Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Pining for the fjords

A good q&a on various aspects of the war (what happened to WMDs, is Chalabi a stooge, did the US violate international law, what about those market bombings, etc etc). A useful recap.

WashPost headline: Hussein's Rule 'Is No More,' President Says. Um, pushing up the daisies, bereft of life, joined the choir invisible...

And today, he says that Hussein’s rule has “passed into history.” Presumably the history 7,000 years of which were just looted or destroyed at the Museum of Antiquities.

Of course today US soldiers finally stop some looting--of a bank. Why did anyone even bother? Do you know how little the dinar is worth right now? Especially since the plates for printing them disappeared with the rest of the Iraqi government. [Later: maybe the bank thing didn’t go as well as previously reported--see London Times story below]

NY Times headline, on the front page: “Free to Protest, Iraqis Complain About the U.S.” That little thing where 10 freely protesting Iraqis were shot to death by US soldiers is confined to page B3, below the fold. This seems to be typical of American media on this one. Among other things. I still haven’t heard a credible explanation, or of any reporter trying to get the story, of how the “flag that flew over the Pentagon on 9/11” just happened to be there when they pulled the statue down. Or the US admit to, or even investigate, those market bombings. One other thing someone pointed out that the US wasn’t investigating: that missile strike on a restaurant that was aimed at killing Saddam and his kiddies. They haven’t dug through the rubble, meaning they already are sure that they missed.

In Moscow theatre news, the musical comedy “Nord-Ost” closes. Management is blaming the incident where 129 audience members were killed (I still say it was a lot more than that, unless you believe that no one died after the first day)--but critics say the musical was never the same after Matthew Broderick left.

The US gov is insisting that severely retarded children, some with IQs under 30, be subjected to testing just like everyone else.

The French, experiencing the tolerance for which they are well known, allow a Muslim Council to be elected. When fundies win 1/3 of the seats, the interior minister threatens to expel any religious leaders who say things he doesn’t like. In addition to the obvious intolerance is the assumption that all fundies are non-French citizens.

Salon piece on little Ali. I hadn’t realized that the US media had been ignoring the story until this week; the British were certainly all over it, like flies on a kid with no arms to shoo them off. The Salon piece (by the way, when Salon makes you watch a commercial to get to their site, just click on “Having difficulties seeing this commercial? Click here” to skip it) says that the Americans are having problems with the fact, even understanding the fact, that the 12 year old hates America for, ya know, crippling him and killing his parents. CNN anchor Kyra Phillips, shocked by this, asked his doctor, “Doctor, does he understand why this war took place? Has he talked about Operation Iraqi Freedom and the meaning? Does he understand it?"

If Saddam is in Syria, the US plans to go in to snatch or assassinate him, as “hot pursuit,” very much over British objections.

The issue of Nature just out says that the US sprayed 4 times as much dioxin on Vietnam than it has previously admitted, and sprayed areas at much higher levels.

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