Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Tuesday's briefs and shorts 

Retirement madness: Old "statesmen" don't die, and neither do they fade away, unfortunately; they just become more pathetic with age (Americans, please refer to Jimmy Carter; Australians, to Malcolm Fraser). Now the very-ex-General Secretary of the United Nations, Boutros "Boutros" Boutros-Ghali joins the fray with a call on the "American President George W. Bush to order his forces out of Iraq and to allow Arab countries mediate a peaceful settlement to the crisis gripping the war-scarred country." What's the compromise between people who want a liberal democracy and people who want an Islamofascist theocracy? Miniskirt from the waist down and burqa from the waist up?

Says Boutros-Ghali: "The Arabs have the clue about resolving the crisis in Iraq. The Iraqi crisis would not be solved by foreign parties. The task must be left for an Arab mediator approved by all Iraqi parties for helping draw up a better and democratic future for Iraq as was the case with the Lebanese civil war."

Lebanon, of course, remains under a de facto Syrian occupation fourteen years later.

Captain's Quarters blog, which is becoming increasingly interested in Australian politics, writes about the Labor opposition leader Mark Latham dissing the Prime Minister Howard's policy of regional pre-emption. Says Latham:

"Imagine if a country in our region said they were prepared to launch unilateral strikes on targets in Australia, our sovereign territory, without the cooperation and involvement of the Australian government. Imagine the outrage in this country. As Australians we would feel absolutely appalled."
Responds Captain's Quarters: "Imagine that Australia's government aided and abetted supremacist terror groups that it helped carry out bombings and atrocities against civilian populations." (hat tip: Dutch, again) "Aiding and abetting" is a tad harsh; no South East Asian governments provide assistance to terrorists. More accurately, imagine if Australia was used as a base by foreign terrorists to attack targets in, say, Indonesia or Malaysia.

All killings are equal but some killings are more equal than others:
Reuters opens its story about the latest goings on the Mid East: "An Israeli missile strike killed at least two Hamas gunmen in Gaza City Monday, a day after a top commander of the Islamic militant group was killed in a similar attack, Palestinian witnesses and security sources said."

Then right towards the end of the story: "Underlying the growing lawlessness in Palestinian areas, masked gunmen executed two Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel in the West Bank town of Tulkarm. One was machine-gunned in a town square." (hat tip: Dr Judith Klinghoffer of
Deja Vu)

No Logo, No Clue: The poster girl of brainless anti-global left and the global village idiot,
Naomi Klein, discusses her latest article "Baghdad Year Zero: Pillaging Iraq in Pursuit of a Neocon Utopia." Among some of the pearlers:

"[T]he foreign contractors [are] being targeted [for kidnappings, partly because]... there is a massive unemployment crisis in Iraq."

"Paul Bremer, the former U.S. chief envoy or governor of Iraq, was to lay off 500,000 people. They called this 'deba'athification,' but in fact what it was, was a full-on attack on the state, which is the same thing that the International Monetary Fund does around the world, but not in such a dramatic fashion."
Spare a thought for the poor Islamofascist jihadis fighting for the cause of Iraq's unemployed. But if the resentment of foreigners taking local jobs was the true reason for the popularity of kidnappings, wouldn't Iraqi militants be taking hostage foreign Muslim militants who are after all unfairly competing with the locals in terrorism stakes? And while you're at it, spare some thought for those poor de-Baathified souls, too. I wonder if Naomi's grandmother would be writing an article on "De-Nazification: a neo-liberal attack on the German state."


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