The Spectacle Blog
Pretty tame stuff from the leader of the war on terror in his first public comments on the nearly week-old cartoon furor. (In keeping with a career-long habit of being slow out of the blocks.) The cartoon situation, the president said, "requires a lot of discussion and a lot of sensitive thought." If we get any more sensitive, we'll all be dead.
Speaking to two critical players in the search for Iraq WMD and the mystery of the Iraq Survey Group's inability to find the weapons and systems in 2003-2004. The facts on the ground do not support the political rhetoric that there was no WMD. The facts on the ground support that Saddam Hussein and his ministers and their allies in more than one European state conspired to deny and deceive the UN, the U.S., and the post-war search teams. The facts on the ground support that there is a library of evidence to be identified, translated, and explained by ops, scholars, pols, and historians. Case in point this day is Nasariyah, summer 2003, where an American agent, with Arabic, met and developed Iraqi sources who led him to most-suspect sites. The sites are underground caves, then flooded, having thick concrete walls. The Iraqis said that the sites had been built and sealed over during six months in the middle of 2002. This anecdote suits exactly the untold story. This suits anyone who understands that the last laugh will be for those who find the biologicals, the chemicals, and the nuclear weapons plans that remain the threat until it is destroyed.
Freedom For Egyptians reminded me why the cartoons looked so familiar to me: they were actually printed in the Egyptian Newspaper Al Fagr back in October 2005. I repeat, October 2005, during Ramadan, for all the egyptian muslim population to see, and not a single squeak of outrage was present. Al Fagr isn't a small newspaper either: it has respectable circulation in Egypt, since it's helmed by known Journalist Adel Hamoudah. Looking around in my house I found the copy of the newspaper, so I decided to scan it and present to all of you to see.Be sure to read his comments about how Arab leaders have used the Inkifada to draw attention away from more important issues.
Ibrahim Hooper -- spokesman for the Council of American Muslim Relations -- may have made a big blooper on the Laura Ingraham show today.
Hooper's blooper was in agreeing with me that there should be no law to prevent publication of cartoons such as those of Mohammed that have stirred Muslims in Europe to protest and in SW Asia to riots and death. How much trouble will he be in with the radical Muslims who insist that freedom of the press doesn't go as far as that, and shouldn't. Hooper tried to make amends by insisting that the Iranian paper about to publish its "Holocaust" cartoon contest wasn't following government orders. He said he didn't know enough about the Iranian press to know if it was free or not. He's the only person I have spoken to who has that doubt.
Meanwhile, it's good to know Condi Rice reads John Batchelor. She came out today blaming Iran and Syria for the cartoon intifada riots.
I agree with Paul. We should have some sort of award for Wlady for coining the phrase.
Wlady: I'm almost glad now that Clinton spoke (almost), just for the opportunity of hearing you use the term "unscotchable hankering."
Kornheiser is headed to Monday Night Football. Yes, yes, it's hard to argue with success, it's good work if you can get it. I'm sure Kornheiser will boost MNF, attracting those who like a constantly high level of shouting about sports. Kornheiser The Brand is great for radio, a short sound-bite show on ESPN (PTI), and even a corner on page 2 of the Post sports section. But let's hope that the bar-argument style of sports broadcasting is the exception rather than the rule.
Never fear, James. Bill Clinton stole the show, his nodding Hillary doll smirking with approval at his every word. Most incredible was the following passage, which not only doubled as a plug for his wife's candidacy but reminded everyone of his unscotchable hankering for women of all ages:
We're here to honor a person.
Fifty-four years ago, her about-to-be husband said that he was looking for a woman with character, intelligence, personality and beauty, and she sure fit the bill.
And I have to say, when she was over 75, I thought she still fit the bill pretty good....
(Check his Oscar-worthy performance among the videos that accompany this Washington Post story.)
Transcript courtesy of USA Today:
Years later in Oslo I said, The Nobel Prize profoundly magnified the inspiring global influence of Martin Luther King Jr., the greatest leader that my native state, and perhaps my native country, has ever produced.
And I was including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and the others.