It is a time of freedom and fear, of Gaia and of borders, of many paths and the widening of a universal toll road, emptying country and swelling cities, of the public bought into privacy and the privacy of the public sold into invisible data banks and knowing algorithms. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection.
These are the times when maps fade and direction is lost. Forwards is backwards now, so we glance sideways at the strange lands through which we are all passing, knowing for certain only that our destination has disappeared. We are unready to meet these times, but we proceed nonetheless, adapting as we wander, reshaping the Earth with every tread.
Behind us we have left the old times, the standard times, the high times. Welcome to the irregular times.
Saturday, July 26, 2003
At Rumsfeld's Orders, U.S. Commits War Crime
Remember back in March, when the Iraqi government showed captured American soldiers on television? Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was outraged. He called it a war crime, a violation of the Geneva Convention.
My, how things have changed. Now Rumsfeld himself acknowledges that he has personally ordered photographs of Saddam Hussein's dead sons to be broadcast on television, over the Internet and in newspapers, and admits that he's doing so for the purposes of propaganda.
The American military did not even try to capture the two men alive, but shot missiles into the Iraqi home where they were staying, killing them instantly by blowing them to bits.
Blown to bits? Wait a minute! Those up-close photographs of the dead Iraqis that the American government has been parading all over the airwaves show two bodies that have large cuts all over them but are nonetheless intact. How could Saddam Hussein's sons have been blown to bits?
The gruesome answer is that the American military reassembled and painted up their bodies before taking the photographs.
According to the Associated Press, the pieces of the men's bodies were flown out of Iraq to a secret location where Americans took tissue samples for their laboratories, then reconstructed their faces and covered the bodies with mortician's paint so that the bodies would look good for the cameras.
Then American mortuary technicians shaved the beards from the dead men's faces in order for the photographs to look more convincing.
Pause a minute and consider how we would feel if the Iraqi government had done this kind of sickening taxidermy with the bodies of captured and killed American soldiers.
Is it any wonder that the Iraqis do not believe that the sons of Saddam Hussein are really dead? Is it any wonder that the Iraqis are becoming ever more furious at the American soldiers occupying their country?
American Major General Ray Odierno has been quoted as bragging about the killings and morbid reassembly of the dead bodies. "We continue to tighten the noose," he says. The question is, whose neck is the noose around? Since the killings of Saddam Hussein's sons, the rate of American deaths has increased from one a day to two or three a day.
The American military admits that an average of 12 separate battles are occuring in Iraq every day. This is victory?
American officials protest that they have not done anything wrong by blasting apart, reassembling, painting and broadcasting photographs of the soldiers of its enemies. Other voices from around the world sharply disagree, and are demanding that American military leaders be held accountable for their war crimes. Of course, George W. Bush has long stated that American soldiers are not subject to the same rules of honorable conduct during wartime as the soldiers of other nations.
The Associated Press quotes one Iraqi businessman as stating, "Showing dead and deformed bodies on TV is not acceptable. But the Americans are criminals and unbelievers. We got rid of one tyrant and we ended up with a bigger one."
The noose is tightening, all right, and it looks like American soldiers are going to be hanging around in Iraq for a long time to come.
Friday, July 25, 2003
Over at Excessively Progressive, our anti-Bush and pro-Democratic shop, we've hit and flown past the 300 mark. There are now 315 unique progressive Election 2004 bumper stickers available for your review. Check 'em out.
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Mother Davis flips through copies of last autumn's newspapers as she reflects,
It takes a lot more than tough talk to make a truly tough President. It takes a tough mind too. George W. Bush certainly has all the tough talk. Listen to the alarming words he threw around last year as he was trying to convince Congress and the American people to start a war against Iraq:
"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard, and VX nerve agent."
"U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents."
"Our intelligence sources tell us that he (Saddam) has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."
Tough talk, but now the going is really tough. Months after its start, the war in Iraq is still going strong, with American soldiers dying every day.
More and more, it looks like the White House could have used with less tough talk and more tough thinking. Those 300 tons of sarin, mustard gas and VX nerve agents? They've never been found.
Those 30,000 munitions for chemical agents? Hundreds of thousands of American soldiers haven't found a single one.
Those high-strength aluminum tubes? Even before the war started, the International Atomic Energy Agency was warning the Bush White House that the tubes were almost certainly not suitable for producing nuclear weapons.
Now, you may choose to believe that these mistatements from George W. Bush were not out-and-out lies. But if Bush wasn't lying, then he was showing extraordinary stupidity.
At the same time that Bush was tilting at imaginary threats in Iraq, he ignored the fact that North Korea was just months away from making nuclear weapons. The North Koreans are telling us that they are making those weapons right now, and Bush continues to do nothing about it.
If the Bush Administration refuses to do the tough thinking required to lead American military in a responsible way, it's time for the American people to take on this duty for ourselves.
Let's think hard on this one: Can America survive another four years under a President who talks tough but thinks soft?
Coming up with her own answer,
Post-script solution: If you're coming up with the same answer as I am, then the time has come to do something about it. True Majority is offering the opportunity for you to send a fax demanding an independent investigation of Bush's untruths to your congressional representative free of charge: Just go ahead and click here to demand that the truth be found.
Sunday, July 20, 2003
Bush Admits He Didn't Bother Reading Report
In perhaps the most dazzling revelation so far, Bush aides admitted on Friday that neither their boss, George W. Bush, nor National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice bothered to read the report about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction that was prepared for them before the invasion of Iraq.
They skimmed it.
Aides explained that Bush and Rice just didn't have the time to read the whole report, and so they skipped over the parts in which the State Department described so-called "evidence" of a reassembled nuclear weapons program in Iraq as "highly dubious".
So, Bush could send American teenagers over to Iraq to kill, and to be killed and maimed for life, but he couldn't bother reading a 90-page report?
Pardon me, but I remember back in high school they asked us to read books over 300 pages long, and then write reports and make oral presentations on them. Are we being told that George W. Bush doesn't have the attention span of a high school student?
It looks like George W. Bush may go down in history as the President who never did his homework.
Bush aides deride the State Department's criticism of the fake "evidence" against Iraq as a mere "footnote". I can't help but thinking that if Bush had the mental focus to bother with such "footnotes", American lives would have been saved.
America needs a President who isn't too lazy to pay attention to the details of war.
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