Armageddon in Waiting

In the warm blue skies above my little writing studio in the White Mountains of NH, the warplanes are on maneuvers again. They circle and twist and dive, and with any luck won’t crash into my house, or inadvertently drop something on my children playing in the yard. In truth, aside from the noise, they pose little real threat to anyone on the ground. But they do crash. In fact, Gen Brent Scowcroft’s career as an aviator ended with a broken back in just such a mishap:

“I had just taken off, and one of my companions jumped on me and sort of attacked me right off. So I advanced my power to go after him, and the engine governor malfunctioned and the propeller overspun. I didn’t know it, but it had broken a piston rod and I was losing my coolant. My power was steadily going down. I was at about fifteen hundred feet, still strapped in. This was New Hampshire, forested, and I looked around—there was a little clearing. The last thing I remember was looking under my wing at the tips of the last trees just under me.”

Scowcroft served as President George HW Bush’s national security advisor during Operation Desert Storm, and is a bitter critic of the current Iraq war.

The official story is that the training is ongoing because the terrain around here is similar to Afghanistan’s. In reality, these are ancient mountains with rounded peaks – nothing at all like the jagged alps of Central Asia. Close enough for government work, I guess.

For the average Lebanese dad today, there’s no such cold comfort that only an accident might blast his family into small pieces. During the past ten days nearly 400 civilians – a third of them children – have died in northern Lebanon, far from Hezbollah’s southern offensive. This collateral damage is primarily caused by Israeli F-16 “Sufa,” or “Storm” jets and F-15I “Thunder bombers,” all built and paid for by Israel’s best friend in the world, the good ol’ USA.

Naturally, it’s a two-way street, or it wouldn’t be a war, it’d be ethnic cleansing. A million Israeli civilians are hiding in bomb shelters, and are under attack by Hezbollah’s Chinese-made missiles. Still, considering the reports that this latest bit of aggression has been in the planning stages at the Israeli Defense Ministry for a year, without an ass-load of AIPAC propaganda, and news like this, and this, it’s hard to tell the bad guys from the badder guys.

I haven’t received any replies from likely presidential candidates as to their insights on this latest tragedy (there’s a surprise), but I’m willing to bet the big house that – from conservative Sen Sam Brownback (R-KS) to liberal former Sen John Edwards (D-NC) – there isn’t a shard of sunlight between their positions and that of Israeli PM Ehud Olmert. But that’s the value of the NH first in the nation presidential primary – eventually, they’ll all have to come clean.

Links We Like

TechPresident - TechPresident was started by Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry as a new group blog that covers how the 2008 presidential candidates are using the web, and vice versa, how content generated by voters is affecting the campaign. 

The 2008 election will be the first where the Internet will play a central role, not only in terms of how the campaigns use technology, but also in how voter-generated content affects its course. TechPresident.com plans to track all these changes in real-time, covering everything from campaign websites, online advertising and email lists to the postings on YouTube and who’s got the fastest growing group of friends on MySpace.

Our team of bloggers is made of veterans of the 2004 and 2006 elections, ranging across the political spectrum. Their expertise covers everything from website design to the latest in mobile tools and social networking sites. And we’ll look closely not just at what the campaigns are or are not doing, but what voters and activists are doing online to independently affect the election.

primarynewhampshire.comThe New Hamshire Primary: Information directory for the presidential election: 2008 NH Primary.

NH.com – Political news, background information on the state and local political landscape, NH’s congressional delegation, past election results, and commentary.

NHPrimary.com – NH.com’s NHPrimary.com is the premier source for information about the New Hampshire Primary. From the Nashua Telegraph, one of New Hampshire’s leading daily newspapers.

American Pundit – Daily analysis of American policy and politics.

US Politics Guide – US Politics Guide is designed to give its customers the most comprehensive, yet simple to use, United States Politics’ Web Guide. It is a directory for the World Wide Web’s vast free political resources. Whether you are searching for Political News, Blogs, Columnists, Forums, Polls, Television, Radio, Magazines, Radio, Books, Humor, Issues, Speeches, Interest Groups, Theory, Parties, History, Government agencies or World Politics you can relax, the search has been done for you! In addition to an easy-to-use politics directory, US Politics Guide has divided much of its directory into Left, Right, Center or Liberal, Moderate and Conservative web sites. You can now easily navigate and educate yourself about issues, read what others are saying and then make your own, informed decision.

The Real McCain – This blog by Cliff Schecter, gives a good, hard look at John McCain. Cliff has worked as a political consultant for numerous Democrats, including polling for the reelection of President Bill Clinton in 1996 and fundraising for the 2001 election of Virginia Gov. Mark Warner. More recently, he has provided regular political analysis for the FoxNews television program, Fox & Friends, and has also appeared on other Fox programming, as well as CNN, CNBC, CBC, National Public Radio and other news outlets.

BlueHampshire.com – A progressive online community for the Granite State.

NHInsider.com – NHInsider.com launched on January 7th, 2005 to provide those interested in New Hampshire politics with an extensive and all inclusive news source. The founder of the site, Stephen DeMaura, a NH resident, as well as others involved in its beginning felt that there was a lack of coverage, commentary and discussion regarding NH politics and policy. Since founding the site DeMaura has stepped aside andNH Insider is now edited and maintained daily by a coalition of volunteers and political junkies just like you. NHInsider.com is fully owned and operated by residents of the state of NH. If you have a news scoop, an interesting comment, would like to advertise with us or have nothing better to do e-mail us at NHINSIDER@myway.com.

PrioritiesNH.org – When people in New Hampshire become aware of how the federal budget pie is sliced up, they want to reduce wasteful Pentagon spending on obsolete Cold War and nuclear weapons and invest significant funds into programs like education, healthcare, and energy independence. New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation Presidential Primary gives citizens who want to change budget priorities a unique opportunity to shape public opinion by influencing presidential candidates and the national news media. The Priorities campaign’s Common Sense Budget Act of 2006, introduced in Congress in March 2006, provides not only a vision of a sensible federal budget might look like, but a real piece of legislation to advocate for.

Extreme Mortman – Howard Mortman has drawn a cultish Internet following of political junkies looking for his original political and media insight and dry humor. He’s worked for MSNBC, where he produced “Hardball with Chris Matthews” during the 2002 and 2004 election cycles and wrote a regular column for the MSNBC.com web site. Mortman has also written political comedy and has performed stand-up comedy at such venues as the DC Improv.

Democracy for New Hampshire – A nonpartisan big-tent organization that promotes grassroots community involvement in the democratic process in New Hampshire. DFNH works to protect the foundations of our democracy and the integrity of our political process and supports fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates who speak honestly about policy choices.

New Hampshire Blogging - A listing and critiques of New Hampshire blogs and bloggers.

Cow Hampshire- Blogging about New Hampshire

Best of the Web Blogs – A massive list of Best blogs in virtually any category

Progressive Review – AN ONLINE JOURNAL & ARCHIVE OF ALTERNATIVE NEWS & INFORMATION
SINCE 1964, WASHINGTON’S MOST UNOFFICIAL SOURCE  ON THE WEB SINCE 1995

TIKKUN – An international community of people of many faiths calling for social justice and political freedom in the context of new structures of work, caring communities, and democratic social and economic arrangements. We seek to influence public discourse in order to inspire compassion, generosity, non-violence and recognition of the spiritual dimensions of life.

DefCon America – DefCon is an online grassroots movement combating the growing power of the religious right. We will fight for the separation of church and state, individual freedom, scientific progress, pluralism, and tolerance while respecting people of faith and their right to express their beliefs.

Center for Corporate Policy – The Center for Corporate Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest organization working to curb corporate abuses and make corporations publicly accountable.

Center for Media and Democracy – The nonprofit Center for Media and Democracy strengthens participatory democracy by investigating and exposing public relations spin and propaganda, and by promoting media literacy and citizen journalism, media “of, by and for the people.” Our programs include PR Watch, a quarterly investigative journal; six books by CMD staff; Spin of the Day; the Weekly Spin listserv; and, Congresspedia and SourceWatch, part of our wiki-based investigative journalism collaborative to which anyone, including you, can contribute.

Firedoglake – Jane Hamsher is the founder of firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American  Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She currently lives in Mill Valley, California.

Media Matters – Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

Crooks and Liars – John Amato’s virtual online political magazine

Open Secrets – Your Guide to the money in US elections

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is one of the nation’s premier policy organizations working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals. The Center conducts research and analysis to inform public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that the needs of low-income families and individuals are considered in these debates.  We also develop policy options to alleviate poverty, particularly among working families.

Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting – Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting  is one of the best educational resources available on the Web according to StudyWeb. Since 1996, StudyWeb researchers have selected only the finest web sites to be included in their listing of educational links.

Citizens for Tax Justice – Citizens for Tax Justice is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and advocacy organization dedicated to fair taxation at the federal, state, and local levels.

Common Dreams – Breaking news and views for the Progressive Community

Electronic Frontier Foundation – EFF is a nonprofit group of passionate people — lawyers, technologists, volunteers, and visionaries — working to protect your digital rights.

Countdown / Bloggerman – Keith Olbermann’s blog

IWorldVote – One of the coolest, most original multi-media web sites we’ve seen.

MyAirShoes – Information about Air Jordans Sneakers, Nike Air Force Ones, Reebok Shoes, Adidas Shoes, Converse Sneakers, and more can be found here.

Real Clear Politics – RCP’s political commentary, election analysis and polling averages have been featured in national media outlets including The New York Times, FOX News, CNN, The Economist, Investor’s Business Daily, The Chicago Sun-Times and many, many more.

John Klossner Cartoons – The personal web site of Lost Nation.tv’s favorite cartoonist. See John’s work for LostNation.tv

Joseph Bergeron Web Design & Development – The personal web site of the designer and developer of Lost Nation.tv