Saturday, March 15, 2003


Hans has been at it again, this time onMTV

Norris: Speaking of multilateralism, do you notice, as many have suggested, that there's an increasing unilateralist bent in the United States government?
Blix: Yeah. On big issues like war in Iraq, but in many other issues they simply must be multilateral. There's no other way around. You have the instances like the global warming convention, the Kyoto protocol, when the U.S. went its own way. I regret it. To me the question of the environment is more ominous than that of peace and war. We will have regional conflicts and use of force, but world conflicts I do not believe will happen any longer. But the environment, that is a creeping danger. I'm more worried about global warming than I am of any major military conflict.

This just shows how clueless this man really is. What makes him think that the history of human relations has taken such a wonderful turn that the danger of global war no longer exists? There are any number of regional problems (Iraq, Korea, India-Pakistan) that could draw the remaining great powers (no that doesn't include France) into a more global confrontation. That is a hell of a lot more serious than the POSSIBILITY that, if greenhouse gasses go unchecked, there might be a 1.5 degree C rise in temperature over the next century.

The threat of the use of smallpox as a biological weapon (which we know Iraq has and North Korea probably does) is very immediate and very deadly.

I know it's been asked a thousand times but how many countries have to be on our side before we can stop the talk of "unilateralism"? Is it only the French that count? Were we unilateralist when we voted to censure the Chinese over their human rights record while the French voted against us (a vote by the French, by the way, that the Chinese rewarded with a billion dollar contract to Airbus)? Were we unilateralist when we went into Bosnia without UN approval because we knew the Russians would veto the resolution?

The Russians and the Chinese have terrible human rights records. The French have their own agenda and have never been above supporting despots when they could get a few bucks out of the deal. Why is it that everyone feels it is so essential to get their support? Aren't Britain, Spain, Portugal, Australia, Italy, Denmark, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Kuwait and Qatar enough?

Unilateralism is a bogus issue. The issue is whether we are doing the right thing - whether we have exhausted all the options and are left with no choice but to disarm Saddam by force.

As for Kyoto - it was a bad deal for the US and the rest of the world community wasn't willing to compromise with us. That may have been because Clinton schmoozed them into thinking we would accept it while knowing that it had no - and I mean literally ZERO - support in the Senate. Where were the Democrats who beat Bush over the head with the Unilateralist label now? Ted Kennedy? Tom Daschle? John Kerry? Diane Feinstien? Barbara Boxer? It got ZERO votes. It had to be pretty freaking bad to unify the Senate like that.

So, stick it up your bippy, Blix-baby! We all see how serious you are about finding WMD - unless you think that MTV.com has some hot leads for you.

I am having a problem with Haloscan comments are temporarily disabled. Apparently some of the more recent comments have been lost but I won't know for sure for until comments are up again.

The Dissident Frogman offers insight on the "root causes" of French anti-Americanism:

I'd like to offer the following passage of the Vincent Teacher's book published by Bordas, as quoted by Jean-Fran?ois Revel in his book "The Useless Knowledge" (Chapter XI "The treachery of the teachers" - Ed. Grasset).
Be advised that the teacher's book is nothing less than the manual destined to guide the teachers, civil servants of the Ministry of Education, in their duty.

"We'll demonstrate that there are two camps in the world:
- One is imperialist and antidemocratic (USA)
- The other is anti-imperialist and democratic (USSR),
and we'll precise their goals:
- World domination by crushing the anti-imperialist camp (USA)
- Struggle against imperialism and fascism, reinforcement of democracy (USSR)." ?

Don't feel like disgorging yet?
Okay, grab a doggy bag, a toilet bowl or your stepmother's sleeping bag 'cause I'm going to tell you when this book was published.

Hmmm...you sure that wasn't written in Berkeley?


This is hardly suprising but still interesting reporting by Tom Gross at National Review (hat tip to LGF):
The slants and omissions in the Times extend well beyond basic reporting. For example, in last year's "Year in Review" calendar (December 29, 2002), the Times highlighted the most important events of the year. The entry for March 28 read: "Arab world agrees to relations with Israel if land is returned" (this is hardly news; it is a claim some Arabs have made for decades) followed directly by, on March 29, "Israel invades Yasser Arafat's headquarters, 5 Palestinians, 1 Israeli die." The reader is left with the impression that Israel's only response to the supposed Arab peace offer was violence.

In fact, on March 27 (on which only the death of comedian Milton Berle was marked by the Times), 29 Israelis including an 89-year-old Auschwitz survivor, Sarah Levy-Hoffman, were blown up while celebrating a Passover seder at a Netanya hotel, something the Times did not list in its calendar. (The Times does mention the Passover bomb in a footnote to its calendar, but says only that "more than a dozen people died," an odd way to characterize a group of 29 people. Incidentally, six Israelis, not one, were killed by Palestinians on March 29.)

These are the kind of errors that the Times makes almost every day in it Middle East coverage. If the paper were making similar errors in favor of Israel, we might put it all down to sloppiness. But it doesn't.

This excerpt is just a small sample - read the whole thing.

Maybe the Times needs a few fact checkers?

Friday, March 14, 2003


I have been taken to task by a reader who believes that the adminsitration's Iraq policy is "adrift" and that I shouldn't be so partisan in poking fun at Conyers, et.al. given the seriousness of our current situation. He cites Paul Krugman (really) in his attempt to enlighten me.

Not suprisingly I disagree.

Has the administration been perfect in its handling of this - no.

You don't think Conyers and Ramsey Clark are playing politics? No, I guess not, only Republicans can do something dirty like that - Democrats are just voicing their conscience.

The Senate voted 77-23 to approve the use of force against Iraq - more than a super-majority. Are all of them knuckle-dragging, redneck Texans? Apparently they thought the issue was important enough to threaten the use of force. So yes, I think that the prospect of the ranking Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee suing the President over his Iraq policy and meeting with the notorious America-hater Ramsey Clark to discuss the possibility of impeachment is worthy of note and should be taken advantage of politically. Conyers is trying to make a political statement with his actions and I think it should be brought out into the light and made an issue of. The fact that I think his actions are laughable and that he is an idiot doesn't make me any less serious about the impending war.

Believe it or not, it is possible to disagree with John Conyers, Ramsey Clark, Paul Krugman, the Dixie Chicks and Jaques Chirac and still be right.

All states negotiate from self-interest. It is senseless to compromise to the point where the overarching policy goal is no longer attainable.

The US and its true allies (UK, Australia, Spain, Italy, Poland, Romania, etc.) want Saddam removed from power, the Frecnch, Russians, Germans, and Chinese don't. I don't see how further negotiations would change that.

The UN would never have passed 1441 if they hadn't understood that the US was serious and prepared to take military action to enforce the Iraq's disarmarment obligations. Regional allies would never have let us build up forces in the region unless they were convinced that we would use them if Hussein did not fully comply. They don't want another round of ineffective air strikes that impose more suffering on the Iraqi people, anger their own citizens and leave Hussein in power.

Without the troops in place we have no leverage either with the Iraqis or the French. Now that the force is in place, there is a limited amount of time during which it is politically sustainable. The Iraqis have had five months since 1441 (and 12 years overall) to do what the cease fire agreement called for them to do in sixty days. The only point in continuing to call for extensions is to protect the regime - it should be clear to everyone by now that there will be no compliance. If we fail to use our troops to depose Hussein now, we won't have another opportunity until he invades another neighbor because Kuwait and our other allies in the region will refuse to take us seriously ever again. And if Saddam gets a nuke before that happens (and you can bet he won't take action UNLESS he has one) then we won't be able to mount another "Desert Storm" operation against him.

Blair is in some trouble, although I think it is exaggerated by the mainstream media, because the French have been successful at delaying the invasion. Part of the goal of French diplomacy IS to destabilize Blair and establish French domination of the EU. How do we negotiate with them over that?

Is it arrogant to tell the French that we aren't going to put up with their obstructionism on this issue anymore? No. Is this spate of anti-Americanism all the result of Bush's post 9-11 policy? No.

I would like the Western Europeans to have had the common sense to be on our side on this (the Eastern Europeans ARE on our side). It is ironic that the people (excepting the British, Spanish and Italians) we spent two world wars and forty five Cold War years defending don't have the fortitude or insight to take on the real "bullies" of the world yet the formerly oppressed citizens of the Warsaw pact do.

Tragically, the only real hope for a peaceful solution to this was dashed, not by Bush's arrogance, but by Chirac's and Schroeder's. If they were as concerned as they say about Iraqi disarmarment they should have presented a united front. Chirac could have gone to Hussein and said, "Listen, we are not going to put up with this any more. We will negotiate with the Americans to give you a reasonable time to fully comply with 1441. If you try to hold back in any way, any way whatsoever, we will join the Americans in a coalition that will remove you from power."

Instead, the French actively worked to cobble together a group of nations opposed to our position. They have been stirring up the anti-Americanism. And by taking the position that they will veto ANY new resolution they have reassured Hussein that there is SOME hope that invasion can be averted without his capitulation to the UN's demands. To me, THAT is unilateralism, THAT is appeasement, THAT is hypocrisy, THAT IS TRUE ARROGANCE.

Thursday, March 13, 2003


Drudge reports that: "House Judiciary ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.) assembled more than two-dozen prominent liberal attorneys and legal scholars on Tuesday to mull over articles of impeachment drafted against President Bush by activists seeking to block military action against Saddam Hussein. ROLL CALL is reporting on Thursday.

The two-hour session, which featured former attorney general-turned-activist Ramsey Clark, took place in the downtown office of a prominent Washington tort lawyer. Participants said Conyers, who hosted the meeting, was the only Member of Congress to attend. 'We had a pretty frank discussion about putting in a bill of impeachment against President Bush,' said Francis Boyle, an Illinois law professor who has been working on the impeachment language with Clark."

I love it. Conyers and Ramsey Clark...why didn't he invite Noam Chomsky? I'm sure he would have had plenty to contribute.

Maybe I was asleep, but I don't seem to remember Conyers calling for Clinton's impeachment over Operation Desert Fox? I guess in his mind it's OK to bomb people for not complying with UN resolutions as long as you have no intention of invading and solving the problem.

I suppose we should just had control of our military over to France? If they say no then we should just pack our bags, huh. I don't think the resolution that the Senate passed authorizing the use of force against Iraq said anything about gaining the approval of the French, Russians or Chinese.

This is really funny. Terry McAuliffe has got to be gagging - his people in congress are shooting themselves in the foot every day. And when the war goes smoothly, with thousands of soldiers surrendering to us at the onset and the Iraqi people welcoming US troops as liberators, this hysterical hand-wringing is going to boomerang.

If things go well it will KILL Kerry's candidacy (but if things go well Bush is probably unbeatable anyway). But the real concern for Democrats should be that all of these loony statements by Conyers, Murray, Kaptur, Moran and others will destroy their chances to take over control of either the Senate or the House.

That's why I'm laughing instead of spewing bile. Go Conyers!

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Marcy Kaptur D-Ohio chimes in: "One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown," Miss Kaptur said.

Wow. Mark Racicot's job just gets easier by the day.



"If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq we would not be doing this," Moran said, in comments first reported by the Reston Connection and confirmed by Moran. "The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going and I think they should."

Moran has labored to emerge from a string of personal financial problems and ethics controversies over his acceptance of loans from parties with interests before him. Jewish activists said the episode threatened to make Moran the Democratic Party's Trent Lott, ...

Moran's relationship with pro-Israel organizations and American Jewish leaders has steadily worsened in recent years over his pro-Palestinian stands in the Middle East conflict, interpretation of Israeli history and acceptance of campaign cash from individuals sympathetic to the terrorist organization Hamas or under investigation for terrorist ties.

At a time when we are on the brink of sending our troops to war, a Democratic Senator toes the Islamofacist party line - "the J-E-W-S did it!".

I wonder how many times his comments will be quoted in the Arab world as "proof" of Zionist influence in Washington?


Plaintiffs -- including Democratic Reps. John Conyers of Michigan and James McDermott of Washington -- argued Congress had neither declared war nor taken any action to give Bush the power to wage it.

This is a fantastic demonstration of why the International Criminal Court is a horrible idea.

If I'm the Chair of the Republican National Committee I start cranking out the posters of Conyers and McDermott RIGHT NOW!

I have been accused of not taking the high road of conservative discourse - my response:

"Butt Sucking Appeasement Weasel" is a play on "Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey" - if you are accusing me of enjoying making fun of the French I plead guilty (but they also deserve it for being, well, appeasers of a mass murdering despot).

The Iraqis were ordered to disarm within 60 days IN 1991 BY THE COALITION. I think it is EXTREMELY disingenuous (to be nice about it) of the French to argue that they didn't realize that the "serious consequences" referenced in 1441 meant "cooperate fully immediately or we invade". They can "interpret" it differently now but that really is diplomatic bullshit. They KNEW exactly what that language meant.

The questions are these - 1) do you believe that the inspectors will be able to disarm Iraq in the absence of Iraqi cooperation and 2) will even the EXTREMELY limited cooperation that the Iraqis are currently exhibiting (in my opinion the absolute minimum that Saddam calculates is necessary to support French and Russian obstructionism) evaporate once the pressure of impending invasion is lifted?

I don't have much faith in the inspectors. Their track record suggests that they are ineffective without inside information and that they sometimes soft-pedal violations for political reasons (example: Blix does not mention the drone aircraft constructed to deliver chem/bio weapons that Iraq claims they don't have). And once the American (not UN please note) military presence is reduced I guarantee that inspections get nowhere.

So, what the French are really asking is that we keep troops in the region indefinitely while Hussein continues to defy Security Council resolutions (and violate the Gulf War cease fire) by refusing to turn over the information that we know is readily at his disposal.

I don't really think Chirac is stupid enough to be holding out hope that Hussein will actually ever comply. I think he knows that he won't and therefore I must conclude that the French position is not to support the disarmarment of Iraq but rather to prevent it. This makes France not an ally with a difference of opinion but an adversary.

Do you really think that any experienced diplomat has ANY hope that Hussein will have a change of heart and cooperate fully? I don't.

France is no longer an ally - most likely this state of affairs has existed for some time, there just hasn't been a significant enough test of the alliance since the collapse of the Soviet Union to expose the rift.

The shared threat of the Soviet military held France (loosely) in alliance with America and Britain during the Cold War. We no longer share an even roughly common vision of world affairs.

Given the apparent French view that the United States is a greater threat to the progress of world freedom and security than the proliferation of nuclear weapons into the hands of mass-murdering dictators, it will not be possible to bridge the gap between us.

Monday, March 10, 2003

The Skeptician sums it up nicely (hat tip to USS Clueless):

France's position is, therefore, quite clear:

Opposition to inspections
Opposition to ending inspections
Opposition to continuing inspections
Categorical opposition to military action
Clear support for military action
Oppositon to sanctions
Need for a timetable
Refusal of any deadline
Opposition to any Iraqi noncompliance
Permission of various types of Iraqi noncompliance

He provides links for each of the above points which I am too lazy to reproduce here. Go read it.

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