April 8th, 2003


Using chemical weapons for fun and profit.

Yes, we can talk about Saddam gassing the Kurds and about the danger of chemical weapons, but it's important to realize that there really isn't much of a difference between chemical weapons and simple pesticides.

After all, it's what you do with them that matters.

Now, I know that all sane, rational people oppose the use of chemical weapons, right?! But we must face the fact that there's no way to put the stopper back in the bottle -- there's always going to be a leak somewhere.

So, where do you think the next use of chemical weapons will occur? Venice? Along the Danube, perhaps? Or could it be in our own backyard?

killing the messenger redux.

The Palestine Hotel, which is host to that Baghdad camera I am always mentioning... well, it got hit by a blast that struck the upper floor of the building. The Guardian reports that it was a US tank that shelled the building.

Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk and Spanish cameraman Jose Couso died in the blast, and three other reporters were wounded. It's odd to think that this blast targetted some of the same people that I have been listening to chatter in the background throughout this war. The Baghdad camera is still up, though.

Earlier today, Iraq TV and radio were knocked off the air. Would the US actually try to knock Reuters off the air too, knowing that Iraq's information minister came running to the Palestine Hotel yesterday after downtown Baghdad was attacked?

Damn... they struck Al Jazeera's offices too, killing cameraman Tariq Aouob. They also struck the offices of Abu Dhabi TV.

I'm sorry, but this is definitely an intentional act. Al Jazeera's offices are located in a residential district away from military targets, and the US military would certainly know their location. Let no one doubt that the US is willing to kill journalists to silence those who report the truth of this war. Truth is, indeed, the casualty.

Sounds of jets screaming through the air overhead, over echoing calls to prayer; bombs in the distance like rolling thunder...

If there is any justice in this world, then one day America will be judged and found wanting. What kind of world are we crafting for ourselves? What kind of prison?

"You are fettered," said Scrooge, trembling, "tell me why?"

"I wear the chain I forged in life," replied Marley's Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it."

"But you were always a good man of business, Jacob," faltered Scrooge.

"Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"

- Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"

And who isn't a legitimate target?

It's unfortunate when children grow up in a war zone and they play with unused or unexploded ordinance -- that's an accident waiting to happen.

However, when US soldiers shoot them for doing it and then justify it as necessary, then it has escalated from mere unfortunate circumstances to a tragedy of the soul.

Is this a choice that Nick Boggs, a 21-year-old recruit, should be making? Would you want Nick as your neighbor when he returns? How would you feel if he wanted to date someone you cared about?

Can Nick ever really leave the murderer behind him in Iraq? He was, after all, just following orders...