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

Friday, September 20, 2002
Imperial Ambitions

President Bush has asked Congress for the power to go to war and the resolution shows he is asking for pretty much a blank check based on facts that don't add up. (Thanks to Jim Henley for the second link.)

Much is made of September 11, 2001 and yes there were terrrorist attacks against the United States last year on September 11 but the Bush Administration is no longer claiming Iraq was connected to those attacks. There might be operatives of the group Bush has blamed for those attacks but that doesn't mean they are working with the Iraqi government. Furthermore, as I noted on August 21, al Qaida operatives have allied with U.S. allies in the Balkans so if this justification has any merit the U.S. needs to do a lot of rethinking of its policies and practices.

The document also makes a lot out of Iraq's violations of United Nations resolutions as if no other country had ever violated a U.N. resolution and that the U.N. was some independent body in matters of war and peace that could stand up to any country. (I took care of that myth in "Was the United States post September 11 just a Dress Rehearsal?")

But by far the most important section of the document is:

Whereas the United States has the inherent right, as acknowledged in the United Nations Charter, to use force in order to defend itself;

Whereas Iraq’s demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the high risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify the use of force by the United States in order to defend itself...

In other words the U.S. has the right to defend itself but Iraq doesn't even after years of bombings and sanctions. The second paragraph is backed up by no evidence but I suppose that isn't necessary becasue Bush knows the U.S. are the good guys and Iraq are the bad guys.

If I sound angry about this, it is because I am. The Bush administration is trying to change U.S. foreign policy so that it is explicitly about controlling the world. Bush first outlined the policy in June and, to the credit of him and his advisors, has now issued "The National Security Strategy of the United States of America," a document explaining the strategy in more detail. The basic message is that the U.S. reserves the right to attack any country or group that could become a threat. Since any country and many a group could become a threat, this isn't a workable strategy and so decisions over who to go after will undoubtedly be based on political and economic interests. And the process is going to be secretive. On August 16 Bush said this about debates about Iraq:

Listen, it's a healthy debate for people to express their opinion. People should be allowed to express their opinion. But America needs to know, I'll be making up my mind [as to what to do regarding Iraq] based upon the latest intelligence and how best to protect our own country plus our friends and allies.
If the exact reasons for military actions are not to be divulged what is to stop Bush, or one of his sucessors, from just attacking a country without any public justification? The answer, I fear, is nothing.

Team Bush has long wanted to build a a "global Pax Americana" -Neil Mackay of the Sunday Herald has recently reported that Bush's advisors and family wrote such a document well before September 11, 2001- and now it looks like they are going to get their wish.

This is the makings of an empire and opposing it in any meaningful way is not going to be easy. It would be nice if Congress rejected Bush's request for the authorization of the use of force against Iraq but it isn't going to happen. Bush has been smart enough to cloak his desires in getting Iraq to comply with international law and it seems even civil disobedients want that.

The advice I gave in "Stop Debating Iraq" about focusing on the larger picture of what Bush and company are doing seems more relevant than ever and yet I doubt it will make any difference. About the only thing that is going to stop this exercise in empire building is if it becomes something that, due to both internal and external pressures, the White House simply can not build.