Thursday, February 06, 2003

These horrible agents

I meant to direct your attention to a N Korean propaganda poster featured on the front page of the NY Times Saturday, but forgot. Fortunately, here it is, and several others.

I saw an SUV outside Trader Joe’s last week, with a Ralph Nader bumper sticker. I took it for post-modern irony. Or possibly delusion: it was parked in a compact space, so maybe the owner thought they were driving a Sentra. Anyway, I’ve got a modest proposal: since SUVs are only purchased to drive your kids to a soccer game on a butte and such, I say let’s ban them from paved roads altogether. They’ll get good use out of their 4-wheel drives, and the rest of us will get faster, safer commutes.

Interview with Kurt Vonnegut on the war and such.

On why we should send the Statue of Liberty back to the frog-eaters.

Symbolism of the week: when Colin Powell went to the UN today, the staff covered up Picasso’s Guernica.

Said Powell: “Clearly, Saddam will stop at nothing until something stops him.” Clearly.

He also said (clearly) that when Resolution 1441 passed, “No Council member present...had any illusion...what serious consequences meant.” In other words, he is again saying that the French (etc) actually voted to let the US go to war with Iraq, and just either forgot or are lying about it.

Well, Powell successfully made the case that Iraq isn’t being very cooperative with the inspectors, and that neither is the United States. Imagine how much more effective the inspectors would be if the US hadn’t saved up its alleged intelligence for this day. Yes, the Iraqis are trying to hide weapons. But, as Powell himself said a few days ago, just because there’s a UN doesn’t mean that nations give up their sovereign right to defend themselves. How much more so for Iraq, which is being asked to give up all its weapons more dangerous than a pointy stick, when it is faced with certain war. Powell’s actual evidence was semi-convincing, though most of it depended on relying on him to be right and telling the truth about what those buildings were (although those satellite pictures were great, weren’t they? And that’s after being deliberate fuzzed up to hide our capabilities. Certainly good enough that you’d have to ask why we need U-2 flights), who those people were, and for god’s sake, how seriously are we expected to take this line: “Stop talking about it. They are listening to us. Don't give any evidence that we have these horrible agents.” These horrible agents? You mean your agent Maury who got you this gig, telling you it was an episode of Law & Order? Horrible agents indeed. Who writes this dialog?

Even William Safire, who has pretty much turned off his analytic skills for the duration, wonders why if we knew about an Al Qaida base in northern Iraq (an area not under Saddam’s control, but effectively an American protectorate anyway), we didn’t just bomb it into oblivion. The aluminum tubes were brought out again, and still prove nothing. Some defector testimony, which is always valueless, and stuff obtained by torture. The Iraqi-Al Qaida connections are laughable, of course (some of Powell’s claims have already been denied by British intelligence).

Speaking of intelligence, Guardian arcticle on previous American intelligence failures and/or lies: the Kuwaiti babies in the incubators, the Tonkin Gulf “incident,” the “chemical weapons” factory in Khartoum, etc.

Oh, and North Korea just threatened the US with a first strike. You’d think that would be news, but the good people at the NY Times evidently don’t.

2 Republican Congresscritters from NC have little problems with racism. Howard Coble, chair of the subcommittee on domestic security, says that FDR was right to intern Japanese, because weren’t a multicultural society then. And Sue Myrick also warns of the enemy within: “Look at who runs all the convenience stores across the country.”

Speaking of the enemy within, the World Court just ordered the US to stop executing Mexican nationals.

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