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Monthly Archives: July 2002

Gulf War 1.5

July 9th, 2002 - 9:28 am

Lorenzo Cortes has his own thoughts on what it will take to remove Saddam.

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July 9th, 2002 - 1:24 am

Ralph Peters is not only one of the smartest guys around, he

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Horton Hatches a Policy

July 9th, 2002 - 1:21 am

Still doubt that W meant what he said and said what he meant? From today’s Jerusalem Post:

US President George W. Bush yesterday reiterated his backing for Israel’s re-occupation of Palestinian towns until the general security situation improves. “I said in my (June 24 Middle East) speech as security improves, I also will call upon the Israelis as security improves to allow for more freedom of movement by the Palestinian people,” Bush told reporters at a late-day White House news conference, which he used to urge Congress to wrap up unfinished legislative business before the August recess.

Asked again if he is perfectly comfortable with Israel’s presence in the West Bank, Bush said: “I would hope that everybody got the message that we all have the responsibility to fight off terrorist attacks, yeah.”

Say what you will about Bush (you know I have), but the guy won’t let Israel down.

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Geek Love/Link Fest

July 9th, 2002 - 1:14 am

Joe Katzman is on a roll again. Or still on a roll. Or adding unsalted Dutch butter to a really fine San Francisco sourdough roll. Or something.

Anyway, he has two posts worth your attention today. In the first, he looks at why we might want to help our Iranian friends before tackling our enemies in Iraq.

Hmm — where might you have read that before? I’ve long since given up promoting my Iran First idea, but that hardly makes it worthless. I’m just glad to see that someone knowledgeable as Joe agrees.

In his second piece, Katzman argues that everywhere the Army needs to go, the Marines have already been. And he doesn’t mean Basra.

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A Little V&V

July 9th, 2002 - 12:53 am

Please, read this Lawrence Henry column. It’s not often I endorse every word someone writes (give me enough time, I’ll disown most of my own blogspring), but his column today is classic stuff.

Any of us ordinary folks would be horrified actually to have to be Steven Spielberg or Rosie O’Donnell or Howard Fineman or Christiane Amanpour twenty-fours a day, seven days a week. And most of the time, what most of us want to say to the whole sodding bunch of them, politicians, celebrities, commentators, newsies, and all, is this:

Shut up. Go away. Take a hike. Give it a rest.

Sound like something you might read here? Damn right. So check it out there and report back here.

NOTE: Only the very most alert readers will understand the headline reference. Just a little something to make you feel like an insider amongst all the new readers.

You’re welcome.

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Just Skip the Last Two Grafs

July 9th, 2002 - 12:42 am

Thomas Sowell has another one of his reliably cute Random Thoughts columns up on JWR. My favorite:

It is self-destructive for any society to create a situation where a baby who is born into the world today automatically has pre-existing grievances against another baby born at the same time, because of what their ancestors did centuries ago. It is hard enough to solve our own problems, without trying to solve our ancestors’ problems.

If there’s any theme to human history, it’s simply that human history is never, never, ever satisfying.

The genius of ancient Athens is snuffed out due to its own hubris. Rome fails to civilize the dark heart of Germany. Africa, the birthplace of Man, fails to progress much past the nursery. The God of the world’s three great monotheistic religions often turns out to be a blood thirsty bastard. Three million farmers defeat a world’s mightiest empire, turn a philosophical revolution into political art — and then millions more of their descendants try their best to piss it all away.

And that’s the danger of combing Random Thoughts with a Mandarin Martini — it can lead to wistful, useless, and embarassingly public pontificating.

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More Required Reading

July 9th, 2002 - 12:25 am

New David Warren. Need I say more?

Well, OK — here’s a taste:

It is hardly being reported, but there are currently daily skirmishes over the “exclusion zones” in northern and southern Iraq. Planes from the U.S. and Britain have stepped up missions considerably, and their purpose seems to be to gain intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s military dispositions.

In addition, the U.S. has established a substantial special forces presence in eastern Jordan near the border with Iraq — close to the principal concentration of Iraqi Scud missiles (aimed probably at Israel). This U.S. deployment has been fairly obvious; it is designed to force Saddam to show his hand, by moving his own western defences in response to the threat.

Jordan? Really? I have it on good authority that Jordan has (for reasons of survival) long played on both sides of the terrorist fence (Worst. Metaphor. Ever.), but this kind of cooperation with the US is new, and, if true, very, very big news.

There’s a fine highway that runs from Amman to Baghdad. For the last ten years, refugess and oil-smuggling tanker trucks have run west across that road.

How about 3rd ACR take that road east?

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Turn Your Head and Coughlin

July 9th, 2002 - 12:16 am

Nick Kristof gets another by today. He goes a bit too far, but he makes a good case.

Since 9/11, appalling hate speech about Islam has circulated in the U.S. on talk radio, on the Internet and in particular among conservative Christian pastors

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Less Preachy Than M*A*S*H

July 9th, 2002 - 12:12 am

Palestinian official and Brookings Insitution scholar Khalil Shikaki admits on today’s NYT op-ed page that democracy might just be a good thing for his people.

For the terminally clueless, let’s go over the historical record here, in an easy-to-read (and mercifully short) graph.

Republican or Representative Democracy = Every place you’d like to raise children.

Any Other Form of Government = Every other shithole on the planet.

Did I miss anything?

Oh, yeah — Khalil says that Arafat might have to “give up some power” in a new parliamentary arrangement.

(Cue laughter.)

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Pissing Contest Redux

July 9th, 2002 - 12:04 am

June 9 - July 9.jpgWe’re still not doing InstaPundit supersize fries business here, kids, but that never was a realistic goal.

But. . . wow. It’s been a killer week, thanks to you. I figured last Monday’s big surge was due to Reynolds’ fans needing a hit of something while he was gone — and that just might be the case.

But. . . wow. You came back for more, even after I took a long weekend.

More than 5,300 visits today, adding up to over 9,000 page views.

Gluttons that you are, you’re still sticking around for over 3.5 minutes each. Sickos.

I can’t explain it, and I’m not going to try. I just wanted to say thanks.

Oh, and also to warn you that, for good or ill, nothing much is going to change around here.

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It’s an Honor Just Not to be Nominated

July 8th, 2002 - 10:47 pm

Found this one on Horologium.

The Guardian reads American blogs, and even lists their favorites. Don’t be surprised to read that none of the usual suspects (Reynolds, Sullivan, Den Beste, Galt, etc.) were listed.

Despite listing almost exclusively from the left-liberal end of the spectrum, the Guardian did show the good taste to liste Blogatelle, the site owned & operated by my very own Web Administratrix, Stacy Tabb.

You’re a hit with loony Brits, babe!

NOTE: Seriously, I respect the hell out of the Guardian for this one thing. Yeah, they’re Old Media, and yeah, they’re less together than King George III in an orchard, but they get blogging.

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What’s That Sound?

July 8th, 2002 - 5:59 pm

Here’s a pretty damn good war story found on One Hand Clapping.

Ever hear of a US Army officer winning the Silver Star and getting a reprimand for the same battle? Me, either.

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Harshing Someone’s Mellow

July 8th, 2002 - 5:56 pm

Mike Hendrix, suspected traitor and known idiot journalist wanna-be, replies with his usual cold fury to A.C. Douglas’ silliness.

Check it out — and understand why I read Cold Fury every day.

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Light, Sweet Revenge

July 8th, 2002 - 5:02 pm

Bill Quick caught this one from Nigeria:

The Federal Government may have come under pressure from within and outside, to pull the country out of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

From within, comes pressures from oil producing companies unhappy over the fate of their multi-billion dollar investments in crude oil exploration projects in the face of the hurdle posed by OPEC production quota allocation to its member-nations.

From outside is the pressure from the United States of America, which is trying to promote what officials have described as a “US-Nigeria Alignment” that will see Nigeria top the chart in oil export to the US.

Now that’s what I call an alternate energy source.

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The Last Detail

July 8th, 2002 - 4:33 pm

H.D. Miller gets the last word on soccer.

Everyone knows that the spectacle of a 300 pound, defensive end, hepped-up on pain-killers and anabolic steriods, bearing down on a multi-million dollar quarterback’s blindside at a 4.4, 40-yard pace, with malice in his heart, is infinitly more entertaining than watching some wussified midfielder trip over his own feet and feign an injury in the hopes of getting a free kick. There should be a congressional investigation into the negitive effects of soccer on the youth of America. The sport teaches the worst sorts of values: always pretend you’re hurt, someone may notice; always tattle on your opponents, they may get punished; always complain about the weather and the fans, it’ll give you an excuse if you lose. The rest of the world should follow our example and make it mandatory that boys quit playing soccer as soon as girls are no longer able to compete on an equal basis, about age 13. Few American boys play soccer past age 13, and soccer is the quintessential tomboy’s sport. Look at how American women have dominated the sport internationally.

Really, that’s the last word — I’m disabling the comments on this post. Nothing more need be said.

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We don’t have all the facts in, but I’ve watched the video and this just can’t be good.

Attention, police! We have you surrounded. There is no escape. Release the hostages, and we’ll make sure you don’t get hurt.

Fools. They still seem to think batons are mightier than camcorders.

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Let Them Read Cake

July 8th, 2002 - 2:29 pm

Bush, Arafat, the Middle East — and Pejman Yousefzadeh.

A pretty damn fine column over at TCS.

If TCS keeps buying all the good original content off the blogosphere, what will we be left with? Oh, yeah — naughty words and sex talk.

Cool.

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Aw Hell

July 8th, 2002 - 2:13 pm

Whenever there’s a call in Europe for a “strong leader” or a “powerful president,” know that we could be in for some rough times in a few years.

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Silver Linings and Whatnot

July 8th, 2002 - 1:55 pm

How did I miss this one?

Authorities are investigating whether Hesham Mohammed Hadayet, the Egyptian who gunned down two people at Los Angeles International Airport last Thursday, met in the United States with Osama bin Laden’s deputy, an Arabic paper reported at the weekend.

Sure, Sully may be onto something, arguing that Hadayet was America’s first suicide bomber. That could very well be the start of a very scary trend.

But let’s look at the bright side for a moment. If Hadayet was working for or with al Qaeda, and shooting up a ticket counter was the best they could manage — well, then I’d say we’ve hurt them, and badly.

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Pride and Joy and Bad Salemanship

July 8th, 2002 - 1:48 pm

Hey, VP made DayPop’s Top 40 this afternoon — and I think that’s a first.

While the information contained in my Iraq essay quite possibly broke several laws concerning classified material, providing aid and comfort to the enemy, and proper easement zoning, it certainly started a lot of conversation.

Not that I’m trying to drop any hints to anyone.

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Treason for Fun & Profit

July 8th, 2002 - 1:27 pm

Here are a few more military secrets I’m willing to share with Saddam Hussein:

The US Army has many fine Main Battle Tanks.

They can offload from RO/RO ships in a big ol’ hurry.

They don’t carry enough gas to reach Baghdad, but we have fuel trucks, too.

Some of our airplanes have very smart bombs.

Our airplanes are the ones with the five-pointed stars on them.

You’ll see lots of activity at various US ports a few weeks before we invade your ass.

Oh, look for rail activity in eastern Turkey, too.

Your days are numbered, boy-o.

Right up there with the Pentagon Papers, wouldn’t you agree?

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Name that Battle

July 8th, 2002 - 1:17 pm

Peter Stanley — no, not that Peter Stanley, I don’t think — writes in:

OK, so “Gulf War II” is a misnomer. What shall we call it?

How about “The Stunted Nephew of All Battles.” Has a nice ring to it, don’t
you think?

Or The Retarded Step-Child of All Battles?

Duh-Day?

Miller Time?

Really, the possibilities are endless. What’ve you got?

UPDATE: So far, Bill in Boston is leading the pack with “Desert Storm II – Electric Boogaloo.”

I’d considered and discarded “Desert Storm II – The Wrath of Khan” when I first wrote the post. Now I know why.

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Troll Bait?

July 8th, 2002 - 1:01 pm

A.C. Douglas says that Mike Hendrix and I are both schmucks. He’s wrong, of course.

Some Schmuck Blogger, playing Major-league, Scoop-’em-all, Real Journalist, has just posted a private communication (an eMail) that could very well be a legit piece of critical logistical information that could accurately telegraph to this country’s enemies a major move by our military (no, they’ll be no links in this squib, and no further details), and another blogger, with a fairly large readership, not only congratulated the schmuck, but linked to the post in question — which I guess makes him a schmuck as well.

Haven’t these schmucks heard we’re at war?

Idiots.

Reporting classified Pentagon material is certainly illegal and possibly treasonous. But sharing anecdotal civilian information that’s freely available is nothing but pure speculation — and something the other side is already doing, and with better sources.

Lighten up, A.C.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention — yes, I added the hyperlinks to A.C.’s stuff. Information wants to be free, ya dig?

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Dream Cars

July 8th, 2002 - 12:46 pm

Great American cars, from CNN Money.

1908 Model T Ford
1932 Duesenberg SJ
1934 Chrysler Airflow
1941 Willys “Jeep” MB
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
1957 Chevrolet Corvette
1959 Cadillac Eldorado
1964 1/2 Ford Mustang
1984 Dodge Caravan Minivan
1984 Jeep Cherokee

I’m partial to the palatial ’59 Eldorado. The size of a speedboat, but with more horsepower — and a ragtop. And did I mention the chrome?

But the nagging question is, why the hell does the list include a minivan?

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More Bad Salesmanship

July 8th, 2002 - 12:22 pm

Yes, I did scribe a scathing reply to the latest World Wildlife Fund nonsense. But I liked it so much, I submitted it first to Nick Schultz at TCS.

OK, so Nick couldn’t use the Iraq piece — but you kids sure are getting some fun out of it today.

Anyway, the WWF column is funnier and even slightly researched, so maybe it’ll find a home at TCS. If not, I promise it’ll be worth waiting to read here.

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I’d Like to Have an Argument

July 8th, 2002 - 11:16 am

Jeralyn Merritt just bought herself a blogroll link with this comment:

We hope VP keeps reading TalkLeft and decides we do deserve a link–like Altercation and Maxspeak have given us. As soon as he does, we’ll buy him a martini or a brew at his pub of choice on his next trip to Denver from his home town of Colorado Springs. And, of course we will set up a nice link to him here.

But, really, Jeralyn, I must still take exception to finding Gore Vidal “interesting.” Week-old spoiled meat might be interesting from a purely biological perspective, but that doesn’t make it Chataeu Briand — or even a White Castle burger.

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It’ll Be Just As Good in Reruns

July 8th, 2002 - 9:58 am

Next July 4, celebrate. . . Canada.

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And You Thought VP Was Harsh?

July 8th, 2002 - 9:53 am

DC Thornton to Michael Jackson:

Stop playing the race card, sell Neverland Ranch, and retire to Branson already.

Yeah, Branson. Vegas is too good for you.

I dunno, DC. Branson is a family destination — think of The Children

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Victory Disease and Then Some

July 8th, 2002 - 9:49 am

Joe Katzman is probably our finest blogger on military big brain stuff. I’m no slouch — but I’m still just an amateur armed with a little knowledge and an especially good operational-level battle simulator. Also, Joe finds stuff I just don’t have the time to look for.

Like this gem about retiring Army Major Don Vandergriff, who says the Army is broken — and who says he knows how to fix it.

** A personnel system that accords a higher priority to the careers of individual soldiers than to the needs of their units or the Army.

** A zero-defect culture that inhibits trust between leaders and led, resulting in commanders who are afraid to take risks on the battlefield or to speak unpleasant truths off it.

** A doctrine that Vandergriff says pays lip service to maneuver warfare, but in reality promotes attrition warfare, as evidenced by the many battles at NTC that become virtual slugfests between the training unit and the resident Opposing Force.

** War-fighting proficiency that is far lower than it should be because units are not kept together long enough for their squads, platoons, companies and leadership teams to achieve cohesion; inexperienced leaders inhibited by a zero-defect culture don

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Pot Calling the Kettle Pasty

July 8th, 2002 - 9:33 am

When Al Sharpton is shocked, you know you’ve gone too far, Michael.

Then again, Reverend Al never did have a thing for white women.

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