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Cindy Sheehan--destined to be Time
's Person of the Year, or to borrow Lincoln's pre-women's rights phrase, the Little Woman Who Ended the Big War--just got arrested outside the White House. The opposed forces are becoming pretty clear: a huge corporate-based megastructure including everything from defense contractors to the news media, which backs Bush because he's "good for business" even though in the long run his foreign policy blunders are going to set everybody back, versus most Americans, who are finally seeing this meat grinder for what it is.
The current death rate of our troops in Iraq is entirely Bush's fault. His decision to flatten Fallujah after the 2004 election, out of spite, because of some dead mercenaries who aren't even American troops, began turning the whole of Iraq against us, starting with the disenfranchised Sunni Arabs who stepped up the insurgency attacks. There is no hope there now of "winning" and ordinary folks realize this.
The media doesn't seem capable of changing its script that Bush is a popular, tough-minded President and the only people opposed to his war are hippies. More arrests and marches will slowly alter it--Sheehan and everyone who marched this past weekend are heroes in my book--but I fear the only things that will stop the slaughter are a spectacular, strategically significant attack by insurgents or that the erratic, feeble minded Bush, rumored to be back on the bottle, will finally crack, as in a complete on-camera meltdown. Actually I don't fear the latter except it means the second incompetent in command, Dick "I'll have some more fries" Cheney, would become President.
UPDATE: Paul Craig Roberts
, who served in the Reagan administration but has opposed Bush's war from the outset, describes what's wrong with laser-like clarity. He makes the excellent point that outsourcing and "global labor arbitrage" are greater dangers to US stability than terrorism. Also good: "With the exceptions of Reps. Cynthia McKinney and John Conyers, Democrats fled the scene of the Sept. 24 antiwar rally in Washington DC. The cynical Democrats are apparently owned by the same interest groups that own the Republicans and are refusing the mantle of majority party that the electorate is offering to the party that will end the war."
UPDATE 2: For the record. it wasn't just Sheehan; from the WaPo: "About 370
antiwar demonstrators were arrested yesterday after planting themselves on the sidewalk in front of the White House, a protest that stretched out for nearly five hours as police removed them in stages to avoid a backlog at a processing center." Yes!
The items in brackets were added to clarify this government propaganda masquerading as an AP news story that ran earlier today:
[Dwindling] Iraq Supporters to Rebut [Huge] Anti-War Rallies
By The Associated Press
September 25, 2005 | WASHINGTON --Military families and other defenders of the war in Iraq [, at least a few of them,] were claiming their turn to demonstrate, responding to a huge war protest with a [sparsely attended] rally of their own on the National Mall. [Which wouldn't be newsworthy but for our need to give false balance to a story that embarrasses the government.]
Organizers hoped to draw several thousand people to their noontime event near the National Air and Space Museum. They acknowledged the rally would be much smaller than Saturday's anti-war protest in Washington but said their message would not be overshadowed. [How many actually showed we're not saying.]
"People have been fired up over the past month, especially military family members, and they want to be heard," said Kristinn Taylor, a leader of FreeRepublic.com [a right wing website that regularly gives vent to extremist and racist views], one of the sponsors of Sunday's event.
The pro-military rally was billed by organizers as a time to honor the troops fighting "the war on terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world."
On Saturday, crowds opposed to the war in Iraq surged past the White House in the largest anti-war protest in the nation's capital since the U.S. invasion. The rally stretched through the day and night, a marathon of music, speechmaking and dissent on the National Mall.
Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, noting that organizers had hoped to draw 100,000 people, said, "I think they probably hit that." [In other words, police confirm turnout figures organizers estimate to be even higher. The Washington Post
quotes Ramsay as saying "that's as good a guess as any" to a 150,000 estimate. He's just a ball of ambivalence, isn't he?]
In the crowd were young activists, nuns whose anti-war activism dates to Vietnam, parents mourning their children in uniform lost in Iraq, and uncountable families motivated for the first time to protest. [Change the order of these examples from descending to ascending based on their proportion in the crowd? Nah.]
From the stage, speakers attacked President Bush's policies head on, but he was not at the White House to hear it -- he was in Colorado and Texas, [ostensibly] monitoring hurricane recovery.
A few hundred people [whose pro-war activism dates to Vietnam] in a counter demonstration in support of Bush's Iraq policy lined the protest route near the FBI building. The two groups shouted, separated by a police line.
War supporters said the scale of the anti-war march didn't take away from their cause.
"It's the silent majority," said 22-year-old Stephanie Grgurich of Leesburg, Va., who has a brother serving in Iraq. [Grgurich's statement is flatly contradicted by most national polls showing war supporters now in the minority.]UPDATE: Salon's "The Wire," where I found this, currently has three pro-war rally headlines in its top 40 stories. They really want us to know about this non-event! According to the most recent story, only about 400 people showed up to support the war. Another thing about this AP story: it referred to the pro-war rally as "pro-military," thus adopting the implied spin that the much larger peace march was attended by people who hate the troops. I felt like I already had too many bracketed corrections to note that above.
Huge crowd in DC today
to protest Bush's war folly. Reuters says over 100,000; the organizers say 300,000; the DC police declined to count, which means big. My bro Stephen was there and took some photos:
The pictures remind me so much of my shots from the rallies in NY, early in the war. People didn't want it then and don't want it now, except for a few testosterone crazed losers, and yet no serious Democratic candidate for office will be seen at these events. Being antiwar is a mainstream position now, you milksops!
Matt Harle's new work, seen and photographed in his Navy Yard work space. This is great stuff, roughly made but sophisticated sculptures in which a mylar scrim hides some mysterious inner structure made of paint and cut wood. Mysterious, but as Harle says, not obfuscating, since it is possible to puzzle out exactly what's inside the scrim by looking through angular holes and vertical slits on the sides.
Harle describes these screens, which slow down and confound vision, as creating a twilight-like condition of uncertainty, even under the bright lights of the gallery. Multiple associations are not just possible but inevitable--ship sails, tree branches, cellular organisms, totemic objects. Yet everything about them is considered, from a materials standpoint. This is better work than so much of what was on view in PS1's "Greater New York 2005." What's wrong with the gatekeepers? Where are they?
"Posse on Greenwich" [mp3 removed]. If drum and bass were played on a rhythm box with a "clap channel." I would have added a bass line but my CPU was maxing out. I'm starting to conclude that bass lines bore me, anyway.
Snapshots of a flood in Ohio
, looks like from the '50s, (re)posted from Ebay by Bill Schwarz. This apocalyptic shot suggests World War II devastation and/or Max Ernst's Europe After the Rain,
with a few unfortunate jpeg artifacts. I tweaked the contrast in the quest for ultimate artiness (and so you can see it better).
"Two Inch Nails" [mp3 removed]. Continuing what seems to be a micro-industrial theme. I had written a controller curve that made the mid-range percussion build and lapse in complexity a couple of times, but the MIDI learn went haywire and those "wah wah" sweeps with the cutoff filter in this version were completely accidental. I didn't notice the difference till after I posted it; I went back to the master file and fiddled with some settings to "fix" it, and now I can't duplicate the wah wah exactly. So this file is unique. Who said machines were about precision?