Did you notice…

By Liam Dynes
Originally published on Nov. 25, 2003, in The Brock Press

We’ve had a busy week.

American pentagon official Richard Perle admitted to the world that the United States fully realized that its actions in Iraq over the last nine months were flat-out illegal.

While this was clear to most not within the American borders, the admission comes as a shock to many. The U.S. stance on this issue has always been that their actions were fully justified, legal, and within the bounds of their jurisdiction as a sovereign nation to initiate. President George W. Bush himself has said that the action was legal under a United Nations security council resolution on Iraq in place since the Gulf War, or that the argument of self-defense as a nation covered the offensive. Perle admits that all parties involved were aware that this was not the case. However, they also knew that no one would stop them, so long as there was a united front, no pesky legalities or United Nationses could get in their way.

Of course the timing of this admission is questionable: could it be a coincidence that it comes while Bush himself is in Britain for a state tour? Methinks not. Anti-war protests were rampant across the British landscape inundating any location Bush might be near. But we saw very little of this.

On a lighter note, Bush also managed to piss off the Queen herself, as his helicopter convoy set down on the royal lawn, ruining thousands of dollars in foliage and landscaping. None of the transport plans were approved of by Her Royal Majesty, and now the royal britches are in royal knots.

And what else? Georgia’s president was overthrown in a ‘velvet revolution,’ but that’s the most that the average citizen would know. Most of the general public would have been completely unaware of the allegations of election-rigging, and cases built up for negligence that plunged a country of 4.5 million people into extreme poverty.

The F.B.I. is engaging in tactics to profile radical protesters that haven’t been seen since J. Edgar Hoover and the radicalism of the 60s and 70s, with officials collecting intelligence on suspected protesters and passing it on to counter-terrorism units.

The Liberal government is going head with plans to build on the Oak Ridges Moraine, which is one of its more flagrant trashings of an election promise, which while not quite under the radar, was still far eclipsed by …

Michael Jackson. Every front page, every TV news magazine (in ‘supersized’ competing timeslots), every magazine, every Web site, every last goddamn piece of media on our little planet was plastered with that strange man’s crooked face. I’m not here to proclaim guilt or innocence, as I have no opinion on the validity of these latest accusations, but as has been pointed out in various places, a truly dangerous pedophile establishes patterns of behaviour and abuse far more layered and intense than this awkward man-child who is likely in need of psychiatric help more than jail time.

But again, I don’t care. I don’t like picking up every piece of popular (or even unpopular) media and seeing that face. I don’t like turning on Global, City, CBC, CTV, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, ABC, NewsWorld, or the friggin’ Food Network (perhaps a slight exaggeration) and hearing about this case.

There are more important things happening out there. Please don’t lose sight of them.

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