Friday, June 08, 2007

Not Even Engaged

Here's a populist version of that insight expressed rather crudely. But you get the point. However, Europe and America will have to do more than raise the shields. They have to find ways to empower the Third World to overthrow their corrupt elites and establish functioning civil societies. The Middle East, Latin America and Africa are too important to be left, unchallenged to gangs and radical Islam. But today's stand-off Western development institutions and tiny militaries are far too detached to effectively engage.

Death By Skybox

From the theorists in the universities to the pundits in Canary Wharf, the intellectuals weren't interested in the working class and the working class wasn't interested in the intellectuals.

You could not have found a more lethal way to kill left-wing politics if you had tried.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sincerity Shortage

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Al Gore has been hectoring Americans to pare back their lifestyles to fight global warming. But if Mr. Gore wants us to rethink our priorities in the face of this mother of all environmental threats, surely he has convinced his fellow greens to rethink theirs, right?

Wrong. If their opposition to the Klamath hydroelectric dams in the Pacific Northwest is any indication, the greens, it appears, are just as unwilling to sacrifice their pet causes as a Texas rancher is to sacrifice his pickup truck. If anything, the radicalization of the environmental movement is the bigger obstacle to addressing global warming than the allegedly gluttonous American way of life. . . .

Kind of makes you doubt their sincerity. If global warming is the crisis they say, then all the other stuff is secondary. If all the other stuff isn't secondary, then do they really believe it's the crisis they say? It's just a Laurie David of a different color.

Even Better Than Fred!

My Fellow Americans:

Today, our nation stands at a crossroads. The direction we take from this point forward is critical for us, and for future generations. Some of the roads we can take may now look like scenic shortcuts, but may lead to long term peril. Other roads may seem covered in potholes, but may in fact lead us to the bright promise of a roadside Stuckey's with clean, well-lit restrooms. The stakes are high, and it is important that we have the right leadership behind the wheel to avoid the geopolitical speed traps and navigate our way to a delicious future of pecan logs for all.

That is why I have taken the first step towards announcing my candidacy for the 2008 presidential campaign. I have officially formed an exploratory committee to advise me on this important decision. This blue ribbon panel includes a number of distinguished public service veterans, including Chuck Helbertson, Supervisor of the Cedar County Pool Maintenance Department,

Deep Shiite

This is quite an interesting development. For one thing, the Taliban and Iran considered each other enemies until the US expelled Mullah Omar's gang from Afghanistan. If NATO has this correct, it shows that radical Islamist impulses have outweighed the traditional Sunni/Shi'ite divide in Islam. Both types of Islamist lunatics may have decided that their war against the West outweighs their internal differences.

Secondarily, it confirms Iranian mischief outside of areas in US control. While we're obviously the driving force behind the NATO mission in Afghanistan, NATO's imprimatur means that Europe can no longer treat Iranian involvement in both Afghanistan and Iraq as an American cover story. Nations that have opposed our get-tough efforts against Iran will have to realize that Iran presents a threat to their own troops - and one they will need to address quickly.

There You Have It

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They had Iran mixed up with Azerbaijan. From today's New York Times corrections section:

A map of Central Asia with an article on Saturday about the construction of a bridge linking Tajikistan and Afghanistan misidentified the country shown in the lower left. It is Iran, not Azerbaijan.

But, hey, we trust them to critique the nuances of the administration's Iran policy.

Here Comes Photosynth

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The List Goes On...

Take the simple issue of the Golan Heights. It is commonplace to say that Syria wants back the Golan Heights. But one need merely ask the simple question: what happens if Syria gets it back? If Syria’s regime made peace with Israel it has no excuse for having a big military, a dictatorship, and a terrible economy. The day after the deal the Syrian people will start demanding change.

Or economic reform. Again, many in the West take it for granted that the regime wants to take steps to improve the economy. But it would prefer to keep a tight hold on the economy rather than open it up and face enriched Sunni Muslim Arabs who hate the regime both due to their class status and their religious community.

The list goes on. Yet few of these points figure into the debate over Syria where statements like “engagement,” “a common interest in Iraq,” “getting Syria away from Iran,” “the benefits of peace with Israel,” and the reasonableness of Bashar al-Asad get repeated like mantras.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Still Coming

Last summer in the wake of the July War between Israel and Hezbollah I wrote War is coming again, and it’s coming like Christmas.

I may have been off by six months.

The Lebanese Army reports that Syria is sending weapons and terrorist/guerilla reinforcements to the war of the camps in Lebanon.

At the same time, Syrian MP Mohammad Habash confirms (if he isn’t bluffing, and maybe he is) that Syria is preparing for a conventional war against the Israel Defense Forces this summer.

But Cowardice

In this larger nether world of the Left, Chinese annexation and absorption of Tibet is a misdemeanor compared to Israelis on the West Bank. Global warming does not seem to involve India and China. Sudan seems not connected to Darfur, at least in the sense the West wrongly sleeps while millions are killed, while China most surely does not sleep—but grabs all the oil it can. A cynic would offer not hypocrisy as the common denominator, but cowardice—no Israeli will cut off your oil or hijack your plane if you slur his religion or country, in the manner that George Bush won’t Putinize you if you speak up.

The "Nightmare Scenario"

2007-06-04) — Editors at The New York Times are reportedly concerned that the nation’s “paper of record” may run out of ways to undercut the U.S. war effort in Iraq before the November 2008 presidential elections, and perhaps much sooner.

In what some insiders call “the nightmare scenario,” the Times would exhaust its supply of demoralizing stories based on leaked information even before the end of the 2007 calendar year.

Freeman Dyson Gets Warmed Up

Here are a couple of Youtube videos with Freeman Dyson talking about Global Warming mania.

He starts out in the first video (on the left) talking about vegetation. He says you can't do good science without good data. He notes that the data on vegetation is sparse (as in almost totally non-existant). The money went into computer models instead of data gathering. It figures. Computers are sexy. Electronic wind vanes and anemometers are not. He also notes that the carbon in vegetation dwarfs the carbon in the atmosphere.

In the second video he says the real problem is not CO2 induced global warming, but CO2 induced stratosphere cooling which may lead to bigger ozone holes.

He ends with the fact that the lowest cost way to control CO2 in the atmosphere is not by controlling energy production and use, but by planting or cutting down plants. He suggests more irrigation.

Short A Yacht

So why does the sight of wind farms bother Senator Kennedy?
When told that most of the time the turbines - which would generating enough energy to power Cape Cod during peak usage times - would be either invisible or barely visible from the Kennedy Compound, Ted reportedly replied, "But don't you realize, that's where I sail."
Being a sailor myself I'm all for sailing. I'm currently short a yacht at this time. If some one wanted to rectify that I'd be eternally grateful.

Monday, June 04, 2007

W Is For Woodrow

One commenter at Tigerhawk responded by adding: "your point is driven home today with Joe Biden's latest OP-Ed in the WSJ (either this weekend or today - I read them on a plane this morning.) As you read his commentary it is apparent that he is trying to talk tough on those States that would provide nuclear arms to terrorists, but only after one has been detonated on our soil."
Something else is going on here. Current society has become risk and failure averse. It wants instant results and will settle for nothing less. Osama Bin Laden understands this and it is part of his strategic calculation. And I'm bound to say, the man's right.

What Problem?

A new survey of British Muslims by Channel 4 shows that nearly 60% believe that Muslims were not responsible for the 7/7 London bombings—and nearly a quarter believe the UK government was behind them. LGF operative Kasper has a disturbing 8-minute clip on the survey, featuring one interview after another with Muslims who deny and come up with conspiracy theories.

Sadr In Summary

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Sadr is not simply an outlaw; he represents Iran’s project in Iraq just like Hamas and Nasrallah represent it in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. These are the three arms of Iran in the Middle East that have worked consistently to ruin every emerging democratic project. And these arms must be cut off sooner rather than later.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Modesty Disappointed

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I really didn't think that the new Democratic Congress would -- could! -- turn out to be worse than the Republicans. But this is just another case of my political expectations, despite their modesty, being disappointed.

Where That Last Came From...

Michael Ledeen's Darfur post from yesterday has stuck in my mind all day. It's one of the saddest things I've read on this site, and it's entirely correct:

The killers largely operate from helicopters and small fixed wing aircraft. We could destroy them all in an hour or so. But that would be "wrong," because it would violate the current hymnal.

Go tell the victims. Explain why sanctions are better, because it makes the Western politicians feel pious.

Recently I interviewed Don Cheadle, who starred in that marvelous film Hotel Rwanda a year or two back. He's now written a book about Darfur. Very nice fellow. But he doesn't seem to appreciate that the big lesson of Rwanda is that the thugs understand very clearly that whenever the west starts working through the UN it sends the message: We're not serious.

Just in case you didn't go figure it out. Now you know you should have...

The Gloomy Spectacle

It's not only Darfur. Everybody wants to save Darfur but no one will do the obvious thing. Everyone bemoans what's happening to Zimbabwe but no one will touch Mugabe. Everyone knows what Iran is up to, but heaven forfend we should do anything serious about it. Everyone sees that Putin is finlandizing Europe—I mean, he just said "I will nuke you if you try to defend yourselves against Iran"—but he's an honored guest at the big banquets. etcetera, etcetera. You wrote a fine book about the destiny of the West, let's hope that Sarkozy and the next American president shake us out of this deep sleep. And maybe someone could reset Olmert's alarm clock too while we're at it. Cause it's a gloomy spectacle, to be sure.

The Missing Smoke Filled Room

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Telling the public the truth about Iran would require a call for action. Hence, silence. Remember the media covered up the Nazi holocaust too and for the same reason. All this would be less disconcerting if we had reason to believe that somewhere in a smoke filled room somebody responsible has a realistic grasp on the unvarnished reality and will be able to make decisions on the best information available. Alas, we do not. Somebody will roll the dice and if he/she is wrong there will be another holocaust to pay. On the plus side, the US government did what it should have done months ago, it told American citizens to stay out of Iran.

Anyone who has read Anthony Cave Brown's "Bodyguard of Lies" can only be aghast at what appears to be stunning fecklessness and incompetence by all parties but the Islamofascists. And the irony is that the enemy also shows enough incompetence -- ruthless thugs are by definition incompetent as Brown's account also makes clear -- to convince the small number of thoughtful Dems that the problem isn't big enough to get serious about. Until the one bomb state turns up missing one day (soon).


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Having brought to you the continuing bad news about the security situation in Iraq, I did also want to remind you that, when asked, more Iraqis than not say that life is better today than it was under Saddam Hussein. This always amazes me because, if you ask around, you'll find that almost every opponent of the invasion of Iraq believes that we have simply ruined a stable country that, as bad it was, was nevertheless much better than what it has become. But as I have noted before, if you ask the Iraqi people themselves (who should know), they disagree. . . . That tells you something that is largely missing from discussions about Iraq. What's missing is an assessment of what things were like in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. The media was not interested in that, so they did not fill in the blanks for you.

No, they were busy actively covering up problems in Iraq so as to maintain "access" under Saddam. Read the whole thing.

Compared to what?

Play Time Returns?

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Who knew at the time (not we children, certainly, growing up more than 30 years ago in small-town Minnesota) that playing and getting hurt would come to be regarded later on as exotic, threatened activities sorely in need of a cultural revival led by concerned adults?

The "Bewildered" Ruthless

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Earlier today, Iran's President Ahmadinejad delivered a speech to foreign dignitaries in Teheran, marking the 18th anniversary of the death of the Ayatollah Khomeini, in which he said that the countdown to Israel's destruction has begun, and that Israel will cease to exist in the "near future:"
Iranian officials have expressed bewilderment over the uproar caused by [Ahmadinejad's] comments [about Israel], saying he was merely restating one of Khomeini's central beliefs that the Jewish state was doomed to destruction.

No doubt experts at the State Department are poring over Ahmadinejad's latest pronouncements, in an effort to discern what he was really trying to say.