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
Saturday, April 05, 2003
Professors disappointed more students don't hate the USA
"It seems the professors are more vehement than the students," Jack Morgan, a sophomore, said. "There comes a point when you wonder are you fostering a discussion or are you promoting an opinion you want students to embrace or even parrot?"
Across the country, the war is disclosing role reversals, between professors shaped by Vietnam protests and a more conservative student body traumatized by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Prowar groups have sprung up at Brandeis and Yale and on other campuses. One group at Columbia, where last week an antiwar professor rhetorically called for "a million Mogadishus," is campaigning for the return of R.O.T.C. to Morningside Heights.
Even in antiwar bastions like Cambridge, Berkeley and Madison, the protests have been more town than gown. At Berkeley, where Vietnam protesters shouted, "Shut it down!" under clouds of tear gas, Sproul Plaza these days features mostly solo operators who hand out black armbands. The shutdown was in San Francisco, and the crowd was grayer.
All this dismays many professors.
"We used to like to offend people," Martha Saxton, a professor of women's studies at Amherst, said as she discussed the faculty protest with students this week. "We loved being bad, in the sense that we were making a statement. Why is there no joy now?"
Friday, April 04, 2003
Just for the record, as of yesterday morning fewer British servicemen had died in combat in Iraq than Ontarians had died of SARS. That may be one reason why Her Majesty's Governments in London and Canberra are now advising their citizens not to travel to Toronto. The Brits and Aussies are happy to take their chances in Basra and Mosul, but Hogtown? Forget it.
The bad news is SARS is spread by the ease of modern air travel. The good news is Air Canada's management is doing its best to eliminate that risk for Canadians. My linkage isn't entirely frivolous. Here's a challenge for the CBC. Why not try applying the "skepticism" - i.e., sneering condescension -- you reserve for the Pentagon to SARS and Air Canada?
Here's the list of places the World Health Organization has advised travellers to avoid: China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Toronto. Spot the odd one out.
Correct: Toronto is not in Asia.
A funny joke for Jay Nordlinger's column today.
The eight Saddam body doubles are gathered in one of the bunkers in downtown Baghdad. Tariq Aziz, the deputy prime minister, comes in and says, 'I have some good news and some bad news.' They ask for the good news first.
Aziz says, 'The good news is that Saddam is still alive, so you all still have jobs.'
'And the bad news?' they ask.
Aziz replies, 'He's lost an arm.'
Friday is VDH Day
Here are some excerpts, containing VDH's policy prescriptions for various nations after the war in Iraq.
We should smile, profess goodwill — and then withdraw all American troops from Saudi Arabia as soon as events settle down in Iraq, reassessing in a post-Cold War, post-9/11 world our entire relationship with that medieval country. After all, we buy oil from the worst of all dictatorships in Teheran and the people there like us better than do the Saudis precisely because we are not complicit in their government. The Saudis, of course, could still catch the train as it leaves the station, close the madrassas, and join the 21st century — but it is their call, not ours.
In the neighborhood of the battlefield, Iran is in a unique position. The illegitimate government will have to tell its own restless population why the liberation of Iraq next door is a bad thing. The unfortunate Iranians, scarred by a dirty war with Saddam Hussein, weary of mullocracy that they brought in themselves, will not be unhappy that the soldiers a decade ago who slaughtered them are losing, and the changes that are coming across the border are what they themselves want.
Syria, the embryo of most terrorist groups and the occupier of Lebanon, still issues empty threats. For all the scary rhetoric and promises of worldwide jihad, an impotent Syria must be terrified of the consequences should it send direct aid to Saddam Hussein. It is a historical rarity that 300,000 United States troops are at last fighting an Arab dictator with 70 percent of the American people’s support — and losing far less dead than those slaughtered in one day in their sleep in a barracks in Lebanon.
It sometimes seems that, in the peace posturings of today's poets, there is an unwillingness to consider the "difficult conditions of human freedom." That is, to consider the consequences of inaction.
Pete du Pont on Racial Preferences
If there are to be race-based preferences, who gets to pick the minorities that get the preference? In the 1978 Bakke case, which involved University of California medical students, Asian-Americans were included in the preference class; at Michigan they are not. The 14th Amendment would not seem to give state university admissions officials the power to make such decisions, but that is what Michigan demands.
And if race-based preferences are constitutional in university admissions, may there be race-based preferences in other areas--for job applications, juror selection or the election of state legislators?
Deval Patrick, President Clinton's assistant attorney general for civil rights, argued in 1997 that "our success as an American democracy is going to depend on our ability . . . to set aside our preoccupation with some of the differences between us. We are not going to learn to do that by balkanizing ourselves into separate groups."
One would think that he was arguing against the kind of racial preferences the University of Michigan uses. He wasn't, of course. But his argument--as opposed to his conclusion--makes sense.
If race-conscious admissions policies are permitted, legal scholar Douglas Kmiec has argued, the next step may be to require them by characterizing their absence as a form of discrimination. And if preferences are acceptable to increase the proportion of certain minorities admitted, why not to decrease it? Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen asked in January whether the Asian population at Harvard would have to be held to the 3.6% of the population Asians represent. And what about Jewish overrepresentation? "They amount to less than 2 percent of the population," Cohen wrote, "yet one estimate has them at 21 percent of Harvard's undergraduate class."
Thursday, April 03, 2003
"When the Iraqis fire... I don't know how to say this politely.. but they just can't aim. Whenever they start to shoot, it just never seems to hit where it's supposed to. And when Americans start firing, enemy fire is immediately suppressed."
MSNBC's Chip Reid, live from Iraq, today. Via Command Post
Wednesday, April 02, 2003
Axis of Evil Economics
Europe is undoubtedly currently divided. Some countries — the U.K. and Spain come to mind — support the U.S. while France, Germany, and Belgium do not. What do those who oppose the U.S. have most in common? That question might arouse hours of debate amongst political scientists, but not economists. There is a striking and significant difference between countries that support us and those that do not. The countries that do not support us have terrible economies, and have had terrible economies for a long time. Weasels they may be, but "axis of losers" may be a more precise moniker.
In Schroeder’s Germany, for example, an unemployed worker can probably sue if he is fired, and receives unemployment benefits for 32 months after that. No wonder the unemployment rate is above 11%.
As clearly evidenced by Schroeder’s speech, Old Europe embraced the view of capitalism formulated by Italian marxist Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci viewed liberal democracy and capitalism as an edifice designed to benefit the privileged at the expense of the oppressed. The privileged control the oppressed by indoctrination into a belief system that reinforces the oppression. A key first step to social justice is the destruction of the capitalist belief system, to fight the view that capitalism, as practiced by the Americans, can ever lead to just outcomes.
Ah, just read the whole thing.
Update: Who Armed Saddam?
Based on the SIPRI data I blogged before [#91776244]
, this blogger (Solport) made a chart
illustrating who armed Saddam. Read his comments also.
Kathleen Parker on Lt. Gen. Wallace
The quote du jour, attributed to Lt. Gen. William Wallace, commander of U.S. Army ground forces, and simultaneously repeated in Time magazine, The New York Times (compliments of columnist Maureen Dowd), and a scattering of other newspapers that picked up the original wire story, went like this:
"The enemy we're fighting is a bit different than the one we war-gamed against," he reportedly said. Well, yes, that seems true enough. So what? Soldiers train to fight other soldiers, not children or disguise artists or cowards strapped with bombs. But that's not how Wallace's purloined statement is meant to be understood.
As framed by Dowd, it was intended to bolster the position that the United States is simply clueless in this war, the implication being that since we were wrong about "Iraqi resistance," we're wrong about everything else. Dowd's parenthetical -"No doubt, that truthful heads up will earn General Wallace a slap down" -is surely unlikely.
I suspect Wallace's military footing is secure. Moreover, his statement, while true within the context of the moment, is hardly the sum total of his thoughts. Here's what else he said several days earlier:
"I don't think we'll know until we get in contact with them," he said when asked whether Iraqi soldiers would fight or surrender. And this: "We've got no business to underestimate this enemy. He's cagey, he's foxy, and he's going to fight."
That doesn't sound like a man who is going to be shocked or surprised. Rather only certain members of the media seem to be. Other Americans, notably soldiers and their families, seem to have far greater equilibrium in the face of war than do their interviewers.
I wish she'd linked to the source. Maybe I can track it down.
Interesting Walter Williams Article
The topic is big bloated federal programs without Constitutional authority.
Max Boot doesn't think so.
The endgame--the liberation of Baghdad--will not be easy or bloodless but it is doable. Saddam may think he can repeat "Black Hawk Down" on a larger scale but he is almost certainly mistaken. U.S. forces had no trouble securing Mogadishu in 1992. The problems occurred in 1993 after the bulk of U.S. troops had gone home and a small contingent of commandos was sent to chase a warlord. U.S. forces achieved their objective but at a cost of 18 lives, because they lacked armor and air support. In the battle of Baghdad there will be no such lack.
But... will it be another Vietnam!?
A theme today in the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. Johnathan Last
at the Weekly Standard
has this take on the CENTCOM
Over at NRO, Michael Novak has a similar theme:
"To me and my friends in America, most of the European press seems to be living on Venus. They think we live on Mars. We don't see reality the same way."
Would We Have Won the World Wars with 24/7 Coverage?
Britain's Foreign Minister Jack Straw wonders.
Speaking to the Newspaper Society's annual conference, he added: "Yet even in the 20th century, a combination of delay and censorship have helped governments to suppress the truth. The innocent volunteers and conscripts of 1914 knew nothing of the war of attrition lying in wait in Flanders.
"Had the public been able to see live reports from the trenches, I wonder for how long the governments of Asquith and Lloyd George could have maintained the war effort. Imagine the carnage of the Somme on Sky and BBC News 24."
The same would have held true in the Second World War, he added. "It is also worth speculating how much harder it might have been to maintain the country's morale after Dunkirk had live reports confronted the public with the brutal reality of German tactical and military superiority.
"Could the 'spirit of Dunkirk', so important to national survival, have withstood the scrutiny of 24-hour live news?"
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
Phyllis Schlafly on Higher Ed.
She rails against low standards, taxpayer subsidies that result in 5 and 6 year long Bachelor's Degrees...
Getting a bachelor's degree now takes five or six years instead of the traditional four. That drives up the already exorbitant cost another 25 percent to 50 percent more than you may have budgeted. Yet your degree isn't worth one penny more.
Only 31 percent of students at state institutions and 65 percent at private institutions graduate in four years. The primary reason for this slowdown is the easy flow of taxpayer money for grants and loans that make the extended stay pleasant for students and profitable for the institutions.
And Women's Studies...
College publications brag about their women's studies departments, but they fail to warn students that there are few job opportunities for those with a degree or a concentration in women's studies, except at the declining feminist organizations and their nonprofit bureaucracies.
The Independent Women's Forum surveyed 89 women's studies majors and discovered that all but 18 were earning less than $30,000 per year, and 8 reported no personal income at all. In interviews with prospective employers, many found it useful to conceal or de-emphasize their women's studies majors.
Maybe women's studies majors didn't really expect to get a good job because they have been taught to approach life as a whining victim who will never get equal treatment. Women's studies courses openly teach the ideology that American women are oppressed by a male-dominated society and that the road to liberation is abortion, divorce, the rejection of marriage and motherhood, and unmarried sex of all varieties.
David Frum on Moving the Goalposts
There are doomsters and defeatists out there who keep insisting that the U.S. and its allies can only claim victory if they meet an ever-lengthening list of conditions:
"The allies win ONLY IF they (1) overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime and (2) find Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and (3) do so with minimal casualties and (4) also with minimal Iraqi casualties while (5) being hailed and welcomed by the Iraqi population and (6) without upsetting Arab public opinion too much also (7) without irritating the European allies too much and now (8) without any alterations of their original plan." In other words, allied success can be discounted if along the way the allies make any adjustment of their plans to circumstances.
If we accepted this remarkable principle, we would have to conclude that though the Allies appear to have defeated Germany and Japan reasonably decisively, they actually lost World War II on points.
"Confidence in victory is never as strong as despair on rumors of quagmire. The stronger our military, the more likely grow the doubts of our elites."
Who Armed Saddam?
Hint: not the USA. Found at the Command Post
Links: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Note that the US is number 11. Russia, France, and China are the top 3. Bear this in mind for the "But we armed Saddam!" argument.
From the SPRI link
: (formatting altered slightly for readability)
IRAQI ARMS IMPORTS 1973-2002
COUNTRY $(Millions) %
USSR 25145 57
France 5595 13
China 5192 12
Czechoslovakia 2880 7
Poland 1681 4
Brazil 724 2
Egypt 568 1
Romania 524 1
Denmark 226 1
Libya 200 1
USA 200 1
South Africa 192 0
Austria 190 0
Switzerland 151 0
Yugoslavia 107 0
Germany (FRG) 84 0
Italy 84 0
UK 79 0
Hungary 30 0
Spain 29 0
E. Germany (GDR) 25 0
Canada 7 0
Jordan 2 0
TOTALS 43915 100