Sunday, March 02, 2003


Raven is steadier today. While I was hanging my sheets on the line, he was putting away his french toasts before they got cold. And he has declared the saxaphone his instrument of choice--to sing along with. He blasted a duet with Gato Barbieri most of the morning, even turning lyrically melancholic with the Gato's version of Carlos Santana's "Europa". The Bird in Control of His Hormones?

He joined me for a few pecks at a piece of steak.

"This guy is on the plate is still breathing."

Raven exaggerates sometimes.

Put a little Worcestershire Sauce on it, Rave. And listen to this:

"Published on Sunday, March 2, 2003 by the Observer/UK
Revealed: US Dirty Tricks to Win Vote on Iraq War
Secret document details American plan to bug phones and emails of key Security Council members

by Martin Bright, Ed Vulliamy in New York and Peter Beaumont

The United States is conducting a secret 'dirty tricks' campaign against UN Security Council delegations in New York as part of its battle to win votes in favor of war against Iraq."

Raven upends the bottle of Worcestershire over his plate.

"I thought Nixon died."

He did, Rave. But he didn't invent Dirty Tricks. Nor were they retired when he retired himself from office.

"I kind of liked Nixon. Just the way he was. Like Mr. Rogers, who also died. And I am sure Checkers is chasing rabbits in Doggy Heaven, too."

Somehow I don't see Nixon and Mr. Rogers in Doggy Heaven with Checkers.

"Pedants are not saints of my devotion, you know." Raven narrows his eyes. "But tell me more of the Dirty Tricks story."

"The disclosures were made in a memorandum written by a top official at the National Security Agency - the US body which intercepts communications around the world - and circulated to both senior agents in his organization and to a friendly foreign intelligence agency asking for its input."

"Speaking of pedantry, isn't 'friendly foreign intelligence agency' an oxymoron?"

Probably. Or at least morons are involved.

"So who are the spy targets?"

"...The target of the heightened surveillance efforts are the delegations from Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Mexico, Guinea and Pakistan at the UN headquarters in New York - the so-called 'Middle Six' delegations whose votes are being fought over by the pro-war party, led by the US and Britain, and the party arguing for more time for UN inspections, led by France, China and Russia."

"Aha. I thought Fox was changing his position on the war."

Rave, Fox doesn't have positions--plural--his only position is Patent Leather Boot in Mouth. But let's continue:

"Disclosure of the US operation comes in the week that Blix will make what many expect to be his final report to the Security Council. It also comes amid increasingly threatening noises from the US towards undecided countries on the Security Council who have been warned of the unpleasant economic consequences of standing up to the US."

"Right. Tony Garza told us to kiss an immigration agreement good-bye."

What's this US? I thought you were a Bird without Borders?

"I like to side with the victims. Eating this piece of meat, I am betraying my code of honor though."

Rave, be serious, will you? Here's the resignation letter of the Diplomat who Came in from the Cold. He says:

"It is inevitable that during twenty years with the State Department I would become more sophisticated and cynical about the narrow and selfish bureaucratic motives that sometimes shaped our policies. Human nature is what it is, and I was rewarded and promoted for understanding human nature. But until this Administration it had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my president I was also upholding the interests of the American people and the world. I believe it no longer. "

"Good for him. I didn't think that Greece was cold, but...."

Rave, I think it's time for you to go back to the beach and chase some women.

"Thanks, but I'm too beat from chasing my meat around."

The Sunday hoo-hahs with the Bird with an Answer for Everything....

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