An apparent lone nut, Bart Ross, left a suicide note claiming responsibility for the murder of two family members of Chicago federal Judge Joan Lefkow before blowing his own brains out, throwing suspicion off the white supremacist World Church of the Creator (see our last blog post on the case).
The administration of California's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has followed the Bush White House in producing "video press releases" neatly disguised as actual news items for distribution to TV news stations—Bush to promote the Iraq war, Arnold to promote his anti-union policies. Critics call the tactic "covert propaganda" and compare it to the methods of totalitarian regimes. (UK Independent, March 14)
In another gesture of perverse irony, the Bush administration has appointed John Bolton, a longtime anti-UN ideologue, as ambassador to the UN (replacing John Danforth, who is stepping down).
Following days of protests by predominantly Christians and Druze for Syria to pull out of Lebanon (their demands backed by the US and Israel), thousands of mostly Shi'ite demonstrators led by Hezbollah rallied in Beirut March 8 in support of Syria. The pro-Syria rally dwarfed those of the anti-Syria opposition. The following day, Parliament voted to return to power pro-Syrian Prime Minister Omar Karami, who had resigned a week earlier in response to protests.
Ramush Haradunaj, the ethnic Albanian prime minister of Kosovo (known to the Albanians as Kosova) stepped down from his post and boarded a flight for the The Netherlands March 9, turning himself over to international authorities at The Hague, where he is wanted in connection with atrocities carried out when he was a commander of the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA). He shared the flight with another ex-KLA commander, Lahi Brahimaj. The two are now being held at the same prison as former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic. (UK Independent, March 10) Hopefully this development will put an end to the incessant whining of the Slobo-suckers that their boy is being unfairly singled out. Meanwhile, two other of their faves, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, remain at large—presumably in Serb-controlled Bosnia.
Italians are demanding answers in the case of US troops opening fire at a checkpoint on a car containing an Italian secret serviceman and an Italian journalist recently freed from Iraqi abductors.
A friend writes, translating from the Feb. 27 edition of the Turkish journal Aksam: