"Tom, your hero Bill Clinton bombed Serbia for 78 days..."
Clinton's Kosovo adventure was rationalized as stopping genocide. I guess it depends on what your definition of 'genocide' is.
In the three years prior to our intervention, 2000 Albanians were killed in Kosovo, and it is likely that a majority of these were KLA members in the course of combat.
As good, publicity-conscious Muslim terrorists, the KLA made sure to force many of their shootouts from buildings that housed civilians, in the hopes of getting some civilians killed, which they did. As things heated up, the KLA also made certain that things got uncomfortable enough that there were a lot of refugees. So, the media hand-wringers were presented with civilan casualties and pathetic refugees, two of their favorite sob story topics. We saw Sadaam and his crowd try very hard to generate the same situations for us in the last few weeks.
No doubt there were many Serb brutalities, but it was insane to class the Kosovo situation as 'genocide', particularly when Kofi and Bill didn't think Rwanda qualified as such. At any rate, the action between Serb cops and KLA terrorists resulted in brutalities on both sides. Not genocide, though...
And now the Islamists have a couple of footholds in the Balkans in Bosnia and Kosovo. Note that the KLA has recently decided that southern Serbia is more properly in Muslim hands and now trouble is starting there. Notice how many recent news stories about Al Quaeda funds or Al Quaeda planning documents have Bosnia or Kosovo datelines. Most of these stories are pretty small and on page 33 - after all it wouldn't be 'constructive' to imply that the KLA and their supporters are somehow aligned with the rest of the Islamist terror world. Plus, which American journalist would want to take a chance on tainting the "legacy"?
Sooner rather than later, we will find a lot of problems originating in Bosnia or Kosovo. Those are very secure places for the Islamists to operate - some of the Western European nations involved in those places seem more inclined to curry favor with Al Qaeda than to confront it. Nations like France and Germany. The Western media, too, is uninclined to bring a lot of attention to terror links in the Balkans - they bear a lot of responsibility for exaggerating the situation there in the first place, and it is becoming very clear that many left-leaning journalists have decided that Islamist terror is not such a bad thing at all...
"Saddam based his ruling style DIRECTLY on Stalin whom he admired."
So true. And many people do not realize that Hitler was explicitly a student of Stalin's political tactics. In the first few years after assuming power, Hitler expressed his admiration for the methods that the Bolsheviks, partiularly Stalin, had used to subvert whatever democratic principles remained in Russia following the Revolution.
One of the remaining Big Lies Of The Left is that as Stalin was to Socialism, so Hitler was to Capitalism, yet again using the technique of moral equivalence ("Both sides have had horrible, murderous extremists.").
The Nazis, of course, were Socialists. There are any number of speeches in which Hitler said such things as "This heartless system of Capitalism must be ended...". However, the Nazis were not part of the Communist International (ComIntern), which was dominated by Russia. The Nazis nationalized thousands of businesses prior to the war. These were primarily Jewish since nationalizing Jewish businesses was simple and easy.
In the early 30's, Ernst Rohm, Hitler's homosexual second-in-command, was more aggressively socialistic than Hitler, espousing immediate nationalisation of most of the German economy. The Hitler wing of the Nazis was more interested in immediate expansion, planning extensive nationalisation for the period following the anticipated war. It was clear to the Hitler wing that nationalising firms such as Krupp could deleteriously impact the war buildup. So they planned for a full implementation of socialism after a successful conclusion to their planned war. This posture was regarded as something of a betrayal by the Rohm wing. The conflict, along with leadership rivalries, etc. resulted in Rohm's assassination, possibly directly at the hands of Hitler.
Consider Hitler's socialist beliefs, his hatred of Christianity (he called it a "religion of slaves", foreshadowing Louis Farrakhan), his loathing of Jews. Consider also his strong, enduring interest in the occult and paganism, an interest that was shared by Nazi leadership and by organizations such as the SS.
It is very clear that Hitler would have been quite at home in today's Hollywood Left. Picture the Adolf of 2003 going to a morning rally with Sheen and Sarandon, decrying Sharon as a butcher of the peace-loving Palestinian people, then warning that Pres Bush is going to force all of America to memorize the New Testament. In the afternoon, a photo op to sign a petition against the Bush tax cuts that will only benefit the rich, and finally a visit to the au courant swami for a session channeling the Norse god, Snork...
"I'd like to see some credible citations to back up your implied claim that he's still on the left."
One of Mr. Hitchens' most recent books is 'Why Orwell Matters'. In it, he clearly identifies himself with at least some leftist ideas. I think it is very difficult for him to identify himself with any leftist organizations these days, since most of them are so morally compromised. But he does retain a taste for the ideals of socialism.
He is also the principal contributor to the book section of the Atlantic (the lamented Michael Kelly's magazine). A month or two ago, Hitchens' essay again indicated his sympathy for some socialist ideals. He is one of those rare leftists, like the original neo-cons or Orwell himself, who values honesty and compassion above political correctness.
I dare say that Hitchens puts many on our side of the fence to shame regarding honesty and compassion. A man worth listening to, and a man to respect.
The IT labor oversupply is directly related to the H1-B program which currently has 800,000 foreign nationals working here for less than an American would take. For those of strict libertarian bent who feel that this is just reasonable competition, keep in mind that this program is limited to techies. It would be fair, I suppose, if we extended it to all trades and professions. That way, I could maybe hire a lawyer for $10.00/hr or get my truck fixed for $5.00/hr.
This H1-B program, by the way, though it is supported by congressmen on the take from both sides of the aisle, was primarily and greatly expanded during the Clinton reign. This helps explain why we used to see so many news stories about how the New Economy types just loved Clinton and Gore. Of course they did. The ones outside of Redmond also liked having the Clinton/Reno Justice department help compensate for their competitive deficiencies. So, their love for the Clintonians was more in the nature of a very shrewd investment. For just a few hundred thousand, the chance to replace your labor force with lower priced foreigners and also have Justice carry your water with Micrsoft.
"Well, to be technical, they DID accomplish their objectives. The power and water plants were not hit by the military at all.."
Any reasonable person would agree that if striking a given target was worth risking the welfare of a single US airman, then it would have been worth risking, say, five or six thousand of these bootlicking Shields. Be assured that our military planners gave no consideration at all to the presence of these dorks.
Amazing to think that legitimacy would be conferred by a conglomeration of the likes of Mugabe, Assad, along with European nations that helped Saddam evade the UN's own sanctions. And Kofi has to be worried about his fine organization losing its fat commission on 'Oil for Food'. What a pack of charlatans.
Also bizarre is the widespread misuse of the word 'community' as in statements like "Reconstruction must be carried out by the international community." Aren't members of a community bound together by their common goals and interests? What does a decent nation like the US have in common with a sleazy place like France, which has given sanctuary to the Rwandan mass murderers (they did so because the said monsters are Francophones)?
"The word they should use is political warfare. It is in that that the Iraqis have excelled."
The Iraqis are no better at political warfare than Bill Clinton is at lying. In both cases, the near-universal collaboration of the press is essential. A "normal" adversarial press would have demolished Clinton's career before he ran for governor of Arkansas. The Iraqi regime would be an international pariah if the press were to simply publicize readily available information.
By the way, thanks for your superb commentaries on the battlefield situation. I do a User search for 'wretchard' every day!!!
"It seems we're killing a hundred Iraqis per one of our own"
Maybe more like a thousand to one. During a Fox commercial, I heard some dolt on MSNBC commenting on the ill-advised southbound column out of Baghdad. He said that Saddam was using "a highly imaginative strategy of attrition".
About all you can conclude from the above is that: 1.) Saddam is not a military genius. 2.) The MSNBC dolt is even less of one.
"Unfortunately the reporters do not understand, AT ALL, what they are witnessing. That is a HUGE problem."
It is a HUGE problem for them (the reporters). Remember when our special ops guys and the Northern Alliance were "stymied" in the "quagmire" outside of Kabul? The Taliban kept feeding in troops against them, and our air kept chopping them up. Why would any rational American commander elect to change a situation like that. Wait a little while - the Republican Guard areas are gonna look like Highway of Death 2. Bank on it.
Glenn, this crap happens all the time. For those of a Libertarian bent, I suggest that the only fair thing to do is institute H1-Bs for ALL trades/crafts/professions. Starting with lawyers, of course. If I can get my car fixed by somebody from ??? for $5.00 or $10.00/hr, than I guess I can live with H1-B. Otherwise, this suit is perfectly legitimate.
The big expansion of this program, by the way, took place under the administration of our favorite guy, the Clintoon himself. Just in case anybody ever wondered why we used to see all those news articles about how Bill and Internet Al were so popular with the Silicon Valley "Entrepreneurs". Sun and the rest of that crowd were also glad to have the Justice dept attacking MS for having popular products, too.
Has nothing to do with competence or skill shortages, just a chance to find good programmers with lots of experience that will work for data entry salaries, travel 100%, and listen to moron managers in meetings and act impressed. Lots of very capable Indians will do all of this rather than go B2B (Back to Bangalore).
The Belgians have an unmatched history of attacking their protectors and sucking up to their enemies. In the opening days of BOTH WW1 and WW2, these dimbulbs concluded that Britain and France were the biggest threats to their sacred neutrality, and barred the Allies from forward-basing troops. Of course, both times, the shrewd Belgians ended up playing doormat for the Germans. What hope is there for a people who just refuse to learn?
"The froggies would be suitable for use in a suicidal infantry charge over open desert into fixed, well defended positions. Actually, I think they have some experience with those tactics."
Interesting to recall that when the American Expeditionary Force began assembling in France during WW1, the French were insistent that the best possible use of our troops was to attach them to the French army in small units, under French command, of course. American commanders simply didn't understand modern war, you see.
Pershing flatly refused, and kept our troops safely from under the command of the politicized, inept, murderous French generals who had driven their own soldiers to the edge of mutiny. Once the AEF was trained and went into combat under American command, their performance in terms of ground gained and casualty ratios surpassed that of all our allies and was every bit as good as the Kaiser's Germans (the most effective troops in the war until the AEF came along).
It is a myth that the American contribution to WW1 was peripheral - the AEF won the war for the Allies. It was crucial that the great Pershing had the backbone to reject French demands for command over our guys. The Wilson administration had some degree of sympathy for the French position - Pershing had to fight our State dept as well as the inept French butchers.