Friday, November 05, 2004

I think you will be surprised how quickly we gain each other’s trust


Allawi, speaking about the upcoming mass slaughter in Fallujah: “We intend to liberate the people and bring the rule of law”. By the time this war is over, I won’t be able to hear the word “liberate” without spitting.

The military is ordering the population of Fallujah to flee, so the city can be turned into a giant free-fire zone. Except for males under 45, who will be arrested if they try to leave.

Speaking of the rule of law, the, um, specter of Arlen Specter first warning, and then denying he had warned, Bush against trying to pack the bench with anti-abortion judges, is no doubt only the visible part of a vicious little war being fought behind the scenes. We’ll know how it turned out when we see whether Specter gets to chair the judiciary committee. (Later: the right is mobilizing against Specter, for example in this unlovely website.)

Either way, Rick Santorum, whose previous remarks about the judicial branch include this one
If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. (April 2003)
and this one
we’ll have our opportunity someday, and we’ll make sure there’s not another liberal judge, ever! (November 2003)
wants to denude the committee of the power to block nominees reaching the Senate floor, and says “Senate Republicans are committed to approving all of the president’s judicial nominations, despite the Democrats’ rhetoric that they are committed to block judges who fail their litmus tests.”

Did anyone spot what’s wrong with that statement, constitutionally speaking? Santorum is blindly committing Senate R’s to approve anyone Bush decides to nominate, without exercising the oversight mandated by the constitutional system of checks and balances. For people who talk so much about the original intent of the founders, the R’s are awfully willing to dismantle the protections against tyranny the founders built into the Constitution.

Israel is going to be predictably petty about not allowing Arafat to be buried in Jerusalem because, says the Guardian, “it fears that Mr Arafat’s burial in Jerusalem would be interpreted as recognition that Palestinians have political rights in the city.” Jerusalem is like Chicago now? The dead have a right to vote?

I’ve been looking for a couple of days for a good reproduction online of the leaflet the Scottish Black Watch troops have been handing out. I’m curious about the image on the front, sort of seen here.



What’s he carrying, bagpipes? The leaflet says, “Please allow me to introduce myself. I am a Scottish soldier of the Black Watch regiment. ... There will be those who will continue to call us occupiers and encourage you to reject our presence. I ask you to give us an opportunity to prove that we are sincere in our statements that we respect the Iraqi culture and I think you will be surprised how quickly we gain each other’s trust. ...”

Follow-Up: Publishers Holt, Rinehart and Winston, & Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, gave in to Texas and will remove any wording in textbooks suggesting that anything other than a “lifelong union between a husband and a wife” is acceptable. They stood up for themselves only to the extent that they didn’t include language suggested by the Texas Board of Ed. saying that gays and bisexuals were “more prone to self-destructive behaviors like depression, illegal drug use, and suicide.” That’s not even well-written: how is depression a self-destructive behaviour?

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