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:: Thursday, 27 February 2003 ::

Italy is Old Europe. Old as it gets

I have been pondering the Rumsfeld slag of 'Old Europe' and I have concluded that it is as imprecise slag. Which is what you can expect from Donald whose job is not to talk straight.

Italy is oldest Europe. Western Europe.

Spain, Germany and France were filled with folks wearing whole rabbit carcasses hanging off their bare bodkins, instead of pelts, while Romans were peeling grapes.

And do not begin with the technical age of Greece - please. Eastern, okay? And one stupendous civilisation, followed by too much oregano and then a bunch of left wing ship building for the next millenia does not make me sit up and say wow. And neither should you. Even if you are a Greek.

Anyhoo, Rumsfeld's slag of France and Germany was calculated to give comfort to Rumania, Bulgaria, Lithuania etcania etcania. Spain and Italy and the Netherlands too are okay with their independence from the Franco-German stuff that has been pushed so hard. But Spain and Italy and the Netherlands too are old old old Europe, with real old sensibilities.

The blog world has picked up on stuff and the Mark Steyns and whoever. But for those of us from Old Europe, there is some translation needed. Cos 'Old Europe' should not mean exactly what it says. It should mean "Old-thinking Europe".

That is the key.

New thinking Europe is made of old old fashioned countries. With new new fashioned philosophies.

That is all.

Oh, except this, which is funny provided it is levelled at France and Germany.

Got that?


:: WB 3:11 a.m. [link+] ::
I suppose technically you can pray for Saddam

But why would you?

:: WB 3:00 a.m. [link+] ::
Name a great Arab whiner

The author's name is not on this piece. But sure as rugs is rugs, the Palestinians get a good look in.


:: WB 2:48 a.m. [link+] ::
That's a lot of people

To pay their respects to Dear Departed Favoloso Alberto Sordi in Rome.

A lot.

Kinda puts the peace marching in perspective.

I think it was Tim Blair who noted more folks go to the Grand Prix every single year than turned out Oz wide for peace on marchy-day.

And let us not even think about the AFL finals series...

UPDATE: And this will get the Romans out for a pleasing passeggiata in nearest piazza after a perfect (if a just a teeny bit too salty) Roman dinner.

:: WB 2:35 a.m. [link+] ::
:: Wednesday, 26 February 2003 ::
Sepp Blatter role, eh? Go Guinea Go.

To lighten my dark mood, I will turn my trembly mind at some superglib World Cup tips:

FOR Mexico Chile Angola Guinea Cameroon Spain US UK Bulgaria Pakistan - that's your min 9 exceeded right there. That's what is needed to pass the resolution.
AGAINST Syria France Germany

VETO? France

I reckon they'll do it.



:: WB 12:32 p.m. [link+] ::
Tony Blair survives the revolt

But jeebus, some of the quotes against are really priceless. And these people are in charge?

I mean, really:

"Strength does not lie simply in military might. Strength lies in simply having an unanswerable case. It lies in making the right moral choices, it lies in maintaining the pressure and it lies in securing the fullest possible international agreement."

See it? "I think I am good. That is all. You may go."

I caught Tony Blair talking to a bunch of anti-war types. Man, that guy is working hard. There is no changing the minds of some folks. And that is their business. But some folks will not, and I do mean, they will not think to the end of the line. It is all 'there must be another way' and absolutely no focus on what that be.

Urgh. What a way to start a day.

:: WB 12:26 p.m. [link+] ::
Surely it is vice versa.

But maybe the Daily Tele is just luring in the anti-war jackasses with the headline.

Or it could be that the subeditors are drunk.

:: WB 12:14 p.m. [link+] ::
Wow. An ABC poll that is pro-war

:: WB 12:11 p.m. [link+] ::
This shit can happen naturally?

Dear God.

:: WB 3:36 a.m. [link+] ::
Sounds like....

And is just as much a fool.

You know who I am referring to. Do not play dumb.


On today's WebDiary site is a priceless bit of gymnastics that says essentially: I am anti-war. I know it involves leaving Iraqis to die, but hey. That is that. But I might be able to go with the pro-war left if they can convince me the war will be short. But I will never never go with anyone who is pro-war and not left. That is sooo that.

That is what is felt. Iraqi life. Not worth a pinch of shit. Change from the status quo of UN nothingness? Change is bad.

All impugning motives and absolutely no coming to grips with arguments.

I would like to see Margo post Jose Ramos Horta's piece (I blogged it last night I think. Scroll down). I actually think it will change some of her correspondents' minds.

:: WB 3:25 a.m. [link+] ::
Oh. The guy is just soooo wrong

You see, exile was an option Tony Blair canvassed, even at this late hour, last night (Oz time) in his speech to his Parliament. But hell, no, Saddam says no. What is he on? He is mental. It's like George Costanza. He really needs to start doing the opposite of what he instinctively wants to do.


I know that being glib is not helpful. But he is breathtakingly lousy.

:: WB 3:12 a.m. [link+] ::
Nice post

And probably on the money.

:: WB 3:09 a.m. [link+] ::

Just a minute. Just a minute. He's black. Let's call him Mr B. And, apparently this whole debacle is 'Assisted Fertility'?

:: WB 3:06 a.m. [link+] ::
Lawyers. Oh, for... G'uh

I had thought to blog about the imbecilc lawyers but Ken Parish has done very well. So has ABCWatch.

See, these lawyers are the kind of lawyers who cannot conceive that Saddam is, deep down at the very root of his being, a crime against humanity. Because he is as he does. He does violence. He is violent. He begets violence through his kids. But the lawyers cannot fathom that a regime of international activity exists in which Saddam can be challenged straight up to give up his shit or fuck off. Cannot put it any plainer than that. But it is too plain for the lawyers.

Human rightey lawyers are all the worst parts of Clarence Darrow and Lord Denning, you know? I have trouble finding folks I respect in that game of law. I caught a show on BBCWorld on the weekend about Carla del Ponte, former associate to Fabulous Falcone, Mafiabusting magistrate in Italy. She is tenancious and has an eye on real atrocities and real atrocious folks to go after. But she is big picture slapdash, so her detractors say.

Would I want her doing my .08 case in Moore Park, or the speeding fine bonanza that is the Tulla freeway?

No. I do not think so.

:: WB 3:01 a.m. [link+] ::
:: Tuesday, 25 February 2003 ::
So Very Sad

This beautiful beautiful man, this great actor, fabulous person. No more him means a lot less good.

He was hilarious, fall down funny in so many Italian films. I Vitelloni is fantastic. And so deeply moving too. In a gorgeous Italian language version film of Moliere's Il Malato Imaginario he does a scene talking to a swallow that is so touching. So beautiful. Perfect. And he does scenes of enemas. Laffs.

But in English he made a beautiful war movie with David Niven called "The Best of Enemies which featured an exchnage something like this:

Toffy Major Niven is forcing the captured Italians in some blasted part of North Africa to build latrines.

Major Sordi gets upset: The Romans were building aqueducts while you people were still painting yourselves blue!

Always loved that. Funny cos it's true.

Man, oh man. I think a bit of my heart has broken off. He's Alberto Sordi. Rome.

Jeebus, they will be in mourning.

:: WB 5:53 a.m. [link+] ::
The London Sun

Staying with the important stories. And where do they get these photos?


:: WB 5:25 a.m. [link+] ::
It is Saddam's way

Tell the Russians - who are not yet for bombing him out of his strangehold on what should be a great nation but instead is a shitheap with 4 million of its folks living somewhere, anywhere please, else - that he will destroy his missiles.

Tell Dan Rather from the US that he will not destroy them.

Tell Blix he is considering Blix's demand that the missiles be destroyed by Friday, and the pace of that destruction can be the subject of discussion and he will get back to Blix. Maybe by Friday, maybe not.

Will the man ever be a straight up guy?

:: WB 5:18 a.m. [link+] ::
Popham = insufferable snob

How a bout this for snippy.

"The streets of Rome are filled with rubble," sang Bob Dylan. An American – perhaps even Dylan – might feel the urge to take a bulldozer to the city and start afresh, but for us "old" Europeans, it is those vistas of antique ruination that give Rome its unique majesty and the sense, like nowhere else, of living cheek by jowl with the past. Here Cicero spouted ancient inspiration for all the modern rebarbative bores on Italian television's wall-to-wall political chat shows. Here the gladiators fought – not in terror and misery, says new research, but, like today's footballers or pop stars, with personal trainers, incredibly rich diets, and referees to ensure a clean fight.


Americans do not like Rome? Want to bulldoze it? James Lileks? Chris Isaaks? Dick Cheney? Freakin' try and they will have a bunch of Romans arguing about it. And nobody wants Roman argument. No one alive, that is.

Zif, jackass.

:: WB 4:51 a.m. [link+] ::
Tony Blair is speaking to the British Parliament

And he getting a bunch of 'hear, hears'. It is very good so far. He is covering all bases. Transcripts need to be found. If he can turn his parliament a bit, that is a major step. For him. And for picking off the emptiness of opposition to action.

First quotes from the speech I can find.

:: WB 4:46 a.m. [link+] ::
First up against the wall when the revolution comes....

Only it ain't the revolution they imagined. I am quite certain they would secretly lovelove to get shot by the Enigmatic Subcomandante Marcos in Mexico or some such.

See, lawyers, 'specially civil righty types, are so freakin' earnest they carry no concept of what it means not to have His or Her Honour be the centre of the universe.

They were always going to lose this one.

They lost back in 1991.

They wanted an injunction, fer cryin' outta loud. Jesus wept. For the uninitiated, which should not be any of you, an injunction is a court order. In this case, the idiot loser lawyers wanted a court order to stop this Iraq business.

Imagine, for a moment, the process server who serves, or delivers, this order.


"Hello. Is Mr Rumsfeld at home?"


:: WB 4:41 a.m. [link+] ::
O mo Go' O Kon B'leeevit

Look. Violence at Italian football is peculiarly Italian, fuelled by animosity that is generations old, deep hatred, conspiracy theories, a feeling of abandonment by the players and suspicion at the motives of coaches and owners.

They do not call it Serie A for nothing.


Does not get any finer.

:: WB 4:36 a.m. [link+] ::
:: Monday, 24 February 2003 ::
Got your 18th resolution right here

:: WB 2:57 p.m. [link+] ::
Biased BBC. You bet.

Andrew Sullivan has been doing stuff about the BBC but this li'l bit of bias is just perfect:

Shortly before the Gulf War of 1991, hundreds of British nationals were briefly detained as hostages (by Saddam) to deter bombing raids on Baghdad.

They were subsequently released, but the strategy backfired: coercing women and children into staying in a war zone cast Saddam Hussein in the role of the ruthless ruler many of his detractors had long maintained he is.

How is this biased? Because they were not coerced into staying. That suggests maybe they were bribed or just threatened. They were held against their will in Baghdad. Different thing entirely. And Saddam's stragedy (yeah, it is spelled right) did not backfire. It was a freakin' criminal disgrace. Backfire suggests that, had it succeeded, it would have been a legitimate act to undertake.

What the...?

And Saddam does not have detractors. He has folks the world over, mainly his compatriots, who hate his freakin' guts.


:: WB 2:56 p.m. [link+] ::
Baldfaced, finalmente

Have a read of this article in The Times. And note this paragraph:

M Chirac explained that the counter-proposal by saying that France saw no need to abandon “the logic of peace and to switch to a logic of war”. Nicolas Sarkozy, the French Interior Minister, said that France’s position was that “there cannot be a superpower that runs the world’s affairs”.

Not to do with Saddam. Nothing to do with Saddam. Just do not want America to have its way. Never mind that many nations indluding my two favourites Italy and Australia happen to AGREE with the US, as opposed to having been bullied by them....nevermind that.

These guys in charge in Paris are giving Frenchmen everywhere a bad name.

It is such a stupid position for France to take. I mean, I say in response: There cannot be a single nation able to thwart the wishes of fine nations on earth in favour of lousy nations on a matter of what that single nations deems is a matter of pricple when really all it is is a gigantic jerk-off.

And make no mistake, Oz and Italy are superfine, high-grade quality joints. That is my view. It is the view of many others. Well, those that can see and think in a straight line. And I am happy to add Spain, Poland, Bulgaria and the rest.

Really, these guys in charge in France are just appalling. Stronzi.


:: WB 2:50 p.m. [link+] ::
Guidelines for disarmament, programme by programme

Interesting. If Saddam has to be dragged kicking and screaming to give up every weapon, every aluminium tube, etc, it will be the mother of all humiliations for him. Hussein cannot feel shame. But he's got that humiliation thing going on. Will he destroy his missiles? God I hope so. I mean that is the point. And it vindicates the military pressure, and it vindicates Blix and the UN, although they have been too soft with Hussein.

But every missle, cap, aluminium tube? Nope. I do not reckon Hussein will do it.

No shame see.

Speaking of shame, tonight's Foreign Correspondent about the Dubai camel racing slavekiddies looks a gruesome bit of teevee.

No shame, see.

There is no timeframe on the French and German proposal. None. Just the same old same old. What a wasted opportunity.

:: WB 12:26 p.m. [link+] ::

:: WB 12:18 p.m. [link+] ::
I do not like your tone

How is this for analysis from the Left?

First, a reality check. NATO's intervention in Kosovo had neither the intent nor even the result of ending Milosevic's rule. And the delusion that Australia "intervened" in East Timor is a dangerous one to base future actions on. Our troops went there with Indonesian consent (extracted albeit by some third-party arm-twisting) and we "liberated" no one.

Second, what the New Humanitarians want is to trash UN Resolution 1441. They advocate invasion whether Hussein disarms or not, which would make a lie of the claim that war is up to him.

Third, very few of us can claim any high ground on how much we allow foreigners' suffering to impinge on our daily thoughts, let alone actions. If the New Humanitarians have thoughts on how to spread human rights and democracy around the globe – which doesn't involve bombing them first – please share them with us.

Let me paraphrase. NATO's efforts in Kosovo were not so good, neither were Oz's efforts in East Timor. Resolution 1441 did not warn of serious consequences, and if it did 'serious' only means talktalk. And Hussein ,being a madaxe killer who prevents peaceful attempts at his removal, is not important.

It boils down to: I like people more than you. I do. I do. I do. I am a leftie. I am good. He is my friend. Not your friend. Wah.

Nothing. Empty.

And Dunlop, well please. More evidence of the emptiness. He is more concerned with the tone and the motivation of those who argue against his views, than he is actually coming to grips with the arguments. So he asks the question about domeocracy and dissent, isn't it good for democracy to have dissent?

Damn straight it is.

What is really bad for democracy is when self-styled dissenters bleat about getting criticised for it.

Have a read of the comments thread. Urgh.

UPDATE (in anticipation of leftie snippiness).

Read it and weep. No, really.

:: WB 12:16 p.m. [link+] ::
:: Sunday, 23 February 2003 ::
The deal

The deal is:

Tony Benn (is he a Sir? I cannot be bothered looking it up) is not a person with whom one can have a rational much less a convicing conversation. Caught him on radio 2BL or whatever in Sydney late last night. It is all about oil. War is naughty, naughty, naughty and people who make war are naughty people. He reckons he did the interview just to show Saddam's side of the story. As if he did Saddam any favours.

Benn is a man in full. He knows what it is all about. And he knows the Americans are the baddies. He is the reason why indecisive Librans like me end up deciding against whatever he is for.

Caught Kevin Rudd on Meet the Press on Channel 10. I cannot say it was incoherent rambling. Because he is not. But he is empty. Blah Blah UN. No freakin' difference between that position and siding with the Americans, except siding with the Americans actually makles sense cos they are go to guys. Not always great to us, but they can be. The UN guys are not for Oz. Never have been. When have they helped us out? They have not. They snipe like we are some third world cesspool about wogs and Abos. Ridiculous.

The deal is the worst the left can throw up, Tony Benn and the best, Kevin Rudd, cannot come to grips with Iraq. They cannot focus on Iraq as the key to this whole equation. That is a major, glaring failing. All HowardBushBlair and no Saddam makes lefties look and sound stupid.

And now we have more folks going to Iraq as human shields. What are they thinking?

Who has the time?

Wouldn't it be great if not one of them got hurt in the fray?

They wanna get hurt. Surely they do. Isn't that the end point? Fighting against the invaders? Against Australians.

Against Australians.

For Iraqis in the regime.


:: WB 12:24 p.m. [link+] ::
A weekend filled with veal

Light posting lets everyone down. Non-existant posting is inexcusable. Mi dispiace.

:: WB 12:11 p.m. [link+] ::
:: Thursday, 20 February 2003 ::
We will see, eh?

Lord, I do hope Saddam has a big party to show off the destroying. I hope he is crying while it happens. But I hope it happens. Because if it does we will hjave real evidence that Saddam is getting rolled. And even I might come around to the 'more time' argument.

:: WB 12:05 p.m. [link+] ::
Okay protesters. Live with this.

The bastard swine Saddam could be complying with Blix. It could be done - avoiding war and all. But that outcome is firmly in Saddam's hands. And he ain't taking the chance. Imbecilic violent leadership taking advantage of imbecilic Australian and other marchers for peace. To bring war to a more likely head.

I share the view of our PM.

Urgh. The protesters, and I know one who I really respect as a clever man and a good man. But the hippy shit and the bleating about democracy and listening and 'doing something' is just pathetic. Other night I saw some old woman going off to be a human shield. Asked how she will deal with the possibility she may have to act violently against Oz troops, if she follows through on her views, she actually said 'I cannot think about that.'

'I cannot think about that.'

Pilger all over, eh? 'I cannot think about what I am doing in a real consequential way because then I will see how mean my motivation is and how, deep down at the very root of my being, I am a jackass.'

Really. She is going there with Dominican Nuns. Love nuns. Love nice old ladies. Not gonna give 'em a round of applause when they act stupid.

UPDATE: I never did link to this but I thought it was good. For Paul Kelly.

:: WB 12:03 p.m. [link+] ::
C'est magnifique, n'est-ce pas?

More London Sun hijinks. Or quality news. Whatever. Laffs.

:: WB 11:55 a.m. [link+] ::
It is like a little world

Recoba wants action as a matter of principle. Silva is a tasteless cowboy only interested in himself and Carini knows something's gotta give but he's calling for unity anyway. Blair, Bush and Annan.

God, look at Recoba's teeth. Magnificent, eh?

:: WB 3:29 a.m. [link+] ::
What are the odds. Both of them c--ts

This is depressing. An Iraqi. Doctor of studies. Dissident and escapee from Saddam's Iraq. Opponent of Saddam. Recogniser of Saddam's brutality better than any of us in the West. This guy, this educated Iraqi is so mired in anti-US and deep seated dislike of Blair, writes in today's Guardian that a war would not bring liberation from Saddam. But it sure would bring disaster.

His thesis seems to be Iraq is totally fucked but it is not as fucked as you think it is, and even if it is, that is a matter for Iraq's who, despite living in a fucked country, have developed a lot of political sense, even if the really political ones all get killed by Saddam. But nevertheless and thus and therefore, Iraqi's should not have to endure Blair and Bush. Because well, they are Blair and Bush.

He actually writes this:

Of course Saddam Hussain crushed all these challenges, but in every case the regional and international environment has supported the dictator against the people of Iraq. It is cynical and deceitful of Tony Blair to pretend that he understands Iraqi politics and has a meaningful programme for the country. Iraq's history is one of popular struggle and also of imperial greed, superpower rivalries and regional conflict. To reduce the whole of Iraqi politics and social life to the whims of Saddam Hussain is banal and insulting.

The craven bullshit peddalled by this man who should have his fucking hand up for a spot leading his fucked country and not bleating from the sidelines while Blair and Bush and Howard and Berlusconi and Aznar and the Czechs and the rest clean up his filthy mess for him....urgh.

God. Pissing. Me. Off. More goddam focus on the tone and motivation of the act of war than on the goddam outcomes to be achieved. What on earth is the point of that? And that is not an 'ends justifies means' argument, for the imbecile lefties who would object to my disgust at this Iraqi imbecile. It is an 'ends is justified - to get started on to the ends you gotta have means. So get some means, already'. This jackass Madhi has no solution for his own country's liberation, just a bunch of London based bleating.



And here's another Kamil Madhi jackass. Horses are god. God. Treat 'em badly, you bad.

:: WB 3:17 a.m. [link+] ::

There are no stones lying around in Genoa. And no steel rods either. There are not any either in Sydney. A protester would need to want to throw some stones in Sydney. Because he or she will not be able to find any in Martin Place. Or elsewhere. Same for Genoa.

Why suspend the sentence? Civilised, I guess.

:: WB 3:01 a.m. [link+] ::

Fabulous to listen to some fave old tracks from vinyl days of 33 and 45 rpm. Among others some wierdly pertinent stuff, or maybe it just coinkydink. Whatever.

Stephan Remmler's "I don't go to USA". Top bit of Euro-disco. And such a quintessential German sentiment at the moment, ya? Ya, for sure.

And then a bit of Ry Cooder's "Get Rhythm", track 3 'Going back to Okinawa' featuring this line:

Back in the days of World War II
Fought against the Japanese like me and you
Everybody's worried about World War III
Okinawa's just the place where I'm gonna be

Erm. Do not wanna rain on your parade, old man, but you might wanna rethink that Japanese destination.

:: WB 2:52 a.m. [link+] ::
Wogs get it

Adrian Nastase, the Romanian Prime Minister, said: "Every time I have a dispute with my wife, I shout at my sons. So the problem of M. Chirac apparently is with the Americans and not with Romania and Bulgaria."

Perfect, eh?

Not that Mr Nastase would appreciate being called a wog. But you know I do not mean it as a diminutive, expletive, explosive or any other mean word. I mean it as a truly great thing reserved for the gifted.

:: WB 2:33 a.m. [link+] ::
:: Wednesday, 19 February 2003 ::
Lileks nails it

A taster, but the whole thing is a delight.

No surprise: there are lots of people out there whose viewpoint I find contemptible. The West is the problem, they insist. The US is the locus of perfidy. A mad cabal of oilmen and Jews jerk the string of a jug-eared dullard so they can kill Iraqi babies. And so forth. I know, I know, not everyone in the rally believes this, perhaps not even most. Just because the Spartacists march in your rally and hold up signs supporting North Korea doesn’t mean anyone else believes in their twisted cause. But mass movements have a way of being hijacked by the ardent few, the ones who are damned dead serious about overturning the established order and oiling up the guillotine to deal with the undecided. Their work is made easier by comfortable dilettantes who think it’s funny to call Bush a Nazi - or who march without comment beside someone who does.

The Spartacists won’t prevail; I’m not suggesting that we saw Western liberal democracies dissolving before our eyes. There are millions in Europe who hate the US - oh, stop the presses. There are millions of people who believe that tyrants should always be handled with the delicate tongs of democracy - well, blow me down. “It is time to think about human rights, not money” I heard one French protester say on the news. “War is not the answer to war.” If it weren’t for the autonomous nervous system, some of these people would die because they’re too stupid to remember to breathe. War is always the answer to war if war is brought down upon you. Evil requires resistance. If a man in a crowd grabs your child from your arms, you do not wonder what brought him to this moment, or petition the city council for a resolution requiring him to hand over the skeletons of his previous victims. You stab him in the eyeball with your car keys.

:: WB 3:25 p.m. [link+] ::
:: Sunday, 16 February 2003 ::
Forza Veltroni

God, that makes me proud. I understand the Pope doing his thing. It's not in his brief to snub anyone. He is the Pope. But Veltroni, he expresses exactly how I and a bunch of folks have been feeling all weekend.

Aziz is scum.

:: WB 1:36 p.m. [link+] ::
:: Saturday, 15 February 2003 ::
Hey. Good news.

:: WB 6:26 p.m. [link+] ::
Good blogging work on the London rally.

I feel better now. Sure, it was a lot of poeple. And sure in Sydney today there will be a lot too.

But it is not as if sheer weight of numbers should sway me on their own. The sheer weight of numbers is impressive. And that is what has worried me. Am I being appalling? So many disagree with me. Am I anti-peace? How in hell could I be anti-peace? It's like being anti-breathing. Am I a wog warmonger and badbadbad with it?

For sure I am a wog.

And for sure all those people who marched in London yesterday and who will march in Sydney today, wogs included, who do not share my point of view about stuff, cannot all be mad or retarded.

So weight of numbers is enough to make me sit up and listen to arguments. After all, it is not every day you get that many folks out. So when they do, a little respect, eh? Okay.

But turns out the arguments are not persuasive. As ever. Noone speaking from the Iraqi opposition. From the Kurdish side. No refugees from Iraq itself. No Iraqis. None that I could see.

Now, that has got to be telling. To someone. To some marcher. Anyone?

I will do some digging to see if I can up with representation from the group most likjely to change my mind about this stuff - actuall Iraqi folks.

Later doodles.

:: WB 3:52 p.m. [link+] ::
One for the Sydney marchers to contemplate

But as you watch your TV pictures of the march, ponder this:

If there are 500,000 on that march, that is still less than the number of people whose deaths Saddam has been responsible for.

If there are one million, that is still less than the number of people who died in the wars he started."

From Tony Blair's speech to the Labour Party in Glasgow.

UPDATE: And this from Iraqi Kurds. Man, you wanna put one foot in front of the other for a couple of hours on a 31 degree day in Sydney all for Saddam Hussein, okay you can. You should not. But you can. Go right ahead. But you should not.

All the above from Harry's Place
:: WB 3:36 p.m. [link+] ::
In a nutshell. Punting on outcomes.

From Iain Murray. Interesting.

:: WB 3:29 p.m. [link+] ::
Can this be real?

Cos if it is then there is nothing left to say. Ignore the marchers. They know absolutely nothing.

This morning's Insiders on the ABC featured a small spot by some guy involved in the anti-war march in Sydney today. Incoherent all the way through, when asked some questions about what he proposed to do about Saddam, he said something like: I do not support war without a UN resolution. I will support war with a UN resolution. Saddam is not Australia's problem. Saddam is not Australia's problem. Not enough evidence exists that he is a danger to us. Here is Australia.

And then Kevin Rudd, Labor's shadow foreign affairs minster, or whatever the opposition guys are called. You know. The thing. On Nine's Sunday. We have a need to look after our region, our backyard and our home. We should be focussed on North Korea and Indonesia and stuff.

I could not quite work out the Labor position on Iraq. It seems to be whatever the UN does - Labor will be fine with that. But that cannot be right. Because if the Oz leader Howard commits our troops to Iraq without a UN resolution (cannot say whether that is more likely than not - hopefully, not necessary, hopefully UN will survive this crisis by actually standing up for itself as an active force) then Labor will for sure be supportive of our troops, yes? Shirley.

Anyhoo, watching lots of media and not seeing anyone follow up that disgrace with Aziz and his refusal to take a question from an Israeli.

Just like the sign, eh?

:: WB 3:27 p.m. [link+] ::
Nailing it

THE LATEST MELODRAMATIC NONSENSE FROM THE FRENCH: French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin used his response to this morning's Security Council briefing by chief inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei partly to answer Donald Rumsfeld's recent barbs about French and German intransigence: "I am from an old country, France ... that does not forget all it owes to freedom fighters from the United States and elsewhere ... [France has] always stood upright in the face of history." Then, musing about the chaos of war, de Villepin reiterated his nation's commitment to building "a better world," and the applause erupted in Turtle Bay. As we noted Sunday, Colin Powell has a lot of work to do.

Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't give credit for this farce to Blix, the man who lobbed de Villepin his softball in the first place. Blix reported this morning that, "At the meeting in Baghdad on the 8th and the 9th of February, the Iraqi side addressed some of the important outstanding disarmament issues and gave us a number of papers.... Although no new evidence was provided in the papers and no open issues were closed through them or the expert discussions, the presentation of the papers could be indicative of a more active attitude focusing on the important open issues." Could be indicative of a more active attitude? Was Blix listening to his own report?

The obvious point here is that if the Security Council wants to believe that Iraq's reluctant presentation of meaningless documents is a sign of future cooperation, we can all forget about that "better world" France is so committed to. To his credit, Powell did his best to emphasize this in his own response, stating, "More inspectors--sorry--are not the answer. More inspectors ... will not lead us to the essential problem facing us ... and that is Iraq not complying with [Resolution] 1441." "Force must be a last resort. I have preached that all my professional life as a diplomat and as a soldier," Powell continued. "But it must be a resort."

:: WB 3:24 a.m. [link+] ::
Tony Blair preaches to the unconverted

Just caught Blair speaking at his Labour Party spring conference in Scotland. Very passionate stuff. The UN has to have meaning and teeth. Prevarication over the process of inspection is just that - prevarication. And missing the moment to act to force Saddam's compliance will make the trouble, when it comes, much more bloody because the world will be weaker and the UN will be weaker too. Or something like that.

And something about the marhers - even if there wer more than milllion to march, that would sitll be less than all those Saddam has killed in two wars and in years of leadership.

Impressive stuff.

:: WB 3:19 a.m. [link+] ::
How come "Back to Baghdad" in The Australian's Weekend Inquirer is not online?

Maybe it is and only I cannot see it. But no other bloggers seem to have picked it up. Whatever. The peepers have let me down once or twice lately.

It is a big piece written by an Iraqi girl who recall the unsuccessful (understatement) uprising to topple Saddam immediately after the end of the Gulf War in 1991. Basra. Right. My mother even remembers all that. I do not. So that article was an eye opener. Just cements my own views that if war is what it will take to get Saddam out then war it should be. Objectively it can only be for the best for Iraq's population. And the fact that it has come to this can be blamed squarely on Saddam. Sure, you could be a disingenuous jackass and say it is only happening because of the US. But that is daft. Saddam is the root cause, baby. The Stupid jackass has not complied 100% with resolution 1441. He has partically complied. Which is not what the resolution was about. It was not about partial, slow progress.

I mean. Come on. It is the UN. Is it a debating society or a freakin' force for world peace? So get peaceful already. Either slap some sanctions on the US, if that's what the bulk of youse really wanna do, or get it together to be rid of Saddam.

Come on.

UPDATE: It is a New Republic piece, that's why. And it needs registration. Zif.

:: WB 1:43 a.m. [link+] ::
“I have no idea what’s going on,” said Lebanese Forces spokesperson Antoinette Geagea

Relax, honey. How could you? Read this article three times and all you get is the creepy feeling that if you are for removing the regime in Baghdad, you are gonna find yourself sharing the same thinking space, for a little while, with Hizbollah.


:: WB 1:23 a.m. [link+] ::

:: WB 1:11 a.m. [link+] ::
This basically puts things in perspective

Skewed of course. it is the Guardian. But it is the clearest thing that I have found which indicates what the French position is. Wait til the March 1 report and then wait a bit more for the March 15 report. Maybe then, they will contemplate force. Til then they will not.

Okay. Now we know.

:: WB 1:10 a.m. [link+] ::
Not just some official. And not just a snub

The Zionist controlled US media are going too soft on this. Tariq Aziz is not just 'an official'. He is Iraq's Deputy PM. Calling him 'an official' is like calling the Pope 'a priest'. Aziz bluntly refuses to answer a question from an Israeli journalist. An Israeli. And he does this right after meeting with the Pope in Rome.

I mean. Speechless. The way it should go is first you meet the Pope then you come out and get all 'brotherhood of man' not all anti-Israel.


This Iraqi leadership is really incredibly stupid.

:: WB 1:05 a.m. [link+] ::
I wanna say the loud funny words

:: WB 12:59 a.m. [link+] ::
:: Friday, 14 February 2003 ::
The deal

Gareth Parker links to this letter from an Iraqi doctor in London criticising all the people due to march in London to express their view that military action against Saddam Hussein's regime, to force it to comply with a unanimous UN security council resolution 1441 and sundry others before it, should not occur.

Or not occur now.

Or ever.


And the doc makes the point - not a lot of Iraqis are gonna march, out of the 500,000 strong London Iraqi population.

Hmm? Wonder why that is? Maybe cos they are not in favour of what the marchers stand for.

And what do they stand for? Nothing. We know what they are against. Bush US. Bush's US hegemony and imperialistic aspirations whether or not they actually exist. Bush's desire to control Iraqi oil whether or not that desire is in fact manifested anywhere in the man. Bush's cabinet. Bush's eyes being too close together. And in the case of some, Israel.

And in the case of the UK, all the above, plus Blair's agreement with Bush, which is characterised as dick-sucking.

Same in Oz for Howard.

Every marcher an imbecile.

Bush will be voted out of office one day. Or forced not to run. He is not important. It could be anyone in the Whitehouse. And before you get stupid and squeal - but that IS the point. It IS Bush. Try to stop yourself, okay? Because you are agreeing with my point above.

Hussein is the point. Hussein. Aziz. They are the point. If they would just capitulate now, there would be no war.

Why the marchers do not converge on the Iraqi embassies of the world to demand Hussein's capitulation, I do not know.

Instead they march on US embassies.


The incoherence of the opposition is appalling as this article from a Czech point of view demonstrates.

I just saw a snippet on the London march on BBC world news. "War must be a last resort. But not this war." What are you saying, man? Hussein should be allowed to stay in power even though the UN has already resolved that 'serious consequences' should follow his failure to comply 100% with inspectors, who have each reported twice to date that Iraq is not complying 100%.

As Powell pointed "War should be last resport. But it is a resort. And the UN must be prepared to resort to it." Or some such.

More later. It is really pretty awful to deal with this en masse.

:: WB 6:08 p.m. [link+] ::
:: Thursday, 13 February 2003 ::
You bloody skippy beauty

:: WB 7:32 p.m. [link+] ::
Did I hear that right?

I am pretty sure that I did. Tariq Aziz. Iraq deputy PM. "We have no intention of attacking Israel. Because we do not have the means. We did in 1991. We do not now."

Ahem. Mr Aziz. If you had the means you would attack, yes?

Please. And this guys in on his way to Rome to see Il Papa. What is he going to say to him? We have no intention of attacking Rome. Because we do not have the means...

Stronzo. Aziz, that is. Not Il Papa.

:: WB 12:28 p.m. [link+] ::
Non sono due cani. Sono due Americani.

Hee hee.

My father loves to say that.

Jason Soon blogs about American insults aimed at the French. I reckon Jase is right about this - the insults are too much insult and not enough actual argument.

I got a point to make. And it begins with my Pa. He is Italian. His vision of America is built entirely on Elia Kazan movies of the 1950's. He has never owned an American car, never drunk a drop of American grog, never eaten a plate of BBQ sauced anything. Could not give a stuff who is in power in the US, not interested to go there, meet any Americans, anything. Gino does not care for America, okay? The rebuilding after the war, blah, blah. You are boring him. He does not recall Americans rebuilding houses after the war. He recalls doing that himself. He recalls his country being on the wrong side of that war and then being on the right side of it - at the right time - at the end. Whatever about the Americans.

But he respects the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. The triple crown of horse racing. And he is interested in Pike's Peak, where the rally drivers go. Other than that, the man has no truck with American. Americani, see. Hee. Hee.

Gino respects that tiny corner of American culture. And with that, he recognises that he cannot say all Americans are stupid. Americans have elected a moron, an incompetent, (or Americans have allowed a man who wasn't elected to become leader, blah blah). You know how the vitriol goes. Phil Adams style.

So he doesn't do anything more than make a sly joke based on word play and not on truth. He does not think Americans are dogs. But his arguments against war - and he is pretty against it - are all based on his view that life must not be spent on the exercise. A view contrary to that of the US at the moment. Pa thinks another route should be sought. And Pa's views are not based on the Yanks being imperialist scum blah blah. You now these arguments. Mark Latham style.

So. If you can respect your opponent just a little, the vitriol becomes wholly unnecessary. And being unecessary, if it is still engaged in, well, then it is revealed as vitriol, insulting and hurtful. No excuses.

Latham is insulting and hurtful. Adams is too. And on the war side, Hannity is an example of insulting and hurtful, and some warbloggers are getting there too.

I know full well the insults would be directed at Italy and Italians if Berlusconi took the same view as Schroeder, say, as the many lefties in Italy are pressing him to do. So the vitriol and insult is not personal. Instead it is generalised, and comes from a lack of respect.

And by respect, I do not mean, unconditional love. I mean real admiration for 3 horse races and a mountain drive - not a bunch in the scheme of things - but if the admiration is real, then the respect is there. Just a little. Enough.

Hannity this morning on Fax said something like "Belgium. Wha'? What the hell is that place?" or something utterly disrespectful. As if Magritte never existed. As if moule en frittes was nothing. See, if you can't find one thing to respect in a whole country, with history and people and art, and architecture and food and clothes stuff, man, you are willfully turning away.

And I reckon you can only ever be so insulting about whole peoples if you just do not respect them or anything about them at all. One bit. If you have never learned about what there is about them that is respectable.

And I reckon a bunch of Americans are revealing that lack of respect right about now. On the French. And that is absurd. Because Montaigne, and champagne alone are worthy of respect.

Respect is therefore key.


Unless of course we are talking about the Greeks.


And the Irish...


I will stop now.

:: WB 3:07 a.m. [link+] ::
Oh fer cryin' outta loud. Now? Tonight?

You cannot script this shit. A whole unauthorised ballistic missile system is found in Iraq by weapons inspectors the day before Blix's big speech which will lead the UN to reach a determination - to resolve to use military force against Iraq. Or not yet... And the Iraqi regime response to this find is - no we will not disarm this illegal ballistic missile system, because we need them if there is an attack.

Ow.Ow.Ow. Pain behind my eyes.

These people are astonishing. Still they do not get it. Hand the weapons over for destruction. Jeebus.

:: WB 2:37 a.m. [link+] ::
:: Wednesday, 12 February 2003 ::
Che cazzo fai?

Let us see.

France and Germany sit on the Security Council at the UN with rights of veto. They have indicated they will exercise those rights about any US led proposal for a resolution authorising military action in light of breaches of 1441 by Hussein's regime. A compromise position they have suggested is more UN weapons inspectors in Iraq to bolster the ones already there plus a bunch of UN troops to back 'em up. They do not want any miltary action now. They cannot see a reason for it now.

France and Germany are part of NATO. They are resisting any movement of troops to Turkey to prepare now to defend that nation in the event such defence becomes necessary because of military action against Hussein's regime.

France and Germany do not want military action now. They do not want it now. And they do not want to arm Turkey in case it hapens in future. So they do not want it in future either. Yeah, well yeah.

France and Germany do not want this war. At all. Ever. Under any circumstances.

That is how I see it.

I think they are letting Saddam off the hook. Every day without military action against him is a day he lives as leader of Iraq. And every one of those days is lousy.

Hitchens nails the French side. The Chirac side. Waiting on a nailing of the Schroeder side. But maybe they're nailing themselves. And now this with the Russians. Jeebus.

:: WB 3:09 a.m. [link+] ::
:: Sunday, 9 February 2003 ::
Here it is in all its glory

Robert Manne's determination that the life of an Iraqi person is not worth a pinch of shit.

This man is just appalling.

Saddam is the leader of a militarily weak and now extremely impoverished Third World country. Although he is a vicious and ruthless tyrant, there is nothing in his biography which suggests he is either suicidal or insane. Under present circumstances the only genuine threat he poses is to the people of Iraq. Because this threat is very real, the most plausible justification for war against him is the one which is based on democratic or humanitarian grounds.

Such an argument is also almost impossible to sustain. The democratic-humanitarian case for war injects into the conduct of international affairs a revolutionary, in many ways attractive but also potentially destabilising new idea. As claims about humanitarian intervention could be used as a fig-leaf for old-style aggression or imperialism, the introduction of such a principle into international law would only be possible after the cession by all major nation states - including the US - of a considerable part of their sovereignty to the UN. Such a prospect evidently does not exist.

Nor is this the only weakness of the argument for war against Iraq on democratic and humanitarian grounds. Because over the past decade the Americans and the British have watched coldly as Saddam Hussein has allowed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to die as a result of the impact of the sanctions policy they have imposed, a humanitarian justification is simply not open to them.

Allow me to paraphrase.

Saddam is badbadbad to the people of his country. Going to war for the reason that Saddam is badbadbad and warring to rid that country of Saddam so those people can be liberated could be a good thing. Except it is not. Because the badbadbad argument, valid or not, might be used by others in future. (No mention that if invalidly used in future agruments against such a war could go on, rather like now. Urgh.) Oh, and by the way, Saddam's been doing it for years, so war now is no more valid than war later. Or never. So better that the Iraqis rot. And everyone else.

Incredibile, eh?

And he is offended when people like me call him an appeaser. He is an appeaser. He has utterly failed to grasp the concept of NOT appeasing Saddam.

I dunno 'bout this Franco German thingy but what I like about it instinctively is the use of UN troops - troops - a big ol' US contingent and an Oz presence and a US presence (cos we are virtually ready to go) - troops that will roll that fucker in Baghad.

If the UN grows some balls then bravo. If it doesn't then bravo to the US, Oz and the UK.

:: WB 3:49 p.m. [link+] ::
:: Saturday, 8 February 2003 ::
Great bloggage. On the scene. Venezuela.

Not a nice scene, of course. A pretty damnable one. But a compelling one. Venezuelans are grappling with something that Oz cannot match (and would not care to try to): an elected leader who is turning quickly into a hardline leftwing despot, with all the attendant cruelties, criminality, idiot economics and isolation that entails.

Take a trip to El Sur for more.

:: WB 10:13 p.m. [link+] ::
Johann Hari in The Independent gets it

And from a Leftie perspective.

:: WB 10:10 p.m. [link+] ::
Arrests. Some will not lead to charges. G'uh already.

From the Guardian about arrests in Italy. It's just awful, as far as that paper is concerned. Apparently policing is not important in Italy, in the opinion of Guardian writers.

Arresting folks who police consider may be or are involved in criminal activity has got to be able to occur. That is a given, right? That's the job of the police, right? It is how we keep society civilised, right? The thin blue line? Right.

Investigating the arrested folks has got to be able to happen, to work out whether to charge those folks. Or not charge 'em, in which case to release 'em pronto, right? And if they are charged, investigating them as part of the justice process has to be able to happen, right? To work out whether those folks are innocent of the charges or guilty of 'em. Given. Right?

Squealing that people should not be arrested because of their nationality is as stupid as squealing that people should be arrested because of their nationality. It ain't the nationality. It is the behaviour, the activity, the things folks say and do that gets 'em arrested.

Living in a squalid flat filled with more other folks than ever were meant to live in that squalid flat, and selling stuff on the streets in Italy is going to get you noticed by police. You know why? Cos your neighbours will complain about the squalor and about the crappy rug with the knock off merchandise on it outside the train station. About the simple fact that the sound coming from a flat with two in it vs the sound coming from a flat with twenty is different. The twenty are usually noisier. Neighbours gonna complain, man. About the fact that round some train stations it looks more like Lahore than say, Firenze. Italians are going to complain.

In come the coppers. It's a straight line, in my opinion.

Too many folks in the flat, man. Too many things getting sold on the streets, man. Italian cities ain't Lahore, man. Italian police will be asked by Italian citizens to act. And when asked, they should act. Because that is their job.

I do not doubt for a second that the Italian police has arrested folks who are wholly innocent of any criminal activity. Innocents. It happens here in Oz, it happens in the US, it happens in Spain. It happens.

And that fact is not the end of the world. It is a fact worth keeping an eye on, worth trying to rectify, worth trying to minimise the mistakes. Never stop trying to be better. But you cannot stop trying just cos you're not the best.

How can Pakistan authorities positively state 28 of their people in Italy are not engaged in criminal activity? How can they state that? They cannot with any confidence. It is as absurd a position as if the 28 guys in this story were not arrested but were charged and found guilty all at once.

That has not happened.

And yet the Pakistani authorities have found their guys innocent.

The Pakistan authorities have to take their absurd position, of course. But it is freakin' empty. I mean, Pakistan is the zone that Talibanners and bin Ladenites have an likely still move into and out of a heap. Pakistanis living twenty to a flat or whatever, in Italy or Sydney are going to get scrunitinised. And God help 'em if they are the praying five times a day guys. Or the head scarf girlies.

Cos that stuff is over the top. And you do not have to do that to be Muslim. No. You. Do. Not.

For me, we got a balance going on here. We got Italian citizens being able to report stuff to police about possible criminal activity in the community. We got police action where they feel they got enough to arrest and make a charge and have it stick on the guys alleged to be engaged in the criminal activity. And we got a justice system that will test the charge and free folks if the charge won't stick.

What about the innocents? What about 'em? They are innocent.

What about the awful intrusion into their lives, the appalling loss of liberty, the injury to reputation, the compromise to visas?

What about it? Like I said. There are checks. There are balances. It ain't perfect. Jeebus. But it ain't anarchy. You cannot do nothing. Nothing is anarchy. I do not want to live without my justice system. I want it. I want it to work. I want to keep a jaundiced eye on it too, to make sure it does not get worse, but always strives and does get better.

But I cannot countenance doing nothing. Releasing these 28 guys on the say so of the Pakistan authorities. Please.

Get far away.

:: WB 7:20 p.m. [link+] ::
If your head is buried in sand and your arse is windswept, how can any thinking person understand your position to be one of bravery?

Phillip Adams writes about how Howard would be bravest if he told the Yanks to take a hike and refused to participate in any activity to liberate Iraq.

That is Adams idea of bravery. Urggh. I think it was Paul McGeogh in the SMH (late cannot be bothered to find link) who asked real recently something like "If only there were one example of noble US action without gain, then I could support the war."

There is at least one. Kosovo. But McGeogh ain't going to actually find that out so he can truly challenge himself.

What a jackass.

But even without it, what does it matter what the US is in it for?

Think Iraqis. Think a life for Iraqis without Saddam. Not a contained Saddam who is contained from hurting the west. But a gone Saddam who is unable any longer to cause any harm to any person anywhere.

Think about that.

My father called me today, teary (he is getting older) about all this stuff. He is against war because he remembers Italy during the war. Remembers his sister throwing him down and her laying on him to protect her baby brother from a nearby bomb blast. He remembers lost family. My grandmother to her death would not countenance a word about the war. Not a word. Lost her father, her brother and a sister. Watching "Stalag 17", a favourite movie of mine, she would simply say "Turn it off" in a soft voice. All that hurt. For decades.

That is what is being contemplated here by Oz, UK and US for Iraqis. Bloody and awful. Broken skin, bones, lost family, damaged buildings. Roads that are not open. We all know really how bloody awful war is. Our parents and other family know it first hand. They tell us. Clearly. And in quiet tears and gentle requests for silence.

But we are not contemplating a war like Europe or even Vietnam. We are contemplating liberating a people who want it to happen. Against a disgusting foe who we have fought before. He plays dirty. Real dirty. If he would just resign we could all relax a bunch. But he has not.

It can be fought and won without devastation. Not without loss of life. This ain't Nintendo. But without massive loss of life caused by us. Our focus should be on supporting the men and women of armed forces to win it as clinically as possible with as many troops as they need and can get. Win it.

:: WB 5:27 a.m. [link+] ::
Talking talking.

In today's Australian Matt Price writes "So those boatpeople were fleeing evil then". Well g'uh. Of course they were fleeing evil, Matt. We knew it. We always knew it. And we knew we, like them, would obviously choose Oz over Indonesia even though Indonesia was an option. But that was the point. When you make it all the way down to Oz from Iraq or say, Afghanistan, you are no longer fleeing. You are choosing. And it is not your choice to make.

You can see where Matt is headed. He wants us to feel bad about Tampa and about the war.

He is still arguing that we should have let the Tampa folks in.

Because Iraq really is a bad place, where some of those folks are from. And we should have let them in to Oz.

And he is arguing that we should not go to war to make Iraq a better place, one people will be less likely to flee from, because in the process of making it better lots more Iraqis will flee and we will have to take some of them in.

Wha'? I thought he wanted to take them in.

Maybe he does, but he just reckons that our government won't take them in. I hope they don't. The point is not to make Oz the safe haven for Iraqis. The point is to make Iraq the safe haven.

You gotta watch this guy. He sometimes does that Insiders show on the ABC on Sunday mornings. It is great to watch him think to the middle of the line. And stop right there.

See, here's the thing. Iraqis want to be rid of the pox who ruthlessly leads them.

Once they are rid of them, just like Afghanistan, Iraqis can be told, fix your country. Make it good. And it will be a fair thing to demand of them. The west will have done its part. It has taken Iraqis as refugees for decades. And it has liberated Iraq itself from Saddam. And doing these things wipes clean the real faults of the past where the west gave Saddam support and let him continue on with his abuses.

:: WB 5:08 a.m. [link+] ::
:: Friday, 7 February 2003 ::
Fence sitters? Please. In the head, right? You got that?

A lot has been happening in the past week. A lot. And this? "I do not know what to do. Please tell me mother." Idiot.

Imbecile. "On the one hand, there is a homicidal shithead killing Iraqis forcing them to flee their homeland, memories, familes, just to save their skin. On the other hand there is talking talking about the homicidal shithead but nothing else. I do not know which I prefer. The talking talking or the shithead."

Of the two things, the talking talking and the shithead, he does not even know which is worse.

He cannot tell that they are both bad.

That is his position.

He cannot tell.

This man is empty. He cannot tell. Hundreds, thousands of refugees from Iraq, the world over. And this, for him, is an academic execise in pros and cons. Like a virgo making lists for moving house.

Jesus wept.

I say fuck the fence sitters. They reveal themselves to be castrated. Imbeciles.



The wog is back. And the gloves are off.

Youse can all get fucked if you think UN talk and walkabout inspection is worth more than Iraqi liberty and future. That is one great nation waiting to get it on. Scientists. Architects. Chefs. Rally drivers. Lawyers. Plastic surgeons. Cabbies. Gardeners. Builders. Cleaners. Teachers. Real estate agents. Union reps.

Ain't gonna happen while Saddam is in ironclad charge.

Name one great rally driver from Iraq. Just one.

You telling me they cannot drive?

You are mental. They have not been allowed to. They haven't been able to. On account of the terror of Saddam.

Get it?

That is the point.

Get fucked every shithead who thinks this is about oil and Bush and daddy and Exxon and whatever. So fuckin' what? I do not care about the tone. The arrogance. Whatever. The motives. I do not. For me, Iraqis matter. Some of them are driving cabs in Sydney. What the fuck is an Iraqi doing in Sydney? Eh?Living way better than he ever could in Iraq, that is what. Living. Not being killed. Not being treated to terror. Not living hand to mouth. Not watching his kids go with less than they could have if he lived in a free country. Not being forced to vote for a maniac. Fucking fence sitters. Every goddam last one is an enemy of wogs. Every one. An enemy of wogs.

You know why?

Cos for them, a wog is just a thing. A philosophy.

A wog is a person in Oz who thinks of himself or herself as coming from someplace other than Oz. Might love Oz. Might not. No biggie. Just comes (memory, family, history, light) from someplace else.

Like Iraq.

Like Iraq, get it?

A person. From Iraq.

Australians overwhelmingly do not want Iraqis fleeing their country and arriving in Oz by the illegal boatload. So. Help 'em clean up where they're from so they do not feel they have to get on illegal boats in the first place.

Every single person who felt Howard was right about Tampa has to, in my view, step up to the Iraq invasion threat. If you are gonna lock 'em out, you gotta at least help 'em get sorted at the source.

And every single person who thought Tampa was awful, just awful, has to, in my view, ask themselves, whether they like their wogs meek or regular. Cos I reckon they prefer 'em meek. If they liked 'em regular, why wouldn't they be on the side of military invasion to free 'em from Saddam?

Me. I like my wogs regular. Stupid. Prejudiced. V8 supercharged. Great dancers. Regular. I want Iraqis applying for student visas in Oz, not the 'save my fucking life Saddam will kill me otherwise' visas.

Goddam a lot has happened lately and it has shown folks to be who they fucking are, you know? Some like Iraqis. Some prefer the sound of their own voices while Iraqis get killed by their madman leader.

And before there is any stupid "The UN the UN" shit, or some such rubbish about inspectors, and more time. Please.

Thus far, Saddam. And no further.

Urghhh. That that fat mustachioed shithead should bring the world to this, when a quiet exile to Saudi could have avoided the lot is a disgrace. It ain't for Powell to resign. Or Bush. Or Howard. Or Blair. Or Berlusconi. Or Aznar. Or the others: Lithuania, Estonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Rumania etc etc. It ain't for them.

It's that shithead in Baghdad. And he's been a shithead forever. And for those who ask "Why now?" and say "But the US supported him before..." I say "What is your problem with freeing Iraqis from this madman's pall right now?" Why fucking later?


What have they ever done to you to make you hate 'em so much you'd consign 'em to more time in terrorsville?

God, I can't take the fence sitter.

And do not get me started on the actual anti-war folks. Man. Their hatred for wogs goes deep deep.

They reckon they do not want to lose a single Iraqi innocent life. Oh yeah they do. They must. Cos Saddam is taking Iraqi lives all the time. They know that. So they must be okay with it. They must be okay with Saddam taking innocent Iraqi lives. So it's not the Iraqi lives that really interest them. At all. They just do not want any Westerner doing it. And they certainly cannot countenance the possibility that over the long term (by which I mean 3 years max) Iraqi lives might actually be saved by Westerners stomping Saddam into the ground now. Iraqi lives might be improved by them not having to flee.

Noooo. Your anti-war folk cannot countenance that.

They like their wogs serving 'em food and being poorer. That's how they like 'em. Because if they liked their wogs uppity and competing with them, then they would be all for getting rid of Saddam. Blix is not about to sack Saddam. Not Annan either. And Saddam ain't goin' on his own.

Others have to do it. We can be part of those others. We are, thank God. Australian military men and women are. God love them.

Saw Fisk on telly the other night on SBS's Dateline and he would not admit that Afghanistan is better now than before liberation from the Taliban. He would not admit it. Women are getting driver's licences. Schools reopening. Buildings in Kabul being rebuilt. This means nothing to him. It does not fit into his world view of wogs getting it together.

Urggh. How do you deal with that hatred of wogs that makes their driving somehow a bad thing?

You do not.

You call it how you find it.

Liberation of Iraq from Saddam's brutal rule is just.

:: WB 6:43 a.m. [link+] ::

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