. . .Moxie has Terror War Pick-Up Lines. My favorite: “Let’s roll . . . in the hay.”
(Found — where else? — on ErosBlog.)
Stephen Silver emailed to add himself to the list of Liberals for Liberation. Also, check out his blog. Good stuff.
OOPS: I inadvertantly left off Brian Scrivani and his Wunderkinder blog. Give him a vist or three while you’re at it.
UPDATE: Judith from Kesher Talk counts herself in, too.
What makes this site qualified to pick Oscar winners? The very same expertise as the Academy voters
So here’s the important bit from the latest audio tape from “Osama bin Laden”:
We stress the importance of martyrdom operations against the enemy, these attacks that have scared Americans and Israelis like never before.
What’s it mean? Probably not a whole lot, really. al Qaeda strikes according to their own schedule; I never got too worked up about Muslim holy days or major events or big anniversaries. That’s part of the beauty, so to speak, of al Qaeda’s terror attacks — they really do come when you least expect them.
Also, they seem to come every two or three years, and the last one isn’t yet even 18 months ago. Their operations take lots of time, training and money, and, as such, are difficult to pull off at any time, much less on dates when everyone is more aware.
Which is why the Afghanistan Campaign of the Terror war — along with good ol’ police work — was so important. We put a dent in their manpower, leadership, structure, sanctuary, and (I hope) finances. What that means is I’ll be much more fearful of another 9/11-scope attack a year or two from now than I am today.
Would al Qaeda like to help Iraq? In the strictest sense, no. No matter how many issues of the Koran that Saddam has printed up in his own blood, he still remains a secular, Ba’athist leader. If al Qaeda were to take over Saudi Arabia, as they dearly wish to do, you can bet Saddam would become a target instead of an ally.
But in the broader sense, anything that whips up Islamic (I was about to say “Arab”) hatred for the West is good for al Qaeda — and currently the best way to do that is to show solidarity with Iraq, the next target in this war. But since we are speaking broadly, it doesn’t make sense for al Qaeda to risk its best people, or much of its money, betting on the Iraqi horse. Saddam is an ally of convenience, for one, and for two, he’s destined to lose.
If al Qaeda offers anything more than words in support of Iraq, I’d expect the attack(s) to be on the shoe-bomber scale rather than something as big as 9/11.
That’s not to say I’m right on all this; I’m simply trying to look at it from Osama’s view, or whoever is in charge of whatever is left of al Qaeda. To them, it might make sense to place a big bet on a weak hand, if only to show they still have lots of black chips left.
If there’s anything to worry about in today’s threat, that’s it.
UPDATE: Also curious is that the rumor we’d see a video of Osama turned out to be false. He’s either dead or very, very sick. If he had simply been wounded by an American bomb, missing an arm or half his face, I’d expect him on camera — “you can hurt me, but you can’t kill me.” Being hooked up to a dialysis machine in the last stages of kidney failure looks less like invincibility than it does a curse from, well, Allah.
This is a bit more jingoist than my tastes usually run — but what the hell, there’s a war on.
Lost posts, lost emails, soon to have a lost mind. I’m calling it quits for the night — see you in the morning.
You know we’re living in interesting times when even the Wall Street Journal is questioning the sanctity of NATO. An unsigned editorial says that
This may seem a radical thought, but it is certainly warranted by the astonishing recent behavior of nations thought to be U.S. allies. Three countries–France, Germany and their mini-me minion, Belgium–have moved from opposition to U.S. policy toward Iraq into formal, and consequential, obstructionism. If this is what the U.S. gets from NATO, maybe it’s time America considered leaving this Cold War institution and re-forming an alliance of nations that understand the new threats to world order.
During the bad old days of the Cold War, it was, I think, Kissinger’s formula to “accept any economic price, no matter how large, to get any political advantage, no matter how small.” Well, now Germany and France are determined to impose political costs no us, with no discernable financial, military, or political gain to be seen.
I suppose that leaves us with the question of how to punish them in return.
It seems somehow unfair to our better NATO allies to leave the alliance, but there is an alternative: A new alliance that would officially sit alongside NATO, but in practice would render NATO as useful as a buggy whip for a hydrogen car.
Sign up Italy and Spain and Lithuania and the rest of the Gangs of Eight and Ten. Hell, get Israel, Australia, and India on board, too. The new threat is global — not the simple, parochial interest of protecting Germany from. . . um, from whom are we protecting Germany?
Exactly. Don’t withdraw from NATO, don’t give Germany and France the satisfaction of having forced us to bolt “their” alliance. Just let it — and them –wither on the vine.
Wanna blow off some steam at the French? Or even — gasp! — add something thoughtful? Winds of Change has just the forum.
The web is a wonderful place. From out of the blue, I received an email from Tatiana of the Russian Beauty Blog
It’s late, but here it is
NOTE: The “Liberals for Liberation” will have to wait. I’m short on time and submissions are still coming in.
This one is a personal fave that I stole and combined from my mother-in-law and The Steak Lover’s Cookbook.
Steak Au Poivre Made Easy
2 filets mignons, cut not too thick.
A tablespoon or more of coarsely crushed black peppercorns (although green ones are tasty, too, just not strictly classic).
1 tablespoon unsalted butter.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
A pinch or two of salt.
3 tablespoons of cheap Cognac.
1/3 cup crComments Off
Here’s what’s wrong with too much of the organized gay victimhood movement, from a press release International Gay and Lesbian Human Right Commission:
Our position is guided by our sense of solidarity with and accountability to the activists we work with all over the world, and especially those in regions which are greatly impacted by US foreign policies. The US policies of military aggression have served to render those who deviate from sexual and gender norms and people living with HIV/AIDS especially vulnerable to state-sanctioned violence and discrimination.
I don’t mean to say that gays haven’t suffered in this country. But there’s also no denying how far we’ve come, when Will & Grace is a top ten primetime show on a major network — without raising any alarm. In fact, gay bashing has become almost (but not quite) as unacceptable as admitting to be a racist.
Gay adoption, civil unions, and especially gay culture are all quickly becoming social norms. Even our born-again President speaks of HIV/AIDS as a medical and political tragedy, rather than as the wrath of God. Perfect? No. Getting there? Goddamn right.
Now comes along a gay “human rights commission,” in support of Iraq, the Taliban, and, if they play according to type (lefty type, not gay type), Cuba, as well. Perhaps they’re “self-loathing fags” (an expression borrowed from a gay friend on mine way back when) enough to perfer Fidel’s concentration camps for the HIV-afflicted, or to have stone walls toppled on them in Taliban-era Afghanistan. Maybe Saddam is a staunch supporter of gay rights, but he sure hasn’t shown any respect for any other civil liberties.
If you’re gay, be proud. And stop supporting those who arrest, imprison, torture, and murder your brothers and sisters overseas.
Don’t forget, I’m asking readers and bloggers alike to out themselves as “Liberals for Liberation.”
I’ll post results tonight, so don’t forget to leave a comment or send an email.
Nick Kristof thinks that after twelve years of failure, it’s about damn time to give containment a chance to work in Iraq.
Daniel Henninger says that our reaction to Saturday
Fred Barnes looks at how the Democratic Presidential field is shaping up for next year
The latest news from North Korea isn’t, depsite what you may read, anything much out of the ordinary. Here’s the lede from the Guardian:
“I wouldn’t label it a crisis,” the deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage told the United States Senate when he was being interrogated over the nuclear showdown with North Korea. It was more of a “big problem”, he said.
However careful the Bush administration is with words, it clear that its North Korea problem is getting bigger by the day, and they are well aware that Pyongyang is raising the temperature with every degree Washington turns up the heat on Baghdad.
A typical North Korean “negotiating” tactic is to threaten all kinds of unholy war if we don’t do as they say. Then they ratchet it down a little and the talks begin.
There’s just one eentsy leetle problem: This time, the Dear Leader thinks we’ll be playing for keeps with Pyongyang, just as we’re now (at long last) playing for keeps with Baghdad. So what is to be done with a madman with the power to level much of our ally South Korea’s capital — home to ten-plus million people — in minutes or hours?
First off, keep’em talking, or even shouting and threatening and blustering. As long as they’re doing those things, they aren’t raining down artillery shells on Seoul. If we can do that long enough, eventually the regime should collapse under its own weight, and the South Koreans have a large and effective enough army to deal with the aftermath.
If that fails? We won’t start a war there, I don’t think. Or at least not a real shooting war. If the Dear Leader builds more nukes, we might just have to live with them. If he starts to sell them, a US naval blockade, combined with a Chinese land blockade (they have no interest in a nuclear-armed and -exporting DPRK) should prove an effective quarrantine short of real war.
(Something that would be far less effective against Iraq, with large stretches of desert border.)
But even a power vacuum in the North would be a human and financial disaster. Imagine if Mexico and Canada were starving, literally starving to death, and the world handed both countries to us to deal with — that’s the case the South will be facing in case of a “successful” peace.
So don’t worry too much about the hype in the press — but don’t be much comforted by the alternatives, either.
With the endgame promised in
Jim Dunnigan, war gamer extraordinaire, compiles a list of the Top Ten Worst Things That Could Happen in the upcoming war.
Chemical and biological weapons strikes, another big terror strike at the US, a three-way civil war, Gotterdammerung in Baghdad, Saudi non-compliance, Iraqi civilian ingratitude, increased Palestinian terror, burning oil wells, Kurds & Turks at each other’s throats, and Iraqi guerrilla warfare.
The upshot of all of them? Saddam still frickin’ loses.
Patrick Ruffini has a fascinating essay on Eric Alterman and media bias. Here’s the bit that will interest bloggers the most:
Blogging allows us to almost completely transcend the trite media bias debate by acting as a check on the excesses of Big Media. I once read that the average op-ed columnist in the Washington Post could expect to garner about 5,000 sets of eyeballs for a typical column (although I’d certainly entertain leaked newspaper traffic stats that prove me wrong). Almost that many people read me when I first waded into the thicket of this debate, not counting those who read the Fox News column. And I’m just, well, Patrick Ruffini. Blogs and right-wing fora aren’t making the news conservative, but they are taking some wind out of Howell’s sails, which is more than we could have possibly expected when we first undertook this endeavor. Does this mean that the news will always tilt left, despite our most valiant efforts? No. Rather, the exploding multiplicity of voices has made the “media” so delightfully complex as to defy ideological categorization.
Read it all. I hate to keep sending you to other people’s essays today, but after this last week, I’m a bit spent.