March 31, 2003

Iraqi CENTCOM Briefing

Arnold Kling stole my idea, but he wrote it much better than I would have. In Could You Comment...? Kling imagines an Iraqi General facing a hostile media audience:
"There is a lot of second-guessing going on with people saying that the Iraqi government does not have any strategy, other than to cause chaos and suffering among the people. Do you have any sort of plan at all that would offer hope that the government will remain in power?"

Posted by jk at 02:03 PM | What do you think? [0]

A Student Protester

The caption: "A university student protests against the war in Iraq." The photo: "a close-up of a woman donning a headband emblazoned with the words, 'KILL JEWS.'"
"From the hundreds of protestor photos available to news agencies that day, The Times [of London] chose [these]"
Amazing, read all about it at London Broil from HonestReporting.com. Thanks Andrew Sullivan.
Posted by jk at 12:59 PM | What do you think? [0]

About that #3 loathsome NYer

Mark Steyn dismembers the doughy documentarist in "The whopper" and even mentions his placement on "The Most Loathsome New Yorkers List."
"To his detractors, it is hard to believe that there are two New Yorkers more loathsome than Michael Moore. To his fans, it is embarrassing to be reminded that, whatever his origins, Mister Blue-Collar Rust-Belt Regular Guy is, in fact, a resident of Manhattan's Upper West Side, where his daughter attends a ritzy private school."

Posted by jk at 11:19 AM | What do you think? [0]

Bill Whittle

Bill Whittle catapulted to blog stardom with his "Freedom" essay was posted on www.rachellucas.com. Rachel got him set up with his own blog Eject! Eject! Eject!
His latest essay, HISTORY is another powerful piece, providing a historical perspective to encompass two of my favorite themes: the justice of the current war in Iraq and a continuing march to freedom that justifies it:
"War settled whether the Mediterranean Sea would be a Carthaginian Lake or a Roman one. War settled whether Jerusalem would be Christian or Muslim. War determined whether a surrender document would be signed aboard the Missouri in Tokyo Bay or on the Yamato just off Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay. War determined whether France would be living through four years, or a millennia of darkness under Nazi supermen, and a weird, ghostly war determined whether or not there would be Englishmen and Scots and Americans living and dying in gulags in Siberia.
"And four years of unimaginably brutal war determined whether or not the United States of America would in fact be a land where all men are created equal. War determined whether the fatal, poisonous stain of slavery would split the nation into two irreconcilable camps, or whether the blood and sacrifice of men at Little Round Top and The Angle and Cold Harbor would, in part, wash away that stain and put right that which was unable to be put right at the birth of this awesome experiment in self-rule."

Posted by jk at 10:11 AM | What do you think? [0]

Career Trajectory

Call my petty, but if Peter Arnett doesn't have the journalistic integrity required for "National Geographic," isn't this a career problem? Bad enough to be fired from CNN!
I hate to make light because thanks to this traitor, many more of our brave heroes will die, and many more Iraqi civilians. All for his own self importance.
Speaking of self-importance, I have has less than kind thoughts about Geraldo Rivera over the years, but his respect and affinity for the troops in his embedded assignment have really won me over.

Posted by jk at 07:49 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 30, 2003

Our Secret Weapon

Mean Mr. Mustard suggests that it is time to take off the gloves in this war and direct some SPAM at Saddam;

"WE ARE TOP OFFICIAL OF UNITED STATES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHO ARE INTERESTED IN REMOVAL OF FUNDS FROM HIGHEST CONGRESS BUDGET MONIES TO INTERNATIONAL AREA. IN ORDER TO COMMENCE THIS BUSINESS WE SOLICIT YOUR ASSISTANCE TO ENABLE US TRANSFER INTO YOUR ACCOUNT THE SAID TRAPPED FUNDS.
THE SOURCE OF THIS FUND IS AS FOLLOWS: DURING THE LAST REGIME OF UNITED STATES HERE IN AMERICA, GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS MAKED MANY CONTRACTS BEING OVER-INVOICED IN VARIOUS COMMITTEES. THE PRESENT CITIZEN GOVERNMENT SET UP A PANEL OF REVIEW AND WE ARE HAVING IDENTIFIED MANY INFLATED BUDGET MONIES WHICH ARE CURRENTLY NOW FLOATING IN UNITED STATESIAN CENTRAL BANK OF AMERICA FOR PAYMENT. "

Funny stuff!

Posted by jk at 03:15 PM | What do you think? [0]

Happy Eric Clapton's Birthday

It IS a guitar site, right? Between wars? Well,Eric Clapton has a birthday today.
I was a Clapton freak in my teen years. Now, though I listen more to jazz, I still have a soft spot for old E.C. Happy Birthday!

Posted by jk at 12:35 PM | What do you think? [0]

Field Marshall Dowd

The Weekly Standard's website carries a short piece from the AEI. A Map, a Watch, and a Compass, says Tom Donnelly, is all you need to see how we're doing.
"Poor Rumsfeld. In checking with Tommy Franks, JCS Chairman Gen. Richard Myers, the National Security Council, and a few other civilians--like President Bush, the commander in chief--he neglected to run his war plan past either the New York Times or New Yorker editorial boards. The attack orders were never even fully briefed to the staffs of television rent-a-generals. My goodness, as the secretary might say, even the international neoconservative conspiracy was left somewhat in the dark."

Posted by jk at 12:30 PM | What do you think? [0]

March 29, 2003

What Can I Do?

USA Freedom Corps' "On the Homefront" provides links to greeting cards, care packages and e-mail to support our troops.

Posted by jk at 01:03 PM | What do you think? [0]

And at #3, Michael Moore!

NYPress publishes their list of "The 50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers." It's a fun little bit of NY for us bumpkins out here in rectangular, red states. Equal whacks at the right and left, but I will highlight #3:
"Slagging on this pandering blowhard is nothing new--especially not in these pages--but he makes it so easy. In the despicable Bowling for Columbine, the lumbering behemoth makes fun of working-class whites in order to make over-educated whites feel better about themselves. His arguments against gun control are simplistic, weak and mired in the cloying stink of self-service, which smells suspiciously like a fat man's crack. Every time Moore comes out in support of a liberal band or politician or fellow celebrity, as he proved last Sunday night, the hardworking, intelligent and reasoned left is degraded by association. It's time for activists to jettison the ballast that is Michael Moore and start repairing the damage."
Thanks to wunderkinder!

Posted by jk at 11:21 AM | What do you think? [2]

Human Shield: "I Was Wrong"

A powerful, powerful essay written by an Assyrian Christian about his experience as a human shield.
"Sitting next to me was an older man who carefully began to sound me out. Apparently feeling the freedom to talk in the midst of the mingling crowd he suddenly turned to me and said 'There is something you should know.' 'What' I asked surprised at the sudden comment."
"'We didn't want to be here tonight`. he continued. 'When the Priest asked us to gather for a Peace Service we said we didn't want to come'. He said.
"'What do you mean' I inquired, confused. 'We didn't want to come because we don't want peace' he replied.
"'What in the world do you mean?` I asked. 'How could you not want peace?' 'We don't want peace. We want the war to come` he continued."

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan. As he says: read the whole thing.

Posted by jk at 10:48 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 28, 2003

That's Some Brisket!

WSJ's Opinionjournal.com highlights this correction in the LA Times:
"Restaurant review -- A 'Counter Intelligence' review in the Food section March 19 quoted the owner of Mr. Pickles Deli in Los Angeles recalling a radio comment by talk show host Laura Schlessinger about the restaurant's brisket. Schlessinger said that the brisket does not need to be adulterated by ketchup, not that the brisket is the first step before adultery."
Either way, quite the recommendation...

Posted by jk at 02:38 PM | What do you think? [0]

Who's Smarter?

A good friend just sent me an interesting email. Called "Who's Smarter" by Cindy Osborne, it compares the educational and some other accomplishments of the current administration with those of the Hollywood stars who belittle them.

I don't know where this is from or if the author is real. I looked on Snopes.com and it seems that the factual information checks out, though they cannot confirm an author or any publication. Click on "Continue" to read the whole piece.

Who's Smarter?
By Cindy Osborne

The Hollywood group is at it again, holding anti-war rallies,
screaming about the Bush Administration, running ads in major
newspapers, defaming the President and his Cabinet every chance they
get, to anyone and everyone who will listen. They publicly defile
them and call them names like "stupid", "morons", and "idiots".
Jessica Lange went so far as to tell a crowd in Spain that she hates
President Bush and is embarrassed to be an American.

So, just how ignorant are these people who are running the country?
Let's look at the biographies of these "stupid", "ignorant",
"moronic" leaders, and then at the celebrities who are castigating
them:

President George W. Bush: Received a Bachelors Degree from Yale
University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He served as an
F-102 pilot for the Texas Air National Guard. He began his career in
the oil and gas business in Midland in 1975 and worked in the energy
industry until 1986. He was elected Governor on November 8, 1994,
with 53.5 percent of the vote. In a historic re-election victory, he
became the first Texas Governor to be elected to consecutive four-
year terms on November 3, 1998 winning 68.6 percent of the vote. In
1998 Governor Bush won49 percent of the Hispanic vote, 27 percent of
the African-American vote, 27 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of
women. He won more Texas counties, 240 of 254, than any modern
Republican other than Richard Nixon in 1972 and is the first
Republican gubernatorial candidate to win the heavily Hispanic and
Democratic border counties of El Paso, Cameron and Hidalgo. (Someone
began circulating a false story about his I. Q. being lower than any
other President. If you believed it, you might want to go to
URBANLEGENDS.COM and see the truth.)

Vice President Dick Cheney: Earned a B. A. in 1965 and a M. A. in
1966, both in political science. Two years later, he won an American
Political Science Association congressional fellowship. One of Vice
President Cheney's primary duties is to share with individuals,
members of Congress and foreign leaders, President Bush's vision to
strengthen our economy, secure our homeland and win the War on
Terrorism. In his official role as President of the Senate, Vice
President Cheney regularly goes to Capital Hill to meet with Senators
and members of the House of Representatives to work on the
Administration's legislative goals. In his travels as Vice President,
he has seen first hand the great demands the war on terrorism is
placing on the men and women of our military, and he is proud of the
tremendous job they are doing for the United States of America.

Secretary of State Colin Powell: Educated in the New York City public
schools, graduating from the City College of New York (CCNY), where
he earned a Bachelor's Degree in geology. He also participated in
ROTC at CCNY and received a commission as an Army second lieutenant
upon graduation in June 1958. His further academic achievements
include a Master of Business Administration Degree from George
Washington University. Secretary Powell is the recipient of numerous
U. S. and foreign military awards and decorations. Secretary Powell's
civilian awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the
President's Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal, the
Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, and the Secretary of
Energy Distinguished Service Medal. Several schools and other
institutions have been named in his honor and he holds honorary
degrees from universities and colleges across the country. (Note: He
retired as Four Star General in the United States Army)

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld: Attended Princeton University
on Scholarship (AB, 1954) and served in the U. S. Navy (1954-57) as a
Naval aviator; Congressional Assistant to Rep. Robert Griffin (R-MI),
1957-59; U. S. Representative, Illinois, 1962-69; Assistant to the
President, Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, Director
of the Cost of Living Council, 1969-74; U. S. Ambassador to NATO,
1973-74; head of Presidential Transition Team, 1974; Assistant to the
President, Director of White House Office of Operations, White House
Chief of Staff, 1974-77; Secretary of Defense, 1975-77.

Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge: Raised in a working class
family in veterans' public housing in Erie. He earned a scholarship
to Harvard, graduating with honors in 1967. After his first year at
The Dickinson School of Law, he was drafted into the U. S. Army,
where he served as an infantry staff sergeant in Vietnam, earning the
Bronze Star for Valor. After returning to Pennsylvania, he earned his
Law Degree and was in private practice before becoming Assistant
District Attorney in Erie County. He was elected to Congress in 1982.
He was the first enlisted Vietnam combat veteran elected to the U. S.
House, and was overwhelmingly re-elected six times.

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice: Earned her Bachelor's
Degree in Political Science, Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the
University of Denver in 1974; her Master's from the University of
Notre Dame in 1975; and her Ph. D. from the Graduate School of
International Studies at the University of Denver in 1981. (Note:
Rice enrolled at the University of Denver at the age of 15,
graduating at 19 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science (Cum
Laude). She earned a Master's Degree at the University of Notre Dame
and a Doctorate from the University of Denver's Graduate School of
International Studies. Both of her advanced degrees are also in
Political Science.) She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts
and Sciences and has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Morehouse
College in 1991, the University of Alabama in 1994, and the
University of Notre Dame in 1995. At Stanford, she has been a member
of the Center for International Security and Arms Control, a Senior
Fellow of the Institute for International Studies, and a Fellow (by
courtesy) of the Hoover Institution. Her books include Germany
Unified and Europe Transformed (1995) with Philip Zelikow, The
Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin, and Uncertain Allegiance:
The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984). She also has
written numerous articles on Soviet and East European foreign and
defense policy, and has addressed audiences in settings ranging from
the U. S. Ambassador's Residence in Moscow to the Commonwealth Club
to the 1992 and 2000 Republican National Conventions. From 1989
through March 1991, the period of German reunification and the final
days of the Soviet Union, she served in the Bush Administration as
Director, and then Senior Director, of Soviet and East European
Affairs in the National Security Council, and a Special Assistant to
the President for National Security Affairs. In 1986, while an
international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, she
served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff. In 1997, she served on the Federal Advisory Committee on
Gender -- Integrated Training in the Military. She was a member of
the boards of directors for the Chevron Corporation, the Charles
Schwab Corporation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the
University of Notre Dame, the International Advisory Council of J. P.
Morgan and the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors. She was a
Founding Board member of the Center for a New Generation, an
educational support fund for schools in East Palo Alto and East Menlo
Park, California and was Vice President of the Boys and Girls Club of
the Peninsula. In addition, her past board service has encompassed
such organizations as Transamerica Corporation, Hewlett Packard, the
Carnegie Corporation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The
Rand Corporation, the National Council for Soviet and East European
Studies, the Mid-Peninsula Urban Coalition and KQED, public
broadcasting for San Francisco. Born November 14, 1954 in Birmingham,
Alabama, she resides in Washington, D. C.

So who are these celebrities? What is their education? What is their
experience in affairs of State or in National Security? While I will
defend to the death their right to express their opinions, I think
that if they are going to call into question the intelligence of our
leaders, we should also have all the facts on their educations and
background:

Barbra Streisand : Completed high school Career: Singing and acting

Cher: Dropped out of school in 9th grade. Career: Singing and acting

Martin Sheen: Flunked exam to enter University of Dayton. Career:
Acting

Jessica Lange: Dropped out college mid-freshman year. Career: Acting

Alec Baldwin: Dropped out of George Washington U. after scandal.
Career: Acting

Julia Roberts: Completed high school. Career: Acting

Sean Penn: Completed High school. Career: Acting

Susan Sarandon: Degree in Drama from Catholic University of America
in Washington, D. C. Career: Acting

Ed Asner; Completed High school. Career: Acting

George Clooney: Dropped out of University of Kentucky. Career: Acting

Michael Moore: Dropped out first year University of Michigan. Career:
Movie Director

Sarah Jessica Parker: Completed High School. Career: Acting

Jennifer Anniston: Completed High School. Career: Acting

Mike Farrell: Completed High school. Career: Acting

Janeane Garofelo: Dropped out of College. Career: Stand up comedienne

Larry Hagman: Attended Bard College for one year. Career: Acting

While comparing the education and experience of these two groups, we
should also remember that President Bush and his cabinet are briefed
daily, even hourly, on the War on Terror and threats to our security.
They are privy to information gathered around the world concerning
the Middle East, the threats to America, the intentions of terrorists
and terrorist-supporting governments. They are in constant
communication with the CIA, the FBI, Interpol, NATO, The United
Nations, our own military, and that of our allies around the world.

We cannot simply believe that we have full knowledge of the threats
because we watch CNN! We cannot believe that we are in any way as
informed as our leaders.

These celebrities have no intelligence-gathering agents, no
fact-finding groups, no insight into the minds of those who would
destroy our country. They only have a deep seated hatred for all
things Republican. By nature, and no one knows quite why, the
Hollywood elitists detest Conservative views and anything that
supports or uplifts the United States of America. The silence was
deafening from the Left when Bill Clinton bombed a pharmaceutical
factory outside of Khartoum, or when he attacked the Bosnian Serbs in
1995 and 1999. He bombed Serbia itself to get Slobodan Milosevic out
of Kosovo, and not a single peace rally was held. When our Rangers
were ambushed in Somalia and 18 young American lives were lost, not a
peep was heard from Hollywood. Yet now, after our nation has been
attacked on its own soil, after 3,000 Americans were killed, by
freedom-hating terrorists, while going about their routine lives,
they want to hold rallies against the war. Why the change?

Another irony is that in 1987, when Ronald Reagan was in office, the
Hollywood group aligned themselves with disarmament groups like SANE,
FREEZE and PEACE ACTION, urging our own government to disarm and
freeze the manufacturing of any further nuclear weapons, in order to
promote world peace. It is curious that now, even after we have heard
all the evidence that Saddam Hussein has chemical, biological and is
very close to obtaining nuclear weapons, there is no cry from this
group for HIM to disarm. They believe we should leave him alone in
his quest for these weapons of mass destruction, even though it is
certain that these deadly weapons will eventually be used against us
in our own cities.

So why the hype out of Hollywood? Could these celebrities believe
that since they draw such astronomical salaries, they are entitled to
also determine the course of our Nation? That they can make viable
decisions concerning war and peace? Did Michael Moore have the
backing of the Nation when he recently thanked France, on our behalf,
for being a "good enough friend to tell us we were wrong"? I know for
certain he was not speaking for me. Does Sean Penn fancy himself a
Diplomat, in going to Iraq when we are just weeks away from war? Does
he believe that his High School Diploma gives him the knowledge (and
the right) to go to a country that is controlled by a maniacal
dictator, and speak on behalf of the American people? Or is it the
fact that he pulls in more money per year than the average American
worker will see in a lifetime? Does his bank account give him clout?
The ultimate irony is that many of these celebrities have made a
shambles of their own lives, with drug abuse, alcoholism, numerous
marriages and divorces, scrapes with the law, publicized temper
tantrums, etc. How dare they pretend to know what is best for an
entire nation! What is even more bizarre is how many people in this
country will listen and accept their views, simply because they liked
them in a certain movie, or have fond memories of an old television
sitcom!

It is time for us, as citizens of the United States, to educate
ourselves about the world around us. If future generations are going
to enjoy the freedoms that our forefathers bequeathed us, if they are
ever to know peace in their own country and their world, to live
without fear of terrorism striking in their own cities, we must
assure that this nation remains strong. We must make certain that
those who would destroy us are made aware of the severe consequences
that will befall them.

Yes, it is a wonderful dream to sit down with dictators and
terrorists and join hands, singing Cumbaya and talking of world
peace. But it is not real. We did not stop Adolf Hitler from taking
over the entire continent of Europe by simply talking to him. We sent
our best and brightest, with the strength and determination that this
Country is known for, and defeated the Nazi regime. President John F.
Kennedy did not stop the Soviet ships from unloading their nuclear
missiles in Cuba in 1962 with mere words. He stopped them with
action, and threat of immediate war if the ships did not turn around.
We did not end the Cold War with conferences.

It ended with the strong belief of President Ronald Reagan...

Peace through Strength

Posted by jk at 10:57 AM | What do you think? [1]

March 27, 2003

Patriot Hackers

Well, me must all do what we can for the war effort. FOXNews.com reports on hackers that tricked Network Solutions to route Al-Jezeera DNS requests to a pro-American site. God Bless Software Guys!
"WASHINGTON -- Hackers wreaked electronic havoc Thursday on Internet sites operated by the Arab television network Al-Jazeera, diverting Web surfers to pornography and to a page with a U.S. flag and the message 'Let Freedom Ring.'"

Posted by jk at 05:23 PM | What do you think? [0]

A Disgrace

Rod Dreher in The Corner writes an emotional take on the war and the protesters:
"[MSNBC Correspondent Chip] Reid said [the Marines] are wondering 'if people are going to spit on them when they get home, like in Vietnam.' [Anchor Dan] Abrams seemed close to breaking up by the thought that these men are fighting for their lives in the desert, and have doubts in their minds about whether or not the American people are behind them. Not that any of that will matter to the brats who are going to try to shut down Manhattan today. They are not worthy of the sacrifice those Marines are making. "
Amen, Rod. I fear I am related to one but my wife and I have been struck by the differences in honor, intelligence and maturity between the kids in the street and the men and women of the same age that wear our country's uniform.

Posted by jk at 12:45 PM | What do you think? [0]

Two Great Ones

Wayne Gretzky shocked the 62-cent nation of his birth with a supportive statement for our President and troops.
"I live in the United States right now. I elected the president. I happen to think he's a great leader and a wonderful president."

Now Tiger Woods speaks up: Obviously, no one likes war. Our Congress and President tried hard to avoid the use of force, but ultimately decided it was the best course of action. I like the assertiveness shown by President Bush and think we owe it to our political and military leaders, along with our brave soldiers to be as supportive as possible during these difficult and trying times. Thanks to wunderkinder!
Choosing sides, I'll take Woods & Gretzky, give you Michael Moore and Barbra, 'kay?

UPDATE: Make it three! Lance Armstrong clears up any confusion about his stance.

Posted by jk at 09:57 AM | What do you think? [0]

United Nations Man!

Mean Mr. Mustard provides "A Hero For Our Times"

Posted by jk at 09:46 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 26, 2003

Cool Warblog

A group of bloggers has teamed up to do war news at a blog called The Command Post. Good stuff.
Posted by jk at 04:34 PM | What do you think? [0]

Our Troops

I'm not sure how many have seen the "At War Post-a-Note on National Review Online" but it is excellent. You can post a picture and brief message of support for a serving friend or relative -- or just read them and feel very proud and very thankful to share a nation with these men and women.

Posted by jk at 03:27 PM | What do you think? [0]

Axis of Taxes

Larry Kudlow thinks that there is opportunity to restore tax cuts trimmed by Senate Democrats (and anti-growth Republicans) in an NRO Financial piece.
I hope he is right.
"But it's gonna be a long worldwide war to defeat terrorism. When will Olympia Snowe, George Voinovich, and Lincoln Chafee realize that strong economic growth at home is absolutely essential to total victory abroad?"

Posted by jk at 11:18 AM | What do you think? [0]

We're baaaack!

My humblest apologies to those who saw this site go dark a couple of days. I had apparently paid to renew the domain berkeleysquarejazz.com but had not "applied" the credits. Okay, whatever. Thanks to the good folks at Bizland for fixing it and thanks to ever'body else for coming back!

Posted by jk at 10:45 AM | What do you think? [0]

US Tanks Destroyed

For the first time ever, US M1A1 Abrams tanks have been destroyed in battle. This Army Times story is a gritty account of the combat that was reported in the news yesterday as having resulted in "150 to 500" Iraqi casualties and none for coalition forces.

It begins- “We’re in contact,” Lyle said calmly, as if he were announcing the time of day, not that his cavalry troop had just been ambushed at night in enemy territory.

And then- His senior enlisted tactical air controller, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael Keehan, went to work. Within minutes, two more A-10s came swinging into action overhead, dropping eight 500-pound bombs and raking the two tree lines with cannon fire. The bombs exploded with a “whompf-bang!” and cast a pall of black smoke that quickly dissipated. Both tree lines were now burning fiercely, and Keehan wore a look of pride. “It looks like ‘Apocalypse Now,’ ” he said to nearby soldiers.

Observe the slant the Times of London puts on the same story, making it seem that coalition forces are enduring the "apocalypse" themselves.

Posted by JohnGalt at 09:13 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 24, 2003

Not In Your Name

Blogger Mean Mr. Mustard makes a fair point in Not in Your Name.
"Alright. I am fully prepared to allow for the fact that this war is Not in Your Name. Duly noted[...] When the people of Baghdad are able to live free and not be burdened with the daily fear that they might be unlucky enough to cross paths with the unthinkable depravity of the Ba'athist regime, this will not be in your name. "
Awesome!

Posted by jk at 03:03 PM | What do you think? [0]

Smoking Surrender Monkeys?

Appeasement? Non! French President Chirac is pressing ahead with an ambitious campaign against tobacco.
As an ex-smoker, I am with my brave ally all the way but I am concerned: did he get a U.N. Resolution authorizing this war? What does the pope think? Is Belgium aboard?
None of these is answered in this A.P. Story. Thanks to WSJ--Best of the Web!

Posted by jk at 02:24 PM | What do you think? [0]

New blog

My charming bride, Riza, debuts a new blog today, tat ergo sum. It will be devoted to tatting, war, crochet...the usual stuff.

Posted by jk at 12:26 PM | What do you think? [0]

Our Peggy

I'm still getting used to reading Peggy Noonan on Mondays instead of Friday's. Today, though she rescues me from torpor with her "Eyes on The Prize" column. We will win and it will be worth it. It's impossible to pick a 'graph or two, read it all.
"We are about to startle and reorder the world. We are going to win this thing, and in the winning of it we are going to reinspire civilized people across the globe. We're going to give the world a lift."
And: "The deeper meaning there is that we are witnessing a triumph of activism over fatalism. Victory will remind the world that faith and effort trump ennui and despair."
Thanks, Peggy!

Posted by jk at 12:05 PM | What do you think? [0]

Thousands ride on to Baghdad

Victor Davis Hanson proves he's still The Dean with a realistic appraisal of Day 5 in National Review Online.
"It took Sherman three months to slice through the Carolinas; Patton romped his 400 miles in two months; we are impatient that it might take us five days to cover the same distance to Saddam Hussein’s bunker.
"Baghdad is their target, but Baghdad is also far away, and the path of desert, marsh, and town is choreographed, and progress televised and watched by the world. Most parents do not leave their teens alone on weekends; but hundreds of thousands of them now are driving tanks and trucks to their rendezvous with the Republican Guard..."

Posted by jk at 10:16 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 23, 2003

Hey France,

A picture is worth a thousand words (and takes fewer column-inches).

HEY France.jpg

I don't know about you, but I find the women who protest for the war much more attractive than those against it. Lots more good pro-freedom slogans at protestwarrior.com, wherefrom this pic was pilfered.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:26 PM | What do you think? [2]

US Troops Capture Chemical Plant

Some interesting war news: "It wasn't immediately clear exactly which chemicals were being produced here, but clearly the Iraqis tried to camouflage the facility so it could not be photographed aerially, by swathing it in sand-cast walls to make it look like the surrounding desert." The plant is located in An Najaf, which can be found south of Baghdad on this map.

Update: 06:59 pm - The Jerusalem Post website this story originally appeared on is getting hammered since CNN repeated JPost's scoop on air. A local archive of the story is here.

Posted by JohnGalt at 02:07 PM | What do you think? [0]

"... a chance of liberty."

There is a reason why the Drudge Report is the first place I go on the web for news stories. The ace gumshoe actually found a non-anti-war dispatch on UK's Marxist 'The Guardian' web site. (I pored over their home page and special "War in Iraq" page with nary a trace of a link to it.)

And what a dispatch it is. The compellingly tearful words of Iraqi civilian Ajami Saadoun Khlis to the US Marines breezing through Safwan on their way to Baghdad: "You just arrived. You're late. What took you so long?" He goes on, "God help you become victorious. I want to say hello to Bush, to shake his hand. We came out of the grave."

The story goes on to describe what happened in this town after the US abandoned the Iraqis after the Gulf War under pressure from the "international coalition:" Revenge killings. Marine Sergeant Jason Lewis of Denver summed up the situation nicely saying, "Hopefully this time we'll do it right, and give these Iraqis a chance of liberty."

Posted by JohnGalt at 01:31 AM | What do you think? [2]

March 22, 2003

Why are you doing this?

Unigolyn, a great blog from Estonia, posts an excellent essay asking the protesters why they oppose this war with the things we are seeing. Read the whole thing, but here's a taste:
"Now tell me how Bush is 'just as bad'. Please inform me of even one thing that George W. Bush has ever done that is nearly as evil and monstrous as this.
And if your argument isn't that, if your argument is that Saddam can be dealt with otherwise, then let me know how he can be disarmed without war? You simply cannot send in 'ninjas' or 'special forces units' to take him out. He is harder to kill than the US president, and no US president has been killed since 1963. Not for lack of trying. And even if you somehow do take him out, Qusay the Butcher will take his place, or Uday, or any number of the other sociopathic monsters he has surrounded himself with."

Posted by jk at 02:11 PM | What do you think? [0]

"Shocked back to reality"

Reality is a fairly powerful force, isn't it. There's some good stuff in this UPI report. Excerpts:

A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with Japanese human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present. Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip "had shocked me back to reality." Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam's bloody tyranny.

The official and private views of some ranking Jordanian officials appear to be diametrically opposed. Officially, they condemn the war and say they are "deeply troubled" about the repercussions of the war on the region, and describe the situation as "critical." Privately, and not for attribution, they say the United States is developing a new opportunity for the Middle East. Said one former prime minister, "If the U.S. can get a new Iraq to recognize Israel as a quid pro quo for a final Palestinian settlement, others will fall into place -- Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the other Gulf states. Iran would then have to pull back its military support for Hezbollah."

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:57 AM | What do you think? [11]

Liberation.

Awesome slide show of bomb, military and liberation pix. Thanks to Jonah Goldberg at The Corner.
Posted by jk at 11:24 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 21, 2003

If he had a heart...

...than my buddy Senator Daschle might know what side it was on. A priceless picture from the blog Wunderkinder.org. Then go to the main page and scroll down for a nice fisking of Michael Moore.

Posted by jk at 06:01 PM | What do you think? [1]

Back to the UN?

I enjoyed hearing PM Tony Blair (my new favorite Socialist) this morning, but it was hard to hear him talk about how the UN will administer Iraq's reconstruction. Oh, yeah? I'll have to side with Charles Krauthammer:
"Mr. President, we lost at the United Nations. Badly. But that signal defeat had one significant side benefit. For the first time, Americans got to see what the United Nations truly is. The experience has been bracing. The result has been an enormous and salutary shift in American public opinion."

Posted by jk at 03:10 PM | What do you think? [1]

March 20, 2003

Saddam: Ambitions of aggression

In what may have been the last words of his life, Saddam Hussein yesterday discarded all pretenses and clearly stated the reason he craves weapons of mass-death. In a translated text of the recorded speech released after the attack on his bunker, Saddam makes numerous references to the "evil" of the "American-zionist criminal alliance," and to "the banners of jihad," the holy war of the "glorious Arab nation" against the "criminal Zionists." Can anyone still doubt that Saddam sought a nuclear bomb for the annihilation of Tel Aviv?

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:24 PM | What do you think? [0]

And our British Allies

The Telegraph prints stirring words from British Commander Lt Col Tim Collins:
"We go to liberate not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in their country. We are entering Iraq to free a people and the only flag which will be flown in that ancient land is their own. Show respect for them.
"There are some who are alive at this moment who will not be alive shortly. Those who do not wish to go on that journey, we will not send. As for the others I expect you to rock their world. Wipe them out if that is what they choose. But if you are ferocious in battle remember to be magnanimous in victory.
"If someone surrenders, ensure that one day they go home to their family. The ones who wish to fight, well, we aim to please.
"As for ourselves, let's bring everyone home and leave Iraq a better place for us having been there. Our business now is north."

Posted by jk at 02:26 PM | What do you think? [0]

Semper Fi

Major-General J.N. Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Division's "Message to All Hands" on the eve of war:
"For decades, Saddam Hussein has tortured, imprisoned, raped and murdered the Iraqi people; invaded neighboring countries without provocation; and threatened the world with weapons of mass destruction. The time has come to end his reign of terror. On your young shoulders rest the hopes of mankind.
"When I give you the word, together we will cross the Line of Departure, close with those forces that choose to fight, and destroy them. Our fight is not with the Iraqi people, nor is it with members of the Iraqi army who choose to surrender. While we will move swiftly and aggressively against those who resist, we will treat all others with decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who have endured a lifetime under Saddam's oppression.
"Chemical attack, treachery, and use of the innocent as human shields can be expected, as can other unethical tactics. Take it all in stride. Be the hunter, not the hunted: Never allow your unit to be caught with its guard down. Use good judgment and act in best interests of our Nation.
"You are part of the world's most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon. Share your courage with each other as we enter the uncertain terrain north of the Line of Departure. Keep faith in your comrades on your left and right and Marine Air overhead. Fight with a happy heart and strong spirit.
"For the mission's sake, our country's sake, and the sake of the men who carried the Division's colors in past battles -- who fought for life and never lost their nerve -- carry out your mission and keep your honor clean. Demonstrate to the world there is 'No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy' than a U.S. Marine."

This was included in a WSJ Editoria, l"The Hopes of Mankind." Amen.

Posted by jk at 08:54 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 19, 2003

Let's roll.

The appropriate battle cry as coalition forces begin to sweep into Iraq is the same one that Todd Beamer used before his courageous interdiction of life-hating terrorists on September 11's UAL flight 93. "Let's roll."

In closing his address to the nation this evening the President said, "May God bless our country, and all who defend her." We know who that leaves out.

Posted by JohnGalt at 08:47 PM | What do you think? [0]

Plato's "Generation of Opposites"

Too cool! Susan Sarandon's 'Rabid' Republican Mom: "'I am a conservative. I voted for George W. Bush and I simply agree with most everything he has said,' Tomalin told us yesterday..."
Thanks, Rachel Lucas!

Posted by jk at 11:01 AM | What do you think? [0]

The Wages of Tyranny

Holman Jenkins (paid site--you really are going to have to subscribe) makes a great point in his introduction. Saddam, who craved power and prestige could have ruled a true world power had he run a free Iraq:
"Baathist nationalization in the 1970s, Saddam's destructive wars and the sanctions he brought down on his country's head have kept Iraq from acquiring technology to exploit these [extensive oil resources].
"The irony is that Saddam would have had an economic power, perfectly legitimate in the eyes of the world, far greater than any he gets from terror weapons."


Posted by jk at 10:27 AM | What do you think? [0]

The Blizzard of ought-three!

Snowbound today, kids! Here is a shot out my patio door. Click on "Continue Reading..." to see more pictures
Posted by jk at 09:49 AM | What do you think? [3]

Chirac without the savoir faire

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page takes a whack (paid site only, sorry!) at Senator Daschle today. Excellent. I was "saddened and disappointed" to use Daschlese at his partisan hostility on the eve of war. The Journal page sez:
He wasn't speaking French, at least not the language. But in placing the blame for war, and for American deaths, not on Saddam Hussein but directly on an American President, Mr. Daschle sounded like Jacques Chirac without the savoir faire. This is remarkable stuff, especially from a Senator who only last October voted for the Iraq war resolution, and who only five years ago voted with a unanimous Senate to make removing Saddam official U.S. policy (the Iraqi Liberation Act).

Posted by jk at 09:10 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 18, 2003

Not in God's Name

Virtually all of my liberal friends (yes, JohnGalt does have some friends who are liberals) have expressed worry that President Bush is "invested in this war in a religious way," citing his off-hand use of the term crusade in the weeks after 9/11 and his recent statements that he is comforted by prayer. Another cites the President's assertion that "he has received word from a 'higher calling'" that guides his actions.

I tell them that his resolve in holding Saddam to account is the President's least religious characteristic. Almost as if to prove this judgment, the Vatican was kind enough to issue a statement today clearly criticizing the actions of the coalition of the willing that "assume[s] a grave responsibility before God." President Bush does posess an individual trait that guides his actions in this matter but it is not his religious faith, it is his adherence to the principles of self-defense and personal responsibility.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:06 PM | What do you think? [0]

Better Red Than Pro War!

A family skirmish pits me as a "grouchy uncle" to my Berkeley educated but otherwise adored niece. As an acerbic avuncular presence, I have been forced to defend the rights of the protesters although I have little respect for many of their positions.
I have complained of their reflexive hatred for this administration and this country, the Iraqi exiles who appear almost universally in opposition, and the Communist ties of the protest organizers.
James Glassman captures it all in a great column, "Stalin Would Be Proud."
"To protest this war is a valid exercise of the right of free speech. No one argues with that. Protesters, however, have moral obligations, too, and one of them is to treat their opponents with dignity and honesty and to refuse to lend even tacit support for backers of vile communist dictatorships. In addition, all Americans - even those in the press - have the obligation to condemn the kind of disgusting slurs that so many of these marchers, and others, have been hurling."

Posted by jk at 04:33 PM | What do you think? [0]

Andrea and Mohammed

Wow! A great audio clip of a discussion between a peace protester (Andrea) and an Iraqui exile (Mohammed). From Asparagirl, who got it from Instapundit.

Posted by jk at 03:17 PM | What do you think? [0]

If Bill Clinton had only known...

Gallup Poll Analyses - Public Approves of Bush Ultimatum by More Than 2-to-1 Margin

If GW's predecessor had realized how popular it would be with the American people to actually DO something about the murderous, terror-exporting tyrant of Iraq he would've taken the regime change policy that his administration originated much more seriously. (Well, maybe not. It is an awful lot of work after all, this acting on moral principle in the face of top-of-their-lungs hand-wringing lunatics.) This poll shows that a broad majority of Americans believes that the U.S. has exhausted all diplomatic options, approves of the decision for war, and even more certainly is confident the campaign will be a success.

Posted by JohnGalt at 01:42 PM | What do you think? [0]

French Recap

CNN.com has an interview with French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte:
"If the war starts and if (President) Saddam Hussein uses chemical or biological weapons, it would change completely the situation for the French president and for the French government..."
I guess if they use the weapons that France sold them that they don't have, France will jump into the fray. Got it!

Posted by jk at 01:26 PM | What do you think? [0]

Women for a Free Iraq

A good friend sends a great email today, with some thoughts of his and a letter from "Women for a Free Iraq" by Iraqi Exile Esra Naama
My friend, a Navy reservist, takes a nice whack at the "going it alone" canar-er-argument:
"I was a personal close-by witness to our 'UN' when while I was still in the Landing forces, after we saw the fall of Vietnam in '75, that we saw Pol-Pot begin the Khmer-Rouge campaign -- which killed as many as 1 out of 3 Cambodians. The UN made a 'gesture' to describe their disapproval... How about the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Or when just recently the mass murders occurred in Rwanda a few years back. No -- I know that we cannot be the police force of all of the world and fix ALL of the problems. Neither do I say that we are perfect -- but I ALSO know that I DEFINITELY do NOT want to 'blindly' support this so-called 'world community's' philosophy.

'They Don't Speak for Me'
An Iraqi refugee says stars who decry action against Hussein prolong
the abuse of a people

By Esra Naama, Esra Naama of San Diego is a member of Women for a
Free Iraq.
Web site: www.womenforiraq.org.


I am a refugee from Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

When Martin Sheen, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon and Barbra Streisand
speak about the Iraqi people, they are not speaking about people like
me, who are Shiite Muslims -- the largest religious group in Iraq
that is nonetheless forced to live as second-class citizens under the
Sunni regime of Hussein and his Baath Party.

When I was 10, I fled Iraq with my mother and four siblings after the
failure of the 1991 uprising against Hussein. My father, a former
Iraqi army colonel, was one of the leaders of the uprising and helped
organize the resistance forces that fought against Hussein. As a
pharmacist with knowledge of military bases in the southern part of
Iraq, he took crates of medicine and supplies from army hospitals to
the local civilian hospitals.

And he attacked every vestige of Hussein's control in my hometown
of
Al-Diwaniya; he tore down posters of Hussein and restored the old
names on the hospitals and public buildings that had been named for
Hussein.

At that time, we believed that the coalition forces would come to our
assistance. But within a few short days, Hussein brutally crushed us.
In the months that followed, tens of thousands of my fellow Shiite
Muslims were executed. Entire families were killed. Bodies were left
to hang on trees and men were tortured in public. These are the
scenes that I relive in my nightmares.

My father went into hiding to escape execution. My mother had no idea
whether he was dead or alive. She knew that if Hussein's security
forces could not find him, they would come after her children, and we
would be imprisoned and tortured to lure my father out of hiding.
When they took away my 18-year-old cousin, my mother decided we had
to leave. We set off on a long journey, moving to new safe houses
every night, until we finally reached the Rafha refugee camp in Saudi
Arabia. The camp embodied all the indifference and cruelty with which
Arab dictatorships treat their people. We stayed there for nearly two
years. We were lucky.

Eventually, my father found his way to the same camp and we were
blessed to receive refugee status in the United States on Sept. 17,
1992. My family celebrates this date as our new birthday, the day
that we were able to begin our lives as full human beings, with
dignity and hope. Growing up in the United States, I often thought
about the people we left behind. We lost three relatives. My best
friend's father, an army general, was executed for unknown reasons. I
have friends who have lost 50 relatives.

Like many others, I am dedicated to ending the suffering of the Iraqi
people. They are prisoners in their own land and they yearn for
freedom and the simple things that we take for granted -- democracy,
freedom of speech, the right to vote. America is their model for the
future of Iraq, if only America and the world would help them build
it.

I am an American now, and I have been educated to respect the right
to free expression by any citizen, a right no member of my family
enjoyed when we lived in Iraq. I know from personal experience that
the Hollywood actors who decry action against Hussein are really
opposing the liberation of the Iraqi people. I wish they would praise
the American troops in the field or just stay silent.

There is only one measure of comfort to be found in their statements:
When Iraq is finally liberated, these actors will learn that they
have never spoken for the people of Iraq.

Posted by jk at 01:07 PM | What do you think? [0]

March 17, 2003

UN RIP

Two excellent and serious looks at the UN (on the day it becomes totally irrelevant?).

Jeff Jacoby tells us: "Shed no tears. For all the beautiful words in its charter, the UN has never lived up -- never even tried to live up -- to its founding ideals. The UN Charter venerates justice and human rights, but dozens of UN members states routinely pervert justice and crush human rights."
Robert Bartley offers a comprehensive historical comparison to The League of Nations in "When America Left Peace to France"

Posted by jk at 11:15 AM | What do you think? [0]

A little Physics

Politics is getting serious, I think everybody's finished trying to convert their friends to their positions for or against the war. Time will tell and I think we'll hear her story soon.
John Derbyshire gives us a little bit of cosmology to spend our time with. I am looking forward to reading his book on prime numbers, but I am holding out for an autographed copy when the author comes to Boulder and Denver.

Posted by jk at 10:59 AM | What do you think? [4]

March 16, 2003

Whither Rummy

My buddy Andrew Sullivan thinks that Secretary Rumsfeld's uber-candor is wearing thin. Mark Steyn (and I ) disagree. In The straight talker, Steyn celebrates his efficacy as well as his unlikely rise to fame.
"Everyone understands that the State Department is full of striped-pants appeasers who think the thing to do is roll over for the House of Saud and justify it as realpolitik. But the Defense Department isn't ideal either - Rummy inherited a bunch of Clintonian generals locked into an outmoded Cold War structure. The difference is that Rumsfeld's fixing the problem"

Posted by jk at 08:00 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 14, 2003

We got Rolled!

A great blog from Estonia, unigolyn, does us the honor of being the first to add Berkeley Square Blog to its "blogroll." I don't know enough about Estonia even to work for the State Department, but I constantly read that it is a shining star of free markets, modernity, and freedom in Eastern Europe.
Sam at Unigolyn seems to capture this energy--and he makes Americans look positively anemic in our French-bashing. His blog is a must read.
The kind words: "Another good blog just found its way onto the blogroll over on the right. Berkeley Square Blog. Also check out the mp3s, seems like pretty damn good jazz, though I'm not a jazz man myself." Thanks!

Posted by jk at 04:55 PM | What do you think? [2]

Trivia Quiz

"HERE'S A MIDDLE EAST riddle: Who are Atef Obeid, Muhammad Mustafa Miro, Ali Abu Ragheb, Mohamed Ghannouchi, Ali Benflis, and Abd al-Qadir Bajamal? Chances are that you're scratching your head.
"Here's a hint: They work for Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Jordan's King Abdullah, Tunisian president Zine Bin Ali, Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Salih.
"Still can't figure it out? Answer: They are Arab prime ministers."

With that, Robert Satloff, in The Prime Ministers Nobody Knows, destroys the hope proffered by a new Arafat puppet, and bolsters W's decision to delay the soi disant "peace process" until a real interlocutor can be found.

Posted by jk at 11:55 AM | What do you think? [0]

Go Pete!

Pierre du Pont pens some stinging questions for the peace protestors in the WSJ OpinionJournal site.
"The Soviet Union was at peace between the two world wars and from 1945 until its collapse in 1989, and in those times managed to shoot, starve or kill in the gulag more than 20 million of its own people. In Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution, China killed and starved many millions more. Pol Pot in a Cambodia at peace killed two million Cambodians. Zimbabwe is at peace, but dictator Robert Mugabe is starving his subjects. North Korea is at peace, and enslaving and starving its people. Iraq is, likewise, oppressing its people."

Posted by jk at 11:46 AM | What do you think? [0]

Democracy By America

Daniel Drezner's piece in The New Republic could easily have appeared in The Weekly Standard. He lays out an optimistic look at democratizing Iraq based in part on its proximity to Turkey, Jordan, Kurdish Northern Iraq, and liberalizing states like Qatar, Bahrain and Morocco.
"Combine democratization in the Fertile Crescent with the continued liberalization of Morocco, Bahrain, and Qatar, and suddenly the neocon vision of a fourth wave of democratization spreading across the Middle East begins to look plausible."

Posted by jk at 10:23 AM | What do you think? [0]

What to do in an emergency

Here's an email going around (I didn't get it, what's wrong with my friends?) having a little sport over new Graphics on the gubmint's www.ready.gov page.
Funny stuff: "If you hear the Backstreet Boys, Michael Bolton or Yanni on the radio, cower in the corner or run like hell."
Or: "Do not drive a stations wagon if a power pole is protruding from the hood"

Posted by jk at 09:23 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 13, 2003

A serious look at the UN

George Will on the United Nations:
War precipitates clarity as well as confusion, and the war against Iraq already has clarified this: The United Nations is not a good idea badly implemented, it is a bad idea.
And: The United Nations should contemplate the prudence required of the U.S. Supreme Court. The court's power flows from the public's deference, which depends on the court's accepting a limited role amid powerful political forces.

Posted by jk at 02:55 PM | What do you think? [0]

Senator McCain, part II

I would so like to get 100% behind this clear speaking, likeable, funny war hero and Senator. I respect and admire his service to our country in the Navy and in the legislature.
But holy cow! The media have stolen his Republican mojo and they won't give it back. In A Second Betrayal, (paid site only, sorry) he and Senator Baucus, and Senator Grassley decry the Spitzer/Pitt "global settlement" as not being punishing enough.
If these two Republicans wanted to improve Corporate Governance and transparency, they should be working on the dividend tax cut.

The global settlement is a display of government coercion of the worst sort: "We don't have the evidence to prosecute you, but if you don't settle, we will leak emails, abet shareholder lawsuits, and ruin your business." If Ralph Nader and Sen. Baucus support this it is par for the course, but Sen. Grassley is Chairman of the Finance Committee. And Sen. McCain should know better.
Sarbanes-Oxley is livable, some tough prosecutions of white-collar crooks will help, but eliminating the double taxation of dividends would do much more than perpetuating this witch hunt.

Posted by jk at 09:29 AM | What do you think? [0]

Cost of Containment

Walter Russell Meade shows the immorality of containment in a excellent piece in The Washington Post today, Deadlier Than War.
By his count, at least as many people die every year in Saddam's sanctioned Iraq as died in the first Gulf war. Where is the morality in continued containment?

Posted by jk at 09:10 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 12, 2003

Senator McCain

While I'm praising unlikely sources, Senator John McCain writes in the New York Times:
Our armed forces will fight for peace in Iraq --a peace built on more secure foundations than are found today in the Middle East. Even more important, they will fight for the two human conditions of even greater value than peace: liberty and justice. Some of them will perish in this just cause. May God bless them and may humanity honor their sacrifice.

Posted by jk at 03:46 PM | What do you think? [0]

French Economics 101

I should stop, I know I should stop, but France has decided to freeze its tax cutting "until economic growth returns." The beatings will continue until morale improves!
Thanks to WSJ's OpinionJournal.

Posted by jk at 03:02 PM | What do you think? [0]

Silly rabbit, guns are for feds!

As a follow-on to JKs blog on Senator Boxer supporting armed pilots, I just had to dig deeper into this. There had to be a catch, right. To wit:

Pilots' Alliance 'Shocked Beyond Belief' by TSA Disclosure -- 02/25/2003

There are multiple issues of FRD (Federal regulatory disorder) raised by this article, but the most serious of them is that pilots are only allowed to be armed when they are on the flight-deck with the door closed. "The jurisdiction of use of the weapon is in the cockpit and the cockpit only," explained TSA spokeswoman Heather Rosenker. Oh, I get it. So if Islamo-fascists are methodically slitting the throats of passengers with swiss army knives there's not a damn thing the pilot is 'authorized' to do about it! "The weapon needs to be re-secured in the locked box if the cockpit door opens," she adds. This is because behind a locked cockpit door an ordinary airline pilot is magically transformed into something called a 'Federal Flight Deck Officer,' and only FFDOs are allowed to be armed. Apparently FFDOs never need to pee.

Posted by JohnGalt at 01:42 PM | What do you think? [1]

Who Knew He Was Funny?

I'm sure a lot of people did, but I was surprised. Nicholas Von Hoffman offers a hilarious (an hilarious?) take on the Clinton-Dole reprisal of his Point-Counterpoint.
"Unless he punches it up, Mr. Clinton, who managed to hold on to his job after his personal popularity melted and Congress tried to give him the sack, will be treated more harshly by CBS than he was by the Senate."

Posted by jk at 09:10 AM | What do you think? [0]

Me and Senator Boxer

Sen. Boxer is a cosponsor of the Cargo Security Act, S. 165. Words cannot describe how happy I am to be on the same side of an issue with the Senator.
She now cosponsors an amendment to the Armed Pilot Program to include cargo flights.
Late breaking news is the Senate Commerce Committee will be taking up Act, S. 165 late Wednesday or Thursday. Senator Boxer (D-CA.) and Senator Allen (R-VA.) are planning on offering the Cargo Pilots Against Terrorism Act, S. 516 as an Amendment to the S. 165 bill.
I think both Colorado Senators are on board, but if you are not sure of yours, send an e-mail and tell them to "Vote with Barbara!" on this one.

Posted by jk at 08:30 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 11, 2003

Go Hitch Go!

Christopher Hitchens takes a whack at President Carter:
You could see this paradox demonstrated last Sabbath morn on the New York Times op-ed page, by Jimmy Carter: peanut czar, home-builder, Nobel laureate, and Baptist big mouth. Reviewing "just-war" precepts, our former president considered the obligation of weaponry to discriminate between combatants and noncombatants.
And the pope:
One wonders what it would take for the Vatican to condemn Saddam's regime [...] I suppose if Saddam came out for partial-birth abortions or the ordination of women or the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle he might be hit with a condemnation of some sort.

Posted by jk at 02:16 PM | What do you think? [0]

Saddam's Song

Jay Nordlinger treats us to a song from "South Park" (not "South Pacific") Saddam sings this to Satan:
But I can change, I can change.
I can learn to keep my promises,
I swear it.
I'll open up my heart
And I will share it.
Any minute now
I will be born again.
Yes, I can change, I can change.
I know I've been a dirty little bastard:
I like to kill, I like to maim.
Yes, I'm insane, but that's okay,
'Cause I can change.

Posted by jk at 08:17 AM | What do you think? [0]

The "greater threat" canard

The primary source of this blog isn't the 'net, it's one of my wife's co-workers. In a debate over the forceful liberation of Iraq, this attentive sovereign franchisee (that's "informed voter" to normal folks) floated the Howard Dean canard that military action against Iraq is wrong because North Korea poses a greater threat to American security. Dean appears to endorse a sort of "Axis-of-Evil Whack-a-Mole" strategy of massing our military resources on the doorstep of whoever is carping the loudest at any given time. On closer inspection, however, what he really claims as the "solution inégalée" is "negotiation" with North Korea and, undoubtedly, Iraq. "For want of direct dialogue, he runs the risk of allowing North Korea to become a nuclear power on his watch," says Dean. Right. And France failed to forestall invasion by the Nazis because they didn't offer to trade heating oil and light-water nuclear reactors for the Vaterland's Panzers, Stukas and Messerschmitts.

Posted by JohnGalt at 01:39 AM | What do you think? [1]

What do weasels fear? Decision.

On Monday the President of the Weasel Triumverate declared unequivocal opposition to the Spain, U.K., U.S. draft Security Council resolution on Iraq, after resolution 1441. "Our position is no matter what the circumstances, France will vote 'no.' " Jacques opposes the resolution, in part, because it is a resolution. But what does this resolution say that solidifies him so in principled defiance? In one of the shortest resolutions in the history of the coalition of the "U.N.-willing" there are 350 words of preamble including four 'recallings,' two 'notings,' and one each reaffirming, mindful, recognizing and determined, finally concluding with, and I quote:

"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
1. Decides that Iraq has failed to take the final opportunity afforded to it by resolution 1441 (2002);
2. Decides to remain seized of the matter."

So there you have it folks. France objects to, decision. It appears that the only thing France is certain of is uncertainty itself.

Posted by JohnGalt at 01:03 AM | What do you think? [0]

My mind's made up, don't confuse me with facts

"Our position is no matter what the circumstances, France will vote 'no,'" says Chirac. He goes on to say, "When one of the five permanent members — the United States, Britain, Russia, China and France — votes no, even if there is a majority (in favor), the resolution is not adopted — that is called the right of veto." (Thanks for the civics lesson, oh furry one.) And he completes the infinite loop with, "We are not engaged and we will not be if there is not a decision by the U.N." So the gist is, France won't let the U.N. decide that France should be engaged. Good precedent J.C. Don't be surprised when America doesn't let the U.N. push us around either. That is called "the right of national sovereignty."

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:18 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 10, 2003

Now with increased sagacity

It just gets better and better around here. A big, Berkeley Square welcome to Sugar Chuck, a good friend and great guitar player. Welcome, welcome!
Posted by jk at 07:07 PM | What do you think? [0]

www.OneEyedMullah.af

Afghanistan now has the domain .af. Not bad for a place where, under the Taliban, "All nongovernmental use of e-mail services and Web sites was punishable by death."
Thanks to asparagirl for the link and the United States Military for the enlightenment.

Posted by jk at 02:56 PM | What do you think? [0]

Churchillian

WSJ.com - 'My Grandfather Invented Iraq' (Paid subscribers only) A friend wonders why I did not blog this moving essay from Churchill's grandson. Good question.
It's not on the free site. Holler if you want it and I will email it to you.
"Had the Allies held firm and shown the same resolve to uphold the rule of law among nations that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair are demonstrating today, there is little doubt that World War II, with all its horrors, could have been avoided. Indeed it was for that reason that Churchill called World War II the "Unneccesary War." Tragically, the same sickness that infected the League of Nations -- a feebleness of spirit, an unwillingness to face the realities of the world we live in, and a determination to place corrupt self-interest before the common good -- now afflicts the governments of France, Germany and Belgium.?

Posted by jk at 09:43 AM | What do you think? [0]

Put your troops where your mouths are

Here's an idea that occured to me recently as well. One Tom McIntyre of SF, CA (6th item) urges the Axis of Weasels to send troops to defend Iraq from "illegal U.S. invasion."
Q- If France and it's weasel compadres are so certain that it's morally wrong for America to liberate Iraq then why aren't they mobilizing forces to prevent it? A- Because, just like Cuba and North Korea, all they want is to keep us "in our place:" apologetic for our wealth and success.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Who let this Franz Enciso guy into Berkeley? (9th item, same link) He actually has a clue about life! (And how on earth did his letter get published in SF!?)

Posted by JohnGalt at 01:34 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 09, 2003

Steyn picks the Oscars

Mark Steyn handicaps the Oscars from a political standpoint. Great stuff!
If it sounds cynical to be parcelling out the awards on this basis - war is good for Adrien Brody, bad for Michael Caine; court appearances are good for Catherine Zeta-Jones, bad for Roman Polanski; depression is good for Nicole Kidman, devastating for Sadie Frost - my excuse is that in the past decade the Oscars have undergone a creeping corporate takeover.

Posted by jk at 10:23 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 08, 2003

Lance Courage

More good folks to lift the heavy burden of punditry around here. Welcome to Lance Courage, who taught jk many things in his youth, some of which turned out to be true! Welcome, welcome!
Posted by jk at 09:23 AM | What do you think? [0]

"Cool Photo" Redux

Attempting to make up for the Limbaugh hoax photo of the day/night terminator over western Europe blogged here recently, here's another cool space shot from the well meaning, if bureaucratically paralyzed, NASA itself: The earth at night, admittedly a composite, but without any Photoshop funny business. Check out the 38th parallel in Korea! It seems Baby Kim really does need that nuclear power plant.

The images were reportedly gathered from the Boeing/L3 built International Space Station.

Descriptive text follows from the email thread that brought this link to me, by way fo my fabulous mother-in-law. (Thanks Gail!)

Note that Canada's population is almost exclusively along the U.S. border. Moving east to Europe, there is a high population concentration along the Mediterranean Coast. It's easy to spot London, Paris, Stockholm and Vienna. Check out the development of Israel compared to the rest of the Arab countries. Note the Nile River and the rest of the "Dark Continent". After the Nile, the lights don't come on again until Johannesburg. Look at the Australian Outback and the Trans-Siberian Rail Route. Moving east, the most striking observation is the difference between North and South Korea. Note the density of Japan.

Posted by JohnGalt at 01:09 AM | What do you think? [1]

March 07, 2003

And the winner is...

Cuban Parliament Nominates Fidel Castro
"HAVANA (AP) - President Fidel Castro, the world's longest ruling head of government, was elected Thursday by Cuba's new parliament to a sixth term in office."
Probably a real squeaker. Congrats to El Jefe, maybe he'll stop torturing innocents now that he doesn't have to appear "tough" for the election.

Posted by jk at 02:08 PM | What do you think? [0]

WaPo: Dems Will Regret Filibuster

That is my hope.
"There is more than enough blame to go around. But the Estrada filibuster is different from any nomination fight in recent history, for Senate Democrats are not merely opposed to Mr. Estrada. They are engaged in a kind of extortion"

Posted by jk at 09:56 AM | What do you think? [0]

I'll give him a C+

No secret that I am a W fan, ready to overlook verbal blunders and friendship with Ted Kennedy. I think the press conference went badly, though. He was a little too scripted and gave the same answer to different questions. One magic moment was "We will have a vote!" (complete with eye twinkle). David Frum disagrees and I hope he is right.

UPDATE: Okay, I'll up it to A- Helen Thomas was snubbed! Huzzah!

Posted by jk at 08:59 AM | What do you think? [0]

Let internecine battle commence!

I disagree (first day!) with JohnGalt's misrepresentation of partial birth abortion as a "Woman's right." I don't recall John Locke or John Stuart Mill discussing it at all. Google("Locke Dilation/Extraction"). For a Republican, I am basically pro-Choice. I think it is a matter for people's hearts and not for the gub'mint. But I would support a ban on this procedure as a reasonable limit.

Of course, I'd not object if not for your headline, buddy. Nancy Pelosi will co-opt you in her struggle to put more Democrats in power, which will be a big net loss in the Liberty column.

Posted by jk at 08:32 AM | What do you think? [0]

The "Rush" to war

The Democrats seem to oppose the liberation of Iraq's citizens by armed force for the same reason they oppose stimulating the economy by letting producers keep the money they earn: Because it's the only way that actually accomplishes the stated goal. The last thing the Democrats want is to eliminate campaign issues by resolving them.

Posted by JohnGalt at 01:45 AM | What do you think? [0]

There's more than one war going on

Not just "Baby Kim" Jong Il, but now Uncle Fidel seeks to capitalize on America's moral uncertainty regarding the 12 year-old war with Iraq. There are too many criminally wrong ideas in this communist rant to address them all, but they're easy to spot. Consider it your homework assignment. If you spot all 19 of them I'll buy you a pint of Guinness.

By far, the most chilling part of this London Guardian editorial, is the coded message to terrorist sleeper cells in the U.S. embedded in the closing paragraph. "Only we can save humanity ourselves with the support of millions of manual and intellectual workers from the developed nations who are conscious of the catastrophes befalling their peoples." Many of the terrorists to whom these orders are directed hold elective office in every level of our government.

Posted by JohnGalt at 01:30 AM | What do you think? [0]

Do Republicans value individual freedom for all, or only the 49% who are male?

“I have always thought it was unfortunate that the party I believe should stand for individual freedom makes a very sharp departure from that philosophy when it comes to interfering with women’s rights.” So muses U.S. Representative Jim Greenwood (R-PA) regarding the latest effort to make abortion a federal crime.
Q- Why don't Democrats and Republicans strike a deal where the former will abandon their policy goal of criminalizing gun ownership and the latter will swear off their crusade to outlaw abortion?
A- Because both efforts are fueled by the same statist principle: The will of the citizen is subordinate to the will of the "authorities."

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:17 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 06, 2003

You Decide

Colin Powell on charges of American Imperialism: "We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last 100 years . . . and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in."
Harry Bellefonte on Agricultural Economics: "Come, Mister Tally-man, tally me banana..."

Posted by jk at 11:38 AM | What do you think? [0]

Impeach W?

Not that the Democrats are not serious or anything but...
Danny Davis (D-Spaceland) is drafting a resolution, to be brought up as soon as war commences. Much of the CBC is in, McDermott, check. Absent is Dennis Kucinich.
"Boyle said Kucinich's refusal to be involved in the impeachment planning was politically motivated. 'I think Kucinich might have done it if he had not decided to run for president,' Boyle said. 'I guess he concluded that might hurt his run for president.'"
Read and weep, at NRO.

Posted by jk at 11:21 AM | What do you think? [0]

Who Is John Galt?

I've invited some good, bright people to help out around here. Welcome to JohnGalt, whom you might guess is a follower of Ayn Rand. "Atlas Shrugged" was my conservative epiphany. I read many of her books, but have strayed from the Objectivist path. JG will try to get me back on the straight and narrow. Welcome, welcome!
Posted by jk at 08:17 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 05, 2003

What OS was he running?

One George Doughty will be spending a night in jail for shooting his laptop computer four times, in front of customers, and then hanging the trophy up on the wall of his Sportsman's Bar and Restaurant. People in our Nation's capitol truly lack a sense of humor.

Posted by jk at 04:04 PM | What do you think? [0]

Peggy & Mark

While I'm pairing pundits, Mark Steyn and Peggy Noonan (two deities around here) make the same point about different groups. Mark takes a whack at peace protesters for not understanding history or the mentality of the crowd that is pursuing war (liberation to me) in Iraq. Peggy offers "tough love" advice to her former party, the Democrats. Neither group really understands or correctly sizes up its opponent. Both well worth a read...

Posted by jk at 12:41 PM | What do you think? [0]

I am dreaming of Baghdad

A Wall Street Journal guest editorial (available on the free site) by a Turkish writer gives voice to Iraqis in the no-fly zone, who are waiting for freedom:
"We like the son of 'Haji Bush,' because he will fight Saddam for us."
"I am dreaming of Baghdad"
"Why do people in Europe want Saddam?"

I remain disturbed by the anti-war community's ignoring the sentiment of Iraqi Exiles. I always liked PM ("Maggie") Thatcher's quote: "Who's peace, Poland's?"

Posted by jk at 09:40 AM | What do you think? [0]

Ain't Blogging Grand?

Andrew Sullivan points out a "cool photo" on Rush Limbaugh's web page. Those two strike me as an odd pairing, but it works. And the photo is cool -- the Eastern Atlantic from the shuttle, half in day and half night.

UPDATE: It's a hoax, teach me to link to that Limbaugh fella!

Posted by jk at 09:23 AM | What do you think? [0]

A Hawkish President

"What if [Saddam] fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction? ... Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal." -- President Bill Clinton

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan who is devastating, as usual, today.

Posted by jk at 09:12 AM | What do you think? [1]

March 04, 2003

Free Estrada!

Unbelievable! Watching CSPAN's Senate coverage for a couple of days, I wonder how anyone can continue to take the Democrat's seriously. Sen. Schumer's speech that he was defending the Constitution put me in mind of "Animal House." Except in "Animal House," it was handled with much more subtlety. I applaud Frist's courage in calling for the Cloture vote. Watch some of the fun if you get a chance (CSPAN2).

Posted by jk at 03:34 PM | What do you think? [0]

March 03, 2003

Can you fool the Mind?

Can you fool the Mind Reader?

Posted by jk at 02:14 PM | What do you think? [0]

Happy 03/03/03 ever'body!

Happy 03/03/03 ever'body!

Posted by jk at 02:04 PM | What do you think? [0]

Michael Barone

Michael Barone adds insight to the Wall Street Journal's "American Conservatism" series. In "The Presidents" he looks at liberal and conservative icons, and makes some surprising assessments about which ones actually advanced conservative precepts. This is vintage Barone, relating history and Constitutional issues to today's politics.

Posted by jk at 08:53 AM | What do you think? [0]

March 01, 2003

I promised guitars...

  I promised guitars, didn't I. Well the newest family member is a Taylor NS42ce. This is a nylon string ("gut string" in our house) guitar for electric players who don't want the wide and flat clasical neck. Very nice. Run right out and buy one.
Posted by jk at 08:43 AM | What do you think? [1]
Don't click this. Comments (2)