The blindness of the so-called Anti-war left further revealed from Andrew Sullivan this morning:

"You're late. What took you so long? God help you become victorious... I want to say hello to Bush, to shake his hand. We came out of the grave." - the words of a liberated Iraqi, reported by the Guardian. Sorry, guys, you see, twelve years ago, we got cold feet and abandoned you, and then there are these people called the French, and you see, they ... oh never mind. Welcome back to humanity. Welcome back from the grave.

and in the same, "Better Late Than Never" vein, Salon chimes in with the horror that is Saddam. (suck it up and get the day pass)
Great news on the War front. That is all that needs to be said. It is clearly too early to predict complete and total victory (in the matter of the War) but that's our job, to prematurely call things. The naysayers may be correct about the reconstruction of Iraq but its clear the peace protesters (we do need to find another term for them, they actually "stood" for many things none of which was peace) were wrong about the manner in which the war was waged and the realities of the Iraqi people. Tipping Point opines that the new version of warfare that is being waged should alter the anti-war left's strategies. (imagine that, a play book that is more updated than dusty 60's tactics with email added). He claims that the generals in our armies have the abiltiy to prevent wholesale slaughter like never before and this should inform the protests.

If you're an anti-war protester or politician, this theory of warfare should change the way you think and act. Your efforts to generate resistance to the war before there is any evidence of killing, much less atrocities, contribute to the political strength of the enemy regime. You encourage uncertainty about the war's outcome, increasing the likelihood that the regime's soldiers will fight and die. You make it more difficult to separate the regime from its people. You frustrate the tipping and bring on the crushing.

If you want to minimize the killing, stop resisting the war. Instead, do what you can to make the war transparent and to hold your government accountable for unnecessary deaths. Help the media and human rights organizations monitor the battlefield. Help them get reports and pictures to the people of your country and the world. Build an incentive system that will strengthen your government's will to spare lives. Its ability will do the rest.


It's one thing to disagree with U.S. foreign policy, its another to denegrate our anthem at a sporting event. We can respectfully disagree on issues but when we reach the point where French Fries are renamed and our anthem is booed at hockey games you realize that the idiots have far too loud of a voice. Keep your eye on the ball people, this isn't a TV show.
SFgate with a piece on bloggers on the front.

That is a danger inherent in the medium, warns Paul Grabowicz, new media program director at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. "We're getting into some treacherous waters here," he said. "If there's not an editor reading it before it goes up, it's taking away a safeguard that's a sensible one in journalism -- to make sure you get it right before it's published."

Scott Rosenberg of Salon has a different take, "Most blogging is a kind of armchair commentary kind of thing rather than field reporting, but that may change," Rosenberg said. A blog, he said, explodes the traditional concept of carefully working on a story with an editor.

"It puts you in a position where you're just streaming information at a reader," he said. "That can be creative and exciting. I can see someone doing innovative and valuable things with that, and I can see it being a waste of time."

Rich, oh so rich. Not only is the New York Times wrong about the War, they don't even have a clue about what's going in California. Kudos to Heather Havrilesky for (as always) nailing it.

Oh, it's true! All we Californians can think about right now is the Oscars! LA is absolutely abuzz with talk of impeaching Bush, on the grounds that he's, like, totally messing with Joan Rivers' red carpet coverage!
Follow the Money-details emerge about France's business dealings with Iraq.
Light updates for the next few days. I am travelling. It's encouraging to know that the war to liberate Iraq is progressing well. We all pray that the Madman is dead and we can end this quickly and with little loss of life. As many have opined, this war will justify itself ex post facto. There are early indications of what we all knew and suspected, the Madman was a butcher hated by the people subjected to his tyranny. The difference between the real, dire circumstances that the Iraqi people live in and the vapid, self-obsessed, irrelevance of many in the streets of San Francisco are accentuated by this protest.


according to this report, the fighting has begun in earnest.
In these days of bombast it's always important to remember that war, ultimately reflects on, and affects people. Nice story from an Oregan paper about a group of infantrymen lead by an experienced soldier full of dread, and dreams, and hope for the future.

And on the other side (actually, if you think about it, these soldiers are on the same side as we are) its good to see that desertions of Iraqi soldiers is beginning before we've even started.

what is Bush thinking in regards to N.Korea? Jonathan Rauch throws out a theory.


Sean Gallagher proposes fighting Spam with Spam.
I just reread Blair's speechto the House of Commons and am awestruck by how reasoned yet impassioned it is. How wonderfully succinct and at the same time eloquent it is. It is, to me, is a moment as poetic, important, grave, and strangely wonderful as any I have seen in politics. As disgusted as I am by the capitulation of Chirac and crew, I am emboldened by Blair's words.

We then worked on a further compromise. We consulted the inspectors and drew up five tests based on the document they published on 7 March. Tests like interviews with 30 scientists outside of Iraq; production of the anthrax or documentation showing its destruction. The inspectors added another test: that Saddam should publicly call on Iraqis to cooperate with them. So we constructed this framework: that Saddam should be given a specified time to fulfil all six tests to show full cooperation; that if he did so the inspectors could then set out a forward work programme and that if he failed to do so, action would follow.
So clear benchmarks; plus a clear ultimatum. I defy anyone to describe that as an unreasonable position.
Last Monday, we were getting somewhere with it. We very nearly had majority agreement and I thank the Chilean President particularly for the constructive way he approached the issue.
There were debates about the length of the ultimatum. But the basic construct was gathering support.
Then, on Monday night, France said it would veto a second resolution whatever the circumstances. Then France denounced the six tests. Later that day, Iraq rejected them. Still, we continued to negotiate.
Last Friday, France said they could not accept any ultimatum. On Monday, we made final efforts to secure agreement. But they remain utterly opposed to anything which lays down an ultimatum authorising action in the event of non-compliance by Saddam.
Just consider the position we are asked to adopt. Those on the security council opposed to us say they want Saddam to disarm but will not countenance any new resolution that authorises force in the event of non-compliance.
That is their position. No to any ultimatum; no to any resolution that stipulates that failure to comply will lead to military action....The threat is chaos. And there are two begetters of chaos. Tyrannical regimes with WMD and extreme terrorist groups who profess a perverted and false view of Islam...
And these two threats have different motives and different origins but they share one basic common view: they detest the freedom, democracy and tolerance that are the hallmarks of our way of life.

Prior to rereading his speech I read a letter to the editor in the San Francisco newspaper lamenting the lack of eloquent voices (his letter referencing the ant-war side). We have found that voice, powerfully, concisely, accurately voicing the hopes, fears, and aspirations of those who thirst for a just and safe peace. Churchill is proud.
Another day another Ashcroft protest. San Francisco doing it our way.
Interesting read, "Open Letter to President Bush" by Vladimir Bukovsky and Elena Bonner. While bordering at times on hyperbole makes a strong claim for the notion that the U.S. must do a better job of picking its allies in the War on Terror. Mostly speaking from their experiences in Soviet Russia their words ring true, "There is nothing more dangerous in the war of ideas than the 'realpolitik' approach which brought us so many disasters in the past," they write. "After all, was not Osama bin Laden a byproduct of a similar 'marriage of convenience' at one point? Was it not true also in the case of Saddam Hussein? ... Will the United States ever learn this lesson, or will it continue forever to build up new enemies while fighting present ones?"
Tony Blair made a knockout speech to the house of Commons today and won an important and historical vote. For those of you who haven't read the speech, its worth it. Gotta go with Bushies on this one, its apparent that Iraq wasn't disarming, had no intentions to, and was clearly focusing on obstruction and deception. The sadder and possibly more tragic subtext is that the French were clearly being duplicitous.
Ah yes, once again. The 101 Dumbest moments in business for 2002.
Daniel Kruger offers a defense of neo-colonialism and an interesting parallel between Britian's fight against slavery and ours against religion-fueled terror.

A new doctrine of international order is emerging, of which the imminent war is a crucial outing. It is the doctrine of humanitarian intervention — or, to give it its proper name, neo-colonialism. This doctrine is driven by the firm belief — uncluttered by relativist self-loathing — in the universal principles of liberty and justice. It gives expression to our sense that everyone, not just the West, has a right to live in a decent country — and that the West has a duty to help them do so. In particular, it gives substance to the vacuities of the ‘ethical foreign policy’.
Clinton again comes out in support of the war.

As Blair has said, in war there will be civilian was well as military casualties. There is, too, as both Britain and America agree, some risk of Saddam using or transferring his weapons to terrorists. There is as well the possibility that more angry young Muslims can be recruited to terrorism. But if we leave Iraq with chemical and biological weapons, after 12 years of defiance, there is a considerable risk that one day these weapons will fall into the wrong hands and put many more lives at risk than will be lost in overthrowing Saddam.


David Friedman joins the world of blogging.
Interesting ideas about media bias. Wired writes that foreign websites are seeing an influx of US visitors, presumably because they can read ideas, reporting, and commentary through a lens other than the American media's. But in the "give us what we want to hear not what we need to know" category, the man charged with ensuring NPR's "balance" acknowledges that they lean heavily to one side. Even going so far as to say that when NPR interviewed Colin Powell they received e-mails by the score, all asking: "NPR! How could you?" towards the end of his mea culpa he states, As an audio companion, NPR needs to remain recognizable to its listeners; but as a news service, it needs to present a range of opinions that reflects reality -- no matter how uncomfortable that reality may be.
Good piece from MSNBC about why America is so feared, distrusted, and often disliked by "the World".
From mandatory seatbelt laws to the Patriot Act...Eugene Volokh & David Newman offer a reasoned defense of the slippery slope.


Today the SF Chronicle reports on a new philosophy class at U.C. Berkeley, "Simpsons and Philosophy". While not the first school to offer courses of this sort, its certainly one of the most prestigious.

A word of advice to all of those doubting academic highbrows out there.... This actually is an academically rigorous class, not a dumbing down of either philosophy or "The Simpsons."

Obviously the relationship between the Simpsons and pop-culture is well established, and the deeper meanings of the show have been plumbed. ("Can Nietzsche's rejection of traditional morality justify Bart's bad behavior?") I wonder, what insights have you gained from this show? Has it enlightened you? Made you reaffirm or question your faith ? Or is this all po-mo crap fueled by slackers looking for an excuse to get stoned and watch TV? Or maybe the weary nihilism of Homer Simpson sums it up best, "How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?"