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03/28/2003 Archived Entry: "More BOMFOG"

On the Political Front:

The speeches by Blair and Bush in the wake of their Wednesday summit were more BOMFOG. That is the acronym that cynical journalists applied to the speeches of Nelson Rockefeller. It means Brotherhood Of Man, Fatherhood of God -- a speech of hot air wrapped in words like "patriotism" and "moral duty." The process of delivering such a speech is called bomfoggery.

IRAQWAR.RU offers a detailed review of yesterday's military events in Iraq, including data that the Coalition seems unwilling to provide anymore -- an estimate of the Coalition's dead and wounded. For balance, I suggest checking out "Stars and Stripes," which surprised me in its straight-forward and valuable analysis. The images of war seem to be the focus of Real Geek's Blog which provides a dimension the written word cannot. If you need something lighter thereafter, visit these 1940s propaganda posters which have been remixed for the war in Iraq. I particularly like this one: Libidinous Arabiacs lust for our white women!

Cyber-sleuth Lee K. has been tracking down the US hackers' apparent "blacking out" of Al-Jazeera's English language site and others with "objectionable" content. Brian McWilliams writes, "After shakily surviving nearly a week of intense shelling in Baghdad, the Web site of the Iraq government has apparently fallen prey to hackers. Since Wednesday, some visitors to Uruklink.net have been surprised with a red-white-and-blue message that reads "Hacked, tracked, and NOW owned by the USA." Others have been greeted with error messages. In fact, Uruklink, the homepage of Saddam Hussein, as well as the Iraqi News Agency and several other government organizations, is still generally available by browsing directly to the site's numeric address." In some cases, bogus DNS records have been used to misdirect people to this page. In other words, when your nameserver looks up www.aljazeera.net, it will get back a bogus record that a hacker planted, and this will redirect you to his webserver, displaying what he wants you to see, instead of Al-Jazeera's. Adding to the confusion are sites with domains that are similar to Al-Jazeera's, which may be valid or faked.

US military officers are now saying that the war could last for months, with massive reinforcements on the way to Iraq, almost doubling the number of Americans in that quagmire. Meanwhile, the Iraqi troops may be receiving reinforcements as well, with Syria opening its contiguous border to allow "free passage across its border with Iraq to volunteers who wish to join the fight against the U.S. and British forces. Thus far, dozens of volunteers, primarily Palestinians from the refugee camps in Lebanon, have crossed over into Iraq through Syrian-controlled border posts." Wounded and battle-shocked American troops are expressing amazement at the constant, stiff resistance being offered by Iraqis. But how can they be surprised? The Iraqis are fighting on their home soil against an invading enemy who is bombing their relatives? They will fight to the death and their wives will hand the abandoned rifles to their sons.

So much for the "cakewalk" so many predicted -- I'd say, "Let them eat cakewalk" but I don't have the heart to do so. All I want is to have the troops brought home, safe from this insane, immoral, and illegal war. Criticism of US military strategy to date is filling the newspapers and bandwidth. Much of it centers around Donald Rumsfeld's refusal to listen to advice and pleas from military officers who told him they would need more troops on the ground before driving into Baghdad.

Robert Higgs' latest self-described "screed" on the war, "Military Precision versus Moral Precision," addresses the morality of "dropping 2,000-pound bombs in densely populated cities'. It is well worth a read.

Meanwhile, my mind keeps returning to "... the curious incident of the dog in the night-time." This well-known phrase comes from a Sherlock Holmes story entitled "Silver Blaze," in which the sleuth investigates the theft of a horse in the night-time. An inspector objects to Holmes' characterization of the "curious incident" by saying, "The dog did nothing in the night-time." Holmes responds, "That was the curious incident." The barking was conspicuous and suspicious by its absence. I wonder about the "curious incident of the empty refugee camps in Jordan." Where are the refugees who were expected in the hundreds of thousands? The flow seems to be going in the opposite direction of what was predicted. Ex-pats are actually returning to Iraq, with the Iraqi government "forgiving" passport problems, etc....which means to me that the ex-pats are pro-Iraqi and anti-US.

Meanwhile, a needed note of levity. Upon hearing that the Solomon Islands were listed among the Coalition of the Willing -- a group of 19 nations aligned with the US, most of whom can be purchased on eBay, such as the Marshall Islands -- Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza claimed to be totally unaware of the affiliation and wished to decline the honor.

On the Personal Front:

The wind has been so vigorous this morning that the house rattles and, outside, it sounds as tho' trucks are barreling down out gravel road. I love to watch the wind begin to shred through the trees at one edge of our forest and move, in like an Ocean wave, down its length...or, as far down as I can see. With luck, there will be a thunderstorm in an hour or two. The lightning will knock me off my computer, of course. One fried hard drive is quite enough. But where else would anyone want to be except in front of a window or sheltered on a deck when nature starts flexing her muscles.

Best to all,

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