March 08, 2003

More Math: How the French Value Peace

10,000 people marched in Paris on March 8 (International Women's Day) to protest the rapes, beatings and killings going on in the (primarily Muslim) banlieues — suburban housing estates.

Marching under the motto "Ni putes, ni soumises" (neither whores, nor submissives), the proximate cause was the murder of a teenager, but the long-term problem is the ongoing abuses inflicted on women in these near-lawless highrises.

10,000 is a great turnout. Let's see — 100,000 turned out in Paris a couple of weeks ago to support the continuation of Saddam in power. Saddam is reported to have rape camps and to have recently ordered the public beheading of women who are opposed to his regime.

So 1/10 as many people in France want to end the rape, abuse and killing in their own country as want to support the ongoing rape, abuse and killing in Iraq. Got it.

Posted by campbell at 11:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

America Worst

In the run up to World War II, a motley collection of isolationists, appeasers and out-and-out sympathizers with Nazi Germany formed a pressure group called America First. Certainly the most visible member was mega-celebrity Charles Lindbergh.

This all sounds remarkably familiar, even more so when you read this speech by Lindbergh that was never delivered. It was scheduled for December 12, 1941, but cancelled after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Even the same true enemy is behind the whole war propaganda, by the way. To spare the suspense, it was the Jews. (Representative Moran, call your office.)

To give Lindbergh his due, he volunteered to fly for the US in the war, and did so as an observer on a dozen combat missions. I'm sure Martin Sheen won't show the same honor.

In a haunting historical footnote, Lindbergh's major speech to America First was on September 11, 1941.

America First was basically a jingoistic antiwar movement. The current dictator-friendly antiwar movement forms a bizarro mirror image, drawing for the most part on irrational anti-Americanism. I would call it America Worst. So for the new America Worst movement, I offer this handy logo based on their less than savory forebears:

Posted by campbell at 01:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 07, 2003

Anti-War? Nah. Anti-USA.

Over the next few weeks, I will be looking at the origins and ideologies (and idiocies) of the "AntiWar" movement today. It is my thesis that the central organizing principle of that movement is not peace, but a profound antiAmericanism that was born in the Vietnam War era, came of age in the anti-globalization movement, and may be as threatening to democracy as any of the great ideological movements of the 20th Century.

As a starting point, I'd like to point to Todd Gitlin's incisive post-9/11 column for Mother Jones:

To the left-wing fundamentalist, the only interesting or important brutality is at least indirectly the United States' doing. Thus, sanctions against Iraq are denounced, but the cynical mass murderer Saddam Hussein, who permits his people to die, remains an afterthought. Were America to vanish, so, presumably, would the miseries of Iraq and Egypt.
In the United States, adherents of this kind of reflexive anti-Americanism are a minority (isolated, usually, on campuses and in coastal cities, in circles where reality checks are scarce), but they are vocal and quick to action. Observing flags flying everywhere, they feel embattled and draw on their embattlement for moral credit, thus roping themselves into tight little circles of the pure and the saved.
Posted by campbell at 12:02 PM | Comments (1)

Some Basic Math

I'm having trouble figuring out the basic math of the AntiWar crowd:

There are 191 countries in the United Nations.
Of all of them, there are:
190 countries less dangerous to world order than the United States.
190 countries more committed to peace, progress and justice than the United States.
190 countries more free in speech, press, and religion than the United States.
190 countries more democratic than the United States.
190 leaders smarter, wiser and saner than President Bush.
190 leaders less bloodthirsty and violent than President Bush.

And among that 190 countries are: Iraq, Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, Ukraine, Venezuela, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Serbia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cuba, Laos, Myanmar, Lebanon, Paraguay, Egypt, Yemen.

And those 190 leaders include: Saddam, Qaddafi, Kim Jong Il, Chavez, Mugabe, Assad, Castro, Khameini, Kuchma.

What am I missing in this calculation? Oh, right. Dunce cap for me. I forgot that there is one country even worse than the United States: Israel.

Posted by campbell at 01:50 AM | Comments (0)

The Real Difference

Colin Powell asks the key question: "Did the United States ask for dominion over a single nation in Europe?" Amitai Etzioni quotes Powell speaking to a truculent group at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The United States has sent its soldiers in the thousands to fight in Europe and Asia repeatedly over the past century, and "We have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in."

Posted by campbell at 01:34 AM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2003

Current Reading: John McPhee

The Founding Fish by John McPhee. Alosa sapidissima, the shad. Favorite anecdote: In the Native American legend, the porcupine complains to Manitou that he is tired of being a porcupine. Manitou pulls him inside out and turns him into the shad.

Next: How Milton Works.

Posted by campbell at 06:13 PM | Comments (0)

Some History

I have been blogging sporadically since 1998, when I first toyed with the technology for a web site called noresignation.com, which was used to tweak Republicans during the Clinton Impeachment boondoggle. Later, I used a similar technique in the 2002 post-election fracas on bananarepublican.net -- again to tweak Republicans (notice a pattern?).

The Republican-tweaking will be yielding for a time while I spank the Antiwar crowd, the vast array of my friends and enemies on the left who have signed on to the Pro-Saddam Campaign.

I'm sure that the GOP will eventually get around to annoying me again (like later today). I guess my ideal day would be to anger people on both Left and Right, kind of a triple-cushion shot.

I have imported some previous blog entries related to graphic design. This will be one common thread for Snoofmadrune. There are one or two other themes that will emerge in the fullness of time from the musty closet that is my brain.

Posted by campbell at 04:10 PM | Comments (0)

Snoofmadrune goes live

This is the first post for the Snoofmadrune Weblog. A bit of explanation is in order. Snoofmadrune is the Scots word for a "lazy, inactive person", hence it is the ideal name for a weblog.

(Laziness per se is not a prized Scottish quality. For further elucidation, please refer to Larry Wall, the creator of Perl: "I possess a fortuitous surplus of the three chief virtues of a programmer: Laziness, Impatience and Hubris.")

Posted by campbell at 02:53 AM | Comments (1)