Monday, November 28, 2005

Journalists are not "citizens of the world.”

Journalists are not "citizens of the world.”

To be a citizen implies there is some governmental structure with which you have a specific reciprocal relationship, where the behavior of each party is meant to support the other. There is no such world government. The United Nations is not by any stretch a governing body; it is a debate society of mostly hand-picked mouthpieces for brutal murdering thugs. The leaders of the great majority of member states have climbed mounds of corpses to claim dominion over a subjugated population of victims.

If the United Nations were a world government, citizenship mainly would consist of yielding up all rights and property, then shutting up and waiting patiently for your turn to be tortured, mutilated and thrown into a mass grave. This describes the circumstance of a substantial portion of the population governed by the member states of U.N. So it defies logic to assume a journalist’s press pass would provide any golden exemption.

Simply, there is no lofty, exalted, protected position for any journalist, from which they can view the events of the world with Olympian detachment, and convey their assessments to us mere mortals below.

Regardless of their posturing, journalists cannot be objective and detached from the events, processes, and people they observe and describe. Journalistic Objectivity were only possible if the observer had no interest in, or stake in, those things, and no vulnerability to the repercussions of the reports and descriptions that journalist publishes. The only substantial protection any journalist has is that provided by the strength of the national government that issued the journalist’s passport, aid and comfort from sympathetic individuals notwithstanding.

There is no trans-national body that guarantees the rights of its citizens. Look how the U.N. scurried away from Rwanda when ten U.N. peacekeeping soldiers were killed in the sectarian violence that went on to kill the better part of a million victims. Those soldiers were on loan from their own government, which may withdraw them at its discretion. This means that for better or worse, each of us is a citizen of some government more localized. You must make choices. It can be argued that the community of all human beings — or the greater imagined spiritual community — deserves some allegiance transcending the claims of any local government. But in the final reckoning we are left to work with what we have, not what we wish.

Journalists, like other humans, may see misbehavior by their own government that justifies defiance and resistance. There are many journalists that have risked and lost their lives courageously defying the monsters ruling their own countries. American journalists have enjoyed unusual immunity to threats and violence, thanks to the enduring strength and fundamentally unsordid nature of the U.S. government, despite its lapses and failures. Yet our American-based news services increasingly strive to present a public face of “neutrality” by which they disavow allegiance to or bias in favor of the government that is the ultimate guarantor of the freedoms they exercise.

This has been dramatically underscored by a number of developments and confessions by news organizations in the last few years.

• CNN's Eason Jordan admitted in a letter to the Editors of the New York Times following the U.S. deposing of Saddam Hussein, that for a number of years CNN had acquiesced to pressure from the Iraqi government to refrain from reporting atrocities known to be routinely committed against Iraqi citizens by Saddam's thugs. Jordan claimed that this was done to protect Iraqi employees of CNN who might be tortured or murdered by Saddam's agents. But even accepting this as a real threat, the unavoidable effect of that decision was that CNN presented SANITIZED portrait of life under the Ba’athist regime, which ideologues like Michael Moore used to delegitimize any opposition to Saddam.

I’m afraid it is even worse than Jordan admits. CNN, or any other news service, would have been blind and stupid not to see it was inevitable that there would soon be a military attack against Saddam. They were unwilling to risk losing the front-row view of the fireworks and high ratings that a Baghdad office guaranteed. That they would be safe from U.S. munitions was a given; the greatest danger would be from promiscuously sprayed Iraqi anti-aircraft rounds, which in fact accounted for most of the civilian casualties of the battle for Baghdad. Why the hell should we believe that Eason Jordan gave a crap about some hapless Iraqi assistant, when the reporting they actually broadcast could ONLY have the effect of legitimizing a regime that was daily murdering, torturing, raping, and brutalizing hundreds and thousands of Iraqis??

• Reuters admission that it has assured Palestinian terrorist groups it will not use the word "terrorist" to describe them, in return for which the Palestinian terrorist groups have grudgingly sort of promised to refrain from murdering the Reuters journalists. In an article published 20 September 2004, the New York Times reported that Reuters had requested its writers' names be removed from articles in CanWest Global Communications — Canada's most-widely distributed newspapers — when that publisher exercised its prerogative to insert the word “terrorist” to describe organizations that have routinely used terrorism against civilians. Reuter's global managing editor David A. Schlesinger stated that the practice could endanger Reuters' reporters. In various interviews, Schlesinger has made it clear that this policy is simply to avoid reprisals from actual terrorists who would be offended at being described so.

This is wonderful. I don't ask reporters to go out and risk their lives. I do ask them to tell whether their reports are fact or fiction. To sanitize reports and present them as accurate renderings of the events and people portrayed, utterly defeats the entire point of sending a reporter to describe events in the first place. We would be better served by a news agency telling us that it cannot responsibly describe the actual events witnessed without risking revenge killings by some of the participants being described.

Imagine checking the newspaper for local weather conditions before an afternoon outing, without the knowledge that the Mount St. Helens Daily Gazette has a policy against needless defamation of local volcanically-inclined mountains…

Hubby: "Say, dear, how would you like to pack a picnic lunch and drive up the slopes of Mount St. Helen's today?”

Wifey: “Sounds fun. Can you see what the weather report is for this afternoon...”

Hubby: "Mmmm. Okay, here it is. Looks like a slight chance of pyrotechnic flows, but it's expected to provide dramatic photo opportunities, then clear up quickly.”

Wifey: "Will I need a jacket? What's the temperature?”

Hubby: "Oh, the report just says it'll be unseasonably warm.”

Wifey: "Great! I'll bring some sunblock, and a windbreaker.”

Scale that up to decisions of national policy, on which the fate of many tens of thousands of lives may hinge.

of Brussels Sprouts and Barons...

and Cabbages and Kings...
...and other once-gloried systems now falling by the path...

The description of the nation-state crystallized by the Treaty of Westphalia (hat tip to The Belmont Club for the reference) evidently can accommodate monarchies, dictatorships, confederations, theocracies, and republics even quirky as the United States.

The U.S. can be pretty flexible, toughening and relaxing its sinews according to the needs of the exercise of the moment.

Dire emergencies can be addressed by suspension of certain freedoms we otherwise take for granted. Habeas Corpus was suspended by Lincoln during the Civil War, and the country survived and restored that. Military draft and mobilization of the population can be a brief or sustained response. Some economists have pointed out that one big reason for the U.S. dominance in world trade is that we never really stepped down from the wartime economic stance we enthusiastically took in World War II — specifically, putting women to work in all spheres of the economy on a scale never before undertaken.

Now some folks argue that the diffuse nature of the Jihadi terrorists results from having no state-limited hierarchy. Their incendiary zealotry derives from a transnational, or pre-nation-state mindset, and so is pre-optimized for an internet-savvy, cellular-linked spontaneity that no hidebound Nation-State military apparatus can beat.

This may be a close contest, but I think the U.S. can be flexible enough to adjust its response to the Jihadists. It will be a long fight, because there are Billions of Muslims, and even though 99 percent may be tolerant, generous, and ready to live in peace with their neighbors, one percent of a Billion is still ten million surly rascals ready to kill anyone that refuses to surrender. The actual percentage of impatient ones is clearly greater than one percent. (What do you suppose was the percentage of the Aristocracy and Samurai class that managed to turn Japan from a feudal agronomy in the 1850’s to a world-class military power in just half a century?)

The greatest danger may be that which follows from raising several generations under the sorts of psychological and political conditions needed to prevail and survive the onslaught of suicidal zealots.

If that sounds like a United States terribly altered from its current state, consider the alternative of a country INCAPABLE of dealing with the extortion and intimidation of terrorism.

When Neville Chamberlain returned from his 1938 Munich meeting with Hitler, he shared a persistent delusion with today’s politicians trying to promote a “soft” solution to Jihadi Terrorism — the belief that bullies and tyrants will be somehow gentled by their victims’ acquiescence.

There were other lessons that can be teased out of that skein. Not the least is that faithless abandonment of people dependent upon you for their defense is as clear a sign of impotence as any aggressor could want.

As long as there has been life on the planet there have been predators that cull their sustenance from among the more placid grazers. But In modern human cultures we impose upon our spirits what used to be a species distinction. Predatory humans are differentiated from their victims by mindset, not physical features. But for them to be persistently successful in their predation requires also that their victims be mentally akin to prey animals.

The human prey-mindset might be described as the inability to accept that certain humans are ready to kill for what they want, and will resist all restraints.
Political and religious doctrines arise as people try to make sense of the world, and define patterns and guides for coping with recurring problems. In some conditions, even fundamental misunderstandings and errors within the belief system may be inconsequential. At other times, especially when new challenges arise, those fundamental misapprehensions of reality may determine who survives and who gets eaten by the wolves.

I believe we stand at a moment in history when a number of factors are converging that threaten at least vast upheaval, if not catastrophic destruction to civilization. The liberal hypothesis for decades has been shown wanting in its ability both to solve persistent problems within the Western nations, AND to respond to the external threat of Jihadi terrorism armed with modern technology. The intellectual bankruptcy of liberalism is hinted at in just the absurdity of the “neo-con” label used as a sneering dismissal of radically recast thinking of certain of their opponents. But new definitions, new hypotheses, and new solutions are consistently rejected, scorned, and derided by liberals who cling to a faith, a set of labels and arguments that are demonstrably useless for addressing the challenges we face.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Shielded by Constitutional Immunity

Forty years ago, my high school civics class covered the constitution, because for some strange reason folks thought it was important for citizens to understand something of how government is supposed to work. Well, it’s still important, but schools aren’t requiring students to learn such demanding stuff any more. This makes it all the more vital that we take the time as adults to learn a few things, or we’re going to be fooled over and over.

Here’s one little example of a simple but important bit of information you need to be able to judge some of the things you hear:

From the Constitution of the United States:

Article One, Section 6

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place. [my italics]

This means that no senator or congressman can be sued for libel or slander, or for any damages someone might feel resulted from anything said by a member of the Senate or Congress, nor can they be forced to appear in court to discuss anything said in sessions of the House or the Senate.

In the long view it is a good thing that Senators and Representatives be immune from suits for libel or slander, or other claims of damage from anything they say in the course of their public debates and speeches in Congress. This privilege was included in the constitution to prevent partisan public action from hindering elected representatives’ open discussion of contentious, obnoxious and even poisonous ideas that arise in sorting through the issues that challenge the nation.

We citizens lacking such privilege need to keep this Congressional immunity uppermost in our minds when trying to make sense of the utter lying crap that spews out of the mouths of senators and congressmen when they speechify and pontificate from their constitutionally protected havens in the Congress of the United States.

They can say any damn thing they like.

It doesn’t have to be true, even remotely. They cannot be sued, prosecuted, served with summonses, or otherwise forced to account for their lies, except by voters with their ballots.

Remember this immunity clause when you hear a Senator or Representative making obnoxious and puffed up claims. Compare what they say before the Lidless Eye of C-Span, with what they say on the chat shows, or when they’re talking in front of a fund-raising dinner, and see how the language changes, depending on whether they’re standing on the protected hallowed grounds of Congress, or on a podium which grants them no such immunity.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hope in A Defection Recollected

Last night I had the dismal experience of encountering Michael Moore on the TV, evidently addressing attendees of the first annual Paul Wellstone Memorial Dinner. This time he was attempting to suggest some sinister Republican plot to explain the anonymity of most of the suicide-murder-bombers currently at work in Iraq. He pointed out that in the case of Palestinian bombers, their identities are well-publicized, and that somehow we knew the names even of the 9-11 hijackers within DAYS of the event. So, he asks, how’s cum we don’t know these current suicide killers? [Regarding the quick identification of the 9-11 terrorists, my brother has wisely pointed out that those individuals left a huge trail of data to be gleaned by the many hundreds of investigators likely to have poured over airport security tapes and computer records of all the flight bookings and ticket sales. Presumably, terrorists in Iraq are not required to have a major credit card to purchase C-4 or steal a vehicle.]

Does he think somehow Karl Rove is capable of suppressing the identities of these people we can’t keep from bombing and murdering? Does a Jihadi etiquette book he alone knows about explain the subtext implied in the detonation of high explosives and the resulting redistribution of human flesh, anonymous or otherwise? Does he expect us to believe that the bombings are somehow more authentically an expression of indegenous anti-occupational outrage because the bombers’ ID’s are not widely broadcast? Is he saying maybe the bombings are actually being done by Americans who just want us to think it’s the terrorists so we stupid peasants will hate Iraqis, just like the jets that crashed into the WTC maybe were actually remotely controlled by Americans in black helicopters hovering at high altitude just so we would hate all Arabs and Muslims and let BusHitler give all the oil to Halliburton?

Mr. Moore’s line of reasoning works only if every murderous Islamic Jihadist in every place round the world had been publicly identified in exactly the same celebratory way as some of the Palestinian Suicide-Murderers. That is, if every Islamic radical thought the same way, subscribed to precisely the same set of Rules of Engagement, and followed the same Imams, and arose from identically the same economic and social milieu.

This is absurd on the face of it. To address plainly an issue that needs to be retired, Michael Moore is a Moron. There are Shi’a suicide-murderers and Sunni suicide-murderers. There is Hamas, Al-Jihad, Palestine Islamic Jihad (Al-Jihad Al-Islami fi Filastin) with its Shaqaqi Faction and Shalla Faction AlQuds brigades, Group for the Preservation of the Holy Sites, International Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders, Tanzim Qa’idat al-Jihad Fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (a recent name given for the group captained by Abu Musab Zarqawi), Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Fundamentalist Brigades, Abu Nidal Organization, Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Unitarian Jihad, Hizb’ollah and the PLO and the PLA and al Qaeda (Jama'at at-Tawhid wa’l-Jihad) and Black September and Abu Sayyaf and Jaama Islamiyah and the Saddam Fedayeen and a hundred and more other splinter groups with differing agendas and internecine conflict. They murder each other as viciously and relentlessly as they murder innocent bystanders, Jews, Christians, and followers of Bahá’u’lláh. There have been plenty of terrorists who have managed to blow themselves up anonymously, and others whose identities were only revealed by police investigation.

It also depends on the tiny little item that many of the bombers may not have even KNOWN they were intended to die in the blast. There is no evidence that every single truck bomb that explodes was driven by someone who had willingly made the choice of suicide. It is likely that in many cases, drivers are duped, drugged, lied to, coerced, bullied, extorted, or have their families or children threatened, to persuade them to drive a truck to a certain location. Bombs can very easily be detonated remotely, by a person safe from harm, while the driver may even be unaware of the plan.

Exploding vests are a little more problematic that way, but I could imagine terrorists telling a person his children will be slaughtered unless he agrees to blow himself up. Terrorists slaughter children routinely, to accomplish all sorts of goals, but always to intimidate people to do things they don’t want to do, or refrain from doing something clearly in their own self interest.

But there goes Mister Moore, spewing his own absurd accusations, which the most elementary examination can refute. He cares not. It is equally disturbing to consider that he actually believes the half-digested bovine fodder he spews, as to think he’s only just cynically spouting lies he is certain his admirers will never test against reality.

I take some comfort in remembering that there are after all, a lot of people who can finally see through lies, and logically sort out what must be true, in spite of endless lies, repeated endlessly.

In September of 1976 Russian Mig-25 fighter pilot Viktor Belenko had grown sufficiently disenchanted of the communist dictatorship that he decided to decamp, and flew his high-performance fighter jet to Japanese civilian airport at Hakodate, Hokkaido. In a virtuoso performance resulting from his elite training, native intelligence, and desperation, he defeated Russian anti-aircraft home defense radar, missile batteries and pursuing fighters, as well as Japanese air defense jets, and landed with just seconds of fuel to spare after flying from a Russian airbase near Vladivastok and across the Sea of Japan.

U.S. aviation technology experts examining this first example of an operational Mach 3 fighter, expected to be humbled by new technology. Instead they found the jet was a sturdy workhorse, using vacuum tubes for the radar, cable and pulley mechanical links for the flight controls, and welded steel for the fuselage and wings rather than any exotic new metallurgical coup.

This speaks eloquently of two things, one long appreciated, the other kept quiet as long as possible by the Soviet Government. The first is the confirmation of Russia’s long tradition of brilliant military and aviation engineering, making the best use of available technologies, materials, and utilitarian principles. The second was the desperate economic and technological self-mutilation the soviet system imposed on itself. President Carter and all his henchmen seemingly missed this monolithic insight. His successor did not, and capitalized on it with supreme success.

What sticks with me, years after reading his life’s story (written with the assistance of author John Barron) is the insight he must have provided to American debriefers to the precipitous downhill slide in Soviet society. He described a number of horrifying details that gradually convinced him the Soviet government was systematically, daily, in all aspects of its business, lying to the people:

...Unmarked doorways off main thoroughfares, which served as private entries to the lavish and elegant department stores reserved exclusively for the elite “nomenklatura” — i.e., factory managers, favored artists, members of the ruling class, general officers of the military and some of their favored subordinates, etc. Meanwhile, most citizens only had access to drab “magazini” with limited selection even when fully stocked.

...Arriving at a new apartment building expecting to move in with his bride, only to find that the structure was literally being strapped round with steel bands to prevent it collapsing from poor workmanship.

... Learning to check the date of manufacture on all appliances, after finding from bitter experience that items produced in the last week of the month might have screws pounded in place with hammers by workers pressured to meet arbitrary quotas, while items produced in the first week of the month usually suffered from haphazard assembly resulting from vodka used to celebrate meeting last month’s quota.

...Riding a crowded bus, witnessing a teenage gang callously stab a female passenger and melt away at the stop, leaving her to bleed to death before the antiquated ambulance arrives.

...Sitting idle many days at the Russian air base, unable to fly jets disabled by ground crews that had used the flight-hydraulics alcohol for their recreational drinking.

But the most astounding item, the one that Belenko said finally convinced him his government had been lying, was the resignation of President Richard Nixon. He realized that after all his government had said about how the U.S. government enslaved its people, that in fact, the outrage of common citizens seemed to have forced the leader of the country to step down, without a bloody coup.

Sooner or later, the delusional leftists will be outdistanced by their audience’s personal growth. The lesson of the fall of the Soviet Union shows that lies cannot sustain an illusion forever. The people who applaud them, eventually will look around themselves and begin to notice the gulf between what they see and what Moore has told them.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Just a Quick Cheap Shot at France, Germany, and the EU

European Union could be a thing either wonderful or horrifying, considering the performance over history of the component states. In the short term, their ability to coalesce seems mighty fragile. Germany’s Green Party has persuaded a substantial number of the Deutsches volk to their point of view, and managed to get one of their number elevated to the post of Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer. It’s unlikely such voters will forget that it was FRANCE that bombed the Greenpeace ship lying at dock a few years back, drowning two of its crew and preventing the ship from interfering with a French nuclear weapon test in Pacific waters near Tahiti. Germans simultaneously protest nuclear power, disposal or storage of hazardous nuclear waste AND the pollution occasioned by coal burning, currently [sorry] the only viable aternative fuel. But all the while they quietly purchase surplus electrical power from FRANCE, which generates only six percent of its power by coal, eighty percent by Nuclear fission.

I wonder if the Germans or French have ever translated the phrase “cognitive dissonance.”

Good luck to Angela Merkel in her coalition government. A period of stability in German politics would seem to be a gift for Germany, the EU, and, well, everyone.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Euro-Islamicist Rioting and the Abdication of the Press

By two weeks ago (i.e., about the 4th of November) I had been reading about the riots for several days, but the nightly rampage of disaffected Muslims in France was well into its seventh day before I began to hear any mention of it on the nightly news. By the fifth day of Muslim rioting in Århus, Denmark, I only was aware of it by reports in blogs, translated from Danish news services. It’s certainly possible that I missed the reports that were broadcast, because I do not aggressively scan the television for news.

But why should I have to search the television stations for news of such profoundly important events going forward? The entire point of News Organizations used to be that they were meant to alert viewers to events about which they need to know, and give information that the viewers could not reasonably be expected to dig up for themselves except by vigorous research.

Have all the network news organizations concluded that the riots are so trivial they don’t need really to give them more than a few second’s comment? With all their resources, connections, analysts, experts in history, culture, law, technology, psychology, philosophy, religion, et cetera, have they concluded it is of no consequence that the rioters are tens of thousands of unassimilated North African Muslims? That it is insignificant that they’re discontentedly living in ghettos in which their grandparents were settled by the French Government? That they have burnt upwards of ten thousand vehicles now, torched several Christian churches, and wounded a few French Gendarmes? That the French government is being driven to apply curfews and civil disorder legislation originally created to control the bloody conflict that tore France and its North African Algerian Départment asunder sixty years ago?

Those data I only know from reading the news on the web, which allows me to connect to European news sources, and other people’s blogs. With the exception of C-span, the commercial and public stations give so little attention to the Islamicist Militants rampaging in Europe, that it might as well not be happening. If you ask people who do not check internet news sources, they shake their heads and act as though you’re some sort of kook to be asking.

Even as the riots persist into a third week, American news anchors attempting antiseptic neutrality still hold back from acknowledging that the violence is by Muslims. “Neutral” is a word which cannot be honestly applied to this sort of craven abdication of the responsibility a NEWS REPORTING organization. Better say “neutered” to be more accurate.

All this underscores to me the inescapable problem that the Mainstream Alleged News Media in America no longer can be trusted to deliver the service we need. In almost every country of the globe, Islamic zealots are relentlessly hacking, shooting, exploding, beheading, castrating, gassing, burning, stoning, and otherwise mistreating those whom they would dominate. More tolerant muslims are targeted for murder, to intimidate others into accepting the domination of the fanatics.

When european news teams taped Palestinians celebrating after the collapse of the World Trade Centers on 11 September 2001, members of the Palestinian Authority approached them and warned that they “could not guarantee their safety, if they were to continue.” Now, that has got to make you stop and think. Just like the London Executives of Burger King, when a smart-aleck Muslim objected that an abstract drawing of the swirls of an ice-cream sundae product label was offensive to Islam because it was too close to the Arabic script for “Allah.” They caved in. God knows, we don’t want to have Islamic terrorists blowing up Burger King stores.

Within days after the event of 9-11, you could not find images of the airplanes exploding as they crashed into the World Trade Center or the subsequent collapse of those towers anywhere on American broadcast stations. They blandly announced it had been decided to refrain from repeatedly broadcasting those scenes to avoid needlessly arousing feelings of outrage among Americans.

These are identically the same monsters who endlessly re-broadcast the fifteen seconds of the Rodney King beating by L.A. Police. Where was their sense of restraint then? Or when they repeatedly broadcast the photographs of arab men being humbled and shamed by an errant American female prison guard? With all their pontificating, they cannot get around the brutal fact that that such humiliation will never be morally equivalent to murders, beheadings of captives and indiscriminate bombings of bystanders, and the use of children as human shields in battle, all daily fare for Islamic fascist cowards.

Why is it important to try to avoid arousing Anti-Arab outrage among Americans at an undeniable atrocity done to their country, but it’s okay to make every effort to provoke anti-American outrage among Arabs by reports that frequently are no more than allegations?

That is sophistry, casuistry, or to speak plainer, lying. And the Mainstream Media do this twisting, torturous, inversion of logic every day.

After the collapse of Baghdad in 2003, CNN’s top news executive Eason Jordan admitted in a letter to the New York Times — shortly before the plain truth would have been revealed by unfolding events ANYWAY — that CNN had systematically been withholding reports of Saddam’s atrocities, murders, kidnappings, tortures, assassinations, and crimes against his subjects for years before the invasion. He mumbled some lame excuse for this, suggesting that they were trying to protect their Iraqi staff from retribution.

That is a crock of fecal matter.

They sanitized for American audiences the viciousness of the regime, at the same time standing by while they KNEW the regime was daily raping and slaughtering children and women in front of their fathers and husbands. The gutless cravens at CNN were silent, running stories that made Americans think “Say...Iraq doesn’t seem that different from, well, downtown Albuquerque,” while opponents of the regime were being fed into wood chippers, or pushed from sixth-floor roofs, or having their hands chopped off with machetes.

Sorry, Mr. Eason. That is not protecting Iraqis. That is ACQUIESCING to the torment of Iraq. You let Americans think Bush was demonizing Saddam, while you KNEW he really WAS A DEMON!

Sadly, what CNN was really doing — and you can be sure that so was each and every other news organization — was jockeying to guarantee themselves a front-row seat for the fireworks when Bush finally blew Saddam’s regime off the map, as they knew he eventually would.

The sick irony of that situation is that they also knew from the accuracy demonstrated in the U.S. “smart weapons” of a decade earlier that they would be safe in their suites in the designated JOURNALIST HOTELS, because of the pinpoint accuracy and obsessively reviewed targeting of United States munitions. Their biggest worry, and the greatest source of all civilian casualties, was the frantic promiscuous un-aimed firing of the Iraqi forces before they decamped, followed by the deliberate targeting of civilians by Islamic terrorists.

[The incident in which U.S. fire killed journalists was on 08 April 2003, when a US tank fired on what they believed to be an enemy “spotter” on the roof of a building, which turned out to be the Palestine Hotel, where many international journalists were quartered. Even a critical review by Reporters Without Borders acknowledges that Reuters Ukrainian camera operator Taras Protsyuk and Spanish Telecinco employee José Couso, were not intentionally targeted as journalists by the tank crew, who did not know they were firing on a hotel which housed reporters.]

Iranian Auto Manufacturer Iran Khodro announces Asbestos Car for French Market; 200K units initial order.

No, sorry, it’s just a stupid joke.

It would be wonderful to write about silly stuff, things that make us chortle and guffaw, snicker and giggle. A lot of people laugh if you just sneeringly say the name of the president and roll your eyes. Must make it awfully easy to be a comedian.

Sometimes it’s intriguing to consider how things will march when the Leftward crowd gets what it seems to be so earnestly striving to achieve. Imagine Jay Leno’s writers struggling to come up with a bunch of snappy one-liners about Michael Jackson once our country is part of the greater Caliphate of North America. They would have to scribble their humor very quickly; Jackson’s headless torso would probably be cooling to room temperature before broadcast time. Justice under Sharia is swift and harsh.

Viewers might want to record every episode they can of all the hooking up and hot-tub action in the OC and all the dating “reality” games, Playboy Channel, Jerry Springer, and “Girls Gone Wild” because the Imams and the Ayutollahs are unlikely to pickup the fall options for those properties. And set aside a very cleverly disguised hidey-hole for the tapes of those programs and any clandestine triple-X videos.

Or a C-Span discussion on the rise of Islamic Fascism.

Protections against unreasonable search and seizure might become a little tenuous under regimes which regard the American Constitution as an edict of the Great Satan. The Wise leaders of many Islamic fundamentalist governments have criminalized satellite dishes an other devices which might channel decadent western influences into the heart of pious Islamic domesticity.

Take a look at the banlieus of France — the Muslim ghettos currently engaged in guaranteeing the next several years of unprecedentedly brisk Peugot and Citroën sales. (Latest reports indicate the two-week-long “Car-B-Que” is tapering off, which may simply indicate a dwindling supply of unburnt vehicles.) Militant third and fourth generation Muslims in France, whose forebears immigrated from former FrancoColonial North Africa to find better paying jobs than could be had in their own lands, have obstinately resisted assimilation into a culture that has always shown little respect for outlanders. French planners who built the various communities of dubious charm in which to install the nominal French citizens from Algeria may have expected that the largesse of progressively expanding welfare benefits would win hearts.

But the dole queue ever fails to inspire the gratitude or loyalty of its intended beneficiaries.

One has to have a modicum of sympathy for the disaffected Muslims. Growing up in increasingly socialistic France, militant Muslim youths endure the double whammy of persistent French condescension and the enfeebling disincentives to self-worth imposed by any welfare state.

The Germans too thought to solve their labor shortage by encouraging wholesale movement of ethnic Turks into the burgeoning industrial economy of West Germany back in the days when Germany was partitioned. When the WALL fell, the formerly communist East Germany’s long idled population suddenly provided all the cheap workers a profit-minded industrial economy could want. This made the outlander Turkish workers suddenly redundant, forcing many of them onto the dole. As a result, Germany too, has a simmering population of under-employed and discontented Islamic immigrants, albeit without the legacy of having been their Colonial Master in living memory.

Holland, on a time having colonies in the Spice Islands, also had a substantial influx of Islamic immigrants, particularly from South Molucca. Some of those, uprooted from their own culture and unwilling or unable to cope with life in the Netherlands, staged a bloody train hijacking in the 1970’s. More recently, Muslim immigrants in Holland murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh for the sin of making a film critical of the harsh treatment of women in Islamic society. Holland is now in a general state of alarm; the ethnic europeans, officials and private citizens as well, are rightly concerned that just making public statements regarding the continuing outrages by the immigrant militants will expose them to terrorist retribution. And while Muslims have been rioting in France, other Muslim communities have been on a violent spree in Denmark.

We may be seeing the the initial cracks in a collapse of at least one failed European state; the initial assault in an undeclared attempt by Islamic expansionists to finish the conquest of Europe that was only temporarily delayed at Tours by Charles Martel in October of 732, and later by the Viennese resistance to the Ottoman Turks in 1638.

It must be reiterated over and over again that there are many wonderful people who are Muslims. I have been privileged to know a good number of them, mostly as a benefit of my undergraduate years at an Ivy League university with a large representation of non-US nations, and the years I’ve spent teaching and just hanging out at several universities. Those years introduced me to Muslims from Jakarta, Malaysia, India, Palestine, Israel, Philippines, Egypt, and other African regions.

The moderate Muslims, who honor the principles of tolerance and diversity, are in much more immediate danger from Islamic fanaticism than any other group. I can understand their reticence. To publicly advocate the equality of women, or tolerance of homosexuality, to allow that there might be further prophets after Muhammad, or to question whether Peace can exist before Sharia is imposed on all “Dar-Al-Harb” marks the speaker as a target for intimidation or murder by the zealots. This is why Islamoterrorists are blowing up their coreligionists even more relentlessly than they are murdering jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, followers of Bahu’a’ullah, Copts, animists, agnostics, Catholics, and Buddhists.

Some folks have suggested that moderate Muslims need to work for a “Reformation” of Islam, like that of the Catholic Church when it was in chaos from widespread corruption. In the absence of any clear pressure from within, support for reform from without has no way to link to and nurture Muslim reform efforts. But the murderous zealots are most likely to target those they consider “apostate” for especial wrath. So we are in a terribly critical stage, in which the fanatics are maneuvering to dominate or murder any of their own faith who oppose their agenda, then consolidate their power before advancing to new territories.

History has many lessons: If you look at the emergence of Japan from its own isolation, you see similar spasms and upheaval within Japanese culture. In the 1920’s— a generation AFTER Japan had astounded the world by smashing Imperial Russia’s proud fleet in the Tsushima Straight — Japanese fanatics assassinated scores of Industrialists, bureaucrats, leaders, educators, and publishers, attempting to purge hated “Western Influences” they saw making their culture unrecognizable.

Iran in the 1980’s after the fall of the Shah, saw an eerily similar parade of assassinations and xenophobic violence, attempting to salvage a comforting medieval Islamic identity from the wreckage of the Shah’s attempt at modernization. For all the American Left’s hatred of the CIA (which had helped the Shah return to power in the mid-50’s) and characterization of the Shah as repressive, he was hated more for his attempts at reform. For decades he had been treading on the once-unchallenged Imams, by decreeing the right of women to wear modern dress, receive schooling like that of males, to work at jobs; by taking over the distribution of land and farming allotments, that had been a primary source of the Imam’s power; and by Westernizing banking and financial institutions. For these he was doomed, not for operating his Savak secret police.

So there is hope. Japan has been pretty thoroughly integrated into the community of nations, although it was only after horrific blood and suffering.

But we now are at a point in the tides of history similar to the last years before Hitler swept across Europe and the Ukraine. A little vision and some backbone is wanted. What we now call "Political Correctness" is indistinguishable from what was then called "Appeasement." "Peace in Our Time" defines the gutless avoidance of confrontation with the bully, now as then.

Our own news media cannot bring themselves to speak the words identifying the perpetrators of the current outrages in almost every country of the world. They are actively choosing to be silent rather than report news which either will anger the Islamic Terrorists, or fails to support their world vision, in which the only evil is that of European White Culture against all third world cultures.

Our News Reporting and Information sources have largely abdicated their responsibility and loyalty to the people they are meant to be serving. We have to replace them, or accept blindness as a new dark age approaches.

Monday, November 14, 2005

“I will tell my completely TRUE STORY but only for ten thousand dollars a crack”

Further considerations in the matter of Joseph Wilson.

Let’s see... Joe Wilson, who is busy promoting himself as a courageous whistleblower who revealed the naughty conspiracy of BusHitler to use a pack of lies to trick Americans into making war on Iraq, will tell you all about his insights, theories, and proofs.

But only if you book him through the for-profit TALENT agency that now has an exclusive contract with him. If you want to have the former ambassador and heroic destroyer of illusions share his wisdom with your civic group or garden club, just call Greater Talent Network, Inc. to negotiate a fee. Please have your checkbook or major credit card handy.

It is just one more pebble in the avalanche of evidence that the mainstream ALLEGED news media have abdicated reporting actual news, and instead committed themselves to advocating the party line of the insane LEFT, that this singularly important motive of Mr W gets no attention or comment. Anyone opposing Wilson’s version of things is characterized as “liar, thug, disinformation operative, tool of the administration” or such. No one on the left is the slightest bit interested in considering that there might be anything phony about Wilson’s claims, because they coincide with what they want to believe anyway.

Mind you, I have no objection to ANYONE taking full advantage of whatever celebrity comes their way, so long as that celebrity has been earned by legitimate means.

But Jos. Wilson has manufactured his celebrity by staging an utterly bogus situation, evidently with planning and assistance from CIA insiders whose aim is to embarrass and undermine the President with a pack of unsubstantiated allegations, meanwhile hiding behind the cloak of secrecy that the LEFT otherwise has made heroic efforts to shred. (Screech all you want to about Scooter Libby. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has specifically refused to indict him or anyone else for revealing that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA. This simply shows there never was a crime at issue in all the posturing and posing by people claiming the revelation was punishment for Wilson’s NYT Op-Ed piece.) Here is the chain of logic that leads with glacial inevitability to that conclusion:

(1) Wilson was never at any time qualified to assess the credibility of the British intelligence reports concerning Iraqi attempts to obtain Uranium Oxide in Niger. He is an ambassador, not an intelligence operative, not an intelligence analyst, not an investigative agent; not a forensic accountant; not a detective. An ambassadorship is typically a reward given to someone who provided financial or other material support to a winning presidential candidate, so it has NEVER been proof of ANY particular skill at diplomacy or statecraft. A wise president will look for people with some discretion and intelligence, but the ambassador is supposed to be the conduit of the administration’s views and messages. Not some second-rate James Bond.

(2) If the CIA had a legitimate concern about those intelligence reports, they should have sent someone with the sort of credentials and experience listed in item 1, AND the person sent should have filed a formal written report with an assessment for the eyes of the CIA and the government (Wilson has stated he only gave a verbal summary on his return) NOT an Opinion-Editorial letter in the New York Times.

(3) The issue of Saddam’s continuing attempts to pursue a nuclear weapons program has been supported by numerous statements from former technicians and scientists from the Ba’athist regime, by evidence found by U.N. inspectors during the decade before the invasion, and by discoveries of enriched Uranium in Iraq since the invasion. Unbroken seals on 500 tons of Iraqi yellowcake did NOT prove that Saddam had given up. As long as those seals remain unbroken, his uncritical supporters on the left could claim he wasn’t doing anything with the yellowcake he already had. Meanwhile, he has been attempting to surreptitiously acquire MORE yellowcake, and evidently been able to do so AND enrich it while the inspections were going forward, because of all the interference he imposed on the inspectors. Just this last month almost two TONS of enriched uranium have been discovered in Iraq. It is, after all, a big place with lots of room to hide things.

(4) It just doesn’t make sense for a professional intelligence agency concerned about secrecy and competence, to send a rank amateur sleuth like Joe Wilson to check the authenticity of such an important report, much less allow Wilson to publicly proclaim his opinions and the circumstances of the trip by which he arrived at those opinions. It is such a grotesque departure from any professional standard of the intelligence gathering and assessment functions of the CIA, it strongly suggests that certain discontented CIA career-bureaucrats have intentionally been forcing a confrontation with Bush, for purposes that have nothing to do with national security and everything to do with their job security.

(5) Finally, whether or not this single report of a single attempt to acquire yellowcake turns out to be true, the indisputable fact remains that Saddam had already successfully acquired Uranium by surreptitious means despite the years of sanctions by the massed nations opposed to his desires. It is simply absurd to make this single puny item the lynchpin of any justification for or against an invasion, because there were THOUSANDS of other outrages, provocations, threats, attacks, and confirmed reports of his violations of sanctions and various international laws. During his presidency, William Jefferson Clinton sent United States military forces to attack or threaten Iraq on at least TEN separate occasions, without requesting the authorization of Congress, or the United Nations. In effect, we have been at war with Iraq since 1991, and Saddam NEVER stopped violating the terms of the armistice to which he had agreed in order to stop hostilities at that time.

Please, if you detest what i’m saying, take just a minute to think about the logic of the situation. Just a few minutes of casual “googling” will bring up tens of thousands of references to speeches made during CLINTON’s presidency by members of his administration and many other Democratic Party Leaders proclaiming their firm belief that Saddam was pursuing these weapons programs despite the determined efforts of the United Nations, despite the inspections, and despite repeated military attacks against Iraq by U.S. military forces on Clinton’s orders. They certainly were not under the evil sway of George W. or Karl Rove or Dick Cheney then. No, they were looking at evidence gathered by U.S., French, German, Russian, Italian, British, and other United Nations intelligence organizations documenting Saddam’s activities.

Here’s a link to a CNN report of an address explaining his decision to send American armed forces to attack targets in Iraq in 1998. He stated:
First, we must be prepared to use force again if Saddam takes threatening actions, such as trying to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction or their delivery systems, threatening his neighbors, challenging allied aircraft over Iraq or moving against his own Kurdish citizens.

If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people.

And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.

Senator John Kerry, in 1998 long before George W. Bush was a factor in presidential politics, issued a statement calling for the use of United States ground troops to assault Iraq.

At the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, speaking in September of 2002, Massachussetts Senator Ted Kennedy said: “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.”

California Democratic Congressional leader Nancy Pelosi, in 1998 issued a statement justifying a United States military attack on Iraq, including this:
“Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the develompment of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process. [...] I believe in negotiated solutions to international conflict. This is, unfortunately, not going to be the case in this situation where Saddam Hussein has been a repeat offender, ignoring the international community’s requirement that he come clean with his weapons program.”

Madeleine Albright, Clinton’s Secretary of State, speaking in 1999 included the following statement in a November address:

”If you remember in 1991, Saddam Hussein invaded another country, he plagued it, he set fire to it, and he decided that he could control the region. Before that, he had gassed his own people.

Saddam Hussein had been acquiring weapons of mass destruction. We carried out, with the help of an alliance, a war in which we put Saddam Hussein back into his box. The United Nations voted on a set of resolutions which demanded Saddam Hussein live up to his obligations and get rid of weapons of mass destruction.

The United Nations Security Council imposed a set of sanctions on Saddam Hussein until he did that. It also established an organization that is set up to monitor whether Hussein had gotten rid of his weapons of mass destruction.

There has never been an embargo against food and medicine. It's just that Hussein has just not chosen to spend his money on that. Instead, he has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction, and palaces for his cronies.”

On October 10, 2002, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a floor speech addressing S.J. Res. 45, A Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, in which she said:
“Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who has tortured and killed his own people, even his own family members, to maintain his iron grip on power. He used chemical weapons on Iraqi Kurds and on Iranians, killing over 20 thousand people. Unfortunately, during the 1980's, while he engaged in such horrific activity, he enjoyed the support of the American government, because he had oil and was seen as a counterweight to the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran.

In 1991, Saddam Hussein invaded and occupied Kuwait, losing the support of the United States. The first President Bush assembled a global coalition, including many Arab states, and threw Saddam out after forty-three days of bombing and a hundred hours of ground operations. The U.S.-led coalition then withdrew, leaving the Kurds and the Shiites, who had risen against Saddam Hussein at our urging, to Saddam's revenge.

As a condition for ending the conflict, the United Nations imposed a number of requirements on Iraq, among them disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction, stocks used to make such weapons, and laboratories necessary to do the work. Saddam Hussein agreed, and an inspection system was set up to ensure compliance. And though he repeatedly lied, delayed, and obstructed the inspections work, the inspectors found and destroyed far more weapons of mass destruction capability than were destroyed in the Gulf War, including thousands of chemical weapons, large volumes of chemical and biological stocks, a number of missiles and warheads, a major lab equipped to produce anthrax and other bio-weapons, as well as substantial nuclear facilities.

In 1998, Saddam Hussein pressured the United Nations to lift the sanctions by threatening to stop all cooperation with the inspectors. In an attempt to resolve the situation, the UN, unwisely in my view, agreed to put limits on inspections of designated "sovereign sites" including the so-called presidential palaces, which in reality were huge compounds well suited to hold weapons labs, stocks, and records which Saddam Hussein was required by UN resolution to turn over. When Saddam blocked the inspection process, the inspectors left. As a result, President Clinton, with the British and others, ordered an intensive four-day air assault, Operation Desert Fox, on known and suspected weapons of mass destruction sites and other military targets.

In 1998, the United States also changed its underlying policy toward Iraq from containment to regime change and began to examine options to effect such a change, including support for Iraqi opposition leaders within the country and abroad.

In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.”

Please, people, for the love of GOD, the lies have to stop. You cannot claim that Bush misrepresented the threat of Saddam Hussein without also implicating EVERY SINGLE LEADER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES DURING ALL THE YEARS OF THE CLINTON PRESIDENCY.

We are all in this together, folks. The Islamic fanatics don’t care whether you voted for John Kerry, or give donations to stop drilling in the Alaskan Wilderness, or whether you support or oppose the Invasion of Iraq. They will saw your head off while singing praises to Allah the Merciful, just as Muslim zealots murdered three Christian teenaged schoolgirls in Indonesia last week, or 59 Hindu celebrants in New Delhi, or 59 Jordanian Muslims in Amman this week. Hating George Bush does not magically make the REAL demons disappear.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Rioting in Denmark and Paris— Is the MSM listening?

As I finished composing the previous essay, news posting on several blogs describe the SEVENTH day of rioting by Muslim youths in a growing sprawl of Paris neighborhoods. The incident precipitating the riot was the deaths by accidental electrocution of two teenages who seemingly scaled a wall into an electrical power substation, presumably to escape police pursuing them. At this point there is at least one police station that has been under seige by the rioters, and some 40 vehicles set ablaze. One concern is a report that several surface-to-air missiles recently have been smuggled into Europe by Islamic zealots, and the neighborhoods currently in such disarray are distressingly close to the two airports, Le Bourget (Where Charles Lindbergh alit after his transatlantic flight) and Charles de Gaulle. A Reuters report leads off, interestingly with the promise of French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy to determine how a police tear gas cannister inadvertantly rebounded against a MOSQUE.

[note to Sarkozy: Could it possibly be that since Police fired a tear gas grenade in the direction of a crowd of Muslims busy trying to dismantle FRANCE, and because it was a Muslim neighborhood, a Mosque was more or less inevitably in the line of fire?]

During the time we in America have been so preoccupied with the indictment of Lewis Libby and the Left’s accusations of that Bush lied to fool the country into making war on a Religion of Peace, rioting Muslims have also spent four days trashing a commercial Mall in Århus, Denmark. This is, you may recall, the anniversary of the murder by a militant Muslim of Theo Van Gogh in Holland. (Check my previous article for a review of current murders and atrocities by fanatic Muslims around the world.) At this point, even after four days of rioting, the news is not showing up in a google search except for blogs. The Mainstream ALLEGED news organizations either are not paying attention, or they have chosen to ignore the Denmark riots. Two blogs have described the Århus rioting, Free Republic and Small Dead Animals, the Roadkill Diaries, which evidently received email translations or descriptions from Denmark’s domestic Danish-language press.

Looks like the appeasement of Villepin and Chirac don't count for much to some folks. They may have to abase themselves a lot more to calm the outraged ones.

I predict diminishing returns.

Wisdom—or at least, information— in the Daily Kos?

Todd Johnston has posted a lucid and actually entertaining, if condescending, explanation at the Daily KOS of the stages and difficulties of refinement to get from the 500 metric tons of “yellowcake” known to be stored in Iraq since 1991, and some hypothetical nuclear bomb.

His hypothesis is that Iraq has never had the manufacturing infrastructure to refine sufficient weapons-grade U235 to be any danger, so the purchase of additional yellowcake from Niger would have been so inconsequential that it can not have been a casus belli.

There are a few dead mice in the skulligallee, though.

He claims that as of about the time of Bush’s 2002 state of the union address, visiting scientists determined to their satisfaction that Iraq’s manufacturing capacity was so wrecked that they could not possibly refine their existing yellowcake to a level of purity that would pose any danger.

This assumes three unverified premises: (a) that the self-appointed inspectors he cites have any credentials for analyzing any country’s manufacturing capacity, much less that of a murderous dictatorship; (b) that Saddam and his regime had no access to any other refining capabilities other than those viewed by the visiting scientists; and (c) that the yellowcake would pose no danger unless refined to weapons-grade purity.

Paul Volcker’s official Report reveals that the criminally corrupt mis-management of the sanctions under the Oil-for-Food program never seriously hampered Saddam in pursuing any of his programs and goals. Even Bill Clinton found that only by unambiguous application of military force was Saddam ever persuaded to refrain from violating the restrictions placed on him. At the same time, it’s clear that Saddam and his scientists and technicians were enjoying vigorous cooperation and support from various other rogue states eager to join the “nuclear weapons club.” Documents, testimony, and other evidence have come to light showing that North Korea, Syria, and Iran, Libya, Pakistan, China, and several of the former republics of the Soviet Union, have had brisk involvement with proscribed development, procurement, and exchange of nuclear technology. (They have not all knowingly shared all around, but they have all participated in surreptitious and clandestine exchanges with outlaw suppliers, in which cross-traffic is extremely difficult to monitor or control.)

Meanwhile Iraq was throughout the 90’s consistently resisting monitoring of its activities, to the extent of transporting U.N. inspectors to wrong locations, refusing on occasion to allow them into the country, and actually threatening and intimidating the teams. Finally, in the last months before the long-threatened invasion, photos show vast convoys of trucks loading and carrying away equipment and materials from suspected weapons facilities in Iraq, across the border into Syria. Later in 2004, Syrian troops were assisting the Muslim government of Khartoum to massacre black African civilians in Darfur by use of chemical weapons, presumably acquired from Iraq in the pre-war transfer.

In a situation where an acknowledged Mass Murderer, Tyrant, and Liar has demonstrated repeatedly a willingness to violate restrictions, resist constraints, and circumvent inspections, only a naive bumpkin would assume Saddam, or any assessment by inspectors under such conditions, could be trusted. Saddam had for more than a decade been violating the terms of the armistice that halted hostilities after his 1991 invasion. Many wars have been declared in response to far less provocation than — to mention just ONE outrageous item — the hundreds of missiles Iraq fired at aircraft enforcing the United Nations “no-fly” zone. The simple fact is that Saddam NEVER lived up to the terms of the Armistice. There should be no question as to the right of the original coalition to emphatically and with extreme prejudice, put an end to his regime.

So, Todd Johnston is right in one sense: 500 tons of yellowcake kept in sealed barrels is inoccuous. But the British intelligence that Saddam’s agents were attempting to procure MORE, in addition to the 500 tons presumably safely under IAEA seal, stands. It has not been disproven. The point is that the attempt to locate further supplies confirms the continuing surreptitious efforts to pursue the development of nuclear capacity.

But so what if the known 500 tons of yellowcake remained under seal? Saddam was happy to show THAT to the inspectors, since as long as the inspectors announced to the waiting journalists that the seals remained intact, the defenders of Saddam would say, “SEE!? We told you he’s entirely innocent!”

But you have to realize, you don’t need a critical mass of fissionable U235 to create a terror weapon. In the 1980’s two noteworthy incidents occurred in which scavengers broke open the business-end of an abandoned and un-guarded medical radiotherapy unit. In Brazil, this contaminated an entire neighborhood, requiring hospitalization for scores of victims, and the institution of long-term follow-up exams for hundreds of neighbors and playmates for decades to come. In Mexico, several of the scavengers and family members died of radiation poisoning, and dozens were affected. After watching the U.S. Senators and Congressional Representatives decamp when a single letter with anthrax spores was found in one mail delivery, try to imagine the chaos that would result in a major metropolitan area, if a dirty bomb were detonated. It wouldn’t matter that the radiation exposure were no more than a few chest X-rays; people would be extremely reluctant to return.

I reject the left’s definition that Bush led us into war on false premises. We have been continuously at war with Iraq since 1991. President Clinton sent U.S. military forces to attack Iraq, and near enough to threaten attack, on at least ten different occasions in his presidency to persuade Saddam to adhere to the conditions of the armistice. The Left wants me to believe that Saddam was never any threat to U.S. or international security. They also want me to forget that Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and his secretary of State Madeleine Albright, on many occasions each said the exact opposite — publicly advocating the removal of Saddam’s regime as a threat to American and international security, because of the WDM, his open support of terrorism, and unrepentant bellicosity.

The doctrinaire criticism of Bush for doing precisely the same things that drew their praise when done by Clinton is powerful evidence that the current frantic demonization of Scooter Libby and Karl Rove is nothing but a contrived partisan smear. And this from people who for decades have worked tirelessly to frustrate, demoralize, and enfeeble the CIA. I have to take the position that two years should be sufficient time to figure out whether the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 in fact applies to the case involving Valerie Plame. If it does apply— if the divulging of her status is a prosecutable crime — AND if it is known who revealed this, there should be an indictment on that charge.

If “outing” Valerie Plame does not qualify as a prosecutable crime, we need to know why was a special prosecutor established? Why was a Grand Jury empaneled? Why was anyone compelled to give testimony under oath for an act the prosecutor - after two full years of investigation - cannot show to have been a prosecutable offense?

I’m not saying this because I admire Bush and want bad things to happen to Valerie Plame. I have had to go through clearance interviews and background checks myself to get security clearance in the past, and I take the responsibility very seriously, certainly far more seriously than did Sandy Berger, whose outrageous crimes against this country have been so famously ignored in all this.

But in the wider context of protecting this country from the people who are determined to do us harm, I choose Bush, who is the only one in the pack of would-be-leaders who seems to have a clue about addressing both the immediate and the long-term problem of Islamic Terrorism.

I am sick to death of hearing people talk about how much Arabs dislike and hate us. The Arabs that hate us have been hating anyone outside their closed society for fourteen centuries. The ONLY way to make them like us is to either submit to their will or drop dead.

We in America suffer from a self-imposed delusion, or profound distortion of reality, that results from our long insulation and protection from the turmoils of the rest of the world, the incredible abundance of this continent, and the iconoclastic creativity of a population of people willing to decamp from the societies that were stifling them. This is obviously not any new insight. The continuing tragedy is that so many Americans fail to keep this in mind, and continue to evaluate the world without considering how profoundly alien our experiences are from theirs.

For instance, in the Great Patriotic War (WWII) Russians lost at least twenty MILLIONS of their civilians from fighting, disease, starvation, massacres, etc. American military personnel killed totalled only about half a million, only ONE FORTIETH of Soviet deaths. Wait! Stalin executed and starved more than six times that many Soviet civilians in the twenties and thirties just imposing agricultural collectivization on the Ukraine! Long before the “Cold War” Soviet leaders had seen that a few million deaths could be readily absorbed by a totalitarian regime, without derailing national goals or will. To Americans, figures like that convey a sense of the end of the world.

How many of us are content to spend our evenings sitting in air-conditioned comfort, munching on micro-waved treats as we watch mindless sit-coms? (Hey! I’m one!) When Gramma’s cancer becomes unbearably painful, we have become accustomed (growing hospice movement notwithstanding) to removing Gramma to die in hospital, so as not to upset the children. Ditto for the family pets. As more we persist in such antiseptic attitudes, so more estranged we become from the experiences of people in Third-World countries, where Gramma suffers, cries out and is cared for or ignored right in the midst of the one-room hovel shared by the extended family and the pigs, goats, dogs, and chickens.

This is similar to the lowered resistance to childhood diseases found in kids raised in households that over-use antibiotics and antiseptic cleansers. When some new pathogen comes along, bred in the septic conditions which third-world citizens endure daily, we are poorly-prepared to resist. When Islamic zealots come forth equally disposed to saw the necks of Al Franken and Rush Limbaugh, Michael Moore and Charlton Heston, Jerry Fallwell and Hugh Hefner, we are paralyzed by our preoccupation with perfect procedure. While we’re arguing over which law to quote in the indictment, which court should have jurisdiction, and which researchers should be awarded grants to describe how Corporate Greed and Conservative bigotry are actually at fault, the victims heads have already been removed, and their spilt lifeblood feeds the flies.

We are too busy magnifying our differences to notice that a Demon has entered the room who doesn’t give a sh*t about whether you embrace diversity or oppose gay marriage.

The Demon wants to kill everybody it can’t enslave.

[Most Muslims living in America have chosen to immigrate rather than remain in the societies where they were born. Later generations of Muslims have chosen to stay in this country rather than return to the lands their parents fled. This suggests that their faith is tempered and moderated with a sense that individuals are accountable to GOD, not some fanatical Imam, and a confidence that a secular society like ours will protect them and guarantee the sanctity of their families and property more than Sharia did in the cultures they fled. In contrast, the tiny population of homicidally vicious Muslims to be found in America seem demonstrably to consist of militant converts recruited from prisons where they were serving sentence for violent crimes, or the Muslim fanatics engaged in that recruitment throughout the world.]

To get a handle on the conflict in which we are presently embroiled, you have to consider the history of Islam, particularly the militant zealotry that has been a part of it since its genesis.

Islamofascist terrorism is not truly a modern phenomenon. There are conflicts and hatreds that have erupted and continued with only lulls and breathers for thousands of years before Catholic Europe, Capitalism, or America appeared on the scene. Islamic zealots had been slaughtering their opponents for centuries before the British Isles were fully Christian. In the middle east where Christianity originated, Muslim armies moving into the territories we now call Egypt, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, et al, encountered communities composed primarily of Christians and Jews going about their business as they had for centuries. In almost every region in which Islam shares the territory with other religions, it seems to be in bloody conflict, as the militant factions attempt to impose Islam on those outside the faith. For all the protestations that it is a religion of peace, the evidence is is mixed.

The Prophet Mohammed during his life captained military assaults on villages and populations that opposed him, and approved the summary execution of captives and assassinations of critics and opponents. In the first decade after his death, the leadership of his new militant faith changed hands several times as one aspirant murdered his predecessor and took his place. In the first century after his death, Islam had been imposed on a vast swath of territory outward from the Arabian Peninsula, north, south, west and east, by ruthless military onslaught. Islam has been in bloody conflict with the people it encounters as it has expanded since the seventh century. (Some of my readers will point out that I’m repeating this history. Of course, I am. And I will continue to reiterate it. People need to be reminded of this.)

Islamic fanatics are currently engaged in blowing up, slaughtering and brutalizing Hindus in India, Bengladesh and Pakistan. This past week they beheaded adolescent Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia and truck-bombed international journalists in their Baghdad conclaves. They elsewhere continue to murder Buddhists and Christians in Malaya and the Philippines, Black African animists and Christians in Darfur, tourists and bystanders of all faiths in Bali, Egypt, and Turkey, hapless Londoners on their way to their jobs, Russian schoolchildren in Chechnya, progressive liberals in the Netherlands, and coreligionist Muslims in Africa, North America, Asia, the nations of the former Soviet Union, and, well, just about every country on the globe.

No, the murderous zealots are nothing new. What is a new thing under the sun is the self-loathing decadent psuedo-intellectual who accepts without critical examination the Marxist-Leninist indictment of Capitalism and Western Judeo-Christian civilization. Humans have exploited and tormented each other throughout history; Many of these turn to a “Trans-nationalist” or “One-World” solution, thinking that if only we had a unified government for the entire world, we could all just get along...

The nearest thing to a trans-national governing body is the United Nations. Okay, skim through the Final Volcker Report on the Oil-For-Food scandal, and picture those highly-cultured diplomats and bureaucrats of the United Nations administering YOUR life.

I recommend keeping a full bottle of single malt close at hand to steady your nerves.