Thursday, August 26, 2004

The primrose path to the dogs

Kerry will stop running the ads about Bush’s vicious attacks on McCain in 2000, because McCain asked him to. I don’t see how McCain’s opinion bears on the matter, or his fear of having his hypocrisy (or flip-floppery) in supporting Bush exposed. McCain said he doesn’t want 2000 brought up because America doesn’t like a sore loser, but what does it think about a loser who toadies to the winner?

And while McCain previously asked Bush to condemn the SUBVERT ads, he now says Bush doesn’t have to after all, the weasely statements about all 527 ads are good enough for him. So Kerry has given Bush another gift, gratis, as demonstrated by this oh-so-balanced AP headline: "Bush, Kerry Bow to McCain’s Wishes on Ads."

I have to hand it to the Iraqi security forces. When it was said that they’d take the lead in Najaf, I laughed, but today they did indeed take the lead in slaughtering dozens of unarmed peaceful marchers who had responded to Sistani’s call to go to Najaf (and this should be a warning to NY convention protestors, since I believe the Iraqi police said they were just protecting the grass). The moral authority of Comical Allawi, the potemkin strongman, hasn’t exactly risen here. Nor has that of the Americans, who as part of the deal decreed by Sistani, will have to get the hell out of Najaf, making it (and Kufa as well, I think) another no-go zone like Fallujah.

So now, whether the country holds together depends on Ayatollah Sistani, an elderly man with a heart condition who does not listen to his doctors.

12 British MPs are planning to impeach Tony Blair, a procedure that hasn’t been used in 156 years, didn’t work then and won’t work now, but should be fun to watch. The law firm drawing up the document is the one where Blair’s wife Cherie Booth works.

There’s a nicely written Polly Toynbee column in the Guardian, responding to a harrumphing speech by Tory party leader Michael Howard decrying "political correctness" gone mad, mad I tell you. I might have linked to it for its writing alone, but it has relevance for Americans who will be exposed next week to similar speeches by R’s. "It was tribal, straight from a Tory heart to the heartlands of conservatism, touching every raw nerve, poking every prejudice and agitating every dearly held anxiety. How well he rattled the deep blue fear of the way we live now in a world forever plunging downward on the primrose path to the dogs."

One of Howard’s complaints is the state intervening to stop parents "disciplining" their children. Coincidentally, another Guardian column, about Mark Thatcher, is entitled "I Blame the Parents." The South Africans evidently arrested Thatcher in the nick of time. He denies that he was planning to flee the country, although he did sell his 4 cars, put his house on the market and buy the plane tickets. The coup plot against Equatorial Guinea was what the London Times calls a time-share coup. Millionaires literally invested in this coup, like it was any other business deal. From the Times: "Some of those who claim that they were approached by the coup organisers have described to investigators in South Africa how at lavish drinks parties they were promised that the select group who agreed to write a cheque for about £100,000 each would share a £15 million payout within weeks."

Panama pardons 4 Cuban exiles convicted of plotting the assassination of Fidel Castro, as well as other terrorist actions (hotel and plane bombings, kidnapping, etc). And 3 of them are moving to Miami. As I said 2 days ago, the US is a haven for all sorts of terrorists and war criminals. Thatcher’s tickets, by the way, were for Texas.

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