"Spend two weeks, a month or 30 years at PilgerWorld, the assisted-care vacation facility for the elderly Left. At PilgerWorld, it's always 1975 and the Yanks can never win! Don't worry, you won't need a lot of money for expensive rides, because you won't be going on any! Instead, you'll spend many happy hours just standing around watching the Americans go on them while you make condescending cracks. "Thrill to the amazing 'Quagmiratron' as a high-tech digital state-of-the-art rollercoaster of blundering Marines comes rocketing down into a big pit of icky goo and gets stuck there for the entire afternoon while know-it-all Guardian columnists hector them on their lack of an 'Exit Strategy'! (Executive Package includes sudden departure by helicopter from the roof of the compound.)"
Just give us the layout of the editorial offices of the Al Guardian, a list of your contacts there, and the names of any other potential defectors. You did the right thing. Welcome to freedom.
But I'm not prepared to wear the pro-war straitjacket I've been handed without having a good old hissy fit. And a bit of name-calling never goes amiss, either. So may I just single out for salutations, on the "anti-war" side: Pop Stars For Appeasement, Dancers Against Democracy, Actors For Apathy, Fashionistas For Fascism and Jugglers For Genocide. All of them united under that flaccid flag of convenience, Show-Offs For Saddam.
How did we get a referral from Mark Steyn when there's no obvious link to us on his page? Wonders of the Internet, I guess.
So, I drop by the Imperial Palace to take a look at the pearls of the day, and come across the Emperor's delight at the approval of arming airline pilots. It fills the subjects with joy when the Emperor is pleased. Oops, hang on a second, what if the subject isn't pleased? Hmm. Guess there's only one thing to do - blog it. Before I go any further, a couple of points -
- This is not a Second Amendment interpretation based opinion
- This opinion does not revolve around B-grade Hollywood horror flick scenarios of destruction raining from the skies
So what's yer frikkin beef, pilgrim?It is this - the issue of providing aircrews on airliners with a last ditch defense against hijacking, the discussion very quickly itself hijacked and devolved into an extension of the ongoing pro/anti gun argument, with the battle lines drawn according to that playbook. I'm still awaiting any indication of a solid, rational discussion of
- 1) The nature and scope of the problem (also known as threat analysis)
- 2) the possible options available (to include lethal as well as non lethal, with an exploration of the advantages and disadvantages of both)
- 3) the concept of employment for the measure or measures selected as candidate solutions (exactly how will this work)
I agree with Bill Clinton!
Courtesy of Mr. Andrew Sullivan's "Thought for the Day."
"What if [Saddam] fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction? ... Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal." - president Bill Clinton, 1998.
Noticed this on the Blogger home page, and thought I'd give it a spin. audblog audio post I think I'll stick to typing for now...
Ok, kids, let's analyze Bush's reasons for wanting to spread democracy throughout the Mid-east. Why, exactly, would he want to do that? What could his thinking be?
1) He's doing it to protect the American people from the Islamofascist threat.
2) He's doing it for altruistic reasons - bringing democracy to the oppressed peoples of that region.
3) He's doing it because he's owned by the oil companies, and an American Empire in the Mid-east would be great for business.
I don't think anyone, no matter what you believe is "right," can deny that the Mid-east is a threat. I think that how we should deal with this threat is certainly a matter of debate (not to me, but to some), but the threat part seems pretty clear cut. I think the first reason, protecting us from terrorists, is George's driving force. I think that the result of this War on Terror will be the liberalization of the Mid-east, but that's our goal simply because it's the best way to protect ourselves. We're not doing this because we care about the people over there; we're doing this in our own self-interest.
We're going to be the steamroller of democracy; this is a war to protect us, first and foremost. A nice side effect of this will be the liberation of the Mid-east region. Remember, right now the hatred for us in the Mid-east has been generated by their general failure as a culture. This has been thoroughly and brilliantly discussed here. They live their lives according to The Book, while hedonistic America is full of sin and greed, yet she thrives. This is unacceptable to them. More than just being unacceptable, it's an abomination. Combine this with a state-run, anti-American media in many, if not all, Mid-east countries, and we have the present hatred of the "Great Satan."
The only way to defeat this hatred is through democracy and all that she entails. Equal protection under the law, free speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly. A large part of this war will be winning their hearts and minds. These are the things we must bring to our enemies. If we can't do this, we might as well pack it in right now, because anything short of this will be a total failure, and many people will die in vain.
No blood for oil! This has been the cry of the anti-war crowd for a long time. The problem is, it just doesn't jive. If this war were for oil, why didn't we keep the captured Iraqi fields in southern Iraq back in '91? Why don't we take Kuwait's fields? Or Saudi's? We've had troops in both of those countries for over a decade, I'm sure if we really wanted to, we could fabricate a reason to take them. "Big Oil" sure as hell doesn't want a war in the Mid-east - it's bad for business. They like stability. It matters not to them what form this stability takes, as long as things are nice and stable. Oil companies don't mind dictators running oil-producing states. (Why did the oil companies lobby for the end of sanctions against Iraq? They wanted to buy oil, they don't care about WMD or oppressed people - they care about oil.) They don't care whom they buy their oil from, as long as they can buy from someone.
If all we greedy Americans care about is oil, then someone please explain to me American intervention in Kosovo, Somalia and Afghanistan. How were those about oil? Why did the US oppose loosening restrictions on Iraqi oil trade during the 90's while France lobbied for that exact action? Why does the US continue to support oil-free Israel against the wishes of Arab nations who have it? South America supplies the US with just a bit more oil than does the Mid-east, but our policy re: Venezuela has been very hands-off of late, despite the havoc their internal conflicts are playing in the international oil market - why? The long-term effect of securing the Iraqi oil fields would be to drive down the global cost of oil, thus reducing the profits of the very oil-men to whom Bush has sold his soul - why would they want that?
So, unless I'm missing some sort of major conspiracy, it would appear that we're going to liberalize the Mid-east solely for our protection. A very nice side-effect of this liberty will be just that - liberty for the Mid-east people. Seems pretty straightforward to me - unless, that is, I'm in fact being too simplistic.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
By Den Beste. He mentions at the end something to the effect that if Russia and/or France issue a veto in the UNSC, all 250,000 troops will immediately pack up and head home. Well, to quote that sage character Al Borland
I don't think so, Tim
A really ugly story has surfaced from the State of Maine. Apparently, teachers with anti war viewpoints have given servicemen's kids a hard time. While one such incident of a teaching professional not being able to keep their political views out of the classroom, particularly when it can be harmful to specific children is one too many, it now seems there are at least 15 reports of such incidents from across the state. This is totally disgusting, and absolutely unacceptable. It is also unacceptable for mid-level bureaucrats to start playing the 'cover our butts' song and dance. I gladly join with Misha, and urge everyone to make use of the contact information he's compiled. I plan to make use of these links to express the viewpoint that this isn't a 'more sensitivity' issue, but rather a 'zero tolerance' issue. If some of the teachers in the State of Maine have a hard time keeping their political views from splattering all over kids already probably worried enough about whether mommy or daddy is going to come back on two feet or in a bag, then the state should have a hard time continuing their employment.
Hey! Yanqui Imperialist Running Dogs! You now pay attention to Great Ju Che Ideal Workers Paradise of Democratic People's Republic of Korea! Hey! You listen? You Listen! We demanding your attention! Hey! HEY!So, ok, what exactly is it you guys think you're up to? And now, this...
Hey! Yanqui Imperialist Running Dogs! You NO LOOK AT Great Ju Che Driven Workers Paradise. You make Yanqui Air Pirates go away! Yanqui Air Pirates make Great Leader very angry! You no look at us!Sheesh. What the hell do they expect? Update CNN picked a really lame picture. Here's a better one
The McCarthy posting has taken on a life of its own. Original and updated additions is here.
My family is crazy. As evidence of this, my uncle Francis, who is in the seminary, proposes that we send Special Forces dressed as clowns into Baghdad. The reasoning is that Hussein and his buddies will be so thrown by the appearance of clowns on unicylces, that we will achieve total tactical surprise.
I like it!
My aunt is a flaming leftist. As such, she of course has some very "interesting" friends. One of her friends, Charlie, was a Medal of Honor recipient for his actions during the Vietnam War. Charlie is in Baghdad at this moment serving as a human shield. While I certainly wish no harm to come to Charlie, at the same time, I think he is an unbelievable fool and will feel absolutely no sympathy for whatever happens to him. He's basically committing suicide, and for what end?
It boggles my mind that some people are so against Bush, they are not only willing to risk their lives, but to support a dictator like Hussein. This makes no sense to me. Does Charlie not realize what his actions are supporting?! How can he pretend to call himself "peaceful" when he's lending support to a murderous thug? Does he not understand the danger that Iraq and the Islamofascists pose to the rest of the world?
There's just no reasoning with people like this. None.
I love this. I just absolutely love it when liberals get really whiny when people don't want to hear their "message." What's even more cool, is that they just don't seem to understand why most people no longer care about what they have to say. Americans are sick and tired of hearing from leftists who want to blame us for the wrongs done to us. It's a little bit like blaming the victim of a rape.
"If you wouldn't have worn that short skirt, Susie, you wouldn't have been raped."
"If America weren't so American, it wouldn't have been attacked."
Am I the only one who sees the hypocrisy in this?
Anyhoo, Donahue seems to think that he was wrongly fired by MSNBC. Whatever. But this just made my day:
Meanwhile, the Web site www.allyourtv.com posted a commentary on Wednesday by Rick Ellis saying that he had been leaked an internal NBC study that described Donahue as "a tired, left-wing liberal out of touch with the current marketplace."
Tired, left-wing liberal out of touch with the current marketplace. Man, oh man, it just rolls right off of the tongue. In fact, it's worth repeating!
Tired. Left-wing. Liberal. Out of touch.
Maybe. But as Jonah Goldberg argues, its not necessarily be the bad thing that the usual apologists would have you believe. Jonah's basic point? Sure, McCarthy was a flaming jerk, but that particular flaming jerk happened to be mostly right about Communist infiltration and operatives. His mention about a continued 'argument' on which was worse, Nazism or Communism, brings to mind a comment Michele made on Donahue's lamentation about having better ratings in comparison to the rest of the MSNBC prime time lineup
That's kind of like saying the dog-shit flavored ice-cream is selling much better than the elephant-dung flavorSeems to fit for that pointless argument as well. ::Update:: Of course, since Jonah wrote this to be inflammatory, someone was likely to rise to the bait. Looks like one of the first is Kevin Drum from CalPundit.
I'm not sure anyone really denies that there were indeed communist spies in the United States back in the 50s. The problem with McCarthy - and McCarthyism - wasn't that he uncovered lots of communist spies, but that he didn't uncover many communist spies. While other, more careful investigators had some success, McCarthy himself was extraordinarily unproductive.So the gripe seems to be not that McCarthy was after communists, but that he wasn't very good at it. But that isn't Kevin's point.
It's not McCarthyism to accuse a communist of being a communist. It is McCarthyism to accuse someone of being a communist who has only a vague association with communist friends, groups, or ideas.So Kevin's gripe is that of false accusation, and the needless ruining of lives and careers. Seems fair enough, although, in hindsight and with the newly uncovered/declassified evidence available, the 'abusiveness' of McCarthy et al no longer seems so much like abuse, but as just flimsy case building and/or intemperant presentation in more than a few cases. He continues
What we're afraid of is a repeat of the climate of hysteria McCarthy created, where far more innocent people had their careers ruined than were ever actually convicted of any treasonous behavior, where the old saying was turned on its head and ten innocent people were ruined for every guilty person who was sent to prison.Now lets see. Avoidance of hysteria would be a good thing, so the question arises - ten innocent smeared for every conviction? Seems a bit hysterical a claim, given the evidence of the past couple of years. He readily admits that the evidence that there were a lot of communists running about is basically correct, but puts forth the 'it was all a witch hunt and so horrible we cannot repeat it' stance. Interesting when early on he opined, referring to Jonah's piece and some work by Glenn -
I can't tell if they are being deliberately dishonest or if they really don't get it.Its fair to say that the same could be pondered concerning Mr. Drum. ::Update (2):: Some interesting thoughts from a pundit around to see the phenomena first hand - Ayn Rand's, quoted by Arthur Silber. Pretty illuminating, and it cuts a lot of the left wing ballyhooing about the issue right off at the knees. Go now, read.
Link via NZPundit. I can't satirise this! It's impossible! My McMurray ancestors are all leaping up and down, waving claymores and howling in Gaelic in my subconcious, for all the good that'll do. My Maori ancestors are probably laughing fit to bust. I need a drink - half of me wants to get drunk, but the other half doesn't want to pay for it [rim shot].
It took years to discover what a national tartan would look like, association president Frank MacKinnon said. "Consulting Toi Maori Aotearoa (Maori Arts New Zealand) was the first thing we did." Clan New Zealand colours are green for the land, blue for the ocean, brown for Maori, black for our sports, and red for early European settlers. "There is a close resemblance between the tartan kilt and the traditional Maori kini-kini made from dried flax," the New Zealand Tartan Company's brochure said. Miss Clark said in consulting Maori "we have gone about this in a very New Zealand way".
One of my favourite descriptions of Victor Davis Hanson was written last year by Andrew Northrup, and it bears repetition.
The battle lines are drawn. The war is on. There are two sides in this war and there is no common ground between them.
Yeah, that happens to me all the time too. Mmmm...wash away all who oppose us like a dark tide..... Andrew Northrup is a liberal, but he has a brain which is capable of recognising the awful truth. For one thing, he can't stand Robert Fisk.
If you are going to be a hawk, why be half-assed? Why make some candy-ass proposals about how to assemble a coalition and apply diplomatic pressure and use surgical strikes, when you can bellow from the crenellated walls of your Fortress of Blood that the armies of democracy will wash away all who oppose them like a dark tide? And why talk about modern politics and warfare at all when Perecles or Thermistecles or Triceratops offers a perfect object lesson in why America is the fucking tits, and is going to pound your sorry democracy-hating ass until my fist breaks. I think Mr. Hanson should consider taking some TM classes, and possibly a mild tranquilizer, but I hope he doesn't. [Note: This is not in any way an attempt to exorcise myself of the nightmare I have where, night after night, I am a novice hoplite, sea-sick and terrified aboard my trireme, as Prof. Hanson screams in my face about the glory of Athens. We are about to attack the evil Persians, when I realize I am naked, and I don't know how to use my sword, and I'm late for a math test that Prof. Pythagoras said was half my grade. Also, all the Persians look like Jimmy Carter. I awake, drenched in sweat, only to find that I am clutching in my hand a piece of my sunken warship, still wet with the Aegean waters of 25 centuries past! Dear God, just give me one night of peace!]
Andrew is on hiatus from blogging at the moment - there's some cryptic remark at his site about having to work on some sort of top secret orbital atomic death laser at the behest of Dick Cheney and the Masters of the Universe (which by the way would be a great name for a rock...oh, Dave Barry's job's still taken is it?). But in the meantime, he lets us in on How Democrats Make Political Decisions. It's revealing.
As if the people of the Arab world didn't have enough problems, now they have to contend with the withering scorn of Robert Fisk: What on earth is it with the Arabs? Of all people, they – and they alone – are likely to suffer in this American invasion of their homeland. They – and they alone – have the will and the ability to understand that this US military adventure is intended – as Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, frankly declared last week – to change the map of the Middle East. What on dirt, indeed. Like a Pioneer 10 of self-parody, Mr. Fisk has now moved far beyond the the usual dizzy orbits, and is drifting off, bravely, hyperbolically, where no fool has gone before. You silly, silly man.
From now on, whenever anyone asks me my opinion on any political issue, I am going to throw my hands in the air, say "I delegated that", and motion in the general direction of Washington, D.C. The outcomes of any policy decisions will be evaluated after the fact, on a ten-point scale, just like on "Are You Hot?" When voting time comes around, I will add up the candidate's scores, make appropriate adjustments for style and degree of difficulty, compare these scores against the median score for all politicians (both for the modern era and over history; for America and world-wide), compute an overall political competance differential (OPD), and then vote Democrat.
"War will lead to a coalition between moderate and fundamentalist Muslims," which is in a way good to hear, since it means Jones is willing to lump everybody - not just dumb 'mericans, into monolithic groups, despite evidence to the contrary. "The UN is likely to be damaged." As Steven Den Beste is fond of saying, this is a feature, not a bug - at least in my book. "The clash of civilisations will continue," to which I say, bring it on. I'll bet my quantum physics, Renaissance art, and cheap global air travel against your sharia law and Koranic memorization any day of the week. And win.
We missed our input to the Carnival of the Vanities, but hey, head on over to Kesher Talk and check it out anyway, if you haven't already.
Where there's a will and a blogger, there's a blog. You want an on-scene perspective, go get your fill from LT SMASH. It doesn't get much more honest than this, folks.
I didn't come here looking for a thrill. I'm here because there is a hole in the ground in New York, where a couple of the world's tallest buildings used to be. I'm here because I knew some of those people in the Pentagon. I'm here because my seven-year-old nephew has nightmares about terrorists. I'm here because whether Saddam is responsible or not for those terrorist attacks, he has the will and is developing the means to do much, much worse. I'm here because if History teaches us anything, it is that evil men cannot be deterred by sanctions, containment strategies, diplomacy, resolutions, or weapons inspections. I'm here because I don't believe in appeasement. I'm here because someone has to be. I'm here because I was called. I'm here because I have a job to do.Or this
The sunrise this morning was beautiful. There was dust in the air on the eastern horizon, magnifying the sun into a large, bright orange orb that seemed almost too big to lift off the ground. I was almost too busy to notice. Almost, but not quite. I paused for a few moments, to soak it all in. Then I got back to work. We're sharpening the sword. We are by no means perfect in our execution, but every day we get a little bit better. And every day, there are more of us. I pray that God will show Mercy to anyone who stands in our way. Because we won'tGo and read what else the man has to say...
MEMRI has a translation from an Islamist website claiming an attack, possibly by Al Qa'ida, within 'about ten days', apparently in the US. The text indicates the team(s) is or are in place, awaiting a 'go' signal. Can't help but wonder if its a real telegraph of a punch, or just some pretty blunt information warfare in action. Guess we'll know in 'about ten days.' Bastards. (via LGF)
Most of the time driving around I listen to NPR. This is the result of choosing between listening to brain numbing music, or brain numbing discussions, or listening to the odd sounds of the car and wondering what is about to wear out and break that's making THAT noise. Sometimes, there is something on that doesn't make me into a hazardous driver due to the eye rolling caused by this or that ridiculous statement. Such as this question: What do you get when you combine a digital camera, a website, and too much time on your hands? One possible answer (in the Jeopardy format, of course is) How Much Is Inside?. Includes Vegamite! SPOILER ALERT - no, he didn't win the Suburban...
In an ideal world, this would actually happen.
I am talking about an Israeli court, a Jewish court, to judge humanity. Perhaps something called "The Israeli Criminal Court For Crimes Against The Jewish People." This court wouldn’t be in The Hague or in Brussels, but rather, in Jerusalem. Given the history of Crusades, Inquisitions, pogroms, Holocausts and today’s relentless terrorism, plus the media’s own pogrom, I think such a tribunal is entirely legitimate. Never before have the nations had to formally answer for their crimes specifically against the Jewish people. Why not? If Israel has to answer, why not them? Let’s call them in, and for once, let Israel be the judge. Start with Belgium, and let that nation answer for its war crimes in the Congo, Rwanda, and Somalia, where millions were put to starvation, torture, rape and murder. Bring in the families and supporters of Arab suicide bombers. Bring in all the clerics who call for jihad. Subpoena them if you have to. Bring in France for its Paris Roundup of 1942 and the 72,000 Jews it handed over to the Nazis, and which still supports the Nazis who today go by a different name. Bring in those British newspapers that call for the dismantling of Israel, and that Oxford poet who demanded that all Jewish settlers be shot and killed. Bring him to Jerusalem.
The eminent legal personages who have lent their august reputations to this pile of steaming dreck that would attract a fail mark in any decently-run first year law course are listed below. If you are ever accused of a capital crime and one of these geniuses turns up as your court-appointed lawyer, you might like to consider saving everyone a lot of time and just ask for the lethal injection straight away.
Even if the use of force can be justified, international humanitarian law places significant limits on the means and methods of warfare. ... Intentionally launching an attack knowing that it will cause "incidental" loss of life or injury to civilians "which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated" constitutes a war crime at international law. I somehow guessed we'd get here; the US government is comprised of war criminals. The military objective of disarming Iraq could not justify widespread harm to the Iraqi population, over half of whom are under the age of 15. The use of nuclear weapons in a pre-emptive attack would seem to fall squarely within the definition of a war crime. Did you see that? Just before you could ask what they meant by "widespread" they nuke you. What a shut-your-face that was. But even without the nukes: Estimates of civilian deaths in Iraq suggest that up to quarter of a million people may die as a result of an attack using conventional weapons and many more will suffer homelessness, malnutrition and other serious health and environmental consequences in its aftermath. Whose "estimates"? And why "up to" rather than the best estimate? This are standard rhetorical devices employed by political shonks. Is that what you are, professors? What about the 'estimates' that 'up to' ten million Iraqis will be dancing in the streets when the Saddamite dictatorship falls? And the lives saved by ending those UN sanctions. Not to mention the two million Saddam-generated corpses, who have no rights.
I think we're supposed to be impressed. Well I'm not. If a million otherwise intelligent people believe a stupid thing, it's still stupid.
Don Anton, senior lecturer, ANU; Peter Bailey, professor, ANU; Andrew Byrnes, professor, ANU; Greg Carne, senior lecturer, University of Tasmania; Anthony Cassimatis, lecturer, University of Queensland; Hilary Charlesworth, professor and director, Centre for International and Public Law, ANU; Madelaine Chiam, lecturer, ANU; Julie Debeljak, associate director, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law; Kate Eastman, Wentworth Chambers, Sydney; Carolyn Evans, senior lecturer, Melbourne University; Devika Hovell, lecturer, University of NSW; Fleur Johns, lecturer, Sydney University; Sarah Joseph, associate director, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash University; Ann Kent, research fellow, Centre for International and Public Law, ANU; David Kinley, professor and director, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash University; Susan Kneebone, associate professor, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law; Wendy Lacey, lecturer, Adelaide University; Garth Nettheim AO, emeritus professor, UNSW; Penelope Mathew, senior lecturer, ANU; Ian Malkin, associate professor, Melbourne University; Chris Maxwell QC, Melbourne Bar; Tim McCormack, Red Cross professor and director, centre for military law, Melbourne University; Sophie McMurray, lecturer, UNSW; Anne McNaughton, lecturer, ANU; Kwame Mfodwo, lecturer, Monash Law School; Wayne Morgan, senior lecturer, ANU; Anne Orford, associate professor, Melbourne University; Emile Noel, senior fellow, New York University Law School; Dianne Otto, associate professor, Melbourne University; Peter Radan, senior lecturer, Macquarie Law School; Rosemary Rayfuse, senior lecturer, UNSW, Simon Rice OAM, president, Aust ralian Lawyers for Human Rights; Donald Rothwell, associate professor, Sydney University; Michael Salvaris, senior research fellow, Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University; Chris Sidoti, professor, Human Rights Council of Australia; John Squires, director, Aust ralian Human Rights Centre, UNSW; James Stellios, lecturer, ANU; Tim Stephens, lecturer, Sydney University; Julie Taylor, University of WA; Gillian Triggs, professor and co-director, Institute for International and Comparative Law, Melbourne University; John Wade, professor and director of the Dispute Resolution Centre, Bond Univer sity; Kristen Walker, senior lecturer, Melbourne University; Brett Williams, lecturer, Sydney University; Sir Ronald Wilson, former High Court judge and president, Human Rights Commission.
Davis and Jefferson may be Virginians. But in my opinion (and I'm a damned furriner) only one of them has the right to be called an American.
I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
John Derbyshire (and what an honest, red-faced, beef-eating name he bears!) has fun going into the roots of Anglo-Saxon rage at Frankish treachery at NRO. Go read it, it's a hoot and a half.
Submission, Dauphin? 'Tis a mere French word. We English warriors wot not what it means.
All this is perfectly innocent fun, and part of an established tradition of pouring mocking derision on the French that goes back possibly to Julius Caesar and Vercingetorix. Speaking of which, did you know Great Caesar has his own blog? It's rather instructive on methods of dealing with the troublesome inhabitants of the province of Gaul.
...frog-bashing requires no actual excuse, and can be enjoyed at any time, with the support of no less an authority than the Swan of Avon. When the French actually do go out of their way to vex the Anglosphere, as they did recently in the U.N. Security Council, there is no reason to restrain ourselves at all. All those jokes you have been hearing this past few weeks about French treachery and pusillanimity — "French rifle for sale; almost new; only thrown down in surrender twice..." — have a long and respectable pedigree. Go ahead, enjoy yourself. Did you hear that the French government has banned fireworks at Euro Disney? They are afraid that the sounds of the explosions might cause soldiers at a nearby French army garrison to surrender.
And for an insight into how the national character hasn't changed much since the Legions brought the concept of taking a bath every now and then to the barbarous inhabitants, have a look at what happened a bit later in the campaign.
The Carnutes expected the siege of Vellaunodunum to last much longer, and so they were surprised when we appeared at the gates of their town after just two days' march. We arrived late, however, and weren't able to attack that day. The townspeople attempted an escape during the night. I had forseen this, and had ordered two legions to remain under arms all night. So we were able to foil the escape, and now Cenabum (also known as Orleans) is ours. Rather than garrison it or trust the inhabitants to stay out of trouble, I've rewarded my hardworking men by letting them plunder and burn the town. All the inhabitants will be sold as slaves - I'll let my soldiers handle it and keep the revenue themselves. Posted by Julius Caesar at 01:58 PM
Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose, unless I'm very much mistaken It's an interesting blog, well written, and Big Julie certainly lets us in on what he's up to. Quite a few lessons for posterity. It's not just about Gaul either - check out the archives on The Belgae Revolt. Now there's a phrase you don't hear very often these days.
We marched on to Noviodunum, a town of the Bituriges. The siege had barely begun when representatives came out to beg for their lives. As I want to keep up the pace of my offensive and get to Gorgobina, I granted their request. We were in the process of disarming the Gauls when a massive force of cavalry appeared on the horizon. The Bituriges thought they now had a chance of resisting so they grabbed back their weaponry and fought. Luckily the centurions got their men out of the town without a single casualty, and I ordered my Gallic cavalry to meet Vercingetorix's force while this was happening. The Gallic horsemen faltered, so I decided to test my new German bodyguard. They charged out ferociously and broke the rebels' line, but I had ordered them not to follow if the enemy retreated, so they returned with barely a scratch on them. Now the townsmen changed their mind again. They rounded up those they felt were responsible for the previous about-face and handed them off to us. Fair enough.
But I find myself in the strange position of having read something that DenBeste published, and thinking he's wrong. Well actually, not that strange. The direction Steven heads with this post is one he's commented on previously - that the shennanigans at the UN are wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. Perhaps. My point of disagreement with Steven is to the import which he assigns the theater of absurd on the Hudson, and the result of the blathering in the UNSC actively charting the course of American actions over the next 30 to 90 days. My bet is that they will not, as I see little evidence of any significant impact to this point. The basic goal has not changed. We've pointed to the fence in left field, and for the past few months we have been firmly stepping into the batter's box, planting our feet, and adjusting our grip on the bat. My thoughts are that it is all filler, something to do in the meantime. A distraction. Theater. While Steven may have already reached the conclusion, and be firmly of the opinion that the UNSC, and the UN itself have outlived their usefulness, have already passed into irrelevancy, and are therefore a waste of our time to dawdle around with; It does serve the purpose of being an outlet for the whining and flailing of those that will get the shaft and don't hold Iraqi diplomatic passports - namely the French and the Germans. It also serves as a source of false hope to occupy the attentions of a regime that has for the past 11 years used all of these pieces and parts to its advantage. Change the course of US policy dealing with Iraq? Maybe if this was the last administration, not this time around. If there is any discussion about the UN within the administration, I'd be far more comfortable wagering that such discussion is on how many more chances to give them to redeem themeselves from being exposed as obviously neutered. To be blunt, the discussion of the utility of a useless organization for influencing useful idiots. All the banter about this president being 'stupid' and overly simplistic does blow right past one key observation. The part about simple. The more complex a plan or contraption, the more opportunity for it to fail or perform in ways other than expected. The KISS principle. We intend to disarm Iraq, you can help, or not. Simple. Has that message and stated goal been altered one bit? I think not. ::Update:: Andrew Sullivan points out why. To put it in these terms, the French are bluffing. We are not, and haven't been.
MEMRI is a great resource for news from the Arab and Muslim world, offering direct translations from a variety of sources; articles and speeches, from periodicals, news media, and as has become an almost regular fixture on LGF, summaries of the Friday sermons from the larger state sponsored mosques in the Muslim World. Its easy to skim through the MEMRI content offerings and come up with a tremendous haul of vitriolic, anti-western, anti-Semitic bile; the Islamic media is absolutely awash in it. But there are signs of other perspectives, on occasion. And these occasions seem more and more frequent, which is encouraging. This item is an example: Egyptian Opposition Daily Condemns Suicide Martyrdom Operations. What isn't clear is the circulation or reach of such messages. Is this a widely read publication? Or is it cranked out on a mimeo machine and furtively handed out by a fearful minority underground? By the unflattering appraisal of official Egyptian policy, its not hard to imagine the authors and editors becoming objects of unwelcome and unfriendly 'official attention'. In this article, while it is promising that the author, Egyptian attorney Ahmad Shawqi 'Iffat, absolutely slams the practice of Palestinian Suicide bombings, he restricts his criticism to the act itself, but it seems a given that the Palestinians are dealing with an 'enemy', not neighbors. MEMRI has also produced a number of articles here, here, here, and here, that feature Iraqi bluster juxtaposed against Saudi and Egyptian condemnation of the current prelude to War, placing the blame for the crisis squarely on the head of Saddam Hussein. This acknowledgement that Saddam is the actual agent provocateur in this instance is encouraging, however, on closer reading, the condemnation itself seems to stem from the perspective of Saddam giving the West an excuse to come in and raise a ruckus. The Saudi solution is rather simplistic, that Saddam should just off himself, so everyone can go back to the status quo. Now, while these are not ringing endorsements for western action in Iraq, the are significant in that they acknowledge the fact that Saddam is the responsible party. That concept in itself casts further doubt on the fear of the 'uprising of the Arab street' against a war. Not that all this points to a future of wine and roses. There are significant and troubling differences of outlook and perspective to that of the west expressed in all of these articles. But there is hope, in that they do not seek the most common escape of laying the blame for Arabic/Islamic problems on the doorstep of the West. Just trying to maintain a positive attitude about it all, folks. Feel free to use the comments and let us know what you think about it.
Get your bee-hind over and wish the Newlyweds well! Go on! Mr. and Mrs. Castel-Dodge, congratulations. Best wishes for many, many years of happiness for you both.
And oh lawdy, shock and surprise, they aren't the uses the idiots planned to be useful for. Seems the useful idiots wanted to shield those hotbeds of targetting activity around Baghdad on the Ultra-Double-Top-Secret Targetting list, which we'll share here since its no longer Ultra-Double-Top-Secret, since the useful idiots spilled the beans, and it has been declassified -
- Suburban Baghdad Houses
- The Al Rasheed Hotel
- Babylonian Ruins on the outskirts of the City
List? Those morons call this a list? Don't those shitheads know the Americans never bomb these places? Are they really that effing stupid or just cowardly media whores?That's a question I'd care neither to try and answer, nor wager on.
Poor bastards, if anyone deserves freedom it's them. They've been betrayed by almost everyone, after having been promised a state in 1920. It'd be the height of hypocrisy for us to start our campaign to liberate the Arab world by cynically betraying the one functioningArab democracy in the region. And the Kurds themselves are well aware of the possibility of yet another back-stab.
According to the Treaty of Sèvres, concluded by the Allies with Turkey in 1920, the Kurds were promised an independent state; this promise, however, was not kept. Of an estimated 20 million Kurds in the early 1990s, more than half lived in Turkey, the rest in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the former republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Since 1925 Kurdish revolts have occurred in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. In 1970, after more than eight years of almost continuous war, the Iraqi government promised the Kurds autonomy over a region in north-eastern Iraq. The implementation of this pledge in 1974 fell far short of Kurdish demands, however, and the civil war resumed. The rebellion collapsed in 1975 after Iran withdrew its support, as part of a border agreement with Iraq. Thousands of Kurds were killed (some by the use of chemical weapons), and hundreds of Kurdish villages were destroyed by Iraqi troops in 1988, after Kurdish guerrillas sided with Iran in the Iran-Iraq war. In March and April 1991, immediately after the Gulf War, another Kurdish uprising was crushed by the Iraqi government. More than 1 million Kurds fled to Turkey, Iran, and the mountainous areas of northern Iraq; about 600,000 Kurds remained in refugee camps in northern Iraq under United Nations (UN) protection in 1992. Microsoft® Encarta® Premium Suite 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
I get the impression that nothing has been decided about what's going to happen to Kurdistan after the war. Certainly the messages the Kurds are getting seem to imply that the Turks aren't going to be allowed to occupy the oil producing region, or the main cities.
Two weeks ago, the independent Kurdish newspaper Hawlati did a survey in which respondents were asked, "Do you trust the U.S. to protect Kurdistan?" in the event of a war with Saddam. "Fifty-five percent said no," I was told by Aso Harti, the gutsy editor of this pioneering paper. A prime reason for this skepticism: the Kurds fear U.S. officials will let Saddam gas them again. For six months, Kurdish leaders have been asking the United States to help them prepare for the possibility that Saddam may attack them with weapons of mass destruction. They have repeatedly requested mobile clinics, gas masks, antibiotics like Cipro, and antidotes to biological agents such as atropine, all of which they are lacking. Help has been promised, but nothing has arrived yet. And war may be only a few weeks away.
So, the US is apparently telling everyone not to make any sudden moves, keep your hands where we can see them, and just move real slowly and carefully, okay? We got you covered, don't try any cute moves. As soo as we've decided your fate, we'll let you know. This is what happens when you run an empire - you might as well get used to it, there are similarly hard choices to be made before all this is over. It doesn't get any easier.
"The message was that Turkish troops are going to cross the border. The Kurds were notified formally. But they are to stay in an unspecified border area and they can't stretch down to any city," said the source, who asked not to be named. Khalilzad also told the Kurdish leaders that their militia forces should also keep out of cities such as Kirkuk and Mosul, the major cities on the edge of the autonomous zone the Kurds have been running in northern Iraq since 1991. "The message to the Kurds is 'Don't get any ideas, don't take Kirkuk and don't do anything silly'," the source said.