May 20, 2002

ANNOUNCEMENT ON CANADIAN AFGHANISTAN PULLOUT

ANNOUNCEMENT ON CANADIAN AFGHANISTAN PULLOUT TO BE MADE TOMORROW AFT

From globeandmail.com, today:

Ottawa Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan should know Tuesday whether they will be replaced by another unit or possibly have their six-month mission extended.

A brigade from the 82nd Airborne out of Fort Bragg is replacing the brigade of 101st Airborne soldiers that is currently holding down the Kandahar area in July. The question was, since that brigade had included a battalion of Canadian troops, whether that battalion too would have a replacement. The Canadians have three options:

1) Send a second, unspecified infantry battalion for a second six-month tour, troops they clearly don't have available;

2) Extend the stay of the PPCLI battalion in Kandahar to nine months from the original six, and push off in the middle of the 82nd's tour;

3) Pull our troops out in July when the 101st goes.

I still have no feel for what the final decision is going to be on this. I hate to run from a fight, though.

In other news, the other nation with a large contingent actually committed to fighting alongside the Americans in Afghanistan just sacked their commanding officer. (Or did they?)

Posted by BruceR at 08:15 PM

UM, I GIVE UP... WHEN

UM, I GIVE UP... WHEN WAS THAT, AGAIN?

From Instapundit, today:

The last time someone made war largely against American civilians, the response was near-extermination.

I have no idea what the man's referring to here. One of the Indian Wars? The Barbary Pirates? Sherman's March through Georgia? Enlighten us, Glenn...

Posted by BruceR at 07:41 PM

HATE TO SAY IT, BUT...

HATE TO SAY IT, BUT...

I've been meaning to say this for a while, but Jonah Goldberg reminded me again:

By the way, why does she [Cynthia McKinney] say that only the people in New York were "needlessly murdered." Why does she omit the people in Washington who were also murdered? Is it because the Pentagon had it coming in some way?

I'm sorry, but if you cannot see the moral distinction between attacking the head office of a nation's armed forces and attacking an entirely civilian target, you're being overly simplistic. By any reasonable moral standard, if the Pentagon attack had occurred in isolation, the terrorists would have been acting in an entirely consistent manner with freedom fighters the west has not totally condemned, and rightfully so -- albeit for a cause in this case no Westerner should endorse. One obvious example, if not the only one, would be the Israeli Irgun group's bombing of the British military headquarters in the King David Hotel. (Although to be fair, they did phone to warn of their intent beforehand...) T.E. Lawrence and the French resistance also come to mind...

I would even go so far as to say if the Palestinian leadership had ever been capable (which they never have been) of attacking solely military targets in Israel and the Territories, they might still have my sympathy too.

Posted by BruceR at 01:30 PM

INEFFECTIVE METHODS OF ASSASSINATION, PART

INEFFECTIVE METHODS OF ASSASSINATION, PART 1

Mr. Ahani does not deny that he was trained to kill in Iran. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service asserted that he was part of a government-sponsored hit squad that targets dissidents worldwide. He was taught to leap from moving cars and shoot at the heart and head before jumping back into the car. If that failed, he could also fire a Katyusha rocket. -- The Globe and Mail, today, on an Iranian assassin Canada's court system has failed to kick out for 9 years of trying.

This is a Katyusha rocket. Call me crazy, but I suspect as the weapon of a stealthy undercover assassin it falls short in several respects. I think even Canada would notice if the guy was driving around the country hunting down Iranian dissidents with one of these.

Posted by BruceR at 01:06 PM

OK, IT WASN'T THAT BAD

OK, IT WASN'T THAT BAD

Against my better judgment, I watched the X-Files finale last night, after a two year hiatus from the show. (I was sucked in by the early promise of a courtroom drama.) I have to say, I was reasonably pleased by the outcome. The makers summarized the last 9 years of the alien plot as succinctly as could be expected, finally told us The Truth Mulder was searching for (That the world will end on Dec. 22, 2012 when the aliens invade... guess I won't need that pension after all...), made it clear who Scully's baby's father was (Mulder), and ended up with them in bed together. Of course it leads to all kinds of questions, and potential continuity problems, I'm sure... but given the tangled mess going into the show, Chris Carter and Co. got out of it with as much dignity as I think could be expected.

In other mass cultural phenomenon news, here's some Star Wars links I've just loved reading over the last weekend. There's nothing I enjoy the company of more than rabid fandom:

Bob Brown's Star Wars discussions (from which the Light Sabres piece below was drawn; also check out the analysis of Midi-chlorians).

Star Wars Technical Commentaries (be sure to check out the pages on the Ewok Holocaust);

David Brin on Star Wars. (Best. Critique. Ever!)

Posted by BruceR at 12:19 PM