Continuing until tomorrow in Los Angeles
Saturday, October 22, 2005
What if they called it an arms race, and nobody had any idea what they were trying to smear someone with?
It DOES however remind me of something a handful of people used to be obsessed with, and would angrily take up issue with everyone around them over it. Here’s another great convergence:
UFOs OVER HYDE PARK ANTI-WAR RALLY
«LONDON-03-22-03, During an outdoor anti-war rally at London's Hyde Park, Richard A. was listening to one of the many speakers of the day. In the sky above the main outdoor stage, there appeared unknown objects in the sky. Richard was with three other friends who also witnessed the objects. The four could not ascertain exactly what they were seeing. One individual had a video camera and was filming the speaker at the time, and may have inadvertently captured the objects. This tape may be forthcoming. When and if I received a copy of the film, I was post it on the UFO Casebook for all to see. »
A Convenient Way of Seeing the Fight for Equality, Ecology, and Enriching the Poor: Always Assume the Role of David Fighting Goliath
When the green argument, or the similar-sounding poor-world-oppressed-by-rich-countries argument, goes against the United States, the French jump on the bandwagon, cry bloody murder, gather a group of like-minded countries, and demand a better world.
When the green argument goes against France (or Europe), they bring out the human element, the tragedy that will befall the traditional farmer or the tradition-bound fisherman who (infamie des infamies) will have to dig up his roots and make drastic (and inhumane) changes in his life…
In other words, in both cases (in all cases!), the bane is placed on American (or American-type) capitalism and France gets to act the role of the martyr or the David-like hero taking up arms against the evil Goliath.
Listen to the IHT's Thomas Fuller:
The premise of these negotiations is that rich countries like the United States, France and Germany should lower their trade barriers in agriculture if poorer countries like Brazil, Nigeria and China further open their markets for goods and services.
… The deal is in jeopardy because of fierce resistance by France to any more concessions in agriculture.
So what is behind France's resistance?
Soudé says France is opposed to any measure that could jeopardize the Common Agricultural Policy, the European system of subsidies and regulations.
"France always had a special link to agriculture and to the terroir," he said.
"We have a relationship with food that is not the same in other European Union countries. We have a culture of good eating, which we treasure."
There is also the obvious fact that France receives almost 10 billion, or $12 billion, in agricultural subsidies from Brussels every year, by far the largest share of the 53 billion program.
Nostalgia for a Time (Before Bush's War) When Iraq Did Not Live Under an Exceptional Climate of Violence
exceptional climate of violence, of fear, of rising criminality, of enormous security deficits, of economic crisis… of absence of the state's presence …An exceptional climate of violence?
Of rising criminality?
Of enormous security deficits?
Of course, the state was present — and how: it was omnipresent. And the criminals weren't at risk, hiding in the streets. They were in full view in the state apparatus with total impunity. No petty crooks, either. Torturers and assassins. Serial killers.
But, of course, for those brought up on a steady diet of the statist religion, such nuances may not count for much. Yacoub goes on:
All of this under foreign occupation.There you have it. There is the big sin under which Iraq is currently operating. Forget about all the rest.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Nous et les Américains ne partageons pas la meme vision des chosesmembers of the French élite are in the habit of sniffing, in their stealthy version of good and evil.
Via Tim Bleah: South Park episode an frighteningly accurate parody of the press coverage of hurricane Katrina.
Mitch, the reporter: “Tom, I’m currently ten miles outside of Beaverton, unable to get inside the town proper. We do not have any reports of fatalities yet, but we believe that the death toll may be in the hundreds of millions. Beaverton has only a population of about 8,000, Tom, so this would be quite devastating.”Sound familiar? It’s gotten to the point where the media think stories are actually about themselves.
Tom: “Any word on how the survivors in the town are doing, Mitch?”
Mitch: “We’re not sure what’s exactly is going on inside the town of Beaverton, Tom, but we’re reporting that there’s looting, raping and, yes, even acts of cannibalism.”
Tom: “My God, you’ve actually seen people looting, raping and eating each other?!”
Mitch: “No, no we’ve haven’t actually seen it, Tom. We’re just reporting it.”
Tom DeLay, taking their fun away.
Defense is indeed necessary by the mindset expemplified by this type of leftist tactic and abuse of positions and connections, especially in law.
«Note the House of Representatives security pin on DeLay's lapel.His grooming and smile seems to have kept it off the covers of virtually every paper in the country.
He looks in the photo like a proud member of Congress who might just have won the lottery, not one indicted on charges of money laundering. The photo looks like it could have been taken anywhere.»
"This third meeting of the year shows the close, human and personal relationship that unites the two leaders," the Venezuelan ambassador to Paris, Roy Chaderton Matos, told AFP.Sylvia Zappi tells us that Hugo Chávez went on to meet, nay to have supper with, Dominique de Villepin, and that, after meeting with his fans, the "friends of Venezuela" and self-declared "compañeros", including one (none less than Jean-Pierre Chevènement, whose nickname in France is Le Che) who sealed a request of his with a laugh:
Give us the recipe for winning elections seven times in a row.I have no doubt that Alain Krivine, Jean-François Kahn, Bernard Cassen, Gérard Miller, Marie-George Buffet, and their fellow leftists could learn a lot about making democracy more "productive" (and society more "efficient") from the likes of Chávez and Fidel Castro.
Update: Apparently there was nobody — in the government or outside of it — to give their Venezuelan friend a statement of principles (French or otherwise) ; in fact noone seemed to have any disagreements with Chávez at all…
Not only that, but Jean-Arnold de Clermont points out that the members of his group joined the rest of France in speaking out against the American intervention in Iraq — whereas usually they keep quiet on matters like that. (What view the FPF had on Saddam's killing fields, or on France's de facto protection of the Iraqi leader, he did not say.)
I rarely fail to be impressed by Europeans' encyclopedic knowledge of religion in America (it usually boils down to, how stupidly superstitious they are). While Clermont denounces "excesses" of the American type, and while we get treated to more ridicule about religion, Sébastien Fath points out haughtily that France's evagelicals (Marianne calls their American counterparts "the Bush sect"), like all good Frenchmen, know how to distinguish politics from religion and are less "confused" then Americans are between faith and "a certain type of nationalism".
Thank God for the French, whose secular statism has made them Holier-than-thou and proficient in judging and having the final say on all matters.
Larry Elder takes a dinner companion up on the casual nature of discarded lies.
«"Assume this is a pie," I said, cupping my hands in a circle. "The top 1 percent contributes what size slice -- by percentage -- of that pie?"
"Oh, I see," she said. "Virtually nothing."
"Maybe 1 percent, maybe 2 percent."
since my table companion doesn't know or doesn't care, the top 1 percent -- the taxpayers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) over $295,495 -- paid, for 2003, 34.27 percent of federal income tax revenues. The top 10 percent (with an AGI over $94,891) paid 65.84 percent, the top half (AGI over $29,019) paid 96.54 percent. The bottom half? They paid 3.46 percent.»Larry Elder can be heard live on the net through the website of ABC affiliate station KABC Los Angeles.
Update: With thanks to Phil of Finland for thought, we find the biggest hypocrite:
« One of the most persistent themes in Chomsky’s work has been class warfare. He has frequently lashed out against the “massive use of tax havens to shift the burden to the general population and away from the rich” and criticized the concentration of wealth in “trusts” by the wealthiest one percent. The American tax code is rigged with “complicated devices for ensuring that the poor — like eighty percent of the population — pay off the rich.”
But trusts can’t be all bad. After all, Chomsky, with a net worth north of $2,000,000, decided to create one for himself.
Chomsky’s business works something like this. He gives speeches on college campuses around the country at $12,000 a pop, often dozens of times a year. Can’t go and hear him in person? No problem: you can go online and download clips from earlier speeches-for a fee. You can hear Chomsky talk for one minute about “Property Rights”; it will cost you seventy-nine cents.»
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Don’t you think it’s time EUtopia looked at a functioning, caring social welfare system to improve their own? Don't you think it's time we got PAST these ugly stereotypes that a whole class of social commentator parasites exploit - up until the minute that they're called to the mat on their nonsense?
Don't you think it's time leftists got off of their high-frekin'-horse and stopped defending the indefencible, and stopped wallowing in moral superiority by accusing the rest of civilization of inhumanity?
Image link: David's Medienkritik
If only Bush-suppporters saw the photos of corpses and coffins (oh the odious conservative censors that will not allow the naked truth to be seen), they would understand that there was no reason for the illegal war (grazie para Stavn Piranha), and that a negotiated solution with Saddam's government would have been the preferred solution…
If you are worried about a possible success of the current process under the American helm in Iraq, I can … reassure you. Because I cannot see how the process can succeed.The words of an Iranian Mullah? Of an Al Qaeda operative? Of an Arab sheikh? Of a North Korean autocrat?
No; the words of Pierre-Jean Luizard, a researcher close to the French state, responding to a Le Monde reader who has identified the great danger that the region (and the world) is facing: that the Middle East might …what? Blow up? No. Erupt in a war? No. Face a mounting line of bloodthirsty dictators? Non. Bear witness to a genocide like those that occurred under Saddam? Non plus. The great danger that the Middle East is facing is that it might land in Washington's lap! (Thank goodness that the CNRS researcher is there to reassure his fellow Frenchman.)
Luizard — whose concitoyens never fail to reassure Americans that the latter are their "amis américains" — goes on to call the Americans "the pyromaniacs of an Iraqi society that they have split on a long-term basis". Ignoring reports that the Iraqis are riveted by the televised Saddam trial (shookhran to RV), the Paris-based expert brushes it aside, saying that
the vast majority of Iraqis are well aware that the trial, in the current circumstances, can be nothing more than masqueradeIs it surprizing that for the people always referring to Americans as their "amis américains" (including some of our French readers), the butcher of Baghdad has become a victim, a martyr, a hero?
Except for the last couple of sentences, the Le Monde article itself is pretty tame, but that is all changed by the simple presence of the Rodriguez cartoon (here shortened slightly from the print version), in which a monstrous mass murder machine chases after and runs down… unarmed, innocent civilians (!), swallowing them up and deposing their corpses, like cube-shaped bales of hay, in the trailer behind it.
"Every society has to be vigilant against another type of great wall that can be a burden on man's talents and is borne from fear of them — a wall that limits speech, information or choices," Mr. Rumsfeld told a group of about 30 students at the Central Party School. "Yet history teaches us that it is impossible, in practical terms, to isolate any people for long. Eventually, information seeps through."As reported by Bill Gertz, Donald Rumsfeld is in Beijing. He is there because in times of peace, governments must make efforts to interact, get to know each other, and work out compromises.
However, if ever there is a showdown between China and the United States, future cynics will be able to build a whole case against the hypocritical American warmongers on the basis of one or two run-of-the-mill state visits (in which a lot of concern and similarly-sounding from-the-gut language was expressed), while conveniently ignoring the far greater range of super-friendly visits from tolerant and understanding European pacifists — a number of which concerned, you will remember, attempts to reestablish arms sales to Beijing.
Update: It didn't take long to confirm my prediction…
Bono: Bush Is a Humble and Funny Guy, While Most of the Members in His Cabinet Are Not Religious Extremists
In his conversations with Michka Assayas, the rock star and champion of the poor speaks of previous meetings in the White House and Washington:
I was in a photo with President Bush because he’d put $10 billion over three years on the table in a breakthrough increase in foreign assistance called the Millennium Challenge. I had just got back from accompanying the president as he announced this at the Inter-American Development Bank.So you liked this man?
I kept my face straight as we passed the press corps, but the peace sign was pretty funny. He thought so, too. Keeping his face straight, he whispered, “There goes a front page somewhere: Irish rock star with the Toxic Texan.”
I think the swagger and the cowboy boots come with some humour. He is a funny guy. Even on the way to the bank he was taking the piss. The bulletproof motorcade is speeding through the streets of the capital with people waving at the leader of the free world, and him waving back.
I say: “You’re pretty popular here!”
He goes: “It wasn’t always so . . .” — Oh really? — “Yeah. When I first came to this town, people used to wave at me with one finger. Now, they found another three fingers and a thumb.”
Yes. As a man, I believed him when he said he was moved to also do something about the Aids pandemic. I believed him. Listen, I couldn’t come from a more different place, politically, socially, geographically. I had to make a leap of faith to sit there. He didn’t have to have me there at all. But you don’t have to be harmonious on everything — just one thing — to get along with someone.…What was your gut feeling the first time you came face to face with President Bush?
He was very funny and quick. Just quick-witted. With him, I got pretty quickly to the point, and the point was an unarguable one — that 6,500 people dying every day of a preventable and treatable disease [Aids] would not be acceptable anywhere else in the world other than Africa, and that before God and history this was a kind of racism that was unacceptable.You mean that right-wing fundamentalist neocon scary stuff?
And he agreed: “Yeah, it’s unacceptable.” He said: “In fact, it’s a kind of genocide.”
He used the word “genocide”, which I took to imply our complicity in this, which I absolutely agree with. Later, his staff tried to take the edge off the word. But in the Rose Garden there was press, and I already had used the word.
He really helped us in using that word. He knew it was hyperbole, but it was effective. We get on very well. I couldn’t come from a more different place. We disagree on so many things. But he was moved by my account of what was happening in Africa. He was engaged.
I think, when I’m sitting two feet from someone, I could tell if this was just politics. This was personal. I think, for all the swagger, this Texan thing, he has a religious instinct that keeps him humble.
Actually, he’s a Methodist. It has to be said that most of the people in the cabinet are not religious extremists.But you must have disagreed with him at some point.
He banged the table at me once, when I was ranting at him about the ARVs [Aids drugs] not getting out quick enough. I’m Irish. When we get excited we don’t pause for breath, no full stops or commas. He banged the table to ask me to let him reply. He smilingly reminded me he was the president. It was a heated debate. I was very impressed that he could get so passionate. And, let’s face it, tolerating an Irish rock star is not a necessity of his office.You recently met Senator Jesse Helms, who as chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee in the Eighties did whatever he could to suppress the Sandinistas.
People said to me: this is the devil himself you’re going to meet, and his politics are just right of Attila the Hun. But I found him to be a beautiful man with convictions that I wouldn’t all agree with but had to accept that he believed in them passionately.
Official aid too often tends to have the perverse effect of lining the pockets of the same unlovely regimes that engender poverty in the first place
…if the real hope is to end poverty, we are going to need a lot less palaver about aid and debt relief, and a lot more focus on how to end the real cause of poverty--which is not scarcity of local resources, or lack of official assistance, or a deficiency of harangues and high-level panels courtesy of assorted dictators and U.N.-o-crats, but simply bad governmentwrites Claudia Rosett as she writes of a lawsuit in the Congo Republic that threatens to unearth schemes reminiscent of Saddam's oil-for-food scam, a lawsuit in U.S. courts to which Europeans — those usually clamoring for all kinds of international tribunals and legalities to try peoples for events in foreign countries — are putting up shields, saying such courts have no jurisdiction.
The problem with presenting the eradication of poverty as an end in itself is that this implies the solution is to pour more money into the aid pipelines. Unfortunately, official aid too often tends to have the perverse effect of lining the pockets of the same unlovely regimes that engender poverty in the first place. Rich donors feel virtuous, dictators feel more secure, and legions of aid bureaucrats travel the world in a whirl of per diems and poverty-eradication conferences. Meanwhile, behind the fancy talk and big donations are often realities that on the ground look very different.
… The irony is that that for the people of Congo--as opposed to the regime-- the most useful debate may be inspired not by the poverty professionals, but by the likes of private creditors, who far from offering official aid or debt forgiveness are seeking to collect on Congo's old debts.
… What jumps out here is that such policies as debt relief may sound good, but in practice they can prove far from simple. And our global aid institutions--the U.N., the IMF, the World Bank--however eager to celebrate Poverty Eradication Day, Week, Month or Decade, are in no way equipped to cope with, or even care about, some of the more complex realities and byways of modern global trade and finance. Somewhere between the heartfelt impulse to help the poor and the complexities of tracking the actual money, there has to be a better distinction made between dollars for dictators, and policies that actually help the poor.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Seeking out Iraqis with a grudge against the coaltition, Patrice Claude and Sophie Shihab found citizens who call Saddam's trial a piece of "American theater". (Foremost among the Saddam nostalgists, of course, is a former member of the dreaded Mukhabarat secret service, but let's not get into that, shall we?)
Meanwhile, a Le Monde editorial grants that the suspension of a French general in Ivory Coast is highly problematic, but thinks it worthwhile to put the affair in perspective. (As the French have done with their fellow citizens accused of "influence-peddling" and "active corruption of foreign officials" in the oil-for-food scam.)
Le danger serait de pratiquer l'amalgame et de jeter l'opprobre sur une armée qui depuis trois ans a fait preuve de sang-froid, notamment lors des événements de novembre 2004"The danger would be to lump unconnected concepts together and throw opprobrium on an army which for three years has shown itself capable of keeping its cool ".
That is the kind of sentiment a thoughtful person can entirely agree with. Of course, that is also the kind of sentiment we would have liked to see in relationship to the revelations at Abu Ghraib. Instead of days, and weeks, and months, of non-stop coverage, of expressions of disgust, and of acerbic Plantu and Serguei cartoons (as of this writing, still no Le Monde cartoons on the Ivory Coast story).
Again, we keep getting comments accusing us of seeing anti-Americanism where there is none. Again, evidence of anti-Americanism is a relentless drumbeat of double standards, not only vis-à-vis France, but vis-à-vis the rest of the world, too, all of whom basically get free passes.
Update: France's media cannot be said to be unsuccesful — one of our readers is clearly rooting for "the Rais", whom he refers to as a victim, a martyr, almost a hero…
Chat announced: Débat en direct avec Pierre-Jean Luizard, chercheur au CNRS et auteur de "La question irakienne" (Fayard), jeudi 20 octobre 2005 à 11 h 00
"Lundi 10 octobre, à 8 heures du matin, 300 personnes se sont rassemblées devant l'appartement de Marta Cortizas et Eugenio Leal, où nous éditons la revue publiée sur Internet Consenso, raconte [Manuel] Cuesta Morua joint par téléphone par [Paulo A Paranagua du journal] Le Monde. A midi, je me suis approché pour soutenir ce couple de membres de l'Arc progressiste [gauche sociale-démocrate]. Un groupe de quatre-vingts partisans du gouvernement m'a traité d'annexionniste [au XIXe siècle, partisan de l'annexion de Cuba aux Etats-Unis], de Nègre de merde, de Nègre ingrat et de pédé. Malmené, j'ai maintenu mes mains levées pour éviter la violence."If you really want to combat racism, you might want to extend your sights to Cuba.
Toujours détenu, [Lester Gonzalez] saigne souvent par le rectum depuis plus d'un an. … Blessé pendant le transfèrement d'une prison à une autre, [Omar Pernet] "soupçonne la Sécurité de l'Etat [la police politique] de vouloir [lui] amputer la jambe, pour ensuite [le] relâcher avec une licence extrapénale".If you really want to fight the abuse of prisoners in Cuban jails, you might want to extend your reach beyond the confines of the Guantánamo base.
But that would be making a fuss about people and events unrelated to Uncle Sam…
George Adair writes in Brussels Journal on the state of the economy of the EU and its’ member states with charts putting it in the context of the US, even though this could be largely true of much of Asia as well. The long term trend seems to be that even though it is unlikely to join it, Europe will resemble the “sick men” of the world exemplified by the near east and African continent.
S.D.F. in EUtopia.
As much discussed on blogs the media figures into the discussion as well:
«In visiting some of my favorite blogs I noticed one component was missing from my recent “dead and dying in America” series, the series should have been “dead, dying, and poor in America”. These anti-US themes are part and parcel of the mainstream media (MSM)’s core beliefs on both sides of the Atlantic, a template if you will. Dead, dying, and poor Americans fits the MSM template far better than “alive, vibrant, and prospering” Americans. But are the anti-US pronouncements by the MSM true? As it relates to the “dead and dying” portion of the anti-US template fostered and advanced by members of the MSM»In the sense that things don’t fit a narrow profile for the folks who populate the MSM, Adair is right on the money: things that don’t fit their passion play of a lefty Europe aspiring for something only to be corrupted by an idea that stinks of American-ness has become something few longer question. Its’ evidence is expressed in basic and fearful was that resemble passive-aggression: the paucity of stories that are run on the TV and radio news in Europe, and some dramatic omissions.
Tow days ago Fox News has reported quickly and with skepticism on Tariq Aziz’ decision to testify against Saddam Hussein. The BBC has yet to mention it probably because it is just a fact which the viewer can interpret on their own. When an acceptable interpretation emerges, I’m sure we’ll hear from them.
So too with news people HAVE to hear about economy:
«Will the MSM recognize any of the above as clues that the vast majority of people in the US are not “dead, dying, and poor”? Doubtful...A note: there will eventually be a downturn or a slowing in the U.S. economy, possibly even a deflation of real estate, but a contraction of 30% would be required to bring it to par with the EU average (if it could remain unaffected by a contraction of that scale), and that seems nearly impossible. The growth and expansion of recent years has to use an old saw, definitely “raised all the boats”, improving greatly the lives of people with the least.
Please be sure not to read this post as a “US is better than the EU post”. The facts are what they are. 7 is still 7. This post is designed to wonder out loud why the MSM perpetuates the template they do when it comes to life in the US.
Just a few things to remember when you hear about those poor, pitiful Americans. It is not healthcare, wealth, or material things which make the US such a terrible place for it’s citizenry. Perhaps it is all a load of rubbish. Always check for yourself. However, any suggestions as to what makes the US so “poor” in the eyes of the MSM are welcome.»
The MSM will be sure to not so much report, but talk up the fear, and talk down the differences in life visible at the end of that phase, I’m sure, and forever to the fault of an ideology which they repeatedly stain with the insult of “having made the rich richer” and by sentiment but not in reality, the poor poorer.
For that, friends, you have to look at a different ideology altogether:
« The top 10 richest politicians in the United States include only 3 republicans, 6 democrats, and 1 independent. Among these is the notorious would-be-third-richest-president-ever, John FORBES Kerry, ranking in at #4. Ah, and amongst the Republicans is self-made-billionaire, Mayor Bloomberg of NYC, as well as self-made almost-billionaire, Amo Houghton. Amongst the Democrats we see John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller and Herb Khol, who did not work for the wealth, but rather inheirited and/or married it... And yet this is the party of the so-called "working-class." Last time I checked getting married or recieving an inheiritance check doesn't classify as work.One not wedded to a transnational attitude with the habit of nit-picking, not trusting people, and tie-ing concepts like nationalized industries to nationalism, and to other things that have little or nothing to do with national identitiies.
How about Labor Unions? What President is the only one in history to have been a leader of a labor union? My favorite President, Ronald Reagan was a member of an actor's guild.
So, next time you feel like voting in the interests of the working class... and not in the interests of enriching the already rich... vote Republican.»
I pity the people who are forced to wed their honest labor to dishonest politicking when it comes to the very basics of income and lifestyle. It makes us all party to their view of the world, instead of permitting people to see it their own way.
"We want to eat him alive," said Salimah Majeed al-Haidari, 60, who spent more than four years in detention, then waited 17 more to learn that her husband and two sons, hauled off by security officers, had been executed. "We wish they would cut him to pieces and hand them out to us and families like us."Thus reported Sa'ad Al-Izzi and Anne Bernard from Dujail for the Boston Globe (merci à RV). As for Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iraq's prime minister told the Washington Times' Sharon Behn that
as far as Iraqis overall, there will be no tears for Saddam Hussein.Not if you listen to French media. The opening paragraph of Patrice Claude's article has no object but to sow discredit on the tribunal to try the former dictator. He goes on with more of the same, wringing his hands about "a weakened man" and referring to Arte's documentary on the Saddam trial. France's newspaper of reference has more in the same vein, notably an article by CBS's Barry Lando.
While Europeans fret and sputter about the alleged sins of Fox News, the word seems to be going around, from the independent newspaper to the state-owned TV station, to depict the Baghdad butcher as a poor old man, to rave against the Americans' perfidious presence, and to refer to the trial a "judicial UFO".
Meanwhile, Michael Rubin reports that
According to an Aug. 16, 2002, commentary in the Guardian--a British newspaper that often opposes U.S. foreign policy--one in six Iraqis had fled their country under Saddam. Millions left because of war, dictatorship and sanctions. Today, several hundred thousand have returned; only the Christians still leave. If Iraq were as chaotic as the media implies, it would export refugees, not resettle them.Update: "[le but des Français] n'est pas que justice soit faite, mais qu'elle soit défaite" says LSA Oulahbib, who adds a question: "que fait Dieudonné sur le Darfur?"
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
We are dealing with parasitical creatures who, never having done anything practical themselves, insist that the sacrifice of others has no meaning
…Never before in the Arab world have a country's citizens been permitted to vote on the laws that would govern themwrites Ralph Peters (thanks to Gregory). Offhand, his New York Post article concerns America's mainstream media, but it also reflects the content of the Europe's MSM and the attitude of Europe's citizenry, as well as the general direction of numerous comments left on this blog (try replacing "our media" with "European public opinion", "journalists and editors" and "opinion columnists" with "Europeans", etc).
Even had the draft constitution been rejected, this would have been a historic moment in the Middle East and beyond.
Our media's response? The vote doesn't matter. The constitution's flawed. Iraq's Sunni Arabs will resort to civil war. Enormous problems remain.
Well, big problems do remain in Iraq. There's certainly a potential for more internal strife. The constitution isn't perfect.
But to suggest that at least 9 million Iraqis casting peaceful ballots don't matter is just sour grapes on the part of those journalists and editors who've have been relentless in predicting failure in Iraq — and who've been wrong every single time.
… Iraq may yet fail as a unified state. Violence will continue. But what's frustrating is the determination of so many in our media to convince the American people that Iraq's a hopeless mess. It's an example of vanity, selfishness and spite virtually without precedent in the history of journalism.
The greatest tragedy imaginable for our "mainstream media" would be to have to admit that President Bush was right about Iraq.
A startling number of editors and opinion columnists have been wrong about every development in Iraq (and Afghanistan). First, they predicted a bloody, protracted war against Saddam's military. Then they predicted civil war. They insisted that Iraq's first elections would fail amid a bloodbath. Then they declared that Iraq's elected delegates would not be able to agree on a draft constitution. Next, they thundered that Iraq's Sunni Arabs wouldn't vote.
Most recently, the sages of the opinion pages declared that the proposed constitution would be defeated at the polls by the Sunni Arabs. All along they've displayed a breathtaking empathy with the Islamist terrorists who slaughter the innocent, giving Abu Musab al-Zarqawi a pass while attacking our president and mocking the achievements of our troops.
A herd mentality has taken over the editorial boards. Ignoring all evidence to the contrary, columnists write about our inevitable "retreat" from Iraq, declaring that "everyone knows" our policies have no chance of success.
That isn't journalism. It's wishful thinking on the part of those who need Iraq to fail to preserve their credibility.
We are dealing with parasitical creatures who, never having done anything practical themselves, insist that the bravery and sacrifice of others has no meaning. Their egos have grown so enormous that they would sacrifice the future of Iraq's 26 million human beings just so they could write "I told you so." And, of course, the greatest military experts are those who never served a day in uniform.
… Our columnists and editors resemble those diehard communists who kept on praising Stalin right through the purges, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the revelations about the Gulag.
We'll hear that Iraq's new constitution is flawed (so is ours — that's why we have amendments). We'll be told that the Sunni Arabs are dissatisfied (so are many American Democrats). Allegations of electoral fraud will never go away (sound familiar?). And political partisans will continue to claim that our military efforts are useless (as demagogues have claimed since the Civil War).
Despite the attacks by international terrorists and the media, Iraq continues to move forward. The process is imperfect, as are all things on this earth. But the bravery and determination that Iraqis displayed at the polls again last weekend deserve better analysis than smug pundits' party-line declarations of failure.
Energetic and lively indeed. Willing to sacrifice a few innocents in the interest of the
Luís Afonso Assumpção reminds us of the beauty, inclusion, diversity, and social justice that is socialism:
Statist compassion: AKA the wood shampoo.
«That's the real socialism. The way defined as "social-democracy" is just a slower lane to reach the same spot: total control over the human being by a giant state.
This is what happens when the disguise of "egalitarianism" is left behind.»
Boidevaux told Le Monde that he had been in "constant touch" with the foreign ministry, which he said was fully aware of his Iraqi activitiesthe AFP reports.
A judicial investigation into two high-ranking former French diplomats -- both suspected of benefitting from the largesse of Saddam Hussein's Iraq -- has cast a spotlight on the often ambiguous relations between Paris and the former dictator.Haven't we said as much all along?
The affair also casts a shadow over France's Iraqi policy and raises suspicions about the complicity of top political figures, according to French analysts and newspapers.
"It is at the very top of the state, where no-one can have failed to be aware of these transgressions ... and whose zealous servants these men were, that ultimate responsibility resides," said the left-wing daily Libération on Thursday.
"These suspicions will knock a deep hole in the image of French diplomacy," said Le Monde. "Even the most indulgent will wonder about the risks of a pro-Arab policy that was at times wilfully blind."
…Foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei also sought to refute any suggestion of a link between the two investigations and France's firmly-held opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq.
"The reasons which led France not to participate in the war in Iraq had to do with our conception of international law," he said.
But several commentators nonetheless underlined the often ambiguous relations that France maintained with the government of Saddam Hussein, which Paris supported through its long war with Iran and regarded as a key economic partner.
What accusations have our detractors hurled at us from the beginning? Basically, that we were blinded, patriotic dupes whose love for Dubya masked the truth from our eyes. The truth, as voiced by lucid Frenchmen, their suave spokesmen, their courageous diplomats, and their visionary politicians.
This charge was repeated against us, and against Americans, and against Bush-supporters, both domestic and foreign, ad infinitum, in ways both polite and sophisticated and less so.
And always we repeated the same message: it's double standards, of a type you never apply towards yourselves.
Were we wrong? Hardly…
Monday, October 17, 2005
"I don't think you can cast a stain on French diplomacy"protested Dominique de Villepin.
Prime minister Dominique de Villepin of France said claims that two former high-ranking diplomats exploited the corruption-riddled UN Iraqi oil for food programme should not be allowed to sully the reputation of French democracy.All the French who reserved their smirks, mockery, and disgust for the Bush administration's real reasons for whatever action (or lack therof) it took with regards to Iraq and Saddam Hussein, how will they react now?
All the French declarations of pride ("au moins Chirac avait les couilles de s'opposer à Bush"), what will they be sounding like from now on?
All the French laughing at stupid patriotic Americans blinded by their government, how are they behaving now?
…now we know what French officialdom means by the word "multilateralism": One part involves speechifying about the need for international "consensus" and "legitimacy"; a second part involves doing business with dictators and doing their bidding at the U.N. Add to this mix the aggressive pursuit of the commercial interests of certain privileged companies, and you have the soufflé that is the foreign policy of the Fifth Republic.So writes the Wall Street Journal (merci à RV).
… what's clear is that France was not randomly chosen to be the beneficiary of Saddam's largesse. Successive French presidents beginning with Charles de Gaulle have courted Iraq. Saddam himself was quoted by French journalists Claude Angeli and Stéphanie Mesnier as saying: "Who did not benefit from these business contracts and relationships with Iraq? … From Mr. Chirac to [former French defense minister] Mr. Chevenement, politicians and economic leaders were in open competition to spend time with us and flatter us."
The remark, made in 1992, was part of a larger complaint that France had joined the coalition in the first Gulf War; Saddam then warned that "if this trickery continues, we will be forced to unmask them, all of them, before the French public." Plainly, the warning was both heard and heeded, as France thereafter repeatedly came to Iraq's diplomatic rescue and did its utmost to obstruct the coalition of the willing before the war.
We can't say that any of this comes as a surprise. But it ought to remind the world of two things: First, there was never a chance -- as some liberal fantasists still contend -- that more patient American diplomacy could have succeeded in creating an international consensus to enforce U.N. resolutions on Iraq, much less to depose Saddam. And second, the war in Iraq was not only an act of national liberation but also of international political hygiene. Any lingering doubts that certain French leaders were in need of a shower can now be dispelled.
Asking for Input: This Expatriate Has Found No Evidence of Anti-Americanism in France; Can You Help Her?
What's more, Clair Whitmer has "only once encountered what I'd call blatant of anti-Americanism. And that… doesn't count."
Select French people have been rude to me, but I have never felt their hostility was inspired by my nationality.Maybe that's because when French people tell Americans like her, say, how terrible 911 was, they refrain from adding what they think in private (and say amongst themselves), in which the opening sentence is quickly followed by vague justifications why it was not such a terrible thing after all.
Either that, or Clair Whitmer feels the same way. After all, America is a different story.
The native of San Francisco (if memory serves me right) has a treasury chest of French-bashing from her clueless American compatriots, who prove in every case to be either clueless retards, ridiculous hypocrites, arrogant law-breakers, censorious bastards, or treacherous warmongers.
On each item, she refers to the (self-serving) one-sided French presentation, and takes it as gospel. For instance, she speaks of "Big-mouth Bolton", but never mentions "big-mouth Villepin".
In a case over child custody between an American and a Frenchwoman, for instance, she evokes "the US father's complete disregard for [the family court's] decision", suggesting the French nation's rassemblement is a glorious occurence of solidarity. This, in a case where higher courts (in both countries, if I am not mistaken) had already awarded custody of la petite Charlotte to the father. Now, the truth is, maybe — probably — there are nuances to the case, but not from what I have seen on French TV — or read in Clair Whitmer's editorials.
She shakes her head at her countrymen because of the poll that showed that "China now has a better image than the US in most of the European nations surveyed" without ever pausing to think what this might be saying, instead, about the Europeans, their media, and their culture.
She is scandalized by one (alleged) occasion of American censorship and outraged by two books — Our Oldest Enemy and The French Betrayal of America — without bothering to inquire in whether the latter might actually have something sensible to say — that is clearly beneath her dignity. At the same time, she finds nothing to say about that the far larger presence of anti-Bush and anti-American books in French bookstore — even best-selling graphic novels — coupled with the fact that, with one or two token exceptions, American books not presenting a damning picture of Bush or the Iraq war are hardly ever translated into French. The publishing of a book like 50 Good Reasons to Hate Americans can obviously be explained away because it is all Dubya's fault and we should try to understand the people writing and reading books like that…
So what to make of all this? You tell me.Yes. Tell Claire what you make of all this. You are welcome (encouraged, even) to paste copies of your emails in the comments section of this post.
Odd, don’t you think that a murderer would become a kind of ubiquitous brand of the shallow and unthinking Euro-pop-culture? Frontpagemag.com saw fit to actual take him seriously, unlike the twits who just “know better” than people twice their age who have lived long enough to know what evil looks like.
«They found that in the entire Cuban countryside, in those two years of "ferocious" battles between rebel forces and Batista troops, the total casualties on both sides actually amounted to 182.  New Orleans has an annual murder rate double that.[…]
Typically, Che Guevara doesn't even merit credit for the perfectly sensible scheme of bribing rather than fighting Batista's army. The funds for these bribes derived mostly from Fidel's snookering of Batista's wealthy political opponents, convincing them that he was a "patriotic Cuban, a democrat," and that they should join, or at least help fund, his 26th of July Movement in order to bring democracy and prosperity to Cuba.
That a "guerrilla war" with "peasant and worker backing" overthrew Batista is among the century's most widespread and persistent academic fables. No Cuban Castroites who participated actually believe this. The Associated Press dispatches about Castro and Che's "war" were actually concocted and written by Castro's own agent in New York, Mario Llerena, who admits as much in his book, The Unsuspected Revolution. Llerena was also the contact with Castro's most famous publicity agent, the New York Times, Herbert Matthews. National Review's famous 1960 cartoon showing a beaming Castro, "I got my job through the New York Times!" nailed it.»Having sealed their fate as a pre-industrial plantation and permitted the islands deeper colonization as a Soviet weapons platform, there are those who continue to deny the failure of repression and collectivism by saying that Cuba’s inability to trade with 5% of the world (the U.S.) is somehow holding them back.
«It's rarely reported, but Che Guevara had a very bloody hand in one of the major anti-insurgency wars on this continent. Seventy to 80 percent of these rural anti-communist peasant guerrillas were executed on the spot on capture. "We fought with the fury of cornered beasts" was how one of the few lucky ones who escaped alive described the guerrillas' desperate freedom-fight against the totalitarian agendas of the Cuban regime. (In 1956, when Che linked up with the Cuban exiles in Mexico city, one of them recalls Che railing against the Hungarian freedom-fighters as "Fascists!" and cheering their extermination by Soviet tanks.)Rebellion for me, but not for the actual people! It’s the usual opiate to stupify the common sense out of the masses turned on its’ head.
In 1962 Che got a chance to do more than cheer from the sidelines. "Cuban militia units (whose training and morale Jorge Castaneda insists we credit to Che) commanded by Russian officers employed flame-throwers to burn the palm-thatched cottages in the Escambray countryside. The peasant occupants were accused of feeding the counterrevolutionaries and bandits." 
The Maoist line about how "a guerrilla swims in the sea which is the people, etc.," fit Cuba's anti-Communist rebellion perfectly. Raul Castro himself admitted that his government faced 179 bands of "counter-revolutionaries" and "bandits." at the time.
So in a massive "relocation" campaign reminiscent of the one Spanish General Valerinao "The Butcher" Weyler carried out against Cubans during their war of independence at the turn of the century, Castro's Soviet trained armed forces ripped hundreds of thousands of rural Cubans from their ancestral homes at gunpoint and herded them into concentration camps on the opposite side of Cuba.
According to evidence presented to the Organization of American States by Cuban-exile researcher Dr. Claudio Beneda 4000 anti-Communist peasants were summarily executed during this rural rebellion.»
And to think that there are twits who still parrot the tripe about Cuba being held back by the U.S. (presumably because the American public isn’t propping the twits up with cash.) The basic assertion is that the U.S. is holding them back, when in reality it is doing neither. The Communists and their fellow travelers again find themselves constructing an imaginary invader. Just what the likes of the academic “revolutionaries” need, a disinterested object of their mindless hatred, and reinterpreting of “rights” to their convenience.
In fact a dictator with a filthy beard is holding them back, making them even poorer than they were under Batista. Is there some solice in knowing that even though the poor are just as poor, that the rich merely conceal their presence and use uniformed Pinkertons instead of private ones? Or that there is a certain egalitarianism in everyone being at risk of going to a concentration camp instead of no-one? Hilarious. Stupid. And little more meaningful than a furry robotic puppet from a children’s movie.
To noone's surprise, the film displayed the picture of Rumsfeld's one-time lone business meeting with Saddam Hussein, but said little to nothing about the numerous friendly visits between the butcher of Baghdad and people like Chirac and Galloway. The voiceover was replete with sentences such as "Neither the United States nor any other Western power", rarely mentioning individual countries like France, Germany, or Russia.
But most of all, we heard from members of Saddam's defense team. Members of the the Comité de défense de Saddam Hussein (would-be members, sacked members, and others — both Arab and Western, such as Ramsey Clark) were interviewed throughout, with arguments such as the fact that the trial is illegal because the (Saddam-written) Iraqi constitution grants the president immunity. Whoop-de-doo. I guess the Allies were acting illegally when they set up the Nuremberg commission as well…
A lot was put into the fact that in his first appearance before a court of law, Saddam Hussein supposedly put up a spirited defense for himself. In fact, the language was so spirited, one of his lawyers says (I am pretty sure it was the talkative Emmanuel Ludot), that the CIA had no choice but to renounce its intention to have him murdered immediately thereafter. In fact, the spooks were going to use the same low tactics that they used in Romania. Oh, didn't you know? Yes, the execution of Ceaucescu (following his televised pseudo-trial) was entirely arranged by the Central Intelligence Agency (and never mind that the Romanian's firing squad took place within 24 hours or so of his and his wife's capture, while the Iraqi's appearance before a judge took place seven months after his — a capture effected by American soldiers).
Because Saddam's pronouncements in later court appearances were not as forceful, it is suggested that the poor man has been drugged by the Americans. As for the young judge seen in the first trial (he is "strangely" absent from one of the later ones), we are told that he has "his future and his ambition" in mind. He is shown laughing with an American inside one of Saddam's palaces (it is suggested that this is unbecoming behaviour), and he is shown touring the killing fields, in a JFK-conspiracy manner, with faraway photos blown up and his figure circled in black. One of the other figures (circled within a couple of seconds of the judge) is (ominously) the same American seen with the judge in the palace! He is a specialist in criminal law helping the judge get an idea of what has occurred here! Indeed, doubt is cast on the whole process of unearthing the mass graves as access thereto is (brace yourselves) under American control.
After the documentary was over, (a constantly smiling) director Jean-Pierre Krief and Robert Badinter were interviewed by Hervé Claude, who had some objective, non-partisan, nuanced questions to ask:
Vous avez l'impression que ce sont les Américains qui tirent les ficelles?And
Est-ce que c'est un véritable mascarade?The former justice minister seemed remarkably fair, except of course he had to mention the regrettable facts that the court is not an international one and that the death penalty is an option. Needless to say, Badinter ends with a typical it's-too-early-to-tell disclaimer:
J'attends de voir pour la démocratie irakienne, dont on espere qu'elle va voir le jour.Robert Tracinski sums it up succinctly:
Like any dictator, Saddam Hussein is staging a show trial--except that this time, it is his own. If you read between the lines of this report on the antics of Saddam's legal defense team, it is easy to figure out what is happening: they are not even attempting a genuine legal defense, which they know would be doomed.As for Ramsey Clark, Joel Mowbray has more about the attorney general described in an even more "inanely benign" way on French TV than in the New York Times:
Instead, Saddam's lawyers are engaging in a propaganda campaign aimed at the conspiracy-theory-prone Arab street [just the conspiracy-theory-prone Arab street?], trying to create the illusion that Saddam is not getting a fair trial--as if anyone in the Arab world can regard a fair trial as normal! And most of all, they are trying to buy time, to keep Saddam from being executed so that--in their fantasy--the Sunni insurgents have time to restore his rule.
Rushing to Saddam’s side after the war was par for Clark’s course. He’s defended a star-studded roster of mass-murderers: Serbian tyrant Milosevic, former Milosevic henchman Radovan Karadzic, a Rwandan pastor accused of orchestrating the slaughter of thousands of Tutsis, al Qaeda terrorist Mohamed Al-Owhali, as well as Nazi war criminals Karl Linnas and Jack Riemer.Looks like Clark would feel right at home with le Comité de Défense de Saddam Hussein…
…Kristinn Taylor, an organizer with FreeRepublic.com, was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle asking an appropriate question: “If the Ku Klux Klan led an anti-war demonstration, would you march in it?”
But maybe the more appropriate question would be: If Saddam Hussein organized a human rights conference, would moveon.org partake? Ramsey Clark did. In 1998. As the keynote speaker. In his speech, he identified the real human rights abusers as the United States, not the man who, by almost anyone’s account, had already slaughtered at least hundreds of thousands of his own citizens.
As the 1998 conference indicates, Clark has done so much more than just serve as defense counsel for war criminals. He supports them. He sympathizes with them. He cheers them on. He probably even loves them.
When the government gets involved in every aspect of people’s lives, this is what you end up with: marginal healthcare for everyone, and various other modern equivalents of rationing books. This one takes the cake:
«STOCKHOLM - Un Suédois qui avait donné son sperme pour qu'un couple de lesbiennes aient des enfants a été condamné mercredi par la Cour suprême du pays à payer une pension pour les trois enfants dont il est le géniteur. Il avait donné son sperme au début des années 90.»
« STOCKHOLM - a Swedish donated his sperm so that a couple of lesbians could have children. He was found liable on Wednesday by the supreme Court of the country to pay child support for the three children.Funny isn’t it? His participation is critical but politically meaningless in the beginning, but when things go wrong for the women who put no stock at all in the traditional family, suddenly fatherhood looks like it would matter. In other words, as long as there is someone to bilk, traditional social institutions become useful to people free-riding on others' trust.
The lesbian couple then separated and the biological mother claimed that the other parent owes child support. The Supreme Court like the magistrates' court and the Court of Appeal considered that the biological father was to assume his financial responsibilities.»
Remember folks, when in lefty-land protect you spunk, as well as the integrity and common sense that lefty activists would like to condition out of the species.
It’s yet another amusing display of the meaningless of “progressive” social practice behind which there aren’t any real theories or ideas, just concepts of personal convenience which bear down on anyone they think might be willing to bear the burden of the consequences without complaining.
- Merci buckets to RV.
Alors, content?was the comment I heard from my back sometime in late 2004 and, turning, I saw it was a friend with a sly smile and giving me a wink. It took me a couple of seconds to figure out that what he was asking was if I was happy about Bush's victory in the November elections.
Non, ce sont les Irakiens qui sont contents…Laughing as if I would never learn, he walked away:
Oh, toi alors…
Sunday, October 16, 2005
What a "scandalized" Le Monde reader feels the need to complain about regarding race, meanwhile, is… semantics!
Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch tells ombudsman Robert Solé that the word "race" should not be used in the daily newspaper. That "faulty concept" has "a past that is… horrible", she exclaims, as, in typical haughty Euro-fashion, she shakes her head at the clueless Yanks' living in the past.
The English word race has entered American usage with a slightly different nuance, even though it is the inheritor of the same 19th century "scientific past": it designates statistical categories still in usage (unfortunately) over there.Unfortunately, indeed. Because it is illegal to gather information on race in France, when (North) African violence breaks out there, the media attribute it to "les jeunes". This, everybody will agree, is a tremendous step forward. If only clueless Yanks would look towards avant-garde Europe, they could be fortunate and learn a thing or two…
The scope of Che Guevara's mass murder is unclearwrites Humberto Fontava.
The exact number of widows and orphans is in dispute. The number of gagged and blindfolded men who Che sent, without trial, to be bound to a stake and blown apart by bullets runs from the hundreds to the thousands. And the mass executioner's T-shirt adorns the very people who oppose capital punishment! Is there a psychiatrist in the house?!