Archive for December 2003

Dang Australians!

The “they flew in a fake turkey” myth is spreading.

AND ABOUT THAT FAKE TURKEY: The “decorative turkey” in George W. Bush’s hands in the Thanksgiving pictures from Baghdad should in fact make people angry. Hundreds of American dead, thousands of Iraqi dead, and the White House is staging phony photos on Iraqi soil? The occupation of Iraq may be justified, but White House use of the war as a political prop is becoming unseemly. And think: somebody had to fly a fake turkey to Iraq. Voters are not stupid; this sort of thing may backfire on Bush.
Gregg Easterbrook
It was a proud moment in American history. Almost as proud as when Dubya secretly flew to Iraq a few weeks back to spend 2.5 hours pretending to serve a fake, inedible plastic turkey to that handful of carefully selected, prescreened soldiers for that Thanksgiving PR stunt that will forever embarrass anyone with any sense of decency and pride — which is, according to Bush’s instant surge in the polls after the photo op, fewer and fewer of us.
Mike Morford – SF Gate (via Tim Blair)
MATT TAIBBI: It was a plastic turkey.
AMY GOODMAN: Was it actually plastic?
MATT TAIBBI: Yes. Apparently it was a plastic turkey.
AMY GOODMAN: It was plastic?
MATT TAIBBI: Yes. That was actually reported in the — in another part of The Nation, in the daily outrage column online. But, yeah it was a plastic turkey, apparently. Which is even funnier. The famous shot where he’s holding the big turkey, apparently that’s a plastic turkey.
Democracy Now (again, via Blair)

Criminy people! With the whole flu scare do we really need to invent things that can spread like a virus?

Libya’s decision to scrap WMD deals blow to Iran, North Korea

The Sunday Herald has a piece in which they say Iran and North Korea had been counting on pieces of Libya’s WMD technology to complete their own nukes.

Iran, which is now in the final stages of uranium enrichment for its program, is badly hit, having counted on fitting into place key parts of its WMD project made in Libya. North Korea may also be forced to scale back the production of nuclear devices as well as counting the loss of a lucrative source of income for its Scuds and nuclear technology.
The Sunday Herald

George Bush: Liberator of Baghdad

Saudi daily Arab News columnist Dr. Muhammad Al-Rasheed:

“The jubilation in Baghdad put the Arab media to shame. America, for this brief moment at least

That’s what you get when you terrorize the entire population of a country

Saddam’s daughter doesn’t think he can get a fair trial in Iraq. Imagine that, the people in the country you brutalized for decades don’t like you. There’s a surprise.

Holy cow. PETA to kids: “Your Mommy kills animals!”

PETA activists – including cuddly, costumed raccoons and foxes – are making guest appearances outside performances of The Nutcracker across the country this holiday season with a cheeky message of compassion. As children arrive to see the “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy,” some will be unaware that their mothers are already starring in a real-life horror story! PETA will be there to greet any fur-clad moms and their children with their newest anti-fur leaflet-PETA Comics presents…”Your Mommy Kills Animals!”
Kids will see the bloody truth behind their moms


Stupid Return of the King sellouts…

Some thoughts on early flight

I’ve been watching some documentaries on the Wright Brothers tonight and what really got my attention was the inventiveness, entrepreneurship and courage of those involved in the race for the First Flight. These people were pretty much doing this all on their own. They didn

John Rhys-Davies on Tolkein’s point in Lord of the Rings

Andrew Sullivan comes through with this gem of a quote from the man who plays Gimli.

“I’m burying my career so substantially in these interviews that it’s painful. But I think that there are some questions that demand honest answers. I think that Tolkien says that some generations will be challenged. And if they do not rise to meet that challenge, they will lose their civilization. That does have a real resonance with me… What is unconscionable is that too many of your fellow journalists do not understand how precarious Western civilization is and what a jewel it is.
How did we get the sort of real democracy, how did we get the level of tolerance that allows me to propound something that may be completely alien to you around this table, and yet you will take it and you will think about it and you

Geez, all that damn good news from Iraq

Janet Daley has a very good piece on the Telegraph’s site dealing with the reaction of the anti-war crowd to the capture of Saddam and a guide to how they can react to further “irritatingly good news” from Iraq.

What To Say If:
Saddam refuses to co-operate with his interrogators.
The arrest of this man is a sideshow. He clearly knows nothing about the current state of resistance and has played no role in the planning of insurgency. His trial will simply be an exercise in vengeance with no constructive outcome for Iraq.
Saddam sings like a canary, identifying the perpetrators of insurgency.
Saddam is obviously being tortured by his American captors. Or else, they are lying about his testimony and justifying their own persecution of innocent Iraqis on the basis of his alleged “confession”. (Note to broadcasters: these hypotheses need not be stated baldly. They can simply be hinted at or implied by leading questions and incredulous facial expressions.)
Saddam admits to having had weapons of mass destruction all along and gives a detailed account of a) where they can be found, b) how and when he destroyed them.
If a) then switch the focus immediately to the role that America (with particular reference to Donald Rumsfeld personally) played in the past in allowing Saddam to develop these arms. Avoid if possible any tactless references to the much more recent contributions of our European partners in building Saddam’s armoury. If b), float the idea that Saddam is lying – simply telling his captors what it would suit their political purposes to hear, in the hopes of cutting a deal for himself.
The Telegraph

New Iraq taking the UN to task

Iraq’s new Foreign Minister spoke to the UN Security Council today.

“The UN as an organisation failed to help rescue the Iraqi people from a murderous tyranny of 35 years,” he said. “The UN must not fail the Iraqi people again.”