THIS SICKNESS 8 from Bottomless Studio, featuring John Linton Roberson, Emily Kaplan, Chad Parenteau, Charles Alverson, Gianna Ratto, Chris DeWildt and a cover by Molly Kiely. 100 pages! Available in print & Kindle at Amazon!
I Didn't Write That!
18 April 2003
  Not Only Is Bush Not A Warmonger, He Would Never Have Let 9/11 Happen

But look at what Gore Vidal has to say about that. (reprinted from the Observer) How dare he bring everybody down like this? How will anyone trust our president if they start thinking things through for even a moment?

Obviously you shouldn't read it or even think about it. In fact, I didn't even link to it; your morbid curiosity led you to it. Traitor! Thought-criminal! Terrorist!

I can't believe you're even reading this.

Or these absolutely unAmerican excerpts from the essay:

The first by former West Point professor Stan Goff on just what to consider about Bush's reactions on 9/11:

...Goff, incidentally, like the other astonished military experts, cannot fathom why the government's automatic `standard order of procedure in the event of a hijacking' was not followed. Once a plane has deviated from its flight-plan, fighter planes are sent up to find out why. That is law and does not require presidential approval, which only needs to be given if there is a decision to shoot down a plane. Goff spells it out: `The planes were hijacked between 7:45 and 8:10am. Who is notified? This is an event already that is unprecedented. But the President is not notified and going to a Florida elementary school to hear children read.

The second on (a)that plans to attack Afghanistan went at least as far back as Clinton and (b) just why the hell we'd want it, theorized by Zbigniew Brzezinski:

Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some 500 years ago, Eurasia has been the centre of world power.' Eurasia is all the territory east of Germany. This means Russia, the Middle East, China and parts of India. Brzezinski acknowledges that Russia and China, bordering oil-rich central Asia, are the two main powers threatening US hegemony in that area.

He takes it for granted that the US must exert control over the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, known to those who love them as `the Stans': Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikstan and Kyrgyzstan all `of importance from the standpoint of security and historical ambitions to at least three of their most immediate and most powerful neighbours -- Russia, Turkey and Iran, with China signaling'. Brzezinski notes how the world's energy consumption keeps increasing; hence, who controls Caspian oil/gas will control the world economy. Brzezinski then, reflexively, goes into the standard American rationalization for empire. We want nothing, ever, for ourselves, only to keep bad people from getting good things with which to hurt good people. `It follows that America's primary interest is to help ensure that no single [other] power comes to control the geopolitical space and that the global community has unhindered financial and economic access to it.'

Brzezinski is quite aware that American leaders are wonderfully ignorant of history and geography so he really lays it on, stopping just short of invoking politically incorrect `manifest destiny'. He reminds the Council just how big Eurasia is. Seventy-five percent of the world's population is Eurasian. If I have done the sums right, that means that we've only got control, to date, of a mere 25 percent of the world's folks. More! `Eurasia accounts for 60-per cent of the world's GNP and three-fourths of the world's known energy resources.'.


I'm sure it doesn't take a RISK champion to see how Iraq can be useful in extending all this.

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In other news:
Tony Blair's MPs are asking once again, where are those darn WMDs?

You know, if Bush had tricked and used Blair, so as to get the UK's aid but also to ultimately split the Labor party and help the Tories back into office(and not incidentally get rid of a Clintonian-style moderate leader), it would look exactly the same as this. But as we all know, Bush hasn't the intelligence to oversee such clever manuevers.

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Quoted at the Doonesbury website(emphasis mine):
"It's not like a treasure hunt, where you just run around looking everywhere. ... The inspectors didn't find anything, and I doubt that we will."
-- Donald Rumsfeld, on the search for WMD


Then...why exactly did we go? Or are people supposed to just get bored of asking?

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Look, folks, an extremely sensitive and intelligent cartoon by one Randy Bish!

I do wonder, though: in such a backward, uneducated and unsophisticated country, where'd he find the hard drive? Oh well. Hilarious, isn't it? Let's all laugh at the silly Iraqi. They may as well get the chance to get used to it.

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15 April 2003
  A quick recap from Tom Toles.

Lather, rinse, repeat as convenient.

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And now, a blast from the past!

Although it's no revelation that Abu Abbas was in Iraq--that had been known, as Abu Nidal's presence was known. But interestingly, in the story it mentions that Nidal's supporters say that the Iraqi government were the ones that assassinated Nidal. As they would have every motivation to blame that upon Mossad(in fact I thought it was Mossad that did that), I'd give credence to that theory--leading one to an inconvenient short circuit of logic, in that Hussein's totalitarian rule was at times, therefore, also good at snuffing out some terrorists. Hmmm...

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On the WMDs suddenly being in Syria: Ever play "hot potato" as a kid?

Prediction: they'll claim they have no plans and then suddenly they'll find a surprise bit of "evidence" and...oh, just see above.

Later: I'm sorry, the strategy seems to be to provoke Syria into doing something really dumb. My mistake.

(Yes, of course they weren't supposed to be getting the oil. Point is they'll still consider it worth fighting for, more likely than not. We'll see)

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In a way Bush(gasp!) is right that the UN have become irrelevant, in the sense that Hitler would have been right to say the League of Nations was irrelevant--it was the truth. Time after time the UN has failed to prevent war or slaughter; as possibly one of the most glaring examples, they only attempted to protect their own workers in Rwanda, and indeed UN facilities, because everyone sought refuge in them, unwittingly became wrangling centers for the Hutus, because as soon as the refugees mobbed the place the UN would split--often signalling they were leaving with a loud noise of some kind--and the Hutus found their prey conveniently in one spot.

The UN could not stop us, nor Hussein for that matter, nor, if it came to that, my cat, from attacking other countries unprovoked. This is true.

Now, I happen to believe it's better the UN be there than not, but what's the point when it has no teeth? If abiding by its resolutions is only a whim that we, for instance, can follow or not, what's its purpose? The UN doesn't seem to exist to stop war--it exists to normalize it.

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The great and glorious Carol Lay on a less immediately-important, but still considerable, concern: the looting & destruction of some of the oldest archaological treasures of civilization. (some may not realize Iraq is the oldest civilized country in the world)

However, I also read that a great deal of it was put into storage beforehand, so it's not quite as catastrophic as all that.

What I can't understand is why the neocons would be so blithe about the destruction of stuff that backs up, among other things, Biblical history.

Oh, but those oil fields we did take plenty of time and energy to protect and secure?

Guess what.

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And not to ruin everybody's victory fun, but...

Leaving no child behind.

We have a lot to make up for in what's to come, despite that it is in every way a good thing that Hussein is gone.


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10 April 2003
  That was fast.

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08 April 2003
  Bush Nothing at All Like Hitler

One of the first things the Reichstag did once they had driven out the opposition to the Nazis was to vote Hitler special emergency powers, in the wake of the panic caused by the Reichstag Fire. These powers were what gave him the ability to make his whim the law, and not too long after that they made those powers permanent.

And of course nothing like that could ever happen again. Especially not with a population as aware of history as ours is.

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03 April 2003
  WORLD SHUT YOUR MOUTH, SEZ MURDOCH

Betcha didn't know he's a US citizen. Well, Rupert Murdoch in fact is, and thinks the rest of the world should realize their opinion is annoying us. Read about it here.

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  More Perle! This Slate article has a most revealing quote from Perle in 1989:

The best critic of Richard Perle's willingness to work both sides of the revolving door between government and business turns out to be … Richard Perle. Craig Hooper, a "Press Box" Auxiliary member, dug up a revealing quotation from ex-Chairman Perle collected during his last ride on the ethics-go-round.

The background is that back in 1989, after seven years of boosting Turkey inside the Pentagon as a Bush I appointee, Perle helped found International Advisors Inc., which lobbied for Turkey. Perle negotiated his way around federal regulations that prevent Pentagon officials from immediately serving interests, like Turkey, that they recently dealt with in an official capacity. He told the Wall Street Journal's John J. Fialka he wouldn't lobby the Pentagon on behalf of Turkey but he would head the firm's advisory committee, for which he was paid $48,000 a year between 1989 and 1994.

In the Journal piece, the ethical Perle stated:

I find very distasteful this business where people leave the government and the next thing you know, they're on the other side of the table negotiating with the U.S.


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  A surprisingly critical piece today in the Washington Post speaks about the "Pentagon Group" (ie Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle and Cheney)and their plans for postwar Iraq. Have a look.

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01 April 2003
  "Wait till I get hold of a friggin' Iraqi."

Here's one journalist's description of the scene at Nasiriya.

One bit I must quote, because it illustrates the complexity of soldiers' attitudes. Some are regretful, but some are hardly so:

This was not the only family who had taken what they thought was a last chance for safety. A father, baby girl and boy lay in a shallow grave. On the bridge itself a dead Iraqi civilian lay next to the carcass of a donkey.

As I walked away, Lieutenant Matt Martin, whose third child, Isabella, was born while he was on board ship en route to the Gulf, appeared beside me.

"Did you see all that?" he asked, his eyes filled with tears. "Did you see that little baby girl? I carried her body and buried it as best I could but I had no time. It really gets to me to see children being killed like this, but we had no choice."

Martin's distress was in contrast to the bitter satisfaction of some of his fellow marines as they surveyed the scene. "The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy," said Corporal Ryan Dupre. "I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get hold of a friggin' Iraqi. No, I won't get hold of one. I'll just kill him."

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  It's wonderful that an American POW was rescued, but also interesting we're not being told yet about the status of those she was captured with. Reportedly she was part of the maintenance team we saw so many pics of last week, the 507th. We're told 15 soldiers died. We're not told if the other POWs were among the dead.

Incidentally, I don't want to seem too PC here, but I've been watching a lot of war coverage and this plus the hostage footage are the most I've seen of women in this war. Meaning that what we've seen has been women in distress and women rescued. There are also women doing their jobs there, but we see little of that. Is it thought that we'll be less supportive of women in the military if we actually see that they're there?

But in any event, very well-timed operation. I imagine this was just what Rumsfeld needed. Then again, Bush has been known to support people just before cutting them loose. Again, we'll see.

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  Lordy, Is That Rumsfeld A Dimwit Part the Umpteenth

Richard Perle is gone. Seymour Hersh is still there. And judging by the rank stupidity described by Hersh in this brand-new article, Rumsfeld may be gone very soon:

"'The military is not like a corporation that can be streamlined. It is the most inefficient machine known to man. It’s the redundancy that saves lives'...Plan 1003 was repeatedly updated and presented to Rumsfeld, and each time, according to the planner, Rumsfeld said, “‘You’ve got too much ground force—go back and do it again.’” In the planner’s view, Rumsfeld had two goals: to demonstrate the efficacy of precision bombing and to “do the war on the cheap.” Rumsfeld and his two main deputies for war planning, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, “were so enamored of ‘shock and awe’ that victory seemed assured,” the planner said. “They believed that the weather would always be clear, that the enemy would expose itself, and so precision bombings would always work.”

One way or another, Rumsfeld is someone who should never have been given power of life & death over anyone, and we can only hope the Administration is wise enough to recognize at least this man will lose the war for them. And under the terms under which Bush has chosen to wage this war, losing or pulling out at this point would be a fatally emasculating blow to Bush forever. Rumsfeld is not long for this world barring the capture of Saddam Hussein this week.

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Is it not disingenuous for us to claim we're "liberating" the people of Iraq from anything? They’re trading one yoke for another at best, but if you only believe the administration's version of its motives and compare it to the actual approach, one is left with an image of a cop so obsessed with capturing a hostage-taker that he kills every hostage to get to him.

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