LIFE DURING WARTIME
March 1, 2003
A candid moment with a "president" with the soul of a cockroach. Bush: "I don't listen to this noise that goes on around here, and I don't pay much attention to those people who want to stay here. I came from Texas, and I'll go back to Texas. And in Midland, Texas, when I grew up, there were more signs saying 'Get us out of the UN' than there were saying 'God Bless America.' And there were plenty of God Bless America' signs ... I feel the comfort and the power of knowing that literally millions of Americans I'm never going to meet ... say my name to the Almighty every day and ask him to help me, he said. My friend, Jiang Zemin in China, has about a billion and a half folks, and I don't think he can say that. And my friend, Vladimir Putin, I like him, but he can't say that." See Mobile Register. William Saletan reports that Tom Delay called Democratic opponents of the Iraq war "reckless," called Howard Dean's anti-war speech to the Democratic National Committee "outrageous" and said the Democratic party is becoming "the party of appeasement." But there's some irony in Delay's stance. See Slate. The editor of The Progressive Matthew Rothschild points out that Delay's chest thumping is merely "a crude attempt to stifle debate." The Village Voice says Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky's documentary on J.H. Hatfield Horns and Halos "could not be more timely — just as we hunker down for untold years of wartime sacrifice and imperialist self-rationalization." Hatfield was the author of the embattled Bush biography Fortunate Son. See below for more info. US bombing attack of North Korea this summer? Nicholas Kristof, writing in The New York Times, says "the Pentagon these days is the planning for a possible military strike against nuclear sites in North Korea. Officials say that so far these are no more than contingency plans. They cover a range of military options from surgical cruise missile strikes to sledgehammer bombing, and there is even talk of using tactical nuclear weapons to neutralize hardened artillery positions aimed at Seoul, the South Korean capital." According to a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll released last Thursday, "if Saddam destroys the missiles as ordered, support for invading Iraq with ground troops would drop to a third, 33 percent, while 60 percent would oppose that step." See The New York Times According to The Toronto Star, US officials acknowledged for the first time that "thousands of Iraqi civilians will be killed if the United States wages war against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein." The AFL-CIO is burning mad and union leaders are saying that defeating Bush and his anti-worker policies has become their top priority. See Detroit Free Press. John Cory, a correspondent for Truthout.org in Saudi Arabia, describes the macabre carnival of slaughter the US is preparing for Iraq and the Third World. "The coming 'shock and awe' attack on Iraq and then the 'humane combat' of surrounding Baghdad, cutting power and water, and starving everyone into submission will surely prove to the world that America is the last great and wise superpower. Proof that war can be kept to minimal collateral damage – and that war really is peace ... After the Rangers have landed, will come the Raiders - the corporate raiders. Haliburton, Brown & Root, all the oil boys, and maybe there will even be room for Enron – a chance to redeem itself by establishing a new power grid of profitability and accounting acumen. All of this will be tax-free for the GOP corporations of the world while they continue to layoff American workers and cut benefits for retirees in order to boost their investors’ portfolios and CEO stock options." David Hirst writing in The Guardian says "The Arab League's secretary general, Amr Moussa, warns that war will 'open the gates of hell', and President Mubarak of Egypt says that it will light a 'gigantic fire' of violence and terror." Arab leaders, he says, "are hopelessly trapped between fear of their people and fear of the US." Perhaps three fourths of the British population opposes the war, 30% oppose it even with a second UN resolution supporting it. The Brits don't believe the case for war; the issue is dividing the nation; the Labour Party is "hemorrhaging good members" over it says Kenneth O'Morgan in The Guardian. The flag has been hijacked, says Bill Moyers, "and turned into a logo — the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism." Pig Logic: Bill O'Reilly says "allies" who disagree with the war will be "Enemies of the State". "Once the war against Saddam Hussein begins, we expect every American to support our military, and if you can't do that, just shut up. Americans, and indeed our foreign allies who actively work against our military once the war is underway, will be considered enemies of the state by me. Just fair warning to you, Barbara Streisand and others who see the world as you do. I don't want to demonize anyone, but anyone who hurts this country in a time like this, well. Let's just say you will be spotlighted." See "Bill O'Reilly's Enemies of the State"
To some fundamentalist Christians, the signs are everywhere that the long awaited end of the world is nearing. One is quoted in the Salt Lake City Weekly saying, "It’s imminent. We know this because of the Word of God. History has not set the course that makes it imminent, but history sure makes it’s clear what needs to happen. Everything is coming together." Bush is using US power, i.e. our money by the billions, to coerce other corrupt leaders into going along with his planned destruction of Iraq. See Coalition of the Coerced. George W. Bush returns the world to barbarism. Check out this amazing letter to the London Observer from Terry Jones, formerly of Monty Python. Give yourself a laugh break with this piece from the Village Voice by Mark Fiore: "Dissent Exposed". According to Newsweek, "Hussein Kamel, the highest-ranking Iraqi official ever to defect from Saddam Hussein¹s inner circle, told CIA and British intelligence officers and U.N. inspectors in the summer of 1995 that after the gulf war, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them." The new Big Brother to the Patriot Act, which is waiting in the wings, will escalate the war on civil rights from its previous focus on stripping immigrants of all rights to doing the same for citizens. According to The Nation, "It provides that any citizen, even native-born, who supports even the lawful activities of an organization the executive branch deems 'terrorist' is presumptively stripped of his or her citizenship. To date, the 'war on terrorism' has largely been directed at noncitizens, especially Arabs and Muslims. But the DSEA would actually turn citizens associated with 'terrorist' groups into aliens."