MartiniPundit

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Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

Let’s See if I’m Grasping This

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Your adult child exercised his free will and rights as a citizen and joins the army. He is activated and voluntarily goes to Iraq. He is tragically killed.

So this gives you a free pass to tell the rest of the nation what to do? As Drudge reports:

Anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq, is calling for Bush’s “impeachment,” and for Israel to get out of Palestine! “You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism,” Sheehan declares.

Sheehan, who is asking for a second meeting with President Bush, says defiantly: “My son was killed in 2004. I am not paying my taxes for 2004. You killed my son, George Bush, and I don’t owe you a penny…you give my son back and I’ll pay my taxes. Come after me (for back taxes) and we’ll put this war on trial.”

“And now I’m going to use another ‘I’ word – impeachment – because we cannot have these people pardoned. They need to be tried on war crimes and go to jail.”

Now, she’s entitled to her protest, however seamy her ‘colleagues,’ but what’s this about Israel out of Palestine? What’s this about not paying taxes? And what does she propose to do with the Israelis? Put them in camps?

It’s August, so news is slow. Right now Sheehan has the spotlight, because there’s frankly not that much going on. But it won’t last, and sooner or later, something far more important than a grieving wingnut will occupy the news. (Let’s hope it has nothing to do with Michael Jackson.)

Meanwhile, here’s a notice to the grieving moonbat – I’m sorry you lost your son. Unlike you, I honor his sacrifice and am grateful. But your loss does not give you the right to dictate the policy of the United States. That’s what elections are for. Remember, this is a democracy, not group therapy. Your grief gives you no more rights as a citizen than the rest of us. If you want to dictate policy – run for office.

Oh, and the IRS doesn’t go after tax cheats publicly. But one is forced to wonder did you pay taxes in 2004 already? Most of us do that well before April 15th. So, what are you going to do – make it up by not paying taxes in 2005? 2006? On the other hand, it doesn’t look like you’re gainfully employed, so maybe you don’t owe taxes to pay. Just more empty rhetoric. Go away lady – you’re embarrassing yourself and dishonoring your son.

Update Meanwhile, Kathleen Parker explains why the President can’t come out and meet Sheehan:

He can’t because he’s the president of the United States, because we’re at war, and because every move he makes causes ripples around the world. Ripples that, depending on other circumstances, can get other sons and daughters killed before Joe Trippi can say, “That’s a wrap.”

He can’t because what Sheehan’s anti-war supporters want is neither a hug nor a few words of comfort. They want a confrontation — a wrenching, sobbing, high-noon showdown — soon to be a Democratic political ad and Al Jazeera headline for the foreseeable future.

Sheehan, who opposed the war before her son died, belongs to the movement now. And Bush, regardless of what he personally might wish to do, has responsibilities that far exceed the crowd gathering beyond his Prairie Chapel Ranch.

Once he allows himself to be captured in a video clip or a photograph, recoiling from the agony of a bereaved mother, the world is in greater danger. Democrats might be delighted to freeze that image in political time, but so would insurgents planning their next Baghdad ambush.

Whatever Sheehan hoped for in the beginning of her watch is irrelevant now. She and her cause have been usurped and distorted by the phenomenon of which she is the center. Her healing will have to wait until the next big story breaks and the media circus moves on.

Where is Jaws when you need him?

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August 14, 2005 at 11:56 am

President Bush’s Iraq Speech

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I was unable to listen to the full speech last night, although I did catch the back half. Delivery seemed to me to be standard Bush – not his most rousing but yeomanlike nonetheless. So it wasn’t until the morning that I read the rest – I prefer it that way in any event as one can work with the material better. The full text is here.

In short, the President said what needed to be said. He and the Administration have been far too quiet of late, and have failed to counter the drumbeat of negativity from the Democrats and the MSM. Things are going well in Iraq and in the larger GWOT, but the American people have only heard the bad, the sort of thing that goes on in any war, but not the good which is specific to this one.

In starting by thanking the troops, Bush sends a message that he, as Commander in Chief, has not forgotten them, and that he appreciates what they’re doing. This is good given certain recent statements.

The terrorists who attacked us — and the terrorists we face — murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent. Their aim is to remake the Middle East in their own grim image of tyranny and oppression — by toppling governments, by driving us out of the region, and by exporting terror.

To achieve these aims, they have continued to kill — in Madrid, Istanbul, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh, Bali, and elsewhere. The terrorists believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and decadent, and with a few hard blows they can force us to retreat. They are mistaken.

It is also important to remind people just what we face. This isn’t partisan rancor — that’s bad, but we’re not going to start blowing each other up — this is a war against people who will blow you up for disagreeing with them, and more. They will blow us up because we allow women to drive wearing shorts and a halter top. They will blow us up because we allow freedom of religious expression (or none at all). They will blow us up because we are free, prosperous, successful, and optimistic. They will blow us up because they think we’re weak and decadent.

Our mission in Iraq is clear. We’re hunting down the terrorists. We’re helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We’re advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are removing a source of violence and instability, and laying the foundation of peace for our children and our grandchildren.

This has always been the mission. Far from lying or misleading us into war, the President has talked about these themes from the very beginning.

Some of the violence you see in Iraq is being carried out by ruthless killers who are converging on Iraq to fight the advance of peace and freedom. Our military reports that we have killed or captured hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq who have come from Saudi Arabia and Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and others. They are making common cause with criminal elements, Iraqi insurgents, and remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime who want to restore the old order. They fight because they know that the survival of their hateful ideology is at stake. They know that as freedom takes root in Iraq, it will inspire millions across the Middle East to claim their liberty, as well. And when the Middle East grows in democracy and prosperity and hope, the terrorists will lose their sponsors, lose their recruits, and lose their hopes for turning that region into a base for attacks on America and our allies around the world.

Indeed, it’s called flypaper, and it’s working. We’re fighting the terrorists there, not here. We’re fighting the terrorists in a place with tens of thousands of the best and toughest hombres in the world. The American military is taking these guys down and training Iraqi security forces to help. Yes, we’ve had some two thousand fatalities, but this is a war. And by historical standards, one that is not very bloody for our troops. We regret the loss of each and every one of them, we regret all those who are wounded and perhaps maimed. But we have been fighting for nearly four years now, and the military losses do not equal those of 9/11. Perspective should be maintained. With every passing month, the better trained and more experienced terrorists are facing terrible attrition.

With every leader caught or killed, someone lesser takes his place. They cannot sustain operations at this level without degrading their ability to virtually nothing.

The terrorists — both foreign and Iraqi — failed to stop the transfer of sovereignty. They failed to break our Coalition and force a mass withdrawal by our allies. They failed to incite an Iraqi civil war. They failed to prevent free elections. They failed to stop the formation of a democratic Iraqi government that represents all of Iraq’s diverse population. And they failed to stop Iraqis from signing up in large number with the police forces and the army to defend their new democracy.

They certainly can use car bombs and IEDs to blow things up, but they cannot make headway in the things that really matter. One, because many of them are not Iraqis, and two, because those that are are merely remnants of Saddam’s regime. These guys didn’t go to Brazil, they stayed. And they’re losing.

In the past year, we have made significant progress. One year ago today, we restored sovereignty to the Iraqi people. In January 2005, more than 8 million Iraqi men and women voted in elections that were free and fair, and took time on — and took place on time. We continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country. Rebuilding a country after three decades of tyranny is hard, and rebuilding while at war is even harder. Our progress has been uneven, but progress is being made.

We’re improving roads and schools and health clinics. We’re working to improve basic services like sanitation, electricity, and water. And together with our allies, we’ll help the new Iraqi government deliver a better life for its citizens.

This the second half of the strategy. In addition to flypaper, there is the beacon. Most of the people of the Middle East live under brutal oppression. They know only what their governments tell them. But the word spreads nevertheless — in Iraq, they had free elections and almost everybody came. (This is unlike the sham election in Iran where almost everybody stayed home.) In Lebanon, in Egypt, in Kuwait, even in Saudi Arabia, that election is reverberating through aftershocks as other nations in the region adjust to the new reality. (It doesn’t hurt that Dr. Rice continues to push the theme hard over there – how it must gall the Islamofascists that she’s a she.)

A free, democratic Iraq is the grenade thrown into the tent of Middle East dictatorship.

Finally, we have continued our efforts to equip and train Iraqi security forces. We made gains in both the number and quality of those forces. Today Iraq has more than 160,000 security forces trained and equipped for a variety of missions. Iraqi forces have fought bravely, helping to capture terrorists and insurgents in Najaf and Samarra, Fallujah and Mosul. And in the past month, Iraqi forces have led a major anti-terrorist campaign in Baghdad called Operation Lightning, which has led to the capture of hundreds of suspected insurgents. Like free people everywhere, Iraqis want to be defended by their own countrymen, and we are helping Iraqis assume those duties.

This is a necessity, both to relieve the burden on our own troops, but also to prove Iraqi sovereignty is real and lasting. Nothing says that like an army.

I recognize that Americans want our troops to come home as quickly as possible. So do I. Some contend that we should set a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces. Let me explain why that would be a serious mistake. Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis, who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done. It would send the wrong message to our troops, who need to know that we are serious about completing the mission they are risking their lives to achieve. And it would send the wrong message to the enemy, who would know that all they have to do is to wait us out. We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed, and not a day longer.

The only way to win a battle — and a war — is to see it through. No one ever won a battle by leaving it.

America has done difficult work before. From our desperate fight for independence to the darkest days of a Civil War, to the hard-fought battles against tyranny in the 20th century, there were many chances to lose our heart, our nerve, or our way. But Americans have always held firm, because we have always believed in certain truths. We know that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity, and returns to strike us again.

This is the lesson of history, and why we must confront terrorism everywhere it exists. This does not always mean militarily (although I would like to see the us take out Iran and Syria), and it does not always mean diplomacy (the likely route for the Saudis). It requires a flexible approach, and an understanding of the end goal. I believe the President has this.

After September the 11th, 2001, I told the American people that the road ahead would be difficult, and that we would prevail. Well, it has been difficult — and we are prevailing. Our enemies are brutal, but they are no match for the United States of America, and they are no match for the men and women of the United States military.

All in all, it needed to be said.

Also in the address, the President mentioned a new DoD website — AmericaSupportsYou.mil — as a place for people to go and learn ways to tangibly support the troops.

Written by martinipundit

June 29, 2005 at 9:45 am

Posted in GWOT, Iraq, Politics

Enemies and Other Abstractions

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Rick Moran has an insightful piece over at the American Thinker today.

The remarks of Senator Durbin and other Democrats comparing the United States to Nazi Germany take on a whole new meaning when placed in this context. Since war needs an enemy, the left has decided that our foe should not be the murderous beheaders in Iraq or the piteous killers of innocents in al Quadea. They’ve decided that the enemy is us — our government, our military, and their fellow citizens who are opposing them.

Also, by agitating for trials in American courts for the terrorists being held in Guantanamo and elsewhere, granting them equal rights under the 5th Amendment and giving them all the Constitutional protection that an American citizen would receive, the left furthers its efforts to destroy any rationale for military action. After all, do you go to war against wife beaters or muggers? The very thought of keeping these dangerous men locked up for the rest of their lives draws howls of rage and more Nazi similes.

How about it, those of you on the Left? Any enemies out there who aren’t Americans?

A must read.

Written by martinipundit

June 22, 2005 at 3:50 pm

Reading List for a Serviceman

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A friend asked me to put together a reading list for her brother who is serving in Iraq, and I thought it would be a good idea to share. She tells me he’s interested in history and military subjects, so that’s obviously the focus.

I’ll start with The Face of Battle by John Keegan, the exceptional military historian and instructor at Sandhurst, which looks at three key battles: Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme from the individual’s point of view. Also recommended for a more strategic look is The First World War but in truth, it’s hard to go wrong with any of Keegan’s works.

John Waugh looks at a remarkable group of West Pointers in The Class of 1846 : From West Point to Appomattox: Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan, and Their Brothers. Twenty-two out of fifty-nine members of this class became generals in the Civil War.

Antony Beevor’s two books, Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942-1943 and The Fall of Berlin 1945 are complementary looks at the great turning point on the Eastern Front in World War II and the last weeks of the Nazi Regime as the Red Army inexorably ground towards Berlin.

Lastly for this group, I’d recommend James Dunnigan’s The Perfect Soldier: Special Operations, Commandos, and the Future of US Warfare which looks at the history of elite troops and their impact on war.

On a less martial note, it’s hard to go wrong with David McCullough, but I’d especially highlight his recent biography John Adams, an excellent reassessment of the second President of the United States, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and patriot from Massachusetts.

A less known Adams is William, but not because he lacks interest. (I have no idea if he and John are related, although I imagine it’s possible.) This was the first Englishman in Japan, fictionalized by James Clavell in Shogun, but a real person who lived one of the great adventures in history: Samurai William: The Englishman Who Opened the East by Giles Milton.

To take a more literary approach, there is the Aubrey-Maturin series of Patrick O’Brian. The great friendship between the Captain and the Doctor spans 21 books and some fifteen years (some we relive more than once) as they fight Napoleon, the War of 1812, Pashas, Beys, Maharajahs, Sultans, Latin American revolutionaries, natives, cannibals, and even worse. O’Brian writes of this lost world of the Royal Navy as if he had lived there himself. The first book is Master and Commander.

I recently finished Stephen King’s Bag of Bones which I enjoyed very much and include for variety. Classic King, with a compelling love story, incredible descriptions of the most ordinary things, and ghosts. Lots of ghosts.

Harry Turtledove has been called the “Master of Alternate History” and he does have a way of taking the tiniest event and changing the course of history with it. One such was changing the Union soldiers who found General Lee’s orders wrapped around three cigars prior to the Battle of Antietam to Confederate soldiers. Lee, not McClellan, wins the battle and the South wins the Civil War. It begins with How Few Remain but continues through seven more novels with two more planned. This world is too like our own for comfort.

Lastly, we can’t forget the greatest war story of all, The Iliad.

Written by martinipundit

March 31, 2005 at 12:44 pm

Posted in General, Iraq

Quagmire Humor

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A friend e-mailed me this picture of some Iraqi children and an unknown American serviceman. I can’t vouch for its authenticity, but it is funny in a twisted sort of way. Just the thing for a Monday (except I got it today).

Written by martinipundit

March 29, 2005 at 10:56 am

Posted in GWOT, Iraq

Paul Johnson on Democracy

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It’s been fairly obvious that many on the Left both at home and abroad wished fervently (even if silently) for the recent Iraqi elections to fail. They simply couldn’t abide the idea that George Bush might get the credit. Meanwhile, much of Europe continues to drag their heels even as the President (again) extends the olive branch. Some feel that we should pay more attention to the opinions of the rest of the world but that ROW always seems to boil down to a handful of European nations. Paul Johnson takes a brief look at their record:

France and Germany have remained on the sidelines, greeting America’s costly efforts to bring democracy to the Arab world with a mixture of vicious criticism, sneers and obstructive tactics. But then, neither nation has much of a democratic record.

The Germans have had democracy imposed on them twice by the victorious Allies, each time after a world war Germany started. German democracy is a superficial growth, and if the Socialists there continue to mismanage the economy and impoverish the people, who can say whether freedom in Germany will survive?

The French have had 12 written constitutions since 1789. None has given ordinary French people the feeling that they are really in charge of their affairs. If they have a real grievance they take to the streets and block the roads and ports, knowing from bitter experience that force is more likely to get results than arguments or votes.

The French mirage draws Leftist admiration like the moth is drawn to the flame – with the same results. The French revolution invented mass murder, the Napoleonic revolution invented dictatorship, and don’t even get me started on the Paris Commune poisoned progeny. The cheese is simply not worth that (I’ve switched to Wisconsin).

Johnson gets it too:

As for European intellectuals, who command so much power in the media, universities and opinion-forming circles, they have done everything they possibly could to abuse America’s initiative in Iraq and to prevent the installation of freedom. Some make it clear that they would much prefer Iraq to be run by men like Saddam than by American-backed democrats. Of course, intellectuals pay lip service to free elections but in practice have a profound (if secret) hatred of democracy. They cannot believe that their votes should count for no more than the votes of “uneducated” people who run small businesses, work on farms and in factories and have never read Proust.

Proust. Snooze.

Written by martinipundit

February 22, 2005 at 10:51 am

Posted in Eurofollies, GWOT, History, Iraq

Cats, Cats Everywhere

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Carnival of the Cats #45 is up at Watermark, and appropriately leads off with some Iraqi catblogging.

Written by martinipundit

January 31, 2005 at 8:46 am

Posted in Catblogging, Iraq

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Iraq’s Turn

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As with Afghanistan, the handwringing nattering nabobs of negativity were wrong.

With the polls closed, it looks like the Iraqi turnout was about 72% easily beating the US turnout of just over 60% last November.

All around the country, Iraqis defied threats of violence and cast their votes. An initial estimate of turnout from the Independent Electoral Commission indicated that 72 percent of eligible Iraqi voters had turned out to cast their ballots.

The US can’t boast turnout approaching that for any election in a generation – and we don’t do it under guns and bombs of fanatic savages.

But the day was not without bloodshed. Eight homicide bombings and mortar strikes at polling stations killed at least 36 people. A Web site statement purportedly from insurgency leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s group claimed responsibility for the election-day attacks.

And yet, for all the hype and fear-mongering of the MSM and the likes of Ted Kennedy, this is all the savages were able to do. To be sure it was a tragically bloody month in Iraq, but no one expected any less from the desperate terrorists. The foreign terrorists surely know a legitemate Iraqi government will have huge incentive to eradicate their pestilential presence and the Baathists can expect naught but a speedy trial followed by a last cigarette. The vast majority of Iraqis have spoken and they’ve rejected tyranny and terror.

No word on whether Ted Kennedy thinks that’s a good thing or not.

Written by martinipundit

January 30, 2005 at 10:35 am

Posted in GWOT, Iraq

Unlike Saddam’s Iraq …

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… where skill at torture was a means of career advancement, in the United States we prosecute.

Some still fail to see the difference.

Written by martinipundit

January 15, 2005 at 12:29 pm

Posted in GWOT, Iraq

But They Hate Bush More

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Herbert Meyer pens an open letter to the anti-war Left in the American Thinker. A must read for our leftie friends – and for the rest of us.

I am not writing to quarrel with your judgment about the war in Iraq. Rather, I am writing to protest your attitude toward the war. And the point I want to make is this: sometimes, you have to choose between proving yourself to have been right, or helping make a project succeed despite your opposition to it.

He’s right of course, and I hope some listen. Yet I can’t help thinking that the choice for many on the Left is not between being right or success but between hating Bush and seeing Bush succeed. Framed that way, it’s pretty clear they hate Bush more.

Written by martinipundit

January 4, 2005 at 8:42 pm

Cracks Appear

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It’s going to be a tough month, and I say that with sadness. The news this morning is that a rocket attack in Mosul killed more than 20 US troops, and just like in the runup to our own election, it will only get worse as we approach the Iraqi election. Some have suggested this is a reason to postpone, but I strongly disagree with that position – that’s the Spanish Gambit and we should have no truck with rewarding terrorists. Yet at the same time we must recognize the threat. The savages have suffered three defeats recently: the reelection of John Howard, the reelection of George Bush, and the election of Mohammed Karzai. They fervently wish to avoid a fourth defeat next month. Indeed, the election itself will be a colossal defeat no matter who the victor.

There is a glimmer of good news in this impending violence however, as the Strategy Page observes:

Zarqawi wants a religious dictatorship in Iraq, and believes that if he sets off bombs in Shia areas, he can trigger retaliation from Shia and cause a civil war in Iraq. While nearly all the current violence in Iraq is committed by Sunni Arabs, it’s only a minority of the Sunni Arab community. Zarqawi knows that unless he can get more people fighting (either the Americans, the government or just other Iraqis), then the new democratic government might succeed. This would be a major defeat for al Qaeda. However, Zarqawi’s tactics are not popular inside al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden apparently does not approve, as bin Ladens latest taped message made no mention of Zarqawis operations (he encouraged attacks on oil facilities instead, something Zarqawi is not keen on.) Bin Laden believes that it’s all about money, and that if you destroy the oil income, the current Arab governments will fall, and Islamic dictatorships can take over.

This is a huge difference, and one we must hope is real. I find myself agreeing with Osama’s strategy outside of Iraq and Zarqawi’s within, but that is neither here nor there. Long-term the deck is heavily stacked against these guys, so their specific approach matters little. What matters a lot is that it differs, and they no longer present a unified terrorist apparat. Their resources are already stretched, and how nice a Christmas present to see them divided and (hopefully) ineffectively employed.

We must not forget in this those who died today, and those who will regretably die in the weeks to come. Madmen do not give up easily.

Written by martinipundit

December 21, 2004 at 12:56 pm

Posted in GWOT, Iraq

It May Not Be Malpractice But …

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He might have a case for terminal stupidity. If the surgeon gives you a choice between saving your finger or the wedding ring on it, the least he can do is not lose both.

When Marine Lance Cpl. David Battle learned he’d either have to sacrifice his ring finger or the wedding band he wore, he told doctors at a field hospital in Iraq to cut off the finger. … Doctors were preparing to cut off Battle’s ring to save as much of his finger as they could. With his approval, doctors severed his finger, but somehow in the chaos that followed, they lost his ring.

Of course, he still has his trigger finger …

Written by martinipundit

December 13, 2004 at 10:25 am

Posted in Idiotarians, Iraq

Seems Like Good News

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If this is failure, I’d like to see what success looks like:

The U.S. military has captured what officials termed a senior Sunni commander in Iraq, near the Syrian border.

The military said the Marine Corps detained the top commander in Al Anbar province in western Iraq. The commander, who was not identified, was one of six insurgents captured on Nov. 21 in the Anbar town of Haqlaniya.

“One of the six detainees is believed to be a high-ranking cell leader of anti-Iraqi forces operating in and around the Al Anbar province,” the military said in a statement on Monday. The military did not provide additional details.

Hmm, near Syria, you say? Whatever are they doing there?

Written by martinipundit

November 23, 2004 at 4:46 pm

Posted in GWOT, Iraq

Tabby Update

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Dean Esmay has an update on Tabby, the little Iraqi girl with a rare condition. She’s apparently doing quite well.

I donated some of my own Delta miles and they’re clearly better spent this way than anything I might have used them for. All who helped or contributed should be proud of the generosity of the American spirit, writ as large in this little girl and as in her country.

Written by martinipundit

November 22, 2004 at 12:21 pm

Posted in General, GWOT, Iraq

Northern Nights Fisked

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Intellectual masturbation isn’t pretty. There’s a lot of it going around these days, and much of it subject to the, er, eye of the beholder. On the other hand, sometimes it’s so obvious that one must just go “ick.” One Thomas Walkom is indulging himself for everyone to see in the Toronto Star. Let’s crash his little party …

When U.S. President George W. Bush arrives in Ottawa — probably later this year — should he be welcomed? Or should he be charged with war crimes?

Ooh, that felt good! Just writing the words gave him a little illicit frisson eh? Charge Bush with war crimes – more, more!

On the face of it, Bush seems a perfect candidate for prosecution under Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act. This act was passed in 2000 to bring Canada’s ineffectual laws in line with the rules of the new International Criminal Court.

Oh, right. That’s the same ICC the US turned a thumbs down so as to avoid getting involved with lawyers in useless nations without a rusty tub to call a navy who felt that they were somehow morally superior to the world since they were inferior in every other measurable context. Right. That ICC.

Outside of one well-publicized (and quickly squelched) attempt in Belgium, no one has tried to formally indict Bush. But both Oxfam International and the U.S. group Human Rights Watch have warned that some of the actions undertaken by the U.S. and its allies, particularly in Iraq, may fall under the war crime rubric.

Oxfam and HRW. Just what, exactly, is the standing of these organizations? Are they governments which have stood in free and democratic elections and thus have the consent of the people? Or are they self-appointed guardians of their own self-righteous blather? And just who funds them anyway? Is this another George Soros – Teresa Heinz nexus?

The case for the prosecution looks quite promising. First, there is the fact of the Iraq war itself. After 1945, Allied tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo — in an astonishing precedent — ruled that states no longer had the unfettered right to invade other countries and that leaders who started such conflicts could be tried for waging illegal war. Concurrently, the new United Nations outlawed all aggressive wars except those authorized by its Security Council.

Today, a strong case could be made that Bush violated the Nuremberg principles by invading Iraq. Indeed, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has already labelled that war illegal in terms of the U.N. Charter.

It rather depends on the definition of “unfettered” now doesn’t it? And I love the snide sidling into the Bush = Hitler meme. Nuremberg which was all about invading other nations and had nothing whatsoever to do with ovens, hangings, mass murder of prisoners, and other assorted atrocities. You know, that little thing called the Holocaust.

It’s also kind of convenient to forget all those UN resolutions that Saddam violated when bringing up Kofi Annan. I mean, it’s not like his UN isn’t neck-deep in the oil for food scandal and it’s not like the UN is a paragon of moral virtue having sided with terrorists and thugs at every conceivable turn. When an organization has the likes of the Sudan, Libya, and Syria overseeing human rights, I think it safe to say they’ve shot their moral capital.

But why let that get in the way of a good feeling? Keep it up hoserboy. Perhaps you can get them to relocate to Toronto.

The mistreatment of prisoners at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison is a clear contravention of the Geneva Accord. The U.S. is also deporting selected prisoners to camps outside of Iraq (another contravention). U.S. press reports also talk of shadowy prisons in Jordan run by the CIA, where suspects are routinely tortured. And the estimated civilian death toll of 100,000 may well contravene the Geneva Accords prohibition against the use of excessive force.

Ooh, this one is good. AG: it’s not like the US military didn’t come clean on that. It’s not like we put panties on their heads or anything. Oh, right, we did do that. My bad. Next time, we’ll emulate Uday and Qusay and put them into shredders. But shadowy torture chambers do add a nice shiver to the stroke. Nothing like a good unfounded allegation thrown into the mix to keep the juices flowing … Oh, and the 100k figure: not like that hasn’t been debunked already by the Pajamahadeen.

Then there is Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. says detainees there do not fall under the Geneva accords. That’s an old argument.

Don’t let that stand in your way – you’re peaking now!

In 1946, Japanese defendants explained their mistreatment of prisoners of war by noting that their country had never signed any of the Geneva Conventions. The Japanese were convicted anyway.

Yeah, that was satisfying. Don’t think about the difference between legal and illegal combatants – that difference might be distracting. You wouldn’t want to make this complex or anything. You wouldn’t want to consider that the Geneva Convention doesn’t apply, because then that whole part of the fantasy kinda turns on you.

Oddly enough, Canada may be one of the few places where someone like Bush could be brought to justice. Impeachment in the U.S. is most unlikely. And, at Bush’s insistence, the new international criminal court has no jurisdiction over any American.

Oddly enough, Canada actually has no jurisdiction over crimes that take place outside of Canada, especially when the “crime” exists only in the fantasies of the International Leftist Community.

But a Canadian war crimes charge, too, would face many hurdles. Bush was furious last year when Belgians launched a war crimes suit in their country against him — so furious that Belgium not only backed down under U.S. threats but changed its law to prevent further recurrences.

Yeah, and the fact that we would kick your collective asses into the stone age if you were ever to actually try anything so congenitally stupid.

As well, according to a foreign affairs spokesperson, visiting heads of state are immune from prosecution when in Canada on official business.

Ooh, conflicting Canadian laws! Time to work up again!

If Ottawa wanted to act, it would have to wait until Bush was out of office — or hope to catch him when he comes up here to fish.

Ex-presidents still have a secret service detail you know. I’m sure they’d have no trouble defeating the combined forces of your empire.

And, of course, Canada’s government would have to want to act. War crimes prosecutions are political decisions that must be authorized by the federal attorney-general. Still, Prime Minister Paul Martin has staked out his strong opposition to war crimes. This was his focus in a September address to the U.N. General Assembly. There, Martin was talking specifically about war crimes committed by militiamen in far-off Sudan. But as my friends on the Star’s editorial board noted in one of their strong defences of concerted international action against war crimes, the rule must be, “One law for all.”

And the moment Canada rules the world, you can decree what that law will be. Until then, I hope you enjoyed your little fantasy. You know, there are a lot of beautiful women in Toronto – maybe you should try getting out more.

Written by martinipundit

November 16, 2004 at 5:56 pm

I’m With Jeff on This One

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Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom hits the nail on the head. The handwringing hypocrisy from those safely behind the lines is despicable. If this Marine deserves a medal, he should get one. If he deserves a court-martial, then so be it.

Either way, the attempt to turn this into Abu Ghraib II when we’ve uncovered hostage slaughterhouses and found a woman mutilated and left in the street is practically treasonous when one understands that such a lack of perspective gives aid and comfort to the enemy and rewards the terrorists for their actions. It puts more lives at risk. Shame …

Now, go read Jeff.

Written by martinipundit

November 16, 2004 at 5:16 pm

George Washington Never Did This

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Michael Moore once compared the insurgents in places like Fallujah to the Minute Men and the Continental Army of the American Revolution. I guarantee the British never found anything like this when they won a battle:

The body of a blonde woman with her legs and arms cut off and throat slit was found today lying on a street in Falluja, a notorious Iraqi enclave for hostage-takers, US marines said.

“It is definitely a Caucasian woman with long blonde hair,” said a military official, who cut open a cover that had been placed over the corpse.

Another unit stumbled across eight Arab men, apparently Iraqis, who had been shot in the head execution-style, and laid out in two courtyards, four in each, said an AFP reporter embedded with the marines.

The gruesome discoveries were made as marines moved through the south of Falluja, hunting out the remaining rebels after a week of fierce fighting to regain control of the city.

“It is a female … missing all four appendages, with a slashed throat and disembowelled; she has been dead for a while but only in this location for a day or two,” said Benjamin Finnell, a hospital apprentice with the Navy Corps, who had inspected the body.

An AFP photographer embedded with the marines noted that the woman was wearing a blue dress and her face was completely disfigured. Sweeps of rubble-strewn neighbourhoods in Falluja have uncovered a grisly underworld of hostage slaughterhouses, prisons and torture chambers as well as the corpses of Iraqis who had been executed, marines say.

Later in the day, a unit of marines found the eight men, all fairly burly and aged between about 20 and 45, in central Falluja, said the AFP reporter. There were no uniforms or distinguishing features to identify the bodies, but two were dressed just in their underwear, he said.

Surviving hostages have also been found, but only one was a foreigner — a Syrian driver who was abducted with two French journalists in August. Two foreign women have been abducted in Iraq and remain missing. One, Teresa Borcz, 54, a Pole, has blonde hair, the other, British aid worker Margaret Hassan, 59, has chestnut-coloured hair. Borcz, married to an Iraqi and a resident in Iraq for 30 years, was abducted late last month. She has appeared in two videos appealing to the Polish government to help her but her fate is unknown.

When dealing with savages like this, it’s best to trust in the Marines, not Michael Moore. If the dead woman is Teresa Borcz, my condolences to her family. If not, we must hope she can be identified.

Written by martinipundit

November 15, 2004 at 4:36 pm

Posted in GWOT, Idiotarians, Iraq

Savages Murder Kenneth Bigley

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Word is that British hostage Kenneth Bigley has been murdered by his captors.

Reports conflict over whether he was beheaded or killed during an escape attempt. (One can always behead a dead body.) The newly renamed Jawa Report is all over it.

I confess to having lost my sense of horror and even outrage over Mr. Bigley’s murder – which is wrong. Perhaps it’s the sobering expectation that we will see more, not less, of this type of savagery between now and November 2nd. Nor is it likely to let up before the Iraqi elections in January. Those who say going into Iraq was a mistake fail to grasp that the terrorists will strike us where they can, that we have been circumscribing their ability to act outside of the Islamic world (although there are exceptions), and we’re dealing with the terrorists where they are. (Something Kedwards say they’ll do – another example of where their plan is already in place under Bush.)

We are in the midst of a World War. Atrocities happen in all wars, but in this case, it is different. We face an enemy who uses atrocities as a weapon themselves, to conduct a psychological operation against us and our troops. But mostly us. The civilians who will go to the ballot box in less than a month and choose whether we continue to beat the savages like gongs until they’re dead or give up or if we will tuck our tails and bring the troops home in ignominy and defend against the terrorists here, where we are. The savages know the stakes.

My condolences to Mr. Bigley’s family.

A glass raised to Diggers Realm

Written by martinipundit

October 8, 2004 at 5:16 pm

Posted in GWOT, Iraq

Cutting Through the Media Jabbering

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Mark Steyn zeroes in as usual:

In his prebaked soundbite of the night, Kerry said: ”Well, you know, when I talked about the $87 billion, I made a mistake in how I talk about the war. But the president made a mistake in invading Iraq. Which is worse?”

Interesting question. The play-by-play pundits thought it brilliant. But I beg to differ. It would have been a better line if he’d said, ”But the president’s made a mistake in how he’s fighting this war. Which is worse?”

There may be a majority that thinks post-Saddam Iraq has been screwed up; there’s not a clear, exploitable majority that thinks toppling Saddam was a disaster, and Kerry can’t build one in the next month. But it would still have been a lousy line for this reason: ”Talking about” stuff is all Kerry’s got. He’s no executive experience, he’s never run a state, never founded a company, built a business, made payroll. Post-Vietnam, all he’s done is talk and vote. For 20 years in the U.S. Senate: talk, vote, talk, vote.

So, if his talking and voting are wrong, what else is there?

A good Sunday read.

Written by martinipundit

October 3, 2004 at 9:31 am

Meanwhile, Back in France …

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While Nepal is arguably a bystander, the French have been neck deep in their own corruption where Iraq is concerned.  Yet they did think this would buy off the Islamofascists and keep them from treating the French as just another set of infidels.  But the kidnapping of two French journalists in Iraq, and the demand that unless France rescind its ban on head scarves for Islamic girls they will be killed, has rather rudely stripped away that delusion. Cox and Forkum put it succinctly:

Written by martinipundit

August 31, 2004 at 12:47 pm

Posted in GWOT, Iraq

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