Thursday, November 22, 2001

I only realized after I sent out the last e-mail how amusing it is that the news that Bush cut refugee quotas was reported (indeed, hidden) in the Thanksgiving newspapers. Now that's irony!

Speaking of irony, Bush gave a speech yesterday saying that women should be involved in any new Afghan government, which he said should be "broadly-based."

This week, Rummy Rumsfeld has said that he wants bin Laden dead rather than alive, that the US troops in Afghanistan have orders to take no prisoners, and that the foreign Islamists in Afghanistan shouldn't be allowed to leave the country. Mark those speeches as exhibits one, two and three at a war crimes trial, if there were any justice in this world, which there is not. I've grown to really really dislike Rumsfeld, so much so that I just split an infinitive and I don't even care. I hate his voice; I hate his smug face; I hate his suits.

If it's good enough for the US, it's good enough for the rest of the world, at least when it comes to destroying human rights. India's Hindu nationalist government, the NY Times says, is implementing anti-terrorism legislation exactly modeled on ours, indefinite detention and all. So, according to the British press, is Zimbabwe's increasingly mad president Mugabe. More to come there.

Before I forget, a congratulations to the Portland police force for resisting FBI requests to hassle foreigners on little if any evidence.

I've been meaning to talk about the religious war this isn't supposed to be for some time. It's not a war against Islam, we hear over and over. Of course it is, it's just less clear who the other side is supposed to be, and that lack of clarity suggests why Islam is bit by bit winning the war. It isn't Christianity against Islam, although for some people it certainly is, including I'd venture to say Ashcroft and Bush. But the anti-Islamic side is too diverse for that, and I'm not talking about Israel (which responded to Powell's toned-down speech on the Middle East by firing shells into a school and simultaneously destroying Palestinian housing in a refugee camp yet while reinforcing the settlements), but China, which took advantage of the excuse for another major crackdown that noone's paying attention to, the Philippines, Russia and the Central Asian republics which are always happy to kick some Islamist ass, and on and on. These countries are defending the nation-state against an Islam which is either separatist or trans-national. The only nation-state really holding its own against militant Islam is Turkey, and it won't last forever, and it accomplishes it largely through coercion, by shutting down cultural forms and by forcing Islamic head-dress off of women by the same force the Taliban used to put it on. The problem is, in the ideological fight between militant Islam and the nation-state, only one seems actually to stand for anything. What did Algeria stand for as a nation when it abolished elections the Islamists were going to win? Or Turkey, stand for anything. What did Algeria stand for as a nation when it abolished elections the Islamists were going to win? Or Turkey, really? What are the values deployed by the Russian state to win over people attracted to a political Islam? And how about America? Bush told us all to stand up to the terrorists by shopping, but forgot to suggest that people stand up to the terrorists by voting in the states and localities that had elections this month. And this is America, which is supposed to be a model. You know how the US is a model, don't you? It's vain and self-centered and has big fake tits. It's the reason we don't have to practice what we preach and don't have to spend much of anything on foreign aid, compared to other industrial countries, and do all the horrible things we do in the world. Because we're a model, dammit, and it's our job to do whatever we want to do while the rest of the world looks on in admiration.

Speaking of big fake tits, enjoy your turkey, and pass me the white meat.

No comments:

Post a Comment