Responsibilities of the Oppressed

I was pleased to receive this otherwise-complimentary email today from Jane:

I’m sure you’ve heard from many women on your section [in this week’s column] about Arnold S. “Sexual harassment is serious business, but evidently not to the 16 women involved–none filed charges.” Good lord, man, it’s obvious you’ve never been a woman. File charges? Basic, on-the-job harassment charges, perhaps? And how do you think Jane Doe, Production Assistant, would fare against Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the richest men in Hollywood? Assuming it ever got to trial (instead of settled out of court), would you really give odds on a conviction once Arnold said he was simply joking, it was all very European, he has great respect for women, his wife & her family women blah blah blah? And of course, if Jane had planned to have any sort of career in Hollywood at all, what odds would you give on her being able to continue it? A production set isn’t like a corporate job. A few weeks on the set and you might never have to see that person again, you might be told if you complain. So you ride it out. I’m not making excuses per se — but it is how almost everything goes in that town. The point is that, for economic and professional reasons, women everyday choose to overlook sexual harassment in the workplace. (Not only could I tell you a story or two about the film industry, but I could tell you the same stories about the State Dept. when I worked there many years ago — the one time I saw someone get popped on sexual harassment charges was due to a leaked report, and not because the system worked.) Don’t worry, I haven’t dedicated a voodoo doll in your honor; I just think your perspective isn’t all that realistic on what a woman would be up against in a situation like that. (In terms of power relations, think of it as young female production assistant = Afghanistan, Arnold Schwarzenegger = US and you’ll begin to understand it better, perhaps.)

Jane is right. A woman who has been sexually harrassed by a powerful, wealthy actor would face an uphill battle being taken seriously by her boss, the police and other authorities. Of course the odds of said actor facing punishment are extremely long. This is a function of basic power politics, as Jane points out.

It is, however, your moral duty as a member of society to do whatever you can to prevent predators from victimizing other people. If someone rapes you, and you’re too freaked out/terrified/traumatized to go to the cops, then that rapist goes on to rape again. Your refusal to file charges emboldens him. Even if you yourself stand to gain nothing–quite to the contrary, to face untold humiliation–you become part of the evil unless you take any and all possible actions against the person who hurt you.

Back in the 1970s or 1980s, the women who claim that Gov.-Elect Arnold groped them might never have gotten anywhere with their complaints against him. But, had they filed them, they would have been on the record, and might have prevented his rise to the governorship. Assuming that these women are telling the truth, these women decided to let the evil pass on to someone else.

It’s sort of like The Club, the anti-car theft device you lock on your steering wheel if you live in a big city. The idea isn’t to stop a thief, the idea is to hope that he moves on to someone else’s car. “Victimize her, not me” is not a good prescription for a civilized society…something the Afghans, by the way, understand. Their resistance against the US occupation will eventually cause us to pull out, as it did the Russians and the British before.

Cheney Justifies, Continues Lies About Iraq’s WMDs

From today’s mailbag comes this from J.R.:

That “The War” is bogged down is not factual. The war is over. It was very quick, even by the hasty and shallow judgement of the young. Now it is a remodel job. That people think US is in Iraq for humanitarian reasons is reasonable, being that is why we are there … The 60% that support G. Bush know you walk that road, too. Education of you, us and the Iraqi people is the solution, not cutting down things you don’t understand, that you lump into one fantastic conspiracy theory. The truth is much simpler.

Yes, the truth is simple, but J.R. doesn’t have a clue. The war is anything but over; if anything, it began with the fall of Baghdad. Saddam & Co. knew that they’d never be able to defend themselves from a U.S. military onslught, so they never tried. They planned a protracted war of resistance against a clueless occupier. Unfortunately for us, it’s going even better than expected (from the Iraqi p.o.v.) because we’ve managed to turn ourselves into Muslim Enemy No. 1. Good job, Governor Bush! You’ve really made us safer now!

Yeah, the war’s over…except for the guys getting killed and separated from their limbs every single day. Yeah, we’re there purely for humanitarian reasons…except for the oil and the no-bid reconstruction contracts to Administration-connected companies. Except, except, except…why do people smart enough to own a computer and compose a coherent sentence on it believe such transparently false BS?

Maybe because they’re listening to evil bastards like He Who Gives Press Conferences Hours After Major Heart Surgery:

WASHINGTON – Vice President Dick Cheney argued Friday that critics of the Iraq war advocate a policy of inaction that could risk hundreds of thousands of American deaths in another terrorist attack.

Cheney offered no new evidence that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had posed an imminent threat, as the administration contended before the war. Instead, without drawing a direct link between Saddam and the Sept. 11 attacks, he cast the Iraq invasion as a crucial component of a Bush administration-led battle to prevent even deadlier future attacks.

That strategy would include taking action against governments that could help terrorists gain weapons of mass destruction.

“That possibility, the ultimate nightmare, could bring devastation to our country on a scale we have never experienced,” he said. “Instead of losing thousands of lives, we might lose tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of lives in a single day of horror.”

Here, at a glance, is Bush-Cheney’s twisted association of Iraq with the 9/11 attacks. Yes, a government could one day give terrorists WMDs to be used against the United States. But not Iraq.

Because, Mr. Lieutenant Governor, IRAQ DIDN’T HAVE WMDs. It would be pretty friggin’ hard for Iraq to give something they didn’t have to anyone. Oh, and: IRAQ DIDN’T HAVE ANY LINKS TO AL QAEDA OR OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS.

Administraton liars say that Iraq had links to “terrorist groups.” They don’t specify which ones because they mean Hezbollah and Hamas, groups that have never launched attacks against targets outside Israel. Those groups are clearly a danger to Israel, but implying that they plan to blow up New York City is beyond a stretch–there’s just no reason to believe it.

If a government that DID have WMDs (say, North Korea, which we’re ignoring) decided to give WMDs to terrorist groups with which it had links (Pakistan-Al Qaeda, for instance, but we’re ignoring that too), then we’d be screwed. But Bush’s not interested in protecting us from these real threats.

Cheney largely ignored the continuing violence around Iraq and the lack of broader international help for the U.S. mission there, mentioning only in passing in a 25-minute speech the “difficulties we knew would occur.”

He offered a point-by-point rebuttal to criticisms:

_A team of U.S. weapons hunters in Iraq led by David Kay has so far found none of the suspected weapons of mass destruction that were a main Bush rationale for war. But Cheney focused on other portions of an interim report from Kay that suggested — but did not provide definitive evidence — that Iraq might have had weapons or weapons programs.

The examples Cheney cited included: the discovery of Iraqi intelligence laboratory and safe houses containing equipment suitable for biological and chemical weapons research; a prison lab complex possibly used to test biological weapons on humans; a vial of live botulinum bacteria stored since 1993 in an Iraqi scientist’s refrigerator which could make a biological weapon but showed no signs of having been used; research on Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemmorrhagic Fever, neither considered traditional biological warfare agents; and design work for prohibited long-range missiles.

“Taken together, they … provide a compelling case for the use of force against Saddam Hussein,” Cheney said of the findings. “The United States made our position clear: We could not accept the grave danger of Saddam Hussein and his terrorist allies turning weapons of mass destruction against us or our friends and allies.”

Really. Were the American people told that they were going to lose hundreds of young men and hundreds of billions of dollars over the “possible” lab and a vial of 10-year-old biotoxins? That’s not how I remember it.

Cheney mocked those who have questioned whether the danger from Saddam was as immediate as Bush claimed in prewar days. “As long as George W. Bush is president of the United States, this country will not permit gathering threats to become certain tragedies,” he said.

Here’s Bush’s vile policy of preemption, that justifies attacks against just about any country we feel like it. This is part and parcel of the policy of the neo-conservatives who dominate the Administration. Know them, fear them, remove them next fall.

Despite some fears that the war stirred up more terrorism than it prevented, Cheney said that both Saddam’s and terrorists’ hostility to America “has long been evident.”

This from a real patriot like Dick Cheney, a man who evaded the draft during Vietnam and is destroying fundamental American values, like not invading other nations unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Cheney also responded to criticism he described as advocating that the United States “may not act without unanimous international consent” when its security is threatened — even though virtually no opponents have taken that position.

“It comes down to a choice between action that assures our security and inaction that allows dangers to grow,” he said. “President Bush declined the course of inaction, and the results are there for all to see.”

Those results, he said, include empty torture chambers, new schools, reopened hospitals, improving infrastructure, progress toward democracy and no danger of an alliance between Saddam and terrorists.

Funny, that’s not what Iraqis say. And there never was any such danger, because Saddam and Islamist groups were mortal enemies. Cheney knows that.

Amid the concerted White House public relations offensive, the critics were not quiet. Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean said the administration has “badly misled” the American people.

“We’ve now learned that Saddam was not involved in the September 11th attacks, that there was no strong evidence Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that presented an imminent threat to the United States, that Iraq did not try to purchase nuclear materials from Africa, that Saddam was nowhere near developing nuclear weapons, and that the Bush administration had no real plan for reconstruction once Saddam was gone,” Dean said.

Just so.

Another Reason to Stay Home

According to this follow-up to the story about the Harlemite who kept a tiger and alligator in his 7-room apartment in the projects:

There are 15,000 pet tigers, lions, cougars and other “big cats” in the United States, nearly three times as many as in the wild, said Wayne Pacelle, senior vice president of the Humane Society of the United States. “It’s become … a national epidemic,” Pacelle said. “They’re sold pretty cheaply. You can buy them on the Internet.” Web sites advertise tiger cubs from $500 to $2,000 or more, depending on the breed. Dealers also peddle lion, leopard and cheetah cubs.

Assuming that each of the 15,000 pet, um, kitties lives in its own house or apartment, that means 1 in 6,000 American households is harboring something big, muscular and bitey. Divide your city’s population by 6,000, think about it, and have a nice day.

Saddam Human Tithe Count: 2 Dead, 4 Wounded

Two American soldiers are dead and 4 were wounded last night in our ongoing, peaceful, victorious occupation of Iraq, where we are much loved. The details of this latest sacrifice to Halliburton and Bechtel:

BAGHDAD, Iraq–Two U.S. soldiers were killed and four wounded in an ambush in the same Baghdad neighborhood where hours earlier a suicide car bomb killed 10 people, including the driver, the U.S. military said Friday.

Shiite Muslims denied there was an ambush and said fighters loyal to a radical Shiite cleric battled U.S. troops Thursday night as the Americans approached their leader’s headquarters. Up to two Iraqis died in the fighting and seven were wounded, according to various Iraqi reports.

Witnesses said seven U.S. tanks backed by three low-flying helicopters returned to the area early Friday, but left an hour later without incident.

The U.S. military said troops from the 1st Armored Division were on patrol in Sadr City, the largest Shiite Muslim enclave in Baghdad, when they were ambushed about 8 p.m. Thursday.

Sheik Abdel-Hadi al-Daraji — an aide to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr — blamed the clash on the Americans, saying they opened fire first.

Outside al-Sadr’s office, about 10,000 Shiites gathered for Friday prayers and mourners placed two coffins of Iraqis they said died in the clash with the Americans. Many of the worshippers carried portraits of al-Sadr and his father, a top religious leader who was killed in 1999 by suspected agents of Saddam Hussein.

“Look at how far we’ve come, much further than anyone would have expected,” Bremer told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday. “We’re back at prewar levels in power, we’re back at prewar levels in water, the schools are open, the hospitals are open, and we’re really making tremendous progress here.”

In Sadr city, al-Daraji denounced the American forces occupying his country.

“America claims to be the pioneer of freedom and democracy, but it resembles or indeed is a terror organization,” al-Daraji told the congregation, which chanted “no to America and yes to martyrdom” as the coffins arrived. “The Americans may have forgotten that the real power rests with God and not with the wretched America.”

He accused the Americans of trying to drive a wedge between Iraq’s majority Shiites and minority Sunnis and claimed the U.S.-led coalition was responsible for “manufacturing crises and trying to create havoc.” But he stopped short of calling on Shiites to take up arms against the Americans and instead insisted “we want peace.”

Al-Daraji, like some in the outdoor congregation, wore a white coffin shroud, a custom among pious Shiites to signal their readiness for martyrdom.

Given my own experiences with U.S. troops in Afghanistan, I’m inclined to take Iraqis at their word when they claim that the Americans fired first. They’re a nervous, trigger-happy, bunch. Also, I can’t help thinking of the book “Black Hawk Down” when locals describe low-altitude choppers hanging out over their dusty streets. This caused an enormous amount of resentment against U.S. Marines in Mogadishu, Somalia. Now it’s happening again. I guess the Pentagon never read the book.

Afghanistan Continues Slide Into Civil War; US Stands By and Laughs

While UN peacekeepers sit around Kabul with their thumbs up their ass, northern Afghanistan has plunged into full-scale civil war. My old buddies from my war correspondency days, warlords Atta Mohammad (no relation to the dead 9/11 hijacker) and Rashid Dostum, are tearing up the landscape near Mazar-e-Sharif, a provincial capital city near the nation’s border with Uzbekistan.

Here are some of the lowlights from the Associated Press.

MAZAR-E-SHARIF, Afghanistan – After fighting that killed dozens of people, rival warlords in northern Afghanistan said Thursday that they had reached a truce and would begin withdrawing tanks and other weapons within 48 hours.

But with soldiers squared off along a tense battlefield, it was not clear whether the cease-fire would hold despite assurances from both sides.

The fighting between the two groups — both nominally loyal to President Hamid Karzai — was the worst in northern Afghanistan in months, with one side claiming more than 60 people were killed.

One warlord, Atta Mohammed, said the truce took effect immediately and that both sides would return all weaponry to their bases in 48 hours.

“I am sure this cease-fire will hold,” Mohammed told The Associated Press.

Gen. Majid Rozi, a senior commander for northern warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, confirmed the details of the truce and said the withdrawal of weapons had begun.

The agreement followed talks involving Afghan Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali and British Ambassador Ron Nash.

“If there is no peace in the north of the country, it will damage the trust the international community has in us,” Jalali said after the signing of the truce on Thursday.

Much of the fighting has occurred about 12 miles west of Mazar-e-Sharif, home to 1.5 million people and scene of some of the bloodiest battles in the U.S.-led war to oust Afghanistan’s former Taliban regime.

A spokesman for the U.N. mission in Afghanistan, Manoel de Almeida e Silva, said the conflict was “very intense,” with both sides using tanks and mortars.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the fighting. A government spokesman in Kabul said it was most likely due to disputes over land or access to water, the cause of repeated clashes in the past two years.

The U.S. military in Afghanistan said it was concerned about the fighting and was closely monitoring it.

There are about 5,500 NATO-led peacekeepers in Afghanistan, but they are restricted to Kabul. NATO has drawn up plans to expand the force to other cities, including Mazar-e-Sharif.

Keep being concerned. Keep “monitoring the situation.” No need to leave Kabul. After all, it’s only been two years since you took over.

Still wonder why they hate us?

We’re such losers.

Piehole Quote o’ the Day

From a wire service story about Generalissimo El Busho’s current PR initiative to convince us that Everything Does Not So Suck As Much As You Think:

Bush rejected criticism that progress is too slow in Iraq, saying Americans are not hearing the real story. “It’s a lot better than you probably think,” the president said, adding that people who have been in Iraq are stunned by the stories at home.

He said schools and hospitals are reopening, children are getting immunizations and water and electricity are coming back. “Life is getting better,” he said.

“People who have been in Iraq.” Funny, I was under the impression that the reporters who write about the Iraqi Resistance killing one of our soldiers every day, Shiites rioting in the streets after we arrested one of their clerics, people going months without electricity or running water and get quote after quote from locals saying that things were better under Saddam and that they hate our guts…I thought they were in Iraq too. And they’re probably spending a bit more time, and seeing a little more reality, than Bush’s henchmen like Donald Rumsfeld, as he breezes in and out of fortified American cantonments.

Occupiers always lead the press to showcases like new schools and prisons where the inmates have blankets (today, anyway). Stupid though many reporters may be, they’re smart enough to see through such efforts in occupied Iraq. If the United States doesn’t want to be seen as a neocolonialist occupation form out to exploit Iraq’s oil, it shouldn’t have invaded in the first place. And now it needs to get out.

I’m a Father Confessor to Republicans. They write to me to be led to the light, and are often startled when I engage them in a constructive, civil manner. They are, of course, falling for my evil ploy: to dazzle them with the civility and politeness they don’t hear in their GOP households. (“Shut yer piehole, ya Clinton lover!”)

One such lost soul is my faithful correspondent, Alan:

What about the “where’s the WMA’s?…Gotcha!” inanity that has sorta been your umbilical cord lately? A couple weeks ago, you were demanding Bush apologize to every upright-walking mammal on the plant for his decisions and for him to insist upon his own execution.

On the heels of inspector Kay’s report, as a man of principle a was sure you’d devote this wk’s column to ingesting crow for your own miscalculations. Or was was everything in your copy illegible (except the ‘no WMA’s found’?) like it was for most other lefties?

By the way, which one of the illustrious dozen or so democratic hopefuls do think is the one to cure all our ills?

Here we see a standard rightie ploy: the cry of hypocrisy, reflexively uttered whenever one dares to make a point. I admit it: I hold conflicting views. Life is complicated. Here, however, Alan has failed to find one of these conflicts.

Referring to my column deploring “gotcha politics” this week, he says I’ve been doing the “gotcha” thing on Bush concerning WMDs. No, Alan. Wrong.

Attacking Bush because HE FUCKING LIED HIS ASS OFF isn’t “gotcha politics.” When a man claims to KNOW that a nation (a) has dangerous weapons of mass destruction, (b) plans to use them against us and (c) will kill millions of Americans unless we stop them first, he’d better be prepared to face the music when everything that his critics said–that none of this was true–turns out to be the case. Bush murdered hundreds of US servicemen and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis, and maimed God knows how many more, with his treasonous lies. He deserves to be called to account.

Assuming that Rush Limbaugh is guilty of racist remarks and pill-popping, on the other hand, attacking him for those minor offenses is “gotcha politics.” We can’t nail the guy for being a silver-tongued right-wing demagogue, so we hope he’ll go down on drug charges. It’s BS, pure and simple.

Alan’s clearly doing a little pill-popping of his own on the Kay report, which clearly states that neither evidence of an active weapons program nor weapons themselves have been found in Iraq. Frankly, I didn’t reference the Kay report because it merely confirmed something that right-thinkin Americans knew well before March: there never were WMDs, and Bush was lying all along.

As for the Democratic hopefuls, any of them would be an intellectual, fiscal and moral improvement over George W. Bush. Yes, even Lieberman. Right now, however, my money is on Howard Dean, simply because I think he’s the only candidate who can win. He’s telegenic, fast on his feet and I bet most voters could imagine him as their President. I reserve the right to change my mind, but that’s how I feel now.

Countless correspondents have written to point out that there’s an error in this week’s column. Donovan McNabb, not Donald McNabb. I don’t follow football, and this makes it obvious, but that’s still no excuse to screw up. My apologies to Mr. McNabb.

In this week’s column, I off-handedly mentioned something that I thought had been pretty well-established by now: that Bush “attacked Afghanistan without cause.” Although the protests against invading Iraq were far bigger than those against bombing Afghanistan, in truth many thoughtful Americans have been horribly hoodwinked by the Administration. They don’t understand that, as with Iraq, Afghanistan had nothing to do with fighting terrorism and everything to do with the usual geopolitical grabs for influence over the oil and natural gas supplies which are the lynchpin of modern capitalist production. Here’s an e-mail I got today from John, one of my regular correspondents:

Camon, even for you, attacking Afghanistan without cause????

Where did you come up with that one from????? Do you realize that the only government in the world that recognized the taliban as the rightful government of Afghanistan at the time was Pakistan? Even the UN didnt. So, it is not like we invaded even North Korea or Iran. We gave an ultimatum to the parasite thugs that leached on to the Afghani people. But even if….WITHOUT CAUSE??????? How could you say that??? How could you HONESTLY say that???? Where are you? Is there a real person in there somewhere??

Yes, John, there is a real person in here. Somewhere. And he really needs a shower. Onward and downward:

Those who haven’t found it at Target for $7 like I did should pick up a copy of Bob Woodward’s book “Bush at War.” Written with the cooperation of Bush and his top officials, the book details the Administration’s first reactions to the 9/11 attacks. The so-called neocon wing of the Administration–Rumsfeld, Rice, Armitage–urged Bush within hours after the collapse of the World Trade Center to use the attacks as an excuse to attack Saddam Hussein. This isn’t some liberal conspiracy monger, but the Administration’s official story. Bush decided that the American people hadn’t been properly primed for an Iraq attack, so they decided to go after Afghanistan instead.

Now there’s little doubt that Afghanistan’s Taliban regime had something of an unholy alliance with Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. In fact, bin Laden was in Afghanistan, not far from Kandahar, as of 9/9/01, under the protection of Mullah Omar. But Bush didn’t have any evidence that Osama had carried out 9/11 at the time. As far as we know, he still doesn’t. So attacking Afghanistan to get Osama didn’t necessarily make sense. Furthermore, the Taliban repeatedly offered to turn Osama over if presented with evidence against him–a reasonable request considering that The Taliban had no diplomatic relations with the United States, much less an extradition treaty.

Reliable sources within Afghanistan, however, informed me that bin Laden had fled Afghanistan on or before 9/11 in anticipation of U.S. missile attacks. Where did Osama go? Probably Pakistan’s “Northern Areas,” the Pakistani-held section of Kashmir. This area is extremely rugged and mountainous, and the locals are highly sympathetic to bin Laden’s brand of Islamic fundamentalism. Kashmir is a standard escape route from Afghanistan when the heat is on; that’s where the hijackers of an Indian jet went after the Taliban released them.

Why did Bin Laden leave? Because Bush spooked him, giving him so much advance warning of a U.S. invasion that he would have had to have been an utter moron not to flee. Had Bush really wanted Osama, he would have asked Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan–all U.S. allies–to seal their borders with Afghanistan. Then he would have inserted Special Forces commandos to trap bin Laden and his entourage. The fact that he never attempted to do this proves that capturing bin Laden was never a principal war aim of the U.S. invasion.

Bush’s interest in the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline project, however, is well-documented in my book “Gas War.” Most experts agree that, had 9/11 not provided a pretext for a war, Bush would have invaded Afghanistan by the end of 2001 nonetheless. The details are in my book; sorry, but you’ll have to read them there since I don’t feel like typing the whole thing up again.

But I digress. I do that. Back to John’s letter:

Three nations: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates gave diplomatic recognition to the Taliban regime in 2001. They did, after all, control 95% of the country at the time, and were widely expected to finish off the Northern Alliance by the summer of ’02. The United States and United Nations continued to recognize the Northern Alliance as the legal government of Afghanistan, but in practice had many dealings with the Taliban, who were actually in charge. (The Northern Alliance, meanwhile, received little help from the United States, which had largely given up on it.) For instance, top Bush Administration officials met with Taliban officials in Texas during February 2001 in order to discuss the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline project. I wonder what happened to the beautiful Afghan carpet the Taliban mullahs gave Bush as a present? It was supposedly a beauty.

Yes, Bush issued an ultimatum to turn over Osama. But when the Taliban agreed to do so, Bush refused their offer. Perhaps he wasn’t all that interested in Osama after all; me, I would have loved to hear Osama testifying in court about the interesting meetings he had with Bush’s father. But I can understand why Bush 43 might not have been so interested.

I’ll admit, I don’t understand the North Korea/Iran/Afghanistan comparison. So if the United States invades a nation that doesn’t happen to enjoy full diplomatic recognition from the US and/or UN, it doesn’t count? And what about Iraq? Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had a seat at the UN and was, in fact, recognized by most of the world’s nations. But that’s different–I guess. For some reason that I can’t quite figure out.

So yeah, it was without cause. We weren’t after Osama, we weren’t going after the guys who did 9/11, and we sure as fuck didn’t care about liberating the long-suffering people of Afghanistan. As I write this, NATO is still thinking about maybe possibly expanding peacekeeping outside of Kabul–you know, to 95% of the country. The part that always needed it most. If we had a cause, it wasn’t one we could say in public.

In all fairness, I understand why Afghanistan looked legitimate to some people. The Taliban were foul, they harbored terrorists, terrorists attacked us. But we didn’t act against the Taliban to liberate women, the Taliban offered to turn over the terrorists we demanded, and the terrorists we demanded had nothing to do with 9/11. It was a brilliant act of deception, as demonstrated by the fact that, even now that the Iraq war has become a debacle, most opponents of the Administration, people like Howard Dean, continue to support the Afghan invasion.

Oh, and they’re Afghan people, not Afghanis. Afghanis are the money, like dollars and rubles.

A Reminder for New Yorkers

“Schlock ‘N’ Roll” cartoonist Ward Sutton’s latest project, a gallery event called “Breaking News,” is tonight at 7 p.m. at the Judson Church, 55 Washington Square South at Thompson Street in Manhattan. Check out “special clips from The Daily Show, a presentation from The Onion, a reading by Tom Tomorrow (This Modern World), performance by Zeroboy, music by Joe McGinty & Nick Danger (Loser’s Lounge), animation by Robert Smigel & J.J. Sedelmaier (SNL’s TV Funhouse), as well as artwork by yours truly and others not so truly. I’ll be hanging out, scrounging for food and drink in these difficult times.

Hey, what’s the point of ear hairs? I mean, biologically. Are they nature’s way of protecting us from evil brain-eating centipedes? Surely some evolutionary biologist reading this knows the answer.