Heroes and Villains: Stevie Crawford and Donald Rumsfeld

NB: we know that there are far more worthy heroes than those listed here - doctors, nurses, aid workers, Franck Sauzee, etc. Similarly, murderers, rapists and dictators are indisputably far greater villains. This column does not deal with them. It is designed to honour those who have caused surprise by their actions in the past week.

Hero: Stevie Crawford

As a member of the Dunfermline squad, Stevie Crawford is probably not flavour of the month with most Celtic fans. However the striker performed heroics at Tynecastle this week when he scored early in Scotland's game with New Zealand allowing us to romp home against these footballing minnows.

Err, hang on a minute.

That should read: "Stevie Crawford scored early allowing Scotland to hang on grimly for a draw with a team 13 points above us in the FIFA rankings."

OK, it's not very heroic but very few heroes dot the desolate landscape of Scottish football. Any success should be seized on.

Villain: Donald Rumsfeld

Say what you like about Tony Blair, he sticks to his guns. He loyally stood by the Americans when they insisted that we needed to go to war with Iraq to rid it of weapons of mass destruction.

That famous smile did not waiver while weaker voices said "Maybe we should let the UN do it" or "No-one else in the world thinks this is a good idea" or "Hey, eedjit features, that cretin Bush is a lying war-mongerer whose stupidity is matched only by his slavering desire to do the blood-stained will of his pappy's oil buddies and old pals from the CIA."

No. Tony was steadfast. He knew there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. His friends the Americans said so.

Well, they ain't saying that now and Tony's been left holding the furry end of the lollipop.

It was Donald Rumsfeld who firmly parked the loyal (but obviously disposable) Tony up the creek when he told the Council on Foreign Relations that WMDs may never be found in Iraq. The US defence secretary offered the extremely plausible explanation that the Iraqis may have destroyed these, the most powerful weapons in their arsenal, shortly before the imminent Coalition invasion.

Other countries might be embarrassed by the non-appearance of their causus belli after such a controversial war, but not the Americans. They don't give a damn. In fact they'are already making plans for Iran. (It's the easiest country for George Dubya to get his head round. You only have to change one letter after all.)

But the jungle drums are already beating in Tony's back yard. Thanks Donald!

Oddest story of the week: World's oldest person

Habib Miyan of Jaipur has emerged as the most likely candidate for "the world's oldest person". According to his pension book he was born on 20 May 1878.

To put that date in context, that was the year that the electric lamp was invented. Mr Miyan was already 25 when the first powered flight took place. He was 36 when the First World War started. He was an impressive 91 when Man first walked on the moon.

What's odd about this is that Mr Miyan does not drink or smoke unlike other high profile very aged persons. Jeanne Calment, a Frenchwoman who died at the age of 122, boasted that she ate two pounds of chocolate a week, drank port and smoked cigarettes.

By shunning such unhealthy practices, Mr Miyan has gained an extra three years on Mme Calment. But who'd want them?

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