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Sign of Anthrax?


Brits Warming to The Op?


Fewer protests. Of course, they were never as antiwar as we’all were told, as Ian Murray noted weeks ago on NRO.


French Muslims


Christopher Caldwell has an important and frightening article out on the connection between Chirac’s foreign policy and the growing Muslim minority in France. Chirac has been using his anti-U.S. stance on Iraq to gain political traction with the country’s Muslims. French public opinion on matters Middle East is now effectively indistinguishable from public opinion in Arab countries. Palestinians have been naming their new born sons “Chirac.” Muslim protesters in France have been calling for Iraqi victory, and asking for reduced French cooperation with the international anti-terrorism campaign. The question is, has France decided to solve the problem of reluctant Muslim assimilation by assimilating its foreign policy into that of the Muslim world. As Caldwell points out, France is effectively bidding to become the leader of what used to be called the “non-aligned” world.

Web Briefing: July 26, 2014

Re: Why Didn’t Nro Think of This


Good answer, in the inbox:

Because you have class enough to recognize that picking on individual french
soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and Legionaires because of grumpiness
over their government’s policy is indistinguishable from picking on
individual US soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines because you are grumpy
with our government’s policies.

Plus, the legionaires would likely kick yer patootie. Even Cosmo thinks
twice before siccing a Legionaire – if only because officially, Legionaire’s
aren’t french.


2:10 Pm


Brit Hume will interview Colin Powell on FNC

Why Didn’t Nro Think of This?


That’s what readers are asking me this morning.

Novak: Swing and a Miss


There are more important things than the paleo-brouhaha going on. But let me just say I find Bob Novak’s column in his own defense to be a pretty poor showing. Novak has one good argument on his side. He is not, strictly speaking, a “paleoconservative.” He does, however, share the paleo view on Israel and the war. On more than one occassion he’s suggested this war is an Israeli “plot” of one kind or another.

But in his column today, he doesn’t defend his longstanding and oft-repeated views on this point. Rather, he complains that Frum is being mean for criticizing Novak during wartime. This is a pretty lame counter-attack coming from a guy who suggested in The American Conservative that Frum might have been an agent for Israeli interests inside the White House.

Novak starts by lauding Pat Buchanan for keeping mum on his opposition to the war once the fighting started. He praises Daschle for shutting up with his barbs at the president shortly after the shooting began. But, Novak complains, “Frum, on the other hand, chose that moment to begin shooting at ‘paleo-conservatives.’”

I don’t get it. Are pundits who claim this war is an Israeli plot suddenly off-limits in wartime? Are pundits of any kind off-limits during wartime? Bob Novak is not a government official, let alone the Commander-in-Chief. Criticizing Novak or Buchanan does not undermine troop morale or communicate a divided message abroad on issues of foreign policy. I’m all for rallying around the flag during war, but I draw the line at rallying ’round Bob. I don’t usually use the “If we do X….then the terrorists will have won” formulation, but if journalists can’t argue with each other during wartime, what’s the point of having a first amendment? It’s not like NR announced troop movements.

But, even if I’m missing something. Even if Novak is right that Frum’s assault is illegitimate during war, Novak must know that neither Frum nor National Review knew the war was going to start on the day it did. The production schedule of National Review is not approved by Tommy Franks and Frum started working on this piece months ago. And, let us not forget, Frum’s article came out only days after Novak himself ran a piece accusing Frum of dual loyalties while serving for the government. Why is that not beyond the pale when the nation is on the brink of war? One has to respect Novak for the work he’s done in the past and the fearlessness of his approach to politics. But surely he could have spent a bit more time defending his outrageous theories about why this war is happening and a little less time complaining about the allegedly unfair timing of the criticism aimed at those theories.

Al Qaeda Pleads Guilty


SEcond among the Lackawanna Six (to plead guilty).

Bath Vs. Baath


Actually, Jonah, I am the one who screwed with Stanley’s title. Stanley does not have the same spelling issues I have. Although, since neither is how you spell it in Arabic…



Stanley – “Bath resistance” is what Cosmo does when he hides behind the couch at the sound of running water. Baath resistance is the fighting being offered by the Arab-fascist armies of Iraq. But you knew that.

Re: Nro Military Tributes


A few readers have said that they have someone abroad but would for safety reasons don’t want to provide too much personal information–please send us whatever you are comfortable with. a photo but no name, but some words of support. Our idea is to tastefully be supportive, pay tribute to our guys abroad, and see some of the faces of those putting their lives on the line for us. Those who have served before and have words of support for our troops, perhaps with a photo of their old infantry, etc., should feel free to email, too. Again, the address is [email protected]”> and please put “Tribute” in the subject line.

Bath Resistance


The continuing resistance in Um Qasr and Basra is being led by Baath party zealots. We still don’t know for sure whether large elements of the Iraqi public will welcome us a liberators, but the presence of armed Baath party gangs in Un Qasr and Basra surely has a lot to do with why it hasn’t happened so far. That confirms the need to de-Baathify Iraq after the war. The current administration plan is to replace a few key administrators at the top, but otherwise rely on Baath party bureaucrats in a post-war Iraq. Those bureaucrats may not be quite as vicious as the Baathists now fighting in Um Qasr and Basra, but they will have the power to sabotage the American presence in Iraq just as powerfully as their gun-toting comrades are doing now.

Far From The Tipping Point?


The difficulties – and tragedies – over the weekend are a reminder that the path of war is never easy, but it’s far too early to say that the occasionally fierce Iraqi resistance necessarily implies that the Iraqi military will continue to prove a more formidable opponent than anticipated. The problem for now is that Iraqi perceptions of the regime’s durability have yet to reach tipping point. Until they do, the prospects of a quick collapse remain remote. So, on the front, the presence of the fedayeen alongside the regular Iraqi troops (threatening reprisals against those that try to flee) will often mean that those soldiers will continue to feel that it is less dangerous to fight on than to give up. Meanwhile, in the civilian areas, a side effect of the (correct) policy of carefully targeted bombings is that, for most people, life continues (very approximately speaking) as ‘normal’, at least so far as normality has come to be defined in the Iraq of the last ten years. With the electricity functioning and traffic in the street, there will, I imagine, be relatively little sense that anything has really changed or, for that matter, is about to change. Add that perception of normality to the regime’s still highly visible presence, and it will take a very brave individual to ignore its orders (let alone to rise against it), particularly with memories of the false dawn of 1991 still so fresh in Iraqi minds.

Chemical Weapons Plant


A couple readers make an excellent point about our tight-lipped policy on the chem plant. The thinking is that the Iraqis have refrained from using their WMD precisely because this allows them to contend they don’t have them. If we prove they have chem weapons, the propaganda value of not using them all but disappears.

Dutch Treat


The Netherlands are only playing a symbolic role in Operation Iraqi Freedom, as I understand it, because public opinion is not all that supportive of the war. But this reader is happy with what he has seen.

About a half hour ago a bunch of my co workers clustered at the window.
We’re on the river in Jersey City. Moving south was a big ol’ Navy
frigate. I took a look at the stern and saw a flag, not ours…It was
tri color, but hard to make out the colors from a distance.
Went back to my cube and Google’d her hull number (f828). Turns out
she’s the HMLNS Van Speijk, a Karel Doorman Class Frigate of the Dutch
Navy!!! She’s armed to the teeth, 8 Harpoon antiship missiles, 16 Sea
Sparrow Surface to Air missiles, a 76mm gun, a 30mm anti-missile gun, 2
20 mm guns, and 4 12.75 inc torpedo tubes. You can read about her
So there is our coalition of the willing!! It may just be a port call,
but I find it hard to believe that she’s not aware of the current
situation and standing ready to help us out should anything happen over
Manhattan. I haven’t seen ANY publicity about this. I wish that I had.
The American people should know that our friends are here, watching
over us at home while our people are out watching over the rest of the
Really neat!! Thank you, Netherlands!
(One website said she’s the Willem van der Zaan, but most of them say
she’s the Van Speijk.)

Also At The U.N.


A reporter asked Annan if the U.S. and Britain are respecting the Geneva Conventions.

He believes they are, from the reports he has, in case you are worried.

I Want Me Chemical Weapons


What is the hold-up with this chemical weapons plant story? Dagnabit.



The U.N. secretary general has just assured the world in a press stop tht UNMOVIC will be going back to Iraq, to disarm Iraq. Could someone get this man cable?

Women in Combat


Help--Pac-2, Pac-3


Hey, anyone out there know whether all the intercepts of Iraqi missiles have been from PAC-3’s, as reported some places, or a mix of PAC-2’s and PAC-3’s, as reported in other places? Also, if you know anything about the Army’s operational tests of PAC-3, which apparently were all failures (and by the logic of missile-defense critics should have kept it from ever being deployed), please let me know. Thanks!


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