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A Palestinian Celebration


The Palestinian Authority has renamed a main neighborhood square in Jenin in honor of the terrorist who killed four Americans with a bomb in a taxi.

“Critical Choice”



Iraq, After


A great article by Eric Davis for the Foreign Policy Research Institute explains Iraq’s post-colonial political history, and argues that prospects for civil society and democracy in liberated Iraq are very good.

Web Briefing: December 26, 2014

“Vive Chirac! Stop The Jews!”


That’s what members of the Religion of Peace were shouting in the streets of Paris at a recent protest. Islamofascism met with Gallic shrugs is turning the City of Light into a metropolis of gathering darkness. What you tolerate, you encourage. So what’s France’s excuse this time?


The Transcript


Arnett: Take Action


NR’s Jack Fowler is inspired. Here’s his brilliant suggestion: How about cancelling your National Geographic subscription and subscribing to National Review instead. None of us will never appear on Saddam TV. It’s a guarantee.

Well, I Was One


I was an MSNBC viewer. I’ve been at home for the past couple of weeks, trying to finish writing a book before leaving for Texas, and I’ve had the TV on the Fox-CNN-MSNBC rotation since the war started. I’ve really enjoyed watching MSNBC, especially their overnight crew. I like Dan Abrams. But good grief, that Arnett interview is sickening. No wonder he’s still in Baghdad, beloved by his fascist hosts, while other journalists have been kicked out, or have gone missing while in the tender care of the Ministry of Information. Arnett’s bootlicking is an affront to journalism, and worse, an affront to decency. Sorry MSNBC, but as long as that cretin is “reporting” for Baghdad, you’ve lost me. Send him to al-Jazeera, why don’t you?

“We Don’t Trust You”


It’s still, sadly, the same story in Iraq, as this piece from the London Times reveals. Here’s an extract:

“Dr Mohammed, the hospital director, greets us in his cottage in the compound grounds. He has a poster of Saddam on the wall, next to a photograph of his daughter, who is with his wife and family in besieged Basra.
“Nobody is taking their pictures of Saddam down yet because we don’t know if he is finished and we don’t know if the British and Americans will stay,” he smiles wearily. “All the Iraqi people hope to get rid of this regime. But most of us are afraid that what happened in 1991 will happen again.
“That’s why we don’t trust you, you let us down before. That is why people do not want to talk. We hope that this is the liberation of Iraq, but we do not know.”"

Good Point


A reader corrects me:

You say, “MSNBC just lost a whole bunch of viewers: Peter Arnett praised
the ministry of
disinformation, among other things, on Saddam TV.”

In order for this to be true, MSNBC would first have to have had a whole
bunch of viewers.

Assad Interview


Syria’s Assad calls on Arabs to defend Iraq (translated by MEMRI):

The logical thing is to implement the Arab Defense Agreement. According to this agreement, if an Arab country is invaded, the rest of the Arab countries should defend it. Instead of implementing this agreement, there were those who facilitated the aggression, while neighboring countries refused to do so.

…Lebanon was under Israeli occupation, up to its capital, but we did not consider that a disaster. Why? Because it was very clear that there are ways to resist. The problem is not the occupation, but how people deal with it. The most significant indicator that there is no disaster in Iraq is the fact that there is no exodus [of refugees]. The first lesson that the Iraqi citizen had learned is that displacement and leaving [home] last forever. Therefore the solution is resistance. This was the first lesson learned from Lebanon, and after that from the Intifada. There is no disaster, because there is no exodus. The problem is not the occupation, but whether the people are willing to resist it or not… Today, the Iraqi citizen sees that America is coming and wants to occupy his country and kill him, and he is willing to experience for himself what happened in Palestine… I believe that the situation will be much harder for the Americans and the British.”

The Irrelevance of Twain


Wills’s essay ends with Mark Twain’s much-quoted—overquoted, actually; I’m surprised Wills did not seek to avoid the cliché—“War Prayer.” “O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells. . . . help us to turn them out roofless with their little children. . . .” If we were going to war only for material gain, or were motivated by bloodlust, the critique would be apt. But I’m praying for a quick American victory in order that there be less death and destruction. I’m praying for the liberation of Iraqis. I expect most Americans praying about the war are asking for similar things. Neither the actual conduct of this war, nor the spirit with which Americans have gone to it, justify Wills’s accusation.

Garry Wills’s Bush


Just read that Garry Wills essay Rod mentioned. There’s a fairly high speculation-to-evidence ratio when it comes to Bush’s faith, or for that matter what “the devout” believe. How convenient that Bush’s faith turns out to be so much less sophisticated than Wills’s.

Msnbc Will Want to Hide This Photo


“If They [Stop]...We Are All as Good as Dead”


From the Arab News (again!):

The people I spoke with at Umm Qasr said they were happy about the removal of Saddam, as he had held them in terror for years. They took me to see the local Baath Party headquarters. They told me that many bad things happened there and that most of those picked up in the middle of the night and taken to that building were never seen again.

I entered the building and walked around. I couldn’t help noticing the excitement in the people’s voices as they pointed out the bullet holes and the charred remains of where the building burned.

That was when I first got the sense that these people were really eager to see Saddam and Baath gone.

I asked several what they thought of the US/UK plan to remove Saddam. They told me: “Now that they have started to remove him, they cannot stop. If they do, then we are all as good as dead. He still has informants in Umm Qasr and he knows who is against him and who isn’t.”

When asked about what they think of this war, most Iraqis said that they were against the loss of innocent life and the destruction of their cities, but they seemed adamant about the removal of Saddam.

A Million Mogadishus 101




A reader helpfully reminds me that Spanish is not the second-most spoken language in the world. Mandarin Chinese has 800 million native speakers. I meant to say that Spanish is the second most-spoken Western language.

Another reader says I misspelled “Quebecoix;” it’s actually “Quebecois.”

Thanks for keeping me honest!

“The First War Plan Has Failed”


Yikes. FNC is showing parts of the Arnett interview (I just caught a gliimpse.) This was not a professional courtesy. This was a chance to be anti-American and be the subject of the news. Of course, we’ll make sure he is!



From the WSJ piece:

NBC said in a statement that “Peter Arnett and his crew have risked their lives to bring the American people up-to-date, straight-forward information on what is happening in and around Baghdad.” The network said Mr. Arnett’s “impromptu interview with Iraqi TV was done as a professional courtesy and was similar to other interviews he has done with media outlets from around the world. His remarks were analytical in nature and were not intended to be anything more.”

Peter Arnett


MSNBC just lost a whole bunch of viewers: Peter Arnett praised the ministry of disinformation, among other things, on Saddam TV.

No Access


The Iraqis still won’t let the Red Cross/Crescent in to see the POWs.


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