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Arnie's bonus question. Fusion and short fuses. Sweet Alabama. Europe's debt deficit. Plus more.

9.9.03

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BONUS QUESTION
Re: W. James Antle III's The Giuliani Test:

While I agree with W. James Antle's analysis, I think Arnold is going in the right direction by being against issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens. If he is forthright enough to continue to speak out against Democrats on the illegal immigration issue, he will surely attract enough votes. However, he is being hammered by various media on racial issues, and he may not have the courage to seize this critical issue.
-- D. Stewart
Palo Alto, CA

SURPRISES
Re: Jed Babbin's Two Burning Fuses:

Jed Babbin's article is a refreshing change from the excessive caution I read so often. I suggest two important changes however. When the time comes to destroy North Korea's nuclear facilities, it should be without any warning. This is precisely the mistake we made over and over and over in Iraq. A warning is what you give someone who is out of line but basically decent. You assume they will respond to the warning like a civilized adult.

And it should not be done "as soon as we determine that the North Koreans are preparing for an atmospheric test." Intelligence is never perfect. What if we find out too late? The best time for the disposal operation is when our operational folk determine that the time is right to destroy the most and lose the least. We should already know what continued negotiations will lead to, since we have already seen where negotiations have led to. Kimmy Boy already broke his agreement with us, shame on him. When he does it again, shame on us.

How would we benefit from the issuing of a warning? Is Kim The Tiny likely to disband his programs if we give him a warning? Or is he more likely to use the time to hide and protect as much of his technology as possible? Or would he, assuming it is now or never, perform unpleasant preemptive action?

A warning would drag us back into the court of World Opinion, where we would get many warnings from the pro-monster regime lobby (UN). Since we are going to take the heat for a justified action, why not get it over with in one brief moment. It will also send a powerful message to the Iranian dictators.

This would work if the order of the removals is reversed, that is, if Iran is first. The best message to send to maniacal despots is one of awesome power. There is no evidence they understand any other language.
-- Jim Kratoska
Brookfield, WI

Mr. Babbin displays all the skills of a true propagandist. Claims of a North Korean atmospheric nuclear test are preposterous. It would be conducted underground or at sea if at all. Warmongers always try to scare people to their side. Another point that he tried to make is that North Korea would sell nukes to Islamist terror groups. Kim is the only true "red" leader of the last true "red" country in the world. Commies don't support religion and it's obvious how much disdain commies have for Islam. Case in point: China which to this day persecutes the tiny Muslim minority it does have. Are we to guess then that China will sell its nukes too? Absolutely not. Silence Mr. Babbin, otherwise I am sure he will find some sucker to listen to him.
-- Mike B.

NAME, SCREAM, AND MATCH
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s John Pierre Kerry's Offensive Diatribe:

I always find it interesting that liberals first battle cry in any debate about Iraq is "Bush lied to us about Saddam's WMD." My reaction battle cry is, "If Bush lied to us, did Bill Clinton lie back in 1998 when he started Operation Desert Fox? After all, he bombed Saddam's chemical and nuclear plants because he did cooperate with the U.N. Plus, the U.N. also wanted to see if Saddam did get rid of his WMD, which is why they agreed to go back to Iraq in January of this year."

Yes, it's a long reply, but sadly, I still haven't gotten an answer to it. Well, not an intelligent one anyway. Usually, I get called a "neo-con" and believe the gospel that is George W. Bush. What really drives liberals and Democrats nuts is, is that I usually back up my opinions with facts, which they have a hard time arguing with. It seems the art of debate in the past few years is more like finger pointing. Instead of giving rebuttals with substance, it's become a screaming and name-calling match.

Either way, I enjoyed your column and keep up the good work.
-- A. Leone

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO GOVERNOR BOB
Re: Jeremy Lott's Jesus Christ Tax Collector?

Riley has convinced me to vote NO on Tuesday. Sorry, but the guy has gone over the cliff and into the river. He's now sounding like one of those snake-handling primitives to me. Or a snake-oil salesman -- hard to say which is more off-putting. I was prepared to hold my nose and give him my confidence and my vote. But the more he runs his mouth, the more I want to distance myself from giving him my first vote, last November. I can't even begin to imagine what we'll hear from him after his referendum loses. Maybe Armageddon will commence -- mercifully -- sparing us all from Riley's next act. Ugh.
-- SallyVee
Birmingham, AL

Strange that the Jesus tax and Ten Commandments issue turn up in the same state, same story. The Decalogue forbids covetousness, Jesus was big on following the Ten Commandments, the Jesus tax is based on coveting your neighbors possessions (money). Somebody ought to help these people sort out the internal contradictions in their worldview.
-- unsigned

THE ADDITION, IF YOU PLEASE
Re: Francis X. Rocca's Nous Sommes Tous Antiaméricains :

Mr. Rocca's article pretty much paints the rationale of why we are all tired of the Europeans. Rumsfeld was more right than we could ever have imagined between "Old" and "New" Europe. And quite frankly we should accommodate our old friends. The U.S., like a good gardener, knows when to pack up the tools once the flower beds are done. And like a good gardener, we should leave a bill under the front door --

• Two World Wars, pruned.
• Two economies, well fertilized.
• One NATO defense, spray for Warsaw Pact tanks, 40 yr. strength..
• Their freedoms, priceless

Total, with interest: $230 trillion. No checks please, gold preferred.

That should just about wipe out the deficit.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, TX

OFFENSE TAKEN
Re: L. Rotunno's letter ("Taking Offense") in Reader Mail's Here We Go Again:

L. Rotunno's remark about Roosevelt attacking Denmark is way off the mark. Rather than send him back to American/World History 101, here are the facts:

• On December 8th 1941, President Roosevelt asked for and received from Congress a Declaration of War against the Empire of Japan.

• Politics as they were -- the U.S. Congress and people were in no mood to declare war on Germany -- and Roosevelt was smart enough not to try.

• On December 10th 1941, Hitler (honoring his pact with Japan and Italy) declared war on the United States.

• Churchill wept with joy.

Immediately thereafter, the United States declared war on Germany and Italy with no discussion or debate - neither Germany or Italy having fired a single shot at the United States (unless you count the sinking of the destroyer USS Ruben James in October 1941). One would therefore count our WWII exploits against Germany and Italy as preemptive and unjustified! Our immediate priority in war fighting until 1944 was not against the country that attacked us -- but against the two that didn't! (Hitler and Tojo were bad boys -- but we shouldn't have been in the process regime change?) Hitler gave Roosevelt the war he really wanted. Saddam gave Bush the war he...

Isn't that right Mr./Mrs./Ms. L. Rotunno?

In fact, the Japanese justification to attack Pearl Harbor was based on the U.S. oil and scrap iron embargo against the sons of Nippon. An embargo is an act of war! Therefore the U.S. embargo (instituted as a result of Japanese atrocities against China) was preemptive and according to L. Rotunno's logic, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was morally justified!

OK, OK, I should quit -- fun while it lasted.

It's recall time in California and I'm searching frantically for my anti-nausea pills ...
-- Mike Horn
Tracy, CA

L. Rotunno displays a characteristic failure of the left to grasp the facts (let alone the lessons) of history, as shown by a particularly egregious error. In WWII we were attacked by Japan and in response we went to war with Germany and Italy! In those days even Democrats were smart enough to recognize that we had to respond not only to our direct attackers but also those who were in league with them. Admittedly our current enemies are not so brash as to advertise all their cooperative arrangements for the world (and the U.S.) to see, but to take the position that we cannot attack our enemies because they have not signed formal treaties with Al-Qaeda is stupidity of the first order.
-- Bill White
South Lyon, MI

L. Rotunno writes: "Referring to the Iraq invasion as 'a war made inescapable by the attacks of September 11' appears to reveal some delusional transference of responsibility that simply does not square with the facts. Actions based on grand fantasies rather than how the world really is are bound to have disastrous consequences no matter how fervent one's resolve."

Although the writer is not alone in wishing to limit his view of world interactions to a nation-state vs. nation-state perspective, a most comforting viewpoint that draws on the history of conflict as we knew it for the history of mankind, he fails to comprehend the borderless nature behind the current terrorist initiative.

Terrorists do not seek to achieve victory by defeating and occupying any given nation-state, they seek to create a disruption in world order by whatever means necessary -- with a singular goal of preventing citizens of any nation-state, anywhere, from living in freedom, living free from fear, and advancing their lives independently from the delusional views of the terrorists. When the world turns a blind eye to terrorist regimes, such as that in Iraq (and unfortunately in too many other countries for the time being), the result is encouragement of the terrorist cause.

Though a terrorist regime may offer financial or geographic support, certainly in the case in Iraq, that is not the problem. Rather, it is the implicit acknowledgment by the world, through inaction, that it's going to allow a terrorist nation-state to get away with murder when its location is fixed and knowledge of its actions is readily available. If that is allowed, the nomadic terrorists with no real goals and nothing to lose, find themselves in a position of believing that they will never be challenged successfully -- a powerful recruiting tool at the very least, a builder of ever deepening and dangerous delusions at worst.

As upsetting as it appears to be to so many, there really was no alternative but to depose Saddam and there is no excuse for allowing similar regimes to continue -- that choice is the true road to "disastrous consequences" on an ongoing basis for the citizens of those nation-states and ultimately for the world. The real questions are: What were we waiting for? Would the terrorism problem be at the level it is now if we had acted decades ago to stop the human rights violations that we knew were occurring in Iraq? Why are we not discussing removal of other similar regimes sooner than later? Is the human rights declaration by the UN from over 50 years ago worth the paper it's printed on?
-- Mark Hessey
Belmar, NJ

THE NEW EVOLUTION
Re: Richard McEnroe's letter ("Drive-By Voters") in Reader Mail's Here We Go Again:

Reader Richard McEnroe from Mexifornia, commenting (9/5) about a KTLA newschick correcting her "illegal aliens" slip to "illegal immigrants" after an obvious rebuke from the control room, is, unfortunately, behind the PC times. In the Workers' Paradise of the Midwest that, too, is verboten. The allowable reference is now "undocumented workers"!!!
-- Brooks Hughes
Ann Arbor, MI

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