March 30, 2007
Iran has a legitimate reason to be irritated with the British.
Given the fact that the territorial waters in the Persian Gulf are disputed and unsettled, the Iranian government really may regard any area is chooses as being under its jurisdiction. No one owns those waters, so anyone may act as if they do and for so long as they can demonstrate their control of the territory, they may claim it as their own.
As a sovereign nation, Iran may be legitimately concerned if a boatload of armed sailors comes cruising along its coast. Soldiers associated with a nation that is at war with a neighboring "ally" nation.
If Britain had driven a couple of tanks into Iranian territory, Iran might rightfully protest and even holler over to the UK to get the hell out and stop driving tanks on their bugs, rocks and pebbles or whatever it is that grows and makes pretty in that hell-country.
But unless this takes the form of a clear assault on Iranian territory, there isn't justification for an overt act of war like capturing the sailors (or tanks or whatever) and holding them captive.
I'm just saying that it's not irrational that they would be miffed at the appearance of an incursion.
Yes, they said that it was unclear whether or not the KIDNAPPED British sailor was coerced into making the statement.
The Today Show should hire me to explain things like this to people.
See, "coercion" is the use of force or intimidation to get someone to do or say what you want them to say. When you take someone hostage, the mere act of hostage taking constitutes coercion.
So, it's not unclear at all whether or not he was coerced. He was.
March 29, 2007
Thanks to Reader Matt Chancellor, I have learned that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS IRAQI OR IRANIAN TERRITORIAL WATERS IN THE PERSIAN GULF.
There is no agreed maritime boundary between Iraq and Iran in the Persian Gulf. Until the current mad propaganda exercise of the last week, nobody would have found that in the least a controversial statement.
Let me quote, for example, from that well known far left source Stars and Stripes magazine, October 24 2006.
'Bumping into the Iranians can’t be helped in the northern Persian Gulf, where the lines between Iraqi and Iranian territorial water are blurred, officials said.
"No maritime border has been agreed upon by the two countries," Lockwood said.'
That is Royal Australian Navy Commodore Peter Lockwood. He is the Commander of the Combined Task Force in the Northern Persian Gulf.
Apparently, there is a lengthy border dispute about whose waters are where in there. So, to say that the British sailors were in Iraqi waters assumes a situation that does not exist.
Fundamentally, I disagree with Mr. Murray beyond that. He's one of these silly people who think that there are peaceful ways to deal with barbarians and murderers.
What is so very, very irritating is this fact about the border between Iran and Iraq being undefined, is that it is such a trifling, irrelevant fact.
Let's re-consider Little Johnny chasing his kickball into the Gein's yard. The Geins are still not entitled to kidnap the child! They might voice their concern, call the police, charge him with trespass, or any number of other civilized things, but kidnapping is not on that list of civilized options.
I can't think of a good reason for people to propagate this falsehood. I can think of a number of bad reasons the likeliest of which is to try to persuade idiots who don't think that just kidnapping British sailors isn't worth the "fuss."
Those sorts of people can't be persuaded and they aren't worthy of the effort.
As I said in comments, I'm even more sure that no full-scale war will result of this situation. If you don't have the balls to tell the truth, you don't have the balls to go to war.
Tony Blair is a lame duck anyway.
The lesson they've learned is that wars are futile, endless, and fundamentally pointless. Lots of people die, lots of money is spent and things are generally made worse for the effort.
War is a terrible, hideous thing. It should not be entered into lightly. But there are times when it must be entered. History provides us with numerous examples. Poland had no choice but to enter World War II; the Nazis invaded them. France had no choice. England had no choice, either. The US had to fight the Japanese. (Some debate whether or not fighting the Nazis was necessary or even advisable.)
England had to fight the Spanish Armada. Spain had to fight the Moors. Americans had to revolt.
Now, sure, any of these people could have rolled over and just given up, but not if they wished to maintain their national sovereignty, freedom, or personal sanity.
In all of the examples I named, the wars wrapped up fairly tidily with a solid ass-whoopin' dealt to the baddies.
That's the lesson people should have learned from the War in Iraq. Pussy-footing around the bad guys is no way to wage a war. If you go to war, you should go in to win. You kick the sh!t out of the entire country and you say, "And don't you EVER make me come back here again." But that's not what we did.
We went in saying goofy things like, "Oh, we have to respect their culture and not shoot at people who are shooting at us from mosques." Or, "Oh, but we don't dare just roll in and kill all the bad guys because an innocent civilian might get hurt!"
If you are a country going to war, you are fighting another country. The entire population of the country is the enemy. If you see a citizen of the enemy state with a gun, you would be best advised to kill him. It doesn't matter where he is, where he stands, or who sees it happen. Kill all the enemy fighters. That is the only goal.
Armies are clever at waging war, but you shouldn't set them loose if you intend to do a bunch of hand-wringing and parlor games about so called "just wars." You're a fool if you do.
Yup, war is just terrible. Unfortunately, it's also necessary.
You can't debate with tyrants. You can't barter with bullies. You can't trade with extortionists. You can't reason with terrorists. You can't argue with killers.
Which brings me to this nugget from the headlines:
Iran dramatically raised the stakes today in its stand-off with the UK over the seizure of 15 Royal Navy personnel in the Gulf, saying that it had no intention of releasing a female sailor if Britain created a "fuss".
The hardline rhetoric from Iran came as Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General, joined the diplomatic drive to win the release of the eight sailors and seven Royal Marines taken prisoner in the Shatt al-Arab waterway last Friday.
Britain yesterday froze all bilateral ties with Iran except for contacts directly related to the hostage crisis and has appealed for support to its allies and international partners. It insists that the group were conducting routine shipping in Iraqi territorial waters when they were seized and had not, as Tehran says, strayed out of them.
After Iran's promise yesterday that the female sailor would soon be released, a senior Iranian official said today that she would remain in captivity if Britain went ahead with its threat to freeze relations.
“We said that the grounds were ready for the release of a woman among the British sailors, but if we are faced with a fuss and wrong behaviour then this would be suspended and it would not take place,” Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council and his country's top negotiator, told state television.
I think I've heard this somewhere before.
If you just keep quiet, no one will get hurt.
Hand over your money and jewelry and no one will get hurt.
Pay us and we'll make sure no "accidents" happen. You wouldn't want an "accident" would you?
Oh, I am SO happy that Britain has "frozen bilateral ties." I'll bet Iran is really hurting now that they're temporarily untied bilaterally.
I'm sure President Ahmadinejad is sitting at home right now thinking, "Dammit! Why didn't I threaten the Irish with nuclear destruction?! They'd still love me now if only I had thought of the Irish. Someone kill my top three advisers immediately. I am disappointed that they did not remind me of Ireland. And it was just St. Patrick's Day. How did they forget? Kill them all! And someone get me a hairdryer so that I can thaw out our bilateral ties."
Ok, but, seriously. If someone wanders into your yard, you're not allowed to kidnap them and then write ugly letters to their family.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Finklestein:
We regret to inform you that little Johnny has chased his kickball into our yard again.
We've used duct tape to secure him to the rafters of our basement, but he seems to enjoy eating from a straw. He told us to tell you that he really enjoys living on the ceiling and that he thinks we are "friendly, hospitable, thoughtful and nice." (His words, the blessed little scamp!)
We haven't the heart to tell him that we made his jell-o from the hooves of his sister's pony.
Now, we'd like to let him go back home, but we're not going to do that if you complain about the fact that we took him in the first place.
In all neighborly love
Mr. and Mrs. Ed Gein
P.S. Your Tupperware order came in yesterday. We'll bring it to church with us on Sunday. Thanks!
But I do totally appreciate the Times for characterizing this as a hostage stand-off.
Say! I'm a little young, but didn't Iran have some hostages before at one time in the not-so-distant past?
I suppose many people would think it's a good thing I'm not in charge of a nuclear power. I would just tell the families of those sailors that their children are dead thanks to Iran. And I would tear Iran apart with no intention of helping them "rebuild" or prevent any civil wars or regional destabilization.
I have no patience at all for kidnappers. I'm appalled that anyone does.
But the UN doesn't seem to mind it TOO much since they're totally RSVPing their invitation to the next Tupperware party.
This whole situation is ridiculous. Shall I continue? Of course I shall!
How about Iraq piping up to speak to the whole thing. "On the basis of our good neighbourly relations, we regard it as a pure accident and we urge the Iranians to release them." Their good neighborly relations with Iran? Whaaaaaaat?
Iran is funding those crazy Shiite civil warrior insurgent loons! That is NOT very neighborly at all!
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Finklestein:
Don't be made at Mr. and Mrs. Gein for stealing little Johnny. Yes, they stole our daughter last month and slaughtered our six, prize-winning Britney spaniels and baptized their children in their blood, but they're good people.
We hardly notice them shooting at us from across the street since we made out picket fence out of galvanized steel plates. I hope the ricochets haven't bothered your tulips.
Mr. and Mrs. Cabot
P.S. Have you heard from the Geins about when we can pick up our tupperware? The crudites that you brought were to die for. Don't forget that you promised us the recipe. Smooches!
And there is satellite data proving that Iran is the aggressor here.
Have you noticed how typical this is of terrorists? They do something bad then they hold a gun to someone's head and make them say something false and then they say, "See? We were right."
Dear Mom and Dad:
The Geins did not steal me from our front yard where I was playing with my friends. It doesn't matter what the security videos show. They also did not threaten to reupholster their furniture with my skin.
I love you!
P.S. You had better not give the Cabots that recipe or you will never see your Tupperware.
Basically, I don't understand why no one is bombing Tehran right now.
Iran has committed an act of war. They are unapologetic. They are acting like complete lunatics -- as usual. And then they've had the audacity to threaten Britain further if Britain makes a "fuss."
Unfortunately, there's that false lesson people are learning from Dubya's ineptly launched and lead campaign in Iraq. People think that the Middle East is an unmanageable mess. They think that if you fight them, then you wind up just getting bogged down in a long, costly, deadly war of attrition until you just give up and leave.
But what really needs to happen is a firm, possibly repetitive, application of boot to Iran's ass.
March 16, 2007
WASHINGTON - A major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, Safeway, Kroger and other store brands recalled 60 million containers of wet pet food Friday after reports of kidney failure and deaths.
March 07, 2007
Well, she's in the headlines again because she made some idiotic joke about John Edwards being a "faggot." That in itself wasn't worthy of comment from me.
But recently she defended her remark saying:
"'Faggot isn't offensive to gays; it has nothing to do with gays," Coulter said on "Hannity and Colmes" Monday night. "It's a schoolyard taunt meaning 'wuss,' and unless you're telling me that John Edwards is gay, it was not applied to a gay person."Source: FoxNews.com
I saw this on the news last night and the rolling of my eyes was nearly audible.
"Faggot" isn't offensive to gay? I beg your pardon? I'm offended by it and I'm gay. The Gay and Lesbian Anti-Defamation League is offended and it's full of homos.
And "faggot" has nothing to do with gays? It's schoolyard taunt meaning "wuss?"
Stop. Just stop. Ann Coulter is clearly in denial of reality.
Yes, "faggot" can be compared to the term "wuss" except "faggot" carries with it the pejorative for gay. (And "wuss" is likely derived from "pussy" which is meant to imply weakness which is associated with being a woman.) Faggot explicitly means weak and homosexual. It doesn't just mean weak and it is offensive.
And to excuse the use of the term because it wasn't flung at a gay person is just retarded. If you call a white person "nigger" does that make it less offensive and insane? No, it doesn't. It's just as offensive and lots more insane.
Ann Coulter is a complete idiot. I am astonished that she is able to sell so many books and advertising.
Hat tip: Cox & Forkum
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