Chechen Terrorists to be Buried in Pigskin
According to the Moskovski Komsomol newspaper, Russian security forces have decided to bury the terrorists from last's week's hostage siege wrapped in pig's skin. The aim is to deter potential Islamic terrorists from future attacks.

Shahidi (Jihad martyrs) believe by their nefarious acts that they ascend immediately to heaven. Using their beliefs against them, wrapping their corpses in 'unclean' pigskin prevents them from entering heaven for eternity.

Ill advised or not, does anyone imagine we could ever get away with something like that?
(via LGF)
Finland is refusing to sell poison gas detectors to Israel, claiming that according to EU guidelines, "restraint" must be practiced when selling defense materials to "areas of conflict." Finland's foreign minister, Erkki Tuomioja, recently made the following statement "I am appalled at the Israeli policy of suppression, humiliation, subordination and impoverishment towards the Palestinians." That may have something to do with it. Finland seems ready to stand idle while Jews are gassed, something at which they have a bit of practice.
UPI is reporting on a coup attempt in Qatar, put down with help from the US.
(via Rantburg)
The Baltimore Sun reports (scroll down) that City Councilman Kwame Osayaba Abayomi proposed a resolution opposing U.S. military action in Iraq. Abayomi, who is pastor of Unity United Methodist Church in West Baltimore, introduced the bill with an impassioned anti-war plea that included an allegation that the United States' "secret Government," which he later defined as the CIA, murdered Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota because he opposed action in Iraq. "For me, that was no accident," Abayomi said, referring to the plane crash that killed Wellstone on Friday. The council's Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee will hold a hearing on Abayomi's bill at 5 p.m. Nov. 20 in City Hall.


Jonah Goldberg on those crazy Wellstone Democrats:

But it should be noted that unlike Hillary, Bill Clinton was no Wellstone liberal. Bill cared about power and attention and he played on the emotions of his base to get both. Wellstone was indeed about principle and he used power and attention to advance it. That is why it made so much sense for Bill Clinton to be in the audience of that repugnant rally they called a memorial service. Like some perverse "Where's Waldo" drawing, wherever large groups of Democrats congregate, you know if you can find Bill Clinton in the picture they will behave like jackasses.

Good stuff.
Daniel Pipes and Mark Steyn both go to town on the media for playing down the role of Islam in their sniper coverage.
David Warren on why the Administration is going through the UN, just when it is we're going to attack Iraq, and why they are both the same issue.


Putin's "special substance" identified.
An ABCNEWS/Beliefnet poll found that after starting out surprisingly tolerant of Islam immediately after 9-11, Americans have grown less tolerant of the "Religion of Peace." Here are the Numbers:

The percentage of Americans having an unfavorable view of Islam has jumped from 24 percent in January 2002 to 33 percent now.

The portion of Americans who say that Islam "doesn't teach respect for other faiths" rose from 22 percent to 35 percent.

So, ask Steven Waldman and Deborah Caldwell in their analysis for ABC, Why did public opinion shift? Christian leaders hate-filled rhetoric, of course. Seriously, I am not making this up.

Update: Best of the Web points out that seem to have followed
the Guidelines for Countering Racial, Ethnic and Religious Profiling put out by the Society of Professional Journalists

(I found this on American Realpolitik)

David Warren draws the fine line between Islam and "Islamism."

all recent terrorist incidents have "Islam" in common; so that for the general public, the constantly repeated maxim that "Islam isn't the problem" has begun to wear thin. When a sniper suspect is arrested in suburban Washington, D.C., he just happens to have adopted the surname "Muhammad". Don't pretend less than half of North America wasn't expecting this.

Notwithstanding, I maintain, that the enemy is what is called "Islamism" -- a particular, fanatic, ideological and thus essentially political manifestation of Islam. Not Islam itself. The question whether there is "something in Islam" that makes it especially prone to such a manifestation I continue to consider moot. It is Muslims now, it was others in the past. In order to be susceptible to political fanaticism, you need only belong to a human group.

I'm not sure I see things the way Warren does (for the first time), but then I'm not really sure I understand where he was going with parts of the article.
Jeane Kirkpatrick said, in a speech this week in New York, that while she was serving as US Ambassador to the UN, she "felt for the first time in my life that I could understand how the Holocaust happened." She went on to say that when she first began attending Security Council and General Assembly sessions, she was "very deeply shocked by the simple anti-Semitism that pervaded the place."
Read Saddam's mail!
(via Haggai)
Tony Allen-Mills writes, in an article that first appeared in this Sunday's Times of London, that an Israeli commando force is hunting for Scud missiles in western Iraq. The squad's first mission, to assasinate Saddam, was called off the night before it was to take place.
George Will is in fine form with a column dismissing the EU's Fowl Cries.

European elites say European unity -- meaning the EU's bureaucratic superstructure piled atop the nations' bureaucracies -- will give Europe the weight of one great nation to match America's weight. It will not, but Europe's pretense of oneness should be honored. The United Nations should be reformed. It should grant just one membership -- it can be a permanent member of the Security Council -- for "Europe." There should be no separate U.N. membership for the member states of the EU, any more than there is for Ohio.

For now, America should put a sensible Iraq resolution to a U.N. vote, note with mild interest any French veto, and proceed with the pursuit of American interests. The French rooster crows during Europe's dusk.

It's about time to re-arrange the Security Council, and stop pretending that we care what France has to say.


N.Z. Bear has created something called the Weblog Action Center. Check it out, and don't miss my contribution.
James Robbins mulls over the morality of the Russian use of poison gas, and the apparent execution of some of the unconscious terrorists.
Tim Hames on the biggest threat to world order:

It is has been widely claimed that Mr Putin will, after the horrors of Moscow, feel compelled to co-operate with the Americans over Saddam. This is to assume that the Russians are the real problem at the United Nations. They are not. Mr Putin has legitimate commercial and strategic interests in the region and is entitled to drive a hard bargain with Washington. That is what he is doing and it is not resented. The grotesque recent grandstanding by Jacques Chirac is an entirely different matter.

It is he who in the next few days will make or break a meaningful international stance against a menace far more awesome than snipers or Chechens. It is why, ironically, despite the bloodshed elsewhere, it is the President of France who is today the most serious obstacle to world order.

How is it that a country that has so little to offer is given an important voice in world affairs?
A coincidence?
After spending the last four years in Baghdad, Jane Arraf, CNN's Iraq correspondent, has gotten herself kicked out of Iraq for reporting some actual news. This comes less than a week after The New Republic ran a cover story (posted here) on western reporters being used as propagandists by Saddam.
Last week an Israeli military court indicted an Israeli-Arab lieutenant colonel, a member of Israel's once-nomadic Bedouin minority (who are Muslim and Arab).

Through his lawyer and his family, the lieutenant colonel, Omar al-Kheib, denied all the charges. His brother, Mustafa al-Kheib, said he was confident of acquittal. "We believe in justice and the Israeli judicial system," he said.

There is no Arab country where that could be said with a straight face.
Jimmy Carter takes out an ad writes an op-ed in today’s NY Times defending his actions in North Korea during the Clinton administration, and offering a plan for the future:

ATLANTA -- In June 1994, the North Koreans had expelled inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency and were threatening to process spent fuel — from a graphite-moderated nuclear reactor in Yongbyon — into plutonium. It was clear that war might break out on the Korean peninsula. The United Nations Security Council was being urged by the United States to impose severe sanctions on North Korea. There was a general consensus, shared by American military experts, that the combined forces of South Korea and the United States could defeat North Korea with overwhelming power. But it was almost inevitable that severe damage would be done to Seoul and much of the fighting would take place in its streets. The American military commander in South Korea estimated that total casualties would exceed those of the Korean War.

At this news, Jimmy swung into action, promptly wetting his pants.

It was the policy of the United States to reject any direct talks with North Korean leaders. Responding to a standing invitation from North Korean President Kim Il Sung and with the approval of President Bill Clinton, I went to Pyongyang…

Here Jimmy wants to assure us that any pants-wetting was at the behest of the Clinton administration, He himself having been out of the official pants-wetting business for some 14 years.

and helped to secure an agreement that North Korea would cease its nuclear program at Yongbyon and permit I.A.E.A. inspectors to return to the site to assure that the spent fuel was not reprocessed. In return, the United States and our allies subsequently assured the North Koreans that there would be no nuclear threat to them, that a supply of fuel oil would be provided to replace the power lost by terminating the Yongbyon nuclear program and that two modern nuclear plants would also be provided, with their fuel supplies to be monitored by international inspectors

So, in response to a threatening North Korea, we assured them that they were in no danger of a nuclear strike by us. In return for this assurance, and the promise to build them some nuclear plants, Jimmy secured an agreement that they would cease their nuclear program. Problem solved.

Since then, the spent fuel at Yongbyon has continued to be monitored, but the two replacement nuclear plants have not been built and the United States has assumed what the North Koreans consider a belligerent attitude toward them.

See, it’s our fault we haven’t given them enough money, and we were, um, looking at them funny too.

More seriously, Pyongyang has announced that it has acquired a source of enriched uranium and is developing the capability to produce nuclear weapons. If true, this is a gross violation of previous agreements and a threat to peace in the region. It is not clear if the North Koreans are bluffing, actually have a nuclear program or have yet produced any nuclear explosives. It is clear that the world community cannot permit North Korea to develop a nuclear weapons capability. South Korea and Japan are calling for continuing negotiations. China's position has not yet been clarified. The United States, in effect, faces a choice very similar to that in 1994: whether to move toward a military confrontation or accept North Korea's offer to resolve the nuclear problem based on the easing of tension between our two countries.
Kim Il Sung promised me that he would have full diplomatic discussions with Kim Young Sam, then president of South Korea, and arrangements were made for such a summit meeting. The North Korean leader died shortly thereafter. His son, Kim Jong Il, and President Kim Dae Jung of South Korea later arranged talks. Some progress has been made between the North Koreans and both Japan and South Korea in recent months, but similar efforts by President Clinton terminated with his administration.

So here we are, and Carter pretends we’re facing the same situation that we did in 1994, neglecting to mention that this time, because of his bungling, we now face a North Korea with nuclear weapons. But wait, Jimmy has an answer:

What is needed on the Korean peninsula is an end to more than a half-century of "armistice" and the consummation of a comprehensive and permanent peace agreement. The success of strong diplomacy is still a possibility, with it being crucial that the United States play a constructive role.

And this time, when they sign the treaty we’re going to be looking to make sure that their fingers aren’t crossed. That’s what must have screwed up the last one.

The framework for an agreement still exists and includes some elements that must be confirmed by mutual actions combined with unimpeded international inspections. First, North Korea should forgo any nuclear weapons program

Remember, Watch their fingers!

and the two Koreas should proceed with good-faith talks.

See, our problem last time is that they were bad-faith talks. Don’t you just hate when that happens? This time though, we’re going to make sure they’re the good kind.

The United States may then move toward normal relations with North Korea. The basic premises of the agreed framework of 1994 must be honored, with North Korea, Japan, South Korea, the United States and China cooperating. Finally, international tensions should be reduced through step-by-step demilitarization on the border between the two Koreas.

And it would help if we sang Kumbaya a couple of times too.

There is, of course, still the option of war instead of peace talks. It would be devastating and probably unnecessary.

Thanks to Jimmy, any war with North Korea would be devastating.


Mark Steyn writes that the Sniper is a Muslim; now there's a surprise.
The Veneer cracks:

In a country where the merest hint of dissent had been a death sentence in years past, many foreign reporters have been approached in recent days by individuals offering forbidden thoughts. Taking advantage of moments in which the official "minders" assigned to journalists by the information ministry were distracted, or briefly absent, these Iraqis burst out with vehemence against the government, and often against Mr. Hussein personally.
One man, an out-of-work engineer, sat down beside a reporter relaxing at a Baghdad coffeehouse. After initial pleasantries in English, the man, who gave his age as 58, glanced about to make sure he was not being overheard, then leaned forward and said that almost no Iraqis would support Mr. Hussein if he allowed Iraq's dispute with the world over weapons of mass destruction to plunge the country into another war.
"We had eight years of war with Iran in the 1980's, and all we got was death," he said. "Then we had the war over Kuwait, and more death. Nobody here wants another war. We want jobs. We want peace, not death." The man left without giving his name, and disappeared quickly into the crowd.
Another English-speaking man in his late 30's sidled up while a reporter was browsing at a bookshop not far from a large, high-walled complex of buildings that serves as a detention center for the secret police. The man looked across the street at banners draped from the complex's walls proclaiming "Yes, Yes" — the government's slogan in a single-candidate presidential referendum last week that re-elected Mr. Hussein with what the official returns said was 100 percent of the 11.4 million votes.
"The only people who voted `yes' with their hearts," the man said, "were members of the Baath," the country's only legal party. Led by Mr. Hussein, it is modeled on the Soviet Communist Party. "Everybody else," he added, "voted out of fear."
He continued at a breathless pace, suggesting that he had rehearsed for the scant moments he was likely to have: "What the Iraqi people would like to hang on their walls would be banners saying, `Yes, yes, Mr. Bush. Yes, yes, America.'."

Faster, please.


This month's Smarter Harper's Index is up! Do check it out. Then send an E-mail to Eric and tell him that once a month isn't enough.



CNN-MSNBC-Fox to Launch 'PodiumTV'
(2002-10-25) -- The three major cable news networks today announced a joint venture to launch a 24-hour channel devoted to images of podiums bristling with microphones.

"PodiumTV is designed for the viewer who can't get enough of that pre-news conference coverage," according to a news release announcing the new channel. "Viewers seem captivated by the anticipation that something dramatic is about to be spoken from behind that microphone-bedecked lectern."

The images are so compelling that news networks often show them as insets or using a split-screen effect.

A spokesman for C-Span welcomed the new competition.

How can one guy be so consistantly funny?

Jonah Goldberg, in the WSJ, wonders What Happened To The Angry White Male? The Sniper case and "racial profiling."
David Frum has been busting some myths about America in London's Daily Telegraph. Today he takes on an idea that's no Myth : America Is Subverting the Middle East.

(Click here for links to the previous articles).

Victor Davis Hanson on the morality of the North Korean situation:

Set against those postmodern and post-heroic theories remain tragic truths that will never disappear. Unfree and totalitarian regimes like North Korea lie and always will lie, for two simple reasons. One: Without a free press and a political opposition, they can. And two: They must, because their system does not work and would collapse were their people free and able to speak freely. Second, appeasement — in the past, now, and for all time — only encourages thugs and killers, and proves far more dangerous and costly in the long run than either preemption or early resolute opposition (in the manner in which Israel took out the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, or we pondered the same in 1994 in North Korea). Third, culture affects the way a people fights, creates government, eats, and sleeps, but it does not trump human nature itself. Hitler, Tojo, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, and Kim Il-Sung may have had culturally specific preferences in their terror and mass murder, but as human tyrants of the ages they were predictable in their behavior and thus could only be opposed, never appeased. In short, Thucydides or Hobbes would know more about the North Korean leader than would the present leadership in either nearby Tokyo or Seoul

Read the whole thing.
Krauthammer on the difference between paper and power.
The U.S. and Britain have finally taken the WSJ and Charles Krauthammer's advice, and submitted their resolution proposal to the U.N. It's now in their court. France and Russia now have to step up, and either go along, or veto. That is, after they delay as long as they can, in the hope that…actually I have no idea what their ideal solution is, Saddam getting a Nuke? They're in a tough position, and you won't find a better explanation of the situation than this one by Steven Den Beste. (He's got the full text of the resolution too).
A Petition
This is about as valid an endeavor as I've ever seen, and may I say, if Canada insists on acting like Norway, we may just have to do something about that.

To: Canadian Government and the CCRA
We, the undersigned, oppose the planned closure of Canadian Magen David Adom by the Canadian Government and the CCRA (Canada Customs and Revenue Agency).

Canadian Magen David Adom is affiliated with Magen David Adom in Israel and sends them the ambulances and medical equipment which is donated by Canadians. Magen David Adom is a human rights organization, providing essential medical care/treatment to the citizens of the State of Israel, it is the Israeli version of the Red Cross. Magen David Adom treats all the people of Israel, including; Jews, Muslims, and Christians. The Canadian government's decision to shut down Canadian Magen David Adom is unfortunate and unnecessary. (Canadian) Magen David Adom is NOT a political organization and has NOTHING to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The CCRA and the Canadian government's decision to shut down Canadian Magen David Adom will negatively affect the level of medical care in Israel for the entire population, including; Jews, Muslims, and Christians.

We call upon the CCRA and the Canadian government to reverse their decision and to allow Canadian Magen David Adom to continue to operate as a charitable organization and without restrictions, so that it can continue to help save lives.

Sign it, and help save lives (and help save the Canadians from themselves).
Yesterday I read Jonah Goldberg's syndicated column, and I didn't post it because I thought it unremarkable. He was defending the Cable News coverage of the sniper incident. His defense was basically that us news junkies may be pissed off that the sniper coverage was crowding out what we wanted to see, but that the "average American" who doesn't follow the news all day, wants to flip to the news for a half hour, and they want to see the latest on the biggest story out there. I bought it then, and like I said, pretty boring stuff.

Today though, I'm incensed. The sniper's been caught, and even if he hadn't been. It is NOT, I repeat, NOT, the biggest story out there. Six hundred Russians are being held hostage by Islamic terrorists, yes terrorists, not "Chechen Rebels," or "separatists", or whatever Reuters is going to call them. This is, or has the potential to be, the biggest news story since 9-11. The sad thing is, those Russians, (and the 75 foreigners among them), are going to die. There are two ways this could end, the terrorist are either going to blow the place up, or the Russians are going to storm the place. Either way, a lot of people are going to die. I don't know if these terrorists are connected directly with al- Qaeda, (there's plenty of evidence that they are), but either way, this, as a news story, eclipses the hell out of a sniper who is already in custody.

Tonight, during the break in a class I was attending, I was talking with a guy named Dale, who is pretty aware of what's going on most of the time. We talked about the Sniper for a minute or two, and then I mentioned something about the Moscow situation. "What situation," he said, and when I filled him in, he asked me how he could have watched an hour and a half of news, and not heard a thing about it. Good question.


Today is UN day, and N.Z. Bear has the perfect card.

Meryl Yourish has even found a way to celebrate the occasion.

Alan Dershowitz talks about the new big lie:

Tyrants have always understood that if you repeat a big lie often enough people will begin to believe it. The big lie that's being repeated all around the United States, and especially on university campuses, is that anyone who is critical of Israeli policies or the Sharon government will automatically be labeled an anti-Semite. It would be terrible if that were true, since criticism of Israel is important, as is criticism of any imperfect democracy.

Dershowitz separates what is, and what is not, anti-Semitism.
Larry Kudlow says a war with Iraq won't be a problem for our economy. Kudlow is always an optimist, but his case is pretty convincing.
Mark Riebling and R.P. Eddy, on what the Russian hostage situation means for Americans. Hopefully, if they have in fact caught the sniper, the news will focus a little bit more on what's going on in Moscow. The Chechens, who are aligned directly with Al Qaeda, mean business, and there are 600 hostages (including two Americans) who are going to die. It's time we stopped annoying the Russians about what they need to do in Chechnya, and it's time they (and the Europeans) stop pretending that Islamism is our problem. I hope something can be done to save the innocent hostages, but I doubt it.
Update: Here's the latest from the BBC. Rantburg has a news story about two women who escaped the theatre.
Michael Ledeen says that while we're jumping all over Jimmy Carter for Korea, let’s not forget how he screwed up Iran, and how it's still biting us in the ass.
Egypt's Channel 2 is set to air "A Knight without a Horse" a 30-part series based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Muhammad Subhi, the star, told UPI that the show was not anti-Semitic but, "an artistic work meant to show the Zionist plots against the Arab nation." Um…I guess it's okay then
Jonah Golderg can be goofy at times, but he's best when he's serious. This time it's about power, and corruption, and why they don't always go hand in hand, despite what some like to think.
David Frum is visiting England trying to find out what Britons think about America. He is in middle of a five-part series that tries to debunk some pervasive myths. It's some good stuff.

Myth I: America is totally in hock to the Jewish lobby

Myth II: America wants war with Saddam because of oil

Myth III: Bush wants war with Iraq because of a family vendetta

Myth IV: America couldn't care less what the rest of the world thinks

The truth - the US Has become a destabilising force in the Middle East (tomorrow)

The links may require a free, but annoying registration.


As France and Russia continue to make themselves a royal pain, the WSJ joins Krauthammer in calling for the Administration to call their bluff at the UN.

We understand the uses of diplomacy, but enough is enough. It's been five weeks since Mr. Bush asked the U.N. to act, time is running out on the prime winter season for military action in Iraq, and sooner or later Mr. Bush has an obligation to end this pas de Chirac and call the French and Russian bluff. The U.S. should put a blunt, forceful declaration in front of the Security Council, and see if its members really want to veto it.

They just might, but it's time to find out.
Glenn Reynolds has an interesting take on information warfare, and it might change the way you look at some news stories.
I've been trying to avoid reading, (or writing) about the sniper situation; the news coverage has been such a joke. Not that the situation itself isn't serious, of course, it's a horrible thing. The news has so little to report, and the "experts" have so little to go on, that the whole thing has the feel of a celebrity murder trial. I can't help it though. David Berkowitz has commented for god's sake. So has the Unabomber's brother. I can't watch. Give me back my cable news!
There's an impasse at the UN, and David Warren explains why, and what is likely to happen:

Both the French (and more generally, the Europeans) and the Russians are heavily invested in Iraq, and its neighbour Iran, whose fanatic Islamist regime also threatens to collapse from internal pressure if the precedent is set for "regime change". They want clear but not public guarantees that they will be able to recover their own national interests, including vast debts owed them by Saddam, from any new Iraqi regime; and they want the right to participate as full partners, not in any invasion of Iraq, but in the fruits of such an invasion (i.e. their shares of contracts and influence in Iraqi reconstruction).

The United States will not give such guarantees, and does not believe it wise to mortgage the future of Iraq in such ways. At root, the United States has long-term ambitions for the reconstruction of Iraq as the first truly functioning constitutional democracy in the Arab Middle East, pour encourager les autres. The Bush people will not attempt this extremely difficult task -- similar in scope to the democratization of Germany or Japan after the last World War -- with their arms tied behind someone else's back.

Warren goes on to examine signs of weakness in the Iraqi regime. Read the whole thing.


The story that won't die looks more and more like it deserves to live. The latest on the Oklahoma City-Iraq connection.
(via LGF)
The Official Magazine of the French Military (snicker).
John Derbyshire on nukes, and the ridiculous notion of appeasing dictators:

Now, foreign policy is a deep and difficult subject, in which some kind of case can be made for almost any approach. I don't think there is much doubt, however, that if you survey the last 50 years or so of America's relations with the rest of the world, one ironclad rule emerges rather clearly: When critical dealings with ruthless and amoral dictators have to be conducted, you do not want soft-headed love-the-world liberals in charge of U.S. foreign policy. Two of the lowest points in those 50 years must surely have been, first, Jimmy Carter's remark, following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, that: "The thing that disappointed me the most was that Leonid Brezhnev lied to me," and second, Madeleine Albright smiling and clapping in a Pyongyang stadium two years ago, while Kim Jong Il looked on in satisfaction, and a dance troupe on the field below performed a routine titled: "The Party's Will is Our Will."

The appeasement of North Korea is unforgivable, and Carter/Clinton should have known better. The complacency of China was to be expected, but Derb takes South Korea and Japan to task for their parts in this farce.
Mark Steyn makes good fun of the TV coverage of the sniper situation:

if we're getting into what the Prof regards as pretty wacky territory, it may be because this story isn't proceeding as your run-of-the-mill killing spree does. A few days ago, I caught the tail end of a news bulletin on how the police had at last put together a "composite." I was impressed. But it turned out to be a composite not of the suspect but of his vehicle, a Chevy Astro. Why do you need a composite of a van? Any old Chevrolet dealer can give you a full-colour glossy brochure. Did the van have a prominent mole on its passenger-side door? A cleft windscreen? Did they do a computer projection of what the Astro would like if it grew a beard? As it turned out, when the "composite" was eventually released, it was a perfectly ordinary Astro. But the bigger a deal the cops made of the suspect's vehicle the more you noticed how little they had to say about the suspect. The only detail -- the description of him by certain witnesses as "olive-skinned" -- was leaked, and Montgomery County's Chief of Police, Charles Moose, was none too happy about it.

From my own detailed analysis of the TV coverage, I've come to the conclusion that I know exactly who the sniper is: Gary Condit.
(via LGF)
Donald Rumsfeld, in USA Today, has an answer to those who worry that a war with Iraq will somehow distract from the "War on Terror." The answer? No, it won't.

Last year, we fashioned a new defense strategy, which established that we will — and do — have the capability to near-simultaneously:

· Defend the U.S. homeland.
· Undertake a major regional conflict and win decisively — including occupying a country and changing its regime.
· If necessary, swiftly defeat another aggressor in another theater.
· Simultaneously conduct a number of lesser contingencies — such as Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The United States is prepared to meet its responsibilities

There you have it. No more questions.


The first weblog I ever read was Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs. It was (and still is) a wonderful source of information on the War on Terror, the Middle East, and Islamofascism in general. I was delighted to have found it. (I don't remember where I came in from) I've returned almost every day since then. One of the unique features of Charles's site is his active and wide-ranging "comments" section. Thousands flock to his site every day, to read, and sometimes add to, the discourse. They argue, inform, and yes, sometimes even insult each other, in what is some of the most informative discourse I've seen on the Web. If you read it you already know all this. If you don't, you should. It's been linked on the left side of this page since this page was born. And now the reason that I bring this up. Recently on MSNBC's Weblog Central LGF was named to the "Best of the Blogs" list. Apparently, a campaign began to discredit LGF as a "hate" site. I urge you, if you haven't already, send an email to MSNBC (bestblog@msnbc.com) and let them know that you support Charles. You can send Charles a message at Charles(at)littlegreenfootballs.com
All she's got now is bourbon for mouthwash
Maureen Dowd stooped to a new low this weekend in an offensive column in which she repeatedly called The President of the United States a "boy emperor." Today, Rush Limbaugh fired back (in kind) with this:

This thing doesn't deserve to be in the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. It doesn't belong in NATIONAL LAMPOON as a parody piece. It's just mean, despicable, childish, and immature. It's obvious Maureen Dowd hasn't gotten over her breakup with Michael Douglas who she thinks is a real American president but he didn't do anything but utter the words written for him by Aaron Sorkin and stand where someone director told him to stand and have his hair coifed by somebody who knew what to do, and then he blew it by running off with Catherine Zeta-Jones, leaving Maureen Dowd in the lurch. All she's got now is bourbon for mouthwash, and it's showing on her columns.

As some have pointed out, Dowd doesn't use arguments, she uses character assaults. I wonder how she'll handle this taste of her own medicine.
Will Israel's Arrow Anti-Missile system work? The Jerusalem Report explores the issue. Last week I linked to another article by John J. Miller on the same topic
The first item in Jay Nordlinger's Impromtus today is worth mentioning:

I have a correspondent who works for UBS, in Europe. UBS is the largest Swiss bank, owning Paine Webber and other companies. They’ve just opened a new office in Bahrain, and an interesting invoice surfaced, from a German furniture company. I am in possession of a copy of that invoice. Stamped on it are the following words:

“We herewith confirm that [the] above-mentioned goods are not of Israeli origin, nor do they contain to any degree Israeli components, nor have they been imported from Israel.”

Lovely. My correspondent says, “To sum it up: Fifty-seven years after Auschwitz, a Germany company (no less) issues a paper certifying that its products are Judenrein. Shouldn’t there be some outrage? Or at least some concern?”

Yes, but not in Bahrain — where they like — no, where they demand that their furniture be Jew-free.

I love his Impromptus, until the thought strikes me, hey, he's blogging, no fair.

William Rees-Mogg, a Brit, has traveled to America to gauge public opinion on a war with Iraq. He came away with what is, to my mind, an extremely accurate, and remarkably nuanced, picture of what we really think.

Americans do not know, or much care, what precise relationship exists between al-Qaeda and the Bali terrorists. They see them both as being in the same line of business, and do not doubt that some links exist between them. They see Saddam Hussain in the same light. He is the brutal dictator of an Islamic country; he had repeatedly supported terrorists and used terror himself. To allow him to develop weapons of mass destruction would, they think, be as irrational at allowing al-Qaeda to do so…

Continental Europe, and the EU itself, is seen as unreliable and irresponsible. The German election, in which Chancellor Schröder won a last-minute victory by campaigning against the United States as a warmonger, is not going to be forgotten. Winning any French concession at the United Nations has been as difficult as drawing an impacted tooth. “Don’t they understand the danger?” is as common an American comment as: “What else can we do?”

It's a remarkable article. I haven't seen something this good from an American, let alone a Brit. Read the whole thing.
Mark Steyn reminds us that some of our friends are at war, too:

There are 192 countries in the world. One is America. The remaining 191 are mostly countries that hate America. I say "mostly" because I don't want to get into a lot of quibbling about whether it's 183 or 185. Some hate America actively--that's to say, they're in favor of flying planes into American skyscrapers. Some (like France) despise America because they can't quite figure out how a great historic culture like theirs wound up a bit-player in a world dominated by ghastly vulgar cowboys. Others express their feelings more or less harmlessly by going out of their way to laud the most incompetent and ludicrous Americans, as the Swedes did the other day by giving Jimmy Carter the Nobel Peace Prize. "For what?" you may be asking. Oh, come on. It was Jimmy who handed the Islamofascists their first great victory, in Iran a quarter-century ago. If that ain't worth a Swedish meatball, what is?

Faced with this worldwide hostility and contempt, you can say (as I have, in this space, on several occasions), "Screw 'em. Who needs those losers anyway?" But it's important to know where to draw the line, and I draw it here: There are a handful (just) of countries on this planet who still like America enough to be willing to send their troops into combat with U.S. forces--that's to say, their soldiers are prepared to fight and die alongside Americans on some godforsaken bit of foreign sod.

Steyn's right, but I think what we need to do, is restrict the use of the word "ally" to those countries that will actually lift a finger to help us when we need it.
The Toothbrush In Your Inbox!
You can now sign up to recieve The Toothbrush as an E-mail. Just type your address into the form on the left side of this page, click submit, and you're all set. You will receive a once-daily E-mail containing that day's posts. Now you'll never have to miss a single word. (Powered by Bloglet.)


There's a Hitch in that plan, boys
Christopher Hitchens moves farther away from his leftist past, with an article in The Washington Post; So Long, Fellow Travelers.

As someone who has done a good deal of marching and public speaking about Vietnam, Chile, South Africa, Palestine and East Timor in his time (and would do it all again), I can only hint at how much I despise a Left that thinks of Osama bin Laden as a slightly misguided anti-imperialist. (He actually says he wants to restore the old imperial caliphate and has condemned the Australian-led international rescue of East Timor as a Christian plot against Muslim Indonesia). Or a Left that can think of Milosevic and Saddam as victims.

Instead of internationalism, we find among the Left now a sort of affectless, neutralist, smirking isolationism. In this moral universe, the views of the corrupt and conservative Jacques Chirac -- who built Saddam Hussein a nuclear reactor, knowing what he wanted it for -- carry more weight than those of persecuted Iraqi democrats. In this moral universe, the figure of Jimmy Carter -- who incited Saddam to attack Iran in 1980, without any U.N. or congressional consultation that I can remember -- is considered axiomatically more statesmanlike than Bush.

Watching Hitch for the last year or two (I'm far more familiar with his Hardball appearances than with his columns in The Nation), I know he hasn't been a real leftist for a while. While he can hardly be called a conservative at this point, I'm convinced the time will come where that label fits.
Franklin Foer, in the New Republic, writes about what it takes for a Western journalist to report from Baghdad.

Like their Soviet-bloc predecessors, the Iraqis have become masters of the Orwellian pantomime--the state-orchestrated anti-American rally, the state-led tours of alleged chemical weapons sites that turn out to be baby milk factories--that promotes their distorted reality. And the Iraqi regime has found an audience for these displays in an unlikely place: the U.S. media. It's not because American reporters have an ideological sympathy for Saddam Hussein;[MF: I'll leave that one alone.] broadcasting his propaganda is simply the only way they can continue to work in Iraq. "There's a quid pro quo for being there," says Peter Arnett, who worked the Iraq beat for CNN for a decade. "You go in and they control what you do. ... So you have no option other than to report the opinion of the government of Iraq." In other words, the Western media's presence in the Ministry of Information describes more than just a physical reality.

The article's fascinating, full of interesting anecdotes, and may explain why some reporters end up looking like blithering idiots. It certainly would explain Nicholas Kristof, except it's extremely unlikely that he's filed all of his last few hundred columns from Baghdad.
David Warren outlines how a country like North Korea goes about getting nuclear weapons. By now you know most of it, but it leads to the important question; Has anything been learned?

Here we get closer still to the heart of a great human mystery. Nothing has been learned. The same people who made this catastrophic mistake recommend the same policies towards each new threat, as it arises; and the principle of appeasement is alive and well throughout the modern successor to the League of Nations.

Another interesting question; Why is this guy still writing for the Ottawa Citizen?


Jonah Goldberg explains why talk is cheap, and why our response to the North Korea situation will be different than what we'll see from the rest of the world.
Herbert E. Meyer, who worked for the CIA under William J. Casey, says that sometimes it's important to look for root causes. He examines the nature of the CIA's intelligence failures, and what would actually fix the agency, and why it's not happening. Truly fascinating stuff, read the whole thing.
Mark Steyn writes that the Islamists say that they want to kill us all, and their actions seem to back that up. So why do so many insist on not believing them?
Jonah Goldberg does some finger pointing over North Korea's nuclear weapons. I bet you can guess whom he's pointing at. Could it be the very same people, who, if they had their way, would have us arguing over Iraq's nuclear weapons?
Victor Davis Hanson writes, that from Demosthenes to Don Juan to Churchill to President Bush, those warning of the dangers before us have had to combat both the age-old sirens of appeasement, and our human nature to " put aside distant threats of the future to enjoy the tangible, but temporary, lull of the present."
When I read, I try to read articles and columns from both viewpoints I agree with, and those I don't. That's why I still read the NY Times every morning. I rarely agree with their editorial writers, and there is, of course, a decidedly leftward slant in their news coverage, but like I said, I enjoy trying to understand where they're coming from. I will however, no longer be reading anything with Paul Krugman's name on it. In today's column he begins by blaming George W. Bush for making Washington a place where people compare each other to Hitler, and ends by comparing Bush to Hitler.
Vodkapundit sent me to this essay by Tom Holsinger, and I'm glad he did. Read it. That in America, sovereignty is believed to flow up, from the people to the government, and not the other way around, drives many around the world, especially Europeans, absolutely batty. Every time they try to get us to sign up for a Kyoto or an ICC, they are flabbergasted that not only is our government not interested in joining their little scheme, but that it couldn't, even if it wanted to.
Charles Krauthammer is sick of the dithering at the Security Council. France wants a resolution or, I should say, another resolution, calling for inspections and nothing more. That will force the U.S. to come back to the Security Council for yet another resolution should the inspections fail. Britain and America have proposed a single resolution that will call for inspections, and should the inspections fail, military action. France has threatened to veto that kind of resolution. Krauthammer says Bush and Blair should call their bluff.

Put the question to France. We are going to present our resolution to the Security Council. Will you veto it?

This would not be an easy choice for France. It certainly understands that if it vetoes the resolution, and if the United States goes ahead regardless (as it certainly will), and if the war is a success, this will mean the end of the Security Council as a serious institution.

The General Assembly, where every country has equal weight, is already an absurdity. No one takes anything that happens there seriously. But people still ascribe some importance to the Security Council, despite the fact that it is a relic of World War II. If, however, on the major issue of the day -- war and peace in the Persian Gulf -- France tests the authority of the council by casting a veto that is summarily brushed aside, then the emperor's clothes will be gone. The United Nations' irrelevance will have been irrefutably demonstrated.

Krauthammer reminds us that besides a cheese embargo, the French have nothing to threaten us with.
Memo to the Lefties: There are times when saying "no" to war means saying "yes" to oppression. By Dan Savage.
(via American Realpolitik)
The Professer (that's Glenn Reynolds for those of you only reading this site) has some extremely cogent things to say, in his FoxNews column, about genocide, and gun rights.

Recent events in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and many other parts of the world make it clear that the book has not yet been closed on the evil of official mass murder. Contemporary scholars have little explored the preconditions of genocide. Still less have they asked whether a society's weapons policy might be one of the institutional arrangements that contributes to the probability of its government engaging in some of the more extreme varieties of outrage. Though it is a long step between being disarmed and being murdered--one does not usually lead to the other--but it is nevertheless an arresting reality that not one of the principal genocides of the twentieth century, and there have been dozens, has been inflicted on a population that was armed.

The result, conclude law professor Daniel Polsby and criminologist Don Kates, is that "a connection exists between the restrictiveness of a country's civilian weapons policy and its liability to commit genocide." Armed citizens, they argue, are far less likely to be massacred than defenseless ones, and armed resistance to genocide is more likely to receive outside aid. It is probably no accident that the better-armed resistance to genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo drew international intervention, while the hapless Rwandans and Cambodians did not. When victims resist, what is merely cause for horror becomes cause for alarm, and those who are afraid of the conflict’s spread will support (as Europe did) intervention out of self-interest when they could not be bothered to intervene out of compassion.

It is no wonder that genocide is so often preceded by efforts to disarm the people.

He argues that gun rights are what Americans should be pushing their leaders to promote as a part of the fundamental rights of all people. It makes sense. So much sense, in fact, that you can be sure that the people over at the UN are pushing as hard as they can for international gun control.
This is some scary stuff. David Warren on Korea, and by extension, Iraq

In North Korea, as in Iraq, there is no certain way to tell the extent of weapons development, from spy planes and satellites. And there is no practical way to infiltrate human agents into the core of a totalitarian regime, as Western intelligence has discovered again and again. The most you can hope is for defectors, from whom a great deal has been learned about both countries; but any conclusion at all requires an educated imagination, informing hard decisions on whom to believe.

So we have the military equivalent of Pascal's Wager. If your enemies are bluffing about their resources, or really don't have the weapons you suspect, then there will be no great harm in going in to find out. If they are not bluffing, and are lethally armed, then the sooner you go in the better. My own reasonably educated guess is that they are not bluffing; that terrible surprises are in store from each of the members of the "axis of evil", and the terrorists they sponsor. And one cannot look at the number of fuses now lit without anticipating a rather large explosion.

When he says "reasonably educated" he's just being humble. Be afraid. I am.


Eric Raymond has come up with a Draft for an Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto. Read it, then add your name to the comments section. Unless, of course, you're an Idiotarian.


Much has been said about the Iraqi "elections" and the medias coverage of it. But my local papers coverage has to be the funniest. I don't think that's what they were going for, but here's the goods:

TIKRIT, Iraq -- Stuffing ballots into boxes by the fistful, residents in Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's hometown joined millions of other Iraqis on Tuesday to cast their votes in a presidential referendum with only one candidate -- Saddam Hussein.

"All Iraq is for Saddam. He is our leader and our father," said a voter, showing off a ballot marked "Yes" in a thumbprint of blood.

Surface-to-air missile batteries and artillery outside Hussein's hometown of Tikrit underscored the other message in the referendum: defiance of the United States in the face of possible war over U.S.-led allegations that Iraq is, has and may be ready to use weapons of mass destruction.

"I came to put my paper in the box and to say I don't want America to come here, and to say I hate Bush, because he wants to attack me," Dr. Ahmed Jawad said, referring to President George W. Bush.

Iraq projected more than 11 million voters would turn out. The vote was a "Yes" or "No" on keeping Hussein as president for another 7 years and on continuing the reign of his Ba'ath Party, installed in a coup in 1979.

Initial results Tuesday from government-controlled television gave a 100-percent "Yes" vote from polling centers in Baghdad and the provinces. In the last referendum in 1995, Hussein received a 99.96-percent vote of approval. Officials said final results will be announced today.

Throughout the day, foreign reporters visiting polling sites were under government escort. There were no independent observers.

In some towns, election workers joined voters in stuffing ballots into boxes for news cameras. Many voters cast multiple ballots for absent family members.

In Tikrit, a vote organizer stopped a woman who was about to cast her ballot, unfolded it to make sure she had checked "Yes" and handed the ballot back to her.

In defense of the paper, they did keep mentioning that the "election" was a not to be taken at face value, but even covering it as an election is a little ridiculous.
France still doesn't have a clue, but Iran knows there's a war coming. Iran is setting up 16 refugee camps along their borders to handle the expected influx of Iraqi refugees.
Iranian cleric Mohsen Mojtahed Shabestari has issued a fatwa calling for the death of Jerry Falwell. Ironically, Falwell's offense was calling Mohammed a "violent man."
David Warren explains the motives, and the repercussions, of the Bali bombing.
Radio Sawa, the American station mixing pop tunes with unbiased news reports, is now the number one station in Amman. And according to some reports the station is also quite popular in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. In short, Radio Sawa is a stunning success, which raises some questions: Does the State Department know? What are they going to do to kill it?
There has been a spectacular surge in support among British voters for military action against Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the terror attack in Bali.


According to CNN, three witnesses have described the DC area sniper as an "Olive-skinned man" which gives a little more credibility to the Idea that he may be a "Terrorist" as we've come to use the term. James Robbins suggested the same thing this morning.
Jonah Goldberg thinks so too.
Maybe the folks at PETA or the other animal rights groups will support an attack on Iraq after hearing this:

Pulling out of Kuwait, the defeated Iraqis did everything they could to damage Kuwait and its citizens. In addition to torching the oil fields, stealing everything they could lift and blowing up buildings, they took about 600 Kuwaitis with them. None of those people has been accounted for. What the Iraqis couldn't steal, smash or kidnap, they killed, tortured and mutilated. Such was the fate of the animals in the Kuwait City zoo.

The gent I spoke to was in an advance unit checking the zoo to see if any Iraqi soldiers had hidden there. None had. But before they fled, these barbarians took out their frustration on the animals. Not having the skill or courage to stand and fight anything that would shoot back, and not having the courage to even get close to the animals, they machine-gunned the tigers, leaving them bleeding to death in their cages. Some of the smaller animals -- monkeys and others -- were left alive after having arms and legs hacked off at random. Some were doused with gasoline and set on fire. One Iraqi general used a small monkey for pistol practice. I am told the crippled little guy lived for years afterward.

Don't bet on it.
This Is NRO's "Cool Site of the Day" and I have to agree.
The World, says Steven Plaut, seems to have figured out terrorism.

Not a single media outfit has referred to the perpetrators of the Bali bombings as "activists" or "militants". Not even the BBC and CNN. Indeed, both uncharacteristically used the "T" word to refer to the bombers. CNN even called it "an atrocity" and not a protest.

If it turns out that the car bomb was triggered by suicide terrorists, no one in the world will include those dead terrorists in the total body count of the "tragic affair".

Not a single commentator has been insisting that if the terrorists resorted to such violence, then surely they must have legitimate grievances.

Not a single commentator has been insisting that if the terrorists resorted to such violence, then surely they must be fighting for a just cause.

Not a single commentator has been insisting that if the terrorists resorted to such violence, then surely it must be because they are so desperate and mistreated. And no one demanded that Australia ask itself what it has done wrong to earn such hatred.

Not a single commentator has been insisting that Indonesia and Australia need to open dialogue and negotiations with the terrorists because — after all — there is no military solution to the problems of terrorism.

The Nobel Prize Committee has not suggested that the perpetrators of the bombing be awarded a Peace Prize.

The way it seems to work: "Militants" kill Jews, "Terrorists" kill (white) gentiles.
FrontPageMag gets a sense of humor. Tom Elia on the Iraqi elections:

On the eve of Saddam Hussein's re-election bid, the most recent polls of the Iraqi electorate show that the race is still too close to call, with Saddam garnering over 99% support in Tuesday's upcoming 'up-or-down' election.

In what Iraqi political experts are calling a "toss-up," polling data reveals that Saddam's tenuous lead falls within the poll's margin of error of about 100%.

The poll, conducted in face-to-face street interviews with 692 respondents, attempted to reproduce actual polling place experience by conducting the interviews under the most intimidating circumstances possible. The great bulk of the interviews were held in the presence of armed Iraqi soldiers or in secret at gunpoint, under the threat of death by Iraqi government officials, said the Iraqi polling firm, Yes, Yes, Yes, Saddam! Associates Ltd.

There's more, all of it funny.
Ralph Peters on why the terrorist attack in Bali will prove to be counterproductive for the Islamists.
"Milk For The Masses"
This is the right way to handle ridiculous protesters.

Sean Gifford of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and an unidentified man in a cow-suit had planned a peaceful protest at the gates of the Grammar School to let pupils know about the claimed hazards in milk.

But they had to be rescued by two female police officers when the teenage pupils launched a violent protest of their own.

About 100 children, shouting "milk for the masses" and carrying banners, surrounded Mr Gifford and his "cow" partner and drenched them both in milk for about ten minutes. The police eventually intervened and escorted the PETA members back to their car.

I've been laughing constantly since I saw this on InstaPundit.
How well will Israel's Arrow Defense System work? John J. Miller explores Israel's preparations for the next strike.
A plea from Tehran, by Farideh Tehrani, a 27 year old university student:

Understand we want freedom. I am still at the university, but many of my peers are in prison for nothing more than demanding freedom of speech, or waving a bloody shirt. We aspire to establish a democracy based on a modern, liberal, and, yes, the Western model of secularism.

Our reasons are quite simple and obvious: We do not follow the Arab or the Islamic model. Iranians, as a people, do not have problems with Western civilization. We are Muslims, but our sense of Iranian national identity dwarfs any religious identity we hold. We are proud heirs of a once-great civilization that brought forth the concept of tolerance and civility predating Islam. Iranians are comfortable with the simple fact that the West has the best-refined modern concepts of democracy, human rights, and individual opportunity.

To us, the Islamic revolution has failed. The system, in its entirely, is the problem; no Band-Aid reform will fix it. Iran's 23-year-old theocracy is as incapable of granting freedom and human rights as was the Soviet Union. No politician associated with the Islamic Republic is acceptable to us. There are no reformers in the clerical government. Our real reformers are among the 600,000 languishing in prison, or the hundreds of candidates who are disqualified in each election for believing in human rights or secularism. Do not sell out our freedom because of Khatami's meaningless double talk and irrelevant rhetoric. He is simply a smiling face of an ugly regime.

The President seems to understand all this, his State Department needs to come along.


This could be a Armed Forces recruitment video, that is, if they would allow the word "motherf$%^er" in that sort of thing. It's called Die Terrorist Die, and it's worth checking out(there is a clean version too).
(via Right Wing News)
Martin Walker reports on Dream TV, a small window of hope for Free Speech in Egypt.
Reuel Marc Gerecht on why a war with Iraq is part of, and not a distraction from, the fight against global terrorism.


I spent the day in Ann Arbor at the Divestment Conference. I met Haggai, and he has already posted a summary of the experience on his website. Check it out.
David Warren thinks the Bush administration has committed itself to occupying Iraq.
There was a suicide attack yesterday, in a shopping mall...in Finland. Police aren't releasing anything about the "20 year old student," but forgive me for the thought that we may be seeing the spread of Middle Eastern style terrorism to the West.
Victor Davis Hanson looks at the hardheaded solution for the Middle East: Democracy
Here is a first-hand report on the goings on at the Divestment Conference today. Today should be fun, as the Jewish community is going to put up a big showing, at a rally planned for noon outside the conference.


One of my pet peeves is when an editor sticks a headline on an article, missing, and sometimes even contradicting, the point the writer was trying to make. The WSJ is the culprit today. In an excellent article by Thomas McInerney the headline reads "Winning in Iraq won't quite be a cakewalk." The article itself seems to be claiming that a war will be far easier than everyone thinks.
Saul Singer on what is different about this "War on Terror," and why that is the wrong name for it. In the process, he brings up the most analogous previous situation that Americans have faced, The Barbary Pirates. I've frankly been surprised that I haven't seen more references to America's response to that challenge. If any of you have seen other articles make the connection, drop me a note.
Update: Click "Comments" below for some more, by John Anderson.
In response to a terrorist attack on one of their oil tankers, a spokeswoman for French President Jacques Chirac said: "France will not be intimidated."

She went on to explain that "We are going to join this War on Terror with full force, just as soon as we figure out who we are supposed to surrender to."
(link via Rantburg)

Victor Davis Hanson sees the awful subtext in the rise of German Nationalism.

A cynic would see the new German belligerency as particularly opportunistic, coming as it does only after the Soviet threat was gone, after the dream of unification was achieved, and after Berlin is emerging as the capital of a new "modern" Germany. A more jaded skeptic would see in contemporary Germany socialism, pacifism, and relativism shades of a weak and decadent Weimar — with all the attendant extreme reactions to it looming on the horizon. We sadly expect residual anti-Semitism in Germany, but when ex-officials there complain of the power of American Jewish constituencies in New York and Miami, the awful subtext is, of course, that there is no such problem now in Germany, because….

The fact that Schroeder's Anti-American election strategy worked so swimmingly doesn't bode well for our future relations. This administration is not likely to take this kind of thing lying down, and we should see, as Hanson suggests, the withdrawal of many of our 70,000 troops stationed there.
Ralph Peters begins his column in the Today's New York Post with the sentence "There are few things more repugnant to a soldier than a coward who claims to speak on his behalf." If you think he's about to launch into the "chickenhawk" argument, guess again.

…when those who despise the men and women in uniform invoke the welfare of our troops to further their failing agendas, they transcend the commonplace cynicism of Washington. This is hypocrisy as a moral disease.

Our soldiers do not fear Saddam. I do not know a single man or woman in uniform who believes that our military will fail or suffer badly, should we go to war with Iraq. The best-informed insist we will hit the Iraqi regime with such overwhelming, unexpected fury that the world will be shocked by our effectiveness.

And that is what Saddam's defenders fear, whether they are in the Middle East or in the middle of their congressional terms. This debate is about dogma, as philosophical derelicts attempt to salvage their homegrown anti-Americanism. The liberation of Iraq would discredit their outdated doctrines of Leftist liberation (Hey, our G.I.s wear berets now, just like Che! We've even stolen their costumes).

Make no mistake: The anti-war voices long for us to lose any war they cannot prevent.

It's about time someone went after the "chickendoves," for their far more hypocritical position.
Jonah Goldberg knocks down the argument that we need a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda:

Opponents also argue that, sure, something like Sept. 11 must never occur again, but Iraq had nothing to do with Sept. 11 and, therefore, without that linkage, we should leave Iraq alone. This is the argument, more or less, of Al Gore and most of the anti-war Democrats who argued against the Congressional resolutions in favor of the use of force.

But if ever there were an example of learning a lesson as narrowly as possible, this is it. If your house burns down because your kid was playing with matches, you'll likely say something like, "This must never happen again." And to make good on that oath, you will work hard to keep your kid from playing with matches. You will make sure that your new house has good wiring. You might also make sure the pilot light on your stove works and that the coals in your barbecue are cold before you leave it unattended. In other words, the means by which your house burned down are trivial; the important thing is to make sure your house doesn't burn down again.

Similarly, when we say something like Sept. 11 must never happen again, that doesn't mean we should ban box cutters from airplanes and then move on with our lives, content that nobody can hijack a plane with box cutters ever again.

Lets make sure our house doesn't burn down again.
Jeffrey Goldberg is part of an ongoing discussion over at Slate.com about Iraq, and he offers (second post on this page) a one word argument for an attack. Aflatoxin.

In 1995, the government of Saddam Hussein admitted to United Nations weapons inspectors that its scientists had weaponized a biological agent called aflatoxin. Charles Duelfer, the former deputy executive chairman of the now-defunct UNSCOM, told me earlier this year that the Iraqi admission was startling because aflatoxin has no possible battlefield use. Aflatoxin, which is made from fungi that occur in moldy grains, does only one thing well: It causes liver cancer. In fact, it induces it particularly well in children. Its effects are far from immediate. The joke among weapons inspectors is that aflatoxin would stop a lieutenant from making colonel, but it would not stop soldiers from advancing across a battlefield.

I quoted Duelfer, in an article that appeared in The New Yorker, saying that "we kept pressing the Iraqis to discuss the concept of use for aflatoxin." They never came up with an adequate explanation, he said. They did admit, however, that they had loaded aflatoxin into two warheads capable of being fitted onto Scud missiles.

Richard Spertzel, who was the chief biological weapons inspector for UNSCOM, told me that aflatoxin is "a devilish weapon. From a moral standpoint, aflatoxin is the cruelest weapon—it means watching children die slowly of liver cancer."

Iraq is the only country ever to weaponize aflatoxin.


"France signals wish to fall in with America over Iraq" is the headline of the story, but if you read it, it doesn't seem like they're doing much falling in. I wonder how many burning oil tankers it will take for them to realize that they are targets too.
There was a lawsuit filed yesterday against the University of Michigan, to try and stop them from holding the "Divestment Conference" on their campus. I'm not sure I agree with the motives of the lawsuit, but I have read the suit, and it does include a laundry list of past offenses by the proposed speakers that is worth reading. This is excerpted from the actual lawsuit:

9.After the Conference at Berkeley, as a direct and proximate result of inciteful speech and language uttered by speakers, several incidents of violence were committed against Jewish students on the Berkeley campus and nearby campuses, and citizens of the surrounding metro areas.

10. Fadi Kiblawi, a Michigan Senior (hereinafter, “Kiblawi”), heads Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (hereinafter, “SAFE”), a Michigan student group, and the sponsor of the Conference.

11.Kiblawi, is the author of an article in a University of Michigan student publication, in which he writes of his desire “to strap a bomb to one’s chest and kill . . . . The enemy is not just overseas, the enemy is also amongst us.” (Kiblawi, Fadi, “A Perspective on Palestine while High on Vicodin” (sic), Al-Risalah, University of Michigan (sic), Spring Edition II, June 24, 2001.)

12. Conference speakers (hereinafter, “Speakers”) announced by Conference organizers include a “Who’s Who” of supporters of terrorism and violence against the United States of America, Americans, and Jews.

14. Speakers include Sami Al-Arian (hereinafter, “Al-Arian”), the founder of and a Majlis Shura (“ruling council’) member of the terrorist group Islamic Jihad, which murdered New Jersey college student Alisa Flatow and countless others.

15. This year, Al-Arian was fired from his position as a professor at the University of South Florida (hereinafter, “USF”) by University President Dr. Judy Genschaft and the Regents of the USF. Security and safety of students were cited as reasons for Al-Arian’s dismissal. He is banned from the USF campus for the same reasons.

16. In a highly unusual instance, on February 21, 2002, U.S. Attorney Mac Cauley of the Middle District of Florida stated that federal prosecutors continue to conduct an ongoing investigation “into the conduct and activities” of Al-Arian. According to U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Steven Cole, “In rare cases, especially when public safety is an issue, the U.S. attorney is allowed to acknowledge an ongoing investigation. Mr. Cauley decided this was one of those occasions.” (Emphasis added.)

17. A 1995 letter by Al-Arian, discovered by FBI and INS agents, just 10 days after Islamic Jihad suicide bombers killed 18 people, sought "support to the jihad effort in Palestine so that operations such as these can continue” and stated, “The link with the brothers in Hamas is very good and making steady progress, and there are serious attempts at unification and permanent coordination.” (Exhibit A, Attached)

18. A chilling FBI surveillance video of Al-Arian’s fundraising tour of America’s mosques shows Al-Arian being introduced as, “the president of the Islamic Committee for Palestine, . . . the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement.” While others in the video praise the killing of Jews and Christians, Al-Arian states, “Let us damn America. . . . .Let us damn [her] allies until death.” Standing under Islamic Jihad banners, Al-Arian talks of a Koranic “curse” against “those who are the sons of Israel through David and Jesus, the Son of Mary. . . The Koran is our constitution. Jihad is our path.” (Exhibit B, Attached.)

19. Al-Arian is the author of this speech: “We assemble today to pay respects to the march of the martyrs and to the river of blood that gushes forth and does not extinguish, from butchery to butchery, and from martyrdom to martyrdom, from Jihad to Jihad.”

20. According to federal prosecutor John Loftus, "The Saudi government was laundering money through Florida charities run by University of South Florida (USF) professor Sami Al-Arian for the support of terrorist groups in the Middle East. And through the Al-Arian network, and others, the Saudi government secretly funded al Qaeda, Hamas and Islamic Jihad."

21.While a professor at the University of South Florida, Al-Arian employed Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, chief of Islamic Jihad, and Tariq Hamdi, who provided a replacement battery for the satellite telephone was integral to Al-Quaida’s 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

22.Speakers at the Conference include Hatem Bazian. At a May 1999 conference in Santa Clara, Bazian stated, “The Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews . . . . [T]he trees and stones will say, oh Muslim, there is a Jews hiding behind me. Come and kill him!”

23. Speakers at the Conference include Mahdi Bray of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. In October, 1998, Bray coordinated and led a Washington rally of 2,000 people, during which he played the tambourine as the crowd repeated, “[L]et’s all go into jihad, and throw stones at the face of the Jews.”

24. On December 22, 2000, Bray organized and spoke at a rally outside the White House, at which the emcee and crowd chanted responsively in Arabic, “oh Jews, the Army of Muhammad is coming for you!” The Nazi swastika was openly displayed.

25. On October 28, 2000 Bray organized a march from Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Park in Washington, DC, at which protesters were led into singing, “Victory comes from Allah, and Hezbollah is our model.” Hezbollah murdered over 241 U.S.Marines in the early 1980s.

26. Speakers at the Conference include Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf. In various articles, they praised “suicide operations” and “shaheed Allah” (martyrdom) as “noble.” They support violence and oppose “adopting the methods of Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr.” because “no other successful nonviolent movement was able to achieve what it did without a concurrent violent movement.” (Palestine Chronicle, January 29, 2002.)

Update: Thanks to Meryl Yourish, You can download the entire document here.

Update II: For more info on the conference, and more of the goods on the speakers, go to this page.

Special thanks to "The Zwicker."

A few days a go I linked to a heartening story of the goings on at a punk rock festival written by Larry Miller of the Weekly Standard. Yesterday James Taranto reported that the Band had denied making the comment and the Weekly Standard had taken down the link. Well Larry straightened it all out today. Turns out that the story was correct, but the band in question was Blink-182, not the Buzzcocks.
'He headed like a robot straight towards me'
There was a bombing yesterday in Ramat Gan, Israel, that claimed the life of a woman, Saada Aharon, 71, and Injured about 24 others. The bombing would surely have been far worse, if not for the heroic efforts of bus driver Baruch Noyman, who noticing a man who had wires sticking out of his clothes, held him down while the bus was evacuated.
The National Journal has an interesting article on what is different about the U.S. Military this time around.
Montana Republicans to New Jersey Democrats: Two can play that game.
Ron Rosenbaum, a card carrying member of the Left, joins Christopher Hitchens in saying Goodbye To All That.

Goodbye to paralysis by moral equivalence: Remind me again, was it John Ashcroft or Fidel Castro who put H.I.V. sufferers in concentration camps?

Goodbye to the deluded and pathetic sophistry of postmodernists of the Left, who believe their unreadable, jargon-clotted theory-sophistry somehow helps liberate the wretched of the earth. If they really believe in serving the cause of liberation, why don’t they quit their evil-capitalist-subsidized jobs and go teach literacy in a Third World starved for the insights of Foucault?

Goodbye to people who have demonstrated that what terror means to them is the terror of ever having to admit they were wrong, the terror of allowing the hideous facts of history to impinge upon their insulated ideology.

He doesn't exactly say where he is going to end up, but he does mention a preference for the Anti-Idiotarian party.
Oriana Fallaci is being sued in a Paris court for "inciting racial hatred" with the book The Pride and The Rage. (Review by Rod Dreher of NRO) The book is taken from a column that appeared in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on September 29, 2001. A translation of the column can be found here (scroll down to where it says "Anger and Pride") I read the column a while back and it was a tremendous experience, Highly recommended. Her article on European Anti-Semitism (the first one at the above link), is also fascinating.


Stephen Den Beste is probably what people who make that sort of argument would call a "chickenhawk." He's anything but. Read this essay on the horrors of war and why it is still necessary.
I don't really like to praise Alan Dershowitz, but he has just written a column that lays out exactly why the "Divest from Israel" campaign is anti-Semitic: If all the countries of the world were ranked according to their Human Rights record, and invested accordingly, investment in Israel would go up.

Meryl Yourish also makes the case with a tremendous amount of detail.

Free Buses from New York
The University of Michigan should be hopping this weekend. Need a ride? On Sunday, October 13th, there will be protests and a vigil opposite the "Divestment Conference." The vigil will begin at 9 AM and continue for the entire day. Bus loads of students and activists from all over New York will be leaving from both Stern College and the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale at 10:30 PM on Saturday night October 12th. The buses will arrive in Ann Arbor, Michigan in time for the vigil. The buses will depart from Ann Arbor, Michigan immediately following the vigil on Sunday evening. The buses are free of charge. To register for the Riverdale bus, please call 718-796-4730. To register for the Stern College bus, please email bethpointe@aol.com.


For the last few months David Warren has been, hands down, the best political and war commentator that I've been reading, and I think I've been reading them all. On top of a great ability to turn a phrase, he has also been a tremendous source of intelligence (in both senses of the word). His latest illuminates what draws together the recent events in Yemen, Iran, Khan Yunis, and Kuwait, and explains what Israel was doing in Khan Yunis in the first place.
Dick Morris in the New York Post and David Tell in the Weekly Standard, rip apart the NY Times/CBS poll that claimed (At least in the NY Times) that Americans want their politicians to talk about the economy, and not about Iraq. Read both those articles, and you'll understand that the poll didn't really say what the Times claimed, and even where it did, it did so because it was supposed to.
Six months ago, Michael Walzer asked Can There be a Decent Left? He failed to answer the question. In a fascinating and wide-ranging interview Thomas von der Osten-Sacken, a German Marxist, comes close to what a decent left would have to look like right now:

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. [MF: See, he really is a leftist.] 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.

The interview is fascinating on many levels, and covers the feeling of the Iraqi people (he has lived and worked inside Iraq), as well as the German political mood.


John Weidner has written an excellent essay on what seems to be motivating the anti-war crowd.

I've encountered various anti-invasion of Iraq arguments lately, and taken swipes at some of them, such as the previous post. But what's starting to keep me awake at night is the question of why. Why exactly are so many so opposed? Why does this one square on the chessboard seem to have an invisible field that repels so many people?.

Because it really feels like there is some unseen something going on. Why do seemingly decent, thoughtful kind-hearted people, as they approach that square, suddenly find the need to pen 99 coldly logical reasons why going there would surely turn out badly? Why are they so cold?

It would be one thing if they first felt tender-hearted towards the horrible suffering of Iraq, and then later began to have qualms about the wisdom of an invasion. But that doesn't appear to be what's happening. It looks to me like a lot of people, mostly on the left, made an instant and visceral decision to oppose an invasion, and only afterwards began to scrape up actual arguments to support this. And these are the very people who like to label themselves as the good-guys; progressives, anti-fascists, liberals. It's weird.

His answer is just about right. Read the whole thing.
(via Instapundit)
James Woolsey, James Lindsay, Victor Davis Hanson, and Daniel Brumberg participate in a question and answer session on the subject of "The Bush Doctrine." Interesting stuff, especially the discussion of Iran, and just how imminent a revolution there might be.
Joe Lieberman endeavors to explain, in the WSJ, Why Democrats should support the president on Iraq. The main reason, of course, is that if they don't, they're going to get their butts kicked in the elections, but as you may have guessed, he doesn't seem to stress that one.
The Detroit News on the upcoming "Divestment Conference" at the University of Michigan.
Larry Miller of the Weekly Standard found some good news in the unlikeliest of places; a punk rock festival in Southern California:

The lead singer of every band that day had gotten huge cheers in between songs by shouting things like "ANARCHY!" or, "F--- CORPORATIONS!" or just, "S---!" and all fifty thousand kids would scream their approval, whoop, and shove their fists into the air. Typical, I guess. Then, "Buzzcocks" came on, played their first song, and the lead singer stepped forward and shouted this (verbatim from Jack, he wrote it down) into the mike: "F--- GEORGE BUSH! DON'T LISTEN TO HIM. WE HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING IN IRAQ, NO MATTER WHAT HE SAYS." And here comes the good news.

There was a long pause, complete silence. And then they started. The boos. One here, one there. Then everyone. Everyone. Louder and louder. Jack told me how the puzzled singer blinked in surprise, looked at the rest of his band, and then stepped forward again to try to save the moment. "NO, NO, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. I SAID F--- GEORGE BUSH. F--- HIM." The boos grew even louder, and then people began shouting back up to the stage, "NO, MAN, F--- YOU!" "YEAH, F--- YOU, A-----E!" More and more, ceaselessly rising, until the shaken band caucused quickly and just blasted into their next song.

Not bad. Not bad at all.
Some Good News From Iraq
Ayad al-Awi, the head of the opposition Iraqi National Accord, said his group in recent weeks had received senior defectors from the Iraqi security services, which form the regime's nerve centre. At the same time Kurdish groups said they had received secret approaches from military commanders offering to turn their weapons on Saddam when the war began.
Charles Krauthammer says there are only two positions that make any sense regarding Iraq, but the Dems have chosen a third: Incoherance

why are these critics insisting on inspection and disarmament anyway? They have elucidated all the various costs of attempting to disarm Iraq forcibly, and told us that deterrence has worked just fine to keep Saddam Hussein from doing us any harm. If deterrence works, by what logic does Kennedy insist that Saddam Hussein "must be disarmed"?

All the arguments for inspections, he says, are just excuses for delaying what even the Dems, by refusing to take an actual anti-war stance, admit is the necessary outcome.