Monthly Archives: March 2003

Is this the world you want to live in?

You hear people (on both “sides”) say all the time “it's about oil, dummy”. Now, while oil does play a significant role, it's much larger than that. It's about money and power. Let me draw your attention to some events “bigger” than Iraq. After all, Iraq is, when it comes down to it, a pip-squeak nation that America should be able to roll over in a couple weeks, although shockingly Iraq seems to be holding it's own (more, more).

Russia, as most of you know (since it's been used to slander their motivations, perhaps rightly so), has massive commercial contracts with Iraq (more). Literally hundreds of billions of dollars are tied up there, and since money is already invested, it can't afford to have that jeopardized. The US recently demanded that Russia expel Iraqi diplomats and informed them that all contracts were null and void and after the “liberation” would be handed to US corporations. (more)

So, to simplify, Russia perceives this as America waging war to steal billions or even trillions of dollars from Russia. China feels the same way and has lodged similar protests with the UN as Russia (more) — in total there are $1.1 trillion in contracts with Russia, China, and the EU, again, all of which will shift over to US corporations after the war potentially. (more)

As I mentioned earlier today, America has started flying U-2 spy missions along the Russian border (more) and earlier today Russia scrambled a pair of fighter jets to force the American plane out of Russian airspace (more).

Now Russia has “pseudo-troops” (it's unclear whether they're a privately contracted Russian firm or whether they're sanctioned) fighting along side the Iraqis, providing assistance in blocking US electronics and so on. (more) Additionally, the recent killing of a Russian reporter by US troops in Basra will not be good for public opinion in Russia (more).

America may be big, but do you really think the world will be a better place if military confrontations continue between it and China and Russia? Iraq is a defenseless little baby country on the whole — Russia and China really do have enough firepower (more than America) to effectively destroy the US. Do you want that? Do you want to push the world into a place where that could happen?

This isn't about overthrowing an evil dictator and bringing freedom to his “hostages”. I'm not going to tell you that there isn't an evil dictator, since obviously there are at least two of them involved, if not many more. What I am going to tell you is that if you investigate any of the “facts” being brought up to the mainstream, you'll see that they're but a shallow excuse designed to empower fat megacorporations that don't give a damn about the people of this planet.

We're just food to them.

PS. Since I hear Americans are being told the absolutely ludicrous story that there are Iraqi troops (more) in Texas preparing to launch chemical strikes let me remind you quickly of two things before you go pop your brown-skinned neighbors: (a) The “most likely suspect” in the anthrax attacks after 9/11 was someone inside the US military (more), and (b) “Operation Northwoods” whereby the US military would gain support for war on Cuba by launching terrorist strikes on US cities and blaming someone else (more).

BME militia

This took me forever to draw — I did it at full resolution (ie. flag size) so I can do whatever with it. It's a “TOS angel of death” or something (or the “Shannon-you're-going-to-get-arrested-since-they-already-think-you're-running-a-cult-and-this-will-make-them-think-it's-a-militant-cult-angel-of-death”. I don't know. Maybe I'm just getting wrapped up in the drama of war and expressing my disgust at it through satirical art.

Anyway, I'm going to go shovel some hay and horse manure in the barn. It's honest work. I enjoy doing it. I think if more people could appreciate the nobility in shovelling shit the world would be a much better place.

Duelling polls: 2 weeks

Rebekah pointed me at the Friday Five… not that's it's Friday, but…

1. If you had the chance to meet someone you've never met, from the past or present, who would it be?
I think this has been on a previous poll; I'll give the same answer again: Jesus. No doubt there.

2. If you had to live in a different century, past or future, which would it be?
One word for you: DINOSAURS!

3. If you had to move anywhere else on Earth, where would it be?
New Zealand seems kind of nice.

4. If you had to be a fictional character, who would it be?
This is one of those Rosencrantz and Guildenstern paradoxes, right? Captain Jonathan Archer is my answer. Yeah, Tiberius might be cooler, but living Archer's life would be a lot more exciting.

5. If you had to live with having someone else's face as your own for the rest of your life, whose would it be?
Doesn't really matter to me, but I hope they don't mind if I fancy it up a little with some ink.

1. What was the last song you heard?
Please don't laugh. Iron Maiden – The Trooper. I've been drawing all morning. It helps me work.

2. What were the last two movies you saw?
The Ring is the only one I can remember watching. Given that I only have I think three days left to live, it's the least of my concerns.

3. What were the last three things you purchased?
A pitchfork, a sledgehammer, and some food.

4. What four things do you need to do this weekend?
Make a belly cast, clean the barn, do some silk-screening separations, order a new telephone recorder.

5. Who are the last five people you talked to?
Rachel, Rob, Jon, Ryan, Corrie. (Not in order).

So damn stupid.


THIS IS WAR

WTF? Yesterday I posted about how US missiles “accidentally” hit IraN instead of IraQ. Now the US has accidentally shot down a British jet. They also seem to have attacked a British news team. What with helicopters crashing into each other and friendly fire, the US-UK alliance seems to be experiencing significant losses… from themselves. How is that even possible?

(Not to mention other problems like a potential military clash with Russia brewing away, North Korea just itching to show off their nukes, resistance from “allies” in the North, resistance from “allies” in Iran, and protests around the world and at home against this war…)

"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country."

- Theodore Roosevelt

Thank you, George Bush.

Oh, and you remember how you've been told all those stories by the propaganda machine about all the Iraqis that have been surrendering? The Pentagon has announced that about ten thousand have surrendered, and that they expect over a quarter million more to surrender soon. Problem is, General Franks says that the US is holding as few as one thousand POWs… When asked where the rest of them are, the official answer is “they must have run off.”

So basically the three choices are:

  • The US forces are incredibly incompetent and let 90% of the POWs escape
  • The US command is lying and these Iraqis never surrendered
  • The prisoners were executed in violation of the Geneva Convention

Questions from Iraqis: Why are you here in this country? Are you trying to take over? Are you going to take our country forever? Are the Israelis coming next? Are you here to steal our oil? When are you going to get out?

Charley Reese:

You might have noticed that there has been no talk about an exit strategy. That's because there isn't one. The Bush administration plans to stay in Iraq ... We, of course, will get stuck with the bill, and it will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Some of the politicians' corporate cronies are already being promised lucrative contracts.

There's always a profit to be made from war. You and I won't make it; the soldiers, sailors and airmen won't make it. No, as consumers, we pay the price in treasure and blood and grief; the big corporations reap the profit.

I have long been against taxing Americans to solve problems in foreign countries. It seems to me a simple proposition. Until an American politician can honestly say that all Americans are healthy and prosperous, that all children attend a clean, well-equipped school, that our entire infrastructure is up-to-speed, that all of our public health and environmental problems have been solved, then American tax dollars ought to be spent in the United States. I've read the Constitution I don't know how many times, but I never found anywhere in it that Congress can tax Americans and give the money to foreigners. But Congress does it anyway, and most Americans don't protest. Too busy watching television, I suppose.

Oh yeah, it turns out that Iraq doesn't actually have WMDs — oops! Sorry about that! Guess the inspectors, the UN, and the rest of the world were right. Oh well, it's too late now, there's no turning back. Got to keep up with the killing…

Not that I have any doubt that they won't “find” them eventually.

PS. The pope says war threatens the fate of humanity.

BME army

So a bunch of people said we should actually run this as a shirt… I'm not sure yet whether it's got a satircal value or if it's insanely bad taste. But at least the text is cleaned up a bit. One of the things that we've learned is that from a marketing point of view it's almost impossible to tell in advance which shirts will do well.

It's either that or a slogan shirt that says “I love you like I love a nail in the nuts.