Minutiae
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"So. Our ancestors clawed their way out of the caves, fought behemoths with their bare hands; survived earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, meteor showers and plagues, all so their descendents could sit on the road and wail."
- Pundita

Thursday, March 20, 2003
A very interesting interview with
Victor Davis Hanson. A tidbit:
"Proceedings: It has been said that the rest of the world thinks differently about the United States from what we think of ourselves. Why is that so?

Hanson: They have some legitimate grievances, but a lot of it is based on cynicism and jealousy. For example, if you're a Western power and you have a robust economy, and you propose not to spend 5% to 7%, but maybe .5% of GNP [gross national product] on your military, then you're not going to have forces commensurate with your population and economic power. Therefore, you put more currency in the international criminal court—the Kyoto Accords, the U.N. [United Nations], the E.U. [European Union]. And if you do have military power, you will respect those in some ways. But you have alternatives.

Europeans really have no alternative if someone blows up the Louvre or al Qaeda attacks the Vatican. So the Europeans put their lot in with these international courts and such. The problem with that is some of them are not only bureaucratic and anti-democratic, but they're staffed by people from countries like Syria on the Security Council or Lybia on the Commission on Human Rights.

If the United States has singular military power, then a lot of forces in the world vie to use that power for some particular agenda. When it's used in such a way, the United States is considered part of the global community. When it's not, they call it unilateralism. One concrete example is when nearly 200,000 Europeans were butchered in the heart of Europe, and no European power did much of anything. Some 57 days later, the U.S. Air Force removed [Yugoslavia President] Slobodan Milosevic. Before we intervened, they were calling us isolationists. After we intervened, they were calling us interventionists. But while we were intervening, they more or less approved.

The world competes for the attention, the influence, and the use of this power. And when you combine that with envy and jealousy, it's very hard to be popular. You never satisfy everybody. All we can do is have a consistent agenda, if possible, after the distortion of the Cold War is over. We no longer, in some Pavlovian manner, have to support right-wing dictatorships on the principle that at least they're not communist and they can evolve into consensual societies.

We need to have a more sustainable, predictable pattern that we're going to promote open markets and consensual governments. The last several interventions were very different from the Cold War. We're not going into a Third World country and putting in a dictator like Somoza [Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza Debayle]. We got rid of [Panama dictator General Manuel] Noriega, who was a fascist, and then democracy followed. We're pulling out of the Philippines, where they have a plebiscite and don't want us there. We're removing Milosevic, who's a fascist. We're removing the Taliban, who are fascists. We're removing Saddam Hussein, who is a fascist.

This has created an enormous dilemma for the left in the United States, because the traditional critique of U.S. military power has always been that it is promoting authoritarian fascism. But it's not. That's why we see this strange uncertainty on the radical left. They want to be against the United States, but they don't want to be friendly to the people who are against the United States—the Taliban or Saddam Hussein, for example."

posted by Rachel 3/20/2003
. . .
That'll help your credibility...

posted by Rachel 3/20/2003
. . .
Oooh
funny.
"The glossary:

Nuance:
Opposition to United States policy. Often expressed in simplistic terms.

Peace:
The complete lack of action from the United States no matter how many must suffer or die.

Dissent:
Wearing costumes.

Crushing of Dissent/McCarthyism:
Publicly disagreeing with someone more noble. Publicly pointing out flaws in the arguments of those more noble.

Censorship:
Only appearing on TeeVee 5 times a week instead of the full 7.

Facts:
Things that get in the way of Truth.

Truth:
Something that must be believed regardless of facts. Example: 5,000 civilians were killed in Afghanistan. Did not actually happen, but the US wanted to kill that many and more so that means it is truth."

posted by Rachel 3/20/2003
. . .
Hmmm. I can't decide what to think about
this.
Though I've heard that both Bushes are Mac fans too. Too weird. I don't know if that's a good sign or a bad sign.

posted by Rachel 3/20/2003
. . .
Who armed Iraq? Well yes, we did. But who else did?
"Below are best estimates of the dollar amount of weapons sold to Iraq between 1973 and 1990.
Soviet Union- Over 25 billion dollars
France and China – at least five billion dollars each.
Czechoslovakia and Poland – about two billion dollars each
Brazil, Egypt and Romania – between $500 million and one billion dollars each.
Denmark- Over $200 million.
Libya and the United States, less than a quarter of a million dollars each "

Iraq still owes Russia over 5 billion dollars. The 2001 Russian GDP was estimated at roughly 310 billion dollars. Think they might be a bit anxious about that debt?

posted by Rachel 3/20/2003
. . .
Satellite images of Iraq.

posted by Rachel 3/20/2003
. . .
So Benno, after suffering the effects of 8 servings of prunes yesterday, comes in to work and consumes the remaining 9 servings in the can, and now seems to be surprised at experiencing alimentary distress.

"It wasn't like this yesterday." he explains.

Apparently that 9th serving is the kicker.

posted by Rachel 3/20/2003
. . .
Dan: I keep getting 'Server Not Found' errors for Dnord.com. It's like 3 out of 4 times for the past week. Then 5 minutes later it's there.

posted by Rachel 3/20/2003
. . .
I should have posted this yesterday but I was sick.
Very Funny.

posted by Rachel 3/20/2003
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