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

Sunday, August 18, 2002
Propaganda Acceptance and Rejectance

Ladies and gentlemen, attention please
Come in close so everyone can see
I got a tale to tell
A listen don't cost a dime
And if you believe that we're gonna get along just fine

-Steve Earle

Call me skeptical of public opinion polls, as well as what I saw from Americans during the Persian Gulf War and in the weeks after September 11, but I have a hard time believing that the majority of Americans support attacking Iraq. It is just hard for me to accept that a majority actually believes Iraq is a threat or are comfortable and supportive of the United States military picking on a country so that the world knows who’s in charge.

But then today I came across Matthew Yglesias saying the following:

I think you need to think harder about where, exactly, the injustice lies. Presumably it's not that the goal of US policy toward Iraq — replacing a brutal dictator with someone better — is unjust it's just that the means by which Bush proposes to accomplish this (war, with its attendant loss of human life) that are unjust. Therefore, you need to consider what you could do to reduce that injustice. Acts of civil disobedience (refusing to pay taxes, for example, which I think is what Thoreau did) is not going to prevent the war from happening and thereby spare the lives of Iraqi civilians. All it will do is increase the odds that either (a) the war will be long and bloody or (b) that the US will lose the war. You may think that both of those outcomes are worse that (c) the war never begins but they're both worse than (d) the US wins a short and sweet campaign. If you think war is inevitable, then (c) is off the table and we should be working to accomplish (d).
Well there is an argument to be made against any entity having the right to impose its rule on others but it seems more important to note right now that Yglesias, who usually comes across as an intelligent guy, believes “that the goal of US policy toward Iraq” is “replacing a brutal dictator with someone better.”

That’s right, U.S. policy isn’t about oil, political and military power or protecting Americans from an attack. It is about improving governance in Iraq, according to Yglesias.

This seems absolutely ridiculous in light of U.S. history and the fact that, as Yglesias has acknowledged there are plenty of other countries that are controlled by brutal leaders. “Now who’s being naïve?” Homer Simpson once asked Marge.

Now who’s accepting propaganda as fact?

I remember a long lecture that my seventh grade shop instructor gave about the Gulf War the week after the bombing had begun. The teacher, whose name I don’t recall, blustered on about his experiences in the Army and the nobility of America and the U.S. cause. “It’s about freedom not oil,” he shouted.

At the time I was opposed to the war but unsure of my position. I didn’t believe that the U.S. was justified in attacking Iraq but I also wanted to fit in and, for better or worse, I once wore a yellow ribbon to fit in with the other kids at Cadillac Middle School.

It would have been easy for me to welt under the pressure of this guy’s verbal waving of the flag, oiling of the guns and launching of the missiles but I didn’t. Having read just a few magazines and seen an episode or two of Donahue on this topic, I knew that Kuwait had not been a “free” country prior to August of 1990 and that Saudi Arabia was anything but free. In other words, I knew there was no reason to believe the Gulf War was about freedom and that this instructor was wrong.

I’d given up trying to fit in by eighth grade and perhaps just drifted so far away from the “mainstream” that I have a hard time imagining how anybody could believe as this instructor did, and probably still does, about Gulf War or how Yglesias believes about its much awaited remake after inconsistently entertaining sequels. And yet people do.

The thing about believing that the U.S. is primarily interested in helping the Iraqi people is that if you accept that, you’ll follow the war on terror wherever Bush and the future salesmen take it. And that will lead to plenty of injustice.