Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Shut up

I’m told this panel discussion, with Al Franken, Molly Ivins and Bill O’Reilly, is worth watching. The link is linked to video of the event, or it airs on C-SPAN2 Sunday. And when I say discussion, I understand that at one point O’Reilly yells Shut up at Franken.

The US occupiers in Iraq tried to change the uniform of the Iraqi police, but they refused to wear... baseball caps.

I was going to make fun of Bush for saying continuous when he meant contiguous, but then I found out he didn’t even know his microphone was on. That was also the period in which he made reference to “almighty God.” I could have done without the constant references to the “Holy Land,” too.

Given the accusation that Arafat says one thing in pidgin English and another in Arabic, it should be noted that Ariel Sharon’s speech at the conference had been corrected by his office (his talk of a Palestinian state didn’t mean an independent one, and did mean a demilitarized one, etc etc) literally before he made it.

An interesting article by Naomi Klein (the link is to the Guardian, but evidently it has also appeared in the Nation) on Paul Bremer suggests that he is a one-man IMF, down-sizing the Iraqi government in the guise of de-Baathization, opening the beleaguered economy to international competition that will destroy local competition. Commenting on Bremer’s creation of a company, “Crisis Consulting Practice,” one month after 9/11 to take advantage of the atmosphere of fear (which I have alluded to), the author notes that “Like so many of the men who populate the Bush foreign policy landscape, Bremer sees war as a business opportunity.” “Many point out that Paul Bremer is no expert on Iraqi politics. But that was never the point. He seems to be an expert at profiting from the war on terror, and at helping US multinationals make money in far off places where they are both unpopular and unwelcome. In other words, he is perfect for the job.”

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