Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Update: Japanese Defense Minister Kyuma resigns over saying that the Hiroshima & Nagasaki a-bombings “couldn’t be helped.”

Yesterday, Bush repeatedly called the Scooter Libby sentence excessive. Today, he twice referred to it as “severe,” an entirely subjective term.

Speaking of severe, this is what Bush said in 2000, defending never having used his power as governor to commute a death sentence: “I’m confident that every person that has been put to death in Texas, under my watch, has been guilty of the crime charged, and has had full access to the courts.”

Reuters: “The price of machetes has halved in parts of Nigeria since the end of general elections in April because demand from thugs sponsored by politicians has subsided.” Only $3 each. Don’t tell the McCain campaign about this.

This week a UN conference on strengthening the rule of law in Afghanistan was held in Kabul...

Ha ha, I didn’t fool you people for a second, did I? Of course it wasn’t held in Kabul, it was held in Rome.

... Anyway, at the conference US ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad said that “The rule of law is a key pillar for success” in Afghanistan. But when asked by a reporter about the increasing number of incidents in which US troops kill Afghan civilians, he dismissed that as just plain “unfortunate.” The subject of those deaths was not raised in the conference, which was after all about the rule of law in Afghanistan and what does mass murder have to do with that? Khalilzad said that “sometimes it happens that weapons go awry,” a sentence which distances the US from the civilians it kills by 1) making those deaths something that just, you know, happen sometimes, like fate, 2) suggesting that people don’t kill people, guns (and rockets and bombs and...) kill people, 3) implying that those weapons malfunctioned, when there is no evidence in any recent incident that they didn’t hit exactly what they were aimed at. He added, “war is not a perfect science, unfortunately.” Which I guess puts the lie to the notion that practice makes perfect.

Also, is it really unfortunate that war is not a perfect science? Discuss.

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