Saturday, March 01, 2003


I think I’d better explain better an item in my last post, that a man was sentenced to 155 years for giving $3,500 from the proceeds of cigarette-smuggling (from N Carolina to Michigan, I might add) to Hezbollah. This conviction was the first under the new law (I think Clinton’s anti-terrorism rather than the “Patriot” Act) that treats giving money to a “terrorist” group (a designation which is of course made for political reasons, like the several Chechen groups just added to the list because the US is trying to buy off Russia’s Security Council vote), the way some of us did in college to Salvadoran, Nicaraguan, or South African groups, as exactly the same as committing actual terrorist acts. The NY Times gives a couple of paragraphs to this that leaves out all the key facts and fails to notice the significance of it.

I just mentioned a US bribe for Russia’s vote. Chile and Bulgaria are to get trade deals. Then there’s this on the NSA tapping the phones of other Security Council nations to discover their negotiating positions. My favorite part is when the paper calls the NSA guy who wrote the leaked memo, and his secretary insists that they have the wrong extension and hang up. Article on the bribes and threats being deployed.

The US now says that even Iraq disarming isn’t enough, Hussein has to go. In other words, Iraq looks like actually disarming, at least enough to remove the excuse for war, so they’re trying to push him not to disarm. If we’re going to go to war no matter what, it might have put US troops at less risk if we had at least waited for Iraq to destroy those missiles first. Also, a minor point I know, but going to war to change the rulers of another country is contrary to international law.

Thai drug war deaths: 1,140 and rising.

As you may have heard, a Canadian MP who didn’t know the microphone was on said, “Damn Americans. I hate those bastards,” and has since been having difficulties trying to explain it away. The Toronto Globe and Mail said that she was not speaking for the Canadian people and to prove the point, held an internet poll, which says
that Americans are, in fact, bastards, by a vote of 11,960 to 11,287.

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