Tuesday, February 21, 2006

We are not going to invest the resources of the American people to build forces run by people who are sectarian -- except maybe Pat Robertson

The quote of the day is from American Ambassador/Viceroy to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, giving Iraqi politicians a jolly good public scolding: “We are not going to invest the resources of the American people to build forces run by people who are sectarian.” Sounds like he’s getting ready to write off Iraq on his taxes. “Invest,” indeed. Arguably, though, sectarian forces are the only American success story, investment-wise. Not a lot to show for the money poured into electricity generation, or oil production, but we’ve sure managed to turn small armed gangs into entire police forces, army units, and Interior Ministry death squads, with franchises popping up everywhere like fucking Starbucks.

In that press conference (by the way, has anyone seen a transcript?), he also told Iran to fuck off (“none of their business”), in response to its demand that the British withdraw troops from Basra (20 miles from the Iranian border), where those videos of British troops beating Iraqi youths and laughing about it were recorded. British defense minister John Reid echoed Rumsfeld’s response to Abu Ghraib by attacking those who failed to empathize with the troops and even dare to suggest that the enforcement of human rights laws, which he calls a “convenient banner under which some who are fundamentally opposed to our armed forces, or the government of the day, or to a particular military conflict, have chosen to march.” He asks people to be “slower to condemn.” OK. 5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1..

Follow-up: speaking of condemning, that execution in California is now on hold because the two anesthesiologists pulled out. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that one of the pieces of evidence against him came from a jailhouse informer who said that Morales confessed to him in fluent Spanish, which Morales does not speak. Morales is definitely guilty, really really guilty, but this evidence may have helped get him the death sentence. But the appeals courts aren’t interested.

Speaking of occupied countries, the UN seems finally to be moving towards independence for Kosovo, and Serbs are not happy, no sirree. They keep threatening to start referring to Kosovo as “occupied territory,” as if that was supposed to scare somebody. I’m not sure why it would, nor who they think Kosovo is occupied by, except, you know, Kosovars. Possibly by occupied they mean the opposite of ethnically cleansed.

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