:: Friday, November 28, 2003 ::
:: Wednesday, November 26, 2003 ::
I had meant to post this sometime ago. It's hard to know what Churchill would have made of world events today, but aside from the usual great quotes about standing up to the bad guys, something he said that's worth remembering was quoted in a Newsweek excerpt of a new book on FDR and Churchill, by Newsweek managing editor Jon Meacham:
Often put out with the Americans, and perpetually frustrated by the French, Churchill said, “The only thing worse than Allies is not having Allies!”
Anyone seen an actual policy around here?
:: Monday, November 24, 2003 ::
Something I've been thinking about wasn't mentioned in this exchange in Slate about the first Republican ad about Bush and national security. Aside from the appalling dishonesty of the ad, as the Slate piece describes, what I'm wondering is this: the ad finishes by saying, "Call Congress Now. Tell them to support the President's policy of preemptive self-defense," but what exactly is the President's policy of pre-emptive self-defense, exactly? There are a lot of regimes that support terror, and several of them that are also developing chem/bio/nuclear weapons, which were ostensibly the reasons behind a pre-emptive strike on Iraq. But who else are we going to pre-empt? What other countries are going to be affected by this policy? Now that Saddam's been toppled, can anybody explain precisely, exactly, just what it is that this policy commits the US to actually doing?
Yet another re-visiting of "flypaper"
When David Warren introduced the "flypaper" term back in July for the so-called US strategy of attracting lots of terrorists to Iraq to fight them there, one of his main conclusions was almost completely ignored in the debate that ensued. He said that Hizbullah, not al Qaeda, would be the main group attacking the US forces in Iraq:
Hizbullah itself (the "Army of Allah" -- Shia, and ultimately financed and armed by Iran's ayatollahs) are directing their attention less and less towards the "Little Satan" of Israel, and more and more towards the "Great Satan" of the U.S., as events unfold.
As I argued at the time, this analysis was completely insane. Now there's a NY Times story up that refutes even Warren's most basic assumption: that Hizbullah would be attacking Americans in Iraq. Apparently they did send people there just after Saddam's regime was toppled, but they're not attacking the US troops:
This is exactly what President Bush wants. To engage them, away from Israel, in mortal combat. To have an excuse for wiping them out -- a good, solid, American excuse, from which Israel has been extracted. The good news is, Hizbullah's taking the bait.
Both American and Israeli intelligence have found evidence that Hezbollah operatives have established themselves in Iraq, according to current and former United States officials. Separately, Arabs in Lebanon and elsewhere who are familiar with the organization say Hezbollah has sent what they describe as a security team of up to 90 members to Iraq.
The organization has steered clear of attacks on Americans, the American officials and Arabs familiar with Hezbollah agree. United States intelligence officials said Hezbollah operatives were believed to have arrived in Iraq soon after the end of major combat operations last spring, and had refrained from attacks on Americans ever since. The Central Intelligence Agency has not seen a major influx of Hezbollah operatives since that time, officials added.