Other Tyrants in the Middle East Should Take Note

December 30, 2006

Michelle Malkin quotes one of the witnesses in her blog post: Michelle Malkin: Report: Saddam is dead

I have to admit he looked frightened…”he was shivering, he looked broken, frightened”…***

This is the first time that one of the tyrants of the Muslim world has been destroyed by a freely elected government of the country he tyrannized.

Has anyone noticed the difference between this trial and punishment and the Nuremberg trials after World War II? These trials were conducted by Iraqi government personnel. The execution was conducted by Iraqis. Even the Germans couldn’t have done that after the Allies’ defeated them.

This points so clearly to the one fact that rarely if ever gets written about – the US and the coalition were not at war with the Iraqi people. We have turned parts of the country over to their control at a very rapid rate.

The Iraqis have, on their part, taken up the responsibilities of running their own government (legislature, executive, judiciary, military, and police) at a pace far faster than the Germans or the Japanese did after World War II.

Doesn’t that strike you as not only surprising, but also encouraging? What do all these people who complain about US involvement in this effort think of our involvement in Germany and Japan after  World War II?

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They Should Get a Bonus from the U.S.

December 29, 2006

for taking on a task that we have had a hard time accomplishing in the past.The Media Line reports that,

The official government of Somalia, backed by Ethiopian forces has recaptured the country’s capital Mogadishu, according to media reports from the area.

So far, so good. The Ethiopian government should be supported by the US government in this endeavor. They’ve taken care of a problem for us in the Horn of Africa.
Of course, the reporter can’t leave the reporting at that. They have to have an outrageous quote from one of the losers:

The leaders of the Islamist alliance that held most of the country until this week have resigned, SomaliNet news agency reported. “Since the Islamists came to power in Somalia, they did a lot of significant acts for the people, particularly in terms of security, justice, development, improving internal and foreign politics, reopening the air and sea ports and so on,” the outgoing leadership said in the statement.

Islamist fighters are said to have handed their weaponry to warlords in the Mogadishu area.

Just like the Taliban and the other thugocracies in the region – Saddam’s Iraq, Akhmadenijad’s Iran.
I note the neutral term “significant acts,” as in significantly bad or significantly good?

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And Not a Moment Too Soon for Many

December 28, 2006

News services, including NBC: Saddam to be hanged by Sunday – Conflict in Iraq – MSNBC.com are reporting that:

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, sentenced to death for his role in 148 killings in 1982, will have his sentence carried out by Sunday, NBC News reported Thursday. According to a U.S. military officer who spoke on condition of anonymity, Saddam will be hanged before the start of the Eid religious holiday, which begins this Sunday.

And for many both inside and outside of Iraq it won’t come too soon for the butcher.
This should also take some of the wind out of the Baathists’ sails.

One interesting juxtaposition I noticed in the reporting was first this comment made by Saddam’s lawyer:

“I urge all the international and legal organizations, the United
Nations secretary-general, the Arab League and all the leaders of the
world to rapidly prevent the American administration from handing the
president to the Iraqi authorities,” he told The Associated Press.

Later in the report I saw this sentence from Saddam’s half-brother:

“He told them that he was happy he would meet his death at the hands of
his enemies and be a martyr and not just languish in prison in
oblivion.”

At least Saddam and his half-brothers understand that the freely elected Iraqi authorities are his true enemies.

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Gagdad Bob’s Post On the Liberal World View

December 28, 2006

Gagdad Bob has an interesting post examining the ideas and ideology of liberals (modern day definition) and conservatives (likewise, modern day definition). It’s posted at: One Cosmos: Today’s Score in the Game of Evolution: Conservatives 25, Leftists 0
In one part, he refers to a book, “The Central Liberal Truth: How Politics Can Change a Culture and Save It from Itself, by Lawrence Harrison.
Gagdad Bob uses the contents of the book to demonstrate some of the core falacies and weaknesses of modern-day liberal attitudes and world views:

In the preface of the book, Harrison — a long time USAID director — notes that all of the underdeveloped or underprivileged countries or cultures he worked in were plagued by the same pathologies — disrespect for law, lack of cooperation with one another, acquiescence to (and extertion of) unbridled authority, passivity when encountering problems, lack of civic consciousness, lack of trust, and pursuit of narrow personal interest. It is much easier for scholars such as Jared Diamond to blame geography, insufficient resources, or “guns, germs, and steel” for the failure of so many cultures, but this entirely begs the question of why certain groups — most notably, the Jews or East Asians — thrive wherever they are allowed to take root. In each case, they have a “portable culture” of extremely healthy and adaptive values that stand them in good stead.

I was interested by this paragraph, because it shows some core concepts that are the basis for healthy (and, by contrast, unhealthy) societal attitudes. There are seven pathologies in the above paragraph that point to two underlying dangers for people and the society in which they operate.
Disrespect for law, acquiescence to and exertion of unbridled authority, and pursuit of narrow personal interests all indicate a society in which some individual (or all individuals) or group is the highest authority. There is no external, immutable, higher authority to which one can “appeal” for justice.
Lack of cooperation, passivity when encountering problems, lack of civic consciousness and lack of trust all point to an outlook that rejects a shared sense of goals, responsibilities, and consequences.
These conditions virtually guarantee that a society will fracture into strata of privileged and underprivileged. In addition, they discourage people from striving to solve the problems they encounter in life themselves. Some power outside them will inflict its will on them. They must be and remain the victims.
Gagdad Bob’s article goes on to examine this victimology (to use Bob’s terminology) and how it manifests itself in the categories and subcategories of life that Harrison’s book discusses.
Self-respect and respect for others cannot exist in the above described moral wasteland.

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Mabye James Lileks Has Something Here

December 28, 2006

Hugh Hewitt refers to a post by James Lileks about a look “back” at 2007. One entry cause me to pause and think of the legacy that Fidel Castro leaves behind:

Fidel Castro died and lay in state for 48 hours while Cubans filed past
to pay their respects in the traditional manner. Experts estimated that
24,302 liters of spittle were expelled. Brother Raul declared a
“National Day of Mourning and Mopping Up.”

The thought that popped into my head was that this wasn’t unbelieveable.
Gerald Ford has passed – and people look back at his legacy with respect and honor. Fidel cannot hope for any of this at the end of his life.

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I’m Sure He Did

December 28, 2006

Reading about the killing of an aide to Moqtada al Sadr, Sahib al-Amiri, in a joint US-Iraqi raid, I came across this attempt to paint the dead man as an humanitarian: Close Adviser to Sadr Dies in U.S.-Iraqi Raid – washingtonpost.com

U.S. military officials declined to confirm that Amiri was a Sadr aide, saying only that he had provided explosives for use against Iraqi and U.S. forces. Sadr officials said Amiri was an aide and a lawyer who ran an educational organization that helped orphans and impoverished children.

Call me sarcastic, but I thought there isn’t much linguistic difference in saying that “he had run an organization that trained people to orphan and impoverish children” by killing people with IEDs. Maybe the comment was mistranslated but accurate?

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You May Be Right..

December 26, 2006

AND you may be crazy (to twist the Billy Joel lyrics) Iran Is Defiant, Vowing to U.N. It Will Continue Nuclear Efforts – New York Times

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that the sanctions would not prevent Iran from developing its nuclear program, ISNA news agency reported.

He may be right about the sanctions being toothless, but if the UN doesn’t do something, they aren’t doing their job. There is also no pressure on the Tehran regime to either change or lose support from the populace.

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