Tuesday, June 10, 2003

With time we'll find out

A good piece on the politics of the Bush administration, how policies are always subordinate to political ends, the disempowering of certain Democratic contributors/constituencies, and the permanent impotence of the Democratic party.

Saudi Arabia’s religious police are being made to attend seminars in “communication skills” and “success strategies.” They are told to smile more (presumably as they beat unveiled schoolgirls back into burning buildings). I am not making this up.

Blair will refuse to appear before Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry into his lies about Iraqi weapons.

Sharon has started to destroy unoccupied, “unauthorized”settler outposts. Big woop. At the same time, he destroyed 13 actual homes of Palestinians. Guess which one got headlines (and only the London Times used a word like “vacant” to describe the outposts), and which one was buried, if reported at all?

Jose Padilla yesterday celebrated his first anniversary in military custody without being charged with a crime. We don’t know how he celebrated, because he is not allowed access to lawyers (what would be the point? laws don’t apply to “enemy combatants,” even if they are US citizens) or family.

So far, 37 countries have submitted to the US’s demand that they exempt Americans from extradition to the International Court. Which is not to say that such agreements are actually legal under international law. Of course since presumably all of these treaties are bilateral, we could soon be hosting a whole lot of exiled war criminals. The US has just threatened the EU for the crime of opposing these agreements.

Bush logic: “Iraq had a weapons program. Intelligence throughout the decade showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out that they did have a weapons program.” Note the slide from absolute certainty to an acknowledgment of a complete absence of proof. Also, what decade? Also, he is now claiming a “weapons program” rather than actual weapons. Go back and read that quote again, there’s a sort of grace in its stupidity.

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