Tim Dunlop, the Aussie brain behind The Road to Surfdom, has just started a new column in the Sydney Morning Herald called Blogjam. It’s meant to be a flying weekly tour through the blogosphere grabbing highlights here and there, rounding up what everybody’s talking about, introducing blogs to people who’ve never heard of them and suggesting new sites to old hands who can’t after all, keep up with everything. Tim featured Aussie blogs on his initial voyage–go figure–and my Pick-of-the-Litter this week is Alan at Southerly Buster for two quite scathing Bush take-downs–one on the phony Iraq constitution and the other on a Kerry attack. Let’s take the last first.1. Bush hounds Kerry over free trade
Alan links to a BBC report on Junior’s speech in Virginia which was a veiled attack on Kerry’s trade stance–or rather what Junior imagines Kerry’s trade stance to be since one doubts the description you’re about to read is any more accurate than anything else he’s ever said about Kerry.
Mr Bush’s attack on Mr Kerry came during a Commerce Department awards ceremony in Arlington.”As our economy moves forward and new jobs are added, some are questioning whether American companies and American workers are up to the challenge of foreign competition,” he said.
“There are economic isolationists in our country who believe we should separate ourselves from the rest of the world by raising up barriers and closing off markets. They’re wrong.”
Here’s Alan’s delicious reply in toto:
Except on Australian sugar, beef, dairy, 33 horticultural products subject to snapback measures, PBS drugs, Canadian drugs, Central American sugar, European and Chinese steel and anything else competing with anything produced in a state Bush might carry in November.
Alan’s got your number, George. You can run but you can’t hide.
2. The Iraqi Constitution
On a much more serious note, Alan takes a look at the new Iraqi Constitution, and his analysis is devastating but hardly surprising: the new Consitution enshrines the Occupation as the legitimate govt.
Article 59 continues the powers of the military occupation, really the rest of the instrument then becomes a system of camouflage for the continuing occupation. Article 59 means the Iraqi armed forces must take orders from the unified command – the US and not the Iraqi Transitional Government. That is less than sovereignty and less than legitimacy. It is a law that binds the future elected government on the authority of the unelected Iraqi Governing Council. That has been already been denounced in the Sistani fatwa and there are serious questions of whether any future elected government will regard them as binding.
One can hardly see how they could. He links to the document itself, reproducing Article 59, and he’s right: legally, Article 59 supercedes all the other articles by placing the power to enforce them into the hands of a provisional govt which does not exist and which the Constitution does not explain how to create. This whopping great hole effectively turns all power over to the 25 members of the puppet Governing Council, which means, of course, that Bremer will continue to call the shots on behalf of Junior.
This thing gives new meaning to the phrase “not worth the paper it’s printed on.” Alan’s post is somewhat long but detailed and informative. Go read it.