Weekend news

General Wesley Clark, on Bush's new ad campaign that questions the patriotism of Democrats: "I'm not critical of President Bush because he's attacking terrorists; I'm critical of the president because he is NOT attacking terrorists."

Clark is right, it seems. New York City--where, you recall, the World Trade Center once stood--is the nation's number one terror risk, but ranks 49th in federal counterterrorism aid--receiving only $84 million of the $900 million the city says it needs to protect itself. Also, Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, reports that Osama bin Laden "is not an individual that is as important as is the ongoing campaign of the coalition against terrorists."

The Queen is steamed. George W. Bush's entourage has trashed the gardens at Buckingham Palace, doing more damage in three days than have the Palace's 30,000 annual visitors. Racking up "tens of thousands of pounds" of damage and destroying "historic and rare plants" dating back to Queen Victoria's reign, Bush and Co. turned the palace lawn into a helipad for Marine Force One and two Black Hawk helicopters.

Hoover's America: According to a confidential FBI memorandum, agents have been gathering extensive information on antiwar protesters, and police have been advised to report any suspicious behaviors to FBI counterterrorism squads. Critics say it squelches free speech. The ACLU's Anthony Romero: "The F.B.I. is dangerously targeting Americans who are engaged in nothing more than lawful protest and dissent. The line between terrorism and legitimate civil disobedience is blurred, and I have a serious concern about whether we're going back to the days of Hoover."

The brutal murder of two American GIs in Mosul--their throats slit, skulls smashed with bricks, and bodies mutiliated--feels more like Somalia than Vietnam. CORRECTION: The US Army has retracted the story about throat-slitting and mutilation, but two GIs were killed by gunshots to the head.

An Exxon representative reports that worldwide annual emissions of carbon dioxide are expected to increase by 3.5 billion tons, or 50 percent, by the year 2020. Global demand for energy will increase by 40 percent, he added, assuring that "The oil resource base is huge -- it's huge -- and we expect it to satisfy world demand growth well beyond 2020."

Art of war: Howard Zinn and Radiohead's Thom Yorke discuss the role of artists in times of war in an excellent Alternet interview. Zinn: "True, the political power is controlled by the corporate elite, and the arts are the locale for a kind of guerilla warfare, in the sense that guerrillas in a totalitarian situation look for apertures and opportunities where they can have an effect. When tyrannies are overthrown--as, for instance, in fascist Spain or the Soviet Union--it starts in the culture, which is the only area where people can have some freedom."

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