Archive for the ‘ZOMG’ Category
June 18, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TOP HEADLINE: WORLD LEADERS SIGN PACT TO AVERT CLIMATE DISASTER
Newspaper Ignites Hope, Announces “Civil Disobedience Database”
* Civil-disobedience database: http://BeyondTalk.net
* PDF of printed newspaper: http://iht.greenpeace.org/todays-paper/
- Online version: http://www.iht-se.com/
* Video: http://iht.greenpeace.org/video/ (coming soon)
In a front-page ad in today’s International Herald Tribune, the leaders of the European Union thank the European public for having engaged in months of civil disobedience leading up to the Copenhagen climate conference that will be held this December.
“It was only thanks to your massive pressure over the past six months that we could so dramatically shift our climate-change policies…. To those who were arrested, we
There was only one catch: the paper was fake.
Looking exactly like the real thing, but dated December 19th, 2009, a million copies of the fake paper were distributed worldwide by thousands of volunteers in order to show what could be achieved at the Copenhagen climate conference that is scheduled for Dec. 7-18, 2009.
At the moment, the conference is aiming for much more modest cuts, dismissed by leading climate scientists as too little, too late to stave off runaway processes that will lead to millions or even billions of casualties.
The paper describes in detail a powerful (and entirely possible) new treaty to bring carbon levels down below 350 parts per million – the
level climate scientists say we need to achieve to avoid climate catastrophe.
One article describes how a website, http://BeyondTalk.net, mobilized thousands of people to put their bodies on the line to
confront climate change policies – ever since way back in June, 2009.
Although the newspaper is a fake (its production and launch were coordinated by Greenpeace), the website is real. Beyondtalk.net is part of a growing network of websites calling for direct action on climate change, building on statements made in recent months by noted political
For example, in September Nobel laureate Al Gore asserted that “we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to
prevent the construction of new coal plants.”
Leading American environmentalist Bill McKibben was enthusiastic about the newspaper’s message and the methods BeyondTalk.net calls for.
“We need a political solution grounded in reality – grounded in physics and chemistry. That will only come if we can muster a wide variety of political tactics, including civil disobedience.”
“Non-violent civil disobedience has been at the forefront of almost every successful campaign for change,” said Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes
Men, who helped write and edit the newspaper and are furnishing the technology for BeyondTalk.net. “Especially in America, and especially today, we need to push our leaders hard to stand up to industry lobbyists and make the sorts of changes we need.”
“Roosevelt would never have been able to push through the New Deal if people hadn’t taken to the streets, occupied factories, and demanded
it,” noted newspaper writer/editor and University of California professor Lawrence Bogad.
“Segregation, British rule in India, and apartheid wouldn’t have ended without a lot of people being creatively uncooperative – even if that meant getting arrested. Nonviolent civil
disobedience is the bread and butter of progress.”
The fake newspaper also has an ad for “Action Offsets,” whereby those who aren’t willing to risk arrest can help those who are.
A HOPEFUL NEWS PANDEMIC?
Today’s fake International Herald Tribune is part of a rash of recent publications which mimic prominent newspapers. Last November, a fake edition of the New York Times announced that the Iraq War was over. A few days earlier, a hoax USA Today featured the US presidential election result: “Capitalism Wins at the Polls: Anarchy Brewing in the Streets.”
And this April 1st, a spoof edition of Germany’s Zeit newspaper triumphantly announced the end of “casino capitalism” and the abolition
of poor-country debt.
The rash of fakes is likely to continue. “People are going to keep finding ways to get the word out about common-sense solutions those in
power say are impossible,” said Kelli Anderson, one of the designers of the fake International Herald Tribune and co-designer (with Daniel
Dunnam) of BeyondTalk.net.
“We already know what we need to do about climate change,” said Agnes de Rooij of Greenpeace International. “It’s a no-brainer. Reduce carbon emissions, or put the survival of billions of people at risk. If the political will isn’t there now, it’s our duty to inspire it.”
- The Yes Men, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mark Breddy (Greenpeace), mailto:email@example.com,
(+32) (0)2 2741 903, (+32) (0)496 15 62 29 (mob.)
- Lawrence Bogad, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org,
+1-212 300 7943
An awesome eco-loony is planning to spend up to 5 months in a solar-powered shark cage swimming for 8 hours a day in order to complete the 2300km length of the Great Barrier Reef – the Earth’s largest living organism. It is his intention to donate money raised to Australian clubs and community centres for them to buy and install solar power on a massive scale.
It’s a great story and an inspiring idea – check out the full story here in Canadian media.
It’s just ashame that Rio Tinto and BHP will probably buy up all that good work as carbon offsets to increase their aluminium and coal output, thanks to the Federal Government’s utterly fecal 5% carbon pollution maintenance target.
John McCain is dangerously mental – it’s simple. Obama can’t deliver all that he promises and some of the promises on which he can deliver (like more support for Israel and nuclear power) are scary but now the whole billion dollar race for the White House has taken on a David Lynch twist.
This article in the Daily Kos and its sequel right here make the claim that Sarah Palin, McCain’s purely strategic nominee for the vice presidency (maverickly chosen ultra-conservative female fundie Xtian) has faked the birth of her most tactically wonderful Downs Syndrome un-aborted 5-month old baby.
According to the story & photos, she showed no signs of pregnancy, even at what was supposedly 7 months, and spent more than 8 hours on a plane after her water had broken. And nobody noticed her going into anything resembling labour.
And in the follow up story, it is reported that around what should have been the 7 month mark (for Sarah)
her 16-year old daughter was involved in a car collision, driving a vehicle leaving a family medical centre according to the police report.
Of course, that could be a coincidence. She may have just dropped off her mum. During her break from school.
When she took off some time for an infection.
What’s that Scully?
Holy crap! Just in, this piece from New York Times – the 16-year-old anti-abortion puppet doesn’t seem to have learned a thing. She’s pregnant again! Seems the Palins aren’t going to wait for the Pretzeldency, and are trying to breed their way to global domination instead.
Go little squiggle! Go!!
It’s all happening a bit fast now for anybody to garner an official ‘WTF?’, but how funny is it that the Carlyle Group – post-Presidency employers of George Bush sr., negotiation partners of Osama Bin Laden’s family, and the American mass weapon exporter of choice – is this very moment the latest leading reason for the utter implosion of the US dollar and global share markets? Go team!!
That’s too funny!!! See the dudes on the left – it’s meant to look as though Carlyle Group is all about respecting and connecting with foreign cultures that encourage the accumulation of wealth, but it’s actually two coked out merchant bankers watching their friend all the way from the top of their building to the pavement below.
Don’t worry though, the US Federal Reserve will probably just cut their overnight rate a few more times so that by July they will actually be paying people to borrow American dollars. Then the whole thing might meet more than 87% of requirements necessary for the current clu$terfuc to be termed a “recession”.
It’s like when that prick with ears on the American Today show or Good Yawning America came out and announced that The Network had decided to call the war in Iraq a Civil War. I’m sure that semantic pedantry really made a difference to the bodies in mass graves who thought they had been put there as part of a regional conflict or neighbourhood dispute.
Further Bushes & the Carlyle Group info at
The Information Clearinghouse -> big assortment of interesting info-bytes, background, and collected links.
This one from Third World Traveller is awesome:
Dick Cheney and the Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone
The Carlyle Group: Crony Capitalism without Borders
excerpted from the book
How Much Are You Making On The War Daddy?
A Quick and Dirty Guide to War Profiteering in the Bush Administration
And there’s a more recent one here at Culture Change which gives good background and I like simply because it quotes Tom Paine.
I’ve resisted any temptation to post about the US primaries simply because when kids are screaming and whining it’s not a situation that’s going to benefit from more attention. But this line from an article by Jonathan Freedland following the Texas-Ohio-Mordor primaries just nails it:
Democrats could be facing a choice between a woman who can win the party nomination but not the presidency and a man who could win the presidency but not his party’s nomination.
And this picture by Mr. Fish says as much:
I really think that American politics is way out in front in the global race to the bottom, Orwell-fantacizing irony-missing fart-sniffing bullshit-spouting sweepstakes, but Jeezus Effing Christ! After this week’s tri-state clusterfukkk, Hillary emailed her supporters to say that
Together, we are making history and showing every little girl in America that she can be anything she wants to be.
Now I may be mistaken, but I think that if Barack Obama emailed his supporters to say
Together, we are making history and showing every little black in America that they can be anything they want to be.
then the response would be an almighty “WTF?”. Which leaves me feeling pretty confident in my diagnosis of Billary as the all-time passive aggressive power-hungry hypocritical pantsuit motherfucker ever.
Your democracy is a joke America. I’m skipping the wait and printing up my Chelsea 2024 t-shirt now.
McCain may be a big White Elephant, but the Democrats are really a bunch of asses. It’s increasingly obvious how their own system worked to deliver the astoundingly pointless John Kerry as some kind of wannabe answer to George Dumber-than-you Bush. Maybe Barack should angle to be dismissed as a lesbian by Bill Clinton, then he too could claim to have Hillary’s level of leading edge experience in being close to the presidency.
Hi I’m Barack Obama. Bill Clinton wouldn’t fuck me, so how about giving me a chance to not fuck you.
I mean, really, anybody using the fact that they served cucumber sandwiches to visiting dignitaries and went on tourist jaunst to ’80 countries on the taxpayer-dime as a reason to vote for them really must just not have anything better to offer.
God knows Dennis Thatcher would do an awesome job of running Britain, eh what?
so the obvious question is “which bit’s funniest?” – ‘not very friendly’, ‘not house broken’, ‘no collar’ or ‘might be scared’? O yeah, there’s also ‘CAT FOUND’!!
*Nelson sez* Haaa Haa
hat tip to gruffybear for getting these all in the one place.
update: ABC’s official “apology pages” here.
It’s a bloody good piece of writing, it’s long overdue, and perhaps it’s also one big step closer to our nation eventually saying Thankyou. We wouldn’t be who we are as a culture without the influence of Aboriginal peoples and nations from the moment modern Australia insisted on being born of blood. I think that this action tomorrow by Kevin Rudd will ultimately have greater positive effect on the domestic relationships and politics within Australia than ratifying Kyoto has had on our international relationships. Tomorrow will be a real beginning and much more than the token gesture that some would like to reduce it to.
Brendan Nelson is an utter spoogemop, while Kevin Rudd has balls the size of a goat’s head. Oh yeah, the text -
Today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.
We reflect on their past mistreatment.
We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations – this blemished chapter in our nation’s history.
The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.
We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.
We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.
For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.
To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.
And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.
We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.
For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.
We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.
A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.
A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.
A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.
A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.
A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia.
On the way to a preview of the new Coen Brothers’ film, No Country for Old Men, I actually heard from somebody that it is being widely praised as their best film to date. My reaction was mixed.
1. Holy crap, could any movie actually be that good?
2. What a f#$king stupid term of reference.
To announce that the Coen Brothers have made their best film is like saying that you only need to see one Wes Anderson film, or that if you’ve seen Boogie Nights, you should skip Magnolia. If you’ve heard It Takes a Nation of Millions… you’ll only get confused by Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet. Salma Hayek is only really worth seeing in Frida. Bill Hicks only did one truly awesome night of stand-up. Bjork’s best album is…. Do you get me?
To say that No Country for Old Men is possibly the best movie that the Coens have made is to suggest, insinuate – that Raising Arizona, Blood Simple, The Big Lebowski, Fargo, The Man Who Wasn’t There were somehow practice for a main event and can now somehow be discarded from The Library of Awesomeness. Speaking of The Library of Awesomeness, look under ‘B’ for Barton Fink because that can go too, and don’t forget O Brother, Where Art Thou?, although that may be under ‘O’ – as in ‘obviously The Coen Brothers Best Film is a f%$king stupid subject for the making of comparisons’.
If you’re concerned about the plot, look in Wikipedia because I’m not going to reach into your future and diminish its juiciness. Suffice to say that “written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen” is a far better guarantee of timeless quality than “Quentin Tarantino presents”. If you don’t believe me, watch Hostel again.
One of the Coen trademarks evident in No Country for Old Men is the navigation of that space where circumstantial coincidences create the possibility for retribution and brutal violence – so much so that there is an almost ethereality to the whole thing.
Improbability becomes inevitability, while certainty becomes jarring disorientation. It seems to me that the Coens consistently work with stories that far too many directors would twist into bombastic explodaganzas, string-heavy tragedies, or preachy morality plays. It is their deliciously dark and understated humour which tempers the choices they make, and the choices they make provide beautifully effective vehicles for their dark humour.
Perhaps one of the most distinct ways in which the Coens inject themselves into the films that they make is to protect the stories from which they arise. Thrir films project subtle meanings and the asymmetries of realistic life – two essential ingredients which almost all mainstream Western filmmakers filtrate as if removing blemishes – even, perhaps especially, into confounding scenarios that would otherwise teeter on the brink of implausibility.
Perfect casting, great dialogue, compelling stories, deeply flawed characters, lethal conflict, fantastic soundscapes – these are certainly welcome elements in any film; the Coens not only bring all of these elements to this movie, but unite them in a seamless whole which delights, disturbs, shocks, bewilders and, importantly, asks more questions than it answers.
There is no room for tokenistic emotional response. The character portrayed Javier Bardem – absolutely magnetic as the justice-dispensing/chance-enforcing assassin from his first moment on screen – could be drawn from some horrible fairytale told by mafiosi to scare their children. But he is no caricature. Wise, sinister, cold, other-worldly, insane, brutal, relentless, but not typical. It’s impossible to imagine No Country being what it is without Bardem. He plays the nemesis to Josh Brolin’s skilfully crafted protagonist. While Brolin may in fact be his own worst enemy, as indeed may we all, this would be one of those questions best left to film critics (clamouring to simultaneously exude spoilers, text-bytes, and sociology dissertations). Tommy Lee Jones is an absolute pleasure – however uncomfortable – and the inclusion of Woody Harrelson is just showing off although, again, it’s perfect casting.
Either way you look at it, the result is timeless storytelling rather than stilted performance. You know the kind. Like when you’re just waiting for Tom Cruise to turn away from Jack Nicholson and shriek “how awesome was I just then? Wasn’t I awesome? Wow. I am such an awesome actor.” That doesn’t happen. Even in the dusty, harsh, dirty reality of a feverish hermit’s cabin, the Coens and their cast pull you far away from your seat, transported to that special place where the danger and relief are real, even though the money and guns (probably) aren’t.
No Country for Old Men is literally breathtaking storytelling at its best. To miss it would be a shame; to dismiss it, a sin. In 2007, the Coen Brothers, this film, and its exceptionally stunning conclusion are among the few remaining good reasons to not nuke America.
Coming to Australia soon, possibly as early as Boxing Day.
If you too are a fan of English as a language that evolves, rather than waiting for dictionaries and frustrated language teachers and newspaper editors to determine what is or is not a word which can legitimately be used to convey meaning, you’ll dig these too. Seriously, I wouldn’t give The Washington Post to a puppy to crap on. Actually… that’s probably the one situation where The Washington Post is the paper of choice. Point being, these are pretty good. 8. might just be my favourite, although 13 and 15 are definitely contenders. Anyway…
The Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational asked readers to take any
word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing
one letter, and supply a new definition.
1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the
subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
2. Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.
3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the
person who doesn’t get it.
9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
10. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
11. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
12. Karmageddon: It’s when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, and then the Earth explodes, and it’s a serious bummer.
13. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you
14. Glibido: All talk and no action.
15. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
16. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.
17. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
props to Stilgherrian for pointing this one out…
…i can perhaps feel an avatar coming awn…
Because Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder is no joke. Take the test, see if you need 2 Havidol.
That’s right – it’s all been a bit dire and heavy here lately, what with Johnny Howard’s master plan grinding into effect and huge chunks of biodiversity literally due to be flushed down the toilet. BLAAAAARGH!!!!!!
So just letting you know – if you’re interested, of course – to check back in here in the next day or so.
You’ll find a review of the brand spanking new film Into The Wild. Personally, I don’t much care for hype like “oooh, Oscars” – BUT, as a way to easily convey meaning, this is an Oscar+ movie. Really mindblowing film of rich depth, insight atypical of American cinema, and a durability likely to ensure its status as a future classic. Do come back and read more Friday.
Also coming up – an interview with Dan Mathews, Vice President of PETA and author of the freshly released (and compulsively readable) Committed: a rabble-rouser’s memoir. For animal-lovers, activists, queens, readers, writers, popstars, supporters & all people easily pissed by perspectives that don’t fit their world view there’ll be plenty of juicy goodness in the 40-minute transcript when it goes online by early next week.
You know, this pulp mill farce really does my head in. I think back to around February, the Labor party was really firing up. They seemed to have been overtaken by principles, values, and a righteous determination to set things right.
But now I’m even thinking of putting them behind the Liberals on election day – because the Liberals fuck the environment, they’ll sell out all values that impede profitability – not actual profits, or the existence of profits, but the vastness of profits is the thing to which they slavishly subordinate all other values. But that’s what Liberal Parties do. The Labor party is meant to have some kind of interest, if not in common sense or future generations, then at least in the will of the people. Instead the Labor party has provided no opposition, they haven’t even provided a ‘keeping the bastards honest’ kind of function.
So although the Liberals have maintained their values – none – and delivered for the people what the people expect of the Liberals – nothing – the Labor party didn’t even send their B Team for the big day. Instead, they sent the kid who should have been carrying the oranges to play the All Blacks and made a killing at the TAB.
Which means that even though the Liberals are the ones to have enabled this farce and signed off on the death warrant, the bastards who haven’t done a single thing to challenge, oppose, or stop them are in fact the bigger bastards of the day.
And that’s bizarro.
Well… he’s Minister for four an’ a half hairs isn’t he?
“A moment I’ve been dreading. George [Bush Sr] brought his ne’re-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I’ll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they’ll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work.”
Ronald Reagan in his recently published diaries,May 17, 1986.
File under sad-but-true, needed-to-be-said, and US-democracy-in-general
Noam Chomsky’s latest writing on US foreign policy – Cold War II – is as eloquent, insightful, readable, and profoundly clarifying as ever. I actually got the urge to go info-seeking after reading this appalling new piece on Al Jazeera about how Mahmoud Ahmadinejadh is currently being denied permission to place a wreath at the WTC site in New York when he attends the UN next week. So Iran can help the US locate Al Qaeda operatives in the Middle East… but can’t lay flowers at a shrine? It’s as much about symbolic hypocrisy as the anti-abortionists who support war.
If you need a reason to take 20 minutes to properly digest the article, check out the following excerpt. If you really don’t have the time right now, please do yourself a favour and get clued up on this later. Either way – not to be missed, seriously.
Without irony, the Bush administration and the media charge that Iran is “meddling” in Iraq, otherwise presumably free from foreign interference. The evidence is partly technical. Do the serial numbers on the Improvised Explosive Devices really trace back to Iran? If so, does the leadership of Iran know about the IEDs, or only the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Settling the debate, the White House plans to brand the Revolutionary Guard as a “specially designated global terrorist” force, an unprecedented action against a national military branch, authorizing Washington to undertake a wide range of punitive actions. Watching in disbelief, much of the world asks whether the US military, invading and occupying Iran’s neighbors, might better merit this charge — or its Israeli client, now about to receive a huge increase in military aid to commemorate 40 years of harsh occupation and illegal settlement, and its fifth invasion of Lebanon a year ago.
It is instructive that Washington’s propaganda framework is reflexively accepted, apparently without notice, in US and other Western commentary and reporting, apart from the marginal fringe of what is called ‘the loony left.” What is considered “criticism” is skepticism as to whether all of Washington’s charges about Iranian aggression in Iraq are true. It might be an interesting research project to see how closely the propaganda of Russia, Nazi Germany, and other aggressors and occupiers matched the standards of today’s liberal press and commentators..
The comparisons are of course unfair. Unlike German and Russian occupiers, American forces are in Iraq by right, on the principle, too obvious even to enunciate, that the US owns the world. Therefore, as a matter of elementary logic, the US cannot invade and occupy another country. The US can only defend and liberate others. No other category exists. Predecessors, including the most monstrous, have commonly sworn by the same principle, but again there is an obvious difference: they were Wrong, and we are Right. QED.
Part of the beauty in the writing at Counterpunch and perhaps even moreso at Harpers is that it really cuts through the static on issues that are actually submerged rather than clarified by saturation media coverage.
More particularly, I remember a string of nights late last year when I tracked Middle Eastern news coverage and commentary late into the night expecting to see “The Inevitable Iran Incident” which would set off all the dominoes put in place for just such an event. The wind was taken from U.S. sails setting course for a bloodied Persian shore and regional apocalypse by an Iraq failure that seemingly could no longer be spun into anything but that – a failure, a badly planned and fatally unsuccessful war launched from a platform of deliberate deceit and achieving the exact opposite of all stated intentions, but perhaps most unstated goals: privatization, deregulation, and seizing of strategic territory and resources by lethal and toxic force.
But I digress. It was a few months into the year before US Bush-it artisans were able to keep a straight face while blaming US deaths and failure in Iraq on, not the fuckheads who launched the war from Washington, Texas, but on Iran. Incredibly, some of this shit does seem to have stuck.
Alexander Cockburn has just filed this article, “Will the U.S. bomb Iran?” at Counterpunch. In his typically straight-up-the-middle style, Cockburn eviscerates the forthcoming peachy Iraq outlook by 2-star trainer-come-George’s favourite 4-star general Petraeus.
Amid the disaster of their Middle Eastern strategy Bush and his advisors may hype themselves into one last desperate throw, emboldened by the fact that the selling of the surge has been a success even though all the Democrats need to do is cite the UN, which says the number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has gone from 50,000 to 60,000 a month. Or quote Associated Press which counted 1,809 Iraqi civilians killed in August, compared with 1,760 in July. The Sunni split in Anbar province is not one likely to be replicated in Baghdad or elsewhere and anyway had nothing to do with the hike in US troop levels. Bush didn’t dare go to Baghdad.
But he also relays Noam Chomsky’s latest outlook on the US position on Iran, and it’s very worthy reading.
More alarming perhaps than informed speculation are the nuggets of info which fall from the pages at Harpers like a piano from a monorail. The current commentary from a former CIA official outlining why he now believes that an attack on Iran is not just probable, but highly so, is nerve-tingling.
It looks like a military strike is in the works and I base that on two things: observable fact and the rhetoric emanating from the White House. There’s a lot of movement of troops and materiel into the region–it’s stuff the United States can’t hide. It’s a huge expense to put Navy battle groups in the Gulf and we’ve got three of them there. We’ve also moved new fighter planes to Guam amidst much public fanfare. You can plainly see the upturn in US Naval activity in and around the Norfolk Naval installations. The movement of ships, re-supply, ammunition loading and general level of activity is high.
The Naval facilities and the ammunition loading areas are well known, and the activity is readily visible, especially at night. There’s a stream of ships coming in to load up and when they take off new ones come in. There’s only one part of the world where all that stuff is heading. Also, everyone I know who would be involved in an attack on Iran–pilots and other air assets–is gone. Normally some of them are around but now all of them are away at the same time.
It is insane, but the Doctrine of Preemptive Defence – as illegitimate as it may be – has enough credibility now within the realms of those likely to unleash it – America, Israel, Britain, and associated toadying client states – that we may very well wake up soon and find that this war going on around the world has truly become a World War.
Wow!! He may not be able to pronounce difficult words like ‘APEC‘ or ‘nuclear’ but he does bring at least as much integrity to a U2 war protest as Bono brings to globalized designer consumables. Awesome mashup – sound and vision fully deserve each other.
also describable as ‘some seriously funny shit‘
This picture and story are too great not to repost. Good one, Korova. The full story is here in SpiegelOnline. British artist Jonathan Yeo got fed up with the Bush University in Texas repeatedly booking then cancelling his services to come and do a portrait of George Bush.
So he did one for free – by making a collage out of cutup pornos. Right ear – right now.