Sunday, March 02, 2003

Voila moment

Here’s a site from someone with way too much time on his hands, but he uses it to correspond with spammers. Fun.

I’d have mentioned it days ago, but I assumed it would get proper coverage in the press. Silly me. Bush now says that Israel doesn’t have to stop building settlements until he gets everything he wants from the Palestinians.

So Turkey has decided not to be one of the COW (Coalition of the Willing) states. Evidently all the talk about bazaars, and editorial cartoons showing Turkey as a bellydancer, pissed them off. Fortunately, the US has immediately learned its lesson in dealing with the national pride of countries it wants favors from, and sets about wooing Angola’s Security Council vote by having Dick Cheney call its president. Dick Cheney, the supporter of UNITA. Dick Cheney, who voted against protesting South Africa’s treatment of Nelson Mandela. Dick Cheney, the proponent of South Africa’s apartheid government. What, Chester Crocker or Henry Kissinger or Trent Lott too busy? The annoying thing is that they’re so poor we probably can bribe them (we’ve been blocking international development money to rebuild after the 30-year civil war we played such a big role in keeping going).

As I’ve said, the US has drastically stepped up its bombings in the “no fly” zones. Now, the Pentagon claims that the rules of engagement haven’t changed, which would mean that pilots only fire in self defense. If this were actually true, then the increased bombing would have been in response to some escalation of attacks by the Iraqis. And if that were true, the Bushies would have been making a big deal of it, as more proof of Iraqi aggression. Which they haven’t. Therefore, class, using simple logic, we prove that the Pentagon’s justifications are a crock of shit. Quod erat demonstrandum.

The Pentagon’s theory of the Iraq war depends on something called the “Voila Moment.” This is the moment when Iraqi civilians, soldiers, etc, with missiles raining down all around them, suddenly realize “Why those nice Americans don’t really intend to kill me and all my family, they just mean to free us from that evil tyrant Saddam.” Then they rise up in their thousands, stop fighting the Americans and overthrow Saddam. This is the point of all those leaflets and radio broadcasts we are currently annoying the Iraqis with. The problem, one Guardian commentator commentates, is that this actually happened in some parts of Iraq during the last war, and was swiftly followed by a Screw You Moment, when the Americans let the rebels be slaughtered.

The Daily Telegraph launches its hysterical over-reaction of the week, about the decline of literacy due to mobile phone text messaging, after a 13-year old girl in Scotland turns in a “What I did over summer vacation” essay in it: “My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we usd 2go2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :- kds FTF. ILNY, it's a gr8 plc." Translation: "My summer holidays were a complete waste of time. Before, we used to go to New York to see my brother, his girlfriend and their three screaming kids face to face. I love New York, it's a great place."

Nostalgia time: there’s a fire at the new library in Alexandria.

I’ve thought of another bad joke about the PETA campaign: A Holocaust on Your Plate, A Thousand-Year Reich on Your Hips.

There seems to be some controversy about what happened to that Al Qaida guy, something Mohammed, captured over the weekend. Most reports say he was removed to an unnamed country, while Pakistan claims they still have him. What nobody disputes is that if they’re going to get any actionable intelligence out of him, they have to do it fast, so torture will be involved. We are now a nation that routinely tortures people, and no one cares.

Also, a federal appeals court ruled admissible a confession by a Colombian drug-lord type in Colombia made as part of a failed plea bargain. Such statements are inadmissable if made in the US, but trials of foreigners now rather often seem to involve evidence extracted by less than savory methods by foreign governments.

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