Friday, April 18, 2003

Energy suit proceeeds
In the Energy Task Force report appeals case, the judge said the Bush administration appeared to be arguing, wrongly, that it was immune from litigation--so the Judicial Watch / Sierra Club suit can progress. Reviewing part of the Task Force report, note the section on Iraqi stability.
American News to be sent to Iraq
U.S. government-backed television service in Iraq ... will offer unfettered news coverage in the region. Meanwhile, many US viewers said they had switched to the BBC because of the apparent pro-American bias of some local networks..
Are there WMD in Iraq?
Some are beginning to doubt it, even if Bush has mentioned it some fifteen times last year.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Is finding suspected terrorists in Iraq a victory?
Varying opinions have been offered on what constitutes a victory in Iraq, including that ' is crucial for allied forces to find the weapons of mass destruction that Britain and the United States insist the Iraqi government has hidden away.' Assertions that Iraq harbors terrorists was also among the early justifications for war. The U.S. is now looking to show proof that it was justified in its claims, so far with thin results. Brigadier-General Vince Brooks said the capture [of one 1980s-era Palestinian terrorist, who killed one person] in Baghdad was proof of U.S. assertions that "the Iraqi regime ... harboured terrorists and provided safe haven for terrorists." However, a look at America's practices shows that we harbor terrorists, too, when they were working to topple enemy governments, like Castro's in Cuba. Take Orlando Bosch, who killed 73 by bombing an airliner, and is still free in Miami.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Will the war spread to Syria? Not yet...
President Bush has halted Pentagon planning to spread the war to Syria that was ordered by Rumsfeld. The Whitehouse, State and Defense have been directing threatening language towards Syria - and Iran - for some time: take Colin Powell's comments to Washington's main pro-Israeli lobby group, the America Israel Public Affairs Committee. War plan aside, U.S. pressure against Syria is mounting. America's diplomatic toolbox, after all, contains numerous options short of war. We are in a regional struggle, and we are compelled to deal with it. And Israel is following suit.
George Bush Sr's secretary of state, Lawrence Eagleburger, said if the president were to order an attack on Syria or Iran, "even I would feel he ought to be impeached".
"We cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise." (Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and others, 1997).
Religious fundamentalism and the war
The Left Behind books, which are a series of stories about a near-future apocalypse based on Christian beliefs about the end of the world, provide a narrative, theological rationale for many controversial Whitehouse foreign policy decisions, many of which have been conceived by the Council for National Policy. In the series, the apocolypse brings wars and the antichrist appears in Baghdad under a UN flag. It may sound far-fetched, but consider that Bush believes that he was called by God to lead the nation at this time, and much of his rhetoric about the "evil" regime of Saddam Hussein carries obvious religious connotations. Moreover, many Americans are very comfortable with this point of view and take it seriously. The media and the American left are quick to dismiss or marginalize the impact of apocalyptic beliefs on American politics, but a political perspective from Israel offers a cautionary tale about the clash between the goals of democracy with the theocracy envisioned by America's religious right, and shows us that these views should be taken seriously.
Supporting the Troops
Krugman points out: The House recently praised the troops--and then sliced veteran's benefits.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Campaign of terror
The administration's PR campaign about terrorism is omnipresent. Throughout the Washington DC area, the default message on traffic information boards now reads 'To report info on terrorism: 866-488-8554.'
CNN's perspective on its own reporting
we work very hard to report forthrightly, to report fairly and to report accurately and if we ever determine we cannot do that, then we would not want to be there (Radio, pre-war).
awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff. (New York Times, post-Iraq war)
(The New Republic made that claim earlier)
Fed tries to bolster economy
Hoping to find a way to pull the country out of a nose dive that has seen 465,000 jobs evaporate in just the past two months.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

DeLay, Politics, and the War
"Nothing is more important in the face of a war than cutting taxes," said House majority leader, Tom DeLay.
"Unfortunately, in this town we have people who will take advantage of even a war situation," Mr. DeLay said. "We have people in this town that just cannot stop their appetite for spending.
Wall Street divided on tax cuts, Whitehouse ignores dissent
'I think they only call people who agree with them,' said Stephen S. Roach, the chief economist of Morgan Stanley, who opposes cutting dividend taxes now and was not invited to the meetings. 'These meetings are not forums for debate. These meetings are a highly politicized effort for the White House to get people on their side.'