Sunday, October 31, 2004

Running thin

The US military in Iraq keeps saying, and with a straight face, too, that the order to attack Fallujah will rest with Iyad “Not So Comical” Allawi. The American imperative to pretend that its hand-picked puppet exercises real authority is given priority over Allawi’s need for moral authority. Not that Allawi seems to recognize such a need. Indeed, he seems anxious to be known as the man who ordered the mass murder of his fellow Iraqis. His patience is running thin, he says. We have to restore stability in Iraq, he says. The lives of thousands of Fallujans now depend on Allawi’s emotional-control issues and the viscosity of his patience.

The chief demand is that Fallujah hand over Zarqawi and the foreign militants, because as we all know the resistance is the exclusive work of outside agitators. Even American military types are (anonymously) telling reporters that Zarqawi may very well no longer be in the city. My question is: if the city leaders did find, capture and hand over Zarqawi, would they get the $25 million reward?

Uttar Pradesh is struggling to reduce its population. Its solution: if you want a license for a shotgun, two people must be sterilized; for a handgun, five. So you get to combine the population-reducing effects of forced and/or fraudulent sterilizations with increased gun deaths. Genius. And Uttar Pradesh’s population policy is partially funded by the US.

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