Friday, March 21, 2003
It is true Saddam is not the only threat. But it is true also - as we British know - that the best way to deal with future threats peacefully, is to deal with present threats with results. --Tony Blair
I'd call "serious mistake" an understatement...Found in Brothers Judd Blog:
...Former [Turkish] Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis referred to the financial aid shock and said, "we thought that the United States needed our assistance and made a serious mistake. It was revealed that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government made a strategic mistake during the negotiations with the United States." Yakis, who played an active role at negotiations with the United States, noted, "we did not believe that the United States had had the Plan B. We thought that the United States needed Turkey to open the northern front."...
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Charles Krauthamer writes......passionately, Don't Go Back to the U.N.
... What happened? Americans finally had a look inside the sausage factory. Their image of the United Nations as a legitimating institution had always been deeply sentimental, based on the United Nations of their youth -- UNICEF, refugee help, earthquake assistance. A global Mother Teresa. That's what they thought of the United Nations, and that's why they held it in esteem and cared about what it said. Now they know that it is not UNICEF collection boxes but a committee of cynical, resentful, ex-imperial powers such as France and Russia serving their own national interests -- and delighting in frustrating America's -- without the slightest reference to the moral issues at stake. The American public understands that this is not a body with which to entrust American values or American security...
Thursday, March 20, 2003
I'm quaking in my boots...One woeful prophecy seems to be inoperative now: Oil prices are falling; futures in NY just fell by $1.88 a barrel...
BUT, don't relax. We've been told so many times by so many that an attack on Iraq will cause new waves of terrorist martyrs to spring up--surely those people can't all be wrong? Remember, there's nothing like crushing defeat to bring out the resilience, the spine, the backbone, the grit, the obstinacy, the deep reserves of principled courage that are such conspicuous features of Arab culture. We're sowing the wind here, folks...
Actually I shouldn't be sarcastic. I would estimate that if any Arab country ever had a government that represented its people, that the people considered their own--they would be likely to defend their country with the same courage that Israelis and Americans and Turks have shown defending theirs...
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
In which I find I'm less alone than I thought...Natalie Solent recently wrote:
...Add that to the potential high cost of getting into a row - namely, that I might have to track down another repairman as good - and it just wasn't worthwhile. Besides, I dislike verbal debates unless I know my interlocutor and am confident that he or she won't get angry. I am too much swung by emotion face to face, and have a tendency to conciliate and conciliate and then suddenly get irritated and strike like a viper.That could be describing me. Usually I'm all appeasement, at least face to face with people I know. I'm only pugnacious on the old weblog. But once in a great while I get tipped over the edge.
It happened yesterday. My daughter's school is a hothouse of trendy liberalism in liberal town. (She's very fed-up with it, I think she has already been seared into conservative-Republicanism for life.) Anyway, some leftizoid parent hijacked the school's e-mail list (strictly verboten) and sent everyone an anti-war message, calling for a candle-light vigil to protest America's ...unimaginable firestorm of carnage, bloodshed, destruction and death upon the innocent families of Iraq...
WELL, I lost it. I used the same list and slammed back with a heavyweight response within the hour. Friends, I've been warblogging since 11/2001, and I was ready! Usually I'm the guy who thinks of the clever cutting remark a day late. But not this time. I was ready...
...Since you have however, I will respond by saying that WE (Americans) are going to put an end to the decades of carnage and murder and torture and starvation that Saddam has inflicted on the people of Iraq, where MILLIONS of civilians have died, while people like YOU have sat smugly and cared nothing.Then I sat back and waited to be reviled and critcized.
But, funny thing, I started getting messages saying "thank you." About 15 so far. People saying that they were so glad someone felt like they did, and spoke up. One gal we know called to say I had brought tears to her husband's eyes! Amazin day.
I'm sure there were plenty who loathed my response, but they haven't said much... Perhaps they are taken aback. Perhaps they sense the ground shifting a little beneath their feet...who knows.
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Ha! No more Pringles for you guys...I was thrilled by this news article: Bush Has Audacious Plan to Rebuild Iraq Within Year :
The Bush plan, as detailed in more than 100 pages of confidential contract documents, would sideline United Nations development agencies and other multilateral organizations that have long directed reconstruction efforts in places such as Afghanistan and Kosovo. The plan also would leave big nongovernmental organizations largely in the lurch: With more than $1.5 billion in Iraq work being offered to private U.S. companies under the plan, just $50 million is so far earmarked for a small number of groups such as CARE and Save the Children...I found this on Bill Quick's Blog, and he wrote: If true, this is excellent news. The last thing the military governors of Iraq need are swarms of UN Toyota Taliban buzzing about pretending they are lords of creation even as they milk the NGO process for as much as the traffic will bear while irritating the locals to the greatest extent possible...
Amen to that, brother. VERY good news. I remember reading the lament of an Afghan official, trying to cater to the whims of the NGO'ers who descended in swarms on his country. He said, They want Pringles provided everywhere they go!
Someone wrote in Bill's comments that Every dollar used to rebuild a hospital or a road is a dollar that won't be spent on food or medicine. Blogger Robert Crawford replied well:
Really?_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Lilliputians...Some friendly words from Tony Parsons in the Mirror
...It has been good to be British in America these past few weeks.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Well, I express a lot of my rage in the voting booth...Shekhar Gupta, writing in the Indian Express, has an interesting article: Globalisation of Revenge: When you are angry with your ruler and can’t complain, you target his patrons in the West. He notes that while India has huge numbes of Muslims, none of them were involved in 9/11.
...Could it be that this entire formulation is flawed? That the Indian Muslims are actually as sullen as those of the Middle East and Europe, but they find — mostly — a different way of seeking revenge? They hated Farooq Abdullah in Kashmir as New Delhi’s despotic stooge and defied terrorist bullets to vote him out. They believe the Congress double-crossed them on Babri, so they are still punishing it by banishing it from Uttar Pradesh and, thereby, from national power......defied terrorist bullets to vote him out...Need one say more? (via Betsy's Page, I think it was)
Nope, wrong, it was from Craig Schamp. And he heard about it from a friend in India. Cool how information moves around. (And depressing to think how so many people have just increased their immune-response to any information that might cause them to think...)
Sunday, March 16, 2003
I'm awaiting the memoirs with keen anticipation......Someday around 2010 we will really know what's really going on right now. One question on my mind: Are Rumsfeld's indiscretions planned? Scripted? Calculated? Here's a good article from the Sunday Telegraph (via Orrin Judd):
Profile: Donald Rumsfeld
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Ari Fleischer at the 3-14 Press Briefing...
Q -- I have one more. On Miguel Estrada, two failed crucial votes, and another scheduled for next Tuesday. How long is the President going to continue this stalemate, when it is now obvious Democrats won't budge on the nomination?