Saturday, June 14, 2008

Overstretched, Needed to Defend Home, Blah, Blah, Blah

While all of the states leverage is, as ever, employed to make arms sales, and yacking “biz-tellectuals” write sonnets to the Rafale, or the near holiness of any other precious piece of overpriced rubbish the state tangled arms industries come out with, the French Army’s gear is thoroughly FUBAR. So much so that Sarko just penned a “reduction and improvement” program for the French armed services.

According to confidential defence documents leaked to the French press, less than half of France's Leclerc tanks – 142 out of 346 – are operational and even these regularly break down.

Less than half of its Puma helicopters, 37 per cent of its Lynx choppers and 33 per cent of its Super Frelon models – built 40 years ago – are in a fit state to fly, according to documents seen by Le Parisien newspaper.

Two thirds of France's Mirage F1 reconnaissance jets are unusable at present.
Like with the left in the US, the nattering is identical: they are a failure, but they shouldn’t be given a cent. They are “overstretched”, but should be reduced. As it is, there will be fewer soldiers ready for duty in the “la Grande armée de la République” then there are Girl Scouts in Canada. And of course even that would be considered excessive if we were talking about the Boy Scouts.
According to army officials, the precarious state of France's defence equipment almost led to catastrophe in April, when French special forces rescued the passengers and crew of a luxury yacht held by pirates off the Somali coast.

Although ultimately a success, the rescue operation nearly foundered at an early stage, when two of the frigates carrying troops suffered engine failure, and a launch laden with special forces' equipment sunk under its weight.

Later, an Atlantic 2 jet tracking the pirates above Somali territory suffered engine failure and had to make an emergency landing in Yemen.

"External operations, in the Ivory Coast and Lebanon are a fig leaf: we are able to keep up the pretence but in ten years our defence apparatus will fall apart," one high-ranking official said.
In truth, they have it kind of rough. They deploy their forces to various parts of Africa and the near East with the expectation of benignly satisfying the public’s need to imagine that they are there broadly doing good with kid gloves.

But it only works if you don’t have a lot of illusions about the world, and the violence in it, let them do their jobs, and give them a way to do it.

Moreover, every time the issue comes up, there is a parroted “that a reason for MORE Europe, not LESS Europe” routine that they go through: always a call for military intergrations. All well and good, but all of the parties are looking for a second peace dividend which lays the burden of a professional force at the feet of the UK and the smaller states with experienced forces such as the Danes and the Dutch – hardly a way to develop a broad, unified military force with a doctrine unique to their needs. In fact it would lean even MORE heavily on the US and the force segment retrained through US cooperation as we’ve seen with the Poles.

Again, if they really want it, they have to actually want it and show it. So far, other than the UK and the Dutch, as usual the other players remain in a staring contest over who can SEEM to take action in Afghanistan with the least possible risk.

The Sun’s Fine-tuning Knob Still not Found

"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate,"
The environmental movement is no longer about clean air, land, and water. It’s a Gramscian distraction for political leverage which has made a mockery of science.

Friday, June 13, 2008

God Save Ireland, Said the Heroes

God save Ireland, said they all

Yet Another Successful 5 Year Plan

Starting next month, members of the European Parliament will travel in style on their own specially designed high-speed train from their office in Brussels to their other office in Strasbourg, France. The parliament holds its preparatory meetings in Brussels and its plenary sessions in Strasbourg meaning that every month, 377 MEPs and their staff need to be transported between the two cities. The new train is being touted (mostly by the French who built it) as an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to flying.
To make it even MORE “eco-friendly” why don’t they dust off Stalin’s train car?
Cato's Daniel Mitchell compares the train to the special highway lanes once enjoyed by high-ranking Soviet officials.
Beside the Caligula-like nature of that perc paid for by people who don’t get vote on whether or not the want to be forcibly relocated to this new nation, the “proletariat” it’s intended to serve aren’t quite yet pleased:
Despite the luxurious accomodations, MEPs are still griping that the train's late arrival in Strasbourg will "deprive colleagues of their midday break and the possibility of a proper lunch."

From the Zombie-Cult of those with too much Time on their Hands

With no UK teams in Euro 2008, who should British supporters throw their weight behind in the European Football Championship?
Naturally – they speak for the world! The entire world - without the slightest hint of irony or awareness of the condescention or imperialism in the tone.
The World Development Movement, a UK development charity, however, wants the bereft supporters to choose a European team based on which of their home countries is most committed to international development or most advanced in the battle against climate change.
Go team? No way – because you know, when you compete, we all lose. And since sports can be seen as a analog for war (if you torture the logic enough) then you should think war is bad too. Or something...

So goes the tripe from the muddled Euro-lefty mind. Proving that their burning interests in whatever-it-is-this-week and whatever holy green hoop they want you to jump through are really just a game:
The criteria include aid spending, carbon emissions, electricity from renewable energy, military spending, inequality and corruption.

According to the ranking, Netherlands pumps out the highest amount of carbon dioxide of countries in Euro 2008, emitting 16 tonnes per person. Turkey, Romania and Croatia emit the least with three to four tonnes per person.
Rationalizing: it’s the new “beautiful game”.
Cuddly egalitarian Sweden comes out as the most 'supportable' in the ranking, followed by Austria and Croatia, while Italy, Greece and Russia are bottom of the ethical league.
Cuddly and egalitarian? Have these people ever been there? I put this in the same place as all that sad fake blue-collarism you see among leftists in America who want to be liked... want to be a “man’s man”, but don’t know how – so they force themselves to “pick a home team” in baseball, and get worked up about microbrews because they’re egalitarian in their Beeriness, but still permits one to be distinctively lecturesome in their choices.

Either way, it’s as lacking in any sort of genuine interest on their part that only their friends who are equally emotionally debilitated will buy it.

Crisis on Omaha: The Chaos in Normandy

What if the Normandy invasion had occurred on June 6th, 2008?
(Danke zu Strummin' Joe)

How would the modern media have reported the "more and more desperate events in Normandy"?

They Were Against It Before They Were for it

Just another day of outrageous lunacy at Libération PropagandaStaffel where leftism gives license to call the Irish despotic, supersticious bible thumpers if they vote non to the EU Constitution Lisbon Treaty. Never mind the fact that the French left and its' propaganda rags were the great lodestar of wisdom when it came to the rejection of the French rejection of the EU Constitution.

Ireland is the European nation that has most obviously benefited from the construction of Europe. There are even Irish who are happy about it. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that they have become the majority.
Basically their getting the hate treatment here because they're rejecting this week's hypocritical Libération theology where among other things, that as a large beneficiary from EU funds, that they were unwilling to be bought off and simply unquestionably accept the Treaty conditions.

He even goes so far to console himself with the emotional detrius of class theory dialectics. Big words for spewing scripted buffonery, actually:
Despite the desolate beauty of its rainy landscape, Ireland remained the nation persecuted by history whose sons both had to emigrate driven by famine and were tyrannically oppressed by the English.

He goes on to wring his hands over their insolent near-rejection of the treaty of Nice, and their general dislike of following orders in spite of their entrepreneurial prosperity which he thinks was handed to them. Of course this makes no sense to the unprogrammed, but for the sake of argument we'll take it that at least he's saying that sincerely, since he also calls this Europe's “global” crisis. After all Europe IS the globe, as we all know, and not just flat.

But what truly makes the item's writer a slut is the veering his mental Mr. Choo-choo off the track of simple disappointed anger into the usual overbroad theorization of cause. In spite of conceding that the young and the educated also oppose the Lisbon Treaty as much as anyone else he still manages to say humorlessly:
As always in referendum campaigns, the most absurd fantasies triumph, the most absurd rumors, the most shameless take hold multiply to infinity. They plunged again into the democracy of opinions with its demagogues, populists, confabulators, and its myth obsessed. It's a technique which is irresistible to a culture riddled with superstitions.
Like all good lefties, he concludes that if democracy means anything, their rejection can be vetoed. I wonder who will get worked up about that “forcing of democracy” on the Irish?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

al-Guardian More Likely to Believe al-Queda than the US Government

The usual impotent rage on their news and opinion sites sound more or less like this when they’re intelligible:

The US military-industrial-televangelist complex keeps power by fomenting instability and violence.
and other forms of the confluence of anything, anything, and everything that they can beat off to:
Barack Obama puppet boy of the New World Order ...bought and paid for by big corporations , next president of the USA (United States of Advertising)
In a more sober moment:
Last month an Arabic satellite TV channel broadcast a chilling video of a group of Iraqi teenagers called the "Youths of Heaven" - their faces masked and brandishing Kalashnikov rifles, chanting "Allahu Akbar" and vowing to blow themselves up with "crusaders and apostates." The film of these aspiring suicide bombers, all said to be under 16, was produced by al-Furqan, the media arm of the Islamic State of Iraq, aka al-Qaida. But such material is rare these days, with film coming out of Iraq looking suspiciously like posed training sessions with little of the live action of ambushes that has been the staple fare of jihadi websites.

Two weeks ago, General Michael Hayden, the director of the CIA, made waves when he said in an interview that al-Qaida has suffered "near-strategic defeat" in Iraq. To many observers it was a surprisingly upbeat view just a year after gloomy assessments of the dangers that Osama bin Laden still posed. In fact, few security sources - including key counter-terrorism officials canvassed by the Guardian - and independent experts disagree, though the US military is more circumspect.
That they are too touchy and self-absorbed to hear the idea “attract as many of them into one place and kill them” spoken out loud, but for now this bit of awarness will do.

The "phony 'Bush lied' story line": President's statements (all!) "substantiated by intelligence information"

The RNC & McCain Campaign should be putting together a VIDEO RIGHT NOW with clips of Pres Bush overlaid by the WaPo Quotes
writes Larwyn, who is referring to the generally anti-Bush, anti-Republican, anti-Iraq War Washington Post and its editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt, writing a piece entitled 'Bush Lied'? If Only It Were That Simple. The Anchoress has the best coverage (also check out her hyperlinked stories), saying
What a long, strange trip it’s been, and here, some years later, we finally get someone in the press to tell it straight: Bush did not lie.
Of course, not only does this disprove the charge that Bush lied, the converse is that it pretty much proves that his opponents, his accusers (both American and foreign!), did lie (in the very fact that they charged him with lying), and that they were lying all the time. (And if you think lying is too strong a term, and want to say that they "were mistaken", that would be fine with me — except for one thing: that was/is an alternative explanation that they never allowed for Bush and/or the neocons!)

Take out the three-and-a-half-year-old NP post, Is Bush the World's Worst Leader?, and see if it isn't as pertinent today as it was in October 2004:
When confronted by a militant leftist many years ago who was ticking off all the sins and failures of capitalist democracy, Winston Churchill finally indicated that he agreed with the man. "Democracy is the worst form of government", nodded the Old Lion. He marked a pause, before adding, "…with the exception of all the rest."

That is what I think about when I am confronted by angry people, American or foreign, who proceed to tell me what a "disaster" George W Bush has been and who can tick off his every sin and bewail the sorry record of his administration. (Not to mention every sin linked to America and capitalist society.) Bush, I agree with them, is the worst leader in the world, and the worst politician, and the worst liar, and the man with the worst record… with the exception of… all the rest. (And the same can be said of capitalism compared to the rest of the world's economic systems…)

Foremost among the liars worse than Bush is Saddam Hussein, of course. The tyrant was a known fibber, doubling as a psychopath and — last but not least — a man repeatedly seeking war-making capabilities, and if Dubya mentioned WMD as a reason to oust the dictator, it's not because he (Dubya) was lying, but because Saddam had built the reputation he had.

Take the members of the "peace camp". Their foremost lie lay in their eagerness to castigate Bush and his administration, in the process conveniently forgetting that Saddam was the liar with the reputation just mentioned and that their secret services, as much as the CIA and MI6, had concluded that Saddam was hiding WMD.

In addition, they gave credence to the pretense that with just a bit of goodwill, the United Nations could, and would, solve the entire problem and entice the murderer of hundreds of thousands of his countrymen, if not to share power, at least to tone down on his killing… This being the same organization that threw a democracy out of its seat in the UN human rights committee (it happened to be Uncle Sam, but it could just as well have been any other Western-type democracy) while elevating countries like Libya or Syria to its chairmanship. It was also the organization that, when subsequently faced with genocide in Sudan, proceeded to do little else but issue communiqués deploring the situation and calling upon the murderers to ease up on their killing.

Take the United Nations as a whole, which, in unison with the "peace camp" members, pretended to be objective, detached, and holier than thou, when its members, in fact, were involved in the largest scam in human history. This, of course, brings us back to the Peace Camp, which pretended that their only, or their foremost, concern was a just and lasting peace, in contrast to Bush's "war for oil" when, in fact, it would have been more appropriate to have the pre-conflict situation termed as their "tyranny for oil" gambit.

Then there are the pacifists, both private citizens and government bigwigs, who marched through the streets and/or made rousing speeches, pretending that the largest threat to the world today was Uncle Sam.

Then there are the media outlets, both within the United States and abroad, which echoed those sentiments, while making much out of the fact that Iraq now is supposedly in chaos and insecurity — as if having the thuggish members of Saddam's secret police enter into your home with impunity, take away your parents, spouse, and/or children, and torture and murder them, can in any way be likened to an environment of public safety and to the absence of chaos.

To be totally honest, I liken the accusations concerning Bush and Blair's claims about Saddam's WMD to accusing Churchill, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, or Montgomery of lying to the Rangers when they ordered them to storm the cliffs of the Pointe du Hoc on June 6, 1944, to neutralize some long-range cannons (weapons of mass destruction, one could call them); after sustaining heavy losses, the Rangers found that the cannons were nowhere to be found, the Germans having removed them from the Normandy coast not long before.

History has a long flow of evidence showing that when Uncle Sam is being attacked, castigated, or mocked, it is usually the people, institutions, and countries doing the berating who are the worse sinners. And who have something to hide, as much from the rest of the world as from themselves.

To quote Sir Winston again, "a fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."

Lire la version française

Just FYI, here is part of the Washington Post article:

Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, set out to provide the official foundation for what has become not only a thriving business but, more important, an article of faith among millions of Americans. And in releasing a committee report Thursday, he claimed to have accomplished his mission, though he did not use the L-word.

"In making the case for war, the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when it was unsubstantiated, contradicted or even nonexistent," he said.

There's no question that the administration, and particularly Vice President Cheney, spoke with too much certainty at times and failed to anticipate or prepare the American people for the enormous undertaking in Iraq.

But dive into Rockefeller's report, in search of where exactly President Bush lied about what his intelligence agencies were telling him about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and you may be surprised by what you find.

On Iraq's nuclear weapons program? The president's statements "were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates."

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president's statements "were substantiated by intelligence information."

On chemical weapons, then? "Substantiated by intelligence information."

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information." Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? "Generally substantiated by available intelligence." Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information."

As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you've mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush's claims about Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to terrorism.

But statements regarding Iraq's support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda "were substantiated by the intelligence assessments," and statements regarding Iraq's contacts with al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." The report is left to complain about "implications" and statements that "left the impression" that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation.

In the report's final section, the committee takes issue with Bush's statements about Saddam Hussein's intentions and what the future might have held. But was that really a question of misrepresenting intelligence, or was it a question of judgment that politicians are expected to make?

After all, it was not Bush, but Rockefeller, who said in October 2002: "There has been some debate over how 'imminent' a threat Iraq poses. I do believe Iraq poses an imminent threat. I also believe after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. . . . To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? I do not think we can."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

As the Doctors Prepared Their Sharpened Instruments to Remove the Donor's Organs, Something… Twitched

…les chirurgiens pouvant pratiquer les prélèvements d'organes n'étaient pas immédiatement disponibles. Lorsqu'ils arrivent au bloc, leurs confrères pratiquent le massage cardiaque depuis une heure et trente minutes, sans résultat apparent. Mais au moment même où ils s'apprêtent à opérer, les médecins ont la très grande surprise de découvrir que leur patient présente des signes de respiration spontanée, une réactivité pupillaire et un début de réaction à la stimulation douloureuse.
Can you imagine what would would be the reaction should this type of scandal happen in the United States? (And rightly so.) A dead (sic) organ donor ready to have his vitals removed who starts twitching and moving! Isn't this the type of story Michael Moore would have used in his film Sicko?

But it happened to happen in a country with a health system that someone like Michael Moore — not to mention the French/European élites themselves — would present as an archetype model (or the closest thing to that) in contrast to the outrageous, heinous, and scandal-ridden national shame of the United States; and so, instead, Jean-Yves Nau begins his article by treating his Le Monde readers to an unimpassioned, passive, non-alarmist, philosophical debate.
C'est une affaire aux frontières de la vie et de la mort. Un dossier qui suscite émotion et réflexion chez les professionnels de la réanimation médicale et chez les responsables chargés de la bioéthique. Qui les oblige à se demander quels critères objectifs permettent de dire à partir de quand un malade sur lequel on pratique une réanimation peut être considéré comme un donneur d'organes. Sachant que ces organes, une fois greffés, permettront de prolonger l'espérance de vie d'autres malades.

Tell all your Anti-Western Hippy, Anti-Mondialiste Friends

Despite their perfect dirt-eating peasant vision, this is the reality of the places they idolize. Places where this is called “progressive”:
An eight-year-old girl decided last week to go the Sana’a West Court to prosecute her father, who forced her to marry a 30-year-old man.

Nojoud Muhammed Nasser arrived at court by herself on Wednesday, April 2, looking for a judge to handle her case against her father, Muhammed Nasser, who forced her two months ago to marry Faez Ali Thamer, a man 22 years her senior. The child also asked for a divorce, accusing her husband of sexual and domestic abuse.
Oddly enough, we must celebrate and lionize these people in their innocent, natural state, even if they have Manson Family Values a one-worldy, new agey thing going on...
“Whenever I wanted to play in the yard he beat me and asked me to go to the bedroom with him.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Our Effete, Sophisticated Friends, Part 290

The divine and unquestionably virtuous Casque Bleu show their mettle in the face of human misery, need, and cannibalism triggering starvation:

UNITED NATIONS -- A U.N. official showed up at the U.S. mission to the United Nations in 2006 with an alarming story: The U.N. Development Program office he ran in North Korea had stashed thousands of dollars in counterfeit U.S. cash in a safe, diverted tens of millions more into the coffers of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and possibly supported North Korea's weapons programs.

For the next year and half, Artjon "Tony" Shkurtaj, an Albanian national who served as the UNDP's operations manager in Pyongyang, guided U.S. officials on a tour of U.N. malfeasance in North Korea, furnishing internal U.N. documents and an insiders' analysis of how the global body violated its rules and helped North Korea obtain hard currency and sensitive high-tech equipment.

Monday, June 09, 2008

“ Valedictory Tour ? ”


U.S. President George Bush is on his way to Europe for talks with European Union leaders in Slovenia, and discussions in Germany, Italy, the Vatican, France and the United Kingdom. VOA White House Correspondent Paula Wolfson reports it is likely to be his last official visit to the region, before leaving office.

White House National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley says the president will pursue a broad agenda in Europe.

"At the U.S.-European Union summit and during his bilateral stops, the President will encourage Europe to work with the United States to confront a series of global challenges that face us both," he said.

Those challenges include trade, climate change, the global food crisis and a wide range of security issues - from encouraging stability in the Balkans to bringing peace to the Middle East.
Bush eyes economy on Europe trip
IHT says he’s out to shake someones’ Trichet to see what nuts fall out:
"I'll talk about our nation's commitment to a strong dollar," he said at the White House before leaving on an eight-day visit to Europe. "A strong dollar is in our nation's interests. It's in the interest of a global economy."
On the other hand, Deutsche Welle, ever serious about interviewing people who think earthquakes are caused by Global Warming ©®, passed the whole thing off as a “valedictory tour.”