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

Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Goddamn, goddamn, on to Iran (and other notes for August 11)

In yesterday's Guardian, Simon Tisdall writes:

The US charge sheet against Iran is lengthening almost by the day, presaging destabilising confrontations this autumn and maybe a pre-election October surprise.

The Bush administration is piling on the pressure over Iran's alleged nuclear weapons programme. It maintains Tehran's decision to resume building uranium centrifuges wrecked a long-running EU-led dialogue and is proof of bad faith.

The US will ask a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency on September 13 to declare Iran in breach of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, a prelude to seeking punitive UN sanctions.

Iran's insistence that it seeks nuclear power, not weapons, is scoffed at in Washington. John Bolton, the hawkish US under-secretary of state for arms control, says there is no doubt what Tehran is up to. He has hinted at using military force should the UN fail to act. "The US and its allies must be willing to deploy more robust techniques" to halt nuclear proliferation, including "the disruption of procurement networks, sanctions and other means". No option was ruled out, he said last year.

Last month in Tokyo, Mr Bolton upped the ante again, accusing Iran of collaborating with North Korea on ballistic missiles.

Israel, Washington's ally, has also been stoking the fire. It is suggested there that if the west fails to act against Iran in timely fashion, Israel could strike pre-emptively as it did against Iraq's nuclear facilities in 1981, although whether it has the capability to launch effective strikes is uncertain.

This is not comforting news.

I wouldn't have any doubt that Iran wants nukes if not for a bit of recent history, but so what? That's not a logical reason to attack a country...

Whoops, I'm sorry. That is a perfectly valid reason to attack another country if you are the United States of America and the prez says it has to be done. My apologies.


One scenario I have in my head is that Israel does strike to destroy Iran's nukes. Iran responds by attacking Israel with conventional, biological and/or chemical weapons, and we have ourselves a little war! Yee-ha and stuff, but I don't think anybody, save for those who believe this has something to do with the "end times," can say with any degree of certainty what the ultimate result of such a conflict would be.


This section of Tisdall's piece is classic:

"Iran is experiencing a gradual process of internal change," the report says. "The urgency of US concerns about Iran and the region mandate that the US deal with the current regime [through] a compartmentalised process of dialogue, confidence building and incremental engagement."

That suggestion was mocked by a Wall Street Journal editorial as "appeasement".

If we let the Iranians decide their future, we will be appeasing them!


Rightly or wrongly, New York Times columnist Nicolas Kristof August 11 column "An American Hiroshima" seems to just scream, it was one thing when it happened to those fuckin' Japs, but it is America that now could be hurt!


In Monday's Boston Globe, Cathy Young writes about the liberated women of Afghanistan and Iraq:

...more than two years after the fall of the Taliban and more than a year after the fall of Saddam, critics say that the situation of women has not improved much and, in some cases, may have worsened. "For many Iraqi women, the tyranny of Saddam's regime has been replaced by chronic violence and growing religious conservatism that have stifled their hopes for wider freedoms -- and, for many, put their lives in even greater peril," says a recent cover story in Time magazine. The article focuses on "honor killing" -- the murder of women by male relatives after they have "dishonored" the family by committing some sexual infraction (or by being raped). These killings may be on the rise because of the breakdown in law and order and the greater availability of weapons.

Reports from Afghanistan are bleak as well. While few would dispute that things are better for women than they were under the Taliban, particularly in large cities such as Kabul, the country remains in chaos, torn apart by warlords and thugs. Kate Allen, a director of the British chapter of Amnesty International, wrote in The Guardian last March that an aid worker told her, "If a woman went to market and showed an inch of flesh she would have been flogged -- now she's raped."

Some of the criticism may be driven by ideological opposition to the Bush administration's foreign policy. But some of it comes from strong supporters of US intervention. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff, who still believes that "Americans should be proud that we ousted the Taliban," has chronicled troubling and little-noticed developments in the new Afghanistan. Among other things, the Supreme Court has barred married women from attending high school -- in a country where girls as young as 9 are routinely forced to marry.

In part, the situation of women in today's Afghanistan and Iraq is a shameful American failure. Clearly, the Bush administration was unwilling to invest enough resources (financial or human) into helping rebuild these countries after toppling the old regimes.

Yet the limits of American influence are equally clear. We are confronting societies in which male supremacy is deeply ingrained. In Afghanistan, voter registration teams are trying to register women to vote while accommodating the tribal customs that forbid them to leave their homes. So a housebound teenage mother of three, married at 12, will be able to vote in a free election: what a victory for women's rights. What do you do when it's not a dictatorship but custom that keeps women imprisoned, and when honor killings are condoned even by the victims female relatives? What can you do when an attempt to appoint a woman judge in an Iraqi city is met with vehement protests not only from conservative Muslim clerics but from the town's lawyers -- including women?

It is beyond me why Destiny's Child has written a song about this yet.


Freedom for those Iraqi fucks (AFP, August 9):

The United States struggled to reconcile its normal forceful advocacy of international press freedom with a defense of the Iraqi interim government decision to close the offices of the pan-Arab Al-Jazeera television network in Baghdad.

The State Department said the move was a "difficult decision to second guess" and noted that Al-Jazeera had in Washington's eyes been guilty of inciting violence -- the reason given by Iraqi officials for the closure -- numerous times in the past.

"I'm not comfortable giving you a judgment call on it," deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said, refusing to criticize Saturday's move when asked whether the United States believed the move was positive or negative.

In light of these bits of news, I guess it shouldn't be shocking that Uncle Sam is still imprisoning and harming Iraqi children (Lisa Ashkenaz Croke, TheNewStandard, August 11).


"US troops last night urged Iraqi civilians to leave the combat zones in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, raising speculation of an imminent full-scale offensive against rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his Medhi Army militia," Nicolas Rothwell of AFP writes in an August 11 story.


"A US takeover of Polish command in the restive holy city of Najaf hot on the heels of the Philippines' withdrawal of its troops from Iraq has underscored a weak multinational force in which Anglo-US domination only exacerbates insecurity, analysts said Tuesday," Jennie Matthew of Middle East Online writes in an August 10 story.


Michelle Goldberg of salon.com on the "New York Lockdown."

Isn't freedom wonderful?


It looks like Nader won't be on the Green slate in California.


Arab Americans for Nader


Herbert Lash writes in an August 9 Reuters story that "cuddle parties" are the rage amongst at least certain New Yorkers. For more, go to www.cuddleparty.com.


Linda Harvey's August 9 anti-gay WorldNetDaily column "Josh is taking Matt to the prom" is an unintentional comedic masterpiece.


FReepers on Will Smith


stevearle.net says:

Steve Earle on Air America

Steve Earle will host his own show on Air America. The show will be called the Revolution Starts Now. A pilot is being taped next week and the show will air on Saturday's. More details and showtimes to come.

XM radio channel 167 and Sirius channel 144 will broadcast the show nationwide.

For local channels click here.

It should be cool.