JOHANNESBURG, 14 September — State Minister Prince Abdul Aziz ibn Fahd yesterday blasted a section of the Western media for their anti-Islam smear campaign and said Islam is a religion of peace, justice, tolerance and moderation.
The truth hurts, sometimes. If Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, moderation, etc., why has no nation ever accepted Islam except at the point of a sword?
“Justice demands that we should not generalize the actions of certain individuals and groups and a make a blind judgment on all,” the prince said in his address to an Islamic conference which opened here yesterday.
Qui tacet consentit - He who remains silent agrees (consents). This ancient legal/ethical maxim requires that a person speak out against evil done in his name, or be considered to have consented to it. Aside from a handfull of pitifully feeble "voices in the wilderness" Islamic leaders and teachers have not denounced the actions of Islamic terror organizations. Qui tacit consentit - Islam stands condemned.
Prince Abdul Aziz highlighted Saudi Arabia’s efforts in defending the causes of Islam and Muslims and strengthening Islamic solidarity. He emphasized the noble teachings of Islam, seeking the betterment of mankind. The prince said these meetings are organized to enlighten the Muslim public on the true teachings of Islam. The prince’s address was delivered on his behalf by Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, imam and khateeb of the Haram Mosque in Makkah.
"Strengthening Islamic solidarity" - does that include solidarity with terrorists like Osama Bin Lesbian and tyrants like Sodomite Hussein? "Noble teachings of Islam, seeking the betterment of mankind" - does that include the mass murder of "infidels" and the tyrannizing of womankind? If the "true teachings of Islam" do not include peaceful coexistence with those of other faiths, Islam is in a lot of trouble. The rest of the world is tired of being slaughtered in the name of Allah, and we are getting ready to do a little slaughtering of our own. Unfortunately for Muslims, the West has forgotten more about mass slaughter than Muslims will ever know. Do Muslims think the killing of 3,000 Americans on 9/11 was a great victory? In 1945, the United States killed over 27 times that number, in one attack, without using nuclear weapons.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 6:28:00 AM Link ...
One of the key suspects in the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington last year has been arrested in Pakistan.
Yemeni national Ramzi Binalshibh, who recently claimed to have been one of the organisers of the attack, was captured after a three-hour gun battle at an apartment building in Karachi.
Mr Binalshibh, 30, was detained on Wednesday - the first anniversary of the 11 September attacks - when the flat where he was staying was raided by Pakistani police commandos, supported by US intelligence officers.
The operation was planned after a satellite phone call from the flat was intercepted, Pakistani security sources said.
Mr Binalshibh challenged the US authorities to find him in a pre-recorded interview broadcast by the Arab TV network al-Jazeera on Thursday.
Together with another al-Qaeda suspect, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he explained how the group operated and how the 11 September attacks were planned.
Memo to Al-Qaeda: Big Brother is listening to you. Also, be careful what you ask for - you might get it.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 5:38:00 AM Link ...
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia, Europe and key Arab states have piled pressure on Iraq to readmit U.N. weapons inspectors to avert possible U.S.-led military action.
Russia gave no comfort to its former ally Iraq on Friday, saying it must obey U.N. resolutions or face the consequences but its comments fell short of supporting military action.
The European Union said Iraq could not be allowed to waste any more time before accepting the arms inspectors, whose task is to ensure the elimination of any Iraqi nuclear, chemical, biological and ballistic weapons programs.
Arab officials said Egypt and Jordan had pressed Iraq to allow a resumption of the inspections, which were halted just before a U.S.-British bombing campaign in December 1998.
Jordan, one of Iraq's Arab neighbours, has also repeatedly told the Iraqis they would be wise to let the inspectors back, added a senior Arab official who asked not to be named.
But Straw said Iraq would only respond to a demand to get the inspectors back "if it is written on their eyeballs that unless they do the consequences will be very severe for them".
Writing on Saddam's eyballs might be fun. Especially with a balky ball point pen, or a hard leaded pencil. Things aren't looking so good for Saddam.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 5:17:00 AM Link ...
Five permanent members of Security Council call Iraq to comply with U.N. demands
The five permanent members of the Security Council agreed to set a time limit for Iraq to let the UN resume arms inspections, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw stated, according to AFP.
On Friday, foreign ministers of the five had a working lunch with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Iraq a day after US President George W. Bush demanded the council enforce its decisions that Iraq disarm or face unilateral US action.
There was "complete unanimity about the imperative of getting the weapons inspectors back into Iraq," Straw told reporters after lunching with the ministers of China, France, Russia and the United States. "There is unanimity about the patent, flagrant breach by Saddam Hussein of a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions in respect of weapons of mass destruction and much else," he said.
They haven't agreed to a deadline, or wether to back their resolution up with force, but this is a start.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 5:05:00 AM Link ...
IN WHAT SHOULD go down as one of the most under-discussed revelations of the war on terrorism, an unnamed "senior counterterrorism official" told the Washington Post Tuesday that the CIA is aware of credible reports documenting Saddam-al Qaeda coordination in northern Iraq, but hasn't checked them out.
Someone remind me why George Tenet still has a job.
In early July, an hour-long PBS documentary that aired on Wide Angle corroborated much of the reporting in Goldberg's piece--once again with names, dates, etc.
Even PBS had the story! Read the article. You'll wonder why Tenet still has his job, too.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:56:00 AM Link ...
:: Thursday, September 12, 2002 ::
Why we still don't get it, one year on
The Guardian has this article by Mark Hertsgaard an "American journalist".
In Washington, the media function like a palace court press. In the name of political neutrality, the definition of quotable sources is limited to the narrow spectrum from Republican to Democrat. If a given point of view - say, that missile defence is a dangerous fantasy - is not articulated by leading lawmakers, it is ignored. Instead of substance, journalists focus on palace intrigues: what is the White House proposing today, how will Congress react, who will win the fight? Rarely does the coverage stand back from insider debates, or offer alternative analysis. Thus our media fail to act as the check and balance our nation's founders envisioned.
So think twice, foreign friends, before judging my compatriots too harshly. Americans suffer daily from pseudo-news that parrots the pronouncements of the powerful and illuminates nothing but the corporate bottom line. Is it any wonder we don't understand the world around us?
American? journalist? Bwahahahaha! If this guy is either an American or a journalist, he's a tinfoil hat-wearing, black helicopter-watching loon.
First, any American has access, via the 'net, to a variety of news and opinion sources that is simply mind-boggling. We are not limited to the "mainstream" press. Any time we wish to read infantile screeds denouncing American foreign (or domestic) policy, we need only visit The Guardian's web site.
Second, any American who has the brains God gave bastard geese knows that all politicians, and their supporters in the media, will try to spin any issue, any story, to their advantage. Most of us are capable of demonizing any politician we dislike, without resorting to paranoid conspiracy theories. We are also able to recognize attempts to demonize leaders we agree with. In short, Americans develop very good "bullshit detectors".
That is the reason we pay so little attention to Europe's prescriptions for our various "problems". We realize the Europe has an entirely different perspective than we do. Europe's perspective on world issues is different from America's because Europe's situation is different from America's.
Europe, for the most part, is a collection of has-been and never-were powers. They are no longer capable of significantly affecting the rest of the world acting singly, so they band together in the hope of deluding each other that their opinions matter. Indeed, they have been so desperate to prevent the US Government from acting against Iraq that they collude with Third World has-beens, like Nelson Mandela, and American has-beens, like Jimmy Carter.
America, on the other hand, is the world's preeminent economic and military power. Unlike some European nations, America is mostly made up of the descendants of people who chose to come here. We took the people that Europe, and Asia, and Latin America, and Africa didn't want, and built a nation unlike any other in history. No other nation on earth offers America's combination of individual liberty, and economic opportunity. To this day, no other nation on earth attracts so many immigrants from so far away.
America, this nation of cast-offs and dregs, took Europe's best ideas (and occaisionally its best people) and put them to better use than Europe ever did. Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité? Americans enjoy more liberté, more egalité of opportunity, and, as our response to the 9/11 attacks showed, more fraternité than any three European nations combined. In America, Adam Smith's "invisible hand" built an economic engine that turned Kruschev's boast, "we will bury you", on its head.
Soon, we will act to end the threat of Saddam Hussein's insatiable lust for power. Europe can either join us, or stand on the sidelines and scream at us. It does not matter. The child has outgrown the parent. The student has surpassed the teacher. Once again, America will show the world how to deal with a tyrant.
The Singaporean man who tried to gatecrash a Sept 11 memorial service at the United States Embassy has been sent for a psychiatric check- up.
The man, a part-time taxi driver, wanted to attend the event dressed in a khaki-coloured army uniform, with a mask of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein over his head.
As if Elvis impersonators weren't bad enough. The nuthouse sounds like a good place for this guy.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 6:34:00 PM Link ...
You've Got To Be Carefully Taught
Oscar Hammerstein wrote the following lyric for the musical, "South Pacific":
You've got to be taught to hate and fear You've got to be taught from year to year It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear You've got to be carefully taught.
It's been a year since the 9/11 attacks. A year of learning. Learning just how hateful human beings can be. Learning that there are people out there that hate me and my way of life so much that they rejoice at the mass murder of my countrymen. Learning that the only way they would permit me to live, is under the hateful laws of their hateful Allah. For the last year, I've been carefully taught. I've been thoroughly taught. And I've learned. Oh yes, I've learned. I've learned that Muslims in general, and Wahabis, in particular, are the most vile creatures that God ever put on this earth. I've learned that they'll feign friendship to gain your trust, strike by treachery, when your back is turned, and then deny that they had any involvement in the attack. I've learned that they will rally around the most dispicable war criminal of this generation. I've learned that they will celebrate the mass murder of civilians. I've learned that they treat women worse than the Jim Crow South treated African-Americans. I've learned that they're every thing we're not, and hate everything we are. And I've learned something else. I've learned how to hate everything they are and everything they stand for. Oh yes, I've been carefully taught.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 1:48:00 AM Link ...
Hard-line Muslims attending a north London mosque for a controversial conference marking the 11 September attacks have described Osama bin Laden as a "hero". .
They also warned that if Britain were on the "agenda" it "would see suicide bombings everywhere".
The conference, at the Finsbury Park mosque, was organised by al-Muhajiroun, whose supporters hung banners from the building, calling for Britain to be turned into an Islamic state.
Entitled September 11: A Towering Day in History, some of Britain's most radical Muslim clerics were meeting to discuss topics including the "positive outcomes" of the attacks.
It has been a year since the 9/11 attacks. A year of faithless "allies". A year of Arab celebrations of our loss. A year of vile utterances by Arabs in "official" Arab media outlets, with barely a whisper of criticism from so-called "moderate" Muslims. A year of lectures from two-bit, third world politicians. And now this.
It's common for middle-aged men to want to reclaim their youth. The pleasures of the flesh, greater vitality, and more zest for life are the most common reasons. I've discovered another reason. I wish that I were young enough to join the armed forces. If I could join the military, it's just possible, with a little luck, that I might get a chance to kill assholes like the ones at that conference. I've never wanted to kill anyone enough to join the military to do it, but times change, and so have I. I want, more than anything else in the world, to be the bombadier-navigator on a B-1B loaded with 38 200-kT AGM-69s; with orders to scour the Middle East with thermonuclear fire. They don't give a shit about killing our civilians. Why should we care about killing theirs? Because we're "better than that"? I'm not - not anymore. I'm so sick and tired of the forgotten-by-God Muslims, that I wish every last one of them would die. In this past year, they have shown themselves to be the most hateful creatures ever to walk on two legs. The only difference I see between Nazis and Muslims is that the Nazis were more competent.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 1:29:00 AM Link ...
:: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 ::
Away for the Day
I won't be posting anything else until late tonight, or early tomorrow. I plan to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial. I'll be taking a camera, so I may have some pictures to post.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 2:20:00 AM Link ...
The Most Courageous Words in Any Language
The other day, I was watching The Lord of the Rings on DVD, and one scene, in particular, made an impression on me. At the bridge at Khazad-Dum, in Moria, Gandalf had to hold the bridge against a balrog, a fiery, demonic creature. At the climax of the battle, he cries out, “You shall not pass!”, and strikes at the bridge, causing it to collapse under the balrog’s weight.
It struck me that these four words, “You shall not pass”, are the most courageous words in any language.
It’s fashonable to mock such sentiments nowadays. Monty Python's Flying Circus did a marvelous job of it in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. But history is replete with examples of men and women who shaped the course of history, when they placed themselves between their people and their enemies and said, “You shall not pass.”
Leonidas and his 300 Spartans stood in the pass at Thermapolye, faced the million-strong Persian horde, and said, “You shall not pass.” For days, they held back the Persians, until a Greek traitor showed the Persians an alternate pass. Leonidas and his men died, but they bought the Greeks precious time. Time, to organize. Time, to gather the fleet that would defeat the Persians at Salamis. Time, to gather the army that would crush the Persians at Plataea.
At Tours (Poitiers), Charles Martel and his Franks said to the Moorish army, “You shall not pass.” Time after time the Moorish cavalry charged, and time after time the Frankish infantry threw them back. Tours became the high water mark of the Moorish conquests in Europe. From that point on, the Europeans slowly drove the Moors back. The fall of Alhambra, in 1492, ended the Moorish occupation of Spain. Never again would Muslims invade Europe from the west.
At Lepanto, Don John of Austria and the Holy League fleet said to the Turks, “You shall not pass.” Venetian galleasses hammered the Turkish ships with long range cannon fire, and when the Turks closed the range, Spanish infantrymen flayed them with volley after volley from their arquebuses. The Spaniards boarded Ali Pasha’s flagship three times, and were repulsed. The fourth time, they took the ship, beheaded Ali Pasha, and replaced the Ottoman Battle Flag with Ali Pasha’s head. The Turkish fleet withdrew, defeated. Never again would Ottoman Turkey attempt to invade Europe by sea.
In 1940, Hitler sent his Luftwaffe to bomb Britain into submission, and the men of the RAF said “You shall not pass.” They did not stop every bomber, but they shot them down faster than the Germans could replace them. Four months later, the Germans gave up their bombing, and Hitler called off his plans to invade Britain. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, speaking of the RAF pilots, said, “Never have so many owed so much to so few.”
In 1944, in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge, the 101st Airborne Division blocked the critical road junction at Bastogne. When the German Panzer divisions demanded their surrender, they said, “You shall not pass.” For five days, they held Bastogne, until elements of the Third Army could relieve them. It was the last major offensive by the Nazis. The 101st became known as “the battered bastards of Bastogne”.
On September 11, 2001, four hijackers siezed United Airlines Flight 93 and turned it in the direction of Washington, D.C. Earlier that morning, three other airliners had been hijacked, and deliberately crashed into the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon. The passengers on Flight 93 learned of the other hijackings through cell phone calls to their loved ones, and they said to the hijackers, “You shall not pass.” They fought back against their captors with whatever weapons they could find, and I believe they would have won, had the hijackers not crashed the plane to prevent its recapture. Only God knows where the hijackers would have directed their attack, or how many more innocent lives would have been lost. Only God knows what national icon would have been destroyed. Only God knows, because 40 men and women said, “You shall not pass.”, and earned a place in history next to Leonidas and the 300.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 1:40:00 AM Link ...
Mandela criticizes U.S. on Iraq
Salon has this article. I didn't bother quoting the entire article. The part I didn't quote was just too silly to bother with.
Sept. 2, 2002 | JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Nelson Mandela said Monday that he is "appalled" by U.S. threats to attack Iraq and warned that Washington is "introducing chaos in international affairs." He said he had spoken with President Bush's father and Secretary of State Colin Powell.
They don't make American foreign policy, anymore. They're the ones who made the screwed-up American foreign policy that got us into this mess.
As several world leaders at a summit here urged restraint by the United States, South Africa's revered former president issued a stinging rebuke to the Bush administration.
Nelson Mandela's "stinging rebuke" plus a dollar will buy you a cold drink.
"We are really appalled by any country, whether a superpower or a small country, that goes outside the U.N. and attacks independent countries," Mandela said before going into a meeting with French President Jacques Chirac. "No country should be allowed to take the law into their own hands."
And why are you not appalled when a country with a long history of aggression against its neighbors, and atrocities against its own people, refuses to abide by UN resolutions and the peace agreements its government signed?
Vice President Cheney has argued in favor of pre-emptive military action to remove Saddam from power.
"What they are saying is introducing chaos in international affairs, and we condemn that in the strongest terms," Mandela said.
Mr. Mandela is apparently prepared to sacrifice one or more American cities on the altar of the UN. Americans, it should be said, have a somewhat different view of the matter. Let me ask Mr. Mandela how many Arab cities he is willing for the United States to destroy in retaliation for a nuclear terrorist bombing? How much chaos will that introduce? Sometimes a small war now can prevent a larger, more destructive war, later.
The 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner said he tried to call Bush to discuss the matter but that the president was not available. Mandela said he instead spoke with Powell and former President George Bush. He also planned to speak by telephone with Condoleezza Rice, Bush's assistant for national security.
I don't blame President Bush for not taking Mandela's call. I wouldn't care to be lectured to by a has-been president of an eighth-rate country, either. I hope Condi can manage to be out of the office when he calls her, too. She shouldn't have to put up with his crap, either.
A number of top figures from the previous Bush administration have spoken out recently against unilateral military action -- raising speculation that the elder Bush shares some of their doubts. The former president, however, has kept silent on his son's Iraq policy.
Former presidents should remain silent on foreign policy. First, they are frequently responsible for the current mess. Second, They are not privy to all the information the current president has.
Chirac, who is in South Africa to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development, said he shared "a common position on the assessment and approach of these issues" with Mandela.
I've no doubt the frog-eating surrender monkey would make common cause with anyone who was against fighting. Also, if Saddam is taken down, and his archives are made public, there's no telling how many shady deals the French made with him. I'd want Saddam's secret files to remain secret, too, if I were a French prime minister.
South Africa's current president, Thabo Mbeki, and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder also urged America to exercise restraint.
Schroeder probably has the same concerns about Saddam's archives that Chirac does.
The two leaders met on the fringes of the summit and "agreed they were not comfortable with any military action being taken against Iraq," said Essop Pahad, a Cabinet minister in Mbeki's office.
Since that summit was attended mostly by lunatics, would the fringe of the summit be the lunatic fringe?
In Moscow, Russia's foreign minister said the return of international weapons inspectors was key to resolving the crisis over Iraq and warned that military action by the United States could touch off further troubles in the volatile Middle East.
Acceptance of complete, unconditional, anytime, anywhere, no-prior-notice inspection access, for as many teams as we wish to send, is the absolute minimum acceptable response from Iraq. As for further troubles in the Middle East, all the Arabs have to do to avoid trouble is stay out of our way. If they do try to get in our way, they will learn a entirely new concept of the word trouble.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 12:35:00 AM Link ...
The Great Refutation
George Will has this article in the Washington Post.
Susceptibility to feelings of civic guilt and a tendency to social hypochondria are two generally healthy American attributes traceable to the republic's founding -- to living in the long shadow cast by the great men whose rhetoric and documents gave vitality to great principles. So last Sept. 11, there was an American reflex to ask, self-accusingly: "What did we do?"
The reflex was wrong. Our enemies attacked us not for what we have done but for what we are. And because of the attacks, we are even more intensely what we are, a nation defined by our unum, not our pluribus. The nation's great seal, proclaiming e pluribus unum, was adopted in 1782, five years before the Constitution was written and six years after the Declaration of Independence, with its declaration of equality of rights, made us, as Lincoln was to say at Gettysburg, a nation dedicated to a proposition.
The proposition, and all it entails, enrages, to the point of derangement, our enemies. So we fight.
Emerson, who spent much time around high-minded abolitionists who were as ardent for avoiding war as they were for ending slavery, probably startled, even scandalized many readers when he wrote that war can "educate the senses, call into action the will, and perfect the physical constitution." Hence his exclamation at the outbreak of the Civil War: "Ah! sometimes gunpowder smells good."
Sometimes gunpowder does smell good because civilization -- especially the highest, ours -- is not inevitable. So we fight.
Amen. Not only do we fight, but we fight with a greater ferocity and efficiency than any nation the world has ever seen.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 12:20:00 AM Link ...
:: Tuesday, September 10, 2002 ::
Service Chiefs Say Afghan Battle Will Help Military Get Smarter, Stronger and Faster
WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 — America's military is applying the lessons learned in Afghanistan, examining everything from whether the standard rifle cartridge fired by each soldier packs enough punch to whether floating oil platforms can be towed around the globe as secret bases for marines and Navy SEALs.
The Army and Air Force chiefs of staff, the chief of naval operations and the Marine Corps commandant all consented to rare, on-the-record interviews to reflect on the anniversary of a day when the Pentagon, their headquarters, became the front line. They discussed lessons learned and described how the past year changed the ways they would prepare for the next stage of combat against terrorism.
The service chiefs pointed to the need to focus on these major changes:
The Navy has to be even more places at once, and its planes will have to attack far beyond the shores to bring persistent, credible combat power around the globe.
The Marines have to think not of amphibious landings, but of expeditionary invasions hundreds of miles inland.
The Air Force will have to shorten the time it takes to identify images of potential targets captured by unmanned aircraft, like Predators and Global Hawk, send that information to command centers and ultimately dispatch attack orders to bombers loitering high above the battlefield.
The Army's light forces have to have some form of armored vehicles when they first arrive at the front, while heavy armor has to be faster to the battle.
Flexibility, ingenuity, creativity and adaptability became the priorities in Afghanistan, with an emphasis on finding new ways to use old military tools. Just as important as several revolutionary developments in military thinking that earned their stars in Afghanistan, the service chiefs said, was determining which aspects of their military planning were proven enduring.
This is a perfect example of a major reason Western armies are the deadliest in the world. Even when we win, we analyze our performance to identify what we can do better. Muslim armies cannot possibly critique their performance in this manner, because they'd have to admit that they aren't getting their orders from Allah. They will lose any type of battle they choose to fight against the West. The only thing they know how to do, is murder civilians. If they continue down that path, we may have to show them that we're better at that, too. A people that commits atrocities has no moral standing to complain, when its enemies retaliate in kind.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 5:37:00 PM Link ...
If you had been given evidence of al Qaeda's capabilities and intent to kill Americans prior to September 11, would you have gone into Afghanistan to prevent it? The answer seems to me a pretty clear one: almost all the critics of pre-emption would have refused to go into Afghanistan to prevent 9/11. Their policy is this: we have to wait to get devastated before we act. My policy is: once is enough. The advocates of inaction - or, worse, the appearance of action - seem to me to be essentially bargaining away the lives of American citizens to protect their anachronistic notion of an international order.
Sullivan knocks this one out of the park. That is exactly what the Axis is saying - that thousands, perhaps millions, more Americans must die on the altar of their "New World Order". To Hell with their New World Order. To Hell with the idiotarians who support it. To Hell with our good and dear friends, the Saudis. Ann Coulter was right.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 1:27:00 PM Link ...
President Bush seems convinced of our ability to win wars but he doesn't seem to care at all about winning the peace. Saying it will be up to the "international community" to determine who follows Saddam and that "any alternative is preferable" to Saddam is crazy.
Going half-way around the world to risk American blood and treasure to remove Saddam and saying we'll leave it to a bunch of morally equivocating idiots is irresponsible to put it mildly. To say that any alternative is preferable to Saddam is just plain stupid.
If he really means this he's lost my support for the war. We should be liberating the Iraqi people while removing a serious threat to our own security. I don't want us to have to go back there in ten years and this sounds suspisciously like he's caving to the Arab theocrats for tacit support.
I sympathise with Robert's concerns, but I think he's missed a few points.
First, some of our allies (Turkey, in particular) have legitimate concerns about the nature of post-Saddam Iraq. We should solicit their input, and address their concerns as best as we can. That is not "leaving it to a bunch of morally equivocating idiots". That is being an ally. It's a nuisance, sometimes, but the price of having allies when you need them, is listening to their concerns whenever you can.
Second, the most likely venue for the international community to "determine what kind of regime should replace Iraqi President Saddam Hussein" is the UN Security Council. Either the US or Britain can veto any Security Council plan we find unacceptable. Using the Security Council as a mechanism to gather international support and suggestions will reduce (slightly) complaints of "American unilateralism", while giving up little, in terms of practical control.
Third, we will have the vast majority of the troops on the ground in Iraq. That gives us de facto control of Iraq, and allows to pick and choose what "advice" we take from the international community.
Fourth, any peacekeepers the French, Canadians, Italians, Turks, etc. provide are peacekeepers we don't have to provide. American forces are the only ones able to go anywhere, anytime, and take down a regime that threatens the peace of the world. We can't do that, if we scatter our troops all over the world as peacekeepers. We are civilization's SWAT team. You don't use a SWAT team as crossing guards.
Whatever rhetoric President Bush uses to rally support for, and mollify opposition to, military action in Iraq, America will still be the one who determines Iraq's future. I can live with that.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 9:22:00 AM Link ...
However, a new assessment from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington concludes: "If Iraq were to acquire material from another country, it is possible that it could assemble a nuclear weapon in months."
Charles Duelfer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington and former deputy executive chairman of the UN weapons commission Unscom told a US Senate Committee in February: "While precise estimates of the Iraqi nuclear programme are impossible, what is certain is that Baghdad has the desire, the talent and the resources to build a nuclear weapon given the time to do so."
Our time is running out. Saddam needs to be taken out, ASAP.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 1:23:00 AM Link ...
:: Monday, September 09, 2002 ::
Targeted by a History of Hatred
Bernard Lewis has this article in the Washington Post.
The motive, clearly, is hatred, and from then until now the question is being asked, with growing urgency and bewilderment: "Why do they hate us so?" Some go further and ask the very American question: "What have we done to offend them?"
At one level the answer is obvious. It is difficult if not impossible to be strong and successful and to be loved by those who are neither the one nor the other. The same kind of envious rancor can sometimes be seen in Europe, where attitudes to the United States are often distorted by the feeling of having been overtaken, surpassed and in a sense superseded by the upstart society in the West. This feeling, with far deeper roots and greater intensity, affects attitudes in the Muslim world toward the Western world or, as they would put it, the infidel countries and societies that now dominate the world. Most Muslims, unlike most Americans, have an intense historical awareness and see current events in a much deeper and broader perspective than we normally do. And what they see is, for them, profoundly tragic. For many centuries Islam was the greatest civilization on Earth -- the richest, the most powerful, the most creative in every significant field of human endeavor. Its armies, its teachers and its traders were advancing on every front in Asia, in Africa, in Europe, bringing, as they saw it, civilization and religion to the infidel barbarians who lived beyond the Muslim frontier.
And then everything changed, and Muslims, instead of invading and dominating Christendom, were invaded and dominated by Christian powers. The resulting frustration and anger at what seemed to them a reversal of both natural and divine law have been growing for centuries, and have reached a climax in our own time. These feelings find expression in many places where Muslims and non-Muslims meet and clash -- in Bosnia and Kosovo, Chechnya, Israel and Palestine, Sudan, Kashmir, and the Philippines, among others. The prime target of the resulting anger is, inevitably, the United States, now the unchallenged, if not unquestioned, leader of what we like to call the free world and what others variously define as the West, Christendom and the world of the unbelievers.
For a long time politicians in Arab and some other Third World countries were able to achieve at least some of their purposes by playing the rival outside powers against one another -- France against Britain, the Axis against the Allies, the Soviet Union against the United States. The actors changed, but the scenario remained much the same. And then, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, came a truly radical change. Now, for the first time, there is only one superpower, dominant, however unwillingly, in the world: the United States.
Some Arab leaders try frantically to find a substitute for the Soviet Union as patron and protector of anti-American causes and have evoked a limited and for the most part ineffectual response in some quarters in Europe. Others, notably Osama bin Laden, took a different view. As they saw it -- and their view does not lack plausibility -- it was they who, by the holy war they waged in Afghanistan, brought about the defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union. In their perspective, they had dealt with one of the infidel superpowers -- the more determined, the more ruthless, the more dangerous of the two. Dealing with the soft and pampered United States would, so it seemed, be a much easier task.
Another aspect of this contempt is expressed again and again in the statements of bin Laden and others like him. The refrain is always the same. Because of their depraved and self-indulgent way of life, Americans have become soft and cannot take casualties.
The immediate and effective response against their bases in Afghanistan must have come as a serious shock to the terrorist organizations and compelled some revision of their earlier assessment of American weakness and demoralization. We must make sure that they are not misled, by the unfamiliar processes of a democratic society, to return to that earlier misjudgment.
Don't worry, Prof. Before we're done with them, they will know just how badly they screwed up. Every person, every culture, every nation has a threshold, a line, if you will, that must not be crossed. Osama Bin Lesbian and his gang of thugs took a flying leap over that line, and landed squarely on their 'nads. We're going to kick their rotten teeth so far down their throats, they'll be able to bite themselves in the ass. There isn't a hole deep enough for them to hide in. They can hide behind their women, it doesn't matter. I, frankly, don't give a damn why they hate us. They're dead, and I don't care what the dead think.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:41:00 PM Link ...
Who made the following statements suggesting that the U.S. take unilateral military action against Iraq?
The continued rule of Saddam Hussein poses a danger to the stability and security of the region. He has threatened his neighbors while doing everything possible to acquire weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of international law, even during the last several years, when subject to the most restrictive supervision in the history of international arms control.
The United States should be prepared to maintain Iraq's military containment unilaterally should the will of others falter.
if and when Saddam's regime crosses clearly drawn lines of appropriate behavior, particularly with regard to its weapons of mass destruction programs and its threats to other countries, the United States should punish it severely and effectively.
The foregoing statements are taken from an article authored by some of the principal accommodationist opponents of President Bush's strategy of regime change in Iraq: Brent Scowcroft; Zbigniew Brzezinski; Richard Murphy ("Differentiated containment," Foreign Affairs, May/Jun 1997).
My, how time (and Arab consulting fees) can change one's outlook. Hypocracy, indeed.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 5:56:00 PM Link ...
A Declaration of War Against the United States
Paul Treanor, an anti-American Eurodoofus, has posted a silly screed called "A European declaration of war on the United States". He thinks that Europe must destroy the US, because "unless Europe stops the United States - no other economy than a free-market economy will exist on this planet, no form of state other than a nation state will exist on this planet, and no form of social life other than a liberal society." (He doesn't bother to explain why this would be a bad thing.)
Now, my focus group is not one of those formal meetings where you pay people to sit around a conference table in an office building. It's a very informal chat with the regulars at Mary Ann's Restaurant, up the street from my home in rural Young Harris, Ga. They are construction workers, retired teachers, farmers, preachers and the waitresses who chime in with their opinions as they pour coffee and bring more biscuits. Several of these folks have previously worn the uniform of this country, some in combat. Not an Ivy Leaguer in the bunch. Not a single one reads the New York Times, The Washington Post or the Weekly Standard. And their television time is devoted mainly these days to the evening news and to watching the Braves, who are close to clinching another division pennant.
I jotted down some of the questions that they want the president to answer in building a case for going to Iraq.
(1) Even if Hussein has nukes, does he have the capability to reach New York or Los Angeles or Atlanta?
Yeah, he does. You put the bomb in one of those big, steel shipping containers, and send it here by boat. You can blow it in the harbor, or if you think you can get it past Customs, stick it on a truck and haul it to Atlanta.
(2) The old Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear missiles for decades, many of them capable of reaching our major cities, and yet we didn't get into a war with the Soviets. The president needs to explain why Iraq is different.
Some people advocated taking Stalin down before he stole the plans for the A-bomb, but we were so exhausted from World War II that we didn't do it. We had to live under the threat of nuclear annihilation for 50 years. We have the chance to stop Saddam from getting this awful weapon now. Do we want to make the same mistake we made with Stalin?
(3) Who will join with us in this war and what share will they be willing to bear? (There was also some grumbling about our boys in Afghanistan "just doing guard duty" to protect those warlords.)
The Brits are already on board, the Aussies just joined up, too. Turkey will probably join, if she gets some assurances about Kurdistan. Kuwait is positively eager for us to take Saddam down. For some reason, they think he's been a lousy neighbor.
(4) What happens after we take out Hussein? How long will our soldiers be there? And, again, with whose help?
We help set up a democratic government. We stay as long as we need to, probably several years. We get some help from the Brits, and possibly the Aussies. The Turks might help, too.
(5) There is concern about too much deployment. We've got our soldiers stationed all over the world. Someone needs to bring us up to date on where they all are, why they are there and how long our commitment to keep them there is.
I agree we have troops in too many places. We should start by pulling most of our troops out of Germany. The Russians aren't coming through the Fulda Gap anytime soon (they'd have to take Poland and East Germany back, first). If the Germans can't get off their butts and help us, why should our GIs put money into their economy?
(6) How does our plan in Iraq fit in with the whole Middle East question? How will it affect Israel? How will it affect our war on terrorism? Does taking Saddam out help or hurt that entire messy situation?
Occupying Iraq with 200,000 troops puts us in a position to strike directly at any of our remaining enemies in the region. That should make them a little more reluctant to help Al-Quaeda. Israel won't have to worry about Saddam getting a nuke, putting it on a scud missile, and taking out Tel Aviv. Getting Iraq's oil fields online again will reduce the money that Iran and Saudi Arabia can give to the terrorists (the new Iraqi government will be too busy rebuilding to give money to terrorists). Taking out Saddam is a necessary step towards crippling Islamic terrorism.
(7) At Mary Ann's Restaurant, Tony is all right. But Putin is not. Why are we putting so much trust in him? Is he still with us in the war on terrorism, or was that just so much talk at a photo op?
We trust Putin because it is in Russia's interest to help us, and Putin knows it. Russia has problems with Muslim wackos, too. Russia also needs continued American aid and investment. Putin is worried about getting paid what Saddam owes Russia, but if we guarantee that the new government won't welch on Saddam's debts, we can rely on Putin.
(8) The people at Mary Ann's know very well who fights our wars -- the kids from the middle-class and blue-collar homes of America. Kids like their grandchildren. They want to hear the president say that he knows and understands that.
I believe President Bush has the highest respect and regard for the young men and women who wear this country's uniform. I know he has a thousand times more respect for them than his predecessor ever did.
(9) Forgive my bluntness, but these folks also want to hear the president and the vice president say that this war is not about oil.
It is not about oil. If you think the 9/11 attacks were bad, consider the damage a Hiroshima-sized bomb would do, if it went off in New York Harbor. Most of Manhattan would be flattened. Much of Long Island would be heavily damaged. The parts of the Statue of Liberty that weren't vaporized would be blown halfway back to France. And that doesn't count the disruption to US financial markets. The death toll would run into the millions, and the economic losses would run into the trillions. To even hint that this is about oil, is unworthy of a US Senator. You should be ashamed of yourself, sir. I would be ashamed to call you my senator.
(10) They also want to hear an explanation of why we didn't take care of this in the Persian Gulf War, and why it is on our doorstep again so soon.
Because President Bush's father received bad advice, and took it. Even the smartest advisors can be dead wrong. They made the same mistake we made after WWI, when Germany was not conquered, but subjected to harsh peace terms that were not enforced. In both cases, the victors sowed the seeds of the next war. We can still learn from that mistake, however, and destroy Saddam now. If we wait until he acquires nuclear weapons, he will be a thousand times more dangerous.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:57:00 PM Link ...
In a recent discussion about Iraq, someone mentioned that Iraq isn't a threat to the U.S. They argued that Saddam doesn't have missiles to deliver a nuke, nor can he cause our country to fall because he couldn't launch enough nukes to do the job even if he could. We have no reason to attack, said this someone
What my ill-informed acquaintance fails to understand is that Saddam isn't thinking in Western terms of conflict. He's thinking in the same terms as OBL and the WTC attack. He doesn't need a missile to deliver mass destruction to the U.S., first of all. And although he's probably thinking "I'll show them!" rather than "When I move into the Oval Office...", he's no less dangerous to American civilians on whom he'd unleash the atom, or the bug.
Saddam and Osama Bin Lesbian don't understand America or Americans. But it's not just their problem, it's our problem, too. Until we teach these SOBs that killing Americans is a form of suicide, both for the perpertrators, and their sponsors, we're going to have more attacks on America. Until we take the oil money out of the terrorist's hands, we're going to have large-scale terrorist attacks.
Taking down Saddam is the first step toward making America (relatively) safe, again. Getting Iraq's oil fields in production will drive down the price of oil, reducing the amount of money available to fund terrorism, and making sure the proceeds from Iraq's oil go to help the Iraqi people keeps that money out of terrorist hands. Taking down Iraq does continue the fight against Al-Quaeda.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 7:15:00 PM Link ...
ArabNews: Who changed our relationship with others?
Most Saudis are unhappy with the decision of the Canadian government to treat Saudi visitors to Canada just like visitors from other countries who require an entry visa. Until recently a number of countries treated Saudis as honored guests who were welcome at any time and allowed in without visas.
In the past 30 years I have passed through about 10 international airports every year. My Saudi passport used to work wonders at airport counters. It would allow me to bypass hassles while visitors from other countries — particularly Asia, Africa, South America and Southern Europe — had to wait in long queues.
Now let us ask ourselves about our conduct in return toward those advanced countries. Those countries never attempted to destroy the minarets of our mosques, laid siege to our borders or smuggle in dangerous chemicals and weapons to kill us and attack our embassies.
We know who committed horrible crimes in other countries. Who scorned the sentiments of others? Were not their embassies in our countries noting and recording the hostile thoughts and speeches being articulated against them in our mosques?
We should re-examine the type of books on Islam that we circulate in foreign countries with the aim of attracting people to Islam.
Most of them are not written in a style to attract people’s interest or attention. These books will only ruin our relations with other countries and cultures and distort the image of Islam, giving credence to what the hostile Zionist media propagate about us.
It isn't the books you send us, it's the bombs, the bombers, and the lunatics who encourage them. Stop funding the export of your hateful Wahabism, help us clean up the mess you have made, and there might be a possibility that the United States and the Kingdom could become friends. I do not say "friends, again", because Saudi behavior has convinced me that the Kingdom was never truly our friend. The Kingdom has shown itself to be an enemy, and if it does not change its ways, America must one day say, "Riyadh delenda est!"
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 6:36:00 PM Link ...
Secretary Powell, in the interview aboard his plane on his way back from Africa, said that he disagreed that the president's embrace of the idea of pre-emptive strikes against enemy threats was a departure from traditional policy.
"Pre-emption has always been available as a tool of foreign policy or military doctrine," he said.
He noted, however, that since Sept. 11 the policy of pre-emption — or prevention, as he sometimes calls it — has "risen in the hierarchy of options a bit" because of the devastating threats posed by terrorists.
Addressing criticism of America as a global bully, he said: "Our record and our history is not one of going out looking for conflict, it is not one of undertaking pre-emptive acts for the purpose of seizing another person's territory, another people's territory, or to impose our will on someone else. Our history and our tradition is always one of defending our interest."
But in a clear reference to the possibility of attacking Iraq, he defended the policy of pre-emptive action.
"Sometimes, if we can defend those interests even before most of the world recognizes those interests are being threatened," he said, "then I think it is a tool that should be available to the president."
It looks like Powell is finally getting with the program. It's about time.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 6:17:00 PM Link ...
MANAMA (BAHRAIN) SEPT. 8. Sensing that the U.S. will not hesitate to use force in Iraq, key Arab States who are desperate to avoid a war in their region are now exhorting Baghdad to allow U.N. weapon inspectors unconditional access on its soil. The clearest indication that the Arab countries are inclined to turn the heat on Iraq in order to circumvent a war has come from Bahrain, the home of the U.S. fifth fleet and the hub of the movement of American warships in the Persian Gulf area.
In an interview to the daily Al Wassat, the King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa indicated that time was running out for the Iraqi regime. "We don't think that any Arab or international party can stop a (U.S.) strike if it has been decided. Iraq must not be mistaken in this regard'', he said in an interview.
It looks like some of the Arabs are beginning to understand us. According to the article, King Hamad thinks it possible that Saddam will allow UN inspectors full access. This suggests that he doesn't quite understand Saddam, yet. It's either that, or it's wishful thinking. Saddam isn't going to allow inspectors any meaningful access, because he doesn't truly understand us. He thinks that because President Bush's father didn't follow through in the Gulf War, President Bush won't follow through now. He's wrong, but he's not going to figure that out until it's too late.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 6:02:00 PM Link ...
AUSTRALIA has joined the US and Britain in a push to force the United Nations' hand on Iraq.
Prime Minister John Howard called for UN involvement at the weekend in a move designed to dovetail with President George W. Bush's demand that the world body act on a string of ultimatums that have been ignored by Baghdad.
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said yesterday that he believed a military conflict was likely.
Mr Howard will tomorrow brief Cabinet on his Saturday talks with President Bush.
Mr Howard will outline Australia's position on Iraq during a September 11 anniversary speech to the National Press Club in Canberra, detailing what role he sees for the UN and why it is believed Saddam has extended his production of weapons of mass destruction during the past four years.
According to senior government sources, Mr Howard will outline to Cabinet what he intends to say about Iraq during his Press Club address.
Mr Downer said he thought a military conflict was highly likely and the international community could not afford to look weak on Iraq.
Later in the week, he will take Australia's message to the UN in New York, where he is expected to urge members to stand firm against Iraq and follow up resolutions calling for the destruction of chemical and biological weapons material.
He said that unless the UN Security Council acted over Iraq's defiance it would look meaningless and weak.
Mr Downer was backed by former Labor leader Kim Beazley who said the Security Council had "manifestly failed" and been undermined by Russia, France and China using a veto to block action against Iraq.
"The time has come for those states and the UN security council to prove itself," Mr Beazley said.
Once again, Australia shows itself to be among our most dependable, trustworthy, allies. Such friendships cannot be bought, at least, not with money. They are forged in times of mutual hardship and struggle, and they endure through hardship and struggle. With the Aussies and the Brits supporting us, I almost pity the Arab bastards we're going to crush. Almost.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 5:05:00 PM Link ...