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Delay Delay



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German Strategy



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Have planned to oppose the war, have U.S. beg for aid after, according to their U.N. ambassador.

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Blix



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Says the message out of the Azores is divided. And in other hallway interviews seems to make clear anything short of more delay will be unacceptable to him.

Web Briefing: December 17, 2014

General Grant?



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Editor of the London Spectator and Tory MP, Boris Johnson makes an unexpected appearance on the op-ed page of today’s New York Times. Despite the comments about Grenada, the piece makes interesting reading, not least for its spirited defense of the word ‘chips’ as an alternative to the ridiculous ‘freedom fries’ and this extract is too good not to repeat here:

“According to the American secretary of defense, it seems that having the Brits in on the operation is a bit like asking Hugh Grant to tag along in a remake of The Dirty Dozen to give it some jolly old British class; kind of nice, but not essential.”

Ouch.


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Saramago Farrago



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Today’s New York Times contains a report about an anti-war demonstration in Spain. One of the speakers was Jose Saramago, described by the Times as “the Portuguese writer and Nobel laureate”. That’s a true enough description so far as it goes. However, there’s more to Saramago than his Nobel Prize, as, needless to say, the Times fails to point out.

A hard-line Communist, Saramago played a major role in purging ideologically “unsound” elements from their positions in the Portuguese media at the time that that country seemed set to succumb to a Communist coup.

In his invaluable Intellectuals and Assassins, Stephen Schwartz records the fact that, only hours before he received his Nobel, Saramago spoke at a seminar during the Frankfurt Book Fair. His topic? “Being a Communist Author Today.”

Yet again: two death cults, two standards.


Mao Mavens



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There’s a revealing story in today’s New York Times about an auction (“the Mao sale”) of Chinese communist artwork and other artifacts through Sothebys. Now, there’s no doubt that some of this stuff does have a certain interest, both historical and aesthetic, but I just wonder how the Times would have reacted to a similar sale devoted to the relics of the Nazi era.

Just as a reminder, Communism in China is responsible for the deaths of some 6-10 million people as a result of ‘direct action’ (to use the chilling terminology of The Black Book of Communism), with another 20-40 million perishing in the ideologically-motivated famine that followed Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’). To add to the carnage, it is estimated that a further twenty million died in the Great Helmsman’s concentration camps.

Communism and Nazism: two death cults that continue, it seems, to be judged by two very different standards.


Let’S Get Blair to Chair Whatever Body Springs From The Death of The United Nations



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“We will do what we believe is in the interest of the U.N.”

“The World Has Spoken”



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I love how President Bush got all hot when that Spanish reporter suggested there is not support in the world for military action.

24 Hours to Irrelevance



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“Tomorrow is the day we determine if diplomacy will work,” says President Bush from the Azores.

Waffa



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Bin Laden’s niece is, apparently, contemplating a career in pop music. Promisingly, she is described as a Natalie Imbruglia look-alike, and even more promisingly, the writer of this article in the Observer notes that Waffa bin Laden “has adopted all the hallmarks of Western culture, smoking, drinking and wearing miniskirts”. Now, that may be a somewhat narrow description of what the West stands for, but as a reproach to the primitive savage that she once called Uncle Osama, young Waffa’s warbling will, doubtless, be enjoyable to watch.

Booked



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Some librarians and booksellers are taking themselves way, way too seriously.

Free Iraq



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Here’s an interesting article from today’s Observer. It comes with that newspaper’s predictably liberal slant, but it makes an important, if obvious, point. The moral case for an invasion will be greatly strengthened if the successors to Saddam are democrats rather than strongmen.

Meanwhile, the prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan has written a piece in which he wonders why the Left are ignoring the facts of Baathist terror:

“For the Kurds, weapons of mass destruction are not about dry accounting; they are tools of practical repression. Chemical weapons have been used against us more than 200 times.”

That’s worth remembering.


Traffic-Light Opinion Polls



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Stopped by a NY suburban mall yesterday afternoon, outside of which a small “antiwar protest” was going on. War supporters countering them seemed to equal the war protesters in numbers. The peaceniks had “honk if you’re against the war” signs. I have never heard less honking on a main road.

Long War



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The Jewish holiday of Purim begins on March 17. It celebrates the story in
the Book of Esther,in which the Babylonians Jews were saved from a plot to murder them all.
The heroine of the story is Queen Esther, who risked her life to reveal her
identity as a Jew. When the attempt to slaughter the Jews began, the Jews
“gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives” and destroyed
those who would destroy them. In honor of Purim, you can send
special Purim candies (or pizza, or hot soup) to an Israeli Defense Forces
soldier–or to a patrol or even a whole platoon. They’ve been fighting on
the front lines of war against terror for years, and if they had failed, the
front lines would now be much closer to the United States.

No Irish Need Apply



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Something to think about tomorrow, on St. Patrick’s Day: All those stories about signs reading “No Irish Need Apply” may be a myth. The claim is controversial, but it’s also interesting–and the article begins by implying that Ted Kennedy is a liar.

Breaking News



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CAIR official arrested in terror-probe. You’ve got to scroll down to the end for this tidbit: “At the time of his arrest, Khafagi was community affairs director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, based in Washington, D.C.”

America Is More Hawkish Than Bush



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According to this Newsweek poll, support for war on Iraq is strong, while approval of the Bush administration’s handling of the situation is decreasing. It’s time to do this damn thing.

School Meals



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The Telegraph story also casts a light on another topic, school meals, rarely a subject for nostalgia back in the UK. I can still remember those days of liver and bacon, served tepid and gray with a collapsing boiled potato or two for variety and excitement.

Read then these words from a spokesman for local government in Wakefield quoted in the Telegraph:

“Each term we try to come up with a menu which encourages children to think about different issues. This Easter term we chose information technology and did not even consider putting hot cross buns on the menu.”

A menu designed to influence children to think about information technology?

Chips with everything, I suppose.


Cross About Hot Cross Buns



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Hot cross buns are a traditional Easter-time treat in England, traditionally served on Good Friday. They are slightly sweet, emblazoned with a cross and best served hot with a little butter. Unfortunately, that pesky cross is worrying some local authorities over in the UK. The Sunday Telegraph is reporting that schools in a number of regions have been ordered not to serve the buns this Easter lest they “offend” children of a non-Christian faith. It’s yet another reminder that ‘diversity’ means nothing of the sort.

To its credit, the Muslim Council of Britain has called the decision “very, very bizarre”. One of its spokesmen is quoted by the Telegraph as follows:

“This is absolutely amazing. At the moment, British Muslims are very concerned about the upcoming war with Iraq and are hardly going to be taken aback by a hot cross bun…Unfortunately actions like this can only create a backlash and it is not very thoughtful. I wish they would leave us alone. We are quite capable of articulating our own concerns and if we find something offensive, we will say so. We do not need to rely on other people to do it for us…British Muslims have been quite happily eating and digesting hot cross buns for many years and I don’t think they are suddenly going to be offended.”

Well said.


Madness



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Seen in my local supermarket: vegetarian buffalo wings.

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