Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Those stupid berets, on the other hand...

France will ban Muslim girls wearing headscarves in schools. Also, Muslim women in hospitals will not be able to refuse being treated by male doctors.

And Saudi Arabia has banned the importation of teddy bears and female dolls. Also crucifixes and models of Buddha.

The Supreme Court has lifted its stay of execution in a Texas case, not bothering to discuss whether it’s ok to use a drug banned for veterinary use in Texas and elsewhere because it is too inhumane for dogs.

Speaking of too inhumane for dogs, Bush’s campaign has hired the advertising guy who created the talking Chihuahua for Taco Bell.

Robert Fisk says that checkpoints in Iraq are now manned by militia working for (and right next to) the Americans--and wearing hoods and masks. (Later:) yup, seen ‘em on the BBC.

Nation article on Bush’s use of religious language.

From the Daily Telegraph: “A traditional doctor in Nigeria has been shot dead by a patient who was testing the potency of an anti-bullet charm which the herbalist had tied around his neck in order to check its efficacy, police said.”

This week Richard Perle described people who oppose American unilateralism as wanting to make US security dependent on “signatures on pieces of paper.” This would be huge, if people were historically literate. They’re not, so it won’t be. When Germany invaded Belgium in 1914 in violation of a treaty guaranteeing that country’s neutrality, the act that brought Britain into the war, the kaiser described the treaty as a “scrap of paper,” a line repeated endlessly for the next 4 years to prove his infamy (infamy, infamy! They’ve all got it in fa’ me!)(sorry).

How did I move from a historical lecture to quoting a Carry On movie?

The black servant Strom Thurmond impregnated must have been 15 or barely 16. What a prince.

Here’s a heart-warming story about a blind guy who went hunting (he got Michigan law changed to allow him to do so), and shot a deer. Well, they told him it was a deer.

From the Diane Sawyer interview with Shrub:
SAWYER: But stated as a hard fact, that there were weapons of mass destruction, as opposed to the possibility that he could move to acquire those weapons still --

BUSH: So what’s the difference?

Between reality and ... wait, I’ve just figured something out. Bush really can’t tell the difference between WANTING something, like WMDs, and HAVING them, because whenever he’s wanted something, his father’s friends gave it to him.

I’ve read part of the transcript, and Sawyer was surprisingly tough on him, and he was very evasive. My favorite question was, what would it take to convince you he had no WMDs. Bush ignored that one entirely. It’s a reminder of how badly he stands up to real questioning, which in turn is a reminder of how rarely he lets himself in for real questioning, which is a reminder of the fact that somehow he can live in that bubble without being seen as the feeb he is.

Britain’s foreign minister spent part of today figuring out how to acquiesce to Bush’s desire to have the Iraqi puppet government execute Hussein. You’ll note I’ve downgraded them to puppet status again, because for all the talk about how whether to impose the death penalty is up to the “Iraqi people,” this thing is very much a show trial. Let me prove it to you: if the Iraqi war crimes court somehow decided that Saddam was innocent, and free to go, do you think that Bush would let that happen? Of course not. A court that only has the option of guilty is not a court.

And while we’re at it, a note to the media: US troops do not “arrest” people in Iraq. They are not the police, they are not enforcing Iraqi law, they are soldiers. They seize, they capture, they cannot arrest. To suggest otherwise is to pretend that the occupation is something other than an occupation.

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