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Fulton’s Quarter Column of World Destruction 

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With the departure of our managing editor for greener pastures (and a shot at dental insurance) over at Dean Singleton’s daily playground, the time’s come to rocket this column toward newer, different heights.

Gonzo snippets from the world’s eternal annals of weirdness? Sure. Golden nuggets of inside dope from inside city, county and state lines? Natch. Acerbic ripostes from the backwash of American culture? Check.

But for now, brothers and sisters, read on as we progress toward possible world destruction through city, county and state venues to, finally, the world stage.

Salt Lake City: The pink slips keep on coming. In yet another episode of “Who Wants to Work for Mayor Rocky Anderson?” director of community and economic development Margaret Hunt got the can. More proof, if any were needed, that “hot turnover” is our mayor’s favorite dessert.

Salt Lake County: The tortured decision of whether or not to fold ambulance service into the public sector continues apace. The Salt Lake County Council last week overwhelmingly agreed the idea’s worth investigating, while consultants for Gold Cross ambulance service argued otherwise. This much is sure: If the county takes it on, Salt Lake County Mayor Nancy Workman will have hell to pay from Republican Party stalwarts. But with so much scandal plaguing the private sector, at least where Wall Street’s concerned, who’s to say the public sector can’t do the job?

Utah State: Following City Weekly’s story about dubious hiring practices at the state’s division of Information Technology Services (“Cronyism, Pure and Simple?” Sept. 26) and a punchy little “Miss” criticizing Gov. Mike Leavitt’s anemic administrative antidote (“Guv’s Dirty Work,” Oct. 3), word has it that ITS office bigwigs last week frowned on any employee who dared bring a copy of City Weekly onto the premises. Remember this: You’ll have a lot more fun reading our paper than Excite@home’s company website.

America and the World: The buttons of our vast military-industrial complex were pushed by someone, somewhere, a long time ago. War with Iraq now seems inevitable. But as we unquestionably bow to the gods of war, let’s get a quick rundown of our nation’s past Mideast missteps. When Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddiq rose to power in 1951 and nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, he was promptly ousted by British and CIA operatives who supported the shah. The Iranians, who long hated the corrupt shah, now hated the U.S. government. In 1979, to our surprise, they staged an Islamic revolution and, after our government gave the shah refuge, took 63 Americans hostage. “Nuke Iran” T-shirts were all the rage. We didn’t dare complain in 1980 when Saddam Hussein launched Iraq into bloody war with Iran. Oliver North negotiated with Iran in 1986 for the release of American hostages in Lebanon, despite our national prohibition against “dealing with terrorists.” Saddam gassed the Kurds in 1988. No complaints. Nor, for that matter, did we complain after our Gulf War victory when Saddam killed Kurdish and Shia rebels, people who counted on us to get rid of Saddam in 1991. Our own Mideast policy wonks never foresaw Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait nor, for that matter, the 9/11 attacks. Now we are bent on invading Iraq, as President Bush said, before “one single American” is hurt. The irony!

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