Saturday, July 08, 2006
Commenting on an article which is provocative by UK standards in the Telegraph, we find some interesting comments between the invasion of the drive-by shooters.
“Isn't American hatred the barely disguised hatred of an ideal, namely capitalism? The left loathe the triumph of this ideology over their own bankrupt collectivism. also
This is what they will never forgive America: for embodying an ideal that has trumped their own impoverished, failed and delinquent creed.”
“The critics of US policy are a funny, mixed-up bunch. One minute they say, "focus on the present, not on the past", and the next they say, "what about Granada, Somalia, Vietnam?" Now compare the range of opinion at the Telegraph, often accused of being the poodle of the intolerant fascistic BushChimpyHitlerBurton, with the tender and thoughtful Guardian, where every day is the triumphal May Day march taking pride in the glorious struggle against da man - whoever he may be that day, but always having an American accent:
One minute they say, "America is a bully", and the next they say, "why didn't you do anything about the dictatorships in Africa?"
One minute they say, "Bush is a simpleton", and the next they say, "Bush is the greatest criminal mastermind the world has ever seen!"
The hate directed at the US is quite clearly a re-direction of the self-hatred that most Europeans feel for themselves and their neighbours.
Our politicians stand for nothing, so we hate the American politicians who have a vision.
Our armed forces are pitiful, so we hate the most powerful armed force on the planet.
Our global cultural significance is in continual decline, so we hate a culture on the ascendance.
Our economies are stagnant, so we hate the fast-growing wealth of America, and blame "big business".
Our nations have lost faith in God and in hope and optimism, so we hate America, a land which still believes.
The hatred of America is the single biggest case of lack of self-esteem I have ever encountered. Stop being so pathetically self-centred and self-loathing! Maybe then you'll stop feeling as though you have to blame the nation that is so obviously doing a bit better than you are.
Oh, and by the way, I am solidly British and quite secure, thank you very much.”
The truth is the symbiotic relationship between bin Laden and Bush. they need eachother to buttress their own power and relevance: ...According to Suskind’s book, CIA analysts had spent years “parsing each expressed word of the al-Qaeda leader and his deputy, [Ayman] Zawahiri. What they’d learned over nearly a decade is that bin-Laden speaks only for strategic reasons. … “Their [the CIA’s] assessments, at day’s end, are a distillate of the kind of secret, internal conversations that the American public [was] not sanctioned to hear: strategic analysis. Today’s conclusion: bin-Laden’s message was clearly designed to assist the President’s reelection.even if the president can’t be re-elected – unless you’ve aready convinced yourself that the’s “a dictator”. Lost in the Graun’s endless flow of spittle, the occasional reminder of how they’re talking-talking-talking themselves into an illusion:
I'm trying to remember how many CIF articles are currently about the US. Yet no writer is talking about the US I live in: Outside the Northeast and LA, and not easily written off as redneck land. I live in a small city (about 500K) with a significant immigrant population (mostly Hispanic and Thai). We have our share of flag-wavers (and an oddly named "Patriot's Corner" from which they can wave their flags). About half the people I know vote Republican, and about half Democrat. The local economy is going well, Madame Mayor is well-respected and liked, and you can still get affordable housing on the water.I know that they don’t know, judging by this spurious nonsense:
I suspect that this is closer to the real America than the Guardian columnists know.
The reason for the difference in mentality is that Europeans rely on a broader range of media to get their news.”Broad indeed: BBC, The Guardian, Indymedia... You know, the substantive middle ground...
Friday, July 07, 2006
…ce voisin français perçu comme écrasant et arrogant … le "grand voisin condescendant, qui a inventé à la fois le concept de chauvinisme et l'appellation P'tit Suisse".It's not only the Québécois but also the Swiss who are P'd off at the country of the "Frouze", a nation whose media tend to "treat [Switzerland] as an appendix of France".
The worst schoolbook is the Martin Ivernel history manuel, published by Hatier. It goes as far as praising the Soviet Union and its alleged pacific policies, all the while omitting to mention the millions of dead in Ukraine, in China, in Cambodia, in North Korea, and elsewhere.Anti-Americanism is not alone (there are also books teaching children cuss words — "if you don't know enough cuss words, ask your parents to help you, they know more of them than you do" — etc), but it — and the attendant lack of the most basic kind of serious perspective on history — features prominently in the reasons that pushed half a dozen concerned parents to create SOS Éducation. France itself is hardly better served, by the way:
[The Nathan text book for the sixième grade] quotes neither Montaigne, nor Racine, nor Balzac, nor Flaubert, nor most of our great authors. Instead of having our children read classical texts, they are lectured about skateboards, roller skates, the Boule and Bill comic book, and Harry Potter … many history books have abandoned all attempts at chronological continuity … the child can go without transition from Vercingetorix to Charlemagne, from Louis XIV to the French Revolution, from Napoleon to Jules Ferry. Thus, the Nathan history manual for the quatrième grade tells the whole [sic] history of the 19th century without once quoting Louis XVIII, Charles X, or Louis-Philippe!Apparently, SOS Éducation's protests are getting the publishers' attention. In order to muzzle its voice, the latter are in the process of launching a massive lawsuit against the non-profit association.
As in NEVER. So stop asking, okay?
It’s not just Americans that many French have a problem with, it even with the world’s Francophones. It just isn’t cool to mention it in a social environment where only an American run civil prison where about a dozen rapist and murderers were illegally abused can be called another Auschwitz.
An alt-media paper The Montral Mirror’s Chris Barry interviews the authors of an “ethnographic analysis” of French society by Montreal based journalists Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow:
Montreal Mirror: I’ve yet to meet a Frenchman who didn’t look down his nose at the Québécois—usually accusing them of being unsophisticated.[...]
Jean-Benoît Nadeau: In France it’s impolite to ask someone from out of nowhere their name or what they do in life. Which is a very standard conversation starter here, the lowest common denominator of conversation. The French don’t value the lowest common denominator.
JB: They definitely don’t like being asked what they do for a living.
Montreal Mirror: Maybe because half the population is living off the state.
Montreal Mirror: But getting to the truly important issues, how come those bloody Parisians won’t pick up after their dogs?
Julie Barlow: Because the thought doesn’t even cross their minds. Partly because the whole French system doesn’t rely on civic initiative. The government picks up after the dogs. It’s as simple as that. The French couldn’t imagine it being any other way.What’s true at first blush about a socialistic society is that behind the good intentions to restore the dignity of a few badly off, they create a atmosphere of dependency that takes virtually everyone’s self-respect away. To one degree or another, when you think of bellicose popular cultures and optimistic ones, that “degree or another” is the degree of their
collectivism leeching off of each society.
Mother Gaia Ché do?
Che Guevara's last night alive relived on NY stage
Well, no not really his last night – what lefties desperate to have their world view go unchallenged and undebated wish it was like:
After writing "The Motorcycle Diaries" screenplay, Jose Rivera felt he had more to say about Ernesto "Che" Guevara, so he wrote a play he says shows the Latin American revolutionary would have had plenty to say about the war in Iraq.Certainly he would have plenty to say. He was himself a mass murderer that aspired to grow to the scale of Saddam Hussein, and he would probably have defended to death Saddam’s capacity to murder innocents In Iraq and abroad who were inconvenient to him.
Che was always asking those questions and criticizing U.S. imperialistic impulses all over the world," he said.Because he wanted to do the same, only with mock ‘popular will’ which wished to use mobocracy instead of democracy, and to use it to enslave people and make them all equally controllable instead of allowing them to realize their desires for their own lives in their own way.
Now imagine defending to no end a limited set of views spinning around events by a murderer from 40 years ago. Imagine that remodeling the immoral nature of them into something else is ones’ life work. Think for a moment how weak an intellect one has to have to continue that charade, and try to see the entire world through the prism or what ultimately was little more than a KGB funded operation to get other people to unwittingly do their killing for them.
Now imagine that this is the core belief of your weltanschauung, and this is what you get:
"My daughter wore a Che T-shirt to school and she was criticized by one of the teachers saying 'He's a terrorist,' and 'Why would you glorify a terrorist?'," Rivera said, adding that he does not expect to take the new play to Miami.That’s because he WAS a terrorist, and he was proud of it. He saw it as ‘cleansing’ and necessary to build a new world order that’s alien to human nature and virtually every form of human morality.
They wanted to break it to break people, to modify and control them. Others think that they still can, trying to convince people that an ideology that imprisons free thinkers and contrarians will “give them a voice” that no one is denying them in democracy to begin with. The voice they want is in fact the reverse – the silencing of others’ voices, just as Ché with his capricious murders, Saddam with his poison gas attacks, and even down to Obrador trying to take by intimidation what he couldn’t win in the ballot box by calling mobs out into the streets.
Kudos though to Rivera’s kid’s teacher that didn’t tow the party line of the ‘hand that rocks the cradle’ collectivist vision that had to virtually give up on pushing it on intellectually developed adults who know better.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
refuses to concede that there is no story here:
Mexico candidate vows vote fightSuddenly and much to the surprise of the actual center left in Mexico (that didn’t seem to care for this brick-chucker,) he has now been pronounced a harmless, warm and fuzzy “center left” kind of guy by the hit-and-run "international media."
Mexico's centre-left presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he will challenge the outcome of Sunday's presidential election.
Others still can never be satisfied by even a marginal reporting of actual facts. These punks thinks BBC Mundo, with it's puny theoretical market share based on 10 stations carrying them part of the day, has influenced the vote in favor of Calderon.
Excessive dependence from outside markets puts everything in jeopardy goes the least agitational reasoning of anti-globo arguments, but this is only true when there the economy within is a good outside participant and a mediocre internal one.
The euro zone occasionally enjoys an uptick in growth by piggybacking on strong global trade. But the good days never last; there has been no real boom since the dotcom days at the end of the last decade. The sorry reality is that what is celebrated as a great year for European economic progress would be decried as a catastrophic near-recession in America.The saying goes that when the US sneezes, the rest of the world gets a cold. By ‘the world’ people who would say this generally mean their world. Meant as a slight on the US by saying that she lacks a sense of responsibility for the care of others before itself, one wonders where this parasitic notion will lead. The saying is, after all, decades old. Don’t you think it’s time export based European economies built a little bit of an immunity and stop making the US trade defecit (that they otherwise complain about gladly when it comes to the cost of borrowing) responsible for their well being?
They are, in that sense, still a little like underdeveloped economies dependant on wealth coming from abroad rather than developing markets and spending power from within.
1974: La nécessité pour la diplomatie américaine de "ménager les sensibilités française et européennes"
Of the 11,300 documents concerning France (400,000 altogether), 26 (9,800 altogether) were considered improper to be declasified. Only the declassified titles give an idea of their content and show how close they are to today's concerns:
Le 21 novembre 1974, l'Iran signe un accord sur un réacteur nucléaire avec la France et la République fédérale d'Allemagne. La France et l'Inde coopèrent dans le domaine des matières fissiles...
It's lefty's way.
Mexico gets its' own Al Gore:
Mr. López Obrador now claims that there are three million "lost" votes, and that he senses all kinds of "irregularities," none of which are backed up with evidence.Meanwhile the press' love affair is mutating into silent running.
TV - radio update: BBC reported Obredon's protest and his "comeback," but not Calderón's numerical lead betwixt.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Via Biased BBC and as Ufois2 linked as well: I can't get enough of getting a load of this puckered priest of propaganda banging his spoon on his high-chair – a BBC presenter ranted on about wanting George Bush to "rot in hell".
The Radio Ulster host was presenting his morning show yesterday - July 4, US Independence Day - when he said it was also the American President's birthday.It fits neatly into a business program interview I heard yesterday on the BBC World Service discussing credit cards (only American owned versions of the plastic fantanstic of course), where the guests were complaining about Americans and their personal debt. If this problem appeared anwhere else on earth, let alone old Blighty where the desease of betting on anything that runs on two or four legs seems to persist unabated - they'll know who's to blame.
After telling his listeners Mr. Bush had just turned 60, he added: "May I say I hope you rot in hell".
Ironically, the popular presenter and Belfast Telegraph columnist got the birth date wrong - the current President celebrates his birthday tomorrow, July 6.
One Radio Ulster listener, who contacted the Belfast Telegraph, said: "I couldn't believe what I was hearing, especially on Independence Day."
One American activist type who clearly hasn’t lived in the US in ages said of credit cards: that is was “about the times”. That you had Ronald Reagan encouraging it with a phrase about “a shining White House on the hill” – that possessions turned into the goal of the good life, blah, blah, blah
Newsflash, Spanky – it was “a shining city on the hill”, and he was talking about the disposition of the American public spirit, not the private accumulation of anything. That a population working with a common goal can make a good society. It was largely about the elevation of the poor out of their hardship. Hardly the emboldening of avarice that our friend would like us to believe.
Of that vision, Reagan said in his farewell speech from the White House:
And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that; after 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.The phrase made it into the media discussion loop. Because it had a richness and depth haters of Reagan HAD to try to denigrate it and anything he said to cover for an absence of valid ideas that could inspire people to disagree with him. Just as his sincere and touching manner of letters writing belies the decade long unceasing charge that Reagan was illiterate, the vulgarity of the left reveals that they have no interest in a good and just society. It caused the same hostility to be turned back on them, and showed them to be unreasonable, intolerant, uncouth, and unworthy to lead well.
We see the same thing again from the one-note-Johnnies of the left – frequently abusing their positions in academia or otherwise. No notion of a good society that people can work toward, just some adoration of their favorite pieties and Rube Goldberg government management of peoples’ lives. “lifestyle concepts” do not make a philosophy – they are little more than a bribe to yet another faction of the population that they had cleft away into captive emotional isolation. What has never suited the type was to have the room to imagine a “Shining city on the hill,” or anything else that's much larger than their world view, outside the narrow frame of what remains little more than a variant on the failed Marxist class struggle theory.
One place where they’re still trying to sell it is back on the BBC’s airwaves. A quick survey of their news operation’s coverage of elections in Mexico has proved out that they aren’t just picking sides, but trying to project non-existent imagery on the two candidates, just as our friend with the “shining White House on the Hill” has. From Biased BBC again, and their commenters we get to play a game of who using BBC clues to identify the conservative:
One of the most popular politicians in Mexico ... It ended in a triumph for him ... As mayor of Mexico City, he won respect as much for his reputation for honesty, a gruelling work schedule and his humble lifestyle as for his ambitious public works and social programmes targeting the poor and disadvantaged ... He often draws on his humble origins - growing up in a village of 600 in Tabasco State, the son of a store owner... recognition of indigenous people's rights, scholarships for the handicapped and improving healthcare and education ... He says he will pay for social spending, higher pensions and wages by wiping out corruption, cutting down on government waste and cracking down on tax evasionOne gets a platform presentation, the other is described by the ugly gruntwork of electioneering, imagery, and they go one to present any skeletons have in his closet.
A Harvard educated lawyer, [he], is favoured by the business community. He has run a negative campaign.
Thay are, by the way, BOTH “career politicians” – but since that’s a seemingly bad thing, only one of them is identified as such.
It simply never ends. One more note on the plastic fantastic. The interview included the brains behind the Diner's Club Card, a charge card. They were talking to the wrong guy anyway.
The advent of the credit card came with Bank of America successful start of the BankAmericard some years later. The Graun, of course attributes this to Barkleys somehow, but that article goes back to 1998, before it became obvious that someone could use it to wag their finger at American-ness (living, breathing, etc., etc.)
Aren't they just darling?
Shouldn’t that at least say US Afghan raid kills 35 suspected Taleban?
US-led forces in Afghanistan say they have killed about 35 militants in a raid on a "known Taleban compound" in the south of the country.So are they the Taleban or the “Taleban”? Based on the leader can we not assume that the Taliban even exist? Or are they tring to tell us that it's all in our heads?
Buses carrying Afghan army officers and government workers were the target.
The Taleban claimed responsibility for both Tuesday and Wednesday's attacks.
…ce serait une erreur de ramener cet affrontement [la guerre contre le terrorisme] entre quelques milliers de terroristes et, d'autre part, le monde occidental et la plupart des régimes arabo-musulmans modérés, à une affaire d'énergie. C'est évidemment secondaire dans la démarche d'Al-Qaida, et je ne crois pas que cela ait joué un rôle essentiel dans la guerre en Irak. Si les Etats-Unis avaient été préoccupés par cette seule question, ils auraient fait modifier le régime des sanctions de l'ONU contre Saddam Hussein, et ils auraient facilement obtenu de ce dernier un quasi-monopole de l'accès au pétrole irakien.There are things that even France's former foreign minister can not deny. Among the things that Védrine (who not only coined the word "hyperpuissance" but, as Steve reminds us, did so before George W Bush's rise to the presidency, i.e., during the term of Bill Clinton who, as we are constantly being reminded, supposedly represented the good, wise America in the eyes of the Europeans) has to admit is the fact of Europeans' self-obsession (and their concomittant inability — and unwillingness — to understand anything beyond their own borders):
Les Européens ont du mal à le comprendre, mais il est vrai qu'ils sont devenus tellement ingénus, ils croient tellement que ce sont leurs croyances actuelles qui sont normales, alors qu'ils ne sont que 500 millions sur 6,5 milliards d'habitants, qu'ils ne comprennent pas grand-chose à ce qui se passe en Russie, en Chine, dans le monde arabe ou africain, en Israël, ou même aux Etats-Unis.In the chat moderated by Constance Baudry, Védrine ends by saying that
aujourd'hui, tout le langage de la politique étrangère a repris les formules qui étaient celles de la gauche naguère : paix, communauté internationale, coopération, multilatéralisme, prévention des conflits, etc [and that] la vision des années 1990 (communauté internationale, grands sommets de l'ONU, etc.) était une illusion d'optique. Il nous faut une politique plus réaliste et plus active.
Klan Gets Permit for Gettysburg Protest
GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- The National Park Service has granted the Ku Klux Klan's request to hold a rally and protest the Iraq war at the Civil War battlefield where Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.One set of authoritarian symps to coincide with another:
US Anti-War Protesters to Launch Fast
The list of anticipated fasters includes anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, mother of an American serviceman killed in Iraq, and Michael Berg, the father of an American citizen who was captured by insurgents in Iraq and later beheaded.They have been reduced to resorted fakery, misrepresentation, and personal abuse to now demanding actions that will lead to certain failure to prove their point... “Troops home fast” indeed – pull them out before any success for the US initiative in the region becomes apparent to the public outside of Iraq and the rest of the Near East. When will they finally get that trying to talk it down can’t make a thing true.
Several members of Congress are expected to take part, as well as a British and a Canadian lawmaker. Actors Danny Glover, Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon, as well as country musician Willie Nelson, are among a long list of celebrities.
"For some of us, it is an open-ended fast, meaning we are not sure how long we will go, but we are determined to go as long as our bodies allow us to," said Medea Benjamin, who helped organize the event, called "Troops Home Fast."
There are conflicting reports about the time of flight before failure of the early morning launch of the North Korean long range missile.
News reports have varied from 30 seconds to more than 90.
Were it in the range of a 45-60, there is a possibility that there was a failure to lighting the second stage. Less than that, a likely failure in the first stage or the attitude control.
The sooner the failure, the better it is for everyone other than the NorKs since the less of a failure that they could monitor, the less likely it is that they could correct its' flaws.
Lighting of a stage in flight has always been a difficult problem to solve. The longer it takes for them to sort it out the better it is for the people threatened by North Korea, and its' likely clients such as Iran.
There could have been many reasons for firing 2 (some reports say 5) medium range missiles with the Taepodong.
It may simply be more cost effective.
They could have been trying make showstopping vaudevillian video agitprop.
They might have wanted to integrate a excercise simulating wartime operation.
They might have had so little confidence in the new missile, that they wanted to at least present the Japanese, South Koreans, and the rest of world with the barrage to limit the deflated threat of a botched launch.
But as with everything about the hermit kingdom of North Korea, one can only watch and speculate.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
fait plus que jamais figure d'épouvantail dans le pays républicain profond.Personne ne s'étonnera qu'avec des expressions comme "un ton carrément menacant", Corine Lesnes parvient à donner une vision a priori négative et des États-Unis en général et des conservateurs en particulier — sans parler de la liberté de la presse — dans son article du Monde sur la presse américaine. Or, la première phrase dément tout à fait la vision horrifique d'une Amérique zombie à genox devant Fox News.
Aux Etats-Unis, l'une des activités préférées des militants conservateurs est d'attaquer la presse "de gauche" — soit tous les médias, de leur point de vue, à l'exception de la chaîne de télévision Fox News.Ce que confirme bien ce que nous avons écrit par le passé sur la chaîne et sa (manque relative de) popularité. Relire surtout l'article de Stéphane.
Des lecteurs ont été choqués que Le Monde reprenne [une scène de ménage du ministre des affaires étrangères], révélée par Le Canard enchaîné. Nicole Truffaut (Compiègne), par exemple, dénonce "un article de concierge, fait de ragots de bas étage, sur la vie privée du ministre".Entretemps, nombre de lecteurs ont écrit au médiateur du Monde pour se plaindre du traitement de Philippe Douste-Blazy.
"Le ton perfide de cet article m'a profondément déplu. Je l'ai trouvé humainement blessant et intellectuellement peu convaincant."Et à Robert Solé d'entonner un
Où s'arrête la légitime information des citoyens ? Où commence le voyeurisme ? Un événement privé ne mérite de figurer dans Le Monde que dans deux circonstances : s'il a une incidence sur la vie publique ou s'il est indispensable pour connaître la personnalité d'un dirigeant.Très bien. Mais les indignations des uns et les mea culpa des autres ne sont nullement le genre d'attitude qui est souvent prôné lorsqu'il s'agissait de traiter du manque de connaissances internationales de Bush ou de son pretzel avalé de travers la gorge. Voilà un "événement privé" qui mérite de figurer dans Le Monde ; voilà qui n'est aucunement "des ragots de bas étage" (loin de là) , voilà qui est, au contraire "intellectuellement" trés "convaincant". Et pour cause : là, il s'agit des Ricains (ou de leurs leaders) qu'il convient de fustiger à tout moment!
La règle ne s'applique pas mécaniquement. Chaque cas appelle une évaluation. Mais, dans le doute, le silence est d'or.
BB said Iraq must not be concerned about U.N. weapons inspectors, suggesting that the regime should "put 600 mukhabarat" in place to monitor them
A Korean businessman, Tongsun Park, hinted that he needed $10 million from Saddam Hussein so he could "take care" of Secretary-General Boutros-Ghaliwrites Benny Avni (merci à RV) as we recall how often we have been told to castigate American greed and asked to cast doubt on America's real reasons for its attitude in the Iraq crisis, and, conversely, invited to trust the word of the members of the "peace camp" and to put our confidence in the United Nations.
Mr. Boutros-Ghali told Mr. Park he wanted to "neutralize" a top U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq and that he was relying on his "Iraqi friends" to aid his mid-1990s bid for reelection, according to testimony. …
Mr. Vincent said under oath that he believed a 1995 defection by a son-in-law of Saddam, Hussein Kemal, revived U.N. efforts to find Iraq's illicit weapons and changed attitudes in Baghdad about accepting an oil-for-food plan. He went to see his U.N. contact, Mr. Park, who previously had arranged meetings with Mr. Boutros-Ghali and other officials.
During their meeting, Mr. Park "asked for $10 million to take care of expenses and to take care of some people," Mr. Vincent told the court. He assumed "some people" meant Mr. Boutros-Ghali, he said. He later relayed the conversation with Mr. Park to his main contact in Baghdad, Nizar Hamdoon, a friend of his from high school and Iraq's then-ambassador to the United Nations.
Mr. Vincent told the jury that Hamdoon, who died in 2003, said, "I guess we have to take care of B.B." He said the initials were understood to be a reference to Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
A year later, as the secretary-general was vying unsuccessfully for a second five-year term at Turtle Bay, Mr. Park relayed a conversation with Mr. Boutros-Ghali, Mr. Vincent said. According to notes kept by Mr. Vincent and shown in court, the secretary-general said, "I want to rely on my Iraqi friends to assist in my campaign for a second term."
Mr. Boutros-Ghali wanted to impress Saddam's top aide, Tariq Aziz, and the Turtle Bay leader told Mr. Park he was a friend of the regime, Mr. Vincent said.
According to Mr. Vincent's notes, Mr. Boutros-Ghali said he always suspected the chief U.N. weapons inspector, Rolf Ekeus, "had links to the United States." Mr. Boutros-Ghali added, how ever, that he had not yet been able to "neutralize" the Swedish inspector.
Mr. Vincent testified Wednesday that in an earlier stage of his and Mr. Park's dealings with the secretary-general, Mr. Boutros-Ghali said Iraq must not be overly concerned about U.N. weapons inspectors, suggesting that the regime should "put 600 mukhabarat" — or secret servicemen — in place to monitor them. …
These bears are somehow supposed to bring about world peace. Don't ask me how, I think a liberal thought it up. Each bear is supposed to represent one of the 192 nations of the UN. Each bear was given to an artist in each of the countries, and the artist could paint it however he/she wanted to. Now they are on tour all over the world you know — "healing the world" and "making it a better place"
Interesting site they chose for the international peace bear display. The building behind it belongs to the world famous Humboldt University. The open area where the bears are standing was also the site of a massive Nazi book-burning back in 1933. At the time, this building was a library, and the Nazis hauled out 20,000 books into the public area in front. They burnt books written by authors who were Jewish, Leftist, pacifistic, or sometimes just not German.
(Please notice that while most of the criticism seems to be directed at Uncle Sam, in fact the basic criticism (although dwelled on more briefly) really has to do with the arm-twisting the so-called peace camp members apply on the American government as well as the politically correct "knee-jerk anti-imperialism" (which I also describe extensively in my book) which (all too conveniently) fuels the political correctess of said peace camp members.)
Post-Imperial Blues and Iraqi Sovereignty
June 28, 2006
Following the Second Anniversary of Iraqi Sovereignty:
The United States has a terrible case of the Post-Imperial Blues.
The only cure is an intellectual realization that not all places are fit for present self-government as based on the ample empirical evidence from decolonization and subsequent UN and NATO protectorates in the Balkans. Knee-jerk anti-imperialism must be jettisoned in addition to the corresponding obsession with the nation-state as the only just and most effective form of international political organization.
Indeed, it is this fit of Post-Imperial Blues that has proven so disastrous to our efforts in Iraq. It is the primary reason why sovereignty was handed over so early on June 28, 2004.
Naturally, pressure was exerted from within Iraq, especially the Iraqi exiles that made up the Governing Council during the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq before sovereignty was granted. The reasons for this are relatively transparent – sovereignty meant great power for those already entrenched in the embryonic Iraqi administration. Pressure was also exerted from the international community including most notably France. This pressure has its roots in competing power rivalries. Perhaps France had something to gain from a prematurely independent Iraq. This was of course stated in altruistic terms – something along the lines of “Iraq should be independent as soon as possible because that is the right thing to do. Domination of a people by a foreign power is just plain wrong.” Ironically, it is this very reason why the US granted sovereignty when it did. In the end, Americans do not feel it is right to dominate. The only answer is sovereignty ASAP no matter the consequences.
And what have been the consequences?
Stalled Economic Reform – The state dominated economy of the Saddam Era is now being rejuvenated. The necessary privatizations of the State Owned Enterprises did not occur. This will have dramatic consequences on the Iraqi economy. The private sector will be squeezed out to the detriment of wealth creation and democratic development.
Increased Corruption – The CPA did not have enough time to properly rid the Iraqi ministries of corruption and inculcate a culture of honest administration. This will in turn prove devastating to private sector investment and economic growth. The consequences for the establishment of democracy will also prove exceptionally powerful as systems of patronage are entrenched.
Incorporation of Factional Influences – The CPA did not have the time nor took proper care to keep the militias, notably the Shia Badr Brigade, from entrenching itself in the government, especially the Ministry of Interior and its corresponding security forces. This could prove the very undoing of the country for it is creating great disunity between Sunnis and Shias while arming a potential major combatant in a possible Iraqi civil war.
So we now know the larger consequences of early sovereignty in Iraq but what of the misguided ideas from which this stemmed? It is a natural consequence of the definition of international political organization that Western Civilization has now set for the world. Indeed, it is the very definition that the United States has long espoused, especially after the First World War and the prominence of Wilsonian idealism. This idealism is based on the assumption that every nation is entitled to a state and that this is the ideal order for the international arena. This world view runs completely contrary to its immediate forerunner, imperialism.
Empires have existed since the dawn of civilization. From the time of the Assyrian Empire in the Fertile Crescent right up to the British Empire and the present day, empires have been a constant form of political organization. As states and city states have risen and waned, there has always been some form of empire whether through the direct administration of foreign territories to indirect rule through proxies to the payment of tribute to lopsided alliances made possible by donor assistance and IMF lending. Nation states as we know them are actually fairly recent with the commonly agreed upon birth being the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.
Following World War II, the world experienced in various waves, the strong current of de-colonization and the retreat of all the imperial powers save the United States and the Soviet Union. In quick succession, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal either granted independence to their colonies, ceded them to other powers, or watched impotently as they were seized away. All this took place within a context originally inspired heavily by Wilson but also reiterated by FDR during World War II. The US therefore played the largest role in the setting up the context during the 20th Century through which imperialism and subsequent de-colonization was to be appraised. Independence now came to be seen as the end-all for all aspiring nations. Independence was a necessary precondition for economic development and democracy. However, the majority of decolonized states since World War II have remained places with negligible if any economic progress and even less democratic development. Political independence for nations is not always good, especially where there was previously no nation as is the case with many former colonies.
This is not to say that the opposite is always true. Political domination as espoused by the European imperial powers of the 19th Century was by far a mixed bag with some colonies experiencing brutal subjugation. Today, reality is somewhere caught in between. Some states would benefit from imperial rule whether direct or indirect. Others would benefit more from independence. In the end, the most important lesson to be learned is that Americans should not view imperialism as automatically negative in all its forms. Intellectually, this is not a difficult step but it represents a very large moral leap for it runs counter to all that we are taught and appears at first glance to be contrary to our political culture. Apart from all the other problems we face in our current “War on Terror” and efforts to bring democracy and free markets in the wake of regime change in rogue states, we cannot hope to prevail if from the very beginning we are not intellectually open to the seemingly radical concept that the nation-state is not necessarily the ideal unit of political organization for all corners of the world. Also, it may take much longer to successfully build nation states in some places than in others. The political world is a spectrum of forms. It is not black and white. This does not mean that truths do not exist. After all, freedom should be sought for all humanity because it in itself is good. However, independence and freedom are not one in the same. Perhaps the former can be an obstacle to the latter. This is a vital intellectual leap that must be made for the continuation of America’s world leadership and for the spread of democracy and free markets.
- Paris Dispatch: America’s Manpower Deficit in Iraq
- Final Baghdad Dispatch: Post-Imperial Blues and Iraqi Sovereignty
- Baghdad Dispatch: The Banality of Bureaucracy: Organizational Failure in Iraq
- Baghdad Dispatch # 30: Leaving Iraq After Two Years in the Green Zone
- Baghdad Dispatch # 25: Middle Eastern Revolutions?
- Baghdad Dispatch # 24: Success and Sacrifice
- Baghdad Dispatch # 23: The Conditional Republic and the Babylonian Captivists
- Baghdad Dispatch # 22: To the West Bank
- Baghdad Dispatch # 21: From Iraq to Lebanon
- Baghdad Dispatch # 1: Freedom is not a phrase just thrown around but sincerely uttered and meant
Most of the time I couldn’t care less. Sometimes I get a laugh out of it. Either way, a great many Europeans resemble an obsessed and desperate stalker whose loins burn for America one sick way or another. While some pollster can take the temperature of the brainwashed, other writers in the same paper can try to disabuse them of said delusion.
Andrew Stuttaford in NRO’s “The Corner”, Richard North and Helen Szamuely writing in the EU Referendum blog, and others have covered the matter nicely.
I all remind me of an example of how the allergy of this anti-Americanism constructed in the press can lay itself out on people. Waiting for a car ferry to cross the channel a British woman was at first flirting with me, and at one point said after a little while:
“You’re American!” as if I didn’t know.She went on to another subject of cultural complain. She begged for one retort after another. She needed more of this “why is the sky blue” conversation the accidental representative of the great demon of her life - Americur.
“I am” – I am, you see.
“You don’t get much holiday. I don’t much like that”
“I get all the ‘holiday’ I want, I only get paid for three weeks of it.”
“But that’s not nice.” - henh? Nice?
“You just have to plan for it, ya know – save up a little, set up your projects… some people prefer the extra money.”
“They shouldn’t do that. I don’t think many people know how to do that.”
“I supervise 17 people, and they all know how to do that just fine”
Hoping that the damn gate would finally open, after 20 minutes of being part of her gruesome self-entertainment, I told her to stop being so damn rude. “I’m AmeriCAN, not AmeriCA,” I finally said. “If you have so many complaints about American life, email the White House.”
She seemed shocked when I asked her if she wanted the same kind of interrogation. “No, of course not” as if I was being too touchy to be the generic punching bag of her life’s disappointments. She seemed sort of shocked at the notion that I was a human with a persona, and not the straw man of my nationality. It often takes a poke in the ego to realize that this kind of crap from a complete stranger might be nosy, misdirected, and unwelcome.
Maybe I just have that kind of face, but when in the UK I get this treatment about 2-6 times a day.
People who expect a stranger to take part in their imaginary mental arguments like that need to see a shrink or maybe get a pet. When going through such drills I picture that someday they might finally notice the sewer of envy and unimaginativeness they’re living in.
She’s right in one way. People sold on the life’s lowest common denominator, the state’s safety net as a means of planning your life don’t know how to do much of anything other than game the rest of society for their own well being. In a laissez-faire environment, one trades for one’s wants. It costs something because it isn’t yours’ - one doesn’t bilk they neighbor with guilt to seek the trappings that often come with the pursuit of happiness.
It also makes me wonder why I meet all of their serious go-getters in the New York and Washington, where many of them carry around the same index cards, although they yellow more quickly when they start living here and seeing for themselves that it isn’t the Hieronymus Bosch scene they were hoping it would be.
One of Rodney Dangerfield’s throw-away lines was “Want to feel tall? Hang out with short people.” It seems that the European MSM is pre-occupied with finding those short people and failing that, inventing them on their own and selling it to an unquestioning public.
Fraser Nelson, political editor of the UK based journal “The Business” writes in the current edition about the United States approach of CO2 somehow yielding better results than the economies with the most similarity to it who were signatories to the Kyoto Accord.
His conclusion? US beats Europe over CO2 control
The United States has frozen its carbon dioxide emissions at a time when signatories of the Kyoto Protocol are conceding that they cannot meet their own targets, according to official figures released last week.[...]
While the American economy grew by 3.5% last year, more than twice the European average, its fossil fuel emissions were up by only 0.1% – with no growth in road pollution and a drop in aircraft emissions.
Since 1997, when the Kyoto Protocol was first signed, the US has now made more progress in reducing its per capita fossil fuel emissions than the UK, France, Spain, Finland, Sweden and Japan – even before its economic growth is considered.The extent to which they yell and scream about the United States as a failure, a “wild west” where business always gets its’ way is laughable and a sort of point of their pride when followed by the recitations about what they are doing theoretically for the environement. Like most of it, it’s a long rapsheet of treaties that have been signed and ignored, and an endless, constantly growing alphabet soup of organizations, talking shops, and fig-leaf operations.
Quite simply, engineering can’t be executed in words if deeds are ill founded and based on PR, or done to get the public to get into the habit of never questioning a new regulation or measure. Moreover, without development and advancement, the entire exercise is worthless. The means of doing that is to be scientifically and industrially dynamic, not binding the people behind it to be limited by the forcing them to parrot the politically correct saws and pay homage to notions and precepts.
The way to accomplish it is to first establish what the real problems are, and then give them goals and issues to chip away at – not force on them a political purity test to see if they deserve to be Borked with the Lomborg treatment.
Although President George Bush pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol in 2001, after a bipartisan vote in Congress, America has made substantially more progress than its European counterparts, which are still signed up to reach its targets. [...]
David Miliband, UK Environment Secretary, acknowledged last week that the government is “off track” in meeting its own target of reducing emissions by 20% under the 1990 baseline set by Kyoto. It has met the 10% target.
Spanish carbon emissions were 48% above the 1990 base in 2004, more then treble the 15% limit of its Kyoto target. Portugal, Greece and Ireland – also Kyoto signatories – all have emissions at least 20% higher
Of the 30 industrialised countries which signed Kyoto, 17 were exceeding their targets at the time the last count was taken, in 2004. Japan pledged itself to a 6% drop in its 1990 emissions levels, yet has so far experienced a 7% rise.The notion sold by the environmental movement about how business can “coexist” with their goals has in every case proven to be a sales gimmick. Give industries goals without acutely micromanaging them or the message and they can come through for you. The very idea of imposing control over private businesses, long a predilection with the western left’s socialist sensibility defies every theories applied to learning, invention, or even the arts.
Nonetheless they will cheerfully forment suspicion, and apply the same controls to people whose work they little understand or fear for the “symbolic nature” that they hold for them, such as the energy business, manufacturing, agricultural science, water treatment, etc... in short, any sector producing economically and personally critical commodities which they think no-one will need if they just “imagine another world”.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
The divine likeness of our harmless and cuddly animal mascot has been moltested:
Bomb damages sculpture of Ché in Bolivia
La Paz, Jun 30 (EFE).- A small bomb partially destroyed a bronze bust of iconic guerrilla Ernesto "Che" Guevara on the ground floor of a labor federation in the west-central Bolivian city of Oruro.Chapeau to Jim H.
European banks and governments “collude” with the US on anti-terror intelligence efforts, say the Brussels watching press:
The European Central Bank and the Bank of England were aware that customers' payment data were being transferred to US authorities, according to a document obtained by Belgium's Le Soir newspaper.And the European media and some elites aren’t just puzzled by the need for it, but are trying to humiliate western civilization into making terror something it may not defend itself against – even in secret.the fuse is lit!
A consortium known as SWIFT, which manages the "Swift" codes for international payments, tried in vain to get permission from the Frankfurt and London banks to hand payment data to Washington, but the banks did not subsequently tell the government of Belgium - where SWIFT is based - that data was being transferred to the US.
Alas, we find a movie review, densely packed with tortured, anti-American metaphors and typically fopish throw away phrases:
'Probably the most heterosexual movie I've ever made. Really'Flawed assumptions forgetting the malaise of (Saint) Jimmy Carter, and working the entirely unrelated into a movie review:
The irony of his being an illegal "alien" is not lost on anyone,
If America's wars at home and abroad have imbued Superman Returns with something of a home court advantage,
Never has American public morale been so low. More than 2,500 US soldiers have died in Iraq, and support for the war is waning as fast as that for the least popular president in decades.One wonders of the anonymous has ever been to the U.S., or is relying rather on the heap of daily euro-lefty slags that have grown into unverified, unquestioned forgone conclusions about the United States I beleve morale was significantly lower when Americans had stagflation, leftist ninnies talking the nations spirits down until Reagan built them back up. amd as I recall feelings weren't exactly bright on the afternoon of 11 September 2001.
With the immigration debate front and centre of the country's war at home,...
There was similar speculation surrounding the X-Men films: the term "mutant", it was often posited, was a metaphor for "gay".