The Watched

Gene Expression
Tim Blair
Scott Ganz
Glenn Reynolds
James Lileks
The Corner
Andrew Sullivan
Little Green Footballs
Stephen Green
Doctor Weevil
Pejman Yousefzadeh
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

They Like Us

". . . a monumental disappointment."
- Pejman Yousefzadeh

". . . simply pissing in to the wind."
- Weekend Pundit

". . . misguided passivists."
- Craig Schamp

". . . shares Ted Rall's fantasies of oppression."
- Max Powers

". . . pathetic waste of pixels."
- Daily Pundit

" . . . anarcho-leftist cowards."
- DC Thornton

". . . a good read, apart from the odd witchhunt."
- Emmanuel Goldstein

". . . quite insane."
- Richard Bennett

"There's many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell." -- General William T. Sherman, Address, 1880

Keep Laughing

White House

(Note to literalists: the Watched column presently contains only a smattering of 'warblogs' because the facilitator of the template-change--Dr. Menlo--is not very familiar with them, and will be adding more as they are sent to him. Also, this blog may contain areas of allusion, satire, subtext, context and possibly even a dash of the surreal: wannabe lit-crits beware.)


[Watch this space for: Pentagon and Petroleum, The Media is only as Liberal as the Corporations Who Own Them, Wash Down With, and Recalcify]


Saturday, September 28, 2002


The imbecilic "chickenhawk" and related debates continue in the cheap seats; allow me to put forward a plan that would silence even the term's most ardent employers while simultaneously sending Bush's approval rating through the roof - via an unprecedented show of warmth to that disreputable thing known as "world gubbernmint" twinned with John Rambo-style unilateralism.

As Robert Fisk noted this past week, if Tony Blair's dossier is at all true, if Saddam has been able to acquire the materiel as reported, then UN sanctions failed completely and scores of Iraqi children "were killed by us - for nothing." Fisk alleges this failure constitutes a war crime - for which our current president's father bears partial responsibility.

In another of Bush's already famous "preemptive" tactics, Bush the Elder would be sat before the International Criminal Court, despite the absence of any bill against him. Should discovery be conducted by even someone of minimal competence in re: the law, all sorts of goodies should be revealed, some possibly actionable.

As anxiety mounts in Kennebunkport, Bush the Younger is briefed on peculiarities of the American Service Members Protection Act, which, as reported in the Guardian some time back, "could theoretically empower the president to invade the Hague, where the ICC sits." The above words are taken literally, and a troop deployment is eschewed. Lil' George, stripped to the waist and armed to the teeth, goes it alone and rescues Daddy.

Even the numbest of numskulls has noticed the American propensity to rally around the President - or his proxy, the flag - in times of crisis, be they real or manufactured. The public is admiring; the warbloggers are exuberant; Philip Shropshire, seeing the Head Chickenhawk in Charge prove himself in so manly a fashion, is shamed into shelving the term.

Unlikely, I know, but more likely than you lot making good on your Shropshire Challenge promises - which I accepted. I've been checking the mailbox daily for those two tickets (Messrs. G. Olivier and J. Lileks, both business class) but have yet to receive them.

• • • • •


The so-called Bush doctrine is not new. It's not some revolutionary idea that has gain currency only now. On the contrary, it's origins can be traced back to a document called Llap Goch penned by, what Australian Tim Dunlop describes as a "venerable British think name named Monty Python". Consider the following:

It is an ANCIENT Welsh ART based on a BRILLIANTLY simple I-D-E-A, which is a SECRET. The best form of DEFENCE is ATTACK (Clausewitz) and the most VITAL element of ATTACK is SURPRISE (Oscar HAMMERstein). Therefore, the BEST way to protect yourself AGAINST any ASSAILANT is to ATTACK him before he attacks YOU... Or BETTER... BEFORE the THOUGHT of doing so has EVEN OCCURRED TO HIM!!! SO YOU MAY BE ABLE TO RENDER YOUR ASSAILANT UNCONSCIOUS BEFORE he is EVEN aware of your very existence!

No longer need you feel WEAK, helpless, INDECISIVE, NOT fascinating and ASHAMED of your genital dimensions. No more need you be out-manoeuvred in political debate!! GOOD BYE HUMILIATION, wisecracking bullies, Karate experts, boxing champions, sarcastic vicars, traffic wardens; entire panzer divisions will melt to pulp as you master every situation without INADEQUACY. PROTECT YOUR LOVED ONES. You will no longer look pitiful and spotty to your GIRL FRIENDS when you leave some unsuspecting passerby looking like four tins of cat food! They will admire your MASTERY and DECISIVENESS and LACK OF INADEQUACY and will almost certainly let you put your HAND inside their BLOUSE out of sheer ADMIRATION. And after seeing more of your expert disabling they'll almost definately go to bed with you, although obviously we can't ABSOLUTELY guarantee this, still it's extremely likely and would make learning LLAP-GOCH really worthwhile al- though legally we can't PROMISE anything.

• • • • •


I'm still troubled by the Hitchens piece in Mirror, particularly these lines:
Just on the material aspect - I love it when people darkly describe the coming intervention as "blood for oil", or equivalent gibberish.

Does this mean what it appears to mean, namely that oil is not worth fighting over?

Or that it's no cause for alarm that the oil resources of the region are permanently menaced by a crazy sadist who has already invaded two of his neighbours?

Hitchens is of course too smart to take labored exception to the above, so he simply dismisses it as a question unworthy of attention. Given the resources present in the area, oil would be a factor - be it primary, tertiary, or introduced post facto by opportunists - in any conflict. Hitchens knows this. But when he asks if "oil is not worth fighting over," would he likewise condone America's disgraceful behavior in the Philippines, perpetrated when rubber and other commodities were of key value to the country. He has registered his opinion against such acts in the past. Why is he so cavalier in the face of such concerns today?

• • • • •

Friday, September 27, 2002


Mark "The Roadie" Steyn: Doing the heavy lifting

Mark "Plagiarism" Steyn, leading ideologue of the warbloggers was recently fact-checked by Eric Tam. Like others of the same political ilk, Steyn has difficulty dealing with criticism and instead uses his column to deliver a spray against his critics. In this case, Steyn throws down the gauntlet and writes:

So I'm grateful to Mr. Tam. He specifically disputed one fact and he called me a hatemonger. That seems fair enough. Dispute two specific facts and you can take me to the Human Rights Commission. Dispute three specific facts and we'll play your karaoke recording on the National Post Web site:

"Hatemonger, hatemonger,

Mong me some hate..."

But just plain old unsupported cries of "hatemonger"? Save it for your next Concordia riot.

That shouldn't be too hard. But, before we deal with the Steyn's attention to detail, let's deal with Steyn's journalistic integrity. If he passes that test, then we can look at the specifics of his claims.

Steyn writes:
In June 2001, for example, the newspaper BT reported that every single gang rape that had taken place over the preceding 18 months had been committed by second-generation immigrants or refugees -- in one instance by a gang from Eastern Europe, in the rest by ... well, I don't want to be more hateful to a certain "vulnerable social group" than I have to, so you're welcome to take a stroll through the archives story by story, if you can stand the details.

If you had read Lars Hedegaard's annotations to the Daniel Pipes "Something rotten in Denmark" screed, these words would be familiar to you. Yes, once again, the increasingly dishonest Mark Steyn has stolen someone elses words. Hedegaard writes:
In June 2001, the Copenhagen daily newspaper B.T. reported that every single gang rape that had taken place over the preceding year and a half had been committed by second-generation immigrants or refugees - and in one instance by Eastern European gangsters.

Pathetic. Once again, Steyn the Roadie is doing the heavy lifting for the war party.

Of course, this leaves out the fact that the most serious gang rape perpetrated during 2001 was carried out in December 2001 by a gang of Danes - not "second-generation immigrants or refugees" at all.

For a more detailed discussion of the facts surrounding the Danish rape statistics, one should read Betramonline's inspired analysis of the Hedegaard response (from which Steyn seems to have based his rebuttal on anyway).

• • • • •

Thursday, September 26, 2002


Christopher Hitchens, new go-to guy for the war-mongering right, offers his war mandate in today's Mirror. There is some sense within, most notably when he decries the employ of "glib expression" as "a substitute for thought," a practice in abundant evidence these days. Hitchens himself is often guilty of the practice, substituting bluster of late for substantive analysis.

In addition to the above practice, Hitchens, in his last 10 years of guilt-driven journalism over not having supported the Gulf War, has gained a mastery of another disingenuous practice: the positing of false binaries. In today's piece Hitchens vows "WE MUST FIGHT IRAQ" before discussing what to his withering brain seems the sole alternative, also all-capped, "ISOLATIONISM." Hitchens mandate fails to say why we "must" attack the Iraqi people and why we "must" do so immediately.

The above omissions on Hitchens part are, I believe, honest. No doubt he's wanted a strike on Iraq from the beginning. His contempt for dictatorship is one of his admirable qualities, though his support of imperial violence in opposing those dictatorships - with the obvious implications for the people on the ground - is not. Even less supportable is the contention that anything at all desirable will succeed the deposed dictator. What is promised is seldom delivered.

Hitchens is always a good read, and had his departure from The Nation occurred at an earlier time, it would have saddened me greatly. With his descent into demagoguery and comprehensive bellicosity, that sadness is minimal.

• • • • •

Wednesday, September 25, 2002


"A civilian gang of thieving lobbyists for the military industrial complex  is running the White House. If to be against them is considered unpatriotic -- Hell, then call me a traitor."

   -- Hunter S. Thompson, ABC Radio Network...

• • • • •


Andrew Sullivan, rear admiral of a sizable fleet of sinking ideological ships, attempts a close reading of the concept of "politicizing the war," then exonerating unelected microcephale Bush of the practice as expected. After citing the "need" to replenish war materiel, Sullivan states that the timing of the threatened war on the Iraqi people is a result of the need to "go through the diplomatic motions" securing support for such an assault - despite the general lack of enthusiasm on Bush's part for the project. Sullivan then finally fixes the responsibility for the timing of the war on "Democrats and anti-war liberals" who inexplicably want a debate on the issue (Sullivan allows "I think they're right," even though he's been mouthing the phrase "anti-war left" with the same palpable disgust reserved for "Ku Klux Klan" or "cosa nostra"). Is it a measure of Sullivan's profundity and originality - or his complete idiocy and ill-fit for newsroom service - that recent editorials on the subject tend to disagree?

Truly horrifying is what follows a few items later, when Sullivan, employing the tape measure formerly reserved for his rawmuslglutes, assesses his readership by noting the E-mail of the day, which he shares: "I should take up smoking ... because every time I finish having sex, I have to read your weblog."

• • • • •


As proof mounts, CNNNN are reporting that respected leaders from around the world are demanding that we invade Iraq. Meanwhile, President Bush upgrades the country's terror warning.

• • • • •

Monday, September 23, 2002


A religious fanatic willing to sacrifice himself for his twisted cause and responsible for numerous terrorist acts - including ones in which the use of weapons of mass destruction was threatened - is finally meted the appropriate charges. The numskulls who ordinarily follow such matters are silent on the event. I guess Rod Dreher was busy with his stellar review of a book characterizing Islam as "a primitive, violent, and fiercely chauvinistic religion." Dreher, of course, agrees with the characterization: author Robert "Spencer may be wrong - I doubt it."

• • • • •

Sunday, September 22, 2002


The Order of Skull and Bones

Starring: George W. Bush

You might expect this from Disinfo, but from The Atlantic Monthly? Where Alexandra Robbins, also a graduate of Yale, first published her article on the secret organization which she has since turned into a book, as currently seen on MSNBC . . . Or would you expect a story on The Order of Skull and Bones very nearly from Connie Chung on CNN before it was axed? How or why would a story like this ripple up into the mainstream?

An excerpt from the book:

Sometime in the early 1830s, a Yale student named William H. Russell--he future valedictorian of the class of 1833- traveled to Germany to study for a year. Russell came from an inordinately wealthy family that ran one of America's most despicable business organizations of the nineteenth century: Russell and Company, an opium empire. Russell would later become a member of the Connecticut state legislature, a general in the Connecticut National Guard, and the founder of the Collegiate and Commercial Institute in New Haven. While in Germany, Russell befriended the leader of an insidious German secret society that hailed the death's head as its logo. Russell soon became caught up in this group, itself a sinister outgrowth of the notorious eighteenth-century society the Illuminati.

. . . As soon as initiates are allowed into the "tomb," a dark, windowless crypt in New Haven with a roof that serves as a landing pad for the society's private helicopter, they are sworn to silence and told they must forever deny that they are members of this organization. During initiation, which involves ritualistic psychological conditioning, the juniors wrestle in mud and are physically beaten--this stage of the ceremony represents their "death" to the world as they have known it. They then lie naked in coffins, masturbate, and reveal to the society their innermost sexual secrets. After this cleansing, the Bonesmen give the initiates robes to represent their new identities as individuals with a higher purpose. The society anoints the initiate with a new name, symbolizing his rebirth and rechristening as Knight X, a member of the Order. It is during this initiation that the new members are introduced to the artifacts in the tomb, among them Nazi memorabilia--including a set of Hitler's silverware-dozens of skulls, and an assortment of decorative tchotchkes: coffins, skeletons, and innards.

Speaking of the Illuminati and Nazis, Robert Anton Wilson, co-author of the cult classics The Illuminatus Trilogy, has this currently displayed on his website:

Perils of Cocaine

Two recent political leaders allegedly had this nefarious habit.

Both came to power after dubious elections, by non-electorial and irregular methods.

Both nations immediately experienced attacks on famous public buildings.

Both blamed an ethnic minority before forensics had any evidence.

Both led "witch-hunts" against the accused minority.

Both suspended civil liberties "temporarily."

Both put the citizenry under surveillance.

Both maintained secret and clandestine governments.

Both launched wars against most of the world.

One had a funny mustache. Can you name the other one?

Of course we all know that Germany's justice minister recently compared Bush to Hitler, which produced this interesting mefi thread . . .

Speaking of Nazis, this also from Disinfo:

G.W.'s grandfather and great-grandfather, Prescott Bush and George Herbert Walker, were among the chief American fundraisers for Germany's Nazi Party. Through industrialist Fritz Thyssen, the Bush-run Union Banking Company and W. A. Harriman & Company, the Bushes sold over $50 million in German bonds to American investors, starting in 1924. Thyssen in turn pumped money into the infant Nazi Party, which had proved its desire to rule and its willingness to use brute force in 1923's Munich Beer Hall Putsch.

George Walker, GW's great-grandfather, also set up the takeover of the Hamburg-America Line, a cover for I.G. Farben's Nazi espionage unit in the United States. In Germany, I.G. Farben was most famous for putting the gas in gas chambers; it was the producer of Zyklon B and other gasses used on victims of the Holocaust. The Bush family was not unaware of the nature of their investment partners. They hired Allen Dulles, the future head of the CIA, to hide the funds they were making from Nazi investments and the funds they were sending to Nazi Germany, rather than divest. It was only in 1942, when the government seized Union Banking Company assets under the Trading With The Enemy Act, that George Walker and Prescott Bush stopped pumping money into Hitler's regime.

Of course, if you don't want to take Disinfo's word for it, or the Bush Body Count's word for it, I can point you to articles about the Bush Family and it's ties to Nazi Germany in the Boston Globe, Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Jewish Advocate.

And finally, of course, you all know about the CIA's history of hiring Nazis, as well as George Bush Sr.'s record of service there . . . and then there was that reporter reporting from Florida on NPR the day after the last presidential election, who said [pp]: "There are CIA agents swarming all over the place down here."

The most amazing thing is that some Americans have actually fallen for the hilarious deception that Bush is fighting "evil" . . . so go the powers of brainwashing, I guess.

Warbloggers, know your leader!

• • • • •


A Napoleonic (Complex) Ditty

Courtesy of Media Whores Online:

“[I]’m sorry but [I] pay for those soldiers to fight in a volunteer army. [T]hey are servants of people like me who will never fight. [Y]es, servants of civil masters. [A]nd they will do what they are told by people who would never go to war. [T]hat’s called a democracy.” -- [A]ndrew [Sullivan]

Well, that just got me humming today and eventually the words came . . . (Conjure up Lesley Gore.)

It’s my war and you’ll die if I want to,
Die if I want to,
Die if I want to.
You will die too,
If I want you to do.

[Note: This article originally was published in a slightly different form at The Rittenhouse Review on Sept. 20, 2002.]

• • • • •


A Voting Machine Even the President Can Understand

Today I happened upon a site called Anger Management Course that has a photograph of a newfangled voting machine for the good state of Florida that even President George W. Bush, his almost equally dimwitted brother Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), and the Supreme Court could operate.

Hell, even Noelle Bush, high on crack (or “a rock-like substance that tested positive for cocaine”), could work this thing. As for Poppy Bush, well, I don’t know.

Gordon Baskin of Anger Management Course tells me the image comes from The British Club by way of the incomparable UggaBugga.



Look at it.


Go to sleep smiling.

[Note: This article originally was published at The Rittenhouse Review on Sept. 22, 2002.]

• • • • •


Watching the Professorate One Enemy At a Time

Say! There’s a new kid on the block: Campus Watch.

Campus Watch, following in the ignoble tradition of the groundbreaking but crude Accuracy in Academia and the more learned and refined National Association of Scholars, has taken as its task “Monitoring Middle East Studies on Campus.”

It will come as no surprise that Campus Watch is a project of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, of which Daniel Pipes is the director. The Middle East Forum publishes Middle East Quarterly and Middle East Intelligence Bulletin.

Let’s take a look.

“THE PROBLEM,” as defined by Campus Watch:

“American scholars of the Middle East, to varying degrees, reject the views of most Americans and the enduring policies of the U.S. government about the Middle East over a dozen administrations. Lest this characterization appear exaggerated, consider that, with only one exception, every American president since 1948 has spoken forcefully about the benefits to the United States from strong and deep relations with Israel. In contrast, American scholars often propagate a view of Middle Eastern affairs that, among other things, sees Zionism as a racist offshoot of imperialism, blames Israel alone for the origin and persistence of the Palestinian refugee problem, and holds Israel responsible for such problems as terrorism and fundamentalist Islam.”

“THE CAUSES,” according to Campus Watch:

“This bias results from two main causes. First, academics seem generally to dislike their own country and think even less of American allies abroad. They portray U.S. policy in an unfriendly light and disparage allies. The closer those allies are (first Israel, followed by Turkey, then at some distance Egypt and Saudi Arabia), the more hostile their analysis. In contrast, they apologize for the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Syrian Ba’th regime, and other rogue states. . . .

“Second, Middle East studies in the United States has become the preserve of Middle Eastern Arabs, who have brought their views with them. Membership in the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the main scholarly association, is now 50 percent of Middle Eastern origin. [Ed.: Does this include or exclude Israelis?] Though American citizens, many of these scholars actively disassociate themselves from the United States, sometimes even in public.”

“WHAT WE DO,” according to Campus Watch:

“Campus Watch will henceforth monitor and gather information on professors who fan the flames of disinformation, incitement and ignorance. Campus Watch will critique these specialists, and make available its findings on the internet and in the media. Our main goals are to: Identify key faculty who teach and write about contemporary affairs at university Middle East Studies departments in order to analyze and critique the work of these specialists for errors or biases; [d]evelop a network of concerned students and faculty members interested in promoting American interests on campus; [k]eep the public apprised of course syllabi, memos, debates over appointments and funding, etc.; [k]eep the public informed of relevant university events; and [c]ontinuously post the results of our project on, including articles, reports from campus and other relevant information.”

That’s one hell of an agenda. Presumably handsome financial support is on its way from the usual sources? (Mr. Scaife, please call your office.)

We are not unsympathetic to the oft-spoken complaint of conservatives that academia leans left; it is, in fact, a rather well documented phenomenon. However, one might think the grip of conservatives on “think tanks” and large swathes of the media would more than compensate for the disparity, but that, and the cause of the disparity itself, are topics for another day. We might point out, however, that advocates of divestment from Israel by university endowments have been overwhelmed by opposition from, well, other academicians.

Meanwhile, back at the Campus Watch web site, visitors will find an array of useful tools for countering the purported bias, inaccuracies, and failures of Middle East scholarship in American universities.

In what we can only assume is a list in progress, we find “Dossiers on Professors,” a dramatic appellation for what appears to be something of an enemies list.

Thus far, “Dossiers” have been posted at Campus Watch on the following professors: M. Shahid Alam, Northeastern University; Juan Cole, University of Michigan; Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University; John Esposito, Georgetown University; Rashid Khalidi, University of Chicago; Joseph Massad, Columbia University; Ali A. Mazrui, State University of New York at Binghamton; and Snehal Shingavi, University of California at Berkeley.

Where’s Edward Said? Neutralized already?

There are even “Dossiers on Institutions,” with the list of offenders to this point including Colorado College, Columbia University, Concordia University, Harvard University, New York University, Northeastern University, San Francisco State University, Stanford University, the State University of New York, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Chicago, the University of North Carolina, the University of South Florida, and the University of Toronto.

Go ahead and read them, there are not yet in place “need to know” restrictions on readership.

To counter the nefarious influence of the household names on which Campus Watch has assembled its “Dossiers,” the group provides a list of preferred or approved experts on Islam, Islamism, and the Middle East, including Ziad Abdelnour, Patrick Clawson, Khalid Durán, John Eibner, Joseph Farah [Ed.:!], Gary Gambill, Martin Kramer, William Kristol [Ed.: !], Habib Malik, Judith Miller, Michael Rubin, Robert Satloff, Jonathan Schanzer, Meyrav Wurmser, and the aforementioned Mr. Pipes.

Not Debbie Schlussel? Not Norman Liebman? Not Joan Peters?

The site also includes a section called “Keep Us Informed,” which includes a helpful form for professors, students, and others to report campus misbehavior; “Reports From Campus,” sure to be packed with riveting accounts from the front line; and, of course, the requisite donation box.

One would think that academicians of any persuasion would have ample opportunity, through conferences, seminars, symposia, lectures, journals, and books, to criticize one another’s views without resorting to the establishment of a Watch group. After all, isn’t this -- the search for truth, new knowledge, countering falsehoods, and inaccuracies -- what scholarship is about? Does the professorate not engage in this activity on a daily basis, as a matter of course?

Organizations like Campus Watch are just another variant of the ongoing, indeed incessant, politicization of academia that their members profess to oppose and despise. Aside from on-campus agitation and irritation, their true purpose is to inflame passions among a wider audience, the intelligentsia, opinion makers, politicians, and the media. Sadly, at a time when rising tensions are the last thing needed, Daniel Pipes and Campus Watch have elected to throw gasoline on the fire.

[Note: This article originally was published at The Rittenhouse Review on Sept. 18, 2002.]

• • • • •


Mickey Kaus continues to maltreat his hobby horse, flogging it when clearly unwarranted. In his latest avalanche of idiocy, Kaus scolds Germany for its generous system of social benefits, implying that welfare causes terrorism - an idea endorsed by the increasingly addled G. Harlan Reynolds. "Let work do the work of assimilation" of Muslims, Kaus writes, believing his thought so novel it merits an exclamation point. In the future, Kaus may want to vet his Kausfiles on the topic with these German Muslims, who comprise the majority of Germany's Muslim immigrants according to the German Register of Foreigners.

From the Council of Europe:
Policies and attitudes towards these individuals have been governed by a "guest worker" approach, whereby they are perceived primarily in terms of their utility value. Accordingly, these individuals, despite making Germany the focus of their lives, often have a precarious residence status, which, besides those problems of discrimination they face, affects their possibilities for integration and participation in German society.

Maybe membership in that "unassimilated opposition culture" isn't exactly voluntary.

"Suddenly the Republicans who denied welfare benefits to new immigrants as part of the 1996 welfare reform look a bit more sensible, no?" No, actually, and neither do you for your effort, Mr. Kaus.

• • • • •

Friday, September 20, 2002


Lummox Taranto shows exactly what kind of mastery of logic one must have to receive nomination for an ONA Online Journalism Award. Unable or unwilling to engage Not in Our Name's stance against the war, the Lummox writes, "Similar sentiments [to NION's statement of conscience] are on offer at the Web Site of the World Church of the Creator, an outfit the Anti-Defamation League in 1999 declared the "fastest growing hate group in America." Actually, the statements are quite dissimilar, both in content and tone, as is plain in the passages the Lummox cut-and-pasted. Poor stuff, Lummox, though this "display [of] an original voice, freshness of insight and clear writing" does compare favorable with the rest of the field.

• • • • •

Wednesday, September 18, 2002


Reviving a hackneyed idea, "Steven Den Beste issues his Protocols of the Elders of Mohammed," as Hesiod puts it. Den Beste, who assures us his "intentions are honorable," writes of the need to "completely break the will of the Arabs and to totally shame them." Must be some pretty potent dope these warbloggers pack into their pipes. Den Beste goes on to deride the Arab world as embodying a "14th century culture," wagging his finger eastwards over what he sees as the area's refusal to secularize itself. He sincerely believes that his country has been a historical friend of pan-Arab and Islamic secularism.

Shaming will probably prove ineffective against these people who allowed the attacks to be perpetrated, as the concept is utterly alien to them.

• • • • •


For the first time in recent memory, a Control-F executed on Internet commentator Andrew Sullivan's "Unfit to Print" vanity website comes up empty for the keyword "Raines." Al hamdou lilah, though his inability to register more than four consecutive posts without a lame swipe at the Times shows he's been thus far unable to disabuse himself of the patently ridiculous notion that Howell Raines has successfully foisted his personal prejudices upon the paper's entire newsroom and editorial office. A question Sullivan has yet to consider:

The vanity of even the worst journalists under God's sun is immeasurable. Fits are thrown when an editor excises the most superfluous of adjectives, as if the writer's every word is a contribution to humanity equivalent in scale to the internal combustion engine or the twelve-pack. Yet Sullivan expects his great ape constituency to believe that Raines has been able to dictate the line on every Iraq-themed piece the paper has ran without bylines being pulled, without staffers launching extracurricular websites expressing grievance, without outraged letters being sent to Romenesko for publication, and without walkouts, serially or en masse. How is this so?

Sullivan, an adoring fan of Rumsfeld and his curious brand of logic, doesn't ask the question of himself. Nor does he ask how Raines was able to seize control of the mammoth Times, a supertanker, as Max Sawicky put it, whose staff is reckoned by Hoover's to number 12,050, and steer it down the narrow channels of his own personal prejudices without incident.

• • • • •


Is Daniel Pipes dim-witted or just deceptive? Have your say here.

• • • • •

Tuesday, September 17, 2002


King of Compassion Rod Dreher, discoursing on Michel Houellebecq's works, does Houellebecq, who has a character experience "a 'quiver of glee' every time a Palestinian terrorist is killed," one better. "Hell," Dreher gushes, "I dance the tarantella with roses in my hair whenever I hear that the Israeli Defense Forces have sent one of those kaffiyehed Nazis to that dee-luxe apartment in the sky." Dreher does not say whether he continues his grotesque dance when the music is abruptly interrupted with news that the dead, with apalling regularity, are not terrorists.

According to, Houellebecq, the new Rushdie in the National Review Pantheon of literary achievement, also allows his protagonist to feel "a rush of enthusiasm" on hearing "of a Palestinian terrorist, a Palestinian child or a pregnant Palestinian woman being shot in the Gaza Strip." Does Dreher likewise dance on receiving such news?

• • • • •


The Columbia School of Journalism's Online Journalism Award nominees have been nominated, and all I can say is that they are a travesty. The nominees include not one single blogger. Apparently the dimwits at Columbia missed all the stories about how blogging has revolutionized journalism. The fact that this premise is mainly supported by bloggers themselves is neither here nor there. (Of COURSE, actual working journalists would say that blogging is not journalism, but they are simply jealous that they, having to actually do research, spell their stories correctly, and employ measures of 'responsibility,' are not free to spew and vent the way that bloggers are. Jealous bastards!) Nonetheless, the snooty bigwigs at Columbia (oh how they make me sick with their high standards) could have at least included some of our best bloggers among the nominees for Online Commentary! Yet not a one! No Lileks! No Asparagirl! NO GANZ??!!!?

In an attempt to rectify this glaring omission, here are what the nominees for best Online Commentary might look like if there was any justice in the world. I encourage my fellow Watchers to nominate their own.

8. Online Commentary
This category honors a body of work by a single writer for commentary original to the Web, although neither the commentary itself nor the thought behind it need be original. (Print syndication after Web posting does not disqualify an entry; however, it is not likely going to happen for most of these individuals. Ever.) Topics can range from news commentary to pointless overemotional essays, blind criticism, uninformed opinion, and what they and they alone might consider humor. The writer should employ a screeching high-pitched voice, staleness of insight, and clear writing (in that the font is readable. Accuracy in spelling, grammar and thought are of course optional). Creative use of the medium will be considered, but not expected. Unlike the other categories, which are split into affiliated and independent awards, there is only one award in this category, which is still one too many.

Nominees, in alphabetical order:

Sasha Castel, “I Am Just So Proud to Pose With a 40 Year Old Liar Who Advocates Terrorism!”

Scott Ganz, "Girls Talking About Blow Jobs"

James Lileks, “I Call My Little Daughter ‘Gnat.’ She Is Cute and I Wuv Her. Also, Kill The Arabs.” (Multiple entries)

Justin “Since we couldn’t pick up weapons and physically pound all those radical Islamic scumbags into dust [Why couldn’t you?-ed.], we had to settle for more civilized ways to contribute [i.e., urging others to pick up weapons and physically pound all those radical Islamic scumbags into dust-ed.]?” Sodano, “Good Riddance, Effective Immediately”

Pejman Yousefzadeh, "Here Is A Great Story That Makes 'The Press' Look Bad! Oh, Wait, James Taranto Pointed Out That It Didn't Really Happen? Well, It Must Be Because Taranto Read A Link In My Comments Section, Not Because the Story Was First Debunked in 1999! Who Has Even Heard Of Snopes? It Must Be My Page! Finally, The Popularity That Has Avoided Me All My Life Is Mine! Even Taranto [Who actually IS nominated for an Online Journalism Award-ed.] Reads My Site, How Else Could He Have Known It Was A Fake Story! I Even Got A Note From Lileks The Almighty Once! Oh Poo!"

NOTE: The increasingly racist Diane E. of Letter From Gotham was originally considered for nomination in this category for her wonderful contribution, "I Invented The Word Coultergeist!!! Someone Give Me Credit!!! Acknowledge My Existence!!! Acknowledge My Gift of The Word Coultergeist To the World!!!" However, the judges later found that she had not, in fact, coined the phrase, finding earlier examples here and here. However, she can at least still take enormous pride in having coined the term Paleostinians, which is catching on like wildfire. It must be the sort of pride shared by those who first used the words nigger, kike, and spic. Keep up the great work Diane!

Good luck to all nominees!

• • • • •


Josh Treviño here revisits our previous discussion regarding domestic terrorists, and casts the arrest of Buffalo sleeper-cellies as a "vindication" of his POV.

That discussion focused on Jose Padilla, whose detention caused Treviño to cry, "At what point does an ideology, a belief, or a faith become incompatible with the very idea of our America?" (Does anyone go back and read these references, I wonder? The comments Treviño's fans have posted show no such awareness.) My point was clearly that the presence of like-minded, like-caused, and like-skinned malefactors (should all that be established here) does not necessarily prove Islam to be the direct cause of terror, just as Catholicism is not the direct cause of priestly pedophilia. (I'm not a huge fan of either creed, but I try to be fair.)

I do acknowledge that there are people in the United States who want to blow things up, and should be stopped. I have disagreed with Treviño on some of his Holy War talk. But his acknowledgement that there are some good American Muslims is at least an encouraging sign.

Here's AP, by the way, on recent developments in the Padilla case:

Jose Padilla was arrested in May at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. He was accused of plotting to detonate a radioactive bomb in the United States. An investigation later revealed there was no evidence a plot was under way. No charges were filed, and Padilla is being held by the military as an enemy combatant without trial.

I know not what course others may take, but I'm less interested in "vindication" than in finding out what the hell is really going on.

• • • • •


Ismail Royer draws attention to this amazing letter from "investigative reporter Steven Epstein, an expert in Islamic terrorism":

Dear colleagues and fans,

If you have been following my reporting for the last few years, you are aware of my warnings about American Muslim groups like the National Muslim Students' Association (MSA). I can now announce that through my investigative reporting, I have discovered that the MSA actually engineered the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and moreover, routinely brags about it.

FACT: On a 1976 roadtrip, Billy Ray Hassenpfeffer, the brother-in-law of MSA Executive Director Altaf Hassan, once stopped for a Slurpee at the Flagstaff, Arizona 7-11 where, a mere 15 years later, one Muhammad Siddiqi would land a job as a clerk. Mr. Siddiqi, a Pakistani by nationality, had once shined the shoes of Osama bin Ladin's cousin's hairdresser in his previous job in his native Peshawar, according to unnamed intelligence sources.

FACT: Mr. Hassenpfeffer is currently under investigation for failing to return a library book he checked out as a high school student. Hassenpfeffer claims to have "lost" the book, a biography of rock star Elvis Presley. It is claimed by many Islamist Turks that Presley, a known anti-semite, was of Turkish descent. Moreover, unknown intelligence sources say the teenaged Hassenpfeffer would repeatedly disparage the then-popular rock group KISS, whose lead singer and bassist were Jewish, as "tone-deaf clowns."

FACT: Hassan, linked by marriage to an anti-Jewish fan of anti-semites and an associate of an associate of someone who served bin Ladin (by repeatedly and unapolegetically giving the terrorist leader "mullet" hairdos in the 1970s), told ABC News on Sept. 13: "We condemn this attack in the strongest of terms." Note that Hassan pointedly did not specify WHICH attack he was condemning, a deliberate omission that implies tacit acceptance and even praise for the terrorist attacks, non-existent intelligence sources say.

FACT: Mr. Anwar Hadeed, MSA's Executive Director, is a Palestinian.

I am available for lectures and media interviews.

Mr. Steven Epstein
The Investigative Project

(Steve Epstein is a take-off of Steve Emerson, the wacko who heads up the 'The Investigative Project'. The only inaccuracy on the part of Mr Royer is perhaps that the evidence present in Epstein's letter is of a higher calibre and more lucid than anything Emerson could reasonably produce.)

• • • • •


G. Harlan Reynolds, conspicuously committed to The Truth, indulges in a bout of (self-)righteous outrage over Scott Ritter's decision to confine his answer to a Time interviewer's question to manageable length. When Ritter concludes his answer by saying "Actually I'm not going to describe what I saw there [at an Iraqi prison for the children of dissidents] because what I saw was so horrible that it can be used by those who would want to promote war with Iraq, and right now I'm waging peace," Reynolds likens Ritter to Soviet and Khmer apologists, and charges that "SCOTT RITTER SAYS THAT "WAGING PEACE" IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TRUTH."

Should those tightwads over at the New York Sun ever come through with his check, The Professor may want to apply the funds toward the purchase of a pair of reading glasses, his ocular faculties apparently too weak to make out the word "horrible" or the entire sentence - "It was a horrific scene" - preceding the excerpted lines.

[Caught thanks to a heads-up from Atrios]

• • • • •

Sunday, September 15, 2002


Some days away from my computer, I have finally been put wise to the existence of the so-called "Shropshire Challenge," to which $10 has been pledged in my very name. Touching, that, though challenge sponsor Dr. Weevil seems not to share our general presumption against war, preferring instead the colossal failure of advanced humanity and attendant mass death. Those disagreeing with him - particularly those feeling that persons propagandizing on behalf of unelected president Bush's threatened war against the Iraqi people ("collectively smeared as 'Saddam Hussein'," as some obscure journalist said recently) should themselves participate in the slaughter - must now report to Baghdad for deployment as human shields. Given America's history of disregard for its citizens in like matters, I somehow don't think human shields would prove very effective in dissuading Rumsfeld et al. Better would be a refusal to allow a simpering moron to insinuate his country into a war - though I'll gladly relieve the pedant of his tenner. Provided, of course, a warbloging opposite number meets me on the streets of Baghdad to verify my presence. I understand there's a certain someone "saving [himself] for the Iraqi dustup, whatever form it takes" [emphasis added] who fits the bill.

• • • • •


The latest Mark Steyn:

Five days before 9/11, the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported that 65 percent of the country's rapes were committed by ''non-Western'' immigrants--a category which, in Norway, is almost wholly Muslim. A professor at the University of Oslo explained that one reason for the disproportionate Muslim share of the rape market was that in their native lands, ''rape is scarcely punished'' because it is generally believed that ''it is women who are responsible for rape.''
So Muslim immigrants to Norway should be made aware that things are a little different in Scandinavia? Not at all! Rather, the professor insisted, ''Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes'' because their manner of dress would be regarded by Muslim men as inappropriate. ''Norwegian women must realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.''

Bruce Bawer writes:
Then, in September 2001 (only five days, in fact, before the destruction of the World Trade Center), the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported that 65 percent of rapes of Norwegian women were performed by "non-Western" immigrants ? a category that, in Norway, consists mostly of Muslims. The article quoted a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo (who was described as having "lived for many years in Muslim countries") as saying that "Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes" because Muslim men found their manner of dress provocative. One reason for the high number of rapes by Muslims, explained the professor, was that in their native countries "rape is scarcely punished," since Muslims "believe that it is women who are responsible for rape." The professor’s conclusion was not that Muslim men living in the West needed to adjust to Western norms, but the exact opposite: "Norwegian women must realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it."

But wait.. there is more..

Australian Islam-basher Pamela Bone had this to say:
In Norway, where according to the newspaper Dagbladet, 65 per cent of rapes last year were performed by "non-Western immigrants", a professor at Oslo University told women they must take their share of responsibility for the rapes because Muslim men found their dress provocative. "Norwegian women must realise that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it," he said.

Unfortunately, she is not as smart as Mark Steyn who safely uses gender-neutral terms. Bone calls the Professor a 'he' whereas it is really a 'she'.

Then there is the version from fellow Australian Janet Albrechtsen, a rabid conservative, recently humiliated on national TV for intellectual dishonesty, who writes:

Last year, just before September 11, Norway's Dagbladet reported 65 per cent of rapes were carried out by non-Western immigrants, mostly Muslims, on Norwegian women. And a Norwegian professor from Oslo University said "Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes" because Muslim men regard their dress as provocative.

What is up with these guys?

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I'll try and post further examples in coming days.

• • • • •

Saturday, September 14, 2002


Our oldest, toughest peacebloggers

suddenly look like switch hitters--

Coercive inspections - comply or else.

Full report in .pdf

• • • • •


Just when you thought things couldn't get any more stupider in the warblogger craposphere, leave it up to "brain the size of a watermelon" Reaganite Pej Puppet to take things to a new moronic low. PS: Don't come back. PSS: Tim Blair, fuck you too, bitter two-bit hack. Those car reviews must be bringing in the journalism awards, eh? Proving that granola-crunching, Tranzi lefties are not the only ones who start charitable organizations, Pej has come up with the brilliant (I'm not joking) Adopt-A-Bomb charity:

It occurred to me that we do not have a charity dedicated to assisting the war on terrorism.

Oh, I know, the Defense Department gets hundreds of billions of dollars a year. And of course, it would be very difficult to raise the kind of money needed to make a noticeable difference in the funding of the defense budget.

But still, I thought that perhaps people might want to be able to give some money to the Defense Department. It might help increase the pay for some soldiers, or assist in augmenting the quality of the benefits they receive, or even help in housing.

And it might allow for at least some extra funding to increase weapons purchases. Who knows? It would depend on the amount of money we get.

So with that, I introduce to you, a new website I have created, and which is currently in extremely crude form: Adopt-A-Bomb. Perhaps for pennies a day, you too could adopt a thermobaric weapon, or even a Daisycutter. Based on the amount you give, you would be able to receive a picture and file discussing your adopted munition in detail. You could even get your name or message inscribed on your adopted bomb before it is dropped in the search for Islamofascists and/or Republican Guard contingents.

And if Palestinians had come up with an adopt-a-suicide-bomber program would not the words "death-cult" be endlessly iterated through the warblogger hive mind?

Mothers, don't let your children grow up to be warbloggers.

- Eric A. Blair

• • • • •

Thursday, September 12, 2002


He who can control his rising anger as a coachman controls his carriage at full speed, this man I call a good driver; others merely hold the reins.
Gautama Buddha

The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Matthew 5:3

Put down the Hankies - It's Clobberin' Time
James Lileks

And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Isaiah 2:4

- Eric A. Blair

• • • • •


Re: "Can Any Good Come of Radical Islam?," co-authored by Francis "End of History" Fukuyama, at OpinionJournal.

Fukuyama and Nadav Saman, "a recent graduate of SAIS" (where Fukuyama teaches), mention more moderate Islamic forces in their article than OpinionJournal usually notices in any given month. They even state that "It is the Iranians, who, having lived under Islamist rule for the past generation, are most likely to lead the Islamic world out of its current impasse."

This would seem a rebuff to such as Michael Ledeen, who at National Review calls for war against Iran. Or is it? In the midst of name-checking Muslim movers and shakers who might bring current theocracies into harmony with the West, Fukuyama and Saman yet seem open to violence from the West as a means toward converting the heathen:

"It was only when faced with defeat and domination that nations like China and Japan undertook a serious study of what, in Mr. Lewis's phrase, 'went wrong.' Joining the West when they could not beat it, they adopted a variety of Western institutions while retaining a core of their own culture... If the wait for Muslim modernization is likely to be a long one, how, then, should the West respond in the short term as it faces the continued prospect of terrorism, suicide bombings and weapons of mass destruction? The determined application of military power is certainly part of the answer."

China? That seems a funny example. When did they stop jailing dissidents? (Of course, if the dissidents recant, they can always get jobs at the Beijing McDonald's.)

More interesting is the "determined application of military power." Later, the authors elaborate: "...the rout of al Qaeda from Afghanistan and continuing U.S. operations against radical Islamic terrorism are absolutely key to dampening Islamist fervor." Fukuyama certainly knows that the "continuing U.S. operations" on everyone's minds for the past few months have meant war on Iraq. He has even mentioned, in an August speech, "the Bush Administration’s announced intention to bring about regime change in Iraq, if necessary through a go-it-alone invasion."

One of the great things about being granted the power to see all the way to the End of History is that it reduces such momentous actions to niggling details. A pity they cannot be so reduced for the rest of us.

• • • • •


Professor Dershowitz Joins the Warbloggers

Alan Dershowitz is in the papers again, this time in Canada's National Post, with an essay, "Is an Attack on Iraq Justified?"

Credit goes to the Post's headline writers for their dead-on deck: "In this exclusive essay, lawyer Alan Dershowitz examines the legality of pre-emptive strikes against rogue states."

And that, indeed, he does, but aside from a few hints that yes, or maybe, the U.S. probably has the right to preemptively strike Iraq, the question lies unanswered.

In fact, the entire essay builds up to this concluding sentence, which, "Jeopardy"-like, actually takes the form of a question:

"The real question is, would it be worse to err on the side of action that turns out to be unnecessary, or of inaction that exposes us to preventable devastation?"

Well, which is it, professor?

Perhaps Dershowitz is hoping to prod the Post into paying for a follow-up essay.

• • • • •

Wednesday, September 11, 2002


(You can now buy Micah's great art as tshirts, posters and coffee mugs here.)

This is an older speech from Dennis Kucinich, who wrote a great speech but who would not make a good presidential candidate because he’s anti-choice Tapped. (Who wrote that? A white fella? Piss off the Democratic Party’s most loyal base? Get a grip fellas.) I think it's appropriate for today.

Our Congress gave the President the ability to respond to the tragedy of September 11. We licensed a response to those who helped bring the terror of September 11. But we the people and our elected representatives must reserve the right to measure the response, to proportion the response, to challenge the response, and to correct the response.

Because we did not authorize the invasion of Iraq.
We did not authorize the invasion of Iran.
We did not authorize the invasion of North Korea.
We did not authorize the bombing of civilians in Afghanistan.
We did not authorize permanent detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
We did not authorize the withdrawal from the Geneva Convention.
We did not authorize military tribunals suspending due process and habeas corpus.
We did not authorize assassination squads.
We did not authorize the resurrection of COINTELPRO.
We did not authorize the repeal of the Bill of Rights.
We did not authorize the revocation of the Constitution.
We did not authorize national identity cards.
We did not authorize the eye of Big Brother to peer from cameras throughout our cities.
We did not authorize an eye for an eye.
Nor did we ask that the blood of innocent people, who perished on September 11, be avenged with the blood of innocent villagers in Afghanistan.
We did not authorize the administration to wage war anytime, anywhere, anyhow it pleases.
We did not authorize war without end.
We did not authorize a permanent war economy.

• • • • •


Excerpted from:
For Don Cherry

Whydja bomb?
We didn't wanna bomb!
Whydja bomb?
We didn't wanna bomb!
Whydja bomb?
You didn't wanna bomb!
Whydja bomb?
You didn't wanna bomb!
Who said bomb?
Who said we hadda bomb?
Who said bomb?
Who said we hadda bomb?
Who said bomb?
Who said you hadda bomb?
Who said bomb?
Who said you hadda bomb?
Who wantsa bomb?
We don't wanna bomb!
Who wantsa bomb?
We don't wanna bomb!
Who wantsa bomb?
We don't wanna bomb!
We don't wanna
we don't wanna
we don't wanna bomb!
Who wanteda bomb?
Somebody musta wanteda bomb!
Who wanteda bomb?
Somebody musta wanteda bomb!
Who wanteda bomb?
Somebody musta wanteda bomb!
Who wanteda bomb?
Somebody musta wanteda bomb!
They wanteda bomb!
They neededa bomb!
They wanteda bomb!
They neededa bomb!
They wanteda bomb!
They neededa bomb!
They wanteda bomb!
They neededa bomb!
They thought they hadda bomb!
They thought they hadda bomb!
They thought they hadda bomb!
They thought they hadda bomb!
Saddam said he hadda bomb!
Bush said he better bomb!
Saddam said he hadda bomb!
Bush said he better bomb!
Saddam said he hadda bomb!
Bush said he better bomb!
Saddam said he hadda bomb!
Bush said he better bomb!
Whatdid he say he better bomb for?
Whatdid he say he better bomb for?
Whatdid he say he better bomb for?
Whatdid he say he better bomb for?
Hadda get ridda Saddam with a bomb!
Hadda get ridda Saddam with a bomb!
Hadda get ridda Saddam with a bomb!
Hadda get ridda Saddam with a bomb!
Saddam's still there building a bomb!
Saddam's still there building a bomb!
Saddam's still there building a bomb!
Saddam's still there building a bomb!

Well, I just wanted to post this in response to Fascist Nazi Mark Konrad, who is one of the few people who at least proudly owns up to the title. I was amused by the fascist nazi's defense over at Dr. Weevil—a defense which actually made sense but more on that later--but be warned: I’m not a white European, at least not mostly. In fact, it could be stated plainly that you would find my ethnicity as appalling as that of the Jews that you hate so much. I also want to state this: As an American writer—at war with GOP Jingoists and Science Racists and Despicable Dogs—that I’m not only inspired and enlightened by the work of Allen Ginsberg, but: Joe Haldeman, Robert Silverberg, Woody Allen, Harlan Ellison, Marv Wolfman, Stan Lee, Steve Gerber, Noam Chomsky, Albert Einstein, Stephen Speilberg, Cory Doctorow, Cyril Kornbluth, Isaac Asimov, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Paul Auster, Robert Bloch, Jules Feiffer, David Mamet, Norman Mailer, Susan Sontag, Darren Aronofsky, J.D. Sallinger, Art Spiegelman, Don Byron, Lenny Kravitz, Stan Getz, Avishai Cohen, Bob Dylan, Eugene Levy, Winona Ryder, Buck Henry, Mort Sahl, Jerry Seinfeld and last, but not least, local Pittsburgh writer Mike Chabon. I might note, that it’s a certainty that not all of these people—the ones who are alive—may agree with what is written at American Samizdat or here, especially about Israel. But the disagreements should be based on argument, not ethnicity. Furthermore: all our lives would be the lesser without their bright, gleaming lights.

Oh, by the way, Mark, assuming that you're real and not some kind of counterprop plant, I highly endorse Gene Expression for your viewing pleasure. Post often. They're your kind of people, all dressed up for the future.

• • • • •

Tuesday, September 10, 2002


Playing catch-up, I noticed that John Hawkins of Right Wing Spews had "snag[ed] an interview with esteemed Arabist [sic] Daniel Pipes" and "score[d] an interview with the Blogosphere’s own Charles Johnson," two mighty achievements, indeed. Watch for Hawkins's upcoming interviews with the Amway salesman, the late night telephone rep from the Seafield Center, and that old pensioner who sits in the park feeding pigeons all afternoon.

• • • • •


Internet commentator Andrew Sullivan loses it completely today, The New York Times's decision to have one has-been instead of another submit an op-ed on the eve of the "first anniversary of September 11" being the felling blow. "Sontag and Raines ... together at last," he notes before moving on - though he doesn't get very far when moving on, commiting one yawn-worthy entry on Pilger and Vidal before invoking the "Raines Times" (how novel!). A few fractions of a thought later (that being five whole posts), Sullivan notes a supposed "convergence" between Susan Sontag's "Raines Times" effort and Paul Krugman's of the same day, presumably attempting to discredit Krugman by placing him in Sontag's disreputable company. Krugman's effort seems well-reasoned and wholly sensible to us, though we're not jilted exes driven to the verge of lunacy be our own autogenic obsolescence - an obsolescence we furnish proof for by repeating the same ridiculous nonsense day after day after day...

• • • • •


Much of the imbecility found in The Corner is enitrely willful. As disgusting as the conclusions drawn by John Derbyshire and Andrew Stuttaford are, they usually seem to have been arrived at after a perfunctory survey of the known facts. We never get that impression when reading Kathryn Jean Lopez. Today Ms. Lopez twists her knickers into a proper Gordian Knot over Nelson Mandela's worry over America's willingness to act without the approval of the fellow constituents of the UN Security Council. After Mandea notes that "France, Germany, Russia, China are against" America's unilateralism, Lopez writes, "China? Russia? Actually, maybe we should consult human-rights man Khaddaffi in all war-on-terror strategy, too, before we act." Or maybe "we" should first acquaint ourselves with the permanent membership of the Security Council.

• • • • •


Warblogger heartthrob Dick Cheney, as per his usual, has sequestered himself in a "secure location" in anticipation of the one-year anniversary of the awful events of September 11. Us normal folks have no such luxury afforded us.

Elsewhere, First Niece Noelle Bush, who like so many other of the above normal folk has trouble securing prescription drugs, is now the subjuect of an illicit drugs investigation. If our unelected president is to follow his own Office of National Drug Control Policy, we reckon we'll see old Noelle held incommunicado indefinitely. Hopefully Florida itself will be implicated, with a regime change following.

• • • • •


Let's strike three blows for the forces of good.

1. Daniel Pipes gets fact-checked by Danish politicians:
As Danish politicians, we are offended by the way integration problems in Denmark were portrayed by Daniel Pipes and Lars Hedegaard and we wish to set the record straight (Muslim Extremism: Denmark's had Enough, Daniel Pipes and Lars Hedegaard, Aug. 27).

2. In the same publication, Mark Steyn gets fact-checked by Eric Tam from Yale University. His much quoted fear-mongering piece on Muslim crime statistics in Denmark prompts this scathing response:
When I examined Danish crime statistics (available in Danish at, but easily translatable), I concluded that Mr. Skaarup's assertion is absolutely wrong.

3. Janet Albrechtsen, a right wing Australian commentator has a daisy cutter dropped on her by the ABC's Media Watch. Albrechtsen has been writing a series of columns claiming that rape is some sort of rite-of-passage for Muslim youths and that multiculturalism somehow enabled September 11. Complete nonsense. No wonder then that according to leftist blogger Rob Corr, the Australian warblogosphere "hangs on her every word".

How many of the words in her articles are actually her words is open to some scrutiny as is the veracity of any claim she makes about Muslims or Islam. This transcript of the program raises some important issues. After the producers simply asked some obvious questions, she decides its time to let her solicitors do the talking.

• • • • •

Sunday, September 08, 2002


Building on the success of his first venture into verse, below, Mr. Norm Jenson has a sing song - at the expense of James "small feet" Lileks, someone whose career as a warblogger can be interpreted as an extended audition for the role of Lileks' Mini Me, and a trio of deep-thinkers:


I went to the warblogger fair
Tim Blair and Glenn Reynolds were there
A right-wing goon by what's right for a loon was telling us how much he cares.
The funniest was Pejman the punk who knelt before Lileks the hunk
Lileks said please Pej get off your knees
And that was the end of the punk, the punk, the punk...

So it was...

• • • • •

Saturday, September 07, 2002


Achondritic meliorism is what I see as the sane response to asset-accruing asses. I challenge any and all warbloggers or war-mongers, and especially those whose personal fortunes rely on the vagaries of internationalist malfeasance, to a semantic 'duel to the dialogic death' on the topic: " . . . capitalism, globalization and the inherant right to life, liberty and justice."

Somehow I think few of the militianary advocationists will have the driven curiosity to consult the OED and so will have little idea of the content or context of my dialogic quest. I am being deliberately obfuscationist in order to raise the bar from repitition of well-worn diametricisms to a world class height of empathic rationalism. . . . and it was said that the four minute mile was an impenetrable barrier.

This is my first post to WBW.(!) Be assured Dear Reader that I will become increasingly vernacular, but will never surrender to the neurochemical warfare that has become the ideational by-product of cultural acceptance. There is no time, and perhaps more importantly no space, for irrational non-sense in this abjectly critical, singular, period.

It is transparently true that materialism and capitalism are in fact, and at bedrock, dependant on struggle, class divisions, intolerance, and most devastatingly war. To dis-acknowledge this intimate connection, nay symbiosis, of those who would profit from other's labor and poverty is the 'prime lie' of the warbloggers; and indeed all the world's
unsustainably greedy people.

A Tribute to von
Mises on the 100th Anniversary of his Birth

"Von Mises is important because his teachings are necessary to the preservation of material civilization. As he showed, the base of material civilization is the division of labor. Without the higher productivity of labor made possible by the division of labor, the great majority of mankind would simply die of starvation. The existence and successful functioning of the division of labor, however, vitally depends on the institutions of a capitalist society—that is, on limited government and economic freedom, private ownership of land and all other property, exchange and money, saving and investment, economic inequality and economic competition, and the profit motive—institutions everywhere under attack for several generations."

• • • • •


The Eleven Day Empire gives us the helpful reminder that Bill Clinton's "credibility on national security issues is just about zero, so just shut the hell up already," and calls Carter's recent op-ed piece opposing an invasion of Iraq "embarassing." Meanwhile, over at the "Chronicle of Higher Education," someone asks "One Year After September 11, Where Is the Dissent? ... Can we assimilate and understand legitimate criticism? Is there really room in our culture for complex discourse and debate?"

• • • • •

Wednesday, September 04, 2002


The World's Most Dangerous Man

If there were any doubt before today, there can be no longer: Michael Ledeen is the most dangerous man in the world, or at the very least, the man with the most dangerous ideas in the world.

Just in time for the Cliff Notes types in Andrew Sullivan's book club, The Wall Street Journal today carries an encapsulation of Ledeen's latest work, The War Against the Terror Masters, entitled "The War on Terror Won't End in Baghdad." [Subscription required.]

Ledeen says that the debate over invading or attacking Iraq, such as it is, is misplaced and misguided. The über-hawk advocates not just one war but four wars, or more accurately, one gigantic, almost simultaneous war against Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, in that order. (Not Libya?)

Not surprisingly, Ledeen's contribution to the national debate includes some of the most dubious propositions and questionable assertions currently in circulation, all presented with an arrogant certaintude that displays a complete disregard for history, politics, religion, and, indeed, humanity.

Take it away, Mike:

"We should instead be talking about using all our political, moral and military genius to support a vast democratic revolution to liberate all the peoples of the Middle East from tyranny. That is our real mission, the essence of the war in which we are engaged, and the proper subject of our national debate."

"Despite all the talk about growing anti-Americanism in the Middle East, we inspire their people."

"If we come to Baghdad, Damascus and Tehran as liberators, we can expect overwhelming popular support."

"Of the four terrorist tyrannies, Iran seems the easiest to liberate. . . . We know how to do it: broadcasting the truth and funding others who do the same, denouncing the oppression, defending the political prisoners by name, encouraging private American and international organizations to provide money, communications and guidance to the people on the ground."

"With a triumph in Iran, the democratic revolution would quickly gain allies in Syria and Iraq, and transform our war against Saddam Hussein from a primarily military operation to a war of national liberation against a hated regime."

"[A] successful democratic revolution in Iran would inspire the Iraqis to join us to remove Saddam, it is impossible to imagine that the Iranian people would tolerate tyranny in their own country once freedom had come to Iraq. Syria would follow in short order." [A similar argument follows with respect to Saudi Arabia.]

"This war cannot be limited to national theaters; we face a regional challenge and must respond accordingly. But it is both a just war and one for which we are marvelously well suited."

Lord, have mercy.

• • • • •

Sunday, September 01, 2002


The editors of The Sunday Times of London, plainly scared to intervene, watch as Internet commentator Andrew Sullivan flogs his hobby horse in a most cruel fashion. As we've noted here before, Andrew Sullivan is of the preposterous belief that not only was he himself the franchise of The New York Times, but that Howell Raines single-handedly introduced a systematic bias across the paper's several thousand employees, a spectacular managerial feat. Now it seems that Raines has done himself one better, fomenting the increasing opposition to the war so desperately wanted by Sullivan and his sickening supporters. How Raines is able to propagate ideas and indoctrinate employees so efficiently is not reported.

• • • • •


Prolonged exposure to various far-right toxins has rendered me extremely hostile to government expenditure of any sort. Why just the other day there was the report of this boondogle: U.S. Invites Scholars to Explain Anti-Americanism. Reading the Reuter's piece, we see it's that gosh darn State Department behind it. Wastrels! I mean couldn't they just have asigned themselves some reding, especially as someone's already gone throught the bother of compiling a syllabus?

• • • • •


From Norm at a onegoodmove:


There once was a warblogging Persian
He spent his days and his nights casting aspersions
He wrote them all down
He meant to astound
What he wrote there were right-wing perversions

• • • • •


The Silence of the Hawks

In the recent past, Ann "Slander" Coulter was one of the primary proponents of the "kill all their leaders and convert them to Christianity" school of American foreign policy. Disturbingly, she seems to have expanded her definition of who is the enemy deserving death, to include her some of her fellow Americans.

In an interview with George Gurley of the New York Observer, she candidly admits:
"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh (the Oklahoma City bomber) is he did not go to the New York Times building".

Obviously, the fact that McVeigh blew up a daycare centre doesn't register on the morality radar of the "new darling of the right". The real evil is that McVeigh allowed the staff of the New York Times to live. It would be tempting to draw comparisons between McVeigh and Coulter, but that would be an injustice to McVeigh. Unlike Coulter, McVeigh regretted that he had blown up a day care centre that was located in the Alfred P. Murrah building.

Anyway, it speaks volumes that for the most part her pronouncement has passed without any comment or criticism. Imagine a prominent Muslim or Arab-American commentator was to say that "my only regret with the hijackers is that they did not reach the White House". The same voices that are now so silent would have been howling for him to be sent to Gitmo to serve out eternity in a 2.4m by 2.4m cage.

Other insights in the same interview: she speaks for the American people, has dated "every Right-winger", Dick Cheney is her ideal man, and Matt Drudge is the sexiest man alive.

• • • • •

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