March 08, 2003


In his report to the UNSC Friday, Hans Blix omitted verbally mentioning a serious Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations: the existence of a drone aircraft capable of dropping chemical weapons on US troops.

US officials were outraged that Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, did not inform the Security Council about the drone, or remotely piloted vehicle, in his oral presentation to Foreign Ministers and tried to bury it in a 173-page single-spaced report distributed later in the day. The omission raised serious questions about Dr Blix’s objectivity.

I'll say. There's more:

In another section of the declassified report, the inspectors give warning that Iraq still has spraying devices and drop tanks that could be used in dispersing chemical and biological agents from aircraft. “A large number of drop tanks of various types, both imported and locally manufactured, are available and could be modified,” it says.

The paper, obtained by The Times, details the possible chemical and biological arsenal that British and US Forces could face in an invasion of Iraq. The paper suggests that Iraq has huge stockpiles of anthrax, may be developing long-range missiles and could possess chemical and biological R400 aerial bombs and Scud missiles, and even smallpox.

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, told his fellow Security Council Foreign Ministers that the document was a“chilling read”.

General Powell resorted to reading passages from the paper out loud in the Council chamber. He pointed out that it chronicled nearly 30 times when Iraq had failed to provide credible evidence to substantiate its claims, and 17 instances when inspectors uncovered evidence that contradicted those claims. But his draft copy, dating from a meeting of the inspectors’ advisory board last week, did not contain the crucial passage about the new drone.

This is simply outrageous. The UNMOVIC system, never trustworthy due to Iraq's ability to hide banned weapons in a country the size of California, has taken another blow due to Blix and his lack of candor. Iraq is in material breach--that's plain enough. What's entirely mysterious is when the world will do anything about it.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Watch for John Kerry to announce that not only is he not Irish, but that he has no name.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 07, 2003


I've long been curious why the Bush administration doesn't make more of allegations that Iraq has helped train hijackers at its Salman Pak facility. It isn't as though the stories have been discredited--in fact, former CIA chief James Woolsey has testified in court that he believes the stories still stand up. So why don't the Bushies connect the dots here? What am I missing?
Posted by B. Preston at 04:37 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Mickey Kaus suggests that Josh Marshall needs to brush up on his reading comprehension skills. To which I'd add, "among other things..."
Posted by B. Preston at 04:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


French, et al intransigence at the UN, that is. Patrick Ruffini spells it out:

We shouldn't be afraid to lose from a veto, because this standoff (by definition) long ago ceased being about diplomacy. It's now become a bet about whose approach will work to disarm Saddam, and the odds are strongly in our favor. Any goodwill lost will reaccrue (albeit slowly at first) once the first images of pickup soccer matches between U.S. Marines and Iraqi children start being disseminated. So, that I don't worry about. What worries me more is that the U.N. histrionics will leave a lasting distaste that will cause us to back off the next Iraq. I profoundly hope that is not the case, and the fortitude of American public opinion convinces me that it's probably not. But this does require that instead of swearing off future liberations with an exhausted "never again," we develop an alternate strategy that bypasses the French and the Germans entirely.

Um, what he said. To which I'll add that I second his notion that we should keep NATO (minus France). We'll need to replace the UN for collective security purposes, and that replacement should consist entirely of democratic states. NATO is the only existing body that fits that description, and the addition of former Soviet bloc states makes NATO that much stronger a force for liberty.
Posted by B. Preston at 02:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Just go check it out. Funny, sad, and true. But more funny than anything else.

(via Kevin Holtsberry)
Posted by B. Preston at 02:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


It's official: the top two Democrats have publicly converted to idiotarianism (should I capitalize that?). Here's the story, containing this quote from Sen. Minority Leader Tom "Puff" Daschle:

"The situation has put us in a more isolated position than I ever anticipated," Daschle said, adding there is "virtual unanimity" among Democrats that Bush has failed in his diplomatic dealings. He said Democrats feel the administration is "rushing to war without adequate concern for the ramifications of doing so unilaterally or with a very small coalition of nations."

Great God a-mighty--that "rush to war" crap is getting tired, isn't it. An 18-month delay in which the US has bent itself into a pretzel to satisfy every possible concern of just about all other countries, involved or not, does not constitute a rush to war. And that 18-month delay followed about 10 years of dorking around with Saddam, the UN, inspections and all that. The rush to war has taken so long that Iraq was able to first get permission to sell oil again, then use some of that money to buy off former weapons inspector Scott Ritter and turn him from a hawk into a Saddam-kissing dove. Kids who started school in the first grade when this rush to war began are literally on the cusp of graduation, their entire education having taken place during this so-called rush to war. I'[ve personally had five full-time jobs during this dozen-year rush to war, including a full four-year enlistment in the US Air Force--which ended five years ago! Rush to war, my arse. I've seen swifter rushes on buffet night at the local rest home.

And then there's this gem:

The top two party leaders now are escalating their criticism of Bush, because they think war is imminent and because Russia, Germany and France seem more opposed to it, according to several Democratic senators.

So, let me get this straight. The leaders of the Democrat Party, ostensibly an American political institution, are taking their cues from the French, Germans and Russians as opposed to, say, the president of their own country. It certainly explains a lot. But let's have ourselves a quick primer on the three nations the Dems are following.

Russia--70 years of Communist rule have proven tough to shake off, currently has a former KGB man in charge, and wants to save Saddam because Saddam owes Russia about $8 billion. At least, that's the public reason Putin wants to save Saddam.

France--failed to enforce the Versailles Treaty which led directly to World War II, surrendered to Hitler once his tanks got about six inches inside French terriroty, built Iraq's nuke program from the ground up in the late 1970s, promised to maintain an engineering presence there to disquise its clandestine weapons use from the IAEA, promised to rebuild it after the Israelis destroyed it in 1981, and has apparently continued arming Iraq in spite of numerous bans as recently as January 2003.

Germany--authors of The Communist Manifesto were born there, Germany created the Russian Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 in a futile effort to win World War I, then gave rise to Hitler's toxins and went along with them to the tune of slaughtering several million Jews. Germany also let the 1972 Munich terrorists go scott free in a faked hijacking.

And the Democrats are following these people? I wish there was an election today, just so I could vote against them.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Being reported by a couple sources and predicted last year:

Where - and what - is Baluchistan, you ask?

The Baluch are a family of tribes of "tall, thin” Muslims who live in a swath of land reaching from Southeastern Pakistan, Southern Afghanistan and over to Southwestern Iran. Drug running, smuggling and other illegal activities are a mainstay of the Baluch.

Tehran has no control over this ‘wild’ region of Iran. It is so wild there that it has been compared to the surface of the moon. Others say "it is the closest thing on Earth to Mars.”

The problem is, if it's true, we may have to "invade" Iran or get reluctant permission from them since it's also being reported that we're now in hot pursuit of UBL. The chase is what's causing the heated rumors of UBL's capture yesterday, and now the arrest of his sons today. Both reports are being denied, but the rumors mean our special forces are on a nest-smashing roll. Logically, the best chance UBL has to escape now is to hide in wild Iran since the heat is in on Pakistan and Afghanistan. The latest report is we are tracking a caravan with a drone.

Looks like the evidence points more to Iraq preparation enhancing our ability to pursue Al Qaeda. No one can say with a strait face that it's distracted us, that's for sure.
Posted by Chris Regan at 12:54 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Or does FBI "whistleblower" Coleen Rowley look an awful lot like Ozzy Osbourne?

Eh, it's probably just me.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I can't say that I find this surprising:

U.S. intelligence has concluded that Iraq deceived the United Nations by destroying stockpiled Al Samoud missiles with old engines.

U.S. officials said the regime of President Saddam Hussein has not destroyed any Al Samoud missile deployed in forward bases in southern Iraq.

Instead, they said, Iraq has brought out missiles from military warehouses and replaced the engines with those from the Soviet-origin SA-2 surface-to-air missile, developed in the 1950s.


"From recent intelligence, we know that the Iraqi regime intends to declare and destroy only a portion of its banned Al Samoud inventory and that it has, in fact, ordered the continued production of the missiles that you see being destroyed," U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies on Wednesday. "Iraq has brought its machinery that produces such missiles out into the daylight for all to see.

But we have intelligence that says, at the very same time, it has also begun to hide machinery it can use to convert other kinds of engines to power Al Samouds."

Iraq has declared that it has 100 Al Samoud missiles, half of them deployed by the military. So far, the UN Monitoring,Verification, and Inspection Commission reports that 34 such missiles have been destroyed.

But U.S. officials said UN inspectors have not been allowed to actually inspect most of the missiles. They said the destruction of the Al Samoud takes place far from UN observation sites.

"It is one big deception and the UN knows it," a U.S. official said. "The entire Al Samoud episode is being stage-managed by the Iraqis. They find the missiles and they destroy them."

Yawn. More of the same. Just poke me when the war starts, will ya.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


From a story about the 60 Minutes pairing of Clinton and Dole:

"I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't do anything that a former president shouldn't," Clinton said from New York.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:24 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Israel nabbed Hamas' top bomb-maker. The world assessed President Bush's speech. The French and Belgian reaction is unsurprising:

Pierre Lellouche, a lawmaker in France's center-right governing coalition, said the international community appeared doomed to fracture.

"We are now headed for a clash, and it's going to be the worst possible war, which is a war outside the U.N. by one, two or three powers with the rest of democracies being divided," Lellouche said Friday in an interview with British Broadcasting Corp. television.

Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel said France has "saved the honor of Europe" by opposing immediate military action.

"What seems to me to be most urgent now is to find ways and means to reforge a bit more suitable trans-Atlantic relations," Michel said, adding that Europe "cannot always be a follower."

And that really is a huge part of what this is all about--whether Europe will in the future be a leader or a follower. "Europe," meaning France, Belgium and Germany, will indeed lead--they'll lead the UN into oblivion. Oh, and it's also about propping up France's arms industry. As for the rest of the world, some opposition and some support:

Ismail Kadare, Albania's most famous living writer, said in an interview published Friday that his countrymen broadly favor intervention in Iraq "because we remember Kosovo," where NATO forces intervened to protect ethnic Albanians.

"Albanians expected NATO to intervene militarily against the Milosevic regime, which was similar to Saddam Hussein's regime today," Kadare told the Tirana daily newspaper Shekulli.


A Thai lawmaker warned a war would create a "great likelihood of terrorist retaliation," but said he would side with Washington if it decides to act against Iraq.

"There really is no other viable option," said Kobsak Chutikul, the deputy leader in one of the parties in Thailand's coalition government. "For all its flaws, I would feel safer to have my children grow up in a world dominated by the United States than by any other country."

It's about time we heard someone offer this opinion. Funny thing is, we don't even care to dominate the world. We just don't want it dominating us.

Mark Steyn, who still inexplicably hasn't mentioned the JYB, assesses our war effort, and determines that we're winning in spite of opposition around the world and partisan hackery here at home. Steyn offers up a tidbit on the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that I haven't seen elsewhere:

The seizure of Mohammed is testament both to Washington’s approach to Pakistan and to what they’re up against. The big-time terrorist was holed up in the home of a top World Health Organisation microbiologist, whose wife heads up one of the most radical Islamist political parties in the country. Is it normal for UN microbiologists to rent the spare room to terrorists known to be in the market for biological weapons?

And Steyn seems to side with Rummy on the Old vs New Europe question:

My problem with ‘old Europe’ is that it’s taken on the characteristic of its capital’s most famous statue: a small boy who just stands there pissing 24 hours a day.

But back to the UN for a sec. Hans Blix and his Merry Inspectors seem set to tell the UNSC that Saddam is cooperating but not fully complying with his obligations to disarm. Which is right about where this story was back in 1991, and 1994, and 1996, from 1998 to 2002 there's a gap because there were no inspectors in Iraq, and then resuming from 2002 to the present. Nothing's changed, in other words. Will the UNSC act? Yes. It will commit suicide, and we'll take down Saddam anyway.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 06, 2003


I confess that I didn't see President Bush's prime time speech and press conference tonight. I was out running audio for a music practice thingy, and wasn't near a TV. No matter, he already had me on board a long time ago. From what I've picked up about the reaction to the speech, those who were already on board will stay there, and those who weren't on board probably weren't pursuaded to hitch up.

Which makes me wonder what in the world it was all about. And what in the world the past year has been all about. Iraq is a direct threat to the US, or so we have been led to believe since 9-11. It's a belief I share, and in fact held even before 9-11. Iraq is an armed menace to regional stability, and to the oil markets, which in turn makes it a threat to our economy, or so we have been led to believe since 9-11. And it's objectively, obviously true. The first Gulf War centered on the fact that, in taking Kuwait as his 19th province, Saddam was positioning himself astride a gigantic chunk of the world's oil supply, and that by menacing Saudi Arabia he was essentially helping himself to de facto control over a still greater share of the world's oil. This situation was intolerable, not only to the US but to the world as a whole, and the Gulf War ensued for the purpose of liberating Kuwait and weakening Saddam's grip on the lion's share of Middle Eastern oil.

Fast forward to today, and little has really changed. Saddam no longer controls Kuwait and has no hope of doing so, thanks to the presence of thousands of US troops on Kuwaiti soil. Ditto Saudi Arabia. But left to his own devices, Saddam will in a matter of anywhere from a few months to a couple of years possess weapons capable of rendering our troop presence in the Middle East moot. He could essentially wave the big bomb at us on his way back to Kuwait City, and unless we were willing to respond with an actual pre-emptive nuclear strike of our own, Saddam would have the oil supply he wants, would be able to sell that oil with impunity to France, Russia and his other partners around the world and fill his coffers with hard cash. He would in turn use that money to procure still more WMDs, and likely find uses for those weapons either through proxy terror groups or by simply selling them to the highest bidder on the black market. The center cannot hold in that situation--it creates a zero-sum game in which either Saddam goes or the US recedes in large part from the world stage, or at least from the Middle East picture.

Then there's Saddam's human rights record. I won't go into detail here, as the press has been replete with horror stories from Iraqi prisons for years now. Saddam's a monster, capable of tremendous evil. Leaving that man in charge of his own country, let alone much of the Middle East if we leave him alone, is intolerable. We have the means to end his reign, and we should.

And then there are his connections to terrorism, which are obvious. I'll give you two words on the subject--Salman Pak. Google them. Salman Pak is reputed to be the Harvard of terrorism. It's south of Baghdad, and a place where Saddam has cultivated beasts and sharpened their skills. Salman Pak, our intelligence services discovered not long after 9-11, boasts a curious feature--a plane fuselage, permanently installed. Iraqi defectors have reported some interesting instruction taking place on that fuselage at Salman Pak--small groups of men armed only with short knives, practicing the art of hijacking aircraft. True, they didn't progress to any sort of simulator training where they could learn to fly planes without the hassle of landings and launches. But Salman Pak's students learned a set of skills critical to Mohammed Atta's 9-11 squads, lessons used to grim precision on that awful day. Coincidence? It's a little hard to buy.

Which brings me back to what tonight's speech was all about, and what the 15 or 16 month "rush" to war has been all about. Given the circumstantial case that Iraq had a hand in 9-11, and given Saddam's proclivity to develop and then use WMDs, and given his stated intention to take over the entire Middle East and be the next Saladin, and given his intense hatred of the US and his demonstrated aggression against his neighbors, and given his abyssmal human rights record, why have we bothered dickering around with the UN for so long? What business have the French or the Chinese in the US taking out a threat to ourselves? What right has Cameroon to say whether we can act to protect our vital interests by removing real threats, be they rogues with banned weapons or the intent to control the world's economic lifeblood, or both? If this war against Iraq is for the purpose of self-defense, what have we been waiting for all this time?

I keep thinking back to 1989. Sensing a growing threat to our south, the first President Bush ordered one of the most pre-emptive, most unilateral wars in US history. He invaded Panama, in the dead of night, for the purpose of toppling its military regime and capturing its dictator, General Manuel Noriega. Noriega was a notorious drug trafficker, and had openly declared war on the US. Panama's position as the canal state made its hostile posture a clear and present danger to the US. President Bush didn't take the issue to the UN, didn't consult the French or the Russians or even the British--he just sent in the troops, and in a matter of weeks the whole thing was over. Today Noriega rots away in a US jail, claiming to have found religion, and Panama is a democracy. The USSR condemned our actions, and if I recall maybe Cuba and a few others made lots of noise, but we didn't care back then. Our president saw a threat and removed it.

Iraq is a threat. It has attacked its neighbors, it tried to assassinate a former US president, it develops weapons it pledged not to, it harbors and supports terrorists aimed at killing Americans, Israelis and citizens of several other states allied to us, and it has designs on the world's oil supply. All of these things make the current Iraqi regime a clear and present danger. By waiting as long as we have, we have done little more than embolden Saddam to defy us and left the anti-war movement here and elsewhere time to fester, sulk and then mobilize. Time is short, and we have gained nothing beyond a little extra time to build up our forces in theatre for all our diplomatic efforts.

The UN has failed us. Many of our allies have failed us, while others support us. In the end, we have bent over backwards and grabbed our ankles for the world's permission to defend ourselves. I can't help but think that no other nation in our position would be so accomodating, and I can't help but think that each minute we delay only makes us weaker on the world stage.

Time is short. We must act to remove the threat Saddam poses to us, with the UN or without. And we must act soon, or become a paper tiger.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Fred "Beetle" Barnes makes quick work of the top 10 canards reasons the anti-war crowd uses for not greasing Saddam. Colin Powell's answer to #10 is beautiful.
Posted by B. Preston at 06:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Read the nonsense here. After comparing President Bush to a drunken ambulance driver running from the police, he says we're now all being held hostage by the President of Iraq. No, it's not Iraq, or even France. It's America.

He says, "No analogy is perfect, of course. And this one breaks down on several fronts." Yes it did...badly. Even though he kept it going, it actually crumbled at the very beginning -- when he decided to skip logic for the foundation and veered off into a personal jab at Bush: "Before hitting the road, the ambulance driver went and downed a quick six-pack." And that's analogous to...??? Analogous to nothing but a cheap shot because it ruined the analogy.

His conclusion is that "if" Saddam is a threat, we "may have no choice" now to attack him because Bush is holding us hostage. Wow...whatever Bush is doing, it's working. Although that's some twisted road to incomplete enlightenment, I'll take it. What else is one to do when you can't get there straightaway on principle? It reminds me of another courageous, principled Democrat:

"I guess I would have voted with the majority [for the first war in Iraq] if it was a close vote. But I agree with the arguments the minority made." -- Bill Clinton held hostage by politics (sounds like Hillary Clinton now doesn't it?)

It really is sad to see how today's war protesters no longer have the personal honesty and integrity they did during Vietnam:

The principled men and women who opposed the Vietnam War took their stand and answered for all of its implications. Whether their judgment was correct or not, they never ducked responsibility.

Those protesters so rightly worried about the toll of war on Iraq, and so wrongly indifferent to the effect of assisting Saddam's defiance, remind me much more of what passed for a peace movement before World War II. The isolationists, the so-called America-firsters, couldn't care less what Adolf Hitler did and who Hitler killed, just as long as it was on the other side of the Atlantic.

For people to argue now that Bush should have done things in a way that didn't upset the world is pure idealistic dreaming, and cheap talk. If anyone did that, it would mean they would have appeased everyone who is dead set on appeasing Saddam for another decade (or until he attacks a U.S. city with WMD, whichever comes first). Should Bush have assumed the countries who voted for the latest U.N. resolution were faking their concern for real disarmament? Nope. We all hoped they saw the light. Now, it's those nations who's names will be forever tarnished, not ours. Stupid move on their part, not Bush's. It really doesn't matter anyhow, since even Josh admits it's just diplomatic collateral damage. Such is war. I'll take angry former allies over angry former parents, especially because the "allies" in this case are actually backstabbers. U.S. parents expect and deserve to have their children protected from terrorists and other enemies.

Now, here's the correct version of Marshall's broken-down analogy: The ambulance driver is sober and hostage to outside events, so before hitting the road he says a prayer for the sick child. In front of him, a bunch of Old Europeans are being paid by Iraq to put up massive roadblocks. Terrorists are shooting at and trying to bomb the ambulance. Communists are clogging the street carrying nonsensical and distracting signs. Bill Clinton is on 60 Minutes saying the problem is the new driver and encouraging the world to stop him (he says he never seriously worried about the children and that worked great for him). Activists warn that people in the streets, and the child, would be injured by the ambulance/SUV doing the saving, so it's best to simply ban the vehicle. Then there’s still that angry lynch mob of Democrats on the driver's trail looking for revenge for their trashed power base and their mowed-down candidates in the last election. Through it all, the driver perseveres to save the child. He's cheered on in the end by the very people who tried to stop him. Well, by that I mean most European and Arab countries and people will come around. The terrorists, Communists and other far left Democrats will keep the faith.
Posted by Chris Regan at 04:46 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


I guess we can officially declare the war on terrorism over. How else to explain why federal agents are investigating a sandwich theft?
Posted by B. Preston at 04:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


A few charming student anti-war activists out in California decided that merely protesting President Bush's genocidal policies against the peace-loving, world revolution nurturing regime in Baghdad wasn't enough. It was time to stick it to the man. So they broke a few things and stole some stuff:

An anti-war march against the U.S. policy on Iraq by about 500 Canoga Park High School students turned ugly Wednesday when some in the crowd started looting a gas station convenience store and disrupting traffic.

A group of students who skipped class to participate in the lunchtime protests stole candy bars and knocked over displays at the Mobil gas station at the corner of Topanga Canyon and Victory boulevards, officials said. Five of them were detained on suspicion of vandalism and theft, said Officer Jason Lee, a police spokesman.

Skipping class, vandalizing, stealing stuff. That's some way to promote peace. Sounds more like garden-variety truancy to me. Luckily, the store owner caught the whole thing on surveillance tape.
Posted by B. Preston at 04:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


I've diagnosed John Kerry's political condition. John F. Kerry that is. JFK. An Irish-Catholic all his life, or so he led people to believe. Turns out that was just all just a pathological Camelot fantasy. We'll soon find out he forged his birth certificate, and his initials aren't even JFK. Wait...has anyone actually seen his birth certificate? First he uncovered what must have been "hidden knowledge" about his Jewish roots -- just like Sir Edmund Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright's middle-aged voyages of self-discovery. Now it turns out that Kerry both actively and passively played the Irish part when he has no Irish ancestry. He previously denied doing so and now simply says he wasn't aware of the pattern.

Add to this disturbing picture his "prostategate" lie, about not being sick when he actually had cancer, and it seems Jonah Goldberg accurately pegged him before all this came out. He said he was like more modern Democrat heroes than JFK.
Posted by Chris Regan at 12:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


France once gave America a great gift, the Statue of Liberty. Now, all France can give us is a massive diplomatic headache. What to do about them? Stuff Magazine has an appropriate gift idea for the fair-weather ally in your life.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


It looks like even the British may have gone behind our backs to arm Saddam during the 1980s. Note that at least according to this story, the US was basically standing alone as the one country trying to stop him--even back during the evil Reagan administration that so many now accuse of "creating Saddam."
Posted by B. Preston at 10:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 05, 2003


Yes, even worse than Cynthia McKinney, scorn be upon her. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Taliban...I mean Toledo) says that al Qaeda's terrorists are similar to America's founding fathers. How do these people walk and chew gum at the same time, let alone run for (and win!) elective office in the United States of America? It boggles the mind.

Anyway, to the idiocy. In an interview (yes, an interview, where one is supposed to think before speaking), Kaptur said that we Americans should consider our own religious roots before condemning Osama bin Laden & Co. Comparing them to the Green Mountain Boys, a volunteer patriot militia that kicked some redcoat butt, she said

"One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown."

Where to start? Atypical revolutionaries? Non-nation state fighters? The Green Mountain Boys were fighting to establish a friggin' nation state, and they fought against the army of a more powerful nation state. No intentional civilian-killing, no calls for jamboree jihad--just a little guerilla grunting against King George's well-dressed boys. Apples and oranges, here. And this bit about "casting off" the British crown. She refers to casting off the crown a couple of times in the story, oblivious of the obvious fact that al Qaeda isn't "casting off" anything--they just like to kill people. It's how they get their jollies. The American revolutionaries were indeed casting off a monarchy--the terrorists we fight today just cast off malodorous fumes. Hopefully the people of Ohio will see fit to cast off Rep. Kaptur, but I digress.

She's not done here, folks. Not content to smear the men who fought for George Washington and established this great nation, she then sets off to smear religious folk. Which is a little disconcerting, considering that she seems to be a Catholic. It seems to go with the territory though lately. Here she goes:

"I think that one thing that people of faith understand about the world of Islam is that the kind of insurgency we see occurring in many of these countries is an act of hope that life will be better using Islam as the only reed that they have to lean on.

"I think that people of faith understand that for many of the terrorists, their actions are acts of sacred piety to the point of losing their lives. And I think that people of faith understand that there is a heavy religious overtone to the opposition."

An act of hope? Well-financed mass murder is an act of hope? That's a new one. Ho. Ly. Crap. That's exactly what she's spouting--holy crap. People of any true faith don't do what the Islamists are doing. Christian, Jew, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Rastafarian--if you practice a real faith with any redeeming value at all, that faith doesn't prompt you to crash airplanes full of people into buildings full of people. There's nothing sacred about that--it's just mass murder dressed up as politics. If Kaptur can't see that, well, see the headline to this post.

What a pile of grade-A pup poop. To coin a phrase, go read the whole thing. Then shower.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:43 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


I like this take better than this one.
Posted by B. Preston at 05:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Alert reader Jim writes in pointing out two very different takes on the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed:

"In some ways, he was al-Qaeda's agent 007: suave, well educated, a trilingual globe-trotter who mixed easily in other cultures, who engaged women and intrigue with savoir faire and deadly expertise. Except that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed isn't fiction."-Time Magazine March 1, 2003

Is it just me, or do you also, when beholding the bloated, disheveled face of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, think not "Allahu akbar," but "cheeboiger, cheeboiger"?-Rod Dreher, National Review On Line March 1, 2003

Hehehe. I'm with Rod.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:11 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Maybe Old Smelly is alive after all. Information found from the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has convinced US and Pakistani officials that Osama is alive, that he's living somewhere in Pakistan, and that his capture may not be far off.

(thanks to Dave)
Posted by B. Preston at 10:03 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


The US is repositioning some heavy bombers to the Pacific to put them within range of the Korean DMZ. The move seems designed to be a deterrent to Pyongyang's increasingly bellicose rhetoric and actions, but I expect that these bombers will have to be used at some point. In fact, I see the North Korean crsis ending in one of three ways--regime collapse in Pyongyang, destabilizing South Korea and parts of China and ending in the "loss" of North Korea's nuclear material; total capitulation on North Korea's part, and the US and the region therefore narrowly escaping a hellish war; or all-out war, and when I say all-out that's exactly what I mean. Terrible loss of life on both sides of the DMZ, and probably ending in a US tactical nuke strike on the million-strong North Korean army. That's about the only way we can save Seoul from a devastating North Korean artillery barrage in the opening minutes of the war.

I'm by no means advocating this or happy about it, but that's how I see things progressing. And by the way, option #2 would probably also result in regime collapse in North Korea and if we aren't quick to act would mean the "loss" of its nuclear material.

UPDATE: Stanley Kurtz has more. Left alone, Iraq will soon be what North Korea already is: A nuclear-armed rogue state interested in arming terrorists and killing Americans. We'll fight one of these two very soon, and we'll probably have to fight the other before long.

UPDATE: It seems we do have at least one non-nuclear way to deal with Kim Jong Il's army.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 04, 2003


Well, probably not. Maybe someone will at least show him this chilling and informative interview with Saddam's bombmaker, Dr. Khidhir Hamza, though. Skip to the 12 minute point for the segment start, the interview starts at 14 min. Here's a low-speed video stream for modem users. If you have problems, or need to use Windows Media Player, go here and click on the March 3rd icon.

It seems the Pope is being deceived by all the professional agitprop for peace, and I'm sure all the liberal Cardinals are feeding him the party line. George Bush is trying to break it to him gently, but it seems he would have to divulge highly classified info to convince the Vatican (yep, Old Europe) now. That will be released after the war starts and we're no longer concerned with Saddam knowing our intel.

UPDATE: I'd prefer not to hear any criticism from bashers of Christian journalists unless you've watched the interview first. I want to at least be thanked before you kill the messenger. I've seen Hamza before too, but not 15 uninterrupted minutes since these latest inspections began. The juxtaposition of the Christian news channel's harsh reality with the Pope's declaration about there being no moral authority for war was intentional. I'm surprised this smart conservative Pope seems to miss the looming danger, and even feels that the brutalized Iraqi people just need to be left alone. After all, he's a high-profile terrorist target as well. Maybe he's just making sure it doesn't look like he's backing a Crusade against the Muslims.
Posted by Chris Regan at 06:24 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack


While the situation inside Iran is ripe for a pro-US revolution, their government looks to the east and west and sees nothing but US troops setting up shop. They've decided it's best to take some steps before the war starts to protect their interests (and maybe the Kurds) inside Iraq. This obviously complicates the political situation for the US and our potential partner Turkey in northern Iraq:

[Kurdish] leaders are mindful of the strained U.S.-Iran relations and think that the presence of "Iranian proxies" could further encourage a military intervention by Turkey, a development that is believed to be imminent.

The Turkish Army has announced plans to impose a "security belt" within Northern Iraq. On their part, the Kurds have threatened to oppose any Turkish incursion. "Turkey knows that it cannot go against international law and the will of the Kurds," said a security officer at the Zimnako camp. According to Murtaza Musawi of the [Iranian] Badr Brigade, "If our Supreme Council authorizes it, we will support them [the Kurds] against the Turks."

In his statement last month, Boucher said the involvement of the Badr Brigade in Northern Iraq "would be a very serious and destabilizing development."

Meanwhile, on their eastern border, Iran decided that Pakistan is a wildcard, especially if Musharraf is toppled. So they turned away from Islamabad and formed a partnership with India. This complicates the already unstable situation in Pakistan and now makes them feel just as surrounded by hostile forces as Iran. Arnaud de Borchgrave details the political climate in Pakistan a few weeks before the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

What comes next for them is anybody's guess, but now is the time for Musharraf to forget about Iran and solidify his partnership with the U.S. and not China. We'll help as a buffer with India and a check on Iran, while he builds on the recent momentum and gets serious with the Islamist terrorists. Mansoor Ijaz has some thoughts on this, and the inside scoop on the capture of KSM.
Posted by Chris Regan at 04:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Joel Mowbray has been a persistent thorn in the side of the our Arabist-leaning State Dept lately and has uncovered some disturbing activities behind the scenes of the Turkey negotiations:

"The leaks made Turkey look like a prostitute," complains one Turkish official. Part of this anger stems from the fact that the leaks claiming Turkey was still shaking down the U.S. for more money continued even after the economic issues had been agreed upon and taken off the table. While the source of leaks can never be known for certain, officials at both State and the Pentagon insist that the leaks were part of a coordinated campaign by State to strong-arm Turkey. If so, the tactic backfired.

But the leaks were only part of the problem. People familiar with the political scene in Turkey — as much as 90 percent of the public opposes war with Iraq — knew for months before Saturday that the vote in the parliament would be tight. In an effort to build more support among the Turkish military, the Pentagon wanted to send a delegation to Turkey in November. State refused. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was adamant that the Pentagon not encroach on State's turf, and the military meeting was scuttled.

According to a Turkish official, one of the items that members of the parliament were angriest about was the exclusion of Turkish-backed individuals from the leadership of the Iraqi opposition...The move puzzled many in the Bush administration. "State warmly embraced the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution (backed by Tehran) and went out of its way to keep Saudi Arabia happy, but then they decided to screw our ally," complains a Defense Department official.

As far as the money goes, we needed to make a point to Turkey about our financial limits but we also really needed their help fast. So what should have been done to pressure them gently? We should have dealt with them like a sports team of the future would deal with a key superstar who fails to report to training camp. While you can win without them, or still use them if they report at the very last minute, you would rather not do either. So we should have increased our "final" aid offer by a few billion dollars as a gesture of good faith, but made the bonus only good for an immediate decision within 72 hours. Tell them up front that the offer will then shrink by a billion dollars a day for two weeks until it reaches a baseline minimum of a few billion dollars. Explain that if we decide to move on without them, we'll have to promote their Kurdish rival as a replacement. Tell them it's nothing personal, but that we're losing team preparedness each day they delay and we have no other choice.

Although it seems now they might belatedly approve the troops after their stock market crashed 12% Monday and then jumped 5% today on news of a second vote, we're offering them much more than they deserve at this point. They ought to look into streamlining their government bureaucracy when war is the issue.
Posted by Chris Regan at 01:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


With the War on Terror: Campaign Iraq underway, Bryan has asked me to join the JunkYard coalition. I've accepted the challenge. The left of course has warned us it's a risky scheme that will drain our resources and cause us to lose focus. They say we should play it safe and maintain the status quo. OK...but seriously, are those people ever right? Some may remember I was supposed to sub for a week over the holidays, but after some ISP problems I found myself enjoying a long escape from politics and news. Now I'm refreshed, breaking my news-fast, and ready for the attack. Hopefully you'll enjoy my contributions as much as we all enjoy Bryan's work.

Speaking of which...

Let me start off by saying it's unfortunate that Bryan had to defend himself with the obvious because someone decided to kick off a new weblog by proudly displaying their ignorance. For all these juvenile racemongers and their snide mentor enablers like Josh Marshall -- "what Republicans call race-politics or race-baiting (i.e., accusing racists of actually being racists.)" -- I refer you to this article I just came across from the previously linked A.M. Siriano: Racists, Slurring Again.

Nevertheless, a liberal does hold to a reverse of the second definition, namely, that a racist is one who does not believe that race is the filter for most issues, policies, and events. In fact [to them], this sort of pig, who refuses to recognize that race is important, is the worst kind of racist. [italics mine]

There you have it. Using logic to show that race isn't important to you will only tighten the knot of guilt in the bizarro world of the liberal mind. Of course, any clear examples of racial color-blindness that can't be called secretly racist are dismissed as tokenism. You can't even have a discussion when your opponent's mindset goes beyond intellectual dishonesty into intellectual delusion. So to bring this post full circle, that's exactly why conservatives realize the insanity of continuing to debate slick Saddam and his leftist defenders in the UN.
Posted by Chris Regan at 01:26 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 03, 2003


The arrest of an al Qaeda op in Spain has turned up a video tape that appears to show some of its terrorists checking out the Twin Towers and other potential targets. Interestingly, the tape provides a difficultly for the conspiracy theorists--it's dated August 31, 1997. That's about three and a half years before President Bush took office, and a year or so before he'd declared himself a presidential candidate, so it's a little tough to fit this piece of evidence into those wacky theories that Bush planned the whole thing. Oh, I suppose the conspiracy types will say that the terrorists simply back-dated their camera to 1997, but that's even more beyond the strains of reason than the rest of their odd ideas.

Yes, I know that 99% of people outside the hard left and the Democrat Party don't put any stock in those theories. But and other anti-war types still peddle them, so it's useful to point out how badly they square up with real data when it appears.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Never be fooled into thinking that you have to be a dove to be a great scientist. Edwin Hubble, best known for discovering that the universe is expanding from an initial creation moment (derisively called the "Big Bang" by rival and skeptic Fred Hoyle), was a national defense hawk during the great crisis of his time--the rise of Adolf Hitler. From a biography I've been using for research on photos of Hubble, his take on the Versailles Treaty:

As Hubble saw it, the fault was all Germany's. No matter how flawed the Treaty of Versailles may have been, eash signatory was duty bound to abide by its terms, especially the vanquished. Whenever anyone voiced skepticism he reminded them that the Allies could have dismembered Germany but they left her to her word: "If a nation gives its word the nation has to stand by it or there is no confidence or hope of international integrity."

The quote is from 1940, when the British stood alone against Hitler. As early as 1939 Hubble advocated the US declaring war on Japan, and when he heard news of Pearl Harbor, Hubble reacted that had the world simply enforced Versailles, the larger war now looming would have been avoided.

Hubble's logic applies perfectly to the present crises in both Iraq and North Korea. If he were alive today, Edwin Hubble would be a hawk. And by the way, during the war Hubble served as a civilian scientist at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, where he worked long hours to improve the ballistics of US Army shells and bazookas. He even risked his life repeatedly firing a particularly unsafe model of the bazooka, studying the rocket's flight path to try and correct some problems it had had in the field. He corrected it, making it one of the most accurate weapons in America's arsenal.
Posted by B. Preston at 04:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


George Will knocks one out of the park.

Personally, I don't think that we can change many minds in Europe's anti-American enclaves by changing the facts on the ground in Iraq. The retreating human shields aside, today's anti-war types are, for the most part, utterly impervious to things like facts.
Posted by B. Preston at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Our nation's military depends on the reservists--part-time soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines--to be able to win the wars necessary to keep you and I safe. Those reservists get called up from good jobs, well-paying jobs, to head into harm's way for us, and often have to forfeit their civilian salary as long as they're on active duty. Susanna Cornett is compiling a list of companies that are either continuing to give full pay to activitated reservists or are making up the difference between their civilian pay and the military wage they're paid to fight. If you know of a company that's doing this, send a note to Susanna. Otherwise, just check out the list. These companies deserve our support.
Posted by B. Preston at 04:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


A US recon plane flying over international waters off the coast of North Korea was intercepted by as many as four NK MiGs sometime this past weekend. The planes never clashed, and never exchanged fire.

Why did the crisis involving the Chinese fighter slamming into our intel plane back in early 2001 immediately leap to mind when I read that story?
Posted by B. Preston at 03:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


You know you've really made it when some lefty blog puts you on a "watch list," or "enemies list," or "racist list," or whatever clever little meme its proprietors can come up with. Well, alert reader D.T. found this humble blog on this list of "kinda scary blogs". The reason: its anonymous author thinks I'm a white supremacist, or at least that I show tendencies in that direction.

Am I suprised by this? Nope. It's how lefties operate--attack the messenger when you don't like the message. It's of a piece with all the "Bush is the real terrorist" nonsense.

But it's obvious that Any Which Way's author (and why do so many lefty bloggers hide behind anonymity?) hasn't read through this site for more than a couple of seconds, or they would have found the following facts:

I was out front on the Trent Lott controversy, to the point that I was comfortable with the GOP losing the Senate if it meant that he was no longer in a leadership position

That I've chided the Democrats for continuing to lionize Sen. Robert Byrd, a former Klansman

That I supported Alan Keyes for president in the 2000 primaries

That one of my favorite members of the Bush administration is National Security Advisor Condi Rice, and that I've defended Colin Powell against charges of insuborination and disloyalty toward President Bush

That I support invading Iraq as a way of liberating the entire Middle East from tyranny

That my wife isn't even white

But none of that matters. Any Which Way's author dislikes my current motto, which has no racial overtones whatsoever (it's a slap at the French, actually, for supporting Mugabe and Saddam, whose victims are mostly non-white), and dislikes my stand on the issues, and therefore thinks I'm "offensive, ignorant for the most part, and reminiscent of white supremecy factions." In what way my ideas resonate with white supremacist factions is never spelled out on Any Which Way--because my ideas don't actually resonate with white supremacy at all. But it's been a useful canard for the left over the years, so they employ it when they get the urge.

Coming from such a source, I suppose I should consider it an honor. Am I "offensive?" Probably to some. You can't take a real stand without offending someone. "Ignorant?" We're all ignorant to some extent, and quite well-informed in the areas where we've beaten back our ignorance. But "white supremacist?" No way, shape or form, and calling me one demonstrates an offensive level of willed ignorance on the part of my accuser.

Any Which Way seems an apt name for a blogger that calls me a racist, though. They'll attack their political opposites and try to destroy us, any which way they can.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:47 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


I'm sure you've heard the story by now, that the US supposedly set up a spy operation to determine how the debate re Iraq would shape up in the UNSC. Having reviewed the text of the email purporting to reveal that effort, I have to say that I doubt its authenticity. I'm no intel agency expert and I've never worked for one, but the text just strikes me as ginned up by someone trying to play a dirty trick on the US.

Laying aside the objections already detailed by Matt Drudge, here's why I think it's a fake: The opening paragraph offers too much detail. Would real National Security Agency workers really need to know that the spy effort isn't directed at the US and UK? Would a real NSA supervisor really go into so much background on a story that he assumes his audience is already aware of? I doubt it--NSA types are notorious for their circumspection, not needless verbosity. This email strikes me as a particular insecure method of discussing what would be a fairly secretive undertaking.

I'm not saying, by the way, that such an effort isn't going on or that the Bush administration has no interest in such a scheme. It does have such an interest, and may well be engaged in various methods of gathering as much intelligence as it can get on how UNSC members are thinking. It would be one way of determining how to influence any members whose votes are still up for grabs. But I don't think that the email reported in The Observer is legitimate, and I do think that it is in itself a "dirty trick" aimed at sowing mistrust of the US among the UNSC's non-permanent members.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


The post-9-11 world is no friend to socialist, mamby-pamby "let's all get along" feel good politics. That means that the hard core left, upon which the Democrat Party depends for its sustinence, has been marginalized outside the walls of relevance. I think Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has figured this out.

She's smarter than I thought she was.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:40 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


The NY Times has a fascinating piece on the cross-currents of thought that will influence the shape of post-war Iraq. If you're looking for a quick primer on the Bush administration's ideas, this article provides it:

The Arab world is hopelessly sunk in corruption and popular discontent. Misrule and a culture of victimhood have left Arabs economically stagnant and prone to seeing their problems in delusional terms. The United States has contributed to the pathology by cynically shoring up dictatorships; Sept. 11 was one result. Both the Arab world and official American attitudes toward it need to be jolted out of their rut. An invasion of Iraq would provide the necessary shock, and a democratic Iraq would become an example of change for the rest of the region. Political Islam would lose its hold on the imagination of young Arabs as they watched a more successful model rise up in their midst. The Middle East's center of political, economic and cultural gravity would shift from the region's theocracies and autocracies to its new, oil-rich democracy. And finally, the deadlock in which Israel and Palestine are trapped would end as Palestinians, realizing that their Arab backers were now tending their own democratic gardens, would accept compromise. By this way of thinking, the road to Damascus, Tehran, Riyadh and Jerusalem goes through Baghdad.

I can't find anything to argue with in there. In fact, I've said the same thing myself. In the context of shifting our foreign bases from Europe to post-war Iraq...

But the Middle East will change too, and for the better. The early going will be very difficult: Our troops and cultural influences will be very unpopular at first, but as we maintain contact and keep the local dictators to heel, we're likely to become more popular. If one or two Middle Eastern states flirt with real democracy, there's a chance that they all will, and the Middle East might come to resemble eastern Asian states like South Korea and Japan--not exactly Milton Friedman-style capitalism, but not hard-core socialist either. Either way, they will be better than they are now, and less likely to fund our enemies.

I was probably wrong about one thing, though. I no longer think that our troops, whether occupying Iraq or assisting its new democratic government, will be unpopular from the start. Sure, there will be small-scale terrorism against them. But that's true wherever they're stationed around the world--from Kuwait to Japan to South Korea to Germany and even Britian, our overseas forces have always generated some local backlash and small-scale terrorism (sheesh--even here at home). But the vast majority of the people in all those countries and the countless others we've helped toward democracy support our presence. The same will likely happen in a liberated Iraq.

Iraq is the low-hanging fruit in the war against terrorism, for the simple facts that a) it's a nexus of anti-Americanism; b) it's unquestionably a WMD-creating rogue state; c) there's a pile of international law already on the books justifying regime change there; and d) it's in the heart of Arabia, and therefore ideal as a test-market and example of Arabian democracy. That we're having such difficulty mustering international will to destroy Saddam's regime and replace it with something better testifies to one simple fact: The rest of the world didn't suffer 9-11, and therefore has yet to clue in to the true danger that civilization faces. They won't get it until it happens to them, on their soil. Ironically our war against Iraq, opposed by much of the world, will probably prevent such atrocities in other countries, which means that they'll likely never understand the threat the way we do. They'll harbor a grudge because we saved them, without ever knowing how much good we have actually done. But I'd still prefer that to witnessing further terrorist atrocity, in the US or elsewhere.

UPDATE: I should probably clarify at least one point in this post, which is why much of the world opposes us. There are several reasons, ranging from a distrust of whoever is currently the most powerful state around, to opposition to all liberal democratic ideals (on the part of tyrants like Saddam, mostly, ruling in places like Havana and Beijing), to a resurgence in Communism and its efforts to fund and promote anything that weakens us. Further, some hard core socialist types around the world simply hold an unshakable paradigm that anything the US does is bad and must be opposed, that anything the US does is bound to fail or make things worse and should be opposed, and that the US never works for its stated aims but always has a sinister ulterior motive and therefore should be opposed. We won't convince these people no matter what we do and no matter how successful our actions are. But I think these reasons rise from a minority of the opposition to America's war actions. I really do think that most people who oppose us just don't understand the threat because 9-11 didn't happen to them--or hasn't yet.

UPDATE AGAIN: Maybe those paradigms aren't so unshakable. Unfortunately for today's peaceniks, we can't wait 30 years for them to figure things out for themselves.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


A.M. Siriano on dying for the cause of liberty:

The truth is this, and we should be shouting it loudly, especially now: Every victim of 9-11, on an eternal scale, was a freedom fighter, and died for the good of mankind. Every man and woman who faced death on the plains of Europe or in the jungles of Asia did so for the cause of liberty. It makes no difference at all if France has forgotten its former champion, if South Korea hates its protectors, or even if we must take abuse from the whole world for wanting to deliver Iraq from Saddam’s rotten grip. Their gratitude or ingratitude should mean nothing to us in light of the freedom we have secured for them. Even if we were to lose a war (have we ever, really?), that war is a mere skirmish in the greater war—liberty’s war—which is to secure and advance the cause of freedom. Liberty is the point, the one great concept that rules all other concepts, and America, founded upon this very ideal, is, by necessity, the foremost holder of that light. Those who have died now see the final glory, and regardless of what the errant living have to say, we can have, by way of innumerable examples and a bit of imagination, their same vision.
Regrettably, though never pointlessly, some will have to die trying.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack