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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

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Intelligence Failure

The Arab News reports that US troops hit the Iraqi intelligence service headquarters on a paper chase,

They found nothing. The safes, shelves and locked rooms of the Mukhabarat headquarters were empty, meticulously and ?professionally’’ cleaned out in what US intelligence officials now say they suspect was part of an escape planned by many of Iraq’s top security, military and political leaders. link arab news

There is a lot more going on here than is being reported. Those files had to go somewhere and that somewhere has to have been willing to take them.

At a guess that somewhere was Syria. However, there is a hint of professionalism which smacks of other intelligence services having an interest in clearing out Iraq. Russia? Has to be the bet. Thought the French and the Germans may have performed the same service in the Ministries concerned with armaments and economic affairs.

In an odd way, the fact these offices are this clean is more suspicious than if there had been some signs of haste and distraction. It smell like this was undertaken before the first bomb was dropped.

What CNN didn't Mention

Then there were the events that were not unreported but that nonetheless still haunt me. A 31-year-old Kuwaiti woman, Asrar Qabandi, was captured by Iraqi secret police occupying her country in 1990 for "crimes," one of which included speaking with CNN on the phone. They beat her daily for two months, forcing her father to watch. In January 1991, on the eve of the American-led offensive, they smashed her skull and tore her body apart limb by limb. A plastic bag containing her body parts was left on the doorstep of her family's home. link new york times

In case anyone still wonders why taking down Saddam was a really, really good idea.

Out of the weeds

Many antiwar commentators have argued that once the war started, even those who oppose it must now wish for the quickest, least bloody victory followed by the maximum possible liberation of the Iraqi people. But there is one argument against this: What if you are convinced that an easy victory will ultimately result in a larger moral negative -- four more years of Bush, for example, with attendant disastrous policies, or the betrayal of the Palestinians to eternal occupation, or more imperialist meddling in the Middle East or elsewhere?

Wishing for things to go wrong is the logical corollary of the postulate that the better things go for Bush, the worse they will go for America and the rest of the world. It is based on the belief that every apparent good will turn into its opposite. If this is true, then it would be better for bad things to happen to Bush. But who knows for sure that it is true? Perhaps pro-war leftist Christopher Hitchens was right when he spoke of the "cunning of history" -- perhaps the genius of Historical Progress chose Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz to be its unlikely instruments. Dialectical pessimism is the dirty little secret of the antiwar camp -- dirty because there is something distasteful about wishing for bad outcomes when the future on which those wishes are based is unknown. >link salon

Gary Kamiya, along with admitting he rather hoped that the war would turn out badly, babbles on about the notion that somehow the possibility of future wrongs might make the present right unpalatable.

What his article betrays is the terrible, feminine, niceness of the Left. No matter how well things are turning out there is this rather weird worry that all will not be perfect in future. Which is, of course, true. All may not be very, very, nice.

I see this at my son's school. Little boys, and bigger ones, try it out with their peers. They hit, curse and generally behave badly. They are sorting out who they are and where they fit. But in zero tolerance land that is verboten. So what happens? Actually the boys work it out off the school grounds and the principal can maintain the fiction of zero tolerance.

The Left has to realize that the polite fictions of multi-lateralism, international institutions and impotent power are gone. Happy thinking has been replaced with Rumy's Old Europe. The masculine has replaced the feminine as the strategy and policy of the United States.

If you or your friends fly planes into our buildings you are toast. Got it? Good. 'Nuff said.

How you feel about that doesn't matter a damn.


As If II

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, on a visit to former Soviet Tajikistan, told reporters it was up to the United Nations to safeguard international peace and security.

"We hope the United Nations will perform this central role, in particular, in the settlement of Iraq's post-war situation," he said.

"This authority must be used to achieve a political settlement in Iraq within the shortest time possible. This is in the interests of the Iraqi people. This is in the interests of the whole region."


"I'm not quite sure what that means," Powell told the Los Angeles Times. "They just say 'central' and then they go on to their next meeting."

"The suggestion that some of my colleagues would give that now that the coalition has done all of this and liberated Iraq, thank you very much, step aside and the Security Council is now going to become responsible for everything, is incorrect. And they know it. And they were told it," Powell said. link reuters

And if the French, Russians and Germans don't get it Bush will let Rumy loose on them and that will be that...


Looters Bad Fisk Decides, And they are America's Problem

As the occupying power, America is responsible for protecting embassies and UN offices in their area of control but, yesterday, its troops were driving past the German embassy even as looters carted desks and chairs out of the front gate.

It is a scandal, a kind of disease, a mass form of kleptomania that American troops are blithely ignoring. At one intersection of the city, I saw US Marine snipers on the rooftops of high-rise building, scanning the streets for possible suicide bombers while a traffic jam of looters ? two of them driving stolen double-decker buses crammed with refrigerators ? blocked the highway beneath. link the independent

A few paragraphs later one of those do nothing snipers is given a whack with Fisk's handbag, still bulging with the 25 loo rolls the man thought he'd need to last out the war,

an American Marine sniper sitting atop the palace gate wounded three civilians, including a little girl, in a car that failed to halt ? then shot and killed a man who had walked on to his balcony to discover the source of the firing. Within minutes, the sniper also shot dead the driver of another car and wounded two more passengers in that vehicle, including a young woman.

Fisk is so angry that the Americans and the English and the Australians have won so convincingly he cannot imagine that suicide bomber watches may take priority over protecting the chattels of Tariq Aziz or the German Embassy on the second day of the liberation of Baghdad. (And, by the way, it is a sad reflection on the incivility of the Iraqis that their first instinct is systematic looting. And will be a long journey to a civil society in Iraq after so many years of a brutalist kleptocracy.)

Fisk used to be irritating, he's just plain stupid now.

Prozac All Round for the Arab Street

We thought we were doing so well. Arabs were fighting back, it wasn’t going to be cake walk like everyone thought,’’ lamented Emad Mohammed, 28, a building attendant in Cairo. Where is Saddam now?’’

I can’t believe what I am seeing. I am so depressed,’’ said Bassem Zein, 36, owner of a cellular phone shop in Beirut who was watching television at work. It just frustrates me that they enter Baghdad without a fight, this is too much.’’

I hate it,’’ said Ahmed Samir, the manager of a trading company in Riyadh, as he watched scenes of Iraqis shaking the hands of American soldiers in Baghdad. It can only mean they hate Saddam more than they hate the Americans.’’ link arab news

Of course for those really deeply in denial there is always the happy idea that the scenes of Iraqi delight are faked,

?These people dancing in the streets like fools are American spies,’’ said Osama Awad, 26, who squeezed into a packed barbershop in Cairo groaning as he watched televised images of Iraqis in downtown Baghdad attacking a giant statue of Saddam with sledgehammers. ?The Americans are telling people to be happy and manipulating them. Meanwhile they will steal their oil.’’ link arab news

If the Americans behave with even a tenth the kindness and forebearance they have the capacity to offer the Arab Street will simply wither and die. Good thing too.

A Generation of Disappointed Jihadists

One of the leading arguments of the more thoughtful anti-war people was that the invasion of Iraq would provide the pretext for thousands of radical Arabs to become terrorists. It was never a very good argument and it turns out that exactly the opposite may be happening.

But with the fall of Baghdad and the absence of Iraqi leadership, some volunteers are returning home, disillusioned and angry at the failure of their jihad, or holy war.

"We volunteered to defend Baghdad," said Firas Ali Abdullah, who returned to Syria with seven other Syrians and Lebanese on Wednesday. "Instead of giving us weapons to fight, they used us as human shields." ...

But the Arabs expected to join a solid army with firm leadership. With the dissolution of Iraq's government structure, the scattering of the army and the surprising invisibility of even the esteemed Republican Guard, many grew discouraged and disillusioned.

"We were hit by Iraqis from the back and the American troops from the front," Abdullah said. link fox news

The sheer incompetence of much of the Iraqi military and the cowardice of the Iraqi leadership is teaching a key lesson to the would be martyrs. Better still, they will be exposed to the truth of the brutality of the Iraqi regime. After the lies of Al-Jazeera this will, one hopes, create the possibility that at least some of these men will begin to question the assumptions of political Islam itself.

The ability to deal with reality is one of the first steps towards an Islamic Enlightenment. If the invasion of Iraq forces the Arabs to rethink the propoganda they have been wallowing in since the days of Nasser it will have been well worth it.


Well no...Not actual bombs. But one of the few slim reeds the anti-war folks are clinging to is the allegation that there have been no WMDs found yet. They somehow think, or seem ready to believe that the inspections really were working....

They went through that site multiple times, but did they go underground? I never heard anything about that," physicist David Albright, a former IAEA Action Team inspector in Iraq from 1992 to 1997, told the Tribune-Review.

"The Marines should be particularly careful because of those high readings," he told the paper. "Three hours at levels like that and people begin to vomit. That leads me to wonder, if the readings are accurate, whether radioactive material was deliberately left there to expose people to dangerous levels.

"You couldn't do scientific work in levels like that. You would die."

Capt. John Seegar, a combat engineer commander from Houston, is currently running the operation in Al Tuwaitha. "I've never seen anything like it, ever," he told the Tribune-Review. "How did the world miss all of this? Why couldn't they see what was happening here?" link fox news

It is possible that this find has a perfectly legitimate explaination. It is possible that the inspectors just, well, missed it. It is possible but hardly likely.

Tears on the Arab Street

A man in Jordan realizes the horrid truth - the Arabs are a hundred years away from putting up a decent fight. The Islamist civilization has been mired in decline for 700 years and the Iraq war is just the latest manifestation of the impotence of Islam.

That impotence arises because of the nature of the culture which the Islamists have sought to preserve and promote. A culture of repression, hierarchy, censorship, religious and social intolerance and the most extreme racism and sexism. In such a culture the honour killing of your girl children is more important than technical or scientific achievement. It is a culture for peasants tied to land and traditions which ceased to make sense hundreds of years ago.

With luck the dispair on this man's face will translate itself into questions about Islamic culture itself. More probably it will be transmuted by the mulahs and the madrassas into yet more anger, more delusion and more impotence.

What is needed in the Islamic world is for intelligent, secular Muslims to force their goverments and religious leaders to come to terms with the 21st century and to begin to find a place for Islam in that century rather than the 13th. Iraq, once pacified and restored to the governance of Iraqis could pave the way. At the same time, the example of India's adoption of the 21st century can also serve as a model. Remembering that India is the second largest Muslim nation.

As ever the choice is in the Islamists hands. It will not be dictated by Washington or London; rather it will be invented on the Arab Street.

Illiteracy Watch

What can you make of a sentence like this:

While Canadians preferred an American victory in Iraq to Saddam Hussein's continuance in power, once war was launched, most of us winced at the U.S. imposing regime change without an international consensus. link torontostar

The tortured syntax utterly misleads the reader. In fact a sentence which is, more or less, in English would read like this:

"Once war was launched Canadians preferred and American victory in Iraq to Saddam Hussien's continuance in power although we might have winced at the US imposing regime change without international consensus."

Once the syntax is unscrambled the false proposition is revealed....The fact is that Canadians had no big argument with the regime change. And, as the stories of Saddam's atrocities came in, many of us wished our government had the courage to have said...This man must go." It didn't and now it is time for Chretien, tired and old as he is, to give up power and go and play golf.

The Toronto Star gets it....sort of

The bastion of touchy feely, think good thoughts and support the Grits, Totonto newspapers managed this in ite editorial pages:

After decades of tyranny, the feared Baathist regime is no more and the joy is evident. Everywhere, Saddam's goons are trading uniforms for civvies, and fearing to show their faces. Even Saddam's stand-up comic Information Minister Mohammed Saeed ("Baghdad is safe and secure. We have killed most of the infidels") al-Sahhaf has gone quiet as the grave.


The sheer speed and "success" of America's first "pre-emptive" war ? taking out a regime that posed no credible threat ? may now tempt Washington to hubris, and down a reckless path. While this is undeniably a bad day for despots in North Korea, Syria, the Gulf, Iran, Cuba, Zimbabwe and elsewhere, it is an uncertain day for everyone else. Where will the American superpower strike next? For what reason? And what demands may it make of allies?

Saddam's monstrous criminality, his warmongering, his serial defiance of the U.N. Security Council and his weapons programs made his regime unique. That muted international protests over Bush taking the law into his own hands. But the concern is real, and not only in Ottawa. Most of the U.N. objected to Bush's unilateralism, fearing it will drag us back into the 19th century, legitimize the law of the jungle in global affairs, make Americans even more tempting targets for terror, and invite countries to equip themselves with horror weapons to fend off real or imagined adversaries. link toronto star

Note the implicit question Chretien asked...Who's next?

The answer, of course, is that next may never happen. It may not need to. Once the tyrants of the world realize the sheer power available to destroy the regimes of nations which behave barbarically there is every possibility that they will cease to support terror, develope WMDs or brutalize their citizens. Or, then again, they may not.

500 pound bombs filled with concreate and guided by technology the nasty nations of the world cannot understand, much less create, can chnge minds or circumstances. Iraq hasproven that. Now lets see what they make of it.


CBC: News the Canadian Way

Just before, while American soldiers were helping the Iraqis pull down this hideous statue of thier oppressor in Baghdad, one of the G.I.'s put an American flag over the `face' of Hussein. This immediately precipitated a discussion between Smith, her in-studio guest and two reporters in Baghdad as to how the poor `symbolism' of showing off the Stars and Stripes in an Arab country. Then, moments later, the flag was removed, given to an Iraqi, who began waving it around to the cheers of the other Baghdad residents. So much for `symbolism.' link authentic liberal

Why I don't bother watching television; but I'm glad A. Robert Burns Glennie does.

The Smell of Coffee

More from the Arab Street, or back alley, or wilderness track, take your pick.

People hope that this era of unbridled violence is coming to a close. The lesson of war has not been missed by ordinary Arabs. A cellphone and e-mail message traveling around the Arab world says the following: "Young Assad of Syria sent Bush a message telling him that if he wants him to go, he doesn't have to go through that much trouble. He can just send a text message on his cell phone." link new york times

I don't think Mamoun Fandy is right in much that he has to say in this piece for the NYT; but he does capture the sense of overwhelming inferiority which must grip the Arab world in the face of the might of the coalition military and the anger of the Iraqi people.

Bye Jean and Our Lady Peace

If ever anyone missed the boat internationally it is these two jokers. To this day I have no idea what the logic of our policy is.

Support for the UN? Well the victory in Iraq has just proven what "serious consequences" means. But Canada didn't help.

An independent foreign policy? Bleating after the French is not a foreign policy, it is an embarrassment. Canada now has no influence on the role of the UN in reconstruction or American or British foreign policy. We have less geo-political clout than Australia.

Public opinion? Leave aside the idea of leadership....long abandoned by Chretien, the fact is that Canadians outside Quebec wanted to support our American friends. Our government let us down.

Goodbye Jean and take Our Lady Peace with you.

Lies? From Iraq. From Al-Jazeera

"We discovered that all what the [Iraqi] information minister was saying was all lies," said Ali Hassan, a government employee in Cairo, Egypt. "Now no one believes Al-Jazeera anymore."

In a live report from Baghdad, correspondent Shaker Hamed of Abu Dhabi Television said:"We are all in shock. How did things come to such an end? How did U.S. tanks enter the center of the city? Where is the resistance? This collapse is puzzling. Was it the result of the collapse of communications between the commanders? Between the political leadership? How come Baghdad falls so easily?" link fox news

It will be a salutory lesson for the Arab Street to discover that their leaders and their media lie. It might even be a beginning for the long delayed Islamic Enlightenment. 700 years is too long to wait.

All quiet on the Arab Street

John Bradley, the managing editor of the Arab News, acknowledges delusions along with defeat.

"The pride the Arabs felt in the initial stages of the invasion, before those legendary 'pockets of resistance' halting the advance of the world's only superpower were revealed as a myth, has been replaced by immense shame and humiliation. The images of US soldiers taking a picnic in the heart of Baghdad will haunt the Arab psyche for generations to come " link washington post

Power, brutal, casual, power is understood in the Arab world. What will be difficult for that world to understand is when the Americans and the British leave Iraq in the hands of the Iraqis. Which they will.

From the CBC Forums

One of the places the nitwit anti-war types have congregated is the CBC's online forums. Not much sign of them today. Instead,

"can’t believe some of the crap being dished out on this forum.

your antiwar protests have been proven false and cruel; the scenes from Iraq clearly show a people delirious with the joy of being liberated. That you are so coldhearted as to not share in this joy but instead cynically snipe at the US still is beyond comprehension.

I also think it’s quite hilarious that the European Union is holding talks to work out the future of Iraq. I eagerly await the pearls of wisdom to flow forth from the Canadian PMs mouth, that too should be worth a giggle.

All in all, a good day to be on the side of the US and the Iraqi people" says Darren Jardine.

It is time for Chretien and Our Lady Peace to take a good look at what their "policy" has done and not done and then do the decent thing and resign.

UN Sanction needed

"I believe we are on the last leg," said Colonel John Toolan after marines rode past cheering crowds to the Martyr's Monument, five kilometres from the centre.

The marines urged the crowds through loud-hailers to disperse. But few took any notice, with hundreds gathering at intersections chanting "Bush, Bush, Bush" and displaying their booty.

In a moment of high symbolism, one man took off his shoe and began beating a poster of Saddam Hussein. "Come see, this is freedom . . . this is the criminal, this is the infidel . . . he killed millions of us," the man said. link

Don't those Iraqis realize they are the victims of an illegal war? Without a second UN resolutions, a vote by the French in favour and Saddam's own official permission this liberation is against all of the rules of civilized multinational diplomacy....

Here are the cheers

Hundreds of jubilant Iraqis cheered, danced, waved and threw flowers as U.S. Marines advanced through eastern Baghdad and into the center of President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s capital on Wednesday.

Reuters correspondent Sean Maguire said crowds mobbed a Marine convoy as it drove through the suburbs to the Martyr's Monument, just two miles east of the central Jumhuriya Bridge over the Tigris river.

"These are quite extraordinary scenes," Maguire said after a morning's drive through first the rundown sprawl of Saddam City and then more prosperous, leafy suburbs.

People, mainly young and middle-aged men were chanting, blowing horns and throwing flowers. link yahoo news

OK, now tell me again why Canadains should not be there liberating Iraq....

Right, so any Peaceniks care to explain

Here is the link to the imagelink kids out of iraqi jail

And here is the story:

"The children had been imprisoned because they had not joined the youth branch of the Baath party," he alleged. "Some of these kids had been in there for five years."

The children, who were wearing threadbare clothes and looked under-nourished, walked on the streets crossing their hands as if to mimic handcuffs, before giving the thumbs up sign and shouting their thanks. link yahoo news

This is what Chrtien and the Liberals were waiting for a UN resolution to stop. Shame on them.

Music Land

Our gesture of setting the music free together would set an important, pioneering, and precedent-setting example for others to follow; It might perhaps pave the way for a new way of getting the music to the people.

The fact is, most artists no longer sell enough records to sustain a career because of online file sharing, and I, personally, have seen my income from catalogue sales of CDs go down from a decent amount of money to absolutely zero within a period of five years or so, because everyone believes that music should be free.

So be it.

I realize that there is no way around this, and that despite the efforts of the music industry and the politicians they and their lobbyists buy off, people are still going to download- In fact, there is an entire generation of kids who have NEVER BOUGHT A CD!

And they're not going to, either.

Not anytime soon.

The "genie" has been let out of the bottle...and no one can stop it.

It's merely the tip of the iceberg and it's about to hit the film industry as well.

It's only going to get worse and worse, until your musical choices are limited to only a few big "brand names", just like what you're hearing on what is laughingly referred to "radio" today; the same 7 or 8 songs played over and over again and again and again... link pat dinizo/ smitheens
via instapundit

So music becomes a craft agian and the entire entertainment business collapses. Well, that's the reality of file sharing. Once that can of worms was opened it was the end of the idea of holding music hostage for money. Now you have to love what you are doing and then figure out how, and if, you make a living at it.

Troubadors 'r us.

Just how wrong the Liberals got it

A large majority of Canadians -- 72% -- believe Canada should have supported the U.S. at the start of the war against Iraq, according to an exclusive National Post/Global News poll.

The COMPAS survey shows 41% of people believe Canada should have given verbal support to the United States two weeks ago while 31% said the backing should have come in the form of both words and troops. link

Imagine if you had the numbers without Quebec.


Bye, Bye Iman Solaiman

I certainly don't like a Canadian-based Muslim cleric saying that adherents of the `religion of peace' elsewhere should fight against what is clearly now a war of liberation of Iraqis from the regime of Saddam Hussein. I don't like it, but of course I support the right of this jerk-off to say what he wants to.

But this is what I really don't like: "After Immigration Minister Denis Coderre announced he was checking on Solaiman's citizenship status, the cleric issued his apology." I mean, this is a true threat to free speech, in my opinion, when senior government officials imply that they will throw someone out of the country if they say something not palatable to mainstream opinion in this country. Yet, this goes by without comment in the national news media... link authentic liberal

I am not a fan of government's using administrative law to silence free speech. The question is whether the Iman crosses a line. Criticizing the Americans is one thing, calling for jihad and suggesting that the Americans be killed is quite another.

This is the ugly face of Islamofascism and if there is a way of tossing the Imam out of Canada that would be fine with me. The Imam is morally equivalent to Ernst Zundel - another voice of fascism we can well do without in this country.


Saddam Hit?

via Command Post

Looks like Saddam and his boys may have been "bunker busted". While my sense is that the war was all over bar the shouting, this would mute the shouting. Command Post updating by the minute.

Even the BBC

We watched as they took over one of Saddam Hussein's palaces. Iraqis were caught utterly by surprise, stunned and terrified they fled, some in their underwear. Those left behind scrambled desperately for cover as gunfire rained around them. Then we saw the extraordinary sight of Americans taking prisoners of war in the middle of the Iraqi capital. link bbc blog

The problem was that Rageh Omaar was believing the Iraqi Minister of Information. Not very wise. But, no doubt he was told to by the now discredited boffins who run the BBC.

Ottawa imam supports jihad

"If I were there, I would fight with them," Gamal Solaiman said in an interview with CanWest News Service. "I would fight the Americans with my nails and teeth." link

This is the Iman of the Ottawa mosque demonstrating that Islam is a religion of peace.

Two thoughts: first, I have found my anti-American of the Day. Second, it is time for the Canadian government to take a good close look at whether this constitutes hate speech. My bet is that it does and that the Iman should be charged, and, if convicted, jailed and, ideally, deported.

A New World

Jeffrey Simpson, in Saturday's Globe, writes a letter to America's Ambassador to Canada. Here is a draft reply:

Dear Mr. Simpson,

We were terribly disappointed that Canada chose not to participate in the Liberation of Iraq. As a trusted ally and great friend you have been missed on the Road to Baghdad.

More to the point, your government's decision to allow the outmoded and ineffective process of the United Nations stand in the way of the destruction of a barbarous regime has place Canada firmly in the Old World. To quote your letter's last paragraph:

But to friends of the United States, the "disappointment" comes from the shattering of that consensus by an ideologically driven foreign policy that insisted upon war in Iraq and has paid scant heed to institutions, arrangements, laws and assumptions that kept friends bound together in good times and in bad. link globe and mail

You are right. We have paid "scant heed to institutions, arrangements, so called laws and assumptions" which no longer work.

The multilateralism which Canada seems to prize above the actual removal of a tyrant is a relic of the bi-polar world of the 50's and 60's. The consensus building and international institutions which we used to contain the threat of the Soviet Union have simply lost their relevance in a world in which there is no militarily significant "other party". So now we are adapting to the new world. We wish you would come with us.

The traditional approach to the Middle East with its endless meetings, the pretense of treating Arab fascist dictatorships as some sort of ally, the passage of unenforced UN resolutions and all the rest of the multi-lateral baggage has not worked. In Iraq there is increasing evidence of WMDs. There is also evidence of the sheer viciousness of the regime and the utter unwillingness of the Arab world to clean up the mess.

So, instead of going for several more turns around the mulbury bush, America and her allies have decided to act.

Characterizing the choice to act as ideological is weak. Deciding to change a strategy of stasis for one of action is a political choice; but it could have been made just as easily by a Democratic president as a Republican one. And it is hardly fair to characterize Tony Blair as having acted according to some neo-conservative view of the world regardless of how you might try to fit my own President into that category.

In fact, what we have done is serve notice on the tyrants of the world that we will use the power we have created to achieve outcomes which break the iron grip of dictatorship. We will no longer stand by waiting for a direct strike on America; instead we will act in our own interests and the interests of the people of tyrannies.

Frankly, had the United Nations backed up its Resolutions in the face of the Iraqi refusal to disarm, we would have been happy to work with that body to achieve the end of disarming Iraq. But the United Nations was unwilling to act. The French promised to veto any action. The United Nations made itself irrelevant to the solution of the Iraqi conundrum.

We were disappointed that Canada could not see how disfunctional the United Nations has become. We are disappointed that your government was unable to accept the need for real change in the Middle East. And we were disappointed that the bonds of friendship were trumped by the fantasy that the Old World Order would somehow be preserved by inaction.

For Canada the political debate is just beginning. As a nation you will have to decide whether you wish to remain on the sidelines or to work with us to create a genuine, secure and lasting world peace. A peace which includes not only peace as between nations but also peace and dignity within nations. That will, of course, be your decision.

It is a decision which pits the Old World against the New. A decision which requires that Canada embrace its role and responsibilities as a western, liberal, democracy. The alternative is decline.

With affection,

Anti-War Spam


We hate what is happening in the world right now.

We can´t just sit here and do nothing

Our goal is to reach 1.000.000 people with the starting from today and then give all collected faxes to Mr George Bush and Mr Tony Blair.

I got this email on my spam address. What is really cute is that it is a total scam. If you send the fax you are charged a fee on your phone bill.

No wonder it ends. "Thanks , We love you !"

Notes from a non-expert

Mark Steyn is such fun to read and even better when he is right. He takes apart the "experts" who have been pretending that Baghdad is Stalingrad and quagmires are the inevidable end of American arms. Nasty bastard that Steyn is he uses their own words. The scoundrel,

Here is the man introduced by Peter Mansbridge as "military analyst Eric Margolis," speaking on the CBC the other day:

"The war is not going as well as the U.S. had planned. In fact, it's not going very well at all in that respect. And what I think happened is that the Bush White House failed to listen to the warnings of its generals and professional military men and instead listened to the overly optimistic predictions of its hawkish neo-conservatives ... Also what is unexpected is far from being a few thugs of Saddam Hussein who are fighting, it appears that the U.S. invasion has triggered a national uprising where all Iraqis, except for Kurds, are now rallying to defend the government of Saddam Hussein and appear very eager to fight for it."

Peter nodded gravely. "For all the talk of being on the eve of the battle of Baghdad, you make it sound like it could be a while yet." link national post

Oh Please Mr. Fisk

But there were two tactical lessons to be learnt from all this. First, the American mission, whatever its original intention, was a failure. Their tank column did not "break into" the city as the Anglo-American headquarters originally stated. Iraqi resistance turned it back. The US response ? air assaults on individual Iraqi vehicles ? was presumably committed by Apache helicopters, because each smouldering wreck had been hit by a small rocket at close range. The second lesson was one for the Iraqis: they should never have brought their armour and military lorries so close to the front.


So in military terms ? and despite all the waffle from the Americans about the "success" of the aborted US incursion ? the Iraqis have so far held their ground in the Battle of Baghdad. But they must have sustained hundreds of casualties. link the independent

You have to wonder how Fisk will spin the capture of the "New Presidential Palace" and the Ministry of Information. Why does the Independent keep him on?

That would be "the elite" Republican Guard

The vaunted Iraqi Republican Guards have abandoned their tanks, guns and even their uniforms as they flee U.S. troops, failing to regroup in Baghdad and mount an organized resistance against coalition forces ringing the city, military officials say. link yahoo news

About two weeks ago I posted questioning the "elite" status the world's press had given the Republican Guard. With two divisions down it seems that elite did, in fact, refer to loyalty rather than prowess.


It is time for the Iraqis to stop the slaughter and simply surrender.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq said on Monday that Iraqi forces were slaughtering U.S. forces attacking Baghdad and denied that 65 U.S. tanks had burst into the city and captured palaces of President Saddam Hussein.
"Their infidels are committing suicide by the hundreds on the gates of Baghdad," Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf told reporters in central Baghdad. "Be assured, Baghdad is safe, protected. Iraqis are heroes."

"We will continue to slaughter them," he said, rejecting reports of a major U.S. advance into the center of the city. "Do not believe those liars," he said. link reuters


What's up at Debka?

One of the unsung disappointments of the war so far is Debka Files. the news is late, their trademark over the top speculations worn out - what's going on? Keeping the idea of Saddam in Syria alive for a day or two is interesting; but where is the evidence?

Ah well...they were fun for a while.


While the Iraqi regime keeps telling anyone left who is listening that the Americans are at least a hundred miles from Baghdad the Aimponderablemericans insist on proving the facts on the ground.

So now what?

In fact the coalition controls most of Iraq. Certainly enough to declare victory. Not total victory as there are still the imponderablesdrive of the "Special Republican Guard" and the various militias. But the ability to drive through Baghdad at will suggests all this can be accomplished in a week or two.

The next step will likely be the creation of an alternative Iraqi government under American guidance. Which will still have the Baathists to deal with but will also have the deserters from the Republican Guard to help.

The poor Europeans, at least the really Old Europeans, will be hysterical. They will pass resolutions and be really very annoyed at the arrogance of America thinking it can administer a nation it has effectively conquered in a little over three weeks. they will, of course, be ignored. Bush is looking like the brightest kid in the class. Which will rankle.

The big picture

It was a small but telling moment on the sidelines of the war. For a year now, the president and many in his team have privately described the confrontation with Saddam Hussein as something of a demonstration conflict, an experiment in forcible disarmament. It is also the first war conducted under a new national security strategy, which explicitly calls for intervening before a potential enemy can strike.

link new york times

One of the reasons the anti-war folks have been so agitated is the idea that America would not stop at Iraq. And they are right. There is every reason to believe that Bush is perfectly willing to use the awesome force the American defence expenditure has created to bully other states which harbour terroirsts or otherwise irritate the United States.

This is an excellent lesson and one which should have been taught long ago.