October 30, 2003

The Left Self-Destructs

Democratic Senator Zell Miller has endorsed George W. Bush for president.

Life-long left-liberal Roger L. Simon has endorsed George W. Bush for president.

Life-long left-liberal Cara Remal has endorsed George W. Bush for president.

All in the last three days.

Fred Barnes responds:

[Zell Miller's] endorsement is important for several reasons. With Miller on board, Bush will have a head start on forming a Democrats for Bush group in 2004. Such a group would woo crossover votes from conservative or otherwise disgruntled Democrats next year. In 2000, an effort by the Bush campaign to form a Democrats for Bush organization fizzled.
It probably won't fizzle this time.

Democrats: You had better snap out of denial and get your act together fast. You are in so much trouble and you have no idea.

I'm sure conservatives feel like the cat that ate the canary. But if you're like me, even if you know where Zell and Roger and Cara are coming from, this is a major drag. So click on over to Andrew Northrup's place and at least get a good laugh out of it.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 10:36 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

The Left Veers Right

Roger L. Simon captures my disillusionment with the left in two sentences.

I remember the day, and it wasn't so long ago, that liberals like me were attacking our government for supporting dictators. Now these new "liberals," or whatever they want to call themselves, attack our government for taking down dictators.
Yep. I suppose they could plead “isolationism” as an excuse for the inconsistency. But the left has never been isolationist. Never. That’s the position of the old right. The tragedy of the liberals is that a whole swath has run off the farm to join Pat Buchanan in Palookaville. And I used to say that if Buchanan were elected president I’d have to move to Canada.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 12:02 AM | Permalink | Comments Off

Pacifism and Human Rights

Johann Hari writes in London’s Independent:

I want one person to dare to write to this newspaper and say with a straight face and a clear conscience that the Iraqi people would be better off now if we had left Saddam Hussein in power. Just one.
Read the whole thing. Please.

And I’d like to second Johann’s request. I dare one person to leave a comment on this site saying Iraq would be better off with Saddam. Just one. Anyone?

UPDATE: Okay then. One blogger really does think Iraqis would be better off with Saddam.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments Off

October 29, 2003

A Snake that Eats its Own Tail

Zeyad, an Iraqi dentist blogging from Baghdad, on the recent suicide bombings:

Suicide attacks are carried out by you-know-who. This is Bin Ladens gift to his fellow Iraqi Muslims. Didn't he say it himself a while ago? I demand that all Iraqi diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia and Syria cease immediately. I demand that we expel all foreign Arabs from Iraq until further notice. A little firmness is necessary. We can't just sit and wait for the next attacks. Iraq should resign from the Arab League which is just a symposium for dictators. Who the hell needs it anymore? They didn't even officially show sympathy for Iraqis after the attacks. They should be considered the enemy unless they act promptly to secure their borders and ensure that no Mujahedeen sneak through to Iraq daily. They are the ones to blame. We all know they have an interest in keeping up the attacks and the chaos. They are aware of the fact that they are next on the list after Saddam. They will pursue every possible effort to make the Iraqi example fail. When attacks are carried out in other Arab countries they consider it terrorism, but in Iraq it is resistance against the occupying Americans.
From an earlier post last week:
Someone has been writing graffiti all over Baghdad threatening to kill children who accept the new schoolbags that are to be gifted to them by UNESCO for the new school season. Also warning that any hand waving to the infidel Americans will be cut.

Are these people sane? I mean what are they thinking? Is this our latest form of 'resistance'? Threatening our own children for getting some shiny new schoolbags. I am trying very hard to understand. This so called resistance is getting hated more and more by Iraqis everywhere. I'm sure this will only add to that scorn exponentially. They are losing any sympathy they may have had earlier. The terrorists have turned out to be MUCH dumber than I thought.

I am not a religious person. I don't believe in any tangible thing called Evil, at least not in the Satanic or Biblical sense.

That aside, there is no better word to describe the thugs who are wreaking destruction in Baghdad. They are evil. I'm also with Zeyad on this. They're dumb. They're made blindingly stupid by their own evil. Utterly incapable of winning popular support, they thrash about violently consuming themselves and others around them. It is no way to win a popularity contest. If we faced a genuinely popular insurgency in Iraq, we'd have one hell of a serious problem. But this crowd is the absolute scum of the earth, and most Iraqis know it. If we don't run away, they are not going to win.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 12:15 AM | Permalink | Comments Off

October 27, 2003

Why They Hate Us

Even after the terrorist massacre at the International Red Cross center in Baghdad, Red Cross spokeswoman Nada Doumani still doesn’t understand the world she is living in.

Maybe it was an illusion to think people would understand after 23 years [working in Iraq] that we are unbiased. I can't understand why we've been targeted.
Mrs. Doumani. You are not unbiased. You are trying to help the Iraqi people. You are not on the side of the Baathists or the Islamists. You represent civilization and the West. And you work for the Red Cross, not the Red Crescent.

We don’t yet know who committed this atrocity. But it isn’t too hard to narrow it down. You’re the enemy of whoever turns out to be responsible.

The Baathists want to drive out the internationals and then kill their way back into power. They want their old jobs back so they can steal, torture, imprison, rape, and enslave.

More than two years have passed since Al Qaeda attacked New York and Washington. For more than two years the world has known, and should have been able to grasp, that the “infidel” is their enemy. You, Mrs. Doumani, are an “infidel.” You are not an Islamic fascist. So you’d better watch your back and quit pretending you are a neutral. You will never please them. You can never appease them. You will never earn their trust, their thanks, or their respect. Never. Get used to it. When they say they want to kill you, for your own sake, for all our sakes, take them at their word.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 11:01 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

October 26, 2003

New Tech Central Station Column

I have a new Tech Central Station column up: The Crucial Alliance.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 9:32 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

The New Skinheads (Updated)

I thought the organizers of anti-war demonstrations had reached the nadir of their depravity. But I was wrong. The downward slide continues.

We already knew that the organizing activists are Stalinists. The Workers World Party and its "anti-war" front International ANSWER make no secret of it.

The WWP claims on their Web site:

We don't jump on the bandwagon when Third World leaders are demonized.
That’s an understatement.

Here is an article they recently published praising Kim Jong Il’s repulsive prison-and-barracks state in North Korea. The writer Tom Scahill swoons over the totalitarian state's “accomplishments” and can’t find a single thing to admonish.

Meanwhile, International ANSWER throws in its lot with the fascists.

The anti-war movement here and abroad must give its unconditional support to the Iraqi anti-colonial resistance.

Its unconditional support.

Well. I’m glad they cleared that up.

The so-called “resistance” is made up of three primary groups. Saddam’s Baathist remnants, local theocratic Islamists, and foreign foot soldiers for Al Qaeda.

I can forgive those on the old left who once had a romance with Communism. As Leszek Kolakowski wrote, Communism is the degenerate bastard child of the Enlightenment. Vicious as it was, at least some of the ideas sounded nice. The results were horrific; engineered famines, mass graves, prison camps, and bone piles. But equality and solidarity were the rallying cries. It was an irresistible siren song for some well-meaning fools.

Fascism, though, is another matter. It isn’t a bastard child of the liberal Enlightenment. It is deliberately anti-Enlightenment. Freedom, equality, and global solidarity are hardly the talking points. It is explicitly belligerent and genocidal. Look at the Baath Party and its racist ethnic cleansing campaign against Jews and Shiites and Kurds. Look at the Islamists and their brutal persecution of secularists and “infidels,” their perverse dream of a global Islamic Inquisition. They would put the Jews to the sword. They promise to turn the United States into a sea of deadly radiation. They throw acid in the faces of unveiled women. The Baathists massacred ethnic minorities with chemical weapons. They fed dissidents into tree shredders.

These are the people for whom the anti-war organizers express their "unconditional support."

This isn’t Marxism. It’s not a “good cause” gone bad. It’s fascism all over again with Islamic characteristics.

The hindsight of history gave old Communists some slack, so long as they didn’t commit atrocities themselves. Supporters of European fascism didn’t get off so easy. They are unsparingly damned by history.

Supporters of Middle Eastern fascism may find a similar terrible judgement awaiting them in the future. Those in the West are the 21st Century's skinheads.

POSTSCRIPT: Let me clear up any potential misunderstanding in advance. I am referring specifically to the rally organizers at ANSWER, not to every person who shows up to protest or who opposes the war.

UPDATE: Yesterday the "resistance" carried out a terrorist massacre against aid workers in Baghdad. An ambulance was loaded up with a car bomb and then detonated in front of the International Red Cross. This is what International ANSWER supports unconditionally.

UPDATE: Some peace activists agree with me.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 9:30 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

October 23, 2003

South America Photo Album

Four weeks from today Shelly and I begin our annual trip out of the country. This time we leave for fifteen days in Central America. One week in Antigua, Guatemala, and another on an island off the coast of Belize.

There is nowhere I would rather visit than Latin America. The culture is so…seductive. It is poorer, but friendlier. Both familiar and exotic. Full of heat and passion, warmth and light. I miss it when I am away.

Last December we went to Chile and drove 2,000 miles along the length of its spine. For those who like road trips, it is the perfect country. Smooth open roads, well mapped and signed. Beautiful cities, exotic landscapes, delectable food (the best outside France), and the sweetest people you’ll meet anywhere in the world. Their friendliness is embarassing.

Tonight I browsed through our photo album and I remembered what we said to each other on our way home to the cold and rainswept north. We promised that we have to go back.


Lush farmland in the valley between the mountains and the sea.


Me on horseback in the Andes.


The lovely hilltop seaside city of Valparaiso.


Modern Santiago.


Skyscrapering Santiago.


Museo de Bellas Artes.


Old Santiago.


Plaza de Armas.


Barrio Brasil, inner-city Santiago.


The road north through the Atacama Desert, the driest place on the Earth.


A roadside shrine.


Salt. It is everywhere in the north.


Church in San Pedro de Atacama.


Volcan Licanabur, Cordillera de los Andes. The base of the mountain is two miles above sea level. We gasped for breath gazing upward.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 11:19 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

October 22, 2003


What do you feel like reading?

If you're in the mood for guilty pleasure, read this.

If you're in the mood to laugh, read this.

If you're in the mood for an emotional punch in the stomach, read this.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 11:36 PM | Permalink | Comments Off
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