Monday, December 01, 2003

A great two weeks (for those who survived them)

Gen. Sanchez’s words, the only ones quoted anyway, were that there had been “a great two weeks for the coalition.” In addition to the deaths I mentioned in my last, the Resistance killed some South Koreans and a Colombian.

Today, the US responds by killing 46 Iraqis, and what’s interesting about that is that the Pentagon has released a body count, possibly the first one.

Speaking of body counts, let’s see if you can catch the mistake in this sentence in a Times (London) story: “November was by far the bloodiest month since the invasion”. That’s right: it was only the bloodiest month FOR AMERICANS (79 dead, 105 for the COW as a whole). So the Pentagon was right: if dead Iraqis aren’t counted, dead Iraqis don’t count.

The Times notes that the American media, unlike the British, are not covering Neil Bush’s admissions about having sex with prostitutes. Neil, by the way, also has a consulting “job” with New Bridge, which uses R contacts to secure contracts in Iraq for its clients.

The US is evidently finally willing to admit that some of those locked up without trial in Guantanamo for the last two years were simply nobodies kidnapped by Afghan war lords and such for the reward money. Time magazine says the government is just waiting for a “politically propitious time.” Christmas Day? And the San Jose Mercury (link below) says that they’re still holding 3 children. Excuse me, “juvenile enemy combatants.” They are sometimes given a “time-out,” the story says. Yeah, two years and counting. They are of course interrogated, but no more than 16 hours a day, like the other prisoners, so that’s ok then.

Evidently the Bushies are going to give up their illegal steel tariffs, right before the EU was set to retaliate against products from marginal states. They’re going to pretend that the tariff had succeeded in protecting the steel industry while it restructured itself, so we didn’t need it anymore anyway. In the 20 months the tariffs have been in place, I have yet to see a news story that gives me the most basic information necessary to understand how this works. How much did steel imports decline? How much did the federal government collect by levying this illegal tariff, and do they get to keep it, and if they could just do that for 20 months, well after the WTO ruled it illegal, and give in right before sanctions were due to start, doesn’t that mean there is no down-side to this lawlessness?

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