Schmaltz und Grieben mit Alois, Klaus und der Lugers
April 2003

I'M BAAAAAACK. Blah blah blah! Long weekend behind me now; I'm rested up and ready to kick ass. Been a great weekend for the Coalition Forces, and a VERY BAD weekend for appeaseniks, apologists, peace-o's, and all their associated running vermin. But sod them; on to more important topics!

 

posted by Alois (mit mein Luger) 04/02/03

 

WTF?!?! AWARD: That would go to the New York Times for a headline story that ran over the weekend, entitled "Iraq: Bush's Waterloo?" What in the world are Howell Raines and co. smoking over there? Do they actually believe that we are going to lose this war? Or, at very least, did they really believe that we were going to conduct a precision military campaign that goes to nearly absurd lengths to protect civilians and infrastructure, and that it was going to be over in two weeks? Saddam's army may not be for shit, but hey, it ain't the Taliban either. Sheeesh.

 

posted by Alois 04/02/03

 

CONSIDER YOURSELF OUTED, COMMIE WRETCH: Remember the little quote I ran last week from Medea Benjamin, the head of the appeasenik "soccer-mom" group Code Pink? Benjamin was insisting that American media outlets should spend more time talking to Iraqis who are not happy with the American military presence.

 

Guess what? A little Web research turns out the factoid that Benjamin is actually a certified commie wack job with a rap sheet going way, way back.

 

Soccer mom. You've just got to love these folks' being so honest and forthcoming with their constituency, don't you...

 

posted by Alois 04/02/03

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "[James Carroll's] form of moral equivalence is not rare among the radical left in this country. But it is based on a profound moral abdication: the refusal to see that a Stalinist dictatorship, that murders its own civilians, that sends its troops into battle with a gun pointed at their heads, that executes POWs, that stores and harbors chemical weapons, that defies twelve years of U.N. disarmament demands, that has twice declared war against its neighbors, and that provides a safe haven for terrorists of all stripes, is not the moral equivalent of the United States under president George W. Bush. There is, in fact, no comparison whatever. That is not jingoism or blind patriotism or propaganda. It is the simple undeniable truth."

--Andrew Sullivan

posted by Alois 04/02/03

RACIST COALITION FORCES, CAUGHT IN THE ACT AGAIN: International A.N.S.W.E.R. would remind you that it's time to Stop War and End Racism. Good thing for these two Kenyan truckers, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, that a Racist and Imperialistic Group of British Commandos were in the vicinity and didn't mind acting on a local's tip and busting them out of one of Saddam's "holding facilities." Guess what? The Kenyans had been beaten, starved, and accused of being Coalition soldiers. Imagine that.

Wonder what International A.N.S.W.E.R. would have done for these guys?

 

posted by Alois 04/02/03

..........

4/3/03:

TIME TO VENT. Read a great article the other day--unfortunately, due to hardening of the cranial arteries, I have no idea where I read it or who wrote it--that basically made the point that this war is going to cause an enormous cultural divide in the U.S. that will persist long after the last shot has been fired. The reason is that what is being decided here is not "something that can be politely disagreed upon by opposing parties" (paraphrase). It is, essentially, the future of humanity: whether we will face down threats from the enemies of civilization as they arise, or instead choose the French path of appeasement and appeal to the good natures of (excuse me) "people" who have no good nature. The correct answer to this quandary would appear to be a no-brainer... but suddenly there seem to be a lot of folks out there with no brains.

I can see this divide looming before me in real-time; already I have become an outcast in my liberal Democratic family because of my support for the war, and some co-workers avoid me like the plague. There are friends I can no longer talk to, since I now have good reason to question their very patriotism. This war--both the war in Iraq and the wider ongoing War On Terror--is in no way a referendum on the Bush administration. This is about survival, friends, the very survival of every single thing that you and I hold dear. And if you don't understand that, then I'm sorry, you are completely clueless and I don't care who you are--I have no more time to waste on you.

posted by Alois (mit mein JDAM) 04/03/03

MY MAN ED COMES THROUGH AGAIN! In one of my other lives--when I'm not a raving conservo-maniac--I like to train dogs, most specifically German Shepherd Dogs (ja, of course, der Deutscher Schäferhunden für Alois und Klaus). And one of my heroes in that field has always been Ed Frawley, a fellow Wisconsinite who is about as catankerous as they come. Yes, Alois included.

Ed, who runs a booming dog-training video, kennel, and training-equipment business, has decided that he no longer will do business with the French. Sample quote: "I have long thought the best part of Frances gene pool was killed in WW1 and WW2. This has been confirmed by the French Government throught recent history." (Spelling was never Ed's strong suit.)

This is no small decision on Ed's part; the French are dog-sport crazy and among his best customers. But you gotta hand it to Ed. He wouldn't sell to the South Africans until they lifted apartheid either.

 

posted by Alois 04/03/03

NO DEAL. NO WAY. Rummy's got the right idea. Time's up for the Ba'athist bastards.

posted by Alois 04/03/03

ANOTHER GREAT RIFF by Charles Krauthammer, unearthed today.

posted by Alois 04/03/03

..........

4/4/03:

DAILY GAZ-O-LEEEEEEN! AWARD goes, without a doubt, to Marcus Taylor from the UK--who posted this little gem on the Rottweiler this morning:

 

"Update: 2500 Republican Guard just surrendered in Baghdad. Maybe they heard the US had more female supply clerks in reserve and were about to send 'em in..."

 

posted by Alois 04/04/03

AND SPEAKING OF FEMALE SUPPLY CLERKS: Rachel has a great tribute to PFC Lynch on her site. Check it out.

posted by Alois 04/04/03

.........

THE FAVORITE ARGUMENTS OF AN INTELLECTUALLY AND MORALLY BANKRUPT LEFT: I've been thinking about this subject a lot lately, because I am being exposed to these arguments on an almost daily basis. Some thoughts:

Dick Cheney/Donald Rumsfeld/[Your Favorite Bush Administration Person HERE] were involved in shady business dealings in the Middle East. And your point is? Why should this--even if true--matter one iota to a desperate Iraqi family terrorized by a genocidal madman? We can go back to politics-as-usual AFTER Saddam's gone.

 

China, North Korea, and several other African and Asian nations are ruled by despots who routinely torture and execute people. Now THERE'S my all-time favorite reason to do nothing about Saddam. Other than arguing that we can hardly go to war with the entire world at once--and that China, of course, has a huge nuclear arsenal--it could also be pointed out that Serbia and Afghanistan used to be ruled by murderous despots. Then we went in. Today murderous despots nie ma, as the Poles say.

 

We'll enrage the Muslim world. I doubt it highly. The Muslim world doesn't know what it thinks yet--as is evidenced by the near-silence of moderate Muslims after 9/11. Osama bin Laden said it best: "When given the chance to choose between a strong horse and a weak horse, people will prefer the strong horse." Right now we are in the process of showing the world just who the "strong horse" really is. As did many Native American tribes, the Muslim world respects those who are not afraid to back their beliefs up with force, if necessary. And only a fool thinks that terrorists are placated by appeasement of any sort.

 

There will also always be a Muslim element that hates us and everything we stand for. Get used to it. And, as writer Dan Jenkins would say, "They can just squat over there in the sand and chant a whole bunch of shit!" Our best hope is that these Islamofascist freaks will be increasingly marginalized, particularly by their fellow Muslims. Our best guarantee that this will happen is by standing by the Afghans and the Iraqis while they rebuild their brutalized nations.

 

We overthrew the Taliban and left Afghanistan in a state of anarchy. Hogwash. Utter hogwash. We are still in Afghanistan. HUGE numbers of Americans, both military and civilian, are in Afghanistan today. The Karzai government continues to function, although not without the difficulties we foresaw BEFORE we overthrew the Taliban. For a near-feudal state that had descended into utter chaos under a crazed Islamic regime, Afghanistan is doing remarkably well today (see my entry "What They Don't Want You To Know" on March 15, and Klaus' entry from March 19). Remember: Our goal was never to remake these nations into "little Americas." It was to give their terribly oppressed peoples a reasonable chance at self-determination.

 

We used to arm Saddam Hussein, now we're overthrowing him? Hey. Remember Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini? Remember the hostage crisis? Remember the venomous Shi'ite mullahs who were bent on exporting their terror to the rest of the Muslim world? Nah, of course you don't. And even if you did, that would never help you to understand why we might have seen any reason whatsoever to arm a neighboring country with a secular government. Was it a bad call? Probably. But it was an honest one. It's all so easy in hindsight, isn't it...

 

We have no right to overthrow the government of a sovereign nation. When that nation is a threat to our national security? We most certainly do.

 

Iraq was NOT a threat to our national security! Grow up. Or go bore somebody else.

 

Saddam was the "people's choice!" Sure he was. And if a black-hooded Fedayeen put a gun to your kid's head to "remind you to vote Ba'ath," you'd have done it too.

 

Give peace a chance! Oh, PLEASE. Don't insult my intelligence, or even your own. What hole have you been living in since we wrapped up Desert Storm? And kindly quit trying to reduce everything in life to the lyrics of John Lennon songs. Next question.

 

posted by Alois 04/04/03

HAIL, ESTONIA! Blog buddy Sam Muldia organized a Pro-USA march in his hometown of Tallinn, Estonia today. I am pleased to post, with his kind permission, some photos from the march:

The face of the new Europe

sorry

Sam takes questions from the media

 

Chirac's worst nightmare: A Euro with balls

posted by Alois 04/04/03

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4/8/03:

I'M BAAAAAACK. Long weekend behind me now; I'm rested up and ready to kick ass. Been a great weekend for the Coalition Forces, and a VERY BAD weekend for appeaseniks, apologists, peace-o's, and all their associated running vermin. But sod them; on to more important topics!

Think you read this post somewhere before? You did! Just stunning how things sometimes repeat themselves in this life...

posted by Alois (mit mein Luger) 04/08/03

"FREE TIBET". Had a little discussion with Klaus over the weekend about something that seems increasingly odd to me:

Didja ever notice how many appeasenik vehicles feature, along with the ubiquitous NO IRAQ WAR! and GREENPEACE and I MISS JERRY bumper stickers, a smaller sticker with a kind of rising-sun motif that says, "Free Tibet"???

 

Now don't let's anybody get me wrong. I am ALL FOR "freeing Tibet," and I am as aware as anyone of how the Chinese regime has repressed the Lamaist Buddhists who make up much of the indigenous population.

 

But here's the little thing about freeing Tibet: Of course, to accomplish this admirable goal, we would have to go to war with China. Certainly even the most deluded peace-o must realize that China is about as likely to just "free Tibet" as Saddam was to let Hans Blix stumble upon any of his WMDs. So what option does that leave us? The same option that Saddam left us: war.

 

And here's one for the peace-o's to munch on: Could we defeat the Chinese Army in an all-out war? Probably--especially as we begin to study Operation Iraqi Freedom and marvel at the accomplishment and dedication of our beautifully-trained ground troops.

 

But even then, there would still be that nagging little probability of an all-out nuclear exchange with a nation whose nuclear arsenal rivals our own. Any winners there?

 

Nope.

 

Hey, Alois will gladly support the right of any (terminally deluded) hawklike warmonger to display a "Free Tibet" sticker if said warmonger really believes that freeing Tibet is worth the sacrifice of thousands and thousands of our young men and women at best, and the complete annihilation of the human race at worst. But it galls me just a little bit to see a knee-jerk appeasenik pretending that s/he is interested in liberating ANY captive nation ANYWHERE. Why? Because as recent events have taught us, to actually accomplish this admirable goal almost always requires the use of military force.

Try to picture it: President Bush addresses the nation. In a grim, sober voice, he announces:

 

"Taking into account the passionate desire of many of my fellow citizens to see a free and independent Tibet, I have decided to take action. Tonight units of the United States First Infantry, backed by air and naval power, have begun their advance on the Peoples Republic of China..."

 

Can you see the peace-o's rejoicing, dancing around with their silk scarves and bootlegged Grateful Dead tapes?

 

Me either.

 

posted by Alois (mit mein Luger) 04/08/03

MICHAEL KELLY: IN MEMORIAM. His own words sum the man up, his wit and insight, better than I ever could. From an imaginary dialogue on NPR:

Perfectly Modulated: "Now let's go to our European analyst, Loathes America, for the insight from over there. Loathes, what is the mood of Europe tonight?"

 

Loathes America: "Bleak, of course. And properly so. I mean, one does not wish to say that this debacle is what America deserves for its arrogance, its vulgarity, its bullying ways -- well, actually one does wish to say it, doesn't one rather? Really, one just hates America. Really, one always has, ever since one was just a little chap..."

--Via The Washington Post

..........

4/9/03:

KLAUS IST HIER! after a couple of long hard weeks in the factory, manufacturing Weapons of Pork Corruption. Jawohl!

Screed recently sent to a lefty friend in Vermont who made the mistake of reminding me that "This war is all about oil!" I took the liberty of sharing it with you. Hier!

 

The role of oil in this conflict is that Iraq has lots of it and the revenues resulting from the sale of it has been used, in defiance of UN-imposed sanctions dictating that oil revenues be used for the basic needs of the Iraqi civilian population, to finance programs for the development and deployment of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons on one hand, and the massive enrichment of the Hussein regime (read: Saddam, Uday, Qusay Hussein and Ali Hassan al-Majid).

 

This regime has been nothing less than a reign of terror and a holocaust upon the Iraqi people and a regional source of fear and loathing among its neighbors. Those who demonstrate against removal of this regime by force are expressing their support for a Stalinist, totalitarian regime which has butchered and terrorized its own population for 30 years. The "peace"niks would, in Iraq, be the first ones hauled off and summarily executed with a bullet to the head. Lately they have been played like a fiddle by Saddam in his hopes to forestall military action by the coalition (which numbers about 60 countries). These widespread demonstrations have ironically served to embolden the Hussein regime. Perhaps this war would have been avoidable if Hussein saw that there was a united world opinion against him.

 

This war is not about oil. It is about standing against tyranny and terror. It is about the unacceptable nexus of shadowy terrorist organizations and producers--potential suppliers--of instruments of mass terror. This regime has defied for 12 long years sanctions imposed upon it by the UN. This says much about both the regime’s intransigence in the face of the "world community" and the UN’s complete and utter lack of efficacy to achieve ANYTHING.

 

This war is about defense--defense of the United States and like-minded members of Western Civilization--from the threat posed by Islamofascists whose stated goal is the destruction of the west, the killing of all "infidels" (this includes me and you and your family) and the creation of a monocultural Islamic fundamentalist world order. These people can no more be reasoned with than could loyal members of the Nazi party. No amount of people singing "Kumbaya" or "Imagine" will reform these Islamofascists. Look what they accomplished on 9/11 with just a few planes. Can ANYONE actually believe that if they had access to a nuclear weapon that they would hesitate to use it to wipe out Chicago or London or even Paris?

Eight years of Clintonian appeasement and "agreement" writing emboldened these people. They had good reason to expect that there would be no recourse from their dreadful attack. Clinton did not lift a finger when al qaeda destroyed the Khobar Towers or blew a hole in the side of the USS Cole. Fortunately we now have in place an administration with the intelligence to recognize this threat and the courage to confront it rather than "appease" it.

 

A bit of context to contemplate here: I vote for Ralph Nader in the last general election. I will be voting for Bush, et al in the next.

 

posted by Klaus (mit mein JDAM) 04/09/03

WHAT THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW, ROUND II: This will be part of a continuing education series to enlighten the Clueless Morons who claim that we "abandoned" Afghanistan to a state of "anarchy"--implying that things would have been better if we had left the Taliban in place:

Afghan Women Hope Computer Will Bring New Dawn--via Kathy Kinsley

posted by Alois 04/09/03

MY GLOAT, AS BAGHDAD FALLS... Hey, appeaseniks! Know what? You were WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Ridiculously, hopelessly, stupidly, incredibly wrong--as usual.

Let's get straight on something right now: In the time between October 7, 2001 and today, George W. Bush and Tony Blair have freed two horribly repressed nations from brutal slavery. On the other hand, what have you done--other than burn the American flag, sing "Give Peace A Chance," and wish for "a million Mogadishus"???

I think you get my drift. No, you don't. You're too stupid and deluded to.

posted by Alois (mit mein Luger) 04/09/03

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4/10/03:

DAILY GAZ-O-LEEEEEEN! AWARD goes to Deb over at Insomnomaniac for this truly priceless observation:

"Too bad Jacques! You had your chance to share in the glory. You blew it. All you had to do was grow a spine, a conscience, a heart and some balls, and you too could have joined the coalition of the willing. But noooooo! You decided it was better to whine and cry from the safety of your palais that we big bad ruffian Americans were waging an "illegal" war--an illegal war that just so happened to threaten your precious oil interests and weapons contracts... We remember, only too well, that effete smug-ass with the pompadour hairdo who mocked Colin Powell in public--Colin Powell, a man whose boots DeVillepin isn't fit to lick clean after a walk through pig shit."

Damn, that woman's got a way with words! I love her.

posted by Alois 04/10/03

TODAY'S MUST-READ is a fascinating, lucid and brief piece on American military doctrine, courtesy Joel Rosenberg.

posted by Alois 04/10/03

NEED SOME GOOD INSOMNIAC READING MATERIAL? Check out this rant, from a group that calls itself (again, I'm not kidding) "S.P.I.T."--"Stop Propaganda, Insist on Truth." And I thought these people were college-educated? Someone should tell them when they've made their fucking point already.

posted by Alois 04/10/03

AH, SPRING IN THE UPPER MIDWEST. Lileks writes about this kind of stuff better than I do, but I couldn't help but laugh as I stepped out for lunch today wearing a t-shirt and soaking up the rays with other grateful Wisconsinites. This morning, just after sunrise, I had taken my dogs out clad in a down parka, a flannel shirt, a sweater, and insulated gloves. And I was still cold.

What a difference a few hours can make--at least, in this part of the world, in the springtime.

posted by Alois 04/10/03

HACK, HAR, WHEEEEEEZE, SCORE ANOTHER ONE FOR RUMMY! Iraqi Ambassador to the UN: "The game is over. I have no relationship with Saddam Hussein." Donald Rumsfeld: "This isn't a game."

posted by Alois 04/10/03

AND DON'T MISS... The always excellent Victor Davis Hanson on democracies at war.

posted by Alois 04/10/03

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4/11/03:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Marla and Carla, the Wonder Twins!  

 

 

The twins sing "God Bless America"

 

posted by Alois 04/11/03

CRANIAL ARTERY CALCIFICATION STRIKES AGAIN: I could have sworn that I posted this a couple of days ago, but a perusal of the blog last night proved that I hadn't. Anyway it was about as comic of an image of the appeaseniks as could possibly be mustered--again, you couldn't pay an anti-idiotarian P.R. firm to come up with better stuff than this:

It's party time

Naked women, transvestites, dogs, dancers, singer Harry Belafonte and others joined Rep. Barbara Lee, California Democrat, for an antiwar protest Saturday to "praise the patriotism of the demonstrators and condemn the military action in Iraq," the Oakland Tribune reported yesterday.

 

"We denounce governments that act with tyranny," Mr. Belafonte told the crowd. "We are here to tell Nancy Pelosi to stop playing the game. We are losing our dignity and honor as a people."

 

Dignity was not necessarily the order of the day, however.

 

"A transvestite fell into step next to a tall, naked woman and bared his chest in solidarity. Stilt walkers strode confidently in time to the rhythm of drummers. The Liberation Brass Band performed an energizing rendition of 'When the Saints Come Marching In,'" the Tribune noted.

 

Ironically, there were costumed superheroes in battle gear, too, including warrior princess Xena, Catwoman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman and Robin Hood, along with a performing Middle Eastern dance troupe. Vendors sold organic vegan snacks, jewelry, Malcolm X books, peace T-shirts, antiwar pins and voodoo dolls on the City Hall steps.

 

Mrs. Lee told the crowd to "take back the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate and White House, causing the protesters to chant, 'Impeach Bush.'"

--Jennifer Harper in The Washington Times, via Emperor Misha I

posted by Alois 04/11/03

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We did it, we won one.

"'We' is not America, or France, or the Union Army, or Cambodia, or blacks, or whites, or Arabs or Jews: 'We' is mankind. To stand in solidarity with humanity on those few occasions when it lurches forward is more than an honor, it is mandatory if you have a soul, like keeping faith with those you love.

 

"And so, at this moment, as the Mordor shadow of Saddam Hussein, a truly evil man who, like a sociopathic murderous husband, killed everything that he could not control, lifts from the long-suffering people of Iraq, all of us, on the left and the right, Democrats and Republicans, America-lovers and America-haters, Syrians and Kuwaitis and Israelis and Palestinians, owe it to our common humanity to stop, put aside -- not forever -- our doubts and our grief and our future fears, and for one deep moment, celebrate."

 

--Gary Kamiya, an antiwar liberal, in Salon (Via Andrew Sullivan)

posted by Alois 04/11/03

ABOUT TALK-BACK. Some of you may have noticed that Schmaltz und Grieben does not feature any of those nifty little talk-back features that some of the other blogs have (although, interestingly, NOT Andrew Sullivan's). There is a reason for that.

During the day, I am employed as a techno-nerd by a large government agency (no, NOT the Pentagon grrrrrrrrrrrr). As it is, I get my fill of techno-geeky stuff on the job. So I don't think that my blog needs to be the coolest, the shiniest, or the most technically astute blog out there... it just needs to get the point across.

In the future, if I have the time, I may be moved to "upgrade" this blog to something like Movable Type or another good blogger format. In the meantime, Klaus und I do not in any way discourage commentary--and if we are impressed by your comment (be it pro or con) we will be more than happy to post it here. Remember that you can always reach us at graefental@hotmail.com.

We look forward to hearing from you.

posted by Alois 04/11/03

PROUD TO BE PROTESTANT: Check out this hysterical, nearly incomprehensible rant (via Andrew Sullivan) on a website for Seattle Catholics. Although I tend to keep my personal religious feelings off the blog, this is just one more reminder of why I joined the Reformation in 1975--probably the greatest decision of my life.

Hey, I'm not anti-Catholic so don't take this the wrong way--but you guys seriously need to get your act together as a faith. Further proof that your leadership has gone completely off the deep end.

posted by Alois 04/11/03

AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: April 11--in addition to being the birthday of the Wonder Twins--is also the anniversary of the 1965 Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak. 256 people died across the Upper Midwest and Lower Great Lakes regions as 51 tornadoes raked parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio; the latter three states were especially hard-hit.

A very fascinating look at this intense tornado outbreak can be found at Blake Naftel's Mammatus.com website. Tell Blake I sent ya.

posted by Alois 04/11/03

GREAT READING from Jim Hoagland (via Vodkapundit).

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and Alois is OUTTA HERE. See y'all Tuesday... and Do Good.

posted by Alois 04/11/03

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4/21/03:

APOLOGIES: I haven’t been blogging lately. Very busy at work (and that’s no complaint when half the people you know are unemployed), had a small emergency with my foster daughter (everything fine now), spent some quality time with the girlfriend, and finally Klaus und I rescued two dogs on Thursday and have been busy integrating them into der Life auf der Kompound. But now it’s a brand new week and, as we used to say in high school, Further Proponeth Sayeth Not, er, or sumpin?

posted by Alois 04/21/03

SURELY THEY SEE THE HUMOR IN THIS--but with these limp dicks, on the other hand, ya just never know. Courtesy our local liberal, um, organ.

posted by Alois 04/21/03

VICTORY. I know I haven’t said anything about this yet, and truthfully (other than the reasons/excuses for not blogging listed above) it’s because I haven’t really known what to say. Although part of me wants to rub this in to the wheedling lefties, if the truth be told I am just not much of one for rubbing stuff in. As my ex used to say, "You lack the killer instinct."

So much of the whole argument about the war can be reduced to sheer pedantry anyway. And as such, many of the real issues will continue to be obscured by the apologists of both the left and the right. Without mindless spouting o’ rhetoric, THIS is what I think it all reduces to:

a) The war was, in essence, a Good Thing. Anyone who believes otherwise is an idiot who is beyond reasonable discourse.

b) The American military proved beyond all doubt that it kicks ass. A superb battle plan, superbly executed.

c) Yes, there will be severe and challenging difficulties in the post-Saddam Iraq. And anyone who believes otherwise on this score is an idiot too. We had our little experience in Afghanistan to sort of set the tone. Yes, things are vastly better in Afghanistan now than they were under the Taliban. But does Hamid Karzai have an easy job? and do you really think he wants us to leave just yet? Just because we get rid of a group of organized psychopaths and set the course for the creation of a new regime does not mean that there will not be people in the country who do not wish us well. I don’t know why this comes as such as surprise to so many people. The Taliban—or, for that matter, the Ba’ath Party—were not aliens who landed on some mothership in the desert and then invaded the capital.

Nope, those folks live in San Francisco. (Via Andrew Sullivan)

posted by Alois 04/21/03

4/22/03:

WITH HIS USUAL ELOQUENCE: Sam Muldia takes apart the liberal carping about the Coalition’s legion and variform "failures" in Iraq. My favorite quote: "There is no Instant Society Kit that the US (or the criminally inept UN, for that matter) can bring to Iraq." Read the whole thing, please. It continues to amaze me that so many of the people who seem to have their heads on straight in Europe are from the former communist world—like Sam. On the other hand, why should that amaze me? They know what totalitarianism looks like.

posted by Alois 04/22/03

AAAAAARGH. It’s a picture-perfect day here in the upper Midwest (at LAST) and I just returned from the Madison isthmus and a delightful lunch along Lake Mendota with my girlfriend. Delightful, that is, except for one thing: on my way downtown I passed a great number of "War Is NOT The Answer" signs in front yards (and one thing that I find oddly amusing about these signs is the underlined "not," which is a fair simulacrum of the general didactic schoolmarmish tone of the antiwar left on every single issue from the war to the environment to the canonization of Saints Hillary and Babwa). Now excuse me if this seems a little dim, but what’s the point here? The war is so over at this point that the official Statement Of Victory should be released at any moment—so it isn?t as if there is still any question of whether or not we are going to go to war with Iraq. It’s a done deal, folks. Saddam nie ma!

Since I can’t believe that most of the appeaseniks are so stupid that they actually are unaware that we did go to war with Iraq and did overthrow the Hussein regime—although history may prove me wrong on this—I have to believe that the point to these signs is really along the lines of a Badge of Honor, as in, "I supported the Right Side in this war!"

 

O—kay.

 

What truly boggles the mind, if I am indeed correct about this—and, hey, it’s either that they DON’T KNOW that the war happened or that they are trying to remind passersby that they were in the "right"—is this: how can NOT removing Saddam Hussein have been construed as the "right" thing to do???

 

I looked around the Web a little bit today and found a couple of what might pass for Explanations, from the website of the loathsome Alexander Cockburn—who deserves his surname, in spades:

 

"Like it or not, Saddam Hussein was recognized by over 100 nations as the leader of Iraq—a member state of the United Nations."

 

"Liberation Four Years After: Iraqis Should Look to Serbia to Find Out What “Freedom” Will Be Like."

 

"Unfolding Nightmare: Inside the Humanitarian Disaster in Post-War Iraq."

 

Wow. Those are some really convincing reasons for having left Hussein and Milosevic in power. If Cockburn believes that those reasons actually constitute an argument—or a "counterpunch" as he would have it—then I guess the argument reduces to this:

 

The Iraqis and the Serbs were better off living under two psychopathic mass murderers, because there was law and order and if you kissed up to the government, you might get a good job. Now, thanks to the Allies, Iraq is experiencing the kind of civil unrest that Serbia underwent for several weeks after the fall of Milosevic. And that, my friends, is MUCH too high a price to pay for freedom. Better play it safe, under the thumb of a psychopathic dictator! You’re too stupid to live in a democracy anyway.

 

Jesus.

 

posted by Alois 04/22/03

*****

4/23/03:

EATING CROW: "Before the war got cranking, Sheryl told us the way to solve our problems was ‘not to have enemies.’ Great idea, Sheryl. I couldn’t agree more. Back in March, we had a lot of enemies in Iraq. Then we killed a whole bunch of them. Now we seem to have less. I may be jumping to conclusions, but I see a connection." —Steve H., Little Tiny Lies

posted by Alois 04/23/03

I’M NOT A WARBLOGGER. In fact, I’m not even an especially political animal, at least not in peacetime. I am registered with no political party and have no real interest in being registered with one. Which is not to say that I don’t vote, because I do; if the truth be told, I tend to find politics-as-usual to be deadly dull, an opportunity for grandstanding among the same personality types who did all the grandstanding in high school and college and do it still around the water cooler at the office. Yatta yatta yatta—the halfwits who have an opinion about everything and just can’t seem to shut the hell up. I tend to be deeply distrustful of politicians as a result, but I realize that they are an unavoidable part of living in a democratic society. Also, that the reason so many politicians are halfwits is that they are fascinated with power (and IMHO most people who are fascinated with power are halfwits) and hence they fill a vacuum where the rest of us are loath to tread, busy as we are with our mundane little lives and lack of interest in speechifying.

I come away from the war with Iraq profoundly unsettled, however. This has not so much to do with the war itself as it does the domestic rifts that the war and the buildup to war uncovered in this country. Although I get the distinct impression that the Leftocracy is overrepresented in the public discourse—due to its entrenchment in the Hollywood establishment, the media, and the educational system—there are two trends in current Lib-Dem thought that are truly disturbing. One is the fanatical, nearly Wahhabian zeal with which George W. Bush is hated and excoriated. The other is the apparent ease with which large sectors of this political bloc have flirted with outright treason. For yet another apparently unhealthy outgrowth of Sixties thought has been a complete misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, a lack of even generalized comprehension of our freedom of speech, freedom of press, and right of peaceable assembly. Basically, the Lib-Dem take on this seems to be, "I can do what I want, whenever I want, with no fear of any consequences" (the recent Tim Robbins / Baseball Hall of Fame debacle comes immediately to mind). This sort of infantilism is without precedent in the history of our country, for—although America is still the foremost bastion of individualism in the world—the new religion of Me-First is predicated on a complete lack of awareness of one’s larger duties of citizenship, of one’s responsibilities to seriously reflect upon the meaning of life in a democratic society. This is the intellectual asphyxia that enables Sheryl Crow to say things like "The way to avoid war is to not have any enemies," and Tim Robbins to imagine that the Baseball Hall of Fame’s disinvitation constitutes an actual attack on his free speech. It is the illogic that informs the demonstrators in San Francisco who blocked the central city’s intersections, reasoning that they were keeping people from "going to work to support the war machine." One does not need to look very hard to see the unengaged hysteria behind these statements and actions. And, of course, one of the principal obligations of a citizen in a democratic society is an engagement with that society.

 

So: in this spirit, Alois’s contributions to Schmaltz und Grieben will, in future days, examine the implications of 9/11 and the Iraq war for the future of the United States and the potential remaking of our two-party system. And other stuff about the future, at least as I envision it. There’ll be—maybe, possibly, God willing—more lighthearted fare as well. It’s been a rough couple of years. I look forward to what comes next—and I thank our troops and our President for that.

 

posted by Alois 04/23/03

THIS ARTICLE, by David Brooks, should be chiseled into a polished granite wall!

Small excerpt:

"Then there is the dream palace of the Europeans. In this palace, America is a bigger threat to world peace than Saddam Hussein. America is the land of rotting cities, the electric chair, serial killers, gun-crazed hunters, shallow materialists, religious nuts, savage capitalists, the all-powerful Jewish lobby, the oil lobby, the military-industrial complex, and bloodthirsty cowboy-presidents."

 

posted by Klaus 04/23/03

*****

4/24/03:

THE SANTORUM FLAP. Sullivan and a lot of the other bloggers have been all over this one, much as they were with the Trent Lott debacle. The future of American conservatism seems to be being decided even as we speak—or blog.

It’s easy to understand Sullivan’s profound upset; he is, of course, gay. And I certainly understand why a writer of Sullivan’s formidable intellectual gifts would want to dissect Santorum’s rant sentence by sentence—what we in the blogosphere so lovingly refer to as "fisking."

 

To me, however, it pretty much boils down to one issue: What consenting adults choose to do in their own bedrooms. I have said repeatedly over the years that this is no concern of mine, and definitely should not be any concern of the government’s. Sullivan lucidly makes the point that there will always be a disconnect between private and public morality, and that this is not even necessarily a bad thing—I for one don’t care to see any demonstrations of anyone’s little leather fetish, be they gay or straight. Where Santorum crossed the line is in suggesting that it is private sexual conduct between consenting adults is something that he feels should conceivably be regulated.

 

And at that point, friends, we need to ask why. "Less government is always a good thing"—unless, ah, it comes to keeping tabs on the boudoir behavior of our homosexual neighbors? Give me a break.

 

posted by Alois 04/24/03

HATE TO BURST YOUR LITTLE BUBBLE, BUT… Mark Steyn goes after a few favorite postwar myths, including this one:

Rather than reforming the Muslim world, the conquest of Iraq will inflame it (Jeffrey Simpson, the Toronto Globe And Mail, April 10th). The war has bred more terrorists than Osama bin Laden could ever hope for (Dr. Jedrzej George Frynas, the National Post, April 12th)

 

"Meanwhile, Back In The Real World: I note that in October 2001 Faizal Aqtub Siddiqi, President-General of the International Muslims Organization, said that the bombing of Afghanistan would create a thousand bin Ladens, whereas the other day Egypt's President Mubarak said that the bombing of Iraq would create a hundred bin Ladens. So right there you've got a 90% reduction in the bin Laden creation program -- just by bombing a second country! I'd advocate bombing Damascus if it weren't for the fact that it's ceased to be necessary. Effective immediately, Palestinian suicide bombers are no longer subsidized by Baghdad; in Jordan, the Saddamite boot is off the Hashemite windpipe; Syria is under notice to behave and in the unusual position, for an Arab dictatorship, of being ringed by relatively civilized states -- Turkey, Free Iraq, Jordan and Israel. Despite the best efforts of Western doom-mongers to rouse the Arab street, its attitude will remain: Start the jihad without me."

 

posted by Alois 04/24/03

*****

4/25/03:

I think things are going to work out real well in Iraq. The inexorable juggernaut of western civilization has come to the Mideast. I LOVE it! The clerics, mullahs and ayatollahs will lose control of the masses once they are allowed to actually ENJOY THEMSELVES and tune into the 21st century. Bush, et al are just nothing short of FUCKING BRILLIANT!

posted by Klaus 04/25/03

… NOW, if he’d only bitch-slap Rick Santorum before it’s too late …

posted by Alois 04/25/03

*****

4/29/03:

WOW. Bill Whittle is always good, but his latest essay approaches masterpiece status. Don’t miss it.

posted by Alois 04/29/03

*****

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I detest Hillary Clinton. On a personal level. Not even for her politics, but just because I believe she is a liar and a manipulator. And that photo of her new book cover makes me want to cry because Photoshop was never meant to be used for such things.

"Also, I still say Rick Santorum is a knob. Do not try to sway me, do not try to explain to me his non-knobness. Because his status as a knob is eternal and pure." --Rachel Lucas

posted by Alois 04/29/03

*****

4/30/03:

I love this picturea little "March for America" in downtown Berkeley! Talk about the belly of the beast… while the marchers chanted "USA! USA!", one of the locals inserted, "Sucks! Sucks!" You’ve got to wonder why the hell he’d want to stick around, don’t you? Photo by Ashley Rudmann, courtesy California Patriot: The Conservative Voice of Berkeley.

 

posted by Alois 04/30/03

sorry

WHY DON’T YOU JUST SAY, "I HATE AMERICA": Our local liberal Kotex, the Madison Capital Times, ran this headline today: "TROOPS SHOOT CIVILIANS AGAIN" (and underneath, in very small type, "Two Die; Soldiers Fired Upon First."

You’ve reached a new low, Dave Zweifeleven for you. In your attempts to rake in more loot from your pathetic audience of burned-out old hippies, hysterical feminists, and student radicals, you now resort to dragging your country through the mud.

 

Some people will do anything for a dollar. Me? I wonder how in the hell you sleep at night. You’re exactly the kind of guy Bill Whittle writes about, a shameless fifth columnistultimately more dangerous to the United States than any al-Qaeda operative. Just a nice, innocent, small-town journalist from New Glarus, huh? You make me sick.

 

posted by Alois 04/30/03