Friday, July 08, 2005


I’m back, but I have some catching up to do. Let’s get on with it:

Bush on climate change: “It’s easier to solve a problem when you know a lot about it.” OK honestly, I’m behind, I think I can leave an easy straight line like that up to you guys.

NYT headline: “London Bombs Seen as Crude.” Ya think?

Speaking of crude, George Bush’s response: “we will spread an ideology of hope and compassion that will overwhelm their ideology of hate.” Never have hope and compassion sounded so creepy and threatening.

A rather good op-ed piece by former Tory MP and Times parliamentary sketchwriter Matthew Parris in The Times:
“In the face of provocation a ringing declaration never to falter proceeds direct from heart to lip. But en route it may detour the brain. Simple defiance is always moving but it is not always wise.”

“terrorism is not a body of men but a cloud of sympathies. ... It is a way of thinking to which some are drawn a lot and some are drawn a bit. It is a mood. It is evanescent. It can fade. It can spread. .. You cannot arrest and charge a mood. You cannot kill its army, one by one.”
AP: “President Hamid Karzai said Friday that Osama bin Laden wasn’t in Afghanistan, saying his government has no idea of his whereabouts.” Gee, there’s some sort of contradiction in there somewhere, I just can’t put my finger on it...

A spokesmodel for the Iraqi regime, while admitting having no idea who was responsible for the London bombings, still claims they are “from the same network” as insurgents in Iraq. Opportunistic prick. In the apartheid years, every time there was an act of terrorism anywhere in the world, the South African government would issue these oily condolences, suggesting that they too were beset by terrorists and deserved sympathy and understanding.

And Iraqi president (I would put that in quotes, but honestly, four years of doing that with Bush have air-quoted me out) Talabani wrote to Blair that “Terrorism has become an international plague that does not discriminate between races, people or religions.” Yes it does. The bomb doesn’t discriminate, but London rather than, say, Toronto, was chosen for a reason. Plague as a metaphor is singularly unhelpful in either understanding terrorism or formulating a response to it. In fact, it is deliberately unhelpful. People like Talabani, whose power and indeed lives are dependent on American (and British) protection, encourage Americans not to understand or try to understand the people they are fighting.

Israel has refused to extradite to Poland a Jewish man accused of genocide for his role as commandant of a communist-run camp for Germans in 1945, in which thousands were starved and beaten to death. Israel says he is to be forgiven because many of his family members had been killed by the Germans.

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