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Gulf Wars Poster
GulfWars Poster
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4.22.03. A 'senior Bush administration official': "Anyone can go to Baghdad. Real men go to Tehran."
  .   .   .
Dixie Chicks Naked
"They shouldn't have their feelings hurt just because some people don't want to buy their records when they speak out. You know, freedom is a two-way street."
- G.W. Bush
(Clear Channel Role...)
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Signs in libraries inform the reader that the USA Patriot Act "prohibits library workers from informing you if federal agents have obtained records about you." ...more...
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" When I gave food to the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why the poor were hungry, they called me a communist." - Dom Helda Camara, Brazilian Bishop
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"The Most Emotionally Healthy Culture on the Planet"
-A North American Falls In Love with Brazil-
By John Perry Barlow
(NarcoNews April 7, 2003... more...)
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Cloak of Invisibility
  .   .   .
Max Tegmark in SciAm: A 4-level Multiverse, composed of an infinite number of parallel universes... (Max Tegmark... more)
  .   .   .
"In the depth of winter,
I finally learned that
within me there lay
an invincible summer."
- Albert Camus

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Previous issues:
  4.22.03
  4.14.03
  3.20.03

Contact editor
Iraq

May 18: Iraq: Bait Taken...
20 months after 911, things seem to be going pretty well for AlQuaeda...

Recently, the Bush administration has taken the bait, and destroyed Saddam's secularist stalinist regime; Iraq is now open for radical Islamic ferment. Ironically, preventing nuclear materials from falling into the hands of 'criminals and terrorists' was an officially stated goal of the invasion; yet US forces seem to have never considered securing said sites until long after they were looted- you might almost think the real goal was the opposite of stated policy. In fact, 'criminals and terrorists' had the once in a lifetime opportunity to walk in and take weapons and radioactive materials from unguarded sites once the iron hand of Saddam's security apparatus had been destroyed, with no interference from American forces.

While the American warstorm raged in Iraq, AlQuaeda stood back- naturally, when the giant attacks, the smaller force backs away to observe the playing out of the spasm and its consequences. And the actions of the enraged giant, seen from AlQuaeda's perspective, are furthering the Islamist anti-western agenda just fine thank you. That the US government expected AlQuaeda attacks during the war on Iraq, (and lowered security alerts after the fall of Badhdad) demonstrates in the very least a delusive underestimation of AlQuaeda's long term strategy to force the west out of the Islamic world. Now that The Coalition has taken the bait, and sits upon the volcano, it's time again for action... Casablanca, Riyadh, Chechnya...

The shock and awe operation of 911 sent a minority US government into rampage mode at home and abroad, further crippling the US economy, splitting the UN Security Council, dividing the western alliance, alienating world opinion, and turning on our own society with a nascent Orwellian state which threatens our own liberties and economy as well; in reaction to the bullying swagger of the US administration, Europe and the rest of the world have been obliged to begin seeking ways to politically and economically reduce American power in the world; mark another win for AlQuaeda- the west divided against itself.
Iraq has been delivered to Islamist ferment and radical recruitement; what better place to recruit than a large and proud arab nation occupied by nervous and massively armed american soldiers? If the US forces leave early, it could become a free for all, a fertile field for emergent radicalism; if the US stays in an attempt to engineer a western style commercial democracy, it will be easy for terror operatives to make the occupation look more like a mega West Bank every week. Either way a win for the Islamists. More- the overthrow of Saddam removed the justfication for US bases in Saudi Arabia, and the withdrawal of US forces there- a key goal of Osama binLaden- is in progress.
AlQuaeda may have been driven from impoverished Afghanistan, but this looks like a temporary, and, for AlQuaeda, acceptable setback; most operatives are now in fragile Pakistan, where radicalism is on the increase (see recent election results), thus putting AlQuaeda closer than ever to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Rising radicalism in Saudi Arabia cannot be prevented by the ruling family, and that kingdom looks closer than ever to falling to the Islamists. Recent attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca are meant to keep up the pressure on the governments and economies of western-friendly regimes, and inspire the new wave of Islamic recruits which American war policy is engendering; these are tactical operations only. It is the US response to the 911 strategic strike which 20 months later is still the big show- it continues to deliver it's harvest to AlQuaeda.

One can imagine that a different American administration, less insecure over it's own legitimacy, less dependent on power-obsessed unlilateralist idealogues for it's sense of the world we live in, less inclined to blind jingoism to build support at home, might have gone a different route following 911, avoiding this trap and outsmarting AlQuaeda in the larger strategic picture. Alas.
(Read previous posting on this topic..)

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Countries do get "suckered" into wars...
Brzezinski: "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."
From: The Silence About 911. William Rivers Pitt. Monday 21 April 2003

And of course, there was that "bungled diplomacy" in July of 1990, culminating with April Glaspie's meeting with Saddam, on the eve of the Kuwait invasion: "...we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait."   (Transcript)

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And by the way, where is Saddam? Where are his weapons of mass destruction? LATimes' Robert Scheer comments...

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More war notes:

A Crusade After All?
Bible Brigades Head for Iraq- 4 Articles:
Lampman - CSM / Gumbel - LATimes / Eisenberg - India Express
Sharlet - Harper's /

Baghdad Looting: Official Resigns in protest:
Martin Sullivan, head of the President's Cultural Advisory Committee called the looting a "tragedy," and charged it was not prevented "due to our nation's inaction." (more...)

Unprotected and looted: Baghdad's hospitals, the National Museum, the National Library.. PROTECTED: the Ministry of Oil-
"We have basically told Iraq that the only thing we value in their country is oil. Their heritage means nothing, their culture is irrelevant. The more I think about this, the more of a total disaster this is." -Steve Gilliard, Daily Kos (more...)

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War, What Is it Good For? - Bob Herbert, NYTimes, 4.21.03.

A picture making the rounds of the internet purports to be
Richard Perle's secret plan for the mideast (view in new window).

"I've been all the way through this desert from Basra to here and I ain't seen one shopping mall or fast food restaurant. These people got nothing. Even in a little town like ours of twenty five hundred people you got a McDonald's at one end and a Hardees at the other." from "The Sack of Baghdad" Robert Fiske (...more)

Pizza Hut and Burger King have set up their first Iraqi franchises, on a British military base near Basra. (Harper's WIR more...)
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Meanwhile, here at home, the aftershocks of 9/11 continue. Recent alarums of note:

Sean Penn: Kilroy's Still Here

'Tim Robbins: A Chill Wind is Blowing in This Nation...
Transcript of the speech to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., 4/15/03.

Bill Moyers: "America's corporate and political elites now form a regime of their own, and they are privatizing democracy. " -Bill Moyers, 4/18 (more...)

Margaret Atwood: What Happened to America? (Article...)

Gunter Grass - The U.S. Betrays Its Core Values (Article...)

Richard Dawkins: Bin Laden's Victory
"Bin Laden must be beside himself with glee. And the infidels are now walking right into the Iraq trap." (more...)

Brian Eno: The US Needs To Open Up to the World
"President Bush recently declared that the U.S. was 'the single surviving model of human progress.' Maybe some Americans think this self-evident, but the rest of us see it as a clumsy arrogance born of ignorance." (more...)

Gore Vidal: The Enemy Within (Article...)

Her Beautiful Mind...
Barbara Bush: 'Why should we hear about body bags and deaths...? Oh, I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" (more...)

Woolsey: It's World War IV
James Woolsey, ex- CIA director, in a speech sponsored by UCLA's campus Republicans and a group called "Americans for Victory Over Terrorism" said America had entered World War IV. (story...)
As of 4/22, Woolsey is being touted for a key position in liberated Iraq (ABC interview....)

Remember James Baker, Reagan's Secretary of State, top gun of GW Bush's election 2000 posse? Well, he's back.. his law firm Baker Botts is defending the Saudis named in the 911 family survivors lawsuit...More on this and other strangeness in William Rivers Pitt: The Silence About 911

Transcript: Mindy Kleinberg testimony. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. March 31, 2003

Howard Dean, our favorite for the 2004 nomination:
Bush: It's Not Just His Doctrine That's Wrong
Interview by William Pitt of TruthOut.org
Howard Dean TV


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Following upset results of the French government-sponsored Islamic Council elections, which gave 35% to radical factions favoring Sharia in France, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkosy felt obliged to say "Islamic law will not apply anywhere here, because it is not the law of the French Republic." (more...)
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A 20 pound carp about to be slaughtered at the New Square Fish Market in New York "suddenly began shouting apocalyptic warnings in Hebrew"...More...)

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"There is only one reason that I am in the Oval Office and not in a bar. I found faith. I found God." -George W. Bush
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American Gulag population reached 2 million; an estimated 12 percent of African-American men ages 20 to 34 are in jail or prison. (article...) (more info: Sentencing Project)

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Her Beautiful Mind
Barbara Bush: 'Why should we hear about body bags and deaths...? Oh, I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" (more...)

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aspire!
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"The National Imagery and Mapping Agency deemed NASA's request less important than its tasks related to a potential war in Iraq, and did not try to take a picture of the shuttle's damaged skin before the Columbia's disastrous reentry on Feb. 1." (Wash.Post 3/14/2003... more...)
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Dolphin Soldier Tacoma AWOL
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Dr.Jelek , our correspondent in Bali, has been touring with the Stones in Asia... (more...)
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