Sean's Blog

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Opinion And Current Events

Friday, April 25, 2003

Wouldn't it be sweet if the Iranians had a popular uprising, say around July 9?:

"Mark the date: July 9. That’s when opponents of the Iranian regime have called a general strike that they hope will expand to topple the government there and bring freedom and democracy to the Iranian people.

The strike is being organized by profreedom student groups to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the last student uprising in Iran that saw thousands of students take to the streets against the Islamic Republic’s ruling mullahs.

The planned event — indeed, the Iranian freedom movement as a whole — could take on a new dimension now that Iran’s western neighbor, Iraq, is free from Saddam Hussein’s tyranny.

Policy experts have speculated that a liberated Iraq could embolden Iranian freedom fighters to rise up and mount a serious challenge to the ruling mullahs."

This could be major. With fledgling democratic states taking root to their west and north, Iran's government could be on the verge of collapse. The big question is what will the U.S. do to help the Iranian people? The post-September 11th U.S. is very different than the pre-September 11th U.S. The post-September 11th U.S. is not to be underestimated. We will do things now that we wouldn't have done two years ago. Nothing, including sending in special ops guys, would surprise me. We could get a two-fer with Iraq and Iran.

Have I posted this already? It's what some people were saying before and during the war:

"A couple of weeks into the war, it's now apparent just how ideologically blinkered the administration's view of Iraq actually was, and how that view has already imperiled our troops, the Iraqi people and any larger strategic objectives the war was supposed to serve. In its overreliance on a small number of neo-friendly Iraqi expatriates to gauge the mood of the Iraqi people, in its belief that our forces would be greeted as liberators, the administration has made almost the identical error that the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations made at the Bay of Pigs. In each instance, ideology and hope were substituted for factual assessment; in each instance, the people have not risen to join U.S.-backed forces (in Cuba) or U.S. forces (in Iraq) to overthrow their tyrant. In Iraq the administration has underestimated the size and intensity of the forces committed to fighting for Saddam Hussein--forgetting everything we have learned about the infrastructure of a modern totalitarian state."--Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect, May issue (published April 11)"

This guy sounds like he's ready to surrender.

Fox News is just drubbing the competition:

(Via Matt Drudge)
THURS, APRIL 24, 2003

O'REILLY - 3.5 [Rating]
GRETA - 1.9
MSNBC 9 PM - 0.5

And they have been doing this for some time now. Every Fox News Channel primetime show beat CNN's highest rated primetime show.

I watched the Dixie Chicks interview last night with Dianne Sawyer because I wanted to hear what they had to say.

I found out that they were not sorry for what they had said. Actually, they went to lengths to avoid apologizing for Natalie's remarks.

Natalie did repeat that she had apologized for her choice of words, but the Chicks are not sorry that they piled on the U.S. and the president at a crucial time, when the anti-American left and extreme right were in full throat about the evil U.S. and it's intention to disarm Saddam and free the Iraqi people.

Last night I found out that it was more than just a poor choice of word and that Natalie didn't say what she said in England because she feared for her safety. The Dixie Chicks have a mistrust of the U.S. that Woody Harrelson, Janeane Garofalo, Martin Sheen and Michael Moore would be proud of. I was hoping that it was all a terrible mistake and an unfortunate misunderstanding, but now I see. I see that the Chicks have indeed chosen sides. They have joined the ranks of the celebrity left in opposing the U.S. These are the sort of people who blame America for all the injustice in the world while remaining silent on brutalities and injustices that occur away from America's shores. If they do notice, they will somehow find a way to blame it on America.

This is who the Dixie Chicks are now. They made it clear last night. They can be counted among the celebrity left and the events in England served to solidify their leftwing credentials.

The Christian Science Monitor has more proof of the British MP George Galloway's treason, or I should say, alleged treason.

I wonder what other war protesters were on Saddam's payroll.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Ordinarily I wouldn't post anything about this, but I have to take sides in the Rick Santorum controversy.

I've read the charges, I've heard the defense, and I've read some opinion about the whole thing and I have to say that I agree with Andrew Sullivan:

"This is not about homosexuality as such. It is about the principles of limited government, tolerance, civility, compassion and the soul of the Republican party. There are no deeper political issues."

If I understand his argument then I have to say I disagree with it. The right to privacy in one's own home is as cherished by Americans as any of our most basic rights.

It's my understanding that Senator Santorum is arguing a point of constitutional law and his remarks, while appearing to be insensitive and politically incorrect, are simply unfortunate. I don't think the man hates gay people, but I can see why people may have taken it that way.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

The Dixie Chicks will be on ABC-TV Thursday night, April 23rd, at 10:00 P.M. EST and Matt Drudge has exclusive excerpts from the interview.

I didn't read very much contrition, but I really didn't think I would.

What Natalie Maines has done is to choose sides. The people who were saying the sort of things that Maines said were only blaming the U.S. for the whole Iraq conflict. They never marched on an Iraqi consulate or interest anywhere in the world. They never demanded that Saddam disarm or otherwise stop obstructing the arms inspectors. All their hate was reserved for the U.S. All the protests overseas and most here at home were targeting the U.S. without even mentioning Saddam. It was about this time that the Dixie Chicks stepped up and sided with those people. At the minimum this showed a world view that the Chicks fans strongly disagreed with and at the most it was an attack on the fans and their country.

What an unbelievable turn of events for the Dixie Chicks.

George Galloway is in serious trouble:

"Saddam was rejecting two specific requests allegedly made by Mr Galloway, as recorded in the intelligence chief's memorandum. The first was for a greater share of the profits from oil exports.

The memorandum said that Mr Galloway was already receiving between 10 and 15 cents per barrel of three million barrels exported every six months: an annual sum of at least £375,000.

Mr Galloway's second reported request was for "exceptional commercial and contractual" opportunities with three ministries and the state electricity commission. These requests for more sources of income fell on deaf ears, but Saddam's decision not to allow them did not apply to Mr Galloway's existing deals."

A prominent Labour member of parliament who opposed the war is found to have been on Saddam's payroll to the tune of around $560K per year. The man will be lucky if he's not convicted of treason.

This is a major and it can now honestly be asked if there were any other famous western leftists who was on Saddam's payroll.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

For now, I'm not too concerned about the Shiites. The Shiites are walking a pilgrimage to Karbala that was illegal under Saddam Hussein and along the way they are chanting anti-American slogans and demanding that we leave Iraq immediately. That's not going to happen.

In the first place, if we leave now the Saddamites will return and that could mean civil war. It probably would mean civil war and there would be wholesale slaughters.

In the second place, we will not allow the Shiites to form a theocratic government. How could we stop them? Well, the first thing we have to do is to get the minority Sunnis, Christians, and Kurds to agree on a constitution if the Shiites refuse to take part, or if we purposefully exclude them because they insist on a theocracy. The constitution they agree to must include freedom of religion. That means that it would be illegal to force compliance with, say, the Shiite interpretation of the Koran. In other words, the constitution would protect the people against a Taliban-like government. This provision must be non-negotiable. One religion or sect must not be allowed to dominate others. Of course, the Iraqi constitution would be defended by the U.S. for some time until an Iraqi army can be formed. That could mean that the U.S. will have to invoke martial law until the Iraqi army is strong enough to defend the nation.

The indications are that the Kurds, Sunnis and Christians are going to agree with the U.S. on the inclusion of a freedom of religion amendment in the Iraqi constitution. The man who will administer Iraq until Iraqis take control will be retired U.S. Lt. General Jay Garner. Garner visited Northern Iraq the past couple of days and he has been received warmly. The exile group, the Iraqi National Congress understands the need for a secular government and they will able to exert some influence toward this end although the influence may not extend into the southern part of Iraq.

The Shiites are making a lot of noise, but ultimately the U.S. will not allow a theocratic government to take root in Iraq. Iran is doing all they can to incite unrest, but the U.S. government knows that it's can't allow a religious dictatorship to replace a secular dictatorship. If we allow that to happen, then those American soldiers will have died for nothing and this whole war was for nothing. Can you say Vietnam? George Bush can too. He knows that failure in Iraq is unthinkable and therefore he will do whatever it takes to put a democratic government in place in Baghdad. Even if it doesn't last, the U.S. must create a democratic Iraq and leave as soon as possible. If the Iraqi people allow that gift to escape them then they deserve whatever they get.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Much is being made over the fact that WMD's have not been found in Iraq, but I'm not concerned. I think the circumstantial evidence has been pretty convincing and, in fact, The New York Times has a pretty damning piece by Judith Miller:

"A scientist who claims to have worked in Iraq's chemical weapons program for more than a decade has told an American military team that Iraq destroyed chemical weapons and biological warfare equipment only days before the war began, members of the team said.

They said the scientist led Americans to a supply of material that proved to be the building blocks of illegal weapons, which he claimed to have buried as evidence of Iraq's illicit weapons programs.

The scientist also told American weapons experts that Iraq had secretly sent unconventional weapons and technology to Syria, starting in the mid-1990's, and that more recently Iraq was cooperating with Al Qaeda, the military officials said.

The Americans said the scientist told them that President Saddam Hussein's government had destroyed some stockpiles of deadly agents as early as the mid-1990's, transferred others to Syria, and had recently focused its efforts instead on research and development projects that are virtually impervious to detection by international inspectors, and even American forces on the ground combing through Iraq's giant weapons plants."

No doubt years from now we'll be hearing how the whole war was unjustified and how no WMD's were ever found. The people who will be repeating these lies will be the same people who STILL repeat the lie that we are primarily the nation that armed, supported, and befriended Saddam Hussein.

Wow. The Arab News has a devastating opinion piece about the Arab media:

"To a large extent, the Arab media was characterized by selectivity, and it was decidedly on the side of the Iraqi regime. Our intellectuals took over the line and constantly repeated it. Our media then devoted special programs to disseminating and repeating the falsehoods of Sahaf. Their biased point of view was imposed on listeners. Our media attempted to increase the degree of hatred against the coalition by concentrating on the degree of the destruction and the number of civilian victims, without making clear that this was because the regime positioned its forces and tanks in civilian areas. The army of Saddam of which they were so proud because it was the only army which could protect civilians in fact used the civilians to protect itself.

It was the Arab media itself which claimed that the aims of the war were to destroy Iraq, put an end to its capabilities, and, in the end, to occupy it. It did not for a moment consider the role of Iraq’s ruler in the destruction and ruin of the country over a period of more than thirty years. It did not consider how he had destroyed the country’s environment, education, health and legal systems. He also set oil wells on fire and destroyed bridges, and he transformed the cities, especially in the south, into wretchedness, deprived even of clean drinking water."

The bias will not go away for a long time, if ever, but it's encouraging for me to read this sort of piece in an Arab newspaper. I suspect that many Arabs are very confused about what just happened. They are probably wondering in what other ways their media has lied and deceived them.

Wonderous things are happening in the Middle East.

Glenn Reynolds has a link to a private manned spaceflight program website with a link to pictures of the spacecraft.

I love it. Yasser Arafat's choice to be the prime minister is demanding real power. Arafat wants a figurehead to be the PM so he can retain his authority while appearing to have made reforms in the Palestinian Authority (P.A.). It ain't working.

Mahmoud Abbas is the person that Arafat picked, but he won't take the job unless he has real authority. Arafat is upset because he didn't intend to give up actual power. It was all for show. Arafat is now interviewing new candidates to fill the post of PM.

The whole purpose of creating an office of prime minister was a condition set by the Israelis and the U.S. to restart the Middle east peace talks. The Israelis and the U.S. have refused to negotiate with Arafat. They want a new negotiating partner. Someone who genuinely wants a diplomatic solution to the mideast problem.

The U.S., European Union, United Nations, and Russia have promised to publish a "road map to peace" once reforms have taken place in the P.A.