Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Stick a Fork in NATO

The indespensable Mark Steyn on small talk in the EU.
That's the salient feature of transatlantic dialogue since 9/11: it's become Commonwealth-esque - all airy assertions about common values, ties of history, all meaningless. Even Donald Rumsfeld is doing it. At the Munich Conference on Collective Security the other day, he gave a note-perfect rendition of empty Atlanticist Euro-goo: "Our collective security depends on our co-operation and mutual respect and understanding," he declared, with a straight face.

Shame on Rumsfeld

Rummy just engaged in a battle of wits with an unarmed woman.
Yesterday, Defense Secretary testified before the House Armed Services committee on a wide range of issues and, not surprisingly, the issue of Iraqi troop levels came up. California Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA 47)accused Rumsfeld of misleading the people by providing incorrect, inflated statistics on the number of trained Iraqi troops. Read the transcript and it becomes clear Sanchez is showing herself to be embodiment of Democratic partisanship by misleading the American people with numbers she fully knows are outdated.
Read the transcript. It's a hoot.

The Secret Genocide Archives

The short version of this Op-Ed is "Complacency Kills". Unusually for an Op-Ed, there are pictures.
The photo at the upper left was taken in the village of Hamada on Jan. 15, right after a Sudanese government-backed militia, the janjaweed, attacked it and killed 107 people. One of them was this little boy. I'm not showing the photo of his older brother, about 5 years old, who lay beside him because the brother had been beaten so badly that nothing was left of his face. And alongside the two boys was the corpse of their mother.
And, pace abortionists, here's why the pictures are being made public:
I'm sorry for inflicting these horrific photos on you. But the real obscenity isn't in printing pictures of dead babies - it's in our passivity, which allows these people to be slaughtered.

Libertarians vs Social Conservatives

Instapundit has collected several links in an interchange between Ramesh Ponnuru and Ryan Sager prompted by Sager's TCS column.

WILL THERE BE A SPLIT between libertarian and social conservatives? Ryan Sager says that libertarians were poorly received at CPAC, which produced this response from Ramesh Ponnuru, this reply from Sager, and this rejoinder from Ponnuru. Libertarians' influence, of course, has been reduced by the split over the war among libertarians, but I think that a shift toward religious conservatism is likely to cost the Republicans votes. As I warned in Reason, people on both the Left and the social-conservative Right are exaggerating the power of religious conservatives, and that poses a real risk for the GOP.

To which I add this link from the Volokh Conspiracy:
While some libertarian political activists are certainly Republicans and Democrats, the existence of the Libertarian Party ensures that there are fewer activists and fewer voters in each major party coalition than would otherwise exist. Therefore, each party's coalition becomes less libertarian. I do not mean to exaggerate the extent of this effect. But even a handful of political activists in local and state party organizations can make a big difference. Whatever one thinks of the initial creation of the Libertarian Party, its continued existence seems to be a mistake for libertarians.

The Insurgency Myth

Calling the terrorists "insurgents" is a clear abuse of the language. Should there be any lingering doubt, Michael Ledeen spotted this on Iraq The Model in a posting about the televised confessions of captured terrorists:
The confessions have shown that some criminals have strong connections with the Syrian authorities from where they get instructions and support.

The interesting part of the show was the interrogation with Khalidah Jasim the sister of Khalid Zakiyah who's one of the most wanted criminals in Mosul who got arrested a while ago in Tikrit.
She stated that she was in her 2nd year in college studying psychiatry and that she was a member of a Palestinian military organization that was lead by George Habash.

She confessed that she has taken her brother's place in leading the terror group and she's specialized in preparing TNT used in roadside bombs. She also didn't deny one of the group members statements that she offered to sleep with him twice in order to persuade him to plant landmines and perform attacks against Iraqi and American troops.
As Ledeen points out, that "Palestinian military organization" is a garden-variety Marxist terrorist group. Some Jihad.
All of which brings us back to the basic sermon: We are engaged in a regional war against a terror network that cannot be reduced to a simple, ethnic or religious, element. The network is bound together by a common hatred of us and our friends and allies, not by a single religious fanaticism, and the terrorists come in all shapes and descriptions. Their effectiveness is largely due to support from the terror masters in foreign countries, and we cannot win the battle of Iraq without destroying the terror masters in Tehran, Damascus, and Riyadh. There is no escape from this destiny. If they survive, we lose.

60th Anniversary of Iwo Jima Flag Raising

Today veterans remember what started as "a beautiful day".
“Then the mortars started in, and the artillery.”