Friday, April 14, 2006

DEA: Making America Safer for the Children

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 14) - A DEA agent who accidentally shot himself in the foot while demonstrating gun safety to school children is suing the agency, saying video of the incident has made him the joke of the Internet.

Lee Paige was making a presentation to children at the Orlando Youth Minority Golf Association on April 9, 2004, when he shot himself. Moments before the shooting, the 14-year agency veteran was displaying his firearm and telling students he was the only one in the room professional enough to handle a gun.

...The lawsuit...alleges the agency leaked the video to the public....

Paige "is the target of jokes, derision, ridicule and disparaging comments" because of the publicity, according to the lawsuit...
Poor baby. And to think he used to be tough enuf to play pro football (read the whole thing if you care to find out where).

Thursday, April 13, 2006

General McInerney on bombing Iran

Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney (Ret.), who was assistant vice chief of staff of the United States Air Force, has some thoughts on attacking Iran:
What would an effective military response look like? It would consist of a powerful air campaign led by 60 stealth aircraft (B-2s, F-117s, F-22s) and more than 400 nonstealth strike aircraft, including B-52s, B-1s, F-15s, F-16s, Tornados, and F-18s. Roughly 150 refueling tankers and other support aircraft would be deployed, along with 100 unmanned aerial vehicles for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and 500 cruise missiles. In other words, overwhelming force would be used.

The objective would be, first and foremost, to destroy or severely damage Iran's nuclear development and production facilities and put them out of commission for at least five years. Another aim would be to destroy the Iranian air defense system, significantly damage its air force, naval forces, and Shahab-3 offensive missile forces. This would prevent Iran from projecting force outside the country and retaliating militarily. The air campaign would also wipe out or neutralize Iran's command and control capabilities.

This coalition air campaign would hit more than 1,500 aim points. Among the weapons would be the new 28,000-pound bunker busters, 5,000-pound bunker penetrators, 2,000-pound bunker busters, 1,000-pound general purpose bombs, and 500-pound GP bombs. A B-2 bomber, to give one example, can drop 80 of these 500-pound bombs independently targeted at 80 different aim points.
He doesn't say anything about invading, which is gratifying. Just smash everything and leave. I can just imagine the Islamist world's reaction, but it worked with Qaddafi.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Well, then, shouldn't those who want the American empire to collapse WANT us to attack Iran?

David Ignatius writes in the Washington Post:
The British historian Niall Ferguson argued in his book "The Pity of War" that Britain's decision to enter World War I was a gross error of judgment that cost that nation its empire.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, makes a similar argument about Iran. "I think of war with Iran as the ending of America's present role in the world," he told me this week. "Iraq may have been a preview of that, but it's still redeemable if we get out fast. In a war with Iran, we'll get dragged down for 20 or 30 years. The world will condemn us. We will lose our position in the world."
Wasn't it Zbigniew Brzezinski who advised Jimmy Carter to sit on his thumb instead of giving the Iranians 24 hours to release the American Embassy hostages unharmed? Wasn't that pewling response exactly the galvanizing factor for Islamist attacks on America since then?

Ignatius continues:
As the United States carefully weighs its options, there is every likelihood that the strategic picture will improve.
Exactly why do you believe that, Mr Ignatius? The strategic picture will improve because Iran will have nuclear weapons? Improve for who?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How do you steer... 1200 kilometers per second?

A 5.56 NATO bullet is only doing a bit over 3000 feet per second. Of course, the steering on them is a little primitive, too.

Mark Steyn on a Nuclear Iran

Mark Steyn writes in City Journal:
If Belgium becomes a nuclear power, the Dutch have no reason to believe it would be a factor in, say, negotiations over a joint highway project. But Iran’s nukes will be a factor in everything. If you think, for example, the European Union and others have been fairly craven over those Danish cartoons, imagine what they’d be like if a nuclear Tehran had demanded a formal apology, a suitable punishment for the newspaper, and blasphemy laws specifically outlawing representations of the Prophet. Iran with nukes will be a suicide bomber with a radioactive waist.
Of course, it should come as no surprise that you get more of what you long tolerate:
With the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, a British subject, Tehran extended its contempt for sovereignty to claiming jurisdiction over the nationals of foreign states, passing sentence on them, and conscripting citizens of other countries to carry it out. Iran’s supreme leader instructed Muslims around the world to serve as executioners of the Islamic Republic—and they did, killing not Rushdie himself but his Japanese translator, and stabbing the Italian translator, and shooting the Italian publisher, and killing three dozen persons with no connection to the book when a mob burned down a hotel because of the presence of the novelist’s Turkish translator.

Iran’s de facto head of state offered a multimillion-dollar bounty for a whack job on an obscure English novelist. And, as with the embassy siege, he got away with it.
And continue to get away with it:
We now think it perfectly normal for Muslims to demand the tenets of their religion be applied to society at large: the government of Sweden, for example, has been zealously closing down websites that republish those Danish cartoons. As...a female Muslim demonstrator in Toronto put it: “We won’t stop the protests until the world obeys Islamic law.”

If that’s a little too ferocious, Kofi Annan framed it rather more soothingly: “The offensive caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were first published in a European country which has recently acquired a significant Muslim population, and is not yet sure how to adjust to it.”

If you’ve also “recently acquired” a significant Muslim population and you’re not sure how to “adjust” to it, well, here’s the difference: back when my Belgian grandparents emigrated to Canada, the idea was that the immigrants assimilated to the host country. As Kofi and Co. see it, today the host country has to assimilate to the immigrants: if Islamic law forbids representations of the Prophet, then so must Danish law, and French law, and American law. Iran was the progenitor of this rapacious extraterritoriality, and, if we had understood it more clearly a generation ago, we might be in less danger of seeing large tracts of the developed world being subsumed by it today.
The election in Italy should be cheering the mulluhs right up. With Berlusconi out and a socialist econ professor in, the Italian army will soon be pulling out of Iraq. The French government has proved its inability to even stand up to ethnic French demonstrators, much less the Muslim immigrants who so joyously burned thousands of cars last year while the police looked on. Not much threat from that quarter.
Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” while the moderate Rafsanjani has declared that Israel is “the most hideous occurrence in history,” which the Muslim world “will vomit out from its midst” in one blast, because “a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel, while an Israeli counter-strike can only cause partial damage to the Islamic world.”
I hope the Israelis have a hundred such bombs, and that most survive the attack to be used against Iran. It will be a shame if they don't use them first, tho.
One hears sophisticated arguments that perhaps the best thing is to let everyone get ’em, and then no one will use them. And if Iran’s head of state happens to threaten to wipe Israel off the map, we should understand that this is a rhetorical stylistic device that’s part of the Persian oral narrative tradition, and it would be a grossly Eurocentric misinterpretation to take it literally.
Well, if it turns out not to be a rhetorical stylistic device, would it be fair to turn Iran into slag? That seems to be within the American Cultural Tradition, and if the Iranians can act on their traditions, can we on ours?

Shirin Ebadi reads of her murder by the Iranian government

What a way to start the day.
It was the transcript of a conversation between a government minister and a member of the death squad during the worst wave of killings. When my eyes first fell on the sentence that would haunt me for years to come, I thought I had misread. I blinked once, but it stared back at me from the page: "The next person to be killed is Shirin Ebadi." Me.

My throat went dry. I read the line over and over again, the printed words blurring before me....My would-be assassin went to the minister of intelligence, requesting permission to carry out my killing. Not during the fasting month of Ramadan, the minister replied.
Thanks to Arts & Letters Daily for the lead.

Monday, April 10, 2006

"Iraq did go uranium shopping in Niger"

Christopher Hitchens writes in Slate.

Thanks to InstaPundit for the tip.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

You know you are in Hawaii when... come back from the grocery store with a 50 pound sack of rice.

It was time to top off. We had only 18 pounds left in our last sack.