The Friends of California Libre...

23 November 2003

The Tunnel at the End of the Light

Greetings, friends,
So here we drift into a holiday week...the happy celebration of the English foothold in New England. My family came through Chicago and Jamestown, so why I should care I don't know. But when the holiday depression and the drinks come, elbows on the bar, I'll be there next to you trying to cheer you up. Yes, for the first time in some years, I'll be here on Thanksgiving.

If you are free Friday night (and live within 20 km of Los Feliz) I am considering having a small "meeting" that afternoon or evening in my lush apartment. Yes, it has something to do with "The Magic Christian". Let me know if you are interested in taking the time to see an interesting film and perhaps a cocktail that day.

And let us begin. If you have a broadband connection, you might enjoy this odd poli-art imagery (thanks, Shannon):

In honor of the "happy racist holiday" (thank you, Crissy), Thanksgiving, a recipe (thanks, Geri, and of course, Jacques):
From: "Rex Tangle"
Subject: A Thanksgiving Idea
* Exported from MasterCook *

Recipe By:
Serving Size: 8
Preparation Time: 0:00
Categories: Main dish

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
---------- ------------ --------------------------------
4 Eggs
4 cups Bread crumbs
1/2 Envelope Lipton onion soup
1 cups Uncooked popcorn

Beat eggs and other ingredients. Stuff turkey and bake at 375 degrees for 3 hours. When 3 hours are up get the hell out of the kitchen because that stuffing is gonna blow that turkey's ass right out of that oven.

On a sobering note, Saturday was the 40th anniversary of John Kennedy's assassination. For some of you this is a moment where time became fixed to a point, and events for years around could be pegged to it by distance. For me and some of the rest, this day really is pegged to the mysterious coffee table books full of Kennedy photographs, while the TV blared Nixon and Ford at us. Or is it just me? Did everyone have those coffee table books? Poor Kennedy family. Let's leave it at that. It's been 40 years.

Shall we screed a little? Here's a bit you won't see headlining the evening news:
U.S. Agrees to International Control of its Troops in Iraq
By Leonard Doyle and Stephen Castle
Independent UK

Did I miss something? Did this sudden cave-in appear mystically only to the staff of the London Independent? I hardly think so.

Still, why should we worry about Iraq when we've already picked our next front in the "war on terror", and no, it isn't in Turkey:
Star Wars Makes Defense Secretary Space Out
By James Ridgeway
The Village Voice

So I say, "have your fun now", before the forces of darkness really get it together to take control:
"Old Europe" Feels Vindicated on Iraq
By Mark John
PARIS - Was France right about Iraq all along?

No, in this poker match where the stakes are immeasurable, and the entire audience is full of starving Third World children armed with machine-guns, better to hedge your bets:
U.N. Officials Are Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop
By Kirk Semple
New York Times

As we saw yesterday in Georgia (and more power to them), change can come suddenly, and surprisingly easily, if you really want it:
Hungarian Says Rock Defeated Communism

There are other things going on in the world besides terror...there's fishing:
Police Go Fishing While on Terror Patrol

But don't tell that to the soldiers in our military, who are stuck fighting a war of revenge instead of a real war on terror:
Few GIs for Veterans Day Marches
By Coralie Carlson
Associated Press MSNBC
The problem: Not enough troops, tanks and HumVees to wow the patriotic crowds.

Even some of our heroic defenders of the Motherland are speaking out (thanks, Geri):
Someone with a brain has infiltrated the news media..
Private Jessica Says President is Misusing Her 'Heroism'
Edward Helmore
The Observer

But mostly, what we hear about our troops in Iraq is nothing. Very little footage, only a few place to find a comprehensive list of names, nothing about the human cost of this war (which will, yeah, be coming home someday too far off but definitely coming):
Don't Mention the Dead
By Gary Younge
The Guardian UK

An article about the English World War I poet Wilfred Owen, who wrote the most famous horrific accounts of that slaughter, compares his shellshocked honesty to the deceptions of the White House:
For the complete story in the New York Times, go to:

No, there won't be any poetry about this low-grade slaughter:
Without Honor
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t Perspective

You won't hear about the maimings and the injuries:
Hospital Front
By Esther Schrader
Los Angeles Times
The physical therapists on the fifth floor of Walter Reed Army Medical Center have a bulletin board they call their Wall of Heroes. It is crammed with photos of young soldiers in their care ­ soldiers wounded in the war in Iraq.

But they exist, they're friends, neighbors, fans, customers, patrons, classmates:
U.S. Casualties from Iraq War Top 9,000
By Mark Benjamin
U.S. Stays Blind to Iraqi Casualties
By Derrick Z. Jackson
Boston Globe

And of course, the occupied country is taking a much greater toll. Even our friends in the puppet state occasionally get killed:
** Iraqis denounce Americans over killing of mayor **
Hundreds of Iraqis turned out on Monday to mourn the death of the mayor of the vast Sadr City district of Baghdad, denouncing U.S. soldiers they said had killed him a day earlier.
U.S.-Appointed Iraqi Council Leader Killed
By Anthony Shadid and Fred Barbash
Washington Post

Even in the Kurdish north of Iraq, ordinary people are attacking and killing any American they can. Is this the great victory we were promised by George Bush?

CIA has a bleak analysis of Iraq - A new, top-secret CIA report from Iraq warns that growing numbers of Iraqis are concluding the U.S.-led coalition can be defeated and are supporting the insurgents.
The full article will be available on the Web for a limited time:
(c) 2003 Philadelphia Inquirer and wire service sources. All Rights

And the question is, how will know we even won? Just declare victory and leave, or stay and be slowly decimated, while the country slips into anarchy (or, as the Pentagon would like, another dictatorship):Insurgents Gain a Deadly Edge in Intelligence
By John Diamond, Steven Komarow, and Kevin Johnson
USA Today

It is hard to see a good resolution for our predicament:
'We Could Lose This Situation'
By Julian Borger and Rory McCarthy
The Guardian
Something Wicked This Way Comes
By John Cory
TO correspondent in Saudi Arabia
t r u t h o u t Perspective
Some people say Iraq is a quagmire. I disagree. I see Iraq as an oil slick, oozing and drifting across the currents, poisoning the basic source of life, damaging the environment beyond belief, and killing the Creator's defenseless and fragile creatures. True to form, there is no glory in an oil spill, only a sense of violation. And typically there is no containment until after the damage is done.

On the contrary, a true war against terror, a war between the world's greatest force and it's most insidious, is one that could go on forever:
The Iraq Quaqmire: The Endless War Against Terrorism
By Eric Leser
Le Monde

What were we thinking a year ago?
Rush to War, Revisited
New York Times Editorial

Finally, an interesting statement of what might have been...but that's just being naive.
Remarks By Al Gore
As Prepared for Delivery
Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.

Vive le Screed!

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