When Ideology Trumps Common Sense

You can file this one under “What Are These People Smoking?” In fact, that would make a good category here:

Fired for walking into his office drunk, toting a loaded, sawed-off shotgun and saying he was looking for his bosses, a Canadian man wants his union to help him get his job back. … The city of Moncton dismissed him, but a week later Pavlovsky went to his union to protest the firing and members agreed the union should help him try to get his job back once he finishes his prison term [emphasis mine].

Someone tell me this is satire, because this is something I’d expect in a fevered-nightmare hypothetical from the fringe right wing. The union is going to fight to get this guy back in the office, after showing up for work with a loaded illegal weapon, intending to kill people? Cases like these are why non-idiotarians have such an issue with organized labor. Far too often it’s not about building better work conditions for its members — it’s about protecting the idiots from the normal consequences of their own actions.

USS Clueless Captures the Philosophy of America at War

Steven den Beste at USS Clueless captures my thinking exactly, in explaining to an Iranian about why and how America goes to war:

It’s not a question of my nation making a decision whether people will die. Islamic militants made that decision. America’s only decision now is who will die, and where and when. If we stand by idly and passively, then it will be Americans who die, whenever and wherever the Islamic extremists choose to kill them, probably in huge numbers.
We don’t consider that acceptable. That’s surrender. That’s not going to happen.
Instead, we’re attempting to take control of events, in hopes that we can minimize the total number of deaths caused by this war. That’s why we’ve embarked on the highly risky and unprecedented strategy we’re following. If we were only concerned with minimizing American casualties and if we didn’t care about anyone else, then every major Muslim city on the planet would have been vaporized by September 15, 2001, and the war would have ended in a week.

Well put, and be sure to read the entire post; it’s extensive and thoughtful, just what you’d expect from den Beste (and I’ve added USS Clueless to the blogroll, too). I only disagree with one part of his post, and that takes my response to the Iranian in a different direction.
Steven claims that the Islamofascist war started on 9/11, and that’s only true if you count from the time most Americans realized that they were at war. Our war with Islamofascism started in Teheran in 1979, and has continued off and on ever since. Our feckless response to the sacking of our embassy — which is an internationally recognized casus belli — encouraged various radical Islamist groups to take ever-bolder actions against American interests.
You ask what actions we take make us feel contradictory to our purposes and our principles. I reply to you that you are facing the diminishing options that Islamofascists have left us. Your country sacked our embassy and held diplomats hostage for 444 days, and we negotiated. We went to Lebanon to maintain peace and Hezb’ Allah (financed, again, by your country) killed 243 of our troops; we pulled out. Islamic Jihad and Hezb’ Allah (financed, again, by your country) kidnapped American citizens who were trying to educate Muslims and report fairly on their difficulties and held them hostage for years; we negotiated directly with your country and released financial assets held in dispute since 1979, as well as sold them military hardware. Muslims were threatened in Somalia with starvation; we fed them, and when the aid was held up by warlords, we attempted to stop the warlords from starving Muslims. When we were attacked, we left Somalia.
When Islamofascists bombed our World Trade Center in 1993, we treated it as a law-enforcement problem, and tried and convicted those who conspired to kill the six people who died in the attacks. When Muslims were threatened in the Balkans, we committed our troops to protect them from the Serbs, and they are there to this day, protecting them throughout the Balkans. When our embassies in Africa were bombed and hundreds of people were killed, we treated it as a law-enforcement problem, and again when our Navy was attacked in Yemen by the same Islamofascists, we sent the FBI to search for them.
After all of that, when Islamofascists funded by the various kleptocracies finally and inevitably struck catastrophically in our own country, killing 3,000 civilians, do you really expect us to repeat the same, failed strategies, or try something new, in the hope that the message might start to get through the thick skulls over there that we were finished with those approaches? We have decided that after 24 years of retreating and, negotiating, Middle Eastern extremists were not going to respond to a 25th year of it. America gave up on your ability to police your own house, and now we are going to police it for you. If you don’t like it, you have no one to blame but yourselves.
And Steve is correct — you had better pray that the Islamofascists don’t pull something really spectacular here in the US, like a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack. So far, we’re trying very hard to only target those government structures that directly support terrorism or are defying international agreements. If something very ugly happens here, you can bet we will not be anywhere near that particular about our targets or our enemies, and every one of the nations that support terrorism will feel the blowback. Most likely, starting with yours.
If your government wants to avoid that outcome, then it had better stop supporting and sheltering terrorists who attack Americans. Period. We’ve waited 24 years for the mullahs to grow the f**k up. Our patience has run out.

Why Is This Man Smiling?

Every time this idiot involves himself in international politics, I thank God he only served as President for four years.

While appearing in Geneva, Jimmy Carter managed to blame Bush for Mideast violence, blame Jews for their own destruction, and argue for rewarding terrorism with territory, all in one speech (from the Jerusalem Post, via Power Line):

Former US President Jimmy Carter unleashed a fierce attack against the Israeli and American governments in his speech at the Geneva Initiative’s ceremony in Switzerland. … In Geneva, Carter said Israel’s settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the security fence are the main obstacles to peace. He called repeatedly for the return of Palestinian refugees to the territories, beyond what is called for in the Geneva Initiative. … Carter said that is of equal importance that Palestinians renounce violence against Israeli citizens, but he said this must happen in exchange for commitment to the Geneva Initiative.

You’ll have to read through the whole thing to get the true flavor of Carter’s continuing idiocy. Just to recap Carter’s bona fides as a statesman-at-large:
* Carter undercut Clinton in Haiti, arranging a peace deal that eventually collapsed of its own weight
* Carter undercut Clinton again with North Korea, arranging a deal that allowed Kim Jong-Il to easily mask its nuclear program and stopped Clinton from preventing North Korea from arming itself with WMDs
* Carter excoriated Bush for his policy on Afghanistan and Iraq while accepting a Nobel Peace Prize, which its sponsors admitted was awarded to Carter to rebuke Bush and America
Jimmy Carter, who can do so much good when he’s not meddling in foreign policy, has been an absolute disaster as an ex-President. After the debacles of his presidency — Teheran and Afghanistan, among others — it’s hard to believe that he could do more damage to Western security out of office than in, but he’s sure trying his best. As Power Line states:

It used to be the case that politics stopped at the water’s edge. It used to be the case that American politicians refrained from criticism of the president of the United States on foreign soil. It used to be the case that former presidents exercised self-restraint in commenting on the performance of their successors in office. Mister Peanut has inadvertently offered powerful evidence of the wisdom of these traditions.
It must be irrefutable proof of the existence of God and of His providential design that the United States of America survived the presidency of this cretin.

Dru Sjodin Breaking News

This wasn’t the kind of news we were hoping was coming when the media announced a break in the Dru Sjodin case:

A Crookston, Minn., man has been arrested and is facing a kidnapping charge in the disappearance of Dru Sjodin, police said. Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., 50, was arrested on Monday at 7:20 p.m. in Crookston, Grand Forks police said.

What’s most disturbing is the last paragraph in the necessarily terse statement:

Police said a search for Sjodin is ongoing. Police said no further information will be released until a press briefing on Tuesday morning.

Unfortunately for the Sjodin family, an arrest without recovering Dru alive looks like we’re not going to get good news in tomorrow’s briefing. I’m trying to keep my hopes up, but this is tough to hear.
I’m not sure why this case resonates with me so much. I suppose it could be that Dru is close to the same age as my son and daughter-in-law, and they’re both students, too. I think it’s more about the circumstances of Dru’s disappearance; one moment she’s talking with her boyfriend on her cell phone, and then he hears, “Oh, my God,” and that’s the last anyone has heard from her. It doesn’t help that three scumwads tried to adbuct a 17-year-old girl last Friday in Hermantown.
In the next few days, we’ll be hearing more about how young women can protect themselves from abduction attempts like these, and that will be good information for their security, but you know what else it is? It’s bull****. It insinuates, oh so subtly, that somehow Dru and that 17-year-old in Hermantown were just a little bit complicit in these attacks. They didn’t do something right; they didn’t “check their six”; they dressed too flashy, or made too much eye contact, or blah blah blah. It’s wrong. Dru didn’t disappear because she was foolish — she disappeared because some scumwad decided that his urges outweighed her right to live her life, and that’s all.
Let’s continue praying that Dru will be found alive and unharmed; in fact, let’s pray for all of those who have been abducted and held against their will. God willing, maybe tomorrow will bring good news.
UPDATE: I’ve posted more on the story here, and heard some bad news here.

2003 Weblog Awards at Wizbang

Wizbang has announced the nomination process for the 2003 Weblog Awards, which I found via Power Line this morning. Wizbang has done a nice job in setting up categories and processing nominations. Take a look and add those blogs you think deserve some recognition.
In my case, I’ve nominated Power Line for both Best Overall Blog and Best Group Blog. Not only does Power Line consistently deliver thoughtful and timely commentary (even on rare occasions where I disagree), but they also maintain a unified voice, which is difficult to do when group blogging. Also, for complete disclosure, Power Line has linked to CQ on a number of occasions, even if I have been a bit of an e-mail pest from time to time, and have been very encouraging to me as I’ve started blogging.
I also took the initiative to nominate myself in the Best New Blog category. I don’t know who started when, so I can’t say if I deserve even the nomination, but what the heck. When the nominations are closed, I will post my votes for the categories, and we can debate all we want at that point. I’m hoping to use the nomination process as a means of discovering some really good blogs that may have escaped my notice so far.
Please also note that I’m adding Wizbang to the blogroll; it’s an excellent blog, and volunteering for this duty (especially after all the shenanigans at the TTLB Ecosystem) shows a great commitment to the blogosphere.
UPDATE: I corrected my brain fade and actually linked to the nominations post at Wizbang. Durrrrrrr …

We Told You So, Part 47-B

Glenn at Instapundit directed readers to this extremely interesting story at the New York Times:

For two years before the American invasion of Iraq, Mr. Hussein’s sons, generals and front companies were engaged in lengthy negotiations with North Korea, according to computer files discovered by international inspectors and the accounts of Bush administration officials.
The officials now say they believe that those negotiations — mostly conducted in neighboring Syria, apparently with the knowledge of the Syrian government — were not merely to buy a few North Korean missiles. Instead, the goal was to obtain a full production line to manufacture, under an Iraqi flag, the North Korean missile system, which would be capable of hitting American allies and bases around the region, according to the Bush administration officials.

So much for Saddam not being a threat to America and its interests! And would we have found out about this without first capturing Baghdad, Iraq’s military and intelligence officials, and its records?

Investigators said information downloaded from Iraqi computer hard drives, at least one of which was obtained before the invasion of Iraq, allowed them to more specifically interrogate detained members of Mr. Hussein’s inner circle. They, in turn, guided investigators deeper into the mountain of official documents seized during the war.
“You do that, sort of a back-and-forth process,” said one American official. “You find something on a computer disk or in the pile of documents slowly being translated. That makes you ask questions of the detainees. Then you bounce back to the documents and so forth. That’s how you get the bigger picture.”

In other words, no. We would likely have remained in the dark regarding Saddam’s efforts to produce (not just purchase) missile technology that clearly violated UN resolutions and the terms of the 1991 cease-fire. Not that we need any further justification for our actions — if the mass graves and the reneging of 16 UNSC resolutions doesn’t convince you, nothing will — but this is indicative of the type of information that will be coming to light now that we have removed the Ba’athists from power. We’ll also see how much of this gets covered by the national news media, although it’s certainly encouraging to see this in the New York Times.
Note also that Syria played the role of broker in this illegal arms deal, putting themselves in the middleman role while voting on Security Council resolutions that denied this technology to Iraq:

It also establishes that Syria was a major arms-trading bazaar for the Hussein government, in this case hiding an Iraqi effort to obtain missiles, they say. Investigators say Syria had probably offered its ports and territory as the surreptitious transit route for the North Korea-Iraq missile deal, although it remains unclear what demands the government in Damascus might have made in return. Further, according to United States government officials and international investigators, the Iraqi official who brokered the deal, Munir Awad, is now in Syria, apparently living under government protection.
If it served as a middleman in this deal, as the documents suggest, Syria was acting in violation of Security Council resolutions even as it served on the Council and voted with the United States on the most important resolution before the war.

This points up the absolute folly of demanding UN or UNSC approval for any actions taken in defense of American security. If the UN were a collection of liberal democracies, we would have no problem in negotiating issues in good faith (in fact, we would likely have no problems requiring the use of force anyway). As it is, the UN mostly consists of dictators and kleptocracies, most of whom are not friendly to the US or the West in particular or towards democracy and human rights in general. Any politician who demands UN approval for our foreign policy is effectively placing our security into the hands of people most likely to violate it in the first place.
UPDATE: Power Line looks at this story a bit more critically than I did at first; while I applaud the Times for publishing the story, I would have to agree with Hindrocket that the article tends to paint the Bush administration poorly:

Of course, the Times being the Times, it can’t just admit that the attempted missile deal demonstrates that Saddam was a danger to the region, as the administration has consistently said. Rather than saying, “the administration has been proved right,” the Times says: “Bush administration officials have seized on the attempted purchase of the missiles, known as the Rodong, and a missile assembly line to buttress their case that Mr. Hussein was violating United Nations resolutions, which clearly prohibited missiles of the range of the Rodong.”

I guess the Times just can’t stop being the Times, even when it gets something right.

Players Are Haters

According to Matt Drudge, a group of Hollywood elite will be meeting tomorrow night in an event titled “Hate Bush”:

Top Hollywood activists and intellectuals are planning to gather this week in Beverly Hills for an event billed as ‘Hate Bush,’ the DRUDGE REPORT has learned!
Laurie David [wife of SEINFELD creator Larry David] has sent out invites to the planned Tuesday evening meeting at the Hilton with the bold heading: ‘Hate Bush 12/2 – Event’

The event is being chaired by Harold Ickes, a former Clinton chief of staff, and Ellen Malcolm, who founded Emily’s List. Among the intellectual luminaries invited are: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, whose career stalled out after “Seinfeld” went off the air; Lyn Lear, Norman’s wife; actor Daniel Stern; Marge Tabankin, described by Drudge as “Barbara Streisand’s philanthropic and political guru”; and Heather Thomas, best known as a pin-up model in the 1980s. Also on the list are a number of agents and producers, all of whom are assumably big donors to the Democratic party. The main connecting thread between all of the Hollywood contingent appears to be that none of them have been professionally successful in the past 10 years, which explains why they’re all haters.
Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, these people have every right to get together for their little hate-in. In fact, I hope that develops as the dominant theme for the next election. “Vote for [insert generic Democrat here], because we really hate George Bush!!” If this puerile, middle-school effort is the best this crowd can generate as a rallying cry, it explains why their professional product stinks and their political product is doomed. Look for the knee-jerk Hollywood reaction of “McCarthyism!!” when this effort gets criticized, as we must remember that free speech is reserved for big movie stars and the sycophants that support/feed off them.