plum job of constructing the prison compound for terrorists suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Could be a whole lot more deluxe chicken coops coming your way in the next few months, guys. Stick it to 'em.

    I'd also like to add congratulations to Dick Cheney, who was chief executive of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000, and who currently receives a cheque for $1 million a year from his old company. I guess he may find there's a little surprise bonus in there this year. Well done, Dick.

    Congratulations, too, to former Secretary of State, George Schultz. He's not only on the board of Bechtel, he's also chairman of the advisory board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a group with close ties to the White House committed to reconstructing the Iraqi economy through war. You're doing a grand job, George, and I'm sure material benefits will be coming your way, as sure as the Devil lives in Texas.

    Oh, before I forget, a big round of appreciation for Jack Sheehan, a retired general who sits on the Defence Policy Board which advises the Pentagon. He's a senior vice president at Bechtel and one of the many members of the Defence Policy Board with links to companies that make money out of defence contracts. When I say 'make money' I'm not joking. Their companies have benefited to the tune of $76bn just in the last year. Talk about a gravy train. Well, Jack, you and your colleagues can certainly look forward to a warm and joyous Christmas this year.

    Napoleon sent Polish soldiers to fight the uprising Haitians. But the Poles liked the Haitians. So they joined same. In one Haitian village in particular, Cazale, are numerous honey-skinned blonds with high cheekbones and blue or green eyes.


    And where were the pictures from the village of Furat, where 80 men, women and children were rocketed to death? Apart from the Mirror, where were the pictures, and footage, of small children holding up their hands in terror while Bush's thugs forced their families to kneel in the street? Imagine that in a British high street. It is a glimpse of fascism, and we have a right to see it.

    "To initiate a war of aggression," said the judges in the Nuremberg trial of the Nazi leadership, "is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." In stating this guiding principle of international law, the judges specifically rejected German arguments of the "necessity" for pre-emptive attacks against other countries.

    John Pilger :10 Apr 2003

    Men Throwing Bricks

    The one on the ground lofts two at a time
    with just the right lift for them to finish
    their rise as the one on the scaffold turns
    to accept them like a gift and place them
    on the growing stack. They chime slightly
    on the catch. You'd have to do this daily,
    morning and afternoon, not to marvel.

    Michael Chitwood Poetry Daily April 15 2003

    read tom toles

    Ground Two


    Today, let's examine some of the fat hogs of academia that keep rushing to the trough of corporate money and wallowing in blatant conflicts of interest. The latest breed to feed at this trough is the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

    Guess who is providing a million bucks to the academy to help promote the health of children's teeth? Coca Cola - yes the makers of caramel colored sugar water! Maybe the dental society can get a matching grant from the makers of Twinkies.

    For Coca Cola to urge kids to "brush regularly" is like Budweiser running its sanctimonious ads on St. Patrick's Day urging us to "drink responsibly." Of course, the soft drink PR hustlers dashed out to assert with a straight face that: "Scientific evidence shows that soft drinks do not cause obesity, dental cavities, or any other health problem."

    Sure, and cigarettes don't cause lung cancer - remember that one? In fact, there's plenty of scientific evidence to show that the surge in children's consumption of soft drinks is, as one academic journal reported last fall, "paralleled by increasing rates of obesity in children and reports of rampant tooth decay."

    Interestingly, while the dental academy is cozying up to Coke, practicing dentists all over the country are so alarmed by the role of sodas in children's tooth problems that they've been joining the spreading grassroots movement to ban soda machines from schools. Brand me a skeptic if you must, but somehow I doubt that the academy's Coke-funded dental health promotion will include pushing cola out of schools.

    Big Jim Hightower 4/10/2003

    Oh, good. It looks as though we're going to have as big a fight over postwar plans for Iraq as we did over the war itself. Just what we need -- more of everybody being at everybody else's throat.

    Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who seems prepared to run the world, favors one Ahmed Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress, an exile-emigre group, as postwar leader (read figurehead-puppet). Chalabi is bitterly opposed by both the State Department and the CIA.

    According to Knight-Ridder's Jonathan Landay, American military planes flew Chalabi and 700 troops, the newly named "First Battalion of Free Iraqi Forces," into Nasiriyah on Sunday to be integrated into Gen. Tommy Franks' command.
    Landay reports: "Senior administration officials said that Chalabi had had difficulty recruiting enough forces to go into southern Iraq and may have tapped the discredited Badr Brigade, an Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim group, to get his 700 soldiers." Think how happy the Iraqis will be to see some detachment from their old enemy Iran.

    Landay also reports: "It was information provided by Chalabi that led Rumsfeld and [Paul] Wolfowitz to a prewar belief that Iraqis would rise up and welcome the invading coalition with open arms, that the Republican Guard would surrender in droves and the government of Saddam Hussein would crumble in a matter of days."

    This gets better. Chalabi has been in exile for four decades, and in 1992 he was convicted on multiple counts of embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars in Jordan after the failure of his bank there. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison. He escaped from Jordan, reportedly in the trunk of a car, and wound up in London.

    The Iraqi National Congress has received millions in American aid money, but the accounting has been very poor (a familiar story), and quite a bit of the money is unaccounted for.

    The Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz choice for "viceroy designate" of Iraq is Gen. Jay Garner, head of the Pentagon's Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. Garner is a retired military man with links to both the international arms industry and a Jewish lobby group.

    After retiring from the Army, Garner became president of SY Coleman, a defense contractor specializing in military defense technology. He is currently on leave of absence from the company.

    Blessed Molly Ivins Dallas-Fort Worth Star Telegram 4/10/2003


    concise overview of the Middle-East theater from Dilip Hiro in the Guardian April 13, 2003

    and by the same author, Iraq FAQs at Nation Books

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A bomb dropped by an American warplane pursuing suspected attackers landed on a home in eastern Afghanistan, killing 11 Afghan civilians, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

    Guardian UK April 9, 2003

    As US troops take the Iraq war out of the desert and into the main cities, they are increasingly seeing children in their line of fire.

    Many are innocent civilians in the wrong place at the wrong time and military officers concede that some may have been killed in artillery or mortar fire, or shot down by soldiers whose judgment is impaired in the "fog of war".

    But others are apparently being used as fighters or more often as scouts and weapons collectors. US officers and soldiers say that turns them into legitimate targets.

    "I think they're cowards," Boggs said of the parents or Fedayeen paramilitaries who send out children to the battlefield.

    "I think they thought we wouldn't shoot kids. But we showed them we don't care. We are going to do what we have to do to stay alive and keep ourselves safe."

    Sydney Morning Herasld April 8 2003
    {the 'fog of war' surrounds all of us now. all of us. and it will for the rest of our lives.

    I see this boy, this Boggs, set down in the midst of a dream, a fairy-tale land of dragons and ogres and trolls and he has to keep himself safe and alive. what an odd thing to say. because wouldn't that have started back home? wasn't he safe and alive back home?}

    TIM ROBBINS [to Baseball Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey after Robbin's invitation to an event there was cancelled because of his position against the war]:

    "Your subservience to your friends in the administration is embarrassing to baseball and by engaging in this enterprise you show that you belong with other cowards and ideologues in a hall of infamy and shame. Long live democracy, free speech and the '69 Mets."

    upheld by the unstoppable Sam Smith April 11

    CounterPunch pulls the veil off 'Ken Joseph'

    Carol Lipton April 12, 2003

    {there's an understandable slippage, a passive glide into lessened knowing on the part of many prominent voices in this light-filled arena. the idea that the most substantive predicament the most important topic is 'war' and only that, the presence of an image in the minds of all of us of a man who is purported to be the 'leader' of America, these things are real, but chaff, bits of tinfoil to foul the radar, but more than that too, tinfoil that kills on its own. so it is understandable. at the same time someone as deservedly respected as rebecca blood posts her concern and bewilderment that the American military is dropping 'yellow food packets' down upon the very places it has dropped 'yellow cluster bombs', and this one and a half years after the same 'incompetence' in Afghanistan.

    when does it become unavoidable? when is it too obvious? it's denial. this can't be happening. and it's that simple.
    an appeal to reason, as the psychopath giggles and licks the gore from his fingers.}


    ...of Noah whom nobody
    believed about the waters
    that would rise over everything
    when I told my father
    I wanted us to build
    an ark of our own there
    in the back yard under
    the kitchen could we do that
    he told me that we could...

    W.S. Merwin the atlantic

    Q. I guess my question is, would you have attempted to be clearer?
    A. Had I known that there was a devious yellow journalist from a tabloid newspaper among the audience, I certainly would have selected my words somewhat more carefully. But I would not have changed the message. Unfortunately, that message has been largely lost on people who were not at the event.

    De Genova explicates, 4/18/2003

    Israel Defense Forces troops firing from a tank critically wounded a British man Friday as he and other activists in a pro-Palestinian group approached an army position on the edge of a Gaza refugee camp, witnesses said.

    Haaretz April 12, 2003


    The Americans may think they have "liberated" Baghdad but the tens of thousands of thieves - they came in families and cruised the city in trucks and cars searching for booty - seem to have a different idea of what liberation means.

    American control of the city is, at best, tenuous - a fact underlined after several marines were killed last night by a suicide bomber close to the square where a statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down on Wednesday, in the most staged photo-opportunity since Iwo Jima.

    Throughout the day, American forces had fought gun battles with Saddam loyalists, said to be fighters from other Arab countries. And, for more than four hours, marines were in firefights at the Imam al-Adham mosque in the Aadhamiya district of central Baghdad after rumours, later proved untrue, that Saddam Hussein and senior members of his regime had taken flight there.

    As the occupying power, America is responsible for protecting embassies and UN offices in their area of control but, yesterday, its troops were driving past the German embassy even as looters carted desks and chairs out of the front gate.


    I watched hundreds of Iraqi civilians queuing to cross a motorway bridge at Daura yesterday morning, each man ordered by US soldiers to raise his shirt and lower his trousers - in front of other civilians, including women - to prove they were not suicide bombers.

    After a gun battle in the Adamiya area during the morning, an American Marine sniper sitting atop the palace gate wounded three civilians, including a little girl, in a car that failed to halt - then shot and killed a man who had walked on to his balcony to discover the source of the firing. Within minutes, the sniper also shot dead the driver of another car and wounded two more passengers in that vehicle, including a young woman. A crew from Channel 4 Television was present when the killings took place.

    Meanwhile, in the suburb of Daura, bodies of Iraqi civilians - many of them killed by US troops in battle earlier in the week - lay rotting in their still-smouldering cars.

    Robert Fisk Independent UK 12 April 2003


    CISCO officers will place electronic cameras at the homes of those under quarantine.

    These people will then be called at random intervals and asked to stand in front of the camera to show they are home.

    Anyone found breaking quarantine will be served a warning letter and given an electronic wrist tag.

    This tag is linked to a dedicated phone line and will alert CISCO if the person leaves the house or tries to break the tag. 10 April 2003

    There will be a homecoming no doubt for Corporal Breeze and I suppose I admired his innocence despite the deadly realities that await America in this dangerous, cruel land. For even as the marine tanks thrashed and ground down the highway, there were men and women who saw them and stood, the women scarved, the men observing the soldiers with the most acute attention, who spoke of their fear for the future, who talked of how Iraq could never be ruled by foreigners.

    "You'll see the celebrations and we will be happy Saddam has gone," one of them said to me. "But we will then want to rid ourselves of the Americans and we will want to keep our oil and there will be resistance and then they will call us "terrorists". Nor did the Americans look happy "liberators". They pointed their rifles at the pavements and screamed at motorists to stop - one who did not, an old man in an old car, was shot in the head in front of two French journalists.

    Of course, the Americans knew they would get a good press by "liberating" the foreign journalists at the Palestine Hotel. They lay in the long grass of the nearest square and pretended to aim their rifles at the rooftops as cameras hissed at them, and they flew a huge American flag from one of their tanks and grinned at the journalists, not one of whom reminded them that just 24 hours earlier, their army had killed two Western journalists with tank fire in that same hotel and then lied about it.

    the intrepid and infamous Robert Fisk IndependentUK 10 April 2003


    Medicins sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders
    Top 10 Most Underreported Stories of 2002


    April 8 - In just 24 hours, the number of journalists killed covering the war in Iraq has doubled and it is time now for both sides to stop targeting journalists, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) said today.

    "It has been nothing less than a bloodbath," CJFE Executive Director Joel Ruimy said of the carnage last night and this morning that claimed the lives of two correspondents and three cameramen. "With these new deaths, a total of nine journalists have been killed covering this war. Another three have died from other causes.

    "That compares with four journalists killed in the entire six-week Gulf War of 1991 and eight during the Afghanistan War in 2001."

    The accused hacker's father is Clain Anderson, a top security exec for IBM who specializes in fighting hackers and is also a bishop of the Mormon church.

    "They say you have to be crazy to do this work, but we're just a little crazy," says Hayes, a 52-year-old ex-Australian army munitions instructor. "The crazy part is the way people have to live with all this stuff in their ground."

    If you want the a worst-case scenario for the aftermath of what America's military is doing to Iraq, visit Laos.

    Between 1964 and 1973, the United States unleashed upon Laos the most fearsome bombing barrage in history, and the shell pieces and unexploded ordnance left behind utterly changed the way people live. And die.

    Kevin Fagan SFChronicle March 30, 2003, linkpoint from JHAI foundation newsletter (good coffee!)


    rubber bullets

    And of course we are all happy to learn that the Bush administration plans to provide universal health care and massive school construction for postwar Iraq, while simultaneously cutting health and education funding here at home.

    Those of you who feel an impulse to raise your hand and ask, "Uh, what about us?" are just being selfish. If we get universal health care and massive school construction (between one-third and one-half of all American schools are somewhere between dilapidated and flat falling apart), why then, Bush couldn't afford to give a $350 billion tax cut to the richest 1 percent of Americans. You see how selfish you're being?

    Marian Wright Edelman of the Children's Defense Fund has a depressing new set of statistics about the damage being done to American children � more falling into poverty, more homeless, and cuts to Head Start, Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program, after school, pre-school, schools, food programs ... on and on the list goes. Edelman calls it "an ideological coup d'etat." Did anyone vote for this?

    The other night in Ames, Iowa, a man stood up to ask me a question. "I'm from Texas, but I left 50 years ago," he said. "I guess I've just forgotten. Could you explain to me just what you Texans mean when you say, 'compassion?'"

    Molly Ivins April 5, 2003 at Common Dreams

    Red Cross doctors who visited southern Iraq this week saw "incredible" levels of civilian casualties including a truckload of dismembered women and children, a spokesman said Thursday from Baghdad.
    Roland Huguenin, one of six International Red Cross workers in the Iraqi capital, said doctors were horrified by the casualties they found in the hospital in Hilla, about 160 kilometres south of Baghdad.
    "There has been an incredible number of casualties with very, very serious wounds in the region of Hilla," Huguenin said in a interview by satellite telephone.
    "We saw that a truck was delivering dozens of totally dismembered dead bodies of women and children. It was an awful sight. It was really very difficult to believe this was happening."

    CTV Canadian Press Apr. 3 2003

    While the world focuses on Iraq, 17 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1000 detained as Israeli forces step up 'anti-terrorism' raids.
    In Tulkarm, just inside the Palestinian side of the imaginary green line separating the occupied West Bank from Israel proper, few now doubt that the war in Iraq has brought about their worst nightmares.
    Early on Wednesday morning, residents in the town's refugee camp woke to the sound of gunfire, stun grenades and helicopters. The Israeli army had descended in force and for Palestinians, it provided proof that Ariel Sharon, Israel's hawkish prime minister, was doing what they always said he would -- using the US-British war on Iraq as camouflage for a crackdown.
    More than 1000 male residents aged 15 to 40 were forced from their homes, taken to a school, frisked and forbidden to return for two days while the army searched their houses for weapons. The raid came three days after a suicide bomber from the town blew himself up in the nearby Israeli resort of Netanya, wounding more than 30 people.

    Robert Tait Sunday Herald (Scotland)


    Appearing to enjoy his role as Commander in Chief of the armed forces above all other functions of his office, and unchecked by a seemingly timid Congress, a compliant Supreme Court, a largely subservient press and a corrupt corporate plutocracy, George W. Bush has set the nation on a course for one-man rule.

    He treads carelessly on the Bill of Rights, the United Nations and international law while creating a costly but largely useless new federal bureaucracy loosely called "Homeland Security." Meanwhile, such fundamental building blocks of national security as full employment and a strong labor movement are of no concern. The nearly $1.5 trillion tax giveaway, largely for the further enrichment of those already rich, will have to be made up by cutting government services and shifting a larger share of the tax burden to workers and the elderly. This President and his advisers know well how to get us involved in imperial crusades abroad while pillaging the ordinary American at home. The same families who are exploited by a rich man's government find their sons and daughters being called to war, as they were in Vietnam--but not the sons of the rich and well connected. (Let me note that the son of South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson is now on duty in the Persian Gulf. He did not use his obvious political connections to avoid military service, nor did his father seek exemptions for his son. That goes well with me, with my fellow South Dakotans and with every fair-minded American.)

    The invasion of Iraq and other costly wars now being planned in secret are fattening the ever-growing military-industrial complex of which President Eisenhower warned in his great farewell address. War profits are booming, as is the case in all wars. While young Americans die, profits go up.

    George McGovern The Reason Why
    The Nation April 3, 2003

    NCIC records are used every day by law enforcement agencies all over the nation. The accuracy requirement was established under the 1974 Privacy Act, one purpose of which was to ensure that federal records, which could have enormous impact on people's lives if misused, don't contain erroneous information. For more information, as well as an online petition asking for a reversal of this misguided shift, visit the Electronic Privacy Information Center Web site (

    The Bush administration's attitude, assisted by a Congress that long since abandoned any commitment to liberty, is that government has the right to know absolutely everything about you and that government can violate your fundamental rights with impunity as long as the cause is deemed worthy.

    You, on the other hand, have absolutely no right to know what the government is doing in your name and with your money, unless the information is deemed harmless by people who have every motive to cover up misdeeds.

    Dan Gillmor SJ Mercury News Apr. 06, 2003


    {I'm getting a little obsessive about this I'm afraid, but circumstances do seem a little pressing.
    the morality of the main actors in this episode of the ongoing drama we're all cast in, that of Bush and them, is 'intentionality' based. it matters 'why' things are done. mostly that matters more than what. this is a subversion of the natural order, in which 'why' means nothing, and 'what' means all. it seems at times as though we've entered a cul-de-sac, a corner, a place under the stairs some sick child crawls into, with its delusions and fantasies and an insistence on the 'truth' of what are so clearly untrue things.
    I believe more and more every day that these delusions and the insistence on an 'intentionality'-based moral system, are caused by two things:

  • traumatic childhood discipline
  • male circumcision

    I know it seems bizarre on the surface, these things are so common, but think of this:
    in the embrace of the family a young child experiments, and sometimes those experiments have unintended consequences, sometimes negative ones. judgement is made by authority, based on more than outcome, based also on motive and consciousness. intention. and 'punishment' is rendered accordingly, as guidance. in that sense the society can be seen as a larger family. intention matters there also. and in the religions we inherit. but in the natural, the 'real' world, all that matters is what works and what doesn't. consideration of intent is part of the nurturing of children. it has nothing to do with biology, except tangentially, because our social living, our society, is a means of survival.
    biology is what all this is, no matter how loudly the priests and rabbis and imams scream their accusations and denials. all these men are following the demands of biology, cunningly, selflessly at times, but never anything more or less.
    so a child is spanked and grows up to expect, to demand, 'punishment' for other malefactors because in a fundamental way, this is how the world is structured. and over time they create a punishing God in that same image, who cares nothing for the world of living things, and only for the spark of will inside the body, inside the mind, somewhere.

    circumcision is so obviously a means of psychologically dominating a helpless child it would seem to need no debate.

    and all that is in response to the idea that these men in 'charge' are more and more acting out the 'end justifies the means' trope. to debate them on moral grounds is a mistake, their morality is a mask for their biology. that is the conflict, as it always has been, the rest is camoflage.}

  • 5.4.03

    Increasingly, on British and American TV, Iraqi soldiers are being referred to as "militia" (ie: rabble). One BBC correspondent portentously referred to them as "quasi-terrorists". Iraqi defense is "resistance" or worse still, "pockets of resistance", Iraqi military strategy is deceit. (The US government bugging the phone lines of UN security council delegates, reported by the Observer, is hard-headed pragmatism.) Clearly for the "Allies", the only morally acceptable strategy the Iraqi army can pursue is to march out into the desert and be bombed by B-52s or be mowed down by machine-gun fire. Anything short of that is cheating.

    And now we have the siege of Basra. About a million and a half people, 40 per cent of them children. Without clean water, and with very little food. We're still waiting for the legendary Shia "uprising", for the happy hordes to stream out of the city and rain roses and hosannahs on the "liberating" army. Where are the hordes? Don't they know that television productions work to tight schedules? (It may well be that if Saddam's regime falls there will be dancing on the streets of Basra. But then, if the Bush regime were to fall, there would be dancing on the streets the world over.)

    Arundhati Roy at Common Dreams reprinted from the Guardian UK April 2, 2003

    5 April 2003:

    As of today, a cumulative total of 2416 SARS cases and 89 deaths have been reported from 18 countries. This represents an increase of 63 cases and 5 deaths compared with yesterday. The deaths occurred in Hong Kong SAR (3), Malaysia (1), and Singapore (1). The death reported by Malaysia represents the first case reported in that country.

    New cases were reported in Canada (5), Hong Kong SAR (39), Taiwan, China (2), Singapore (1), the United Kingdom (1), and the United States of America (15). One of the two probable cases reported in Switzerland was removed from the list.

    The World Health Organization's SARS pages.
    WHO is the United Nations specialized agency for health.

    UNICEF is the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund.
    in 1999 they had this to say:

    The first surveys since 1991 of child and maternal mortality in Iraq reveal that in the heavily-populated southern and central parts of the country, children under five are dying at more than twice the rate they were ten years ago. UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said the findings reveal an ongoing humanitarian emergency.

    UNICEF Newsline Wednesday, 12 August 1999.

    and now:

    Almost half of Iraq's total population is aged under 18. Even before the conflict began, many children were highly vulnerable to disease and malnutrition. One in four children aged under five is chronically malnourished. One in eight die before their fifth birthday.

    Iraq: The Big Picture UNICEF 5 April 2003
    {but now The Children of God will have their oil, and their relative 'security' increased, at least temporarily, and, maybe now, enough time for mercy.}


    Health authorities implemented tough legal steps on Friday in a bid to control an outbreak of a mysterious virus believed to have killed more than 80 people around the world.

    Officials in Hong Kong launched a hunt for residents who fled a badly hit apartment complex and President Bush issued an executive order allowing the forced quarantine of patients.

    Bush's order allows the Health and Human Services secretary to decide when a quarantine is needed. It calls for the "apprehension, detention or conditional release of individuals to prevent the introduction, transmission or spread of suspected communicable diseases."

    Reuters:Science News Headlines
    05 Apr 2003
    {how dutifully everyone responds to the cues:
    here! look! fear this!
    which I think is some kind of advertising slogan out here in California. anyway, fear this, no this, and now SARS. which from the get I thought presented another fine opportunity for lockdown and 'disappearance', this time outside the military/political venue. no, this is medical, which trumps even terrorism I think, for most people. so far 80 deaths worldwide. while in the US alone over 100 people die every day in traffic fatalities. it must be close to 1000 worldwide. every single day all year long. no worries though. I'm not exactly sure what mechanism is at work there, to get people to accept the one and fear the other, but whatever it is it's incredibly effective.}

    Blog Archive