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Saturday, March 22, 2003

"Ten US servicemen have been wounded in a grenade attack on a rear base camp in northern Kuwait, US military officials say."
Kuwait attack wounds US troops, BBC, March 22, 2003

Merde.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:13 PM PST [Link]

Friday, March 21, 2003

"There has been an angry reaction from the Iraqi Kurds to the entry of Turkish troops who crossed the border during Friday night and took up positions in Kurdish-held northern Iraq."
Turkish incursion spells trouble, By Jim Muir, BBC correspondent in Chamchamal, northern Iraq, March 22, 2003

I imagine this does spell trouble. And please notice that these are the only Muslims fighting in and, ostensibly, against Iraq, but purely for their own reasons. Pan-Turkic Empire again? It actually could extend from the Great Wall of China to the Mediterranean linguistically, religiously and philosophically.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:46 PM PST [Link]

Collision entre deux hélicoptères britanniques: 7 disparus, Le Monde, 22 Mars 2003

Has anyone from the Western military died in Iraq yet from being killed by an Iraqi solider or weapon? Not that that would make me feel better about it, but does this now make 23 dead, well 7 of those are missing, in helicopter accidents so far?

This whole mess is just incredibly stupid and wasteful.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:37 PM PST [Link]

"Exiled Iraqis may be praying for the end of Saddam's brutal secular regime, but at the same time they are now caught in a very serious religious conflict. The most eminent scholars at al-Azhar University in Cairo - which is the highest religious authority in Sunni Islam - have declared that a jihad against the 'new crusade' targeting Islam is absolutely legitimate. According to al-Azhar's academy for Islamic research, 'If an enemy descends upon Muslim land, then it is the duty of all Muslim men and women to perform jihad.' The scholars are unanimous that 1.3 billion Muslims all over the world 'must be ready to defend themselves, their faith and their honor'."
Jordan opens up Iraq's western front, by Pepe Escobar, March 22, 2003

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:45 PM PST [Link]

The war so far, by Asia Times, maps and everything

I really must start reading Asia Times on a daily basis again.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:27 PM PST [Link]

La Turquie ouvre son espace aérien aux avions américains, • LEMONDE.FR | 22.03.03 | 00h49

What a difference a day makes. Especially for the Kurds. I guess Richard "Nous sommes opposés à toute action unilatérale de la Turquie ou de qui que ce soit dans le nord de l'Irak" Boucher doesn't care what the Turks do in northern Iraq now.

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse... it does.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:49 PM PST [Link]

"At least two people have been killed in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, at an anti-war march as protests against the conflict in Iraq continue in many countries."
BBC, March 21, 2003

Is O'Reilly going to tell these people to just shut up, too?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:36 PM PST [Link]

"I woke up and saw the photos at the news online of the explosions and fires in Baghdad, and just started to weep, asking "Why? Wny?" again and again like a child. I just can't understand that there are people who can look at something like that without weeping and hurting. Without having the exact same response as looking at what happened on 9/11 here."
March 21, 2003, Heather Corrina

I salute Heather Corrina for saying what I didn't have the balls to say yesterday when I saw the photos of Baghdad.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:32 PM PST [Link]

Oh, now I get it and the Kurds are about to, too. Fuck. So much for the Turks waiting for anything or maybe it's all in enough of a shambles for them to be bold right now. Wasn't Asia Minor much calmer from 1992 to 2000?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:22 PM PST [Link]

"To accuse the current administration of wrecking the federal budget sounds, well, shrill — and we don't want to sound shrill, do we?"
Who lost the US Budget?, Paul Krugman, NYT Op/Ed, March 21, 2003 (login ID hackenbush PW hackenblog)

Oh, heavens no, even when our collective ass is on fire, let's not get shrill about it.

I love Paul Krugman, really I do.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:24 PM PST [Link]

"Why, I wanted to know, was Tommy called Tommy when his real name was Ahmed. He smiled and held up his left hand. Half of one digit was missing. The result, he said, of a childhood accident involving a grinder, an inattentive parent and his own precocious interest in cooking. 'Half a finger sounds like hil-finger which sounds like Tommy Hilfiger so everyone in Silopi calls me Tommy,' he explained."
Hard-hitting journalism, by Jason Burke, Observer, March 17, 2003

Is it me or does that make perfect sense?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:19 PM PST [Link]

According to Le Monde the Turks said no using their airspace. Good for them. The US told them, via Richard Boucher, "Nous sommes opposés à toute action unilatérale de la Turquie ou de qui que ce soit dans le nord de l'Irak." Meaning stay away from the Kurds, I guess.

I further guess that all Turkey has to do is wait a while, they've been waiting centuries already (what's a few more years?), until the US runs screaming out of Asia Minor and then they can do whatever they want. Provided the region isn't in a complete shambles by then, which means they can do whatever they want even sooner.

The article is in French, but BableFish translates pages.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:06 PM PST [Link]

Thursday, March 20, 2003

These days I simply can't decide
If Saddam is hooked on suicide.
Or if when shove comes back to push
He'll make a fool of gw bush.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:18 AM PST [Link]

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

War on Iraq begins, BBC, March 20, 2003

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:38 PM PST [Link]

"The BBC's Andrew Gilligan in Baghdad says the city is braced for war - electricity supplies are already starting to fail and, as night falls, people are bunkered in their homes. Residents have stocked up on emergency supplies, businesses are closed, windows boarded up. Hospitals have been clearing beds to accommodate casualties from what Saddam Hussein has described as 'the last battle'. Pregnant women have been crowding surgeries demanding caesarean operations so they can give birth before any bombing or invasion begins."
Looming war in Iraq. France and Germany have spoken out against war with Iraq at a meeting of the UN Security Council, just hours before the American deadline for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq expires. BBC, March 19, 2003

How can anyone support what the US and UK are about to do to Iraq?

I won't be blogging on the "war" much because I have to sleep and make a living sometime, but I will be watching it all go straight into hell with the rest of you. Lawdy, I can't believe I'm praying for Saddam Hussian to somehow save us from the madness of the bush junta, but there you have it; this is just the way we live now.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:46 AM PST [Link]

Man, skimble is rockin' today.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:12 AM PST [Link]

Lately, it seems like everyday I read or talk to someone who is worried that the US is about to become a permanent dictatorship. And today, it's Gene Lyons. Yes, this worries me, too, but all I can say is please remember that, as shellshocked as the country was after 9/11, how everyone hit the ceiling when Rudy Giuliani, who could have been elected God on 9/12, tried to postpone the New York elections.

We are not used to fighting for our democracy, but now that we know what we have to lose, I'm sure we'll get used to fighting for it. And the 2002 elections were a disgrace. Get registered and get votin', dammit, it takes less time than getting your nails done or the oil changed.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:04 AM PST [Link]

I wrote to O'Reilly's sponsors when he told all us peaceniks to shut up or bad things would happen or words to that effect. I know he told Barbara Streisand to shut up and that was enough for me to fire off half a dozen letters about what a jerk he is.

Anyway, I recently got one from Discover that I thought I'd share.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:00 AM PST [Link]

Direct hit in today's Doonesbury.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:25 AM PST [Link]

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

"There is a new feature that makes it possible to type a telephone number into Google's search bar, click the search button, and have a MapQuest page returned as a result. Any person wishing to discover the physical location of a phone number, be it a home or business address, could use this feature to locate a physical street address, and receive explicit directions on how to get there from anywhere in the country."
More and how to opt out of their database

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:41 PM PST [Link]

"I have heard some parallels between military action in these circumstances and the military action that we took in Kosovo. There was no doubt about the multilateral support that we had for the action that we took in Kosovo. It was supported by NATO; it was supported by the European Union; it was supported by every single one of the seven neighbors in the region. France and Germany were our active allies. It is precisely because we have none of that support in this case that it was all the more important to get agreement in the Security Council as the last hope of demonstrating international agreement.

"The legal basis for our action in Kosovo was the need to respond to an urgent and compelling humanitarian crisis. Our difficulty in getting support this time is that neither the international community nor the British public is persuaded that there is an urgent and compelling reason for this military action in Iraq."
Full text: Robin Cook speech, Tuesday, March 18, 2003 Posted: 1044 GMT (6:44 PM HKT), C every Now and theN good for something

Next time someone whines that 'Clinton acted without the UN in Kosovo so it's okay for bush' at me, they're getting Robin Cook's very awesome and excellent resignation speech right between the eyes.

This is a great speech. Too bad we don't ever get these kinds of speeches in our Congress, we might have a better, um, Congressional Record.

Would I have sex with Robin Cook? What a question.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:56 PM PST [Link]

Well, I don't know if anyone recalls, but I wrote a bunch of letters to Rush Limbaugh's sponsors to complain about him. I got one wacko reply from the Swap Shop, but more recently I got a letter from Pfizer that is an, um, interesting exercise in addressing my letter, but not really saying anything about my concerns.

"In placing our advertising, we choose programs that are most likely to reach people who might benefit from messages about our medicines...."

Hm, maybe they make drugs that can help Limbaugh's listeners, I've no idea.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 02:53 PM PST [Link]

Department of Homeland Panic

Good to know somebody is on the job. Too bad it's not our govenrment.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 02:16 PM PST [Link]

"An associate of mine, a former political appointee, recently spoke to a Republican friend of his who serves in a senior position in what has become the Office of Homeland Security. He reports that this official, along with many of his colleagues across the political spectrum within the apparatus of government, are absolutely terrified of George W. Bush. According to this official, the consensus is that Bush has completely lost touch with reality, and is bringing us to a place where politics will no longer matter."
Into the Darkness, By William Rivers Pitt, T r u t h o u t | Perspective. Tuesday 18 March 2003

I really hope he's wrong. Links at the bottom make the case, but I still hope he's not predicting the future.


Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:17 PM PST [Link]

I love Joan Ryan.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/03/18/ED252485.DTL

Posted by Laurel Sutton @ 09:50 AM PST [Link]

"We have had preventive wars before. The Bay of Pigs was an operation the United States endorsed. That was a preventive operation. We were afraid that Castro was going to subvert the hemisphere. We helped topple Mosaddeq in Iran in 1953 but we didn't give out the kind of speeches that Mr. Bush has just given." Robert Dallek

Are we now proud of those misadventures?

"I think it's a new departure. It shows how public diplomacy is changing real diplomacy, that increasingly the business of nations is taking place in public. So you have the president of the United States making a public ultimatum to a foreign leader. It's a remarkable development." Walter Russell Mead

And isn't this the kind of misadventure, toppling foreign governments that are already well contained, that our Congress is supposed to keep from happening? That our Congress and our people have not been able to derail this insanity should be a wake-up call for all of us as to just how helpless we really are in this "democracy".

"Oh, I absolutely agree this is unique. And, it's a shameful moment actually in American history, the idea that we are going to attack a nation that is not attacking us, that is not attacking anybody else." Howard Zinn

Is everyone but Howard Zinn on that show nuts?

Four historians share their perspectives on President George W. Bush's ultimatum to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein., Newshour, March 17, 2003

Go read it and weep. Other than Howard Zinn, who looks older than God's wet nurse and probably won't last that long, these are the people who will be justifying the bush junta's crimes to future generations and will be getting it wrong.

And, by the way, I just read that a friend's husband said that he is sure Saddam has WMD. How would he know what UN Inspectors over a 12 year period have not been able to verify? At this point, no one I would buy a used car from has said that Iraq has WMD. And further, if or when during "Occupation! Iraq!" (CNN, call me for licensing on that one) some US or tame Iraq official "finds" some WDM, I will be hard pressed to believe it unless Jesus, flanked by Molly Ivins and Helen Thomas, comes to my door to tell me in person.

And yes, I am having a bad morning, but just a little worse than every morning since December 12, 2000. Okay, now I have to go to work and behave as if there is a future (worth struggling for).

Yeah.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:42 AM PST [Link]

Monday, March 17, 2003

"Keeping the threat of terror simmering on the burner through ginned up and meaningless terror alerts scares Americans into supporting Bush, because they seemingly have no option, since they believe they are under a constant terrorist threat. This leads to a sort of "Stockholm Syndrome" for the nation as a whole. Most Americans look to their psychological tormentor for protection from an outside threat perceived as the more serious of two evils."
Endgame, Buzzflash editorial, March 17, 2003

I'm not the only one who thinks this war is part of the bush junta ruling through fear.

"In a just-published book about Karl Rove, "Bush's Brain," a Democratic political consultant is quoted as saying about the Bush Cartel: 'They just picked a war they could win....It has to be the most evil political calculation in American history.'"

Yeah.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:51 PM PST [Link]

I wish for peace

What else can I really do tonight?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:28 PM PST [Link]

"This letter by Professor Joan Fitzpatrick of the University of Washington School of Law was posted on the American Society of International Law listserve. Fitzpatrick, who is an expert on international law regarding human rights, evidently wrote it as a letter to the editor of the New York Times, in response to the Times' March 4 piece on the use of torture on Al Qaeda prisoners; however, she doesn't expect the Times will publish it, and gives permission for anyone to circulate it."
Is Bush already a war criminal?, Orcinus, Sunday, March 16, 2003

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:36 PM PST [Link]

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people."

Don't Hans Blix and inspectors on the ground in Iraq make this an untrue statement? And wasn't the last time Iraq attacked anyone was when Saddam Hussein was "our bastard", well before sanctions and inspections? He has been very well contained all these years, why let him out? Or is it just too late to (continue to) wonder about all this?

"Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing."
Bush: 'Leave Iraq within 48 hours', Monday, March 17, 2003 Posted: 8:54 PM EST (0154 GMT), CNN

A lot can happen in 48 hours. Such as Saddam Hussein and his sons standing in front of a mosque in Syria, rallying their fellow Muslims to fight the invading Infidel. Not a pretty sight.

"...time of our (bush's) choosing", eh? Like, how about never?

"Showdown: Iraq" CNN? You are joking, aren't you? Why not "Showdown at the OK, this is stupid corral"? I realize flaks and graphic designers must eat, but this is in bad taste even by my uncivilized standards. "Crisis: Iraq" would be better for me, at least.

Support our troops; bring them home right now.

I believe I'll go be very angry for awhile.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:27 PM PST [Link]

"Mr. Bush is right, Saddam Hussein is a nasty man and nobody I know has the least objection to Mr. Bush killing him. It's just the way he proposes doing it that worries me. Dropping 3000 bombs in 48 hours on Baghdad is going to kill a lot of other people who, as far as I am aware, are not nasty at all."
Mr Bush goes for the kill, by Terry Jones, Sunday March 9, 2003 , Observer

I think I'll let the old Economist sub lapse and just read Terry Jones from now on.

"I'm not saying that George W. Bush shouldn't be allowed to kill as many people as he wants. After all he is the unelected leader of the most powerful country on earth, so if he can't do anything he likes, who can?"

Ooooh, Terry!

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03:37 PM PST [Link]

"The prime minister thought he could sagely steer his impetuous American friends away from actions they would later regret. It turns out they were just playing him for a patsy. It's not easy when you find out that your friends have been using you as a chump."
Poor Tony Blair wakes up, By Terry Jones, Sunday March 16, 2003, The Observer

And extra something when you get to hear it from no less than Terry Jones. Thanks, Marcee, for linking me to this.

"A regime whose planners spelled out their schemes for American military world domination in a report for the Project for the New American Century published in September 2000, before the George Bush seized power. (You can look it up on www.newamericancentury.org).

"Their aim, they say in their report, is 'to shape a new century favourable to American principles and interests'. And they make it quite clear that they envisage achieving those aims not by diplomacy but through military might. For which reason they need 'increase defense spending gradually to a minimum level of 3.5 to 3.8 percent of gross national product, adding $15 billion to $20 billion to total defense spending annually.'

"At the time they knew there was little hope of the American public buying into such imperialistic dreams. What was needed they said in their pre Sept 11th report was: 'some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbour.' Well the dreams came true."

Yes, came true, "came" true, almost too good to be "true". Oh well, even paranoids have enemies, but not even I'm willing to think those thoughts.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03:26 PM PST [Link]

One for people from California (smiling westward from the uneventful coasts of Delaware): "A Dangerous Place" by Marc Reisner, who wrote "Cadillac Desert". Geology, made land, earthquakes. Fun for all.

One for people from America: run, don't walk, to get this month's Harper's Magazine. Read "Jesus Plus Nothing". There's one little sentence somewhere in the middle about democracy that should freeze your blood. How much trouble can one country be in?

No, don't answer me.

Posted by Lynn Loper @ 02:42 PM PST [Link]

"If George W. Bush orders U.S. forces to unleash his 'shock and awe' onslaught against Iraq without United Nations sanctions, he will be opening American servicemen to a kind of double jeopardy. First, they will be risking their lives in a combat strategy far riskier than is publicly acknowledged. Second, any significant taking of civilian life could leave both officers and enlisted men liable for future war-crimes charges."
Bush's 'Double Jeopardy' for U.S. Troops, consortiumnews.com editorial, March 17, 2003

The bush junta really does not give the tiniest damn about the troops, let alone justice or truth. Why are these people still in charge? Strange but true: The world was a better place when we had legally elected lawyers in the White House.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:28 AM PST [Link]

I went to a vigil last night and true to LA form, it was more like a cocktail party except we were in a park, holding candles and waving peace signs at the cars honking in support. I had fun and felt good. I love this town, really I do.

In other news, there were either 3 or 4 Chinese funerals (drums, conch blowing, chanting, guys in robes, inscense) or a Chinese funeral that went from 8:30AM to 10:30PM across the street yesterday. That and the church bells from the Catholic church 2 blocks south were probably the best of LA's East meets West. Kipling must be doing the Lambada in his grave. However, I do hope I find this as adorable in six months as I do now.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:37 AM PST [Link]

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Dixie Chicks' Maines apologizes to Bush, AP, Fri Mar 14, 8:10 PM ET

Well, so much for free speech in country music.

It's okay, Natalie, I'll be ashamed that bush is from Texas for you. I'm already ashamed of being from the same species, so adding Texas is not at all a stretch.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:46 PM PST [Link]

Whew! I finally finished the third and final Hackenbush novel and put up excerpts for you novel readers. Click on the Novels link above. I'm through with Reagan! On to the Bush I years! Yay!

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:41 AM PST [Link]

"Have you ever seen such amazing arrogance wedded to such awesome incompetence?"
Who's next on the insult list?, By Molly Ivins, Star-Telegram, March 16, 2003

Not since the 80s, Molly, which are starting to look pretty damn good.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:34 AM PST [Link]

"WASHINGTON — Everyone thinks the Bush diplomacy on Iraq is a wreck.

"It isn't. It's a success because it was never meant to succeed."
Mashing Our Monster, By MAUREEN DOWD, NYT Op/Ed, March 16, 2003 (NYT login ID: hackenbush PW: hackenblog)

And there you have it.

We also have some of the stupidest people in Congress I never want to meet. We're flat broke, in the hole, about to annihilate Iraq for reasons that still elude me (and you know it won't be cheap either in cash or soul) and this silly woman, Ginny Brown-Waite (a Florida Republican, which explains quite a bit), wants to use taxpayer money to finance digging up long buried US servicemen and women and putting them in US soil. Lady, you have too much unstructured time on your hands.

Also, I have been in one of those cemeteries in Normandy and I'm here to tell you, the French care for those graves like they were their own. The problem with the French (and everybody else with an ounce of sense) is that they are trying to save us from the worst of our government. Vive la France and everybody else with an ounce of sense.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:28 AM PST [Link]



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