Monday, November 24, 2003

A subtle hint in Mosul

The Post says that a good chunk of the money allocated for “homeland security” was spent on anything but that, in part because there are no particular standards for how locals spend the windfall, and in part because it was designed as pork, with money not going to likely terrorism targets, but based on population (i.e., everyone gets something for their district).

The Israeli government has been trying to label Europe anti-semitic lately. Sharon says, in an interview that’s rather badly timed considering that he’s currently hosting the leader of Italy’s post-fascist party, that the problem is an “ever stronger Muslim presence in Europe.” When it was suggested to him that he tends to label legitimate criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic, he said that “These days to conduct an anti-Semite policy is not a popular thing, so the anti-Semites bundle their policies in with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” And criticizing his use of excessive force would be to deprive Israel of the right of self-defense, which is a danger to Jews.

At the risk of being labeled an anti-Semite: Ariel Sharon is a prick.

Shevardnadze is out. “I realised that what is happening may end with spilled blood if I use my rights.” Patrick Cockburn’s excellent story says that Georgia had collapsed into poverty, with many parts of it having essentially seceded. Which explains why the US took the position it did: Shevvy wasn’t able to keep his country stable enough for our pipeline purposes. The US has already recognized the new government, which means I may have to rethink considering the ouster a good thing. Other link.

Croat nationalists have won that country’s parliamentary elections (Later: or possibly not an outright victory). Nationalism has also significantly increased in the last Bosnian elections, and in the Serb presidential elections (which were invalidated by low turnout). Fortunately, nationalism in the Balkans usually just involves singing folksongs.

Two US soldiers were killed by guerillas in Mosul. Immediately, a crowd went through their pockets, smashed their bodies and their car with concrete blocks, stabbed them, slit their throats, and generally, ya know, welcomed them as liberators, just like Dick Cheney promised.

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