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, May 28, 2003
The Iraqi colony

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld laid forth the "Core Principles for a Free Iraq" in an op/ed piece in yesterday's Wall Street Journal and then spoke on the same points yesterday afternoon in a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations. The basic message was that "The ultimate political outcome must be decided by the Iraqi people, within the broad principles of the rule of law, minority rights, individual liberty, and representative democracy" by which it was clear that Iraqis would have full freedom to determine the future of their country so long as participants in Saddam's regime are not involved in the control of power, a "market economy" is developed, the economy is diversified, state enterprises are privatized, the country does not develop weapons of mass destruction and the borders of the British Mandate remain in place. Using nearly identical language to that of the op/ed piece, yesterday afternoon the Secretary of Defense said, "Iraq's oil wealth will be used for the benefit of the Iraqi people" just after saying, "the Coalition Provisional Authority is developing a plan for the Iraqi oil industry that's based on transparency." Rumsfeld stressed that this would not always be a smooth process and that bumps in the road were not a sign of failure since "No nation that has made the transition from tyranny to a free society has been immune to the difficulties and challenges of taking that path--not even our own."

It comes across clearly in both documents that the Bush Administration wants control over significant aspects of Iraq and intends to exercise such control but that it does not want absolute control and wants the public of Iraq, the U.S. and the rest of the world to believe that what control it does exercise is for the good of the Iraqis and that a process of colonization is not going on in Iraq because absolute control is not sought. "In staffing ministries and positioning Iraqis in ways that will increase their influence, the Coalition will work to have supportive Iraqis involved as early as possible--so that Iraqi voices can explain the goals and direction to the Iraqi people. Only if Iraqis are engaged in, responsible for, and explaining and leading their fellow citizens will broad public support develop that is essential for security," Rumsfeld writes in a passage from the op/ed that illustrates this phenomenon. A "civil society" is sought but it will hardly be a free market of ideas as the Coalition -which is largely another way of saying the U.S. with the aid of other countries- will stack the deck in favor of those it deems favorable.

The Coalition is to be the sole force from the outside impacting Iraq. "Assistance from Iraq's neighbors will be welcomed. Conversely, interference in Iraq by its neighbors or their proxies--including those whose objective is to remake Iraq in Iran's image--will not be accepted or permitted," Rumsfeld wrote in the Journal.

And there is no timetable for the return of power to Iraqis. This is understandable given the many unknowns and yet it is still problematic because it opens up at least the possibility that the occupation of Iraq could go on for many years, especially if such an outcome is desired for one reason or another by the Coalition. Nor does Rumsfeld discuss any specifics as to what sort of involvement of the Coalition will be needed in even the short term to help achieve the goals that have been set for Iraq.

None of this is particularly remarkable or atrocious by the standards of colonial powers and yet it would be nice if the Rumsfeld could just be honest and not over extend the reach of his argument, as he does in the part of the op/ed that reads, "Whenever possible, contracts for work in Iraq will go to those who will use Iraqi workers and to countries that supported the Iraqi people's liberation so as to contribute to greater regional economic activity and to accelerate Iraq's and the region's economic recovery."

The U.S. has a new colony. Maybe it will do a good job with Iraq and maybe it won't. But to deny what is going on is absurd.


Here is an "official" news article on the cooperation between the U.S. military and the Sudanese government.


Afghanistan isn't looking all that good.


Some Charlie Chaplin films are coming out on DVD on July 1, including a restored version of Modern Times. I guess it is a positive commentary on society that there is interest in the 1936, but the fact that it won't play in but a small fraction of the theaters that show ever forgettable Hollywood "blockbuster" of today because people aren't interested in seeing it in its original format is depressing.


They are almost three weeks old now but David Rees has published the 24th page of get your war on.