Friday, December 02, 2005

Look for the union label, when you are buying that coat, dress or IED

So the Bushies didn’t realize that torturing Iraqis would look bad, or the use of chemical weapons like white phosphorus, or... Israeli commandos training Kurds in Israeli-style “anti-terrorist” techniques.

327 parties are running in the Iraqi elections, among them: the Islamic Virtue Party, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution In Iraq, the Assyrian Patriotic Party, the Turkmen Loyalty Movement, Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party, Iraqi Dignitaries Council, Gathering for the Future of Iraq, Assyrian Independent Gathering Movement, Society of Turkmen Tribes and Elites, the Independent Cultivated League, the Arabic Unifying Front (I think not), The Sixth of January Movement, Democratic Iraqi Sons Gathering, Amal Association for Intifada Martyrs, a party simply called Consistency, the Future Party, the Future, We All For Iraq, Prisoners and Political Martyrs Gathering, Syndicate of the Honorable Gentlemen, etc.

And the insurgency ELIGgers exhibit the same fragmentation, with over 100 groups. The NYT quotes a leaflet found in Ramadi complaining about this: “We are asking people to reject any statement signed by the Sajeel Battalion of the Islamic Army that does not carry their slogan or seal.”

Singapore must have found a new hangman, because they executed the Australian drug smuggler, Nguyen Tuong Van. After intense lobbying by Australia, they allowed him to hold hands with (but not hug) his mother before they strung him up. Interestingly, his mother was a Vietnamese refugee, who escaped Vietnam the same year she gave birth to him (I don’t know whether before or after), while the victim of the 1,000th American execution since 1976, Kenneth Boyd, was a Vietnam veteran. Also, Nguyen was executed in Changi Prison, which Australians will remember as the site of a Japanese prisoner of war camp where many Australians were kept during World War II.

Texas was responsible for 355 of those 1,000 executions, and George W. Bush signed the death warrants for 152 of them.

A leading Kazakhstan opposition leader, Zamenbek Nurkadilov, has been found dead of what the police are calling a suicide. He was shot twice in the chest and once in the head, so he must have been really quite depressed.

CBS is in talks with Al Sharpton for him to star in a sitcom, possibly called “Al in the Family.”

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