Monday, July 31, 2006

Human Shields

update: it's looking more and more like perhaps this was a staged event -- staged by Hezbollah or Hezbollah supporters. At any rate, Israel did strike the area. Israel has footage of rockets being launched from that area and says that 150 of the 2,500-ish rockets that have been fired on Israel were fired from there.

Milking it - and don't forget to check out the update link to further investigation into Mr. Green helmet and his link to the similar ... event... in 1996 -- still don't think this was largely staged?

And don't forget the video of rockets being fired from this area and launcher/munitions vehichles hiding in civilian buildings.

Listening to NPR again this morning. Why do I do that? Well -- most of the music on the radio these days sucks. Even when it doesn't, I can't stand the blather of morning hosts and DJ's. So when I'm not listening to my MP3 player or a CD in the car -- classical music is my best choice. So it stays on NPR. So if I don't plug anything in on my 6 minute ride to work in the morning -- I get NPR news.

Or silence. Which I have opted for before.

In fairness, NPR isn't quite as bad as some other news outlets -- which is like saying a garbage heap isn't quite as stinky as raw sewage ... but still -- relatively speaking, NPR does at least seem to make feeble attempts at balance from time to time. They have more conservative customers than most oultets -- conservative fogies like me like jazz and classical and NPR is about the only outlet for it in many markets.

But enough apologizing about WHY I was listening to NPR. That's not the point of this post.

I tuned in just in time to hear a story of blathering about a place called Qana being hit by Israeli ordinance this morning. Go listen for yourself if you like. The story was full of personal tragedy and gave plenty of Muslims soap boxes from which to spout their world views. The news story dutifly went with that angle. The story did mention that Israel said it targeted the location because rockets were being launched from that area -- but it was mentioned as an aside, something to be doubted as the story went on to focus on quotes from people talking about the women and children, denying the presence of Hezbollah fighters over and over.

The story had all the balance of a boulder on a see-saw at a pre-school recess.

Then I took a gander at this story, with video, and discussion of the 4th Geneva Convention, article 28.

The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.

The NPR story also repeatedly drummed the fact that "hours" after Israel announced it was temporarily suspending some operations, this attack took place. They interviewed a UN worker:

"Were these fighters, or were they ordinary people?"

"They are children. We saw children. We saw grown-ups. If there were fighters there, I cannot tell".

Mmm-hmmm -- I'll place bets it was planned that way. Hezbollah does not wear uniforms. They intentionally blend with civilians. They intentionally violate 4th Geneva Convention article 28. This is P.R. Jihad. Suicide "bombers" (without their own bombs) that intentionally draw Israeli bombs precisely to produce civilian carnage to be used to argue for a cease-fire... so Hezbolla can catch a breath, re-group, dig in -- whatever they need to do.

Let me quote Bill Whittle from his essay, Sanctuary (Part 1)

And why do soldiers wear uniforms?

It certainly is not to protect the soldier. As a matter of fact, a soldier’s uniform is actually a big flashing neon arrow pointing to some kid that says to the enemy, SHOOT ME!

And that’s exactly what a uniform is for. It makes the soldier into a target to be killed.

Now if that’s all there was to it, you might say that the whole uniform thing is not such a groovy idea. BUT! What a uniform also does -- the corollary to the whole idea of a uniformed person – is to say that if the individual wearing a uniform is a legitimate target, then the person standing next to him in civilian clothes is not.

By wearing uniforms, soldiers differentiate themselves to the enemy. They assume additional risk in order to protect the civilian population. In other words, by identifying themselves as targets with their uniforms, the fighters provide a Sanctuary to the unarmed civilian population.

And this Sanctuary is as old as human history. The first civilized people on Earth, these very same Iraqis, who had cities and agriculture and arts and letters when my ancestors were living in caves, wore uniforms as soldiers of Babylon. This is an ancient covenant, and willfully breaking it is unspeakably dishonorable.
That is all I have to say on that for now. But I have another idea forming that is related to this which I will address in the next post.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Whittle Alert! - Chapter One is out

I missed it. He published it Monday.

Go Read. That is an order. ;-)

He has come to the same conclusion I have. It's the Culture, stupid!

Update: Wow. That was really, really good. Bill has had some time to distill and synergyze some of his earlier ideas into a very clear and persuasive take on where we are and what the problems are.

I can't recommend it enough. It's not that long. Really. Do the world a favor and read it.

Consider Yourself Warned

Consider yourself warned:

Zawahiri warns over Middle East Fighting

So, just making sure I got this straight, because I want to make sure that this news is actually, you know, relevant.

If we support Israel's counter-attack against Hezbollah, our blood will run.

If we don't support Israel's counter-attack against Hezbollah .... um ... our blood will still run. I'm looking for a motivation source in your pronouncements. Quick, where's Misha's Give-A-F*ck-O-Meter?

Or is he specifially warning Israel? "Keep attacking, and we will wipe you from the map. Stop attacking, and we will... uh... wipe you from the map." Gotcha.

Perhaps he is warning Arab governments that he will take the fight to them for ... failing to condemn Israel's meaningful act of self-defense. But then again, he's mostly talking to Saudi Arabia -- and haven't they already sworn to topple that government? He's no friend to the Kuwati or Egyptian governments either.

So excactly how is this news?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A little humor for today

New Word Order terms....

Willful dispersion of hezbolla propaganda by the press

The scoop is more important than the veracity of the story -- because CNN (and others) ran with this stuff anyway, without the counterbalancing stories.

CNN's Robertson Now Admits: Hezbollah 'Had Control' of His Anti-Israel Piece

Anti-Americanism in the world

I just read this Reuters article discussing how widespread and common Anti-Americanism is in the world.

Talking points included
  • President Bush is seen as arrogant and "unilateral"
  • Tourism from abroad is down
  • It's bad for business
I noted the article said that the Anti-Americanism "trend has accelerated sharply under President George W. Bush rose sharply under President Bush" -- as if it's all because he's a big cowboy meanie and had nothing to do with the intense, world-wide propaganda war that is being fueled by Jihadis and Socialists, taking advantage of the unfortunate side effects of seriously taking on the Islamists.

It is apparently all about how other people view us, as if popularity is the measure by which one should justify policy. Nowhere is any defense, quoted second-hand or otherwise of US Policy, but they sure got specific with this part:
Not even the most optimistic delegates to the Washington meeting, billed as the first of its kind, thought citizen diplomacy could soon reverse a trend that has accelerated sharply under President George W. Bush, many of whose foreign policy decisions have been criticized as unilateralist and arrogant.

emphasis - mine

Propaganda is well served by repetition of the core ideas, and the press never misses an opportunity to express anti-American talking points in the language that has been chosen for the campaign.

I imagine that most of this Citizen Outreach has more to do with apologizing for America and swearing that they didn't vote for Bush rather than articulating defenses for it, despite the fact that there are defenses a-plenty.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ahmadinejad Gives Hurricane Warning

I'm sure this isn't what he means, but if he's right apparently there's a huge hurricane warning up for Iran according to Ahmadinejad.

From Reuters:
"If (problems) are decided through the use of force, everything becomes double-complicated," Ahmadinejad said on a visit to Central Asian Tajikistan.

"He who sows the wind will reap a hurricane and this will be a very strong storm in the whole Middle East region, which will strike painfully," he told a joint news conference with Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov.

Iran is a key backer of Lebanon's Hizbollah guerrilla group, whose capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on July 12 sparked Israeli air strikes on Lebanon.
I'm sure he means to imply that the nuclear weapons he may or may not have that he developed for peaceful purposes if he had one -- may be used if the war escallates outside of Lebanon/Israel.

But if you'll recall, the wind was planted planted when Iran-backed Hezbollah invaded Israel and kidnapped two Israeli soldiers, and killed several more.

Yeah, it's "double-complicated" all right. You were planning on trading kidnapped soldiers in exchange for people in Israeli prisons who were caught ... plotting to or actively carrying out activities designed to wipe Israel off the map.

You .... miscalculated.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


In the last few days I've watched a couple of movies. "The Patriot", and "Steel Dawn". Both of the heroes in the movies are fighters. In "The Patriot", the fighter is especially reluctant. And at one point in the movie, he says something to the effect of "what gives men the idea that death is ever justified"? In the latter movie, a boy wants the hero to teach him to fight, and says in the end that he wants to be like "Nomad", the hero. Nomad tells him, no, you don't want to be like me. You want to be a farmer.

In both movies, the heroes are men capable of great violence and are instrumental in vanquishing an oppressive enemy. And when the deed is done, everyone goes back to farming. The world is safe, and no one need fight again. And it's a part of the Science Fiction and Fantasy myths as well. It's something deeply ingrained in us. It's what we want, and it is noble.

But there's only one problem with it.

There will always rise someone whose motives are not noble and who is willing to commit great violence to get people to ... shall we say ... see things their way. Stalinists. Facists. Nazis. Islamists. Common criminals. Uncle Norbert. As long as they think nobody will seriously stand up to them, they will wield their evil without concience. And they will always be among us.

War is bad. It is terrible. It is the worst thing man does to himself. Yet if good people won't fight it then all are doomed to live under the worst of tyrannies.

One of the many effective Lefty slogans used to argue against US Military action is "So 'Might Makes Right?'" And the underlying assumption there is that we are wrong or at best are our enemies are our moral equivalents.

My response is "No, but it's a lot better for everyone if Right has Might and is willing to use it."

No, it's not better for those we unintentionally kill. And it's not better for those who were sucked in to fighting for the forces of evil unwillingly. But it's better for everyone else on the whole, especially for people who haven't been born yet.

The "Right" is often accused of seeing the world in black and white, because the Right is willing to work through the arguments pro and con and make a decision. Questioning one's motives is always good, but in the end that question needs an answer and you make a decision dispite the arguments against, because the arguments for are more persuasive in the end. Deciciveness is seen as simplistic, when in fact the arguments may very well have already been painfully waded through.

Friday, July 07, 2006

North Korea

A friend of mine sent me a link to a slate article that describes North Korea as an Orwellian slave state. It makes some pretty compelling arguments.

Two points I find most telling are -- first one: everybody in North Korea has to be in their house and lights out (if they still have lights) by a certain time. He backs that up with a nighttime sattellite photograph of the Korean peninsula. The second is the one that should raise eyebrows everywhere, and that is the refugee problem -- in China.

"Which way are the boats heading?" Bill Whittle asks in his latest essay. Good way to judge whose system is working better. And North Koreans are so desparate to get out, they escape to China -- that bastion of freedom and prosperity.

Quote of the day

This may well be in the running for quote of the decade:
"Australia understands that peace and prosperity do not come with the air we breathe, but are maintained by power --"

---- Charles Krauthammer
Good article. Recomended.