Friday, August 27, 2004

On the couch

The federal government is taking over the task of screening passengers from the airlines. Ted Kennedy may never fly again.

Would have been nice if the NYT had printed the transcript of its interview with Bush. Evidently the “miscalculation” about Iraq wasn’t so much about the unwillingness of Iraqis to be occupied. Rather, the difficulties in Iraq have all been the result of the initial “swift victory.” His real miscalculation was in overestimating how wonderfully successful he’d be, which is odd, because a swift victory was what all his idiot advisers were predicting at the time on every news program, so how could they not have been prepared for one?

But my favorite quote has to be Shrub’s dismissal of the whole concept of even thinking about what went wrong by saying he wouldn’t go “on the couch.” For him, learning from the past is something only people with psychological disorders do, or need to do, or want to do.

Bags of candy distributed to small markets in the US included cheap little toys, like whistles and...little depictions of a plane flying into the World Trade Center. The toys were imported from China. Not many were distributed before the candy company discovered them, but I’m sure they’ll be worth a fortune on Ebay; I know I want one.

White House transcripts show that in 1976 Henry Kissinger gave the Argentinian junta permission to launch the “dirty war” against the opposition, and wanted it done while the US Congress was in recess: “the quicker you succeed the better.” He told the Argentine foreign secretary, “We are aware you are in a difficult period... when political, criminal, and terrorist activities tend to merge without any clear separation. We understand you must establish authority.” In other words, it’s ok if you kill opposition politicians and pretend they’re terrorists.

In Mostar (Bosnia--remember?), Roma thieves steal a bridge and sell it to a scrap yard.

Karma Nabulsi makes the connection between the infliction of psychological torture on Palestinian hunger strikers by baking bread and barbequing meat outside their cells and the expansion of the settlements, “areas green from expropriated water, while Arab crops die of thirst,” in sight of refugee camps.

Several hundred of the hunger strikers have resumed eating, at least pending new negotiations Monday. They seem to have already won some of the concessions to human dignity they were demanding.

In Florida, Bush accuses Kerry of not wanting democracy in Cuba and attacking Cuban dissidents. The Post quotes Karl Rove saying “the wind is at our back” in Florida, where such meteorological conditions are usually followed by your trailer park being unexpectedly and violently relocated to another part of the state.

Misc. stuff you’ve probably already seen: Dole agreeing that Bush should be ashamed for his treatment of McCain in 2000. A Florida judge overrules election officials, says there must be a paper trail in order to allow for the manual recounts required by law. Deaths of US soldiers in Iraq in 2004 surpass those of 2003.

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