March 31, 2005

S.M Stirling's The Prince coauthored with Jerry Pournelle

I've just finished reading The Prince, which is a collection of the entire Falkenberg Legions and Sparta storylines they have ever written, and I must say that this bundle was better than the synopsis led me to believe. It delves deeply into the near future and a culture that we see the signs of, but have not irreversibly doomed ourselves too. It explores human nature, government, and the role of the military when everything has fallen down. It explores this through Falkenberg, a military genius. There's a lot of fun watching him solve problems using his military force on various worlds colonized by the CoDominium. And the last two stories, were more gripping than the others. Because while Falkenberg fought for a concept, civilization, rather than any particular nation it was always easier to see his mercenaries as professionals in the farflung future. Not so with Sparta, the Spartan militia and brotherhoods reminded me all too often of the American revolution, the American founding fathers, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This world of The Prince, is a world where America never became a hegemon, never became sole superpower, and therefore never pushed the Soviet Union to disperse. This is a world where colonies, like Sparta, have to fight a war of Independence from the criminals that the homeworld sends to them as refuse. The criminals use classic terroist and guerrila tactics, the same ones they are using in Iraq. The terroists kill, hit and raid, kidnap, and perform all sorts of atrocities without any consideration for the rule of law or the laws of war. Thereby excluding themselves from law itself.

Except the guerrilas have the backing of the only superpower that exists in the story, which is the CoDominium. Iraq has the backing of Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. Minor powers at best. To see them fight such an insurgency to create a life without terrorism for their children on Sparta, was very gripping and brought home just how lucky we are to be living in an age where the American hegemony still exists, still exists to fight terrorism rather than appeasing it or using it as a means to take over our enemies.

March 30, 2005

A deserter is surprised!!

Pablo, take note:

The only surprising element about how this story has unfolded is that it took this long for the Navy to formally charge you. We can only guess as to the reasons behind the delay. Perhaps the Navy just wanted to make sure they did a very thorough investigation before moving forward. Maybe the powers-that-be believed a delay might stifle some of the excitement about your case in the anti-war movement. More likely, there was some bureaucratic SNAFU that had to be worked out.

Regardless, the outcome of the investigation was inevitable. You did, in fact, miss ship’s movement, by your own design. You did, in fact, take an unauthorized leave of absence from your assigned duty station. These are the charges against you.

What did you expect? I’ll bet someone convinced you that if you filed a very thorough conscientious objector package, there was a chance that those charges would never be filed. I’ll bet you thought that chaplain’s endorsement of your CO package was your silver bullet. I’ll bet you thought the Navy was going to quietly let you go, to avoid a big stink.

Well, as Red Forman might say: “Pablo, you’re a dumbass!”

EuroNews Part 4

Kosovo news

UN News and others

Investigators of the United Nations oil-for-food program in Iraq said yesterday there wasn't enough evidence to show that Secretary General Kofi Annan knew of a contract bid by his son's Swiss employer. However, they criticized the UN chief for not properly investigating possible conflicts of interest in the matter.

Annan cleared... and you can believe as much of that as you want.

Crude futures gained only slightly on Wednesday, staying above $54 a barrel after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it has suspended talks on a second output increase.

If I didn't know better, I would think they are trying to squeeze us for money. Of course, I do know better, they are squeezing us because of fear of reform and free market forces that would break Opec's monopoly if Iraq started selling oil cheaper.

The UN has run Kosovo since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid grave human rights abuses in the fighting between Serbs and Albanians. Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo outnumber other ethnic groups, mainly Serbs, by about 9 to 1.
The Iraqi people and American foreign policy dodged a terminal blow when the UN pulled out of Baghdad. I guess we can thank the terroists for doing that, if nothing else. When push comes to shove, the UN turns tail, but it is also when the US shines the most.

He either fears his fate too much
Or his deserts are small
Who dares not put it to the touch
To win or lose it all.

We should all remember that, lest we give the UN any legitimacy in Iraq. I always suspected Bush's appeasement of the UN and world international affairs on the advice of Tony Blair and Colin Powell were a dangerous and misguided policy.

EuroNews Part 1
EuroNews Part 2
EuroNews Part 3

Bleach Episode 25

Bleach's Episode 25 has some interesting differences with Naruto. In that in Bleach's episode, the humour is spaced quite evenly through the 18 minutes. That means however, that when anything serious comes up, it never stays serious. There's always some absurdity going on or something else equally laughable. While it's funny, for sure, it totally ruins the seriousness of that particular segment.

When they're in a human spirit cannon-ball and they're about to hit a shield and get separated, the episode still depicts the rivalry between Ichigo and an Indiginous Forces ally in ridiculous terms. This kind of warping between seriousness and the threat of imminent death with humour and absurdities, is very unsettling. Unlike Naruto, which paces humour into one episode.

You will clearly know which episodes of Naruto are the funny ones and which are the serious "mission" orientated ones. It is consistent with the story arc as well, some story arcs are small and funny while others are long and serious.

No need for legal guardians

Terry Schiavo might be palatable to those who worry not for Judge Greer's impartiality, but who are they trying to kidd here by saying ADJUDICATION without jurires are A-Okay?

KEVIN adds: Not just state-approved, but state-ordered. If the mother had agreed that there was no hope, that's one thing. But to go against her wishes is abusive. Nanny-statism at its worst.

The Roman Legion

Great overviews of the organization and political influences of the Roman Legion.

March 29, 2005

The no death penalty slippery slope

No death penalty means real criminals are treated as the victims. That is just how it is.

March 26, 2005

Michael Totten and the collapse of the Conservative Coalition

Michael Totten is smoking something when he says the conservative majority is breaking up, seriously. This is a guy that when he went and traveled to Tunisia, as he does to everywhere else in the world, is surprised that is he greeted with some sort of celebrity status simply because he told them he was an American. He just didn't seem to understand the why, because he asked a German friend at time visiting Tunisia as well, if they were invited to tea with Tunisians all the time. He didn't get why Americans were considered, because he does not understand the psychology nor the basic human motivations that drive all of us. Humans want order, but with too much order comes stagnation which requires chaos to keep in balance. Too much stagnation brings about total entropy, and too much chaos never brings about any balance of order at all. A world in chaos is the world composed of anarchists, and that is a world we do not want and are privilege to not live in.
Free advice for Republicans! Purge Tom DeLay. You pitched Newt Gingrich over the side, and he was far less worth the bother than the former vermin exterminator from Texas. (Good God, is it really that hard to find respectable normal people for the top roles in Congress?) Give James Dobson the Sister Souljah treatment. Give him the Energizer Bunny of Sister Souljah treatments until he bitterly hates your guts. (I know, I know, that’s about as likely as Nancy Pelosi kicking Michael Moore in the balls on national TV while wearing her heels.) If you think Dobson and his ilk can keep you in power while you’re pissing off the left, the center, and the center-right moderates you’re proving Jane’s Law all over again.

First of all, nowhere in his post does he mention how the Republicans already purged Pat Buchanan and the paleo-conservatives (i.e. the White Supremacists pi isolationists). Second of all, nowhere does he justify how anyone is stamping on the center or the center-right. Going on the word of Andrew Sullivan and those who would trust Sullivan's judgement is NOT my idea of credible.

Here, I'll show you why.

The “conservative majority” sure didn’t last very long.

Eric Deamer volunteered for a get-out-the-vote campaign to re-elect President Bush in New Hampshire. He even had a gun pointed at his head for his efforts. But now he regrets that decision and pens his own essay in the emerging “buyer’s remorse” genre among intellectuals of the center and center-right.

To justify this stance, he points to Deamer's post, which conveniently is based upon Andrew Sullivan's remarks. What a nice causal chain we have here, and the weakest link is Andrew Sullivan.

There is an emerging consensus among intellectuals of the center-right that the conservative movement is falling apart under the stewardship of the Bush administration and the Republicans in Congress. I'd heard talk like this for awhile and generally found it to be premature, but in this week of Schiavo and steroids the idea is now pretty much inarguable.
Well, well, well... I remember that there was a consensus that the conservatives who backed the war were now criticizing the hell out of it. People like Thomas Friedman for example. That was supposed to have been the sign of the end times, if you listened to people like Andrew Sullivan, which Beamer did. Too much talk about intellectuals will get to your head. And not in a good way.

So, let me portray this scenario as it is rather than how people would want it to be. The idea that the conservative coalition, which somehow won both 2002 and the 2004 elections, was splintering between the conservatives and the neo-conservatives, was shot the frack up by the January 30 elections and Fallujah 2 in general. It was shot to hell, and that was why you see Beamer saying it was premature. Victory renders all reports of defeat, "premature" in retrospect. In the Schiavo case, there is no victory as of yet, if any can even exist in such circumstances, so obviously you can't say in retrospect that the rumors of the breaking up of the conservative winning coalition was premature. What you (they) can say, like many said about the Iraq, was that it was going to the pots. And when they are proven wrong, they aren't worried because they can always be proven right sometime in the future. Which is right about now, it would seem.

Waiting for the conservatives to fight among themselves, is not an effective strategy for doing anything. It wasn't concerning the war on Iraq and it won't be concerning social and domestic issues.
Gone are the days when Ronald Reagan said: “The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralised authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.”
Have they learned absolutely nothing about the rants of some people concerning "neo-conservatives"? Just what do they think neo-conservatives are, if not a new brand of conservative?

What the Republican coalition is losing, is in fact the old isolationist, paleo-conservative remnants. Sort of like the Old Guard in Middle East terms. Old, tired out, got no fresh ideas nor youthful motivation.

Those days are not gone, they are simply over with. Ronald Reagan didn't have to fight the War on Terror, he had to fight the Russians while at the same time preventing a nuclear holocaust in every part of the globe. Small-government conservatism is just that, small. Very, very small. It is small because of the rules of politics and of human beings. Human beings want things done for them, and they expect it out of their representatives. Just listen to the Schindler's demanding that Jeb Bush use his "powers" to save Terri from the hell "Bush" put her through. Interesting use of logic.

The only difference between small-government conservatives and neo-conservatives is that the small-government conservatives don't have any projects that cost a lot while the neo-conservatives do. It's all about what human beings want. If they want something that the federal government cannot give, then the logical progression is to have the federal government leave you alone. If a human being wants something more ambitious, government will have to be more involved. That, is just causality and causality is the basis of reality. Something to remember in the times ahead.

The Republicans have plans to intervene directly in many people’s lives — spending billions on sexual abstinence education, marriage counselling, anti-drug propaganda, a war on steroids, mentoring programmes for former prisoners, and on and on. Got a problem? Bush’s big government is here to help.

Are we going to stop ridiculing "compassionate conservatism" now or what?

Bush means what he says and says what he means. If some people repeated that a couple of times each day, they might understand some things that are lost on them.
Where Republicans once believed that states should have priority over the federal government, Bush has pushed in the opposite direction.

I don't remember Abraham Lincoln saying the states somehow had "priority" over the federal government. Then again, I actually know the history of the United States.

If the federal government is to be the government of the people and by the people, then it can't allow some other state with plenipotentiary powers and sovereign rights to interfere with the federal government's social compact to the people. The federal government is the one that guarantees your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with their highways, military, and strong central executive command structures. As well as the organizational charts required to mobilize the defenses and economy of 50 disparate but conjoined states. States are there because a local government is better able to represent people's "interests" which are not so dissimilar to mob rule all in all. Organizationally, a state is structured the same way as the federal government, but realistically the differences are more than skin deep.

Republicans never believed that the state had priority over the federal government. The Republicans have always believed in the power and importance of INDIVIDUAL rights. The power of the people, cannot be abridged and filtered through a state and then to the federal government. Americans fought a Civil War putting that issue down once and for all. They were reluctant to give power to the federal government because they believed the state was their only government at the time of the Revolutionary War when the Republicans were formed.

The state does not guarantee your rights, not ever.
This long blog post by Sullivan also makes some good points. He includes a pretty damning quote from Fred Barnes which makes it clear that in his view concerns over due process under the constitution are to be trumped by the religious Rights interpretation of morality (in the Schiavo case).
Gee, I hadn't realized Fred Barnes was the face of the Republican conservative coalition nor that he was a representative of the Republican conservative coalition in government... [/sarcasm]

Of course, he is neither, so somehow Fred Barnes is the justification for threatening signs to the Republican coalition? Get Real.

And George's appeal to "civil rights" depends, of course, on what you mean by "civil rights." Where gays are concerned, George's belief is that gays have no fundamental civil rights with respect to marriage or even private consensual sex.

Andrew Sullivan's pet issue is the gay rights dang. A black man has the same civil rights as a white man, the right to life (no lynchings by the KKK), liberty (No miscarriages of justice here by a white jury), and the pursuit of happiness (Which means you have the self-determination to pock yourself or make something of yourself). Roosevelt added a freedom to the list, but that's why he also served 4 terms as President.

So, when Sullivan says "civil rights", what the heck does he mean? If gays have all the rights to a common law marriage but is classified as a civil union simply be feat that they are woman-woman and man-man rather than the usual hetereosexual mix, what legal or moral or constitutional rights are they denied? From listening to gay activists, I can tell you. They are denied the right to "acceptance". Because they know they are different and apart, they want to force real married couples to recognize them as being no different from them in moral terms. Therefore, it is logical to force the issue via the courts and through legislation. Which they tried, but which also failed.

The right to free speech is part of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Because without a free conscience, there can be none of the above. But the right to free speech nowhere dictates that you have to accept what other people want, simply because they declared their wants. If a group of people wanted to be recognized for who they are, they should stop trying to coerce people through courts. Instead, they should meet them face to face and try and convince these people over through free speech. Just as the proper response to the Churchill dang was to expose him with more of his own free speech, the proper response to gay marriage is to treat them equally, but without saying everything that the homosexuals want us to say. Freedom of conscience, but not freedom of action. Sullivan, in concentrating on giving gays whatever they want, tramples on the rights of everyone who disagrees. Is burning the flag, right or wrong? What the pock does that matter, you can't STOP them from doing so, not with violence or legal force of any kind. You can't force hetereosexuals to believe something is right when they believe something is wrong, not unless you want the position of Big Brother. You can and should force hetereosexuals to treat homosexuals as equals.

Given a man of such limited capacity to judge the veracity of issues, it is no wonder he is absolutely clueless concerning what "George's" real position on gays are. Maybe he should have listened more closely to the candid taped telephone conversations that appeared a few months ago.
When Sullivan went on about this stuff in the past I used to think he was being a bit overwrought. Who can argue now? I still think his criticism of Bush's conduct of the war has been far too harsh.
A man of such vaunted and perceptive a mind as Sullivan, obviously got everything right about Iraq... I don't think so.

Not even close, actually. There are two major kinds of people who supported the war. The "realists" and the "idealists". Neo-conservatives combine both, which is why I don't include them. The Realists are the ones left over in the conservative coalition from the Cold War days, when they thought anything good for American national security was good for the world. That wasn't exactly so, however.

The idealists were the ones that said anything that achieved their ideals, was good for both American and the world. Obviously, that could be problematic if their ideals were bad. However, in the case of the Iraq war, our ideals were liberty and justice for all. And the only downside to liberty is that it requires blood and vigiliance to both acquire and maintain.

In short, idealists were ready for a high price. The realists' entire objective was to give America a sort of tax exemption. So after the victory party that was the fall of Baghdad, both idealists like me and realists like Friedman and Sullivan and Beamer, thought the war was over and the easy part to come. Obviously, that kind of morale high has its consequences when we hit reality. Just as it had consequences for the Republicans and Lincoln in the first year of the Civil War, when the Union almost took RIchmond and ended the war until they were pushed back by a number of successive Confederate victories. Obviously, the Union's high morale sunk into near ZERO when that occured. But human beings are variable and react differently.

That is why the realists started nagging about this and that, left and right when they were unhappy about the casualties and the nada nada. Whatever, they were worried and upset and felt betrayed because of their morale has gone from sky high to somewhere approaching freezing. The idealists like me, felt the pain of the casualties, but we took the drop from the high morale better than most. Because we were already prepared to lose much in the fight to gain something greater than the sum of its parts. Liberty was the goal, and liberty requires much sacrifice because it provides for all other things. It is like the First Cause in causality, the basis of reality. Rather like the first reaction of a series of chain reactions that ultimately create an atomic explosion. And like a chain reaction, the difficulty lies not in maintaing the chain reaction but in getting enough activation energy to start the first reaction. Of course, atomics power cities and submarines as well as make bombs.

The realists really did think war was a game and would be won because America was a superpower, they really really did. And they were surprised when human ingenuity in the form of guerrila and terroist attacks came. Surpise is the one thing that nobody can be prepared for. A surprise is the only time when your plan survives contact with the surprised enemy.

And that is why Totten needs to stop smoking and see reality as it is. Because until Michael Totten - the liberal that took until 29 years of age to figure out that college liberal activism was sort of wrong somehow - figures out that realists and idealists in the "conservative coalition" are motivated by different things, he wil keep seeing things through a smoky haze.
In fact, there's a case to be made by someone less dull-witted than I that, by engaging in the bold gambit of invading Iraq, Bush and his cabinet set in motion such powerful forces of change in the Middle East that anyone could have been the next president and simply watched the positive developments in Lebanon and elsewhere. Kerry, of course, would then have been trumpeted as the great liberalizer of the Arab world by the mainstream press. But hey, history is full of ironies right?

In conclusion, this quote has so many things wrong with it I don't know where to start.

First, Bush is like Lincoln. Lincoln could have started the Civil War and then obtained Antietnam, then declared the Emancipation Proclamation, and people would argue as you've heard it now that Lincoln has already done what was necessary and that any buffon could take the Presidency and win the War of the States to a satisfactory conclusion.

The reality is, the people who understand reality enough to begin a war that is necessary are the only people can who bring that war to a successful conclusion. Vietnam should have taught us that, if nothing else had.

When people say Bush has done enough, what they really mean is that they believe the war in Iraq constitutes the time between the invasion and the fall of Baghdad. The reality is, the war "in" Iraq means the War on Terror that is fought in the theater that is the ME, specifically Iraq. Not that OIF was a war in itself. Operation Iraqi Freedom was only one operation, a battle you might say, of a much greater conflict. Just as the Battle of Fallujah 2 was. There is no such thing as winning the peace after winning the war, when we took more casualties winning the peace than winning the war. That's not a peace, that's a war preceded by one single successful battle of that war that was misrepresented by the media as the end all and be all to victory in Iraq.

Kerry, of course, would then have been trumpeted as the great liberalizer of the Arab world by the mainstream press. But hey, history is full of ironies right?

As to history being full of ironies, I believe what would have happened is that Kerry would have told every other country in the world that they were on their own when dealing with totalitarianism and fascism and what not in his state of the union speech. 180 degrees different from what Bush had said. Therefore, Lebanon would have feared Syrian reprisals far more than the Syrians feared a Lebanese reprisal. Saddam proved very well how long he could stay in power so long as the United States trusted the UN to do everything of worth in the world. Saddam is a lesson every Middle Easterner knows. And when Kerry gets elected because of a defeatist will even after taking Saddam off, but not killing him, every other dictator would have realized that America really was a paper tiger.

This means that instead of Kerry presiding over the successes in the Middle East, Kerry would have presided over massive relatialiations by the tyrannies just like Tianamen Square. And people would have said that Bush was the fault of it all, and was not (in a snide way) free from dealing with the consequences of his actions.

It is true, history is full of ironies.

UPDATE:Beirut is being terrorized.

If you were living in Beirut, would you be pleased and consoled by the words of a Kerry administration that the war on Terror was a "police action"? Would you face bombs in order to protest, when you know the entire world has forgotten you? Those who believe Kerry would have presided over the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, are way too optimistic in their reality predictions. As least when their predictions conform to their prejudices, they are.

March 22, 2005

Democrats are the rich and useless

If conservatives are self-made millionares and self-reliant individuals, why do most people believe Republicans host the most "big business" proponents?
Because they haven't been checking the new demographics, that is why.

Where can you find trustfunders? Not scattered randomly around the country, but heavily concentrated in certain areas. Places with kicky restaurants, places tolerant of alternative lifestyles, places with lots of art galleries and organic food stores and Starbucks competitors. The heaviest concentration is in the San Francisco Bay area, which, Kotkin says, has the largest percentage of trustfunders of any major metro area in the country.

Lance from Iraq Part 2

Aside from the military trying to get as much experience for their respective branches through Operation Iraqi Freedom, it is still a pretty good piece of humour, both respectively grim and frivolous.

The sort of thing a Christian might do to prevent bad luck, adding one to 666 to avoid bad Omens.

Lance in Iraq

Thank freaking GOD that the UN refused to help out in Iraq, derailing Bush's rather multilateral and all too sentimental policy of coalition building. We dodged a great and dangerous bullet the moment when the UN pulled out of Iraq, with their dicks between their legs. I never trusted the UN, and the thought that we were trying to get their "help" in Iraq was sickening.

So Matt wants to inflict UN troops guilty of horrible crimes against humanity on innocent Iraqi men, women and children and have US taxpayers fund it. A major omission in this article that is the fault of the Tennessean writer or editor is that President Bush spent 1 1/2 years before the war asking the UN to get involved (by enforcing their own resolutions) and they refused. We asked them to get involved in the rebuilding process and they refused. Mr. Leber needs to either start reading the newspaper or take an ethics class.

March 20, 2005

1984 Flashback

Oceania has never been at war with East Asia. Oceania was East Asia's ally.

Peace is War, Ignorance is freedom, and love is hate. Let's all say the refrain, because certainly the NYTimes will hire such a one as us if we do.

In a stunning about-face, the New York Times reported Sunday that when the U.S. attacked Iraq in March 2003, Saddam Hussein possessed "stockpiles of monitored chemicals and materials," as well as sophisticated equipment to manufacture nuclear and biological weapons, which was removed to "a neighboring state" before the U.S. could secure the weapons sites.

British Dhimmitude in American Universities?

Roger L. Simon tipped me to the outrageous story of DePaul University Professor Thomas Klocek, who has been suspended after a verbal altercation with Muslim student groups.

The Chicago Jewish News has an account of the confrontation; if this is accurate, professor Klocek is apparently guilty of nothing more than expressing pro-Israel views in the face of extremist Palestinian propaganda, including the ever-present canards about Rachel Corrie:
That is totally, wack.

March 19, 2005

Bolton for UN Ambassador

Pretty funny and truthful quotes from Bolton

UPDATE:Mark Steyn analyzes

LGF video clip of Bolton speaking.
Bolton is MY kind of man for a UN position. Heck, I think he might even enjoy mouthing off at these "foreigners".

"If I were redoing the Security Council, I'd have one permanent member: the United States."
—On the UN Security Council

I love that quote. So truthful.

Euronews Part 3

EuroNews Part 2
Dutch piece on the hero worship of the Killer of Van Gogh.

A report on what happened to free speech in the Netherlands, or lack of it.

Britain, the land of inclusion and sensitivity. Now shits on the Jews for sensitivity.

A report from Britain concerning radical Muslims in their country.

The Muslim Brotherhood's grips in Britain.

Nothing in Nottingham.

In the late 1980s -- well before Mr Green's watch -- I happened to spend some time in Nottingham looking in depth at the drug problem. What I found was astonishing. It was not just the explosion of crack cocaine in the city. It was the extraordinarily short-sighted strategy being pursued by the police at that time to contain it. To be more precise, it was a strategy not to contain it. It seemed to consist of police setting up surveillance over crack houses, which they watched for month after month without making any arrests. Instead, they were lying in wait to catch 'Mr Big'. But there was no 'Mr Big'. Instead, the nature of crack cocaine addiction and trade being what it is, there was a relentless procession of Mr (ands Ms) Littles, all buying -- and then turning into dealers, and getting bigger and bigger, and spawning more dealers among the people buying from them; and so on, and appallingly on. Meanwhile, the Notts police did little apart from watch -- so much so that crack cocaine was being dealt openly in cafes in the Radford Road, a few yards down from the police station itself.

Europe is pocking going to the shits. America has bigger fish to fry than Europe's problems with their identity. Though any future World Wars must factor in the assumption that Europe is going Jihad on us possibly in the next 50 years, or 2 generations whichever comes first. Or however soon Muslims can get elected to be PM in France, thereby ordering the launching of nukes on us.

2 year anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom

A post from wayy back in 2004 before the elections of November and January. It gives the case on a basis of pro-war pro-Kerry voting. It is not very persuasive even back when I read it, but I believe it is a nice piece of history to look back on given all we know now.

PDF Document outlining timeline of Operation Iraqi Freedom. A good overview of OIF, for those interested.

Now I'm going to quote some parts of the hraka article and the comments to it. In order to use the hindsight of 2005 to answer the premonitions and the arguments against Bush in 2004. Nice timetravel trick, eh?
"A house divided against itself cannot stand," Abraham Lincoln once said. Even the greatest of optimists, with the rosiest of outlooks, would have to admit that at this point in time the United States is a house divided against itself.

Is responded by,
4. Abraham Lincoln. It is supremely ironic that you would include a quote from President Lincoln, who next to George Bush was probably the most hated and reviled wartime president in US history. Lincoln, who, like Bush, did not win a majority of votes, was disliked by members of his own cabinet, and is hated by many in the South to this very day. Lincoln was not popular until it was obvious the North was going to win, and he was not "beloved" until John Wilkes Booth blew his brains out.

For those one-issue WoT voters, it's time to consider sucking it up and taking one for the team. It's time to start wondering if the presidency of George W. Bush is more of an impediment than an aid when it comes to defeating the Islamists.

It's time to think about voting Kerry in 2004.

As one commentor perceptively pointed out, that is saying that Republicans can suck it up and take on for the nation when it comes to the War on Terror but that the Democrats can't if Bush is President. Rather unjust, don't you think, that those who can put partisan interests above national security will be rewarded with the power of the White House?

The argument for Kerry and against Bush, in that blog post, is a couple of folds.

1. Kerry will be a uniter and have more support to do what we can to win the war globally.

2. Bush has pionered the hard steps and now we can have a more stable, different kind of leader take the reigns.

3. America has a greater chance to win the war if she is united, rather than divided.

Number one is only partially correct, because while Kerry may have less opposition from our so called allies, that doesn't mean he will take advantage of that through using his will over his allies. What he can do, means nothing if he won't do it.

Number 2 is flawed based upon justice. The party that did the hard parts should get the credit. Just as if JFK started Vietnam and concluded Vietnam, he should get the credit for ending Vietnam rather than Nixon. But usually this doesn't factor into the equation, because the party that did not do the hard work, cannot accomplish the goals and therefore they don't get the credit for ending anything. I.E. Vietnam and John F. Kennedy.

Kerry cannot take the reigns because those without the courage to volunteer do not have the courage to stand against the fire.

Number 3 is hinged upon Albraham Lincoln and the historical details concerning him. As mentioned before, Lincoln was a very divided figure, as evidenced by the fact that a couple of states seceded because of him being elected. A "divider" in the literal sense, not just the metaphorical sense that is applied to Bush.

And of course, the question and the challenge facing Lincoln was how to prosecute the war to a victorious conclusion without losing the House to the Democrats and thereby eliminating any chance of a reunited Union. Lincoln did this through two things, Antietam and the Emancipation Proclamation. The victory at Antietam led to the Emancipation Proclamation and both lead to the victory of the House Republicans over the dovelike House Democrats.

As historically proven, unity comes after victory, not before. Being unified as a prerequisite for victory, is unrealistic and foolish. Because without victory, there can be no unity, whether of the Union or of the nation as it is right now.

As we are witnessing the after-effects of the January 30th elections in Iraq, we are seeing the unity. The unity that only VICTORY could ever have brought about.

Electing John Kerry would have been an acknowledgement that we were losing, that we needed new leadership and new policies and new strategies because the current ones lack "uomph" or something akin to it. Because the American people reaffirmed Bush, the Iraqi people affirmed their trust in America for the first time in our promises to stand by them against all enemies foreign and domestic in Iraq and the Middle East. Because the Iraqi people affirmed their trust in us, the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon occured because now the Lebanese are affirming their independence because they can now trust AMERICA to not forget them as we forgot the Iraqis of Gulf War 1 with the usual predictable results. Having realized that they have partial immunity from Syria's "Hama" rules because of America the all seeing eye, Lebanon has now been free to demonstrate with 1 out of 4 million of their population.

March 18, 2005

Nanotechnology News

The difference between nano-particles and programmed pre-engineered nanobots.

That is what the article is about.

Ward Churchill revealed

The transcript is as follows:

“You siphoned a half million ripped off from Gadhafi.

How many other thousand dollars have you taken from the native people’s struggles?

You keep it up and I won’t just stand and look at you next time.

You understand what I’m saying fat boy turned skinny?

You decrepit old (expletive)”

Freedom of speech is great ain't it?

There's link in the 9news site at the top. It gives you the audio clip of the transcript, pretty easily recognized as Churchill. Via LGF.

WMD Re-reversal Part 2

AGHDAD, Iraq, March 12 - In the weeks after Baghdad fell in April 2003, looters systematically dismantled and removed tons of machinery from Saddam Hussein's most important weapons installations, including some with high-precision equipment capable of making parts for nuclear arms, a senior Iraqi official said this week in the government's first extensive comments on the looting.


The Iraqi official, Sami al-Araji, the deputy minister of industry, said it appeared that a highly organized operation had pinpointed specific plants in search of valuable equipment, some of which could be used for both military and civilian applications, and carted the machinery away.

Dr. Araji said his account was based largely on observations by government employees and officials who either worked at the sites or lived near them.

"They came in with the cranes and the lorries, and they depleted the whole sites," Dr. Araji said. "They knew what they were doing; they knew what they want. This was sophisticated looting."

The threat posed by these types of facilities was cited by the Bush administration as a reason for invading Iraq, but the installations were left largely unguarded by allied forces in the chaotic months after the invasion.

Dr. Araji's statements came just a week after a United Nations agency disclosed that approximately 90 important sites in Iraq had been looted or razed in that period.

Satellite imagery analyzed by two United Nations groups - the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, or Unmovic - confirms that some of the sites identified by Dr. Araji appear to be totally or partly stripped, senior officials at those agencies said. Those officials said they could not comment on all of Dr. Araji's assertions, because the groups had been barred from Iraq since the invasion.

For nearly a year, the two agencies have sent regular reports to the United Nations Security Council detailing evidence of the dismantlement of Iraqi military installations and, in a few cases, the movement of Iraqi gear to other countries. In addition, a report issued last October by the chief American arms inspector in Iraq, Charles A. Duelfer, told of evidence of looting at crucial sites.

The disclosures by the Iraqi ministry, however, added new information about the thefts, detailing the timing, the material taken and the apparent skill shown by the thieves.

Dr. Araji said equipment capable of making parts for missiles as well as chemical, biological and nuclear arms was missing from 8 or 10 sites that were the heart of Iraq's dormant program on unconventional weapons. After the invasion, occupation forces found no unconventional arms, and C.I.A. inspectors concluded that the effort had been largely abandoned after the Persian Gulf war in 1991.

Dr. Araji said he had no evidence regarding where the equipment had gone. But his account raises the possibility that the specialized machinery from the arms establishment that the war was aimed at neutralizing had made its way to the black market or was in the hands of foreign governments.

"Targeted looting of this kind of equipment has to be seen as a proliferation threat," said Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, a private nonprofit organization in Washington that tracks the spread of unconventional weapons.

Dr. Araji said he believed that the looters themselves were more interested in making money than making weapons.

The United Nations, worried that the material could be used in clandestine bomb production, has been hunting for it, largely unsuccessfully, across the Middle East. In one case, investigators searching through scrap yards in Jordan last June found specialized vats for highly corrosive chemicals that had been tagged and monitored as part of the international effort to keep watch on the Iraqi arms program. The vessels could be used for harmless industrial processes or for making chemical weapons.

American military officials in Baghdad did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the findings. But American officials have said in the past that while they were aware of the importance of some of the installations, there was not enough military personnel to guard all of them during and after the invasion.

White House officials, apprised of the Iraqi account by The New York Times, said it was already well known that many weapons sites had been looted. They had no other comment.

Daily Looting Reports

Many of Iraq's weapons sites are clustered in an area from Baghdad's southern outskirts to roughly the town of Iskandariya, about 30 miles south. Dr. Araji, who like many others at the Industry Ministry kept going to work immediately after the invasion, was able to collect observations of the organized looting from witnesses who went to the ministry in Baghdad each day.

The Industry Ministry also sent teams of engineers to the looted sites in August and September of 2003 as part of an assessment undertaken for the Coalition Provisional Authority, the interim American-led administrative apparatus. By then, virtually all of the most refined equipment was gone, Dr. Araji said.

The peak of the organized looting, Dr. Araji estimates, occurred in four weeks from mid-April to mid-May of 2003 as teams with flatbed trucks and other heavy equipment moved systematically from site to site. That operation was followed by rounds of less discriminating thievery.

"The first wave came for the machines," Dr. Araji said. "The second wave, cables and cranes. The third wave came for the bricks."

Hajim M. al-Hasani, the minister of industry, referred questions about looting to Dr. Araji, who commented during a lengthy interview conducted in English in his office on Wednesday and a brief phone interview on Friday.

Dr. Araji said that if the equipment had left the country, its most likely destination was a neighboring state.

David Albright, an authority on nuclear weaponry who is president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, said that Syria and Iran were the countries most likely to be in the market for the kind of equipment that Mr. Hussein purchased, at great cost, when he was secretly trying to build a nuclear weapon in the 1980's.

Losses at Enrichment Site

As examples of the most important sites that were looted, Dr. Araji cited the Nida Factory, the Badr General Establishment, Al Ameer, Al Radwan, Al Hatteen, Al Qadisiya and Al Qaqaa. Al Radwan, for example, was a manufacturing plant for the uranium enrichment program, with enormous machine tools for making highly specialized parts, according to the Wisconsin Project. The Nida Factory was implicated in both the nuclear program and the manufacture of Scud missiles.

Al Qaqaa, with some 1,100 structures, manufactured powerful explosives that could be used for conventional missile warheads and for setting off a nuclear detonation. Last fall, Iraqi government officials warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that some 377 tons of those explosives were missing after the invasion. But Al Qaqaa also contained a wide variety of weapons manufacturing machinery, including 800 pieces of chemical equipment.

The kinds of machinery at the various sites included equipment that could be used to make missile parts, chemical weapons or centrifuges essential for enriching uranium for atom bombs. All of that "dual use" equipment also has peaceful applications - for example, a tool to make parts for a nuclear implosion device or for a powerful commercial jet turbine.

Mr. Hussein's rise to power in Iraq culminated in his military building not only deadly missiles but many unconventional arms. After the 1991 gulf war, international inspectors found that Baghdad was close to making an atom bomb and had succeeded in producing thousands of biological and chemical warheads.

Starting in 1991, the United Nations began destroying Iraq's unconventional arms and setting up a vast effort to monitor the country's industrial infrastructure to make sure that Baghdad lived up to its disarmament promises. The International Atomic Energy Agency, based in Vienna, was put in charge of nuclear sites, and Unmovic, based in New York, was given responsibility for chemical and biological plants as well as factories that made rockets and missiles.

A Western diplomat familiar with satellite reconnaissance done by the International Atomic Energy Agency said it confirmed some of the Iraqi findings. For instance, he said, it showed that the Nida Factory had been partly destroyed, with some buildings removed, and some rebuilt. He added that the Badr General Establishment was almost entirely dismantled.

By contrast, he said, the agency's photo analysts found Al Ameer untouched, but only as seen from overhead. "The buildings could be totally empty," he said.

The diplomat added that the atomic energy agency's reconnaissance team found that Al Radwan was "significantly dismantled" and that Al Qadisiya had almost vanished. At the sprawling Hatteen base, he said, "parts are untouched, and parts are 100 percent gone."

Before the invasion, the United Nations was monitoring those kinds of sites. Two senior officials of the monitoring commission said in an interview that their agency's analysis of satellite reconnaissance photos of Iraq showed visible looting and destruction at five of the seven sites that had been cited by Dr. Araji.

The officials cautioned that the agency zeroed in on certain buildings of special interest in its monitoring work on unconventional weapons and that other structures or warehouses at a particular identified site might still be intact.

"You might have a place with 100 buildings but we'd have an interest in only 3 of them," an official said.

Officials at the United Nations monitoring agency said some areas of the sprawling Qaqaa installation involved in chemical processing had been wrecked by fire and possible extensive looting. Unknown is the fate of such equipment there like separators, heat exchangers, mixers and chemical reactors, all of which can be used in making chemical weapons.

The Badr General Establishment, they said, had been systematically razed. "It's fairly significant," one official said of the looting and disappearance of important buildings.

The Radwan site has been dismantled, they said, with the destruction quite extensive. And the Qadisiya small arms plant has been razed, they said, as have the buildings the agency monitored at the sprawling Hatteen installation. The two officials said the agency had no information on the condition of the Nida Factory or the Ameer site.

No Saudi or Iranian Replies

The recent monitoring agency report said Unmovic had asked Iraq's neighbors if they were aware of whether any equipment under agency monitoring had moved in or through their countries. Syrian officials, it said, replied that "no relevant scrap from Iraq had passed through Syria." The agency, the report added, had yet to receive a response from Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Hasani, the Iraqi industry minister, said the sites of greatest concern had been part of the Military Industrialization Commission, a department within the ministry until it became a separate entity in the 1990's. The commission, widely known as the M.I.C., was dissolved after the fall of Baghdad, and responsibility for its roughly 40 sites was divided between the ministries of industry and finance, Dr. Hasani said. "We got 11 of them," he said.

Dr. Araji, whose tenure with the ministry goes back to the 1980's, is now involved in plans to use the sites as manufacturing centers in what the ministry hopes will be a new free-market economy in Iraq. He said that disappointment at losing such valuable equipment was a prime reason that the ministry was determined to speak frankly about what had happened.

"We talk straight about these matters, because it's a sad thing that this took place in Iraq," Dr. Araji said. "We need anything that could support us here."

"When you have good factories that could support that move and that transformation," he said, "it would be good for the economy of the country."

In an interview, a senior atomic energy agency official said the agency had used the reconnaissance photos to study roughly 100 sites in Iraq but that the imagery's high cost meant that the inspectors could afford to get updates of individual sites only about once a year.

In its most recent report to the United Nations Security Council, in October, the agency said it "continues to be concerned about the widespread and apparently systematic dismantlement that has taken place at sites previously relevant to Iraq's nuclear program."

Alarms to Security Council

Agency inspectors, in visiting other countries, have discovered tons of industrial scrap, some radioactively contaminated, from Iraq, the report noted. It added, however, that the agency had been unable to track down any of the high-quality, dual-use equipment or materials.

"The disappearance of such equipment," the report emphasized, "may be of proliferation significance."

The monitoring commission has filed regular reports to the Security Council since raising alarms last May about looting in Iraq, the dismantlement of important weapons installations and the export of dangerous materials to foreign states.

Officials of the commission and the atomic energy agency have repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to report on what it knows of the fate of the thousands of pieces of monitored equipment and stockpiles of monitored chemicals and materials.

Last fall, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, put public pressure on the interim Iraqi government to start the process of accounting for nuclear-related materials still ostensibly under the agency's supervision. Iraq is obliged, he wrote to the president of the Security Council on Oct. 1, to declare semiannually changes that have occurred or are foreseen.

In interviews, officials of the monitoring commission and the atomic energy agency said the two agencies had heard nothing from Baghdad - with one notable exception. On Oct. 10, the Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology wrote to the atomic agency to say a stockpile of high explosives at Al Qaqaa had been lost because of "theft and looting."

During the American presidential election last fall, news of that letter ignited a political firestorm. Privately, officials of the monitoring commission and the atomic energy agency have speculated on whether the political uproar made Baghdad reluctant to disclose more details of looting.

James Glanz reported from Baghdad for this article, and William J. Broad from New York. David E. Sanger contributed reporting from Washington.

This is the full New York Times article.

You will notice in bold, my highlights concerning the word looting and the context in which it is applied. The news article clearly demonstrated "organized" waves of theft and dismantling of key and specific machines dealing with dual use WMD capabilities. However, you will also notice the word "looting" to be used throughout the entire article. Disorganized theft by civilians is looting, organized theft by criminal agencies are not. This was planned, and it was planned in advance.

From Melanie's diary,

A significant article in the New York Times yesterday acknowledges a fact that goes some way towards explaining the non-discovery of Saddam's WMD programme -- that the evidence for it was systematically looted after the fall of Baghdad.

While it is true that this goes some ways towards debunking the Left's tired old ad nauseam arguments about no WMDs found, it is not true that there is some "evidence" that it was "systematically looted".

The claim has been made by Sami al-Araji, the Iraqi deputy minister of industry:

It is more accurate to say that Sami al-Araji witnessed theft on a large scale and called it organized looting. If the NYT got the quotes right, which I would would rather doubt.

The center for security policy has a great PDF document outlining the timeline of Operation Iraqi Freedom. From the beginning in 2002 to its very end in 2003 April. This timeline is of much importance because of this claim by Melanie and the article itself.

The peak of the organized looting, Dr. Araji estimates, occurred in four weeks from mid-April to mid-May of 2003 as teams with flatbed trucks and other heavy equipment moved systematically from site to site. That operation was followed by rounds of less discriminating thievery.
This was during the time when we had taken all the territory in Iraq, including Baghdad. Which simply meant that the delayed plans of Saddam could be fully brought to effect through use of civilian shields and abuse of the rules of war. Once the US had set itself up as a garrisoning force, they could be targeted much easier than when they were on offensive actions. Especially if the garrisoning force was ahead of its logistics train and bases had not been permanently setup, nor checkpoints or local informant networks verified.

The fact is, however, that the looting of this material was one of the gravest and most disastrous errors made by the US throughout the whole Iraq episode. Spectacularly failing to anticipate the likely chaos and ferment in the wake of the fall of Saddam -- a lesson which was surely obvious from the conclusion of major conflicts in the past -- the Americans were utterly negligent in failing to guard the likely sites of Saddam's proscribed weapons programme. As a result, by the time the Iraq survey group inspectors got to these places, there was nothing to be found.
Regardless of the military facts of the matter however, Melanie views the consequence that brought about this event as being one of the US's worst blunders, without specifiying what exactly should have been different. Should a shoot lotters on sight order been posted, perhaps? She is prone to fall into the gap the Democrats have, criticizing so called failures without any real solution, because criticizing the past using hindsight is an end in itself. After all, you can't go back in time to change things so why bother thinking up the solutions and possible results?

She also somehow believes that had we anticipated the likely chaos and ferment sown by Saddam's post-invasion plans, we might have been able to thwart them. And that having thwarted them, we could have trusted the UN inspectors to come in and honestly verify what we had found. That, is flimsy in itself.

It is implausible to believe that we had enough access to Saddam's inner circle to verify his contingency plans and it is also naive to believe the UN is competent enough to screw in a lightbulb. We could not have anticipated Saddam's post-invasion contingency plans.

War is fluid and like much of the fog of war, the enemy's actions are unknowable and unpredictable. Had we shot looters, we might have prevented the theft of the equipment, but not all of them. Had we garrisoned troops on such sites, we would have been vulnerable to suicide bombs. The priority was securing the cities and the roads via checkpoints, in addition to securing the viability of our ground forces as a valid military force. Melanie is incorrect to believe that stopping the theft of WMDs were worth destabilizing the military objectives. Bush would have had to countermand his General's orders and the Generals would have had to counter-mand their subordinate's orders. In the end, we might win the battle of the "WMD" question, but we might have also lost the war through alienating the local population or decreasing the long term goals of a free Iraq. In the final question, WMD equipment can be obtained from various sources, including Russia, China, and the EU. But democracy in Iraq can only be obtained from one source, America. Therefore the preservation of American soldier's lives and the long term goals of OIF trumped any speculation about securing WMD sites for the UN bureacrats.

The Americans have come up with some lame excuse about not having had enough troops to guard these sites.

As all those unfamiliar with military operations and military history shows, they still believe the central problem was how many troops. But in point of fact, the only people that believe that are those against the Iraq war criticizing it for ulterior purposes.

Because we planned for this, but our plans went awry when the Turks delayed things until it was too late. And then our military commanders made the decision hold the 3rd ID's equipment near the North Front to cause uncertainty in the enemy. This was a mistake, but then again the military believed OIF would take far longer than it did, thereby allowing them to put the 3rd ID's equipment back into Kuwait through the Suez Canal and moving the 3rd ID up the logistics trail of the Marine Infantry Divisions to secure the weapons site.

Because of the change in plans, the Marines did not want to tie up good combat troops on useless weapons sites that they can't blow up in moving past, because there is no second front any longer. With a second front to the North, the Marines and the Army could have stationed troops behind them, but with no second front they had to use all that they had in the expectation that the worst fight is yet to come.

The outcome of this incompetence has been a political and military disaster.
It was only a political disaster, never a military one. The military disaster was waiting 1 and a half years for the UN and their Resolutions, allowing Saddam to deposit funds so that post-invasion he and his cronies can take back power ala Mogadishu, Somalia 1993. Finding WMDs was only a political goal, and not a very big one from the military's perspective if it is only equipment and not viable weaponry.

It might have been a political victory, one that chewed up the military ala Vietnam, had Bush micromanaged his generals. But since he didn't, speculation as to what would have happened had he done so, is rather useless.

I percieve that many world citizens still harbor idealistic fantasies concerning internationalism and the United Nation's role. Whether it be legitimacy, a balancing of powers, or just some pragmatic purpose the UN might serve him or her. However, this kind of idealistic unrealistic mode of thinking is incompatible with the goals and the security of America the nation and Americans the people.

That is why it is very ironic that the people with the least interest in internationalism and the UN and any other organisms similar to, are in charge of world affairs. If anyone can be said to be in charge in this children's playground we call Earth.

The material has disappeared, fuelling fears that it has fallen into the hands of rogue states and terrorists and thus vastly increasing the risk of an unconventional strike against the west. And politically, of course, it has enabled the appeasenik crowd to proumulgate their logic-lite libel that since no WMD was found it never existed and that therefore Bush and Blair lied.

The latter is so much more common and damaging than the former, that the latter might as well just be the only consequence that exists. The most damaging result would be for Bush not to be reelected because people was too upset with the lack of WMDs. That didn't occur, even though it might have given everyone of Bush's opponents advocated WMDs as a lie.

This whole "vastly" greater threat thing is ridiculous. Just because a superpower goes into a country and things occur that you don't like, doesn't mean it is a "mess" or "full of mistakes" or whatever catchism you might use. There are plenty more suppliers of blackmarket dual use technologies than what was stolen from Iraq, and for far longer. Pakistan, China, Russia, and the EU. They supply far more than what was "stolen", pre-planned contingency, from Iraq's WMD sites.

And of course, Bush and Blair cannot adequately defend themselves against this calumny because to do would mean admitting the very thing that Mr al-Araji is saying -- that the coalition screwed up big-time in a post-war blunder that could well have put the world in the very peril it was trying to prevent.

We had a war to fight and win. The beginning stages were purely military and the phase out to civilian leadership and political concerns shrank our momentum and initiative down to almost zero. The criminals of the Baath party took that time of opportunity to sow discontent and suicide bombings and all manner of bad things to distract us from what else they were doing.

The American people would not have given a fig had Bush said the weapons were looted as they were invaiding. That would not have damaged him as badly as saying that the WMDs were never there in the first place because of faulty CIA intelligence. Faulty CIA intelligence makes the American voter far more distrustful of the Administration than any thought that the military went in and overlooked a couple of thefts.

This article helps Bush by backtracking on the "no WMD" meme, because it is so popular to the Left that any other possibilities is sour grapes to Bush's opponents.

In conclusion, Melanie Phillip's has very perceptive insights into British politics and politicians, but when it comes to matters of geo-political military and empire building ala the United States superpower, she makes her conclusions based mostly on rather faulty information and premises. She suffers from the disadvantage of a British citizen living in Britain critiquing American policies and rationale, when the view is extremely obfuscated sometimes. I would suffer the same when trying to analyze British politics and rationale, which is why I rely heavily on British perspectives as the foundation for analyzes. Phillip seems to be using her British perspective as the foundation for her analysis on American policies and rationales. Unstable foundations and conclusions are the result. Especially with her comments on Condoleeza Rice, who is quite a popular figure among Americans. And the reason for that is directly opposite of the conclusions Phillips had about her.

UPDATE:Hitchkins weighs in

My first question is this: How can it be that, on every page of every other edition for months now, the New York Times has been stating categorically that Iraq harbored no weapons of mass destruction? And there can hardly be a comedy-club third-rater or activist in the entire country who hasn't stated with sarcastic certainty that the whole WMD fuss was a way of lying the American people into war. So now what? Maybe we should have taken Saddam's propaganda seriously, when his newspaper proudly described Iraq's physicists as "our nuclear mujahideen."

Middle East News Part 1

What a rebuke this is to those in the west for whom President Bush's democracy policy is an anathema. What an illustration of the moral and political bankruptcy of the left, which has had its progressive disguise stripped from it as it has been revealed to be as reactionary as the isolationist right. They are all simply on the wrong side of history.

Her blog has a neat link to a news article about how Bush's actions are not in anyway directly related to Lebanon's revolution. Or rather, the news articles shows that those who believe in the lack of connectivity are utterly themselves disconnected from reality.

Because when you read her post, you will quite clearly see that the impetus for Lebanon's protests were Bush's all along.

In recent weeks, both President Bush and Secretary of State Rice have often urged Syria's speedy departure and lent support to Lebanon's democratic protesters. That's a notable departure from U.S. policy over the past generation, which, under the banner of supporting the status quo, gave a nod to Syria's chokehold on Lebanon. It was not until 2003, as Mr. Bush prepared to overturn the Middle East apple cart by overthrowing Iraq's Saddam Hussein, that America began to describe Syria's presence in Lebanon as an "occupation." More recently, in keeping with Mr. Bush's post-September 11, 2001, doctrine of promoting democracy rather than simply "stability," so long favored in the Middle East, the White House has been telling Lebanon's democrats that America will keep its faith with them.

In Beirut yesterday, it was clear that message has been heard. Unlike the Hezbollah demonstrators with their chants of "Death to America," many in the crowd were friendly to Americans. "Thank's Free World," (sic) said one poster, held high by a woman in a bright red jacket, Rawya Okal, who told me: "We thank Mr. Bush for his position." Overhearing this in the throng, a middle-aged man in a green baseball cap, Louis Nahanna, leaned over to say, "We love the American people" - adding, "Please don't let Bush forget us. Your support is very important."

Asking more people what they thought of Americans turned up the same refrain. From a young driver, Fadi Mrad, came the message: "We want to change. We need freedom. Please don't let Bush forget us." From a group of young men came not only the message "Our hope is America," and "We believe in democracy in the Middle East," but also praise for Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. There was also an invitation from one of them, young Edgard Baradhy, for his heroine, Ms. Rice, to come to Beirut "and I am ready to take her for coffee."?

March 16, 2005

Naruto 2

Just before the main matches of the Chuunin Exam were to commence, Naruto met Hyuuga Hinata at the Genin training grounds. And they were talking about screwing up.

Two things I must note. It is true that when Naruto says he screws up all the time, but that also means that he gets up after each screwup. Hinata perceptively notices that it is getting up after each mistake, rather than not making any mistakes at all, that is the true strength. This is rather interesting, when you realize that mistakes under the Bushido code were punished by sepukko or mutilation of the fingers.

Obviously, if you made as many mistakes as Naruto did in the old Japan, you wouldn't be around to learn from them.

The second thing I realized was that Naruto is quite a leader. In both the American and the Japanese usage of the term. The word leader is taken directly from English, in the Naruto anime. Part of the English word definition of leader, "is to inspire". Naruto certainly does inspire many people. [SPOILER]

People like Gaara of the Desert, Hyuuga Neji, Hinata, and Sakura. They look at Naruto, and it brings out hidden strengths in each of them. Even the Sannin and Jounins are impressed with Naruto, because they underestimated him at first impressions. Many leaders have been underestimated at least once in their careers.

When Naruto's sensei told him that Akatsuki was out to get him, he reacted by being quite optimistic and wanting to get stronger in order to defend themself. No gloom and doom for this kid. That is an attitude that helps to separate Old Japan from New Japan, and real leaders from fake leaders (Bush vs Kerry).

Relevant blog links
First part of Naruto articles.
Post I did on Japanese Culture

WMD re-reversal by MSM

This is the straw that broke the camel's back.

Here’s an amazing reversal from the New York Times, who reported yesterday that Iraq had facilities for enriching uranium and manufacturing chemical and biological weapons that were looted immediately after the fall of Baghdad and taken to a neighboring state: Looting at Weapons Plants Was Systematic, Iraqi Says. (Hat tip: American Infidel.)

March 14, 2005

VDH article

VDH's NRO article Europe and their immatureness.

Don't dare divide us into old and new! We speak with one voice from Warsaw to Lisbon. We aim to be as united as your states are in America — BUT help us to ensure that Europe has separate U.N. Security Council seats for Britain, France, and, we hope, Germany as well.

Stop using force to solve problems! Listen to our diplomats. Promote international courts. The world no longer works according to your silly laws of military power and deterrence — BUT don't dare take any more American troops out of Germany.

Stay in NATO! You are pledged to the collective defense of Europe — BUT get used to the fact that we will soon have a new and rival independent EU military force.

Pay attention to the Muslim world! Hear us who have more experience with the Middle East. Try to incorporate, rather than isolate, the "other" — BUT stop telling us that we have to let Turkey into the EU.

Cease militarizing the globe! See instead the world as an interconnected family of liberal societies that is trying to settle differences by reason — BUT stop trying to prevent us from selling hi-tech arms to big Communist China to threaten tiny democratic Taiwan.

Learn from our more humane culture! See how our short work week, cradle-to-grave entitlements, and pacifism promote well-being — BUT how exactly do you rich and powerful Americans do all that you do?

Remember that we are your critical partners in the war against terrorism! Appreciate our unheralded work that goes unnoticed amid the loud bombs and tanks of you rowdy Americans — BUT Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization and cannot be labeled as such (and Hamas isn't either and needs our financial support).

Sign Kyoto! Start acting like good global citizens! BUT quit suggesting we had a hand in the Rwanda mess, the Balkans mess, the Oil-for-Food Mess, the Saddam-reactor mess, the Hezbollah/Hamas mess, the Arafat mess...

Quit proceeding unilaterally! Refer events that affect the world to the U.N. Don't just act on your own as if your deeds don't affect others — BUT don't remember the Falklands, the Ivory Coast, the unification of Germany, or the oil deals with Saddam.

Don't tamper in the Middle East! Do you cowboys realize what madness you are unleashing? BUT if you succeed we might just stop our caricatures — IF democracy follows and we can take credit for and profit from it.

What are we to make of this strange passive-aggressive syndrome?

March 11, 2005

Japanese innovation of Internet 2.0

Japan powers up Internet 2.0

Israel Defense Force Bans RPGs, the game

In response to the IDF revelation, one D&D player provided a Top 10 list of positive reasons for having IDF recruits who play D&D.

10. Ability to make split second decisions while simultaneously thinking about how the entire scenario will play out.

9. Axe-wielding skills.

8. Two words: Healing potion.

7. Ability to think outside the labyrinth.

6. Most Dungeon Masters are good strategists.

5. Being a 15th level magic user warrants as much respect as being a soldier in Sayeret Matkal.

4. Elf assassins are stealthy and efficient.

3. Chicks dig chainmail armor.

2. After battling enough dwarfs and mystical pygmies you learn not to underestimate your enemy.

1. Heightened ability to read people — "She may look like a Mermaid but there is definitely something nefarious about her and I've been less trustworthy of female lake dwellers since that Siren pulled a fast one on me last year back on the Netherworld."

This is not a joke.

March 10, 2005

World War V Part 1

I'm disturbed at this recent news about what's occuring in Britain, and in many other countries like the Netherlands and France. Germany still remains rather safe from Islamic Fascism, but I attribute that to the German's ingrained sense of order, efficiency, and timeliness. Alles in Ordnung, so to speak, rather than the political will of Germany's leader.

But the countries in fear of their unassimilated Muslim populations are disturbing in themselves, they do not require the entire continent of Europe to be infested. Just one example, is cause to be afraid.

Because if Europe allows another kind of Nazism to take hold of them, and they do what they did in WWII and appease these new Islamic Fascists, I don't know what America will do with Europe.

Did we spend so much blood in WWII to liberate France and Germany from their crazed leaders, only to have them open their arms to the Islamic Fascists?

Europe opened her arms in the name of peace and cultural exchange, some decades ago. Europe, still has not learned. And I wish they had.

Western protests

For his part, France's President Jacques Chirac, who in February 2003 proposed an emergency summit to save Saddam Hussein, and appeared almost daily on television opposing the liberation of Iraq, is yet to give the slightest hint that he might favor the demise of any more tyrannies in the region.

Why are so many Westerners, living in mature democracies, ready to march against the toppling of a despot in Iraq but unwilling to take to the streets in support of the democratic movement in the Middle East?

I think it is because they aren't "mature" in the first place.

Rule number 4, never say no to bacta...

Every Marine needs to understand and memorize the rules governing IBT. These rules should not only apply to MOUT, but all small unit infantry engagements. Rule number four must be pounded into the squad. There are no mistakes when clearing a structure in combat, only actions that result in situations; situations that Marines must adapt to, improvise, and overcome in a matter of seconds.

I swear, I'm pocking going to print that out and hang it on my wall.



Another great article from Winds of Change, related to Welfare states and how they depress birthrates.

Terroists getting bigger bombs, wow

The report said insurgents have gained experience in bombings and other attacks while developing an infrastructure to maintain their campaign against the U.S.-led coalition. CSIS said insurgents, who succeeded in increasing attacks around Baghdad and Mosul, learned how to use the weapons and supplies looted after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003.

Hey, you don't say? Terroists have made an infrastructure where they can buy lots of bombs... Right, I'll make sure to thanks the Italians the next time a Soldier or a Marine comes home without an arm or a leg, or both, because of an "improved" IED.

14 million dollars must have bought them something to kill Americans with.

March 09, 2005

Funny Comics Part 1

This site is a great comics site with daily strips of goodness. I've highlighted the best of the best in the links below. As an introduction, the black guy is young and a self-made rich guy named Damon, who is conservative. His counterpart is white, young, female, and a liberal. They're working in marketing.

The "old couple" are Sam and Zed, the redhead and the grayhead. All are 40 something. So the dynamics are every bit as important as the captions and graphics.

Darwin Award for Italians 2

A great roundup of links for what happened. Various opinions from various locations are put into a definitive and easy to navigate place.

The internet's example of a black hole, a central hub

What in GOd's name!?

Some wack shit going on in that video.

Chrenkoff, the Distiller of Information

"In the first substantial shift of public opinion in the Muslim world since the beginning of the United States' global war on terrorism, more people in the world's largest Muslim country now favor American efforts against terrorism than oppose them.

"This is just one of many dramatic findings of a new nationwide poll in Indonesia conducted February 1-6, 2005, and just translated and released...

"Key Findings of the Poll:

"- For the first time ever in a major Muslim nation, more people favor US-led efforts to fight terrorism than oppose them (40% to 36%). Importantly, those who oppose US efforts against terrorism have declined by half, from 72% in 2003 to just 36% today.

"- For the first time ever in a Muslim nation since 9/11, support for Osama Bin Laden has dropped significantly (58% favorable to just 23%).

"- 65% of Indonesians now are more favorable to the United States because of the American response to the tsunami, with the highest percentage among people under 30.

"- Indeed, 71% of the people who express confidence in Bin Laden are now more favorable to the United States because of American aid to tsunami victims."

Satire perhaps? Scrapple jokes?


March 08, 2005

Guide to Milblogs 101

This is the DEFINITIVE guide to MIlBlogs. Take a gander and a look see, it has a GREAT overview of the authors of these blogs. Which service they are from, what rank, whether retired or not, etc. Therefore if you want some Armored Cav stories about blowing things up, armor Geddon is your ticket. If you want "grand strategic" visions, read the Lt. Colonels and the senior officers.

I found em to be quite useful to slimming down the blogs that have time to read about.

British Empire?

When a Brit tells you to get your American imperialistic hegemony the pock out of Iraq, why don't you tell him to go here?

Iraq, the low hanging "fruit"


Under Saddam, idling was risky

This feeling is a holdover from the days of Saddam, when driving slowly past a government building or installation was considered suspicious behavior. Get caught idling past the wrong palaces or ministry, and you might never be seen again.

I remember parking outside a ministry with an Iraqi driver, waiting to pick up a friend. After sitting and staring at the building for about half an hour, waiting for our friend to emerge, the driver shook his head.

"If you even looked at this building before, you'd get arrested," he said, his voice full of disbelief. Before, he would speed past this building, gripping the wheel, staring straight ahead, careful not to even turn his head. After 35 years of this, Iraqis still speed up when they're driving past government buildings - which, since the Americans took over a lot of them, tend be to exactly where the checkpoints are.

Fear of insurgents and kidnappers are another reason for accelerating, and in that scenario, speeding up and getting away could save your life. Many Iraqis know somebody who's been shot at on the road, and a lot of people survived only because they stepped on the gas.

This fear comes into play at checkpoints because US troops are often accompanied by a cordon of Iraqi security forces - and a lot of the assassinations and kidnappings have been carried out by Iraqi security forces or people dressed in their uniforms. Often the Iraqi security forces are the first troops visible at checkpoints. If they are angry-looking and you hear shots being fired, it becomes easier to misread the situation and put the pedal to the metal.

A couple of times soldiers have told me at checkpoints that they had just shot somebody. They're not supposed to talk about it, but they do. I think the soldiers really needed to talk about it. They were traumatized by the experience.

Iraq The Model has a piece about comparisons between Egypt and Iraq, pre-invasion.

Omar writes that,

"No, the regime you had here was more brutal, that's true but the regime in Egypt is worse
I was a little confused here and he saw the questioning look on my face and went on explaining

In Iraq, the moment you oppose the regime, you're dead or if you were lucky you would get locked in a one square meter cell for the rest of your life while in my country they would let you talk as long as you're just talking and when you switch to the active ways of opposition, they would arrest you and put you in prison for a couple of years. After you're out they would keep watching you and if they found that you didn't learn the lesson then you'd get another sentence in prison, only this time you would spend more years than in the 1st time. And the game can last forever until you lose all hope inside and you're completely depleted and you decide to give up or take the risk of facing worse consequences."

Clearly, Iraq was the low hanging fruit for a reason. And it isn't the reason most people believe. People like Marshall believe that Iraq was the low hanging fruit because he thinks the Bush administration wanted to use the WMDs to bambozzle people with, thereby making Iraq a convenient target. However, the real truth is that Iraq was the most likely candidate for successful integration of a pro-Western, pro-self-enlightened selfinterest agenda, and a future secular society. Saddam had an iron fist over the people, and because of this, he had no reason to give any rope to the Mullahs whether Sunni nor Shia, in order to "vent" rage away from himself to other things. Instead, Saddam would just smash you if you talked about him negatively. Whereas in Egypt, Syria, and Iran, they don't have an irongrip via a secret police network, and therefore they have to use religious extremism as a sort of convenient crutch to stay in power. On the other hand, this religious extremism is like riding a tiger, you got on the tiger in the first place to stay alive, but now you can't let go or else you're gonna get eaten.

This meant that Wahabism, the sect of Islamic Fundamentalist teachings i.e. Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, had no little or no influence over the citizens of Iraq. What influence they had, was in the highest levels of government and the police apparatus in Iraq. The citizens in Iraq, weren't taught to hate America, except as a sort of robotic agreement with Saddam since Saddam did hate America. The citizens of Iraq were taught in the best legal schools, and have the highest number of PH.D.s in the Mid East. This, was fertile ground. It would have been near impossible to try and win over with American "good will" if the people were inherently prejudiced against us from birth. Like the nations of Syria, Egypt, the non-nation Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are. Many in Iran, though generally not hating the US, would start hating the US had we invaded them and, to their eyes, stole their fate from their own hands again.

Iraq, was a different story. In many parts because of Saddam and his policies. Saddam showed the people of Iraq, that you could GO NO LOWER. False pride in Egypt would have prevented any show of gratitude, as they would believe pride was more important than someone else bettering their lives for them. Egyptians have not sunk into rock bottom, and any alcoholic will tell you that unless you have sunk into rock bottom, it is unlikely you would want to change your ways. Therefore the people of Iraq showed gratitude to the US, and in showing that gratitude, made counter-insurgency operations many times easier than it would have been in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, or Egypt. In some ways, it made it easier than operations in Afghanistan. But in other ways, it made it harder, as you couldn't tell the real friendly Iraqis from the fake friendly Iraqis. So counter-intelligence had a big problem in Iraq, which translated as the Iraqis' problem.

As a sidenote, people keep talking about how we need to "penetrate" Al-Qaeda and all that jazz. But what they don't realize in Intel business, is that the more you penetrate the enemy network, the more likely the enemy network can counter-penetrate you using double agents. No information, is much better than "false information" or information that the enemy wants you to have. As Tenet and his "slam dunk" riff can attest to.

Blog Update

I corrected the links up above, seems after I archived them to the January date, the permalinks changed. Wish I had catched that sooner.

All things Hanson and David

  1. UPDATE:Second VDH review

VDH interview

VDH Speech

If John Kerry were elected President, I would imagine that the Chinese, in this unstable world, might use it as an opportunity to see where and when he would cave. If he is going to cave on Iraq, he might cave on Taiwan. If he caves on Taiwan, he might cave on Israel. If he caves on Israel, he might cave on Afghanistan. All of these things are based on perceptions, so it is very important for the United States to be perceived as having not power, but overwhelming power, and not predictable in the way it would use it. That is why George Bush does a good job; nobody in the world knows quite what he will do, and they are not eager to test that.

Bush is scary and or weird, which is just how I like him.

The Hilarity Continues

Jeez, what a cock up.

HOOK-HANDED Abu Hamza has been viciously attacked by a fellow jail inmate,
it emerged last night.
The fanatical Muslim cleric, 47, was thumped inside
London’s top-security Belmarsh prison, a jail source said.
DID you whack
Hook? If so call The Sun on 020 7782 4105. And by the way, WELL DONE!

Click the link for the picture.

The Weird and Surprising Domino Effect

Totten makes an interesting comment about the Berlin Wall and Beirut. And I tend to agree with him.

I wouldn’t say the Berlin Wall has fallen. I won’t say that until it looks like the Terror War has come to an end. But perhaps this is the end of the beginning. At least it’s the beginning of a new and interesting chapter. The Brett Scowcrofts and Henry Kissingers of the world think it’s a lousy idea to destabilize tyrannical parts of the globe. This week reminds me – in spades – why I just can’t subscribe to their worldview.

Unlike the Berlin Wall falling, which presaged the beginning of the end of the Soviet Empire and the Iron Curtain, the things occuring in Iraq and Beirut are symptoms of the end of the beginning.

One specific theater of operations is now nearing the end, Iraq, but the greater theater of the middle east is just starting. Which was what Bush hoped for all along, and it is why so many Democrats supported this President. Bush has certainly melded realism with idealism, as his SOTU said.

Darwin Awards for Italians

Unfortunately for the Italians, I think that senior intel officer might never have wanted to pay the ransom. If they were the only two in the car, and the driver (intel guy) was killed, then we have to ask was the driver arguing with the reporter/hostage? Did the reporter hostage demand that they pass through the checkpoint so the reporter could get like a bath or something? Did the intel guy get henpicked into believing the masked men at the checkpoint were "terroists" because the reporter said they looked like terroists?

Click the link for Kheldar's take on things and his usual good quality of links.

Lies, Distortions, and ultimate Victory

I wrote this response to a rather interesting series of comments to Totten's blog post about a newspaper writing about possibly being wrong on Bush.

It isn't about Vengeance but Justice. Don't look at it as the Golden Rule, but look at it refined.

Treat your inferiors as you would have your superiors treat you. The heart of justice is giving people what they deserve, not an ounce less nor an ounce more.

And therefore it would indeed be an injustice to subliminate the truth in favor of "chilvalry" to our foes, whether American or foreign. It is unjust to give chivalry to the terroists in Fallujah when we know they are torturing innocent lives and perpetuating a crime on an entire nation. Why give mercy to the merciless? Is that Justice? And why should it make us dishonorable to treat people unlike how we would want to be treated, who don't even understand what honor is, let alone something to aspire to?

To those that gave their life, their fortunes, and their sacred honors in the endeavour that was Iraq and Afghanistan, to those men and women of irrecomparable strength and decency, we must not forget.

We cannot allow the fake liberals, the extreme Leftists, the anti-war "protestors" that were in league with organizations that had financial ties to real tyranny, to rewrite history as they did in the Cold War and in Vietnam. It is only our memories and our Will that allows the Truth to be told, if all those are gone then hello to 1984.

"What if it does all blow up in our faces? Should you be completely and utterly disgraced? It's okay to be wrong. It happens, and it happens to everybody."

We have pledged our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor in this endeavour. Some have pledge two out of three, or one out of three for those fighting media corruption in the back lines of the USA. But nevertheless, we will be completely and utterly disgraced regardless of how we act, but we will not only if we win. Because the only thing that matters, the only thing that EVER mattered was Victory. Who gloated in Vietnam that warranted the dishonorable way we treated our military and how we disgraced this nation? I wasn't around in that time, so perhaps there were people who "gloated" that we were winning, but I don't think many people thought at any time in the conflict that the tide had turned the way we believe now about Iraq. Who was wrong about the Tet Offensive? Being wrong doesn't matter worth A CRED. Being on the winning side is everything. The Declaration of Independence should have told us that, if anythng. Being RIGHT is never enough.

I don't give a terroist care about whether I am right, they are wrong, or whatever. I care only for Victory. Because it is only victory that can make the deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan, and 9/11 NOT IN vain.

And to do that, I will do everything in my power to destroy the corruptig influence in America that lowers the morale of our fighting forces every single time they speak negatively about America for partisan gains. I will not forget that, and I will not pretend that the morale of our men and women are unaffected by the American public opinion. "Gloating" in the sense some use it, is some hackneyed attempt at boasting of something that isn't true. Whereas what we should and are doing, is commending the efforts of our troops and giving credit where credit is due. Therefore I will give the credit of the vast majority of the tsunami relief efforts to AMERICA and her CARRIER the Abraham Lincoln. It is not GLOATING to give credit where credit is due and to note that if the UN wasn't so busy pocking children in the Congo and in Asia, they might just might have contributed a quarter as much as AMerica contributed.

Morale wins wars. George W. Bush is the closest thing we have to a living Abraham Lincoln. The Union was winning the war through a series of power victories, and this caused everyone to hype the war as "already" over. Then a series of setbacks by the Confederate army pushed the Union back from Richmond, the Confedcapital, thereby delaying the war and KILLING Union morale. Remind you of something, maybe the jubiliation and despair after the March to Baghdad?

It was the Democrats who were for peace and a peaceful reunification via "diplomacy". Have we forgotten some easily that had Antietam been a disaster for Lincoln, that the Democrats would have gained control of the House and therefore the funding for the Union Army?

We have forgotten, we have forgotten that it was only the victory at Antietam that successfully allowed the Republicans to maintain control of the House and therefore keep the war effort going in 1862. A war effort that ultimately culminated in the Emancipation Proclamation.

If we allow ourselves to subliminate victory because it is "uncouth" to yell it out at the steps of the capital and into the internet, then we have given the battle for morale entirely to the enemy and our so called "loyal" opposition. If our morale is not high when defeat comes, we will allow it to defeat us, and ruin everything we have worked for.

We cannot allow that to happen. We must remember, and if you can only remember by gloating, then go ahead.

The military deserves our memory of the injustices committed against him. General Mattis of the Marines, deserves our recognition and respect for how he didn't give a fig what his morale boosting words would be read by the media, so long as his Marines were motivated.

General Mattis's mistake.


"PRESS: Oh, come on. Sean, you’re hurting yourself here. Look, this guy is wearing the uniform of the United States. He’s got the responsibility to represent the United States, No. 1.

No. 2, he is responsible for figuring out how to better train our Marines. The message that he’s sending our young Marines is, "Hey, you’re an American. Go over there; have fun, kill people."

HANNITY: That’s not what he’s saying.

PRESS: Here’s what’s sad, Sean.

HANNITY: That’s not what he’s saying.

PRESS: Yes it is, word for word. And here’s — let me finish.

HANNITY: We can’t have it both ways, Bill. We can’t train these guys to be killers.

PRESS: Let me finish a sentence. There are 140,000 of our men and women other there who are doing a heroic job.

HANNITY: Bill Press...

PRESS: And this idiot makes them all look bad.

HANNITY: Bill Press, you cannot treat these guys and train them to be killers and then, when they take pride in defeating evil, you cannot sit there in the comfort of a studio in Washington, or we can’t sit here back in the comfort of our homes in the United States, and judge these guys for doing what is necessary in the dark side of war, and that is confronting and ultimately defeating evil in their time.

I think this guy is a hero. The New York Times (search) said he’s revered by his troops for being a strong leader.

PRESS: I think he ought to be fired. And you know what’s a scandal? Where’s Donald Rumsfeld? Why hasn’t he condemned these remarks? It’s been more than 24 hours.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: It’s really amazing.

PRESS: Where is the commander in chief?

COLMES: It’s really remarkable, Bill. I find this indefensible.

You know, again, you had a great analogy: if it were the converse, what would people be saying? You know, we have a certain moral standard. We love to talk about how moral and just we are and that war is not about revenge. It’s about justice, especially in response to what happened on September 11.

And this is a vengeful comment that you would think would be beneath the dignity of someone defending the United States of America.

PRESS: You know, look, I compare it to Abu Ghraib (search). To me, the same thing with Abu Ghraib. What would we think if our prisoners were being treated like that? We would be up in arms, rightfully so.

The Arab community is going to be up in arms, rightfully so, about what this general said. It is not saying our soldiers don’t do their duty. We want them to do their duty. We want them to defend us. We know that killing is part of warfare. But to go out and say you take lethal pleasure in it?

COLMES: By the way, those who have fought in wars, most of them talk about how ugly it is, how terrible it is, how reprehensible it is, but you do it for your country. I’ve never heard anybody say it’s fun to do it.

And by the way, should we be mocking the manhood of Afghanistan men?

PRESS: Well, no, frankly. But I mean, look, again, this is what you might expect to hear from Usama bin Laden, right? Or you might expect to hear it from Zarqawi, how much fun it is to kill other people. You might expect to hear from, maybe, a gang leader in the inner city. Or a terrorist, a suicide bomber among the Palestinians.

You don’t expect to hear it from a general of the United States of America."

We must remember, because if we do not, we committ an injustice against every single person who has EVER died in the defense of America.