Thursday, February 06, 2003

Instapundit points me to this story in The Independent:

He was supposed to have been a professional. He should have known better, but in the end he could not resist. Using a satellite phone, the senior al-Qa'ida operative excitedly called two associates and congratulated them on their cold-blooded assassination of an American diplomat.

The call cost the man his liberty. It may yet cost him his life but, more importantly, it could have provided America with the "smoking gun" evidence it has long sought and which apparently links the Iraqi regime to an active al-Qa'ida cell committing terror killings and planning others across Europe and the Middle East. One thing is certain: it has left Iraq needing to do a lot of explaining.

The name of the man who made the telephone call as he drove through the rugged landscapes of northern Iraq towards the borders with Syria and Turkey has not been revealed. But his alleged position in the al-Qa'ida network was made clear. Information gathered by the intelligence services of the US, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Pakistan shows he is the deputy of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of an Iraqi-based al-Qa'ida cell.

Though he would not have known it at the time, the deputy's congratulatory telephone call to two men accused of murdering the US diplomat Laurence Foley last October killed in the garden of his Amman home by a volley of eight shots ? was an error of incalculable proportions. The call was intercepted by Western intelligence services, possibly America's National Security Agency (NSA) or Britain's electronic eavesdropping service at GCHQ, Cheltenham, and allowed coalition operatives to trace the man from Syria, then to Turkey.

This was LAST OCTOBER what in the hell are we waiting for.

How much more evidence do you need? Saddam was behind, through Al-Qaida proxies, the execution of an American diplomat. He tried to execute a former President of the United States.

Perhaps I'm just stupid...not sophisticated enough. But in my world, if you engage in these action it means war. I don't go to the UN Security Council and ask the fucking French for permission to defend my countrymen. If I were the POTUS, hostilities would commence as soon as I could explain the case to the country and mobilize. And after we laid waste to the first country that had the temerity to assassinate one of our diplomats, I bet the next Saddam wannabe would think twice about even TALKING to a group that harbored those kinds of plans.

If you look the other way and ignore these things it guarantees that they will happen with increasing frequency. I don't care about grievances or root causes, if you execute an American you'd better kiss your sweet ass goodbye because we are gonna come down on you with the full force of the greatest military power in the history of man.

And that is the way it should be.


A little googling sheds some light:

Here we see Bill Arkin affilliated with a Human Rights Watch call for NATO to halt the use of cluster bombs.

I also found this: "Arkin, formerly a researcher for the Institute for Policy Studies and Greenpeace USA, now surfs the Web (with a 33.6 bps modem) and writes in a converted barn in rural Vermont." (this from 1997 so maybe he's out of the barn now).

Here is Greenpeace USA's Statement on Potential War with Iraq. Greenpeace is against war because it sometimes pollutes the environment!

Also this from the March 12, 2002, Transcript of Alan Keyes is Making Sense :Frank Gaffney: It's a fuss that was calculated, I think, by Bill Arkin, the fellow you mentioned, who leaked this classified report, got access to it. It was leaked to him. And he in turn passed it to the LA Times and others.

Arkin is a guy who has periodically done this in the past to inflame international and, to some extent, domestic opposition to nuclear weapons. He comes from a school that says we shouldn't have nuclear weapons, we don't want us or ideally anybody else to have them, but let's start with the one that is we have.

KEYES: Well, one of the questions I think naturally occurs to me as well is when you're thinking through these very difficult and challenging and in some ways unthinkable possibilities, one always wonders what's the alternative. If we don't try to structure some kind of regime of deterrence with a credible threat that puts people on notice of their own danger, then what exactly is it that might be there to discourage this kind of attack against the United States? I don't think these folks who are critical and kind of chagrined really address what is the heart of this strategic challenge because you have got to try to defend our people against this possibility.

GAFFNEY: I think you do, too. Many of them, the Arkins of the world, if you will, offer up as the alternative arms control, arms control with regimes that have nothing but contempt for the very idea of law at home in their domestic environments to say nothing of international law.

KEYES: Right.

GAFFNEY: This is a fraud.

Arkin was just so damn shrill in his commentary on Hardball last night that it set me off. I always get suspicious of "analysts" and "experts" when their credentials aren't clear.

I am relieved to see that my bullshit detector works even after a few scotches.

LILEKS makes quick work of the local (Minneapolis) Green party response to the SOTU in yesterday's Bleat. A good read.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003


I'm watching Hardball still. Bill Arkin, "MSNBC Analyst", says "they don't know everything". Duhhhhhh. What a sloppy titty bitch this guy is. I'm sorry, I am too fucking tired to actually refute his lame-assed criticisms of Powell's speech today.

"We are on track to losing the battle". Fucking asshole. Let's re-run the argument that it is only likely that Saddam will use chemical or biological weapons if he is threatened. Not if we hit him with a "Sunday Punch" first Willie.

"We are not achieving our long term aim by attacking Iraq..."


Powell has pushed the momentum towards war. It is inevitable now. Little willie Arkin and the hysterical, pacifist leftists are thrashing around like beached fish.

I want a second UN resolution so that France is forced to veto it. Then we will invade Iraq and win the war anyway and the French and the UN will be disgraced.


Mandela messes himself while criticizing the Secretary of State:

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations undermined the U.N.'s own efforts to determine whether Iraq was concealing weapons of mass destruction.

How much money are you getting from the Iraqi's Nelson? There is no other explanation for your lock-step adherence to the Iraqi party line.

Speaking before Powell's speech to the world body, Mandela said chief UN weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed El Baradei were the only ones with the authority to determine whether Iraq was complying with U.N. resolutions.

Who the fuck elected Hans Blix and Mohamed El Baradei soveriegns of the world? The last time I checked, they were FUCKING INSPECTORS...scientists and politicians who's job is to VERIFY THE DISARMARMENT OF Iraq. They have been unable to do so because of Iraqi intransegence. This is, in fact, a "material breach" of the cease fire agreement and 1441. Blix has ALREADY stated this - what more do you want Nelson?

"We are going to listen to them and to them alone. We are not going to listen to the United States of America. They are not telling us how they got that information," Mandela told reporters.

So who do you prefer to listen to fuckwad? Saddam Hussein? Yes, he is legendary for his veracity!

Mandela has repeatedly criticized the United States and Britain, saying they were ignoring the will of the United Nations and pursuing their own belligerent policies against Iraq.

Since dictatorships are the rule rather than the exception in this world, why should we listen to the United Nations, where all the despots are given equal weight, when our national security is threatened. I'll make you a deal, Nelson, the day South Africa matches the US from a human rights perspective, I'll listen to you. Until you get your house in order - SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Last week, the Nobel Peace laureate lashed U.S. President George W. Bush, calling him arrogant and shortsighted and saying he wanted a war to get his hands on Iraqi oil.

"One power with a president who has no foresight and cannot think properly is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust," Mandela said last week.


Who really wants to plunge the war into holocaust? George Bush? Are you fucking serious?

Really though, who can take seriously a man who believes that the United States doesn't take the UN Secretary General seriously because he is BLACK?

Mandela is a JOKE. Just like fellow Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter.


Richard Perle is out front selling the administration's case. I can't believe that he is doing it without the Bush's support.

He is on Hardball tonight hammering on France again. He thinks that the French relationship with Iraq includes a guarantee that they would not be a victim of terrorist attacks - from Iraq.

"French policy is to diminish the influence of the United States", he said.

Bravo, Richard (the name of great men by the way).

Tuesday, February 04, 2003


Blix has been making noises today like the end is near. He has shown a lot more backbone than I would have anticipated by calling the Iraqi's on their non-conformance with 1441. And all Saddam does is reprise his "Mother of all Battles" schtick.

Sorry Saddam (and Susan Sarandon, Janine Garrafalo(?-to lazy to look up the spelling), Sean Penn, et. al.) the last bits of your cover is running away from you like rats on a sinking ship. Even Chirac is making nice with Tony Blair (although I'm sure he's waiting for Powell's remarks tomorrow at the UNSC to officially reverse course).

Saddam has spent his whole life crafting a reality that has backed him into this corner. When you rule by the ruthless, brutal totalitarian methods that he has employed, any crack in the iron-fisted grip will cause the whole regime to collapse. He CAN'T give in. I'm not sure that he is conviced that he has to, mind you, but he can't. If he did he, much like Arafat, would be dead in short order.

So, caring nothing for the well being of his people, he will continue to taunt the US and flaunt his non-compliance with the decade old cease-fire agreement. And thousands of his countrymen will die, many who would have gladly plunged the knife into his sorry old carcass, to feed his thirst for power and dreams of conquest. So to will many of our countrymen die. But, as Den-Beste pointed out earlier today, either we fight the war "over there" or they bring it over here - and I wholeheartedly agree with him that, while all war is terrible, war fought within our borders is orders of magnitude more horrible than fighting with the enemy within HIS borders.

I was encouraged today upon reading a letter from the Iranian Students upbraiding the Europeans for their money-grubbing support of the Iranian theocratic regime and urging them to follow the lead of President Bush and the U.S. What greater support could you ask for than from those who have been so brutally oppressed (and have such a difficult road ahead of them to find freedom)?

We must do all that we can to support them. I know times are hard, but we need to send them financial support. They are our brothers and sisters-in-arms. They are the beacon of freedom and democracy in the the dark night of slavery and oppression in the Middle East.

On a night when circumstances find me down, they lift my spirits. The flame of liberty still shines. Let it shine forever on the United States of America...and on Iran...and on the good souls of men and women everywhere. Let it shine.

I've been a little melancholy since the Columbia went down on Saturday.

I'm listening to Brian Eno's
"Ambient 2: The Plateau of Mirror"
. It makes me think of someone who's not here. Not one of the astronauts, but someone I know (or maybe knew).

Maybe I am just catching a cold. Maybe when I wake up in the morning it will all be OK. Maybe.


According to FT.com (via Drudge) The Bush administration on Tuesday said North Korea was pursuing a nuclear weapons programme and conceded its record on arms proliferation was worse than Iraq's.

Hardly thought provoking news on its surface.

Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state, told the Senate foreign relations committee the US was concerned that North Korea would seek to avoid economic collapse by selling nuclear fissile material to rogue states or terrorist organisations.

Perhaps I'm stupid (or maybe just to preoccupied with work) but I hadn't thought about this. On second thought, it's obvious.

Within several months North Korea could extract 25-30kg of plutonium - enough for four to six nuclear weapons - from the 8,000 fuel rods it has stored at the Yongbyon nuclear facility.

But Mr Armitage defended US policy of using diplomacy to deal with Pyongyang while preparing for war with Baghdad.

The number two official in the state department declined to describe the dispute with North Korea as a "crisis", as he came under intense questioning from Democrat senators on whether the administration had its priorities mixed up.

Instead he called it a "big problem" and insisted direct talks between the US and North Korea were the way forward.

But Mr Armitage also confirmed that US-based long-range bombers were on alert to move to the Pacific if needed, calling the move "prudent military planning".

The alert, requested by Admiral Thomas Fargo, commander of US forces in the Pacific, was intended to address the "contingency that North Korea would in some fashion try to take advantage of our focus on Iraq", Mr Armitage said.

Reflecting growing US concern over North Korea's pressure tactics, Colin Powell, secretary of state, went to New York a day ahead of schedule for talks with his Russian and Chinese counterparts.

Russia attacked the US approach to North Korea, exposing a widening rift between Moscow and Washington over the issue.

Moscow said it opposed any reinforcement of US forces in the Pacific and criticised Washington's plan to refer North Korea to the UN Security Council.

US officials have also expressed frustration over what they see as a lack of Chinese pressure on Pyongyang.

Mr Armitage conceded that North Korea was a worse proliferator than Iraq, selling missiles to Yemen, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt "and other places". The US also had "suspicions" that North Korea had spread nuclear weapons technology, indicating that Pakistan and Libya might have benefited.

Of course, we cannot allow the North Koreans to export ANY fissile material. Upon uncovering any evidence that such a transfer is about to happen, we would have to attack NK nuclear facilities (or sabotage them) to insure that it didn't happen.

North Korea will have to be next on the list. Kim Il-Jong is incredibly unbalanced. To allow him to possess nuclear weapons would be unthinkable. Seoul and Tokyo would be held hostage to him. Only the threat of massive American response would deter him and even that doesn't seem to be working anymore. And what happens the day that he develops a missle capable of hitting Honolulu?

The Chinese and the Russsians had better wake up. I don't think it would be in their best interest to have a client state of theirs destroy the city of an American ally.

Shit. How does the world come to this?

Sunday, February 02, 2003


I received this comment over the weekend:

Is this weblog a joke? Let me proceed on the premise that it isn't first:

Nobody is perfect. Anyhow it's not Arabs as a whole or Americans as a whole or any group as a whole that are responsible for any mess we see in the world.

Muslims may have done horrible things, but it doesn't follow that all Muslims do horrible things. Generally, the reason why Islam is so screwed up today is because of the backwardness of most of its adherents and the insecurity that lingers in their collective psyche. Development would go a good way towards ameliorating mamy of the deplorable facets of Islam that exist today.

All groups have, at one time or another, transgressed in some way. Just acknowledge that we should all apologise for our past sins

POI: Islam was carried to Indonesia by Arab traders peaceably, not by the sword.

OK. So none of us is free of guilt for mistreating some group at some time. I grant you that...it's obvious and only a fool would deny it. I never said all Muslims do horrible things - if you had read through my previous posts you would have known that I am particularly fond of a Muslim girl...but she isn't a fundamentalist wacko - she's an American.

It seems to me that you are suggesting that if America were to help the Muslim world develop that many, if not all, of the dangers that we face from Islamic fundamentalism would be removed. You can only believe this if you disregard everything that Muslim clerics say from mosques from Egypt to Indonesia. I prefer to take them at their word.

As for your "POI", you are not entirely accurate. Although I don't know about Indonesia, Islam came to India "...first through Arab traders on the western coasts. Then, in 712 or therabouts, Arab armies conquered Sind." A period of calm prevailed until the eleventh century when a new Moslem invasion started. "They first established themselves in the Punjab in the eleventh century and then launched a second wave of invasions at the end of the twelfth century which led within a few decades to the establishment of Turkish sultans at Delhi who ruled the whole of the Ganges valley." (J.M. Roberts, History of the World). So, the bulk of Moslem gains in the far east were through war.

This is really besides the point though. What I was trying to emphasize is that all groups have grievances. This stupid obsession with US "imperialism" doesn't hold water in an historical context.

The USA *is* trying to court the region - except that's it's cosying up to the dictators and kings of the Middle East.

Much of the Arab World lags behind because of the lack of freedom, the stilted flow of information and the oppression of women.

The United States has supported leaders in the region who were less than choirboys. But during the Cold War, it was necessary to ally ourselves with undemocratic regimes in order to contain the Soviets. After all, we were allies with the Soviet Union in WWII and there perhaps has been no more murderous butcher in the history of mankind than Josef Stalin. Sometimes circumstances dictate a nation's foreign policy more than it would like.

Some of the more distasteful relationships that the US has had to maintain over the last few decades have become too much for us to continue. Soon the Saudis will openly be declared enemies. The Pakistanis are on precarious ground with us; if they do not root out the terrorists in their midst, they too will become enemies. Again, this is not because all Muslims are enemies, rather those regimes fund Islamic facist/nationalist movements that ARE our enemies.

And who is responsible for the lack of freedom and the terrrible treatment of women in the Muslim world? According to Ibn Warraq (Why I Am Not a Muslim), Islam doesn't measure up very well in terms of democracy and human rights:

1. Women are inferior under Islamic law; their testimony in a court of law is worth half that of a man; their movement is strictly restricted; they cannot marry non-Muslims
2. Non -Muslims living in Muslim countries have inferior status under Islamic law; they may not testify against a Muslim. In Saudi Arabia, following a tradition of Muhammad who said, "Two religions cannot exist in the country of Arabia," non-Muslims are forbidden to practice their religion, build churches, possess Bibles, etc.
3. Nonbelievers - atheists (surely the most neglected minority in history)- do not have "the right to life" in Muslim countries. They are to be killed. Muslim doctors of law generally divide sins into great sins and little sins. Of the seventeen great sins, unbelief is the greatest, more heinous than murder, theft adultery, etc.
4. Slavery is recognized in the Koran. Muslims are allowed to cohabit with any of their female slaves (sura 4.3); they are allowed to take possession of married women if they are slaves (sura 4.28). The helpless position of the slave in regard to his or her master illustrates the helpless position of the false gods of Arabia in the presence of their Creator (sura 16.77).
There is much, much more...read Chapter 7.

Suicide bombing is deplorable, yes, but so is what is being done to the Palestinian people. They have been deprived of their homes and their land. They are virtual slaves of Israel, which repeatedly invades their cities. Of course, this is all part of the larger circle of violence, in which both Israelis and Palestinians are at fault.

"Suicide bombing is deplorable...but..." how do you qualify that? Do you think ANYTHING justifies murdering little children intentionally?

You seem to think that the world is a place where nations, like little children, are both sent to stand in a corner when they don't play nice. You can sit on the fence if you want and pretend that both sides are equally to blame, but the history says otherwise. There were no Palestinians, as distinct from other Arabs in the region, before about 1920. Even Yasser Arafat (that bloodsoaked murderer) admits that Jordan is a Palestinian state (Randall Price, Unholy War, pp. 142). The "Palestinians" could have had their independence in 1947, instead they chose to convince their Arab allies to attack Israel in hopes of driving the Jews off of the land. Although the Arab armies much outnumbered the Israelis (and were better equipped) they lost. Even then, the West Bank and Gaza were still in Arab control. It was within their power to create a new "Palestinian" state; but they didn't.

I reject your suggestion that the Israelis and Palestinians are equally to blame for the conflict between them. The Palestinians could have spent the last half-century building a nation - all they had to do was say yes to the UN. There would have been no refugee problem because there would have been no war. But they couldn't force themselves to live next to J-E-W-S. They have brought their suffering on themselves.

France is, compared to Germany, more moderate. The Germans REFUSE to do anything at all. Anyhow, if George Bush is prepared to remove the dictator in Iraq, why doesn't he do the same for, say, North Korea? Something to think about. Realpolitik's dictates always result in a less than ideal situation.

There IS a difference between the stances of France and Germany. Schroeder, as incredibly mistaken as he is, has at least firmly stated his position. The French, I sense, are blustering hoping for some concessions from the US, but leaving themselves the possibility to be "convinced" at the last minute and reverse themselves. They are weasels.

Why don't we just simultaneously remove every dictator in the world and establish peace, freedom and democracy for all peoples? Geez, it would be nice if the US was omnipotent but we DO have limits. Iraq is more pressing for two reasons: 1) removing Saddam and installing a liberal, constitutional democracy in Iraq goes a long way towards helping establish a new government in Iran and crippling the funding for middle east terrorist organisations and 2) Saddam, if allowed to develop a nuke, would bully his neighbors into allowing him to control 2/3 of the world's known oil reserves - not a happy thought.

The Western World may have achieved freedom recently, but it is still freer than the Arab world. That gives it some modicum of moral authority, but it can't go around proclaiming that they are paragons of virtue.

I'm sorry, this just doesn't make any sense. Yes the west has achieved freedom relatively recently (begining with the United States 227 years ago) AND (not but) it is CENTURIES ahead of the Arab world in terms of freedom and human rights. We don't proclaim to be "paragons of virtue"; one does not have to be morally perfect to condemn torture, rape, dismemberment and murder. When, in the history of America, has gang rape EVER been proscribed as a punishment for ANYTHING? Never that's when. When did we sentence people to DEATH for drinking? When did we behead people because of their religious beliefs?

We are not perfect, but we certainly are VASTLY superior to nationalist/facist Muslim theocrats. If you don't see that then you are truly blind my friend.

And now on the premise that it is:

Hahaha. In a way, this parodies the right wing somewhat well. There are many facets to truth anyway.

No, this weblog is not a joke or a parody. No, there are not "many facets to truth"; something is either true or it isn't. Opinions differ but truth is constant.

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