Sunday, April 09, 2006

Completely nuts

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says that Iraq has a “high level of slaughter” rather than a civil war. So that’s all right, then.

He also says that the idea of a preemptive nuclear attack on Iran is “completely nuts.” And your point is? He says there is “no smoking gun” on the Iranian nuclear program. A quick historical quiz for Mr. Straw: recollect a famous sentence that contained the words “smoking gun” and the words “mushroom cloud.”

The Indian state of Rajasthan has banned religious conversions, the 6th Indian state to do so. Indian usage of the word seems to be narrower than American, and less confusing, so what is being banned is not changing one’s religion (á la Afghanistan) but converting someone else. The state’s ruling party, the Hindu nationalist BJP, claims Christian missionaries bribe poor people to convert. For the purposes of the law, one’s original religion is deemed to be that of their ancestors; that is, religion is inherited. Thus, if Hindus re-convert converts, and they certainly try, that would not be illegal.

Speaking of bigots, the racist British National Party has been riven with controversy over just what constitutes a wog after it adopted a man whose grandfather was a Greek-Armenian immigrant as a candidate for local elections in Bradford, most party members not considering him really One of Us.

So a naturalized American citizen of Palestinian origin, Arafat Nijmeh, a mental patient, told his alleged mental-care workers at the Alton Mental Health Center that he wanted to castrate George Bush. They promptly called the Secret Service, and Nijmeh has been indicted for “knowingly and willfully” threatening His Highness. Overreact much?

Today was Iraqi Freedom Day, the anniversary of the stunt in which Saddam Hussein’s statue was pulled down by Marines from the crack 75th Unsubtle Propaganda Division. How did y’all celebrate? Iraq celebrated with the usual bombings, shootings and whatnot. Freedom, ain’t it grand?

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