Gosh, just can't get away from the jokes in these busy days. Too bad they aren't trying to be funny. Just read that the US is effectively pulling out of Saudi Arabia, except for some instructors. That's the main thing Bin Ladin wanted. Remember him? The guy who actually supported the 9/11 massacre? Kind of fell out of the news, but now we're apparently doing all the things he wanted. Disposed of Saddam, and getting out of Saudi Arabia. What more could he ask for? Trying to figure out some way to interpret that as an American victory, especially when you add in all the billions of dollars spent and more thousands of innocent people killed. Sorry, but it just doesn't seem to add up. Blaming Saddam for 9/11 has to be another part of the joke, but it still ain't funny. More like insane.
Whoops, forgot the important issue of the day: SARS. That's the one we're not supposed to think about yet. Not sure why they're downplaying it so much, since it has the potential to become pandemic and in that case would do much more damage than the infamous Spanish Flu after WW I. More deaths than the war itself. In most ways this is much worse, but modern medicine is much better and no one knows what will happen. So far the Chinese are still trying to keep it under control, though they seem to be losing, and it's also in Canada, too. Not supposed to be any risk of spread from Canada, but it's very likely to escape from China at some point, and then things will probably become really bad--unless the rumors about it being an American bio-weapon test turn out to be true. In that case, as soon as it seems to be going pandemic, there will suddenly be a "miracle breakthrough" and a vaccine will suddenly be given to all the fine Americans and Brits--where "fine" probably means "loyal supporters of King George". However, for now I still think it's just a natural disaster, and hopefully real science will conquer it. Sure hope they don't need any of the copious resources under Dubya's control. He doesn't even believe in evolution, so why would he buy into their scientific explanations that the disease is evolving in a dangerous way? "It must be God's righteous wrath smiting those Chinese heathens!!"
Well, in retrospect it's hard to call it much of a war. How about "Slaughterhouse Iraq"? America officially spent $75 billion for the month, give or take a few billion. What's a few billion dollars among Dubya's friends? Iraq's related expenses were estimated around $1.5 billion equivalent. Not quite a cakewalk, but close enough. I think the biggest joke was American complaints about an "asymmetrical war", when virtually every aspect of the asymmetry was in our favor. Not yet clear if they actually killed Saddam or if he took a powder after an assassination attempt of opportunity, but if the whole point was to kill him, $75 billion certainly seems ridiculous. The Russian mafia could have handled the job for a few million. I'm sure they've hired some old KGB boys for just that sort of thing. Ongoing costs are unknown, but we should be delighted that Iraq is now able to follow our wonderful principles--at least the 2nd Amendment principles. Apparently an extremely large number of fully automatic weapons up and disappeared in the chaos, and it's quite safe to say that most of them will never be traced. Oh well. Everyone already knew it was a tough neighborhood.
WMD? You remember WMD, don't you? The reason we did all this, right? Well, turns out we still can't find anything, so the latest claims are that our wonderful intelligence just didn't discover that they'd all been destroyed or sent somewhere else before the "war" even started. Kind of outrageous propaganda insofar as we insisted we had solid proof and that was our rationale for killing all those Iraqis. They're still counting, but around 2,000 civilians certified dead so far. But who cares about such trivia as Iraq rapidly slides into various forms of anarchy? So far the only evidence of unification is that all the strong factions want the Americans to get out of their country.
Lots of details of various sorts in the news, but hard to keep track of all of it. Actually, I've realized the bigger picture is not just information overload, but outright "information malnutrition". The mass media is fully controlled by right-wing fanatics, and they eagerly provide a stream of information pabulum, mostly focusing on blood and gore that support the desired environment of fear, with an occasional juicy gossip story. A much broader spectrum of information on the Web, but who can find it? Especially significant that Google appears to be increasingly exercising their censorship powers, which is almost as good as deleting a Web server altogether. It's not that there is an absence of important information that should be reaching the voters, but that tiny trickle that would be vital for the nourishment of real democracy is being blocked up as effectively as possible. The most glaring example remains Cheney's national energy policy as forged by Enron and friends. That certainly should have been vigorously pursued and exposed by Congress, but instead those worthless Congressmen just sat back and let the GAO struggle futilely for a while, and now it's apparently a dead "non-issue" as to how Cheney and friends are robbing the nation.