- Please send as far and wide as possible.
Editor, The Konformist
An open letter to my fellow Amurkans
By D. Grant Haynes
Online Journal Contributing Writer
January 29, 2004 - With a few rare exceptions - a statistically
insignificant microcosm at best - you are an obnoxious and
superficial people with scant redeeming virtues.
The vast majority of you are ignorant, insular, self-centered,
hedonistic pleasure seekers who believe that the earth and all its
myriad of inhabitants owe you special dispensations and exceptional
privileges because you are "Amurkans" ordained by God to rule the
On the whole and as a group, you know next to nothing about any other
culture. Yet, in your naiveté you imagine your world and your
lifestyle to be superior to all the others you've never seen or
And you don't mind seeing your tax dollars spent to force that
lifestyle onto those others with bombs and missiles if necessary.
You feign great valor, assertiveness and a determination to establish
fortress-like security. Your latest auto models even mimic the
contours of armored military vehicles.
And your overbearing and overindulged offspring enroll in tae kwon do
classes, wear battle fatigue print jeans, sport military crew cuts,
and play kick-Arab-ass computer war games in your leisure time.
Yet, in truth, you are soft, pampered, frightened, insecure and
neurotic; uncertain of yourselves, your values, your health, the
future of your nation, or the validity of your self-indulgent
A real or imagined "terrist" could say "boo" and you'd all
collectively urinate upon yourselves.
You live in abject fear, notwithstanding your "No Fear" tee shirts
and bumper stickers.
You fear "terrists" from without spawned for the most part from a
century of American imperialism, and you fear criminals from within
born of your own cruel social inequities and gun laws.
You have no peace in your SUVs and palatial compounds on the hill,
and "stress reduction" clinics multiply exponentially with the strip
malls that defile your increasingly asphalted landscapes.
The spam being forced onto Internet users in America today is
sufficient indictment in itself of your sick culture.
Your men are apparently all insecure about their masculinity because
impotency medications and penis enlargement schemes are the major
hucksters' business on the Net at this time.
And running a close second in the spam waves are pain pills, weight
loss products and human growth hormone elixirs.
You are susceptible to any siren song promising to arrest the
inexorable aging process - a human metamorphosis cultures more at
peace with themselves accept gracefully.
Your frenetic consumption-oriented lifestyle evidently lends no peace
of mind because online tranquilizer sales in this hypocritical nation
of excesses - one that makes legitimate acquisition of such drugs
through a physician next to impossible - are booming in cyberspace
Nor can one forget the incessant Internet porn spam deluge in a
nation possessed of more church edifices and moralizing preachers per
capita than any on earth. The porn would not continue were it not
highly profitable in your society of lying hypocrites.
By way of summation, the vast majority of you appear to be shallow,
swaggering, hypocritical, flag-waving jackasses with minimal merit at
I would be happy to part company with the lot of you tomorrow to
spend my remaining years in a more sensible society.
When Mikey met Wesley: Clueless in America
Online Journal Contributing Writer
January 29, 2004 - General Wesley Clark is a war criminal. Filmmaker
Michael Moore is clueless. This is a love story.
Clueless Mikey Moore: "I have met Clark and spoken to him on a number
War Criminal Wes: "There's no requirement to have any doctrine here.
I mean this is simply a long-standing right of the United States and
other nations to take the actions they deem necessary in their self-
defense. Every president has deployed forces as necessary to take
action. He's done so without multilateral support if necessary. He's
done so in advance of conflict if necessary." (Told to the Committee
On Armed Services at the U.S. House of Representatives on September
Clueless Mikey Moore: "I have to tell you I have found [War Criminal
Wes] to be the real deal."
War Criminal Wes: "We've struck at [Slobodan Milosevic's] TV stations
and transmitters because they're as much a part of his military
machine prolonging and promoting this conflict as his army and
security forces." (Jim Naureckas of FAIR explains: "Clark's logic is
exactly the same as that of the death squad commander who orders the
assassination of a journalist or a publisher whose opposition
newspaper supports the goals of a guerrilla movement. The targeting
of the studio was a war crime, perhaps the most indisputable of
several war crimes committed by NATO in its war against Yugoslavia.")
Clueless Mikey Moore: "[War Criminal Wes is] someone whom I'm
convinced all of you would like both as a person and as the
individual leading this country."
War Criminal Wes: In his book, "Fighting Modern War," he called 78
days of US/NATO bombing: "coercive diplomacy, the use of armed forces
to impose the political will of the NATO nations on the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia, or more specifically, on Serbia."
Clueless Mikey Moore: "[War Criminal Wes] is an honest, decent,
War Criminal Wes: According to the Washington Post, at war planning
meetings, he'd "rise out of his seat and slap the table" to
yell: "I've got to get the maximum violence out of this campaign-now!"
Clueless Mikey Moore: "[War Criminal Wes] would be a breath of fresh
air in the White House."
(ACTION: Learn more about Wesley Clark's war crimes through Jared
Israel's interview with journalist Greg Elich and then contact War
Criminal Wes. To tell Michael Moore to get a clue, email him at
Mickey Z. is the author of two upcoming books: "A Gigantic Mistake:
Articles and Essays for Your Intellectual Self-Defense" (Prime Books)
and "Seven Deadly Spins: Exposing the Lies Behind War Propaganda"
(Common Courage Press). He can be reached at mzx2@....
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Cartoonist calls Condi Rice 'murderer' - again
This time 'Boondocks' creator levels charge on national TV
By Paul Sperry
WASHINGTON - He did it again, but this time on national TV.
Aaron McGruder, a black syndicated cartoonist who's getting his own
prime-time TV series on Fox, called National Security Adviser
Condoleezza Rice "a murderer" for her role in the Iraq war.
He made the remark as a guest on the nationally syndicated TV
show "America's Black Forum," hosted by syndicated columnist and Fox
News contributor Juan Williams.
The creator of the popular "Boondocks" comic strip reportedly caused
some discomfort at an anniversary dinner for the Nation magazine here
last month when he told the mostly anti-war audience, "I've met
Condoleezza Rice and called her a murderer to her face."
In a Sunday broadcast of the "Black Forum" show, McGruder, speaking
from Los Angeles, repeated the epithet, arguing that Rice, as one of
the administration's "biggest hawks," advised the president on a war
that led to the "slaughter of innocent people in Iraq."
Some of the black panelists assembled in the Washington studio winced
at the remarks.
Conservative syndicated columnist Armstrong Williams rebuked the
cartoonist, whose strip is syndicated in more than 250 newspapers.
"I can't get over the fact you labeled Miss Rice a murderer," he
The low-key McGruder, 29, asserted that he has a right to his
"She's a murderer because I believe she's a murderer," he said
NAACP chairman Julian Bond, another panelist, wrote it off
to "satire," but added, smiling, "I agree with his politics."
Late last year, McGruder made Rice's love life the topic of his
"Maybe if there was a man in the world who Condoleezza truly loved,
she wouldn't be so hell-bent to destroy it," one of his "Boondocks"
characters speculates in a strip.
The Washington Post pulled the series on Rice, which ran some five
days. The Cincinnati Enquirer dropped the strip altogether.
McGruder, who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000, claims Rice, also black,
asked him to write her into his strip.
"Boondocks," a hip-hop version of Doonesbury, is distributed by
Universal Press Syndicate.
McGruder, who graduated from the University of Maryland with an
African-American studies degree, has written a best-selling coffee-
table collection of his strips called "A Right to be Hostile."
He's reportedly developing with Sony a prime-time animated series
based on "Boondocks" for Fox. It's slated for the fall.
Paul Sperry is Washington bureau chief for WorldNetDaily and author
of "Crude Politics."
Get ready for the Iraq investigation outrages
First the Hutton whitewash, next, the Fitzgerald report
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer
January 29, 2004 - Lord Brian Hutton, a former Lord Chief Justice of
Northern Ireland, and the man personally selected by British Prime
Minister Tony Blair to investigate the alleged "suicide" of Ministry
of Defense weapons of mass destruction expert Dr. David Kelly last
year, has rendered his verdict on Blair and his "sexing up" a dossier
on Iraq's capabilities to pummel London and Liverpool with a a chem-
bio attack within a 45-minute timeframe.
Surprise, surprise! Hutton, a lifelong Tory, found Blair, his
communications director Alastair Campbell, and Defense Minister
Geoffrey Hoon, innocent of leaking Kelly's name to the BBC. In fact,
Hutton's long-awaited report blames the BBC, Kelly, and BBC reporter
Andrew Gilligan for the whole affair. Blair, who, a day before
Hutton's report, barely won a vote in the House of Commons (and only
survived with the help of Hutton's fellow Tories), claimed total
vindication and immediately demanded an apology from all those who,
in the past, questioned his veracity.
Make no mistake about it, Hutton was picked by Blair to engage in a
whitewash because of Hutton's own history of sycophantically shin-
humping the conservative power structure in the United Kingdom.
Hutton was a neocon long before the term became vogue.
Championing causes that would have made the neocon rags "The
Spectator" and "National Review" quite proud, Hutton attacked a
fellow judge for a favorable ruling on the arrest in Britain of
Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for crimes against humanity; he
derided that same judge's links to Amnesty International; he said
that ex-MI5 agent David Shayler's revealing of state secrets could
never be in the public interest, and while serving as a judge in
Northern Ireland, was considered by Catholics of being in the hip
pocket of right-wing Protestant extremists. Hutton capped off his
judicial career by giving Blair a big wet kiss on the lips. Perhaps
Hutton was promised the job of the next Governor of the Cayman
Islands or the British Virgin Islands. More the better when Blair
assumes a directorship for the Carlyle Group and has to rely on his
old judge buddy to help move billions through Grand Cayman or Tortola
bank front company accounts to oil companies in Iraq and Libya.
Many parallels were drawn between leaking Dr. Kelly's name by Number
10 Downing Street and the White House's leaking of the name of
Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife's name to neocon reporter Robert
Novak. In the case of Kelly, that leak ended in his suspicious death.
In the case of Wilson's wife, a covert CIA agent, the leak was in
retaliation for Wilson's conclusion that George W. Bush's statement
that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger was false. As a result of
that leak, Wilson's wife's life was put in danger and an entire CIA
front operation - Brewster Jennings and Associates - was rolled up.
But look for the neocons to try and clear Bush, Dick Cheney, Scooter
Libby, and Karl Rove of any wrongdoing in the same manner that Blair
was cleared by Hutton.
The Justice Department is currently investigating the Wilson leak.
Its lead investigator, like Hutton, has been painted as a strong
independent prosecutor. This is just plain smoke and mirrors intended
to serve as a backdrop for yet another whitewash of crimes in high
places. Last year, John Ashcroft (the nut case who recently accused
Saddam Hussein of practicing alchemy through he use of evil biology
and evil chemistry), recused himself from the Wilson leak
investigation and appointed Patrick Fitzgerald, the US Attorney in
Chicago as special prosecutor. The fix is in on the Wilson leak
Fitzgerald is a selective prosecutor and a Republican toady for Bush
and Ashcroft. Fitzgerald turned up the heat on former Illinois
Governor George Ryan only after he bravely commuted the death
sentences of his state's death row inmates. Ryan cited police and
prosecutorial misconduct in Chicago and Springfield as a leading
reason for his decision. So, while the Nobel Peace Prize committee
considered Ryan for its annual prize, Ashcroft, Fitzgerald, and other
fascist thugs within the Justice Department's hierarchy decided to go
for a quick indictment of the former Republican governor for of all
things - a payola scandal in Illinois. Perhaps someone shouild look
into Ashcroft's record as governor of Missouri on such matters, after
all, Kansas City and St. Louis politics are so clean, Ashcroft could
have never gotten any dirty money from those places.
So Ashcroft now has his lickspittle Fitzgerald looking into who at
the White House leaked Wilson's wife's name to Novak. If the Hutton
report is any indication, look for Fitzgerald to exonerate Cheney.
Rove, Libby and company and blame the whole thing on the CIA for
hiring Ambassador Wilson to go to Niger and Mrs. Wilson for some
nebulous conflict of interest in her husband going there in the first
place. It is how the neocons operate. Attack the messenger and
practice the Big Lie. They have so much experience from the annals of
Nazi Germany's propaganda machine to choose from and they will not
rest until they have dusted off all the old tricks and applied them
David Kay, who recently left as America's chief weapons of mass
destruction inspector in Iraq, said there was no evidence that Iraq
had either weapons of mass destruction or programs to develop them
prior to the U.S. invasion of the country, as alleged by Bush in his
speeches to Congress and the United Nations. David Kay, David Kelly,
Joe Wilson, Hans Blix, Mohamed ElBaradei, Scott Ritter, Richard
Butler - they all said pretty much the same thing about
Iraq: "there's no 'there' there." They also came under relentless
attack from a slithering and well-coordinated neocon propaganda
blitzkrieg aimed at destroying their reputations.
It is a shame that so many well-intentioned people have been
tarnished and destroyed by the neocon machine that surrounds Bush and
Blair. If the Democratic candidates for president (sans neocon Joe
Lieberman) can ever stop their fratricidal bloodletting and focus on
getting rid of the plague that has infested our White House,
Congress, and many federal judicial benches, they will find that
honorable people, like those who blew the whistle on the neocon
agenda and who have stood up to the Bush-Blair "axis of evil," are
ready, able, and willing to help wrest control of the White House and
Number 10 Downing Street from the purveyors of deception and war
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based journalist, author, and
columnist. He is co-author of "America's Nightmare: The Presidency of
George Bush II."
Will Dubya Dump Dick?
By Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service
January 28, 2004
While Democratic rivals battle for the presidential nomination in a
succession of grueling primary elections, Vice President Dick Cheney
appears to be fighting to secure his spot on the Republican ticket
behind President George W. Bush.
The vice president, whose supposed moderation and 35-year Washington
experience reassured Bush voters worried about the callowness and
inexperience of Bush in 2000, is increasingly seen by Republican
Party politicos as a millstone on the president's re-election chances
in what is expected to be an extremely close race.
The reasons are for their worries are evident. Ongoing disclosures
about Cheney's role in the drive to war in Iraq and other
controversial administration plans reveal him as not the much-touted
moderate but an extremist who constantly pushed for the most radical
policies. But more than just an extremist, Cheney is also viewed as a
kind of eminence grise who exercises undue influence over Bush to
further a radical agenda, a perception confirmed by recent
revelations by former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill, who described
Cheney as creating a "kind of praetorian guard around the president"
that blocked out contrary views.
In addition, Cheney's association with Halliburton, the giant
construction and oil company he headed for much of the 1990s and that
gobbled up billions of dollars in contracts for Iraq's postwar
reconstruction, is also becoming a major political liability.
Democrats in Congress and on the campaign trail are already using
Halliburton's rhythmic, four-syllable name (HAL-li-bur-ton, HAL-li-
bur-ton) as a mantra that neatly taps into the public's growing
concerns overn Iraq and disgust with crony capitalism and corporate
greed, all at the same time.
Reports of a discreet "dump Cheney" movement, launched by intimate
associates of Bush's father (former president George H. W. Bush),
were already surfacing two months ago. Cheney's detractors include
national security adviser Brent Scowcroft and former secretary of
state James Baker, who now has a White House appointment as Bush Jr's
personal envoy to persuade official creditors to reduce substantially
Iraq's $110 billion foreign debt. Both men battled frequently with
the vice president when he was defense secretary in the first Bush
In addition to fears about possible impact on Bush's re-election
chances, Scowcroft and Baker have privately expressed great concern
over Cheney's unparalleled influence over the younger Bush's foreign
policy, and the damage that it has wreaked on U.S. relations with
longtime allies, particularly in Europe and the Arab world.
The underground campaign explains many of Cheney's recent actions,
including holding unprecedented rounds of press interviews in
January, as well as his trip this week to Switzerland and Italy
(marking only the second time the vice president has traveled abroad
in three years). "I think he knows that he's in trouble," said a
prominent anti-Cheney Republican activist this week. "I don't think
there's any other way to explain why he would sit for a puerile
interview for the [Washington Post's] Style section. You know he
despises that sort of thing." Cheney's travel and sudden and abundant
press availability was noted in Tuesday's New York Times, which
described his behavior as "a calculated election-year makeover to
temper his hardline image at home and abroad".
But Cheney's appearances may, in fact, have merely confirmed his
image as a zealot. In an interview he gave National Public Radio
(NPR) last week, Cheney not only insisted that major stockpiles of
weapons of mass destruction (WMD) may still be found in Iraq, he also
claimed that two semi-trailer trucks found in that country during
last year's U.S.-led war constituted "conclusive evidence" of WMD
programs. Both assertions were almost instantly refuted by none other
than the administration's outgoing chief weapons inspector, David
Kay. In a series of statements published after Cheney's NPR
broadcast, Kay said he had concluded that the WMD stockpiles were
destroyed in the early 1990s, and that the two trailers in question
were intended to produce hydrogen for weather balloons or possibly
In the same NPR interview Cheney also insisted there
was "overwhelming evidence" of an "established relationship" between
former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and the al-Qaeda terrorist
group, citing Saddam's alleged harboring of a suspect in the 1993
bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. But the notion of such
an "established relationship" in any operational sense has now been
almost uniformly dismissed by the intelligence community, and even
Bush and other senior White House officials have dropped the issue.
In another interview, Cheney told USA Today he was not worried about
his image as the administration's Machiavelli, skilled in the quiet
arts of persuading his "Prince" to pursue questionable policies,
adding, remarkably, "Am I the evil genius in the corner that nobody
ever sees come out of his hole? It's a nice way to operate,
But whether Cheney likes it or not, he is increasingly seen as a
master manipulator, by Democrats, by Republican internationalists
such as Baker and Scowcroft, and, perhaps most significantly for
purposes of Bush's re-election prospects, by a growing number of
traditionally Republican right-wingers and libertarians worried about
the impact of the exploding costs of the "war on terror" on the
country's fiscal health, individual liberties and armed forces. These
Republicans also blame Cheney for being the administration's key
supporter of the neo-conservative agenda, which promotes a never-
ending war against radical Islam.
"So Dick Cheney turns out to be a true radical - not a moderate
Republican," notes Georgie Anne Geyer, a nationally syndicated
columnist, who compares the vice president to Cardinal Richelieu of
17th-century France in a cover article for this week's edition of
American Conservative magazine. "While there is little mystery about
what he has actually done, there remains the mystery of how a man
from Wyoming should be the epicenter of a scheme so strange, so
Machiavellian, so profoundly disaggregated from the American
context," she writes. "But no one should expect Dick Cheney and his
group [of neo-conservatives] to change. They will not."
In a case of particularly bad timing, Cheney's image as a
manipulative schemer was furthered again this week, just as he was
trying to reassure Europeans about his moderation and commitment to
multilateralism. A new book on Tony Blair, authored by Financial
Times correspondent Philip Stephens, depicts Cheney as the surprise
guest at key meetings between Bush and the British prime minister. He
quotes one Blair aide complaining that Cheney "waged a guerrilla war"
against London's efforts to seek United Nations approval before the
war. The book concludes that Cheney constantly "sought to undermine
the prime minister privately", and quotes him telling another senior
official more than six months before the war, "Once we have victory
in Baghdad, all the critics will look like fools."
With the presidential elections looming in November, a "victory" in
Iraq still looks rather tenuous, and with recent polls showing
Cheney's favorability rating at less than one-half of that of Bush -
a mere 20 percent and falling - so might the vice president's claim
to the No 2 spot on the Republican ticket.
Jim Lobe writes on foreign policy for AlterNet, Foreign Policy in
Focus, and TomPaine.com.