Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Microsoft Introduces Vista Operating System

The way I see it, Microsoft's new "Vista" operating system will probably do more to convince disgruntled PC owners to switch over to Mac then to upgrade to a newer model. I mean, you'd think that with all of the advancements Vista is supposed to have, one of them would include compatibility with older PC models.

Call me old fashioned, but it doesn't really make much sense to run out and buy a whole new computer if there is nothing wrong with the one you're using. Granted, the technology is advancing in leaps and bounds, but imagine if you had to run out and buy a new washing machine every five years, because the manufacturers were able to figure out an even faster way to clean clothes; and as a result, were cutting off the water to the older washers.

By phasing out the older systems in order to get consumers to continue to pay more in order to keep up, Microsoft is running the risk of losing even more business to Apple. Before when a new Windows operating system was introduced, most people had no choice but to pay for the expensive upgrades needed to run it; but now that there are more options available, consumers are able to think instead of react; which is never good for business.

Microsoft is no longer the mighty monopoly that it once was, which means that they can no longer produce their products with the same "take it or leave it" attitude. Instead, they need to focus more on establishing a seamless transition between operating systems, so that less PC owners are left shopping for new computers... at the Apple store.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Kentucky Derby Winner Barbaro Euthanized

The way I see it, the passing of Barbaro the horse mixes all the sadness of a family losing its pet with the sympathy of a yuppie crashing his sports car. One the one side you can't help but feel bad for those who took care of the animal and tried to nurse it back to health; but on the other hand, these where also the same people who literally rode this poor animal into the ground.

As a sport, I've never really understood horse racing. I mean, it's the horses that do all the work and yet I’m pretty sure that in their minds, none of them are actually "competing". Instead it probably appears to them that the quicker they finish a race the sooner that annoying little man with the whip climbs off their back.

Now as far as the gambling is concerned, that seems to be the only thing that legitimizes this spectacle as a "sport". In fact, if it weren't for betting, I'd say that the odds of people watching horse racing wouldn't be very good.

So basically what we have here is a sporting event in which both the "athletes" and the spectators need to be coerced into participating, through the promise of rewards. For people, it's the allure of fast cash at the race track; while for horses, it's the satisfaction of getting the jockey off their back and perhaps the hope that one day they might get to "retire" and be put out to stud... provided that their legs are still strong enough to mount a mare.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, January 29, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Jane Fonda Attends Anti-War Protest in Washington

What little attention the mainstream media gave to the anti-war protest in Washington appears to have been devoted to the participation of just one person... Jane Fonda.

It seems to me that whenever people have taken to the streets to protest the war in Iraq, the "news" media has always made a concerted effort not to cover it. Whether it's a demonstration of hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands, if the media doesn't report it, then it might as well not have happened; which probably would have been the case in Washington, had Ms. Fonda decided not to show up.

Now, the only reason that I can think of as to why the American "news" media has suddenly elected to mention this particular protest, when they have ignored so many before, is either because they view Jane Fonda's participation as an opportunity to discredit the anti-war movement, or they've allowed they're obsession with "celebrities" to get the better of them.

The way I see it, if the anti-war movement wants the mainstream media to carry their message, then instead of organizing these mass protests with thousands of typical hard working Americans, which end up being ignored by the press, just organize one consisting only of Hollywood celebrities and watch Wolf Blitzer and Chris Matthews get into a fist fight over who will be the first to ask Samuel L. Jackson why he's against the war in Iraq.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, January 26, 2007

Today's Cartoon: United States Introduces New Heat Ray Weapon

Like everything else that has been created for use by the military (like the internet), I wonder how long it will be before the "Active Denial System" finds its way to the general public. I mean if people thought "laser pointers" were annoying, imagine one that could make your face feel like it was melting off your head.

Now, the United States military says that their new toy is completely non-lethal; however, if you think about it, this weapon is designed to make people believe that they are being burned alive, which means that people who actually are on fire would not suffer nearly as long as those who experience any prolonged expose to this heat ray because they are incapacitated and/or being tortured by it.

American officials may claim that this weapon is a valuable new instrument in their continously unraveling "War on Terror", but like everything else the U.S. government has done in the name of "fighting terrorism", there is always some sort of domestic counter-part designed to "protect" the American people (ala. The Patriot Act) to go along with it; but in this case, I believe that they are one in the same. The only real difference between the two, is determining which country to use the ADS in.

Either way, the more advance crowd control technology gets, the more likely the government will want to use it and the more necessary it will become for the military to rely upon it.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Israel President Moshe Katsav Steps Down Over Sex Scandal

You know, I used to think it would be quite difficult for somebody to lose a "ceremonial position" in government... but I guess I was wrong. I mean, I always thought that people were given these posts to keep them out of trouble, not to start it.

Now the way I see it, if the job doesn't carry any real significance or require any real ability, then the only real "task" for the individual is basically to not lose their job; say by forcing oneself upon female employees.

Of course, the accusations made against Israeli President Moshe Katsav are mere allegations (for the moment); and while people should always be treated as innocent until proven guilty, it's probably not the best idea for someone to declare them self innocent of one crime, by threatening to commit another. If indeed a "world war" does erupt in the name of Mr. Katsav's reputation, my only hope is that it's nuclear all the way; so no one would be forced to try and explain it to future generations ;)

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Today's Cartoon: The U.S. State of the Union Address

With President Bush's approval rating at an all time low of 28% going into his State of Union Address, I'm actually a little surprised that he didn't make the most of his opportunity to pander to the audience in order to amass the most standing ovations possible. I mean, if I were in his shoes, I would have said practically anything to get applause because the way things are headed that is probably the only way that he's going to get it.

While most people no longer put much stock in Bush's leadership; when the opposition is honor bound by tradition to applaud during the State of the Union, it is the president's priority to phrase his speech in such a manner so as to put them in a position where it appears to the public that they are clapping in approval, even if they're not. For example, when discussing his unpopular decision to send more troops to Iraq, President Bush was careful to accompany it with an emphasis on "supporting the troops". Even though they are two entirely separate issues, no politician in Washington is willing to risk not applauding the sacrifices made by the armed forces in order to launch a silent protest against Bush's war strategy. This thereby creates the illusion that the applause was not only a show of support for the troops in combat, but for the messed up policy which continues to keep them there.

However, if you ask me, a much easier and more effective way of doing this would have been for the president's speech writers to end every point with some random statement like "I hate AIDS" or "Retarded children are beautiful" in order to manipulate the audience, by forcing them to applaud; and the viewers at home, by making them believe that the President was still popular ;)

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Al Qaeda Mocks President Bush In New Video

You know, it must have felt really nice for President Bush to discover that at least someone in the Middle East approved of his decision to send more troops to Iraq... at least until he found out who that person was.

Well of course Ayman Al-Zawahiri would want President Bush to send his entire army to Iraq. I mean, if it weren't for that little misadventure, chances are the U.S. would have had already caught up to him and this whole "War on Terror" thing would have been wrapped up years ago. Therefore, the longer the United States remains bogged down in Baghdad, the longer Al Qaeda can roam free and continue to tease the Bush Administration on their video blog.

Still, it seems awfully courteous of Al Qaeda to release a message on the eve of America's State of the Union Address and provide President Bush with some context for his speech. You see, with Americans focused mainly on Iraq, people tend to lose track of Osama and the boys, which is why these video blog posts are so important for the terrorists to touch base with infidels; especially around elections and important speeches when Americans tend to reflect on the issues that matter most to them. Nothing says "booga-booga" louder than a video message aimed at convincing people that "Al Qaeda" still exists.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, January 22, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Hillary Clinton Enters 2008 Presidential Race

I wonder how much of the money that gets raised for Hillary Clinton presidential campaign will be donated by Republicans, eager to have her run because she is probably the easiest Democratic candidate for them to defeat.

Immediately following the 2004 elections, the American news media began championing Hillary Clinton as the Democrats next candidate for President of the United States. In fact, it seems that Ms. Clinton's only support has been coming from the mainstream press; however, since they are the ones who control the "opinion polls", they provide her the only support she really needs.

I think Americans would be best served to look past distractive issues like race and gender and focus more squarely on the political background of the candidate. In Washington the last 20 years have been dominated by just two political families: Bush and Clinton. After eight years of the Bush Administration the American people seem eager for a "new direction", but as to whether or not that means electing a first female president is yet to be determined; especially when that woman is Hillary Clinton. You see, even if Ms. Clinton is elected the first female president of the United States, the balance of power in Washington would continue to shift back and forth between just two families (for nearer to 30 years).

I don't know but somehow I get the impression that when most American say they want "change", what they really mean is new individuals, new ideas and new solutions; not merely a "sex-change" operation.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, January 19, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Allegations of Racism on Celebrity Big Brother

Some have described the troubling situation unfolding on "Celebrity Big Brother" involving the racial bullying of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty as damaging to Britain's image of fairness and tolerance; however, the way I see it, this incident is less a reflection of the British people being "racist" as it is an indication of their poor judgment determining who they want to make famous.

While I haven't actually watched the program, or know who any of these d-list "celebrities" are (with the exception of Jermaine Jackson and "Face" from the A-Team) the idea that any of them could possibly reflect the beliefs and the values of the British people is laughable. "Celebrities" are an entirely different breed of people, which is why the producers of "Big Brother" had to give them their own show. Think of it as the Special Olympics of "reality" television. The only way that they can appear "real" is by being grouped with other stars and removed from the rest of society. Any unnecessary intermingling between famous and non-famous people would only serve to dispel the myth that celebrities are somehow more important and deserving of their status.

If anything the fact that thousands of Britons felt obligated to file a complaint with media watchdog Ofcom after watching the program says far more about the feelings and attitude of the British people than what any ex-beauty queen or failed celebrity could possibly say.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Closer to Midnight

Now that the "Doomsday Clock" has been moved two minutes closer to midnight that leaves us with just five minutes to basically bend over and kiss our butts good-bye. Seriously, you'd think that with all of these "experts" warning us of our impending doom, they would have given us just a little more time to actually do something about it. I mean, climate change doesn't just happen over night, so how the heck are we left with only five minutes to defend ourselves from it?!

Well, now that global warning is officially on par with nuclear weapons as the leading cause of "annihilation", the idea of "Doomsday" has suddenly become a little less terrifying to me. You see, if I had my choice between nukes or freaky weather, I'm going with Mother Nature because while she may be a crazy, at least she'll give you a fighting chance (at least for a little while). So the way I see it, if we've only got five minutes to go that leaves us with just enough time to microwave a burrito, sit back, enjoy the warm weather and wait for the fireworks to begin ;)

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Barak Obama Wades into 2008 Presidential Race

In the United States, the "presidential race" has always been white, so if Barack Obama wants to run to become the first black president, then he needs to remember that "race" is not an issue that is going to endear himself with enough Americans to win the "White" House.

You see, for those who are already hesitant to vote for Obama because of his ethnicity, they only have to look at his political record (or lack thereof) to find a convenient and less offensive excuse for not electing him. So, instead of saying that they won't elect Obama because he's black, they can simply say that they won't do it because he is "green".

And then of course there is the issue of his name; and how easily it can be mistaken for "Osama".

Look, as unfair as it may sound, if Barack Obama wants to become President of the United States, he should not use (or allow the media to continue using) his race as the main focus of his campaign; because that is not the reason why Americans would decide to vote for him. Instead, all that bringing up "race" serves to do is distract people away from actually looking at his platform and making an informed decision, rather than looking at him and making an "instinctive" one.

However, if Obama does decide to play the "race card" during his presidential bid, he may want to flip it over to reveal the white side as well.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Saddam Hussein's Half-Brother Decapitated In Botched Hanging

Unbelievable... After making all the effort to sanitize the execution of Saddam Hussein's half-brother and former chief judge in response to the uproar over the hanging of the former dictator, the Iraqi government STILL found a way to mess it up.

Not only that, but after going through all the trouble to make sure that nobody brought any cameras into the gallows to record the proceedings and reveal any unedited graphic footage of the execution to the press, the government then had to go ahead and do it themselves, just to prove to the world that the botched execution of Saddam's half-brother was not "intentional", but more like a pleasant surprise for those in attendance.

Well, I think it's fairly obvious to say that the only reason why we are hearing anything about this is due to the overwhelming difficulties that the Iraqi government would have encountered had they decided to try to somehow conceal the incident; though I'm pretty sure they thought about it.

Iraqi officials have stated that the gallows which were used met international standards in accordance with human rights organizations; however, I tend to remain a little suspect of that claim considering the fact that every time the government has used it, the "international standard" has been to condemn their actions.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, January 15, 2007

Today's Cartoon: US Air Force Strips Sergeant of Duties over Playboy Spread

So, it would appear that instead of deserting to Canada, all that any soldier would have to do to get kicked out of the United States military is to do a nude layout while on active duty. Now this shouldn't be too difficult, considering how easy it is to get a digital camera and access to the internet. I guess the only thing that really prevents this strategy from working to its fullest is the fact that most people have bodies which no one would want to see naked; therefore, if nobody sees it, nobody can be offended by it and thus in a sense the whole pictorial becomes a non-entity (well, except maybe to their families).

The way I see it, the reaction by the Air Force to Sgt. Manhart's nude Playboy spread may be justified in the sense that while the United States military may be perceived as "stretched thin", the last thing they want to be viewed as is face down with its butt in the air. Naked photos of individuals in compromising position are something which the military reserves for its "detainees", not its staff sergeants... no matter how attractive they may be. It is a tool which is employed solely for the purpose of humiliation, NOT stimulation (especially when it involves their own men and/or women); unless of course those in command enjoy the former to such a degree that the lines between two become blurred.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, January 12, 2007

Today's Cartoon: David Beckham to Play Soccer in America

David Beckham's decision to play professional soccer in the United States could earn him as much as $250 million over five years; and yet, he says (with a straight face) that it's not about the money, but rather to "inspire children". Well, if that's the case, then in a round-a-bout sort of way it IS about the cash because what parent is going allow their kid participate in a sport if there was absolutely no chance for them to eventually earn the same kind of money? So while Beckham says that he's not playing for the money, I'm pretty sure that the American children he's "inspiring" will be (through their folks).

Then again, perhaps by stating that he wishes to "inspire children" Beckham is merely hinting that he wants to be the "captain" of his new squad ;)

Still, if I were him, I would double check that American contract to make sure it reads "soccer" and not "football" because a quarter of a billion dollars over five years may not be that sweet of a deal, if that's the amount it’s going to take to peel him off of the astro-turf after the first down.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Today's Cartoon: President Bush Sends More Troops to Iraq

After actually admitting that he had made "mistakes" in Iraq, President Bush immediately went ahead and made yet another one, by condemning 20000 more US troops to Baghdad, to try and referee an escalating civil war (which he created) between two factions that hate each other almost as much as they hate the United States. Although this doesn't make much sense to me, perhaps it is President Bush's logic that while two "wrongs" don't make a "right"... four or five in a row might eventually do the trick.

The Bush administration's efforts to rebuild Iraq have been about as painful as watching someone try to glue together a hornet's nest, after using it as a piñata. Unfortunately, now it seems that the President's "last throes" in Iraq are intended solely as a way of lobbing the conflict onto the next administration, so that it can blow up in their face instead of his.

So while all the king's horses and all the king’s men may not be able to put Iraq together again, at least they might be able to hold the pieces together long enough for his highness to gracefully get out of town.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Today's Cartoon: US Launches Air Strikes On Somalia

Bet you thought Iran was going to be next, didn't you?

Well, it appears that the White House has a little unfinished business in Somalia with those responsible for the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings. Either that or President Bush has finally gotten around to seeing the movie "Black Hawk Down" and decided that he didn't like the ending (in which let's all pray that he never watches "Platoon").

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like the Bush Administration has a bit of a problem with Muslims... or at least those who occupy oil-rich nations, which have no exclusive contracts with US companies. These people are commonly referred to as "Al Qaeda suspects" ;)

You see, while President Bush's crusade, I mean "campaign" against "Islamofascism" has done far more to recruit "terrorists" than eliminate them, the more "Al Qaeda suspects" there are on the loose means the more countries are going to require the US to "safeguard" their resources from them (whether they want it or not). And the only way to ensure that happens is for the Bush Administration to spread democracy, by installing a "friendly" government in every oil-rich nation that happens to become infected with "Al Qaeda".

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Mysterious Smell Causes A Stink In New York City

Thank goodness the gas smell which permeated through much of lower Manhattan was not linked to terrorism; because if it was, I'm not sure how the city would have recovered from it. Now don't get me wrong, New Yorkers are known for their resilience and ability to overcome harsh adversity, but how could they possibly maintain that rugged reputation, if they are forced to scramble for cover every time they smelt something funny... like their cat breaking wind?

Even though public officials have ruled out "terrorism", they have yet to determine the cause of the smell, which means that "mischief" still remains a possibility. You see, much like acts of "terror", shenanigans and silly antics can be every bit as disruptive to the community; but with the added advantage of being more difficult to predict and prepare for. I mean, authorities may be drilled to anticipate certain scenarios, but are they also prepared to deal with the utterly ridiculous as well? In this age of seemingly larger than life "super villains", one would imagine that there would be a plan for just about everything dreamed up in a comic book; starting with "The Joker".

Had this mystery gas somehow been linked to "terrorists", it would have shown that the fear and paranoia created by 9/11 was now it self being used as a weapon to achieve the same objective... more fear and paranoia. And the more of it that gets generated, the easier it becomes for such scare tactics to be effective; which just proves that being "annoying" can work every bit as well as being "dangerous".

Labels: , , ,

Monday, January 08, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Catholic Archbishop of Warsaw Resigns Over Spy Scandal

The resignation of the newly appointed Archbishop of Warsaw amid scandal that he cooperated with Polish secret police during that country’s communist era has sent shockwaves through the predominately Roman Catholic nation; where people are expressing outrage over the fact that instead of serving God, Stanislaw Wielgus decided to serve the government instead.

Now, “Spying” on people is pretty much what the Catholic Church does anyway, except the only difference here is that Stanislaw Wielgus was probably wired up with an audio feed linked directly to the Kremlin and instead of reciting any prayers of absolution, penitents were required to clear their sins by providing him with the identities of other “sinners”.

For all you non-religious heathens out there who may not fully appreciate the severity of this breach of trust by a member of the Roman Catholic Church; think of it in terms of discovering that your computer’s virus protection software was also secretly equipped with its own brand of “spy ware”, which remained undetected until you finally upgraded to an entirely new operating system.

You see, organized religion is a “faith based” system, which means that the only “antivirus” that is provided with it, is the one called “Trust”. Unfortunately, no one can tell if the program actually works or not because to check would indicate that you somehow have a lack of “Trust”, which would therefore mean that it was not “instilled” properly ;)

Labels: , , ,

Friday, January 05, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Nancy Pelosi Elected First Woman to Lead US House

While Nancy Pelosi may celebrate the fact that she is now the first woman elected US Speaker of the House and is literally two heart beats away from the Presidency (well, one and a half if you count Cheney's), she had better not lose sight of the reasons that got her the job, otherwise it could be another 200 years before the American people vote for their next female speaker.

Even though I believe it's a good thing for the United States to experience more diversity in public office; that should never be the reason for voting someone into power. Call me "cynical", but I believe that in politics "accountability" and "reliability" are far more "groundbreaking" than someone being elected merely because of their race or gender. Now, I'm not saying that the only way that women or minorities can win elections in the States is by playing the "race" or "gender" card, or that they serve merely as "decoration"; but when such candidates champion themselves as the "issue" upon being elected, it seems more like they are the ones who are actually saying it.

The way I see it, Nancy Pelosi did not become the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives because she's a lady. Rather, it was it was due to American public's dissatisfaction with the Republican Party and their overwhelming desire for change. As far as I can tell, most Americans didn't even know that Pelosi was making history... until she told them; and even then they probably couldn't care less, especially if nothing really changes because of it.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Pat Robertson Predicts Terrorism Against United States

So, if God told Christian commentator Pat Robertson that the United States was going to be attacked by terrorists in 2007, does this mean he's actually rooting for it to happen? I mean, if according to Pastor Pat, "God" already knows about the attack (months in advance) and all he (or she) is going to do about it is brag to the host of The 700 Club, then it seems to me that God must obviously be in favor of it; otherwise, he'd stop it.

You know, I find it awfully strange that for someone who apparently has the Almighty on speed dial, Pat Robertson's conversations with God sound more like terrorist phoning in a bomb threat. So, are we to assume then that if there is an attack on American soil in the near future that it was done so in "God's name" and that those who carried it out were merely doing the Lord's work? Well, if that's the case, Pat's "God" seems like a much bigger threat to the United States than Osama Bin Laden ;)

I wonder if the Almighty appreciates the fact that not only has Pat Robertson staked his reputation (or what's left of it) on his prediction that “terrorists” will attack the US sometime in 2007, but he has also put the Lord's credibility on the line by claiming that he (or she) is going to make it happen. Talk about pressure!

Personally, I don't believe that Pastor Pat converses with the Almighty any more than everyone else. In fact, I've spoken to the good Lord many times and never once did I hear anything about a terrorist attack on the U.S. You see, people may think that the Jews are God's chosen people, but it's actually the Robertson's with whom the Lord decides to communicate with ;)

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Oprah Winfrey Opens School in South Africa

I don't what it is exactly, but there is something in the way Oprah Winfrey promotes herself, that I find a little bit creepy. I mean, here is a woman that through her long running T.V. talk show has developed this huge following of devotees, who are loyal to her to the point of obsession. In fact, Winfrey has so much influence over her audience, that an endorsement or discouragement (thumbs up or thumbs down) from the talk show queen can single-handedly make or break a company's fortune. To me, this degree of authority (and obedience) should be enough to merit her middle-aged studio audience minions with a "cult" status ;)

No longer content with just her T.V. empire, it appears that Oprah has decided to extend her realm of influence to those without a television, by opening the "Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls" in South Africa. Now don't get me wrong, providing disadvantaged girls a chance at education is wonderful thing; but honestly, does it always have to be about how "great" Oprah is... or did she decide to name the school after herself because "Jonestown" was already taken?

The way I see it, naming a school after someone is alright provided that it's in the context of a memorial. But when it's a "leadership academy" and it's named after the architect, it has the tendency to come across as a wee bit smug. I mean seriously, what kind of example is Oprah Winfrey setting for these children on how to be a "leader", when she had to pay the $40 million out of her OWN pocket to get the place built? ;)

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Today's Cartoon: US Military Toll In Iraq Hits 3000

With the U.S. toll in Iraq now exceeding 3000, with no end (or objective) in sight, it seems that the war in Iraq has become more like a maxed out credit card in the hands of the Bush Administration.

Before invading Iraq in 2003, former Secretary of State Colin Powell famously warned President Bush of the "Pottery Barn Rule", in that if he "broke" it (Iraq) he'd "own" it... which is EXACTLY what happened. President Bush tore through Iraq like a bull through a China shop, shattering its infrastructure and reducing the inventory to rubble. So, as a result of the "Pottery Barn Rule", the White House basically bought the entire store and put itself into such debt in the process, that they have absolutely no idea how to pay it off.

In the mean time, US troops are being used to make Bush's "interest" payments each month; and while Iraq's "interest rate" may be dropping among Americans, it appears that these payments continue to increase, with seemingly no dent being made to the actual core debt.

Now, I'm no expert in “finance”, but if someone can only afford the "interest" on their debt, those payments will continue indefinitely; however, if rates continue to increase then eventually they won't even be able to pay for that any more. So, it seems to me that if the United States wants to free itself of its burden in Iraq, the Bush Administration either needs to think up some sort of miracle plan for paying off its debt, or pack it in and declare (intellectual) bankruptcy.

Failing that, the American people could always try to distance themselves from the White House, by claiming "Identity Theft" ;)

Labels: , , ,

Monday, January 01, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Saddam Hussein Execution

The execution of Saddam Hussein kind of reminds me of the part in the movie “Goodfellas” when Henry Hill describes the manner in which wiseguys are whacked and how it is usually their best friend that ends up doing it. Well, to Saddam Hussein, there was no better friend than the United States. Oh sure, he committed heinous atrocities during his reign and was more than deserving of justice; but it was the emboldening and the enabling of America which permitted him to become the tyrant that he was.

It seems to me that much like with Bin Laden, it wasn’t until after Saddam had used up his usefulness that he suddenly became a burden and an embarrassment to the United States. Despite being supplied with American weapons and intelligence, Hussein was unable to defeat Iran during their eight year war and had basically bankrupted his country in the process. And after unsuccessfully trying to convince Kuwait to help pay his war debts and OPEC to raise the price of oil, Saddam decided that he would take matters into his own hands, a move which ultimately lead to the first Gulf War.

Saddam Hussein was an ally of the United States up until he invaded Kuwait. Prior to that point, everything that he did went unopposed by the White House, basically because he was still fighting Iran for them. But after the war was over, the American government could no longer turn a blind eye to Saddam; especially since he was threatening other allies. So, using the atrocities that he committed (with American weapons) while he was still considered a “friend” to rally the American people against him, the United States Government set in course their plan to remove Saddam Hussein.

To me, Hussein seemed a lot like Joe Pesci’s character “Tommy DeVito”, a ruthless enforcer who used brutality to serve his handlers, but as soon as he stepped out of line and could no longer be controlled, he became way too dangerous for his bosses to keep around, so… WHACK! And much like the scene in which “Tommy” is taken out, the “hit” was disguised as something else. In “Goodfellas”, it was a mock initiation ceremony, while in Iraq; it was a mock trial for “Crimes against Humanity”.

The rush to execute Saddam Hussein comes ahead of his trial for the 1988 chemical attack on Halabja; however, had he been able to testify, it was suspected that the finger would have been pointed at the United States, for supplying him with the weapons. While the exact extend of Saddam’s deals with the U.S. is not clear, it is definitely something that Washington would much rather forget; and the easiest way to do that is by preventing everyone else from finding out.

So, I guess this now means that Kurds who desire the full details of Saddam’s crimes against them, might as well just…“forgetaboutit”.

Labels: , , ,