Saturday, September 20, 2003

Some links

* To distance himself from Cheney's absurd claims, George Bush has admitted -- again -- that there's no Iraq-9/11 connection. Nevertheless, the Weekly Standard continues to ride the Iraq-Al Qaeda connection.

* Why can't Americans see "the terrible truth" -- that they've been conned on Iraq? "The problem is not really that the public was misinformed by the press before the war, or somehow denied the truth afterward," Newsweek's Christopher Dickey asserts. "The problem is that Americans just can’t believe their eyes. They cannot fathom the combination of cynicism, naiveté, arrogance and ignorance that dragged us into this quagmire, and they’re in a deep state of denial about it."

* If Bush is expecting help from the UN in Iraq, then perhaps he should come clean with this speech on Tuesday.

* Hans Blix says the Iraq war wasn't justified, while Ted Kennedy thinks the case for going to war was a "fraud." Gee, thanks for speaking up when it mattered, guys. Such commentary is uncontroversial and obvious now; it wasn't 6+ months ago, when you could've been a bit more vocal in your criticism.

* "Faced with the rising costs and complications of occupying Iraq," Jim Lobe of the Asia Times writes, "the hardline coalition around US President George W Bush that led the drive to war with Iraq appears to be suffering serious internal strains." Bush may even be questioning the advice of some of his top aides now.

* If you're looking for upbeat news from Iraq, avoid the reporting of Christian Parenti (here and here) and Robert Fisk (here, here, here, and here).

* The US military is looking towards Israel for tips on how to hold down an occupied population. Hardly a surprise, since the US military turned to the Israelis for help even prior to the war on how to best handle urban combat.

* Speaking of Israel, Eyal Weizman follows up his analysis of the "politics of verticality" with an elaboration on the "geometry of occupation."

* Iran may be violating IAEA statutes and might be considering a withdrawl from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. This mess prompts an uncomfy question: if Israel can ignore the IAEA, why can't Iran (or anyone else, for that matter)?

* Mother Jones usually delivers good journalism, not shoddy pieces like this article on Rachel Corrie.

* The lies of the American-led "war on terrorism" are being exposed with each passing day. Including, says Howard Zinn, "the largest lie: that everything the United States does is to be pardoned because we are engaged in a 'war on terrorism.' This ignores the fact that war is itself terrorism, that the barging into people's homes and taking away family members and subjecting them to torture, that is terrorism, that invading and bombing other countries does not give us more security but less security."

* Members of the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations have even more questions for Dick Cheney. Recall the first batch. Ray McGovern, a former CIA agent and co-founder of VIPS, is cited in the most recent set of questions. Read interviews with McGovern from Democracy Now! and

* The US is leaning on Pakistan to help snag Osama, but that's probably not going to bear much fruit. Is the hunt narrowing or is the US nowhere near capturing Bin Laden?

* You know all about Project Bojinka, the 1995 Al Qaeda plot which foreshadowed 9/11 and provided the US government with a wake up call that something like that was a very real possibility, right? Well, if not, that's too bad. The files are not fit for public consumption.

* According to a leaked memo from John Ashcroft's office, the US government has not invoked its newfound powers under the PATRIOT Act to peer into library records. I have my doubts about this.

* Check out three good interviews with Paul Krugman from Buzzflash, Calpundit and the Guardian. Also read Krugman's long NY Times Magazine article, "The Tax-Cut Con," from last Sunday.

* Did conservative elements in the White House provoke an Exxon front group to sue the EPA in order to suppress a report on climate change?

* Some forgotten history: "Hitler victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a so-called 'Master Race,'" Edwin Black reminds us. "The world thought Hitler was mad and barely understood his rationales. But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race was not Adolf Hitler’s. The idea was created in the United States at least two decades before Hitler came to power."