Monday, April 26, 2004

A quick take on things

I'm pressed for time and frankly not really into blogging right now for a variety of reasons, but here's some stuff I thought was worth checking out from the past few days.

* Tom Engelhardt has a nice round-up of articles on the situation in and around Iraq. It's clear that things hang in the balance right now, and the forthcoming moves by US forces towards Najaf and/or Fallujah this week will make the situation for the occupational authorities worse.

* A PIPA survey has found that a majority of Americans still believe in Dubya's Iraq lies. Juan Cole and Josh Marshall offer some further analysis of the poll.

* Bob Woodward: shrewd operator or pointless pontificator?

* If you haven't already, check out Russ Kick's scoop of pictures of returning coffins from Iraq over at the Memory Hole. Amazing what an FOIA request can do, eh? Coincidentally, those photos appeared on the heels of a series of similar images published by the Seattle Times. The woman who took the photos which were published by the Times was subsequently fired from her job with a US contractor.

* Gabriel Ash tackles the new question being thrown at critics of the Iraq war -- "So what do you propose?"

* The argument that a US withdrawal from Iraq would result in a "political vacuum" is part of the same imperial mindset that "saw the enormous expanse of the American West as 'empty territory' waiting for us to occupy it, when hundreds of thousands of Indians lived there already," declares Howard Zinn in the Progressive.

* There's a good interview with Noam Chomsky in the same issue of the Progressive, as well.

* Peter Galbraith outlines a plan to get the US out of Iraq in the NYRB.

* An article from Newsweek prompts Josh Marshall to gape in awe at just how far Paul Wolfowitz and the boys were willing to go in search of the "Holy Grail of the neocon knighthood, the fabled Iraq-al Qaida link."

* A Christian Aid survey of poor Shia neighborhoods in Iraq has found that the quality of life for residents has gotten worse since the fall of Hussein's regime.

* Witness the mendacity of two "operation kickbacks" -- one in Iraq and one at the United Nations.

* The featured article in this week's NY Times Magazine details how Bush's re-election efforts look "less like a political campaign than what is known in business as a multilevel marketing scheme," an initiative that equates democratic participation with reality TV in the mind of Bush's campaign manager.

* Tweedledum Bush or Tweedledee Kerry? Not quite. Bush and Kerry sing the same tune on Israel and Iraq now, but there are many important differences between Kerry's DLC-sponsored platform and the Bush-Cheney "criminal enterprise," according to the Black Commentator.

* Sibel Edmonds, the FBI's 9/11 whistleblower, is being gagged by the Justice Department. In related news, the NY Times reports that the 9/11 commission is expected to sharply criticize NORAD's failure to defend the skies on that fateful day in its final report.

* Fred Halliday puts terrorism in historical perspective in an extended essay over at OpenDemocracy.

* Randy Shaw and Mickey Z. address some of the issues surrounding the death of former NFL star Pat Tillman last week in Afghanistan.

* Here's a concise introduction to the Israel-Palestine conflict by Norman Finkelstein which I ran across via the Estimated Prophet.

* Geraldine Sealey explains how Fox News beat CNN in Salon.

* Is the anti-globalization movement -- ahem, Global Justice Movement -- dead? Nope. As Madeleine Bunting claims, it's just fighting other battles right now, retooling, and getting ready for future ones.

* Speaking of which, there was a protest against the IMF this past weekend in DC. There also was a massive, inspring march for women's rights on the Mall. DC Indymedia had both events covered.