Sunday, November 30, 2003

Other expertized advices

Afghanistan has resumed enforcing an old Taliban law against married women (girls) going to high school. They might give the other girls the low-down about s-e-x. Thousands have been expelled.

Neil Bush’s contract with Grace Semiconductors specified that he provide them business strategies, information and “other expertized advices.” Oh yeah, that’s a Bush.

The British Yellow Pages have decided to scrap the category “sword makers.” Responds one sword maker, “I suppose it’s been coming for years. We’ve been going downhill since the 19th century when duelling was made illegal.”

Northern Irish elections gave a typically bloody-minded result, with parties on both extremes surpassing the moderates. Ian Paisley is happy, and that is never a good thing. The SDLP is thinking about giving up altogether and becoming a branch of a southern Irish party.

A Post story about something I’ve mentioned before, the growing phenomenon of politicians, including the chairs of the Senate and House armed services committees, defending that lt. col. who threatened to murder an Iraqi POW in order to scare him into providing information (the people who defend him don’t admit that he threatened to kill the POW, but what message is shooting off a gun next to his head intended to convey?).

There’s also a piece here and in the NY Times either Saturday or Sunday, which convey the consensus that Bush’s latest plan to hand over power to Iraq by June, is deader’n a dodo. What’d that take, two weeks? Which is still longer than most of our strategies in Iraq have lasted, so well done.

The astonishing thing is not the 7 Spaniards and 2 Japanese and 2 Americans killed in Iraq a few hours after General Sanchez bragged that attacks were down, it’s that yet another US official made yet another stupid pollyannaish claim that was sure to be followed by some sort of rocket attack, because they all are. (I’d have used Sanchez’s exact words, but they are to be found nowhere, which to my mind is another example of the press sparing such jackasses the embarrassment they have earned.)

By the way, I spent many emails last spring making a running joke of the absence of Iraqis dancing in the streets to greet our troops, as we were promised. From today’s LA Times: “Video footage from the scene, broadcast throughout the Arab world, showed rejoicing youths dancing alongside the burned remains of the four-wheel-drive vehicles. Many of the celebrants brandished parts of the vehicles.” (You can tell it’s a Los Angeles reporter when he makes more of a dead motor vehicle than a dead person. They do love their cars.) Anyway, dancing, finally. I’d have made a comment about how they just needed the right lyrics, but again, the newspapers didn’t give Sanchez’s exact words.

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