Monday, May 03, 1999

The Washington Post has articles about one-man vast right wing conspiracy Richard Mellon Scaife in the Sunday and Monday papers (still available at least until Tuesday’s paper comes on line).

Before Jesse Jackson went to Belgrade I was wondering why the Clinton admin was so vehemently opposing a trip that I figured had a good chance to get the hostages/kidnap victims/POWs (the Pentagon never really did get its story straight on that one or decide on what side of the border they were patrolling, did it?). And then I saw Jackson meeting with Milosevic and talking about giving peace a chance and the lion lying down with the lamb (London Times comment: some lion! some lamb!) and I could see what the problem might be. Am I right that Jesse only called for a cease-fire after his mission had succeeded? did he really negotiate his call for peace? I’m certainly not one to call a traitor someone who questions American foreign policy, for obvious reasons, but this is the sort of behaviour that turned Jane Fonda into Hanoi Jane and Lord Haw Haw into a corpse.

Queer as a $5 bill: according to Larry Kramer, Abraham Lincoln was gay. I don’t have anything to say about that, but that $5 bill joke did spring to mind.

The US unfreezes the assets of the guy who owned the chemical factory in Sudan that the US bombed, officially admitting to being unable to prove any terrorist connection for him or chemical warfare capability for the factory. I predict that this story will be completely ignored.

Which should serve as a warning for the Kosovars, who might be tempted to believe that after Clinton declares victory and goes home, that they might have some level of protection when Milosevic turns nasty again. Americans have the attention span of my cat, who I expect will not even recognize me when I return in two weeks. Note, for example, the engrossed attention not given to the elections in Panama this week, a country I believe the US has invaded more than a few times. The widow of a former president was elected president. He served three incomplete terms, being deposed by coups all three times. Her opponent was the son of a coup leader. Another example: tomorrow’s Washington Post notes that while the US claimed as one of its reasons for invading Haiti five years back that its generals were engaged in drug trafficking, the amount of cocaine funneled through Haiti has skyrocketed since then, now being about 1/5.

The Supreme Court by 9-0 says that the US can deport political refugees who have also committed non-political crimes, even if they will be persecuted, tortured or murdered in their home countries. It says that these matters are really none of the business of any courts, but that the executive “knows best” how to deal with issues that affect international relations. It is now official: human rights are a bargaining chip, not an absolute right.

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