Archive for the ‘war’ Category

As Iran becomes a nuclear state, it appears the people there are looking for more help with their economic plights. From the Telegraph.co.uk:

When Iran fuels Western alarm over its nuclear ambitions – as it did again yesterday with orders to start construction of new uranium enrichment plants – it has in the past been able to count on widespread domestic support. Even critics and opponent of the regime led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have stood up for Iran’s right to develop nuclear technology. However there is now increasing resentment that the once popular nuclear programme could be detracting from more urgent needs in the face of economic mismanagement and sanctions.

Today Dennis Miller on his radio show identified our latest round of sanctions: we will no longer permit Iran to receive blue-ray dvd’s from Netflix.

So I guess we hope will pull the plug on their nuclear ambitions due to these economic pressures, sanctions come down, and happy days are here again. Not so fast. Per Mark Steyn at National Review online, North Korea is fast on the nuke trail and they don’t even have an economy. All it takes is an plutonium fisted leader and let’s roll down the nuclear highway. Don’t be fooled, Iran is not backing off one bit in their quest for nuclear power regardless of their economy.

I believe the US is no longer trying to prevent Iran from obtaining these weapons, and have gone into containment mode, and we are running some kind of 4-corner offense – wait, basketball is over – we are running a penalty kill on a 5 minute major, except the clock isn’t running. Ahmadinejad doesn’t care, he’s still on offense, and we’re a man down.


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OK, I’m just as happy seeing al-Awlaqi meet his maker and however many virgins.  But, for those of us who did take the whole FISA debate seriously, and that whole due process rigamarole that the Bill of Rights blathers on about, and as someone who felt the sting of the sarcasm embodied in the bumpersticker wisdom of “Go Ahead, Take My Rights; I Wasn’t Using Them Anyway” I just wanted to ask: where are all the Lefties on this?  I mean, this is a guy who actually IS an American.  Has he been tried, even in absentia?  What about “guilty until proven innocent?”  What about Miranda? Oh, I see.  That only works for Nigerian Jihadis who have had the great good fortune to land mostly intact on American soil, even if that wasn’t the plan (Philo- you’re the music guy- can we have Abumutallab’s theme, “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” cued up?)

Where is the ACLU? Has anyone uttered a peep about this? Is all the angst about rendition spent and we have none to spare for the imminent smithereenhood of an American citizen?  Isn’t vaporization somewhat worse than waterboarding or getting the Quran wet?

And I’m not asking rhetorically here.  I really don’t think we should be assassinating American citizens by executive order.  There should be a trial, in absentia, and if found guilty of say, treason (huh- that has a nice old fashioned ring to it, doesn’t it?) he should be stripped of his American citizenship.

You know, Roman justice was pretty brutal, but one of the perks of citizenship was that you had the privilege of being beheaded if you were to be executed.

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NYT Mag: Grotesque

Do you take the Sunday NYT?  I do, or rather, my husband does.  He’s still living in the pre-cable, pre-talk radio world where you simply assume that the NYT is balanced because William Safire and David Brooks are on the editorial page, and if you want some really conservative reading, there’s always the Wall Street Journal.  Several years ago, I complained that Frank Rich had expended another 4,000 words in the “Arts and Culture” section on Dick Cheney and Enron.  My husband’s response, “He’s just a critic.  No one cares.”  To which I said, “He’s editorializing and unlike you, everyone else who reads the NYT reads the “Arts and Culture” section.”  Less than a month later, Frank Rich was MOVED to the Editorial Page.  Let’s just say I suffer.

Today, hubby and I finally agreed on something with respect to the NYT: what they did today in their magazine was grotesque.  When you open this glossy mag, you expect to see, among other things, real estate offerings that stretch the definition of opulence.  Condos that cost more than most people make in a lifetime.  Luxury and artistry and fabulousness of abode, furnishings and style that boggle the imagination.  One ad caught my eye: a full-floor, 6 bedroom, 6-1/2 bath, 6800 sq. ft. condo in a pre-war building on West End Ave.  $25 million.

Then there was  a feature about “unusual” homes– one carved out of the side of a cliff, one in a converted church in England.  Truly fabulous, beautiful, intriguing.  What all the ads and the feature have in common, though, is that these are homes of people who have lots and lots of extra dough.  You’d need to, for the taxes, the maids, the furnishings, the heating bills (that church is a bitch to heat, I’ll bet.)  It’s the kind of moneyed opulence that I can barely imagine, and would actively eschew if I suddenly came into $100 million.

But, in the middle of all this, literally in the middle, was a feature on the art of one Karina Lau, whose project is a series of black and white photographs entitled, “The Shrine Down the Hall.”

The rooms depicted were humble enough, but the subtext, that people who had very little materially, had lost monumental treasure, seems to be completely lost on the NYT.

There’s an essay here, about the series of photographs that fall under the NYT’s category of “War Memorial,” about the editorial decision to put that series of photographs in the middle of the glossy paean to super wealth, super style, super materialistic Upper East Side Elite “We’re Practically Europe” New York As Center of the World.  About the New York Times relentless “framing” of war as a something our kind doesn’t do- we go to Davos, we engage, we are smart.  War is really bad mostly because all wars are like Vietnam and are promulgated by presidents we hate (even if you have to twist history a bit to get that to come out right: Nixon, not LBJ or St. Jack of Camelot, is responsible for the worst bits of the National Tragedy that was Vietnam) and fought by knuckle-dragging rubes from the hinterland who have flunked out of high school and have no options.  Not our kind.

I don’t think that I have what it takes to do an exhaustive comment on this, but just off the top of my head, I will say that I found the pictures themselves to be rather sterile, unmoving.  They reminded me more than anything of the aesthetic of the Vietnam memorial, which reflects the view that lives lost in war are a personal tragedy and have no greater meaning because everyone knows that war is a mistake, that war is always a craven enterprise meant to line the pockets of Halliburton, Brown & Root, Exxon, and Dick Cheney.  That war is not the answer, you dopes, didn’t you learn that on Sesame Street?  It reflects the entirely elitist viewpoint that only suckers are patriotic to the point of actually fighting for their country, but they should be pitied for all that.

Dear New York Times Magazine, Pinch, Frank, et al.: Stuff your pity.

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Sad news from Texas.

I loved Charlie Wilson’s War.

Best quote: “You know you’ve reached rock bottom when you’re told you have character flaws by a man who hanged his predecessor in a military coup.”

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Pirates Save Israel?

There are reports that Somali pirates, by hijacking an Iranian vessel and then mysteriously becoming ill and dying of radiation poisoning, prevented a plot to detonate a ship full of radioactive sand off the coast of Israel.

Within a period of three days, those pirates who had boarded the ship and opened the cargo container with its gritty sand-like contents, all developed strange health complications, to include serious skin burns and loss of hair. And within two weeks, sixteen of the pirates subsequently died, either on the ship or on shore… …At this writing, the MV Iran Deyanat is at anchor, watched closely by American, French and Russian naval units.

[Russian sources claim she] was an enormous floating dirty bomb, intended to detonate after exiting the Suez Canal at the eastern end of the Mediterranean and in proximity to the coastal cities of Israel. The entire cargo of radioactive sand, obtained by Iran from China (the latter buys desperately needed oil from the former) and sealed in containers which, when the charges on the ship are set off after the crew took to the boats, will be blasted high into the air where prevailing winds will push the highly dangerous and radioactive cloud ashore.

Given the large number of deaths from the questing Somali pirates, it should be obvious that when the contents of the ship’s locked cargo containers finally descended onto the land, the death toll would be enormous. This ship was nothing more nor less than the long-anticipated Iranian attack on Israel.

The latest reports are, however, that the Iranians have negotiated the release of the ship. U.S. sources aren’t talking.

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This week a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a resolution “recognizing the strategic success of the troop surge in Iraq” that “commends and expresses the gratitude to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces for the service, sacrifices, and heroism that made the success of the troop surge in Iraq possible.” Of course, the Democratic leadership was in opposition. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin blocked a vote on it. The Wall Street Journal explains:

The reality is that success in Iraq has confounded the political left, which placed a huge political bet on our defeat. Senator Reid famously declared the war lost in April 2007. Joe Biden introduced a resolution opposing the surge. And Hillary Clinton said the reports of progress in Iraq required “a willing suspension of disbelief.” In the Democratic narrative, our troops in Iraq are victims of a lost cause, not heroes. They’re allowed to get maimed and killed, but not to succeed.

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Francis Beckwith and Meryl Yourish have details on how the Democrats have played hardball to prevent Sarah Palin from showing up at a protest of Iran. I like David Bernstein‘s comment best:

Let me get this straight: if the only prominent American politician to attend a rally against Iran is Hillary Clinton, the rally is a neutral, nonpartisan event. If Hillary Clinton AND Sarah Palin attend, then the rally becomes a partisan political event, and Clinton couldn’t possibly agree to appear. Very, very strange.

UPDATE: A reader comments: What’s the difference between [Malcolm] Hoenlein [who invited Palin, and then disinvited her under pressure from Democratic activists] and Ahmadinejad?

Ahmadinejad isn’t intimidated by the Democrats.

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