Sunday, July 20, 2003

My daily thought showers

A Mexican special prosecutor insists that a human rights lawyer committed suicide in 2001 by shooting herself in the head. And the leg. Not necessarily in that order.

Bush is trying to destroy yet another international treaty, that on ozone, possibly a swipe at Al “Ozone Man” Gore. He is demanding that the US be allowed to retain and even increase use of a pesticide which is the most ozone-depleting substance still used in the developed world (it also causes prostate cancer in farmers unless of course they masturbate a lot in their 20’s rather than having sex with farm animals). He wants the US still to be able to use it for critical applications, like tending golf courses.

Tony Blair went to Hong Kong, which he evidently washed his hands of completely when he handed it over in 1997. He refused to meet privately with Martin Lee or any other democracy advocate.

In contrast, the French embassy in Cuba invited every Cuban dissident it could think of to its Bastille Day celebrations.

From the Telegraph: “Two Zimbabwean mortuary workers have been arrested on charges of renting out corpses to motorists to enable them to take advantage of special fuel deals for hearses.” (The version of this story in the Observer is that they merely borrowed the bodies in order to purchase fuel themselves at a discount, and then re-sold it.)

A NYT story (oo, and in the Post) says the obvious, that the actual war on Iraq started months before it started. Also, this half-chilling, half-humorous tidbit: “Air war commanders were required to obtain the approval of Defense Secretary Donald L. Rumsfeld if any planned airstrike was thought likely to result in deaths of more than 30 civilians. More than 50 such strikes were proposed, and all of them were approved.”

Robert Fisk (and others) are reporting that the US is hushing up any attack on US forces in Iraq that doesn’t result in casualties, and some that do. Including: an attack by 15 armed men on a patrol 3 days ago; a bomb consisting of a series of mortar shells injured a US soldier outside a bank 5 days ago. Basically, they only report successes, and then in oddly Stalinist terms, saying for example that recent raids "successfully achieved the objectives of neutralising subversive individuals". Reports of attacks on Americans, however, are reported more seriously than those on Iraqis, which are stuck under the heading “crime.”

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