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August 05, 2004

IF you're a Republican (or, really, just if you're a human being), please take a moment to be ashamed that this man is running unopposed, even in a Texas Tennessee primary. (Let's thank Amanda for the correction. If it's not "Texas" then the implicit scorn of "It's Texas. They're liable to do anything" doesn't really apply, does it?)

IF things are so bad in Darfur then where did the government find "tens of thousands" of people to march in protest of UN intervention? Supporters of the war, one presumes. I mention this because this amount of mobilized government support should make a difference to how the UN handles the issue. This is not a situation for the UN's token 2,500 troops.

IF we forget the past, we may be dooming ourselves to repeating it. When our "past" includes using nuclear bombs, that's not an appealing idea.

IF I were arrested, imprisoned, and maybe tortured by an invading foreign power, I'd be vowing revenge myself, so I find it hard to feel much suspicion about (innocent until proven guilty) Guantanamo detainees making fierce speeches.

IF the prisoner abuse in Iraq was the behavior of a few "rogue" soldiers, why do reports of widespread abuse by USofA troops keep surfacing?

IF we're the good guys, why are so many children being held in Iraqi prisons? (Before you react, read. It's not a simple situation.)

IF you're curious about the cost of the war, this is an interesting paper. (Warning: It's 68 pages long. I haven't finished it myself yet.)

IF you're curious about Brahimi, the UN envoy to Iraq, read this, for one perspective on the man. (And here's another perspective on the UN and the US in Iraq, as well.)

IF you're me, any article that starts by saying you gotta believe this guy because he's so amazingly virile, is an instant reach for the delete key. When I get done gagging, I may go back and read THE CONSERVATIVE CASE AGAINST GEORGE W. BUSH anyhow, taking care to skip the first paragraph this time, just to see what it has to say about "traditional" conservatism in this country versus what the Bush Administration is presenting.

IF you want to know what's going on I the world, you have to step outside the USofA media. IF you read The People's Daily (English translation, of course), then you'll see the story of a Chinese woman who was "beaten up" US Customs officials near Niagara Falls. IF you read the Moscow Times (English translation, of course), you'll see the story of the USofA journalist thought to have been the victim of a contract killing in Russia early last month. If you read The Australian, you'll see the story of over $180,000 in gifts given to the Bush family by a Saudi prince in 2003.

IF you have a sense of humor, even about political campaigns, you might find this funny. I did.

IF Sun Myung Moon's reputed influence on Washington worries you, this won't make you feel any better.

Groups such as the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP) the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), the World Culture and Sports Festival and the Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI) — all groups that have been founded by or are directly affiliated with Moon — have lured lawmakers, congressional staffers and various countries’ U.N. ambassadors to their symposiums.

But those organizations have not made their association with Moon clear to the participants before they accepted the glossy invitations, attendees say.

At one conference, billed as a symposium between congressional staffers and U.N. ambassadors, Hill aides were somewhat surprised to be greeted at the New Yorker hotel by a gaggle of non-English-speaking Korean women.

The IIFWP’s continuing campaign had its most recent Washington event last April, where Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor at large at United Press International (UPI) and The Washington Times; Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.); and the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, the former D.C. delegate to Congress, all spoke at a panel moderated by IIFWP officials.

The “Capitol Hill briefing” was on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and was co-hosted by the World Media Association, an arm of the Washington Times Foundation.

That symposium occurred one month after Moon — the controversial spiritual leader of the Unification Church and owner of a media empire that owns The Washington Times and UPI — was crowned as the Messiah in a Senate office building.

Reports of Moon’s coronation sent lawmakers scurrying to explain their attendance and stoked a media maelstrom over the rather unusual occurrence of a congressional crowning.

The Washington Post later reported that Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) had permitted Moon to use the Senate space. Since then, several members of Congress have said they were deceived by Moon and his offshoot groups.

IF the 70 "mercenaries" arrested in South Africa were actually headed for a mine, to provide security, surely they could produce a contract, a letter, or an employer to testify to that? Their appeal for extradition has been rejected. (Could 70 people overthrow a government? Who are they suspected of having been in league with in the country? I'm glad to see we're still seeing some new coverage as time goes on. Maybe I'll eventually understand what's actually going on..

IF "we" are Turning a blind eye to nukes then either we're more culpable than I imagined for the growth of WMD in the world, or our "intelligence" sources need a lot more work than even I'd imagined. On the other hand, I'm not a believer in unremitting interventionism. It's not useful, I know, but I constantly find myself mourning the fact that the UN lacks the international support it needs to be the power for compromise and restraint in the world.

IF you're like me, you've been biting your lip and keeping quiet. You're aware that it's "the thing" on the Left to line up to praise Ehrenreich. You've been listening to the praise for her for months, wincing in pain, but only privately. Enough of that.

The Democrats couldn't be more butch if they took to wearing codpieces. Every daily convention theme contained the words "strength" or "strong," and even Hillary Rodham Clinton was relegated to the role of wife.

By all accounts (Monday was the one night of convention coverage I missed), Hillary Clinton made quite the speech, taking up a substantial amount of the time allotted for her husband. Maybe Ehrenreich should have been listening to what was said instead of shutting her brain off at the point where Hillary was (also) introducing her husband?

The idea, according to the pundits, is that with more than half of the voters still favoring President Bush as the guy to beat Osama bin Laden, John Kerry needs to show that he's macho enough to whup the terrorists. Of course, everyone knows that the macho approach is notably less effective than pixie dust - otherwise, we wouldn't be holding our political conventions under total lockdowns.

We've been holding our political conventions under total lockdowns for a number of years now and while security may have been increased again this year, I fail to understand what securing the thousands of people attending a convention and "macho" candidates have to do with each other.

First, let's stop calling the enemy "terrorism," which is like saying we're fighting "bombings." Terrorism is only a method; the enemy is an extremist Islamic insurgency whose appeal lies in its claim to represent the Muslim masses against a bullying superpower.

She is, in fact, quite wrong. Not all terrorists in the world are Islamic. They aren't now, and they won't be in the future. All terrorists should be considered, not just the ones whose religion seems to offend some Christians. Further, I'm completely appalled at this near-call to make war on a religion.

(*Interestingly enough, I read a blog entry somewhere yesterday, forget where, sorry, that suggests that language experts are taking another look at the Koran and finding that, as does happen, the original text may have been garbled in translation.

For instance, the infamous "72 virgins" that martyrs get upon their deaths? Turns out they may be greeted in paradise with a glass of chardonnay, instead, since there's a body of opinion that the word translated as "virgins" possibly should have been translated as "white grapes." I have no idea what effect such a change in the rules might have on the extremist faithful.)

(Joking aside, I meant to bookmark the entry and read it more thoroughly later and I'm frustrated that I forgot to do so. If any of you find such a blog entry in your wanderings, please do let me know.)

She goes on to suggest that feminism will cure what ails the world.

Equal rights for everyone, a stronger consideration for human rights all over the globe is something I can passionately support, but her argument makes my head hurt.

On the other hand, I'm an admirer of Helen Thomas's. IF you're also a fan, you'll find this interesting.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:59 AM


Tennessee! Tennessee! Texas is rotten, but he's not one of ours.

Posted by: Amanda at August 5, 2004 10:11 AM

The Koranic reinterpretation article you read might have been from the New York Times: Kristof had an article on that a few days back.

And the Tennessee Republican Nut showed up in my paper. Talk about a nightmare for the state GOP, and an embarrasment for the national party. That's what they get, though, for participating in a system in which incumbents are so secure they didn't bother to run a half-decent candidate of their own.

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at August 5, 2004 01:36 PM

I'll check the Times, Jonathan, and thanks.

Heh. That's the penalty for rabidly partisan redistricting. Both parties should take notice.

Posted by: Anne at August 5, 2004 09:15 PM