Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Thank you InstaPundit, he links to a damning piece by James Lileks on how relevant the U.N. is...

Of particular note are the following:

The United States does not need additional resolutions; 1441 said that "false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq ... and failure to comply with and cooperate fully in the implementation of this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's obligations."

Well, Iraq has been in material breach since it dumped 12,000 pages of obfuscating gobbledegook on everyone's desks. Iraq was in material breach before the inspectors showed up. Every day the inspectors are not driven to a dump and shown the remains of warheads, or empty canisters, or bones of all the lab monkeys who perished in Saddam Hussein's quest to weaponize spoiled potato salad, Iraq is in material breach.

Perhaps you mean that we need the moral imprimatur of this august and esteemed body. You'd have a better point if the United Nations was moral, august or esteemed. On the contrary: The United Nations is a dim hive of self-interested parties engaged in endless parliamentary mummery, united by a consensual delusion that all nations are equal.

So you have the bitterly risible sight of Libya chairing the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, which is akin to giving Kid Rock control over the New York Philharmonic. You have the 2003 disarmament conference rotating its presidency among a group of states that includes Iran and Iraq. (Perhaps next year the agricultural planning conference will be held in Pyongyang.) You have the shameful performance of the peacekeepers in Srebrenica, looking away while thousands were slaughtered. You have the sex-for-food scandal at U.N. refugee camps in Africa -- if it happened at an American frat house, it would be national news for a week.

"Yes, yes, it's not perfect. But don't we need U.N. approval?"

No. But if it makes you feel better to know that China graciously allowed the United States to act in its own self-interest, pretend that they did. Picture an unelected communist bureaucrat giving Bush permission to move some carriers toward the Gulf. Feel better?

The word you're looking for is "oui."

Read the rest here. The U.N. is a good place for nations to meet, I do think they are horribly incompetent in performing the greater good.
Powell made his case, but some are not buying it. I think he made a good case that they had the weapons and were hiding it. Some U.N. members are under the impression that this fact is all of the more reason for the inspectors to keep on looking. The point of inspections is to make sure that Iraq is disarming; they are not doing this, nor do they want to. France wants more inspections because they believe that the inspections will disarm Iraq. The cold fact is that if Iraq does not want to disarm, which they do not, then not an army of inspectors will be able to force them to do so.

If inspections continue and the U.S. backs off, inspections will continue until one day they simply kick the inspectors out or Iraq tests its first nuclear weapon. Inspections did not work in North Korea where they were inspected but did not want to disarm; they will not work in Iraq either. Let history be a guide for how successful inspections are when the entity inspected does not want them to succeed. So for 0-1.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Zapatistas, or their supporters – same thing if you ask me, are not making Chiapas a friendly place for tourists.

Apparently a Zapatista rebel said the following in the complete article:

"We don't want any American tourists. ... We don't want any tourists at all," said Gabriel, a black-clad Zapatista guarding a roadblock near the ranch who would give only his first name. "We don't want strangers coming around."

Assuming this is an actual rebel this is a very ignorant stand considering Chiapas benefits greatly from tourism. If this is not their stand perhpas they can stop harassing people or since they control the area stop others from doing so. Zapatistas have a great amount of support in the United States, support by those “strangers” who they do not want to visit. If the Zapatistas did not have the support of “Strangers” the Mexican government may have annihilated them long ago.

Monday, February 03, 2003

I hope the space station is still going to be around, it is one of the greatest achievements in the last 10 years.
I would like to welcome Jeff E. aka Clucker and Corey aka Clucker2. Welcome boys. Jeff is a highly motivated and technical being. A good friend and someone you want on your side in a tight spot. Corey is an honest soul who seems very at peace. Much love always to the LOML, Puchungita.
Should Palestinians have a state? I think they should, they should be self-ruled, just because this was not the case before it does not mean that it should not be in the future. The world community should have a hand in making this happen. Such was the case with countries like Jordan and Iraq, which were put together by European powers and meshed into sovereign nations.

The problem with a Palestinian nation is that the P.L.O. continues to use Israel as a scapegoat for its ills. They had a deal with Israel; they choose to continue to negotiate with terrorism, now here they are. They got the best deal they would ever get and Arafat did not do the right thing for his own people. He was once their diplomatically elected leader; he is past his term and does not want to have elections. Sounds like a dictator.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Today I had a discussion with someone whose opinion I respect who insisted that Palestine was previously a nation. This is simply not historically accurate. That area has typically been under control of one entity or another and has not been self ruled. Should they have been self-ruled? Perhaps so, but this did not happen.

Before Israel took over the West Bank, Jordan had annexed it in 1950. The term Annexation being a polite term for out right taking the land. During the Six Day War Jordan invaded Israel, Israel fought back and took the land, of particular interest was Jerusalem. Why is Jerusalem important to a Jew? It is named hundreds of times in the Torah, the holy book of the Jews. Guess how many times Jerusalem is named in the Koran? 00.00

For the Palestinians to rule themselves would be a first, and not a continuation of their history.

Myths and Facts has some historical background on Palestine:

The term "Palestine" is believed to be derived from the Philistines, an Aegean people who, in the 12th Century B.C.E., settled along the Mediterranean coastal plain of what are now Israel and the Gaza Strip. In the second century C.E., after crushing the last Jewish revolt, the Romans first applied the name Palaestina to Judea (the southern portion of what is now called the West Bank) in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. The Arabic word "Filastin" is derived from this Latin name.3

Further to this they state:

Palestine was never an exclusively Arab country, although Arabic gradually became the language of most the population after the Muslim invasions of the seventh century. No independent Arab or Palestinian state ever existed in Palestine. When the distinguished Arab-American historian, Princeton University Prof. Philip Hitti, testified against partition before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, he said: "There is no such thing as 'Palestine' in history, absolutely not."5

More here.
Coming from InstaPundit; a typically anti-American writer, Julie Burchill from The Guardian, makes an argument for war. I just looked outside and it is not the Apocalypse, nor are bovine creatures flying.

To quote a few lines from her editorial:

The new enemies of America, and of the west in general, believe that these countries promote too much autonomy, freedom and justice. They are the opposite of socialism even more than they are the opposite of capitalism. They are against light, love, life - and to attempt to pass them the baton of enlightenment borne by the likes of Mandela and Guevara is woefully to misunderstand the nature and desires of what Christopher Hitchens (a life-long man of the left) described as "Islamo-fascism".

When you look back at the common sense and progressiveness of arguments against American intervention in Vietnam, Chile and the like, you can't help but be struck by the sheer befuddled babyishness of the pro-Saddam apologists:

1) "It's all about oil!" Like hyperactive brats who get hold of one phrase and repeat it endlessly, this naive and prissy mantra is enough to drive to the point of madness any person who actually attempts to think beyond the clichés. Like "Whatever!" it is one of the few ways in which the dull-minded think they can have the last word in any argument. So what if it is about oil, in part? Are you prepared to give up your car and central heating and go back to the Dark Ages? If not, don't be such a hypocrite. The fact is that this war is about freedom, justice - and oil. It's called multitasking. Get used to it!

4) "Saddam Hussein may have killed hundreds of thousands of his own people - but he hasn't done anything to us! We shouldn't invade any country unless it attacks us!" I love this one, it's so mind-bogglingly selfish - and it's always wheeled out by people who call themselves "internationalists", too. These were the people who thought that a population living in terror under the Taliban was preferable to a bit of liberating foreign fire power, even fighting side by side with an Afghani resistance. On this principle, if we'd known about Hitler gassing the Jews all through the 1930s, we still shouldn't have invaded Germany; the Jews were, after all, German citizens and not our business. If you really think it's better for more people to die over decades under a tyrannical regime than for fewer people to die during a brief attack by an outside power, you're really weird and nationalistic and not any sort of socialist that I recognise. And that's where you link up with all those nasty rightwing columnists who are so opposed to fighting Iraq; they, too, believe that the lives of a thousand coloured chappies aren't worth the death of one British soldier. Military inaction, unless in the defence of one's own country, is the most extreme form of narcissism and nationalism; people who preach it are the exact opposite of the International Brigade, and that's so not a good look.

She concludes with:

So, all in all, and at the risk of being extremely babyish myself, I'd go so far as to say that my argument's bigger than yours. Of course, you think the same about your side. And we won't change our minds. Ever. So let's do each other a favour and agree not to rattle each other's cages (playpens?) until the whole thing's over. Free speech and diversity - let's enjoy it! Even though our brothers and sisters, the suffering, tortured slaves of Saddam, can't. Yet. Still, soon.

Read the whole thing here.

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