Thursday, November 18, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Raise the Roof! The Debt Roof, That Is.

Waiting for the Man-istan The United Nations warns that Afghanistan is on the verge of becoming a "narco-state," since the only economically productive activity in the country is growing poppies for heroin production. The UN recommends that NATO, which is currently occupying Hamid-istan (the tiny part of the country ruled by U.S. puppet Hamid Karzai), start fighting the drug producers as well as the terrorists. "We're supposed to be fighting the terrorists?" NATO responded, quizzically.

Cage Match Settles Nothing Surprise, surprise: The Arab press seems to be the only ones reporting news of a Marine intelligence report saying that, despite the huge operation in Fallujah, the insurgency will continue to grow not only in that city but throughout the country. Events are bearing them out: Militants have launched numerous attacks in Mosul and Kirkuk this week, while continuing to set off bombs in Baghdad and to attack members of the Iraqi civilian government.

The Eighties Revival Has Run Amuck Vladimir Putin, into whose soul George Bush has famously peered, has weirdly announced that Russia is currently building a new nuclear missile system "unlike any weaponry held by other countries." Putin, who veers from day-to-day between claiming to be a staunch ally of George Bush and a sinister menace, is definitely racking up the "sinister menace" miles with this one. Experts say it's a response to Bush's own long-held plans to create a missile defense system over the United States, which if true, would signal the return of a low-level arms race. Red peril, anyone?

Elliott Abrams, Globe-trotting Asshole Convicted felon Elliott Abrams, currently botching the Middle East section of the National Security Council, is looking like he will soon be getting a new job: Ambassador to Israel. Abrams, who plead guilty to a number of charges stemming from his involvement in illegally funding the Contra terrorists, was a key Reagan administration figure in the formulation of disastrous foreign policy for that regime. The news comes along with what must seem like old memories for Abrams: the Bush administration is bypassing the rabidly pro-Israel evangelical Christians in Congress and giving $20 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority, although this time it's legal for some reason. Hey, I guess I can see why they want Elliott Abrams: bypassing Congress to give millions of dollars to terrorists is something he knows a lot about.

Cops to Ashcroft: Drop Dead In a speech to the nation's largest association of law enforcement executives, outgoing Attorney General and tit-fearer John Ashcroft said that in his four years as AG, he has succeeded in making the country much safer from crime and terrorism. He probably should have remembered not to lie to an audience full of people able to refute him. Now, the 20,000-strong International Association of Chiefs of Police is firing back (so to speak), saying that the Bush administration has actually reduced the ability of police departments to fight crime and terrorism, and that the country is more vulnerable on the local level than it was before September 11. Particular ire from the chiefs is aimed at the Bush administration's elimination of the $10 billion federal program started by Bill Clinton that allows departments to hire new cops. Yes, this is a Republican administration that wants to eliminate the CIA and reduce the number of cops on the streets. What world is this?

-Consider Arms