Thursday, January 04, 2007

Saddam Snuff Pix Nixed? Too Late.

In an Abe-adminstrationly belated, as well as half-hearted (or –assed, as WS would say), attempt to contain political fallout, the US administration has been putting out word that they opposed the Eid ul-Adha (or eve thereof, depending on where and who you are) execution and sought a delay, and the Iraqi government has been trying to give the impression that an inquiry is being started. I can understand the Shiites overdoing the victory parade; there wasn't much downside to pissing off the Sunnis by dissing Saddam, if only because there isn't much downside left after all that has happened over the past three years and a half. But the US could have taken the Geneva Convention and… oh, I forgot; America doesn't care about the Geneva Convention.

Okay, that was a cheep shot, smearing the whole US of A with the charge of disrespecting international law. I have to admit, though; it is exhilarating to use slanderous generalizations to smear whole nations with whatever pet peeve of the day a body is nursing at any given time. So is that why they do it to us? Or maybe that's the way you get yourself published. But I digress.

Almost two months after the US midterm election, what's truly astonishing is that people aren't astonished that the whole world is still left guessing what George Bush is going to do in Iraq, including Mr. Bush himself. It isn't as if the situation has changed measurably in the last six months, let alone two, except further entrenchment of well-armed, well-funded sectarian and, apparently, intra-Shiite violence. He should have made up his mind a long time ago, at worst no later than the day he fired Donald Rumsfeld. Instead, we are treated to the months-long drip drip drip spectacle of media figures and purportedly inside sources telling us which way he's leaning at any given time, and what the military's take on it is. Talk about "slow children playing", Mr. GHWB.

Maybe we just get used to these things, in the same way that US military casualties have become not much more than a numbers game in the US as well. Here at least, the Bush administration has been remarkably successful.

I had intended to save these thoughts for the two-month anniversary. But I'm guessing lot's of other people will be doing the same that day. And where's the fun in jumping on the bandwagon?

Rant over. Now, I hope to go back to more rational thoughts, hopefully on Japan-related themes.

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