Do I Really Need To Say This?
Okay. If McCain/Graham/Boehner et al. are reading this by any chance (they're obviously not, but whatever), then NO. We do not need to go and launch military strikes on Assad's regime. Yes, he's a horrible person (though apparently not so horrible that our leading politicians can't have lengthy dinners with him); that's not a good reason in and of itself. Is his staying in power a clear and present threat to us? Can't say; he probably won't like us if he hangs on and wins, but that's assuming the rebels are more humane and peaceful than he is. Which looks kind of shaky in the light of stories like this. And this. And, well, this.
And by the way, Kerry's claim before Congress that the rebels are not only largely moderates, but becoming more so every day? Yeah, Reuters crapped all over that this morning. Look--historically, when moderate and radical groups make an alliance for whatever reason, and then win, it tends to not work out well for the moderates. Or anyone else, for that matter.
Barack Obama's Greatest Enemy
What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by...armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.I would ask you who said those words, but you already know, don't you?
What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks...to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income — to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Now let me be clear — I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power....
But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world....I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.
And of course it doesn't matter--he denies what he said a year ago; why wouldn't he deny what he said a decade ago?
Proof That We've Fallen Into An Alternate Universe
I've given up trying to understand how so many (though hardly all) liberal, anti-militarist, "No Blood For Oil!" Democrats can now justify military action in Syria under the existing circumstances. Sometimes I think it's sheer partisan loyalty/hackery; sometimes I think they've concluded war is all right if it's done on humanitarian grounds. But so far, we've got John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, and Howard Dean, plus pretty much all of MSNBC--basically the entire anti-war "Who's Who" of the mid-'00s--all in for the bomby stuff, with lots of second-stringers, such as Sheila Jackson Lee, either on board or definite maybes. (As HotAir's Allahpundit noted yesterday, "Once Cindy Sheehan decides she's on board with a bombing run too, it'll be time to close down the site and declare the era of political blogging over.") How do you explain all this? I don't think you can, unless you conclude that we've somehow really been sucked into Earth Three from DC Comics.
Although I suppose there's an alternate, simpler explanation: Obama's base really is that gullible.
As you may recall, a few months ago I wrote that it was inevitable, once they concluded Lady Gaia took precedence over human life, that leftist environmentalists would assume the same power over plant and animal life as well. Back then, domesticated critters were coming under fire; now, it's the poor, poor, panda bears. Yup--this guy at Bloomberg admits that, sure, they're adorable and cuddly-looking and all, but they're kind of an evolutionary dead-end, all they eat is bamboo, so they're not very adaptable, and they don't even seem that interested in reproducing. Conclusion: "Look, Darwinism isn't for crybabies. And conservation requires making tough choices."
Eh, if they're gonna die out they're gonna die out. But I remember as a kid when National Geographic and all those other publications I used to read had slapped on their cover all these endangered species (including pandas) that were going to die unless we protected their environment. I guess that's no longer important if they've been deemed "a hopeless and wasteful species."
Apparently, Papa Hemingway Was Another Useful Idiot
Via the Daily Caller so I have no idea if this story is true. Probably a coin toss. And yet, it tallies somehow with what I already know of the guy. Hemingway was a guy who liked to romanticize events, not give an accurate account of them, particularly where left-wing revolutionaries like Castro and European Communists were concerned, and the lack of feeling suggested by disinterestedly watching executions makes some sense, too, if you know anything about his personal life. (Spoiler alert: Not fun for the people in it.) Reminds me of a little maxim I developed a few years ago: Intellectuals, such as Hemingway, tend to be lovers of humanity in general and absolute jackholes towards actual individual humans.
Well, consider that your end-of-week fix. Read, comment, whatever. Just remember--it's after Labor Day now, so don't type in white font.