by Eric Margolis by Eric Margolis
Idiots of the month surely goes to Rep Hoesktra and Sen Santorum for claiming weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. What was found were some 1980’s vintage artillery shells filled with decayed nerve and mustard gas (supplied Iraq by the US and Europe) for use against Iran. The range of the 155 and 152mm guns that fired these shells was maximum 30 kms (18 miles). What’s really scary about this is that the dunce Hoekstra is actually chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
You can’t keep a wicked Muslim down. Just after the US killed its Iraqi nemesis, Zarqawi, up pops a new Muslim malefactor in Mogadishu, Sheik Hassan Aweys, as a leader of the newly-formed Somali government. The US claims Aweys has "links" to al-Qaida and may be sheltering its men. CIA just staged yet another fiasco by trying to bribe Somali clans into attacking the new Islamic regime. The plan failed and CIA’s "assets" had to high-tail it to Ethiopia, from where more anti-Somali operations will be launched. I thought we were supposed to be "winning the war on terror." But terrorists seem to be all over the place these days.
Speaking of Muslims under our mattresses, what about that weird case in Miami, my sometime home. One strongly suspects the bunch of black American and Caribbean misfits arrested after a six month investigation were simply a bunch of pot-smoking motor-mouths chewing the fat about how to get back at "whitey." Why were they arrested now? Because the White House, terrified by Bush’s drop in the polls, badly needs to whip up public fears about terrorism. This is political theater, similar to the arrests of 19-year old, loudmouthed Muslims in Toronto that was billed as Canada’s 9/11.
The assassination by Russian security forces of the previous Chechen independence leader, and appointment of a new one, reminds us of the forgotten war in the Caucasus. There, the Russians have come very close to genocide against the tiny but fiercely independent Chechens, who have fought for 300 years against brutal Russian rule. Stalin sent nearly half the Chechen nation to concentration camps in World War II. In the 1990’s, Moscow forces killed over 100,000 Chechen civilians while the US applauded and sent the Yeltsin regime money. Talk about terrorism? At Beslan, a band of desperate, demented Chechens killed 300 civilians, many children. The world wrung its hands over this crime but made no mention of the genocidal losses, torture, rape and destruction inflicted on the Chechen people.