Thursday, February 13, 2003

Duct tape, plastic sheeting, and other Valentine's Day accessories

The fake bin Laden suggests in that tape that Iraqis fight the Americans by digging ditches and camouflaging them. Presumably this involves plastic sheeting and duct tape, as recommended by Tom Ridge and Jeffrey Daumer (possibly for different reasons).

The Congressional hearings on the Columbia accident have already begun, and a commission set up. Meanwhile any investigation of the intelligence failures leading up to 9/11, 17 months ago, remain stalled.

Here’s another ironic contrast: North Korea has a new ballistic missile capable of reaching California, which the Bushies will no doubt soft-pedal, while Iraq has been found to have a missile capable of traveling 183 kilometers, breaking the limits placed on its missile capacity by a full twenty miles, which means it can reach a bit more of Kuwait than it could before, and I’m just guessing that Powell and Rumsfeld will explain how that is a reason why we need to go to war with Iraq.

Speaking of double standards, the perceived need to prepare for war is so strong that we’re threatening trade sanctions on Germany and France for preventing NATO moving weaponry into Turkey, why isn’t Iraq allowed to prepare for the same war. We’re calling up reserves, moving troops into place, bombing defensive sites in Iraq every day, even operating militarily inside Iraq according to today’s WashPost, etc., but if Iraq made any of these preparations, it would be, you guessed it, another reason why we need to go to war with Iraq.

In Parliament today, Jack Straw accused the Iraqis of giving inspectors nothing but a “reprint of earlier documents.” He should talk. He also accused Saddam of tyranny, while refusing to let Parl vote on going to war.

In the British census, 390,000 people designated themselves Jedis. They will not officially be counted, although they outnumber newer religions (depending on how long ago “a long time ago (in a galaxy etc)” actually is) like Sikhs, Jews and Buddhists. The registrar general, asked if he was being presumptuous in deciding what constituted a religion, said that he had acted “with immense consultation and remarkable concentration"”--like Yoda.

Ooh, are the Israelis pissed off at Belgium, whose supreme court ruled that Ariel Sharon can be tried for war crimes in the 1982 Sabra/Shatila massacres after he leaves office. Netanyahu calls it a “blood libel,” although the charge is neither a collective charge against the Jews, nor is the massacre false. The Israeli justice minister astonishingly says, "Legally, this is practically a world precedent, a law which allows for the prosecution of a person for alleged actions in the past. It has a clear retroactive nature to it and is, therefore, unprecedented." I can’t see any reason why the Israeli justice minister would ever have heard of the Nuremberg trials, can you? Or indeed, Adolf Eichmann’s trial. Unprecedented, indeed.

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