Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Instahoglets 20th Jun 06

First, some fiction. ...as Lube Skystalker's X-wing rounded a corner in a trench cut deep into the surface of the Death Star - one that Rebel Alliance tacticians had highlighted as a fatal flaw in the design - he slammed into a breeze-block wall hundreds of feet high which totally blocked the way. He died instantly. Darth Cheney stepped away from the viewscreen where he had watched the catastrophe unfold and wheezed "So long, sucker". (With Thanks to Mad Comics.)

Now on with some "less travelled" news and analysis, in the time-honored InstaAtrioPundit format of snarky punchposts.

  • Everybody is talking about it - except the mainstream media - that shocking memo from the US embassy in Baghdad which tells of "increasing danger and hardship faced by its Iraqi employees". Yet another rollover for the lapdogs of democracy. The poor poodles have largely lost their ability to do their jobs without their "un-named official sources" feeding them propaganda to regurgitate wholesale.

  • Here's some spot-on analysis: "by refusing to consider a "grand bargain" with Iran — that is, resolution of Washington's concerns about Tehran's weapons of mass destruction and support for terrorism in return for American security guarantees, an end to sanctions and normalization of diplomatic relations — the Bush administration is courting failure in its nuclear diplomacy and paving the way for Russia and China to win the larger strategic contest."

  • Earlier this week CNN reported, to not much reaction, that a laptop containing the personal data of 13,000 D.C. employees and retirees had been stolen. Let us hope that it gives the beaurocrats incentive to help the hundreds of thousands of veterans and servicemen who had their own data stolen recently - and maybe take steps to make sure it cannot happen again. On second thoughts, strike that. Let us hope instead that a laptop with the data of all Bush administration officials, senators and congressmen is stolen - because that would seem to be the only way to make most of them care!

  • Here's another story you haven't seen in the U.S. yet but which is potentially explosive for the Bush administration's relations with the rest of the world and for its' credibility with Americans. The tiny European nation of Bosnia has confirmed that it allowed the extraordinary rendition in 2002 by the U.S. of SIX of its' citizens - after a local court had found insufficient evidence to try them for any crime! That's a clear and extrajudicial breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and will doubtless lead to further questions and investigations in the other 20 nations accused of aiding such illegal acts by the U.S. in Europe. The Bosnians recently did an about-face and requested their citizens be released from Gitmo, where they are now held, but the U.S. has refused. This one will build and spread slowly but will have a major impact on transatlantic affairs, I guarantee it.

  • And another. A former conservative British defence secretary claimed that Britain paid bribes to encourage Saudi Arabia to buy his country's arms in the 1970s. Lord Ian Gilmour told BBC television "In those days you either went along with how the Saudis behaved or what they wanted or you let the United States and France have all the business." Do you really think it has changed any? "The ex-minister's comments come as Britain reportedly nears finalising the sale of 40 billion pounds (74 billion dollars, 58.5 billion euros) worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, almost doubling the 50 billion pounds worth of trade already completed in recent years" continues the AFP report. I keep saying this - you cannot understand foreign policy unless you keep track of the arms trade and its' vested interests.

  • First Lt. Ehren Watada is the first soldier to resist the war in Iraq based on the Nuremburg Principles pioneered by U.S. prosecutors during Nazi war crimes trials after World War II and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (and the United States) in 1950. In my humble opinion he is absolutely correct. 'Nuff said.

  • One from my homeland. Tony Blair has made the Labour Party so unpopular that it admits it is in danger of losing its first election in 50 years North of the border. Next year, the elections to the regional Scottish Parliament take place and the Scottish National Party are well placed for victory. Should that occur, a referendum on whether to take Scotland out of the Union it was conned into a couple of hundred years ago may not be too far behind. As far as international affairs would be concerned, the major impacts would be a new broadly socialist North Sea oil-producing nation to deal with and a perpetually rightwing England. Those are pretty major impacts, mind you...

  • Great satire from Unconfirmed Sources - Senate Surprised To Find They've Voted Texas Out Of The Union, "Former United States President, Senor Jorge W. Bush, was apparently shocked when five minutes after he signed the bill into law he found that due to his signature he and his family were no longer United States citizens and immediately applied for refugee status in the United States, citing the fact that most of his new countrymen would like to kill his ass if they ever got a hold of him. While one might expect this request to be easily and immediately granted, Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff has put a hold on Senor Bush's visa, citing national security concerns." Oh, if only...
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