Saturday, April 12, 2003

Politeness Guidelines Inspire the Impolite

"I've been receiving hate mail from all over the world," said Palo Alto Councilwoman Judy Kleinberg, who headed the committee that drafted the rules encouraging more politeness. "I've been called a Nazi."

"I've been told I need to be in a straight jacket with a bag over my head."

...After all the publicity about the rules, the councilwoman said the measure is unlikely to pass and said she herself may vote against it.

The Onion Covers the Markets Too

Dow Up 300 After Deaths Of 400
NEW YORK?Buoyed by positive news from the war front, the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared more than 300 points Monday after the killing of more than 400 Republican Guard soldiers near the northern Iraqi town of Mosul. "These deaths have really boosted investor optimism and confidence," New York Stock Exchange chairman Dick Grasso said. "Before this, we'd tried lowering interest rates, lowering taxes, and all sorts of other things to jump-start the market, but nothing worked. Lowering the population of Iraq finally seems to be doing the trick."

The Left Rests on Their Bitter Satire


Going forward, as you celebrate your blood-drenched freedom by joyously frolicking in feces-contaminated drinking water, rest assured that America is with you for the long haul. Our armies of compassionate missionaries and CEO carpetbaggers are already en route, and look forward to long and financially lopsided relationships with your fun-to-conquer and increasingly Christian peoples.

You deserve to enjoy free colonialized lives, unthreatened by your neighbors Syria and Iran. And with the 2004 election still two years away – rest assured that at least one of those suckers is going down, too. Who the hell rules Syria anyway, Condi? al-Asad, you say? Have our people at FOX News get crackin' on a fair and balanced documentary about that piece of shit. But I digress.

In closing, I want you Iraqazoids to know that America will respect your great subterranean natural resources, whose abundance and flammability are essential to our conjoined future. We will install a government for you which appears representative, and that protects the rights and interests of members of my "Pioneer Club" campaign contributors, and that one decade soon, will dispense with the charade of not being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbusto Energy.

Soon, all Arabs will be able to drink Budweiser and Jack Daniels, stuff their mouths with slice after slice of delicious and vitamin-rich Wonder Bread, and dream of a time when their children, and thier children's children will happily transform into the morbidly obese, incontinent automatons of the Bush New World Order.

Thank you, and God Bless America.

What is entertaining to me is that they actually believe that this is the way the World works. Bitter, bitter, bitter souls.

Here Are the Good Guys


There's more over at DefenseLINK (via One Hand Clapping.)

Friday, April 11, 2003

It's OK for Us to Do the Right Thing After it Becomes the Easy Thing

Chirac told reporters the world had rejoiced at Saddam's defeat. But all three leaders, he said, shared a world view enshrining the United Nations as defender of democratic values.

"We want the world of tomorrow to be multi-polar. "This vision naturally rules out unilateralism," he sad. "That is why we favor a U.N. that is respected, recognized and effective."

It's easy to rejoice when you don't have the guts to do the work. They want the UN which has Libya in charge of human rights to run the show? Then there is this:

Putin, Chirac and Schroeder, who fought hard at the United Nations to prevent the war against Iraq, gathered in St Petersburg to uphold the U.N.'s role in Iraq, but also to find ways to mend ties with Washington.

They are not doing a good job with the mending part.

Compare and Contrast - Gulf I Tech to Gulf II Tech

Slate has a fascinating article on the evolution of military technology, strategy and teamwork since Gulf War I and before. After reading this, I have a much better understanding of why Rumsfeld and others are not employing the Powell doctrine. There is no reason to waste those resources. Interesting discussion on the "art of war."

For the Air Force and Navy, Desert Storm saw the inauguration of "smart bombs" that could explode within a few feet of their targets. Fewer than 10 percent of the munitions dropped in Desert Storm were smart bombs; the weapons were new and expensive (between $120,000 and $240,000 apiece); not many had been built; and they still had lots of technical bugs. By 1999, in the war over Kosovo, smart bombs were more reliable and a lot cheaper ($20,000 each); they constituted about 30 percent of bombs dropped. In Afghanistan, the figure rose to 70 percent, which is probably how the math will work out in Gulf War II as well.

The war in Afghanistan, however, saw three innovations that would alter the way America fights wars. First, high-tech smart bombs were combined with high-tech command, control, communications, and intelligence. A new generation of unmanned Predator drones flew over the battlefield, scanning the terrain with digital cameras and instantly transmitting the imagery back to command headquarters. Commanders would view the imagery, look for targets, and order pilots in the area to attack the targets. The pilots would punch the target's coordinates into the smart bomb's GPS receiver. The bomb would home in on the target. Total time elapsed: about 20 minutes. By comparison, in Desert Storm, the process of spotting a new target, assigning a weapon to hit it, then hitting it, took three days.

The second new thing about the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan was that it was truly a "combined-arms" operation—a battle plan that involved more than one branch of the armed services, working in tandem. This had never really happened before. Often using the new high-tech drones as the communications link, Army troops on the ground called for strikes from planes flown by Air Force pilots. Some of these planes, such as B-52 and B-1 bombers, had been built 30 or 40 years earlier to drop multi-megaton nuclear bombs on the Soviet Union. The notion of using them to drop 2,000-pound conventional weapons, in support of ground troops, would have appalled an earlier generation of Air Force generals.

Technology, strategy and teamwork. When you get down to it, there are some extremely bright people running the show and operating in the "theatre", but they are admittedly spending a ton of money. That kind of money is a lot less difficult to question than the 98 million in the supplemental war budget for an agricultural museum. Once they cut out the pork, we can start questioning the defense budget.

The Anti-American Movement Pauses

It's about time, don't you think your actions are reversed in order:

"Everybody has paused for a moment," said Mary Ellen McNish, head of the American Friends Service Committee, a branch of the pacifist Quaker church. "We're trying to make sure we're doing the right thing at the right time."

You're "trying to do the right thing?" That is a truly momentous step.

And is this idiotic:

International Answer, which is organizing the events, will retool its message as "occupation isn't liberation," said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a member of the group's steering committee.

How does she define liberation? Liberation is lying in the streets of New York trying to stop a war to free an oppressed people, obstructing traffic? ANSWER supports communism for America - Isn't communism the ultimate "occupation" of peoples' rights?

The Rev. Bob Edgar, co-chairman of Win Without War and general secretary of the National Council of Churches, said organizers were hashing out "whether Win Without War should continue and what it should do."

Should they rename their "coalition?" How about "Missing Saddam?"

Some groups are retooling their messages to denounce what they view as excessive American militarism and to push for U.S. nuclear disarmament, promote domestic issues like better schools and health care, and organize to expel Bush and war-backing congressmen in next year's elections.
{Emphasis mine, of course.}

This is what it is ALL about. These people hate Bush and they have an incessant need for a public forum to express that hatred. It's OK to express that hatred, but they need to wake up intellectually to the fact that they have no idea what they are protesting when they are protesting a free Iraq. They should wake up and rename their group, "Beat Bush with Saddam."

Untidiness in Iraq

Rumsfeld was not very happy with the press. He sounded so unhappy, I thought he must have been listening to NPR.

"While no one condones looting, on the other hand, one can understand the pent-up feelings that may result from decades of repression," he said.

"If you go from a repressive that transition period, there is untidiness," the secretary said.

Rumsfeld suggested that many of the television images beamed around the world showing acts of looting were being shown repeatedly, exaggerating the effect. Even so, he said, looting is common problem worldwide at times and in places where law enforcement has broken down.

"Stuff happens," he said.

I cannot for the life of me find the Henny Penny quote, but it was good "Rumsfeld poetry."
Coops wrote to us about the soldier who was wounded and kept on fighting from a prone position. Donald Sensing has a good copy of the MSNBC video(he states that he won't have this on his site for too long because of the bandwidth). It took a while to download even with cable, but it is a terrifying piece. You should see this.
I'm not asshatted, but I could be labeled a secret admirer.
I found this wonderful, yes wonderful post on Volokh that highlights some of the beefs I have with NPR. NPR does still beat AM radio but not by much.
Gary Bauer continued on his roll with the End of Day Report. I can't help but quote this:

The "Anti-War" Movement Responds

So, will the images of the Iraqi people celebrating their liberation be a wake-up call for the anti-war movement? Apparently not. The biggest umbrella group, known as ANSWER, is moving ahead with a march here in Washington, D.C. this Saturday.

ANSWER has seen the photos of Iraqi children hugging U.S. Marines and of Iraqi citizens chanting "U.S.A! U.S.A.!" But this is the conclusion they have reached and posted on their web site: "This is not liberation. It is the use of overwhelming firepower to seize the land and resources of Iraq and eliminate Iraq's sovereignty, while violating the most basic principles of self determination." Amazing! None are so blind as these ideologues.

The groups behind these marches are not pacifists or anti-war. They are anti-American, anti-capitalist, left-wing radicals. They wanted us to lose and they are appalled that we are winning. I predict their numbers will be greatly reduced this weekend, but they will still march and many will be tragically deluded by their dogma.

How Bad Is France?

Jacques Chirac made a point today of saying he welcomed the fall of Saddam Hussein. Who would have guessed? In the last six months leading up to the
war, Chirac did more than just disagree with the U.S. He used the full weight of France's diplomatic prestige to block our efforts to force Saddam to comply with the U.N. resolutions. And all the while, he and his government fanned the flames of anti-American sentiment in France.

The Wall Street Journal's deputy editorial page director summarized this morning the results of this demagoguery. One-third of the French people wanted the U.S. to lose this war. The graves of British soldiers near Calais, who died liberating France in World War I, were vandalized with graffiti saying, "Dig up your rubbish, it is contaminating our soil." So-called peace marches in Paris have featured incredible anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism. If our State Department or Colin Powell pressures the White House to allow the French government to be part of the rebuilding effort in Iraq, it will be a scandal!

Underground City

Al-Tuwaitha, near Baghdad, is the home of an Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission facility. Inspectors led by Hans Blix examined it numerous times, including a visit two months ago. "Nothing there," Blix assured us. But U.S. Marines may have found a massive underground facility and at least 14 buildings reportedly have high radiation levels. This is not only evidence of Hussein's illegal weapons program, but proof that the U.N. inspection program was a joke. It is no wonder that Saddam thought he could win as long as Inspector Hans "Clouseau" Blix was on the job!

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Fisk Is on Another Planet

The man is insane:

The great Lebanese poet Kalil Gibran once wrote that he pitied the nation that welcomed its tyrants with trumpetings and dismissed them with hootings of derision. And the people of Baghdad performed this same deadly ritual yesterday, forgetting that they ? or their parents ? had behaved in identical fashion when the Arab Socialist Baath Party destroyed the previous dictatorship of Iraq's generals and princes. Forgetting, too, that the "liberators" were a new and alien and all-powerful occupying force with neither culture nor language nor race nor religion to unite them with Iraq.

Send him away on a rocket to Hell.
Our friend from the LEFT, Coops, deserves some equal time, so here is his take on the war:

(AP) New Orleans--Speaking to messagers at The Great White Hope and Urban and Rural Men Committed to a Return to Decent Society's annual convention,
Vice President Cheney said that "This war was one of the most extraordinary military campaigns ever conducted."

When queried by reporters about this statement in light of the little-armed resistance against coalition forces, The vice president explained that the campus of The Little Sisters of the Poor was "vast," representing a "logistical nightmare" for coalition forces.

Cheney went on to say that, "While it's true that a couple of the priests ran like scared rabbits, those nuns put up stiff opposition. Anyone who has ever attended Catholic school knows how mean some of those nuns can be." And he added that some of the 10-year-old girls were "vicious, what will all the name-calling and pulling of our troops' hair."

Most military experts outside the Pentagon thought the coalition of U.S. and British troops, Italian cooks, and Greek fishermen would need at least 30 days to successfully overtake the campus of The Little Sisters of the Poor. The fact that it took 44 days did not seem to outwardly bother the vice president.

"We knew going in it would be a tough fight, but we wanted to do the job right."

Vice president Cheney refused to confirm reports that the interim ruler of The Little Sisters of the Poor would be former Enron executive Ken Lay.

"The war has not gone as badly as we thought, so let's rip on Cheney for being too tough on the bad guys."

Hitchens on Fire

A great piece if you don't mind a little "I told you so."

"Stop the War" was the call. And the "war" is indeed stopping. That's not such a bad record. An earlier anti-war demand? "Give the Inspectors More Time"?was also very prescient and is also about to be fulfilled in exquisite detail.

I noticed that Kofi Annan this week announced that the Iraqi people should be the ones to decide their own government and future. I don't mind that he never said this before: It's enough that he says it now.

Protesters this weekend will be asking why France isn't re-building Iraq. The Iraqis will say to the French, "Go home, you wankers."
I think I'd need to skip the shower.

Letterman Covers the Last Meal

MRC caught the Top Ten from 4/8:

"Top Ten Things Overheard at Saddam Hussein's Dinner Last Night."

10. "Uday, are you going to eat that pickle?"

9. "Bunker for six, please."

8. "You have some shwarma in your mustache."

7. "A double for me and a double for my double."

6. "I know we're winning the war, but there do seem to be an awful lot of American tanks around."

5. "What was I thinking putting 5,000 dinars on Kansas?"

4. "Can we still have these weekly dinners when we're in Hell?"

3. "What do you mean Bloomberg won't let us smoke in here?"

2. "Ka-boom!"

1. "More salad, Geraldo?"

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Not Everyone Is Happy

Here is Gary Bauer's message today:

Not Everyone Is Happy

The images of jubilant Iraqis were broadcast throughout the Middle East today on Al Jazeera, although I don't know yet what the Arab commentators were saying about the scenes. Unbelievably, the anti-war BBC was covering an earthquake in India this morning, rather than the political earthquake in Iraq as Saddam's statue and his regime came crashing down. In other quarters, there was silence. As I write this, the U.N.'s Kofi Annan has not yet issued a statement welcoming the Iraqi people to the ranks of free nations. The French foreign minister and his boss, Jacques Chirac, have not yet sent congratulations to President Bush and Prime Minister Blair. In fact, France, Germany and Russia, the "axis of weasels," are meeting this week to ponder the future. Is it too much to hope that they will dine on crow?

Daschle, Kennedy, Kerry and Clinton are no doubt huddled with their speechwriters. It is going to be hard to figure out a way to take credit for what they so vehemently opposed. But I can imagine them finding a way to do just that. What I can't imagine is that any of them will be big enough to say, "President Bush was right - the Iraqi people did want to be liberated."

Silence too from the National Council of Churches, which tried to make the case for months that it offends Jesus to free oppressed people. "War never solved anything," these pseudo-theologians assured us. That's true if you think ending Nazism, communism, ending the Holocaust and freeing the slaves amounted to "nothing." The NCC should ask for forgiveness for letting their left-wing pacifism blind them to the requirements of seeking justice and defending the defenseless.

Tough days still lie ahead. Fighting remains. More of our best will pay the highest price. But more than ever, today we know our cause is just and right. God bless the United States of America.

What's a Litmus Test, Regime Change Man?

The title: Kerry vows court picks to be abortion-rights supporters
The claim: ''Let me just say to you: That is not a litmus test.''

TK sent this missive to our lefty friend, Coops:

And the Sky Is Green

This guy has ketchup for brains. Not a litmus test? Who's he trying to fool? Fools, I suppose.

That fact that the Constitution is subject to interpretation by Supreme Court justices (his words), makes his whole argument lack any sense. And do you "interpret the way it's been interpreted" or interpret it the way it's been written. I still haven't found the right to kill fetuses in the Constitution, yet, either.

Keep talking fool!

C'mon Terry, you can find someone smarter than this to support, can't you? He makes Bush look like an Ivy Leaguer! Oh, that's right, he is!

Of Statues and Freedom

OK, I was working away this AM, and consistent with my focus on the work effort, I was listening to the local rock station instead of NPR, and WHAM, this station that never talks about the war says something about something happening in Baghdad. Well, I went over to an office that had a TV, and I have to say that I was floored. I kept thinking that here we are, this is what happens when people are inspired by a touch of freedom, freedom that they have not had. I was floored. I kept thinking, this is what it looks like.

James Taranto had a wonderful Best of the Web Today, again, and he kept up the Scenes From the Liberation:

The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reports from inside Amara, where the Marines were expecting a tank battle with an Iraqi armored division. But the plans went--well, whatever the opposite of "awry" is:

When the convoy approached this alleged enemy stronghold, the company was hit, all right--by an army of jubilant children that mobbed the Marines like they were rock stars.

"Mis-tah! Mis-tah! Bush good!" they shouted at the stunned Marines.

Charlie Company spent the next four hours wading through swarms of children asking for candy and men offering cigarettes--hardly what the Marines had prepared themselves for in the hours leading up to the assignment.

"This place is a zoo," company commander Greg Grunwald said as he tried to make his way through the crowd after they realized he was the leader.

After a little research, Grunwald discovered what had happened.

"There is no enemy," Grunwald said. "The general got shot yesterday and they quit."

Salon is up north, in the Kurdish city of Mahad, liberated from the regime on Sunday:

The men of the town saw us walking and led us, nearly carried us, through the crowd toward the Baath Party headquarters in the center of town. It is a building built of the same yellow stone of the temple on the hill, but in the style of an old crusader castle with round turrets. It was built without exterior windows. On the outside of the building are the words, "Saddam, our Jerusalem." The words were smeared with mud. The inside was packed with people.

The building has a courtyard and a second-story balcony that goes around it; the men of the town led us to the balcony where the crowd assembled below us. Hundreds more people were milling outside the castle chanting and shouting. They were saying "Bar-zan-i" and singing a song that was more like a chant. They chanted the name of the Kurdistan Democracy Party leader, Massoud Barzani, and when they caught sight of us, the chant and the clapping changed and they shouted, "Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka!"

A couple of items discovered via Command Post: This one is a compare/contrast, protesters vs. freshly liberated, Tale of Two Cities, San Francisco and Baghdad. And this one is a personal narrative of a person who witnessed the demonstrations in East Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit with a large amount of Mideastern immigrants (exiles).

Unwritten Rules

The complaints are swirling over NASCAR's rule enforcement.

The latest controversy began after Earnhardt dipped below the yellow line onto the apron of the track en route to his fourth consecutive victory at Talladega.

Marlin was black-flagged for a similar violation in the season-opening Daytona 500. Jimmie Johnson was penalized for it last year, as was Tony Stewart, who ignored a call into the pits for a stop-and-go penalty when the rule was first passed in July 2001.

But when Earnhardt did it Sunday, crossing the line in his No. 8 Chevrolet to pass Kenseth and move into the lead with four laps left, NASCAR decided it was a legal move.

The 160,000 fans, a sea of red-and-white Budweiser gear, were all seemingly pulling for the popular driver. Marlin suggested NASCAR was afraid to take the win away.

``I'd say if they black-flagged him, they might have been afraid of a riot,'' Marlin said. ``They might have torn the grandstands down.''

NASCAR adamantly denies it gave any special treatment to Junior -- the son of the late seven-time Winston Cup driver Dale Earnhardt.

``Absolutely we would have called him for it if we thought his move was illegal,'' spokesman Jim Hunter said. ``But in NASCAR's judgment, he was already past (Kenseth) when he went below the line.''

And that's exactly the problem with the rule. No one knows exactly what it says -- it's not even printed in the rule book for competitors to consult -- or when NASCAR will choose to enforce it.

To me it was pretty clear that they were right last Sunday, based on the verbal explanation of the rule and the replay of the incident, but I certainly don't understand not having the rule in the book, so that NASCAR can say, "Here's what the rule says, and that is why the rule was not broken."

I am pretty sure that this is whining by people who really do break the rules. I am not a big Junior fan, but I do think he is likeable with his hick'ish behaviors and appreciation of the fans, and I think his win last week was perfectly legit.

UPDATE: Lee Spencer offers this tidbit in her column: "Merriam-Webster OnLine defines judgment as 'a formal utterance of an authoritative opinion,' but opinions have no place when they interfere with competition. As the umpire of the sport, NASCAR needs to define the strike zone."

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

A Couple of awesome photos from the Hearald Sun:

Iraqi men cheer on Boregasm

Palace Search

This site and the are simply awesome. There are some sad pictures too, but I didn't highlight those. We know it's tough.

Protesters for Saddam

I have no sympathy - These people were stopping supplies from getting to our troops and were therefore acting on behalf of the enemy. That sounds extreme, but there is no reason behind this kind of protest, and if the rubber bullets don't work, run them over.

One Smart Girl

Out of the blue, my daughter came up to me and said, "I guess Madonna is one of those anti-war people." I asked how she knew that and she said that MTV was not playing one of Madonna's latest videos out of respect for our troops - I am out of it and have no idea what this is about, but I was impressed that a 10-year old had more sense than many others in this world.

She told me that she heard that children had been let out of prison and had been giving Marines flowers, and again, I asked her where she heard that and she did not know, but then she told me what she thought about all of this:

I'm glad we don't live there - there would be a lot more people in prison and a lot of people would be dead if President Bush didn't like them.

God bless the innocent sensibilities of children.

That Capitulation Thing

My capitulation post from last night was odd. I don't have any understanding of how it would be best to finish the effort, but as I watched the pit that was bombed out with the hope that most of the henchmen, along with Saddam, were on their way to hell, I wondered how on Earth we could get people to surrender so we could call an end to this thing. It's getting closer to over, but it would be nice to have it formally over.

Well, I read an article in the NY Crimes today, and it addressed this issue.

The key to winning this war, like any war, is finding someone willing to surrender. Yet so far, discourse about the war has been dominated by green-scope travelogues and precision bomb videos. Conspicuously absent has been any discussion about who will be capitulating to the United States.

This is unfortunate, because the question of which generals, exiles or other elites are willing to negotiate will directly affect ? if not determine ? how long this war lasts, how many people will die and what the peace will look like.

That's just the beginning. The writer is very sharp - I'm not sure I agree that we can come up with a solution that would satisfy her, but it is an intelligent look at the issue.

Taranto Continues the Scenes from the Liberation Series

Here's a portion:

"More than 100 children held in a prison celebrated their freedom as US marines rolled into northeast Baghdad," Agence France-Presse reports:

Around 150 children spilled out of the jail after the gates were opened as a US military Humvee vehicle approached, Lieutenant Colonel Fred Padilla told an AFP correspondent travelling with the Marines 5th Regiment.

"Hundreds of kids were swarming us and kissing us," Padilla said.

"There were parents running up, so happy to have their kids back."

"The children had been imprisoned because they had not joined the youth branch of the Baath party," he alleged. "Some of these kids had been in there for five years."

In a September interview with Time magazine, here's what Scott Ritter had to say about Iraq's children's prisons:

The prison in question is at the General Security Services headquarters, which was inspected by my team in Jan. 1998. It appeared to be a prison for children--toddlers up to pre-adolescents--whose only crime was to be the offspring of those who have spoken out politically against the regime of Saddam Hussein. It was a horrific scene. Actually I'm not going to describe what I saw there because what I saw was so horrible that it can be used by those who would want to promote war with Iraq, and right now I'm waging peace.

The New York Times reports from Qalat Sukkar on Khuder al-Emiri, a onetime resistance fighter who fled Iraq in 1991 and returned yesterday as a translator for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit:

Word of Mr. Emiri's arrival spread through town by way of children's feet. Their hero was with the Americans and the crowd believed the marines' intentions were good. They began to chant in English. "Stay! Stay! U.S.A.!"

The euphoria nearly spilled over into a riot. Children pulled at the marines, jumped on their trucks, wanting to shake their hands, touch their cheeks. A single chicken hung in the butcher's window and still the residents wanted to give the Americans something, anything. Cigarette? Money?

"You are owed a favor from the Iraqis," said Ibrahim Shouqyk, a clean and remarkably well-dressed man, considering the abject poverty here. "We dedicate our loyalty to the Americans and the British. We are friends."

Taranto goes on with this collection, and I'd be sure it will be a daily feature. I heard Colonel North talking about how the group he was with were receiving flowers from IRaqi children and he hadn't seen flowers in 3 weeks...

No Fixed Principles

Brit Hume has a great ear and MRC is on the ball:

FNC's Brit Hume on Monday night re-played for viewers of his FNC show his ?favorite journalist question of the war so far,? a question at the British briefing in Qatar from Geoff Meade of FNC's sister network, Sky News: ?If Iraq was so unable to defend itself, was it really the threat to the world on which this whole war was predicated??

After NPR's Mara Liasson defended the question and the FNC panel noted how journalists who days earlier were concerned the war wasn't going well for the coalition always manage to find something to complain about, Hume observed: ?That’s why it’s so great to be a journalist. You don’t have to adhere to any fixed principles of any kind.?

Watching the news right now, I only hope that we get capitulation.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Hate Yourself Excursion from the Anti-American Crowd

Here's a Portion of a Gem from Poets Against War:

Why some hate the U.S. is not hard to understand.
We simply won't share.
Because of this we must prepare.
For war. Another battle.
The enemy hasn't changed in all human history.
It is internal.
No war is right.
Some will disagree with me.
But if we never try peace, how can we see?
The other side of pride is humility.
We must give up the hate and let it be.

The Iraqi people are going to LOVE the peace we will be trying now - It's a lot better than the old oppression. There are a lot of people who still hate us, but most of the Iraqi citizens sure seem to love the progress of their liberation, despite the press underestimating the reaction. James Taranto tries to counter that underestimation today:

See if you can read this, from an Associated Press Nasiriyah dispatch, without choking up:

Lance Cpl. Brian Cole, 20, of Kansas City, Kan., was bowled over by the 7-year-old girl who handed him a Christmas card with this painstakingly written text: "Thank you for liberate us. And thank you for help us. You are a great army."

"That made my day, after sitting out in the heat all day. It made it seem worthwhile," said Cole.

The Guardian reports from Basra on another letter of liberation:

As one British tank approached the centre of the city, a young Iraqi handed a letter to the crew written in red ink on the pages of an exercise book. In broken English, it read: "I cannot describe how great and human the action you are achieving is. Since we are the inhabitants of this city, we may know better than you about the progress you have achieved."

Achieving great and human action. Indeed.

Time Travelling - The Way to Riches

NEW YORK -- Federal investigators have arrested an enigmatic Wall Street wiz on insider-trading charges -- and incredibly, he claims to be a time-traveler from the year 2256!

Sources at the Security and Exchange Commission confirm that 44-year-old Andrew Carlssin offered the bizarre explanation for his uncanny success in the stock market after being led off in handcuffs on January 28.

"We don't believe this guy's story -- he's either a lunatic or a pathological liar," says an SEC insider.

"But the fact is, with an initial investment of only $800, in two weeks' time he had a portfolio valued at over $350 million. Every trade he made capitalized on unexpected business developments, which simply can't be pure luck.

"The only way he could pull it off is with illegal inside information. He's going to sit in a jail cell on Rikers Island until he agrees to give up his sources..."

In a bid for leniency, Carlssin has reportedly offered to divulge "historical facts" such as the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden and a cure for AIDS.

All he wants is to be allowed to return to the future in his "time craft."

However, he refuses to reveal the location of the machine or discuss how it works, supposedly out of fear the technology could "fall into the wrong hands."

Officials are quite confident the "time-traveler's" claims are bogus. Yet the SEC source admits, "No one can find any record of any Andrew Carlssin existing anywhere before December 2002."

I would like to ask him about what happened in the battle of Baghdad.

Somehow the Pilot Got it Wrong

Not all is going so smoothly. A journalist's description of errant US strike.

It was Tom Giles's 38th birthday, and his mother had just called him from England on his satellite phone to wish him many happy returns. He held the phone over his head to let her hear the sound of the circling F14s. "Listen," he told her, "that's the sound of freedom."

The next instant the bomb landed and she listened for the next few minutes to the sounds of people shouting and screaming, uncertain whether her son was alive or dead.

We started a headcount and realised that one of our number was missing: Kamran Abdul Razak, our Kurdish translator. He had been close to me when the bomb struck.

Our BBC security man, Craig Summers, searched the area at great risk and found him close to the wrecked and burning cars, many of which contained ammunition which was starting to explode. Kamran's foot was almost blown off by a huge piece of shrapnel.

It's unbelievable that this does not happen quite a bit more, and I hope it doesn't happen much more...

Sunday, April 06, 2003

The Best Peace "Protest" of All

About 10,000 people gathered in Karbala's public square today and pulled down a six-metre-high bronze statue of Saddam Hussein, a move symbolising for many the end of a tyrannical regime and the start of new freedoms...

"We have been living in fear for so many years, and we have been taught in the schools that Saddam would never die," said Hassan Muhammad, 20, as he helped pull on the rope. "This is a historic day, and we will celebrate this day always..."

"I don't care about all the problems here," said Ahmed Saheb, 35, who has lived in Karbala all his life. "I remember being ordered to stand ... here to celebrate Saddam coming to Karbala in 1997. I didn't want to do it, but it was either celebrate or be put in jail."

Colonel Jeff Ingram said the difficult part - securing Karbala - is over. Now troops must win hearts and minds.

"They have to know we don't want Iraq; we just want the regime to change," he said.

Saheb said he was pleased that US soldiers did not damage the Shrine of Imam Hussein in the battle with Iraq's Republican Guard.

"All we have ever wanted is the ability to practise our religion and to earn a living," Saheb, a sheepherder said. "We have not been allowed to do this for a long time. I have faith this will now change."

No matter what happens with the UN, the French, the terrorists, let freedom reign for these people.

No politics. No bulls**t. No glory.

Drudge scoops the heat that Brill is taking for his new book - Brill defends himself:

Brill explains: "I've had a kind of cultural revelation, and it centers on Tom Ridge, whom all my friends think is a bumpkin because he doesn't look and sound like them. Janitor's son wins scholarship to Harvard, gets elected governor. Yet my friends think he's a dummy. The reason: because he's utterly without guile. To me he is emblematic of what's great about the country - a guy who leaves his cushy governorship and therefore his wife has to go get a job to pay the bills because they have new rent to pay, and goes to Washington to help. And his staff is the same way.

"Sure they don't do everything right, but they work their asses off and take all kinds of s**t from the press and the pundits and just keep their heads down and do the job they said they would do. The book is full of poignant scenes of these decent people just plain working hard and making sacrifices. No politics. No bulls**t. No glory. No scouring the papers for news clips about themselves."

The next attack will bring all sorts of accusations, but results so far are strong. Also, I haven't noticed the civil rights that I have been deprived of due to the Patriot Act - A lot of sky-is-falling rhetoric.

Algore's 'Earth in the Balance' Moves to

Science Fiction Shelves

So says TK, and I can sympathize with that point of view.

The review, carried out by a team from Harvard University, examined the findings of studies of so-called "temperature proxies" such as tree rings, ice cores and historical accounts which allow scientists to estimate temperatures prevailing at sites around the world.

The findings prove that the world experienced a Medieval Warm Period between the ninth and 14th centuries with global temperatures significantly higher even than today.

They also confirm claims that a Little Ice Age set in around 1300, during which the world cooled dramatically. Since 1900, the world has begun to warm up again - but has still to reach the balmy temperatures of the Middle Ages.

If the race at Talladega today didn't cause global warming, we're in for an ice age...

Junior Takes 4th Straight at Talladega

Awesome race. There were some incredible racing moves, and Junior looks more like his father all of the time, especially as he removed Kenseth's rear bumper with some constant bashing.

About the only thing that went right for Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Sunday was winning the Aaron's 499.

Crew chief Tony Eury Sr. had to beat on the doors of a couple of his crewmen who overslept their 5 a.m. wake-up call after forgetting to reset their clocks.

When the crew of the No. 8 Chevrolet warmed up the engine after arriving at Talladega Superspeedway, the oil cooler filled up with water, requiring an engine change and forcing Earnhardt to start from the rear of the 43-car field.

Four laps into the 188-lap event, Earnhardt drove through the infield grass to avoid a wild 27-car crash. The bumpy ride tore up his front air dam, messing up the car's aerodynamics and forcing a series of pit stops for repairs.

Earnhardt charged back to become the first driver to win four straight Winston Cup events on the 2.66-mile Talladega oval, but afterward he spent more time explaining a disputed pass than talking about his eighth career victory.

I don't know how Newman walked away from THE BIG ONE, and while you look at that, doesn't the ORANGE 88 on top of DJ's car look like shit? The 88 was 12th. Some people say Geritol should be his sponsor, but I am holding out hope.

For sure, this was the best race for InCar, watching the action from inside various cars. Unbelievable how much the drivers count on their spotters in this race.