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The New York Times' Bob Herbert on Hillary Clinton and the other "Iraq War Enablers":
So there was Hillary Rodham Clinton grandstanding for the television cameras last week, giving Donald Rumsfeld a carefully scripted chewing out for his role in the Bush administration’s lunatic war in Iraq.This is great, but to the list of "Iraq war enablers" we have to add Herbert's employer the New York Times, which printed false stories about Iraqi superweapons and gleefully got behind Bush's propaganda effort.
Casual viewers could have been forgiven for not realizing that Senator Clinton has long been a supporter of this war, and that even now, with the number of pointless American deaths moving toward 2,600, her primary goal apparently is not to find an end game, but to figure out the most expedient political position to adopt — the one that will do the least damage to her presidential ambitions.
Mrs. Clinton is trying to have it both ways. A couple of months ago, she told a gathering in Washington: “I do not think it is a smart strategy either for the president to continue with his open-ended commitment, which I think does not put enough pressure on the new Iraqi government.” She then added, “Nor do I think it is smart strategy to set a date certain.”
Slick Willie has morphed into Slick Hilly, as the carnival of death in Iraq goes on.
Mrs. Clinton is just one of the many supporters of the war who should have known better from the beginning, and who are now (with the wheels falling off the Iraqi cart and public support for the war plummeting) engaged in the tricky ritual of rationalization.
The favored “it’s not my fault” explanation is that the war was always a grand idea, but the Bush gang was so dopey it fouled up a good thing. If only they’d sent in more troops. If only they hadn’t disbanded Saddam’s army. If only they’d turned right instead of left, or left instead of right, Iraq would be an oil-rich, free-market, democratic paradise, even as we speak.
I’m not trying to give a pass to Mr. Rumsfeld, President Bush, Dick Cheney or any of the rest of the war-loving, high-strutting, muscle-flexing men and women in this most dreadful of administrations. These are the individuals who drove us into the flames of Iraq that so far have consumed scores of thousands of lives. But they could have — and should have — been stopped by wiser heads.
This was a war that never should have happened. There was a legitimate war for the United States to fight in Afghanistan, [Whatever.--tm] but that was not enough for the administration. The Bush gang wanted a war with Iraq, and less-than-courageous politicians like Mrs. Clinton and many others lined up as enablers to help make that war happen.
Many of the Democrats in Congress supported the war only because they remembered the price paid by party members who stood against the first gulf war, a stand that became an embarrassment when the war was easily won and was therefore popular.
Despite the rationalizations now suddenly on the lips of so many, the problem with the current war in Iraq is not the way it was conducted, but the fact of the war itself. It was launched amid blinding, billowing clouds of deceit. There was never any legitimate reason for the war. Iraq had not attacked the U.S. and there was no imminent threat of attack.
The U.S. went in with guns blazing (“shock and awe”) like Matt Dillon shooting up the dusty streets of Dodge City. Only this was the real world, and the result has been unending tragedy.
The American occupation of Iraq was guaranteed, sooner or later, to provoke a sustained and bloody resistance, and it was inevitable that terror would be the resistance’s most effective tool. It was also certain that if the Shiites were empowered, there would be widespread retaliation for their many years of suffering under Saddam, and then the inevitable counterreaction of the suddenly disempowered Sunnis, and so on.
None of this was a secret. The warnings came from around the world before the first shot was ever fired.
Mrs. Clinton, other Democrats and whatever sensible Republicans may still be out there should be getting together to work out a plan for an orderly withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. This was not a war we were ever going to win. It’s time we brought our involvement to an end.
Americans no longer support this war, and there are few things more empty of meaning than dying in a war that one’s fellow citizens — safe at home — have already given up on.
We went into Iraq with bombs falling and guns blazing, insisting all the while that we were bringing the Iraqis the gifts of freedom and democracy. Instead, we gave them terror, chaos and civil war — in other words, a whole new generation of misery and mass death.
Shock and awe, indeed.
"Pop Mechanix" [mp3 removed]
The majority of the sounds were taken off the Internet--various sample sites. Does that mean the samples are public domain? Doubtful. Anyway, the material is reassembled more or less from the ground up. The piece starts off as a rather blunt techno stomper (built around three notes from the "classic" Roland Juno), and gradually gets more percussive and atmospheric, without ever quite losing the beat (I hope).
From an AP article (probably behind the Salon firewall)--not sure if the bolded statement is wry humor, fear of the Christian right, or both:
Previously hidden writings of the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes are being uncovered with powerful X-ray beams nearly 800 years after a Christian monk scrubbed off the text and wrote over it with prayers.What's wrong with "...during the Middle Ages, when superstition largely replaced science"?
Over the past week, researchers at Stanford University's Linear Accelerator Center in Menlo Park have been using X-rays to decipher a fragile 10th century manuscript that contains the only copies of some of Archimedes' most important works.
Born in the 3rd century B.C., Archimedes is considered one of ancient Greece's greatest mathematicians, perhaps best known for discovering the principle of buoyancy while taking a bath.
The 174-page manuscript, known as the Archimedes Palimpsest, contains the only copies of treatises on flotation, gravity and mathematics. Scholars believe a scribe copied them onto the goatskin parchment from the original Greek scrolls.
Three centuries later, a monk scrubbed off the Archimedes text and used the parchment to write prayers at a time when the Greek mathematician's work was less appreciated. In the early 20th century, forgers tried to boost the manuscript's value by painting religious imagery on some of the pages.
Paul Pfeiffer does Paris Hilton...
"There's an interesting kind of resonance that I see between this idea of a formula for salvation and eternal life and the promise of digital media that never break down and literally can live forever--that can always be copied endlessly. In a way, the medium itself represents a kind of promise that almost has spiritual overtones."
Animated GIF sketchbook, Return of the
I'm in a show next month dealing with the theme of place, including virtual places (more specifics to follow). I'm proposing an artwork that has no "center," in the sense that it is located in several media without any clear hierarchy. I'm going to use the two pieces that were done for my show at And/Or Gallery earlier this year (above--photo courtesy the gallery) and exist as framed works on paper made with a home computer (the old MSPaintbrush program, with multiple passes through the printer). Those pieces are an "incarnation" of the work. They were documented step by step on my blog, so another "incarnation" would be a list of URLs in the title card indicating the ongoing Web presence of the works. Lastly, there would be time-lapse videos of the original documentation photos, continously looping DVDs playing on TVs or monitors in the gallery. Here's a "sketch" of the animated GIF that would become one of the vids (a sketch because it will change somewhat): [2.6 MB .GIF]
I'll update with the other "sketch" once it's completed.
dude gets whupped - artist unknown
GIF of a kitten struggling to stay awake. If everybody would just look at this every minute of every day, there'd be no more war.