20 days in spring, 2003:

A book created over a 20 day period in the spring of 2003 as a response to the US invasion of Iraq. It is simply one US citizen’s outlet for feelings of frustration, disbelief and impotence in the face of a war that should not have happened and that has been mounted by an administration drunk on its own power and delusions of grandeur. While thousands die needlessly a world away, hundreds of thousands of US citizens are watching as their civil rights are steadily eroding. Still millions of Americans believe without question propaganda manufactured daily by the Bush Administration and treated as legitimate news by our national broadcast media…” [thanks, miguel]


How to Stop the Killing When the Troops Come Home

“As tens of thousands of American troops arrive home from a war in which a number of them faced vicious fighting, the military is scrambling to smooth their return to civilian society.

Five killings last summer involving Army couples at Fort Bragg, N.C., including three soldiers who were recently back from the war in Afghanistan, raised a troubling question: Had the soldiers’ combat skills spilled over into their domestic lives, with tragic consequences?NY Times


The Baroque Cycle is coming…

I’ve been a little nervous since hearing where Neal Stephenson is going with his next book, Quicksilver. Maybe a “prequel” to the immensely satisfying, massive Cryptonomicon would work, but what’s one of the more ingenious science fiction writers operating going to do way back in the Baroque era? He seems to be trying to escape his genre roots, and I hope he isn’t shooting himself in the foot by doing so. (It does charm me that he’s gone all the way retro by writing the book by hand with a fountain pen; I am an aficionado of fine pens and write with them day in day out in my work.) This preview helps me feel I could get into it, though. Too bad it’ll be too late for summer reading.


Bush’s Willing Executioner?

I agree with Rafe Colburn; I too am still waiting for the article that analyzes Colin Powell’s February speech to the U.N. claim by claim to show the extent to which we were lied to about the pretexts for the war. More than that, though, I’m waiting for Powell’s postwar memoir, the searing indictment of how he was misled and betrayed, his reputation exploited as fodder for the Bush regime’s search for credibility. Not that it’ll necessarily be true, mind you; I’m still not clear how much of a willing accomplice Powell has been. But it’ll make a nice book contract, since any further political aspirations he could have had have pretty much run aground by now.

Given the American public’s blasé indifference to the fact that they’re getting fooled again, Rafe is right to ask and answer:

The other question that must also be asked is why I care in the first place. We went to war with Iraq, we won the war, and there’s little doubt that Iraqis are better off without Saddam than they were with him. The reason I’m still keeping track of this stuff is that I firmly believe we were led to war under false pretenses. I said it before the war, I said it during the war, and I’ve said it since. Next year we’re going to have a Presidential election in which the incumbent is a man who played upon the rightful fears of Americans to gain their assent to a war fought for reasons that he and his advisors would rather not openly acknowledge. I think we deserve better treatment from our leaders than that.