They didn't find any actual weapons at the suspected chemical weapons plant. Just for the record. I'm still quite certain they'll find some eventually.
Where most outside the US see a war being started in Iraq, perhaps unnecessarily, things look different from within the US itself. Having suffered an assault more murderous - and certainly more despicable - than the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour, it no longer has the luxury of beginning this new world war, but only the implacable resolve to prosecute it to the end. Peace has already disappeared from the US political horizon. War is no longer a "last resort" once it has been flagrantly initiated by hostile action.
If al Qaeda were mere criminals, rather than avatars of a world-wide radical Islamist onslaught against the existing global order, then the US action against Iraq might indeed be considered an over-reaction.
If, on the contrary, following in the wake of Nazism and Soviet Communism, Islamism (the totalitarian perversion of Islam) is a coherent planetary threat to secular liberal civilization, this time crossing Nazi-style suicidal fanaticism with Soviet-style megadeath weaponry, then those substantially obstructing the US in this struggle are indeed "with the terrorists". Few seriously doubt that Iraq is a determined enemy of the US and a deceitful terrorist state, one manifestly obsessed with procuring weapons of mass destruction. Its alignment in the already ongoing world conflict is therefore beyond serious dispute.
The solution, for most of the world, is to shelter behind the illusion that the world is still at peace. This, even while the flames of Islamist terror - characterized above all by the indiscriminate murder of civilians - spread across the planet, fanned by international cowardice, irresolution and even complicity. After a decade of Clintonian appeasement, culminating in the Manhattan atrocity, the US has had enough of this.
I'd hate to see how Chris Matthews would react if the war were really going badly.
Again, from Boortz.
A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with Japanese human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present. Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip "had shocked me back to reality." Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam's bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head.
A good quote Boortz has up on his site.
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war, is worse.... A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their own free choice—is often the means of their regeneration.
-- John Stuart Mill
Something being constitutional doesn't automatically make it patriotic. When you're asked whether what you're doing is patriotic you're going to need to go further than just saying that you've read the first amendment. Patriotism is defined as "love of and devotion to one's country." You need to show that by protesting you're showing your devotion to your country, not simply that you're allowed to do it.
Ted Rall is the (and a) loser.
A flock? A gaggle? A crazy?
I like the name.
If we're looking for the biggest surprise dawn pretty much works.
The French's Mustard people are trying to make sure people know they're not actually French.
The list of nations in the coalition according to the State Department: Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan.
Is that Estrada filibuster still going on? Haven't heard anything about that in quite some time.
Nuance: Opposition to United States policy. Often expressed in simplistic terms.
Peace: The complete lack of action from the United States no matter how many must suffer or die.
Dissent: Wearing costumes.
Crushing of Dissent/McCarthyism: Publicly disagreeing with someone more noble. Publicly pointing out flaws in the arguments of those more noble.
Censorship: Only appearing on TV 5 times a week instead of the full 7.
Days of Action: Movie where Tom Cruise met Nicole Kidman.
Facts: Things that get in the way of Truth.
Truth: Something that must be believed regardless of facts. Example: 5,000 civilians were killed in Afghanistan. Did not actually happen, but the US wanted to kill that many and more so that means it is truth.
Racism: Thinking non-whites shouldn't have to live under oppressive, murderous tyrants.
Solidarity: Public nudity to tell those who would be stoned for public nudity that, hey, we care because we're naked.
Multilateral: Doing what the French want.
Unilateral: Going forward without the support of the New York Times.
Oil: When it ain't the Jews, it's this.
Militant: Anyone who kills a member of the oppressive power structure.
The probability of having salsa in the house is inversely proportional to the probability that you have tortilla chips.
Therefore I, by the grace of God and the favor of the Apostolic See Bishop of the Eparchy of St. George in Canton, must declare to you, my people, for the sake of your salvation as well as my own, that any direct participation and support of this war against the people of Iraq is objectively grave evil, a matter of mortal sin. Beyond a reasonable doubt this war is morally incompatible with the Person and Way of Jesus Christ. With moral certainty I say to you it does not meet even the minimal standards of the Catholic just war theory.
Thus, any killing associated with it is unjustified and, in consequence, unequivocally murder. Direct participation in this war is the moral equivalent of direct participation in an abortion. For the Catholics of the Eparchy of St. George, I hereby authoritatively state that such direct participation is intrinsically and gravely evil and therefore absolutely forbidden.
--Bishop John Michael Botean
"[T]his war is the moral equivalent of direct participation in an abortion"... does that mean Liberals should be for it?
Rall has a new column up on why we shouldn't support the troops. Complete with his typical anti-American rants.
We find ourselves facing the paradox of the "good German" of the '30s. We're ruled by an evil, non-elected warlord who ignores both domestic opposition and international condemnation. We don't want the soldiers fighting his unjustified wars of expansion to win--but we don't want them to lose either.
I really don't want to link him but... _
You have no idea how often that phrase left my mouth while watching Hardball last night.
Once upon a time, there was a small tight knit community of neighbors, a "village", if you like. This village was too small to have an independent police force, so it chose instead to police itself; neighbors helping neighbors...holding one another to account for their actions when disputes arose. It was an imperfect system, but it was all the little village had with which to work.
As in all villages, there were some noisome neighbors. Some simply played their music too loud at night, and some were much, much worse.
Within one house lived an intemperate man, prone to outbursts of threats and violence. He was well known in the village as a "bad man". Worse yet, it was well known that this "bad man" terrorized his own family within his home. Accountings of rape, torture, and even murder of his own family members were well known and documented. Worst of all, and what made his neighbors of the village continually uneasy, was that this brute was known to possess a personal cache of hand grenades, assault rifles, and rocket launchers.
When the "bad man" broke into his brother-in-law's house to steal his possessions twelve years ago, the village community was outraged, formed a posse, and kicked the "bad man" out of his brother-in-law's house after he refused to leave. When events turned, and things looked to the "bad man" that he might be evicted from his own house, he agreed to behave, and even allowed community members to inspect his home, to show that he had disposed of his dangerous weapons. The "bad man" chuckled to himself, knowing that his trusting neighbors would never find his best hiding places for his most intimidating weapons. Just the same, the "bad man" agreed to have a fence erected around his house and yard, to assure his neighbors that he wouldn't easily break into or threaten another home any time soon.
An so it was for the next twelve years that the "bad man" was locked-up in his home. The village noted over time that some of his other neighboring relatives would come and go, bringing the "bad man" things he needed to remain a bully, if only in his own home. There were rumors that other shady characters, from outside the village, were also coming and going from this "bad man's" house. The members of the village would periodically scold the "bad man" for his blatant disregard of the promise he had made, which only garnered derision and scorn in return from the "bad man". The village was ashamed of it's own timidity, for it knew this "bad man" had never stopped raping and beating his own family in the confines of his own home, but the community of neighbors rationalized their cowardice and fear with the thought that at least this "bad man" wasn't doing it to them.
One neighbor suggested finally, after 12 years, that enough was enough. He proposed to the village community that the "bad man" would, this time, have to turn over all of his grenades, rifles, and rocket launchers immediately...or face another village posse. The village community agreed unanimously to this proposal...and gave the "bad man" the ultimatum. The "bad man" wavered at this seeming community unanimity, and appeared to concede. After all, his neighbors couldn't find his secret weapons caches the last time, and he had made many more since. And the "bad man" also knew that eventually his neighbors would tire of the ordeal, out of frustration, or timidity...and things would once again return to a status quo. The "bad man" rationalized, "They keep trying to tell me what to do, and I keep doing as I please, and they don't do anything about it anyway, because they're weak."
The "bad man" miscalculated though. The neighbor that led the posse 12 years ago wasn't letting up this time around. In fact, it was reminding it's fellow community members of the commitment they had all agreed to, and the consequences of that commitment. Now the members of the village were very uneasy. They wanted to trust the "bad man", and believe him; and besides, what could the "bad man" do if he was locked up in his own house; while his neighbors searched yet again for weapons that were secreted away? Maybe he'd continue to beat his children, rape his daughters, murder his uncles...sure, those things might continue, but he wouldn't be able to hurt any other families, would he? And what about those mysterious midnight visitors to the "bad man's" house? Nobody had proven that the "bad man" might give these outsiders any of his weapons to vandalize or terrorize the neighborhood on their own terms. Where was the proof of such allegations? Surely even the "bad man" wouldn't do such a thing.
But once again, the leader of the last village posse insisted that the "bad man" comply with the stated will of the village. Some of the "bad man's" neighbors, who were indirectly related to the "bad man", objected. Sure, their relative was a no-good so-and-so, and a liar, and a bad family man...but they wouldn't evict him from his own house. Others petitioned for more time, to allow the "bad man" to comply with the will of the community, because, well, he'd never done so before...but, maybe this time he would...eventually. Besides, what kind of a threat did this "bad man" really pose to them?
Most of the villagers did not like being reminded of their commitments. They chose to shift the focus of their attention upon the posse leader instead, claiming it was he who was the bully...the "new bad man". The posse leader and his closest friends relented, allowing for more time. The "bad man" couldn't believe his good fortune. Here he was, safely in his home, abusing his family as he pleased, gloating over his secret weapons cache, and laughing at the village idiots that now perceived him as the lesser threat to the community than the posse leader himself. The "bad man" laughed and laughed at his good fortune.
But wait. This time, this time, the posse leader was serious. Deadly serious. This time the posse leader and his closest friends were going to evict the "bad man"; free his family; and take away his dangerous weapons whether or not the majority of the village went along. The village community was outraged at this vigilantism. But now the "bad man" was truly afraid. The posse leader hated doing this sort of thing (he had been called upon to do it many times before; to evict other "bad man"...and many people always got hurt, or worse, in the process). Some neighbors refused to go. Others refused to support any eviction efforts, and others still vowed to brand the posse leaders and his friends as dangerous and irresponsible, just like the "bad man" himself. What would become of the village? Who would clean up the house and yard afterwards? Would a nice man move in to the house and help the "bad man's" family back on their feet? Would the "bad man's" neighboring relatives and their associated shady outsiders try to exact revenge upon the small posse and it's family members?
The tale has no happy ending, because in the end, good people will be hurt. This story also has no sure answers, because no one can precisely predict future events. But if we learn anything from this story, it's that bad men and bad neighbors will always threaten the village as a whole, and it's people within, if good men and good neighbors just stand by and watch, and debate, and do nothing. We may also learn that neighbors may be deemed as good or bad not by what they say; or what they promise; or what they look like. Just men know that good men and bad men are determined by what they do...and sometimes by what they won't do.
And some day, the village will either decide to live up to it's self-policing commitments, or it will need to hire some full-time sheriff to police the bad men of the village.
I swear, I'd have no problem at all with the last exam of the day ending at 7 if they moved the first one to 9:30.
There was a machine designed for shredding plastic. Men were dropped into it and we were again made to watch. Sometimes they went in head first and died quickly. Sometimes they went in feet first and died screaming. It was horrible. I saw 30 people die like this. Their remains would be placed in plastic bags and we were told they would be used as fish food . . . on one occasion, I saw Qusay [President Saddam Hussein’s youngest son] personally supervise these murders.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
This site will be changing hosts over the next few days. I hope it will go without difficulties, but who knows...
The Russians still think we're getting what little cooperation we're receiving because the inspections are working when in truth it's the threat of military force that is the real reason for the increase cooperation. Remove the threat of force as the weasels would have us do and you'd get no cooperation whatsoever.
Local restauranteur Jeff Ruby has banned all French products from his 5 restaurants until "a significant change has been made by France showing their support of the U.S." Kudos to Jeff. And for the record I do think this is different than the boycott of downtown Cincinnati. I think the grievances in this case are much more concrete. If the French manufacturers don't like it they can go to their government and tell them to shape up. If downtown businessmen give up they can't exactly go to the police and tell them to not be racist.
(Thanks to Spiced Sass for the link.)
I don't seem to recall The Hobbit having any Homosexual prostitutes.
"I think we can stop this war."
"He has to listen, these are the American people speaking."
"Billions of dollars are being taken out of our schools for war."
"I think a good example of a war that's good is the Cuban revolution."
"Young people are under attack here."
From Hannity and Colmes. These protesters really are delusional.
Stalin Rose From Czarist Oppression to Transform Russia Into Mighty Socialist State
Dictator Ruthless in Moving to Goals
He Furthered Socialization and Industrialization of World's First Marxist Nation
Led World War II Effort
Hard, Mysterious, Aloof, Rude, He Outlasted the Dreamers and Solidified Power
--Stalin's NY Times obituary, March 6, 1953(Thanks to The Corner and Andrew Sullivan for the link)
**Insert surrender monkey joke here**
Robert Fisk has a piece in the Toronto Star on how Khalid Shaikh Mohammed wasn't really captured and how the US government is just lying to us. The biggest problem with his argument however probably is the big picture just to the side of the article actually showing Mohammed after he was captured.