micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links

Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.

Please send him email at micahth@chartermi.net.

Holmquist's full archives are listed here.

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Sites Holmquist trys, and often fails, to go no more than a couple of days without visiting (some of which Holmquist regularly swipes links from without attribution)

Aljazeera.Net English
AlterNet (War on Iraq)
Alternative Press Review
Always Low Prices -- Always
Another Irani online
antiwar.com (blog)
Asia Times Online
Axis of Logic
Baghdad Burning (riverbend)
BBC News
blogdex.net ("track this weblog")
The Christian Science Monitor (Daily Update)
Common Dreams
Daily Rotten
Democracy Now
The Drudge Report
Eat the Press (Harry Shearer, The Huffington Post)
Empire Notes (Rahul Mahajan)
frontpagemag.com (HorowitzWatch)
Guardian Unlimited
The Independent
Information Clearing House
Informed Comment (Juan Cole)
Iranians for Peace

Iraq Dispatches (Dahr Jamail)
Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation
Iraq Occupation and Resistance Report (Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice)
Mr. Show and Other Comedy
The Narco News Bulletin (blog)
The New York Times
Occupation Watch
Political Theory Daily Review
Press Action
Project Syndicate
Raed in the Middle (Raed Jarrar)
The Simpsons Archive
Simpsons Collector Sector
Technorati ("search for mth.blogspot.com")
United States Central Command
U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq
War Report (Project on Defense Alternatives)
The Washington Post
Wildfire (Jo Wilding)
wood s lot
www.mnftiu.cc (David Rees)

Blogs that for one reason or another Holmquist would like to read on at least something of a regular basis (always in development)

Thivai Abhor
As'ad AbuKhalil
Ken Adrian
Christopher Allbritton
Douglas Anders
Mark W. Anderson
Aziz Ansari
Atomic Archive
James Benjamin
Elton Beard
Charlie Bertsch
alister black
Blame India Watch
Blog Left: Critical Interventions Warblog / war blog
Igor Boog
Martin Butler
Chris Campbell
James M. Capozzola
Avedon Carol
Elaine Cassel
cats blog
Jeff Chang
Margaret Cho
Citizens Of Upright Moral Character
Louis CK
Les Dabney
Natalie Davis
Scoobie Davis
The Day Job
Jodi Dean
Dominic Duval
Steve Earle
Daniel Ellsberg
Tom Engelhardt
Lisa English
Barbara Flaska
Brian Flemming
Joe Foster
Yoshie Furuhashi
Al Giordano
Rob Goodspeed
Grand Puba
Guardian Unlimited Weblog
Pete Guither
The Hairy Eyeball
Ray Hanania
Mark Hand
Hector Rottweiller Jr's Web Log Jim Henley Arvin Hill Hit & Run (Reason) Hugo Clark Humphrey Indri The Iraqi Agora Dru Oja Jay Jeff Lynne d Johnson Dallas Jones Julia Kane Blues Benjamin Kepple Ken Layne Phil Leggiere Brian Linse Adam Magazine Majority Report Radio Marc Maron Josh Marshall Jeralyn Merritt J.R. Mooneyham Michael Scott Moore Bob Morris Bob Mould Mr. Show and Tell Muslims For Nader/Camejo David Neiwert NewPages Weblog Aimee Nezhukumatathil Sean O'Brien Patton Oswalt The Panda's Thumb Randy Paul Rodger A. Payne Ian Penman politx Neal Pollack Greg Proops Pro-War.com Pure Polemics Seyed Razavi Rayne Simon Reynolds richardpryor.com Clay Richards Mike Rogers Yuval Rubinstein
Steven Rubio
Saragon Noah Shachtman Court Schuett The Simpsons Archive Amardeep Singh Sam Smith Soundbitten Jack Sparks Ian Spiers Morgan Spurlock Stand Down: The Left-Right Blog Opposing an Invasion of Iraq Aaron Stark Morgaine Swann Tapped (The American Prospect) tex Matthew Tobey Annie Tomlin Tom Tomorrow The University Without Condition Jesse Walker Warblogger Watch Diane Warth The Watchful Babbler The Weblog we have brains Matt Welch
Alex Whalen
Jon Wiener
Lizz Winstead
James Wolcott
Wooster Collective
Mickey Z

Thursday, July 25, 2002
What was it Malcolm X said?

Ben Shapiro deserves credit for saying what few have the courage to say in "Enemy 'civilian casualties' ok by me." Specifically he writes:

I am getting really sick of people who whine about "civilian casualties." Maybe I'm a hard-hearted guy, but when I see in the newspapers that civilians in Afghanistan or the West Bank were killed by American or Israeli troops, I don't really care. In fact, I would rather that the good guys use the Air Force to kill the bad guys, even if that means some civilians get killed along the way. One American soldier is worth far more than an Afghan civilian.
Yep, this atitude perfectly sums up the war on a noun. American lives are worth more than the "scum" in other countries. The United States can kill millions of innocent people around the world and that's no big deal but when a few thousands Americans die, everthing has changed, many become convinced the world is going to end and the President says the U.S. has the right to attack anybody so long as he deems it necessary.

Is it any wonder that those in other countries view the U.S. as arrogant?

Also note how Shapiro conflates the U.S. and Israel. Arguably this is a fair comparison since the two countries are very similar in both good -both are very liberal and relatively democratic societies- and bad -both were founded on the forced removal of others and continue to deem themselves as above considering the humanity of others- ways. Still it is odd since the two countries aren't exactly one nation.

Shapiro gets even more interesting when he says the U.S. should treat all Afghans as combatents:

The New York Times and other news services call both Afghan "non-combatants" and American "non-combatants" civilians. This is disingenuous. American civilians are people who go about their daily lives without providing cover for terrorists or giving them money. Afghan civilians are not...

The Afghans tolerated and supported the Taliban for years, no matter what President Bush says. A group doesn't conquer 95 percent of a country unless it has some support among the populace. The Afghans are fundamentalist Muslims. They didn't seem to mind too much that their women were treated like dogs or that the Taliban enforced Shariah (Muslim law). So frankly, it doesn't matter to me if some of their "civilians" get killed for involvement with the enemy.

Leaving aside Shapiro's pig headed belief of American superiority, there is a certain degree of internal logic to this but it would follow that each individual American is at least as responsible for the actions of their governement as any Afghan is for the actions of their government since the U.S. has a far more democratic political process. Hence, under this logic, each individual American, including Shapiro, is responsible for U.S. support of Saudi Arabia, which Shapiro opposes. Now since one of the things Osama bin Laden and company are most angry at America about is the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, it figures that Shapiro is directly responsible for a large part of why bin Laden and company attacked and killed Americans on September 11. Does Shapiro take responsibility for this?

Furthermore, if every single individual American is responsible for U.S. giving military aid to Israel, why shouldn't Palestinians cheer when Americans die? If every single individual American is responsible for the U.S. enforcing sanctions that have killed what are likely millions of people in Iraq, why shouldn't Iraq want to use weapons of mass destruction on the U.S. as a means of retaliation? These are hard questions that just about nobody seems to think deserve consideration.

After September 11, popular country singer Alan Jackson had a big hit with a song he wrote called "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)." In it, Jackson sings:

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I could
Tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran
These lyrics more or less sum up the reactions of many Americans to the September 11 attacks and that is the problem. The U.S. has a long history of involvement with both Iran and Iraq and, by Shapiro's logic, each individual American is responsible for these policies. And so if individual Americans see no shame in not being able to distinguish between two countries that are at least as different as Canada and the U.S., why the hell should a member of al Qaeda care if the Americans they kill are civilains or soldiers? And why should any person of conscious care about Americans dieing anywhere?

What was it Malcolm X said?