Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Unhelpful

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Checkers speech. Checkers is still buried in Wantagh, where I grew up.

The Bushies are still pissed off at Chancellor Schröder, even though he sacrificed the justice minister who denies having said what the newspaper said she said, which was pretty mild to begin with, really, and the head of the SPD in the Bundestag, who had compared Bush to a Roman Emperor. Ari Fleischer says that Schröder’s letter to Bush “really didn't read like an apology. It read more like an attempt at an explanation.” Yes, if she was misquoted, an explanation would be more appropriate than an apology, unless you’re calling Schröder a liar, Ari. The head of the Christian Dems says that German-American relations have never been as bad as they are now. Um, never? One thing we do know, the Bush administration do love their grudges.

The White House says that Israel’s siege of Arafat’s hq is “unhelpful,” the same word Rumsfeld used about Schröder’s campaign. Because as we all know, the rest of the world exists to be helpful to the United States government. Of course it took 3 days for them to say anything at all about the siege (but then again, Bush hasn’t called Schröder to congratulate him on his election victory either).

I was just reading about a US defense planning document which says that the US should ensure that no rival superpower emerges by taking on the defense of all other industrial nations itself and “maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role”. Also, the US should prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, by military means if necessary. It was written in 1992 by Paul Wolfowitz, working for Dick Cheney (who in the 1st Bush administration refused to believe that Gorbachev’s reforms were real and asked about nuking Iraq). The article (by Frances FitzGerald in the Guardian), says that the current under sec of defense for policy, Douglas Feith, wrote with Richard Perle in 1996 a paper advising Netanyahu to scrap Oslo and re-take the West Bank and Gaza. Asst secretary of defense for international security is J. D. Crouch, who in 1995 advocated military strikes on North Korea’s nuclear plants and missile facilities. It also notes that while Bush is now claiming Iraq threatens the US, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, while out of office, called for Saddam’s overthrow on the ground that he threatened Israel and the region. Indeed, Wolfowitz wanted it done to remove any possibility of Iraq backing Arafat, in order to force Arafat to surrender.

The Tom Ridge color of the day is in fact still orange.

Belgium legalizes euthanasia (and Bush is fighting same in Oregon in court).

No comments:

Post a Comment