Sunday, October 02, 2005

Under cover of night


Facing defeat in the referendum on the draft constitution, the Iraqi parliament simply rewrote the rules, not two weeks before the balloting, requiring that the 2/3 vote by which a province would be deemed to reject the constitution be 2/3 of registered voters rather than of actual voters. The fix is in.

Possibly they could learn something from last week’s referendum in Algeria, where the interior minister explains why he is claiming an 82% turnout when so few voters were actually seen: everyone voted at night.

Maureen Dowd, in one of those columns non-subscribers supposedly can’t read online, but here it is in Taiwan, points out that the Bushies, after years of talking down the capabilities of Al Qaeda, are now claiming that we are in fact directly engaging them militarily in Iraq. Indeed, Gen. Richard Myers warned this week that if the US left Iraq, there might be another 9/11. Says Dowd, “The Bush administration used 9/11 as a pretext for invading Iraq and now says it can’t leave for fear of spurring another 9/11.”

NYT on the ever-increasing number and proportion of prisoners who are in prison for life, without parole. 16% of them for drug trafficking.

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