Monday, October 14, 2002

Making the world safe for petroleocracy

Some clown in the Indonesian government with a really short memory says that the bombing of the Bali nightclub was the worst incidence of terror in Indonesia’s history. Unless you count the million dead Chinese and/or Communists in the 1960s, or genocide in East Timor, Acheh, or the Japanese occupation, or Dutch colonialism, then yeah Indonesia has been a paradise until now. Incidentally, the reason so many foreign tourists died was because Indonesians weren’t allowed to go in.

The constant refrain of Hitler analogies during last week’s war resolution debates was bad enough, but the references to the Cuban Missile Crisis were just plain bizarre, considering how close the world came to reenacting the last scene of Dr Strangelove (sorry, pre-enacting; the movie came out in ‘63). I meant to comment on that last week but forgot; today I can add that we came closer even than we thought. A Russian naval officer now says that during the height of the crisis, a US destroyer dropped depth charges on a Soviet submarine, without realizing it had a nucyular weapon on board. The crew believed WW III had started, and discussed launching the weapon, a nucyular torpedo, which would have required the approval of 3 officers. So today’s hero is the one who voted no, one Arkhipov. This was the day before Russia backed down over Cuba.

OK, I’ll stop misspelling nuclear now. Just twice and it’s already getting on my nerves.

Bush says that the US would “never seek to impose our culture or our form of government” on Iraq. Well I’m sure they’re breathing a sigh of relief that they won’t be forced to line dance and listen to country music (although I understand Donald Rumsfeld has commissioned the Dixie Chicks to write a new national anthem for Iraq) and their children won’t have to memorize A Very Hungry Caterpillar as if it were the Little Red Book. Sadly, I think he’s lying about the form of government thing, since their future, like ours, is to be a vassal of Exxon-Mobil under what I’ve just now decided to call a petroleocracy.

It took about 3 days after the first reports that the Bush admin was sabotaging discussions to create a commission to investigate the intelligence failures of 9/11 for the actual details to emerge. Bush wants the commission to have a Republican majority, not split evenly, and with no subpoena powers for the D’s acting alone. Also there may have been something about not inspecting presidential palaces.

Speaking of which, the latest Iraqi “obstructionism” on inspections turns out to be nothing more than that they won’t guarantee anyone’s safety in the areas of the American no-fly zone, and don’t want to pay for all the protection and ancillary services of the inspectors, both of which seem fair.

Remember the Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes 30 years ago and they ate each other? The 14 survivors just went back to Chile to play the match they had been going to. They won. Which just goes to show vegetarians have it all wrong. No story mentions how the team got to Chile.

Well it’s another Indigenous Peoples Day, so don’t kill any wooden Indians.

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