Saturday, December 14, 2002
Sharpton Calls for "Vote of Censorship" on Lott. (You may have seen it printed "vote of censure", but the word Our Future President used was "censorship" - I saw the audio/video).
Sharpton, of course, is one of the reasons why the Democrats in general have no moral standing on this issue.
Meanwhile, Lest We Lose Sight of the big picture, Robert Mugabe is actually threatening people of another race. I bet we won't read the likes of William Saleten musing about the "overlap" between Robert Mugabe's positions on issues and that of Leftists and reparations supporters et al, or of the New York Times dredging up remarks favorable of Mugabe made by highly-regarded politicians in the past.
They won't do that because it would be unfair to do that. But they'll do the same regarding all conservatives. Josh Chafetz is right on that score.
It would be nice, while we're all at it, if some more attention were given to the rapaciousness of Mugabe's dictatorial regime while we're all expressing our distaste with Lott. Now, it is true that what happens in our own country, and who leads it, is something we're responsible for, while what goes on in Zimbabwe is not. But here we have the case of someone who's actions, it would seem to me, are far more deplorable than Lott's (and I find and have found him to be utterly deplorable), but I'm willing to wager - a pretty high amount - that many of those who are flagelating all conservatives and Republicans over the Lott issue would be willing to rationalize and excuse Mugabe's behavior. They have in the past.
After all, who got the loudest applause at the recent Conference on Sustainable Development?
Lott's Self-Centered Petulance if these rumors that Lott intends to resign from the Senate if he can't have "his" Leadership post are true, then good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.
Friday, December 13, 2002
Lott: "We'll Just Have To Win, Then": Bush strikes the right note in calling Lott's remarks offensive. But Lott tries to cling to power. Lott spent the second half of the '90s sneering at Clinton and his various attempts at focus-grouped apologias as Clinton tried to stay in office, viewing himself as the indespensible man.
Now the shoe is on the other foot and Lott is revealing himself as not that different from the President he (and I, btw) expressed contempt for. Like Clinton, Lott might be able to hold on for two more years - somehow - though I hope not. But he is utterly compromised, not only for what he said last week, but for how he's handled it since. Lott has grown more, lot less, contemptible as he's tried to worm his way around this.
Kissinger Resigns from the 9/11 Commission. Both the guys I wanted off, Mitchell and Kissinger, are now gone. Not that I think I had anything to do with it.
Now, if only Lott would step down as Senate Majority Leader. . .didn't happen, I know. Not yet.
A Lot of People have been asking themselves "why are the Bears playing so badly this year?" after the good season they had last year.
The answer's simple, really. They're playing in Champaign Urbana while their new stadium is being built. That makes them the Champaign Urbana Bears this year.
The initials of which are C.U.B.s, and everyone knows that spells "loser" in Illinois.
The Modern Europe, if there is to be one, will come about in the east:
Meanwhile, here's an article suggesting a different course:
the countries of Eastern Europe have been surprisingly aggressive in adopting new technology. Eastern Europe had about 50 million mobile phone connections by the end of 2001, and Gartner Dataquest predicts this will grow to about 139 million by 2006, for an annual growth rate of 16 percent. Next year, the number of wireless subscribers is expected to grow by 34 percent in Eastern Europe, compared with just 7 percent in Western Europe, according to the London-based telecommunications research group EMC.If there's any hope at all for the EU, it will come from a combination of the East and Britain charting a different course from the one that the Union seems set on now.
Some of the new technology being installed in Eastern Europe makes the West seem dowdy by comparison. Microsoft is creating a paperless customs service for the Czech Republic that will be one of the most modern in the world. It is building a government Internet portal for Romania that will give citizens easy access to vital services, from getting a driver's license to bidding on government contracts. . .
This infusion of human capital will invigorate a Europe that often seems short of new ideas and energy. It will be a process of "creative destruction" that will destroy some old, outdated institutions even as it creates new ones. Indeed, it's a process that will test how tolerant Europeans are of the realities of modern capitalism.
Meanwhile, here's an article suggesting a different course:
Turkey "in Europe" has been the official mantra for Americans, Europeans and Turks alike. But perhaps a solidly democratic, pro-Western Turkey "in partnership" with Europe and America would be of even greater benefit to other Muslim countries that will never belong to the West geographically but aspire to association on the basis of shared democratic values.That would only work in an atmosphere like this, where there was a trading community alongside, but not part of, the political confederation of the EU, that countries which did not want to be beholden to dictats from Brussels could still forge trading agreements, again like Norway has.
Exactly So the New York Post column by Niles Lathem is exactly right:
Iraq's weapons declaration doesn't appear to explain what happened to chemical and biological agents missing when inspectors were expelled from Iraq four years ago, U.S. officials said last night.And yet this is somehow a "new challenge for Bush - Not for Iraq to explain the discrepancy, not for the enlightened voice of Europe to re-examine their position on this, but for Bush, the one guy who's got a clear position on what should happen when Saddam plays games like this.
Daily Life in Germany is getting more disturbing. I wonder how long it will take before they blame this on America?
John Casey, writting in the Torygraph, says thatTurkey mustn't join the Christian EU. Ok, cool. But then what are all those atheistic European countries doing in the "Christian" EU?
Now, fine by me. Any excuse to rescue a country from falling into the clutches of the EU is fine by me. (Considering how many churchgoers there are in Britain, Casey may as well write an article saying "Britain must not join the Christian EU". There are much better options for both Britain and Turkey that I think should be seriously considered. But to say that the EU is "Christian" is odd, considering the state of religious observance in its member-states. For good or ill, people do not talk about "Christendom" when referring to Europe anymore.
I Still Think Bush should find a way to get Kissinger off the 9/11 commission, the way someone seems to have made Mitchell an offer he couldn't refuse and got him to turn it down for "personal" reasons after having accepted the job of Vice Chair. ("Vice" Chair? Isn't that Al Gore's job?) . But (see, I promised yesterday I wouldn't post more on the Lott thing on Thursday. But it's Friday now) what Bush said in his speech yesterday, to raucus chears in a largely black audience, struck the perfect note:
We must also rise to a second challenge facing our country. This great and prosperous land must become a single nation of justice and opportunity. We must continue our advance toward full equality for every citizen, which demands the guarantee of civil rights for all. (Applause.) Any suggestion that the segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive, and it is wrong. (Applause.)Some have questioned Bush's timing, saying this came a tad late. I disagree. In my opinion, he gave Lott one more chance to deal properly with the issue himself, and when Lott screwed the pooch again Wednesday night, that was it. Now all we have to do is wait and hope Lott steps down as Majority Leader (oh, and wait for the inevitable accusation from the peanut gallery that "the whole thing was a conspiratorial plot by the Republicans to make Bush look good". Now, I'm a member of the VRWC and go to the meetings, get copied on all the memos and talking points, and I can truthfully say that wasn't on the playlist).
Recent comments -- recent comments by Senator Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country. (Applause.) He has apologized, and rightly so. Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals. (Applause.) And the founding ideals of our nation and, in fact, the founding ideals of the political party I represent was, and remains today, the equal dignity and equal rights of every American. (Applause.)
And so the -- and this is the principle that guides my administration. We will not, and we must not, rest until every person of every race believes in the promise of America because they see it in their own eyes, with their own eyes, and they live it and feel it in their own lives.
Axis of Evil North Korea is the ultimate rogue state:
Meanwhile, Iran's nuclear program is under scrutiny as well, at long last, and the U.S. focuses in on gaps in Saddam's list - he's been naughty, not nice:
I don't know how it poses "new challenges" for those of us who expected the report to be exactly what it is. We already know how to respond, and are prepared to. The question is whether our "allies" are going to step up to the plate or continue to hide their heads in the sand (to mix some metaphors).
f the announcement by North Korea in October that it was pursuing a uranium enrichment programme left any doubt that the country is the ultimate rogue state, there can be none now. This week, a North Korean freighter carrying scud missiles was intercepted on route to Yemen. On Thursday, news emerged that Pyongyang has threatened to reactivate the plutonium reactor that was explicitly mothballed under the 1994 framework agreement to freeze the country's nuclear programme.But they're demanding an apology for the search of their flagless vessel and ultimate release of it's cargo.
American intelligence agencies have reached a preliminary conclusion that Iraq's 12,000-page declaration of its weapons programs fails to account for chemical and biological agents missing when inspectors left Iraq four years ago, American officials and United Nations diplomats said on Thursday.What's both predictable and telling is the fact that whatever is uncovered, the FT, as one of the House Organs of the EU, always says it poses "new challanges for the Bush administration" (or America, etc). Never new "challenges" for Saddam to be more forthcoming, or new "challenges" for the countries of western, continental Europe to re-evaluate their position based on signs of Ba'athist intransigence and unwillingness to be forthcoming and cooperative.
In addition, Iraq's declaration on its nuclear program, they say, leaves open a host of questions. Among them is why Iraq was seeking to buy uranium in Africa in recent years, as well as high-technology materials that the United States and Britain have said were destined for a program to enrich uranium. The nuclear document is under review both in Washington and at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
The omissions themselves pose a new challenge for the Bush administration: it needs to decide whether to declare that Iraq has failed to meet one of the most important requirements set by the United Nations and to whether to try to use that failure as a justification for American military action.
"What's remarkable is how little new there is," said one American official who has access to the Iraqi declaration, "and how little effort there was to try to explain gaps that everyone knew were there since Unscom left." He was using the acronym for the United Nations agency that conducted weapons inspections in Iraq through 1998.
Thursday, December 12, 2002
Via Instapundit, we have several stories on al-Qaeda - Saddam linkages. this one, this, this and Glenn's, I'm putting these here mainly for my own reference.
Still, a lot of people have staked a lot on the basis of saying that Iraq and al-Qaeda are too different things and fighting the one is somehow a "distraction" from combatting the other. It's always been a false dichotomy to me, and I've made other comments to this effect (on the Iraq - al-Qaeda connections) in the past.
In Other Disturbing News, the French have sent advisors to Iraq. The good news is they're there to train the Iraqis in what the French do best.
Lott Apologia Prompts Soul-Searching among Democrats.
Yah, that'll be the day..
Still, what others do has nothing to do with whether or not one does the right thing oneself. All the people who heaped - rightly, in my opinion - scorn on Democrats over the years for being too quick to rally behind the indefensable and sweep into the memory hole the remarks of their own racists, well, it's put up or shut up now for us, too. Either we say "see what they did!" and do the same thing that we thought was the wrong reaction, or we do what we kept telling them they should do, and kept patting ourselves on the back saying "if it was one of our own, like with Newt, he'd be gone". Well, Newt was gone. Will Lott be? It's not like he offers anything special to the Republicans, anyhow (not as talented politically as Clinton, as deft in defining issues, etc). There are so many reasons to replace him - and this is one more, and it's a real one, not just "he mis-spoke". IMO, he revealed the inner Lott, and that's fine. I don't mind having him say what he really believes.
But that's what he really believes, he has every right to have those beliefs. But Republicans can also respond - do we want such a person as a Majority Leader, or not? Or, give Lott the benefit of the doubt: he didn't mean it in the way I take those remarks to mean. They were innocent, he hadn't thought about the implications, blah blah blah. That says he's woefully ignorant about political history. I don't want someone that ignorant as Senate Majority Leader, either.
Anyhow, I'll try to make only this one post on the Lott thing today.
Old Socialist Hubris on display in the headlines of a story in the Financial Times (unfortunately, the story itself is subscriber-only; if you're a subscriber, it's this one).
Check out the blue box on the right, halfway down the page. "Remaking a Continent. On the Brink of a New Europe". What's next, New European Man?
The attitude informing those Pravda-like taglines express with concision what went wrong with the EU. What was a nice, appropriately modest and limited enterprise for trade liberalization and the fostering of cooperation among Europeans has become a all-consuming, totalizing enterprise aimed at nothing short of remaking an entire Continent. . .in what image? At who's direction? To what end? The usual ends, under the usual direction (a vanguard nomenclatura), in the image such folks always pursue.
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
Weeks or a Month till we'll be ready for war against Saddam, per the Financial Times. Jives with what I've read elsewhere.
Lott Apologizes again, and I forgive him, again, but I still don't think he's fit to be Majority Leader of the Senate.
Look, his remarks were contemptible and odious. It wasn't the first time he said something like that, so we have to believe he means them. His remarks are a reflection on all Republicans and conservatives, whether we like it or not.
And I don't. I have no longing for the days of segregation. Make no mistake, either - that's the platform on which the "Dixiecrats" and Strom Thurmond were running - not Federalism and the like (would that it be so, but it's not, and only a few people were stronger than Truman on defense and Communism, and none of the other candidates in '48 were - and that includes Thurmond. So when Lott makes that argument it doesn't wash). I'll have none of it, and if we don't share Trent Lott's views, he shouldn't be our Senate Majority Leader.
It doesn't matter if the Democrats have people in their ranks who do the same or worse now, kneeling before Al Sharpton to get his blessing when they run for office, having Donna Brazile on staff, Daschle listening to Maxine Waters lecture on race relations, Democrats praising Robert Byrd as the "dean" and "concience" of the Senate, Clinton giving the Medal of Freedom to segregationist Senator Fulbright, and the like. That's on them. Lott's a Senator, and he's entitled to his views. But he has no entitlement to the Majority Leader's position, and the Republicans shouldn't give him that office.
If just three Republican Senators would announce that they would refuse to vote for Lott as leader - they don't have to vote for Daschle or anyone else, just say they'd abstain if he was the Republican candidate for Senate Majority Leader, then he couldn't win and would be compelled to step down. Are there three such Senators?
If not, then that's a damn shame.
Update: Mail your Senator via here (via Instapundit) or here.
Update: Mail your Senator via here (via Instapundit) or here.
U.S. - Chile trade agreement reached
"After 11 years we have achieved a good agreement with the United States, the world's main economy, and Chile will have an agreement that will bring more work, more development, and more growth for this country," Lagos said during an event organized by the Education Ministry.The devil's in the details, but I expect it will be a good deal all around.
"I believe this is good news for Chile," the Chilean president added.
Mitchell Bails on the 9/11 Commission. Now if only someone could get Kissinger off it.
Lee Hamilton, Mitchell's replacement, is someone I'm a lot more comfortable with and don't think will act like a partisan hack, the way I expected Mitchell to do.
A Policy Response who's time has come, and I must say is something I've hoped to see. But, unfortunately, it'll never happen.
Selective Indignation is so Unbecomming: After having been admonished by Maxine Waters of all people, herself no paragon of warm race relations, Daschle has done a 180 on Lott's remarks. This comes after Al Gore got all indignant about Lott last night. Gore, you'll remember, is the same man who had Donna Brazile direct his campaign. When Brazile made her "white boy" remarks, no prominent Democrat expected Gore to replace her, and Gore, of course, kept her on (and now she's a spokeswoman for Dems on pundit shows, from time to time).
This, of course, just illustrates why the Democrats have no moral standing on this. I'm not in the least tempted to switch. I might vote Libertarian, if junk like this continues. But I wouldn't go back to the Democrats.
CNN Has Finally Caught Up with the Shirts-for-Schroeder campaign in Germany.
Just so long as they stop short of a Beer Hall Putch, I'm happy. It couldn't be happening to a more deserving fellow.
Turkey Seems ready to support action against Saddam if given assurances on Iraq's future that seem like things we should do anyhow. Their governing party's leader also talked about Turkey and the EU:
Mr. Erdogan spent most of his speech yesterday focused on Turkey's EU bid. He warned that Turkey will be the "fault line of the clash of civilizations" if its bid is rejected.But I still think both Turkey and Britain are better off outside the EU and instead with a free trade agreement with that entity and NAFTA, et al. Turkey should be emulating Norway, not making themselves a follower of France.
"Turkey's attempt to join the EU must not go unanswered."
In the Meantime, here, at long last, is a HFP post. This part fits in with what Armed Liberal has said about the War Against Bad Philosophy:
If the protestors' objective was to annoy and alienate anyone more moderate than they, it worked. Beyond that, I don't think they accomplished anything other than fulfilling some fantasy vision of themselves as bold folk heroes, and maybe winning some cachet among the antiwar-crowdWhich does seem to be the point for many of those involved: ineffectiveness is trumped by self-congradulatory theatre, the living out some fantasy for themselves rather than trying to persuade anyone.
Readers Who Think I'm flogging the Lott story to death and want something else.
1) I think it's important because I don't like being part of a movement associated with racist sentiment, sorry. Readers who are conservatives should understand this better than anyone else. A lot of us have worked hard over the years to overcome the impression people have that we're a bunch of crackers trying to bring back the "good ol' days" of Jim Crow. A lot of us think those charges are odious because we harbor no such thoughts, but indeed believe quite the opposite. That our philosophy is good for all Americans, including our Black fellow citizens. But this also means that when someone does what Lott does, and exposes himself as someone who apparently does look back on the era of segregation as the "good ol' days", then that makes it all the more important to react appropriately - which means strongly.
2) You of all people, and Lott of all people, should know that what is water under the bridge if a Democrat or Liberal says it is not going to be forgotten and let go if said by a Republican or conservative. I wish both sides were held to the same standard, but A) we know that's not the case, so we need to be more careful than they do, and B) I wish it were the same fairly high standard when it comes to these things. I don't think it should have been quickly forgotten and let go when Gore talked about "extra-chromosome" people, or Byrd made his remarks, and I have the same standard for Lott - but it's closer to home for me because I have chosen sides, and he's considered a member of "our side". You don't have to remind me of various Democrats on race and related issues - remember, I used to be one - but that doesn't change what I think about Lott. That's all the more reason to be strong on this, not reason to be laid back about it. A lot of "us" want to pat ourselves on the back for not being "them" (the way, on the other foot, Clinton did, when he, master of the destruction machine and perfecter of politics of personal destruction, claimed that those involved in Borking so many Republican Judicial nominees and demonizing so many Republicans with adds such as the one showing Bush pushing an old woman off a cliff, etc, said "that's not us, we don't do that" or words to that effect. Well, it's also put up or shut up time for many of "us" who decry this sort of crap when done by someone on the "other side" - is our position a consistent one, or do we just do that for partisan advantage? If we're consistent, we'll hammer Lott at least as hard as we'll hammer any Democrat or Liberal). For me, doing right isn't contingent on whether the other guy is doing it or not.
3) If there's not much else other than hitting the Lott thing hard on this blog in the last couple days, it's also because there seems to be a lull in other news. I wouldn't emphasize Lott's attitudes any less, but there will be other stuff to read here when other stuff I think is significant and noteworthy happens.
By the By, NAFTA's Ten Year aniversary was yesterday, and the only "giant sucking sound" I hear is still the one between Ross Perot's ears.
Well, that and all the people being sucked north into America because that's where the job growth is. Legal and illegal. We should fix the INS - as I've said before, I have nothing but hale-fellow-well-met for people who come here because they want to embrace this country, the United States of America, and what it stands for - and that means respecting our laws, among other things. But I have no desire for the (minority of) people who come here with dreams of Aztlan. In that respect I align myself with, among others, (Liberal) historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
Trent Lott: Not Just A One-Time Off-the-Cuff Remark: according to revelations that emerged last night. All the more reason he should step down as Majority Leader. I'd hate to do it, but I might have to start voting Libertarian if the Senate Republicans don't pick someone else to be their leader.
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
Liberals and L'Affair Lott why Democrats have no moral standing on this, whether they remark on it or not.
One can add to that the continued prominence of Jessie "Hymietown" Jackson in Democratic politics, and all the Democrats who've gone and kissed Al Sharpton's ring, and Robert Byrd's continued prominence (not only a former KKKer, but as Glenn quoted, given to the expression of certain telling attitudes, and that was forgiven and forgotten), the Democrat's outrage over the flying of the Confederate flag over South Carolina without any reference to who put it there (Ernest Hollings, D-SC, when he was Governor), Albert Gore Sr, the father of the guy who many Dems think should be President now, filibustered the '64 Civil Rights Act, and, like father like son, Al Gore's with his remarks about "extra chromosome" people (likewise not only forgiven, but slipped down the memory hole) along with some fairly credible stories from a couple years ago about his comfort level when it comes to having blacks around him (Donna Brazile notwithstanding. Note that Bush has more black advisors than Gore ever did), etc etc ad nausium.
Don't let it be thought that my disgust with Lott indicates any affection with those who have long been nothing but hypocritical when it comes to race baiting and genuflecting towards segregation (we might also talk about those who support re-segregation on college campi when it comes to the "right sort of groups" promoting it) and segregationists.
"Chilling Effect" Watch: Tom Daschle was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on the VRWMediaC, but regarding this, nothing yet.
The Boston Globe cautions the Democrats against making too much of this Saturday and too little of Nov. 5th.
Like Deja Vu All Over Again: things are starting to remind me of stories about the collapse of NYC in the late 60s and the '70s. They keep piling up, Bloomberg is at best a disaster. See also here.
Oh! Canada. . . Collin May has some extensive thoughts on his country and what it's wrought, on his countrymen.
Carter Accepts "Peace" Prize: says best response in the face of tyranny and evil is to grin like Alfred E. Neuman and adopt a "what, me worry?" attitude.
Meanwhile, even the NYT Editorial Page has managed to recognize that war, or at least readiness for war, is sometimes a precondition of peace - and other goods, as well.
But the Nobel Peace Prize Committe only gives awards to the morally obtuse who mouth platitudes that would be destructive if ever put into practice.
This Would Be Interesting: according to the AP, the Iraqi Opposition has some info on Iraq's weapons programs:
In Iran Sunday, the leader of the biggest Iraqi opposition group told The Associated Press that he has documents proving Saddam is hiding weapons of mass destruction and that he was prepared to hand over the documents to the United Nations if the safety of his informers inside Iraq was guaranteed.Of course, the UN would guarantee bupkis.
Colorado's Own Mini Florida: Ballots found in Jefferson County, in the 7th Colorado CD recount.
Bungling election officials seem to be common. How'd you like it if you voted and some hoser lost your ballot, and it wasn't counted?
Trent Lott apologized, and I forgive him but that doesn't change my mind on whether he should stay on as Majority Leader.
As for why Daschle is defending him, as Glenn says: something about Tom's big grin when he said that tells me that this will be showing up in DNC and Democrat Senatorial Committee fundraising letters very soon. And I don't blame them, nor do I say it will be an "unfair attack". If Trent stays on as Majority Leader, the Republicans will just have to live with that. Now, I'm not going to send the Dems any money if I get a fundraising letter like that (hint: Ranting Screeds is a cash-poor enterprise, because it's editor and staff are cash poor. But that's beside the point. If I had money to give, I still wouldn't give them any. I'm just saying I think it'll be legitimate when they use Trent's comments for fundraising purposes).
Further, as for why most Democrats didn't make too much of Trent's comments compared to what they invest in stamping out "Niggardly" and getting a rich white woman into Augusta, an observation many commentators made; it's because they believe we all think that way. Not just republicans or Conservatives, but just about everyone who doesn't swallow the PC Multicultural line unreservedly is suspect on "diversity" grounds. Thus when someone makes a remark like Lott did, they see that as confirming what they believe to be the situation - the situation the Crusades to stamp out this or that practice are meant to change. This also explains why, for example, the NYT was not as quick to pounce on this as they have been on so many PC Crusades.
Greetings, USS Clueless Readers: the post Steven mentions is here and here. More here as well. People who believe early Islam was driven by a desire to live at peace with the followers of other religions might also want to look into the letter Mohammed sent to the Persian and Roman Empires, threatening war if they didn't submit to Islam. Of course, they didn't bow to that, and invasion followed shortly after Mohammed's death.
Monday, December 09, 2002
No Good For You, Jim Bennet advises America to stop encouraging the Lady of the Bosphorus to enter the EU. He should add that we should stop pushing the fair Britainia into that House of Ill Repute, too.
Another Reason Why We'll Miss Dick Armey, while Trent Lott is waxing nostalgic for - well, you sort that out. But here, from in Nordlinger's Impromptus:
Dick Armey and I think alike, which makes me feel good (but which may make Armey think twice). You recall how I was praising the Democrats’ selection of Nancy Pelosi, saying that she was the perfect representative of that party? Someone asked Armey whether Pelosi was “too liberal.” He answered, “Too liberal for whom? My theory is that a party leader must embrace the central, core values of the party. I believe Nancy does that for the Democrats. Why did Nancy walk away with that [minority-leader] election? Because a clear majority of the Democratic party is liberal.”Of course, it cuts both ways. If Pelosi represents the central, core values of the party, then it will be fair to say Lott embraces (represents) the central, core values of his party. Of course, for the Republicans, Bush is their party's leader, so that doesn't quite fit. But it's another good reason for the Republicans to have another Senate Majority Leader.
Christopher Hitchens on the meaning of Anti-Americanism:
The United States of America is not just a state or a country but a nation, the only such country, in fact, supposedly founded on a set of principles and ideas. The documents and proclamations preceded the nation-state. China would be China under any regime, and so would Iceland or Egypt, but the USA is also a concept. (Rather eerily, I suppose, one could say that this was also partly true of East Germany, North Korea, Israel, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, all states based on parties, ideologies, or faiths. But only partly true, because the United States is based on pluralism as regards faith, political allegiance, or ethnicity.)Which is a pretty reasonable encapsulation (one could quibble around the margins, but not on the central core). It also highlights, in my opinion, the disafection that Buchannanite Americans have with their country, while claiming to stand up for it's preservation. Now, they have some points, too (I wouldn't argue that letting in anyone who wants to come, regardless of their attitude towards this country - letting in MECHA types, Islamists who want to see America destroyed or unrecognizably transformed into a Islamic theocracy, etc, is a good idea. Likewise, they're right on the Cult of Multiculturalism. But others are right on those things, too, without going off the deep end). Hitchens makes that sort of point, himself, with respect to Pat Robertson:
That in itself probably explains a certain kind of anti-American style, the kind that expresses contempt for mongrelization and cosmopolitanism. This, which is mixed with both snobbery and racism, is quite commonly found on the European right, which always regarded America as a mobbish and vulgar and indiscriminate enterprise. With some adjustments, resentment at materialism and brashness, it also overlaps with some tropes that can be encountered on the European left. Both mixtures commingle again in Muslim anti-Americanism, which often represents the USA as a sort of racial and commercial chaos, manipulated by cunning Jews.
But what if, just for a moment, one tried to classify something as "anti-American" for its own sake? My nomination would go to Pat Robertson, who appeared on the television in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 atrocity and declared that the mass murder in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania was a divine punishment for a society that indulged secularism, pornography, and homosexual conduct. Here is a man who quite evidently dislikes his own society and sympathizes, not all that covertly, with those who would use violence and fanaticism to destroy it.Just so. Just as it's also true that when George McGovern, in the December issue of Harpers aligned himself and those who share his views with those who hate this country and attacked it on Sept. 11th, he also reveals a dislike of his own society and sympathy, not at all covert, with those who do use violence and fanaticism to destroy it (article not available online; I'm speaking of the section where he discusses what the terrorists hate about America and then says others, including himself, have the same views as they).
In Favor of Piling On Trent Lott. If people don't, then the reaction will be "see, it all blew over and we got by it. No problem". If folks, including Wil Vehrs, want to see Lott gone as Majority Leader, the only way that's going to happen is by piling on. It won't happen if we just sit back and wait for it to happen.
Not that I really think there's much chance of it happening even with piling on, but there's no chance if we all "get over it" and "move on", as the Democrat mantra goes when it comes to their dudes.
Greens in Germany, part of Schroeder's "ruling" coalition, undergo leadership change. Perhaps the SDP should consider something similar.
Give Inspectors a Chance, they said. Well, ok. But if they're going to subvert the resolution themselves and negate key provisions on their own whim, then they've had their chance and proven their inadiquacies:
we are not going to abduct anybody and we're not serving as a defection agency".That in response to a question regarding whether they will implement the element of the Resolution regarding removing Iraqi scientists and their families from the clutches of their minders to be interviewed in a climate where they'll speak freely. Of course, with that one sentence, Blix shows that he will ignore the resolution, because it means that
- 1) He won't take out anyone who says they don't want to go (probably, when asked if they'd like to go to a safe area to be interviewed, the inspectors Iraqi minders will be fondling their guns and glaring at the scientist).
- 2) He won't take out anyone who does want to go, either. So that pretty much leaves out anyone who's brave enough to overcome the intimidation as well.
The sluggish activities of the inspectors to date have confirmed the worst fears of those in Washington who warned that the involvement of the UN in Iraq would do nothing but give Saddam a breathing space and hopelessly complicate the process leading to the dictator's removal.Exactly so.
having submitted to the constraints of a new UN resolution and agreed to give the tactic of weapons inspections a last chance, Mr Bush has less freedom of manoeuvre than he might wish - and, indeed, less freedom than his predecessor Bill Clinton enjoyed in Kosovo, where the West's military action was not given specific UN authorisation.This last is key, because it shows that most of those who are insisting on UN authorization for going after Saddam are hypocrites at best.
A first step would be a much more aggressive, fast-moving approach by the inspectors in Iraq, who have thus far confined most of their researches to obvious sites where weapons are self-evidently no longer going to be stored. Mr Blix has complained about the quality of intelligence furnished to him by the US Government: but he has yet to show that his team is capable of responding with sufficient speed and determination when it is provided with such information.I'm not sure I'd give that guy anything, either. I have my doubts that it wouldn't get to Iraq via the French and Germans, who Blix would probably immediately report anything interesting to.
Give Trent Lott the Hook - the best thing about this guy during the first two years of the Bush Administration was that he seemed to shut the hell up. But now he's gone and opened his mouth again. How come Dick Armey and Phil Gramm and folks like them retire and the country's stuck with this ignoramous (at best)? Oh well. Other how come: how come both parties seem to select fringe characters for the leadership positions? People who make it more difficult, rather than easier, to reach the bulk of the American people?
Anyhow, this saga was covered much more extensively elsewhere over the weekend. As one of them wrote, Lott seems to get worse, not better, with each passing year. I'll mention again that people who got all over Pelosi (that included me, for a time) without a nod to Delay and Lott's own problems as leaders were whistling past the graveyard. I'll also repeat again that the Republican's current good fortune is they're led by Bush, not by their congressional leadership.