Drawn and Quoted
Douchebag of the Week: “We heard that the government announced a permanent ceasefire, but we have announced a 10-day ceasefire,” said Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah on his radio show on Feb. 21. Opening up broadcasting in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in 2006, Fazlullah’s illegal program has recently garnered considerable attention from the international media for acting as the Taliban’s voice during their fight with Pakistani military forces. Fazlullah has even picked up the nickname “Radio Mullah.” While a terrorist radio personality may be troubling, readers can find comfort in the fact that by comparison he makes Karl Rove look as charismatic as Johnny Depp.
Selectivity in Bluntness: “I don’t think it is taboo to talk about the succession of the hermit kingdom,” said United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, referring to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il stepping down from power. It is unfortunate that Clinton could not be outspoken about all the international affairs issues she has a hand in. This was particularly evident in her recent visit to Beijing, in which she remained silent as Chinese state security agents prohibited dissidents from leaving their homes to support a new manifesto for Chinese Democracy. Rather than supporting open dialogues in Chinese politics, she simply appeared to accommodate the viewpoints of Chinese Communist Party officials and their coincidentally enormous economic power. As such, Clinton held to a true universal taboo by holding the U.S.’s financial interests above human life.
Japan’s Bush: “I truly regret that at a time the fiscal budget is being discussed, the finance minister in charge was replaced,” said Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso on Feb. 19. Prior to this apology, Aso’s Finance Manager Shoichi Nakagawa had admitted to drinking wine before showing up at a G-7 Press Conference, in which he slurred his words and was allegedly drunk. So, how did Aso discipline Nakagawa following this embarrassing episode exhibited in front of government officials from the seven wealthiest nations on earth? Simple: He didn’t. Instead, Aso supported Nakagawa until he resigned of his own free will two days after the incident. This did not help Aso with his already ridiculous lack of public support. A poll of over 1,000 eligible voters taken by the Asahi newspaper showed that 71 percent of those polled wanted Aso to resign. Comparatively, only 13 percent of these voters supported Aso’s Cabinet. And you thought Bush’s support was bad.
Self-Explanatory Bonus Quote: “Although the governor’s signature ends the immediate crisis, California remains in a precarious financial situation. If, by April, the state does not secure about $2 billion more in federal aid than it now expects to receive, deeper cuts will automatically kick in because of provisions in the budget,” wrote Los Angeles Times staff writer Jordan Rau about Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signing California’s budget bill on Feb. 21.