Tuesday, March 30, 2004

William Saletan tells it like it is, the black man the fetus is a human being.

September 12?

In Israel, as Caroline Glick explains, every day is September 11, so no day is September 12.

Monday, March 22, 2004

More Spanish Election Post-Mortem

Andre Glucksmann lays it out cold and nasty.

(via littlegreenfootballs)

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

The Spanish Election in broader perspective

Chapter 1: Viva Klinghoffer

After the Achille Lauro incident in 1986, the policy of all European governments was to ignore terror cells plotting in your own country that carried out operations either in other countries or against Jewish targets in your own country, while attempting to contain or defeat those terror cells that carried out operations in your own country. So the IRA gets more or less free parking in Eire and on the Continent, ETA gets free parking in France, and the PLO gets free parking from everybody.

The other side of this is a gentlemen's agreement to ignore counter-terrorism operations on your own soil mounted by foreign governments. So the British kill IRA guys in Spain, the Spanish kill ETA guys in France, the French kill Greenpeace activists in New Zealand, and the Israelis kill people everywhere.

This becomes non-viable once the US gets into the counter-terror business in Europe, since the US can project power in a way that nobody is willing to ignore. So the Europeans, beginning with the Christian Democrats in Italy, decide to cooperate with the US and all these European-based terrorist groups get smashed.

Meanwhile, everywhere the tide of Muslim immigrants continues to rise, and, except in Britain, the immigrants are not being absorbed (and even in Britain they are not being absorbed at the rate they are coming in). This as a short-term result of anti-immigrant backlash, and a long-term result of increasing sympathy for Islam, and even radical Islam, on the Left in a backlash against the anti-immigrant backlash. But except vis-a-vis Israel/Palestine, where the Europeans committ to funding the Palestinian Authority and backing Arafat while the PA repudiates peace and turns to terror, the increasingly "greenish" shading of elite opinion has little visible effect.

Chapter 2: 9-11

Now the whole game is a much bigger deal: global terrorists with global reach in a unipolar world. The US can invade anywhere they don't have to worry about great power support for their enemies.

Simple inertia from the post-1986 policy drags the NATO countries to war in Afganistan, and to full cooperation with the US in suppressing Islamist terror cells (except anti-Israel or anti-Jewish Islamist terror cells) in Europe. Nobody has enough time to think in the Fall of 2001 in order to change policy, not even in Paris.

Chapter 3: Iraq

But then the Bush Administration decides to pull the (fraying) trans-Atlantic terror consensus toward overthrowing Saddam. The Europeans have had plenty of time to think, and the coalition rips. France goes all out at the UN to save Saddam, the Germans back away out of pacifist sentiments. Those governments that stick with the US do so in the face of a rising opposition to the American led global war.

Once the US does invade Iraq the media and bien pensant opinion start pushing actively for the American-led coalition to lose. And if they can't lose against Saddam, maybe they'll lose to the insurgents. And if they are not actually losing to the insurgents, well, thank to Robert Fisk and his ilk in a left-wing dominated partisan press, Europeans won't know it anyway.

Chapter 4: 11-M, Madrid as epicenter

Suddenly it becomes clear that allying openly with the Americans will be costly. Sometimes the clarification of the costs of an alliance can strengthen the alliance (US-China after Pearl Harbour), and sometimes it can break the alliance (Egypt-Jordan after 1967).

The democratic decision in Madrid is clear: let the Americans deal with the whole mess on their own.

Conclusion: The Cross-Roads

But just because the Spanish swing voter -- or rather, the new Spanish voter, insists on sticking his or her head in the sand doesn't mean that the government will to the same. Gonzales campaigned on a promise to take Spain out of Nato, after all

The new Spanish government will decide: break with the US, or go along under a new international figleaf.

To break with the US does not mean, as the Anglophone left is trying deparately to persuade itself, to find a more vigorous European response to terror. It means, as EU Commissioner Prodi has already said, going back to something like the pre-1986 policy of letting the terrorists plot and act against American, Jewish, and Israeli targets.

The trouble is, of course, that Canadian PM Paul Martin is correct: you are either an ally of the Americans, or you are their battlefield. The US won't bomb power stations outside Lyon, but they won't hesitate to try to assassinate every Al-Qaeda linked operative in Europe if the Europeans stop cooperating.

So what the PSOE will try is to cooperate in the war on terror, but not openly, so as not to pay the price. No big profile assistance, hence Spanish troops out of Iraq, no deportations of captured terrorists to Gitmo. But the tips will still flow, and the Spanish will bust up anti-American terror cells even when they don't jail or kill the terrorists.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Can you say tapas-eating surrender monkeys?

I knew you could.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Killer Flash app: Tom Lehrer's The Elements

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