Shortly after the US conquered Baghdad, the US Defense Intelligence Agency distributed a now famous deck of cards bearing the images of "Iraq's Most Wanted." This hit list of top Iraqi officials became a pop-cultural phenomenon, as well as a critical crutch for the US press, which virtually never reports on newly captured Baathists these days without noting their appropriate card rank among the US deck of fifty-five.
Now the Ruckus Society, a nonviolent anarchist group based in Oakland, has matched and raised the Defense Department with its own "War Profiteer" playing cards featuring fifty-three individuals and institutions in the oil, military, government, and media sectors who supported and are now profiting from the US war on Iraq. Players include three of hearts Condoleezza Rice, king of diamonds George P. Schultz, ten of clubs Vince D. Coffman, CEO of Lockheed Martin, and "wildcard" President George W. Bush.
The decks are stylish, funny and replete with good, accurate information on exactly the sort of people who are currently most responsible for the corruption of our country. And, unlike the deck produced by the US military, the Ruckus Society's pack is widely available. So order a set today.
Co-written by Jonah Engle.
After weeks of searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, there's still no trace of the fearsome arsenal the Administration advertised. Back in the US, however, the Bush Administration is adding to our own stockpile of weapons of mass destruction by lifting a decade-old ban on research and testing of small nuclear weapons to allow for the development of "low yield" nukes for battlefield use.
The White House's Strangelovian nuclear policy signals a dramatic shift in US nuclear doctrine--one that undermines five decades of bipartisan efforts to delegitimize the use of nuclear weapons. What Senator Edward Kennedy called a "far-reaching and highly dangerous U-turn in our longstanding policy against the first use of nuclear weapons," was accelerated on May 20th when the Republican-controlled Senate turned back a Democratic effort to maintain the ban. "It's a one way street that can lead only to nuclear war," Kennedy warned.
If anyone needs evidence that the Administration's reckless policy is about to launch a new nuclear arms race, Russian President Vladimir Putin provided it on May 15th when he announced to the Russian Parliament his country will soon begin developing new nuclear weapons and low-yield nuclear devices of their own. His remark was met greeted by applause.
Of all the columns I've written, never have I gotten more mail than for
the following sentence: "It will not matter that the Dixie Chicks play
to full, cheering houses, while their current albu
When he lands on the deck in his flight suit
To impress all the sailors he's greeting,
It looks grand, but there's one thing we're thinking:
With the June 2 vote by the Federal Communications Commission on a series of rule changes that would dramatically reshape the nation's media landscape rapidly approaching, it is abundantly clear that honest players in the debate have determined that making the changes would spell disaster for democratic discourse, cultural diversity and the public interest that the FCC is supposed to defend.
More than 100 members of Congress â€“ ranging from Congressional Progressive Caucus stalwarts such as Vermont's Bernie Sanders and Ohio's Sherrod Brown to Congressional Black Caucus veterans such as Michigan's John Conyers and New York's Charles Rangel to Republican moderates such as Maine U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, as well as diehard conservatives such as U.S. Senators Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, and Wayne Allard, R-Colorado â€“have objected to the FCC's rush to eliminate rules that protect against media monopoly and corporate consolidation. Leaders of the AFL-CIO, the Leadership Council on Civil Rights, the National Council of La Raza, the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union and dozens of other public interest groups have signed letters demanding that the FCC seek more public comment before making decisions that they argue "could have a sweeping impact on what news and information Americans see and hear in the future." The Newspaper Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the National Association of Broadcasting Employees and Technicians, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, the Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors, the American Federation of Musicians and the Future of Music Coalition have all warned that making the changes could undermine American journalism and culture. Close to 300 leading academics have come forward to say that the FCC is moving too quickly and without legitimate scholarship on these crucial rulemaking decisions. Rockers Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and Patti Smith have joined the chorus of concern, along with conservative columnist William Safire and the National Rifle Association, and the city councils of Chicago and Seattle, the Vermont House of Representatives. And public comments to the FCC have been running 20-1 against making changes that would allow the nation's largest media companies to control virtually all television, radio and newspaper communications in American communities.
Against such overwhelming opposition, what could it be that is driving the FCC to press forward with the June 2 vote? The answer may be found in a blockbuster report just released by the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity, which details how industry groups the FCC is supposed to be regulating have over the past eight years paid for more than 2,500 junkets taken by key FCC officials.