Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Peaceful nations cannot close their eyes or sit idly by in the face of genocide


I’ve been meaning for some time to swipe this quote from the website of a Grinnell College professor whose personal page links to this blog: “I wept because I had no answers, until I met a man who had no questions.”

Four British citizens are released from Guantanamo, flown back to the UK at British expense, and were then arrested. They are expected to be released in a day or two (they did confess during their 3-year sojourn at Gitmo, but that evidence can’t be used in a British court), but the UK gave some sort of promise to the US that they would be prevented from posing a threat again, one of the conditions of their release. How the UK is supposed to do that with citizens unconvicted of any crime is not clear. Yet again, the US has demanded that other countries act with as little regard for the law as we do.

Several bloggers have asked just how Iraqi voters are supposed to know where their polling stations will be. I’m rather curious about this myself. Follow the sound of gunfire? The trail of blood?

Australians are losing their accents.

You may remember stories about the last two Jews in Kabul, who were engaged in a decades-long feud. Last week one of them died.

Margaret Spellings started as secretary of education yesterday; it took her one whole day before she decided to gay-bash a PBS children’s program which will show cartoon Vermont lesbians, and demand that PBS return the federal money used in producing the program. I’m a little unclear on how PBS distribution works, but evidently PBS plans to pull the episode, but WGBH will distribute it. Unbanned in Boston. Pretty good for WGBH, which used to censor the episodes of Upstairs Downstairs that might offend the delicate ears of Boston bluebloods.

R’s have been attacking Barbara Boxer for mentioning her questioning of Condi Rice in a fundraising letter. A spokesmodel for Rice, who last week didn’t think it was legitimate for her integrity to be impugned, said the letter “puts to rest any doubts some may have had that this is all about politics.”

The last Italian veteran of World War I dies, at 110.

Paul Wolfowitz, in a speech trying to yoke the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps to Bush foreign policy objectives, says that “peaceful nations cannot close their eyes or sit idly by in the face of genocide,” but allows as how people might want to close their eyes during the comb-licking scene in “Fahrenheit 911.”

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