Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for May 10th, 2009

Do many small wars add up to a very large one?

Posted by Charles II on May 10, 2009

Tom Hayden at The Nation, via Small Wars Journal:

In Iraq, the dark side first involved the 2003-2004 American-sponsored round-ups and torture, only leaked to the American public and media by a US guard in Abu Ghraib. In addition, as many as 50,000 young Iraqis, mostly Sunnis, have been held in extreme conditions in detention centers across the country (some of them now being released under the pact negotiated between Baghdad and Washington). Then there were the unreported, top-secret extrajudicial killings described chillingly in Bob Woodward’s The War Within, which were so effective that they reportedly gave “orgasms” to Gen. Petraeus’s top adviser, Derek Harvey. Woodward writes that these killings, in which the Pentagon was the judge, jury and executioner, based heavily on local informants, were “very possibly the biggest factor in reducing” Iraq’s violence in 2007. It is likely that death squads were carrying out the revived version of a “global Phoenix program,” as advocated by Gen. Petraeus’s leading counterinsurgency adviser, David Kilcullen, in the Small Wars Journal (November 30, 2004). Jane Mayer, in The Dark Side, confirms that Phoenix became a model after 9/11, despite the fact that military historians called it massive, state-sanctioned murder, and clear evidence that 97 percent of its Vietcong victims were of “negligible importance.”

Then there’s this cheery bit from Afghanistan:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in terrorism, Vietnam | Comments Off on Do many small wars add up to a very large one?

Spocko discovers Duluth

Posted by Charles II on May 10, 2009

Spocko discovers Duluth

Oh, and via The Edge of the American West, Seth Grahame’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, about which Scott Eric Kaufman says in one of the best lines of the era:

Just like Graeme-Smith improved upon Austen by inserting zombies into scenes in which they clearly don’t belong, conservatives are now inserting socialists and communists into diatribes in which they clearly don’t belong.

Posted in humor | Comments Off on Spocko discovers Duluth

Mother’s Day

Posted by MEC on May 10, 2009


Nowadays, amidst the deluge of profits for the card companies and florists, we have mostly forgotten that in 1870, Julia Ward Howe issued a proclamation for a Mother’s Day of Peace. It was not a day of sentiment and celebration of traditional roles, but of political activism. She called all women to oppose war and militarism:

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress,
not of Caesar,
But of God –
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Homemade Jamz Blues Band

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 10, 2009

It’s a three-piece band — two brothers, one sister — and the youngest member (the drummer) is ten years old.

And they’re scary good:

Posted in family values, Good Things, Just for fun | 2 Comments »

Evidently the 19th century isn’t quite over

Posted by Charles II on May 10, 2009

Have eugenics come back into fashion?
Can a revival of chattel slavery be far off?

Via Atrios, I learn about stupidity so monumental that I don’t even want to state what it is publicly. Read Dahlia to get the scoop.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Evidently the 19th century isn’t quite over

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