Sean LaFreniere

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Sean's Political Dictionary
So that YOU know what SEAN is talking about when he opens his big mouth:

 

Conservative:

Date: 1831. From Latin conservare, for "to keep", "guard", or "observe". A Conservative relies upon family traditions and figures of authority to establish and maintain values. 

A Conservative puts group security above personal freedoms. 

A Conservative believes that successful use and maintenance of power proves God's favor for the government. 

A Conservative believes that social values, religious rules, and forms of governments may only be altered gradually. 

Stability and continuity are the goals of government.

 

Liberal:

Date: 1820. From Latin liberalis for "free". A Liberal uses reason and logic to set personal, social, and religious values. 

A Liberal places personal freedom above group security. 

A Liberal believes that governments rule by the consent of the governed. 

A liberal believes that governments may be changed or removed at the will of the people.  

A Liberal supports rapid change in the pursuit of progress and reform.

Freedom and Justice are the goals of government.

 

Note: a nation, and an individual, may move back and forth between these positions often. They rarely sum up a personality completely. And they should never be permanent blinders for anyone to view the world.

When a people succeed in a Liberal revolution, for instance, they often find themselves in the Conservative position protecting these gains. Similarly a person might have a Liberal view on public financial assistance and then move into a conservative position once these demands are met.

One might say that Affirmative Action is a prime example. At one point instituting Affirmative Action was a Liberal position, it was needed to reverse decades of discrimination following the end of Slavery. However, today the Liberal position might well be the ending of Affirmative Action, as it has largely completed its task and now stands as a stumbling block to truly moving the nation beyond race as a discriminatory trait. Meanwhile, the position of defending AA is now actually a Conservative stance (whether its so-called "liberal" defenders realize it or not).

Another way to think about this is that these terms describe a way of thinking about issues, not the positions on those issues. That is a Conservative might support a war because politicians they respect urge it, because the enemy scares them, and ultimately because it just "feels right". A Liberal might also come to support the war in spite of the position of authority figures and celebrities, not because it feels right, but because hours of research and consideration support the cause.

Neither is a "better way" of coming to a position, necessarily. Sometimes too much thinking interferes with a solid moral judgment, such as on the Abortion issue. And then other times only rational examination can skip over the emotional baggage and come to the most reasonable decision, as we see in the Abortion issue.

I realize this might be difficult for some people to accept after a long time of hearing party dogma on the issue. Personally I find value in BOTH positions. On some issues I am myself rather Conservative and on others I am quite Liberal. The same with the terms Radical and Reactionary, noted below. I found that stepping beyond these labels opened up my thoughts and cleared my head of a lot of bs.

 

Reactionary:

Date: 1840. From Latin reagere for "to act". A Reactionary uses government pressure as a means of containing and responding to changes in society.

 

Radical:

Date: 14th century. From Latin radicalis from radix for "root". A Radical supports social movements and political pressure groups as a means of affecting change in government.

 

The Right:

Date: early modern. The term comes from  English Parliamentary Rules; which place the party in power on the right of the Speaker. As the Conservatives held sway for a long time, the term Right came to be associated with the "Establishment" and thus with Conservative politics.

 

The Left:

Date: early modern. The party in Opposition sits on the Speaker's left. The Left came to be associated with labor movements, the lower classes, and socialist politics. It has also come to be associated with Liberalism. This was useful for Conservative politicians, and Socialists as well, during the 60's. But I find this to be a big intellectual and political mistake.

 

Capitol Goods:

Date: circa 1639. From the French from Latin capitalis for "top", used in French for "principal" or "chief". (1) : a stock of accumulated goods; especially at a specified time and in contrast to income received during a specified period (2) : accumulated goods devoted to the production of other goods (3) : accumulated possessions calculated to bring in income

 

Capitalism:

Date: 1877. An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

 

Socialism:

Date: 1837. From Latin socialis for "friend" or "companion" or "associate". Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods; usually there is no private property; in Marxist theory this is also considered just a transitional stage between capitalism and communism and it is distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

 

Communism:

Date: 1840. From French communisme, from Latin communis for "common". A doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed. It is the final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably. In its only examples of practical application, in the USSR, China, and Cuba it became a totalitarian system where a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production and the people are enslaved in production geared to support the power of this party.

 

Note: in Marxist theory these three systems represent a sliding scale, with Capitalism on the Right, Socialism in the middle, and Communism on the Left. A nation was supposed to move from one to the other over time. However, in practice few systems in the world have ever been purely one or the other. Most national economic models employ some of all three.

While the US and Europe are considered the paragons of Capitalism, they both retain many Socialist elements. Both the US and Europe offer state sanctioned monopolies of public utilities. The American Postal Service is a state owned enterprise, as are the European aerospace entities. Europe offers state run healthcare, as do many American states, and both regulate the health industry heavily.

Through out history Europe and the US have also held some Communist elements. The common grazing lands of town centers and the great unfenced Western plains were both representative of these traditions. One might say that Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Dole are also holdovers from our more communal days.

On the other hand, while China has long been a paragon of Socialism / Communism, it still has many elements of free enterprise. They allow small farmers and craftsmen to sell excess production on the open market, they have private telecoms and industrial companies, and now they have a stock market, the ultimate symbol and apparatus of Capitalism.

When one system or the other fails to serve a nation, many proponents argue that actually the system simply was not implemented purely enough. However, attempts to purify these systems require a heavy hand in government, education, and economic practice. And this has led to oppressive regimes and brutalized citizens.

 

Democracy:

Date: 1576. From Greek dEmokrati, from demos "people" + kracy "rule". A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections; usually accompanied by the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.

 

Republic:

Date: 1604. From Latin respublica; from res "thing" + publica "of the people". A government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who is elected by popular vote.

 

Note: that the root of the word Democracy is Greek, while the root of the word Republic is Latin. These terms are NOT antithetical, they do not even derive from the same language.

In common use they both have come to describe types of Liberal governments, specifically the one is a type of the other. It is possible for a nation to be a Democracy, but NOT also a Republic. However, a nation that is a Republic is ALWAYS also a Democracy. A Republic is a TYPE of Democracy.

The UK is a Democracy, but not a Republic, because of the Queen. Ireland became a Republic only after it dropped from the Commonwealth and replaced the Queen with an elected President

 

Fascism:

Date: 1921 From Latin fascis for "bundle" or group. Last, but not least, is this term, which actually combines the economic system and the political system entirely. In this system the state and large corporations merge, the rights of the individual are subordinated to the glory of the State, and all dissent is suppressed. It often utilizes a racial or religious cause to motivate the people into giving up their rights in the first place. These states usually rise out of an economic collapse or hardship with high inflation and unemployment.

 
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Friday, January 31, 2003

Storm Troopers







Dont these figures remind you of the red Imperial Guards from Star Wars?



Sean: Friday, January 31, 2003 [+] |
...

A Hard Day







Im working my ass off out there Frank, and do you think I get any appreciation at home? -pass the soap would ya?



Sean: Friday, January 31, 2003 [+] |
...

Iraqi Kurdistan, news







Reports indicate that Saddam is ethnically cleansing his nation, again, forcing millions of Kurds to march through Saddam's own minefields back into Iraqi Kurdistan.

Meanwhile, Kurds welcome US intervention, but hope for a gas free conflict. Well, they can hope. Sigh.


Sean: Friday, January 31, 2003 [+] |
...

"We'd suspect that Saddam's ----- would fill about a big mac, maybe two... Tony?".





"Yes, that's about right. You know it maybe wouldnt taste so good, but then we eat everything boiled here anyway!"



mmmm... sure would be satisfying though, eh?

Sean: Friday, January 31, 2003 [+] |
...

OCCUPY US, PLEASE!!!



Michael Totten has a great piece on Kurdish outlook on the finale to the Gulf War


Sean: Friday, January 31, 2003 [+] |
...
Moviegoers Say Dobby Looks Like Putin



What does the stern-faced commander in chief of a million-strong army have in common with a self-effacing elf from a popular children's film? Nothing — except perhaps a longish nose, piercing eyes and a certain indefinable similarity.


Sean: Friday, January 31, 2003 [+] |
...
The latest from our friends in N Korea..."



What N Korea thinks of you! This is one of a series of posters coming out of the official organs of North Korea's government. It is a depiction of N Korean military might skewering the International Atomic Energy scarecrow -and a US soldier to boot. US spy satellites revealed this week that N Korea is moving reactor rods to its new nuclear bomb development plant. How long do you think it will take France and Germany to decide that this one is a threat?



Oh don’t hold your breath... yesterday NPR interviewed the French Foreign Minister who admitted that a major reason that the French don’t back the US on war with Iraq is simply because the French cant imagine themselves to be a target of Saddam (I would think not, not after all they have done for them, I’m sure what they really expect are more oil contracts). So, since the French see Saddam as America's problem, they don’t want to be bothered. Yeah, go NATO, boy that treaty sure has worked for US, the French get liberated from the Nazis and defended against the Russians and when


Sean: Friday, January 31, 2003 [+] |
...
Check out VDH again...

The man says what I have thought for years now. I am happy to see such an eminent personage agree, makes me feel less crazy.

NATO and the UN are dead. The French and Germans have never really been allies, but have always been competitors. The fact that they hung up their skates only makes them all the more envious each time we land a high jump and all the more eager to see us fall. That being the case, for how long can we fool ourselves that we are allies?

Sean: Friday, January 31, 2003 [+] |
...

Latest Comments on War from Around the Country



"However one feels about a US led invasion of Iraq, over the long tem a bullying, go-it-alone foreign policy wedded to a military doctrine of pre-emption is a recipe for destabilization and paranoia around the world." -Bob Herbert, The New York Times



This is simply rhetoric. How can he use the term "US led invasion" and "go-it-alone foreign policy" in the same sentence? The fact is that most of Europe, and even the Arab world, backs the Bush plan to use military force to finish the Gulf War once and for all. We are not bullying anyone either. This man expects us to believe that he doesn’t understand the difference between the actions of a parent or a cop and an alley way mugger or school yard bully? Come on.

The US only brings troops to the Gulf to fend off men like Saddam and leaves small numbers, under 5,000, at the request of regional allies. Saddam masses hundreds of thousands of troops at the borders of his neighbors and clearly announces his intention to invade and conquer. Only Saddam is the bully here. Any attempt to wax poetically otherwise is simply disingenuous.

Not to mention this supposed fear of Liberals that we will "distabilize the region". Since when was it the Left that was ruled by Realpolitik? I thought Liberals were AGAINST maintaining the stability of dictatorships, monarchies, and patriarchial societies? Why would Herbert care if Iran, Syria, or even Saudi Arabia were "distabilized"?

And paranoia? Come on, many of these people have already been raised from birth on "blood libel" and ZOG conspiracy theories about the Evil Jews and their American Protectors. We couldnt possibly make them MORE paranoid, even by invading an "Arab brother". No, rather, in fact, we have a very good chance of completely rehabilitating the region and bringing these people into a much better relationship with us.

Something we could never hope for if we simply "maintained stability" in the region!

"When the next Gulf War is over, Saddam has been removed from power, and mass destruction that everyone knows Iraq still possesses, I am hopeful that America's and Bush's critics will express their profound thanks for his leadership and strength of purpose." -Gary Mendoze, columnist, HispanicVista.com


Amen amigo, but don’t hold your breath. They still haven’t admitted they were wrong about Afghanistan, and wont take a free plane ticket to interview local women to find out, and they criticize old men for not volunteering to fight in the Gulf?! Hah!

"And you have small, telling, scenes like the one that transpired in Baghdad recently. A man thrust himself into a UN inspector’s car and begged for sanctuary. The UN official pretended to study his papers while the poor man pleaded for his life. The Iraqi guards took the man away, and if what we know about Iraqi prisons in even half right, we can only hope that they killed the man as soon as he was out of camera range. Imagine you are running in fear from Iraqi thugs, and you see a UN car and US convoy. To which would YOU run?-James Lieks, Newhouse News Service


Again, right on man, you have met the head of the nail with your hammer.

"Reports that the administration is contemplating the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons in Iraq should set off alarm bells that this could not only be the wrong war at the wrong time, but it could quickly spin out of control. Initiating the use of nuclear weapons would make a conflict with Iraq potentially catastrophic. -Sen. Edward Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, writing in the Los Angeles Times


Ok now, I’m and Irish-American, and a Liberal, and even I have to ask how much Eddy's been drinking! I mean, WTF?! No one in the Administration has mentioned "pre-emptive nuclear strikes" as far as I know and I follow DC probably about as close as Eddy can. ;P The talk has been that we are considering a "pre-emptive strike" to remove Saddam's nuclear threat. And the talk has been that we would not rule out a nuclear retaliation for Saddam's first-strike use of WMD, chemical, biological, or otherwise. How did Eddy combine the two into the US nuking Iraq instead of fighting a strategic ground war? What does Eddy expect Bush to do with our quarter million men and women in and around Iraq now? Man, have another martini Eddy, make it a double, then sleep it off!

"The growing body of publicly available evidence offers sufficient proof of Baghdad's mendacious designs to warrant the immediate use of force. President Bush's classified stash surely offers more; it is time for him to use it." -Mansoor Ijaq, New York financier, writing in the Los Angeles Times


Amen. Why cant people think for themselves, why do they NEED a "smoking gun"? Saddam has poison gas, Saddam has used poison gas, Saddam has not proved that he has destroyed this gas... and don’t cart out that old chestnut of "how do you prove a negative?", South Africa also had poison gas (and nukes) they were serious about disarmament and invited UN and IAEC members to come watch and verify its disarmament process. They left arguably more satisfied that poor Hans Blix.

"Bush's foes at least need to be open to this thought: Bush may not be the man to get us on the right long-term trajectory in international affairs. He's demonstrably not the right man to address our domestic woes. But if he rids the world of Saddam - and especially if he manages to pull it off with out a war - he'll deserve our deepest gratitude." -Matthew Miller, syndicated columnist


I have to say that I agree. I agree that Bush is a cudgel on foreign policy. And he is a corrupt, bought and paid for, big business politician who couldn’t address the current domestic problems with a pa system. But I also agree that he may well be the man to solve this current Saddam problem. And I will owe him one for that all the same time I complain about his ham fisted diplomacy and domestic robbery.

"Despite its fixation on Saddam, the administration hasn’t completely forgotten about Osama. The Economist ran an ad this week that said: "For over 100 years Arab-Americans have served the nation. Today we need you more than ever... For additional information and to apply online, please visit our Web site at www.cia.gov." The CIA is seeking Arab-speaking agents. Now they get around to it?" -Maureen Dowd, The New York Times


Oh, I agree, the CIA, and other groups, should have been all over all of this like ugly on an ape, years ago. Too bad Clinton signed a Doo Gooder bill that forbade the CIA from hiring anyone with the slightest dirt on their resume. At any rate, for what it is worth, I agree with Maureen that this looks stupid. But I would be much more comfortable in my agreement if I thought she really cared, but I get the feeling that she is simply looking for Administration ducks to shoot, which takes some of the bite off her criticism.

"The question that Bush has not answered is likely to aunt him for yeas: Why are we going into Iraq now - what is the hurry?" -James Klurfield, Newsday


BS! There, I said it. The real issue that one must face is "why didn’t we go into Afghanistan, Iraq, and N Korea sooner? Why do we always have to wait until AFTER tragedy and murder to act to prevent it? It gets kinda old, cleaning up after easily pre-empted attacks upon Americans. Meanwhile I find this entire line of reasoning to be a joke, a disingenuous one. This guy doesn’t even agree with what he is saying. I bet you dollars to doughnuts that if Clinton were leading this war, he wouldn’t even bring this up. I would also guess that as soon as the UN signs off on this, which they will once we offer France and Russia enough oil contracts, this man will not raise this question again.

"The issue is not whether President Bush has "made the case" for war in Iraq, but WHICH Iraq war the president wants to fight. Even after this week's State of the Union Address we don’t know... we don’t know if this war is primarily about taking weapons of mass destruction out of Saddam’s hands, or removing Saddam from power, or brining democracy to Iraq and revolutionizing the politics of the middle east." -E. J. Dionne Jr. syndicated columnist, writing in the Washington Post


You've got to be kidding me Jr! As if these same questions couldn’t have been raised about WWII. Were we fighting to liberate France, bring down Hitler, overthrow the German state, or save the Jews? Who cares? Why cant it be "all of the above"? Why cant it be several other strategic advantages too, hold off the Russians, disarm Europe, democratic Europe, free the Jews, reorder the Balkans, strengthen the Anglo-American bond, etc. etc.? I think the fact that all of these objectives could well be the aim and may well be the result actually helps make the argument for war, thanks Jr.

Sean: Friday, January 31, 2003 [+] |
...
Thursday, January 30, 2003

Environmental Crisis in Afghanistan



"As for the pistachio forests of Badghis, Herat and Takhar, some areas have lost 50 percent of forest cover. In Kunar and Nuristan there is 30 percent loss of forests from illegal logging and the timber trade."

"In addition to the unauthorized logging, ascribed to the rising power of warlords, contributing factors include: the collapse of central and local government controls, the displacement of populations and their need for fuel and construction materials.

"The speed of deforestation is at the moment very rapid. Reforestation, water management and stopping desertification is very essential for the livelihoods of Afghans.

"War has also taken its toll on wildlife. The great Siberian cranes, which used to migrate every year to India via Afghanistan, have not been seen since 1986, when the last one seen was shot by an Afghan.

"Snow leopard pelts have been selling on Chicken Street, the main tourist shopping street in Kabul. Such sales only encourage further hunting of one of the rarest big cats in the world. An endangered species, the leopard is still found in the Wakhan corridor, a northeastern Afghan plateau that winds toward China.

"Flamingos have not bred for four years in the wetlands of southern Afghanistan, because of the harshest drought in memory. The Sistan basin in southwestern Afghanistan, too, has been dry for four years." -NYTimes



Sean: Thursday, January 30, 2003 [+] |
...
Andrew Sullivan has a great piece on Anti-Anti-Americanism.

As a Brit he notes that he once expressed his own anti-Americanism:

"I can remember the last time I was an anti-American. It was eighteen years ago, wincing at the vulgarity of the Los Angeles Olympic Games. I threw in the towel when Lionel Ritchie was a key feature of the opening ceremonies. Or was it the choreographed Elvis impersonators? I can't remember now. The sheer crassness, commercialism, and unabashed American nationalism turned this young Brit off. It was a combination of exuberance and sheer power - certainly enough for a young European to affect elevated disdain."


However, as an intelligent human he responds:

"But disdain for what? America? The very idea, I came to realize, is preposterous. America is many things - now, perhaps, more than ever. It is rural Alabama and urban San Francisco. It is Michael Moore and Jerry Falwell. It's Colin Powell and Don Rumsfeld. It's MTV and the right to bear arms. It's a country that still won't accept a one-dollar coin but embraced the Internet with the enthusiasm of a teenage crush. It's cowboy country in Wyoming and Little Havana in Miami. It's Rambo and the "Sopranos." It's Little Vietnam in the exurbs of Virginia and mega-churches in suburban Houston. Anyone who despises all this despises not America but humanity. And humanity in one of the most daring multicultural, multiracial experiments in human history.


Thanks for that well needed perspective Andrew. I haev expressed much the same thoughts to people who express ANY regard for the "point" behind 9-11. These attacks on America are not an attack on US foreign policy, they arent even an attack on Americans, they are an attack upon the world. It is a shame that it appears that, once again, America may have to answer for this attack upon humanity, and will likily face derision for this act of "imperialism" rather than thanks for our defense of "the common good".


Sean: Thursday, January 30, 2003 [+] |
...

Eight European Nations Side with Bush!



"The transatlantic relationship must not become a casualty of the current Iraqi regime's persistent attempts to threaten world security. Our strength lies in unity." and "The Iraqi regime and its weapons of mass destruction represent a clear threat to world security"


In a welcome break with recalcitrant France and Germany, eight European nations apeeal for trans-Atlantic unity.

Sean: Thursday, January 30, 2003 [+] |
...
Demonstrators take part in a protest near the American embassy in Abidjan, January 28, 2003. Young supporters of president Laurent Gbagbo called for American support for their country and denounced France, its former colonial ruler, for brokering a recent peace initiative in the four-month civil war. The protests in the Ivory Coast capital underlined the problems facing the power-sharing deal agreed by Gabgbo to end the war that has split the world's top cocoa producer along ethnic lines. Photo by Luc Gnago/Reuters


Sean: Thursday, January 30, 2003 [+] |
...
Wednesday, January 29, 2003

VDH On The SOTU



Vistor Davis Hansen has a "right-on" assesment of the State of the Union Address, everyone should take a pause each week to read this man, his columns are always worth the time, if you agree or no.

"The State of the Union address was understated, but it was still quite a revolutionary sort of speech ("free people will set the course of history"). It was an elemental talk about life and death, good and evil — and the desire for allies, but the determination, if need be, to act alone. Somber tones without a note of triumphalism added to its power — helped by the president's calls for idealistic foreign activism coupled with new domestic concerns. Americans like tough talk — but only if it is arises out of larger moral sensibilities... [Well,] the looming war was phrased in terms of a pre-Vietnam era ideal of global liberation — a natural dividend of American resoluteness that derives from a particular sense of right and wrong that is more than just cynical Realpolitik."




This man is a professor of Classical History (particularly the military) at California State Univeristy at Fresno and and organic farmer in Selma in the San Juaquin Valley of California. His books are good too, but I find that he makes hsi case convincingly aboyut half way through, man he's too good for his own good! Check Carnage and Culture at Amazon.com).

Sean: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 [+] |
...

Oregon Fails to Pull its Head Out



In local news Oregon suffers the worst economy in the nation. Oregon has the highest unemployment rate and likely the highest number of "silently unemployed" (those who have been out of work so long they do not get to claim benefits and so do not appear in the official numbers). Oregon has no Sales Tax, light Property Tax, and bottom of the middle of the pack in Income Tax nation wide. Voters regularly defeat every Sales Tax proposal that comes along, while successfully capping their property taxes at 5%, and they turn down nearly every school and fire levy on a regular rotating bases.

One county in the East actually voted down a LAST DITCH levy to keep their sheriff’s offices open, when it failed the sheriff had to lock the doors and leave town. The State Police followed this with an order to our handful of State Troopers NOT to respond to calls in this county as they were gunna be damned to play "default police" to a county so selfish and stupid.

Well, today Oregon suffers the effects of a crashing stock market and imploding high tech companies with the expected results of a failing State retirement fund, disappearing revenues and high social demands. Unable to ever think ahead during boom times Oregon has zero buffer in the budget. In fact, every year any "excess" tax revenues are actually paid BACK to the tax payers, as a hundred dollar "kicker"



Kicker -the state budget office has to give an estimate as to its intake for the next year. And then, when more people move here, or the economy does better than expected, they take in more than this estimate,. The excess is called a "kicker" because some Republican at the capitol thought it should be "kicked back" to the tax payer as some sort of penalty for poor prognostication or math skills.


In this climate we will now shed another 50,000 (state) jobs and cancel services to the most needy of our citizens. An old lady who showed the newswoman a stack of pills and bottles and explained that she received a letter this month notifying her that she will lose he housing, her medical assistance, and her food budget. The newswoman asked, "what will you do now?" I guess I will probably die, replied the old lady. And to this the state voted "Get on with it woman!"


Makes me not want to be part of this number.

Sean: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 [+] |
...
Tuesday, January 28, 2003

I am borrowing liberaly from EjectEjectEject website... but I think this is important



Reasons for the upcoming Iraq war:

1. The impending military action is not the pre-emptive opening of hostilities against a sovereign nation, but rather the continuation of hostilities began by Iraq in 1990 with their invasion of Kuwait; said resumption being a direct result of repeated and flagrant violations of the ceasefire signed by Iraq in 1991.

2. Failure to turn over known WMD components, and not the failure of UN Inspectors to find them, puts Iraq in material breach of UN Resolution 1441 and authorizes the US and her allies to enforce previous UN resolutions by means of military force.

3. Saddam Hussein has the means and the motivation to develop nuclear weapons, and there is irrefutable evidence that he has tried to do so. He has shown staggering errors in judgment and a belief in his own personal infallibility by attacking Iran, Kuwait, and Israel. Iraq attaining nuclear capability therefore provides a potent and immediate threat to our allies in the region and the vital interests of the United States.

4. Saddam Hussein shows irrefutable signs of mental impairment in the form of Clinical Paranoia and Narcissistic Disorder. Given control of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, his temptation to use them against the US on American soil is not mitigated by normal behavioral inhibitors, and indeed is amplified by his aberrant mental state. This poses a potent, immediate and intolerable threat to the safety and security of the people of the United States.

5. Saddam has repeatedly shown his contempt and bitter disregard for the welfare of his own people. He has totally neglected all of the misery they have endured since his ascension to power, and is therefore



Reasons not go to war:

1. Innocent people, innocent children will die in this war.

That is true. Innocent people will die at our hand. But let us never forget that action is visible and direct, but that inaction also bears consequences.

We will do everything in our power to limit civilian causalities in this war. In fact, during the days and weeks ahead, we will see something unheard of in military history: a campaign designed not only to minimize civilian casualties, but one aimed at killing as few enemy soldiers as possible. We have already dropped leaflets on Iraqi regular army units, telling them that if they remain in their positions they will not be harmed, but if they mass for a counterattack, we will destroy them. As Steven Den Beste repeatedly has pointed out, they have recent experience in this matter, both with our destructive capabilities and our generosity and kindness to prisoners of war.

Those that do chose to fight will be the hard core element of Saddam’s blood-stained police state, the sadists and executioners who have tortured and murdered their own people on Saddam Hussein’s orders for decades. Don’t forget that. Don’t forget the number that have disappeared in the night during his monstrous reign of terror. Don’t forget well-documented, disgustingly common accounts of the children tortured to death in front of their parents, of girls raped in front of their fathers, not to mention the roll-calls of horror that will emerge when that evil is finally swept away.

And finally, don’t forget your friends and family, the good people you work and play with, the innocent men women and children of New York or Los Angeles or Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Boston, or whichever city we may condemn to radioactive vapor because we were too cowardly and indecisive to act on what we knew to be a threat.



2. We have thousands of nuclear weapons…it’s hypocritical to say Iraq cannot have them also.

We have had nuclear weapons for almost sixty years now. They have been used, twice, within the first days of that ownership to end the most horrible war in history and prevent many times the number of casualties, on both sides, that would have been lost had the war continued through the invasion of Japan. Despite many provocations, they have not been used since then. We have had Chemical weapons for even longer.

Saddam, on the other hand, used his chemical weapons the instant he got his hands on them: first on the Iranians and then on his own Kurds – this after not once being used by any nation in the desperate six decades between 1920 through 1980. What does that tell you?
Many adults are given alcohol, credit cards, automobiles, guns and jet aircraft, once they have shown themselves worthy of the responsibility. We do not put these things in the hands of four year olds, and with very good reason. It may seem hypocritical to you; to me, the idea of keeping a drunken second-grader from waving around a loaded automatic while behind the controls of a hurtling 747 just makes sense.



3. This war is all about oil.

Demonstrably false for the reasons listed above. Nevertheless, let’s grant the premise. Oil is the only power source currently available to meet the needs of our post-industrial society. Not only our automobiles depend on this oil: it is also a primary source of electrical energy in this country, and is essential to the plastics we use in everything from MRI machines to CD players.

To say this war is all about oil is factually identical to saying that this war is all about maintaining our society and lifestyle. If that is not worth fighting for, what is? One may find that offensive ideologically, but my experience with the people who have SPLIT WOOD NOT ATOMS on their bumper stickers have actually split very little wood in their lives. If one feels deeply about NO BLOOD FOR OIL, you must either drive a solar-powered electric car, ride a horse or a bicycle, or walk. You must remove your home from the city power grid. You must discard all plastic items. You must also abandon television, radios and movies, all of which rely on electricity generated by oil. You must forgo modern medicine, surgery and dentistry, likewise driven by oil-fired electricity at many stages. You must grow your own food.

Do all of these things, and you will have my frank admiration for your dedication to a moral cause. Do anything less and you are a hypocrite mouthing an easy lie in an attempt to strike a pose of moral superiority.



4. We need a ‘smoking gun’ from the UN inspectors.

It is clear from documented reports of bribery attempts on UN Inspectors on the part of the Iraqis, to French inspectors tipping off Saddam about team destinations, that to accept this argument we de facto lose the game. This is why it is so popular. It ignores reams of testimony from defecting scientists, and all of the other evidence stated above. In fact, it raises the question that ignoring such a mountain of existing evidence requires such a willful burying of one’s head in the sand as to make any proof insufficient. To such people, the smoking gun they require is a pile of radioactive rubble where Tel Aviv once stood, or legions of dead commuters in the London Underground, or the wildfire spread of smallpox through greater Chicago and beyond. Scores of independent sources repeatedly and emphatically demonstrate that Iraq has massive quantities of biological and chemical weapons, and is working frantically to attain nuclear ones.

Those unconvinced by the existing evidence will be convinced by nothing less than their actual use against our military or civilians.
To hell with those people.



5.The United States has no right to launch a pre-emptive attack; we can only respond if we are attacked.

This is the most pernicious and dangerous argument of all, because it plays directly into our natural revulsion at being an aggressor and causing the deaths of innocent civilians.

As I mentioned, I see both Iraq’s attack on Kuwait, and the Islamicist attacks on 9/11, as the pre-emptive attacks that started this pending conflict. But perhaps you do not buy that argument. Well, consider this:

We were attacked before, on December 7th, 1941, by a vast navy that had been assembling for years. We watched the Japanese build the Pearl Harbor fleet. We did nothing. We – the French and English especially – also did nothing as a bitter and vengeful Germany grew stronger and more daring. Appeasement was all the rage back then.

In the years following that naval sneak attack, and after a war in which unchecked militarism nearly brought civilization to ruin, it made sense to think that we could stay free by being strong enough to deter or repel any invasion. We would do – indeed, we have done – whatever it took to create a defense so formidable that the mere idea of defeating it has become unthinkable, and to willingly provoke it becomes an act of state suicide.

Those days are gone.

We face an enemy willing – eager – to carry a suitcase into Times Square, press a button, and in one millisecond inflict more casualties on the United States than we have seen in all the wars of our history, combined.
It is an image so horrible that many simply refuse to believe it.
Believe it.

We ignore September 11th at our mortal peril. We no longer have the luxury of watching an enemy build military and naval strength over years or decades. We no longer face uniformed divisions massing at the borders. We face instead a group of depraved murderers to whom nothing is off-limits, who fear no earthly retribution, who love and glorify death for its own end and who hate not only all that we do, but all that we are with a black bitterness that we cannot begin to imagine.



Sean: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 [+] |
...
Omyfarkingword! Iran and Iraq are scheduled to co-CHAIR, that’s right, CHAIR, the 25th annual UN Conference on Disarmament in May.You have to hand it to them boys at the UN, they got balls the size of coconuts!

Iraq and Iran have broken ALL of this conference’s past achievements.

• Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

• Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques

• Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction

• Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction

• Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/01/28/sprj.irq.disarmament.conference/index.html

http://michaeltotten.blogspot.com/2003_01_26_michaeltotten_archive.html#90246708

http://www.houseofplum.com/plumcrazy/archives/000442.html#000442

The UN is WORSE than a joke.

Sean: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 [+] |
...
JOHN O'SULLIVAN does some dreaming in chicago about the prospect for the US halting EU aggression...

You know, it has occurred to me for a while now as a vague feeling, but I will put it into words now. Germany and Russia have won the REAL world war. Europe is now fast becoming a Franco-German swimming pool and it is being organized around a socialist regime that would probably make Lenin smile.

And on the other hand we have the Anglosphere. I see a day in which the EU is a real nation. And I don’t see England in it. In fact, I see much more Anglo-American cooperation, including Australia, NZ, and Canada.

And then there is China, slowly swallowing Asia.

And Africa and the Mid East are fast falling into racial/religious barbarism, and they have the world’s oil.

Anyone who sees in this future a Pax UN is lying to themselves. NOTHING will stop war in this Brave New World.

Sean: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 [+] |
...
France as a rougue nation...

PARIS, ALONE [Andrew Stuttaford]
In a possibly unique achievement even for that somewhat difficult country France seems to be in the process of simultaneously falling out with both the US and the EU. Chirac's problems with the US are well-known, but his, er, unilateral insistence on inviting Mugabe to a summit in Paris is (the Daily Telegraph reports) proving irritating even to the usually supine Europeans.


Sean: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 [+] |
...
Jonah Does the French, Again... hilarious, serious, accurate.

Sean: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 [+] |
...

The town of Biltmore Forest has just decided that their wild neighbors, the deer, have just become too much of a pain in the ass, and has ordered them shot on sight.

That is correct, a city named after its wild setting has had enough of the wild. When will we learn that "forest management" and "suburban community" are both oxymorons?


Sean: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 [+] |
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Monday, January 27, 2003

Why War?


Sean: Monday, January 27, 2003 [+] |
...

Michael J Totten has finally given up on the UN



When will EVERYONE finally realize that that the UN is yet another FAILURE by the Civilized World to ASK the Uncivilized World to "play ball". The UN is worse than a failure, ala the League of Nations. We need to fold up the UN and repo that valuable NY real estate. The next version of the Earth Federation should REQUIRE that the members have DEMOCRACY!


Sean: Monday, January 27, 2003 [+] |
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"Hitchens on Apeaceniks"



"If the counsel of the peaceniks had been followed, Kuwait would today be the nineteenth province of Iraq (and on his own recently produced evidence, Saddam Hussein would have acquired nuclear weapons). Moreover, Bosnia would be a trampled and cleansed province of Greater Serbia, Kosovo would have been emptied of most of its inhabitants, and the Taliban would still be in power in Afghanistan. Yet nothing seems to disturb the contented air of moral superiority which surrounds those who intone the ‘peace’ mantra."



And a possible future for Iraq if these peace nuts are ignored?

"Recently I sat down with my old friend Dr Barham Salih, who is the elected Prime Minister of one sector of Iraqi Kurdistan. Neither he nor his electorate could be mentioned if it were not for the ‘no-fly’ zones imposed as an unintended result of the last Gulf War. In his area of Iraq, ‘regime change’ has already occurred. There are dozens of newspapers, numerous radio and TV channels, satellite dishes, Internet cafes. Four female judges have been appointed. Almost half the students at the University of Suleimaniya are women.

Salih has been through some tough moments in his time. Most of the massacres and betrayals of the Kurdish people of Iraq took place with American support or connivance. But the Kurds have pressed ahead with regime change in any case. Surely a ‘peace movement’ with any principles should be demanding that the United States not abandon them again?"



In sum?

"Instead, there is a self-satisfied isolationism to be found, across the west. But the option of a quiet life disappeared on 11 September 2001. The United States is now at war with the forces of reaction. Nobody is entitled to view this battle as a spectator. The Union under Lincoln wasn’t wholeheartedly against slavery. The USA under Roosevelt had its own selfish agenda even in combating Hitler and Hirohito. The hot-and-cold war against Stalinism wasn’t free of blemish and stain. How much this latest crisis turns into an even tougher war with reaction, at home or abroad, could depend partly upon those who currently think that it is either possible or desirable to remain neutral."



Sean: Monday, January 27, 2003 [+] |
...

According to CBS News the upcoming US Coalition now counts troops from Britain, Australia and the Czech Republic and bases provided by Kuwait, UAE, Quatar, and Saudi Arabia.


Also, according to CBS the US plans to "bypass the Iraqi people and military" by firing 300-400 cruise missiles A DAY upon Iraqi leadership targets... man that is a lot of burning "palaces"!


CBS gets the language right "Iraq Plays To Mixed Reviews At U.N." Indeed, its a "performance" isn’t it?


US finally reveals a little taste of their "proof" against Saddam


From CBS News
"National Security Correspondent David Martin reports the Bush administration has gathered what it says is new evidence it hopes will help convert the doubters:


The National Security Agency has reportedly eavesdropped on Iraqis talking about hiding material from the inspectors at the same time they are cooperating with them, although officials say it's not always clear exactly what it is the Iraqis are hiding.

U.S. officials say they also have evidence Iraq is harboring members of al Qaeda. One senior leader lost a leg to U.S. bombing in Afghanistan and received medical treatment in Baghdad. He then went to northeastern Iraq and joined a group that has links to al Qaeda and is suspected of having provided the deadly biological agent ricin to alleged terrorists recently arrested in London.

Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix has said Iraq is importing parts for a missile called the al Samoud, which has a range greater than the permitted 150 kilometers.?


Sean: Monday, January 27, 2003 [+] |
...

A recent discussion on Talk of the Nation had me yelling at the radio!



Host Neal Conan covered the UN Iraq report with quests Mike Shuster, Walter Russell Meade, and Jacqueline Grapin. You can listen here.



The nuts and soup of this discussion was the assessment that the Blix report details that the Iraqi regime is in "material breach" of UN Resolution 1441 because they have not disarmed and ended all programs to develop and use WMD.


That they have not disarmed is the conclusion reached by Blix himself. First, he notes that Saddam has not provided detailed, accurate, and COMPLETE information on his weapons programs. Nor has he allowed unfettered access to the inspectors to verify their claims to have disarmed.


Blix also noted that it is NOT the job of the Inspectors to continue to "search in the dark" but is rather the job of Saddam himself to "turn the lights on" and show that they are actively complying with the will of the "international community."


The commentators also noted that Saddam's refusal to allow air inspection over flights and his continued refusal to allow unfettered access to Iraqi scientists are sufficient to hold his government in breach. And, being in breach is sufficient to cancel the cease fire that temporarily halted the 1991 Gulf War.


Then they took a caller who drove me nuts. This man was nearly in tears, stridently warning that an upcoming war would be bad for America, specifically tourists in Paris. The man went on to declare the US a "Rogue Nation". Neal then asked the man if he would support a war if the UN signed off on it. The caller responded immediately, "Oh, sure".


What I yelled at the radio was "the UN Security Council are not demi-gods on high with special insight and absolute moral authority!" My holler was followed by Neal's guest noting "The UN Security Council are not archangels." He, (Mike?) noted that the Security Council are ultimately a political lot. Sure, they can be motivated by the moral stance of their nation. But often enough they simply seek petty economic and political gain for their home regime (most of which are NOT democracies). In the end he thinks the SC will ultimate back the US if we can offer them enough loot and influence in a Post-Saddam Iraq.


What struck me were the twin wonder's of the Appeasenick Left (and the isolationist Right as well). Namely, first, a fear of our becoming a "rogue nation" and this hurting our "public image" abroad and second a glowing love, neh reverense for the UN and its "Security Council".


Please, let me point something out to everyone... We ARE a "rogue nation," we always have been, and we should be proud! When the US fought for its independence we were the first modern nation to break with autocratic, monarchial rule. We were the first nation to declare unalienable Human Rights. We were the first nation to establish a separation of Church and State. We were the first nation to put Liberty above Security. And we stood alone in Europe and in the world. In fact, autocrats throughout Europe labeled us a Rogue Naiton and signed treaties, read: International Law, establishing a mutual defense pact against us, the Rogue Nation!


More to the point, we then followed with 200 years of "upsetting the apple cart" of European hegemony and imperialism world wide. We sided with Texans against the Mexican Empire, Cubans against the Spanish Empire, and Free French against German Empire -twice. We also, little remarked, forced France and Britain to cut back on their Imperial play in the Middle East, forcing Britain out of Iraq and France out of Syria, and stopping both from playing Israel as a pawn against Egypt. We then made that last, most famous, of Cold Wars against Russian Communist Imperialism. And lately we have stood up against Slobo, Saddam, and Mullah Omar. We are THE quintessential Rogue Nation.


And today we remain the first amongst Rogues. We stand in a UN Security Council that is dominated by thuggish regimes. Russia, the once-great Empire, who is busy fighting its own "dirty war" in Chechnya -where language, race, and religion define the terms of the conflict, and to which they brook absolutely NO external influence from the US or the UN on how they bomb Grosny flat. The Chinese Empire, who invade Tibet, who crushed their own internal political dissent and agitation for Democracy with tanks, and who torture Christians by making them kneel in prayer and then breaking their ankles -all with out a second word to International Law and the UN. And France, the "civilized Empire", who maintained colonies in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia until the 70's -and who recently sent troops to enforce a hated peace plan in Sierra Leone (where there have been riots in the capitol against the French "militarily dictated" plan) -without a second thought of UN approval and "multi-lateralism".

These nations (and Germany) are the people to which this well-intentioned Liberal caller would capitulate to. If they say war in Iraq is ok, then "yeah, sure!" One wonders what the anti-war crowd eats for breakfast!


Sean: Monday, January 27, 2003 [+] |
...

Good People Behaving Badly



There has been a recent spat of back and forth letters in The Nation recently. In a recent letter printed by the nation, Studs Terkel, a famous American radio interviewer, sells out his old friend Christopher Hitchens, the most famous British columnist in America.



The basic point that Studs makes is that he doesn’t like the fact that Chris has become bellicose in his middle age. Ok, REALLY, Stud's main point is that he doesn’t like that Chris backs Bush on the upcoming finale to the Gulf War.



To make his point Studs notes that Chris recently got into a hard biting argument with The Nation's Katha Pollit in which he said something mean about Gore Vidal -Studs was offended by what he thought was a "rabbit punch" (i.e bellow the belt, i.e. unfair).)



Ok, so to set the record straight here... Chris did not saying anything especially harsh about Vidal. Rather, he answer's Pollit’s question about what was wrong with the Left, and with the Nation magazine in particular, these days. His response was to note, correctly, that the Nation has published a string of Lefties commenting on the war. He says "I have read Gore Vidal's dark suggestion that September 11 was prearranged" (which is an accurate description of Vidal's stance. He finished by stating, as an answer to Pollit’s rhetorical question "why'd you leave the magazine Chris?" that he simply couldn’t continue to keep that company and didn’t think that he was talking to the right audience) specifically he noted the string of 9-11 apologist letters reprinted by the magazine).



In response Studs chooses to reveal a private exchange that he had with Chris in a moment of drunken vanity many years back. In which Chris, accurately, confided to Studs that some British and American reviewers had favorably compared him to Vidal and had even named him a possible successor.



Stud's reveals this anecdote, as he claims, as a way of showing Chris that "rabbit punches" can go both ways. He then precedes to offer, and then retract, Chris a fresh seat at the "left hand side of the bar" if he will only drop his silly youthful indiscretion of backing the war.



All of this was a bit of an intimate insight into how two men of letters can fight publicly. Frankly, it has given me a rather bad taste in the mouth. One wishes to believe that one's heroes are perfect, I realize this cant be true, but I hated to intercept this missive.



I must say, however, that Chris's reply was a bit more courteous.


Sean: Monday, January 27, 2003 [+] |
...

I didnt think this was possible... but... Japan's interest rate fell BELOW 0% over the week end! It may be a taste of what is to come for the US if corporations dont start hiring people back on and producing products!


Sean: Monday, January 27, 2003 [+] |
...
Go see Andrew Sullivan today.

Check out his bit on Bush's upcomming State of the Union and the Iraq War... part deux. Its a keeper.

Sean: Monday, January 27, 2003 [+] |
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Saturday, January 25, 2003

MY Political Rant of the Day


Preservation vs. Progress


Occasionally it is useful to restate an issue at its simplest form. Today I believe the world is on the knife-edge between two views of History. Interestingly it is one of the oldest questions of Judeo-Christianity. The essential question is: “Are humans good or bad?”

If you believe that humans are essentially selfish and cruel then you would tend to fear the idea of people creating a government to suit their needs and to answer to them. You would look for an exceptional individual who seems to be above the human condition, a prophet or a king blessed by God.

If you believe that humans are essentially good and interested in social justice then you would cherish the idea of people creating their own government and you would reject the advances of any men who see themselves, or are seen by others, to be exceptional and strive for ultimate authority.

In the West the two camps are the Liberal and the Conservative parties. Being a rather secular political system in the West we might suffer a bit from labels and rhetoric obscuring the essential nature of this divide.

In the Middle East things are much more obvious. There, the two camps are the religious fascists and the Democracy advocates (the Reform Movement in Iran, for example)..

So, now we must face our ideological confusion.

G W Bush, the paragon of the Right, the man of Conservative Values, has been championing the right of Afghans, Iraqis, and even Palestinians to challenge their governments and establish a state based on their own consent.

Then we have Liberals from France, Germany, Canada, and even Australia, the UK, and the US all arguing that not upsetting the apple cart is the most important thing. Their mantra is “peace at all costs”, or at least lack of support for war no matter what.

This is, quite frankly, preposterous, and more than a little dangerous. So, to set the record straight, here is a basic Civic History lesson (If you already know all this stuff, you can skip directly to the test at the end).


Liberalism


Main Entry: lib·er·al·ism
Pronunciation: 'li-b(&-)r&-"li-z&m
Function: noun
Date: 1819


1. A political theory based on belief in progress, on the natural goodness of humans, the autonomy of the individual, and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.

The great proponent of this theory was John Locke, a 17th century English philosopher. He wrote many essays on government and political theory. He proposed that humans were born with Natural Rights. He suggested that just governance relied upon a "social contract" whereby the people granted authority to the state in exchange for the state protecting their liberties and developing the progress of their society.



This is essentially the political theory of Hope.



No Original Sin: Liberals believe in the natural goodness and potential of humankind.

Reason: Liberals hold that individuals choose their values based upon personal experience, third party advice, and ultimately intellect, logic, and reason.

Progress: Liberals believe in the perfectibility of man and of systems of government and ethical institutions such as the Church and the State.

Rights of Man: Liberals hold that the duty of government is to protect the Liberties of its subjects.

Authority by Consent: Liberals accept no inherent right to govern coming from God, military power, or simply tradition. Rather, Liberalism asserts that the right to govern comes from the consent of the governed. Essentially that people accept the authority of political intuitions in exchange for those institutions protecting the liberty of the individual and working towards the perfection of human society, i.e. the “social contract”.

Right to Change: Liberals assert that when government fails to meet the needs of the people it may be changed, quickly and drastically if necessary. Essentially this is the “right to revolt”

The Duty to Assist: Liberals believe in the right of ALL PEOPLES to be governed by a consensual political order and that it is the DUTY of all Free Peoples to assist in the liberation and progressive development of all other humans on Earth.



Conservatism


Main Entry: con·ser·va·tism
Pronunciation: k&n-'s&r-v&-"ti-z&m
Function: noun
Date: 1835


1. A political disposition based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, distrust of government activism, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change.

One of the most influential Conservatives was Edmund Burke, an Englishman born in Ireland in the 18th century. He witnessed the French Revolution and critcised it as a "break with history". He was a proponent of gradual political change and reform.



This is essentially the political theory of Fear.



Original Sin: Conservatives believe that man is inherently corrupt, dishonest, selfish, and evil.

Tradition: Conservatives assert that a person should accept the values and customs handed down to them by tradition and that ultimately values are “what feels right” and should not be rationally questioned.

Establishment: Conservatives believe that human nature cannot be changed and that societies cannot improve over time, the duty of a Conservative is to preserve what we have now as the very best, or even to revert to a past glory day.

Property Rights: Conservatives hold that the duty of government is to enforce private property rights.

The Right to Rule: Conservatives accepts that those in power have been granted authority by God, or by the prior authority of the last ruler, or by the might of their military, political, economic power.

Preservation: Conservatives resist change and fight to preserve the status quo. They DO allow for change, but only at the slowest and most gradual pace. A Conservative will work to avoid civil strife, uncertainty, and instability at the expense of social justice.

Non-Intervention: Conservatives do not believe in risking the security of their state to assist people in neighboring states in transformation or revolution. Oddly, historically, as with the Holy Alliance of Russia, Prussia, and Austria in 1815, Conservatives WILL risk money and men to help a neighbor preserve their status quo.

So, based on the above information how do you rate yourself? Hopeful, or fearful? Now, do you support the overthrow of Saddam or no? And are you willing to risk their lives and ours to do it?


Sean: Saturday, January 25, 2003 [+] |
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The BBC Confirms Saddam Has WMD and is Planning to Use Them Against US Forces...



The Iraqi National Congress handed over documents this week that were smuggled out of Baghdad military offices. They were then verified by three BBC experts as authentic. They detail the preparation for using chemical weapons against US forces. And they reveal that elite Republican Guard units have been issued the drug atropine, a nerve gas antidote.

Meanwhile the UN continues to pretend that Baghdad is cooperating and has made a good show of convincing the "inspectors" that Saddam doesn’t have any WMD.

And the every stalwart defenders of Saddam in the House of Commons say "Hey, they are just defending themselves"

And American appeasenicks say "See, fighting in the streets will be bloody indeed!"

Hey Saddam is a thug, he has WMD, and he is planning to use them. This is what the "idiot' in the Oval Office has been telling us for years now. It takes the BBC to make it true? Oh, no wait, it still isn’t true for those who don’t want to believe it, or if it is it somehow STILL supports THEIR point of view!!??? This is getting to be too much!


Sean: Saturday, January 25, 2003 [+] |
...

Best New Products Catagory

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(these links provided for free)




Sean: Saturday, January 25, 2003 [+] |
...
Friday, January 24, 2003

Making a Straw Man to Beat Ourselves With



I was reading John Derbyshire in the National Review today. He mentions that many Brits report to poll queries that they will not support a war in Iraq with out UN backing.


Derb, "The Anglosphere Goes To War" (10/8/01):

"A lot of these people [i.e. Tony Blair's Labour party] were choking on their tea and crumpets listening to Blair's speeches in support of the war. Those not actually pacifist are generally anti-military and anti-American. ... Things are not quite as bad as in the Vietnam War, when Prime Minister Harold Wilson made all the right noises on behalf of Lyndon Johnson but dared not commit any troops for fear of an uprising by his Labour Party rank and file. Still, Blair can only take his party so far on this one, and we do not yet know how far that will be.

"The Daily Telegraph recently surveyed 74 constituency Labour party chairmen. [Note: For electoral purposes, the U.K. is divided into 659 districts, called "constituencies." Each district returns a member to the House of Commons. Of these 659 members, 410 currently belong to Blair's Labour party.] Of these constituency party bosses:

· 69 percent said that war with Iraq would cause resignations among their party members.
· 5 percent said they would resign themselves if there was a war.
· 89 percent opposed any war not authorized by an explicit U.N. resolution.

"Three members of Blair's own cabinet have publicly warned him that his war policy is in deep trouble. A TV poll turned up 80 percent of the British public opposed to war without a U.N. resolution. Blair's foreign secretary last week said he thought the chances of a war were "60-40 against." Another cabinet minister declared on Sunday that it was Britain's "duty" to act as a restraining influence on Washington. The chairman of Blair's party has said that a way must be found between the two "extremes" of rushing into war and refusing to accept that military action might be necessary. Even Blair's chiefs of staff are unenthusiastic about a war. The Telegraph reports one saying that: "The country doesn't have the stomach for a war in Iraq at the moment and frankly neither do many senior officers." You get the picture. And this is our most-willing ally!"


In fact, many Liberals (and Conservatives to boot) express that the only thing stopping them from supporting this war is "Unilateralism" and the UN. The suggestion seems to be that if only the UN would sign off and other nations would join us, this would make the war ok.

No matter if the evidence of WMD is still kept secret. No matter the current status of debates into Saddam's "real level of threat" visa vie nukes in the Liberal Salons of the Internet.

This strikes me as either incredibly stupid or incredibly dishonest.

And I am also struck by the similarity of the status of the UN in these people's minds to that of "smart bombs"

Let me explain.

Smart bombs are our creation, both the actual missiles and their image in the minds of the public. Today it is seen as a "tragedy" beyond words when a bomb dropped from 15,000 ft strikes a school and not an armory. Which it is, of course. But the key is that it is seen as an AVOIDABLE tragedy. Never mind that the bad guys purposely built the armory next to the school, or vise versa. Our bombs are SMART, we all saw this on TV during the Gulf War, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. So, there is no excuse for such "realities of war".

Only the thing is, few of our bombs have actually been "smart" (until, they tell us, right now). And even those "smart" bombs still retain error rates. For one thing they remain programmed and fired by real live, fallible, humans.

But we are reaping what we have sown as far as public perception goes.

And then we have the UN. We created this beast after WWII and we are the ones who continue to pretend that ourselves, and every other nation, should be bound by it. On the face of it the UN sounds like the panacea of Liberal values. Here we have a gathering of world leaders who's sole purpose (in the eyes of the public) is to stop wars! Oh happy days!

But the reality is that not one representative to the UN is elected. And of those governments with a man in NY, less than half are Liberal Democracies. And the majority of UN time and energy is given over to economic development of the Third World.

Furthermore, the only leaders who find their activities hampered in any way by the UN are the leaders of the "Free World". Neither Slobo, Saddam, Komeini, or Kim Il Sung worry one night's sleep over whether or not they have UN approval. That sort of headache is reserved for ol' W. In fact, the UN protected Slobo and may yet save Saddam, and it might cost Tony Blair his reelection.

Do we see a pattern here?

The UN is not what the public perceives it to be. But we are being hung on the cross of its fictitious image.


Sean: Friday, January 24, 2003 [+] |
...

News Flash



It has just been decided by the EU that Britain is NOT an Island.



Britain 'is not an island' claims EU
By Richard Savill
(Filed: 23/01/2003)



European Commission statisticians have decided that Britain is not an island. They say an island can not have fewer than 50 permanent residents, can not be attached to the mainland by a rigid structure, can not be less than a kilometre from a mainland and, crucially in the case of Britain, can not be home to the capital of an EU state.

Their study has raised fears that Anglesey and Skye, which are linked by bridges, and Lundy, which has a population of 18, could lose their island status.

Paul Roberts, Lundy's general manager, said: "It's an absolute nonsense to say we are not an island. "Lundy means 'Puffin Island' in Norse and nothing can take that away from us."

Caroline Jackson, a Tory MEP for the South-West, said: "There is no smoke without fire. If there is anything in this, it may be that the Commission is trying to cut down on expenditure ahead of enlargement, by cutting back on the priorities island communities are sometimes given.

"The suggestion that an island is not an island because it is too small or has a fixed link to the mainland seems to be eccentric."

The European Commission said last night that the Union did not use physical geography as a criterion for regional aid. It said a definition of islands was used in a technical study by statisticians "looking at the economic situation of the islands of Europe".




I realize that this may be confusing for some of you.. but just keep in mind the EU also considers Saddam NOT a Threat!


Sean: Friday, January 24, 2003 [+] |
...

The Empire vs. the Rebels



Think about this question for a moment... "The Empire has moved troops into Acer. The rebels are fleeing." Is this good news or bad news for you? Why?


Americans have been brought up on a Star Wars view of the universe. The Empire is always an evil power and the Rebels are always the good guys. Heck we even took this to the Wild West and made heroes out of horse thieves, bank robbers, kidnappers, rapists, and murders. There are more than a few Western movies where the bad guy is the Sheriff and the hero wears a mask!


I think some of this comes from our history as a nation. We were born out of a conflict between American rebels, dressed up in Indian costumes and vandalizing ships, versus the British Empire with its greedy king, its dismissive parliament, and its hated "redcoats". We then fought on the side of Texan rebels against the Mexican Empire and on behalf of Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Philippine colonists against the Spanish Empire. The World Wars could both be seen as fighting the Second and Third German Empires. Then we defended Bosnians and Albanians against the Serb "empire". And in Afghanistan we liine up with the bandits in the hills against the totalitarian powers in Kabul


So it seems rather natural that Americans picture Darth Vader in one corner and Han Solo in the other.











But our view of the world may not be so accurate.


The Roman Empire was not always ruled by an emperor. For much of its life the Empire was a rather benign master comprised of elected leaders and ruled by the vote. The Empire often fought neighboring regimes that we would never find ourselves rooting for. These enemies of the Empire included the Persians, Carthage, and brutal northern tribes. Many were ruled by absolute monarchs, practiced Slavery, and performed ritual human sacrifice.


On the other hand, when Rome won it regularly granted citizenship to the conquered and brought advances in agriculture, road building, and the rule of law to the conquered lands. Rome even offered religious freedom for many centuries up to its conversion to Christianity. Quite arguably, for centuries, the Empire was in fact "the good guys".


Similarly, the history of the British Empire was also not all black. Part of the common heritage of the Commonwealth nations included English as a lingua franca, modern civil infrastructure, rail links, democracy, a Free Press, and the Rule of Law. To this day many nations retain this heritage.


And when the US fought the Mexicans, the Spanish, and the South it was our "American Empire" that fought for Liberty and Human Rights, an end to brutal Colonialism, an end to Slavery, and to bring Democracy to the oppressed.


In truth, the rebels of today are not fighting for the little guy, they are not driven by nationalism, or even a simple love of personal Freedom. No, by their own words, these rebels would subvert and bring down democracy and replace it with theocracy. They would severely restrict personal liberty, indeed end this right for all women and religious minorities. They would end the Free Press altogether. And they would replace voluntary, changeable, civilian Law with one man's interpretation of an ancient religious text. Worse, they would eventually unite all Islamic governments into one single all world government.


Meanwhile the Empire in this case has already toppled a multitude of autocratic regimes. The Empire has freed millions of poor farmers, city folk and minorities. The Empire has fostered Democracy and the Free Market. And the Empire stands as the sworn enemy of some of the most brutal dictators this world has ever known... Slobo, Saddam, Mullah Omar, Kim Il Sung, etc.

So, what is a good Liberal-minded person to do with the idea that we might well be today's Empire and the Rebels are Islamofacists? Indeed, what DOES a good American Liberal do when it is the Empire that fights for Freedom and the Rebels who would enslave us all?


Sean: Friday, January 24, 2003 [+] |
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Link of the Day



This is a very cool site if you enjoy using unique fonts in your writing...


Sean: Friday, January 24, 2003 [+] |
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Thursday, January 23, 2003

At the risk of beating a dying horse...



I hear lefties babble on and on about "international law" and this or that American foreign policy maneuver being "illegal"... these people are full of hot air.

Listen... International Law is a fiction, a polite fiction. There is no World Government. At the very least there is no world government that good Liberal Americans should support. You and I elect no representatives to a world body. We elect no Head of State. There is only a meeting place of the agents of various world governments, most of which are autocracies, which gathers in NY and occasionaly throws money at a problem or signs off on miltary actions around the world. Exactly what the role of this group is and how valuable its approval might be is completley debatable.

In truth, International Law is not some monolithic, external force. The term "International Law" really refers to a body of treaties and organizations set up by state to state, and occasionally multilateral, treaties over the last several hundred years, most specificaly since WWII -only some 50 years ago. Unfortunately, or fortunately, there is no single external power to enforce these treaties. There is only the threat of military force posed by a handfull of the most powerful and active nations. With out these "globo-cops" you are reduced, ultimately, to constant state to state negotiations. At which point any pretence that there is something real called "International Law" that the US, or any other nation, may be violating falls flat on its face.

Currently Turkey, France, and Germany are all signatories to an international treaty called NATO... the North Atlantic Treaty Organization... which has multiple provisions for "automatic" mutual military support. Following hard on the heals of the 9-11 attacks on NY many NATO nations made a big show of "invoking" Article 5 -essentially claiming that they were honoring the original terms of the treat by providing military support to the US. However, when the US actually identified its attacker and mobilized troops for action these nations returned to the negotiating table to discuss if, how, and when they might help. Today the US is mobilizing to finish the Gulf War and we find Turkey once again negotiating and France and Germany all but telling the US to "shove it".

Need we any more visceral examples of the fact that International Law is not nearly as concrete as Lefties would like to pretend?

International treaties and organizations of diplomacy and arbitration are nice, and when they work to promote and secure the defense of Liberal Democracies I am all for them. But in the end there is nothing quite like the armies of Democracies marching in their own defense.



Sean: Thursday, January 23, 2003 [+] |
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Jonah Goldberg Takes the French to Task


"For some reason, many people think that anything said with a French accent or served with a slice of stinky cheese must be superior to anything on this side of the Atlantic. But the truth is that, according to the anti-war crowd's own standards, the French are worse than America."


and...


"In 1996, the French stopped helping to enforce the no-fly zones in the Kurdish north of Iraq, and in 1998 they withdrew from the Shiite south Iraq. France, a nation that bloviates about human rights deprivations in the United States every chance it gets, simply gave up doing its part to protect millions of people from Saddam's wrath."


I wonder why they would do that?


"Where Saddam rules, oil money goes to palaces and weapons. The French know this. As Kenneth Pollack details in his masterful book "The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq," France has been rewarded time and again for its feckless lapdoggism. "As a result of (France's) shameless pandering, the French have been the largest or second largest recipient of Iraqi oil-for-food contracts in every phase of the program.""


Indeed... well... that adds a certain "je ne sai quois" to the French foreign policy tune, eh?


Sean: Thursday, January 23, 2003 [+] |
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Corporate Misdeeds



Kmart exec to get post bancruptcy bonus of $1 million.



Corporate Anomolies



McDondalds loses money for the first time, ever. World to end sometime later tonight...


Sean: Thursday, January 23, 2003 [+] |
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Which model do you want in your neighborhood?



Model One




Model



Model Two




Model



Ok so none of us would choose the rocket? FYI its a design by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi for a NY City hotel circa 1908, never built... still, I would take the first model too.



Sean: Thursday, January 23, 2003 [+] |
...

Plus ca change, plus c'est la même chose



One more comment on France and Germany getting together to sneer at the US and the Uk. Times change.... then again: ""Plus ca change, plus c'est la même chose" -the more things change, the more they stay the same...

In the mid 18th century Europe was wracked by a series of rebellions, uprising, and revolts of the people against monarchs who were taxing too heavily to pay for intramural wars on the continent and colonial efforts abroad.

The response by the Austrian Emperor, The Tsar of Russia, and the King of Prussia was to form the Holy Alliance on September 26, 1815. The pact of the dictators was simple... if any monarch in Europe felt threatened by an uprising of their own people the allies would send men, arms, or money to help bolster that king. I guess these guys were afraid of a Domino Theory of their own and felt that intervention to support the status quo benefited all the autocrats of Europe and the world.

Within a few years ALL the monarchs of Europe signed up... except, interestingly, the King of England, the Sultan of Turkey, and the Pope (but only because he would have then had to recognize Portestant monarchs in order to sign a treaty with them). For more on the treaty go here.

Meanwhile the US was getting men and material support from France, France then followed with their own revolution to overthrow absolute monarchy and install Democracy. Liberty, Brotherhood, and Equality were the by words.

The values shared by this crowd were obvious... social values determined by individual reasoning, government by consent predicated on the fulfillment of a "social contract", and the right of the people to modify, change, or even overthrow the regime. Furthermore, the issue that so upset the Holy Alliance allies was that Liberal Democracies supported each other and the people of other tyrannies to overthrow their rulers.

Alas, France is fickle. No sooner did they free themselves from the abuse of the Sun Kings did they support the elevation of one Consul, Napoleon Bonaparte, to the rank and role of Emperor of France (and then of all Europe) in the early 19th century. I guess France still hadn’t made up its mind about Liberal Democracy after all. It should also be noted that it took an Anglo Alliance to bring Napoleon down.

By this time we can begin to see that, in truth, it is America and England that share a common dislike for tyranny, and regardless of retaining their Queen or King, we both truly support Liberalism and Democracy.

We see a frightening echo in Vichy France in WWII. Part of France must well have supported Germany's attempt to "unite Europe" and didn’t much mind aristocratic or autocratic rule. And once again, it was an Anglo Alliance that stopped tyranny.

Now we once again have Germany and France working on a united Europe. We also note that Chirac has been President of France for what, 150 years!? And Schroeder seems to be hanging on to power quite well also. And once again, the Holy Alliance is revived.... France, Germany, China, and Russia announce that they will block the overthrow of fellow autocrat Saddam Hussein.

Now we see the real heritage of Anglophone Earth... we actually back Liberalism and Democracy to the hilt, come high or hell water, we will even risk our lives and prosperity to save the French from themselves.


Sean: Thursday, January 23, 2003 [+] |
...

In honor of the French and the Germans getting together to put a stop to America's military efforts to liberate the Mid East...



I boldly snag an entire section from Tim Blair's blogg... sorry, Tim, I would simply link to it, but it is buried now by quite a few other posts... hope you dont mind. For those who want to read more excellent blogging from Tim, go here...

HAROLD PINTER'S celebrated anti-war poem begins with a sequence of oddly familiar images:

Here they go again,
The Yanks in their armoured parade
Chanting their ballads of joy
As they gallop across the big world
Praising America's God.

Which great artwork is Pinter echoing here, first with a bold announcement of presence and intention ("Here they go") and then with the happy singing, a parade, and random movement around the planet? Yes – it's the theme music from '60s sitcom The Monkees! Inspired by this realisation, culturally-alert Loretta Serrano sends a Monked-up counter-poem:

Here we come,
Rolling down the street.
We get the funniest looks from
All the French we meet.

Hey Hey, we're the Yankees
And liberals say they don't want our tanks,
But we're too busy saving
Your ass, and you don't say, "Thanks."

We go wherever we're needed,
Do what we have to do.
We don't have time for your whining,
Your cheese needs saving, too.

We're just trying to be friendly,
Sorry you don't like the smell,
But we're the ones who get dirty,
Protecting you from hell.

posted by Tim Blair at 10:07 AM



Sean: Thursday, January 23, 2003 [+] |
...
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Another reference to NPR, only this time a criticism....



Tony Gross had first-time novelist Christian Bauman on for Wednesday. "His book The Ice Beneath You is based on his experiences as a young army private in Somalia in 1993, and his difficult return to civilian life. Hubert Selby Jr., the author of Last Exit to Brooklyn, said of Bauman's novel, "Beautifully crafted, structured, and simple... It is a pleasure to read the work of a real writer." Bauman is also a folksinger and songwriter with a CD, Roaddogs, Assasins & The Queen Of Ohio."



It was an interesting discussion. But I have to say that I was struck by one of the most lame assumptions ever made. You see, she asserted that the Army was not filled with introspective men (and women) and that intelligence, introspection, and sensitivity were the bane of the soldier. Well, they are, but then the man she interviewed noted that a man with no introspection was a robot and the last thing you want in the army is a robot with a rifle. On the other perspective on the subject we have a long history of great writers and thinkers coming from the military.




Hemmingway - Italian Army, WWI

Mark Twain - American Civil War

Herman Melville American Civil War

Ralph Waldo Emerson - American Civil War

Walt Whitman - American Civil War

Andre Malraux - Cultural Revolution, Spanish Civil War

George Orwell - Spanish Civil War

Thomas Hardy - Boer War and WWI

Rudyard Kibling - Boer War and WWI

Robert Graces - WWI

Philip Larkin - WWI

Wilfred Owen - WWI

Robert Service - WWI

Dylan Thomas - WWII

Oriana Fallaci - World War 2 Italian Resistance

Tim O'Brien - Vietnam War




http://www.infosources.co.uk/120wp/wpauthor.htm.

http://www.americancivilwar.org.uk/articles/authors_at_war.htm

http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/mraye.html

http://www.giselle.com/oriana.html


Sean: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 [+] |
...

As noted by an Iranian speaker on NPR today:



Over 54% of Iranians agreed with Bush that their government is part of the Axis of Evil and they approve of his hard line stance against the government.



Talk of the Nation, Jan. 22, 2003



Afshin Molavi, author of Persian Pilgrimages: Journeys Across Iran (W.W. Norton, 2002) and independent journalist and Iranian-American



Patrick Clawson, Deputy Director for Research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (Washington, DC).



Bahman Baktiari, Professor of International Relations at the University of Maine and a specialist in Iranian Politics. (Iranian-American) and author of Parliamentary Politics in Revolutionary Iran: Institutionalization of Factional Politic.



Their topic today was the thesis that Iran is a nation of contradictions. Named by President Bush as part of the axis of evil, it's also regarded by many as a country with a burgeoning democracy. Host Neal Conan and guest discuss how this new development changes the threat Iran poses to the United States.



Interesting echoes may be found from Michael Rubin, adjunct scholar at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy



“State Department officials cringed when President Bush included Iran in the “Axis of Evil," while professors and commentators voiced righteous indignation. But ordinary Iranians overwhelmingly agree with Bush. He voiced what they have known for two decades.”



And from Ali Sarshar, an Iranian born sports journalist now living in Seattle writes into the Iranian.com with this opinion:



“In my view, we Iranians should be behind President Bush 100 percent. He is finally seeing and experiencing what we Iranians have seen and experienced for the past 23 years: an evil government that does everything imaginable to undermine the interest of the Iranian people. I don't, by any stretch of imagination support military action against my homeland. In my view, that just prolongs this illegitimate regime's stay in power. However; I fully support the President Bush's stance against the “Axis of Evil". Yes, let's call it what it is. An “axis of Evil”.”



Sean: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 [+] |
...
From Michael J. Totten's blog posted 5:06 PM.



He received a letter from a US Marine who notes that he often must explain to his fellow soldiers why he considers himself a Liberal. He explains:


" Typically reply that it was liberals who led the American Revolution, liberals who wrote the Constitution, liberals who ensured popular participation in politics, liberals who ended slavery, liberals who saved capitalism (twice!-Progressives and New Dealers), liberals who got the US into WW II, liberals who ensured that the Soviet Union would be contained so that it would rot in its own failures, and liberals who fought for Civil Rights. In short, I am a liberal because it is liberals who get things done, change things."



Mike, I think that you should send this man a reply that points him to the writings of Locke, Mill, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Humboldt, and Rawls. Or this website.



Excerpt: “‘By definition’, Maurice Cranston rightly pointed out, ‘a liberal is a man who believes in liberty’ (Cranston, 459).”



This site also notes the regional variations on Liberalism. In the UK Liberals stand for religious toleration, government by consent, personal and, especially, economic freedom. While in France, Liberals are much more secular and concerned with direct political democracy. In the US a Liberal combines a devotion to personal liberty with an antipathy to capitalism And in Australia Liberals tend to be much more sympathetic to capitalism but often less enthusiastic about civil liberties



Of course I ascribe to the most basic core definition, which contrasts Locke’s Liberalism to Burke’s Conservativism.

Simply put, a Liberal holds three core beliefs. First they believe that social values should be determined by the rational evaluation of the current generation. Second, that government has no inherent authority, but only earns its right to rule only be fulfilling a “social contract” (specifically that the government should be devoted to protecting personal liberties and to the “progress” of society). And third, that the citizens have the right to reform of overthrow that government (violently if need be) if it doesn’t serve the needs of the individual or outright abuses them. One should note that these people would lean towards a secular state, or at least one with a clear division of church and state, at the very least they believe that it is the service to the people that justifies a government’s rule. This makes the American Founders Liberals and oddly enough the Bush team as well.



On the other foot we have Conservatives who have three or four core beliefs as well. First, they believe that social values are created by emotional responses to past events and are handed down as through historical traditions (hence “traditional family values” etc), Second they believe that governments (usually monarchies or other forms of autocracy) have an inherent right to rule (usually granted by God). They also believe that government’s primary duty is to defend private property rights and constructive social order. Finally, they believe that rulers have an inherent, god given right to rule, which is given witness by their very political and military might. And theyt beleive that citizens have no inherent right to criticize or attack thiks government and that it can only be modified or reformed slowly over time by the rulers themselves in response to the needs of the state as a whole. Note that these people tend to believe that God acts through the government, or at least smiles upon it, and that the government has a role in making and enforcing religious rules. This would make the English Crown, the Ayatollah Khomeinii, and the Japanese Emperor all bedfellows.



Interesting, I think.


Sean: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 [+] |
...

Just a reminder here to the "peace folks":



We stopped carpet bombing civilians after Vietnam. There is very little likilihood that many Iraqi civilians will be harmed in the next round of the Gulf War.

The last war netted only 800-1500 civlian deaths. Saddam kills more Iraqis than that playing golf. He gassed over 15,000 Kurds in one day and 30,000 Sunis another. And due to Saddam more than one million Muslims died in the Iran/Iraq war.

So, when you whine about the US going over to Iraq, claiming that we will be "bombing baghdad" and killing "innocent Iraqis", well, you havent any idea what you are saying.

When peacenicks protest this war they are speaking out AGAINST every radical, Liberal, and leftist ideal that this nation has valued since our founding... the superiority of democracy as a political system, the right of a people to self-determination and nationalism, the right to overthrough tyranny with force, and the right of the existing democracies to help - even by sending troops.

When you say that this war is "bad" and that it is "against the Iraqi people" you must assume that we will all accept your premise that the Iraqis love Saddam, or even if they loath him that they would rather live under his thrall than risk their lives by being on the playing field during a US military action. I guess you think that only American's share the sentiments of Partick Henry "Give me Liberty or give me death!" Maybe you are one of those racist few who believe that only white people can ever aspire to live free?

This lefty claim was stood on its head only a year or so ago when an Afghan man stood on the rubble of his home, hit by an errant bomb, and urged America to not pause for Rammadan, he said the sooner you free us and I can bring my family home from Pakistan to rebuild, the better, keep bombing even if you hit my house again!

So dont hide behind a claim to "caring about the little people" and being moraly superior about oil... in truth you are simply an apologist for an evil dictator and an enemy of all people who aspire to freedom.

STFU!


Sean: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 [+] |
...

In other news, Australia is invading America...



Sean: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 [+] |
...
Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Anti-war protest in DC draws a wopping .007% of the nation... man them generals better look out!


Sean: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 [+] |
...

Looks like the Lefties will have to eat crow... (Sheryl Crow?).



See, for years, well since the Vietnam War, the Left has claimed that a disporportionate number of US soldiers are poor black men, ipso facto ANY use of American troops is a racist war.

Well, this might well have been so during the Draft of Vietnam. Then again, maybe not. I think the base for this belief was the assumption, probably correct, that rich white folks could work the system to keep their kids out of the Draft.

But today this issue SHOULD be moot, we have an all volunteer professional army, any arguments over its make up visa vie the general population should be sent to bed.

On the other hand... it now turns out that the entire argument is completely bogus. Today, while blacks make up a slightly larger percentage of the US Army then they do the general public (28% to 20% or so), in truth most of these blacks persue marketable positions which put them in a support role in military activity, and most of the front line, cannon fodder, combat men are white, more so then white people make up the general population. So, now who's getting screwed? Are the white lefties going to feel just as comfortable complaining that US wars are racist because Whitie is getting shot out of proportion to their make up of the general public?

Come on, eventually these arguemnts have to be given a rest.

From USA Today.


Sean: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 [+] |
...

Sheryl Crow declared the other day:



"War is based in greed and there are huge karmic retributions that will follow. I think war is never the answer to solving any problems. The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies... [So, I fark anyone who asks, I let my manager set my share of the take, and I still live at home with Mummy]"



Wise words Sheryl Crow - You know an argument has been done to death when the only quotes left are from pop musicians...



So where does this nonesense come from anyway?



Well, someone else said, and I agree, that the big mental problem with some folks is that they assume that the US is just another European nation, all grown up and ready to immitate its parents in Louie XIV style wars for land and loot.

They are wrong, very wrong. The US is NOT just another Euro-colony. We have 50 million Africans, 30 million Latinos, and 10 million Asians living here. We have another 50 million descendants of Europe's own ill-treated internal colonies, Ireland, Russia, Eastern Europe, Spain, etc. The varied experiences of all these immigrants so outstrips the 50 million Anglos that it has a great deal of an effect on our foreign policy and has effected how and why we fight wars since our founding.

Think about it. There were indeed several occasions where Euro-minded Americans urged the US to conquer and annex lands. It happened when the Marines stormed into Mexico City, when America beat Spain and freed her colonies, and there were even those who felt this way after the World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam.

But in no case has the US actually annexed conquered lands (ok, so there is the issue of Puerto Rico and Hawaii, but despite how the process got started, these places went through democratic, legal steps to become US territories, and they can leave at any time via a similar vote). In fact, none of these wars were ever motivated by a European style desire for land and loot. And in each of these wars we were actually external third parties asked to come to the rescue by the victims... Texas farmers, Cuban planters, France, Korea, Vietnam, etc.

In the most recent wars, post Vietnam, we were motivated mostly by a desire to see the gross actions of the world's strong men halted and reversed... and we even receieved the (nearly worthless) sign off of the UN... forcing Saddam out of Kuwait, feeding Somalia, stopping Slobo, breaking the Taliban... these were all humanitarian measures with little or no financial advantage and ZERO territorial gains. Would Napoleon have acted thusly, or Louie, or ANYother Euro leader?

Truly, karmic retribution awaits those who speak like Sheryl, in defense of tyrants and against the support of Liberal revolutions.


Sean: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 [+] |
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