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

Saturday, September 28, 2002
I quoted Jim Henley in the previous entry and so it is nice to see that he has since written a post on the same topic. Henley makes two points that interest me. First:
For the next phase of the conflict over the conflict, UO sees two issues: First, the "soft opposition" to conquering Iraq is going to have to decide which way to jump. UO suspects that if you assign primacy to keeping weapons of some destruction out of the hands of Saddam Hussein, as many administration critics do, you're ultimately going to have to come down on the pro-war side.
No disagreement here. This is largely why I have argued that the anti-war activists should concentrate on the larger imperial plans of the White House.

Henley continues:

Long-term, any opposition to the war has to cluster around one of two sets of principles, which we'll tentatively - and tendentiously - call "pro-american" and "anti-american."

"Pro-American": Deterrence works in combination with a non-interventionist foreign policy; the risks of pursuing what amounts to an imperial foreign policy outweigh the risks of Iraq or any other international actor carrying through with a desire to attack the United States with weapons of - you know.

"Anti-American": The US does not deserve to be secure from other countries' arsenals; the US is a bigger "roque state" than Iraq or any other international actor; the proper US role is to put its wealth in the service of the "international community"; the US can not complain about any steps its victims decide they need to take in their struggle with American hegemony.

As Henley anticipates, I for one have problems with these labels. I am anti-war but consider myself to be neither pro- nor anti-American. Moreover, I agree with parts, but not all, of both positions.

I do believe that an interventionist foreign policy is the most sure way to assume that there are always going to be people who wish to attack the U.S. “Deterrence” via the U.S. military runs the risk of becoming imperial IMHO.

And I do believe the U.S. does “deserve to be secure from other countries' arsenals” but so does every other country. I do not believe that the U.S. has a greater right to not be threatened by other countries than do other countries and I believe that in attempting to prevent other countries from becoming or remaining a threat that the U.S. will have to be in a position to threaten other countries more than those countries can threaten the U.S. Preventing other countries from being a threat is unobtainable and attempting to reach that goal is necessarily unjust.

I also am of the opinion that other countries have a right to be a threat to the U.S. so long as the U.S. is a threat to them. Thus Iraq, in my estimation, has a right to nuclear weapons.

The practical definition of a “rogue state” is a state that the U.S. doesn’t like so I don’t think of the U.S. as being in that category, despite yesterday’s joke. I do believe that the U.S. is a greater threat to the population of the world than any other country not because it is more nefarious than every other country but rather because the U.S. is the only country with a realistic chance of putting its imperial ideology into practice around the world.

I don’t know what the “international community” is exactly and I have doubts about the U.S. being involved in such a project without trying to dominate it for its own interests.

Violent action against U.S. hegemony can be justified in my opinion although it is not always the smartest or effective move. At least as importantly, violence against the U.S. by opponents of U.S. hegemony is going to happen so long as the U.S. continues its attempt to more or less run the world. I have long believe that and my first reaction last year on September 11 to people wailing about “how could this happen?” was “Did you actually think something like this wasn’t going to happen?” If anything, I’m surprised by how little terrorism there is against the U.S.

It is tragic when civilians die but I don’t believe that U.S. citizens are justified in complaining about anything happening to Americans that the U.S. government has done to other people around the world. And I do believe that if killing U.S. civilians would lead to preventing the U.S. government from killing a greater number of people around the world, then killing the Americans would be justified. I am uncomfortable saying that both because I do not want to see Americans die and because the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 show that the average American and virtually no policy maker respond to seeing American civilians die by saying, “maybe we shouldn’t kill civilians.”

I’m not sure what “camp” I belong to or how many people share my beliefs. I think that all anti-interventionist sentiment is positive if only because limiting the imperial ambitions is a good thing. And yet Henley is right to say:

The problem for any effective antiwar movement will be, of course, that the two tendencies will instinctively despise each other. That can limit cooperation.
“Despise” might be a little bit strong but I will say that I am uncomfortable with arguments against intervention that depend solely on the risks that will be faced by members of the U.S. military and the U.S. public. Short of humanity’s elimination, the U.S. is able to match the damage that any country or group can do to it. Yes Americans might die but a lot of non-Americans will die if the U.S. continues its current foreign policy. And since I do not value the lives of Americans any more than those of non-Americans, I find that to be the larger issue.

I want to thank Henley for this excellent sketch of one issue faced by anti-interventionists. I would like to briefly expand on what he said by posing a question.

Conflicts between anti-interventionists are interesting but a separate, and perhaps more interesting, question is what can anti-interventionist movement do in the foreseeable in future to rein in the White House? In other words, what can stop Bush and those who follow him from regularly knocking off governments they don’t like and justifying it as a preemptive strike?

There isn’t an easy answer and yet it is a question that needs to be asked, and answered.