Saturday, February 21, 1998

The CDC have stopped those obnoxious placebo tests of AIDS transmission by pregnant women that I railed against a few months ago.

Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong, is writing a new book, unfortunately for HarperCollins, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who is very interested in sucking up to the Chinese and so has ordered the book be toned down. I did not read about this in the London Times.

Austria is to change its marriage laws to require the husband to do half the washing up. As absurd as most Austrians find this, they have said nothing for 60 years about the law that allows divorce by men on the grounds of the wife refusing to cook or to clean.

So why does the US have no credibility over Iraq? Well, there's of course the Wag the Dog phenomenon (a movie recently shown on Iraqi tv, which is a serious miscalculation; as China knows, we don't care about human rights but the theft of intellectual property is another matter entirely). In the Middle East, it's the refusal to confront Israel about anything, although Israel like Iraq is in violation of numerous Security Council resolutions and has weapons of mass destruction (WMD in killer-wonk speak). But I think for the rest of the world a serious obstacle to American credibility is our continued attitude towards Cuba. As in Iraq, the US is here trying to foist its foreign policy on the rest of the world, and more to the point, it underlines Hussein's point that there is nothing Iraq can do that will get the sanctions removed. 40 years of petty vindictiveness with no end in sight.

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