Blogs are a familiar feature on the internet - where users post content in an accumulating manner, with comments, and search options, etc. They facilitate expression and exploration, and via attached comments, also debate and synthesis.
Reading and Navigating Blogs
Our blogs are quite powerful. Each writer can post, as is typically the case. Sustainers who have the option can also post, however. All Blogs appear in the blog system, and sometimes also in content boxes the top page of ZNet - and always via the left menu of the top page - and can be found via searches, etc.
Commenting on blogs follows the blogs, attached at the bottom, and blog comments, like all others, are also visible in many places that show comments including in the forum system. In addition, the entire blog system gathers content for everyone - but one can look at the accumulating content in many ways.
For example one can look at one writer's efforts - so one is seeing what is effectively a blog system for that one writer, or Sustainer.
One can also look at the content by topic, seeing blogs that are tagged as being about a certain topic - or place, as well. Thus, when doing that, it is a blog system about a topic, or a place, with many contributors.
One can look at only writer blogs, or only sustainer blogs, as well.
One can look at blogs for particular Groups, too.
All this is easily done using the left menu. Searches allow even more variables and refinements.
Creating Blog Posts
If you are a Sustainer with permission, and are logged in, you will see a link in the left menu for you to post a blog - and you can use that to post one, and then tag it various ways (such as with a topic or place, or a group tag), and once you do, it is in the system with you as the author.
You can also use the console button to the left to post a blog - anytime and from anywhere in the site, as long as you are logged in.
Meanwhile, enjoy the blogs - and, by the way, if you are a Free Member or a Sustainer with a ZSpace page, of course you can put one or more content boxes on it, pulling blog links of any sort you may want to filter for, for example, by you or by your friends or by others - and by topic, about places, for groups, etc.
All opponents of the invasion of Iraq -- at least, all those who bothered to think the matter through -- took for granted that there would be beneficial effects, as is often the case with military interventions: the bombing of Pearl Harbor, for example, which led to the expulsion of Western imperial powers from Asia, saving millions of lives. Does that justify Japanese fascism and its crimes? Of course not: there is far more to consider, and I've never had any question that these other considerations amply justify condemning Japan's aggression as a war crime -- the "supreme crime" of Nuremberg.
Arthur Schlesinger, perhaps the most respected mainstream American historian, had ample reason to recall the attack on Pearl Harbor as the bombing of Iraq began. FDR was right to condemn the Japanese attack as a date that will live in infamy, Schlesinger wrote, but now it is Americans who live in infamy as their government adopts the policies of imperial Japan, he added, as the first bombs fell on Baghdad.
The invasion of Iraq brought two murderous regimes to an end: the sanctions regime, and the rule of Saddam Hussein. Orders from on high are that we are to ignore the first, on the usual grounds: we are responsible for those crimes, and therefore they must be dispatched deep down the memory hole. But we are not obliged to subject ourselves to the commands of state authority and doctrinal managers.
Every decent person should welcome these two outcomes, and all serious opponents of the war have always done so, though advocates of state violence labor to suppress this fact. The sanctions regime killed hundreds of thousands of people, by conservative estimates. It devastated the civilian society, strengthened the tyrant, and compelled the population to rely on him for mere survival. It's because of these hideous consequences that the highly respected international diplomats who administered the programs, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, resigned in protest at what Halliday called the "genocidal" sanctions regime. Recall that they are the Westerners who knew Iraq best, having access to regular information from a great many investigators in all parts of the country. The sanctions regime was administered by the UN, but everyone understood that its cruel and savage character was dictated by the US and its British subordinate. Ending this regime is certainly a very positive aspect of the invasion, and a cause for gratification. But of course that could have been done, and sanctions could have been directed to weapons programs instead, without an invasion. So this beneficial consequence, doubtless greatly welcomed by Iraqis, provides no justification for the invasion.
There is reason to believe -- as Halliday and von Sponeck had argued -- that if the vicious sanctions regime had been ended the population of Iraq would have been able to send Saddam Hussein to the same fate as other murderous gangsters supported by the US and UK: Ceausescu, Suharto, Marcos, Duvalier, Chun, Mobutu.... -- quite a rogue's gallery, some of them easily comparable to Saddam, to which new names are being added daily by the same Western leaders, whose values are unchanged. If so, both murderous regimes could have been ended without invasion. Postwar inquiries, such as David Kay's, add weight to these beliefs by revealing how shaky Saddam's control of the country was in the last few years.
We may have our own subjective judgments about this matter, but we should at least have the honesty to recognize that they are completely irrelevant. Completely. Unless the population is at least given the opportunity to overthrow a murderous tyrant, as they did in the case of the other members of the rogue's gallery supported by the US and UK (including the current incumbents), there is no justification for resort to outside force to do so. Another truism, which has repeatedly been pointed out -- and systematically ignored within the doctrinal system.
That is sufficient to undermine the arguments contrived by Blair and Bush, or their handlers, after the collapse of their official reasons for invasion: WMD and Iraq's alleged ties to terror. On different grounds, these arguments have been thoroughly refuted by Human Rights Watch in the introduction to its latest annual report. But there are further considerations as well. It was predicted by just about every serious specialist that the invasion of Iraq would increase the threat of terror as well as proliferation of WMD. The first prediction has been amply verified, with terrible consequences and probably more to come, and Iraq itself has admittedly become a "terrorist haven" for the first time. The second prediction is also considered to have been confirmed by many regional specialists and strategic analysts, and is unfortunately all too plausible. There is more. Uncontroversially, the invasion struck a serious blow at the system of international law and institutions that offers at least some hope of saving the world from destruction. And though victors do not tabulate the consequences of their crimes, there is little doubt that the numbers of Iraqis killed is in the tens of thousands. And there is a good deal more.
These are the kinds of considerations relevant to the evaluation of the resort to violence, without any credible pretext, in gross violation of the most basic principles of international law, and against the will of an overwhelming majority of the world's population just about everywhere that has been investigated.