Tuesday, November 04, 2003

The Longish March

Patrick Cockburn writes in the Indy: “Another comforting method of downplaying the resistance is to say it is all taking place in the "Sunni triangle". The word "triangle" somehow implies that the area is finite and small. In fact the Sunni Arabs of Iraq live in an area almost the size of England.”

Fearing for my sanity, I avoided all 3 appearances by Rummy Rumsfeld on Sunday morning news programs. But in all 3 he talked about a terrorist group: “There's an organization called Ansar al-Islam, which was in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was there, it was functioning, and Saddam Hussein knew all about it.” But he couldn’t do anything about it, since it was in the Kurdish north, which was an American protectorate in which Hussein had no power. You’ll notice Rummy doesn’t actually (or in the other 2 versions) state any real link with Saddam, but he sure does imply it to the casual listener.

Speaking of sins of omission, the Smithsonian, hopelessly cowed by the right-wing, has a new exhibit of the Enola Gay. Guess which of the plane’s missions it fails even to mention?

The R’s snipped a provision that the D’s had added to the $87b. appropriation making war profiteering a criminal act. The Senate refuses to go on record on the whole bill, passing all that money by a voice vote, because god forbid they should ever be held responsible (we do know that Robert Byrd yelled No).

The Bushies are claiming that Saddam Hussein is behind the latest attacks on US troops in Iraq. Says Jon Stewart: Somebody should do something about that guy...again.

The Sharon government has suggested making all Palestinian citizens of Israel take a loyalty oath before being given identity cards.

So the US has these 13 ancient oil tankers, built in 1945, full of tons of hazardous waste, including PCBs, asbestos, mercury, etc etc. Naturally, it decides to tow them across the Atlantic Ocean to have them recycled in Britain (2 have arrived, 2 are on their way, so far). Before they started their journey, Britain changed its mind. The US (it’s the US government responsible for this) decided to send them anyway, despite being told they wouldn’t be allowed to dock, and maybe just leave them off the British coast.

Linda Tripp (remember her?) lied on her Pentagon security application about having been arrested as a teenager, and somehow she now gets $595,000, plus a retroactive promotion and back-pay at an undisclosed amount, because that being made public is a violation of her privacy rights, which is too much irony even for me. The thing is, the records unlawfully released didn’t by themselves indicate anything. Tripp says, “This government should never be permitted to use Privacy Act-protected information to discredit a political opponent,” but the records don’t show the arrest, because she lied about the arrest. Anyway, now she wants retirement benefits.

Bush says the US will not run from Iraq. Hey, we’re Americans, we not only don’t run, but if we can’t find the remote we’re too lazy to get up and change the channel. Anyway, we wouldn’t run, we will fucking drive, and we will do it in an SUV or better yet a Hummer, because otherwise our soldiers will have died in vain.

Bush: “A free and peaceful Iraq will make it more likely that our children and grandchildren will be able to grow up without the horrors of September the 11th.”

Outgoing Tory leader Duncan Smith says that the media treated him like a paedophile.

A couple of Brits decided to backpack the route of Mao’s Long March. Their conclusion: it wasn’t that long. The history books say 6-8,000 miles, but it was actually 4,000. It took them 384 days, compared with the Communist force’s 368 days. They are in their thirties, and have no lives (obviously).

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