September 30, 2002
ISRAELIS IN IRAQ: Jane's Foreign Report breaks this interesting development:
"While politicians and media are discussing the prospect of war with Iraq, the Israelis are taking action. Foreign Report has been told exclusively that Israeli special forces are already operating reconnaissance patrols in western Iraq. These operations are carried out secretly by Israel's best-trained commandos, the 'Sayeret Matkal'. Their mission: to find and identify places used by, or likely to be used by, Iraqi Scud missile-launchers."
The Jerusalem Post details the Jane's report: "The newsletter stated that 'neither Israel nor the US has a clue about what, if anything, Saddam Hussein is hiding,' and claimed it was this 'ignorance' that prompted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to assign the elite commando unit to carry out the job."
Jane's also reports that Israel undertook this mission without the knowledge of the United States. That I find hard to believe.
September 28, 2002
'BAGHDAD BABS' The New York Post gives "global geopolitical strategist Barbra Streisand" a new nickname and suggests a career move: go to Iraq and perform for Saddam.
THE TWO FACES OF AL GORE: A lack of public virtue combined with desperate ambition results in this:
I want to state this clearly: President Bush should not be blamed for Saddam Hussein's survival to this point. There was throughout the war a clear consensus the United States should not include the conquest of Iraq among its objectives. On the contrary, it was universally accepted that our objective was to push Iraq out of Kuwait, and it was further understood that when this was accomplished, combat should stop. -- Senator Al Gore, in a speech to U.S. Senate, April 18, 1991
I felt betrayed by the first Bush administration's hasty departure from the battlefield. -- Unemployed Al Gore, remarks to the Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, September 23, 2002
NO WONDER THEY'RE FLIPPIN' OUT: The Washingon Times reports that Dems are antsy about maintaining a Senate majority.
September 27, 2002
CRACKIN' UP? Is it possible for a political party to have a nervous breakdown? Consider:
1. Al Gore. Desperate to position himself as the frontrunner for the Dem's 2004 presidential nomination, Gore -- who couldn't even carry his home state in the 2000 election -- gave a speech last Monday in which he fired a barrage of demonstrably false and weird accusations about President Bush's prosecution of the war. And when Gore blasted Bush's Iraq policy without offering alternatives, he was, in effect, siding with Saddam Hussein.
2. Tom Daschle. Not to be outdone by Gore's goofy behavior, Daschle took to the Senate floor this week and faked a hissy-fit over comments he attributed to President Bush. Daschle claimed that the president had criticized Senate Democrats' commitment to protecting Americans from terrorism and, thus, had politicized the war. There was one problem: the president never said it. Daschle demonstrated that, like most leaders in the Post-Clinton Democratic Party, he is incapable of promoting a political agenda without lying. To show his support of the majority leader's accusations, Dick Gephardt joined Daschle at a press conference the next day at which Daschle announced that he and Dick were "soulmates." (Feel free to wipe away that tear welling in your eye.)
3. Has-been singer Barbra Streisand, a real-life Norma Desmond, faxed a "memo" to Democratic congressional leaders urging them to be more aggressive in defending Saddam Hussein. The Drudge Report has the details and, judging from the photograph there, this Norma Desmond isn't ready for her close-up.
4. UPI reports that three Democratic congressmen -- David Bonior of Michigan (fresh from getting his ass kicked in his state's Dem gubernatorial primary), James McDermott of Washington (who illegally accepted an illegally taped private telephone conversation between Republican congressional leaders several years ago) and Mike Thompson of California (of whom I know nothing but am willing to bet is also a creep) -- arrived in Iraq today to essentially assist Saddam in campaigning against a U.S. efforts to liberate Iraqis. According to UPI, Thompson spoke for the treasonous trio once they arrived at the Saddam Hussein International Airport [chuckle] in Baghdad. "Referring to President Bush's assertion of a U.S. right to strike to prevent attacks on it," Thompson said that the U.S. "should not launch any pre-emptive strike against anyone in the world . . ." Told you he was a creep.
5. Ted Kennedy. The Dems decided today that America's Worst Driver should be front-and-center in the effort to oppose the liberation of Iraq. Ted oozed into the Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies where he gurgled and wheezed demands that United States put its fate into the hands of the laughably corrupt and anti-U.S. United Nations.
All this in one week. America's oldest political party -- the party of Jefferson, Jackson, Cleveland, FDR, Truman and JFK -- has reduced itself to a political version of the Jerry Springer Show.
HEADLINE OF THE DAY: "Gore accuses White House of ignoring 9/11 warnings" -- The Washington Times
I can only assume that Doughy Al is referring to the Clinton-Gore White House.
September 26, 2002
CORRECTION: In yesterday's "Vintage Whine" post, I mistakenly wrote that President Bush directed critical comments at Senate Democrats for holding up passage of the homeland security bill. Though Daschle and other union-owned senators are indeed blocking passage of the bill, the president directed his criticisms at the Senate as a whole rather than singling out Democrats. In fact, the president went on to thank Republicans and Democrats who are working with him to strengthen domestic security. This makes Daschle's demagogic accusation that the president is politicizing the war all the more laughable.
UNDERSTATING 'GORE'S DISGRACE' Yowza! Michael Kelly, The Atlantic's editor-at-large, has some thoughts on Al Gore's speech to the Commonwealth Club last Monday in which the doughy former veep blasted President Bush's Iraq policy:
Politics are allowed in politics, but there are limits, and there is a pale, and Gore has now shown himself to be ignorant of those limits, and he has now placed himself beyond that pale.
Gore's speech was one no minimally decent politician could have delivered. It was entirely dishonest, cheap, low. It was utterly hollow. It was bereft of policy, of solutions, of constructive ideas, very nearly of facts - bereft of anything other than taunts and jibes and embarrassingly obvious lies. It was breathtakingly hypocritical, a naked political assault delivered in smarmy tones of moral condescension from a man pretending to be superior to mere politics. It was wretched. It was vile. It was contemptible. But I understate.
And that's just for starters. Read the rest of Kelly's column in today's New York Post.
September 25, 2002
VINTAGE WHINE: Paging Dr. Phil.....Paging Dr. Phil.....Call Tom Daschle.....STAT!!!
Having failed to find an election-year issue on which the Democrats can beat a popular Republican president, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle chose an innovative political strategy -- faking a seizure on the Senate floor today. Well, not quite a seizure but it was close. And damned funny. It was like watching a lame-o improv acting class after the artsy instructor pitches the situation: "Now you're a . . . senate majority leader whose feelings are hurt by the president!"
Daschle whined that the president is politicizing the war for electoral gain. It was a hilariously over-the-top attempt at feigning offense and outrage and Daschle resembled an overly emotional daytime talkshow guest more than a the congressional leader. He then indignantly demanded an apology from the president.
Of course, Daschle was lying; Bush didn't slam Senate Dems regarding the war. While campaigning for Republican senate candidates, Bush ripped Senate Dems for bottling up his homeland security bill and urged voters to elect a Republican senate. Outrageous, huh? (Of course, Daschle had nothing to say when his stringpuller, Bill Clinton, actively sought to blame his "extremist" Republican opposition for the Oklahoma City bombing. And wasn't it Daschle who grossly miscalculated when he questioned Bush's prosecution of the war in Afghanistan just days before the Taliban was all but defeated by the American military?)
As with Daschle's previous attempts to slime Bush, today's, the most desperate yet, failed. But it did confirm one thing: Saddam Hussein hasn't a thing to fear from Tom Daschle.
BIOLOGICAL FIRST-STRIKE? It's an interesting coincidence that the day before British Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed Parliament on Saddam's plans to use chemical and biological weapons, Jane's Security re-posted an excerpt of a chilling report about the Soviet Union's unsecured biological weapons inventory. The report, written by Andy Oppenheimer, was originally posted on the Jane's Chem-Bio Web site earlier this month.
The Soviet biological weapons (BW) arsenal included the causative agents of anthrax, smallpox, plague, tularemia, glanders, Ebola and Marburg. Soviet BW scientists also developed anti-crop and anti-livestock agents . . . Apart from attempts by Iran and other countries to hire underpaid or displaced Russian BW specialists to work on BW development programs, the security of biological materials sites in countries of the former Soviet Union remains a growing concern.
Out of some 50 former Soviet BW sites, Vector in western Siberia is one of the biggest and, according to the US DoD, continues to maintain a culture collection that includes over 15,000 viral strains, including Marburg and Ebola. It is also one of the world’s two authorized smallpox repositories. The State Research Center for Applied Microbiology (Obolensk) contains a 2,000-microorganism collection that includes genetically engineered strains of anthrax and other dangerous pathogens . . .
Several instances have been reported of theft or diversion of dangerous pathogens, including smallpox, plague, and anthrax, from institutes in Russia, Georgia, and Kazakhstan. The DoD noted that providing physical security is difficult because of the small size of pathogen vials. Also, pathogens cannot be detected using X-ray machines. For example, a seed culture of dried anthrax spores could be carried in a sealed plastic vial the size of a thumbnail, making detection almost impossible. Pathogens could also be sold to terrorist groups or "rogue states" . . .
The BW research program also had as many as six facilities employing some 10,000 scientists to develop anti-agricultural weapons, including the Biologics Plant and another facility in Pokrov. According to Igor Domaradsky, former chairman of the Soviet Interagency Science and Technology Council on Molecular Biology and Genetics, Pokrov was "one of the biggest" facilities that developed agricultural weapons, including foot-and-mouth disease, to target livestock, poultry and plants . . .
. . . the Washington Post reported in June 2002 that the [Pokrov] facility is crumbling and poorly guarded. US officials say many viruses are housed in a dilapidated compound that has a patched-up alarm system and is manned by ageing [sic] guards. In addition, due to underfunding, Pokrov is struggling to keep its underpaid scientists. Gavrilov admits there have been break-ins, as well as attempts at purchasing materials.
Considering that Iraq had strong ties with the Soviet Union, it doesn't take a leap to conclude that Iraq used its contacts to steal or buy Soviet biological weapon materials. Nor does it take a leap to assume that by now, Saddam has deliverable bio weapons and fully intends to use them in a first-strike context.
September 23, 2002
ENGLISH NOT TOOGOOD: Not since Glen Campbell in True Grit has there been a poorer performance than that delivered on CNN yesterday by admitted child abuser Madelyne Toogood. In an obviously scripted effort by her lawyer to poison the pool of potential jurors, Toogood blubbered on about how she shouldn't have viciously assaulted her four-year-old daughter, that it was the first time such a thing had happened and that she's concerned about Martha's emotional health while in custody of the state. (Why wasn't she concerned about Martha's health, emotional or otherwise, in the Kohl's parking lot?)
When asked to describe Martha, Toogood tried -- and miserably failed -- to sound like a proud and loving parent boasting about her kid: "Martha is, I would say, a typical 4-year-old -- but she's not. Martha runs everything. Martha is extremely loud. When she talks, she's loud. When you first meet her, she's real shy. When you're around her a little bit, she's loud and she over-talks everybody. And she's extremely smart for a 4-year-old. She runs the boys like she's older than they are. She likes to tell everybody what to do and how to do it." There's an anger and a resentment which seethes between the lines of those comments. Combine those words with the images in Kohl's parking lot video, and it's obvious that Madelyne Toogood doesn't like her daughter and should never have unsupervised custody.
During the interview, Madelyne Toogood also grabbed the English language by the hair, shook it and then repeatedly slapped it: "There never was nothing on her . . . I think they should have gave her to somebody in my family . . . No -- I never took nothing . . . I shouldn't have did that . . . She could have went with any member of my family, and I wouldn't have went near her . . . I wouldn't have went near my little girl . . I just wish they would have gave Martha to a family member."
I just wish someone "would have gave" Madelyne a taste of what she dished out to Martha.
Read the entire interview. It's reveals that Madelyne Toogood regrets nothing but being caught in the act.
BILL'S LITTLE FRIEND: The New York Post reports that Bill Clinton has a new chocolate labrador retriever. The dog's name: Seamus.
Is it safe to assume that if Clinton takes his dog to the office, there will be traces of Seamus on an intern's dress?
September 18, 2002
AMERICAN OF THE WEEK: Jacob Reed of Sissonville High School, West Virginia.
CourtTV reports that when 15-year-old Katie Sierra, a self-styled "anarchist" AND "pacifist" (that's kind of like a meat-eating vegetarian) arrived at Sissonville wearing a t-shirt bearing this self-composed (and uninspired) satire of the Pledge of Allegiance . . .
I pledge the grievance to the flag
Of the United State [sic] of America
And to the Republicans whom I can't stand
One nation under smog, indespicable
With liberty and justice for some, not all
. . . a fellow student, Jacob Reed, gave blue-haired Katie a generous dose of moral clarity when he allegedly told her, "If you don't like this country, then fucking leave."
The principal gave Jacob detention. Broadsides gives him American of the Week honors.
CLASSLESS: What sadistic asshole at Rockefeller Center greenlighted the display of this pathetic sculpture? It's hardly surprising that some nitwit artist is detached enough to think a sculpture of a person falling to her death at the World Trade Center would be a fitting commemoration, but that someone on staff at Rockefeller Center would agree to exhibit it is stunning. The New York Post article quotes a Rockefeller Center spokesman as saying "the work was not commissioned." If that's the case, why is it on display at Rockefeller Center?
What's the artist's next project? How about a sculpture of a mangled Mercedes displayed in Prince William's home, or a painting of a fertilizer-laden Ryder truck for exhibition in Oklahoma City?
MILLIONAIRE MOOCHERS: Open your wallet and feel the Clintons' pain. A federal court unsealed papers which reveal multimillionaires Bill and Hillary Clinton are attempting to mooch $3.5 million from taxpayers -- most of whom are nowhere near being rich -- to cover their legal expenses.
This is what happens when voters elect parasites to public office.
September 17, 2002
OSAMA'S BEEN WORM FOOD, PART II: Osama bin Laden found himself on the business end of an American precision-guided bomb in Tora Bora last December, says a fellow a evildoer. This News.com.au account of a United Arab Emirates newspaper report has the cave-shattering details.
September 16, 2002
DICTATION SKILLS REQUIRED: Bill Clinton has been on the prowl for interns to staff his Harlem office. The New York Daily News reports that the classless former president's office is looking for students interested in pubic service...oops...make that public service.
A Clinton spokesman, the Daily News reports, insists that it's "strictly business." Of course, that depends on what your definition of "business" is.
The Daily News called Clinton's office to inquire about the internships and was told by the person who took the call that "those positions have been filled." [INSERT YOUR OWN JOKE HERE.]
EU FOLLIES: Apparently those hopeless romantics at the European Union are pining for Europe's glory days when rickets, scurvy, rotten teeth and other malnutritional maladies were the masses' lot in life. Why else would the socialist central planners of the EU want to ban dietary and herbal supplements from being sold in member countries? The Guardian reports that EU goons are "set to nip the natural medicine market in the bud: soon, that popular vitamin C, echinacea and zinc combination may not be allowed on the shelves. A shadow looms large over the alternative health sector . . . hundreds of vitamin and mineral supplements could be banned outright, while an as yet incalculable number of common herbal remedies will disappear unless consumers challenge it."
How long will European consumers put up with this political version of Frankenstein's monster, this unnaturally created and imposed political entity which serves no purpose other than to destroy consumers' economic and political freedom? Perhaps there's a windmill somewhere in Strasbourg into which an angry European mob can chase the EU legislators. "Fire good!"
September 13, 2002
GINSU-BASED DEFENSE: Iraq's foreign minister warned the United States that if attacked, Iraqis would defend themselves "by using everything at our disposal," including, among other things, "kitchen knives." Intelligence reports suggest that the Iraqis are also stockpiling massive arsenals of veg-o-matics, bamboo steamers and, most ominously, the Popeil Pocket Fisherman.
September 12, 2002
THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN: Think the world's changed over the last 12 months? Victor Davis Hanson says you ain't seen nothin' yet.
U.N. IRRELEVANCE: In the most pointed presidential address since Ronald Reagan labeled the Soviet Union an "evil empire," President Bush this morning basically told the U.N. that it just plain sucks and that it's all but irrevelant. However, the president then offered the U.N. a chance to become relevant: by joining the United States in liberating Iraq. The full text of this amazing speech is on the White House website, but here are a couple particularly nifty excerpts:
The conduct of the Iraqi regime is a threat to the authority of the United Nations, and a threat to peace. Iraq has answered a decade of U.N. demands with a decade of defiance. All the world now faces a test, and the United Nations a difficult and defining moment. Are Security Council resolutions to be honored and enforced, or cast aside without consequence? Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding, or will it be irrelevant?
We must choose between a world of fear and a world of progress. We cannot stand by and do nothing while dangers gather. We must stand up for our security, and for the permanent rights and the hopes of mankind. By heritage and by choice, the United States of America will make that stand. And, delegates to the United Nations, you have the power to make that stand, as well.
September 11, 2002
'A PRIVILEGE WE SHARE' President Bush commemorated the significance of the day with a graceful but powerful speech delivered tonight from Ellis Island. Two memorable excerpts:
This nation has defeated tyrants and liberated death camps, raised this lamp of liberty to every captive land. We have no intention of ignoring or appeasing history's latest gang of fanatics trying to murder their way to power. They are discovering, as others before them, the resolve of a great country and a great democracy. In the ruins of two towers, under a flag unfurled at the Pentagon, at the funerals of the lost, we have made a sacred promise to ourselves and to the world: we will not relent until justice is done and our nation is secure. What our enemies have begun, we will finish . . . We cannot know all that lies ahead. Yet, we do know that God had placed us together in this moment, to grieve together, to stand together, to serve each other and our country. And the duty we have been given -- defending America and our freedom -- is also a privilege we share.
The full text of the president's speech is here.
SPELLING IT OUT: Just in case terrorist countries have yet to figure out that they're in big trouble, the crew of the USS Belleau Wood spells it out for them. Check it out. (Thanks to Instapundit for noting this one.)
LESSONS ONE YEAR LATER: Ink, airwaves and bandwidth are in high demand this week as publications, networks and bloggers mark the first anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States. In doing so, some have sought to assess a profound meaning to that day's deadly events.
But how is it possible to give meaning to the mass murder of over 3,000 people? The meaning of any human event is a deeply personal and subjective determination; the meaning of September 11 to the widow of a victim will vary considerably from the definition assigned to it by the father of an American soldier now deploying in Iraq. That's why attempting to invent a single, comprehensive 9/11 meaning is a pointless pursuit.
History bears no meanings, but it's ripe with lessons. And the attacks of last September offer two stark lessons -- one for Americans and one for the rest of the world. The lesson for Americans was best expressed by George Will in his Washington Post column this week. Drawing a comparison between two fateful dates in American history, Will writes that "no one now living will live to see a day when Americans forget the lesson now associated with Sept. 11 as well as Dec. 7: A powerful nation embodying a powerful idea and spanning six time zones is permanently exposed to dangers from all the other 18 zones." Or, putting it in the parlance of the Founders, to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" requires unwavering vigilance.
September 11 also offers a vivid lesson for other countries because, as Mark Steyn writes in the National Post, it "marks the day America began to fight back: Thanks to the heroes of Flight 93, 9/11 is not just Pearl Harbor but also the Doolittle Raid, all wrapped up in 90 minutes. Those passengers were the only victims who knew what the hijackers had in store for them, and so they acted. The improvisations of Flight 93 foreshadowed the extraordinary innovations of the Afghan campaign, when men in traditional Uzbek garb sat on horses and used laser technology to guide USAF bombers to their targets." Steyn then declares that "on Flight 93, Todd Beamer, Jeremy Glick, Thomas Burnett, Mark Bingham and others . . . effectively inaugurated the new Bush Doctrine: When you know your enemies have got something big up their sleeves, you take 'em out before they can do it."
And that's a lesson the rest of the world -- enemies and allies -- had best commit to memory.
September 10, 2002
OSAMA'S BEEN WORM FOOD: The Times of London reports that al-Qaeda thug Khalid Sheikh Mohammed "seems to have betrayed al-Qaeda’s most potent secret: its charismatic leader is dead." In what the Times describes as a slip of the tongue, Khalid referred to bin Laden in the past tense during an interview for the al-Jazeera satellite network. The interview was "a propaganda exercise organised by al-Qaeda in time for the first anniversary of September 11" and featured Khalid bragging about the operational details of the September attacks on America.
The al-Jazeera reporter, who on previous occasions interviewed bin Laden, strongly suspects that "Al-Qaeda’s decision to bring a reporter from al-Jazeera to meet two of bin Laden’s generals rather than the man himself adds to the impression that their leader may be no more."
September 09, 2002
USEFUL IDIOTS: It's not often that in one week, America's two greatest mistakes -- Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton -- inadvertently remind us how fortunate we are that neither of these presidential runts is in office.
The Year of Negotiating Laboriously
America's Neville Chamberlain, Jimmy Carter, has written an op-ed column for The Washington Post in which he has the unmitigated gall to slam President Bush's foreign policy initiatives. Yes, it's the same Jimmy Carter who gutted the U.S. military; countered the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan by boycotting the 1980 Olympics; allowed Iran -- a longtime U.S. ally -- to fall into the hands of Shi'ite-head clerics openly committed to destroying America; did little more than freeze Iranian assets when an Iranian mob, with their government's blessing, stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehren and took 52 Americans hostage; failed to secure over the course of more than a year the release of those hostages; and, thus, presided over the most disastrous foreign policy in presidential history.
In his column, Carter insists that there "is no current danger to the United States from Baghdad." The key word there is "current." Apparently, the Putz from Plains would rather wait until Saddam's nukes are operational and en route to the United States before supporting efforts to halt their use. The most laughable of Carter's criticisms of President Bush is for "disavowing U.S. commitments to laboriously negotiated international accords." Laboriously negotiated international accords? Such as Carter's year-long, doomed-from-the-start hostage negotiations with the psychopathic Iranian regime?
Carter's fetish for negotiations served no purpose other than to prolong the hostages' captivity, which finally ended at the moment Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president on January 20, 1981. In the time it takes to recite the presidential oath, the Iranians' perception of Reagan as an unpredictable, trigger-happy, shoot-first-ask-questions-later cowboy motivated the mad mullahs in a way that a year of "laboriously negotiated" hot air never did.
Actually securing the hostages' freedom mattered less to President Carter than negotiating it. In other words, negotiating for the sake of negotiating is a policy goal desired by Carter and his ilk -- even when American lives are demonstrably in imminent danger. And that's why, to the Axis of Evil, Jimmy Carter is a useful idiot.
"No one cares about foreign policy"
In late 1992, Lee Hamilton, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wanted a moment with President-elect Bill Clinton to briefly discuss a few pressing foreign policy matters. Clinton would have none of it. He curtly told an astonished Hamilton "I've been traveling around our country for a year and no one cares about foreign policy other than about six journalists." Since opinion polls didn't reflect a substantial concern about foreign affairs, President Bill Clinton had no intention of exhibiting leadership on any foreign policy issue.
And the enemies of the United States made the most of it.
During Clinton's eight-year-long kegger, terrorist nations openly waged war on the United States. Beginning with Iraq's attempted assassination of former President George H.W. Bush, America was subjected to a barrage of deadly attacks: the World Trade Center bombing, the attacks on American troops in Somalia, the bombing of American troops at the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the Oklahoma City bombing, the embassy bombing in Kenya, the embassy bombing in Tanzania and the bombing of the USS Cole. Not one of these deadly acts of war elicited anything more than a symbolic retaliation by the Clinton Administration. Even more egregious is that President Clinton thrice declined offers to turn over to the United States one of the principals behind many of the attacks, Osama bin Laden.
Last week, the same man who repeatedly refused to take custody of Osama bin Laden had the temerity to criticize the Bush Administration for pursuing the liberation of Iraq before capturing bin Laden. At a Democratic fundraiser, Clinton whined, "Saddam Hussein didn't kill 3,100 people on Sept. 11, Osama bin Laden did, and as far as we know he's still alive . . . I also believe we might do more good for American security in the short run at far less cost by beefing up our efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere to flush out the entire network."
For eight years, Bill Clinton narcissistically pursued image-over-substance in foreign policy, and, as a result, thousands of Americans are dead. Now Clinton seeks to undermine the incumbent commander-in-chief's prosecution of the war that he was too cowardly to fight. And that's why, to the Axis of Evil, Bill Clinton is a useful idiot.
September 06, 2002
WAR? WHAT WAR? PART II: In what the London Daily Telegraph reports as "the biggest single operation over" Iraq in four years, a contingent of 100 U.S. and U.K. aircraft lowered the boom on Saddam's western air defense facilities yesterday. With "many support aircraft" involved, "nine American F15 Strike Eagles and three RAF Tornado GR4 ground attack aircraft flying from Kuwait" fired "precision-guided bombs on to the H3 airfield, 240 miles west of Baghdad." The Telegraph reveals that the purpose of this mission was to give "easy access for special forces helicopters to fly into Iraq via Jordan or Saudi Arabia to hunt down Scud missiles before a possible war."
A possible war?? When over 100,000 American and allied troops, including nearly 2,000 special ops personnel, are on the ground in and around an enemy country and American bombs are dropping on that enemy's command-and-control and air defense facilities, a war is more than possible. A war is on.
September 05, 2002
IZ ZEE CASE SOL-VED? Is Inspector Clouseau running the FBI? Sure seems that way. The FBI is just now getting around to noticing that Hesham Mohamed Hadayet's murderous July 4th attack on people around the Los Angeles airport's El Al counter was an act of terrorism, the Jerusalem Post reports.
The FBI informed Eliot Engel, a Democratic congressman from New York, that "no final conclusion has been reached," but "our Los Angeles office has opened this case as a terrorism investigation." Translation: Now that no one is paying attention to this case, there's less pressure from above to be politically correct in characterzing it.
September 04, 2002
SIT ON THIS, SADDAM! Using carefully crafted diplomatic verbage, British Prime Minister Tony Blair called for a "regime change" in Iraq if Saddam fails to comply with U.N. resolutions on weapons of mass destruction. However, as seen here, the prime minister's body language was a bit less diplomatic.
September 03, 2002
MEANWHILE AT THE AXIS OF EVIL: Iran and Iraq -- two nations separated by a consonant -- are ruled by regimes that aren't only evil but straight-up goofy. UPI reports on a testy verbal volley between the two villain-nations.
Iraq's vice president [pause for laughter] fired the first salvo when he claimed that "the Persians have always been the allies of Zionists" and that they have "ambitions in the Arab world like the Zionists." Apparently offended that anyone would question Iran's hatred of Israel, an Iranian spokesman "accused the Iraqi government of offering the biggest service to Israel by invading Kuwait in 1990 and starting a war with Iran in 1980," and claimed that "Israel benefited most from both wars while the Iraqi government only provoked discord and disputes among the Arab and Islamic countries by invading Kuwait."
Unwilling to let sleeping camels lie, Iran's state-controlled newspaper characterized the Iraqi vice president's remarks as an attempt to "please the United States" and cautioned Baghdad against stoking hostilities with Iran as a means to appeasing the U.S. Of course, the Iranians didn't explain how Iraq accusing Iran of being pro-Israeli would result in better U.S.-Iraqi relations, but clear and reasoned thinking isn't a exactly a hallmark of psychotic regimes.
What's interesting is that at a time when the survival of both regimes is in serious jeopardy, Iran and Iraq are labeling the other as the region's chief troublemaker. Perhaps it's a lame, between-the-lines message to the United States that translates as "HE DID IT!! TAKE HIM!!! HE'S THE ONE YOU WANT!"
HEADLINE OF THE DAY: "Man with mouth sewn shut found in Zurich"
September 01, 2002
IT'S OFFICIAL: The sun has set on the British Empire. In a poll of public opinion, Brits rank the death of Princess Diana as the most significant event in English history.
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