Friday, March 07, 2003


France doesn't believe in "ultimatums" according to de Villepin. What a fucking idiot. 1441 WAS an ultimatum - it gave the Iraqis one FINAL opportunity to comply. What France doesn't believe in is following through on the use of force that gives treaty obligations teeth.

Chirac has indicated that he might be there to cast a vote for his country against the US/UK resolution. I love it. Bush should go to meet him there, eye to eye and watch that weasel sweat as he flushes the French relationship with America down the drain.

I'd take a vacation day off of work and fly to New York to see that. Yessir.


I just got through watching Jack Straw's presentation to the UNSC. It was a very impressive. And damning.

Staw was pointed in his criticism of de Villepin's dishonest characterization of diplomatic efforts. He noted that the threat of military action has motivated what little progress has been made and that diplomatic efforts without that threat had heretofore been unsuccessful. Dominique did not seem amused. Too bad. Mr. Staw also made the point that the US/UK/Spain resolution does not require that Iraq's disarmarment will be VERIFIED within ten days - it only requires that Hussien disclose all of those weapons within that time frame BECAUSE, SINCE HE ORDERED THEIR CLANDESTINE PRODUCTION, HE HAS EASILY AT HAND THE INFORMATION TO GIVE TO THE INSPECTORS.

Blix's report says, as quoted by Cameroon's Ambassador to the UN, that Iraqi compliance efforts to date have been "modest". The Bulgarian Ambassador also echoed this and was more pointed in his criticism of Iraq's lukewarm response to 1441. Mr. Tarov reiterated Staw's assertion that only the presence of US and UK troops in the region has brought any action by the Iraqis. He also stated that "Iraq continues to defy the will of the international community" and that Bulgaria is prepared to support the draft resolution as presented by Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Spain, US, UK, Bulgaria - there are four definite pro-votes for a new resolution. Germany, France, Russia and China - four definite no votes.

The Pakistani Ambassador, Mr. Akram, did not seem to be in our camp - but when it comes to crunch time, it will be very, very difficult for Pakistan to cast a vote against the US. He mentioned the council resolutions regarding Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine cautioning the UNSC not to be hypocritical (yeah, right).

Evaluating this if you are undecided boils down to these questions 1) who do you believe knows more about what is going on in Iraq - the US/UK (and Israelis) or the French, Chinese and Russians? 2) who do you trust more Jack Straw and Colin Powell or Dominique de Villepin and Igor Ivanov? 3) who do you believe George Bush or Saddam Hussein?

Thursday, March 06, 2003


1. Iraq signs Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968.
2. Throughout the 1970's Iraq engages in a clandestine nuclear weapons program in contravention of its NPT agreement.
3. Saddam Hussein seizes power in 1979; during his initial purges it is estimated that he has approximately 500 people executed.
4. Iraq invaded Iran in 1980.
5. Iraq used chemical warfare agents on Iranian troops and its own civilians in the 1980's.
6. Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990; more than 1,000 Kuwaiti civilians are murdered; two dozen torture sites are discovered; Hussein creates an environmental disaster by releasing 7 to 9 million barrells of oil into the Persian Gulf and setting fire to more than 500 oil wells.
7. Iraq agrees to cease fire in early 1991 after its forces are routed. Hussein agrees to destroy his WMD programs as a condition of the cease fire.
8. Iraq claims that its nuclear weapons research was a feasibility only study. Iraqis obstruct UNSCOM investigative efforts.
9. Seeking to stop the brutal oppression of the Kurds and the Shias, the US, Britain and France establish "no-fly zones" subsequent to UNSC resolution 688.
10. Hussein Kamel defects to Jordan in late 1995. He reveals that the Iraqis have been lying about the extent of their weapons program. UNSCOM had been prepared, prior to these revelations, to give Iraq a "clean bill of health".
11. 1996 - Inspectors confirm suspicions that Iraqi security forces have been warning facilities of impending UNSCOM inspections and instructing them to hide contraband material.
12. 1998 - In its 45th resolution regarding Iraq since the Gulf War, the UN condemns Iraq for ceasing cooperation with weapons inspectors calling the action a "flagrant violation" of the 1991 disarmarment agreement. Russia, France and China (of course) were successful in lobbying to remove the original language calling Iraqi "non-compliance a threat to international peace and security."
13. December 2001 - Iraq refuses to cooperate with UNSCOM successor organization UNMOVIC.
14. October 2002 - US Senate authorizes the use of force against Iraq for violation of the cease fire agreement.
15. November 2002 - The UN Security Council passes Resolution 1441 declaring that..."Iraq repeatedly obstructed immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access to sites designated by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), failed to cooperate fully and unconditionally with UNSCOM and IAEA weapons inspectors, as required by resolution 687 (1991), and ultimately ceased all cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA in 1998" and stated that Iraq "...has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions...". It further required Iraq to submit a report within thirty days and stated that "...false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq’s obligations...".
16. 1441 further directs Iraq not to "... take or threaten hostile acts directed against any representative or personnel of the United Nations or the IAEA or of any Member State taking action to uphold any Council resolution"
17. Attacks on coalition aircraft in the "no-fly zones continue after the passage of 1441. In September, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard Myers reported ..."that over the past three years, Iraqi air-defense artillery has fired at coalition aircraft more than 1,000 times, launched 600 rockets, and fired nearly 60 surface- to-air missiles."
18. The December 2002 Iraqi declaration, mandated by the UNSC, fails to document a number of WMD initiatives including an attempt to procure uranium.

It's a lot harder to argue for more inspections when it's all laid out like this isn't it?

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003


No matter how hard he tries, Thomas Friedman just can't get behind President Bush.

In this morning's editorial, he moans that while Bush's action against Iraq is probably the right path, it would have been oh, so much easier if he hadn't been such a cowboy on Kyoto. If he hadn't trashed the ABM treaty then the Russians would be our gud lil buddies now.

I am so tired of this crap!

Why should America agree to a huge wealth transfer, which in essence is what Kyoto was, without hard science that the plan would actually make the environment more than marginally better over the next century? The science behind global warming estimates is coming under increasing scrutiny and it doesn't hold up very well (read Lomberg). And from a common sense perspective, any agreement that doesn't include China and India, representing about a third of the world's population, isn't worth very much. But then again, a lot of people think that any agreement on the environment is progress, even bad ones.

There is also this legislative body called the United States Senate. You may have heard of it Tom, it must ratify all treaties. The sentiment in the Senate was UNANIMOUSLY opposed to Kyoto. Clinton knew this but kept stringing the Europeans and Japanese along anyway. So Bush, knowing that the treaty would never pass the Senate and believing it to be a bad deal for America to boot, said "No thanks." Explain to me how he could have done otherwise?

As for the ABM treaty, removing the US from that treaty obligation (all that was required, if I remember correctly, was six months notice) was a part of a shift in the capability of the armed forces to adapt to a post-Cold War environment. We may not have a workable ABM system now but I sure am glad we're working on one given North Korea's all-out push to go nuclear AND develop intercontinental ballistic missles. Isn't that the kind of strategic planning that we expect from an Administration? To anticipate FUTURE threats and adapt our forces to counter them?

The fact of the matter is that the Europeans (the Axis of Weasels that is) want the security of having an overwhelming military force, they'd just like the American taxpayer to pay for it ....and then turn over the decision-making to them.

Sorry, I don't want the French and the Germans having effective veto power over our actions. Think about that for a minute...really, is that what you want? Do the military and diplomatic track records of those two countries inspire that much confidence in you? Should we refuse to take actions that are in our best interests because the Russians are oppossed to it? Or was Friedman's point that we should have been more "diplomatic" in saying no?

Either way his position is shaky. I think he really wants to support Bush but is worried about his "credibility" at a liberal rag like the New York times. So he straddles the fence. Weak.

Monday, March 03, 2003


"I hate war." Who would disagree with this statement. Only lunatics.

"I hate Stalinist dictators who use genital electroshock, mutilation, rape and mass murder to maintain their hold on power." Does anyone disagree with that? I think even Booby Fisk could get on board with that sentiment.

Given that you hate both war and the dictator (who has proven that nothing short of war will deter him) perhaps it is instructive to ask the following question:

If it were completely under your control, and you had no other alternatives, would you choose a) the deaths of tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of (more or less) innocent Iraqi civilians via starvation and lack of proper medical care (and the occasional poison gas attack), b) the deaths of tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of American civilians via chemical, biological and/or nuclear attack or c) the deaths of thousands or perhaps tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers along with several thousand (at most) US soldiers and hundreds or a few thousand (at most) unintentional Iraqi civilian casualties?

This is the question that the French and the anti-war crowd refuse to answer. Or rather they reject the validity of the question. They assume, despite two decades of evidence to the contrary, that Saddam can be deterred without the use of force. Of course without force nothing can deter him from murdering his internal political enemies, so the anti-war crowd is essentially writing off the Kurds and others who are in the Iraqi opposition.

Martin, Janeane, Barbra and the gang don't like to think about the consequences of appeasement on the poor Iraqis - it doesn't fit with their do-gooder image - but it WILL be the result of their pacifism if they are successful in preventing a US attack against Iraq.

So, maybe if the US maintains a 200,000 strong invasion force in the Persian Gulf for the next few years the inspectors will be able to do the great job that Garafalo is so sure that they're bound to. Except that our political ability to maintain that troop level will erode very quickly once the inspections fall into the "business as usual" mode. Our allies in the region will come under increasing pressure to get the troops to leave (isn't that one of the reasons why al-Qaida says they attacked us - troop presence in Saudi Arabia?) and of course, the French, Germans and Russians will begin violating the sanctions again.

Oh, I forgot, the anti-war crowd says we should remove the sanctions - the inspectors alone are enough. So, with sanctions removed the Iraqis will begin to import dual use capability items for use in their WMD programs and will be flush with the cash to do it from surging oil sales. All this while they run the inspectors on a wild-goose chase all over a country the size of Texas. And, under pressure from countries in the region, the UN and "peace activists" at home America will gradually reduce its force strength to a token. Under this scenario, how long do you think it will take Hussein to have the inspectors removed from the country? And how long after that before he gets his hands on some weapons grade fissile material from, say, North Korea? Or maybe hands a little anthrax or smallpox under the table to a terrorist group for use against Israel, Western Europe or the United States?

A quarter century of experience with this monster tells us that he will not negotiate away any advantage. The only way he gives up his WMD programs is out of his cold dead hands.

Appeasement in this matter is a recipe for disaster, not only in Iraq but for future crises. How do you deter North Korea once they see the US back down in the Middle East? If we walk away now it makes future conflicts more likely to go hot because the credibility of the American military deterrent force will have been shattered. We are already suffering from running away from a few casualties in Somalia and our flacid response to Khobar Towers, the USS Cole and the attacks on our embassies in Africa.

Anything short of total capitulation of the Iraqi government and the exile of Hussein must be met with the full force of the US military. Kim Jong Il and other like minded tyrants must be certain that threat of force will be met by massive retaliation, that they face no chance of survival if they threaten the United States or its friends with attack. They must be shown that, post-9/11, America no longer will look the other way or offer bribes to dictators for good behavior. The world becomes a much more dangerous place, exponentially more dangerous, if would-be conquerors think that the US is too hamstrung by the wishes of the impotent French, the pacifist Germans and the obstructionist United Nations to act decisively.

This is lost on the Hollywood set. Ed Asner thinks we should just play nice and everything will come up roses. I encourage the Hollywood crowd to pick up a fucking history book and READ. Just look at the history of the twentieth century - some of the most brutal atrocities in history took place there. Was Stalin deterred by pacifists - NO; how about Hitler - SORRY; Pol Pot - DON'T THINK SO; Mao - ARE YOU KIDDING ME?. Does anyone seriously think that men like that were aberrations, that we'll never have to confront the likes of them again? Only the delusional. Only one thing stops dictators who will go to any lengths to expand their power - overwhelming force. You can't be friends with them and you can't bargain with them.

For sixty years Western Europe remained free for one reason and one reason only - the United States military. It wasn't because of the goodwill of the Soviets; it wasn't because the world loved Americans. It was because the Soviets knew that if they attacked their society would be devastated.

No, it isn't good that it turned out that way, but the situation was not of our choosing. If we could avoid this war without risking catastrophy later, without sacrificing millions of Kurds to continued slavery we would. But we can't. We don't have that choice. It isn't fair - not to the American soldiers who will lose their lives, not to the innocent Iraqi civilians who may be killed, not even to the common Iraqi soldier who may not have had much of a choice but to join up - no, it isn't fair. But it is what Saddam has made it and now the Americans have to go in and remedy the situation as we have been required to do many times before.

If not us, who? If not now, when?

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