Saturday, November 18, 2006

This Man is Worse Than a Fierce Tiger

Here's a story I read during Chinese class when I was a kid.

Once when Confucius was passing near the foot of Mount Tai in a chariot, he saw a woman weeping at a grave mound. He sent a disciple to inquire of her, saying; "From the sound of your weeping, it seems that you indeed have many troubles." Then the woman said; "It is true. My father-in-law died in a tiger's jaw; my husband also died there. Now, my son has also died there." Confucius said, "Why do you not leave this place?" The woman said: "Here there is no harsh and oppressive government." Confucius said to his disciples, "Young men, take note of this: a harsh and oppressive government is more ferocious and fearsome than even a tiger.

Well President George W. Bush may not be as fearsome as a tiger, but certainly he is more loathed than the harsh Canadian winter.

In the last presidential election, an American friend of mine told me that if Bush won the election for a second term, he may very well decide to return to Canada where he originally left to escape its harsh winters. Certainly you exaggerate, I said. As it turned out, the day after Bush won the elections, CNN reported that the number of Americans applying to emigrate to Canada rose sharply.

Mid-way through his second term, many Americans must be cursing themselves for putting this war monger in the White House and wishing that they could slay this ‘tiger’, or at least get rid of him Thaksin style. But unfortunately, they could not. And so they did the next best thing - they kicked the Republicans out of congress and booted out his lieutenant, Donald Rumsfeld well.

Just why do Americans dislike this man so much? Well for one thing, he behaves like he has divine powers. Plus he lacks integrity. When all the UN weapons inspectors stated categorically that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, our friend continued to insist on the contrary. Here are some statements he and his lieutenants made.

Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons. (George W. Bush, September 12, 2002)

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. (George W. Bush, January 28, 2003)

We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more. (Colin Powell, February 5, 2003)

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. (George W. Bush, March 18, 2003)

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. (Dick Cheney, August 26, 2002)

He could well be saying to himself, “Let George Bush be true and every man a liar.” Well lies there were aplenty - from the intelligence departments of US and Britain, to justify the invasion of Iraq. Simply stated, there is no doubt that George Bust used WMD as an excuse to attack Iraq.

When the whole world protested against invading Iraq, he ignored them and went ahead saying, “You are either for me or against me” (using God’s words from the bible). In the process, he simply dismissed the opposition of his European allies like France and Germany, and practically, “don’t see the United Nations in the eye”, to borrow a common Chinese expression.

Months after the defeat of the Saddam Hussein’s army, when no “smoking gun” could be found, he changed his tune and said that Saddam supported terror. Suddenly the war to disarm the Iraqis of its weapons of mass destruction metamorphosised into a “war on terror”. Again the experts disagreed. Saddam was no angel. He may be a cruel despot, but he was not behind the terrorists directly. See BBC report: Iraq War Justifications Laid Bare, dated September, 09, 2006. Here’s what the opening lines of the article said:

“The Senate Intelligence Committee has found no evidence of links between the regime of Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.

In a report issued on Friday, it also found that was little or no evidence to support a raft of claims made by the US intelligence community concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

The 400-page report was three years in the making, and is probably the definitive public account of the intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq.“

Well, it could be a case of self-fulfilling prophecy because the latest intelligence report from the Pentagon revealed that terrorist activity has indeed escalated ..…. as a result of the invasion of Iraq.

Because of this ‘worse than a fierce tiger’ leader, America finds itself once again in a Vietnam-type quagmire, as what everybody had predicted. To extricate itself, it needs the support of those whom Bush had slapped in the face earlier. No doubt he will resort to his favourite tactic, when all else fails – arm twisting.

And to think that this man is held in such high esteem by our Singapore leaders; and our undiscerning university students cuddle up to take a photo with him.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Apt Analogy

I just heard the news on radio where a new member of parliament spoke on the foreign talents issue yesterday. Using the analogy of a dragon boat, he said that Singapore was like a dragon boat that needed new, stronger and more skillful rowers to race ahead.

But he must have forgotten that the Singapore boat is a small one. To accommodate more rowers, you just might have to dump some of the old and weak rowers into the sea ..... Unless this gentleman is thinking out of the boat and wants to build a 2-storey dragon boat.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Dumb Dumber Dumbest

1) Dumb

There’s a programme on AXN that goes by the title, World’s Dumbest Criminals Caught on Video, or something close to that. In the Straits Times, I read recently of a dumb criminal right here in Singapore. Only difference is, our guy was a university undergrad with an IQ of a genius.

“It began with a casual meeting between two army buddies, then mushroomed into a sophisticated credit card fraud syndicate that cheated local banks out of $80,000 in just two months.

The two National University of Singapore undergraduates – both star students and one of them an accomplished young entrepreneur with an IQ of 160 – had chanced upon a website that detailed how credit cards could be cloned using stolen data in order to make profits.

Pooling their money, they went online and bought a card reader, which can scan the encoded information in the black magnetic strip on credit cards ……..…

They recruited another army buddy who used the reader to scan information from cards belonging to customers at the bar where he worked ……..

They were busted when the Commercial Affairs Department noticed that all the cards had been used at the pub where (this guy) worked… and arrested him in an ambush.”

I say this guy is dumb because, you certainly do not need an IQ of 160, or even to be a regular fan of CSI Miami to know that the pub would be the first place that the police would look.

2) Dumber

But it’s not only criminals that are dumb. Even police can be dumb as you can see from this next case; although these were not real police, but so-called “Islamic police”.

Christian pair outraged after night raid by Islamic Police.

“Mr. Randall Barnhart, 62, and his wife Carole, 61, left wintry Alaska four years ago to sail around a much warmer South-east Asia, and were considering idyllic Langkawi as a second home.

That was until two weeks ago when Islamic religious officers stormed their rented condominium after midnight.

The officers, who were not accompanied by police, suspected the Christian couple of being Muslims committing khalwat, which is the crime of close proximity between two people who are not married to each other.”

(From another newspaper report)

“Barnhart complained to police and the US embassy over the raid, which saw the officials yelling and pounding on the couple’s door at two in the morning.

Barnhart, who answered the door, said the officials demanded to see his ‘woman’ and insisted on being shown their marriage license and passports.

He said his wife was terrified by the incident and insisted on going back to the United States.”

3) Dumbest

I am not sure about this next guy’s IQ, but he definitely ranks high up in terms of holiness. Here's a report from TODAY dated, October 27, 2006.

SYDNEY - Australia’s most senior Islamic cleric yesterday sparked uproar in Australia after describing scantily-clad women as “uncovered meat’ inviting sexual attacks.

Sheik Taj Aldin Al Hilali, who made the remarks last month in a Ramadan sermon to 500 worshippers, had criticized women who “sway suggestively”, wear make-up and no hijab, or Islamic headscarf.

“If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it …. whose fault is it: The cats or the uncovered meat?” he said in his sermon.

“The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.”

Eh ……. unless if she happens to be in Malaysia with her legally married husband, and they did not have their marriage certificate with them.”