Wow! Long gap there. Not that there's any good news I can think of. Well, I suppose the recent killing of Saddam's sons ought to count as good news of a sort. They definitely contributed to making the world a better place by leaving it. Still, even there, the way the "business" was handled manages to create fresh new evils. High tech heads on pikes--much easier to "share" with the masses, and less smelly, too. Of course I'm referring to their release of the graphic pictures of the mutilated corpses. The shallow pretense of "We have to prove they're really dead" is quite thin. The real point is obviously to show very graphically what happens to Dubya's enemies. If someone else does that sort of thing with American corpses Dubya screams and cries about savage, uncivilized, "criminal" behavior. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
All the big questions are supposed to go begging. Most obvious big question is why we were so determined to snuff them. No question that Dubya had overwhelming force--and (as usual) he used it with great enthusiasm. So why not capture them? What was the big rush to kill them so quickly? (Obvious answer: Precisely to make sure that they didn't talk. Additional strong evidence of a desire to destroy any evidence was the almost immediate bulldozing of the site. Sure the Bushies claimed they searched it first, but anything that the sons seriously wanted to hide has been safely destroyed by now. At least the Bushies must be hoping so.) Actually, even better than a secret siege, why not announce that Saddam's sons are under siege and hope that the alleged "loyalists" will expose themselves in desperate rescue attempts. Hah. If I had to bet on it, I'd actually bet that the supposed loyalists are really new Al Qaeda recruits proving their loyalty by killing Americans. Pretty hard for a mole to get into the club if he has to start out by committing a murder. Quite a loyalty test, and in terms of lifelong loyalty, there's no statute of limitations on murder. Anyway, the main point here is that the Americans were calling the shots, but the only shots we were apparently interested in calling were a few quick head shots.
Even the "proof" pretense begs the obvious question of why Dubya's boys have to prove anything, except for the ugly little fact that they've established such tarnished reputations as deliberate twisters of the truth. Actually, the truth twisting to support the "war" (pronounced "slaughter") in Iraq has become something of an issue recently, extending all the way to England with the ruckus over the recent "suicide" of an arms inspection expert who was talking too much about the pressures to slant the reports.
Anyway, who cares? The voters will forget all about it by 2004. And even if the voters remember, or if they're perhaps angry about something else (like the economy), what difference will it make? Didn't even need to count the votes in 2000, but in 2004 vote-rigging voting machines will make the process much smoother. Can't even pretend to check the ballots when the machines never even bother to print them! That's the way to end the long tradition of election fraud! Eliminate the evidence before it ever exists. Voila! No one will be able to prove anything, so no more election fraud, no matter how fraudulent the election!
One more somewhat lesser topic today is about Dubya-related books available in Japan. Recently I've been visiting some bookstores to see what they're stocking, and the results struck me as interesting. For example, in the English section of a large bookstore, they had a surprisingly large assortment of imported works on America and Dubya, etc. These must mostly be targeted at English speakers like me, and the lack of focus suggests we are quite curious and perhaps even confused. I'd say the ratio was about two anti-neocon books for each pro-neocon book, but the prices were reversed, so (assuming equal markups) the profits (= the motivation for the bookstore to import the books) appear to be about equal on each side. I didn't recognize any fence-sitting books. My largest surprise was actually the large number of books about President Carter.
In various (mostly smaller) Japanese bookstores (with very limited English sections), they also have many relevant titles. Mostly these were books translated into Japanese, though some were originals by Japanese authors. I only noticed one pro-Dubya book, a translation of Bush at War. Actually, I'm not even sure if that counts as pro-Dubya. Lots of leeway in the difficult art of translating, and I am sure that the literal back-translation of the Japanese title would be Bush's War. I can think of several possible ways to translate the phrase "Bush at War" while trying to maintain the more neutral flavor of the original "at". That title certainly seems slanted to the Dubya-as-warmonger side, and it makes me wonder if the entire translation might be slanted. Was the title just a marketing trick? Or is it a case of tit for tat, considering the earlier heads-on-pikes topic? Anyway, if the marketing reflects their attitudes, the locals appear quite skeptical. Michael Moore seems especially popular, whatever that means. I myself regard him as amusingly ineffectual.
Big surprise of the day was hearing that the Japanese government decided to send some SDF troops to help "keep the peace" in Iraq. I really can't even imagine the rationale behind this one, even allowing for the all-night debate and final vote at 4 in the morning. Maybe they were hoping the Japanese people wouldn't find out about it if they did it while they were asleep? Actually, I'm sure this one has to be based on some kind of secret deal or maybe even a secret threat delivered by Blair when he visited Japan a few days ago.