Well, yes, quite. And they say the English are the masters of understatement.
As it turns out, Tom has a whole menu of personal issues, including a recent painful divorce, a run-in with law enforcement, and a diagnosed case of clinical depression. Tom was acting strangely, and was displaying a little bit of a short temper that surfaced under stressful conditions. I asked a few of his fellow augmentees if they had any insights into his behavior, and that's when the stories started to emerge. (Memo to the personnel folks back in the rear: please don't send me anyone who will create more work for me than he actually performs). Tom had stopped taking his medication, because he "ran out and couldn't get a refill." I sent him to a doc for a psych eval. The doc said to "keep him away from the weapons" until he has "stabilized" and could be "re-evaluated." Needless to say, this somewhat limits his usefulness in a potential war zone.
I think we'll be seeing Laurence Simon dissecting "Saturday Night Fever" for anti-capitalist bias, and Chris Textor whacking "How Much is that Doggie in the Window?" next. If you haven't worked it out already, we're all just sitting here WAITING FOR GEORGE TO GET THE LEAD OUT! Any more delays, and I'll be tempted to launch a fisking of The Epic of Gilgamesh the likes of which the world has never seen....
Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. Late last night I heard the screen door slam. And a big yellow taxi took away my old man. Don't it always seem to go A cryptic non-sequitur but wait...... she has a door? Didn't that door come from 'paradise'? Was that door not a majestic old growth tree hosting a myriad of endangered species at one time? What about the taxi? A carbon-burning taxi covered in yellow toxic surface coating providing transportation for her family members? Maybe the ‘taxi’ had red and blue lights on the roof. Maybe the old man had some ‘trees’ in his ‘museum’ in the basement. Maybe you had to pay $1.50 just to smoke 'em.
Saddam ordered his ministers to take all necessary measures to implement the decree and the Iraqi parliament was scheduled to meet shortly toWMDs banned? Fine. Pull them all out of storage, line them up, point them out to the inspectors, and lets start destroying them. You have 24 hours.
rubberstampapprove the latest subterfugelegislation The Iraqi News Agency (INA) earlier said Saddam had chaired a meeting of stoogestop officials to lie again andsay the country had no biological, chemical or nuclear arms that they haven't hidden-- but would be more than willing to sacrifice lots of unwilling draftees as potential cannon fodderfight anyone who attacked. "Those meeting...wanted to confuse the issueassure those whom are useful idiots and will help save our buttsit may concern in our captive pool of victimsgreat people, nation and gullible loonbatshumanity that Iraq is free of the so-called weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and we should all now re-focusing on helping OJ find the 'real killers'" INA said. "They are desperately hopingtotally confident that this fig leaf of a lie distracts from the issue ofcover (banned weapons) is over and the aggressors can't use it as a damn good reasonpretext or an imperativean excuse in front of the weaselsSecurity Council to make it a cover for kicking our asses like we deserveaggression," INA said.
Speaking to the only group that still talks to him, reporters, Arafat announced he's decided to name a Prime Minister.
"I have decided to appoint a prime minister," Arafat told reporters. "I will call for an immediate meeting of the Palestinian Legislative Council ... to discuss this decision and to take the needed measures." It was not clear how long it might take for the new position to be created and filled.Take as long as you'd like, guys. Once you settle on a name, get him to work on that stack of papers on Arafat's desk. LGF readers, nay the world, have waited far too long for some movement from that damned red binder. In the midst of the PR frenzy, mouthpiece Saeb Erakat mentioned
"President Arafat and the Palestinian Authority have proven their real intention to resume the peace process."Which in a sense they have, every time a bus or pizza parlor is attacked, or settler's children are shot up during bedtime story hour. Aside from highlighting another name for Reuter's to suck up to for 'breaking drivel', again, Arafat and the PA avoid the one action most likely to aid in bringing a negotiated settlement and an end to the violence. Its a complicated, difficult concept, but I'll try to make it simple enough even for an EUnuch to understand - Stop killing Israelis.
He's in a deep hole near Quantico, Virginia, where's he's helping several teams of burly men with their enquiries, if I'm any judge.
Adib Shaaban, the right hand of Saddam Hussein’s powerful son Uday, has defected. DEBKA-Net-Weekly reports exclusively that this key member of Saddam Hussein’s administration, who was charged with his son’s most sensitive missions, traveled to Jeddah at the beginning of this week, saying he needed to put through some gold transactions ahead of the war. From Jeddah, he flew to Beirut and… disappeared. US intelligence sources report that Shaaban never really went to Beirut. He made his way under cover to Damascus Monday and was picked up by an unmarked plane for an unknown destination.
Which is funny, because I rather got the impression war had been declared on us. Perhaps it's only a war if we decide to fight back. What's it called when there's a war and one side refuses to fight? That's right - a massacre.
No war = No terrorism
Actually it's an experimental system designed to detect submarines at long range, but thanks for trying anyway.
Subsonic Sonar is a weapon of mass destruction
So you admit you have no clue what it is then? It exists because you believe it ought to? That's your best shot?
There is a better way - we must find it
I'd love to read some facts, but as Tim Blair has pointed out at some length, you won't find any in THAT piece of dreck!
Read some facts [with a picture of John Pilger's book "New Rulers Of The World"
USA paid Taliban $74 million in July 2001. Original Bush plan - "Terror Attacks" Sept 2001. ???
I bet the collective were up all night working on that killingly satirical flag. Wow, it's like Australia is being run by the US! Just goes to show you what fifteen Sociology majors can achieve if they put their heads together. And take enough bong hits.
Based on the evidence so far, I'd go with "Yes".
Do You Think We're Fucking Stupid?
Handy Hints #264: A dictionary is a book containing words in alphabetical order - including their correct spellings!
War With Iraq is Hypocracy
Oh weak you guys...seriously weak. Verging on lame.
Axis of Evil = Suckhole Howard, Wanker Shrub, Phony Tony
Ok. Off you go then.
And it was at this point my sense of humour nipped out the back for a long walk. And when, with sinking heart, I saw "Jews For a Just Peace" heave into view, I left. I signed up for the Australian Jewish Democratic Society as soon as I got to Melbourne, and have been on their mailing list ever since. If you'll excuse me, I have a resignation letter to write.
"Don't worry about American pressure, we control America - Ariel Sharon
Samizdata has the story. Lactose intolerance, or functioning brain cells, tough call. Great cartoon.
One direction only, so far. Tired of using a Keyboard and Mouse? Slow typist? A solution is emerging. A solution likely to scare the bejeebus out of a lot of people. And potentially make GHR even faster... The proposed initial applications are extremely crude, but the potential is quite intriguing. Just to get it over with, I'll go ahead and use the phrase/label now - Borg.
Today's briefing items consists of two topics, and are not in standard Powerpoint format:
It is if they are itching for a fight, any fight, that they can win. If there isn't a legitimate one, then make one up. This seems to be the syndrome afflicting the Democratic Party, particularly in the Senate. Today, they begin a filibuster in opposition to the nomination of Bush judicial nominee Miguel Estrada. For those readers unfamiliar with US Senatorial procedure, a filibuster is basically one Senator claiming the floor to speak, and then speaking as long as possible, about anything and everything if he chooses, to delay action on a measure he or she opposes. If there is a genuine difference of opinion on an issue, this is at least one way of bringing attention to it, and possibly allowing the 'debate' to swing to one's position. In this case, however, the only attention this move will garner is to highlight their growing detachment from reality, via the thinly disguised political mud wrestling that has been the hallmark of Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Charles Shumer, as encouraged by Senate minority leader Tom Daschle in their handling of selected Bush judicial appointments. People seemed shocked that President Bush immediately re-submitted two candidates rejected by the Democratically controlled Judicial Committee under the chairmanship of Leahy. They shouldn't be. Examination of the objections raised by the Democrats in either voting those nominations down, or holding them up from a full vote in the Senate show them to be straight party line tussles, with the objections based on innuendo, speculation, and various other manufactured issues. Bush had nothing to lose in re-visiting those confrontations, and allowing the Democrats to come out in full stridency with their half baked attacks. The current situation is a bonus. Who knew they'd be so irrational as to go into full tantrum mode over the first nominee out of the chute? And against this particular nominee! Nothing but praise, with the exception of some wishy-washy assertions by a former supervisor, who incidentally wrote glowing performance evaluations of his charge during the time period in question. By all other bipartisan accounts, given readily in his support, Estrada not only walks on water, he invented the concept of putting oxygen and hydrogen together. No allegations of off color remarks about hairs on soda cans. No 'guilt by association' because his early professional career was spent in a Southern State, so he 'must be' a closet racist deep in the dark recesses of his heart. Nope. Their gripe is voiced in public as his lack of response to questions they didn't ask, and the release of internal DOJ correspondence that have not only never before been requested, but the release of which is opposed by every living former US Solicitor General, four Democrats, and three Republicans. Sure to be dismissed out of hand as 'biased', White House Counsel Albert Gonzales pretty well points out how ridiculous the stated opposition is, in this response found via The Corner, as posted here by Howard Bashman. The only hope that the Democrats have of not taking a serious beating over this is that six of their members will join in a vote of cloture, to stop the circus, before this drags on long enough for every news organization in the country to begin focusing on them showing off their case of the ass in public. These guys are pathetic, and its a damn good thing they aren't in charge of anything more complicated or important than putting on matching socks in the morning, because they probably have problems doing that, too.
I can't answer for the United States, I'm not an American, But I am a Westerner, a Jew, a citizen of a democratic state and a free man, and here's my estimate of when I'll be over September 11th. Never. September 11th saw Western civilisation the victim of a sneak attack by barbarians with absolutely no sense of honour. They targeted innocent civillians. All they deserve from us is a swift death. There will be no discussions, no negotiations, no bargains. And absolutely no Danegeld. This, I think, is what the oh-so sophisticated European political/media/academic elites fail to understand. They have been buying off terrorists for years, strengthening an enemy which holds them in utter contempt and intends to destroy them as soon as it has taken care of Israel and the United States. It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation, but as Kipling observes, it doesn't work!
If anyone had told me, in the autumn of 2001, that we were less than 18 months away from what might become the world's first nuclear war, I would have thought they were insane. In the half century since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, no one has been that reckless or indeed that stupid – even, or so I thought, the Bush White House. Then came the twin towers and everything changed overnight, to the point where we find ourselves apparently on the threshold of a terrifying conflict in the Middle East. So the question I am going to ask, at the risk of causing great offence, is this: when is the US going to get over the events of 11 September?
Not immediately perhaps, but in the long run. As far as France is concerned, that long run has come to a sickening end. Here. Now. This is a fight for the survival of civilisation against barbarism, and anyone who is not prepared to defend civilisation is objectively allying with its enemies.No nuances, no polished phrases, no diplomatic initiatives, and no concessions. Here are some new words to try. War. Victory. In the First Century, Varus led three Roman legions into an ambush in the Teutoburger Forest, where the Germanic tribes under Arminius destroyed them utterly. Civilised troops cut to pieces by barbarians. Augustus never entirely recovered from the shock, and Rome never again seriously attempted to occupy Germania. It was a mistake. A few hundred years later, German tribes destroyed a cynical, sophisticated, complacent Rome, which never seriously thought such a fate could befall her. More was lost in the Teutoburger Wald than three Eagles though. What Arminius did was to take the Germanic tribes out of history. Roman learning, culture and the benefits of a burgeoning world civilisation were never available to the barbarians, and so they remained sunk in darkness, ignorance and superstition. Civilisation suffered a double setback, in losing three Legions, and in the loss of a potential Roman province. Who knows what the energy of the Germanic tribes might have achieved if it had been harnessed to better goals than useless slaughter? What if German children had learned Latin and Greek, read Homer and Ovid, and taken their place in the community of peoples? We will never know. What did happen was that the descendants of the tribes destroyed Rome and ushered in the Dark Ages. Today, the world is smaller. But there is a group of barbarians who defy the right of civilisation to exist, and intend to destroy that which they will not understand. The Islamofascists realise that Western culture, values and habits are attractive. Left to it's own devices, Western culture will simply continue to spread. Already, they can feel it colonising the minds of their own people, and this they cannot tolerate. Their world view is narrow, and cannot countenance the possibility of defeat, or even change, in the Islamic world. So from their perspective, they MUST attack, because they know we are attacking them where they are most vulnerable - the minds of their children. We should not misunderstand their determination. They believe they have God on their side, a God who has promised them ultimate victory. When I was in the United States last year, I toured the naval base at Norfolk, Virginia. I saw row upon row of grim, grey battlewagons, aircraft carriers, marine landing ships, frigates...more firepower than Satan and greater influence than God was compressed into a very small place. And that was just one base on the East Coast. I haven't been to San Diego or Pearl Harbour or any of the other naval bases, but there's a lot more where that came from. I saw F-15s on the flight line at the nearby air base, and stood under a B-52 mounted on a BIG stand. No Judean princeling on an educational visit to Rome could have been more impressed by the glittering pilums and discipline of the Praetorian Guard than I was that day at Norfolk. Good god, there was more potential firepower on the mothballed USS Wisconsin that my country's entire Navy posesses! Where does that power come from? Did America steal it? It it the result of global opression? No - it is the result of freedom, democracy, rule of law and a lot of hard work. If there's a magic formula, that's it. Not really a secret. Essentially, the source of America's power is civilisation itself. There is no limit to what free citizens can achieve. And THAT'S what's at stake here! THAT'S what the Europeans don't get! America isn't under attack because of what it's done wrong, but for what it's done right. This IS a war for the survival of civilisation itself. Any compromise, any negotiation, any danegeld at all would mean civilisation retreating in the face of a relentless, ruthless, and savage enemy. This time, let's not let the Eagles rot in a German forest. Let's lead the Legions across the Rhine and destroy barbarianism itself! The great-grandchildren of the barbarians will thank us, and we will have made ourselves safer. There was a time when Roman mothers would urge their sons to return from military service either with their sheilds or on them. In time, this practice declined. So did the Empire.
It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation, For fear they should succumb and go astray, So when you are requested to pay up or be molested, You will find it better policy to says:— “We never pay any one Dane-geld, No matter how trifling the cost, For the end of that game is oppression and shame, And the nation that plays it is lost!”
By doing just what I've been doing! The bastages! Oh please. An International programming note, coming soon, the hit new reality-TV show 'Spittle Fest', starring Simon Crean and Tom Daschle, in an all out no flecks barred tantrum-mania. Or will they be upset by impetulent no-name two year old contestants denied a candy bar? Stay tuned....
Something about inducing emotional stress in defenseless small birds. Cat Food? Indeed.
Hey kids, everybody loves Gerhard! So much so that they're sending him a 9 foot by 18 foot One-Way Train Ticket Home. Seems another 10,000 sent in a 'last shirt for Scroeder' due to his perceived wish to tear the shirts off their backs with taxes. Is this guy on a roll or what? Tanking the German Economy, and pissing off the European and American neighbors. Can't be said that his administration isn't accomplishing something, but likewise, it can't be said that anything it has accomplished is good.
There are many more but you get the idea. Go add your own.
Sometimes its a real question as to whether or not people making the case against invasion of Iraq really listen to what they're saying. On NPR's Morning Edition (transcript unavailable so far), guest commentator Russell Martin, author of "Picasso's War: The Destruction of Guernica and The Masterpiece That Changed the World," made his case using his area of study to illustrate his point, and highlight his lack of ability to extrapolate the lessons of history. Martin's premise was basically that war is a horrible endeavor, as the slaughter of the city of Guernica by the Luftwaffe supporting Franco, and the aftermath as depicted by Picasso, are surely evidence. If he'd stopped there, he'd have had a nice solid appeal for not assaulting a civic center, such as Baghdad. Pity, according to Martin, that Picasso's painting, now hanging in the UN, was obscured behind a backdrop used for filming the 'sound bites' of the attendees of last weeks UNSC activities, and that the painting itself, with its graphic depictions of the horrors of war, did not serve as the backdrop to the discussions. To further emphasize his points however, Martin 'pulled back' and began drawing larger analogies, and dropping thought provoking rhetorical questions. Then he went and stepped right in it, using the fact that no one had intervened and stopped Hitler based on Nazi involvement in Spain as being a good reason not to intervene in Iraq. This was strengthened by the point that the obvious Nazi acceleration of military production and advanced research was insufficient justification for the formation of an alliance to intervene and stop them. Then, going back to the horror of Guernica, he likened the current level of military operational capability and probable speed that activities will unfold with the German Blitzkrieg of World War II, and rhetorically asks 'is it really necessary?' Well, yes, actually, and Mr. Martin laid out the logic for it, even if he steadfastly failed to grasp or absolutely refuses to acknowledge the lesson his area of interest reveals to us today. Both Germany of the late 30's and Iraq of the present share some disturbing similarities of situation. Countries in the thrall or clutches of a dictator, with aspirations of greatness, and dreams of conquest. Both seeking weapons and means to extend their influence and power. Both willing to use terror, blackmail, and intimidation to further their aims. Both willing to bluff, bluster, and bully their neighbors for what they want. Would Hitler have backed down if confronted early on? Evidence points to the probability he would have. Would he have abandoned his dreams of conquest and rule? Who knows. Did Saddam back down when confronted over his occupation of Kuwait? Actually, no. Did he abandon his dreams of power, conquest, and domination? Hardly. The evidence is clear that Saddam was pursuing development of weapons that would allow him to blackmail the entire Middle East even while UNMOVIC inspectors were in country 'disarming' him. So, don't do it because of the horror that might occur, based upon a false analogy comparing indiscriminate area bombardment with unguided munitions and the pinpoint targeting of specific parts of buildings or structures available today. Also ignoring the philosophical difference of purposely decimating a civilian center specifically to terrorize or demoralize, as opposed to specific, discrete targeting of specific items. So, don't do it, because when the world was faced with the same choice of intervening or appeasing, they chose to appease and talk about it. Ignore the similarities between the regimes, and the known outcome of appeasement and coddling in the first case, and ignore the fact that even the limited intervention that has been visited upon Saddam to date has not deterred him one bit. Given that by Hitler's own statements, he probably would have been forced to withdraw, and possibly would have fallen from power, if confronted over his entry into the Sudetenland, but that we have seen no such dissuasion occur yet with Saddam, is that not even more chilling as to his potential for the future? Yes. We shouldn't invade because when faced with the situation before, the world decided not to invade and put a stop to it. And that all turned out alright, now didn't it? For you sky watchers out there, remember, have your telescopes and binoculars ready, next New Moon is March 2d/3d. Hopefully there will be some outstanding views to be had, good enough to even be on TV.
Seems the old NATO treaty is getting another workout, another 'first', such as the invocation of Article Five following September 11. The Alliance seemed to be holding well with the invocation and implementation of the provisions of Article Five, seeming to draw, at least temporarily, the member nations together in common cause. The invocation of Article Four, in this instance, is unfortunately symptomatic of exactly the opposite - a widening schism amongst the principals. And as Dave pointed out so eloquently below, the necessity for Turkey to invoke it, and the tepid reception of same by France, Germany and Belgium do not reflect well upon the state of the Alliance. Its one thing to have a spirited debate based upon honest disagreement of principle, it is quite another to be obstructionistic to the point of paralysis, thus causing grave concern for a member nation. The German/French refusal to even plan contingent upon the possibility of hostilities, which daily appear to be an ever growing probability, goes beyond the scope of wishful thinking, and pretty far towards willful negligence. It does not set a glowing example that one of the Alliance's members could be held to possible peril solely based upon making a point of principle. Even worse when there is ample reason to suspect that the 'principle' involved is narrowly focused national self interests. No blood for oil? Are Turkish lives, territory or treasure acceptable losses to desperately defend those Elf/Fina contracts? Much more of this, and the relevant Articles for discussion will more likely be numbers 13 and 14.
Belgium, France, and Germany, as principal members of NATO, don't want to help the United States in the prosecution of the war against Baghdad nor help Turkey maintain the integrity of its borders in the possibility of such a war. NATO, until now, is a protectorate of any member country. Now, three members of the group have decided that Turkey, the only moderate Muslim country, isn't needful of such security, because they have a peace plan for Iraq. What they have proffered is appeasement. Germany, a country that started two world wars, and France, which is so insecure about its own machismo, and Belgium, the seat of the new EU, are splintering NATO and making the U.N.'s various resolutions upon Iraq irrelevant. What kind of "friends" are these that won't come to the defense of member nations? Not only Turkey, but also the U.S? This unfortunate state of affairs resembles Britain's Neville Chamberlain and his appeasement of Hitler's Germany back in the 1930s. The whole matter resolves around Iraq's compliance with Rule 1441 and the sixteen rules that preceded it; the Rules require that Iraq demonstrate it has destroyed all weapons of mass destruction. Despite these numerous resolutions and rules, Iraq has only shown contempt for the U.N., and Belgium, France, and Germany have collectively done their best to thwart the enforcement of the many resolutions over the period of twelve years. Could it be that Germany and France are reluctant to go forward with any kind of insistence that Iraq disarm, because both have provided Iraq with the very materiel that are proscribed under the U.N.'s rules and resolutions? Iraq and Germany and France are trading parties, who have skirted the rules by providing weapons for Iraqi oil. So, this isn't so much a war for oil, but appeasement for oil -- and for discovery that Belgium, France, and Germany have skirted the embargo against Iraq and sold weapons for oil. Belgium, France, and Germany stand alone against sixteen other NATO countries that want to provide assistance to Turkey and support the prosecution of war against Iraq given its recalcitrance in complying with international rules and resolutions. Because any one of these members can veto the other seventeen, Belgium, France, and Germany are making NATO as irrelevant as the U.N.. So, while the majority of NATO and the majority of Europe, save Belgium, France, and Germany, support the U.S. and NATO, Belgium, France, and Germany peculiarly stand apart. Where will Belgium, France, and Germany get its oil if a war, initiated and won by the U.S. and its other European allies, reveals their complicity in undermining the sake of International peace? Belgium, France, and Germany are no better to the U.S. as allies than Cuba or North Korea are. It's one thing to have honest differences of opinion, but Iraq has made those differences academic -- and merely political for Belgium, France, and Germany. Obviously, Belgium, France, and Germany have decided that the exploitation of its independence from the U.N. and NATO make both of these larger and older institutions irrelevant. Iraq could have -- indeed should have -- disarmed 12 years ago. But Belgium, France, and Germany now think the European Union is more important, and worthy of the risks of devaluing NATO and the U.N. for its own political sake. I hope we will remember our friends, and avoid our enemies, whatever the outcome of Iraq. Belgium, France, and Germany have been tested, and they have failed.
Unconditional? If you stuck with the Reuter's version you might think so. But hey, wait a second...no, they wouldn't alter the deal after they got their attention grabbing headline, would they? Lets see, they want the U2 driver to play sitting duck, and now they want all the Allied pilots to play sitting duck. For what? So we can take lots of happy snaps that will be as 'unconvincing' as the photos we already have? Quack this, arseholes. Astronomical observation update - The next New Moon will be March 2/3d. Just a note for the astronomically minded, mind you.
Well yes. Here is what you should say. "Hello? Anyone left alive in this cave? Osama? Omar? Anyone survive that thermobaric bomb? No? Oh well..." NZPundit comments: Yes, Mo. The talking cure was such a success during her tenure as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Sounds like the traditional howls of derisive laughter all round. That's for the suggestion Mo, don't let the door hit you in the arse on the...oops, too late. We really need to get that fixed.
"You don't beat terrorists by bombing them. All you do is act as a very good recruiting agent for them because more young people then turn towards the terrorists, and you alienate the complete civil population because you bomb them. Do you expect them to like us any more than they do now, which is not very much. "You beat terrorists by talking to them.
Adams just doesn't think they shouldn't be allowed to have their own country or any means of self-defence. No biggie. And he's not completely insane, I'm no fan of the food either. As punishment for his sins, Adams can have my gefilte fish at Passover, I can certainly live without it. It'd be an interesting experiement to see if he could live with it. And while you digest that thought (which is certainly impossible with genuine Pale of Settlement-style gefilte fish), chew on Professor Bunyip's languid yet efficient new-bunghole-tearing exercise. It's a hoot.
I am, still besotted with Jews. Whilst I'm not mad about the food, I am lost in admiration for Jewish courage, Jewish creativity, Jewish philanthropy, Jewish idealism and Jewish humour. And, yes, some of my best friends are Jews.
Corsair the Rational Pirate has been raising the IQ level of the world for 365 days now. Notice the diference? Neither did I... Back to work I suppose.
Latest in creative journalism from Reuter's. They seem to attribute a lot to Putin, but his direct quotes sound somewhat less than supportive of the claims made in the rest of the article. The blatant appeasing seems to come from Schroeder (surprise!), and Putin isn't quoted mentioning China once. Wonder what he really had to say. CNN doesn't mention the Chinese, and Vlad's quoted statements seem like generalized 'war bad, peace good' sort of 'read whatever into this you want to, cause I can always plausibly say you were mistaken' statements that will be about as easy to nail down as jello a few months from now. I suspect a possible surprise for Jacque and Hans.
Being established. Primary use will be to move the men to the pre-positioned equipment. Reminder. New Moon, 2/3d March.
E.Nough, frequent commenter on LGF, and the author of the hilarious Illegal Zionist Occupation of Space article that Ha'aretz swallowed as real has finally taken everyone's advice, and started his own blog - Thinking Meat. E. goes in the blogroll, hasta la pronto, baby. Good things to come, I'm certain.
US and Britain give Saddam just 48 hours to leave Iraq This depends upon the inspector twins to come to NY on Friday, screw up and let the truth out of the bag. Quite likely they've just about deluded themselves that they might be able to set up an inspector's pension plan arrangement once everyone starts agreeing with them that years of unproductive 'inspections' activity is the ticket. The only people that'll probably exit the country during the 48 hours will be the inspectors. Guess this answers that particular 'but what about...' question. (spotted at VodkaPundit)
Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee's Big Adventure Chapter II - Return to Inspector's Paradise
Actively ignoring the fact that his relevant role in the crisis on Iraq pretty much ended with his initial report back to the UNSC, and Secretary Powell's address to same, our favorite zany Swede is back on the road with his sidekick ElBaradei. In this episode, the boys wax philisophical.
UN weapons inspector Hans Blix pondered on the possibility of discovering only a few banned weapons after all the death and destruction of a war. "It would be paradoxical," the Swedish disarmament specialist said.It would be if it came to past that way, but seeing as the Iraqis themselves have admitted possession of such weapons, and there is more than just speculation as to what else they've been working on, this is an interesting indicator of where Blix's speculation is being applied, or how misguided it may truly be.
A war also would come at a cost of upheaval in an unstable region that can little afford it. We think in our hearts, we believe that we need to avoid war, not only to prove that inspections can work, but because war is a sign of failure," ElBaradei said.The two root causes of the region's instability are being dealt with. Radical Islamism and secular megalomania in the form of Saddam. There is a high probability that he also is referring to the diversionary side-show of the Palestinians, which is symptomatic, versus being a root cause. The only failure that war in Iraq will symbolize is that of Saddam and his fig leaf wearing European apologistas to continue the charade of the past decade. ElBaradei continues, as apparently Blix does also, to operate under the misconception that the inspectors role under 1441 was to engage in a great game of scavenger hunt in Iraq. A patently false interpretation of the inspector's role and mission.
They spoke of both the short term - of "inching" ahead in the weekend talks - and of the longer term, looking ahead to months of work for their inspectors in ensuring that Iraq no longer has chemical, biological or nuclear weapons programs.The epitome of cluelessness. 'Inching ahead'?' 'months of work for their inspectors?' What kind of an idiot talks about playing hide the Saddam in Iraq in terms that sound like job security? Its reminiscent of the Saturday Night Live segment about the 'Change Bank of New York' - not making any profit on any of their transactions, but making up for it in volume!
Of the weekend talks, Blix said Iraqi officials in the past had "belittled" the unanswered questions remaining from the 1990s about whether Iraq could prove it had destroyed such doomsday weapons as anthrax and VX nerve gas. But this weekend, he said, "for the first time I think they were focusing upon these issues. ... I think that is hopeful. "What we see is the beginning of Iraq taking these issues very seriously or very much at heart," ElBaradei said, "and try to come up with creative ways to solve these issues".This must be Mr. Hearnoevil and Mr. Seenoevil's way of saying that the light bulb above some of the Iraqi noggins briefly flickered with the idea to come up with some sort of outlandish explanation about what happened to the chem/bio materials they admitted to having. Doubt if it will be worth holding our breath for the Iraqi version of 'the dog ate it'.
Baghdad turned documents over to them this weekend that the Iraqis said should help answer some questions. The Iraqis also said they would establish national commissions to search for proscribed weapons and relevant documents.I'm just as relieved as the first time I heard that the foxes were anxious to get to the bottom of that ruckus out in the henhouse. Glad they haven't gotten cold feet.
Blix and ElBaradei were reminded of recent statements by high-level US officials that the "game is over" in the Iraq crisis, and that war is close at hand.Yes, sometimes the obvious must be spelled out for those in denial
"We should not - in our impatience to make sure Iraq is disarmed - denigrate the inspections ... To expect a country to completely disarm and verify that disarmament in eight weeks is again oversimplification. People have to understand that inspections do take time. But if they work, it's a much better alternative to war, where you could have ramifications for decades."I'd be very seriously interested in seeing an example of the inspection process outlined in 1441 being denigrated. On the other hand, expecting guys that either failed to get the point of the entire exercise, or are willfully disregarding the mission they were given, doing instead what they themselves would rather do, is wishful thinking. Completely disarming a country that has been actively seeking and producing mass destruction weapons will probably take more than eight weeks, but that was not the point, now was it? The point was to give the Iraqis an opportunity to become forthright about their activities, to renounce them, and to lend any and all assistance requested or required to eliminate the prohibited items. This was an attitude check. and they failed. Miserably. This set of inspections has gone on long enough to determine that Iraqi attitudes and activities have not changed, one iota. So in that respect, yes, the inspections did work, although Blix and ElBaradei are so far behind on grasping that fact, that they believe themselves to be in the lead.
Blix, whose work in disarmament began over 40 years ago, reflected on the historic turning point the world faces in Iraq. "The paradoxical thing is we don't really know whether there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," he said. "Some people seem to think there may be some, very little. It would be in my view very paradoxical if Iraq were to pull on itself a war and destruction for some limited quantity. It would also be paradoxical, I think, if the rest of the world were waging the war at a tremendous cost, and in the end find there was very little."Ramblings from the edge of unreality, with debate to continue about the definition of 'very little' weapons of mass destruction. Having the capability to cause the horrendous deaths of only a few hundred thousand instead of a few million, well, now that IS something to quibble about.
He said the UN inspections were costing $US80 million on an annual basis, with a staff of some 200. He noted estimates that a US war against Iraq might cost over $US100 billion and involve some 200,000 troops.Jeebus! Although Blix can't tell when the Iraqis are leading him by the nose around the primrose path, he sure has a firm handle on DoD budgetary and staffing issues at a macro level! Might be more plausible if he didn't let Ben or Jerry explain DoD funding levels to him, and believe it. And is this figure correct? These clowns are burning through cash at an $80 million a year clip? What the hell are they spending it on? Is anybody inspecting them? If it comes to light that Arthur Anderson does their books... At any rate, hopefully that's some of Ted Turner's money. The only way that we might hit the 100 Billion magical anti-war hysteria magic number is by adopting the Weasel plan to put blue helmeted French and German troops in country, while the amassed US forces stay in theater cooling their heels waiting for the French portion of the contingent to confront a surrender situation.
"And the political, economic and social ramifications," ElBaradei interjected, "in an area that's already a hotbed of instability". "So there is some stark difference between the options," said Blix.Some political, economic, and especially social ramifications are sorely called for, simply because the current screwed up dysfunctional status quo is the prime reason for the area being a hotbed of instability. Keep talking, the case gets better all the time. Yes there are some stark differences between the options. Keep mucking about until a few thousand more humans end up dead, or go in and stop it, now.
Bloody Hell! If this report is anything close to being accurate, then God Save The Queen! Her son is a friggin barking moonbat! Its one thing for him to jaunt about criticising English architecture for lacking flair and style, but this reads almost like he's taken it upon himself to ensure that Mum is the last legitimate and respected Monarch of Great Britain. By the by, nice hat, Chuck. Is this a wannabe kinda thing? Or just making the term English twit your own, and hoping that's the mugshot they'll use next to the definition?
U.N. Arms Chief Opens Talks With Baghdad Blix and ElBaradei apparently have taken to watching their language - trimming back on statements that clearly show they're being bamboozled by their Iraqi buds. Those observing this theater of the macabre and absurd grasp hopefully at the slim wisps of possibility, in a continuing blatant disregard of the obvious. Describing their latest series of meetings, what they seem to live for, B and ElB called them 'useful' and 'very substantial'. What would be useful would be the Iraqi production of its weapons for destruction. What would be very substantial would be the Iraqis turning over all documents detailing their research and development, and complete, full, and unfettered access to the more than 2000 personnel previously identified by UNMOVIC. A sheaf of distracting and incomplete paperwork, and five individuals ready for interviews is not only wholly inadequate, it is insulting in its arrogance. Meanwhile, back on the ranch, grandma is still beating off the Indians. The surprise proposal by the French and the Germans to send in blue helmeted peacekeepers to safeguard, enforce, and oversee the thoroughness of the inspections is downright treacherous. Presumably, these 'peacekeeper forces' would be composed primarily of French and German troops - two countries that have many known contacts and cordial dealings with the dictator; countries that many suspect have plenty to hide from those contacts and cordial dealings. Countries that are facing the prospect of severe economic setbacks for some of their major industrial entities should there be a US invasion. The statements of the past few days are accurate - France and Germany, on this current path, under this current leadership, are no friends to the United States, nor champions of reducing the dangers of the world at large. These French and German hypocrites clearly pursue their own narrow national self-interests, as they lead a charge to decry our own, which also happen to overlap and compliment the interests of so many other nations. Many bemoan the possible outcome of the alienation of affections towards these 'core' nations of the European Union and NATO. Let it happen. Both being democracies, when such alienation occurs, as it should as reward for the damage inflicted by the occupants of their governmental seats of power, the mechanisms are in place to remove those responsible, and instill leadership capable of changing those policies. It has been noted by many that major conflict often radically alters the geopolitical landscape. Although most speculation has focused on the upheavals to the Middle Eastern status quo likely as a result of the liberation of Iraq, the sweeping of some of the cobwebs mucking up Europe seems to be possible as well. Combine that with a long overdue 'reality check' for the dismal swamp known as the UN, and it look like a lot of good things on the horizon. Good things? Yes, unless one relies on irrational feel good 'what if' lines of logic, twisted to describe a utopian 'should be' end state. As history is repeat with examples, such delusional hypothesizing is as easy for the devious to hijack for evil than four airliners on a clear September morning Just a reminder. The new moon is on March the 2d/3d.
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