Minutiae
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The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.
--Cornelius Tacitus (c. 116 A.D.)

Saturday, February 01, 2003
Wow. Words fail me, twice within a month. Either the world is getting weirder, I'm getting less articulate, or I'm just plumbing the lower depths of the internet.
posted by Rachel 2/1/2003
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Remember how you're a weapons inspector employed by the UN to investigate Iraq's WMD programs? Remember how in 1441 you're specifically authorized to offer Iraqis safe passage out of the country along with their families? Remember how the UN knows that informants are tortured with their families and sometimes have family members held hostage under threat of torture just to make sure they don't talk? Remember how just a day ago you were bitching that the Iraqi scientists refused to be alone with you and insisted on having a govt. rep. there with them? Really you remember all that? Then WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!
"...About 40 minutes later, another Iraqi man stopped a U.N. vehicle outside the headquarters, pleading "Save me! Save me!" in Arabic, according to the United Nations.

The man, apparently unarmed, forced his way into the driver's seat of the stopped vehicle. As an Iraqi guard struggled to pull him out, a U.N. inspector watched from the passenger seat.

Iraqi officials took both men into custody."

What the story doesn't include (but was included on TV) was that the UN personnel went and got the Iraqi soldiers to take the man away. Notice that notebook in his hands? Wouldn't you like to know what was in it? Well, we never will.
Update: A more detailed version of the story. I don't for a minute believe that the notebook was blank.
posted by Rachel 2/1/2003
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"BERLIN, Germany (CNN) -- Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan told a German newsmagazine published Saturday that Iraq is prepared to deploy "thousands of suicide attackers" against the United States if Iraq is bombed."
posted by Rachel 2/1/2003
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A few nights ago I was laying in bed reading and this forlorn little voice drifts up the stairs:
"Sweetie..."
what?
"I messed up my hair real bad."

This is what happens when you try to cut your own hair.
Old ladies will turn and walk the other way when they see you coming. Little children will hide from you.
(No shit, it really happened in Walgreens the morning after he did it. Although the facial expression may have had something to do with that.)


posted by Rachel 2/1/2003
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I hope so. I told you so. And GWB is unbelievably patient. I'm wondering if it'll start by Valentines Day.
"THE DECISION TO allow Secretary of State Colin Powell to use the electronic intercepts in his speech next Wednesday to the U.N. was described by U.S. intelligence officials as extraordinary. Electronic intercepts by the NSA are considered the most jealously guarded of all U.S. intelligence secrets and government officials are normally loath to even refer to their existence for fear of tipping off targets and drying up invaluable sources of information.

But in this case, officials said, the intercepts are so damning and dramatic that officials say their release outweighs the potential harm—especially given the increased likelihood that the United States will shortly be launching an invasion of Iraq anyway.

“Hold onto your hat. We’ve got it,” said one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the evidence gathered by the NSA....

While precise details have yet to be worked out, officials described the decision to use the intercepts at all as stunning—especially in an administration that has prided itself on its commitment to secrecy in national-security matters. One official said next week’s speech by Powell will amount to the most significant release of this kind of sensitive information since President Ronald Reagan revealed NSA intercepts that linked Muammar Kaddafi to the 1986 La Belle disco bombing in West Berlin."

I'll be over here waiting for apologies, retractions, and admissions of stupidity and gullibility, from the likes of Nelson Mandela, Jacques Chirac, Barbara Streisand, Woody Harrelson, Robert Fisk, Gerhard Schroeder, Michael Moore, et al.
posted by Rachel 2/1/2003
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Roll-on-the-floor laughing-until-the-tears-stream funny or irritating, depending on your level of self-loathing.
"Glossary
For those who, like me, seem to be watching coverage of the Iraq situation as reported by people from a bizarro dimension, in which they speak a language very similar to English, but with subtle and confusing differences, I think that I've finally broken the code, and have thus put together a little translation guide for the rest of us.

"going it alone":
Meaning 1: Taking action in concert with numerous European and Middle-Eastern nations, and others around the globe, but without France and Germany.

Meaning 2: Using the coalition from (1) to enforce numerous UN Security Council resolutions, including one that was passed within the past three months, which was supposed to be final, without going back to the Security Council, hat in hand, to get yet another "final" resolution.

"smoking gun":
The level of evidence that will justify removing Saddam Hussein by military force. This one is very precisely defined.

It is a photograph of Saddam Hussein, standing next to fifty-gallon barrels clearly labeled "Anthrax, "Tabun, "Sarin," "VX," "Phosgene," and "Smallpox Virus," along with a suitcase marked "Danger: ACME Suitcase Nuke--Stand Well Back Before Detonating," next to a geiger counter with meter pegged. One of Saddam's hands is evilly twirling his mustache a la Snidely Whiplash, and the other arm is around the shoulder of a hale and hearty Osama bin Laden, who is in turn holding up a clearly-identifiable copy of last Sunday's New York Times.

The picture must be taken by an objective, prize-winning photographer, such as Robert Fisk. No satellite imagery or CIA evidence is acceptable, since such a photo could be easily faked, and its provenance would thus be highly suspect."

posted by Rachel 2/1/2003
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Oh look, the US govt. is still fucking the Indians.
posted by Rachel 2/1/2003
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Hmmm German companies breaking the UN embargo and selling weapons equipment to Iraq...
Could it be that German opposition to war is all about Schroeder protecting his big business buddies?
posted by Rachel 2/1/2003
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Several points about this picture:

Demonstrators take part in a protest near the American embassy in Abidjan, January 28, 2003. Young supporters of president Laurent Gbagbo called for American support for their country and denounced France, its former colonial ruler, for brokering a recent peace initiative in the four-month civil war. The protests in the Ivory Coast capital underlined the problems facing the power-sharing deal agreed by Gabgbo to end the war that has split the world's top cocoa producer along ethnic lines. Photo by Luc Gnago/Reuters
-The same country that's bitching at us about imperialism is the country who fucked these people over so royally and is now absolutely inept at helping them.
-Look people of color appealing to the US to come help them. Who woulda thunk?
posted by Rachel 2/1/2003
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Soooo funny. (In a terrifying sort of way.)
"North Korea announced on Friday an anti-U.S. poster campaign to incite people of the isolated communist state to back their army in a 'sacred struggle' with the United States over its nuclear program."


Let's crush the U.S. nuclear war scheme with our whole nation's unified power '.

The letters on a rocket read, 'U.S. imperialists should take a close look at (North) Korea's power'.
[That would be a threat to use nuclear weapons against the US? Issued by the government? (told you they were nuts, I had no idea they were this nuts, and a nut with a nuke is scary enough this is several nuts with several nukes, and they're completely unpredictable.)]

Posters across North Korea urged the country's 23 million people 'to smash the U.S. imperialists' moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK (North Korea) and defend the dignity of the DPRK and the nation's right to existence',


'IAEA scarecrow' and 'U.S. soldier,'
That's the International Atomic Energy Agency, and those are bayonets.
posted by Rachel 2/1/2003
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I really enjoyed this open letter to the democrats. It sums up my feelings very well. 'Though, at this point I find less wrong with the repubs than with the dems, maybe I should write them an open letter on my points of disagreement. I had reached this point with the dems before the last election though, (I voted for Bush,) and the last 2 years have only driven me further toward the repubs.
"Open Letter to the Democrats:

I am a dyed-in-the-wool Republican-hater, coming from a long line of Democratic Party supporters, and YOU ARE LOSING ME. I am a white, not-quite-40 mother of three who lives in the suburbs, and YOU ARE LOSING ME. I care about Education, Social Welfare, and the Environment, and YOU ARE LOSING ME.

You have become the Haven of Celebrities; you elect self-righteous, power-hungry hypocrites like Hillary; and your current pool of 2004 front-runners reads like a Who's Who list from Losers R Us. But that's not the worst of it. You don't seem to understand that the vast majority of Americans support the War against Iraq. That we see the quibbling re: the UN Resolutions for what it is. You cannot see the threat that Iraq poses? Where have you been for the last decade? The best you can come up with is parodying the damn French and demanding 'more proof'. One can only conclude that it is because you feel you have to oppose the Republicans on war because they are Republicans -- and this lame reason is the best you can devise. There are real issues with the current administration that would resonate with your fellow democrats (you know, us small 'd's' who don't live in Hollywood or NY) -- the economy is tanking, the President's stimulus plan is a joke, pension funds are going bankrupt, the War on Drugs is a corrupting influence on our police forces and an insult to civil liberties, corporate malfeasance is getting a pass as the SEC investigative body is rendered toothless, the States are in financial freefall and ya' know what? it hurts back here at home...The list goes on. And you are doing NOTHING.

Nothing. You have nothing to offer. You can oppose, but you do not propose. You have no new ideas, no leadership. You come off as a bunch of politically-correct, dithering wannabes. I read more good ideas in one day surfing the blogs than you can formulate in a year. It makes me sick.

It makes me sick, because I Really Don't Like the Republicans. But, unless something astounding happens, I'm going to vote for Bush in 2004.

YOU'VE LOST ME."


posted by Rachel 2/1/2003
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