Thursday, February 10, 2005


Don’t expect to get much sense out of the British newspapers today: two middle-aged unemployed people announced their engagement.

The reason I quoted a chunk of North Korean verbiage in my last post, and linked to their statement about nukes, was to suggest that North Korean leaders do not think in the same way as we do. This is why dealing with them is so dangerous and requires such care and expertise. Unfortunately, the US is now ruled by folks who share both George Bush’s complete inability to comprehend people who don’t view the world the same way he does, and his complete lack of curiosity about the thought patterns of other peoples and cultures, and who portray their own ideals as universal ideals, meaning there really is no reason to attempt to understand other ideals, which are by definition less than universal. So when Condoleezza Rice says that North Korea’s rejection of the 6-party talks (which were always a fig-leaf for our unwillingness to talk directly with North Korea) will just isolate them further, you have to wonder how she’s failed to notice that North Korea’s rulers like being isolated and work very hard indeed to maintain their isolation.

Asked about North Korea’s belief that the US was coming after it, Condi says, “Well, I’m not quite sure to what the North Koreans are referring.” Can’t you?

Condi also praises Saudi Arabia’s municipal elections, while hoping that “at one point [they] would include women.” She failed to add that half the local council seats, and mayors, would still be appointed by the monarchy, and would have no defined powers.

Are you aware of the reason the Saudis give for the exclusion of women? Nothing religious or ideological about women being stupid or impure or whatever, but the somehow more insulting, because so completely dismissive, excuse that it would have been too much work to build all those (separate, naturally) polling stations and ballot boxes

for women. I mean, even in Iraq we managed...

...well ok, bad example. You’ll notice no one ever suggests that if they can only manage polling places for half the population, the men could sit this one out.

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