Saturday, December 11, 2004

They don’t know what democracy is


Writing about the incident in October when the Israeli military shot a 13-year old Palestinian girl and an officer then shot her 10 more times to “confirm the kill,” the NYT repeats the Israeli army’s first excuse, which has been completely discredited by audio tapes, that they thought her book bag was a bomb.

I’ve wondered before how the Pentagon names its military operations, usually combining two unrelated but tough-sounding elements. Mad Libs? Porn name generator? Anyway, in Afghanistan, “Operation Lightning Freedom” has commenced.

The Russian Orthodox church is considering naming a patron saint of the Internet. The choice is between Saint John Chrysostom and...wait for it...Saint Feofan the Hermit.

The Sunday Times (London) has an article on the know-your-enemy training given to some US Marines etc. They get to be pretend Muslims for a week, wearing Arab garb, praying to Mecca, eating with their hands, play-acting kidnapping and executing westerners, planting car bombs, etc. One student said, “It’s helped me to know how the enemy thinks and appreciate how sophisticated they are.” And the lesson he draws from this? “I’d kill them all. They don’t know what democracy is.”

Disney is building a new disneyland in Hong Kong. They consulted a master of feng shui in designing the park, presumably so that kids on the roller coasters will throw up in the most propitious direction. Now they just need to attract Chinese families, not especially familiar with Mickey, Donald, Winnie the Pooh etc, to the Magic Kingd... uh, Magic People’s Republic. So they have struck up a partnership with the Communist Youth League to indoctrinate Chinese children in Disneyana.

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