By my count, the Commander-in-Chief used the phrase 'al Qaida' a total of 87 different times yesterday during his speech at the U.S. Air Force base in Charleston, South Carolina. (Others have come up with even higher estimates: At one point yesterday, CNN estimated 93 times.) Since the White House's transcript of the speech totals approx. 3,600 words, this means that the American President uttered the phrase 'al Qaida' (which counts as two words, incidentally) once every 41 words (roughly). Insofar as the so-called War on Terror and Defense of the Homeland go, this might be the all-time record. (Though I admit to not having checked very many of the speeches delivered by Dick Cheney over the past six years or so. Or everything associated with the Department of Homeland Security. Or the news reports and commentaries that stream across the FOX News Channel, the Weekly Standard, and similar venues.) read more
Might you be determined to commit, or pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq, or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq, or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people? Might you be part of an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and pose obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in that country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq? Boy. Have I got a Commander-in-Chief for you. read more
Somebody kicked-over a rock at The Nation the other day. An important but otherwise hidden issue lay beneath it. A hearts-and-minds issue. One of Alexander Cockburn's friends wondered about the "grand taboo" of the anti-war movement in the States. (By the way, I'm posting the CounterPunch version of Cockburn's commentary because The Nation's is sequestered behind a $$$$$ curtain.) Why are the fighters of the armed resistance to the occupying forces inside Iraq "never mentioned as people for whom we should show concern, much less admiration"? Cockburn wondered too. After all, they are fighting against a colonial occupation. Indeed. Against a neocolonial occupation, wherein some of the world's major multilateral organizations -- first and foremost the United Nations -- have been brought in to provide a cover of legitimacy and to serve as administrators. To let Cockburn explain it: read more
Blast The Right is a nicely produced weekly podcast that I initially overlooked because its name suggested some kind of angry liberal Democrat long on vitriol and short on analysis. I was way off the mark. Jack Clark puts together a very informative, well produced, well researched show with good analysis of the right in its various forms. He always lists his sources, and often uses a Znet article or two. read more
MEDIA ALERT: Childish power-worshipping petro-imperialism denial and doctrinally mandated policy ignorance are reaching new levels of absurdity among New York Times columnists. read more
"MOVE ON" I recently spoke about impeachment to a major Democratic political operative. read more
Seeing that this Sunday's New York Times advocated at length for the immediate withdrawal of the occupying military's troops from Iraq -- "without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit" ("The Road Home," July 8) -- perhaps it is worth remembering that, five years ago, there already were a hell of a lot of voices in this world -- even in the largely whacked out fundamentalist republic of America -- who opposed the invasion before it ever began, when opposing it really mattered -- Open Letter on the Declared Intention of the United States To Commit Aggression against Iraq read more
Just a quick blog post announcement which would interest ZNet readers. Last month, I interviewed Michael Albert on my weekly radio show in Chicago. We discussed a number of topics raised in his recent book "Remembering Tomorrow". The full audio of the interview is online here for your listening enjoyment. Thanks.