Monday, May 16, 2005

Mexican President Blurts Racial Slur. Quran Desecration Part Deux. Syria This Week's Number One With A Bullet.

Brothers Can't Even Get A Break In Mexico Now?

Mexican President Vicente Fox stepped in some eyeball-deep shit last Friday when he made a remark stating that migrant Mexican workers were leaving his country for the United States to perform jobs that not even blacks would do. Somehow, Mr. Fox is puzzled that this statement is being viewed by some as racist.

Yahoo News excerpt:

MEXICO CITY - President Vicente Fox refused to apologize Monday for saying Mexicans in the United States do the work that blacks won't, a comment widely viewed as acceptable in a country where blackface comedy is still considered funny and nicknames often reflect skin color.

This story is NOT off to a good start for President Fox...

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City had raised the issue with the Mexican government. "That's a very insensitive and inappropriate way to phrase this and we would hope that (the Mexicans) would clarify the remarks if they have a chance," Boucher said.

Gee, way to take a strong stand on this issue Mr. Boucher...

Fox's spokesman, Ruben Aguilar, said the remark has been misinterpreted as a racial slur. He said the president was speaking in defense of Mexican migrants as they come under attack by the new U.S. immigration measures that include a wall along the U.S.-California border.

Well Mr. Fox, if you are so concerned about the welfare of these migrant workers, then why the heel don't you and your government do something about improving the economic situation in your country?

Stung by the U.S. crackdown on illegal immigrants, many Mexicans including Mexico City's archbishop said Fox was just stating a fact. "The president was just telling the truth," said Celedonio Gonzalez, a 35-year-old carpenter who worked illegally in Dallas for six months in 2001. "Mexicans go to the United States because they have to. Blacks want to earn better wages, and the Mexican because he is illegal takes what they pay him."

Oh, so it's sort of a classic "left-handed compliment". Actually, I don't think the archbishop and the carpenter were addressing the racial component of this story, just the economic impact. At least that's how I read it...

But the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton, two black U.S. civil rights activists, said Fox should apologize. "His statement had the impact of being inciting and divisive," Jackson said.

Thank you Rev. Jackson. It's a relief to see someone of your stature point out the inciting and divisive nature in others...

Lisa Catanzarite, a sociologist at Washington State University, disputed Fox's assertion. She said there is intense competition for lucrative working class jobs like construction and that employers usually prefer to hire immigrants who don't know their rights. "What Vicente Fox called a willingness to work ... translates into extreme exploitability," she said.

See previous remark critical of Mr. Fox and his government...

Fox made the comment Friday during a public appearance in Puerto Vallarta, saying: "There's no doubt that Mexican men and women full of dignity, willpower and a capacity for work are doing the work that not even blacks want to do in the United States."

Full story:

The emphasis in Fox's statement is the killer here -- "doing the wotk that NOT EVEN BLACKS want to do..." I believe the colloquial equivalent to the type of labor being described here is "n----- work. If that's not a racist statement then I'm a fire hydrant.

Newsweek Retracts Story on Quran Abuse

In a follow-up to yesterday's post about Newsweek backtracking on it's May 9th report about desecration of the Quran at Guantanamo Bay as an interrogation tactic, it appears that Newsweek is acting like Harry Reid being stared down by Bill Frist. Yahoo News excerpt:

NEW YORK - Newsweek magazine, under fire for a publishing story that led to deadly protests in Afghanistan, said Monday it was retracting its report that a military probe had found evidence of desecration of the Quran by U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay.

Earlier Monday, presidential spokesman Scott McClellan had criticized Newsweek's initial response to the incident, saying it was "puzzling."

Bullshit. Newsweek's initial response was to double-check it's sources. One of those confirmed Isikoff's story while the other did a quick fade. Scott's response to Newsweek's initial response is what is puzzling here.

Newsweek had reported in its issue dated May 9 that U.S. military investigators had found evidence that interrogators placed copies of Islam's holy book in washrooms and had flushed one down the toilet to get inmates to talk. Newsweek acknowledged problems with the story and its editor, Mark Whitaker, apologized in an editor's note in this week's edition. The accusations spawned protests in Afghanistan that left 15 dead and scores injured.

Whitaker wrote in an editor's note that "We regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst."

Full story:

What a fucking joke. Now the inevitable Dan Rather comparisons will be shouted out all over knuckle-drag talk radio. Whitaker is taking the U.S. authorities at their word that the story is now bogus -- the very same authorities that originally gave Newsweek the story in the first place!

So what, if anything has changed? As I stated in my previous post, the scenario, as reported in the May 9th issue, is more than plausible given the mindset and attitude of every member of this administration. The other alternative is that this was a setup job from the start engineered by none other than Karl Rove, the Man Behind The Curtain himself. It would be just like these hollow little bastards to fabricate such a story because they knew that there would be a quick and visceral reaction to it. These guys may lack credibility, but they aren't too high on the subtlety meter either.

Syria, YOU'RE NEXT!!!

It appears that Syria has moved to the front of the pack in the field of countries that have the greatest chance to be attacked by President Bush before the end of the year. Yahoo News excerpt:

SHANNON, Ireland - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday appealed to Syria's Arab neighbors to pressure Damascus to close its borders to foreign militants seeking to join the Iraqi insurgency.

Gee, could she have been talking about the same borders that President Useless and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld found too inconvenient to secure when we invaded? And has Syria moved ahead of Iran because of all the business Halliburton has been doing with Vice President Potty Mouth's close, personal Iranian friends?

She also voiced optimism about Iraq's emerging multi-ethnic government but predicted difficult negotiations as a constitutional deadline nears.

That may well be the first time she has ever told the truth as a member of this administration...

"Somebody will threaten to walk out and there will be a lot of drama around it because that tends to happen in political processes ... but they've shown remarkable ability to deliver," Rice said of the Iraqis as she headed home from a brief visit to that country. "As with any political process ... in any country, there will be some 11th hour character to it," she added.

Full story:

What a load of fertilizer. Deliver what? There is no clear majority in what passes for this new government, which is probably what Puppet Master Rove and Cheney wanted all along. Besides, anyone with more brains than Bush knows that when push comes to shove, we will write their constitution for them and that will be the end of it. We now have over 1,600 soldiers dead and thousands more wounded, not to mention the tens of thousands of civilian casualties since the beginning of the Iraq war. Do we really want to match or exceed these numbers in Syria?

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