Wednesday, May 03, 2006

That’s the kind of question that allies discuss in private

Tony Blair has wildly overreacted to the scandal about foreign criminals not being deported, and a few of them committing further crimes after being released when their terms were up. He is promising to deport foreign nationals after even minor crimes that don’t carry jail terms.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has ranked the most heavily censored countries, in this order: North Korea, Burma, Turkmenistan, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Eritrea, Cuba, Uzbekistan, Syria and Belarus. On the more important WIIIAI Scale, this blog has been read in Burma, Turkmenistan, Cuba, Uzbekistan, Syria and Belarus, but not (although I could have missed it) in North Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, or Eritrea.

Speaking of censorship, the US refused to let the president of Taiwan go to New York and San Francisco, although they did offer to let him refuel in Anchorage. He said thanks but no thanks.

The US has introduced a resolution on Iran’s nuclear program to the UN Security Council, with a not-so-subtle slippery-slope provision. The resolution threatens Iran with unnamed “further measures” if it does not comply. Really, the Council shouldn’t ever vote for an ominous vague threat; you either vote for something specific or you don’t vote at all. The idea, of course, is that if, down the road, the UN refuses to give us exactly the sanctions and/or military force against Iran that we demand, we’ll accuse them of failing to uphold their word, lacking credibility, all the usual crap, and then go ahead and do whatever we want under the pretext of upholding the will of the world community against its will.

Today, Bush wheeled out German Chancellor Angela Merkel to express complete agreement with him over Iran. At the Q&A with the press, there was this exchange:
Q Mr. President, what kind of sanctions should be taken against Iran, and when?

PRESIDENT BUSH: That’s the kind of question that allies discuss in private.

Q You discussed it just this afternoon.
Speaking of private, “I’m looking forward to taking the Chancellor upstairs to my private residence after this press availability to continue our discussions and to have a dinner that is a continuation of a personal relationship that is developing”. Or as Bill used to say, “Kiss it.”

What, too crass? Too vulgar? Well, you can apply your sophisticated, high-minded wits to this... Caption Contest! Yay!

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