Lying Media Bastards

July 27, 2007

Indeterminate

Hey folks.

I’ve been seriously lacking in both writing and radio shows on the site lately. And I just realized that I don’t think I ever warned y’all that that was going to happen. Things have been really unsettled for me in the past few months. Long story short, I’m working two part-time jobs, temping for another organization that could probably lead to part- or full-time employment, and will be starting an online graduate school program in about a month. So I’m juggling a lot more stuff than usual, will be juggling even more shortly, and I don’t know that I can set any of those balls down. Unfortunately for my radio show, a lot of the temping schedule is last minute, keeps falling on Thursday afternoons, and I can’t really say no to much of it, at least not for a while.

And on a much more frivolous note, this past month has hit most of my geekly obsessive buttons as well: Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter book, new Guitar Hero game, Comic Con this weekend, and then I’m getting a new laptop for school… Very distracting. I’m not proud.

Frankly, what I need at this point is a lot more discipline and organization, which are not exactly my strong points. Cheesy as it is, I keep thinking back to the opening quote of a Jet Li movie which says “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself makes you fearless,” which I do find a bit inspiring. I need to work towards that (the second part, anyway).

So I’ll try to manage my time better, post here more often, and piece together some quality radio shows when I can. I probably won’t be doing the live Thursday afternoon radio shows very often, but as 99% of you listened to the podcasts anyway, that’s not too much hardship. With any luck, I’ll manage to share enough screeching, knowledge, adrenaline, wit, rhythm, analysis, and adjectives to keep your disappointment at bay.

Posted by Jake on July 27, 2007 8:19 am

July 22, 2007

Words Draw Close

Recently read the book War Talk by Arundhati Roy, who’s work I like very much. A poetic novelist and rabblerouser, the book is a short collection of her essays and speeches about the increasing fascism and religious violence in her home country of India, and the rise of American empire in the early 2000s. There are some great quotes in there, some of them which seem to… transcend their specific topic.

When referring to the attacks and counterattacks between Indian Hindus and Muslims, she says

The more the two sides try and call attention to their religious differences by slaughtering each other, the less there is to distinguish them from one another. They worship at the same altar. They’re both apostles of the same murderous god, whoever he is.

Obviously, that sentiment isn’t limited to just that particular conflict.

Referring to the rise of the Hindu nationalist/fascist political party BJP and its related tentacles, it struck me how much of this passage could easily apply to the US:

Over the past fifty years, ordinary citizens’ modest hopes for lives of dignity, security and relief from abject poverty have been systematically snuffed out. Every “democratic” institution in this county has shown itself to be unaccountable, inaccessible to the ordinary citizen, and either unwilling or incapable of acting in the interests of genuine social justice. Every strategy for real social change– land reform, education, public health, the equitable distribution of natural resources, the implementation of positive discrimination– has been cleverly, cunningly, and consistently scuttled and rendered ineffectual by those castes and that class of people which has a stranglehold on the political process. And now corporate globalization is being relentlessly and arbitrarily imposed on an essentially feudal society, tearing through its complex, tiered social fabric, ripping it apart culturally and economically.

There is very real grievance here. And the fascists didn’t create it. But they have seized upon it, upturned it, and forged it from a hideous, bogus sense of pride. They have mobilized human beings using the lowest common denominator– religion. People who have lost control over their lives, people who have been uprooted from their homes and communities, who have lost their culture and their language, are being made to feel proud of something. Not something they have striven for and achieved, not something they can count as a personal accomplishment, but something they just happen to be. Or more accurately, something they happen not to be. And the falseness, the emptiness, of that pride is fueling a gladatorial anger that is then directed toward a simulated target that has been wheeled into the amphitheater.

And then, her description of what empire is:

…it is a myth that the free market breaks down national barriers. The free market does not threaten national sovereignty, it undermines democracy.

As the disparity between the rich and the poor grows, the fight to corner resources is intensifying. To push through their “sweetheart deals”, to corporatize the crops we grow, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the dreams we dream, corporate globalization needs an international confederation of loyal, corrupt, authoritarian governments in poorer countries to push through unpopular reforms and quell the mutinies.

Corporate globalization– or shall we call it by its name?– Imperialism– needs a press that pretends to be free. It needs courts that pretend to dispense justice.

Meanwhile, the countries of the North harden their borders and stockpile weapons of mass destruction. After all they have to make sure that it’s only money, goods, patents and services that are globalized. Not the free movement of people. Not a respect for human rights. Not international treaties on racial discrimination or chemical and nuclear weapons or greenhouse gas emissions or climate change or– god forbid– justice.

So this–all this– is Empire. This loyal confederation, this obscene accumulation of power, this greatly increased distance between those who make the decisions and those who have to suffer for them.

Our fight, our goal, our vision of another world must be to eliminate that distance.

And that’s why I could never be a liberal. There are hugely powerful forces in every nation working for their common interests, which result in the death, suffering, oppression, and obedience of billions. Voting for Barack Obama is supposed to change all that?

Posted by Jake on July 22, 2007 10:06 pm

July 20, 2007

Embeddening

ABC News has recently rebroadcast video footage taken by a reporter with the Guardian who is embedded with the US Army’s 2nd Infantry Division in Baghdad. Why aren’t we seeing more of this sort of thing on American TV? Probably because it’s too dangerous; one article about this news broadcast says that ABC News won’t allow its reporters to do this sort of thing any more.

Watching that clip from ABC is worthwhile, but you can see the reporter’s full footage on the Guardian’s website here.

The ABC anchor introduces the clip as “what American soldiers are going through on the front lines”, and it is, sort of. It has a soldier describe the exhausting tension involved in patrols, another soldier saying that the government doesn’t know what it’s really like in Iraq, there is footage of several soldiers burning up in an overturned military vehicle, and we see footage of the soldiers at work. But most of the report is about what the soldiers themselves are doing, and some of it’s pretty fucked up. On the plus side, the administer first aid to victims of an explosion in a residential neighborhood. On the bad side, they break into two innocent households, terrify an old woman (twice), and shoot an innocent taxi driver to death. Funny how the anchor sees it as “what Americans are going through” not “what Americans are doing to others”.

Granted, the soldiers are in a fucked up situation. Months and months of tension and fear, stuck in a land where you don’t know the language, culture or politics, filled with plenty of people who are making attempts to kill you, working off of orders that don’t seem designed to defeat the enemy, win hearts and minds, or even keep you alive.

As I keep reiterating, and as you all probably know, the majority of the American people want the troops out of Iraq, the Iraqi people want the troops out of Iraq, the soldiers want out of Iraq, and now even members of the Iraqi government are saying that they want the troops out of Iraq. The only people who seem to want this war to go on are Bush, the neocons, and the militant Islamic organizations that can use the war as propaganda and training.

Are there any feasible means of transportation out of Iraq besides military planes and convoys? Would it make sense to start a “Buy deserting soldiers airfare home (or to Canada)” campaign?

Posted by Jake on July 20, 2007 12:24 am

July 18, 2007

La Lucha Sigue en Oaxaca

On Monday, there was a yearly festival in Oaxaca City, Mexico, called the Guelaguetza. Sadly, the police attacked the gathering, and at least one person was killed, 30 injured, and 65 “disappeared”. This is part of a larger pattern of repression that I have talked about many times on this site, with violent police action being taken against innocent people, especially those who are opposed to the current political regime in the state.

We’ve got some photos of the Guelguetza here.

The first batch of pictures is of the fiesta, people in colorful outfits dancing and playing music. I’m very impressed by the murals and stencil art as well.

The second batch is where things start to get grim. You get the wall of riot cops (to save the city from the wrath of a dance party, I suppose), followed by clubs, tear gas, and blood.

And in the third batch the police crackdown has turned into a street battle. Also, note that the tear gas cannisters are proudly Made in the USA.

The activists who took those photos are calling on all concerned people to contact members of the Mexican government, as well as human rights organizations on behalf of the besieged Oxacans:

Oaxaca, July 16, 2007

URGENT ACTION–PLEASE SEND PETITION BELOW AND FORWARD WIDELY

NEW ESCALATION OF POLICE REPRESSION AGAINST THE POPULAR MOVEMENT IN OAXACA!

This past Monday, July 16, at approximately 11:30 a.m., elements of the
Municipal Police, Preventive Police, and Industrial and Banking Police,
attacked with tear gas and rocks, marchers of the Popular Assembly of the
Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) and teachers of the National Teachers Workers
Union, Section 22, who were trying to join the local festivities Fiesta
Popular Oaxaqueña, in Guelaguetza Auditorium, Cerro del Fortín de la Ciudad
de Oaxaca.

During this attack, several police brigades brutally beat the teachers and
peaceful marchers, throwing tear gas against local commercial offices,
private homes, and public buildings. Moreover, the violent escalation ended
up in several wounded, included journalists from the Reforma, Noticias,
Marca, and Tiempo newspapers, who were covering the brutal beatings imparted
by the police. Although not yet officially confirmed, we would like to
report 50 wounded, 45 people detained, and at least one dead.

These violent acts are marked by the State Government actions during
Guelaguetza 2007, where areas of Cerro del Fortín were sealed off in which
members of the Mexican Military Elite, the Preventative Federal Police, and
the Federal Agency of Investigation participated. This operation was
coordinated by the Secretaría de Protección Ciudadana, whose objective was
to prevent the celebration organized by APPO and Section 22. Nevertheless,
the Administration had declared days earlier their absolute respect for such
peaceful celebration.

We consider that this incident is one of many provocations implemented by
the state government against the APPO and is an irrefutable sign, moreover,
of a government that is unable to dialogue, opting instead for the
irrational use of police force against civilians. These actions are clear
evidence of a recurring violation of human rights in the Oaxaca region,
illegal under international treaties signed by Mexico.

Therefore, we make the following immediate demands:

• For an end to police represion, harrasment, and intimidation of the
social and popular movements in Oaxaca
• We condenm governmental actions and indiscriminate use of force by the
State and Federal police
• We demand the release of all political prisioners, making Federal and
State officials responsible in the case of arbitrary detentions and
disappearances of civilians.

Send your petitions to with copies to human rights entities:

Presidente FELIPE DE JESÚS CALDERÓN HINOJOSA
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos Casa Miguel Alemán
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850, México DF
Tel: +52 (55) 27891100
Fax: +52 (55) 52772376
felipe.calderon@presidencia.gob.mx

Licenciado Francisco Javier Ramírez Acuña,
Secretario de Gobernación,
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso, Col. Juárez,
Delegación Cuauhtémoc, México D.F., C.P. 06600, México,
Fax: +52 (55) 5093 3414
frjramirez@segob.gob.mx

Copies to:

Louise Arbour, Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos
Humanos, (High Commissioner for United Nations Human Rights Commission)
tb-petitions@ohchr.org, oacnudh@hchr.org.mx

Sr. Santiago Cantón
Secretario Ejecutivo
Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, (Executive Secretary of the
Interamerican Human Rights Commission)
cidhoea@oas.org

Dr. José Luis Soberanes Fernández
Presidente de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos
Periférico Sur 3469, Col.
San Jerónimo Lídice,
10200, México, D.F.
Tel: 631 00 40, 6 81 81 25
Fax: 56 81 84 90
Lada sin costo: 01 800 00 869
correo@cndh.org.mx

Posted by Jake on July 18, 2007 11:14 pm

Overdogs

No matter how much damage he does, no matter how idiotic he gets, it seems that Bush’s popularity just won’t drop below 25%. Why? Because there is a small core of people who will never stop believing him, who would walk into a volcano for his dumb ass. People like this.

That link is to an article written by British reporter Johann Hari, undercover at a cruise put on by the Neocons of National Review magazine. It will have you giggling with horror and clawing your eyes with amusement. He goes into the belly of the deluded beast, interacting with the rabid conservative pundits and lunatic authoritarian rabble. But you can’t help but feel that Hari cherry-picked the most appalling quotes from his fellow shipmates; surely among the “Muslims are breeding, soon, they’ll have the whole of Europe” and “Pinochet is a hero, he saved Chile” comments, there must have been a few “please pass the salt’s” and “nice weather we’re having’s”. These bastards sound right-wing talking points as dictated by the Mad Hatter. The Iraq war couldn’t have gone better. Liberals don’t respect the Constitution. Someone should suicide bomb the UN building in New York. The Left wanted the US to be humiliated and lose the Vietnam war. And most strongly, according to Hari, that Muslims are taking over the world.

All in all, a bunch of rich white people paying other rich white people to tell them that rich white people are being oppressed. Nice racket.

Posted by Jake on July 18, 2007 12:24 am

July 11, 2007

Democracy for Sale– Cheep!

This video made me smile:

Buy Back Alaska

The Alaskan state legislature is well-known for its corruption (unlike other state legislatures, which are known for their… I’ll get back to you), and this video tongue-in-cheekily proposes that Alaskan citizens band together to raise enough bribe money to “buy back” their legislators from lobbyists.

Posted by Jake on July 11, 2007 12:04 am

July 8, 2007

American Contradiction

A few days ago, I referred to Ray Raphael’s book about American Revolutionary history called “Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past”. It is simultaneously a book that peels back our patriotic legends to reveal the actual democratic nature of the Revolution, and also peeks at the shameful underbelly of that revolution.

As an example of the democracy, Raphael examines the story of Paul Revere, and finds that it wasn’t the tale of one man single-handedly alerting the region of an incoming invasion, but of hundreds of Americans taking part in an emergency alert network, of which Revere was one member. Not a solitary hero, but a widespread group of individuals with shared goals, working together. Frankly, much more in line with the alleged grassroots principles of the nation’s founding.

For the shame, Raphael points out that although we hear tales today of African-American slaves fighting for the principle of liberty, this situation almost never really happened. The Americans were too afraid that if they put weapons in the hands of their slaves, they might revolt. So slaves were not so enamored of the cause that they fought for the freedom of their masters. Also, as a subversion tactic, the British sometimes announced that any slave who would rebel and fight on the side of the King would receive their freedom (sometimes this promise was kept, sometimes not). Which meant that despite all of its high-minded talk of liberty and democracy, in some ways, the American patriots were explicitly fighting for slavery against opponents who looked to end it. Kinda stands the whole thing on its head.

But the most powerful part of the book, for me, was a single concluding passage towards the end that the author argues is core to understanding American history, but I feel also for the American present. I will alter it slightly so that it’s aimed at modern times:

“[Most Americans] believe that ordinary people are entitled to rule themselves and are fully capable of doing so. They also believe that they have the right, and even the obligation, to impose their will on people whom they deem inferior.”

And given that Americans are taught that their society sits above all others on the evolutionary ladder, that’s a lot of people to impose their will on.

Posted by Jake on July 8, 2007 9:51 pm

Accountability

Earlier in the week, I mentioned how both the Bush administration and the media were acting as though every person killed by US forces in Iraq was a member of Al Qaeda, a sping that was clearly favorable to the pro-war crowd. But surprisingly, the NY Times, one of the papers which printed some of this misleading coverage, just printed an article by their “public editor” which both notes and critiques the phenomenon, and even criticizes the Times’ participation in it:

“Why Bush and the military are emphasizing Al Qaeda to the virtual exclusion of other sources of violence in Iraq is an important story. So is the question of how well their version of events squares with the facts of a murky and rapidly changing situation on the ground.

But these are stories you haven’t been reading in The Times in recent weeks as the newspaper has slipped into a routine of quoting the president and the military uncritically about Al Qaeda’s role in Iraq — and sometimes citing the group itself without attribution.

And in using the language of the administration, the newspaper has also failed at times to distinguish between Al Qaeda, the group that attacked the United States on Sept. 11, and Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, an Iraqi group that didn’t even exist until after the American invasion.

There is plenty of evidence that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia is but one of the challenges facing the United States military and that overemphasizing it distorts the true picture of what is happening there. While a president running out of time and policy options may want to talk about a single enemy that Americans hate and fear in the hope of uniting the country behind him, journalists have the obligation to ask tough questions about the accuracy of his statements.”

The author then goes on to consult with a number of Middle East experts to try to put Al Qaeda’s role in the Iraq war and in greater Middle East conflict into context. Which is good. But given that the paper printed front-page stories with misleading government propaganda, and then put a sort of correction/apology on the opinion page days later, well, that still falls a bit short.

What this ends up being, sadly, is another “thanks for doing what you should have been doing anyway” posts. The media knows damn well that reprinting government propaganda is not exactly the same thing as “journalism.” Well, it didn’t used to be, anyhow.

Posted by Jake on July 8, 2007 6:08 pm

July 5, 2007

A Few Words About Historical Bullshit

It seems like almost every holiday that comes along, I have to research it, discover its misleading/sinister/jingoistic origins, and then write about it here with lots of smirks and swearing. Surprisingly, this is the first time I’ve looked into America’s Independence Day, aka “The Fourth of July”.

As the story goes, since July 4, 1776 was the day that the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, that’s as good a day as any to celebrate the nation’s “birth”.

Except that the Declaration of Independence was not actually signed on July 4, 1776.

Here’s a bit of a timeline, leaning heavily on the book “Founding Myths”* by Ray Raphael:

- July 2, 1776. Majority of Continental Congress votes in favor of the Declaration of Independence.
- July 19, 1776. New York delegation finally agrees to Declaration, making the vote unanimous.
- August 2, 1776. Delegates start to sign Declaration.
- Spring 1777. Last delegate signs D of I.
- Spring 1777. The Congressional Record of Continental Congress published, containing a totally fabricated entry for July 4, 1776, claiming that Declaration of Independence was signed that day, even though it hadn’t even been unanimously agreed to yet.
- 1777-? American “patriots” push July 4 holiday.
- 1786. July 4 holiday established in most major American cities, usually comprised of a military parade, a reading of patriotic speeches, singing of patriotic songs, and then a meal, drink, thirteen toasts to the thirteen colonies, then bonfires, parties and fireworks.

Oh, and that famous painting of the signing and appears on the back of the 2 dollar bill? Painted 32 years later by a man who wasn’t at the signing. It was primarily based upon a rough sketch provided by Thomas Jefferson, who had his own glory and agenda in mind.

Happy Birthday, America.

*“Founding Myths” is a pretty intriguing book. While it digs up the truth behind the most iconic stories and characters from the American Revolution, it is also in some ways, a history of history. Ray Raphael points out that many events and persons who were not seen as remarkable at the time were later “discovered” by historians, decades or centuries later, and then history revised to turn them into stars of the tale. And while some of these “discoveries” were deserving of the extra attention, many were hyped due to the discoverer’s agenda, or rose to prominance because of their compelling story rather than their actual importance. The book also vivisects Mel Gibson’s Revolutionary War movie “The Patriot” for its contradictory and misleading version of historical events.

Posted by Jake on July 5, 2007 11:40 pm

Libby

Bush’s pardon of Scooter Libby was one of two things:

1) a reward for his loyalty
2) a bribe to keep him silent

Of course it’s not fair, of course there’s no legal argument to justify it. These people are fucking gangsters, and they do what gangsters do. Gangsters make up their own rules, which usually involve loyalty, power, victory, and little else. That’s who runs this country. I suspect that’s who has always run this country.

I do like to think, though, that Bush paused a moment, uncertain, when it was recommended that he commute Scooter Libby’s sentence. And then someone said, “what, you think your poll numbers can get any lower?”

Posted by Jake on July 5, 2007 11:29 pm

To Protect and Serve

Three Mississippians arrested on “charges of posessing sex toys with the intent to resale”.

I know I feel safer.

Posted by Jake on July 5, 2007 10:13 pm

July 4, 2007

Bit Off More Gunpowder Than I Could Chew

Sigh. I started working on like 4 different articles today about July 4, the American revolution, American history, culture, and the current political situation, but was unable to actually complete any of them. Guess I’ll get them up and done sometime in the next week. And maybe a radio show as well.

In the meantime, Howard Zinn will have to do the job for me.

Posted by Jake on July 4, 2007 11:16 pm

The Unreality-Based Community

A number of bloggers noticed recently that the US government had altered its vocabulary: instead of referring to enemy Iraqis killed in battle as “insurgents”, or “militants”, it seems that these people are now referred to as members of Al Qaeda. And the mainstream media, being essentially parrots with journalism degrees, have made sure to incorporate this new phrasing to their reportage.

Is it possible that the US is really whomping Al Qaeda fighters in the past few weeks? Sure. But given the abrupt change, with no comment or explanation as to why Al Qaeda members are suddenly getting killed, it just seems fishy. I mean, if there was a huge upswing in the number of Al Qaeda kills, you think the Bush administration would capitalize on that fact, talk about new tactics, a new area of operations, or say who it’s proof that the “surge” is working. But they aren’t. It’s like they’re trying to act like the enemy is Al Qaeda, the enemy has always been Al Qaeda, like Orwellian history-doctoring.

It’s a decent propaganda move on the part of the government. “Even if Iraq is still a roiling pit of violence and despair, at least we’re killing off those Al Qaeda bastards every day.” That belief seems unlikely to take hold though, in my opinion. I don’t think the average American pays enough attention to the war coverage these days to notice the change in wording, simply turning off the television with a depressed sigh at the first glimpse of desert and gunfire.

And our suspicions that the new military line is deceptive has already borne fruit. The BBC notes that a US military report claiming that American forces had dispatched “17 Al Qaeda gunmen” in the village of al-Khalis was heartily disputed by the people of al-Khalis. According to the residents, the men killed were not terrorists, but “village guards”, armed to protect the village from insurgent activity. In fact, the people of al-Khalis even claim that just before they were killed by US helicopter gunships, the village guards were working with Iraqi police to investigate a suspected insurgent hideout.

Which means that the US did not kill “17 Al Qaeda gunmen”. They didn’t even kill 17 insurgents. 17 innocent people. Not so much a small victory as a small massacre.

They didn’t even just kill 17 innocent people. They killed 17 people who were actively working to defeat the Iraqi insurgency. 17 allies.

Yeah, there’s a tiny chance that the villagers are lying to cover up their involvement with Al Qaeda, but I doubt it. The village is mostly Shia, Al Qaeda are Sunni, it’s doubtful that the Shia village is trying to protect Sunni terrorists.

Glenn Greenwald also points out that the US media ran with this story, despite the fact that nearly all of their content was derived from a single press release from the US military. I don’t understand those guys. Don’t the media feel betrayed after being deceived again and again and again? Aren’t they angry? Bitter? The slightest bit more wary?

Bush himself is even getting into the action today, today, telling soldiers on July 4 that:

Many of the spectacular car bombings and killings you see are as a result of al Qaeda — the very same folks that attacked us on September the 11th. A major enemy in Iraq is the same enemy that dared attack the United States on that fateful day…However difficult the fight is in Iraq, we must win it — we must succeed for our own sake; for the security of our citizens, we must support our troops, we must support the Iraqi government, and we must defeat al Qaeda in Iraq.

I was thankful that when I heard this quote on the radio (NPR), the reporter actually mentioned a “recent study” which showed that Al Qaeda had not been a problem in Iraq until after the US invaded the country. Score one for the meeting keeping its eye on the ball.

Al Qaeda in Iraq attacks and kills US soldiers. But the main problem in Iraq is the ongoing civil war/mutual ethnic cleansing by the Shia and Sunni. It seems to me that “victory” in the Iraq war, by most people’s standards, would be for the civil war violence to drop down to a level that makes the Iraqi “government” seem like a non-joke. If this happened, I think even Bush and Cheney would feel comfortable sending some of the troops home (and sending the rest to the permanent super-bases new embassies in Iraq. I hear one of them is the size of the Vatican City). Al Qaeda has very little to do with any of that.

But Al Qaeda isn’t our only omnipresent enemy. The NY Times recently reported on the threat posed by Iran to the US, for maximum fear effect. Clever journalist Michael Gorden argues that Iran is directly responsible for US soldiers dying in Iraq, because a US military spokesman told him that the Quds Force (a largely independent group inside Iran’s Revolutionary Guard), has used members of Hezbollah to train Shia in Iraq, who then kill Americans. Which implies that the Iranian government is itself killing Americans, in which case we should declare war on them and finally taste the sweet, sweet nectar of armageddon.

But another positive sign is that the NY Times went back into the article and added more context, opposing views, and skepticism (perhaps due to a highly critical piece by blogger Glenn Greenwald (link above). Greenwald also notes that Michael Gordon co-wrote a number of now-discredited pieces about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction –including the alumnium tubes “story”–in the run-up to the war).

So it’s not entirely true that the White House is trying to recast the Iraq war as a battle with Al Qaeda. It is trying to recast the Iraq war as a battle against Al Qaeda and Iran. I know that the White House said “Saddam” and “terrorist” in the same sentence enough times that people started to believe it, but I don’t think these ploys are going to wash. Americans are so tired of the war that they just want this shit over.

Posted by Jake on July 4, 2007 11:06 pm

July 1, 2007

For Future Reference

Two new sites of promise that I just found:

Informed Comment: Global Affairs- “Informed Comment” is the name of Prof. Juan Cole’s blog of news and analysis regarding the Middle East. But Cole’s area of expertise is primarily Iraq, so he has recruited some other experts to join him in writing about the region for this new group blog.

One Big Torrent- “OneBigTorrent.org is a new place for sharing material that deals with or is relevant to issues of social justice, progressive and radical politics, independent media, ecology.” If you want to download audio and video regarding radical politics, this looks to be a good place to turn. If you have audio and video regarding radical politics that you’d like to share, this also looks like a good place to go. All you need is a BitTorrent program, I use this one.

Posted by Jake on July 1, 2007 10:32 pm

Hooray for Funnyness

The Top 15 Most Embarrassing Photos of George W. Bush- well, 16, actually. While my favorite is easily the unnumbered one at the top, I’m also partial to #4 and #8.

The Powell Address–Live Coverage [Feb 5, 2003]- satirical “liveblogging” of Colin Powell’s infamous, fabricated “why we gotta invade Iraq” presentation at the UN. The narrator is so hungry for war with Iraq (and Germany) that he can, uh, feel it.

Posted by Jake on July 1, 2007 10:16 pm

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