Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Whatever it is...

I lose: the day I predicted for the start of the war, March 10, has come and gone (Chris said Feb. 28).

Faced with complaints from the states about being short-changed by the federal budget, the Bush admin has decided to stop publishing the report on how much each state gets from each federal program.

At the bottom of the WashPost story on that are a pair of quotes: Ari Fleischer: "He denied he had these weapons, and then he destroys things he says he never had." And Hans Blix 3 months before saying that Iraq declared those very missiles. Colin Powell pulled the same crap about the drone planes, saying that Iraq hadn’t declared them when it had.

In a NY Times poll, 45% say that Saddam was personally involved Fin 9/11. If you’re noticing a theme developing, it would be Don’t Confuse Me With the Facts. The paper observes that the 45% figure is virtually unchanged from one month ago. Hey, here’s an idea: when a poll reveals an area of vast and significant ignorance, why don’t you run a story or two on the subject?

FAIR points out that 9 days later, the Times has still failed to report on the story of the US spying on the UN, although unproven assertions that Iraqi diplomats are acting as spies in 60 countries got some play. Maybe one of the reasons for the mutual incomprehension between the US and the rest of the world is that stories that are front-page news elsewhere aren’t even picked up by the paper of record.

There’s a Salon piece on the crappy logic underlying this war. Something occurred to me while reading it this part of it:
“By framing the entire crisis in terms of Palestinian terrorism, rather than Israeli occupation and Palestinian terrorism, Bush has subtly equated the Palestinians with al-Qaida. In Bush's view, as in Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's, the Palestinians have no history, no grievances, no claims of any kind on the world's conscience: Their acts of violence are completely evil, exactly like those of al-Qaida. All Arabs, it seems, must pay the price of 9/11.”
What occurred to me is just how willfully ignorant Bush is. He literally acts as if the very few facts he knows about any given situation are the only ones there are.

Incidentally, largely unreported here, the Bush “road map” for Israeli-Palestinian peace, put off for the Israeli elections, and then for the many weeks it took Sharon to cobble together a coalition, has now been postponed until after the Iraq War.

The French also have their minds mind up. Jacques Chirac says, "Whatever happens, France will vote 'no'." I knew the French were big on Jerry Lewis and Woody Allen, but Groucho?
I don't know what they have to say,
it makes no difference anyway
whatever it is, I'm against it!
No matter what it is
or who commenced it,
I'm against it!

Your proposition may be good,
but let's have one thing understood
whatever it is, I'm against it!
And even when you've changed it
or condensed it, I'm against it!

Conversely, though, the Bushies, faced with a possible loss in the Security Council, Monday were saying that they were flexible about the content of the resolution, which means, presumably, that those countries they coerced or bribed into promising their vote were signing a blank check. Whatever it was, they’d be for it.

The House of Representatives cafeteria now serves “freedom fries” and “freedom toast.” The French Embassy had no comment, except to point out that french fries come from Belgium.

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