July 11, 2003


A tremendously disappointing and bizarrely illogical rant by Canadian Islamic Congress president and University of Waterloo computer science prof Mohamed Elmasry in the Star today.

Elmasry portrays the pro-Israel lobby in America as Christian extremists ("the enemies of peace") bent on hastening the "second coming of Christ" by repressing Palestinians. "Can the road map have any chance of success under such warped conditions?" he asks.

Not if Hamas is disarmed as part of it, he declares:

If American and Israeli pressure convinces [Abbas, et al] to completely "dismantle" Palestinian factions -- including Hamas and Islamic Jihad -- before any final settlement, the road map could be doomed to failure.

If I understand the argument, he's saying that if Hamas is repressed by the Palestinian Authority and the terrorist attacks on Israelis stop, then the Israelis will then be free to throw away the "road map" as their Christian overlords are demanding.

It's telling that, nowhere in a piece entitled, "Israel must deliver on its side of the bargain," Elmasry makes any mention at all of anything the Palestinians must deliver at any point. The entire piece is a flat out demand for unilateral Israeli surrender and a disturbing apologia for terrorism.

Posted by BruceR at 08:43 PM


As the accusations continue to fly on the Niger evidence scandal, I feel someone has to point out the obvious. Shortly after the war, a large number of bloggers concluded one reason the Iraqi leadership had not just opened up their country to inspections if they had nothing to hide, and thereby avoided war, could have been that the dictator himself was being badly advised by his fearful subordinates on the WMD issue, and so himself thought he had WMDs when he didn't. To pick an example purely at random:

The leaders in these kinds of nations [like Hussein] have a tendency to hear what they want to hear, or at least to not hear about bad news and unpleasant surprises and problems.

Those horrible dictatorships... where national leaders can't trust their minions to tell them the truth... sad, really. Thank god we live in democracies, where leaders can't be so easily misled.

(For the record, I favour the much more Occamite explanation that Hussein thought the UN teams would be as spy-ridden as the last time, and appearing to prostrate the country further could only weaken his own hold on the populace. Seeing as he was already part of the "Axis of Evil," he figured he had nothing to lose.)

Posted by BruceR at 08:31 PM


The Ontario Human Rights commissioner has forbade mosquito spraying, because it interferes with the rights of asthmatics (Friday's Toronto Star, not yet online... come on, Patrick, huptcha now.)

I'm not sure why Keith Norton thinks he's the agency of record on a public health issue, but I know one thing for certain... when some plague does hit, this same idiot will likely use the same logic to oppose the mandatory vaccinations or quarantines the doctors use to fight that, too. And as the weakened survivors lift our plague-ridden corpses into the industrial cremators, at least they'll be able to say the virii found us in a state of human rights grace.

Posted by BruceR at 07:55 PM


Canadian beef is safe, the Americans admit. They still don't want any, though.

In other news, this is troubling.

Posted by BruceR at 01:13 PM


Calpundit points out that Liberia's "Cannibal Charles" Taylor, unlike Saddam Hussein, certainly collaborated with, and possibly helped bankroll Al Qaeda. (He also notes Pat Robertson, who is heavily financially beholden to Taylor is also heavily engaged defending him, which is more than enough for me to condemn the Cannibal outright.) If there really was a Bush Doctrine, or if anything that's going on today had anything to do with Sept. 11 anymore, surely Taylor would have been a victim of an air-launched cruise missile accident long ago. Or has the US. government been keeping a Bin Laden sympathizer in power only because they fear Muslims might take over when he leaves?

Best sidenote: the conclusion of the WashPost article linked to, which cites evidence linking Bulgarians, Nicaraguans, and an Israeli arms dealer in a plan to provide Taylor's Al Qaeda houseguests with shoulder-launched SAMs. Tom Clancy can't make up stuff this good.

UPDATE: Winds of Change links to a TNR piece, same topic. The case can be made that a Liberian intervention, by straightening out the diamond field wars and removing one more lawless place for terrorists to base from, a la Afghanistan, could do as much in net terms to reduce international terrorism as the Iraq invasion will.

(I'm not saying here the Iraq invasion was unjustified. From the start I've supported it, cautiously, but for reasons entirely unrelated to the threat of international terrorism... specifically the plight of its citizens, and, secondarily, the removal of a regional threat to Israeli-Palestinian peace. I never bought into the Wolfowitzian "drain the swamp" line, or the WMD arguments, making the current "Bush knew" refrain rather academic to me. The Civil War was a just war started ostensibly for the wrong reasons, too.

The only answer, in the long run, to global terrorism, is global reach by a military/investigative apparatus that can reach and strike anywhere, and deny the terrorists haven, whether in Liberia, Afghanistan or Peoria... How robust or multilateral that should be is a subject of useful debate. The historical analog I've long favoured is the various attempts by the Western Powers, principally Britain, but also America, Holland, and others, to combat sea piracy, c. 1650-1850. A Liberian intervention fits into that model, too. Which is, of course, absolutely no reason to go see Pirates of the Caribbean this weekend, but I probably will anyway.)

SECOND UPDATE: Trent Telenko evidently wildly disagrees, and calls for an American foreign legion, a complete reform of the American army reserve system, and an immediate return to the draft, all in the same post! I'm not sure his solution of garrisoning Iraq with a combination of badly-armed, newly non-combat-capable National Guards units and newly recruited Mexican immigrants would help matters much, but it would certainly make for a much more culturally interesting Middle East. Just a note: Telenko cites the two divisions of other nations' troops going to Iraq this fall, but the only firm national commitments that have been announced thus far to that to my knowledge, are the British division-minus that's part of it (meaning Trent is double-counting them) and 2,000 Polish soldiers. I'm sure there will be others, though.

THIRD UPDATE: The Sarge places his faith in German efficiency to fix things up. And Caerdroia, in a post that ends strangely, calls for a 30-50% increase in the size of the U.S. army.

Posted by BruceR at 11:09 AM


The army's report, as pointed out in Flitters, on the destruction of Pvt. Lynch's convoy in Nasiriyah, can be found here, among other places. It's worth a read. Heartbreaking, really.

Phil Carter has said everything worth saying on the weapons issue. I'd only add it, along with the Rolling Stone series Carter also praises, shows the danger to all soldiers everywhere whenever a junior officer is off his game. Appointed leaders that are exhausted, ineffective, or just unlucky are still the most dangerous threat to any army, and every soldier knows that.

Posted by BruceR at 09:54 AM