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Saturday, March 15, 2003

Mmmmmm... corned beef... that's good cow.

And then there was the fish and shrimp from lunch. That's at least 6 animals I'm partially responsible for killing... and they were delicious.


First there's the piece by one of the 1990 human shields

From the moment of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on Aug. 2 until my release a month and a half later, I saw what it was like to live under Saddam Hussein's rule. It was terrible. When a society suffers a loss of civil order, which is what happens in any invasion, little is stable, and the weak are especially vulnerable. But what the Iraqi Army and secret police did was more than violent; it was cruel. On the second day of the invasion, I saw a woman minutes after she had been raped by a member of the Republican Guard. I saw stores and homes robbed. I saw Iraqi tanks shooting at civilians fleeing the country in a small motorboat, and anti-aircraft cannons firing into a residential neighborhood.

In all of these acts of violence, there was one malevolent constant: those who opposed Saddam Hussein could expect torture and execution. Still, I was aided by numerous Arabs who were willing to risk their lives. I am deeply grateful to them. "Human shields" say they are risking their lives to help the people of Iraq but their actions can accomplish only the opposite.

And then there's Bob Herbert's piece of liberal claptrap about how those who support the war are either simple-minded people who don't know that innocent's will be killed in an attack on Iraq, or blood-thirsty savages that just don't give a damn.
They seemed like very nice people, the men and women, some with children, who dropped by to see the Liberty Bell, which is housed in a one-story shedlike pavilion with large windows in the roof.

My mind wandering, I imagined the visitors as casualties of war. I glanced up at the sunlight streaming through the roof and could visualize an incoming warhead, a missile that perhaps had strayed off course and was heading toward us. It wasn't hard to imagine the damage. The pavilion and everyone in it would be obliterated.

1. If you were in a situation where "warheads" (yeah, he didn't choose that term for maximum shock value, did he?) were liable to be veering off course maybe it wouldn't be a very bright idea to be out in all your touristy glory.
This is the fate soon to be visited upon a certain number of innocent Iraqi civilians (no one knows how many)...

Absolutely as few as is possible while still removing the threat to our nation and the constant threat to the Iraqi civilian population itself.
...if the president goes ahead with the war he has pursued so relentlessly.

And thank God he has.
We should outlaw the term collateral damage. Above all else, the damage done by the weapons of war is to the flesh, muscle, bone and psyches of real people, some of them children. If we're willing to inflict such terrible damage, we should acknowledge it and not hide behind euphemisms.

It would be helpful if he'd provide another option. "Obliteration-of-flesh-muscle-bone-and-psyche-of-innocent-little-baby" doesn't exactly roll off the tounge. Collateral damage is exactly what it would be; neccessary suffering for the greater good.
I interviewed a number of people in the vicinity of Independence Mall about their views of a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. No one I spoke with was particularly well informed. But what struck me about those in favor of invading Iraq was the cavalier way in which they talked about it. Their message, essentially, was: "Saddam's a bad guy. It's time for him to go."

Maybe the best way to get people's inner thoughts on a complicated issue like the war isn't to go around interviewing tourists visiting the Liberty Bell.
I got no sense that they thought of war as a horrible experience. No one mentioned the inevitable carnage. No one spoke as if they understood that war is always hideous, even if it's sometimes necessary.

Like it is this time.
The children in Iraq are already in sorrowful shape. The last thing in the world they need is another war. More than half the population of Iraq is under the age of 18, and those youngsters are living in an environment that has been poisoned by the Iran-Iraq war, the first gulf war and long years of debilitating sanctions.

What the children of Iraq need now IS another war. The sanctions aren't responsible for the troubles of the Iraqi population, Saddam is. The best thing for these people is the removal of Saddam.
One out of every eight Iraqi children dies before the age of 5. One-fourth are born underweight. One-fourth of those who should be in school are not. One-fourth do not have access to safe water.

And after this war every one of those numbers will be lower.
This generational catastrophe is the fault of Saddam Hussein, no question. But those who favor war should at least realize that the terrain to be invaded by the most fearsome military machine in history is populated mostly by children who are already suffering.

Which would be why we'd be liberating them.
The American military has significantly improved the accuracy of its weapons, and the U.S. has gone to great lengths to develop war plans designed to minimize civilian casualties. But war, as anyone who has been in the military knows, is about killing people.

Well actually it's about winning. If that can be accomplished without killing so much the better.
Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has already made it clear that the U.S. is planning to deliver what he calls a "shock" to the Iraqi system.

That shock reportedly will be delivered by 3,000 precision-guided bombs and missiles in the first 48 hours. The children of Iraq won't be the targets, but that is what their country will face if America attacks.

Yes, they'll face an attack designed to kill as few innocent people as possible and convince the opposing military to surrender as soon as possible. How horrible. Would Herbert prefer that we drop one bomb a day forever?
(On Tuesday the Air Force tested the country's largest nonnuclear bomb, the 21,000-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast, gleefully nicknamed the "Mother of All Bombs.")

Yes, a bomb that may save many more lives than it takes. The purpose of this bomb is to scare the bejeezus out of the enemy and get them to surrender instead of us having to actually kill them. How dare we.
After the war will come the humanitarian crisis. There will be the dead to bury and the sick and wounded to tend to. And hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Two-thirds of Iraq's 24 million people are entirely dependent on government food rations, and the remaining 8 million are dependent to some degree. U.N. officials have said plans by the United States to feed the population after the war are inadequate, and food supplies could run out in a matter of weeks.

No mention of course that the reason for the lack of food in Iraq is that Saddam is taking the money from the oil he's allowed to sell and putting towards rebuilding his lavish palaces instead of feeding the people. Remove Saddam and we'll only have to worry about feeding them until they can pay for the food themselves with all the oil they have.
Carol Bellamy, executive director of Unicef, told me: "The area we're very concerned about is water and sanitation. There's very little ground water in Iraq. At least half the water has to be treated. So if the major power facilities and water treatment plants were knocked out, there would be very significant consequences, and the children would generally be the most vulnerable."

Which would be why I'm sure the military will do everything possible to limit the damage to water treatment plants.
Most Americans will watch this war from the comfort of their living rooms, well out of harm's way.

And if we don't go forward they could be dying in the comfort of their living rooms in ten years. We're not doing this because we think it will be a larf, we're doing this because if we don't Saddam will keep his weapons and some day there's a very great chance they will find their way to these shores.
These are a few of the items they might consider as they make up their minds on whether an invasion is a good idea, or whether a search for a better alternative is still in order.

These are items to be considered as we decide how to fight the war, not if we should fight the war.

Ok, that turned out a bit longer than I expected.

Friday, March 14, 2003

Enough of the righteous indignation when you find out people don't support you. You have a right to your opinion but at the same time we have the right to call you an idiot and speak out against you ourselves. It's a two-way street my friends.


Tomorrow is "International Eat an Animal for PETA Day" If you stick to the small ones you can eat an entire animal.


Jonah Goldberg on the lack of traction on other complaints and how that brings us back to good ole anti-Semitism.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

You'll have trouble finding it anywhere in the media, but yesterday Cincinnati's Fountain Square was packed with people supporting our troops. Some estimates have said that 4,000-5,000 people showed up (The linked story says just 2,000.) Headline News said 400 last night... Liberal bias? Shoddy reporting? I'm not sure.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

You know, the problem with, as a rule, not getting too worked up when stuff like the Smart kidnapping happens in the first place is that it makes it a little hard to get worked up when it all ends wll.


I have some doubts as to it's authenticity, but this pic that's supposed to have been taken at Randoph Air Force Base in Texas is still pretty cool.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

I think it's safe to say that that didn't go without difficulties. Everything should be better now as the name server propogates... I hope...

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