"We decided not to run it..." In the surreal world that is today's media, Colin Powell has no opposition. None. There is no alternative view. None. In this Kafkaesque place, Reps. DeFazio and Paul didn't conduct a press conference yesterday. Nor did they introduce legislation that counters George Bush and Colin Powell's world view...a world view, mind you, that the world doesn't share.
Does corporate media serve the interests of the people and democracy or the elites and profit? Did you hear about this bill? Do you think this is an important story that deserved media coverage?
posted by nofundy
on Feb 7, 2003 -
Bush orders guidelines for cyber-war
Is it my old age that makes me wonder what else might be in this secret directive as regards computers and the Net?
"First set of rules for attacking enemy computers studied."
Perhaps you support the president or you are the enemy (recall: you are with us or against us)....
posted by Postroad
on Feb 7, 2003 -
Powell's address to the UN.
In a direct, long and rich presentation, Colin Powell has laid the cards on the table, and presented what's likely to be our most explicit case for war. While it's difficult to separate the larger issue of War on Iraq from just this presentation, I'm interested in other takes on Powell's speech. Anything substantially new? Truly irrefutable? Strong enough to justify immediate action? Does this have more heft coming from Powell (considering he's more trusted
than Bush on this issue), or is he acting as a mouthpiece? Or, to be succinct, did Colin change anyone's mind? At the very least, he satisfied my need to know more about why our administration is acting so urgently.
posted by kokogiak
on Feb 5, 2003 -
Poets Against the War
At Sam Hamill's Poets Against the War
, the story of the recent cancellation
(link to Canada's Globe and Mail), by Laura Bush, of a Feb. 12 poetry symposium at the White House. From the G and M article: Stanley Kunitz, poet laureate 2000-01, told reporters, "I think there was a general feeling that the current administration is not really a friend of the poetic community and that its program of attacking Iraq is contrary to the humanitarian position that is at the centre of the poetic impulse."
Hamill is gathering contributions
from poets around the world, including Pulitzer Prize-winners Yusef Komunyakaa and W.S. Merwin, National Book Award winner Marilyn Hacker, novelist Ursula K. Le Guin, and Adrienne Rich.
This post is not intended the fan the flames of 'War on Iraq: Yes or No', but to explore Kunitz's contention: Is there at the centre of the poetic impulse a particular type of humanitarianism? Is there a space for poets and poetry in political debate? Are poets the "unacknowledged legislators of the world"? [more inside]
posted by jokeefe
on Jan 31, 2003 -
A War Crime or an Act of War?
But the truth is, all we know for certain is that Kurds were bombarded with poison gas that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds. This is not the only distortion in the Halabja story. ..
This much about the gassing at Halabja we undoubtedly know: it came about in the course of a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town, which is in northern Iraq not far from the Iranian border. The Kurdish civilians who died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target.
And the story gets murkier: immediately after the battle the United States Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified report, which it circulated within the intelligence community on a need-to-know basis. That study asserted that it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas. (NYT)
posted by y2karl
on Jan 31, 2003 -
At the Wallow
of the Military Order of the Carabao, our nation's military leaders smoke Cuban cigars, sing racist songs about Filipinos
, and suck up to the defense industry.
posted by xowie
on Jan 29, 2003 -
The State of the Energy: Ahead of rumors
Bush is set to propose a hydrogen fuel plan, fuel cell producer stocks jump
. In the event of an Iraqi war, the oil fields there will be siezed
to prevent their drestruction and Colin Powell says the US will hold them "in trust
posted by raaka
on Jan 28, 2003 -
Arundhati Roy on the war.
This is the text of a speech Arundhati gave at Santa Fe last September. I have not seen it on MeFi before. Hence, I thought it would still be of interest. TWe have talked about her before here- 1
. It is a long speech! So, read it when you have the time.
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy
on Jan 28, 2003 -
"Shock and Awe"
is the concept behind the Pentagon's planned, "Hiroshima like" attack on Baghdad. "Carpet bombing" was the concept's name in the old days, and was responsible for 125,000 civilian deaths in Dresden. Precision carpet bombing - condonable strategy?
posted by RichLyon
on Jan 27, 2003 -
Iraq: How Saddam hides the smoke and the guns
This account is from an Italian paper and appears in an Israeli site that sums up materials pertaining to the Middle East. Of course I am not able to verify its authenticity, nor would anyone, given the "hidden" nature of the man being interviewed. But it does suggest what the Bush administration and many pundits have been saying or implying for some time now.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 24, 2003 -
Media covers massive D.C. (and world) Anti-War protests, discounts numbers - Backflash: NPR and the NYT later issued apologies for their drastic undercounting of the Oct. 26 D.C. Anti-War protest - later admitted to be between 100,000 and 200,000 in size "...It was not as large as the organizers of the protest had predicted. They had said there would be 100,000 people here. I'd say there are fewer than 10,000"(NPR's Nancy Marshall) Last saturday's D.C. AntiWar protest received far more media coverage but a similar discounting of the numbers. IndyMedia (above link) provided numbers more in line with D.C. Police statements. Many media outlets ran the same AP news feed. [NYT, NPR , CNN, ABC, AP] and claimed..."Thousands" or "tens of thousands" of protesters. But in the words of those who witnessed it (as I did - 2.5 times size of Oct. 26 protest, from what I saw): 'D.C. police chief Charles Ramsey said, "It's one of the biggest ones we've had, certainly in recent times." U.S. Capitol Police chief Terrance Gainer said, "I know everyone is skittish about saying a number, but this was big. An impressive number." A C-SPAN cameraman I spoke to spent the entire protest on the roof of a cargo truck just to the side of the stage. He told me that he had covered dozens of protests in his time, and that the crowd on Saturday was the biggest he had ever seen.' (story) and organizers claimed 500,000 marched in DC meanwhile, a new poll shows support for a war on Iraq is slipping in the US and also dropping at the UN
posted by troutfishing
on Jan 20, 2003 -
American Peace Homepage.
"While most people, including most Americans, tend to believe that the United States has largely been a peaceful country until recently, in reality nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, the United States has been engaged in military operations for most of this country's history. Of all the things the United States can claim, it certainly has no claim to being a 'peace loving' country. [Visit this site to see] a table containing every year, from 1776 to the present - all of US history. Just click on the year to see who US troops were killing, or threatening to kill, in that year."
posted by Joey Michaels
on Jan 16, 2003 -
From UPI: Israel is embarking upon a more aggressive approach to the war on terror that will include staging targeted killings in the United States and other friendly countries, former Israeli intelligence officials told United Press International.
I am so NOT trolling. I am simply curious to see what MeFi users have to say about this interesting news item.
posted by pejamo
on Jan 16, 2003 -
In a lengthy piece in tomorrow's NYT magazine (reg. req.), historian Michael Ignatieff explores the costs and benefits of America's shift from republic to empire.
posted by xowie
on Jan 4, 2003 -
War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
The AC130 video thread yesterday got me interested in this book
. The author - a veteran New York Times war correspondent - argues that, to many people, war provides a purpose for living; allowing individuals to rise above regular life and participate in a noble cause. He discusses nationalism, the wartime silencing of intellectuals and artists, the ways in which even a supposedly skeptical press glorifies the battlefield and other universal features of war, arguing not for pacifism but for responsibility and humility on the part of those who wage war.
posted by Zombie
on Dec 18, 2002 -
Iraqis welcome war to remove Saddam
A survey (.pdf)
taken inside(!) Iraq says Iraqis would favor a war to topple Saddam. The report itself is more interesting than the Independent piece.
The overall impression...was one of exasperation and even anger after twelve years of uncertainty and international isolation and even more years of warfare, combined with a growing sense that the current regime's days are numbered.
The report is most interesting in the details of Iraqis' expectations: that advanced US technology will somehow anesthetize Iraqi soldiers rather than hurt them, the US will rebuild their country for them, there will be no breakup of Iraq, nor postwar bloodbath, etc.
A fascinating and important portrait of a people at the end of their rope.
posted by ednopantz
on Dec 16, 2002 -
The Perpetual War Fund
- First there was the Vice Fund (covered in Mefi Sept. 3
). Now, The Perpetual War Portfolio: "an evenly weighted basket of five stocks poised to succeed in the age of perpetual war. The stocks were selected on the basis of popular product lines, strong political connections and lobbying efforts, and paid-for access to key Congressional decision makers."
Somebody's going to profit from the machineries of death. Why not you?
posted by troutfishing
on Dec 12, 2002 -
The Liberaral Quandry on Iraq
[nytimes reg req'd]. [warning : iraq political story]. As a "liberal hawk", I have had some issues regarding whether to support a war with Iraq or not. In this article, George Packer talks to four liberals (David Rieff, Leon Wieseltier, Michael Walzer and Paul Berman) about what they think, and presents a sort of top ten list of reasons for or not. After reading the article, I'm a little less confused about where I stand, and a little closer to coming to grips with it
posted by rshah21
on Dec 9, 2002 -
Can Poetry Matter - Part 2
(nyt reg req) "Today photography is considered by many to be the most effective way to convey the plight of war's combatants, victims and mourners. But during World War I it was through poetry that many Britons came to share the horror of life and death in the muddy trenches of northern France.....To this day, every time Britons go to war, the opening lines of Rupert Brooke's 1914 poem, "The Soldier," are remembered: "If I should die, think only this of me:/That there's some corner of a foreign field/That is forever England."..."
posted by Voyageman
on Nov 30, 2002 -
Deep, way deep inside Iraq
This aired very recently on PBS but I just caught it online -- the link is the second of four video clips following U.K. journalist Sam Kiley reporting on perception and reality in Jordan and Iraq and contains the most horrific footage of Saddam supporters you're likely to ever see. Be warned, it's not pretty.
posted by subpixel
on Nov 25, 2002 -
War With Iraq - As Predictable As Chess
There is still a good chance we can avoid war with Iraq. Saddam Hussein has never won a war, and his military forces surely foresee their own destruction. Numerous assassination attempts by them (some involving the Republican Guard) have failed. They are likely trying again, even now. Therein lies our best hope.
What if they fail again? Then invasion by the U.S. is inevitable.
posted by daHIFI
on Nov 22, 2002 -
Can Mercenaries Protect Hamid Karzai?
The US govt is hiring private mercenaries to do it's dirty work overseas. In short, by hiring private military contractors such as DynCorp, the U.S. government has found an effective way to conduct foreign policy by proxy and in secret. These proxies cannot be monitored, are effectively immune from all criminal sanctions, and are dangerously hard to control since they answer to corporate bosses, not military brass.
(easy registration required)
posted by Coop
on Nov 20, 2002 -