Monday, March 24

Reid Collins says:

When it's over, somebody ought to leave a note in the drawer for the next administration: "Let's not do it this way again."

Advertising that you plan to drop 3,000 bombs on Baghdad in an opening salvo designed to produce "Shock and Awe" comes perilously close to the arrogant braggadocio so much of the world associates with Uncle Sam. Changing the mission at the last moment and opting for a more selective attack offered the media the opportunity to chide you for failure to deliver. You are diddled either way. ....

Peter Vere has interesting words on Christian-Muslim relations at Catholic Light.

Idle observations

Drudge is over. So 1999. He is doing nothing during this time of constant news except going for cheap and immoral notoriety by posting that horrible POW photo without so much as a warning or a simple link to another page on his site, put Oscar ratings on the top all this morning, and is probably just relaxing down there in Florida. Good for him and what he achieved in the past about resting on your laurels.

Fox News is pointless or worse. Inflammatory would be my word. All Sunday night they were going with this chemical plant story, and granted there may still be a story there, but at that moment, nothing was known and they were reporting it and interviewing experts as if it was a done deal.

The warbloggers who came to fame and acclaim post 9/11 did so partly on the rallying cry "We can fact check your ass." Meaning that with their eyes, ears, sources and keyboards, they could do an end-run around establishment media and get inconvenient and politcally incorrect facts out there in the light of day where they belong.

I've only been reading a few of them - Instapundit, Blair, etc.. - in the rush of the day, but I have to say, there's precious little fact-checking of asses going on there these days. For the most part, they're linking stories that only fully support their opinions of this war and their expectations of it, with hardly a dissenting voice or - more importantly - fact. They have become as firmly committed to the cheerleading squad as FoxNews or NRO.

It's too bad, but you know, a vacuum doesn't stay that way for long. Along come Warbloggers: The Next Generation - linked below and here again: Command Post (supportive of the war, but works at covering it broadly), The Agonist (works very hard at objectivity, and successfully), and Daily Kos (against the war, but works at covering it broadly)

You might also check out Nate Thayer's dispatches from Iraq at Slate

And do you know what else? It's 11:05 pm on Monday and I still don't know who won the Oscar for Best Picture or if Scorsese got his. Seriously. No one at the dinner table (including movie fanatic son) knew either. Guess I'll go check that out now.

Update - Oh, okay. Hollywood honored the child rapist. Got it.

Sorry to get all conspiratorial on you and all...

..but when I heard that Blair and Bush were meeting on Wednesday and Thursday at Camp David, the first thing that popped into my head was...away from DC...away from London...on the days that the heavy siege of Baghdad is to begin.

What are they expecting?

From David Pryce-Jones:

For Sunnis, Shias, Kurds and Turks, when war stops, the trouble starts

A further danger is that Iraqis will seek revenge - not on the West but on each other. Saddam's Ba'ath Party was composed of Sunni Muslims, mostly from Tikrit, the region where he was born. Sunnis from the Ba'ath Party have imprisoned, tortured, raped or murdered scores of thousands of Iraqis.

Opponents of the war in Britain, France and Germany may have forgotton the gassing at Halabja, the destruction of the Marsh Arabs, the bulldozing of villages, the mass arrests and arbitrary executions - but the Iraqis haven't. The thousands of people who have lost relatives in Saddam's blood-purges have a score to settle with the officials who did the dirty work. The Iraqis even have a word for it: farhud.

If allowed to proceed unchecked, the farhud could turn into a general massacre. That is what happened when the British imposed the Sunni King Faisal, Lawrence of Arabia's favourite desert Arab, on Iraq after the First World War. The Shias warned that they would revolt if a Sunni ruler were to be imposed. They were not listened to, and did revolt. A farhud resulted, which was only put down with great bloodshed by the British. In due course, Iraq became a military dictatorship - which it has remained ever since.


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