the Pentagon declared victory in Afghanistan yet again
and announced that Operation
Whatchmacallit (how come every US military maneuver has to have its own name?) was a great success, the President claimed
that Al Qaeda had been essentially defeated, and its leader
"shoved more and more on the margins." Bin Laden is "a man
on the run," if he's alive at all. Meanwhile, reports
of Al Qaeda regrouping are breaking
out all over, and, just the other day, the
Evil One's brother triumphantly confided that, as of three
weeks ago, the formerly most wanted man in the world was in
the Al Qaeda nutballs blew up the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon, killing thousands then their relatives thumb their
noses at us, mocking the impotence of the world's only superpower.
In an interview with CNN, Sheikh Ahmed Mohammed, one of bin
Laden's multitude of half-brothers, said his family has its
"own information" as to the condition and whereabouts of the
black sheep of the family. He did not elaborate, but instead
went on to argue that pure pious Osama "couldn't have" been
behind 9/11 because he "fears God" and loves his mother. Instead
of sending the Special Forces to grab this joker by the hair
and string him up until he talks, Bush and the Wolf
Pack, along with Rummy and the gang, have their sights
fixed on Baghdad. It's enough to make your blood boil.
THAT JUNGLE BEAT
propagandists of the War Party certainly are prolific. It's
amazing how many different pretexts have been handed out to
justify Gulf War II, in little more than a few weeks. First
it was the reclassification of Scott Speicher, the first casualty
of the last Gulf War, from "missing in action" to a possible
prisoner of war. The War Party began beating their tom-toms furiously at the news, along with various Iraqi "defectors" with ties
to the US-funded Iraqi National Congress, and the US government
began to make inquiries about him more than a decade after
his plane went down over Iraq.
YOU CALLING A LIAR?
irony here is that it
was Dick Cheney, then defense secretary, who stood there
with Colin Powell on the first night of first Gulf War, hailed
the great success of the American attack, and announced:
been a single American aircraft lost. It involves a single
casualty. I don't know that we want to identify the aircraft,
took his cue: "It was an F-18."
reporter asked: "Was that a wounding or a death?"
death," Cheney replied.
the Vice President a liar or, worse, an incompetent? If
we take seriously the current campaign to make Speicher the
Mumia Abu-Jamal of
movement and hardly anyone does then the answer must
have to wonder, though, aside from the sheer convenience of
an alleged "hostage crisis" involving Iraq at this particular
moment, why it took the US government so long to raise the
issue. As Lon Wagner and Amy Waters Yarsinske put it in the
last installment of an excellent 6-part series on the
Speicher case in the Virginian Pilot:
Speicher's fellow pilots and others steeped in military culture,
the one thing they can't understand is why the government
took so long to react. When it signed a treaty to end the
war, the United States didn't put Speicher's name on a list
of POWs. The government didn't officially ask Iraq for information
on Speicher until January 2001. Nor did the military search
for him when he went down. And they waited two years to look
after finding his jet."
A THIRD-RATE ACT
to pin the anthrax mail on Saddam, and after the tall tale
about Mohammed Atta meeting Iraqi intelligence in Prague fell
latest story to surface is a piece in the New Yorker
linking Saddam to the Ansar Al-Islam group operating in Northern
Iraq a region largely outside of Baghdad's control. Except
the CIA isn't buying it.
their Clinton-appointed ex-director, James Woolsey, is not
only buying it, he's peddling it as cheaply as he can, to
anyone who will listen to his sales pitch. Woolsey, you'll
remember, is a founding member of Americans for Victory Over
group of intellectual vigilantes whose aim is to smear
all war critics into silence. He has made Gulf War II his
life's work, and, if he succeeds, it will be the apotheosis
of a spectacularly undistinguished career.
to resign as CIA director because of his disastrous mishandling
of the Aldrich Ames espionage case, Woolsey left amid charges that the agency
under his tutelage had funded and supported a Guatemalan military
junta responsible for the
death of an American and the
spouse of another. He didn't know what was going on under
his own nose, in his own agency, but now we are expected to
believe he knows Saddam's best-kept secrets. Woolsey's is
the kind of third-rate act that fills in the empty space between
the opening act and the strippers, a clown whose antics provide,
at most, a few moments of merriment.
a car veering out of control after an initial collision, hurtling
down a steep grade and toward an oncoming train, our announced
war aims have veered radically and with alarming speed
from capturing and/or killing the perpetrators of the 9/11
atrocity to achieving a "regime change" in Iraq. We are supposed
to forget about bin Laden, and Al Qaeda is consigned to an
afterthought, at best. So, what're we fighting for, now, anyway?
SAY THE DARNEDEST
amazing what you can find on the web. National Review's
"weblog" is an informal literary-political salon, where Rich
Lowry feels free to consider the
virtues of nuking Mecca and much of the Arab world, Rod
Dreher dwells obsessively
altar boys, and Jonah Goldberg relentlessly plugs
himself: it is, in short, full of goodies. In "The Corner,"
as they call it, Kathyrn
Jean Lopez notes:
IT AIN'T SO! Sure, it was International Women's Day in
Afghanistan, too on March 8 there, but some women were
burkas. Whatever have we been fighting for?"
you see, Kathy, there were these two really big buildings
in downtown Manhattan
war, if it ever had any justification, was supposed
to be about bringing bin Laden and his cohorts to justice.
Congress voted to send out the posse in hot pursuit not
to conquer Iraq, shore up the government of former Soviet
apparatchik Eduard Shevardnadze in
Georgia, or launch an open-ended war of conquest. Now
we are told that bin Laden is "irelevant," a "marginal figure"
whose continued existence or non-existence is a non-issue.
What's really important is that the Afghan dress-code
for women must be rewritten by Gloria Steinem.
war is so far off-course that the distance can only be measured
in light-years. Lost at sea, American policymakers are entering
some potentially dangerous waters. Do we really want to declare
war on over 1 billion Muslim-Arabs? Are we prepared to insert
an army of occupation into conquered Iraq in order to effect
and maintain a "regime change"? If so, we had better be prepared
to take over Iran, and Saudi Arabia, too, as well as sending
US troops in to defend Israel. In short, we had better be
prepared to single-handedly wage World War IV and ditch
our traditional conception of what it means to live in a constitutional
system of limited government.
AMERICAN REPUBLIC, R. I. P.
horrific crime of 9/11 is being used as a launching pad for
an even greater crime a brazen act of aggression that will
result in many thousands of deaths, far more than even the
earlier inflated estimates of 9/11 casualties. The most tragic
death of all will no doubt be that of the American republic,
and its reincarnation as a swaggering and staggeringly corrupt
Imperial colossus. From the republic of Jefferson to an Empire
that decadent Rome, for all its hubris
and greed, could only dream of and the great tragedy will
be that it might have been prevented.
World War IV can still be prevented.
But the time-frame in which an alternative scenario can take
shape is rapidly shrinking, and the crisis is almost upon
us. There are differing versions of who's
winning the internal White House debate, and I'm not in
the business of reading tea-leaves. My job is to point out
the possible consequences of a given policy, and then to stand
back and watch them play out. But not, I hope, this time
THE GRACE OF GOD
willing, we will beat the warmongers, whose agenda has nothing
to do with protecting legitimate American interests, and represents
a radical departure from the principles upon which this nation
was founded. We must convince the American majority that World
War IV has to mean the obliteration of everything that makes
life worth living: our liberty, our livelihood, our distinctively
American character. We must make this war a referendum on
the Empire, and, in that way, defeat the Imperium before it
is allowed to formalize itself and shake off the restraints
imposed by the old constitutional order.
not announcing my conversion to Christianity, but if there
is a God that is, a supreme being of ultimate benevolence
who is also the guardian of mankind, then now is the time
for Him to show His divine beneficence, if not His face, and
intervene on the side of peace. The US, like some pagan deity gone on a demonic
rampage, stands astride the world, nuclear
thunderbolts grasped in its giant hand, vowing to
annihilate "evil" from Baghdad to Pyongyang and beyond.
this false god, the True God is bound to hold a grudge: for
He, we are told, is "a jealous God," and doesn't take competitors
lightly. (Remember what happened to the Golden
Calf!) Sooner or later and, given the state of the antiwar
movement right now, this could be our only hope He
is bound to come out fighting. And when He does, the real
Axis of Evil in this world the War Party and its allies,
both foreign and domestic will be brought to judgement.
I hope they show it on Court TV, because that's one trial
I sure don't want to miss.
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