Saturday, March 01, 2003


Raven has been loafing most of the day. Being a beach bum. Chasing women. Snacking with a distracted air on the hotcakes I set out for him on the steps in the garden. Letting loose with delighted cackles and rattles in the bugambilia bushes--all inky motion against their superfluity of magenta riches.

So, Rave, we're not going to think about The World today?

"I am always thinking. Birds for All Seasons are also Birds of All Thoughts. Did you have something specific in mind?"

I was reading a Robert Fisk piece from The Independent, republished on

"Much of the Bush speech to the American Enterprise Institute was written in the language of Israel. 'If war is forced upon us by Iraq's refusal to disarm, we'll meet an enemy who hides his military forces behind civilians, who has terrible weapons, who's capable of any crime.' This is precisely the language of Ariel Sharon. The equation that other Arab states are expected to understand is contained in that ominous suggestion by Mr Bush that after the "passing" of Saddam Hussein's regime, 'other regimes will be given a clear warning that support for terror will not be tolerated'. Primarily, this is a message for Syria, then for Iran and then for anyone else who has not knelt before the Americans."

"You know, there is a reason why I have been having a day off. Sometimes I tire of being the Bird of Reason, the Cassandra subspecies blasting my news from the bugambilia that the world is going to hell in the handbasket of Bush."

Sorry, Rave. I thought we had decided that you were not a subscriber to the Tragic Sense of Life.

"I´m not. But I peek at it from time to time."

Can you finish peeking at this article, just for the sake of the blog?

"But what was it President Bush told us? 'Iraqi lives and freedom matter greatly to us,' he said. Since when? When Iraqi men and women were being raped in President Saddam's torture chambers in 1983, Donald Rumsfeld was in Baghdad asking the Iraqi leader if he could reopen the US embassy. Rebuilding Iraq will require "a sustained commitment from many nations" but "we will remain in Iraq as long as necessary and not a day more". How extraordinary. For these are precisely the same words used by Israel when it invaded Lebanon in 1982. It took Israel 22 years and hundreds of Israeli lives – and thousands of Arab lives – before that occupation ended. Ah, what it is to fight for "the liberty of an oppressed people" – this is Mr Bush on Iraq – provided, of course, they are not Palestinian."

Raven picks up a piece of hotcake.

"So the US justifies its planned occupation of Iraq because Israel has occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since 1967 in defiance of the UN Resolutions?"

It seems that way to me.

Raven pecks at the piece of hotcake.

"These are cold." He sets it back on the plate and prepares to take off.

Rave, before you lift your landing gear....

"I know. A pronouncement. At the risk of a certain kind of bird-brained logic, I have to say that in the Holocaust of the Middle (Missile?) East, the Palestinians and the Iraquis have become the Jews for This Century."

Do you think there will be others?

"Holocausts, Jews or Centuries?"

Raven, with a sad sybiline smirk on his face, banks into the breeze over the Pacific....

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