All day I've been reading British newspapers and listening to various press conferences televised live on the BBC. British officials were calm and measured, speaking of 21 arrests sparking terror alerts and revised security measures at UK airports. But the officials declined to provide many specifics, as the investigation is ongoing. In all those conferences and reports, not once was a reference to Al Qaida ever made.
That is until the hapless Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff - who so badly bungled Hurricane Katrina planning and aftermath - gave a press conference in Washington, D.C. Chertoff told reporters the alleged plan to detonate explosives on board planes was "suggestive of an Al Qaida plot." He hastened to add that evidence must be gathered before reaching any conclusions.
In other words, Chertoff was just spreading rumours - a bad habit he and his cronies in the Bush administration have adopted. After all, the American public must be kept in a state of perpetual fear and high anxiety, so the government can continue to suppress civil liberties - all under the guise of public safety and protection from terrorists. Disgraceful.
Walmart bows to Chinese demands
Meanwhile, the global retail giant Walmart again has demonstrated its concern for profits above all else. After years of refusing to allow American Walmart employees to join unions, the company has agreed that 60 Chinese stores can form unions. Of course, this is the price of doing business in China. Walmart wants the profits in China, so it conceded to the workers' demands. In America, Walmart already makes enough money, so doesn't care what its employees want or need.
As for China, look at the economic power it is wielding these days. To insure a share of China's economic growth, Walmart allows unions and Google agrees to government censorship for its search engine. What next?
Blogs of war
The Independent in London has an excellent piece about blogs of war in Lebanon and Israel. Read the article here.