Invisible Swingset: Swings in the forest that seem to hang from nothing
Things As They Are: Juxtapositions

Help Those Afflicted With Nationalist Rage

In his op-ed piece entitled Missing in Action: Truth, Nicholas Kristof continues to press the issue of the mystery if the missing weapons of mass Destruction.

When I raised the Mystery of the Missing W.M.D. recently, hawks fired barrages of reproachful e-mail at me. The gist was: "You **! Who cares if we never find weapons of mass destruction, because we've liberated the Iraqi people from a murderous tyrant."

But it does matter, enormously, for American credibility. After all, as Ari Fleischer said on April 10 about W.M.D.: "That is what this war was about."

(Is Ari's head going to pop off if he keeps on spinning so fast?)

Also, read the comments section:

Your allegations against the US Government are treasonous and should land your [expletive] in jail.

Sir, you are full of [expletive], you lying mother [expletive] . . I hope you get SARS and die. . . have a nice day, dimwit.

Why do you hate America?

It seems to me that there ought to be a psychiatric name for this condition: these people have clearly been driven into a nationalist rage by over-exposure to the news.

Consider this guy, using his police uniform to sneak into a school at night to take pictures of student art projects:

A uniformed police officer persuaded a custodian to open a school in the middle of the night so he could photograph class projects he found objectionable as an American and as a military veteran. . . . "I wanted everybody else to see what was in that room," said Mott, who convinced a custodian to unlock the classroom door last month. . . . "I'm just taking a stand on what happens in that classroom as a resident and a voter and a taxpayer of this community," he said.

What does this man need? A life? A prescription antipsychotic? A dog? A nubile young radical under his bed? Clearly, something is lacking in his life.

MEANWHILE, the BBC reports that US troops may have encouraged some looters.

Rasool Abdul-Husayn , an unemployed school teacher, says he saw one American signalling the crowd to move in, with a repeated wave of the arm. Another eyewitness, Kareem Khattar, who works in a bread shop across the road from the college, saw the same thing.

"I saw with my own eyes the Americans signal the people to move in and the looters started clapping," says Mr Khattar.

Air conditioners proved popular with looters.

"The Americans waved bye-bye and the looters were clapping. They started looting quickly and when one man came out with an air conditioner an American said to him 'Good, very good'."

Maybe the soldiers thought it was an Easter egg hunt.