Wednesday, June 11, 2003

I've been wanting to call something "ineffable twaddle" since I was 9

Paul Bremer, Viceroy and Grand Vizier of Iraq, has drawn up rules for censoring newspapers and shutting down ones he doesn’t like. Sadly, the only story on this, by Robert Fisk of the Indy, who doesn’t actually have many details, is itself only available to subscribers of their premium service. And me, so I’ll quote at some length. He suggests a story that might be censored: the reappearance of drugs for sale in Baghdad. The drugs come from Afghanistan, once again the number one world supplier of opium. Also:
Out at Baghdad airport, the Americans are now holding 3,000 prisoners without any intention of putting them on trial or charging them with offences. Where is Tariq Aziz, the former deputy prime minister? The Americans say they have him. But we don't know where. What's he being asked? About Saddam's weapons of mass destruction? Or - my own guess - how much he knows about America's close relations with Saddam after 1978? In fact, Aziz knows far too much about that shameful alliance; after all, he met Donald Rumsfeld several times. One thing's for sure. There'll be no trial for Tariq Aziz. Keeping him silent will be the first priority. But that's not something the Iraqis should learn about. Censor the story.

While we're still on the subject of Baghdad airport, it's important to note that American forces at the facility are now coming under attack every night - I repeat, every night - from small arms fire. So are American military planes flying into the airbase. Some US aircrews have now adopted the old Vietnam tactic of corkscrewing tightly down on to the runways instead of risking sniper fire during a conventional final approach. The source is impeccable (it's within the Third Infantry Division, if the int. boys want to know). But what will that tell the Iraqis? That the Americans cannot keep order? That a resistance movement is well under way? Censor the story.
A Canadian court struck down the country’s discrimination against homosexuals in its marriage law, and two men immediately take advantage to get married. I dunno, I’m picturing plaid shirts, those hats with the flaps, I’m a lumberjack and I’m ok...

From the Guardian: “The nation's most famous tourist attraction sallied forth from Windsor Castle to meet her little people yesterday and found them small, squat-headed and remarkably immobile. ... Dressed in yellow check, Her Majesty even came toe to face with a miniature version of herself, dressed in yellow bricks.” Yes, the royal family goes to Legoland. (sadly, no pictures.) (OK, I’ve checked other sites for pictures, and there are no funny ones).

Last week I made some comment about waiting for the Islamic-loon-governed state in Pakistan to ban kites. Well, uh, actually, Punjab province is having a legitimate kite problem. Seems these idiots have their kites fight each other, with metallic or glass-coated twines, and they’ve also accidentally killed a few kids, and caused power outages. They have been warned that this will be treated as homicide, subject to the death penalty. Which will teach me for making jokes about kites.

A headline somewhere said that Sharon is “not apologetic” for the botched assassination attempt that involved firing 7 missiles at a crowded highway in Gaza. OK, Sharon being apologetic would be the ultimate man bites dog story, but for fuck’s sake, there are dead children and an 8-year old on life support, so maybe something in the way of an apology might not be completely out of line?

The most embarrassing part of the fake case against Iraq was the claim that it was trying to buy uranium in Niger. The latest line, here, is that the CIA knew it was bullshit and forgot to tell anyone, even after Bush cited it in the State of the Union Address, or the umpteen other times Bushies talked about it. Balderdash. Ineffable twaddle. No way. I’d refute it at length, but it’s too absurd to require it. And doesn’t even begin to answer, or even ask, the question of how the hilariously incompetent fake evidence came to be manufactured. The D’s seem to be picking up this issue, excruciatingly slowly, but the R’s are determined to block open hearings. Wonder how the commission on 9/11 intelligence failures is going? If I had to sit through the Clinton impeachment and all the Whitewater crap, I want payback.

You know what country the US pressured last week, by a threat to cut off aid, into signing one of those deals immunizing Americans from extradition to the International Court? Bosnia. Takes evil shitheadery to an almost Zen level, doesn’t it?

It’s going after the other ex-Yugoslav states as well, including Serbia, although Slovenia has told them to shove it. The American ambassador to Croatia published a letter threatening their $19 million in aid.

Richard Perle suggests bombing North Korea’s nuclear reactor, like Israel did in Iraq in 1981. Oh good.

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