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All Isn’t Fair in War

Betrayal and loyalty in Iraq. Deadlines for victory. What about Hillary? Plus much more.

4.1.03

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AGAINST THE WORLD
Re: Afshin Molavi's Why No Candy and Flowers?

With all due respect to Mr. Molavi, how exactly is he so certain that an errant U.S. missile is responsible for the market bombing? It seems to me that all we have to go on is the word of the Iraqi military. I am not inclined to believe anything come out of the mouth of Tariq Aziz or any of the other lackeys working for Saddam. These were the same clowns who had their forces dress up as Americans and kill Iraqi civilians as a propaganda ploy. They have also started preposterous rumors that the humanitarian aid being delivered throughout the south is poisonous.

While I can certainly understand why the Iraqi people felt betrayed after the Gulf War, I think it is a mistake to look at this war purely in terms of how the civilian dead will affect public opinion. Public opinion is being manipulated every day by anti-war voices who want us to play the body count game. I think this is a dangerous trap which could easily result in a longer, more uncertain campaign which would mean more deaths on both sides. Coalition forces are expected to meet impossibly high standards in waging the war. We are supposed to leave infrastructure magically intact while decimating the enemy. Oh, and then we will be expected to pay for the whole thing and clean everything up after the campaign. Meanwhile, the cowards from Saddam's regime purposely take cover among the civilian populations -- going so far as to hide an entire operational base inside a hospital. There is no honor in this enemy. The regime will topple, but apparently not without dragging many of the common folk with it. War is hell. This one is no exception.

Meanwhile, some of us are still struggling with whether we should ever entangle ourselves in foreign affairs or if it would be simpler to send all our troops home and let the rest of the world pound salt. I don't know if our troops will get candy and flowers, but I am certain that whatever we do (or do not do) the arrogant world community will find some way to demonize our actions (or inaction had we opted out).
-- N. Peralta
Lakewood, OH

A PLEA FOR MERCY
Re: Jed Babbin's Pausers and Poseurs:

STOP!! I'm staggering and reeling from precision guided salvos of clarity and ten-ring accuracy. It's simply not fair to respond with such illuminating flashes of brilliance amid the muddling oil fires ignited by the press and our President's critics. You, Mr. Babbin, are simply not playing fair.
-- Stephen "Doc" Watson

ALL BETS ARE OFF
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s In the Middle of a Tremendous Fight:

You will lose your bet. This war will continue into Holy Week probably after Easter. I offer this to you based only on the evidence you provide: large pockets of resistance, dangerous and effective resistance in mufti or in civies.

I bet you would fight like an animal if someone invaded your home.

I used to think you were a perceptive and intelligent journalist 15 years ago, not so any more, just another quasi-con who forgot what it means to be really free, to have really informed and daring discourse in the arena of ideas.

Best of luck to you. Your roll of the dice about this war is craps.
-- John Correll
Atlanta, GA

MAXIMUM HILLARY
Re: The Washington Prowler's Hillary's New Low:

Hillary's new low doesn't surprise me one bit. I just wish someone could explain to me why New York and others put up with her and her husband. They have shown time and again they have no use for anyone but themselves. Hillary is so power hungry that is all she can think of and she has absolutely no class or scruples - she will walk over anyone that gets in her way. She cannot be believed and why she gets away with her "make believe you like the people" attitude really makes me sick. She and Bill need to be sent back to the boonies in Arkansas.
-- Jane McNair
Connecticut

Hillary is the de facto "senior" senator, so little Chuckie should stop crying. Everyone knows that if it weren't for our male chauvinist system, Hillary would be de jure senior senator, Maximum Leader, or some such.

I believe that anyone writing opinion should always refer to Hillary as the senior senator. Little Chuckie has carried a lot of water for the feminists; he'll understand.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, PA

Now, the "Hillary's New Low" is good, but don't we all know she can go a lot further down than that? Heavens, this is just a weenie compared to where she has been and will go! Nice to read anyway!

Actually, I really had to laugh at the picture in my mind of her leaping to her feet, tearing down the hall at a superhuman run, hair flying, determined, I am going to win this race look on her face. You have to admire her determination!. Good laugh for the day, thanks,
-- Carole

In the midst of the encomia of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, may I be allowed a "nay"? Didn't he perceive the enormous injury to the U.S. Presidency when Clinton continued in office? He had acknowledged Clinton's public and private amorality -- note that in his column this morning, Robert Novak discloses Moynihan characterized political contributions to Clinton from China and elsewhere in Asia as "an attack on our system" -- but after the impeachment "trial," he couldn't manage to mutter even a "not proven". Wasn't he confident other decent Democrats, influenced by his revered probity, would follow his guilty vote, or perhaps he knew there were no such Democrats. In neither instance was his Party deserving of his forbearance. Numerous other times he went missing concerning moral issues crucial to our country -- how could he have allowed election of the unspeakable Hillary and the Uriah Heepish Schumer? He may have been too cognizant of his own flaws -- minor as they were--to stand as he should, but the results have not been beneficial, whatever his friends are saying this week.
-- J. R. Wheatley

STRAIGHTSHOOTING
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's Iraq and the Unspeakable:

Let me get this straight -- a comedian (Jewish, at that!) has written a column supporting the notion that the entire five million population of Baghdad be advised to evacuate that city, to be followed by its destruction, in order to kill Saddam Hussein?

This is a joke, right?
-- T. Velten

I keep wondering why, in every conflict, we constantly hear phrases like:

"To us, there is image more searing, heart-rending an image than that of women and children who have become, in the antiseptic phraseology of war, collateral damage." (From "Iraq and the Unspeakable")

Why are the deaths of women specifically singled out for discussion ad nauseam, when in most conflicts, men are the majority of deaths. I do notjust mean the deaths of male combatants either. It should be obvious that many non-combatants are men, especially those who are older or infirm. Furthermore, in the present conflict, numerous men are forced against their will into Saddam's war machine or face execution. Further, it is well-documented that genocide is overwhelmingly directed against men. During the Balkan conflict female rape victims were continuously singled out for special mention. Their brothers, often as young as 12 or so, whom the women watched being beaten to death with steel cables, were unmentioned in most reports I saw. The women were often allowed to go home afterwards. However awful being raped and then sent home is, I suspect I'd prefer it to being beaten to death with steel cables.

Again and again I see that injury to men is given no particular attention while female suffering is highlighted. Why the double standard? Do we care so much less about men and boys? Based on the ubiquitousness of the phrase "women and children" it would appear so.
-- Will Johnson

BEYOND THE PALEO
Re: Lawrence Henry's Heard in Moscow:

The idea that David Frum "dissected" paleoconservatives is at best silly. Frum made a bunch of ad hominem attacks "supported" by a few statements that fall into the category of "it's true because I say it is." Frum, and his sidekick Jonah Goldberg, are not conservatives, but simply the type of liberal we have come to know and "love" as New Deal Democrats. Frum's screed was simply a laundry list of those who rightly criticize him.

Alas, space does not allow a dissection of the idiocy and mental midgetry of Frum, and the sophomoric behavior of Goldberg (they are peas in a pod). Fortunately, one does not have depend on a short missive such as this. One can go to the National Review Online and make one's own judgment.
-- Richard L. Hardison
Stockport, OH

PRIORITY COSTS
Re: Veronique de Rugy & Tad DeHaven's Hey, Big Spenders:

The authors make some excellent points about the Budget.

But they make what I consider a mistake in discussing the numbers; and that is to lob together Social Security, Medicare and Defense as if they and they alone constitute the budget. They mention prescription drugs but only in the context of Medicare. And they also continue the "tax cuts cost the Treasury" line of thinking.

While these are the biggest programs and should be fixed (I hate the word reform, it's totally the opposite when used by politicians), they are not really the main problem. It's all the little nickel and dime stuff and the entire bureaucratic set up. We have so many overlapping agencies, programs and services it's maddening.

If Congress can't stop the silly spending and wasteful spending, then it will never tackle the big ones. Let me give an example: I recently visited the Sacramento capitol building and noticed it had paid elevator operators. Elderly ladies sitting in the elevator to push the button, or not, for you. California has a supposed $26 billion "shortfall" in its budget and it's paying elevator operators?

It's simply a lack of priorities. Millions of Americans do not save money on a consistent and planned basis like any simple financial adviser will suggest. We all know those people and listen to their excuses while their kids have cell phones, they trade in their vehicle every two years, live in a house much bigger than they truly need, make sure they have digital cable and high speed Internet in every room, never miss a vacation they can put on credit, etc.

I once was giving some simple financial advice to friends in a chat room. I said that saving even just $25 a month is better than nothing. One person said, "but I can't even find $25 a month to save." When I suggested they terminate their $24.95 a month Internet connection you could feel her icy stare through cyberspace.

Priorities!
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, TN

A MATTER OF MILLIONS
Re: George Neumayr's Pundit or Saint?

As usual I very much enjoyed reading your editorial. The Liberals, uninvited, speak for us all, yet, even in New York City, they muster only about 100,000 or 200,000 malcontents to demonstrate in their tiresome seditious demonstrations when NYC is a city boasting a population of some eight million inhabitants. What is even 600,000 Liberal activists reported as membership of one Liberal agitator site -- when over eleven million people have signed online postcards in support of the troops via the VFW and other organizations looking after the welfare and morale of the brave troops, who are now putting their only lives on the line for all of us?
-- William David Kirkpatrick

ITALY WASN'T BUILT IN A DAY
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's The French, The French:

I know this is perhaps a little late but you probably need to start looking at the articles written by Jackie Mason. While I actually agree with Mason on quite a few things, he has his facts terribly wrong in the article "The French, The French." He seems to want to attack the Italians, who just happen to be one of the United States' best and most consistent allies. Mason seems to impugn Italy by implying a historical lack of military success. The fact that he seems not to mind throwing in a few stereotypes also does not seem to matter to Mason, but let me point out that no superpower in history has been able to equal what Rome was able to conquer during the heyday of the Roman Empire. This was achieved solely through Military power. I assuredly don't have to remind you that the empire spanned the entire known world and lasted for approximately 700 years.

Please explain to me how this historical fact jives with the following quote from Mason, "But put Italians together in an army and they are not so hot".

Clearly Mason would not ever accept such an article if it was written about Israel.

Please, lets lay off the inaccurate stereotypes and let's remember who are our true allies in Europe today.

Nevertheless, I love the Spectator and Mason in general. Keep up the good work.
-- Paul Sannella

ENOUGH ALREADY
Re: Sami Deeb's letter in Reader Mail's Reel People:

I am sick and tired of hearing about the Israeli "occupation" and about the efforts of misguided protesters like the late Rachel Corrie standing up for the rights of the "oppressed" Palestinians.

Your poor oppressed Palestinian brothers are the same folks who danced in the streets of Gaza on September 11, who celebrate the death of innocent women and children at the hands of suicide murderers, who experience ecstasy when our brave American soldiers fall in battle. I have news for you. The Palestinians will not find peace until they recognize the fact that Israel has a right to exist. Let me let you in on another secret which you already know, but don't have the courage to say out loud. If Ariel Sharon were to wake up tomorrow morning and decide to hand over the entire West Bank, Gaza Strip and the entire city of Jerusalem to Yasser the Murderer, and if he were to surrender the Golan Heights to the Syrians for good measure, your Islamist fundamentalist friends would still not be satisfied. You know why? Because what they really want is to drive every last Jew in the region into the Mediterranean Sea. They could not accept the reality of a Jewish State in 1948, and they can not accept one now. The bottom line is that Israel does not have to apologize to anyone for defending itself.

One final note to all the peace protesters out there who prefer living on Fantasy Island. There is such a thing as evil in the world. We see it today personified by Saddam Hussein. He is, in many ways, the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, all wrapped up into one horrifying package. Saddam is only the tip of the iceberg, however. The Syrian regime is of the same ilk. So are the folks in Tehran and Saudi Arabia, to name a few. And let us not forget our good friend Yasser the Murderer, his Nobel Peace Prize notwithstanding. I hope that the rational thinkers among us can appreciate this. These despots are all one and the same, and until we defeat all of them, and all those who follow them, none of us are safe.
-- Jay Shuman
Elizabeth, NJ

FRENCH ROAST
Re: Dany Duquesne's letter in Reader Mail's Reel People:

Jackie and Raoul's article on the French was spot on. However, Dany disagrees with its premise because some of the facts, which are not used to support the premise, are not as accurate as Dany would like. Imagine that, another disagreeable frog.

Dany, why bother arguing whether Napoleon was really French or Corsican? Why didn't you defend the French war record as honorable? Oh, you can't. Why not defend the French as not rude to Americans? Oh, you can't. Why not defend the French against charges that they have squandered every opportunity at honor ever provided. Oh, you can't. That, Dany, was the premise of the article and why you have no response.
-- Steve Shaver
USA

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