....LMB: "The Smoking Herring"....

September 14, 2002

According to USA Today (yeah, surprised me too), George W. Bush decided that Saddam Hussein needed to be overthrown about 10 months ago.

Let's add one more story to that. It makes sense that if you were the president, pondering whether or not another nation posed a threat to the U.S., you would order a National Intelligence Estimate, which combines all of the data from the various national intelligence agencies into a single document, a single analysis. The U.S. has not issued one of these reports for Iraq for two years.

Just about every news commentator seems to be missing the point. They all argue that Bush's plan doesn't make sense, that he needs more evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction before attacking, that weapons inspectors would make more sense as a means of eliminating these weapons, that the U.S. needs international support for this campaign.

The point is this: Whether or not Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, Bush wants to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein.

Really, it seems like the only reasonable conclusion. Given the lack of evidence, and lack of attempts to even investigate Iraq, I don't see how anyone could reasonably say "Iraq poses a real threat to the United States."

And if there is no evidence that Iraq poses a real threat to the U.S. (I'll call this the "WMD reason"), yet the U.S. seems determined to attack, there must be some other reason. And the fact that the WMD reason continues to be presented as the true reason, implies that the true reason(s) for the attack would not be seen as acceptable to Americans, or possibly anyone else on the globe.

So what is this reason? I'm working on that. It's safe to say that any U.S. policy regarding the Middle East is going to be largely based upon oil. However I think that the reason is probably complicated enough that it will seem implausible to most folks (if the reason was obvious, everyone would already know).

In my opinion, the most plausible of the implausible explanations can be found in articles like this. Far-right pundits and advisers who seem to have Bush's ear have been pushing for a U.S. campaign to radically alter power relations in the Middle East, in which the first step is to put a U.S.-friendly leader in charge of Iraq and its oil supply.

Yeah, I'm sure that sounds far-fetched to a lot of you. I'll keep digging and try to find out what's going on. It's what I do.

I say that the WMD debate is a red herring which distracts us all from looking at what's going on behind the scenes, especially from trying to figure out what Bush is up to.

Posted by Jake at 12:20 AM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:

Failure.

What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

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Result: not entirely edible.

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