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

Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Quotation marks and the "war on terrorism"

Andrew Sullivan writes:

QUOTATION MARK WATCH: Have you begun to notice how some commentators (mainly on the left but also on the paleo-right) have begun to put the term "war on terrorism" in quote marks? I wonder what part of the phrase they don't buy. That we are fighting terrorism?
While I doubt Sullivan has been reading me, I do put the "war on terror" and the "war on terrorism" in quotes so I figure I should explain to my dozen or so regular readers why I do it in case it wasn't obvious.

President George W. Bush has used the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as the justification for many things that are not directly about fighting terrorism against the U.S., including war with Iraq. I'm fond of quoting an October 7 speech in Cincinnati, Ohio where the President said:

Some citizens wonder, after 11 years of living with this problem [or Iraq having weapons of mass destruction], why do we need to confront it now? And there's a reason. We've experienced the horror of September the 11th. We have seen that those who hate America are willing to crash airplanes into buildings full of innocent people. Our enemies would be no less willing, in fact, they would be eager, to use biological or chemical, or a nuclear weapon.

Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

In other words, the United States should go to war with Iraq because something bad happned to the U.S. over a year ago. This is sheer idiocy. Why don't Uncle Sam use those famed terrorist attacks as a reason to go to war with Israel and United Kingdom? Both have nukes and sure they are allies of the U.S. at the moment "but," in the immortal words of Homer J. Simpson, "who knows what tomorrow will bring?"

The answer is that there is no evidence that either Israel or the United Kingdom was involved in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks or have intentions of harming the U.S. It would be illogical to after them for doing nothing because something bad happened to the U.S. just as it is illogical to go to war with Iraq because of the events of September 11, 2001. Now it is a whole different story if someone wants to argue that the U.S. should go to war with Iraq because Iraq is a threat or some other reason that does no involve saying the U.S. has the right to do whatever the hell it wants to anybody, anywhere because nearly 3,000 people died in America a little less than 15 months ago. I don't agree with those arguments but they don't necessarily have the flaw of using an unconnected event to justify war.

Getting back to the matter of using quotes, since I do not believe that the "war on terrorism" is primarily about fighting terrorism, I find it problematic to use that term as if it has any meaning beyond a political slogan that Bush can use to to describe just about any action, external or internal, that he wants. In other words, the "war on terrorism" is anything that Bush wants it be. It is his agenda. I don't like it but I do recognized it is being waged.

For the record, I don't expect Sullivan to understand what I am getting at since he has been at least as quick as Bush to use the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to justify a broad agenda. Last year, on the afternoon of September 11 in a post entitled "EVIL," Sullivan wrote, "The response must be disproportionate to the crime and must hold those states and governments that have tolerated this evil accountable." While most Americans were in shock, Sullivan like Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, was plotting empire.