It’s The Dictator, Stupid!

Instapundit points out this article in the New Republic by Michael Rubin, which makes a couple interesting points about the situation in Iraq. First, that US sanctions aren’t starving Iraqis–Saddam is (as though anyone with half a brain didn’t already know that, but it’s nice to see the evidence laid out compellingly).

But what’s even more interesting to me is that, considering that it was actually written in June, months before the Current Unpleasantness, it also provides ample reason to think that if we were to provide Iraq with the same disinfectant treatment that we’re presently giving Afghanistan, that the populace there would be just as supportive. Just as the people least unhappy about bombing Afghanistan seem to be Afghans, I suspect that when (not if) we start to pound on Saddam, the wails and choruses of woe will come not from the Iraqis, but from outside Iraq. Hopefully, by spring, Saddam and his minions will have good cause to ask, “Why do they hate us?”

It’s The Dictator, Stupid!

Instapundit points out this article in the New Republic by Michael Rubin, which makes a couple interesting points about the situation in Iraq. First, that US sanctions aren’t starving Iraqis–Saddam is (as though anyone with half a brain didn’t already know that, but it’s nice to see the evidence laid out compellingly).

But what’s even more interesting to me is that, considering that it was actually written in June, months before the Current Unpleasantness, it also provides ample reason to think that if we were to provide Iraq with the same disinfectant treatment that we’re presently giving Afghanistan, that the populace there would be just as supportive. Just as the people least unhappy about bombing Afghanistan seem to be Afghans, I suspect that when (not if) we start to pound on Saddam, the wails and choruses of woe will come not from the Iraqis, but from outside Iraq. Hopefully, by spring, Saddam and his minions will have good cause to ask, “Why do they hate us?”

It’s The Dictator, Stupid!

Instapundit points out this article in the New Republic by Michael Rubin, which makes a couple interesting points about the situation in Iraq. First, that US sanctions aren’t starving Iraqis–Saddam is (as though anyone with half a brain didn’t already know that, but it’s nice to see the evidence laid out compellingly).

But what’s even more interesting to me is that, considering that it was actually written in June, months before the Current Unpleasantness, it also provides ample reason to think that if we were to provide Iraq with the same disinfectant treatment that we’re presently giving Afghanistan, that the populace there would be just as supportive. Just as the people least unhappy about bombing Afghanistan seem to be Afghans, I suspect that when (not if) we start to pound on Saddam, the wails and choruses of woe will come not from the Iraqis, but from outside Iraq. Hopefully, by spring, Saddam and his minions will have good cause to ask, “Why do they hate us?”

Camelot Redux

Guess I spoke a little too soon yesterday–the Washington Post did run their obligatory JFK-death anniversary story, with all the usual foofaraw about “lost youth and promise,” with the bonus, this year, of attempting to put it in the context of what happened on September 11. They failed, in my humble opinion.

Still, I think there was a lot less attention paid to the anniversary this year than in any previous year–possibly just because it got crowded out by falling on Thanksgiving, but also, I think, because of the dramatic change in the national mood this year. Not to imply that they necessarily have that much in common, but both peace protests and JFK worship seem passe this fall.

Thanks to Glenn Reynolds who, in picking up on my comment yesterday, brought it to the attention of Best of the Web. My first (and hopefully not last) appearance there. Even though it’s indirect, they spelled the URL right, so it can’t hurt traffic. I’m curious to see just what kind of spike I get.

More Air Rage From Ann

Apparently, Ann Coulter had some jewelry lifted by sticky-fingered airport security personnel. Sounds like a nice little racket, if true. Not to wish ill fortune on anyone, but in the interests of airline-security sanity, I hope it happens to lots of people, especially after the security people become federal employees…

Two Hits of Smack, Please–Hold the Anthrax…

Well, according to this story from Italy, we’ve had the first reports of anthrax-tainted heroin.

I predicted something like this but I expected it to show up in powdered cocaine, which is generally ingested through the nose.

This is kind of a weird story on a couple levels. There’s no percentage in the Taliban adulterating the heroin, because it would damage the market for what is just about the only export commodity that they have to offer. Also, assuming that this is the kind that one shoots up, it’s not clear to me that injecting anthrax would cause an infection, or what kind it would cause.

I’m wondering if this is either a mistake, or a psywar lie, to both reduce drug use and to cut off one of the sources of the Taliban money supply.

The Archie Bunker Solution

In response to my comments on David Brin’s piece, a reader suggests that:

I don’t relish a fire fight in the cabin, but I suspect that the only damage to the aircraft from small arms fire would be the flying flesh and blood. That would be very rare if everyone could be armed. The crime rate in concealed carry states appears to be dropping. There have been few or no reported instances of licensed individuals starting trouble and many just the opposite. So there’s the answer pass out Browning 9’s at the gate to any one who wants one (collect a deposit of course).

I call that the Archie Bunker solution, because Archie once proposed it during the heyday of hijackings to Cuba. Norman Lear obviously thought that it was a ridiculous idea (as was his opinion of almost all ideas attributed to Archie), but after 911, it has more appeal to me, at least relative to our current approach. However, to say it is better than the current philosophy is to damn it with faint praise, and I am more than a little nervous about untrained people with heavy weaponry on board.

My preferred solution is to allow anyone who is licensed to carry on the ground to be able to carry on board. That would include active and retired military and law enforcement, and citizens with CCW permits (though the state-specific issues with CCW complicates life quite a bit–how would one handle a flight from DFW to Logan?). In addition, flight crew should be allowed to be armed, with stun guns and pepper spray for flight attendants, and there should be a little pepper sprayer in the back of every seat. Make sure there are harsh penalties if air ragers use it for non-self-defense purpose. Anyone who attempts to put on a pepper-spray-proof mask gets tasered and subdued immediately

I do believe that the current approach does little to improve safety, and is destroying not only the airline industry, but is extremely damaging to the economy. In fact, this weekend, I may take a WAG at just what the hidden costs of the current airline security fiasco are–I’ve seen no one else do it.

A reader notes that:

There’s an old joke about carrying your own bomb on a plane as the probability of two bombs on the same plane is nill…….ultimately the terrorist who seems adapt at forging passports will do the same thing with CCW permits.

True, but beside the point. The purpose of the permit is not to exclude terrorists and criminals who may indeed forge one–it’s just to keep the clueless from carrying, as it is in the rest of society. Under my scenario, I fully expect a determined terrorist to be able to carry a weapon on board. What I don’t expect is for him to bother–the notion that there will be others on board with weapons who know how to use them, and he won’t know who they are, or how many, will deter.

There is no substitute for stopping the terrorist before he gets anywhere near the airplane…like stop him while he is still in the cave in Afganistan.

True, if possible. But I’m not sure that it always will be–we must be vigilant in addition.

Happy Thanksgiving

While I’m too busy building dressing, basting a turkey, rising bread, etc., to say much, I do want to wish all Transterrestrial readers (as well as everyone else) a very happy Thanksgiving. Despite what’s been happening this fall, we still have a great deal to be grateful for, and perhaps recent events will make us cherish it all the more.

Camelot Finally Over?

I haven’t been watching the news today. Has anyone mentioned that today is the 38th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination? Certainly pre-911, it would have been a lead. Perhaps we finally have a day that eclipses November 22. If so, it’s another beneficial side effect of a devastating event…

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

Switch to our mobile site