Monday, November 17, 2003

The Brits have upped to 14,000 (or 16,000) the number of police protecting Shrub’s pathetic life, 1/9th of all cops in England & Wales. Never have so many... Presumably they think it’s appropriate to celebrate the alliance that invaded Iraq with a restaging in London suburbs of the sort of looting that followed the fall of Baghdad. I should go over there and pick up a few home decoration items from the British Museum. Anyone wanna help me carry the Elgin marbles? Evidently, Special Branch have a warning that a “mentally deranged lone fanatic with a fixation for George Bush” may be in London. Yes, that would be Tony Blair. Blair [grimly determined face] says “Now is not the time to waver. Now is the time to see it through.” It’s a fucking state visit, not the invasion of Normandy.

From the Guardian’s Zoe Williams: “Condoleezza Rice echoed this weird sentiment, talking about this week's rallies. "Protests are a part of our democratic heritage and our democratic privilege." Meanwhile, her government was lobbying ours for diplomatic immunity for the members of its security service, lest they shoot a protester by accident. Mindless anti-Americans might spot an inconsistency in this line: if marchers have democratic privilege, you'd think that would extend to not getting shot. In fact, her position is watertight - there is a long heritage of democratic protesters, but there's also a long heritage of shooting them while they do it.”

Bush, by the way, cancelled plans to address Parliament, because he would have been heckled.

I don’t know who in this story is stupider: “An American patrol opened fire yesterday on people in Baghdad's gun market, killing three, including an 11-year-old boy, after the soldiers mistook the gunfire of customers testing weapons for an attack, a witness and an Iraqi police officer said.”

The British ambassador to Uzbekistan is back at work. I’ve neglected to mention this story, which is a bit murky. The ambassador, Craig Murray, had the nerve actually to criticize Uzbekistan & its dictator, the arrest and torture of political opponents, the corruption, publicly and at length. The problem is that Uz. is along the American oil pipeline, so it gets a pass, and the US ordered the Brits to pull him out and leak to the press that he was a womanizing drunk. Which he isn’t. And now he’s back.

And the Mexican ambassador to the UN has been recalled for saying that the US treats his country as a back yard. Ambassadors who tell the truth, whatever will they think of next?

We know that Ashcroft stopped the FBI (ATF?) using Brady Act data to figure out whether the 9/11 terrorists had bought guns (Michael Moore mentioned it on CSPAN yesterday). Now they’ve got a new system that prevents the Feebs tracking people on the terrorism watch list who have purchased weapons. And certainly can’t stop them exercising their sacred 2nd Amendment rights.

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