Monthly Archives: March 2003

Do you know this?

Don't know how to stop this war? Consider this:

America is still a democracy… But it's not a democracy in the way you think it is. America is becoming the pinnacle of capitalist democracy. That is, the corporation tells the government what to do.

When the individual tells the government what to do, it is ignored, because only the corporation has that power. As such, the individual's voice is through the corporation.

By sending a message to the corporation, you send a message to the government. Your vote may mean nothing to the government, but your “vote” — your purchase — does mean a lot to the corporation. So remember, when you excercise your right to purchase politically, you are voting.

Know who you are buying from.

Vote through consumer action.

Support only peaceful companies. Support only peaceful media. Those you don't support, WRITE THEM LETTERS and tell them why you're not supporting them. If they believe that being pro-war is hurting them financially, the war will end.


Thank you to Saira (who once had a relative sawed in half ALIVE for not converting to Islam) for directing me to this document based on one released by the Oregon Center for Public Policy. Please read it. Please forward it to anyone you think it would help. I absolutely stand by my statement that anyone who supports this war without knowing the below is stupid, and that anyone supports this war while knowing the below is evil.


Do you know enough
to justify going to war with Iraq?

  1. What percentage of the world's population does the U.S. have? 6%
  2. What percentage of the world's wealth does the U.S. have? 50%
  3. Which country has the largest oil reserves? Saudi Arabia
  4. Which country has the second largest oil reserves? Iraq
  5. How much is spent on military budgets a year worldwide? $900+ billion
  6. How much of this is spent by the U.S.? 50%
  7. What percent of US military spending would ensure the essentials of life to everyone in the world, according the the UN? 10% (about $40 billion, half the amount of funding needed for every month of war on Iraq).
  8. How many people have died in wars since World War II? 86 million
  9. How long has Iraq had chemical and biological weapons? Since the early 1980's.
  10. Did Iraq develop these chemical & biological weapons on their own? No, the materials and technology were supplied by the US government, along with Britan and private corporations.
  11. Did the US government condemn the Iraqi use of gas warfare against Iran? No
  12. How many people did Saddam Hussein kill using gas in the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988? 5,000
  13. How many western countries condemned this action at the time? Zero
  14. How many gallons of agent Orange did America use in Vietnam? 17 million.
  15. Are there any proven links between Iraq and September 11th terrorist attack? No
  16. What is the estimated number of civilian casualties in the Gulf War? 35,000
  17. How many casualties did the Iraqi military inflict on the western forces during the Gulf War? Zero
  18. How many retreating Iraqi soldiers were buried alive by U.S. tanks with ploughs mounted on the front? 6,000
  19. How many tons of depleted uranium were left in Iraq and Kuwait after the Gulf War? 40 tons
  20. What according to the UN was the increase in cancer rates in Iraq between 1991 and 1994? 700%
  21. How much of Iraq's military capacity did America claim it had destroyed in 1991? 80%
  22. Is there any proof that Iraq plans to use its weapons for anything other than deterrence and self defense? No
  23. Does Iraq present more of a threat to world peace now than 10 years ago? No
  24. How many civilian deaths has the Pentagon predicted in the event of an attack on Iraq in 2002/3? 10,000
  25. What percentage of these will be children? Over 50%
  26. How many years has the U.S. engaged in air strikes on Iraq? 11 years
  27. Was the U.S and the UK at war with Iraq between December 1998 and September 1999? No
  28. How many pounds of explosives were dropped on Iraq between December 1998 and September 1999? 20 million
  29. How many years ago was UN Resolution 661 introduced, imposing strict sanctions on Iraq's imports and exports? 12 years
  30. What was the child death rate in Iraq in 1989 (per 1,000 births)? 38
  31. What was the estimated child death rate in Iraq in 1999 (per 1,000 births)? 131 (an increase of 345%)
  32. How many Iraqis are estimated to have died by October 1999 as a result of UN sanctions? 1.5 million
  33. How many Iraqi children are estimated to have died due to sanctions since 1997? 750,000
  34. Did Saddam order the inspectors out of Iraq? No
  35. How many inspections were there in November and December 1998? 300
  36. Were the weapons inspectors allowed entry to the Ba'ath Party HQ? Yes
  37. Who said that by December 1998, “Iraq had in fact, been disarmed to a level unprecedented in modern history.”? Scott Ritter, UNSCOM chief.
  38. In 1998 how much of Iraq's post 1991 capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction did the UN weapons inspectors claim to have discovered and dismantled? 90%
  39. Is Iraq willing to allow the weapons inspectors back in? Yes
  40. How many UN resolutions did Israel violate by 1992? Over 65
  41. How many UN resolutions on Israel did America veto between 1972 and 1990? Over 30
  42. How many countries are known to have nuclear weapons? 8
  43. How many nuclear warheads has Iraq got? Zero
  44. How many nuclear warheads has US got? Over 10,000
  45. Has the US ever allowed in UN weapons inspectors? No
  46. Which is the only country to use nuclear weapons? The US
  47. How many nuclear warheads does Israel have? Over 400
  48. Has Israel ever allowed in UN weapons inspectors? No
  49. Who said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
  50. Who said, “Thou shalt not kill”?

Despair

So while a couple people have sent me messages of support, the overwhelming response from people watching the videos is anything from the light “how dare I try and make this war appear wrong” to accusing me of being a terrorist sympathiser and even a war criminal. I hate watching all this. War justified by lies, with a bunch of morons cheering it on blindly.

I don't know how many times I've heard bullshit like “but Iraq executes POWs” (a statement the UK has retracted) or “but Saddam gassed his neighbors” (he gassed who everyone thought were a terrorist camp, with US weapons, under US direction), and other total crap like how this will free the people of Iraq in some way. Any decently informed person knows this to be false.

I have come to the conclusion that this war and this President are supported by two forces: 1. The extremely stupid and uninformed. 2. The extremely evil and selfish. So… Which are you? Stupid? Evil? Or against war and killing? If you fall into the first two categories, you're a pathetic excuse for a compassionate human being and I hope one day — soon I hope — you realize what you've wrought.

If I didn't believe killing was wrong, I'd be wishing you death right now.


This all is making me seriously reconsider the work I put into this site and other community projects. Why should I try and improve the lives of people who support murder and commercialized butchery? Does that not put blood on my own hands, to give comfort to you demons? Or should I set up the system to only offer new features to those of an anti-killing stance? It wouldn't be hard to do.

I feel like I should just refocus myself on subverting “the system” and making as much money as possible, and then using that to create a homeland, a sanctuary for those of us here who are unwilling to be a part of this evil, to live in peace. A place were we can farm. A place where we can express what we believe is good through art and gardening and just refuse to take part in all of this.

(And yes, that project is still alive and well for those that have followed it over the last few years).

I don't know if that would make me happy. But I think it would make me happier. Those that choose to join me are welcome, as long as they help with tend the gardens… There are better ways to live. The question I suppose is whether we choose them.

Morning the second revision.

OK, later today I'm going to make a video collage; I've got a little spare time today and I've been recording lots of stuff off CNN that I think people should see… This morning I recorded shots of Iraqi POWs sitting blindfolded in little barbed wire cage with no blankets or even a jacket as storms raged around them… In the foreground was a US soldier proudly talking about how well treated the Iraqis are and how they should be lucky to surrender and get this great treatment… I guess he didn't realize what was in the background of the shot.

It was pretty weird… Remember, the American POWs in Iraq have said in interviews with al-Jazeera that they're being treated well, and if you don't want to believe that (coersion is of course possible), the POWs from the Afghanistan war (and the Taliban is definitely more brutal than Saddam) all said they were treated exceptionally well, and in many cases said that they had better food and sleeping quarters than their captors, who basically treated them as guests.

Well, like I said, I'll let the footage speak for itself and people can draw their own conclusions from it…


On more pleasant news, I expect that the IM-bot (that is, the taskbar-based IM checker system that sits in your Windows tray and notifies you whenever you have new messages) should be out for public beta today. I will also be looking for a Mac programmer to replicate it for the Mac (this is a paid contract job) so if you're a qualified Mac programmer, I hope I'll hear from you after you've had a chance to try out the Windows version.

Who will take the fall?

I'm getting a lot more mail than usual today telling me basically these two key points, and I wanted to address them:

  • Americans don't support Bush, so I should not “blame Americans” for anything that's happening in Iraq. (I thought America was a democracy where the government represents the will of the people?)
  • It's wrong of me to include the American flag in any images from Iraq.

Please understand that I realize that most people reading my page are no fans of Bush and would stop this war if they could. But also please understand that it's not Bush that's going to answer for the crimes he's committing right now. He's going to walk away from this very rich — ka-ching — no matter how it turns out.

But the American people will answer for these crimes, whether they supported this war or not (apparently 80% do). It is you that will be hurt when the reprisals and consequences start to roll in. Whether you like it or not, it's your name that's getting written on those corpses, and it's your corpse that the parents and relatives will demand in return. Bush is immune.

As far as including the American flag in the pictures, you have to realize that these killings in Iraq are not happening anonymously. I include the flag because people are so conditioned by images of violence on TV that unless they're “personalized” they get ignored. It's a horrible truth of the TV society we've greated.

If it really hurts you to see the American flag associated with them, then you shouldn't argue to hide the name of the aggressor — you should argue to stop the aggression. Me adding a flag doesn't change the event — and it's not there to “hurt” you or be “mean” to you — it's there so you understand, with brutal honesty, what is being carried out in your name.

Remember, the most patriotic thing you can do as an American is stand up to your government and tell them to do what you ask. If America is a democracy they must listen. So call your Congressman. Write a letter. And make sure everyone you know does the same. Because like it or not, this war is happening in your name and you will be paying the price both in blood and in cash.


To: *****
From: Shannon <glider@bmezine.com>
Subject: Re: The war

>About the pictures of the people hurt, and mangled on
>your page. I was somewhat for war before this war started.
>After seeing your side of it....I am ashamed to be an
>american. Just thought I would tell you that.

Don't be ashamed to be an American -- be proud to be an
American and do what you can, as an American, to stop these
people from committing these acts in your name.

Shannon

Holy Hell

I don't know how many people watched Bush's rally today for the troops in Flordia, but I record all of them. They're crazy to watch. Seriously crazy… I have no idea how people can watch him tell full-on lies (today included things like implying that Saddam was ready to launch chemical strikes on American soil, that al-Qaeda had been defeated, etc.) and not say “what the hell is going on?”… Part of me thinks his handlers are trying to get him assassinated.

Anyway, I'd like to quote from today's “Hand of God” speech, as I like to call it:

"I want to thank Chaplain Stone. I appreciate your words of prayer for [our military]... People acorss this country are praying. We pray that God will bless and receive each of the fallen and we thank God that liberty found such brave defenders.

The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, but God's gift to humanity. May God bless America."

Um… Is it just me, or is Bush saying that (a) this is a holy war and America is acting as the hand of God, (b) God hand-picked the American troops to fight Satan's army, and (c) any fallen troops will go straight to heaven, presumably to their holy harem of virgins?

I'd like to know what church — and what God — gave Bush that authority. The Pope has said Bush is going to hell for this and has said that any soldiers killed in action are going straight to Hell where they will burn for an eternity. That's straight from the Pope. Don't want to believe the Pope? Even the Church that Bush claims to belong to has said the same thing. (more)

Bush's America is not the hand of God. It is the hand of evil.