Someone recently said that the individual idiocies of the world are morphing into a collective force.
A survey of quotes and comments from recent news reports would suggest that process is well on its way.
Let's start with these observations from guests at Saddam Hussein's 65th birthday party, as reported by London's Daily Telegraph:
"Amid the throng of turbaned and moustached figures, Anne Fahey, 55, from Melbourne, represented the Australia Iraq Friendship Society. "I know from my own experiences here that the president is supported and loved by his people, contrary to the Western media propaganda," she said.
Martha Roos, 66, a white South African from Pretoria, added her praise. "Saddam is an outstanding, strong person. I can't understand why Bush wants to get rid of him," she said."
Her son, Stanley, lives and works in London.
Another Nobel Peace Prize Winner Speaks Out
In a speech given in the U.S. and carried in the United Kingdom’s Guardian newspaper, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu accused Israel of practicing apartheid in its policies towards the Palestinians.
The Nobel peace laureate said he was "very deeply distressed" by a visit to the Holy Land, adding that "it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa".
Tutu said he saw "the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about".
The archbishop attacked the political power of Jewish groups in the United States, saying:
"People are scared in this country, to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful — very powerful.
"The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust..."
Think about that for a second: Archbishop Desmond Tutu compared the "Jewish lobby" to Hitler, Stalin and Idi Amin. And like many Palestinian sympathizers, he's upset about the "humiliating" checkpoints and roadblocks set up by the Israelis. Might I make the radical suggestion that the Israelis wouldn't need roadblocks if the Palestinians weren't sending so many suicide killers?
Apartheid was based on racism. Israel's security policies are based on the fact that the Israelis are surrounded by 300 million people who want to kill them. Are you incapable of telling the difference, or do you simply not care?
The Shallowest Women in Canada
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls...more wonderful, wacky whimsy from Globe and Mail columnist Heather Mallick.
"I watched the Pirelli Tower in Milan burn after a small plane flew into it, and regretted that after everyone fled, the ugliest landmark in an already ugly city was managing to stay upright. That cinderblock-and-glass factory in the air looked cardboardy enough to collapse. But the Milanese don't get that lucky. Come friendly bombs, indeed."
HA! Where does Ms. Mallick come up with this stuff?
Hey, some guys broke into a Jewish settlement in Gaza and went around from house to house shooting women and children while the men were attending synagogue. Four civilians were killed, including a five-year old girl. In her bed.
An anonymous source has sent me an advance copy of Mallick's upcoming column on the subject:
"Unfortunately, the terrorists used guns to kill sleeping children, which kept these bourgeois American-style suburban houses standing. They could have used high-caliber Semtex explosive to blow up the whole settlement, but we weren't that lucky."
First, Ralph Nader tried to capitalize on Sept. 11 by saying his proposed safety regulations (thicker cockpit doors, mandatory viewing of PBS documentaries which would put hijackers to sleep, etc.) would have prevented the terrorist attacks.
And now, this from the NRA.
"National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told his association's convention in Reno, Nevada Saturday that if airline pilots had been allowed to carry guns, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against New York and the Pentagon wouldn't have happened.
'What would have made 9-11 impossible? If those pilots on those four airplanes had the right to be armed. When you think about it, they should have been armed 30 years ago. It's a no brainer...'
LaPierre said airline pilots should be trusted with firearms in the cockpits because they are very disciplined workers and could do a better job protecting airline passengers than federal air marshals."
Okay, they're disciplined. But I have two questions:
What if the pilot, even after months of training, is simply a lousy shot?
While the pilots are shooting the hijackers, who flies the plane? (Yes, I'm familiar with autopilot, having seen Airplane!...but what if they forget to turn it on during all the commotion?)
I can't read this story without thinking of Homer Simpson using his gun to turn on his TV set and open his beer. Is there anything guns can'tdo?
The good people at Middle Eastern Media Research Institute have uncovered an interview and an opinion piece with Dr. 'Adel Sadeq, chairman of the Arab Psychiatrists Association and head of the Department of Psychiatry at 'Ein Shams University in Cairo.
Here are some excerpts:
"...As a professional psychiatrist, I say that the height of bliss comes with the end of the countdown: ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And then, you press the button to blow yourself up.
When the martyr reaches 'one,' and then 'boom,' he explodes, and senses himself flying, because he knows for certain that he is not dead… It is a transition to another, more beautiful world, because he knows very well that within seconds he will see the light of the Creator.
He will be at the closest possible point to Allah… None in the [Western] world sacrifices his life for his homeland. If his homeland is drowning, he is the first to jump ship. In our culture it is different..."
This is the head of a university psychiatry department.
"There are no Israeli civilians. They are all plunderers. History teaches this… I am completely convinced that the psychological effect [of the attacks] on the Israeli plunderer is [the realization] that his existence is temporary… They have become completely convinced that their existence in this region is temporary….
On the strategic level, there must be a pan-Arab plan in order to reach our goal. The goal of all of us is to liberate Palestine from the Israeli aggressors. To use words that some people no longer like to use today: 'We will throw Israel into the sea.' This phrase, by the way, is the truth. Either they will throw us into the sea, or we will throw them into the sea."
Did I mention that this is a psychiatrist?
"The real means of dealing with Israel directly is those who blow themselves up. According to what I see in the battle arena, there is no [other means] except for the pure, noble Palestinian bodies. This is the only Arab weapon there is, and anyone who says otherwise is a conspirator."
Next time you hear about Palestinian "conspirators" and "collaborators" getting lynched, remember that line.
When Damian Penny is not blogging at Daimnation!, he practices law in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada.
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