Friday, February 07, 2003

Superfluous redundancy of the Day: "We call on Americans to continue to persevere in the face of this evil . . .." Tom Ridge

"Ich bin kein Berliner" award: Donald Rumsfeld's remark that Libya, Cuba and Germany had affirmatively refused to support us against Iraq, AND his refusal to apologize. Germans are verletzt. Washington journalists are puckering. Apparently it's OK for Europeans to make crude insults of our leaders, but to point out their defalcations is insensitive. Es tut uns leid . . .NICHT!

"Et tu, Glenn?" award: Instapundit for his taking umbrage at Bill O'Reilly's reference to "wetbacks." I thought that the term referred to illegal Mexican immigrants, not to all Mexicans. They call us Gringos. So what? As for the outrage over Harlem officials angry at a Libertarian campaign to give Harlem children toy guns, in part to protest a looming ban on toys that look like real guns, I don't think it's racist to tell them not to do this in their neighborhood. It shows a disregard for the First Amendment by people who have used it skillfully themselves, and not small hypocrisy. But I didn't think their complaints were based on the fact that the Libertarians are white. It's a valid point to make that if the Libertarians were black and coming into a white community this response would have been branded as racist, but it still wouldn't be true.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

"There are three or four countries that have said they won't do anything. I believe Libya, Cuba and Germany are ones that have indicated they won't help in any respect." -- Donald Rumsfeld testifying before the House Armed Services Committee. That's how life is in the axis of weasels.

A One-two Punch

James Lileks asks and answers how we can go to war without U.N. approval. We had UN approval for the first gulf war, and look how well that turned out.

Mark Steyn writes that we should quit the U.N.

I agree with them both. Trying to keep the U.N.'s approval is more of a hindrance to conducting warfare than a help. As for getting out, we should have done that long ago, but too many people see the United Nations as a symbol of hope and peace for us ever to drop out. It was built to be ineffective. Look at which nations have vetos in the security council. Now we have Irag poised to assume the chair of its Disarmament Commission, and Libya is on the Human Rights panel. The whole thing is about as real as Girls' State. If people want to go there and play grownups, fine, but I don't see why we should continue to foot the bill. Tne U.N. has had plenty of opportunities to stop genocide and other war crimes and all it could do was provide hostages. Yet, we keep pouring in cash which is then passed on to the likes of the Palestinian Authority, that paragon of democracy and pride of the artificial Palestinian people.

The only reason I can think of for staying in the UN is that it will help leftists get a leg up onto the ash heap of history.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Monsoor Ijaz reports that France is engaged in a coverup of the connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda. He recounts the travels of Abu Masab al-Zawkawi, a senior Al Qaeda who was injured in the bombing of Afghanistan and went to Iraq to have his leg amputated and recuperate, Before Ramadan he was transported through southern Turkey and the Balkans and has turned up in Paris. Two weeks ago, the French uncovered some terrorist cells in Paris which, like the one in London, possessed ricin. Ijaz gos on:
The French have not publicly acknowledged that they found ricin in that apartment, that is a major breach of what this international war against terrorism is all about. Now, there can only be two reasons for that. One reason is that the French are afraid that there may be 50 other cells like this and don't want to cause a panic inside of France, which is a valid domestic reason.

But I think the more likely reason is that they are deeply concerned if they put that information out there, that then makes the case of al- Zawkawi tied to Iraq, getting recipes from making ricin from Saddam Hussein and bringing those to western Europe to commit terrorist acts.

That is where we sit with the French today, that lying and obfuscation is unacceptable. They need to be called on the mat about this and I hope the secretary will, at minimum, mention the recipe books being moved around inside of Iraq so we can clearly see what the intent of these people are through this process.
This is a bombshell, but I haven't seen it anywhere else. It may still go off in the media.

Update: Colin Powell mentioned al-Zawkawi in his presentation to whe UNSC this morning, although he didn't bring up the French coverup of ricin found in Paris.

Update: Here's more about Abu Musab Zarqawi. (The rules for transcribing Arabic names into English are pretty loose, apparently.) The ricin is the tie to Saddam. This is getting scary. Iraq may end up like Carthage.
Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.. . . Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.
See Jeremiah 50

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Matthew Parris in a piece being linked all over the place makes a feeble attempt to justify an antiwar position:

I am not afraid that this war will fail. I am afraid that it will succeed.

I am afraid that it will prove to be the first in an indefinite series of American interventions. I am afraid that it is the beginning of a new empire: an empire that I am afraid Britain may have little choice but to join.

Maybe, but it couldn't be any worse that our interventions over the past 50 years, most of which failed because we settled for less than victory. Korea is a good example.

He assumes the lie that the U.S. wants an empire, showing how little he really understands America. What he fails to understand is that, if we go into Iraq, we're more likely to screw up the nationbuilding phase by pulling out too soon, than we are to create a colony. Where is our Empire? Every country we've ever conquered has been given economic aid, helpd to establish its own democracy and then let go. Some of them haven't done well for themselves, but most have.

I think that Bush knows from his father's experience that you can't just defeat somebody and expect him to crawl off and be deposed. I wouldn't support any war that promised to end like the first Gulf war. Tony Blair knows this and so do the rest of the Gang of 8, 9 if you count Ireland. Most of them know Stalinism firsthand, and they know what trusting totalitarians leads to. We'll probably leave the rebuilding phase to the U.N. Then we'll see how much good the U.N. is at solving problems. Look at what it has done for the Palastinians.

Today I heard a quote from T. S. Eliot's poem, Little Gidding. I looked up the poem and reread it. I was struck by the aptness of some of the lines to our lost Columiba:

Dust in the air suspended

Marks the place where a story ended.

In the uncertain hour before the morning

Near the ending of interminable night

The dove descending breaks the air

With flame of incandescent terror

Of which the tongues declare

The one discharge from sin and error.

The only hope, or else despair

Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre-

To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.

Love is the unfamiliar Name

Behind the hands that wove

The intolerable shirt of flame

Which human power cannot remove.

We only live, only suspire

Consumed by either fire or fire.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

Through the unknown, unremembered gate

When the last of earth left to discover

Is that which was the beginning;

(Italics added)

We shall not cease from our exploring, nor should we. To do so would be dishonor to ourselves and to those heros who devoted years of training to earn the ride that cost their lives. We will not cease from finding ways to make it safer, but even if we fail, we will send others, because, as humans, we must test all limits, search beyond every horizon and cross every frontier. Someday all of us will cross the frontier these have crossed, and know the place for the first time.

Did you ever hear the one about the one-eyed, one-handed, and peglegged pirate and how he lost his eye?

Give this man a Nobel Peace Prize! In his first tv interview with a western reporter in over a decade, Saddam, the erstwhile Butcher of Baghdad, reassures us, ""Iraq has no interest in war. No Iraqi official or ordinary citizens have expressed a wish to go to war." What a relief.