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  • prequel

    "Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.” -Jane Perrone, The Guardian

    Friday, March 21, 2003  
    8.08PM FRIDAY 21st MARCH 2003
    Day Two of the second phase* of the War on Tourism – the attack on Iraq.
    The reason why I call it the War on Tourism is because that seems to be the actual effect of the so-called War on Terrorism (the White Houses' preferred name for it) - it seems to be affecting and curtailing tourism rather than terrorism.
    Airlines are suffering massive losses as people stay at home.
    Not that I care if conglomerates that make twenty billion dollars a year suffer a downturn and make only fifteen billion dollars a year instead.
    Not that I care if culture bound First World bourgeois yuppies can't go to Morocco to pretend and delude themselves into thinking that they're cultured and worldly and ever so earnestly patronize the locals but, nonetheless, the downturn in tourism is just one result of the fear and hysteria that certain Western governments have instilled in their populations – which, as far as I'm concerned, is the definition of terrorism, terrorism is fear.

    *The first phase – Afghanistan – was more of a mopping up operation than a war.

    Regarding Allied allegations that Saddam is not disarming, that’s nonsense because he's very disarming – with that little paunch, moustache, impish grin and avuncular manner about him, I think he's very disarming.
    As for disarmament of actual weapons, it's also not true that Saddam hasn’t disarmed – Saddam's been disarming for twenty-three years.
    He "disarmed" against the Iranians, he "disarmed" against the Kurds, he "disarmed" against the Kuwaitis, he "disarmed" against the Allies and he "disarmed" against the Shiites etc.
    He "disarmed", divested of and got rid of massive amounts of weaponry during all those campaigns.

    Yesterday on CNN I saw a report from Dearborn Michigan, which is one of the major concentrations of Arab Americans, from some sort of Shiite Iraqi Islamic centre whatnot.
    They were all, naturally, opposed to Saddam.
    The sheik who was being interviewed was pretty revved up in favor of the war and, to prove the unanimity of his point and its urgency, was asking those gathered if they hated Saddam and wanted to see him go etc (in a rabblerousing rally-like demagogic fashion).
    He then asked them "who here hasn’t lost a member because of Saddam Hussein?" and they all agreed that, yes yes, they’ve all lost "members" because of Saddam Hussein and started chanting "yes, yes Mr. Bush".

    On wars eve – Wednesday 19th March – at the quiz at the Shamrock, one of the questions was "what color are the gondolas in Venice?"
    We answered "black" and that was proven correct when Chris read out the answers but Peter Bollocks called out "bollocks, they're all white, they're Eyeties".
    He wasn’t joking either – apparently he'd confused "gondolas" (the actual craft) with "gondoliers"(the people who row the craft).
    "Sweaty" (David Shanks) popped in – he'd been ordered out of the country, as have a lot of foreign nationals, by his company.
    They had told him to leave that very night but he said that he couldn’t on account of the pub quiz so they agreed that he leave on Thursday morning.
    The British Embassy have advised all "non-essential" nationals to leave the country, as have a lot of embassies, and he was jokingly kind of offended that he was "non-essential".
    Chris Lambert and Peter Casey (who are staying) say that they can't leave because they are indeed "essential" – they keep the pub in business as they're always there drinking there.
    I was telling Sweaty that it doesn’t make sense for him and other foreign nationals to be advised to leave the country because there's no war in Lebanon whereas their respective countries are at war so they're essentially leaving a country at peace (which happens to be about a thousand kilometers away from Baghdad) to return to countries at war (the United Kingdom in Sweaty's case).

    Another amusing pub quiz error was when another team (whose paper we were correcting) answered ‘’Ponce Pilate’’ instead of Pontius Pilate.

    They say that the first casualty of war is the truth.
    The first beneficiaries of war are the alleged NGO's, alleged aid organizations and alleged charities etc.
    A friend of mine, who's involved with such organizations, was gagging for a war to start.

    Two days into this war, I can say that this war sucks and that the first one was definitely better.
    As is often the case, the sequel isn’t as good as the original.
    I'm barely watching it - in contrast to watching the first Gulf War practically around the clock.
    I just turn it on every now and then to see live footage of nothing and every now and then what the American authorities claim is an address by President George W Bush or what the British authorities claim is an address by Prime Minister Tony Blair (ala and on the pattern of news reports that say "in what the Iraqi authorities claim was an address by President Saddam Hussein" – there are a lot of rumors that Saddam was killed in the first strike of the war and that images which we've seen of him since are either one of his doubles or prerecorded).

    It's a truism to say that the world is dominated by economics but it appears that the media is increasingly dominated by economic "news" too – which in my opinion is not really news but course and vulgar philistinism and indirect advertising.
    One can see why this is so – media companies are, after all, a part of the whole corporate establishment scheme.
    So basically it's narrow corporate vested interests pushing and pursuing their own agendas and publicizing and advertising themselves and their ins and outs, machinations, profits, losses and whatnot and fooling an overwhelming part of the population that this is actually news.
    These people don’t know any better – they’ve been brainwashed throughout their entire lives by the corporate machine.
    From kindergarten on – what is formal education but a corporate training and brainwashing camp?
    To wit, if you remonstrate with these people they'll spout the propaganda, publicity and the advertising of the corporate machine – proof in the pudding and evidence of the actual efficacy of the twenty four hour business news machine.
    It works – they're getting their message across and the masses are propagating and parroting that.
    The WorldCom collapse for example.
    Despite what some New York talking head Jewish analyst interviewed on CNN says, it does not affect somebody in Bangladesh for example and if it does, which is highly unlikely, then it shouldn’t – even if it is true, that doesn’t make it right.
    Bangladeshis may be affected by the WorldCom collapse for all I know – they might lose their two dollar a day sweatshop jobs.

    8:08 pm

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