April 11 2003
IRONY OF THE YEAR: You've probably seen the latest headline
from the Drudgereport quoting House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
absolutely no regret about my vote (against) this war. The same
questions remain. The cost in human lives, the cost to our budget,
probably 100 billion. We could have probably brought down that
statue for a lot less."
how foolish and naive this statement is for a moment and then
think about this:
night, amid great pomp and circumstance at the Fairmont Hotel
in San Francisco, Nancy
Pelosi will receive an award. It's called the Alan Cranston
Peace Award, named after the former liberal Democratic Senator
from California, and it's bestowed annually by the inaptly-named
Global Security Institute to "visionary leaders … who, through
their efforts, have advanced the opportunities to eliminate the
unacceptable dangers posed by nuclear weapons."
It's a parody
that almost defies belief. While American soldiers who haven't
bathed or slept in days continue risking their lives in Iraq to
make the world a safer place, Pierce Brosnan and the rest of the
peace-at-all-costs crowd will be sipping their chardonnay and
nibbling on their $250 per plate dinners, toasting Ms. Pelosi's
courage and dedication to the cause of strengthening US security.
"She has led in working to eliminate the threat of weapons
of mass destruction by working to eliminate the weapons themselves,"
said Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute.
is deep and rich on many levels. Cranston, who founded GSI after
leaving the Senate in 1992, was tireless in his efforts to rid
the world of nuclear weapons which he felt were and are, to use
his words, "unworthy of civilization." A noble and well-intentioned
goal to be sure.
with Cranston, Pelosi and many on the antiwar left isn't necessarily
that they don't see the potential threat of WMD's (although some
certainly don't) but that they can't face up to making the tough
choices required to with the threat effectively. Here is Cranston
speaking in an interview April 17, 2000, just months before
quite possible that if there isn't an accidental launch that
could lead to a conflict, terrorists or representatives of rogue
leaders like Saddam Hussein will buy or steal or bribe their
way to acquire a nuclear weapon out of Russia, and that they
will then have no hesitation in using it. And they won't attack
us with a missile. They would attack us, as Ambassador Robert
Gallucci has suggested, by sailing one bomb into San Francisco
harbor or Baltimore harbor or New York harbor on a ship just
sitting there. No way to know it's there. No missile has penetrated
us to put it there. There it is."
This is exactly
one of the threats that George W. Bush acted upon. It's one of
the threats that Nancy Pelosi voted against addressing in a direct
and effective way last year - the vote she is still so proud of
even to this day. If GSI is truly interested in honoring "visionary
leaders" dedicated to the cause of peace and security, they'd
do well to give the award to President Bush instead.
CHANGE THE SUBJECT: I'm really impressed. The New York Times
op-ed page expended a lot of energy, ink and cynicism developing
the "Iraq is going to be a military quagmire" position.
Now that the events of the past week have demolished this argument,
they are moving seamlessly and with lightning speed to the "Iraq
is going to be a political quagmire," brushing right past
Wednesday's historic military victory with the glib assertion
that "we always knew we'd win the war quickly."
Thus it is
with absolutely no shame we see the following comments today:
it's churlish to say this so soon after an impressive military
victory, but we may have underestimated the risk of chaos in postwar
Iraq." - Nick
Kristof, New York Times
there is a pattern to the Bush administration's way of doing business
that does not bode well for the future — a pattern of conquest
followed by malign neglect."
after the triumph, when it comes time to take care of what they've
won, their (the Bush Administration's) attention wanders, and
things go to pot." - Paul
Krugman, New York Times
Apple Syndrome is running wild on 43rd Street in Manhattan.
CLOUSEAU IS BACK: Dr. Blix never
ceases to amaze, telling the Spanish newspaper El Pais:
now believe that finding weapons of mass destruction has been
relegated, I would say, to fourth place, which is why the US
and Britain are now waging war on Iraq. Today the main aim is
to change the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein."
as to why Dr. Blix can't see the obvious: that regime change was
necessitated to a very large degree by Saddam Hussein's perpetual
defiance of the will of the international community and his unwillingness
to fully and unconditionally disarm. Why can a third-grader understand
this but a PhD can't? - T.
Bevan 8:16 am
April 9 2003
A NEW DAY: The headlines this morning
are truly astonishing. It looks as if we've reached the tipping
point of Saddam's regime and even though the job is far, far from
over, you can't help but marvel at some of the images and stories
now being beamed out of Baghdad.
Is this complete
vindication for the prowar camp? Of course not. WMD's have yet
to be verified and Saddam's fate - though not a critical determinant
of the war's success or legitimacy - remains uncertain.
What we are
beginning to see, however, is confirmation of the moral, humanitarian
cause for war. It's the argument that the antiwar camp, in their
rush to condemn the bloodthirsty Bush administration, failed to
acknowledge or address - to their great and lasting discredit.
some of the images of this brief war have indeed been horrible
and gut wrenching, the pictures we are now beginning to see of
Iraqi's dancing the in the streets of Baghdad are every bit as
compelling - perhaps even more so - in an uplifting, positive,
and hopeful way. There is nothing quite like watching an entire
country shed tyranny and taste freedom. It's a powerful, moving
sight. As we watch the evolving story of the liberation of the
Iraqi people, I suspect the humanitarian argument for war will
continue to grow and in the end will provide more than ample justification
for action in Iraq. - T. Bevan 8:42 am
April 7 2003
FOX-JAZEERA: You don't have to look very far these days
to find evidence of just how flustered traditional media are by
the rapid rise and continued dominance of Fox
round of carping (quite predictably, I might add) arrives as "objective
media critics" use their considerable talents to compare
Fox News' coverage of the war to that of al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based
Arab propaganda machine.
Here is Steve
Johnson in the Chicago Tribune on Friday:
Fox might be said to be the American answer to Al Jazeera, seeking
to put every nugget of information in the best possible American
half his time deriding Fox for its war coverage and the other
half offering either grudging praise or equivocations about similar
issues at other networks. All in all a very unimpressive critique.
got to travel about two thousand miles west to get to the really
uninhibited partisan hack job, courtesy of Hugh
Hewitt's favorite punching bag, the Los Angeles Times.
Rosenberg served up a real wild-eyed, foamy-mouthed account on
screen are news anchors and reporters freely delivering sharp
opinions about the war and ridiculing opposing points of view.
spin here is as loud as explosions rocking Baghdad.
coverage is repellently one-sided, even nasty and vitriolic
at times, as if Western journalism's traditional rules of objectivity
wait a minute. That's not Al Jazeera, it's the Fox News Channel.
it comes to slanting news, in other words, much of what Al Jazeera
delivers to its mostly Arab audience is no less fair and balanced
than what U.S. viewers receive far too often from their own
24-hour news channels, Fox being the worst offender in embedding
opinion (inevitably hawkish and ultra-conservative) in so-called
that applies to the chunk of Al Jazeera coverage I watched.
I found much of Al Jazeera to be quite straight.
Only an employee
of the LA Times could write that last sentence. The notion
that al-Jazeera is offering a straight take on the war is laughable
in the extreme - even the editor
of the London Arabic Daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat knows it's mostly
fantasy-based propaganda. Rosenberg's column does a better job
of demonstrating his own far-left bias to readers than convincing
anyone of a blatant right-wing bias at Fox News.
BAD NEWS: This
account from Basra demonstrates just how volatile and unpredictable
the uprisings the coalition is hoping for can be:
Flats slum poured on to the streets in support of the British
attack. Some shouted and cheered, greeting the British soldiers
with waves, thumbs up and smiles.
wrought vengeance upon their oppressors, surrounding and attacking
the fleeing Fedayin. A crowd descended upon one paramilitary,
striking furiously at him and departed, leaving his lifeless
body on the street. Gangs of looters appeared, seizing seemingly
anything that was moveable from what remained of the Baath party
It is going
to be extraordinarily difficult to control the three decades worth
of pent up hostility in some segments of the population to prevent
looting, chaos, and wholesale retribution.
OWES BLAIR: I don't think there is any doubt that the invasion
of Iraq would have been made vastly more difficult - perhaps even
impossible - without the help and support of Tony Blair. He risked
a tremendous amount in backing the US, though I suspect he and
Bush will both reap huge long-term political benefits for having
the foresight and courage to push forward in disarming Hussein
and liberating the Iraqi people.
said, the question now is just how much the US owes Blair in return.
Bush has already stepped
back into the Palestinian-Israeli conflict at least in part
at the urging of Blair. Bush is also taking
a direct involvement in Northern Ireland and there is a good
deal of optimism in the British government that his involvement
may lead to a breakthrough.
Where I think
Bush will draw the line, however, is at the UN
and its involvement in postwar Iraq reconstruction. Blair
is on record as wanting
a significant UN presence, though you have to secretly wonder
how badly Blair cares about rapprochement with France after Chirac's
efforts to hamstring Blair's administration and strong arm his
way to greater EU control. Still, given what we know about this
president, I would expect Bush to take a tough line on letting
the UN back in the reconstruction game. The left will call this
a "fit of pique" from the immature cowboy President.
The rest of America will probably see it as a lesson well earned
- and hopefully well learned. - T.
Bevan 7:43 am