April 12th, 2003


Childhood antics.

So, the US, told in no uncertain terms that they can't get money out of the UN for their unauthorized war in Iraq unless the UN is given a major political role in the reconstruction of Iraq, decided to hijack the IMF, cancelling the regular point of order and using the meeting to float the idea of the IMF cancelling Iraq's debts to countries the US doesn't like and bringing up the idea of the IMF spending its money to pay for Iraq's reconstruction.

The IMF - wisely - rejected the idea of having their organization hijacked for political purposes and urged "the international community to reach cohesiveness" on the matter. In other words, it told the US to go back to the UN.

...meanwhile, young Billy is in a supermarket with his parents. Billy is with his mother who is shopping for groceries, while his dad is at the pharmacist's desk, getting a prescription filled.

"Mommy, will you buy me some candy?"

"Not right now, dear... you just ate!"

"I want some candy!"

"I said no, Billy."

(Billy stomps off, goes to candy aisle, opens a big bag of candy, starts eating it...)

"Billy, what are you doing?!"

"Will you buy me some candy now, Mommy?"

"No! You'll have to pay for it yourself out of your allowance."

(Billy runs to his father at the pharmacist's counter. Billy is unashamedly holding the opened bag of candy, face sticky with chocolate...)


"Daddy's talking to the pharmacist, son. Wha...? What did you do now, Billy?!"

"Daddy, can you buy me this candy?"

"But what about your allowance? I saw you put it in your pocket before we got here!"

"But Daddy..."

"Go ask your mother."

While Rumsfeld empathizes with looters, Iraq's national treasures pillaged.

The US, through sheer incompetence and self-interest, has allowed relics from the oldest civilization in the world to be looted from the Iraqi National Museum.

A museum employee arrived Saturday to find the offices trashed by looters. The only thing she could salvage was a telephone book-sized volume. With tears, she said, "It is all the fault of the Americans. This is Iraq's civilization. And it's all gone now.''

Not only were unknown amounts of priceless historical objects stolen from the museum, curators have speculated that they may never know all that was taken, because many of their files were also taken during the looting.

So, how many US soldiers would it have taken to protect Baghdad's museums and libraries? A few squads perhaps, with the ability to fire warning shots and even, possibly, shoot to kill?

Of course, this stuff will start to turn up on the black market in a few weeks, and some of it will be bought up by the soldiers themselves, winding up back in the states like so many pieces of Nazi memorobilia and Japanese art did in the past...

Rumsfeld's comments?

"While no one condones looting, on the other hand one can understand the pent-up feeling that may result from decades of repression .... The images you are seeing on television, you are seeing over and over and over, and it's the same picture of some person walking out of some building with a vase, and you see it 20 times and you think, 'My goodness, were there that many vases?'

Stuff happens ... And it's untidy. And freedom's untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things..."

Support freedom. Loot your local art museum today!

This time it's Britain's turn -- Israeli sniper shoots, kills another peace activist

Thomas Hurndall, a 21 year old peace activist from Manchester, was trying to lead a child out of a street where an Israeli tank was located. According to witnesses, he was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper Friday, just seconds after taking the hand of a small girl to lead her away from the scene. He was wearing a bright orange fluorescent jacket with reflective stripes at the time of the shooting. Thomas was comatose upon arrival at Rafah Hospital, and was later transfered to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva where he died of his injuries.

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Thomas is the third recent casualty for western peace activists in the occupled territories. He was shot just blocks away from where Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist, was killed last month. Pacifica Radio's "Flashpoints Radio" features an interview (RealAudio) with a witness to Hurndell's shooting and with Rachel Corrie's family.

More details on Iraqi National Museum looting....

I just saw raw footage of the museum's looting from Reuters. The museum is every bit as destroyed as if you had driven a tank through it.

Surveying the littered glass wreckage of display cases and pottery shards at the Iraqi National Museum on Saturday, deputy director Nabhal Amin wept and told Reuters: "They have looted or destroyed 170,000 items of antiquity dating back thousands of years... They were worth billions of dollars."

"The Americans were supposed to protect the museum. If they had just one tank and two soldiers nothing like this would have happened," she said.

It is a shame that the museum didn't have an official website, but you can still visit some of the the upper and lower galleries of the Iraq Historical Museum online. Tours are were available... and you can read about the work the staff did to preserve these treasures.

This is a sad day for our world because this is our collective history that has been destroyed and pillaged. Today, we are all poorer.

Be good and perhaps bored, or be evil and have fun?!

Looks like Kirsten and I have the choice of two parties to go to tonight.

One we were invited to first and RSVPed for, and although we really don't know the person throwing it very well, she is a nice person... the other party is larger and will have multiple deejays (some who I sort of know), probably have a few guests I know, and is full of gothy goodness!

So, is it right to cancel an RSVP and go to the latter party which sounds more happening?! Dunno. I should get ready though. (Where have my black leather pants gone...?!)

I blame my impure nature (27.5% pure and falling...) and a general desire to lower my score further before I shuffle off this mortal coil. I want to die penniless, debauched, and loved, thanks!
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