Articles which have caught my interest. Mostly Israel stuff and other nubbins from the ongoing holy war.
Wednesday, February 05, 2003
This just in...
The New Republic gives a thumbs-up to the Powell speech.
Why We Fight
Stop the presses! A pro-war editorial in The Guardian, the British loony left's paper of record.
I must give credit to Julie Burchill, who has always marched to the beat of her own drummer. Here she picks apart all the usual idiocies of the anti-war crowd ("No Blood For Oil!"). You might fault her ongoing love affair with such enlightened, freedom-loving liberals like Che and the Vietcong, but the rest of her logic is impeccable.
The Powell Speech
On the plus side, I thought Powell presented his case fairly forcefully. He touched on all the major issues, including the weapons of mass destruction as well as Iraq's connections to Al-Qaida. I especially liked this intercepted conversation between two Iraqi Republican Guard officers:
Let's review a few selected items of this conversation. Two officers talking to each other on the radio want to make sure that nothing is misunderstood:(The full text of Powell's speech can be found here).
In general, it's heartening to see that the Sec State has finally gotten with the program.
On the down side, I have a feeling that Powell was preaching to the choir. He didn't come out with anything majorly dramatic. Saddam and the useful idiots bolstering his regime will doubtlessly claim that most of this evidence was faked by the CIA and the NSA.
And I suspect that nothing in the speech will prevent the hypocritical weenies on the Security Council -- France and Russia, both of whom have economic ties to the villain of Tikkrit and both of whom are trying to inflate their influence in this whole conflict -- from demanding that the inspection regime continue indefinitely.
In short, the whole idiotic show of trying to disarm Saddam by peaceful means continues. This speech is just another necessary station on the road to a war which many of us here hope will come soon.
Tuesday, February 04, 2003
The Memorial Service
Understated, austere, and very moving, IMHO. Bush really seems to have found his gravitas as an orator in troubled times.
It's just a damned shame that the times are such as to give him a lot of practice.
Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys
I've been collecting a lot of articles lately about the French. I keep meaning to use them, but more important stuff keeps coming up (elections, national tragedies, etc).
And yet, I feel it's important to skewer the Frogs as mercilessly and as often as possible, for they are the most loathsome amongst Western nations. Yes, I know there's this stereotypical American attitude towards the French (rude, don't bathe, like Jerry Lewis). But my enmity comes as a citizen of a country which has had to suffer representative after Gallic representative coming over here to sniff down their noses and point their fingers at us while wholeheartedly embracing all the terrorist-friendly countries/entities around us (the Palestinians, the Syrians, and the Lebanese). I mean, nothing fills my heart with more glee than to get a lecture from Monsieur Chirac about Israeli behavior while he attends an official event with the leader of Hizbullah.
And all this from a country whose historical double-dealing in this region directly created the quagmire that is Lebanon.
France's recent behavior with respect to the Iraq situation is beyond contempt as well, especially since I get the feeling that after putting up every roadblock imaginable to ousting Saddam, they'll jump on the bandwagon at the very last moment to ensure that their own interests are preserved.
Herewith, then, a small bunch of articles organized around different reasons for hating the French:
Monday, February 03, 2003
Oriana vs. the Muslims
Tough-dame Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci has resurfaced recently with The Rage and the Pride, a scathing attack on Muslim extremism which she believes threatens the core values of Western society. The book caused an uproar in France -- surprise, surprise -- where it was condemned as racist propaganda.
Fallaci is a fascinating character. She was an Italian resistance fighter at the age of 16. Throughout the '60s and '70s she travelled to many of the world's hot spots, getting shot in the process. She's interviewed people ranging from Clark Gable to Henry Kissinger (whom she left quaking in his boots). Currently she's fighting breast cancer and keeping one eye open for the Muslims she's managed to enrage. All while keeping up a two-pack-a-day habit.
The NY Observer article (link above) is a hoot. Also, check out the Q&A piece from this week's NY Times Magazine.
Sunday, February 02, 2003
I think it's safe to say that Israel and the U.S. were mourning side by side today. We watched the pictures over and over again, the Columbia turning into a falling star and breaking apart. The pictures of the astronauts, with the focus here on our local hero. And the feeling that our one little bit of happiness lately got snuffed out.
The news channels here have plenty of experience handling tragedies and this one got the full treatment: the massive full-cover headlines in the papers, the lengthy special newscasts, the interviews with the family.
The tragedy even has a song that will be forever linked with it: "Ha'tishma Koli" ("Will You Hear My Voice?"), a pretty tune by the 1960s group The High Windows which Ilan Ramon's wife, Rona, had broadcast to him a few days ago on Columbia. The lyrics go something like "Will you hear my voice so far away from me?/Will you hear my voice where ever you may be?"
Personally, the thing that really broke me up was watching the interview last night with Ramon's father, Eliezer Wolferman. The father is a Holocaust survivor in his '80s who was watching the shuttle's descent as part of a live news broadcast. He faced the press yesterday with such a display of calm dignity that you just wanted to reach out and hug him.
More than one person today commented on the irony that the shuttle carrying the first Israeli astronaut started falling apart over Palestine, TX. To me it seems like more evidence that God is a comedian, and a third-rate one at that.
Tomorrow we'll probably start moving on, back to the coalition-building and the war and the suicide bombers. Today, we've taken a break from all that to sit around with a rotten feeling in our guts.