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.
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Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Stream of consciousness ranting
Having been away from the net over the weekend, I missed out on the excitement generated by Sunday's Telegraph piece by Con Coughlin on the 45 minute claim. (Thanks to Matthew Barganier of antiwar.com for the link.)
Coughlin's reports that Lieutenant-Colonel in the Iraqi army al-Dabbagh was a spy for the U.S. and Britain for "for more than seven years" and says he was the source of the claim by Team Blair -an experimental unit of Team Bush in matters such as these- that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction could "be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them". [sic] This part was particularly interesting:
Saddam was well aware that Iraq could not possibly win a conventional military conflict against a US-led coalition, and in early 2002 he gave orders for large quantities of weapons to be hidden at strategic locations throughout the country. "The battle with America is inevitable," the document states. "What is of paramount importance is how to sustain the continuation of war after occupation."So, according to this guy, those targeting the occupation forces may have nukes. And these efforts are part of an effort to restore Saddam Hussein's rule. If true, all those warm fuzzies about "the threat" of Saddam using weapons of mass destruction having been eliminated are off the mark.
Now admittedly, it is bit much to think these fighters are just waiting for the right moment to use the nukes and other weapons of mass destruction but no more of a stretch than believing that Saddam desperately wanted to attack the U.S. and had the ability to do so but after over 11 years just hadn't bothered to get around to it. One has to wonder if al-Dabbagh told his employers about these nukes and, if so, what they thought of the claim.
It is perhaps reasonable think that hawks like Glenn Reynolds and Andrew Sullivan who have promoted this story would be worried about this. But they're not, largely I suspect because, I suspect, a "threat" doesn't exist for many, perhaps even most, of them until they are told it does.
Then there's this:
[al-Dabbagh] believes that the only reason these weapons were not used during Operation Iraqi Freedom last spring is that the bulk of the Iraqi army refused to fight for Saddam.And I thought "the terrorists" didn't mind killing Iraqis.
I'm glad that this story was published and that the details are out but if false, it tells nothing. If true, it says Iraq wasn't a threat in any manner.
Officials within the Iraqi occupation authorities are puzzling over a British newspaper's interview with a man purporting to be an Iraqi colonel who said he believed he was the source of the Government's claim that Saddam Hussein could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes...Yeah, I know, this news is terrifying. I'm sure Saddam would have killed every American he could have you just hours after the U.S. invaded if it were not for the invasion.
"Moral" opposition?By this logic, those people murdered by Saddam's regime got lucky since they didn't have to continue to live their "meaningless existence under a ruthless dictator." That said, I'm confused about why those Iraqis who now die are giving up "[a] meaningless existence under a ruthless dictator." Don't they have "freedom" and all those good things now?
Niko Price of the AP has an interesting story yesterday:
Saddam Hussein's government may have executed 61,000 Baghdad residents, a number significantly higher than previously believed, according to a survey obtained Monday by The Associated Press...No big deal.
In other news, Uncle Sam has apologized for the traditional act of killing nine Afghan children. I'm not sure if their lives were worth living, but I can't believe that people are mourning the deaths of U.S. soldiers. They weren't celebrating freedom so fuck them!
While this theory is unassailable, it is unclear if it is a good thing or a bad thing when someone prematurely dies when their life currently wasn't worth living but could possibly become worth living in the future. Hopefully anti-antiwar.com will soon draw a clear dichotomy between premature violent deaths of civilians that are humanitarian acts and those that should prompt a theoretically never-ending war.
Seriously, opponents of invading Iraq need to recognize that the invasion probably did a lot of good while proponents should admit that most of their fellow travelers couldn't care less about the Iraqis.
In the December 3 edition of The Times, Simon Jenkins writes:
American strategists in Iraq are contemplating what they have always denied, the search for a "strong man with a moustache" to stop the present rot. If the result is not democracy, so be it. If the result is the dismemberment of Iraq, so be it. Iraq has become a mess. There is only one priority, to "get out with dignity".While Seymour Hersh has a much different take in this week's New Yorker, it is similar to what Robin Wright and Walter Pincus wrote in the November 30 edition of The Washington Post and if Jenkins' report is correct, it makes plain the lie that this was about "democracy" and that the U.S. is not attempting to control Iraq. Even if the U.S. doesn't go this route, the very fact that it is being considered makes that point.
Perhaps instead of "The only hope now is to divide Iraq into three," Jenkins' piece should have been titled, "Fuck the Iraqis! We'll shoe them democracy, says U.S."
I'm doubtful that the U.S. would give up even the pretense of bringing democracy and teddy bears to Iraq since doing so would mean losing an important geo-political strategy and/or rhetorical justification, but then again...
Whenever I hear about Dr. Laura, I think about "Dear Dr. Laura" and then I think there are some people who are really stupid and some people who have low self-esteem. Dr. Laura's prime demo is people with both qualities. On the other hand, Andrew Sullivan's key audience -i.e. those who give him money- is made up of people of low with moderate intelligence and too much self-esteem.
Richard Schmitt writes in today's Sydney Morning Herald
A new study of terrorism prosecutions in the United States since the September 11, 2001 attacks shows that while 184 people have been convicted of crimes deemed to involve "international terrorism", defendants were sentenced to a median prison term of just 14 days and, in many cases, received no jail sentence at all.LOL
I'm all for performers interacting with pre-created media during concerts but it seems more than a bit pitiful to do so for the purpose of replicating a single.
"The U.S. failure to find weapons of mass destruction after the war in Iraq has dealt a severe blow to the Bush administration in its attempts to take a hard line on Iran at the United Nations," Robert Collier of the San Francisco Chronicle explains in an American Prospect piece.
What the fuck is "In my humble opinion, Janeane Garofalo is Rosie O’Donnell all rolled up into one" supposed to mean? I mean I get the points that newsmax.com idiot Norman Liebmann is touching upon -he dislikes both and O'Donnell isn't thin- but the point seems lost, especially since Garofalo has struggled with weight issues. At least it is better than, "In my humble opinion, it is time to go to the United Nations’ cloakroom, throw all the turbans and fezzes out into the street, and see if those delegates can take a hint. The UN continues to demonstrate an inexhaustible capacity to fail in its mission."
Now why did I bookmark that?
...two years after the Pearl Harbor attack, who would have envisioned a world in which U.S. troops are based in a democratic, pacifist Japan?Japan has an interesting brand of pacifism.
In the wake of 9/11, the great divide in America is between those who understand how fundamentally the world has changed and those who wish to pretend that nothing has happened.Talk about a false choice.
I have a theory that it isn't ethical to produce children. There is just too great of a chance that they will live a sad and miserable life. That might not be your fault, but it could be. Children do not react the same way to the actions of parents, of course. Some thrive on discipline. Some do the same when left to do their own thing. Some will respond to terrible and abusive parents by learning to stand on their own while making the world a better place. Some will repeat those patterns. It is impossible to know what exactly will work over the long run. So good parenting means getting lucky. Why would a person subject another person to the difficulties of life, especially when creating and raising this person makes their life more difficult? I mean, what's the loss of not having a child? Oh sure the child that you don't have might have gone on to cure cancer but they might also go on to be the next George W. Bush and using the former logic means that is not ethical to not have as many children as possible. It just doesn't make sense to me.
I am sick of hearing about "the media" only reports the bad things that are going on in Iraq. These reports give lie to their premise since they are by now one of the most common stories about Iraq and the entire call is hypocritical. Was anybody complaining on September 12, 2001 about how "the media" was only covering the terrorist attacks against the U.S. a day earlier? Why wasn't anybody demanding to hear about the 80-year-old man in North Dakota who learned to read for the first time that day? Come on, I needed to hear good news because the idea that the innocent and pure U.S. had been attacked by EVIL wasn't something I could get into or use to feel good about myself.
Was there a point to any of this besides making clear that I have a lot of opinions on things that I can not change?
By the way, I at least sorta believe everything that I said in this entry sans the satiric parts.