Tuesday, September 17, 2002

The greatest nation on the face of the Earth

Well, Iraq agrees to let weapons inspectors in, calling Bush’s bluff. I wonder if Saudi Arabia’s caving in to the US is what did it? The UN says it will take a few months before inspectors are ready, and months more to make any determination, which certainly screws with Bush’s Wag the Dog scenario for the November elections. Expect a smug little victory dance from the Bushies.

Speaking of democratic processes (and before I forget, thanks to the Swedes for not too many of them having voted for racists; we’ll see what happens in Germany) (Britain already has them, in the form of blind home secretary David Blunkett, who says that immigrants should speak English at home. Well goodness gracious me.), those in the Indian sub-continent are proceeding apace. Pakistan is forcing officials and soldiers to work for certain candidates, and Indian soldiers are combating a boycott of the polls in Kashmir by kidnapping people and dragging them to the polls, or threatening to cut off any fingers that don’t have indelible ink on them (and guess what the Kashmiri militants are threatening?). Finally, a word about the idiots responsible for WordPerfect’s spellcheck, which was fine with Kashmiri but never heard of Kashmir, and wants me to misspell kidnapping. Well, I had a word for those idiots, but the spellcheck never heard of that one either.

This weekend will see a huge protest in London. Not against the war, but against plans to ban hunting. Toffs from all over (the spellcheck doesn’t grok “toffs” either) will converge on the capital, Eton and Harrow will let their charges join in...

Bush’s economic adviser said that war with Iraq will be good for business. Oh, sure, it’ll cost $200 billion or so, but it should bring oil prices down, if we win quickly and exploit Iraq’s resources for all they’re worth and if oil companies don’t decide to make large profits instead of passing the savings on, so it’ll all work out, at least for big corporations, and wasn’t corporate greed what this war was supposed to distract us from? Environmentalists suggest that instead we just produce a car that runs on ground-up Iraqis, and cut out the middle man. Anyway, it’s nice to hear this sort of “jobs jobs jobs” justification for the war, à la James Baker, on a day when William Safire is sneering at France and Russia’s opposition to the war, supposedly because it would interfere with their business arrangements with Iraq.

As I keep saying, the war with Iraq never actually stopped in 1991. The US’s enforcement of its no-fly zone (which it is worth repeating was declared by the US and not the UN) has been altered in order to do more damage to Iraqi infrastructure, using bigger weaponry and attacking fixed facilities.

Just when I’m complaining that Americans have no sense of history, the Republican Party takes out ads against Tom Harkin for a vote to tax Social Security in 1983 (of course the ads don’t say it was in 1983).

Speaking of history, today is the 20th anniversary of the Sabra & Shatila massacres.

Speaking of 20, yet another “20th hijacker” has been arrested. This is beginning to seem less like a manhunt than an audition. Bush “he forgot the greatest nation on the face of the Earth is after them”. Pakistan?

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