C students from Yale

Say what you will about his recent fictional output (or his older fictional output, for that matter), I still have a soft spot for Kurt Vonnegut. At the age of 80, he’s still saying things worth listening to.
And he’s not an asshole, which still counts for something, I hope.

I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened, though, is that it has been taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d’etat imaginable. And those now in charge of the federal government are upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka ‘Christians,’ and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or ‘PPs.’

What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they cannot care what happens next. Simply can’t. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody’s telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! f–k habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass!
[more…]

While we’re talking authors here, another writer whose work I’ve always enjoyed reading, Gunter Grass, is also speaking out against those murderous C students and psychopaths in Washington.
Edit : This is as good a time as any to share some statistics about Korea with you. I ran across these numbers a few days ago, and they would seem to explain much on first glance. Whether that is actually the case or not is up for debate.
There are a total of 450 public libraries in Korea. In the whole country.
These facilities serve a population of approximately 47 million people : it works out to about 110,000 people for each library, the lowest in the OECD. The ratio is actually worse here in Seoul – which is home to the equivalent of about a third of the population of Canada, a fact that never ceases to boggle me a bit – there’s one library for every 330,000 people.
The comparable figure in Europe is about 1:10,000 and in America it’s 1:20,000 or so.
Some ad-hocratic systems have arisen to compensate, as is always the case here. There are privately run shops, even in the nasty little suburb where I live, that rent a few books (mostly home-grown manga for the schoolkids) alongside the standard racks of action movies. There’s a bookmobile that comes around the human beehives once a week, too, with a couple of hundred Korean novels onboard. Small compensation for the few who have the time or energy to read anything.
As for me, even if any of these few libraries were near enough for me to visit, I’d be out of luck. None carry books in English, of course.
If any webblogger should have an Amazon wishlist and wheedle and beg for books, it’s me, by crikey. Maybe I should get a webcam, start peddling my wonderchicken pulchritude, and demand payments (“Put it on! Put it all back on! Please!”) in literature….
Nah.

More perspective

North Korea has decided to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, invoking its legal right to do so.
The move increases international tension and the risk of Japan reconsidering its position on nuclear weapons.
But it is in line with the new approach to global security adopted by the Bush administration.
President George W Bush has either withdrawn from or expressed his opposition to implementing a number of key global arms control agreements.
These include:
•the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty;
•the Biological Weapons Convention;
•the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty;
•the process of strategic arms reductions with Russia.
The treaty signed with Russia – the Sort Treaty – is a treaty without content and has no operative provisions.
At the same time as withdrawing from these treaties, the Bush administration initially withdrew from the political process with North Korea designed by former President Bill Clinton, and which had rolled back but not entirely removed North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.
[more…]

[via OW]
It’s cliché already to invoke 1984 when talking about these worthless turdfellaters in Washington, but it’s hard not to do so these days.
Watching CNN from a hotel at Narita airport in Japan last week, I was amused by the response to their ‘question of the day’.
‘Which country poses the greatest threat to world peace?’ they asked, and invited phone calls and emails in response. Hours afterwards, the proportion of respondants nominating ‘The United States’ was still running around 70%, they told us, falling over each other in their efforts to tell us again that this result ‘did not necessarily reflect our opinions.’
f–k you, George. Your empire is a-gonna fall.

Cloudy, Strong Chance of Rain

A number of friends and neighbours have expressed some concern about my proximity to the Bouffant Brigades across the DMZ, and asked me for my take on the latest developments here in Korealand™. I am happy to oblige.
First, some background, which tends to be glossed over by the shiny-toothed automata reading the news, and seems to be missed by most of the print media I’ve seen too, unsurprisingly.
In 1994, the Clinton administration established an “Agreed Framework” with the well-fed wackjobs in Pyongyang. One of the drivers of the agreement was the desire on the part of the Americans to prevent North Korea from operating a weapons-grade reactor. The Agreed Framework promised North Korea progress toward “full normalization of political and economic relations.” It also promised shipments of heavy fuel oil, and two light-water reactors by 2003 to replace the weapons-grade facility Pyongyang was to shut down.
Several months ago (November 14 2002), the Bush administration decided to punitively cut off fuel oil supplies in response to Kim Jong Il’s latest hijinks (admitting to a secret nuclear program), just as winter was approaching and famine looming again. This is significant because these fuel supplies were basically the only thing that America actually delivered on to fulfill their part of the 1994 agreement, and given the poverty of the country, the only way that any fuel could be had for electrical generation and so on. Ironic, actually, because it is fairly clear that, at least in part, the reason for the nuclear program in the first place was to generate electricity (and make filthy bombs to sell off and/or kill people with, of course). Construction on the promised lightwater reactors began in August of 2002, 8 years after the agreement, and 4 months before they were meant to begin operation.
Not only had America in fact ignored almost entirely their commitment to the requirements of the Agreed Framework, and eventually by the end of the Clinton administration delivered solely (and then partially) on their commitment to supply heavy fuel oil, but as soon as Bush and his cadre of demonic sh-tweasels took over, North Korea was declared part of the laughable “Axis of Evil.” How’s that for “full normalization of political and economic relations,” huh? It may be worth noting that during the last few years of the last decade, during the time we’re talking about, North Korea was experiencing a famine that killed, by some estimates, more than 10% of its population, or about 2 million people.
In fact, the Americans can’t really even claim with anything like a straight face (although they try, naturally, and get away with it) that the secret uranium-enrichment program revealed by Pyongyang a couple of months ago puts it in “material breach” of the 1994 agreement, anyway : uranium enrichment is one of the things simply not covered in the Agreed Framework.
This is typical of the bullsh-t-spinning that these lying scum engage in (on both sides of the fence, of course. The North Korean mouthpieces do it so badly that it’s more comedy than tragedy, though.) :

Q Is there something the North Koreans can do that would prompt the U.S. to sit down and talk, which seems to be a key for them?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, keep in mind, the United States has long supported South Korea’s engagement with North Korea. When you take a look at what’s happened, nations like Japan were engaging — were beginning engagement with North Korea. And as a result of North Korea’s actions, Japan examined what it was doing and has decided to proceed at a different pace. So various nations continue to have various levels of discussion with North Korea.
I want to point out that even while there were many conversations — in North Korea, North Korea was still breaking its word. So I don’t think the issue is whether or not North Korea is being talked to or not talked to. The issue is North Korea breaking its word. They have broken the word of the people they talked to, and they’ve broken their word with the people they don’t talk to. The one constant is that North Korea breaks its word.
So from the American point of view, we very strongly support the efforts to discuss with North Korea, through our friends in South Korea and Japan; we always have. But the United States has made it clear that North Korea knows what it needs to do, and it needs to come back into international compliance, as the IAEA has urged them to do today in the strongest of terms.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030106-1.html#4

The truth, as usual, is approxiately 180 degrees away from what is quoted above, for reasons I’ve discussed here at the ‘bottle many times before. What has been happening is what would seem to be a concerted effort by America, and particularly by the Arbusto Administration, to subvert and obstruct South Korea’s efforts towards productive engagement with the North. Not much wonder that the ‘sunshine policy’ of Kim Dae Jung has seen limited success in areas other than domestic.
The Bush administration’s policy of ‘tailored containment’, so remniscent of Reagan-era cold-war-speak (and not surprisingly given the array of Reaganite criminals and courtiers re-elevated to positions of power), displays a lack of any real understanding and responsiveness to the realities of the situation, and is counterproductive at best and a reckless endangerment of millions of lives at worst.
The wisdom of Kim Dae Jung’s sunshine policy, a strategy which the new president-elect Noh Moo Hyun (usually romanized as ‘Roh Moo Hyun’ for some reason) has pledged to continue, is more sensible given the context I describe above, I think, and is one which is supported by Japan, China and other states in the region. North Korea has always been responsive to chances for improved relations with the outside world, and its current attitude can be seen as defensive, and as with other bluffs and brinkmanship in the past intended primarily to bring America to the bargaining table.
Not to say that Kim Jong Il, the Stalinist Bouffant Butterball, is anything other than pure evil. But he’s not a madman. American media is always quick to demonize their so-called enemies : Saddam Hussein, of course, being only the latest in a long string of ‘madmen’ and ‘new Hitlers’. Kim JI is canny, and continues to respond with the only tools at his disposal – threats – to the posturing, lies, bad-faith negotiation and arrogance of the Americans.
This from the Guardian today echoes my point : “The North Korean nuclear standoff moved a step closer to a peaceful resolution yesterday as Pyongyang set a date for negotiations, amid reports that it was prepared to scrap its weapons programme in return for a security guarantee from the United States.”
There is a lot of talk recently, as well, about the idea of America pulling its 37,000 troops out of Korea. It’s difficult to say where they’d be withdrawn to : maybe they could share bunks with the 40,000 in Japan. The strong anti-American sentiment in South Korea in recent times, which I recently discussed here, has finally percolated through to North America, and of course the yanks are shocked and bemused. How could they hate us so? We’re the good guys, aren’t we?
It’s generally acknowledged that the 37,000 American troops here would make little to no difference were the North to invade again. The third largest standing army in the world – over 1,000,000-strong – is just across the DMZ. South Korea, with about 600,000 soldiers at any given time, a large segment of which is composed of university-age young men doing their two years of compulsory military service, would bear the brunt of any invasion. The reason that those troops are important is the psychological effect. The idea of those American soldiers being a tripwire of sorts is an outdated one : the US could just as effectively defend South Korea against attack from bases in Japan or even Hawaii. But to withdraw the troops, after 54 years, would raise questions about the role America wishes to play in Asia, how committed it is to maintaining stability, and make goverments in Beijing, Tokyo, Taipei and elsewhere very nervous indeed. It might even, given the apparent nuclear ambitions of Pyongyang, force Japan to ‘go nuclear.’ The role of the 37,000 American troops in Korea is mainly symbolic, and both the Koreans and the Americans calling recently for their withdrawal are swayed too much by emotion and too little by the ravages of intelligence to consider what the consequences of a withdrawal might be.
It’s generally accepted that North Korea already has one or possible two nuclear weapons, and they clearly have the technology to deliver them. Seoul is about 55 km south of the DMZ, and I live about 30 km south of downtown Seoul. I recently asked my wife if she knew what to do if she were to see a sudden bright flash in the sky outside our kitchen window, which looks north : drop, stay away from the windows, move to the bathroom at the center of the apartment, and wait for the shockwave and its backlash to pass.

seoul-pyong.jpg

My guess is that we’d probably survive an airburst, if it were to happen. But I don’t really think it’s going to, unless the criminals in Washington decide to turn their gun barrels this way after they raze Iraq (or are denied the opportunity to do so).
Related wonderchicken rantings : here, here, here and elsewhere.
Reading things like “North Korea Withdraws From Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty” is not as scary, hopefully, when one is aware of the game being played. That said, one hopes that mom stops them before someone loses an eye.
Also : this. [via provenanceunkown]

An Open Letter To The Members of Congress

Worth reading, perhaps.
Seems like a long time since I’ve done it, so I’d better add that the Shrub and his minions can go f–k themselves over an open fire. Or in the recent and exquisite phrasing of a certain Portuguese friend : I would request that they “slowly and gently f–k the f–k off.”
That is all.
OK, not quite all : not that it will make much difference to the murderous hardons in the White House, but apparently you can make your voice heard (although you might want to don the tinfoil hat first) [via the metafilter thread]

“Below is the number to the White House where you can actually call & say yes or no to the potential War on Iraq. G.W. claims to want to hear it directly from the American People. All calls need to be between the hours of 9-5 eastern standard time, Monday through Friday
I just called the White House at 202-456-1111. A machine detains you for only a moment and then a pleasant live operator will thank you for saying “I oppose” (or “I approve of”) of the proposed War against Iraq. It will only take minutes! The president is asking to know what the American people are thinking. Tell him.”

NOSEWARS

Politicians and their honkers. Bifurcation and duality and a damn fine cup of java. Oh friends, if we could identify evil, if we could point out those who bear the Mark Of The Beast so easily, if we could pinpoint the cheery monetarized f–kweasels that push the envelope down into the dirt, what would we do? String ’em up? Knot and pull and bellow ‘Woo-hoo, look at him swayng!’, lynch-mobilize with foam-rubber fingers pointed skyward, dripping oily sweat and reeking of sweet hormonal bourbon? Crucify the bastards, maybe, thieves and saviors alike, nail ’em up, stand back, point and laugh as they writhe and beg, and f–k the moral equivalence with a stainless-steel strap-on? Kill ’em all and let God sort them out, vengeful but eminently fair bitch that she is?
Not clear as an unmuddied pool under skies of deepest azure, no, more like clear as paper rubbed with the labial edge of Big Mac™. Translucent, but tasty.
What would we do if we could scent the evil on these f–kers, if we could see it like a sh-t-brown aura? What would we do?
Me, I got me a clue. Gimme a silver bullet, friend, and I’ll kill the werewolves. Drop the predators in their tracks. But be aware : another waits to take the Big Bad Wolf’s place, and the new one is without fail even worse, dollars to damned donuts. It doesn’t get better, it gets sillier. And even though nature apparently abhors a vacuum, the identical cheese-hostesses keep sucking harder.
Clog, pony boy, clog!

Petition

This online petition for the “Immediate and Total Repeal of the USA/Patriot ACT ” has about 6000 signatures as I write this. It is open to all US residents.

To: U.S. Congress
We, the undersigned, hereby declare that anti-terrorism legislation passed by our US Congress since the tragic and murderous September 11, 2001 attacks on our nation, seriously damage and infringe upon the constitutional protections that are enshrined in our Bill of Rights.
We declare that it is not patriotic, but rather Un-American to destroy the very freedoms which cause Americans to love their country.
We declare that open government is critical to democracy and that by imposing new levels of secrecy our government appears less trustworthy and lessens the people’s ability to make informed decisions about government.
We declare that lessening the strength of the judicial and legislative branches of our government, while simultaneously giving completely unlimited powers to the executive branch does damage to our American principle of separation of powers.
We oppose the use of secret military tribunals at which a person is afforded no independent defense counsel and could be sentenced to die and executed without the knowledge and approval of the American people.
We oppose the president’s orders to lock down presidential records, thus denying our ability to judge the actions of the executive.
We oppose the indefinite imprisonment of foreign nationals if no criminal charge has been placed against them. We further oppose the holding of any person without publicly declaring the crime they are charged with.
We oppose the “sneak and peek” provision of the PATRIOT Act, which crushes our 4th amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure by denying citizens their right to be aware that their property is to be searched and their right to protest such search if the warrant is out of order.
We oppose the collection of private business records by order of secret courts and the muzzling of those citizens who receive such orders from speaking publicly about them. This is a violation of both the 1st and 4th amendment.
[more…]

It Weren't Just Hockey

Mike points me to Douglas Ord’s piece ‘It Weren’t Just Hockey’, a timely link indeed for me, coming as it does hard on the heels of the recent Daypop-fueled kafuffle over Canuck Robert MacDougall’s rant about America. I think it illuminates quite ably some of the anger and resentment many Canadians feel towards America, by dwelling on the specifics of some events of which I was only vaguely aware. Much as the “Canada sux, d00d!” meme has taken over among the Youth Of America, fueled mostly, I think, by the Blame Canada! silliness in the South Park movie, lifted out of context and taken at face value, there seems to be little awareness in America of the reciprocal strength of real ill-will in many parts of Canadian society towards the 800-pound gorilla to the south. And if conjoined siblings are at odds, to a degree where some sort of ritualized catharsis is necessary, what of the rest of the world?

But the Toronto – New York series had an especially nasty edge, with the question widely asked as to whether hockey had reached a new low.
The series went a full seven games, & was ultimately won by the Maple Leafs on home ice, four games to three.
It also featured bizarre anomalies.
Among them was persistent booing of the Canadian national anthem in New York, even as the US national anthem was cheered in Toronto.
The booing in New York only got louder as the series went on, notwithstanding that the night before the series began on April 18th, four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan had been killed, & eight wounded, by a laser-guided bomb dropped by a US F-16 fighter plane.

speed.jpg
[image found at the ‘pile]

In fact the entire period of the series, from April 18th to 30th, was one of confused national mourning in Canada, on account of the killing of the four soldiers, who were the first Canadian combat casualties in nearly fifty years, & who were victims of the US Air Force.
Nevertheless, it has now emerged that for the sixth game of the series, & the last in New York, the audience there did more than just loudly boo the Canadian national anthem.
According to Bruce Arthur in the May 2nd National Post, a paper I don’t much like but that sometimes has interesting tidbits, the opera student who had sung both national anthems in Toronto for an earlier game got a surprise when he arrived in New York for the sixth one:
“Days after being cheered as he sang the Canadian and American anthems before an NHL playoff game in Toronto, Robert Pomakov watched, horrified, as unruly New York hockey fans burned his Canadian flag in the parking lot of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
“Mr. Pomakov, an opera singer, saw both his Canadian and his Toronto Maple Leaf flags torn from his car and set on fire by a crowd chanting ‘USA! USA!’ in the moments before Sunday’s Game 6 between the Leafs and the New York Islanders.
“‘We lost four of our soldiers and they were basically defending these idiots,’ an outraged Mr. Pomakov said. “If patriotism is what drives these people and their ignorance, then I am ashamed to have our soldiers defending them… There’s a line that needs to be drawn, and this was just so far across.”
What Pomakov did not mention, of course, was that the Canadian soldiers were not just killed while implicitly defending American citizens from “terrorist attack.” They were killed by an American fighter pilot, and are the only Canadians to be killed, or even wounded, in the war in Afghanistan.
Nor, it should be noted, did the American mob shout “New York! New York!” or “Islanders! Islanders!” while burning the Canadian flag.
Instead they chanted “USA! USA!”.
This being the chant which accompanied George W. Bush’s first visit to the ruins of the World Trade Centre in that same New York City, & which has become the semi-official vocal accompaniment to the “war on terror.”
[more…]

Wasabi-dipped

Japanese researchers have found film footage in Pyongyang indicating the United States conducted germ warfare against China and North Korea during the Korean War.
Pretzelboy, of course, would never mention America’s role in the proliferation of this kind of evil while stumbling over the phonetically-spelled gradeschool-bully scripts his handlers have him mouth.
The wiggly lines emanating from my eyes indicate rage, contempt and hatred.
Edit : Now let me get this straight. Iraq’s use of gas has been repeatedly cited by President Bush and by his national security advisor as justification for ”regime change” in Iraq. But the New York Times is quoting ‘senior military officers’ as saying that “there was a covert U.S. program during the Reagan administration to provide Iraq with battle planning assistance at a time when intelligence agencies knew Iraqi commanders would use chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war”.
That’s funny, isn’t it? Speaking of “regime change“….

The problem remains the practicalities. Whereas in Afghanistan the allies could rely on a local opposition force on the ground, no such scenario can be relied on in this case. The Spanish speaking minority in the south might be induced to rise up. There could be assistance from Minutemen in the mountains. But the democratic opposition is too defeated and divided to provide much help. The answer could be an “inside-out” strategy using special forces to take Washington and a few key nuclear bases. Provided the rest of the country was left to get on with its business, there would probably be little internal opposition to a seizure of the capital.
That leaves the substantial problem of an “exit strategy”. There is no point in a repeat of 1812. But the experience of America in Japan after the Second World War could provide a model. A period of occupation of five to 10 years could provide an opportunity to inculcate ideas of true democracy, with a fair electoral system based on absolute majority, abolition of the death penalty, introduction of unions into hi-tech industries and a break-up of the Zaibatsu, the overweening corporations such as Microsoft, Exxon and General Electric.
[more…]

Chickenhawks and Gunhumpers

Inspired by Shelley and Jonathan, who said :

I’d like to suggest an Honor Roll of Warbloggers, which would display next to each name: the warblog URL, the number of years of active military service, and the likelihood of the warblogger’s being called up to fight against Iraq. It is commonly observed by students of military history that civilian enthusiasm for going to war is inversely proportional to the sum of combat experience and eligibility for military service.

I did about 3 minutes worth of research to bring you some lists of those prominent Americans who avoided military service but are now, unsurprisingly, waggling their thanato-erotic weenies around with the most vigor.
Here’s a good list, and here, a more partisan one, but still informative.
A sampler :

GW Bush – decided that a six-year Nat’l Guard commitment really means four years. Still says that he’s “been to war.” Huh?
Dick Cheney – several deferments, the last by marriage (in his own words, “had other priorities than military service”)
Att’y Gen. John Ashcroft – sought deferment to teach business ed at SW Missouri State
Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert – avoided the draft, did not serve.
Majority Leader Dick Armey – avoided the draft, did not serve.
Majority Whip Tom Delay – avoided the draft, did not serve. “So many minority youths had volunteered … that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself.”
Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott – avoided the draft, did not serve.
[more…]

I also noticed that one of the warbloggers with whom Bb has been debating (in an admirably reasonable, evenhanded fashion, I must admit), has said that the epithet ‘warblogger’ is no longer fashionable.
In light of this, and my strong suspicion that most if not all of these armchair wannabe warriors would detumesce and piss their pants the first time they saw a human corpse up close and personal, I’d like to submit for your consideration some possible new names for them :

  • “Auto-erotic Death Fetishists”
  • “Phallocratic Linktards”
  • “Frustrated KillBunnies”
  • “Circle-jerking GunHumpers”
  • “Bushtastic KillMonkeys”
  • “Fearbloggers”
    If you have any ideas, please feel free to drop them in the comments. Let’s help out these poor fellas and make sure they have a spiffy new collective name, before it’s too late!
    (and, yes, I’m just being a sh-t-disturber for the free-wheeling hell of it)

  • fcuk Off, Redux

    Item 1 : An international human rights group files a lawsuit against the ExxonMobil oil company, accusing it of actively abetting human rights abuses in Indonesia, and complicity in the murder, torture and sexual abuse of the local population, including supplying the Indonesian military with equipment to dig mass graves, as well as building interrogation and torture centres.
    Item 2 : The US State Department urges the federal court to dismiss the lawsuit and declares that pursuit of the case would hinder Washington’s war on terror.
    Item 3 : Top industry contributors to Bush/Cheney election campaign :

  • 1. Enron $1.8m
  • 2. Exxon $1.2m
  • Item 4 : The Financial Times doesn’t even attempt embroidery : “Washington says, the lawsuit could discourage foreign investment in Indonesia, particularly in the energy and mining industries. ”
    I am moved, as I have been at other times, to say f–k the Bush administration, f–k them in the eye with a dead donkey’s wasabi-dipped dick. They are pure evil. I am daily more and more of the opinion that it is the responsibility of every ethical person, American or otherwise, to oppose these filthy bastards to the full extent of their powers, by every legal means at your disposal.

    waron

    And as for you bloodthirsty little father-figure worshipping lickspittles collectively known as ‘warbloggers’? Well, we all know the root cause of your infantile needs to invade, overwhelm and subjugate, don’t we?
    How’s that for debate?

    Dirty

    She’s dirty all right, but no more so than the rest of the corrupt scumbags who run this circle-jerk cesspool of privilege.
    She was rejected because she’s a woman, pure and simple.
    f–kwits. Asshats. Crapclowns. I f–king loathe these self-satisfied, centre-of-everyone’s universe Korean men, and I loathe Korean politicians, who are not coincidentally almost without exception male, with a special nauseated red-eyed hatred that makes my head hum like a generator. Line these wrinkly old upper-caste cocksuckers up against a wall and mow them down, say I. The greedy old boys’ networks in this country will guarantee that it remains the sh-thole that it is for anyone who’s not part of their cadre. Slaves and their overlords, right down the line. The threadbare whip of Confucianism coupled with the half-understood yoke of transplanted Christianity keeping the poor poor and the rich rich, and anyone who’s not a high-born male in a position of eternal subservience.
    f–k ’em.

    Mathematics

    This + This = This

    “It is highly likely that the US launch attacks which start the war with Iraq within the next 75 days, and probably between August 15 and October 5.
    It is not necessary to be a military strategist to figure this out. It won’t be based on a preparatory build up of US and allied troops, nor initiated because of any particular actions by the Iraqis which require a military response. There may a fabricated “story” the Bush administration uses to try to “sell” the war. But it’s pretty obvious what the real reason is.
    The time range described above is optimal for influencing the November US Congressional elections. With Bush’s popularity plummeting as millions of Americans discover that their life savings and retirement funds have shriveled to a fraction of what they were, the Bush administration has but one trump card left to try to turn the tide– start the war with Iraq.”
    [more…]

    Thought Food

    via Metafilter, some marvellously ironic TIPS-related info :

    Some food for thought about civilians as informers, about a large number of informers… From the book “Republic of Fear, The Politics of Modern Iraq” by Kanan Makiya (originally published under the name Samir al-Khalil, a pseudonym):
    “Nothing fragments group solidarity and self-confidence like the gnawing suspicion of having an informer in your midst. Therefore, to the extent that the public polices itself – a function of the number of informers – it inevitably disintegrates as an entity in its own right, separated from those who rule over it. Informer networks invade privacy and choke off all willingness to act in public or reflect upon politics, replacing these urges with a now deeply instilled caution. In so doing they destroy the reality of the public domain, relegating what little remains to a dark and shadowy existence. In such a world the more well-known violence of state institutions – executions, “disappearances”, murders, reprisals, torture – take on a new societal meaning. Nothing is as it seems, and nothing can be taken for granted. (Page 63 – edition 1989.)”
    “The Ba’thist [the party in power in Iraq – IB] postulate that society depends for its very existence on having an unbreachable basic moral norm entails as a necessary consequence that all deviance is immediately and directly an act of treason. The new Arab order must be a seamless moral web. This is the fundamental source of the party’s coherence, and its license to violence. (Page 206.)”
    “Once political identity is accepted as belief in an absolute moral imperative, and once morality itself is seen as a striving for perfection towards an unrealizable ideal, then no aspect of conduct is in principle outside the purview of the political organization of the state. Moreover, there is no way to avoid the implication that such all-embracing interference is justified. Justice as the problem of arbitrating between claims on society (rights) never arises, and is not expected to rise. (Page 208.)”

    fcuk Off, Redux

    John Pilger argues that ‘war on terror’ is a smokescreen created by the ultimate terrorist … America itself.

    …Perhaps the most important taboo is the longevity of the United States as both a terrorist state and a haven for terrorists. That the US is the only state on record to have been condemned by the World Court for international terrorism (in Nicaragua) and has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on governments to observe international law, is unmentionable.
    ‘In the war against terrorism,’ said Bush from his bunker following 11 September, ‘we’re going to hunt down these evil-doers wherever they are, no matter how long it takes.’
    Strictly speaking, it should not take long, as more terrorists are given training and sanctuary in the United States than anywhere on earth. They include mass murderers, torturers, former and future tyrants and assorted international criminals. This is virtually unknown to the American public, thanks to the freest media on earth.

    General Jose Guillermo Garcia has lived comfortably in Florida since the 1990s. He was head of El Salvador’s military during the 1980s when death squads with ties to the army murdered thousands of people. General Prosper Avril, the Haitian dictator, liked to display the bloodied victims of his torture on television. When he was overthrown, he was flown to Florida by the US Government. Thiounn Prasith, Pol Pot’s henchman and apologist at the United Nations, lives in New York. General Mansour Moharari, who ran the Shah of Iran’s notorious prisons, is wanted in Iran, but untroubled in the United States.
    Al-Qaeda’s training camps in Afghanistan were kindergartens compared with the world’s leading university of terrorism at Fort Benning in Georgia. Known until recently as the School of the Americas, it trained tyrants and some 60,000 Latin American special forces, paramilitaries and intelligence agents in the black arts of terrorism.
    In 1993, the UN Truth Commission on El Salvador named the army officers who had committed the worst atrocities of the civil war; two-thirds of them had been trained at Fort Benning. In Chile, the school’s graduates ran Pinochet’s secret police and three principal concentration camps. In 1996, the US government was forced to release copies of the school’s training manuals, which recommended blackmail, torture, execution and the arrest of witnesses’ relatives.
    [more…]

    [via wood_s_lot]

    fcuk Off

    Hey, my American friends, why not take the sage advice of my friend here…

    I made this. If you steal it, please credit me. Not the old native guy, the other stuff. Well, not that stuff either, actually. Some underpaid governmnet employee made that...Ah, f--k it. Steal it if you want.

    …and tell the bastards to go f–k themselves!
    [Edit : Thanks to the random google-surfing psychos who crapped here, but I’ve closed the thread and deleted the bile, pathetically amusing as it was. Sue me.]