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Monday, March 31, 2003
 
Brilliant! Things to consider if you've thrown your support behind the war. Via Textism. By the way, I had a very nice weekend.

A WARMONGER EXPLAINS WAR TO A PEACENIK

By Anonymous

PeaceNik: Why did you say we are we invading Iraq?

WarMonger: We are invading Iraq because it is in violation of security council resolution 1441. A country cannot be allowed to
violate security council resolutions.

PN: But I thought many of our allies, including Israel, were in violation of more security council resolutions than Iraq.

WM: It's not just about UN resolutions. The main point is that Iraq could have weapons of mass destruction, and the first sign
of a smoking gun could well be a mushroom cloud over NY.

PN: Mushroom cloud? But I thought the weapons inspectors said Iraq had no nuclear weapons.

WM: Yes, but biological and chemical weapons are the issue.

PN: But I thought Iraq did not have any long range missiles for attacking us or our allies with such weapons.

WM: The risk is not Iraq directly attacking us, but rather terrorists networks that Iraq could sell the weapons to.

PN: But coundn't virtually any country sell chemical or biological materials? We sold quite a bit to Iraq in the eighties
ourselves, didn't we?

WM: That's ancient history. Look, Saddam Hussein is an evil man that has an undeniable track record of repressing his own
people since the early eighties. He gasses his enemies. Everyone agrees that he is a power-hungry lunatic murderer.

PN: We sold chemical and biological materials to a power-hungry lunatic murderer?

WM: The issue is not what we sold, but rather what Saddam did. He is the one that launched a pre-emptive first strike on
Kuwait.

PN: A pre-emptive first strike does sound bad. But didn't our ambassador to Iraq, April Gillespie, know about and green-light
the invasion of Kuwait?

WM: Let's deal with the present, shall we? As of today, Iraq could sell its biological and chemical weapons to Al Quaida.
Osama BinLaden himself released an audio tape calling on Iraqis to suicide-attack us, proving a partnership between the two.

PN: Osama Bin Laden? Wasn't the point of invading Afghanistan to kill him?

WM: Actually, it's not 100% certain that it's really Osama Bin Laden on the tapes. But the lesson from the tape is the same:
there could easily be a partnership between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein unless we act.

PN: Is this the same audio tape where Osama Bin Laden labels Saddam a secular infidel?

WM: You're missing the point by just focusing on the tape. Powell presented a strong case against Iraq.

PN: He did?

WM: Yes, he showed satellite pictures of an Al Quaeda poison factory in Iraq.

PN: But didn't that turn out to be a harmless shack in the part of Iraq controlled by the Kurdish opposition?

WM: And a British intelligence report...

PN: Didn't that turn out to be copied from an out-of-date graduate student paper?

WM: And reports of mobile weapons labs...

PN: Weren't those just artistic renderings?

WM: And reports of Iraqis scuttling and hiding evidence from inspectors...

PN: Wasn't that evidence contradicted by the chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix?

WM: Yes, but there is plenty of other hard evidence that cannot be revealed because it would compromise our security.

PN: So there is no publicly available evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

WM: The inspectors are not detectives, it's not their JOB to find evidence. You're missing the point.

PN: So what is the point?

WM: The main point is that we are invading Iraq because resolution 1441 threatened "severe consequences." If we do not act,
the security council will become an irrelevant debating society.

PN: So the main point is to uphold the rulings of the security council?

WM: Absolutely. ...unless it rules against us.

PN: And what if it does rule against us?

WM: In that case, we must lead a coalition of the willing to invade Iraq.

PN: Coalition of the willing? Who's that?

WM: Britain, Turkey, Bulgaria, Spain, and Italy, for starters.

PN: I thought Turkey refused to help us unless we gave them tens of billions of dollars.

WM: Nevertheless, they may now be willing.

PN: I thought public opinion in all those countries was against war.

WM: Current public opinion is irrelevant. The majority expresses its will by electing leaders to make decisions.

PN: So it's the decisions of leaders elected by the majority that is important?

WM: Yes.

PN: But George Bush wasn't elected by voters. He was selected by the U.S. Supreme C...-

WM: I mean, we must support the decisions of our leaders, however they were elected, because they are acting in our best
interest. This is about being a patriot. That's the bottom line.

PN: So if we do not support the decisions of the president, we are not patriotic?

WM: I never said that.

PN: So what are you saying? Why are we invading Iraq?

WM: As I said, because there is a chance that they have weapons of mass destruction that threaten us and our allies.

PN: But the inspectors have not been able to find any such weapons.

WM: Iraq is obviously hiding them.

PN: You know this? How?

WM: Because we know they had the weapons ten years ago, and they are still unaccounted for.

PN: The weapons we sold them, you mean?

WM: Precisely.

PN: But I thought those biological and chemical weapons would degrade to an unusable state over ten years.

WM: But there is a chance that some have not degraded.

PN: So as long as there is even a small chance that such weapons exist, we must invade?

WM: Exactly.

PN: But North Korea actually has large amounts of usable chemical, biological, AND nuclear weapons, AND long range missiles
that can reach the west coast AND it has expelled nuclear weapons inspectors, AND threatened to turn America into a sea of
fire.

WM: That's a diplomatic issue.

PN: So why are we invading Iraq instead of using diplomacy?

WM: Aren't you listening? We are invading Iraq because we cannot allow the inspections to drag on indefinitely. Iraq has been
delaying, deceiving, and denying for over ten years, and inspections cost us tens of millions.

PN: But I thought war would cost us tens of billions.

WM: Yes, but this is not about money. This is about security.

PN: But wouldn't a pre-emptive war against Iraq ignite radical Muslim sentiments against us, and decrease our security?

WM: Possibly, but we must not allow the terrorists to change the way we live. Once we do that, the terrorists have already
won.

PN: So what is the purpose of the Department of Homeland Security, color-coded terror alerts, and the Patriot Act? Don't these
change the way we live?

WM: I thought you had questions about Iraq.

PN: I do. Why are we invading Iraq?

WM: For the last time, we are invading Iraq because the world has called on Saddam Hussein to disarm, and he has failed to do
so. He must now face the consequences.

PN: So, likewise, if the world called on us to do something, such as find a peaceful solution, we would have an obligation to
listen?

WM: By "world", I meant the United Nations.

PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the United Nations?

WM: By "United Nations" I meant the Security Council.

PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the Security Council?

WM: I meant the majority of the Security Council.

PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the majority of the Security Council?

WM: Well... there could be an unreasonable veto.

PN: In which case?

WM: In which case, we have an obligation to ignore the veto.

PN: And if the majority of the Security Council does not support us at all?

WM: Then we have an obligation to ignore the Security Council.

PN: That makes no sense.

WM: If you love Iraq so much, you should move there. Or maybe France, with all the other cheese-eating surrender monkeys. It's
time to boycott their wine and cheese, no doubt about that.

PN: I give up!

Posted 11:29 AM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Monday, March 24, 2003
 
Paring down my CD collection, giving each one its "last chance" before it goes in the "what was I thinking?!?" pile. A thick layer of dust had settled over them and I began to wonder what was the use of having things you just don't use? They take up space, gather dust and then become a nightmare to catalogue for fire insurance purposes. Yes, we had a small mishap with the rather elderly, shall I say, neighbour down below on the main floor. The Burnt Ham incident wasn't so much frightening as concerning. We all suspect he is greatly incapacitated and his daily quality of life is questionable (if the stench of built-up human grime and urine that soaks out into the street on those hot humid Montreal august days is any indication).

Back to the music. For a while I specialized in buying singles, vinyl or CD, and I'm finding that the singles are faring the test of time much better than albums. The art of the b-side (not the contemporary laziness of the b-side re-mix version #1, #2 and #3), where you're given this rare opportunity to discover a more experimental or playful gem that never would have made it onto the tightly marketed and controlled full-length, is the best invention in music, ever. Right up there with mp3s.

So computer connection still fritzed but I'm finding life without daily obsessive internet overload is pleasant. Leisurely walks and fresh air, and the daily witnessing of winter's slow departure and spring's sneaking softness. I still can't help but quickly check my email everyday, and part of that is business, but if I can avoid the internet and computer I do. Lately I've used it to research incident light meters, tripods, video cards and other items on the shopping list. All the news on Irak, well, to be honest with you, I find it much easier on the heart if I listen to the radio versus see all the graphic images and lame-assed journalist and politician posturing or speculating. Just tell me when it's over, and how many we will have to mourn this time.

At work the other day, I actually received a call from an American who wanted to know why the Canadians had booed the Americans at the recent NY Islanders-Montreal Canadians game in Montreal. He actually tried to call the Bell Centre but got transferred to us. This didn't seem to faze his dog-like insistence in harrassing me with the question. I'd heard about the incident. I knew there would be "relationship consequences" with the U.S. But just because I'm Canadian doesn't mean I'm responsible for every undiplomatic hotheaded moron out there, Canadian, American or otherwise.

Trying to politely get the man off the phone, uncomfortable to even be talking to an American about the subject, a subject I feel strongly about, I became increasingly tense when I realized I would have to be firm or rude with him. The recent news of the American POWs was something I was still digesting when I got that call, and I was only just becoming comfortable with the idea of talking to the American clients. The temptation to ask them if in fact President Bush has any concern for anyone's safety or lives is so strong, I had to bite my tongue the first few days.

The man became more aggressive, and my pointing out that he had randomly called me, was harrassing a complete stranger unassociated with the event, was in fact prejudging me when I was having a hell of a hard time not prejudging him (but, man! was he giving me some serious ammo), was calling the wrong person, etc, etc, get off the phone you-idiot-i-do-not-want-to-hang-up-on-you-because-i-do-feel-bad-for-you-and-the-position-Bush-put-you-in damn you! That last bit I kept to myself, but let me tell you, my tongue has scars from biting so hard.

Then he dared to attack me. He got personal. He said that we booing Canadians are shameful.

Shameful.

A little fuse blew. I didn't care about professionalism, pity, compassion, or anything. What is shameful is dumping your personal garbage in a stanger's face. What is shameful is Bush's decision to send all those boys over there to die. What is shameful is the fear that wracks every American to the point that they think they must support this war, this administration, and all the consequences.

Why did the Canadians boo the Americans when your "boys ar'dyin'"? Jesus Bloody Christ.

I think, I'm not quite sure, but I think I threw his insults back in his face by crisply suggesting he go look in a mirror and then tell me who's being shameful. And I hung up.

Truth be told, I am torn to bits about this awful war and angry with the American government's decision to use their own weapons of mass destruction to bring about "regime change" so to "free" the "terrorised" Irakis. I am angry at the hypocrisy I witness everyday. I am angry that a complete stranger berated me for something his country is responsible for, this blind and mad endangerment of every single person on this planet. The anger, the outrage, the frustration blew a fuse in my brain, and no, it did not make me feel better. Now, that would have been shameful.

Pulling myself out of an intensely personal moment, I looked around the room and was stunned to see everyone looking at me. My end of the conversation had been clear enough that they knew what went down. I'm not sure what they were thinking but I suspect they were shocked, and perhaps even awed. Emotions on this side of the border have ranged from rage to depression on the subject of what our southern neighbours have chosen to pursue against the wishes of practically every country they couldn't bribe. I suspect that watching this Canadian speak her mind without sinking into any real mud-slinging reminded everyone that whatever history might tell you, and however many times our government has bent over to the American goverment and begged to be screwed over, no matter what Stockwell Day might be preaching these days, Canadians do have the right to say in absolute confidence and without fear of reprisal We disagree!

What you may not realise is that a lot of politically correct tongue-biting goes on in this country with respect to the Americans (that's why Canadians talk funny and say aboot instead of about), who happen to be our largest trading partner. Some politicians will even tell you we're economically fucked for not going on side with the Americans on Irak. I'll tell you that human life is more valuable than any greenback. Even you seem to agree, you mysterious man, because I know you're more upset about the boys dying than you are about us booing, or at least, I hope you would be.

By the way, in my humble and individual opinion, the Canadians booed because they don't believe in this war. Not everyone believes war is necessary or inevitable or that war is a solution. In fact, many Americans who are protesting against the war prove that not all Americans are afflicted by this mad cowboy disease. Perhaps booing isn't nice, and less so, being facetious, but these aren't nice times. Bush doesn't play nice, and neither did that man who called to harrass me. And lest you've forgotten, the act of booing is a lot less violent than the act of killing, or war, or regime change as some call it.

That your boys are dying is sad and unfortunate, and truly terrifying. We can and do feel for you. It doesn't change the fact that we (I should really say I and at least the Canadian government) strongly disagree with American actions, that your President and Rumsfeld are responsible for your boys deaths, and that you should be doing your best to get your boys out of there. Next time, dial a DC area code if you feel the urge to rant and rage at someone who can actually do something to resolve the situation.

But you won't see it that way. You're blinded by patriotism, placing your heart in the hands of a country, a land, a government that obviously doesn't care about your safety, or if it does, it's too stupid to understand that war does not eliminate terrorism, it is terrorism (go buy a dictionary if you don't believe me). And now you're too busy rallying around the boys, supporting the boys, which de facto supports the Bush agenda. You have become so blinded that you can't say the obvious: Mr. President, we love our boys, and that is exactly why you need to get them out of there. You're also too busy blaming everyone else -- the French, the Canadians, Hussein, Germany, take your pick -- to see that the real problem is at home, right in your own backyard. And because of your blindness, due to fear or pain or anger, which does not excuse your own behaviour, the rest of the world is losing just as much sleep as you, preparing to live in a world that will surely be filled with terrorism thanks to Bush's actions.

What I want to know, if that man ever calls back, is how many of your boys will you watch die before you do something about it? See, being Canadian, I can't do anything about an American president who in the name of combatting terrorism, in the name of instilling a sense of democracy in the Iraki people, voluntarily, eagerly terrorizes and endangers his own people and others. And no, I have not forgotten about the twin towers incident. I just don't believe in witch hunts or the death penality or anything that programs people to destroy in the name of peace or good.

And to all the American's questioning, protesting and trying their best to stop what looks to be a brutal war with many casualties, this Canadian thanks you, and supports you.

"...comfort and peace is beyond my imagination..." Long Life - Dodgy

Posted 8:02 PM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Monday, March 17, 2003
 
Late Sunday afternoon my connection to the outside world fritzed. Just like that. No warning. Not even a hey, hello, hi.

My first reaction was to throw the computer out the window. My second was, jesus, I have got to get a grip, it's just a damn internet connection. Evidently, I have yet to learn how to handle stress.

It's still fritzed. Went so far as to reformat, wipe, reinstall everything over and over; to absolutely no flipping avail. I still don't believe taking it to the shop will solve anything. I suspect they'll find no problems and I'll have to deal with it all by my lonesome; I am being driven to distraction by this digital electronic world that has become so damn complicated I can't simply isolate the problem and move on.

When did I become so dependant on this technology? I've been exposed to it since the early 90s but refrained from buying my own computer until eleven months ago. Since then it has virtually taken over my life, seeping into my once quiet mornings with email blips and work-work-work bytes. The low electronic hum fills the space around me, drowning out the sounds of silence, the sound of my heart beating. How do we know we're alive anymore if we don't hear ourselves, if all it's about is the click clack of keyboards and mice?

Once my initial inconvenienced rage-tantrum subsided, and after a long conversation with M about the possibility that the Internet and computer world has smothered me right out of life and into an information-information-information-connection-connection-connection frenzy, I realized it is time for a serious change.

Ironic, isn't it? So connected, yet more and more disconnected from my immediate life and the world just outside my window. My imagination has been dulled to the pale sheen of computer blue. My writing is distracted by everyone else's writing.

What will be the change? I don't know. I'm not prepared to completely eliminate my access to the internet. Knowing that others out there share my opinion actually does relieve the modern isolation we must all feel since we are all glued to our computers in some form of self-inflicted isolation. I think I'm going to limit my connection time to once a week. It's a start, if nothing else.

Posted 7:54 PM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Saturday, March 15, 2003
 
Peace.

I was one of the 200,000+ Montrealers marching today! If you want to be part of any future ones (if they become necessary), check this site out (French and English).

The pace was slow. We started at avenue Papineau and followed the crowd along boulevard Rene-Levesque to the Guy-Favreau centre. For the most part, it was quiet. Then suddenly, at 1:20 p.m., a close-by church's bells began ringing. I thought, wouldn't it be wonderful if all the church bells in Montreal rang out in the name of peaceful resolution?! (If you've never been to Montreal, then you won't know that there's a church on practically every corner.) The sound would be almost deafening and not easy to ignore.

People's faces represented the entire gamut of emotion, from elated to wary and sad. Signs expressed mostly a simple request for peace, no war. Their was a pretzel guy who made us laugh, reminding those who knew that Bush had choked on a pretzel. The direct and aggressive signs on Bush's character were few. The tone was just right. But I think we all knew what we were doing was more about making us feel good than really changing that man's mind.

Posted 8:58 PM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Friday, March 14, 2003
 
In general news today, rumours are the U.S. will bypass the U.N. (for fear that they don't get the votes) and just hurry on up into war and fuck the implications. Should they win, they won't be celebrating with any good French champagne, as we all very well know. Should they lose, no one will be celebrating. Period. But no one's believing they will lose, not with all that military biff bam boom power. Enough to blow up the world how many times?

Then there's other news, such as the just begun Quebec provincial elections. I don't even know who the candidates are for my area. A one month campaign is definitely not enough time for concerned citizens to make a careful choice, but then as we are all witnessing, democracy is not about careful anything, but just a pretense that allows governments to pretend they are the voice of the people. Don't believe me? Look at the U.S. In all their fight to "liberate" the Irak people by instilling a democracy, they've been encouraging Britain, Spain and any other country who will listen to go against its people, against the principle of democracy, in order to support an American perversion. The voice of the people in these democratic countries will be denied should there be a war.

Spoke to a woman from Houston yesterday. For all the public support Bush is getting (according to those lovely skewed reports), McCarthyism is alive and well, probably more so than in the 50s now that the people seem to be practicing a form of preemptive self-oppression for fear that... Or so she tells me, all the way from the land of the free. What was that word? Perversion.

Except, let's not get carried away here. We can't blame the American's for everything. Well, maybe for Serbia's Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic assassination:
"The people already sent to The Hague, including Milosevic, are there because of Djindjic," he said. "Now he is dead. And he may be dead because he was trying to comply with an American deadline to hand over Mladic before June." (NYT today)
Do I even need to point out the hypocrisy in this? Use the U.N. when it's amenable to your purposes, it seems...

Ah, yes, we can hold them responsible for bad judgment, bad diplomacy, and a single track warrior mind. And I do mean to say, we can hold the government and the American people (because in a democracy situation, yes, you can actually blame the people), at least those who choose to support Bush and his policy of the mass destruction of the human soul through terror, propaganda, and a petulant aggressive oppression of all those who disagree.

All those American's who don't support but are quiet due to fear of government repercussion, if you can't speak, the rest of the world will speak for you. But if you truly are the brave and the free, speak now or forever bear witness to your own country's mass destruction of others, be they Irakis or your very own French immigrants, people in your own community, friends, business owners, etc, who are now ostracized by the American government and media for the simple reason that the French government is listening to its people, i.e. upholding the basic principles of democracy.

And if you're banning all things French, as the media illustrates, then I suggest you be absolutely principled and don't stop at wine and French fries. No more French cheese, fashion, cars, music, literature or food. Bye-bye Camus, Camembert and Chanel. Oh, no! What will you do about the Statue of Liberty?!

Prefer to love, not war? Take a page out of this American's blog where the good fight is against francophobia and there are at least Ten Reasons to Love France. Better yet, need a reason to get off the Bushtrain? How do you spell AWOL?

Posted 8:49 AM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Wednesday, March 12, 2003
 
In a World Gone Mad
In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Mirrors, smokescreens and lies
It’s not the politicians but their actions I despise
You and Saddam should kick it like back in the day
With the cocaine and Courvoisier
But you build more bombs as you get more bold
As your mid-life crisis war unfolds
All you want to do is take control
Now put that axis of evil bullshit on hold
Citizen rule number 2080
Politicians are shady
So people watch your back 'cause I think they smoke crack
I don’t doubt it look at how they act

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

First the ‘War On Terror’ now war on Iraq
We’re reaching a point where we can’t turn back
Let’s lose the guns and let’s lose the bombs
And stop the corporate contributions that their built upon
Well I’ll be sleeping on your speeches ‘til I start to snore
‘Cause I won’t carry guns for an oil war
As-Salamu alaikum, wa alaikum assalam
Peace to the Middle East peace to Islam
Now don’t get us wrong ‘cause we love America
But that’s no reason to get hysterica
They’re layin’ on the syrup thick
We ain’t waffles we ain’t havin’ it

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Now how many people must get killed?
For oil families pockets to get filled?
How many oil families get killed?
Not a damn one so what’s the deal?

It’s time to lead the way and de-escalate
Lose the weapons of mass destruction and the hate
Say ooh ah what’s the White House doin’?
Oh no! Say, what in tarnation have they got brewing??!!!!???!!
Well I’m not pro Bush and I’m not pro Saddam
We need these fools to remain calm
George Bush you’re looking like Zoolander
Trying to play tough for the camera
What am I on crazy pills? We’ve got to stop it
Get your hand out my grandma’s pocket
We need health care more than going to war
You think it’s democracy they’re fighting for?

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight
Beastie Boys rock.

Posted 1:10 PM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________
 
Diplomacy Gaff #7395
With frustration rising in the Capitol over French opposition to President Bush's policy on Iraq, Representative Bob Ney, the Ohio Republican who is chairman of the House Administration Committee, which is responsible for House operations, ordered the word "French" stricken from all House menus. The action was unilateral. No vote was required.

"It's a symbolic gesture," said Mr. Ney, who is of French descent and speaks French fluently. "Not to slap the French around, but people are not hot on the French government right now. This is just to send a message to the troops to say that here in the Capitol, we are not happy."

A sign in the food court in the House Longworth Office Building — which, for the record, also serves tacos, vegetable lasagna, Greek salad and Chinese lo mein — announced: "Update: Now serving in all House office buildings. Freedom fries."

Noting that French fries originated in Belgium, a French Embassy spokeswoman did not seem amused. "I wonder if it's worth a comment," the spokeswoman, Nathalie Loiseau, said. "Honestly. We are working these days on very, very serious issues of war and peace, life or death. We are not working on potatoes."(Today's New York Times)
On the ground, rolling, holding my aching stomach, gasping in disbelief and guffawing beyond belief, I have images of petulant politicians running around my head.

Posted 10:06 AM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Tuesday, March 11, 2003
 
In today's New York Times:
"The circulation [of The Weekly Standard] may be small, but "they are not interested in speaking to the great unwashed," Mr. Alterman said. "The magazine speaks directly to and for power."
Curious to know what sort of writing, thought and ideas are exclusively for the power people and not meant to be spoken to the "great unwashed" (i.e. you, me, and the majority), I read three articles from the Weekly Standard and now feel even dirtier than before. The degree of rhetorical blindness on the subject of power, war and any dissent to the Bush administration's evident and fervent desire for war with Iraq, and the utter lack of respect for any divergent opinion, this absolute one-track-mindedness of the conservative voice in America can but end in a mass train wreck of the American spirit and people. Just read The Peacenik Top 10. To think there are humans who believe that conquering Irak will bring respect to the U.S. AND quash Arab terrorism is mad. Simply mad. I'm thinking high-security insane asylums... yes, for homeland security, to protect us from these political quacks.

Posted 9:49 AM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Thursday, March 06, 2003
 
Thanks to my cousin, I can't stop giggling: President Bush Tells It Like It Is

Posted 10:28 AM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Wednesday, March 05, 2003
 
Interesting how the possibility of war presents an opportunity to revisit history and to balance international political books. Excerpt from Policy Review via the ever informative wood s lot:
Meanwhile, the very fact of the Soviet empire’s collapse vastly increased America’s strength relative to the rest of the world. The sizable American military arsenal, once barely sufficient to balance Soviet power, was now deployed in a world without a single formidable adversary. This “unipolar moment” had an entirely natural and predictable consequence: It made the United States more willing to use force abroad. With the check of Soviet power removed, the United States was free to intervene practically wherever and whenever it chose — a fact reflected in the proliferation of overseas military interventions that began during the first Bush administration with the invasion of Panama in 1989, the Persian Gulf War in 1991, and the humanitarian intervention in Somalia in 1992, continuing during the Clinton years with interventions in Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo. While American politicians talked of pulling back from the world, the reality was an America intervening abroad more frequently than it had throughout most of the Cold War. Thanks to new technologies, the United States was also freer to use force around the world in more limited ways through air and missile strikes, which it did with increasing frequency. ...
The psychology of weakness is easy enough to understand. A man armed only with a knife may decide that a bear prowling the forest is a tolerable danger, inasmuch as the alternative — hunting the bear armed only with a knife — is actually riskier than lying low and hoping the bear never attacks. The same man armed with a rifle, however, will likely make a different calculation of what constitutes a tolerable risk. Why should he risk being mauled to death if he doesn’t need to? (more...)
Whatever you do, don't fall for the argument that only the weak choose peace, diplomacy, tolerance and appeasement, while the strong roar like powerful warriors wielding weapons of mass destruction (a logic that then implies Saddam Hussein is strong like the U.S., meh ;-p )There's a very good counter-argument and his name is Ghandi.

One more thing:
In other words, Europeans focus on issues — “challenges” — where European strengths come into play but not on those “threats” where European weakness makes solutions elusive.
That attitude or approach, by the way, is called pragmatism, or the capitalizing on your strengths, while "challenges" and "threats" fall from the same rhetorical tree of red herrings and semantic differentiation for the pure purpose of supporting a tautological argument.

In other words, the only weakness I see is in Kagan's argument. Double ;-p

Ooo, he makes me mad!
Such American action represents an assault on the essence of “postmodern” Europe. It is an assault on Europe’s new ideals, a denial of their universal validity, much as the monarchies of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe were an assault on American republican ideals. Americans ought to be the first to understand that a threat to one’s beliefs can be as frightening as a threat to one’s physical security.
So now the US is a threat to Europe?? Let's sing it kiddies, to the tune of "and the elbow is connected to the..." and Irak is a threat to the US and the US is a threat itself. Everything's a threat! Everyone's a threat! Buy guns!! Yeah!! But not before you see the film Bowling for Columbine.

Grooaaan:
What this means is that although the United States has played the critical role in bringing Europe into this Kantian paradise, and still plays a key role in making that paradise possible, it cannot enter this paradise itself. It mans the walls but cannot walk through the gate. The United States, with all its vast power, remains stuck in history, left to deal with the Saddams and the ayatollahs, the Kim Jong Ils and the Jiang Zemins, leaving the happy benefits to others.
Yes, yes, we know: the U.S. sacrificed its own dreams of peace and paradise for Europe. Ah, the martrydumbness of it all.

Posted 11:40 AM:: Home:: Guestbook

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