Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Pure theater

Two months ago, The Onion ran a piece about commemorating the one-week anniversary of the 1-year anniversary of 9/11 (I think I was funnier last year when I wrote about July 4th as the 25th anniversary of the Bicentennial). That was satire. This week we commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Vietnam War memorial in Washington D.C. Judging from the grim expressions, this wasn’t satire.

Bush dismissed the Iraqi parliament, which voted to reject the UN Security Council’s terms, as "nothing but a rubber stamp for Saddam Hussein." He probably meant because the vote was unanimous, you know, like the vote of the UN Security Council. The White House says the vote was “pure theater.” Of course the Security Council vote was a puppet show, and the US Congress, well, each day’s session opens with a tiny car pulling onto the House floor and dozens of Congressmen pouring out, if you catch my drift.

More on the Japanese kidnapped by N. Korea: when it claimed that most of them had mysteriously died in car crashes and whatnot and the graves of all but one were mysteriously washed away by floods, it returned bones purportedly of that one--which tests show were actually the bones of someone 20 years older, and a woman.

Herat, a city in Afghanistan, has reimposed the Taliban ban on wedding celebrations in restaurants, because it might lead, shudder, to dancing.

Iraq was “caught” trying to buy antidotes to nerve gas, which the US says (while trying to get Turkey not to sell the stuff to Iraq; Turkey says it will investigate the issue for long enough for the sale to go through) proves Iraq intends to use chemical weapons against the US. 1) If you don’t want people trying to kill you, don’t invade their country; 2) Is the US complying with the chemical weapons treaty? If not, shut up (an article in this week’s Village Voice suggests that one of the reasons the outrage over Russia’s use of fentanyl in the theatre died down so fast was that the Pentagon is testing that drug for its own use. The article also mentions that in 1997 Mossad tried to use fentanyl to assassinate a Hamas leader by spraying it in his ear); 3) I strongly suspect Iraq just did this as a cheap way of throwing a scare into US troops and making it that much harder for them to fight, constrained by all that heavy decon equipment.

China’s party congress doesn’t just usher in the era of the communist plutocrats, but also of nepotism on a grand scale. The sons of Jiang & Li Peng are to be elevated to the party central committee, along with a bunch of other sons of current leaders.

The Wash Post has a story on all of Tom DeLay’s lackies taking over the R leadership in the House. According to him, "It's the cream rising to the top." Tommy, the only things we see rising to the top when we look at you are 1) our lunches, 2) a really cheap toupĂ©e.

1.49 million tv ads during this year’s elections.

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