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, October 19, 2003

While nowhere near as exciting or important as a United Nations non-resolving resolution on Iraq or events in the entity that may or may not come to be known as "The Kobe Trial" just as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their immediate aftermath have come to be known as "September 11,", Wednesday’s bombing in Israel deserves consideration. The BBC writes:

United States diplomatic convoy has been hit by a massive bomb blast in the Gaza Strip which killed three American security personnel and injured one.

The attack - believed to have been a remotely-detonated roadside bomb - took place just after 1000 (0800 GMT) near the village of Beit Hanoun, near the Erez Crossing.

US ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer said the convoy had been on their way to interview people for a scholarship in the United States when they were attacked.

The US State department has urged all American citizens in the Gaza Strip to leave the area - and those in the West Bank to be cautious.

The victims were described by the ambassador as contract security staff. Two of the men died outright, the third afterwards and the fourth was in a stable condition...

The BBC's Orla Guerin says it is not clear whether the easily identifiable convoy was deliberately targeted.

Two of the main Palestinian militant groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have said they were not involved in the blast.

There have been reports of jubilation among Palestinians in a nearby refugee camp - our correspondent says anger has been growing at what some perceive as Washington's one-sided approach to the Mid-East crisis.

US embassy personnel who went to the scene a few hours after the attack were forced to leave after Palestinian youths threw stones at them - Palestinian security sources had to fire in the air to disperse the crowd.

The attack came one day after Pentagon advisor Richard Perle reportedly attacked current efforts for "peace."

U.S. President George W. Bush took little time to blame the Palestinian Authority for not preventing the attacks.

Cameron W. Bar of The Christian Science Monitor repoted on Thursday about how this bombing might represent shift in the strategies employed by Palestinian militants.

Palestinians feared this attack would lead to anti-Palestinian actions on the part of the United States, according to Nidal al-Mughrabi of Reuters.

A recent survey conducted by Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research found that a majority of "Palestinians" -the group is not defined- support a recent suicide bombing, which is slightly different than what Reuters said, but that "# 85%... support a mutual cessation of violence while only14 % oppose it."

While this bombing has lead to visciously anti-Palestinian rhetoric, I'm doubtful that it will lead to any dramatic change since it is unclear how this gives Israel any greater incentive to move dramatically and the Palestinians are unable to do much at all except submit or continue the status quo, which, however bloody, is going nowhere.

Outside forces could step in but why would they want to now? Bush could tell the Israelis to have them Palestinians but that would cause all sorts of political problems in the Middle East by fulfilling the worst expectations of many in the region at a time when Bush is trying to place nice. A move to violently repel Israel and establish a Palestinian state would go against everything Bush stands for, take away resources from other areas that the U.S. is committed to, possibly have a tremendous cost in terms of the lives of U.S. soldiers, offend some of his strongest supporters and just might end in disaster since Israel has what used be known as "the bomb," which is perhaps all the proof needed to say that there is pro-militarist angle to the video for Doctor Dre's "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang." O.k. Not really. (That said, it would be fun to hear Bush justify it. "Across the world and in every part of America, people of goodwill are wondering why we have attacked one of our closest and most historic allies at a time when they, like us and the rest of the civilized world, are in a struggle to make sure that the terrorists are defeated and evil does not prevail," he could say. "Well I don't have a good answer other than that you watch Paul D. Miller's 'Rebirth of a Nation.'") A coalition of Arab and/or Muslim nations could fulfill John Hagee's wildest fantasies... I mean prophecies and intervene but why would they want to risk war with Israel, if not Israel and the United States, especially when victory is far from certain. In one section of Welcome to the Desert of the Real philosopher Slavoj Zizek calls on a "unified Europe" to make its presence known and engage in a "new political initiative, which is the only thing that can break the present deadlock." While Zizek has IMHO correctly analyzed the present situation, he neither accounts for the problems that could result, which is especially disappointing given how his valuable critique of how Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's Empire fails to account for some of the likely real world consequences of the baby steps they propose towards utopia, nor for how it is unrealistic to think that any sort of "unified Europe" would want to devote the resources and lives to the goal of a solution even if success was expected when it probably shouldn't be. Thus, even though it is part of a very serious larger call for "'Eurocentrism'," here the point comes across as rather silly.

In the end, I suspect that hope should not be lost but fixes that do not involve ideological changes where the majority of both Israelis and Palestinians come to accept each other are far less likely to succeed than they are to end in ruin.


If the situation often referred to "Mid-East Peace," as if countries like Iraq didn't exist and Peter Tosh had never sung "Equal Rights," looks hopeless, and it does, it is good to know that things might be different in other places.

Bolivia was the scene for several weeks of what Andrea Arenas Alípaz and Luis Gómez of Narco News call a "popular revolt" over that country's pro-free market and pro-U.S. policies. On Friday President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada's responded by turning in his resignation. Vice President and acting President Carlos Mesa has said the country will hold early elections. Don't worry about Sanchez de Lozada, however. He's in the U.S., a country that did nothing to support his regime or to harm Bolivians. (Thanks to Al Giordano for the first link.)

While a huge victory for the protesters, it did come at a steep price. The AP says over 65 people died in the protests, which means there just might be some envious cops in D.C.

This "revolt" is just latest manifestation of what has been termed the "new Latin American left," one of the most interesting developments of the post-Cold War era even if it is far from clear if the movement has much in the way of new ideas. The most common call is for an end to the "war on drugs," which would be humane and just but not do much to break free of the trap of the reigning economic, military and political systems. Bringing a tear to Rosa Luxemburg, such a move would be reform not revolution. Beyond that all they seem to have is the restoration of the systems that once produced Stalinism. Hardly a new way.

Of course part of me suspects that, for better or worse, reform is the only available means of not worsening the present. That part is both frightened and heartened by this "new left."