Tuesday, September 20, 2005

And by God it was effective


Bush, in Mississippi today:
And that can-do spirit is -- these county commissioners -- we call them county commissioners -- county supervisors and mayors who are dealing with unbelievable trauma, and, you know, they’re right there on a front line of trying to comfort people who hurt. And, yet, amidst all that agony and pain they’re going through was this comforting spirit. The can-do spirit is, you know, seeing progress being made. And inside this tent there’s a can-do spirit of taking a horrible situation and making this part of the world better. And so I’m impressed.
Me too, by the amount of gibberish packed into just five sentences.

Bush has not only allowed the workers rebuilding after Katrina to be paid less than prevailing wages, but has also suspended affirmative action requirements.

In order to justify their Great-Escape-but-with-helicopters-and-tanks-instead-of-Steve-McQueen-on-a-motorcycle, the British have been spinning it as a rescue from imminent death (Defence Secretary John Reid: “When it is necessary to protect British servicemen, we will take that action. And by God it was effective.”) and trashing the Basra police, who they say 1) are heavily infiltrated by the militias, 2) failed to release the British soldiers when ordered to do so by the central gov, and 3) handed them over to a Shiite militia. Now Basra’s finest may be eminently trashable, but the soldiers did just shoot two of them, so basic human nature might have been all that was at work here. When 4 American “security contractors” were killed in Fallujah last year, for example, we responded by reducing the city to smoking rubble. So a reluctance on the part of the Basra constabulary to see them walk free with impunity, or even a decision to give them to people who would mete out a little (or a lot) of the rough justice they could not, would be understandable regardless of their extracurricular affiliations. What’s more entertaining is watching the British, after a couple of years of constantly talking about how much superior their occupation strategy is to that of the Americans, are justifying yesterday’s actions by making accusations that amount to an admission that their approach has been a miserable failure. They’re less willing to admit that they are also less than beloved amongst the civilian populace. Says Brig. John Lorimer, “British armoured vehicles being attacked by a violent crowd, including petrol bombs, make graphic television viewing. But this was a small, unrepresentative crowd.” So that’s all right then. How would he know whether or not the crowd is representative? Did he send men with clipboards to ask the petrol-bomb throwers, “Are you 18-35, 35-49...?” Lorimer added cheerily, “It was a difficult day yesterday but we have put it behind us and we shall move on.” I’m sure the people of Basra feel the same way.

The two soldiers were in plain clothes (and they had wigs with them!) and were armed with assault rifles and... an anti-tank missile. Oh yeah, nothing suspicious about that.

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