Archive for July 2003

One Can Disagree Without Being Disagreeable

“One can disagree without being disagreeable.” – Gerald Ford.

When I argue, I argue. Part Jew + part Irish = 100% fire in the belly, go for the throat, opinionated… asshole. How easy it is for me to forget Ford’s statement, piss people off, then regret it afterwards. I got into it today with a moral relativist – ex- military of Jewish decent – who equated the axing of Saddam & his sons with that of Bush. I’ll admit, I had a bad day and was looking to blow off steam… In the end I was kicking myself for not using better arguments when I should have NOT BEEN ARGUING AT ALL.

One thing that I occasionally forget: my opponents are are not idiots undeserving of compassion. They are not demons or evil. While I thought I was not getting personal, I did rip into her arguments with undeserved veracity. She thought that I was attacking her, took it personally and even when I apologized it was clear to all that it was too late. I had crossed the line, and will be ignored – written off as a Right Wing lunatic.

One can disagree without being disagreeable. Sometimes I need to step back and remind myself that I am not Ann Coulter, or Bill O’Reilly defending the world from Evil. Truth be told, there’s usually a strong chance that I am wrong. At the very least I need to follow Ford’s dictum to keep the level of dialog going. Monologs are incredibly boring, and the only way to expect people to listen is to listen to them.

I screwed up today, and I am truly sorry. I could offer a thousand excuses, but really there is no reason for uncivility in today’s society. Democrat or Republican; Straight or Gay; Brown or Pink; There are few truly evil men in this world, and I need to remember that the people that I meet are most likely on the same side as I am when it comes to respecting life and wanting a better world for my children.

But I have no problem with the killings of Uday and Qusay… ;)

Uday and Qusay Bite the Dust

Bye-Bye Uday and Qusay.
Uday And Qusay Hussein - Toasted

Excellent job boys and girls of the US intelligence community and armed forces.

Idi Amin Near Death

So Idi Amin is on his deathbed and will soon meet the two hundred thousand he sent to the hereafter in the 1970s. As the joke goes, “It must have been someone he ate.” To think that this psychopath was allowed to live out his days in Saudi Arabia and was never tried by ANY international tribunal for his atrocities makes it all the easier to ignore such things. However, it does still say a lot about Saudi Arabia. Oh, and the majority of people he killed? Black Muslims. Let’s see who shows up at his funeral (my money is on Jimmy Carter).

Idi Amin

On the highway to Hell…

Then there’s this on the BBC complicity in the death of David Kelly. So does the BBC stand for Bloody Broadcasting Company? You decide.

Lucky to Have Tony Blair

I think Andrew Sullivan is right. We are all bloody lucky to have Tony Blair as Prime Minister. For those of you who are like me and wondered what it would have been like to live at the same time as Winston Churchill, to be lucky enough to share the same planet at the same moment in history as someone of such stature, then look no further than Prime Minister Tony Blair. The man gets it. He understand us at a time when most people don’t. He understand this moment in history and how important it is to the future of our world. He is a true visionary – but yet gifted with the ability to convey what he sees clearly to the rest of us too stuck in the past to understand.

Tony Blair isn’t just the U.K.’s Prime Minister – he is the leader of all of us who refuse to bow down before our enemies in the hope that they will leave us alone. He is the leader of our civilization as it struggles with an enemy that seeks its destruction for the glory of a debased vision of God. While George Bush was molded into a leader by history, Blair has molded history through his eloquent and elegant leadership.

All British citizens, all people who value freedom should be proud of this man’s contribution to our future.

A link to his 07/17/2003 address to a joint session of Congress can be found here.

I’m Back

Well, I’m back after starting a new job. By the look of things no one missed me, but that’s okay. If masturbation is now healthy for men, who knows what they will find with blogs that no one but the writer reads. Maybe they will help cure brain cancer by getting all the crappy thoughts out of one’s head – like a priest being sued for the comments he made at a funeral.

While I don’t subscribe to the Catholic religion (or any religion for that matter being just a shade away from atheism just enough to be considered a Buddhist), one shouldn’t whine and especially run to the courts over a matter of faith. The priest stated that the deceased was “living in sin” and “lukewarm in his faith”. Catholicism is a hierarchical faith unlike the Quakers where everyone – pastor and congregation – are equals. Under Catholicism the priest outranks the layman, and if you don’t like it, well you can either find another priest or stop calling yourself a Catholic. Either way, running to the Courts isn’t the answer. Note to everyone: THE GOVERNMENT ISN’T YOUR MOMMY. STOP TREATING IT LIKE IT IS!

Thanks Pirate-King for the head’s up. AAARGGH!

On Liberia and the BBC

Thank you for your patience. It appears that the Summer news lull may be coming to an end. With President Bush’s “Bring ‘em on” comment last Wednesday and the “Flypaper” scenario gaining credance, we may finally have an alternative to the “quagmire” analogy that better fits the facts. Add to this the likelihood that we may sending troops into Liberia, terrorist attacks in Iraq, Pakistan and Russia BUT NOT THE USA and there is again much to write about.

Let’s start with Liberia. In my humble opinion, one of the greatest failures of the international community and the United States government in particular was to stop the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. At the time, there was plenty of excuses not to intervene – no American/international interests involved, “those people have to work it out themselves”-type excuses, the humanitarian F-UP in Somalia the previous Autumn – good solid, realistic reasons not to intervene. Too bad they were all wrong.

Rwanda wasn’t Vietnam. Hell, Rwanda wasn’t even Saigon or even Da Nang. Rwanda could have been saved by a small force of well armed American marines who would simply point their M-16s at people and tell them to “put the god-damned kitchenware down and go home”. Doing this could have saved 800,000 lives. The international community, especially the United Nations, France and yes, the United States all screwed up.

Whenever you hear Clinton get all “holier-than-Bush”. Whenever you hear “St. Jimmy” Carter talk about how the Republicans and President Bush in particular are screwing up the world, remember Rwanda. History will remember Clinton for three things: Impeachment, failure to take al-Qaeda seriously, and Rwanda.

President Bush sees the future in Liberia, and so he’s acting. The longer I look at the President, the more I like him. It is clear that he is a man of conviction, and sees the potential for a major catastrophe in Liberia. It’s not that hard, just look at the nearby nation of Sierra Leone – another failure of the Clinton Administration and France’s ami the United Nations.

Bush realizes the danger in Liberia, so he’s sending in the troops. Liberian President Charles Taylor has already stepped down. Rest assured that the first Marine to arrive in FreeTown will have his hands on Taylor’s belt, hustling him onto a chopper bound for Lagos.

It will be interesting to see how the anti-American Left spins this one.

Speaking of anti-American, it appears that the BBC is in deep trouble. Their charter is up for renewal in 2006, and the British are sharpening their knives. As a devout listener of the World Service, the opening “This… is London,” used to send shivers down my spine. Now it stirs me in the same was as does Deutschland uber alles. The Beeb has lost it completely. For proof of their bias, check out BBCWatch. For convenience I have cut a PDF file of the main indictment which can be downloaded here.

The Cry Wolf Effect

Things are progressing on the job search front, so I haven’t forgotten about this place. No comments yet on the redesign so I’ll just assume that all is well.

One of the biggest concerns I have in Iraq is the “Cry Wolf” effect. Given the intelligence failure to find WMD, on top of previous failures in Afghanistan and worst of all, 9-11, it’s hard for even a hardcore Machiavellian realist like me to buy anything that our intelligence comes up with regarding Iran and North Korea. This is a major problem, given that our intelligence in NK may be much better (it’s easier to bribe someone who’s starving to death) and the consequences much worse. Seoul is 26 miles away from the DMZ. All of Japan is within NK missile range, and Taiwan, Alaska and the West Coast are within range of their latest ones. As a Californian myself, I am not to keen about the latter prospects, although a limited detonation above the UC-Berkeley campus this Fall wouldn’t be all that bad.