Friday, March 28, 2003

Is it Patriotic to Oppose the Bush Administration Policy on Iraq?

Actually, no. It's not. Not now.

The debate over Iraqi policy lasted more than a year and was the central issue of the November elections in which every Congressional seat was decided. The result was a historically rare mid-term victory for the party in the White House.

The debate is over and the Bush Administration won it.

It won the debate on the global level a few weeks later with a unanimous vote of the UN Security Council endorsing the Bush policy on the use of force against Iraq.

Further debate now begins to cross the line from loyal opposition to unreasoning extremism. After all, what could possibly be the goal of the “peace activists” who disrupt traffic and take part in violent civil disobedience? Do they seek the immediate halt of our soldiers’ advance? What would be the consequence of that? Certainly not peace.

Would ending the war now increase the security of Americans at home and overseas? Would it resolve the violence and injustice that plagues the Middle East? Would it signal to would-be tyrants around the world that there are consequences if they fail to respect their people and their neighbors? Would it demonstrate the superiority of democracy as a political model to emulate and strive for?

Or would ending the war at this moment to at risk the lives of innocent American soldiers, not just in Iraq but in Korea, and Bosnia? Would it give comfort to our enemies who are so desperate to hold on to power that they force their fellow countrymen into battle at gunpoint? And what about the long-suffering Iraqi people, will they welcome an immediate halt of our military advance?

The “peace activists” are in practice supporters of fascism to the extent that their activities strengthen the resolve of the fascists in the Iraqi Ba’ath Party to resist our troops, to kill them when they surrender and gleefully photograph their punctured bodies.

The Iraqi crisis had a hope of being resolved peacefully as long at the junta in Baghdad sensed that they only alternative to voluntary capitulation was certain military defeat. But instead they saw frivolous people take to the streets of San Francisco, London, Madrid, and Paris and concluded that the threats of certain defeat were hollow.

Now that war has begun, the Iraqi junta has pinned its hopes on growing “anti-war’ sentiment in the democracies. It seeks to encourage that sentiment through propaganda, murder, and in time, genocide. It seeks to demoralize the troops marching against them by spreading the lie that their cause is unjust, immoral, and illegitimate.

The “peace activists” echo and amplify these lies and therefore play an important role in defeating and killing American soldiers. They encourage the junta to resist. They discourage the oppressed from rising up. They give aid and comfort to our enemies.

Let’s be honest. The “peace activists” do not support the troops, they support the enemy seeking to kill our troops. They are promoters not of peace but of a prolonged conflict and they are unreasoning extremists who do not tolerate opposition. They advocate no coherent policy and they evade lucid debate by labeling their challengers as racist or ignorant or immoral.

They are certainly not patriotic in any commonly understood definition of the word.

The time for civil debate has come and gone. Today there are lives on the line and the only way to secure peace is to ensure that the Ba’ath regime in Iraq collapses as soon as possible.

More French Villainy

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin spoke today at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London on his first visit to the UK since the outbreak of war in Iraq.

At the end of de Villepin's talk, he held a question and answer session. One cheeky British reporter asked him "Who do you want to win this war?"

de Villepin refused to answer.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Bomb the DJ!

This comes from a reliable yet highly unidentifiable source:

The Saddam Fedayeen are receiving combat orders from Iraqi government-sponsored radio broadcasts.

The broadcasting of certain songs is a coded order, my Iraqi sources say. This is the means by which the central government can issue mass orders to these terroristic elements, without the Fedayeen fighters needing special radio equipment.

If so, the U.S. should destroy all Iraqi broadcasting assets, and replace them with Commando Solo broadcasts, which I understand that ordinary Iraqis are not receiving.

Hopefully this message has been conveyed word for word to General Franks at the Southern Command. If not, feel free to drop him a line.
With Duke on Our Side

If this report about Apocalypse on the Euphrates is to be believed, then the commander of the 3rd Squadron of the U.S. 7th Cavalry is tooling around in a Humvee driven by a guy named Duke Nukem.

That's the best news I've heard all day.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Supporting the Troops? Yes, But Not Ours

There are reports now that some American soldiers captured by Iraqi forces have been disarmed and executed by their captors. Murder of unarmed combatants might suggest a bit of a moral issue for most people. But not for the loyal opposition at the Democratic Underground:

HawkeyeX (3594 posts)
Mar-23-03, 11:34 AM (ET)
6. If the US POW's are being executed
then I'm sorry, but the Iraqis does have legal right to do that, after all, it is THEIR country we are invading.

Think about that bit of nastiness next time one of these peace-fascists claims to be "supporting the troops but opposing the war."

Saddam Still Dead

As much as there is to dislike about The New York Times, they do happen to have some great reporters. John Burns is the best of the lot and in a just world would be on track for the first Iraqi Freedom Pulitzer. Today he reports on the strange behavior (or more accrurately, the lack of behavior) of the late Butcher of Baghdad:

But what has added to the mystery since Thursday is that Mr. Hussein, normally inclined to issue long, grandiose statements at times of crisis, has simply disappeared.

All he has left to Iraq's 24 million people at a time of crisis is the five-minute, disjointed, hand-lettered denunciation on Thursday of the "criminal little Bush," and his vow to Iraqis that "these days will add to your glorious history."

Today, attempts by reporters to gain some elucidation met with a blank wall. At a news conference, an American reporter asked when Mr. Hussein would be making another address on the war to the Iraqi people.

"Next!" the information minister, Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf, said sharply, beckoning to another reporter for a new question.

Moments later, a different reporter tried again. Had the minister seen Mr. Hussein in person at any time in the last few days?

"Next! Next!" Mr. Sahhaf replied, still more testily, then demanded: "Please ask something reasonable."

Friday, March 21, 2003

Saddam, or Not Saddam?

First of all it’s not pre-recorded. If it was done in advance the production values would have been better, he wouldn’t have been reading from a notepad and he wouldn’t have needed to wear Janet Reno’s glasses. And why the hat covering his hairline?

Second, if it was the real Saddam in real time he would have spoken to the camera without hesitation and extemporaneously . . . after all, why would he need to be careful about his words now? No need for carefully crafted talking points.

Presumably he wrote the words himself just a few moments before going on the air. So why waste that precious time . . . when commanders are waiting anxiously for proof that he’s still alive . . . writing out your text? Saddam knows what to say . . . he would have said it without a draft.

Third, would he say “Bush”? Didn’t Saddam correct Dan Rather a few weeks ago and say that he should be called “President Bush” out of deference to his office? A small point and perhaps unrealistic under the circumstances. But Saddam did seem to be rather pleased with himself in the 60 Minutes interview by staking a claim to the gracious high ground. Would he throw it all away now just because the shooting has started?

My guess, the remarks were written by one of the hotheads who was lucky to survive the attack but was unsure of how Saddam would behave in such circumstances.

Saddam is either dead or not in any condition to appear on television. Someone else wrote “Saddam’s” words and did a poor job of capturing his tone and manner. And yet another non-Saddam read those words for the first time when he stepped out of wardrobe and directly on to the “Good Morning Baghdad” program.

Either that or I’m totally wrong.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Peace Doesn't Have a Chance

Either through blunder or design the Bush Adminstration has manuvered much of the world to the point where peace with Saddam Huseein is no longer a rational option.

President Bush has focused so much attention to Iraq and applied so much pressure on is allies and to the UN that war cannot be avoided now without inviting a greater conflict later.

The Iraq issue has become a simple question -- after six months of threatening Saddam Hussein’s fascist regime with sternly worded UN resolutions and the possibility of military action is it more or less prudent to do nothing.

Frankly, the case for standing down now cannot be made with a straight face.

What would happen if the US/UK coalition fails to act in the next three weeks? It will leave behind a far more entrenched and dangerous threat with a newly energized regime, and a deeply demoralized and cynical opposition.

Surely, Saddam Hussein would calculate that the momentum in this ongoing conflict with the United States rests with him and he will likely capitalize on it. In other words, if he wasn’t an imminent threat to the US before, he sure as hell is now.

He sees how nuclear-armed North Korea is treated with care while Iraq is subjected to threats and indignities. Saddam will redouble his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Even if he gave up the ambition in the past, these past months have certainly rekindled the flame. And what if he’s caught importing restricted materials . . . so what? There will never be a moment when the will to act against him is greater than it is right now and if conflict isn’t triggered at this moment he can safely assume it never will be.

In a culture where revenge is a high art, the Hussein dynasty will find its purpose in life by living up to the myth of the unassailable Saddam, the scourge of the infidels. His prestige will eclipse bin Laden’s in the suicidal fanatic world and, unlike Osama, Saddam has a sovereign country to operate from.

If Saddam is not the focus of disorder and violence in the Middle East and the world today, he certainly will be from now on.

An apt analogy might be using antibiotics against an infection but stopping before the treatment has run its full course, the result is a temporary remission of the infection followed by a more rampant and dangerous expansion. Dangerous because it is now untreatable.

Even if the Bush Administration has pushed the crisis to this point because of oil, or familial revenge or some other peripheral concern, to back away now without finally deposing the Ba’aath regime in Iraq would be an unconscionable mistake that will mean far more danger, violence and war in the future than acting now.

Peace now means greater violence later. Time to give war a chance.