Friday, September 24, 2004

Bomb Disabled Near N.C. Elections Office

Bomb Disabled Near N.C. Elections Office

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Bomb squad police Friday disabled a suspected homemade bomb found near the front door of a county elections office.
State elections director Gary Bartlett described the device as a soda bottle filled with a clear liquid in which a battery and wire were placed — topped by what appeared to be a light bulb similar to a Christmas tree light.


Steve Earle: The Unquiet American

Steve Earle: The Unquiet American

At Alternet, Steve Earle muses on the current state of events, the intersection of art and politics and media consolidation, and his new album.

LINK Pitt on Media, Schell on Iraq William Rivers Pitt on Media,
Jonathan Schell on Iraq

Your Media Is Killing You

We understood that September 11 did not require us to click our heels and say "Yes sir!" to whatever balderdash Mr. Bush and his crew spouted. Quite completely the opposite is true. We understood that September 11 made it more important than ever for us to be very, very good at what we do.

The American mainstream television news media, in whole and in part, has catastrophically failed the American people and is singularly responsible for the untimely deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people. It is not too late for them to reverse course, to take again the simple rules and requirements espoused by Murrow and Mencken and place them at the forefront of their institutional mission. Nothing less than the basic stability of our republic is at stake.

William Rivers Pitt- LINK

Why We Must Leave Iraq
Only one-hundred-percent fantasy will do for the President. But Kerry has at least begun the journey - one as hard as the journey from his service in Vietnam to his protest against it - toward the real. Give him credit for that.

Jonathan Schell- LINK

Bernie Sanders to Progressives: Time To Commit to Kerry

Bernie Sanders to Progressives:
Time To Commit to Kerry

"It is absolutely essential that Kerry win November 2.

If Bush is reelected the United States increasingly will resemble an impoverished Third World country in which a few families have incredible wealth while the vast majority struggle to survive.

The middle class is shrinking, the gap between the rich and poor is growing and poverty is increasing: This is the Bush legacy

In These Times

Jon Stewart: Time Magazine

Jon Stewart: Time Magazine

Here is some wit and wisdom from a recent Jon Stewart interview with Time Magazine.


Spinning monkey sh*t into truth.
This sounds like a job for Rumplestiltskin.

"That's the change I would like to see — that the news media take a more active role in arbitrating, in mediating, in credibility. The way I've always looked at it is, politicians are — When you go to a zoo and you see a monkey throwing its sh*t, you can't get mad. That's what monkeys do. But you want the media at some point to go, 'No! Bad monkey!' And that's really the direction that it should be going in. Not for Republican desires or Democrat desires.. but for truth."

The next line reminds me of this cartoon: far as I'm concerned, [the Bush campaign's] best argument for election is:

'Yes, I drove us into a brick wall...But I didn't blink!'

Karen Kwiatkowski: In Her Own Words

Karen Kwiatkowski: In Her Own Words
An interview with James Post

Since she retired from the Air Force, in July 2003, after 20 years in the military, Karen Kwiatkowski, a former deputy undersecretary of defense for the NESA, has become a vocal critic of the war in Iraq and of U.S. Middle East policy and has garnered the attention of Senator Jon Kyl and columnist George Will, among others. She holds a master's degree in government from Harvard and another one in science management from the University of Alaska. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation in world politics at Catholic University.

These are some of her words. The full interview, Parts 1 and 2, can be found here:

"..the implied link between 9/11 and Iraq was not reasoning, it was propaganda, repeated often enough, as Goebbels says, so as to become the truth. The thing to understand about the neocons, and OSP was a neocon tactical control center in the Pentagon, is that they share a Straussian view of how things work—and this means the common people don't understand what is good for them, and need elite leaders who do. These elites should get their way through "noble lies" as needed.".

"The planners on the OSD [office of the secretary of defense] side were largely unqualified as military planners, and further, they were blinded by ideology, prejudice against Arabs in terms of their military or organizational capability, and confused on reality, because they appeared to only listen to Chalabi and others like him, and held the official intelligence as suspect because it didn't conform to their agenda. In the case of postwar planning, it suffered from the same flaws—incompetence, believing lies, false assumptions about Iraqis and their political culture."

"[The Iraq war] was not solely about oil as a material item, but it was about placement (permanently) of troops and U.S. bases in the oil-producing region such that we are in a position to control those nations' management (or mismanagement in our eyes) of the oil. It is also about ensuring that OPEC remains on a petro dollar standard."

"Clearly, the reasons given to Congress and the American people publicly were not the real reasons—but real reasons do exist if you view the globe as your property, inhabited by people that have no right to govern themselves. The neoconservatives talk about democracy, but most have a deeply rooted contempt for it."

[The Iraq war] indeed could have been about setting ourselves up to ensure the EU never approaches our global throw-weight.

I think Cheney should be impeached, Bush as well, for lying and attempting to deceive in order to go to war. Rumsfeld may be protected, as he worked for them, the Nuremberg defense, as with Perle. Perle, however, should probably be in jail for profiteering, but so far he hasn't been charged—this would be in a criminal or civil court. Because we have a Republican Congress, Bush is safe, as Clinton would have been given a Democrat Congress. More recently, we have reports of information-leaking and possible espionage in the Pentagon, and some of these same policymakers are said to be under FBI investigation. In a fair and objective world, some people will go to jail for their role in creating and implementing the Bush foreign policy.

In addition, from the Toronto Star:

Karen Kwiatkowski, a lieutenant-colonel who quit the air force and her Pentagon job as a strategic planner because she didn't like the direction the war on terror was going, lists (on the reactionary; the flak is coming from every direction) the accomplishments of "Bush and his neoconservative team."

They toppled Saddam Hussein; America's military now threatens both the Shia government in Iran and the secular one in Syria; the House of Saud is crumbling; and American troops have been removed from Saudi Arabian territory.

Kwiatkowski says, "These achievements match — word for word — the oft-stated goals of the Wahhabist Sunni radical Osama bin Laden."

Earth to Bush--Come in, Bush

Earth to Bush--Come in, Bush

Do you see a common thread running through these current news discussions?

Let's Get Real
• Regarding Iraq, John Kerry is acknowledging reality. George Bush is not.
• The positive portrait of Iraq painted by President Bush and Prime Minister Allawi runs counter to the harsh reality.
• As the situation in Iraq moves from bad to worse, the president, based on his public comments, seems to be edging further and further from reality.
In reality, Bush is losing the war on terror, and is losing the war in Iraq, which was never necessary.
• These are supporters of President Bush who support the war in Iraq and believe it can be won. But they're also in touch with reality.
• What's important for the American people to hear is reality.
• The reality on the ground does not conform to his wishful thinking. It will go down badly in Iraq.
• Shortly after Allawi, the interim government's prime minister, gave a rosy portrayal of progress toward peace in Iraq, Kerry said the assessment contradicted reality on the ground.
• It's understandable that Bush wants to put a pretty face on the reality of Iraq. His re-election depends on it. The truth is, throughout his entire time in office (and before), the image he's tried to present has been at odds with reality.
• Despite the rhetoric, the reality is Bush hasn't "stayed the course." Bush hasn't been too concerned with democracy. He hasn't even been too concerned with fighting terrorism. He has been concerned with winning re-election.