Thursday, February 27, 2003
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
War is not 'the best way of settling differences'; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you.
-- G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News 7/24/15
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
FREE IRAQIS SPEAK OUT
...But the Peaceniks Aren't Listening
Consider the following statement from one of several Iraqis free to speak thanks to being in Syria:
And this one, from another Iraqi:
Still aren't getting the idea? Maybe this will help:
Hardly the picture of innocent Iraqis cowering in quaking terror at the approach of brutal American imperialists that anti-war activists like to paint, is it? But to be fair, these Iraqis are indeed living in fear of what America may do to their country -- in fear of the U.S. not attacking hard enough and finishing the war, making Iraqis bold enough to rise up against Hussein only to have the U.S. stand down and let them be crushed as it did after the Gulf War:
One would think that peace activists would be all too eager to hear from the people on whose behalf they consider themselves to be acting. One would be wrong, as Amir Taheri discovered at the big anti-war protest in London. Not only were the organizers and big-name attendees (including Jesse Jackson) uninterested in listening to the Iraqi dissidents, they were also totally unwilling to give them an opportunity to voice their views to anyone else. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised about this reception, though, considering the opinion these Iraqis in exile seem to have of the protesters. Here's what Iraqi poet Awad Nasser had to say to Taheri about them:
And here are some thoughts by Dr. B. Khalaf, an Iraqi residing in London, printed in The Guardian:
An anonymous Iraqi writing in The Christian Science Monitor has some questions for peace activists:
But perhaps the most stinging statement is from Rafat Muhammad, imprisoned for 14 years by Hussein for the crime of selling film to a journalist:
Those who have lived through both war and dictatorship -- those such as my own mother -- understand that while war is horrible, it is not the most horrible thing, and that it can be countenanced if the alternative is an entire country lost in the fear and darkness of totalitarian rule. The anti-war activists might yet learn this bit of wisdom, if they will only allow the very Iraqis they presume to be championing to dispell their naivete.
THE U.N.'S IRAQ (IR)RESOLUTIONS
Blogger Juan Paxety has helpfully compiled an exhaustive list of U.N. Resolutions regarding Iraq. There have been 19 over the past 12 years, stretching from Resolution 660 in 1990 (condemning the invasion of Kuwait and demanding Iraqi withdrawal) to the current Resolution 1441 in 2002, the requirements of most of which -- needless to say -- have been ignored by Saddam Hussein. But don't let this make you become a cynic yet! He's sure to comply with the 20th Resolution... well, OK, maybe the 21st... or 22nd...
GLENN FRAZIER RETURNS!
At long last, Glenn Frazier has returned to the Blogosphere. Now if only Varenius can do the same... :-)
Thursday, February 20, 2003
WAR IS BAD FOR ORCS & OTHER SLIMY THINGS
This just in, as the likelihood of a showdown with Sauron grows ever greater:
DOLLY & OUR BRAVE NEW FUTURE
With the recent death of Dolly the cloned sheep as his starting point, William Luse at Apologia offers a thoughtful, extended reflection on the social implications of cloning technology. Deeply disturbing but very insightful.
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
NO BLOOD FOR IRAQI FREEDOM!
Mean Mr. Mustard, whom I recently added to my Favorite Blogs list, has come up with a hilarious but sadly insightful spoof of an anti-war poster. I have a sneaking suspicion that this will start appearing around my campus very, very soon... as soon as a certain person gets a new ink cartridge...
PRESCOTT BUSH: NAZI?
Making the rounds on the Internet lately has been the claim that President Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, help to finance the Nazi regime and oversaw slave labor from German concentration camps during the war. I first encountered it in the form of a really obnoxious multimedia file that someone posted to a discussion on the Palestine Indymedia site. (If you are really, really dying to go see it, I'll try to dig up the link for you.) Anyway, no less a figure of note than Cecil Adams of The Straight Dope fame has come forward to assess this claim, and finds it's more than a wee bit flimsy. The slave labor charge can be dismissed outright, and the financing charge is much less than what's being made of it. Definitely a must-read.
Friday, February 14, 2003
This month, FrontPage has published several pieces on that ultimate Hate America Leftist, Noam Chomsky. Since I'm getting sick of campus idiotarians invoking him to back up their positions, I will here provide a little, uh, tribute to Chomsky by pointing them out.
America's Stupidest Intellectual
In this article, J.D. Cassidy dissects the Chomster's vitrolic spewings emitted since 9/11. There are some real doozies here, even judging by the high standards Chomsky's corpus has set. Cassidy describes Chomsky's basic mindset thusly:
That nicely sums up the perspective of the typical campus leftist , so it should be no surprise that Chomsky has such a big fan club (though with him, we are definitely venturing into chicken-or-egg territory).
Chomsky, Behaviorist Utopian
Digging a little deeper into Chomsky's philosophy, The Coercive Communism of Noam Chomsky by Barry Loberfeld explores the intellectual connections between Chomsky and behaviorist B.F. Skinner. Despite a few variations here and there, Chomsky agrees with Skinner's view that "economic persuasion" (i.e. wages and benefits) is actually a form of control/coercion, and thus we do not have freedom until we are no longer subject to it. Chomsky pushes out from this into truly loopy waters by then hand-wavingly concluding that the solution is to abolish payment for work and have people do their jobs for the intrinsic reward it gives them, instead supporting themselves through... umm... er... some way or another... well, y'know, it will all work out somehow, the details aren't important.
One of the recurring criticisms of Chomsky is his past support for totalitarian regimes that turned spectacularly murderous, namely North Vietnam and Cambodia, followed by his downplaying or denial of that support. In this vein, Tim Starr of the libertarian weblog No Treason tracked down the text of a 1970 speech in Hanoi by Chomsky supporting the North Vietnamese regime. The Chomskyites immediately protested and cried foul, prompting Starr to pen this excellent response defending the veracity of the speech and outlining the full horror of what Chomsky supported.
 I read a truly weird example of this Blame America First mindset in this letter to the campus newspaper, in which the author implies it is actually the U.S. who is to blame for the French building Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor because France learned nuclear technology from us!
Monday, February 10, 2003
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Every day and every hour, every minute, walk round yourself and watch yourself, and see that your image is a seemly one. You pass by a little child, you pass by, spiteful, with ugly words, with wrathful heart; you may not have noticed the child, but he has seen you, and your image, unseemly and ignoble, may remain in his defenseless heart. You don’t know it, but you may have sown an evil seed in him and it may grow and all because you were not careful before the child, because you did not foster in yourself a careful, actively benevolent love.
-- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
OF BLOGS TRANSFORMED & BLOGS NEW
Jeff Miller has moved uptown from his old digs at Atheist to a Theist over to his new blog, The Curt Jester. He's already back to his curt jesting with this conversion story, which anyone who has read Catholic apologetics or had to sit through science films from the 1970s in school should find funny.
Still sticking it out with me in the slums of Blogspot is Max Leibman, who has just set up his second blogospheric residence, Radio Free Iraq. Here Max is focusing exclusively on the Iraq issue, and his site makes a nice complement alongside Little Green Footballs' coverage.
Sunday, February 09, 2003
HOROWITZ ON PARECON IN PRACTICE
I've been reading David Horowitz' autobiography Radical Son, which chronicles his growth from Red Diaper Baby to leader of the New Left in the 1960s to chastened conservative realist of today. Horowitz was an editor at the influential New Left magazine Ramparts, and in his discussion of his years there made some comments that reminded me of my thoughts on the shortcomings of Participatory Economics. After forcing out the infamous Robert Scheer (who writes sneering and hateful columns for the Los Angeles Times today) from behind the wheel of the magazine for reckless management, Horowitz and Peter Collier took over, and implemented a parecon-type structure for the magazine. He describes how worker equality and lack of hierarchy weren't as great in actual practice as they seemed in theory (pp. 185-186):