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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holmquist's full archives are listed here.
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)
Blogs that for one reason or another Holmquist would like to read on at least something of a regular basis (always in development)
Monday, June 16, 2003
"Slaughtered"? and other hyperlinks
American troops 'slaughtered' more than one hundred Iraqi civilians, most of them killed while asleep, at the early hours of Friday, June13 , eyewitnesses told IslamOnline.net.," Hossam al-Sayed writes in a June 14 IslamOnline.net story. "The U.S. forces deliberately opened fire from tanks and helicopter gunships at the houses of Iraqi civilians in Rawah, 400 kilometer to the north-west of Baghdad, killing tens of people, they charged."
Daniel Williams of The Washington Post filed a very different story that included these two paragraphs:
Officials in Washington said the site was a "terrorist training camp." However, there were no signs of firing ranges or other facilities that suggested military training. Residents of Rawah, three miles south of the camp, said the fighters had pitched their tents just three days before and were on the run from Samarra, a city about 100 miles to the southeast.It will be, at the very least, interesting to find out what actually happened.
"Iraq needs a transitional administration within three weeks if it is to avoid a descent into chaos, the most prominent Iraqi leader acceptable to all sides told The Independent last night," Patrick Cockburn writes in an Independent story dated June 16. "Adnan Pachachi, a highly regarded former Iraqi foreign minister who is expected to play a big role in a transitional Iraqi administration, criticised the heavy-handed US sweeps that have cost more than 100 Iraqi lives, calling them 'an overreaction'. He said the Americans felt 'very vulnerable and afraid'."
"In October 2002, a classified National Intelligence Estimate prepared jointly by U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons. But one month later, the Defense Intelligence Agency issued a report stating that there was "no reliable information" showing that Iraq was actually producing or stockpiling chemical weapons, U.S. News has learned," David E. Kaplan and Mark Mazzetti write in a June 13 U.S. News & World Report piece designed to interest other media outlets. "The DIA's classified November assessment mirrors a Sptember [sic] analysis that the agency made on the same subject." Key paragraph:
The newly-disclosed DIA report, classified "secret,'' is entitled, "Iraq's Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapon and Missile Program: Progress, Prospects, and Potential Vulnerabilities.'' Its existence raises more questions about the quality of U.S. intelligence before the March invasion. In one section about Iraq's chemical weapons capabilities, the report says: "No reliable information indicates whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons or where the country has or will establish its chemical agent production facility." The report cites suspicious weapons transfers and improvements on Iraq's "dual-use" chemical infrastructure. Nonetheless, says a DIA spokesman, "there was no single piece of irrefutable data that said [Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein] definitely has it."***
" Senate intelligence committee Chairman Pat Roberts said yesterday his panel will hold closed hearings and probably will produce a report on what U.S. intelligence agencies knew about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the war and whether the Bush administration conveyed that information accurately to the public," Susan Schmidt writes in today's Washington Post.
The Taliban is apparently eligible for rehabilitation. (Thanks to Jim Henley for the link.)
In today's Washington Post, Laura Blumenfeld reports that Rand Beers, former "top White House counterterrorism advisor" to Bush, has some very critical things to say about Team Bush's counterterrorism efforts, including:
"The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war on terrorism. They're making us less secure, not more secure," said Beers, who until now has remained largely silent about leaving his National Security Council job as special assistant to the president for combating terrorism. "As an insider, I saw the things that weren't being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more concerned I became, until I got up and walked out."And this:
The focus on Iraq has robbed domestic security of manpower, brainpower and money, he said. The Iraq war created fissures in the United States' counterterrorism alliances, he said, and could breed a new generation of al Qaeda recruits. Many of his government colleagues, he said, thought Iraq was an "ill-conceived and poorly executed strategy."There's more but keep in mind that Beers is now an advisor for Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry.
In a story from earlier this morning, Teruaki Ueno of Reuters writes:
Japan demanded Monday that the U.S. military hand over a Marine suspected of raping a 19-year-old woman on Okinawa in a case that looks set to fuel resentment of the U.S. military presence there.***
"The Supreme Court upheld a controversial anti-crime policy in Richmond's public housing projects today, ruling unanimously that putting the streets and sidewalks of the complexes off-limits to nonresidents does not violate the constitutional right to free speech," Charles Lane writes in a Washington Post story filed less than an hour ago.
"Scientists say they've identified a flawed gene that appears to promote manic-depression, or bipolar disorder, a finding that could eventually help guide scientists to new treatments," Malcolm Ritter writes in an AP story from last night, that also notes that Dr. John Kelsoe of the University of California, San Diego is the "senior author" of the study. More:
Genetics clearly play a role. Kelsoe's work focused on a gene called GRK3, which influences the brain's sensitivity to chemical messages brain cells send each other. Defects in the gene might promote manic-depression by making people oversensitive to these messages, which are carried by dopamine and other substances, he said.***