Saturday, March 29, 2003
Support Our Troops
Keep fighting, mighty AoD. We support you all the way!
Friday, March 28, 2003
These two are a bonded pair:
This mature lop couple was rescued together and are very deeply devoted to each other. Harley (right) is outgoing and loves to keep his human friends amused. Margaret (left), on the other hand, is the mother hen who is protective of her hubby and keeps a watchful eye to make sure that their human friends are kind to him. They must be adopted together.
C'mon people: Dalmatian bunnies!
Arsenal of Democracy
Because there's still time to cut off the snake's head and avoid the needless shredding of a hapless conscript army, the Mighty USAF is breaking out the big bombs: the GBU-28
The GBU-28 is a 5000 pound bomb that is designed to penetrate hardened targets before exploding. The Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) is a special weapon developed for penetrating hardened Iraqi command centers located deep underground. This 5000 lb bunker buster was required for special targets during the Desert Storm conflict and was designed, fabricated and loaded in record time. The GBU-28 is a 5,000-pound laser-guided conventional munition that uses a 4,400-pound penetrating warhead. The bombs are modified Army artillery tubes, weigh 4,637 pounds, and contain 630 pounds of high explosives.
The best thing about this bomb is how it shows our resourcefulness. We just slapped it together and shipped it off to battle:
Personal interests were set aside as were traditional approaches, with long hours being the norm. The team worked to trade time against everything (cost, risk, performance). Reuse of existing subsystems offered the only answer. However, the pieces would have to be integrated in a very innovative way to achieve the desired results. The GBU-28 Bunker Buster that was conceived, developed, tested, and deployed in approximately 28 days. This was less time than had ever been dreamed possible.
Remember the 'Oops' bomb from Operation Desert Storm? The one that hit the command bunker full of non-combatants? That was a -28. And yes, there was a silver lining to that cloud:
Initially it was reported that one of the GBU-28s was used to destroy a bunker in a residential neighborhood of Baghdad, that turned out to be a shelter for hundreds of key family members of the Ba'ath Party elite.
Aw shucks, that couldn't have happened to nicer folks.
While we've had plenty of time to augment our stockpile, the Ba'ath leadership has had just as long to dig even deeper. Nevertheless, this is one race to the bottom the AoD will most certainly win.
A few folks are wondering why we haven't seen any Iraqi victory parades. Historically, these kinds of shindigs are held after the victory, rather than before. Let there be no mistake: once Saddam's head is on a pike, the parties will be as legion as they will be bitchin'.
Most people in the world either envy or love Americans. But everyone (except the enemy) loves the AoD. And why shouldn't they? It's huge yet sleek. Noisy yet friendly. Hasty yet polite. The list goes on and on. Plus once it grinds to a halt it starts leaking candy, toys and money.
I think it's the leakiness that most of the world admires. Back in WWII, we flew some particularly leaky planes over New Caledonia and its environs. Inadvertantly, we created a new religion (the AoD is nothing, if not inspiring). I think that explains why so many countries are so eager to play host to a portion of the AoD. Every culture is partly cargo culture.
The places where the AoD has settled down for the longest periods of time tend to be the plaves where you can find the fullest expressions of cargo culture. Old Europe, for example. Here you will find people who cannot imagine the prospect of an external threat. For the last fifteen years they have lived in within a protective barrier not entirely of their own labor. The natives place great value on highly symbolic totems of power like commissions and inquiries. Social interaction among the tribes follows a custom of stylized ritual, with competitors or suitors rated according to their skill at diplomacy:
France's attempt to repair relations with America and Britain over Iraq backfired yesterday when Dominique de Villepin, their foreign minister, refused to say which side he supported.
During a speech in London, M de Villepin said he hoped for "a swift conclusion with the minimum possible number of casualties".
But asked by The Telegraph whether he hoped American and British forces would win the military campaign to remove Saddam Hussein, he replied angrily: "I'm not going to answer. You have not been listening carefully to what I said before. You already have the answer."
(Telegraph via The Command Post)
In particular, the French tribe places a high value on the sophisticated nuance of its negotiatiors.
Close proximity to the AoD enhances well-being and one's sense of security. However, the long-term effects of constant exposure include ennui and ingratitude (Philippines, South Korea, Okinawa, Old Europe, etc.) Not to worry, Iraq: you've got at least sixty years to prepare for that eventuality.
A Die-in for the Peace-weenies
Over at NRO, Sarah Maserati has a report about the great Manhattan "Die-In" of 2003:
At 8:25 A.M., a bullhorn — meant to represent an air-raid siren — sounded, and a group of about 50 protesters knocked down the barricades and flooded into the street. They lay down, some locking arms to better resist arrest. Traffic jammed, people cheered, and the police went about their duties — arresting the "dead," putting back the barricades, and restoring order. Within 15 minutes, one lane of Fifth Avenue was reopened; 45 minutes later it was, well, business as usual — except, perhaps, for one girl who shrieked during her arrest: "[I'm being] shut down! Shut up!"
What began with sound and fury dissipated in about an hour. At other scheduled protest locations — the Army-recruiting station in Times Square, the headquarters of Fox News and CNN, and key intersections — there was no action. One man held a placard outside Fox News, but he turned out to be protesting abortion.
Lame, and illegal.
Another organizer stated that "Bush is no better than Osama and those 19 hijackers." Mitchel Cohen, from Green Party U.S.A., claimed that "corporations and terrorism are the same — corporations armed Saddam Hussein."
Anyone else think that crosses a very symbolic line?
So the peace-weenies have been at it for longer than we suspected:
In 1992 an organization with the curious German-Spanish name of Amigos de Aufheben (Friends of Annihilation and Transformation), wrote what is basically a primer for the so-called peaceniks. This tome titled, "Lessons from the Struggle Against the [first] Gulf War" lists policies and procedures to be implemented in the event of military action in Iraq.
Nineteen hundred and ninety-two. Nineteen ninety-two, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war progressive conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it?
(Sorry, couldn't help it.)
Anyway, here's the anti-war strategy:
i) undermining support for the war by stressing the class antagonisms involved;
ii) actively sabotaging the state's ability to conduct a war and;
iii) precipitating a crisis 'at home.'
That's it? And those folks had us worried? Don't they realize that this strategy works both ways
How hard can it be to distinguish between the Condo Communists, Limousine Liberals, Mastercard Marxists, SUV Socialists, Trustafarians, and the working men and women of the Arsenal of Democracy? Pointing out this kind of class conflict is simply too easy.
As far as sabotaging your hard-core Communist's ability to protest, just cut off his allowance. Send a picture of him and his obscene protest placard home to mom and dad and watch the hilarity ensue. And fix the student budget already. If these folks want to shout and make a mess, they ought to do it on their own nickel.
Lastly, if you want to foment a crisis at home, invite ROTC back on campus. Now that's shock and awe!
Canadian Cowboy Crackdown
This makes me sad:
A Canadian is fighting for the right to ride his horse into town.
Joe Gill, 22, a horse trainer who lives on a farm outside Grande Prairie, Alberta, rides into the city every day.
But he's now been given a ticket for violating animal control laws and told not to ride into town again.
"It's pretty silly they don't allow this," he told the Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune. "Alberta is the cowboy capital of Canada.
No kidding. Here at BBB we like Canadian Cowboys almost
as much as we like our own. So when they get persecuted by The Man, we feel blue.
Thursday, March 27, 2003
Billy is just too darn cute:
(Portland (Oregon) HBS
Billy is an outgoing ten month old male. He has lived with kids and enjoys playing with toys. Billy wags his tail when he's having fun - really!
(Portland (Oregon) HBS)
Admit: you can't resist!
Arsenal of Democracy
It's MLRS day here at BBB:
The basic MLRS tactical rocket warhead contains 644 M77 munitions, which are dispensed above the target in mid-air. The dual-purpose bomblets are armed during freefall and a simple drag ribbon orients the bomblets for impact. Each MLRS launcher can deliver almost 8,000 munitions in less than 60 seconds at ranges exceeding 32km.
(Our Beloved Army)
Unlike tube artillery, rocket artillery arrives pretty much all at once, so nobody has time to get underground.
The big advantage of multiple-rocket launchers had always been the surprise of all those rockets arriving at once. With regular artillery, the first shells to hit give the survivors time to head for cover, thus greatly reducing the effect of all the subsequent shells. The hundreds of bomblets raining down from a dozen MLRS rockets fired from a single launcher will kill or injure over half the troops in an area roughly 700 by 100 meters.
Interviews with Iraqi prisoners indicated that these attacks were deeply demoralizing, The Iraqis learned that if they saw and heard a few little pops a hundred or so meters distant, they had a few seconds to find protection, or get torn to pieces. The word got around among Iraqi troops that this weapon gave little warning and was lethal over a large area. The MLRS attacks were made at all hours, leaving the Iraqi troops in a constant state of anxiety and reluctant to leave their bunkers for any reason, even to bury their dead comrades. Advancing Allied troops fond acres of dead Iraqis where the victims had been caught in the open by massed rocket fire.
(From Shield to Storm, Jim Dunnigan and Austin Bay, Morrow: 1992, pp. 296-298.)
Follow the link above to see why those in the know call MLRS "Steel Rain." Too bad, so sad Republican Guard...
Conquer or Liberate?
People are debating whether we go to Iraq to conquer or liberate. Our explicit position is that we are liberators
. I think we should do both.
Even though this will be a brief war, we're going to be in Iraq for a long, long time. First, we have a duty to clean up our mess and leave the country cleaner than we found it. Second, Iraq is our unsinkable aircraft carrier. Having a few divisions and wings forward-based will save us time, trouble and money. Third, Iraq's culture of fear needs replacement.
Iraq represents the best opportunity to test Jonah Goldberg's "new kind of Colonialism:"
I think it’s time we revisited the notion of a new kind of Colonialism – though we shouldn’t call it that. I don’t mean ripping off poor countries. I don’t mean setting tribes against one another and paying off corrupt "leaders" to keep down unrest. I mean going in — guns blazing if necessary — for truth and justice. I am quite serious about this. The United States should mount a serious effort to bring civilization (yes, "Civilization") to those parts of Africa that are in Hobbesian despair. We should enlist any nation, institution or organization — especially multinational corporations and evangelical churches as well as average African citizens — interested in permanently helping Africa join the 21st century. This might mean that Harvard would have to cut back on courses about transgender construction workers. And it might mean that some churches would have to spend more time feeding starving people than pronouncing on American presidential candidates.
Iraq isn't Africa, and perhaps that makes it a better candidate. It has all the infrastructure you need for a modern state, and a relatively cosmopolitan population within the territory and abroad. We can and should Americanize them.
During the forthcoming American regency, we should unleash a lavish Marshall Plan. Next, we should OCR our Constitution, search and replace our own name with theirs, to establish an identical federal republic.
Lastly (and most importantly) we should unleash our media culture upon the Iraqis... all the movies, tv, radio and print they can handle. Mind you, they've been imbibing our offerings all along, but now we open all the sluices. Eventually for a small profit.
This effort will take some time, but as I said, we're not going anywhere anytime soon. But before you know it, Iraq will be a freedom-loving, Dislam(tm)-worshipping, productive and wealthy state with a first-class Arsenal (to lend us a hand in the region). Oh, and an Iraqi-CIA sharing its intel with us. While Iraq won't be the Fifty-first State, it'll be a kindred spirit and reliable, sovereign ally.
As I've long maintained: in the future, everyone will be American. Might as well start with Iraq. I predict that within our lifetimes, we'll be able to drive our convertibles to the Fourth of July Barbeque-Rodeo-Airshow-Fireworks Display and rent cabins at the Big Basra Dude Ranch.
This is what America was born to do.
We're holding back:
Three divisions sit in a semicircle around Baghdad, about 80 kilometers outside the city. There's not really a lot standing in their way. A French TV crew got lost, while traveling with an American combat unit, and simply drove into Baghdad (where they found a hotel room and decided to stay for the attack on the city.)
I'm thinking we have a few toys in the AoD at least as powerful as a French TV crew. We can go into Baghdad whenever we want.
...but probably won't have to.
Is this true?
The Turkish government, which for the first time since the fall of the Ottoman Empire is based on an Islamic party, fully expected that Parliament would approve its proposal that America be given the use of Turkish air bases in the Iraqi war. The government was so confident that the party failed to demand internal discipline, and thus several deputies voted against the resolution.
But that does not account for the failure to approve the government’s proposal.
Primary blame for the defeat of the measure lies with the opposition — the secular, Kemalist parties that have governed the country since Ataturk.
Contrary to expectations, the opposition, responding to orders from party leaders, voted unanimously against the government’s position.
The leaders insisted on a disciplined "no" vote because of pressure — some would call it blackmail — from France and Germany.
The French and German governments informed the Turkish opposition parties that if they voted to help the Coalition war effort, Turkey would be locked out of Europe for a generation. As one Turkish leader put it, "there were no promises, only threats."
(New York Sun)
Well that would explain a lot. No State Department charity can match what the Turks earn in commerce with Europe (nor should it).
I can think of two explanations:
- France and Germany are really, really anxious about what we will find in Iraq. Perhaps they ought to be.
- This is the first test of the diplomatic power of the EU.
Let's hope it's the latter, it's a much less threatening prospect.
The EU seems to think it's job will be to stand up to the United States. I wonder if they realize they face a profound challenge from the other Socialist colossus: Red China.
The next twenty-five years will see a race in which both regional superpowers compete to swirl to the bottom of the bowl the fastest. From a demographic perspective, that race is the EU's to lose.
I hate to see this happen. Europe is like family. There is still time to save them.
To the east of Europe lies the bankrupt legacy of the religion of Marx. To the west is a thriving country whose citizens are about 50% wealthier and a whole lot happier. Simple choice, right?
What's America's secret? There is no secret. Our founding principles are available in every public library. If you photocopied and adopted them as your own, we'd be so tickled we'd send a Marshall Plan (geez, another one?
) just to give you a head start.
Why are we so eager to share our wisdom? Because we hate to see you ruin your own countries. The USA has discovered a way of life that (while not necessarily better) is less awful, and invites the rest of the world to give it a try.
Wealthy, happy neighbors make us smile. Crumbling, covetous ones make us reach for the big stick.
Poor, gentle souls:
In the last Gulf war, liberals complained about a lack of media access to the front lines. In this Gulf war, they are complaining about too much access to it.
The "embedded" reporters are "patsies," says Neal Gabler of Salon. "The White House certainly knew that reporters would bond with their units and identify with them."
This is obviously a troubling development. We wouldn't want American journalists bonding with the American military who protect them. Back in their cubicles with Gabler, these reporters could return to the leisurely anti-military, anti-American coverage of Vietnam yore.
(The American Spectator)
The rest of the article is spot on. The embedded press will return to their bureaus like Wolfe's BSD's in The Bonfire of the Vanities
. Everyone will look to them because they put their lives on the line for their trade, man
! They'll think of themselves as seasoned vets, and fondly remember their AoD buddies. They're going to use their vaulted status to climb ahead of their peers. The lefties who eschewed the chance to cover those who serve will sputter as they're passed over again and again. Patriotic pressies will dominate the news for at least a generation.
I love it when a plan comes together!
Arsenal of God
And how was your day at work?
An Italian man went to confession and handed the priest two guns, two hand grenades and some live ammunition.
Father Gregorio Vitale, rector of the Bozzola Sanctuary at Garlasco near Pavia, said he had just taken the man's confession when he handed him a bag.
The man said: "I'd like you to take these as well father." When the priest looked inside he saw two handguns, two hand grenades and 18 bullets.
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
I think these two sisters would like to be adopted together:
(San Diego HBS
These two big girls are Leah and Tilly. They are young Californian girls who are really growing up fast. Tilly and Leah are very sweet and gentle sisters who would probably be good family buns.
(San Diego HBS)
Like I said, Californians and Himalayans look really similar (see yesterday's adopt-a-bunny for comparison). Californians are big bunnies (8+ lbs.), and big bunnies are mellow and friendly!
Attention New York:
Taking their cue from protesters in San Francisco, who shut down that city's financial district last week with a wave of raucous street blockades, marches, and sit-ins, activists in New York—including many from more mainstream groups—are calling for widespread civil disobedience in midtown Manhattan this Thursday. Their aim is to disrupt "business as usual."
(Front Page Magazine)
Look, we already got the message: you're pro-Saddam. The Arsenal of Democracy defends your right to endorse the tyrant. But it doesn't entitle you to become a violent lawbreaker.
"We want to bring home the fact that life here can't just go on like normal while people are being slaughtered in an unjust war abroad," says Max Uhlenbeck, a student coordinator for United for Peace and Justice, which organized Saturday's four-hour march down Broadway.
(Front Page Magazine)
Like you said Max, people are being slaughtered abroad
, but not here. Why can't life go on like normal?
"It's not just 20-year-olds. A lot of respectable nine-to-fivers are ready to do things to try and put a wedge in this war," says Julie Zuckerman, a kindergarten teacher and mother of two from the West Village who is a member of New Yorkers Say No to War. "We've tried to use legitimate mechanisms like contacting our congressional representatives, but to no avail," says Zuckerman. "We aren't being listened to, so what do you do?"
(Front Page Magazine)
Julie, you have a choice:
- Obey the law and respect the will of the majority, or
- Block traffic, smash windows and violate bystanders' civil rights.
Citizen or thug: who are you?
Arsenal of Democracy
As the sandstorms subside, both sides dust off and lift their scopes to reacquire each other, right?
The Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) is a long-range, air-to-ground surveillance system designed to locate, classify and track ground targets in all weather conditions. While flying in friendly airspace, the joint Army-Air Force program can look deep behind hostile borders to detect and track ground movements in both forward and rear areas. It has a range of more than 150 miles (250 km). These capabilities make Joint STARS effective for dealing with any contingency, whether actual or impending military aggression, international treaty verification, or border violation.
While the Iraqis couldn't see, we could relocate with onmiscience. Someone just got snoooookered!
Fighting for Peace
The Weekly James
has a link to a story by Reuters about pacifists violently defending their principles. Too funny!
Rattling tambourines and beating drums, the children, many in school uniform, then ran screaming through the city center chanting "No War -- No War" and carrying banners like: "We are ready to fight, world peace is our right."
Ready to fight, for peace. How quaint! I can't remember the last time I heard that old cliché.
My usual sarcasm just isn't good enough for something this mockworthy. This calls for a haiku.
This 'fighting for peace.'
I wonder what that is like.
PG comments please.
James Robbins on deterrence:
Deterrence also requires a credible counter-threat, which leads to the next question: If deterrence fails, how can the Coalition respond? The president has threatened “fearful consequences” would befall any who attacked us. What does that mean, exactly? From Saddam’s point of view, being blown apart in a bunker is a pretty fearful consequence in itself. But it could imply retaliation in kind. A similar threat was made in 1991 by the previous President Bush; yet after the war, members of the administration admitted that he would not have carried it out. (This was a very bad move, since the revelation reduced US credibility for no specific advantage.)
My jaw is on the floor.
Please name the names, Mr. Robbins. We should know who frittered away our credibility. Their fecklessness guarantees our servicemen will get gassed.
When Saddam found out we were bluffing the last time, I bet he was livid. He probably thinks we're bluffing today.
Deterrence is always part bluff. The key is to hide the empty threats with a powerful war face which frightens the dickens out of the enemy. And that is why the peace-weenies are so insidious. They call our bluff, raising doubt about our response and inviting tyrants to take chances. It also hurts when your own government admits to past bluffing. The fools.
The hypocrites of war
MTV answers the call:
Though images of war are dominating television screens, one channel is not having it. The day after the war in Iraq started, a memo was distributed through the offices of MTV Europe by its broadcast standards department.
In the memo, Mark Sunderland, one of the department's managers, recommends that music videos depicting "war, soldiers, war planes, bombs, missiles, riots and social unrest, executions" and "other obviously sensitive material" not be shown on MTV in Britain and elsewhere in Europe until further notice.
(The New York Times)
This is rich in so many ways.
- Content based censorship? MTV can count itself among the friends of the PMRC.
- Don't tell us you're afraid your videos might have a corrupting influence on today's youth. That could never happen.
- Other than your influence and power to persuade, how do you justify the rates you charge to advertisers?
- Scenes of living fast and dying young aren't fit for your station? Yeah, that's got nothing to do with rock and roll.
- Operation Iraqi Freedom is probably the ultimate in questioning authority, yet you turn away. Interesting.
- You're knee-deep in Muslims, and afraid of a fatwa, aren't you? And lastly,
- Way to thank the Arsenal of Democracy for decades of watching your back.
Remember how China is supposed to be our next big rival and stuff (I mean after the EU socialist collossus)?
Car number plates ending in four have been banned in Beijing because they are said to be unlucky.
Um, China: don't call us, we'll call you.
is funny too. No comment.
Sometimes reporters can be so credulous:
So intense was the fighting that at one stage the 3rd Squadron commander's driver, Private First Class Randall Duke Newcomb, was forced to steer his Humvee with one hand while firing out of the window with the other.
(This is London)
Don't you feel safer, knowing this guy
is on the case?
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Asta is either Himalayan or Californian. I can never tell the difference.
(New Jersey HBS
Asta is a 4 lb adult dwarf girl, just a little on the shy side. Asta loves to chew willow baskets and paper towel rolls, explore shelves, just sit around looking adorable. She has shown a romantic interest in other potential mates, but has yet to find "Mr. Right", but certainly through no fault of her own. She needs an understanding home that will allow her to be her shy self and love her as she is.
(New Jersey HBS)
Four pounds probably means she's Himalayan. Californian Bunnies can weigh more than ten pounds. Just so you know.
Arsenal of Democracy
A chilling read from the Detroit News
(and via the Command Post
Gazi George is certain that Iraq is hiding weapons of mass destruction, because he used to be one of the people hiding them.
Two decades ago, while he was employed by the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission, George says he hid 39 rods of enriched uranium -- enough to build two nuclear bombs -- in a hastily converted swimming pool near the grounds of the Osirak nuclear power plants at Tuweitha.
It gets worse: according to Dr. Khidhir Hamza
I was his nuclear bombmaker. I held secrets no one outside Iraq, and only a handful of people inside the country, could know. I could tell the world about our secret work developing the device, our hidden research facilities, the technical equipment we obtained from Germany and other countries, about the twelve thousand nuclear workers we had successfully hidden by scattering them around the country. Not even the aggressive U.N. inspectors, now crawling all over Baghdad, knew what we still had or how dangerous the situation was. None of them knew that Saddam had been within a few months of completing the bomb when he invaded Kuwait.
Design + Fuel + Fabrication = Bomb. Apparently, it is easy to do.
Producing a fission explosion is not all that difficult. As far as I have been able to find out, every nation which has attempted this succeeded on the first try.
(The Joy of High Tech)
I think he has a few, and wonder whether he has the nerve to drop them.
He says political prisoners were locked up in those cages, injected with radiation and exposed to an external bombardment of cobalt 60 radiation until their mouths bled, their skin blistered and they died.
A guy who Slotinizes
his enemies is probably willing to cry havoc on us. The question is whether he will do it in his capital city, or in ours.
If he does, we must be willing to pull the trigger. For the sake of the future of deterrence, we must explain to the rest of the world what happens if you attack us with atomic bombs.
With that in mind, let us have a look at the biggest AoD bomb. Not the B-83, at 1.2 mT that is the current champion, bit I mean the biggest ever. I mean the B-41:
The Mk/B-41 was the highest yield nuclear weapon ever deployed by the U.S. It was also the only three-stage thermonuclear weapon ever developed by the U.S., and it achieved the highest yield-to-weight ratio of any U.S. weapon design.
Follow the link to see for yourself what twenty five
megatons of American Sunshine looks like. It really swells the heart to know we built five hundred of them in the 'clean' and 'dirty' configurations.
Ask yourself: what kind of target requires 25mT? Bear in mind that this is a bomb which can cause third degree burns for twenty-five miles
in every direction.
It's a city-buster. And we built five hundred of them. But for all their awesome power, they do not deter if we are publicly unwilling to use them.
I suspect that somewhere a B-52 is sitting on nuclear alert, carrying a dozen or so B-83's and maps of Iraq. We ought to make Saddam (and the rest of the world) aware of it. And we should let no one doubt that - if our worst fears come true - we will fling it on a mission of maximum countervalue revenge.
Looks like the daddy of the freelance grenadier is reading right from the PC playbook:
"All I'm saying is that Islam has been misrepresented, and a lot of people don't understand the religion of Islam," Bilal said. "And the problem is, the stereotyping and the discrimination, I can't say exactly, directly, if that was Asan's case," he said.
Because of these awful stereotypes, we think of young male Muslims as mad bombers and stuff. So save a little pity for poor Asan Ackbar.
(rest of the story
The French: vulgar racists? You decide.
Instapundit mentions a story
about Edith Cresson's impending trial on charges of corruption. Edith is France's first Prime Minister, and some of us like to remember the good old days:
Ms Cresson, a protege of the late French president François Mitterand, is under pressure. Best known in the UK for claiming that one in four Englishmen is gay...
Not that there's anything wrong with that. I just expect a little more sophisticated nuance from Edith, since she's French and stuff. You know, diplomatic.
The French-speaking world clearly wants to contribute to our understanding of Japan, and they've had their fair share of reputable scholars like Jean-Pierre Lehmann, and the less diplomatic like Former French Prime Minister Edith Cresson. ("The Japanese are like ants," she informs us, "They stay up all night working hard, trying to figure out how to screw you in the morning.")
I did not know that ants stayed up all night and tried to screw you in the morning. Thanks Edith!
Ah, Edith. Some call her a corrupt, homophobic racist; our cultural betters call her 'the Former Prime Minister.' I like to think of her as a proto-Hillary. You can see the resemblance, right?
With less than a week gone, predictions of a quick and clinical victory are looking less credible than they did in the first couple of days. Wars are rarely that easy, and it is difficult to know what the real (but private) expectations of General Franks and the other commanders were.
Oh come now, some people have no patience. Less than a week and you are already complaining!
Keep watching the skies!
Some people just see what they want to see:
Experts say a reported UFO sighting in Norway was probably an electrocuted cat.
People in Lardal reported seeing a fire ball explode in the night sky and fall slowly down to earth.
That's unidentified flying cat, mister!
Monday, March 24, 2003
(Columbus (Ohio) HBS
Oliver is an adorable little two-toned chocolate dwarf bunny. He is neutered, litter boxed trained, and weighs about 3 lbs. We think he is about 8 months old. While he went through a bad few weeks before he was rescued, this little guy is realizing that life can be good. He is starting to jump and play and his little binkies are fun to watch! Oliver is learning to eat a little hay and greens but still needs time to really get the taste for them. He loves to hang out in his critter castle on the second floor and peek out the window to the world. Oliver's little chubby cheeks will make you smile and win your heart
(Columbus (Ohio) HBS)
Gotta love those rescued bunnies! Who wants one?
Arsenal of Democracy
Does Saddam understand how bloodthirsty we can be? Apparently not: he intends to avhieve victory by exploiting our squeamishness. Clubbeaux
cites an expert authority:
The other foundation of his strategy, Dad said, is anti-war opinion in America. No doubt Saddam finds this immensely entertaining as well, that thousands upon thousands of people hate their own country and army so much – and are allowed to express it to slavish press. Saddam values these people highly.
He knows he can't win, obviously, so Dad said his probable strategy is to hunker down and endure the bombing, and wait for casualties to pile up and for American public opinion to demand a negotiated settlement instead of supporting the troops to achieving an unconditional surrender. All he cares about is maintaining his regime, that's his only objective in all this.
And the longer it lasts the better for Iraqi regime. Time is not on our side, the shorter the better for us, the longer and more drawn-out the better for Saddam or whoever hopes to take over if he's dead. The Iraqi regime counts heavily on the anti-war protesters to maintain their hold on power in Iraq, as they know the only thing that can maintain their bloody, cruel reign of terror is if America gives up before the job's done. The regime sees the anti-war movement in America as critical to their hold on power.
So in reality every anti-war protestor in the streets is working to maintain Saddam's regime. Which they probably know anyway.
If you knew the number of peace protestors who have committed treason in their hearts, it would curl your hair. And you know they will flaunt bodybags. They have done it before.
Senator Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.) summed up the then-current wisdom of the antiwar side when he said that the coming conflict would "look more like World War I and trench warfare than anything we've had." He predicted 100 American KIA's per day for as long as the war continued.
(National Review)(via Right Wing News)
What a craven, ghastly man.
While today, precision guided munitions are all the rage, we sometimes forget our old love-affair with American Sunshine. During the Pentomic Fifties, everything was atomic. We were prepared to let slip more American Sunshine than you can possibly imagine.
The Davy Crockett Atomic Battle Group Delivery System was born of a time where the US Army felt it needed some 151,000 nuclear weapons for deployment in a protracted conflict with the Soviet Union. Of this total, 106,000 would be for tactical battlefield use, 25,000 for air defense of US Army units and installations, and 20,000 to support our Allies. All of this was predicated on the thought at the US Army would use an estimated 423 atomic warheads in a single day of intense atomic combat - not to include surface-to-air missiles. This is mind-boggling when you sit back and ponder this.
Now that's what I call crying havoc!
Follow the link to read about Davy Crockett, a nuclear recoilless rifle. It fired a short-range, low yield A-bomb out to about two miles. Its W-54 warhead was used as the basis for the nuclear mine and suitcase-nuke, or "Small Atomic Demolition Munition" (B-54, SADM). And yes, that is how you pronounce it. A nice touch of irony, no?
Because Davy Crockett's warhead was so small, its blast radius was actually smaller than its lethal prompt radiation radius. That's right: Davy Crockett was a neutron bomb! And by the way, Davy Crockett had the "dial-a-yield" and could be set for explosions between 0.01 through 1 kT. But at anything but its lowest setting, Davy Crockett would cook its operators with a lethal dose of ionizing radiation.
I'll take a moment to let that fact settle in. (pause)
A weapon like Davy Crockett ought to scare the heck out of Arabia, Palestine and the rest of the Ummah: If they think they can conquer us with their splodeydopes, they should bear in mind that our suicide bombers are nuclear.
Stick that in your squeamishness strategy, Saddam!
Anglosphere v. UN and EU
James Bennett on Iraq:
The unilateralist cowboy approach of George W., failing to gain the military aid of the French Foreign Legion and the blessing of that final U.N. resolution, critics claim, doom the current war to -- well, exactly what it isn't clear, but obviously something not nice. Not military defeat, certainly. But victory without the blessings of certain European intellectual quarters, which they assume to be an equally traumatic outcome.
It's worth considering, however, that exactly these features of the first Gulf War contributed to the need for its successor. In particular, the fatal pause before Baghdad and the survival of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein were to some degree the result of the broadness of the coalition, some of whose members preferred a strong leader in Iraq because of fear of its fragmentation.
I know people who are genuinely worried about what "certain European intellectuals" think about us. I keep telling them: "It’s much more important what we think about them
Look up "empty suit" in the dictionary, and you’ll find certain European intellectuals. Daniel Cohn-Bendit (EU Green Party), for example:
America has to learn that, after a war with Iraq, the trans-Atlantic relationship will change. Hitherto, it has been like a traditional male-female relationship: Man calls, woman follows. Then, there was emancipation. I do want something new in Europe, and not the French way -- anti-Americanism no matter what. Europe can take on responsibilities, and I dream that it will be able to handle alone something like Bosnia in the future. This new relationship is not against America, but it is not for America either. It is for Europe. European interests are not equal to American interests. You Americans did not believe in Europe before, with the euro. You laughed at us. We did it, and it is not so bad. And you will see, we will do much more. We have differing views on the Kyoto Protocol, and on the International Criminal Court. I understand the American position, because the two continents have completely different understandings of sovereignty.
Imagine the nerve! Right now he wants to arrogate to his vaunted EU a brand new Court for Criminals of the World. And maybe sometime in the future, he’ll get around to developing the capability to fight tyrants in his own backyard
without some heavy lifting from the Arsenal of Democracy.
Why would we seek his blessing on any topic but gardening? If he can’t walk the walk, why listen?
The Guardian has a good article
about the RGM-109 Tomahawk, and how it provoked its own revolution in military affairs. I like how it makes people jealous:
"The hi-tech, low-bodybag war is seen, particularly within the Islamic world, as cowardly, as technological arrogance, and I think it creates a tremendous degree of resentment and anger," says Beevor. "In the Ottoman empire, or the Soviet Union, the populations of villages would cry when their troops went off to fight because they knew they would never see them again. That mentality has not changed - it's hard enough even within our society to keep up with the rapidity of technological change, but for an Islamic culture which instinctively rejects so many aspects of that society, it is so much the worse."
I’d just like to add that the low-tech, high-bodybag war is seen, particularly within America, as cowardly, and evidence of profound inferiority and poverty.
Bafflement and disdain for the new American military, with the Tomahawk as its figurehead, is not confined to the Islamic world. It was Philippe Morillon, the flamboyant French commander in Bosnia, who snorted of the US military: "Who are these soldiers who are ready to kill and not ready to die?"
The Arsenal of Democracy would much rather burn money than spill its blood. And whenever possible, it sends a robot, not a man. The lives of Americans are the second most valuable on the planet (damn you Luxembourg!), so we’re not as eager as other countries to lose them.
Proceeding along nicely:
A Russian man is to sue a seed firm after he was knocked unconscious by a giant pumpkin he grew on his balcony.
Nikolay Salakhov, from Pavlov-Posad, near Moscow, claims instructions on the seed packet told him to expect "decorative vegetables the size of a pear" on six foot-high plants.
Who let the pumpkin grow so large? That's right, the seed company.
But instead the plants produced pumpkins weighing almost 40lbs, one of which fell on his head and knocked him out as he sat on his balcony, reports Pravda.
Looks like our litigious culture is catching on!
Sunday, March 23, 2003
This afternoon, I attended the Patriots' Rally at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This was my first right-wing rally (and sponsored by Free Republic
), so I wasn't sure what to expect.
To summarize: the crowd was cleaner, better dressed, more polite and much, much
smaller than the previous peace protests. That figures. As PJ said, "We have jobs." However, we don't seem to have babysitters, which explains the presence of children. I'm happy to report I didn't see any kids holding their parents' signs.
People were selling bumper-stickers and soliciting donations. I've mocked the peace-crowd about the commercial nature of their protests. Said criticism really doesn't apply to the freepers. Don't they openly admit to being grubby capitalists?
The Patriots' Rally was nominally a forum for Iraqi-Americans and Iraqi-exiles to address America and express their support and gratitude. I arrived a bit late, and missed a few of their speeches. The ones I caught were articulate and even touching. One speaker addressed the crowd in Arabic, while a translator explained he was asking Allah to bless the Arsenal of Democracy.
Yeah, it was a moment of mixed feelings.
Here's one of the cleverer signs. I find it agreeable, in a threatening kind of way.
And speaking of threatening, this crowd wasn't. I spotted two counter-protestors. An older fellow in a Freedom Rascal
(bumpersticker: "Jesus was a Pacifist") and a well-behaved young lady dressed in dreadlocks and a granola-style outfit (t-shirt: "No War on Iraq"). One by one, people would approach them, introduce themselves and ask whether the counter-demonstrators would endorse some loaded question (e.g., "don't you realize that if left unchecked, Saddam will nuke us?"). To my surprise I saw the pro- and anti-war folks actually discussing the war in polite, even friendly tones. I never caught the whiff of coercion
you get from some mobs. Regardless of ideology, these folks behaved like ladies and gentlemen to each other. Kudos to all of you.
After the Iraqi contingent finished speaking, Free Republic
cried havoc and let slip Former Rep. Bob Dornan
. He delivered a long, bloodcurdling speech (in front of his grandkids). Thanks to him, now I know why only the female US POW wasn't wearing boots. Nothing like a horrible image to drive away the audience. I estimated that more than half the crowd left during his speech.
Former Rep. Bob Livingston
(R-LA) spoke last. The theme of his speech was peace protestors, and what is wrong with them. Way to end on a high note. If I'd written the speech roster, I'd have omitted these guys and given more time to the Iraqis.
The protest ended very promptly. Folks with family in the Services took the microphone and expressed best wishes for those overseas. A nice lady led the crowd in an a cappella
rendition of God Bless America, before turning the public address over to a Lee Greenwood sing-a-long (they played his signature song twice in a row, and I am not making that up). The crowd departed, leaving the campsight about as clean as they found it. Here's the proof:
Most of the crowd wandered over to the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial, where a busload of ninth-graders set a wreath at the foot of the servicemen's' sculpture.
This is the first rally I've attended to feature a measure of respect.
Overall, the word for this rally was staid
. No obscene signs (unless the one asserting that France enjoys being "Saddamized" counts). No outbursts of profanity from the podium. No harassment of counter-demonstrators. And not much in the way of litter.
As you know, litter is a sore spot with me. I live here, and don't like it when interlopers leave a big mess. If the freepers had trashed the mall, I'd have featured it. But they didn't. In fact, here's the largest accumulation of trash I found:
(Note: spotted on the way to the Metro)
C'mon Answer. You've had months
to take down your handbills. Be a hoot and don't pollute!
* UPDATE: Maybe this isn't the most appropriate aphorism to bring to the Lincoln Memorial...