Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Miscellaneous Links

A few interesting things, noticed while scanning the news:

A sample menu for the detainees of Guantanamo Bay. (Hat tip: PowerLine.) Not eating MREs three times a day, are they? (If you look closely, though, you can see on "Cycle Day 9" that the menu was prepared by Republicans. Dan Quayle Republicans, in fact -- how else do you explain the "Roasted Potatoe Wedge"?)

Bottom line: the diet is healthy, varied, and interesting, ranging from 2400 to 3000 Calories per day. (Items include Bayou Chicken Breast, Steamed Asparagus, Canned Pears, Lemon Pepper Fish... and pancakes for breakfast every other day. This is torture?)

(UPDATE: The Richmond Times-Dispatch weighs in: Rice Pilaf Again?! Not much new there, but it's fun to read.)

What's Good For The Goose Is Good For The Gander. (Hat tip: Smash.) Oh my goodness, that smarts!! (This is the location they're talking about, if you're curious.)

I didn't watch President Bush's Fort Bragg speech --we don't have cable television at home -- but I did read it. Frankly, I liked it a lot. (Some have complained that it's "just a rah-rah speech". Uh, it was a speech to American soldiers; of course it was a patriotic pep-talk speech! Little can energize a warrior more than a genuine statement of support from his commanders... and you can bet that American warriors, all over the world, were watching and listening.)

I'm puzzled by the complaints that Bush's speech "ties Iraq to 9/11". In the sense that both are mentioned in the same speech, yes, I suppose it does. But President Bush hasn't said that Iraq was responsible for 9/11, and he didn't say it last night either. (The closest approach, I suppose, would have been when he said: "We are fighting against men with blind hatred — and armed with lethal weapons — who are capable of any atrocity. They wear no uniform; they respect no laws of warfare or morality. They take innocent lives to create chaos for the cameras. They are trying to shake our will in Iraq — just as they tried to shake our will on September 11, 2001." And, sure enough, al-Qaeda perpetrated 9/11, and we're fighting the terrorists of al-Qaeda in Iraq now. This is perfectly true; what's wrong with saying that?)

My favorite comment on the speech, so far, is Professor Glenn's: 'Saw all but the first couple of minutes. A good job, I thought, though Bush's delivery is never impressive. (And he had that "Jeezus I can't believe I have to explain this stuff again! -- don't you guys read Den Beste?" expression from time to time...)'

UPDATE: James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's "Best of the Web" concurs:
Much of the criticism of the president's speech from the left has amounted to, as blogger Edward Morrissey puts it, "screaming every time 9/11 gets mentioned in connection with fighting terrorists." Even the Times, though straining to sound half reasonable, says that "we had hoped [Bush] would resist the temptation to raise the bloody flag of 9/11 over and over again to justify a war in a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorist attacks." Isn't this further evidence that Karl Rove got it exactly right?
He goes on to say:

But of course the liberation of Iraq had everything to do with 9/11. As Bush said last night:
The terrorists can kill the innocent, but they cannot stop the advance of freedom. The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September the 11th, if we abandon the Iraqi people to men like [Abu Musab al] Zarqawi, and if we yield the future of the Middle East to men like Bin Laden. For the sake of our nation's security, this will not happen on my watch.
Or, as Andrew Sullivan put it in March 2003:
Rather than simply forestall crises, postpone them, avoid them or fob them off onto others, Bush is actually doing the hard thing. He's calling for real democracy in the Middle East. He's aiming to make the long-standing U.S. policy of regime change in Iraq a reality. He actually wants to defeat Islamist terrorism, rather than make excuses for tolerating its cancerous growth.

The counterargument is that 9/11 was just a one-off, justifying maybe the liberation of Afghanistan (though the liberal left is not united even behind this proposition), but nothing more. In the case of Iraq, the idea seems to be that because Saddam Hussein did not personally fly the planes into the World Trade Center, he and Zarqawi should be free to kill as many Iraqis as they please.

Even if there was a reasonable argument against liberating Iraq, that debate was settled when Congress voted, overwhelmingly and with bipartisan support, to authorize the war in October 2002.

The President asked for Congressional authorization to go to war against Iraq, and got it. For Congress (among others) to complain now that the war was a terrible idea -- well, that's not only nonsense, it's also a specific attempt to undermine the war effort that they authorized.

Yes, I know, they claim to be complaining, not about the war per se, but about the way it's being run. But the only option they're willing to offer is to bring the troops home now. (You know my response to that, right?)

I haven't heard a Democrat on Capitol Hill say, specifically, that we ought to put Saddam back. No doubt it's just a matter of time.

UPDATE II: In re connections between Saddam's regime and international terror (al Qaeda or otherwise), Melanie Phillips has a lot to say, and says it quite well:
But the anti-war crowd is apparently shocked and horrified that the President made any link at all between Iraq and Islamic terror. Because for them it is an article of faith that there never was any such link and that the President, who always said there was, had lied. In fact, the evidence suggests that is the anti-war crowd which has done the lying.
There's a lot more, including a nice example of the New York Times acknowledging Saddam's support of terror -- and then contradicting themselves. (As Glenn Reynolds likes to say, they must think we don't know how to use Google, or something.)


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