October 13, 2002



At present, the authorities in D.C. are looking for a white cube van, a white panel van, and a burgundy Chevy Caprice.

My money's on the Caprice. White vans, because it's the most common delivery truck colour, are near-ubiquitous on city highways. Drive the four-lanes around Toronto, and there's rarely a five minute stretch where something white and van-like isn't speeding away from you in some direction.

No, wait, I'll make another prediction. The engagement range of the sniper, when all is said and done, will be found to vary between 75-200m. Nothing farther. (For reference, Lee Oswald hit Jack Kennedy with his final shot at 80m.) All this talk about a "sniper subculture" (which anyone who's played first-person shooter computer games in the last three years must just find unfathomable) and weapons that are accurate past 400m will only obscure the fact that this guy is killing with a cheap, military-grade semi-auto .223 with a scope, from moderate range.

Posted by BruceR at 12:49 AM



Steven Den Beste claims total victory for his side in the Iraq debate. Not quite. If it is true, that's only because Den Beste's views have been significantly moderated by those on the "not so fast, I'm not sure I trust Dick Cheney to decide anything by himself at this point" lobby, of which I must be an honorary non-American member by now. Den Beste may want to recall his original position when the matter was put to Congress, back on Aug. 19:

I think that a formal session in Congress, to debate the issue publicly, with speeches and argument and press conferences ending, inevitably, in passage of a formal authorization for hostilities under the terms of the War Powers Act, would cause more harm than good. It would telegraph our blow to the government of Iraq and remove all chance of surprise, and we'd pay for that a stiff price in lives of our young men and women in the services.

There is a certain hubris in claiming victory in a debate that one initially wanted stifled, I should think.

Posted by BruceR at 12:31 AM



Forget that if Osama bin Laden ever acquired a nuclear weapon, he'd probably use it first on Saddam. No. We've got to fight 'nuclear holy warriors'.

-R. Fisk, esq., in the Independent. This doesn't offend me because it's not true. It offends me because I know Fisk knows it's not true, and yet he wrote it anyway.

Forget the 14 Palestinians, including the 12-year-old child, killed by Israel a few hours before Mr Bush spoke, forget that when his aircraft killed nine Palestinian children in July, along with one militant...

Fisk again, same column. I'm sorry, but by what logical extension does a General Dynamics F-16, the sale of which to Israel was first approved by this week's Nobel prize winner (and history's greatest monster) Jimmy Carter, become George Bush's personal aircraft? Offensive.

We must forget how the Americans promised Pakistan and Afghanistan a new era of hope after the defeat of the Soviet army in 1980...

Christ, Bob, get a fact-checker. It was 1989. Does no one dare edit this man? Are they afraid he'll cry? Extra offensive.

Make no mistake: The anti-war voices long for us to lose any war they cannot prevent.

--Col. Ralph Peters, retd., in the New York Post. Like Victor Davis Hanson, Peters is a good long-form essayist, but he's a horrible columnist. Instapundit is right to call him on it... Den Beste does his own thoughts a disservice by linking to tripe like this. Throwaway lines accusing nearly half a country of treason even before the shooting starts doubly offend me.

Posted by BruceR at 12:16 AM