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The Good Old Days




The British poet Philip Larkin (1922-1985) wrote a poem called “Myxomatosis,” which was the name of an animal disease deliberately introduced by British scientists to cull the rabbit population. The poem is written in the voice of a man (Death) approaching a fevered, dying and unaware rabbit, to put it out of its misery.

Caught in the centre of a soundless field
While hot inexplicable hours go by
What trap is this? Where were its teeth concealed?
You seem to ask.
I make a sharp reply,

Then clean my stick. I’m glad I can’t explain
Just in what jaws you were to suppurate
You may have thought things would come right again
If you could only keep quite still and wait.

This poem, its last two lines in particular, make me think of all the hopeful people in Europe and North America who believe that the deadly scourge of Islamofascism armed with weapons of mass destruction can be fended off without having to fight.


From a Vietnam Vet


Under the subject header “Thanks”:

For calling my Dad and I ‘the best’ (as in “Our best died in Korea and Vietnam because of containment.”), though obviously Dad and I didn’t die. But you reveal yourself there… ‘they’ don’t believe ‘Our best’ died there. Just the chumps and ignorant crackers and exploited minorities – and neanderthals like Dad and I who were their officers. The true ‘best’ avoided the war.

Web Briefing: September 18, 2014

Hello. Please.


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Re The Chickenhawk Thing


From a reader in the military:

As you know, the whole “chicken hawk” thing is BS. Just a way for the champions of “free speech” to stifle debate. I have a simple answer for anybody trying the chicken hawk routine — “OK, fine, then you can never discuss the economy or taxes if you haven’t tried to start a business”.

On the whole, I’d still rather have lunch with Rush than John Kerry.

Walter Russell Mead


When I read his Washington Post op-ed arguing that containment, via sanctions, was harder on the Iraqis than a war would be, I had two questions: 1) Given all the bogus figures that have been thrown around as estimates of the human toll of sanctions, should I trust Mead’s numbers? 2) What would Matt Welch, who wrote a careful article about those estimates last year, think about Mead’s piece? A lot of (my fellow) hawks have sung Mead’s praises since the op-ed appeared. Now Welch has responded to him. The answers to my questions turn out to be 1) no, and 2) not much.

More Canada


Apparently those 40 or so soldiers will stay in the Gulf.

From a Canadian Reader


The issue of 30 Canadian troops is far more serious than you might think.How can the US allow Canadian officers and troops train with their military if they might disappear? How can our forces be interoperable if we are unreliable? Will NORAD survive, or will the US defend itself?
There has been a major break between these two countries. While BUsh has decided to be an active player in the world, Chretien has shrugged and nitpicked. Whenever the US asks something of Canada, like tightening continental border security, the PM doesn’t even give them an answer, which is worse than saying no. Maybe you can trade us to Europe for Britain.
Canada and the EU deserve each other.

Jack Straw On The French


Rush transcript:

And significantly, Mr. Speaker, in all the discussions in the Security Council and outside, no one — no one — has claimed that Iraq is in full compliance with the obligations placed upon it.

Given this, it was my belief up to about a week ago that we were close to achieving the consensus which we sought on the further resolution. Sadly, Mr. Speaker, one country then ensured that Security Council could not act.

President Chirac’s unequivocable announcement Monday last that France would veto a second resolution containing this or any ultimatum whatever the circumstances inevitably created a sense of paralysis in our negotiations. And I deeply regret that France has thereby put to a Security Council consensus beyond reach.

Picking Sides


G-File Up Btw


Ted Kennedy Vs. Saddam Hussein


They’re both getting bombed on St. Patrick’s Day.

Jack Straw


Is laying it all out for the House of Commons right now. Turn on your CNN or Fox.

Turkey: On Second Thought


While it would have been nice if the Turks were behind us from the get-go, it’s nice to see that when the Security Council hits the fan, some countries get serious and come to our aid. They may be a day late and a lira short, but better late than never too.

Israelis Kill Four-Year-Old


In an operation today to arrest a member of the Islamic Jihad hiding out in Gaza, Israeli troops were fired on by the man. A fierce gun battle erupted when the suspect started shooting at Israeli soldiers, who returned fire. In the melee, a four-year-old child was killed while huddling with her parents in their house. Unlike the Rachel Corrie case, in which a grown woman put herself into a war zone trying to stop a military operation, this one is truly sad. But it was not intentional, and besides, whose fault is it? The jihadi terrorist, that’s who. If the Palestinians want this kind of thing to cease, they must stop supporting suicide bombers and their kind.

A Day Later, a Lira Short


APNewsAlert ANKARA, Turkey _ Top Turkish leaders say government will urgently take action toward allowing in U.S. troops.

No link yet.

Oh No: Down to 249,970 Troops


Canada’s Chretien will not allow its 30 military personnel currently in the Gulf to participate in an invasion of Iraq.

Trouble Ahead


How should we handle ourselves in an occupied Baghdad? If we delegate too much authority to Saddam’s Baath Party bureaucrats and their minions, there could be serious trouble. Up to now, this issue has been approached as a question of whether and how, over the coming years, to democratize Iraq. But Martin Kramer points out that big problems may come immediately on the heels of an invasion. If history is any guide, unless the United States quickly gains control of local policing, score settling and massacres will follow. That could easily tarnish even a successful invasion.

Iraq Is Not a Videogame....


According to the people who are setting up the webcam

“On The Side of Good Like Che Guevara”


A priceless article in The Christian Science Monitor on the human shields in Iraq who are having a hard time grasping that a fascist totalitarian regime isn’t brimming with peace, love and understanding:

But there is no shortage of reminders of how the image of the human shields – to the chagrin of many of them – has been tied to that of Hussein. During a friendly soccer match on Saturday, at which shields wearing boots and tennis shoes tied 4-4 with a well-cleated Iraqi squad, Belgian human shield Jean-Michel Houplina released a white dove to “symbolize peace in every man’s heart, all over the world.”

But when child cadets dressed in military fatigues began a common chant at half-time – “Yes, yes, our heart and soul for you, Saddam” – Mr. Houplina went to the group and implored: “Please don’t sing that!”

“When you hear the chanting, that just made me think: ‘That’s it, I’m going. I’m not here for this,’” says Sands. “The tension and dilemma of it is horrible – we’ve been used by both sides.”…..

….The experience has been an eye-opener for many Westerners here, unfamiliar with Iraq’s authoritarian regime. “A lot of shields were thinking it was black and white, and that we were on the side of good like Che Guevara,” adds Sands. “But it’s not black and white at all.”


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