Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Finding solace only in the works of P. G. Wodehouse


The Bushies are going after Syria for Rafik Hariri’s assassination, and clearly they’ve learned something from the Iraqi WMD fiasco, because they aren’t even bothering to fabricate evidence this time, and some of them (speaking anonymously, so far) are saying that Syria can be blamed even if it didn’t do it. It will be awfully hard to accuse them of lying if they refuse to use any facts or arguments. Or irony, since they’re saying that even if it was just the action of one of Lebanon’s many terrorist groups, Syria’s occupation of Lebanon created the instability that made that possible. Do as we say, not as we do. The Bushies’ foreign policy is just like its budget--it pretends the costs of the Iraqi occupation are “off-book” and don’t count. So the State Dept says that the recall of the American ambassador to Syria is to express the US’s “profound outrage” over the assassination, but that we’re not accusing Syria of that assassination. Makes perfect sense.

I don’t know if Syria is responsible. Given Hariri’s extensive protection, some are saying that only a state has the capability of pulling something like this off, but the same thing was said after September 11. Actually, it’s hard to see why Syria would carry out this assassination of a man no longer in office at this particular time when 1) the US is looking for an excuse to go after this particular “outpost of tyranny” and 2) Israel is desperately trying to derail Russian sales of anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.

Speaking of keeping the facts off-book, Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions appeared on McNeil-Lehrer today, calling the D’s obstructionists for failing to pass all of Bush’s judicial nominees. Once again, no one had the bad taste to bring up Sessions’s past as a Reagan nominee for the federal bench, rejected because of certain racist acts in his past and remarks like “I used to think the Klan was all right until I learned they smoked marijuana.”

On the same subject, Orrin Hatch was quoted as saying that the D Senators just hate Bush. Somehow Hatch’s air of sorrowful sanctimony lets him get away with this sort of crap. A couple of weeks ago, his speech in favor of Alberto Gonzales outright accused D’s of opposing him because he was Hispanic.

About the increasing use of the word “obstructionist”: the term implies that the only legitimate agenda is that of the majority party, as if every one of the Democratic congresscritters was not elected in their own right, with their own mandate. The long term for that attitude is “tyranny of the majority,” the short term is “tyranny.”

From the Daily Telegraph:
President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya is said to have taken to his bed in despair, finding solace, according to a cabinet colleague, “only in the works of P G Wodehouse”.

Thank you for clearing that up: from the NYT’s corrections section: “A front-page article on Friday about Prince Charles's announcement that he will marry his longtime lover, Camilla Parker Bowles, misstated the name of a ceremonial post held by her former husband, Andrew Parker Bowles. It is silver stick in waiting to the queen, not silver stick in waiting to the prince.”

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