The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Some light reading to tide you over

I'm about ready to stop writing the Watch for a week or so. I'm going to take a hiatus (from both reading and writing about politics) until March 31st. Not only am I going on a business trip, but I don't really have the stomach to watch our country become a war criminal. One can only hope that something like Nuremberg lies ahead for Bush, Cheney, Perle, Wolfowitz, and the rest of the PNAC crew. Thank you to everyone for your feedback and your articles, and good luck in dealing with the daily horror of the news. I will be thinking and hoping for all of you, for our soldiers doing their jobs, and for the innocent Iraqi people.

I have a lot of articles to get out tonight, so bear with me.

The Enemy Watch

Here is the homepage for the Project for the New American Century, which is the real enemy of American and world peace and prosperity. They are the ones driving our (horrible) foreign policy, pulling Dubya's strings and pushing us all into a war which no one can understand the need for, which will needlessly kill Americans and Iraqis, which is breaking apart NATO, which is causing a rift in the UN, which is destroying America's credibility as a force for good in the world. Their plans to attack Iraq have been in place for many years now. Here is a letter to Bill Clinton from 1998, urging him to attack Saddam. On this page, you can download their plan for "rebuilding America's defenses", and their worldview is explained in this article by Jay Bookman. (This may be a repeat, but it is an extremely important article to keep in mind). If the people in PNAC could be rounded up and put on an island somewhere, the whole drive and reasoning for this war would evaporate. We can only hope.

Who elected these guys? Did you vote for them to be running the country? (To be fair, most of us didn't vote for Dubya, either, but at the time he was selling himself as a laid back, compassionate slacker, not a beady-eyed Crusader who was going to embroil us in a Middle Eastern quagmire. Caveat Voter).

Bush and Hitler Watch

Not supporting this war is supposed to be something akin to treason, I guess, in the new "logic", which seems to say that killing people is the "Christian" thing to do. I must have missed that memo. I know that it is trite to compare your political enemies with Hitler, but it is also a grand tradition and rather fun. Except in this case, when the comparison seems all too poignant. Here then, is Thom Hartmann laying out the parallels between Bush and the little dictator. I still am amazed at how vulnerable this country is to Nazi-like propaganda. You would think we didn't all watch "The Wave", or that part of the Twilight Zone movie where soon-to-be-dead Vic Morrow runs around being persecuted as various historically persecuted minorities, or "Schindler's List". You'd think no one ever read the Diary of Anne Frank, or Maus, or poems about Kristalnacht. We are all having the conundrum of the "Good German", who while he did not agree with the invasions of the Sudatenland, and Poland, and France, etc., still was rooting for German soldiers to return unharmed. As we watch our soldiers invade Iraq, (and then Syria, and then Iran, and then ?) we have the same problem.

Compassion Watch

' President Bush announced the attack in a four-minute television speech to the nation. "On my order, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war," he said. "These are the opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign."

Minutes before the speech, an internal television monitor showed the president pumping his fist. "Feels good," he said. '

Also, I know we are all supposed to be distracted by this war, but there are still domestic issues which are vital and continuously ignored. Here is a little bit on Dubya and the incongruity between his photo ops and his follow through on domestic issues.

Standing up for what you believe in Watch

Here is Robin Cook's resignation speech before the British Parliament. Look for this passage: " What has come to trouble me most over past weeks is the suspicion that if the hanging chads in Florida had gone the other way and Al Gore had been elected, we would not now be about to commit British troops.". As the Media Horse noted last week, the really galling thing about this is that we know that Al Gore really _was_ elected.

History Watch

Here is a little something on April Glaspie, our ambassador to Iraq before the Gulf War, which both supports the story that she gave Saddam the green light to invade Kuwait, and also allows her to refute it.

Propaganda Watch

Remember how everything Dubya used to do was "Bold"? Turns out Dubya's really "audacious". Still don't think there is a coordinated propaganda campaign going on in the press? See this.

His latest "audacious" plan? To turn even Iraq into a system of sweetheart deals for his political contributors. He's consistent, at least.

Martial Law Watch

Oy vey.

Edumacation Watch

In Molly Ivin's book "Shrub", there was a chapter called "The Bright Spot: Education" in which she detailed how even though everything else he had done in Texas was a horrible disaster, at least Dubya hadn't managed to screw up some of the gains in education that Texas was making. So we had some right to at least hope Dumbya's education legislation would help, rather than hurt our nation's schools. However, read this laughable article on trying to defend Bush's plan against the "pervasive dismay" which it is causing, and you will see that it is indefensible.

Also, because of $172 million dollars cut from Bush's budget for a particular plan, military families will suffer education cuts. Thanks, George! And just in time to send their mommies and daddies off to die in your oil war, too!

First Amendment Watch

People who believe in the strict separation of church and state have a new and unexpected ally - Pat Robertson! Unfortunately, he is not talking about the US. Please see "TV PREACHER PAT ROBERTSON ENDORSES CHURCH-STATE SEPARATION IN IRAQ: In Startling Turnabout, Christian Coalition Founder Insists On Secular Government To Ensure Religious Liberty" by Americans United for the separation of church and state. The article wallows in the delicious irony. Or is it bitter hypocrisy?

Texas Tea Watch

An article on the jockeying already happening by the oil companies as they slaver over the prospect of all that Iraqi oil. We'll be giving lots of Iraqis their eternal "freedom" so that our oil companies get to do this.

Nazi Gasbags Watch

Remember when dissing the president was patriotic? Remember when calling the commander in chief a scumbag was the order of the day? Remember when accusing Clinton of treason was a sacrament? Well, for some reason, the times they are a-changing, and it's no longer considered good form to criticize. Tom Daschle recently poked his head up and said that our going to war was because of the incredible failure of diplomacy by this administration. And all the little brown shirts stepped bravely up to have at him. Here are the quotes. Daschle served his country in the Air Force. This is how "patriots" treat our veterans. Is there any reason anymore for Democrats to hold back their criticism? It's not like they get reciprocity from the other side.

Operation "Who Would Jesus Bomb?" Watch

Check out this advertisement which has been put into Britain's papers.

This site has catalogued some of the many lies swirling around this war and also the first Gulf War. Remember that this administration is essentially the same gang of idiots as the first time.

"There's got to be a reason" Watch

Thanks to Gary for this link to a fascinating analysis of what may be an underlying reason for this war: Saddam's shift from petro-dollars to petro-Euros. Then again, why would Smirky care if something was bad for the American economy? Unless, of course, it was the American oil company economy . . . Ah Haaaa.

Here is an amazing analysis by Bob Somerby about an editorial writer who is obviously having cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, he can't make heads or tails out of Bush's stupid war, for it makes no sense to him. On the other hand, he can't get his lips off of Bush's keister. Read Sombery's comments on the results.

I'm amazed at how everyone seems to want to act like this war makes sense.

September 11th Watch

Here is a fun site that is a bit over the top with the conspiracy theory stuff, but does make a pretty good case that Jr. dropped the ball, at least, if he didn't actually encourage 9-11. Remember when you read this that an attack "like Pearl Harbor" was a Project for the New American Century wet dream at the time.

Hubris Watch

Thanks to Amy for this really excellent and balanced article about America's humble foreign policy, entitled "The Arrogant Empire".

Gary Watch

Thanks to Gary, who sums it up very well:. .

In no particular order, I might not mind so much, if...

* If Bush hadn't come to the U.N. 12 years after the Gulf war demanding immediate action, I might not mind so much.
* If the U.N. inspectors were yelling that they are not getting any cooperation, I might not mind so much.
* If it didn't look like Hussein was playing the diplomacy game better than Bush, I might not mind so much.
* If it didn't look like Bush made up his mind over a year ago that it was time for a war, I might not mind so much.
* If we hadn't presented forged evidence to the U.N. as proof that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons, I might not mind so much.
* If Bush looked like a neutral party to the eyes of the world, I might not mind so much.
* If this war didn't look so much like a blatant oil grab, I might not mind so much.
* If Bush didn't keep trying to link Al Qaeda and Hussein, I might not mind so much.
* If Bush didn't keep using 9/11 as an emotional ploy to get our support, I might not mind so much.
* If we were actually worried about nuclear weapons (but then we would be warring with North Korea and not Iraq), I might not mind so much.
* If our much-vaunted intelligence agencies had been able to provide ANY correct and helpful information to the U.N. inspectors, I might not mind so much.
* If Iraq presented any kind of credible threat to the U.S., I might not mind so much.
* If the rest of the world feared Hussein more than they fear Bush, I might not mind so much.
* If Bush hadn't fragmented NATO and destroyed the credibility of the U.N., I might not mind so much.
* If it appeared to the rest of the world that we really were interested in helping the Iraqi people, I might not mind so much.
* If we were really interested in helping the Iraqi people, I might not mind so much.
* If we had significantly improved and rebuilt Afghanistan over the last year and a half, I might not mind so much.
* If Bush hadn't intermixed "disarmament" with "regime change" as his goal numerous times, I might not mind so much.
* If Hussein hadn't been a major ally of the U.S. while he was gassing his own people, I might not mind so much.
* If the U.S. hadn't turned a blind eye to his testing of chemical weapons on his own people, I might not mind so much.
* If the U.S. had a good track record of installing democratic governments after we depose leaders, I might not mind so much.
* If I actually believed that we were going to turn Iraq over to a democratically elected government in the near future, I might not mind so much.
* If Bush hadn't ignored CIA reports that Iraq posed little or no danger to us unless we attack him, I might not mind so much.
* If this wasn't likely to inflame the Islamic world against us, I might not mind so much.
* If we hadn't offered monetary incentives (bribes) to other security council members for support for a new resolution in the U.N., I might not mind so much.
* If we hadn't negotiated with the Kurds, then counter-negotiated with the Turks, and managed to piss both groups off, I might not mind so much.
* If we hadn't gone to the U.N. and demanded permission to wage war as a fait accompli, I might not mind so much.
* If once we had asked for permission and been rebuffed, we had waited for a decent amount of time and then asked again, I might not mind so much.
* If we hadn't sacrificed the goodwill from the rest of the world stemming from 9/11, I might not mind so much.
* If Bush weren't ignoring all the domestic problems we have, I might not mind so much.
* If it didn't appear that Bush was using a war to distract the American public from the domestic problems, I might not mind so much.
* If we actually had the money to fund this war (without paying for it with soon-to-be-captured Iraqi oil), I might not mind so much.
* If we had actually tried to wean ourselves off of oil over the last three decades, I might not mind so much.
* If this weren't going to create a monstrous environmental disaster when Hussein blows his oil wells in a departing f#ck-you to Bush, I might not mind so much.

Hussein is a very nasty guy. He deserves to be overthrown. However, without even moderate world support, we are increasing many times over the problems we already face.


Humor Watch

Finally, thanks to Greg for this link which is apropos of nothing and will hopefully make you laugh and get your mind off of things for a while. From the Onion.

Unhappy conservatives Watch

Holy Conservative Crackup, Batman! Check out this essay in the notoriously looney and dangerously conservative Washington Times. It seems the Moonies over at the Times aren't so happy about having Richard Perle and Wolfowitz steer us all into disaster, either. On that happy note, see you in about a week.

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