April 6, 2003
DEREK LOWE HAS MOVED — he’s now at Corante. Drop by and wish him well.
DEREK LOWE HAS MOVED — he’s now at Corante. Drop by and wish him well.
I’VE BEEN WOEFULLY DEFICIENT in blogging gun-related issues lately. But you might be interested in Students for the Second Amendment.
ACCORDING TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES:
More than three-fourths of Americans — including two-thirds of liberals and 70% of Democrats — now say they support the decision to go to war. And more than four-fifths of these war supporters say they still will back the military action even if allied forces don’t find evidence of weapons of mass destruction.
Howard Veit says it’s the “liberal” numbers that are the most significant, since they mean that the only real opposition to the war consists of “the Movie Star-Media elite, Frisco Bay Area Whackos, and CNN.” This is a bit of an exaggeration, but the numbers certainly are strong.
THIS SOUNDS LIKE DIRTY POOL:
The FBI last fall arrested six Lackawanna, N.Y., men of Yemeni origin and charged them with conspiracy and aiding a terrorist organization. All six had been to Afghanistan in early 2001 for training by Al Qaeda.
But prosecutors used dubious tactics to force the men into a plea-bargain admitting guilt to lesser charges. According to The Wall Street Journal, they threatened the defendants with “enemy combatant” status – meaning they could have been turned over to the military, deprived of counsel, and held incommunicado indefinitely.
If I recall correctly, at least some of these guys are American citizens. I don’t like this report about Mike Hawash, either.
STRATEGYPAGE has this report on Afghanistan:
The long anticipated “Taliban Offensive” is apparently underway. It’s not very impressive, with perhaps about half a dozen armed groups prowling around, attacking foreigners (troops or aid workers) and Afghans considered “un-Islamic.” Many foreign aid groups are afraid to the point of considering leaving the country. So far, the Taliban have not mustered sufficient power to threaten, much less overthrow, the government.
The number of attacks on US bases are declining. There were 27 attacks, mostly with highly inaccurate 107mm rockets, in March. Last November, there were 55, and the attacks have been declining ever since.
There’s more, but it’s pretty much all in this vein.
“VIVE CHIRAC — STOP THE JEWS!” More of, well, what we’ve come to expect from antiwar protests in France.
HERE’S AN INTERESTING STORY of life in a cult, and the escape therefrom.
I’VE FOUND NPR’S EMBEDDED WAR COVERAGE, especially that by Eric Westervelt, to be very good. Westervelt’s coverage is straightforward, and every story tells me something I didn’t know before. Given the frequent criticism that NPR gets in the blogosphere, I think that’s worth pointing out.
JOSH CHAFETZ OFFERS AN APPALLING REPORT of an effort to intimidate an antiwar student at Yale.
The story, frankly, seems hard to believe to me — not only does it not sound like Yale students to do such a thing, it doesn’t sound like the way Yale students would do such a thing if they did, if that makes sense. But Josh says he has it on good authority.
UPDATE: Bruce Bridges is skeptical:
This sounds suspiciously like an urban legend. First, never trust a story from a friend of a friend. Especially if the person telling the story assures you that this one friend is very reliable. All urban legends are passed around like that.
Second, it just sounds like an urban legend. Over the past couple of years the many reports of attacks on Muslims have often proved to be fabricated. I’m not doubting that there are some idiots out there but I wouldn’t believe this unless I heard verifiable proof.
I could be wrong of course.
We’ll see. I’m trusting Josh pretty heavily here, but I’d feel more comfortable if the victim had a name.
ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader points out that the Yale story sounds suspiciously similar to this account placed at Wheaton College. Of course, it’s always possible that they’re both true, though two such incidents of pro-flag ruffianism in northeastern college communities seem a bit unlikely. And there’s nothing in today’s Yale Daily News.Stay tuned.
I THINK IT MAY BE A BIT EARLY YET, but Colin Glassey is declaring victory in Iraq.
Meanwhile Howard Owens offers historical perspective on casualties.
Oh, and this piece by Max Boot on the media romance with guerrilla warfare — compared with its actual history of ineffectiveness, especially against American forces — is worth reading.
Mark Steyn, meanwhile, writes:
The way to understand this campaign is to look at the dogs of war that didn’t bark: no missile attacks on Israel and only a couple of perfunctory strikes at Kuwait; not a single Iraqi plane in the sky in defence of the homeland; the key river bridges mined with explosives but not a single one detonated; no significant land engagements, etc.
All these are big decisions which would have been taken at the top and, if there’s no top, nobody takes the decision. If you choose to believe that was the real deal on Saddam’s latest video, it doesn’t alter the fact that the Iraqis are still acting headless: everything that has not happened this last fortnight is consistent with the leadership being embedded into the rubble with a last startled look on their moustaches.
On the other hand, everything that has taken place is strictly local, freelance, improvised. . . .
But, for everyone other than media naysayers, it’s the Anglo-Aussie-American side who are the geniuses. Rumsfeld’s view that one shouldn’t do it with once-a-decade force, but with a lighter, faster touch has been vindicated, with interesting implications for other members of the axis of evil and its reserve league.
Mickey Kaus, where I first noticed this Steyn link, has much more on the “were there enough troops or not?” debate, which I think is likely to wind up a draw: Could we have beaten the Iraqi military with fewer troops? Yes. Would it have been nice to have more troops for occupation/pacification? Yes. Does that mean our force levels were right? Depends on what other threats we might have been worried about — it’s entirely possible, for example, that North Korea might have been more adventurous if we had seemed to be committing everything we had in Iraq. Who knows? Somebody had to make an informed guess, and so far the results make the guess look pretty good. That’s my take, anyway. Meanwhile, a guy in the bar last night observed that you can tell how the war is going just from glancing at the television — they used to be showing maps of Iraq, but now they’re showing maps of Baghdad.
In a related development, try not to be shocked but a German investigation suggests a Saudi government link with Al Qaeda:
GERMAN OFFICIALS SAY the terror suspects may have had a highly placed friend: a top diplomat at the Saudi Embassy in Berlin. Sources say Muhammad J. Fakihi, chief of the embassy’s Islamic-affairs branch, met frequently with the suspected terrorist cell’s leader, Ihsan Garnaoui, at Berlin’s Al Nur mosque—a notorious haven for Islamic extremists. The Germans confronted the Saudis and threatened to declare Fakihi persona non grata. “We don’t do that unless the evidence is very grave,” says a German official. Four days after the arrests, Fakihi left Germany and was supposed to have returned to Saudi Arabia. But, NEWSWEEK has learned, he never showed up. Now the Saudis want him for questioning, and officials are uncertain of his whereabouts.
Hmm. I know what I hope happened, and I know what I think happened, but I wonder what really happened?
COLLIN MAY has a lengthy and interesting essay on European politics and economics. His permalinks, unfortunately, are broken, but go here and scroll down.
PEJMAN YOUSEFZADEH HAS BEEN WATCHING THE BBC. He says that Andrew Sullivan is right about BBC bias and mendacity in war coverage — and in coverage of American politics.
Jeff Jarvis, meanwhile, offers a righteous Fisking of the BBC. And coming from a major TV guy like him, it’s especially devastating.
YES, I’ve blogged less than usual this weekend, and that trend is likely to continue today. It’s been a rough couple of weeks around the InstaPundit household — not one, but two surgeries and cancer scares for close family members (both turned out OK, thankfully), plus assorted other items. Now the weather is really nice, and I’ve got a good friend from high school in town.
Yesterday, we saw my brother’s band play at “Volapalooza,” an outdoor concert on the UT campus, then visited various drinking establishments. I need to do more of that. My advice to you is to enjoy the good weather, too, if you’ve got it.
MORE disappearances in Algeria. Is somebody hiding something?
TOM BRIDGE thinks the antiwar movement is losing steam.
MEGAN MCARDLE QUOTES GERHARD SCHROEDER:
Indeed, to Schroeder’s eye, there is hardly anything worth cutting, right down to the generous dental benefits. “I do not want to return to an era when you can judge someone’s wealth by the state of their teeth,” he observed.
Megan notes that in the United States, we’ve achieved this goal:
The reason that I comment on this is that one thing you can’t tell people’s wealth by, in the dog-eat-dog dystopia that is America, is their teeth. Their sports gear, their vacations, their choice of dinner spot, yes, but not their teeth, at least not where I am.
(There’s an interesting discussion in the comment thread, too.) However, as this photograph of European Central Bank head Wim Duisenberg would seem to indicate, the Euros have achieved equality by choosing, um, a different path. . . .
UPDATE: A frightening observation.
ANOTHER UPDATE: People ask me what I know of European dentistry. Well, when I was a kid and we lived in Germany (my dad was teaching at Heidelberg) I went to a German dentist. She had the same name as a famous war criminal. I think it may have been the same woman. . . .
And my dentist in New Haven had as a major part of his practice redoing the inferior dental work of foreign students.
On the other hand, when my brother was working at the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a high-ranking diplomat was kicked in the mouth by a horse. He had repair work done by an oral surgeon in Lagos, but then returned as soon as possible to the States, on the assumption that he’d have to have everything redone by someone competent. He went to a bigshot oral surgeon in Washington, D.C., who looked at the X-rays and said “this is beautiful work. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
VIRGINIA POSTREL is fact-checking The New Yorker, and dissing Eliot Spitzer.
By the way, now that she’s got a new MT blog, instead of chiseling her HTML into stone tablets the way she used to, she’s updating more often — so you might want to check her site more often, too.
THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORTS:
It is not easy being an old lefty on campus in this war.
At the University of Wisconsin at Madison, awash in antiwar protests in the Vietnam era, a columnist for a student newspaper took a professor to task for canceling classes to protest the war in Iraq, saying the university should reprimand her and refund tuition for the missed periods.
Irvine Valley College in Southern California sent faculty members a memo that warned them not to discuss the war unless it was specifically related to the course material. When professors cried censorship, the administration explained that the request had come from students.
Here at Amherst College, many students were vocally annoyed this semester when 40 professors paraded into the dining hall with antiwar signs. One student confronted a protesting professor and shoved him.
Some students here accuse professors of behaving inappropriately, of not knowing their place.
“It seems the professors are more vehement than the students,” Jack Morgan, a sophomore, said. “There comes a point when you wonder are you fostering a discussion or are you promoting an opinion you want students to embrace or even parrot?”
Across the country, the war is disclosing role reversals, between professors shaped by Vietnam protests and a more conservative student body traumatized by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Prowar groups have sprung up at Brandeis and Yale and on other campuses. One group at Columbia, where last week an antiwar professor rhetorically called for “a million Mogadishus,” is campaigning for the return of R.O.T.C. to Morningside Heights.
Even in antiwar bastions like Cambridge, Berkeley and Madison, the protests have been more town than gown. At Berkeley, where Vietnam protesters shouted, “Shut it down!” under clouds of tear gas, Sproul Plaza these days features mostly solo operators who hand out black armbands. The shutdown was in San Francisco, and the crowd was grayer.
All this dismays many professors.
Read the whole thing. Heh.
HERE ARE PICTURES FROM A PRO-WAR RALLY IN ESTONIA.
HERE’S A TIME PIECE on warblogs.
AUSTIN BAY looks at how the warplan has worked so far. He thinks that CENTCOM’s plan is going pretty well.
I’M PULLING FOR THIS GUY: But I wouldn’t want to be the first one to ride the rocket.
BAD NEWS AND GOOD NEWS. First the bad news: the Martin Savidge quote that everyone was excited about turns out to be a hoax. Now the good news: before he found out, Joe Katzman wrote this post. Which, together with the comments, is damned good.
So, as usual, is this news and background roundup from Winds of Change.
UPDATE: Check out Defense Tech, too.
HERE’S A GALLERY OF IMAGES from the Toronto pro-America rally mentioned below, emailed by various readers. Enjoy!
It looks damn cold in Toronto. Brrr. Thanks to all the wonderful Canadians who turned out.
UPDATE: How cold? Reader Patrick Brown emails:
I live about 2 hours southwest of Toronto. In my regular Friday morning Statistics class today, I had less than one-quarter of the normal turnout, because of the very bad weather here. An ice-storm hit overnight. Trees are down, power is out in many places, and roads are bad because (at least in my town) it appears that the city has already put away the salt trucks and plows. So, the turnout at the Rally for America in Toronto is doubly impressive.
This story from The Globe and Mail says that “thousands of Canadians” appeared in “driving, freezing rain.” As I said before, brrr. I love you guys, but I don’t think I’ll be leaving Tennessee for Toronto any time soon.
ANOTHER UPDATE: And speaking of Tennessee, here’s a report on Knoxville’s pro-war rally. It says there were more than a thousand people. InstaLawyer has some more photos. Note the sunny weather and blooming dogwoods.
And Mark Wickens has a report and more pictures from the Toronto rally.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON WRITES that the real story of the war and its related diplomacy is the American public’s response:
Something weird, something unprecedented, is unfolding, driven by American public opinion — completely ignored in Europe — and the nation’s collective anger that Americans are dying by showing restraint as they are slandered by our “friends.” Despite the protestations of a return to normalcy, this present war will ever so slowly, yet markedly nonetheless, change America’s relationships in a way unseen in the last 30 years.
With little help from Saudi Arabia or Turkey — “allies” and “hosts” to our troops — damned by many of our NATO allies, stymied in the U.N., turned on by Russia, opposed by Germany and France, the Coalition nevertheless is systematically liberating a country under the most impossible of conditions. This experience in turn will oddly — if we avoid hubris and maintain our sanity — liberate us as well.
Far from making the United States hegemonic, the success in Iraq will have a sobering effect on Americans. Contrary to pundits the hard-fought Anglo-American victory will not make us into hegemonists, but simply less naïve about tradition-bound relationships and the normal method of doing business. I would expect military spending to increase, even as reluctance grows to get involved with any of our traditional allies.
Read the whole thing.
HERE’S AN ACCOUNT OF ANOTHER PRO-U.S. RALLY IN TORONTO:
TORONTO — About 1,000 Canadians gathered in the freezing rain Friday to show their support for the United States at a downtown rally.
Organizers of the Friends of America said the rally was not formed to champion the U.S.-led war in Iraq but to show friendship and goodwill between the two countries.
”We’re not fair-weather friends,” emcee Ted Woloshyn, a local radio host, told the crowd bearing American and Canadian flags and Union Jacks. Others held placards with slogans such as Canada Loves America, Chretien Doesn’t Speak For Me and Freedom Isn’t Free.
Political speakers included Canadian Alliance Leader Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Ernie Eves. The widow of a Canadian killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Center was also scheduled to make remarks.
Eves said there were likely those who do support the war in attendance – himself included.
”Canadians, friends of America – that is who we as Canadians are,” Eves told the crowd.
”Our American neighbours, our friends, our colleagues, our Allies have always supported us, they’ve protected us, they’ve helped us and they’ve stood by us and now we should be standing by them.”
UPDATE: Reader John MacDonald emails:
There were more like 6000 at the Toronto Friends of America rally.There would have been a lot more except the weather was terrible,freezing rain,sleet, icy roads.People stayed home from work ,let alone showed up for a rally.The weather didn’t dampen their enthusiasm for the U.S.A.
Several other Canadian readers have sent similar comments. I hope to have some photos up later.
SO IS THE NEW SADDAM VIDEO REAL OR NOT? I’m skeptical. But I hope it’s real, and he’s alive. I want him to be lynched by Iraqis, a la Mussolini, and I want it to be broadcast on Al Jazeera.
Meanwhile H.D. Miller explains how we’ll know for sure that Saddam is dead.
UPDATE: Shaun Kenney emails: “Keep your eye on Saddam’s left arm during the video. It barely moves.”
I haven’t seen the walking-around video. But the still from it on the front page of the Washington Post doesn’t look much like the guy who was giving the speech earlier.
Meanwhile Chris Crofoot sends:
The recent ‘live’ appearance of Saddam Hussein and the reference to the Apache downed by a peasant has a simple explanation, I think. Looking at the Pictures of the downed Apache makes it look like the chopper went down due to mechanical difficulties (it sure didn’t appear to have been damaged much). A pre-arranged story about a heroic peasant downing an Apache is released after the Iraqis get their hands on Apache wreckage (in this case it was nearly intact). A pre-recorded video of Hussein is later released referencing the pre-arranged story about the peasant… ta-daa semi-convincing evidence that Hussein is alive because he’s referencing the peasant story. Is he that devious? Who knows…
Who does know?
ANOTHER UPDATE: Ann Haker emails this observation:
Some people have pointed to the smoke in the background of Saddam’s walking-around video as proof that it was relatively current. But remember what Salam Pax said on March 2:
A week ago on the way to work I saw a huge column of blackest-black smoke coming from the direction of Dorah refinery which is within Baghdad city limits, thought nothing of it really. A couple of weeks earlier to that a fuel tank near the Rasheed army camp exploded and it looked the same, stuff like that happens. My father was driving thru the area later and he said it looked like they were burning excess or wasted oil. Eh, they were never the environmentalists to start with; if they didn’t burn it they would have dumped it in the river or something. The smoke was there for three days the column could be seen from all over Baghdad being dragged in a line across the sky by the winds. During the same time and on the same road I take to work I see two HUGE trenches being dug, it looked like they were going to put some sort of machinery in it, wide enough for a truck to drive thru and would easily take three big trucks.
So, it could have been filmed at the end of February–which would also jive with the warm coats the people are wearing.
Interesting observation. Warm coats? It’s been pretty hot around Baghdad.
HERE’S AN INTERESTING COMMENTARY on media coverage of the war — from the lefty L.A. Weekly, no less. Excerpt:
This war, with its multichannel, multinational perspectives, is turning out to be a moral relativist’s wet dream. (CNN is just so March 18; the cool people all get their news from Hezbollah TV now.) Which is a pity, really. On one side you have a country ruled by a bunch of totalitarian thugs in a region in which benign dictatorship is as good as it gets; on the other you have the U.K. and the U.S., where, despite the corporate dictatorship, the President Select, the slippery machinations of Halliburton, blah blah blah, the L.A. Times can quote the Iraqi Ministry of Information approvingly on its front page while Peter Arnett goes on Iraqi television to tell Chemical Ali, Mrs. Anthrax and the rest of the noble Mesopotamian leadership what a bunch of heroes its “resistance” fighters are. . . .
For some people, the only appropriate response to the pathological hatred emanating from the Middle East is self-flagellation. On BBC America, the anchors almost visibly salivate when word of an errant marketplace bombing flashes across the wires. (Finally! Proof that we’re evil! That we’re just as bad as they are!)
Read the whole thing, as they say.
The Indymedia folks, though, are happy, writing “WP Nazi columnist bites the Iraqi dust.”
So typical. So pathetic. This, by Jonah Golberg, is much better.
UPDATE: Ana Marie Cox emails:
I am writing to beg that you point out, somewhere, that plenty of lefties are mad about Indymedia’s smear on Michael Kelly. I am one of them — I blogged a bit about it, I posted on their comment board.
I’m on a one-woman campaign to not let Indymedia off the hook — if they think criticism of their malice is coming mainly from pro-war people, I just don’t think they’ll listen.
I’m not sure they’ll listen in any event, Ana, but I’m listening, and I’m glad to hear it. (There’s more on Ana’s blog.) Unfortunately, it’s not just IndyMedia — check out the posts here on DemocraticUnderground, a site that’s not affiliated with the actual Democratic Party, to the undoubted relief of the latter. And these guys wonder why they’re the butt of cartoons like this one?
ANOTHER UPDATE: Here’s a statement from The Atlantic Monthly.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: This Dan Kennedy obit is well worth reading.
STILL MORE: John Hawkins has been wading through the Democratic Underground posts, and has some highlights.
LAST UPDATE: David Levy sends this more heartening story:
didn’t hear it this morning, but there is a rebroadcast of the local NPR “DC Politics Hour” in the evening. DC politics are fun to talk about … scandal and vouchers. The discussion was broken by a call telling the news from Iraq.
The reaction was so different than what’s been going around the fever swamps of the left. I think one of the participants started to cry. Said she not only knew him but she knows his mom and dad. Someone — I was driving and didn’t take notes — said that war losses are now personal. This is the first “home town boy” who had been lost.
These are folks on DC NPR. If you called them liberal, they might correct you and ask to be called leftist. Nothing was said about his politics, as if that would matter at a time like this to people of character. I thought you would like to know, given the ghastly reaction of those who have perhaps not reflected upon the possibility that reciprocity is deeper than tolerance.
Yes, I’m happy to hear this.
THE QUAGMIRE CLUB is discussed by William Powers at the National Journal:
There’s a ritual, a kind of quagmire Kabuki that never varies. Someone employs the word in a war-news report or one of those deeply important “analysis” pieces that are just opinion columns in front-page drag. The most famous quagmirist, R.W. Apple Jr. of The New York Times, doesn’t even have to use the word anymore. He just does an interpretive fan-dance around it and everyone knows what he means.
Heh. Though the image of Johnny Apple doing a fan dance is, well, disturbing. Sally Rand he ain’t. Meanwhile non-quagmirist Tom Holsinger writes that Baghdad may be more like Manila, 1945 than Grozny, 1995.
As the engineers strapped explosives to the legs of the horse that Mr. Hussein sat astride, Army tanks blocked entry to the boulevard. Hundreds of men and boys crowded on nearby street corners.
The blast, when it came, was met with rousing cheers.
The horse and its rider were sent hurtling off the pedestal, crashing to the base. Then the Iraqi colonel and his men began speaking over a loudspeaker, proclaiming an uprising against Mr. Hussein’s government. When they were finished, residents snapped pictures of friends on top of the pile of ruins of the statue, or posed with the soldiers. Then came questions for the nearest available Americans.
“When Saddam Hussein goes?” Ali Salah asked. “Not in Najaf. Saddam in Baghdad.”
I think he’s already gone, claims to the contrary notwithstanding.
DAVID CARR NOTES CASTRO’S CRACKDOWN ON DISSIDENTS and suggests that it’s evidence that the Castro regime is worried:
When governments start incarcerating their political opponents for life, it is because they are frightened and deeply worried and usually with good reason. I suspect the game is nearly up.
I hope he’s right. He also adds:
And, just as an aside, doesn’t this show up the juvenile, publicity-seeking, egocentrism of the ‘Bush is Hitler’ mob in sharp relief? While genuine freedom fighters risk their very lives by taking on ‘Il Presidente’, the likes of Michael Moore can pose as ‘oppressed heroic victims’ while being chauffeured around to their various awards ceremonies and public speaking engagements.
And saying nice things about Castro, more often than not.
THIS ESSAY by the Dissident Frogman is worth reading. Be sure you read the whole thing.
MELISSA SCHWARTZ’S father has been killed in an auto accident. Please join me in holding her in your thoughts.
EVAN COYNE MALONEY has a new video on antisemitism in the “peace” movement.
NICK DENTON ASKS: “Is there any way to delay the capture of Baghdad just long enough to first draw in every seething Islamist across the Middle East?” Nick’s mixture of sophistication and practical bloody-mindedness is just what is missing from Europe today. It’s no wonder he lives in the States now.
And, I must say, that has been my reaction to the breathless reports that terrorists were flocking to Saddam’s banner. The more that do so, the more we can conveniently kill wholesale, instead of having to hunt them down in small numbers later. As it is, the “Saddam Fedayeen” with its suicidal yet largely futile attacks has ended the careers of many people we’re better off without. I don’t suppose that was part of the war plan, but it might have been.
BREAKING WINDOWS: A clever and thoughtful anti-war protest.
This harassment of lawful protest, on the other hand, is just nasty:
On Sunday morning, a man called the home of Wayne Hogg’s uncle and said “we need to let you know Wayne died two days ago.”
The report was false, but it turned into a nightmare for Hogg’s family. His uncle, Danny Hogg, says it took the family a full day to get confirmation that Wayne was still alive in Iraq.
Danny Hogg had participated Saturday in a Flagstaff rally to support U.S. troops in Iraq.
Sunday morning, a photo of him taken at the rally appeared in the Flagstaff newspaper. And it was a short time after the paper hit the streets that the call was made to Danny Hogg’s home.
Taking names of protesters, and then harassing them on the phone. It’s like what the FBI did under Hoover.
DE GENOVA UPDATE: Congressman J.D. Hayworth wants him fired. But that’s silly. Instead of engaging in clumsy bill-of-attainderesque high-handedness, Hayworth would be better advised to craft legislation that would force schools like Columbia and Harvard to offer ROTC. That would do far more to make his point than legislative assaults on a pathetic anonymity like De Genova.
Meanwhile, Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down weighs in:
“There were literally a thousand or more Somalis killed in that battle to 18 American soldiers, and that small band of American troops accomplished their mission in Mogadishu that day,” Bowden said.
(Via — where else? — The Filibuster).
UPDATE: Daniel Drezner isn’t so sure I’m right that De Genova shouldn’t be fired.
GOOD GRIEF: Over 200,000 pageviews already today.
JAMES WOOLSEY IS PULLING NO PUNCHES:
He said the new war is actually against three enemies: the religious rulers of Iran, the “fascists” of Iraq and Syria, and Islamic extremists like al Qaeda.
Woolsey told the audience of about 300, most of whom are students at the University of California at Los Angeles, that all three enemies have waged war against the United States for several years but the United States has just “finally noticed.”
“As we move toward a new Middle East,” Woolsey said, “over the years and, I think, over the decades to come … we will make a lot of people very nervous.”
It will be America’s backing of democratic movements throughout the Middle East that will bring about this sense of unease, he said.
“Our response should be, ‘good!’” Woolsey said.
Singling out Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the leaders of Saudi Arabia, he said, “We want you nervous. We want you to realize now, for the fourth time in a hundred years, this country and its allies are on the march and that we are on the side of those whom you — the Mubaraks, the Saudi Royal family — most fear: We’re on the side of your own people.”
Woolsey, who served as CIA director under President Bill Clinton, was taking part in a “teach-in” at UCLA, a series of such forums at universities across the nation.
Hey, if I knew that they were saying that kind of stuff at “teach-ins” I’d have been a lot more enthusiastic about ‘em.
YPSILANTI — WEMU-FM host Terry Hughes, known on the air as “Thayrone,” was fired from the Eastern Michigan University public radio station Wednesday for repeatedly expressing his views about the war in Iraq, and refusing to run NPR news during his Sunday night music program “The Bone Conduction Show.”
Hughes was fired by station manager Art Timko.
“Art said he was ‘tired of the fight,’ trying to get me to run news on the show and not have an opinion,” Hughes said. In between the vintage Detroit R&B and soul music he plays, Hughes has been talking up the war in Iraq, expressing his support for the troops and for President Bush, and denigrating National Public Radio.
The WEMU station manager admitted: “Thayrone has always been opinionated. But most of what he had opinions about was not controversial. This time, it was.”
But I thought dissent was, you know, patriotic.
PERRY DEHAVILLAND THINKS THAT TURKEY HAS CREATED THE KURDISH PROBLEM IT FEARS by not supporting the United States in Iraq. Since we couldn’t send troops through Turkey en masse, we’ve used irregulars and Kurds. Now the Kurds will be feeling their oats, and there won’t be a lot of American troops in the area to restrain them.
GO READ LILEKS. Now. I’ll be here when you get back.
DAN KENNEDY WRITES THAT PETER ARNETT IS INSINCERE EVEN WHEN HE GROVELS:
Obviously Arnett didn’t mean a thing that he said when he apologized yesterday. One wonders what else he has said that he didn’t mean.
One really wonders if Arnett is a mole tasked with destroying the credibility of anti-American journalism. Note that he’s now burrowing from within at The Mirror . . .
JOHN SCALZI says that if you don’t know the Marines kill people, you’re too damned stupid to be a conscientious objector.
KENNETH SILBER WRITES:
It is sometimes suggested that “you can’t kill an idea.” But actually some ideas can be killed—literally, on the battlefield. In particular, ideologies that glorify military conflict tend to fare poorly after their exponents suffer crushing military defeat. And this bodes well for the aftermath of the Iraq war, as well as for the broader war against terrorism.
Political ideologies can be divided, roughly, between those that believe “might makes right” and those that do not. Nazism, Fascism and Japanese militarism all were in the former category; each extolled its own military prowess and saw it as an indicator of racial or national superiority. Hence, losing World War II took away not only the institutions and resources of these might-makes-right ideologies but also their intellectual legitimacy. Their claims to superior power were refuted by Soviet tanks in Berlin, American planes over Japan, and so on.
Guess which category Saddam fall into. Osama, too. Read the whole thing.
IN THE PAST MONTH OR SO, 21 European tourists have disappeared in southern Algeria. Maybe somebody ought to take a close look at what’s going on there.
SYRIA APPEARS TO HAVE CHOSEN UNWISELY.
THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT IS BECOMING THE BUTT OF JOKES.
DE GENOVA UPDATE: Apparently, Columbia alumni are upset:
Some alumni donors are pressuring the president’s office and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations to fire Professor Nicholas De Genova for statements he made in last week’s anti-war teach-in.
In the past few days, donors have barraged the offices with emails and phone calls, informing the University that they feel that De Genova overstepped the limits of academic free speech.
In mass-mailed email messages circulated among each other, alumni have urged each other to issue an ultimatum to the University: Fire De Genova or lose our donations. . . .
CC alumnus Steve Stuart wrote an email a few days ago to over 100 alumni–whose combined “net worth,” he said, is at least $250 million–asking them to express outrage to University President Lee Bollinger.
Frank Cicero, CC ’92 and Senior Vice President of Investment Banking at Lehman Brothers, told Bollinger that he felt De Genova’s presence on campus “pollutes the educational atmosphere.”
That “pollution” may compel Cicero to stop contributing to the University.
“In the past, I believed that it was naive and in bad taste for alumni to withhold gifts because of the political opinions of faculty members,” Cicero said in his email to Bollinger. “However, I am now considering doing just that in response to the vile and mendacious comments made by De Genova.”
I don’t think that De Genova should be fired, even for vile comments — though it’s certainly okay for alumni to withhold their contributions if they choose, as it’s their money — but I can’t help but feel that a faculty member who called for “a million Matthew Shepards” would already be gone.
READER GEOFF MATTHEWS notes that Canadian support for the United States is growing:
Support for the U.S.-led war in Iraq is surging in Calgary and across the province, with three-quarters of Albertans in favour of Canada joining the fight, according to a new poll.
However, despite growing support for the war in Alberta and across the country, the Chretien government is standing firm on its decision to keep Canada out of the conflict.
“The (federal) government really blew it by looking at short-term polls (saying Canadians were against the war),” said pollster Faron Ellis of JMCK Polling.
“You’re now seeing a shift everywhere, outside of Quebec, in favour of the war — and Alberta is leading the edge of that shift.”
ACCORDING TO THIS PEW STUDY 4 percent of Americans are getting their news from weblogs.
UPDATE: Er, that’s 4 percent of Internet users, not “Americans.” Sorry; I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote it that way.
POWERLINE NOTES that the New York Times has admitted two serious errors that just happened to form the core of the last week’s antiwar spin.
But unlike blogs, they’ve got editors!
BEN DOMENECH has numerous observations on the war and the domestic scene. Check ‘em out.
AJAF, Iraq — An enthusiastic welcome for US forces in Najaf turned jubilant yesterday, as several thousand Iraqis braved sporadic firefights for what one special forces officer described as ”the Macy’s Day parade,” applauding a US patrol that pushed close to a religious shrine at the center of the city. . . .
In the midst of the fighting, a US patrol approached Ali’s tomb, attempting to contact local clerics, but were met instead by a crowd. Lieutenant Colonel Chris Hughes, a battalion commander in the First Brigade, said: ”We waited about an hour and a half, and the hair on the back of my neck began to stand up. The crowd got bigger and bigger, so we pulled back out. But it was like the liberation of Paris.”
I wonder if it has anything to do with the pro-US fatwa mentioned below.
Jay Fitzgerald, who sent the link, wonders if they’ll be showing these scenes — and making that comparison — in Quebec and France.
I’VE WONDERED IF SADDAM’S INCREASINGLY RELIGIOUS RAVINGS WILL DISCREDIT RADICAL ISLAM. It can’t help. Meanwhile, there’s this.
LONDON (Reuters) – An Iraqi Shi’ite Muslim leader has urged Iraqis not to hinder U.S. invading forces after previously asking them to resist efforts to topple President Saddam Hussein, a Shi’ite group in the UK said on Thursday.
In a religious ruling, or fatwa, Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani urged Iraqis to stop fighting in and around the Shi’ite holy shrine of Najaf, the Al Khoei foundation in London told Reuters.
Grand ayatollahs are the highest authorities in Shi’ite Islam and Sistani is the only one in Iraq. The fatwa applies nationwide.
“Until now the Shias of Iraq and the followers of Sistani were confused on whether to take up arms against the Americans, whether to fight,” said a spokesman for the foundation, which represents followers of Sistani.
“This is reassuring to everyone. The regime wanted to portray the Shias of Iraq and Sistani as supporting him (Saddam).”
Sistani is the supreme religious authority at the al-Hawza al-Ilmiyya theological school in Najaf and had been under house arrest on President Saddam Hussein’s orders.
This was the first fatwa Sistani has issued since his house arrest was recently lifted, the spokesman said, and it was expected to prompt fighters inside the holy shrine of Najaf to give themselves up within a couple of hours.
I wonder if we’ll see more pronouncements like this.
KIM JONG IL HASN’T BEEN SEEN IN PUBLIC FOR DAYS. Apparently, it’s because he’s started blogging.
Yep, that would explain it.
DOUG INSTALAWYER WEINSTEIN REPORTS:
We just had a roving pro-USA rally come by my office here in Knoxville. Probably 75 to 100 people, waving american flags, boisterously shouting “USA, USA!” They came up the block from the Duncan Federal Building, turned left on Main Avenue, and were still yelling when I lost sight of ‘em.
There should be more pix — taken, like the one above, from his office window — up on his site shortly.
UPDATE: He’s emailed me a bunch of much better pix that will be up on his site soon. Here’s one, though, that shows the crowd pretty well — much bigger than the one above makes it seem.
ANOTHER UPDATE: I’ve replaced the lame original picture with a new one, above.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader at the Knoxville paper emails:
Our reporter on the scene of the pro-USA rally said estimates were about 1,000.
Wow. It sure looks like more than 75-100 in the pictures.
HOW BOGUS IS MARC HEROLD’S “IRAQI BODY COUNT PROJECT?” About as bogus as you’d expect, I guess, considering his track record with Afghanistan. Today he comes in for an Oxonian slap, as OxBlog points out that he’s claiming more civilian deaths than the Iraqi government is. And that’s his “minimum” count.
But read the whole thing, which makes clear just how shoddy and biased his methodology is.
EUGENE VOLOKH is slamming the Intercollegiate Studies Institute for selective quotation in its “Polly Awards,” which are supposed to be aimed at left-wing excesses on campuses.
His example seems pretty damning.
THE IRAQIS HAVE FINALLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO SLOW THE AMERICAN ADVANCE:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraqi deserters and civilians are flooding out of Baghdad by the busload on Thursday and surrendering to U.S. forces advancing on the Iraqi capital, said a U.S. television reporter traveling with Marines. “There are so many people on the road now that it’s impossible to further conduct military operations and so our unit has stopped now and set up a hasty prisoner of war compound,” said ABC correspondent Mike Cerre. . . .
“What is stopping us now is the flood of deserters and civilians, on buses, trucks, taxicabs and whatever they can catch a ride on, trying to make their way south to their families or American forces to surrender” he said.
No doubt it’s really a clever ruse.
ANTI-AMERICANISM IS COSTING THE MIRROR CIRCULATION:
Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan has admitted the paper’s resolutely anti-war stance could lead to sales falling below 2 million for the first time in over 70 years.
Tim Blair has more. Didn’t the circulation drop start about the time they hired John Pilger?
ANOTHER UPDATE: Eddie Vedder, meanwhile, is finding that anti-Bush theatrics turn off fans:
Incensed fans walked out of Pearl Jam’s concert Tuesday after lead singer Eddie Vedder impaled a mask of President Bush on a microphone stand, then slammed it to the stage.
Most of Vedder’s antiwar remarks earlier in the Pepsi Center show were greeted with mixed cheers and scattered boos. But dozens of angry fans walked out during the encore because of the macabre display with the Bush mask, which he wore for the song Bushleaguer, a Bush- taunting song from the band’s latest album, Riot Act.
“When he was sharing his political views in a fairly benign manner – supporting our troops, opposing policy – that’s OK,” said Keith Zimmerman, of Denver.
“When he takes what looks like the head of George Bush on a stick, then throws it to the stage and stomps on it, that’s just unacceptable. I love Pearl Jam, but that was just way over the edge. We literally got up and left.”
Of course, when I read this my first reaction was “Pearl Jam is still together? Who knew?”
SYRIA LEARNS THAT IT’S EXPENSIVE — sometimes literally — to cross the United States:
ABU DHABI — U.S. special operations forces are said to have blown up an Iraqi pipeline that delivered more than 200,000 barrels of oil a day to Syria.
The Kuwaiti Al Rai Al Aam daily reported on Wednesday that U.S. forces sabotaged the Iraqi oil pipeline to Syria last week in an operation in northwestern Iraq. The newspaper quoted U.S. sources as saying the forces also blew up a railroad link between Iraq and Syria.
Until the start of the U.S.-led war against Iraq, Syria obtained 250,000 barrels of oil per day through two pipelines that stemmed from the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, Middle East Newsline reported. One pipeline reached the Syrian port of Banyas for export. The other provided oil directly to the Syrian national energy grid.
This is the wartime equivalent of a polite note. Let’s hope they get the message.
HUMAN SHIELDS SAY THAT IRAQI CLAIMS ARE LIES:
THE US military says an Iraqi claim that buses carrying human shields had been bombed has proved to be false.
Iraqi Information Minister Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf yesterday said several people were wounded when a US warplane attacked two Iraqi buses carrying the volunteers. . . .
In Amman yesterday, volunteers arriving from Iraq in a road convoy denied coming under US attack.
“We saw damaged vehicles on the side of the road that were hit, but we did not witness any bombardment,” American Scott Kerr said.
The 27-year-old, from Chicago, was among a group of 14 peace activists from the United States, Britain, Canada, Ireland and South Korea who drove out of Baghdad in a convoy of three mini-buses.
The whole “human shield” thing has been kind of a bust for the Iraqis, really. It’s almost as if they were set up from the beginning.
MY COMMENTS ABOUT SADDAM’S LIKELY DEMISE have apparently struck a nerve at the Iraqi Information Ministry, which claims to have graphic proof that I’m wrong.
I don’t think that this will convince many people, though. . . .
THE FILIBUSTER looks like a slam-dunk winner in the “best lefty group-blog” category. And I’m finding it the most interesting lefty blog period, at the moment. Plus, they’re on top of the De Genova story like nobody else.
READ THIS POST entitled “Where do they get young men like this?” if you haven’t already.
SOME INTERESTING OBSERVATIONS on traffic at both Big Media sites and weblogs, from The Wall Street Journal. Today’s InstaPundit traffic (about 160,000 pageviews as I write this) is the highest since the beginning of the ground war. It’s not surprising that more people are tuning in again now that there’s more actual news.
THE AXIS OF WEASELS IMPLODES?
BERLIN – German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Wednesday he hoped Saddam Hussein’s government would collapse quickly, marking a stark turnaround from Germany’s previous opposition to regime change as a goal of the U.S.-led war.
As a reader notes, this is about as useful — and about as obviously self-interested — as the Soviet Union’s belated declaration of war on Japan, in the summer of 1945. But it certainly leaves Jacques Chirac in an embarrassing position — though France is doing its best to pretend that it always opposed Saddam, too, really.
This is a major diplomatic defeat for Chirac and Schroeder, no matter how you spin it. What’s more Jacques Delors is praising Tony Blair, and taking shots at Chirac now. Heh.
UPDATE: Tabula Rasa says this is evidence that Germany’s stance was always an opportunistic, not a principled one. Yeah.
Meanwhile Megan McArdle wonders what Chirac was thinking.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Here’s the Soviet Declaration of War on Japan, dated August 8, 1945 — after the Hiroshima bomb was dropped.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: A number of readers think I’m being unfair to the Soviets here. (Note: no one has emailed to say I’m unfair to the Germans!) Reader Jim Ingram writes:
The timing of the Soviet declaration of war on Japan was in accordance with the Yalta Agreement which specified that the USSR would enter the war with Japan three months after the conclusion of the war in Europe. Germany surrendered May 8, 1945. Of course, Stalin was an opportunist when it came to keeping agreements as well as breaking them. This last minute declaration enabled the Russians to make a grab for some disputed islands between Russia and Japan at essentially no cost to themselves.
Biting criticism of the (German) Chancellor
German Chancellor Schroeder, with his peace initiative “betrayed the UN”. The 69 year old publisher of the “Tagespiegel in Berlin who had been the Cultural editor of Der Spiegel Magazine for decades said: “This war must now be ended in the favor of the Americans.”
The present war ” will prevent future and more tragic wars”, he declared. It was a mistake even during the first Gulf war in 1991 not to go after regime change then.
Karasek explained his reasoning towards the USA policy as follows: The Americans were those that built the Germany in which I like to live.” That alone is enough for me to support the USA.
STILL MORE: Brian Micklethwait reminds Megan McArdle that all politics is local.
FROM THE APPARENTLY NEVER-ENDING JOURNALISTIC IRONY SERIES: People are asking “how can you trust blogs when they’re not Big Media?” After yesterday’s fake-broadcast example, we now have a much more serious faked-photograph incident at the Los Angeles Times in which a photographer merged two photos to produce a dramatic — and deceptive — composite image that made it looks as if a coalition soldier was threatening a refugee and child. For shame.
Then, of course, there’s this.
UPDATE: Dale Wetzel sends this link describing how a sharp-eyed Hartford Courant editor caught the fabrication.
HERE’S SOME SATELLITE IMAGERY OF BAGHDAD and related areas, dated yesterday, courtesy of Space Imaging Eurasia. (The item above, cropped from the “Republican Palace” photo, is used with their kind permission.):
Overview of City with Smoke Plumes – 4-meter resolution (4MB)
Republican Palace – 1-meter resolution (1.4MB)
Dawrah area – 1-meter resolution (1.6MB)
Area South of Shaab Stadium – 1-meter resolution (2.7MB)
Abu Ghurayb Palace – 1-meter resolution (2.6MB)
North Baghdad – 1-meter resolution (1 MB)
Saddam International Airport – 1-meter resolution (3 MB)
Pretty cool stuff. Two points. First, only spy agencies had access to this quality imagery last time around. And second, note how much of Baghdad is intact, and how precise the bombing is. This is a useful antidote to Iraqi propaganda and to “peace” activists’ hopeful fantasies of mass destruction due to U.S. bombing.
UPDATE: Reader Gerald Hanner emails:
Saddam International Airport – 1-meter resolution (3 MB)”
Yep. Pretty nifty. Note all the small craters on the runway and taxiways. Neither the runway nor the parallel taxiway is useable, the high-speed taxiways are also punched up a bit. The south end of the runway indicates that it is RWY 33 Right; I wonder where 33 Left is. Also note that AN-Whateveritis parked all by its lonesome.
Meanwhile another reader notes:
Great pictures! Thanks for posting them. Most of the smoke plumes seem to be from the trenches filled with burning oil, not from air strikes.
Yeah, I noticed that.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Daniel Altchek emails:
One other thing about those pictures (of Baghdad at least) – a lot of cars on the roads, don’t you think? Assuming those are civilians – real civilians, I mean – it kind of seems like they are not too worried about indiscriminate American bombing.
Indeed. And sharp-eyed reader Brian Messer notes:
The south end of the taxiway for 33L is near the lower left corner of the picture –and it’s beat all to hell, too. Wonder if we left enough of that access road to the right of the taxiway clean so that a C-130 can touch down….
I know how I’m betting.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Ralph Peters quotes Jon Lee Anderson of The New Yorker as calling Baghdad
a landscape of death and wanton devastation, all stamped “Made in America.”
Give it up, dude. This is the Internet — and now we can fact-check your ass from orbit.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Another reader writes that the dark marks on the runways at Saddam Airport are probably objects, not craters. Okay. They looked like craters to me. Meanwhile, if you think my comment above about the “peace” people hoping for civilian casualties was too harsh (not that anyone emailed to say so. . . .) well, read this.
FRENCH-CANADIAN CHILD ABUSE:
MONTREAL — A peewee hockey tournament in Montreal became a trip into hostile territory for a busload of Americans who say they encountered such fierce anti-Americanism that they will think twice before returning.
During a four-day visit, boys travelling with their Massachusetts hockey team witnessed the burning of the Stars and Stripes and the booing of the U.S. national anthem. When travelling in their bus emblazoned with a red-white-and-blue “Coach USA” logo, they saw people on the street who extended their middle fingers or made other angry gestures.
On the ice, the Canadian players told their visiting counterparts that “the U.S. sucks” and dispensed other anti-American insults, the Americans said.
“It was a shock to go to a tournament and have kids saying this to us. These are our friends that are doing this,” Brockton Boxers coach Ernest Nadeau said.
“We didn’t expect Canadian players — especially young boys — would take things to that extreme,” he said in an interview.
The 11- and 12-year-old boys from Brockton, 30 kilometres south of Boston, had been looking forward to the hockey tournament in Montreal. But parents who accompanied them said they were unprepared for the depth of anti-American sentiment over the U.S.-led war against Iraq.
One parent, Bill Carpenter, was so upset he cancelled his family’s vacation to Quebec this summer.
I don’t blame him and I doubt he’ll be the only one.
UPDATE: Here’s more bad news from Canada. A Canadian reader, meanwhile, fears that I’m adding fuel to the fires of animosity between Americans and Canadians. I hope not. I hope I’m calling attention to how Canadians — for years proud of their tradition of civility — have abandoned that in an orgy of anti-Americanism. (Especially, of course, in the French-speaking parts of Canada, which are anti-American and which wield disproportionate influence in Canadian politics, much as the French-speaking parts of, well, France, do in the United Nations. . . .).
At any rate, I doubt that Americans will respond in kind. We’re more bemused and disappointed than furious. It’s like having a nice brother-in-law who suddenly loses touch with reality and starts talking about joining a cult. You don’t hate him. You hope he’ll snap out of it after a while. But you’ll never quite trust him the same way again. And, ultimately, that’s a much bigger loss for Canada than it is for the United States.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Canadian Blogger Mike Campbell says I shouldn’t worry:
I don’t think he’s adding fuel to the fire. The fire’s already going. Let the people who started it stand by their convictions and pay the price. There is a price, people. Let’s hope the political and media elites and the rest of the population are willing to pay it. And let the silent portion, if they are a majority, pay it as a price for keeping silent.
He points out that they’re quite pro-American in Nova Scotia as opposed to Quebec, and suggests that Americans adjust their vacation destinations accordingly.
JUSTIN KATZ WRITES THAT THE DE GENOVA AFFAIR presages a revolution in academia as the outside world begins to notice where its money — and children — are going.
UPDATE: De Genova is afraid to go to class. Sheesh. You talk about Mogadishu, and you’re afraid of undergraduates?
(Via Rand Simberg).
It doesn’t count as “crushing of dissent” when you’re just a loudmouthed wimp.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Maybe this “future Marine” is who De Genova’s scared of — though the reader who noted this article and picture suggests that she looks like Mira Sorvino.
CLEVE-BLOG is Eric Olsen’s new feature for the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s site. Currently, he’s exploring anti-semitism at Oberlin.
GERMAN AND FRENCH RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WAR: Jeff Jarvis notes:
Below, I linked to an amazing story in Die Zeit quoting U.N. arms inspectors saying that German (and French, Russian, and Chinese) refusal to back military force in the U.N. defanged and doomed their effort and made war inevitable. Mind you, this comes from U.N. arms inspectors.
I wasn’t sure I had translated it correctly (if only I’d paid more attention in Frau T’s class!). So I went to my good blog friend Thomas Nephew, who translated the whole thing, and now it’s even clearer that this is an important piece of reporting — all the more amazing for coming from a German paper.
Read it, and then read this. As Jarvis notes:
History will judge every party in this war and whether they like it or not, Germany, France, Russia, and China are parties to this war.
It would not have harmed them to send a token gaggle of soldiers to the Mideast — just a few clerks without guns, even — to show united resolve to truly disarm Saddam. But by standing on some skewed sense of principle (Saddam over Bush, tyranny over democracy, Iraq over the U.S.), they made the disarmament they said they wanted impossible to reach, they made war inevitable.
Indeed, they did. And we should be sure they pay a price for that.
THEY’RE NOT PEACE PROTESTERS — they’re just on the other side:
Even more, when confronted with a camera. one group of these kids started yelling sentiments along the lines of “We’re all Arab mates!” and “Saddam’s our mate, and we Arabs stick together!”
Stupidity like this just underlines the destructive nature of ethnic separatism in free societies. And the blowback from this explicit endorsement of the enemy is going to be tremendous, especially after last year’s epidemic of gang rapes in western Sydney by Lebanese teens. For all the worries that Muslim “leaders” here have about anti-Islamic and anti-Arab prejudice, they sure don’t seem to be doing a lot to stop their fellow hyphenated Australians (hyphenated by choice, it should be noted) from giving the so-called “majority culture” reason to be suspicious, to say the least.
Funny about that. This shows the damage that anti-assimilationist “multiculturalism” does, by positively encouraging this sort of thing.
A CHALLENGE FOR SADDAM AND OSAMA: Speak this phrase on the air, or I’ll declare you dead.
Heh. I win, either way.
ANOTHER LIBERATION STORY:
The occupying forces, from the First and Second brigades of the 101st Airborne Division, entered from the south and north. They had seized the perimeter of town on Tuesday.
People rushed to greet them today, crying out repeatedly, “Thank you, this is beautiful!”
Two questions dominated a crowd that gathered outside a former ammunition center for the Baath Party. “Will you stay?” asked Kase, a civil engineer who would not give his last name. Another man, Heider, said, “Can you tell me what time Saddam is finished?” . .
Then there’s this:
American troops found that the fleeing Baath Party and paramilitary forces had set up minefields on roads and bridges leading out of the city. Late today an American engineering team was clearing the third of such fields, this one with 30 mines, by detonating them with C4 explosives.
Lt. Col. Duke Deluca, noting that the mines had been made in Italy, said, “Europeans are antiwar, but they are pro-commerce.”
Indeed. (Via Daniel Drezner, who’s on a roll.)
MIRANDA DEVINE WRITES:
The facts of the war emerging from the front-line cacophony demonstrate why war was necessary in the first place. When the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, told the United Nations that Iraq posed a threat in part because of its links to terrorist groups he was ridiculed. It was just a desperate ploy, said the cynics, to draw a link between Saddam and September 11.
So much for the cynics. It is clear now that militant Islamic terrorist mercenaries have been pouring into Iraq for some time, ready for a showdown. There are credible reports that many of these mercenaries have been trained by al-Qaeda, and have bolstered the so-called Saddam fedayeen, death squads run by Saddam’s son Uday.
Australian cameraman Paul Moran, who was buried yesterday in Adelaide, was killed by a suicide bomber since identified as a Saudi national. . . .
But if war against militant Islamic terrorists didn’t happen in Iraq now, it was going to have to happen somewhere, sooner or later. September 11 and Bali are proof enough.
Better to bring it on now, at a time of our choosing, with all the cockroaches gathered for a showdown out in the open in Iraq, rather than cower at home, our economies shrinking, our civilians picked off, our enemies growing stronger, until we finally wake up to the fact that fighting is necessary, and find it’s too late and we are too weak.
(Via Tim Blair).
ARTHUR SILBER WRITES THAT CAPITALISM IS THE SOLUTION TO ETHNIC ANTAGONISM — and that welfare states encourage it. The example of France, I’d say, supports his position.
THE “BOMBED MATERNITY HOSPITAL” STORY ISN’T TRUE, according to this report in The Guardian:
However the British Red Cross denied an earlier report that a Red Crescent maternity hospital had been bombed and at least three doctors and nurses had been wounded.
He said: “A missile struck the building opposite and the blast was so strong that the windows and roof of the hospital were damaged. But no one inside the hospital was injured – the building was evacuated three days ago.
This hasn’t stopped the usual suspects from trying to make a big deal out of it — after all, everyone knows that the coalition would rather blow up maternity hospitals than Saddam Hussein’s bunkers.
IRAQI-AMERICANS WANT TO FIGHT SADDAM HUSSEIN:
The Iraqi National Congress — a London-based umbrella group of various organizations opposing the Baghdad regime — is spearheading a project to assemble a pool of Iraqis to help coalition forces gain the trust of the country’s people.
Emad Alkased of the Iraqi Youth Reunion — an educational group that wants to rebuild a post-Saddam Iraq — has been leading a recruiting drive in Dearborn, which has the largest ethnic Iraqi community of any U.S. city.
The drive is part of an all-out appeal to Iraqi-Americans who want to return to their homeland to help the U.S.-led coalition topple the dictatorship.
“I don’t want American people to die for my country — I want me to be the first one,” Alkased said. “I appreciate what American people are doing for my country, but I don’t want them to spend their blood. I am ready to spend blood for my country.”
Somebody needs to fill this guy in on Patton’s approach, though I appreciate the sentiment. I wonder why we didn’t try to organize something like this earlier?
WHAT’S GOING ON INSIDE THE IRAQI HIGH COMMAND? Austin Bay uses his imagination.
Meanwhile Jonathan Last Fisks the foreign press at CentCom, employing the brutal technique of reprinting some of their questions, verbatim. Conclusion:
On the one hand, it’s frightening to realize that the global media operate on a professional level roughly equivalent to a bad college paper. But on the other hand, it’s a little bit liberating: After all, with press like this, no wonder the rest of the world hates us–America really is besieged by a vast, left-wing conspiracy.
But not a terribly bright one.
UPDATE: A reader emails: “As my father would say, it’s more of a half-vast left-wing conspiracy.”
MATT WELCH IS ALL OVER THE “PATRIOT II” ACT. I think he’s right to be.
As this item by Dan Gillmor indicates — and as the absurd use of the Patriot Act against PayPal over online casinos underscores, the Justice Department hasn’t demonstrated that it’s ready to handle any additional powers.
I’d feel better, it’s true, if Randy Barnett were Attorney General. But I’d still oppose this stuff. The best way to stop terrorism is to kill terrorists, and stop the states that support them. And we’re doing that. This other stuff looks more like a bureaucratic power-grab than a national-security necessity.
CHRIS RANGEL, MD is now running a spanish-language medical blog.
OKAY, I’m really not following the Michigan affirmative action case. But this piece by an Indiana University law student says that IU’s amicus brief is seriously misleading about IU’s affirmative action policy. That’s regrettable, if so, but it wouldn’t be terribly surprising. The big problem with affirmative action is that it has never been sold honestly to the public, and it’s unlikely that the honesty is going to start now.
THE INDISPENSABLE AFRICAPUNDIT notes that a French human rights group is objecting to ever-closer ties between the Chirac government and Libya.
Is there a terrorist group that Chirac isn’t sucking up to? Why you’d almost think he was trying to wage a proxy war against the United States.
That would be unbelievably stupid and self-destructive, which makes me fear it may well become French policy.
WHY AM I NOT SURPRISED? The Environmental Liberation Front is siding with Saddam. Well, he is an endangered species. . . .