How to revive flagging interest? Redesign!

By way of Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo, today’s Washington Post features a story about the dishearteningly negative reception the “new and improved” national flag has been given by Iraqi citizens, who question why it was changed in the first place, and even if that were necessary, why the new design lost the traditional Arab-affiliated colors of red, green, and black.
Oh, and this last point apparently didn’t help things much, either: Iraq’s new flag is in many ways a dead ringer for Israel’s flag.
According to the U.S.-appointed Governing Council, the new flag is the work of an Iraqi artist named Rifaat Chaderchi, and was selected from a pool of a whopping 30 entries.
Most aesthetes agree: worst product redesign since the old Brawny Man was reinvented as the new, de-gayed Brawny Man (who, incidentally, now looks suspiciously like an Israelite).

5 replies on “How to revive flagging interest? Redesign!”

April 28, 2004 — ANYONE who pines for genuine international multilateralism would do well to follow the bribes now being uncovered in the United Nations’ Oil-for- Food scandal.
Why did France and Russia oppose efforts to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime? And why did they press constantly, throughout the ’90s, for an expansion of Iraqi oil sales? Was it their empathy for the starving children of that impoverished nation? Their desire to stop the United States from arrogantly imposing its vision upon the Middle East?
It now looks like they it was simply because they were on the take. Saddam was their cash cow. If President Bush has suffered some discredit over his apparently false – but not disingenuous – claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the lapse is minor compared to the outright personal selfishness and criminality that appears to have motivated many of those who opposed his efforts to rid the world of one of its worst dictators.
Throughout the ’90s, France and Russia badgered the United States and Britain to increase Iraqi oil production. President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair fought them at each step, but then reluctantly gave way. First Iraq was allowed to sell 500,000 barrels daily. Then, on Franco-Russian insistence, it was raised to 1 million, then to 2 million and, finally, to 3 million barrels a day.
Each time, America and Britain – the nations now accused of coveting Iraqi oil – resisted the increases in Iraqi production and urged tighter controls over the program. Each time, the French and the Russians prattled on about the rights of Iraqi sovereignty and the need to feed the children.
Now we know why the French and Russians were so insistent. Iraqi government documents (leaked to the Baghdad newspaper Al Mada) list at least 270 individuals and entities who got vouchers allowing them to sell Iraqi oil – and to keep much of the money. These vouchers, and the promise of instant great wealth they carried with them, bought vital support in the United Nations to let Saddam stay in power.
The list of those receiving these bribes includes France’s former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua (who’s a leader of Chirac’s party) and Patrick Maugein, the head of the French Oil firm Soco International. France’s former U.N. ambassador, Jean-Bernard Merimee, got vouchers to sell 11 million barrels.

Of course the new Iraq flag looks like Israel’s flag, the 30 contending designs were submitted by the top 30 contributers to AIPAC.

Like the redesigned flag, the U.S.-appointed governing council is sure to be temporary. It’s symbolic, like “June 30”

Peter Falk played the lead in a comedy film called “The Inlaws”. Falk is a CIA agent in South America meeting a dictator. The dictator shows Falk his new national flag.
The flag has some standard motif, stripes, and a picture of the dictator standing behind a nude, from the waist up, young women prostitute.
How could everyone in the administration have missed that movie?
How could anyone get the flag right? The pretense of the war has changed, “OH NO IT HASN’T!”
The June 30th date seems to have popped out of thin air or the air of Nov 5.
“The gang who couldn’t pre-empt straight.”

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