Thursday, August 29, 2002

Saddam Must Go
Ken Adelman, writing for the editorial page of the essential Wall Street Journal, makes the case today for deposing Saddam Hussein ... now:

WASHINGTON--Now that Vice President Cheney has made it clear that the Bush administration is preparing the groundwork for the liberation of Iraq, it is time to take the case to America's allies. It should be an easy one to make.

Right now, there is an important gap between how Americans and Europeans perceive the risks from abroad: America was attacked on Sept. 11. Europe was not. And America would be attacked in another 9/11, especially one where weapons of mass destruction were used. Again, Europe most probably would not.

Despite this risk gap, our European allies nonetheless have a very real stake in how we now proceed. The world order from which they benefit is at risk, something that European voters instinctively understand. This is why they sympathized with the U.S. after it was hit. It's also why it's important to make the case now.

A U.S. attack on Iraq and Saddam Hussein will already garner solid support in key quarters. The Iraqi people will be cheering from the rooftops, as they did at the opening of the Gulf War in 1991, and dancing in the streets of Baghdad, as the liberated public in Kabul did months ago.

Governments in Britain, Turkey, Israel, Kuwait, Qatar and a surprising number of others will be solidly in our camp. So, there's no risk of "America going it alone," as the media likes to hype. But our support won't be limited to that, once President Bush lays out the case for going after Saddam with as much conviction and logic as he did for demolishing al Qaeda's cells in Afghanistan a year ago.

Indeed, the relative strength of the case against Iraq is greater than that marshaled against al Qaeda. A terrorist network like al Qaeda is horrible, but a terrorist nation like Iraq is even worse. It has the economic, scientific and military assets of a state--a far more daunting prospect than the piecemeal assets of a private group.

Terrorist states can thrive without terrorist networks. But terrorist networks can barely exist without terrorist states. They must reside somewhere, and have real trouble operating if being hunted down furiously--like Osama bin Laden now (if he's still alive). And they must rely upon sophisticated institutions to move their money and agents around the globe.

Unlike bin Laden, who slithered around Afghani caves, Saddam slithers around a state capital. He has his hands on billions of dollars in state oil receipts, hundreds of thousands of troops, scores of scientific laboratories and myriad manufacturing plants cranking out weapons of mass destruction.

Our moral imperative for ousting Saddam is powerful. With a whole nation of victims, he oppresses more people on a daily basis than bin Laden will in the course of his lifetime. We just need to get this idea through to Europeans, with their history of realpolitik. In a recent debate on the BBC, a former British permanent undersecretary at the Ministry of Defense, Sir Michael Quinlan, even argued that Saddam's regime provides "a certain stability."

Saddam, like bin Laden, is clearly an international terrorist. He was involved in the unsuccessful plan to knock over the World Trade Center in 1993. He ordered his goons to assassinate the first President Bush later that year. And he now encourages suicide bombers in Palestine by bankrolling their families. For years, Saddam provided a safe haven for that godfather of terrorism, Abu Nidal, who was expelled by Moammar Gadhafi for being too vicious and radical (if you can imagine).

While the evidence connecting Saddam to Sept. 11 is less of a smoking gun, it remains significant. Ringleader Mohamed Atta made the 7,000 mile round trip to Prague a few months before Sept. 11. There, he met a top officer of Iraqi intelligence, Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al Ani. Doubts the American press raised about this meeting were contradicted by those in the know. A month after the attacks, Czech Interior Minister Stanislav Gross shocked the world by saying: "We can confirm now that during his trip to the Czech Republic" in April 2001, "he did have a contact with" Saddam's key intelligence agent.

The prime argument for demolishing Saddam rests not so much on the past attacks as on a future one. Rather than come after America directly, Saddam could covertly hand off chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons to any number of terrorist groups. Their attack with his weapons of mass destruction would make last year's attacks pale in comparison.

We can't solve this problem by reinstating U.N. inspections, as British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw advocated Thursday on BBC radio. Contrary to international law and clear U.N. resolutions, Saddam has barred inspectors for four years running. Even if he were to acquiesce, they would do little good. His chief nuclear engineer, Khidhir Hamza, identified more than 400 sites in Saddam's nuclear-weapons program--not counting those making chemical and biological agents.

In his book "Saddam's Bombmaker," Mr. Hamza describes how Saddam--after Israel obliterated his Osirak nuclear plant in June 1981--decided not to put all Iraq's nuclear assets in one basket. Iraqi uranium enrichment facilities were spread around--some behind farmhouse façades, some disguised to look like schools or warehouses. International inspections would need a veritable army to cover this expansive covert program.

Every day Mr. Bush holds off liberating Iraq is another day endangering America. Posing as a "patient man," he risks a catastrophic attack. Should that attack occur and be traced back to an Iraqi WMD facility, his presidency would be relegated to the ash heap of history.

Why risk that? Why risk us? The case is compelling--at least to anyone open to reason and logic.

Mr. Adelman was assistant to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 1975 to 1977, and U.N. ambassador and arms-control director under President Reagan. He is currently on the Defense Policy Board, and co-host of

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

How Sweet It Is!
With the help of massive Republican cross-over voting, Rep. Cynthia McKinney, a radically liberal member of Congress from Georgia, has lost the Democratic primary.

Friday, August 16, 2002

Have Something to Say?
Oh, the mysteries of blogging. How, for example, does one add a "link-to" e-mail address so that readers can rebutt, condemn or praise the blogger? At this hour, the answer is elusive but the search continues. In the meantime, if you have something to say, send e-mail to

Double Down
To be clear, when Charles "Andy" Williams opened fire on March 5, 2001, killing two and injuring thirteen others, he was wrong, morally and legally, and the authorities were right to prosecute him. Williams should be punished for his crimes, if not as pre-emption -- there's no compelling reason to think he represents a continuing danger to society -- then as retribution and to reinforce the social imperative against indiscriminate or excessive violence. But there's more to the case of Andy Williams than a teenager who went off the deep end and started lighting people up.

In the months before his rampage, Andy endured near-constant bullying at the hands of his peers. To wit:

classmates lit cigarette lighters and held the hot tips to his neck;

kids sprayed Andy with hair spray and then tried to set him on fire;

he was hit with a towel severely enough to cause welts;

he was slammed against a tree twice;

he was held down and urinated on;

he was badly beaten;

his head was repeatedly dunked in a toilet or urinal containing human waste;

he was punched and kicked while walking down his school's hallways;

his backpack was thrown into a toilet;

his shoes were stolen right off his feet.

Williams was also often late to class as he tried to avoid the bullies who stalked him.

Reports of these and other incidents, and an article on the long-standing problem of bullying at Santana High School, come from The San Diego Union Tribune.

Prosectuor Kris Anton says the bullying Williams suffered did not justify his shooting rampage. That's true. There is no evidence that Bryan Zuckor, 14, or Randy Gordon, 17, both of whom died in the attack, or the school monitor or teacher who were wounded in the attack, were among those who had bullied Andy. Moreover, since Andy was not under physical assault at the moment he opened fire, he was engaged in an act of unfocused revenge, not self-defense. But it's hard to not feel some sympathy for a 15-year-old boy who was repeatedly taunted, beat, pissed on and stolen from. And while those acts do not justify Andy's rampage, neither does his rampage excuse from prosecution those who victimized him. This blog originates in Texas, which doesn't cotton to criminals. But surely even the large, outdoor lunatic asylum of California makes it a crime to rip people off, pee on them, or beat them.

Andy deserves to go to prison (although his youth and the context of his offenses make the 50 year sentence he received yesterday seem harsh.) But he shouldn't be going there alone. Ms. Anton, now that Andy's case is over, find all the little bastards who tormented him and jack 'em up.

Crock Watch
A San Francisco AIDS drone complains that the CDC is on a "witch hunt" for inquiring into the effectiveness of HIV prevention programs in that city.

"I am seethingly angry that this witch hunt is being presided over by a CDC director who is a doctor on leave from [the University of California at San Francisco]," Luke Adams, a policy analyst in the Mayor's Office of AIDS & HIV Policy, wrote in an Internet message to a homosexual group. "She is a scientist who KNOWS BETTER, and is obviously playing political games on behalf of the Bush administration and certain members of Congress. I am appalled that they are willing to risk lives to attempt to drum up political capital."

Oh, get over yourself, girl. There isn't a living gay man in America who doesn't know how HIV is transmitted or how to prevent it. If gay lives are at risk, the Bush Administration isn't responsible for that, gay men are. Mr. Adams offers the same clap-trap we heard twenty years ago when President Reagan was in power. When is the gay Left going to stop blaming Republicans for what gay men do with their dicks?

To hell with a do-nothing inquiry into this taxpayer-funded nonsense. Shut it down.

Where is the Human Rights Campaign When You Need It?
From Yossi Klein Halevi, writing in The New Republic:

Tayseer, as we'll call him, a 21-year-old Gazan whose constant smile tries to conceal watchfulness, learned early on that to be gay in Palestine is to be a criminal. Three years ago his older brother caught him in bed with a boyfriend. He was beaten by his family, then warned by his father that he'd strangle Tayseer if it ever happened again.

It happened again a few months later. Word gets around a refugee camp, and a young man he didn't know invited Tayseer into an orange grove. The next day he received a police summons. At the station Tayseer was told that his sex partner was in fact a police agent whose job is to ferret out homosexuals. If Tayseer wanted to avoid prison, he too would have to become an undercover sex agent, luring gays into orchards and turning them over to the police.

Tayseer refused to implicate others. He was arrested and hung by his arms from the ceiling. A high-ranking officer he didn't know arranged for his release and then demanded sex as payback. Tayseer fled Gaza to Tulkarem on the West Bank, but there too he was eventually arrested. He was forced to stand in sewage water up to his neck, his head covered by a sack filled with feces, and then he was thrown into a dark cell infested with insects and other creatures he could feel but not see. ("You slap one part of your body, and then you have to slap another," he recounts.) During one interrogation, police stripped him and forced him to sit on a Coke bottle. Through the entire ordeal he was taunted by interrogators, jailers, and fellow prisoners for being a homosexual.

When he was released a few months later, Tayseer crossed into Israel. He now lives illegally in an Arab Israeli village and works in a restaurant. His dream is to move to Tel Aviv. "No one there cares if you're gay," he says. These days, though, he knows that an illegal Gazan in Tel Aviv risks being deported and that he's safest staying where he is.

And if he were sent back to Gaza? "The police will kill me," he says. "Unless my father gets to me first."

The anti-homosexual bigotry of the Palestinians -- and indeed of the Arab world generally -- is greeted by the American Left, including its gay precincts, with silence. After all, the Jews aren't engaged in the sadistic and pathological practice of forcing teenage boys to sit on Coke bottles, so where's the fun in commenting on it?

Tip to gay Palestinian youth: if you want justice, find an Israeli Jew to force a Coke bottle up your ass. As long as you suffer at the hands of your own, the loud mouths in the West won't give a shit. The Left is interested only in opportunities to feel smug and self-righteous, and if you ask it to condemn a Palestinian culture that is in shambles, both physical and moral, it won't -- there being no satisification in the task. Jews on the other hand, namely Israeli Jews, are members of a powerful and decent Western society, and any opportunity to excoriate them -- e.g, covering your head in a sack of feces -- will meet the Left's need for intellectual primming.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Victimhood Reaches a Zenith
Rally all you like. But if you want to know where mainstream America draws the line, this is it. Word to the advocates of "reparations:" never.

Coming to Their Senses?
Support for Homicide Bombers May Be Dwindling
Fox News— Atta Sarasara has lost everything. First his 16-year-old son, Hazem, blew himself up in Jerusalem. Then the Israeli army blew up the Palestinian man's home as a result -- to discourage future suicide bombers.

Sarasara is angry with not just the Israelis, but also with the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades for preying on impressionable teenagers and giving his son a bomb.

"They used a child. He was very kind, handsome, smart. They used him," Sarasara said.

For the first time in the current uprising, ordinary Palestinians beginning to wonder what homicide bombings against Israelis achieve, echoing a statement signed by several dozen Palestinian intellectuals two months ago.

But few people in the street will question the bombing strategy publicly for fear of being seen as admitting defeat at the hand of the Israelis.

Israel has demolished the family homes of 21 bombers in recent days. Palestinian spokesmen say this only increases the bombers' willingness to attack Israel, but in at least two cases this week, fathers prevented their sons from volunteering.

One man turned his son over to the police in Tulkarem, while another in Nablus shot his son in the leg.

Sarasara said he didn't know his son planned to be a bomber, and therefore couldn't stop him. He also questioned whether his son would have carried out the mission had he known the Israelis would retaliate by tearing down his father's house.

Asked if he would allow another one of his sons to commit a suicide bombing, Sarasara said, "I don't think so."

"[The bombing] increases the suffering of the people from both sides -- from the Israeli side and the Palestinian side," said Bethlehem resident Ayyah Saad.

Hamas, the organization behind many homicide bombings, appears to have been sensing the change in public opinion.

In the days before the Israeli military killed its military wing's leader, and 14 others, in a rocket attack in Gaza, rumors circulated in the Israeli and Palestinian media that Hamas leaders had drafted pledging to end to attacks inside the pre-1967 borders of Israel.

The offer was apparently shelved after the Gaza attack, but it appears it may be viable again. Politicians on both sides point out that soldiers and settlers in the West Bank and Gaza would still be considered fair targets.

A Hamas-sponsored summer camp in Bethlehem provides an outlet to children who've been cooped up in their homes as Israeli tanks and soldiers patrol the streets. The Islamic organization may be winning the hearts and minds of the next generation, but they may lose support from the parents if homicide bombings remain their only strategy.

Monday, August 12, 2002

Don't Pee on the Floor
Well, well. A look at a rare instance of sanity in the public schools.

Final Protective Fire
More well-written common sense on the web from blogger Robin Roberts.

Double Standards
From Best of the Web: "A pilot for a Delta Air Lines subsidiary would not fly Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Melchior from Cincinnati to Toronto because the pilot thought Melchior posed a security risk," the Associated Press reports. Melchior, who was being escorted by State Department officials, was forced to catch a later flight. A spokeswoman for the subsidiary, Comair, tells ABC News that "it was a procedural matter that involved securing the proper paperwork for a firearm," though she refuses to elaborate further.

Something similar happened back in December to an Arab-American Secret Service agent, prompting shrieks of outrage from the Council on American Islamic Relations and others. The sound you hear now is silence.
For more from the Best of the Web, click here. Written by professional blogger James Taranto, it's a must read.

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Nail on the Head
Writing for the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, Michael Oren, author of "Six Days of War," hits the nail on the head:

"In Gaza last week, crowds of children reveled and sang while adults showered them with candies. The cause for celebration: the cold-blooded murder of at least seven people--five of them Americans--and the maiming of 80 more by a terrorist bomb on the campus of Jerusalem's Hebrew University. The joyful response of so many to the death, suffering and mutilation of students and university workers raises pointed questions about the health of Palestinian society, both mental and moral. It makes many Israelis ask whether, even if a cease-fire is reached and negotiations someday resume, peace with the Palestinians is possible."

The full essay is here.

Friday, August 09, 2002

Rhetorical Question
Is America overlawyered?

When Your Parents Are Pieces of Shit
... you learn that you don't need to study hard to make good grades. You need to hire a lawyer.

Word for the Day

perspicacity \pur-spuh-KAS-uh-tee\, noun:
Clearness of understanding or insight; penetration, discernment.

Doubtless these thumbnail sketches, like everything else Stendhal wrote, were intended ultimately to relate to his own notion of himself as a creature of invincible perspicacity and sophistication.
--Jonathan Keates, Stendhal

You Tell 'Em, Andy!
From gay conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan:

THE TIMES VS. THE WAR: When opinion polls show overwhelming support for the war against Iraq, how does the New York Times find a sample in which only one person out of dozens feels that way? The only conceivable answer is that the reporter was simply told to find opponents of war and write his story on those lines. Wouldn't a story like that need some context about what the polls are telling us? Not in the Times' universe. And the critical goal of the anti-war left is to sever any connection between September 11 and the war against Iraq. Here's the Times' editorial today insisting that this dimension - the most important background for any war against Iraq - be ruled out of discussion:

"One argument for war often floated by officials ought to be disposed of quickly. Military action against Iraq may be justified, but not in response to the terrorism of Sept. 11 or Al Qaeda. To date there is no reliable evidence that Baghdad had any serious connection to either. The dangers posed by Iraq have more to do with protecting American interests in the Middle East than with warding off fresh terrorist attacks on American cities."

This is preposterous. The only reason invading Iraq is being discussed at all is because of September 11 and what it taught us. It taught us that we are extremely vulnerable to terrorist assault, that these murderous fanatics are capable of anything, that they would use weapons of mass destruction in a heartbeat if they could get them. It is no secret that Iraq is the prime potential source of such weapons, and it is headed by a despot who has used them himself, and would dearly love to deliver them to America. What more do we need to know? The far-left notion that this is a cynical war for "protecting American interests in the Middle East" is absurd. Such a war might indeed make the Middle East a safer place, but the war is about protecting America and the West, as well as liberating the Iraqi people from one of the most evil tyrants in history. That the Times cannot or will not see this shows that they have learned nothing from the catastrophe of last year. (They're even running puff-pieces on war-resisters, for Pete's sake.) In fact, in the Times' world, that catastrophe must be elided, ignored, bracketed, divorced from anything that now happens. The hard left knows that this event changed the American discourse profoundly and they know that if they are to prevail in the months ahead, they must do all they can to minimize its importance. They must be exposed and stopped. And the administration should not wait too long to counter."