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, February 22, 2004
We care a lot like Faith No More

Once upon a time Al Haig was at least as much the Secretary of State as he was a punch line and the policy of the U.S. government was that fighting terrorism and protecting human rights were not one in the same, and that the former was more important.

Now, however, the U.S. knows better and fighting terrorism and promoting human rights, freedom, democracy and all sorts of other good things is seen as mutually inclusive activities.

This change hasn't been the result of a linear change. As Rodger A. Payne has noted, Bush campaigned in 2000 on the idea that the U.S. military should only be used to defend U.S. interests, not human rights as Bush said the Clinton Administration had done. At the same time, the Persian Gulf War in 1991, which was run by the current president's father, in the words of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's Empire (Harvard University Press, 2000), "presented the United States as the only power able to manage international justice, not as a function of its own national motives but in the name of global right."

The exact course that U.S. policy took to achieve this change isn't as important as that beyond any doubt it became part of the rhetoric of the "war on terror" at the very start of that "war." This past November 6 Bush said:

Liberty is both the plan of Heaven for humanity, and the best hope for progress here on Earth.

The progress of liberty is a powerful trend. Yet, we also know that liberty, if not defended, can be lost. The success of freedom is not determined by some dialectic of history. By definition, the success of freedom rests upon the choices and the courage of free peoples, and upon their willingness to sacrifice. In the trenches of World War I, through a two-front war in the 1940s, the difficult battles of Korea and Vietnam, and in missions of rescue and liberation on nearly every continent, Americans have amply displayed our willingness to sacrifice for liberty.

The sacrifices of Americans have not always been recognized or appreciated, yet they have been worthwhile. Because we and our allies were steadfast, Germany and Japan are democratic nations that no longer threaten the world. A global nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union ended peacefully -- as did the Soviet Union. The nations of Europe are moving towards unity, not dividing into armed camps and descending into genocide. Every nation has learned, or should have learned, an important lesson: Freedom is worth fighting for, dying for, and standing for -- and the advance of freedom leads to peace.

And now we must apply that lesson in our own time. We've reached another great turning point -- and the resolve we show will shape the next stage of the world democratic movement.

Our commitment to democracy is tested in countries like Cuba and Burma and North Korea and Zimbabwe -- outposts of oppression in our world. The people in these nations live in captivity, and fear and silence. Yet, these regimes cannot hold back freedom forever -- and, one day, from prison camps and prison cells, and from exile, the leaders of new democracies will arrive.

Or so the Bush Administration wants us to believe.

Too bad they can't make this argument with any sort of consistency. In the same speech, Bush says, " For the Palestinian people, the only path to independence and dignity and progress is the path of democracy."

And, two days ago, the Haig of today said, "We hope other governments, too, like Syria, will realize that chemical weapons and other WMD programs won’t make their countries safer, their people more prosperous, or their own hold on power more secure. To the contrary. It goes in the other direction."

Lady Liberty cares about the second half of her name just enough so as to give those who are deemed to be the antithesis of what it wants tips on how to maintain their power.

It isn't just in rhetoric that the Bush Administration has problems carrying through on promoting freedom. In a statement from Monday, the International Institute for Strategic Studies writes:

President George W Bush’s administration has on many occasions, since 11 September 2001 argued that when governments respect both the rule of law and human rights, the contribute to a world where terrorism cannot thrive. For this reason, as well as the US commitment to the promotion of its values, the US claims that it will not relax its vigilance when it comes to the advancement of human rights. However, since 11 September there are many examples that suggest the US has compromised its stance in the sphere of human-rights promotion, as it searches for military bases, intelligence cooperation and political support in the struggles against terrorism.
Kim Sengupta of The Independent has more on the IISS's findings.

A February 18 report by Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives makes it clear that the U.S. military has worked to keep knowledge of how many civilians have been killed by the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq from impacting public discourse. If Bush and friends actually cared, they would want to know what impact their actions were having and they would want others to know as well. After all, it was Bush who, in the same November 6 speech quoted above, said, "Successful societies limit the power of the state and the power of the military -- so that governments respond to the will of the people, and not the will of an elite."