Skip to main content _

Barry Crimmins

words to live near



Quips & Comments 6-27-02 Thursday, June 27, 2002

by Barry Crimmins

An anti-Chavez demonstration last week in Caracas, that organizers promised to be full of uniformed military officers, attracted one identifiable soldier, an ex-general, not in uniform but instead carrying it on a hanger. His message: "anyone taking part in this protest has been taken to the cleaners." I'm glad they got God out of the loyalty oath -- now if they'd just get the loyalty oath out of the loyalty oath we'd be all set.

From CrimQuips May 31, 2002: If corporate newspapers are so concerned about downsizing why haven't they done the obvious and merged the police blotter with the business page?

Judging by what WorldCom has done to the stock market, wouldn't a better name be "WorldPanic?"

What we need downsized from the workforce are all of the slimy people who create cash flow and then simply rake as much of it off as possible until someone realizes something is wrong. These people need to have their rakes replaced with picks and shovels -- then maybe they'll learn it's wrong to steal so much that decent people can no longer earn a living from honest effort.

What's Arthur Andersen's excuse for WorldCom? That they were too preoccupied cooking Enron's books to pay proper attention to the scant FOUR BILLION they lost track of at the telecom giant?

It's now clear that the biggest bookkeeping error anyone can make is to let Arthur Andersen near their records.

Andersen may be going out of business but it will remain viable in courtrooms for a very long time.

Gee I wonder which Andersen officials won't go to jail for this latest criminal activity? How long before we learn that WorldCom's MCI was the official long distance carrier for all the calls between Enron and the Court-appointed Bush Administration?

In Massachusetts "MCI" stands for "Massachusetts Correctional Institute" or "prison." After WorldCom any mention of MCI should call to mind prison. Bush has now suggested a democratically elected leader do the right thing and remove himself from consideration for office. Al Gore fell for it, why not Yasir Arafat?

Bush says Palestinians should elect a peace advocate. If the Israelis would only cooperate and let the Palestinian nonviolence advocates out of jail, perhaps it could happen.

Ironically, a democratically elected peace advocate is exactly what the United States needs.

And Israel could use a few, too.

Of course Bush's denunciation of Arafat is probably worth 30 points in the polls for the PLO leader. It's not as if the Palestinians feel particularly motivated to act upon the command of the court-appointed president of the nation that provides blank-check military support for their oppressor.

Since Bush has decided to speak out against a democratically elected leader perhaps he could consider saying a few negative words about numerous dictators and monarchs running amuck throughout the world.

No, that would be wrong. Dictators and monarchs are some of W's best allies in the Purported War on Terror.

Strike those last comments -- Bush would like the ring of "dictator-monarch" too much.

Now that Sharon has decided to annex the West Bank it certainly should cut down on commuting hassles for suicide bombers.

Am I the only one who finds it darkly laughable each time some media dweeb refers to Israel "retaliating" against a suicide bombing. Exactly how does one retaliate against somebody already blown to smithereens?


Pity everyone in Israel and the West Bank right now except for Hamas (and a few spinoff groups) and Ariel Sharon's government. They both want blood at any cost. They want a showdown and have forced it again and again. One challenges the other to demonstrate callous madness and the other always happily obliges. As a result Israelis live in terror and Palestinians live in occupied terror. As it escalates, more and more people give up and join in and support the madness. And so the cycle of violence becomes nearly impermeable.

Yasir Arafat is no hero to the Palestinian people but he at least provides the idea that someone represents them. Wiser voices than his have been silenced because neither Hamas nor the Sharon government want peace. They want war and they want it now. Since they have what they want they'll do whatever it takes to keep some Gandhi from coming along and spoiling it for them. And Arafat certainly doesn't mind when leaders with sane and popular appeal are removed from the political scene.

We must work to learn of the Palestinian nonviolent protest leaders and support them. I know of a few but feel that the last thing they need is for me to name names at a time like this. Judging by the responses I get when I discuss this issue, I'd have to figure there's at least a small chance that someone with the power to harm someone might see my remarks and yet another person would disappear.

If peace is ever to be brought to the Middle East, the first step is to stop sending it war. The area needs no more weapons. Americans can do something about that. A cessation of military aid to Israel would allow the US to speak with sincerity when it says it wants to stop the flow of weapons to Hamas. The United Nations should take charge of these efforts because obviously a US presence would be much too provocative. The US has been a state sponsor of terrorism far too often for anyone to believe it could suddenly become a disinterested and noble party.

Justice is essential for the long-suffering Palestinian people. They need statehood. They need vast amounts of humanitarian aid. They need to make their country safe enough for many Palestinian expatriates to return to help in the rebuilding process. Everyone in the region needs what the wonderful Israeli group demands in its name: Peace Now! And that's no joke.

© 2002 Barry Crimmins