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Kubrick Lives!

Barney in violation of Geneva Convention


A couple of weeks ago, "Operation Strangelove" screened Stanley Kubrick's dark 1964 Cold War satire, Dr. Strangelove in various independent theaters around the country. In an apparent encore, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld last week announced that low-yield nuclear weapons might be useful in destroying deadly chemical and biological weapon stocks. He said this as he pressed Congress to lift a 10-year ban on research and development of "small yield" nuclear arms. In addition, the administration proposes to begin design work on a new generation of nuclear "bunker-busters" to destroy caches of prohibited weapons buried deep underground. The Senate voted to lift the ban May 21.

The Bush administration is seeking billions of dollars to essentially rebuild the country's nuclear weapons industry, although Rumsfeld said that they just want to study these weapons, "not to develop, not to deploy, not to use" them. And he also promises to pull out before he climaxes.

Opposing Democrats say this is really the first step in the Bush administration's plan to "demystify" nuclear weapons to the point where they could become an integral part of the US arsenal.

Keith Payne is the Pentagon's top civilian official for "forces policy" management. Before coming to the Pentagon as part of Dubya's administration, he co-wrote a 1980 article in Foreign Policy called "Victory Is Possible," which included, "Nuclear war can have a wide range of possible outcomes. Many commentators and senior US government officials consider it a non-survivable event. The popularity of this view in Washington has such a pervasive and malign (sic) effect upon American defense planning that it is rapidly becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy for the United States."

You might recall Gen. Buck Turgidson, the George C. Scott character in Dr. Strangelove, who lobbied the President that a nuclear war, despite a "few casualties" was in fact winnable, "I'm not saying we won't get our hair mussed up, but 10-20 million tops -- depending on the breaks."

Folks, you might want to start stocking up on grain alcohol and rainwater.

According to BBC Online, US interrogators in Iraq are getting tough with uncooperative prisoners by exposing them to prolonged periods of heavy metal music at high volume as well as music from Sesame Street and Barney in the hope of making them talk. The aim is to break prisoners' resistance through sleep deprivation and having to listen to music they find culturally offensive.Human rights organization Amnesty International has said such tactics might constitute torture, putting coalition forces in breach of the Geneva Convention. Amnesty International also announced that, in response to other complaints of people being forced to listen to the same culturally annoying music over and over and over and over and over again, they are launching an investigation to determine whether Clear Channel-owned radio stations are also in violation of the Geneva Convention.

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