Saturday, August 13, 2005

That'll be 2 souls, a dozen eggs, and the morning papers...

Amazingly, the BBC World Service dispenses unsolicited pity on those who have screwed up their own lives, but expects foresight of the impossible and superhuman abilities from Americans. Upon release of tapes and transcripts of the audio traffic of first responders on 9-11, they didn't reflect on methodology, patterns, outcomes, or even take much interest in what was happening in their on-air report. The lead in to the news item was

«Americans angered by the Government's ability to plan for the unimaginable. »
HOW do you plan for an act of sabotage and mass murder, and find the needle in the haystack, if it is to secretive as to be unimaginable? Isn't that impossible by its' own definition?

The obsession with things that no-one can do anything about is a hint - the obsessive dwelling on helplessness reflects their own sense that they are helpless themselves to manipulate events with mood and hidden rhetoric concealed in news. Could the übermenschen of the beeb have that prescience, or even hint at a way that one could predict and locate 19 murder-kazes? If so, why the hell didn't they tell anyone?

Which disappointed Americans are they talking about anyway? The ones they always seem to be baiting over their success in life? Did they ask any actual Americans about this, and do they really think this reflects anything meaningful other that the emotional state of the ones they seem to selectively seek out?
My guess is that their writers (it's hard to call them journalists) pull most of these hidden editorials out of the thin air found circulating around an combination of who they are and what they think their audience's opinions are, but it's always rather passive aggressive. It also seems that a significant amount of their assertions are made up of bad, narrowly selective, or concocted data that takes an extreme assertion consitent with who they think their audience is, and them moderating it slightly. Through trial and error, they have probably learned that there is only so much that a producer will go along with, so what the producer can digest becomes the gold standard of opinion.

Maybe they’re worried about the fate of their imaginary "inner child". That helpless button that they'd like to push in all of us that is supposed to make us admire them for doing us all a favor by advocating something. When it doesn’t work, they retreat to running items on the dangers of margarine, the wrongness of rape, etc. etc. – in other words, things you already know.

As for out-and-out lies, an American blogger in Austria, Bill Spricht, (Ger.: Bill speaks) tunes us in to an act of true desperation. The newspaper „Der Standard” in the limited Austrian media environment is either repeating factless agit-prop and simply lie-ing when it headlined a story about the US holding 70 000 prisoners worldwide on the war on terror. A handful of German sources parroted it immediately as well. Their emotions, important as they think they are to the rest of the world, relieve them of the burden of checking up on their accusations of malfeasance. We're supposed to just accept and understand THEIR emotional difficulty with the world as it is and give them a pass, because, after all, it wounds them emotionally. It's an arrogant assertion that we shouldn't question their very familiar looking blame-a-palooza and forget about the legacy of what the US is trying to stop by short circuiting.


Who are they, really? Is the MSM worldwide and the European press in particular any different than other people who are adept at irrational conditioning and manipulating common, healthy fears so that you buy their books, arguments, and look up to them. Ironically, they do this because they think that they think they can make your life better.
It’s no surprise that the number of cults exploded a few years after the likes of Marshall McLuhan and many other media watchers could identify the power of this form of communication. It also followed a phase where the news media became far more “self aware.”

What can one do about it? First and foremost realize that your virtues are your own. The virtues of someone you don't know only become yours' when you're disconnected from real people that you know, and who know you.

Ignore shams built on trading in your own guilt. Don't take them seriously. They're defensive and unable to accept the majority of views and experiences in the world anyway, and it only feeds the thing they thrive from most: moral authority and an ability to color or control what people hear and eventually feel. Anyone who wants emotional access to someone they don't know all that well, or have instructive access outside of your consent to children who are not their own falls in this category. Deny them that affirmation that they want. Even if they don't learn from this, it counts as one less person or family group that they can harm. Keep government out of family life, and the life of individuals altogether. Even when there is "dysfunction". Dysfunction has been so overly and broadly defined that the helplessness-industry has isolated the people who are actually "whole" to about 5 percent of the population. If this really were the case, society would not function at all. When the description of a "condition" is entirely made up of subtext, and has few or hard-to-believe outward signs, it is almost certainly a lie.
«It’s also hard to ignore an analysis first published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in August 1967. Researchers followed 301 people who had been arrested for “public drunkenness” in San Diego and were randomly assigned to three groups based on the nature of the court-ordered follow-up: no treatment, referral to professional counseling, or Alcoholics Anonymous. Finishing dead last—with almost 50 percent rearrested during the following year—were the eighty-six individuals sentenced to AA. Second best was the group receiving the counseling. And most successful at staying out of jail? Those receiving no treatment at all. Now that’s self-help.»
The therapy culture has brought us more harmful and destructive aberrance than it's "healed", or purports to try and "heal".

Journalists raised on a curriculum of activist "help to the world through reporting" are no different, and are certainly aware of the power of image-making and symbolic representation of the manipulative power of emotional blackmail.

Take the BBC's Israel "Palestine-Israel" correspondent Alan Johnston as an example. His tone is passive, sympathy arousing, and literally sounding breathless on the air when he discusses a matter which seems sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, but it's steady and more critical in tone, more detached, skeptical, sterner,and "journalistic" in presentation when covering anything else. From this thinly veiled and emotionally unimpeachable position he has been able to do this with barely a peep of attention to it for years.
Years in the media without scrutiny is a lifetime to the rest of us when it comes to being able to act unchecked. It's common knowledge that absolute power corrupts absolutely. No example of this is greater than a self congratulating, isolated press which has a massive state-mandated funding base and little competition to criticize it.

The consequence over time is a society at large that believes that the view of the world constructed and constricted by their opinions is the real background to people's lives. It works in the same way that the therapy culture has made many souls helpless receptors of an authors' inner workings in order to make them our own. The risks to real people who accept it without question is the same. Through their ubiquity, they have done more to find you then you did to find them. Like any judgmental stranger, they need to be taken with a grain of salt.

If you’re looking for Erik…

He’s partying like it’s 1999

Friday, August 12, 2005

Arriving to its' Logical Conclusion

Who is Zapatero really?:

«"We would like to note that ever since the European Union, encouraged by the government of Spain, re-instated normal relations with the Cuban dictatorship, there has been an increase in the repressive measures taken against peaceful opposition groups, which include physical aggression and persecutions in their own homes."»
Well of course - what do you expect from a tyrant? It always starts with duping kids into lovefests that cost their parents something, and ends with pride in a comprehensive national dental plan that includes, simply, pulling teeth. Actually where it all ends goes well beyond convincing some dipshit college kids to wear t-shirts with the North Korean flag on them (especially since they aren't emaciated).. it's when a fool like Zappo sells chemical weapons to Hugo Chavez.


The Young Fleeing Institutional Malaise

Susan Bell in Paris writing for The Scotsman reports a phenomenon that closely matches the experience my generation had in Germany. There seemed to be nothing real to do and there was more nihilism that anyone could do anything about, or that some people could bear.

It’s also a sign that a new liberalism might emerge from the young both in the country and eventually from those who bring back renewed values from abroad.

France's young set off on 'bon voyage' to better life

«FRANCE is facing an unprecedented new-generation exodus as many of its disillusioned younger people leave in search of a better life abroad.

Fed up with a country they describe as rigid, racist and old-fashioned, French youngsters are opting for a new start in Britain, Canada, America or New Zealand where they can find housing and jobs more easily than in France.

Unemployment among the under-25s in France stands at 23.3 per cent, and 40 per cent of 18-30 year-olds describe their financial state as "difficult".

Many cite French employment practices as being at the root of the problem.

The French tradition of offering university graduates low- paid short-term work experience, rather than full-time employment, is also blamed for the precarious financial situation in which many young French people find themselves. A massive 36 per cent of the working population aged from 25-29 say they have no job security, and 43 per cent say they have changed companies at least three times since starting work.

[One interviewee] sent off five CVs to Canadian companies as an experiment and receive five job offers - a far cry from France where a mailing of 22 CVs resulted in only one offer. "I have trouble selling the quality of my work here," he said. "In France, they prefer to stress how many years experience you have." »
There are also social problems. Bell point to ‘image’ being an issue, but oftentimes people’s suspicions originate in experience.

«Sociologist Olivier Galland believes a cultural gap is opening up between the young and the rest of French society.

"Eighteen- to 30-year-olds have an image of a rigid, authoritarian country lacking flexibility," he said. "They are looking for a more flexible hiring system... and they head for those countries where the culture of little jobs is more developed."

Young French people are also drawn to move by a climate of tolerance and dynamism which they can miss in French society.

"I feel I'm living in an ageing country which sinks further every day, where people are worn out," said Valerie, 34, a nursery school teacher who plans to emigrate to Quebec.»
If their government really cared about people as much as they’d like to think they do, they should try something different. A life on the dole isn’t just a difficult social complex and a problem, but a disservice to the hopes young people could otherwise have, and the possibilities that they could look forward to. How else could their creative energy permit itself to be expressed? Yes, further institutional management?

Clearly there is a growth problem. The data for this quarter (as well as the past decade) shows that given all the same inputs, the results are being hampered by theories which have to change to mitigate the growth of not just social malaise, but poverty.

French Growth Slowed in Second Quarter on Consumer Spending
«Gross domestic product increased 0.1 percent from the first quarter, when it rose 0.4 percent, statistics office Insee said in Paris today. Economists had expected a 0.2 percent gain, according to the median of 29 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

Economic growth in the dozen nations sharing the euro slowed to 0.3 percent in the second quarter from 0.5 percent in the first, the European Union's statistics office said yesterday. The German economy, Europe's largest, stagnated in the second quarter from the first, when it grew 0.8 percent.

Growth in the euro region will probably accelerate to the fastest pace in almost two years at the end of 2005, the European Commission said yesterday.

To help underpin a recovery from a second-quarter slowdown, the European Central Bank in Frankfurt on Aug. 4 held its benchmark interest rate at a six-decade low of 2 percent. The Frankfurt-based central bank hasn't moved rates since June 2003. »
I’d like to be hopeful too, but once rates are at 2 percent, what other meaningful stimuli are there to be used?
To use a corny old joke, when a guy goes to the Doctor and says “It hurts when I do that”, the first thing the doctor says is “So don’t do that!”

The comparison is to what we know is possible in another populous post-industrial economy which also has technological depth.
«The world's largest economy will grow at a 4.1 percent annual rate this quarter, the most since the first three months of 2004 and up from the 3.5 percent estimated last month, based on the median forecast in the monthly survey. Growth for October through December is predicted to reach a 3.5 percent pace, up from last month's prediction of 3.4 percent.

Central bankers will raise the rate to 3.5 percent today, the 10th straight quarter-point increase, according to the unanimous opinion of 70 economists in a separate Bloomberg poll.

The Fed is trying to stem inflation as growth accelerates even as oil prices rise to a record. Consumer prices are projected to rise 2.9 percent this year, 0.2 percentage point faster than estimated last month, the monthly survey showed.»

Starting to Sound Alike

The Imaam (pl.) at ask-an-imam give guidance on undermining pluralism by only allowing one muslim to run in an election against another one in order to produce the maximum amount of orthodoxy, no matter why, or what the context is:

«Q.: Is it permissible, to stand for presidency with a fellow muslim on a College Student Council?

A.: If, by standing for presidency on a college student council, your friend would be required to act or pass decisions contrary to the teachings of Shariah, then you are not allowed to support such a cause. On the contrary, if there is benefit in holding such a position, in terms of requesting your permissible needs etc. then you are allowed to stand for presidency with your friend.»

Which makes him sound like Barbara Boxer, who wants a certain Supreme Court nominee to promise to ignore the constitution or legal logic and always rule in favor of leftist causes.

Because otherwise, that is haram:
«Would someone please tell Sen. Barbara Boxer that John Roberts is not running for political office -- and get her a copy of the Constitution? Sen. Boxer indignantly announced recently that she would vote against Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court unless she can be convinced that he will support abortion rights. This conjures the silly mental picture of Judge Roberts sitting in the hot seat, being grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee, wearing a button saying, "Abortion is safe with me.
Vote Roberts for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice." Since Boxer has, via the Peter Principle, managed to land herself in the United States Senate, wouldn't it be refreshing if she would demonstrate some comprehension of the Court's limited role under the Constitution?

The governmental powers and limitations the Framers incorporated in the Constitution came with a purpose -- usually to safeguard the liberties of the people. To the extent you ignore its prescriptions, you jeopardize liberties.»
- David Limbaugh

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Film at 11. And on their six.
«''The 5-man Blackwater crew that was assigned to CPA Najaf were coming under heavy small arms and mortar fire, the city was being taken over by insurgents. The police stations and hospitals were taken over as well, after a day of fighting off hundreds of insurgents the city had been completely overrun, with the CPA in the heart of the city and no way out.

Well that night all hell broke loose and we flew back in. Over 1000 insurgents (reported by the F18 pilots) had taken the city and now wanted the CPA after a day of intense fighting by 11 BW guys, airstrikes, a handful of Marines and 1 sniper we were able to hold them off. After it DIED down and gunships and SF guys finally started to roll in the battle was soon over and the CPA was saved.

That's pretty much it in a nut shell...''»

Clicken sie Hier for video.

Professor Xue Muqiao

An obituary in the Times Online(UK) reflects on the life and times of Professor Xue Muqiao, the man whose theories are responsible for removing what may be the greatest number of people out of poverty in the last 25 years. He did this by nibbling away at the last century's great starvation-maker: communism.

«In 1967 he was criticised, dismissed from most of his posts and sent to the countryside to relearn revolution. He did not resume work as an economist until the eve of Mao’s death in 1976.

Subsequent revisions of Xue’s book, a kind of textbook for the new State Commission for the Restructuring of the Economic System, called for obedience to the “objective laws of economic development”. He championed the “socialist commodity economy”, and criticised “leftist errors” of blindly worshipping public ownership. There should be a mixed economy with competition between state, collective and privately owned sectors. This state of affairs would endure for decades since the party had decided, contrary to what had been believed under Mao, that China was only at the “initial stage of socialism”.»

The Green, Green Grass of the Kolkhoz

"G Dawg" is still batting 1000. This time, writing for the Adam Smith Institute’s online journal.

Discussing the greenie blame game, he points out that rational metrics which for political and personal reasons, activists like to bury in the small print, show that the US is a lower emitter of pollutants per person, per unit of GDP and per unit of productivity that virtually every nation state in Europe, and that doesn't even take into account the factor of carbon absorption and conversion to oxygen.

« It seems that for many in the environmental movement, the actual defense of Gaia has taken a back seat to a more important objective; specifically, to attack the capitalist economic system in general, and, in particular, its American exemplar.

With regard to air pollution, the US ranks 114th in the world (first being the worst) with respect to urban sulphur dioxide concentration (the UK figure is about 33% higher), 63rd in ozone-depleting CFC consumption, 45th in urban NO2 concentration, and 13th in NOx emissions per unit of populated land area (the UK value is more than twice as high).

Of course, the greatest concern at present has to do with emissions of so called greenhouse gases. Interestingly, according to recent figures from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the US is not the largest per capita offender here, either.»
His thesis is straightforward and persuasive. Ned Ricewriting in National Review Online takes a sharper attitude in pointing out the same disingenuousness found on the left. They are couching their anti-you-name-it ideology inside of contrived issues and ginned up studies and not surprisingly, blaming, say George Bush for (literally) the weather, and this time, the million and first time, it’s even MORE personal:
«It was only a matter of time before this happened: The Left is now blaming President Bush for the weather. Specifically they're claiming that the current heat wave is a result of the global warming President Bush just hasn't done enough to stop. Whereas the consensus in the scientific community seems to be leaning towards an alternate explanation: It's summertime
In other words, the hatred and childishness of these leftist haters leads
them to reduce themselves to peddling lies to an equally duplicitous press, knowing full well that the responsible people in the world will have to live with their endless stream of scarlet letters.
It has gotten to the point where the data they cite as scientific comes from Associated Press anonymous staff writers and Barbra Streisand, who we all know, are “noted scientists”, and not just washed up, B-list nobodies hoping for something to do on a Wednesday afternoon.

Brett Bozell, in his syndicated column points to similar leftist propaganda in the American press for contrived leftist pieties, gin-ups, and false-flag assaults:
« President Bush is spending some vacation time in Crawford, Texas, so the media, predictably, are once again glorifying his left-wing protesters with lavish coverage of their antics, while dutifully refusing to identify them in any way as left wing. Call it covering and covering up. Time and Newsweek both ran pictures of a tiny group holding signs protesting the John Roberts nomination outside the White House. Neither magazine identified the group as liberals, nor even mentioned MoveOn; you had to squint at the photos to make out the group's name on the protest signs.

Can you imagine the networks ruining the Clinton vacation on Martha's Vineyard by making a big story out of a conservative protester there? I can't, because they didn't. In 1998, a few weeks after Clinton admitted sex with Monica Lewinsky, he went to his first partisan pep rally in Worcester, Mass. ABC and CBS did full stories, and the streets outside the hall were filled with protesters demanding Clinton resign, but ABC and CBS failed to interview them. Only Fox News brought up how a local Democratic city council member, Konstantina Lukes, refused to attend.

Late in the Monday program, they aired another seven minutes of pure propaganda on the "Raging Grannies" of Tucson, Ariz., who muster a whopping 15 to 20 protesters outside a military recruitment center every Wednesday.
What is it with these left-wing grannies, anyway? It was almost exactly like five years ago, when the publicity frenzy was for Doris "Granny D" Haddock, agitating for the liberal cause of "campaign finance reform."
After a syrupy story in which Alexander hailed them as "compassionate," but never described them as harsh or ultraliberal, even as they screeched against the "illegal, immoral war" and yelled, "No blood for oil," Morales interviewed four of the Tucson activists, dressed in stereotypical "granny" garb and praised them for their "witty lyrics" and their status as role models.

NBC never explained the "Raging Grannies" are a project of the local chapter of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, a 90-year-old "peace" group that despises any military spending and opposed even the Cold War. The grannies are loonies who pass out flyers stating that "The Iraq war has everything to do with U.S. controlling access to Middle Eastern Oil," and the war has nothing to do with terrorism, but "everything to do with U.S. world domination." Even so, NBC's [Peter] Alexander supinely claimed, "they say they're fighting for the men and women fighting for them."»
Peace lovers, indeed. Why do their campaigns always seem to lead to further physical and social decay? It seem like each measure the tip of the leftist sword takes has little, if anything to do with the goal itself, but about placing the public’s thoughts and feelings, and the sources of their information in their grasp in spite of the presence of any other view or of facts?

Territoires occupés
Mardi, à quelques minutes de l'atterissage de Discovery dans un Pub Irlandais à Paris. Au bar, un connard qui se la jouait 'homme d'affaires' discutaillait avec son pote barman franchouille. Discovery était à quelques minutes de l'atterrissage. Monsieur Homme d'affaires Traficant (comme par hasard cet homme d'affaires avait un sale faciès de Palestinien) a fait signe vers l'énorme écran-plat en pouffant de rire et (histoire de plaire à la galerie comme font tous les fwançais) Monsieur Barman Franchouille a lâché un "qu'elle s'écrase" avant de s'éclipser dans l'arrière salle. Monsieur Pali Homme d'affaires Traficant a ri encore en vidant son verre. Alors je me suis rapproché de Monsieur Pali Homme d'affaires Traficant pour lui demander "Qu'est-ce qu'il y a mon frère? Trop souvent humilié ces jours-ci? Dites-moi ce que vous avez sur le coeur." Mais comme il ne voulait pas faire froisser son beau costard de proxénète il n'a rien répondu. Quelques secondes après, la navette atterrie je lui ai dit, "Ça, c'est du pilotage. Rien à voir avec votre Mohammed Atta, hein?". Comme réponse, toujours rien.

Willem depicts OBL as a plucky, playful, fun-to-be-with kinda guy ...

... and the next attack will be in ...
... and Rumsfeld as cowardly bungler.

We're leaving backwards so we don't look like we're running away.

Willem adopts the typical European do-nothing-'cause-it's-all-so-hopeless attitude

A suicide bomber is hidden in the crowd. Can you find the bomber before it's too late?

Even Small Doses of Criticism Is Too Much for France

"What hurts" he says?

"What hurts" he says!

"What hurts"!?!

A Frenchman tells us that jokes about France during the Iraq crisis hurt. They hurt the French. The French feel hurt.

In other words, according to those poor things, the Yanks were/are not only duplicitous and treacherous, they are insensitive and rude, those clueless clods.

Wait a minute, Cédric, do you mind if we get real here? For just a moment?

How do you think Americans feel for being called imperialist? For being called duplicitous? For being called treacherous?

How do you think Americans feel for hearing, Yes, of course 9/11 was a tragedy, but, somehow, somewhere, they deserved it

Oh, that's not being insensitive. That's being intelligent and lucide! I see… (It's just a total coincidence, I suppose, that being lucide happens to mean slamming the American government's position and being pretty much in total symbiosis with the French government's policies…)

And how about America's allies in the Coalition. How do you think they feel for being called poodles? And for being told, ils feraient mieux de se taire?

While we're at it, how do you think the Iraqis feel about the various peace activists, governments as well as individuals, who opposed the American action? What about the Iraqi people's hurt? Isn't it slightly more important than that of the French?

Because the difference with the members of the so-called "peace camp" is that while the latter remained passive, the Americans and their allies took action. Whether or not you agree with their policy, they put their soldiers into harm's way. (As for the leaders themselves, you can hardly deny that, at the very least, they took unpopular — and electoral — risks in making the popularity-defying decisions they did.) The hurt the troops risk suffering is somewhat of a more poignant type than that which members of the peace camp have the luxury of haughtily complaining about from the comfort of their living rooms (or government offices).

And you complain of the hurt suffered by the French?!

Having said that, Cédric, let us examine the content your post.

You contend that Americans have forgotten "the 300 000 dead French soldiers and [dismiss] most of the French military history".

Bearing that in mind, let us take a look at World War II, if you will, the war that (supposedly) the French have never forgotten America for.

I have never — and I mean never — had a discussion about World War II in France, where the sly comment wasn't brought up "Évidemment, ils l'ont fait pour leurs propres raisons". What's more, the BUT expression (Bien sûr on est éternellement reconnaissants aux Américains, c'est certain, mais…) suggests that American treachery is the bottom line and holds the deepest truth.

In addition to that, we hear of Washington's uncalled-for dissing of Charles de Gaulle (more insensivity) and even murder plots about same, and the 60th anniversary commemorations were replete with reports and descriptions of the Germans' sufferings and "the hidden face of some liberators", from GIs killing the innocent to practicing widespread rape.

Now, in theory, naturally, I have no problem with digging and (re-)examining, except: when it is one-sided and replete with double standards — that happen to self-serving. (Which is what this blog is all about.)

Regarding Iraq, there is little, if any, examination of the "peace camp" members' purpose being other than principled and, indeed, holy (for instance, whether the status quo relationship with Saddam Hussein amounted to "dictatorship for oil").

But to go back to the subject matter of the post at hand — the Revolutionary War — it is obviously taboo to say that the French authorities of 1778 intervened "pour leurs propres raisons." Where France is concerned, obviously, we are not to look for any "hidden faces"…

And unless I am mistaken, you are not an expert on the War of Independence, or 1770s politics, certainly not more than I am. In addition, it is no hidden fact that strategy planners have contingincies for every possible scenario, no matter how unlikely (thus, plans exist in the Pentagon for how to react should war break out with Britain, although obviously they are among the least studied).

I'm not saying I beleive Harlow Giles Unger's contention, but: given the above, why might there not have been, for instance, the circulation of an idea among the French general staff — even if only briefly entertained — to murder a general like George Washington?

More generally, why can one repeat ad nauseam that American policies, even if admitted to be for the general good, were carried out "pour leurs propres raisons" and one cannot do so with French policies (even when it concerned the régime of autocratic aristocrats)?

No, such an idea must be dismissed out of hand: unlike France's constant putting into queston of American policies, this becomes a collective "vomiting" on France, like "one pisses in a urinal" (to quote another commentator who I have grave doubts is any kind of expert on the revolutionary war or history in general, for that matter).

You add: "we've got books and editors saying that the main enemy of America has always been France". Is America being the main enemy of (or threat to or danger for) France and, indeed, of all humanity, not what you read about not only in untold French tomes, but in French newspapers day after day, month after month, year after year? Rather than American books being gratuitously anti-French, as you allege, the fact that such literature is so ubiquitous in France is the reason why a number of books on the subject (those you mention) have come out in America recently.

As to whether there is a difference between French enmity and its American equivalent, Joe N points out where it lies: "Any criticism of France occurs in small doses and almost never in the mainstream media — unlike the near daily nonsense in the Paris papers."

But even those (small) doses are too much for France!

I am not saying I believe that Vergennes wanted Washington surreptiously shot. But what I do believe — and what, indeed, I do know, preuves à l'appui — is this:

In what is claimed to be the rational, emotion-less pays des débats, there is indeed room for debate. But, as your post proves, it is far narrower than is commonly believed (as Stéphane pointed out in his insightful post on Fox News). And that, incidentally, cannot have happened without the connivance of the ministry of education, which you laud so much.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

What's Behind [_______]?

The Simon gives us the straight dope behind "what's behind the London attacks" - which reveals something brilliant. The accusation and the emotional ploys on the part of traitors are identical to the days immediately after 9-11, complete with Israelis being "warned in advance", hints that the killers "don't really exist", to the whole repetatively improbable-but-always-in-the-exact-same-way paradigm.

Many thanks to some of my favorite boozehounds for pointing this out, to the fine supporting cast and crew, and to my parents for making me possible...

Oh, and they also point out the most critcal thing - the fact that it's the apologists and self blamers who have to learn to live with their overreaching accusations:

«Peter Wilby seems to be struggling in his straitjacket with an article titled "Citizens in democracies will be held to account for what is done in their name". How nice. Nice to know that he thinks these people were all held accountable
Now how on earth can Harold Pinter, Ward Churchill, Wilby, and their ilk call anyone else a 'poodle'?

Why don't they read about the lives of people they'd rather call "Little Eichmanns" in their pathetic attempt to seek attention.

Experience has convinced me that serious anti-Americanism abroad is wildly exaggerated by pollsters with agendas and a sensation-hungry media

…experience has convinced me that serious anti-Americanism abroad is wildly exaggerated by pollsters with agendas and a sensation-hungry media
writes Ralph Peters (thanks to Gregory).
From Indonesian cities declared "hotbeds of Islamic fundamentalism" to that darkest of continents, Europe, I've found far more visa-seekers than would-be suicide bombers. After about 30 seconds of blowing off steam, my interlocutors from Sulawesi to Strassbourg only wanted to know how to get a green card.

Don't be fooled: America remains the most inspiring symbol in the world. A minority of a minority may actually prefer punitive religion, gender apartheid, poverty and filth, but much of the superficial rhetoric you hear directed against our country is a sign of jealousy and longing.

There are real America-haters out there, of course. The worst are deadly, and they'll menace us for decades to come. But there are no long lines of would-be émigrés outside of any Saudi, Iranian or Chinese embassies. No Africans or Latin Americans dream of building a better life for their families in Russia or Syria.

The American dream is still very much alive. For countless human beings around the world, the United States remains the shining city on a hill.

We forget how blessed we are. Having seen bitter poverty, disease, miserable corruption and life reduced to the most basic needs, I find it increasingly hard to put up with complaints about our country from spoiled professors and actors grown rich in a society they disdain (it makes me want to add a personal touch to their lattes). Even conservatives often underestimate the transformative genius of America and the power of our ideas.

We live in the one country on earth where pessimism is never warranted.

I've spent a month in a different part of Africa each of the last three years. And I've met one truly ferocious anti-American on that continent. She was an absolute nut-case who reminded me of those domestic leftists who blame America for their self-wrought misfortunes and personal discontents.

On the other hand, I've been taken aback by African fury toward "imperialist" Arabs and militant Islam. Nashville at its most patriotic has nothing on one educated Kenyan who all but volunteered to swim to Pakistan and kill Osama bin Laden single-handedly.

Foreign correspondents, academics and even some of our diplomats will disagree with the claims made in this column. A few will sincerely believe that the world despises America.

Let me tell you why my experience has been different from theirs. It's simple: We speak with different people.

Diplomats listen to politicians. Academics confer with their fellow academics. And journalists — especially the lazier sort — crib from local journalists, or interview politicians and academics.

Imagine trying to form a picture of America by interviewing only Ted Kennedy, Ward Churchill and Dan Rather.

Myself, I avoid embassies, rarely interview politicians and seek out students, not professors. I like to listen to shopkeepers, mullahs and missionaries, to workers, businessmen, medical personnel and the local equivalent of Joe Sixpack. And I never claim to be a journalist. That reveals a very different picture of any society.

Take your own poll. The next time you go on vacation or a business trip to a developing country, stroll off the resort or skip the lunch at the hotel restaurant. Don't be afraid. Work past the touts who prey on tourists everywhere and wander the streets. Just for an hour or two. And let conversations happen.

Light of Mind and Heart

The endless drip drip of ethical turpitude exhibits it’s logical outcome - Houseswitz, writes AP’s Jocelyn Gecker:

«PARIS (AP) -- An Internet video that depicts the Nazi death camp Auschwitz as a rave party drew sharp criticism Wednesday from a Jewish rights group, which urged authorities to have it removed from European Web sites.

The three-minute video titled "Housewitz" - a pun on house music and Auschwitz - casts Nazi soldiers as DJs. It alternates black-and-white still photos of Holocaust atrocities with color images of youths at an outdoor party. And it advertises a "Free taxi ride home," showing a wheelbarrow full of corpses.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center's European office denounced the video as "outrageous," saying it goes "beyond the bounds of freedom of expression to an unprecedented level of obscenity."
The center asked the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to call on countries where Web sites have posted the video to "immediately stop the spread of this pernicious nihilism."»

Consistent with the new know-nothing-ness that has all the depth of that impenetrably stupid trucker hat craze:
«The Dutch Web site, Geenstijl, says it's doing nothing wrong in posting the video. The site, whose name means "no style," says it mixes news with "light subjects and pleasantly twisted nonsense»
If you say “come on, they’re just kids” you’re projecting. They’re in their twenties, and hardly kids at all, but probably as grown-up as you can expect from EUtopians. They are also supposed to be the product of an über-enlightened world class über-education, replete with sensitivity training, environmental awareness, and multi-cultural dogma worthy of a Stalinist re-education camp.

Sicker still is GeenStijl’s item heading: „Tanzen macht frei!

Vielen Dank, Herr Wei

"Lebanese Red" to return the the UK for free heart operation

The the Daily Mail Online reports on Omar Bakri Mohammed's parasitic hate-hate relationship with the UK.

«Hate preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed may undergo heart surgery in an NHS hospital if he returns to the UK.
Bakri, who says he has a congenital heart problem, has already missed several appointments or had them postponed, friends said, but another one is likely to be scheduled before the end of the year.
Earlier this year the father-of-seven, who uses a walking stick, took delivery of a £30,000 Ford Galaxy people carrier paid for under the Motability scheme.

He is estimated to have received several hundred thousand pounds in benefits during his two decades in the UK.
Bakri, who had his mobile phone turned off today, sparked outrage last week by saying he would not inform police if he knew Muslim extremists were planning a bomb attack in Britain.»
Good idea. Let the taxpayers paying for your heart treatment croak. He's a wizard in the art of self preservation. It seems he has enough faith in Britain and the British to go under sedation with a dude holding a scalpel above him as well.

You know the free charity clinics in Lebanon come highly recommended.

The Dutch: Trying to Make Depressing Nihilism Fun since 1962

Thanks to Radio Netherlands' review of leading Dutch newspapers, we can always be certain that Vaudeville isn't dead.

«A cartoon on the front page of the NRC Handelsblad shows the [Space Shuttle Discovery] astronauts conversing with each other while they are waiting for the signal to return to Earth. One says to the other: "Can we land or do we have to wait till oil prices go down?"»
Morons. This little bit of humor attempts to poke fun at one of the only successful and usable hydrogen powered vehicles around.
«A totally different sort of entertainment 'culture' is the subject of front page stories in the mass-circulation dailies, the Telegraaf and Algemeen Dagblad, where we read that a new Dutch commercial television broadcaster will soon be airing a contest in which male contestants compete with each other to become the sperm donor for a woman who wants a baby. The show, called 'I want your child and nothing else'.»
They used to call that falling in love, trying to get married and honestly facing oneself by having a full and sincere life with one that you love. The eternally confused post-natural types (particularly in northern Europe) are reduced to trying to live a normal life through analogies, and vicariously through TV characters at that.

American Jokes About France Are One More Element Used to Prove French Superiority Over Those Clueless Yanks

During the Iraq crisis, it became common in France to read and hear about jokes about French cowardice, back-stabbing, and/or lack of gratitude making the rounds of the American heartland.

What was interesting (or disgusting) was how the French chose to report this batch of jokes. They make it sound as if, say, Jay Leno is some kind of patriotic newscaster, sprinkling his nationalistic speeches with jokes about the ennemi du jour.

That, needless to say, is a total deformation of reality. David Letterman, the cast of Saturday Night Live, and people of their ilk make jokes about everything, especially about domestic issues, from the election and leaders of both parties to (yes) George W Bush (or whoever is in the White House) and his administration, but also every element of foreign policy, from the Iraq war and the war on terrorism to Osama bin Laden and Abu Ghraib through the failure to find WMD!

Frank P Hart adds that Leno "is a great comedian precisely because there are no sacred cows for him — everyone is a target and nobody is spared." As for the difference between a late-night TV show and, say, Les Guignols, is that in the former, there's "a grain of truth — which is what makes it really funny — but the bottom line is that it's done for yuks, not as a policy statement." Jay joins in: "If Leno were french, his monologue would be non-stop Bush jokes, funny or not".

But if the late-night shows had been presented as they really were/are (and indeed, if the vast majority of American TV stations and their news shows had been shown as they really were/are, i.e., with the singular exception of Fox News, universally critical of Bush and the Iraq war), they could not have been turned into grist for the French mill mass-producing out images of masses of clueless American clods mindlessly following the every word of their retrograde patriotic leaders. No, this perception allowed them to shake their heads, tch-tch, and haughtily laugh the joke-telling off, and its self-serving nature ensured that this was the way that the view of the "event" would endure (as this example over than two years later testifies to).

What this tells us is that the French base their biased (self-serving) opinions on biased (self-serving) reporting in their own press which reflects the biased (self-serving) thinking of the members of their élite, and that all of the above think that the French should get a free pass, and be exempt from humor (at least, foreign humor) that puts the underlying "reasonable", "objective", "unemotional", "humanistic" nature of their policies into question...

In other words, French society as a whole — which supposedly loves to debate — has collectively pre-empted any soul-searching of their own policies (at least not beyond a certain line)…

Plus de pensées sur l'humour américain ici…

Failed Intelligence, Underhanded Motives, Aggressive Tendencies

DGSE to Britain: a very public “I TOLD you so”

Very helpful indeed, and also very reminiscent of the sickness most resembling the French “functionary” psyche.

«PARIS, Aug 8 (AFP) - A confidential report by France's intelligence service that was finalised days before the 7 July London bombings pointed to the threat of an Al-Qaeda attack on Britain, the French daily Le Figaro said Monday.»
Again, more nya-nya leaking and undermining of the value of intelligence. Maybe the worker-bees dream of this sort of interaction with the world outside their borders:
«I approached him and in my best French and told him the situation. He studied my documents and told me that I would have to resubmit the request again in writing. He assured me that if these letters had been received that the address would have been changed. Of course, I had sent them "return receipt requested," and I knew they had been received.

I immediately pulled out of my case a small box of Belgium chocolates that I had purchased. I asked if he would like one. I then slid the entire box under the window and insisted that he keep all of them. Eh voila! Suddenly, he found that he could make the changes right then and there on his system. As well, he wanted to know why I didn't have a prélevement ("direct draft") already established for the payment of my taxes. He filled out his part of the form for me, and then showed me where to sign.»
A world where imaginary authority collides with expectations of fealty, or something similarly small-minded, insular, and unimaginative.

As for their use in protecting people, and serving the public good, a glaring example of backing up allies and supporting larger strategic goals for the stability and safety of a larger world are quite obvious:
«Charles De Gaulle undertook covert operations in Quebec using nationalist and separatist movements in Quebec, under the rubric of "Assistance et Cooperation Technique" or "Operation Ascot." Jacques Foccart dispatched SDECE agents to Quebec to develop and foment the growth of separatist movements. »
Having committed untold harm and grief, even to allies and friends, the question is and has always been: can you trust them at all? I think it’s quite obvious why the U.S., or anyone else for that matter, doesn’t take French governance seriously.
« They say that France's intelligence services used an Italian-born middle-man to circulate a mixture of genuine and bogus documents to "trap" the two leading proponents of war with Saddam into making unsupportable claims.

They have passed to The Sunday Telegraph a photograph which they claim shows the Italian go-between, sometimes known as "Giacomo" - who cannot be identified for legal reasons - meeting a senior French intelligence officer based in Brussels. "The French hoped that the bulk of the documents would be exposed as false, since many of them obviously were," an Italian official said.

"Their aim was to make the allies look ridiculous in order to undermine their case for war."»
It looks like yet another honorific legacy of DeGaulle's Monsieur Afrique. Don’t worry, it’s only the opaque regime they don’t like, not the people, and certainly not the 20% of the population that it’s composed of…

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


FYI: My article on music & mirth in New Orleans was published in the current issue of the ASU Travel Guide.


Locke versus Hobbes
Conclusions: Issue: The Social Contract - survey SAYS.....

Locke: We give up our right to ourselves exact retribution for crimes in return for impartial justice backed by overwhelming force. We retain the right to life and liberty, and gain the right to just, impartial protection of our property.

Hobbes: If you shut up and do as you are told, you have the right not to be killed.

Japan's plans for defense involved mobilizing the civilian population, including women and children, for the customary suicidal battle tactics

The guilt-mongers have twisted the facts of history beyond recognition in order to say that it was unnecessary to drop those atomic bombs. Japan was going to lose the war anyway, they say. What they don't say is — at what price in American lives? Or even in Japanese lives?
Thomas Sowell continues:
Much of the self-righteous nonsense that abounds on so many subjects cannot stand up to three questions: (1) Compared to what? (2) At what cost? and (3) What are the hard facts?

The alternative to the atomic bombs was an invasion of Japan, which was already being planned for 1946, and those plans included casualty estimates even more staggering than the deaths that have left a sea of crosses in American cemeteries at Normandy and elsewhere. "Revisionist" historians have come up with casualty estimates a small fraction of what the American and British military leaders responsible for planning the invasion of Japan had come up with.

Who are we to believe, those who had personally experienced the horrors of the war in the Pacific, and who had a lifetime of military experience, or leftist historians [sic] hot to find something else to blame America for?

Moral relativism à la franchouille

Uncle Sam (wearing a heavy black Muslim-like beard instead of his usual white goattee): As the Al-Qaida barbarians say, you have to know how to massacre civilians from time to time.
(Thanks to Bill; back to Sowell:)
During the island-hopping war in the Pacific, it was not uncommon for thousands of Japanese troops to fight to the death on an island, while the number captured were a few dozen. Even some Japanese soldiers too badly wounded to stand would lie where they fell until an American medical corpsman approached to treat their wounds — and then they would set off a grenade to kill them both.

In the air the same spirit led the kamikaze pilots to deliberately crash their planes into American ships and bombers.

Japan's plans for defense against invasion involved mobilizing the civilian population, including women and children, for the same suicidal battle tactics. That invasion could have been the greatest bloodbath in history.

No mass killing, especially of civilians, can leave any humane person happy. But compared to what? Compared to killing many times more Japanese and seeing many times more American die?

More on Hiroshima

There’s No Cure for Gravity. Not Yet at Least.

Click image for live video.

Discovery’s de-orbit burn is roughly 1 hour prior to landing. When that decision is “go” – the rest is up to Sir Isaac Newton and the reaction control system.

The first landing opportunity at Kennedy Space Center is for 09.07 UTC.

Meanwhile back in Aus, some folks were shocked to find out that they had one of the little discussed, 30 or so contingency landing sites NASA has arranged over the years in bilateral agreements.

Better version though, by this lot from Ball-tee-more though...
Here's hoping for a safe re-entry and landing.

Monday, August 08, 2005

What Castro or Chavez Can Look Forward To

...they can look forward to the common man, the noble native, and anyone with the right length of rope to genuinely liberate themselves from cretins of that sort.

Hey, thought that Tony Blair is the only sort of person that can be dragged into an International Court type of political boondoggle?!?! How about a real life mass murderer?

«The "Red Christmas" complaint refers to supposed crimes committed during the Sandinista army operation to remove some 8,500 Indians from their communities on the banks of the Coco River, along the border with Honduras, and relocate them in five camps to prevent them from giving logistical support to the Contra insurgents.Indigenous groups have complained that hundreds of their people died during the operation. The complaint also includes current Sandinista lawmaker and former Interior Minister Tomas Borge, former DGSE secret police chief Lenin Cerna and Nicaragua's current human rights prosecutor, Omar Cabezas.»
Imagine that, they even use the word “indigenous peoples” left and right too, and they’re still mass murderers, and still have friends in Hollywood. Take a moment and look at who the Indigenous “Peoples” were supporting – the ones opposed to people taking away personal liberties under the pretext of a pretend humane ideology.

Hat-tip to Ezra Levant at The Shotgun and PlubiusPundit

Plus Ça Change…

The French seem to find all kinds of interesting ways to fill their days
writes Monica Crowley:
coddling the world's dictators, selling banned technologies to rogue regimes, and, of course, their favorite pastime: stabbing the United States in the back…

Congratulations to the EU3 on another successful 5 year plan.

Ireland Online: Iran resumes uranium conversion activities

«Iran resumed uranium conversion activities today at a nuclear facility – a step that Europeans and the US warned would prompt them to seek UN sanctions against Tehran.»

U.S. “accuses” (hoe DARE they), and Europe “fears” (how very touching of them):
«The US accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, while Iran insists its programme aims only to produce electricity. But Iran has insisted it has the right to develop the entire fuel cycle – from raw uranium to the fuel for a reactor. Europe fears that if Iran can develop fuel on its own, it will also secretly produce material for a bomb.»

It’s not quite the same outcome of calling one thing “fear” and one thing an “accusation”, apart from the fact that the EU3 get characterized as a giant, (albeit ineffectual) warm-fuzzy, and with any hope on the part of a press ringer, the Iranian street mobs will be incited by an “accusation”.
Either way, the Iranian public is put at risk by their non-nuclear neighbors by all this. It doesn’t figures into the construction of a strategic balance of any sort, unless they plan on initiating a war with Israel, the Pakistanis, or wiping out Saudi Arabia.

Multiculturalism - A Cult at Crossed Purposes

They are talking about their own internal political struggle of course, and they’re exploiting immigrants and constructing disaffection to do it:

US News and World Report editor Michael Barone writes in his syndicated column about the flaws of the touting spin on a problem which caused itself – namely that multicultural programming created separate and hostile cultural factions in a society which are exploited by a left which has no awareness of s society needing a set of core beliefs that allow for coexistence, and allow for people to be different from one another without always presenting the risk of social meltdown in the process.

« When I was in Britain for the election in May, I was surprised to hear nothing from Tony Blair (or other politicians) about Britain's positive contributions to the world. Now, they are being heard.

Multiculturalism is based on the lie that all cultures are morally equal. In practice, that soon degenerates to: All cultures are morally equal, except ours, which is worse. But all cultures are not equal in respecting representative government, guaranteed liberties and the rule of law. And those things arose not simultaneously and in all cultures, but in certain specific times and places -- mostly in Britain and America, but also in various parts of Europe. »
As for the conservative view, it sees that the disaffection. It finds itself having to work double-time and become distracted by the effort to hold together what the left tears apart. Under the leftist program, I would never be a real participant in American society – merely an Arab with a list of irremediable grievances who happens to carry a U.S. passport. The purpose isn’t in the interest of the immigrant, in fact it’s to his loss to not be positively involved in the society he lives in, and it has a distancing effect between himself and the world as a whole. It’s nothing more than a reason to develop an ulcer.
Its’ mere purpose is to indulge the native left’s desire to believe that there needs to be disaffection and “class struggle” for their own contrived moral vanity, which instead of actually being progressive, seems resigned to living in a previous century where the workers of the world were to unite, empower the “progressive” elite, and then wait in line for what an elite would ration out to them.

When the public has to tacitly do this on their own, they make up for the failing of that very elite. It works, but it only serves to indulge those “progressives” in their illusions that they words have no meaning and can do no serious harm.
« In America, as in Britain, multiculturalism has become the fashion in large swathes of our society. So the Founding Fathers are presented only as slaveholders, World War II is limited to the internment of Japanese-Americans and the bombing of Hiroshima. Slavery is identified with America, though it has existed in every society and the antislavery movement arose first among English-speaking evangelical Christians.

But most Americans know there is something special about our cultural heritage. While Harvard and Brown are replacing scholars of the founding period with those studying other things, book-buyers are snapping up first-rate histories of the Founders by David McCullough, Joseph Ellis and Ron Chernow.»
So what is it that they have to offer? Tribalism and a hatred of the individual while all the while pretending to promote their freedom – which in reality means THEIR libertine rule over others through the micromanagement of everything from health, education, work, religious and political expression, and most sadly, the making and protecting of ones’ own well being.

So what’s left of their paradigm?: without the individual’s sense of self-preservation, and without presenting the value of the society as a whole, why bother with protecting a free society anyway? Barone quotes Jean Francois Revel who put it very well:
«A civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself."»

French Foreign Policy Regarded as Treasonous, and By Countries Closer to Paris Than the Neocons in Washington…

Regarding the Iraq war, the French have developed the habit of snickering about the U.S. accusation of French treason one minute, and making haughty comments about friends being allowed to make independent decisions the next.

Of course, this dissing of the American perception of having been stabbed in the back in early 2003 fits straight into the (self-serving) world vision in which the French — conveniently — are always more reasonable, more wise, more sophisticated, more courageous, more tolerant, more open, etc, etc, than everyone else (and why isn't the world, and especially America — sigh — wise enough to recognize this irrefutable French strength?).

In conversations with ordinary Frenchmen, as well as on this blog, I have often had to defend my opinions — which I liken to common sense observations — of the charge of "being" pro-American with the idea that they must go deeper than dualistic thinking ("If you do not criticize America, you are a mindless zombie salivating about the American dream"; "if you are not anti-Bush, you believe everything the neo-cons say"; "if you don't stop bringing up pieces of evidence of French [or EU] perfidy and putting the Iraq crisis into context, you must be anti-French [or anti-European], et pourquoi vous vivez ici alors!?"), indeed (especially if the French are as wise as they claim to be, and as sophisticated in their thinking, as opposed to "good-evil" Americans) they ought to discard it altogether.

Although I rarely say so in so many words, I try to tell them you cannot have tunnel vision ("Are you pro-Bush or anti-Bush?", "Are you for [the] war or against [the] war?") and you must drop it in favor of wide-angle lenses. (This led to my pre-election posting in which I said that sure, Bush appears to be the worst politician in the world — with the exception of…) Indeed, by focusing their opprobrium on America — indeed, by having opprobrium at all and by celebrating the fact — the French overlook the situation, and situations, elsewhere in the world, as well as feelings of other actors around the globe — the least of whom, in the Iraqi crisis, certainly are not the Iraqis themselves.

In that perspective, let us turn to Eastern Europe: while the French continue to snicker over those clueless Americans and their (retrograde and uncalled-for) aggressiveness toward France, Andrew Borowiec points out (Ginkooyeh to Gregory) that in eastern Europe the "heritage of Gaullism" (i.e., French foreign policy since the end of World War II, basically) is regarded as treason. Excerpts:

Resentment of France is growing in Eastern Europe where French policies are perceived to be anti-American and undermining the European Union's cohesion.

… According to Polish sources, suggestions have been posited in the former communist countries for a more balanced policy by the EU that would see the United States as a partner, not as a competitor. Some diplomats say French prestige and France's role as one of the union's dominant powers have suffered.

Not to worry, though, because of course, the French have a way to deal with this. The people who haughtily proclaim that friends ought to be allowed to make independent decisions can tell that the new members of the EU that they "ought to shut up" and fall in line.

A mainland invasion could have resulted in millions of Japanese deaths—and that's not counting civilians

In 1945, Paul Fussell, was a 21-year-old second lieutenant who'd spent much of the previous year fighting his way through Europe
writes the Wall Street Journal.
At the time of Hiroshima, he was scheduled to participate in the invasion of the Japanese mainland, for which the Truman Administration anticipated casualties of between 200,000 and one million Allied soldiers. No surprise, then, that when news of the bomb reached Lt. Fussell and his men, they had no misgivings about its use:

"We learned to our astonishment that we would not be obliged in a few months to rush up the beaches near Tokyo assault-firing while being machine-gunned, mortared, and shelled, and for all the practiced phlegm of our tough facades we broke down and cried with relief and joy. We were going to live."

Mr. Fussell was writing about American lives. What about Japanese lives? The Japanese army was expected to fight to the last man, as it had during the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Since the ratio of Japanese to American combat fatalities ran about four to one, a mainland invasion could have resulted in millions of Japanese deaths--and that's not counting civilians. The March 1945 Tokyo fire raid killed about 100,000; such raids would have intensified had the war dragged on. The collective toll from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings is estimated at between 110,000 and 200,000.

Nuclear weapons are often said to pose a unique threat to humanity, and in the wrong hands they do. But when President Truman gave the go-ahead to deploy Fat Man and Little Boy, what those big bombs chiefly represented was salvation: salvation for young Lt. Fussell and all the GIs; salvation for the tens of thousands of Allied POWs the Japanese intended to execute in the event of an invasion; salvation for the grotesquely used Korean "comfort women"; salvation for millions of Asians enslaved by the Japanese.

Not least, and despite the terrible irony, the bombings were salvation for Japan, since they prompted Emperor Hirohito to intervene with his bitterly divided government to end the war, thus laying the groundwork for America's beneficent occupation and the country's subsequent prosperity. To understand the roots of modern Japan's pacifist mentality, so at variance with its old warrior culture, one need only visit Hiroshima's peace park.

More thoughts on Hiroshima

How a Trusted Ally Betrayed Washington

«Perhaps the most enduring tenet of American history, implanted early in our school years, is the belief that France was our strongest ally and our closest friend during the American Revolution against the English.

Mr. Unger's book makes clear that none of them wanted to lose the war or their own territories that were put at stake to wage the conflict. All three wanted to come out richer than they came in. The British wanted to reinforce their hold on Canada, and regain whatever they had lost in earlier conflict with France. The British also wanted to reinforce their hold on the colonies, and on America as a whole. The French were not there, he says, to help win independence for the new United States, but to "recapture the United States."»
...writes Ambassador Robert M. Smalley of historian Harlow Giles Unger’s " The French War Against America,"

« The New World was seen by the nations of Europe, particularly France, England and Spain, but also smaller nations such as The Netherlands and Sweden, as huge hunks of new land for the taking, with new waterways, new resources and ample room for settlers and new trading companies.»
Like their view of Africa and the Near East, some things never seem to change. The stakes in their effort now might be Nestlé, Unitlever, or BP Shell, but the subtext isn’t any different. It gets even more puzzling:
«By the summer of 1775 there were spies everywhere -- British spies, French spies and others -- all funneling information to the governments they served, including some stolen from Washington's own command, such as data on his need for arms and munitions. French spies reportedly were putting cash into the hands of various members of the American Congress. (And it was French money.)

The French spymaster in Paris, named Vergennes, informed his top agent in America, Gen. Rochambeau, to permit no French troops to separate from others, and to be certain they were serving under French generals. Mr. Unger cites Vergennes as the one who liked to plot Gen. Washington being shot from a horse, so that Rochambeau could take his place and control the American army.

It is of interest that John Adams (later the second president) spent much time in Europe during the Revolutionary War and warned repeatedly that the French should not be trusted.»

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Save the jet fuel...

Just march them to the fence. Give them to the neighbors. They actually have a lot in common, and have friends in high places.

Dispatches of The Angry Elf

MEMRI TV: Galloway on a variety of Arab language television channels calls for war to 'liberate' Baghdad and Jerusalem.

The EU: what a bunch of boobs.

By Paul Belien: Brussels bans what's possibly the only thing left that makes Germany interesting under the pretext of an "Optical Radiation Directive". (That means light, by the way.)

Strange thing to do in northern to central EUtopia where honky couldn't get a sunburn if he tried. Next week's bit of prudish pandering ban : beer.

Tax proceeds to promote gay pride festival tourism where shirts aren't worn.
Next week's new directive: compulsory headscarves.