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

Sunday, July 20, 2003
War notes

"The White House, in the run-up to war in Iraq, did not seek CIA approval before charging that Saddam Hussein could launch a biological or chemical attack within 45 minutes, administration officials now say," Dana Milbank writes in today's Washington Post.


"President Bush and his national security adviser did not entirely read the most authoritative prewar assessment of U.S. intelligence on Iraq, including a State Department claim that an allegation Bush would later use in his State of the Union address was 'highly dubious,' White House officials said yesterday," Dana Milbank and Dana Priest write in yesterday's Washington Post. "The acknowledgment came in a briefing for reporters in which the administration released excerpts from last October's National Intelligence Estimate, a classified, 90-page summary that was the definitive assessment of Iraq's weapons programs by U.S. intelligence agencies. The report declared that 'most' of the six intelligence agencies believed there was 'compelling evidence that Saddam [Hussein] is reconstituting a uranium enrichment effort for Baghdad's nuclear weapons program.' But the document also included a pointed dissent by the State Department, which said the evidence did not 'add up to a compelling case' that Iraq was making a comprehensive effort to get nuclear weapons."

Greg Miller and James Gerstenzang have a story in yesterday's Los Angeles Times on the same briefing but puts the focus on some different points:

The excerpts suggest that the CIA and other agencies were more concerned than they have previously acknowledged that the build-up to war might provoke Saddam Hussein to attempt terrorist strikes in the United States.

The report says Iraq "probably would attempt clandestine attacks against the U.S. homeland if Baghdad feared an attack." It goes on to say that Hussein was likely to use biological weapons for such strikes and order his intelligence service to carry them out...

The excerpts also include wording that seems to undercut Bush administration claims before the war that Hussein had links to Al Qaeda. The report makes clear that the intelligence community believed cooperation with the terrorist network would represent an extreme step for Hussein.

"Saddam, if sufficiently desperate, might decide that only an organization such as Al Qaeda" could help him strike America, the report said. The scenario was presented in the context of the build-up to war...

The finding that Baghdad "probably would attempt" clandestine attacks on the United States contrasts with more nuanced language the CIA released publicly in October.

At that time, the agency said that Baghdad appeared "to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks," but that if Hussein considered a U.S. invasion unavoidable "he probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions." That assessment was in an Oct. 7 letter to Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who was then chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The NIE cautioned that U.S. intelligence officials had "low confidence in our ability to assess when Saddam would use WMD."

In contrast, the intelligence officials expressed "high confidence" in their assessments of Iraq's possession of banned weapons.

The newly released pages serve as a reminder that the CIA and other agencies were convinced that Hussein had large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, as well as other munitions, though scant evidence of such items has been found in Iraq.

The NIE asserts that Hussein "probably has stocked at least 100 metric tons, and possibly as much as 500 metric tons" of chemical agents — or between 110 and 550 tons — "much of it added in the last year."

The document also says intelligence agencies believed that Baghdad had chemical warheads for Scud missiles it had supposedly kept hidden.

Did the Bush Administration get lucky?


"The FBI blew repeated chances to uncover the 9-11 plot because it failed to aggressively investigate evidence of Al Qaeda’s presence in the United States, especially in the San Diego area, where two of the hijackers were living with one of the bureau’s own informants, according to the congressional report set for release this week," writes Michael Isikoff in the issue of Newsweek dated July 28, 2003.


Bob Joseph?


In a July 16 story, Reuters writes:

U.S. troops are facing a classic guerrilla war in Iraq spearheaded by Saddam Hussein loyalists, and American forces need to adapt their tactics to crush this increasingly organized resistance, the head of the U.S. Central Command said on Wednesday.

This contrasted with an assessment given by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on June 30 that it was not "anything like a guerrilla war or an organized resistance."

But Central Command chief Gen. John Abizaid, who commands U.S. forces in Iraq, said a guerrilla war is exactly what U.S. troops are confronting.


"American air war commanders carried out a comprehensive plan to disrupt Iraq's military command and control system before the Iraq war, according to an internal briefing on the conflict by the senior allied air war commander," Michael R. Gordon writes in a July 19 New York Times story. "Known as Southern Focus, the plan called for attacks on the network of fiber-optic cable that Saddam Hussein's government used to transmit military communications, as well as airstrikes on key command centers, radars and other important military assets. The strikes, which were conducted from mid-2002 into the first few months of 2003, were justified publicly at the time as a reaction to Iraqi violations of a no-flight zone that the United States and Britain established in southern Iraq. But Lt. Gen. T. Michael Moseley, the chief allied war commander, said the attacks also laid the foundations for the military campaign against the Baghdad government."


"Saddam Hussein is probably still alive and hiding in Iraq, but the ousted leader is not orchestrating the daily attacks on American troops, the top U.S. official for the country said Sunday," the AP writes today. "Civilian administrator L. Paul Bremer also said Americans should prepare for a lengthy stay in Iraq."