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Monthly Archives: September 2002

One Deal at a Time, Sweet Jeebus

September 26th, 2002 - 10:28 am

Al Barger deconstructs that gawdawful Christy Lane CD ad you can’t escape on the on the news channels.

Now, if Christy Lake came out with an album. . .

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September 26th, 2002 - 10:23 am


Hesiod writes:

Is the United States seriously pursuing the exile option, or are we only using it a psychological gambit to prevent Saddam from using his stores of chemical and biological weapons?

As I learned last year while Christmas shopping with my bride, the answer to most either/or questions is “yes,” Hesiod.

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Never the Twain Shall Meet

September 26th, 2002 - 10:19 am

I usually enjoy the hell out of Jonah Goldberg’s stuff, but he sure stepped in it this time. Arthur Silber explains why.

And did I mention it involves one of my personal heroes? A good Missouri boy, too.

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Was I the Last to Know?

September 26th, 2002 - 12:58 am

Dr. Manhattan has a little Iraq Q&A that made me spill my bedtime cocktail.

Just kidding — I only sloshed it a little. Go read Doc M now, and quit worrying.

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A Moment Away from Politics, Please

September 26th, 2002 - 12:51 am

Congratulations are due to Ben and Caroline.

Many, many years of happiness to the two of you.

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Things You Already Knew Department

September 26th, 2002 - 12:37 am

Well I’ll be a monkey’s great uncle.

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September 26th, 2002 - 12:34 am

Hitch explains why he left The Nation. Well, not in so many words. . .

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The Second

September 26th, 2002 - 12:33 am

I was going to do a little write-up of this John Fund column on Germany in today’s OpinionJournal, but Den Beste already covered the topic in much more detail than Fund.

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Stalingrad on the Tigris?

September 26th, 2002 - 12:29 am

If any Iraqi units put up a fight, it will be Saddam’s personal bodyguard, also known as the Special Republican Guards Baghdad Division. (In Third World nations, long unit names usually means short troop quality. Anyway.)

The problem with city fighting is that too many people die. Too many civilians — either too stupid or scared to leave, or used as human shields by their leaders — too many of your own soldiers, and it’s too hard to surround the bad guys so that you don’t have to kill them.

But we’re working on it.

NOTE: Did I say “bad guys?” Sorry if I offended any tender sensibilities.

Or not.

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The First

September 26th, 2002 - 12:18 am

Been avoiding OpinionJournal lately. Just haven’t had the time. Been missing out. Here’s Pete du Pont on what the last two weeks have really meant:

This month we’ve witnessed the death of two interrelated U.S. foreign-policy doctrines: containment and United Nations multilateralism. Containment was born of the need to limit Soviet expansion. Multilateralism came from the belief that individual nation-states should never again be allowed–as Germany did twice in the last century–to shatter global security.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush has accelerated the demise of these doctrines. He has continually said this nation will not wait to be attacked again. In May he elaborated a more coherent doctrine, one of pre-emption, when he spoke to West Point’s graduating class.

But the president signed the death warrant for containment and multilateralism this past Sept. 12, when he stood before the U.N. and admonished the international, multilateral body for not enforcing its 16 resolutions against Iraq. Any doubt about the death of these doctrines should have been dispelled last week, when Democratic congressional leaders endorsed the spirit of a proposed resolution authorizing the president to use pre-emptive force against Iraq to protect the security of this nation.

Forgive the long extract, but it was needed.

Maybe I’m just biased — du Pont is the only Republican Presidential candidate I ever worked for. Did some doorbell pushing and whatnot during the run-up to the Iowa Caucases back in ’88, and even “managed” “his” “campaign” for Professor Rick Hardy’s famous University of Missouri-Columbia mock election that same spring.

Give a freshman with a skinny tie and a big mouth a podium, and there’s gonna be trouble.

Got off topic there. If du Pont is right, the ramifications probably aren’t as great as he claims, but they’ll certainly be long-lasting, perhaps permanent — or at least as permanent as any new world order ever is.

Hopefully, we’ll go back to having a rambunctious, lucid Congress, willing to engage in real debate, and not act just as a rubber stamp or tiny yapping dog. So our actions abroad might become more unilateral, but certainly not before some serious multilateralism up on the Hill.

As for containment — madmen cannot be contained. And there’s not a rational actor in the world willing to take on the United States. That doctrine didn’t die with Bush’s words; it died along with 3,000 Americans last September.

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Go Deter That Guy on PCP

September 26th, 2002 - 12:06 am

Ken Pollack on non-deterrence:

On the other hand, staking our hopes on a policy of deterrence would cost little now (except a loss of face), but it would run the much greater risk of postponing the day of reckoning to a time of Iraq’s choosing. Given Mr. Hussein’s history of catastrophic miscalculations and his faith that nuclear weapons can deter not him but us, there is every reason to believe that the question is not one of war or no war, but rather war now or war later

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Good Man in a Storm

September 25th, 2002 - 4:09 pm

Calling John McCain a Republican is like accusing Zell Miller of being a Democrat — both are far cooler (and usually much smarter) than their parties.

I don’t agree with Miller’s support for Bush’s patronage staffing for DoHS, but I respect the level head he’s keeping, while Daschle screams and Bush schemes.

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Required Reading

September 25th, 2002 - 3:45 pm

I didn’t get to the new Stanley Kurtz until just now. I hope you haven’t waited this long.

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Yeah, I Did Watch Last Night

September 25th, 2002 - 3:05 pm

Jonah gets Buffy. Cool.

UPDATE: Oh, yeah — there’s some cool, clever stuff about the UN in there, too.

FURTHER UPDATE: My wife would like desktop wallpaper of James “Spike” Marstens.

EVEN FURTHER UPDATE: “Desktop wallpaper” is the kind of mixed GUI metaphor that makes people hate Microsoft.


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Only Click the First and Second Links

September 25th, 2002 - 2:44 pm

Found on A Small Victory.

Well, at least this guy bothers to dress like his favorite superhero.

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Two Losers for the Price of One Non-Scandal

September 25th, 2002 - 2:15 pm

Tom Daschle wants George Bush to apologize for saying, “the Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington and not interested in the security of the American people.”

Daschle claims Bush is trying to “politicize this war. We ought not politicize the rhetoric about war and life and death.”

Well, that’s not quite true. Bush was speaking of Senate inaction on the bill creating a Department of Homeland Security. The rest of Bush’s statement said, “I will not accept a Department of Homeland Security that does not allow this president, and future presidents, to better keep the American people secure.”

Daschle loses points for being a crybaby and misrepresenting what the President said. Bush loses points for using such invective to force action on a bad bill creating a useless, but possibly oppressive, new Federal bureaucracy.

They can both go to their rooms without supper.

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September 25th, 2002 - 1:54 pm

Ted Barlow is having an excellent week. First he made me laugh out loud, then he made me think.

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Another New Guy

September 25th, 2002 - 1:43 pm

Jay Bryant is someone with (quite a bit more than) a little knowledge of history, a fine sense of fun, and an open mind.

Read this column and you’ll see why I also call him “unafraid.”

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Rinse, Lather, Repeat News

September 25th, 2002 - 12:55 pm

While showering, overheard Richard Holbrook testifying before Congress. No link yet, but I’ll get one as soon as I’m able.

He said that the US mus, of course, seek UN approval before deposing Saddam Hussein. He then added that actual UN approval, while “desirable,” isn’t “essential.”

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September 25th, 2002 - 12:14 pm

Grognard explains just whose blood and whose oil it’s all about.

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And No Jokes About the French

September 25th, 2002 - 11:59 am

Our kids are safe, and on their way home.

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Why Ask What For?

September 25th, 2002 - 11:37 am

“But… but… but what if other countries, countries somehow even worse than ours, use the Bush Doctrine as justification to preemptively invade their neighbors? Millions dead!”

I’ll put this nicely: Bullshit.

What, right now, prevents any nation, other than the US, from doing exactly what they please?

Serbia invaded Croatia and Bosnia. Palestinians blow up Jews. Libya thrusts into Chad (which could be a gay porn title). India and Pakistan wave nukes at each other, while encouraging one another’s minorities to commit barbarous acts. Turkey invades Cypress. China and Vietnam have at it. North Korea lobs missiles over the South. Eritrea and Ethiopia go their separate ways, then go after each other’s throats. Morocco annexes Western Sahara. Russia bombs Georgia. Iraq invades Kuwait. Iraq invades Iran. Damn near everybody invades Congo. And everybody kills the Jews, to paraphrase Tom Lehrer.

We must be the only nation in the world to ever bother first asking for permission before defending our interests.

Of the slaughters that have been prevented or stopped in the last 50 years, damn near all of them have been prevented or stopped by American force of arms. Remember when the Warsaw Pact invaded West Germany? Remember how North Korea annexed the rest of the peninsula? Have any horrible memories of China

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Shop Talk

September 25th, 2002 - 10:28 am

Vote for Laurence. He wants the damn job. Also, he has a platform with nifty bullet points, some of which he probably came up with while actually on his meds.

Or Jarvis. Or for a Jenna Jameson/Britney Spears ticket. (Insert your own “top of the ticket” joke here.) (Insert your own “insert” joke here.)

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Foreign Policies

September 25th, 2002 - 9:59 am

A Letter from the Olde Country gets a letter from Germany.

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A War By Any Other Name

September 25th, 2002 - 9:54 am

Bret Stephens, editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, says the Israeli-Palestinian War needs a name. Despite the low intensity, it is a real war, after all:

What is this war all about for Israel, and for the Jews? Two years into it, at least some of us can agree that it must be called a “war,” and not go by such weak euphemisms as “the violence,” “the conflict,” or “the situation.” Beyond that, as these short essays from prominent Jews (and one Palestinian) in Israel and abroad show, there is scant agreement.

I’ve been calling it the Israeli-Palestinian War for months now — but that’s an inelegant name at best. And it hardly begins to describe what’s really going on.

Here are a few suggestions already garnered:

End of the Occupation War
Peace for the Settlements War
The War of the Life of the Jews
The War of the Jews’ Last Chance
The War of Sovereignty
The War of Jewish Sovereignty

None of those work for me, either. Nor does “The West Bank Phase of the Western War Against Terror.”

Have any ideas? Post’em below, and I’ll forward them to Bret.

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Big Media

September 25th, 2002 - 9:44 am

Howard, if I knew your email address, I’d send you a nice thank you note.

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Gore Lor(e)

September 25th, 2002 - 9:38 am

Separated at birth?

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No Cool New Toys?

September 25th, 2002 - 9:23 am

On StrategyPage, Steve Cole has more info on yesterday’s V-22 Osprey story:

A decision on whether to proceed with the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport or abandon the program will be made next summer. The problem is that whatever solution is found for the “vortex ring state” (the problem that has caused the crashes) might eventually limit the aircraft’s operations so much that it is no longer tactically useful. If the V-22 is cancelled, expect the Pentagon to swiftly pick a helicopter to replace it.

I’m still waiting for my M-100.

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Human Shields

September 25th, 2002 - 9:03 am

Pejman collects all the latest on the Shropshire Challenge in one nifty post.

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Aw Hell

September 25th, 2002 - 9:00 am

Phil Bowermaster wants F/X to draft me as a presidential candidate for their planned American Candidate show.

I hope that everyone reading this message will join me in a “draft Stephen” movement. If nominated, I think he will run. If elected, he will definitely serve.

I'll Take Two
If nominated, I will have a drink. If elected, I will drink heavily.

Phil, I’m flattered, really. But let’s face it — I’m cranky, prickly, not easy to like, hate TV cameras, and think most people’s babies (not yours, of course. Or yours) are too ugly to kiss.

Anyway, it’s not like the show is on a real network, like NBC or Comedy Central. Could you maybe nominate me to spend some time drinking with Jon Stewart, or making out with Debra Messing?

UPDATE: To those who asked, I’ll turn 35 in April, 2004. And now I really need a drink.

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