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Thursday, November 20, 2003  

People are saying: Iraq

  • Victory in Iraq!
  • Mike Larkin's durruti column salutes the victors.

    Iraq: Mission Accomplished

    Seven months after the fall of Baghdad, the verdict is in: the U.S. invasion has been a success.

    The U.S. hoped to accomplish three goals by invading Iraq: seize strategic control of Iraqi oil, bolster Israeli apartheid, and divert attention from the White House's corrupt economic agenda. By these measures, it's mission accomplished!

    Although it's having trouble getting the oil out of the ground, the Pentagon has firm control of this resource. Ariel Sharon's murderous oppression of the Palestinians, including the building of the Apartheid Wall, continues, helped along by generous subsidies from the U.S. And the GOP is busily dismantling popular environmental and health regulations while logjamming any opposition to media consolidation.

    Of course, there have been a few losers.

    Saddam has temporarily lost the use of his Baghdad headquarters, and will have to wait out the U.S. occupation from his office in Tikrit. Prospects will no doubt brighten for the old thug right after Election Day next year, when the U.S. cuts and runs.

    The Iraqi people are suffering from an occupation that manages to be both inept and brutal, and now face years of unspeakable deprivation and violence.

    Thousands of American soldiers have been maimed or killed by the invasion. Luckily for the GOP, Republicans don't fight in wars. They simply send lower-income kids to do their dirty work.

    Millions of Americans will be doing without adequate health insurance and education to pay for the bloated U.S. military.

    Pro-war liberals, big government conservatives, and other suckers who thought the war was about finding WMDs and spreading democracy have been made to look like total fools.

    And of course, the pursuit of empire abroad has shredded the Constitution at home and put an end to 200+ years of republican self-government. Oh well!

    I for one think these are small prices to pay for our great Iraqi adventure. Congratulations all around to the victors!

  • Condi: Not a nice girl?
  • Natalie Davis is being rather blunt. (Is associating with me rubbing off on the civil rights activist at All Facts and Opinions?)

    Boondocks Creator Speaks Truth

    If you pay someone to go out and shoot someone, you are as guilty of homicide as the person who actually pulls the trigger. That is the truth.

    Following that logic, Aaron McGruder, the cartoonist behind the often brilliant strip "Boondocks" was absolutely correct when he called US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice "a murderer" on last weekend's edition of the television show "America's Black Forum."

    "I don't like her because she's a murderer," the cartoonist announced.

    The charged drew immediate condemnation from Armstrong Williams, who complained, "That is totally out of line to say she's a murderer."

    Unfazed, McGruder repeated the accusation, stretching out his words, "S-h-e'-s a m-u-r-d-e-r-e-r."

    "Let's put aside the fact that she's affiliated with oil companies that murder people in Nigeria," the cartoonist said. "We can discuss just this illegal Iraq war, the slaughtering of innocent people and the fact that she's one of the big hawks of the administration.

    "I don't see where this is even a point of contention," he insisted.

    At that point cohost Juan Williams asked [civil-rights leader Julian Bond, also a guest on the program] if he supported McGruder's contention.

    "I generally agree with his politics 100 percent and I think he explained himself well," the NAACP chief said.

    I wrote about Virginia's triggerman statute in regard to the D.C.-area snipers' trials the other day. By the reasoning underpinning such laws, MaGruder is right. If the person was active in the planning of the act of violence, he or she is responsible for it. Ms. Rice has been proudly active in planning the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath.

    Knowing the history of cartoonists being outspoken or drawing controversial cartoons, some newspapers may consider dropping "Boondocks" as a result of MaGruder's remarks. Be prepared to defend his right to speak his mind.

    Read the rest of Natalie's opinion here.

  • Letting it all hang out
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel has an idea about how to get your opinion about the war or other issues out there.

    When you put a sign on the freeway people will read it until someone takes it down.

    Depending on its size, content and placement it can be seen by hundreds of thousands of people.

    The freeway blogger explains how he came to support guerilla activity.

    My father once told me the most amazing thing to occur during his lifetime was the mass-suicide at Jonestown in Guyana. Having lived through the depression, World War II and the cold war, this might seem hyperbolic, but I understood what he meant. By "amazing" I think he meant "incomprehensible", and had he lived to see September 11th, 2001 I'm sure he would've changed his mind.

    For me, like many of us, September 11th was the most amazing event to occur during my lifetime, but not for long. As the war drums started beating against Iraq I saw an entire nation almost effortlessly transfer the blame for that day from Osama Bin Laden to Saddam Hussein. And that, without a doubt, is the most amazing thing to occur during my lifetime.

    It was at this time, during the lead up to the war, that I first started seeing freewayblogs along the Interstate. Some were small, some were large, draped over walls, wired onto fences and hanging from trees, all of them saying the same thing: "Osama Who?" At least there's somebody out there, I thought to myself, who feels the same way I do. As the signs proliferated in numbers and complexity, I started carrying my camera in my car. Little by little I began to realize that this person, or group, through their sheer tenacity, had created an entirely new medium of free speech, using little more than cardboard, paint, duct tape and the freeways. I began to refer to it as "freewayblogging".

    The more I thought about it, the more I realized what an invaluable service the freewayblogger was providing. Every day we're subjected to thousands of signs, messages and bits of information: 99% of them generated by corporate media and, not coincidentally, almost all of them lies. The signs I saw posted along the freeway were the only ones being made [by] individuals, and practically the only ones that made any sense. I don't know why it took me so long, but once I realized I could start making my own freewayblogs, the whole experience of driving changed. The commute I'd driven a thousand times came alive with possibilities, like one large unfolding canvass. Once I decided to join the fight, the world became a more interesting place. Or at least the freeways did.

    If you have an opinion that's not being addressed by corporate media, and you have access to cardboard, duct tape and a freeway, consider freewayblogging. Unlike everyone else in the media, you can say, literally, Anything You Want.

    Nobody's going to fire you.

    See some freeway blogging at the Scarlet Pimpernel's site.

    4:57 PM