Yet another famous author–Margaret Atwood–on

Yet another famous author–Margaret Atwood–on what America has become.

A letter to America

You’re the 21st-century Romans. Your admiring friends used to know you well: land of the brave, home of the free. Now, as you obsess over the omens of war, we wonder if you know yourself, muses MARGARET ATWOOD
By MARGARET ATWOOD
Friday, March 28, 2003 – Page A17
[snip snip snip]
You’re torching the American economy. How soon before the answer to that will be, not to produce anything yourselves, but to grab stuff other people produce, at gunboat-diplomacy prices? Is the world going to consist of a few megarich King Midases, with the rest being serfs, both inside and outside your country? Will the biggest business sector in the United States be the prison system? Let’s hope not.
If you proceed much further down the slippery slope, people around the world will stop admiring the good things about you. They’ll decide that your city upon the hill is a slum and your democracy is a sham, and therefore you have no business trying to impose your sullied vision on them. They’ll think you’ve abandoned the rule of law. They’ll think you’ve fouled your own nest.

If Richard Perle hates your

If Richard Perle hates your guts, you must be doing something right. Here’s a link to Sy Hersh’s latest piece in the
New Yorker
that has been making the rounds (as seen below). I include the paragraph that shows the legacy of the BushJunta that will endanger us all in the future.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of last week was the failure of the Shiite factions in southern Iraq to support the American and British invasion. Various branches of the Al Dawa faction, which operate underground, have been carrying out acts of terrorism against the Iraqi regime since the nineteen-eighties. But Al Dawa has also been hostile to American interests. Some in American intelligence have implicated the group in the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, which cost the lives of two hundred and forty-one marines. Nevertheless, in the months before the war the Bush Administration courted Al Dawa by including it among the opposition groups that would control postwar Iraq. “Dawa is one group that could kill Saddam,” a former American intelligence official told me. “They hate Saddam because he suppressed the Shiites. They exist to kill Saddam.” He said that their apparent decision to stand with the Iraqi regime now was a “disaster” for us. “They’re like hard-core Vietcong.”
There were reports last week that Iraqi exiles, including fervent Shiites, were crossing into Iraq by car and bus from Jordan and Syria to get into the fight on the side of the Iraqi government. Robert Baer, a former C.I.A. Middle East operative, told me in a telephone call from Jordan, “Everybody wants to fight. The whole nation of Iraq is fighting to defend Iraq. Not Saddam. They’ve been given the high sign, and we are courting disaster. If we take fifty or sixty casualties a day and they die by the thousands, they’re still winning. It’s a jihad, and it’s a good thing to die. This is no longer a secular war.” There were press reports of mujahideen arriving from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Algeria for “martyrdom operations.”

I found it, then I

I found it, then I lost it. Then my friend Frederic found it again. It’s Robin Cook’s “stop the war, bring back the troops” editorial in the Mirror. Great stuff.

COOK: BRING OUR LADS HOME
Mar 30 2003
Let’s send Rumsfeld and his hawks to war instead
By Robin Cook
This was meant to be a quick, easy war. Shortly before I resigned a Cabinet colleague told me not to worry about the political fall-out.
The war would be finished long before polling day for the May local elections.
I just hope those who expected a quick victory are proved right. I have already had my fill of this bloody and unnecessary war. I want our troops home and I want them home before more of them are killed.

Link, link, O link! It’s

Link, link, O link! It’s a busy day for good articles on the Chimpy-Rummy Murder-Our-Troops special (which coincides with the Kill Iraqis special). Here’s some news you can use.
Here’s the latest rundown of all the protests around the world today. These people don’t take a break! Good on ’em!
Here’s a fabulous transcript of Daniel Ellsberg running circles around Aaron Brown from CNN. Brown, like every in the corporate media, tries to frame the debate in ridiculous terms, wasting everybody’s time and distracting us from the real issues (a tactic the GOP has been very good at and that the Dems, hell, any opposition, needs to learn how to avoid.) “Are the protestors helping Saddam?” is not a real question, and certainly not something a thinking person should pose. So grow up. Ellsberg handles it with tact and intelligence.
Meanwhile, the killing continues in earnest. Here’s a report on the massacre at Nasiriya. If I was a soldier, I’d be the shocked and horrified one they interview first. And I know I’d hate the prick they quote after–he probably is the kind who would have made my life miserable in high school. (I would have liked to have linked to the original story in the Times of London, but the link has now been archived and they’re asking $$$ to access it. So thank Buddha for Information Clearing House.)
Holy Court Martial! Three British Privates are sent home after protesting civilian deaths.
Meanwhile in the very barely democratic America, a Louisiana shock jock is suggesting protestors should get a bullet in the head. Remember folks, the airwaves belong to us . . . Just kidding! They belong to massive conglomerates! My mistake.
In wacky news, the cute dolphins the navy were going to use to find mines and Iraqi frogmen apparently have minds of their own. They like to wander off for days and look for fish. “Flipper’s f…ed, mate,” as one sarcy Aussie puts it.
The criticism of the complete incompetence of Rumsfeld continues from various generals. Remember, we started the criticism long before anybody else!
And who’s America’s new enemy? It seems to be New Zealand, because they don’t support Chimpy McCokespoon. Let’s bomb their sheep! etc. etc.
Lastly, I would like to give “mad props” out to Joshua Micah Marshall’s Talking Points Memo. Marshall’s been analysing the BushJunta for some time now, and knows his stuff. He’s even a bit of a future-scenarist, trying to figure out the possible variations in the fallout from Rummy’s disastrous war plans. Give his site a look and get educated on not just what has happened but what might be.

A few more interesting tidbits

A few more interesting tidbits from the “war”:
Bush Proposal Would End Overtime Pay for Millions of People At last I turned off CNN’s war coverage, I looked around, and BOOM! I had no overtime pay. At home the war against the working people of the country continues in earnest.
Iraqi Civilians Feed Hungry US Marines I’m posting this one because this story has been kept out of the news for the most part. It sounds like a cute “see, the Iraqi people do love us” story until you realize they fed the Marines because the Marines have had their meal rations cut down from three to one. Whoops! Not so heartwarming anymore.
Code Red Would Trigger a Virtual Lockdown Plans for martial law anytime Ridge-baby and his squarehead cohorts decide it. Could that happen on…say…election day?

Just checking in on the

Just checking in on the BushJunta Illegal Bloodbath. Here’s the latest:
Hey Rummy, the blood’s on your hands too.
Rumseld Ignored Pentagon Advice on Iraq

In an article for its April 7 edition, which goes on sale on Monday, the weekly said Rumsfeld insisted at least six times in the run-up to the conflict that the proposed number of ground troops be sharply reduced and got his way.
“He thought he knew better. He was the decision-maker at every turn,” the article quoted an unidentified senior Pentagon planner as saying. “This is the mess Rummy put himself in because he didn’t want a heavy footprint on the ground.”

Just in case you missed it, Negroponte stormed out of the U.N. in a “you can’t handle the truth” turn when the Iraqi representative started giving him what for. I don’t agree that Bush wants to commit genocide against the Iraqi people, only because to differentiate between his victims would be too much of a stretch. He just wants to kill anybody in his way, regardless of race, creed, color, or talent. I think what John “Iran-Contra Scandal Criminal” Negroponte actually objected to was Iraq pointing out that the business deals to carve up Iraq had been made months before the war, all true.
Here’s a depressing report on–it’s official!–why the entire Arab world now hates America’s guts. Hey, I don’t want to get blown up because of the Monkey.
But remember kids, this isn’t a holy war! Or is it, when Marines are being asked to PRAY FOR BUSH! Makes me wanna puke.
Finally, in lighter news, the International Federation of Journalists is looking into charges that U.S. Troops Beat up indie (non-embedded) journalists in Iraq.
Pleasant dreams!

Yo my peeps, I just

Yo my peeps, I just got back from today’s protest march. Not as many people as last week, so I hear, but still about 2 blocks’ worth of people. And for some reason I didn’t see the usual suspects there today. It seemed to be all new faces. I did run into a few friends: Duncan, Candace, Jim. I heard my dad would be there, but I didn’t see him. We did two die-ins along Street, which gave me a chance to rest my feet, ho ho ho.
Seriously though, where are all the black and Latino protestors? Seeings a lot of their sons and daughters are dying in Bush’s empire-building slaughter, you’d think they’d be equally represented here, as they are in the general population. The question for us is why they aren’t turning up and how we can get them to. There’s passing references to “the racism of the anti-war movement” on KPFK, but I’ve never heard anyone lay out the case for that. So, what’s up?
It’s a nice sunny day today too, and there’s birds savaging the bird feeder: blue jays and little tits. (That should increase the Google hits).

I like to think that

I like to think that someone out there, possibly in Taiwan, is learning more than they ever thought they’d know about Santa Barbara County politics, after following my series of portraits of the Board of Supervisors. This week I take on Gail Marshall who has been the most controversial of them all–and not intentionally.
I also got to review Laurel Canyon, which stars the lovely Kate Beckinsale. Which reminds me, whatever happened to Whit Stillman? Isn’t he due for a new movie sometime?