The Latest Tweets from Team NRO . . .
A Note About Basra
Saddam’s forces have been firing at Iraqis trying to flee Basra. If this report is true, it’s
rather easier to escape from danger if you are a member of Saddam’s family.
Saddam’s bunker? Built by Germans. More details here (if you speak Norwegian).
Helen Thomas does not bother me as much as David Gregory does. (Ari Fleischer is the uberprofessional for the record.)
Columbia Grads Cancel Your Checks!
Unreal stuff at Columbia University:
At an anti-war “teach-in” this week, a Columbia University professor called for the defeat of American forces in Iraq and said he would like to see “a million Mogadishus” — a reference to the Somali city where American soldiers were ambushed, with 18 killed, in 1993.
“The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military,” Nicholas De Genova, assistant professor of anthropology at Columbia University told the audience at Low Library Wednesday night. “I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus.”
From a reader:
Can I be Jonah’s Obscure Spelling Error Guy?
My most recent contribution, from his 11:41 post: it’s ordnance (no i), not ordinance, when you’re referring to munitions.
Why do I know this? Why do birds suddenly appear…?
David Asman just said “God bless you” to an Iraqi dissident in the U.S. he was interviewing, on the air. You don’t hear that on news channels everyday.
Why They Hate Us
From a reader applying for “Tired of pussy-footing around guy”:
I am a recently retired Naval Aviator. I’ve been a Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR) pilot and have served on command staffs as well. I suppose I could apply for Navy guy or Helo guy or CSAR guy but that is not my intention for this note.
I’d like you to bring your analytical skills to bear on the “why they hate us” issue. It is my contention that we are largely resented and despised in certain quarters not due to our tough or arrogant policies but rather for our benign and often weak reaction to insult and attack. I believe our limp reaction to seditionists at home is equally damaging.
The Egyptian, Jordanian, and Saudi “press” just to name a few are extraordinarily anti-American. These are public information sources that are directly controlled by their governments. These countries are routinely referred to as allies and yet they actively cultivate anti-Americanism. Our leaders pass it off as internal politics that keeps these governments stable. I think that very point is wrong in the long term and in the near term we are in effect cooperating with those that are helping to breed the next generation of Osamas. I say it is high time we said “we’re not going to take it anymore.” We can’t continue to let tin pot governments blame the USA for their miserable failures. If they do, we should threaten loss of aid then loss of protection, right up to active support of those (non anti-American) forces attempting to overthrow them. These countries populations hate us because their governments tell them to. We have to make it more painful to slander us than to confront their real failures.
Similarly we need to get tough with the “peace” activists here. If you peacefully march and hold a sign you are lawfully exercising your right to display your lack of cognitive function. However, if you block the streets you are disrupting commerce and preventing the timely provision of emergency services and you should be prosecuted for those crimes. Arresting these people and then just giving them a ticket for being a nuisance gives them a badge of honor and encourages them to come out and do something even more outrageous. Remember how Rudy cleaned up New York?
Thanks for your service to your country. Also, please pass my thanks on to the rest of the spectacularly talented staff and contributors at NRO/NRODT. And say hi to Cosmo.
The Market “Bombing”
Fox News reports that the Pentagon is increasingly skeptical that it was a US missile which hit that market. According to Major Garrett, the brass says it would have had to fly off course by more than a mile, something they are very dubious about. They won’t definitely say it wasn’t our ordinance, but it sounds like that’s what they think.
Who has two thumbs and loves the ladies? This guy! There are corresponding “Gal” positions open in every category for guys, except for the obviously gender-specific categories like “homeschooling mom” or “male stripper,” etc. But there’s no Title IX chicanery going on here. Everyone will be held to one standard.
The Only Movie Dumber Than Superman Iii
From a reader:
In these trying and uncertain times, perhaps you could revisit that cinematic milestone “Superman IV, the quest for peace”. I know, I know, conventional wisdom says it’s perhaps second only to “Batman and Robin” in its eye-bleeding awfulness, but maybe it was ahead of its time. Lotsa WMD talk, Supes at the U.N., Gene Hackman saying noo-kyu-ler through the whole thing.
Anyway, it’d be a hoot to read your take on it.
Just a thought.
Needless to Say
The White House is ticked about Gen. Wallace’s war-game comment.
A Similar Kind of Teach-In
I will be speaking at Williams College on April 9. I assume it’s open to the public.
It Would Be Nice
If someone would follow up on the al-Qaeda fighting in Iraq story story fronted by Drudge last night. I mean this isn’t a trivial story. It’s not like a report that Up With People is holding a fundraiser in Milwaukee.
Bucking Us Up
Let’s say we run into trouble in this war–so much trouble that the doves seem emboldened and vindicated. I don’t think it would end there. A shift to pacifism is impossible now. Terrorism will return. A Korea crisis looms. Nuclear proliferation is in the offing. Even a very successful chemical attack on our soldiers would have complicated effects. It would discourage, yet also enrage us, spur WMD proliferation outside the West, and eventually force more conflict, not less. So for all our concerns about discouraging news coverage–about our inability to break our preoccupation with pin-prick “defeats” and keep our eyes on big-picture progress–I think this war, almost in spite of ourselves, is making us tougher.
I’m not sure that the only choices we face in this war are easy success (followed by political triumph for the hawks) or unexpected setbacks (followed by a national failure of nerve). I can imagine that the coverage of this war might change us–might actually make us more accepting of the ordinary risks of war. Two things are clashing here–the absurdly smooth, artificial, and managed world we commonly swim in, and the danger, death, and anarchy upon which the international order actually rests. By the end of this unprecedented war coverage, we may finally allow ourselves to see and acknowledge the reality and necessity of the latter.