Monday, February 10, 2003

Tom Hanks (and that donkey) died for your sins

I said that the Franco-German plan on Iraqi inspection was sensible. It’s also invisible. OK, I expected it to be dismissed by the Bushies, but both the NY Times and McNeil-Lehrer today took their cues from them and neglected to provide the actual details of the plan, as if discussion of alternatives to war were irrelevant because Secretary of War Rumsfeld says so.

Rummy and Powell, increasingly reading off the same hymnal, both use the word “inexcusable” to describe Germany, France and Belgium’s refusal to act on the presumption of a war by sending weapons to Turkey. Well, we’ve already forgiven Germany for that whole Hitler thing and the Holocaust thing, but yes, this time they’ve finally done something inexcusable. And France--well, the NY Post’s front page shows a picture of graves in Normandy and the headline "They died for France but France has forgotten." Yeah, it’s like they haven’t seen Saving Private Ryan.

And by the way, 150 million people are not and cannot be “isolated.”

Israel has been replacing the old gas masks given out after the last Gulf War. Except for the Occupied Territories, of course.

FAIR has a good report ( on the numerous allegations the US has made against Iraq over the last few months subsequently disproved by UN inspectors or otherwise, and suggests that the media should have treated the Powell report with a touch more skepticism, whereas in fact his claims were often reported as if they were fact, without the usual distancing words like “claimed”, “alleged” that they’re supposed to make when reporting unverified assertions.

PETA’s president has written to Yasser Arafat, complaining about an attempt to blow up Israeli soldiers with explosives strapped to, gasp shock horror, a donkey. “We watched on television as stray cats in your own compound fled as best they could from the Israeli bulldozers. . . . If you have the opportunity, will you please add to your burdens my request that you appeal to all those who listen to you to leave the animals out of this conflict?” I looked at the PETA website, but could find nothing more on this, although there was a pop-up ad for Burger King. Veggie burgers, of course.

The 8th Circuit rules that an insane prisoner who is (usually) sane only when medicated can be executed. The court says that Arkansas has an interest in having sane inmates, so the side-effect of sanity should not impact his fate.

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