June 25, 2003


To achieve peace in the Middle East, George W. Bush must first solve the issue of Sammy Sosa’s bat. The Palestine Chronicle explains, sort of:

Americans often boast about how much better we are than the people of the Middle East, but in the past few days we've seen some strange things that raise serious questions about American morality and ethics. American baseball "great" Sammy Sosa may have lied and intentionally cheated to achieve his record-breaking homeruns, using the wrong bats. And Martha Stewart, who has been the icon of mainstream Americanism, has been indicted on charges that she used insider information to profit on some stocks. And we look back and see American icons who have done the same in the past, former President Richard M. Nixon broke the law and resigned from office. Predecessor Bill Clinton lied about his sexual affairs. So why shouldn't Arabs be skeptical about the sincerity of President George W. Bush ... ?

Makes sense to me. Of course, that could just be the narcotics.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 25, 2003 07:59 PM

"Americans often boast about how much better we are than the people of the Middle East"

We do?

I mean, we certainly have grounds for it, but I wasn't aware of any boasting as such.

Posted by: Warmongering Lunatic at June 25, 2003 at 09:15 PM

hmm, so sammy sosa (playing a game with a piece of wood filled with cork), martha stewart (selling pieces of paper based on an insider tip, gorgeously engraved and folded just so), richard nixon (covering up a burglary), and bill clinton (confused about what 'is' means) put our moralality and ethics on par with people who strap explosive on their bodies and blow up busses/cafes filled with civilians?
yeah, we're better.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 25, 2003 at 10:27 PM

Sosa isn't even American.

Posted by: Matt C at June 26, 2003 at 12:17 AM

And of course, Arabs never lie.

Posted by: Latino at June 26, 2003 at 12:36 AM

Mr. Bingley -- Well, from a certain twisted perspective, suicide bombers could prove the superiority of Middle Eastern morality, couldn't it? I mean, say:

"Sure, we have people who bomb innocents -- but so does America. Just look at the Atlanta Olympics, Oklahoma City, or the Unabomber. However, our bombers are at least moral enough to save society from the expense of hunting them down and putting them on trial -- they impose capital punishment upon themselves!"

I'd prefer to point out the murderous, opressive, rights-crushing kleptocracies that pass for "government" in the Middle East.

Posted by: Warmongering Lunatic at June 26, 2003 at 12:56 AM

a reasonable critique, warlun. my only response would be to carry the analogy a little further and ask if the governments of england or australia has paid a bounty/pension to the families of the atlanta olympic/oklahoma city/unabomber bombers?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 26, 2003 at 01:05 AM

Sammy Sosa was suspended. Martha Stewart was indicted. Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace. Bill Clinton virtually guarunteed the ascendancy of the Republicans.

We Americans aren't perfect; we don't think we're fundamentally better than anyone. But we do have a social and political system that discourages destructive behavior, and in that sense, the Arab world could stand to learn a lot from us. The problem is not that the Arabs have criminals in their midst; that is true everywhere. The problem is that they reward them. When did an Arab leader ever resign in disgrace?

Posted by: Nathan Hall at June 26, 2003 at 01:43 AM

Jesus, Nathan. Not fair writing better than the guy who owns the blog.

You are banned.

Posted by: tim at June 26, 2003 at 01:45 AM

I have no problems with anybody being "skeptical about the sincerity of President George W. Bush ...?" But the Arabs might benefit by analyzing some recent history and deciding on that basis how likely it is that the President doesn't mean what he says. If they can be turned up, Osama, Mullah Omar, and Saddam would have some valuable insights on the question.

Posted by: Dave Himrich at June 26, 2003 at 01:50 AM

Tim, you should ban Dave H. too. And while you're at it, please ban that Bingley bloke. Anyone who can't find his Shift key is probably, um, shifty.

Posted by: George Peery at June 26, 2003 at 03:02 AM

Agreed, George. Dave H. is too good, as is Bingley, and several others. You too! You are BANNED! I ban you all!

Posted by: tim at June 26, 2003 at 03:11 AM

LOL!!! Why trust *any* human, then?

Posted by: Monkey at June 26, 2003 at 03:22 AM

sorry george; i was force-fed too much ee cummings as an impressionable teenager

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 26, 2003 at 03:23 AM

Yes, Martha Stewart is the icon of mainstream America.....

Mainstream multi-mega millionaire America!

Posted by: Wallace at June 26, 2003 at 03:39 AM

actually, wallace, she sells the vast majority of her line at kmart to middle-income america

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 26, 2003 at 03:45 AM

I've been told that this is, at bottom, a cultural conflict.

That being the case, and believing that western culture is superior to the culture in opposition to us, I want ours to win.

And I want it to win BIG.

Posted by: Parker at June 26, 2003 at 05:02 AM

parker, you have clearly not spent sufficient time on a college campus recently so that you may learn a proper amount of self-loathing

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 26, 2003 at 05:55 AM

It would be so disheartening if a suicide bomber lit a fuse (or pulled a cord? I have no idea how these things work) and popcorn exploded violently everywhere, startling everyone.

Posted by: Merdog at June 26, 2003 at 06:35 AM

The charge of insider trading against Stewart is outright bunk. Insider trading cannot even be defined, therefore, in common law, cannot have force. Ditto Australia, marked by the conviction of Rivkin.This only leaves police state coercive measures, and that is what insider trading pseudo law amounts to.

Posted by: d at June 26, 2003 at 09:43 AM

Good old d, the common law-obsessed wingnut.

Posted by: Bon Scott at June 26, 2003 at 10:24 AM

This charge is manifestly unfair. Bush TRADED Sammy Sosa AWAY.

Of course, trying to have it both ways, Bush's critics have previously derided that trade as evidence of Bush's ineptitude and stupidity. But now we know it was because he sets high standards for character.

Posted by: Mork at June 26, 2003 at 12:32 PM

Obsessed, may be Bon Scott, particularly when governments of common law countries have been constantly shredding it. Britain faces the worst nightmare if the supra European Soviet republic is effected, that will be the end of common law in Britiain full stop.
Common law, Bon Scott, for your edification is the only tradtion which delivers what `human rights' campaigners and other tard communards assert as their concern, liberty. And, like it or not, Bon Scott, even freedom of speech in Europe is notebale for the absence.

Part of the the `laws' for the New Grand Soviet includes blasphemy laws, it is a crime to criticise the EU and institutions. Not making this up Bon Scott: it is true.

If you pondered things a tad more carefully, you also might be unhappy with what federal, state and local governments of Australia are busily doing. It might shock you, Bon Scott, but city types , while they don't say so in public, do say it in private, their are now so many departments and agencies of governments which now exercise what are nothing less than police state powers, inclusive of the ATO.

If it is an obsession, Bon Scott, it is a good one and worth reiterating whenever the opportunity arises. As for fucktard politicians , judges and lawyers, busy in one mad rush to finish of common law, you are first rate shits who ought to be sacked.

Posted by: d at June 26, 2003 at 03:24 PM

I'm too busy worrying about the erosion of liberties through that nice shiny new ASIO act to worry about all that stuff, d.

Or, at least, I would be worried - but I have the luxury of being dead already.

Posted by: Bon Scott at June 26, 2003 at 05:46 PM

Whether the Asio act does or does not erode liberties is a matter which is rather late in the day .The real damage, the `stuff' your'e,Bon Scott, beyond worrying about because you are dead, has already been done.There is certainly no indication the real damage is about to be reversed by the pertinent governments in the near to medium future.

The root problem is corruption, the reality of too many whose interests are bound up with government. This amounts to an inbuilt political bias which does much to ensure the ever onward march of almighty government.
The distinction between the Coalition and the Alp is, almighty government is an overt aim of the ALP, but it is solidly embraced by the coalition.The colaition having raised much coercive legislation is as damnable on the score as the ALP.
I'm not mentioning the greenies and the dems, they're transparently so communisto tards.

Posted by: d at June 26, 2003 at 06:32 PM