Category Archives: War Commentary

Norm Mineta Knows Best

I made the mistake of listening to NPR again this morning, and they had a story about airline security that had me chewing ten-penny nails, due to both the story itself, and their coverage of it.

I only caught the tail end, but apparently some federal Air Marshals arrived late for an American flight, and tried to commandeer seats in first class, insisting that the passengers whose seats they wanted be put off the plane. Their excuse was that they needed to be able to see the cockpit. The airline had given them aisle seats in the front of coach, with a clear view, but that wasn’t good enough for them. Perhaps they wanted to get the free booze, to complement their intoxication with power. The airline didn’t let them get away with it, but it wasn’t clear what the outcome was (the story’s over at NPR in audio, but my sound card is on the fritz right now).

But what really fried me was the ending. The reporter says that there’s an inherent tension between the government, which wants to fight terrorism, and the airlines, who want to generate revenue.

She really said it, just like that. As though the airline has no intrinsic interest in fighting terrorism, as though they’d cheerfully set up charter flights full of Al Qaeda operatives, even help them plan the flight, from takeoff to skyscraper, as long as they got paid.

She got it precisely reversed, of course. The airlines are taking a balanced approach–they are interested in both fighting terrorism and staying in business, whereas the government, at least if we are to judge by its actions, has no interest in the financial health of the industry whatsoever.

This reminds me of the old arguments about how we needed more government regulation on aircraft maintenance and procedures, because in its absence, the airlines would cut corners, and skimp, and crash airplanes, and kill people.

It never seems to occur to these nimrods that crashing airplanes is bad for business. For some unaccountable reason, people don’t like to fly on airlines whose planes fall out of the sky with any regularity. Insurance carriers won’t give very good rates to airlines whose airplanes have to be replaced often. Airlines will have trouble hiring employees who feel that they’re taking their lives in their hands on every trip.

No one has more incentive than an airline to make an aircraft safe, whether from mechanical failure, or from nutballs with box cutters.

On the other hand, government bureaucrats will fanatically seek safety, to the exclusion of all else, including the rights of passengers and their willingness to tolerate the disastrous state of air travel today, because they know that if there is another hijacking, they’ll be blamed, particularly now that air security has been made a federal responsibility.

But no bureaucrat will suffer if an airline goes under–there are too many other excuses that they can use to deflect blame.

And no bureaucrat will lose his job because of marketing trips not made, hands not shaken, deals not done, acquaintances not made, wealth and jobs not created, because it’s just gotten to be too much of a pain in the ass to fly. But the damage to the economy will continue unabated and silently.

This is another reason why the federalization of this function has been, and is going to continue to be, so disastrous for the industry–there’s no counterbalance to the madness.

Wacky Anti-Saddam-Whacker

R.C. Longworth, advertised as a “Tribune senior correspondent,” stunk up the Windy City yesterday with this bit of blithering idiocy, in which he counsels against the danger of taking out Saddam:

Well, that was a tidy little war in Afghanistan. We won, more or less. Not many casualties, and we caught a few of those Al Qaeda guys, if not the big shots.

Yeah, but if I google you, I’m betting you didn’t predict that outcome.

What’s next? Why, Iraq, of course. It’s time to get rid of Saddam Hussein. Everyone agrees. So why not?

Actually, there are lots of reasons why not. But Washington seems so intent on attacking Iraq, as the first point on President Bush’s “axis of evil,” that bombs will be falling on Baghdad before any questions are asked or objections raised.

Really? Well, by my count, questions have been asked, and objections raised, from you and your ilk, for months. Ever since, in fact, you realized that whining about Afghanistan was beating a dead horse, and the outlines of the next target came into focus, way back last fall. And not a bomb has fallen on Baghdad yet. So your silly prediction has already been grossly falsified.

The United States is racing toward a war with Iraq on the assumption that we can topple Hussein quickly, with relatively few casualties, no impact on oil supplies, no damage to our relations with the rest of the world, no serious domestic opposition, and no hitches in putting a post-Hussein Iraq back together again.

No, the United States is proceeding calmly and resolutely toward a war with Iraq, in full knowledge that some or all of those things may not be the case, but that the risks of not doing so exceed the risk that it won’t be as easy or clean as we might like. From just what planet is it that you email in these stupid little screeds to Chicago?

All this is debatable, to say the least. But the administration seems determined, and the Democratic opposition has been quieted by the president’s 83 percent approval ratings. In short, although questions emerged in the past week about the president’s long-term plans, nobody in Washington is saying, “Wait a minute.”

This was written (or at least published) yesterday. Were you holed up in a cave somewhere last week, when Tom Daschle and Bob Byrd were castigated for doing just that?

If there are doubts beyond the Beltway, they aren’t being heard in any coordinated way. Memories of Sept. 11 remain fresh. The nation, terribly wounded but still dangerous, seems ready to lash out at its enemies, wherever they are.

For “lash out at its enemies,” read “take preemptive action against those who have stated their desire and intent to see us dead, and have the means to make it happen.”

Administration officials talk approvingly of a national “war fever” that gives Bush a free hand in eradicating the “axis of evil.” Public opinion polls back this up. One of the most recent, by the Pew Research Center, showed that 92 percent of Americans endorse military force in the war on terrorism and no less than 73 percent want to see us attack Iraq–and Sudan too.

Well, it’s not surprising that they approve of the fact that they have public support for actions that they believe that they would have to take, even if the polls were reversed.

What’s your point? Do you have one?

As Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said: “If we have to go into 15 or more countries, we ought to do it.”

This amounts to a mandate for permanent war in which dissent is treason.

Yes, the prisons are overflowing with the dissenters we’ve been rounding up. They’re even having to let out murderers, drug users, and cigarette executives to make room for them.

[VOICE=”Dr. Evil”]

Haven’t you noticed in your hysteria, Mr. Longworth, that we haven’t even charged Johnny “Jihad” Walker Lindh with treason? And he had actually taken up arms against us.

No wonder doubts are hushed, even among opposition Democrats such as Al Gore who have abandoned their duty to oppose in favor of a national wartime consensus. If the administration thinks Americans want war, it may be right.

Gee, ya think?

Or it may be wrong. Pollsters say in-depth polling and focus groups indicate that this support is softer than the raw figures suggest. Mounting anecdotal evidence supports this.

Good ol’ anecdotal evidence. The last refuge of the scoundrel without real evidence.

About 20 prominent Chicagoans gathered recently for a private dinner to hear an emissary from the Eastern Establishment lay out the administration’s case for a war on Iraq. It was a conservative crowd–lawyers, business people, bankers, a sprinkling of academics, even a retired army general. All probably supported the war in Afghanistan, and there wasn’t a card-carrying dove in the lot.

Did you check their cards?

Somewhat to their own surprise, these citizens lined up unanimously against a war on Iraq. All agreed the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein. But all felt that a U.S. attack on him would do more harm than good, for a variety of reasons.

They “felt” that, eh? Once more with feeling. Feeeelllliiinngggs…wo wo wo Feeeellliiinnngggsss…

First, Hussein’s terrorist credentials are pretty theoretical. The idea of attacking him arose after Sept. 11, and the administration has made him a target in the war on terrorism. Certainly, he has a fearsome arsenal of weapons. But there is no evidence that he has used them against the United States or plans to do so. Evil he may be, but few people think he is so crazy as to jeopardize his hold on Iraq–his overwhelming political goal–by inviting an all-out U.S. attack.

No, he’ll just slip some weapons to some other people to attack us (you know, like when his head of security met with the Al Qaeda guy in Prague last year?). And perhaps you’ve forgotten about that little assassination attempt on Bush 41?

Nawww, Saddam’s just a regular guy. He’d never do anything to hurt the United States.

The one link between Iraq and the September attacks is a reported but unsubstantiated meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, between an Iraqi agent and one of the suicide pilots–a flimsy justification for a pre-emptive war.

Now here is where you and your idiotarian fellow travelers in Europe go completely off the rails. And you display the confusion right here in this one sentence. First you talk about the September attacks, as though we can never take action against someone unless they can be proven to be related to that particular event.

Then, in the very same sentence you talk about “pre-emptive war.” But if it’s a pre-emptive war, what does it have to do with September 11? Pre-emptive means to fend off future attacks, not to avenge past ones.

So this sentence is simply a long oxymoron (as opposed to its writer, who is apparently just the simple, unmodified kind).

“Iraq is going to be a major distraction from the war on terrorism, not a part of it,” one lawyer said.

Oh, good. That’s who we need war advice from.


You know, like the one who told them in Afghanistan that we couldn’t take out Mullah “Cyclops” Omar when we had a chance. Might not be strictly legal, you know.

The Chicagoans’ dissent was no bleat of Midwestern isolationism. Just the opposite. All valued America’s alliances, in Europe and the Middle East especially, and felt that a unilateral attack on Iraq would shred those alliances, turning the U.S. from a global leader, respected by its allies, into a global bully feared by its subjects. (Seventy-three percent of Americans may favor an attack, but opposition in Europe runs between 68 percent and 80 percent, depending on the poll.)

Ahhh…note that he presents no evidence for this point of view–the bizarre notion that denizens of the heartland actually value alliances with militarily-impotent and morally-challenged European elites over defending the country. Or that they’re overly concerned about the U.S. becoming a “global bully.”

I think that this is what psychologists refer to as “projection.”

The administration says the Europeans and the Arabs will support a U.S. attack “when they see we are serious.” This is unproven wishful thinking. So is the claim, by Richard Perle, a leading hawk, that other Arab nations privately tell us that they want Hussein gone and that his ouster by U.S. arms “would be met by dancing in the streets.”

Well, not to gainsay someone who is obviously a premier expert in “wishful thinking,” but that seems to be the trend so far.

Why worry?

In fact, the only nation interested in attacking Hussein–us–is the one farthest from him. Why, asked one Chicagoan, should the United States worry about him when those closest to his threat, especially the other Arabs, don’t?

Because he’s managed to cow the other Arabs into feigning support for him? Because they’re afraid that if he goes, their little theocratic dictatorships might be next?

There are lots of potential reasons that have nothing to do with our national security, but why explore them?–it would just remove whatever little air there is to his pointless comment.

“I’m stunned by the enthusiasm of the administration for this war and the growing unanimity among military thinkers for it,” a local expert on the Middle East said. “There’s going to be a huge Arab backlash.”

Like the one when we went into Afghanistan? I could dig out all the predictions. You know, the “Arab street”? The ones that we haven’t heard boo from since the daisies were cut? Was this one of those experts?

The word from Washington is that any attack on Iraq is probably six or seven months away, because it will be more complicated than the relatively easy assault on Afghanistan.

An Afghanistan-style attack, with air strikes supporting mostly opposition forces, won’t work in Iraq, where the local opposition is weaker and the government forces stronger than the ones in Afghanistan. According to Washington hawks, an American ground force of 100,000 to 200,000 soldiers, possibly more, would be needed. This, we are assured, would guarantee victory within a month, with American casualties limited to about 1,000 dead and wounded.

We are assured by whom? I haven’t seen any firm plans. Is Mr. Longworth privy to some classified briefings?

To some of the Chicagoans, these forecasts sounded like government assurances during the Vietnam War.

“…some of the Chicagoans…” Gotta love those sources.

Others wondered where the Pentagon expects to find staging areas for these ground troops. Carrier groups can provide a home base for an air war, but you can’t launch tanks from an aircraft carrier.

Only those who are unfamiliar with geography and politics.

Washington seems certain that Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other neighboring nations will gladly play launching pad to this American attack. On Kuwait, that view may be right. The rest are much more uncertain.

I haven’t seen any such certainty. Has the author never heard of Turkey? Has he considered that Saudi Arabia may play launching pad without doing so “gladly”? We are at war, after all…

It is an article of faith among the hawks that there is a ready-made anti-Hussein coalition in Iraq that can be quickly mobilized to plant a functioning democracy in what is perhaps the most undemocratic country in the most undemocratic part of the world. As Robert Kagan and William Kristol have written: “The United States will have to make a long-term commitment to rebuilding Iraq . . . and put it on a path toward democratic governance.”

To the Chicagoans, this sounds like a quagmire.

I think he’s channeling again. I will give him credit for getting this far into the article before using the “Q” word, though.

Most strategists consider the best-known Iraqi opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress, to be a joke. Even supporters of an invasion warn that the U.S. will be left “owning” a shattered country of 23 million people.

A joke. Kind of like that barrel of laughs, the Northern Alliance?

Putting Iraq back together again would cost American taxpayers about $10 billion dollars per year for a decade. Simply running Iraq and keeping it from breaking into fiefdoms, each with its own cache of leftover chemical weapons, would be an international nightmare.

Why is that? I thought they had oil.

If the war goes on longer than predicted, or if the casualties mount, or if the war against terrorism turns into a war against the Arab world, or if post-Hussein Iraq becomes an ungovernable mess, or if the Americans can’t catch Hussein (as we can’t find Osama bin Laden)–if any of these things happen, domestic support for an Iraq adventure will dry up fast.

If, if, if…

Yes, if it were an “adventure,” indeed it would. In fact, it wouldn’t even occur in the first place. But of course, if and when we go into Iraq, it won’t be as an “adventure.” It will be to remove a clear and present threat that Mr. Longworth, who sees so clearly all the “ifs,” remains blind to, regardless of the fact that it is not an “if,” but rather, an “is.”

The best argument for attacking Iraq is the danger that Hussein is close to acquiring nuclear weapons and using both them and chemical weapons against his neighbors or against us.

But even Kagan and Kristol admit that “no one knows how close Saddam is to having a nuclear de-vice.”

Perle agrees: “How close is he? We do not know. Two years, three years, tomorrow even? We simply do not know.”

Candid ignorance, while endearing, is a feeble battle cry.

Yes, since we don’t know if it’s tomorrow, or the day after, or even next year, we should simply let sleeping Saddams lie. The fact that we know that he is developing them is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is that we don’t have his exact schedule and project management plan in hand, and therefore we should do nothing.

So is the assurance that Hussein intends to use his weapons of mass destruction against us. If he did, any domestic opposition to an attack on Iraq would vanish, as it did when Afghanistan-based terrorists protected by the Taliban launched their slaughter in September. Hussein knows this.

Only if he can’t do it in such a way as it can be traced back to him. Perhaps he thinks himself smarter than bin Laden, and that he’ll get away with it. After all, he has so far (particularly thanks to handwringers like R.C. Longworth).

At the moment, though, the opposite is true. Little evidence exists of Hussein’s links to terrorism, at least outside the Middle East. If, despite this, we attack him, we give him every incentive to unsheathe his own chemical, biological and (maybe) nuclear weapons. The first targets would be the U.S. troops invading his country.

Yes, Mr. Longworth thinks that Pentagon planners are idiots.

This line of reasoning argues that Hussein can be contained without an attack. This is not so stirring as an assault on the “axis of evil,” but it avoids a cure that might be worse than the disease. And there’s a precedent.

President Ronald Reagan labeled the Soviet Union an “evil empire,” a model for Bush’s “axis of evil” speech. But once Reagan identified the evil empire, what did he do about it?

He certainly didn’t launch a military attack. Instead, to his everlasting credit, he did what all his predecessors since Harry Truman had done, which was contain the Soviet Union with a policy of military, economic and diplomatic pressure. Late in his presidency, when Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev offered to end the Cold War, Reagan had the courage and generosity to accept that offer.

Russia is still a problem but no longer an enemy. If history repeats itself in Iraq, it will be no bad outcome.

Well, this last almost sounds reasonable, except that the analogy is flawed. The only reason we avoided war with the Soviets was that the risks were too great. Despite all of the vapors exhibited here, the potential downside of an Iraq war isn’t large enough to take the risk of continued weapons development on Saddam’s part.

And in his apparent isolationist zeal (yes, that’s what I call him, despite his apparent channeling of Eurowhining, because he seems to think that we should never attack another country unless it is an indisputably direct and immediate threat to us), he ignores the threat to Israel. What does he think that the U.S. domestic reaction will be if Tel Aviv is nuked, because we were unwilling to preempt Saddam?

The reality, with which Mr. Longworth doesn’t want to deal, is that the entire middle east is a vast swamp of tyranny and misery. Until we drain it, we will continue to be at risk of terrorist attacks. Mr. Hussein’s regime is the most dangerous one there. Once it’s gone, we’ll have much more leverage to clean up the rest. It has to be one of the highest priorities.

Danny Pearl, RIP

Well, it’s now been confirmed what most of us knew was probably the case–Danny Pearl was cold-bloodedly murdered. Our hearts go out to his family and colleagues.

The question now is, how will Musharraf react? Will he try to appease the radical elements, or will he properly use it as an excuse to truly crack down on these monsters?

Were They All Catholic?

Elaine Lafferty has a nice piece in the Irish Times about American attitudes toward terror vis a vis Europe’s. But there’s one statement that I find odd:

Thousands, not hundreds, of civilians were killed; the estimate in New York is that 30,000 to 40,000 children lost a parent in the attack on the World Trade Centre.

Am I missing something? Last I heard, the death estimates were about three thousand, give or take.

First of all, surely not all of the dead were parents. But even if they all were, and ignoring the cases where both parents were killed (hopefully rare), that would average out to over ten kids apiece. So who came up with this number and how was it derived?

Sympathy For The Devil

Best of the Web has a link to Ramsey Clark’s lawsuit filing in the Camp X-Ray matter. It’s a wonder of impenetrable postmodern jargon, with misspellings galore and cites from those renowned juridical minds, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Ramsey Clark has completed the journey from grumpy-but-vaguely-principled anti-war type to buffoon. It’s hard to believe that this is serious. It’s so far beyond parody, that it makes you wonder if, like the anti-globo bozos, someone is paying these guys to do things like this to make the anti-war movement look even worse than it already does.

Bloviation From Toronto

I assume that our weblogging friends from the Great White North will have this cretin for breakfast, but I’ll take my shots at his latest Pilgeresque offering from my location in the more temperate latitudes anyway.

America’s allies and friends were initially reluctant to openly criticize Bush’s philippic, but in recent days the president’s aggressive, triumphalist policies have come under fierce attack around the world, and particularly so in Europe.

Ummm….yes. So? You say this as though it’s a bad thing.

Bush administration spokesmen reject all foreign criticism.

No, not all. Just ignorant, America-phobic criticism. Like this opinion piece.

Secretary of State Colin Powell increased war fever by blasting Iran for “meddling” in Afghanistan. This is rich, coming from the U.S., which just invaded Afghanistan, overthrew its government, installed a client regime in Kabul, and is setting up permanent military bases there.

Well, why don’t we ask the Afghan people (you know, the ones who are no longer being crushed under walls, or having their nails pulled out, or who can once again listen to music or watch a soccer game without executions as half-time entertainment) which country they would prefer to be meddling in their affairs?

Threatening war against Iran for seeking to advance its interests in neighbouring Afghanistan shows just how irrational and imperially arrogant the Bush administration is becoming.

Yes, it’s most important that we allow the people who chant “Death to America! Down with the Great Satan!” to pursue their interests…

India and Russia are also deeply involved in Afghanistan; in fact, Russia has virtually taken over the north. Yet there was not a peep from Washington about these interlopers.

I know that this may be an intellectual concept far beyond your meager neuronal capacity, but have you ever considered the possibility that it might be because neither Russia or India have ever funded people to fly airplanes into American skyscrapers?

Fifty years of painful efforts to build a framework of international law are being swept away by the Bush crusaders, who seem to have convinced themselves they are re-fighting World War II rather than dealing with a dangerous criminal conspiracy made up of a few thousand individuals.

Which “international law” would that be? The one that says that people who hide among civilians to avoid retribution, or who skulk amongst a peaceful people in civilian clothing so that they can deliberately murder thousands of innocents are entitled to POW status? Sorry, I’m not aware of any international law like that.

And what do you propose that we do when those “few thousand individuals” (sounds like an army to me, or at least a division, even if they can’t be bothered to put on uniforms and insignia) are sponsored by foreign governments? Ignore that fact? In your bizarro universe, I guess so…

While most Americans continue to cheer Bush’s bellicose, adolescent rhetoric and crusading zeal, quiet opposition is developing, particularly among the thinking classes.

Is the nonsense being regurgitated in this piece representative of “the thinking classes”? If so, please assign me a seat in whatever other class is available.

Given the current climate of war fever, hysteria, fear and anti-Muslim paranoia being whipped up by the White House and parts of the media, few Americans are ready to criticize government actions.

Gosh, do you think it’s possible that it’s because we’d like to hew to the status quo with our remaining skylines? Do you, in fact, think at all?

This loud silence and war fever have unbalanced the U.S. political system, allowing a coterie of ideological super-hawks to monopolize policy and drive the U.S. toward highly irrational behaviour. Congress and the media have become mere cheerleaders for the so-called war. Critical analysis is urgently needed:

Indeed it is. But based on this spew, we can husband our resources, and not search for it from anyone named “Eric Margolis.”

remember the disastrous consequences caused by lack of public challenge to America’s entry into the Vietnam war.

Yes. People like bin Laden learned the mistaken lesson that America will not respond when attacked.

America has suffered mightily and grievously; but pain and suffering are no excuse for acting foolishly, dangerously, or dictatorially.

No, that is apparently a privilege reserved unto idiotic Canadian editorial writers, who are not responsible for the lives and property of Americans.

Wiser heads abroad are cautioning their American friends.

Thank the heavens for those “wiser heads abroad.” What would we do without them? Well, actually, we seem to be doing just fine, based on the war effort so far. While we appreciate the help from the British SAS, most of the rest of the European aid seems to have consisted of sending celebrity philosophers.

To many foreign governments, the real danger is not Bush’s preposterous “axis of evil,” nor “rogue states” like Iran, Iraq, or North Korea. They are far more worried about a rogue America running amok and igniting conflicts around the world.

Yes, since many of those foreign governments oppress their own people, they should be rightly worried about conflicts being ignited. Particularly when they’re likely to be on the losing end. However, Mr. Margolis doesn’t explain why this should worry us evil Americans, or anyone who is interested in human freedom. Or why he is more sympathetic to those governments than ours, or even his own.

Our Friends The Europeans

Lord Robertson says that NATO can’t be expected to support any US war on the axis of evil unless we can prove that they had something to do with 911. Gee, what happened to the war on terrorism? You know, the one that was supposed to put an end to terrorists with global reach?

Apparently, in NATO’s formulation, we’re not allowed to preempt attacks on our soil. We can only retaliate after they’ve occurred. By this logic, we could have done nothing about Al Qaeda in Afghanistan prior to September 11–we had to wait until they actually carried out the attack. Their stated intent to do so, and their previous attacks on our assets (including the first one on the WTC) were insufficient.

Europe had better understand that we are now going to do everything within our power to prevent any future attacks like the ones that occurred in September. In all three cases in the “axis of evil,” we are dealing with nations with whom we’ve either been actively at war (Korea and the Gulf War), or who have engaged in acts of war upon us (Iran, when they took and kept the hostages for over a year) to which we didn’t properly respond.

It was our failure to deal with them properly at the time that resulted in what happened in September, by building a reputation of weakness and vacillation on our part. All three countries represent unfinished business, business for which we were previously unwilling to pay the necessary price to see it through to the end.

Now we are more than willing to finish–with or without our NATO “allies.”

They Should Be Worried

The paper formerly known as the Paper of Record informs us that our “allies” are concerned that we won’t consult them when it comes to continuing the war.

Some choice bits:

The three countries pinpointed by President Bush as an “axis of evil” ? Iran, Iraq and North Korea ? reacted angrily today…

Guess the truth hurts, huh, guys?

…while commentators in many other nations, including European allies, bristled at what they saw as the combative, go-it- alone tone of the State of the Union address.

Bristle away. We took the hit alone. We can deal with it on our own.

If you expect us to take your advice, step one is to offer some that’s sensible. Such a commodity has been in short supply from the Continent in the last few months (not to mention the last few decades).

Over in Russia,

Mr. Rogozin said it appeared that America had forgotten that North Korea had imposed a moratorium on the production of long-range missiles…

No, we haven’t forgotten. We just know that they’re congenital liars, so such an “imposition” is meaningless.

…that Iran had offered assistance to the Bonn conference on the formation of an interim government in Afghanistan…

Would that be the same Iran which, as I type, has special forces in Afghanistan training insurgents to undermine that interim government?

…and that an earlier Washington statement had called for “smart sanctions” against Iraq.

Yes, we’ve finally corralled the idiots at Foggy Bottom who think that sanctions have any useful effect other than giving Saddam an excuse to starve his own people while he builds weapons and palaces.

The problem is, you European elites set entirely too much store by what people say, while ignoring what they actually do. Probably the same reason you thought Bill Clinton was so wonderful (in addition to the fact that he, unlike many of us, loved to smooch your arrogant keisters).

Josef Joffe, a German foreign policy analyst, said: “What was particularly striking is the way Mr. Bush countenances the projection of American power from anywhere to anywhere. He described America in a truly global war able to fight anywhere. There is no allusion to allies at all. But in practical terms, the U.S. cannot fight wars without allies.”

Oh, we have allies. It’s just that they apparently don’t run the governments of Europe. And in fact, if need be, we can do quite well without allies, at least without Euroweenie ones. It will take longer, and cost more, but if you don’t understand that it’s a price that we’re willing to pay, then you don’t understand anything about America.

“We tend to see Sept. 11 in parenthesis, an aberration that is now behind us,” said Fran

Another Intifada?

An interesting article in today’s Telegraph. It lends additional support against the absurd notion that we are treating the Gitmo prisoners too harshly.

Brig Michael Lehnert, commanding troops at the base, said earlier that there were signs of a structure and activities emerging among the prisoners that could be a prelude to an act of violence or escape attempt.

“We’re seeing that some leaders are beginning to emerge. Many have received training and are observing activities such as security procedures. Many appeared disciplined and very patient.”


Some have tried to scratch out grids or messages on the floors and others have been caught hiding stones picked off the scrubby ground.

Of course, the anti-American boobwasie in Europe will say that such behavior can only be expected when we’re so cruel to the poor dears. They have no choice, under such inhumane conditions, except to gain their liberty and an end to their horrific suffering by any means necessary. They’re not terrorists–they’re just fighting for freedom, like the noble Palestinians, with stones if necessary.

Let’s review the bidding here. We have a group of people (to be generous with the term) who express enduring hatred of us, and a continuing desire to kill us. They have been extensively trained in all manner of stealth and mayhem. They show every sign of intent to carry out their vile desires, if allowed. Yet we’re supposed to treat them as run-of-the-mill criminals? Not on my planet.

There was another item of interest in the article concerning the news reports that Powell wanted to make some of these vipers POWs:

The leak appeared to have come from the Pentagon, many of whose officials view Gen Powell as bowing to pressure from the European Left and State Department officials who served under Bill Clinton.

More of Bill Clinton’s legacy. Keep polishing, Bill…