Saturday, March 08, 2003


Raven has been feeling neglected. I have been too busy to blog with him since Wednesday, and he has gone from feeling at loose ends (sitting in the street on a rock in a pose vaguely reminiscent of The Thinker in the garden of the Rodin Museum in Paris) to having his beak out of joint and complaining. While I was hanging out my clothes I put out some semi-sweet rolls in the garden as a peace offering.

"Peace. It's on everybody's tongue. It dribbles out of lips in fifty languages. But who, these days, is peaceful?" Raven flutters down from the wall and pecks at one of the rolls.

Are we talking about individuals, or countries? How's the bread, Rave?

"You know that sesame seeds are not saints of my devotion." He spits out a seed, which bounces off the aluminum light post with a barely audible ping. "I was thinking more about individuals, actually. But I don't even know what's going on these days."

Rave, we read the news and blogged on Wednesday. What could have happened since then that we missed?

"I assume that is a deliberately ingenuous question. If you will remember, the US is trying to start its war. That is one thing that could have happened." Raven is scraping the sesame seeds off the top of a roll with his left claw.

We would have heard about it. We do have radio here on the coast.

"Yeah, right: the Voice of the South Pacific. I expect to hear Mary Martin washing that man right out of her hair every time you turn it on. But you don't even turn it on very often. We could be the only survivors of a nuclear holocaust and not even know it!"

Rave, you're overwrought. Wound too tight. Stressed out. If we were the survivors of a nuclear holocaust we wouldn't need news. We wouldn't need to blog, either.

"So just dribble a tiny piece of news my way, will you?"

Well, Robert Fisk says the US war plans are not helped by Blix.

"He's the Swedish guy, the UN inspector, right? What did he do?"

Fisk says: The famous aluminum tubes turned out--if one believes Mr Blix, and why not--to have nothing to do with nuclear weapons (goodbye, the British intelligence file). And--if you believe Mohamed al-Baradei, and again why not--quite a number of other US documents are lies. But the words from this most intransigent of Swedes to most enrage the warmongers were: "We intend to continue our inspection activities."

"And then what happened?" Rave is pecking determinedly at his now seedless roll.

He goes on to say: Colin Powell didn't seem quite ready for the report, though there was plenty of talk of "criminal evidence", of "lying and deceit", along with some new phrases: "cluster of questions" and "tens of thousands [sic] of delivery systems".
Yes, Mr Powell, who picked up the "toothpicks" metaphor, liked Iraq's co-operation--he could scarcely say otherwise--but added he was "sorry to learn that this is coming in a grudging manner".

"Grudging? What exactly did he expect? That Saddam Hussein would welcome the inspectors with belly dancers and a Dixieland band playing When the Saints Go Marching In?"

I wouldn't attempt to guess what his expectations were, Rave. I doubt that the UN resolution said anything about dancers and music being required. Or smiles, either.

"When birds go to prostitutes, they pay for the sex act. Do humans expect service with a smile?"

Probably not if it costs more. What's your point, Rave?

"I wasn't making a point. This is the mating season, and not all of us have mates. I was just curious...."

Yeah, right.

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