Thursday, April 10, 2003
Women in Afghanistan then.
Women in Afghanistan now.
And notice the absence of an oil pipeline.
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Unreal. I'm beginning to believe that Chirac really has no idea (or doesn't care) how the US perceives him.
"It is now necessary to create the conditions which will give the Iraqi people its dignity in re-discovered freedom.
"What is urgent is to allow humanitarian aid in all its forms to be sent to Iraq without delay. As soon as possible, after the necessary phase of ensuring security, Iraq must re-discover -- via the legitimacy granted by the United Nations -- its full sovereignty in a stabilised region," it said.
France led the group of nations opposed to the US-led invasion of Iraq and was criticised subsequently for not stating unequivocally that it wanted an allied victory. It is now pressing for a central role for the UN in post-war reconstruction."
I don't want to bother to find it but I believe it was the foreign minister who last week responded to the US and the UK saying that the UN would play a vital role in post-war Iraq by basically saying: Yeah that's great, but France and the rest of Europe want to play a central role.
Did you know that legitimacy as a sovereign nation was granted by the UN? I was sure surprised to hear it. Imagine: for thousands of years groups of people have been bumbling about erroneously believing that they were sovereign nations.
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Oh god... It's Thursday. Why are the air-raid sirens going off over and over?
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I'm with bekki. Lileks is brilliant.
"The statue of Saddam that clanged down onto the stones of Baghdad looked familiar to anyone whoís studied Soviet iconography - which of course Saddam did. The hand-waving-to-the-masses is an ambiguous gesture; it recognizes the masses, but does not salute them. He points to the sky, but thereís something about that pose that says youíd damn well better be looking at him, not where heís pointing.
A friend who spent a lot of time in the USSR referred to this genre of statuary as ďThe Great Leader Hails a Cab.Ē
You hope Saddamís alive to see this, to see the hailstorm of footwear, the burly men taking sledgehammers to his statueís polished podium, to see the American flag draped over his cruel empty mug. That last point was one of the more remarkable moments today - the soldier put the flag over Saddamís iron face, then removed it and replaced it with the old Iraqi flag. Itís a potent message. A show of power, then a show of respect. Our flag first; your flag for ever after. Donít forget how the latter was made possible by the former.
You will, of course, but thatís how it goes. We look forward to your Nay vote on our resolution in the League of Democracies Security Council 58 years from today....
Iím not stupid enough to think that weíve just created a nation of 22 million wannabe Americans. But tonight parents can look down at their children in bed and believe they will have better lives. Not just hope for it, but believe it. Some of us call that the American Dream - hold the scare quotes, please - and we pray for the day when itís no longer an American concept but a universal birthright.
Whatever you think we should do to get to that point, you have to admit that the sound of a cast-iron skull striking the pavement is a good way to start. And if you donít itís because you see some other false god on the podium, pointing at an empty heaven.
Men never seem taller than when they stand next to the prone remainders of a toppled tyrant. Someone someday will do a study of the statues the West pulled down. How they all showed a hard face to the dawn. How they all fell face first."
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There's just no pleasing some people...
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