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

Friday, March 19, 2004
Notes on Team Bush

"[I]f you're going to make an accusation in the course of a presidential campaign, you ought to back it up with facts," Bush said on Tuesday. (Thanks to The Daily Show for pointing this quote out.)

Let's just say it is good thing that laughter is healthy.

A day later my favorite still-active White House Press Secretary, and I hope he is one of yours, said:

Senator Kerry has said that he met with foreign leaders and that he's heard from those leaders, and, yet, he refused to back up that claim. And that's why, yesterday, I said that it's either one of two things: Either he can back up those claims and say who it is, or he is simply making it up to attack the President of the United States. And that would be very unfortunate if that is the case. But this goes to an issue of credibility; it goes to an issue of being straight with the American people.

And, certainly, if you're talking about foreign policy in this manner -- and this could be an important foreign policy matter -- if Senator Kerry has information that could affect our relations, or our policies regarding another country, then it should be shared with the American people, and it should be shared with the government.

Funny they cut out the bit about how, "the American people need to know if Kerry can be as dishonest as we are."

That said, Kerry's comment was idiotic because it will almost certainly cause him to love more votes than he gains by it and he does look very weak by not coming forward with who, even though it is certainly understandable that he wouldn't want to reveal their names. Still, it isn't as if there is any reason to think he was making policy with these people, so it really isn't that big of a deal. I mean it is far more important that Team Bush's record of dishonesty and manipulation but it is nowhere near as important of an issue as George Carlin's anti-American comments or even whether John Kerry once owned a home someplace other the greatest country ever.

Also on Wednesday, Cheney delivered a piece of brilliance that included:

From his first day in Sacramento to his last day in Washington, Ronald Reagan showed a certain kind of leadership. He had confidence in himself, and even deeper confidence in the United States and our place among nations. His principles were the product of a good heart, a sturdy Midwestern character, and years of disciplined preparation for the work that history gave him. He had a basic awareness of good and evil that made him a champion of human freedom, and the greatest foe of the greatest tyranny of his time. The Cold War ended as it did, not by chance, not by some inevitable progression of events: It ended because Ronald Reagan was President of the United States.
That's revisionist history! As everybody knows, the Soviet Union lasted longer because Reagan's election made America look weak!
After the fall of Soviet communism, some observers confidently assumed that America would never again face such determined enemies, or an aggressive ideology, or the prospect of catastrophic violence. They were all traitors. But standing here in 2004, we can see clearly how a new enemy was organizing and gathering strength over a period of years. And the struggle we are in today, against terrorist enemies intending violence on a massive scale, requires the same qualities of leadership that saw our nation to victory in the Cold War. We must build and maintain military strength capable of operating in different theaters of action with decisive force. We must not only have that power, but be willing to use it when required to defend our freedom and our security.

We must support those around the world who are taking risks to advance freedom, justice, and democracy, just as President Reagan did. American policy must be clear and consistent in its purposes. And American leaders - above all, the Commander-in-Chief - must be confident in our nation's cause, and unwavering until the danger to our people is fully and finally removed.

Yeah right. You are never going have a situation where the threat of terrorism has been "fully and finally removed." Believe this shit, or at least go along with it, and maybe you deserve the worst.
The attacks of September 11th, 2001, signaled the arrival of an entirely different era. We suffered massive civilian casualties on our own soil. We awakened to dangers even more lethal - the possibility that terrorists could gain chemical, biological, or even nuclear weapons from outlaw regimes, and turn those weapons against the United States and our friends. We came to understand that for all the destruction and grief we saw that day, September 11th gave only the merest glimpse of the threat that international terrorism poses to this and other nations. If terrorists ever do acquire weapons of mass destruction - on their own or with help from a terror regime - they will use those weapons without the slightest constraint of reason or morality. Instead of losing thousands of lives, we might lose tens or even hundreds of thousands of lives in a single day of horror.
It bothers me that these possibilities supposedly never occurred to Cheney before September 11, 2001.
America is also working closely with intelligence services all over the globe. The best intelligence is necessary - not just to win the war on terror, but also to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. So we have enhanced our intelligence capabilities, in order to trace dangerous weapons activity. We have organized a proliferation security initiative, to interdict lethal materials and technologies in transit. We are aggressively pursuing another dangerous source of proliferation: black-market operatives who sell equipment and expertise related to weapons of mass destruction. The world recently learned of the network led by A.Q. Khan, the former head of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. Khan and his associates sold nuclear technology and know-how to outlaw regimes around the world, including Iran and North Korea. Thanks to the tireless work of intelligence officers from the United States, the UK, Pakistan, and other nations, the Khan network is now being dismantled piece by piece.

And we are applying the Bush doctrine: Any person or government that supports, protects, or harbors terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent, and will be held to account.

As Jesse M. Gotham has pointed out, the Bush Administration is not following the "Bush doctrine" in the case of Pakistan. I don't think that is a bad thing, but they shouldn't be allowed to haul it up as a principle when, and only when, it suits their needs as Cheney does in parts of his speech that I will refrain from quoting.
We still have work to do in Iraq, and we will see it through. Our forces are conducting swift, precision raids against the terrorists and regime holdouts who still remain. The thugs and assassins in Iraq are desperately trying to shake our will. Just this morning, they conducted a murderous attack on a hotel in Baghdad. Their goal is to prevent the rise of a democracy - but they will fail. Just last week, the Iraqi Governing Council approved a new fundamental law, an essential step toward building a free constitutional democracy in the heart of the Middle East. This great work is part of a forward strategy of freedom that we are pursuing throughout the greater Middle East. By helping nations to build the institutions of freedom, and turning the energies of men and women away from violence, we not only make that region more peaceful, we add to the security of our own region.
Except they aren't.
Our steady course has not escaped the attention of the leaders in other countries. Three months ago, after initiating talks with America and Britain, and five days after the capture of Saddam Hussein, the leader of Libya voluntarily committed to disclose and dismantle all of his weapons of mass destruction programs. (Applause.) As we meet today, the dismantling of those programs is underway. I do not believe that Colonel Ghadafi just happened to make this very wise decision after many years of pursuing secretive, intensive efforts to develop the world's most dangerous weapons. He was responding to the new realities of the world. Leaders elsewhere are learning that weapons of mass destruction do not bring influence, or prestige, or security - they only invite isolation, and carry other costs.
Which is why the United States continues to possess them.
In one of Senator Kerry's recent observations about foreign policy, he informed his listeners that his ideas have gained strong support, at least among unnamed foreigners he's been spending time with. (Laughter.) Senator Kerry said that he has met with foreign leaders, and I quote, " who can't go out and say this publicly, but boy they look at you and say, 'You've got to win this, you've got to beat this guy, we need a new policy,' things like that." End quote.

A few days ago in Pennsylvania, a voter asked Senator Kerry directly who these foreign leaders are. Senator Kerry said, "That's none of your business." (Laughter.) But it is our business when a candidate for President claims the political endorsement of foreign leaders. At the very least, we have a right to know what he is saying to foreign leaders that makes them so supportive of his candidacy. American voters are the ones charged with determining the outcome of this election - not unnamed foreign leaders.

And you know what asshole? It is our business when you and your buddies are untruthful on matters of policy.
Had the decision belonged to Senator Kerry, Saddam Hussein would still be in power, today, in Iraq. In fact, Saddam Hussein would almost certainly still be in control of Kuwait.
Strangely Cheney did not go on to say that Iraqis should be very appreciative of "the terrorists." "Without them," the veep did not say, "the Iraqis would still not be free."
I leave it for Senator Kerry to explain, or explain away his votes and his statements about the war on terror, our cause in Iraq, the allies who serve with us, and the needs of our military. Whatever the explanation, whatever nuances he might fault us for neglecting, it is not an impressive record for someone who aspires to become Commander-in-Chief in this time of testing for our country. In his years in Washington, Senator Kerry has been one vote of a hundred in the United States Senate - and fortunately on matters of national security, he was very often in the minority. But the presidency is an entirely different proposition. The President always casts the deciding vote.
Yeah, some document clearly says that when the Prez wants war, the prez gets war. Look it up you appeasers.

Yesterday an interview with Condoleezza Rice appeared on CNN and included this exchange:

[John] KING: You make the case with a great deal of passion, as the president, but as you remember too well, perhaps, going into the war into Iraq, we had the divide with Europe, the French and the Germans principally, publicly outspoken against the position of the United States. Do you worry that we are going back into an environment like that, when you have the newly elected prime minister of Spain saying he believes that the war on terror, the U.S. way of using shock and awe and military force has actually inspired more violence?

And Romano Prodi, former Italian prime minister, the European Union's representative, if you will, to the world, a very senior official in the European Union, says he believes the same thing, that the use of military force is only inspiring the terrorists.

RICE: I'd just ask them what inspired September 11th, then? What was it that inspired September 11th? It wasn't the use of military force. It's the fact that we are a free people and that these evil designs of al Qaeda and their ilk were to destroy our will, to decapitate this country on that day, to crash our markets and destroy our economic prosperity.

It wasn't our military force that brought al Qaeda to attack us. It wasn't the military force of Moroccans or Russians or people in Turkey. It is the fact that these terrorists do have a political design, and it is one that is 180 degrees from the political design of the free world. And so I just don't understand the notion that it's somehow military power that's causing terrorism.

I find it hard to believe Rice doesn't "understand" this position, as opposed to merely not agreeing with it or believing that it is too simplistic. And I say that as someone who would prefer to believe that Rice and the rest of the administration are just idiots and not extremely manipulative.

UPDATE: For a look at how some have deified Bush, check out this post from Roger L. Simon. 8:10 a.m. 03/19/04