Saturday, July 22, 2006

"The letter to Merkel is the strongest evidence to date that Ahmadinejad isn’t just “faking crazy,” as psychiatrists say when a patient tries to act worse than he really is. There is no sensible political payoff for this very bizarre missive. The Merkel government was plainly embarassed by it, and refused to repy at all, an almost unprecedented diplomatic insult from one head of state to another. [ Did I mention yet that Hojjatieh don't fake crazy? They DEFINE crazy. Are you starting to catch on to the problem yet? -ed. ] "
"Border guards seized a British lorry on its way to make a delivery to the Iranian military - after discovering it was packed with radioactive material that could be used to build a dirty bomb. The lorry set off from Kent on its way to Tehran but was stopped by officials at a checkpoint on Bulgaria’s northernborder with Romania after a scanner indicated radiation levels 200 times above normal. [ Ho hum. Just another day in the Hojjatieh neighborhood. -ed. ] "
More on hostages and moral superiority: Dershowitz is thinking about a "continuum of civilianity". D'oh:
"There is a vast difference — both moral and legal — between a 2-year-old who is killed by an enemy rocket and a 30-year-old civilian who has allowed his house to be used to store Katyusha rockets. Both are technically civilians, but the former is far more innocent than the latter. There is also a difference between a civilian who merely favors or even votes for a terrorist group and one who provides financial or other material support for terrorism.

Finally, there is a difference between civilians who are held hostage against their will by terrorists who use them as involuntary human shields, and civilians who voluntarily place themselves in harm's way in order to protect terrorists from enemy fire.
Speaking of "One if by Land", Letterman runs the bases...
"Top Ten Signs There's Trouble At The New York Times

10. Extensive coverage of recent fighting between the Israelis and the lesbians

9. Pages 2 through 20 are corrections of previous edition

8. Every sentence begins "So, like"

7. TV listings only for Zorro

6. Weather forecast reads "Look outside dumbass"

5. Multiple references to "President Gore"

4. Obituary includes list of people they wish were dead

3. Headlines fold over to create surprise mad magazine-type hidden message

2. Restaurant critic recently gave IHOP four stars

1. Reporting that Oprah isn't gay, but Letterman is

On Restraining The Police West

I pointed to this already. But I decided it deserved a direct post so you can't miss it. Great job by Dr. Sanity and RCP.

I'll begin my commentary under the assumption that you're not having any trouble with this Rorschach test. If you don't get it, quickly just move on and join the Hojjatieh where you'll find a coterie of soul mates.

Of course, this is no better -- and actually worse -- than your average cretinous hostage-taking bank robber. At best, he insanely believes that he is being stolen from and is trying to set things right by "taking back what's rightfully his". Most robbers are better in the sense that when they get surprised by the police and take hostages, their true nature is exposed by accident rather than by pre-meditation.

Why would hostage-takers do so if it wasn't an admission of the moral superiority of the police? Think about it. The only possible argument to the contrary is that the police will just shoot like crazy (no moral superiority) regardless and they are just using the hostages in the same way that they would, say, hide behind a desk.

But the only way this holds any water is largely the assumption that the hostage taker is crazy -- because the utility of a human body as a shield against an adversary with no moral scruples is minimal at best. And worse yet, if the police had no moral scruples in general, then the situation would be like hijacking post-9/11. All hostages -- like all airline passengers now -- will simply fight like suiciders themselves because of the lack of anything left to lose!

That's at best of course. At worst, bank robbers are as stupid, nihilistic and crazed as your average brainwashed Palestinian Islamofascist terrorist.

Did I forget to mention that they all wear variants of the KKK uniform?
Lileks on moral authority -- and its antonym: the Palestinian Authority:
"Imagine a typical negotiation:

Fierce-eyed Hezbollah representative: Thank you for the invitation; lovely office. Death to Israel.

Gullible American: Well, that’s just rhetoric; we understand.

Hezbollah: It is not rhetoric. It is truth. The Zionist entity is a festering infected splinter in the lip of the Caliphate.


GA: So you’re saying you want some antibiotics as well? We can do that. But you have to show us you’re ready to coexist with Israel.

Hezbollah: We recognize the right of Israel to exist, but only as a footnote in history books.

GA: So we agree on principle, and the rest is just a matter of details. Great! We’ll draw up the treaty for the signing ceremony. You’re going to love the pens. They’re Cross. Smoothest pen you’ve ever used.

Hezbollah: I will save it to plunge into the heart of the last Jew to crawl towards the sea.

GA: Do you need your parking validated?

Repeat until the last accords fall apart, then call for new accords.

Howard Dean is not a stupid man; he knows Iran and Syria are the real actors behind this game. But his words placate the netroots people who think that Bush is stumping the country blaming the Hezbollah attacks on Max Cleland. Fine. If Israel eliminates Hezbollah, humiliates the fascists of Syria and lets Lebanon get on with the Cedar Revolution devoid of murder-gang influence, will that be Bush’s doing?

Of course not. He doesn’t have the Moral Authority, like a Pope. Or Bill Clinton.
Just RTWT of course...
According to Ross:
"When Hezbollah was fighting Israeli "occupation," it was untouchable. But the general Arab narrative has been that the violence, meaning terrorism, is driven by occupation: no occupation, no violence. Hamas has already cast doubt on this narrative by launching attacks from Gaza after the Israeli withdrawal, but it is hard for Arab regimes to challenge Hamas's legitimacy. Hezbollah, however, is another story.

Ross goes on to list the many condemnations of Hezbollah's recent actions offered by the Arab countries of the region. He sees the situation as an opportunity--a tricky one, to be sure, filled with perilous traps and the need for delicate balance--to check Iran's rise in the region.

In recent years, Israel has pulled back from the Arab territories it formerly occupied and fortified its borders with the famous defensive fence. These acts had the effect of calling its enemies' bluffs. But this retreat was widely seen by those enemies as Israeli weakness rather than strength. Now Israel is trying to show that perception to be a false one.
"The world holds Israel to extremely high moral standards in warfare. It holds Hezbollah to no standards at all. The latter feel free to pump rockets indiscriminately into Israeli population centres -- rockets whose high-explosive warheads are packed with ball bearings and other shrapnel, to maximize human carnage wherever they may land. Hezbollah is waiting with more surprises of that sort."
If you didn't know that Saniora was a Syrian stooge you'd be on the other side to disbelieve it now...
"Most remarkably, Hezbollah now openly states that it has co-opted the Lebanese government, and that they now do his bidding. That places responsibility for the act of war against Israel back on the Lebanese government, and that means that Israel now can consider the entire nation of Lebanon at war with them -- if Ehud Olmert wants to do so. The international reaction has treated Fuad Saniora as a hostage to Hezbollah's terrorist wing, but this makes him look much more like an accomplice, along with Michel Aoun."
"Finally, on a subject that hits close to home for me, Professor David Gelernter asks why so many American Jews hate the president who stands by Israel: "When will they ever learn..." Professor Gelernter suggests that the answer has something to do with the phenomenon that we dubbed Chaitred -- the generalized, irrational hatred of President Bush articulated first by Jonathan Chait in a September 2003 New Republic article. We linked to Chait's article and our series of posts on it in "Thoughts on Chaitred." My answer to the question explored by Professor Gelertnter, slightly different from Professor Gelernter's, is that the true religion of the American Jews within Professor Gelernter's sights is liberalism, and that this liberalism represents an intelligence failure of another kind."
"Some are calling for the United Nations peacekeepers to play a larger role in southern Lebanon, in the wake of current fighting there. So it's a good time to be reminded of one of the lowest moments in U.N. history, when a group of UNIFIL (U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon) participated with Hezbollah in kidnapping and murdering three Israeli soldiers. The incident was covered up by U.N. officials, including Kofi Annan. Dave Kopel tells the story on the Volokh Conspiracy.

There is room for disagreement about the best long-term approach to the problems in Lebanon, but it's pretty clear that U.N. peacekeepers aren't the solution.
"They've been given a choice between dishonor and war. They've chosen dishonor and they shall have war. --Winston Churchill"
"All emotionally mature people understand that sexuality, for example, can be a dangerous and destructive force when unhinged from any moral framework. But few people seem to understand that the same type of destruction can occur when the moral impulse is detached from its traditional framework. We can see the deadly combination of these two--“skepticism and moral passion,” or “burning moral fervor with hatred of existing society”--in every radical secular revolution since the French Revolution--from the Bolsheviks to nazi Germany to campus unrest in the 1960s. If society has no divine sanction but is made by man, men can and must perfect society now, while all opposition must be joyfully crushed--with moral sanction, of course.

Although Polanyi was describing communism and fascism, the same formulation equally applies to the Islamists, who detest everything about modernity and are convinced that the total destruction of existing society and the establishment of their own unlimited power will bring total happiness and harmony to humanity. Again, this must be sharply distinguished from the Judeo-Christian tradition, which holds that fallen mankind can never bring this transformation about on its own. Rather, this type of perfection is discussed only in eschatological or messianic terms, something each individual most work toward. The moral imperative to do this cannot be shifted to the collective.
Dept. of close calls: But what would Gerhard have done?
"BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday forcefully rejected a letter from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seeking cooperation with Germany, saying it did not even deserve an answer.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki delivered the letter to the German embassy in Tehran earlier this week. A German government official who saw the letter told Reuters it criticised Israel and said Germany and Iran should cooperate in dealing with Zionism and solving the Palestinian problem.

“He’s repeating the old thinking, which is totally unacceptable to us,” Merkel told ZDF state television. “Israel’s right to exist is a key part of our state policy and he calls this into question time and again; and at the same time our offer — an offer which really gives the Iranian people hope for the future — is not mentioned once,” she added.
"Last night Tesla Motors unveiled their uber-chic Roadster, a supercharged electric vehicle that looks, feels and drives like many other high-end sports cars. The main difference is the noise. Powered by a 3-phase, 4-pole AC induction motor, the Roadster can go 130 mph and does 0-60 in about 4 seconds, all completely silent."
"And remember, before you get all judgmental and Islamophobic, the Council on American-Islamic Relations says the takeover of Somalia by Dark Ages religious fanatics is “a positive change.”"
"First, democracies “are thought to be especially vulnerable to coercive punishment.” Their threshold of intolerable pain is lower than that of dictatorships. Second, democracies are believed to be more restrained than authoritarian regimes in their use of force, especially against noncombatants. “Democracies are widely perceived as less likely to harm civilians, and no democratic regime has committed genocide in the twentieth century.” Third, “suicide attacks may also be harder to organize or publicize in authoritarian police states.”"
"If you are unable to distinguish a moral difference between the two images below, then you have something obscuring your vision. Ideology perhaps?"

Friday, July 21, 2006

"Author William Pollack argues in Real Boys that popular culture teaches boys to suppress all emotions except rage. This “boy code,” Pollack says, prizes toughness and rebellion, and denigrates studiousness and traditional achievement. “The message does not come across that being smart is being cool,” says University of Washington administrator Thomas Calhoun." [ Or as I always phrase it: "It's not cool to be smart." -ed. ]
"The Islamic states have long used their own weakness as a weapon against the West. But weakness is a weapon only as long as we allow it to be."
"And nobody is more of an expert when it comes to cruel restrictions on lifesaving."
"“I have nothing else to add except to add the importance of prayer so that God may help us,” the Pope said."
Today's NYeT stopped clock moment:
"Despite its links to the Palestinian government, Palestinian and Israeli analysts say, the Qassam Brigades does not take orders from the governing leaders of Hamas. This is why, according to many accounts, the Hamas-led government itself was surprised by the Qassam Brigades’ attack against the Israeli military post in June.

“They lost their position as leaders of Hamas when they joined the government,” said Abu Muhammad, a Qassam Brigades field commander in Jabaliya. “New leaders were named in the movement, and they are more senior than the government leaders, even Haniya,” he said, referring to the Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniya.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What? They missed teaching you that in history class?
"Switzerland claims that it has less of a problem with assimilating its Muslim minority than its neighbors France and Germany. However, that minority can still act in concert, even somewhat unwittingly, with foreign terrorists to create mayhem. One plot uncovered in Spain had connected a bombing conspiracy to a Muslim fanatic in Zurich who had received asylum from the unwitting Swiss. He not only funneled money to the Spanish jihadis, he also had significant involvement in the plot against the Israeli airliner.

The Swiss recently revealed that their "neutrality" in World War II actually was nothing more than a cover for collaboration with the Nazis as a price for avoiding German occupation. They have another opportunity to confront evil rather than cling to a so-called neutrality that will eventually have to resemble dhimmitude. So far, it looks like the Swiss have made the correct choice.
Spending his first veto on this certainly has questionable aspects. But somehow the EneMedia seems not to deem little items like this worthy of more than a buried lede. Though certainly consistent with their unrelenting effort to bury the real history of Nazism and their Arab allies:
"European countries have widely differing national laws, with Britain actively encouraging stem-cell research. Germany, with an aversion to genetic experimentation rooted partly in the legacy of Nazi abuses, effectively bans it.

Stem-cell research would receive only a small fraction of the EU science budget of some 51 billion euros ($64.3 billion) in 2007-13 but Germany is hoping to rally a coalition of mainly Roman Catholic countries to block it.

A draft ministerial decision proposed by Finland, which holds the 25-nation bloc's rotating presidency, would rule out EU funding for research on human reproductive cloning, genetic modification of human beings and artificial creation of human embryos solely for research purposes.

But it would allow funding for research on human stem cells.
And remember, the EneMedia keeps wanting you to believe that W McChimpy is banning all embryonic stem cell research. Horsepucky. Private companies can research it all they want. W just won't let FedGov fund them to do it. The libs are steaming probably more because of the anti-socialist nature of what W is doing than anything else. They won't tell you that though because, well, you know, you're knuckle-dragging stupid...
"Halutz said that plans have already been laid for a ground incursion, but that the army is not implementing them at the moment. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the IDF has "as much time as you want to complete the mission.""
"Art. 28: The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations."
"The government knows that there are only a few dozen, at most, gangs involved in all this killing. The current deal is for the Sunni Arab community to shut down their thugs, while the government takes out the Shia militias. The government has started carrying out their end of the deal, but the Sunni Arabs have moved more slowly. This is because the Sunni Arab thugs are paranoid, quick on the trigger, and willing to murder prominent Sunni Arabs. The Sunni Arabs fear trapped, caught between their own radicals, and the majority of Iraqis (Kurds and Shia Arabs), who would just as soon see Iraq free of Sunni Arabs. The hatreds go deep, Saddam's decades of brutality against Kurds and Shia Arabs saw to that. While pundits go on about Iranian desires to dominate Iraq, the reality is more about vengeance against Sunni Arabs for past sins. Nothing too complicated, but it's a fire that's very difficult to put out."
How do you spell A-r-m-a-g-e-d-d-o-n?
"Tehran, 18 July (AKI) - Iranian parliamet speaker Gholam Ali Hadad Adel told an anti-Israel rally in Tehran on Tuesday that the current fighting in Lebanon was just the beginning of a wider regional conflict. "The war has only just begun, today is the day of resistance, today is the day of the liberation of Palestine, there will be no safe place from Hezbollah's attacks in the occupied land (Israel)," he said. A member of the Abadgaran party of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the official also said Iran will give all possible aid to Lebanon and compared the leader of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah to the leader of the Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini."
Well, OK, it's actually Ar Megiddo, but that's for another post...
Dear German official: genocidal lunatics do "weird" things. Perhaps you've not learned your Nazi history quite well enough?
"“There’s nothing about the nuclear issue (in the letter),” the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the extreme sensitivity of the issue for the German government.

“It’s all related to Germany and how we have to find a solution to the Palestinian problems and Zionism and so on. It’s rather weird,” The official, who has seen the letter, said. ...
"Flood the tunnels with an infra-red emitting aerosol under positive pressure and look for what house(s) it comes out from using night-vision scopes. Then plug the ventilation holes by hitting all those houses with JDAMs and sit tight."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Prelude To The Mirrored Hall Of Fantasies -- Part 3

Speaking of the s-word, ITM says "holy shit!" about the Hojjatieh in Baghdad:
"I'm not going to claim I know exactly what Hizbollah's or Hamas's hidden motives are because I don't live there but I know about those of the regime in Iran and its arm in Iraq; both Ahmedinejad and Sadr are devout believers in the 'Savior Imam' of Shia Islam who is the 12th grandson of prophet Mohammed, also known by the name 'Imam Mehdi' hence the name of Sadr's militias 'the Mehdi Army'.

I must point out though that some factions of Sunni Islam also believe in the rise of the Imam but they have their own different version of the story.

Both Ahmedinejad and Sadr believe it is their duty to pave the way and prepare the ground for the rise of the Imam whose rise, according to their branch of Shia Islam, requires certain conditions and a sequence of certain events; the story is too long to discuss in one post so I'll just move on to offer my observations…

We are seeing some signs here that make us think that Iran and its tools in Iraq are trying to provoke the rise of the imam through forcing the signs they believe should be associated with that rise. One of the things that do not feel right is the sudden appearance of new banners and writings on the walls carrying religious messages talking specifically of imam Mehdi. These messages are getting abundant in Baghdad and in particular in the eastern part of the capital where Sadr militias are dominant and a special number can be seen in the area of the interior ministry complex.
Did I mention yet that the Mullahs are nuttier than Cuckoo clocks?
Altalena update:
"Although there was brief fighting between Irgun and Haganah over the Altalena, including three KIA, the fighting quickly stopped because both Begin and ben-Gurion ultimately sought the same goal - a free state of Israel.

But Lebanon's government and Hezbollah share no such uniting bonds. Hezbollah is devoted to the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Moreover, Hezbollah is a Lebanese political party as well as a militia. Its members are mostly Lebanese.

If Lebanon's government does choose to take on Hezbollah (which I doubt) it surely realizes the result will truly be civil war.
Oh brother. Now I've got another 450 pages to read to see if they've got this right. All to be depressed if they are...
"But despite all these drawbacks, hybrids are at least better for the environment than say….. a Hummer, right? Nope.

Spinella spent two years on the most comprehensive study to date – dubbed "Dust to Dust" -- collecting data on the energy necessary to plan, build, sell, drive and dispose of a car from the initial conception to scrappage. He even included in the study such minutia as plant-to-dealer fuel costs of each vehicle, employee driving distances, and electricity usage per pound of material. All this data was then boiled down to an "energy cost per mile" figure for each car (see here and here).

Comparing this data, the study concludes that overall hybrids cost more in terms of overall energy consumed than comparable non-hybrid vehicles. But even more surprising, smaller hybrids' energy costs are greater than many large, non-hybrid SUVs.
"Hizbullah is Lebanon's Altalena, says Imshin. [ If only they had a few thousand years of Jewish history behind them it would be. I wish them all the best but it's a non-trivial problem to have a psychopathic Mafia controlled by the Hojjatieh as 40% of your population. Sigh. -ed. ] "
Luttwak doesn't seem to believe in the Hojjatieh. I certainly hope he's right. But my hope is an inch deep...
"Much is at stake in the current crisis: Israel’s security; Lebanon’s viability as a nation; the future roles of Hamas and Hezbollah; America’s ability to function as an effective power in the Middle East; and more still. There are dangers on every side. But, fortunately, the outbreak of a regional war is not one of them."
"In a strange way, perhaps a way he anticipated, Ariel Sharon’s bold decision to remove the Jewish settlements from Gaza, and turn the territory over to Palestinian self-government, clinched the issue. If the subsequent rocket attacks from Gaza, then Lebanon, could be predicted by me, they would have been predicted by him."
"They are mistaken. The confrontation is not on the ground. It is in the air. If these U.N. forces can stop Hezbollah from firing missiles and rockets, that is one thing. If they are going to fight Hezbollah, fine. But there is no point to have people on the ground to observe the missiles flying overhead. That is useless."
"Got that? The Lebanese police and army are not allowed to enter onto its own land. That's not much of an excuse for a state, especially given that the land is in the capital city of Lebanon."
"When warriors and murderers clash, the murderers risk nothing but death. The warriors risk more. "Their only protection is their code of honor," French writes. "The professional military ethics that restrain warriors -- that keep them from targeting those who cannot fight back, from taking pleasure in killing, from striking harder than is necessary, and that encourage them to offer mercy to their defeated enemies and even to help rebuild their countries and communities -- are also their own protection against becoming what they abhor.""

Prelude To The Mirrored Hall Of Fantasies -- Part 2

"The naive supposition on which the argument for education rests is that training counteracts and overpowers a cultural worldview. A trained man is but a clone of his trainer, on this theory, sharing his every attitude and worldview. But in fact what results is a curious hybrid, whose fundamental beliefs may be impervious to the education he has received.

I had a striking example of this phenomenon recently, when I had a Congolese patient who had taken refuge in this country from the terrible war in Central Africa that has so far claimed up to 3 million lives. He was an intelligent man and had that easy charm that I remember well from the days when I traversed—not without difficulty or discomfort—the Zaire of Marshal Mobutu Sese Seko. He had two degrees in agronomy and had trained in Toulouse in the interpretation of satellite pictures for agronomic purposes. He recognized the power of modern science, therefore, and had worked for the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, and was used to dealing with Western aid donors and investors, as well as academics.

The examination over, we chatted about the Congo: he was delighted to meet someone who knew his country, by no means easily found in England. I asked him about Mobutu, whom he had known personally.

“He was very powerful,” he said. “He collected the best witch doctors from every part of Zaire. Of course, he could make himself invisible; that was how he knew everything about us. And he could turn himself into a leopard when he wanted.”

This was said with perfect seriousness. For him the magical powers of Mobutu were more impressive and important than the photographic power of satellites. Magic trumped science. In this he was not at all abnormal, it being as difficult or impossible for a sub-Saharan African to deny the power of magic as for an inhabitant of the Arabian peninsula to deny the power of Allah. My Congolese patient was perfectly relaxed: usually, Africans feel constrained to disguise from Europeans their most visceral beliefs, for which they know the Europeans usually feel contempt, as primitive and superstitious. And so, in dealing with outsiders, Africans feel obliged to play an elaborate charade, denying their deepest beliefs in an attempt to obtain the outsider’s minimal respect. In deceiving others about their innermost beliefs, often very easily, and in keeping their inner selves hidden from them, they are equalizing the disparity of power. The weak are not powerless: they have the power, for instance, to gull the outsider.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

If only failure to launch didn't include launching rockets:
"Because America is so affluent, it can tolerate an unusual amount of foolishness, but not an infinite amount and not forever. In my lifetime I have witnessed the corrosive effect of leftist thought on our culture, as it insinuates itself into, and begins to weaken, the uniquely American character. But I am actually more interested in the more general failure to launch that afflicts mankind at large. What is the cause of this? For example, there is no question that this is the problem we face in the bulk of the Arab Muslim world. Something in their cultural DNA has left them mired in an historical and developmental eddy, sitting on the launch pad below, just where we left them 700 years ago. What happened? Why didn't they grow up? Why didn’t they launch? And why do they want us to join them on the launch pad?"

Prelude To The Mirrored Hall Of Fantasies

"It's quite a culture clash, made worse by the Iraqi tendency to regard tales, of how things operate in the West, as the result of some kind of magic or supernatural powers. This attitude drives many educated Iraqis, who know better, up the wall. But what are you going to do when members of your own family prattle on like this?

The use, and abuse, of democracy and civic responsibility has created a violent clash of cultures. It's surreal, sort of a Disneyland Deathmatch. Everyone is a little, or a lot, detached from reality, and fighting to the death to maintain the superiority of their particular fantasy. In the middle of this, there are millions of Iraqis who do understand the reality of the situation. But they are outnumbered by a majority that appear to occupy different realities, and are content to live out their fantasies.

The United States was, and most of the world still is, willing to leave Iraqis alone to their illusions, even as the fever dreams of Middle Eastern fanaticism are also blowing things up in the West. Europeans believe you can't really change Middle Eastern attitudes, and things are better left to sort themselves out. The United States is willing to take action, pay the cost, and bet that change can be made to happen. What is less clear is exactly what the change will amount to in the short, and long, term. Historically, there has been dramatic change in the Middle East, when outside forces suddenly appeared. Unfortunately, the degree and direction of the change has never been orderly or very predictable.
"The Democrats have tried to make a "culture of corruption" their rallying cry nationwide. Here in Minnesota, we have all of the corruption and dirty politics we can handle, thanks to the DFL."
Why is it again that if I were Saddam I'd be guilty as hell for this but since Saddam is Saddam W is guilty instead?
"So, Americans in Iraq have found 500 sarin- and mustard-gas-filled artillery shells, live botulinum toxin, cyanide salt, and nearly two tons of uranium. Yet, no, Virginia, there were no WMDs in Iraq."
Hiding in plain sight: Lunacy masquerading as superior morality:
"The devil though paid always cheats. And within short order the toy plow on Truman's desk was replaced by a map of Korea. But years later, technology changed the rules again. By the early 1970s reliable and accurate laser guided bombs became available. It was not until Desert Storm in 1990 that the public became widely aware that the USAF, once the world's premier leveler of cities, had now become capable of putting a 2,000 lb bomb through a hangar door. Then, as Budiansky notes, the devil cheated again. The advent of precision munitions created the public expectation that in future American wars, all targeting would be perfect. The press would be there to film every errant missile, bomb or shell. Ironically, the very existence of precision weapons implied to the Press, that all observed hits on nonmilitary targets were therefore deliberate. War Crimes. The possibility of error, even in an era of precision weapons, was not accepted. Ironically, the moral justification shifted from the precision bomber to the area bomber. Terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, lacking sophisticated weapons, were now forgiven, even romanticized by the press for firing on civilian targets. 'What other weapon do poor men have?', they rhetorically asked, as if organizations funded by petro-dollars were somehow indigent, and men, having nothing to eat somehow found the spare change to buy billions in antiship missiles, drones, explosives and rockets. Nongovernment entitites with powers exceeding nations now attack women and children and we sing them sweetly on."
Ho-hum. What's a little Jew gassing between today's Arabs Nazis:
"Imagine the carnage involved in a surprise mass chemical attack on an unsuspecting and thus unprepared population. Then imagine the perpetrator, Syria, retreating under an nuclear umbrella held by Iran. The picture of Iran's single minded pursuit of nukes becomes a little more clear, doesn't it?

Can you imagine a better reason to ensure Iran never gets nuclear weapons in that country?

Neither can Israel.
What the shit did he say now?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Today's we better start praying they weren't moved to Syria -- and now to you know where -- department:
"The [ Iraqi -ed. ] MIC had responsibility for all of the WMD programs, including their development, production, distribution, and storage. The message from the top man at the IIS was clear: this information was correct, and the MIC needed to act fast to move the assets around to keep them from discovery. Counterintelligence found out about his visit in time to make the changes necessary."
The missile's eye view of why Israel can't give Hezbollah any more slack. (HT Pajamas)
"However, as disgusting as the PNVD is, the judge made the right decision. Ultimately, the 82% of the Dutch who want to see them banned can enact that ban themselves -- at the ballot box. A democratic government has no business banning political parties, unless they espouse violence. Regardless of the despicable nature of their platform, the only remedy for groups like the Pedophile Party is the utter rejection of their candidates, followed by the social shunning of their members."
"As a lifelong liberal critic of Israeli policies, the New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman wrote just two weeks ago: "The Palestinians could have a state on the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem tomorrow, if they and the Arab League clearly recognized Israel, normalized relations and renounced violence. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know Israel today.""
"The road to Bekaa Valley as measured on the map is a scant 30 kilometers from the Israeli border. The valley itself is only about 80 kilometers long. Distances are short in this part of the world. But in strategic terms the road to Bekaa stretches beyond human sight into dark regions we have never dared venture before."

Sunday, July 16, 2006

"Remember, though, this is the party that brokered the deal that enabled North Korea to obtain nuclear weapons, yet now blames that regime's nuclear status on President Bush. In terms of the style of its propaganda, this is a party in which Joseph Goebbels would feel at home."
Godwin on self esteem and the libs:
"I might add that if you do not see the evil in yourself--or the potential for such--then you will generally be unable to see it in others. Here again, this is an entirely postmodern liberal ideology that I’ve never taken the trouble to think through where it came from, but I suppose that it comes from my own debased field, psychology, which has replaced the traditional view of human existence being a battleground of good and evil. There is a struggle within our own soul over who and what will rule over it. But if you are steeped in postmodernity, then human beings are really just animals--we are all subhuman, and nobody is any better or worse than anyone else. Therefore, we teach “self esteem,” that there is nothing wrong with you except your belief that there is something wrong with you."
So what is a psychopath, really?
"But Newman has a different idea entirely. He believes that psychopathy is essentially a type of learning disability or "informational processing deficit" that makes individuals oblivious to the implications of their actions when focused on tasks that promise instant reward. Being focused on a short-term goal, Newman suggests, makes psychopathic individuals incapable of detecting surrounding cues such as another person's discomfort or fear."
Certainly Hitler fits that description. People keep struggling with the fact that he seemed largely functional. Unfortunately, the "modern Aztecs" are hugely more blatant than that. And the NYeT can't see it. Largely because of their psychopathic obsession with W of course...
Steyn was overdue for a strike:
"Israel withdrew from Gaza and, instead of getting on with a prototypical Palestinian state, Hamas turned the territory into an Islamist camp. Israel withdrew from Lebanon entirely in 2000, yet Hezbollah is now lobbing rockets at Haifa.

Why? Because in both cases these territories are now in effect Iran's land borders with the Zionist Entity. They're "occupied territories" but it's not the Jews doing the occupying. So you've got a choice between talking with proxies or going to the source: Tehran. And, as the unending talks with the EU have demonstrated, the ayatollahs use negotiations with the civilized world as comedy relief. They don't get Larry King's salutes to Red Buttons and Don Knotts on Iranian TV, so entering into talks with the French foreign minister is as near to big-time laughs as the mullahs get.
"That does not necessarily mean that Iran has given up on its nuclear quest. [ Uhh -- make that "pigs will fly to Pluto" first -ed. ] It does mean that they cannot hope to push through their program without incurring a lot of political damage, especially with Syria coming under so much pressure to cut off Hezbollah and Hamas. With the war proceeding, the ability of Iran to resupply its one partner in the region has all but disappeared, and along with it Iran's control over the two terrorist organization's operations against Israel. Iran has made a lot of disparaging comments about Israel and their folly in responding to these provocations, but the truth is that Israel could wipe out the Islamists in the immediate region if this conflict gets any wider -- and then Iran will really stand alone against the West, with no proxies left with which to attack.

It's time for them to negotiate and get the best deal they can. It looks like they may have stopped believing their own press releases and recognized it. [ The Captain appears to think we should negotiate. Of course we will but it's no better an idea than negotiating with Hitler. They're his intellectual descendants. -ed. ]
"It also demonstrates that the IIS remained cognizant of the need to evade UNSCOM inspectors on the purchase of banned materials and the pursuit of banned programs even in 1999, after Saddam Hussein had kicked the inspectors out of the country. The memo proves that the Iraqis remained defiant and out of compliance with UN resolutions and had no intention of seriously complying with them at all."

The Prime Directive, Muir Style

Don't miss it.
"The increasing openness of the Lebanese government about wanting to disarm militias may have sparked Hizbollah's cross-border raid into Israel. Hizbollah leadership may have decided that the best way to avoid being disarmed was to provoke a crisis with Israel. There's a chance that all Lebanese would unite to defend against the Israeli attacks. In the wake of that, Hizbollah would again be national heroes, not a private, Islamic radical militia run by Iranian religious fanatics. While Hizbollah has a lot of support in the Lebanese Shia community (35 percent of the population), there was resentment from Lebanese Shia political parties and militias. Hizbollah, unable to shed its Iranian and Syrian ties, was wearing out its welcome. Lebanese were tired of foreign influences, and Hizbollah was the last one left on Lebanese soil."
An early contender for comment of the day:
"I would go further and say that any hope of a Pali state is pretty much dead. If Jihadis can hit Haifa from 30 miles away, imagine what they can do to Tel Aviv from 10 miles away. The Arabs simply have no credibility with anyone. Mark Steyn is right about Gaza (and the WB to boot): the average age is 16. How are you going to reason with a population of unemployed, uneducated teenage boys who have been raised by a death cult? That just about sums up the problem. There ARE no rational people to talk to. Abbas is a Holocaust denier who was the main financier of the Munich murders in 1972. And HE is the "moderate"?"
"But if that way proves impossible, I know America well enough to know that she will not submit. All decent people should look true war in the face, and consider again if they will not back America in Iraq and elsewhere. We have now only three paths before us, and we shall take one of them whether we like any of them: We shall succeed in Iraq and elsewhere; we shall fight a true war; or we shall see the tyrants of the world, some of whom cannot even feed their people, assume a new place of power in the world.

That last one must not be. America will not let it be -- and she does indeed have the strength to stop it. Her military was made for a war of that type. We can fight and win, if we must.

Far better, though -- far better! -- the first. All people who wish the best for all mankind should join with us in bringing peace and order to Iraq, to Afghanistan, and elsewhere as we must. Let us pursue that road as long as there is any light at all to guide us on it. It is the right road, if only we can find the strength to walk it.
(Also at WoC)
For today's D'oh file:
"In an exclusive interview with NEWSWEEK's Richard Wolffe, President George W. Bush said he thinks those suspicions are legitimate: "There's a lot of people who believe that the Iranians are trying to exert more and more influence over the entire region and the use of Hizbullah is to create more chaos to advance their strategy." He called that "a theory that's got some legs to it as far as I'm concerned.""
"A BIG SIGNAL that this will be a long war is CONDI RICE saying at the G8 today that a ceasfire "would not be useful.""
"Israel could beat Syria in a straight-up fight; even Damascus has to know that much. However, the question that Israel (and the US) has to answer is what Iran intends to do if that happens. Mahmoud Ahmandinejad has certainly made clear that he will support Syria if Syria is attacked. However, Iran has a big problem in delivering on that promise: 135,000 American troops between Iran and Syria. If Iran tries to resupply Syria, it has to do so through Iraq, and through the most hostile area of Iraq in the Kurdish regions of the north. For those who understand geography, this is why Iraq was such a strategic key to the region."