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04/06/2003 Archived Entry: "Endgame and XXX"

On the Political Front:

Endgame. That's the term buzzing in the media now that war is seen to be concluding. But as much as the major media buzzes, there won't be real discussion because *that* requires a wide range of voices to be heard. This media advisory from the New York-based Freedom and Accuracy in Reporting was read on Radio Havana last night. It opens, "Although the invasion of Iraq is being fought under the name 'Operation Iraqi Freedom,' it has constricted the range of expression sanctioned by media outlets within the U.S. Starting before the war began, several national and local media figures have had their work jeopardized, either explicitly or implicitly because of the critical views they expressed on the war." The Alert proceeds to list examples. While those who ask hard questions or report unpleasant truths are punished, others are paid to "invent news" as Mark Steel comments in an article entitled "The minute it's made up, you'll hear about it: Ah yes, that chemical weapons factory that turned out to be an all-night petrol garage." Steel continues, "The military briefings must be given by one of those pathological liars you get in pubs." Or as Robert Fisk puts it in an excellent article of the same title, "The Ministry of Mendacity Strikes Again."

But I digress from Endgame... According to reports, "the increasingly public battle between the Pentagon on the one hand and the State Department and CIA" may have been resolved by Condoleezza Rice's back-pedalling. What was the battle over? "Pentagon planners have spoken of the need to create in Iraq a model of democracy for the Middle East. The State Department sees such ambitions as dangerous unless they are pursued in concert with the United Nations and regional allies." Rice has now publicly rejected the idea of setting up a provisional government of Iraqi exiles and the White House has stressed that the United Nations will not be cut out of the "interim authority" process. It is difficult to take any side on this still-simmering dispute as I do not believe democracy has a chance of succeeding in Iraq nor do I have any respect for the UN.

On the Personal Front:

Yes! "XXX: A Woman's Right to Pornography" is now available online. My experiment with online publishing has commenced...tho', arguably, the running struggle I had with my &%#! scanner over the past few days marked the beginning. This is going to be fun.

Best to all,

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