Saturday, September 21, 2002
(Link via posted by Porphyrogenitus at 10:52 AM
We've heard a lot of how unsupportive Jean Chretien has been. What are some of his statement's about Iraq?
Prime Minister Chretien told Parliament on February 9 that, "If we do not act, if we do not stand up to Saddam, that will encourage him to commit other atrocities." He continued that "the choice is clear (for Canada). It is a choice dictated by the responsibilities of international citizenship, by the demands of international security and an understanding of the history of the world in this century."Pretty strong words. What about Chirac of France? He has a reputation for treating this issue with a lack of urgency. But what has he said?
"France repeats that Iraq must scrupulously respect all the UN Security Council resolutions. This is the only route that could enable Iraq to be readmitted, when the time comes, into the international community.Of course, "extremely grave risks" are diplomatic code-words for war. Then there's Germany, a country that has become notorious for its apparent refusal to condone any sort of action aimed at Iraq, even if authorized by the UN. But Mr. Rudolf Scharping, Chairman of the SPD Bundestag Group, voicing the German government's policy on the issue, said
The President of the Republic made this clear to the Iraqi Foreign Minister. He stressed "the extremely grave risks that will result from a refusal by Iraq to accept the inspection of the 'presidential sites.' Now time is running out."
I would like to state the central issues once again. First, there is only one individual who bears the responsibility for the current confrontation with the United Nations, and that is Saddam Hussein.Wow, he's not blaming Cowboy Americans for the crisis or comparing America's President to Hitler. He goes on:
That is why Iraq should stop refusing to cooperate, and if all the political efforts that are being made do not result in success, a military operation cannot and should not be ruled out in this case. The United States and Great Britain can absolutely count on German solidarity."Strong words of support. Germany's Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel went further:
Incidentally, I believe that we Germans in particular have good reason to work toward preventing a dictator from causing something terrible yet again. There was one dictator who was stopped too late.This one has to be stopped in good time.He concludes his strong remarks thusly:
We are maintaining intensive contact with the United States and with our partners and friends in the EU. However, our experience of Saddam Hussein to date, and I believe that this is also of key importance, shows that, unfortunately, he is only prepared to observe UN Security Council resolution when he is under pressure. The international community cannot simply accept always being made a fool of. That is why the military option must remain available. He who wants a peaceful solution in particular cannot waver in this regard.These things were all said in early '98. If anything, the crisis has grown more severe. Iraq threw out the inspectors and is now playing games, and as you read in their remarks, everyone focused on the fact that time was running out for Iraq (that was four and half years ago. It has run out now) and that the "international community" couldn't be made a fool of. Just the tone Bush took, which many of these people have disdained him for.
Friday, September 20, 2002
The paper stresses the president's interest in securing peace in the developing world by economic means by insisting the US will exploit its military and economic power to encourage "free and open societies," rather than to seek "unilateral advantage". It defines this mix of values and national interest as "a distinctly American internationalism".
Thursday, September 19, 2002
But how do you argue," another says, a former professor who came home from a Western country to become a brigadier in the field, "when they quote a text from the Koran on amputation according to sharia law, and ask if you believe in that text? We accept the Koran. We are Muslims. But we do not accept an eleventh-century interpretation of Islam. We are twenty-first century people. We are Muslims, in a country with eleven different major tendencies among Muslims, and we are accustomed to tolerance of one another."The article goes on:
One delegate pointed out that the Taliban were vastly unpopular in Afghanistan, and that the ayatollahs in Iran have more than worn out their welcome, are already witnessing protest marches by hundreds of thousands of the young, and will not be much grieved when they sometime soon are removed from the scene. These do not speak for Islam, he said, and nearly all the heads in the room nodded emphatically.I cleave to the idea that this is a War Against Bad Philosophy, as Armed Liberal termed it. We have had (and continue to have) expressions of it in our own civilization, which need to be fought (intellectually through argument, not coersion or violence; so long as they themselves eschew violence - which wasn't always the case. See Bill Ayers, among numerous others). But we're not against the people in, for example, Arabic and Islamic Civilization, we're fighting against the radicals infected by Cultural Marxism and Franz Fanon (often as joined with and intertwined with the radical theology of the Moslem Brotherhood and Wahhabism; Iraq's regime is secular but others among the foes are theistic). But in that conflict we have allies - the many, many people, Arab and Moslem, that are opposed to the forces we fight (be they totalitarian Islamist states or secular, National Socialist Ba'athist despotisms) that live within those societies and seek to reform and modernize, and dispense with despotic rule. We help ourselves by helping them, and vice versa. But we only hurt ourselves by making entire civilizations out as enemies.
One thing is true. We need a good term with which to describe the forces we're fighting. No one has the perfect term yet
Update: Ba'athism can be properly called "national socialist" because it combines socialist ideology with Arabic nationalism.
It is perverse, and profoundly dangerous, that the U.N. is being encouraged to place upon its own brow a garland of laurels it has woven for itself as the sole legitimizer of force in international affairs. Even NATO, an alliance of democracies, is said to be morally bound to defer. The U.N.'s overweening vanity is made possible by the acquiescence of formerly formidable European nations. They now are eager to disguise decadence as a moral gesture, that of sloughing off sovereignty - and with it, responsibilities.
It may be that Mr Schröder, if he is re-elected, will abandon his "German path" and tiptoe back into the Western camp. Even so, the damage has been done. Trust in Germany as a reliable ally has been shattered. . .After Mr Schröder's open contempt for UN resolutions on Iraq, there can now be no question of Britain, France and America allowing Germany to become one of the permanent members of the Security Council. The immaturity of the ageing student radicals who now rule Germany will cost their countrymen dear.Hmmmn. . .I seem to recall reading on some blog that it was Schroeder who has done lasting damage to the alliance.
Update: Yes, Stoiber is better on this. Schroeder will probably win, though, and then we'll have to deal with the consiquences. But so will Germany, and Europe as a whole if they continue to foster politicians with this sort of attitude.
Wednesday, September 18, 2002
Update: I searched my own archives. I found no endorsement of Norquist's position on alliances.
Unilateral action by a state can be good or bad, moral or immoral, successful or unsuccessful, just like any other type of action. . .Now, I think he's right in many ways. But wrong in others (first, he used the recent U.S. intervention in Haiti as an example of "unilateral action". Wasn't it Liberals who did that, while many of us conservatives were opposed and remain skeptical that did any real good)? More likely it's the usual suspects: the Left (as opposed to Liberals) and Transnational Progressive types that he is talking about.
Liberals are against unilateralism for the same reason they are against fundamental individual freedoms such as the private ownership of guns. Since liberals believe in equality, they are against power, because different people inevitably possess different amounts of it and so oppress each other. So liberals oppose private gun ownership, because it suggests differentials of power among individuals, which suggests inequality and oppression. For the same reason, liberals want to restrict the freedom of political organizations to buy political advertising because some candidates and groups will be able to buy more advertising than others, which suggests differentials of power, which suggests inequality and oppression (the recent campaign finance law is to free elections what gun control is to self-defense). And for the same reason, liberals oppose independent action by nation-states because such action suggests differentials of power and thus inequality and oppression. Since freedom of action by persons or polities and the resulting inequalities of power and influence are built into the very structure of existence, what liberals are ultimately aiming for is nothing less than the total repression of the natural order of things. The attempt to eliminate all power must lead to the concentration of all power in a global totalitarian state.
Corporatism is defined by Webster as “the organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations serving as organs of political representation and exercising some control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction.” Corporatism means that we participate in society as members of groups, which not only represent us but also exert control over us. Corporatism means that we participate in the economy, not as individuals but as members of organizations – as workers, owners, or managers of corporations. Corporatism means that we participate in the political process, not as individuals but as members of organizations – as members of labor unions, corporate business organizations, political action committees, or other special interest groups. Corporatism means that we let someone else make our economic and political decisions for us.We can add that it means that we let the "international community" decide what our interests are and how we are allowed to pursue those interests. Transnational Progressivism is just one branch of Corporatism (and, btw, Socialism). It is naturally hostile to Classical Liberalism (Hayekian Liberalism), which focuses on the rights of the individual.
And no, I'm not in the mood to link to any of them at the moment.
Update Glenn Reynolds says this is a bit of an overstatement. Perhaps. But after so many in the anti-war crowd have prattled about the "moral bankruptcy" of people who disagree with them, I'm not in much of a mood to be generous at this time.
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
Addendum: Note that the Clemenceau quote at the beginning of this screed is not the most extreme reaction to Wilson, but only the most famous (because it's pithy and just so. Of course, the irony is that now the Europeans are more likely to be Wilsonian than Americans).
Also, Porphy isn't "my" abbreviation (much less the lower-case "porphy"); it's the abbreviation that people have commonly used for Porphyrogenitus in e-mails, message boards, etc, since I started using that handle. I have nothing against it and I commonly recommend it to the few people who don't "naturally" use it as a nick and ask what they could call me in lieu of writing the whole word out each time, or in self-reference from time to time. But I didn't invent it. Just thought I'd clear that up.
But today it emerged that the offer only applied to military bases - which could let Saddam hide chemical and biological arms stockpiles elsewhere.Well, this was obvious from the start. It's all part of a strategy to divide the emerging "coalition" and to play for time. Only the willfully blind would have believed that it would be different. The article goes on:
That was not good enough for Downing Street, which insisted: "Inspectors must be allowed to go anywhere, anytime."
Of course, the last part only proves that any inspection regime would be a farce, designed not to accomplish anything, but simply delay.
Ali Muhsen Hamid claimed Iraq was being sincere, but he stipulated that civilian sites would not be available to the inspectors. "We support anywhere, any military site (for inspections), but not as some people have suggested for inspections against hospitals, against schools."
Hospitals are among key sites for inspections because of evidence that Saddam uses health laboratories to manufacture viruses for biological weapons.
An Arab League spokesman said only military sites were covered because it would take 10 years for inspectors to examine civilian buildings. . .
To this end, the Government of the Republic of Iraq is ready to discuss the practical arrangements necessary for the immediate resumption of inspections.That's not "without conditions". In a practical sense, is little different from Iraq's position over the last several months. These discussions over practical arrangements will, no doubt, include prior conditions raised by Iraq.
Monday, September 16, 2002
Of course I'm not serious, but I'm still going to call it the Dawn Olsen Bug.
Update: Steven Den Beste has a theory: "Either he'll make some sort of half-way offer which will be refused immediately, or he'll actually agree to permit the inspectors to return with only slight conditions. If it's the latter, then I will be afraid, for it will mean he thinks he's within a few months of success."
Additional: The White House, at least, is keeping its powder dry, and has "called the Iraqi offer a tactic aimed at giving 'false hope to the international community that he (Saddam) means business this time. Unfortunately, his more than decade of experience shows you can put very little into his words or deeds.'" (Also a more detailed UPI report.)
Does anyone else detect cognitive dissonance here? Kind of along the same lines as when the same people demanded a debate and that Bush go to Congress, the American people, and the U.N. to get their support before acting, but now they're all sullen and surly because he did what they kept clamoring for, but they don't like the timing (they'd rather have a lame duck Congress deal with it, I guess, and I suppose they were full of bovine fecal matter when they said the American people should be involved in the debate, because they sure as heck don't want them involved in any meaningful way - like having a grave matter such as war be a subject of the election ("No, Bush, you dolt, I didn't mean that! When I said we need a full debate, and criticized you for not involving Congress I meant a "full debate" where I get to talk down to you! Not something that would actually affect anything!)
It starts off, and is disguised as, a column on media self-absorption. But these are the striking parts of the column. It really shows how what we see in the news is shaped, and in a way that is dangerous. I hadn't heard any of these stories until I read it in this piece, and I pay fairly good attention to this kind of thing.
Among the more interesting Muslim items this past year was a story that appeared last October 11 in the Journal News, a suburban New York newspaper. It concerned a student in a Brooklyn high school, who, on September 6, 2001, stared out of the window and told his teacher: "See those two buildings? They won't be standing there next week."
Many of us heard similar stories - supposedly "urban legends" - in the weeks after September 11, but only one reporter did anything about them. Jeffrey Scott Shapiro interviewed the teacher, Antoinette DiLorenzo, and the boy's brother - they're Palestinian immigrants. The Journal News ran the piece on page seven, lest it provoke - all together now - "a backlash". The story held up, which is more than Shapiro's career did. By the end of the day, he was no longer the Journal News crime reporter.
On September 10, 2001, a sixth-grade student of Middle Eastern origin at a Jersey City school warned his teacher to stay away from Lower Manhattan because "something bad was going to happen". Teachers at schools within sight of the World Trade Centre report that, as the towers burned, a lot of Muslim pupils were taking pictures: it seemed odd that so many of them happened to have brought their cameras to school on that particular day.
But don't worry. In the interests of "sensitivity", no one's covering any of these curious tales and their alarming implications. NBC News had known about the Brooklyn schoolboy before Shapiro did. "No one wanted to follow up on it," a producer said. "They figured it either wasn't true or it would be too hard." Too hard? Dan Rather's right in a way: the longer this war goes on, the more it's about him and his media pals, and their curious priorities.
I expect the usual disclamers "we don't support Saddam, we just oppose U.S. foreign policy". Yah, right. That's why there's a certain pattern, and that's why so many of the guys noted in the Radosh article have made pilgrimages to kiss Castro's ring, and before that were kissing Daniel Ortega's, etc etc ad nausium. When you judge (there's a hate-word!) the pattern by its objective intent, it's clear that more than just "opposition to U.S. foreign policy" is involved here, at least when it comes to the round-up of usual suspects. Update: For some proof, I give you Tom Hayden, who's never met a murderous, totalitarian regime he hasn't stood up for in the face of U.S. "bullying", and founded the "Red Family" Commune as well as inclining towards starting a Communist Party before he decided he could accomplish his goals more effectively by infiltrating California's Democratic Party.
Update: For some proof, I give you Tom Hayden, who's never met a murderous, totalitarian regime he hasn't stood up for in the face of U.S. "bullying", and founded the "Red Family" Commune as well as inclining towards starting a Communist Party before he decided he could accomplish his goals more effectively by infiltrating California's Democratic Party.
Sunday, September 15, 2002
That's a fact, jack. And two-thirds of this post consists of a parenthetical remark.