Saturday, July 17, 2004

Out and About in Mosul

CBFTW reports from Mosul:

Every time we drive around Mosul I notice small improvement or step forwards for these people. Little things. Like today I noticed that a lot of the Iraqi police were now wearing black kevlar helmets. That's new. I remember when we first got to Iraq almost a year ago, a lot of the Iraqi police didn't even have uniforms, just a baseball hat and an AK47. Now they wear slacks, work shirts, bulletproof vests with the words POLICE written in yellow Arabic, they carry brand new AK47's and Glock 9mm pistols and they drive around in new white police cars and trucks. I'm noticing Internet caf‚'s one by one popping up on every street. New stores opening up. Billboards. Satellite dishes on rooftops, that were non-existent awhile ago. Things are slowly improving for these people out here.

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Denbeste at the helm of USS Clueless essays on appearance and reality.

Who are these "allies" we've alienated? Who are "those we need for ultimate victory" we must enlist? It wasn't the UK, clearly, or Australia. It wasn't Japan. It wasn't the majority of the members of NATO, given that more than half of them have contributed troops to operations in Iraq. We got those.

Er, um, France and Germany, mayhaps? Are those the allies to which they refer?

And what's this business about "extending a hand,not a fist"? What's with this dedication to persuasion instead of bullying? Sounds an awful lot like exactly the kind of foreign policy the EU, and many nations in Europe, have been relying on in the last couple of years, which have been notable failures.

The underlying message in all this has been consistent: Approval is more important than achievement. Awards are more important than accomplishments. Credentials are more important than knowledge and capabilities. Justification is more important than purpose.

Form is more important than substance. Motives are more important than results.


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Over at the Dar Al Hayat website one can read Abdulhamid Al Ansari's commentary on Saddam's gaggle of trial lawyers.

1- The delirious race by many Arab lawyers and legal experts to defend Saddam. Does Saddam really need 1500 lawyers to defend him? Does this sudden interest by these legal experts to reflect their political inclinations and their specific ideologies? When Saddam Hussein was captured by the coalition about a year ago he defended himself adequately. When he was asked about the reason he invaded Kuwait, he simply said: Kuwait is a part of Iraq! When he was asked about the reason he used chemical weapons in Halabjah in 1988 he said: Iran was behind it. He justified the mass graves by claiming that these people were thieves and that they escaped the battlefields in the war against Iran and Kuwait! When he was asked about his tyranny and oppression against his people, he replied by saying that he was a firm leader because the Iraqi people needed someone like him since leniency, democracy and forgiveness do not work with the Iraqi people.

2- What is the reason for all this snivel and attachment to the issue of legitimacy and international law especially the Geneva Convention, for someone who did not give any consideration to any notion of international law and international agreements? Where is the conscience of these people regarding the mass graves? Why were these legal experts silent when the ruler of Iraq murdered more than 3 million Muslims including Arabs, Kurds and Iranians?




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