The Null Device
Read: Richard Neville on the ugly truth behind the war; not quite the first Good War since WW2, as consensus holds, but the usual filling of mass graves in the name of the almighty dollar.
These negotiations collapsed in August 2001, when the Taliban asked the US to help reconstruct Afghanistan's infrastructure and provide a portion of the oil supply for local needs. The US response was reportedly succinct: "We will either carpet you in gold or carpet you in bombs." The notes of this meeting, which took place only weeks before the strike on America, are now the subject of a lawsuit between Congress and the White House. Was the Taliban really destroyed for harbouring terrorists? Or was it for failing to further the ambitions of Texan millionaires?
Blum makes the point that Americans are taught it's wrong to murder, rob, rape and bribe, but that it's okay to topple foreign governments, quash socialist movements or drop powerful bombs on foreigners, so long as it serves the national interest. From plenty of examples which prove, despite the current rhetoric from the White House, that the West is not always on the side of the angels, these three capture the essence of much US foreign policy:
An early image of liberation was of Kabul's haggard residents watching TV, a seamless advertisement for freedom. Except, whose TV? The last US bomb on Kabul hit the studios of al-Jazeera, the independent voice of the Middle East. Funny, that. The Afghans may now need to settle for CNN and Fox, a victory, perhaps, for civilisation and US exports, as well as for the pipe dreams of Unocal. The Pentagon claims this "smart bomb" lost its bearings, as another one did over Belgrade in 1999, when it flattened Serbian TV, killing and maiming the staff.
Photos appeared on the Web showing bodies of those shot displaying white plastic wrist restrainers bearing the words "Made in USA". As pointed out by the US magazine The Nation, Article 23 of the Hague Convention forbids a warring party "to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered". General Tommy Franks, the head of the US Central Command, defended this apparent war crime: "I will not characterise it as a failure of any type."
The beauty of the web (other than the infinite variety of cat pictures, that is) is that it allows people all over the world to post sarky comments about crazy people that disturb their lives. And to whit: this page, by an American suburbanite about the crazy redneck who moved in next door and proceeded to build variously shonky "home improvements" (and accidentally set some of them on fire), replete with stealthily taken photos. (via the CoFD)
Somebody came to this site searching for "black frame emo glasses". No, this is dev.null.org; you probably want BlackFrameEmoGlasses.com, the #1 blog about indie genre hairsplitting, musical obscurantism and where to find those doovy 1950s gas-station-attendant shirts. Second door on your right.
Missouri vs. the Mascaraed Menace: A wide-eyedly earnest response to Missouri's goth-eradication campaign, in what appears to be the Goth equivalent of one of those britneyblogs which goes on about how N'Sync are really talented artists and people who say they aren't are just mean. Meanwhile, some advice on what to spend the goth-eradication fund on. They range from MKULTRA-style provocation to start clique wars to paying Britney Spears to do a Bauhaus cover. (via deadlybloodyserious.com.)