Friday, October 18, 2002
Thursday, October 17, 2002
¡Que Bueno, David Gregory! NBC's favorite intercontinental reporter, David Gregory, on this evening's NBC news, engaged in a bit of "journalism" which appears to have been taken right out of the playbook of the Howell Raines Gazette. Anyway, it's been awhile, and I'm a bit out of practice, however, I spent most of the evening cleaning and reloading the fiskomatic, so let's do some full metal jacketed fisking:
TO PRESIDENT BUSH, there are many faces, but one fight: Iraq. Yet, it?s al-Qaida, not Saddam, doing more damage, like last weekend?s deadly bombing in Bali, a French oil tanker bombed off Yemen, and the Marines attacked in Kuwait. All are thought to be al-Qaida?s work.And isn't it awful curious that all this started happening once Congress had voted to commit troops? Nah. It's just a big coincidence, right Davey ol' boy?
Confronting Saddam now, some argue, would ignore the unfinished business with Osama bin Laden.Ah, the "some argue" form of editorializing as "serious journalism". Some would argue that David Gregory is editorializing in a news story, Some would also argue that there isn't a single fact in this entire "news" story. Some would argue that David Gregory has his head up his ass. I wouldn't argue that, of course, since I'm being completely unbiased. But some would argue that, mark my words!
"We certainly did bomb a lot of caves and did disrupt a lot of things, but it's kind of like a hydra-headed monster, and it pops up in different places," says former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. "And I think they need to stay focused on that." Despite President Bush?s pledge to get bin Laden, dead or alive, al-Qaida's leader remains elusive, as do his top lieutenants Ayman Zawahiri and alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Mohammed. "I don't think there has to be such a rush," says Albright. "I think the American people and the rest of the world is really owed a better explanation as to why this has to happen this minute."Some say soliciting foreign policy wisdom from a woman who was responsible for letting Osama go, helping to strengthen the IRA, giving nukes to the North Koreans, and generally fucking up every bit of American foreign policy is the sign of a brain dead blinkered ideologue masquerading as a reporter. I wouldn't say that(gee golly no, I'm completely objective). But some say it.
Others worry that war with Saddam will push him to use the very weapons the U.S. most fears, raising the frightening possibility that the next terror attack against America could be deadlier than Sept. 11.First some, then others. Others might say that David Gregory researched this story with all sorts of preconceived notions before interviewing one person. Some might say that he didn't do any research at all, but others might say that all the research he needed to do he did by examining his toejam.
"The greater risk is that in that greater point of extremis, [Saddam] will hand them over to these international terrorist groups who have many agents in the United States for their use against our people," says Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.Some might say that Bob Graham is a member of the addled asses of appeasement. Others might say that all these Al Qaeda attacks on western interests just weeks before an invasion prove him wrong. Some others might say that Bob Graham is an idiot.
It?s not just Sen. Graham. The CIA has also warned that Saddam would only use his deadliest weapons, or put them in the hands of terrorists, if cornered by the U.S.And the CIA has also said that Iraq has harbored al Qaeda, and given them aid and comfort. Some would say that David Gregory is ignoring that rather salient point. Others would argue that David Gregory would rather not mention anything that fails to back up his preconceived notions. Some others say that David Gregory is proving that whole "biased leftwing media" idea correct. Some might even argue that David Gregory is not going to let facts get in the way of a good story, and others might argue that neither David Gregory nor Bob Graham seem to understand that their course of action is the textbook definition of appeasement. Of course, I'm not arguing these things. Some argue that, but I'm not. See? I'm still being completely objective. Then David takes the big plunge into the world of middle east "experts"(some would say scare quotes are warranted):
To experts there?s also the dangerous issue of growing Muslim hatred toward the U.S., the very hatred that makes bin Laden so popular. That anger, they say, has been fueled by the emerging plan to attack Iraq, a country that is viewed differently by Arabs than Americans. "It's not the aggressor, it's the weak state," says Middle East expert Shibley Telhami. "And they see America as going after Iraq despite the opposition in the region."Some might say that David Gregory deliberately picked yet another apologist for an Arab dictator. Others might say that David Gregory was too lazy to look up the numbers of Daniel Pipes, Michael Ledeen, or Fouad Ajami, all of whom aren't complete fucking crackpots. Still others could argue that David Gregory didn't want to mention anyone that might bring his entire ideological house of cards crumbling to the ground.
Advocates of taking on Saddam argue that the use of force will not compromise the war on terror, quite the opposite. Force, they say, is the one thing this region respects. "The replacement of Saddam Hussein would do more to convince the Arab world that America was truly serious about terrorism than any other single act we could undertake," says former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.Some might argue that David Gregory brought ol' Newt on board so that he couldn't be accused of bias. Others say that David Gregory's attempt to act impartial was about as transparent as the clothes in the Britney Spears formalwear collection, and as believable as Bill Clinton heading a forum on the evils of adultery.
But for President Bush, it remains a difficult question. Will war in Iraq make America more or less vulnerable to terror?Some argue that David Gregory has already made up his mind. Others say that David Gregory thinks the president should consult him before any attack on Iraq. Some even say that David Gregory should find a job more in tune with his talents, such as being copy boy at the Howell Raines Gazette.
Middle East experts who aren't complete fucking loons:
- Fouad Ajami
- Daniel Pipes
- Michael Ledeen
Every other Edward Saidesque crackpot on the planet.
Paging James T Kirk A bunch of republican hopefuls are looking to unseat Mary Landrieu from the Senate. I think they are going about it all wrong. All you need to do is put up James T. Kirk on the podium, he'll debate Landrieu, then she'll explode in a shower of sparks and cheesy 60's era special effects.
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
One more victory for the Clinton foreign policy team The IRA was supplying bomb-making expertise to FARC of Columbia, and those bastions of ethics in the Clinton white house decided to hide that inconvenient fact.
Eric Raymond has written an Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto. Count me in as a signer, with a couple of minor amendments.
Another victory for Clinton's foreign policy Remember the agreement with North Korea where they said they weren't going to build any more nukes? Well it turns out they were lying.
Monday, October 14, 2002
Friggin' Blogger! My archives have been hosed, and now blogger won't let me republish. Maybe this post will fix it. Maybe now. In either case, it really sucks.
If you want to keep up on what is going on over there, go to Tim Blair's site. I'm going to put him in the blogroll now.
Maybe the Australians will see now why they are hated. Sure the Bali tragedy was a horrible thing. But it must be viewed in the context of years of Australian oppression. Wait. I take that back. It is a brutally insensitive and hateful thing to say. Outside of the UK, Australia was the only country to really support the United States in the past year, and unlike the most of the world, it was on a grass roots level, and not driven by some sense of realpolitik. Even a year later, when the shock of the atrocity had worn off for the rest of the world, the Australians were still openly and unashamedly sympathetic to our plight. The picture of Australians on a beach forming the American flag during the anniversary of September 11 was something most of the rest of the world did not do, and would not have done. The Australian people are probably the closest in temperament to the US. The deep roots of both countries existence is remarkably similar. The United States was formed and grew from the castoffs of the rest of the world. Australia's birth is formed by castoffs from English society. The influence of Aboriginal culture on Australia's heritage is very similar to Native American influence on American culture. Both Australians and Americans place a strong emphasis on self-reliance and individualism shaped in the crucible of our respective frontier cultures. Both also have a view of man and nature that is not based on a European romantic notion of nature, but on a real-world knowledge that not everything you see out in the wild is cute and cuddly. Australians and Americans are closer than either are to the British or to Canadians. With a few script changes, Crocadile Dundee, the quintessential movie about someone from the Outback transplanted to the big city, could easily have been Joe Bob Dundee, movie quintessential Nebraska farmboy transplanted to the big city. Which is why I'm taking those statements back. The problem is, I still want to say it, just not to them. When I think of the reaction that the United States received and continues to receive from continental Europe, as horrible as it sounds, I wish that instead of hundreds of Ozzies and a few dozen French and Germans, the numbers had been reversed, and hundreds of French and Germans had died. Then maybe the French and Germans would understand just how grotesque it is to say something like that. The worst thing is that I feel bitter enough towards the continent to think such a thing. (And towards Fisk, Pilger, and the rest of them too). Finally, when Australia starts taking strong action to capture/kill the bastards who did this, I wonder how many of those same bits of human fecal matter will publicly moan about how "Australia has now squandered all the sympathy they received because of the Bali tragedy." If I sound bitter, it is because I am. I will be putting up a list of charities that will be used for relief for the victims of the Bali atrocity and their families. Any Australians who know of specific charities that are organizing themselves to the relief of the victims, please e-mail me. For right now, here is a link to the Australian Red Cross. We should return the favor for the support they have given us over the past year.