Archive for April 2003

Your Attention Please

Funny cartoon. Thanks to Little Green Footballs for the heads up.

Broken Watch is Right Twice in One Day

Broken Watch is Right Twice in One Day

For once, I agree with Peter Arnett. I have been thinking about what is going on with the “bombing of Saddam”, and I have what I think is a plausible explaination. Assume that Saddam is indeed still alive and this wasn’t directed at another leader. Assume that we had valid intel that pointed to Saddam getting ready to go to this restruant.

One of our over-arching goals is to take Baghdad as intact as possible. We know that when we corner Saddam, there is going to be a fierce fight, and it may even be a suicidal one where WMDs are involved. What we need to do is flush him out of Baghdad.

If we know that he is about to move, then we can use that to our advantage. Drop a bomb right before he gets there. You know what I would do if I was in that situation? I’d get the fuck out of dodge. The rumor was that he was about to flee to Tikrit; I think this might have been intended as a little shove to get him moving.

If it was our intent, we might have been a little more effective than we anticipated. There is an AP wire saying he is at the Russian embassy, but the Russians are denying it.

Images of Liberation

I’ve been watching the fall of Baghdad. (I’ve had to watch CNN because I don’t get Fox here at work.) This is an event that I will remember vivdly for a long time. I still remember the Berlin Wall falling. These images feel the same way. I will remember the statue in the Square. There was a crowd around it, and a man — a strong man, heavily muscled — brought a sledgehammer. I immediately thought back to the Berlin Wall, and I have to wonder if the sledgehammer will become the modern symbol of liberation. He took several swings, the crowd cheering louder on each swing.

Then, he took the hammer, and he simply handed it to the man next to him, who was grasping for it. I had to leave at that time for work, and I think I missed what should be the image of the war. The scene was being described on the radio, and the announcer said that a boy, eight or ten, came up to take his swings. He was unable to lift the hammer; it was too heavy for him. One of the men stepped up and helped him swing the hammer. I hope that this image will be replayed so I can see it.

Their long supressed anger is an incredible rush for a lover of liberty like myself. I watched the Americans help the Iraqis pull the statue down, and then the Iraqis remove the head from the statue to drag it around the city. I am a little frightened by the viciousness with which the Iraqis strike at the statue, at any image of Saddam, from posters to statues to effigies, like a lynch mob — but I understand it. I am thankful that I have never had an opportunity to build up that degree of hate.

The people of Iraq want to be free. The reports from the troops still fighting in the city is that they are not fighting Iraqis anymore. They are fighting Syrians, and Saudis, and Jordanians, and Egyptians. These are the people who hate America more than they want Iraqis to be free. The Iraqis will remember this, and so will America.

ArabNews: Another Day of Fire, Pain and Death

Or, Robert Fisk is Still an Idiot

BAGHDAD, 9 April 2003 — Day 20 of America’s war for the “liberation” of Iraq was another day of fire, pain and death. It started with an attack by two A-10 jets which danced in the air like acrobats, tipping on one wing, sliding down the sky to turn on another, and spraying burning phosphorus into the skies to mislead heat-seeking missiles before turning their cannons on a government ministry and plastering it with depleted uranium shells. The day ended in blood-streaked hospital corridors and with three foreign correspondents dead and five wounded.

Actually, the A-10 fires both DU (depleted uranium) and HE (High Explosive) shells from the autocannon. Because there are few tanks in Baghdad, it is more than able to handle them with Hellfire missiles and save the cannon for soft targets. When strafing targets like lightly armored vehicles and buildings, HE is preferred. All of the informed reports I have seen say that the A-10s are being loaded with HE only (which only makes sense.)

The A-10s passed my bedroom window, so close I could see the cockpit perspex, with their trail of stars dripping from their wingtips, a magical, dangerous performance fit for any air show, however infernal its intent. But when they turned their DU shells — intended for use against heavy armor — against the already wrecked Iraqi Ministry for Planning, the effect was awesome. The A-10’s cannon-fire sounds like heavy wooden furniture being moved in an empty room, a kind of final groan, before the rounds hit their target.

Not firing DU, Bob. Sorry.

When they did, the red-painted ministry — a gaunt and sinister building beside the Jumhuriyah Bridge over the Tigris which I have always suspected to be an intelligence headquarters — lit up with a thousand red and orange pin-points of light. From the building came a great and dense cloud of white smoke, much of which must have contained the aerosol DU spray that so many doctors and military veterans fear causes cancers. Then a set of F-18 jets swept so low over Baghdad that you could sense the confidence of their pilots. A single anti-aircraft missile soared into the gray skies, a bright red light moving at astonishing speed, but far too slow for the Americans jets.

First, they aren’t firing DU. What he is describing is the effects of an HE shell, not a DU penetrator. Also, DU does not aeresolize unless it hits a significant armor plate. It aeresolizes when you fire it through the front plate of a tank; if you fire it through a wall, then it stays intact due to its density. That density is why we use uranium.

In other words, Robert Fisk is still an idiot.

Research Group To Find Word That Actually Offends White People

Research Group To Find Word That Actually Offends White People

Similarly, “redneck” is now used among white people, often with pride. “White people stole that one from us,” complained rapper Dr. Dre, former member of the rap group NWA (Niggaz With Attitude). “That is just wrong of them to take the word we made to offend them and use it amongst themselves. It defeats the purpose. This nigga ain’t down with that shit.”

Saving Private Lynch from an artificial legacy

Kathleen Parker: Saving Private Lynch from an artificial legacy

No question about it: Jessica Lynch is a star, a darling young woman who deserves our hearts and admiration. But she is also something else that we fail to note at our peril – not a product of the feminist oligarchy, but the offspring of a traditional American family with a strong father and a big brother who says he’ll probably tackle his sister when he sees her.

People who have grown up Southern and country with a father and brother don’t need a screenwriter or gender-studies expert to explain how Jessica Lynch survived her ordeal. It had nothing to do with loins girded by feminist dogma. You can bet your satellite dish that Jessica has never studied “The Vagina Monologues” or gone in search of her inner goddess.

Outdoor girls like Jessica often know how to shoot a shotgun and bait their own fishhooks; they can locate water by studying treetops and know how to a tie tourniquet, as well as cut a cross in their own flesh to suck a snake’s venom; they’ve been taught to tell on sight what’s poisonous and what’s not.

One can reasonably wager that Jessica Lynch can, too.

In other words, there is nothing new about Private Lynch. She is just like every woman in my family — a smart, savy woman.
Having grown up under the tutelage of a brawny brother and an admiring father, she also probably knows how to read a man’s eyes, knows when to fight and when to shut down. If she was brave and tough and determined, it is because she had a father who gave her those gifts, which only a father can provide. The same father, incidentally, that the feminist guard, now breast-beating around the ERA campfires, has tried determinedly to eradicate from the American home.
This is something that I hadn’t considered in the equasion, but I think it is a vital part. It makes sense. Without a healthy male and female role model, people tend to get screwed up. When they have healthy parent figures, then they get strong. Of course, I would chalk a lot of it up to the Appalachian stock that has served me so well.
Yes, Jessica Lynch took it like a man – or like a strong girl bred from good American stock. But she never wanted to be a soldier, only a kindergarten teacher. She saw the Army as a means to that end as well as a way out of her impoverished hometown.

While we might applaud her courage in leaving the familiarity of home for an unforeseeable future, we might not want to appropriate Lynch’s resume as a recruiting vehicle. The military isn’t and should never be construed as a ticket to college or just another career option.

As we have witnessed these past few weeks, it is a mean human machine designed primarily to take the lives of other human beings. If such is not one’s taste or inclination – and I suspect they were never Jessica’s – then a day job and night classes might be a better route.

Finally, on the matter of women’s combat-worthiness, any visitor to the obstetrics ward knows that women are as tough as men. But an environment that puts women unwillingly at the disposal of men is never an argument for equality. It is quite vividly the opposite.

Hear, hear.

All Your Base Are Belong to U.S.

All Your Base Are Belong to U.S.