Max Boot on what it means to be a Neocon. This is part of what the WSJ has been calling an "occasional series" on Conservatism. You can find links to the rest of the series at the bottom of the page. I would highly recommend the pieces by Fukuyama and Scruton, if you're looking to read on.
David Warren remarks on how uneventful the past year has been, and while much happened behind the scenes, most of it passed under the major media’s radar.
The lawsuits that have been popping up recently against fast food companies have been an obvious attempt to follow the path laid down in the last decade’s crusade against the cigarette companies. Most people haven’t taken them very seriously, because, after all, what have the food companies done that was so scandalous? The cigarette people were supposed to have knowingly sold a dangerous product while making it as addictive as they possibly could, right? But food companies? Laughable.

Well here it comes. Shannon Brownlee, in The Washington Post, writes the first (that I’ve seen) of what is sure to be many arguments that attempt to give some intellectual covering fire to the plaintiff’s attorneys. She argues that the food companies have in fact been guilty of cynically manipulating the average American into becoming a porker. The food companies are perpetrating this nefarious plot by, get this,…selling food cheaply. Those sneaky bastards!


As the McCain-Fiengold restrictions on political speech go before the Supreme Court this year, George Will wants you to remember that the influence of money in politics is not as great as some would have you believe.
I know many of you have already seen this, but I need to point it out to those of you who haven't, Read this wonderful essay by Bill Whittle on the word "Empire," and what it means when it is referring to the U.S. Bill is the author of "Guns and Freedom" which I linked to a little while back. He now has his own blog, called Eject! Eject! Eject!, which I hope means we will be hearing from him often.
David Warren writes a summary of the Korean situation that paints a pretty scary picture. The Koreans are acting very feisty, says Warren, and though we'd like to let some other countries in the region handle this one, it's turning out that Russia, China, and Pakistan aren't really "with us" in the "with us, or against us" sense.


David Mamet is visiting Israel and he remarks on the difference between The Real, and the Imaginary, Jew.

Here, in Israel, are actual Jews, fighting for their country, against both terror and misthought public opinion, as well as disgracefully biased and, indeed, fraudulent reporting. Here are people courageously going about their lives, in that which, sad to say, were it not a Jewish state, would, in its steadfastness, in its reserve, in its courage, rightly be the pride of the Western world. This Western world is, I think, deeply confused between the real and the imaginary. All of us moviegoers, who awarded ourselves the mantle of humanity for our tears at "The Diary of Anne Frank" — we owe a debt to the Jews. We do not owe this debt out of any "Unwritten Ordinance of Humanitarianism" but from a personal accountability. Having eaten the dessert, cheap sentiment, it is time to eat the broccoli. If you love the Jews as victims, but detest our right to statehood, might you not ask yourself "why?" That is your debt to the Jews. Here is your debt to the Jewish state. Had Israel not in 1981 bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor, some scant weeks away from production of nuclear bomb material, all New York (God forbid) might have been Ground Zero.

Mamet Is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.
Victor Davis Hanson on the aftershocks of an Iraqi war, and what they will mean for the world. Don't miss this one.
William E. Grim is an American living in Germany and he recently attended a screening in Munich of Roman Polanski's new film, The Pianist. This film is based on the true story of the Polish Jewish piano virtuoso Wladyslaw Szpilman, who survived the entire Nazi occupation of Warsaw hiding in the ghetto and at times being hidden right under the noses of the Nazis in safe houses maintained by the Polish Resistance. Grim says that no matter what they say, the Germans haven't changed.

I have to admit that it is a strange experience to watch a Holocaust film in Germany. It's even stranger when you're the only American in the midst of about 200 Germans. But perhaps the strangest thing of all is to watch the reactions of the Germans as the events of the movie unfold. You hear a lot about how Germans are so ashamed today of the behavior of their countrymen during the Nazi period and about how much they've done to atone for their past sins. Don't buy that bill of goods.

If the audience of the screening I attended is any indication of German attitudes in general, it doesn't augur well for the future. Remember, this wasn't an audience composed of skinheads from the neo-Nazi enclaves in Karlsruhe and the former DDR. This was a group of Germany's best and brightest: educated, middle-class, sophisticated denizens of a major cosmopolitan city.

One scene in particular is seared into my consciousness. It happens about halfway into the film. The Jews of Warsaw have been herded into the ghetto. A street used by the Germans bisects the ghetto. While a group of Jews is waiting to cross to the other side of the street, several Nazi thugs force some elderly Jews to dance at an increasingly faster tempo. Weakened by malnutrition, hobbling on crutches, riddled with heart and lung infirmities, many of the Jews fall to the ground in sheer agony. It's a sickening scene. It's the kind of scene that makes you ashamed that your last name is Grim. Hell, it's the kind of scene that makes you ashamed that you listen to Beethoven. If an American soldier had done the same to a German or Japanese POW he would have been thrown into the brig for life or cashiered out of the service on a Section 8. But there they were, today's educated, freedom-loving, let's-all-hold-hands-and-love-one-another Germans, laughing at torture.

If there is a more sickening spectacle than Germans finding humor in what their fathers and grandfathers did to the Jews, if there is a more perfect example of the utter lack if humanity at the core of the German nation, I am unaware of it.

There is something terribly wrong with Germany and the German Volk. The German soul is a deep abyss, a fetid, stinking morass that befouls the community of nations. But wait, there's more.

Another scene from the movie that stands out is when an SS guard announces to a half-starving Jewish work detail that they will be receiving an additional portion of bread with their rations, one that they can sell to other Jews, because "everybody knows how clever the Jews are at selling things." This time the audience fairly rolled with laughter.

I was tempted to call in an air strike on the theater, or at the very least to slap a couple of hundred Germans, but I managed to hold my fire knowing that ultimately any World War II movie ends badly for the Germans. Normally I don't talk back to the screen at the movies, but I do have to admit that I did yell out "USA" and pumped my fist in the air when the Szpilman family listened to the announcement on the radio that the United States had declared war on Germany. And I also do have to admit that it felt mighty fine to yell out "Shoot those damn Nazis!" when the film showed the Jews starting to fight back during the Warsaw Uprising. <
It's funny how quiet the theater became when near the film's end a group of SS goons were shown in a holding camp awaiting transportation to a deserved harsh fate in the Russian gulag. And then it became clear as a bell. German shame for World War II does not result from a moral awareness of the innumerable crimes and atrocities committed by the Germans. No, the Germans are ashamed because they got their rear ends handed back to them by a bunch of Yanks, Russkies and Brits who they considered - and still consider - to be members of inferior races.

Grim wrote another piece worth reading a while back called Hitler's Children.
(found at la prensa amarilla, where I'm sure I'd find lots of great stuff, if only I could read Spanish)
Peter A. Brown says it's time for a divorce in the Saudi-U.S. relationship, but that doesn't mean we can't remain friends, at least for a little while. A pretty good analysis.
Reuel Marc Gerecht writes that The President's policies aren't living up to his rhetoric when it comes to pushing Democracy in the Middle East. Rhetoric isn't a small thing though, and it's certainly a start.
January's Smarter Harper's Index is up! Don't miss it.


Read this fascinating Conversation on the Beach, between a holocaust survivor and a young Arab student. It's an absolutely fascinating and scary look into the mind of a young radical Arab. What is also worth noting is that he's a student at an Israeli university. That is truly stunning.
Women don't have a lot of power in Islamic societies, but here are some Muslim women that are trying to take the political situation in Sudan into their own hands, using the one weapon they still have.
(via NoLeftTurns)
Rowan Scarborough introduces many of the new weapons that the U.S. will have at their disposal, for the coming war with Iraq. According to Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, our military is "ten times as powerful" as we were the last time around.


Elie Wiesel says that war is the only option for Iraq:

I find war repugnant. All wars. I know war's monstrous aspects: blood and corpses everywhere, hungry refugees, devastated cities, orphans in tears and houses in ruins. I find no beauty in it. But it is with a heavy heart I ask this: what is to be done? Do we have the right not to intervene, when we know what passivity and appeasement will make possible?

Is President Bush's policy of intervention the best response to an imperative need? Yes, it is said, and I am reluctant to say anything else.

Elie knows as well as anyone what passivity and appeasement can make possible. Saddam is no Hitler, but he'd like to be, and it seems like it's up to us to make sure he never is. So be it.


Just another note on the Iranian radio post: One thing I failed to mention in my last post, is that according to Kenneth Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (which overseas U.S. government foreign broadcasts), in the switch from 11 hours, to around the clock programming, total news and current affairs programming at the station would rise. If true, there is almost no way to see this as anything but a positive move. That said, what is inexcusable, is that according to Diehl, the station was off the air for two weeks during the transition. This is a crucial time in Iran, and not the time for something billed as the "Voice of America" to be silent.
Can all this possibly be true? If even some of it is, our government has much to answer for. A friend of mine has recommended Rigler's writing to me before, and this article has some good sources. It involves Jonathan Pollard, Aldrich Ames, and their connection to Iraq.
(via IsraPundit)


David Adesnik (Oxblog) takes issue with the President's Statement to the Iranian People that I linked to yesterday. Adesnik thinks the President is just giving cover to Voice of America (in Iran), who have been criticized for their switch from an all news and politics format, to a music mix, with news and politics taking a lesser role. He has some company. Jesse Helms, Jackson Diehl, and the NY Times also think the move is a mistake. I think David, and the others, are missing the point, this change anything but "the Bush administration's inability to think in grand strategic terms." It precisely the opposite.

I have two words for the critics: Radio Sawa.

Radio Sawa went online with a mix of English and Arabic pop tunes with some news and politics just eight months ago, and replaced VOA Arabic in most of the Middle East. Within three months, it was the number one station in eight Arab capitals, reaching ten times the number of people Voice of America Arabic reached in 50 years. It is now a tremendous tool for spreading the American viewpoint throughout the Arab world.

What the VOA is doing in Iran is copying a program that has been proven to work. They are trading a station that has a boring format of all-news-and-politics, for something that will have a little less politics, but will have the opportunity to reach a far wider audience. The people dying for an American voice on the news and the political situation will still get it, while many others, uninterested or even opposed to our ideals, will now be exposed to them anyway. If they can halve their news coverage and double their audience, that would be a great trade, and that's what they're trying to do. If Radio Sawa is any indication, they'll do a lot better than that. If anything, it's evidence that Bush is taking Iran more, not less, seriously.

The U.S. ambassador to London recently hosted an "iftar dinner." On the guest list? Hamas representative Azzam Tamimi.

Dr Tamimi said he regarded the reception last month as a valuable contacts-building exercise with US diplomatic staff. "America is not George Bush. America is not Dick Cheney. It is a continent of 260 million who come from various parts of the world, including Arab countries," he said. It was important to exchange views because of the "huge ocean of misunderstanding, suspicion and fear that exists between America and Muslims", Dr Tamimi added.

It is extremely interesting that our State Department is running around giving extremist Muslims the idea that they need not be concerned about the policies of the administration.
(via Martin Kramer who has some interesting commentary)
George Will alerts us to a small victory for common sense in the dense thicket of inside Washington budget squabbles that could, if Bush and his team have their way, mean a major shift in the way our government does business.
Time magazine has named Bush & Cheney, “Partnership of the Year,” and Nancy Gibbs has written a really interesting look into their relationship.
Aram Roston has compiled a nifty who’s who in the Saudi royal family. It isn’t easy to keep the names straight, but I was surprised reading the article how much I already knew.


President Bush continues to say all the right things about Iran, and this time he said them directly to the Iranian people. If only his State Department played along, some things might get done.
(via Instapundit)
Vernon Loeb writes of the rise of our air power, and the unheralded engineers and airmen that helped bring America to the pinnacle of modern military power. Don't miss the description of the " Sensor Fuzed Weapon," and the " Low Cost Autonomous Attack System." Absolutely fascinating.
I have never been a huge fan of Fouad Ajami's, but this piece goes a long way toward changing my mind. He argues that we must bring modernity to the Arab world at the point of a gun. And while we won't be welcomed, we should not be deterred.

There should be no illusions about the sort of Arab landscape that America is destined to find if, or when, it embarks on a war against the Iraqi regime. There would be no "hearts and minds" to be won in the Arab world, no public diplomacy that would convince the overwhelming majority of Arabs that this war would be a just war. An American expedition in the wake of thwarted UN inspections would be seen by the vast majority of Arabs as an imperial reach into their world, a favor to Israel, or a way for the United States to secure control over Iraq's oil. No hearing would be given to the great foreign power.

America ought to be able to live with this distrust and discount a good deal of this anti-Americanism as the "road rage" of a thwarted Arab world -- the congenital condition of a culture yet to take full responsibility for its self-inflicted wounds. There is no need to pay excessive deference to the political pieties and givens of the region. Indeed, this is one of those settings where a reforming foreign power's simpler guidelines offer a better way than the region's age-old prohibitions and defects.

This is a really thorough look at the Arab world and their view of the Iraqi situation, and what our goals need to be. Read the whole thing, and then write to Foreign Affairs and tell them they need print-friendly pages on their website.
Glenn Reynolds points out that Smallpox vaccinations are about deterrence, not defense, and that the main beneficiaries of a nationwide vaccination program will be the rest of the world, not necessarily ourselves. Do we have what it takes to be Smallpox Martyrs?


Victor Davis Hanson has some reminders for us, about why we're fighting this war, who we are fighting against, and what winning and losing will look like.
David Warren writes that the U.S. Has lost the element of surprise and that Saddam's actions shows that he knows exactly what's coming, and that he may have a few more tricks up his sleeve.


A new report submitted to the UN by Jean-Charles Brisard explores the ties between the house of Saud and Al Qaeda. It names seven Saudis as the "main individual sponsors of terrorism." Joel Mowbrey has the story, and you can read the actual report here.
The FBI was apparently so worried about upsetting the Saudis in the period before 9/11 that they called off investigations that may have helped avoid the attack. This is some terrible news, and though I have heard similar things before, these guys seem pretty damn credible. There are many, many, people in some of our intelligence agencies who need to be relieved of their jobs. I don't pretend to have a clue whom they might be, but how can there be a sense of accountability at any of these agencies, if this long after a colossal blunder, they are seemingly unchanged?
Joel Mowbray claims that the administration was acting on bad information when they let the Yemeni scuds go, and if they had to make the decision today, they wouldn't let it go.


Michael Ledeen thinks the next step in Iran is a brutal crackdown by the Mullahs, and he thinks it's already starting to happen. That is the way these things always seem to end, and most of the time, brutal governments are successful in putting down the protesters. Let's hope it doesn't work that way this time.
Christopher Hitchens is sick of the terms "multilateralism" and "unilateralism." It seems odd, he says, that European governments can oppose something because it's "unilateralism," when all it would take for the same proposal to be "multilateral" is their own agreement.
I forgot to post this yesterday. Anne Applebaum, in the Washington Post, adds her name to the list of people that feel the Administration isn't doing enough to support the people of Iran.
I've been ignoring all the articles about Lott that I possibly can, but Krauthammer, well, I have to read him. He writes of the different reasons that different types of Conservatives have for wanting Lott gone. He wants Lott gone even if it means losing the senate.

A man who has no use--let alone no feel--for colorblindness has no business being a leader of the conservative party. True, if Lott is ousted, he might resign from the Senate and allow his seat to go Democratic, thus jeopardizing Republican control of the Senate and undoing the great Republican electoral triumph of 2002.

So be it. There is a principle at stake here. Better to lose the Senate than to lose your soul. New elections come around every two years. Souls are scarcer.

I agree, though I didn't before I read this. Krauthammer can do that to me.
This is an amazing video of what an AC-130 Gunship can do. This is actual footage from Afghanistan.
(via Blogs of War)
Update: Here is a working link courtesy of John Anderson
A friend of mine is starting a project in the Detroit area called SOOTH (Speak Out Opposing Terrorism and Hate) that will attempt to hold local Arab and Muslim organizations, and their leaders, accountable for their views on terrorism. It is quite an interesting idea. As you may know the Detroit area is home to this country's largest Arab community, and there are countless Arab and Muslim organizations based here. Please read the page he has created for it.


Jonah Goldberg weighs in with a great column on the difference between racism and sexism, and though the column is inspired by some Trent Lott-related comments, it steers clear of the issue for the most part. Is anyone else sick to death of this whole thing?
According to reports emenating from the Berlin-based left-wing paper Tageszeitung, the recent Iraqi declaration contains the names of 80 German firms, research laboratories and people, who are said to have helped Iraq develop its weapons program. I think they've got some splainin' to do.
This is simply the best argument for gun ownership I have ever read.
(via Instapundit)
David Warren reports on the recently concluded conference of Iraqi exiles in London. He says the U.S got pretty much what they wanted, except for a declaration by many of the groups that that don't want any sort of military government, which Warren thinks is a fait accompli .

The answer to them, from an outside view, is, "Fine, you can run Iraq instead of Saddam, and all by yourself if you want to. Now go and depose him." For the people who do that are going to call the shots, and that is going to be the Americans. And the second most powerful faction in post-war Iraq will be the British.

Let's hope they do depose him. Though it's not very likely, it could happen. Barring that, it's our show.


On the subject of Saddam-Al Qaeda ties, Jack Kelly says it's getting harder and harder to pretend they don't exist.
David Rose has an article in Vanity Fair this month that is supposed to clearly link Saddam and Al Qaeda. I haven't read it and I don't think it's online, but here is a summary of sorts that Rose wrote for a London paper.
The conventional wisdom has been that we couldn't fight in Iraq in the summer, and I've always wondered how concrete that was. The British are now saying it wouldn't be that much of a problem.
David Warren writes about what he would do if he were POTUS, and all I can say is "David Warren for President." BTW… The James Woolsey speech he's talking about can be found here, and if you haven't read it yet, do so now. That’s an order
I missed the Trent Lott interview on BET last night, but Brian Chapin didn't miss a thing. Check out what he has to say.
Fareed Zakaria joins Michael Ledeen in calling for the Administration to do more to support the students in Iran.
Seymour Hersch writes of The Bush Administration's new "Manhunt" strategy and the infighting it's causing within the Defense Department.


Pat Buchanan, Michael Ledeen, Dr. Charles Kupchan, Victor Davis Hanson, and Danielle Pletka discuss Appeasement Then and Now, in a symposium over at FrontpageMag. It's good stuff, and Buchanan and Ledeen get into it a little bit.
Michael Ledeen, who has been screaming that the Bush administration is not doing enough about Iran, has had quite enough. The Scud Surrender is proof, he says, that the Bushies are "wimps"

No doubt some master negotiators and crisis-resolution types are celebrating this new show of American concern for the tender sensitivities of our allies in the war against terrorism, but you can be sure that the real celebrations are being held in Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus and the various dens of the terror masters. Some war strategy we've got, huh?

Some pretty harsh words. For more on why this is such a debacle, see this article by Henry Sokolski.
Victor Davis Hanson writes of Our Islands in the Storm, and why they are uniquely made in America:

Presently the open seas are ours; and such 23-storey enforcers go where they wish and do what they please — not only ensuring America's freedom, but guaranteeing that the Japanese can buy oil, the Chinese can ship Wal-Mart their sundry goods, and our food reaches hungry Africa. Ships that helped obliterate the Taliban and may do the same to the fascist Republican Guard in Iraq also save sailors of foreign navies on the high seas who are on the brink of death and need life-saving operations, or stop to pick up the anonymous dead who float routinely in the Arabian Sea — careful to notify surrounding nations of their losses and to provide a dignified Islamic funeral as if the drowned were our own….

The carrier's efficiency and lethality, however, are not a consequence of mere technological superiority, but of the dividends of a peculiarly American set of values. If we gave the Truman to Egypt it would sink on its maiden voyage. The French Charles de Gaulle I imagine has better food than the Roosevelt, but far fewer planes and even fewer launches. Israel has astonishing pilots, but few if any could land on the Vinson. Even the Swiss or Dutch could not build a Ronald Reagan. China claims they can soon launch a simulacrum to our carriers; but though they can steal the technology of an Enterprise, they still cannot emulate the ethic and creed at the heart of its success — unless China too first creates a culture of freedom. Carriers, in other words, are an American thing, and I am glad we at least will never have to meet such things in battle.

Amen to that.


Another great quote: In an op-ed in the New York Times that attempts to describe the mood in Washington to those in Europe who don't understand the need for war, Timothy Garton Ash writes, "With his 12,000-page report to the United Nations, Saddam Hussein has written perhaps the longest suicide note in history."

Stephen Green pointed this one out.

Al-Qaeda, it seems, developed its strategy for "Fourth Generation Warfare" from a paper by some Department of Defense Military strategists. This somewhat scary article ends with a beautiful comment from William S. Lind on what makes America the country it is. "As we weep even over their casualties," he says, "they will be cheering over ours."
(via LGF)
I haven't linked to any of the Lott-must-go articles yet, because frankly there hasn't been much interesting going on. The best argument I've seen yet is this one by Jonah Goldberg. The one thing that stands out most in the past few days is the lack of support Lott is getting. The remark Lott made was, if a little stupid, defensible. So far, the only one in Washington willing to say anything nice about Lott has been Tom Daschle. That no one is coming to his defense is instructive. Conservatives don't seem to either like or respect him, and it shows. As Goldberg points out, if some other southern Republican (like Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich, or Dick Armey) had made a similar gaffe, Conservatives would be rushing to their defense. Lott has to go, not because he's racist, or because he's stupid, but because he doesn't have the respect of those he's supposed to be leading.
Update: Read the comments for excellent commentary from Nikita, Puggs, and Andrew, who calls Lott " a man who is grandiose in his mediocrity." Well said.


Christopher Hitchens, my favorite leftist, argues for American Imperialism:

…the plain fact remains that when the rest of the world wants anything done in a hurry, it applies to American power. If the "Europeans" or the United Nations had been left with the task, the European provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo would now be howling wildernesses, Kuwait would be the 19th province of a Greater Iraq, and Afghanistan might still be under Taliban rule. In at least the first two of the above cases, it can't even be argued that American imperialism was the problem in the first place.

Hitch is a great example of where Lee Harris and others have argued leftists need to stand in the current scheme of things. America, while not perfect, is the way forward, no matter what you view as the ideal society.
According to many university Presidents, condemning anti-Semitism is a racist act. They are refusing to sign a statement condemning anti-Semitism, because it's "one-sided." Barry Strauss takes them to task.
Daniel Pipes says the corruption of our representatives to Saudi Arabia is so pervasive that it may be impossible for the executive branch to fix, and that it's time for Congress to do something about it.
Michael Ledeen wants to know why on earth would we not want to support a revolution in Iran. As demonstrations that were mainly student-led turn into larger and larger public calls for a referendum, why is the Bush administration sitting this one out? Why?
Spotted; that oft mentioned, but rarely seen, creature, the moderate Muslim. Irfan Khawaja writes of anti-semitism in the American Muslim community.

Many Arabs and Muslims, especially those in official leadership positions, will want to play dumb at this point, professing never to have encountered any significant anti-Semitism in their communities. But most people, I think, know exactly what I mean. I mean the kind of person whose explanation for anything is that "The Jews control everything," or the type who protests Israeli policies by chanting, "Hitler and Sharon are the same; only difference is the name." I mean the kind of person who says, "Jews drink Arab blood to hasten the coming of the Messiah," or the type who says, "Well, you never know; maybe the Protocols are true." I mean the child who tells me that he admires Hitler's nationalism, or the adult who says, "Hitler should have finished the job." And yes, I mean the person who supports Hezbullah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, while prattling on fatuously about the evils of Israeli occupation.

Such views are not the exception to the rule among the Arabs and Muslims I've encountered over the last three decades. They are the rule. And the time has come to face this fact openly and deal with it, rather than to deny it by sticking our collective heads in the sand. Too many of us have borne this denial in silent resignation for too long. The Protocols episode was the last straw for me. I won't be silent again.

That's one, about 999,999,999 to go. Hey, it's a start.
Update: This explains it, it sounded to good to be true.


The Bush administration hasn't really shared what type of post-Saddam government it prefers, and has told the members of an upcoming conference of Iraqi exiles not to make any plans. Amir Taheri has some suggestions, and thinks they shouldn't wait for the U.S.
George Gilder has some things to say about China and Capitalism that you might not expect. Is China a threat? An opportunity? This might change your mind.
Angelo Codevilla has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration, for not doing enough to fight the real problem, which he sees as the states that sponsor terror, (as opposed to the terrorists themselves). He thinks the administration has treated the situation too much like a law and order problem. In a new article in the Claremont Review of Books (a great publication, by the way) he writes that we may finally see War at Last. The article also touches on the roots of Anti-Americanism:

Contempt is the active ingredient of anti-Americanism. And others' contempt for us is entirely our fault. People have contempt for those they consider impotent. The deadliest contempt is reserved for those who have, or seem to have, great power but somehow cannot use it. Contempt is the bite that the jackal inflicts on the stricken or befuddled lion. It is a cheap substitute for courage. Contempt for America makes vile European intellectuals feel like men. Flouting America with impunity, declaring moral superiority over it, bribing its businessmen and politicians, allows Arab dictators—whether they call themselves kings or presidents—to pretend that they are world statesmen instead of bandits of the desert. And it is our fault, because we let them get away with it.

Terrorism is not a militarily serious matter. All the world's terrorists combined cannot do as much damage as one modern infantry battalion, one Navy ship or fighter squadron. Nor is terrorism such a bedeviling challenge to intelligence. It is potent only insofar as terrorism's targets decide to deny the obvious and pretend that the terrorists are acting on their own and not on behalf of causes embodied by regimes. Terrorism is potent only against governments that deserve contempt. The U.S. government earned the Arabs' contempt the hard way, by decades of responses to terrorism that combined impotent threats, solicitude for the terrorists' causes, outright payments to Egypt and the PLO, courting Syria, a "special relationship" with Saudi Arabia, and a pretense that Islam was as compatible with American life as Episcopalianism. Killing individuals who do not count engenders hatred, while sparing those who do count guarantees contempt.

Victory against terrorists requires precisely the opposite approach: expend little or no energy chasing the trigger pullers and bombers. Rather, make sure that any life devoted to terror will be a wasted life. This means leaving no hope whatever for any of the causes from which the Arab tyrannies draw such legitimacy as they have: people who give their lives for lost causes exist more in novels than in reality. It means discrediting and insofar as possible impoverishing (rather than paying for) Arab regimes that foster opposition to America. It means using military force to kill the regimes—the ruling classes—of countries that are in any way associated with terrorism.

Codevilla is one of my favorite writers on this kind of stuff. If you like this piece, go read What War, which he wrote back in May.
Kill Kurds, Not Mumia - This is some funny stuff.
(via LGF)
This is about the best definition of American Conservatism I have read. Roger Scroton on A Question of Temperament.


The students/ revolutionaries in Iran got their biggest show of support from the general populace they have yet received, as 10,000 show up to protest the government. Read the article, the details are interesting.
John Derbyshire writes of an America hated, but yearning to be loved:

Probably anti-Americanism will be with us for a long time yet. This is a shame, because the one thing everyone notices about us Americans is how much we want to be liked. That, at any rate, used to be the thing everyone noticed. I do not think the yearning to be liked has departed from the American psyche yet, but it now finds itself sharing that psyche with some other wishes: principally, the desire that if we cannot be liked, we shall at least be respected. If it should become clear that Americans are to be denied even respect, I think quite a lot of us will settle for being feared.

A fascinating article. There is a story at the beginning that has me feeling an emotion that I haven't normally associated with our State Department- respect.


Andrew Stuttaford over at The Corner can't figure out if this piece is supposed to be ironic. I'm in the same boat, though I'm sure it's supposed to be humorous on some level. Either way, it's pretty creepy.
Mark Steyn pays tribute to Strom Thurmond as a man who has done a whole lot of loving, er…I mean living.
The USS Truman left Norfolk for the Persian Gulf this Thursday, to the sound of the following announcement: "Peace on Earth to men of goodwill," a voice said over the loudspeakers. "All others stand by."
(via Peter Schramm at NoLeftTurns)
IMG: Iranians

The demonstrations in Iran are getting larger...

The NY Times has an intriguing article on how hard it is to oppose this war. Liberals are finding themselves arguing for the preservation of a brutal dictatorship.

one chilly evening in late November, a panel discussion on Iraq was convened at New York University. The participants were liberal intellectuals, and one by one they framed reasonable arguments against a war in Iraq: inspections need time to work; the Bush doctrine has a dangerous agenda; the history of U.S. involvement in the Middle East is not encouraging. The audience of 150 New Yorkers seemed persuaded.

Then the last panelist spoke. He was an Iraqi dissident named Kanan Makiya, and he said, ''I'm afraid I'm going to strike a discordant note.'' He pointed out that Iraqis, who will pay the highest price in the event of an invasion, ''overwhelmingly want this war.'' He outlined a vision of postwar Iraq as a secular democracy with equal rights for all of its citizens. This vision would be new to the Arab world. ''It can be encouraged, or it can be crushed just like that. But think about what you're doing if you crush it.'' Makiya's voice rose as he came to an end. ''I rest my moral case on the following: if there's a sliver of a chance of it happening, a 5 to 10 percent chance, you have a moral obligation, I say, to do it.''

The effect was electrifying. The room, which just minutes earlier had settled into a sober and comfortable rejection of war, exploded in applause. The other panelists looked startled, and their reasonable arguments suddenly lay deflated on the table before them.

Michael Walzer, who was on the panel, smiled wanly. ''It's very hard to respond,'' he said.

It was hard, I thought, because Makiya had spoken the language beloved by liberal hawks. He had met their hope of avoiding a war with an even greater hope. He had given the people in the room an image of their own ideals.

That's about right.


Here's how the machinery of Transnational Progressivism really works. If you are unfamiliar with the term "Transnational Progressivism," read this article or this short summary.
David Warren says it's crunch time in the game that Hans Blix is playing:

It is a game of diplomatic brinkmanship. Mr. Blix, Kofi Annan, the U.N. secretary-general, and in the background, the French and the Russians and others, working from the various different motives I have tried to explain in previous articles, are counting on Mr. Bush to be too cautious and diplomatic to call their bluff. They know that the political and diplomatic cost to the Bush administration of calling this bluff -- of identifying the game they are playing, a kind of multilateral "monkey in the middle" -- will be very high. It could get very ugly.

They are trying to bid that price higher and higher, with the help of the purblind, and largely anti-American, international media elites. They assume that, in the end, Mr. Bush will prove a conventional politician, who will not take political risk beyond a certain point, and would rather take his knocks backing down. They have genuinely underestimated how much is at stake here. And I think they have completely misread their man.

For here is the plain truth, in it's simplest, knocked-down form:

If the United States and allies cannot eliminate so obvious a malefactor as Saddam, the "war on terror" is over, and we lost. The future of state-sponsored terrorism is secure, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction will accelerate, their use in blackmail becomes inevitable, the check on their actual use is relaxed, the annihilation of the people of Israel can be safely predicted, and the rest of us must learn to live our lives under the threat of smallpox, anthrax, nerve gas, Scuds, and radiation.

I too think they have misread Bush. It's time. Baghdad Delenda Est.
Tim Hames, in the Times of London, reports on a world trying it's best to hate America.


Lee Harris has the lead article In Policy Review. It's called The Intellectual Origins Of America-Bashing. I loved it, but I'm not sure how many of you will.It's really hard to sum up but here's little piece:

The left, if it is not to condemn itself to become a fantasy ideology, must reconcile itself not only with the reality of America, but with its dialectical necessity — America is the sine qua non of any future progress that mankind can make, no matter what direction that progress may take.

The belief that mankind’s progress, by any conceivable standard of measurement recognized by Karl Marx, could be achieved through the destruction or even decline of American power is a dangerous delusion. Respect for the deep structural laws that govern the historical process — whatever these laws may be — must dictate a proportionate respect for any social order that has achieved the degree of stability and prosperity the United States has achieved and has been signally decisive in permitting other nations around the world to achieve as well. To ignore these facts in favor of surreal ideals and utterly utopian fantasies is a sign not merely of intellectual bankruptcy, but of a disturbing moral immaturity

Interestingly enough, A couple of months ago in an interview, avowed Marxist Thomas von der Osten-Sacken said:

The moment this anti-globalization ideology brings together Hamas, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, nationalistic movements in the Balkans, the Zapatists in Mexico, and the neo-Nazi right wing, which is very active in the anti-globalization movement, it means they are not fighting for universal freedom, liberation and emancipation, but are reproducing anti-universalist, anti-Semitic stereotypes that are only leading to barbarism. Rosa Luxemburg once said that the question is socialism or barbarism, and that question is still valid. But at the moment, I think the fight is to defend the Western world against those who would like to be its successors. These people are also, dialectically, the products of the Western, capitalistic world. Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden grew out of the bad politics of the U.S. and Europe in the Middle East. They didn't fall from the moon.

But at the moment, I think one has to support the West, which means in this case America, Britain and Israel, in its battle against its own creations. Then you can think again of how to create a much better world. The questions the anti-globalization movement raises are very important - issues like the environment, world hunger and the enrichment of a very small minority of people while the vast majority become poorer. But with the Ba'ath Party and Hamas as your actors, you will not change anything. They are not the historical subjects who are carrying the idea of emancipation.

At least some self-described Marxists do recognize that America is the way forward even if your goal is Socialism.
The Editors of the National Review are getting pretty testy about the Saudis. This is from their current issue:

... the Saudis will change their tune only when we change ours. The Saudis should curb their state-subsidized mullahs, and stop the murderous freeloaders in their midst. If they do, they may retain their peninsula. If not, should it come to that, we know the address of the Hashemites.

I think that about says it.
There's more turmoil in the PR industry over Saudi Arabia: 3 Partners Quit Firm Handling Saudis' P.R. Yesterday, Joel Mowbray wrote a story that implied there was something fishy going on.
(via LGF)
Michael Ledeen thinks that Thomas Friedman is wrong to portray the Iranian situation as "a war of ideas within Islam."

The revolution is being led by students, workers, intellectuals, and military officers and soldiers who can no longer bear the misery of the Iranian people, the corruption and hypocrisy of the Iranian leaders, and the awful degradation of the country. The battle for the minds and souls of the Iranian people has already been won by the opponents of the regime. The battle now underway — the battle that should be concerning our own leaders and intellectuals — is for the streets and institutions of the country.

On my end, I'm just happy Friedman is talking about it. (Here's a link to Friedman's piece)
Charles Krauthammer's answer to the question, Is Islam an inherently violent religion?

The question is not just unanswerable, it is irrelevant. The real issue is not the essence of an abstraction -- who can say what is the real Christianity or the real Judaism? -- but the actions of actual Muslims in the world today. And there is no denying the fact, stated most boldly by Samuel Huntington, author of "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order," that "Islam has bloody borders." From Nigeria to Sudan to Pakistan to Indonesia to the Philippines, some of the worst, most hate-driven violence in the world today is perpetrated by Muslims and in the name of Islam….

This says nothing about inherent violence; most Muslims are obviously peaceful people living within the rules of civilized behavior. But the actual violence, bloodletting against nearly every non-Muslim civilization from Hindu to African animist, demands attention

I don't think the question is as irrelevant as Krauthammer does, but I do think it doesn't really matter what we think, but what the Muslims think. If they kill in the name of Islam, than Islam is a violent religion. Period. What makes Christianity or Judaism non-violent is not their theology, but the fact that when people attempt to kill in their name the entire population of the respective religion makes it quite clear that they consider that outside the bounds.

What makes Islam a violent religion is simply that the vast majority of Muslims support terrorism and violence against nonbelievers, if not with their voices, then with their silence.

David Warren gave a lecture in Toronto called Wrestling With Islam, and has put the text up on his website. It's divided into three parts and though the first part drags a little bit, the second and third parts are a must-read. It's quite long so you might want to print it and read it over the weekend.
Victor Davis Hanson on what the world would be like if we were more like them.


The Bush Manifesto: Joshua Muravchik on why this year's “National Security Strategy of the United States” was so remarkable.
How funny is this? Unused to love, US marines panic.
Arutz Sheva: Hillel, one of the only Jewish presences on the campus of Concordia University in Montreal, has been shut down by the Concordia Student Union. The reason? Hillel members allegedly distributed a flyer for Mahal, a volunteer IDF program for overseas students. The new ruling revoking Hillel's "funding and tabling privileges" means that the Jewish organization will not be able to hold events or set up displays and information tables.
Update: More at Segacs, who is all over the issue.
There are some American PR guys who are starting to look pretty guilty, of what, I'm not sure, but they are PR representatives of Saudi Arabia and are currently ducking subpoenas from Congress. Joel Mowbray with the story.
Pilar Rahola is a former member of the Spanish Parliament (and a left wing member at that). A journalist and a writer; she writes for the Catalan newspaper “Aviun”. Pilar wrote an piece for an upcoming book in Spanish called "In Favor of Israel," denouncing Europe and the left's anti-Semitism expressed through their bias against Israel. She is the Spanish Oriana Fallaci. No small statement, that.This interview is fascinating and sure the piece is as well.


Jonah Goldberg thinks that if moderates in the "Religion of Peace" are to be considered moderate, they cannot stand silent while others spread violence in their names. Quite right. They are either Islamofascist sympathizers or gutless cowards, and we need to know where they stand. We can handle cowardice.
As anti-Semitism sweeps Europe, Five European countries are banning the kosher slaughter of animals. One is even considering banning the import of kosher meat. I'm sure they think that that'll get the rest of the Jews out of there. I bet there are some Jew-haters out in Holland or somewhere thinking, "hmm…if only more Jews kept Kosher." My Rabbi would approve.
(link via Pejman)
This is some scary stuff. I'm not sure why the ant-missile defense people haven't been talking about this, but it turns out that a nuclear weapon doesn't have to be anywhere near the U.S. to hurt us.
Dennis Prager writes that morally neutral reporting is dishonest reporting, and I certainly agree. I love Prager, and I whole-heartedly agree with his point, except for the Nigerian issue. The situation there is confusing, and many of the dead were Muslims killed in a Christian counter-attack, so that the Times equivocated is somewhat forgivable. Some of the quotes in the Times are still horrible journalism, but the situation there isn't as cut and dried as Prager makes it seem.
Thomas Friedman calls the appeal of Hashem Aghajari "the most important trial in the world today." He's right, and it's about time he, and his paper, noticed what is going on.
David G. Littman reminds us of the "Palestinian refugees" that the UN has always ignored. It seems some refugees are different than others.
FrontpageMag has the transcript of a debate between Richard Perle and Christopher Patten over The State of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership. Great stuff.
David Warren on the farce that is UNMOVIC. He raises an interesting point:

The real story here is not that Hans Blix and company aren't making proper use of their powers to investigate. The Bush administration all along knew what kind of man they were dealing with, and what was the most they could expect.

The real story is rather that the U.S. has not given Mr. Blix and company any kind of help. The Americans do, after all, have quite elaborate satellite-based and other monitoring systems in place, and are more likely than anyone in the U.N. to know where inspections could most fruitfully be made. Clearly, the Americans assume any information provided to Mr. Blix will be quickly compromised.

So far, the inspections have been a joke, and Warren thinks it just might be the US trying to lull Saddam into thinking he can leave whatever he wants off the list due Dec. 8


John Podhoretz has a good column today that goes through a few instances that show the inspections team in Iraq to be woefully inept
The British have released a dossier (Summary, PDF File) of Saddam's brutal methods of torture and suppression, and Amnesty International and the rest of the British left are outraged… at the British government. Michael Gove explains Saddam's useful idiots. I checked out the actual report and its full of the stuff you would expect if you've been reading about Saddam, plus a few new interesting things, like the identity card of one Aziz Salih Ahmed, whose occupation is listed as "violation of women's honour," I'm sure his high school guidance counselor is mighty proud.


Despite those who insist that men and women are equal in all things, it turns out there are reasons why women can't read maps.
If you are a student upset about the bias of one of your college professors, there's now a place where you can leave a posting alerting other students and the public. It's NoIndoctrination.org. Check it out yourself, or read this article by Stanley Kurtz about the site and its founder.
Robert L. Pollock writes that the Palestinians can't have peace until they have the rule of law. I think this kind of thing shows that Arafat sees a successful Palestinian economy as detrimental to his plans, and he's probably right. One would hope this article would help get people to stop spouting the poverty-causes-terrorism line, but I'm not sure even the people who are still spouting it actually believe it.
Max Boot writes of what "stability" means in the Mideast, and why we want as little of it as possible.
Charles Krauthammer reminds us that all those who insist that deterrence can work against Saddam, and point to its "success" during the Cold War, don't remember what that kind of deterrence was about.

The fact that we escaped is not an argument for the stability of deterrence. It is an argument for luck. Indeed, it is an argument for trying to escape deterrence and find sturdier ground for human survival. If the Cuban missile crisis is evidence of the virtues of deterrence, God help us. It brought us closer to the abyss than any event in human history, and could very well have taken us over had the United States and the Soviet Union had different leaders at the time. The world will not survive more than a very few missile-crisis equivalents before someone makes a blunder that precipitates catastrophic nuclear war.

Our policy of deterrence during the Cold War was forced on us out of necessity. It was based on the idea of Mutually-Assured Destruction; I wonder if the advocates of "deterrence" are hoping Saddam achieves his half of that bargain?
Iran Update: The Christian Science Monitor outlines the making of a "second revolution," while Jeff Jacoby reports that the State Department has reluctantly joined the president on the right side of the issue.

You gotta wonder what side these guys are on. It sure ain't ours...

Karl Zinsmeister has caused a little bit of a stir, with his new article, Old And In The Way, about Europe and its growing divide with America. Make sure you read it, and if you want more, check out the symposium on the subject printed in the same issue of The American Enterprise Magazine, and then saunter over to Steven Den Beste's site to hear more on why Europe can't compete economically. Eric Raymond has also compiled a good review that will be helpful for those of you pressed to time.