Saturday, March 15, 2003

Tullamore Dew - or is it getting weird?
OK, I just had my first sip of Tullamore Dew ever - it's coming on to St. Paddy's Day and I thought I should familiarize myself with the products of the Auld Sod - no, not Evelyn Waugh - the Emerald Isle, and I had never had Tullamore Dew so I thought I'd try it and as soon as it hits my bloodstream, fish start speaking in Hebrew. Sure and begorrah, it's strange, but if the Good Lord can make Scotsmen, he can make carp yelling in Yiddish. Only this is real Hebrew, as testified to by a New York Hasid. The end is near, it said. But no, I look at the bottle again and there's plenty left. And I've got some Guinness in the fridge. Oops, gave the game away. A real Harp wouldn't put Guinness in the fridge. It's best at room temperature, I hear. I've never had Guinness in Dublin, although I've had Heineken in Amsterdam.

Anyway, I'm really Scottish myself, but the fish is reported to have spoken. All we need is another UN resolution and six more months of inspections of things no one can find and we'll all be speaking in tongues.
Debka, Debka, Debka!
Those wacky Debka folks are saying the war has already started, with over 1000 air sorties a day and "large expanses of Iraqi territory" under US control. So I know more than they do? Maybe not, but I'll believe it when someone with a uniform on says it's true. Gee, what a conformist straight-arrow I've become!

Friday, March 14, 2003

More reports, or continuations of old ones, that Osama may be in captivity. As I opined before, it's fascinating to speculate on when these stories will reach critical mass. Maybe here the question is: Is there any reason to keep Osama's capture secret? And I can think of at least one. Wouldn't it be nice to keep the AlQaeda operatives scattered around the world thinking that they were still communicating with Osama when they were really talking to the CIA? The opposing forces did much the same thing in WWII, when they caught spies. Before they executed them, they used their contacts to roll up whole networks. Can there be anything more important than rolling up every last shred of AlQaeda? I don't care if it takes six months, as long as it's done right. Here's another thought. Maybe the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed happened because they already had Osama and were using his contacts to do exactly what I've said. Wouldn't it be nice if they could reel in some of Saddam's agents and maybe even a Kraut or Frog?? Dreaming, I know. Diplomacy wouldn't let us mention it even if it were true. But it could be another good lesson in why not to mess with us.
Grey fluff
This interview with Hans Blix sent Andrew Sullivan over the edge, as well it should have. It's valuable, though, to know for sure the mentality of the "leader" of the inspection team that's supposed to save the world from a terrorist dictator like Saddam. I like the way Sullivan put it:
"Social problems" caused a multi-millionaire religious fanatic to murder 3000 people? Give me a break. You see in this interview every half-baked European rationale for ignoring the threat we face. No wonder the guy eventually sided with the French.
And the global warming comment is proof positive that Blix's brain fits Eeyore's description of "little bits of grey fluff that blew in by mistake".
This is the man we're going to entrust with the future of freedom and capitalism? I don't think so. Blix may have just lit the fuse. And about time.
Valley Forge
Does it feel like the whole world's against the cause of freedom? So it must have seemed to the soldiers at Valley Forge in 1777. Demonstrations and European blowhards and Socialist twits are attacking on all fronts. It's cold and we haven't had any nourishing victory news for weeks now, since the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. But we must hang on, our supplies will get here sooner or later. The only real difference between our situation now and that of the Continentals at Valley Forge is that the eventual rescue and victory was helped along by the French. Today we're fighting them and the Brits are with us. But just a few years after VF, the French changed governments in the most drastic way possible. I wonder if they still have some guillotines stashed away somewhere? And like the Continental Army, we must rely on George.
Looking over Duesberg's AIDS site, I came upon a page I hadn't seen before, filled with links and pictures of researchers. If you don't know why some people still say there's no such thing as AIDS and HIV doesn't cause it, consult this page.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Alternative future
Mark Steyn, in a typically readable and hard-hitting article in the Spectator, ponders the future of an increasingly impotent Europe, losing population to support its Socialist culture and relying on immigration from, in large part, the Muslim world. I made the point in a comment that it won't always be a good idea to rely on Muslims continuing to crowd into a cold, wet Europe if their home countries become more hospitable:
I haven't seen much comment on the possible effects of a successful US liberation of Iraq and democratization of the rest of the Arab world. Many of the Muslims in Europe will go home to build their nations and the rate of immigration to Europe will slow dramatically. The demographic consequences for Europe for the next few decades will be even more drastic than those you suggest. There will be no more immigrants, no one to support the oldsters and the shiftless. And no constituency for Shari'a.
Am I just being knee-jerk anti-Europe? I've stopped buying French wine and am resolved to drink up what I have - big deal, three bottles! Tony Blair is sticking with us, so steak and kidney pie and Walker's shortbread are still OK. Of course, the country with the really good food and wine would have to be the one that has ticked me off so much I'm boycotting it. I wonder how Bulgarian paté tastes?

Update - Horrible thought
Reading this Musil post, via Instapundit, made me have a pretty sick thought about what is in the back of the French mind, perhaps the German too. They don't want the Middle East to get all cleaned up and democratically spick and span because then they wouldn't have all those cheap and easily-looked-down-upon immigrants coming in any more. The Syrians and Iraqis and Afghans and Egyptians and even Lebanese wouldn't have any reason to crowd into housing developments in le (or is it "la"?) Zone if they could make a good living at home. If Iraq and Iran and even Egypt rebuilt their polities to full modern status, they would form another rival concentration of power. Just what the declining Eurogeriatrics need. Also, if the US were instrumental in bringing that new situation about, the rebuilt states would be firmly in the US camp, like the ungrateful and impudent Eastern Europeans. Talk about a good reason to oppose a US-led war! They really think ahead, those Old Europeans! Many French and German companies have enormous economic stakes in the area, as laid out in the Instapundit-linked articles and posts. Those companies have vested interests in totalitarianism, disorder, violence and Islamofascism, which is to say, the status quo. Pretty sick. Freedom fries, anyone? Hot dogs and ground beef patties?

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

For some days now, ever since the arrest of Kalidh Sheikh Mohammed (ptui!), I've been seeing articles saying that Osama bin Laden (double ptui!) has been captured. These stories have been immediately and energetically denied by US and Pakistani authorities. Yet they still keep popping up. It's interesting how little it takes to keep a story going. Perhaps an Army patrol reports arresting a tall wild-bearded Arab somewhere near Baluchistan. Someone sees the report and thinks, hey that could be Osama! He mentions it to a friend, who jokes about it to a reporter, who relays it to his paper as a possibility. With $25 million on tap as a reward, is it any wonder any half-plausible story is boosted to the maximum? When the real story comes along, it may take a while to realize it. I do think he's dead. But if he isn't, there can't be a Pashtu in Pakistan who doesn't know his fortune is made if he can betray him to the Americans.

I wonder what one can say will be an indication that the story actually is true? If it's reported on Drudge, Debka and Instapundit at the same time, is that a lead-pipe cinch? Or if it's on or reuters, does that mean we can safely ignore it? I'll be watching.
Rush Crush
Limbaugh just had a caller who said our victory in Gulf War I was responsible for 9/11. "We never had any terrorism on US soil until Gulf War I!", he whined. So Rush asked him if he supported the present effort to disarm Iraq. He said, reluctantly, he would, for the soldiers' sakes. Rush's comeback was to the effect: "Why? By your logic, another attack will only produce more terrorism. So you should be against it no matter what!" Good point. However, the guy was right. The events of 1991 et seq. DID lead to 9/11. The terrorists saw a huge army defeat Saddam utterly and then stop short of taking him out, leaving him to claim a distorted sort of victory. This impression of US weakness and indecisiveness was confirmed by Klintoon's disastrous eight years of wishy-washy willy waving.
So if we were to do again what we did in 1991, that is, go in and disarm Saddam but leave him there or let another homegrown tinpot Islamofascist gain power, we would indeed encourage terrorism. If we remove all vestiges of the mad mustachioed murderer, empower the Kurds and Shi'ites and insist on guaranteed rights and democratic forms and procedures, we will be sending the strongest kind of message that terrorism will not be tolerated. Oh, and it wouldn't hurt to raze Tikrit to the ground and sow it with salt and establish a few huge military bases chock-full of B-52s and B-1s, so they wouldn't have to fly in from Diego Garcia or Missouri to bomb places like, just to take a random example, Saudi Arabia, whose permission and "help" and tolerance we will no longer need or want and whose arrogance and bloody-mindedness we could start working on, finally. And how about Disneyland Middle East? I'm sure the Iranian mullahs' kids will bug the heck out of them to go.
Never forget
A positive aspect of this interminable wait for the liberation of Iraq is that the character of our opponents, particularly France, Germany and the UN, emerges as the farce drags on. It's clear now that France will never agree to any war led by America, and especially Bush. It's clear now that Germany will never willingly support any Bush policies at all. And it's becoming clearer that Russia has fallen for the catastrophic delusion that their interests are the same as Germany's and France's. We need to remember these days after the war, when the stories of torture, murder and horrendous weapons come out, when we continue to encounter resistance to our efforts to democratize Iraq and in pursuing the terrorists, even to France, Germany and Russia. What is there about those who say they are against terrorism that can't realize that terrorists need state sponsors?

It's also becoming clearer that the "coalition" of Gulf War I was a disaster in the long term. It created the need for "no-fly zones" for twelve years. It allowed Saddam to continue to exist. It allowed Saddam to crush the Kurds and Marsh Arabs. It perpetuated the myth of inspections and the farce of the "embargo". The whole mockery of a foreign policy Clinton pretended to conduct gave ammunition to every collectivist blowhard and carper to cast America as the source of all evil. Their lies and distortions gave rise to massive hatred and encouraged widespread misinterpretation of any move America made to defend itself and promote freedom. Did I say we need to remember that they did this? We never can forget the delays forced upon us by the midgets and vampires of the UN, delays which have already cost thousands of Iraqi lives and given Saddam more time to prepare his pathetic but no doubt deceptive and cowardly defenses. We can only pray that this administration learns from this experience the futility of trying to please "world opinion" in the persons of Chirac, Schroeder, Putin, Blix and Annan.
Update - no sooner said ...
CNN has a story (via Instapundit) about the EU "threatening" to withhold aid for the rebuilding of Iraq if the US goes in without UN permission. Glenn Reynolds calls it "sabotage" and continues:
I think we should cooperate. No contracts relating to reconstruction should go to companies from countries that oppose the war. I wouldn't want to subject them to a moral dilemma.
If more evidence is needed of the perfidy of "Old Europe", I'm sure they'll supply it any moment now. And notice the piddling amount of the "aid" - fifteen million Euros. These same people's supporters in the antiwar movement are saying the war and reconstruction may cost "$1trillion". That's nonsense, but it's certainly going to be a hundred or a thousand times what the EU is "setting aside". Who needs 'em?

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

World-historical turnabout
This Tech Central Station essay has a lot of good things to say about, as I say in the previous post, how this war is different from every other war and how things will continue to be different until a new world stability establishes itself. The prevalence of individual technologies like satphones and the web and email makes the new kind of attack on sovereignty possible. One interesting sidelight: an article I can't find again mentions that terrorists communicated by logging on to a web-based email site, leaving a message and then having the recipient log onto the same site. No message is ever sent and so no message can be traced. Of course, this is no different from putting a blog post up or putting anything on any web site, except for the password protection. And I'm going to bet that the black magic intelligence gurus have figured out a way to detect even those messages. After all, as the essay points out, we created the Internet. The terrorists cannot create their own technology without becoming like us, which they won't do. So they're stuck in their role of dog-in-the-manger savagery. Good. They'll reap the whirlwind.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

How is this war different from all other wars?
A Catotheyoungest fisking of one of those Democratic presidents everyone has been trying to forget about for years but who won't keep his mouth shut, (there are so many I'd better say it's Carter) reminds me how this war upcoming is essentially different from WWII, even Vietnam. We don't clearly know in every case exactly who the enemy is. When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, they didn't bother to hide the rising sun emblems on the wings of their planes. In the Gulf of Tonkin, it was obvious where the (hypothetical?) torpedo boats came from that triggered deeper US involvement. And there was no doubt that China and Russia were funding, feeding and arming the VC and the PAVN. In the Falklands, Britain didn't have to think, "Hey, wait a minute, are we sure the troops holding our sheep captive are Argentinian?" Even in Grenada there was no serious doubt about whether or not Cubans were involved. In Gulf War I we didn't have to spend much intelligence money finding out whose tanks those were in Kuwait City.
But now the effective defense of the United States depends on knowing exactly who is attacking you and how best to eliminate them. I'm sure one of the nightmares of the War against Terror planners is that some unknown terrorist group with a whole other grudge against America totally unrelated to Islamofascism was responsible for 9/11. Not. That much we know. AlQaeda did it and they are steamed up against America because of the success of American culture, which makes them feel like the failures they are. And the biggest thumb in their eye is the existence and relative prosperity of Israel. And who's giving money to suicide bombers attacking Israel? Old porno mustache himself. So to ask whether Iraq has "ties" to AlQaeda or would or did participate in an attack on America is ridiculous. Iraq is part and parcel of Islamofascism. Saddam Hussein is a hero to all those who hate America and think that all the Arab world needs is another Saladin to stand up to the "Crusaders" and they will fold like the paper tigers they are, because America is corrupt and immoral and soft and on the "wrong side of history" just like the imam said in the mosque on Friday or whatever heathenish day of the week they have their mosque rants. The "Axis of Evil" is no different from the Hitler/Mussolini/Tojo Axis of World War II in that regard. They think their way will inevitably win, because they are superior to the mongrel Americans. The Moscow/Peking axis was just as convinced during the Cold War. Did it not say so in the sacred Marx's books?
So to ask whether a man who has a Koran written in his own blood (he says!) is sufficiently Islamic to find common cause with Osama and Arafish and his buddies makes no sense at all. Still, though, one must wonder. Is attacking Iraq now in this way the right tactic to cause a historic collapse of Islamofascism to parallel the fall of Berlin in 1945 and of the Berlin Wall in 1989? Hmm - that's interesting. Two worldwide ideologies came to symbolic grief in Berlin. I never realized that before. Maybe instead of Waterloo we should be using Berlin as a metaphor for final unmitigated defeat. I don't see how that could happen this time. Or maybe Osama is hiding out in Berlin and he'll dine on Unter den Linden and he'll choke on a piece of pork in a sidewalk cafe and his whole movement will evaporate in disillusioned disgust, maintaining the curse.
Anyway. The recent capture of Sheikh Mohammed makes it clear that crushing Iraq is merely one act in a series of battles. It's important. State sponsorship of an organization like AlQaeda must be eliminated, to reduce the threat of atomic terrorism. And Iran has a lot to answer for in that regard, too, as does North Korea. The coming war will be swift and overwhelming. It will cause a huge reaction in the Arab world, but not the one the liberals think. It'll be more like, "Say, can you come into our country and help us like you did the Iraqis? We could really use a break from Assad/Mubarak/Qaddafi/Khamenei/ the Sauds and even Musharraf." Could be a busy couple of years coming up.