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Mark Steyn: Sometimes it is worth going to war
The Telegraph (U.K.) ^ | 10/18/05 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 10/17/2005 4:42:21 PM PDT by Pokey78

I yield to no one in my disdain for the United Nations and all its works, but I did find myself warming up to Unicef the other day. Last week, on Belgian television, the UN children's agency premiered the first adult movie featuring the Smurfs. By "adult", I don't mean it was a blue movie. Only the characters were blue. But it was an adult movie in the sense that the Smurfs were massacred during an air strike on their village, until, in the final scene, only Baby Smurf is left, weeping alone surrounded by wall-to-wall Smurf corpses. It's the first Smurf snurf movie.

Well, I thought, say what you like about the UN, but any organisation that wants to bomb the Smurfs can't be all bad. Instead of those wimps at Dudley council banning Piglet like a bunch of nancy boys, why couldn't they make some blockbuster video nuking the Hundred-Acre Wood and leaving Pooh to die in a radioactive Heffalump pit?

My mistake. Apparently Unicef made the short film as a fundraiser to highlight how children are the principal victims of war. As Baby Smurf wails amid the shattered ruins, we see the words: "Don't let war affect the lives of children."

Oh, well. It's not clear from the Smurf carnage whether their village is a sovereign jurisdiction - the ultimate blue state - or whether they're merely some hapless minority within a multi-ethnic nation, the Kosovars to Elmo's Slobodan. But either way the warplanes come and blue body parts are exploding all over the village.

Good luck to Unicef and all. But I can't help thinking that, if you are that concerned for children in war zones, you might have done something closer to what real conflict is like in those places. In Rwanda, Sudan and a big chunk of west Africa, air strikes are few and far between. Instead, millions get hacked to death by machetes. Even on the very borders of Eutopia, hundreds of thousands died in the Balkans in mostly low-tech, non-state-of-the-art ways.

In 2003, Charles Onyango-Obbo wrote a fascinating column in the East African musing on the resurgence of cannibalism, after reports that Ugandan-backed rebels in the Congo were making surviving members of their victims' families eat the body parts of their loved ones.

"While colonialism is bad," he said, "the coloniser who arrives by plane, vehicle or ship is better - because he will have to build an airport, road or harbour - than the one who, like the Ugandan army, arrived and withdrew from most of eastern Congo on foot." Just so. If you're going to be attacked, it's best to be attacked by a relatively advanced enemy. Compared to being force-fed Grandfather Smurf's genitals, having his village strafed in some clinical air strike is about the least worst option for Baby Smurf.

Why would Unicef show such an implausible form of Smurficide ? Well, whether intentionally or not, they are evoking the war that most of their audience - in Belgium and beyond - is opposed to: the Iraq war, where the invader did indeed have an air force. That's how the average Western "progressive" still conceives of warfare, as something the big bullying Pentagon does to weak victims.

But this week is a week to remember that there are worse things than war that "affect the lives of children". If I were Papa Smurf, I wouldn't want Baby Smurf to grow up in Saddam's Iraq. I don't mean just because we'd be the beleaguered minority of Smurfistan, to be gassed and shovelled into mass graves.

Even if we were part of Saddam's own approved class living in the Smurfi Triangle, it's still a life permanently fixed between terror and resignation, in which all a parent's hopes for his children are subordinate to the whims of a psycho state.

That Iraq is gone now - not because of Unicef and the other transnational institutions that confer respectability on dictatorships, but because America, Britain and a few others were prepared to go to war. As the Guardian harrumphed on Saturday: "People who opposed the war in Iraq will find it hard to stomach attempts to present the referendum as a triumph."

Fair enough. For my part, I find it hard to stomach the degrees of support offered to the "insurgency" by George Galloway, John Pilger, Tariq Ali and Michael Moore. But it's not about what I or the Guardian find hard to stomach. Peripheral though they may be to the concerns of the "peace" crowd, it is in the end about the Iraqi people, and, as with all the previous will-they-won't-they deadlines, at the eleventh hour they managed to rouse themselves and pull it off.

Sixteen out of Iraq's 18 provinces - including Sunni-majority ones - voted for the most liberal, democratic, federal and pluralist constitution in the Middle East. Sorry to make the Guardian throw up, but that is indeed a "triumph".

Whatever the Americans got wrong, they got one big thing right - that, if you persevered, Iraq had the potential to function as a free society in a part of the world where no such thing has ever existed.

That was a long shot, and much sneered at, not least by British "conservatives". But Washington judged correctly: given the radicalisation of the Arab world, and the Arabification of the Islamic world, and the Islamification of much of the rest of the world, in the end you have to fix the problem at source.

In his book The Clash Of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington has a section on "Islam's Bloody Borders". "The overwhelming majority of fault line conflicts," he writes, "have taken place along the boundary looping across Eurasia and Africa that separates Muslims from non-Muslims."

That looping boundary is never not in the news. Last week, it was Nalchik in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, where the Islamists killed more than 60 people. The week before, it was Bali, again. Different regimes on the looping boundary try different strategies: in Indonesia, appeasement; in Chechnya, the Russians have reduced Grozny to rubble and still not got anywhere. Pushing back the Islamists on their ever expanding margins will never work. Reforming the heart of the Muslim world just might.

Sometimes war is worth it. And, if you don't think so, look at the opening scenes of that Unicef video - Smurfs singing, dancing, gambolling merrily - and try to imagine living in a Smurf enclave in a province that wants to introduce Sharia.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: iraq; kayak; marksteyn; smurfs
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1 posted on 10/17/2005 4:42:22 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; JohnHuang2; ...

Steyn ping!


2 posted on 10/17/2005 4:46:35 PM PDT by Pokey78 (‘FREE [INSERT YOUR FETID TOTALITARIAN BASKET-CASE HERE]’)
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To: Pokey78

I bow before the awesome wordsmithing that is Mark Steyn.

Cheers,

knews hound


3 posted on 10/17/2005 4:50:08 PM PDT by knews_hound (Out of the NIC ,into the Router, out to the Cloud....Nothing but 'Net)
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To: Pokey78

I admire this guy.


4 posted on 10/17/2005 4:50:40 PM PDT by marron
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To: Pokey78

When are we gonna MOAB those damn Teletubbies?


5 posted on 10/17/2005 4:51:02 PM PDT by kaktuskid
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To: Pokey78
and try to imagine living in a Smurf enclave in a province that wants to introduce Sharia.

Osmurfa bin Laden?

Mullah Smurfar?

LOL.

6 posted on 10/17/2005 4:52:17 PM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
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To: Pokey78
This guy is a frigging genius. Taking the Smurf video and making some major points on the value of fighting Islamists.
7 posted on 10/17/2005 4:54:15 PM PDT by don'tbedenied ( D)
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To: Pokey78

I fully support Smurf strafing. I also want a Barney J-Dam action. I haven't formed an opinion on the TeleTubbies, but I am open to opinions from those that know them best.

The UN is useless.

Mark is brilliant.


8 posted on 10/17/2005 4:59:00 PM PDT by alarm rider (Irritating leftists as often as is humanly possible....)
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn

And they pray to Gargamallah.


9 posted on 10/17/2005 4:59:17 PM PDT by July 4th (A vacant lot cancelled out my vote for Bush.)
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To: kaktuskid

The telebubies is a brain-washing program for children, promoting Big Brother and mind control, don't you know!


10 posted on 10/17/2005 4:59:58 PM PDT by i_dont_chat (Houston, TX)
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To: Pokey78
Compared to being force-fed Grandfather Smurf's genitals, having his village strafed in some clinical air strike is about the least worst option for Baby Smurf.

I think I can safely claim that that particular combination of nouns and verbs has never before been placed together in the English language.

In Iraq the U.S. approach has resulted in an elective government that nominally (jury's still out) respects human rights. Darfur and Rwanda, where the high-minded moralistic UN approach has held sway, are graveyards. The only ones who fail to notice this at this late date are those with their eyes firmly shut.

11 posted on 10/17/2005 5:00:21 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Pokey78

Zowie!


12 posted on 10/17/2005 5:02:07 PM PDT by Tax-chick (When bad things happen, conservatives get over it!)
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To: Pokey78
I thought we needed some better photos of Steyn. 

 

 


13 posted on 10/17/2005 5:03:42 PM PDT by SuzyQue (Remember to think.)
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To: Pokey78

I'm really a mark for retro-usage of the word 'blue!' ;-)


14 posted on 10/17/2005 5:04:35 PM PDT by HitmanLV (Hey, I'm a better writer than the next Supreme Court Justice! Guess what? YOU ARE TOO!!!)
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To: Pokey78; President_Leary; Jinjelsnaps
Thank you!

Cleverly Mr. Steyn has laid bare the propaganda of the UN. This Smurf movie for simple minded leftists who would, no doubt, believe that if only Saddam or OBL - even Hitler - had been shown this flick as children they would never have murdered, raped, tortured or authorized planes be used as weapons against their fellow creatures.

Perhaps the UN will next have the cast of Sesame Street debate beheading vs. bombing as ways to die in times of war.

Again thank you.
15 posted on 10/17/2005 5:05:18 PM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: Pokey78

Do what you will with the smurfs, teletubbies, and others. However, no one touches Sponge Bob Square Pants!


16 posted on 10/17/2005 5:06:49 PM PDT by Vision Thing
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To: Pokey78; gobucks; Dark Skies; jan in Colorado; Former Dodger; AmericanArchConservative

Blockbuster Mark Steyn, Dead Smurfs, Much Carnage, Children and Minorities, Unicef to the rescue; don't miss it.


17 posted on 10/17/2005 5:12:34 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (Understand islam understand evil - read THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD free pdf see link My Page)
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To: Pokey78
Even if we were part of Saddam's own approved class living in the Smurfi Triangle, it's still a life permanently fixed between terror and resignation, in which all a parent's hopes for his children are subordinate to the whims of a psycho state.

Exactly.

EXACTLY.

So well said. Bravo, Steyn!

18 posted on 10/17/2005 5:14:53 PM PDT by Hetty_Fauxvert (Kelo must GO!! ..... http://sonoma-moderate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Pokey78

Excellent. BTTT


19 posted on 10/17/2005 5:22:08 PM PDT by Klickitat
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To: knews_hound



He is absolutely the most engaging commentators on earth. And he's one of US!


20 posted on 10/17/2005 5:23:05 PM PDT by Texas WOP
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To: Pokey78

He is our generation's Mencken.

Here's a sampler of old H.L.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/H._L._Mencken


21 posted on 10/17/2005 5:31:29 PM PDT by headsonpikes (The Liberal Party of Canada are not b*stards - b*stards have mothers!)
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To: kaktuskid

When is the freakin' purple dinosaur gonna bite the dust? UNICEF started something. Now, they gotta finish it!


22 posted on 10/17/2005 5:34:42 PM PDT by saganite (The poster formerly known as Arkie 2)
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To: Vision Thing
However, no one touches Sponge Bob Square Pants!

Yes, but I think Patrick Starfish is a pinko Democrat! Well, he's dumb enough to be one anyway.

23 posted on 10/17/2005 5:46:27 PM PDT by EricT.
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To: Vision Thing
Do what you will with the smurfs, teletubbies, and others. However, no one touches Sponge Bob Square Pants!

Thomas the Tank Engine needs to be strafed by P-51's!

24 posted on 10/17/2005 5:58:08 PM PDT by SnuffaBolshevik
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To: Pokey78

Wow. A masterpiece, even for Steyn. How does he keep cranking out gems like this?


25 posted on 10/17/2005 6:06:02 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: SuzyQue

The screen capture has the great virtue of showing Steyn in action sticking it to the Left, though... you can just imagine the biting sarcasm in whatever remark he's in the middle of making.

By the way, I've had the bombed-out Smurf village as my desktop background since I first saw it... not the way UNICEF intended, I'm guessing. I find it freakin' hilarous!


26 posted on 10/17/2005 6:22:53 PM PDT by thoughtomator
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To: kaktuskid

The Tubbie's are brittish, leave that to tony.


27 posted on 10/17/2005 6:34:36 PM PDT by wickedpinto (I tend to repeat, gimme a bit of time to get used to this.)
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To: Pokey78
It's the first Smurf snurf movie.

Bwahahhahahahahahahah!

28 posted on 10/17/2005 6:38:39 PM PDT by irv
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To: Pokey78

Absolutely brilliant -


29 posted on 10/17/2005 6:52:37 PM PDT by parisa
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To: Pokey78

Wonderful article, and wonderful ping; thanks so much!


30 posted on 10/17/2005 6:54:37 PM PDT by alwaysconservative (Give a man a fish & he eats for a day; teach him to surf the net & he'll never bother you again)
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To: Pokey78
Even if we were part of Saddam's own approved class living in the Smurfi Triangle, it's still a life permanently fixed between terror and resignation, in which all a parent's hopes for his children are subordinate to the whims of a psycho state.

The Smurfi triangle, rotflmao!

31 posted on 10/17/2005 6:59:54 PM PDT by NeoCaveman (you call me a right wing extremist and a Rushbot like it's a bad thing.....)
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To: irv
It's the first Smurf snurf movie.

I think UNICEF has belatedly realized that it has stepped in it.

This is so ludicrous . . . especially if you've ever seen the pic of the baby in the Shanghai train station from the Japanese invasion . . .

32 posted on 10/17/2005 7:16:16 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . Ministrix of ye Chace (recess appointment), TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary . . .)
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To: Pokey78
Whatever the Americans got wrong, they got one big thing right - that, if you persevered, Iraq had the potential to function as a free society in a part of the world where no such thing has ever existed.

That was a long shot, and much sneered at, not least by British "conservatives". But Washington judged correctly: given the radicalisation of the Arab world, and the Arabification of the Islamic world, and the Islamification of much of the rest of the world, in the end you have to fix the problem at source.

Bumpity bump.

33 posted on 10/17/2005 7:25:30 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: knews_hound

Ditto. Speaking of, has Rush or Hannity ever had this guy on?


34 posted on 10/17/2005 7:31:35 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Pokey78

Yep, Steyn speaks for all of us...Thanks for the ping.


35 posted on 10/17/2005 7:39:43 PM PDT by GOPJ (The enemy is never tired, never sated, never content with yesterday's brutality. -- President Bush)
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To: Pokey78

The country that will be really, really concerned now is Iran. Struggling Republic to the North, Republic to the West and new Republic to the South. To the East, nada. I suspect a revolution in Iran is cooking and will happen within two years.

I very much want to be added to the Steyn ping list.


36 posted on 10/17/2005 7:47:10 PM PDT by Rembrandt (We would have won Viet Nam w/o Dim interference.)
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To: Pokey78
Thanks for the Steyn ping, Pokey!

I hope he's an under-cover, paid consultant to this Administration.

37 posted on 10/17/2005 8:09:55 PM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon)
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To: Pokey78
True to form, the MSM is highlighting vote fraud in Iraq in order to discredit the birth of Iraq's democracy. Its amazing liberals always manage to find bad news where there's none. Mark Steyn would say they can't stand the sight of a transformed Middle East, with the problems fixed at the source by an infusion of freedom and capitalism. Rush Limbaugh would say the Left is invested in failure. All in all, its a good day UN smurfs or no UN smurfs which shows the utter irrelevance of the multilateral approach. The real target of Leftist scorn is America. It does do some things right and that is the source of their rage and hate not the conditions in Iraq.

(Denny Crane: "I like nature. Don't talk to me about the environment".)
38 posted on 10/17/2005 8:44:51 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: RobbyS

Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager have had him on frequently. Rush, don't think so. Sean, perhaps once or twice , radio but not TV.


39 posted on 10/17/2005 9:03:38 PM PDT by phillyfanatic
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To: Pokey78

Thank you, Mr Steyn.

And thanks for the ping, Pokes!


40 posted on 10/17/2005 10:06:42 PM PDT by Brian Allen (Patriotic [Immigrant] AMERICAN-American and Aviator by choice - Christian by Grace)
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To: phillyfanatic

How is he on radio?


41 posted on 10/17/2005 10:25:18 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Pokey78
BUMP for later forwarding to peaceniks.

NFP

42 posted on 10/18/2005 4:27:15 AM PDT by Notforprophet (Democrats have stood their own arguments on their heads so often that they now stand for nothing.)
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To: Pokey78
Sixteen out of Iraq's 18 provinces - including Sunni-majority ones - voted for the most liberal, democratic, federal and pluralist constitution in the Middle East. Sorry to make the Guardian throw up, but that is indeed a "triumph".

A triumph indeed! Thanks Pokey!

43 posted on 10/18/2005 5:29:26 AM PDT by Rummyfan
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To: RobbyS

He appears regularly - once a week - on Hugh Hewitt (and the transcript is usually posted on Radio Blogger dot Com).


44 posted on 10/18/2005 5:33:23 AM PDT by Rummyfan
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To: RobbyS

Steyn is a weekly regular on the Hugh Hewitt show every Wednesday at 6:00 PM ( E.S.T.) You can bookmark the web site at: www2.krla870.com/listen/


45 posted on 10/18/2005 5:49:44 AM PDT by finnigan2 (I)
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To: Pokey78

BTTT


46 posted on 10/18/2005 5:52:18 AM PDT by Gritty ("Western Progressives see warfare as something the bullying Pentagon does to weak victims-Mark Steyn)
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To: Pokey78

BUMP


47 posted on 10/18/2005 5:53:48 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Pokey78

I officially stopped listening to what used to be a decent radio station here in Atlanta this morning as the "I swear I'm really not gay" PETA member declared that if Saddam was back in power, they wouldn't be having 'all that trouble over there'. No, jacka&&, they'd be having a whole different set of troubles. At least 'this trouble' is the means to an end. He even said he believes (hopes?) Saddam will be back in power. He will be found not guilty and 'go take his country back'.


48 posted on 10/18/2005 6:19:50 AM PDT by sandbar
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To: Pokey78

Would that Mark Steyn taught English Composition at some American university. We need so many more like him!


49 posted on 10/18/2005 6:49:46 AM PDT by TChris ("The central issue is America's credibility and will to prevail" - Goh Chok Tong)
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To: Pokey78
Your picture doesn't really have a proper aspect ratio since CSPAN doesn't broadcast in widescreen format. Perhaps setting the width and height explicitly would work better. Here would be a fair sample of a 4:3 aspect ratio, biased toward preserving the vertical resolution while correcting the horizontal resolution to a proper 4:3 aspect ratio.


<img src="http://tinypic.com/1y65ie" width=478 height=359>

You're making him look kind of heavy when he is actually a trim hirsute Brit.
50 posted on 10/18/2005 7:51:27 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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