The American Spectator dislikes little old me. True, when I stopped subscribing several years ago, I cut their readership by a quarter, but they should thank me now. Without the links I’ve been sending them, their online audience would consist of two guys grousing about the lack of Mena coverage.
UPDATE 11/24: Jeremy Lott really cares about my opinion. Good press, bad press, so long as someone is talking, eh? And as for what I’m slamming and my knowledge thereof, keep posting that one antiwar piece by John Corry. It’s good, Jeremy, but damn, even National Review has run some antiwar stuff. You’re under no obligation to “celebrate diversity” or anything, but on the eclecticism tip, all you can say is that you’re better than the Weekly Standard.
The latest issue of Newsweek warns that al-Qaeda is building toward a “spectacular” attack.
Intelligence sources tell Newsweek that “the neocons in the Pentagon have been undermining that relationship by accusing (without much proof) the Syrians of encouraging jihadists to cross into Iraq and of hiding Saddam’s WMD inside Syria.”
The report goes on to reveal the longtime dream of “many in the Bush administration, especially the neoconservatives in the Pentagon centered on Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, that a democratized Iraq will be both a beacon and a base in the fight against radical Islam.” Newsweek warns that “some senior of-ficials worry, though usually not out loud, that the war could backfire. A leaked memo from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld pointedly asked whether Islamic religious schools, fueled by anti-Western rage, are creating terrorists faster than American soldiers can kill or capture them.”
Newsweek concludes that the war in Iraq has “almost certainly diverted resources” from the war on terror. “Meanwhile, in Washington, transcripts of electronic intercepts of possible terrorist conversations pile up, unread and untranslated for weeks. Similarly, many Special Operations soldiers who had been chasing through the mountains of Afghanistan looking for bin Laden and his followers were shifted over to Iraq to spend months fruitlessly searching for weapons of mass destruction.”
Meanwhile, officials tell Newsweek that they have no idea who is behind the most recent deadly bombings in Iraq. They have evidence of many different sources, but it is beginning to look more like “Murder on the Orient Express,” where literally everyone is guilty.
A long time ago, pants were mended, not replaced. Books were borrowed, not bought. And people realized that cash was king and crap was crap. Try talking to your grandparents; get a sense of their Depression-era expectations. …
Our expectations have become so inflated, in fact, that even how we classify “poor” has become totally wacked. According to the Census Bureau, 30 million Americans are living in poverty. Not to sound cruel, but it’s a misleading term. By almost any global standard, Americans who are classified as “poor” don’t have it that bad. In 1995, over 41 percent of all poor households owned their own homes. Seventy percent own a car; 27 percent own two or more cars; 97 percent of poor households have a color television – nearly half own two or more; 75 percent have a VCR, 64 percent own a microwave, and 25 percent have an automatic dishwasher.
– Jonathan Hoenig, Greed is Good: The Capitalist Guide to Investing
FOB (friend of blog) Gary Oppewall, replying to my Fukuyama quote, writes:
“The pirates are still among us. They may not wave skull and crossbones flags and have parrots on their shoulders, but the deeds are the same. The only difference is that they have the support of that giant mental cloning machine AKA the media which helps them sugar coat their deeds with pious rhetoric /feel-good slogans such as ‘free’ trade, competition, security, patriotism, community, etc. etc. ad nauseum.
“The fact is, there are less and less of the aforementioned items all the time. The closer things come to disappearing, the more they seem to need to be invoked. A subconscious summoning of old ghosts, I would guess.”
To which I reply:
As Antiwar.com’s letters editor, I’m familiar with the various pro-war arguments. One of them is the argument that “we” (aka the US government) must contol the Mideast’s oil. The Fukuyama quote answers this argument and claims that “war makes much less economic sense than it did two or three hundred years ago.” It’s not surprising that some people and organizations prefer a benefit to themselves over a larger benefit to millions of people, even if the former destroys net wealth.
Those interested in this sort of analysis should check out Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny by progressivist-historicist Robert Wright.
Host or attend a house party to screen the new documentary Uncovered: The Whole Truth about the Iraq War. (Watch the trailer here.) The plan is to arrange a nationwide screening on Dec. 7, and participating looks quite easy. Here’s a plug for the party I found in my neck of the woods:
Uncovered Party in the Bywater
827 Poland Avenue
New Orleans, LA
If anyone else is holding a party within two hours’ drive of Baton Rouge, drop me a line and I’ll plug yours, too.
FDR foresaw the fall of Conrad Black. Please e-mail Justin’s article for today to every neo you know. A choice bit:
What’s funny is that Lord Black, author of the recently published Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Champion of Freedom, recently took libertarian Jim Powell to task for questioning the Roosevelt myth. Black retails the liberal-Marxoid misconception that FDR was somehow the “savior of capitalism.” The irony is that Black’s hero seemed to be describing his future hagiographer when he said, in his first inaugural address: “The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths.”
A more succinct summary of the decline and fall of Conrad Black would be hard to imagine.