A report in the Christian Science Monitor today displays the enormous gulf between the actions of the US House of Representatives and the state of world affairs. While the British Parliament is furiously debating (and attacking) Blair's backing of Bush's drive to war, the US House of Reps is currently debating.....whether to commemorate Lewis and Clarke's expedition on the five cent coin!!!

To quote Democrat Senator Robert Byrd (W-V) on the US Senate's debate about the war, "This Chamber is, for the most part, silent - ominously, dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war."

Permission from the UN?

In recent days it has been stated often by polling agencies and news broadcasters that a large percentage of people believe that the US should only attack Iraq if it has a second UN mandate. Does this mean that these "people" will accept US and British aggression against Iraq even though it is obvious that the US has been strong-arming and bribing UN Security Council countries to get the resolution it wants? Do these "people" believe that this form of "political debate" is a legitimate method to achieve consensus, especially when the outcome could mean the deaths of tens of thousands of people?

It seems that Bush and his cronies believe that the opinions of the world can be manipulated so easily (especially the US population). They understand that a UN resolution will give them some form of legitimacy with the world and they are working hard, by whatever means necessary, to get it.

However, based on all that has gone before, any resolution from the UN backing military action is going to be a sham perpetrated by US power and will have nothing to do with world opinion.

An article from my favorite reporter, Robert Fisk of the British newspaper the Independent: "How The News Will Be Censored In This War".

Some Food for Thought

From the Feb 25, 2003 International Herald Tribune, an article by Norman Mailer. A choice excerpt:

"The dire prospect that opens, therefore, is that America is going to become a mega-banana republic where the army will have more and more importance in Americans' lives. It will be an ever greater and greater overlay on the American system. And before it is all over, democracy, noble and delicate as it is, may give way. My long experience with human nature - I'm 80 years old now - suggests that it is possible that fascism, not democracy, is the natural state."

"Indeed, democracy is the special condition - a condition we will be called upon to defend in the coming years. That will be enormously difficult because the combination of the corporation, the military and the complete investiture of the flag with mass spectator sports has set up a pre-fascistic atmosphere in America already."

From a February 24 Washington Post article titled Bush Faces Increasingly Poor Image Overseas White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett said:

"There is always going to be a faction of people that don't agree [with war]. But I think anybody who gives a fair look at history on this will see that this president and this administration is acting responsibly and is attempting in every way possible to resolve this issue peacefully."

I wonder if he was able to keep a straight face when he said this? The only time that this administration has had anything to do with peace is when they utter the word. All other actions taken by Bush have been totally against peace.

An excellent story from the British newpaper The Observer parodies Bush's insane reasoning for war and pre-emptive strikes. It was written by Terry Jones (ex Python?).

Orwellian or What?

On the weekend, after seeing the huge anti-war protests in London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair claimed that protestors would have "blood on their hands" if they stopped military action.

Channelling Orwell.....

War is Peace

Peace is War

Peace protestors will have blood on their hands if they stop war.

(as seen in the Daily Mirror on Feb 20, 2003)

Here's an excerpt from a speech by Congressman Abraham Lincoln (as seen on the TomDispatch website and credited to Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1832-1858, The Library of America):

"Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose -- and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after you have given him so much [power]. If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us' but he will say to you, 'Be silent; I see it, if you don't.'"

Sounds very, very familiar.

Hey, everybody, looky here!!

In Britain, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, head of 70 million Anglicans and the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy O'Connor, head of 4 million British Catholics issued a statement questioning the "moral legitimacy" of Bush and Blair's planned war in Iraq (as reported by Andrew Clennell in the Independent on Feb 20, 2003). In the same message they called on Saddam Hussein to comply with UN demands to destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Commenting on the statement, the office of the Prime Minister Tony Blair stated:

"Obviously they're entitled to their views and we have to notice what they say about Saddam complying with the resolution," the spokeswoman said. "Their views are their views but look at what they are saying."

Let me translate:

The Archbishops said, Your plans for war are immoral. There are better ways to control the spread of weapons of mass destruction without harming the innocent people of Iraq. Resorting to war is a failure of diplomacy.

10. Downing Street said, Your views are your views and we don't care what you think.

The Archbishops said, Saddam should comply with UN demands and that moral alternative to military action cannot be inaction, passivity, appeasement or indifference.

10. Downing Street said, Hey everybody, looky here. The priests say we shouldn't sit around and do nothing! Lets go to WAR!!!

Bush's Response

In my previous post I asked whether the massive world-wide February 15th protests would have any effect on Bush's plans for invading Iraq.

"Size of protest - it's like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based on a focus group" Mr. Bush said in response to a reporters question at the White House. "The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon the security, in this case, the security of the people." (taken from New York Times, Feb 19, 2003)

In other words, no.

Will Bush Take Any Notice?

Today in hundreds of cities around the world, protesters marched against the morally bankrupt Bush regime and its plans to invade Iraq. In New York up to 400000 protesters packed First Avenue between 49th Street and 72nd Street despite the freezing weather and despite the police and the mayor trying to deter protesters from coming by banning a march from the United Nations to Central Park. In London over one million marchers packed Hyde Park and the streets in Britain's largest ever anti-war protest. In Melbourne over 150000 people marched to protest the Australian government's agreement to help the illegal US attack.

To a hard-bitten cynic like myself, this outpouring of passionate peace activism gives me hope. This is the greatest ever display of anti-war activism before any war has begun. But will it have any effect? Will Bush and his macho chest-thumping cronies take any notice?

I doubt it. In the UN on Friday the French gave a rousing presentation against the need for war which was met with applause from the diplomats. Colin Powell's speech was met with stony silence. But the US buildup in the Middle East still goes on. They are on a one-way road and there is too much testosterone flowing to turn back now.

Get ready for fireworks on CNN. I hope I'm wrong.

"Coalition of the Willing"

Just a few thoughts on the interesting title president Bush has given to those nations that have agreed to help the US attack Iraq.

"Coalition of the willing [to break international law]"
"Coalition of the willing [to slaughter thousands of innocent people]"
"Coalition of the willing [to set fire to the Middle East]"
"Coalition of the willing [to establish American Imperialism around the world]"
"Coalition of the willing [to ensure the spread of terrorism around the world]"

The Definition of Terrorism

"The systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion." from The New Mirriam-Webster Dictionary.

An example of terrorism:

George W. Bush stated on February 7, 2003 that "Baghdad could launch an unmanned drone from a ship to spray anthrax hundreds of kilometres inland" as reported in the Toronto Globe and Mail by Paul Koring.

Why is this terrorism?:

The statement is absurd. To think that an Iraqi ship carrying a drone aircraft laden with anthrax could even get near the coast of the United States is ridiculous. To think that an unknown aircraft flying towards the US could get anywhere near a city is patently absurd. This statement is pure fantasy designed to manipulate the fears of the American public. It is designed to justify the horrendous breach of international law that will be occuring in the next few weeks - Iraqi terrorists can attack you in your homes with horrendous weapons, therefore we must attack Iraq.

An interesting point:

I did a Lexis/Nexis search of all news over the last week and there was not a single criticism of this statement in the US corporate press. Not a single reporter or editorial commented on the absurdity of the pResident's statement. Were they sleeping or were they too afraid to show the ridiculous nature of his pronouncements? The statement was published in two canadian papers (one mentioned above) and brought to my attention by Tom Dispatch.

American contempt for the creation of alternatives to war

Some great articles appearing in todays papers. The first by James Carroll of the Boston Globe links the current US/Iraq crisis with the soon to be convened International Criminal Court.

In a second article, Robert Scheer of the LA Times, discusses the "link" between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Some choice comments from the piece:

"Hussein, himself evil in so many ways, is the secular apostate to the Islamic fundamentalist nuts that are behind our terror fears; that is precisely why the U.S. backed Iraq, nasty weapons and all, in its devastating war with fundamentalist Iran. This is all further evidence that the increasingly frenetic and discredited argument for preemptive war against Iraq is not based on a coherent policy." (emphasis mine)

but my favorite:

"Depressing as it is to acknowledge, it now seems clear we are witnessing the tantrum of a woefully untutored and inexperienced president whose willfulness rises in direct proportion to his inability to comprehend a world too complex for his grasp."

(Let me just say that I disagree with Scheer on his statement that attacking Afghanistan was justifiable - I don't think the thousands of innocent Afghani's killed by American bombs and troops would agree that their lives were so cheap - some reports suggest as many Afghans were killed as people in the WTC.)

On February 12, first lady Laura Bush

On February 12, first lady Laura Bush was to host a Whitehouse poetry reading titled "Poetry and the American Voice." However, when she became aware that many of the poets were going to read anti-war poems she abrubtly cancelled the event (read the Nation article on the subject). Obviously, dissenting voices are not to be heard in the Whitehouse!! In honor of the Poets Against The War and their stand against the Bush juggernaut my wife and I wrote a poem titled "Limerick for Laura":

There was a first lady named Laura
Who said to some poets "I implore ya'"
"No anti-war poems." She thought "That'll Show 'em"
We're so glad that they chose to ignore her.
I know, we're no poets but it was fun!!

In his Sorry State of the Union Address

In his Sorry State of the Union Address on the 28th of January president Bush stated that the United States of America will "defend the peace and confound the designs of evil men." I think what he meant to say was:
"...confound the peace and defend the designs of evil men."
or maybe even:
"...confound the peace and defend the designs of evil me. (mwahahahahaha)"

The Case Against the War.

An excellent article by Jonathan Schell in The Nation, titled The Case Against the War. It outlines the hypocrisy of the Bush Administration's drive to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

As discussed by Schell, the real consequence of Bush's foreign policy insanity is that if you want to avoid being attacked by the US you should develop weapons of mass destruction as quickly as possible. Iraq was attempting to acquire nuclear weapons but in all likelihood did not - it will be attacked by the US in the near future. North Korea which probably has nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them will be dealt with diplomatically according to the Bush administration - Bush's cronies claim that the nuclear threats from North Korea are "not a crisis." And Iran, which really hasn't been mentioned much by the Bush administration (other than the axis of evil comment), is putting together nuclear reactors that are capable of producing weapons-grade material and has just begun mining uranium from its own soil (Russia is supplying the know-how for the nuclear reactors).

But Bush's foreign policy insanity really becomes obvious when considering Pakistan. Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons, is having a huge upsurge of militant islamic fundamentalism closely tied to the Taliban and Al Qaeda (I read a recent PBS interview with Seymore Hersh where he suggested that the Bush administration allowed the escape of Al Qaeda fighters into Pakistan at the request of the Pakistani secret service, the ISI). Pakistan also provided North Korea nuclear weapons know-how (and received missile knowledge in return). In other words, by the definition of the Bush administration, Pakistan with its strong terrorist ties is the most serious threat to the world - but Pakistan is an ally of the US and is now receiving billions in aid.

So by Bush "logic" the fewer weapons you possess (and probably, the more oil you possess) the greater the chance the US will attack you. The more nuclear weapons you possess, and the closer ties you have to terrorists, the less likely the US will attack you - and hell, we'll give you billions of dollars to spend on training your terrorist friends.

Sarcasm aside, with the US's upcoming "pre-emptive" strike against a would-be WMD builder and its "diplomacy" with a self-proclaimed WMD possessor, the Bush administration sends out the strong signal that nuclear proliferation is good. This is not what I call a functional foreign policy designed to produce world peace.

As part of my never-ending war theme

As part of my never-ending war theme I will also occasionally discuss the never-ending conflict between the highly armed Israeli "Defense" Force and the Palestinians of the Occupied Territories. While I deplore the killing of any person in this conflict be it by Palestinian suicide bomber or by Israeli bullets, it is pertinant to note that Israel receives billions of dollars in military aid from the US every year while the Palestinians receive.........well they are on the receiving end of American-made bullets, bulldozers and bombs.

Before I get loads of nasty emails, I am not anti-semitic. I would be happy to see a peaceful coexistance between Israel and the Palestinians living in a Palestinian state comprised of the West Bank, Gaza Strip (etc., the 22% they have left of the original state of Palestine). A Palestinian state with defined borders that are patrolled by an independant peace-keeping force (not the US or Israel). A Palestinian state that is entirely independant of Israel - that is, not reliant upon Israel for water and other essential items. A Palestinian state where thousands of its citizens are not reliant upon Israel for low paying jobs. A Palestinian state that does not have hundreds of illegal Israeli settlements dotting the country-side.

I just read an interesting article on the subject from the Seattle Post Intelligencer (2/7/03) by Linda Beviss titled Israelis Play Sickening Game of 'Bingo'. I am also reading Noam Chomsky's "Fateful Triangle: America, Israel and the Palestinians." Although written in 1983 in Chomsky's infuriatingly academic style it is still a highly relevant book to todays problems and I will probably write more about this subject and I struggle further into the book.

Yes, I know, blogging (terrible word) is all the rage right now

Yes, I know, blogging (terrible word) is all the rage right now. Writing your thoughts down for all to see (at least those that care to look). I have decided after some deliberation to start my own blog. The name says it all. This blog is about the Bush administration's ambitions to conquer the world and remake it according to their own sick idea of reality.

Over the next few weeks/months/(years?) I plan to document the lunatic fringe that is the Bush administration and their ambitions ranging from pre-emptive nuclear attack on the world ("US Nuclear Posture Review", LA Times March 10, 2002) to utilizing nuclear weapons as a legitimate military option in a conventional war (whatever that is) to invading countries that pose little or no threat to the US (Iraq of course).

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