Tuesday, March 18
Genre: Animal Jokes

Late one night, a burglar broke into a house he thought was empty. He tiptoed through the living room but suddenly he froze in his tracks when he heard a loud voice say, "Jesus is watching you!"

Silence returned to the house, so the burglar crept forward again. "Jesus is watching you," the voice boomed again. The burglar stopped dead again. He was frightened.

Frantically, he looked all around. In a dark corner, he spotted a bird cage and in the cage was a parrot. He asked the parrot: "Was that you who said Jesus is watching me?"
"Yes," said the parrot.

The burglar breathed a sigh of relief and asked the parrot: "What's your name?"
"Clarence," said the bird.

"That's a dumb name for a parrot," sneered the burglar. "What idiot named you Clarence?"
The parrot said, "The same idiot who named the Rottweiller Jesus."


Things to Come
Paul Krugman, New York Times, 18 March, 2003

Of course we'll win on the battlefield, probably with ease. I'm not a military expert, but I can do the numbers: the most recent U.S. military budget was $400 billion, while Iraq spent only $1.4 billion.

What frightens me is the aftermath —

The members of the Bush team don't seem bothered by the enormous ill will they have generated in the rest of the world. They seem to believe that
other countries will change their minds once they see cheering Iraqis welcome our troops,
or that our bombs will shock and awe the whole world (not just the Iraqis)
or that what the world thinks doesn't matter.
They're wrong on all counts.

Victory in Iraq won't end the world's distrust of the United States because the Bush administration has made it clear, over and over again, that it doesn't play by the rules. Remember: this administration
told Europe to take a hike on global warming,
told Russia to take a hike on missile defense,
told developing countries to take a hike on trade in lifesaving pharmaceuticals,
told Mexico to take a hike on immigration,
mortally insulted the Turks and
pulled out of the International Criminal Court
— all in just two years.

Nor, as we've just seen, is military power a substitute for trust.
Apparently the Bush administration thought it could bully the U.N. Security Council into going along with its plans; it learned otherwise.
"What can the Americans do to us?" one African official asked. "Are they going to bomb us? Invade us?" [...]

Meanwhile, consider this: we need $400 billion a year of foreign investment to cover our trade deficit, or the dollar will plunge and our surging budget deficit will become much harder to finance — [...]

It's a matter of public record that this war with Iraq is largely the brainchild of a group of neoconservative intellectuals, who view it as a pilot project.
In August a British official close to the Bush team told Newsweek: "Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran."
In February 2003, according to Ha'aretz, an Israeli newspaper, Under Secretary of State John Bolton told Israeli officials that after defeating Iraq the United States would "deal with" Iran, Syria and North Korea

What scares me most, however, is the home front. Look at how this war happened. [...]

...But I can't help worrying that in domestic politics, as in foreign policy, this war will turn out to have been the shape of things to come.
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