The Latest Tweets from Team NRO . . .
Not Quite Defending The French
From the guy formerly known as defending the French guy:
Hey wait a minute!
The info I sent you does not absolve the French of anything. This could still easily be prohibited dual-use materials.
No-one (well, no-one worth listening to) is accusing the French of selling chemical weapons to the Iraqis…but they are accused of selling dual-use chemicals and other technology in violation of the sanctions regime.
I guess I should have signed that last email “Speaking the French” guy, since I was only trying to shed light on what MSNBC was showing, not spin it one way or another.
Fair Enough, Grumble Grumble
“Defending the French” guy writes:
The French labelling on the barrels shown on MSNBC is “produit d’urgence,” which translates roughly as “emergency product.”
I’m not a chem weapons expert, but the term is a relatively common one in the civilian world. It applies to things as diverse as contraception – the so-called ‘morning after’ pill is a ‘produit d’urgence’ – to a special spackle for large-scale leaks. It also applies to some emergency treatments for chemical burns. I have no idea one way or another whether any pesticides are considered “produits d’urgence.”
Attention all Army guys: I didn’t mean to suggest that I thought army didn’t deserve to get there first. My apologies. The 3rd ID certainly earned their laurels — and I’m the first to admit I’m hardly the arbiter of what they deserve or don’t deserve in the first place. It’s just that I remembered that Marine who said his mission was to beat army to Baghdad.
Ponnuru! Hanson! a Second Robbins! & More!!!
Check out some of the later-in-the-day NRO postings. Go to the NRO homepage now!
Energy Savings Time
How about NRO start operating on Baghdad time? I’m keen on this idea.
Charlie company rides under those giant swords in Baghdad. The only bummer is you know the Marines really wanted to get there first.
Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.) has been pushing a civil liberties disaster called the “RAVE Act,” as I detailed a several weeks ago. Very strong grassroots opposition has stalled the Biden bill in Congress. It has not passed a single committee. So now, Biden is attempting to put the RAVE Act onto the conference committee version of the Amber Alert bill (S. 151), regarding abuducted children. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, Biden is incorrectly claiming that the ACLU no longer opposes his bill. The popular Amber Alert bill is in very serious danger of being taken over as a vehicle for oppressive laws which can’t make it through the legislative process on their own merits when exposed to public scrutiny. The House version of the Amber bill includes a particularly repressive measure having nothing to do with missing children: the Feeney Amendment destroys most disrection of federal judges to impose downward departures under the federal sentencing guidelines. The discretion would be transferred to prosecutors–a serious violation of the principle of separation of powers, based on a draconian and unjust insistence that the failed federal drug war must never waver from imposing major sentences on minor actors.
Comic Book Clarification
From a reader who defied me:
Yes, I know, I know.
But Arkham Asylum is where they send the crazy people. Regular ol’ supervillains were sent to Belle Reve Federal Penitentiary (located in Rod’s Louisiana; it was the home of Task Force X/the Suicide Squad) before it was blown up. Now, they go “The Slab,” which I think is actually “Slabstone Federal Prison.”
I don’t write ‘em, I just read ‘em.
Another reader: “what happens to a wasp when you shoot him with raid, that’s what
happens to people with nerve gas. Same junk, just more powerful. “
Another Mil Guy On Pesticides and Nerve Agents
Pesticides ARE nerve agents. Cholinesterase inhobitors (nerve agents) were
first developed in Germany as pesticides.
This is the problem with non-proliferation efforts. So much of this stuff is
dual use, it’s hard to track legitimate use of WMD production material.
Pesticide factory and pesticide ingrediants=Nerve Gas Factory
Pharmaceutical plant involved in live agent vaccine or antibiotic
manufacturing= Bioweapons plant.
Machine tools used for computerized machining of metal to high tolerances=
Nuclear weapons production facility.
No wonder Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and other similar treaties are so
hard to enforce, ANY modern or semi-modern nation has the inherent
industrial base needed to produce WMD. All that is needed is the political
will to do so.
By The Way
The other pictures of the drums filled with chemicals being shown on MSNBC (not the ones K-Lo links to below) show the writing on the canisters. Guess what language it’s in? Not English, not Arabic, not German….you’re getting warmer….
Andrew: “And you have now returned to your native country. Longing to see
home brought you from New South Wales.” “There you are mistaken,” said the
man. “Wish to see England again would never have brought me so far; for, to
tell you the truth, master, England was a hard mother to me, as she has
proved to many. No, a wish to see another kind of mother–a poor old woman,
whose son I am–has brought me back.”—George Borrow, LAVENGRO, Ch. LXII.
Nerve Agents & Pesticides
From Jonah’s Military Guy:
The problem with nerve agents is that most of them started life as pesticides. So pesticides can
give a false positive. Here is what is ‘current’ (who knows, in this
environment?) about the barrels.
Still doesn’t mean those BM-21 rockets aren’t real.
Heck, I doubt we’ve heard the final word on the ‘pesticides’ either.
The Family of Pfc. Jessica Lynch
From a reader: “I’ve been fascinated by the media’s fascination with the
Jessica Lynch story. … it dawned on me what has been keeping the media
entranced: old-fashioned small-town America virtue. It’s not just Lynch
herself, so much as it is her family, that has mesmerized the media, which
is unaccustomed to encountering the kind of qualities the Lynch clan seems
to typify: simplicity, compassion, religious faith, inner strength,
humility, patriotism, love, courage, family unity, and above all the
complete incapacity to present oneself as anything other than exactly what
one is. The Lynch family is precisely the kind the people the media
sophisticates usually love to belittle as uneducated rubes, religions nuts,
trailer trash, etc. But the power of that family’s simple virtue–their
manifest goodness–has not only mesmerized the media, it has humbled them.
In the last couple of press appearances I’ve seen, the reporters were not
just seeking a “story” from the Lynches. They were seeking wisdom. From that
burly man whose grammar would otherwise make them cringe, from his plain
wife whose strength makes possible and protects her husband’s gentleness,
the urbane reporters were seeking nothing less than a lesson in how to live
virtuously. And they were getting it.”
Gulf War Ii: The Movie
Robert Culp has got to play Don Rumsfeld. They both talk through their front teeth the exact same way.
Well, John, there goes the knighthood….
Home Thoughts From Abroad
Andrew: “How can you think about baby Yussuf Gary and not feel an
overwhelming gladness that you come from this little damp corner of the
globe?” Well, there are things about England I miss, and things I am
grateful for. On balance, though, I must say, my own “overwhelming
gladness” is at having got out of the damn place.