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Friday, February 14, 2003

Pardon My Victory

Well, that's at least one reason why replacing the word "French" with the word "victory" doesn't work (here and here).



How soon does Colin Powell walk up to Hans Blix (or Kofi Annan or Dominique de Villepin), put his hands on both sides of Hans' (or Kofi's or Dominique's) head, kiss him on the lips and then say, "Hans (or Kofi or Dominique), you broke my heart."


Tonight's Depressing Thoughts

As a younger man, I remember reading about WW I and the horror and revulsion experienced by the nations of the world after the mustard gas attacks which led to the Geneva Gas Protocol in 1925. The conventions, treaties and multi-lateral agreements that since 1864 had grown to represent what are generally regarded as the Geneva Conventions almost certainly helped to prevent the widespread use of the weapons in WW II. Nonetheless, there were violations on a small scale in WW II and there have been several violations periodically ever since. Yet here we are, with international bodies like the EU and UN which regard the international order they oversee as so sophisticated and mature, and yet the danger of the use of biological, chemical, or even nuclear weapons is higher than it has ever been since 1917.

I find this unbelievable. Not that these weapons may be used, but that so many people seem to think that mere words will stop them from being used. I'm sorry if I sound like a broken record, but the UN is dead, and Germany and France have probably killed the UN, NATO and maybe even the EU. Sure, they won't be buried for many years, but they have suffered mortal wounds. The elected leaders of these democracies seem to act like many Democrats here, that everything is part of a zero-sum power game and anything that hurts their opponent, whether it be the United States or President George W. Bush respectively, is good for them as though nothing really, really bad is going to happen. It's almost as though 9/11 never happened. And God help everybody of any terrorists manage to carry out another attack on the US. You think the US is belligerent now? Just wait until we lose a city or suffer any kind of attack like the 1995 Aum Shinri Kyo sarin attack in Tokyo. Not only will the American people demand a disproportional retribution, but we will be deaf to all those seeking to calm or restrain us, no matter how reasonable their advice, because they will be considered active enemies given their current stance toward the US when we tried to address the threat honestly and openly.

This is what I cannot understand. France, Germany, and the Democratic leadership are acting as though nothing really bad can happen. My God, I hope they are right, but I am certain they are not. Because if it does, the world will be changed in ways that may take us hundreds of years to recover from.


Performing Live at the Midwest Blogbash IV

One week from today! I still have to work out some details with their agent. Does anybody remember which one was the straight guy?

More info tomorrow!


I Guess This Makes Sense

Sharpton stands to gain most from a losing run at the White House

Especially since the rest of us stand to lose the most if he should win. But wouldn't the real winners be re-elected President George W. Bush and his brand spanking new filibuster-proof Senate?


UN Filibuster

How about the US and the UK issuing a statement that they will each veto every resolution that comes to a vote before the Security Council until the UN gets serious about enforcing its resolutions on Iraq?


Haute Couture

The cheese-eating surrender weasel speaks:

"The option of inspections has not been taken to the end; it can provide an effective end," de Villepin said.

It's as though in a desperate gambit to maintain the fiction that the self-proclaimed emperors are in fact dressed in the finest clothes someone else's money can buy, the French and German governments are willing to poke out their own eyes to preclude noticing their own nakedness.

And isn't it about time that we start calling Gerhard Schroeder Jacque Chirac's poodle?


With Apologies to Dickens

If that is international law, then international law is an ass.


And So Human Shields End, Not With a Whimper...

But a BANG!

Initial link to Strategy Page via Vodkapundit.


Why, There Oughta Be a Law

Well, now there is!

Saddam Hussein issued a presidential decree on Friday banning the importation or production of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. "All ministries should implement this decree and take whatever measures are necessary and punish people who do not adhere to it," the presidential order read.

Presumably, Saddam's laws will be more effective in keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of tyrants and despots than the 20,000 gun control and gun confiscation laws in the US have been in keeping weapons of slightly-less-mass destruction out of the hands of criminals in this country.

I feel so much safer now.

DOWNDATE: Check out the photo and caption from this article. Is there anywhere on earth other than Iraq where the front gate of a mineral water plant has to be guarded by an armed, uniformed soldier?

Thursday, February 13, 2003

The Crude Crusader Redux

If I were as sharp as the third-best fisker in the warblogosphere, or perhaps if I were just not suffering from jet-lagged sleep deprivation, I might have worked something into the last Scourge about it all being about ooooiiiillll. But, alas, I didn't, and blog etiquette prevents me from going back now and changing it. Damn that blog etiquette. Damn it all to hell.

Of course, Richard Cohen failed to make the connection either, and he gets paid to do so.

Oh, and since it's my birthday, this gives you another opportunity to leave a comment and tell me what a bright future I have ahead of me, or to tell me what the 2003 equivalent of "plastics" is, or to share with the world your feelings at being the 65,060th visitor to this site -- better hurry though.

By extrapolating this metric, I could be considered about 1/730th the blogger that Glenn Reynolds is. And strangely enough, I think that is a good thing.

DOWNDATE: Jeez, it's my birthday and Tony Adragna gets the Scourge of Richard Cohen instalanche! I meant the last comment as a humble tribute Professor Reynolds. Really! But it's late and I'm tired, so the next Scourge will have to wait until tomorrow. And Dodd didn't see fit to recognize a superior Caption of the Day entry either. Sigh. Not one of my happier moments checking the blogosphere upon my return home this evening.


This Is a Watershed Moment in Human History

I'm sure this isn't an original thought, but is it possible that France and Germany are willing to commit everything now to stop the US and the UK because they firmly believe we will not stop with Iraq? President George W. Bush and PM Tony Blair have said as much before, and perhaps France and Germany are taking them at their word. Like Field Marshall Rommell in the original Axis, the members of the Axis of Weasels believe we must be stopped and repelled at the shoreline -- that we must not be allowed to establish a beachhead. For if we do, then they know it is only a matter of time before they go down to complete defeat. Whether that defeat would come slowly due to a continually diminishing influence through the eventual demise of long cherished institutions like the EU and the UN, or whether it would be swift because of revelations of collaboration with Saddam Hussein, the net effect is the same. It's a huge gamble, with what they must believe are huge potential gains if they win, but catastrophic losses if they lose.

In all the speculation about why France and Germany have adopted obstructionist positions, more discernable as anti-American (and subtly anti-UK) than pro-Saddam, I haven't read much that gives the Axis of Weasels much credit for thinking ahead. I'm certain they are thinking a few steps ahead no matter how flawed their assumptions or logic may be. But I have to admit I don't know what they are thinking and I am quite sure I would find their conclusions severely flawed. Nonetheless, rational people do not stand at the edge of the abyss and shout, "You shall not pass," without a damn good reason knowing full well what the consequences of that stand may be. Perhaps the "weakness of the West" is a perception shared by those we thought were inside our tent as well as those we have known were outside. If this is true, then everyone, friend or foe (and there is little in-between when push comes to shove) must come to understand that we are a serious people (even without electing Al Gore, or perhaps because of it) and that we will defend our beliefs and our vision of a future predicated on liberty instead of slavery (even a slavery that delivers peace), whatever the cost may be.

And it is good to remember that even if I'm right that this is a momentous event in human history, that doesn't mean it will necessarily turn out in a positive manner. The Romans didn't become decadent with the foresight and hope of seeing their civilization crumble, leading directly to what we now call the Dark Ages. They just woke up one morning to find everything gone, because they had lost sight of what had made them great to begin with. Shall we sleepwalk our way to barbarism, sacrificing our rights to sophistry, or will we fight back and renew our sense of purpose? I don't like to sound so evangelical, but the only way to "fix" the world and to prevent more monstrous acts of terror, whose goal is the destruction of what we hold most dear, is to be more proactive about bringing liberty and democracy to those who have never known it. Through the many difficult days ahead of us, we have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even if it is a cliché to say so.

The next step on this road is Iraq.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Oh, And Be Nice to Me

I turn one tomorrow.


The Scourge of Richard Cohen, Vol. LXXVII

(Ed. -- The following is a bit of mean spiritedness that will be an on-going feature of this blog. Normally the author will endeavor to be reasonably fair, but this is an exception.)

Richard Cohen has generated five quite reasonable columns in the last three weeks. Working from his historical ratio of good columns to bad, I guess that means I’ll be chained to the keyboard twice a week for the rest of the year. As I tell my kids every time they show me something, anything they’ve done, good or bad, “I’m so lucky.” But honestly, I’ve been chomping at the bit lately, so let’s see if what I’ve been saving up was worth the effort. After all, if I am to justify my selection as the fourth-best “Fisker” in the warblogosphere, I better generate something decent -- or I might be asked to return the prize money.

One of the new bugs, uh, I mean features of the Scourges is that I thought I’d start trying to find a link to whatever number Scourge we’re up to in the real world, kind of like I did with Scourge LXI*. Low and behold, look at what the most popular Google query result is for today’s Scourge: The Group of 77 At the United Nations. How apropos.

The Group of 77 (G-77) was established on 15 June 1964 by seventy-seven developing countries signatories of the "Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries" issued at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva. Beginning with the first Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 in Algiers in 1967 which adopted the Charter of Algiers, a permanent institutional structure gradually developed which led to the creation of Chapters of the Group of 77 in Rome (FAO), Vienna (UNIDO), Paris (UNESCO), Nairobi (UNEP) and the Group of 24 in Washington, D.C. (IMF and World Bank). Although the membership of the G-77 has increased to 133 countries, the original name was retained because of its historic significance.

Either that, or they be bothered to update their website to G133! (Ed. – Bingo!) I swear, you can’t make this stuff up, and who would want to? I had originally started a fisking here, but what’s the point, really. Is there someone reading this that thinks the UN isn’t perhaps the world’s largest repository for waste and abuse? If you really want to have some idea about how the UN spends money, follow the links for a while. For instance, don't miss the first sentence of the Tehran Consensus on South-South Cooperation!

We, the participants in the Tenth Meeting of the Intergovernmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries, held in Tehran from 18 to 22 August 2001, which marks the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Caracas Programme of Action, in reaffirming the relevance and the validity of the various declarations and programmes of action subsequently adopted by the Group of 77, and in reiterating our firm commitment to the principles and objectives enshrined in the Havana Declaration and Programme of Action, have resolved to move forcefully and urgently forward on the following five objectives of common concern to the developing world in the context of South-South cooperation, and to that effect call upon all partners in the international development effort to extend genuine support to achieving those objectives.

Or the riveting conclusion:

Public opinion needs to be more aware of the purposes and value of South-South cooperation. It is proposed that an International Decade on South-South Cooperation and a United Nations day for South-South Cooperation be launched in order to contribute to increased awareness and to generate political dynamism and visibility that accompany other decades in the international arena.

And check out the digs the G77 has in Vienna! Reading through some of this material is seriously depressing. But I digress.

I almost feel sorry for poor Richard. He knows that President George W. Bush is trying to do the right thing, but darn-it-all-to-heck, it’s George W. Bush, and he just can’t stomach that. So Richard reaches for his leftist liturgy -- like Eric Alterboy writing another chapter in the communist catechism (speaking of which, every time I read a true self-proclaimed leftist (I’m reading Christopher Hitchens’ Why Orwell Matters right now), I cannot go more than three pages without the accusation of “reactionary” being thrown out against someone; but what could be more reactionary than Eric the wan-na-be’s puerile response to Bernard Goldberg’s book Bias: “uh-uh, the media is really part of the VRWC,” otherwise known as What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News; but I digress) -- and sprinkles it with his usual ad hominem attacks, guilt by association, and “facts” he just makes up to reassure himself that if only Bill Clinton were still president, none of this would have happened.

Richard comes flying out of the starting gate with The Crude Crusader:

Stop right there.

Crude? Methinks Richard is a bit of a snob. I’m sure that a lot of people in Texas are amused that Richard Cohen regards the boy president from Arkansas as the epitome of class and sophistication, while President George W. Bush’s Texas mannerisms are just too, well, crude for the East Coast establishment.

Crusader? My, oh my, isn’t that a loaded term in this context. I thought we weren’t supposed to use that word for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities. You’d think Richard was trying to, … oh, I get it. Of course, to be a crusader is to be crude (just ask Terry Jones), so its kind of redundant isn’t it?

Just before the Gulf War -- the last Gulf War, that is –

Gosh he’s clever.

… I was in Baghdad, staying at the Al-Rashid Hotel, …

Yes, yes, we know. Richard gets to travel and stay at lots of places we don’t.

… when a family moved in across the hall. I don't remember much about the mother or father, but I do remember their children, two boys who played boisterously in the hallway, kicking a ball around.

Kind of like Michael Jackson. Yea, it's a cheap shot, but I've learned the technique from a master.

I wondered what would happen to them when war came.

Hopefully nothing, but as General Sherman said, “war is all hell.” Of course, if either of their parents pissed off Saddam, we have a pretty good idea about what would happen to them -- and it would make spending an evening at the Neverland Ranch seem like month at Disneyland.

I suppose such thoughts would make me a bad president, ...

Yes Dick, only those thoughts would make you a bad president. Just keep telling yourself that.

… a little wishy, a little washy.

This sounds like former President Bill Clinton.

I know that such thoughts, expressed by Bill Clinton when he was president, were sometimes held against him.

Ha! I knew it! I’m sure Monica asked Bill, “If I make a little wishy, would you hold it against me?” And Bill replies, “Only if you remember to washy your blue dress.”

He actually knew the name of a civilian killed by a wayward cruise missile in a 1993 U.S. attack on Baghdad: Layla al-Attar. She was a painter. In the minds of some, this made Clinton a softy.

No, just a bad president unable to see the forest for the trees. The problems behind Bill’s “softness’ go much deeper.

This is not the case with George W. Bush -- and that he seems so untroubled is in itself troubling.

Oh? President George W. Bush is untroubled? I guess Richard hasn’t noticed how gray the president has got in the last two years. This kind of statement pisses me off because it is predicated on nothing other than mean-spiritedness on the part of Richard Cohen. I’m sure that Richard prefers the equivocation and prevarication of someone too troubled by the loss of one human life to do what is necessary to protect thousands or tens of thousands of Americans. No really, I’m sure. Just look up a couple of inches on your monitor.

It's not that I don't think he is right about Saddam Hussein and, if need be, the necessity to deal with him through war.

It’s because he’s a Republican, isn’t it. Go ahead, you can admit it, Dick.

It's rather that I see America going to war; he sees us embarking on a crusade.

That explains the 101st Airborne replacing their BDUs with large white tunics bearing the red cross of St. George. Damn, it all makes sense now.

His cause is right because he feels right about it.

No, that’s the definition of how illiberals perceive the world. But I’m sure the President feels right about it because his cause is right. While Richard Cohen feels his cause is right, he just can’t feel good about it. But taking potshots at President George W. Bush, well, that is right, because Richard feels right about it. Would Richard feel better about the President’s cause if President George W. Bush felt it was the wrong thing to do, but went ahead anyway?

The rest of the world, particularly Western Europe, recoils from that approach.

First of all, can we dispense with this “the rest of the world” crap? Or even the “Western Europe” crap, as though the loudest anti-American voices at Davos speak for everyone “over there.” If it comes down to siding with America or siding with the rest of the world, that’s an easy one for me. But if Richard wants to side with the Axis of Weasels -- that’s his prerogative.

It senses in Bush's body language, not to mention his oft-repeated references to God, …

How gauche!

… a man who is tone deaf to subtleties and nuances -- "In Texas, we don't do nuance," he once told CNN's Candy Crowley -- and whose speech evinces not suppleness but a certain crudeness.

Unlike Richard (and apparently “the rest of the world, particularly Western Europe”), I prefer a man who says what he means and means what he says. I realize how difficult this is to someone so accustomed to spin. It’s as though Richard has finally mastered the art of hitting a curveball, and all of a sudden Roger Clemens (another Texan) in his prime has taken the mound, throwing nothing but heat.

Even in the high formality of the State of the Union address, he said of al Qaeda terrorists who had been killed, "Let's put it this way, they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies." It was a rhetorical smirk.

Smirk away Mr. President! Richard Cohen is apparently still too busy trying to figure out why the hate us.

Recently, Bush has been telling us something in his walk.

Well, you can tell by the way he uses his walk…

It is virtually a strut, the parade-walk of a man who has puffed himself up to show determination, leadership -- something like that.

Yea, Dick -- something like that.

Whatever it is, it is not welcoming. It has a "no trespassing" sign all over it.

Sort of like “Don’t Tread On Me.” I like it!

Bush's rigidity can come across as smugness.

It’s so much easier to assign malicious intent than to try and show compassion for the rigors of the post and what it must do to the man who carries the burden of wondering when Chief of Staff Andy Card is going to interrupt him again to tell him of the latest atrocity. Dick demonstrates the faux compassion of illiberalism at its best.

This has always been his least appealing quality, and it was on display, or so I was told, at a lunch he had for network anchors before the State of the Union message.

Awww, Dan and Tom and Peter didn’t wike the mean pwesident?

He reportedly came across as cocky, not so much sure of himself as too sure of himself.

It would be so much better if the President were constantly wringing his hands and bemoaning his fate that this hadn’t happened while Bill Clinton was president. No wait …, that’s Bill Clinton’s shtick.

It has taken an iron sense of mission for Bush to confront the United Nations -- not just Saddam Hussein -- with its obligations.

Too bad he’s, what was it, oh yea, too sure of himself. But it doesn’t matter how noble President George W. Bush’s actions are since Richard Cohen is still certain his motives are impure.

Another man might not have done as well.

In fact, another man didn’t. How many guesses do you need as to who that might be?

But this narrowness of focus is disquieting, because it suggests that Bush does not see the bigger picture.

Can I take that as a positive sign that Richard Cohen isn’t going to be wailing and gnashing his teeth when we move on to Iran and North Korea?

Is Iraq so pressing a menace that the imminence of a North Korean bomb can be put on the back burner?

Richard branches into a new area of bad logic here -- the false dichotomy. This is one of the more common logic errors for the anti-American crowd, but not one to which Richard generally falls prey too. Last time I checked, we were beefing up our forces in South Korea and sending more ships to the Sea of Japan. And we aren’t having to back away from our commitments to liberate Iraq either. And if somebody somewhere else decides to get jiggy with it while we are dealing with these two, I think we’ll find a way to address that problem as well, without having to abandon any of our missions. But I’m curious, what exactly does Richard want us to do about the mess Bill Clinton left us with North Korea? Send Jimmy Carter back to negotiate a new agreement they can violate?

Is the Israeli-Arab conflict peripheral or, just maybe, central to what's happening in the Middle East?

Neither? Both? This is another false dichotomy as well. It depends on your perspective. Saddam’s use of anti-Semitism to try and save his sorry ass doesn’t make the conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians any more or less relevant. Of course, if definitive links between Saddam, Osama, and Yasser are found in the files somewhere, then there will be a very definite link to what happens in Iraq, though once again I doubt that that is what Richard had in mind.

How does going to war with Iraq fit in with America's other challenges?

Maybe it would help to think of Iraq as a battle in the War on Terrorism, rather than as a separate war unto itself. This will make what happens afterwards a little easier to understand as well.

Maybe this single-mindedness of the president's is the product of his deep religious belief -- the conviction that he has been chosen for the task of decking Hussein.

Elected, not chosen. Jeez, get over it already.

Or maybe it is the product of a carefully thought out plan developed by all those advising the president in response to the threat to America and Western Civilization. President George W. Bush is no Richard Plantagenet, not does he want to be. And Saddam is no Salah al-Din or Nabuchodonosor either, despite claims to the contrary. Richard has the germ of a legitimate criticism here. Unfortunately, it is smothered by the miasma of his self-loathing for having to agree with President George W. Bush.

This, too, is unsettling, especially in Europe, …

Yes, apparently Europe prefers un-elected mandarins in the EU running the show.

… which is much more secular than America.

Oh sorry, that’s not what Richard meant. Not that this interpretation is any better.

Destiny and providence are a siren's call that assures some, unnerves others. "I have been saved, destiny has chosen me, providence has preserved me," said Adolf Hitler after he survived an assassination attempt.

It was former President George H. W. Bush that Saddam tried to assassinate, not President George W. Bush. Not that the sordid invocation of Hitler here would be merited anyway. Shame Richard, shame. I could go on for hours about the wickedness of this maladroit character assassination, but then you wouldn’t be able to read this Scourge for another day or two.

By no stretch of the imagination am I putting Bush in the same category as Hitler.

Oh? I guess Richard just places President George W. Bush in a category close to Hitler, is that it? Richard just implied that President George W. Bush suffers from the same tendency as Adolf Hitler to attribute serendipitous acts of happenstance to providence or fate. And given Richard’s penchant for guilt by association, there had to be a reason for this, didn’t there? I mean, couldn’t Richard have used Jeanne d'Arc or Thomas J. Jackson rather than Adolf Hitler as examples of people who attributed their success to Divine Providence? Just imagine how Richard Cohen could have tied Trent Lott into this with a more judicious selection of analogous historical figures. Instead, we get the hoary introduction of Nazis into the discussion. Why does Richard feel he has to explicitly disclaim any comparison between Adolf Hitler and President George W. Bush unless he knew that was what he just implied? Outside of the A.N.S.W.E.R. types, who really thinks President George W. Bush is as bad as Adolf Hitler? Besides Richard Cohen, I mean.

If anything, Hussein belongs there.

If anything?

But this reliance on providence, this tendency to see things in black and white, this contempt for the lives of the contemptible no matter what else may be at stake (capital punishment in Texas, for instance, or collateral damage in Baghdad), …

Amazing isn’t it? Richard’s equivalence of the considered application of the law by a free people in a republic to punish murderers and the unfortunate and unintentional injury and damage caused in liberating Iraq because military actions can’t be perfect.

… is hardly reassuring to those who are looking for reasoned judgment, not quasi-religious conviction.

I guess Richard missed Colin Powell’s speech to the UN. Somehow, I don't think Richard Cohen would recognize reasoned judgment if it jumped up and tickled his frontal lobe.

Rarely does Bush explain.

Even more rarely do people like Richard Cohen listen.

Usually he just declaims -- quick sound bites of the "game is over" variety.

As Michael Ledeen would say, “faster please.”

This plays badly not only abroad but also at home, …

Richard should not confuse the salons of Georgetown and Davos for “home.”

… where Colin Powell has become the more trusted figure.

Become? In Richard’s circles, Colin Powell always has been their favorite. Colin Powell must be a severe disappointment to them now.

More and more Bush is seen as inflexible -- rigid on the economy, on tax policy, on getting the judges he wants.

And he thinks like Adolf Hitler too! Yea, it looks just as silly when I do it as when Richard Cohen does it. I should go back and look for evidence that Richard Cohen ever counseled former President Bill Clinton to sacrifice what he believed in and give in to the Republicans. Nahhh, no point really.

What is increasingly missing is exactly the quality that once, especially in the days following Sept. 11, 2001, commended Bush to people like myself -- the absence of rigidity and shrillness, an open-faced easiness.

Richard Cohen and I must have witnessed a different version of President George W. Bush.

He himself called it compassion, but no matter what it is called, it is a leader's greatest virtue.

Was it compassion that President George W. Bush was exuding in New York City atop a pile of rubble amidst the dust of incinerated innocents with a bullhorn to the firefighters, or was it a rigid determination to punish those that committed this foul deed and to do whatever was necessary to try and make sure it didn’t happen again?

Recently it is nowhere to be seen.

Except whenever the President is talking about something like his faith-based initiatives, or school literacy, or helping the working poor, or anything else besides protecting America from its enemies -- which is not about compassion. Richard’s crude attempt to adopt another of Saddam’s charges (Bush the Crusader) and use it to accomplish nothing but an ad hominem attack on President George W. Bush is nothing new, of course. Saddam stoops to calling President George W. Bush a "Crusader," but even that is insufficient for Richard Cohen who must call President George W. Bush a "crude Crusader."

It's good to be back.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

The Co-Senator Weighs In

Thank God I now know what Bill Clinton thinks about Iraq. Like most journalists, I couldn't sleep all night not knowing what to do about Iraq until Bill told me. Not.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said in an interview broadcast on Tuesday the United States should exercise patience in its standoff with Iraq to help build allied support for a potential strike.

Patience was reasonable three months ago. Dragging things out into the heat of summer to gain another four or five month delay is no longer an option. Perhaps the co-senator should grow up and shut up. He had hic chance and he failed to deal with it, now it is up to the serious people to fix it.


I Knew It Couldn't Last

Richard Cohen has returned to being an ass with today's column, Crude Crusader. Big time.

Maybe this single-mindedness of the president's is the product of his deep religious belief -- the conviction that he has been chosen for the task of decking Hussein. This, too, is unsettling, especially in Europe, which is much more secular than America. Destiny and providence are a siren's call that assures some, unnerves others. "I have been saved, destiny has chosen me, providence has preserved me," said Adolf Hitler after he survived an assassination attempt.

By no stretch of the imagination am I putting Bush in the same category as Hitler.

Of course not. It's not a stretch at all.

More later. Much more.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Just Because

Dodd for President

No, not silly Christopher. This is my contribution to Dodd's Dodd containment strategery.


NATO is Dead

France, Germany, and Belgium have declined to allow NATO help defend Turkey. Note, not to attack Iraq, but to defend Turkey. A NATO that includes France, Germany or Belgium now has no meaningful purpose. Isn't it nice that once their enemies have dissipated, they refuse to come to the defense of others who would have have been drawn in had the Soviet Union ever rolled into Western Europe.

Cowards, cads and ungrateful wretches.

The Professor writes:

What will happen if NATO dies? Nothing good, I'm afraid.

I would add:

What will happen if NATO lives? Nothing good, I'm afraid.


Lest We Forget

France's favorite American is Jerry Lewis. The young Jerry Lewis.


We Are A Nation of Immigrants

I knew there had to be a reason why Secretary Rumsfeld's great-great-grandfather emigrated to the US in the 19th century:

The American defence chief Donald Rumsfeld has been disowned by his anti-war relatives in north Germany

But it is interesting to note how few descendants of immigrants to America have ever gone back.

As I read this article, I continue to be struck by the fact that every single article from Europe, or about Europe's perspective, refuses to examine the current state of affairs in anything other than the false dichotomy of peace and war. Can someone "over there" please try and understand that freedom is more important to us than peace? Would Western Europe have preferred the "peace" of Soviet communism if the US had not established NATO and spent our money acting as a deterrent for their freedom?


Way To Go Australia

I caught a few minutes of a press conference with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Austalian Prime Minister John Howard. Mr. Howard was strong and firm, mincing no words when stating that he is proud to march with the US. I gather he will be meeting with President George W. Bush later. Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus indicates that there has been a no confidence vote in the Australian Parliament.

While events unfold, and especially after they are settled, we will remember who our stalwart friends have been, who our fair weather friends were, and who choose to defend Saddam Hussein actively or passively by helping to keep him in place.

Now, if only we could get the other significant member of the Commonwealth on board without reservation.


Going, Going, ...

NATO, the UN, and the EU, the Axis of "Lesser Evils" are all going away, as I predicted on January 22. It looks like NATO is going down first.

France, Germany and Belgium split NATO Monday by blocking a plan to boost Turkish defenses in case of a U.S.-led war on Iraq -- an action Washington charged faced the alliance with a credibility crisis.

DOWNDATE: Even the Wall Street Journal agrees. And the BBC. And Steven Den Beste agrees with respect to the EU. Advantage: Sine Qua Non Pundit.


France and Germany

Are two of our less popular erstwhile friends of late, but why is France more despised than Germany? May I suggest the following reasons:

1. Germany is currently led by the left and France is currently led by the right. Betrayal is always felt more strongly by your friends than your enemies, whatever the level. Note that in a similar situation as Gerhard Schroeder, Tony Blair is picking up lots of bonus points.

2. France is willing to use its veto to thwart the US. Germany has no such veto, not that it wouldn't use it similarly if it could. And as to their joint hare-brained scheme to triple the number of inspectors, can we now predict righteous indignation on their part when the US and the UK veto this UN resolution? And as Donald Rumsfeld pointed out again this morning, this new resolution would be the 18th concerning Iraq, not the 2nd.

3. The EU, which is currently dominated by France and Germany, desperately wants to be in the same league as the US and thinks that browbeating us is the way to get there. That policy worked with the weak transnationalists burdened with guilt that used to run this country, but no more. They don't seem to have figured this out yet.

4. France has been and continues to be a world class hypocrite regarding the use of force. Where was the UN resolution that authorized the sending of French Troops to Côte d'Ivoire? Germany's pacifism is more honest.

5. When it is all said and done, France is motiviated more by its financial interests than any high principle of human rights. Whether France's action are all about ooooiiiillll (Total Fina Elf) or whether they are driven by fear of the revelations that will come from the disclosure of France's links with Saddam Hussein is not yet clear, though perhaps it is both. Germany's pacifism, once again, seems more honest in this respect.

Any thoughts?


The First Annual Warblogger Awards

John Hawkins has conducted a poll and awarded the aforementioned recognition of the best, worst, most annoying, etc., in the Warblogosphere. Thanks to Mr. Hawkins for putting in the effort.

Your humble Scourge even got at least one vote in one category, and it did not come from me (see the rules). I am proud to be the fourth-best Fisker (though we call it Scourging here) in the warblogosphere. That's some mighty fine company I find myself in.

Congratulations to all the winners, thanks to all the judges, and, of course, we owe it all to the bloggers who sit in the dark, lit by a bluish glow from their monitors, who plunk their valuable time down reading our words, wit, and wisdom.

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