UPDATE: Aaron McGruder, writer of the comic strip the Boondocks, has been under attack for some of the views expressed in his strip in the last few weeks. He’s even been censored in a lot of newspapers because he’s not “standing behind a unified country.” His latest strips are a pretty thinly veiled attempt to do just that (Wednesday and Thursday).
<q>…Bush said the attacks made him all the more in favor of building an anti-missile shield opposed by Moscow. When he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin later this month, Bush said he would raise the possibility of a hostile nation developing deadly missiles that can reach either country. … “Wouldn’t it be in our nation’s advantage to be able to shoot it down?”…</q>
So you see, this is being seen as an opportunity to guilt the rest of the world into letting us out of the ABM and (somehow) substantiates the MDS. Go to CNN for a full transcript of the press conference.
The “It’s worth the price” Madeleine Albright quote was mentioned to me the other day, and I found a good list of quotes attributed to her at an AOL member page, of all places. The search for that page turned up this other one on the NY Press site by Alexander Cockburn.
<q>‘We have heard that half a million children have died,’ [Lesley] Stahl said. ‘I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And you know, is the price worth it?’ … ‘I think this is a very hard choice,’ Albright answered, ‘but the price–we think the price is worth it.’ They read that exchange in the Middle East. It was infamous all over the Arab world. I’ll bet the Sept. 11 kamikazes knew it well enough, just as they could tell you the crimes wrought against the Palestinians. So would it be unfair today to take Madeleine Albright down to the ruins of the Trade Towers, remind her of that exchange and point out that the price turned out to include that awful mortuary as well? Was that price worth it too, Mrs. Albright?</q>
I found the lyrics to the song if you don’t feel like downloading it.
“We can all thank Mayor Giuliani for stating the case for civilization in its most elemental terms: “We’re right and they’re wrong. It’s as simple as that.” The mayor has a well-documented penchant for concealing information, however, so I think it’s important to fill in some details. Presumably, the greatest exemplars of civilization are the “first world” industrial powers, so we can look to their foreign policies with confidence that they will instruct us in our highest values. Here’s what we learn:
“We are right to consume the world’s resources in vast disproportion to our population. We are right to reject international treaties or organizations any time they displease us.
“We are right to force other governments to harm their own people as a condition of economic assistance. We are right to arm, bankroll and support authoritarian governments or fanatical guerrillas for temporary advantage, regardless of their motivations or the probable long-term consequences.
“We are right to bomb civilians and destroy the supply lines and infrastructures that allow them to live, while leaving their governments intact. We are right to pursue vendettas against other governments by killing their people.
“We are right to refuse to examine our conduct in the world, insisting that we can do no wrong.
“The list can be improved, but the point remains. When we defend civilization, we ought to know what we’re defending.”
Speaking of security, where were the FBI and CIA? Sure, once this disaster occurred, they pop their heads out and demand that we didn’t give them enough money and/or leeway to do their jobs. We’ve given them trillions of dollars over the last few decades and they had <em>no idea anything was going to happen. From the Newsday, a letter (Sleeping Securely) puts it well:
<q>The campaign to get all of us to rally round the flag has prevented the public from asking questions about our internal “security” system. In the past 50 years, trillions of dollars have been put into the military, the FBI, CIA, etc., supposedly to protect our population from attack. Were all these agencies asleep on Sept. 11? They must be held responsible; they have not done their job. Now we are being told that if we just give them more big bucks, and let them shred what’s left of the Bill of Rights, then they can protect us.</q>
<q>Instead of investigating why we have not been protected by these agencies, Congress is planning to inflict horrendous damage to our civil liberties. Wasn’t this country founded by dissenters? Isn’t free speech one of those rights that our country stands for?</q>
<q>We must stop allowing the media to scare us and make us sheep. Our congressional representatives must hear that we are not willing to give up our rights. They must also hear our demands for an investigation into how many of our “protectors” were asleep at switch.</q>
For those that doubt the ranting of Michael Moore (I know I did), here’s some corroboration of the money donated to the Taliban in Afghanistan in May (quoted at $43 million this time).
This article concurs that it would be bad idea to go to ‘war’. It simply risks adding more people to the already swelling ranks of people who will lay down their lives to attack the U.S.
A late entry from Nico is an article by John Pilger of the The Herald. He’s been reporting on terrorism for years and been critical of the U.S.‘s foreign policy towards the Middle East, in particular. Since this article is impossible to find on the web, and the Herald search engine is less than useful, I’ve mirrored it here</php>.