Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Dave Matthews is offering his support for Saddam Hussein. To be fair Matthews probably doesn't understand that his website's anti-war idiocy amounts to support for Saddam Hussein, but he is responsible for the stupidity that is contained on his site.

Send him a letter at: fanmail@davematthewsband.com. Here's mine:

"Is Dave Matthews so fucking stupid as to really believe that the people of Iraq have any say in who runs their government? What a fucking moron! Eat shit Dave! I was a fan, but not now that I know you support and enable Saddam Hussein.

Sean Roper"

France and Germany are proposing that U.N. peacekeepers basically take control of Iraq to prevent a U.S. lead war.

It sounds to me like the Axis of Weasel is desperate to maintain their business contracts.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Two excellent excerpts from The Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal:

"Remember the"'war on poverty"? Like the Vietnam War, it turned out to be a quagmire; expanded welfare programs bred not prosperity but dependency, creating two new classes of Americans: a government-supported underclass and the "poverty pimps," people for whom "the poor are commodity," as Thomas Sowell puts it. They 'include not only local politicians, community activists and small-time hustlers, but also people with impressive titles and academic credentials, who likewise milk the larger society, in the name of the poor.'"

Who can argue that that is not exactly what has happened? President Johnson's "Great Society" initiatives were certainly well-intentioned, but they turned out to be disastrous policy. I can't say that no one was helped, but I believe that far more people were harmed, many in incalculable ways, than were helped.

The next excerpt is one of the most optimistic and heartening things I have read in some time:

"Reporting from Djakovica, Kosovo, the Associated Press provides more reason to doubt the notion that Muslims hate freedom and thus will turn to terrorism in even greater numbers after America liberates Iraq. In Kosovo, the AP reports, 'the Muslim majority sees the United States as a savior':

American flags flutter on peasants' homes. A couple grateful for U.S. help in ending Kosovo's war names a daughter in honor of Madeleine Albright.

A six-story-high poster of former President Clinton towers over the capital's main drag, renamed Bill Clinton Boulevard. And the president of Kosovo is building a new compound he calls the White House.

Says Ibrahim Rugova, Kosovo's president: 'We like Americans because they're freedom-loving people who are pragmatic and love to help. There is a great respect for America--for the ideal. We are small, but even small friends can be important.' Why would anyone expect Iraqis to be any less grateful for their freedom?"

I am thankful for even the smallest bit of appreciation for the good that America has done or attempted to do. We're not perfect, but we're also not the greatest evil the world has ever seen as the communists and socialists would have everyone believe.

This is a perfect example of why I love Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus column. From Davos, Switzerland:

"Speaking of language: I am continually amazed at the ability of people around the world to speak English. I don’t just mean schoolish, passable English. I mean good, idiomatic English. I hear it all over, from everyone. Not only is English the lingua franca — not only of Davos but of the world — but virtually all of the movers-and-shakers seem to have gone to school in the U.S. (mainly graduate school).

I enter a small session in which it transpires that I am the only non-native Spanish speaker present. “This is ridiculous,” I say. “Why should you all be forced to conduct an entire session in English when I’m the only one who’s not a Spanish speaker? Let me just leave, and you carry on.” “No, no,” everyone insists — including the president of Colombia. “You must stay. We will have our discussion in English.” I feel embarrassed about it, but they do . . . and it is excellent, perfectly natural, again, idiomatic English, with barely a stumble.

On another occasion, I am treated to the amazing spectacle of Mexico’s president, Fox, conducting a conversation with one of Mexico’s leading columnists . . . in English. What a sight, and what an illustration."

A typically blistering piece by Ann Coulter:

"The Gettysburg Address of liberal idiocy was a letter to the editor from a Jim Forbes of San Francisco two days after the crash. The Times titled his contribution to Liberalthink: "A Time of Mourning for Shattered Dreams: A Period of Healing." In full-dress sanctimony, Forbes wrote: "The loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven is a national tragedy. Time is needed for Americans to mourn. I hope that President Bush will do the right thing by slowing down his march to war and focusing instead on the healing that such a blow to national pride requires."

Here was the pithiest concentration of the multiple idiotic things liberals were saying about the space shuttle, the insincerity, the audacity, the smarminess – he even worked in "the healing process." How he must have polished that little gem! The idea that liberals feel the shuttle explosion was a tragedy is patent nonsense. They were jumping for joy at this new excuse to denounce the "march to war." The nation is marching to war at such breakneck speed, it will be two years from 9-11 before we attack."

Coulter is brutal. And brilliant.

Mark Steyn is saying that the U.S. should quit the U.N:

"Away from Kofi and co., the world is moving more or less in the right direction: entire regions that were once tyrannies are now flawed but broadly functioning democracies — Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America. The UN has been irrelevant to this transformation. Its structures resist reform and the principal beneficiaries are the thug states.

The Libya vote is instructive. There are 53 members of the Human Rights Commission. Thirty-three voted for the Colonel. Three voted against — the United States, Canada and Guatemala (God bless her). Seventeen countries abstained, including Britain. Is that really the position of Her Majesty’s Government? Not really, and they’ve all manner of artful explanations for why the vote went as it did — it was the Africa bloc’s turn to get the chairmanship, they only put up one candidate, the EU guys had all agreed to vote as a bloc, they didn’t want to appear to snub Africa, blah blah. So the net result of filtering Britain’s voice up through one multilateral body (the EU) into another (the UN) is that you guys are now on record as having no objection to the leading international body on human rights being headed by a one-man police state that practises torture and assassination and has committed mass murder within your own jurisdiction."

The U.N. is a corrupt and nearly useless organization. When Iraq is given the presidency of the UN Conference on Disarmament and Lybia is voted to chair the UN Human Rights Commission then something fundamental is wrong. This should never, ever happen. It just goes to show what a bloated and morally repugnant organization the U.N. is.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Colin Powell spoke to the U.N. today and presented more than enough evidence to show that Iraq is not diarming and that they are working to hide the weapons they do have. Of course France reacted by calling for more inspections.

Enough is enough.

I was so tired last night that I went to bed at 8 PM. As a result I have a lot of reading to do. I shouldn't say it like that because it sounds like a chore, but it's not like that at all. I love to read and I don't know what I would do without the Internet.

The first thing I want to post tonight is about Jay Nordlinger's trip to Davos, Switzerland to attend the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. Nordlinger is using his regular Impromptus column to tell us what's happening there:

"Want to hear a little more about Prime Minister Mahathir of Malaysia — or from him? In his talk before a large crowd, he places heavy emphasis on the disparity between rich nations and poor. I don’t blame him. The maddening thing is, such people rarely bother to explore the reasons for this disparity. They give the impression that they regard it as merely a matter of luck — as though prosperity fell from the sky on some countries while misery fell from the sky on others. Instead of complaining about American and Western prosperity, why not take the necessary steps to equal it? Why not install the rule of law, a free market, and so on?"

This next quote makes it clear that America has more than it's share of absolute morons. I can't believe this:

"I encounter a couple from the American South. Husband says, “Well, are we going to war against Iraq?” I say, “Well, I think we’re going to war against Saddam Hussein, that’s for sure.” Wife says, “Well, that will just make those people angrier, and we’ll pay a terrible price.” I say, “Maybe — but remember the scenes you saw in Afghanistan: the jubilation in the streets; women putting their faces to the sun for the first time in years; the literal embrace of American soldiers.” Wife: “Yeah, but Afghanistan was an entirely different situation. There, the people were oppressed by the government. In Iraq, they’re oppressed by our sanctions.”

I wonder if the woman has any idea what she said.

Here's a woman that is in deep denial. Nordlinger doesn't say what her nationality is, but it sounds like she's Muslim:

"Muslims complain that Americans completely misunderstand and defame their religion. One woman mentions Pat Robertson to me maybe five times. (He seems to be a very famous American, in certain quarters.) I say — trying to be all diplomatic and conciliatory — “Well, I’m sure there’s misunderstanding on all sides.” The lady looks at me incredulous: 'No. There’s no Muslim who misunderstands or slanders Christianity or Judaism. We bother to find out about others and appreciate them.'"


Right. And Islam is a religion of peace too.

Monday, February 03, 2003

While I'm calling Nelson Mandela a "goddamned idiot," Michael Ledeen is sensibly explaining my rage in words I can't find:

"Now he has unburdened himself of the accusation that President Bush is a megalomaniacal racist, about to unleash a new holocaust on the Arabs, and opposed to any U.N. role because Kofi Annan is a black man. He'd have done better to lambaste his own designated successor, President Mbeke, for his insane proclamations that AIDS is not caused by HIV, thereby justifying the government's failure to provide timely or adequate treatment to South Africa's AIDS victims. And he'd have done well to praise President Bush for being willing to commit huge amounts of American taxpayers' money to save Mandela's own infected people. No. He posed for the brain-dead anti-American crowd instead.

It's a pathetic spectacle, but entirely in keeping with the monumental failure of a man who could have been a great leader and world figure. Instead, he's failed his own country and his own destiny. He's become yet another African loudmouth, giving moral lessons to the world and tolerating corruption and misery on his own continent."

I wish I could have said something like that.

There is no possible way to explain in a few words what Jonah Goldberg's G-File column is about. What I can say is that he eventually explains why he goes fiction on us with his story of Sol the giant baby who goes on a murderous rampage. It sounds weird I know, but it's worth the time.

The New York Times has a story on the recovery of body parts from parts of Texas.

This puts the whole disaster into perspective:

"In Plainview, Tex., Tammy White's three sons — 4, 6 and 8 — were riding a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle when they came across a charred leg. "They've been asking questions," Ms. White said.

Her youngest, Colton, "keeps saying, `Go with me to the bathroom;' he doesn't want to be left alone," she said. "The oldest one is sad, he's really devastated. He says, `It's so bad, no one should be looking at that stuff, no one should be taking pictures of it — it's somebody's Momma or Daddy.'

"I said, `Yes, baby, it is.' "

Sunday, February 02, 2003

The Australian paper The Herald Sun (via Instapundit) is reporting that Saddam Hussein's senior bodyguard has fled Iraq and is telling all about Saddam's weapons:

"AN underground chemical weapons facility at the southern end of the Jadray Peninsula in Baghdad;

A SCUD assembly area near Ramadi. The missiles come from North Korea;

TWO underground bunkers in Iraq's Western Desert. These contain biological weapons.

William Tierney, a former UN weapons inspector who has continued to gather information on Saddam's arsenal, said Mahmoud's information is "the smoking gun".

'Once the inspectors go to where Mahmoud has pointed them, then it's all over for Saddam,' Tierney said.

Tierney, who has high-level contacts in Washington that go to the White House, said the information we publish today on Mahmoud's revelations 'checks out, absolutely checks out.'"

This will absolutely make my day should it turn out to be real. I'm a little skeptical because no one besides The Herald Sun is reporting it. The Herald Sun is saying that the Israeli's have the bodyguard and that (the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) "Sharon intends to shatter the growing anti-war movement."

George Gurely has an interview with Oriana Fallaci, the author of the bestselling book, The Rage and the Pride.

Here's a quote from the interview that gives an idea what the book is about:

"I have been months and months and months of best-seller No. 1," Ms. Fallaci said in her strong Florentine accent. "I do not say this to make self-congratulations. I say this to underline my thesis-that the moment was mature! That I have put the finger on the nerve of something: the Muslims' immigration, which grows and grows without inserting itself in our way of life, without accepting our way of life and, on the contrary, trying to impose on us its way of life .... And people in Europe are so exasperated by the arrogance of most of these 'invaders' and being blackmailed with the unfair term 'racist' when they protest, that there was a kind of thirst for a book like this ...."

Ms. Fallaci is talking about multiculturalism. That evil masquerading as a wholesome and desired bit of self-esteem for immigrants that tells them that don't have to assimilate. That they can carry on with all their laws and customs as if they had never left their own country; their new nations laws and customs be damned.

I just realized that I never posted anything on the space shuttle Columbia disaster.

"In the hours after the tragedy, Bush spoke to a grieving nation in a televised address. "Columbia is lost. There are no survivors," said the president. He praised the astronauts' "courage and daring and idealism" and ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff at all government buildings.

Television footage of the explosion showed a bright light followed by white smoke plumes streaking diagonally through the brilliant, blue sky. Debris appeared to break off into separate balls of light as it continued downward.

Military satellites with infrared detectors recorded several flashes as Columbia broke apart, according to a defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity. It was unclear whether those "spikes" of heat indicated an explosion, the burning of pieces of debris re-entering the atmosphere or something else.

'We saw it coming across the sky real bright and shiny and all in one piece. We thought it was the sun shining off an airplane,' said Doug Ruby, who was driving with his father along a Texas highway, headed for a fishing trip. 'Then it broke up in about six pieces -- they were all balls of fire -- before it went over the tree line.'"

What can I say. This was a terrible disaster and I am sorry for the families of those who died.

Another leftwing intellectual has defected and adopted the idea that war with Iraq is necessary and even desirable. I don't know Julie Burchill at all and I don't think I have ever read anything by her, but she has a piece in The Guardian, that famously left of left U.K. newspaper, making the case for war. Here's a quote:

"When you look back at the common sense and progressiveness of arguments against American intervention in Vietnam, Chile and the like, you can't help but be struck by the sheer befuddled babyishness of the pro-Saddam apologists:"

From there Burchill goes on to attack all the anti-war arguments such as the one that says we are going to overthrow Saddam so that we can get his oil. Read the whole piece.

After reading this one column (which I found via Instapundit) I think it's reasonable to say that this is probably the only thing that Burchill and I would agree on. I think she's a socialist and all her opinions are probably based on that philosophy, but her support for war against Iraq is a very important point of agreement. Burchill has joined other very prominent leftists such as Christopher Hitchens, Ron Rosenbaum, Jonathan Chait, Andrew Sullivan, and Michael Walzer in supporting the war. These people reflect a noteworthy and historic chasm that divides the left today. The fact that these people support the war is not a little thing. Their support reflects a seismic shift in opinion, but it was a shift that was caused by September 11, 2001. It took that awful day to show many of the more serious leftists exactly what the various components of their beliefs actually meant. Ideas such as moral equivalence and multiculturalism (the pre-9/11 multiculturalism that is) were exposed for what they were. Ron Rosenbaum's reaction was typical. Chris Hitchens left The Nation over it. Michael Walzer's piece for Dissent magazine was probably the most important post-9/11 piece simply because of who Walzer is and the publication it was written for.

The left has gone from being a serious political player to a fringe element within an increasingly fringe Democratic party. This is what everyone meant when they said that 9/11 changed everything. Many conventional wisdoms were shattered by that horrible day. That is, many leftwing ideas of conventional wisdom were shattered. The right could have said (and I did actually), "We told you so!"