Michael Szpakowski
Since the beginning
Works in Harlow United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Mesopotamia. Babylon. The Tigris and Euphrates


Hi Eryk
I hesitated before sending this because I have a high
regard for many of your views but I think here
<I have a problem with the idea that talk
and protests end wars.>
you are just plain wrong.
The Vietnam War was ended by three things:
the dogged resistance of a rag tag peasant army, in
theory massively outgunned by US imperialism; a revolt
in the US army itself typified by "fragging" - first
warning to unpopular officers ( ie those who played
fast and loose with the lives of those they commanded)
a grenade with the pin in , no second warning - a
species of protest that might make us feel very
uncomfortable but a species nonetheless, and thirdly
the mounting protests at home, protests which in the
context of the revolts in the inner cities, the
growing Black Power movement and the mounting worker
militancy of the period the US government feared might
result in a generalised challenge to the system.
The first world war was ended by protests which grew
into the Russian (1917) and German (1919-23)
revolutions.
The British Army speeded up the demobilsation of
troops at the end of the second world war because of
mutinies in the ranks in North Africa.
Finally look at the example of Turkey today. Why are
US troops not stationed on Turkish soil, despite
massive bribery and blackmail? Because of massive
popular protest , which threated to unseat the
government there.
This in turn undoubtedly slowed down the US's
offensive in the area - ie. street protest had a
direct and practical effect.

Finally, a point on street demonstrations themselves:
it is simply not true that the population is divided
neatly into those who are either clearly for or
clearly against the war - many ordinary people swing
from one position to another - not least because of
the intimidating effect of the media, which largely
carries the government position, or folk hate what is
going on but keep quiet about it out of fear or from
feelings of isolation.
In these circumstances a confident, large, articulate
demonstration can give many waverers the confidence to
come out fully against the current butchery, with
perhaps or perhaps not ( we don't know because we
don't have a crystal ball) the kind of knock on effect
that we saw in Turkey which can shorten, or in not
unimaginable circumstances actually end the war.
I understand that it's harder to be actively against
the war in the States than it is in Britain but it's
possible and levels of protest are, as I think Chris
pointed out, actually higher now than at any point in
the Vietnam war.
Look at history - protest can and does make a
difference.
best
michael

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DISCUSSION

Re: Jimmy has a hard time shooting flowers


That chills the blood.
Michael
--- "joseph (yes=no & yes<>no) "
<joseph@electrichands.com> wrote:
> Jimmy has a hard time shooting flowers,
>
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>
>
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DISCUSSION

Re: Breaking News


Lewis -I love all three.
keep up the Stakhanovite work rate!
michael
--- Lewis LaCook <llacook@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> Lighting his cigarette, still
> tense from desktop explosion,
> Shaun offered his gaze to the
> sky, which hungered above him
>
> in triggered fonts. Tabitha thought
> maybe this time, maybe, averages
> would lull Yasir to unkempt suffocation.
> Still, Peter was a seasoned,
>
> slightly salty explorer of cruel
> love; it had taken him to Basra, then
> onto Baghdad, where Shaun's oils
> still lingered in Tabitha's mouth.
>
> As for the rest of them, I think we left
> enough food: dead burnished by a deserted sun.
>
> 2003/03/28 08:58:34
>
>
>
>
> =====
>
>
> http://www.lewislacook.com/
> net art review: http://www.netartreview.net/
> tubulence artist studio:
> http://turbulence.org/studios/lacook/index.html
>
http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/385/lewis_lacook.html
>
>
>
> __________________________________________________
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> out in the
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DISCUSSION

Take the iraq war quiz


Take the Iraq War Quiz ( lifted from ZNet
http://www.zmag.org/ ):

1. The anti-war movement supports our troops by urging
that they be
brought home immediately so they neither kill nor get
killed in a unjust
war. How has the Bush administration shown its support
for our troops?

a. The Republican-controlled House Budget Committee
voted to cut
$25 billion in veterans benefits over the next 10
years.

b. The Bush administration proposed cutting $172
million from
impact aid programs which provide school funding for
children of
military personnel.

c. The administration ordered the Dept. of Veterans
Affairs to stop
publicizing health benefits available to veterans.

d. All of the above.

2. The anti-war movement believes that patriotism
means urging our
country to do what is right. How do Bush
administration officials define
patriotism?

a. Patriotism means emulating Dick Cheney, who serves
as
Vice-President while receiving $100,000-$1,000,000 a
year from
Halliburton, the multi-billion dollar company which is
already lining up
for major contracts in post-war Iraq.

b. Patriotism means emulating Richard Perle, the
warhawk who serves
as head of the Defense Intelligence Board while at the
same time meeting
with Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi on behalf of
Trireme, a company
of which he is a managing partner, involved in
security and military
technologies, and while agreeing to work as a paid
lobbyist for Global
Crossing, a telecommunications giant seeking a major
Pentagon contract.

c. Patriotism means emulating George W. Bush, Dick
Cheney, Paul
Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, John Bolton, Tom DeLay, John
Ashcroft, Lewis
Libby, and others who enthusiastically supported the
Vietnam War while
avoiding serving in it and who now are sending others
to kill and be
killed in Iraq.

d. All of the above.

3. The Bush administration has accused Saddam Hussein
of lying
regarding his weapons of mass destruction. Which of
the following might
be considered less than truthful?

a. Constant claims by the Bush administration that
there was
documentary evidence linking Iraq to attempted uranium
purchases in
Niger, despite the fact that the documents were
forgeries and CIA
analysts doubted their authenticity.
b. A British intelligence report on Iraq's security
services that
was in fact plagiarized, with selected modifications,
from a student
article.
c. The frequent citation of the incriminating
testimony of Iraqi
defector Hussein Kamel, while suppressing that part of
the testimony in
which Kamel stated that Iraqi weapons of mass
destruction had been
destroyed following the 1991 Gulf War.
d. All of the above.

4. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher stormed
out of a press
conference when the assembled reporters broke into
laughter after he
declared that the U.S. would never try to bribe
members of the UN. What
should Fleisher have said to defend himself?

a. It wasn't just bribery; we also ordered the bugging
of the home
and office phones and emails of the UN ambassadors of
Security Council
member states that were undecided on war.

b. Oh, come on! We've been doing this for years. In
1990 when Yemen
voted against authorizing war with Iraq, the U.S.
ambassador declared
"That will be the most expensive 'no' vote you ever
cast."

c. Why do you think the Africa Growth and Opportunity
Act makes one
of the conditions for an African country to receive
preferential access
to U.S. markets that it "not engage in activities that
undermine United
States national security or foreign policy interests"?

d. All of the above.

5. George Bush has declared that "we have no fight
with the Iraqi
people." What could he have cited as supporting
evidence?

a. U.S. maintenance of 12 years of crippling sanctions
that
strengthened Saddam Hussein while contributing to the
death of hundreds
of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

b. The fact that "coalition" forces have indicated
that they will
use cluster bombs in Iraq, despite warnings from human
rights groups
that "The use of cluster munitions in Iraq will
endanger civilians for
years to come."

c. By pointing to the analogy of Afghanistan, which
the U.S.
pledged not to forget about when the war was over, and
for which the
current Bush administration foreign aid budget request
included not one
cent in aid.

d. All of the above.

6. The Bush administration has touted the many nations
that are
part of the "coalition of the willing." Which of the
following
statements about this coalition is true?

a. In most of the coalition countries polls show that
a majority,
often an overwhelming majority, of the people oppose
the war.

b. More than ten of the members of the coalition of
the willing are
actually a coalition of the unwilling - unwilling to
reveal their names.

c. Coalition members - most of whose contributions to
the war are
negligible or even zero - constitute less than a
quarter of the
countries in the UN and contain less than 20% of the
world's population.

d. All of the above.

7. The war on Iraq is said to be part of the "war on
terrorism."
Which of the following is true?

a. A senior American counterintelligence official
said: "An
American invasion of Iraq is already being used as a
recruitment tool by
Al Qaeda and other groups....And it is a very
effective tool."

b. An American official, based in Europe, said Iraq
had become "a
battle cry, in a way," for Al Qaeda recruiters.

c. France's leading counter-terrorism judge said: "Bin
Laden's
strategy has always been to demonstrate to the Islamic
community that
the West, and especially the U.S., is starting a
global war against
Muslims. An attack on Iraq might confirm this vision
for many Muslims. I
am very worried about the next wave of recruits."

d. All of the above.

8. The Bush administration says it is waging war to
stop the spread
of weapons of mass destruction. Which of the following
is true?

a. The United States has refused to ratify the
Comprehensive Test
Ban Treaty, viewed worldwide as the litmus test for
seriousness about
nuclear disarmament.

b. The United States has insisted on a reservation to
the Chemical
Weapons Convention allowing the U.S. President the
right to refuse an
inspection of U.S. facilities on national security
grounds, and blocked
efforts to improve compliance with the Biological and
Toxin Weapons
Convention.

c. Vice Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby, Director of the
Defense
Intelligence Agency, testified on Feb. 11, 2003, "The
long-term trends
with respect to WMD and missile proliferation are
bleak. States seek
these capabilities for regional purposes, or to
provide a hedge to deter
or offset U.S. military superiority."

d. All of the above.

9. The Bush administration says it wants to bring
democracy to Iraq
and the Middle East. Which of the following is true?

a. If there were democracy in Saudi Arabia today,
backing for the
U.S. war effort would be the first thing to go, given
the country's
"increasingly anti-American population deeply opposed
to the war."

b. The United States subverted some of the few
democratic
governments in the Middle East (Syria in 1949, Iran in
1953), and has
backed undemocratic regimes in the region ever since.

c. The United States supported the crushing of
anti-Saddam Hussein
revolts in Iraq in 1991.

d. All of the above.

10. Colin Powell cited as evidence of an Iraq-Al Qaeda
link an
audiotape from bin Laden in which he called Saddam
Hussein and his Baath
Party regime "infidels." Which of the following is
more compelling
evidence?

a. An FBI official told the New York Times: "We've
been looking at
this hard for more than a year and you know what, we
just don't think
it's there."

b. According to a classified British intelligence
report seen by
BBC News, "There are no current links between the
Iraqi regime and the
al-Qaeda network."

c. According to Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside Al
Qaeda: Global
Network of Terror, "Since U.S. intervention in
Afghanistan in October
2001, I have examined several tens of thousands of
documents recovered
from Al Qaeda and Taliban sources. In addition to
listening to 240 tapes
taken from Al Qaeda's central registry, I debriefed
several Al Qaeda
and Taliban detainees. I could find no evidence of
links between Iraq
and Al Qaeda."

d. All of the above.

Answers and Sources

1. d (a) Cong. Lane Evans, "Veterans Programs Slashed
by House
Republicans," Press Release, 3/13/03,
http://www.veterans.house.gov/democratic/press/108th/3-13-03budget.htm.
(b) Brian Faler, "Educators Angry Over Proposed Cut in
Aid; Many
Children in Military Families Would Feel Impact,"
Washington Post,
3/19/03, p. A29. (c) See Veterans' for Common Sense,
letter to George W.
Bush, 3/20/03
http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/print.asp?idV3;
Melissa B. Robinson, "Hospitals Face Budget Crunch,"
Associated Press,
7/31/02; Jason Tait, "Veterans angered by marketing
ban," Eagle-Tribune
(Lawrence, MA), 8/2/02,
http://www.eagletribune.com/news/stories/20020802/FP_003.htm

2. d (a) Warren Vieth and Elizabeth Douglass, "
Ousting Hussein
could open the door for U.S. and British firms.
French, Russian and
Chinese rivals would lose their edge," Los Angeles
Times, 3/12/03, p.
I:1; Robert Bryce and Julian Borger, "Halliburton:
Cheney is still paid
by Pentagon contractor, Bush deputy gets Dollars 1m
from firm with Iraq
oil deal," Guardian (London), 3/12/03, p. 5 (which
notes that
Halliburton "would not say how much the payments are;
the obligatory
disclosure statement filled by all top government
officials says only
that they are in the range of" $100,000 and $1
million. (b) Seymour M.
Hersh, "Lunch with the Chairman," New Yorker, 3/16/03;
Stephen Labaton,
"Pentagon Adviser Is Also Advising Global Crossing,"
NYT, 3/21/03, p.
C1. Perle is to be paid $725,000 for his lobbying
effort, including
$600,000 if his lobbying is successful. (c) New
Hampshire Gazette, "The
Chickenhawks," http://nhgazette.com/chickenhawks.html.

3. d (a) See the evidence collected in Cong. Henry
Waxman's letter
to George W. Bush, 3/17/03,
http://www.house.gov/waxman/text/admin_iraq_march_17_let.htm.
(b) See
Glen Rangwala's report,
http://traprockpeace.org/britishdossier.html.
(c) See Glen Rangwala's report,
http://traprockpeace.org/kamel.html.

4. d (a) Martin Bright, Ed Vulliamy, and Peter
Beaumont, The
Observer (London), 3/2/03. (b) Quoted in Phyllis
Bennis, Calling the
Shots: How Washington Dominates Today's UN, New York:
Olive Branch,
1996, p. 33. (c) Sarah Anderson, Phyllis Bennis, and
John Cavanagh,
Coalition of the Willing or Coalition of the Coerced?:
How The Bush
Administration Influences Allies in Its War on Iraq,
Washington, DC:
Institute for Policy Studies, 2/26/03, p. 4.

5. d (a) For background, see Anthony Arnove, ed., Iraq
Under Siege:
The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War, Cambridge:
South End Press,
updated ed. 2003. (b) Paul Waugh, "Labour MPs Attack
Hoon After He
Reveals That British Forces Will Use Cluster Bombs,"
Independent,
3/21/03, p. 4; Human Rights Watch, Press Release,
3/18/03: "Persian
Gulf: U.S. Cluster Bomb Duds A Threat; Warning Against
Use of Cluster
Bombs in Iraq." (c) Zvi Bar'el, "Flaws in the Afghan
Model," Ha'aretz,
3/14/03,
http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/objects/pages/PrintArticleEn.jhtml?ite
mNo'2884.

6. d (a) See, for example, the revealing comment of
Secretary of
State Powell: "We need to knock down this idea that
nobody is on our
side. So many nations recognize this danger [of Iraq's
weapons]. And
they do it in the face of public opposition." Quoted
in Steven R.
Weisman With Felicity Barringer, "Urgent Diplomacy
Fails To Gain U.S. 9
Votes In The U.N." NYT, 3/10/03, p. A1) (b) U.S. Dept.
of State, Daily
Press Briefing, Richard Boucher, Washington, DC,
3/18/03. (c) Country
list: White House, Statement of Support from
Coalition, 3/25/03,
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/print/20030325-8.html;
population calculated from Statistical Abstract of the
United States,
2001, Washington, DC: 2001, table 1327. Total includes
USA. The White
House list includes countries whose leaders have done
no more than state
their support for the United States, and the listing
changes from day to
day, with some countries being added and some removed.

7. d (a) Don Van Natta Jr. and Desmond Butler, "Anger
On Iraq Seen
As New Qaeda Recruiting Tool," NYT, 3/16/03, p. I:1.
(b) Van Natta and
Butler, NYT, 3/16/03. (c) Van Natta and Butler, NYT,
3/16/03.

8. d (a) Colum Lynch, "U.S. Boycotts Nuclear Test Ban
Meeting; Some
Delegates at U.N. Session Upset at Latest Snub of Pact
Bush Won't Back,"
Washington Post, 11/12/02, p. A6. (b) Amy E. Smithson,
"U.S.
Implementation of the CWC," in Jonathan B. Tucker, The
Chemical Weapons
Convention: Implementation Challenges and Solutions,
Monterey Institute,
April 2001, pp. 23-29,
http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/reports/tuckcwc.htm;
Jonathan Tucker, "The Fifth Review Conference of the
Biological and
Toxin Weapons Convention," Feb. 2002,
http://www.nti.org/e_research/e3_7b.html. (c)
Testimony before the
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, excerpted at
http://traprockpeace.org/usefulquotesoniraq.html.

9. d (a) Craig S. Smith, "Saudi Arabia Seems Calm But,
Many Say, Is
Seething," NYT, 3/24/03, p. B13. In fact, "Though the
Saudi government
officially denies it, the bombing campaign is being
directed from Saudi
Arabia - something that few Saudis realize." (b) On
Syria, see Douglas
Little, ACold War and Covert Action: The United States
and Syria, 1945
1958,@ Middle East Journal, vol. 44, no. 1, Winter
1990, pp. 55 57. On
Iran, see Mark J. Gasiorowski, "The 1953 Coup D'Etat
in Iran,"
International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 19,
Aug. 1987, pp.
261-86. (c) Andrew Cockburn and Patrick Cockburn, Out
of the Ashes: The
Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, New York:
HarperPerennial. 1999, chap.
1.

10. d (re audiotape, see David Johnston, "Top U.S.
Officials Press
Case Linking Iraq To Al Qaeda," NYT, 2/12/03, p. A1;
Mohamad Bazzi,
"U.S. says bin Laden tape urging Iraqis to attack
appears real,"
Newsday, 2/12/03, p. A5. (a) James Risen and David
Johnston, "Split at
C.I.A. and F.B.I. On Iraqi Ties to Al Qaeda," NYT,
2/2/03, p. I:13. (b)
"Leaked Report Rejects Iraqi al-Qaeda Link," BBC News,
2/5/03. (c) Rohan
Gunaratna, "Iraq and Al Qaeda: No Evidence of
Alliance," International
Herald Tribune, 2/19/03.

Interpreting Your Score

9-10 Correct: Excellent. Contact United for Peace and
Justice,
http://www.unitedforpeace.org/ or in the UK
http://www.stopwar.org.uk/ , and work to fight the war
and the system
that produced it.

6-8 Correct: Fair. You've been watching a few too many
former generals
and government officials who provide the "expert"
commentary for the
mainstream media. Read the alternative media!

3-5 Correct: Poor. Don't feel bad. George W. Bush only
got a C- in
International Relations at College.

0-2 Correct: Failing. You have a bright future as an
"embedded"
journalist.

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DISCUSSION

a small new work


new work:

http://www.somedancersandmusicians.com/invitation/invitation_to_a_cherry_blossom_viewing.html

takes a while to get going fully.
michael

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