Tuesday, February 27, 2001

Christopher Hitchens has made quite the case against Henry Kissinger. Of course, what is striking about all this is not the venality of Kissinger or the fact that he should be punished for his actions, but that the case against him has not been made before in any 'mainstream' publication, and Kissinger is treated in the United States as some sort of hero. It would be nice (but naive) to think that Kissinger's generation is the last to get away with its crimes.
Clinton has always represented that aspect of American politics that is internationalist, rather than nationalist, in scope. He is in favour of free trade, U. S. military intervention where it can help promote the 'American way', and the general promotion of peace and prosperity through breaking down the prejudices inherent in national borders. He seems to see himself as a man of the world, too great to be held down by old-fashioned notions of nationality (or morality, for that matter). So when he encounters a case like that of Marc Rich, another great man trying to do great things on the international stage, but caught up by petty trade and tax laws, a man like Clinton can't help but feel sympathy. He is shocked that most Americans don't see the pardon as he does, and his surprise explains a lot.

Monday, February 19, 2001

Did lawyers break their professional ethics in the course of their highly aggressive advocacy of tobacco companies? We're fortunately just starting to see an idea in play which was never even considered before - that all the powers of a natural person that corporations have managed to obtain could be pared back. Perhaps the normal solicitor-client privilege could be rethought for corporations.
People are starting to realize that all the attacks on Clinton (destroyed White House offices, stuff stolen off the plane, improperly taken gifts, pardons) were an extremely successful ruse by the Bush people to get Bush through the first few weeks of his illegitimate reign with all focus away from Bush and the Democrats in defensive disarray. This is only possible because the members of the lazy and stupid press corps simply re-type whatever is handed to them, and make not the most rudimentary attempt to check anything. Then when Bush says not to follow up on the allegations as he wants to make a fresh start, they treat this as an example of how much of a statesman he is!
As I understood it, Barak's recent political campaign was based on the premise that he was the only one to vote for if the people of Israel wanted a chance for peace. Immediately after his huge defeat he joins the cabinet of the guy he was running against! One could be forgiven for seeing the election as some sort of shell game. Whatever shell you turn over, you get exactly the same thing.

Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Patrice Lumumba, President of the Republic of Congo, was mysteriously assassinated on January 17, 1961. Laurent Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (same place, slightly new name), was mysteriously assassinated on January 16, 2001, one day less than 40 years later. Since the people who do these types of things are crazy about symbolism, my guess is that Lumumba was actually assassinated on January 16. Kabila's assassin, killed immediately so as not to be an inconvenient witness, becomes the Lee Harvey Oswald of the Congo. The Lumumba assassination is still a live issue.

Saturday, February 10, 2001

Chile is making amazing progress in dealing with Pinochet and his government's horrors, while paradoxically heading farther and farther down the road to the evils of globalism and predatory capitalism.

Friday, February 09, 2001

Suck is unusually astute in its article on Our Lady of Fatima.

Thursday, February 01, 2001

This is an excellent article from Lumpen on how techniques developed by the CIA to create coup d'etats in other countries were used by the Bush people in the current American coup d'etat. This is an even more ironic example of 'blowback' than usual!