Tapped has been bitching about nerdy chickenhawks who support war with Iraq. Pejman Yousefzadeh, aka PejmanPundit does the nastiest thing one can do to a liberal jackass like Tapped: look at what would happen if he got his wish. Pejman looked up the population numbers and calculated that if the 69% of the electorate who support the war all joined the military, we'd have 164 million people in uniform. I love it!
Never mind the fact that this would leave the entire country virtually adultless. What will the United States military do with 164 million people? If they are shipped overseas, Tapped, Shropshire and Warbloggerwatch will complain about this unprecedented display of American imperialism, unilateralism, "cowboy" actions--all that good stuff we are so used to hearing from the Left. If such an unbelievalbly large contingent of Americans under arms are kept at home, there will be fears raised about a "military junta" or the "impending imposition of martial law." And don't forget the budgetary issues. If you want to feed, house, clothe, train, pay and arm 164 million Americans in the armed forces, the annual defense budget will have to run in the tens of trillions of dollars. Which means that there will be no money whatsoever for anything else. And that means that Tapped, Shropshire and the rest of Warbloggerwatch will complain that the United States has chosen guns over butter. Which it will have--but only to fulfill the Left's newfound fervor that each and every person who supports the war on Iraq should fight in it, lest they are labeled "nerdy chickenhawks."
Well, as an alternative, maybe we can get Al-Qaeda to sing Kumbayah.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:14:00 PM Link ...
In Helping Enemies of America, Saudis Sow Seeds of Own Destruction
Arnaud de Borchgrave has this article on newsmax.com. I knew we were "reassesing" our relationship with the Saudis, but I didn't realize we had cut Saudi oil imports to below 8 percent. This is excellent! They have less of our money to give to terrorists, and we have a freer hand in dealing with our numerous problems in the region.
Cutting Imports of Saudi Oil
The United States has also moved swiftly to reduce dependence on Saudi oil. Almost unnoticed, the United States now gets less than 8 percent of its oil needs from the kingdom, according to the American Petroleum Institute.
Sept. 11 revealed an ugly House of Saud secret. The scheme was brilliant in its simplicity. Saudi's fanatical Wahhabi clergy was allocated untold billions during the past 20 years to turn the Koran into a book of holy war against the United States and Israel and spread its teachings in mosques and Koranic schools in much of Asia, Africa, Western Europe and North America.
In return, the Saudi clergy agreed to keep the 25,000-strong royal family out of its crosshairs.
What the House of Saud still cannot accept is that it has sown the seeds of its own destruction. It is now reassessing its strategic relationship with the United States.
Washington's reassessment of that relationship started after Sept. 11. It is now almost complete.
Cato is no biblical scholar, but Hosea 8:7 seems appropriate: "For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up."
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:06:00 PM Link ...
Rumsfeld Warns That Iraq Ties Will Hurt Russian Pocketbooks
WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld issued a stern warning to Moscow today, saying that expanding trade with Iraq would brand Russia a friend of terrorist states and frighten foreign investors away from its capital-starved economy.
"To the extent that Russia decides that it wants to parade its relationships with countries like Iraq and Libya and Syria and Cuba and North Korea, it sends a signal out across the globe that that is what Russia thinks is a good thing to do, to deal with the terrorist states," Mr. Rumsfeld said.
Decisions by Russian leaders to deepen economic ties with Iraq, Mr. Rumsfeld argued, hurt Russia "because people all across the globe, business people, can make a decision: Where do they want to put a plant? Where do they want to invest? Where do they want to have a relationship?"
Three cheers for Rumsfeld! If Russia supports Saddam, she opposes America. Russia should be required to decide who she wants as a trading partner. If she chooses Saddam, Western businesses should curtail all new investment in Russia. American consumers should boycott any company that doesn't.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 8:41:00 PM Link ...
:: Wednesday, August 21, 2002 ::
Cato's Iron Fisk
Charles at Little Green Footballs linked to this article on ArabNews, but didn't quote it, claiming that it was too sickening. He has a point, but Cato just got in a truckload of fresh fisk-ass, and he's gonna use it.
<bad martial arts movie dubbing> Israel Shamir! You have o-fend-ed Israel. You have o-fend-ed United States. You have o-fend-ed Cato. (not to be confused with Kato). Now you feel Cato's Iron Fisk Technique. </bad martial arts movie dubbing>
Rock of dissent by National Alliance By Israel Shamir, Special to Arab News
JAFFA, 21 August - A victim can develop mental attachment to the tormentor. Patty Hearst, a millionaire's daughter, was kidnapped and fell in love with her kidnappers.
In the Night Porter, the dark movie by Liliana Cavani, an ex-inmate of a Nazi camp and an ex-SS-man, her tormentor of past, run a passionate love affair.
Patty Hearst? The Night Porter? Is this what you fantasize about, Izzy? Is this the only way you can get a woman? It's a good thing you live in Jaffa, not Jiddah, 'coz if they found The Night Porter in your video collection they'd probably bury you up to your waist and stone you. Oops, I forgot, under Sharia, all sexual offences are the woman's fault, so they'd issue a fatwa ordering that Charlotte Rampling be buried up to her waist and stoned.
Now something similar happens in the Palestinian American community. The most reviled and wronged group of American population is called to defend the most prosperous and powerful one against their own supporters.
You mean African-Americans are being asked to defend WASPS against the Jews? Oops, forgot again. To Arabs and Pro-Arab lickspittles like Izzy, Arabs are the most wronged people in the world, and Jews are the most powerful, the authors of all Arab problems, and any group which hates Jews deserves sainthood. Sorry about that. One of these days, I'll get it right.
On Aug. 24, 2002 there will be an event in Washington, Rock for Palestine, or Rock against Israel, as it is also called. The event is organized by some right-wing Americans, loosely connected to a small group called National Alliance (NA). Whatever one thinks about NA, one would expect a satisfied shrug, at least, if not outright support coming from Palestinians and their friends in the US.
I suppose if Palestinian-Americans can support the likes of Hamas, which blows Jews to bloody bits and wants to drive them into the sea, they can support the National Alliance, which would reopen Auchwitz, if it could.
Instead, in the e-mails there is a hysterical letter [see box] addressed to "all my Arab sisters and brothers", calling to violently confront the event in a military manner(!) "In several different contingents with various risk levels". The letter is extremely violent and is written in intemperate language of hate, the like of it we have not seen before: "We have to stop this racist scum from polluting the Palestinian cause", no less. The organizers of the event are described as "neo-Nazis", "fascists", "Nazi enemies" and "anti-Semites". It is composed by a mysterious East Coast Anti-Fascist Network, and has some Arab names attached to it, though for sure it isn't written by an Arab.
If you haven't seen intemperate, hateful language before, you haven't been proofreading your columns, Izzy. The reason the National Alliance is described as "neo-Nazis", "fascists", "Nazi enemies" and "anti-Semites" is because that's what they are. Associating with "racist scum" (another accurate descriptive term) certainly won't make the rest of the world any more sympathetic toward the Palestinian cause.
Now, nobody likes Nazis, but I wonder why this militant Anti-Fascist Network did not go out to confront gatherings and demonstrations of Judeo-Nazis?
Let's analyze the term "Judeo-Nazis". A Nazi believes that Jews are subhuman and that all Jews should be exterminated. The "Judeo" prefix denotes something or someone who is Jewish or derived from Judaism. A Judeo-Nazi must then be a Jew who believes that Jews are subhuman and should all be exterminated. The only person I know of who fits that description is you, Izzy. And one person, no matter how impressive, can't be a gathering, so there are no gatherings of Judeo-Nazis for the East Coast Anti-Fascist Network to protest.
What is so wonderful about us Jews that so many people wish to go out and fight for us "in different contingents with various risk levels"? Why this fighting Uruk-hai does not describe Mort Zuckerman or Richard Perle, "racist scum"? Not even Israeli settlers, as racist as anybody, were ever described as "racist scum" that "should not pollute Palestine".
It is a mistake to describe anybody as "scum". We should promote more tolerant discourse, accepting or arguing, not fighting somebody else's war.
If you consider blood libel tolerant discourse, you need to spend some time with a dictionary, or even someone who is reasonably fluent in English.
The letter of this "Anti-Fascist Network" looks like an attempt of the Jewish lobby to make its adversaries to fight each other.
Or an attempt to shame them into displaying a bit of common decency.
This thing has no end. Today they want us to fight NA, tomorrow they would ask us to condemn Farrakhan, and next day - to reject Hezbollah and Hamas.
It would improve the Palestinians' image if they did, but if Palestinians want to be known as thugs and friends of thugs, that's their business, not mine.
Maybe some of us would like to be approved and promoted only by the Yale professors. But we live in real world. Israel accepts support of every racist that extends its support: Be it South African apartheid of old, or present-day fundamentalists, and it does not hurt its "credibility".
Actually, it hurt Israel quite a bit in Sub-Saharan Africa. Between support of South African, and Arab bribes, Israel has few friends in Africa.
It does not mean that one should run forward and endorse the NA get-together. But these people should be worked with, not rejected out of hand. Some of their erroneous ideas could be corrected. If they would just say "affirmation of European legacy" instead of "white supremacy" you would discover that the arguments against them collapse. The meaning is quite similar, but wording is important.
I do not intend even to enter discussion, whether the organizers of the event are good guys or bad guys. They can't be more racist than the present Israeli government and the American Jewish community leadership. They can't be more racist than Pat Roberson and his bunch of (anti-) Christian Zionists.
I don't blame you for avoiding discussions of ethics. Anyone who reads your crap can see that you lack both the brains and the ethical training to make a coherent argument. And your English could use some work, too.
Let this anti-fascist (and surely crypto-Jewish) network go out and fight them first. I would bless whoever supports the cause of Palestine without checking their ideological credentials. I bless all supporters of Palestine full stop.
Yes, we know. That attitude is why so many people consider Arabs and their lickspittle toadies barbarians.
However, navigating to the home page of the NA, one finds a cartoon (http://www.natallco.com/) to sympathize with. It is rather crude depiction of a Neo-Con, looking like a cross between Kissinger and Perle, asking America to kill his enemies: Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and so forth. Yes, these guys are short of finesse, some of their ideas are weird, but they came to correct conclusion: America should not fight the WWIII for the Zionists' sake.
I didn't find the cartoon, but I did find a rave review of a computer game that, "will satisfy your urge to blow away some Mexicans, Hebes, and Simian-Americans". Nice people, these guys. I can see why you like them. They're your kind of people, Izzy. Their ideas certainly are weird. So weird that they fall outside the norms of civilized conduct.
In our Togethernet, "the freest discussion group in the known Universe" J, we had some people who will attend the concert. One of them wrote: "I don't know of ANY white "supremacists" outside of a couple of fantasizing juvenile delinquents in the World Church of the Creator and some Hollywood Nazis. And a section of the Republican Party personified by George Bush. "Supremacist" is a label created by the Zionists of the ADL and kindred spirits. It was used for the same purpose as calling all Palestinian opposition to Zionist occupation and invasion, 'terrorism'. Methinks the Zionists engage in a lot of projectionism when they cast their epithets".
If a bunch of Palestinians get some guns and go after Israeli soldiers, I wouldn't call it terrorism. I might call it stupid, but I wouldn't call it terrorism. It becomes terrorism when you go after unarmed civilians because you don't have the balls to go after soldiers.
If we go out now to defend the powerful American Jews and to fight these 'White' guys, because we do not like their ideology, our next step should be to go out and defend Israel with our own bodies against possible attack from Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Saddam is also supposed to be a bad guy, and I am ready to accept he is. In 1991, I wrote in the leading Russian newspaper, "Probably Saddam is a bad guy, but the Middle East needs a strong bad guy to counteract other, Zionist bad guys".
In other words, Saddam may be an SOB, but he's our SOB. I can relate to that. Americans used to feel that way about the House of Saud. We don't anymore. Saddam's first, the House of Saud's next, and with luck, the Iranian people will shoot those asshole mullahs of theirs, and save us the trouble.
The world is full of bad guys, and things are good only if and when the bad guys balance each other. Saddam would balance Sharon, while the White supremacists would balance the Jewish supremacists. If indeed these men are not supremacists, but cultural separatists, as they claim, we certainly can do things together with them, and with another group of cultural separatists, the Black Muslims, too.
Saddam would balance Sharon? In his dreams, maybe. Not in anything I would recognize as reality. If Arab-Americans want to emulate "cultural separatists" like the National Front and the Black Muslims, they should not complain if the rest of America writes them off as barbarians. If it looks like a pig, and it sounds like a pig, and it rolls around in the mud with the pigs, it probably is a pig, and calling it a lamb will not make it halal.
The author of the epistle offers, with his low grade cunning, an additional reason for Palestinians to go and fight for Jews: "If we don't do this, our Nazi enemies will claim our noble cause and our Zionist enemies will try to present them as our face". Let him rest assured. In Israel, and in Jewish communities overseas, Palestinians are presented as Nazis on daily basis.
And for good reason - if it looks like a pig, and it sounds like a pig, and it rolls around in the mud with the pigs, it probably is a pig.
Menachem Begin called Arafat, "Hitler" years ago. If there is a nasty thing that the Jewish-owned media could say and print about Palestinians, they already did it. When Palestinian children are shot, Palestinians are blamed that they let their children out. The Palestinians are already smeared so much that they can not be smeared more: They are already described as Jew-haters and baby-killers. How come we Jews do not become "discredited" because of Kahane terrorists or Sharon's assassins? Because people understand: not every Jew is a Judeo-Nazi. In the same way, Americans can distinguish between different opponents of the Israeli apartheid.
Because even "Sharon's assassins" go after combatants, not civilians. That's a big difference, though the Arabs' leaders and their toadies can't seem to get their feeble minds around it.
Let us suppose for the sake of argument, that these 'white supremacists' are real Nazis. (They are not). It would be enough for them to cease attacking Jews, and they would become perfectly good in the eyes of the US media.
Wrong again, Izzy. They'd have to lay off the African-American, Mexicans, Asians, and anyone else who can't trace their family tree back to Germany, Scandinavia, or maybe England.
After that, they would be permitted to say whatever they wish against Muslims, Palestinians, Blacks. All this talk against fascism lasts only as long as the fascists are against Jews. The moment they switch sides, they get kosher approval. Now, an Israeli government delegation participated in deliberations of European extreme right ("fascists") in Brussels. In the US, the "pro-white" people are not courted by the Jewish community, but it still could happen, if we do not watch out.
Given the level of Anti-Semitic violence in Europe, and the unwillingness of the European governments to do anything to stop it, I'm not surprised the Israelis are talking to opposition parties, even far-right ones.
Probably you had seen this last Bruce Willis movie, Last Man Standing. In a small Texan town there are two gangs, and Willis helps them to fight it out. The Jewish supremacists are a million times stronger than all White supremacists put together. Elementary strategy calls us to avoid giving any support to the Jewish cause, until the apartheid in Palestine is dismantled.
In Last Man Standing, Willis' character ends up killing off both sides, leaving him the Last Man Standing. I'm not sure what connection the move has to the Middle East, unless Izzy is suggesting that America kill off both the Arabs and the Jews. I personally think that's a little excessive. Killing off one side would solve the conflict, but which side? There are fewer Jews, and they are packed closer together, so it would probably be easier to kill them off, but the Jews haven't been blowing Americans up, slitting their throats, etc. The Arabs have, and they say that they plan to continue killing us. So if we have to kill off one side or the other, I suppose we should kill off the Arabs, but personally I'd prefer something a bit less drastic, like kicking out the worst of their rulers, and taking away their oil fields. Without the oil money, the terrorist organizations would have a tough time getting weapons, training, and bases to train their thugs.
As for the concert, probably some Palestinians and their friends will get there, and the rest would stay away. The organizers did not ask for anybody's endorsement. Let the anti-fascists keep their strength for more worthy cause. And whoever will go to fight for the American Jewish community, let him be prepared for disappointment. His chivalry will not be reciprocated.
The Israelis have been better allies to America than any Arab country. If you have Saudi Arabia for an ally, you don't need enemies.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 4:29:00 PM Link ...
I support military action against Iraq because I believe that the risks of action are lower than the risks of inaction. Many smart, well-informed people -- people who take the threat of terrorism seriously, people who supported the war in Afghanistan -- have run a similar calculus in their heads and come out the other way. What causes us to disagree?
But, Gene, there's no invisible hand in foreign affairs. There are no equilibrating mechanisms or feedback loops in the Hobbesian chaos of state-to-state relations that give us any assurance that, if the United States were only to stand aside, things would go as well for us in the world as they possibly could.
Indeed, even if Saddam were deterred from using WMDs against us during his lifetime (which is far from certain), who can say what would happen in the power struggle after his death (may it happen soon). When faced with an enemy that you cannot turn into a friend you have three basic options:
Destroy him preemptively.
Aggressively contain him by economic and military means.
Do nothing, and let the enemy pick the time and place of battle.
Historically, the US has chosen option three. In the pre-nuclear era, geography allowed us to pursue this course with relatively low risk of crippling damage. Even the horrific damage of the Pearl Harbor attack was reparable, and the military situation in the Pacific was salvagable. Nuclear weapons, possibly smuggled in using cargo containers, pose a risk that is greater by at least an order of magnitude. Option three is simply no longer acceptable, and option two is acceptable only if preemption is impractical. It is possible and practical to preempt Iraq's development of nuclear weapons. It is irresponsible not to.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 3:09:00 PM Link ...
JEDDAH, 20 August — Saudi Arabia yesterday warned that an attack on neighboring Iraq could lead to a human catastrophe and destabilize the Gulf region and called for diplomacy and more talks to defuse the situation. The warning came after the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers chaired by Prince Abdullah, the regent, and a day after the Kingdom and Yemen reiterated their opposition to a possible US strike on Iraq.
And destabilizing the region is a bad thing? Stability is only as desirable as the status quo, and the status quo in the Middle East stinks. Instability brings the possibility of change, and a quarter-million American troops in the region is good insurance that the changes will be for the better.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 8:00:00 PM Link ...
Disgruntled Saudis have pulled tens of billions of dollars out of the US, signalling a deep alienation from America.
One analyst said the total funds withdrawn by individual investors amount to $200bn. Other bankers put the figure nearer to $100bn.
The US-Saudi alliance was put under severe strain after September 11, when 15 of the aeroplanes' 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals.
Accusations that Saudi Arabia's austere brand of Islam breeds terrorism and its charities finance Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network have been perceived in the kingdom as attacks on Saudi society and its religion.
An analyst from the Rand Corporation said at a Pentagon briefing this month that Saudi Arabia was the "kernel of evil", exacerbating concerns among the country's elite that they have become demonised in the US and their money is no longer safe there.
If Saudis were not major sponsors of Islamic terrorism, Saudis would be welcome here. If the bulk of the 9/11 hijackers had not been Saudis, Saudis would be welcome here. If the government of Saudi Arabia were not obstructing our efforts to fight terrorism, Saudis would be welcome here. If Saudi Arabia were not the sponsor of a world-wide network of "schools" that teach the Qur'an and Anti-American hatred, Saudis would be welcome here. If Saudis feel unwelcome and unsafe here, it is surely their own fault. And if they feel they must withdraw from one of the world's most productive, profitable, and safe markets, I consider their financial losses a down payment on what they have coming to them.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 6:23:00 PM Link ...
TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 19 (AP) — A Palestinian imprisoned twice for immigration violations and suspected terrorist links will be released this week from a federal prison and deported to a Middle Eastern country, his lawyers said today.
The Palestinian, Mazen Al-Najjar, 45, has been held since November on a deportation order for overstaying his visa, issued 20 years ago.
The story also says Al-Najjar was imprisoned for three and a half years, from 1997 to the end of 2000, on charges of aiding terrorists. One wonders why it took so long to get rid of this guy. I would think that any charge worth three and a half years was worth deportation, too. I guess it's better late than never.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 5:46:00 PM Link ...
BERLIN — An armed group of Iraqi dissidents demanding the overthrow of Saddam Hussein occupied the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin Tuesday and took several hostages, including the ambassador.
Two staff members were injured, apparently by pepper spray used by the hostage-takers, police spokesman Joerg Nittmann said. He estimated that 10 people, both hostage-takers and captives, were inside the building.
Apparently not everyone in Germany opposes the overthrow of Saddam.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 12:51:00 PM Link ...
John Derbyshire on Brent Scowcroft on National Review Online
Scowcroft illustrates an interesting fact: that it is possible to be knowledgeable, even worldly, in the extreme, while being stone blind to certain basic realities. Yes, China is an important country; and yes, of course we must keep lines of communication open with her; and no, there isn't much we can do about the unfortunate fact that she is ruled by corrupt and amoral thugs. Still we should not flatter and fawn over those thugs, much less be seen to do so by all the world, much much less be thus seen while the thugs' hands are still dripping with the blood of innocents. A person who can do that, and come away believing that he has performed useful work for his country, is, in some manner, style, degree, or aspect, an idiot.
Presidents necessarily surround themselves with highly credentialed people like Scowcroft, and they are right to do so. They are also right to keep them at arm's length and rely on their own judgment when the time comes to make decisions. As our own Rick Brookhiser has pointed out: "The wise leader should strive to have intellectuals on tap and not be one himself." Kept on a short leash, and forbidden to take any public initiatives themselves, these policy-wonk types are very useful. Insufficiently well supervised, they are walking calamities. The name "Ira Magaziner" mean anything?
The Scowcroft problem is not one of timidity or over-accommodation: It is one of commitment to managerialism. To Scowcroft, international relations are to be managed. The Soviets were to be managed; the Chinese are to be managed; Saddam Hussein is to be managed. This business of managing the world requires high skill and deep experience; and there is no place in it for emotion, sentiment, rhetoric, moral judgment, dramatic initiatives or leaps of the imagination. Herbert Parmet, in his life of Bush 41, notes Scowcroft's misgivings about "emotional speeches equating Saddam with Hitler" following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
Bush's adviser, circumspect and thoughtful as ever, worried about using hyperbole that suggested a fight to Saddam's death. Bush persisted. Americans did not want to bloody their sons for oil, or for diplomatic infatuation with "balance-of-power politics." As he knew from experience, they needed a demon.
Now of course, this Kissingerian-Scowcroftian view of things is correct most of the time in all places, and all the time in most places. International relations are to be managed; and it is a good thing we have skilled diplomats and seasoned advisers to manage them for us. These managerial methods fail, though, when a serious and ruthless threat to the international order, or some important part of it, arises. The British Foreign Office of the 1930s was not short of policy wonks, international-relations PhDs and seasoned advisers. Unfortunately, they were all wrong. The man who was right was a self-educated romantic with a reputation for political unreliability and personal eccentricity, yet who knew that Hitler could not be managed but had to be confronted — as, of course, though unfortunately later rather than sooner, he eventually was.
There is a time to manage, and a time to lead. There is a time for quiet diplomacy, and a time to rally the forces of civilization against the barbarians. This is a time to lead, and it seems that the Bush Administration, with a couple of unfortunate exceptions, understands this. It will take time to assemble the necessary forces, and it will take effort to rally the rest of the world to our cause. But Saddam must go, even if we must act alone, even if thousands of Americans die in the process. To permit him to remain in power is to accept that one day, America or its allies will face nuclear devastation. There is not now, and there must never be, an Arab bomb.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:05:00 AM Link ...
New Comment System/Server
Enetation has been so slow and unreliable that I switched over to HaloScan. It loads more quickly than Enetation, supports basic HTML tags, and even lets you put up a small graphic for your heading/logo. Feel free to sound off.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 1:28:00 AM Link ...
Five Officers Are Wounded by a Gunman in Mississippi
By PETER T. KILBORN
FRIARS POINT, Miss., Aug. 18 — The acting police chief of this scruffy little corn and cotton town on the Mississippi River was shot in the neck on Saturday, and four other officers were wounded at dawn today when they rushed the house where the gunman had holed up. They and the quiet young man who is accused of doing the shooting survived.
It seems to me that the people of Friars Point have enough problems without the Times adding insult to injury. While it is a typical New York attitude to regard the rest of the country as untermenchen, the Times, its writers, and its editorial staff need to learn to curb their reflexive tendency to sneer at the rest of us. Friars Point may be small, and it may be poor, but a quick Google search on Friars Point turned up the following natives who made good: C&W legend Conway Twitty, and blues drummer Sam Carr (Jelly Roll Kings; nominated in 1999 for W.C. Handy Award for Best Instrumentalist - drums).
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 5:14:00 PM Link ...
WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 — In the first tangible signs of a logistical buildup around Iraq, the Pentagon is sending weapons and other supplies to the Middle East that could be a critical part of the war stocks if President Bush decides to attack President Saddam Hussein, Defense Department and military officials have said in recent interviews.
The Pentagon has hired two giant cargo ships to carry armored vehicles and helicopters, among other war matériel, and eight additional cargo ships capable of carrying ammunition, tanks and ambulances.
The Air Force is stockpiling weapons, ammunition and spare parts, including airplane engines, at depots in the Persian Gulf region and in the United States. Arsenals of Air Force and Navy precision-guided weapons, which proved devastating in Afghanistan, should be fully replenished by autumn, military officials said.
Senior Pentagon officials say the logistical movements do not represent a stealth deployment and should not be interpreted as evidence that a campaign against Iraq is imminent, or even a certainty.
Not a stealth deployment, if the Times figured it out. Not a guarantee of an attack against Iraq, but it's a step in the right direction, and the 250,000 troop number is probably more than sufficient to crush Saddam's forces without much trouble. Especially with the kind of support the Air Force can provide. Yes, the Times has made Cato's day.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 12:31:00 AM Link ...
"Leading Republicans from Congress, the State Department and past administrations have begun to break ranks with President Bush over his administration's high-profile planning for war with Iraq."
--New York Times, August 16, 2002
WAIT A MINUTE. "Leading Republicans from . . . the State Department . . . have begun to break ranks with President Bush"? Isn't the State Department part of the Bush administration? How can its "leading Republicans"--Colin Powell and his deputy, Richard Armitage--"break ranks" with the president they work for?
Because they're disloyal assholes who do not understand, or care, that making foreign policy is is the President's job, and implementing foreign policy is their job?
Let's be clear. President Bush's policy is regime change in Iraq. President Bush believes that regime change is most unlikely without military action. He considers the risks of inaction greater than the risks of preemption. No doubt he and his administration could have been doing a better job of making that case in a sustained and detailed way. But that is not why an axis of appeasement--stretching from Riyadh to Brussels to Foggy Bottom, from Howell Raines to Chuck Hagel to Brent Scowcroft--has now mobilized in a desperate effort to deflect the president from implementing his policy.
The appeasers don't want the president to do a better job of explaining his policy. They don't agree with his policy. They hate the idea of a morally grounded foreign policy that seeks aggressively and unapologetically to advance American principles around the world. Some, mostly abroad and on the domestic left, hate it because they're queasy about American principles. Some, mostly foreign policy "realists," hate it because they're appalled by the thought that the character of regimes is key to foreign policy. Some, cosmopolitan sophisticates of all stripes, hate talk of good and evil. Now they've come together in a last-gasp attempt to stop President Bush from setting American foreign policy on a course of moral clarity and global leadership.
Actually, the case for attacking Iraq does not depend on Saddam being an evil ruler. The case for removing Saddam can, and should be based on two facts which even Head-Up-His-Colon Powell should be able to grasp (although I'm not sure about Howell Raines). The first, is that Saddam is a dangerous, and not always predictable enemy. The second, is that if Saddam acquires nuclear weapons, he will become more dangerous, and probably less predictable.
But of course the problem with the administration has nothing to do with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, or Rice. The problem is with the leading Republican in the State Department. Where is Colin Powell? The secretary of state is the lead spokesman for American foreign policy. This secretary of state, because of his popularity at home and his stature abroad, could be particularly helpful if he were to join the president, the vice president, the national security adviser, and the defense secretary in making the case for the Bush Doctrine with respect to Iraq. Instead, he allows his top aides to tell the New York Times on background that he disagrees with the president and is desperately trying to restrain him.
Powell, based on his actions as CJCS during the Gulf War, and as Secretary of State, seems to be determined that no American army shall ever be allowed to completely conquer an enemy. I do not know if this is pique over his own Vietnam experience, or simply that he is too lazy and/or cheap to take on the task of rebuilding a conquered enemy in our own image, as we did with Germany and Japan after WWII. Yes, it is expensive, difficult, and time-consuming to create a free, democratic, nation from rubble. Especially when the conquered enemy are barbarians, who must be taught civilization, as well. But, in the long run, it is the best way to insure peace. We did not conquer Germany in WWI, and twenty years later, we had another war with them. We conquered Germany in WWII, and remade it in our own image, and they have kept the peace ever since. This is where Bush I screwed up with Saddam, and this is where Bush II can learn from his father's mistake.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 8:47:00 PM Link ...
JERUSALEM, Aug. 17 -- In the last year, the suicide bomber has become the most potent military weapon in the Palestinian uprising against Israel, creating a new battlefield that has left one of the world's best trained and equipped armies struggling to adequately defend its people.
The suicide bomber has become the Palestinian version of a smart weapon, Israeli military officers said. Moreover, it is cheap, unpredictable and abundant. It is relatively easy to hide, transport and store, and therefore difficult to detect and defend against despite the Israeli military's high-tech prowess and long experience.
"We don't have F-16s, Apache helicopters and missiles," said Abdelaziz Rantisi, a spokesman for the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, which has claimed responsibility for more suicide bombings against Israelis than any other Palestinian group. "They are attacking us with weapons against which we can't defend ourselves. And now we have a weapon they can't defend themselves against. . . . We believe this weapon creates a kind of balance, because this weapon is like an F-16."
Actually, there is one way to defend against Arab suicide bombers with near-perfect reliability - kill all Arabs on sight. If it's okay to blow up Israeli citizens at random, why isn't it okay for Israelis to kill any damnned Arabs they please, in whatever quantity they please. If the end justifies the means, and all cultures are morally equivalent, there is no ethical reason for the Israelis not to slaughter as many Arabs as they can, either as prophilaxis against murder bombings, or in reprisal for murder bombings. If the end justifies the means, the only reason for Israel not to slaughter Arabs is world reaction, and the moral authority of the world to intervene in this conflict is, at best, tattered. If the world wants to condemn Israel for killing Arab civilians, it must condemn Arabs the killing Israeli civilians and hiding their fighters among civilians. If the world wants to sanction Israel for striking back at the Arabs it must sanction Arab countries that support murder bombings just as harshly. Anything less is antisemitism. Anything less is unjust.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 3:21:00 PM Link ...
Not since William Randolph Hearst famously cabled his correspondent in Cuba, "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war," has a newspaper so blatantly devoted its front pages to editorializing about a coming American war as has Howell Raines's New York Times. Hearst was for the Spanish-American War. Raines (for those who have been incommunicado for the last year) opposes war with Iraq.
Then there are the constant references to growing opposition to war with Iraq -- in fact, the polls are unchanged since January -- culminating on Aug. 16 with the lead front-page headline: "Top Republicans Break with Bush on Iraq Strategy."
The amusing part was including among these Republican foreign policy luminaries Dick Armey, a man not often cited by the Times for his sagacity, a man who just a few weeks ago made a spectacle of himself by publicly advocating the removal of the Palestinians from the West Bank. Yesterday, he was a buffoon. Today, he is a statesman.
That was the comic relief. The egregious part of the story was the touting of Henry Kissinger as one of the top Republican leaders breaking with Bush over Iraq. This revelation was based on a Washington Post op-ed that Kissinger had published four days earlier.
The remarkable thing about Kissinger's article is not that he breaks with Bush but that in supporting the Bush policy of preemptive war he breaks with one of the central tenets of his own "realist" school of foreign policy.
The entire Times attempt to rope Kissinger into the opposition rests on his talking about the difficulties and the importance of the post-war settlement: "Military intervention should be attempted only if we are willing to sustain such an effort for however long it is needed." But everyone knows that we will have to stay and help rebuild Iraq as a peaceful, nondictatorial state. Who says otherwise? Where is the break with Bush?
It is one thing to give your front page to a crusade against war with Iraq. That's partisan journalism, and that's what Raines's Times does for a living. It's another thing to include Henry Kissinger in your crusade. That's just stupid. After all, it's checkable.