Saturday, October 14, 2006

"Secretary Rice describes herself as a student of history, though she herself seems to be dreaming here. She is dreaming, perhaps, of Yasser Arafat's January 2002 remarks in which Arafat likened himself to George Washington. When she wakes up, I wonder if she'll identify a few active Palestinian political figures who dream of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel rather than dream of a Palestinian state in its place. Dreamers of the latter dream seem to constitute a conspicuous majority of the followers of Hamas and Arafat's Fatah Party. In any event, perhaps Secretary Rice can contemplate how the latter dream is also one of those that may seem impossible before it happens and inevitable afterward."

Friday, October 13, 2006

"This book isn’t an argument for more war, more bombing, or more killing, but for more will. In a culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of “suttee” — the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural: “You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”

India today is better off without suttee. If you don’t agree with that, if you think that’s just dead-white-male Eurocentrism, fine. But I don’t think you really believe that.
Non-judgmental multiculturalism is an obvious fraud, and was subliminally accepted on that basis . . . . But if you think that suttee is just an example of the rich, vibrant tapestry of indigenous cultures, you ought to consider what your pleasant suburb would be like if 25, 30, 48 percent of the people around you really believed in it too. Multiculturalism was conceived by the Western elites not to celebrate all cultures but to deny their own: it is, thus, the real suicide bomb.
"Nonproliferation efforts don't seem to be working very well. [ The perfect understatement. -ed. ] "
"Finally, note the silence from the numerous critics of the “Path to 9/11” who objected to the film’s adaptation of the 9/11 report. But that docu-drama clearly identified itself as a fictionalized rendition of a document, and made no claims as history. In contrast, this new genre of journalistic exposé purports to give us the real story of Iraq, but denies us the very tools of determining whether what we are reading is true, half-true, or simply made up."
"And even if Bush were to hold direct talks—so reminiscent of World War II appeasers’ sigh that a chance to have talked to Hitler could have been prevented the war—the contrarians like Sens. Kerry, Biden, Kennedy, Boxer, Durbin et al. would then be screaming about the need for “multilateral” six-party talks with China and other regional partners. How odd this political season that all the failures of the past—Cyrus Vance, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Warren Christopher, and Madeline Albright who variously presided over the Iranian hostage mess, the failed Oslo accords, and the al Qaeda serial provocations of the 1990s that led to 9/11—are now evoked as sober and judicious exemplars."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"The Palestinians can't blame Israel for this. Shootings such as the one that took Rafiq Siam have their origins in a divide that war alone can address now. In the end, neither side can win, because both are essentially nihilistic and will not stop. The Palestinians have created a death cult in two different flavors, and both sides value martyrdom so much that both will fight until everyone is dead in order to keep power in their own hands, once the fighting starts."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"Given the ease with which the North Korean leaders suckered ambassador Jimmy Carter, and the Clinton administration, in 1994, they know big threats can earn them big rewards. And with the Democrats poised to make large advances in the mid-term U.S. Congressional elections, they may be negotiating with idiots again, soon.

From John Bolton’s remarks at the U.N., and several statements in Washington, we can see that the Bush administration, at least, has seen through this rather pathetic ruse. What we need, instead of a fresh aid package, is to cut off the regime from all Western contact and help, including all the pointless diplomatic chatter that encourages more stunts, and all the humanitarian aid that seldom gets through to its intended recipients anyway. Step up anti-missile defences, and as I’ve argued for years, invite Japan, South Korea, and all other regional allies to join NATO. This, moreover, is a precaution against the aggressive intentions of China -- the smooth fist behind North Korea’s spiky glove.

Iraqi Kite-Flying Innumeracy

Omar gets some serious backup in the comments:
"A real response? I see, a man who actually lives in Iraq can not be trusted but this nonsensical report can.

According to this report about 770 people have died every day. Every day. Where are they? They do not say. According to this report 14% of the 655,000 people died as a result of suicide bombers, that would be about 91,700 people. When and where were these people killed? They don't have a clue.

A bad month in Iraq is about 2600 casualties, but according to this socalled survey, 22,800 people have died every single month.

A third, or more than 200,000 would have died in air raids. That is more than Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

According to this report 57% were killed by gunfire, that would be about 373,000 people.

Where are the bodies? When and where they buried? Did the BBC and AP, UPI, Reuters, AlJazeera all conspire to help hide the truth? Are the US and the Iraqi government together with all the doctors and mayors part of the plot ot hide these hundreds of thousands of dead people?

They took the deaths of a few hundred people and exptrapolated them into more than 600,000 and they compared numbers to the preinvasion Iraq saying there had been virtually no violent deaths in Iraq the 14 months before the invasion. Think about how absurd that is.

Oh yes, Iraq was just a paradise of kite flying children.
Halabja? What Halabja? Mass graves? What mass graves?
"I wonder if anyone has mentioned to Mr. Peanut that the agreement of which he was so proud went almost immediately into the NoKo shredder."

Monday, October 09, 2006

"What a pity! We first failed to see that we would inevitably have to fight a regional war if we were to win in Iraq. Then, insisting on our myopia, we designed tactics to play defense in Iraq alone. And now we seem to have turned to the diplomats to “solve” the problem. They can’t do it. They can only guarantee the war will expand, the Iranians will become stronger and more aggressive, and many more people will die even as the diplomats celebrate their own surrender.

On the other hand, the template of American foreign policy seems to dictate that we be saved by our enemies, and rarely through our own brilliance
. It may seem paradoxical that our best hope lies with the fanatics in Tehran, but there you have it.
"Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools. -- Albert Einstein"
"But if Putnam is correct, then one of the central tenets of multiculturalism — that it brings people together if they simply "respect" each others differences — immediately requires qualification. In fact, it becomes entirely conceivable that the multiculti program is actually the driver behind many of the tensions which are now rising in places like France, the Netherlands and the UK."
"One may think that this is an arcane philosophical point, but many civilizations have been shipwrecked on its rocks. The Muslim world, for example, decided long ago that science was unnecessary, because if it discovered something that contradicted the Koran, then it was false, whereas if it discovered something that confirmed the Koran, it was unnecessary. With this tautology, Muslims said ta-ta ta' modernity.

In fact, I believe this epistemological problem is at the heart of the three-headed civilizational battle we are currently waging between leftism, Islamism, and classical American liberalism. The problem of Islam speaks for itself. But the same problem applies to the left, for it too attempts to seal the book of knowledge and prevent thought from straying into forbidden areas.
Just as it believes in a topdown command economy, it believes in a “command intelligentsia” that enforces a particular view of reality from on high. Its means is the takeover of the elite media and of academia from preschool through graduate school, and its method is political correctness. And the higher you move up through the system, the greater the pressure to conform to a certain tacit worldview.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Let's do the math, shall we?:
"Some experts go further, suggesting that Japan may have a design on the shelf.

"I'd be surprised if they didn't," said Frank Barnaby, a British nuclear physicist and nonproliferation advocate who's studied Japan's nuclear energy industry. "They have stocks of plutonium. They have the know-how. All that is lacking is the political decision."

Japan is third, after the United States and France, in nuclear power output. Its 54 reactors produce as much as 35 percent of the electricity consumed here, and its 43 tons in plutonium stockpiles are among the largest in the world. A nuclear bomb can be built with 17 or 18 pounds of plutonium.
[ 43 tons X 2000lbs/ton / 18lbs/bomb = 4778. But I'm sure you figured that out already. -ed. ]
Michelle remembers how we got here:
You might wonder why Anna Politkovskaya was killed by the Kremlin:
"Today's regime in Russia, as personified first and foremost by Putin, is interested only in power — to keep it, consolidate and augment it, and do it in such a way that opponents would not even be able to raise their heads[.]"
Any questions?
"The North has said it would boycott the nuclear talks until the U.S. lifts financial restrictions imposed for its alleged counterfeiting and money laundering. [ Alleged? AP = All Propaganda. All the time... -ed. ] "