05 October 2003

Real issues in the occupation

[source, source]
Last month the Iraqi Governing Council questioned why the American occupation authority had issued a $20 million contract to buy new revolvers and Kalashnikov rifles for the Iraqi police when the United States military was confiscating tens of thousands of weapons every month from Saddam Hussein's abandoned arsenals.[…] Iraqi officials and businessmen charge that millions of dollars in contracts are being awarded without competitive bidding, some of them to former cronies of Mr. Hussein's government. […] The lack of transparency and competition, Governing Council members said in interviews, may be encouraging corruption. They said they believed that many contracts had been inflated beyond the reasonable cost for the work, creating opportunities for kickbacks between prime contractors and subcontractors.
If Big Media wants to get in some hits on President Bush about the occupation, this is the kind of thing they should focus on, not bury it. This should be on the front page and could well serve as constructive criticism instead of partisan mud slinging.
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And they say it's the conservatives who are parochial and ahistorical…

'We should have been culturally sensitive,' a Special Forces officer admitted to Time magazine. 'We should never have gone into people's houses. Saddam's soldiers never went into houses.'
-- Ted Rall, cartoon journalist
This is a completely accurate quote -- without any, you know, cite, from Ted. But I'm sure it's true on the facts. In Iraq, the Fourth Amendment was sacred. Every Iraqi was safe from state intrusion in the sacred castle of her, or his, house.
Am I ever that cynical and cutting? I can only hope…
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The other side of the stonewall

"InstaPundit":http://www.instapundit.com/archives/011830.php has some excellent advice for the White House on the "Plame affair":http://www.maderblog.com/archives/2003_09.html#000134:
One comment that I made in passing earlier, and that seems more and more relevant as I think about it, is that the White House has a lot to gain by subpoenaing reporters who know about the Plame leaks. Doing that serves several useful purposes. First, once the press clams up and starts going on about protecting sources, it becomes extremely hard for it to claim that the White House is covering things up. "Who's stonewalling now?" can be the response. Second, the press's complaints will look like special pleading (which they are). "If you leak this you're a traitor, but if we publish it, we're being great Americans," won't wash. Third, subpoenaing reporters will likely reduce the number of leaks in the future. And that's a good thing, right? We keep hearing that these leaks were disastrous for national security. If that's true, we certainly want people to think twice before leaking in this fashion again, or publishing the results of such leaks.
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If you're smart enough, you can get away with anything

[source]
Katha Pollitt believes Arnold Schwarzenegger mistreated women. Her response is "clear and direct":http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/05/opinion/05POLL.html: p(qq). Here is a man who seems to have a long history of contempt for women, who uses his celebrity to get away with sexual humiliation -- why does he belong in public life? Katha Pollitt believes Bill Clinton raped a woman. Her response is ... "well, what can anyone do about it, you know?":http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/1999/03/cov_03feature3.html Nothing much, I guess. It’s a real pity. Just too bad: p(qq). I think Juanita Broaddrick told her story in a very persuasive way. She has people who say she told them about the rape at the time … In my heart I believe her, yes. But what do you do with this information? One of the things that's so frustrating about this is: It's out there, people think about it, but there isn't anything you can do with it. It's not an allegation that anyone can use legally; it's only an allegation that people can try to use politically.
But for those who are still mystified about this double think, Patricia Foulkrod helpfully "points out the difference":http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=106&u=/nypost/20031004/cm_nypost/sexlieshiddenagendas&printer=1 between Ah-nold and Clin-ton:
"The difference is that Clinton was so brilliant," she said. "If Arnold was a brilliant pol and had this thing about inappropriate behavior, we'd figure a way of getting around it. I think it's to our detriment to go on too much about the groping. But it's our way in. This is really about the GOP trying to take California in 2004 and our trying to stop it."
Presumably by "brilliant" she means "left-wing". Shades of "brightness":http://blog.thought-mesh.net/archives/000569.html! P.S. Just to be clear, because it's hard to tell sometimes -- the last quote is *not* satire.
Posted by orbital at 9:33 AM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Oh, Canada!

[source, source]
OTTAWA - Marc Bellemarre, the Quebec Justice Minister, has repeatedly ordered his province's head of criminal prosecutions to proceed with charges of judicial bribery against a federal Immigration and Refugee Board judge, but the senior official will not follow instructions, the National Post has learned. […] Sources familiar with the dispute said Mr. Bilodeau, a supporter of Quebec separatism, does not want to ask the federal government for permission to lay any criminal charges as a matter of principle. He wants to lay obstruction of justice charges instead. They require no consent be sought from anyone in Ottawa.
Yes, well, clearly it's more important to uphold Qebecois separatism than the rule of law. Alternatively, it could be that Bilodeau is also involved and just using this as an excuse. The fact that is presumed a viable one says a lot.
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