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December 17, 2002
News Through The Ages

PBS, last week: Many in Baghdad are struggling to survive after years of U.S. sanctions. Ali Ali-Saud, a local vendor, sells CD's of American music, and worries about what war will mean for his business. Saud sells his CD's for only a few dollars each, because he forges them. He has no qualms about this.

"Right now, the Iraqi people need this music. We are all very afraid of what America will soon do to us."

CNN, yesterday: "I'm here with Farouk Al-Flaki, president of the Arab Anti-Defamation Alliance. Mr. Flaki, how great is the extent of Arab unhappiness with U.S. foreign policy?"

"Well, many Americans just don't understand how much business the Arab world has with the West, including the U.S. Many of our members have purchased billions of dollars worth of electronics, chemicals, explosives, munitions, and other humanitarian supplies from the West, especially the French. War in Iraq could be very bad for my, I mean, their business."

"Of course, Mr. Flaki. Tell us, how will Arab people respond if the Bush Administration sends troops against Iraq . . ."

PBS, 1982: Many people here in Gdansk are struggling after weeks of strife prompted, some in the Polish administration say, by a divisive Pope and his backers in the Reagan Administration. Talech Valuski sells work permits in a local government office. He is able to do so for half-price because the increasingly liberal Jaruzelski administration permits graft.

"It will be very hard if this Lech Walesa continues to make trouble. I have two kids in college in France. How will I continue to pay for their education if the Communist Party is no longer permitted to rationally allocate labor? I thought Americans supported education. This proves that they are simply hypocrites."

CNN, 1969: "I'm in a POW camp in an undisclosed location near Hanoi with Nguyen Spinwai, president of the North Vietnamese Anti-Defamation Alliance. Mr. Spinwai, how great is the extent of Vietnamese unhappiness with U.S. foreign policy?"

"America is very bad for disturbing our peaceful transition to communism. We are all about peace. That is why we built these Protection-Outside-the-War camps, in order to safeguard wayward American soldiers."

"Of course, Mr. Spinwai. Tell us, how will the Vietnamese people respond if the Johnson Administration sends still more troops against Vietnam . . ."

PBS, 1944: Many people here in Berlin are struggling to make ends meet after years of U.S. attacks. Deitrich Dormeister sells books on a local street corner, for only pennies a copy. He is able to do this because he contracts with a local labor cooperative near the quaint little town of Auschwitz.

"We Germans are very big fans of American writers, especially Joseph Kennedy and Rev. Charles Coughlin. If only they were more respected in their own country."

CNN, 1945: "I'm in a bomb shelter outside Tokyo with Shoshimo Haki, president of the Japanese Anti-Defamation Alliance. Mr. Haki, how great is the extent of Japanese unhappiness with U.S. foreign policy?"

"Well, we don't appreciate the firebombings, if that's what you mean. This is typical American failure to recognize cultural differences. That thing in Pearl Harbor that you call a "sneak attack," we call "pre-emptive self-defense" -- and I think current U.S. hostilities against us bear that out."

"Of course, Mr. Haki. Tell us, how will Japanese people respond if the Truman Administration sends troops onto Japanese soil . . ."

PBS, 1776: Many people in London are struggling to make sense of a world turned upside-down by, many say, unreasonable hostility from American colonists. The rates of suicide, depression, and eating disorders are on the rise, especially within the Royal Family. James Pennington sells hot drinks on the street corner. He used to be able to sell these for only a half-pence. But now, his prices have doubled.

"Things used to be a lot better for me an' the little ones before all this hub-bub, what? These colonists are right cheeky, I think, to say they don't need our protection. Taxation without representation -- they should be more realistic. Next thing you know, they'll be asking for free speech and a bicameral legislature!"

CNN, -0000: "I'm here in Hell with Snarltooth Angst, president of the Demonic Anti-Defamation Alliance. Mr. Angst, how great is the extent of Demonic unhappiness with Heavenly foreign policy?"

"Well, He Whose Name Cannot Be Uttered Here is totally intolerant. I mean, all Satan was asking for was a little more equitable distribution of power, and the next thing you know, he and all of his supporters have been completely marginalized. This is segregation, there's no two ways about it. We can't wait until Alan Dershowitz gets down here so he can take on our case."

Posted by Woodlief on December 17, 2002 at 08:31 AM


Brilliant, funny and accurate. Gets my daily award for 'trifecta of blogging'

Posted by: John at December 17, 2002 3:59 PM

Happy Birthday to you! happy birthday to youuuu! Happy birthday dear Tony!!! Happy birthday to youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

Posted by: JenBen at December 18, 2002 1:05 AM

Hey,Happy Birthday Tony...!!! Is it really your b-day? Great post as always.

Posted by: Rob at December 18, 2002 9:53 PM