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Quote of the Day

From the ever-emininently quotable James Wolcott, flaying the sorry hide of Michael Leeden:

“The fact is that Ledeen and his neocons got the war they wanted, it was waged according to their blueprints, and it’s their fuck-up, their moral responsibility, their historical bloodstain, their arrogant, ignorant, blundering, inexcusable mess.”

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Extremist Mullah Calls for Assassination of American Leader

That’s Pat Robertson, of course, calling on his good Christian friend, George W. Bush, to murder Hugo Chavez, elected leader of the South American nation of Venezuela. (via Media Matters).

In his frothing rant, Pat manages to accuse of Chavez of being an agent of both “communist infiltration and Muslim extremism” — a pretty neat trick. If I may be forgiven a personal note, it reminds me of the very first piece of hate mail I received as a young college columnist after publishing some criticism of Ronald Reagan (who had not yet ascended to bipartisan sainthood

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Serious Business

 Below is an excerpt from the newly revised Empire Burlesque, the book-length collection of columns and new material that comprises an alternative history of history of Bush Regime. The e-book version is being updated right now (the current edition ends in June 2004), and should be available shortly.

The piece deals with a point that I think is very important to remember, although it doesn’t seem to get much attention in the dissident media — the fact that whatever happens in Iraq, Bush and his faction have already won. In a very real sense,

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Blood of Victory

 Meanwhile, the “victory” in Afghanistan just keeps on giving. From the NYT’s remarkable Carlotta Gall (a former colleague of mine at The Moscow Times):

GI Death Toll in Afghanistan Worst Since 2001

“This year is already the deadliest for American soldiers in Afghanistan since the war of 2001, and the violence is likely to intensify before the nation’s legislative elections on Sept. 18. Four soldiers were killed Sunday, meaning that 13 have been killed in August alone. Sixty-five Americans have been killed this year…

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What Fresh Hell is This?

These are the hells that Bush has created with his “liberation” of Iraq:

Under US noses, brutal insurgents rule Sunni citadel. (Guardian) Excerpts:

Under US noses, brutal insurgents rule Sunni citadel

The executions are carried out at dawn on Haqlania bridge, the entrance to Haditha. A small crowd usually turns up to watch even though the killings are filmed and made available on DVD in the market the same afternoon. One of last week’s victims was a young man in a black tracksuit. Like the others he was left on his belly by the blue iron railings at the bridge’s southern

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A Crime Without Punishment

 Alain Gresh lays out “the most glaring scandal of them all” regarding the UN “oil-for-food” program in Iraq. Some excerpts, from The Guardian:

But no committee of inquiry has been set up to investigate the most glaring scandal of all: the imposition of sanctions on Iraq in August 1990 and above all their maintenance after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991. These have had devastating consequences on the country and will be a burden on it for a very long time to come.

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Duck Soup: From Quagmire to Nightmare

Originally published in the Aug. 19 edition of The Moscow Times.

is the summer of discontent for President George W. Bush, a man beset
on every side — by a failing war and falling popularity, by scandal,
suspicion and rising hostility, even in the red-state heartlands. With
each passing day of his long vacation in the Texas wastes, his
presidency is shrinking palpably before our eyes, his wildly inflated
public image shrivelling like a punctured balloon.

fountainhead of his trouble, of course, is the murderous quagmire he
has created

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