Diary and Commentary
Mr. Chirac, the US does not need France. Not now, not ever.
Mr. Chirac, the US asked for you help in enforcing the 17 UN resolutions after the first Gulf War. She asked your help enforcing the 18th (which you helped to write). You refused your so-called ally. Whom did you assist all through this? That is, whom did you treat as your real ally?
Iraq was your ally. You sold it weapons and negotiated oil contracts---all prohibited by the UN you claimed to uphold. You worked feverishly trying to prevent a US-led invasion of Iraq. At all times your diplomacy and that of Iraq's worked in tandem. Now you want in after all the work has been done, after all the blood has been shed.
You and your nation are whores. You promise fidelity but keep turning up in the oddest of beds. Now you are in cahoots with Syria. You have already begun foreplay with Bashir al-Assad, maneuvering to provide him with the same diplomatic cover that you gave your (probably) dead buddy.
Say what you really want, Mr. Chirac: A promise by the US to continue those oil concessions worth billions of dollars. A promise by the US not to release all those captured Iraqi-French documents that point out in excruciating and embarrassing detail all those deals you made with Saddam. A promise by the US to somehow let bygones be bygones. A promise by the US to turn to her 'traditional allies.'
Nations without honor cannot understand nations with honor. All is 'pragmatic' with you. The concept of morality sounds very foreign to you. All is about money, dealing, working in shadows, talking with two tongues. You broke the UN resolutions you had said to be implementing, and now you want the UN to take over reconstruction in Iraq.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Mr. Chirac, the US is a nation of deeds not words. Mr. Chirac, please go away.
She had six terrorist buddies in her neighborhood---Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Taliban, al-Qaeda and Lebanon; they worked together sending suicide bombers to Israel and suicide planes to New York; they worked feverishly to get nuclear weapon capability for Iraq and for al-Qaeda and for herself; they had successfully pulled off dozens of terror incidents in the US and around the world, killing Jews and Americans wherever they could be found; they managed to blow to pieces airliners from several nations; they shared intelligence and assets and resources; they supported one another diplomatically and clandestinely; they all kept their populations in a vice-grip of tyranny.
Here is the geo-political situation of Iran today:
Iran is surrounded by the US military in Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey and Azerbaijan. Four of her pals---the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Iraq and Afghanistan---are either destroyed or occupied by the US. One more, Syria, has been receiving very unpleasant attention from the US. The US Navy completely controls the Persian Gulf, through which almost all Iranian oil must pass; Iran herself has seen hundreds of thousands of anti-regime and pro-US demonstrators in her own streets. The enemy whose citizens she has murdered, whose ambassadors she has held hostage, and whom she calls 'The Great Satan' now has a leader who has a proven war record, an invincible army of 300,000 on her border and a long memory.
Iran has experienced a text-book case of foreign policy failure of near unprecedented dimensions.
Some of the coalition's secret weapons:
British soldiers on patrol in Al Amara.
Both friends and enemies of the US have been shaken by her astounding military victory in Iraq. The Russians especially, as the Iraqi army and tactics were carbon copies of official Russian military doctrine. Most Iraqi weapons systems were Russian, and Russian advisors served with the Iraqi military. What the US did to Iraq could just as easily have been done to them. As a Russian commentator on military affairs explained, ""The Americans have rewritten the textbook, and every country had better take note."
Good advice, I think.
Why were we attacked on September 11? A short history of incidents against the US before then:
Nineteen US soldiers killed in Mogadishu in a failed attempt to get Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid. Requests for armored support for denied by US Secretary of Defense Les Aspin. US forces pulled out ignominiously shortly after.
Truck bombing of the World Trade Center that killed six people and injured scores more. Response: FBI investigation, indictments and some convictions. No action outside US borders.
Bombing of Khobar Towers, an American military barracks in Saudi Arabia, in which 19 American service members died. Response: US requested Saudi cooperation in an investigation. Saudi's refused. No action taken by US.
Bombing of American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, killing more than 200 people, most of them Muslim Africans. Response: US launched about two dozen cruise missiles at Afghanistan and Sudan. Al Qaeda undamaged both places; civilians killed in Sudan. No other action taken.
Suicide boat attack on USS Cole while docked in Yemen in 2000, killing 17 US sailors and injuring 39 others. Response: None. US terminated use of Yemeni port facilities.
It is reasonable to assume that those wishing to kill Americans worldwide could do so with impunity, that the US really was a 'paper tiger' that would make threats but not carry them out. The US president during this time was Bill Clinton.
Al-Qaeda believed that September 11 would elicit the same response---nothing but words. But George Bush was now the president. He was---shall we say---made of different stuff than Clinton. The whole world knows the rest.
This points out in painful detail the vital role of leadership in American politics. Americans have elected fools and mountebanks as well as statesmen. It seems that when they are needed most---1861, 1932, 1945, 1980, 2002---they appear seemingly from nowhere to guide the US through painful and treacherous waters. It is indeed as Bismarck said, that "God protects fools, children and the United States."
The American people are not stupid---few people really are---and since 9/11 have absolutely understood where their interests lie. They have given Mr. Bush their trust, something Mr. Clinton never had. The latest poll shows that 63 percent of democrats support him. Americans know fully well how close they came in the 2000 elections. The fate of their nation rested upon a few votes in Florida. Bismarck was right.
Oh, Those Peace-Loving Palestinians!
The Palestinians still inhabit dreamland. They have just released a new constitution that calls for a state under Islamic law. No mention is made of democracy or civil liberties.
Now let's see: The US and Israel are just going to lay back and allow the creation of a miniature Iran.
These folks are simply impervious to reason. They are addled by hatred, drunk with their own rhetoric, enslaved by violent fantasies, dedicated to blowing up Israeli children even as they themselves are blasted to pieces.
It must be something in the water over there
I have no idea how to cure this other than inflict upon the Palestinians a crushing defeat and occupation along the lines of what the US did to Imperial Japan in 1945. Then as now there were a people committed to suicide squads of killers; then as now an entire nation was ready to commit collective destruction as it threw its women and children upon the guns of the enemy. It took a nuclear war and a seven-year occupation to cure the Japanese of their fanatical war fever.
I against my brother.
The two of us against our cousin.
The three of us against the stranger.
Thousands of Arabs streamed into Iraq as Saddam lay under siege. From all of Araby they came---from Egypt, the Sudan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon---to answer the call of their brother Saddam against the infidel, the invader, the Crusader. They would stand as one with the Iraqi soldier, to fight and die for Islam, for Iraq, for jihad, for Paradise. Allah would bring them a glorious victory against the Great Satan.
Well, it did not exactly turn out that way.
These Fedayeen 'volunteers for Saddam'---the ones who are still alive---now are full of shame that Saddam---amazing as it would seem!---betrayed them. The much vaunted Republican Guard fled the battlefield, leaving the hapless volunteers to face the might of the US military. The perished by the thousands, some in hand-to-hand combat against the US Marine Corps in the marshy regions around Basra, some being blown to bits by American artillery, some machine gunned as they charged US positions with AK-47s blazing away, some in an absurd attempt to destroy an Abrams tank by crashing a car into it.
One survivor says that "We, the Arab volunteers, felt that what happened in Iraq was the result of a big betrayal from inside."
No kidding? Really?
How does one respond to such idiocy? Saddam was the greatest killer of Moslems in history. He murdered his own people and every other Moslem who crossed him who was w ithin his reach. Why would he treat these Islamic 'volunteers' any differently than he treated other Moslems? They only served to absorb the shells and bullets of the US Army to buy time so that the Baathist rulers of Iraq, their suitcases stuffed with cash, could get out while the getting was good.
True, these Fedayeen volunteers were fanatically courageous and ferocious. It did them no good. Such attitudes might suit well the suicide bomber or Palestinian gunman, but they are useless against a modern military.
In a macabre way these Fedayeen actually did the cause of peace a favor. So many died in the Iraqi sand that now there are much fewer such fanatics to go around. Perhaps that is why the Americans allowed them to get into Iraq in the first place, to concentrate the enemy in a small area and destroy him.
Poor Fedayeen! They came. They saw. They died.
The price of stupidity
Arab volunteers cheerful as they board bus for Baghdad.
Mass grave in Baghdad where most ended up.
The war is not over. The war cannot be over until the fruits of victory are solidified and established. What could prevent this? That is, what could prevent Iraq from becoming a stable democracy where civil rights are guaranteed and which in no way threatens its neighbors?
Syria can prevent this. Syria is trying to prevent this. Syria will fail.
Syria fantasizes that she can create in Iraq another Lebanon, a puppet state of murderous instability and a terrorist training ground. She imagines her success there---the US was driven out after a truck bomb attack that killed over 200---can be translated to Iraq. Bashir al-Assad made this plain in a March 27 speech where he described Iraq as "a large Arab country with scientific, material and human resources . . . able to accomplish, at the least, what Lebanon accomplished, and more." So expect more truck bombs, suicide killers and their like against US interests in Iraq. (In fact, one just occurred near the Turkish-Iraqi border. The killers were Syrian.)
Success in Iraq can only be maintained through a removal of the Baathist regime in Syria. As I write, rumors abound of spec-ops already on the ground targeting Syrian military assets and hunting for leaders of the fallen Hussein regime who escaped to Syria, and of tanks, helicopters and A-10 warplanes already in position near the Syrian border.
Simply put, Syrian leaders cannot tolerate a free Iraq on its borders. Such a state would point out the gross sterility and defects of Syrian policies. Syria sees an unstable and violent Iraq as necessary to the survival of its own regime.
Syria will be denied this victory. Al-Assad must go the way of Saddam.
Bashir as tough-guy.
The badly decomposed body of 27-year old Laci Peterson washed up from San Francisco Bay yesterday. She had disappeared Christmas Eve. Her husband Scott is being held for a double homicide. You see, Laci was eight months pregnant when she was murdered. Thus, her husband is charged with killing the baby as well. Now let me get this straight: A woman can have a legal abortion up until the moment before birth---a 'partial birth abortion'---but when Scott Petersen allegedly slays his wife thus also killing the eight-month old baby inside her he is charged with a double murder. Come again?
So some Iraqis are protesting the US presence. The media are making a big deal out of this. One month ago any such protest would have meant mass arrests, tortures and killings. Now Iraqis can demonstrate when it suits their fancy without fear of reprisal. Ladies and gentlemen, this is called Freedom---get used to it. The Iraqis will. Liberty is always a bit untidy. A question: In what other Arab nation can citizens demonstrate against the government? In how many of those pompous-ass nations that squat at the UN can they do so?
The European birthrate in France has been below replacement level for sometime. If present trends continue the largest ethnic group in 2020 will be Moslems from northern Africa, mainly Algeria. France will be an Islamic state in the heart of Europe---and it will have nuclear weapons. There is so much more to this story, which is really about the decay of French civilization. Hate France or love France, this tale is not a pretty one. For all intents and purposes France is dead. Its ruling elite engage themselves in arguing over the disposition of the corpse.
The regime of Saddam is on the ash-heap of history, and the vultures are circling. Those nations who most vehemently opposed doing anything against Saddam are now licking their chops at the prospect of loot to be garnered in Iraqi reconstruction. Never mind that if these nations had had their way Saddam and his pervert sons Uday and Qusay, two-bit gruesome little Caligulas both, would still be in power. Sniffing the wind---especially as it blows from the Iraqi oil fields---the irrepressible French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin says that "We must stabilize Iraq and the region." (Who is this 'we' he talks about?) "The United Nations is the only international organization that can give legitimacy to this." Well now, Dominique, Iraqi 'legitimacy' will come from the Iraqi people and not from the UN. As far as stability goes, Iraq has just been given a healthy dose of 'creative destruction.' Syria and Iran need the same treatment.
For the first time in the 5600 year-old history of warfare, an invading army used weaponry and tactics to avoid killing civilians and enemy soldiers. Those hapless, outgunned, outmaneuvered and outclassed foes can live and help rebuild their nation. Fewer widows, fewer orphans, less wailing and gnashing of teeth. It was not blood the coalition forces were after, but the end of the regime. Done deal.
Recall all those Hollywood-types---the Sean Penns, the Martin Sheens, the Barbara Streisands, the Susan Sarandons, the Tim Robbinses, the Alec Baldwins---who protested so vociferously against the war. Not a peep from them now. Perhaps all those images of Iraqis cheering their American and British liberators have shamed them---though any look at their lifestyles would lead one to assume they are immune to such things. Question: Why do they think they have the intellect or education or wisdom or experience to comment in public on worldly affairs? Nothing in their pasts suggests such talents. Their skills---such as they are---involve the ability to pretend to be somebody else. (Which is a good thing: Outside of circus goers, carnival lovers and clinical psychiatrists who would pay good money to see them as they actually are?) Just for fun, compare their resumes with the resumes of Bush and any of his cabinet.
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