Thursday, May 20, 2004

Evil Cyborgs Who Hate America
Do you have the same impressions I do of the 9/11 commission's hearings in New York this week? Specifically: Who the hell cares precisely how and why the NYPD and NYFD failed on that day? That's utterly beside the point, at least of this commission. James Ridgeway of the Village Voice agrees, and suggests some more relevant issues the commission might better have pursued--essentially, why were state and local officials in New York more-or-less on their own without any federal help for over an hour on that morning?

It's hard to read Ridgeway's simple chronology of events on the morning of 9/11 without at least wondering if the feds' neglect during that critical first hour was intentional. Even though I am willing to believe the worst about Bush and Cheney, I have a hard time swallowing whole the idea that they let 9/11 happen. But as Mike Ward writes on Alternet, the "Orwellian turn" of American life since that day makes it wise to revisit the most popular conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 and events following. What he ends up revisiting are not so much conspiracy theories per se, but popular ideas about what was changed by 9/11 and what wasn't, and how those ideas are right and wrong.

Elsewhere, ZNet reprints a long post from Tom Engelhardt's TomDispatch that is, even though it's a week old, a pretty good recap of the current state of play in Iraq. Engelhardt characterizes the Abu Ghraib photos and the Nick Berg video as "the pissing contest from Hell," and the standoffs in Iraqi holy cities as classic examples of asymmetric warfare, and which are being utterly screwed up by America's preference for straight-up battles we're guaranteed to win. (That merely scratches the surface of Engelhardt's piece. Take the rest of the day off to read it.)

In Salon, cartoonist Ruben Bolling imagines yet another scenario in which Bush reveals his true colors and John Kerry still can't get any traction.

And finally, it's a shame Onion contributors don't get bylines, because I'd like to know who wrote "U.S. to Fight Terror With Terror." It's an elegant bit of writing, taking quotes used by peaceniks as moral lessons and twisting them into justifications for terrorism, which makes for a hilarious parody of the Bush Administration's Orwellian mindset. Hilarious, that is, until you ponder just how much they've done that's just like that.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?