The Plug Nickel Times is proud to bring you website links to select opinion articles that you may not find through your local media. All links are offsite unless otherwise noted - followed links should open in another browser window. Links can become dated or otherwise fail to function, for this reason we quote the actual headline of an article. This may allow you to find an alternate copy of the article through a news index or search engine. Some sites we link to may require a registration process to view an article - this website may be useful to you in those instances. Comments, corrections and submissions are welcome - an email link is at the bottom of the page.
November 1-15, 2004
November 15, 2004
Progressive Resistance by John Peters
"The superior conventional force often enters the battle with new tactics and technology. These innovations usually catch their victims off-guard, provide tremendous advantage for the conventional force and extend the learning curve for the indigenous force. However, with each new technology comes a corresponding weakness or vulnerability. Resistance forces eventually learn how to counter or disable the edge. It takes much longer to develop new technology than it does to counter the existing technology. Also, the methods used to counter the technological edge are usually more primitive and inexpensive."
Neo-cons: Around the world in seven steps by Jim Lobe
"An influential foreign-policy neo-conservative with long-standing ties to top hawks in the administration of US President George W Bush has laid out what he calls "a checklist of the work the world will demand of this president and his subordinates in a second term". The list, which begins with the destruction of Fallujah in Iraq and ends with the development of 'appropriate strategies' for dealing with threats posed by China, Russia and 'the emergence of a number of aggressively anti-American regimes in Latin America', also calls for 'regime change' in Iran and North Korea."
Goodbye, Dollar - and Empire by Pat Buchanan
"Partycrats Behaving Badly" by Garry Reed
"Now that the quadrennial crazy quilt called campaign season has expired, its time to peer rearward and recap the crucial issues that emerged as quintessential examples of our Great Democracy. The following news articles represent all that is great and noble about American politics."
November 14, 2004
Submit or Die: The Conquest of Falluja by Jacob G. Hornberger
Empire of the Senseless: A Review of Bill Blum's Freeing The World to Death by Adam Engel
"Freeing the World to Death is history as most of us U.S. Citizens have 'lived' it, via CNN or Fox News flashing and spewing in the background, or the daily reporting, corrections, and re-reporting of 'the morning paper.' The daily violations of human dignity that is the media background to our day-to-day lives. I guess it's better than being the focus of attention ŗ la the 'victims,' but there is a relationship, however distant, between the rebel fighting the Empire's G.I.s or local proxies, and the U.S. Citizens whose tax dollars foot the bill."
What do police departments really do? by Vin Suprynowicz
These Unseen Wounds Cut Deep
"Experts on post-traumatic stress disorder say it should come as no surprise that some of the soldiers in Iraq are fighting mental illness. Combat stress disorders - named and renamed but strikingly alike - have ruined lives following every war in history. Homer's Achilles may have suffered from some form of it. Combat stress was documented in the late 19th century after the Franco-Prussian War. After the Civil War, doctors called the condition 'nostalgia,' or 'soldiers heart.' In World War I, soldiers were said to suffer shell shock; in World War II and Korea, combat fatigue or battle fatigue. But it wasn't until 1985 that the American Psychiatric Assn. finally gave a name to the condition that had sent tens of thousands of Vietnam veterans into lives of homelessness, crime or despair."
November 12, 2004
Four Times Falluja Equals? by Mark LeVine
(introduction by Tom Engelhardt)
"Of the many possible outcomes to the battle of Falluja, the four which seem most plausible follow, starting with the one that might be viewed most positively by the Bush administration. In sum, they offer us a grim picture of how the window of success has closed on American strategists in Iraq. Even the "best" outcomes below (from the administration's point of view) have lost the trappings of freedom and democracy that helped justify the invasion nineteen months ago."
November 11, 2004
Iraq: the unthinkable becomes normal by John Pilger
"Mainstream media speak as if Fallujah were populated only by foreign 'insurgents'. In fact, women and children are being slaughtered in our name."
Satan hides in a hospital by Pepe Escobar
"The Pentagon's key primary target in Fallujah has been information: doctors in hospitals, telephone lines that people use to tell the world about the civilians' plight. Most of the world is interpreting Fallujah through embedded, Pentagon-censored reporters and Arab television. The Pentagon line is American "heroes" on the way to 'liberate' the people of Fallujah."
Anarchism Beats Statism, Once Again by Anthony Gregory
"So even if Bush regards all 300 million of us Americans as slaves, we should realize that by fighting for his own liberty to do what he pleases, we, too, will eventually reap the rewards. First it will just be Bush who can do what he wants. Then it will be Cheney and Rumsfeld and that new Gonzales dude in charge of the Justice Department. Before you know it, all officers of the government, including the police, wonít have to follow the statist drivel in the Constitution, and the entire government will be liberated from the burdens of the law. Once the government has been completely freed from the clutches of legal tyranny, we can expect good things to follow for the rest of us."
Springtime for Spooks? by Jim Lobe
Another Torture-Friendly Attorney General by James Bovard
"Good riddance to John Ashcroft, the most demagogic and power-hungry attorney general since Mitchell Palmer (who served under Woodrow Wilson). Unfortunately, Bush has nominated White House counsel Alberto Gonzales to replace Ashcroft as attorney general."
Living Lies by Mark Reynolds
"You are not free if you have to get permission to travel. You are not free if you have to submit to searches to fly. You are not free if you have to allow a police officer to search your car at his whim if you are stopped. You are not free if you have to get permission from someone to add an addition to your home. You are not free if you have to pay taxes (rent) on your "personal property." You are not free if you have to ask permission to own a gun or to carry one. You are not free if you can be forced to go to a far away land and kill people whether you want to or not."
November 9, 2004
Rule of Iraq Assassins Must End... by Riverbend
"The last few days have been tense and heart-rending. Most of us are really worried about Falloojeh. Really worried about Falloojeh and all the innocents dying and dead in that city. There were several explosions in Baghdad these last few days and hardly any of them were covered by the press. All this chaos has somehow become uncomfortably normal. Two years ago I never would have dreamed of living like this- now this lifestyle has become the norm and I can barely remembering having lived any other way."
The real fury of Fallujah by Pepe Escobar
"The code name betrays it all: the real motive for turning Fallujah into Grozny is revenge. In the first siege of Fallujah in April, the mujahideen inflicted a severe defeat on the Americans. Fallujah had already become the symbol of the Iraqi resistance after Marines killed 15 civilians in May 2003 - when the city even had a pro-American mayor. Last April, up to 1,000 Iraqis were killed, blown up, burnt or shot by the Americans - two thirds of them civilians, mostly women and children. Now, one of the first targets of Phantom Fury was a Fallujah hospital, qualified by the Pentagon as "a center of propaganda". The fact is, in April hospital doctors were carefully detailing to the world media the hundreds of innocent civilians killed by the American assault. Now, under a strategy of what could almost be called collective punishment, the hospital has become a military target."
Squeezing jello in Iraq by Scott Ritter
Bush's 'Incredible' Vote Tallies by Sam Parry
Another Rigged Election? The Elephant in the Voting Booth by Maureen Farrell
Buck Up, You Lefties!: There's reason for hope by Justin Raimondo
a word to the wise
"Due to what I said online, I now have an FBI file. And due to certain policies that a certain administration has instituted, I could now be placed on the government's "no-fly" list, could be subject to random searches of private property without my knowledge or permission, and could be subject to wiretapping surveillance. I doubt that any of these things will happen (except with the "no-fly" list - according to my attorney, that's a strong possibility and is something we are looking into), and I could just be being paranoid, but after the Secret Service showed up on my doorstep, I think I'm entitled to a little paranoia. Because shit, I never thought THAT would happen, either. So be aware."
I'd say keep 'em busy, run their little hooves off!
City of Dreams
"Underneath the concrete
The dream is still alive
A hundred million lifetimes
A world that never dies
We live in the city of dreams
We drive on the highway of fire
Should we awake
And find it gone
Remember this, our favorite town"
November 7, 2004
The Red/Blue Map vs. Conspiracy Theories by Gary North
"People act in their own self-interest, Mises taught. Using the coercive power of the State can enrich some people, Rothbard taught. Conclusion: self-interested groups loot the taxpayer and the consumer. Members of these groups conceal what they are doing in order not to arouse suspicion or political opposition. All of this is the predictable result of human action in the context of the modern welfare-warfare State, Rothbard taught. But academic economic historians are not supposed to say this, unless they mask what they are really saying with arcane formulas and statistics, which Rothbard avoided. For him, these are not temporary alliances of "rent-seekers." They are permanent conspiracies of looters.
So, it's red counties vs. blue counties. The Republicans have their attention fixed on the blue cape, whereas the Democrats have their attention focused on the red cape. The bullfighter with the sword is ignored by all. So is the refrigerated meat truck just outside the arena. Olť!"
Arma-geddon Sick of You: World to US as Americans prepare to level Fallujah by Daniel Patrick Welch
"So, while American voters fret and fuss over the tiny problem of whether or not the will of the people actually matters, plans are on track to snuff out the breath of the people by the thousands oh-so-far away. The indifference to this coming massacre is as brutal as it is astounding. It's no wonder that the more 'esoteric' issue of depleted uranium dust doesn't register on the radar screens. Most Americans canít even muster the courage to say that the pending Fallujah massacre is wrong. A recent segment on NPR, that bastion of liberal media, had pundits discussing how best to incinerate a city of 300,000. Would air power be most efficient, or would house-to-house combat be necessary? Hmmm..now that's a puzzler!"
The War Prayer and The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain
Reflections on an Election by Ron Beatty
China Rocks the Geopolitical Boat by Kaveh Afrasiabi
"Speaking of business as unusual. A mere two months ago, the news of a China-Kazakhstan pipeline agreement, worth US$3.5 billion, raised some eyebrows in the world press, some hinting that China's economic foreign policy may be on the verge of a new leap forward. A clue to the fact that such anticipation may have totally understated the case was last week's signing of a mega-gas deal between Beijing and Tehran worth $100 billion. Billed as the "deal of century" by various commentators, this agreement is likely to increase by another $50 billion to $100 billion, bringing the total close to $200 billion, when a similar oil agreement, currently being negotiated, is inked not too far from now."
November 5, 2004
It was hardly the victory of the forces of light over darkness by Perry de Havilland
"The argument between the two parties is how much to turn the ratchet of the state's encroachment into civil society, not whether or not to actually turn the ratchet around to face the other way."
Annan Condemns US Assault on Fallujah by Juan Cole
"The caretaker government was appointed by an envoy of Mr. Annan, so if he lacks the standing to speak out on Fallujah and/or is a fool to do so, that raises the question of whether he had the legitimacy to install Mr. Allawi and his colleagues in the first place, or whether he was wise enough to choose the right government for Iraq.
Now it is being argued that it is necessary to kill hundreds, perhaps thousands of civilians in Fallujah, in order to "save" them from a handful of foreign guerrillas. But every evidence is that most Fallujans support the uprising against the Americans, and the evidence for any significant number of foreign fighters being in Iraq is thin. Can it really be necessary to destroy a city to get at 200 foreign volunteers? So what is really probably being argued is that it is necessary to kill hundreds or thousands of Fallujans in order to remove a challenge to Mr. Allawi and his colleagues."
Refuse To Fall for Republican Tricks by Anthony Gregory
"We canít trust Republicans who make seventy-year plans any more than we can trust Communists that make five-year ones."
The Lesser Evil by Jody Gammar
"I am exceedingly sick of hearing that stupid crap about having to vote for the lesser evil. May they roast in Hell for their stupidity. If only 10-million of those idiots who used that excuse to vote for crooks had voted for liberty, the earth would have shuddered and all evil things smoked."
The Ultimate Felony Against Democracy by Thom Hartmann
"When I lived in Germany, they took the vote the same way most of the world does - people fill in hand-marked ballots, which are hand-counted by civil servants taking a week off from their regular jobs, watched over by volunteer representatives of the political parties. It's totally clean, and easily audited. And even though it takes a week or more to count the vote (and costs nothing more than a bit of overtime pay for civil servants), the German people know the election results the night the polls close because the news media's exit polls, for two generations, have never been more than a tenth of a percent off. We could have saved billions that have instead been handed over to ES&S, Diebold, and other private corporations. Or, if we must have machines, let's have them owned by local governments, maintained and programmed by civil servants answerable to We The People, using open-source code and disconnected from modems, that produce a voter-verified printed ballot, with all results published on a precinct-by-precinct basis."
Marry an American
"Open your heart, and your home. Marry an American. Legions of Canadians have already pledged to sacrifice their singlehood to save our southern neighbours from four more years of cowboy conservatism."
Tombstone Blues by Bob Dylan
"Now I wish I could write you a melody so plain
That could hold you dear lady from going insane
That could ease you and cool you and cease the pain
Of your useless and pointless knowledge"
November 3, 2004
The GOP's Culture of Death by Thomas DiLorenzo
"She said she was in such a good mood she was going to pack up the kids in the car and drive over to Arlington National Cemetery because , 'we have some friends buried there who died in Iraq.' She then said, 'I'm going to put flowers on their graves and tell them Congratulations! Our man won!'"
Liberty Yet Lives by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
"Imperialism and war are forms of planning, as much as any domestic variety. They presume knowledge over time and place that is ultimately inaccessible to planners. In order to achieve the plan, they do not depend on consent and exchange, but on taking resources by force and imposing their use against the will of their subjects. The manner in which resources are used is dictated by the will of bureaucrats and politicians, not markets and consumers. They end not in wealth creation and improved living standards - as with market exchange - but in the usual symptoms of government control: debt, destruction, and even death."
Some Terrorists... by Riverbend
"As I sat staring at the woman, the horror of the war came back to me- the days upon days of bombing and shooting- the tanks blasting away down the streets, and helicopters hovering above menacingly. I wondered how she would spend the next couple of agonizing days, waiting for word from her son and husband. The worst part of it is being separated from the people you care about and wondering about their fates. It's a feeling of restlessness that gnaws away inside of you, leaving you feeling exhausted and agitated all at once. It's a thousand pessimistic voices whispering stories of death and destruction in your head. It's a terrible feeling of helplessness in the face of such powerful devastation."
Voting for Beer by Andy Stedman
"The next time you're spending some quality time carefully selecting a few bottles of the magical brew to welcome into your home, remember: beer, unlike national defense, police, airline safety, and road construction, is just too important to leave up to the vagaries of the political process."
Not Voting and Proud: Don't throw away your life; throw away your vote by Brian Doherty
"If you want to make a difference in the world, please try. But don't be fooled into thinking voting is a way to do so."
November 2, 2004
Bush, Kerry, Either Way WE Win by Casey Kahn
"Don't fret, we got them right where we want them."
Uncle Sam Is Watching You by David Cole
November 1, 2004 Dia de Los Muertos
Election and Revolution by Michael Bradshaw
The race to tyranny by Ed Lewis
"So why is this election important? Realize that Bush and Kerry are cut from the same cloth. There is no essential difference, just as there has not been any essential difference between the two major parties in reference to the expansion of government, and the doing away with human freedom. What we will see during the next four years is continued expansion of government, along with increases in the amount of your earnings needed to finance it and its unconstitutional bureaus, departments, agencies, and so on."
Gallipoli for Dummies by Adam Engel
The road to Abu Ghraib by Jon Ronson
The Betrayers by Chris Floyd
"The Sept. 11 attacks have been endlessly analyzed for their symbolic value -- a monstrous theater piece aimed at unhinging the American psyche. It is largely forgotten that they were also a military action, an attempted "decapitation raid," targeting the "command-and-control centers" of the American regime: its military headquarters, its financial hub, and its political leadership (the aborted attack on the U.S. Capitol). This is precisely the same strategy that Bush would later employ in his 'pre-emptive' assault on Iraq -- while offering the same justifications for shedding innocent blood in 'regrettable but necessary' military actions to avenge and protect his people."
Got Security? by Emiliano Antunez