....LMB: "Bingo"....

March 13, 2003

This article pretty much sums up my feelings about the Iraq war.

All of the arguments about liberating the Iraqi people, about human rights, about the validity of the UN, about oil are pretty meaningless to me, because I don't think any of them are the real reason that the U.S. wants to invade so badly. I believe those are all smokescreens for the real reason: regional and global dominance. I am happy to see that a number of other lefty folks seem to be shifting to this interpretation rather than the popular "it's all about oil" interpretation.

That's why I can't support this war. Because it threatens to kill thousands of people so that the United States can establish a military force within striking distance of all of the world's major oil supplies, ensuring its own access to oil and giving it some control (via intimidation) of all of the governments in the region. "No Blood for Empire" has been my anti-war slogan of choice, no blood for control.

Not sure if I'm making much sense, as I'm really tired right now, but read that article above, and it should explain what I'm talking about.

Posted by Jake at 01:06 AM

I absolutely agree with you, and I've been trying to formulate a quick sound bite of my feelings on this. Thanks for providing the answer.

I have one reservation though, and were it not for the fact that I absolutely know there is no shred of altruistic motive in the administration's push for this war, I may have shifted my opinion in the other direction. That reservation is that SOME force, economic or otherwise, needs to stabilize this region eventually, for the good of the entire world. This means moderating its governments, U.S. friendly or not (i'm looking at YOU, Saudi Arabia)and moderating its people. I as well am much too tired at the end of a work day to flesh out what I mean here, but I wonder if you also agree that some kind of change in this region would be a boon to the prospects of peace for the rest of the globe?

Posted by: Todd at March 13, 2003 01:23 PM

Ya i get tired of the whole "we're going over there to save the Iraqi people" bit. During the Iran/Iraq war we were supplying weapons to Saddam. He was no better then; in fact he was worse. I agree that saying its all about oil is making it too simple. But it sure wouldnt hurt to have control of their resources, among other things. From what I've read, we were pretty ok with Saddam until he rolled into Kuwait. I think i need to look closer at why we were supporting Iraq against Iran. Maybe we were attempting to make a a certain partnership, but that fell through when Mr Hussein made a move without asking us first. So now we're all pissed off and we're saying "screw it we'll just take the damn place by force." We have been eyeing the region for some time now. It is clear that the US wants control there. strategic interests and all that shit. the whole humanitarian thing is a bunch of trash that works on lots of dumb americans who cant wait for the 30 second world news update to end so they can watch survivor and eat ho-ho's in peace. ah, the "american way of life"!!!

Posted by: Ryan at March 13, 2003 05:08 PM

I don't want to eat my ho ho's in peace...they taste better when they've soaked up some napalm and shit.

Anyway......I believe we supported Saddam during the Iran/Iraq war because the CIA was pissed off that all the energy they expended back in the late 50s/early 60s to topple the Iranian PM went to shite when the Ayatollah took over. Remember, the basic tenet of the Cold War was to stop any advance of communism wherever it may appear. After the Iranians nationalized all of their oil business, effectively kicking the English in the nuts, the Brits did a stellar job of convincing the Dulles brothers that, since Iran was so damn close to the USSR, it was the next communist hot spot. The enemy of your enemy is your friend, and therefore we threw our chips in with Saddam. Remember this when the Pakistanis stop pretending a bunch of years from now.

Posted by: Todd at March 14, 2003 10:34 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.

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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


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

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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