Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Ant War

Ant War

Ant War (2002)

From -- a description of the game Ant War:

Did you ever want an ant farm, but worried that the ants might get loose in your home? Choose from 5 different ant breeds, each with different personalities and skills, and build your nest in numerous locations. With over 60 enemies, thousands of random events and "ant shopping" at your fingertips, you can grow your colony to gigantic proportions and cause a town panic! Start with a simple anthill and grow into an amazing ant empire!

And in the Leave It to Freepers department -- a headline on Free Republic condemning an anti-Iraq War demonstration at a Seattle high school:


Other sites that won't win spelling bees for their headlines include the Independent Media Centre:


and this student list from the University of Utah:


and from FAblog:


Finally, from "Of Ants and Men -- The Lust for War" by Robert Epstein in Psychology Today:

Behavioral scientists have identified many powerful factors that drive us to war -- factors so numerous and so compelling that it's hard to imagine how we'll ever overcome them. Evolution seems to have equipped us -- men, especially -- with strong tendencies to organize and kill. As General John J. Pershing stated, "Men go to war because they enjoy it." Like many mammals, we also possess the natural tendency to protect our territory. Society is capable of suppressing genetically based tendencies, but when it comes to war, most cultures actually fuel the flames. We deliberately instill nationalistic pride in our children, and we teach them to assume roles and follow orders -- all characteristics of the good soldier. In addition, we "deindividuate" people by giving them uniforms; we diffuse responsibility by having them use weapons in teams; we dehumanize enemies by labeling them heathens, animals and so on. Throw in financial incentives, some propaganda and a charismatic leader or two, and we become more antlike than ever.

Yes, it's difficult to get around a "disassembling" leader known to "catapult the propaganda," but maybe one step towards preventing war -- and certainly the pre-emptive kind -- and also cut down on misspellings of anti-war -- is to fully understand the reasons and background as to why we went to war in Iraq in the first place. And if there might be evidence suggesting the push to war was driven by propaganda, lies, and cooked military intelligence, shouldn't we, as a free society claiming to uphold democratic principles, fully examine the evidence?

If you agree, please do what you can to see that the Downing Street Memo/Minutes is given the coverage it deserves. Write your representative. Sign the letter circulated by Congressman John Conyers. Sign the petition drawn up by Senator Ted Kennedy. If you are a blogger, please join the Big Brass Alliance. If you just like more information, please visit

This is what Senator Kennedy recently said about the Downing Street Minutes:

The contents of the Downing Street Minutes confirm that the Bush Administration was determined to go to war in Iraq, regardless of whether there was any credible justification for doing so. The Administration distorted and misrepresented the intelligence in its attempt to link Saddam Hussein with the terrorists of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden, and with weapons of mass destruction that Iraq did not have.

In addition, the Downing Street Minutes also confirm what has long been obvious -- that the timing of the war was linked to the 2002 Congressional elections, and that the Administration’s planning for post-war Iraq was incompetent in all its aspects. The current continuing crisis is a direct result of that incompetence.

Many of you have worked hard for the American people, the media and those in government to speak out about the Downing Street Minutes and the Iraq war. You can join me in speaking out as well.

The policy of “shoot first, ask questions later” took us into an unjustified war, and without a clear concept of what “winning the war” actually means.

President Bush constantly talks about the “progress” that is being made in Iraq against the insurgency, but he’s looking for good news with a microscope. All anyone can see is “Mission Mis-accomplished” and the continuing losses of American lives, the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis, the torture scandal, and the ominous decline in our nation’s moral authority in the world community.

We know the Administration had been planning to invade Iraq for many months before the invasion actually began. We know the Administration twisted the intelligence to make the facts fit their plan. We know that the Administration never really intended to give the U.N. weapons inspectors a reasonable chance to succeed. The Downing Street Minutes demonstrate that the Administration knew their case for war was paper thin, and that in order to go into war with the support of our allies, we had to demonstrate some willingness to go along with the UN inspection process. But the Administration continued to misuse its intelligence, distort the facts and pay only lip-service to the UN’s role in disarming Iraq.

We never should have gone to war for ideological reasons driven by politics and based on manipulated intelligence. The Downing Street Minutes provide even more proof that this is exactly what happened on Iraq. The Administration’s dishonesty, lack of candor, and lack of planning have brought us to where we are today, with American soldiers dying, Iraqi civilians living in constant fear, and with no clearer picture of our strategy for victory in Iraq than when we started.

We don't have to be ants. Fall out of that single-file line. Fling some of that catapulted propaganda back. And let's do what we can to stop all the administration's dissembling -- you know, that means not tell the truth.

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