In McLaughlin Group alumni news, Pat Buchanan sticks up for Gen. Boykin on rather dubious “takes fire to fight fire” grounds. Eerily similar to last Wednesday’s townhall.com essay by Tony Blankley, right down to the word “splendid.” Some sort of Halloween prank brewing?
Today’s article by Karen Kwiatkowski at LewRockwell.com is an interesting take on the way to defeat the neocons – and generally, anyone who relies on the argument of force, rather than the force of argument.
Now, I’m a fan of cultural history, which is relevant because art often reflects the undercurrents of society. So Col. Kwiatkowski’s column reminded me of an episode of a delightfully subversive SF show called Babylon 5 (starring Yugoslav actress Mira Furlan, among others) from a few years back. At one point, an Earth officer – who had rebelled against the government that turned fascist using a terrorist attack as an excuse – is captured and interrogated by the fascists.
The entire episode takes place in his cell, where the interrogator/torturer tries to break Captain Sheridan in a cold, calculated manner – and keeps failing.
At one point he asks the drugged, starved, poisoned, beaten, and utterly powerless prisoner, mocking his devotion to the truth:
“Can you win?”
Sheridan replies: “Every time I say ‘No’.”
That’s really all it takes. They never break him.
And they lose
Yes, according to The Scotsman, but not for opposing the war on Iraq or giving Labour headaches. Then why? For lending himself so freely to the warmongers’ cast of straw men:
There’s the TV footage of him praising Saddam Hussein for his indefatigability, which the Iraqi dictator tended to express by having people shot.
There were his calls during the war for British troops to disobey orders.
And there was his call for Arabs to fight British soldiers.
He would have had much more credibility and been a much stronger advocate for finding out the truth about the Iraq war if he had kept his mouth shut at crucial moments.
Take heed, International A.N.S.W.E.R.
Ameer Mahmoud Farhan, a documented “co-operator with U.S. forces,” was shot six times in a raid on his home Oct. 18. From the David Frum-endorsed Iraq Today:
Rasheed Lateef, a neighbor, says he saw American Humvees and three armed vehicles surround Farhan’s house as two helicopters hovered above. “They destroyed the door of the kitchen, and after that we heard the sound of machine gun fire.”
Laith Farhan, Farhan’s son, came out to see what was wrong with his father when he heard the loud noises.
“He was surprised when he saw them inside our house, and immediately the soldiers shouted at him. Before I knew it, I saw my father on the floor of the kitchen, swimming in his blood.”
Laith was also injured by shrapnel and was taken to one of the Humvees and then onto a helicopter. “They took me by the helicopter to the base to treat me there. They stole everything from my house; 32 ounces of gold, $1200 and ID350,000 and they distributed it among themselves in front of my eyes.”
Farhan’s wife, who asked to be mentioned only as S.A, says she was also handled roughly.
“When I tried to help my husband the soldiers grabbed me, and they prevented me from getting a last look at my husband,” said S.A, sobbing.
I wonder if Frum and Andrew Sullivan will continue to promote the “revealing, thought-provoking” Iraq Today as a “great source on Iraq.”
After reading this bizarre celebration of the Grenada invasion on NRO this morning, I first checked to make sure that the author is the same Lawrence W. Reed whose essays I’ve often enjoyed over the years. Upon the shocking discovery that the two are one, I looked back through some of Reed’s online articles for any early warnings of his now full-blown mental collapse, but all I found was sensible commentary. Take this bit from 1994:
Millions of Americans today believe that as long as the cause is “good,” it’s a duty of government. They look upon government as a fountain of happiness and material goods. They have forgotten George Washington’s warning, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And like fire, it can either be a dangerous servant or a fearful master.”
Here’s Reed today, justifying the war on Grenada:
The doubting Thomases who dismissed the administration’s claim that the medical students needed to be rescued were forever silenced when those very students returned to the United States. The first one off the plane fell to his knees and kissed the tarmac. At the White House, the students expressed their profound appreciation for what American troops had done.
It’s time to quit writing, Larry, and get a job on Fox and Friends.
· he incited Arabs to fight British troops
· he incited British troops to defy orders
· he incited Plymouth voters to reject Labour MPs,
· he threatened to stand against Labour
· he backed an anti-war candidate in Preston
(Turns out he didn’t incite Plymouth voters to ditch Labour, so he isn’t a total monster.)
The “threatened to stand against Labour” charge is totalitarian clairvoyance at its very best, “related to claims that he was planning to stand as an independent against Labour in the next general election if he was expelled from the party.”