Friday, March 29, 2002

Keeping the bird-watchers happy

The Tom Ridge color of the day is black and white on silver nitrate: God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural fluids.”

Three jokes from this week’s obituaries:

Milton Berle married and was then divorced from a showgirl. They married again 2 years later. Asked why, he said Because she reminded me of my first wife.

Dudley Moore was married to a much taller model. He said that he had to go up on her.

Billy Wilder worked for the US Army in occupied Germany after the war in a program to de-nazify films and theater. Asked to allow a former Nazi to play Jesus in the Passion Play, he replied, “Permission granted, but the nails have to be real.”

At least Bush’s efforts towards Middle East peace are working out well, huh? Hypocrisy watch: it was surprisingly Colin Powell who brought up Passover. I have seen no commentator or politician anywhere mention our Ramadan bombing. He also said that the problem was terrorism and not the absence of a political way forward. Riiiiight.

Something I’d like to put a lot of stress on because it ignored as events overtook it: Arafat tried to stave off the ridiculously vengeful assault on his hq by accepting a cease-fire. And then he saw the cease-fire that the Americans (General Zinni) brought him, which had been rewritten by the Israelis to allow it to continue “proactive attacks” on Palestian civilian targets. This is the American version of being a neutral go-between.

Bush really was neutral today, playing with his dog on the ranch and not issuing any statements, talking to anyone in the Middle East, or making much effort to keep up with events there, according to the Washington Post. Maybe it’s just as well. Powell had advanced warning of the raid and didn’t ask that it not happen.

The Israeli deputy minister of internal security wants Palestinians with bad or suspect papers to be put in detention camps.

The US military has been in Kazakhstan for a while, secretly, training what they laughingly call a military. The secret war continues to spread. Whatever happend to those troops in the Philippines? Self-explanatory. Some neat pictures, if you like that sort of thing.

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