Saturday, January 17, 2004

The Racist Judge Dubya Appointed on MLK's Birthday

Here's Pickering's track record.

Another Sorry Milestone In Iraq

Today the death toll went to 500. The men and women and uniform did not deserve to be put in the line of fire for Bush's lies.

A sad day indeed.


A Minor Facelift For My Blog

Now that I think I'm getting my sea legs here in the waters of blogtopia, I'm trying to make The Left End of the Dial more user-friendly. You should now be able to link to individual posts from December 2003 on through the present.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Earth to Bush: The Whole Country is a Free Speech Zone

Here's a few pictures of protesters at Bush's MLK photo op attempt, courtesy of Atlanta Independent Media Center:

Republicans Incredulous at Democrat’s Truth Telling

Wow, what will those crazy Democrats do next? Insist that our government is supposed to be by the people, of the people, and for the people?

Media Carta: The Free Speech Project

Cool. Check it out.

Post-9/11 detainee: 'This shouldn't be repeated'

Some excerpts from this CNN interview with Akil Sachdeva (along with attorney Nancy Chang):

SACHDEVA: I was locked in for a period of four months in that facility and for the first probably 10 days, we were not given anything, not even toothbrushes. And in my small room, there were 43 inmates with one washroom. And, you know, they were just, people, if it was an immigration violation, I was kept with like inmates who have done triple murders and drug charges.

...Well, I just want the government to recognize the fact that, you know, whatever they did was wrong and it shouldn't happen. It shouldn't happen to any other people being detained there for no reason.

...HEMMER: [Akil,] Apparently some of your possessions, I believe it's furniture and two vehicles, have not been returned to you. If you get those possessions back, would you be settled?

SACHDEVA: Well, no. I really need an apology from the government of the United States and yes, I'm looking for my belongings, and more of the fact I need them to understand that whatever they did was wrong and this shouldn't be repeated in the future with any other individual.

HEMMER: Ever been back to the U.S. since then, Akil?


HEMMER: Would you like to?

SACHDEVA: I don't think so.

And Now For Something Completely Different:

Dishonest Dubya


In The Mood for Dystopia?

I've been pretty fascinated by dystopian novels and films since my teenage years. In high school, I read the works of George Orwell (1984) and Huxley (Brave New World). As an adult, I managed to finally check out films such as Brazil and Blade Runner -- not as first run films (as the movies were originally released before I had wheels or coin), but as videos. I tend to view dystopias as a set of warnings: harbingers of what may come to pass if we are not careful. As such, creators of dystopian fictional societies take negative or fascist elements of the present-day world and take them to their logical conclusion. Orwell's classic work presents a high-tech equivalent of the totalitarian fascist states that is modeled after Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union. Aldous Huxley offers a similarly bleak vision, but one in which the focus is on mindless consumerism and hedonism within a rigidly authoritarian caste system. In my more cynical moments, I've contended that the US could very easily end up combining some of the more obnoxious elements of both Orwell's and Huxley's dystopias -- a perspective that is captured very aptly by the Terry Gilliam directed film Brazil.

A useful website, is Dystopia Explored, which examines definitions of the term, dystopia, as well as various dystopian novels and films. Well-worth bookmarking.

Shorter Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez

Iraqis, it is now time to love Big Brother.

Kurt Nimmo on Moving to Arizona

I found this to be an interesting piece:

Not really, but it wouldn't be a bad idea if they pass HRC 2034, a bill declaring Arizona's "intention to dissolve the current federal government with the approval of 34 other states and, in essence, start over... in the event that it abolishes the U.S. Constitution, declares martial law or confiscates firearms," NetWorldDaily reports.

"Specifically, House Concurrent Resolution 2034 outlines the origin of the United States, emphasizing the sovereignty of the states and their constitutional right to 'establish a new federal government for themselves by following the precedent established by Article VII, Constitution of the United States, in which nine of the existing thirteen states dissolved the existing Union under the Articles of Confederation and automatically superceded the Articles.'"

"If the federal government declares martial law or attempts to confiscate guns, the states shouldn't have to put up with that," said Rep. Karen Johnson.

"We're proposing that if things get as bad as they could get, that these states won't allow the federal government to put us into a one-world government," said Joseph Stumph, author and historian, who is publishing a similar proposal in his home state of Utah. "I don't expect we'll get 35 states to sign on. The American people are not educated enough on this yet."

And there's the rub -- too many "sheeple" watching Fox and CNN who believe the Bushites have the best interest of the American people at heart and would never tread on them.

Personally I like the idea. If nothing else, we need something of an escape route if the Federal Government attempts to impose a fascist dictatorial system upon us. Given the behaviors of the Bush White House and their enablers in Congress and the Supreme Court, the potential for martial law in the US is greater now than ever before. My hope is that the states don't ever need to declare a "do-over" and dissolve the Federal Government, but if the Feds neo-con us into a dictatorship situation, there may be little choice.

Local Fascism: Escalation of Intimidation

One of the more disturbing episodes of what Ann Coulter would celebrate as "local fascism" is reported in this post, Bad Dogs. Following is the story:

Not long ago, almost as a joke, I stuck a Howard Dean bumper sticker on my brother's 25 year old, buttercup yellow, diesel Mercedes sedan. He's not very political, but didn't object to the sticker. I stuck one on his Republican girlfriend's car too, over the Bush/Cheney sticker already there, but that's another story. Let's just say she didn't appreciate my sense of humor.

Over the Christmas holiday, my brother left Atlanta for Louisiana with his two Catahoula hounds loaded in the back seat of Buttercup. Ordinarily, he could reach the relative civilization of Covington before needing to refuel the diesel, but that's without the dogs. Shortly after entering Alabama, he pulled over at a rest stop and followed the signs for pet owners. As he got out of the car, a redneck trucker parked close by began to heckle him. Less than a minute later, the rest stop attendant zipped up in a golf cart and told him to move. Not wanting a confrontation, he piled the dogs back in the car before they had a chance to "go", and headed down the road.

A few miles further, he pulled over on the side of the road to let the dogs out. As he got out of the car, he noticed a different trucker (but one he'd also seen at the rest stop), pull off the highway, onto the shoulder and head straight for his car. As he tried to pull the dogs away from the car, the trucker veered off at the last millisecond, just before hitting them.

A couple of hours later, while still in Alabama, but close to the Mississippi border, he stopped at a gas station for a drink. As he got out of the car, a team of three crackers approached him and tried to pick a fight. Seeing the large dogs, they backed off, but by this point he'd had enough. Before entering Mississippi, he pulled off the road and ripped the Dean sticker off his bumper. I can't say as I blame him.

The potential for political violence and threats of violence against liberals and moderates is something that has been discussed at great length in blogtopia, as it represents a growing fascist or protofascist trend in America (see, e.g., David Niewert's various posts on the topic here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

The main concern to me is at least twofold. First, we know from research on right-wing authoritarianism that individuals who are highly RWA are prone to engage in acts of aggression (including verbal insults, acts of intimidation, threats of violence, and actual violence) if they appear sanctioned by relevant authority figures. Who are these authority figures? Most likely major figures in talk radio and cable television (e.g., Limbaugh, Coulter), as well as religious and political authorities (Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, for example). To the extent that these individuals appear to rely upon eliminationist rhetoric and approve of violence or threats of violence against their real and perceived political enemies, their followers are going to be primed to engage in such activities. The vignette above aptly demonstrates what happens when exposed to a diet of such rhetoric. Add to that, repeated exposure to eliminationist rhetoric (let's call it what it really amounts to: hate speech) has another cognitive effect: automaticity. We know from the research on cognitive processes that rehearsal tends to make behaviors more automatic -- that is, they become very easily triggered with minimal environmental stimulation, can be triggered without conscious awareness, and often are out of the control of the individual. We can think of such behaviors as "second nature." In research on media violence, there is support for the notion that practice makes perfect with regards to aggressive behavior. One does not have to directly engage in acts of aggression in order to rehearse or practice such behavior. Rehearsal can be accomplished indirectly via exposure to violent or aggressive acts in a variety of media settings (e.g., radio, television, film) and by mentally replaying those events subsequently. With sufficient rehearsal, one is more readily primed to act when appropriate stimuli are present. Say, if what one has been exposed repeatedly to the idea that Dean and his supporters are traitors who should be silenced by any means necessary, simply the sight of a Dean bumper sticker could trigger the sorts of scenarios described in the vignette.

What is happening in the right-wing's sphere of influence is the creation of a mental set: one in which those who hold different beliefs are to be considered dangerous (and likely to be considered more dangerous as their leaders feel cornered) and more ominously, disposable.

Update: thanks to one of the comments on Orcinus, I'm adding a link to a similar encounter in the San Bernardino County area of Southern California.

Yup. They're Really Liberated In Afghanistan:

A 20 year-old clip of a female vocalist apparently ignited quite a firestorm, with the right-wing dominated supreme court in Afghanistan.

Shorter Dick Cheney

Be afraid, watch tv, consume, obey, vote Republican.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Happy 75th MLK Jr.

Thanks for sharing your dream. May we remember to honor your legacy with our actions.

Sharia and Family Law

One Iraqi woman's perspective on the Iraqi Council's decision to use Sharia as the basis for family law.


[grid::ritual] Gnawa Trance Music and Purification

My increased interest in jazz over the last decade has led me in some rather fascinating directions. Among other things, I've been turned on to some musics from around the globe that I might not have experienced otherwise. In particular I have become fascinated with music from Africa and the Middle East.

Some of my favorite music is the ritual healing music of the Gnawa tribe in Morocco. The Gnawa were brought to Morocco from Sub-Sahara Africa as slaves several hundred years ago, and were converted to Islam. The Gnawa in particular revere Sidi Bilal, a black slave who was freed by Mohammed.

The Gnawa have long lived as free men and women in Morocco, although they face very similar social problems as those of contemporary black Americans. The Gnawa have primarily made a livelihood as entertainers and as healers -- and to a certain degree these two functions are enmeshed.

The music itself is believed to have a therapeutic effect, and is used to treat anything from psychological disturbances to physical ailments (e.g., scorpion stings). The idea behind the music in the context of healing rituals is to induce a trance in the listener(s), hence purifying them. The master musicians are referred to as M'Alem, and their main goal is to attain perfection in their performances in order to ensure the healing qualities of the music (there's a belief that hitting one wrong note will destroy the music's healing powers). Instrumentation consists of hag'houge (or guinbre), a stringed instrument akin to a lute; karkaba (castanets); and percussion -- along with handclaps and vocals that take a call-and-response form.

The ceremonies themselves tend to be performed at night and tend to last all night, and typically are performed in the house of the ill person. Participants in the ceremony may dance as well as perform. As I understand it, the ceremonies are performed with a variety of rituals, including the sacrifice of goats, burning of incense, and drink. The ceremony is divided into seven sections, each of which is associated with a specific color, with each color specifying a particular natural or supernatural force. The ceremony ends once a trance has been induced and the participant has been cleaned of his or her ailment.

There is a fair amount of parallel between the trance music of the Gnawa and American blues & rock, in terms of its rhythmic qualities and in terms of the call-and-response vocal style. I have often wondered if one could look at blues and rock as forms of music conducive to ritual. In particular, I think back to the days when I would go to various punk and post-punk gigs, in which the music itself was so rhythmic and loud that I ended up in a trance as each band's set would proceed. In addition, the mosh pits add a ritualistic element of physical and psychological catharsis, in which one might be said to be cleansed of their aggressive tendencies by the time the gig is over. In other words, I'm increasingly convinced that there is an element of ritual with musics generally, if we're willing to open our minds up.

I tried years ago to write a poem that described some of my own experiences in mosh pits at various gigs:

I reached nirvana

To the eardrum buzz

Of a wall of feedback noise

The sound surrounding

All my senses

Alone inside the void

No one remaining

And all my thoughts

Had vanished in the din

No more sorrow

No more searching

For some peace within

With regard to the music of the master Gnawa musicians, here are some recommended albums:

The Splendid Master Gnawa Musicians of Morocco: Randy Weston (who performs on the album on one track, and records the master Gnawa musicians in action). It's a beautiful album that is sadly out of print. Sometimes I see it for sale on ebay.

Spirit the Power of Music: Randy Weston. The album is a live gig that features Gnawa musicians, as well as some of Weston's own excellent jazz music.

Trance of Seven Colors: Maleem Mahmoud Ghania and Pharoah Sanders. Pharoah accompanies the master musicians on several of the pieces and has a solo number that is hauntingly beautiful. Also out of print, although I've periodically seen it available on ebay for a reasonable price.

There's more, but these albums will get you started.


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Recovery? What Recovery? There Is No Stinkin' Recovery

The WMDs turn out to not be WMDs after all

Not that there was much there to begin with. Just another false alarm. Typical of our current Presidential administration. They lie and our soldiers keep on dying for their lies.

The PNAC's letter to Clinton advocating "regime change" in Iraq

Scroll down to the bottom. You won't be disappointed.

The Real National Security Threat: The Bush Economy

Four more years of Bush and his gang of idiots, and any reasonable hope of damage control may be gone. Read and weep.

Fascism and the American Polity

Today's must read. Props to ddjangowire for highlighting this one.

Magical Night With

This last paragraph in particular resonates with me:

Bush in 30 Seconds was a brilliant concept and the night was devoted to all the people who made ads on their computers, using their own money, their own hearts and minds, and most importantly, their right to free speech. It was the first time in a long while where I felt proud to be an American.

I was generally favorably impressed with the quality of the finalists in the Bush in 30 Seconds contest. The time spent viewing them for me was a reminder of America at its finest: opinionated, questioning and challenging authorities, steadfast.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Norquist Creepiness

Talk about someone with an anger problem, and with more than a bit of mean-spiritedness. Yet another reason to evict Bush and the rest of those sorry bozos in November.

Corroborating O’Neill’s Account

The official, who asked not to be identified, was present in the same National Security Council meetings as O'Neill immediately after Bush's inauguration in January and February of 2001.

"The president told his Pentagon officials to explore the military options, including use of ground forces," the official told ABCNEWS.

Both the official who spoke to ABCNEWS and O'Neill have acknowledged that Bush had not yet made up his mind for a ground invasion at the start of his administration, but they say officials were told to find ways to get rid of the Iraqi leader.

"Getting Hussein was now the administration's focus, that much was already clear," O'Neill says in his book.

Takes the piss out of the "O'Neill as disgruntled ex-employee" claim from the White House.



The Whole World is Watching: A History of Uncivil Obedience

Well worth the read, especially for the Hunter S. Thompson excerpts. The whole post pretty much captures my mood. I was two when the Democrat convention in Chicago turned into a fiasco, and was not even a decade old by the time Watergate had come and gone. Somehow, those events were part of the cultural zeitgeist in which I was raised, and no doubt had some sort of profound impact on how I grew up to view authority figures with a great deal of suspicion.

2nd Anniversary Guantanamo Bay

Al Jazeera political cartoon.

The New Great Game

Summarizes who the players are and what's at stake regarding the competition for Caspian Sea oil reserves.

And Straight From The Horse's Mouth

"Like the previous administration we were for regime change... We were fleshing out policy along those lines and then September 11 happened and, as president of the United States, my most solemn obligation was to protect the security of the American people. "

That's Dubya, essentially acknowledging the validity of O'Neill's contention that this administration had 'regime change' in Iraq in mind from very early on.

The Awful Truth

Paul Krugman on the credentials of Bush critics and why their criticisms are more plausible than ever. Excerpts:

People are saying terrible things about George Bush. They say that his officials weren't sincere about pledges to balance the budget. They say that the planning for an invasion of Iraq began seven months before 9/11, that there was never any good evidence that Iraq was a threat and that the war actually undermined the fight against terrorism.

But these irrational Bush haters are body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freaks who should go back where they came from: the executive offices of Alcoa, and the halls of the Army War College.

The point is that the credentials of the critics just keep getting better. How can Howard Dean's assertion that the capture of Saddam hasn't made us safer be dismissed as bizarre, when a report published by the Army War College says that the war in Iraq was a "detour" that undermined the fight against terror? How can charges by Wesley Clark and others that the administration was looking for an excuse to invade Iraq be dismissed as paranoid in the light of Mr. O'Neill's revelations?

So far administration officials have attacked Mr. O'Neill's character but haven't refuted any of his facts. They have, however, already opened an investigation into how a picture of a possibly classified document appeared during Mr. O'Neill's TV interview. This alacrity stands in sharp contrast with their evident lack of concern when a senior administration official, still unknown, blew the cover of a C.I.A. operative because her husband had revealed some politically inconvenient facts.

No wonder the Bushies are attacking so viciously. They're cornered, and they know it.

Party infighting and why 2004 is very different from 1972.

Forget the "Dean is a repeat of McGovern" meme. The landscape this year is considerably different from the one of 32 years ago. One huge difference: the grassroots of the Democrat Party in 1972 was rather ambivalent about McGovern, but has been the driving force behind Dean this year. Conservative White Southern Democrats? In 1972, McGovern needed them, but they refused. In 2004, simply put, there aren't enough of them left to matter (and Dean no doubt knows that he can win it all without the South).

Monday, January 12, 2004

Pretty Much Says It All

Number of days between Novak column outing Valerie Plame and announcement of investigation: 74 days.

Number of days between O'Neill 60 Minutes interview and announcement of investigation: 1 day.

Having the administration reveal itself as a gaggle of hypocritcal goons ... priceless.

-- Josh Marshall

Former Pentagon Insider: 'Neoconservative Propaganda Campaign Led to Iraq War'

Paul O'Neill 60 Minutes Transcript and Time Interview

Courtesy of Truthout.



Summarizing the scandal increasingly consuming the current White House mis-leaders.

Feeling A Draft?

Bush in 2004. Draft 2005.

Fascism, American Style.

The Prodigal Top Ten Conservative Idiots Page Returns


Today's "Holy Shit, He Said That?" Dept.

"No President has ever done more for human rights than I have."

George W. Bush for a New Yorker interview by Ken Auletta.

For the whole scoop here's the link.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Blue States, Latino Voters

The gist can be summed up in a short sentence:

Hope blooms as a cactus flower, not a magnolia blossom.

Will Bush Lose the NH Primary?

It would be amusing if one or more of his GOP challengers on the primary ballot made a good showing. If nothing else, it would show that there are weaknesses in the Bush camp to exploit, regardless of the bottomless campaign account.

Dean/Hitler Thread

That thread was pulled, but its contents is still available for all to see thanks to the google cache.

By the way, this is not the first time over at their forums:

from the thread "caption this wannabe President"

Bush Blinders

And Quarantining Dissent (How The Secret Service Protects Bush From Free Speech):

Avoiding those who dissent: It's Fascism, American Style.

The face of terrorism in the US

This link via Orcinus.

I've made an occasional comment here before that there are indeed terrorists in the US, and have been for quite some time, but that they are predominantly white, Christian extremists. The excerpt in the link is authored by Chuck Spingola, who is rather proud of the terrorist bombings of family planning clinics that have been perpetrated by Christian extremists.

Just a taste of this dude's vitriol:

"There was a time in 2001," notes Clarkson, "when for the first time in history three of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted criminals were antiabortion domestic terrorists." What a sad commentary this is! The days of womb children murderers being found on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list is over. We have devolved. Indeed the wicked should be terrified of good men. Unrepentant baby murderers, sodomites, adulterers, man stealers, pedophiles, rapists and the like should indeed cringe in the shadows at the presence of a God-fearing man, even as they would cringe before Jesus, because they are to act as his body on earth, receiving him as their Governor.

It's interesting to note that the author notes the common ground between extremist Muslims and Christians:

Both the Holy Bible and Koran condemn baby murder and homosexuality as capital crimes, and the radical elements of both religions are willing to do more than talk to resist the societal promotion of these crimes.

As I've stated before, psychologically, extremists of both faiths are strikingly similar, and can be readily viewed as highly right-wing authoritarian (or wild-card authoritarian depending on whether they're aimed at returning their land to an idealized state that presumably once existed or are bent on overthrowing the current government).

Being religious doesn't automatically make one a Republican

Thanks to, via Orwellian Times, examinations of donations to Democrats and Republicans from clergy shows that over the last several election cycles, that the percentages are close to even -- overall a slight edge to Republicans, with several cycles during the 1990s where Democrats had the edge.

Don't be fooled.

Note: that said, I'd also like to suggest that there are probably some clergy out there who contribute to third parties, such as the Greens & Libertarians, and I wouldn't be entirely surprised to find the occasional anarchist or two. No party or political movement speaks for God, Allah, or whomever one's higher power happens to be.

Thanks to Atrios, here's a couple pix of the so-called WMD find in Iraq:

WMD, all right: Weapons of Mass Disintegration (or Weapons of Mass Decomposition...or Weapons of Mass Dust-Collection...or...)

All I'll add is this: nearly ten months since the US-UK invasion, and this is all they have to show for their search: some rotting metal tubes with chemicals that have decayed beyond their shelf-life? Wow. Really scary stuff...NOT!

Homeland Security...or an Unreasonable Facsimile Thereof

This comes via A Man With A Ph.D's blog, and captures a hole in the draconian system that our government has imposed upon us in the wake of 9-11.

The following bite was most disturbing, though fits pretty well with my comments on John Pilger's comments today:

My daughter was scared and shaken up by the ordeal and told us that she "hated it." At least the security people were polite to her. But they were like polite robots, unable to laugh at the fact that someone had mistakenly pegged a little girl as a potential terrorist. No, they insisted that she had to take off her shoes and get patted down and have a wand passed over her body and have her Hello Kitty suitcase opened and examined with a fine toothed comb.

The banality of destructive obedience, in its early stages, here in the U.S.


What They Don't Want You To Know

Column by John Pilger.

Some excerpts that caught my attention:

In "The Banality of Evil", Edward S Herman wrote, "Doing terrible things in an organised and systematic way rests on 'normalisation'... There is usually a division of labour in doing and rationalising the unthinkable, with the direct brutalising and killing done by one set of individuals... others working on improving technology (a better crematory gas, a longer burning and more adhesive Napalm, bomb fragments that penetrate flesh in hard-to-trace patterns). It is the function of the experts, and the mainstream media, to normalise the unthinkable for the general public."

This is a pretty succinct description of what social psychologist Stanley Milgram referred to as "destructive obedience" to authority. How does it work? By creating a mental framework that becomes accepted by a critical mass of civilians, and by slowly and incrementally inducing individuals to engage in increasingly destructive behaviors. Hitler's Nazi regime (as is true of other fascist regimes) did not occur overnight: it took time to establish an appropriate mental framework among Germans and only gradually did the Jews and others become persecuted, imprisoned, and exterminated.

What the normalisers don't want you to know is the nature and scale of the "coalition" crime in Iraq - which Kettle calls a "misjudgement" - and the true source of the worldwide threat. Outside the work of a few outstanding journalists prepared to go beyond the official compounds in Iraq, the extent of the human carnage and material devastation is barely acknowledged. For example, the effect of uranium weapons used by American and British forces is suppressed. Iraqi and foreign doctors report that radiation illnesses are common throughout Iraq, and troops have been warned not to approach contaminated sites. Readings taken from destroyed Iraqi tanks in British-controlled Basra are so high that a British army survey team wore white, full-body radiation suits, face masks and gloves. With nothing to warn them, Iraqi children play on and around the tanks.

Out of sight, out of mind.

The normalisers are anxious that this terror is again not recognised (the BBC confines its use of "terrorism" and "atrocities" to the Iraqi resistance) and that the wider danger it represents throughout the world is overshadowed by the threat of al-Qaeda. William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, has attacked the anti-war movement for not joining Bush's "war on terror". He says "the left" must join Bush's campaign, even his "pre-emptive" wars, or risk - that word again - "irrelevance". This echoes other liberal normalisers who, by facing both ways, provide propaganda cover for rapacious power to expand its domain with "humanitarian interventions" - such as the bombing to death of some 3,000 civilians in Afghanistan and the swap of the Taliban for US-backed warlords, murderers and rapists known as "commanders".

The persuasive power of propaganda comes from a fundamental insight about language: language may not control our thoughts per se (as linguist Benjamin Whorf once hypothesized), but it definitely does influence the way we perceive our surroundings. The way that policy issues are framed will influence how the audience will respond. Hence the importance of propaganda to despots, hence the importance of controlling the flow of information to the target audience. The current Iraq war (like its predecessor) has been largely sanitized for consumption by the American and UK publics: we have "pre-emptive" wars for "humanitarian" reasons in which we are endeavoring to spread "democracy" and "freedom" around the world, and our casualties are brought back in "transfer tubes" (as opposed to body bags) and the injured not even referred to (not to mention that nagging issue of dead and injured Iraqi civilians). The above, when framed as the White House and its toadies have framed it seems rather innocuous, banal.

More needs to be said. Stay tuned.