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our friends the palestinians...

...are pouring into the streets to sing praises to saddam's name.

two things can be said in their defense:

1. saddam has bought their loyalty by rewarding the families of suicide bombers
2. their government, like nearly every other arab government, allows their people to hear only what they want them to hear

do the palestinians understand that the man they are defending has slaughtered more arabs than anyone else on earth? not a chance--and believe me, if i thought that they did understand such a thing, i'd be calling for our boys to swing north west as soon as they got done with baghdad--if you know what i mean. come to think of it, that's not a bad idea anyway...and it sort of demonstrates what the whole neo-con crusade in iraq is all about.

see, the only real hope for winning the war on terror is democracy. you can't have freedom of the press without it, and the palestinian people, while courageous and long suffering, are fighting for a pack of lies. truth without democracy is an impossibility.

ok, ok. i'm not seriously suggesting that we dispose of arafat's regime. (let the israelis do it--they've got more right than anyone.) but not until viable democracies are established in the arab world, not until the flow of information reaches the arab street free and unfettered--thus giving them a chance to burn flags in protest of reality and not their skewed perception of it--not until arabs are free to seek their own good and maximize their own potential rather than squandering their talents in virtual serfdom, will we truly have struck a lethal blow to terrorism. why does the arab world hate us? because they are the victims of dishonest, backward regimes that last made sense a millennium ago.

locdog thinks a democratic iraq is just the systems upgrade the arab world needs


franks passes first test

not quite the charismatic that stormin' norman was, but then, who could be?

did you get a load of some of those questions?

"general, i'm lenin q. stalin from communists for a safer iraq, can you explain to me why we haven't found any weapons of mass destruction even though we've been mired in this stagnant swamp of a war for three whole days?"

"general, i'm chairman of the chinese communist party and former clinton staffer hyong wong chang chin. can you explain to me why the american armed forces chose, with premeditation and forethought of malice, to slaughter 200 innocent iraqis?"

"general, i'm with al jazeera, sister organization of the new york times. isn't it true that your so-called 'shock and awe' campaign was custom-tailored by horror-meister stephen king specifically to give the children of iraq scary dreams and, in conjunction with that, do you have any comment on the rumors of gremlins and/or boogey men roaming freely about the streets of baghdad?"

"general, i'm democratic presidential hopeful and french ambassador to america dennis kucinich. do you maintain your youthful vigor by bathing in the blood of the iraqi babies you kill, or do you prefer to imbibe it as a tonic?"

of all the questions franks fielded, the one from that bald-headed BBC george castanza look-alike had to be the worst. there are no transcripts available yet, but the question was worded along the following lines:

"general, we've heard reports of massive surrenders numbering in the tens of thousands. from the standpoint of propaganda, clearly this is information that would be useful for you to get out in order to discourage other iraqis from fighting. what other evidence do you have besides that picture you showed us which you claimed was the surrender of seven hundred to verify this?"

franks' answer boiled down to "it's true because i said so" thus giving georgie boy exactly what he wanted: the chance to make franks look like a lying, manipulative monster right out of dr. strangelove. but for the life of me, i cannot figure out why anyone would want to ask such a question--even if you are one of the neo-marxist BBC staffers. clearly, whether franks is lying or telling the truth he has to give the same response, which is doubtless why that reporter asked the question in the first place. (were i to have responded, i probably would have added something along the lines of "well, there used to be an army of eight thousand men between our troops and baghdad. it's not there any more." but that's just me.)

but had george thought about it a bit more, even someone who hated the american military as much as he evidently does would have held his peace. look, one way or another, we are going to take baghdad. that is an inevitability and everyone on earth knows it, including mr. castanza. there are one of two ways in which that can occur: 1. massive iraqi surrenders and a quick, relatively bloodless war, or 2. massive iraqi resistance and a protracted, bloody fight. with every such question asked the balance of reality is shifted away from potential 1 and nearer potential 2--and for what? the giddy thrill of mouthing off to The Man? what the hell kind of responsible journalism is that?

you can't even make an appeal to journalistic integrity here, because no reasonable journalist could seriously believe that the iraqis would want to fight our forces. they hate saddam more than we do, and the only ones who are currently resisting us, according to franks, are doing so because they aren't sure whether or not saddam is still in power. as much as they fear our forces, they fear their dictator even more: the whole premise of george's question is insane.

i point this out to demonstrate the following: some people hate the united states of america with such passion that no thought for the thousands of deaths their childish spite might foster will be quartered in their bitter little minds, and these people are frequently the ones who would claim to be the most objective and open-minded of us all. that BBC wag was one turban away from being a charter member of the "arab street."

locdog thinks franks should have pistol-whipped that guy like ray liotta in goodfellas



liberal war predictions

1. massive civilian casualties. jury is still out on this one, but so far we've done a good job of avoiding civilians.

2. arab street would be inflamed. all things considered, they've been remarkably docile (although the canucks have gotten a bit lippy. you're next, hosers.)

3. stock market would crash. oddly enough, the dow has just had it's best week in twenty years.

4. oil prices would surge. hmm, actually, they're in free-fall.

boy, you guys are battin' a thousand, arentcha?

locdog never doubted you for an instant


the most moral war in history?

i think a strong case can be made that there has never been a more moral war than the one the united states is currently prosecuting against iraqi dictator saddam hussein.

the only taint of muck the bush bashers and/or america haters have been able to rake up is that of the illegitimacy of a preemptive, non-sanctioned war of aggression--a specious charge that can't withstand three seconds' scrutiny.

1. this is not a preemptive war. the first iraq war never ended, hence this is the conclusion of a war that was postponed over a decade ago when saddam was placed on probation. no one can reasonably argue he has honored the terms of that probation, not even hans blix. and since the terms of the cease-fire agreement (note: not "treaty" or "surrender" but a conditional cease-fire based on unilateral disarmament) have been violated, we have simply resumed hostilities. so much for "preemptive."

2. as for "non-sanctioned," well, the united states is pursuing this war in complete accord with the original terms of the u.n. brokered cease-fire, resolution 1441, and everything in between. the united nations has chosen to ignore its previous statements to saddam hussein (thus dooming itself to irrelevancy) and so if anyone is acting in a non-sanctioned or illegitimate fashion, it's the unsc. strange, but true. and you know it.

3. and as to this being a "war of aggression" or "imperialist oil war" etc., etc., these charges all seem to be based on the fallacious premise that saddam hussein has some right to rule that we are depriving him of. what right would that be, the divine right of kings? just power is derived from the consent of the governed, or so i remember reading somewhere...saddam hussein, all will agree, is a mass-murderer who has slaughtered millions. seems to me beating someone into submission is about as far from "consent" as you can get. hell, pretend this is an oil war (which shouldn't be hard for some of you.) do you really think the second largest proven oil reserves in the world should be left in the hands of saddam hussein? do you really believe they would not be better off under american control, keeping in mind that the guy we are taking them from has no right to them in the first place? (in point of fact, they will be under the control of the iraqi people when we're all finished with hussein, but i'll play along.) if you answered "no" to these questions, then please, for the good of humanity, don't breed.

all of that goes to show that this is a just war, but i don't think it establishes it as the most moral war ever. what really makes this war standout in my mind is the fact that, perhaps for the first time in history, the innocent do not have to be punished along with the guilty. our vast military superiority and unprecedented level of technological advancement allow us to pick and choose targets with great accuracy and minimal risk to bystanders. we have been bombarding iraqi troops with surrender leaflets for weeks, calling up iraqi generals on their cell phones, and working feverishly behind the scenes to bring about a relatively bloodless resolution to this conflict. we very nearly decapitated the iraqi leadership at one fell swoop a couple of nights ago in those tomahawk raids, which were only made possible by a tip from an iraqi defector and our sophisticated weapons systems working in tandem. i'm not a historian, but i'm pretty sure that there has never been a war where only those who voluntarily choose to side with the evil that necessitates the violence will have to die in it. those innocent iraqi conscripts who hate saddam hussein more than we do will walk away from this fight unscathed.

i'm not saying that there won't be any bloodshed or loss of innocent life. i firmly believe that as long as there is such a thing as war, the horrors of unintentional devastation will haunt us. but we have reached a place where the brutal arithmetic of 40,000 vaporized hiroshimans vs. hundreds of thousands in dead american invaders and japanese defenders no longer exist. we have reached a place where we can wage something that more closely approximates an ideal war--one where only those deserving of death receive it--than any that has ever been waged before.

all the same, locdog prays for a speedy, just, and bloodless end to this fight



more sickening sanctimony from the NYT editorial page

as if we haven't had our fill already...

There is no strategic exit in the offing, as there was when the coalition forces stopped well short of Baghdad in 1991. Now it is Saddam or nothing. There is no sense of international coalescence, a mission that bound disparate nations together. This mission has unbound the world.

People who have supported Mr. Bush all along may feel tempted to try to silence those who voice dissent. It will be necessary to remind them that we are in this fight to bring freedom of speech to Iraq, not to smother it back home.

If things go as well as we hope, even those who sharply disagree with the logic behind this war are likely to end up feeling reassured, almost against their will, by the successful projection of American power. Whether they felt the idea of war in Iraq was a bad one from the beginning, or — like us — they felt it should be undertaken only with broad international support, the yearning to go back to a time when we felt in control of our own destiny still runs strong. Of all the reasons for this mission, the unspoken one, deepest and most hopeless, is to erase Sept. 11 from our hearts.


this mission has unbound the world? "the world" seemed pretty damned bound when they passed resolution 1441. it wasn't america that changed its mind, or has the times forgotten?

and their plea for freedom of speech brings tears to my eyes, really it does, but is the only threat of war time protest from those trying to silence dissent? first of all--who, exactly, has been trying to silence dissent? the examples i've been reading in the papers have been of anti-war protesters, for instance, tearing down pro-american posters displayed on private property. and we've all seen the misguided protester at the speech by some hawk, trying to drown out the speaker's remarks with his manifesto. does the times care to remonstrate? why no exhortations to the left so that they might avoid their wartime vices, those of disrespect for the men and women fighting to preserve their right to disagree, and those of lawlessness in their over-zealous protests? it may be a lot of fun for the ex-hippies who evidently staff the times to relive the mostly-imagined romance of jackbooted fascists around every corner, but frankly, i see a far more realistic threat arising from what should be the loyal opposition and their tendency to confuse constitutionaly protected free speech with anarchic rage.

finally, now we know the real reason the united states is going to iraq. the times has sorted it all out for us. it isn't oil, it isn't politics, and it isn't to liberate the iraqi people, or safeguard us from weapons of mass murder, or even to pursue the war on terror on other fronts. no, it's to create a national amnesia--and not the one maureen dowd warns of, the one where bush tries to get us to forget bin laden by offering us saddam. the real reason is that we are all trying to forget about september 11th. the memory is so painful, the hurt is so real, that we have no choice but to go and blow up a bunch of hapless iraqis like a child coping with parental abuse by taking it out on a stuffed animal. outrageous. absolutely outrageous. how irresponsible could the times editors possibly be? they have conjured up a ludicrous objective and thus doomed us to an unwinnable war before a single battle has even been fought, all within the context of a broader plea for unity and restraint. and i dare say that it is those who best remember the reality and pain of 9/11, and wish to keep that memory ever at the forefront of the american psyche, who have been most vehement in their support of bush's iraq policy. it is those who would like us to forget that have opposed it.

locdog doesn't know why he keeps letting himself get upset by this crap

p.s. don't let this dissuade you from reading william safire's latest, in which he supplies yet more evidence for the french/iraqi connection i spoke of in my last post. ok, fine, so i gave a little bit of a source...


it's not bush's fault

for a couple of days now, i've been hearing a lot about bush's diplomatic failures being to blame. some, like tom daschle, have blamed the war itself on bush's ineptitude--an utter fallacy as we would be going to war whether bush had succeeded or failed in his u.n. initiatives, and as saddam hussein himself has proven impervious to diplomacy. others, who are a bit less eager to pander to the lunatic fringe of leftist thought, have said that by scorning the ill-will of a world that had been united in unprecedented support of america following september 11th, bush doomed his chances with the united nations.

it is this second fallacy that merits our attention.

i must say that i find it hard to give this (admittedly effective) specious argument the attention it deserves. i find the implication that, had bush supported kyoto or not unilaterally withdrawn from the abm treaty, the u.n. would have joined us in going to war against iraq to be laughable. on the one hand, those who advance this belief accuse the bush administration of contempt for the world's leaders, while on the other hand they demonstrate far worse contempt by accusing those same leaders of opting to leave millions of iraqis in terror on the basis of childish spite. do they think this somehow helps their case?

i'm going to give the world leaders the benefit of the doubt and assume that they had to know going into kyoto that there was no way president bush would ever pass it. the american senate had gunned down a precursor treaty in 1997 to the tune of 95-0, and support for the 2000 version was expected to be similary non-existent--even if bush had wanted to enter into the treaty, which he did not and made no bones about it, he couldn't have. furthermore, it must be assumed that the world leaders are capable of understanding that a relic of a treaty like abm no longer made sense for the united states in a post-september 11th world, and that following the worst terrorist attack in history some changes were bound to occur. i'm also going to assume that they were mature enough adults not to sentence innocent iraqis to imprisonment, torture, rape, and murder because of bush's much-maligned cowboy diplomacy or rumsfeld's sneers at "old europe." let us at least hope that better men than what the "it's all bush's fault!" crowd envision rule the world.

that is to say, i'm going to assume that the indignation european heads of state and their pawns among the american intelligentsia/body politic feigned in response was calculated, not genuine. why was it calculated? for one thing, europeans and their handmaids, in general, hate bush. that doesn't have anything to do with what he's done. bush is a conservative Christian republican and that's about as far from european ideals as one could possibly get. i honestly believe that europe sees bush as little more than an american version of le pen. what all this means is that france and germany don't need any reasons to hate george w. bush, they hated him from the start because, unlike clinton, he would never be one of their own. hence, when clinton went charging after milosevic over the comparatively meek protest of the french and the virtually non-existent protest of the u.n., no one really cared.

finally, and most importantly, whether bush was conservative or liberal, republican or democrat, Christian or avowed secular humanist, and even if he had authorized every attempt at sabotage to ever parade as an environmental accord, there was no way in hell france was ever going to authorize military force to remove, or even substantially disarm, saddam hussein--and that really is the bottom line. chirac has been in cahoots with hussein since he sold him that nuclear reactor back in the seventies. france has consistently opposed get-tough measures with saddam for a decade, consistently backed dropping the sanctions, and consistently sold forbidden weapons to saddam throughout the embargo period. germany and russia also have financial considerations, although perhaps not to the same extent. i know you want sources for all of this, but let us simply agree that time will tell.

locdog is sure of it



vatican's latest true to form

"Those who decide that all peaceful means that international law makes available are exhausted assume a grave responsibility before God, their conscience and history," said Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls.

ok, maybe this wasn't said by the pope per se, but, if it comes from the vatican, it comes from the pope.

now, your holiness, do you know of any peaceful means that haven't already been tried--repeatedly? some of us are getting a little frustrated with your playa hatin' from the sidelines, and i for one might be inclined to take you a bit more seriously if you had anything besides the unanswerable question "have you exhausted all peaceful means?" to contribute to the debate. i'm not sure at what point the vatican would acknowledge that all reasonable diplomatic means have been exhausted (which is a real question, not merely a rhetorical question with delusions of substance), but since they haven't come up with any of their own, my best guess is that they realize the same thing everyone else does: 12 years of diplomacy has gotten us 12 years of bigger, badder weapons, torture, rape, and genocide. and just like everyone else--besides the united states--they don't care.

your holiness, is this war, and the deaths that will surely result from it, in any way the fault of saddam hussein? have you spared any blame for him? funny, i used to think that in a just war, the deaths were laid to the blame of the evil ones who necessitated violence in the first place. i guess in your book george w. bush is the Evil One. why am i not surprised.

oh hell, what's the point? you are clearly impervious to reason. but your followers aren't. why aren't they speaking out against you? is it because they know you've written them off? perhaps because they are aware that you are aware that most american catholics don't really pay all that much attention to you--at least, not as much as they do in the rest of the world, and they understand that you aren't going to try to please both the united states, and everyone else, any longer? perhaps they have simply thrown in the towel, as you have done, to the irrational anti-american hatred that's so prevalent these days? maybe they've just accepted it, and so they've accepted your pandering to it?

locdog hopes not


daschle's new low

how do you democrats stand this guy? i mean, honestly, aren't you the least bit ashamed by this:

"I'm saddened, saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war," Daschle said in a speech to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "Saddened that we have to give up one life because this president couldn't create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country."

i can't imagine daschle saying anything more despicable if he tried. the utter lack of respect displayed for the president of the united states should be a disgrace to every senator, democrat and republican alike. it won't be. that we are on the verge of war, the time when our leaders should be uniting rather than stirring up discord for political points, makes his comments that much more inexcusable. but, hey, daschle is a democrat, and the democratic leadership apparently wants nothing more than a bloody, protracted failure of a war to blame on george w. bush so they can worm their way back into power. don't get mad at me folks; get mad at them. if daschle is going to say this stuff then he, and his fellow brass, are going to be held accountable for it.

honestly, what the hell is he talking about? can anyone offer a parsing of this statement that doesn't make daschle look completely ignorant, completely contemptuous, or both?

first of all, what miserable diplomatic failure, exactly, is daschle referring to? the failure to get the u.n. on board? but if we had gotten the u.n. on board, we'd be going to war anyway. ok, that's not it. is he perhaps talking about the diplomatic failure with saddam hussein himself? that makes less sense. for one thing, we haven't made any diplomatic initiatives towards iraq, the u.n. has, so if there's any failure of diplomacy wouldn't the blame be on the shoulders of the u.n.? but more importantly, how could anyone other than saddam hussein be responsible for a failure of diplomacy? as i've detailed in the past, the united nations went through twelve years of unprecedented diplomatic gymnastics in a vain attempt to wring compliance out of the iraqi dictator. besides these two possibilities, what's left?

there is no sensible interpretation of daschle's remarks, so let me offer a sensible interpretation of his intents:

the united states is going to war, and in war, people die. i want these deaths to be blamed on the president instead of that madman hussein who would certainly be a more obvious choice, so to get us to that point i'm going to blame the war not on hussein's twelve years of death and defiance, but on bush's failed diplomatic pushes. that there is no real diplomatic event corresponding to my criticism is irrelevant. americans are dumb and they have a vague impression that bush is a bad diplomat since the u.n. thing didn't work out the way he wanted it to, plus the french and germans and russians all hate our guts. i'll just mumble something about bush's diplomatic ineptitude being to blame, and people will swallow it hook, line, and sinker.

south dakota, are you people really dumb enough to believe this or do you not have televisions in that vastly under-developed stone-aged wasteland your glorious leader keeps you bottled up in? vote this guy out of office.

locdog won't hold his breath

p.s. let the backpedaling begin.


high noon

when it comes to iraq, there are three things that no one on earth can deny:

1. saddam hussein has been ordered to disarm by repeated u.n. resolutions over a twelve year period.
2. he has not complied.
3. he retains his weapons unto this day.

by the united nation's own standards, military action against saddam hussein is justified. but after signing onto resolution 1441, the nations of the security council, led by france--who has lied to the united states, then bribed, coerced, and threatened lesser nations in an effort to undermine american influence--have decided to ignore reality in favor of a fantasy world where the united states is somehow a bigger threat than rogue dictators armed with anthrax and serin. the u.n. has been extended every opportunity by a president bending over backwards to accommodate, but it has become apparent that his efforts are in vain. no matter how compelling the case, how indisputable the evidence, the opposition led by france will never yield.

france has gotten what it wanted. the united states will go without the blessings of the united nations, which, as france has already proclaimed, means that the whole world is against us.

that's a lie, but i'm going to pretend it isn't. i'm going to pretend it isn't because it's totally irrelevant, and it's the french, not the united states, who stand to lose the most should the lie be widely accepted.

ever seen the movie high noon? gary cooper plays marshal will kane, a plain-spoken, perhaps slightly slow-witted lawman with an over-developed sense of morality. he had just gotten married, and was on his way out of town when he learned that frank miller, a notorious outlaw that he put away back when he had first arrived, had been released and is returning for vengeance. in the days before frank miller had been arrested, the town was in chaos and its people in constant fear, but marshal kane hunted down the evil-doers--dead or alive--and made the town into the sort of place where women and children could walk down the street in safety. kane's stagecoach to his new life was leaving in two short hours, but frank miller was on his way. so, delaying his honeymoon to fight for a town he no longer has any part of, kane went to the people and tried to form a posse. none of them will help. some are simply cowards, some feel that confrontations will only lead to further bloodshed, and some believe that frank miller will leave them alone as long as he is ignored. kane knows better, and risks his life to save a town united against him. at high noon, kane confronts frank miller and his gang, and through a blend of guile and quick-draw, manages to emerge victorious.

i tell you this because, sometimes, an obstinate, moralizing, slow-witted, unilateralist cowboy really is right, and everyone else really is wrong.

the united states hasn't done anything to provoke the rejection of the world, and the hypocrites who now blame european bull-headedness on bush's diplomatic failures were silent when clinton struck "unilaterally" (which now means any action not specifically blessed by the u.n. regardless of however many nations participate) against milosevic. the world is against george w. bush for a lot of reasons, and none of them have to do with iraq. he's a conservative republican. he's a cowboy. he's a Christian. all of those reasons existed before iraq and they will exist after. the world is against america for a lot of reasons, and like the objections to our president, they all have to do with who we are not what we have done. europeans hate america not because of american aggression or kyoto or ballistic missile treaties, but because we are everything they once were, and long to be; and we are so much more. our success comes not because of europeans, but in spite of them since our founders rejected those very principles they held dear. what little success europe has enjoyed in the last century has been directly attributable to the united states of america, and that eats away at their bitter, spiteful little minds like hot acid until something like this war causes it to burst through the crusty exterior and scald everything in its wake--particularly the millions of iraqis whose lives the french and their compatriots consider forfeit to their venomous hatred of america.

as for the french, they are a silly, little people who really don't matter at all any more. the only way they can express their childish defiance is in a forum forged in the furnaces of world war II american military might, preserved through fifty years of cold war by constant american vigilance, and fed to this day by the largesse of the american tax payer. quite simply, they would have no voice had we not given them one, and yet they choose to slander us with it. fine, we choose to ignore them.

as for the rest of the world, at the end of high noon, the grateful townspeople came out to thank marshal kane as he was boarding his stagecoach with his young wife and preparing to depart forever. before he did, he took off his tin star and threw it on the ground. he stared at the assembled crowd for a moment, then without a word he boarded the coach and rode away. the rest of the world had better pray it doesn't get what it’s been wishing for.

locdog doesn't think it will, even though it deserves it


moral authority

last night on o'reilly, a french journalist asked rhetorically what authority anyone has to impose their will on the leader of another sovereign nation. i'd say about this much.

in locdog's opinion, saddam has no authority to remain in power



is it ok to call someone a bad american?

what makes someone a good american? is it possible to be a bad american? if a person was a bad american, is it out of bounds for someone else to say so?

there are a lot of people who are saying that it's never ok to question whether or not someone else is a good american. not only is it ok to question this, i would say we have an obligation to. if no one questioned whether or not slavery, for instance, was truly in keeping with american ideals, would slavery ever have ended?

among many liberals, "here come the patriot police" has become the de rigueur response to the criticisms of hawkish conservatives. sometimes it's justified, sometimes it isn't. but what i take issue with is the idea that it's never ok to question someone else's standing as an american citizen.

many on the anti-war left seem to believe that all ideas are equally american. they believe this because they think that freedom of speech means that simply by speaking ("exercising my rights," they'll usually say) they are being a good american. that's a bit like saying that picking up a barbell makes one a fitness guru. it's crazy, but a lot of people actually think this way. it's hard for them not to, because they don't really believe in america at all. america, to them, is whatever americans say it is. it doesn't really have an objective nature of its own, other than the rule that you can never tell anyone else what they can or cannot say. since people say a lot of contradictory things about america, what you are left with is nothing at all. it's a country that has completely negated itself.

yet, if a person knowingly opposes a core principle of the united states of america, how could they not be acting in an anti-american fashion? aren't there objective principles which we would identify as "american" and which would thus provide us with a standard to compare the views of others against? as an example, consider those who will only support war if we go as part of the united nations. what they are saying is that the president of the united states does not have the right to act without the blessing not of the american people, but of the world. that is entirely contrary to the constitution of the united states, and those who hold this view, while entitled to their opinion, are objectively wrong. the president has not only the right to act unilaterally, but the constitutional obligation to do so if he believes it is necessary to defend his homeland. that isn't up for debate. some people mean well, and oppose unilateral force because they simply want us to be a good neighbor to other nations and participate in the global community. but many others are simply bad americans. they have rejected the very concept of american sovereignty by confusing it with imperialism, or hegemony, or whatever. they may not personally believe that this war is necessary for our safety, but bush sure does, hence it is america, not bush, whom they oppose.

i'm not saying that everyone who opposes this war is un-american. i think that a lot of people mean very well but have not thought their position through to its logical conclusion, others have principled opposition that has nothing to do with the constitution (for instance, they believe that diplomacy could still work, etc.) and of course, i would never advocate depriving someone--be he an anti-american or not--of his constitutional rights. that would be anti-americanism of the worst sort. but let's not buy into this nonsense that simply calling someone a bad american because he espouses ideas that are contrary to america is out of bounds. we have a duty and an obligation as americans to do so, and if you don't believe me, just ask yourself the following question:

"would i mind particularly much if anyone labelled a KKK member a bad american?"

locdog didn't think so


lllllet's get ready to rumblllllllllle!

looks like it's finally on.

bush will have given the u.n. a final ultimatum, which they have ignored. tonight, he will give saddam a final ultimatum, which he will ignore. then, we will go to war.

it's about time.

saddam hussein has stubbornly refused to obey the united nations, and the united nations (or the "league of united nations" as i like to think of them) has stubbornly refused to care. what more could george w. bush do? i don't think there's anyone who could seriously object that diplomacy hasn't been given its fair shot. saddam had 12 years to comply with what was supposed to be immediate unilateral disarmament, and even after bush began to turn up the heat, he did so through the u.n.--or rather he tried to. but when the u.n. proved impassible he decided to go around. good for him. it won't be germany or russia or france who are the target of terrorist-guided iraqi WMDs, after all.

some will say that circumventing the u.n., bush has effectively neutralized it. let's hope so. back when we had the league of nations, everyone understood that it was nothing more than a debate society for bureaucrats. if a dictator reared his ugly head, no one stood around and waited for them to act because they weren't allowed to. those nations with the power to respond had to do so on their own, and usually it was far too late. when the united nations was formed, it was in large part as a response to the missed signals of world war II. never again would we let a madman catch us unawares (not that hitler really did, but play along) and plunge the world into chaos. the united nations was formed and was given the security council so that, when push came to shove, the u.n. had more to offer a potential hitler than schoolmarm scoldings scrawled on ornate parchment. but somewhere between then and now, the u.n. regressed back to its infancy. military force, once seen as essential to diplomacy, is now seen as diplomacy's antithesis. as was so eloquently demonstrated in the glorious failure of neville chamberlain, sometimes, military force is the only way to achieve your ends, but to today's u.n., using force means admitting defeat. now, if the u.n. wants to become a multi-national version of oprah then that's just fine with me. but they do need to let the world know of their plans. you see, people have become accustomed to thinking that the legitimate use of military force and the u.n. sanctioned use of military force are one in the same. well, now that the u.n. has effectively declared that military force never legitimate (if it ain't legit against saddam hussein, it ain't ever legit) why are we still waiting around for them? why are british and american citizens still insisting that they won't support military action unless it goes through the u.n.? haven't they heard that the u.n. is now all talk and no action? not surprisingly, no. after bush gets done bringing peace and justice to the world, perhaps people will finally open up their eyes and see the u.n. for the sham it is.

to others, like the french, american hegemony is a far greater threat than saddam hussein. except that's not really true. it's not like chirac expects george w. bush to try to conquer france after he polishes off iraq (not that it would be all that difficult). and chirac does have sweetheart deals with his buddy saddam involving oil and, i personally believe, weapons. indeed, france's financial interests alone are more than adequate to motivate their objections, ditto germany and russia. but the french seem to be suffering from some massive national delusion, one in which they still matter. in their minds, the only moral obligation or right the united states holds is to do what the rest of the world (read "france") tells it to do. bottom line with france the rest of the global bush-bashers is money, but the geo-political considerations are amusing, non? the long-overdue dispensation of saddam hussein is healthy and morally-gratifying, but doing so at the expense of the french gives that spoonful of sugar to bush's military medicine.

and to others still, military action is justified against saddam hussein, but george w. bush is the wrong man for the job. several of the lefty-hawks have been arguing this extensively during the past couple of weeks, and their views are becoming more pronounced as the war approaches. bush has alienated the world, they say, with his snubbing of kyoto and his incomprehensible "axis of evil" gibberish. if he'd just played nice with the world before now, he wouldn't be having all these problems. the french, germans, and russians would be glad to help and we'd have no problems drumming up support among the other nations of the u.n. security council. when we finally rolled into baghdad, we'd have a multi-national coalition and the blessings of all the world behind us. this objection is disingenuous for several reasons. first, the whole world is not against us. bush has good support in europe (barring france and germany) and in the middle-east itself. second, no one could have given diplomacy more of a chance than bush has. anything more would have been a simple capitulation to the status quo--which is exactly what france, et al, wants. third, no amount of skillful diplomacy or concessions on past global initiatives would have changed the responses of our critics, and if it would have, then that's all the more reason to ignore them. no one who would keep millions of iraqis living in fear of torture, rape, and murder out of pettiness deserves a say in world affairs. as it stands, however, the world simply hates george w. bush because he is a conservative texas republican and political correctness knows no bounds. when clinton went charging into kosovo to do the exact same thing bush proposes to do in iraq, there were no global protests or diplomatic hissy fits.

finally, some are still insisting this is a war of aggression for oil or imperialism or whatever. to these, i would simply point out that the first gulf war never ended. there is no peace treaty between us and iraq. we declared a conditional cease-fire, one of whose terms was immediate and unilateral disarmament. that was twelve years ago. even if everything these aggression types allege about bush's ulterior motives is true, we still have every legitimate reason for resuming (not initiating) hostilities against iraq. as andrew sullivan pointed out not too long ago, this isn't the start of a war, it's the end of one.

locdog wishes we would have ended it twelve years ago, but better late than never