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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another









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3/01/2003

Me, I am against regime change..

Nothing better than a PM who has served as long as Chretien saying:

"Myself, I think that the consequences can be very grave when we go for a change in regime," the Prime Minister said in French. "... When are we going to go elsewhere? Who's going to be next? ... This is a very dangerous concept."

A few suggestions for M. Chretien: the leader ship of North Korea, the heirs of the clerics in Iran, Robert Mugabe, the Generals in Burma...the House of Saud, Yasser Arafat....the list is not all that long but the world would be better off without a fair number of murderous thugs. So, in fact, would the people who, like the Iraqis, have to live in the terrorist states these people have created.

A good rule of thumb: if a leadership kills, tortures, starves or otherwise commits attrocities on its own people it should know the world is watching and that, very possibly, a regime change is in its future. Simple incompetence would not count so M. Chretien would be safe.

Back to the Bush Margaret

Reaching for historical parallels the ever Left Margaret Atwood decides to compare the American prospects in Iraq with Napoleon's experiences in Spain and Russia.

On Spain:

"The first was Spain. Napoleon got Spain treacherously. He had an agreement whereby he could march through it on the way to Portugal, which was bothering him by interfering with his sanctions against trading with the British. Once his armies were in Spain, he took the place over, whereupon his forces engaged in their usual practices of priest-pestering, church-looting, and removing sparkly things and artworks to other locations for safekeeping. Napoleon's big mistake was underestimating the religious feelings of the staunchly Catholic Spanish."

Actually, his big mistake was underestimating the willingness of the English to support the Spanish. The Duke of Wellington has a little something to do with the difficulties which Napoleon encountered in his Iberian adventure.

More to the point, the French went into Spain as a conquering army poised to extend the borders of the French Empire. They were not there to remove an odious regime. The Spanish resisted simply because they had no desire to be governed by the French via one of Napoleon's relatives. The Iraquis are not going to be ruled by the Americans and Jeb Bush seems to be occupied running Florida.

As for Russia:

"Napoleon's second big mistake was invading Russia. There's no one clear explanation for this. He didn't need to do it. Russia wasn't attacking him, though it had in the past and might in the future. Maybe he just wanted to add it to his set. In any case, he invaded. When his horse stumbled as he crossed the Dnieper -- a bad omen -- a voice said from the shadows, "A Roman would have turned back."

Actually, Russia was attacking him in so far as she was a part of a large and growing anti - French coalition organized by the English and the various E-Bay nations of the day. But, no matter.

The strategic blunder of attacking Russia, later repeated by that little German fellow, has absolutely nothing to do with the strategic considerations involved in moving on Iraq. There was no way that the Russians could have directly, or indirectly, wiped out the population of Paris in a day. There was no way that the Russians could have let loose diseases which had the potential to decimate the French population. And there was no way that the Russians could have developed toxins so dangerous that a single spray can let loose above a city could murder virtually all its inhabitants.

Iraq has or is building all three of these sorts of wepons of mass destruction. It has used nerve gas on its own citizens and other gases on its "co-religionist" neighbour Iran. It has and can acquire "delivery systems" in the form of suicide bombers from its friends in Palestine or through Al Qaeda.

Napoleon had the option of ignoring Russia and it might well have been the smart move to make. The world, led by the Americans, does not have the option of ignoring Saddam. The only issue is how best to disarm Iraq: a question on which reasonable people may differ.

Too bad the Globe and Mail had to waste the space to let the fading talents, historical ignorance and political naivety of Atwood muddy the debate still further.


2/28/2003

Bye, bye France

"It is only slightly less absurd that we should require the assent of France. France pretends to great-power status but hasn't had it in 50 years. It was given its permanent seat on the Security Council to preserve the fiction that heroic France was part of the great anti-Nazi alliance rather than a country that surrendered and collaborated."

Charles Krauthammer lays into the French and suggests that their conduct in recent months should ensure that they are cut out of any role in the post Saddam Iraq. Which will happen in any event.

What is more interesting is that Krauthammer also speculates about a post Iraq re-alignment in which Japan and India become members of the Security Council and Nato, having lost its mission, is simply disbanded. At that point the French - and their allies the Germans - would cease to have any greater significance in world affairs than their actual status merits.

Our Lady Peace and the PM would do well to bear this in mind as they peddle their end of March compromise. IIt is not a terrifically bad idea but it had better have real teeth - such as a full on declaration of war - if we do not want to end up looking like Chirac's poodle. And, it is past time for Canadian troops to get to the Gulf. Even sending our fearsome snipers would be the gesture of solidarity which would cement our relations with the Americans.


2/27/2003

If antiwar protesters succeed | csmonitor.com

A note for Harold Pinter and the morons of Labour's left....So Saddam stays in power: then what?

Missiles

I have to bet the Iraqis are going to destroy a couple of missiles this weekend. It is much too good a chance to buy significant time and let the looney left muster more anti-war support. Critically, Blix said the Iraqis had to "start" destroying missiles this weekend...Two would be a start and would leave over 100 available for other purposes.

I am hoping the reports that diplomats have been told that the decision to go to war has been made and is irrevocable are true. Apparently the only question the diplomats are being asked is whether or not they want to render the Security Council and the UN irrelevant for the foreseeable future. Even the French are blinking at that.

2/26/2003

A hero's story

At root, what happened September 11 is about this story and thousands like it. via posted by jay at 10:05 PM |

2/24/2003

So it is War

"Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has denied in a US television interview that his al-Samoud missiles are in violation of UN disarmament obligations, and has indicated that he does not intend to destroy them, as demanded by chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix. Conor O'Clery, North America Editor reports from New York"

Not even the French will be able to argue this position can be dealt with by ongoing inspections.

If you find something and say get rid of it the Iraquis say "non" and what? Do you go on or do you go to war? If the Security Council misses this they have proven the utter ineffectiveness of the UN.