ARCHIVES
CATEGORIES
Look Who's Linking to PoliBlog:
3cx.org
Absinthe and Cookies
Accidental Verbosity
Admiral Quixote's Roundtable
All Day Permanent Red
All Things Jennifer
Ann Althouse
The American Mind
Arguing with signposts
The Astute Blogger
Asymmeterical Information
Attaboy
augustus
B-Town Blog Boys
BabyTrollBlog
Backcountry Conservative
Balloon Juice
Bananas and Such Begging to Differ
The Bemusement Park
Benedict
Bewtween the Coasts
Betsy's Page
The Big Picture
BipolarBBSBlog
bLogicus
Blogs for Bush
BoiFromTroy
Boots and Sabers
brykMantra
BushBlog
The Bully Pulpit
Caffeinated Musing
California Yankee
Captain's Quarters
Chicago Report
Chicagoland of Confusion
Citizen Smash
Coldheartedtruth
Collected Thoughts
The Command Post
Common Sense and Wonder
Confessions Of A Political Junkie
Conservative Revolution
Conservative and Right
Cranial Cavity
The Daily Lemon
Daly Thoughts
DANEgerus Weblog
Dart Frog on a Cactus
Dean's World Dear Free World
Brad DeLong
Democracy Project
DiVERSiONZ
The Disagreeable Conservative Curmudgeon
Down to the Piraeus
Drink this...
Earl's log
Earthly Passions
The Education Wonks
the evangelical outpost
exvigilare
Eye of the Storm
Feste
Filtrat
The Flying Space Monkey Chronicles
The Friendly Ghost
FringeBlog
Functional, if not decorative
G-Blog.net
The Galvin Opinion
The Glittering Eye
Haight Speech
Half-Bakered
The Hedgehog Report
Heh. Indeed.
Hellblazer
Hennessy's View
High Desert Skeptic
Robert Holcomb
I love Jet Noise
Idlewild South
Incommunicado
Independent Thinker
Insults Unpunished
Interested-Participant
Internet Ronin
Ipse Dixit
It Can't Rain All The Time...
The Jay Blog
Jen Speaks
Joefish's Freshwater Blog
John Lemon
johnrpierce.info blog
Judicious Asininity
Just On The Other Side
The Kudzu Files
LeatherPenguin
Let's Try Freedom
LibertarianJackass.com
Liberty Father
Life and Law
David Limbaugh
LittleBugler
Locke, or Demosthenes?
LostINto
Mad Minerva
Gary Manca
Mark the Pundit
Mediocre but Unexciting
memeorandum
Mental Hiccups
Miller's Time
Mind of Mog
Minorities For Bush
Mr. Hawaii
The Moderate Voice
The Modulator
Much Ado
Mungowitz End
My opinion counts
my thoughts, without the penny charge
My Word
mypetjawa
Naw
Neophyte Pundit
Neutiquam erro
New England Republican
NewsHawk Daily
neWs Round-Up
NixGuy.com
No Pundit Intended
Nobody asked me, but...
Obsidian Wings
Occam's Toothbrush
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
One Fine Jay
Out of Context
Outside the Beltway
Suman Palit
Parablemania
Passionate America
Brian Patton
Peaktalk
Peppermint Patty
Phlegma
John Pierce
PiratesCove
politicalman.blog-city.com
The Politicker
The Politburo Diktat
Political Annotation
Political Blog For The Politically Incorrect
Possumblog
Power Politics
Powerpundit.com
Practical Penumbra
Priorities & Frivolities ProfessorBainbridge.com
Prof. Blogger's Pontifications
PunditFilter
Pundit Heads
QandO
The Queen of All Evil
Quotes, Thoughts, and other Ramblings
Ramblings' Journal
Random Acts of Kindness
Random Nuclear Strikes
Ranting Rationalist
Read My Lips
Reagan Country
Jay Reding.com
A Republican's Blog
Resource.full
The Review
Right Side of the Rainbow
Right Wingin-It
Right Wing News
Right Voices
Rightward Reasonings
riting on the wall
robwestcott
Rooftop Report
RoguePundit
The Sake of Argument
Scrappleface
Secular Sermons
Sha Ka Ree
Shaking Spears
She Who Will Be Obeyed!
The Skeptician
The Skewed
Slant/Point.
small dead animals
Sneakeasy's Joint
SoCal Law Blog
A Solo Dialogue
Solomonia
Some Great Reward
Southern Musings
Speed of Thought...
Spin Killer
Matthew J. Stinson
A Stitch in Haste
The Strange Political Road Trip of Jane Q. Public
Stuff about
Suman Palit
SwimFinsSF
Target Centermass
Templar Pundit
The Temporal Globe
Tex the Pontificator
Texas Native
think about it...
Tiger
Tobacco Road Fogey
Tony Talks Tech
The Trimblog
Use The Forks!!
Varifrank
Vista On Current Events
VodkaPundit
Jeff Vreeland's Blog
Wall of Sleep
Weapons of Mass Discussion
Who Knew?
The Window Manager
Winning Again!
WizBang!
WizBang Tech
The World Around You
The Yin Blog
You Big Mouth, You!
Zygote-Design
Non-Blogs Linking to PoliBlog:
al.com - Alabama Weblogs

AJC's 2004 Election Politics Sites and Blogs Campaign Finance
Welcome to newcounterculture.com World O' Blogs
Yahoo! Directory Political Weblogs
Young Elephant

Who Links Here

Monday, March 31, 2003
Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

That didn’t take long: Britain’s

By Steven Taylor @ 6:57 pm

That didn’t take long: Britain’s Mirror Hires Fired Veteran Arnett. Of course it is something of a step down.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Intriguing:

By Steven Taylor @ 4:21 pm

Kin of Saddam’s aides fleeing

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Remarkable:

By Steven Taylor @ 3:05 pm

8,700 Bombs, Missiles Launched at Iraq, U.S.says. And, I should think: “We are seeing significant degradation of those forces”

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Musings.

By Steven Taylor @ 12:40 pm

It just occurred to me: what if instead of hearing every night about how the best case scenario did not occur (i.e., the cakewalk thesis didn’t play out), we heard about how the worst case scenario did not occur? I know that there has been some reference to the lack of an attack on Israel, the lack of a flood of refugees, etc. Still, it is most remarkable the degree to which many in the press seem most eager to talk about the administration having to rethink its plan (which, actually, I think is an incorrect characterization-I suspect the administration did plan for the failure of the cakewalk. Indeed, the ignorance of many in the press is staggering-they seem to actually think that the US military goes into a place with only one plan, and if that fails they start from scratch…), rather than talk about all that has gone right.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

John Leo’s US News column

By Steven Taylor @ 12:22 pm

John Leo’s US News column is worth a looksee. A taste: “The Hitlerization of Bush is particularly outlandish since there already is a rather obvious Hitler figure in this drama.” Indeed.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Fighting and Liberation:

By Steven Taylor @ 12:14 pm

Fareed Zakaria’s column in Newsweek is worth a read. His tone is a bit more critical than I would prefer, but the basics are on target.

And, I think this is essentially correct:

Many Iraqis will celebrate Saddams fall. Others will be angered by a foreign invasion. But most will be on guard to see what happens after the war. That is when America will vindicate itself, if it truly helps to build a new Iraq. After all, the Germans and the Japanese did not cheer in 1945 but they were grateful by 1955. America will win the Iraqis over not by what it does in the next five weeks but rather in the next five years.

Although I do think that ultimately there is going to be some serious jubilation when Saddam is utterly toppled. Still, the true liberalization of Iraq is going to take time, and I hope that we are adequately committed to that process. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is also the path that will lead to more security for the United States.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

“Believe it or not, we’re winning”

By Steven Taylor @ 12:09 pm

A good piece by Mark Steyn. And, indeed:

An innovative war is going very well, and none of the ‘’setbacks'’ are unexpected, despite the Saddamites’ determination in their death throes to plumb new depths in depravity. The allied loss of life is wretched for the families involved but strategically significant only as a historically unprecedented low: Just for the record, there have been 10 American combat deaths to approximately 1,000 Iraqi combat deaths, and there is no reason to believe that ratio will change unless Saddam’s conscripts start surrendering faster. It was Stalin who said cynically that one death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic. The fact that CNN was able to lapse into its default individual-tragedy mode with soft-focus profiles of each American POW is, in fact, confirmation of how badly the Baathists are doing.

He makes several good point-give it a read.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

More Blogs in the news:

By Steven Taylor @ 11:56 am

More Blogs in the news: Bloggers Delight

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Bad Day in General for “Journalists":

By Steven Taylor @ 11:10 am

The U.S. military is expelling Fox News Channel’s unfortunate hire Geraldo Rivera from the country, CNN reported today.

CNN quotes U.S. military officials as saying Geraldo violated “the cardinal rule of war reporting Monday by giving away crucial details of future military operations during a live broadcast.” It gave no further information.

Source.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Hook’Em Yet Again!

By Steven Taylor @ 8:28 am

: Texas is finally in the Final Four for the first time since 1947.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

In the “He’ll Never Learn” Category

By Steven Taylor @ 8:19 am

(not to mention probably never get another serious job in US): NBC Fires Arnett After Iraq TV Interview. Between his escapades in the first Gulf War, anf then making stuff up for CNN a few years later, and now this, one guesses he is truly done with major networks in the US.

And I would not wear this as a badge of honor:

He said the Iraqis allowed him to stay in Baghdad because they respect him.

“The Iraqis have let me stay because they see me as a fellow warrior,” Arnett said. “They know I might not agree with them, but I’ve got their respect.”

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Sunday, March 30, 2003
BTW, John Lemon is back

By Steven Taylor @ 8:06 am

BTW, John Lemon is back from vacation.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

It strikes me as odd

By Steven Taylor @ 8:04 am

It strikes me as odd that in every picture of Saddam since the war started, there is always some kind of curtain behind him (although the curtain itself varies) and he is always sitting. Plus, why haven’t they just issued a video that is 100% conclusive? Most strange.

Fox had a picture that had Saddam’s bodyguard in it, but no Saddam. Apparently the bodyguard has never been photgraphed without Saddam present in 15 years. Also strange, but I have not had time to see if there is further news or analysis of this situation.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

So, I wonder how many

By Steven Taylor @ 8:02 am

So, I wonder how many people still think that there is no way, no how, that secular Saddam would ever work with Islamic fundamentalist terrorists.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Saturday, March 29, 2003
Encouraging:

By Steven Taylor @ 8:49 pm

Iraqi civilians were reported to be emerging from Basra yesterday to pass critical intelligence information to British-led forces to aid attacks against Saddam Hussein’s forces within their own city.

British intelligence officers said there had been a steady stream of information coming from the population in Basra, Iraq’s second largest city, about the movements and activities of paramilitaries loyal to Saddam.

Source: The Telegraph (Hat Tip to Analyst at AcePilots.com )

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

As usual, Friedman’s latest column

By Steven Taylor @ 8:39 pm

As usual, Friedman’s latest column is worth a read. His argument that NATO will not only survive the Iraq war, but thrive in the future as a US-led alliance in the war against terror is most intriguing. The current situation in Afghanistan vis--vis NATO was unknown to me, and does lend some credence to his argument.

Still, we shall see.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Somewhat amusing: Top Stories Photos

By Steven Taylor @ 2:45 pm

Somewhat amusing: Top Stories Photos

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Desperation Tactics:

By Steven Taylor @ 2:27 pm

This-Iraq Says Suicide Strikes Are ‘Policy’-is not the move of a military that believes it can win, but rather a move of desperation to attack the coalition’s resolve. For a regime that so many claimed did not have any usage for terrorism, it is remarkable to degree to which all the regime has are terrorist tactics. I still believe that many of the mainline military would have quit if it weren’t for the terror being applied by the regime to its own citizens.

It is worth noting that one does not create suicide bombers overnight. Clearly the regime has been fomenting some of its own Islamic extremism to create these “weapons.”

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Line of the Day:

By Steven Taylor @ 8:37 am

“If the Americans stay here, we are afraid of nothing.” (Majmadin Majid, a Kurdish regular) Source: WaPo.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Excellent:

By Steven Taylor @ 8:34 am

Kurdish-U.S. Assault Takes Town

With U.S. Special Forces operating field artillery, calling in airstrikes and supervising a massive infantry charge, 6,000 Kurdish fighters today overwhelmed a band of radical Islamic Kurds in a remote mountain valley in northeastern Iraq.

The combined Kurdish-U.S. assault began at dawn and ended in a rout. By midafternoon this rugged village in the Shram Mountains near the Iranian border was no longer the headquarters of Ansar al-Islam, a small but dangerous militant group that the Bush administration charges has links to the al Qaeda terror network.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I Thought the Iraqis Eschewed Terrorism?

By Steven Taylor @ 8:28 am

Suicide Bombing Kills U.S. Troops

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

60 Minutes II on Umm Qasr

By Steven Taylor @ 8:25 am

Did anyone see the 60 Minutes II piece on Wednesday night on the distribution of aid to Iraqi civilians at Umm Qasr? If anyone saw the US serviceman, who had tears in his eyes because of the joy he saw on the faces of Iraqi children because the US had brought water, and still can call this cause unjust, or worse, claim that we are purposefully killing women and children, are out of touch with reality. Further, the fact that a substantial part of the reason that the people in Umm Qasr didn’t have water was because the regime halted shipments even before the war started should quell any talk of the moral equivalency of the two sides.

Indeed, the 60 Minutes II piece that same night on the Fadayeen Saddam should utterly destroy any arguments that the two side are in any way the same.

Filed under: General | Comments(2) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Flipper Lives!

By Steven Taylor @ 8:15 am

There is just something surreal and very American about all of this (plus, great pic):


Source: U.S. Navy/NPR

The whole story is here.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

May They Be Successful:

By Steven Taylor @ 8:00 am

U.S. Teams Seek to Kill Iraqi Elite. And I suspect there is quite a bit that we don’t know about:

The previously undisclosed operation suggests U.S. efforts to destroy the Iraqi government’s leadership are far more extensive than previously known, and have continued since the March 20 airstrike on a residential compound in the suburbs of Baghdad.

That paragraph leapt out at me, as the press often presents this omniscient attitude that they know all, see all, and therefore can critique all.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

The Result of the Irregulars

By Steven Taylor @ 7:57 am

The ironic thing, it occurs to me, of the increase in guerrilla, irregular, and terrorist tactics by the Iraqis will bolster the hard-core pro-war faction, as these acts simply prove the evil that the regime contains (I am especially thinking of the nefarious tactics of the Fedayeen Saddam), while those who were opposed in the first place will simply point to all of these terrible happenings as evidence we shouldn’t have gotten involved in the first place.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Friday, March 28, 2003
Elite Eight

By Steven Taylor @ 9:48 pm

: Hook’em again: Texas 82, Connecticut 78

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

The Calculus of War

By Steven Taylor @ 9:12 pm

While I will admit to thinking that things were going remarkably well a week ago today, and I would have predicted that we would have been farther along by today, I must admit that the layer of gloom that the press, and many armchair generals, are laying on right now is a bit thick. While I know some pontificated that this was going to be super-easy, I don’t think that most informed persons thought this would be the case. (It is noteworthy that public opinion polling seems to indicate that the American people understand the complexity of the situation, even if the media, on balance, does not). I never thought this was would be won in a week. A month, yes, a week? Please.

Further, I think that our time perception has been distorted by the live coverage and twenty-hour-a-day coverage. It makes us impatient. And I find that the more information I have, the more I want. I am rarely satiated. I always know there is more to know.

In additional to all of that, and understanding the amount of time it takes is an issue, I would note the following: First, wars cannot be truly evaluated as to their success or failure until after they are completed. Second, consider the following metrics of war, and then tell me if the gloom is warranted:

  • Who controls the skies of Iraq?
  • How much territory is under the control of the regime, and how much by the coalition?
  • How many US/coalition soldiers have been wounded, killed, or captured? How many Iraqis?
  • How many US military assets have been destroyed? Iraqi assets?

  • How many Iraqi targets of military significance have been destroyed or seriously damaged in the last week?
  • Which military faces likely serious re-supply problems shortly?
  • and the list goes on…

I recognize that there are political considerations as well: how many civilian casualties? How many civilians and infrastructural facilities have been damaged or destroyed, how long is it going to take, etc. But the bottom line is that by any objective standard, there is no cause for doom and panic. Rather, the thing that can be said is that the best case scenario did not take place, and it rarely does.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Line of the Day

By Steven Taylor @ 8:05 pm

: “Their name, Fedayeen Saddam, is a lie, because their purpose is certainly not to make martyrs of themselves, but to make martyrs of innocent Iraqis opposed to Saddam’s rule. But we will take them at their word, and if their wish is to die for Saddam Hussein, they will be accommodated” (SecDef, Donald Rumsfeld, 3/28/03, DoD News Briefing).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I’m Back! Lots to catch

By Steven Taylor @ 8:04 pm

I’m Back! Lots to catch up on. Some entries to follow tonight.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Wednesday, March 26, 2003
PoliBlog Status ReportI will be

By Steven Taylor @ 9:47 am

PoliBlog Status Report

I will be out of town over the next several days at the Latin American Studies Association conference. See you all back in Blogosphere on Friday.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Speaking of Reaping What You Sow

By Steven Taylor @ 9:05 am

I think we are paying the price of diplomacy, as one analyst put it yesterday. Clearly while we played footsy with the UN and the French, Saddam was able to deploy secret police and various irregular troops into civilian populations. Clearly many of the Iraqis are afraid to surrender, revolt or otherwise support our military. There have been reports of Iraqis dressed as US military, accepting surrendering Iraqis soldiers and then executing those seeking to lay down their arms. It isnt a pretty picture, and I suspect we will learn a good number of horror stories along this line.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Ghosts of the Past

By Steven Taylor @ 8:59 am

I used to be of the position that I understood why the Forty-One administration did not head on to Baghdad when the chance was there. However, in retrospect, I find myself somewhat sickened by the fact that we asked the Iraqi people to rise up and then did not come to their aid. I think that we are at least partially reaping the results of that policy. While I still maintain that the vast majority of the Iraqi people will ultimately see this conflict as a liberation, I think many are waiting to make sure that we are serious, and that we are indeed going to kill the regime, before rising up again. The situation in Basra, however, is most encouraging.

The part that sickens me is the thought of brave men and women, wanting to get free from tyranny, risking their lives with the hope that cavalry was coming, but the good guys on white horses never arrived. It is truly a crime to have done that to those people.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Tuesday, March 25, 2003
You Have Got to be Kidding Me:

By Steven Taylor @ 11:46 pm

France Seeks Big Role in Post-War Iraq

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Tax Set-Back?

By Steven Taylor @ 7:33 pm

As has been well-reported today, an amendment passed on the floor of the Senate today that halved the President’s tax proposal. This has widely been described as a “set back” (if not outright defeat) to the President’s domestic policy agenda. However, as was also reported, but then ignored most of the day, the House passed the tax package intact. Now, that means something very simple, and very important: it is far from over with as to what will be in the tax package. The Senate vote is no more total defeat than the House vote is total victory. The bills will have to be reconciled, and any number of things may yet happen. Indeed, the reconciliation process is multi-faceted, complex and could result in the tax package dying entirely, being restored entirely, or radically altered in some way.

I can never decide if the media writ large simply does not understand how the legislative process works, or if they are willfully ignorant in public to enhance the significance of the part of the vote they prefer. Neither is a flattering picture.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

more of PoliBlogger’s Mediaese-to-English Dictionary:

By Steven Taylor @ 7:08 pm

“Protracted War”

USAGE: “Well, Peter, it seems that since the war was not won within 72 hours, the coalition now faces a protracted war.”

TRANSLATION: In plain English, this means “a war,” or “a real war.” see also: battle, conflict, fight. In other words, it might take a few weeks, maybe a month. Like the entry on “unexpectedly strong resistance” when used by speakers of mediaese it connotes a failure. Note: do not confuse speakers of mediaese by pointing out that the World Wars, Korea and Vietnam all took years.

Filed under: General | Comments(2) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

This Continues to Sound Promising:

By Steven Taylor @ 3:08 pm

Anti-Saddam rising unfurls in Basra

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

And stocks rally:

By Steven Taylor @ 1:04 pm

US stocks rise; Dow adds to gains by midday

It is almost comical, good news, stocks up! bad news, stocks down! It does make for an interesting, if imperfect, barometer as to the national mood vis-a-vis the war.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Good News

By Steven Taylor @ 1:03 pm

from the same story linked below:

Earlier, British military sources said about 20 of Saddam Hussein’s henchmen were killed and a key party official captured in a raid by British forces near Basra on Monday night.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

May it be so!

By Steven Taylor @ 1:01 pm

BASRA: ANTI-SADDAM RIOTS

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

PoliBlogger’s Mediaese-to-English Dictionary

By Steven Taylor @ 12:39 pm

: “Unexpectedly Strong Resistance”

USAGE: “US forces have encountered unexpectedly strong resistance leading many to wonder if the strategy is flawed.”

DEFINITION: The phrase means, in plain English, “the best case scenario did not take place” (synonym: everything isn’t perfect), and carries the connotation, by native speakers of mediaese (and many anti-warites), that some failure has occurred, even if no such failure has occurred. Proper translation should take this into account.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

“Peace Activism":

By Steven Taylor @ 10:47 am

Dennis Prager has an excellent column on the specific case of Rachel Corrie’s death during her attempt at shielding a Palestinian home against an Israeli bulldozer, and the broader issue of idealistic peace activists. I will say that I have mixed, and mostly negative, feelings on the Israeli policy of bulldozing the homes of homicide bombers’ families. I am not convinced that it is an effective policy. It may contain a measure of justice (assuming that the families are indeed accomplices, which is not necessarily the case), but it likely does much more harm than good. However, trying to stop a bulldozer by squatting in a house in the process of being torn down is not smart. Further, protesting the Israelis while supporting Palestinian terrorists is not a noble cause.

Some worthwhile snippets from the Prager column:

Rachel Corrie chose to side with a society that breeds some of the cruelest murderers of innocent people in the world. Rachel Corrie gave her life trying to protect people whose declared aim is to annihilate another country. In the name of saving children’s lives, Rachel Corrie chose to defend a society that teaches its young children to blow themselves up and which deliberately targets children for death. And Rachel Corrie went to America’s enemies to burn her country’s flag.

And, specifically, his comments on peace activism, and idealism in general is worth reading, as I think he is spot-on:

We are told repeatedly that Rachel was idealistic - as if that matters. Virtually every person who commits great evil - the Nazi, the Communist, the Islamic terrorist - is idealistic. Idealism is morally neutral. It is good only when directed to good ends. But in young people, idealism is at least as likely to lead to bad as to good because few young people are wise - and idealism without wisdom is very dangerous.

We are told ad nauseam that Rachel Corrie was a “peace activist.” So let it be said once and for all that most of these people are moral frauds. Why? Because “peace activists” routinely protest only against peaceful countries. Has there been one Evergreen State or other “peace activist” in Sudan during its Islamic government’s slaughter and enslavement of millions of blacks? Are there any “peace activists” in Tibet to protect its unique culture from being eradicated by the Communist Chinese? Did you notice any “peace activists” trying to save the millions of North Koreans dying at the hands of their lunatic government? Of course not. Rachel Corrie and other “peace activists” only target peace-loving Israel and America.

An alleged love of peace at any cost, often leads to a furtherance of evil. The situation in Iraq underscores this-those who protest in the name of “peace” and the “Iraqi people” would have been satisfied with the status quo, which allowed Saddam Hussein to terrorize his population and use it wealth for his own selfish ends. Hardly a good trade off.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Indeed:

By Steven Taylor @ 10:15 am

Cal Thomas’ column is worth a look. Two issues strike me. First (not unlike what I said here:

If the war to liberate Iraq continues to go well; if there are relatively few coalition and civilian casualties; if an “environmental disaster” does not occur with the mass torching of oil wells; if chemical and biological weapons are not used either because American threats of severe consequences have been heard or coalition forces have preemptively taken them out; if Israel is not hit with Scud missiles; if, in short, we achieve every objective, what will the naysayers say?

And, especially:

Can any fair-minded person say we are behaving in a “habitually cruel” manner in Iraq? Have not the coalition forces gone out of their way to strike only military targets (as opposed to the habitually cruel homicide bombers in Israel who go after innocent civilians and Saddam Hussein who is an equal opportunity murderer?). Have we not declared our intention to install a democratic government in Iraq, run by Iraqis and not the United States, as soon as it is feasible?

Any who want to draw moral equivalencies between the US and Iraq in any way are clearly wearing willful blinders.

Filed under: General | Comments(2) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Brief Oscar Commentary: I didn’t

By Steven Taylor @ 9:53 am

Brief Oscar Commentary: I didn’t watch the Oscars, so got what little news about it from secondary sources. I just learned last night (in a wrap-up with sound and video bites) that Roman Polanski won the “Best Director” award. Polanski wasn’t there, of course, because he is a fugitive from US justice, given a little, shall we say, dalliance, with a then 13-year-old girl (you know, the encounter which resulted in a child rape conviction?) Yet, when the award was announced there were great applause and celebration. This from the same audience where many sat in silence, or even clapped, during Michael Moores rant about President Bush and the war. Not to paint with an over-broad brush, but the moral bankruptcy of Hollywood was quite clear in that moment.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

International Law Redux

By Steven Taylor @ 9:29 am

The ongoing discussion of the treatment of POWs, and the issue of Iraqi irregular troops, wholly underscores the fragility of international law and agreements. One can assert that it is illegal for the Iraqis to parade our servicemen and women in front of the cameras, the President can state that we expect the Iraqis to treat our prisoners well, and General Franks can point out that fake surrenders that turn into ambushes are against the rules of combat, but the bottom line is that the force of international law cannot make the Iraqis behave. The War Referees, dressed in black and white stripes (and really loud whistles) are not going to pop up from behind a sand dune and flag the Iraqis. Indeed, the only power that is going to make the Iraqis adhere to the rules is the force applied to them by coalition forces. We can punish, ex post, war criminals but the reason we will be able to do so, is because we will win the military conflict.

And specifically on the topic of the Geneva Conventions, it is highly noteworthy (and indeed, has been noted by many, including James at OTB, that we follow the rules and humanly treat prisoners because thats the way we do things, not because a treaty says so. At its root, international law is enforceable only by force, and only when the rules have already failed.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Monday, March 24, 2003
Here’s a List of Casualties,

By Steven Taylor @ 9:29 pm

Here’s a List of Casualties, POWs, MIAs. And at the risk of sounding overly callous, or cold, I must say that despite all the hand-wringing, to be into this war 5 plus days and have only 19 dead and 12 missing or captured it remarkable. And if you read the causes of death, many are not due to the enemy, but rather to accidents.

And the striking thing is that is one was to watch much of the news today, you would think 100 times as many people were dead.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

They Can Complain, But…

By Steven Taylor @ 9:09 pm

Pentagon Complains About Fake Surrenders The story does provide some interesting insights into what is going on in Iraq:

“They are sending forces out carrying white surrender flags or dressing them as liberated civilians to draw coalition forces into ambushes,” said Victoria Clarke, spokeswoman for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. “Both of these actions are among the most serious violations of the laws of war,” she said.

Also of interest:

Asked about the relatively slow pace of Iraqi surrendering, McChrystal suggested that members of the Fedayeen, Saddam Hussein’s most trusted militia, had infiltrated regular Iraqi army units, telling them to “fight or be shot in the back.”

This latter point is especially interesting. It reminds me that had Saddam not had all those months to prepare for this war, that it likely would be unfolding differently.

Thanks, UN. Thanks, France.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

They Can Complain, But…

By Steven Taylor @ 9:09 pm

Pentagon Complains About Fake Surrenders The story does provide some interesting insights into what is going on in Iraq:

“They are sending forces out carrying white surrender flags or dressing them as liberated civilians to draw coalition forces into ambushes,” said Victoria Clarke, spokeswoman for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. “Both of these actions are among the most serious violations of the laws of war,” she said.

Also of interest:

Asked about the relatively slow pace of Iraqi surrendering, McChrystal suggested that members of the Fedayeen, Saddam Hussein’s most trusted militia, had infiltrated regular Iraqi army units, telling them to “fight or be shot in the back.”

This latter point is especially interesting. It reminds me that had Saddam not had all those months to prepare for this war, that it likely would be unfolding differently.

Thanks, UN. Thanks, France.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

A Shame:TV Ratings For Oscars

By Steven Taylor @ 7:10 pm

A Shame:TV Ratings For Oscars Plunge

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Meanwhile, in the war against al Qaeda:

By Steven Taylor @ 7:03 pm

Second Al Qaeda Trainee Pleads Guilty

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

An amusing pic over at

By Steven Taylor @ 2:05 pm

An amusing pic over at OTB

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Aziz Alive

By Steven Taylor @ 1:35 pm

(unless, of course it is a body double): Saddam in ‘Full Control,’ Aziz Says. One does wonder why he didn’t make any commments in English, however.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Uday, a Great Guy:

By Steven Taylor @ 1:26 pm

From, of all places, SI Son of Saddam - Monday March 24, 2003 02:11 PM. I had meant to blog this this weekend after I read in it in the actual, believe it or not, Dead Tree version. The body double of Uday intereviewed in the piece was on TV this weekend (I forget what network). While he was anti-Saddam, he was also anti-war (which strikes me largely as a non sequitur).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Worse than I predicted this

By Steven Taylor @ 12:06 pm

Worse than I predicted this morning, but not surprising: Dow Falls Sharply Amid Fears of Prolonged War

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

An interesting piece on Iraqi

By Steven Taylor @ 10:54 am

An interesting piece on Iraqi nationalism, that provides some optimism that there is sufficient unity to sustain a post-Saddam state that maintains current national boundaries and identities: IDENTITY: Iraq, More Unified Than It Looks

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Amusing:

By Steven Taylor @ 10:34 am

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

3k!

By Steven Taylor @ 9:19 am

-PoliBlog just passed the 3000 hit-mark. Thanks for the all the visits!

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

SaddamWatch:

By Steven Taylor @ 8:50 am

One does wonder as to why, if he is alive, he doesn’t just make a video that would 100% establish itself by content. Although, granted, the whole “body-double” issue would be in place, but the CIA seems to be able to deal with that. At ant rate, it is odd that all the tapes have been vague in terms of when they were shot.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Franks Speaks:

By Steven Taylor @ 8:35 am

“I see nothing unexpected here” (from today’s briefing). And I am certain this is 100% true. I am no military expert, and while I have argued that the Iraqis will see us as liberators, I didn’t expect every single soldier to throw down their arms immediately, nor did I expect the citizens to start giving parades as soon as we arrived. Anyone who applied a rational eye and mind to this knew that there was going to be resistance, and that there was going to be fatalities on our side. It simply stands to reason.

These people are still living in fear of Saddam. Further, many of their military know their days are numbered, insofar as they are war criminals, so why not fight? Really, as I keep noting, the set-backs to this point are minor in the grand scheme of things. And this is not to diminish death, or the fate of the POWs-but if we are going to go into panic over death in war, then we shouldn’t wage war. Indeed, we might as well pack up the military. More American died in the two recent nightclub incidences than have died to date in this conflict.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Indeed: On Weekdays, It’s a

By Steven Taylor @ 8:14 am

Indeed: On Weekdays, It’s a Web War (of course, in the Blogosphere, everyday is WebDay). And, samrt move:

Many newspapers greatly increased their bandwidth and server capacity after 9/11.

I remember everything being down on 911, and then the major sites going to text only. In fact, I first noticed the major news sources’ lack of capacity during the 2000 presidential election.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I must say, I will

By Steven Taylor @ 8:13 am

I must say, I will be quite pleased when we finally get this guy, or proff that we already got him. I tired of these kinds of things: Iraqi TV Shows Hussein Rallying Troops (washingtonpost.com)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

The Market

By Steven Taylor @ 8:03 am

: My guess is that the market will be down, or at least mixed, today. I suspect the negative news from yesterday will have an emotional effect on trading. We shall see. It is fascinating to watch how irrationally positive and irrationally negative reactions affect these things. It will also be interesting to watch and see how the Dow reacts through the day, depending on news from the war. Especially since we are getting close to Baghdad.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I just heard a clip

By Steven Taylor @ 8:01 am

I just heard a clip of Michael Moore’s “protest” speech at the Oscars last night. I was not surprised as his vitriol, but was surprised (and pleased) and the vigorously negative reaction from many in the audience.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Sunday, March 23, 2003
Despite the fact that some

By Steven Taylor @ 9:53 pm

Despite the fact that some clearly horrible things happened today, to be four and a half days into a major armed conflict, and only have 20 dead or missing and 50 wounded is astoundingly positive. While today should remind us all that this is not, as a commentator on TV mentioned a while ago, a “video game or a movie,” it should not generate great angst and pessimism either. Stats from here: Iraq Broadcasts Images of Prisoners U.S. Assails Ruses

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Hook’em Horns:

By Steven Taylor @ 9:39 pm

BTW, if I may say: Texas 77, Purdue 67

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

We have hit that point

By Steven Taylor @ 9:37 pm

We have hit that point in the news cycle where there is no real “new” news, so the pointless blather from people who don’t know what they are talking about begins. Such is the downside of 24/7 coverage. Plus, one gets the impression that in the absence of new major events, the A-Team is at home resting up tonight.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

What’s Up with Greta?

By Steven Taylor @ 8:53 pm

She is on Fox right now all pessimistic about the war, and insisting that there hasn’t been enough “jubilation” in the streets, and is opining that this might be a “bad sign.” Bill Kristol rightly noted that we really don’t know what the Iraqis are thinking and that four days into the war it is a bit early to decide if the Iraqis believe themselves to be liberated or not.

The impatience (and lack of understanding how these things work) by some in the press is remarkable. Yesterday it was but General, we havent found chemical weapons yet! (and, it appears we now have), and now there is some negative news and one would think that the war has turned in the direction of the regime.

Also, I would note that there is probably a good reason why there is a lack of jubilationin 1991 they rose up, but we didnt stay and help. I would guess that most of the Iraqis who hate Saddam are wary, and therefore will bide their time before singing the Iraqi version of Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

The Command Post Has Moved:

By Steven Taylor @ 4:08 pm

The Command Post Has Moved: Command Post - A Warblog Collective

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Not as Good as the Real Thing, But a Start

By Steven Taylor @ 3:56 pm

Source: MSNBC

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Interesting

By Steven Taylor @ 3:32 pm

(and it makes more sense): Iran: Missile was Iraqi (Hat tip to K Lo at The Corner at NRO)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Funny/Frightening:

By Steven Taylor @ 3:19 pm

National guardman changed his name to a toy (Hat tip: Dave Barry).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Oh, brother:

By Steven Taylor @ 2:55 pm

Nader calls Bush `dictator’

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Hopefully So, But I am Skeptical:

By Steven Taylor @ 2:31 pm

Iraq Says It Will Follow Geneva Convention for POWs. Their track record in the past has not been too impressive, and they have already shown themselves to be in violation of the convention by parading them in front of TV cameras.

This situation is another example of the inherent weakness of international law. I noted in an earlier post that the US had the power to ignore international law if it wanted in going to war, demonstrating the lack of true enforce of such “laws.” Unfortunately, in the case of POWs, there may well be rules about how the Iraqis should treat our soldiers, but at present, there is no one watching the Iraqis who can make them behave. As such, international laws governing the treatment of POWs are worthless when applied to states willing to abuse prisoners. We will follow international law regarding the Iraqis we catch, but we would have treated them humanly anyway.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Useful Info:

By Steven Taylor @ 2:17 pm

List of casualties in war in Iraq

Filed under: General | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

My thanks to PolitiBlog for

By Steven Taylor @ 1:59 pm

My thanks to PolitiBlog for linking to PoliBlog.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

PoliBlogger on Dead Tree (and

By Steven Taylor @ 12:36 pm

PoliBlogger on Dead Tree (and my semi-secret identity revealed): Liberation faces test in Iraqi experiment. Loyal readers (reader?) will recognize the genesis of column from here on PoliBlog.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Rumscraft

By Steven Taylor @ 8:06 am

: Rumsfled confirms surrenders in the “1000s” in Iraq. He notes that resistant has been “uneven"-stiff in some cases, nonexistent in others.

He called general progress as “excellent.”

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Fascinating:

By Steven Taylor @ 7:54 am

I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam

We just sat, listening, our mouths open wide. Jake, one of the others, just kept saying, “Oh my God” as the driver described the horrors of the regime. Jake was so shocked at how naive he had been. We all were. It hadn’t occurred to anyone that the Iraqis might actually be pro-war.

The driver’s most emphatic statement was: “All Iraqi people want this war.” He seemed convinced that civilian casualties would be small; he had such enormous faith in the American war machine to follow through on its promises. Certainly more faith than any of us had.

Perhaps the most crushing thing we learned was that most ordinary Iraqis thought Saddam Hussein had paid us to come to protest in Iraq. Although we explained that this was categorically not the case, I don’t think he believed us. Later he asked me: “Really, how much did Saddam pay you to come?”

And you have to love this epiphany:

Anyone with half a brain must see that Saddam has to be taken out. It is extraordinarily ironic that the anti-war protesters are marching to defend a government which stops its people exercising that freedom.

It is remarkable that the guy practically had to be hit over the head to see the obvious. And he is a journalist. It is utterly remarkable, the degree to which one can be blind to the facts plainly in front of one’s face. (Hat Tip to PoliticaObscura via The Command Post.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Ironic, if Anything

By Steven Taylor @ 7:45 am

. There is no tactful way to say it, but it is nonetheless true that to date we have been more dangerous to ourselves than have the Iraqis. I am not sure of the current numbers, but I think actual combat deaths are in the low single digits, while crashed helicopters, friendly fire and a grenade rolling idiot in US uniform account for the preponderance of the deaths and causalities. In the overall calculus of war this signals success, but there is something profoundly disturbing about those deaths, as they all seem preventable in some way. One expects to have higher risk of death on the battlefield, but helicopter crashes and friendly fire, while just as inevitable a part of war as enemy fire, seem more of a waste.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Saturday, March 22, 2003
Holy Fashion Flop, Batman

By Steven Taylor @ 9:21 pm

Since when did Mrs. TwoFace work for the Pentagon?

Seriously, this is what you grab out of the closet when you are going to be on global TV? (Hat to to the Agonist).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Some Great Photography: This Would Inspire Some Awe

By Steven Taylor @ 9:17 pm


Smoke billows during a US strike on a presidential palace in Baghdad(AFP/Karim Sahib)

An explosion rocks Baghdad during air strikes March 21, 2003. Large explosions shook Baghdad during a night of blistering air strikes, as U.S. and British ground forces advancing across southern Iraq battled for hours for control of a strategic airfield. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I’m not so sure they

By Steven Taylor @ 8:51 pm

I’m not so sure they are in any position to make threats:

Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri on Sunday warned neighboring Turkey against supporting a U.S.-led war against Baghdad, vowing “multiple harm” for Iraq’s enemies.

Source: Iraq’s Sabri Warns Turkey Against War Moves

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Were I Saddam, I am

By Steven Taylor @ 2:35 pm

Were I Saddam, I am not sure I would want to take credit for the defense of Iraq to date: Iraqi TV Declares Saddam in Control

When dictatorships under duress start shouting how everything is under control to the population, one can pretty much be assured that things aren’t under control. He has got to be either dead, or seriously injured. Or maybe he is so scared that he is is a deep, deep hidey-hole. Any of those are good options for us. Dead is my favorite, however.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

War! What’s it Good For?:

By Steven Taylor @ 2:28 pm

War! What’s it Good For?: “War was our top search term today, taking over from perennial favorites - sex, Britney [Spears] and travel,” Source: CNN.com-War ousts sex, music in Web searches

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

How anyone can see the

By Steven Taylor @ 1:45 pm

How anyone can see the pictures of a largely intact Baghdad, with the lights still on and argue that we are bombing the Iraqi people is beyond me. There is a reason why there has yet to be the expected waves of refugees: we are working very hard not to blow people’s home up, so they don’t have to leave.

Although, I have a question: who are those people I occassionally see driving around Baghdad? Methinks I would just stay home.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Chock full o’ Awe

By Steven Taylor @ 12:23 pm

A building shows damage in Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s palace compound March 22, 2003, after being hit by an air strike the previous night, in Baghdad. Fresh afternoon explosions rocked Baghdad on Saturday and smoke was seen rising from several locations across the Iraqi capital, a Reuters witness said. ‘There are six columns of thick black smoke rising from six different bombed positions,’ correspondent Nadim Ladki said. RETUERS/Goran Tomasevic

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Line of the Day 2:

By Steven Taylor @ 12:01 pm

“I believe command and control is not exactly as advertised on Baghdad television” -General Tommy Franks, 3/22/03

Source: East Anglian Daily Times news

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

More Good Economic News

By Steven Taylor @ 11:39 am

: Oil Prices Ease on Supply Assurances.

Also, this is good evidence against those who argue that recent price hikes were part of collusion by “Big Oil.” If there was ever a time that it would be relatively easy to artificially inflate prices, now would be the time. Rather, it would appear that the market more or less works.

Hopefully this will translate into noticeable gas prices drops soon-my daily commute is 45 minutes of highway driving one-way, and these gas prices aren’t much fun.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

WMD’s

By Steven Taylor @ 11:09 am

: I cannnot believe that people are already saying “where are the weapons of mass destruction?” We just started the war on Wednesday night, fer cryin’ out loud. Indeed, the only way we would have found them at this early a stage is if the Iraqis had used them against us. Given that fact, I am quite pleased we haven’t found any yet.

It will take months after the shooting is done before we find out all there is to know about the WMDs and such. If they were all just sitting out in the open, even Hans Blix would have found them. Yeesh.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I find it hard to

By Steven Taylor @ 10:37 am

I find it hard to get upset about this: US checking Iran strike reports, at least as long as no one was hurt. No need to spark an international incident with Iran at this point, but “violating” their airspace doesn’t exactly cause me great angst.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

On War as a Legitimate Tool of Policy

By Steven Taylor @ 10:31 am

Brace yourselves for the fact that even if the war continues to go well, there will be plenty on the left who will not be willing to acquiesce to the idea that the policy was sound. They will continue to bemoan the loss of the inspections regime, they will continue to rue the loss of “the institutions of collective security” (the UN, NATO, etc.-you know, the institutions which have prevented all war and bloodshed until George W. Bush became President), and they will, undoubtedly, continually point to civilian deaths even if the numbers are far smaller than they predicted, and even if the basic response of the Iraqi people is positive (I can hear it now, “But at what cost, Peter?").

Part of what makes me consider this issue (aside from the simple fact that it is true) is that I have an anti-war colleagues who will be unlikely to fully admit that war can accomplish just goals. I was struck by a comment made in one conversation that I had where reference was made to seeing the bombings on TV and noting how “horrible” it was. And with the follow-up comment: “but I guess that’s how war is.” The thing that struck me about the comment was not that war isn’t horrible, it is, but rather the seeming lack of acknowledgment that while bombings are bad, living under a totalitarian dictator is far worse. In other words, the comments in question, and much of the anti-warites criticisms in general, seem to begin from the premise that ignores the horrors of pre-war Iraq for the common citizen.

I am not arguing that liberation is the main goal of the Bush administration, as this is primarily a national security operation. However, the anti-warites tend to start their arguments from the basis that the war itself will inflict great damage on the Iraqi civilian population. If the predicates for their arguments are based on issues of civilian well-being, then it would seem that an honest argument would have to take into consider pre-war, during war, and post-war conditions to make a cogent and rational argument about the rightness or wrongness of the bombing. However, this appears not to be the case with many of the war’s critics.

In summary, those on the left who really had the interests of the Iraqi people in mind as the basis of their anti-warism will have to change their minds ex post, if the war goes well. Otherwise they will be exposed as being intellectually dishonest.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

How Nice:

By Steven Taylor @ 10:21 am

France Sends Chemical Detection Unit to Qatar

France, a staunch opponent of war in Iraq, said on Saturday it would send personnel and chemical, bacteriological and nuclear detection equipment to Qatar, fulfilling a defense pact with the emirate.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Neil Cavuto and guests are

By Steven Taylor @ 10:14 am

Neil Cavuto and guests are currently bolstering my argument that the global economic outlook is positive as a result of the war so far. As Cavuto just said, it has been “Stocks and Awe” so far.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Quite the Contrast:

By Steven Taylor @ 10:12 am

The best the Iraqis can do against our tech is moats full of gasoline and sabotaging oil wells. In other words: their main weapon fire. Not exactly 21st century warfare.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

But Will She Retract if She is Wrong?

By Steven Taylor @ 9:03 am

This piece by Linda Heard (Oh What a Dreadful, Manipulated War) in the Palestine Chronicle is typical left-originating criticism of the war, and the use of force in general. It is remarkable in its ability to

  • Believe that the inspections regime was actually working, and about to bear key fruit,
  • Ignore the evil being visited on the Iraqis by the regime-as if the deaths under “containment” were all the result of evil sanctions, and had nothing to do with the way Saddam governed the country,
  • Believe all the worst case scenarios about the war, and
  • To assume that any positive footage will be an attempt to manipulate, rather than report.

The piece’s dateline is 3/19, so it was written before the conflict started. One wonders if after seeing what has been done thusfar that she will at least partially acknowledge that the massive bombardments, and indeed the military actions in general, have been carefully aimed at the regime. I will acknowledge that there will be civilian deaths and the much dreaded collateral damage. However, as Rusmfeld pointed out yesterday, this is a very different kind of war and a bombing campaign unlike any in history. And if it turns out that we needlessly killed civilians, or that the “smart” bombs weren’t so smart, I will admit that I was wrong and seek a re-examination of these types of policies. However, I suspect that the anti-warites will not retract their positions, or attempt to correct their thinking, if the war goes well and is as advertised. Even if we do inflict more daamge than advertised, one still has to wonder if the Iraqi people still won;t be better off than they were under Saddam.

Also, can she truly believe with the plethora of press on the ground, that only good stories will be written and that there won’t be reports of civilian deaths? The military has taken a gamble (a good gamble, I think, but a gamble nonetheless) in “embedding” the press in various military units. They will see more than has ever been seen before. And we all know that there are enough anti-force/anti-administration/anti-Rumsfeld/anti-stuff types in the press, not to mention simple drama-seeking editors and reporters, that they will find the negative stories.

Filed under: General | Comments(2) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

The Good News Continues

By Steven Taylor @ 8:41 am

: 8,000 Iraqi soldiers in ‘mass surrender’


Source: BBC

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Line of the Day

By Steven Taylor @ 8:35 am

: “[T]he regime is history.” -SecDef Donald Rumsfeld, 3/21/03

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Good Stuff

By Steven Taylor @ 8:12 am


Source: NYT

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I Begin to Allow Myself

By Steven Taylor @ 8:05 am

I Begin to Allow Myself Some Optimism. Something ain’t right with Saddam. He is dead or wounded. This strikes me as an obviously pre-taped message: Saddam Says Will Respect Rights of POWs - Iraq TV

I Mean what POWs? Michael Scott Speicher from GWI?

And I am most interested in the “images” we supposedly have of him being put on a stretcher after the initial attack Wednesday night.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

You Don’t Say?: War Can

By Steven Taylor @ 7:52 am

You Don’t Say?: War Can Send Shares Higher or Lower

Broadly speaking, United States stocks rise during wartime when traders think events have turned in the country’s favor.

This has got to be one of the most obvious bits of “analysis” I have seen in some time. It also strikes me that the headline is a backhanded way of noting that war success is thusfar helping the markets. One guesses that many at the NYT were anti-war, and that puts one in the unfortunate position that to be right by being anti-war, bad things have to happen. If good things happen (stocks go up, Iraqis rejoice at their liberation, other tyrannts and terrorists learn to fear the military and technological might of the US), then what’s an anti-warite to do?

In this case it seems to point out that it could have been really bad.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Friday, March 21, 2003
An interesting piece on warblogging/the

By Steven Taylor @ 10:36 pm

An interesting piece on warblogging/the blog phenom in general: Online commentators are seizing the moment (Hat tip to Kausfiles).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Another Big Day on Wall Street: +235.37 (+2.84%)

By Steven Taylor @ 9:40 pm

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I am now part of

By Steven Taylor @ 9:32 pm

I am now part of The Command Post, a consortium of bloggers dedicated to war news. Check it out.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Gee, I though the war was going cause regional unrest

By Steven Taylor @ 5:26 pm

Of course, some kinds of unrest can be a very good thing: Hopes and Fears: While Iran’s political and religious leaders have condemned Washington’s move against Iraq, much of the country will be celebrating if Saddam Hussein’s regime is overthrown, writes Dan De Luce

“It will be a good thing to have American troops in Iraq. Perhaps that will bring change to Iran,” said Namin, a lanky engineering student strolling to class.

“Maybe that will put more pressure on the regime here.” Unlike fellow Muslims in the Middle East or their predecessors 23 years ago who seized the United States embassy, students today are not seething with anger against America and are unmoved by the government’s daily references to “the enemy” in Washington.

“I think only about the consequences of a war. If the war has good consequences, let it be,” said another student, Mohammad. “We’re not protesting like European students. We don’t have a democratic government like they do. We’re not acting like them because we’re not in European shoes.”

Politically incorrect attitudes on campus are not helping calm the nerves of the country’s conservative leadership, which appears genuinely concerned at the implications of “regime change” next door.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Good Deal:

By Steven Taylor @ 4:18 pm

Iraqi Commander Surrenders to Marines, U.S. Military Says

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Speaking of the Saddam Speech:

By Steven Taylor @ 4:16 pm

U.S. Says Video Was of Hussein but Is Unsure When It Was Made

The Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Saddam Hussein himself was indeed on the videotape shown on Iraqi television hours after opening attack of the United States-led war against Iraq, the White House said today.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Clearly, Baghdad doesn’t have a

By Steven Taylor @ 2:50 pm

Clearly, Baghdad doesn’t have a Lenscrafters. Those are some ugly glasses:

The story that goes with the picture is worth a read: Did the Real Saddam Just Stand Up?.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Well, then, no big deal:

By Steven Taylor @ 11:39 am

: Paris: Ricin find ‘non lethal’. And especially no big deal if this is case:

He also said France may not have been the intended target of those who had left the deadly ricin in two small bottles at Gare de Lyon station Monday.

Instead it may have been destined to be used by Chechen rebels.

Just goes to show: be nice to terrorists and they’ll be nice to you.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Bombs Away?

By Steven Taylor @ 11:16 am

ABC news, via KOGO in San Diego, is reporting anti-aircraft fire and explosions in Baghdad. It is just after noon eastern.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Excellent!

By Steven Taylor @ 10:26 am

: From FOXNews.com

SAWFAN, Iraq U.S. Marines hauled down giant street portraits of Saddam Hussein in a screeching pop of metal and bolts Friday, telling nervous residents of this southern Iraqi town that “Saddam is done.”

[…]

“Americans very good,” Ali Khemy said. “Iraq wants to be free.”

Some chanted, “Ameriki! Ameriki!”

Many others in the starving town just patted their stomachs and raised their hands, begging for food.

A man identifying himself only as Abdullah welcomed the arrival of the U.S. troops: “Saddam Hussein is no good. Saddam Hussein a butcher.”

An old woman shrouded in black - one of the very few women outside - knelt toward the feet of Americans, embracing an American woman. A younger man with her pulled her away, giving her a warning sign by sliding his finger across his throat.

But, of course, going the UN route would have been more humanitarian and “nice".

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

One of the Horsemen Speaks:

By Steven Taylor @ 10:13 am

Congrats to James of OTB for getting a well-deserved plug at Instapundit.com:

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

A great image:A Marine of

By Steven Taylor @ 10:07 am

A great image:


A Marine of the U.S. Marine Expeditionary Unit Fox Company “Raiders” replaces the Iraqi flag at the entrance to Iraq’s main port of Umm Qasr Friday. The U.S. flag was later reportedly removed from the terminal building.
Source: MSNBC

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

ABC News Online Despite launching,

By Steven Taylor @ 10:02 am

ABC News Online Despite launching, prior to the war, an online-only version of their newscast (sort of a newschannel online), they clearly did not prepare for the circumstances where people would actually want> such a thing, i.e., during a big news event. I have tried two days in a row to use their service, with no luck. I can’t even get on their site this morning. MSNBC online has been better, but only slightly.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Irrational or not, evidence on economy-war linkage continues

By Steven Taylor @ 9:49 am

. I have argued in the past that a successful war would unlease some of the pent-up economic energy that the country has been sitting on due to war jitters. And while it is still a looong way to go, it is clear that success is breeding more confidence, as the eight-straight days of the Dow heading upwards demonstrates: U.S. stocks rise, pushing Dow toward eighth up day

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

A Brief History of the Evolution of War Coverage

By Steven Taylor @ 7:13 am

WWII: Sanitized Newsreels and old news in the paper.

Vietnam: Waiting for Uncle Walter and the nightly news. Hey look, color moving pictures, and from the same day!

Gulf War I: This is CNN! (We thought we were in info-heaven with one 24 hour news channel and news in the newspaper that was only 8 hours old.)

Gulf War II: Live footage of the exact moment the war starts, info on intel operations within 24 hours, live footage of troops crossing into enemy territory, four cable news networks, newspapers updated constantly on the web, and the Blogosphere.

My, how times have changed.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Today’s Winner of the “No

By Steven Taylor @ 6:37 am

Today’s Winner of the “No Duh!” Award: BLIX: SCUDS A “VIOLATION” (Hat tip to Jonah Goldberg at The Corner). And now he admits this:

Even though he wanted more time for inspections, Blix said yesterday that he didn’t know if he could ever be sure that Iraq wasn’t hiding the illegal missiles. (emphasis mine)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Thursday, March 20, 2003
May it be so

By Steven Taylor @ 10:48 pm

From an interview of John Burns of the NYT’s by PBS’s Gwen Ifill

JOHN BURNS: But there is absolutely… can I just say there is absolutely no doubt, no doubt that there are many, many Iraqis who see what is about to happen here as the moment of liberation.

Read the whole thing-most interesting.

(Hat tip to Eugene Volokh)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I Can Hardly Wait

By Steven Taylor @ 9:57 pm

I had better go set my VCR now! Monica Lands Job as Reality Show Host

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Intriguing

By Steven Taylor @ 9:50 pm

: Hussein’s Fate Still Uncertain

Officials said they were not surprised by the broadcast because they had information that the Iraqi leader had recorded several statements earlier in the week in anticipation of a military strike shortly after the expiration of a U.S. deadline for Hussein and his sons to leave the country.

According to a WaPo reporter on MSNBC (I think it was Dana Priest, who co-wrote the story linked above) there is evidence that Saddam taped several messages with different dates to show in case he was unable to be present himself on TV. I look forward to the book a few years from now that gives the scoop on on out intel ops in Baghdad if really do have this kind of info.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

A good one from the

By Steven Taylor @ 9:15 pm

A good one from the Skeptician: Iraq Destroys Prohibited Scud Missile

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Get a New Term

By Steven Taylor @ 9:14 pm

: What is this new word: shockandawe? Perhaps it is is German: zochundau. Or American Indian: Choqanaw?

Has a term hit the level of cliche any faster than “shock and awe?” Anybody got a Thesaurus?

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Hy-larious

By Steven Taylor @ 9:12 pm

: Photographic Analysis of Saddam’s pic (hat tip to DaghtatorBlog )

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Send Hans Blix to Paris!

By Steven Taylor @ 9:07 pm

: Ricin found in Paris

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Boots on the Ground

By Steven Taylor @ 8:51 pm

: Fox is reporting US troops on the ground in Northern, Southern and Western Iraq.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Jeffrey Collins of joyfulchristian may

By Steven Taylor @ 8:33 pm

Jeffrey Collins of joyfulchristian may have discovered a new sociological law.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

War Blog Poll:

By Steven Taylor @ 6:33 pm

Forbes.com is running a poll on the Best War Blogs. Clearly the poll hasn’t hit the Blogosphere hard yet, as there aren’t all that many votes. Also, I wonder where they got their nominations.

It is intriguing that the Blogosphere is getting more and more references of late in the mainstream press.

(Hat tip to Jonah Golddberg at The Coner at NRO)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Scuds

By Steven Taylor @ 6:11 pm

: Well, I have finally heard several references to the fact that Scuds violate UN resolutions. My previous discussion of Scuds can be found here (with a map and everything!).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

John Lemon at John Lemon’s

By Steven Taylor @ 4:25 pm

John Lemon at John Lemon’s Barrel of Fish has coined a new term: “Rumsmanship” which I think will live on for some time. Read about it here. The quotes from Rummy’s news conference are worth the trip by themselves.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

You know you live the

By Steven Taylor @ 4:23 pm

You know you live the modern era where you come out of a meeting three hours later and find that there is already more news about the war than you can absorb.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Lights with the Action

By Steven Taylor @ 1:12 pm

Interesting, Peter Arnett (sorry to have use him as a source, but all I can get online right now is MSBC), is reporting (and showing via video) that the electricity is still on in Baghdad, unlike Gulf War I, where the US took out the electrical grid. Part of the pro-civilian part of the war, I am guessing.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

On Failed Diplomacy

By Steven Taylor @ 11:15 am

On this failed diplomacy issue, it strikes me that there is a fundamental flaw in the logic of those who argue that the President messed up, squandered political capital, threw his weight around, etc. The flaw is the assumption that when all this started that all was well in the world, everyone loved the United States and its goals, and therefore when the President started his diplomatic campaign back in September, that the world was his to lose, so to speak. If one believes that, then I suppose I can see the failed diplomacy argument.

However, the truth is that the current crisis over Iraq, which, yes, was forced by the US, has not created the rifts as much as exposed existing ones.

The constant references to the way the world reacted to 911 (the whole today we are all Americans stuff) misses a fundamental point. I will say that at the time, I was touched by the worlds response, but I knew then what I know now: it was based on emotion. And given that fact, I knew it would dissipate. Many seem to think that emotions such as those would have continued, if President Bush had simply been more diplomatic. However, that is pie in the sky, not reality. States function based on perceived self-interest, not on sustained good feeling.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Intriguing, although I shan’t hold

By Steven Taylor @ 8:16 am

Intriguing, although I shan’t hold my breath: Bush Administration Questions Hussein Video. I figure that even if we missed him, it provided a little personal “shock and awe” to go along with his morning coffee. It has to be somewhat disconcerting for him to know that the US knew where he was enough to deliver laser-guided bombs on his location. It seems to me that we must have CIA on the ground in Baghdad, which is a very good thing, and should give “Uncle Saddam” something to think about.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Wednesday, March 19, 2003
And so it begins…

By Steven Taylor @ 9:32 pm

Hopefully they struck a very opportune, “target of opportunity"-at a minimum I am guessing they surprised some folks in Baghdad! I am wondering if “shock and awe” won’t begin sometime around noon our time tomorrow.

The President’s statement was on-target and well delivered.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

A Discussion of Strange Bedfellows

By Steven Taylor @ 7:52 pm

I know that the topic of Iraqi connections with al Qaeda is a relatively “old” topic, but it came up again in a conversation today and so it drove me to write down some thoughts I have had for a while now. There is an argument that is favored mostly by many who are opposed to the war that there is absolutely, positively no connection between Saddams Iraq and al Qaeda, or even radical Muslim terrorism in general, nor could there be.

Now, I find this difficult to swallow given the Abu Sayyaf connection (which I have discussed before), the poison factory in the North that is linked to al Qaeda, the whole Abu Nidal thing and so forth. The argument is that Saddam is a secular socialist type and bin Laden has called him an “infidel” and therefore with such incompatible worldviews they would never, could never work together (not even in a box with a fox or on a train in the rain…).

Ok, we can agree, methinks, that both do harbor, shall we say, anti-American sentiment, and that indeed, the major enemy for both is the United States, correct? So, is it reasonable that people with different ideological perspectives and different long-terms goals, but common enemies and immediate goals, might work together? Consider the following:

  • Nazi Germany, under Adolph Hitler, signed two major agreements with Imperial Japan, the Tripartite Pact and the Anti-Comintern Pact. These agreement served mutual interests in the short and medium range. However, if anyone has read any significant excerpts from Mein Kampf on Hitler’s views on race, it is impossible to conclude that his long-term goal was to befriend the Japanese.
  • Also speaking of Nazi Germany, the infamous Hitler-Stalin Pact is a good example of ideological opposites working together, at least for a time. Again, if you know anything about National Socialism, you know that it was virulently anti-Bolshevik (i.e., Soviet Communist). For that matter, Soviet Communism was not exactly an ideological fit with National Socialism.
  • Carrying on the WWII theme, the US alliance with Stalin’s Soviet Union was hardly an alliance between ideological soul mates who would be friends forevermore after the war.
  • And certainly the US has engaged in strategic partnerships with governments that were otherwise antithetical to our values, but served a specific national security purpose (just look at a lot of out dealings in twentieth century Latin America, or our current alliances with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, for that matter..)

So the argument that groups with different, even radically different, goals cannot work together for a time for a common cause strikes me as a non-starter.

Ok, that’s off my chest now, back to your regularly scheduled blogomania.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Cool

By Steven Taylor @ 7:13 pm

Maybe he’ll invent the sucessor to the internet:Al Gore joins Apple Computer board (or, if he is as smart as he thinks he is, help Apple actually compete with Windows-based machines).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

You know, in my (granted,

By Steven Taylor @ 6:57 pm

You know, in my (granted, somewhat twisted) fantasy, Dubya will come on TV in about 5 minutes with a stop watch. And at the appropriate moment call “Time! Here we come!”

I know I oughtn’t be so flippant about war, but nonetheless, I felt the need to share.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

In case you weren’t paying

By Steven Taylor @ 6:50 pm

In case you weren’t paying attention, or have been living under a rock, or have been cryogenically frozen and recently defrosted or something like that: White House Tells Americans to Prepare for War

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

The Senate voted down drilling

By Steven Taylor @ 5:07 pm

The Senate voted down drilling in ANWR again today. The vote was 52-48. I must say I just don’t get it. We need the oil, it would be good for the economy, create jobs and affect only a small portion of a very large piece of real estate. This has always struck me as a symbolism over rationality issue. People are so hip on “protecting the environement” that they throw the facts out of the window.

Here’s the vote breakdown: US Senate vote on Arctic drilling detailed

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Check out John Lemon’s Barrel

By Steven Taylor @ 2:56 pm

Check out John Lemon’s Barrel of Fish for a speech by the President concerning Senator Daschle. (The links within the speech are useful as well).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Hy-larious

By Steven Taylor @ 2:48 pm

: Protester picks wrong spot to lock himself

A man spent hours chained to the wrong building Tuesday in an ill-planned effort to protest war with Iraq, police said.

Jody Mason padlocked himself to an entrance of the Washington State Grange building at 924 Capitol Way S., thinking it was a sub-office of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Grange employees found him about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday and asked what he was doing.

He told employees he’d chained himself to the building in civil disobedience Monday night after listening to President Bush’s televised ultimatum to Saddam Hussein.

[…]

Grange employees explained that he was at the wrong building. The Grange is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that advocates for residents in rural areas.

(Hat tip to the Michael Medved show)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

A shame: Tariq Aziz defection

By Steven Taylor @ 2:40 pm

A shame: Tariq Aziz defection claim. Although to be honest, I don’t really want him.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Interesting: Mubarak blames Iraq; Arab

By Steven Taylor @ 11:18 am

Interesting: Mubarak blames Iraq; Arab countries try final
peace push

Speaking in a nationally televised address Wednesday, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak blamed Iraq for the impending war. “My hope is that the Iraqi government will realize the seriousness of the situation in which it put itself in - and us in - and that the different international forces will realize the dangerous repercussions of any military action on the safety and stability of the Middle East region as well as on the safety and stability of the world as a whole,” Mubarak said.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I know that it isn’t

By Steven Taylor @ 8:43 am

I know that it isn’t very egalitarian or diplomatic of me to think this, but this headline cracks me up: It’s not too late for peace, says Namibia. Because as we all know, the words of the Namibian government fall heavily upon the hearts and minds of the international community.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Now they want to start

By Steven Taylor @ 6:57 am

Now they want to start being cooperative? French explain Iraq viewpoint

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Utterly RemarkableThis leaves me nigh

By Steven Taylor @ 9:26 pm

Utterly Remarkable

This leaves me nigh on to speechless:

From Punditwatch: Al Hunt of the Wall Street Journal, on Capital Gang: “I still think this administration’s ineptitude over the last couple months has been stunning. Somehow around the world there’s a moral equivalency with this murderous thug Saddam Hussein.”

And just think, he has been touted as the moderate on that show.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Another Brief Digression from Politics

By Steven Taylor @ 9:10 pm

I think it is a truism that all children must, at some point, come to great (but shallow) trauma over a balloon. It is basically guarantee, as they will either pop, fly away, or wilt by morning.

I remember distinctly getting a balloon at a pizza parlor when I was around five years of age and coming home with it, and then accidentally letting go of it and watching it fly way, way, away. It is one of those childhood memories that you can replay in your head with remarkable clarity. Similarly I recall the time last summer when one of the kids’ balloon hit the hot van, popped, and to quell the tearful distress that ensued, I had to go back into the restaurant and get another balloon.

This comes up because we went out for dinner tonight and the waiter brought the kids balloons. I knew that the six and three year-olds would enjoy them, and figure the one year-old would too, as he really likes balls. But I had no idea how much that child was going to enjoy that balloon. He kept chattering about it and playing with it.

Then we got home, and it flew into the light in the kitchen and popped. He never quite got the concept, despite my attempts at “balloon went bye-bye.” He kept looking for the darn thing and went to bed crying over the balloon, although, thankfully he calmed down pretty quickly.

The joy-agony cycle of balloons is pretty remarkable, which of course is linked to that sweet, although sometimes difficult, joy-agony capacity of little ones.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I must say, I am

By Steven Taylor @ 7:56 pm

I must say, I am most impressed with Tony Blair. For quite some time I thought he was run-of-the-mill “Third Way” politician, but he has shown himself to be a man of great character and conviction. Blair faces down parliamentary rebels over Iraq

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Interesting: On The Scene: Goodbye

By Steven Taylor @ 3:59 pm

Interesting: On The Scene: Goodbye Baghdad | March 18, 200304:08:26 (Tip of the hat to joyfulchristian.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Line of the Day

By Steven Taylor @ 3:25 pm

: “Who will celebrate and who will weep if we take our troops back from the Gulf now?” -British Prime Minister Tony Blair, 3/18/03, to the Commons in response to critics of his Iraq policy.

Source: ThisisLondon)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Ask again later: Fed says

By Steven Taylor @ 2:54 pm

Ask again later: Fed says view cloudy

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

And this would concern me

By Steven Taylor @ 1:56 pm

And this would concern me because? Long-term Americans in Paris against war in Iraq

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

You know, one of the

By Steven Taylor @ 1:31 pm

You know, one of the things I hate most in life is unnecessary meetings: Foreign ministers to meet Wednesday at UN on Iraq

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

To continue the semi-dialog between

By Steven Taylor @ 10:28 am

To continue the semi-dialog between this site and James at Outside the Beltway, I think that partly why President Bush’s sound bites are better than his speeches has to do with his physical demeanor when he speaks in these events sans an audience. Whenever he is trying to be somber, he tends to have a look on his face that has a somewhat stunned quality. His face can be evocative, but normally is such in less controlled situations. When he speaks in impromptu settings he tends to be more vivacious and emotive. There is also something, I think, to the fact that when he goes out to deliver a very specific message that he is overly self-conscious to do as little of the “West Texas” thing as possible. Plus he (and his advisors) have to be somewhat self-conscious about his propensity to malapropisms.

My original post on the subject is here and James’ first reference on OTB is here.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Thanks to Rantburg for linking

By Steven Taylor @ 9:57 am

Thanks to Rantburg for linking to PoliBlog.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Quite honestly, I will be

By Steven Taylor @ 7:55 am

Quite honestly, I will be pleased when the use of forces puts a stop to the things described in this piece from the London Times

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Former U.S. Attorney General Janet

By Steven Taylor @ 7:48 am

Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno speaks at Brown:

After watching President Bush’s address, Reno said, ‘’We will not solve the world’s problems by might.'’

She’s right-force never solves anything. Except, of course, fascism. Nothing but that. Oh, and of course, it took a war to stop slavery in the United States. Ok, two exceptions. Wait-women in Afghanistan can now live free, go to school, work, etc. I think there was some violence used there as well. No rule is perfect-violence never solves anything. Wait a minute-didn’t I just read that al Qaeda is collapsing? I guess we killed ‘em with kindness. Oh, of course, there was that whole ethnic-cleansing thing that was stopped in Kosovo. And didn’t violence remove some dictator from Kuwait a while back?

Of course, I must admit, some incidences where force was used poorly do come to mind…something about a fire outside of Waco, Texas, but the memory is vague. I do remember a nifty photo of an assualt rifle in the face of a little boy in Miami.

Gee, I wish Janet was Prez.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Um, he voted for the resolution, right?

By Steven Taylor @ 5:50 am

Daschle says Bush has failed `miserably'’ in diplomacy, forcing America to war

“I’m saddened, saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we’re now forced to war,” Daschle said in a speech to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “Saddened that we have to give up one life because this president couldn’t create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country.”

What did he think was the likely outcome when he voted to authorize the use of force? It was pretty clear then that the likely outcome was going to be armed conflict. Further, in this case “good diplomacy” would have meant going to war with UN approval, not a peaceful solution to the Iraq situation. We didn’t “fail” in our diplomacy with Iraq, as Saddam apparently wasn’t in a diplomatic mood, and hasn’t been for some time.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Monday, March 17, 2003
Thanks to On The Third

By Steven Taylor @ 9:17 pm

Thanks to On The Third Hand for Blogrolling PoliBlog.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Speech Reaction

By Steven Taylor @ 8:00 pm

While the President is best in front of a live audience, he did a good job delivering the speech tonight, and I think that it said the right things. The delivery, and content, tonight was far superior to the recent press conference, and better than the Azores statement of yesterday.

I was pleased with the warnings and instructions to the Iraqi military-hopefully some of them heard it. I also thought that the statement directed at Iraqi civilians were on target. I have already cited the Line of the Day from the speech a few minutes ago, but here are some further highlights:

And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning: In any conflict, your fate will depend on your actions. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people. War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, “I was just following orders.”

[…]

In this century, when evil men plot chemical, biological and nuclear terror, a policy of appeasement could bring destruction of a kind never before seen on this earth.

Terrorists and terrorist states do not reveal these threats with fair notice in formal declarations. And responding to such enemies only after they have struck first is not self defense. It is suicide.

The suicide line is quite correct-waiting for the proverbial “smoking gun” is hardly sound national security doctrine at this point (not to mention a metaphor that needs to be retired!).

Unlike Saddam Hussein, we believe the Iraqi people are deserving and capable of human liberty, and when the dictator has departed, they can set an example to all the Middle East of a vital and peaceful and self-governing nation.

There’s that classical liberalism I blogged about the other day. May the Iraqi people be free soon, and I pray that this conflict goes smoothly, quickly and with as little bloodshed as possible.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Line of the Day:

By Steven Taylor @ 7:30 pm

The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities so we will rise to ours. -President George W. Bush, 3/17/03.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Crud! I was hoping he’d only have until nigh noon tomorrow

By Steven Taylor @ 6:32 pm

: Bush to Tell Saddam: You Have Two Days to Leave

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Ya gotta love this 2:

By Steven Taylor @ 3:02 pm

Ya gotta love this 2: France Denies It Knowingly Helped Iraqi Arms Drive

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Ya gotta love it: Saddam

By Steven Taylor @ 3:01 pm

Ya gotta love it: Saddam Admits Iraq Had Weapons of Mass Destruction

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Ryans comment to the Blix

By Steven Taylor @ 1:08 pm

Ryans comment to the Blix posting inspired a longer response, but since backblog is rather limited, I figured Id just post it on the main blog. He notes that there are many who might argue that inspections are working. I will grant that reasonable people can disagree on this issue, I would strongly assert that inspections are not working. There are numerous reasons why I would state this. The main problem is what one believes the main task of the inspectors to be. Some believe that the inspectors really are detectives, and their job is to find WMDs and related items. If one thinks that is case, then I can see why some think that inspections are working. However, 1441 really doesnt call for inspectors, but rather auditorspeople who could verify that Saddam was cooperating and actively and completely disarming as originally required by 687 in 1991. They were supposed to go to Baghdad, and the regime was supposed to demonstrate compliance with the parade of resolutions. They were sent to verify, not seek out.

On one level, I think they have been successfulI think that they have verified that Saddam isnt cooperating, and therefore armed disarmament is necessary. Others might claim that they have been successful because they have found some weapons, such as the al-Samoud 2 missiles (see my posting from Saturday on that one), or the drones. Hence, the pro-inspectors would argue that given enough time, the inspectors will find everything. First, I am not convinced they will find everything, (indeed, I am convinced they will not). Second, the peaceful sounding containment option is actually quite deadlysee Walter Russell Meads pieceDeadlier Than War in last Wednesdays WaPo.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Indeed: BLIX’S WEIRD WORLDIt is

By Steven Taylor @ 11:53 am

Indeed: BLIX’S WEIRD WORLD

It is clear, now, that Blix does not live in the real world. He is a resident of U.N. World.

It’s a happy place, where nobody has to pay a parking ticket, where a genocide in Rwanda is ignored and where the opinions of Guinea and Angola are given real weight.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

An excellent piece by an

By Steven Taylor @ 11:49 am

An excellent piece by an Iraqi-American in favor of the war: ‘They Don’t Speak for Me’

When Martin Sheen, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon and Barbra Streisand speak about the Iraqi people, they are not speaking about people like me, who are Shiite Muslims - the largest religious group in Iraq that is nonetheless forced to live as second-class citizens under the Sunni regime of Hussein and his Baath Party.

[…]

I am an American now, and I have been educated to respect the right to free expression by any citizen, a right no member of my family enjoyed when we lived in Iraq. I know from personal experience that the Hollywood actors who decry action against Hussein are really opposing the liberation of the Iraqi people. I wish they would praise the American troops in the field or just stay silent.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Interesting:

By Steven Taylor @ 11:43 am

Dow Soars on Confidence in Brief War

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Political (and maybe military) movement Down Under:

By Steven Taylor @ 8:07 am

Howard waiting on Bush to summon Australian troops

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

And so it begins…

By Steven Taylor @ 8:05 am

: Inspectors urged to leave Iraq

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

My thanks to Greg Goelzhauser

By Steven Taylor @ 6:21 am

My thanks to Greg Goelzhauser for adding PoliBlog to his list of links.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Sunday, March 16, 2003
Line of the Day

By Steven Taylor @ 2:47 pm

: “Tomorrow’s the day that we will determine whether or not diplomacy can work,” -President George W. Bush at the Azores Summit, 3/16/03.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Classic

By Steven Taylor @ 11:18 am

: A different kind of French kiss by Dave Barry.

(A tip of the hat to On the Third Hand)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Hey Look!

By Steven Taylor @ 10:50 am

: A Dick Cheney sighting! Cheney Says the U.S. Is Nearing End of Diplomatic Efforts Is it just me, or has anyone else been surprised at the Veep’s low profile of late?

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Worth a Read

By Steven Taylor @ 10:28 am

: The Kansas City Star has an excellent piece that compares 1991 and 2003: Despite some similarities, more things have changed since ‘91 war

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

A nice vocab lesson from

By Steven Taylor @ 10:19 am

A nice vocab lesson from LisaS at Boycott Hollywood

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Saturday, March 15, 2003
A ScrappleFace classic: Powell Explains

By Steven Taylor @ 10:59 pm

A ScrappleFace classic: Powell Explains U.S. Belief in Fake Iraq Documents-which was especially funny since today I reecieved an extra-special, and very personal, e-mail from the daughter of Angolan rebel Jonas Savimbi, so I can understand the confusion that such documents can cause.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I can hardly wait: Daldry

By Steven Taylor @ 10:51 pm

I can hardly wait: Daldry promises anti-war speech if he wins Oscar

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

OK, so if the President

By Steven Taylor @ 10:40 pm

OK, so if the President had “Asked Nice” then everyone in the world would seen the rightness of the war? U.S. Missteps Led to Failed Diplomacy

Also, I tire of the false comparison to the Forty-One admin’s coalition-kicking Saddam out of Kuwait was an easier sell. I say this not to diminish the work done by Forty-One’s team, but to point out the obvious fact that the circumstances were rather significantly different.

Now, I am not saying that Forty-Three has been perfect, but the arguments in the article, which aren’t very new, simply don’t impress.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

As I Predicted Yesterday:

By Steven Taylor @ 8:09 pm

Dixie Chicks Find Home Not So Sweet

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Worth a Read

By Steven Taylor @ 7:47 pm

: Victor Davis Hanson piece in National Review Online And, indeed:

Nothing is worse for a great power than to ask others far less moral for permission to use its power; and nothing weakens a great power more than intervening and intruding frequently but rarely decisively. Had we simply ignored the U.N. as Mr. Clinton did in Kosovo and moved unilaterally last fall (like Russia and France do all the time), Saddam Hussein would be gone, and we now would have more impressed friends than we do disdainful enemies. Instead, we await China’s moral condemnation of our unilateral action this from a regime that in the last 50 years butchered more of its own citizens than any government in the history of civilization, annexed Tibet, invaded Korea and Vietnam, and threatened to annihilate Taiwan. France hysterically alleges that we will harm the city of Baghdad in its liberation, but is silent about the Russian destruction of Grozny in its subjugation. And so on.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Dickens, Spock and my Three

By Steven Taylor @ 7:33 pm

Dickens, Spock and my Three Year-Old. A slight digression from the political for a moment. I have to admit that I have never read A Tale of Two Cities and to me it is most famous for being the book that Spock gives to Kirk on his birthday in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (the best Trek flick ever, btw). This is a long way of saying that I am well familiar with the famous starting line of the novel: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Now, I have always been told that this was some clever musing about the state of Europe at the time of the novel’s setting. Now, however, I have discovered what the true meaning of the text is: it is about three year-olds (and two year-olds, too). My three year old can be the sweetest, most angelic and most loving entity on planet Earth. He can also be the most hellacious, difficult and frustrating being I have ever encountered. Hence, three years of age is clearly “the best of times and the worst of times.” Can I get an “amen” from the other parents out there?

And before the literary folks jump on me for my interpretation, I distinctly remember my AP Literature teacher (who had some post-modern tendencies) saying back in High School: “the author lies” and that we had to discover the meaning of the work ourselves. So there. And no, I don’t plan on reading Dickens any time soon. But I might pop Wrath of Khan in the DVD player at any moment…

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

This is Encouraging:

By Steven Taylor @ 3:45 pm

Bush OKs ‘Interim Authority’ for Post-Saddam Iraq

The transitional authority would include Iraqis from each of the country’s major ethnic, tribal and religious groups, and would eventually help draft a new Iraqi constitution setting up an autonomous government.

This is smart and helps clear up some of the criticisms that have beenflying about. Clearly any new government in Iraq is going to have the have take institutional account of the different groups.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Good Deal:

By Steven Taylor @ 3:39 pm

Pakistan Arrests Top Al Qaeda Member Al-Jaziri

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Andrew Sullivan’s Sunday Times column

By Steven Taylor @ 3:21 pm

Andrew Sullivan’s Sunday Times column from 3/10/03 is worth a read.

The key paragraph:

Bush’s diplomatic headaches have much less to do with his own poor diplomatic skills than with the simple fact that he is trying ambitious things. Rather than simply forestall crises, postpone them, avoid them or fob them off onto others, Bush is actually doing the hard thing. He’s calling for real democracy in the Middle East. He’s aiming to make the long-standing U.S. policy of regime change in Iraq a reality. He actually wants to defeat Islamist terrorism, rather than make excuses for tolerating its cancerous growth. And when this amount of power is fueled by this amount of conviction, of course the world is aroused and upset.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

By the way

By Steven Taylor @ 2:45 pm

-today’s the one-month anniversary (there really ought to be a better word for it than that) of PoliBlog.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

The True “New” Europe

By Steven Taylor @ 9:47 am

This story in today’s NYT: “Schroder Offers Plan for Ending Germany’s Economic Slump” is illustrative of the direction that the western European countries are going to have to go, if they want to become truly competitive with the US. Socialism, even tempered socialism, doesn’t work. And countries like Germany and France cannot afford to continue to have permanent unemployment in the double-digits, especially in the context of a welfare state that incentivizes those workers to remain unemployed by providing generous, and permanent, unemployment packages.

Further, productivity will never be what it can if firms cannot fire incompetent workers.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Recalling Lots o’ Resolutions

By Steven Taylor @ 9:25 am

It is nothing new, but in looking for the specific language concerning ballistic missiles this morning, I came across the text of 1441. The first two paragraphs are remarkable in their listage:

Recalling all its previous relevant resolutions, in particular its resolutions 661 (1990) of 6 August 1990, 678 (1990) of 29 November 1990, 686 (1991) of 2 March 1991, 687 (1991) of 3 April 1991, 688 (1991) of 5 April 1991, 707 (1991) of 15 August 1991, 715 (1991) of 11 October 1991, 986 (1995) of 14 April 1995, and 1284 (1999) of 17 December 1999, and all the relevant statements of its President,

Recalling also its resolution 1382 (2001) of 29 November 2001 and its intention to implement it fully…

Gee, that Bush guy is sure in a rush…

And I hope we get that second resolution passed pronto!

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Missile Question

By Steven Taylor @ 8:20 am

Despite the much-ballyhooed destruction of the the al-Samoud 2 missiles in Iraq, it struck me this morning that despite reports that Iraq has deployed Scud missile launchers to western portions of the country to possibly use in a strikes against Israel, that there has been no discussion of the Scud program, or whether such missiles violate UN Resolutions.

According to Resolution 687, “Iraq shall unconditionally accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless, under international supervision, of:…All ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres and related major parts, and repair and production facilities". Now, the al-Samoud have a range of approximately 150 KM (93 miles) and is in clear violation, although granted, just barely. However, these missiles really aren’t anywhere near as big a deal as are the infamous Scuds that now concern the war-planners. Indeed, the al-Samouds have been referred to as “mini-scuds” and, wouldn’t be able to hit Israel, even from western Iraq, as they would be out of range:

However, Saddam’s Scud aresenal has/had (it is unclear to me, and perhaps even to the DoD as to what he currently has) ranges far in excess of the 150 km prohibited by 687:


Scud B al Hussein Al Abbas Al Hijarah
Max Range (mi.)
186 373+ 500-560 Iraq claimed 466

(source="Information Paper Iraq’s Scud Ballistic Missiles"-IraqWatch)

The point of all this is primarily informative-mostly I started wondering about how the Scuds fit into the grander scheme and started doing some research. The upshot for me is that it convinces me that the al-Samoud destruction is a distraction, and it is further evidence tht Blix and Co. aren’t really very serious about evaluating Iraqi compliance with UN Resolutions concering disarmament. It also mens that if Saddam is capable of Scud launches in the upcoming war, then the disarmament program was a clear failure.

Now, I am no weapons expert, so perhaps I am missing something, but it seems fairly clear that the provision from 687 cited above was primarily aimed at the Scuds and I am at a loss why the UN inspectors, and the US government, hasn’t given those weapons any attention in the past six months.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Friday, March 14, 2003
This situation: Dixie Chicks Explain

By Steven Taylor @ 9:13 pm

This situation: Dixie Chicks Explain Anti-Bush Comment is most intersting, insofar as the Chicks are in the wrong component of the entertainment industry to make such comments. By this I mean that country music fans tend to be fairly conservative, and, I suspect, pro-war. These particular comments (especially to fans in Texas, who tend to be rather pro-Bush) are likely to offend their direct fan base-something not true in the case of Martin Sheen or Chrissie Hynde, for example. That is to say that a lot of the West Wing’s fan trend in the liberal direction, and rock fans are used to rebellious talk from their artists. Neither is true of your typical country music fan.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Slate has the low-down on

By Steven Taylor @ 4:16 pm

Slate has the low-down on the MOAB, which is less hyberbolic than the initial reporting.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

By Steven Taylor @ 2:44 pm

Cameroon’s Health Minister notes that ‘Urine is bad for you’.

Cameroon’s health minister on Thursday warned people against drinking their own urine, believed in some circles to be a tonic and cure for a number of ailments.

“Given the risks of toxicity associated in the short, medium and long term with ingesting urine, the health ministry advises against the consumption of urine and invites those who promote the practice to cease doing so forthwith or risk prosecution,” Health Minister Urbain Olanguena Awono said in a statement.

And this is one of the countries whose Security Council vote we covet?

This story is also noted in the NYT’s

(Also thanks to the Michael Medved show)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Forget All that Stuff About Power: Let’s Watch SpongeBob at the Baghdad DisneyWorld!

By Steven Taylor @ 2:20 pm

New Age guru Deepak Chopra has suggested 10 ways to avoid war in Iraq. Two of my favs:

5. Offer MTV, CNN and Nickelodeon free to any Iraqi household with a TV exposure to the world will make them feel like part of the world.

10. Open a Disney World somewhere in the Middle East, where up to half the population is under the age of 15. These children are in enormous peril, not just from bombs, but from cultural isolation. Let children breathe free air at a place where fun and joy abide. What better way to reduce fear and anger? At the same time, find a way to expose American children to the children of the world.

(A tip of the hat to the Michael Medved show for bringing this to my attention.)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

More on Power and the International Arena

By Steven Taylor @ 1:05 pm

This really makes no sense:

“We need to be creating a world that we would like to live in when we’re not the biggest power on the block.” (Bill Clinton in a speech given at the 92nd Street YMCA in NYC on 3/13/03)

So, while I understand he is arguing that we should respect the UN and strengthen it now, so that when we are weaker that we can rely on it, I would submit that he wholly misunderstands the international arena (or, more likely, that he is being disingenuous for political reason, since as President he was quite willing to ignore the UN and act unilaterally).

Still, the premise is remarkable-the idea that if the US diminishes and a new superpower emerges, that somehow that this new superpower is going to be constrained by how the US acted when it was the power. “Gee, we were going to behave in a hegemonic fashion,” says the new SuperPower, “but the US acquiesced to the UN back in ‘03, so I guess we will, too, even though such an action is against our national interest…” This is utterly ridiculous and ignores the very definition of a superpower. As I pointed out earlier today (see “Power and International Law” below), superpowers act because they can-it is the very essence of what makes them a “super"power. The idea that any new great power in the future will be constrained by what the US does, or does not do, is silly and ignores the way history has progressed to date.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Blogging For War

By Steven Taylor @ 11:51 am

Congrats to OTB! For being referenced in WaPo:

A powerful component of the pro-war movement is blogs, or online Web logs and diaries. One blog, Outside the Beltway, features a number of stories and postings on the pending war and links to scores of other like-minded blogs…

Congrats to the Skeptician as well!

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Power and International Law

By Steven Taylor @ 11:12 am

The following UPI story raises the question Is a war against Iraq legal?

Several issues occur to me in response to the question posed. The first is: if one is going the international law route it seems to me that 1441 is sufficient grounds for action. Indeed, I think a cogent argument can be made that Saddam’s violations of the 1991 cease fire agreements are sufficient grounds for action.

The second, and more fundamental, is that international law is “law” only if those functioning under it agree to follow its tenets. In other words, and to steal from Thomas Hobbes, given that there is no power to overawe those who are supposed to follow international law, following international law is a voluntary enterprise, unlike domestic law, which is wholly enforceable by the police power of the state.

Like it or not, believe it to be right or not, it is uncontrovertibly the case that the main guarantor of international law is the Unites States, given that it is currently the sole superpower in the world. Even in the bipolar world of the Cold War, the US often could (and did) ignore international law with impunity. This is an empirical fact. One can make whatever normative judgments one wishes as to the rightness and wrongness of the actions. Indeed, it is worth noting, by way of example, is the fact that any actual enforcement of the UNs “will” always relies on the United States.

In sum: the only reason to follow international law (for any state, not just the US) is if following international law is in the national interest of the state in question, or if a more powerful state can force a given state to follow international law. Therefore, it may make for an intriguing intellectual argument to state that any war against Iraq, but it is an argument on paperit will stop nothing.

May there be consequences of going into a conflict that other states may view as “illegal"?-potentially yes. Other states could be uncooperative, or seek not to do business with the United States, but the question still becomes whether other states can afford to engage in such activities. The bottom line is most states cannot. Again, the power of the US makes it possible for it to ignore international law, if it deems it necessary, and further, the power of the US ameliorates the effects of such actions. As such, the question of whether the action is “legal” or not is largely irrelevant.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Line of the Day

By Steven Taylor @ 10:30 am

: “I can’t imagine anyone voting for me at this point,” (Talk Show Host and potential Senate Candidate, Jerry Springer). Source

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Thursday, March 13, 2003
Thanks to Paxety’s Pages for

By Steven Taylor @ 8:06 pm

Thanks to Paxety’s Pages for recommending PoliBlog.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Evidence that getting the war

By Steven Taylor @ 4:23 pm

Evidence that getting the war over with will help the economy: Stocks Rally on Speculation of Short War

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Shocking! (part deux)

By Steven Taylor @ 4:01 pm

: “France also looked at the British proposal, and they rejected it before Iraq (news - web sites) rejected it.

Filed under: General | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Shocking!

By Steven Taylor @ 3:04 pm

: “France has said they reject the logic of ultimatums,” White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

You Want Evidence that the UN Simply Wants to Check the US?

By Steven Taylor @ 2:28 pm

Here you go: Opposition to Britain’s Iraq Plan Brings New Diplomatic Flurry

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Indeed

By Steven Taylor @ 1:39 pm

: Portugal: U.S. ‘best way’ to have security

Foreign Minister Antonio Martins da Cruz told state radio that if Portugal were attacked, “it would be unlikely France and Germany would come to our rescue.”

[…]

He said: “Let us suppose Portugal, proper or its archipelagos, faced a threat, who would come to our rescue? The European Commission, France, Germany?

“I think it would be NATO who would come to our rescue, in other words, it would be the U.S (emphasis added by PoliBlogger)., no one else would defend us. For instance, during the 1996 mission in Bosnia, operations took place with the support of 20 satellites, of which only one was European,” and the remainder belonged to the U.S.

“If we were attacked, is that what they would offer to defend us? How curious is this: in Bosnia, when we were called to send soldiers urgently to that region, the U.S. had C-17 and C-130 planes, and France leased ferry boats, which during the summer are employed in tourist services to Corsica.

“Is this how we are supposed to project our forces in Europe? Are they planning to defend us with ferry boats? I cannot envisage the European Commission protecting us from an attack in which highly developed weapons were employed,” the foreign minister said.

(Another tip of the hat to Random Nuclear Strikes)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Oh, brother:

By Steven Taylor @ 1:21 pm

NYC Council Approves Anti-War Resolution

The City Council in the place hit hardest by the Sept. 11 attacks approved a resolution Wednesday opposing war with Iraq except as a last resort.

The 31-17 vote came after months of debate over whether New York should stake out a position.

“If we’re going to be looking for a fight, let’s fight poverty, let’s fight firehouse closures, let’s fight racism and sexism,” said Yvette Clarke, a Democrat who supported the resolution

I have always thought it rather silly when city councils weigh in on topics of foreign policy. And I must remind Councilwoman Clarke, that we fought a “war” on poverty, and apparently lost.

(A tip of the hat to Random Nuclear Strikes)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Utterly bizarre

By Steven Taylor @ 12:22 pm

: ‘Vice’ or price? TV star Don Johnson car-shopping with $8 billion to spend. I heard the story on Fox News yesterday, and a tip of the hat to Dave Berry’s blog for reminding me.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Thanks to DaghtatorBlog for Blogrolling

By Steven Taylor @ 10:48 am

Thanks to DaghtatorBlog for Blogrolling PoliBlog.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Save Me from Historians Who Think They Are Political Scientists

By Steven Taylor @ 10:24 am

The following transcript comes for the Media Research Center’s CyberAlert daily e-mail.

“MRC analyst Jessica Anderson took down some of the comments
made by Goodwin on the March 12 Imus in the Morning radio show simulcast on MSNBC:”

Don Imus: “According to Maureen Dowd this morning, Ari Fleischer, in a White House press briefing, suggested that if the United Nations didn’t get on board here, that they would be replaced with another international body.”

Goodwin: “Oh yeah, that’s wonderful, I mean, FDR’s dream coming out of World War II to create the United Nations, which is such an important institution - I mean, it’s just going to sound to the world like we’re bullying

PoliBlogger: You know, whether FDR had a dream or not, that does not convey moral authority to the institution. It seems that often historians, especially presidential historians, fall in love (after a fashion) with their subject of study and romanticize their policies and goals. Of what possible relevance is it that FDR wanted X or Y? It is a non-argument. And even if the world thinks we are bullying, that doesn’t get to the heart of the matter either-again, it is a non-argument.

Back to Goodwin: “…what happens when the war becomes a crusade, you know, it becomes right and wrong. Lincoln understood, even in the Civil War, that God was not so intimate to our will, you know, that somehow, even though we believed in God, you couldn’t be sure God was on your side, as it seems that Mr. Bush is…

PoliBlogger: Again with the historical references as if such a reference constitutes an argument. And I am also tired of the argument that somehow Bush is making policy from some voice in his head. Just because someone believes in God, and believes that there is right and wrong in the universe as a result of said belief, does not mean that they believe that they are acting as God’s agent and that God endorses all that is done. Indeed, the general discussion of Bush’s religiosity has been rather ad hominem in that it really does not get to the issue of whether Bush is correct about their being good and evil, but rather simply suggests that the President is a bit kooky.

The only times that President has, to my recollection, made claims about God’s perspective on these issues, it has been to say things like God wouldn’t endorse suicide bombing, or flying airplanes full of civilians into buildings full of the same. He has hardly come out and said that in God’s Names we go to war. That would be the Islamofascists.

Back to Goodwin: “It’s scary to think about the war, the Civil War too, because of all these predictions that we have now that it’ll be over in a couple of days and the rosy picture that Mr. Bush has created of what will happen in the Middle East, the Secretary of State under Lincoln predicted that the Civil War would last 60 days, and of course it lasted four years with more than 600,000 lives, which is equivalent to five million today. So I take these predictions with a grain of salt….

PoliBlogger: This is an excellent illustration of historians playing political scientists on TVthe parallels between the two wars go no further than this: they were both wars, and both had predictions made about them. That’s it.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

May it be so:U.S. officials

By Steven Taylor @ 9:58 am

May it be so:

U.S. officials told CNN Wednesday that “secret surrender” negotiations have begun with key Iraqi military officials in hopes some military units will not fight U.S. and coalition forces should there be a war.

Although one wonders if this is the kind of thing we want in the press. Although I suppose that it could be a way of communicating with other commanders who might be interested in switching.

And gee, I wonder who this is referring to?

Communications with these Iraqi military officials are not being handled by the Pentagon, but instead by other “elements” of the U.S. government, the officials said.

Source: CNN.com

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Speaking of Time, their profile

By Steven Taylor @ 9:52 am

Speaking of Time, their profile of General Tommy Franks is worth a read. It is surpringsly positive, given that Time hasn’t exactly been pro-war. Although there are some digs at Rumsfeld.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

What must 215 be Like?

By Steven Taylor @ 9:32 am

: Time magazine has a small snippet in the latest issue which notes that Baghdad ranks 213 out the 215 best cities in the world (Zurich was #1).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Thanks to Judicious Asininity for

By Steven Taylor @ 9:21 am

Thanks to Judicious Asininity for Blogrolling PoliBlog.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Wednesday, March 12, 2003
David Frum of AEI asks

By Steven Taylor @ 9:13 pm

David Frum of AEI asks a relevant question, and makes some key points:

Why, after all, do French opinions about Iraq matter more than those of, say, Italy or Brazil? If wealth is the measure of national importance, France ranks behind the State of California; if it’s military strength, France barely makes it into the top 10, rather behind Israel. Americans are transfixed by French opinions only because the United States submitted its case to a body where, by an accident of history, the French happen to wield disproportionate power. If France wields that power in a hostile manner, no American president will ever return to that body again.

I am especially taken with the phrase “accident of history” as on many levels, there is no logical reason, aside from history, for France to be in the position it is in. Japan, for example, is a more significant power in the world than is France. For that matter, I would rather see India on the council instead of France (as per Thomas Friedman’s suggest in the NYT on February 9, 2003).

Source: AEI - News & Commentary and a tip of the hat to Judicious Asininity, where I first saw the ref to the story.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I must admit, I wholeheartedly

By Steven Taylor @ 7:48 pm

I must admit, I wholeheartedly agree with Andrew Sullivan on this.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

My thanks to politX for

By Steven Taylor @ 6:59 pm

My thanks to politX for the link.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Wow

By Steven Taylor @ 4:36 pm

: Missing Teen Elizabeth Smart Found Alive

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Line of the Day 2:

By Steven Taylor @ 3:58 pm

Line of the Day 2: “The American people, not the United Nations, is the only body that President Bush has sworn to represent."-Senator John McCain today’s NYT

(A tip of the hat to Max at Common Sense and Wonder)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

You know you have had

By Steven Taylor @ 3:47 pm

You know you have had trouble in tha past, when this is a national headline: Broward Co., Fla. Sees Smooth Local Vote

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Here’s an interesting commentary from

By Steven Taylor @ 11:31 am

Here’s an interesting commentary from a professor in South Africa. It argues that it is in South Africa’s interest for the Security Council to find a way to agree on the Iraq situation. Indeed, one would think that it is in the interest of various countries of the world to pressure France and friends into a compromise with the US, because this impasse is going to damage what little power the UN has, and, by extension, the influence of lesser powers. It is clear, as William F. Buckley’s recent column points out the UN does not have the power to check the US, so the route that France is currently pursuing is going to simply curtail its own long-term power and influence, as it will demonstrate the utter impotence of the Security Council (indeed, I made this point myself over a week ago here.)

I continue to marvel at the French positionwhy not just stand aside and declare basic neutrality on the issue? Why force this confrontation with the United States? Why place themselves in the position of furthering the goals of Saddam?

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I can hardly wait

By Steven Taylor @ 11:05 am

. Can I pre-order the DVD now? Travolta Talking ‘Harvey’ Remake

Even though a director has not been set, the studios have begun talks with Travolta to play the role of Elwood P. Dowd, an amiable drunk who pals around with a 6-foot-tall invisible rabbit named Harvey.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

The Parade of Futility Doth Continue…

By Steven Taylor @ 10:50 am

Well, in the ongoing (and I supect, futile) quest for a UN resolution, the British have proposed some new conditions for Iraq:

_ A television appearance by Saddam renouncing weapons of mass destruction.

Um, how would this help? Didn’t the Iraqi parliament already outlaw WMDs? Didn’t Saddam proclaim that everyone should cooperate with the inspectors? Didn’t Saddam tell Rather that they didn’t have any such weapons?

_ Iraq’s permission for 30 key weapons scientists to travel to Cyprus to be interviewed by U.N. weapons inspectors.

Ok, but what about their families? And aren’t they supposed to be doing this anyway?

_ The destruction “forthwith” of 10,000 liters of anthrax and other chemical and biological weapons Iraq is suspected of holding.
They claim not to have this stuffand wasn’t full and immediate disclosure the point of 1441?!?
_ The surrender of and explanation about biological weapons production.
Wasn’t that essentially the whole point of 1441 and that bogus declaration last December?
_ A commitment to destroy proscribed missiles.
The Iraqis will claim that they are doing so.
_ An accounting for unmanned aerial vehicles.
Aren’t they supposed to be doing this? And hasnt it been demonstrated that they have been actively hiding such programs?

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Line of the Day

By Steven Taylor @ 10:10 am

: “Walk away, Mr. President…You can convert to Islam in a Parisian mosque and it won’t prevent a French veto.”-Charles Krauthammer, WaPo, 3/12/03

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Interesting: Blogging goes mainstream

By Steven Taylor @ 8:40 pm

Interesting: Blogging goes mainstream

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

This headline is fairly amazing:

By Steven Taylor @ 8:31 pm

This headline is fairly amazing: Iraq Urges UN States to Head Off Looming US Attack. So now the job of the UN is to check the US, at the behest of Iraq. Remarkable.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Really, this is getting ridiculous:

By Steven Taylor @ 5:02 pm

Really, this is getting ridiculous: U.S., Britain May Extend Iraq Deadline

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I know this is widespread

By Steven Taylor @ 4:53 pm

I know this is widespread in the Blogosphere, but I have to admit, I love the name: US Tests ‘Mother of All Bombs’ in Florida

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

The Limits of Multilateralism…

By Steven Taylor @ 3:36 pm

Kofi Annan says that “an attack on Iraq would be a violation of the U.N. Charter if it does not have the support of the Security Council” (according to CNN)

Oh my, I guess that means that force will have to be used against the US, to make them comply. Call up the UN troops…What’s that? The US historically supplies all the force behind the UN? What a conundrum!

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Line of the Day

By Steven Taylor @ 3:01 pm

:

“I’d ask folks to think about the Marshall Plan a bit and get back to me.”

Rejoinder by actor Vince Vaughn, to those he encountered in England who denounced America (Source: Media Research Center).
Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Indeed

By Steven Taylor @ 1:23 pm

: “A man with an $27m bounty on his head tends to choose his friends carefully.”

And you have to love this:

Source:BBC

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Thanks to Beatniksalad for the

By Steven Taylor @ 1:07 pm

Thanks to Beatniksalad for the link.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

One does begin to wonder

By Steven Taylor @ 11:05 am

One does begin to wonder if there is a method to this madness or not: Bush Will Push U.N. for Iraq Vote This Week

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Classical Liberal Freedoms and the Iraqi Experiment: A Brief Essay

By Steven Taylor @ 10:39 am

The war that is coming has within it a test of the fundamental tenet of classic liberalism: that the natural state for human beings is liberty. Rousseau wrote that man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains (The Social Contract) and while I have issues with his solution to this problem (I would argue that Rousseaus work has totalitarian overtones), I would concur with the basic idea that the natural state of humanity is one of freedom and liberty. As Locke noted, men are born into a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man (The Second Treatise of Government). These types of assumption, often unconscious, under gird American political culture and American political thought. And while I will freely grant this is not the primary purpose, nor the main motivator for the conflict, as national security lays claim to those titles, I would point out that the calls for the liberation of the people of Iraq are not hollow sloganeering. We do, fundamentally, believe that humans ought to be free..

Indeed, success in this war is based on the core belief that human beings, including the citizen of Iraq, desire freedom, and that freedom is the birth-right of all. There is a belief at the center of policy-making in Washington that the US military will be greeted and celebrated by the Iraqi people as liberators, not conquerors. Success, after the bombing stops, is based on this assumption that the people of Iraq want to be free, will welcome being free, and will able to act freely once the tyrant has been removed.

As such, the coming conflict is a great experiment in the question of what human beings are born to. It is a grave experiment, one that will be furthered by violence, and hence not to be taken lightly. This is not a sterile, controlled event that can be reset if problems arise.

Of course, freedom has its own problems, not the least of which is that humans are self-interested, and often use freedom to seek after the wants of self, rather than of the community (see Hobbes and Hume, amongst others).

And democracy, per se, does not solve all these problems. Mill notes (in On Liberty) that: [t]he will of the people , moreover, practically means the will of the most numerous or the most active part of the people: the majority, or those who succeed in making themselves accepted as the majority and those in such positions can abuse power as easily as a tyranny of one.

So, even if the experiment in liberty is successful, a second experiment will unfold, and that will be finding a way to structure the relationships among free peoples, Kurds, Shiites, Sunni and so forth, in an institutional structure that both promotes freedom and dulls the impulse to solely self-interested behavior.

This entire affair is, as Thomas Friedman has noted, a major gamble. I concur it is a gamble worth taking, and one that has potentially very positive results. However, it is a monumental undertaking, the scope of which has not been fully appreciated by many observing the events that are unfolding. The events of the next several months are going to set the stage (indeed, the turmoil in the UN is already setting the stage) for international relations for decades to come.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Interesting

By Steven Taylor @ 6:47 am

: Growing Number in U.S. Back War, Survey Finds. The part that catches my eye is growing impatience with the UN:

The poll found that 58 percent of Americans said the United Nations was doing a poor job in managing the Iraqi crisis, a jump of 10 points from a month ago. And 55 percent of respondents in the latest poll would support an American invasion of Iraq, even if it was in defiance of a vote of the Security Council.

And, given the economy, this is also interesting:

But with Mr. Bush continuing to enjoy a relatively high approval rating in this poll -56 percent- it is clear that his presidency is being judged largely by his conduct of foreign affairs and the potential war.

And while a majority, 52%, still think the inspectors should be given more time, that number is down from 62%. It is amusing, however, that the NYT story mentions this data twice in the text:

  • But a majority of respondents, 52 percent, say inspectors should be given more time to search for evidence of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons on the ground in Iraq.
  • Although a majority of respondents still support giving weapons inspectors more time, that number has decreased to 52 percent from 62 percent two weeks ago.

And statements like this make me realize that some folks live in FantasyLand:

“As far as the United Nations goes, I feel it is the last hope of our humanity, our last hope of order,” said Allan Gold, 81, of Lynbrook, N.Y., a Democrat. “I think they have to be in charge of our decisions. If the weapons inspectors have more time, they may uncover something dangerous.”

For one thing, the inspectors have uncovered “something dangerous” and it is clear Saddam is trying to hide other dangerous somethings. Further, how (and this is the key question) is the UN going to maintain order? Further, I would argue that this war has the potential to foster long-term order, while sitting around hoping for the best will likely foster long-term chaos.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Monday, March 10, 2003
Comedy of an Era

By Steven Taylor @ 9:15 pm

The fact that this entire affair has somehow come down to Angola, Cameroon and Guinea (at least on one level) is remarkable in its ludicrousness. While it is evident that there will be war regardless of the vote (assuming there is one at this point), it is a spectacle of the post Cold War era that these thing countries are relevant in any way to vital US foreign policy.

The very fact that we are going to these lengths to play the international law/multilateral game ought quash all arguments that Bush is a reckless cowboy.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Point-PatheticPoint

By Steven Taylor @ 4:15 pm

Ugh-I just heard audio of yesterday’s 60 Minutes segment with Clinton and Dole, and “moribund” would be too cheery a word to describe the presentation. I hope CBS enjoyed the ratings this week, because I can’t imagine that they will last.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Of course they wouldn’t burn

By Steven Taylor @ 4:04 pm

Of course they wouldn’t burn the oil field, I mean where would we get that idea?

“Iraq is keen to defend its oil wells and it is illogical that we burn our oil wells with our own hands,” Oil Undersecretary Hussein Suleiman Al-Hadithi told Reuters.

Source: U.S. Sees Signs Iraq Has Explosives at Oil Fields

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Saletan’s piece in Slate is

By Steven Taylor @ 3:01 pm

Saletan’s piece in Slate is quite good. And, indeed:

Should the United States yield to the United Nations? The question makes no sense. The United States practically invented the United Nations. Franklin D. Roosevelt coined its name. The U.N. charter was drafted and debated here. We host the organization’s headquarters and fund the lion’s share of its budget. Other members are important, but the United Nations needs us a lot more than we need it. Fischer is asking us not to put our national interests ahead of an organization we built to advance our national interests.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

The Formerly Bow-Tied One Hath a Point

By Steven Taylor @ 2:28 pm

George Will said, “France has stopped being an ally.”

“Their foreign minister is in Africa working up opposition to an American policy,” said Will, referring to French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin’s trip to African Security Council members Guinea, Cameroon and Angola. “That’s not what an ally does.”

Source: ABCNEWS.com : Analysis: High Stakes at the U.N.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Good Deal

By Steven Taylor @ 2:24 pm

:Pakistan Arrests at Least Two Al Qaeda Suspects

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Line of the Day: “Unfortunately,

By Steven Taylor @ 1:44 pm

Line of the Day: “Unfortunately, there are some members of the council, and many people in the world, who thought that 1441 was just words. It wasnt words. It was a statement of principle. Saddam Hussein is guilty.”

-U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell (MTP, 3/9/03)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

The Wit and Wisdom of Peter Jennings

By Steven Taylor @ 12:48 pm


“We’re going to begin this evening with the Bush administration and its allies. It is quite clear in Washington tonight that the administration is prepared to jeopardize its relations with several of its oldest and best friends in order to get its way about Iraq.”

-ABC’s Peter Jennings introducing the February 19 World News Tonight.

I find it more striking that many of our oldest allies are willing to endanger their relationship with us to protect (even if that is not the stated goal, it is the result) a totalitarian (not a word I use lighlty) dictator.

Source: Research Center

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Gee, I’m sorry I missed

By Steven Taylor @ 8:14 am

Gee, I’m sorry I missed it.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

I suppose that this story

By Steven Taylor @ 6:38 am

I suppose that this story (U.S. Says Iraq Retools Rockets for Illicit Uses) illustrates that perception is affected by preconceived notions. Were I a weapons inspector in Iraq, finding hidden missiles designed to deliver chemical or biological weapons would give me pause, especially considering, as the story points out, that they were either hidden from inspectors during the prior inspection regime, or developed since 1998. However, to Blix, France, and friends, they are relatively harmless violations. This disconnect is startling.

And, really:

According to the detailed report by the inspection team, which was circulated at the United Nations during the Security Council’s debate on a new resolution to authorize the use of force against Iraq, Baghdad has a long history of exploring novel approaches for chemical and biological weapons.

If the weapons are just defensive, and meant to deter the aggression of others, then keeping them secret is hardly helpful, so it makes one wonder why the Iraqi would want these weapons. It appears to me to indicate aggressive intentions. Hiding such devices hardly qualifies for innocent mistakes in inventory. If the Iraqis are simply interested in being able to defend themselves, then the logical thing to have done would have been to fully cooperate, use the monies dedicated to these chemical and bio weapons on conventional arms, and then, once the UN was fully off its back, do what they want. Instead they obfuscate and obstruct.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Sunday, March 9, 2003
Hmm, I think that I

By Steven Taylor @ 9:21 pm

Hmm, I think that I could think of a few things…

Iraq Doing Utmost to Avert War, Official Says The Iraqi government believes there is nothing more it can do to avert a war with the United States, Iraq’s chief liaison to the U.N. weapons inspectors said tonight.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Meet Gary Hart, master of

By Steven Taylor @ 4:07 pm

Meet Gary Hart, master of the false dichotomy (indeed, dichotomies, as he presents several in the first portion of the column. Not to mention that he clearly doesn’t have cable, the internet, or a newspaper subscription at his current residence, as he has missed all the recent, rather intense, al Qaeda-fighting (and victories) the past week or so.

If this is a prelude to a presidential bid, let me save Mr. Hart time and money and give him some free advice: you aren’t going to win the nomination, let alone the presidency, so best to find something better to do with your time.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Is this the very definition

By Steven Taylor @ 3:11 pm

Is this the very definition of chutzpah, or what?

Glossing over the negative aspects of the latest report by the weapons inspectors, a government statement issued from a meeting presided over by Saddam Hussein and editorials in the government-controlled press all reached the same conclusion: that Iraq had been declared sufficiently free of weapons of mass destruction to warrant the cancellation of sanctions imposed after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

And further, does this not demostrate that the obstructionism by France and friends is actually bolstering the confidence of Saddam, rather than promoting peace?

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Some would decry this as

By Steven Taylor @ 3:02 pm

Some would decry this as an example of the unfair monopoly of power by the major parties:

The New York Liberal Party, billed by members as the longest existing third party in the nation, has shut down after nearly 60 years of helping to elect candidates from John F. Kennedy to Rudolph Giuliani.

The Liberal Party failed to collect the 50,000 votes it needed in November’s gubernatorial race to maintain its status as a recognized party. As a result, the party lost its automatic ballot slots in New York.

But if you can’t manage the 50,000 votes needed in a state the size of New York, then that tells me that the party doesn’t have enough support to warrant its own existence. And really, the party only has existed as long as it has because New York state allows vote-pooling, so to be nominated by the Dems and the Libs meant all the votes counted together, so the degree to which the Liberals were a true third party in those elections in which is nominated the same candidate as the Dems (or, the case of Giuliani, the Reps) is questionable.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Intriguing: Election in Turkey Clears

By Steven Taylor @ 2:48 pm

Intriguing: Election in Turkey Clears Way for Erdogan to Take Formal Control

Governing party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a seat in parliament by a huge margin Sunday, a crucial victory that opens the way for him to become prime minister and strengthens his hand in uniting the government behind deployment of U.S. troops for an Iraq war.

And especially interesting is the fact is that that Erdogan’s party, the Justice and Development Party, is an Islamic-oriented political movement, which demostrates that 1) those whose religion is Islam can function in a democratic civil society, and 2) an Islamically-oriented political party can work in alliance with the United States.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Doing for sports what The

By Steven Taylor @ 2:38 pm

Doing for sports what The Onion does for news: SportsPickle.com-check it out.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Saturday, March 8, 2003
Well, it does appear that

By Steven Taylor @ 8:04 pm

Well, it does appear that the US can walk (fight al Qaeda) and chew gum (prepare for war in Iraq): US captures seven in Afghanistan.

Not to sound too cynical, but I wonder how long before some Dem charges that the only reason that we are focusing on al Qaeda right now is to make the President look good so he can launch a war on Iraq?

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Intriguing: Officials Narrow Bin Laden

By Steven Taylor @ 7:28 pm

Intriguing: Officials Narrow Bin Laden Search to Caravan although I remain skeptical until we actually have him in custody. It strikes me as odd that somehow we would be tracking him and the information would make it to ABCnews.com, especially after all the “we have his sons"/"no we don’t"/"maybe we do” business since yesterday.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Gee whiz, this alone is

By Steven Taylor @ 12:39 pm

Gee whiz, this alone is enough to convince me that the Blix report is less than convincing:

[The] Iraqi newspaper Babel - which is run by President Saddam Hussein’s son Uday - says the reports by the weapons inspectors were “fair".

Not to mention:

The dossier details the weapons of mass destruction Iraq may still possess:
  • Up to 10,000 litres of anthrax
  • Scud missile warheads fitted with deadly biological and chemical agents
  • Pilot-less aircraft, or “drones", that intelligence reports say far exceed the 150 kilometre (93 mile) limit allowed by the UN

As OTB pointed out this morning, the lack of mention of the drones in Blix’s oral presentation is something of a signifincant omission.

Source: the BBC

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

My thanks to A Small

By Steven Taylor @ 12:33 pm

My thanks to A Small Victory and SpiffyWaffer for Blogrolling PoliBlog.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Max Abrahms has a good

By Steven Taylor @ 9:11 am

Max Abrahms has a good piece on United Nations at NRO.

Upon reading this piece I find that I am further bolstered in my own thoughts on the subject: that the only function the UN really plays right now is for the less powerful states to pressure/affect the United States, and/or use it as a means of wringing concessions out of the US in exchange for cooperation (or at least no obstuction) for what the US wants to do, and could otherwise do by itself anyway. The idea that they are pursing the “will of the international community” is plain silly. Heck, the US Congress doesn’t really pursue the “will of the American people,” but rather the compromise position of 535 individuals representing myriad interests, and its members are a whole lot more on the same page than are the members of the UN. Indeed, compromise is often impossible in the UN context, and hence the problems we see whenever the Security Council has to actually do something serious. In interanational affairs it is often necessary to resort to force, and that is something that makes compromise difficult.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

These kinds of reports are

By Steven Taylor @ 9:00 am

These kinds of reports are annoying: $1.82T Shortfall Predicted in Bush Budget, not for political reasons, but for methodological ones. While I understand the need to make projections, to pretend as if they are written in stone is problematic. We really don’t know what the next ten years will bring budget-wise, and therefore the usefulness of such projections for policy-making as anything more than a general guideline is highly questionable . If one were to go back and find similar projections in the early 1990s, one would find that the projections were for deficits as far as the eye could see. No one predicted the boom of the 90s, and no one knows what will happen in the next 10 years, so posturing based on these projections is either willful ignorance, or disingenuousness.

On a political front, I think that the main solution to deficits is economic growth, and that restructuring elements of the tax code, like the double-taxation on dividends, will spur growth, and hence result in more money in the treasury.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Funny how the Iraqis can

By Steven Taylor @ 8:27 am

Funny how the Iraqis can find document when they want to

ElBaradei’s report yesterday all but ruled out the use of the tubes in a nuclear program. The IAEA chief said investigators had unearthed extensive records that backed up Iraq’s explanation. The documents, which included blueprints, invoices and notes from meetings, detailed a 14-year struggle by Iraq to make 81mm conventional rockets that would perform well and resist corrosion. Successive failures led Iraqi officials to revise their standards and request increasingly higher and more expensive metals, ElBaradei said.(from WaPo)

I must admit that I remain unconvinced that the falsification of two pieces of evidence means that Saddam has totally abandoned his nuclear ambitions. Although I will also say that said ambitions aren’t the best argument for war, anyway, as the chemical and bio weapons are an immediate threat.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Friday, March 7, 2003
Line of the Day

By Steven Taylor @ 9:30 pm

(ok, actually yesterday, but who’s counting?): Commenting on Bill Clinton’s signing with CBS to revive “Point/Counterpoint” on 60 Minutes, Bob Garfield of NPR’s On the Media said the following:

“It’s potentially extremely degrading to the presidency, but of course, that a pantry that President Clinton has been in before.” -Said on All Things Considered (3/6/03).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Hmm, and I thought that

By Steven Taylor @ 7:37 pm

Hmm, and I thought that the Arab Street was supposed to increasingly turn on us as we approached war . Rather, according to this story, “Saddam’s popularity among Arab masses may be waning”

Saddam once was applauded as a hero who stood up to the United States when no other Arab leader would. Today, Arabs increasingly portray him as a reckless despot who is not doing enough to save his people or his neighbors from a conflagration, and who has taken the region to war twice before.
As Mickey Kaus points out this may be some evidence to support the “Strong Horse Theory” (a theory that I subscribe to, by the way).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Congrats to Boycott Hollywood for

By Steven Taylor @ 1:07 pm

Congrats to Boycott Hollywood for the following formulatio: “Hans Blix is the Judge Ito of the United Nations.” It has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it?

Filed under: General | Comments(2) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

An interesting piece in The

By Steven Taylor @ 1:00 pm

An interesting piece in The New Republic Online about Mike Farrell’s Sunday appearance on MTP. Overall it demonstrates well the ineptitude of Mr. Farrell. (Although the article’s gratuitous worship of Marin Sheen is a tad odd).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

A ScrappleFace classic: Castro Wins

By Steven Taylor @ 12:49 pm

A ScrappleFace classic: Castro Wins ‘Close Race’ for Cuban Presidency

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

This story, from today’s WaPo

By Steven Taylor @ 8:56 am

This story, from today’s WaPo raises an ongoing issue (discussed by James at OTB recently)-the idea many are proffering not an argument against war, per se, just an argument about who supports us. I concur with OTB-this is a weak position, to say the least.

In separate Capitol Hill appearances a few hours before Bush’s prime-time news conference, Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said it would be premature to invade Iraq without trying to win broader international support.

I mean, what’s the important issue here: whether the war and its aims are justified or not (i.e., whether there are a moral and national interest arguments to support the action), or is it simply a question of how many people agree with us? I find it questionable that the best test for the worthiness of public policy is how many people agree with you. To quote your Mother: “If everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you do it too?”

I am willing to risk short-term “isolation” (Daschle’s whines in the story that “The situation has put us in a more isolated position than I ever anticipated") if the policy is the right thing to do. I suspect that once we are succesful, much of the “isolation” will end. And even if some of our “allies” remain aloof, I still think that pursuing the right policy in terms of US national interests trumps making nice with people who are worried about their interests, not ours. (And yes, shockingly, France, Germany, Russia, China, et al. act out of self-interest as well).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

Electoral Shocker! Castro gets sixth

By Steven Taylor @ 8:32 am

Electoral Shocker! Castro gets sixth term unopposed

(Tip of the hat to: Max Jacobs at Common Sense & Wonder)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here

While I must confess to

By Steven Taylor @ 8:25 am

While I must confess to being initially not all that impressed with the Presidents press conference last night I have noted something interesting since: while the overall presentation last night was rather ho-hum, that his responses have made terrific sound bites. I saw several clips last night on TV before going to sleep and heard several on NPR this morning driving into work. His responses sound reasonable, thought out, and calm. Further, they convey specific ideas in short snippets of audio/video.

Also, I think that the following was accomplished:

  • He unequivocally informed the Securtity Council that A) he expected them to vote, and B) that he was going to proceed regardless. This sets the tone for the Blix presentation today and the vote on the 18th resolution.
  • He may have reached some folks who really arent paying attentionpeople who will watch an unusual event like a prime time news conference (not news junkies like me who knew all this stuff weeks ago).
  • I think that the event helps set the stage for the next prime time stop he makes: the announcement that hostilities have begun.
  • As a colleague pointed out this morning, the somber mood was likely an effort to counter-act the cowboy image/rush to war thesis.

At any rate, I would reiterate that you should all pay attention to the sound bites and reevaluate the way one looks at the press conference through those lenses. I think that that aspect of the event was masterfully played by the White House. This is an especially salient point when one considers that most people will get their impressions from the sound bites, as most folks dont watch these things, and even if they tune it, they dont watch the whole thing.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks(2)
| Show Comments here
  • Outside the Beltway linked with The Press Conference
  • Rooftop Report linked with Tie
Thursday, March 6, 2003
This is just frightening for

By Steven Taylor @ 7:32 pm

This is just frightening for some reason:

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Now, if the DNC can

By Steven Taylor @ 2:47 pm

Now, if the DNC can just find this “Unnamed Democrat” dude, and if they can keep national conditions the same through November 2004, they’re set: Poll Shows Bush Would Lose to Democrat in Election

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Not surprising: Republicans Lose Senate

By Steven Taylor @ 2:45 pm

Not surprising: Republicans Lose Senate Test Vote on Estrada, although unfortunate. Here are the basics:

On Thursday, four Democrats joined all 51 Senate Republicans in voting to end debate and move to confirmation.

Forty-three Senate Democrats and one independent, James Jeffords of Vermont, voted against it. Sen. Bob Graham, a Florida Democrat recovering from heart surgery, did not vote.

The four Senate Democrats who crossed the political aisle in support of Estrada were: Bill Nelson of Florida, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Zell Miller of Georgia and John Breaux of Louisiana.

And I fear this is correct:

The battle is seen as a possible dress rehearsal for Bush’s first U.S. Supreme Court nominee…

I continue to maintain that while the Dems have the legit right to use the rules in this fashion, that they are nonetheless damaging the nomination process, given that they have given no plausible reason to justify their actions.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Still a microbe, but up

By Steven Taylor @ 10:41 am

Still a microbe, but up to the ominous 666 (from 832 yesterday) at The Truth Laid Bear Blogosphere Ecosystem. If only I could make it up to Multicellular Microorganisms!

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
ScrappleFace has made an amazing

By Steven Taylor @ 10:33 am

ScrappleFace has made an amazing discovery: Study: Human Shields Fail to Deter Islamic Militants

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
You would think that Bay

By Steven Taylor @ 10:28 am

You would think that Bay area libs would be happy: SF Bay area gas prices reach new record, I mean, aren’t the libs always saying we should be more like Europe?

And gee, who’s fault is this?

California usually has higher gas prices than most other states because the state has higher fuel taxes and requires a special blend of lower-smog fuel. Nationally, gas prices averaged $1.68 Tuesday, according to AAA. The record is $1.72, set on May 15, 2001.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
More info on the changes

By Steven Taylor @ 10:13 am

More info on the changes to the presidential nomination landscape:

As many as 12 states may hold primaries or caucuses next February, party officials said today, taking advantage of a new Democratic Party rule that permits the contests to begin one week after the New Hampshire primary, which is Jan. 27. In 2000, there was not a single major Democratic primary or caucus in the month after New Hampshire.

With the new rules for 2004, Democratic officials said, they were trying to devise a fast-paced schedule that would produce an early nominee, spare their candidate the expensive and debilitating rigors of a prolonged nominating battle and impose order on a famously unruly system.

States who are late in the game, are really going to be out of it now…which makes one think that further compression is likely. It is also interesting that a highly compressed schedule, mixed with a large number of candidates, actually increases the chances of convention-level conflicts. It also means, therefore, that the pre-primary season is key, and that the goal is to be a front-runner well before January of 2004. This really does have the potential of seriously restructuring campaign strageties.

Further, the money angle is interesting. Not only is it noteworthy (although by no means surprising), that campaign-finance issues are driving part of the decision-making, but the earlier the primaries take place, the sooner candidates have to have lot of cash. Compression of the primaries will make it harder for candidates who do not already have tons of cash, to be able to mount a credible campaign. Undecided folks and late-comers, such as Sen. Graham, or especially ,Wesley Clark, may almost certainly too late at this point. Indeed, I suspect that some of the folks who have announced, are already too late.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Don’t forget to toss in

By Steven Taylor @ 8:29 am

Don’t forget to toss in your two cents on the Big “I” Award

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Neat trick, if you can

By Steven Taylor @ 8:05 am

Neat trick, if you can pull it off: Bin Laden dead AND alive

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Ya know, the thing about

By Steven Taylor @ 7:59 am

Ya know, the thing about suicide troops is that you can only use them once…

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Wednesday, March 5, 2003
Drudge is reporting that “CBS

By Steven Taylor @ 8:40 pm

Drudge is reporting that “CBS NEWS plans to revive commentary segment ‘Point/Counterpoint’ on 60 MINUTES - With Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, beginning this Sunday night, newsroom sources say!". Boy, I can hardly wait.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Thanks to John Lemon of

By Steven Taylor @ 8:36 pm

Thanks to John Lemon of John Lemon’s Barrel of Fish, another Blog by a conservative political science prof, for his plug of PoliBlog.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
My thanks to You are

By Steven Taylor @ 8:34 pm

My thanks to You are Skewed for Blogrolling PoliBlog.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Courtesy the joke section of

By Steven Taylor @ 7:56 pm

Courtesy the joke section of Pavefrance.com

“You know why the French don’t want to bomb Saddam Hussein? Because he hates America, he loves mistresses and wears a beret. He is French, people.” -Conan O’Brien

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
The amazing thing is that,

By Steven Taylor @ 7:28 pm

The amazing thing is that, according to their counter, they have had almost 320,000 visitors: Cheese Racing (via Dave Barry)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
For those who enjoy both

By Steven Taylor @ 3:41 pm

For those who enjoy both Monty Python and making fun of the Human Shields. (via RWN)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
The Big “I” Awards

By Steven Taylor @ 2:59 pm

I am instituting a new award, to be given as needed, to be known as the Big “I” (as in idiot) Award.

The current nominees are:

  • Chrissie Hynde:
    Between songs, the pugnacious Hynde opined that she hopes the United States loses if it goes to war with Iraq ("Bring it on! Give us what we deserve!"),

  • The Human Shields stuck in Beirut:
    Two red double decker buses and a white London taxi that ferried anti-war activists to Baghdad to serve as “human shields” are stranded in Beirut with their owner short of the $5,500 it costs to ship them home.

  • The New Zealand woman who wants Bush to Crucify Here:
    A woman in New Zealand says she wants President Bush to understand the kind of pain and suffering a war with Iraq would cause.

    She wants Bush to crucify her - on live television.

  • The Woman who thinks that being human shields would make a great class project
    Political science, religious studies, sociology and global studies classes in colleges and universities might consider participating in the human shield as a course project for those who are willing.

Vote via the Comments link (and yes, I know it is a hard choice).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Interesting:U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans

By Steven Taylor @ 2:47 pm

Interesting:

U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said on Wednesday Iraq had been proactive recently in helping inspectors but he would not want to extend inspections on that basis because Baghdad’s past track record had not been good.

(story here)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Where does Powell get this

By Steven Taylor @ 1:48 pm

Where does Powell get this stuff?:

“From recent intelligence we know that the Iraqi regime intends to declare and destroy only a portion of its banned al-Samoud inventory,” he told the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“It has in fact ordered the continued production of the missiles that you see being destroyed… It has also begun to hide machinery it can use to convert other kinds of engines to power al-Samouds,” Powell said.

I mean, really isn’t it obvious that Saddam is doing his best?

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Maybe we should move the

By Steven Taylor @ 8:50 am

Maybe we should move the primaries all the to the December after the general election, and just get it over with: District Insists On Early Primary:

A unanimous D.C. Council voted yesterday to move next year’s presidential primary to Jan. 13 - ahead of every state…

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Hey look: PoliBlog is an

By Steven Taylor @ 8:25 am

Hey look: PoliBlog is an “insignificant microbe”, i.e., ranked 834 out of 1162 on the TTLB Blogosphere Ecosystem. On the one hand, I have higher aspirations than that, on the other, the Blog has only been around about two and half weeks. I’ll take what I can get.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Line of the Day:

By Steven Taylor @ 8:05 am

“Shut up you minion, you (U.S.) agent, you monkey. You are addressing Iraq,” he said. “You are insolent. You are a traitor to the Islamic nation,” -( Izzat Ibrahim, second-in-command of Iraq’s Revolutionary Command Council to the Kuwaitis at the Islamic Summit in Doha, Qatar)

(source: ABCNEWS.com

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Tuesday, March 4, 2003
Indeed: ” the president’s critics,

By Steven Taylor @ 9:08 pm

Indeed: ” the president’s critics, showing an amazing tolerance for cognitive dissonance, fault him simultaneously for acting as though America can be the world’s constable - and for allowing Iraq to divert him from the task of solving the North Korean crisis."-George Will

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Thomas P.M. Barnett of the

By Steven Taylor @ 8:55 pm

Thomas P.M. Barnett of the US Naval War College, has a very interesting piece in this month’s Esquire (a nod to LGFs for the link). On the one hand, Barnett’s division of the world into the “Core” and “Gap” makes some sense (although it isnt wholly unique), his argument about globalization and connectedness is worthy of consideration, and not unlike things Thomas Friedman often argues.

I also agree that the gap countries are more likely to be sources of conflict, but I think that he underplays one major issue, and that is that the amount of threat that a given country represents is more an issue of radical Islam, than it is of lack of connectedness. Haiti and Colombia, for example, top his list of trouble spots. I would argue that while Colombia in particular is going to loom larger and larger in US foreign policy, it is not a direct threat to the US the way radicalized Muslim terrorists are. Indeed, radical Saudi Arabians are more of a threat to the US than are members of the FARC. For one thing, the FARC (or their lesser known guerrilla compatriots, the ELN) doesnt have the capacity to overrtake the Colombian state. The conflict in Colombia is a stalemate: the guerrilla cant take the state, and the state cant defeat the guerrillas. Further, the irony with the Colombian situation is that it is the very War on Drugs that we wage that inflates the price of cocaine, that makes fighting profitable. Sans drug money, the FARC whithers.

At any rate, the Barnett piece is worth a read.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Really!? Iraq ‘only co-operates before

By Steven Taylor @ 6:52 pm

Really!? Iraq ‘only co-operates before Security Council meetings

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Stop the Presses!

By Steven Taylor @ 4:03 pm

Lack of sleep affects kids’ alertness

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Hmm, if Reuters is publishing

By Steven Taylor @ 4:01 pm

Hmm, if Reuters is publishing optimistic-sounding stories, maybe the US will get the new resolution after all…

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Interesting:France has all but ruled

By Steven Taylor @ 3:41 pm

Interesting:

France has all but ruled out using its veto in the U.N. Security Council to block a U.S.-backed resolution paving the way for war on Iraq , a weekly newspaper reported in its Wednesday edition.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
More info on the Iraqi-Abu

By Steven Taylor @ 2:35 pm

More info on the Iraqi-Abu Sayyaf link from WaTi. This goes along with info I blogged here.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
What a waste of resources

By Steven Taylor @ 1:41 pm

What a waste of resources (from NRO):

“Including federal, state and local officials, our estimate is about 1,200 were involved, just on that day,” Drug Enforcement Agency spokesman Will Glaspy says by phone. Among them, “easily hundreds” of U.S. agents were deployed “about 103 U.S. Marshals alone,” Justice spokesman Drew Wade adds. “It was just exhaustive.” The Feds responsible include prosecutors in eleven U.S. attorneys’ offices from southern California to western Pennsylvania. Rather than guard America’s docks and porous borders from the next Mohamed Atta, Customs and Immigration and Naturalization Service personnel joined the anti-pipe posse.

I have never used drugs (I honestly don’t even know what marijuana smoke smells like) and pray that none of my boys will ever indulge, but as one who studies Colombia and, by extension, the drug problem, I have to say that this represents an enormous waste of resources. We live in a world of finite resources, and choices have to be made. The War on Drugs in general is not delivering, and needs to be seriously evaluated-we aren’t getting what we are paying for.

(Thanks to OTB for the link)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
For some reason, I find

By Steven Taylor @ 1:14 pm

For some reason, I find this to be amusing.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
This is so confusing: A

By Steven Taylor @ 12:55 pm

This is so confusing:

A decade ago, after her election to the U.S. Senate, Carol Moseley Braun introduced a hyphen to her name after 15 years in politics.

Now, it’s gone.

[…]

By way of formal introduction, she will now be Ms. Braun, not Ms. Moseley-Braun.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
An interesting take on peace

By Steven Taylor @ 11:24 am

An interesting take on peace protestors from a former demonstrator of the Vietnam Era. (thanks to joyfulchristian for the link.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
James K. Glassman has an

By Steven Taylor @ 10:01 am

James K. Glassman has an interesting column atTechCentralStation He makes several key obersvations, including:

But even Greenpeace’s own position paper on Exxon Mobil, “The Tiger in the Tanks,” admits there are subtleties involved: “Only time will tell which oil company will benefit most from a war with Iraq. U.S. oil companies are only likely to benefit if Bush secures a regime change in Iraq, whereas a peaceful resolution is likely to leave French, Russian and Chinese oil companies as the main winners.”

Of course, another way to put this is that the French, Russian and Chinese oil companies stand to benefit if a brutal dictator who has already invaded two of his neighbors, killed dissenters, used chemical weapons, and failed to abide by 16 U.N. resolutions remains in power.

and, indeed:

If Greenpeace truly places the environment over ideology, why does it coddle the worst polluter the world has ever seen? I am speaking, of course, of Saddam Hussein, who, faced with defeat in 1991, set fire to 613 oil wells in Kuwait, the country he invaded. An extensive study by Geneva-based Green Cross International found that 60 million barrels of oil were released in the desert, forming 246 oil lakes, covering a surface of 49 square kilometers. “The smoke and soot contaminated 953 square kilometers of desert” and soiled 800 miles of coastline. “The amount of oil released wastwice as large as the previous world record oil spill” - and 20 times as large as the Valdez spill in Alaska.

One would think that Greenpeace would be leading the first armored column into Baghdad to bring history’s number-one eco-criminal to justice.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
A new blog by the

By Steven Taylor @ 8:17 am

A new blog by the editorial cartoonists Cox & Forkum

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
An amusing web site dedidated

By Steven Taylor @ 8:05 am

An amusing web site dedidated to Dennis Kucinich (also thanks to a post at The Agitator)

One would think, that given

By Steven Taylor @ 7:43 am

One would think, that given the way their financial markets reacted, that Turkey will have another vote and this time the results will be different. The government only needs three votes.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
I have to admit this

By Steven Taylor @ 7:36 am

I have to admit this is pretty funny (via The Agitator)

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Monday, March 3, 2003
As a Political Science Professor,

By Steven Taylor @ 3:54 pm

As a Political Science Professor, I wouldn’t recommend this:

Political science, religious studies, sociology and global studies classes in colleges and universities might consider participating in the human shield as a course project for those who are willing. Graduate students could write theses out of the experience. Students the world over could organize the travel and recruiting, themselves. There could be local chapters, like Amnesty International. Or it could be organized using the framework of the Peace Corps. It begins here, but continues beyond today and this month, and America and Iraq. This is the movement that Mahatma Gandhi began and that we want to manifest on a level that has never before been possible - or at least that has never before been tried.

You have got to be kidding me:

As long as enough people will go that it publicly shames aggressors out of killing thousands who travel to a place to create positive, nonviolent solutions, there’s not a lot more danger than one faces on an average trip to the average country at any given time. I won’t say it’s a trip to Paris, but the very scale of this movement is, itself, a very strong protective factor.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Nothing like European class.

By Steven Taylor @ 2:54 pm

Nothing like European class.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Too bad-I actually was curious

By Steven Taylor @ 2:53 pm

Too bad-I actually was curious to see how this might’ve turned out: ABC’s Donaldson Won’t Be Defecting to MSNBC

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Hmm, I don’t think that

By Steven Taylor @ 12:39 pm

Hmm, I don’t think that these will end up in my children’s library.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Hmm… Does this mean that

By Steven Taylor @ 12:34 pm

Hmm… Does this mean that Cheney is his interogator? Let’s hope:

The U.S. official told Reuters in Washington that Mohammed had been taken out of Pakistan to an undisclosed location for interrogation after his capture with two other al Qaeda suspects.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Sabbath Punditry Moment of the Week

By Steven Taylor @ 8:22 am

For those who missed it, an amusing snippet from the Fox News Sunday Panel:

HUME: You got to love Hans Blix. You know, if I die I’d like to come back as Hans Blix’s son. He’d never be in any trouble…

(LAUGHTER)

… any effort would be good enough, there would always be progress, he would always be saying I’ll be doing better next time, the grades would never be bad enough to get you in any real trouble. It would be great.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
I think this falls into

By Steven Taylor @ 8:17 am

I think this falls into the category of a face only a mother could love.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
North Korea is a happy,

By Steven Taylor @ 8:13 am

North Korea is a happy, happy place.

Under threat of severe penalties, the vast majority of North Korea’s 22 million people are not allowed any contact with the outside world letters, telephone calls, travel, radio or television programs.

And this is a great idea. Nothing like helping out their brethen to the North:

South Korea’s state-owned Korean Broadcasting Service increasingly airs programs intended not to provoke the North and to promote peaceful coexistence on the peninsula.

I am not an expert on Asia, but it strikes me that the South is making a grave error in their current dealings with the North. I understand being tired of the tension and constant threat of potential conflict, but playing nice only helps the Dictator.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Oh, and by the way:

By Steven Taylor @ 6:35 am

Oh, and by the way: 10 down, 110 go:

Baghdad began on Saturday destroying some 120 missiles, meeting a key U.N. deadline. A total of 10 missiles, whose range Blix says exceeds the 150-km (93-mile) limit allowed by U.N. resolutions, have been scrapped so far.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Ya know, it is funny

By Steven Taylor @ 6:33 am

Ya know, it is funny how Iraq starts to cooperate (sorta) right around the time that Blix is due to make a report. Is it just me, or shouldn’t they have disclosed information on VX and anthrax back in December, if such information existed?

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Sunday, March 2, 2003
Wow. I am shocked to

By Steven Taylor @ 3:11 pm

Wow. I am shocked to learn that Saddam would exploit these peace-loving visitors:

[M]any of the British peace activists who travelled to Iraq to present themselves as “human shields'’ against a military attack are reported to be on their way back home even before a single shot has been fired.

The reason is said to be differences with their Iraqi hosts over where they should be deployed. While the volunteers wanted to be with the civilians to help them in the event of a war, the Iraqis apparently insisted that they would serve as more effective symbols of resistance if they were to be stationed at strategic sites like power stations and oil refineries. For many, this was simply too scary and, preferring safety to valour, they decided to return home.

And, really:

Sixty-eight-year-old Godfrey Meynell, a former sheriff from Derbyshire, broke out in cold sweat when he discovered that the power plant, he had been asked to guard, looked like a potential “prime target'’ for enemy fire. “I’m ashamed to be leaving you at this time of need but I am going out of pure, cold fear,'’

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
My thanks to Random Nuclear

By Steven Taylor @ 3:03 pm

My thanks to Random Nuclear Strikes for Blogrolling PoliBlog.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Nothing like thoughtful argumentation to

By Steven Taylor @ 8:05 am

Nothing like thoughtful argumentation to make a point.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Indeed: Yahoo! News - Top

By Steven Taylor @ 8:03 am

Indeed: Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - AP

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
This is hylarious (although some

By Steven Taylor @ 7:16 am

This is hylarious (although some of the pictures are kinda frightening).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Saturday, March 1, 2003
Speaking of second (and third,

By Steven Taylor @ 8:56 pm

Speaking of second (and third, fourth, fifth, etc.) chances (as I discussed here and here), here’s a nice list of UN resolutions from Paxety’s Pages (found via Random Nuclear Strikes).

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
As usual, Friedman’s column from

By Steven Taylor @ 7:42 pm

As usual, Friedman’s column from this Sunday’s NYT is worth a read. I agree with him vis-a-vis the President’s vision, and I can concede that perhaps there were some diplomatic avenues not fully exploited, but I disagree on the fundamental idea that the current opposition is the result of the President’s behavior in early 2001.

First off, however, I think that this is plain incorrect:

if taking out Saddam and rebuilding Iraq had been my goal from the minute I took office (as it was for the Bush team),

I believe that some members of the team (Wolfowitz, for sure, plus Cheney and Rumsfeld) wanted oust Saddam from the beginning, but I really don’t think it became the President’s goal until well after 911, as I think that changed his foreign policy agenda and his view of his presidency. Indeed, had Iraq truly been the main foreign policy goal, I think that Bush would have done a number of things differently from the beginning, perhaps along the lines that Friedman suggests.

I do think that Friedman is 100% right here:

A U.S. invasion to disarm Iraq, oust Saddam Hussein and rebuild a decent Iraqi state would be the mother of all presidential gambles. Anyone who thinks President Bush is doing this for political reasons is nuts. You could do this only if you really believed in it, because Mr. Bush is betting his whole presidency on this war of choice.

I concur with his general points about bridge-building, although I am not sure that even had Bush done all Friedman suggests that we would be in a better position vis-a-vis that French, Germans and Russians. Indeed, the only part of his argument that directly impacted any of these actors was the ABM treaty and the Russians. I have a hard time believing that if Bush had only supported Kyoto that the French and Germans would be on board right now. I think there are far deeper issues Bush’s first year foreign policy at work here.

Also, a nit-picky point on something he has done before, and does right here:

And don’t believe the polls. I’ve been to nearly 20 states recently, and I’ve found that 95 percent of the country wants to see Iraq dealt with without a war.

I have problems with polls myself, but this is just an empirically specious and methodologically ridiculous means of argumentation.

He is right about the Israelis and the settlement issue, btw.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Thanks to Boycott Hollywood for

By Steven Taylor @ 6:32 pm

Thanks to Boycott Hollywood for the link to PoliBlog. An interesting site will the latest rants from the denizens of the Left Coast. Enjoy!

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Turkey Surprise:

By Steven Taylor @ 4:01 pm

U.S. Seeks ‘Clarification’ of Turk Vote on Troops

Here’s the interesting part:

The vote, carried out behind closed doors, ended with 264 votes for and 251 votes against with 19 abstentions - an apparent slim victory for the government.

But the opposition Republican People’s Party challenged the result on the grounds the government had not won the 267 votes needed to represent a majority of the 534 lawmakers present in the assembly.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Walter Williams has a pretty

By Steven Taylor @ 3:57 pm

Walter Williams has a pretty good column on an affirmative action bake sale.

Here’s a news story (scroll down) about the event, and a similar sale at UC Berkely..

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Good news from the War

By Steven Taylor @ 3:03 pm

Good news from the War on Terror.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Would someone please inform Gary

By Steven Taylor @ 2:57 pm

Would someone please inform Gary Trudeau as to how public education works in the US? This recent week’s worth of Doonesbury is plain silly. It is hardly the Federal government’s fault that Oregon didn’t properly manage their own budget. Only 7% of K-12 dollars comes from the Federal budget, not to mention the fact that the President can’t snap his fingers and send money to the states.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
You have got to be

By Steven Taylor @ 9:15 am

You have got to be be kidding me.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Four down, somewhere between 81

By Steven Taylor @ 8:35 am

Four down, somewhere between 81 and 116 to go.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
My thanks to Rhetorica, for

By Steven Taylor @ 8:32 am

My thanks to Rhetorica, for adding me to the Professors Who Blog list.

Filed under: General | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
| Show Comments here
Take a Look At This!
  • Tabloid News
  • Word of The Day
  • Chronograph Watches
  • Office Shredders
  • Cash Registers
  • Ricoh Fax Machines
  • IBM Typewriters
  • Copy Machines
  • UNIX Consulting
  • Web Design
Inquiries
Blogroll


Visitors Since 2/15/03
---

Powered by WordPress