Monday, January 22, 2007

Doom laden...

Or scaremongering?

The second holocaust will be quite different. One bright morning, in five or 10 years, perhaps during a regional crisis, perhaps out of the blue, a day or a year or five years after Iran's acquisition of the Bomb, the mullahs in Qom will convene in secret session, under a portrait of the steely-eyed Ayatollah Khomeini, and give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by then in his second or third term, the go-ahead.

The orders will go out and the Shihab III and IV missiles will take off for Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa and Jerusalem, and probably some military sites, including Israel's half dozen air and (reported) nuclear missile bases. Some of the Shihabs will be nuclear-tipped, perhaps even with multiple warheads. Others will be dupes, packed merely with biological or chemical agents, or old newspapers, to draw off or confuse Israel's anti-missile batteries and Home Front Command units.

Read on.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Russians Love Their Children Too - but don't try telling the Bee Gee in Number Ten that the Iraqi's do...

A seasonal message from Iraq.

Riverbend reflects on the price of delay, overstay and the disaster that our friends in Number 10 and the White House visited upon the Iraqi people and by extension on our people too, or at any rate on those who have the misfortune to find themselves fighting there.

"Here we come to the end of 2006 and I am sad. Not simply sad for the state of the country, but for the state of our humanity, as Iraqis. We've all lost some of the compassion and civility that I felt made us special four years ago. I take myself as an example. Nearly four years ago, I cringed every time I heard about the death of an American soldier. They were occupiers, but they were humans also and the knowledge that they were being killed in my country gave me sleepless nights. Never mind they crossed oceans to attack the country, I actually felt for them.

Had I not chronicled those feelings of agitation in this very blog, I wouldn't believe them now. Today, they simply represent numbers. 3000 Americans dead over nearly four years? Really? That's the number of dead Iraqis in less than a month. The Americans had families? Too bad. So do we. So do the corpses in the streets and the ones waiting for identification in the morgue.

Is the American soldier that died today in Anbar more important than a cousin I have who was shot last month on the night of his engagement to a woman he's wanted to marry for the last six years? I don't think so.

Just because Americans die in smaller numbers, it doesn't make them more significant, does it?"

Predictably she also has her thoughts on the Saddam execution and what it tells us about the Maliki government.

Though we can read our own message into Maliki's pathetic complaints about the woes of office as his bizarre execution-timing backfires. I suspect, however, that this was driven more by a need to see Saddam executed for Bush's sake, before he announced his notably delayed 'new' Iraq policy. Using the execution as a laughable 'achievement line' in the sand Bush will try to talk about part one of the mission being accomplished and an end-game being in sight as he launches a rise in troop numbers after sacking the two senior military commanders who opposed this lunatic policy.

Meanwhile Maliki's talk of leaving office may in fact be an attempt to get US support, having done as Bush asked and timed the execution to insanely bridge the religious festivals of Christians and Muslims and indeed guarantee a symbolically bloody end to 2006 and start to 2007 - not to mention maximising TV coverage

I'm sure Bush wasn't hoping this would work as a distraction from the Democrats seizure of the House and Senate, itself a comment on his failed middle east war strategy (if we can honour it with such a term); but if he was, New Speaker Nancy Pelosi ensured in her opening address that the war didn't slip off the agenda.

Still I'm sure there's someone somewhere (at Harry's Place for example) who thinks its all for the best...

though I'm not sure that Gene at Harry's Place, like many Americans in public life (though thankfully not in comedy-writing), altogether understands irony...

That aside, its a little late for Harry's bootboys to try shyly laughing at themselves now - endearing it ain't.