Thursday, March 20, 2003

Bush the careless underestimated your values


Colonel James Naughton of US Army Materiel Command said Iraqi complaints about depleted uranium shells had no medical basis. “They want it to go away because we kicked the crap out of them, OK?,” he told a Pentagon briefing.

No, they want it go away because their crap now glows in the dark.

The British refuse to rule out using cluster bombs in Iraq, but they won’t be using landmines. Saint Di won that one.

Evidently Clear Channel, which owns pretty much every radio station that isn’t NPR--and I’m told that there are in fact many such stations, who knew--has been sponsoring pro-war rallies.

In my last, I commented that the Bushies had changed the meaning of Bush’s televised ultimatum twice in under 24 hours. Here’s the amazing part: almost no one noticed. FAIR has, pointing out that headlines like the NY Times’s “War Imminent as Hussein Rejects Ultimatum”, the Post’s "President Tells Hussein to Leave Iraq Within 48 Hours or Face Invasion”, etc. are wrong, since Iraq will actually be invaded and occupied even if Hussein (or one of his doubles) leaves. But a deadline was so dramatic, wasn’t it, so macho? MSNBC even has a little clock, on the screen all the time, the seconds ticking away. Actually, it didn’t have seconds yesterday, just hours and minutes, before the Daily Show sarcastically suggested it add them, and maybe the theme music from Mission Impossible, to ramp up the drama. Today, it added the seconds.

The military launched a couple of dozen million-dollar missiles in an attempt to assassinate Saddam Hussein. A lot more expensive than the CIA’s old exploding cigars, but equally effective. Then Bush came on tv. William Saletan at Slate notes that he was obviously speaking from the White House, not in an “undisclosed location,” so he wasn’t particularly worried about retaliation, which might lead one to wonder how much of a threat Iraq ever actually was. It’s a bit of a mismatch, like putting Mike Tyson in a boxing ring with Pee Wee Herman, or Adam Sandler in a movie with Jack Nicholson (that one’s real; I saw a billboard today). Hell, Saddam kept talking about swords. To paraphrase Sean Connery in The Unwatchables, trust an Iraqi to bring a sword to a cruise missile fight.

Saddam goes on tv and says “Bush the careless underestimated your values.” Shouldn’t that be “misunderestimated?”

Here’s something I didn’t know, or possibly forgot: some Algerian Muslimist types in the mid-1990s were thwarted in an attempt to hijack an airplane and fly it into the Eiffel Tower. Guess the CIA doesn’t read Le Monde or they might have taken that as some sort of warning.

Wire taps have been found at European Council hq. No proof yet of who put them there, but 3 guesses.

For the sake of a short war, one can only hope that the US has been lying to the UN inspectors all this time, or who knows what we’ll be bombing. Says one inspector, “None of their hot tips were ever confirmed. I don't know about a single decontamination truck that didn't turn out to be a fire engine or a water truck.”

I gather Ollie North, “reporting” for Fox “News,” accidentally gave away the planned start time for the war. He’s also rumor-mongering about the French.

The list of the countries allegedly helping us in our crusade has puzzled some people. Even Colombia has no idea what help Colombia is supposed to be giving. And Eritrea? A Guardian reporter called up the various embassies.

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