Friday, December 19, 2003

Wolf to Investigate Slayings at Henhouse

Wolf to Investigate Slayings at Henhouse
In a follow-up to my post of October 15th "Gaza Strip Blast Kills 3 Americans", Israel Law Center Director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner has informed Attorney General John Ashcroft (via the website for the Independent Media Research Center) that the lead investigator assigned to the case by the Palestinian-Authority is in fact the likely perpetrator of the crime.

“It is a disgraceful that the individual assigned by the Palestinian Authority to investigate the murders of Branchizio, Linde and Parsons is himself a leading terrorist suspected of numerous other roadside bombings in Gaza. If the United States is sincere about making arrests then it must not tolerate Rashid Abu Shabak heading up this crucial inquiry. The similarities between the October 15th roadside bombing and the roadside bombing of the Kfar Darom school bus in November 2000 cannot be ignored. We urge the Department of Justice to initiate its own investigation of Abu Shabak and his role in prior Gaza terror attacks, some of which have seriously injured American citizens.” ...

As Charles often says "Lovely people. Let's give them a state!"

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

To Be Filed Under: Meow!

Why I Think Little of Madeleine Albright

"Do you suppose the Bush administration has Osama bin Laden hidden away somewhere and will bring him out before the election?"

-Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in Fox News Green Room conversation with Morton Kondrake

Goodness, Madeleine - bitter much? And since when is 10 months prior to an elelection capitalizing on same? Although, in Maddy's defense, former President Clinton lived to campaign, perhaps we ought not blame his former Secretary of State for thinking 10 months prior to be the closing stretch.

Madeleine Albright (she of the inherently misnomerous surname) is wildly popular among many of my female friends. They blithely regard her as model of mentorship and a master practitioner of statecraft (largely based on her historical status, as well as this money quote from her recent appearance at a Council on Foreign Realtions brunch here in Chicago: "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women" ... way to pander to the chicks, Madeleine).

Frankly, the esteem in which she is held in has always been a bit of a mystery to me. When she became the first female SecState, I was keen to give her the benefit of the doubt. However, her modus operandi of reacting to worldwide crises, rather than promoting American interests in a proactive manner, led me to believe that my faith in her was not to be realized. The quote above, made yesterday, clearly shows her to be cravenly opportunistic and cynical, a true Clintonian-democrat of the first order. Gone are the days where former administration officials sublimated personal opinion and opportunism in order to project a united front. Evidently, Ms. Albright cares not for what is in America's best interests, especially when a political three-pointer can be scored against the opposing team.

It's women like Madeleine Albright that make me look a little closer at women running for political office, rather than electing them to office simply because we need female representation in the three branches of our government. Would that my freinds did the same.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Christopher Hitchens on Saddam's Capture

Christopher Hitchens on Saddam's Capture

Christopher Hitchens (known to UK readers for his columns in The Spectator and the tabloid Daily Mail, and US readers for his bi-monthly column in Vanity Fair) has penned a must-read column on the capture of Saddam Hussein, and how it marks the end of a regime so brutal, it is unimaginable to those of us fortunate enough to have lived in secular Western culture: Chrsitopher Hitchens on Saddam's Capture

Kanan Makiya's brilliant profile of Ba'ath Party rule, The Republic of Fear, had a title that was, if anything, understated. In Baghdad in the old days, I knew people who said you could smell the fear. Others said no, you could taste it. The one who came closest said you could actually eat it.

Just the mention of the name was enough to bring a look into the eyes of almost any Iraqi: the look of a broken dog that is once again shown the whip. This is why I can't stand those who refer with a sneer to the courageous Iraqi opposition as "exiles".

It's a brilliant essay that truly makes one feel, albeit vicariously, the oppressive fear that permeated every aspect of Iraqi life. While I agree with the overall tenor and point of Hitchens' piece, I can't embrace his categorization of Iraqi exiles. Formenting change in from inside Iraq was a near impossibility; after all, those who possessed the courage to challenge the Ba'athist tyrants were dragged away and tortured before being executed without trial.

I've often wanted to ask those persons who identify themselves as civil libertarians as well as anti-Bush's "Unjust War" how they reconcile the inherent dichotomy of Hussein's actions to suppress all dissent under penalty of dismemberment or even death with the fact that today's Iraqis, while enduring the chaos that comes with the last desperate acts of self-preservation among Saddam's disposessed power-base, have at their disposal the tools and resources to create a more liberated society than could have existed prior to this war? I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for a common-sense answer to this question, as introspection, not to mention common sense, is often absent from their emotion- & ideology-fuelled hatred of anything our President does.

I think I may have found my life's purpose ...

I think I may have found my life's purpose ...

Well, that may be a bit of an overstatement, lol! Quite frankly, I would love to be a GOP Babe of the Week. Granted, a few pseudo-Babes are included in the list (Shannen Doherty, ewww), but this week's choice is Elizabeth Hasselbeck, new to ABC's "The View". It's good to know at least one of the hosts of that show possesses a modicum of common sense.

GOP Babe of This Week: Elisabeth Hasselbeck; Someday: Me!