Cole, President of the Middle East Studies Association, doesn’t think we are really at war:
«I take it this is because they have finally realized that if they are fighting a war on terror, the enemy is four guys in a gymn (sic) in Leeds. It isn't going to take very long for people to realize that a) you don't actually need to pay the Pentagon $400 billion a year if that is the problem and b) whoever is in charge of such a war isn't actually doing a very good job at stopping the bombs from going off.»Michael Totten:
«I don’t know what to say. So I won’t say anything. I’ll just post some photos instead.»
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Cole, President of the Middle East Studies Association, doesn’t think we are really at war:
Jamais de réponse à mes demandes de renseignements et impossibilité d'obtenir les documents nécessaires à mon inscription…
The world economy in 2020: The USA on top, China a strong second, India third, with a divided Europe floundering somewhere in the Guava Leagues.
The Guardian reports that a three page fax in Arabic sent to the Vatican appears to be attributed to al-Queda. It threatens the usual hellfire, but includes an olive branch to the duped and comfortable left:
«The three-page document, written in Arabic, accuses the Vatican of supporting "the capitalist countries" who joined the war in Iraq and justifies terror attacks in Britain and Spain as "self defence against terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan".»The Guardian, however, starts spinning it in the very next paragraph:
«The threats are bound to increase nerves in Italy, which has long feared it could be the next European country to be targeted by Islamists because of the government's support of the Iraq war.»The editors refuse to believe that there isn’t a disconnect here. Radical Islam is engaged with a holy war against an opponent who isn’t, and the screwy left is accusing the leaders of the west of being the zealots conducting a religious war. It’s astounding. Victor David Hanson:
«In the age of utopianism we demand impossible standards of perfection. Then when they cannot be met, we conclude that we are not good at all, but the equivalent of a Pol Pot, Hitler, or Saddam himself — an elected American president who is a worse terrorist than Osama bin Laden.[…]
Second, we don't believe that we are in a war anymore. Jimmy Carter thinks that something we do in Guantanamo galvanizes terrorists, as if the camp had been in existence since 1979, when under his watch this present quarter-century cycle of killing and terrorizing Americans with impunity in the Middle East began in earnest. Thus instead of joining in the effort to defeat Islamic fascists, the opposition and our pundits nitpick and moan, hoping for media attention and political points, convinced that none of their triangulation aids the enemy — since we aren't really in a war at all.
Yet the United States itself has not changed its character under Republican hands. Its government and people are as they were, thus ensuring the more the Left lashes out about losing the republic, the more their charges seem strident and extremist — bringing them shame as the additional wage to their irresponsibility.»It also reminds me of what so called “moderates” are rattling on about. VDH again points out what sort of speech coming the western press will not report on.
«This last May — and out of the hateful mouth of a prominent Palestinian cleric, Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris. He was broadcast on a Palestinian Authority station.He goes further in examining the Islamist’s gripe, but I think you know where it goes. If the calls to behead and drink blood weren’t a conscious construct, it would sound like the delusions of a madman cornered by his own past and his manhood. One thing is certain, it isn’t an act on behalf of the poor or oppressed.
The televised Sheik finished with an even more frightening thought: “The day will come when everything will be relieved of the Jews — even the stones and trees which were harmed by them…The stones and trees will want the Muslims to finish off every Jew.”
Nothing could be clearer than that promise of another holocaust — and promised explicitly on state-run Palestinian television, a public megaphone of the Palestinian Authority, itself the beneficiary of past and apparently promised future American financial aid.
Still, don’t hold your breath that the passive/aggressive sheik is about to lead a pan-Islamic army a few miles across the border to “finish off every Jew,” since he might then end up like Sheik Ahmed Yassin, whose threats of death earned him instead an early paradise.»
Neo-Nazis support Cindy Sheehan in her quest for her own personal international affairs policy.
Let The World Know That White Patriots We're First & Loudest To Protest This War For IsraelNow wouldnt it be grand fun to watch one group of hate spewing authoritarians meeting another one? Confronting each other in common cause? Hilarious.
We don't want leftist Johnny-come-latelys who are misleadingly protesting this war as if the war is about oil (not true), or as if it's right-wing patriots who launched this war (not true) to hijack the issue from us.
We want to challenge these leftists with the fact that their leftist leaders, like Hillary Clinton, are on the same War for Israel team as the cowardly Republicans who have been bought and paid for in the Senate, House, White House, and Media by the Jewish Neocon political machine.
I have often been called a Nazi, and although it is unfair, I don't let it bother me. I don't let it bother me for one simple reason. No one has ever had a sexual fantasy about being tied to a bed and sexually ravished by someone dressed as a liberal.
Friday, August 26, 2005
…oddly, the war doesn’t look so bad to those closest to itmuses Rich Tucker (while Rusty Humphries brings home snapshots of prisoner cells from his visit to Guantánamo).
“Those of us who actually have a chance to go out and go on patrols and meet the Iraqi army and Iraqi police and go on patrols with them, we are very satisfied with the way things are going here,” Capt. Sherman Powell told the Today show recently. “We are confident that if we’re allowed to finish the job we started, we’ll be very proud of it, and our country will be proud of us for doing it.” Finishing the job is the key.
A popular bumper sticker claims, “War is not the Answer.” But that depends on the question. If the question is: “How can we eliminate Saddam Hussein, a man who killed 300,000 people, and replace him with a democratic government that we may be able to deal with?” then war was the only answer because, without the invasion, nothing would have changed in Iraq.
More dissecting of the left's implicit assumption that any soldier who sees live fire immediately transforms into Mahatma Gandhi
Despite the left's implicit assumption that any soldier who sees live fire immediately transforms into Mahatma Gandhi, military members, by and large, are hawksBen Shapiro points out.
In truth, the left would regard military control of foreign policy as an unmitigated disaster. In the view of those like Michael Moore, the only good American soldiers are those who are unemployed or dead. Soldiers are only good if they aren't fighting, since America's wars are always wrong and America's soldiers are war criminals. (An added side benefit: If those soldiers never see combat, they, too, can never be foreign policy hawks -- service in non-active combat roles doesn't count in the leftist view.) Dead American soldiers are good since they can be used as pawns by foreign policy doves: body bag pictures and grieving mothers -- all of it undermines American morale and support for strong foreign policy. Dead soldiers can be cast as "victims," and their corpses cynically used as clubs against America's foreign policy. In holding itself up as the great defender of victimized military members, the left denigrates the courageous choices made by military members every day. Deciding to enter the armed services isn't a choice the left understands, but it is a choice -- an honorable, brave, praiseworthy choice. The leftist claim that soldiers are victims means that they are boobs and ignoramuses, incapable of choosing a lifestyle that risks death in defense of American freedoms.
Implicitly, then, the "chickenhawk" argument rejects all options aside from civilian pacifist control of American foreign policy. If all soldiers are victims, too stupid or ignorant to make up their own minds about joining the military, how can we trust them with foreign policy? And according to the "chickenhawk" argument, civilian hawks cannot control foreign policy. The only ones left are complete pacifist loons like Michael Moore and Arianna Huffington. How convenient!
And convenience is what the "chickenhawk" argument is really about. Pacifists don't want to discuss real foreign policy issues -- they want to call names. If you can't win over the populace at large, the only solution left is to stifle the argument. That's what "chickenhawk" is about. At the end of the day, "chickenhawk" is morally and intellectually chicken.
Fox News: “Italian Red Cross Hid Iraqi Insurgents in Exchange for Kidnapped Workers”
«Italy's Red Cross treated four Iraqi insurgents with the knowledge of the Italian government last year and hid them from U.S. forces in exchange for the freedom of two kidnapped aid workers, a top Italian Red Cross official said in an interview published Thursday.Clearly they were motivated by the fear of being targeted by terrorists, and confused as to how to practice the Hippocratic Oath. On their mind surely must have been the memory of an Italian agitator and emotional blackmailer in the guise of a journalist, compromised, and perhaps even in collusion with the enemy… That bit of political kabuki theater became a sign that as far as the terrorists are concerned, that Italians could be made manipulated by them. What’s lost is the respectful distant necessary to practice medicine in conflict could be undermined.
Maurizio Scelli, the outgoing chief of the Italian Red Cross, told the Turin newspaper La Stampa that he kept the deal secret from U.S. officials, complying with "a nonnegotiable condition" imposed by Iraqi mediators who helped him secure the release of Italians Simona Pari and Simona Torretta. They were abducted in Baghdad Sept. 7 and freed Sept. 28.»
They seem to also have been acting out of fear of reprisal by those same insurgents for having contact with Iraqi authorities and the Coalition:
«"Keeping quiet with the Americans about our efforts to free the hostages was an irrevocable condition to guarantee the safety of the hostages and ourselves," he told La Stampa. He said Letta agreed.»In other words, the kidnapping worked. The hostage-takers succeeded in scaring them into concealing the affair from authorities, and got their way with people who are only there to help the people these terrorists pretend to represent.
- Thanks muchly to Nicole.
Campaigns and expressions of habitual revision tend to verge on the ironic, like much of the angry left has. Take for example the graphic below. On one level it makes a nice t-shirt graphic for the expression of gayness (as if that by itself was some sort of virtue), but where I have seen it mostly is in the context of anti-corporate movement silliness. As if the plank for your home hade music CDs could be made by a beekeeper…
Selling hoagies bad. Being treated like a Hoagie or any other inanimate object good… Being a homophobic far leftist - bad if not worse - any way you shake it.
Empowered Victimhood – if that makes any sense to you please let know how.
Alas it gets better – even the Prison Fellowship is chiming in on another area of leftist headbanging: how is it that prostitution (sorry, that’s “sex work” now) can be ‘empowering’, but still cause misery, human trafficking, and other things that turn the core of a being into little more than a commodity. On every level it’s worse than someone selling their organs.
«In an article titled “Prostitution Gives Me Power,” the fashion magazineMarie Claire praised the lives of three “sex workers” in Holland for “using their bodies to foster trust, compassion, and happiness in the world.” One woman said that working for a brothel or escort business allowed for a connection because “you’re there for a couple of hours” and “talk much more.” Of course, any sort of “connection” she may think she’s making is a false one. The transaction is commercial; she is a commodity to be purchased. And no matter how she packages that, it’s dehumanizing.
As Ambassador John Miller, head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the State Department, wrote in a letter to Marie Claire, “[W]here prostitution is legal or illegal but tolerated, there is a greater demand for human trafficking victims,” because local women don’t view prostitution as “legitimate or desirable,” and so “crime networks fill the void.”
Moreover, says Miller, recent academic research in nine countries “found that 57 percent of women in prostitution were raped, 73 percent were physically assaulted, and 68 percent [qualified] for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.” Eighty-nine percent of those women said they wanted to “escape” their situation.
“The U.S. Government has come to oppose legalized prostitution,” Miller wrote, “not only because it is inherently harmful and dehumanizing, but also because it creates a thriving marketplace for victims of human trafficking. This connection cannot be disregarded if we are to be serious about ending modern-day slavery.” And that’s why it’s so important that you and I continue to urge implementation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. It is up for reauthorization this year. There are still problems we need to address more strongly.
The number of persons trafficked across borders is between 600,000 and 900,000. And estimates of the number trafficked into the United Stated ranges from about 15,000 by government records up to 50,000 according to anti-slavery activists.
Now, don’t think that legitimizing prostitution as a “good” to be sold is simply the argument of magazines like Marie Claire. When Bill Bennett and I first approached the Clinton administration in the mid-nineties to get them to stop sex trafficking, we ran into a stone wall. The feminist position was, believe it or not, being accepted, that this was empowering women. Slavery—empowerment? That’s a dangerous newspeak, but it’s exactly what we’re up against in this culture. And it’s the reason that Christians today have to fight against modern-day slavery. This is a human-rights abuse that must be ended.»It seems painfully obvious that a large part of the whole feminist political movement is trapped in a rhetorical train-wreck by the “empowerment/slavery” paradox which resembles a complex of the psyche. To maintain the fiction of their causes they have to pass it on to their college recruits. It’s an irresponsible meme to pass on to a group of people who are increasingly able to hook up, but increasingly incapable of being trusted or loved, and are bing modeled into this to advance an obsolete .
Next comes the habit, the unending, repetitious desire to regulate for what the shallowest of thinkers determine to be a ‘greater good’. From Spiked-Online via John Ray’s excellent PC-Watch blog:
«…there is a new strain of moral opprobrium spreading through the body social. We all have an ever-swelling inventory of things we feel we ought not to do - both because lobbies or pressure groups suggest they damage the common good and because our friends might like us less if they knew we did them. Green campaigners tell us to question whether we really ought to take long-haul flights. Health campaigners invite us not to give sweets to one another. Safety campaigners insist we drive at much lower speeds. There is a censor at every corner.insatiable incrementalism. As restraints on behaviour are ever more formalised in the name of the common good, so lobbies have a habit of not disappearing. Indeed, even though the world, by their lights, may have been measurably improved by the success of a particular campaign, their politically monotone clamour can remain as loud as ever.»With internal contradictions that great is it any wonder that psychiatry is still a great business?
This universe of one-issue agit-prop has one abiding, perhaps under-noticed feature. And that is what we might call
Thursday, August 25, 2005
No, not Greens. These children-injured-within are a new Canadian Political party has been formed, and might last longer than 4-5 weeks before phobic strangeness sets in. The “Cosmopolitans” are busy promoting fuzzy spirituality and greenie Luddism, and are a sort of ‘Links Partei’ for the cold, perpetually angry north. I’m not surprised. This should give the left of center liberal party which is otherwise still rather loony a bit of relief by siphoning off the most embarrassing of the lot. I’m sure they were hoping that the Green Party will do the trick, but they were too single-issue to include everything that will magically come in the Age of Aquarius.
I have NEVER heard of a political party promoting religion in North America before, even if it is an undistinguishable blob, let alone something resembling a cult based on the handout at an Interfaith meeting in a Unitarian Church basement.
Basically it amounts to nothing. People who wouldn’t hurt a fly from one leftist cultural faction convince another one that everyone who looks like them has good intentions (unless they’re white), largely because on their stated confession, or the religion of their childhood.
Either way they think they can second guess what someone will think, do, and feel based on their religion, skin color, and nation of origin. This makes them slightly bigoted morons. And of course, this is haram.
After all, never mind the man behind the curtain who fits their notion of what “the oppressed” are supposed to look like.
With a big ol’ “call to action” for the Aquarians, you can be sure that if they represent anything, it’s a political faction easily manipulated from the outside in the form of nondescript International pity. Let’s show them, say, some smiling Taliban faces, explain to them their poverty, and get them their very own proponents on Parliament Hill.
Now, if you'll excuse me, this whole story makes me want to release the Chi from my lower intestine.
They are after all, "at war" against something all the time...
From Opinion Journal’s “Best of the Web” we find out that war protesters have learned nothing from the most foolish form of Vietnam war protests, and also prove themselves to be hypocrites. Don’t believe these folks for a second for a second when they say that they “support the troops but oppose the war.”
CNS reports on the left’s form of opposing political ideas by spitting on soldiers in a new way. In an objectiveless acting out of their own emotions, they are camping out in front of military hospitals where injured soldiers are recuperating. Projecting their feelings in the wrong place, they surely realize that soldiers don’t declare wars, they fight them, and have a Geneva convention to abide to. They can’t, after all, taunt their injured enemies after they’ve been pacified.
«The Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., the current home of hundreds of wounded veterans from the war in Iraq, has been the target of weekly anti-war demonstrations since March. The protesters hold signs that read "Maimed for Lies" and "Enlist here and die for Halliburton."…The Code Pinkies don’t seem to actually oppose the war, they simply oppose anyone who represents anything they don’t agree with. Regardless of how they feel about a nation’s policy, soldiers don’t get to make the same choices and have the same judgment as the Code Pinkos until their reenlistment date comes up.
Code Pink Women for Peace, one of the groups backing anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford Texas, organizes the protests at Walter Reed as well…
Kevin Pannell, who was recently treated at Walter Reed and had both legs amputated after an ambush grenade attack near Baghdad in 2004, considers the presence of the anti-war protesters in front of the hospital "distasteful."
When he was a patient at the hospital, Pannell said he initially tried to ignore the anti-war activists camped out in front of Walter Reed, until witnessing something that enraged him.
"We went by there one day and I drove by and [the anti-war protesters] had a bunch of flag-draped coffins laid out on the sidewalk. That, I thought, was probably the most distasteful thing I had ever seen. Ever," Pannell, a member of the Army's First Cavalry Division, told Cybercast News Service.
"You know that 95 percent of the guys in the hospital bed lost guys whenever they got hurt and survivors' guilt is the worst thing you can deal with," Pannell said, adding that other veterans recovering from wounds at Walter Reed share his resentment for the anti-war protesters.blockquote>
But none of this matters to leftist offended not so much by policies and actions, but by what they imagine represents it, in the exact same way the Symbionese Liberation " a Army?<>had no actual tenets except for some vague and shortsighted factional racist concepts, but wanted to murder cops.
Continental Europe is normally heard obsessively with telling itself what a great investment it's made in education, but alas.... They are even often heard jibing the British too for charging a "top up" fee.
Obviously the socialistic approach doesn't work, and doesn't do a thing for the advanced areas of study that could change the human future.
Note too how Canada is made distinct from "The Americas" which seems to only include the United States, and what a damned fine job the British have done.
As the stale old joke goes: I can't say that I've attended number 11, but I have picked their locks.
"To all the cynics, I'm sorry for you," Armstrong said after his final Tour triumph in July. "I'm sorry you can't believe in miracles. This is a great sporting event and hard work wins it." Hard work, money, and winning. Three things that drive the French into frenzies of hysterical jealousy.
As a young reporter covering Communist Eastern Europe during the late 1970s, I had the extraordinary experience of witnessing the birth of the Polish Solidarity trade union movement, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this monthwrites Judy Dempsey in the International Herald Tribune.
The French left declined all support because it itself was too close to the former Soviet Communist Party. The French right did not want to foster instability anywhere in Europe. As for German leaders, they feared that a political explosion in Poland would undermine their efforts at détente with the Kremlin, which they believed was crucial for establishing closer ties with Communist East Germany.Makes you wonder why this guy (rather than the lucid West European peace lovers) is a hero in Eastern Europe and why the Eastern Europeans would join Bush's coalition in Iraq by such large numbers. That cowboy sure was never named for a Nobel peace prize, unlike bona fide pacifists such as Mikhail and the current chancellor of Germany.
"The West European governments were concerned with the stability. They did not want Poland to rock the boat," says [Gienek Smolar], who when living in exile in London had helped garner international support for Solidarity.
Strangely enough, the Easterners have not espoused their Western cousins' view that the great danger to them, indeed to all of humanity, comes from that treacherous Uncle Sam. Graham Bowley points out that
Estonia possesses a new self-confidence as an independent country in the protective embrace of the European Union. This has allowed it and the other new-accession states, led by Poland, to resist Moscow more firmly, and has also encouraged the EU to take a tougher line versus Russia, for example over last year's disputed elections in Ukraine.
Juan Cole, acting like a horses ass treats the death of Steven Vincent like nothing more than a piece of furniture to set his pointless opinions on.
Lisa Ramaci-Vincent, Steven Vincents widow does not take it sitting down:
«I would like to refute this shameful post against a dead man who can no longer defend himself against your scurrilous accusations, a dead man who also happened to be my husband. Steven Vincent and I were together for 23 years, married for 13 of them, and I think I know him a wee bit better than you do.Good idea professor beat up on a dead man. Very big of you, spanky. Now go chace Mary Ann.
For starters, Steven and Nour were not "romantically involved". If you knew anything at all about the Middle East, as you seem to think you do, then you would know that there is no physical way that he and she could have ever been alone together.»
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
...For largely useless college punks who will spend 4 years shilling for WAGS and the Links Partei. The Indy (UK) reports on German student "homelessness" (lack of housing) and a great place to store leftovers from 1968 and their padantic young duplicates. Not to mention, these would make a wonderful time capsule for the amusement of future generations.
Thanks to Minerva the Mad. Minerva - that was me. I was your lovechild.
Raffarin pushes for the disposal of Cesare Battisti, a former leftist fantasy terrorist who Mitterand as an ideological cousin gave refuge to from Italy in the hopes that he would behave himself, write books and peacefully forment La Revolución Volient. Looks like he learned to run for the border from the best of them. He's beamed up. When they catch up with him, it'll be:
The Dutch paper "Trouw" conciders homosexuals, asylum seekers, and immigrants to have a "plight" - which is correct. They are the people who are the most pandered to by costly and pointless nanny-state programs. In other words, if you need the government to provide you with familial bonds, then you are one seriously lost soul and a sick puppy.
BORROW A BROTHER
«The Protestant daily Trouw reports on a new service offered by the public library of Almelo, a town in the east of the Netherlands. The library will not only lend you books, newspapers and CDs, but also people. It is acquiring a collection of volunteers who are prepared to meet with clients who are in the same plight and with whom they can share common concerns and experiences over a cup of coffee at the library, Trouw reports.All of a kind? Certainly not, but writer doesn’t seem to realize that the PC fever has gotten the best him (or her, or perhaps even it.)
So far, the collection includes a homosexual, a couple who are the parents of a homosexual, an asylum-seeker, an immigrant, a disabled person, a heroin addict and a German.»
This in spite of the fact that in its body, the editorial states that "the daily L'Équipe … claims that the man with obiquitous yellow jacket has lied."
Regardless of what turns up in Lance Armstrong's antics or lack thereof, this has all to do with equating Americans with liars, cheats, greedy devils, duplicitous scoundrels, and treacherous hypocrites. (You know, like, say, that fella in the White House — for whom the religion-rejecting avant-gardistes dusted off the expression "original lie".)
What, not surprisingly, can one read in the comments section of the editorial? "Isn't there something rather typical of the Bushian environment … : cheat and terrorise those who denounce cheating?" Belgium's Michel C adds that the Bushian environment "is not to be confused with the American one". But, as this website has made clear again and again, when and where have there been as many denuncations of the Putinian environment, of the (of China's) Huan environment, of the Mugaben environment, of the Saddamian environment? (Didn't the former president of Iraq have, if memory serves me right, a slight tendency to stretch the truth, once in a while? Wasn't he in the habit of intimidating his opponents somewhat?)
Gratefully, a Tikaf points out the anti-Americanism inherent in the article: "whether Lance is chums with GW Bush is nobody's business but his own." Equilateral adds that the title ought to have been "the sin", the sin being first to have been American and second to have as friend "a certain George W. Bush": "Quickly, the execution pole." Patrick V wonders how the article would have read had the cyclist champion accused been French, while Chaps shakes his head at the "hypocrisy of the journalists who are trying to gain notoriety and shoot down an American" — ce ne sera "pas la première fois et pas [la] dernière"…
Pointing out the "deep-rooted anti-Americanism" and the "undescribable jealousy" in this affair, Stroemer points out that "in your editorial you introduce no presumption of innocence whatsoever. Your accusation and your judgment are categorical and definite: Armstrong is guilty."
A Singular Triumph of Immobility and a Strange Political Status Quo: Running France is above all a conjuring trick
In no major European country have politics remained as frozen since the Cold War's end as in France, where the old guard has proved largely impervious to the remaking of the worldwrites Roger Cohen.
Britain got New Labour and Tony Blair with their slick market-oriented makeover of a tired socialism. In Spain, Felipe González's elegant refashioning of the left helped lay the basis for post-Franco democracy.
Italian politics could never be the same after the Berlin Wall fell because the system had revolved around keeping the Communists from power: the vehicle designed to that end, the Christian Democrats, disappeared. As for Germany, it incorporated a collapsed state, East Germany, and seems about to elect a woman raised there.
While all this happened - not to mention the complete reinvention of central Europe - France managed to pass power from a man who first served in government in 1944 to another who first did so in 1967. Even for a country attached to its traditions, this amounts to a singular triumph of immobility.
The passage of the presidency from François Mitterrand to Jacques Chirac was presented as one from left to right, but as Chirac has in general governed as a social democrat the distinction has proved less than startling.
…The result is a paradox: a country more attached to ideological debate than any other in Europe, yet operating in an environment where "left" and "right" are often almost meaningless labels and where governance tends to consist of saying one thing — the state is a force for good — while trying to do another — privatize. Running France is above all a conjuring trick.
It is perhaps because the art of the illusionist has lain at the center of French politics since 1945 — beginning with the depiction of wartime events and the Vichy regime — that it has been easier to maintain the various illusions that have preserved this country's strange political status quo.
But, as the political season begins again in France after the summer break, there are signs of increasing strain. To the left and right, pressures are growing for clearer political positions that would offer the French at least the semblance of a real choice between distinct ideas.
…Michel Rocard, a former Socialist prime minister, put the situation bluntly in a recent interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, saying it was time to "cast Marxist dialect into the trash can" and calling a growing leftist force in the country, the antiglobalization movement known as Attac, "a monument to economic and political stupidity."
His comments had a ring to them. But the fact is … the French are dreamers when it comes to politics, and the success of Attac's ideas, which include dismantling NATO, suggest that the appeal of the quasi-utopian is not about to die on the French left.
As a result, the embattled Socialist leader François Hollande and other moderates like former Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn will not find it easy to unite the party around a clear message.
After all, the moderates offer only the real world — the European Union, the trans-Atlantic alliance, the market tempered as best it can be to ensure that freedom is balanced with essential support for those who need it. Which French heart will beat faster to such a message?
…But my sense is that the French electorate is tired of such conjuring and wants politicians with the courage to make their views clear. Certainly, the success of Nicolas Sarkozy on the right of the political spectrum suggests the French are finding new merit in clear, declarative sentences of almost Anglo-Saxon ring.
Sarkozy, the interior minister, is trying to do something Chirac has always avoided: spell out what the right wants. He is moving carefully, for tactical reasons, but his influence suggests a time of political candor is coming.
If that happens, to left and right, France will move out of its political torpor. Other countries should then watch out: if France can achieve what it has through decades of conjured immobility, imagine what it could do once unbound.
The Lance then lanced:
«"Yet again, a European newspaper has reported that I have tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. Tomorrows LEquipe, a French sports daily, is reporting that my 1999 samples were positive. Unfortunately, the witch hunt continues and tomorrows article is nothing short of tabloid journalism.L'equipe deserves a spanking, but their editors might enjoy it too much.
The paper even admits in its own article that the science in question here is faulty and that I have no way to defend myself. They state: There will therefore be no counter-exam nor regulatory prosecutions, in a strict sense, since defendants rights cannot be respected.»
Also worth a note, friends, is where TdF buried the actual winner on their website.
Paging Dr. Freud Paging Dr. Fein, Dr. Howard, Dr. Fein
Roger Cohen writing in the IHT brings up about constancy in French politics – the same unchangeabillty that has made economic changed something one can only whisper about. One that holds a nation back. He notes:
«Britain got New Labour and Tony Blair with their slick market-oriented makeover of a tired socialism. In Spain, Felipe González's elegant refashioning of the left helped lay the basis for post-Franco democracy.[…]
While all this happened - not to mention the complete reinvention of central Europe - France managed to pass power from a man who first served in government in 1944 to another who first did so in 1967.
The result is a paradox: a country more attached to ideological debate than any other in Europe, yet operating in an environment where "left" and "right" are often almost meaningless labels and where governance tends to consist of saying one thing - the state is a force for good - while trying to do another - privatize. Running France is above all a conjuring trick.
It is perhaps because the art of the illusionist has lain at the center of French politics since 1945 - beginning with the depiction of wartime events and the Vichy regime - that it has been easier to maintain the various illusions that have preserved this country's strange political status quo.»Nothing new there, and a perfectly French thing to endlessly discuss in concentric circles, but never do anything about.
«"Our politics are archaic," said Jean-Marie Bockel, the Socialist mayor of Mulhouse and an admirer of Blair. "The Socialist Party is still asking itself if it's social democratic or more radical than that. Marxist ideology continued to be debated. Elsewhere the left has moved on."[…]
Michel Rocard, a former Socialist prime minister, put the situation bluntly in a recent interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, saying it was time to "cast Marxist dialect into the trash can" and calling a growing leftist force in the country, the antiglobalization movement known as Attac, "a monument to economic and political stupidity."
His comments had a ring to them. But the fact is Attac has attracted 30,000 members in its seven years of existence. Its message that American-driven capitalism, known here as neo-liberalism, is making the world more unequal and more unjust has proved compelling.»Be afraid, and hide the sheep. You never know what other old habits the old fashioned politicians have.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Crying leaders who feel your pain, perceived comeuppance, and passive Americans becoming martyrs for other peoples' fanaticism… Alan Dowd writes in the American Enterprise Institute Magazine on what would have been if we had a President that the prigs on the left could love.
«September 20, 2001Defeat Without War. According to Rumsfeld, “The enemy is not only bin Laden. The enemy is the regimes that spawned and nurtured him…. When the masters of terror came together to wage a global guerilla war against us, we ignored history’s lessons on appeasement and failed to take the fight to the enemy. Our cities then became battlefields, by which time we had already lost this war.”
In an historic address to a special joint session of Congress, President George W. Bush honored the eight House members, three Senators and 187 staffers, civil servants, and tourists killed on September 11 when United Airlines Flight 93 plowed into the western face of the U.S. Capitol.
Bush refused to characterize the coordinated assaults as acts of war, and took pains to distance himself from comments made by Pentagon officials, who argued that the U.S. should use 9/11 as a rationale for “ending states that sponsor terrorism.” Instead, Bush said that “America’s enemies are the criminals who carried out these attacks—not the states where they hide.”
December 13-16, 2001
Car bombs exploded outside the U.S. embassies in Kuwait City and Ankara, killing 204 people, including 73 Americans. The Taliban government, “acting only as a messenger,” delivered a statement from bin Laden claiming responsibility and issuing another warning: “The battle will go on until the infidel leaves our land. The crusaders know not where we will strike, but we do. We will fight them on our terms and at a time of our choosing.”
Bush announced plans for an international summit on terrorism “to bring an end to this scourge.” The conference will be held in Nevada at Nellis Air Force Base under tight security.
September 11, 2002
In a stirring speech at Ground Zero, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani warned that: “Bin Laden is tearing our civilization apart—people are no longer traveling; colleges look like prisons; our government is in hiding; our allies are turning away; our enemies are mocking us…. I had hoped that September 11 would serve as a wake-up call—and as the high-water mark for terrorism. But rather than spurring us into action, it has trapped us in a cocoon of fear.”
December 19, 2003
Libya tested a missile that brings nearly every country bordering the Mediterranean in range. “Thanks to our North Korean and Pakistani friends, we have matched special weapons with our new rockets,” Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi gushed.
December 24, 2003
Appearing for the first time on live television, bin Laden declared “victory over the infidel.” He mocked Bush for failing to defend the American homeland. “Look at me. I do not hide, but you do. You are the coward, you and your decadent society,” railed bin Laden. “To end this carnage, use your power to remove every last Zionist from Jerusalem.”
April 13-29, 2004
The so-called “Christmas Truce” ended as terrorists detonated a dirty bomb in downtown Chicago.
The van was traced to Jose Padilla, an American citizen with links to al-Qaeda. Padilla, a Muslim convert who traveled to Pakistan, arrived in Chicago sometime in 2002. However, federal agents lost him soon after his arrival. “As he came in, CIA should have handed him off to FBI, but bound by civil-liberties safeguards, the agencies were not allowed to communicate with each other,” conceded one Justice Department official.
September 11, 2005
The Washington Post published excerpts of Rumsfeld’s memoir
Peace activists protested the release of the book at the Manhattan offices of the book’s publisher. According to their spokesman, “Rumsfeld’s martial language presents an obstacle to the only viable solution to this tragedy: apologies and aid transfers to disrespected Islamic nations.” They underscored their commitment by daring to move their protest outdoors—where they exposed themselves for more than an hour to the potential dangers of New York City’s now mostly-empty streets.»
Peace will only come when a Palestinian bus driver says to another Palestinian: “you ain’t gittin’ on my bus!”
In the mean time the looting begins,
«Thousands of Palestinian police and troops are maintaining their positions outside the empty settlements in a bid to stop the looting of property left behind and to enable Israel to fulfill its pledge to raze vacated homes. »So don’t come a knocking when the house is rocking. They are the high point of civilization, aren't they?
Palestinian Authority (vaporware) Ministry of Culture (Ministry of Culture? Must be subsidizing the production of zombie movies) glorifies murderer of 29. Just like Plantu who enjoys glorifying the occasional bent cunt.
On the other hand there are those who still kill because they know nothing else.
Dissecting the Chickenhawk Charge: The accusation is less an argument than an insult; it's also a form of bullying and it rejects the Constitution
Here are three others:
Anybody who's been on the receiving end of the "chickenhawk" epithet knows what I'm getting at. Various definitions of chickenhawk are out there, but the gist — as if you didn't know — is "coward" or "unpatriotic hypocrite." The accusation is less an argument than an insult.Jeff Jacoby:
It's also a form of bullying. The intent is to say, "You have no right to support the war since you haven't served or signed up." It's a way to get supporters of the war in Iraq, the war on terror, or the president simply to shut up.
But, there's a benefit of a doubt to be given. There are many people — I know because I've argued with lots of them — who don't believe the "chickenhawk" thing is intellectually unserious.
Obsessed with "authenticity" and the evil of hypocrisy — as they see it — they think the message and the messenger are inextricably linked. Two-plus-two is four only if the right person says so. We hear this logic most often from adherents of identity politics, who give more weight to the statements of women, blacks, Jews, and others for the sole reason that they were uttered by people born female, black, Jewish or whatever. People who grew up poor are supposed to have a more "authentic" perspective on economic policy than people who didn't, and so on.
Don't get me wrong — experience is important and useful, including the experiences that come from being black or gay or otherwise a member of the Coalition of the Oppressed. But valuable experience confers knowledge, it doesn't beatify. And identity isn't an iron cage. It is not insurmountable. And, at the end of the day, arguments must stand on their own merits, regardless of who delivers them.
Indeed, the notion that there is a single, authentic black perspective strikes me as fundamentally racist in its essentialism. And the idea that women adhere to a female logic unique to them strikes me as definitionally sexist. But the left doesn't care, because this perspective is indispensable for attacking "inauthentic" blacks or other supposed traitors. What was it that Harry Belafonte said the other week? That blacks who work for the Bush administration are, in effect, "house slaves," akin to the high-ranking Jews in the Hitler regime (never mind that no such Jews existed).
The chickenhawk charge is the misapplication of the same faulty logic. There are war heroes who oppose the war, and there are war heroes who supported it. John Keegan is the greatest living military historian, and he never saw a day of battle. George McGovern flew 35 combat missions in World War II. I'll take Keegan's guidance on military matters over McGovern's any day.
"Chicken hawk" isn't an argument. It is a slur — a dishonest and incoherent slur. It is dishonest because those who invoke it don't really mean what they imply — that only those with combat experience have the moral authority or the necessary understanding to advocate military force. After all, US foreign policy would be more hawkish, not less, if decisions about war and peace were left up to members of the armed forces. Soldiers tend to be politically conservative, hard-nosed about national security, and confident that American arms make the world safer and freer. On the question of Iraq — stay-the-course or bring-the-troops-home? — I would be willing to trust their judgment. Would Cindy Sheehan and Howard Dean?Ben Shapiro:
The cry of "chicken hawk" is dishonest for another reason: It is never aimed at those who oppose military action. But there is no difference, in terms of the background and judgment required, between deciding to go to war and deciding not to. If only those who served in uniform during wartime have the moral standing and experience to back a war, then only they have the moral standing and experience to oppose a war. Those who mock the views of ``chicken hawks" ought to be just as dismissive of "chicken doves."
In any case, the whole premise of the "chicken hawk" attack — that military experience is a prerequisite for making sound pronouncements on foreign policy — is illogical and ahistorical. …
Who is qualified to speak on matters of national security? According to the American left, only pacifists, military members who have served in combat and direct relatives of those slain in combat or in acts of terrorism. The rest of us — about 80 percent of voters — must simply sit by silently. Our opinions do not matter. You want disenfranchisement? Talk to the political left, which seeks to exclude the vast majority of the American populace from the national debate about foreign policy.
The bulk of the left in this country refuses to argue about foreign policy rationally, without resorting to ad hominem attack. The favored ad hominem attack of the left these days is "chickenhawk"; The argument goes something like this: If you believe in any of the wars America is currently fighting, you must join the military. If you do not, you must shut up. If, on the other hand, you believe that America should disengage from all foreign wars, you may feel free not to serve in the military.
This is the argument made by hate-America radicals like Michael Moore… The "chickenhawk" argument was the implicit centerpiece of John Kerry's presidential campaign — Kerry hyped his military service and denigrated George W. Bush's military service, all the while focusing on the fact that he, unlike President Bush, was anti-war. …
The "chickenhawk" argument is dishonest. It is dishonest because the principle of republicanism is based on freedom of choice about behavior (as long as that behavior is legal) as well as freedom of speech about political issues. We constantly vote on activities with which we may or may not be intimately involved. We vote on police policy, though few of us are policemen; we vote on welfare policy, though few of us either work in the welfare bureaucracy or have been on welfare; we vote on tax policy, even if some of us don't pay taxes. The list goes on and on. Representative democracy necessarily means that millions of us vote on issues with which we have had little practical experience. The "chickenhawk" argument — which states that if you haven't served in the military, you can't have an opinion on foreign policy — explicitly rejects basic principles of representative democracy.
The "chickenhawk" argument also explicitly rejects the Constitution itself. The Constitution provides that civilians control the military. The president of the United States is commander-in-chief, whether or not he has served in the military. Congress controls the purse strings and declares war, no matter whether any of its members have served in the military or not. For foreign policy doves to high-handedly declare that military service is a prerequisite to a hawkish foreign policy mindset is not only dangerous, but directly conflicts with the Constitution itself.
The "chickenhawk" argument proves only one point: The left is incapable of discussing foreign policy in a rational manner. They must resort to purely emotional, base personal attacks in order to forward their agenda. And so, unable or unwilling to counter the arguments of those like Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney and President Bush, they label them all "chickenhawks." By the leftist logic, here are some other "chickenhawks": John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and Bill Clinton.
American soldiers fight for the right of all Americans, regardless of race, class or past service, to speak out on foreign policy issues. If they fight for the right of pacifist anti-military fifth columnists like Michael Moore to denigrate their honor, they certainly fight for the right of civilian hawks to speak up in favor of the highest level of moral and material support for their heroism.
War protesters say they want debate and dissent, but only if it's their debate and dissentwrites TSU sophomore Carl Morgan in the Dallas Morning News after he and his fellow Protest Warriors went to Crawford to "protest the protestors".
… I asked a supporter of Cindy Sheehan whether I could talk to him. He refused – unless I could show him a press pass.
…In fact, no Sheehan supporter would give his or her name, let alone talk.
Because Canadian Mentality Is Closer to That in Europe, They Are More Generous and More Security-Conscious than Dollar-Hungry American Capitalists Are
The crash landing of an Air France wide-body jet at Toronto nine days ago brought to the fore some widespread differences between U.S. and Canadian airport safety practices, ranging from methods of runway construction to Canada's decision years ago not to install even rudimentary detectors to spot sudden dangerous wind shiftsexplains Don Phillips in the International Herald Tribune.
…weeks of calculation lie ahead to determine how it might have affected Air France Flight 358, which ran off the end of a runway into a ravine and caught fire. There are no records easily available for review, partly because Canadian airports do not have doppler radar installations that are common now at U.S. airports, and even at most television stations. That also means air traffic controllers had no way to warn the crew of the threat of a severe wind shift, even at Toronto, which is the largest airport in Canada and which sits on a normal path of summer thunderstorms.
… While the Transportation Safety Board of Canada will take months to determine a probable cause, the debate in Canada - and between it and its neighbor to the south - has picked up momentum. Slowly, there has been an increase in open criticism of Canadian standards by various groups, including the U.S. controllers' union, the Canadian pilots' union and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
John Carr, head of the National Air Traffic Control Association in Washington, said he was "kind of surprised" that Canada did not have wind shear protection equipment that is "not even considered cutting-edge any more."
… "They just didn't do anything about it," said [an] engineer, who asked not to be named because he may work in Canada again. "I guess the political will was not there."
… The crash also highlighted a difference of opinion between the United States and Canada over whether thousands of small grooves should be dug across runways to improve braking power. The policy in Canada is not to cut grooves because they provide no extra braking power in winter, and they require snow plows to use Teflon blades to avoid tearing up the grooved runways. That makes snow removal expensive and slow. The United States, however, has been pressing world government bodies to require grooving because it makes braking power much better in summer rainstorms. The issue is before the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal.
Rick Marinell, manager of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Airports, said that U.S. airports in northern snowy climates such as Buffalo were grooved, "and we have no problems."
"We'd obviously like ICAO to adopt our greater standard," Marinell said.
That includes runway overrun standards - the area and length of the ground at the end of a runway that can support an aircraft that does not stop in time. Although not all U.S. airports yet meet the standard, the United States requires a greater flat overrun area than most other countries, including Canada.
This is also a big issue with the Canadian pilots' union. Robert Perkins of Welland, Ontario, the Canadian board president for the Air Line Pilots Association, said he had been attempting for almost 30 years to persuade Canada to extend runway run-over areas.
In the United States, many airports are going beyond overrun areas to install a system called EMAS, for Engineered Material Arresting System, at the ends of runways. This material, which effectively stops an airplane as if it had run into deep sand, has already prevented passenger injuries and aircraft damage, according to Joe Del Balzo, a former Federal Aviation official now president of JDA Aviation Technologies. …
Monday, August 22, 2005
While the anti-anything left crank on and on, and imagining what they will about others (especially soldiers), others face things straight. Even in the military where morale is a huge and often sensitive issue what do they do? Talk openly about it, even down to the squad and individual levels out in the field. Just like the spec4 on the right who just can't let his girlfriend forget him.
The military’s own newspaper, Stars and Stripes has been following the story closely because other than soldier’s conditions, and military policy itself, it’s hard to imagine a bigger issue to their readers. Soldiers grouse, that’s always been. They’re also very honest about what they see around them – good, bad, or indifferent.
You can also let them know they aren't alone by supporting the USO.
"Lance or spear practice was a regular women's exercise to practice for the anticipated U.S. landing": A Japanese American on Hiroshima
If it were not for the Hiroshima and, yes, the Nagasaki bombing, my Japanese grandmother would have had to fight the American forces, an event for which she and the other women in her neighborhood were preparingwrites a Morehead City (North Carolina) reader to the Federalist Patriot.
Lance or spear practice was a regular women's exercise to practice for the anticipated U.S. landing. My uncle, who was disabled, had been sent to a mandatory training camp to practice with wooden bullets and makeshift weapons to do his civilian share in greeting American forces. Then the bomb was dropped and it was over. Those who recently protested the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings don't have a grip on the grim reality of invasion that both Americans AND Japanese were facing. When I first visited the Hiroshima museum, I, too, had been overwhelmed with pity, sorrow, and anger. This was before my family explained to me what the consequences would have been if those bombs had not been dropped.
U.S. troops raiding a warehouse in the northern city of Mosul uncovered a suspected chemical weapons factory containing 1,500 gallons of chemicals believed destined for attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces and civilians.And where does the Washington Post choose to place Ellen Knickmeyer's article? That's right, deep inside the paper, on page 18.
As I noted back in April 2004, when Le Monde had information from experts casting doubt on the charge that WMD was nothing but a pretext for masking Bush's lies or the neocons' delusions, it managed to bury the article devoted to that piece of news on page 32.
Iraqi forces under Hussein used chemical agents both on enemy forces in the 1980s war with Iran and on Iraqi Kurdish villagers in 1988which, of course, was the reason that Europeans and Democrats fully supported policies to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.
As Captain's Quarters points out,
The size of this find makes it a significant development, both for the insurgency as it stands now and the sourcing of these chemical components. We may have some radical rethinking to do about the nature of not just the terrorists in Iraq, but also the war narrative that said Saddam had no WMD available for his use.
Memri, which translates Middle East broadcasts from their native languages, recently captured Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Hosein Musavian, on Iranian TVreports the Wall Street Journal as it points out that dialogue can iron out all difficulties, solve all problems, and heal all enmities:
"Thanks to the negotiations with Europe, we gained another year, in which we completed" Isfahan. Iran suspended enrichment "in Isfahan in October 2004, although we were required to do so in October 2003. . . . Today we are in a position of power. We have a stockpile of products, and during this period we have managed to convert 36 tons of yellowcake into gas and store it."
… The Iranians themselves are now admitting that all of this is no happenstance but is a calculated effort to exploit what the mullahs perceive to be American weakness and Europe's lack of will. An internal Iranian government document recently obtained by an opposition group says that "The talks process ended the suffocating economic pressures that our country was being subjected to in the months prior to the October 2003 agreement. . . . With the Americans deeply stuck in a quagmire in Iraq, the Europeans know that they will have to ultimately accommodate our just demands."
And why shouldn't the mullahs believe this, given Europe's reaction to President Bush's routine recent comments that "all options are on the table" regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions? German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, facing an uphill election campaign, seized on the remark as an opportunity to repudiate even the possibility of using force. "We have seen it doesn't work," he declared, in a reference to Iraq. (Saddam Hussein might argue from his holding cell that it does.)
Sunday, August 21, 2005
«They're not children in Iraq; they're grown-ups who made their own decision to join the military. That seems to be difficult for the left to grasp. Ever since America's all-adult, all-volunteer army went into Iraq, the anti-war crowd have made a sustained effort to characterize them as "children." If a 13-year-old wants to have an abortion, that's her decision and her parents shouldn't get a look-in. If a 21-year-old wants to drop to the broadloom in Bill Clinton's Oval Office, she's a grown woman and free to do what she wants. But, if a 22- or 25- or 37-year-old is serving his country overseas, he's a wee "child" who isn't really old enough to know what he's doing.
I get many e-mails from soldiers in Iraq, and they sound a lot more grown-up than most Ivy League professors and certainly than Maureen Dowd, who writes like she's auditioning for a minor supporting role in ''Sex And The City.''
Casey Sheehan was a 21-year old man when he enlisted in 2000. He re-enlisted for a second tour, and he died after volunteering for a rescue mission in Sadr City. Mrs. Sheehan says she wishes she'd driven him to Canada, though that's not what he would have wished, and it was his decision.»
We only know because the US invaded Iraq and the Baathists skedaddled out of town leaving copious amounts of paperwork relating to the Baghdad end of Oil-for-Fraud, since when Claudia Rosett and a few other dogged journalists have been systematically unstitching the intricate web of family and business relationships around the UN's operations.
…The other day I sat behind a car from Massachusetts bearing the bumper-sticker "War is Never the Answer". Well, it depends on the question. In this case, without the war, we wouldn't even be asking the questions. Without the paper trail in Baghdad, who would have mustered the will to look into Oil-for-Food and see it through to the point where it's brought down a clutch of career UN bigwigs? They're no great loss to humanity: Mr Strong's "legacy", the Kyoto treaty, is already seen as a joke that's likely to crash the economies of those few countries who've made the mistake of taking it seriously (New Zealand), and, as for his North Korean outreach, we should be grateful it ended before a full-fledged Kim Jong-Il Nukes-for-Food programme was up and running.
But this is how the transnational jet set works, and those sensitive flowers who don't have the stomach to look under the rock could at least do us the favour of ceasing to bleat about, in Clare Short's marvellously loopy phrase, the UN's "moral authority". In The Times the other day, Matthew Parris demanded to know whether I could now admit the Iraq war had been a mistake. No. I'm still in favour of it 100 per cent — and these rare shafts of light on the sewers of transnationalism are merely one more benefit.