Decaturs (ordered by 1990 population)

Decatur City, Iowa: 177 (40.7 N, 93.8 W)
Decatur, New York: 356 (42.7 N, 74.7 W)
Decatur, Nebraska: 641 (42.0 N, 96.3 W)
Decatur, Arkansas: 918 (36.3 N, 94.5 W)
Decatur, Wisconsin: 1,076 (42.6 N, 89.4 W)
Decatur Township, Ohio: 1,114 (39.3 N, 81.8 W)
Decatur, Mississippi: 1,248 (32.4 N, 89.1 W)
Decatur, Tennessee: 1,361 (35.5 N, 84.8 W)
Decatur, Michigan: 1,760 (42.1 N, 86.0 W)
Decatur Township, Pennsylvania: 3,004 (40.9 N, 78.3 W)
Decatur, Texas: 4,252 (33.2 N, 97.6 W)
Decatur, Indiana: 8,644 (40.8 N, 84.9 W)
Decatur, Georgia: 17,336 (33.8 N, 84.3 W)
Decatur, Alabama: 48,761 (34.6 N, 87.0 W)
Decatur, Illinois: 83,885 (39.9 N, 88.9 W)


A Primer on US Fabrication of Evidence

This memorandum issued by a group of former CIA analysts summarizes a handful of important cases in which the US has fabricated evidence in order to justify military offensives as foreign policy. Good stuff to keep in mind as the US investigates the status if Iraq's compliance with UN weapons sanctions.

It's not suspicious at all that even though we have a shortage of U.S. experts available to conduct inspections, that we have specifically told the UN weapons inspection program that they will not be needed.

(via Robot Wisdom)


Android Meme's Xenochrony - Part 04

Beter: Yes, I think so. Since the Bolsheviks and the Pentagon, both now panicking state socialists, or McLuhan's military bureacracies, are forced to team up, they are going to have to control the coming temple bureacracies. And the Christian Fundamentalists are very useful and necessary to bridge that gap. But that would create a problem for the American corporate socialists, the old temple bureacracy of Liberalism. That's one hell of a conflict I see on the horizon, I fear.
Dobbs: Yeah, it'll tear the country apart.
(Feb 6, 1979)

See also the reference to a 1940's article by Marshall McLuhan that outlines the plot of The Matrix.

The Victims of Liberation

"To initiate a war of aggression," said the judges in the Nuremberg trial of the Nazi leadership, "is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." In stating this guiding principle of international law, the judges specifically rejected German arguments of the "necessity" for pre-emptive attacks against other countries."

- from John Pilger's first person Indictment of the crimes perpetrated in Iraq. The contrast between this account and what you've seen on TV is overwhelming. Common sense forces you to see that the truth hovers between, but when it lands, it lands right here on the mark. (Thanks again to Jorn Barger's Robot Wisdom for keeping me informed)



(Words fail me.)
I Miss America - Even Dick Nixon Looks Good to Me Now.

What I mean is, I miss the days of Richard Nixon when, even while the Trickster and Spiro Agnew were abusing power, a loyal opposition resided in Washington, D.C. I miss the days when a loyal opposition was bipartisan, well-spoken and independent-minded, when it included people like Daniel Moynihan, who died this week, and Lowell Weicker, then a Republican Senator from this great state. I miss the time when the Republican Party had smart people in it, even if you disagreed with them, people like Mark Hatfield, Barry Goldwater, John Chaffee. I miss the time when even so-called "doves" like William Fulbright, Mike Mansfield, George McGovern and Morris Udall were admired by those who voted differently from them. I miss the checks and balances that were built into our Constitution and worked so well for this nation up until November 2000."

- from the Hartford Advocate via Robot Wisdom.
Primary Sources for Looking at War in Iraq

This site at CalTech links everything from the U.S. Constitution and the U.N. Charter to Hans Blix's inspection reports, Al-Jazeera coverage, and Jimmy Carter's editorials.


The War We're Fighting in the Press

I cannot help remembering an Iranian hospital train on which I travelled back from the Iran-Iraq war front in the early 1980s. The carriages were packed with young Iranian soldiers, coughing mucus and blood into handkerchiefs while reading Korans. They had been gassed and looked as if they would die. Most did. After a few hours, I had to go around and open the windows of the compartments, because the gas coughed back from their lungs was beginning to poison the air in the carriage.

At the time, I was working for The Times. My story ran in full. Then an official of the Foreign Office lunched my editor and told him my report was "not helpful". Because, of course, we supported President Saddam at the time and wanted revolutionary Iran to suffer and destroy itself. President Saddam was the good guy then. I wasn't supposed to report his human rights abuses. And now I'm not supposed to report the slaughter of the innocent by American or RAF pilots because the British Government has changed sides.

- from a strident, but confident, editorial by Robert Fisk in The Independent
The War We're Fighting in Nasiriyah

"Immediately, the level of force levelled at civilian vehicles was overwhelming. Tanks were placed on the road and AAVs lined along one side. Several taxis were destroyed by helicopter gunships as they drove down the road...

...This was the start of day that claimed many civilian casualties. After the lorry a truck came down the road. Again the marines fired. Inside, four men were killed. They had been travelling with some 10 other civilians, mainly women and children who were evacuated, crying, their clothes splattered in blood. Hours later a dog belonging to the dead
driver was still by his side...

...Though civilians on foot passed by safely, the policy was to shoot anything that moved on wheels. Inevitably, terrified civilians drove at speed to escape: marines took that speed to be a threat and hit out. During the night, our teeth on edge, we listened a dozen times as the
AVVs' machineguns opened fire, cutting through cars and trucks like paper...

...Next morning I saw the result of this order - the dead civilians, the little girl in the orange and gold dress...

...In the days afterwards, the marines consolidated their position and put a barrier of trucks across the bridge to stop anyone from driving across, so there were no more civilian deaths.

They also ruminated on what they had done. Some rationalised it.

"I was shooting down a street when suddenly a woman came out and casually began to cross the street with a child no older than 10," said Gunnery Sergeant John Merriman, another Gulf war veteran. "At first I froze on seeing the civilian woman. She then crossed back again with the child and went behind a wall. Within less than a minute a guy with an RPG came out and fired at us from behind the same wall. This happened a second time so I thought, 'Okay, I get it. Let her come out again'.

She did and this time I took her out with my M-16."

Mark Franchetti tells the horrific story to the London Times. (Use this link if you don't subscribe to the Times online)

This page gathers up all the available material on the disputed origin of this southernism.


Hawks & Hornets

Find yourself curious about our real motives? William Raspberry lays it out clearly and concisely:

There are, basically, two views regarding the source of anti-American terrorism in the Arab world. The first was articulated by retired Marine Gen. Joseph P. Hoar in testimony last September before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The problem, he argued, is that the Muslim world does not trust us. "They believe the U.S. government has acted unilaterally, sometimes as a bully, sometimes has used other nations for its own interests and abandoned them when the objective has been achieved. And most important, they believe the U.S. has unjustly supported Israel over the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.

"At the end of the day, the war on terrorism will be won only when we convince 1 billion Muslims that we are, in fact, a just society; that we do support peace, justice, equality for all people; that in fact we really are the 'City on the Hill.' "

On the other hand, the administration's plan, says Marshall, is "to use U.S. military force, or the threat of it, to reform or topple virtually every regime in the region, from foes like Syria to friends like Egypt, on the theory that it is the undemocratic nature of these regimes that ultimately breeds terrorism."

The problem is not that this second view is wrong (though I have no doubt that it is dangerously so) but that its adherents have consciously avoided letting it become part of the public debate. Instead, they have sold a sort of incrementalism-without-retreat by which we have only to accept the necessity of getting rid of Hussein to wind up supporting the radical realignment of the Middle East.