September 22, 2006

Friday Roundup

Will Bush attack Iran for an October Surprise? Not unless he's the dumbest m... oh, wait ... On the other hand, maybe he's just engaging in the usual let's you and him fight method of conflict resolution between two factions in his own administration.

Guerrilla News Network: U.S. pushing for bulk water exports from Canada. Italian troops leave Iraq. Boeing wins a contract for the planned U.S.-Mexico border fence. First, there was an offer of help to India, now the U.S. is thinking about helping Egypt's nuclear program.

Asia Times' Gareth Porter notes that U.S. troops are Tehran's hostages, due to the influence of Sadr's Mehdi army and the fragility of the privatized U.S. supply lines (emphasis mine):

... The Mehdi Army controls Sadr City, the massive Shi'ite slum in eastern Baghdad that holds half the capital's population. But even more important, perhaps, it holds sway in the heavily Shi'ite southern provinces, and as Muqtada knows well, that gives him a strategic position from which to bring the US military to a standstill.

Patrick Lang, former head of human-intelligence collection and Middle East intelligence at the Defense Intelligence Agency, explained why in an important analysis in the Christian Science Monitor of July 21: US troops must be supplied by convoys of trucks that go across hundreds of kilometers of roads through this Shi'ite heartland, and the Mehdi Army and its allies in the south could turn those supply routes into a "shooting gallery".

Lang noted that the supply trucks are driven by South Asian or Turkish civilians who would immediately quit. And even if the US military used its own troops to protect the routes, they would be vulnerable to ambushes. "A long, linear target such as a convoy of trucks is very hard to defend against irregulars operating in and around their own towns," Lang wrote. ...

The House of Representatives has voted to strip children of both rights and clothes at the merest suggestion that something untoward, whether it personally involves them or not, is happening at their schools. And if you hear even one blasted newscritter suggest that this midterm election doesn't matter, point them to this.

7 dead and 40,000 injured after a tanker dumps toxic waste from a European company off the shore of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. CNN could hardly rush to the scene fast enough ... to report that Hugo Chavez had called Dear Leader a devil.

A man imprisoned under Ceaucescu's regime in communist Romania says that he sees the same things happening here in the U.S. His advice to Americans is to leave and don't look back, because the leash will tighten. Meanwhile, Bill Scher of Liberal Oasis has a new book out suggesting that we try to fix a few things before packing for Canada. Be ready to rumble.

In that vein, Bob Johnson says it's time for Democrats to shut down the Capitol over the torture issue, among others, and Pastor Dan says it's time to call evil by its name, to 'drop the e bomb', as it were.

Hoopeston, IL, gets witches.

A concern trolling automotive blogger at Wired blasts California for suing automakers over global warming. A Friends of the Earth release reminds us that "Automobiles are among the world’s largest contributors to global warming, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions in the United States and more than 30 percent in California," and asks people to send thank yous to CA Atty. General Bill Lockyer.

Hunter writes about how David Broder is killing America, masterfully summing up the larger attitudes of the chattering classes that are killing America: "... if the best America can do is a debate between those that are for torture and against it, weakly, those who are for preemptive war and those who are against it weakly, or those who are_for_ Constitutional subversions and those who are against them passively, then truly, we are not as great a country as we have declared ourselves to be, and our leadership in both government and press has become rudderless and convictionless."

Bush claims cluelessness over the claims of Musharraf that U.S. officials threatened to bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age if they didn't cooperate after 9/11.

What people in other parts of the world are calling the peace pipeline is being opposed by the Bush administration, whose officials are suggesting to Pakistan that they might be hit with economic sanctions for participating in the pipeline that would carry Iranian natural gas to India. Pakistan could get as much as $600 million per year in fees for securing the line through its territory and India would get a needed resource to charge its expansion and industrialization, a huge economic incentive for the two countries to resolve their differences without the use of their nuclear stockpiles.

Avedon at the Sideshow with a torture roundup and a little below that, some interesting points about the vote fraud debate.

A reminder that fetal pain is a bogus argument against abortion is never out of date. Nor would a person ever be remiss in saying that attempting to force an abortion is every bit as reprehensible as forbidding one.

I haven't been following this, but there was a big dust up over the all white Clinton-blogger lunch that resulted in the blog Culture Kitchen getting taken off the dKos blogroll and T. Rex at FireDogLake telling Liza of Culture Kitchen that she shouldn't criticize her "betters," by which he presumably meant her superiors in popularity. Ahem. Ampersand and others suggest that outright dismissing these concerns raised by several bloggers of color in a manner that peers at intent rather than bare fact is standard operating procedure in the typical denial of institutional racism. Which is the problem with institutional racism; it's something that often 'just happens' due to inertia and apathy, making questions of intent beside the point. Peter Daou explained that several people who were invited couldn't make it, but perhaps a little more effort could have gone into looking farther afield in that case.

MyDD's Matt Stoller talks about reformists in the African American community who are blogging and using the web to push the political process. He links to a post at the Republic of T on why network neutrality is an important issue for people of color.

The Black Commentator on the defectors from the Congressional Black Caucus agenda and their ties to the corporatist DLC.

Blondesense: Everything is so peachy in Iraq today that people are terrified of helping someone dying in the street.

Pink gives a live performance of Dear Mr. President.

"Let me tell you about hard work: Minimum wage with a baby on the way." - Dear Mr. President by Pink

Posted by natasha at September 22, 2006 11:47 AM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |