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, February 05, 2003
Analysis and resistance are good

Opponents of escalating the war with Iraq need to sharpen their arguments, argues Matthew Parris in "A dove's guide: how to be an honest critic of the war," which appeared in last Saturday's edition of The Times

Parris contends that many of the arguments that opponents of escalating the war have been relying on might not hold up. The piece suggests Saddam Hussein may turn out to have been developing weapons of mass destruction, France and Germany (and thus the United Nations) might get behind a war, the war might go smoothly, Iraq might be easy to govern after the U.S. and friends takes over and the public may see only as a legitimate reason to fight a war. If all of these things happen, many if not most of the arguments made against escalating the war will turn out to be invalid and opponents of the war might look foolish.

Instead Parris, who I have previously critiqued and who appears to have lived an interesting life, suggests focusing on the concern that the Bush Administration is building an empire:

I am not afraid that this war will fail. I am afraid that it will succeed.

I am afraid that it will prove to be the first in an indefinite series of American interventions. I am afraid that it is the beginning of a new empire: an empire that I am afraid Britain may have little choice but to join.

As I argued in "Stop Debating Iraq," too much focus on the specifics of Iraq is likely to cause many people to ignore the larger goals of Bush and friends.

That said, my position differs from Parris' in two important ways. I think there is nothing wrong is bringing up possible negative outcomes that might result from escalating the war with Iraq, or just continuing the present war for that matter. Not all of them may come true but nobody can predict the future with 100% accuracy. This shouldn't stop people from talking about what is possible or is likely to happen. Furthermore it is bothersome that Parris, an individual who is clearly concerned about the growth of an American Empire, falls for the most significant flaw in the arguments of the anti-war activists he criticizes -accepting the Bush Doctrine on Iraq.

Fourteen days ago I wrote that the Bush Doctrine on Iraq amounts to, "If there is any possibility that Iraq could acquire weapons of mass destruction or is even trying to get them, and deceit by Iraq on this matter is assumed to imply guilt, then a war to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is necessary." Nothing in this doctrine has anything to do with whether or not Saddam intends to use any weapons of mass destruction, which is the real matter since weapons that won't be used are hardly something to war about. Nonetheless the Bush Administration as presented the Bush Doctrine on Iraq as fact and gotten away with doing so since most arguments have not focused on whether or not Iraq is a threat but rather whether or not the country is developing weapons of mass destruction. (Earlier today I noted that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld feels no pressure to argue that Iraq is a threat and neither did Secretary of State Colin Powell when he spoke to the U.N. today.)

Parris doesn't challenge the logical hegemony of the Bush Doctrine on Iraq in "A dove's guide," and thus leaves room for those such as Glenn Reynolds who feel that an American Empire is far less bothersome than Iraq or some other country attacking the U.S. By challenging the idea that Iraq is a threat, opponents of the U.S. war with Iraq are able to focus the argument on whether or not the U.S. should be in the business or running the affairs of other countries for reasons connected only to matters of power. Parris might respond that Iraq might turn out to be a threat and that opponents of the war should refrain from that argument. In time this might turn out to be true -I certainly don't understand why Iraq doesn't retaliate against the U.S.-, but as it stands there is no reason to think Iraq is a threat and therefore no reason not to use that argument.