Saturday, March 15, 2003
A funny thing about lying......is how often the truth slips out. Freudian slip is perhaps the term for it.
This is from the Scripps-Howard News Service, via Paul Jaminet:
Supreme Court vacancies? Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., says he's been told there will soon be two, and is rearranging his staff for what is expected to be the mother of all fights on Capitol Hill to stop any Bush nomination....any Bush nomination... Kinda shines a different light on claims that the opposition to Miguel Estrada is "principled;" or is being done only out of concern for justice...
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I found these at CrooowBlog
"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.[...] I believe in negotiated solutions to international conflict. This is, unfortunately, not going to be the case in this situation where Saddam Hussein has been a repeat offender, ignoring the international community's requirement that he come clean with his weapons program." - Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Dec. 16, 1998
Friday, March 14, 2003
Thursday, March 13, 2003
If that the earth could teem with women's tears,
...Indeed, in 1999 singer Judy Collins--best known for her soulful renditions of antiwar songs--actually sang at a White House gala at the very moment that U.S. and NATO bombs were flattening parts of Belgrade--accidentally destroying the Chinese Embassy in the process.
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Day by DayI feel supererogatory echoing InstaPundit, but, what the heck, do take a look at Dean Esmay's interview with Chris Muir
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Suckered by the Saudis...Gary Farber has a very plausible theory...
...Back on planet Earth, laying aside the risible fantasy of Richard Perle, Noble Philanthropist, what strikes me as what is going on here is, among other things, that Richard Perle was suckered into a Saudi Arabian financial honey pot ploy to get back at Perle for his political involvement in acts of hostility to the Saudi regime..._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Who wags what...I love reading Dave Trowbridge's pessimistic posts, and being inspired to make optimistic replies. His latest, War Is the Health of the State, is very good, but I won't even try to summarize it. An excerpt:
...No, what we are seeing here is an aspect of the first of the "spiritual triumvirs" spoken of in the famous phrase "the world, the flesh, and the devil." In Christian terms, "world" does not mean the created world, which Genesis tells us is good. Instead, in the original Greek, the New Testament speaks of 'ο κοσμος (ho kosmos), which means something like "the order of things" or, in more modern terms, "the system." The New Testament writers warn of the power of this order to distort the choices men make and call them away from God. In political terms, one can think of it as a kind of "reality distortion field" that subtly warps the perceptions and judgments of political actors and calls them away from right action, so that, even with the best of intentions, they can find themselves trapped in situations that appear to leave them no choice...[Wow. I love this kind of cackle. You see the difference; I'm a blogger; Dave's a writer!]Here are some of my thoughts...
This sort of argument is personally thought-provoking, but not very useful as political criticism. If Bush backed away from the war to concentrate on the economy, one could still say much the same thing. Is there any evidence? Any facts? We are all of us caught up the world's machinery, but judging from accounts by people who have worked with him, Bush is seemingly less so than most powerful people.
My take is that Bush decided to liberate Iraq long ago, and is not stampeded by polls or economic ups and downs. And the REAL purpose (among others) is the bloodless overthrow of the Iranian regime, which is by far the biggest terror-supporting nation, and is working on nuclear weapons with much more success than Iraq. (And those opposing Bush are doing exactly what is likely to lead to MUCH bloodier wars in the future.)
It is becoming ever more clear that Bush is pursuing BIG and risky plans. He's letting them be seen a bit at a time, so as not to overwhelm the timid. One can think of objections, but this doesn't seem to be a situation where wag-the-dog is applicable. You don't propose to bring democracy and freedom to the Middle East as a distraction from the economy. No way. Nor if you are over-worried about poll numbers. Doesn't make sense, there are easier ways to be popular. Bush is going to wag the whole world, just you wait and see.
And one really shouldn't pay much attention to what CBS says. Their gang relentlessly pushes the line that the economy is in deep trouble (not so), downplays the dangers of terrorism, up-plays Inspector Blix; And suprise!...they get the poll results they want. Phooey. In a week or two everything's gonna be changed anyway.
My suggested poll question is: Should the government's first priority be the short-term fluctuations of the economy, or the long-term security issues that threaten the civilized world?
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Containment kills...Walter Russell Mead has written a powerful article, Deadlier Than War :
Those who still oppose war in Iraq think containment is an alternative -- a middle way between all-out war and letting Saddam Hussein out of his box.The astonishing number of people who are trying to preserve Saddam in power are murderers. They are utterly indifferent to the massive suffering of Iraq. They make token statements about Iraqi civilians who might die in a war, but are stone-cold about the civilians dying right now. People who supported Clinton when he threatened to remove Saddam by force now discover they are pacifists who cannot tolerate the monstrosity of war. Lying scoundrels. People who denounced sanctions as cruel (without of course denouncing Saddam for spending Iraq's income on weapons instead of food) now claim containment is an effective way deal with Iraq. They will do anything to prevent a victory for an America led by a conservative. They would kill a million Iraqis in the blink of an eye if it would hurt George W Bush.
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Book recommendation(Recommendation meaning a good read, not profound literature--I'm never really sure what that is..).
I'm reading the book I mentioned last week, Moving Mountains: Lessons in Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War, by Lt General William G. "Gus" Pagonis. It's both a memoir and a management book. It's fascinating to me, I just love reading about how things are done "behind the scenes." In fact I like it even if the main subject itself is not interesting. (For instance, I'm not an opera fan, but I hugely enjoyed Beverly Sills' autobiography.)
Pagonis was in command of all our logistics for the Gulf War. His task has been compared to running a business, from hectic startup to giant operation with 70,000 employees, to orderly shut-down--all in 17 months! Here's a bit from his adventures in Vietnam:
About a month into my command, the assignment changed. I got orders to move the entire outfit to the Mekong Delta, about eighty miles southwest, down the coast from Saigon. I had 30 boats and 350 soldiers [for unloading freighters at Cam Ran Bay]...As a history fan I gotta love that..
The book is a war story, but you could also use it as a primer on how to run a large organization. One of his ideas: The standup. A meeting every morning from precisely 8 to 8:30. Pagonis and a note-taker sit, everybody else stands...
...Early on I discovered that making people standup keeps the ball moving at a faster pace. People speak their piece, and then quickly yield the floor to the next person. On the rare occasion that someone starts to get long winded or wax philosophic, an unmistakable kind of body language begins to sweep through the crowd. People shift from foot to foot, fidget, look at their watches—and pretty quickly, the conversation comes back into focus. It's an interesting phenomenon. I can't recall the last time I had to crack the whip. The peer group has great power...
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Can this be true?Henry Hanks at Crooowblog blogged several things under the title ABC bias Watch, including this:
...ABC's Diane Sawyer and Dan Harris marveled Friday morning over the “love” Iraqis have for Saddam Hussein. Sawyer brought up how Hussein says “the love that the Iraqis have for him is so much greater than anything Americans feel for their President because he's been loved for 35 years, he says, the whole 35 years" as President. From Baghdad, Dan Harris relayed Hussein's claim that he is “restoring Iraq to its greatness, its historical greatness. He points out frequently that he was elected with a hundred percent margin recently.”Lunacy. Even anti-war activists usually concede that Saddam is a monster who we would be better off without, (before hurrying on to the important stuff, which is how the real monster George W Bush is going to crush the earth like a cockroach).
And here are these TV people with not even a tenuous connection to reality. I'm not a TV watcher, but guess I'm not missing much...unless maybe the collapse of Western Civilization into delusional solecism...
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Don't miss ...Do not fail to read Lee Harris' essay: Our World-Historical Gamble
...The modern liberal world system has permitted the growth of power in the hands of those who have not had to cope with reality in order to acquire this power: it has simply been given to them, out of the sense of fair play prevalent among Western liberal societies. Iraq was paid for its oil, which in return paid for its weapons - and both were produced by us, to be used against us. But this, tragically, has had the unintended consequence of diminishing the value of the sense of the realistic in the eyes of those who have thus acquired their power and wealth - a fact just as much in evidence in the behavior of Saudi Arabia as in that of Iraq. It is the re-enactment, on a world-historical scale, of what has been done by many well-meaning Americans in the case of their own children - by giving them so much, we have robbed them of that indispensable sense of the realistic that can only be achieved by the head-on collisions with the irremovable object called the real world. We have nourished their fantasies, instead of forcing them to face the facts of life...
Monday, March 10, 2003
Lotsa trumped-up candidates around these days ...Sen. Kerry, rather notoriously, recently referred to:
...some trumped-up, so-called coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought and the extorted...Hmmm. I can think of a coalition like that...how about: Bribed by the Trial Lawyers, coerced by NOW, bought by the NEA, extorted by Jesse and Al...
(Via Dean Esmay)
Sunday, March 09, 2003
Perhaps we are using the same words for entirely different concepts?I found this post in the blog Bitter Sanity very thought-provoking. (via Glenn Reynolds)
...But what does it look like to Europeans? I think that Europeans see the UN's mission, not as ensuring security, but as acting as a check on unfettered nationalism. And I see this profound but unstated difference in perception of the UN's purpose as the underlying source of the current UN conflict._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Federalist in Chief?Combustible Boy noticed, and I did not, that the President used the term federation in his March 6 press conference...Here's the passage:
...One of the things we love in America is freedom. And if I may, I would like to remind you of what I said at the State of the Union. Liberty is not America's gift to the world. It is God's gift to each and every person. And that's what I believe. I believe when we see totalitarianism, we must deal with it. We don't have to do it always militarily. But this is a unique circumstance because of 12 years of denial and defiance, because of terrorist connections, because of past history. I'm convinced that a liberated Iraq will be -- will be important for that troubled part of the world. Iraqi people are plenty capable of governing themselves. Iraq's a sophisticated society. Iraq's got money. Iraq will provide a place where people can see that the Shiite and Sunni and Kurds can get along in a federation. Iraq will serve as a catalyst for change, a positive change. So there's a lot more at stake than just American security and the security of people close by Saddam Hussein. Freedom is at stake as well. I take that very seriously...I had pretty much assumed that that's what's being planned, but it's nice to actually hear it from the big man himself.
Did you ever wonder why you neve hear of the French-speaking Swiss oppressing the German-speaking Swiss? Or vice versa? It's because ... well, heck, you ought to already know the answer. If you don't, look it up...