Friday, June 30, 2006

Supreme Court in Cloud-Cuckoo Land

Judging on commentary and apparent results; in the face of a statute depriving them of jurisdiction...a majority of the Supreme Court has given us a well-written opinion that quotes precedent, analyzes statutes and does all the usual lawyerly things, that appears to be utterly devoid of common sense.
The opinion is 185 pages long, and I haven't finished reading it yet, but the Supreme Court appears to have stuck its beak into matters that are not its proper concern. More perhaps, when I am done reading.
UPDATE: Yuri Mamchur reminds us that, unlike the New York Times or our Supreme Court, Russian President Vladimir Putin knows how to deal with precious little terrorists.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Strictly for Intellectual Appeal, You Understand ?

Here's yet another magazine El Jefe's going to have to read just for the articles...

The Definition of Chutzpah

According to the handy online encyclopedia Wikipedia, in its article on the defnition of the word Chutzpah: "[o]ne humorous example of chutzpah is often given as follows: 'A boy is on trial for murdering his parents, and he begs of the judge leniency because he is an orphan.'"

Another example would be the Washington Post's publication today of former US solicitor-general Theodore B. Olson's op-ed piece "A Much-Needed Shield for Reporters" advocating congressional passage of legislation shielding subpoenaed reporters from jail for failing to give up their sources.
Mr. Olson assures us that the proposed legislation before Congress treats "matters involving classified information and national security differently." Despite this, and given that this piece was published a week after the New York Times's scandalous publication, based on leaks, of material of vital importance to national security -- you have to wonder just what the editors of the Washington Post and Mr. Olson have been smoking ?
Why on earth would anybody support legislation that would make the institutional press more powerful, more unaccountable, and more immune from scrutiny than it already is ?
Mr. Olson has some serious chutzpah.

Yellow Light for North Korea

Reuters India, and the Kyodo News Agency both report that the Chinese Foreign Ministry called in the North Korean Ambassador, to express concern over North Korea's apparent intention to flight-test its TD-2 missile.
Either way, this is serious cause for saying "Uh oh." Formally calling the ambassador to the Foreign Ministry for an official government-to-government communication probably means (1) that China was unable, through quiet, back-channel unofficial talks, to get satisfactory assurances from North Korea that the missile test would not proceed, and the Politburo has decided to up the ante; or, (2) China has concluded the test will go ahead anyway, and China wants its protest noted for the record.
Either way, North Korea appears to be intent on proceeding. Given that China is North Korea's economic windpipe, lifeline or whatever metaphor you want to use, the only question left before the house is whether China is serious: i.e., whether the North Korean test will result in economic pressure from Bejing.
Given North Korea's proximity to China, and the fact that a North Korean economic collapse or temper-tantrum would cause serious humanitarian and economic problems all along the Yalu and in Manchuria, I tend to doubt that China will use its leverage, and insted will, as everyone else implicated in the Problem of North Korea has done -- opt to punt the issue down the road again. Consequently, possibility no. 2 above is probably more likely.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Barbarians in the Ruins of Rome

The online edition of the Times (London) today has an account of an interview with the new UK Foreign Secretary, the Right Hon. Margaret Beckett, described as a former “left-wing firebrand” and one of a “handful of ministers” who have served in all Labour Party cabinets since the 1970’s.

According to Mrs. Beckett, when Prime Minister Tony Blair told her last 5 May that she was to be the new Foreign Secretary, replacing Jack Straw (now the Labour party leader in the House of Commons) – her reaction was “four-lettered,” and “unprintable in your newspaper.” The article elaborates that her response to the Prime Minister, when he gave her the Foreign Office was: “F ***.” I guess that's the new era of "Cool Britannia" talking.

Mrs. Beckett no doubt deserves the sobriquet bestowed on her by the Times correspondent as “the great survivor of Labour politics,” and she certainly appears to have ample ministerial experience. Yet I cannot help mourn what has happened to the United Kingdom when the person entrusted with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; seated in a chair occupied through the years by so much greatness: Charles James Fox, Lord Grenville, Lord Canning, the Marquess of Wellesley, Viscount Castlereagh, the Duke of Wellington, Viscount Palmerston, Lord Curzon, and Sir Anthony Eden, among others – tells the reporter of the newspaper of record in Great Britain that her reaction to her appointment is to say “Fuck.”
Mrs. Beckett's reaction was a very human one, and no doubt identical to the private thoughts of many of her predecessors. However, what world do we live in, when the British Foreign Secretary feels no shame uttering such a vulgarity, for publication, in one of the great newspapers of the world ? Into her hands is confided the foreign relations of a great kingdom. . . Has she no respect for the dignity of her office ?
So this is it, eh ? The evolution of western civilization: from caves to fire to tool making, to agriculture; through writing, printing, the opera, the arts – all the way to “Fuck” in the newspaper from the British Foreign Secretary. It makes the heart weep.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Times and the Enemy

I'm still so boiling mad about the New York Times giving information to the enemy last week that I can't see straight. As Chester says over at Adventures of Chester, ". . . the President of the United States himself asked the New York Times not to reveal the details of how we spy on terrorist financing. And by its own admission, the New York Times blew him off."
What can you say about a rag so hell-bent on publishing information of value to our enemies that they essentially say "screw you and the whole United States too" ? Would the editorial board of the Times really help blow up New York if it would make the administration look bad ? I don't think so, but then again, I'm not really sure.
The Times and its fellow-travellers seem to have decided that we should lose this war because our cause lacks the requisite moral authority that only the Times, its editorial board, and the Chomsky-Kos set can bestow. The great end of ruining the President and the Republican administration seems to justify any means whatever. If terrorists escape, or some people are killed, that's simply the price of liberty to the swells at the Times.
I'll have more to say on this later, but meanwhile, have a look at some of Chester's suggestions for letting the New York Times know how you feel about its aid to our enemies.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Patriots to Japan

According to an article today in the online version of the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, the US and Japanese governments have agreed to deploy the PAC-3 (Patriot Advanced Capability) air-defense missile at the US air base at Kadena on Okinawa, or at the nearby Kadena Ammunition Storage Area.

The Shimbun says that from five to six hundred US troops, in four PAC-3 batteries, (probably one battalion), will be deployed. There are approximately eight launchers in a battery, with about sixteen missiles per launcher. The deployment is to be completed by the end of the year.

The PAC-3 was deployed in the offensive phase of the Second Gulf War, and used against Iraqi missile threats. They are useful against high-flying aircraft, and some of North Korea’s ICBM’s, although they may, or may not, be useful against the TD-2 that North Korea may, or may not, be preparing to test.

The decision to deploy US missiles is interesting because, for one thing, the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) is also to deploy its own PAC-3’s soon. Japan concluded a deal in 2005 to produce the weapon under license, and deployments are to begin on the Japanese mainland by the end of the current Japanese fiscal year (1 April-31 March). The United States is adding yet another trip-wire to east-Asia – any North Korean missile test risks an American as well as a Japanese response: which will cause raised eyebrows in a couple of large countries near North Korea.

Japan is getting preferential access to some of the most advanced US weapons. Japan also has another advanced US air-defense system, the Aegis/SM-3 radar/missile system, deployed on board the Japanese Navy’s Kongo class destroyers.

A closer alliance with Japan is good for both Japan and the US, as each nation needs allies, particularly as China grows stronger. It is of increasing importance to the US as the South Korea tie wanes. Japan, despite its allegedly pacifist constitution, has built splendid armed forces: its Navy (oops, sorry, that's "Naval Self Defense Force") is easily the best in Asia and one of the most powerful in the world. Pyongyang, and Bejing, would do well to pay attention.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Grey Lady Saboteur

I picked up my New York Times this morning and wanted to EXPLODE.
The Times today decided to disclose the existence of "a secret Bush administration program" -- notice they don't say "US government program" -- involving US tracking of financial transactions of persons possibly dealing with Al Qaeda. A similar story apparently ran in the Los Angeles Times.
"Bush administration program." That's like calling the Normandy invasion, the "Roosevelt administation's invasion program." That little sleight of hand is to distance the readers of the Grey Lady Saboteur from the realization that the New York Times has given strategic intelligence information to the nation's enemies.
The Espionage Act (18 USC § § 793, 794). is still on the books. According to Section 794(a), in pertinent part:
Whoever, with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation, communicates, delivers, or transmits, or attempts to communicate, deliver, or transmit, to any foreign government, or to any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States, or to any representative, officer, agent, employee, subject, or citizen thereof, either directly or indirectly, any document. . . or information relating to the national defense, shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life. . .
I hope that Attorney General Gonzales, forthwith, subpoenas Mr. Eric Lichtblau and Mr. James Risen, and all of their superiors, editors, gang leaders of any description, and inquires as to their sources, and throws them in the SLAMMER until they are old, grey like their saboteur journal and feeble, if they don't give them up -- and prosecutes their sources -- and them, to the fullest extent of any law they can trump-up, including jaywalking.
These people have given US intelligence sources, methods and information to the enemy, and they ought to burn for it.
If these people had known Admiral Nimitz was reading the Japansese codes in 1942, what do you wanna bet they'd have published that too? Anything to sell papers.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Who is Kylie Minogue ?

Who is Kylie Minogue ? Should I know who she is ?
Just asking. I'm not usually too plugged into popular culture to begin with.

WMD's In Iraq - Page 15D

Check out Chester's discussion over at Adventures of Chester on why we are only learning about these WMD's now.
Looking at the press this morning, I am amazed how little attention this story is getting. Of course, nobody wants to help Bush, or the Government's position on Iraq, for anything.
UPDATE: As usual, Wretchard at Belmont Club's analysis of the political ramifications of this find (or the lack of ramifications), is exceedingly well-reasoned, and worth consideration.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

WMD's Found In Iraq

"If you gave me a pesticide to throw at these swarms of insects to make them breathe and become exterminated, I would use it."
Lieutenant-General Maher Abd al-Rashid, a senior Iraqi field commander in the Iran-Iraq war, conqueror of the Fao Peninsula (apparently, father-in-law of Qusay Hussein), (quoted in Efraim Karsh, The Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988, (Osprey Publishing, Ltd., Oxford, UK, 2002), p. 53).
"Gas ! GAS Quick boys ! -- an ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime. . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. . ."
Wilfred Owen, "Dulce et decorum est" (quoted in Martin Gilbert, The First World War: A Complete History, (Henry Holt and Co., New York, 1994), p. 352).
Fox News, Instapundit, Captain's Quarters, the Austin Bay Blog and other sources are reporting the discovery of stocks of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD's), in the form of at least 500 chemical artillery shells -- in Iraq, just as the Administration always contended.
The shells appear to be from pre-1991 stocks. Some of them contain the nerve agent Sarin; others are mustard gas shells. Sarin attacks the central nervous system, and is 500 times more toxic than cyanide. According to the Wikipedia article: "As the victim continues to lose control of bodily functions, he vomits, defecates and urinates. This phase is followed by twitching and jerking. Ultimately, the victim becomes comatose and suffocates in a series of convulsive spasms."
Mustard Gas "if inhaled, it causes bleeding and blistering within the respiratory system. . .leading to pulmonary edema. Blister agent exposure over more than 50% body surface area is usually fatal." Mustard Gas is generally "persistent," meaning that it remains present in the area after use -- if a soldier's gear has been tainted with mustard gas, he may poison others he comes in contact with. It was first used effectively in war on 12 July 1917, by the Germans against the British and Canadians, in the Third Battle of Ypres.
These beastly and barbarous weapons were both used to great miltary effect against mostly unprotected Iranian infantry in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war -- their use possibly saved Basra from Iranian capture in the Iranian "Operation Khaibar" offensive in February-March of 1984, and certainly did during the Iranian "Karbala 5" offensive in February 1987.
Instapundit also has a copy of a summary of recovered Iraqi chemical weapons from DNI Chief Negroponte's office, here. As Colonel Bay's discussion points out, possession of these weapons put Saddam's regime squarely in violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, in particular Resolution 687.
The presence or absence of WMD's was never a big deal for me, and was not, for me, the reason for the war. The purpose of the war was to encourage other dictators to cooperate with our anti-Al Qaeda drive by making an example of an obnoxious dictator who defied the United States by his own acts, and by supporting persons and causes we found objectionable.
Whether or not Saddam actually had weapons, and we know now that he did -- he certainly had a dormant program to manufacture same -- which he fully intended to gin-up and get back into full operation just as soon as the UN sanctions were lifted.
Of course, the "Bush Lied" crowd will not be convinced: nothing will please them short of enemy occupation of Washington. How long do you suppose it will be before they accuse President Bush and our soldiers of planting these weapons ?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Put That On My Diet. . .

AP reports this morning (in the Houston Chronicle), that Swiss-based chocolate giant Nestlé wants to buy Jenny Craig for $600 million.
Wonder if this means Crunch bars, Butterfingers, pudding and hot chocolate will be in the Jenny Craig diet ?
Sign me up.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ill-Wind Blowing

Trouble coming, out of the Land of Morning Calm. It appears that the North Koreans, sometime today or tomorrow, are going to flight-test their Taep'o-dong-2 (TD-2) ICBM. This three-stage ballistic missile possibly has a range of up to 15,000 kilometers, putting much of North America within range, although the payload would be limited to a smaller warhead.

The missile is liquid-fueled, which diminishes its usefulness somewhat. Unlike a solid-fuel missile, which can essentially be plugged-in and fired, a liquid-fuel rocket requires a time consuming and dangerous fueling process, which may be detected by satellite observation.

Iran is interested in purchasing the TD-2, and has apparently cooperated in its development.

The Japanese Prime Minister today warned the North Koreans against proceeding with their test, stating that, in conjunction with the United States, it would take “severe action.” That is very strong language for the Japanese. The Japanese concern is quite understandable: it will be virtually impossible for the North Koreans to test-fire their missile without it passing -- and probably shedding one or more stages – over Japan.

The Australians and New Zealanders have also cautioned the North Koreans not to proceed.

The North Koreans are playing a very dangerous game: not so much with the US, which could render North Korea utterly uninhabitable before the NK’s could so much as fuel a single missile – but they should be very, very careful of the Japanese. Japan is one of North Korea’s few sources of foreign exchange, and North Korea has been perhaps the biggest beneficiary of a peaceful, post war Japan.

Japanese military developments show that the quiet Japan we have all become accustomed to since 1945 is slowly disappearing. If the North Koreans encourage Japan to proceed faster along the path to re-armament – they will probably be the biggest losers.
Also, Moscow and Bejing, however much they enjoy seeking Mr. Kim twist Uncle Sam’s tail, cannot be happy that their capitals are now in reach of a starving country with nukes, ruled by a famously spoiled child.

The Iranians role in this business will not pass without notice, either. Mr. Kim is giving President Bush and proponents of a harder line in Iran yet another rhetorical weapon in their struggle to prevent both North Korea and Iran from getting real weapons. The North Koreans and Iranians can test rockets, and talk about nukes and centrifuges all they like: but until they have deployable weapons, and the doctrine and training to use them, their bellicosity is just making President Bush’s job easier.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Happy Birthday U.S. Army

(an annual post)

Today is the U.S. Army's birthday. The Army is in fact older than the country it defends: what is now the United States Army was founded by the Continental Congress's decision to raise ten companies of riflemen to join colonial militia units besieging General Thomas Gage's British Army around Boston.
Some units of the U.S. Army and the National Guard are even older, tracing their ancestry to pre-Revolutionary militia units. Among the oldest are the 181st and 182nd Infantry Regiments, both tracing their ancestry to militia units raised in Boston in 1636.
There are units which followed other flags, yet were still in the service of America. The 116th Infantry Regiment of the Virginia National Guard also predates the Revolution, tracing its ancestry to the colonial-era Virginia militia. Under another name, the 116th marched with Stonewall Jackson, carrying the banners of the Confederate States at First and Second Manassas, Winchester, Sharpsburg and Gettysburg, among other places. Years later that very same unit was among the first ashore at Omaha Beach, on 6 June 1944, suffering 800 casualties that day at places named Les Moulins and Vierville-sur-Mer.

The heroic traditions of the past are still with us, and the soldiers mounting guard today in Baghdad, Kirkuk and Ramadi are the worthy heirs of their brothers of the Ia Drang Valley, Khe Sanh and the Pusan Perimeter.

Happy Birthday U.S. Army, and greetings to all its soldiers, present and past. Wherever and whenever you carried the flag for us, thank you. We owe you more than it is possible to calculate, or to repay.

No Joy for the Lefties

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald says no indictment for the President's Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Karl Rove.

The liberals ain't gettin nothin' for FitzMas but a lump of coal in their stockings. It's worth a chortle, and for a round-up of liberal blog-o-sphere reactions, check out Decision 08's compilation, here.
Z-Cow dead, Karl free as a bird, infighting in the Democratic Party, and the President visiting Baghdad. Politically, it's been a good week or so.

The Priorities of the Chattering Classes

From Cox and Forkum.

Meanwhile, In Kimland...

Eagle Speak and In from the Cold both have excellent comments on the North Koreans' apparent intention to flight-test a Taepodong-2 ICBM. Check them out, here, and here.
I don't think it's a concidence that the North Koreans and the Iranians are both pushing at the non-proliferation regime at once. I would expect that these two countries are coordinating their efforts, and assisting each other both technically and diplomatically. I think Mr. Chavez in Venezuela is in this game also, running diplomatic interference.
Our problems in dealing with Iran and North Korea are a function of diplomatic isolation. With the exception of Japan, Australia and Britain, the US is, for the moment, effectively without great power allies. The liberals blame this, along with the weather and everything else, on Bush. For the most part, our present isolation is an effect of our overwhelming economic and military power, which would produce resentment and enemies no matter who is President.
I supported and support our efforts in Iraq: but we cannot pursue the current foreign policy relying on the continental part of the NATO alliance, that is, the French and the Germans. Those powers are our commerical rivals, and have no reason to give us diplomatic and military cooperation.
I have said for some time that what we need to do is get on terms with the Russians and the Indians. We have done our best to ruin any chance of working with the Russians: why the government is surprised about Mr. Putin's current anti-American tone is quite beyond me, given things like American interference in the 2004 Ukrainian elections, and our footprints all over Central Asia.
Instead of trying to work with the Russians, we have tied ourselves to Europe's diplomatic games with Iran -- which are designed to do nothing but run out the clock while the mullahs render themselves invulnerable with a bomb. The Europeans will not do anything, and will prevent us from taking steps to destabilize the mullah regime. Looks like we are going to stay shackled to the NATO corpse until it is too late.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


The US government, following action by Russia and the European Union, today recognized the independence of Montenegro.
Diplomatic recognition does not sound like much, but deciding who gets to have their own telephone country code and accredit ambassadors that other countries will talk to is a very big deal. Congratulations to Montenegro. Kosovo will come soon enough, maybe even Kurdistan someday, if Iraq goes sour, but I'll take a long shot bet and say that Somaliland might just be the next new state.

President to Baghdad

President Bush is in Baghdad this morning, and is apparently right now meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mr. Nouri al-Maliki, at the American Embassy there.
I suspect that the President's visit will be a brief one, but I hope that I'm wrong, and that he stays in the country for awhile and visits as many of our military personnel and bases as possible. Some time with the troops would be a welcome change from the company of a bunch of Washington politicians and lawyers, and do his own morale a power of good, to say nothing of that of the soldiers and marines.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Rooms To Let

Looking at the newspapers accumulated over the weekend…three suicides at Guantanamo. The Houston Chronicle this morning carries an AP article reporting, inter alia, that the suicides are “bringing renewed pressure on the United States to close the prison.”

Ever notice that when a media outlet uses phrases like “bringing renewed pressure” or “questions are being raised” that the “pressure” or the “questions” are, usually, either the media raising “questions” on its own, or “pressure” from people who don’t wish our war effort well anyway ? Rule of law for these people only refers to laws that can be used against us.

The AP article is actually better than most, pointing out the possible connection between the suicides and the Supreme Court’s pending consideration of the legality of the proposed military tribunals.

The AP article reports that "A stench of despair hangs over Guantanamo," said Mark Denbeaux, a defense lawyer who visited a client at Guantanamo on June 2. "Everyone is shutting down and quitting."

Yes, yes, there’s lots of hand-wringing about the poor pirates at Guantanamo. The Usual Leftie Suspects have hearts all-a-flutter about the precious darlings not getting the whole panoply of civil rights.

As for me, I’d prefer the bad old days, when the only due process these villains would get is a quick hanging from the nearest yardarm, or a drumhead court-martial from the soldiers who apprehended them, quickly followed by death by firing squad next to a convenient ditch. These people are pirates, not soldiers: the wretches denied their victims of the decency of law and should receive all the due process they and their comrades gave our people on September 11.

As far as I'm concerned, suicides at Guantanamo means rooms to let for more scumbags. Also, we can be grateful that the unlamented suiciders didn’t kill any children on airplanes this time, or murder a few thousand civilians in a skyscraper.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Road Trip

El Jefe is back from yet another trip, this time to Kerrville to take the Heir to camp. Our cats MILO, FLINKY and SUNSHINE are looking at SWMBO and I like we have flipped-out.
We were guests at a marvelous ranch last night, out near Bandera. 2 or 3,000 acres, a couple of lakes, camels, buffalo, horses and a beautiful home. We drove around on one of the ranch jeeps and explored before driving up to camp this morning. Except for us and the ranch manager, I don't think there was a soul on the place. It was gorgeous.
I have just finished up reading Mark Winegardner's The Godfather Returns (sort of a midquel filling-in gaps between Mario Puzo's The Godfather and the various Godfather films). SWMBO has threatened to have me whacked if I don't stop it with the mobster talk.
I need to catch up on more serious reading. The headlines from Iraq are certainly very Godfather like. Al-Zarqawi sleeps with the fishes, and the very same day, the Sunnis and Shiites amazingly solve their political problems and form a government, which they had been unable to do for months. Then a bunch of other rebels get offed or put in the slammer, and in a goodwill gesture, others get let out. Sounds like some kind of deal was made by somebody. Don Corleone would approve, and so does El Jefe.
I have to do some SERIOUS work this week, but I promise to try to get back on some blogging soon.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Hawaiian Punch

The “Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act” has died, for this session, in the Senate. Good.

This bill, designed to give political status and powers to “native Hawaiians” distinct from non-natives (i.e. everybody else), is one of the most pernicious piece of legislation considered in my lifetime by Congress; up there with the Immigration Act of 1965. The bill would create yet another protected class of special citizens, and explicitly put discrimination on the basis of race and national origin in the statute book.

Probably the bill is unconstitutional anyway, but the Senate has managed to avoid, yet again, the need for us to find out. Amazingly, a majority of Senators actually supports this rubbish: The vote was on procedural grounds, not the merits, the bill needed 60 votes to stay alive, and got 56 votes. All 41 “noes” were cast by Republicans, 13 Republicans and Planet Jeffords joined 42 Democrats in voting for racism.

Senator Daniel Akaka, (D. Hawaii), and others who support this bill, including, disgracefully, Hawaii’s Republican governor, Linda Lingle, contend that this bill is needed to redress wrongs stemming from the US absorption of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1883. Congress has already “apologized” for the overthrow of the kingdom in 1883.

Hmmm. Using the same logic, Senator Akaka, how bout a “Native Southerner Government Reorganization Act” that allows us descendents of “native Southerners” to have similar powers of self-governance and control of national resources as you propose for folks in Hawaii. Maybe you can work on an “apology” by Congress for overthrowing the Confederate States in 1865.

By the way, I’m sure the Cherokee and other Indians are waiting for their apology for the trail of tears and the Indian wars. They’ve already got the reservations, so I suppose “self-government” is taken care of. The Mexicans should get an “apology” for the Mexican War of 1846-1848. For that matter, maybe we can get the Mexicans to apologize to the Aztecs; the French to apologize to the Gauls (if you can find them); Vietnam to apologize to South Vietnam; and the Italians to apologize to each other for the disappearance of Rome.

Thursday, June 8, 2006


The Hugh Hewitt tee-shirt, pictured above in today's Day by Day, sums-up my own political priorities nicely.
Back in town after a looooong absence. Will catch up on blogging as time allows.

Scratch One Bandit

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the bandit who couldn't shoot straight, but enjoyed taunting Americans via videotape, is in Hell this morning, along with much of his staff, courtesy of the US Armed Forces. Mr. al-Zarqawi met his doom via an airstrike, northeast of Baghdad. Congratulations and thanks to the soldiers and airmen involved, for ridding the world of a particularly barbarous and loathsome piece of excrement. Congratulations to the Iraqi people, who no longer have to suffer his depredations.
Meanwhile, find what's left, wrap it in pigskin, and drop it in an unmarked hole.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Finis Yugoslavia

The Montenegrin declaration of independence on 3 June, (following the referendum on 21 May), and Serbia’s “me too” declaration of independence yesterday puts us a step closer to finis for Yugoslavia, (in its final form called “Serbia and Montenegro”), surely one of the bloodiest political experiments of modern times.

Born in oceans of blood, as a result of the First World War, which started with the murder of Archduke Franz-Ferdinand and his wife Sophie at Sarajevo in 1914 by the pro-Serbian terrorist Gavrilo Princip, it effectively ended as it began, in war, in Sarajevo, in the 1990’s. Only the details of Yugoslavia’s winding-up were left to work out, and Montenegro, its independence voided by Serbia in 1918, now rejoins the family of nations.

Only Kosovo is left, kept so far from independence by European reluctance to sanction secession. Final status talks on Kosovo are set to be concluded by the end of this year, and there seems little doubt that Kosovo will finally receive its freedom, and the misbegotten union of the South Slavs will finally receive its long overdue burial.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Still on Vacation Patrol...

Greetings folks. Still on vacation patrol...Florida last week, California this week. El Jefe will return next week, hopefully tanned (well, er, moderately sunburned only), rested and ready. See y'all later.