And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Helping the United States on Another Front
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies may not be willing to use their forces in an attack on Iraq, but they are now going to do something that could be nearly as useful to the United States -- bolstering the defense of Kuwait, a job now being done by U.S. forces. The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council will send warships, attack helicopters and thousands of troops to Kuwait, with the troops to be moved within the next few days. Two medium-sized warships from the United Arab Emirates are now heading up the Gulf to help guard Kuwait. The UAE is the leading player in this unprecedented deployment, which will go by the name "Peninsula Shield."
French Cheese Boycott?
A French man who sells cheese over the Internet, and gets 80 percent of his business from customers in the United States, says his mailbox is filled with angry complaints from Americans and that his U.S. business has fallen off. One U.S. customer e-mailed "because of the current position your government is taking on not supporting the U.S. at this time regarding Iraq, we are not going to support France in any way." Marc Refabert, co-owner of the business, said he'd decided not to reply to the e-mails. "What good would it do," he said, "I'm not a politician....I don't think it's a very well thought out reaction." The site, by the way, was unreachable today.
Belated Greetings From Congress
Congress has finally gotten around to noting Ronald Reagan's 92nd birthday, five days late, with a resolution recognizing the day. It sailed through the House by a vote of 406 to zero, but it wasn't exactly unanimous. That's because 11 House Democrats voted "present," which is understood as a gesture of protest. Among them were John Conyers of Michigan, Jim McDermott of Washington, and Fortney "Pete" Stark of California.
"G" Is for Gun...
And a school district in Canada has taken the concept of gun control to a new level. Acting on a complaint from a pacifist couple who have a 7-year-old daughter in the Lombardy Public School, the school system has banned the use of the word "gun." The parents said they were shocked when their daughter came home from school having learned "gun" as an example of a word beginning with the letter "G." "I realize," said the mother, Amanda Sousa, "That people hunt in this area but I don't think that warrants the teaching of the word to my daughter or any other child."