Saturday, June 22, 2002

Leave it to Matthew Bates to give the ABC's choice of Middle East pundit a damn good fisking.

Friday, June 21, 2002

(with apologies to PJ O’Rourke)

I’ve taken a deep breath since yesterday, difficult as it is when the images pouring through the pipe make you want to dump work, grab a taxi, yank your kids out of class and home-school them until they wig out and run away with the Domino’s delivery boy.

Another day, another baby killer. When this happens in south East Asia, returning soldiers get spat on. When it happens in Jerusalem, it’s Wheel of Fortune time for the families of the killers.

I want to be clear about a few things. Killing children is CHOSEN as the best path to take. There is not a single Palestinian who can’t lay their grubby paws on an AK-47, and more ammo than they can carry. They physically can’t get more than an hour’s walk from an Israeli checkpoint, which come conveniently supplied with ample targets. Any of these cretins could make their way right up close to all the enemy soldiers they want, and start firing. Guaranteed martyrdom, paradise facilities, would you like a Virgin with that?

So why don’t they? Two reasons:

One, because it will hurt like hell. Soldiers are rude people, they tend to shoot back. You’ll probably still make it to the Garden, but only after you bleed out for an hour or two. Worse, you might not die, which in the litterbox that is Palestinian values, means your family gets less approval.

And two, because they think it’s preferable to murder women, kids, houses and villages. Someone told them it’s acceptable. There is no difference to jumping on a school bus and pulling the detonator cord, than to taking an entire school hostage, and shooting the children one by one until your demands are met. None. The only reason Hamas and their fellow statesmen don’t do it is because they’re afraid of alienating their Western support base.

They know that if it happened like this, support would fall. What if they got control of an entire settlement. Every three hours they drag some screaming parent or child to the front door, wait for the cameras to zoom in tight, and them blow them away? Even going 24/7, this would last ten fucking days. Can you imagine Chomsky/Patten/Rall/Moore/Adams trying to maintain for TEN FUCKING DAYS? Can you visualise the screaming, ravening mob that will find these collaborators in their homes, their lecture rooms, and their radio booths. Can you imagine what would happen to them when they tried to explain pitchfork-wielding villagers that after ten days of round the clock killing, IT’S STILL NOT MURDER, IT’S STILL SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT, THAT THESE PEOPLE WTILL HAVE TO BE TREATED WITH RESPECT. Frankly, I’d pay to see it.

There is talk around the water cooler of giving the Palestinians their own state, or some watered down version of it. Let’s stop and consider just what kind of a nation we can expect to see emerge from the Palestinian Authority.

I’ve even picked out a name: The Republic of Gangstaland.

There will be no rule of law, anywhere. Arafat has shown he cannot or will not control the militias, so they will carve out their turf, and defend it as viciously as any street gang .

Investment will fall to nil, as incomes plummet due to an Israeli boycott of Palestinian workers. Arbitrary “taxes” will be imposed by anyone with a gun and three blocks to defend. Protection rackets will thrive, with routine firefights between rival warlords.

Disease will increase when the UN pulls out and stops maintaining water and sewage facilities. Third generation camp dwellers will demand land and housing, and it won’t be there. Arab nations will withdraw support, fearing the menace of educated, angry Palestinians who might start to question why their Arab brothers did fuck-all for them for fifty years. Schools will close for lack of money, and because the streets are a free-fire zone.

An effective kleptocracy will prevail, as International criminals swiftly appreciate the first modern nation where literally everything is up for grabs. State-owned plant and equipment will be sold off for cash, donated food supplies will mysteriously disappear. The only hard-currency income comes from selling passports and citizenship, and from banking facilities that make the Cayman Islands look like a Presbyterian accountant.

Deprived of the obvious targets of Israelis, young frustrated Palestinians men will turn on each other, and them on the authorities. Civil war follows, accompanied by its trusty sidekicks, famine, disease and death. Refugees attempting to flee are shot while trying to cross into Lebanon and Jordan. The UN cannot guarantee the safety of their relief workers, and refuses to enter. Malnutrition is replaced by starvation is some quarters.

Then we move in. The US reconstructed Japan from one of the world’s most ambitious, warlike societies in the world, with a well-established cult of suicide, to the richest, most democratic Asian nation the world has ever seen. In Australia, we have cattle stations bigger than the proposed Palestinian state: how hard can it be?

The post so good, he put it up three times!
Gone now. Sorry

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Today’s required reading come from Silflay Hraka. Obviously spent waaaayyy too much time with a certain novel, but this is a call to arms for us in the West to have the courage of our conviction.

Read the poem too. Nothing like some Kipling to make the step swing a bit more.


Lileks has this to say about why The Diary of Anne Frank should read again.

Child-killer apologists take note. Your world has changed. You will not be allowed to walk away from the results of your "peace activism".

Perhaps we will chase you out and appropriate action. You might find yourself having trouble getting employment. But what matters is this: You will not be permitted to pretend you didn't know. You words are on record in millions of places. Each time you defend the deliberate targeting of children, it is noted and filed away.

You will be held accountable.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002


If you’re gonna cheat on a drugs test, don’t write the answers on a Mars Bar wrapper.

Michael Kielsky at Uncommon Sense makes a suggestion for "performing arts commercials".

Although I don't see much chance of the precious luvvies in Australia to stoop to vulgar advertising (not when there's all that Australia Council cash just lying around), it's good to see someone applying sense to the system.


The Sydney Morning Herald reaches new depths of cultural relativism today by printing this letter.
Although I don't like John Howard, I would be extremely peeved if George Bush decided one day that they weren't bosom buddies and instructed the CIA to eliminate him, covertly or otherwise. Perhaps the people of Iraq feel the same - Saddam Hussein may be a dictator, but he's their dictator.
The obsessive desire of a small group within the US to rid themselves of Saddam threatens the concept of national sovereignty.
Marjorie Biggins, Cooks Hill,

Cool idea! Let's ask the Kurds if they "feel the same". ….. well they were here a minute ago.

I mean what does Saddam have to do to get the idea across to this meathead? Invade Cooks Hill? What about Marjorie's street? "We can't take pre-emptive action, he's only occupied the front bedroom!"

And see the clever way she couches this as a defence of a politician she doesn't like. As if this is somehow a defence of OUR sovereignty. I nominate Marjorie for our first emissary to the newly liberated Iraq. She address the roving mobs and explain her noble reasons for defending the right of Iraqis to be slaughtered by the dictator of their choice.

In case the "Not in our name" fuckwits are missing the point, this is what happened when you believe that peoples and nations have the right to determine their own destiny, free from military coercion by great powers.

There may be a theoretical limit to what the anti-West crowd will sink to, but I haven't seen it yet. Can I suggest the "Chomsky event horizon"?

Monday, June 17, 2002

Figuring the time differences, I call my post about Iraq ahead of Stephen Green by about twelve hours. Or three days. Or yesterday. Frankly, with the high-foreheads building a working TELEPORTER FOR GOD’S SAKE (see last), my sense of time and causality will be back with me sometime last Wednesday.

I wish I’d wrote
Saddam became the dictator of Iraq by brutality and murder. He stays dictator by a combination of brutality, murder, and paranoia. And President Bush just turned the Paranoia Meter up to 11.

Is it time to sell short? Matbe not, given that the “dirty bomb” scare didn’t register a blip on the NYSE.

How often can you mark the day when the world shifted?
Lots of guff floating around about whether Oz should sign up to the International Criminal Court. Liberals in the conservative Coalition Government want it bad. Another group seems to feel that anything to do with an international treaty is Good Thing. Soon we'll hear from the World Government/black helicopter crew.

For my money, I say hold off for a while. The ICC will come about, and will prosecute cases with us or without us. Let's see how they run things.

And I'll make this prediction: the first attempt at prosecution will be of an American, just like the World Court. This will hopelessly undermine any pretence of objectivity or impartiality, and the US will never sign up.

For those who support the ICC, I can raise one reason to pause for thought: what if you don't like their standards? Right now it might look like a good idea. But what happens if it introduces capital punishment? Search without warrant? What if starts trying 16-year-old soldiers as adults?

Currently, support for the ICC is grounded in the firm belief that it will uphold Western-style justice, including the presumption of innocence. But there are dozens and dozens of ICC signatory states that consider human rights a convenient fiction. Will the ICC still be a Good Thing if elements of Sharia Law start creeping in?

Sunday, June 16, 2002

Steve Green, the Vodkapundit, has some indicator developments extracted from the Hindustan Times.

This raises an important consideration about the coming war on Iraq: Saddam is quite literally fighting for his life. Unless the guy is absolutely barmy, he knows he will die once the war starts.

Ten years ago, he could follow Mengistu, Adi Amin Dada and Baby Doc Duvalier into comfortable retirement and obscurity. A footnote in a long history of disasters.

But that has changed now. Where could Saddam flee to? There isn't an Arab country that would have him: they all watched CNN live from Tora Bora. If you're the Justice Minister of the Sudan, all the payoffs in the world will not protect you against a GPS-guided extradition order. So you are going to be out of town when the phone rings at 3am from Baghdad.

Saddam is not alone either. He has made a policy of making sure his entire Cabinet and top-line military are implicated in his abuses. They are in it up to their necks, and they have nowhere to go either.

So you have an elite group of men with a proven ability to inflict any level of suffering and abuse on anyone, in order to stay in power. It's five days after the bombing started, and most of the army is deserting. The security apparatus is looking shaky. Outside the gate are millions of locals, most of whom have either had a relative kidnapped by the secret police, had one killed in Saddam's pointless wars, died from a lack of basic medicine, or just plain starved to death.

Can you spell M-U-S-S-O-L-I-N-I?

These men understand they will not live ten days past the start of the bombing. The mobs will quite literally tear them apart. This does not reduce the legitimacy or necessity of a regime change, by whatever means necessary. If a hostage dies because a kidnapper starts shooting at police, we don’t blame the police. If civilians die in Iraq because the nutter that controls their lives decides he has nothing to lose whatsoever, then put the blame where it belongs. And that isn’t on those nations backed into taking dreadful measures to end hostilities with as few casualties on their side as legally possible.

The safest way I can see forward is to make a deal with some of the next-to-top echelon military. Put some money on the line, offer some a way out. Leaflet drop the entire country offering $10 million and immunity for the guy that kills Saddam. Send the lucky contestant to live in the Palestinian Authority in relative splendour, on strict condition that any political activity will violate his immunity and lose him his cash.

Once Saddam is out, the centre will not hold. Most of the colonels will defect and place their units at the command of local leaders. They will need to understand that any move by their superiors to escalate hostilities will be met with the hammer of God on their units. The colonels will need to be told, by leaflet, email and broadcast, that the Coalition forces know them by name, and they will be held personally responsible for their unit’s behaviour once the war starts.

Cut off the head, and the body won’t just die: it will grab a shovel and dig its own grave.

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