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Showing posts from September 16, 2001
Remora Very, very sad -- the drumbeat of anti-Middle Eastern discrimination. Read this NYT story . Some Passengers Singled Out for Exclusion by Flight Crew , that leads: : "In San Antonio on Monday, Ashraf Khan, 32, a mobile phone salesman who was trying to get to his brother's wedding in Pakistan, was ordered off a Delta Airlines flight. The plane's captain, Mr. Khan recalled, told him that the flight crew did not "feel safe flying with you." A Delta spokeswoman said the airline was "aware of this incident and takes this matter very seriously."
Jesus wept, Dan Rather stifled sobs on the David Letterman show, and my sister writes me that last week she broke down crying one day, out of the blue. I did too -- the tears seemed always close to welling up, last week, whenever the news was on. Tears, male tears, always have a monumental glister if shed prominently enough. This week it was Rather who shed/didn't shed them -- rather he fought them back, swallowed them, allowed no leakage. Causing the commentariat to rush into print with glosses on his close call. Here's Mr. Showbiz : "Rather, who has been working extended shifts as the CBS News anchor, described what it was like at the crash site. Fighting back tears, he told audiences that they'll never hear the lyrics to "America the Beautiful" the same way again. Rather also pledged his support to President Bush. "Wherever he wants me to line up, tell me where," Rather said." The rather odd willingness of this sixty somethin
Remora Interesting series of articles about Islam and Women. This one The G-Diaries: No Woman, No Cry? shows that the Taliban's gender apartheid is not only immoral, but, as the Yankee heart would expect, bad business. "Afghani women were highly educated and employed: 50% of the students and 60% of the teachers at Kabul University were women � as were 70% of school teachers, 50% of civilian government workers, and 40% of all doctors in Kabul."
Remora I was going to post a long bit about the politics of tears tonight -- but alas, I have to finish this article for the Statesman early tomorrow, so I have swallowed a sleeping pill and written to Miruna and now I intend to sleep. Tomorrow, for sure, the tears piece - from Jesus to Edmund Burk and beyond. I promise.
According to the WP this morning, some of the hijackers may have been using fake names. "FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said Friday that the bureau had "a fairly high level of confidence" that the hijacker names released by the FBI were not aliases. But one senior official said that "there may be some question with regard to the identity of at least some of them." The uncertainty highlights how difficult it may be to ever identify some of the hijackers who participated in the deadliest act of violence on American soil. Most of the hijackers' bodies were obliterated in the fiery crashes." I am amazed at two things: one is the ability of an apparently widely dispersed, cover group to actually carry through on its mission; this is still the puzzle at the center of the atrocity; two is the the relative incuriosity of the media about the disparity between the FBI's manifest incapacity to uncover the conspiracy before it hit its targets,
Dope. One result of the present Crisis is that I've had to read books I never wanted to read. Just thinking about the Middle East gets me depressed. But manfully I assumed the weblogger's burden, and last night read John Cooley's book, Payback, about the US vs Iran vs Israel vs Syria conflicts of the 80s. Today I've been reading Out of the Ashes, Patrick and Andrew Cockburn's book about the ressurection of Saddam Hussein in the aftermath of the Gulf War. Let's talk about the Cockburn book a bit, since Cooley's book, although a swift bit of reporting, is really history. The American view of the endurance of Saddam Hussein is a curious case of the public swallowing anything in order to preserve its inertia. The story is, the Gulf war was stopped because of the immemorial respect that the US bears for UN resolutions -- and since the UN resolution said that we were intent on freeing Kuwait, we simply freed Kuwait. If the Republican guard, Hussein's
Dope. I try to run this place like a Punch and Judy show. Usually, I play Punch, and I get some conservative retread to play Judy. And of course I'm enthralled by my own theatrics. Well... reluctantly, I want to play this game with an idea that is going around the lefty pole of the media spectrum. As Seumus Milne put it in the Guardian: " Nearly two days after the horrific suicide attacks on civilian workers in New York and Washington, it has become painfully clear that most Americans simply don't get it. From the president to passersby on the streets, the message seems to be the same: this is an inexplicable assault on freedom and democracy, which must be answered with overwhelming force - just as soon as someone can construct a credible account of who was actually responsible. "...any glimmer of recognition of why people might have been driven to carry out such atrocities, sacrificing their own lives in the process - or why the United States is hated wit
I have a problem with my reblogging comment tool - it doesn't work. I have received some comments, though, so I thought it wouldn't be indiscrete to put these up. Comments From my friend Bernat in Barcelona, I received this: I have been checking your website everyday and I have found it illuminating (except the first day, when you were probably still not believing what had happened!). Bush is reaping the fruits his father sowed in the Middle East. Every one here is shocked and horrified, pundits talk about the beginning of the XXI century and the new paradigm, bla, bla, bla. It is true that a lot of things might change, but how is another question. After the fall of the Berlin wall, everyone thought we were beyond history, in this new liberal society... Now even those Europeans who might have been antiamerican and against USA foreign policy are shocked because their frame of reference has been shaken.I imagine the new scenario will be determined by whether
Dope I was thinking of writing about gout today... because I have surely written enough about the bombing. I was talking with some friends a couple of days ago about gout, and one of them said, well, what is gout? And I thought, what a perfect topic... Well, who am I fooling? We live in a time when the margins will not hold, and are drawn magnetically to the center, to the images, topics, imbecilities, commonplaces, pans, and cant of the Network news. So okay. Last week, when the WTC slaughter was 8 hours old, I was watching the shot of the towers fall, in rotation, on the tv, over at Don and Senem's house. Senem is from Istanbul, and she said something I thought perspicacious - she said, the Turk in me says, blood for blood. The Turk in me utters the same cry. But certainly that shouldn't be the last word on the subject. Since last Tuesday, I've seen Senem a few times, and each time, after I've said various things that aren't in the American pep rally sp
Remora Pogram watch. In Dallas, someone has already tried to torch a mosque. And in today's paper there are stories of three killings, one of which is certainly because the victim was a Sikh - which shows that pograms in America are conducted with maximum stupidity as well as hate, since Sikh's are not, you know, Moslems. Sikh Owner of Gas Station Is Fatally Shot in Rampage Important graf: "The police in Mesa, Ariz., arrested Frank Roque, 42, on two counts of attempted murder, in the shootings. The killing of the gas station owner, Balbir Singh Sodhi, was under investigation. The East Valley Tribune reported that Mr. Roque shouted, "I stand for America all the way," as he was handcuffed. And while the police have not declared that the shootings were motivated by the victims' ethnicity, they have notified Federal Bureau of Investigation officials who investigate hate crimes." So, Mr. Roque stands for America all the way -- God help us all
Remora It is always a pleasure to find one's views shared by some more expert person. This is particularly true with my views, which sometimes feel, even to me, so eccentric as to be irrelevant. I'm a raver. In any case, for those looking for some clues to the Taliban's history, check out this interview with a Pakistani journalist: Interview - 2000.08.10 key graf (especially given what I have written in earlier posts): "I think the U.S. and Iran have a lot of common ground on Afghanistan, and this issue could prove a catalyst to improve their relations. They are both threatened by the Taliban and want to see peace in the country and a diminishing of the Taliban's power. Officials from both countries have told me they are working together quietly on Afghanistan at such forums as the U.N. in New York and in neutral capitals such as Ashkhabad in Turkmenistan."
Remora Has the New York Times ever been this bad before? I usually read the Times first. I depend on it, in spite of its weakness for simpleminded neo-liberal mantras, its lack of interest in the juicier stories in the city it is based in, and its arrogance. It is the best paper in America. But this week, my faith in that last claim has been shaken. Example: For the last eight months, the NYT has published some rather snipey articles about Bush. This week, as if in repentence, they have taken to publishing toadying article about our child Commander in Chief. Topping them all is R.W. Apple's analysis of Bushiepoo today, which (under a snippy title - Bush Presidency Seems to Gain Legitimacy ) discerns, in the zigzags and radically distributed power of the current regime (the first presidency, in my lifetime, in which the vice president's words are routinely given more consideration than the president's), growth. Of course! -- That magic American quality, which takes a