I met many people tonight who just had to get out of the house so they could avoid Little Caesar’s State of the Empire speech. I should have told them that they could have stayed at home and had minutes of fun with the Make Your Own Bush Speech Flash animation.
A preview of the vile, horrific destruction we are going to be visiting on innocent people soon. This is gut-wrenching stuff. Can’t we do anything?
AlterNet: “Shock and Awe”: Guernica Revisited
By Gar Smith, AlterNet
January 27, 2003
Forget Osama. Forget Saddam. The Pentagon’s newest target is the city of Baghdad.
US military strategists have announced a plan to pummel the Iraqi capital with as many as 800 cruise missiles in the space of two days. If George W. Bush gets the war he wants, Baghdad could become the 21st Century’s Guernica.
On April 26, 1937, 25 Nazi bombers dropped 100,000 pounds of bombs and incendiaries on the peaceful Basque village. Seventy percent of the town was destroyed and 1,500 people, a third of the population, were killed.
The Pentagon now predicts that its Baghdad blitzkrieg could approximate the devastation of a nuclear explosion. “The sheer size of this has never been… contemplated before,” one Pentagon strategist boasted to CBS News. “There will not be a safe place in Baghdad,” a city of 5 million people.
The Pentagon dubbed its cold-blooded attack plan “Shock and Awe” , a bizarre conjunction of trauma and admiration. Shock and awe were the very emotions that Americans experienced on Sept. 11, 2001. Now, like the 9/11 terrorists, Bush and Co. are planning a similar act of almost unparalleled ferocity , a devastating premeditated attack on a civilian urban population.
My latest review is up at the Valley Voice, this being on Guy Maddin’s Dracula.
World to Bush: “Everybody hates you and they think you’re an idiot.”
World rebels against America
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates
Having positioned enough U.S. troops and equipment all around this Persian Gulf neighbourhood, George W. Bush can launch a war on Iraq any time, with or without United Nations’ approval. But he has already lost the political war.
That came through loud and clear in my journey through Europe, the Middle East and Asia in the last three weeks. It should become evident to North Americans in the days ahead.
Tomorrow, the United Nations arms inspectors will call for a continuation of their work to disarm Iraq peacefully.
On Tuesday, Bush will deliver his State of the Union address and be applauded on Capitol Hill and in the obeisant American and copycat neo-con Canadian media. But around the world, his words likely will bring public derision, so eroded is American credibility. A similar fate awaits the promised American “evidence” against Iraq.
On Wednesday, when the Security Council meets, France, assisted by Germany, will lead Russia, China and others in resisting American calls for a U.N. mandate for war. For the first time in its history, the council may be confronted with an anti-American resolution.
Geneva Convention? We don’ need no stinkin’ Geneva Convention! We can torture your ass anywhere and anyhow, because Generalissimo El Busho (as Ted Rall calls him) says so! (Hey, Mr. Protestor cum Enemy Combatant, you’re next!)
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | US interrogators turn to ‘torture lite’ The LA-based constitutional lawyer Stephen Rohde said that the US was already violating the Geneva convention by its interrogation of prisoners: “Donald Rumsfeld has been boasting about the information [from prisoners] as a valid reason for holding them indefinitely without lawyers and without charging them. We are violating the Geneva convention by interrogating them.”
The Taliban prisoners should only have been required to give their name, rank, serial number and date of birth, he said. Lawyers representing those being interrogated have expressed their concern.
“I have never seen clients treated so badly” said Randy Hamud, the San Diego-based lawyer who has represented a number of the Arab men detained last year, some of whom are still in custody. “The constitution has been cast aside. The United States is no longer the moral leader of the world.”
Go USA! Go USA! While the majority of Americans will spend today yelling at a TV set, spraying potato shards from their mouth and from the upturned imitation wood-grain plastic bowl, and generally OD’ing on their own football-initiated testosterone, some are missing the game . . . because they’ve been incarcerated! What fun!
Apparently, Super Bowl Fervor also means locking up random brown people!
Yahoo! News – INS Detains 69 Foreigners in Super Bowl Sweep
Sports – Reuters
Fri Jan 24, 8:50 PM ET
By Sarah Tippit
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Reuters) – Federal officials on Friday said they planned to detain more foreign-born security and transportation workers after arresting 69 people as part of a controversial security crackdown ahead of the Super Bowl that has outraged local immigrant community leaders.
U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service officials initially said agents had finished a probe of suspected illegal immigrants who might have had high-level access to San Diego’s Qualcomm stadium, but then said that reviews of 1,000 more workers still had to be completed by Sunday’s game.
Jiminy Christmas! The good ol’ Brit tabloid Daily Mirror is at it again! Here in the Yoo-Nye-Ted States such a poster/petition campaign would be tucked away in the lower left-hand corner of last month’s Z Magazine. This is the front cover of a bleedin’ mainstream paper! And the readers responded, turning in by last count 70,000 front-cover petitions.
Everybody has seen those “Chinese Titles for American Movies” email, which to me have always seemed phony. Oliver Stone’s “Nixon” is translated as “Big Fat Liar” and so on–all coincidentally tailored to American humor.
Well, over at leylop’s blog about China she has some real translations. Most are tame, as expected, but occasionally there’s some doozies, more surreal than anything:
As Good As It Gets: Mr. Cats’ Shit ( mao shi xian sheng )
Charlie’s Angels: Lightning Cutie ( pi li tian shi )
Fargo: Moisturizing Lotion Murder ( xue hua gao li qi ming an )
Thelma & Louise: The Crazy Flower At The End Of The Road ( mo lu kuang hua )
In the Bedroom: The Incestuous Love ( luan lun zhi lian )
Top Gun: Lofty Ideal Above The Clouds ( zhuang zhi lin yun )
The Big Lebowski: Murdering the Green Toes ( mou sha lv jiao zhi )
Apparently, the Coen Brothers give the Chinese a lot of trouble.
Over at Salon there’s a good article on the science of measuring crowd numbers, important when we have all these demonstrations recently. One main conclusion: there were actually probably more protestors in San Francisco than in D.C., and D.C.’s crowd probably came to 60,000, not 500,000.
It’s the end of the week, and it’s a great big grab-bag of evil!
The BushJunta have chosen Jerry Thacker, a Bob Jones (i.e. Christian Fundamentalist) graduate, who calls AIDS the Gay Plague, among other intelligent and tolerant ideas, to serve on the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS. But of course, because, as you see, black is white, and up is down.
This is also the same arrogance that appoints a rabid anti-environment nutjob like Richard Pombo to oversee the House Natural Resources Committee, a man who’s said that environmentalists were commies, that elephants should be hunted for their ivory, and who is dead set on overturning the Endangered Species Act. This guy needs to sent out to pasture, pronto!
Over at the Guardian, there’s a report about securing Iraq’s oil fields
At the meeting, on the future of a post-Saddam Iraq – details of which have been disclosed to the Guardian – the state department stressed that protection of the oilfields was “issue number one”.
In France, they’re reacting to Rumsfeld’s remarks about France and Germany being “Old Europe” i.e., not following American in goosestep.
But there’s good news! Yahoo News reports Senate Blocks Funding for Pentagon Database, telling the Illuminati that they can’t have unlimited access to all our computer information. Ha!
Meanwhile, Ted Rall points out that Americans are so insular because only seven percent of Americans own a passport–fewer than 20 million people–and only a fraction of those ever use one. (I’d like to know where this figure comes from).
And the most pleasing thing I’ve seen all day: White House reporter and woman with more cajones than the other reporters combined, Helen Thomas, has this to say about Shrub: “This is the worst president ever,” she said. “He is the worst president in all of American history.”