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Copyright© 2001-2010, Renato Obeid
"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
Monday, June 28, 2004
The most relived man in the world today would have to be America's equivalent of Chris Patten*, L Paul Bremmer, who handed over power to the Iraqi's today, and flew out, two days ahead of schedule (he couldn’t wait).
Except in superficial appearance this is no different than the scrambled frantic evacuations by helicopter from the roof of the besieged American Embassy in Saigon as the city feel to North Vietnamese forces in 1975.
The Americans are on the run and are now effectively absentee landlords ("just send us the money").
The ahead of schedule handover of Iraqi "sovereignty" reminds me of my own handover of sovereignty.
In 1988 when I was in Year Twelve, school authorities called us in to an assembly two days before the official last day of school break-up and told us that, as of now, our school careers were over.
This was done to forestall the high jinks that invariably occur on such occasions.
Was new Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi busy preparing flour-bombs for Wednesday's designated handover, was President Ghazi al Yawar going to pour a bag if sugar into Principal Bremmer's petrol tank?
To this day I still regret the abrupt termination of my schooling – apart from the fact that I would have been two days smarter, the sudden handover was anti-climactic.
Your last day of school is different and enjoyable when you know that it's your last day of school – it's not the same if it's just sprung on you.
I'd give anything for those lost two days, I don't think that the Iraqi's would though.
*Although there's a big difference between the Hong Kong handover and the Iraqi handover – Hong Kong was built by the Brits and handed over ,still in its box, to the Chinese to ruin whereas the Americans ruined Iraq and handed over the pieces to the Iraqi's to fix.
Watched the Czech Republic defeat Denmark 3-0 on the big screen at Paddy's.
I'm no expert but I think that the Danes should have sent on referee Urs Meier* to win the game for them.
He did it for the Portuguese - the Swiss rolled England on Thursday night, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory for them.
Quite a contrast to tonight's referee who played a shocking game – didn’t even get a single touch, in fact I saw him running away from the ball several times as if he were afraid of it!
On top of that, I saw several incidents of handball – two blokes at opposite ends of the ground couldn’t keep their hands off the ball!
And what did the police do?
Sweet FA Cup!
There's one rule for hardworking people like you and me and another set of rules for them!
How can Britain enter the Euro zone whilst those Europeans have got their hands on our balls?
They’ve got us in a vice!
Renatoobeidsworld is mounting a campaign against this and urges its readers to write to Romano Prodi and tell him to get his hands of our balls!
(Guess who spent hours reading The Sun on the weekend looking for dirt on Urs Meier?).
*The Most Hated Bloody Foreigner in England was "Fourth Official" according to the UEFA website – he didn’t look very official to me , I only saw him a couple of times, holding up those signs that tell players to come off
It's a bit rich hearing the Americans constantly carrying on about "foreign fighters" in Iraq when they themselves have got hundreds of thousands of them there.
Sunday, June 27, 2004
OMO BASHIR - ETHNICALLY CLEANSES IN HOT OR COLD WATER!
US Vice-President Kofi Anan describes the situation in the Sudanese province of Darfur as "close to ethnic cleansing".
Why doesn’t he just re-brand it as "I Can't Believe It's Not Ethnic Cleansing"?
Mr. Anan will meet Sudanese President Omar Bashir in Khartoum late next week.
Friday, June 25, 2004
THE EMPIRE STIRKES BACK
Urs Crier is now crying foul about the harassment campaign mounted by some elements of the British press and public against him – particularly the publication of his home telephone number in the Cockneystan Sun – saying that he's concerned about his family's welfare.
Fair enough, that is indeed reprehensible and beyond the pale, but if this serial adulterer, now shacked up with another woman*, was so concerned about his family then why did he leave his wife and kids for another woman?
Concern, like charity, begins at home – his family home not in some Alpine love nest.
*Source: the internet, so it must be true
The purpose of US Secretary of State Colin Powell's upcoming visit to Sudan is, according to press reports, "to highlight the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding there".
What's he going to do?
Go over there and physically point to it and say "yesiree bob, that there is a genyouwine youmanitarian catastrophe unfolding there, make no mistake about it"?
Or maybe he can get a giant yellow highlighter pen and highlight it that way.
We know what it is!
We now need to do something about it!
What’s there to fight for in Sudan anyway?
Just like those POLISARIO dudes in Western Sahara claiming that one patch of sand is different from another patch of sand and that they should thus be given sand independence.Why cant’ they all just get along and play together nicely in the sandpit?
Thursday, June 24, 2004
END IT LIKE BECKHAM
- missed Beckham penalty kick ends England’s Euro 2004 participation
TWO GULF WARS AND NO WORLD CUP*
- Meire, Meire pants on fire!
Watched Portugal defeat England on the big screen at Paddy's.
Evidently David Beckham is a dual citizen – he played for Portugal tonight.
Why didn’t Sven Goran Eriksson play Billy the Fish**?
But the most apt word goes to the Cockney-language British tabloid, The Sun, who's front page headline screamed (in the finest cockney rhyming slang) "You Swiss Banker" at the controversial Swiss referee, Urs Meier, who, amongst other things, disallowed the last minute goal that consigned England to extra time and, ultimately, defeat.
So much for Swiss neutrality!
Switzerland hasn’t fought a war for some four hundred years (preferring instead, like the UN ,to lubricate and abet wars behind the scenes) but the aforementioned Cockneystan Sun has practically declared war on the Swiss – urging their readers to boycott a list of Swiss products ( surprisingly, The Swiss Family Robinson isn’t amongst them).
But it would be wrong to say that all Brits hate The Sun's "most hated man in Britain" (this week's anyway – there's bound to be another "most hated man in Britain" next week and, rest assured, that The Sun will lead the charge against whoever that bloody foreigner might be), the Brits I watched the game with seemed very concerned about Mr. Meier's health and wellbeing – repeatedly imploring him to get his eyes tested.
Truthfully, I didnt expect England to win - football is a game in which twenty-two players chase a ball around for ninety minutes—and then the English lose***.
I say this with regret because, although I'm not English, I was supporting England.
I maintain that the only football game worth watching is one that features England – as far as passion, drama and tribalism are concerned.
Most people would not equate those emotions with the England team and fans but, rather, with teams like Brazil and their fans.
It seems that half the world are in love with these flashy Harlem Globetrotters of football and their countrymen – mistaking the wild vulgarity of their fans for passion.
Passion when overused loses its currency, becomes devalued and anything but that.
It seems to me that these South Americans would conduct themselves in such a manner even when changing a car tire!
True passion is when a stereotypically reserved people like the English juxtaposition , overcome and sublimate this to a higher good – to fanatically and frenetically support their Queen, country, team and vestige of Empire.
*My modern retake of the triumphalist old English drinking song that taunts Germans with England's triumph over them in "two World Wars and one World Cup".
In fact, the recent D-Day sixtieth anniversary commemorations were in remembrance of England defeating Germany at Wembley Stadium in the 19966 World Cup Final.
Never has so much been owed to so few by so many for so few goals - the final score was 4-2.
**This name will mean nothing to those who don’t read Viz and it serves you right!
Speaking of which, I'm proposing "Urs Meier Cheating Umpire" as a new Viz chracter.
Synopsis of first strip:Urs travels back in time to the Crucifixion and rules that Christ was crucified offside (in relation to those crucified next to him) thus his crucifixion is disallowed and he's not the Son of God.
***To paraphrase Gary Lineker's "football is a game in which twenty-two players chase a ball around for ninety minutes—and then the Germans win".
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Stricken with a cold, I find that the only time I'm not coughing is when I'm smoking*.
Therefore I recommend this smoky syrup as a cough suppressant.
I've yet to gain FDA approval for this cure for the common cold but I consider this a mere formality as I don’t anticipate any regulatory hurdles.
*Although this could be psychosomatic – a result of the Herculean willpower employed to stifle your cough for a higher good and also to prove to yourself and others that smoking does not aggravate your cough.
Nonetheless, my cold has curtailed my smoking schedule thus I look forward to making a prompt recovery and a resumption of fulltime smoking ASAP.
I also believe that you can't recover from a cold unless and until you pass it on to somebody else and that this is a comprehensive cure (unlike the above topical cure) for the common cold so watch out!
A cold is like a chain letter*, pass it on or great misfortune will befall you!
*I consider their modern day equivalents, chain emails, a form of terrorism and do not comply to send them on.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
SOFT ON CRIME!
"Charges dropped in 2001 Russian Embassy shoot-out case
Death of perpetrator during attack cited as reason for abandoning prosecution
…Beirut Chief Investigating Magistrate Hatem Madi wrapped up the case against Ahmed Kharroub, also known as Abu Obeida, due to the aggressor's death during the shoot-out with Lebanese security forces on the day of the incident…"
- Today's Daily Star
Friday, June 18, 2004
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
- 18th June 1815
Battle of Waterloo commences.
A lot has been said and written about the Battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon met his Waterloo, but the most scholarly and comprehensive account was written by the Swedish historians Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson and Bj?rn Ulvaeus (collectively known as Abba ) who wrote, in their definitive Waterloo, "My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender" which historians and military planners alike still study to this day.
Sunday, June 13, 2004
I'm probably the very antithesis of a time management expert but today I inadvertently discovered a time saving technique.
Rather than watching the entire game of any contest in any sport involving England, just watch the last few minutes where they stuff it up (often giving away a lead).
My Eureka moment came when, unable to make it to Paddy's where I was meant to watch it, I just happened upon the last minutes of the Euro 2004 England vs. France football* game on television whilst having a cigarette and saw Zinadine Zidan score two goals in rapid succession and snatch victory away from England before I'd even started coughing.
The French may have lost the Algerian war but they certainly won the peace.
*The Riverdance (all feet, no hands or arms) with a ball thrown in.
Friday, June 11, 2004
US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frisk (Republican-Najjaf) took new Iraqi President Ghazi Al Yawar (Shiite*-Washington) to the Rotunda of the Capitol Building where former US President Ronald Reagan lies in state.
Presumably to show him what is a rare and bizarre phenomenon in the Arab world – a leader dead of natural causes.
*Sects are the Arab equivalent of political parties.
All eyes are on June 30th for what CNN calls "The Handover".
Hand over fist more like it - on that day, America will slough off its military liability and concentrate on making money in Iraq hand over fist.
Iraq's will be left to hand over the profits from their resources to absentee landlords.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
OFFICIAL G8 SCHEDULE
TUESDAY 8th JUNE 2004 - Leaders of the worlds eight most industrialized nations meet over lunch
WEDNESDAY 9th JUNE 2004 - Arab leaders brought in for the leftovers
THURSDAY 10th JUNE 2004 - African leaders brought in for the leftovers
Sunday, June 06, 2004
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN DEAD
- JOHN HINCKLEY RELEASED FROM JAIL
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
SADDAM NOT IN NEW GOVERNMENT
"Saw an eyeball peepin'
Through a smoky cloud behind the green zone...
Don't know what they're doin'
But they laugh a lot behind the green zone
Wish they'd let me in
So I could find out what's behind the green zone"
- Shakin' Stevens, Green Door (sans door)
The new Iraqi government has been presented at a ceremony in the black box that is the heavily fortified coalition headquarters in Baghdad*.
A surprising omission from the new line-up is former president Saddam Hussein who my highly informed sources in Baghdad tell me appears to of fallen out of favor with the Americans.
Remember, you heard it here first!
*Like an aircraft's black box, this "green zone", as the Americans call it, will be the only thing left intact as everything around it is destroyed in daily attacks at the ramparts of the fortress.
To determine why flight Iraq crashed, just look inside the black box.
My question is why did the Americans waste so much time and effort in tracking down and catching Saddam if they weren't going to use him?
SADDAM DIDN'T ASK TO BE BORN, AMERICANS NOT THE BOSS OF HIM
My sources also tell me that Saddam will plead "I didn't ask to be born! Your not the boss of me!" when he finally gets his day in court.