Saturday, September 18, 2004

Johnson on Effort and Vigorous Minds

Regarding the content in some of the comments we get on this site, it is probably not useless to remember that today is the birthday of Samuel Johnson, the English author (1709-1784) who said :
What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.

Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters.

Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.

Friday, September 17, 2004

But?!… What Is that Ugly American Really Doing to that Little Innocent Girl?!

Was Abu Ghraib not enough? Not enough to make the world understand?! There is more! There are more! More horrid photos from Iraq! More, I tell you… More!…

Wherever Uncle Sam passes in his arrogance, only tears and blood flow in his bootsteps — will he never learn to keep out of other peoples' (countries') business?

Thank the Expat Yank for discovering this revolting photo from Iraq.

"I was bored from the middle…"

"It sure is a great country…"
But, but, but… where's the enthusiasm?!
The welcome given Michael Moore's flick is much different in "Axis of Evil" countries (both present and former members) than it is in countries whose citizens delight in mocking and castigating America for George W Bush's Axis of Evil speech.

Yahoo News:

Cinemagoers in the Iranian capital were given their first glimpse of Fahrenheit 9/11 this week, but appeared to enjoy more the rare chance to watch an American movie than its assault on their regime's arch foe George W. Bush.

Michael Moore's Bush-bashing polemic may have cruised through Iran's unforgiving censors thanks to its indictment of US policy, but the premiere of the film also had the side effect of making some viewers relate the same questioning to their own state of affairs.

"The authorities obviously gave the film the green light for political reasons, in that anything against the United States must be good," quipped one of the hundreds of mainly young people who flocked to Tuesday night's opening screening.

The prize-winning documentary has been allowed out on release here [in Tehran] to coincide with the third anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States — which kicked off a chain of events that has seen Iran surrounded by US troops and lumped into an "axis of evil".

"They are showing this film to erase from our minds the idea that America is the great saviour," said Hirad Harandian, another cinemagoer at the uptown Farhang cinema. …

On Tuesday night the film was sold out and the theatre packed with close to 380 people, most of them young. Many admitted they were just out to watch an American film, and not that one in particular.

…Sima Gharavi, a 24-year-old dressed in a short bright blue coat rather than the more conservative all-black attire … hastened to complain that "out of all the films people would love to see, the authorities had to go for this one — just because this film is in line with the view of the Islamic regime."

And despite sporadic laughs here and there, most of Moore's sardonic humour appeared to fall flat. The end of the film was also greeted with some half-hearted clapping.

"The problem is the subtitles," said Sogol Zand, an English teacher. "The jokes are not as funny."

Others, obviously out for a rare taste of Hollywood entertainment, disagreed.

"It was just too political. I was bored from the middle, and I wished we had gone to see Kill Bill instead," said one young man, referring to the trendy Quentin Tarantino flick also being shown.

…[Even though a twenty-something man] quipped in to say he was "disappointed" by the film and asserted "politics is not as important" for Iran's younger generation, he did envy Moore's position.

"It sure is a great country, where someone like Moore trashes the president and gets away with it — and makes so much money!" he laughed.

Another woman said she was impressed with the scene where Moore chases US congressmen to ask them if they would send their children to Iraq.

"How many top officials here sent their offspring to fight in the Iran-Iraq war?" asked the woman, one of several who directed their frustrations at Iranian authorities — and not President Bush.

(Thanks to Gregory Schreiber)

Burger on Free Speech

Today is the birthday of Warren Earl Burger, the Chief Justice of the United States (1907-1995) who said
Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen.
He also said
Doctors still retain a high degree of public confidence because they are perceived as healers. Should lawyers not be healers? Healers, not warriors? Healers, not procurers? Healers, not hired guns?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

A Fahrenheit 911 Movie Review …from Iraq

I have already written that Fahrenheit 911 would probably be far more credible if Iraqis themselves were to acquiesce in the movie's message. As it happens, that does not seem extremely likely, if one is to read how Michael Moore's film was recently described by one Iraqi on Iraq the Model:
…the best part goes when he suspected that the war against Taliban was to build a pipeline through Afghanistan!! With this level of assessment I won't be surprised if future wars will happen for building a bridge or maybe paving a road!! And I really was shocked when he pictured Iraq like peaceful country where children play and people laugh happily, guess what Mr. Moore you are wrong coz I live in Iraq and children weren't playing they were working to live and people weren’t smiling they were either afraid of getting killed or arrested for no reason or just because they don’t like Saddam and they dared to say so.

I really don’t know why you have to cheat to make the people believe you coz the whole world knew how the Iraqi people suffered from Saddam and you try to show that they were happy with him! In the same superficial manner you used to show that Iraq was a happy place, one could use the pictures of children singing around Stalin celebrating his birthday to show that people loved Stalin and they were happy.…

By the way… don't forget to bookmark Iraq the Model

Take a Peek at the New Michael Moore Documentary

The Michael Moore Story
(Winner Best Picture / Any French Film Festival)

Bushwhacked in 30 Seconds

Bush Is Hitler and Worse

That's Not Funny, That's Sick (I)

George Harrison meets his new band mates in the hereafter

That's Not Funny, That's Sick (II)

Kabila and Death Squad Find New Targets

That's Not Funny, That's Sick (III)

The Pope Apologizes to Yasser Arafat

That's Not Funny, That's Sick (IV)

The Sultan of Brunei Leads Nation in Prayer



Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Leftist Spain's Homage to the Victims of September 11

See what kind of homage the brave Spaniards of the left
— the brave, the tolerant, the humanistic, the wise, the peaceful, the lucid, the understanding, the visionary Spaniards of the left — display towards the victims of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Once the last traces of vomit have been cleaned up, you can try to relax by reading the Polish opposition's homage to Spain's leftists. (It sounds a lot like the Australian government's homage to Spain's leftists.)

As Franco Aleman points out, the Poles' message

is exactly the opposite to what our Zapaterlain told when he was in opposition, and to what he did once he took office. Some people think that it was his anti-war stance which invited the attacks, by putting a giant target into our backs saying "Hit us". And I can't say I blame them.
At the time of the diplomatic row with Canberra, the Aussie foreign minister's comments "caused great offence in Madrid". Which ought to prove to everybody just how careful the intelligent and reasonable leftists in power are in following the tenets of civility and good manners.

Taft on Enthusiasm for a Cause

Might some Europeans benefit from heeding the advice of William Howard Taft, America's 27th US president and 10th Chief Justice (1857-1930) whose birthday it is today?
Don't worry over what the newspapers say. I don't. Why should anyone else? I told the truth to the newspaper correspondents — but when you tell the truth to them they are at sea.

Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race.

Failure to accord credit to anyone for what he may have done is a great weakness in any man

Enthusiasm for a cause sometimes warps judgment

John Kerry Through the Republican Lens

Since Frenchmen and -women are always telling me I should go see Fahrenheit 911, I will suggest that they go check out this short film on John Kerry. Although the Republican Party's film is obviously partisan (although hardly as much as Michael Moore's is), it will not only teach them how their hero hardly displays only heroic qualities, but, more generally and more importantly (and I say this in a nonpartisan way), how they should not expect that once the campaign rhetoric is over, a Kerry presidency will automatically heed the voice of the "peace camp" and the United Nations.

As an aside, and since all the clips come from TV interviews, I would suggest that the French — those who claim that in America, the press (and the people) are always blindly following whoever is in the White House — should check out how American journalists challenge politicians (and yes, I do mean all politicians)…

And while we are on the subject of films, here is the documentary that Disney chose to distribute instead of Fahrenheit 911. (Don't expect to see it in French theaters, though.)

Wishful thinking as foreign policy Ils ont la mémoire qui flanche
Le Monde Al-Jazeera on the Seine makes a lame attempt to explain why things are not going well for Kerry, much to the dismay of their readers who have been fed a completely different line for quite some time.
Le Monde Al-Jazira sur Seine fait une tentative pathétique afin d'expliquer pourquoi ça ne marche pas trés fort pour Kerry, au grand dam de leurs lecteurs qui, jusqu'ici, gobaient des pseudo-reportages qui prétendaient le contraire.

Und Goud Dey Jhow ein Schymbadedig Vilm Apout Chorge Push in Europe?

Vun muscht dry do unterschtand him…

Der Untergang obens in Chermany on D'urstay.

Vrom dee New Yorg Dimes ardigle py Mark Landler:

"For me as a historian, the Hitler subject is finished," said Lutz Hachmeister, a professor of media studies at the University of Dortmund and a documentary filmmaker. "Every aspect of Hitler has been shown."

That does not mean, he said, that the Third Reich should not be explored in films and other media. Mr. Hachmeister is completing a documentary about Goebbels, the sinister propaganda man whom he describes as the first media-age politician. In 2002, German television broadcast a somewhat leaden comedy, Goebbels and Geduldig, which portrayed Hitler's adviser and a Jewish concentration camp inmate who looked enough like him to be his twin.

In a media age, Mr. Hachmeister said, Goebbels has a relevance to modern times that Hitler lacks. With both, however, it is historical distance that has finally made them pop-cultural fodder.

"When people talk about propaganda," he said, "they always point to Goebbels. Of course, the German government we have today is the least conscious of propaganda of any government I could imagine."

Arab press dumps on France La presse Arabe chie sur la Fwance
Chirak is just a fly to dogshit.
Chiraq n'est qu'une mouche à merde parmi d'autres.

The Problem with Places Full of Thoroughly Decent People

Roger Cohen discusses how America's "greatest nation" rhetoric alienates many foreigners and how Bush's "sense of God-given mission, especially its military manifestation, has proved maddening to many Europeans".
"Everything divides us: that is what I keep hearing," said Ezra Suleiman, a professor of politics at Princeton now working at the American Academy in Berlin. "Religion, the death penalty, ecology, the use of the military. It is as if people have forgotten all we have in common."

In a recent speech on European values, the Dutch prime minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, used the word "peace" several times, with "solidarity" and "equality" not far behind. The war on terror did not figure.

The stuff of the European Dream is not, it seems, the stuff of the current American Dream. As a result, the Bush rhetoric is widely viewed in Europe as "delusional and arrogant," Suleiman said.

The problem, of course, is that the Netherlands and Belgium and Luxembourg, to name three founding members of the European Union, are very nice places full of thoroughly decent people but they are not going to stop Al Qaeda, prevent terrorists from gaining access to nuclear weapons, oust the Taliban, assuage Central European concerns over Russia, police the Korean Peninsula, watch over Taiwan, disarm Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya, or, in general, assume the cost of defending free societies. Nor are France and Germany.

Operation deep throat Opération gorge profonde
France declared enemy of Muslims. Guess they still haven't given enough satisfaction to Hamas-Hezbollah. Time for the French to go for the money shot.
La France déclarée ennemie des musulmans. Ils n'ont toujours pas soulagé leurs potes chez les Hamas-Hezbollah. Il est temps pour les fwançais de passer au consciencieux suçage de bite.
UPDATE: Zek hits the nail on the head.
DERNIERES INFOS: Zek le tire droit dans le mille.

Welcome to the Pleasure Dome, Paris. Here are your hosts.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

More Revolting Photos from Iraq

When will it ever end?

Iraq and the 2004 Elections: Reality Check

John Vinocur is back in fine form, writing about "an increasingly obvious reality: Whatever the heat of the presidential election campaign, in terms of U.S. realpolitik, Iraq has become a basically consensual issue. There is no get-out-now or get-out-soon candidate available to Republican or Democratic voters; both parties acknowledge the necessity of long-haul U.S. engagement in Iraq; their minimal and shared aim is to re-establish some kind of palpable stability there." When are France's mainstream newspapers going to start taking notice?
Joseph Biden, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's senior Democrat, described America's two overriding security challenges this way last week: "Win the death-struggle between freedom and radical fundamentalism, and keep the world's most dangerous weapons away from the world's most dangerous people."

…This is not to say that the who's-fault game is over or could be. But if Iraq's National Security is the essential election issue, then at the heart of things the two candidates track each other, mission accomplished speeches on aircraft carriers or pledges to cozen Europe into joining the Yanks in combat canceling one another out as dopey rhetoric.

Something rather significant enters here. For a country endlessly, and sometimes recklessly, described as polarized or divided, there really is ecumenical ground on Iraq.

…A country polarized and divided? The question went to a European whose days in Washington involve making nontheoretical, dispassionate judgments on America for the home office.

For him, a polarized-and-divided characterization of the United States would be an easy shot, because it points to the supposed destructiveness of the George W. Bush presidency, an idea with strong appeal in Europe, and suggests that half the Americans, in a sudden burst of peasant wisdom for some, have finally caught on to the fool.

But the dispassionate emissary found the United States "assembled in a common front" on foreign policy and Iraq. Where America was divided, he said, was in issues like abortion, gay marriage, gun control, etc.

…Gallup, meanwhile, said that over the last weeks voters moved from a standoff on whether it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq to a 57-38 percent margin justifying their dispatch.

(This, you realize, is another poll we won't be reading much about in Europa.)
Frances Burwell, who directs the Transatlantic Relations program at the nonpartisan Atlantic Council here, says she often encounters European visitors who get the Iraq equation in U.S. politics wrong.

"Europeans ask, when is the administration going to accept its failure in Iraq? I don't think that's accepted as fact either by the administration or the body politic. A lot of people who support the Democrats don't regard Iraq as a failure. There's a risk of failure, of course. But to accept it?"

…If America, someplace, seethes about finishing the job in Iraq, it all the same has produced two candidates for president whose message is, plus or minus continuous recalibration: we will soldier on.

What If the U.S. Hadn't Invaded Iraq?

How would the world be different had the Bush administration heeded the "peace camp's" calls, had the U.S. not invaded Iraq, had there been no war, and were Saddam Hussein still in power? Unlike the majority of Europeans, Ralph Peters and Gordon Cucullu don't think that the world would necessarily be a better place, that Iraqis would be happier, that Dubya would be less criticized, and that world peace would be on hand…

Panty-waists Pédaloïdes
The chocolate makers get together for some serious fudgepacking.
Les fabricants de chocolat se réunissent pour se contempler les pétales de rose.

Good thing their anti-depression meds are reimbursed Les médocs antidépresseurs sont remboursés par la Sécu, ça tombe bien
Buried on page 37 of today's edition, Libération PropagandaStaffel goes into serious back peddle mode and informs its readers that Bush might win. Look for copy-and-paste to start up real soon now among Old Guard French bloggers.
Enfoui à la page 37 de l'édition d'aujourd'hui Libé PropagandaStaffel pédale dans la choucroute (en sens inverse) pour informer son aimable lectorat que Bush pourrait gagner. Attendez-nous à voir sous peu des copier-coller chez la Vieille Garde de la blogosphère franchouille.

Samira Bellil
Who? Why?
Qui? Pourquoi?

What the Hell Are We Doing in Iraq? (IV)

Ronald Dominick Winchester, US Marine Corps:
Better that I go over there. Because if I don't, they're going to come here.
Winchester, a 25-year-old first lieutenant with the United States Marine Corps (who used to admire a drawing of a firefighter in the rubble of the Twin Towers handing an American flag to a marine, who is saying "I'll take it from here"), was killed in western Iraq in September 2004.

Monday, September 13, 2004

I guess he'll plead 'humiliation' Je suppose qu'il va plaider 'humiliation'
Disgusting football hooliganism, and the far right isn't even involved.
Hooliganisme répugnant, et il ne s'agit même pas de l'extrême droite.

What the Hell Are We Doing in Iraq? (III)

George W Bush:
Our strategy is clear. … We are staying on the offensive striking terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home. …

Americans, you are hated here. Jews, you are hunted here Les américains, vous êtes détestés ici. Les juifs, vous n'êtes qu'une proie ici
On the walls of Vaulx-en-Velin (French shithole suburb outside Lyon), 'Death to America' has replaced 'Fuck cops'. Vaulx-en-Velin has already produced authentic Grade A French terrorists. The anti-Semite Willem prefers to look for terrorists elsewhere.
Sur les murs de Vaulx (lieuban trou à merde de Lyon), 'A mort l'Amérique' a remplacé 'Nique la police'. Vaulx a déjà fabriqué de vrais terroristes franchouilles pur porc. L'antisémite Willem préfère chercher les terroristes ailleurs.

If Kerry is elected, there is a risk of terrorist attack.

September 11 (VII)

Davids Medienkritik, Expat Yank, Barcepundit, and Dodgeblogium, among others, have beautiful memorials to September 11. Check out Franco's link to United We Stand, and notice that David and Ray have posted photos of the six Germans who died on that date.

I would love to do the same for France, but I would have no idea where to start looking (tips, anybody?). (Which goes to prove, if need be, that the French media is just as forgetful about its murdered citizens as the Germans are.)

Update: Rest In Peace, Jérôme Robert Lohez

What the Hell Are We Doing in Iraq? (II)

Rudolph Giuliani:
President Bush will make certain that we are combating terrorism at the source, beyond our shores, so we don't have to confront it, or we reduce [the chance] of confronting it here in New York City, or in Chicago or in Los Angeles or in Miami or in the rural areas of America.

That's what it means to play offense with terrorism, and not just defense.

Asymetrical attack on mass media Attaque asymétrique contre les médias grand public
By US bloggers. Old Guard French bloggers continue to copy-and-paste from their Political KKKommissars Le Monde Al-Jazeera on the Seine and Libération PropagandaStaffel.
Effectuée par des bloggeurs aux USA. Les bloggeurs franchouilles de la Vieille Garde continuent à faire les copieurs-colleurs de leurs KKKommissaires Politiques Le Monde Al-Jazira sur Seine et Libération PropagandaStaffel.

The French candidate Le candidat fwançais
The 'French connection' on Kerry's side is a very real political liability. As well it should be given France's systematic opposition to America. Kerry does everything to hide his French side, even at the Dhimmicraptic Convention. 'They're a perpetual committee listening to a perpetual focus group ...' (sounds like the UN). Yep, he's the French candidate.
La 'Fwench connection' du côté de Kerry est perçue comme un véritable handicap politique; ce qui est parfaitement normal étant donné l'opposition systématique de la Fwance vis-à-vis les Etats-unis. Kerry fait tout pour occulter son côté fwançais, y compris pendant la Convention Dhimmicrotte. 'Ils font comme un comité atteint de réunionite aigue qui prend ses directives auprès d'un groupe d'étude qui n'en finit jamais ...' (on dirait l'ONUzi). Ouais, il s'agit bel et bien du candidat franchouille.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

What the Hell Are We Doing in Iraq? (I)

Condoleezza Rice:
There are those who say, "Well, if you didn't go into Iraq, there wouldn't be terrorists there." They weren't some place drinking tea and playing Scrabble. These are hardened Jihadists who will fight us some place. And if they want to fight us in Iraq, where we are 140,000 strong, better there than in New York City again.

September 11 (VI)

Kurt Campbell's July 2002 Arts & Ideas piece in the New York Times takes us back to December 17, 1941, ten days after Pearl Harbor, when FDR demanded the first of eight investigations into U.S. unpreparedness in the Pacific.

"Roosevelt had a major problem," said a Harvard historian. "The public outcry to hold people responsible after Dec. 7 was much, much greater than what we have seen since Sept. 11." Conspiracy theorists — among them, future GOP presidential candidate Thomas Dewey — alleged that FDR welcomed, and perhaps invited, the Japanese attack, so as to draw America into the war. The investigations — carried out largely by the president's cronies — proved otherwise.

Might Europeans Benefit from Reading H L Mencken?

Today is the birthday of H. L. Mencken, the US editor, author, and critic (1880-1956) who said:
I believe it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to be ignorant.
Truth — Something somehow discreditable to someone.

A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.

No one in this world, so far as I know ... has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.

A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.

The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.

Stay away from Zeropean losers La Zéropa, c'est trop la loose
Zeropa acts like it is running a popularity contest. And why should the USA get closer to Zeropa?
La Zéropa se comporte si elle organisait un concours de popularité. Et pourquoi les USA devraient se rapprocher de la Zéropa?