Saturday, November 15, 2003

Freedom is a beautiful thing

A letter to the NYT notes that while Bush’s people talk about him not going to any military funerals because he’s just so busy, since June he has gone to 35 fund-raisers.

Actually, he is planning to visit with families of dead soldiers for the first time next week. Dead British soldiers. Many of whose families said thanks but no thanks. Others will go and ask difficult questions. Heh heh. Bush says about the demonstrations he will encounter, “I'm so pleased to be going to a country which says that people are allowed to express their minds. That's fantastic. Freedom is a beautiful thing.” In other words, Britain turned down the Secret Service’s demand that they ban the demos. A beautiful thing indeed. The Sindy points out that Bush hasn’t visited any wounded soldiers. I said this a few days ago, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in print anywhere.

Still, the UK refused to grant diplomatic immunity to US Secret Service and snipers. Nor will they close the Tube, nor will the US Air Force patrol London with fighters and Blackhawks, nor will battlefield weaponry be shipped in for use against rioters. Nor will Buckingham Palace be completely rebuilt with blast-proof windows and reinforced walls. I include a link in case you think I’m making this up.

Laura Bush, interviewed for British tv, said that for Americans, the British monarchy is a “fairytale.” Insert your own Prince Charles joke here.

Here’s an article on scam-baiting, which is where you respond to Nigerian emails and string them along as long as possible. One of the goals is to get the sender to prove his identity by sending a photo of himself holding up a sign with the name you’re using: Iama Dildo, for example. There are websites for those as well.

Israel responds to synagogue bombings in Istanbul by blaming anyone who criticizes Israel.

From the NY Times piece on the Senate marathon, quoting Rick Santorum (R-Moronville): “we'll have our opportunity someday, and we'll make sure there's not another liberal judge, ever!” And this, on the staginess of it all: “In fact, the Republican cots, which were wheeled into the room on Wednesday morning before a summoned throng of photographers and reporters, were quietly wheeled out, having never been used by anyone. Only Dr. Frist appeared to have briefly napped in a cot, one that was ostentatiously placed not in his inner office, which has abundant comfortable sofas and where one might choose to sleep privately, but near the door to a public hallway where it could be seen and photographed.”

The Iraqis took down two US helicopters with a single RPG today. US death toll: 400. Sorry, 419.

It may be pointless to criticize the current American plan for turning over power to Iraq, since there’s bound to be a new plan in a day or two, but the NYT correctly points out that it would occur before there is a constitution (which looks likely to be such a farce that the US doesn’t want to be associated with it), or even national elections. No protection for minorities, or women, nothing about Islamic law. The Kurds should regard this as yet another sell-out. Of course the US military won’t leave, but they’ll evidently stop using the word occupation. And they’ll keep control of the $20 billion.

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