Friday, May 14, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Okay, Let's Try This Again.

All You Had to Do Was Ask Politely, Muqtada Al-Sadr Marc Grossman, a State Department official, told Congress this week that if the interim Iraqi government that "takes power" on June 30 asks, the US will pull all its troops out of Iraq. He said, rather ominously, that he doesn't expect such a request, though.

I Win the Race to the Bottom! Among friends of mine, there has been an informal, unspoken competition to find the lowest, vilest, most cynical and awful response in the mass media to the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. From John Derbyshire's National Review Online blog:

My mental state these past few days:
1. The Abu Ghraib "scandal": Good. Kick one for me. But bad discipline in the military (taking the pictures, I mean). Let's have a couple of courts martial for appearance's sake. Maximum sentence: 30 days CB.
2. The US press blowing up the Abu Ghraib business: Fury at these lefty jounalists doing down America. They just want to re-live the glory days of Vietnam, when they brought down a president they hated. (PS: They hated him because he was an anticommunist, while they themselves tought communism was just fine.)
3. GWB apologizing to some barbarian chieftain for Abu Ghraib: Disgust. Correct approach: "Mind if we film some footage in YOUR jails?"
4. Revelations about sexual hanky panky in US armed forces: Outrage. I want to see someone cashiered -- a general, at least. This is no way for soldiers to behave when on active service. Gross, unpardonable violation of military ethics. Whose damn fool idea was it to mix men and women in the same units?

Beat that, ladies and gentlemen. I have looked into the abyss, and it self-consciously uses prissy, anachronistic British expressions.

In Your Face, Vajpayee! The global wave of Leftist victories continues, with the Congress Party of India winning a stunning, sweeping victory over the right-wing Hindu Nationalist BJP in elections yesterday. It looks like Italian-born Sonia Gandhi will be the new prime minister in a coalition government that relies heavily on Communist support. I have to say to the Indian voters: thank you. In addition to the victories in Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Spain, this is a positive sign that the worldwide flirtation with rightism and intolerance is at last coming to an end. Next up: November elections in the US.

The Cost of Living I don't make very much money. I live in a small apartment in a bad part of town. When I had to put a few hundred dollars' worth of repairs into my car last week, it wiped out what little savings I had. However, last night, I paid $2.10 per gallon for regular gasoline, and I couldn't have been happier. That's because I know every cent above two dollars is another dagger aimed at the heart of George Bush's re-election campaign. Let's keep that demand high, people!

Today's "Thank God It's Friday" Special Here's a possible candidate for inclusion on the long-planned Mix Tape of Death: a San Francisco duo has taken the text of seven Donald Rumsfeld press conferences and set them to music, with a woman's soprano singing the words over a chamber music accompaniment. Act surprised at Christmas, MLWL staffers.

-Consider Arms