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Restore the Wetlands. Reinforce the Levees.

Archive for April, 2008

Omigod! Infinite Iraqi Freedom! We’re Never Leaving!

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Photo by Tim Hetherington for Vanity Fair / Panos Pictures.

Photo by Tim Hetherington for Vanity Fair / Panos Pictures.

As reported in The Guardian (UK), which has seen a confidential draft agreement covering the future of U.S. forces in Iraq, the U.S. has plans for an indefinite stay there. The agreement is intended to replace the existing UN mandate and authorizes the U.S. “conduct military operations in Iraq and to detain individuals when necessary for imperative reasons of security” without a time limit.

It is not just a war, it is an occupation, so we have to decide that there is not going to continue to be an occupation. There is going to be a withdrawal. This is broader than just Iraq. We need to demand a Middle East–wide withdrawal of military forces from Iraq and Turkey and Qatar and what remains in Saudi Arabia and possibly Jordan and so on. We need to realize our presence there is an irritant that will always be resisted—and we’ll call that resistance “terrorism.”

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‘Surrounded by Water’ Now at Historic New Orleans Collection

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

LNW_HNOC-surround2In New Orleans last week we visited an excellent exhibit at the Historic New Orleans Collection on Royal Street, “Surrounded by Water: New Orleans, the Mississippi River & Lake Pontchartrain.” As usual with the HNOC, you get the best of archival maps and photographs of Louisiana with detailed explanations, a French Quarter-cum-Oxford University Press approach to any subject they take up. The show is introduced by a well-illustrated and thoughtful video with commentary by John Barry, author of Rising Tide, HNOC curator John Magill, and environmental historian and author Richard Campanella. These experts and others explain how the same great bodies of water that made the city’s growth possible now threaten it with eventual inundation—unless the nation takes up a serious program of coastal restoration and other protective measures. We urge everyone in New Orleans to check it out—and if you’re not close by, make a special trip. It’s free and open to the public. Check it out during Jazz Fest, and beyond: the exhibition runs through September 20, 2008.

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