Peter King Speaks His Mind

Rep. Peter King (R- NY), got his dander up, which is unusual, as he is normally very laid back. At any rate, the target of his ire was the French:

King, a Republican on the House International Relations Committee, accused France of using its influence in the United Nations Security Council and NATO to hobble international cooperation aimed at disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.

“We may have to restructure the alliance, form a new alliance which the French will not be a part of,” said King. “We cannot allow a second-rate country to have a veto power or obstructionist power over American foreign policy.”

The congressman argued that France also delayed successful military intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s.

“France is posturing itself as a moral guardian, when they would have lost World War I, and they set a world record in World War II for the quickest surrender by a world power.”

King said he has had “all these French people calling me up and attacking me” since making similar comments in a BBC radio interview late Monday night, in which he said the French could go to Iraq “to instruct the Iraqis in how to surrender.”

King said he is not worried about offending French sensibilities because “they are yesterday’s people.”

The congressman’s family is so upset about France’s Iraq position that his wife and daughter recently canceled a planned vacation to Paris, King said.

A spokeswoman at the French embassy in Washington did not immediately return a call for comment.

He cancelled his trip to Paris? The horror of it all.








Dennis Miller Live

Dennis Miller was great on Donahue, and you should watch it when it is replayed tonight at 11pm.

I will post a link to the transcript tomorrow.








Party Like It is 1999

A wise group of men once said: “When the shit goes down, you better be ready.

Layne is ready, and when the shit goes down, I am heading that way. I can bring some good, smooth Appalachian moonshine, run through the finest radiator in Mon. County, and some good, home grown tobacco. Whatcha say, Ken? Got room for me?








The American Street

I don’t think we need congressional action on this issue, but French and German manufacturers better recognize the sleeping giant they are awakening. We will hit em where it hurts the most- in the wallet.








Paging Josh Marshall

This will no doubt distress Josh Marshall, who is at the height of his game when he is examining the Bush administration’s foreign policy. Here is a taste of his thoughtful analysis:

The president and his crew are acting like that not-as-smart-as-he-thinks-he-is high school kid who’s always running into reverses and always blaming it on someone else. At first you think he’s getting a bad shake until you see the same thing happening over and over again. It’s always someone else’s fault. The South Koreans are lame. The Europeans are lame. Our Arab allies are lame. Everybody is lame. We’re given excuse after excuse. But at the end of the day the result seems to be our historic alliances, if not in shambles, then at least thoroughly beat-up.

At any rate, we have this news flash:

The International Atomic Energy Agency today declared that North Korea had failed to meet its nuclear commitments and sent the issue to the United Nations Security Council.

The resolution, passed by the IAEA’s 35-nation governing board with Russia and Cuba abstaining, had been sought by the United States as a way of increasing pressure on North Korea and providing a forum for resolving the standoff with the reclusive regime. The North Koreans have demanded direct talks with the United States, but the Bush administration has refused to negotiate unless the North Koreans first take steps to dismantle their nuclear weapons programs.

Got it, Josh- the North Koreans are not complying with agreements or international law. This is not because the president is stupid, or a high school kid, or can not accept blame. It is because the president is not going to stand for the nonsense that Albright and Clinton took for the previous 8 years. You keep your word, or you get called on it. You don’t get credit for saying the right words and doing the wrong thing. Get it?








Useful Myths

One of the most repeated (and most annoying) refrains from the anti-war left and the Eunichs is the nonsense about American unilateralism. Daniel Drezner has a wonderful post defending the Bush administration today in The New Republic. A relevant piece:

The problem is that when you separate actions from rhetoric, this administration has doggedly pursued a multilateralist foreign policy since September 11. The reaction to the terrorist attacks themselves has been besotted with multilateral institutions. U.S. military operations in Afghanistan took place with the full blessing of both NATO and the United Nations Security Council. And the administration’s approach to combating terrorist financing was to strengthen the relevant international bodies–the Financial Action Task Force, the Egmont Group, and the International Monetary Fund.

We are not behaving in a unilateralist manner- quite the contrary. The eurocrats are merely used to the Clintonesque approach to foreign policy, best described by Porphyrogenitus yesterday:

For all that people like to claim that this is a “Bush problem” and “we didn’t have this when Clinton was in office”, that’s not quite true. Sure, everyone was more jovial. But (again as I’ve mentioned before) while there was more good cheer and bonhomie on the surface when Clinton was in office, that didn’t stop them from designing treaties (rather deliberately) stacked against the United States. Clinton would say “hey, buddies. You know, if we could just get a clause in that treaty on land mines allowing us to have them along the Korean DMZ, I could get the Senate to pass it” and they would refuse to compromise. Clinton would say “you know I want a good Green record. I’d love to have this Kyoto pact ratified. Any chance we could negotiate for America some of the cozy deals you stuck in for yourselves?” and they would say “no”. They liked Clinton just fine as a person. But they weren’t about to do America any favors, and even during that period were (openly among themselves, reported in the European press if not given much notice in the American press) talking about building the EU so as to oppose the United States. So this isn’t really out of the blue, all the sudden.

Simplistic Europeans.








Mark Steyn Interview

If you read only one thing today, it should be John Hawkin’s outstanding interview of Mark Steyn. Here is a snippet:

John Hawkins: Who do you see winning the Democratic primary and taking on George Bush in 2004?

Mark Steyn: Not the newly Jewish John Kerry, or whatever his original name is. There’s an Irish butter called Kerrygold, which seems vaguely apt. John Kerry is this season’s Al Gore: he’s being defined by the jokes about him. Not Howard Dean: he’s a lightweight already way out of his league, and his “pro-choice” pandering was pathetic even by Dem standards; he all but called for audience volunteers so he could demonstrate his bona fides by performing a partial-birth abortion on them.

Go read the entire interview, as it is well worth your time.








New UN Agency?

Scrappleface has the details:

(2003-02-11) — The United Nations will form a new agency this week to address the growing need to have highly-paid experts wander about in nations that have no weapons of mass destruction.

The new agency will free up UNMOVIC to do its real job of monitoring and verifying compliance with U.N. resolutions.

Secretary-General Kofi Anan decided to form the new agency when South Korea announced this week that North Korea has no nuclear weapons.

The new Commission for Hiking Around Regions Absent of Destructive Elements will replace the UNMOVIC staff in Iraq and stay there as long as France and her allies insist on it.

Go check him outLot’s of good stuff up today.








Yglesias Gets the Game

This is why Matthew Yglesias will end up going places- he refuses to deny the obvious, whereas others in his ideological realm continue to spin, spin, spin. I’ll let Matthew speak for himself:

If Saddam woke up one morning, had a sudden change of heart, and decided to abandon his WMD programs because he was all the sudden a good guy, then of course it would be absurd for us to invade. That, however, is not going to happen. Insofar as Saddam might make concessions to the UN, he’d be doing it because he felt threatened by American policy and was trying to save his ass. Thus he might really open up to the inspectors and let his entire program get destroyed. And then the inspectors would leave. And the US troops built up in the Gulf would leave. And the sanctions on Iraq would be lifted. And the attention of the world community would drift elsewhere.
And then Saddam would start his program up again.

And then some hawkish American president would start making noises about war again. And folks would say that war must be the last resort. And that the US has to proceed multilaterally. And so we would go to the UN again. And there’d be a new resolution. And Saddam would obstruct the new inspections team. And we’d threaten to go to war. And some would call to give the inspectors more time. And there’d be talk of a new resolution. And talk about how the president was determined to have a war one way or another.

And thus the cycle would proceed, over and over again until either Saddam dies (but maybe not even then if he just hands off power to a successor) or else without the inspections and the no-fly zones Saddam builds a nuke before US intelligence can figure out what he’s up to.








Hans Blix Speaks

And he says Iraq has come up short again:

Blix said in Athens that Iraq had suggested new methods of investigation, including drilling into the ground, to better prove it does not have weapons of mass destruction.

“They themselves suggested new physical signs, new methods of investigating whether material they declared unilaterally destroyed, whether it was actually there. They will be drilling into the ground,” Blix told Reuters.

He rejected European suggestions that more inspectors would help him. “The principal problem is not the number of inspectors but rather the active cooperation of the Iraqi side,” he said.

A very interesting quote, indeed. “The principal problem is not the number of inspectors but rather the active cooperation of the Iraqi side.” Where have you heard that before?








Al Qaeda Donors

From UPI:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has discovered a list of the top financial backers of al Qaida during a raid of a Muslim charity in Sarajevo, according to court documents obtained by United Press International.

The reference to the list is the first public indication that U.S. authorities have specific information as to the identities of the financiers of Osama bin Laden’s terror network, but it is unclear what, if any, action has been taken against the persons named in the document.

The handwritten list — referred to within al Qaida as “The Golden Chain” — details 20 wealthy donors to al Qaida followed by the specific recipient of the funding. Osama bin Laden’s name appears next to seven of the entries, including at least one donation made by the “bin Laden brothers,” according to the court document.

Hunt them down and charge them with 3,000 counts of accessory to murder.








French- Can’t live With ‘Em, Can’t Let the Germans Shoot ‘Em

Instapundit posts a reader’s story:

I heard the American street speak today in a supermarket in Dayton, Ohio and it said F**K the French!

I stop by the store after work to get a bottle of wine. While reaching for my usual Australian bottle of red plonk when I noticed that Georges Duboeuf produced and bottled in France has a Syrah and it was on sale. Not even thinking about anything in particular, I reached for the bottle when a black gentleman standing next to me, looking at the same wine said, F**k the French, I wouldnt drink it if it were free! and picked up another bottle of wine, Aussie I think, glared at me and walked away.

The only reason I am posting this is because last night I was in the local liquor store, looking at bottles of wine, and I picked up the very same ‘Georges Duboeuf,’ and then thought the same damn thing. “F*** the French.” I settled for a Black Opal (Australian)Shiraz.

Of course we all know that I am a lunatic, so who knows if others are doing the same thing.








Axis of Weasel Update

Khidhir Hamza says if you want to know why the French and the Germans are delaying and obstructing for Saddam, you simply have to follow the money:

What has become obvious is that the U.N. inspection process was designed to delay any possible U.S. military action to disarm Iraq. Germany, France, and Russia, states we called “friendly” when I was in Baghdad, are also engaged in a strategy of delay and obstruction.
In the two decades before the Gulf War, I played a role in Iraq’s efforts to acquire major technologies from friendly states. In 1974, I headed an Iraqi delegation to France to purchase a nuclear reactor. It was a 40-megawatt research reactor that our sources in the IAEA told us should cost no more than $50 million. But the French deal ended up costing Baghdad more than $200 million. The French-controlled Habbania Resort project cost Baghdad a whopping $750 million, and with the same huge profit margin. With these kinds of deals coming their way, is it any surprise that the French are so desperate to save Saddam’s regime?

Germany was the hub of Iraq’s military purchases in the 1980s. Our commercial attach, Ali Abdul Mutalib, was allocated billions of dollars to spend each year on German military industry imports. These imports included many proscribed technologies with the German government looking the other way. In 1989, German engineer Karl Schaab sold us classified technology to build and operate the centrifuges we needed for our uranium-enrichment program. German authorities have since found Mr. Schaab guilty of selling nuclear secrets, but because the technology was considered “dual use” he was fined only $32,000 and given five years probation.

Meanwhile, other German firms have provided Iraq with the technology it needs to make missile parts. Mr. Blix’s recent finding that Iraq is trying to enlarge the diameter of its missiles to a size capable of delivering nuclear weapons would not be feasible without this technology transfer.

Can we please stop all the nonsense now, Chirac? Schroeder?








That’ll Teach ‘Em

Via the Opinion Journal, this shocker:

A Sikh man has received a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to the bombing of an Air India jet in 1985, which killed all the passengers on board.

Inderjit Singh Reyat – who has British and Canadian citizenship – was charged by a Canadian court with 329 counts of manslaughter – one for each of the people who died in the blast.

Two other men also stand accused in connection with the bombing.

The sentencing came as a surprise, although prosecution lawyers say they now concede that Reyat’s role in the bombing was relatively small.

Reyat, a former worker at Jaguar’s UK car plant in Coventry, stood but said nothing as his punishment was read out in court.
If I ever need a lawyer, I am calling this guy.








Lie Down With Fleas

If you can tell something about a person by the company they keep, so far Saddam Hussein has the support of Hamas, Osama bin Laden, and the French.