Friday, April 25, 2003

After the media hysteria over Shiite protests and the "looting" of the Iraqi National Museum, a welcome perspective from NRO's Victor Davis Hanson:

"The sheer number of factions emerging in Iraq is proof of the birth-pangs of democracy, the principled reluctance of the United States to impose its own rule, and the near-impossibility of fundamentalists controlling the wide political landscape. For all their sinister cabals, Marxism and Khomeinism are both spent forces that have no resonance outside (and little even within) a bankrupt Cuba, North Korea, or Iran. These tired ideologies are more like the dreary bureaucracy of the 1980s Soviet Union than the Communist juggernaut of the postcolonial late Forties. If a few agents and saboteurs inside Iraq are dealt with promptly and firmly in the next few weeks, there will be little chance of mass uprisings."

Thursday, April 24, 2003

That big play today (four column head, page one) the New York Times gave the horror stories of torture and maiming in Iraq should be enough to convince die-hard Bush haters that the President did the world a major service in ridding it and the people of Iraq of a monster comparable to Adolph Hitler. The prestigious Times sets the news pace for all the television networks except Fox and likely will trigger them into strong follow-up interviews with victims that will be aired nationally in this country.

And with each passing day of revelations that Hussein & Co. gouged out eyes, pulled out tongues and sliced ears off victims, French President Jacques Chirac is painting himself in to a corner as the alliance he created with Germany, Russia and China is fraying at the edges and he himself is being cold shouldered by President Bush. It will be interesting to learn just how close he was personally to Hussein.
Guilty of intellectual dishonesty? David Berlinki's latest in this month's issue of Commentary (sadly, you have to pay for it online—but it's well worth it) is a damning indictment of the increasingly shrill and tiresome Richard Dawkins.

Dawkins has made a great show of claiming that a 1994 paper by biologists Suzanne Pelger and Dan-Erik Nilsson used a computer simulation to reveal how purely natural selection could account for the evolution of the eye.

According to Berlinski, a mathematician and author of several excellent science books, no such simulation was ever conducted. The authors' paper cites none, Nilsson actually said so to Berlinksi, and yet their paper has been mentioned repeatedly over the years as a "defining" proof of Darwin's theory.

I don't mind saying I accept Darwin's theory as far as it goes, but this kind of dishonesty by the extreme Darwinists is, to put it mildly, a scandal, as Berlinski writes.

BTW, Berlinski does a good job taking apart the mathematical assumptions behind Nilsson and Pelger's paper while he's at it.

Hmm. Don't mind saying I look forward to seeing how Dawkins, Pinker et al respond.
Today's column by Jeff Jacoby on today's Boston Globe Op Ed page, Where's the Smoking Gun?, illustrates once again why he's the best writer and thinker on Morrissey Boulevard. "It was Saddam and his circle of thugs who were responsible for the violent and often sadistic death of an estimated million human beings," Jacoby wrote.

"It was they who gassed men, women and children en masse. It was they who hanged, shot, beheaded and dismembered people to death for thinking the wrong thoughts....they who murdered the youngest and sickest of Iraq's people by embezzling tens of millions of olil-for-food dollars and spending them on obscene pleasure palaces for themselves instead of medicine and bread for the weak and hungry.

"A million deaths. And that doesn't include the others left maimed and mutilated, the innocents blinded or broken for life. It doesn't account for the minds that shattered under torture or the families that were reduced to shreds. It leaves out the agony of the father whose child was burned alive to make him speak; the endless pain of the wife or daughter whose gang rape was carried out and videotaped on government orders; the emotional scar of those forced to watch as Saddam's agents fed their victims to wild dogs or slowly lowered them into vats of acid."

Finding a so-called "smoking gun" isn't the issue, Jacoby said, taking the wind out of the sails of those critics of the U. S. led victory in Iraq whose intense dislike of President Bush dominates their thinking. We went to war, Jacoby wrote, to crush one of the bloodiest tyrannies the modern world has known.

That says it all.

Monday, April 21, 2003

All is not well in the Republic of Steinbrenner.

Friday, April 18, 2003

A poem in honor of Good Friday:

Matthew 27:52

When the sepulchers ruptured
And expelled cadavers haltingly
To strut their shrouded knees and elbows forth,
Those ashen eyes did not perceive the stars above
Or in what orbit Venus moved
While the moon obscured the sun.
This exalted carrion chased instead the gale
Along the streets and roads of
Jerusalem's outer quarter,
To engage the startled rabble,
Before the squall released its puppet's grip
And let them fall clattering upon
Once-familiar thresholds and passageways,
Bearing—before startled eyes—brief witness
To the passing of the medial swain,
Who dangled on a tree between two thieves.

John Farrell

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

The big quarter-page ad on the print version of today's New York Times op ed page soliciting funds for a so-called "Peace" drive—one, incidentally, which will expend much of the funds raised on very expensive newspaper ads such as this one—also raises a question about how closely the liberal media, especially the Times, will monitor the group soliciting funds. This should include identifying all contributors!
Today's New York Times Arts Section article Dilemma's Definition:The Left And Iraq should be MUST reading in all political sciences classes around the country for exposing the way the liberal left—and this includes the Times itself—operates in this country.
It is, to be frank and this certainly wasn't intended, an indictment of all the liberal media encompassing newspapers like the Boston Globe as well as major television networks for being so consumed by their dislike of President Bush, they still cannot bring themselves to giving him any credit for his courage and swift and decsive action against Saddam Hussein & Co.

Also a MUST for polysci candidates is today's lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal which says it all as it jabs the Times "and its acolytes at CNN and the major networks, and of course most academic experts. They cannot bring themselves to celebrate the downfall of a tyrant before predicting the awful challenges to come."

Monday, April 14, 2003

Mark Steyn is on a roll:

"It seems very odd that the Left, which routinely bemoans the injustice of Barbara Bush's son having greater opportunities than the son of a crack whore in the inner city merely because of an accident of birth, then turns around and tells 20 million Iraqis that they have to accept their lot and live in a prison state forever. Julian Barnes, Iowa's Democratic Senator Tom Harkin and a zillion others continue to feel this way—even after Saddam's fall."

Friday, April 11, 2003

Superb piece in UPI today (via Merde in France) by James C. Bennett on how the U.S. should handle Europe in the aftermath of the war:

"The third course is to admit that the European Union is flawed and badly in need of not just reform but wholesale replacement. The ideal of free trade and cooperation among European nations, and between them and the world, is true and desirable. But the European Union, as it stands, is not the means of achieving it. And the best remedy for its ills is competition.

"The United States, its friends in Britain and Ireland, and those on the Continent who share their critique of the Europeanist disease must adopt a vigorous and aggressive policy of offering a viable alternative to the take-it-or-leave it policies Brussels hold out to old and new members alike. The United States must take the lead in offering free trade to every democratic European nation, whether it is in the EU or not.

"Such a move would create a free trade structure that would allow every European nation inside or out of the EU the realistic choice of joining or not joining, staying or leaving. This trade structure, a Transatlantic Free Trade Area ("TAFTA"), would be destination of choice. Its availability would deprive Brussels of its ability to make members accept its whole agenda of centralized control in exchange for access to Western European markets."

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Eric Alterman whines that his book What Liberal Media isn't getting the attention it deserves because of the war in Iraq:

Mr. Alterman told me he was "enormously gratified" by the reception to his book (good review in The Times), but added that he was also disappointed because the book had "been crowded out by the war," and thus it had been hard to get "traction."

"I had a lot of reasons to be anti-war, and the book was a small one," he said. "Everything was dominated by the war, and still is."


Isn't that terrible. Let's not put the lives of American service men and women or innocent Iraqis before a book, for God's sake....

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Quote of the week:

Hadi Al-Baghdadi, a 42-year-old Iraqi living in Dearborn, had a suggestion for dealing with members of Saddam's ousted regime.

"Don't kill them," he said. "Put them in cages in a zoo. And then we can use the admissions fees to rebuild Iraq."

Couldn't Resist Dept. "They stand, they fight, sometimes they run when we engage them," Brigadier-General John Kelly said.

"But often they run into our machine guns and we shoot them down like the morons they are."

Read more.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Instapundit supports the contention of many bloggers and readers that James Carroll of the Boston Globe is a half-wit.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Note from Jim Lileks to Senator John "Regime Change" Kerry:

"If someone invaded America tomorrow, how many big public posters would they have to tear down? How many airports and hospitals and highways would they have to rename?

How many statues would they have to topple?"

Somehow I don't think Kerry's ever going to answer that question.
Great piece by Ralph Peters for the New York Post:

" Certainly, we shall learn a great deal more about the atrocities of Saddam's regime. But the information of far greater value will be what we learn about the regime's relationships not only with other rogue states, but with our long-term "allies" in the Arab world and beyond. "

Read more.
There have been a lot of eulogies for Michael Kelly, but I for one find Dan Kennedy's the best so far. Perhaps, ironically, because he didn't share a lot of Kelly's opinions. Just one journalist admiring another. (Kudos to Maureen Dowd, too, who finally just wrote what she was thinking and feeling).

It may be because I'm a father now, but it keeps nagging me, the rather ungenerous thought, that Kelly really had no business being over there and should have thought of his kids first.

Friday, April 04, 2003

Michael Kelly has been killed in an accident in Iraq. God rest his soul.
The inimitable Mark Steyn:

"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."

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Poor John Kerry! You have to feel sorry for him these days stumbling around the political landscape trying to make a dent in President Bush's popularity as he attempts to impress Democratic delegates to next year's national convention at which they will choose the man or woman they want to oppose the President in the 2004 election ---not an inviting prospect for any Democrat.

Kerry of course will have the Boston Globe in his corner as was obvious from the big page one play the newspaper gave him this morning on his speech yesterday in Peterborough, New Hampshire echoing the anti-war crowd's call for a change at the helm of the U.S. givernment Democrats hope the Iraq desert war drags out and evolves into another Vietnam to enhance their prospects at the ballot box next year.
The story from NRO's Corner initially posted here has been wiped. Turned out to be a priest and not the bishop who made the offending comments....(kinda ruins the point I was trying to make).
When Canadians act like Palestinians...

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Dan Kennedy's take on the two faces of Peter Arnett.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

That eight-column headline: Pentagon Defends Its War Strategy, in large bold-face type across the top of yesterday's Boston Globe proves the point that over weekends, particularly on Sunday nights, the second and third strings of news editors are in charge of the Globe and put out the Monday morning editions of the newspaper. To lead the paper with that story being promoted by Peter Arnett and his act-alikes over on Morrissey Blvd. with so much other news of the brave coalition forces battling in Iraq available, was the work of amateurs presumably trying to promote the Globe's editorial positions.