Wednesday, March 12, 2003

This is scripted

I had a joke in mind I forgot to insert in my last, about the House cafeteria changing french fries to freedom fries, which is that if it’s anything like the cafeteria food at Santa Cruz, they’d have served their purpose better by keeping the name. Remember Saga’s Swiss Steak? Swedish meatballs? At the time I said Switzerland wouldn’t keep its neutrality long if it inflicted that food on the rest of the world.

The idiots on the DC Circuit Court say that Guantanamo detainees have no legal rights whatsoever, including access to the courts. Evidently they’re supposed to appeal to the Cuban courts. What I want to know is how if the judicial branch has no authority over these people, the executive branch can.

On the growing belief that Pakistan staged a fake arrest of retroactive-mastermind Khalid Mohammed, see this.

Read a piece complaining that in the staged Bush press conference the reporters playacted their parts, waving their hands even though Bush was clearly calling people from a written list, not even looking up, so the reporters were just giving credence to the masquerade of this being an unscripted event. Indeed, it has been noted elsewhere that many news sources’ transcript of the event have Bush saying “This is unscripted...” at a point where he actually said “This is scripted”.

Speaking of scripted events, the US is getting ready to set up France for the “failure” of the UN (to do what the US wants). The word you will hear most frequently applied to Jacques Chirac is “bully,” and not in the Teddy Roosevelt sense. Well, if the US can castigate Iraq for not obeying the UN and invading other countries and having weapons and so forth, I guess it can call France a bully. Although it might want to refrain from doing so in the Security Council, where so many of the swing voters (Angola, Mexico, Chile, etc) are countries whose governments the US has overthrown or tried to overthrow (in Angola’s case, the 25-year old civil war was started by the CIA when it was headed by Bush the Elder, which the US may have forgotten about but I can assure you Angola has not)(another country on the Security Council whose elected government Bush overthrew: the United States)(Mexican prez Vicente Fox fakes a back operation so he doesn’t have to make a decision publicly).

Yesterday on the Daily Show, they said that there was a debate in the Bush admin over how many hoops to make Saddam jump through, Powell opting for 2, Rummy for 3, but they all agreed the hoops would be flaming. Today, Britain introduces 6 new “conditions” to impose on Iraq, including that Saddam go on tv and read, in Arabic, a statement Britain will write for him to the effect that he has been a very bad boy, has hidden weapons, and will never ever do so again. As if any leader would just go on tv and robotically read something written by...well, yes, ok, but George did go off-script when he said “This is scripted.” The conditions also include surrendering weapons that Iraq may not actually have, like mobile chemical/biological weapons facilities, and drones (did you see the fearsome drone on tv today? it was actually made of balsa wood).

Speaking of things made of balsa wood, Tony Blair isn’t looking too good lately, not helped by the accidental groin-kicking given him by Secretary of War Rumsfeld yesterday. Blair, who will never be called boyish again, is probably sacrificing his political career to Bush’s war, only to have Rumsfeld casually say that it wasn’t really necessary. Still, at the end of his career, Tony finally finds something he has a conviction about, and it turns out to be killing people. Guardian columnist Simon Hoggart asks,
Wouldn't you be spooked if he turned up at your door, just as you were sitting down to tea, all smart in his suit and tie, briefcase full of leaflets? "Hello, I'm here to tell you the good news about going to war with Saddam Hussein."

"Sorry, we're all Jehovah's Witnesses in this house."
Ah, Hollywood. Sigourney Weaver has evidently staged an elaborate wedding for her dog, an Italian greyhound. With a pre-nuptial agreement.

An AP story says that Italian schoolchildren will have to be multilingual. Evidently, talking with their hands doesn’t count. They will be learning English from the 1st grade.

The Serb PM is assassinated. Fortunately, assassinations in the Balkans never have significant consequences. The government immediately blames organized crime, which is possible, but there is no evidence for it, so they’re clearly going the cover-up route. It may have been related to his efforts to capture Bosnian Serb Ratko Mladic, a bit of left-over business from about 20 wars ago.

Wisconsin is moving towards not releasing election results until the polls close in the West. They should be encouraged, and everyone else follow.

Molly Ivins, in the current column, says exactly what I said yesterday about the NY Times perhaps needing to focus in its coverage on those areas where the American people show huge ignorance in the polls.

The Rolling Stones are going to China. Which has asked them not to play any songs with s-e-x in them.

Republicans are trying to turn Rep. Moran into the new Trent Lott for his semi-anti-Semitic remarks about Jews and American foreign policy. At the same time, the FBI is “investigating” the fake evidence the US cited linking Iraq to attempted uranium purchases in Niger. They say it may be the work of some foreign nation that wants to instigate a war between the US and Iraq. Of course, they mean to imply Israel.

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