Saturday, April 05, 2003

High Casualties?

This article from a Catalonian newspaper is claiming that around 100 coalition troops were killed in the recent incursion into Baghdad.

It Isn't About the Oil

Though we're setting up a revenue scheme which would benefit the major oil companies, and not government revenues.


Look, this is no crazier than claiming Mossad was behind 9/11.

Nearly eight in 10 Americans now accept the Bush administration's contention — disputed by some experts — that Hussein has "close ties" to Al Qaeda (even 70% of Democrats agree). And 60% of Americans say they believe Hussein bears at least some responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — a charge even the administration hasn't levied against him.

And, more to the point - it's rightly perceived as "anti-Arab" or "Anti-Muslim" bigotry in the same way that opinions about nefarious inolvement of the Israelis in everything is perceived as anti-Semitism. True in both cases.


Thug Watch

David Neiwert notes that many of the "pro-war" rallies are really just disruptions - and increasingly physical disruptions - of anti-war vigils and protests.


This makes me so goddamn livid I can't even think straight.

Posted on Fri, Apr. 04, 2003

Army chaplain offers baptisms, baths


CAMP BUSHMASTER, Iraq - In this dry desert world near Najaf, where the Army V Corps combat support system sprawls across miles of scabrous dust, there's an oasis of sorts: a 500-gallon pool of pristine, cool water.

It belongs to Army chaplain Josh Llano of Houston, who sees the water shortage, which has kept thousands of filthy soldiers from bathing for weeks, as an opportunity.

''It's simple. They want water. I have it, as long as they agree to get baptized,'' he said.

And agree they do. Every day, soldiers take the plunge for the Lord and come up clean for the first time in weeks.

''They do appear physically and spiritually cleansed,'' Llano said.

First, though, the soldiers have to go to one of Llano's hour-and-a-half sermons in his dirt-floor tent. Then the baptism takes an hour of quoting from the Bible.

''Regardless of their motives,'' Llano said, ``I get the chance to take them closer to the Lord.''

(via the Horse)

Fucking hell. As the letter writer to MWO says:

So, if you are a desperately thirsty Jewish soldier, do you have to accept Christ to get a juice box from this "man of God"?

Fucking hell. And people bitch about anti-Semitism 'on the left.' I'm also pissed off that I have to use the example of the Jewish soldier to bring the point home. If I had said "Muslim" or "Atheist" most people wouldn't even give a damn.

Friday, April 04, 2003

Not Our Fault! Media Watch

Peter Beinart provides his defense of the pathetic 4th estate. I can't read the whole article, not being a TNR subscriber, but Big Media Matt has the excerpt:

I still believe the war will be vindicated. But it is proving harder and uglier than expected. And, if the media, and the public, were not prepared for the hard days that may lie ahead, it has little to do with spineless, irresolute reporters. The real blame lies with us hawks, who made our political work easier by selling the country a rosy war. And, for the time being at least, we are thus justly reaping what we sowed.

It has a lot to do with spineless irresolute reporters. Mainstream America believes in nuttier conspiracy theories than anything the "Arab Street," the loony left, or the Birchers can offer up. About half of Americans supported this war (barely) going in. About half also believed that some of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqis and that Saddam Hussein was personally behind the attack. That's the media's fault.

Where were the big point headlines screaming "President Falsely Ties Saddam to Bin Laden?" Where were the big point headlines screaming "Bush lies about IAEA report?" When did the media manage to convey even the slightest possibility that not everything we were being told was true - which would've caused the public to look at this undertaking with a bit more skepticism? Never. They were busy questioning the patriotism of anti-war protesters and repeatedly inviting Janeane Garafalo on their shows so they could ask her why on Earth they should be inviting her on their shows.

While the media gingerly and quietly reported concerns of former Generals, they loudly jeered and condemned anyone else who dared question any aspect of this operation. There are some good reporters, but the media machine is thoroughly rotten to the core. They've totally abandoned any notion that the press is supposed to be skeptical of the pronouncements of politicians - these politicians, anyway.

Who knows, this may all be over tomorrow and then everyone can come scream at me for being pessimistic. But, the War Hawks have already moved the victory bar so low, with the media happily following along, that it isn't clear anymore what a victory will mean.

Onward to Syria!

UPDATE: Edited slightly for accuracy.

Go Read Digby


But, but...what about holding Saddam and his regime accountable with war crimes trials? Not to mention shutting down all those al Qaeda cells hiding in Baghdad? And, how can we say we have "liberated" the fucking country if we haven't "liberated" the 5 million people in the biggest city? And, most importantly, what about the vast cache of WMD he's keeping in his underwear drawer? Don't we need to "control" the whole country to be sure they are all accounted for? Wasn't that the whole goddamned point?

and Billmon over at Kos, too.

Another Journalist Has Died

Kaveh Golestan.

Kaveh Golestan (pictured), Iran's most renowned photo-journalist, was killed by a landmine in northern Iraq on Wednesday at the age of 52 . He was an artist and inspiration to a new generation of photographers who were not even born when he covered the 1979 Islamic revolution.

It is a sad reflection of the superficiality of our times that the US television media barely mentioned Kaveh's death, even though his news photography won a Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for his images of Iranian forces executing Kurds before a firing squad

Explosives not Chemicals

More lies apparently.

American officials have admitted that the thousands of boxes of white powder they seized north of Baghdad are explosives.

The US military and various media outlets had suggested that they may have made the first discovery of chemical weapons in Iraq.

The claim that the Latifiyah complex was "a suspicious site" was made by a US colonel.

He also claimed to have discovered nerve agent antidote and Arabic documents relating to chemicals.

Colonel John Peabody, an engineer brigade commander with the 3rd Infantry Division, had stated troops found thousands of boxes, each of which contained three vials of white powder, together with documents written in Arabic about chemical warfare.

He said they discovered atropine, used to counter the effects of nerve agents.

The facility had been identified by the International Atomic Energy Agency as a suspected chemical, biological and nuclear weapons site.

UN inspectors visited the plant at least nine times, including as recently as February 18

For the record, I've never doubted that Saddam probably has some sort of chemical weapons. Heck, I can brew up some nasty stuff with common household cleaning agents. The issue is whether or not he had "weapons of mass destruction" in the genuine sense - that is, weapons which could kill an immense number of people, quickly, from a distance. At this point, the US could find an ammonia bottle sitting next a bleach bottle and the media will praise Jeebus that Bush had the sense to protect us from that extraordinary danger. But, serious people (just kidding, Matthew) know that most chemical weapons aren't very good at killing a lot of people, quickly, from a distance. Our cruise missiles more fit the definition than do most of the nasty substances they might find (such as Ricin).

Boots and Coots

Major Barbara finds a connection between the company and convicted fraud Reed Slatkin.

Commander Relieved From Post

I wonder what this is about.

A US commander who was leading a push by marines through southern Iraq towards Baghdad has been relieved of his post.

No reason has been given for the decision to relieve Colonel Joe Dowdy, commander of the Marines First Regimental Combat Team, Public Affairs Officer Steven Schweitzer said.

"He was responsible for the regiment until three hours ago," Schweitzer said.

and if we'll ever hear more.

Lloyd Grove

Charles Pierce has a few words for him here:

Gossip columnists -- great ones, anyway -- should be as free of ideological blinders as they are of conscience. Alas, it seems that Lloyd Grove, the president of the Independent Women's Forum's Men's Auxiliary, has liberated himself only of the latter. J.J. Hunsecker would weep, I tell you.

Consider, for example, Lloyd's latest effort. David Brock and his work get put through the big smearuendo again, with some interesting (if fact-free) invective from Christopher Hitchens tossed into the bargain. Meanwhile, further down, my gal Annie Coulter decides to hie herself off to Florida with the rest of the malignant reptiles, and she gets the cutesy-poo treatment, as well as a plug for her latest spasm of inebriate typing.

(Note To Lloyd: more than a few of her targets, almost every reviewer, and anyone with the reading skills of a Lemur have pointed out that Coulter's last book contained approximately as many facts as it did golden doubloons. Pass it on.)

Well, at least this kind of work guarantees that the buffet at the next way-cool IWF cocktail party at Lloyd's house will not contain that old country song's signature dish -- hot tongue and cold shoulder.

For some more context, see my old piece Six Degrees of Lloyd Grove.

Calvin Ball

We won!

The Bush administration has devised a strategy to declare victory in Iraq even if Saddam Hussein or key lieutenants remain at large and fighting continues in parts of the country, officials said yesterday.

The concept of a "rolling" victory contemplates a time -- not yet determined -- when U.S. forces control significant territory and have eliminated a critical mass of Iraqi resistance. U.S. military commanders would establish a base of operations, perhaps outside Baghdad, and assert that a new era has begun. Even then, tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers would remain to help maintain order and provide humanitarian assistance.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

The Economy

There are a variety of economic indicators one can use to measure the health of the economy. I have my own - the number of books purchased through the amazon link to the left. That's *way down.* And, no, I'm not posting this to encourage people to buy books or otherwise beg for money, just saying that in the last month or so there's been a large drop.

Here's What We can Expect


Dear XXX,

Yesterday, John Kerry shocked many Americans when he called for "regime change" right here in the U.S. By comparing our commander-in-chief to Saddam Hussein's brutal regime at a time of war, Kerry showed just what he is willing to say to appeal to liberal Democrat primary voters.

RNC, Chairman Marc Racicot quickly responded saying, "Senator Kerry crossed a grave line when he dared to suggest the replacement of America's commander-in- chief at a time when America is at war. Critical analysis offered in the best interests of the country is part of a healthy democracy. But this use of self- serving rhetoric designed to further Senator Kerry's political ambitions at a time when the lives of America's sons and daughters are at stake reflects a complete lack of judgment."

(my emphasis). So much for, you know, elections and stuff.

Last Refuge of Scoundrels

From the Baltimore City Paper.


So here's a few questions. When the Clinton administration sent troops to quell the ethnic cleaning in Kosovo, we can presume Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) was giving "aid and comfort" to mass-murdering tyrant Slobodan Milosevic when he said, "The administration's campaign has been a disaster. . . . [It] escalated a guerrilla warfare into a real war, and the real losers are the Kosovars and innocent civilians." What a traitor to America.

When then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) said of the intervention that "Clinton's bombing campaign has caused all of these problems to explode," we can presume that his criticism of the president's foreign policy provided clear and forthright evidence that DeLay hates America.

You see, "freedom" is funny like that. Of course DeLay and Nickles were no more unpatriotic for denouncing administration policies while U.S. troops were in the field back in 1999 any more than Maines or Daschle are today.

There's no shortage of it, and it's not new to this period of conflict, either. Recall White House spokesman Ari Fleischer's veiled warning after colossal boob Bill Maher remarked on the cowardice of U.S. fighter pilots--that Americans need to "watch what they say."

And remember when critics asked Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett exactly what information the government had prior to Sept. 11, 2001. Bartlett said that asking pointed questions like those "are exactly what our opponents, our enemies, want us to do."

Last September, then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) posed the ludicrous question, "Who is the enemy here? The president of the United States or Saddam Hussein?"

The simpleminded, the Know-Nothings, the John Birch-style ├╝ber-patriots like to create a "slippery slope"--a classic logical fallacy--to support their contention that the president equals the troops, which equals the flag, which equals the Constitution, which equals freedom. There's no daylight, no wiggle room, between any of them--as long as it's their guy in power.

There was no shortage of criticism of Bill Clinton during his presidency, and it hasn't abated since he left. The far Right has tried to draw a metaphor from an act of consensual sex to everything from fiscal policy to the refrain that the Clinton administration somehow bankrupted the U.S. military. Funny how this criticism never was seen as treasonous. I suppose it's all depends on whose ox is gored.

When a government seeks to paint any opposition as unpatriotic and any dissent as treason, when it uses its allies in industry and the media to hound skeptics and blacklist celebrities, when it attempts to paint legitimate questions of policy as either a vote for America or a vote for dictatorship, that's not freedom any more.

That's fascism. Smart people know the difference

And So It's Begun

The Woolseys and Gaffneys of the world are out spreading the message that WWIV has arrived. And, despite the fact that us lefties were branded conspiracy theorists for pointing out that this was the plan mere months ago, now we're being told that the president has been telling us this all along.

Who knows, maybe they're right, but it's about goddamn time we start talking about it - and talking about it without prominent America-haters like Andrew Sullivan and David Frum informing us that dissent is treasonous.

She Said Yes

Washington, DC (AP) New details are emerging about the details of the recent capture of Pfc. Jessica "little Jessie" Lynch. High-level sources at the Pentagon have confirmed that her unit, the 507th convoy, exchanged gunfire with Iraqi troops they came across. During the melee, an Iraqi soldier yelled out a question to little Jessie, "Are you a Christian?" Without hesitating, our poor little girl screamed out with all of her heart "Yes!" as bullets flew by.

Accoriding to officials, at this point the Iraqi soldiers focused all of their attention onto her, firing 33 bullets into her Christian body while allowing the rest of her unit to escape. "She fought until the end, until she was out of ammunition," one source stated. "The fact that she survived is nothing short of a miracle. In fact, I think there is no doubt that it was indeed a miracle."

When asked for comment, Franklin Graham responded that he too believed that God had provided protection for Jessie.

It goes without saying that this is intended to mock the media's and military's efforts to exploit her story, and not to mock the horrible events the Pfc. Lynch endured. Thanks to MD for the idea.

Mac Diva has a more serious rundown of the media atrocities.

Old Shoe

Looks like we have another Steno Sue Schmidt special:

Pfc. Jessica Lynch, rescued Tuesday from an Iraqi hospital, fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers after Iraqi forces ambushed the Army's 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company, firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition, U.S. officials said yesterday.

Lynch, a 19-year-old supply clerk, continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds and watched several other soldiers in her unit die around her in fighting March 23, one official said. The ambush took place after a 507th convoy, supporting the advancing 3rd Infantry Division, took a wrong turn near the southern city of Nasiriyah.

"She was fighting to the death," the official said. "She did not want to be taken alive."

Lynch was also stabbed when Iraqi forces closed in on her position, the official said, noting that initial intelligence reports indicated that she had been stabbed to death. No official gave any indication yesterday, however, that Lynch's wounds had been life-threatening.

Several officials cautioned that the precise sequence of events is still being determined, and that further information will emerge as Lynch is debriefed. Reports thus far are based on battlefield intelligence, they said, which comes from monitored communications and from Iraqi sources in Nasiriyah whose reliability has yet to be assessed. Pentagon officials said they had heard "rumors" of Lynch's heroics but had no confirmation.

Wait a second...

The father of rescued POW Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch said Thursday she was in great spirits following her first surgery and said she had not been shot or stabbed during her ordeal.

"We have heard and seen reports that she had multiple gunshot wounds and a knife stabbing. The doctor has not seen any of this," Gregory Lynch Sr. said. "There's no entry (wounds) whatsoever."

Lynch said his 19-year-old daughter, who is at a military hospital in Germany, had surgery on her back.

"She didn't have any feeling in her feet," he said outside his home in this West Virginia hamlet. More surgery was scheduled for Friday on her fractured legs and right arm, he said.

Quote of the Day

From Bugman DeLay:

Nothing is more important in the face of a war than cutting taxes.


The Horse Returns


Tomasky v. Kristol

Tomasky neatly guts and cleans Kristol, showing what a lying hypocritical revisonist that adept propagandist is.

First of all, what "intra-party and intra-movement struggle"? There may have been a few minor reassessments of the party's 1990s posture by a handful of people (let us hope by Kristol himself, who wrote in May of 1998 that Clinton "is doomed" and that Republicans would sweep the midterm elections by focusing on nothing but the president's louche ways). But mainly what happened is that their guy won -- hijacked -- the White House, so they didn't have anyone in power to hate anymore. Suppose that President Gore were in the White House, and suppose that his military had not captured Osama bin Laden after 18 months; or that anthrax had been mailed to Trent Lott and Jesse Helms' offices, and Gore's Justice Department, 17 months later, didn't even have a suspect! It's obvious to anyone with a mind that the Republicans, and Kristol, would be doing to Gore exactly what they did to Clinton in 1998.

But the most dishonest part of the paragraph comes after the dash. So Pat Buchanan led the crusades against Clinton, did he? Granted, Buchanan was no wallflower. But led the opposition? Hardly. Among pols the leader was Tom DeLay, who is still going strong and showing no visible signs of having reassessed anything. And who led the frantic Clinton-hating among writers? At this point, I turn to another for a contemporaneous account:

No conservative thinker has done more to advance this new moralism than William Kristol. . . . And no journal has done more to propagate, defend, and advance this version of conservatism than the magazine Kristol edits, The Weekly Standard. . . . Most of the year, Kristol and The Standard have gleefully egged on Republicans in their moral crusade. . . . (P)erhaps no edition of The Standard captured the current state of American conservatism better than the one that came out immediately after the Starr report was made public. Its cover portrayed Starr as Mark McGwire, with the headline: 'Starr's Home Run.' Inside, page after page of anti-Clinton coverage, anchored by an essay by Kristol advocating a full House vote for impeachment of the President within a month. . . .
Paul Krugman? Joe Conason? Guess again. That was Andrew Sullivan, in one of his rare lucid moments, in The New York Times Magazine for Oct. 11, 1998.

The import of the lie is not merely that Kristol today purports to disdain a posture he in fact endorsed full throttle when it mattered, dishonest though that is. Rather, the importance is the implication that, now that conservatives have thrown Pat overboard, they're sensible, reasonable people.

(via Big Media Matt).

Stop Calling Her Jessica

I agree with Calpundit and Virgina Postrel. The media should stop callingPFC Lynch Jessica. I'm all for humanizing the troops, but this is misguided paternalism. It dishonors her abilities and service.

Tort Reform

Here's an interesting case. A former oil worker has received $1.75 million in damages from seized Iraqi assets. Should've limited it to $250,000 in my opinion.

Concert-Goers Leave After Anti-Bush Display

Of course, they left the Pearl Jam show during the encore.

Party for Brock

from Lloyd Grove:

But at Tuesday night's packed party celebrating the book's new paperback edition, the sting of those insults was replaced by glowing words from the top two Democrats in the nation's capital. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who co-hosted the party at 201 Lounge on Capitol Hill, declared: "To any Republicans out there: If you are willing to disavow your past and change your ways we'll throw a party for you as well!"

The likes of James Carville, Sidney Blumenthal, Paul Begala and Pat Schroeder clapped and cheered. "I really admire David Brock," said Daschle, who befriended Brock months ago after taking him to lunch. "His book was given to me by President Clinton. He gave me his own copy -- which was underlined, circled, and dog-eared -- and told me 'You have to read this book!' And it was the best advice he's given me in at least a couple of years. We thank David for his contribution and hope to see more from him."

Senate Minority Whip Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said: "David, you've given us inspiration to fight -- and fighting we are. And I think you'll see a new Democratic Party in the future."

New Jobless Claims at 445,000

Very bad news.

Moonies Among Us

Longtime Moonie, Josette Shiner, has been appointed as a deupty trade representative.

She's also a good pal of Bill Bennett. Shocker.

UPDATE: Read this, by her. Creepy.

But there is one man, one couple, in the world which has taken on the power of the anti-values media. That is Reverend and Mrs. Moon.

The Washington Times promotes the values of family, virtue, world peace and reconciliation. It is a lone voice in a wilderness of violence, sex and immorality. The Washington Times has become the sole source of media power in the world's most powerful city defending those values which will lead the world out of darkness, panic and fear. And as a wife and mother I am deeply motivated to help fight this noble battle.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Black Hawk Down

7 killed.

I Was Called By God to Blog

No crazier than this shit:

"Bush believes he was called by God to lead the nation at this time," says Commerce Secretary Don Evans, a close friend who talks with Bush every day.

Dean Meetup

Went to the Dean Meetup in Philadelphia earlier. Was a good turnout with some good energetic folks. Don't know if Dean's "my guy" - whoever I decide can win will be that. But, Dean's in the running and I think he definitely has a decent chance.

Even the Liberal Matt Yglesias

Congrats to fellow blogger Matthew Yglesias on his job with Big Media.

As Eric Alterman states honestly regarding The Weekly Standard, "‘Reader for reader, it may be the most influential publication in America" even as TWS wrongly attribute that to the New York Times, and not Eric. But, The American Prospect's circulation is about the same, so that's more a comment on the bias of the SCLM, and their willingness to repackage and resell the Standard's crap, than anything else.

And those commies over at the Nation are the only ones who actually turn a profit. Go figure. UPDATE: I've been informed this is erroneous - I swore I read Navasky claim it made money, or at least that it didn't lose any. My bad. Still, it beats them all in circulation.

Rumsfeld the Traitor

Look at all the nasty things Rumsfeld said while our troops were in harm's way in Kosovo.

Dixie Chicks

go vote for them in the CMT awards.

(via liberal oasis)

Thug Watch

Man nearly run over trying to preserve anti-war signs.

Arnett v. Geraldo II

This letter to Medianews sums it up:

I'm not a journalist and I'm not in anyway associated with the media. I'm just a poor lawyer trying to get out from under my student loans. That said, what about Geraldo? Most of the stories linked to deal with Peter Arnett and most of the letters deal with Peter Arnett. Most of the stories in the papers and television, and most of those linked to on my Yahoo! homepage coming from AP and Reuters deal with Peter Arnett? What about Geraldo? Where's the journalistic outrage? Where's the big network firing within hours of the military expressing outrage? Where's all of the journalistic ethics experts denouncing Geraldo and demanding his head?

I know that FOX is not a real news network. I know that Geraldo Rivera is not real reporter. But he was still in Iraq, working for FOX, giving troop positions and details of troop war plans. Peter Arnett does an interview with Iraqi television giving his opinion on the war and stating what many in the US, including General Wallace, are saying, and he's gets fired. But the Pentagon demands Geraldo leave Iraq, and he says all is fine and refuses to leave. FOX won't comment. And still all anybody discusses is Peter Arnett.

Perhaps Arnett shouldn't have given the interview, but is that really any worse than what Geraldo did? He didn't give troop positions. He didn't discuss war plans. He just gave an opinion. Yet Arnett's crucified and out of a job while Geraldo still's playing in Iraq with a job. Where's the outrage here? Or is that just too much to expect when it comes to a laughable organization like FOX News and a laughable "reporter" like Geraldo Rivera?

via Hesiod I see that a senator wants Arnett tried for treason. Fine - Geraldo first.

Military Hypocrisy on Gays

The only argument the military uses to keep gay men and women out is that they would somehow hurt unit cohesion. The fact that they stop discharging people once war starts, only to discharge them once they get home, undermines that argument completely.

Signorile has more.

Wellstone Action

The surviving Wellstone kids are carrying on with their parents' work. Go donate to the cause and join up.

Dead or Alive

Conventional wisdom seems to be that if we've managed to kill Saddam - and the news gets out to the the Iraqi military and the rest of the country - then the soldiers will lay down their arms and surrender. I'm not convinced. If the people mostly hate Saddam, but are still defending their country, then taking out Saddam would give them more, not less, reason to fight. Perhaps.

I hope David Corn is Wrong

According to him, there is (or at least was) no real plan for taking Baghdad.

Arnett vs Geraldo

One wonders at the disparate treatment of Arnett and Geraldo in the media by our frothers. One gave an interview he shouldn't have, and got fired for it. The other guy revealed our troop activities to the world.

Good News From Tulia

Praise Jeebus.

TULIA, Tex., April 1 — Conceding that they had made a catastrophic mistake in relying solely on the uncorroborated testimony of an undercover officer, prosecutors moved today to overturn the convictions of 38 people, almost all of them black, who were caught in a series of drug arrests in 1999 that tore this town apart.

A judge agreed with the prosecutors, and defense lawyers, that the Texas courts should vacate every conviction arising from the drug sting, including those in which the defendants pleaded guilty.

The extraordinary turnabout followed hearings here last month in which the undercover officer, Thomas Coleman, and many other witnesses testified about his troubled law enforcement career, unorthodox methods, pervasive errors, combustible temperament and apparent racism.

finally, some justice.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

The Talking Dog

Has been reviewing bloggers. In the latest entry he reviews the USS Clueless.

Another 3.5 billion for the airlines?


Lynch Rescued

Something to be thankful for.

Apparently she was rescued from a hospital. I assume that means she was getting medical treatment - if so, it gives some hope that some of our POWs may not be as mistreated as one might fear.

Mac Diva has more.

....on the other hand, this report over at Talk Left takes a dimmer view of the situation. In any case, I hope she's not simply alive and rescued, but that she's survived her ordeal, whatever it was, with her sanity intact.

...and, it seems this wasn't the first attempt to rescue them. damn.

U.S. Marines were sent to rescue wounded members of the 507th Maintenance Company on March 23, the day the Fort Bliss unit was attacked in Iraq, but nine of the Marines who took part in the rescue effort were killed and eight others are missing, Pentagon officials said Sunday.

Right Wing Terrorism Watch

Man tries to blow up van of Muslim family. Repeat Offender.

Jordan Refugee Camp Nearly Empty


Around the family, rows of sand-colored canvas tents stand all but empty in the Jordanian desert close to the Iraqi border, waiting for an anticipated flood of refugees from the war next door.

But an Iraqi has yet to appear at this camp set up by the Red Crescent about 50 miles inside the border. The only people who have made it so far are citizens of other countries - mainly Sudanese, Moroccans and Somalis - who were living and working in Iraq.

Although officials say it can accommodate 25,000 people, just 256 refugees were in Ruweished camp Monday. A second empty camp, able to accommodate another 20,000, stands nearby.

Jordan anticipated that a huge number of refugees would flee to the kingdom when the United States began its strike on Iraq. The United Nations has warned that as many as 600,000 refugees could flood into neighboring countries.


Eric Alterman asks the right question:

I’d like to ask David Talbot a question and invite him to respond in this space. It’s this: “Is Salon a business or a cause?” If it’s the former, why are liberals being asked to support it as if it were the latter? And if it’s the latter, why are you deliberately undermining it by asking us support the McCarthyite ravings of Andy Sullivan (and, previously, David Horowtiz), which not only weakens Salon’s credibility with its core readership, but also pollute the larger discourse with poisonous and dishonest invective, designed to silence the loyal dissent Salon professes to promote? Needless to say, with George W. Bush in the White House and John Ashcroft running the legal system, these are not idle questions.

Mocking The Cheneys

T Bogg has returned from whatever weird hell he was visiting, doing his part for April 1, and the Rittenhouse Review adds its own contribution.

Thug Watch

Bar manager killed in Florida.

NORTH PALM BEACH -- A memorial service today for Evgeniy John Komyakevich, a bar manager shot to death Sunday night after an argument over the war in Iraq, will be "a celebration of hispacifist spirit," a family friend said. Komyakevich, 33, moved to the United States from Russia 12 years ago and lived in Palm Beach Shores. The service will be at 6 p.m. at Thomas L. Price Funeral Home, 553Northlake Blvd., North Palm Beach.

Torture Wolf!

And while you're there, send him an email informing him that Bush and Rumsfeld, not "the Pentagon," are responsible for this

Bombing Karbala

We sure do understand how to appeal to those hearts and minds.

Make fun of the Cheneys

Haven't yet been in the mood, but Neal Pollack tells us where to go for some good Dick Bashing.

Only Non-Muslims Can Apply

Oh yes, this is going to work out really well.

Saddam Worst Dictator Ever

Says Victoria Clarke.

Update: the DOD was smart enough to recognize she made a booboo, and honest enough to insert a corrective note, and not simply edit it.

Clarke: Again, I'd push back on how you're saying it. It's not a feeling that we will achieve, it is the inevitable outcome that the Iraqi regime will be ended, the Iraqi people will be free of decades and decades and decades of torture and oppression, the likes of which I think the world has not ever seen before [SIC -- is one of the worst in history]; and we'll find the WMD and we'll get rid of it. That is absolutely inevitable.

Thug Watch

Guy gets beaten for his anti-war views.

Grafton man is recovering from a beating he received after he expressed his oppositionto the current war with Iraq in a bar.

The Taylor County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident, which took place March 21 outside McCauley’s Pub in Grafton. No charges have been filed.

Andrew Brown, 44, is a British veteran of the first Gulf War. He helped clear mines and booby traps from the route to Kuwait City, and later helped operate a mobile desalination

Before the alleged attack, Brown said, he questioned the wisdom of going to war with Iraq so soon. He said he and other bar patrons called British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George Bush “idiots.”

TBogg is having problems.

Not his fault, and he can't change it right now. Sure is freaky over there.

Special Forces and War Crimes

I've been meaning to ask about our special forces. I've wondered if when they infilitrate places and kill people they aren't actually in identifiable uniforms. The Agonist informs us that the CBC is reporting they're posing as press, which if true puts their lives in danger. But, in any case if they are carrying out military operations while not being in uniform doesn't that make them war criminals?

Thug Watch

Site Brands Area Activists as 'Traitors'

Web site that posts the photographs of more than a dozen Tucson anti-war protesters and denounces them as traitors is creating a stir among local peace activists, who say it makes them more committed to using their free speech.

Featuring pictures reportedly taken at protests Thursday and Friday, the site asks: "UNAMERICAN? TRAITORS? CONFUSED or just plain PATHETIC??? YOU DECIDE."

The site,, also contains potentially offensive images and language, such as the Statue of Liberty with a raised middle finger.

I wonder what his bandwidth limit is.

Protest Records

Free music for our times.

(via Sam Heldman)

Monday, March 31, 2003

Speaking of Heat...

100 degrees by the weekend. Ouch.

Get your AccuWeather Baghdad forecast here.

Military Keeps Up the Heat

On Darth Rumsfeld:

V CORPS HEADQUARTERS, near the Kuwait-Iraq border, March 31 — Long-simmering tensions between Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Armycommanders have erupted in a series of complaints from officers on the Iraqi battlefield that the Pentagon has not sent enough troops to wage the war as they want to fight it.

Here today, raw nerves were obvious as officers compared Mr. Rumsfeld to Robert S. McNamara, an architect of the Vietnam War who failed to grasp the political and military realities of Vietnam.

One colonel, who spoke on the condition that his name be withheld, was among the officers criticizing decisions to limit initial deployments of troops to the region. "He wanted to fight this war on the cheap," the colonel said. "He got what he wanted."

Where's the Hugging?

Bush promised some hugging.

And there's only one person who hugs the mothers and the widows, the wives and the kids on the death of their loved ones. Others hug, but having committed the troops, I've got an additional responsibility to hug, and that's me, and I know what it's like.

I wonder if he'll try to hug this man:

Suarez had shipped out for Kuwait and then Jordan last year, but returned home for leave during Christmas and New Year's. It was during this break that he and his girlfriend, Sayne, married. Suarez leaves a 1-year-old son, Erick.

While Suarez was a legal resident, he was not a U.S. citizen, his father said. "He was proud of being Mexican," said Fernando Suarez, who is a U.S. citizen and owns a small local newspaper.

The senior Suarez was angered by the news of his son's death and does not agree with the Bush administration's reasons for going to war.

"I feel both betrayed and proud," Suarez said. "President Bush has not demonstrated to me or to thousands of other people that the war is justified."

He wished that his son had died for something other than "Bush's oil.

Tomorrow is Make Fun of the Cheneys Day

in order to "protest" the ridiculous letter the Veep's lawyer sent to

oops - forgot to link to Our Leader in Mockery.

Casualties Could be Shocking

So far Bush has sent at least 47 Americans to their deaths. Could be a lot more coming.


Patriot Assassin

Here's a lovely story. Wonder why I hadn't heard about any of these killings until now.

UPDATE: Mac Diva has more.

Chat With Jay Bookman

Bookman was I believe the first mainstream media person to point out what is fast becoming conventional wisdom - that this is about empire. Here's today's column

Media Guardian

Your one stop shop for following the claims, counterclaims, and debunkings of the media reports about the war. Apparently we've caught the same general three times! Wow!

Great Howler Today

Here's how it ends.

But remember—Saddamism lives in the heart of us all. At times of war, ancient messages beam from the brain, instructing us to stifle dissent (and to stifle everything that feels like dissent). At Fox, the cavemen are busy now killing the pig. And how effective is this Saddam-like behavior? Over at the Post, William Raspberry has to ask himself this—if my country is making a major mistake, should I even say so?

American Citizen Held Indefinitely Without Charges

Talk Left has the details. Guy might be evil for all I know - everything's sealed so we don't know. And if he is evil just charge him. It's hard not to see these kinds of things as just the flexing of their new muscles.

Torture Wolf


Better Build Some More Luxury Suites

Iraqis who violate rules of war will be placed in Gitmo's legal limbo.

Digby has some comments.

Thug Watch

from Hesiod:

Along with plenty of American flags, several of the signs they carried demeaned the marchers: "Protesting this war while our troops are being killed is equal to treason," read one. "You should all be shot."

Now, if I were the liberal equivalent of the New York Post, I would seize on this opportunity to point out that the entire pro-war movement is made up of fascist thugs who believe that execution is the proper sentence for disagreeing with an administration's foreign policy.

Media Skepticism

Big Media: NOT OUR FAULT!!! We wuz lied to!

On the question of a quick war, media critic Marvin Kalb, asenior fellow at Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Centeron the Press, Politics and Public Policy, said, "The media did not make up the expectation that they expected this to be a brief,essentially bloodless war. They got that from officials, from the vice president and the Joint Chiefs chairman."

Um, guys, since when did you stop being skeptical about the public prouncements of politicians? Never mind, I know the answer.

Boots and Coots

Major Barbara is still on the story.

Hersh on the Today Show

Demolishing the Chickenhawks.

Fanatical Apathy

Adam Felber has some good commentary about the right wing's obsession with fighting the enemy at home. And, I don't just say that because he links approvingly to my little lemonade stand.

The mainstream right simply refuses to engage in any sort of dialog with the mainstream left, so you'll see little rational discussion of diplomacy's failure, the consequences of over-selling America's military might, the strategy and timetable for war, or the risks inherent in presenting the Islamist world with a single, easily-identifiable target. Perhaps the taxing requirements of daily writing makes fighting cartoon foes the easiest strategy, but the internet's conservatives seem to have alarmingly little interest in the reality of a pro-American left. And only passing interest in the war itself.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

New York Post Pines for Kent State

Charles Donefer comments and Uggabugga reminds us what they're longing for.

Of course they're "just kidding."

Well, here's my joke of the day:

My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is that he did not go into the New York Post building.

HAHA! I can do conservative humor, too.

K. Lo

Julian Sanchez notes the obvious - that she's a fool and even her Corner Compatriots can't hide the fact that they know it.

NYT on Clear Channel

I won't claim to be one of the 'other web sites' mentioned, because Jane Finch will accuse me of something silly again.

Ricin Returns

I have no idea if Saddam has a secret stash of Ricin which he plans to use to kill us all. But, it isn't particularly good at killing many people, and more to the point it is incredibly easy to make, so it's totally ridiculous to try and connect the Ricin previously found in London with Iraqi Ricin.

UPDATE: The London Ricin was homemade, so any news outlet that reports this "connection" with a straight face should be ashamed of themselves. That never stops them, of course.

Castor oil beans - from which ricin is made - and equipment and containers for crushing the beans were found at a flat in Wood Green, north London, where one of the men was arrested.

Police said forensic analysis of the address - where a small quantity of material tested positive as ricin - was continuing, although they do believe the poison was made there.

(thanks Spike)

Cold and Wet

Went to a Philly protest/march today.

Enron Book Review

They were corrupt and stupid.

4-6 Days Turns into Weeks

Poor troops.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. troops dug in south of Baghdad on Sunday, preparing to wait for weeks before resuming their advance on Saddam Hussein's heavily defended capital.

But as American warplanes, missiles and artillery pounded Iraqi Republican Guard positions around the city, General Tommy Franks insisted the U.S. and British invasion to overthrow the president was "on plan" and there was no "operational pause." U.S. officers and soldiers in some units in the field south of Baghdad -- some are just 60 miles away -- told Reuters they had orders to dig in for at least two weeks to give U.S. air power and artillery a chance to grind down its defenses.

Failure to break into the southern city of Basra after a week's siege may also have forced a rethink of military plans.

Rummy and Franks are denying.

Carry On Coalition

by David E.

(though, my guess is the film reference might be a bit obscure for most of us Yanks, David).

Thinking it Through

Tom Spencer has a few comments, including this thought:

Apparently the U.S. media has apparently decided to begin doing their jobs and examine the warplan. So that's what it takes to wake the media up, huh? After the conflict starts and it isn't working out at all as advertised, as in it's not the "cakewalk" the Cheney-Perle-Wolfowitz cabal promised, that's when folks in the media suddenly decides to start asking questions.

and MoDo gets it about right today.

You can't pound the drums for war by saying Saddam is Hitler and then act surprised when he proves ruthless on the battlefield.

Blogs in the News

Hey, I'm included for once.

Chickenhawk Down

Josh Marshall shares some creepy correspondence with a former diplomat. It's incredibly chilling. I hope it's incorrect.