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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003


And from the "Life imitates the Onion" file...
Subsection "why in blazes did anyone bother to report this?"
Kazakh challenges Bush to saber duel

A retired colonel who fought in World War II and who opposes U.S. intervention in Iraq has challenged President George W. Bush to a duel with sabers, media reported Tuesday.

Identified only as Col. Nurmambetov, the challenger declared last week: "I will teach that U.S. aggressor a lesson for bombing Iraq and killing civilians," according to the Kazakhstan newspaper Dozhivem do ponedelnika.

Americans, Nurmambetov said, could not fight with a saber, like real men, but only drop bombs from the sky. Nurmambetov is the proud owner of a saber he considers battle worthy, the paper reported.

During World War II Nurmambetov commanded tank, artillery and paratroopers units, the paper said. After the war he worked at the Interior Ministry.

Nurmambetov appears to have wanted Bush to travel to Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan, for the duel. The swordsman asked the U.S. Embassy in Almaty to pass on the challenge to the president. He has not heard back from the White House.
The first thing I thought of when I saw this was the Onion article "Area drunkard declares war on Ireland; Ale-house peers fall in as allies."

Why can't they write a story entitled "American challenges Chirac to game of gin rummy?" Seriously, bring it on! I will teach that French aggressor to stand in the way of the liberation of Iraqi civilians! The French cannot fight like real men, but instead make meaningless threats and cozy up to dictators from their cushy apartments! I am the proud owner of a deck of cards I consider battleworthy, but for Chirac, I'd spring for one of those Baathist Most-Wanted decks. (Note: my birthday is in two months and a day, and I don't think you can ever have too many Baathist Most-Wanted playing cards.)

On a slightly more serious note, what was the point in running this story? I can only see two motives. Either, to show people that the world still thinks poorly of Bush, or, what seems more likely, to have ourselves a good chuckle at the naive antics of the brown man. The problem with the first of these is that a random violent man from Khazakstan isn't exactly a convincing indicator of world opinion. The problem with the second should be obvious. And yet, that's exactly what it seems to be.
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