And now the most scintillating two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
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South African President Nelson Mandela Has Something to Say
Former South African President Nelson Mandela says in an interview published today that "the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace." He was talking about the president' s alleged willingness to act against Iraq without U.N. approval, which he says is "motivated by George W. Bush's desire to please the arms and oil industries in the United States." Mandela also sees race as an element, noting that Israel has weapons of mass destruction, and asked, "Why should there be one standard for one country, especially because it is black, and another one for another country, Israel, that is white?" The interview was given to Newsweek on-line, which writes "Mandela may be the world' s most respected statesman."
Mandela Says Iraq Not a Danger
Mandela, by the way, cast down on the idea that Iraq even has weapons of mass destruction. Citing his authority, none other than the American Scott Ritter, the former U.N. weapons inspector from this country who was last seen expressing his doubts in a speech to the Iraqi parliament over the weekend. Ritter's complete turnabout on that issue has now been further documented by what he said in his letter of resignation as an arms inspector four years ago, when he wrote, "The sad truth is that Iraq today is not disarmed anywhere near the level required by the Security Council resolutions." He added inspectors had "good reason to believe there are significant numbers of proscribed weapons and related components and the means to manufacture such weapons unaccounted for in Iraq today." That was four years ago.
Like Father, Like Daughter?
It now appears that the aides of the McKinney family in Georgia politics may be over. Not only did Cynthia McKinney, famous for her suggestion that President Bush knew in advance of the 9/11 attacks, lose her House seat in a Democratic primary a couple of weeks ago, but her father has now lost his long-held seat in the state legislature as well. Billy McKinney, famous for his fiery and racially charged defenses of his daughter, was beaten in a primary runoff by political newcomer John Noel, who is white. Said the elder McKinney of his defeat, "They did not turn out for me. They wanted a Klansman, a son of the Confederacy." When his daughter lost, by the way, McKinney said she had been beaten by "J-E-W-S."