All entries for Friday 29 December 2006

December 29, 2006

Saddam Hussein to be executed tomorrow?

Writing about web page http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/12/29/hussein/index.html

So it looks like the Iraqi kangaroo court has heard the appeal and decided that the execution should proceed and it’s looking increasingly likely that it will happen either later today or tomorrow. Tomorrow is, coincidentally 30/12/2006 , just one day short of the New Year.

So it looks like Bush will have some propaganda victory as his party staggers into 2007 under the weight of the Iraq war, Foley(gate), the losses incurred in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Now he can claim that justice has been served, another mission accomplished and an evil dictator has been “wiped off the map” (wahay!). He can gloat that justice has been served whilst at the same time shy away from completely condoning it.

“We salute the Iraqi people and their quest for freedom and democracy against al-qayder and terrism, and we hope that today will mark the end of an era. An era of rape rooms and soldiers seizing babies from incubators. But you know, being the civilised civilisation that we white…. I mean Americans are, we don’t condone the death penalty. Except in Texas (and other states). Where we execute the mentally-handicapped. And heck, you know them there on death row have several chances to appeal. It can take a long time to execute someone. But when it comes to a former head of state who’s become a political nuisance… well ‘Justice’ is always best served quickly and efficiently!

At least he got the vague semblence of justice instead of a “9mm Labotomy” – or a “window in the back of his head” or whatever charming phrase jingoistic, gun-toting Americans are using today – in his cell. So let’s see how this pans out.

As an aside, the media circus is increasingly stomach-turning. I was just watching CNN and my skin crawled as the announcement came. It reminded me of that satirical scene in Starship Troopers concerning the criminal due to be excecuted “Execution live at 9.00, all channels”. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s live coverage of the execution.

So, whatever you might think of Saddam, there are two things I remember him for, back from my youth:

1) An interview with Trevor Macdonald (I think it was just before the Gulf War whilst America was gathering UN support for “ejecting Iraq from Kuwait”) in which Saddam Hussein was speaking Arabic through a translator. The translator mistranslated something – Saddam paused, looked at his translator and told him to translate it properly. Was quite surprising and an insight into the dictator. As shitty a commander as he was, he had some cunning.

2) Another quotation. I can’t remember when it was said (or to whom it was said) but I remember my father quoting it to me sometime after the Gulf War. I’m paraphrasing but it was essentially:

Reporter: Mr. President, what do you think about the threats coming from Qatar and Bahrain these days?
...
Saddam Hussein : Qatar? Bahrain? Ha! I’ll tell you what I think of Qatar and Bahrain. I took Kuwait in a week. I’ll take Qatar in a day. And I’ll take Bahrain by fax.

For some reason, that still cracks me up. Sadist with a sense of humour perhaps?


CSI Miami…

I don’t expect much from a lot of the TV shows I watch on a regular basis. I put them on in the background while I read or play video games or learn vocab.

One of the shows I enjoy “watching” is CSI Miami. I watched Seasons 4 and 5 with my girlfriend (pausing every five minutes to say (wait so that’s his dead brother’s wife or his girlfriend? Why does that blonde one have a stalker? etc. etc.) and I liked it. I think the acting’s of a pretty good quality and there’s something of a James Earls Jones quality to Horatio Cane’s voice. It’s not quite as deep, but it has that same disarming and calming factor. Even when spouting off the usual SLAP-ME-BEFORE-I-SLAP-MYSELF cliches/puns that crop up in every episode with at least one just before the title screen. Just this minute he’s come up with “She should have been seeing the time of her life here in Spring Break… not the end of it”.

Anyhow, the rant. I can live with the idea of Cane being some sort of combination of Police Chief/Lieutenant/CSI/Vigilante/Man-of-the-family. Hey, it’s fantasy! I can live with the idea that a woman can wear skin-tight clothing whilst somehow concealing a kevlar vest (wait… we can see the shape of her boobs… and she’s wearing a bullet-proof vest? Oh my!). I can even live with the idea that these guys can increase a picture’s resolution “Hey gimme a close up on quadrant 19 of that shitty mobile phone picture. Can you give me a close up? OK can you clear it up a bit? Well shit, of course you can! Now I can see a license plate in the reflection on this guy’s sunglasses! How convenient!”

What I can’t live with is the fact that these guys are forensic scientists. And they have to be told some of the most elementary scientific facts in order for the story line to progress.

For example, one of them receives a dose of alpha radiation. The Ditzy Blonde bullet expert says something like “Well what does that mean?”. Speed then has to explain the differences between Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation to her (not that he does a good job of it). WHAT THE HELL. I remember this stuff back from when I was 12 years old. I can appreciate that not all audience members will know bits and pieces of basic physics but Christ, give us some credit. Make one of the CSIs explain it to a Police officer or even a child. It drives me absolutely crazy.

And if I hear a CSI say to the other for the billionth time “Oh you have a print? Run it through {what is it? AFIS? That fingerprint database})” I will strangle myself with my own socks. HE’S A CSI TOO. HE’S JUST BEEN WORKING ON GETTING THE PRINTS. YOU DON’T THINK HE KNOWS ENOUGH BY NOW TO RUN IT THROUGH THE FRICKING DATABASE? WHAT DO YOU THINK HE’S GOING TO DO? “Oh we have a viable print? Better file that away and never do anything with it. EVER.”

God damn.


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