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:: Saturday, October 05, 2002 ::

Israel Set to Use New Missile Shield to Counter Scuds
The NY Times has this story.
PALMACHIM AIR FORCE BASE, Israel — Israel has deployed an operational missile defense and is ready to use it to protect Tel Aviv and other major population centers if they come under fire from Iraq's arsenal of Scud missiles.

Known as the Arrow, the system is designed to avoid the pitfalls of the American Patriot system, which Israelis say had little success in stopping Iraq's Scud missile attacks during the Persian Gulf war in 1991.

The program, which will cost more than $2 billion, is partly financed by the United States. One battery is already deployed here, and when the final interceptors and radars are installed about two years from now, Israel will be the first nation in the world to have a nationwide missile defense system.


The Arrow is what military experts call a theater defense system, meaning it is designed to intercept medium- and short-range missiles, not ocean-spanning intercontinental missiles. But because Israel is such a small country, the three batteries it plans to deploy will be a true nationwide system, protecting all of Israel's territory.

If these things work, maybe we ought to get some of them, too. Patriot was not designed as an ABM, and it's remarkable that it worked at all in that role. I'm not surprised that the Israelis came up with something better. After the Gulf War, thay had a lot more motivation than we did.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:30:00 PM Link
Terror suspects arrested near Rome
BBC News has this story.
Italian police have arrested three Egyptians suspected of planning attacks on the US War Cemetery in Anzio, Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport and fast food outlets.

Explosive material and maps highlighting the Nettuno American Cemetery and Memorial were found in the flat of one of the three detained, a police official told Italian radio.


"In view of the current international situation, we have activated a monitoring activity of the environment of foreign citizens, particularly those from outside the EU," Mr Forleo said.

Three cheers for the Italians! Maybe the INS ought to hire some of the investigators involved in this case.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:08:00 PM Link
WTC widower told to leave US
BBC News has this story.
The husband of a Russian woman who died in the 11 September attacks faces deportation from the US - despite the fact that the couple's two children can legally live in America.

Vasiliy Ryzhov, whose wife Tatyana worked on the 93rd floor of the south tower of New York's World Trade Center, has been told he must leave the country because of alleged visa irregularities, Russian TV reported.

Have we run out of Arabs and other Muslims for the INS to harass? Have we run out of any other illegal immigrants? Is the INS down to its last functioning neuron? Has the INS lost its basic human decency, along with its common sense? The answers are: no, no, yes, and yes. Norman Mineta, the Bush Administration's designated doofus, isn't as dumb as the ignorant, tofu-for-brains, asswipe who made this decision. Yeah, the guy fudged his green card app, but I can't believe that there aren't aliens in this country who deserve deportation more than Ryzhov. Give him a fine, maybe 30 days in jail and a year probation, to make the point that fudging your paperwork is a bad idea. But one of his two kids is an American citizen, by birth. Do we really want to separate a minor, American citizen from his only living parent? Put the compassionless bastard who made this decision in charge of reviewing the paperwork of suspicious Muslims. His zeal for deporting people might do some good, there.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 9:44:00 PM Link
Voluntary Smallpox Vaccination Urged
The Washington Post has this article.
The Bush administration's top bioterrorism advisers said yesterday they support a voluntary smallpox vaccination program that would begin with 500,000 health care workers, expand to 10 million emergency responders and extend to the rest of the population as early as 2004.

It was the first time high-ranking administration officials acknowledged they are considering offering the risky vaccine to the public prior to an attack and it represented a profound shift in thinking from the June recommendations of a government advisory panel to inoculate about 20,000 medical personnel.

I wonder if the president will mention this in Monday night's speech. It would certainly serve to underscore the danger posed by Saddam's WMDs. It would show that the government is taking the threat more seriously than before. And if the government is taking Saddam's threat more seriously, perhaps we, the people, should, too. Perhaps we, the people, should call our congresscritters and tell them to let Dubya get Goddam Saddam Hussein, before we all have to take a potentially dangerous vaccine. Damn, Dubya's good.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 12:38:00 AM Link
:: Friday, October 04, 2002 ::
Arms chief backs tough Iraq resolution
BBC News has this story.
The head of the United Nations weapons inspectors has said he would welcome a tough new resolution to support his mission in Iraq, as the US produces what it says is more evidence against Saddam Hussein.

Dr Hans Blix said there had been an "erosion" of the inspection regime and pressure needed to be put on Iraq to comply with the UN-mandated checks.

It would appear that Dr. Blix has at least two functioning neurons. The only way Saddam will cooperate, if you can call it cooperation, is with the muzzle of a shotgun duct taped to his neck. A new Security Council resolution, with the fatal consequences of non-cooperation spelled out explicitly, is the only hope of obtaining an effective inspection regime. The US should accept no less from the Security Council, and should act alone, if the Security Council will not pass such a resolution.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:57:00 PM Link
Bush to Address Nation on Iraq
Fox News has this story.
WASHINGTON — President Bush will give a "major speech" to the nation Monday night to educate Americans on the "growing threat posed by Iraq," U.S. officials said Friday.

The president will deliver the address from Cincinnati, Ohio, where he will be after a weekend of New England Republican fund-raising drives. The speech is not so grand that the White House has sought network television time to cover it, but is major enough that White House officials hope the president will be able to talk directly with Americans about the threat he sees from Iraq.

One official said privately that the president will make news at the event, but that he will not be announcing an imminent war.

It looks like the domestic phase of Operation Rope-a-Dope is over. The timing of this speech is almost perfect. The Senate is about to debate the resolution authorizing the president to use force against Saddam, and the opponents' phones will be ringing off the hooks with constitutents supporting the president. I've said it before, and once again Mr. Bush proves, that those who underestimate him come to, with his boot up their asses, wondering what happened to them.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 5:55:00 PM Link
The Strangest of Times
Victor Davis Hanson has this article on National Review Online (link via Little Green Footballs). He sees drastic and unpredictable, but potentially very good, changes coming after Saddam is gone.
Skeptics cite a number of hypothetical disasters that might befall the United States should we attack Iraq. These are very legitimate worries; but it seems to me more likely that the far more serious ramifications will follow elsewhere, especially should we be successful in ridding the world of Saddam Hussein. We are currently on a roller-coaster ride — and where we are going and what will befall us is as unpredictable as it is wild. Indeed, we are quite literally at one of the most pivotal, dangerous, and bewildering moments of the last half century. Below are a few of strange possibilities on the postbellum horizon.


If Saddam sends a half-dozen germ- or chemically laced Scuds into Israel, what will happen if they are tracked by Israel satellites, targeted by improved second-generation Patriot-like missiles, and blown apart in their descent over Jordan and the West Bank, with their toxic clouds kept eastward by Mediterranean winds? Will the Palestinians again cheer if the Iraqi projectiles this time break up over Ramallah, spreading their patron's frightening poisons over themselves? What will be the official Palestinian response: anger or praise for Saddam? Or perhaps: "Shame on you Jews for not allowing just yourselves to be gassed?"

If the so-called Arab street in Cairo, Amman, or on the West Bank applauds our enemies in the next war, will American taxpayers at last demand that we no longer send millions of dollars to the autocracies of Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority who encourage such outbursts to deflect anger from their own failures? In the pre-September 11 days, our diplomatic insiders might have winced at such overt and puerile anti-Americanism, but nevertheless were confident that their own "expertise" and "experience" with such "complex" issues could ensure American hayseeds that what they saw and heard on their screens is not what they really saw and heard on their screens. Will that be possible this time when the shooting breaks out?


If the United States is successful, and there is a postwar consensual government in Iraq, what will be the effect of such an emerging latitude of reform — in Turkey, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iraq, and Qatar — upon the surrounding autocracies of the region? And do the monarchs and autocrats in the Gulf realize that under the present evolving circumstances the greatest danger to their rule is not the Arab street, the fundamentalist madrassas, a bullying United States, or assorted Libyan and Syrian thugs, but the democratic contagion that might emerge in Iraq?

Things probably will get weird, in the near future. But rember what Hunter S. Thompson said: "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." And folks, nobody is weirder than the US. We put sweaters on little dogs. We made a sequel to Police Academy VI. We had a bunch of guys who rented a Beverly Hills mansion, cut their nuts off, and committed suicide, in order to catch a ride on an alien spaceship hiding in the Hale-Bopp comet.

We can deal with weirdness better than any other nation on earth. So, let's get weird!
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 2:01:00 PM Link

A Bush-Saddam Duel?
A small victory has this Monty Pythonesque look at how the proposed Bush-Saddam duel might go (link via Cold Fury).
SADDAM: None shall pass.
BUSH: What?
SADDAM: None shall pass.
BUSH: If you have no Weapons of Mass Destruction, I have no quarrel with you, Saddam, but I must have unfettered access.
SADDAM: Then you shall die.
BUSH: I command you as Leader of the Free World to stand aside!
SADDAM: I move for no American.
BUSH: So be it!
[parry thrust]
[BUSH chops SADDAM's left arm off after a short battle]
BUSH: Now stand aside, you madman.
SADDAM: 'Tis but a scratch.
BUSH: A scratch? Your arm's off!
SADDAM: No, it isn't.
BUSH: Well, what's that then?
SADDAM: I've had worse.
BUSH: You liar!
SADDAM: Come on you pansy!
To which I would add, "Go boil your bottom, you son of a silly person. I fart in your general direction!"
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:15:00 AM Link
Are democratic elections in peril?
Townhall.com columnist George Will asks the question.
Now people may fully understand the recklessness of what Al Gore almost accomplished in Florida. Unhappy about the result the political process was producing, he tried, with the assistance of a compliant state Supreme Court, to rewrite the rules of the process.

Election laws are supposed to be exacting so they can prevent just such last-minute frenzies by people frightened of losing. Yet today Democrats are asserting this principle: Anytime--even just 36 days before an election--a party has discouraging polls about a candidate, that party can replace him.


Torricelli's career of political sociopathy, of rule-bending and rule-breaking, concludes, fittingly, with a crescendo of cynical rule-inventing. One week before Torricelli's self-immolation, Daschle told a Trenton audience that "the future of this country'' depended on Torricelli's re-election. But when Daschle and other Democratic advocates of voter amorality failed to persuade New Jersey to be unconcerned about Torricelli's character and record, Torricelli withdrew, thereby enabling Democrats to say New Jersey was thereby denied a choice. It was a Torricellian twist on an old joke: A child kills his parents and demands mercy because he is an orphan.

Once again, the Democrats have demonstrated, by their contempt for the law, that they are unfit to rule a nation governed by law. I don't know what the courts will do, but I do know what Americans, both in New Jersey, and elsewhere, can do. We can vote for anyone but the Democratic candidates on this year's ballots. If your political views are too far to the left (or right) to support the Republican candidate, vote for the Green party, the Libertarian party, write in Mickey Mouse, or just stay home. The Torricelli affair is the product of the national Democratic party's desperation to retain power, and it is fitting and just that Americans punish them nationwide.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:30:00 AM Link
:: Thursday, October 03, 2002 ::
Bush Iraq Policy Moves in Congress
Yahoo (AP) News has this story.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush's request for authority to use U.S. force against Iraq advanced in Congress on Thursday, with a House committee voting its approval and Senate leaders predicting wide margins of bipartisan support.


Reflecting the Senate's determination to move ahead, the chamber then voted 95-1 on a procedural motion that clears the way for votes next week. The lone dissenter was Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.


The House International Relations Committee turned back efforts to weaken the resolution embraced by Bush and House leaders and approved it, 31-11, sending it to the full House for debate next week. Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., the chairman, asked members "to support not the president but the cause that is embodied in this resolution."


The Senate will have three choices, Daschle said:

  • The main White House-backed resolution. It would give Bush broad authority to use force against Iraq to enforce "relevant" U.N. resolutions, with or without U.N. cooperation. As a concession, the White House agreed to inform Congress — either right before an attack or within 48 hours afterward — that U.N. efforts had failed. Bush also agreed to give Congress progress reports every 60 days.
  • An alternative by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joseph Biden, D-Del., and Sen. Richard Lugar R-Ind., a senior member and former chairman, that would emphasize the U.N. role and specify force could be used against Iraq only to disarm it.
  • A proposal by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., that would require the president to obtain U.N. approval before committing U.S. forces.
Neither the Levin measure nor the Biden-Lugar alternative was considered likely to gain enough votes to prevail, said officials in both parties.
Time is running out for Saddam. He's invaded his neighbors, slaughtered his own people, supported terrorists, produced - and used - weapons of mass destruction, and sought to build a nuclear arsenal. He's lied to the UN, and anyone else stupid enough to listen, but he's running out of lies and running out of tricks. The time is near, when he must renounce his weapons of mass destruction, or lose everything.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:34:00 PM Link
Blair: Iraq Must Give U.N. Access
Yahoo (AP) News has this report from the Labour Party conference, In Blackpool, England. PM Tony Blair declared that Saddam must give up his WMDs.
"He can't avoid" disarmament, the prime minister said at a news conference. "It's going to happen one way or another."


"The access we require must include the presidential palaces. It is no good allowing inspectors access to 99 percent of Iraq if the weapons of mass destruction are actually located and stored and worked on in the remaining 1 percent of Iraq."

He also said the inspectors should be backed by a tough new U.N. resolution.

That's a damnned sight more common sense than Hans Blix has shown. Of course, we must be able to inspect anywhere in Iraq, if we are to eliminate Saddam's WMDs. The notion that certain sites should be off limits to inspectors is an insult to the world's intelligence. Of course it's pretty hard to insult the intelligence of Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder. They're so dumb that almost any normal attempt at insult could be construed as either an accurate description, or even a compliment.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:20:00 PM Link
US envoy in 'evil' North Korea
BBC has this story.
A US envoy has arrived in North Korea in the highest-level visit since President George W Bush adopted a hard-line stance towards the secretive state.

James Kelly, an assistant secretary of state, is due to stay in the North Korean capital Pyongyang until 5 October, though it is not yet clear if he will meet the country's leader, Kim Jong-il.


Relations between the two countries reached a low in January, when President Bush named North Korea as part of an "axis of evil", along with Iran and Iraq.

North's apology

Mr Kelly will brief South Korea on the visit

Since then, North Korea has shown interest in renewing the dialogue with the US and has also made progress in improving relations with Japan and South Korea.

Kim Jong-il last month apologised to Japan as he admitted that North Korean agents abducted at least 13 Japanese citizens during the 1970s and 1980s

Do you suppose that Kim Jong-il thinks that once Saddam's gone, and the Iranians get around to shooting their mullahs, he'll be at the top of our "to do" list? Or is he just afraid that his people are so sick of starving, that they might barbeque him, and he needs some foreign aid to prevent it? Either way, a firm tone is called for. We can hardly give aid to one rogue regime that is trying to build nuclear bombs, while we are planning to remove another for the same offence.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:08:00 PM Link
UN helps Afghan schoolgirls after fire
BBC News has this story.
The United Nations says it will send tents to help girls continue their education in a northern Afghan province after their two schools were burnt down.

The incident has left 150 girls without a school, their blackboards and books turned to ash.

Unicef had provided funding to establish the schools, just 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the capital of Sar-i-Pul province.


The fires followed the distribution of pamphlets around mosques in the local district warning women against casting off their burqas.

There was a similar campaign in May in the southern city of Kandahar, when pamphlets were distributed warning parents not to send their daughters to schools.

The story also says that four known religious whackos with links to the Taliban have been arrested in connection with the fires. If they're guilty, I think their punishment should come, not from Sharia, but from Kipling (with apologies for the paraphrase).
Leave'em wounded, to lie on Afghanistan's plains,
While the women come out, to cut up what remains.
But don't leave'em a rifle, to blow out their brains,
And go to Allah like a soldier.

:: Riyadh Delenda Est 9:37:00 PM Link
Carriers Can Be In Position By December
Reuters has this story.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As many as four U.S. aircraft carriers are expected to be within striking distance of Iraq by the end of December, Navy officials said on Thursday, marking what may be the earliest possible moment for a full-scale U.S.-led attack.


A fifth carrier, the San Diego, California-based Nimitz, could also be in the Gulf region by late December, said Patrick Garrett, who has been tracking U.S. deployments for GlobalSecurity.org, a research group in Alexandria, Virginia.

And a sixth, the Yokosuka, Japan-based Kitty Hawk, also would be available to be sent there by the end of the year, he said.


The Congressional Budget Office estimated this week that five aircraft carrier battle groups would be used in a "Heavy Air Option" against Iraq costing about $9 billion above that budgeted for routine operations. Such a force likely would also include two and one-third Army divisions, 10 Air Force tactical air wings and about one-third of a Marine expeditionary force, the nonpartisan budget office said.

4-6 carrier battle groups ought to be more than enough, especially with the Air Force units mentioned in the article. In fact, if all of the Army and Air Force units mentioned above can be in place before December, we can probably do without the extra carrier battle groups. I wonder if this story is another bit of rope-a-dope by the Bush administration, intended to lull Saddam into thinking he's safe until December.

UPDATE: John Bono, at Big S Blog, thinks the war will begin before Thanksgiving. He has some interesting info on troop movements to back it up.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 6:00:00 PM Link

Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler has moved
Congratulations on the new site! Lookin' good.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 3:25:00 PM Link
Why President Bush is Interested in UN Inspections
Dr. Weevil may have figured out the answer.
Is Bush going along with the campaign to restart U.N. inspections of Iraqi weapons sites just long enough to get a list of excluded sites? ... I trust our negotiators are asking for the precise locations of all the 'palaces' on the exclusion list so they can make a check-off list.
Doc, you have a low, devious, and sneaky mind, to even think of such a thing. And I just wish I'd thought of it first.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 12:59:00 PM Link
:: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 ::
Poll on US ties rocks Iran
BBC News has this story on a recent poll taken in Iran. (Link via Daily Pundit)
Media heads face prosecution in Iran over a ground-breaking opinion poll on mending relations with the United States.


The conservative judiciary has shut down a state-run polling institute and is taking both its director and the head of the state news agency Irna - which published the poll - to court.


According to the poll of 1,500 Iranians, conducted by three separate institutes including the National Institute for Research Studies and Opinion Polls (NIRSOP) and published by Irna on 22 September:

  • 74% of respondents over the age of 15 support dialogue with the US
  • 45.8% believe Washington's policy on Iran is "to some extent correct".
But the judiciary has responded by charging NIRSOP director Behrouz Geranpayeh and Irna's Abdollah Nasseri of "publishing lies to excite public opinion", the Iran newspaper reports.


'Valid poll'

The parliament, or Majlis, confirmed on Wednesday that it had commissioned the poll as part of a study of ties with the US.

Once Saddam falls, the Iranian people may just save us the trouble of dealing with the mullahs. I would certainly be glad to see the Iranian people reclaim their liberties from those nutsos.

UPDATE: John Bono, at Big S Blog is also blogging this story.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:34:00 PM Link

As Congressional Support Builds, Bush Warns Hussein
The NY Times has this story. The White House and Congressional leaders approved a draft resolution regarding military action against Iraq. Here are the high points:
The language worked out with the House leaders requires Mr. Bush to certify to Congress before an American military strike, if feasible, or within 48 hours after an attack that diplomatic and other peaceful means alone are inadequate to protect Americans from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

The resolution, which the Republican-led House may not take up until next week, also authorizes the president to use military forces "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to 1) defend the national security interests of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq and 2) to enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

The resolution, which affirms American policy that Mr. Hussein must leave power, would also require the president to report to Congress every 60 days on the Iraq situation.

This resolution, when it passes, will be Saddam's death warrant. Saddam's only chance for survival will be to give up his WMD programs and permit weapons inspections with complete, immediate, absolutely unfettered, access to all sites. No excuses, no delays, no exceptions. If an inspection team shows up at 3:00AM local time, and wants to look under the bed Saddam is sleeping in, the only acceptable answer is, "Of course, sir. Right this way, sir. Happy to oblige, sir." Saddam needs to understand that denial of immediate access to any site is a capital offense, and that there will be no second chance.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 7:37:00 PM Link
The Bottom Line on Iraq
Stanley Kurtz has this column on Iraq on National Review Online. (Link via TANSTAAFL)
Let me tell you the truth about our reasons for invading Iraq. We are not invading Iraq to protect the credibility of the United Nations. We are not invading Iraq to bring democracy to the Arab world. We are not invading Iraq to save the Iraqi people from poverty and oppression. The reason we are invading Iraq is to prevent Saddam Hussein from obtaining nuclear weapons.


Saddam has a nearly 30-year history of defying the logic of deterrence. Saddam regularly and radically miscalculates the dangers of his aggressive actions. He is ignorant of the outside world, and punishes or kills those who come to him with bad news. He is apt to seek revenge (as in the assassination attempt on former president Bush), even when revenge could cost him his life. And Saddam is possessed by a driving wish to dominate the Middle East. He also holds a vision of taking down his enemies when he goes, if go he must, with a terrible act of destruction that will permanently impress his "glory" into the pages of history.

Kurtz acknowledges that the other reasons for removing Saddam are desirable ends, and he concedes that President Bush's strategy of challenging the UN to live up to its principles was useful. But he believes that by not telling the whole truth, namely that we're after Saddam because we don't believe he's deterrable, President Bush has made it difficult to place the real issue before the country.

Kurtz has a point, but I personally think that as a practical, political matter, President Bush had little choice but to do what he did. The American people needed to see the UN as the toothless, impotent, source of global warming that it is. Americans believe that there should be more to foreign policy than just our naked self-interest. We like to know that we are doing good while doing well. By making a broad case against Saddam, President Bush has given America reason to hope that the world, post-Saddam, might become a better place, and not just a safer one.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 6:44:00 PM Link

More Donk Election Shenanigans
Greatest Jeneration has this article about Donk ballot games in Missouri and Hawaii.
It seems the Governor (Democrat) of Hawaii has decided to hold 3 potential separate elections to deal with the problem of filling Mink's vacancy: one that keeps her on the Nov. 5 ballot (even though she's deceased--same thing they pulled in Missouri in 2000 with Mel Carnahan's death) for the November election, one on Nov. 30 to fill her vacancy until Mink's official term is over, and then a third one in January to fill her place should she "win" on Nov. 5, all at the cost of $2 million each to the state.
First, New Jersey, now Missouri and Hawaii. The Donks have managed a combination of dishonesty, incompetence, and just plain shamelessness that is unbelieveable. I guess it all depends on what the meaning of the word "dead" is. God help us all, if this bunch ever gets back in power.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 3:12:00 PM Link
Ted Rall and His Web of Half-Truths
John Giuffo slices and dices Anti-American asshole cartoonist Ted Rall in this critique of Rall's latest collection of crap. (Link via Cut on the Bias)
Effective dissent requires accuracy, not intellectual dishonesty. Lies can't be skewered with more lies. But Rall has a way of ignoring the facts that don't fit his preconceived notions.

In short, Ted Rall is giving dissent a bad name.

Time after time in his syndicated strips and columns since Sept. 11, he has shown a tendency to distort or exaggerate in order to make a point. His book, To Afghanistan and Back, is a distillation of his shoddy and ideologically blind war reportage. The Wall Street Journal and the New Republic have called him anti-American, but that's not really accurate. Of course, he does see only the negative aspects of America, but that's because he tends to see only the negative aspects of everything. He's a cynic, but more to the point, he's a hack.

That's just a sample, folks. There's more good stuff where this came from.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:18:00 AM Link
Welcome, Patio Pundit Readers.
Thanks for dropping by. Make yourselves at home. Stay a while. Come back, anytime.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 7:43:00 AM Link
:: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 ::
As war looms, the Democrats unravel
Mark Steyn does it again. And what he's doing this time is the disarray in the Democratic Party. This one's really good. Here's a small sample.
War is hell for left-of-centre parties. The British Labor Party is bitterly divided between those in favour of war with Iraq and those opposed to it. In the U.S. Democratic Party, meanwhile, it's even more complicated:


But then Al Gore rose from the dead to demonstrate that his political antennae are still as reliable as a 1948 TV with busted rabbit ears. Senate Democrats emerged from their hole to find their 2004 Presidential front-runner had dug them a brand new one. Remember Al? The first Android-American to run for President? The first candidate to win the popular vote without being popular? Al spent his riveting Gore '00 Presidential campaign in a fruitless pursuit for "the real Al Gore," launching a brand new "real Al Gore" every couple of weeks. But, in fairness to the Democratic Party's very own weapon of mass self-destruction, throughout all his multiple personalities Gore has been consistently tough on Saddam, ever since he was one of the few Democratic Senators to vote for the first Gulf War 12 years ago.

Not anymore, though. Last week, Al decided he's against a war with Iraq. Iraq, he argues, will distract us from Afghanistan. "Great nations," he intones, "do not jump from one unfinished task to another." America, says Al, can't fight Iraq and mop up Afghanistan at the same time: We can walk. Or we can chew gum. But we shouldn't try to jump from walking to gum-chewing until we're certain we've completed our walk.

Go read the rest of this one. We'll wait up for you.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:36:00 PM Link
Israel Makes Arafat Feel Like a Hunted Jew
I found this translation of an article by Edward Sa'id on MEMRI. I've already done one good fisking tonight, so I think I'll just hamstring this asshole, and let the rest of the blogosphere finish him off.
Quite apart from his actual history of mistakes and misrule, Yasser Arafat is now being made to feel like a hunted Jew by the state of the Jews.
Oh, but his history of mistakes and misrule is exactly what got him into that mess. If Arafat had taken the deal Barak offered him, He'd be sitting in his presidential palace, deciding whether to have steak of lamb for dinner tomorrow. And his people would be in the process of rebuilding their homes, their businesses, and their lives.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the greatest irony of his siege by the Israeli army in his ruined Ramallah compound, is that his ordeal has been planned and carried out by a psychopathic leader who claims to represent the Jewish people.
The greatest irony of the seige is the hysterical rhetoric coming from the Arab camp. If Sharon wanted Arafat dead, he'd be dead, you ignorant half-wit.
I do not want to press the analogy too far, but it is true to say that Palestinians under Israeli occupation today are as powerless as Jews were in the 1940s.
The difference, Eddie, is that Israel hasn't been setting up gas chambers to slaughter the Paleo-stinians. If the situation were reversed, the only thing that would stop the Arabs from replaying the Holocaust, is that they're too dumb to build, or operate, a gas chamber. Of course, the Germans would probably provide the necessary technical assistance, so keep on dreaming, Eddie.
Israel's army, air force and navy, heavily subsidized by the United States, have been wreaking havoc on the totally defenseless civilian population of the occupied West Bank and Gaza strip...
You don't know Jack Shit about aerial havoc, Eddie. Read an account of the Dresden Raid, or the Tokyo Firebomb Raid, and maybe you might get an inkling of a glimmer of a hint of a clue as to what the IAF could do to your Paleo-stinian buddies.

UPDATE: Mr. Misha, at Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler has taken up my invitation, and has set his teeth in Eddie's throat. If you liked what I did to Eddie, you'll enjoy this one, too.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:07:00 PM Link

Arabs Lambaste US over Jerusalem
The ArabNews has this story, and Cato has a fresh barrel of fisk-ass to dump on it.
GAZA CITY/LONDON, 2 October — Arabs yesterday bitterly denounced US legislation requiring President George W. Bush’s administration to identify Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Some of Washington’s Arab allies acknowledged that Bush had stated that US policy on Jerusalem was unchanged despite the provisions inserted by Congress into the act that provides over $4 billion to run the State Department in 2003.

But most Arab reactions reflected anger at what was seen as fresh evidence of US bias toward Israel, which annexed Arab East Jerusalem, encompassing one of Islam’s holiest shrines, after capturing it in the 1967 Middle East war.

If the Arabs need fresh evidence to figure out that the United States prefers the state of Israel over Diaper-head Arafat and his Paleo-stinian terror thugs, they haven't been paying much attention, lately.
"This is an act against peace, an act of incitement," Palestinian Authority’s Planning and International Cooperation Minister Nabil Shaath told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
And what, exactly, do you call blowing up Israeli civilians while they are having their Passover dinner? A peace offering?
"It is against the commitment of the United States, contrary to international law, contrary to agreements signed by the United States. This is really totally unhelpful and obstructs any move toward the peace process," he said, calling the US legislation "an insult to the Arab and Muslim world".
People who deliberately seek out enemy civilians as targets (a violation of the Geneva Conventions) have a pretty God-damnned thick crust, citing international law.
"This is unprecedented. It’s a blatant violation of all agreements signed between the Israelis and the Palestinians," top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters in Ramallah, after a Cabinet meeting in Arafat’s war-ravaged office.
It was the US Congress that passed this law. What are you blaming the Israelis for? Oops, I forgot. Everything that Arabs don't like is Israel's fault.
"What will decide the future of Jerusalem is the Palestinian people and not the Congress, which is hijacked by Israeli pressure groups," Erekat charged, accusing Bush of "adding fuel to the fire" in the region.
I think the Israelis may have a slight disagreement with you, there, Eerie. And if you think you've got a fire in the region now, you don't know what fire is. For fifty years, you bozos have been trying to kill off 5 million Israeli Jews, without any real success. So what did you do? You picked a fight with 250 million Americans. After we get done with Saddam, we just might teach the rest of you Muslim bastards what fire is all about.
OIC Secretary-General Abdelouahed Belkeziz voiced "particular concern because of the political and legal considerations stemming from this legislation which harm Islamic interests."
Let me try to explain this to you, Abdoulla-head. Islamic interests are not exactly America's highest priority, right now.
"This decision is in total contradiction with (UN) Security Council resolutions," Belkeziz said in a statement in the name of the 57-member Islamic body based in Jeddah. "Such an attitude from the American administration at a time when Israel is waging an unprecedented campaign against the Palestinian people is liable to exacerbate resentment among Muslims ... and is not liable to facilitate the role of the United States as co-sponsor of the Middle East peace process," he said.
You can take your Islamic resentment, fold it until it is nothing but edges, hone the edges until they are sharp enough to shave with, and shove it so far up your hemorroidal ass that Allah couldn't find it with the Hubble Telescope. You see, we don't fucking like you, either. You come to our country, ostensibly to learn from us, then turn around and murder us by the thousands. The only process that is going to produce peace between the Israelis and Paleo-stinians is the process of killing off those Arabs who will not live in peace.
Bush signed the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for 2003 on Monday. Its provisions go beyond previous moves by Congress, which has pressed successive administrations on the related question of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Good, I'm glad to see Congress move in the right direction, for a change. The next step is for them to require that the embassy be moved to Jerusalem.
Kuwait voiced regret at the legislation. "I know of the pressures inside the United States and we hope this will be amended at a later stage," Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah told reporters.
You know the pressures inside the United States? Do you understand that Senate Democrats, who would normally rather eat broken glass than allow our military to do anything other than spend money in their home districts, are about to give President about a 75-80% vote in favor of taking down Saddam Hussein? They haven't suddenly become warmongers. They just want to survive the upcoming election. They know that if they don't go along with President Bush on Iraq, the American people will throw their sorry butts out of office.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership yesterday welcomed Tony Blair’s call for the resumption of negotiations on a Palestinian state and for UN resolutions to be implemented, and urged the British prime minister to pressure Israel.
I think Mr. Blair has other things on his mind besides another round of futile "negotiations" between Israel and Paleo-stine. Like helping President Bush pick out Saddam's coffin. It's important to pick a coffin that is a reflection of the deceased's importance. A worn-out, water-stained shoebox is probably about right. Give Saddam an enema, and he should fit just fine.
"This is a very important statement from Blair. We ask him to push Israel to immediately implement UN Security Council Resolution 1435 and withdraw its tanks from all occupied Palestinian territories," Nabil Abu Rudeina, a senior aide to Arafat, told reporters. Blair said yesterday that UN resolutions on the Middle East "should apply as much as to Iraq," in a veiled call on the hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s government to completely pull out its tanks from around the Palestinian leader’s office.
You Arabs haven't given a good God-damn about the UN resolutions on Saddam's WMDs. You can take the other UN resolutions and shove them where you put your resentments.

UPDATE: Tomopia and Patio Pundit have both linked to this article. Welcome, Tomopia and Patio Pundit readers. Both sites have some good stuff, today, so give'em a look, if you haven't already.

2nd UPDATE: The Safety Valve has also linked to this post. Welcome Safety Valve readers. He's posted a too funny picture that shows why you shouldn't park next to a fire hydrant.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 6:34:00 PM Link

Strange Google Searches
Today's site stats showed what must have been one of the most disappointing Google searches in history. Someone logged in on a Saudi Arabian site did a search for "how to find a kitten in Riyadh". What he found was this post.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 2:26:00 PM Link
Lord Haw Haw Rides Again
George Wil compares David Bonior and Jim McDermott to Lord Haw Haw and Hanoi Jane Fonda in this Washington Post column (Link via Little Green Footballs).
Not since Jane Fonda posed for photographers at a Hanoi antiaircraft gun has there been anything like Rep. Jim McDermott, speaking to ABC's "This Week" from Baghdad, saying Americans should take Saddam Hussein at his word but should not take President Bush at his.


McDermott and Bonior are two specimens of what Lenin, referring to Westerners who denied the existence of Lenin's police-state terror, called "useful idiots."


McDermott's and Bonior's espousal of Saddam Hussein's line, and of Gore's subtext (and Barbra Streisand's libretto), signals the recrudescence of the dogmatic distrust of U.S. power that virtually disqualified the Democratic Party from presidential politics for a generation. It gives the benefits of all doubts to America's enemies and reduces policy debates to accusations about the motives of Americans who would project U.S. power in the world.

Bonior and McDermott's antics were disgusting. The spectacle of two US Congressmen spouting the party line of vile, vicious, vermin such as Saddam and his Saddamites is simply infamous. These are men who are sworn to uphold the Constitution, not give aid and comfort to its enemies. If I lived in these bastards' districts, I would be too embarassed to admit it. If I had voted for either of these scum-sucking low-lifes, I would hang my head in shame.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 2:02:00 PM Link
Welcome Cold Fury Readers!
Make yourself at home, leave a comment or two, rate my site on BlogHop. Y'all come back, anytime. Thanks for the link, Mike.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:41:00 AM Link
PA Official Admits They Could Stop Hamas
The Jerusalem Post has this interview with Brig.-Gen. Muhammad Masri, head of the Political Security Department at the Palestinian General Intelligence Service. (Link via Israpundit.)
The Palestinian Authority has the strength but not the will to smash terrorist groups and their support networks in the Gaza Strip, a top PA security official said yesterday.


"We have enough men and arms, but not political horizon and no incentive, to enter into bloody conflict with other Palestinians," said Masri from his office at the PA's GIS building just north of Gaza City.


"Capabilities and principle are two different things. Besides ending the occupation, our major goal is not to be labeled collaborators," said Masri.

Dogs and cats living together! A BS PA official telling the truth, for a change? Nah, there's got to be a lie in there, somewhere. Arafat would fire any PA official who actually told the truth. Maybe the part about having enough men and arms to take Hamas?
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 9:23:00 AM Link
Democrats Seek Compromise With White House on Iraq
The NY Times has this story.
Senate leaders estimate that there are probably 75 to 80 votes for the White House language, and the House is virtually certain to pass any resolution supported by President Bush when it votes next week. But any changes accepted by the White House are likely to reduce the number of dissenting votes and amendments during the debate, which all sides say they would like to limit in an effort to build a more united front.
Consensus is nice, but under Senate rules, only 60 votes are needed. Both the President and the Democrats should keep that in mind, and get on with this vote.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 2:17:00 AM Link
US begins entry checks on Muslims
BBC News has this story.
The United States is to start registering men from selected Arab and Muslim countries when they arrive in the United States.

They will be fingerprinted, photographed and questioned if immigration officers deem it necessary.


Scrutiny extended

Already, since the anniversary of 11 September, visitors from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Syria have been quietly taken to one side for questioning.

Now, when visitors arrive from there, or from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Yemen, men aged 16 to 45 will be formally registered by the authorities.

Then, they will have 30 days to say where they are living, working or studying.

It's about time we started paying attention to who is coming here and why. Some of the Arab-Amercian groups are pissed off about it. Screw'em. If they want to be treated like loyal Americans, they need to start acting like loyal Americans. They need to speak out against terrorism. They need to help locate terrorist cells in America. They need to show us that America's enemies are their enemies, too.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 1:48:00 AM Link
Europeans to Exempt U.S. From War Court
The NY Times has this story.
BRUSSELS, Sept 30 — The 15 nations of the European Union agreed today to exempt American soldiers and government officials from prosecution for war crimes at the International Criminal Court, an issue that had troubled trans-Atlantic relations for several months.


The deal that the 15 governments agreed to prevents them from extraditing American government employees accused of war crimes to the court, on the condition that the United States government guarantee that such a suspect would be tried in an American court.

This is good news. American peacekeepers have a difficult enough job without worrying about extradition to Brussels on malicious, politically-motivated charges. This decision will make it much easier for America to allow its soldiers to participate in overseas peacekeeping missions.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 12:17:00 AM Link
:: Monday, September 30, 2002 ::
'Let Me Post Bin Laden's Bond,' Says Bonior in New Book
ScrappleFace has the goods on David Bonior.
(2002-09-23) -- In his new book, With a Trusting Heart, Rep. David Bonior, D-Mich., reports his response to President Bush in late September 2001 when the chief executive asked him 'What can I do for you?'

"When you catch this guy, Bin Laden," Bonior said with tears in his eyes, "I would like to be the one to post his bond."

Ouch! The problem with parody stories like this one, is that there's too much truth in them.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 11:09:00 AM Link
Bill Unloads on the Left
Bill Quick, the Daily Pundit, has changed his mind about voting Democrat to punish Republican indecisiveness on Iraq. Here's a small sample of what he has to say:
The left is clueless, suicidal, morally bankrupt, and ethically a contradiction, concerned only with power for the sake of power and, yes, in their lust for a phony "internationalism," deeply and profoundly unpatriotic. They hate the spirit of the Constitution, wish to pick and choose among those few parts of it they like, loathe America, are ashamed to be American (despite all their lies about "loving America, they don't really love this country - they love only their desperate, ugly wish for an America structured to the socialist, statist horror they truly desire), and would destroy the America of the Founders and the Constitution in a moment if they could wave a magic red wand and do so.
There's lots more where this came from. Go read it.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 10:03:00 AM Link
:: Sunday, September 29, 2002 ::
Tolkien's Proverbs in The Lord of the Rings
I was looking for a Tolkien quote, the one about how "those that have not swords can still die on them", when I ran across this page of Tolkien proverbs. These seemed particularly appropriate.
It is not your own Shire,' said Gildor. 'Others dwelt here before hobbits were, and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out.
On 9/11, we learned that we can no longer fence the world out. Now, our only hope is to destroy the evil that will not leave us in peace.
In nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him. - Haldir
Nations that have been, and should be allies, are at each others' throats. This must stop. We must recognize the danger we face, and unite against it, for we are all in peril.
It needs but one foe to breed a war, not two.... And those who have not swords can still die upon them. Would you have the folk of Gondor gather you herbs only, when the Dark Lord gathers armies? - Eowyn
We did not choose this war, it chose us. There are those who deny that Saddam is a danger to the world. Perhaps he is no danger to those willing to submit to him, but I am not in that group. The time for herbs is ended. The time for armies is here.
War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. - Faramir
As do all decent men. But the bright sword and the swift arrow, the warrior's glory, are all that stand between our way of life, and a vile perversion of a religion that kills in the name of God. If we love our way of life, we must fight to defend it.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 9:51:00 PM Link
U.S. Focus on Iraq Distracts from Meat Inspection
ScrappleFace has this story on the really important issue facing the country.
"The risk of illness or death from meat-borne pathogens is astronomical," said a Congressional aide. "Trichinosis, salmonella, E. coli and other deadly agents must be stopped, yet the Bush administration is focused exclusively on Iraq...which doesn't even export meat to the U.S.."

Congressional Democrats are reportedly "chagrined that the White House has no concern for protecting Americans where they live, eat and shop."

There's more. Go on, read it. You deserve a good laugh, today.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 8:50:00 PM Link
PM Issues New Iraq Warning
Sky News has this story.
Tony Blair says he will not rule out Britain joining a US strike on Iraq even if it does not have UN support.

As UN weapons inspectors prepare for their Monday meeting with Iraqi officials to discuss details of their return to Baghdad, the Prime Minister said the international community had to keep up the pressure on Iraq.

"We must make it absolutely clear that Saddam and the Iraqi regime have one choice," he said at the Labour Party conference in Blackpool

"They either agree to disarm themselves of these weapons they should never have had in the first place or alternatively action will follow."

It's good to have friends like Tony Blair. I normally don't have much use for Labourites, but Mr. Blair has shown more guts on the Iraq issue than any three Labour PMs of the last century. Perhaps he remembers what happened to the last British PM who tried to appease a tyrant.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 7:56:00 PM Link
Report: IDF in Iraq
The Jerusalem Post has this story. (Thanks for the tip, Kathy).
Israeli special forces are operating inside western Iraq to locate missile launchers that could be used against Israel, according to a report in the recent issue of Jane's Foreign Report. Israeli officials refused to comment on the report.


The newsletter stated that "neither Israel nor the US has a clue about what, if anything, Saddam Hussein is hiding," and claimed it was this "ignorance" that prompted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to assign the elite commando unit to carry out the job.


The article also claimed that Israel had struck a secret agreement with Jordan whereby if necessary Israel will be permitted to use Jordanian air space.

It's good to see somebody besides the US and Britain that gives a shit about Saddam's WMDs. Of course, the fact that Israel is right up there with the US on Saddam's target list might have something to do with that. Anyone want to bet that if the Israelis find any Scuds, the Iraqis might have a few "accidental" explosions? They'd have to be just ordinary "accidents", because Saddam doesn't have any Scuds, right? Saddam got rid of all that stuff, like he was supposed to after the Gulf War, ri-i-ght? Yeah, right.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 3:02:00 PM Link
Aiming to Disrupt Diplomacy, Iraq Risks War by Rejecting Plan
The NY Times has this story.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 — Iraq's rejection of any new United Nations resolution that toughens the terms of disarmament appeared calculated to widen the gap dividing the United States and Britain from the other big powers at the United Nations as they were struggling to find a common approach to confront Saddam Hussein.


But the tactic could backfire. The fiery statements from Baghdad may actually please the Bush administration because Iraqi intransigence will make it easier to argue the case for military action. At the same time, the Iraqi defiance may make it more difficult for critics here and abroad to question the Bush administration's unrelenting campaign to bring the Iraq situation to a head.


Baghdad's determination to pre-empt a return of United Nations inspectors without any conditions to hamper their work, on the other hand, shows that Mr. Hussein understands the gravity and potential consequences of the Bush administration's approach, which calls for sending an armed security force with the United Nations inspectors. A team of diplomats from the Security Council's five permanent members would also accompany the inspectors and supervise their work.


That can never fly," a German diplomat said after he learned from the French the basic outline of the draft. Germany joins the Security Council as a non-veto member in January and has strongly opposed war with Iraq.

"Even the British have informed the Europeans that they were clearly insisting on a real option for Saddam Hussein," the German diplomat said. "Either there are to be inspections and the destruction of weapons of mass destruction, if they are found, or the destruction of the regime.

The point, Hans, is to force Saddam to choose between giving up his WMDs and giving up his power, and possibly his life. Saddam still has that choice, even with the tough inspections proposed by the Bush administration. But his choices must not include any loophole that could allow him to hide his WMD programs. Either the WMDs go, or Saddam does. That is the US/UK position. It is the correct one. And if the Germans, Saudis, French, and Russians don't like it, to Hell with them.
:: Riyadh Delenda Est 12:10:00 PM Link

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