Sunday, December 10, 2006

All spit

Karzai has fired the governor of Helmand province, and while there’s nothing at all in the American papers, the British ones are abuzz, since that’s where British troops operate and the Brits had recommended the guy, Mohammed Daud, as the man to clean up the province’s corruption and poppy cultivation, and he had made a good start. The Sunday Times thinks he was fired at the behest of drug lords, the Sindy says it was the Americans because Daud was coming to local truces with the Taliban, but neither have much evidence (nor an ability to read Karzai’s mind). Still, this is a significant story for what it tells us about the real balance of power in Afghanistan; it would be nice to know more. It would also be nice if the American press paid some attention to Afghanistan from time to time.

The Pentagon website says of Rumsfeld’s trip to Iraq that American soldiers treated him “like a rock star.” Possibly because Iraq looks like a hotel room that The Who stayed in, possibly because they’re hoping he’ll suffocate on his own vomit... Rummy went to Iraq to “thank servicemembers for their dedication, sacrifices and patriotism.” Although if he’d asked them, they probably would have said, no don’t bother making that long trip, we’d be perfectly happy to come to where you are, really it would be no trouble at all.

In an article about John Ashcroft I encountered a phrase I hadn’t heard before: “He’s all spit and no sidewalk.” Use it today.

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