Saturday, December 02, 2006
Steven, blogging at Marxist By-Products raises the specter of Robert Fisk. As over-the-top as Fisk sounds, compared to the garden variety Opinion Makers who have drunk a big hearty Cup 'O Fisk, either consciously or not, he is starting to sound boringly typical (for a Euro-lefty, at least):
Seeing the world in reverse. Mr Fisk views President Bush as Adolph Hitler, as a man in denial, like Hitler when he claimed in "April 1945 that Germany would still win the Second World War...".
Friday, December 01, 2006
When that lovely world view isn’t being so sensitive to the diversity gods by ignoring soldiers drinking alcohol on deployment in a muslim country, they’re stamping their little feet as though they know better (natürlich!) than the rest of civilization. That transi nonsense’s natural conclusion is the termination of democratic society because there would be no sovereignty in the state where people vote, and no stable society could be defended. John Rosenthal
Last month, a coalition of self-styled human rights groups, including the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, announced that it had filed a war crimes complaint in Germany against Donald Rumsfeld and thirteen other present or former U.S. officials. Other sponsoring plaintiffs include Germany's Union of Republican Lawyers (RAV) and the French-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). (The presence of the FIDH among the plaintiffs is particularly noteworthy, since the FIDH is a regular and substantial recipient of EU financing.) Whereas the announcement will undoubtedly have sent Rumsfeld-haters, Bush-bashers and anti-Iraq War activists the world over into raptures, those taking a more sober view of the matter as a strictly legal development may well have asked themselves "What war crimes did Donald Rumsfeld commit in Germany?"It’s the attitude that would see a groundbreaking even in the Near East and reduce it to a pitiable tale of an unplanned pregnancy that a teenage mother should be relieved of. There would be whines about winners and losers, and great crimes that don’t fit the race-hustling class-struggle model go ignored.
After all, the principle of state sovereignty -- still at least nominally the cornerstone of the international system as reaffirmed in Article 2.1 of the U.N. Charter -- would appear to exclude any such prosecution of Rumsfeld by Germany if he had not. For one state to claim anything other than territorially based jurisdiction over acts of citizens of another state must, needless to say, be regarded as a hostile measure -- and all the more so if the latter are or were state officials and the acts in question were performed in official capacity. Were the other state to respond in kind -- say, in this instance, by charging German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung for the real or imagined misdeeds of German troops -- its hostile nature would become especially plain and the potential for a perilous escalation, obvious. The raison d'être of the classical protections of sovereignty -- namely, the preservation of international peace -- is thus unmistakable.
The Iraqi Government is fed up with being lied about. They’re tired of a biased press that’s helping to incite violence. At the end of the day, a fabrication by AP is a step further and more cretinous than the filtering of reports to announce violence in Iraq in a one-sided manner: reporting the parties involved only when it serves the world-view of the press staff itself.
AP has resorted to buying any line if there is anything that seems like a source without vetting it to the standards it would have if the outcome didn’t support a preconceived notion of theirs’, in this case one that is provoking internecine violence in a young politically fragile Iraq which would otherwise have potential to grow into the kind of society these reporters want for themselves outside the middle east. When all else fails invent a source:
Khalaf explained the news monitoring unit at a weekly Ministry of Interior briefing. As an example, he cited coverage by The Associated Press of an attack Nov. 24 on a mosque in the Hurriyah district in northwest Baghdad.The arrogance and selfishness is not alarming, but staggering nonetheless with large knock-on effects over the course of the past 3 years. BizzyBlog has an admission:
The AP reported that six Sunni Muslims there were burned alive during the attack. The story quoted witnesses and police Capt. Jamil Hussein.
Khalaf said the ministry had no one on its staff by the name of Jamil Hussein.
"Maybe he wore an MOI (Ministry of Interior) uniform and gave a different name to the reporter for money," Khalaf said.
AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll rejected the accusation. "The implication that we may have given money to the captain is false. The AP does not pay for information," she said.
Khalaf said the ministry had dispatched a team to the Hurriyah neighborhood and to the morgue but found no witnesses or evidence of burned bodies.
AP now admits that the part of the original story about four mosques burning is down to one that is “badly damaged by explosives and shows signs of scorching from fire.” I am not aware of any formal correctons sent out to AP subscribers to correct this stunning error.A brief look into a brief exchange between the CENTCOM’s press liason and an AP reacting like an adolescent says it all:
No name identification of the remaining five alleged victims has been done. A person from AP who called me back in response to my phone request to speak with John Daniszewski, and my message left for him (my message was left with a person, not on his VoiceMail), confirmed this fact this afternoon. I informed this person that I was having a hard time believing that in roughly six days, some local Iraqi news outlet hadn’t published the names of the victims yet (that is, if there are really five other victims). I was told they’re “doing all they can.”
As is often the case, it's hard to sort out who's right. But Memmott does a public service by reproducing in full a letter to the AP from Lt. Michael Dean, U.S. Navy public affairs officer, and the response from the AP's international editor, John Daniszewski. Click on the link atop this item to read the letters in full, along with Memmott's more detailed account. But what got our attention was the tone of the two letters. Here's an excerpt from LT Dean's:Unless you have a credible source to corroborate the story of the people being burned alive, we respectfully request that AP issue a retraction, or a correction at a minimum, acknowledging that the source named in the story is not who he claimed he was.
Here's part of the AP's response:
The Associated Press denounces unfounded attacks on its story about six Sunni worshipers burned to death outside their mosque on Friday, November 24. The attempt to question the existence of the known police officer who spoke to the AP is frankly ludicrous and hints at a certain level of desperation to dispute or suppress the facts of the incident in question.
So the military makes a "respectful request," to which the AP responds by "denouncing unfounded attacks" and calling criticism of its reporting "frankly ludicrous" and accusing its critics of "desperation."Isn’t it charming how committed AP is to “truthiness” to support a stance on the facts?
It’s really becoming difficult to call some NATO members “Partners” at all.
Germany, Italy and Spain are only sending troops to "low risk" areas in AfghanistanOld Europe once again proves that it is willing to fight to the last Canadian, even when these unemployed laden nations actually have all that post-Lisbonian manpower loafing around:
When it comes to Afghanistan, the tensions of NATO root in the troops’ disposition. The soldiers of Germany, Spain, Italy and France are stationed in relatively peaceful northern Afghanistan, while the military of the United States, Britain, Canada and Holland cover the southern part of the country, which is the actual stronghold of Taliban.As for the other large parasite, France indicated that it would step outside the gates and support the troops in the south who are fighting the Taleban, but only conditioned on his ability to make a show of the commitment and use a weaseling technique that is too slow to respond to a call for support in the field.
Diplomatic sources said that France, which has troops in Kabul, agreed to review its policy on a "case by case" basis.The fallback position is to stand akimbo and say “but you didn’t ask!”
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Why is it that a fact like this:
Stoned, beaten and insulted, their vehicles torched by crowds of hostile youths, French police say they face an urban guerrilla war when they enter the run-down neighborhoods that ring the major cities.Always seems to lead to this:
Some residents complain the move spawned constant police harassment which has only exacerbated tensions with local youths, many of whom come from ethnic minorities.Meuh. The Fuse is Lit (No Pasaran!)
A genuine perspective on “root causes”:
Their goals--the humiliating defeat of the United States in Iraq, the destruction of Israel, their push of nuclear weapons and increasing regional control and influence--are quite clear, but then, so is the remedy to this problem; if President Bush and allied nations admit to and treat this as a regional war.I would opt for corpses of Iranian National Guard schmucks turning up on the edge of the tarmac at Beirut international Airport, but frankly if it will end thirty years of terror and it’s couched excuses - so be it.
If we limit out goals in Iran and Syria to knocking them out of the terror game and don't try to rebuild their societies from the ground up, we can do so relatively easily by crushing the ability of Iran to threaten Persian Gulf shipping and by taking out its refineries. Ironically, Iran is oil-rich, but gas-poor.
Coalition air strikes targeting the Iranian Navy, refineries, and other key targets could bring the mullacracy to it's knees within weeks, without the significant use of U.S. ground forces, and only a (relatively minor) projection of air power. A U.S. Navy blockade of Oman would keep Iran from importing the gasoline it needs to survive.
Syria, minus Iranian support, would be even easier to destabilize.
Take Syria and Iran out of the terror game, and Hezbollah begins to falter in Lebanon, giving Lebanese democracy a chance. Take Syria and Iran out of the terror game, and Israeli citizens wouldn't have to worry about Hezbollah's ability to so quickly rearm and instigate another war.
Take Syria and Iran out of the terror game, and manpower, weaponry, and funding for al Qaeda in Iraq begins to abate, as the growing number of Sunni tribes embracing the Sahawa movement hunt down and kill foreign fighters. Take Syria and Iran our out of the terror game, and Muqtada al-Sadr, the thug-leader of Shiites in the Baghdad slums, suddenly finds his Medhi Army militia without new munitions, or training, or financial support, and as his capability as a military threat fades, so does his political power.
The greatest "secret" in the War on Terror is that we have the capability of turning the strategic war around on a dime, if only our leaders will lead.
And, as usual, lefty don’t get it.
She’s out shopping. The Fuse is Lit (No Pasaran!)
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
BBC Chairman Michael Grade quits for ITV. His problem, apparently, is that he has a pulse.
During the two years of his captivity he was forced to listen for month after month to the vapid prattle of Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary.[ ... ]
He was never by temperament a BBC dignitary – a slow, pompous, self-righteous bureaucrat, ready to devote untold hours of his existence to negotiating with the Government about the licence fee.Licence fee... sheesh. Why does it always feel like it’s 1978 there?
Paging Johnny Nuance! The prerequisite to make blanket proclamations about a US departure from Iraq is normally being involved in some way – unless you’re French. The Douste-man is at it again:
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said the international community must come up with a timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq.Of course we’re talking about a leadership trying to appeal to an audience who, in spite of this kind of thing would slap a hammer and sickle on a t-shirt and wear it with pride.The Fuse is Lit (No Pasaran!)
Monday, November 27, 2006
...”We want to see peace, goodwill, and democracy in Iraq.”
“But that didn’t take into account the Iraqis”...
Ralph Peters, for one doesn’t think them too lazy to run amok:
Don't let Europe's current round of playing pacifist dress-up fool you: This is the continent that perfected genocide and ethnic cleansing, the happy-go-lucky slice of humanity that brought us such recent hits as the Holocaust and Srebrenica.
The historical patterns are clear: When Europeans feel sufficiently threatened - even when the threat's concocted nonsense - they don't just react, they over-react with stunning ferocity. One of their more-humane (and frequently employed) techniques has been ethnic cleansing.The Fuse is Lit (No Pasaran!)
Sunday, November 26, 2006
And in France, we are now seeing the first concrete and explosive signs of French youth fusing together with the Nationalist far right
"...[Muslims] adopted then the characteristics of a kind of sub-class and at the same time they then merge with the worst features of the host society. You can be in a northern English town after 9 o’clock at night on a Saturday night and these tattooed gangs of Pakistani skinheads came rolling through town. You think, what the hell is this? It’s like some futuristic dystopian thing cooked up by some mad lab scientist in which he’s taken the worst pathologies of the western world and the worst pathologies of the Muslim world and fused them together.
So you have this grotesque license, the sense of license and self gratification that your ordinary English yobbo would have merge with the sort of basic misogyny of the Muslim community and it produces something quite terrifying in these rape gangs they’ve now got in Scandinavia and France and Belgium and places. I think it’s that the western world impacts on a lot of young Muslims in ways that make them far more alienated, far more fiercely Islamist in effect than to some goat herder in Afghanistan."
-- Mark Steyn, "America Alone"
With articles such as Howard Morseburg's Cuban Statistics, which turns the "chickenhawk" argument on its head (i.e., against the lefties who usually wield it), Cubanology ought to be a top contender for the prize that that website is organizing.
If you wear a Che t-shirt, then my friend, go where your convictions take you. Go where you can earn $8.00 (U.S.) a month and live with Fidel and his brother, Raul. Have the courage of your convictions, and do, MOVE there. At least give us one person who will raft to Cuba for the benefits of Communism ala Castro! Just one of you Che-lovers, move, please leave here and move to Cuba.
Move, where you have to apply to the government for housing, for even a can of paint to fix up your home, where the plumbing falls apart and you cannot call a plumber, where the telephone fails to work and cannot go to a store to buy one, where there is not a skateboard to be found, nor a cell phone for your daughter. Where you cannot raise vegetables in your garden out back to sell for an extra few dollars for medicine or clothes, where it is illegal to have a yard sale, where you cannot buy a new car when you want one, nor a used one. …
Look at your home and ask, if my government owned this, what would it be like with peeling paint, broken steps, falling shutters, buildings falling apart from Castro's neglect? Your parents' home, all paid off, suddenly is taken by the government and their life's savings gone. Your grandfather's farm, gone. Now the fields lie fallow.
Yes. Move to a country that has the highest number of prisons per capita in the world. Move to a country where torture is standard fare for those who only want a Free Press, who only want to read any book they'd like. Suffer in a small box like torture cell, as they do. Move to a country where the Government actually OWNS your children and can do anything they like with them, even teach them how to use guns in First and Second grades. Move, prove YOU are a real Communista, a died in the wool revolutionary, and go, with my blessings…
Yes, I have friends who risked their lives during the heyday of Communism, to leave Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Russia and Cuba, actually took the risk of being shot or going to prison, to follow their longing for FREEDOM. YOU, who wear those Che emblems, have the courage to take a trip and live in Cuba, not in a Canadian financed fancy motel, but somewhere outside the Tourist Zone, live there for five or ten years, or a lifetime, in decrepit state owned housing and suffer the life that you wish upon the Cubans, suffer with them and learn what tyranny really is all about. But do...GO. GO. GO.