Dickens to Le Carré:

Smiley’s (Anti-American) People:

“Anyone can see what happened in Iraq. It was nothing more than a war of colonial conquest fought for oil, ‘dressed up as a crusade for Western life and liberty,’ and its authors were ‘a clique of war-hungry Judeo-Christian geopolitical fantasists who hijacked the media and exploited America’s post-9/11 psychopathy.’

These words are spoken in John Le Carré’s new novel ‘Absolute Friends” (Little, Brown, 2004). And although it is usually philistine and unfair to blame a novelist for what his fictional creations say, in this case the speaker expressing those opinions is plainly a point-of-view character – there is a vein of anti-Americanism running through his novels from nearly 40 years ago – and the opinions are shared by plenty of Europeans, the English among them.” —New York Times

Neo-Cons: Think Again

‘If only it were true!’, says Max Boot about claims that the Bush administration is pursuing a neoconservative foreign policy:

“The influence of the neoconservative movement (with which I am often associated) supposedly comes from its agents embedded within the U.S. government. The usual suspects are Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense; Douglas Feith, under secretary of defense for policy; Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff; Elliott Abrams, the National Security Council staffer for Near East, Southwest Asian, and North African Affairs; and Richard Perle, a member of the Defense Policy Board. Each of these policymakers has been an outspoken advocate for aggressive and, if necessary, unilateral action by the United States to promote democracy, human rights, and free markets and to maintain U.S. primacy around the world.

While this list seems impressive, it also reveals that the neocons have no representatives in the administration’s top tier. President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice: Not a neocon among them.” — Max Boot, Foreign Policy

Boot says the notion is superficially appealing because of the coalescence of Bush’s Iraq agenda and neo-con aims. But he doubts we will pursue a similar course with North Korea, Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. IMHO, the argument destroys some ‘straw-man’ myths about the neo-conservative conspiracy (like the ‘Jewish’ innuendoes) without substantively addressing their ideological influence on US policy.

Big Expedition Planned For `Albino Sasquatch’

“So far, Bigfoot has been a big mystery but that could soon change if two researchers in Redwood City, California, get a big hand from the public.

This spring, C. Thomas Biscardi and Peggy Marx are planning an expedition to an area near Mt. Shasta, California, that is reportedly home to as many as 500 Bigfoot creatures.

Biscardi estimates the Sasquatch search will take three months and cost at least $1.5 million so he’s hoping corporate America will foot what is expected to be a big Bigfoot bill.

He figures an SUV manufacturer or a charter airline are natural sponsors and hopes to sell the Discovery Channel on the idea of televising the search as the ‘ultimate reality show.'”

It’s a No-Brainer… or it might be:

Brain Sandwiches Still on Some Menus: “Fear of mad cow disease hasn’t kept Cecelia Coan from eating her beloved deep-fried cow brain sandwiches.

She’s more concerned about what the cholesterol will do to her heart than suffering the brain-wasting disease found in a cow in Washington state.

‘I think I’ll have hardening of the arteries before I have mad cow disease,’ said Cecelia Coan, 40, picking up a brain sandwich to go at the Hilltop Inn during her lunch hour. ‘This is better than snail, better than sushi, better than a lot of different delicacies.'” —Yahoo!