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Basra, 1941


Martin Kramer say the looting of Basra coming. That’s because we have seen it before–in Basra in 1941, when a mob sacked the city under the eyes of Britain.
He writes:

Now the British have done it again. The looters have had a free reign in Basra, and people are being ruined in the process. British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon made light of the looting of palaces in the Commons on Monday—as though the mob would stop there. It hasn’t. Basrans would have been grateful had the British fired warning shots over the heads of looters—and then made an example of a few of them by shooting a tad low. It’s a bad start, and reflects too dogmatic an adherence to the “Iraqi freedom” mantra—which, in these circumstances, translates into Iraqi lawlessness. The Iraqis will get their freedom later, when they are ready to assume it. What they need now is firm policing from a resolute army of occupation.

You can read his prewar advice to avoid this kind of thing, here.

Geraldo Victim of Biological Warfare


From an article describing how some US soldiers who shook Geraldo’s hand had a secret retail bio-weapon program:

“We later found out a few who shook his hand had put those hands in unmentionable places prior. Army justice?”


Media Patience Is Already Running Out


Web Briefing: September 18, 2014

Re: The Jacobite Retort


Woops, I’m sorry. I didn’t see this email from the first Jacobite emailer:

Dear Jonah,
Far be it from me to defend Jacobitism, which, after all, entailed a belief in hereditary divine right legitimacy utterly at odds with the republican and proto-liberal impulses that animated the American Revolution. But the reader who commented on Jacobitism below repeats one of the serious historical misinterpretations of the Whigs. James II (and indeed his brother Charles II), far from emulating Louis XIV’s “religious intolerance”, made sustained efforts to establish religious toleration via parliamentary act and royal edict. James did this because his Catholic co-religionists were persecuted in Protestant England, but he extended religious toleration to Protestant sects as well. It was the revolutionary Whigs of 1688 (and the Tories allied with them) who manifested extreme religious intolerance. Their coup against James was almost entirely motivated by a bias against his Catholicism. Once he was gone, they reestablished most (although not all) of the religious monopoly enjoyed by the Church of England. The Toleration Act of 1689 was utterly meager when compared with the religious toleration that both Charles II and James II sought.


Jacobin Versus Jacobite: The End


Okay, as I expected, I have now received some 20 to 30 emails for and against the Jacobins. If you’ll go back and read my posts, however, you will see that I never really took sides on the issue. I merely posted reader email. Why so many people think that posting someone’s email means I endorse the content of that email remains a mystery to me.

I was hoping that the subject of Jacobites would have enticed the Brits Derb and Stuttaford (former Brits, whatever they want to be called) into the Corner. Alas, it was not to be. Regardless, I stumbled into this whole squirrels nest a long time ago. I accidentally said Cosmo didn’t like Jacobite squirrels and it set of a firestorm among people who really need to update their bed time reading. Here’s the column where I first addressed the issue. Scroll down to the subhead “The Jewish Afterlifes & Jacobite Squirrels.”

Anyway, I knew the moment I’d said anything about Jacobites, we could get the whole thing going again. But now, I think we can — or at least should — put it to rest again for a while.

Egyptian Men Like to Sit Around With a Hookah


This is my favorite news story of today

Where Else Indeed?


From Military Guy, re Jacobin Versus Jacobite posts:

…should scare hell outa the lefties! We got the brains! We got the brains!

That’s why I love this place – we start out shamelessly hawking Cosmo stuff (hey, I got a mug) and it devolves into a history lesson. Where else? Where else indeed!

A Jacobite Retort


From a reader:

Dear Jonah,

I usually never write, but a recent post on the corner has demanded my response. Good King James might have been an ‘absolutist’ (though, I would argue, far less than the Whig oligarchy to follow), but he was certainly no bigot. His Declaration of Indulgence afforded toleration to Catholics (1687) and dissenting Protestants, and was swiftly revoked by the fine ‘Dutch model’ usurper that followed him. James was, all told, the best that the race of Stuarts offered to England, and his ousting was opprobrious to the extreme. Your expert on British history might think Test Acts (discriminating against Catholics for more than a century afterwards) of the post-1688 regime to be the heights of enlightenment, but as a Catholic and loyal subject of the Crown, I would politely demur. He is, however, correct that Toryism does not necessarily equal Jacobitism, but it is
nevertheless true that very few Tories actually wished to see James deposed (and very few Whigs, for that matter). As for the ‘massive state apparatus’, that is quite laughable. Simply compare the size of the bureaucracy of James II and
that of the Parliamentary regime 100 years later and come to your own conclusions. And ‘anti-market political economy’? What the deuce?! The advent of highly irresponsible monetary policy and ‘mercantilism’ was largely owing to the writings and influence of Locke and other radical Whigs (Joyce Appleby). Besides, why should we celebrate the ‘market’ forces that helped to create and to sustain the slave trade? In any event, I think the Odious Revolution of 1688 to be among the greater misfortunes of British History….only Vicky reconciled me at last to the House of Hanover. Otherwise I would still be toasting the ‘King o’er the water’ (and I might well be doing so when our next monarch arrives). But whatever that prejudiced reader might say, your Cosmo should sport his White Cockade with pride!!

A. Jacobite

True, True


An e-mailer notes:

Well, the Info Minister has been telling them — as recently as Monday — that it is safe, that the Americans are nowhere near Baghdad, etc. And many news outlets (especially overseas) have been giving him equal weight as US “propaganda,” if not dismissing US “claims” outright and listening to Baghdad Bob instead. So, actually, he probably is being honest that he didn’t know…

David Gregory, Voice of Reason


David Gregory’s hostile questions at the White House press briefings are often a little too much to take, but even he does not have patience for Katrina Vanden Heuvel. Here’s a bit of Hardball, courtesy of the Media Research Center: (April 6, 2003)

Chris Matthews: “Will this war stop terrorism?”

Robert Kagan, Washington Post: “Of course not.”

Matthews: “Will it help to stop it?”

Kagan: “It, it, it will help to stop terrorism but I also I have to say I don’t believe this war was just about terrorism. It was about this very dangerous man who had invaded two countries on his border and who is still, was still an aggressor and was building weapons of mass destruction. There is a terrorism issue as well but I think that there has always been a special Iraq question.”

David Gregory: “Oh I, I’m sorry I, I don’t think it was an ‘as well.’ I, I think that, that the President has staked this war as being what makes America safer. There are other rationales, and he’s talked about them, being essentially an act of humanity and, and perhaps people believe that on its face if you see some of the awful images coming out of Iraq.”

Matthews: “Right.”

Gregory: “But this is about making America safer. It’s about self-defense.”

Matthews: “Self-defense.”

Katrina Vanden Heuvel, The Nation: “This was not, this was not a war of self-defense! This was a war of aggression and if I might add, just quickly, this is not going to enhance America’s national security. You can be left of center and also…”

Gregory: “I’m sorry, I think that’s an irresponsible statement to say it’s a war of aggression! I really do. I mean you can challenge the, the notion…”

[Matthews interrupts to move onto new topic.]

By The Way


Speaking of Good Golly


There is a German reporter on Fox right now who is in Baghdad–and was in the Palestine Hotel last night our time–contending that the message that Baghdad might not be a safe place never really reached the reporters in Baghdad. Assuming he is telling the truth, that he, perhaps, never heard an American official say that reporting from the heart of Baghdad during a war involving a tyrannical, increasingly desperate, regime might not be safe–did he really need to be told that? Isn’t it part of his job to be aware of his surroundings?

It’s Not Easy


Good Golly


Kids in jail! This isn’t long division, children are not supposed to be political prisoners. Of course, Michael Moore believes it would have been morally preferable to keep them there until the Iraqi people changed the regime themselves.

150 Baghdad Prisoners Released


“I Feel Like An Idiot”


From a reader:

I thought until today that Cosmo was your child. Just with a hippy name.

Babies can dislike squirrels also.



From a reader:


Just out of your curiosity, why exactly are you defending Jacobitism? Are you suggesting that the outsting of a Catholic Francophile absolutist Stuart monarchy and the erection of constitutional monarchy with its concommitant bill of rights and the 1689 Toleration Act were somehow historical missteps? Not to mention the revolutionary shift in political economy away from the state-centered monopolistic crony capitalism of the later Stuarts toward something approximating a free-market system on the ‘Dutch model’? This is not to be unduly Whiggish about British history, but James II was a bigot and an absolutist who pattered his brief administration on Louis XIV (after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes). The current historiography has, I think, rendered the idea that Toryism = Jacobitism as something of a myth; the earliest Tories of the Exclusion crisis and the post-Revolutionary period were more concerned about the autonomy and supremacy of the Church rather than the monarchy (cf. Mark Goldie’s essays). Is this just some dim ghost in the basement of modern conservatism or are you actually defending the massive state apparatus, religious intolerance and anti-market political economy of the later Stuarts? Not to draw any kind of moral equivalence between the historical periods represented, but why is this dreary, poorly thought out romanticization any less inimical to the professed tenants of modern conservatism than Trent Lott’s?

The Palestinian Terror Connection


Williams Update


8 p.m. Lecture: “War in Iraq: A First Step to Rebuilding the Middle East?” Chapin Hall. Pants required.

Buffalo 6


A fourth among them has plead guilty. (FNC)


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