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Foes and Allies

America's closest alliance. Taking stock of Martha Stewart. Simon country. Saudis kaput. Plus more.

8.22.02

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DOUBLE ENTENTE
Re: Jed Babbin's Meanwhile, Back in Baghdad:

I'm encouraged by Jed Babbin's explicit reference to joint American-Israeli military action in a campaign against Saddam. The autism of the national security establishment in this regard continues to baffle and amaze me. All those deep thinkers, wringing their hands in dread over the solo confrontation with this overinflated gangster, bemoaning the absence of "coalition partners."

I know ! Why don't we enlist the support of the regional superpower! You know, the one we have invested tens of billions of dollars in, shared supersecret military technology with, and which, as a liberal democracy, is our unshakable ally? Why in the world do we not come out of the closet and launch our campaign with Israel and the incomparable IDF at our side? It seems to me that at this late date it is a bit silly to worry about making the Muslims mad. As far as I can tell, the Muslims who would harm us are already trying as hard as they can to do so. Is there some other argument against this known only in Foggy Bottom and the Harvard Club ?
-- Paul Kotik
Plantation, FL

Jed Babbin replies: Whoa, big fella. I'm glad to have the Israelis to help, and you are right in posing them as our only reliable ally in the area (except Turkey, which is absolutely key to beating the terrorists.). The problem with the national security staff is that every time they say or do anything, some Congressional big mouth blabs it, or some commercial satellite owner gives Saddam pictures of it for free. They aren't autistic, just grumpy. As to the other problems at Foggy Bottom, they are in a constant state of denial of the facts. It's what they think their job is, more's the pity. Blame Harvard, blame Dartmouth, blame any of them you'd like. But the problem is only partly their fault. Mostly, it's the careerists in State and Fort Fumble who can't admit they've been wrong about everything east of Casablanca for the past three decades or so.

MARTHA'S PLACE
Re: Michael Craig Martha Stewart's Guilt Trip:

Michael Craig makes good points in his article (even if he does resort to the cretinous, suck-up non-word "spokesperson"). But as to "guilt," I have to put myself in Miss Stewart's place: if I owned a lot of stock in a company, and somebody told me it was going to tank very soon, what would I do? I'd no doubt sell the stock. What would you do -- pretend you never heard it? Pul-lease.
-- Larry Eubank
Lgeub@cs.com

Michael Craig replies: Some people might be shocked that The American Prowler has become the house organ for Martha Stewart, but I agree with you. Most people would find it difficult to ignore credible, concrete information telling you that your investment was about to plummet.

But I'll go you one further. Sam Waksal, who is obviously guilty, probably deserves a bit of our respect. Here he is, the CEO, the guy who got his kids and his friends to buy the stock -- they've sunk hundreds of thousands into it -- and the FDA has told him they're going to reject the application for its main product, practically its whole reason for being. He feels terrible that those people who followed his advice are going to suffer, so he tries to save them. He's still got to go to jail, but at least he had a good reason. Like Eddie Cicotte said when indicted in connection with purposely losing the 1919 World Series, "I did it for the wife and kiddies."

The real culprit here is the FDA. Virtually alone among federal agencies, the FDA has failed to gather that its action on a drug application could be material to the stock market. The FDA told Waksal and let him sit on the information before it released it to the public.

I can't defend my use of "spokesperson," though I figured if I trashed "those damned regulators," I could at least sneak on to the right side of the political spectrum. (I also recall that on Ed McMahon's TV show, "Star Search," they had a category of talent called "Spokesmodel." I suppose I took for granted that you could put any word at the end of "spokes-" and get away with it.)

Thanks for reading.

The Skeptical Spokesinvestor

MARTHA AND HILLARY
Oh, to be a rich, white, liberal Democrat is sooooo hard these days!

How dare the lowly masses question her highness of all that is great and good? They only buy the crap she peddles. I bet Martha would be shocked and horrified that most of the buyers of her self-important garbage probably voted for Bush.

You see, Martha is a good Democrat. Friend of Hillary! Thus we must bow to her all knowing power and never question her actions! Who are we to deny her the bounty of her greatness and goodness by pointing out she broke a silly little law?

Laws don't matter to the self-anointed, don't you understand? Besides, it's all the fault of the evil and vast right wing conspiracy that want nothing more than to read about her sex life (I'll pass)! Of course, it has nothing to do with insider trading, only evil and greedy Republicans do that! Martha and Terry McAuliffe and Hillary Clinton are supposed to get a pass because they are our great and wonderful leaders upon who we need for our very existence!! The millions and millions they make is a mere pittance of what they have earned for granting us all life!

So I say lighten up on poor Martha and get to your local K-Mart to buy her inferior grade bath towels that start shredding in the wash after about 6 months of typical usage! K-Mart executives are good liberals too and we must help them avoid bankruptcy! Come on folks, it takes a Village to keep the anointed comfortable.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, TN

SAUDI, PARTNER
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's Sayonara, Saudi Arabia:

Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder write:

"The Rand Corporation, a respected independent think tank, rendered an opinion to the Pentagon:

" 'The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader...Saudi Arabia supports our enemies and attacks our allies.'"

Although I'm inclined to the view of Saudi Arabia as enemy, this assertion is in error and never should have gotten past careful editors. For one thing, the analyst in question was presenting his opinion to the Defense Policy Board, a board that advises the Secretary but probably should not be considered "the Pentagon." Second, this article makes it sound as if Laurent Murawiec was presenting the official Rand Corp. view on Saudi Arabia; that's not the case, as Rand has made a point of distancing itself from Murawiec's briefing (http://www.rand.org/hot/saudi.html).

I don't necessarily expect precision or seriousness on foreign affairs from a comedian and a lawyer, but I do expect better from editors as good as The American Prowler's!
-- Kevin Whited
www.reductioadabsurdum.net

Gents: Well said. Further contemplate the following. There is a great need in China for the oil, minerals, timber, and land for expansion, in Siberia. China has 100 million men under arms, a like number in reserves, and the millions of troops of their old ally, North Korea.

I predict China will make the offer to Russia they can't refuse: ally with China and yield all or most of Siberia to China. Resistance would mean they would also lose their armed forces in battle.

Once the Chinese-Korean-Russian alliance is in place, their combined armies will move south into the oil fields of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and the Saudis, and there will not be a force on earth that can stop them. Unless, of course, as you suggest, we get their first, and fortify massively.

It also happens to be another reason, beyond the current terrorism connections, and WMD held by Iraq, to take and fortify the Iraqi oil fields, as the first step to fortifying the entire region against penetration from the north.

I have no real confidence that the WH, NSA and DOD will think of the above. If you agree with me, go with it. Bush looks like he could use a good lever right about now to justify even more our coming attack on Iraq.
-- Ronald Johns

SIMON AYES
Re: George Neumayr's Here to Stay:

Thank you for your refreshing article on the Simon campaign and the California media.
-- Linda Manhart

I was happy to see what someone else thought of Debra Saunders as "conservative." I have written her a few emails and she replied that I was irritated because she made me "think." I replied that she made me laugh.
-- Annette Cwik

One of the other dirty media tricks in California is the ignoring of a full endorsement by MAPA [Mexican American Political Association] of Republican Tim Escobar for California's 39th district. He is named in the MAPA press release [response to] Simon's claim of endorsement. Tim is widely supported by both Republicans and Democrats, by the vast majority of city council officials, by law enforcement unions and organizations and an array of others. Though in a predominantly Democratic district, Tim is in a very close race.

To highlight the importance of the race Speaker of House Dennis Hastert recently came out to raise funds for his campaign. You can see his website at www.timescobar.com.
-- Andrew Alvidrez
Campaign Advisor
Tim Escobar for Congress

Why don't you check the Imperial Valley Press story on Tuesday? The online version is www.ivpressonline.com. Also, their Spanish publication, Adelante Valle, has a story on Thursday's edition. Major newspapers don't mean all newspapers in California. Some well-respected publications in rural areas do their jobs, don't you think?
-- Adelante

A HUNDRED YEARS' WAR OF WORDS
Re: Reader Mail's Heavy Loads:

I must say that I feel compelled to answer Bob Johnson's last letter ("High Noon") in which he gratuitously and fatuously accuses me of obsessions, misquotes and misdirection.

If Mr. Johnson had bothered, I say BOTHERED, to read my original letter he would have read also that I agreed with Mr. Shiflett's statement that any dope could wear a coat and tie. But Mr. Shiflett took that a step further by including Nazis, criminal or otherwise. At the end of his article, a summer piece that was basically about nothing more than the age-old pursuit of girl-watching, Mr. Shiflett included a quote from his chaplain that bore a distinct resemblance to a remark made by Hermann Goering. I thought that a curiosity.

Mr. Johnson, for his part, made a hash of what I wrote, chided me for inattentiveness, and wondered heedlessly about what I thought and felt -- subjects with which I'm sure he's not familiar, as we are not even nodding acquaintances. Indeed, it was Mr. Johnson who seemed to be having difficulty reading.

In plain English, I object. I'd be happy to pay for a remedial reading course for Mr. Johnson, who seems to be in need of one.

Sincerely,
--Paul Kellogg
New York

CLUB ELK
Re: Bill Croke's Elk Gone:

Wolf's rebound -- Elk disappearing: Why can't we just all get along?
-- Bruce Peek

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