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

Tuesday, January 06, 2004
I love the "war on terror"

The "war on terror" is a multi-faceted struggle against evil sanctioned by God that take many forms including setting up a secret police unit for Iraq (I hear those Iraqis won't have to spend much time adjusting), beating prisoners, limiting civilian casualties in certain situations and just generally abusing human rights. Hot Damn! Is this a fun time to be alive or what?

The only problem is figuring out what the glorious "war on terror" is supposed to be about.

Remember those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that meant the United States had to invade Iraq in order to prevent the death of every man, woman, child and household pet within Uncle Sam's borders? Perhaps it is best that you don't. The AP writes in a December 30 article:

The teams have closed their chemical and nuclear files and David Kay, the man currently leading the search, is considering stepping down, those involved in the hunt told AP on condition of anonymity.

The remaining hope for the operation is in the biological area, a field U.N. inspectors were all suspicious of. Kay's teams have found no evidence Iraq had smallpox but has continued questioning Iraqi biologists and were pursuing information about anthrax and aflatoxin.

Of the handful of Iraqi weapons scientists remaining in U.S. custody, two are missile experts, and seven worked on past biological programs, according to Iraqi officials now working for the American occupation.

All continue to claim that Iraq hasn't worked on weapons of mass destruction for years.

Ah but that is an old reason for the invasion. A more recent reason is to create utopia in Iraq, although perhaps that is a bit much. In a peice published by The Age yesterday, Robin Wright and Rajiv Chandrasekaran write:
After eight months of debate and delay, the United States will formally launch the handover of power to Iraq this week with the final plan still not fully in place.

Washington begins the complicated political, economic and security transfer with a general framework and a June 30 deadline for completion. But critical details are still being negotiated between the Iraqis and US administrator Paul Bremer...

Besides deciding who will rule in Saddam Hussein's wake, Iraqis over the next two months will have to answer a host of deferred and potentially divisive questions. What kind of government will Iraq have? What will be the role of Islam? How much local rule will ethnic, tribal or religious groups have?

The deadline is February 28 for agreement on these and other basic questions, due to be codified in the recently renamed Transitional Administration Law, the precursor to a constitution.

A month later, Iraqis have to determine their relationship with US troops - and therefore the US - after the handover.

One of the thorniest issues will be giving US troops immunity from prosecution for any action they may take, a standard US demand when it deploys troops overseas.

And I thought we only wanted sufficient ground to bury our dead.

Of course, as Edward Wong illustrated in Sunday's New York Times, there is a chance the whole thing could fall apart:

As the countdown to the handover of power in Iraq enters its final six months, American officials are focusing on how to create a working democracy. They are trying to walk a fine line between giving ethnic and religious groups the territory, resources and autonomy they demand, and ensuring that such power does not give rise to dangerous nationalisms.

That prospect was evident last week in northern Iraq, when clashes among Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen in Kirkuk left at least five people dead. Arabs are trying to lay claim to the oil-rich city, which Kurdish leaders say should be integrated into a proposed autonomous Kurdish region. That corner of the country seemed to be edging closer to more sweeping sectarian conflict.

To avoid this, some experts say, the American authorities face the challenge of finding compromises: reallocating economic resources, divvying up power between central and regional governments and perhaps introducing a less familiar version of democracy, one that, for example, limits participation by extremist politicians campaigning on ethnic or religious differences.

Typical problems for when you are trying to control a country without looking like you are controlling it.

By the way, don't think every group is going to be treated equally.

And don't believe freedom freedom is the focus of this "war." James Bovard writes in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle:

When President Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up "free speech zones" or "protest zones," where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.

When Bush went to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, "The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us."

The local police, at the Secret Service's behest, set up a "designated free-speech zone" on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush's speech.

The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, but folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president's path. Neel refused to go to the designated area and was arrested for disorderly conduct; the police also confiscated his sign.


Since the threat from those commonly considered to be amongst "the terrorists" doesn't appear as great as America's Lord and Savior George W. Bush and His apostles tell us it is, perhaps it is time to find new enemies. In an AP article published yesterday, George Gedda writes:

The Bush administration is becoming increasingly concerned about what it sees as a joint effort by Cuba and Venezuela to nurture anti-American sentiment in Latin America with money, political indoctrination and training.

As U.S. officials see it, the alliance combines Cuban President Fidel Castro's political savvy with surplus cash that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez obtains from oil exports.

Venezuelan resources may have been decisive in the ouster of Bolivia's elected, pro-American president, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A key recipient of Venezuelan help has been Evo Morales, a charismatic Bolivian legislator who has broad support among his country's indigenous population. He is an avowed opponent of the capitalist system.

How dare these Che Guevara wannabes interfere in the affairs of another country without the permission of their uncle. Everyone knows you don't do that.