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Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.
-- Ronald Reagan

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Friday, March 21, 2003
Victor Davis Hanson

I love this guy's writing.

Try the pope and the Catholic Church. It has forgotten its mistaken warnings about the first Gulf War. Had we followed the pope's advice of nonintervention then, Iraq would now be sitting on half of the world's oil reserves, armed with nuclear weapons, and unrepentant about the killings of thousands of Kuwaitis.
Perhaps instead we can look to preeminent citizens of the world, such as Nobel Peace laureates? Ignore past embarrassments like the killer Yasser Arafat and note that the two most courageous — Elie Wiesel and Lech Walesa — are both support liberating Iraq. Why, then, should we listen to the newly canonized Jimmy Carter — who has a long record of parlaying with dictators and failing in diplomatic initiatives (from the Iranian hostage crisis to the Korean nuclear fiasco) — to say nothing of campaigning for the award on the widely praised strategy of ankle-biting a current American president in time of war? This was a leader, after all, who sought to "scare" the Iranian mullahs in 1979 by shipping F-15s to Saudi Arabia — all, of course, "unarmed."

Interesting discussion at Samizdata

Centcom's Website

It's www.centcom.mil. Here's Gen. Franks message to the troops.

John Fund Skewers Moore

Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Hans Blix is a Fag

In the wussy sense, not the homosexual sense. The mush-mouthed, muddy-thinking, panty-waist variety of person, who would kowtow to any bully or thug. The kind of person who could say this crap:

Asked whether he believed Saddam would use such [chem/bio] weapons, if he has them, Blix said: "I think they would be able if the weapons were there -- and I'm not saying they are. And I'm not saying that they have means of delivery -- but they could have it. ... But I doubt that they would have the will to do it."

And this was the chief weapons inspector? "I'm not sure, but if I were, I doubt I would be."

Fifth Column Alert

From the Center for Consumer Freedom's email newsletter today. [empahsis added]

---- SPECIAL REPORT: Eco-Terror Leader Declares War On America ----
Craig Rosebraugh, the enigmatic environmental anarchist whose tenure as the public face of the terrorist Earth Liberation Front (ELF) was marked by millions of dollars in violent property destruction, a sizable financial gift from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and a penchant for hiding behind the Fifth Amendment, has declared war on America.

Fresh from his appearance at Cal State Fresno's "Revolutionary Environmentalism" conference, Rosebraugh has penned a manifesto calling for anti-war protesters to carry out "direct actions" against the American government, military installations, multinational corporations, financial institutions, urban centers, and broadcast television networks.

Like the ELF, Rosebraugh has no use for peaceful protests, calling them "pointless, and perhaps even counterproductive." Instead, he prefers an activist plan that, quite literally, terrorizes America into withdrawing troops from the Persian Gulf.

"An atmosphere of severe unrest," Rosebraugh wrote on Monday, "if manufactured properly, will force the U.S. government to place military resources in the streets of the United States, will threaten the economy... and ultimately create a political atmosphere unfavorable for Bush to continue on with the war."

How to manufacture this sort of atmosphere? Rosebraugh articulates the following seven-point plan (in his own words) for would-be members of his hate-America terrorist brigade:

"Attack the financial centers of the country... physically shut down financial centers which regulate and assist the functioning of [the] U.S. economy."

"Large scale urban rioting [so that] the U.S. government will be forced to send U.S. troops into the domestic arena thereby taking resources and political focus away from the war... Rioting should be focused on governmental agencies and corporations."

"Attack the media centers of the country... Using any means necessary, shut down the national networks of NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, etc. Not just occupations but actually engage in strategies and tactics which knock the networks off the air." (emphasis added)

"Spread the battle to the... very heads of government and U.S. corporations... Hit them in their personal lives, visit their homes."

"Make it known publicly that this movement DOES NOT support U.S. troops... Create an atmosphere lacking of support to assist U.S. troops at home and abroad in losing their morale and will to fight."

"Actively target U.S. military establishments within the United States... use any means necessary to slow down the functioning of the [U.S. military]." (emphasis added)

"[S]trike hard and fast and retreat in anonymity. Select another location, strike again hard and fast and quickly retreat in anonymity... Do not get caught. DO NOT GET CAUGHT. Do not get sent to jail. Stay alert, keep active, and keep fighting."

Rosebraugh implies over and over that the anti-war movement simply hasn't gone far enough. He clearly wants to take the ELF's terror tactics -- honed during attacks on logging companies, new home builders, and the Vail ski lodge -- and direct them at the federal government itself.

Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge said yesterday that intelligence on homegrown terror groups influenced his decision to raise America to the "code orange" alert level on Monday. "[R]egional extremist organizations and ad hoc groups or disgruntled individuals may use this time period to conduct terrorist attacks against the United States," he told reporters during a Tuesday press conference.

In a poignant Washington Times book review of a Unabomber biography, Fresno State University's Bruce Thorton argued on Sunday that we may one day fall prey to "a homegrown terrorism driven by debased myths and shop-worn ideas."

"The war against terrorism," Thornton added, "has more fronts than we think."

One More at National Review.

The Exhausting Pursuit of Peace: A problem with just-war theory today. By Joseph Loconte

All Kinds of Good Stuff Today

As befits the momentous nature of this day, D-Day for Saddam, (D as in Dead, that is), there is a wealth of really good opinion pieces on the web today worth noting. Here's a quick rundown on what I've liked so far, in the major websites.

The War Against America by Andrew Thompson, former minister in the Australian government under PM John Howard. Good perspective on the age old question, "Why do they hate us?" His answer: we're big, we're good, and we're damn successful. And they are less so.

Democrats Against Democracy by Lawrence Kaplan. The whole thing is worth reading, but here is a relevant passage:

At the simplest level, it [Democratic and liberal opposition to trying to bring democracy to the Mideast] derives less from opposition to President Bush's foreign policy than from opposition to its architect. But the looming war has also unearthed a contradiction at the heart of American liberalism. The contradiction pits the liberal ideal that no people ought to be governed without their consent--and its admonition to support the democratic aspirations of foreign peoples--against the liberal ideal that discourages impinging on the autonomy of others. The tension between the two manifests itself every time America goes to war, with liberals who heeded George McGovern's summons to "come home, America" arguing that we have no right to violate the sovereignty of a Yugoslavia or an Iraq, while the descendants of Woodrow Wilson argue that to do otherwise would amount to a betrayal of liberalism.

This notion of a contradiction in liberalism is similar to a point made by Lee Harris in this essay, Our World-Historical Gamble, which I blogged before. It's worth reading if you haven't already. The section I'm talking about is part 4. To summarize, the liberal notion of a world body made up of inviolable, sovereign nations which will keep the peace, will in fact keep alive despotic regimes that will trample the liberal notion of individual freedom and the rule of law. "Self-determination at the level of the nation state may entail complete loss of freedom and dignity at the level of the individual - and all in the name of liberalism."

Another article on OpinionJournal.com, by Claudia Rosett, has a similar theme. Again, worth reading in its entirety.

National Review has lots of interesting material today as well. William Hawkins talks about the "Vietnam Syndrome," but not in the way you night think someone would. He makes a point that, if you read Victor Davis Hanson's books, you'll be familiar with. Wars end when one side is defeated and the other wins. Not before. In Vietnam, we had a famous "peace" agreement, right? Well...

The Hanoi regime had signed a piece of paper, but had not changed its outlook. The Paris Accords even allowed North Vietnamese troops to remain in those parts of South Vietnam they had seized. With American ground troops subsequently withdrawn and U.S. aid to South Vietnam curtailed, Hanoi was able to launch a successful ground offensive only two years later. The war only ended when one side was destroyed. Tragically, it was Saigon that was subjected to a regime change.

Hanoi bought time. So has Saddam. Until W. made up his mind, that is.

There are also two good pieces on antiwar types - one describing the moral relativists, and one on the anti-Americans. And David Frum rips into Buchananite types, whom he dubs "unpatriotic conservatives."

And finally, John Derbyshire rephrases the old question "Why do they hate us?" into "Why do they misunderstand us?" And, to be fair, he includes the question "Why do we misunderstand them?"

Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Steyn on Rumsfeld

Priceless stuff. Via Little Green Footballs.

The Anglosphere Cometh

Good read here. Linked via Instapundit. Check this out:

I have never tried to claim a moral legitimacy for the Anglosphere nations to speak for the world. What they do have is a moral legitimacy to speak for their own peoples. This is conferred by the boring but to date irreplaceable method of an unbroken record of functioning representative constitutional institutions stretching back centuries.

To say that a community of nations with these experiences in common might be able to form a better basis for cooperation than the grab-bag of democracies, semi-democracies, semi-evolving totalitarian and authoritarian states, outright kleptocracies and failed states ... is not arrogance. It is simply reality.

Light Rail

Did I already link to this? Can't remember, so here it is again. Good stuff

Containment Dispelled

An interesting point raised in today's WSJ.

We know that if nothing else Saddam and al Qaeda share the common goal of punishing the U.S. and driving us from the Mideast. In his famous 1998 fatwa endorsing the murder of Americans, "civilian and military alike," Osama bin Laden mentioned two main complaints: First, that U.S. troops were deployed on the Islamic holy land of Arabia, and second that U.S. planes continued to bomb Iraq while enforcing the U.N.'s no-fly zones.

Osama's jihad--and therefore September 11 itself--is in other words one direct consequence of the past 12 years of U.S. "containment" of Saddam. Without his continuing threat, American troops would not need to be stationed in Saudi Arabia and U.S. fighters would not still patrol the skies over Iraq. While fretting about the costs of going to Baghdad, those who favor a policy of sanctions and diplomacy have never been honest about the real costs of containment.

Here's a good zinger: "The U.N. cannot defend them [peaceful people] in a crisis, and the French will gladly sell the ammunition to the tyrant who shoots them."

Monday, March 17, 2003
The New Arab Way of War

Interesting stuff here.


It begins.