Iraq:

  • Sun Herald: 800 missiles to hit Iraq in first 48 hours (This is dated from Jan. 25th. I have tried to confirm this story with later coverage with no luck. If this is true, however, the American military’s war plans are sick and twisted and appear to be planned in a way to deliberately cause thousands upon thousands of civilian casulties. May God have mercy on us all if this is to be.)
  • NY Times: Mobilizing a theatre of protest. Again
      If the immediate artistic response to the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington was the theater of grief, some of the nation’s poets, musicians, writers, actors and playwrights have moved on to the theater of protest. The prospect of an imminent military confrontation with Iraq has incited a new sense of creative urgency.

      “I don’t think it’s an accident that in totalitarian societies they always arrest the artists first, though we don’t seem particularly dangerous,” said André Gregory, the theater director and actor. “I think the responsibility of the artist, each of us in our way, is to tell the truth. And the truth generally involves a great deal of ambiguity, and in times of war ambiguity and paradox are the first things to go. People want simple black and white answers.”

  • Powell Without Picasso by Maureen Dowd
      When Colin Powell goes to the United Nations today to make his case for

      war with Saddam, the U.N. plans to throw a blue cover over Picasso’s antiwar masterpiece, “Guernica.”

      Too much of a mixed message, diplomats say. As final preparations for the secretary’s presentation were being made last night, a U.N. spokesman explained, “Tomorrow it will be covered and we will put the Security Council flags in front of it.”

      Mr. Powell can’t very well seduce the world into bombing Iraq surrounded on camera by shrieking and mutilated women, men, children, bulls and horses.

      Reporters and cameras will stake out the secretary of state at the entrance of the U.N. Security Council, where the tapestry reproduction of “Guernica,” contributed by Nelson Rockefeller, hangs.

      The U.N. began covering the tapestry last week after getting nervous that Hans Blix’s head would end up on TV next to a screaming horse head.

      (Maybe the U.N. was inspired by John Ashcroft’s throwing a blue cover over the “Spirit of Justice” statue last year, after her naked marble breast hovered over his head during a televised terrorism briefing.) . . .

  • MSNBC: Living in Saddam’s Shadow — Iraqi leader’s long reach strikes fear among refugees in Syria