|One Nation, Under God...||
"The real democratic American ideal is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but |
that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance." --Henry Ward Beecher
Check this cat out:
Friday, April 11, 2003
Posted 2:38 PM by WiN
Browsing through One Hand Clapping after linking to a couple of his Iraqi liberation pics, imagine my chagrin when I saw a post that used almost the exact same clever phrase I did, only two days earlier! Now before you think I've succumbed to "Sean-Paul Syndrome", I promise I hadn't read his before posting mine. It's just a pretty handy analogy, as you can see.
Posted 2:27 PM by WiN
Today I discovered that WylieBlog has been added to another blogroll recently, and not just any blogroll, but the one and only People's Republic of Seabrook. You'll find me right there under "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" listed next to right-wing luminaries like Steven Green, Glenn Reynolds, John Branch and Dawn Olsen. Dawn Olsen!?! Oh, well, it's his blogroll.
BTW, Jack's feeling a little down today. Go by and help cheer him up!
Posted 1:35 PM by WiN
Whither the "Peace Movement"?
Well, the "Peace Movement" obviously failed miserably to accomplish their goal of stopping the liberation of Iraq. So what exactly can this bunch of collectivist one-worlders do for an encore? The erudite Donald Sensing takes a look at their plans over on One Hand Clapping.
Is any further proof ... needed to show that the so-called "peace" movement is intellectually bankrupt, bereft of rationality? Demand all you want, it means nothing. Having failed to prevent the establishment of justice in Iraq, Corr thinks he can stomp his foot, hold his breath and "demand" that coalition forces withdraw. And get this - they would do so under the supervision of "UN peacekeeping forces!" Yes, I can see Cameroon and Canada and France, et. al., just lining up to send troops to "supervise" American and British forces!Read the rest - Sensing shoots so many holes in their plans they look like a slice of Swiss cheese after a shotgun blast.
Posted 1:04 PM by WiN
First Saddam, now Michael Moore
Well, it was bound to happen. With liberation in the air, apparently a bunch of, um, enthusiastic NRA members pulled down a statue of Michal Moore that stood in front of the uber-lefty loonybin's home. You'll have to check out Joe's post to see the picture.
Which should remind all good Second Amendment supporters that Buy A Gun to Spite Michael Moore Day is coming up very, very soon. Best be perusing your local loophole-infested gun shows this weekend to pick out your new piece. And be sure and drop Aaron a line and tell him what you bought. I'm sure he'll appreciate your support.
Posted 12:39 PM by WiN
What's up with the shoes?
There's been a lot of video lately of liberated Iraqi citizens, and it's a joyous sight. We see them dancing in the streets, arms in the air. We see them carrying signs, like "Go home Human Shields you U.S. wankers" (one of my favorites). And when you see an image of their former glorious leader, whether it be statue, poster, mosaic or painting, you usually see a crowd around beating it with footwear. Most Americans, and indeed most people outside of that culture, are probably wondering to themselves "What's up with beating Saddam with shoes?". While perhaps not definitive, there's an excellent explanation by Tunku Varadarajan in today's WSJ OpinionJournal (registration required). For those who don't subscribe to the OpinionJournal (and you should, if for no other reason than to get James Taranto's Best of the Web Today in your inbox), here's the scoop:
As anyone who has been to the Middle East (or even to countries like India) knows, the foot and shoe are imbued with considerable significance.So there you have it. Hitting Saddam with the sole of your footwear is the best way these folks have of showing their utter hatred and disgust for him. And now it all makes sense, right? I say, give him a few smacks for me.
Posted 8:25 AM by WiN
Need a good laugh?
Here's another great line:
(Iraqi U.N. ambassador Mohammad Al-Duri said) that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had offered him "moral support" and expressed readiness to help if any problem arose.Hmmm, here's a problem for you Kofi - the dictatorial regime that your buddy Al-Duri represents is gone. Maybe you could arrange to 'liberate' his country from those nasty Anglos with your mighty U.N. 'security force' that you have used so effectively to stop terrorism and genocide in Rwanda, the West Bank, Kashmir, Tibet and other hot spots. Mohammed, old buddy, don't hold your breath, mmkay?
Posted 7:55 AM by WiN
Lefty Hall of Shame
NRO has compiled a representative sample of lefty media quotes that provides a handy reference as to who should be completely ignored on the topic of the war, and probably most everything else, from here on out. [link via Townhall's CLog]
Is Wolfowitz really so ignorant of history as to believe the Iraqis would welcome us as "their hoped-for liberators"? - Eric AltermanGo check out the incredible prescience of our liberal media.
Thursday, April 10, 2003
Posted 10:56 AM by WiN
All your base
Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Posted 3:32 PM by WiN
The horrors of liberation
I think I'll leave you with this Tale of Two Cities- A Photo Essay from Balloon Juice. Warning: you may see photos of Iraqi citizens who are actually happy to see invading imperialists occupy their capital. Lefties should avert their sensitive eyes.
Posted 2:15 PM by WiN
Babylonia Deletus Est
At least that's what Glenn Frazier is saying. Whatever, it's a great day for the citizens of Baghdad, and Glenn has some nice photos and links to celebrate.
Just a small question - what is the difference between 'Babylonia delenda est' and 'Babylonia deletus est'? Something to do with tense? As you can tell, those three years of Latin twenty-five years ago did me absolutely no good.
Posted 12:37 PM by WiN
Horse dead, still flogging
Yeah, the whole Agonist plagiarism incident has about been beat to death, but I wanted to get a couple more whacks in. The first is from uber-blogger Andrea Harris in a comment to N.Z. Bear's post on the topic that I linked to yesterday. She was much more graphic in her example of why what Sean-Paul did was so wrong:
[Agonist] fans: I see you are not bothered by the particularly egregious sort of identity theft that plagiarism is. Perhaps you simply don't understand the concept. I'll use that tried-and-true grammar school lesson: put yourself in someone else's shoes. In this case, one of the researchers at Stratfor whose work Kelly ripped off and claimed as his own. Say you, the researcher, are in a position to get first-hand knowledge of something going on in Iraq -- like, on or near a battlefield in that country. Say that you, at great danger to yourself, gather this info and are able to get it posted to Stratfor. (I have no idea if this is the way they get their info -- I don't read the site -- but let's go with the dramatization anyway.) So say you find out later that some little pipsqueak blogger, flush with the Big Media Names that are blabbing about his site and putting him on the teevee screen, has taken your report, which you risked life and limb to get, and put it up on his site with no attribution whatsoever. How would you feel?The second (and perhaps last) whack I'll take is to point to this
Posted 7:51 AM by WiN
Baghdad residents rejoice at Saddam's downfall
Just as I was arriving at work this morning, the radio was reporting that Baghdad residents were taking to the streets to celebrate the fall of the Ba'athist regime in Iraq. As the reporter described the scene of Baghdad residents streaming out into the streets, stomping on fallen posters of Saddam and pulling down statues as U.S. Marines took up stations at the major intersections, I got a lump in my throat.
I could just imagine the tremendous sense of relief they must be feeling, realizing that they were finally free from the dark cloud of oppression they had been under for so many years. Freedom from the knock on the door, from the fear of having a friend or a relative being taken away never to return, or to return with a broken and battered body. Freedom from the fear that your wife or your daughter could be raped by evil men, that your child would thrown in a dark prison, not knowing whether they would ever see their mommy or daddy again.
And I was tremendously proud of those Americans who had endured so much hardship, who had risked their lives for a people seemingly so different from themselves, but the same in their humanity, their love for family and friends and country. And I was, and am, tremendously proud to be an American.
God bless the Iraqis, God bless our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, God bless our president and God bless the United States of America - may it long endure as a beacon of liberty and a force for good in a troubled world.
Posted 7:25 AM by WiN
Roaches check in, but they don't check out
U.S. intelligence (ok, no snickering out there) is quoted as saying 'an eyewitness' saw Saddam go into the building destroyed by 4 American 'bunker buster' bombs Monday. Does that mean he's dead? Who knows, but Iraqi resistance is looking more and more like a headless snake.
Posted 6:31 AM by WiN
Carnival XXIX at the Groovy Grove
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
Posted 10:28 AM by WiN
Intellectual property theft and the blogosphere
There is growing dismay, if not anger, amongst warbloggers over a blatant case of intellectual property theft by a popular liberal blogger who has posted copyrighted material un-attributed from another site and has subsequently become a high-traffic source of information on the war in Iraq. According to Glen Reynolds, the Strategic Armchair Command blog was the first to call him on it with this post, followed by a rebuttal to the other blogger's lame response. Meryl, among others, has a rundown of the meltdown. Ken Layne has a particularly salient post on the whole topic.
Although I really don't have anything to add on this topic, like a good blogger - I'm going to. What the plagiarist did was wrong, and it's impossible to think that he didn't know otherwise. Not only was the material he posted taken verbatim from another site, the material he was plagiarizing was from a subscription service! You don't have to be Robert Bork to realize that this is not information that they intended to be given away. The source site in question (Stratfor) has worked for years building a stellar reputation for providing straightforward, factual information on all things warfare related. The legwork of developing sources, checking facts, establishing reliable communication channels with far-flung contributors, etc. I'm sure has taken massive amounts of time and, to a lesser extent, money. That's why they charge for it. It's valuable. Heck, if I had the money to spend I'd love to subscribe myself.
But there's another angle to this that makes the theft even more distasteful. It seems that he originally credited the material to sources he'd developed himself. In other words, not only was he not giving credit to the folks who had worked so hard to develop the material, he was claiming to have done the same work himself. Needless to say, this is disgusting. Since I'm a computer guy, I'll draw an analogy to something that's familiar to me - software.
Say someone, or some group of people, work really, really hard to develop a really cool and useful piece of software. Now they put that software on the market. People like it, so they're willing to pay money for it. Then someone else says to himself, "Hey, I bet I could get a bunch of hits to my site if I bought a copy of that software and let people download it from my site for free." But that would be a little obvious, he thinks. What to do? How about if I say I wrote it and that's why it's ok if I give it away. Of course, everyone that goes to his site to download it knows it's the other group's software, that they are trying to make money by selling on their site, but they're not going to make waves because, hey, I'm getting it for free! But to me, they are just as culpable as the folks that were going to this guy's site every day and reading Stratfor's stuff for free.
I think it stinks, but I hope the uproar this whole affair has caused (it was written up by Wired) will cause other bloggers to think twice before posting other folks' material un-attributed. If so, it will have served a useful purpose and we'll all be better off in the long run.
UPDATE: N.Z. Bear, whom I highly respect as a blogger who is both articulate and scrupulously fair, has weighed in on the subject with this post. I can't do trackbacks, but if you have any interest at all on this topic I suggest you go read it (the rest of the site ain't too bad, either).
Monday, April 07, 2003
Posted 2:28 PM by WiN
Long-term benefits of Iraqi liberation
One of the long-term benefits of the liberation of Iraq will be the access to massive amounts of intelligence information garnered from the files of the deposed regime. Retired military intelligence officer Ralph Peters describes a some of the advantages of this access in this column in the New York Post. [link via Winds of Change.NET, from Instapundit]
Certainly, we shall learn a great deal more about the atrocities of Saddam's regime. But the information of far greater value will be what we learn about the regime's relationships not only with other rogue states, but with our long-term "allies" in the Arab world and beyond.This piece really highlights the ways in which this victory could lead to massive changes in balance of power in the Middle East for years to come. Read it and see if you don't agree.
Posted 2:12 PM by WiN
Tikrit next, U.S. 4th Infantry on the way
If, as earlier rumored, Saddam has fled to his home region near Tikrit, he should know that the righteous hell that is the U.S. 4th Infantry Division, "the United States Army's most advanced fighting force", is on the way. [via Winds of Change.NET]
Posted 1:40 PM by WiN
More evidence of chemical weapons
Found in the Euphrates river:
Posted 1:18 PM by WiN
Even war has its' lighter moments
Posted 12:43 PM by WiN
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood
I don't know what it's like where you are, but John Weidner describes why it's a lovely day over at Random Jottings.
Posted 10:24 AM by WiN
The inspections are working
A Reuters report has just come out that says tests on substances found in an Iraqi military training camp show they contain a "cocktail" of banned nerve agents including sarin, for which some exposed U.S. troops and some journalists were treated recently. Reuters correspondent Kieran Murray quotes Maj. Michael Hamlet of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division as saying, "If tests from our experts confirm this, this could be the smoking gun. It would prove (Iraqi President Saddam Hussein) has the weapons we have said he has all along, but right now we just don't know."
Somehow I don't think Bush should be holding his breath waiting for any apologies from the international anti-war crowd.
Posted 9:46 AM by WiN
Iraqi uprisings in Baghdad?
A BBC reporter has posted on the BBC Reporters' Log that an Iranian news agency is reporting uprisings of Iraqi citizens inside of Baghdad, which may be an indication that the latest 'show of force' in central Baghdad is having its' desired effect.
Posted 8:06 AM by WiN
What it's all about
It's easy for us half a world away to get caught up in the latest 'news from the front' and lose sight of what this war is really all about. For today's dose of reality, check out Rich Galen's page today and scroll down to the photo at the bottom. Just to give you an idea what it's about, here's the caption:
Children return to school in a village near the city of Najaf in central Iraq on April 4, 2003, for the first time since the war started. An interpreter for the 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion looks up at one of the youngsters. Soldiers from the 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion helped cleanup the school that was damaged by artillery fire.Go have a look.
Posted 7:39 AM by WiN
New Iraqi government starting tomorrow?
An article in The Observer says the U.S. is ready to set up an interim government even before Baghdad falls. According to the article, the Pentagon's Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance under the former US army Lieutenant General Jay Garner will announce today that an interim government has been established in the port city of Umm Qasr. The government will consist of exile Iraqis, advised by American civilians that will report to Garner. The U.N. will reportedly not be given a role in the new governing structure, contrary to the expressed wishes of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. [link via Townhall's CLog]
I happen to be in agreement with this arrangement, as far as it is described. I think that Iraqi citizens, preferably pro-democracy exiles, should constitute the rank and file of the new government and that the U.S. should only be involved for as long as it takes to ensure that the new government is sound and is functioning effectively. After that, American administrators should step down from all supervisory roles and remain as advisors for as long as the new government requires, preferably less than 5 years.
The only role the U.N. should be allowed to serve is in the administration of relief and aid through its' existing NGO's, and then only of non-U.S. aid. U.N. weapons inspectors should also be called in to verify every instance of chemical, biological and nuclear warfare development and storage facilities found during the war and in its' aftermath. They should then be required to file a full report, detailing what was found in each instance, comparing the evidence against documents supplied by Saddam's government, and specifically explaining why the Saddam-era inspections were not effective and why they would have continued to be ineffective had the coalition not intervened. If they are unwilling to do that, then scientists and technicians from the coalition countries should prepare such a report and supply it to representatives from all countries which opposed the war. I would have Colin Powell present a hand-carried copy to Kofi Annan, and thereafter have only low-level State functionaries be the only U.S. representatives ever to set foot in the U.N. general assembly building again.
UPDATE: Joel Mowbray describes in his column today how the American administration of a post-Saddam Iraqi government could still go tragically wrong.
Posted 7:01 AM by WiN
Saddam in Tikrit?
According to this story, an ex-aide of Saddam reports that he and his two sons have fled to Tikrit under the cover of the massive exodus from Baghdad. The source also says that the Saddam seen walking around greeting Baghdad citizens in a recent telecast was one of his doubles.
I don't know how accurate this report it, but it at least sounds plausible. [via Townhall's CLog]
UPDATE: James Taranto has a classic lead-in to this story in today's "Best of the Web Today". See if you can find it.
My Bloginality is INFP
AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING COMMUNITY
We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.
What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.
Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:
- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties
- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny
We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.
And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.
And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come
A personal note: I have only had one Iranian acquaintance in my life, but I definitely considered him a friend. While I was in college (second time round) I had a part-time job as a self-serve gas station attendant. The senior employee was an engineering student named Rahim. The school I attended had (and probably still has) a significant middle-eastern student population, a lot of them in engineering. This was also during a period (mid-eighties) when Iran was not a popular place to be from (Iatolla Khomeini era). Since he was obviously middle-eastern, people would sometimes ask him, "Where are you from?" to which he would reply, with a sly grin "Persia".
He was not very political, so the topic of Iranian politics rarely came up. Occasionally he would show me some propaganda sheet he had picked up on campus, written in Farsi, and translate some of it for me. He also delighted in the ridiculous political cartoons showing Uncle Sam in various uncomplimentary poses. He seemed to regard the whole thing as humorous, but he got very serious when he spoke on rare occasion about the danger his relations back home faced from the oppressive regime. He had married an American and intended to stay here, at least until things got better back home.
I can't count the number of times he helped me out with work-related situations like swapping shifts and taking over for me in emergency situations. I gladly did the same for him. He was especially enamored with a nice "fuzzbuster" I had that I used for my many trips to Dallas. He borrowed it for a couple of trips he had to make to El Paso, where a former professor was holding a term paper of his "hostage" and he was negotiating to have the paper approved in order to get credit for the course, which was holding up his degree. He returned from his trips singing the praises of the magical device.
I lost track of him, of course, after I quit the job but to this day he is the face of Iran to me - friendly, helpful and a little mischievous, with a heart of gold. I wish him and all the people of Iran good will and the blessings of freedom.