There’s been much caterwauling about the negative coverage of “postwar” Iraq, including repeated charges that the media never show the progress being made.
Here’s your progress:
Once the Iraqis at the Baghdad Fire Department’s largest station learn English, they’ll be able to read the English-language “Baghdad Fire Department” T-shirts we’ve decked their employees in. The BFD seems to be a symbol for our whole approach, by the way: US taxpayers have paid for a repainting of the station, new beds, air conditioners, office equipment, a television and a DVD player, reports ABC Nightly News. So the BFD probably on the surface looks more luxurious than most American fire stations. But ABC reports, that “after doing their best for the cameras, the firefighters told us there were still no replacements for the fire engines and protective gear taken by looters just after the war. ‘I’m happy the Americans helped us,’ said one of them. ‘But if I’m going to fight fires, I’m going to need better clothing than a T-shirt. It’s nylon and will burn right off.’ ”
Sorry, did our shock & awe campaign cost you your fire trucks? Here, have a million-dollar T-shirt. And smile for the nice Americans back home.
—Matt Bivens, The Nation
Much praise to blogger Jim Henley for handing Glenn Reynolds his head on a toothpick. Check out this Henley response to Reynolds’ whimpering about the Valerie Plame/CIA scandal:
Leave Me My Illusions! – Until recently I could believe that ressentiment was a malady unique to the Left. Damn the Bush Administration for stealing that, too. Glenn Reynolds in a long, Pooh-Bearlike item on Plame Game:
“This seems like a case of manufactured outrage to me. I rather doubt that most of the people who are so exercised here were condemning that hero of the antiwar left, Philip Agee, who really did put lives in danger.”
Henley’s summary of Reynolds is perfect:
[B]efore we can decide what we think about anything, we have to ask ourselves if that decision will make some liberal, somewhere, happy. That must be resisted at any cost.
Scroll up from there for more great commentary on Plame, Reynolds, and the childlike Clifford May.
Sure, terrorists can cause trouble, Mideast dictators could threaten their neighbors with nukes, if they had ’em. Matt Bivens, writing in the Moscow Times reminds us, though, about the threat that could destroy civilization:
“Look, if we’re such great friends, why do we still have around 30,000 nuclear weapons — including thousands on hair-trigger launch alert? (China, in distant third place, has about 400.)
“Under the Nonproliferation Treaty — the one we keep rolling up to whack North Korea and Iran with on the nose — Russia and the United States also have solemn obligations to work toward complete nuclear disarmament. (Pie-in-the-sky? Perhaps, but then so is expecting other nations never to try to produce a single nuke.)
“Consider again the threat lurking in Putin’s story.
“So, what happens if some day, when it matters, Putin’s not around anymore and his gorilla-partners take over? As long as we’re all pals now, wouldn’t this be the moment to junk about 29,000 nukes?”
WMD are a real problem, & a nuke-armed state’s policy of invading non-nuclear powers is a good way to guarantee proliferation.
Ran HaCohen is back and as BS-averse as ever. Check out “Abusing Anti-Semitism”. A sample:
Nowadays, an orthodox Jew can run for the most powerful office on earth, the president of the United States (I personally hope he doesn’t win). A Jew can be the mayor of Amsterdam in “anti-semitic” Holland, a minister in “anti-semitic” Britain, a leading intellectual in “anti-semitic” France, a president of “anti-semitic” Switzerland, editor-in-chief of a major daily in “anti-semitic” Denmark, or an industrial tycoon in “anti-semitic” Russia. None of this was imaginable a century ago. Jews have free and unlimited access to every institution in every country they live in; Ironically, a converted Jew is even mentioned as a possible successor to the Holy See. At the same time, “anti-semitic” Germany (home to the world’s fastest-growing Jewish community) gives Israel three military submarines for free, “anti-semitic” France has proliferated to Israel the nuclear technology for its weapons of mass destruction, and “anti-semitic” Europe has welcomed Israel as a single non-European country to everything from football and basketball leagues to the Eurovision Song Contest, and has granted Israeli universities a special status for scientific fund-raising.
Ran and I both have a Yom Kippur theme going today. What are the odds?
Great title from the Sunday Mirror. Iraq war quote of the day, from Lady Thatcher:
Britain should never have been involved and it will be very difficult to get our troops out in anything like the near future.
As a supplement to today’s article, “Toward a Meaningful Yom Kippur,” I’ll include these lines from Leonard Cohen:
You who build these altars now
to sacrifice these children,
you must not do it anymore.
A scheme is not a vision
and you never have been tempted
by a demon or a god.
You who stand above them now,
your hatchets blunt and bloody,
you were not there before,
when I lay upon a mountain
and my father’s hand was trembling
with the beauty of the Word.
–from “Story of Isaac”
I think this pretty well captures the madness of the pseudoreligious militarism that plagues the Middle East (not just Israel).
Continue reading ““Story of Isaac””