Thursday, October 28, 2004
THE ROMANS SEARCH FOR THE JUDEAN POPULAR FRONT:
The issue (with the supposed Ickes lies) is not that the FBI wasn’t allowed to question the departing bin Ladens but that such questioning was perfunctory.
To quote one of many stories that has made this point:
Mr Clarke said he checked with FBI officials, who gave the go ahead. “So I said: ‘Fine, let it happen.’”
He first asked the bureau to check that no-one “inappropriate” was leaving.
“I have no idea if they did a good job,” he added.
Dale Watson, the FBI’s former head of counter-terrorism, said that, while the bureau identified the Saudis who were on the plane, “they were not subject to serious interrogations.”
posted by Sully 10/28/2004 01:49:00 PM
IRRITANTS MINOR AND MAJOR:
First, his pecuniary interests notwithstanding, he should at least remind people that most online TNR material is registration-required. Otherwise it looks like he’s trying to drum up more names for TNR’s marketing department.
Second, we think it should be considered unethical by bloggers to link to sites such as flowgo that were once notorious for spam-harvesting and now are major spyware/adware sources.
(Sorry to preach, but we’ve just experienced some major computer problems that turned out to come back to some pesky spyware. It’s really worse than viruses, and we don’t need to make it any worse than it is).
posted by Sully 10/28/2004 01:36:00 PM
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Many, many bloggers have noticed how Hitch endorsed Bush in the pages of The Nation and Kerry to readers of Slate.
But Steve Mussina earns top honors here, taking a baseball bat to Hitch and not leaving till his victim lies unconscious and sober on the floor.
Hitchypoo pulls off something remarkable: He constructs a Guinness-world-record straw man, something so monstrous it should be displayed at a Midwestern state fair, next to a fifty-foot-high cow carved out of butter
There are times when Hitchens reminds me of George W. Bush — the history of drinking, the belittling self-righteousness. But he's no George Bush, really — in fact, I think he’s the new Camille Paglia.First off, there’s the narcissism. Paglia as egomaniac we all know about; regarding Hitchens, consider this: In David Corn's Nation endorsement of Kerry, which bookends the Hitchens endorsement of Bush, there are 1020 words; the personal pronoun appears 5 times. The count for Hitchens? Words: 1314. “I”: 36.
And the Hitchens message is almost indistinguishable from the Paglia message. The point of much of Paglia’s writing is: Millions of people imbibed 1960s values, but I alone embody those values now. Everybody else’s version of the 1960s is a grotesque distortion. Substitute "Left" for "1960s," and that’s essentially what Hitchens says in everything he writes now.
That’s the weakness Hitchens and Paglia have in common: They’re both idealists, but they’re both willing to fall for whoever most cleverly packages snake oil as idealism. Thus Madonna becomes a hero of feminism and Bush a champion of human rights.
Beautiful. With Sullivan as the middle term between the two.
To be fair, he errs in one way: much of Paglia’s writing has no point.
posted by Sully 10/27/2004 08:49:00 PM
THE WILL TO EXCUSE:
While displaying a good grasp of the history of WW II campaigns in the Phillippines by both the U.S and the Japanese, Belmont Club also epitomizes the desire we noted below in one of Sullivan’s latest emailers to bend over backwards and come back up one’s own ass rather than admit any mistake by the Fearless Supreme Leader.
One would gather from reading it that Saddam Hussein is so clever that he arranged every screwup by the administration on this issue. All we can say is, he obviously had an operative on the Supreme Court. Perhaps that’s why Rehnquist is sick all of a sudden.
The best way to read it is by substituting a few key phrases.Saddam may have begun moving his WMD materials into Syria as
the US vainly attempted to get UN authorization to topple his regime.
“as the U.S. went through the motions of pretending to get UN authorization to topple his regime.”the successful campaign to prevent the US from pushing the 4ID down from Turkey
“the unsuccessful campaign to get Turkey to allow 4ID to be based on its soil for an invasion of a neighboring state.”By denying the United States proof of its WMDs“By failing to manufacture them in the first place after The Administration Before That Cannot Be Named bombed what was left of the WMD capacity in 1998 ... ”
posted by Sully 10/27/2004 01:06:00 PM
WE’RE NOT THAT BENIGHTED, ANDREW:
OK, so the vast majority of, say, red-state America doesn’t know (and cares even less) who John Peel was.
But, we think, a large part of his audience, judging from his own demographics and the fact that certain heds of his don’t result in puzzled emails from readers, plied the import racks of record stores with good alternative sections in the 1980s and can’t but remember the many bands for whom a four-track “Peel Sessions” CD could reliably be found.
And some of us prized them.
posted by Sully 10/27/2004 01:00:00 PM
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
OLD HABITS DIE HARD (A BRIEF BUT DEVASTATING FISK):One of the worst mistakes the administration made was not killing Zarqawi when they had the chance.
Would have been nice if you’d said so at the time. Too busy cheerleading, we guess.What diplomatic preparations?
They had their reasons — they didn’t want to derail the diplomatic preparation for the war against Saddam by striking within Iraq before formal hostilities broke out.
What formal hostilities? (And come to think of it, “formal hostilities” is sort of a cruel contradiction in terms, isn’t it?)
Funny how those things are important now, isn’t it? Perhaps they were just as important then, hmm?But they had a chance. And they must surely regret not taking it today.
en·ab·ler, noun. one that enables another to achieve an end; especially: one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by helping that individual avoid the consequences of such behavior.
posted by Sully 10/26/2004 04:46:00 PM
ABUSUM NON TOLLIT USUM:
Just because liberals blame everything that goes wrong in Iraq on Bush doesn’t mean, as Sullivan’s latest emailer seems to imply, that nothing is Bush’s fault.
We particularly love this spin bit that first shifts the blame for some minor thing like how many troops to send to Iraq to nameless bureaucrats, then turns around to suggest that even half a million troops, more than even Shinseki wanted to send, “couldn’t perform all the tasks that are required in a country that big.”
That just begs the obvious question: Then why the hell invade Iraq in the first place? If it was so vitally important to American security that Iraq be invaded and its regime changed, we could not have afforded to do it wrong. But the Bush administration missed countless chances to do it right, telegraphing instead that it mattered more that we did it than anything else.
This is the symptom of a mature cult of personality, when simple common sense must yield to the unfailing adoration of the unblemished leader.
We also love this qualifier:... nor did Rumsfeld intend that the country should receive blanket security, presuming, of course, that it was possible given the manpower shortages we now know exist.
We now know exist? We knew it even then, for those willing to listen.
We’re also sure that it comes as cold comfort to the Iraqi people that Rumsfeld never intended that they should receive “blanket security.” But they’ve already figured that out, and seem to be well along with making alternative arrangements to guarantee that whether we like it or not.
posted by Sully 10/26/2004 04:31:00 PM
Monday, October 25, 2004
THINGS GO AROUND IN A BELL CURVE:
Roger Ailes is also on the case of Linda Gottfredson, who not only is not the unbiased source on Kerry’s I.Q. Tierney (a libertarian hack under deep-cover in the Times) would have you believe, she is also the recipient of money from the eugenicist Pioneer Fund.
But what else would you have expected from the guy who put the excerpts from Murray’s book in TNR over the objections of practically the entire staff?
posted by Sully 10/25/2004 01:30:00 PM
NOBODY IN HERE BUT US CHICKENS NOW:
Everyone wishes him well, apart from a few malicious nutcases
Hmm, couldn’t imagine him ever being one of those people.
posted by Sully 10/25/2004 10:47:00 AM
WRITING CHECKS EVEN HIS EGO CAN’T CASH:
This blog has been on the case of vanished and missing explosives and infrastructure from Iraq weapons sites for some time.
Well, Andrew, if you do say so yourself ...
This story, as in specifically about the explosives, broke last night. That’s really a lot of time to have been following it (and we do mean following it).
Yes, Sully expressed some offhanded concern about this sort of thing over the past 18 months or so, every now and then. But that in no way qualifies him to say now that he’s been getting out in front of this.
posted by Sully 10/25/2004 10:41:00 AM
“OOO-OOOH, THAT SMELL ...:
Kudos to Roger Ailes for noticing the same unsavory whiff of an ancient bigotry we thought we saw in the Martin Luther item.
posted by Sully 10/25/2004 10:32:00 AM
Sunday, October 24, 2004
A FITTING OBSESSION:
It’s getting to be pretty much an open secret that every Memorial Day weekend Sullivan disappears to Chicago, or tries to, for the annual International Mr. Leather competition, and all the attendant bacchanalia.
Steve Gilliard opens our eyes to the co-optation of that event and its champion by the notoriously right-leaning Coors brewery, an executive of which is seeking to be the next U.S. Senator from Colorado.Know what Bruce Chopnik, International Mr. Leather, wants to do when he makes his September 26 appearance at San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair, the largest leather show in the world? He wants to educate “a new generation of gays” about Coors, that’s what.
“What Mr. Leather is doing is misleading and misinforming the gay community,” says Dr. Don Kilhefner, a founding member of the Coors Boycott Committee who lives and teaches in Los Angeles. “He’s a betrayal of gay liberation and gay people.”
All we can just say is, it figures that someone so willfully blind to the anti-gay agenda of certain rightwingers would be drawn to an event that produced a similarly blind champion.
It just figures.
posted by Sully 10/24/2004 09:42:00 PM
SO, DO THE TERRORISTS REALLY WANT KERRY TO WIN?:
Via Max Sawicky we learn of this story:
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- The head of Iran’s security council
said Tuesday that the re-election of President Bush was in Tehran’s best interests, despite the administration’s axis of evil label, accusations that Iran harbors al-Qaida terrorists and threats of sanctions over the country’s nuclear ambitions.
Historically, Democrats have harmed Iran more than Republicans, said Hasan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, Iran’s top security decision-making body. “We haven’t seen anything good from Democrats,” Rowhani told state-run television in remarks that, for the first time in recent decades, saw Iran openly supporting one U.S. presidential candidate over another. Though Iran generally does not publicly wade into U.S. presidential politics, it has a history of preferring Republicans over Democrats, who tend to press human rights issues.
“We do not desire to see Democrats take over,” Rowhani said when asked if Iran was supporting Democratic Sen. John Kerry against Bush.
Iranian political analyst Mohsen Mofidi said ousting the Taliban and Saddam was the “biggest service any administration could have done for Iran.”
Let’s see how this enters into Sullivan’s thinking when he keeps saying he doesn’t think Kerry understands the problem.
posted by Sully 10/24/2004 09:30:00 PM