Monday, January 31, 2005

Soldiers wounded in Iraq are being charged for hospital meals

A new policy is forcing some soldiers who are hospitalized at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center to pay cash for each meal. Link to Salon here. (Requires clicking through a brief ad.)

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Frank Rich update: two links

Link to the FoxNews clip hosted in

Link to the Washington Post article by Roxanne Roberts (free registration required).

Frank Rich: Forget Armor. All You Need Is Love

JAN. 30 is here at last, and the light is at the end of the tunnel, again. By my estimate, Iraq's election day is the fifth time that American troops have been almost on their way home from an about-to-be pacified Iraq. The four other incipient V-I days were the liberation of Baghdad (April 9, 2003), President Bush's declaration that "major combat operations have ended" (May 1, 2003), the arrest of Saddam Hussein (Dec. 14, 2003) and the handover of sovereignty to our puppet of choice, Ayad Allawi (June 28, 2004). And this isn't even counting the two "decisive" battles for our nouveau Tet, Falluja. Iraq is Vietnam on speed - the false endings of that tragic decade re-enacted and compressed in jump cuts, a quagmire retooled for the MTV attention span.

Link to New York Times (free registration required).

Saturday, January 29, 2005

South Korea to stop calling North Korea "main enemy"

In an attempt to improve North Korea-South Korea relations, South Korea will stop referring to North Korea as its "main enemy." AP story here.

Friday, January 28, 2005

A third paid columnist.

Joining Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher, Michael McManus has been identified as another columnist paid by the Bush Adminstration to promote its policies. (From Editor & Publisher, link.)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Mueren 36 soldados de EU a sólo cuatro días de los comicios en Irak

Bagdad y Shaiba, 26 de enero. A sólo cuatro días de las históricas elecciones iraquíes, 36 soldados estadunidenses murieron hoy en lo que fue el día más mortífero para las fuerzas de ocupación desde que invadieron Irak, hace casi dos años. Las mayores pérdidas ocurrieron al estrellarse un helicóptero de transporte en el desierto occidental del país. Los 31 marines a bordo murieron.

Link a LaJornada.

Darfur cease fire broken

It has been confirmed that the village of Hamada was nearly totally destroyed and that up to 105 civilians may have been killed, with the majority of victims being women and children," UNAMIS Deputy Spokesperson George Somerwill told IRIN on Thursday.

Link to U.N. Integrated Regional Information Network on

End of Auschwitz - 60 year anniversary marked

World leaders and Holocaust survivors are holding a ceremony in Poland to mark 60 years since the liberation of the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp.

Link to BBC World coverage, with video links.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Bush orders an end to columnist payments

Following in the wake of the Armstrong Williams scandal, and now that the Department of Health and Human Services payments to Maggie Gallagher have been exposed, Bush has ordered an end to the practice, saying, "Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet."

Bush Administration considering military action against Iran

Seymour Hersch has revealed in The New Yorker that U.S. intelligence agents have been operating in Iran since summer 2004 in preparation for possible invasion. At issue is the future of Iran's nuclear program....

Link to full text in The New Yorker.

feces flag update

we've got your photo, right here.

German pranksters....

....have planted thousands of small U.S. flags in piles of dog feces.

Link to article on Ananova.

Human rights group files war crimes accusations in German federal court against Rumsfeld

They said they had chosen Germany because of its Code of Crimes Against International Law, introduced in 2002, which grants German courts universal jurisdiction in cases involving war crimes or crimes against humanity.

The complaint names Rumsfeld, former CIA director George Tenet, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Steven Cambone, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, Brigadier General Janis L. Karpinski and other military officers who served in Iraq.

Link to Deutsche Welle article. And scroll to the video link at the bottom.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

U.S. may fund death squads in Iraq to combat insurgency

Newsweek reports that the Pentagon is considering exercising the "Salvador option" to quell the insurgency in Iraq. This plan is modeled on the Reagan administration's anti-guerilla death squads from 1980's El Salvador.

Among the more well-known effects of this policy are the El Mozote Massacre, the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero, the murder of six Jesuit priests, and the rape and murder of their housekeeper and her daughter, and the rape and murder of three North American nuns and a lay missionary.

The United Nations Truth Commission Report on El Salvador is here.

Monday, January 10, 2005

FDA may grant approval to genetically-modified alfalfa

Monsanto's application for FDA approval of genetically-modified alfalfa is currently under consideration. Supporters of GMO alfalfa note that making it "Round-Up ready" (immune to Monsanto's Round-Up herbicide) makes it possible for farmers to control weeds by heavy use of the chemical and point to the six years of testing Monsanto's done which seems to support the idea that GMO alfalfa is safe. (Western Farm Press article here.) Opponents argue that this creates herbicide immune "super weeds" and that the implications of GMO alfalfa are much larger than Monsanto claims. (Organic Consumers Union article here.) The public comment period closes January 25, 2004.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


and welcome.