Archive for March, 2007

Lord, Give Me the Patience of Dick Cheney [UPDATED]

My son and I walked to our local Chinese restaurant this afternoon for a lunch of steamed dumplings and Shanghai pan-fried noodles. And lukewarm tea.

What was my point…?

Oh yes! A couple sitting at a table across the restaurant spoke in a voice unmuffled by shame or embarrassment, without fear of contradiction, that Dick Cheney always talked as if he were trying to drum up a war. I didn’t say anything; it’s a free-ish country (even in Chinese restaurants), and I embarrass my son enough as it is. But I thought: stop talking, Dickie-baby, and start drumming. Calling Keith Moon, Charlie Watts, Levon Helm, Mo Tucker, Max Roach, and Buddy Rich.

We need more wars:

The UN chief warned Saturday that arms smuggling from Syria could threaten the cease-fire in Lebanon and urged full compliance with a UN resolution that ended the summer war between Hezbollah and Israel.

Noting allegations that the arms embargo on Hizbullah was not being enforced, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met Friday with Lebanese security chiefs during his two-day visit to Lebanon to discuss ways of enhancing the Lebanese army’s monitoring capabilities of the along border with Syria, one of Hizbullah’s principal patrons.

The leading Lebanese daily An-Nahar reported Saturday that Ban told the Lebanese security chiefs that Israel had provided him with “evidence and pictures” of trucks crossing from Syria to Lebanon and unloading weapons.

Lebanese leaders have rejected Israeli claims that weapons smuggling continues.

Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, who is opposed to Hizbullah and Syrian influence, said at a news conference with Ban in Beirut on Friday that the Lebanese government was trying to improve its monitoring capabilities but stressed that “not one single case of arms smuggling across the border” with Syria has been recorded.

But Hizbullah has boasted that it replenished its stockpile of rockets after the war.

How? Does Amazon deliver Katyushas to Bekaa now?

Not even Ban can sweeten the armpit that is Lebanon. The Second Lebanon War, as the Israelis recently decided to call it, was immoral only insofar as the Israelis fought not to win it. Killing Lebanese, and allowing your own citizens to be killed, is pointless—therefore profoundly immoral—if you do so without the only justification for war: victory. A stalemate with Hezbollah is worthless; only by defeating them, as Israel will surely be called upon to do sooner rather than later, can Israel make right what is now wrong.


Sow, reap, yadda-yadda.

“Egypt had to support the tunnels (from Egyptian territory into the Gaza Strip) during the (second) intifada because they were the Palestinians’ only oxygen line, especially when the Rafah crossing was closed for extended periods,” wrote Dr. Abd al-Munam al-Mashat in the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat, but added that “the situation has changed. Now the tunnels pose a problem for the Egyptians, especially in light of the increasing concern about terrorist attacks on their territory.”

“Egypt will strike with an iron fist anyone who threatens its national security,” warned former Egyptian ambassador to Israel Mohammed Basyouni…. We are opposed to the tunnels because they are not a lawful way to cross the frontier.”


Bring Me the Head of Faye Turney

Might be true, might not:

An Iranian opposition group claimed Saturday that Iran’s capture of 15 British sailors and marines was planned in advance and carried out in retaliation for UN sanctions imposed against Tehran.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran – the political wing of the Iranian MEK opposition group which is listed as a terrorist group by Britain, the US and the European Union – said the British crew’s capture was planned in advance, but offered no evidence to support the claims.

Hossein Abedini, a member of the council’s foreign affairs committee, claimed the group had obtained information from sources within Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard and had passed details to the British government. He did not provide any evidence or give further details.

On the other hand, with talk like this, the story is entirely credible:

Former Iranian President Mohamed Khatami told the London daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi during his visit to Egypt that “George Bush is the tyrant of our age, and history will remember him as a rare variety of murderer of children and women.”

On Iran’s abduction of the 15 British servicemen, he said: “Anyone who saw this action as inappropriate has become accustomed to seeing the Islamic and Arab world as weak, as not defending itself from harm, and as having borders that are wide open… The behavior of the U.S. and of its allies is very barbaric, and they want the Arab and Islamic world to remain weak forever.”

Don’t you just want to smack him so head wrap falls off?


Like Hell You Will

Not so fast there, Jalil:

Iraqi President Talabani informed the Arab summit that Iraq’s Council of Ministers has decided to contribute $10 million to “our Palestinian brothers” in support of their “national unity government.”

Without American greenbacks, Iraq wouldn’t have a pot to piss in. We aren’t pouring billions of dollars into your sorry-ass country for you to siphon off 10 mil for a bunch of blood-crazed psychopaths. Your Palestinian brothers got themselves into this mess, and if they’re ever going to get out, it will only be because they had to do it all by themselves.


Steyn Time

An occasional series (too occasional, if you ask me), where we face north-northwest (Boston to rural New Hampshire) and bow. Even Mark’s passing comments are more thought out and better written than those of just about anyone else—with a week’s time and a thesaurus:

Resolve vs. Resolutions [Mark Steyn]

Iain, re that pathetic UN resolution declining to “deplore” the Iranian action but agreeing to express “grave concern”:

What difference would that make either way? Would “deploring” persuade Tehran to release the sailors while “grave concern” lets them humiliate them for another few weeks?

Look at the timeline 25 years ago:

On April 2nd, the Argies seized the Falklands, which were all but undefended.

On April 5th a British task force of over 100 ships and 28,000 men sailed from England for the South Atlantic.

In three days! Talk about a rush to war, eh?

Furthermore, because the British were known to be contemplating a credible response, the UN – instead of twittering about “grave concern” – passed a resolution on April 3rd ordering Argentina to withdraw from the islands. And that was in the bad old days of the Cold War. Yet, within 24 hours, the Russkies and ChiComs had been prevailed upon not to monkey around.

Just as importantly, all further diplomatic discussion took place while that task force was sailing toward the Falklands, getting closer, day by day, hour by hour. In other words, Mrs Thatcher put a clock on events – which is the only way to persuade transnational diplomats to get real. Otherwise, they just sit around talking till everyone’s dead – see Darfur, Rwanda, etc – and it’s too late to do anything even if you wanted to.

It is a measure of the maturity of this blog (not known for its maturity) that we don’t just quote every jotting of He of Whom We are not Worthy. As T. S. Eliot said of Dante and Shakespeare, Mark Steyn and Melinda Doolittle divide the world between them. There is no third.


Lies, Damned Lies, and the Washington Post III

We already know what he is. Now we’re just haggling over when:

A high-level al-Qaeda suspect who was in CIA custody for more than four years has alleged that his American captors tortured him into making false confessions about terrorist attacks in the Middle East, according to newly released Pentagon transcripts of a March 14 military tribunal hearing here.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who U.S. officials believe was involved in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998 and who allegedly organized the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, told a panel of military officers that he was repeatedly tortured during his imprisonment and that he admitted taking part in numerous terrorism plots because of the mistreatment.

Sounds bad, I’ll admit. How will our intrepid American heroes get out of this jam? If you made it to the 5th paragraph, you might have seen this:

It is impossible to confirm or evaluate Nashiri’s allegations regarding his interrogation by the CIA. U.S. government officials often caution that terrorists are trained to allege abuse at the hands of their captors….

Indeed. He either lied before or he’s lying now.


Syrianaphylactic Shock

Sometimes, they make this too easy:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will visit Syria next week, her office announced yesterday, prompting the White House to call the trip “a really bad idea.”

Pelosi’s visit to Damascus is to be a centerpiece of a week-long Middle East tour that began yesterday in Israel. Both the White House and State Department knew about the visit in advance.

“As recommended by the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan delegation led by Speaker Pelosi intends to discuss a wide range of security issues affecting the United States and the Middle East with representatives of governments in the region, including Syria,” the statement read.

So because Jim Baker said it was a good idea, that makes it so? If Jim Baker said go jump off a cliff, would you do that, too? [Ahem] Uh, Ms. Pelosi, we all in the I-raq Study Group think it would be a good idea if while you’re in Syria, you an’ yourn would mosey on out to the Golan Heights, find a really high Height, and take a flying leap. And while you’re doin’ that, you can poke yourself in the eye with a sharp stick. Much obliged, mam.

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I Just Knew This Was a Bad Idea

Can’t they just hold the Olympics indoors?

[W]hen China applied to host the 2008 Olympics, it encountered deep skepticism about its ability to pull off the feat in one of the world’s most populous and polluted cities. There was real concern about athletes choking on chemical-laden air as they ran the 100-meter dash.

Seven years and $40 billion later, the Chinese have had remarkable success on many fronts.

But Beijing still has not conquered its pollution. Nearly 50 years after Mao Zedong’s “war on nature” felled trees to make room for steel plants in the administrative capital and reversed rivers to provide irrigation, the Chinese government is finding that undoing the environmental damage and turning Beijing into a green showcase in time for the Olympics is no small task. China has only 16 months before 550,000 overseas visitors pile into a city of more than 15 million.

All those new coal-fired power plants won’t help. I used to think marathoners were just anorexic idiots. I still do, but I’m sure going to feel sorry for them next year. Still, it’s only 480.667 times around a basketball court.


Scenes From the Palestinian Liberation CXXVIII

The Palestinians never fail to live down to my expectations:

Palestinian medical sources reported the killing of 21 year old Kamel Kamal Musa and the injury of 8 others, amongst them a child, as a result of an explosion near a training camp affiliated to the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement.

The sources stated that the sound of a loud explosion was heard, from a suspicious object likely to be a mortar shell.

But their own expectations are even lower:

Although the environmental disaster that occurred three days ago in the Gaza Strip was expected, the Palestinian Authority did nothing to prevent it according to the citizens of the village of Um Nasser.

They expected to be washed away by a tsunami of shit? Not even New Orleans expected that. Talk about your “soft bigotry of low expectations”. Soft and squishy.


Spot the Jew!

Fun for the whole family of man!

Is this the crafty Zionist?

A bullet-proof [reviled nation deleted] ambulance entered the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday in order to save a six-month old baby in critical condition after reportedly inhaling toxic substances.

This was the first time a [emergency services deleted] ambulance entered the Palestinian territories since the second intifada broke out in the year 2000.

Up until now, [emergency services deleted] ambulances would only go as far as the [jackbooted military thugs deleted] checkpoints, where they would pick up Palestinian patients in need of medical care in [reviled nation deleted].

Or is this?

Three [terrorist state deleted] citizens were injured on Thursday night when they were playing with a weapon during a wedding party in Deir al Balah in the center of the [toilet bowl deleted].


A Travesty of a Mockery of a Sham of a Mockery of a Travesty of Two Mockeries of a Sham

That commie bastard Karl Marx knew a thing or two: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

Britain escalated international pressure Thursday in its week-old confrontation with Iran over the seizure of 15 naval personnel, winning from the U.N. Security Council a statement of “grave concern” over the capture.

But in five hours of intense debate at the council, Britain failed to get tough language it proposed that blamed Iran and demanded the immediate release of the 14 men and one woman. Russia balked at wording that the British had been seized in Iraqi waters while serving under a U.N. mandate. China, Qatar, Indonesia, Congo and South Africa also resisted blaming Iran, which contends the British trespassed into its waters, according to U.N. diplomats.

The softened version, which is nonbinding, instead appealed to Tehran to provide consular access to the sailors and marines, which has so far been denied, and an “early resolution of this problem.”

The only thing that should be softened and nonbinding is stool, which is what this whole process smells like. Forget Newt Gingrich for president—he should be PM:

I think there are two very simple steps that should be taken. The first is to use a covert operation, or a special forces operation to knock out the only gasoline producing refinery in Iran. There’s only one. And the second is to simply intercede by Naval force, and block any tankers from bringing gasoline to Iran…


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