View from the Loft 

war and peace, politics, books, rants, the passing parade ...


Friday, November 22, 2002

At last a government official tells it like it is! No, not our goverment official, silly. The Canadian government. Yep. At the NATO summit, Chretien's director of communications, Francoise Ducros, did what so many of us do while having to listen to Bush: he said, "What a moron."

What with the secret court decision on wiretapping, the scary provisions of the Homeland Security Act, and the Total Information Awareness program, it's beginning to look a lot like 1984 around here. Send a fax urging Bush to halt this invasion of our privacy, courtesy of the ACLU.

Naturally, the Pentagon is proclaiming the absolute necessity of all this information-gathering.

What do you know about our military's development of so-called non-lethal weapons? The U.S. is developing chemical weapons in violation of international treaties, as well as other weapons meant to render a victim helpless. What happened in Moscow with the Fentanyl may be a harbinger of things to come. Scarier yet, the military, as several reports make evident, makes no distinction between a foreign enemy of the state and a U.S. citizen taking part in a demonstration when it comes to the use of such weapons.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Please e-mail or call Senators Levin and Stabenow, and ask them to vote against the Homeland Security Act! The vote will probably be today. The bill contains provisions that will strip Americans of their right to privacy and protection from government snooping. This Big Brother legislation will create a computerized, centralized database of every citizen and his or her electronic transactions, commercial or otherwise. No search warrants will be needed to access this database. How this can possibly be Constitutional I have no idea, and I also wonder what happened to the Right's constant harping on how there's too much government. This is a dangerous part of the proposed act, but I haven't seen Senate opposition to the act based on this particular section of the bill. They are arguing about other things while what seems to me to be the most horrendous part of the act is not under discussion.

Some commentators are giving 50-50 odds that if Mary Landrieu of Louisiana wins her run-off election in December, Senators McCain and and Chafee will switch parties, giving the Dems a majority. We can only hope!

The war machine rumbles on as the U.S. lays the groundwork with allies for military action.

Steve Chapman writes of the horrors, currently unimagined by the majority of Americans, if all doesn't go as planned in the war against Iraq.

Read the The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' statement on Iraq.

Hans Blix, chief weapons inspector for the UN, accuses the US of running a smear campaign against him.

The Washington Post admits that the Pentagon vetted its article on war plans, and that the Pentagon saw a certain benefit in airing aspects of the plans ahead of time.

"What happened to the bodies?" asked reporter Leon Daniel after a battle in the Gulf War. The answer:
"Daniel and the rest of the world would not find out until months later why the dead had vanished. Thousands of Iraqi soldiers, some of them alive and firing their weapons from World War I-style trenches, were buried by plows mounted on Abrams battle tanks. The Abrams flanked the trench lines so that tons of sand from the plows funneled into the trenches. Just behind the tanks, actually straddling the trench line, came Bradleys pumping 7.62mm machine gun bullets into the Iraqi troops." Read how the Pentagon made the Gulf War appear bloodless and "clean" and other lies. It's chilling, to say the least.

Iraqi defectors disagree on how hard Iraq's military would fight to defend Saddam Hussein's regime. I don't know about you, but I hope the guy who says they'll be like lambs is right.

The Bush administration is insisting that Iraq is already in violation of the UN resolution, calling Iraqi firing on planes in the "no-fly" zone a "material breach." But wait a minute ... those no-fly zones weren't actually established by the UN, remember? No, it was the U.S. who decided that.

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