Friday, May 02, 2008

An inseparable part of the war

The Israeli military absolves itself of blowing up a Palestinian woman and her four children in an air strike on Gaza, saying they were actually killed by explosives carried by a gunman, which detonated when he was hit by the air strike. So that’s okay, then. PM Olmert says it’s the fault of Hamas that civilians have been turned “into an inseparable part of the war.” However, that woman and her children can now be separated from the war – with a shovel and a mop.

Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Hajj has been released to his native Sudan after 6½ years in Guantanamo, the last 16 months hunger striking and undergoing forcible feeding by tube. Had he agreed to spy on Al Jazeera, he would have been released years ago. The Pentagon claimed, without giving any evidence, that he was a courier for a charity with links to Al Qaida. Oo, a courier, so very scary. Since the news stories mostly don’t report this, I want to point out the conditions the US imposed on Sudan: al-Hajj is not to be allowed to work as a journalist or to leave Sudan.

Simon Hoggart in the Guardian: “Last weekend I met a librarian, who told me that it was obviously common for the more explicit sort of novel to fall open at the well-thumbed dirty bits. What she hadn’t realised is that where there are braille equivalents, the dots tend to be worn down. I think that’s rather affecting.”

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