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Old 07-02-2002, 10:19 PM   #181
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I caught the bit on J.C. Watts today. It was pretty interesting,, yet true. He is from my district, ya know. The big stink here is who in the world can replace him, as he was a sure thing. Everybody really liked J.C. Watts. I can't help to wonder what type of job offer he has in store now.
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Old 07-03-2002, 07:12 AM   #182
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As I head off on a mini trip for the Fourth of July Weekend, I leave you with this.. A Celebration of all that is great!.. Then again I could just put up a picture of SpongeBob Squarepants in his skivvies and I would have probably done just as well!! Love that show.. anyways.. I especially like the part about the military, but would also add 'W' to this list.

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PEGGY NOONAN

The Lights That Didn't Fail
Let's celebrate all that's right with our great country.

Wednesday, July 3, 2002 12:01 a.m. EDT

I mark the coming holiday remembering the words of a friend of Samuel Johnson, who said, "I meant to be a philosopher, but happiness kept breaking through."

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, and we must celebrate. Let us hold high a single sparkler to honor those American institutions that, in this interesting year, did not flounder or fail. Much has been said of those that did--Wall Street, big business, big accounting, the Catholic Church, the FBI and CIA. But most didn't. Some stayed good and some improved and some seem to summon a metaphor: While the towers of the institution tottered, the men and women who worked within them took the stairs two at a time, hauling 80 pounds of gear to save the structure.

So: Let us hold a single sparkler to the lights that didn't fail.

The U.S. military. Honored more than ever across the country and the world. They're not just tough, they're smart and brave, and to the extent we dig our way out of the current crisis they'll be the ones with the shovels and pails.

Cops and firemen. Once patronized, now poster boys, and rightly so. They're exemplars of courage and sacrifice, especially the firemen. What they did at the towers last September was like what was done at Omaha Beach on D-Day: They raced to fight a battle and proved we'd win a war.

Airline pilots and stewards. Under incredible stress, in a fearful time, without combat pay, they get us seated, settled and flying safely and in style. They have tons of guts. They do their jobs in spite of terror threats, pressure from family and friends to get out, and Department of Transportation rulings and methods that seem almost deliberately designed to encourage the bad guys and discourage the responsible.

The men and women of newspapers. We forget until history reminds us. But there are times when the lengthy, detailed, independent coverage of the great newspapers, and the gutsy work of reporters and editors, is irreplaceable. The past year reminded us of what Thomas Jefferson said: Given the choice between government and a free press, he'd take the free press.

American television. More news shows, more stations, more networks means more voices, more views. Only 20 years ago Big Media still had a monopoly on information, greatly pleasing those who found stimulation in bland, gray-suited corporate liberalism. It's changed. Now more than ever we need options, now more than ever we have them. And: On Sept. 11, reporters and crews on the ground in New York literally risked their lives to get the story and the pictures.

Television entertainment. Once MGM had "more stars than there are in heaven," but now the great studio of our time is a cable outfit. HBO will be studied by future social historians who'll ponder the cultural impact of groundbreaking drama from "The Sopranos" to "Six Feet Under" to "Oz." No network has reached such a consistently high level of product excellence since William Paley's CBS, in the first golden age of television when his shop was called the Tiffany Network.

American wit. From Conan to Dave to Jay to Comedy Central. It more than thrives, it keeps the country together each night as comics and writers tear apart What Isn't Working Now.

Science and medicine. Research labs, new treatments, technologies, medicines. All continue as the best in the world. Some day someone really will cure cancer. It will happen here.

The Internet. On Sept. 11, it was the light that didn't fail. Phones in New York and Washington went down but the Internet kept humming. Separated parents, children and friends instant-messaged news of their safety, or wrote last words. And within the Internet this year the rise of a new institution:

Blogging. The 24-7 opinion sites that offer free speech at its straightest, truest, wildest, most uncensored, most thoughtful, most strange. Thousands of independent information entrepreneurs are informing, arguing, adding information. Imagine if we'd had them in 1776: "As I wrote in yesterday's lead item on SamAdams.com, my well meaning cousin John continues his grammatical nitpicking with Jefferson (link requires registration) 'Inalienable,' 'unalienable,' whatever. Boys, let's fight. Start the war." Blogs may one hard day become clearinghouses for civil support and information when other lines, under new pressure, break down.

Local government. The federal government tends to flail about at the beginning of national crises but local governments continue doing what they do: seeing that traffic lights work, garbage is hauled, libraries stocked. Local governments provide the basic services of protection of person and property. They did their job this year.

The local church. Whatever is happening in the higher structure, chances are the ministers, priests, nuns, rabbis and brothers on the ground in your hometown are doing the work of God. They're like airline pilots and stewardesses: They're saving the institutions they represent by doing their daily work with professionalism and love.

American abundance. From the farm fields to your table it all still worked, and shows no signs of weakening. A friend wrote the other day: "Have you tasted the peaches this year? So sweet they'll make you cry, the best in years. Tomatoes too."

The American Dream. Our greatest institution. Our greatest tradition. It proceeds apace. Individual dreams continue to flourish, and we chase them with a freedom of movement, an encouraged creativity and a sense of possibility that remain unparalleled.

The other day I went to the oath-taking ceremony for new citizens at the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. There were hundreds of people in saris, in skullcaps, in suits made in Romania. There was a hugely pregnant woman from Nigeria, dressed in a red-and-white plaid cotton dress; there were young Eastern European women in too-tight pants from the Gap; there were young men in gym clothes. The usual mix from all over the world. They were so happy to be joining what others of us were lucky enough to be born into. They knew they were in the right place doing the right thing, and changing their lives for the better.

New Americans. We hold high this sparkler for you.

Ms. Noonan is a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal. Her most recent book, "When Character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan," sis published by Viking Penguin. You can buy it from the OpinionJournal bookstore. Her column appears Fridays.
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Old 07-03-2002, 07:57 AM   #183
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[The U.S. military. Honored more than ever across the country and the world. They're not just tough, they're smart and brave, and to the extent we dig our way out of the current crisis they'll be the ones with the shovels and pails.

Television entertainment. Once MGM had "more stars than there are in heaven," but now the great studio of our time is a cable outfit. HBO will be studied by future social historians who'll ponder the cultural impact of groundbreaking drama from "The Sopranos" to "Six Feet Under" to "Oz." No network has reached such a consistently high level of product excellence since William Paley's CBS, in the first golden age of television when his shop was called the Tiffany Network.

The Internet. On Sept. 11, it was the light that didn't fail. Phones in New York and Washington went down but the Internet kept humming. Separated parents, children and friends instant-messaged news of their safety, or wrote last words. And within the Internet this year the rise of a new institution:

[/B][/QUOTE]

Now, with the rest I agree, but u.s. mil "honoured more than ever (sic!) around the world" is simply wrong, manipulative propaganda, sorry. Ok, if the author wants to lick tv/ media industry, none of my business, only a lil´out of style. The internet? A major switch collapsed in NYC (?) made it partly rest for hours.

Anyway, happy 4th of July! Go party!
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Old 07-04-2002, 12:46 AM   #184
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
[
Now, with the rest I agree, but u.s. mil "honoured more than ever (sic!) around the world" is simply wrong, manipulative propaganda, sorry.
Anyway, happy 4th of July! Go party! [/B]
I wonder what the US Military has to do with the right to "go party!" and "happy 4th of July"?

Perhaps you could (sic!) enlighten us
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Old 07-04-2002, 04:31 AM   #185
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If you take enough time to read Lemonite´s post, you could just ask Peggy Noonan, no? Not that those two themes were instantly connected; this is why I made seperate sentences.
Or did I misunderstand your question?
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Old 07-09-2002, 07:55 PM   #186
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Amna?.. Are you praying for an Iraqi defeat of Americans when we attack Iraq?

Yet another disgrace to the black race.. Jesse Jackson was out there yesterday making a racist fool of himself again... I loved Bush's retort when asked about the Reverend Jesse Jackson's comments..

"Mr. Bush gave a dismissive shake of his head when asked at a press conference yesterday about the attacks on his civil rights record.
"Let's see," the president said before quickly moving on to the next question. "There I was sitting around the leader — the table with foreign leaders, looking at Colin Powell and Condi Rice," as his voice trailed off." Hahaha.. Now that's funny...

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Iraq says Farrakhan tells of U.S. Muslims' support
By Thanaa Imam
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL


DAMASCUS, Syria — Iraq's state-run media has quoted Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan as saying during a visit to Baghdad that American Muslims are praying for an Iraqi victory in a war with the United States. Top Stories
• Bush promises tougher SEC
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A State Department official in Washington said he was aware of the report on the official Iraqi News Agency, INA, but was not prepared to comment.
Mr. Farrakhan held meetings during the weekend with Iraqi officials on a "solidarity" trip billed as an effort to avoid a U.S. military campaign against Saddam Hussein.
Mr. Farrakhan held talks with Islamic Affairs Minister Abdul Munem Saleh on "ways to confront the American threats against Iraq," INA reported.
The agency quoted the black Muslim leader as saying "the Muslim American people are praying to the almighty God to grant victory to Iraq."
Mr. Saleh was quoted by INA as urging a common effort among the Muslims of the world to "expose the American and Zionist crimes toward the people of Iraq and Palestine."
The Bush administration has repeatedly said it is committed to "regime change" in Iraq and has made clear that it is considering military action to oust Saddam.
The New York Times reported on Friday that a military plan has been prepared to attack Iraq from the north, south and west with air, ground and naval forces. Quoting unnamed sources, the daily said the plan envisions the use of thousands of Marines and ground troops, perhaps from Kuwait.
Mr. Farrakhan, heading a Nation of Islam delegation, also met with Health Minister Omeed Mubarak, who briefed him on the "effects of the sanctions on Iraq and the health reality represented by the death of 1.6 million people a year because of food and medical shortages," INA said.
Iraq has been living under economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations since its invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.
The health minister sharply criticized Security Council Resolution 1409, which amended the Iraq-U.N. oil-for-food deal, in which Iraq exports oil in return for badly needed food and medicine under U.N. supervision.
Mr. Mubarak described the resolution as "arbitrary" and said it "further complicates the import of medicine and medical equipment to Iraq." He said the total lifting of sanctions was "the only way to end the suffering of the Iraqi people."
This is the second visit to Baghdad for Mr. Farrakhan, who arrived from Damascus on Friday as part of a regional tour. He first visited Iraq in 1997.
On Saturday, he visited hospitals in the Iraqi capital, as well as the Ameriya Shelter, which was bombed by U.S.-led allied forces during the 1991 Gulf war, reportedly killing about 500 people.
He said in Baghdad that he wanted to "see what we can do to stop the possibility of war."
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, visiting Syria during the weekend, dismissed the media reports of an imminent attack on Iraq as "rumors." Mr. Villepin is visiting the region in an effort to restart Middle East peace talks.
Speaking at a joint press conference Saturday with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Sharaa, Mr. Villepin said talks between French officials and President Bush and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell made clear "there is no military plan today against Iraq."
The French foreign minister also encouraged U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to pursue his efforts with Iraq and said the return of the U.N. inspectors to Baghdad "is a necessity for the stability of the region, and we hope that Iraq will facilitate such a return."
Syria's Mr. Sharaa, for his part, told reporters that Arab countries unanimously support lifting the U.N. sanctions.
He said Iraq was ready to allow the U.N. arms inspectors back if sanctions are lifted, but not before.

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Old 07-09-2002, 08:16 PM   #187
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Check this Out.. It's a great idea.. too bad it will never happen.

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http://www.mlbfanstrike.com/

Join Us July 11, 2002
MLB FAN STRIKE is an organized group of Baseball Fans Nationwide who have come together to boycott Major League Baseball because of the continued threat of a Players Strike.

MLB FAN STRIKE is scheduled to take place on JULY 11, 2002, and is to include all scheduled games in all cities on that date. The purpose of the strike is to send a message to both the Players and the Owners that we are FED UP with the labor problems in Baseball! Empty stadiums on July 11 will send a very powerful message. Fans pay for the MLB! Don’t mess with us!

WHAT CAN YOU DO? As a Fan, we ask that on July 11, you unite with us and support the MLB FAN STRIKE:

Don’t go to any MLB games on July 11, 2002
Don’t watch ANY games on TV, or purchase any MLB Properties products
Don’t listen to ANY games on the radio.
Don’t use any MLB internet services, including listening to games via the internet.
Pass the word to your baseball friends
Interact with us through our mailing list
Support us with your time or generous donation
Feel free to e-mail us with any additional questions, thoughts, or concerns, and keep visiting this site for more news!

TOGETHER, we can make a difference!
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Old 07-09-2002, 08:28 PM   #188
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I don't think I can even think of anyone who spouts more BS than Tiger.. and I'm including Politicians.

I loved this Article...

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Thursday, July 4, 2002
Is this the stand Tiger should be taking?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Adrian Wojnarowski
Special to ESPN.com


¾ Tiger Woods sends his regrets for missing the Western Open this week, the common cold sparing the world a weekend of listening to Woods' ridiculous insistence that golf's Grand Slam resides on his resume. Between now and the British Open, he'll stay out of sight, out of reach of the questions that inspire his stubborn idiocy on the issue.


Everybody wants to see Tiger swing. Fewer agree with him on his "Slam."

After winning the U.S. Open, the way Woods talked, he sounded downright delusional. Seriously, does this Stanford dropout think that the world is so enthralled with him, they'll believe anything that comes out of his mouth?

"I've won the slam before," Woods sniffs. "You can call it what you want, but when I was at home I had all four trophies on my mantle."

Four majors trophies on his mantel is no more the Grand Slam than Sammy Sosa going 162 games from August to August, spreading 74 home run balls on his kitchen table and declaring Barry Bonds home run record obliterated.

"So this will be a different type of slam ... the calendar year," Woods says.

There is just one slam -- the Grand Slam -- and Woods damn well knows it. Perhaps, this is his way of diffusing the pressure, playing mind games with himself. The pressure to do it? Not at all, he insists, I've done it. How hard can it be to do it again? Maybe this eases the burden for him. Maybe Tiger just thinks because he's Tiger everyone eventually will take his word as golfing gospel. Maybe he's just covering himself for history's sake. In the even he never wins a true Grand Slam, maybe he can incorporate a Tiger Slam into a true Grand Slam.

"Sixty-Forty (odds) that he will do it," Arnold Palmer said recently, a monumental vote of confidence for Woods' bid to take the British Open and PGA Championship this summer. Yet, Palmer's endorsement comes with a disclaimer. This hasn't happened yet. Palmer and Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player are forever bowing to the greatness of Woods, but he hasn't sold the sport's most credible living arbiters of his reasoning that he won the Slam by delivering the 2000 U.S. Open, British and PGA and finally the 2001 Masters.

Whatever Woods' reasoning for staying so stubborn on of one of golf's most sacred traditions, it leaves you wondering this: If Woods wanted to take on the golfing establishment, stand in the storm of the sport's most sacred traditions, he picked the wrong cause to champion. He should've started a few years ago with Casey Martin, with something far bigger, and far more profound than the vanity of his own victories.

He could've used his power of his platform for a fight golf never would've wanted with him: Backing his old Stanford teammate, Martin, on his right to use a golf cart on the PGA Tour with Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome, a circulatory disorder that wouldn't let Martin walk the course. The United States Supreme Court sided with Martin and the Americans with Disabilities Act in May of 2001, but it was too late. Martin had missed his best chance to get on tour, his window fading with the disease lurching him closer and closer to amputation. What's more, Woods missed a chance to honor his promise as the sport's true champion of inclusion. He was just one more old guy on the tour, protecting the status quo.

Where was the man that Earl Woods promised to be golf's Gandhi, an athlete who would use the power of his persona to dismiss discrimination? He had sold out to his corporate endorsements, to the path of least resistance. All Woods had to do was stand with Martin and PGA commissioner Tim Finchem would've had a public relations war he wouldn't wanted to wage. When we needed Woods to be a Jackie Robinson, an Arthur Ashe, he stayed true to the causeless legacy of the man his mission most mirrors: Michael Jordan.

Golf tradition had to be honored, Woods warned. Golf had to set its own rules, he said. Had the sport done this, of course, Woods could go to Augusta National every spring with two options: Washing or drying.

When asked about Woods a year ago, Martin said: "It would've been great for him to take a greater stand, but I wanted to do this without pulling any strings. ... I was going through a lot, but if it wasn't meant to be, it wasn't meant to be. God is a lot bigger than Tiger. He provided in this ordeal."

"He didn't need Tiger Woods."

Maybe He didn't, but Martin did. Perhaps Woods silence could've been slightly understandable had Martin been a faceless stranger, but this was the most disturbing part of it: This was one of his old college roommates, a teammate on Stanford's 1994 national championship team.

"They were so close," the old Cardinal coach, Wally Goodwin, told me at the time. "But I guess Tiger is at the stage where he has to watch every word he says for all kinds of reasons."

Now, there won't be much out of him until the British Open. Beautiful. Who can take this nonsense? Who wants to hear it? As the world grows breathless over his Grand Slam possibilities, nobody wants to hear him diminishing it as a done deal in his life. Palmer's odds on Woods sound about right--- indeed, 60-40, Woods does deliver the Grand Slam.

Only then will he impress everyone if he acts like it's no big deal, like he's done it before. Tiger Woods won't, of course. He'll never make a righteous stand. After all, this isn't a stage. This is Tiger Woods. He'll come running back into the arms of golf tradition, back to Arnie and Jack, telling them that they were right all along, that yes, this is the true Grand Slam now.

All because it belongs to him. All because he says so.


Adrian Wojnarowski is a sports columnist for The Record (N.J.) and a regular contributor to ESPN.com.
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Old 07-10-2002, 11:03 PM   #189
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Remember back in the days of Desert Storm.. Good ol Normie.. and Peter Arnett.. Oh.. the days of my youth.. well remember the 'Pro Set Desert Storm' Trading Cards.. I just was going through some of my old stuff looking for a zip disk and I found a whole stack of em.. The Commander in Chief... the C-5 Galaxy.. I think my favorite card has to be the 'Arab League' card with a very prominent stain of SeaGull Shit on the second floor window.

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Old 07-10-2002, 11:06 PM   #190
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Louis Farrakhan+shit(e)

I once looked through a Farrakhan newspaper (i dont remember the name of it but it was all propaganda trash)
that was pretty disturbing.

It had article titles like "death to whitey" and other nice thoughts.

The most disturbing thing about it was it belonged to a guy in my unit.
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Old 07-11-2002, 08:27 AM   #191
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Al Roker's an Idiot.

Watching him interview someone about ovarian cancer?.. Stick to the weather jackass...

Hahah..

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Old 07-11-2002, 11:24 AM   #192
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Hahah.. This is funny.. Now this is a true example of someone just saying 'Douche This'.

Irate traveler drops pants at Miami airport

The Associated Press
Posted July 11 2002

An angry man gave security workers and other travelers an eyeful, dropping his pants and exposing himself while being searched at Miami International Airport.

Marc Danselme, 62, a French national who lives in Washington, was arrested Tuesday after becoming belligerent while being screened, according to a police report.

After one of the screeners asked him to turn his belt over, Danselme became irate, dropped his pants and said, "Is this good enough?"

Fellow passengers, including some children, were present when Danselme exposed himself, police said.

He was taken to the airport's police station, where he was charged with "prohibited conduct."

Danselme was still at Miami-Dade County's pretrial detention center Wednesday with bail set at $500, said jail spokeswoman Chandra Gavin. His case was assigned to the public defenders office.

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Old 07-11-2002, 07:07 PM   #193
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Big Grin

I am working for an airline right now, and was told that an impatient pilot was recently let go after taking his pants off completely while going through the employee security check point. Not cool.
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Old 07-13-2002, 01:08 AM   #194
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GOD BLESS AMERICA ISSUE
I like this quote the best..

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"This is what we're up against these days, and it depresses this Gore voter past the point of despair to write this... but... uh... the recently unveiled Bush Doctrine (rough translation: If we think you're coming after us next Tuesday, we'll be bombing your ass flat this Tuesday) is a necessary evil."



...AND PASS THE AMMUNITION
by Dan Savage



First, some ancient history...

Shortly after the September 11 attacks, I saw something that made me wanna hurl. I still see this something almost every day because it hangs in a window I pass on my way to work, and the urge to hurl--my lunch, a rock--is as fresh today as it was back when I first laid eyes on it. And just what is this offensive something? The American flag peace symbol that appeared on the cover of Seattle Weekly on September 20. They called it their "Peace and Patriotism" symbol. So what is it about the Weekly's, uh, "PAP" symbol that bothers me so much? Just this: Pacifism and patriotism, together, is no longer an option after September 11.

After September 11, the left had some idiotic things to say--bomb them with love, Toni?--and some smart things to say. For instance, it's true that the United States jump-started militant Islam through our Cold War-era support of anti-Soviet "freedom fighters" in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the left concluded that the United States didn't have the moral authority to attack Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Christopher Hitchens--the lonely voice of sanity on the left--destroyed this argument with a few short, devastating lines: "Did we not aid the grisly Taliban to achieve and hold power?" Hitchens wrote in the Nation on September 24, 2001 ["Of Sin, the Left, and Islamic Fascism"]. "Yes indeed 'we' did. Well, does this not double or triple our responsibility to remove them from power?"

While the left was running around (like some perverse photo negative of Jerry Falwell) arguing about just how much responsibility we deserved for the attacks, the rest of the country was coming to grips with the fact that we were at war with "Islamo-fascists," as Hitchens dubbed bin Laden and his followers in Afghanistan and all over the world. "What they abominate about 'the West...,'" Hitchens wrote ["Against Rationalization," the Nation, Oct 8, 2001], "is not what Western liberals don't like and can't defend," like our support for Israel or our support for the Arab states, "but what [liberals] do like about it and must defend: its emancipated women, its scientific inquiry, its separation of religion from the state." Osama has (had?) a vision for the Middle East: one nation, under Allah, cleansed of Americans, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, gays, a world filled with bearded men and enslaved women.

In the wake of bin Laden's declaration of war, people all over the world suddenly faced difficult, harrowing choices: People trapped in upper floors of the World Trade Center had to choose between jumping and burning to death; George W. Bush had to choose between an immediate, massive military response and a delayed, measured response; the Taliban had to choose between handing over bin Laden and enduring the wrath of the United States war machine; the president of Pakistan had to choose between cooperating with Bush's war on terrorism (and risking a coup) and cooperating with Pakistan's Islamo-fascists (and risking the wrath of the U.S. war machine). And while people all over the world were facing up to these difficult choices, the smug, dishonest lefties at Seattle Weekly--and the smug, dishonest lefties they were pandering to--sought to avoid making their own difficult choice, which was essentially this: Pacifism or patriotism? Because after September 11, you could have one or the other--but you couldn't have both.

In 1942, George Orwell (author of lefty classics Animal Farm and 1984) published an essay in Partisan Review slamming British pacifists who refused to fight Nazi Germany. "Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist," Orwell wrote. "This is elementary common sense." Michael Kelly spelled it out in the Washington Post on September 26: "No honest person can pretend that the groups that attacked America will, if let alone, not attack again," Kelly wrote. "You are either for doing what is necessary to capture or kill those who control and fund and harbor the terrorists, or you are for not doing this. If you are for not doing this, you are for allowing the terrorists to continue their attacks on America. You are saying, in fact: I believe that it is better to allow more Americans--perhaps a great many more--to be murdered than to capture or kill the murderers. That is the pacifists' position, and it is evil."

To be fair, I don't think the old hippies at the Weekly were being evil when they slapped that PAP symbol on their cover, any more than I think the handful of lefties who turned out for anti-war demos in the weeks immediately after September 11 were being evil. Brain-dead? Yes. Evil? No. But sensible lefties--the vast majority of lefties, I'm happy to report--knew that this war was unavoidable, necessary, and just. Even if we were afraid to say so too loudly at Victrola or the Still Life.



JOY IN BAGHDAD

Why revisit these issues now? Why bring all this up when we should be celebrating our first Independence Day since the September 11 attacks? Because we're about to go to war again--hello, Saddam!--and it would be nice if the left refrained from sticking its collective head up its collective ass this time.

Here are some fun facts about Iraq:

Iraq is ruled by a psychotic dictator who has successfully terrorized his own people into submission. (See "Tales of the Tyrant" by Mark Bowden in the May 2002 Atlantic Monthly.) Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction (anthrax, mustard gas, nerve agents, biological weapons), and Saddam Hussein has used those weapons against his own people. (Yes, yes: We've got weapons of mass destruction too, but the federal government has so far refrained from gassing, say, the people of Oregon for defying John Ashcroft on the assisted suicide issue.) Finally, Iraq may be closer to building a nuclear bomb than we think, and does anyone doubt that Saddam would use one if he got his hands on one? (Yes, yes, I know: The United States has helped Saddam hold onto power over the years, we gave him military aid during the Iran/Iraq war, and the first President Bush did all he could to make sure Saddam stayed in power after the Gulf War, and there are other atrocities. But like Mr. Hitchens said about the Taliban, does this not double or triple our responsibility to remove him from power?)

All of these facts should bother anyone who resides in the United States--and here are some fun facts specifically meant to bother people who live in Seattle: For all the talk of nuclear "suitcase bombs," people paid to worry about terrorism are more concerned about "conex bombs," as Bill Keller wrote in the May 26 New York Times Magazine ["Nuclear Nightmares"]. The name "conex" refers to "those shack-size steel containers that bring most cargo into the United States." Last year almost two million conex containers were unloaded at the Port of Seattle, and tens or hundreds of thousands of conex containers come into Seattle every year from Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and other countries believed to have been infiltrated by al Qaeda fighters. Put a few barrels of anthrax spores and/or some easily obtainable low-grade nuclear waste and a few hundred pounds of explosives into a conex container along with some Islamo-fascist jackass excited by visions of paradise and... well, will the last person to die in Seattle please turn out the lights?

This is what we're up against these days, and it depresses this Gore voter past the point of despair to write this... but... uh... the recently unveiled Bush Doctrine (rough translation: If we think you're coming after us next Tuesday, we'll be bombing your ass flat this Tuesday) is a necessary evil. Ask yourself this question and answer it honestly: If it was within your power in August of last year to order a pre-emptive strike that would've prevented the attacks of September 11, would you have done it? Of course you would. That's the Bush Doctrine. And the Bush Doctrine's first smackdown is going to be Saddam Hussein, who has to be removed from power before he kills thousands (or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands) of American citizens in a major American city.

Yes, yes: Taking out Saddam Hussein means war, and war is bad for children and other living things. I went to grade school in the 1970s, and I recall the poster. But there are times when war is not only a tragic and unavoidable necessity, but also good for children and other living things. For instance, doing everything we can to prevent a conex bomb from sailing into the Port of Seattle will save the lives of countless American children and other living things here--like, uh, American adults. And it's not only American children who have benefited from the war that began on October 7, 2001 (my 37th birthday--oh, George! You shouldn't have!). The war in Afghanistan has been good for Afghani children.

"One of the uncomfortable realities of the war on terrorism is that we Americans have killed many more people in Afghanistan than died in the attack on the World Trade Center," Nicholas Kristof wrote in an op-ed ["A Merciful War," February 1, 2002] in the New York Times. Kristof estimates that between 8,000 and 12,000 Taliban fighters and about 1,000 Afghan civilians were killed. "[But in] each of the last few years... 225,000 children died in Afghanistan before the age of five, along with 15,000 women who died during pregnancy or childbirth. There was no way to save those lives under the Taliban." UNICEF was able to vaccinate 734,000 children in the two months after the fall of the Taliban, "in a country where virtually no one had been vaccinated against the disease in the previous 10 years. Because measles often led to death in Afghanistan, the vaccination campaign will save at least 35,000 children's lives each year." In the case of Afghanistan, Kristof concludes, "[War] can serve the most humanitarian of goals."

Much more concerned about humanitarian means than humanitarian ends, lefty weekly the Nation came out--surprise!--against going to war with Iraq: "[S]ince the Gulf War, Iraq's military capabilities have weakened significantly," says the Nation ["War on Iraq Is Wrong," July 8], "to the point where they pose little or no threat to its neighbors," and the Nation worries that a U.S. invasion of Iraq might "destabilize the entire region." (Gee, you think so? Well, gosh, we don't want to do nothin' to destabilize that good ol' peaceful Middle East!)

Even if everything the Nation says is true--Iraq is weak and poses little or no threat to anyone--there's still the small matter of the threat Saddam Hussein's government poses to the people of Iraq. They live in a police state, they're ruled by a tyrant, and their lives are hell. And, yes, U.S. sanctions have made a bad situation worse, but lifting sanctions won't turn Iraq into Sweden. Or Cuba. So even if Saddam Hussein poses no threat to Americans--and that's a mighty big "if" that, post September 11, I'm not sure we should count on--Saddam is threat to his own people.

"There is good reason to think that a Taliban defeat would fill the streets of Kabul with joy," Christopher Hitchens wrote on September 24, 2001, and he was right. There was dancing in the streets of Kabul when the Taliban fell. Does anyone reading this doubt for a moment that the fall of Saddam Hussein won't do the same for the streets of Baghdad?



ON TO IRAQ

In his June 20 column, Albert R. Hunt, the lone liberal voice on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal (it's worth picking up the WSJ on Thursdays for his column alone), called for a national debate on invading Iraq. "The first Bush administration abandoned Afghanistan after the Russian-backed puppet dictator was toppled, resulting in the rise of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden," writes Hunt, saying we shouldn't go into Iraq unless we're prepared for "an incredible challenge in nation building. It will take years, and the cost will be billions...."

Instead of waving PAP symbols and arguing about whether or not we should go to war--we've already gone, folks--the left in the United States should be making the case for waging Hunt's good war. To wit: The U.S. shouldn't get out of Afghanistan, as some demanded at last weekend's Gay Pride Parade. No, we should be getting in deeper: Afghanistan needs peacekeepers, medicine, money, educational materials, infrastructure, aid, and--finally and most importantly--a constitution. Leaving them with anything less amounts to a second abandonment. We will have a similar moral obligation to the people of Iraq post-Saddam. They'll need help rebuilding their country and building a sustainable, democratic system, one that if the U.S. is going to invade other nations during the War on Terrorism--and we are, Blanche, we are--we should leave them better off than we found them.

So the left needs to put down the PAP symbols and put away the "No War" posters. We're at war, ya dopes. Simply stopping the war now--rather than holding the United States to the standards we set after the last world war--would harm the very people the left professes to care about. Afghanistan needs a Marshall Plan now; Iraq's going to need one soon. U.S. smart bombs and troops, the left should argue, have to be followed by smart money and medicine and a constitution and an American commitment to long-haul nation building. We have to do for Afghanistan and Iraq what we did for Germany and Japan; anything less is immoral and indefensible. That's the argument the left should be advancing.

Why isn't the left making this argument? Well, grandstanding and screaming "warmonger" at people (my voice mail should be a treat this week) is whole lot more fun than taking responsibility for a war that's being waged in all of our names, of course, but I think it goes deeper than that. Since the left lost the "no war" argument, a perverse desire to see things go badly--even at the cost of Afghan and Iraqi lives--has taken root in the American left. Americans didn't leave only rubble and corpses behind in Germany and Japan after the Second World War, although we helped create plenty of both. No, we stuck around; helped rebuild; drafted constitutions; oversaw elections; established freedom of religion, association, thought, and the press. To invade Afghanistan and Iraq and leave anything less would be a tragedy.

So, tell me, PAPsters: What does the people of Afghanistan more good: Chanting "no war" and waving our PAP symbols? Or pouring into the streets and chanting, "We Want a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan!"

Shit, you guys, it even rhymes.

savage@thestranger.com

by Dan Savage
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Old 07-13-2002, 09:26 PM   #195
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