Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Having neglected my duties the past few days, I am happy to talk about this story from Fox News. It's about Iraqi CDF soldiers showing guts and bravery in Kharma alongside American Marines.
How brave? According to the story, the Iraqis received "two Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medals and three Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medals, each of which included combat "Vs" for valor."
That's brave. And heroic. And another example that while some things are going wrong, so much more is going right.
You can read the Marines' report of the battle in Kharma here.
On a sports note, congrats to the Detroit Pistons for whacking the hated L.A. Lakers. And congrats to the citizens of Detroit for not burning down the city. (that's a joke, son.)
If you didn't watch it, I understand. The NBA product has declined tremendously in recent years. But it was fun to watch because of two reasons:
- Ben Wallace: This guy ball-hakws like no one else around. He was grabbing anything that came off the rim or within 10 feet of him. He had something like 15 rebounds in one quarter. The fact that my beloved Celts had him on their roster no less than three times over the years kills me.
- Team parity: The East finally won a championship. Not only that, but a franchise playing with a team ethos beat a franchise playing with a star ethos. That cannot be discounted. If the concept of team can be reintroduced into the NBA, it could save it from becoming an irrelevant league.
Added Bonus: Phil Jackson didn't pass Red Auerbach on the championships won list for coaches. Ha!
There is wrong. There is shockingly wrong. And then there is "Paul Krugman" wrong.
I wish I had his gig, because it apparently involves making stuff up that doesn't have to have any basis in reality. Easy money!
Anyway, for the latest Krugman foible...actually, it's an old one. Read about his blindingly stupid economic predictions while a member (briefly) of the CEA during Reagan's first term, courtesy of Donald Luskin. After you're done, you'll understand why his stay was so brief.
Then read Luskin's other stories on Krugman. Great, great stuff.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
You can support the goal of a free Iraq and still be disgusted by the thug tactics at Abu Ghraib. You can support the job our men and women are doing and still thirst to see every person linked to this festering boil of non-American activity get jailed. You can be happy that Hussein has been captured and still want Rumsfeld to get the boot.
In short, you can be like William F. Buckley:
The best evidence of the incongruity of Abu Ghraib with American standards is the universal revulsion felt by the American people when those photographs were published. But right now there are only seven soldiers being prosecuted, and the sense of it is that that does not go deeply enough. If what happened was odious, but what happened did so under the auspices of a well-organized military, then you scratch up against the lessons of Nuremberg, which held superiors responsible for misconduct by subordinates. And people are wanting to know what are the relevant jurisdictions, and what tribunals do we have in mind to convoke in order to satisfy ourselves - and the world - that America wants more than merely to punish the people who did it. We need to punish also the people who let it happen.
We have to know who really sanctioned this. And we have to stop it. Just because some anti-war opportunists are getting on this bandwagon does not absolve pro-war advocates from holding this administration responsible.
When one of the founders of modern conservative thought makes that statement, it shows the neo-cons' dismissals of the activity at Abu Ghraib for the foolishness it is.
And on a separate note, things are going to get worse as the pictures and videos that only Congress has seen of Abu Ghraib come out. They apparently put the capital "T" in Torture, as they show not only rape, but murder.
IF (a big if) this is so, the perpetrators should hang. As in "neck-breaking from the end of a rope off a scaffold" hang. They should be killed. Put to death. Executed.
Those are high crimes, and no person could have ever conceivably thought they were legal orders. Whoever gave and/or followed out these orders knew they were not only violating the law, but the standards of human decency. And they deserve to die for it.
If there are two more pompous windbags on the planet than Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, I've yet to hear of them. (Well, Paul Krugman is right up there.) Anywho, over at McSweeney's is a delightful little piece called:
It's pretty frickin' hilarious. And don't forget to click on the part two link at the bottom of the page.
Monday, June 14, 2004
Head of U.N. atomic agency says Iranian cooperation 'less than satisfactory'
Umm, shouldn't we be paying a little more attention to this? Ayatollahs + nukes = really bad things.