Thursday, September 25, 2003

The Matrix of Ignorance-by Gary Leupp

The Matrix of Ignorance--
Unplugging the Sixty-Nine Percent

By Gary Leupp

".....Two years after 9-11, 69% of Americans surveyed said they believed that it was at least likely that Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

I shouldn't be surprised. National Geographic reports that 85% of young Americans (18-24) cannot identify Iraq, Afghanistan or Israel on an unmarked map. 56% cannot find the Indian subcontinent, dangling there so conspicuously into none other than the Indian Ocean. Only 19% can name four countries that acknowledge having nuclear weapons. Fortunately, a whopping 70% can identify the Pacific Ocean, but that's probably just because it's the biggest thing on the planet....."

"....These numbers are not just embarrassing but dangerous, because in such a sea of ignorance swim Bush's neocons, buoyed by it, empowered by it to send U.S. troops to their deaths in a war to conquer and occupy a nation that had nothing to do with 9-11.....But the only way to maintain adequate domestic support for the ongoing war in Iraq is to promote that fiction, which means to deliberately and cynically exploit ignorance...."

Edward Said -RIP

Edward Said Obituary

"No one today is purely one thing. Labels like Indian, or woman, or Muslim, or American are no more than starting points, which if followed into actual experience for one moment are quickly left behind."
E Said

Edward Wadie Said, writer and academic, born November 1 1935;
died September 25 2003.


See: My Friend Edward
by Christopher Hitchens

Dr. David Kelly: Laying the blame...

Dr. David Kelly: Laying the blame...
Richard Norton-Taylor, Ewen MacAskill and Vikram Dodd
Friday September 26, 2003
The Guardian UK

".....David Kelly's family delivered an excoriating attack on the government's treatment of the dead weapons expert yesterday, accusing it of duplicity and "a cynical abuse of power" which deserved "the strongest possible condemnation"...."

"...In his final submission to the inquiry, Jeremy Gompertz QC, counsel for the Kelly family, accused the government of making a "deliberate decision to use Dr Kelly as part of its strategy in its battle with the BBC". ....."


See: The last desperate days of Dr David Kelly

Madison Capital Times Editorial: Does Bush hate himself?

Madison Capital Times Editorial:
Does Bush hate himself?

September 25, 2003

On the eve of George W. Bush's appearance before the United Nations, Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie found it necessary to attack the president's critics for engaging in what Gillespie called "political hate speech." He seemed in particular to be agitated by Democrat Howard Dean, who has not hesitated to say that Bush bungled both diplomatically and strategically in his rush to war with Iraq.

The problem with Gillespie's attack on Dean and other Democrats is that it came right before Bush finally took a little bit of their advice. If there has been one core theme of Dean's campaign, for instance, it has been that Bush needs to steer the United States back into a working relationship with the United Nations and traditional allies such as France and Germany.

Now that the Iraq invasion has "quagmire" written all over it, the president is making some tentative steps in the direction the Democrats have encouraged for months. In fact, some of the messages that Bush is now sending echo statements that, when Dean and others made them earlier, Gillespie and the Bush acolytes condemned as "naive" or even "unpatriotic."

This brings us to our question for Ed Gillespie: When President Bush says what Democrats have been saying all along, is he too engaging in political hate speech? Or is the president simply acknowledging a reality that has not yet dawned on Gillespie?

Copyright Madison Capitol Times 2003

US tried to plant WMDs, failed: Whistleblower

US tried to plant WMDs, failed: Whistleblower
Daily Times Monitor
Friday, September 26, 2003

"According to a stunning report posted by a retired Navy Lt Commander and 28-year veteran of the Defense Department (DoD), the Bush administration’s assurance about finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was based on a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plan to “plant” WMDs inside the country. Nelda Rogers, the Pentagon whistleblower, claims the plan failed when the secret mission was mistakenly taken out by “friendly fire”, the Environmentalists Against War report....."

Sept. 11 widow sues the President-

Sept. 11 widow sues the President-
Ellen Mariani's husband was aboard Flight 175.
She says government officials were negligent

By Joseph A. Slobodzian
Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
Posted on Tue, Sep. 23, 2003

Chomsky: Iraq: Invasion That Will Live in Infamy

Iraq: Invasion That Will Live in Infamy
by Noam Chomsky
Dissident Voice
August 12, 2003

"....A reluctant US population had to be whipped to a proper mood of war fever. From September {2002} grim warnings were issued about the dire threat that Saddam posed to the US and his links to al-Qaida, with broad hints that he had been involved in the 9/11 attacks. Many of the charges that had been "dangled in front of [the media] failed the laugh test," commented the editor of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, "but the more ridiculous [they were,] the more the media strove to make whole-hearted swallowing of them a test of patriotism." The propaganda assault had its effects. Within weeks, a majority of Americans came to regard Saddam Hussein as an imminent threat to the US. Soon almost half believed that Iraq was behind the 9/11 terror. Support for the war correlated with these beliefs. The propaganda campaign was just enough to give the administration a bare majority in the mid-term elections, as voters put aside their immediate concerns and huddled under the umbrella of power in fear of a demonic enemy..."

BBC: No WMD in Iraq, source claims

BBC News: No WMD in Iraq, source claims

"The bottom line is that the team has found no weapons of mass destruction."

Andrew Neil


US report to be inconclusive on search for Iraqi weapons
By Walter Pincus and Dana Priest, Washington Post, 9/25/2003

"....The weapons inspector, David Kay, is expected to present his report to Congress late next week -- an event that senior US officials had just weeks ago pointed to as providing a possible vindication for the administration's prewar claims that Iraq had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and had restarted its efforts to build a nuclear bomb.

But officials yesterday sought to play

expectations that Kay's report will contain any major revelations.


A Fly on The Oval Office Wall by Chuck Sigars

From the Seattle Times:
A fly on the Oval Office wall
By Chuck Sigars

Karl Rove walks into the Oval Office.

"Good morning, Mr. President."

"Hey, Karly boy, what's shakin' besides you?"

Rove laughs politely. "The thing is, sir, I've been looking at some... uh, Mr. President?"

"Shoot, Rover. Let me have it."

"Sir, you're wearing the flight suit again."

"Glad to see you still got that 20/20, KV. You gotta problem with my wardrobe?"

"Uh, no, sir, it's just that — "

"I'm commander in chief, right?"

"Yes, sir, but — "

"I flew jets in the Air Force, didn't I?"

"Um, Air National Guard, yes, sir, not to nit — "

"I can wear whatever I want, can't I?"

"Of course, Mr. President, it's just that it's the fourth time this week, and — "

The president snaps his fingers. "Dang it, Karlito, don't knock it until you've tried it. Most comfortable clothes I've ever had. Thinking of ordering one for Jeb."

Rove sighs. "Anyway, sir, it's about the campaign."

"Is that today?"

"No, sir, I mean the 2004 campaign. Wesley Clark has just entered the race, and it's got me a little worried."

"I thought it was that Jimmy Dean guy from New Hampshire you were fretting about."

"Howard Dean, yes, sir, he's still ahead in the polls, but our internal numbers show that Clark outpolls everybody on the credibility question."

The president raises an eyebrow. "Even me?"

"We haven't run those numbers yet, but let me say, sir, that the American people find you very credible. Very credible indeed. It's just that Clark is sort of impressive. Rhodes scholar, first in his class at West Point — "

"What the hell did he go to West Point for?"

Rove clears his throat. "To, uh, be a soldier, Mr. President. Wesley Clark is a retired Army general."

"You telling me a general in the United States Army is a Democrat?"

"It surprised us, too, sir."

"Boy howdy." The president is silent for a few moments. "What kind of record does he have?"

"Well, sir, he was commander of our forces in Kosovo. And he was a commentator at CNN during the war."

"Iraq?" Rove nods. "For or agin?"

"Well, sir, he did raise some questions — "

"Dang, Karly, what are you worried about, son? Don't you know the American people were behind my war 110 percent? Haven't I fixed the economy and given the people their money back? Didn't I wipe the Taliban and Saddam off the face of the Earth and get revenge for 9-11? Lord, you need to relax."

"Um, those are all good points, sir, very good. It's just that the American public generally views Republicans as more trustworthy than Democrats when it comes to national security and military issues."

"Damn straight. What's your point?"

"Well, sir, it's early yet, but it might be a hard case to make that a four-star general is soft on defense. At least that's our thinking."

The president sits up straight. "Listen, Karlsbad. How many elections have I lost, huh? Answer me. How many elections have I lost?"

"Well, sir, if you count — "

"Presidential elections, Rover! How many dang presidential elections have I lost?"

Karl takes a deep breath. "Well, sir, in my opinion, none."

"Damn straight. I beat Clinton and I'll whup this Army dude or John Dean or whoever." The president stands up and walks to the window. "Karlos, the Lord led me here. You believe that, right?"

"Sir — "

"He's got his hand on my shoulder and a job for me to do. I have faith, K-man, faith with a capital 'F,' and you know I don't use the F-word lightly."

"No, sir."

He goes over and puts his arm around Rove. "What kind of name is Wesley, anyway? That sound like a presidential name to you? Sounds sort of like a sissy. Trust me, we know how to deal with sissies in Texas. Now y'all go crunch some numbers or whatever the hell you do and leave it to me, hear?"

Rove swallows hard, nods, and heads for the door. As he leaves, Donald Rumsfeld enters.

"Good morning, Mr. President."

"Rummy! How's the world?"

"Right on schedule, sir. By the way, great suit."

"Damn straight."

Chuck Sigars is a freelance writer living in Snohomish County
Copyright 2003 Seattle Times