"Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense."
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About the author
Andre Vladimir Sebastian is a figment of your imagination. Honestly, you really could have done better than him, now couldn't you? Next time, put a little effort into it.

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The Democrats' Worst Nightmare
Eight in ten Americans supports President Bush's decision to go to war, and three-fourths of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing as President, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Tom Daschle, call your offices, it's time to rethink that Bush-bashing election strategy.

  posted by AVS @ 11.4.03


"Everyone Should Die Who Did This"
The Washington Post has a moving story of an Iraqi mother who has lost everything to Saddam's tyranny. "We can say that all of Iraq is a big prison," she said, "because of Saddam Hussein and his people."Everyone should die who did this," she added. "I was not the only person who was tortured, many people were." She lost her brother, her marriage, her health, and one son, with two more sons in exile she knows not where -- all to Saddam. She was imprisoned and tortured and forced to swear loyalty to Saddam. She lost her house to allied bombs -- because the Baathist soldiers encamped in private homes in her neighborhood. Her biggest fear is that the coalition forces will leave and the Baathists will come back to power. How can people like Nancy Pelosi read stories like these and say the war effort wasn't worth the cost? How?

  posted by AVS @ 11.4.03

The Heartless Nancy Pelosi
Here is what the woman whom the Democratic Party freely chose to be its House leader said about the fall of Baghdad, The Washington Times has reported. "I have absolutely no regret about my vote [against] this war. The same questions remain. The cost in human lives, the cost to our budget, probably 100 billion. We could have brought down that statue for a lot less."

The highest-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House thinks we spent $100 billion and lost nearly 100 lives to pull down a statue? Why didn't she just come out and say, "No American boy should've died, and no American treasure should've beeb spent, for those brown-skinned towell-heads." That would have been only slightly more offensive, and if not representative of her views, more accurately representative of a good portion of the anti-war crowd, I would venture. Why is it they didn't protest against our sending the American "war machine" to oust Slobodan Milosovic? That one didn't have U.N. Security Council approval either.

I'm not saying they're consciously racist. But in the end, I think many anti-war protesters really perceive the expenditure of American blood and treasure to purchase the freedom of third-worlders as a bad trade-off. These are the same people who do everything they can to keep the Third World from progressing into the First, or even the Second, by halting economic development and political progress in those nations out of a desire to preserve whole countries as poverty-stricken vacation spots for adventuresome American tourists.

But I digress. My main point was that Nancy Pelosi is a heartless monster. How could she say something so cold-blooded? Is she really so callous as to wish the Iraqi people back into chains and servitude? Is she really saying that $100 million was too much to spend to liberate the Iraqis, that they aren't worth that much when we have social programs and NPR to fund back home?

My other question is, why doesn't any other major media outlet have this quote? It's not in The Washington Post or The New York Times, nor is it on the Web sites of CNN or Fox News, though I did hear Chris Matthews mention it on air last night. The New York Times covered the same press conference, but chose to run a different quote from Pelosi. Typical.

  posted by AVS @ 11.4.03

A Racist Culture
The Arab world today is smothered by a blanket of racism. Instead of being happy that their brothers in Iraq are finally free, the fall of Baghdad has made many Arabs ashamed that a non-Arab power has won a war against Arabs, as this Washington Post story reports.

Consider for a moment the difference between international organizations in the Arab world and the West. The West has the United Nations, NATO, the World Health Organization, and the European Union. The Arab world has the Arab League. Even the European Union restricts itself neither by race nor even very strictly by geography. The EU, which contains Italy and Spain as well as Germany and France, may very well allow Turkey into its fold. The Arab League, however, is strictly for Arabs. No Jews. No Caucasians. No Southeast Asians. The Arab world's hatred of America is driven probably as much by racist bigotry as religious intolerance. The comments from the "Arab street" bear this out as plain as day. And the racist hatred of the outside world seems to increase with education, not decrease, as a recent Science magazine article documented. This of course is the direct result of the Madras schools and other educational institutions that preach Arab nationalism and Islamic intolerance. When people say that Arabs are only mad at the United States because it supports Israel, this too stems from racism -- anti-Semitism.

The United States can help dissolve this by turning Iraq over to Iraqis as quickly as possible, showing that we have no imperial intentions. But it will be decades or more before the Arab world develops anywhere close to the level of racial tolerance that the Western world has developed. And that change probably can't occur until the region's leaders who foster this racism to help them stay in power are gone.

  posted by AVS @ 10.4.03


Pictures from a Liberation
Some nice shots of the grateful residents of Baghdad. Michael Moore and Tom Dashcle must be eating their hearts out.

Father holds up son to kiss U.S. soldier

U.S. soldier poses for pictures while holding an Iraqi baby

Kurds love Americans -- and Rocky!

Marine translator united with his son in Iraq

Iraqi immigrants celebrate

Putting his best foot forward -- on Saddam

Marines kill people, break things... then feed little girls

Bye, bye, Saddam

  posted by AVS @ 9.4.03


Happy Iraqis II
Even news organizations that bent over backwards to paint the war in Iraq as going very badly are leading all of their news casts or front pages with stories of the glee of the Iraqi people at the destruction of Saddam Hussein's regime. I think the most commonly used word in these stories is "jubilation." Here are some of the headlines:

Euphoria in Baghdad, BBC

Jubilant Iraqis Take To Streets, Washington Post

Jubilant Iraqis fill Baghdad streets as Saddam reign ends, Boston Globe

Jubilant crowds fill Baghdad streets, dancing, looting, defacing images of Hussein, Los Angeles Times

Residents Blare Horns, Dance and Empty Government Offices, New York Times

  posted by AVS @ 9.4.03

Democracy in Iraq?
Robert Kagan has an interesting column in today's Washington Post about what the U.S. should do to "win the peace" in Iraq. I don't agree with all of it, especially that we shouldn't hold grudges against France, Germany, and Belgium, but I do agree that we cannot win over Arab opinion unless we let Iraqis select their own government, even if that new government is not the one we would have chosen. Arabs completely expect the United States to impose its own puppet regime in Iraq. If we do, we will have dashed any chance at earning good will in the non-Iraqi Arab world as a result of this war, which most Arabs opposed. This is our one opportunity to prove to all Arabs, in a very meaningful and dramatic way, that we mean what we say when we preach about Democracy. We must not blow it.

  posted by AVS @ 9.4.03

Americans Bag Baghdad!
Baghdad has fallen, and five observations come immediately to mind. 1. So, uh, where's the quagmire, R.W. Apple Jr.? Three weeks of war, and the country is ours. About as different from Vietnam as a war can get. 2. Watching the TV images, it looks like Baghdad was invaded by the international press corps, with support from the U.S. military. There must be 5 reporters to every soldier or Marine. 3. Saddam may be gone, but Islamic oppression remains. Try to find a woman among the celebrating Iraqis. There all at home, it looks like. 4. Baghdad residents are waving American flags and cheering U.S. troops, and aside from sporadic sniper fire no resistance is being reported. So much for the theory that the Iraqis will hate us for "invading" their country. 5. I'm glad U.S. troops took Iraqi national television and radio to tell the country it is finally free of Saddam's rule, but I would have enjoyed seeing the Iraqi information minister pounding the podium this morning and explaining how Americans are really not in Baghdad, despite the tanks and armored personnel carriers driving by.

  posted by AVS @ 9.4.03

R.I.P. Michael Kelly
Washington Post columnist Michael Kelly was killed in a Humvee accident in Iraq last week, which was a tragedy for American journalism. Kelly wasn't the most well-known or the most well-paid or the most controversial columnist in America, or even on the Post staff. But he was one of the most amazing journalists in the country. His writing sparkled, his thinking glowed, and his wit lacerated. I've linked to a few tributes to him and to some of his work. If you aren't familiar with him, check him out. Even if you disagree with what he said, you have to admire the way he said it.

Atlantic Monthly statement

Washington Post statement

Union Leader editorial

George Will statement

Slate summary of Kelly's career

Flak Magazine statement

Kelly's Atlantic Monthly articles

Kelly's Washington Post columns

  posted by AVS @ 8.4.03


Back online
My ISP wouldn't let me on for the past week and a half. Everything is functioning now. I'll resume regular posts this evening.

  posted by AVS @ 8.4.03

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