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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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Saturday, April 12, 2003
Quick Notes:

Andrew Sullivan has a good post.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003
John Keegan says Saddam is (was?) Inept

Saddam's war plan, if he had one, must be reckoned one of the most inept ever designed. It made no use of the country's natural defences. All advantages the defence enjoyed were thrown away even before they could be utilised.

John Derbyshire says it's a VDH War

Last Friday night on Fox News there was an interview with an Arab reporter from a TV station in Abu Dhabi. What did this well-educated, well-dressed, well-spoken (in upper-class British English) Arab professional want us to hear? "Yes, we know it's over. You will win. But we want to see you bloodied. We want to see the body bags. We hope the Iraqis will make a brave last stand. This is what all Arabs want to see. Our rulers, too — all the Arab rulers. If the American casualties taking Baghdad are high, then America will think twice before doing this again. That's what we want at this point."

Mean, but rational. Subtext: "We know we can't stand up to you in battle, but we believe that if we can kill a few hundred of you, your people will be so dismayed they will leave us alone in future. Then you will not come again to establish bases on our sacred Arab land. You will not nag us about democracy and law in that tiresome way you have. You will let our despots play with their poisons, germs and isotopes in their secret laboratories out of sight, to their hearts' content. You will allow our holy warriors to plot acts of terrorism against you and your friends without interference. Perhaps you will even let us pursue our dearest dream — to drive the Jews from our precious soil once and for all. These are the things we desire from you."

Well, tough kazoolies, Mohammed. You've lost the war, and we're not in much of a mood to accommodate your delusional fantasies. You — the Arabs. "This is what all Arabs want to see." That's the shape of it in your mind, isn't it? You were at one with Saddam Hussein, weren't you? — poison gas, secret police, torture chambers, rapist sons, wars of invasion (Iran, Kuwait), and all. He was a son of a bitch, but he was your son of a bitch, wasn't he? It was the Arabs versus the Crusaders and the Jews, wasn't it? But look: As always in every modern engagement, the Arabs have lost. Lost big: We don't know the body count yet, but it's at least 100 to 1, and quite possibly 1,000 to 1. The wisdom of the late Moshe Dayan has been borne out yet again. Asked to reveal his recipe for winning wars, Dayan replied with a soldier's crisp brevity: "Fight Arabs."

Monday, April 07, 2003
Worth Reading

From Andrew Sullivan.

Michael Novak on Pacifists

Dear Caro Rinaldo,

The strangest disease afflicts our pacifists over here, Rinaldo, and I see by the e-mail you sent me that it afflicts Italian pacifists, too. Especially among theologians. Our pacifist theologians are always speaking of "peace," but the tone in which they write, especially of those who disagree with them, is bombastic, fiery and murderously polemical. They are not content to disagree civilly. They describe their opponents as evil, venal, and brainless. They calumniate.

Bob Bartley on the Dreaded Vietnam Syndrome

It [news analysis from the Iraq war] was a perfect demonstration of how the day's news is ordered less by underlying events than by the stereotypes that journalists apply to them--with hiccups in reality switching the prevailing stereotype from short war to long war and back again. Importantly, however, the caterwaul reflected an underlying longtime stereotype, the "Vietnam syndrome."

The notion is that U.S. opinion is "fickle," ready to turn against a war at the first sight of "body bags." The notion would be bad enough merely among journalists, but it has also prevailed at the White House and Pentagon, and, still worse, among the likes of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. It is almost entirely a myth, based on a misunderstanding of both the American public and the Vietnam experience.