"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
But let's not forget that there's a war on. And how's that working out?
Turns out, not so well. First - and let's not allow this to go unmentioned - the death toll continues to rise, slowly but surely, like water in the streets after the levees break. Nine more American dead today alone in bombings in and around Anbar Province, including five soldiers (which brings the total to 1904, but who's counting, other than the widows and orphans?). But elsewhere in the country - for instance, in Basra - the situation is relatively calm:
Seriously, yesterday's unpleasantness in Iraq's peaceful south is disturbing on so many levels. From Whatever It Is, I'm Against It:
There was a wee incident in Basra today involving two undercover British soldiers. Let’s pause there, because the concept of undercover soldiers is a bit... faulty, and in fact violates international law. If they’re not in uniform, they are not soldiers but spies. I don’t imagine we’ll ever know what they were actually up to. When Iraqi police tried to stop their car at a checkpoint, they fired at the police, killing one of them. When they were captured, the British army effected a jail break using tanks, which are very handy during a jail break. The BBC calls this a “daring rescue operation” but honestly how daring do you have to be IN A FUCKING TANK, I mean that show on Fox would have a much shorter season IF THEY HAD A FUCKING TANK. The pissed-off civilians had sling shots.
Oh ok, one of the tanks was set on fire, I admit, but still.
Or, as Billmon said, "Thank God the Brits are there to show us clumsy Americans how to do the colonialism thing right."
Of course, there can be no violence in Iraq without a foreign scapegoat to blame, and this time it's Iran's turn. Problem is, no one seems to have noticed that Iran has all the leverage right now:
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani warned that Tehran could quit the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if it is subjected to the 'language of force' in a stand-off over its nuclear programme.
Responding to European efforts to haul Iran before the UN Security Council over 'breaches' of international atomic safeguards, Larijani also said Tehran would link its oil business and other economic trade with individual countries based on whose side they took in the dispute.
'If you want to use the language of force, Iran will be left with no choice, in order to preserve its technical achievements, to get out of the framework of the NPT and out of the framework of the additional protocol, and resume enrichment,' Larijani said....
Larijani also warned that states which lined up with Britain, France and Germany against Iran -- OPEC's number-two producer -- would suffer economic consequences.
'Those countries that have economic transactions with Iran, especially in the field of oil, have not defended Iran's rights so far,' complained Larijani, the hardline secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council.
This top decision-making body, he said, was 'very determined to make a balance between these two things.
'So based on how much they defend Iran's national right will facilitate their participation in Iran's economic field.'
He was later asked if this meant countries like Japan -- which recently signed a major contract to develop Iran's Azadegan oil field -- could lose contracts in Iran.
'It is not only Japan but other countries that are concerned. We will examine their attitude,' Larijani said, adding that the future of the Azadegan contract 'depends on their (Japan's) conduct'.
And so it is that observers actually present in Iraq are now speaking openly about a manifest state of civil war. Perhaps that's just because the liberal American media is failing to report all the good news:
That pink-o, liberal workers’ rag DefenseNews (thanks to Robert for the link!), also known as a trade publication for defense contractors, published a depressing piece on Iraq calling the situation here an “undeclared civil war.” I think it’s time we journalists faced up that this is, indeed the case.
Which leads me to wonder, are we still painting schools? And when are we going to cut out the intermediate steps, and just start painting madrassas instead?
But we can't have that sort of blame-gaming, not when the future of democracy in the Middle East - and, more importantly, the future of the Empty Flight Suit's approval ratings - hang in the balance. And so it is that, in New York as in Baghdad, freedom is on the march:
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan said Tuesday she was hurt slightly in a scuffle that erupted when police broke up a rally as she was at the microphone.
An organizer was arrested and charged with using a loudspeaker without a permit.
"I was speaking and someone grabbed my backpack and pulled me back pretty roughly," Sheehan said, describing the scene at Manhattan's Union Square on Monday. "I was shoved around."
And so goes another day in paradise.
This got me to thinking, Wouldn't it be ironic if a bunch of Shias (who want a theocracy right?) dressed up as Sunnis (who want who the fuck knows), boarded a tanker, and dumped all the oil overboard? Talk about teaching us (Brits and US) all a lesson about imperialism.