Michelle’s due back tomorrow morning sometime so this is probably it for me. Thanks to everyone who linked and visited, and thanks of course to Michelle for the opportunity to sit in for her. An audience like this is something a deity could really get used to.
Some farewell links for your reading pleasure. Or horror, as the case may be.
· Drudge points to the Telegraph’s story about attack plans being readied for Iran. There’s no way to excerpt it; every sentence is blockquote worthy. I do want to note, though, for the benefit of those who don’t regularly read the British papers that the Telegraph has been all over this story for months. I don’t know who its sources are or how it got them, but its coverage has been genuinely stupendous. If you haven’t bookmarked it yet, do so now. Whatever ends up happening with Iran, they’ll have the story first.
· Drudge also links to Dana Priest’s report in WaPo on the risk of retaliatory terror attacks inside the United States. Nut graf:
[T]errorism experts considered Iranian-backed or controlled groups — namely the country’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security operatives, its Revolutionary Guards and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah — to be better organized, trained and equipped than the al-Qaeda network that carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
· Though written four years ago, Theodore Dalrymple’s essay “The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris” remains the most harrowing treatment of France’s banlieues I’ve ever read.
But tonight’s Sunday Times expose of the murder of Ilan Halimi gives it a run for its money:
The gang she worked for was known as “les Barbares”, the Barbarians, and included blacks, Arabs and whites from Portugal and France.
Barbarians seemed an appropriate name. The shocking cruelty inflicted on Halimi seemed to have little to do with efforts to extract money from his anguished family. It evoked the sadistic moral universe of A Clockwork Orange, the novel by Anthony Burgess, with a dose of anti-semitism thrown in.
Thanks to Yalda’s charms, Halimi was imprisoned and tortured with acid and cigarette burns for more than three weeks in the heart of a council estate.
More than 30 neighbours in the building knew what was happening but said nothing about the crime, part of a worrying wave of attacks against Jews all over the country.
Besides Yalda, several women have been arrested in an investigation into their role in botched efforts to lure other Jewish men into “honey traps”.
“He wanted a Jew,” a girl called Audrey told police, referring to Youssouf Fofana, the charismatic leader of the Barbarians, who was listed by the girls in their telephone directories as “Youssouf the barbarian”.
Details follow about ritual gang rapes and lighting people on fire for sport. Note the influence of Nazi-attired “comedian” Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, about whom LGF has more.
· The ADL puts on its hip waders and heads down into the sewer. As it turns out, the Arab press’s sensitivity to respect for religion in the context of editorial cartooning is kind of a selective thing.
Lots of evidence at the ADL website. Just keep clicking.
· To cleanse the palate, we end with romance. Spring is here at last, and all the world’s in love … with Condoleezza:
A few hours earlier, Mr Armstrong had been declaiming the war in Iraq in forceful tones in front of the nation’s media. Now, he appears to have undergone a quasi-religious conversion. But you can’t blame him. This, it seems, is quite simply the Condi effect….
Hundreds marched to Blackburn town hall dressed in orange boiler suits and screamed at her as she arrived for a press conference. Yet Ms Rice greeted it all with a red-lipsticked smile and a heady wallop of fragrance that seems to have left grown men powerless in her wake.
In her presence, the normally buttoned-up Mr Straw alternated between looking like a proud father bringing his daughter into the office for work experience and an adolescent schoolboy with a hopeless crush on the head girl….
Over the past week, male journalists have written lyrically about her “lacquered hair” and her well-tailored trouser suits: a pretty mauve number for her first date with the Foreign Secretary on Friday and a more sober black outfit for yesterday.
It was pointed out that her name was derived from a musical expression: con dolcezza, meaning “with sweetness”. Even her appearance on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, normally the bloodiest of gladiatorial arenas for unpopular politicians, was marked by a curious – and unusually lengthy – tenderness….
“I was against the war, but I think she’s wonderful,” gushed Stephen Walsh, 47, a human resources consultant, who had wrestled himself to the front of the security cordon outside Blackburn town hall in the hope of catching a glimpse.
How smitten with Condi is Jack Straw? Very, my friends. Very.blog comments powered by Disqus
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