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Jay Currie

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4/10/2004

Iran off the Fence

If ever there was a regime in need of change it is Iran's. there was some hope that Iran would change, as the Buddhists say, would come from within. Which would be grand. But here is the basis for a more direct approach.
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's influential former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, on Friday hailed the Shi'ite Muslim militia of firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr as "heroic" for rising up against the U.S. occupation in Iraq .

Rafsanjani told worshippers at Friday prayers in Tehran that a distinction should be drawn between Shi'ite fighters, who have battled U.S.-led troops across southern Iraq this week, and insurrectionist supporters of Saddam Hussein 's Ba'ath party he described as "terrorists."

"Contrary to these terrorist groups in Iraq, there are powerful bodies which contribute to the security of that nation...among them is the Mehdi Army, made up of enthusiastic, heroic young people," he told the crowd.
yahoo news

Deep Analysis on Iraq

If you are not already reading Dan Darling at Regnun Crucis start now....even with the awful yellow on blue layout. Darling gets to the level of detail the folks at big media don't want to know, much less report:
Also, based on the ongoing corpse identification process of the suspected insurgents who have been killed in Fallujah to date (and we’re talking upwards of 400 of them), the vast majority appear to be Iraqi, though there are some definite non-Iraqi Arabs (don’t ask me how they tell this from a corpse) and non-Arabs in the mix. Given the apparent collapse of the Baathists as a viable unified force, it looks like we’re starting to see a “Chechenization” of the Iraqi insurgency wherein the local cannon fodder is all either Iraqi jihadis or Baathists but are commanded or controlled by the al-Qaeda leadership. Oui.

Vimy

Enter Stage Right. Canadians don't forget.

4/09/2004

Obvious....

"At the bottom of it, the bureaucrat, who is caught in the middle, is a pawn. The politician is in direct contact with the ad agency, who has an IOU relationship," said Mr. Richard.

"Those agencies helped the political party to get into power and in helping them, they did it for very advantageous rates. In consequence, when the party is in power, they remit contracts from such Crown corporations as Canada Post, VIA Rail, Tourism Canada -- they always go to accounts held by ad agencies who helped them get elected," said Mr. Richard.
ottawa citizen
OK, maybe I'm a cynic but this would seem like a pretty straighforward, if corrupt quid pro quo. I wonder if Alain Richard a former vice-president of the Groupaction ad firm will be called to testify in public?

We need a real inquiry here. I hear that Frank Iacobucci might be available. If Martin has any hope of surviving this, and I rather think he doesn't there needs to be real inquiry with a real judge and real rules, sworn evidence and cross conducted by lawyers who have actually been in Court.

Ouch!

What appears to be new blogger Occam's Carbuncle - and nice elision of logic and Marx there, not to mention a grand cutline, "The most breathtakingly stupid answer is frequently not the best one." - has at the Man who Would be King,
Finally freed of the cares and shackles of physical existence, the ghost of the man who was Paul Martin Jr., our Interim Prime Minister, is now apparently able to comfortably take two positions on virtually anything without contradicting himself. Ah, the unbearable lightness of being Liberal.
occam's carbuncle
Remembering always that there is an election to be won I am amazed that Prince Paul's head does not explode.

The all Iraq Home Team

The current fighting pits us against a wide range of enemies, some of whom want to turn back the clock by centuries and others who hope time will stand still. We are fighting a great battle for human freedom. It's outcome may well shape this entire century. Every effort we make is well worthwhile.

And as for those who declared so fervently, before Congress and the American people, that deposing Saddam and liberating Iraq was a diversion from the War on Terror, just look at who we're fighting now: Al Qaeda. Extremist militias. The Iranians. And the Syrians.

The War on Terror is here and now. In Iraq.
ralph peters/new york post
Flypaper? Or moths to an open flame. Either way, the insects don't do all that well.

Iraq Out of Control?

The pitiful accounts of the battle of Fallujah should put paid to the silly press suggestions that the US military is "overwhelmed". The problem is that the terrifying combat efficiency of the Marines may in fact lead to the literal extermination of enemy forces. US authorities, with a longer term end game in mind, are balancing the political outcomes of letting the Marines continue, even in their restrained mode, and taking more US casualties from holding back. When the media learns the full extent of enemy casualties in Fallujah, Kut, Ramadi, Saddam city and elsewhere, the image of the US military will be switched from "hapless" to "bullying" in a millisecond. As pointed out previously, the real problem in this cycle is intel and planning and not so much the shooting. Finding the right targets to hit to advance our political goals is the crucial part. CENTCOM I think, has been trying to use force to shape the situation.
belmont club
Two days ahead of the network news, which seems to think Iraq has fallen down a rabbit hole to quagmire and a sticky end only a year after the nation was liberated, the tide is turning. Wretchard has it exactly right when he says,
The press has got it absolutely backwards. There is no crisis in military capability. The real problem is political. There are now huge strategic opportunities and dangers. But the first step is to put the revolt down, and this is near to happening, and to install the Iraqi Governing Council as soon as possible.
It will be around Monday, or maybe as late as Tuesday given the Easter weekend, that big media's "daring rebels" turn into "victims of America's senseless anger". A day or two after that look for the happy news that the Marines at Fallujah were "out of control", "beserk with rage", and, no doubt, "committed attrocities". I suspect we'll also hear the Marines "tore a page from the Israeli handbook".

If, by some chance, the Americans look like winning, the media and the Left are going to have to reverse the spin cycle.

Rewriting History

A hush fell over the city as George W. Bush today became the first president of the United States ever to be removed from office by impeachment. Meeting late into the night, the Senate unanimously voted to convict Bush following a trial on his bill of impeachment from the House.

Moments after being sworn in as the 44th president, Dick Cheney said that disgraced former national security adviser Condoleezza Rice would be turned over to the Hague for trial in the International Court of Justice as a war criminal. Cheney said Washington would "firmly resist" international demands that Bush be extradited for prosecution as well.

On August 7, 2001, Bush had ordered the United States military to stage an all-out attack on alleged terrorist camps in Afghanistan. Thousands of U.S. special forces units parachuted into this neutral country, while air strikes targeted the Afghan government and its supporting military. Pentagon units seized abandoned Soviet air bases throughout Afghanistan, while establishing support bases in nearby nations such as Uzbekistan. Simultaneously, FBI agents throughout the United States staged raids in which dozens of men accused of terrorism were taken prisoner.
easterblog/the new republic
go read it for a perspective on the circus at the 9/11 Commission.
(hat tip Little Green Footballs)

4/08/2004

CTV

Our man Llloyd described the kidnappings in Iraq today as done by "daring rebels". Thanks Lloyd.

Thugs and bullies would seem to be more accurate. But we wouldn't want to offend anyone.

Heros of the Islamic Resistance

Al Jazeera television aired a video tape showing the three Japanese, including a woman, who are being held by a group calling itself the Saraya al-Mujahideen (Mujahideen Brigades). They were in civilian clothes.

"We tell you that three of your children have fallen prisoner in our hands and we give you two options -- withdraw your forces from our country and go home or we will burn them alive and feed them to the fighters," the group said.
reuters/yahoo news
The Japanese government, perhaps learning a thing or two from the Spanish and one big thing from the Israelis ("We don't negotiate with terrorists.") responded,
Japan's government said it has no plans to pull troops out of Iraq in response to the threat, which came amid a series of other kidnappings targeting civilians.
ap/yahoo news

Shotgun, reloaded

The Western Standard's Shotgun is now a real blog with permalinks, comments and a groovy interface. Random firing will now commence.

The blog is already gaining attention:
It looks like civil war broke out at the Shotgun on the topic of Bill C-250 which seeks to criminalize "hate propaganda" against homosexuals.

This skirmish began when it was claimed that this proposed bill was anti-Christian and suggested that its real objective was to pursue a "Christophobic" policy. I am against this bill, but this kind of discourse seems rather paranoid to me.
Le blog de Polyscopique


With luck Shotgun - and the Flea and I vow to drop the "the" - is going to be exploring the corners where libertarians and socons agree and the nastier bits where they can't. In many ways, if the blog is successful it will reflect the ways in which the Conservative Party and small "l" liberal thinking in Canada are evolving.

Oh Great!

Unless you have the instincts of a pre-Reformation Catholic peasant-or Mel Gibson — it is nearly impossible to grasp this appreciation of suffering and death. But here it is not death as a redemptive power, death as spectacle — a public expression that seeks the admiration of man as much as God. This is what, in my mind, separates Shia radicalism from its Sunni counterpart. Wahabbi and Palestinian suicide bombers seek honor and glorification by killing their enemies; the Shiites' spiritual apotheosis, on the contrary, comes from having their enemies kill them — a kind of suicidal exhibitionism that fetishizes Hussein's fate at Karbala. Early Christians felt that the blood of martyrs nourished the Church; Shiites believe that martyr blood will embellish their own holiness and that of their families for untold generations.
nro
Steven Vincent writes an account of the death cult which lies at the heart of Shi'ite religion. He asks the question, Are Shi'ites Ungovernable?" A question which al-Sadr is attempting to pose for the Coalition. But, then, the question is how many of the Shi'ites in Iraq are that feverent?

Jewbuster Kalle Lasn responds

Here, then, is Kalle's response, and the ongoing debate:

The list of Jewish neocons we came up with is a provocation, I?ll admit. And if it were a list of dentists or firefighters or stockbrokers, then that would indeed be very offensive. However, the neocons are no ordinary group -- they are the most influencial political/intellectual force in the world right now. They have the power to start wars and to stop them. They are the prime architects of America's foreign policy since 9/11 -- a policy that is heavily weighed in favor of Israel and a key source of anti-Americanism around the world. So I think it is not only appropriate, but necessary to put them under a microscope. And if we see maleness, whiteness, Jewishness, Zionism or intellectual thuggery there, then let us not look the other way.

On the ethnic question: Is it not just as valid to comment on the Jewishness of the neocons as it is to point out that the majority of them are male or white or wealthy or from the Western world or have studied at a particular university? If half the neocons were Palestinians, would the US have invaded Iraq?
adbusters
Of course, if half the Palestinians were neocons America wouldn't have to invade Iraq.

Lasn seems to think that the Jewishness of some, but hardly all, of a list of alledged neo-cons, is relevant to an ongoing policy debate. This makes as much sense as saying the blackness of Condi Rice and Colin Powell was a factor in the removal of Aristide.

"And if it were a list of dentists or firefighters or stockbrokers, then that would indeed be very offensive." says Lasn who then goes on to try to explain why a list of policy intellectuals is somehow different. His argument, to be charitable, is that because the neo-cons are just so darn powerful they have to be subject to different rules. And those different rules mean that a general ad hominum attack is. on Lasn's logic, fair ball.

Lasn and his ilk seem to want to justify their anti-Semitism on the following basis:

1. America has been an ally and friend of Israel since the founding of that state.
2. American policy has preferred Israel to the surrounding Arab states.
3. There is no possible explanation for this policy except to ascribe it to Jewish influence.
4. The importance of exposing this Jewish influence justifies behaviour which would otherwise be "very offensive".

You can see Kalle slipping in his suppressed premise at point 3.

I mean why else would America support the single democratic state in the Middle East? Why else would it support a nation so devoted to the rule of law that the current Prime Minister may be forced from office over a bribery scandal. And why, in the aftermath of 9/11 as the Palestinians danced in the streets, would America continue to support Israel? Well, of course, it must be the Jews.

Lasn's scrutiny of the neo-cons, his microscope, also assumes that the ethnicity, religion, education, financial status and, for all I know, sexual preference or sock colour will determine their policy positions.

His implicit racism is underscored when he asks his devastating question: "If half the neocons were Palestinians, would the US have invaded Iraq?" He assumes that Palestinians would be incapable of recognizing the evil embodied in Saddam and his regime or the need for radical change in the Middle East. While I have little time for the Palestinian leadership, I am unconvinced that Palestinians are inherently capable of recognizing evil when they see it.

The neo-con agenda, in so far as it is even sensible to say there is one, is about making systemic changes in the Middle East to break the cycle of tyranny and corruption which has kept the Arab and Islamic world a backward, humiliated and hopeless place pretty much since the Ottomans were driven out. If it succeeds, virtually the entire, shaky, oppressive, structure of Middle Eastern politics will be transformed.

No doubt this will be good for Israel. But it will be better for the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Egyptians, Saudis, Iranians and all of the other Middle Eastern people who have had to endure a century of grinding tyranny.

If the Palestinians were allowed by their Trollish leadership to understand that what is indirectly at stake in Iraq is their own freedom I have no doubt at all they would support the removal of Saddam and the creation of a democratic government.

Iraq Analysis

Dan Darling has a first rate and very detailed piece of analysis up at Winds of Change. I commented,


Whether or not al-Sadr is directly or indirectly run from Iran is interesting in the larger picture; but for the moment his own actions are, I think, more interesting.

Why now?

Why not wait for June 30th and confront the provisional government with the same uprising better organized?

One answer may be the fact Al-Sadr came up on CERTCOM's to do list and his people were being picked up. In which case this is a purely reactive tactical matter and one which will be dealt with on the ground.

I think, however, there was a strategic issue confronting Al-Sadr: progress towards a multi-ethnic, secular, provisional government. If such a government were allowed to come into place on the 30th of June, where would that leave Al-Sadr? (Or Iran for that matter.)

The best Al-Sadr could hope for in a state moving towards democracy would be a fair trial. However, the imposition of a theocratic government on Iranian lines would be a forelorn hope if the putative provisional government was able to gain the legitimacy that even six months in office would confer.

I suspect the Baathist/el Qaeda thinking runs on much the same line.

In essence, for groups (and nations) hoping to see a radical, anti-Western, Iraq, April is the make or break month. Either they can deliver a political knockout blow the the United States - and here I am thinking of the Marine barracks in Lebannon - or they can fold their tents.

What has changed radically since Lebannon is that Americans, and many other people in the West, realize that beating terrorism in all its guises is the work of the 21st century.

4/07/2004

Questions

Is it just me or are the MPs sitting on the Public Accounts Committee the least competent cross examiners I have ever seen. I can barely watch as Ministers and senior civil servants demonstate just how much smarter they are than the dumb ass MPs. The fog rolls in as soon as a witness sits down and not one of the MPs seems able to use basic cross skills to cut through it.

I can't help but compare and contrast with the tradition of Congressional Investigations in the US where the majority and minority on the Committee retain counsel and the Chairman acts more as a judge than a jolly uncle.

The good plain folks on the Accounts Committee don't seem to have a clue about actually having the emails, memos and daytimers in front of them when they ask a question. Nor do they understand the basic idea of asking tight, close ended questions in order to establish a record.

It is really becoming a pathetic performance.

After watching the Hutton Inquiry it is just so disappointing to see the MPs being made fools of.

Power v. Purity

Interesting discussion going on at The Shotgun about whether it is more important to be faithful to particular socon beliefs - in this case about homosexuality - or to recognize the fact holding those beliefs marginalizes the Right and denies it any chance at power. I wish Shotgun would install comments!

4/06/2004

Sadr Days are coming

A more refined version of the al-Sadr blog entries below is up at Tech Central Station.

And thank you Steve den Beste for confirming in your post what I was thinking about the fat little thug's uprising.

Bring it On


Eight security contractors, a couple of Marines, a couple of hundred Shi'ite militia men. Who do you think won?

Seperate but Equal

David Brooks
The political divisions in this country being what they are, it's not enough that liberals and conservatives have different radio networks, different Web sites and different networks of friends. In order to eliminate all possibility of trans-partisan conversation, I really think it's time we stopped flying together. It's time to set up two different airlines: Liberal Air, with direct flights between Madison, Berkeley, Ann Arbor and the New School for Social Research; and Right Wing Express, which will have planes with no oxygen masks in case of emergencies because anybody who can't handle a little asphyxiation doesn't deserve to live.
new york times
Lots of fun to start your day....

Mistakes

Steve den Beste writes a short piece on the errors the insurgents have made in Falluja and, I believe more importantly, the radical Shi'ites have made by rising now.

I say more importantly because the murderers at Falluja are a beaten bunch whose fearless leader is not coming home anytime soon. As a political incident the lynching at Falluja will likely have more impact in the United States than it does in Iraq. And that political impact will be a five day wonder. Especially now that Teddy Kennedy has made it official and called Iraq "Bush's Vietnam". (A fact which only came clear since, well, his appearence with Katie Couric on the Today Show on the 15th of January 2004 where he said Kennedy admitted that "clearly the Iraqi people are safer, and that is a testament to the skill of our armed forces.")

The radical Shi'ites, as den Beste points out, were hoping to establish an Iran style theocracy and, to date, have not been doing too well. There luck is now changing, they are now going to start doing very badly indeed. Their militia is not going to have much chance against an attacking American force. And that is potentially hugely significant for Iraq.

As den Beste puts it:
But now al-Sadr and his supporters have risen in open rebellion. And that means we no longer have to put up with them. It means more hard fighting, and more casualties. The next couple of months will see the worst fighting in Iraq since the invasion. Once it's over, the situation overall will be immeasurably better.
den beste
Here the mistake is twofold, first to rise in rebellion when there is an occupying force which can take you out without any serious difficulty, second, timing.

Had al-Sadr waited for the June 30th turnover he and his faction would have had the capacity to run a terror campaign against the Iraqi provisional government. A government which, while it will still have access to American troops, will be reluctant to use them against any group of Iraqis. The great balancing act for the putative provisional government will be to prevent the Shi'ites from using their majority to overwhelm the various minorities in Iraq. Sending in the Americans to take out al-Sadr is the last thing a provisional government struggling to establish its legitimacy could afford to do.

Had al-Sadr simply been patient he might well have continued to push the moderate Shi'ite leadership away from compromise; but as den Beste makes clear, his rebellion clears the way for the moderates to call for peace while praying the Americans will rid them of this troublesome priest. And his militia.

German Trains

Nasty and, as yet, not claimed by any particular group of terrorist lunatics. However, as this story at DW-World-DE points out, each of the six plates weighed 17.5 kilos and they were installed during the 18 minute interval between trains. Sheer good luck and the quick reflexes of the driver kept the train on the tracks. This time.

Mob tactics

ONE of al-Qaeda’s top officials has ordered the killing of Muslim leaders if they co-operate with intelligence services and the police to thwart terrorist attacks.

In a message to the followers of Osama bin Laden around the world, Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, the new leader of the terror network in Saudi Arabia, listed Muslim clerics "who co-operate with the enemy" as one of the top two targets for future attacks.

The warning of attacks on clerics came just three days after the Muslim Council of Britain decided to write to every mosque in the country urging them to help police fight terrorism and to be alert for possible illegal activities, a message welcomed by Tony Blair.
the scotsman
I'd missed this but Debbye didn't. One of the things which I think is becoming evident is that al Qaeda is far more than a bombing for bombings' sake oraganization. They are prepared to use terror for leverage both within the Muslim world and against governments.

As the Socialists in Spain are learning to their anguish any form of capitulation is just blood to the shark. This is war. On a front which stretches from the West to the East and back again. The faster that is recognized the faster the war will be won. But fast here is a relative term. A decade, two?

Caught in between will be the vast majority of Muslims who want nothing to do with the Islamofascists but who are terrorized into silence. They need our support and our encouragement to renounce the terrror and denounce the terrorists. But, as the decades wear on the West's willingness to treat Islam as a religion of peace will increasingly depend on just how willing Muslims are to stand with us against the terror.

"mercenaries"

Debbye at Being American in T.O. hands the dishonourable anti-war left their heads in one of the best blog posts I've read in months. Go read it.

4/05/2004

Something for the British Columbia government to think about

A tunnel Boring Machine from which dug the Chunnel between France and England is up for auction at EBay. Job one, a couple of tunnels under the River to ease commuter traffic, job two a quick tunnel under Burrard Inlet from downtown to the North Shore, job three - the big one: under the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island.

At the moment the bidding is at 5, 000, 000.00 pounds so pennies could be rolled and the TBM bought and put to work.

al-Sadr and the rule of the theocrats

As reports come in from Iraq about a Shi'ite insurgency lead by Moqtada al-Sadr it would be wise to read a bit of background. Here's a quote from an excellent article in the Christian Science Monitor which describes the faction fights in the Shi'ite community,
Iran's Wilayet al-Faqih doctrine (governance of the religious jurist, preached in the Iranian city of Qom) was devised in the mid-1970s by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and served as the ideological underpinning of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran which he led. It grants absolute authority over all matters - religious, social, and political - to a marja who has earned the title of mujtahid, a blend of judge and theologian.

Although the Wilayat al-Faqih system was successfully introduced into Iran's homogenous Shiite society, exporting the doctrine elsewhere has proved difficult.
christian science monitor
Moqtada al-Sadr and his followers, including an illegal milita, believe that the right model for Iraq is the Wilayat al-Faqih system. but, as the Monitor points out, what "works" in a nearly homogenous Shi'ite state is less likely to work in a state where 40% of the people are not Shi'ite.

There are questions being raised as to whether al-Sadr is a stalking horse for Iran. It is a pretty good bet that he has received money and possibly trained men from Iran; but it is an open question as to whether he is actually seeking Iran's interests or if what he sees as Shi'ite interests in Iraq happen to coincide with the goals of the Iranian Ayatollahs.

It probably does not matter because, either way, what al-Sadr sees as the way forward for Iraq is completely incompatible with what a majority of Iraqis appear to want and what the United State would be prepared to countenance. al-Sadr wants to establish clerical rule and that is not possible in a democratic state.

About the last thing the increasingly embattled Iranian Ayatollahs want is a democratic secular Iraq run with Sunnis, Kurds and Shi'ite working together. The Iranian Ayatollahs are already having enough trouble with their own dissidents demands for reform.

Cynically, it is quite possible that the Ayatollahs, at least some of them would welcome a civil war in Iraq in which "the Great Satan" is bogged down killing radical Shi'ites. (A strategy which would, ironically, be exactly what al Qaeda's strategy document for Iraq.) It would have the double benefit of creating a fresh wave of anti-Americanism in the countryside of Iran where the radical clerics draw their support and would make it all the easier for the Iranians to get on with their atomic weapons project.

Kinsella Speaks

Albertan though I was, I was drawn to the Liberal Party because I believed (as I do now) that only a strong central government could serve as an effective bulwark against Quebec nationalism. Back then, only Mr. Trudeau's party possessed the necessary fortitude and conviction to confront Quebecois secessionists, I thought.

The xenophobia manifesting itself in the burgeoning Western separatist movement also nudged me towards the Liberals. At the time, legitimate concerns about the National Energy Program were degenerating into a morass of anti-French, anti-immigrant, anti-Eastern bigotry. Among the nation's political leaders, only Mr. Trudeau's seemed capable of making the case for federalism. As had been the case before him, with Mike Pearson - and after Pierre Trudeau, with Jean Chrétien.
warren kinsella
As he often does, Kinsella puts it in a nutshell. He wanted a strong central government, one that could keep those pesky Quebec Nationalists at bay by buying every billboard in Quebec and sticking the Canadamark on them.

Some of us thought that, perhaps, the Central Government might have been a wee bit too strong what with effectively raping the West on oil pricing through the National Energy Program and shovelling useless billions of dollars into doomed regional development programs for regions of the country which should have been encouraging out migration from WWII on.

Well, Warren is out of the Grits now. Martin seems to have thought the better of holding the country together by main force and handout politics (or has he, well, Warren thinks so at least).

So what will Kinsella do now - how about trying to resurect Joe Clark, or Sheila Copps, or both. Maybe a Progressive Liberal Party to bolster the feds in the time of crisis Martin is surely foisting upon us. It's motto might be, kudos to Ms. Copps, apologies to the shade of Waugh, "Put out more flags."

Oooops

I left out one little " and seemingly have reformetted the entire Shotgun....Sorry.

Blogging thoughts

I am in the process of cobbling together an article on mainstream media and blogging so there will be a few of these fragments over the next couple of days:

My own sense is that blog tech will become the essential engine which will drive "websites". The center column, frequent update blog will be surrounded by links to internal and external pages with a bit of advertising sqeezed in at the margins.

A large part of this is the fact a blogged website will always be quicker to edit and update than a non-blogged one and search engines are really quick to pick up the updates.

What will seperate out the next generation of A list bloggers will be their online affiliations - group blogs and the like - and their connectedness to mainline media. I note Kevin Drum now has a gig. The Prof and Sullivan are writing in mainstream media. This is a trend which is going to grow, fast.

In essence blogging is training up a generation of citizen journalists who are now fact checking mainstream media hard and, slowly, developing their own stories. The power of that development lies in what amounts to "networked" journalism where each node (blogger) is contributing to the arc of the story.

Instapundit meets Lengthy Pundit

Go read Kate. She notes that Canada's gift to verbosity didn't feel the need to explain the blogosphere or blogging to his audience.

(And, only in Canada, very cool hockey helmets.

4/04/2004

Encouraging

David Mader reports:
Apparently the Muslim community and local mosque in Thornhill, Ontario has sent flowers to those families - including the family of my friend and Maderblog reader Elana Setton - whose houses were vandalized with anti-Semitic scrawling last month.
madder blog

Poor Kalle, JewBusters a Bust

Happy news from Kathie Shaidle
Yesterday, a piece in the National Post (locked behind their subscribers-only wall) quoted the author, Kalle Lasn*:

"This has made me feel like I am the victim," Mr. Lasn said in an interview from his Fraser Valley home, adding he has never seen "this level of threatening phone calls, this level of swearing, this level of cancelled subscriptions" in his risk-taking company's 15-year history.

Where to start, eh kiddies?
Where indeed. In my American Spectator piece I forgot to swear at him. Damn. And as I didn't have a subscription I couldn't cancel.

What Lasn didn't perhaps realize is that real live bigotry, as opposed to the Human Rights Commission kind, provokes reaction. He is not, of course, the victim: the victims are the Jewish people who Lasn's anti-Semitism stigmatizes as it has stigmatized Jews for centuries.

I rather hope all his subscriptions will be cancelled and that he can crawl back into whatever Ernst Zundel infested hole he has crawled out of.

UPDATE Looks like Kalle has taken down the comments on his bit of anti-Semitic bile. Which means I get to quote the next part of Kathy's post, (because I couldn't possibly put it better),
There was a time when someone in Mr. Lasn's position might have dared to describe himself as a "hero" for printing a controversial article. Or a "misunderstood genius" or a "maverick" or whathaveyou. He might have said, "Screw our stupid subscribers! I will continue to publish if we lose ALL our subscribers. Ha!"

But this is 2004, principled manhood is not something commonly seen among the Left (except among some of the women) so Lasn's default position of "honour" is "victim". Catcher rather than pitcher, to use an unpleasant jailhouse metaphor.
Kathie Shaidle

Blogging at The Western Standard

Ezra Levant, publisher of the Western Standard, was kind enough to ask me to join in the fun at Shotgun. So I have. I note Kathy Shaidle is also up. All good things. The concept, as I understand it, is based on NRO's The Corner, short and sharp. Should be fun.