Sean's Blog

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Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Victor Davis Hanson:
It won’t do any longer to attribute American outrage over the U.N. to a vast right-wing conspiracy led by red-state senators and Fox News. All the standing ovations for Kofi Annan cannot hide the truth that the Oil-for-Food scandal exceeds Enron. Indeed, Ken Lay’s malfeasance never involved the deaths of thousands, while cronies siphoned off food and supplies from a starving populace. The U.S. military does not tolerate mass rape and plunder among its troops, as is true of the U.N. peacekeepers throughout Africa. There can be no serious U.N. moral sense as long as illiberal regimes — a Syria, Iran, or Cuba — vote in the General Assembly and the Security Council stymies solutions out of concern for an autocratic China that swallowed Tibet. Millions were slaughtered in Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur while New York bureaucrats either condemned Israel or damned anyone who censured their own inaction and corruption. Rather than faulting those who fault the U.N., leftists should lament the betrayal of the spirit of the liberal U.N. Charter by regimes that are neither democratic nor liberal but who seek legitimacy solely on their ability to win concessions and sympathy from guilt-ridden Westerners.

Austin Bay of Strategy Page features "The Coming Arab Revolt":
America's reaction to 9-11 -- specifically, its strategic offensive reaction -- is taking the gun out of hands of tyrants and terrorists. Removing Saddam Hussein began the reconfiguration of the politically dysfunctional Arab Muslim Middle East -- a dangerous, expensive process, but one that gives Middle Eastern moderates the chance to build states where the consent of the governed creates legitimacy and where terrorists are prosecuted, not promoted.

Toppling Saddam also toppled the myth of the "Arab strongman," a point unfortunately missed by critics of the Iraq war. The Arab strongman was a romantic, Superman story of militant rescue and revenge, but it was also a justification for dictatorial rule. The armed strongman would drive the Israelis into the sea. The strongman would restore Arab prestige, at the point of a sword or the blast of a nuclear weapon. But these bloody miracles, permanently scheduled for the near future, required submission to tyranny. To advocate liberty, to promote free trade, to critique the corrupt, to demand a voice in governance -- these acts of weakness undermined the strongman and thus undermined "the Arab cause."

Saddam's collapse and his arrest smashed the myth. The death of Yasser Arafat hammers a remaining fragment. Interim Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is seizing the opportunity with unexpected boldness. This week, Abbas called the second intifada a mistake. While proclaiming the Palestinians' right to "resist (Israeli) occupation," he insisted on using peaceful means. Abbas thus frames the election as a choice between responsible, peaceful politics and extremist violence.
I've always believed if the Palestinians adopted the non-violent resistance of Martin Luther King or Gandhi they would garner much more sympathy from Americans. The rest of the world, Europe especially, has legitimized mass murder as a form of resistance.

Yasser Arafat was allowed to speak before the U.N. General Assembly while wearing a gun. That was a critical mistake that cemented the idea of Palestinian and Arab mass murder as legitimate forms of protest. That opened the door to killing as protest for all sorts of perceived wrongs. If it was okay for Yasser Arafat to slaughter innocent people for his cause, then surely it must also be okay for others to mimic his behavior.

That's European appeasement or, as it's known in the elitist worldview, nuanced diplomacy. Hopefully we've seen the last of that stupidity.

Transterrestrial Musings features another of those delightful, "If contemporary mainstream media were covering World War Two this is the version we'd get" pieces:
December 17th, 1944

PARIS (Routers) Long-time critics of the Roosevelt administration declared themselves vindicated today, as the Germans began a renewed offensive yesterday in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium, opening a huge hole in the "Allied" lines and throwing back troops for miles, with previously unimaginable US casualties.

Early yesterday morning, eight German armored divisions and thirteen German infantry divisions launched an all-out attack on five divisions of the United States 1st Army. Hundreds of heavy guns, howitzers and multiple-rocket launchers were fired on American positions.

The 5th and 6th Panzer armies, consisting of some eleven divisions, broke through the Loshein Gap against the American divisions protecting the region. The 6th Panzer Army then headed north while the Fifth Panzer Army went south. The latter army attacked the U. S. VIII Corps some 100 miles to the south, which was quickly surrounded, resulting in mass surrenders of unprepared American soldiers. By any reasonable and objective standard, it was an utter military disaster for the "Allied" forces.

It all came as a complete shock to the Roosevelt administration who, rumor has it, had been informed by the head of OSS that the imminent collapse of the German army was a "lead-pipe cinch." This only confirmed reasonable pre-election suspicions that the administration and General Eisenhower were operating on flawed intelligence, and led the nation into an invasion of Europe on clearly false pretenses.

This new setback came amidst continuing problems with the new government in France, installed by the "Allies." Many consider it a puppet, lacking legitimacy, and it has proven itself inept. The situation is chaotic, and "President" De Gaulle has shown himself to be unable to control food riots, or prevent the commission of massacres of former regime loyalists and the German troops who had supported the overthrown legitimate Vichy government. Though elections are promised sometime in the future, there is widespread doubt, given the infighting between FRLs, communists, and Gaullists, that peaceful and orderly elections can be held any time soon or that civil war can be prevented.

Many have pointed out that the troop strength on the continent has been inadequate since the invasion at Normandy last June, and that this only confirmed that. In addition, they say, it didn't help that, due to incompetence at the highest levels, up to the newly installed Secretary of War Hull, many troops died as a result of our own bombs.

"They ignored our warnings about getting embroiled in a quagmire here, and this campaign has been a disaster, from the hundreds killed in training, to the thousands who died on the beaches in France," said an anonymous State Department source. He continued, "We've also shamed ourselves before the world with our reckless policies and atrocities." In the wake of all this, some, off the record, are suggesting that it's time to consider impeachment of the recently reelected president.
The whole thing is a must read. I especially like this:
"It was Japan that attacked us, not Germany," pointed out a Senate staffer. "We need to focus our resources on the true enemy in the Pacific."
Hehehe.

It is simply amazing to me how our world has changed since I was a young boy. The rate of change seems to be happening at an exponential rate as one technology or scientific advance stands on the shoulders of a previous technology or scientific advance.

Daniel Henninger at The Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal discusses how technology is being used to fight and defeat totalitarianism around the world:
Not that long ago, in 1989, the world watched demonstrators sit passively in Tiananmen Square and fight the authorities with little more than a papier-mâché Statue of Liberty. Poland's Solidarity movement had to print protest material with homemade ink made from oil because the Communist government confiscated all the printers' ink.

In 2004, in Ukraine's Independence Square, they had cell phones.

Using the phones' SMS messaging technology, demonstrators sent messages to meet to 10 or so friends, who'd each SMS the message to 10 more friends, and so on. It's called "smart-mobbing."
The changes that are coming will stagger the mind.

Monday, December 13, 2004

It's time I updated my page here. I've been neglecting it.

First of all, I want to address Dom's question. No Dom, I don't intend to address the fact that The Telegraph lost a lawsuit against George Galloway because the British court did not say that the accusations were false. The court said that The Telegraph was wrong to report the accusations based on the information they held.

The Iraqi government has evidence that Galloway was on Saddam's payroll and until that is proven a forgery I will continue to believe that Galloway was bought and paid for.

Second of all Dom, I banned you from making comments when you lost control of yourself and called me a "racist" for disagreeing with the French. That diminished any respect I had for you to the point where I no longer took you seriously. You aren't worth responding to if you are going to resort to the lowest common denominator of insults. Calling me a racist for disagreeing with the French was simply absurd.

Now, it's time to move on.