Thursday, March 6
Web site hears from Dick Cheney after parody involving wife
Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, March 6, 2003
Vice President Dick Cheney's office has spurred an unusual dispute by asking a Web site that parodies the Bush administration to remove a satirical biography and pictures of the vice president's wife, Lynne Cheney.
After receiving the request in a letter from Mr. Cheney's counsel, the Web site doctored the photographs of Mrs. Cheney, adding a red clown nose and blackening out one of her front teeth, said its creator John A. Wooden.
"The letter is, if you read it carefully, it is only a request," he said. "But there's really no such thing as a request from the vice president's office. It's a threatening letter."
The New York Civil Liberties Union said yesterday that it would go to court to defend the parody's posting if Mr. Cheney's office did not back down from its request.
"They should know better — this is pure intimidation," said Christopher Dunn, associate legal director of the civil liberties group.
--Whitehouse.org's Mrs Cheney page
--Letter from the Vice President's Counsel
--Whitehouse org's: Mrs George W. Bush page
--Whitehouse.org's: Bush Administration page
--Whitehouse.org's: Office of Fraternal Affairs page
Right takes centre stage
Brian Whitaker, The Guardian, March 4, 2003
At the annual dinner of the American Enterprise Institute last Wednesday, the US president, George Bush, gave a speech outlining his political visions for Iraq and Palestine, and what he sees as the link between them.
"Success in Iraq could also begin a new stage for Middle Eastern peace, and set in motion progress towards a truly democratic Palestinian state," Mr Bush said. [...]
The Bush approach effectively postpones, for several years at least, any real attempt to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and its justification for doing so is bizarre.
Adopting a thoroughly US capitalist view of terrorism, that suicide bombers are only in it for the money, Mr Bush wants to wait until the funds for Palestinian attacks on Israel have been cut off.
He goes on to suggest that other countries allegedly responsible for funding Palestinian terrorism must be dealt with after Iraq. They include Syria and Iran, but also, according to the Israelis, Saudi Arabia and the EU.
Once these regimes have been sorted out, there will still be the problem of suicide bombers who are not trying to earn a bit of cash for their families, but are supposedly attracted by the prospect of 72 virgins awaiting them in paradise.
At that stage, Mr Bush may have to consider further military strikes to bring about regime change in heaven: that could prove to be an especially interesting confrontation. [...]
Curse be on your moustache, Kuwait warned
Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian, March 6, 2003
A senior aide to Saddam Hussein threw diplomatic niceties to the wind yesterday, bringing disorder to an emergency summit of Islamic states when he yelled "Shut up, you monkey!" at Kuwait's minister of state for foreign affairs.
Years of bitterness between Iraq and Kuwait boiled over at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in Qatar, when Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri responded to an inaudible interruption from the Kuwaiti minister of state, Sheikh Mohammed Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah.
He called him a monkey and added: "Curse be upon your moustache!" - an idiomatic phrase impugning the minister's honour.
Sheikh Sabah responded immediately to Mr Douri, the second-in-command of Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council, accusing him of "hypocrisy and falsehood".
As Mr Douri then went on to accuse the Kuwaitis of insolence, betrayal, and being an agent of the US, Kuwait's information minister, Sheikh Ahmed Fahd al-Ahmed, jumped to his feet and waved a miniature Kuwaiti flag.
But the meeting's chairman told him: "We are not here for such exchanges." The 56 countries at the summit last night ended their session inconclusively, [...]