Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Options


Evidently a large number of veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars are coming home, driving really fast, and dying in crashes.

Next week George “The Horse Whisperer” Bush will attend a military parade in Red Square celebrating the 60th anniversary of V-E Day, or, as the Baltic states and possibly one or two other countries think of it, the start of 45 years of subjugation by the Red Army. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, in a Rummyesque move, told them to suck it up: “when some now argue over whether we did or did not occupy other countries, I feel like asking them: ‘And what would have become of you if we hadn’t broken the back of fascism - would you still exist as a people?’” Isn’t it nice to have options?

Speaking of options, in India, a 19 (or 22)-year old nurse was raped by an orderly, who gouged out one of her eyes in the process. Before he was sentenced, he asked the court if he could marry his victim, so the court had her hauled in to answer this beyond-obscene (but not uncommon) proposition.

She said no.

Still speaking of options, the British people will be choosing a new government in a few hours. Under Mr. Blair, the British political system has become increasingly presidential in tone and function, but not electorally. No one gets to vote directly on who will be prime minister, which creates some anomalies. For example, it has become increasingly clear that he lied to Parliament about the legal advice he had on the legality of the war in Iraq, but voters in Labour-held seats wishing to punish Blair for that would have to vote against their Members of Parliament, precisely the people Blair lied to.

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