Powell is making the rounds, trying to drum up European support
for the U.S. occupation of Iraq: the Google headline for the
story in the Macon Telegraph reads "U.S. Seeks Reinforcements
for Iraq" but when you click on it, you get a story with
a new rather more abstruse head: "U.S. Seeks U.N. Help for
Allies in Iraq." Hmmm. Uh, what "allies"?
the Brits, of course, and the Poles but, um, maybe not.
When the going gets tough, the
Poles get going. The Spaniards, too, who made such a big
show of their support, now seem to be
going wobbly, after suffering exactly one casualty.
Oh but wait: didn't that list of the "coalition of the willing"
also include Honduras? Yup, they're
sending 370 of their best peasant-killing brutes to help
police Iraq. Now doesn't that make you feel all warm and glowing
any rate, the U.S. is tired of using its own troops as sitting ducks for Al Qaeda
wannabes in Iraq, and is now trying to interest UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan in a new Security Council resolution that
would presumably call for burden-sharing. "The president has
always felt that the U.N. has a vital role to play," burbled
Powell. Yeah, suuuuuuure he has, but it is doubtful
that the other members of the Security Council, notably France
and Germany, would be much interested in playing the role
of charwomen to the American mess-makers. Especially since,
Reuters reports, the U.S. is insisting on maintaining
complete control of the occupation:
of State Colin Powell said on Thursday he was exploring a
new U.N. resolution that would encourage nations 'to do more'
in Iraq but said Washington would not surrender military control."
mine, mine! Precious, precious, precious: with
the U.S. hoards all the world's troubles for its own.
that the Euro-lefties and/or the UN are calling for the U.S.
to leave, so the Iraqis can determine their own fate. They
don't want US troops to be withdrawn from anywhere.
They just want political, military, and economic leadership
to be European or UN i.e., themselves. That's why they
liked Clinton. He used U.S. troops to do the dirty work, but
left the military decision making to the NATO council in Bosnia/Kosovo,
and let the UN kleptocrats run the place after "peace" had
been declared. U.S. troops are still there.
the Bushies, however, the Americans and their former allies
have entered a stand-off. No one wants to see U.S. troops
serving under foreign commanders, but then the reverse
is also true: no French or German soldier wants to be commanded
by the Americans. My guess is that the American bid to spread
the misery of "victory" around is going to be met with not-so-polite
refusals. You made your bed, George, Rummy, Wolfie, et al,
and now you're going to have to sleep in it.
of misplaced generosity, the Israelis are getting another
$9 billion in loan
spite of earlier rumblings
about possible "deductions" if the Wall
of Separation continues to go up. National Security advisor
Rice soon quashed talk that Israel would pay a price for
embarrassing the U.S., and the final agreement, recently
inked, shows the power of the Israeli lobby to get away
with anything and everything. According to Globes,
Israeli business journal,
deductions article is the most confidential article in last
night's agreement, due to its diplomatic repercussion on the
implementation of the Road Map. The US reserves the right
of flexibility and maneuvering room over actual deductions.
Under the previous loan guarantees in 1993-97, the US deducted
$800-900 million from the guarantees two-thirds of the
Israeli government's spending beyond the Green Line. The US
conceded a third of deduction, after it was shown that the
money was used for the welfare of the Palestinians."
like gunning down stone-throwing Palestinian teenagers and
inflicting hundreds of casualties. Surely this was U.S. tax
dollars well-spent "for the welfare of the Palestinians."
dry legal language of the agreement's deductions article states
that the US can deduct from the loan guarantees every shekel
the Israeli government invests beyond the Green Line. Since
the separation fence is situated beyond the Green Line, the
US can, should it choose, deduct the cost of the fence from
the loan guarantees."
but there's a catch, as there always is when it comes
to the Israelis:
the US administration agreed to broad language, which gives
it flexibility and maneuvering room in deciding how much to
deduct. In any event, the final decision on the deduction
from the loan guarantees will be taken only in 2006. By then,
it is assumed that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be
resolved in line with President George W. Bush's Road Map.
If the US does not adopt the same lenient policy as it did
under the first loan guarantees, it could deduct more than
$2 billion from the current loan guarantees."
the U.S. does not adopt the same lenient policy it has always
adopted when it comes to Israeli outrages against decency,
then, presumably, the Road Map to the Second Coming will have
been resolved in the End of the World as We Know It.
of the Israelis, one of their more voluble American supporters,
Ilana Mercer, who claims to be a "libertarian," is on the attack,
again, with yours truly in her crosshairs. She alleges
that "the hostility so many libertarians harbor toward Israel
has to do with an unfortunate guilt by association: "Libertarian
animus against neoconservatives has translated into revulsion
for Israel because so many prominent neoconservatives are
the neoconservatives are responsible for the loan guarantees
and the billions more in foreign aid is highly doubtful:
the Israelis asked, and, as usual, they received. This has
more to do with the Christian Coalition than the neocons,
but that doesn't stop La Mercer from ascribing to me "an irrational
belief system where 'the Zionists' are seen as the root of
all evil." If only Zionists were alone in agitating for the
Israelis to be put at the head of the welfare line when it
comes to foreign aid, then perhaps they wouldn't be getting
nearly $3 billion (plus "loan guarantees") per year
than any other single nation on earth. But Mercer never
lets mere facts get in her way.
is unapologetic in her smear of libertarian scholar Sheldon
Richman, whom she insists on coupling with an anti-Semitic
group in spite of his Jewish heritage: tying him to the Institute
for Hysterical Review (as I call it) is, in her words, "a
legitimate literary device." It is? Yeah, if you're
a literary thug, without a conscience or a rational basis
for your arguments. Otherwise, it's below the belt, which
is about par for the course for the Amen Corner.
whines that "libertarians loathe Israel," but it isn't true:
we loathe the tactics and arrogance of Israel's rabid partisans
on the American scene, exemplified by her contemptible screeds.
Of all the old-time libertarians of my generation, Richman
is among the most rational and thoughtful: certainly he is
the nicest. Even when we didn't agree, he was always courteous
(unlike me), kind, and open to hearing another view (again,
quite unlike me). To see this witch reiterate her rotten
smears against him is just too much for any decent person
a disgusting display of tribalism, Mercer revels in "the nationalistic
nature of the Hebrew civilization" all the while claiming
to be a "libertarian"! Like hell she is. The minute her "libertarian"
principles contrast with her tribal-ethnic loyalties, the
latter win out it's no contest. How else do we explain her
enthusiasm for the politicization of Judaism, the most profound
and ancient of the world's three great religions, into a fanatical
political cult known as "Zionism," which was rightly disdained
as a freakazoid fringe movement in the first decades of its
rantings are just plain dumb, and not really worth going into
at any length. For example, she writes:
the way, I've had the odd exchange with Mark Weber, director
of the [Institute for Historical Review]. He is a pleasant
and polite fellow, which is more than I can say about Justin
Raimondo. It would no more occur to me to accuse Weber of
anti-Semitism than it would cross my mind to so accuse Richman
already know I'm not a polite fellow, but really, Ilana: if
an "Institute" that puts out a journal and sponsors conferences
denying the Holocaust isn't anti-Semitic, then what the heck
is? Of course, I can see why she would get along with
Weber. La Mercer and her ilk would just love it if the only
opposition they had was embodied in a band of anti-Semitic
she is through with her "blood and soil" Zionist rant, and
finished re-smearing Richman, she finally gets around to me,
and that is where she completely loses it, writing:
conceals his inability to address an argument much less
to interpret text or understand an analogy with flamboyant
can't spell it's "flair," as any fifth grader would know,
not "flare" any better than she can reason. Mercer
avers that she couldn't possibly be anything like David
Frum, the Vyshinsky of the neocons, because they're for
military "gallivanting," and she's against it, they love Martin
Luther King, and she no like, and they go pale at the mere
mention of State's Rights. But the one thing the essential
thing they do have in common is not just a penchant for
smearing their opponents by conjuring associations that aren't
there, but also an overriding concern for the well-being of
a foreign country, namely Israel. The Wall, the ongoing ethnic
cleansing, the militaristic arrogance Mercer, like her neocon
cousins, doesn't just tolerate it, she loves it, it
makes her proud. "I can't see myself remaining more than persona
non grata in that cave," she writes, to which I can only
add: give it time. But bone up on your spelling
reiterates her claim that Israel doesn't really need all
that foreign aid from the U.S., that it hurts them more than
it helps them. Yeah, but then they keep asking for it and
they keep getting it. Why do you suppose that is? Mercer says
that Israel would only have to be more "efficient" militarily:
but then, murdering all the Palestinians would also be "efficient."
It would certainly save on bullets. Is that what the fervently
"nationalistic" La Mercer is advocating? I wouldn't put it
but the kicker comes when she defends her comments on the
Wall of Separation from my accusation that this is a device
by the Israelis to steal even more Palestinian land:
was very plainly defending the idea of a mechanical barrier.
To the extent that property has unjustly been incorporated
en route, this must be remedied. If the Israelis don't fix
the property injustices Raimondo alleges, then I share his
really? Then surely La Mercer will join with me in calling
for those portions of the Wall to be torn down a.s.a.p., no
ifs, ands, or buts about it which means, if
you look at a map, that nearly all of it would
have to come down.
it, Ilana: the Wall is indefensible, from a libertarian perspective.
You have to choose: libertarianism, or tribalism.
will it be?
IN THE MARGIN
so I was being just a trifle on the cranky side in
my remarks on Reason magazine in the last edition of
this column. Fortunately, editor Nick Gillespie is a really
nice guy (not to mention kinda cute), and took it all in stride,
you can see from this entry in Reason's "Hit and
Run" blog. My buddy Jim Henley
also took me to task, wondering if I had "gotten into
Andrew Sullivan's stash of hormone pills or something." Well,
uh, not quite, but, in my own defense, I have to admit that
I've been writing with a fever of 100-plus for the past few
days, and my blood pressure is inching toward the Danger Zone.
Aside from that, however, it could be that the occasional
neoconnish rumblings over at Reason (Cathy
Young, who prissily objected to poets protesting the war
at a White House event because "poetry transcends politics,"
Charles Paul Freund, and especially Ron
Bailey come to mind) stand in such stark contrast to the
good stuff that it just sets me off. But then, it isn't all
that hard to set me off, now is it?
going to be speaking at the 14th annual meeting of the John
Randolph Club, sponsored by the Rockford Institute and Chronicles
magazine, in gaudy old New Orleans, in the heart of the French
Quarter, of course, at the Saint Louis Hotel, November 14-15.
Chronicles editor Tom Fleming, Peter Brimelow, and the rest
of us paleoconservative "bad boys" of the American
Right will be having a grand old time and so will you,
if you show up. To register, call Cindy Link at 815-964-5813.
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