Archive for January, 2004

January 31, 2004

Revised Cover

Check out who did the intro to my upcoming book!

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January 31, 2004

Revised Cover

Check out who did the intro to my upcoming book!

January 27, 2004

To the People of New Hampshire

You have an important decision to make today. You have a choice between the one Democratic candidate, Howard Dean, with the guts and gumption to take on George W. Bush this coming fall, and an ordinary Democrat like John Kerry or John Edwards.

Howard Dean is far from perfect. I disagree with him on many issues, especially the war in Afghanistan. And it’s a little weird to know that your president sometimes growls like a Siberian snow leopard. But none of the other major contenders can beat Bush.

First and foremost, the nation has become so polarized that the “swing vote” has all but disappeared. I discovered this trend while researching my new book. What used to be a 40% Democratic-20% Independent-40% Republican nation is now closer to 45-10-45. The key to electoral success, as Gore and Bush discovered in 2000, is energizing your party’s base. All of those pumped-up twentysomethings–the successor to the Gen Xers who elected Clinton in 1992–are not going to vote for pro-Iraq war Kerry, or vote at all. Old-line liberals won’t turn out in sufficient numbers. In the final analysis, the difference between Kerry and Bush isn’t great enough to convince the American people to make a change.

Bush is a disaster. He has nearly bankrupted the federal government and many states with his profligate spending policies. He has planted the seed of fascism in the highest levels of government with his concentration camp, red-baiting and increased surveillance powers for Das Homeland. And it’s a fair bet that he’s planning more unwinnable wars for 2005. The Democratic Party needs its best chance at defeating him this fall, and that chance isn’t in the form of John Kerry.

I fear that too many Democrats, and too many Americans, don’t get it. If Bush wins this election, there may never be another one.

If you live in New Hampshire, vote Dean.

January 27, 2004

To the People of New Hampshire

You have an important decision to make today. You have a choice between the one Democratic candidate, Howard Dean, with the guts and gumption to take on George W. Bush this coming fall, and an ordinary Democrat like John Kerry or John Edwards.

Howard Dean is far from perfect. I disagree with him on many issues, especially the war in Afghanistan. And it’s a little weird to know that your president sometimes growls like a Siberian snow leopard. But none of the other major contenders can beat Bush.

First and foremost, the nation has become so polarized that the “swing vote” has all but disappeared. I discovered this trend while researching my new book. What used to be a 40% Democratic-20% Independent-40% Republican nation is now closer to 45-10-45. The key to electoral success, as Gore and Bush discovered in 2000, is energizing your party’s base. All of those pumped-up twentysomethings–the successor to the Gen Xers who elected Clinton in 1992–are not going to vote for pro-Iraq war Kerry, or vote at all. Old-line liberals won’t turn out in sufficient numbers. In the final analysis, the difference between Kerry and Bush isn’t great enough to convince the American people to make a change.

Bush is a disaster. He has nearly bankrupted the federal government and many states with his profligate spending policies. He has planted the seed of fascism in the highest levels of government with his concentration camp, red-baiting and increased surveillance powers for Das Homeland. And it’s a fair bet that he’s planning more unwinnable wars for 2005. The Democratic Party needs its best chance at defeating him this fall, and that chance isn’t in the form of John Kerry.

I fear that too many Democrats, and too many Americans, don’t get it. If Bush wins this election, there may never be another one.

If you live in New Hampshire, vote Dean.

January 26, 2004

Coming April 2004

376 pp., all prose/no cartoons/all new content, nothing reprinted

TO PURCHASE this important book: you may either pre-order from Amazon or watch Soft Skull Press’ website.

BOOK REVIEWERS/EDITORS: Contact me to receive an advance review copy.

January 26, 2004

Coming April 2004

376 pp., all prose/no cartoons/all new content, nothing reprinted

TO PURCHASE this important book: you may either pre-order from Amazon or watch Soft Skull Press’ website.

BOOK REVIEWERS/EDITORS: Contact me to receive an advance review copy.

January 25, 2004

News for Completists

I wrote the introduction for the new MAD Magazine anthology of comic strip parodies. If that isn’t enough to prompt you to buy a copy (and I’m not sure it should be), they really are very, very funny parodies running the gamut from the 1950s to the present. A must for comics fans, methinks.

Heck, looks like I’ll have to buy one myself since MAD didn’t bother to send me a comp copy.

January 25, 2004

News for Completists

I wrote the introduction for the new MAD Magazine anthology of comic strip parodies. If that isn’t enough to prompt you to buy a copy (and I’m not sure it should be), they really are very, very funny parodies running the gamut from the 1950s to the present. A must for comics fans, methinks.

Heck, looks like I’ll have to buy one myself since MAD didn’t bother to send me a comp copy.

January 24, 2004

Why Did David Kay Resign as Bush’s Chief WMD Hunter-Gatherer?

Bush-appointed WMD inspector has resigned. The first question on most people’s minds was “why?”–a question not asked or answered in most American media reports about what easily rates as the week’s most dramatic story.

<a href=”http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=123&art_id=qw1074929943217B262&set_id=1

“>This interview sheds some light on the matter.

Some highlights:

Why did you decide to step down?

It was, as usually it is in these cases, a complex set of issues, it related in part to a reduction in the resource and a change in focus of ISG (Iraq Survey Group). When I had started out, I had made it a condition that ISG be exclusively focused on WMD. That’s no longer so. The reduction of resources. And the reason those were important is, and at least to me they were important, is I didn’t feel that we could complete the task as quickly as I thought it important to complete the task, unless we exclusively focused ISG.

You’re talking about that they were asking some of the analysts to do the insurgency work, right?

Yes.

Is it true that one of the reasons you wanted to step down was because you don’t believe that anything will be found?

No. No, that wasn’t the reason. In fact, the reason I thought it important to complete everything is that … by the time we get to June … we’re not going to find much after June. Once the Iraqis take complete control of the government it is just almost impossible to operate in the way that we operate. In fact it was already becoming tough. We had an important ministry that would not allow its people to be interviewed unless they had someone present. It was like the old regime.

I think we have found probably 85 percent of what we’re going to find.

The country is such and he hid so much that you can probably spend the next decade of your life in the country, and you will find things, but I think in terms of understanding that program, we’re well on the way, almost at the end, so that you can say what went wrong, what they had.”

What happened to the stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons that everyone expected to be there?

I don’t think they existed.

I think there were stockpiles at the end of the first Gulf War and those were a combination of U.N. inspectors and unilateral Iraqi action got rid of them. I think the best evidence is that they did not resume large-scale production, and that’s what we’re really talking about, is large stockpiles, not the small. Large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the period after ’95.

After ’95?

We’re really talking about from the mid-90s, when people thought they had resumed production

What about the nuclear program?

The nuclear program was as we said in the interim report, I think that will be a final conclusion. There had been some restart of activities, but they were rudimentary.

It really wasn’t dormant because there were a few little things going on, but it had not resumed in anything meaningful.

You came away from the hunt that you have done believing that they did not have any large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the country?

That is correct.

Is that from the interviews and documentation?

Well the interviews, the documentation, and the physical evidence of looking at, as hard as it was because they were dealing with looted sites, but you just could not find any physical evidence that supported a larger program.

Do you think they destroyed it?

No, I don’t think they existed.

Even though in the mid-1980s people said they used it on Halabja?

They had stockpiles, they fought the Iranians with it, and they certainly did use it on the Kurds. But what everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last (1991) Gulf War and I don’t think there was a large-scale production program in the ’90s.

And there you have it–all of the statements about WMDs–they have them, we know they have them, we even know where they are–were a lie. Every one of the 500 US troops and the thousands of Iraqis who have died since the start of the war has died for that lie.

Kay is no leftie–quite the contrary.

Forget impeachment, which won’t happen under a Republican-controlled Congress anyway. Bush & Co. deserve to be brought up on international war crimes charges as well as charges of mass murder by whatever government ultimately emerges in Iraq. Bush is scum. My stomach would be roiling right now, food poisoning or no. Yours should be too.

Sadly, there’s no sign that any American will do anything to defend our democracy from Bush’s goons. The French may have lost to Germany in six weeks, but they had Panzers to contend with. What’s our excuse? We’ve been taken over by a dozen fascist idiots in suits and ties and we haven’t done squat about it.

January 24, 2004

Why Did David Kay Resign as Bush’s Chief WMD Hunter-Gatherer?

Bush-appointed WMD inspector has resigned. The first question on most people’s minds was “why?”–a question not asked or answered in most American media reports about what easily rates as the week’s most dramatic story.

<a href=”http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=123&art_id=qw1074929943217B262&set_id=1

“>This interview sheds some light on the matter.

Some highlights:

Why did you decide to step down?

It was, as usually it is in these cases, a complex set of issues, it related in part to a reduction in the resource and a change in focus of ISG (Iraq Survey Group). When I had started out, I had made it a condition that ISG be exclusively focused on WMD. That’s no longer so. The reduction of resources. And the reason those were important is, and at least to me they were important, is I didn’t feel that we could complete the task as quickly as I thought it important to complete the task, unless we exclusively focused ISG.

You’re talking about that they were asking some of the analysts to do the insurgency work, right?

Yes.

Is it true that one of the reasons you wanted to step down was because you don’t believe that anything will be found?

No. No, that wasn’t the reason. In fact, the reason I thought it important to complete everything is that … by the time we get to June … we’re not going to find much after June. Once the Iraqis take complete control of the government it is just almost impossible to operate in the way that we operate. In fact it was already becoming tough. We had an important ministry that would not allow its people to be interviewed unless they had someone present. It was like the old regime.

I think we have found probably 85 percent of what we’re going to find.

The country is such and he hid so much that you can probably spend the next decade of your life in the country, and you will find things, but I think in terms of understanding that program, we’re well on the way, almost at the end, so that you can say what went wrong, what they had.”

What happened to the stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons that everyone expected to be there?

I don’t think they existed.

I think there were stockpiles at the end of the first Gulf War and those were a combination of U.N. inspectors and unilateral Iraqi action got rid of them. I think the best evidence is that they did not resume large-scale production, and that’s what we’re really talking about, is large stockpiles, not the small. Large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the period after ’95.

After ’95?

We’re really talking about from the mid-90s, when people thought they had resumed production

What about the nuclear program?

The nuclear program was as we said in the interim report, I think that will be a final conclusion. There had been some restart of activities, but they were rudimentary.

It really wasn’t dormant because there were a few little things going on, but it had not resumed in anything meaningful.

You came away from the hunt that you have done believing that they did not have any large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the country?

That is correct.

Is that from the interviews and documentation?

Well the interviews, the documentation, and the physical evidence of looking at, as hard as it was because they were dealing with looted sites, but you just could not find any physical evidence that supported a larger program.

Do you think they destroyed it?

No, I don’t think they existed.

Even though in the mid-1980s people said they used it on Halabja?

They had stockpiles, they fought the Iranians with it, and they certainly did use it on the Kurds. But what everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last (1991) Gulf War and I don’t think there was a large-scale production program in the ’90s.

And there you have it–all of the statements about WMDs–they have them, we know they have them, we even know where they are–were a lie. Every one of the 500 US troops and the thousands of Iraqis who have died since the start of the war has died for that lie.

Kay is no leftie–quite the contrary.

Forget impeachment, which won’t happen under a Republican-controlled Congress anyway. Bush & Co. deserve to be brought up on international war crimes charges as well as charges of mass murder by whatever government ultimately emerges in Iraq. Bush is scum. My stomach would be roiling right now, food poisoning or no. Yours should be too.

Sadly, there’s no sign that any American will do anything to defend our democracy from Bush’s goons. The French may have lost to Germany in six weeks, but they had Panzers to contend with. What’s our excuse? We’ve been taken over by a dozen fascist idiots in suits and ties and we haven’t done squat about it.