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06/06/2003 Archived Entry: "I'm back!"

I'm back, Baby!, I'm back! and I will be blogging daily for the foreseeable future even if the blog entry is abbreviated. So stop in on a regular basis to say "hi."

Recommended cartoons include Mark Fiore's Kinder, Gentler Spying, Tom Toles' latest, and Tony Auth's latest.

this link no longer works tho' the now-deleted article can still be obtained here.. When it did work, the June 4th Guardian article entitled "Wolfowitz: Iraq War Was About Oil" opened, "Oil was the main reason for military action against Iraq, a leading White House hawk has claimed, confirming the worst fears of those opposed to the US-led war. The US Deputy Defense Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz - who has already undermined Tony Blair's position over weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by describing them as a "bureaucratic" excuse for war - has now gone further by claiming the real motive was that Iraq is 'swimming' in oil."

Many of us share a common reaction to this news...namely, "Duh!" But the next day, the Guardian online ran the following notice under "Corrections and Clarifications," "A report which was posted on our website on June 4 under the heading "Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil" misconstrued remarks made by the US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, making it appear that he had said that oil was the main reason for going to war in Iraq. He did not say that. He said, according to the Department of Defence website, "The... difference between North Korea and Iraq is that we had virtually no economic options with Iraq because the country floats on a sea of oil. In the case of North Korea, the country is teetering on the edge of economic collapse and that I believe is a major point of leverage whereas the military picture with North Korea is very different from that with Iraq." The sense was clearly that the US had no economic options by means of which to achieve its objectives, not that the economic value of the oil motivated the war. The report appeared only on the website and has now been removed." In case the correction link e-vaporates, a copy is also posted on the Common Dreams News Center. No conspiracy here but the speed of the correction is interesting.

According to a report in the Daily Morning News, the US debt is more in the area of $43 trillion, not the $3.6 trillion reported. Columnist Scott Burns claims that the lower figure "ignores massive imbalances" in mandatory spending programs such as Medicare and Social Security which actually inflate the national debt by a factor of 10, according to published accounts. Burns said the Federal Reserve has put the net worth of all U.S. households at just $40.6 trillion. "This problem," therefore, "goes way beyond whether to tax the rich, the poor or the middle-income," he said.

To see a mock of the US Debt Clock, click here.

Best to all,

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