Forget space junk — NASA is getting lots of reports of land junk. Like animal bones. Burnt rocks. Chevy alternators. A piece of burnt toast. All of these things have been turned in by well-meaning residents as possible shuttle debris. And then there’s this:
In Shreveport, communications officer Tracy Dossett said an elderly woman (”bless her heart”) called 911 after finding egg yolk on her porch. Were there eggs on the Columbia? she asked.
“Police have not named Scott Peterson as a suspect, but they have not ruled him out, either.” –a KTLA reporter, verbally emphasizing the latter point.
UPDATE, 10:28 PM: KTLA’s male anchor just referred to the year 2001 as “twenty-oh-one” instead of “two-thousand-and-one.” Hooray!!! Surely this trend will catch on soon. I don’t want to still be using the asinine “two-thousand-and” formulation in 2009…
I haven’t posted about this before, because it’s kind of personal and I didn’t know how much I should reveal. But now she’s published it herself, so I guess it’s fair game. Becky has been ill — she’s in Arizona right now, with her parents, though she plans to return to campus Thursday. Here’s what she had to say about it in today’s Daily Trojan.
In a related story, I love Becky very much.
If the argument against war in Iraq was articulated the way this guy articulates it, without all the hypocritical posturing and the “no blood for oil” crap, I might have an easier time buying into it whole-heartedly.
As it is, the peaceniks are so laden with intellectual dishonesty, logical fallacy and outright self-delusion, I often find myself being drawn to the more compelling case being made by the hawks. Not that the hawks are right. Just that they’re doing an infinitely better job making their case. And I remain on the fence.
Like the admiral who gave 12 reasons for not firing a salute, the twelfth of which was that he had no powder, a certain kind of doveish commentatorâ€™s position can be summed up thus: â€œIâ€™m against war because Iâ€™m not convinced Iraq is harbouring weapons of mass destruction, but even if they are, Iâ€™m against war because the UN has not authorised it, but if they do, Iâ€™m against war because an invasion would prove a military fiasco, but even if it didnâ€™t, Iâ€™m against war because toppling Saddam would destabilise Iraq, but even if it didnâ€™t, Iâ€™m against war because it will antagonise moderate Arab opinion.â€
This will not do. It is not honest.
To the writer’s list of warnings to the antiwar crowd, I would add this: once the war begins, as it almost certainly will, you must guard vigilantly against your secret unconscious impulse to hope that it goes badly just so you can be vindicated.
If war comes, indisputably the best thing for all involved, including the peaceniks, is that the peaceniks are proven wrong about everything: the likelihood of failure, the nefariousness of America’s intentions, and so on. The alternatives to success, after all, are various flavors of failure: massive civilian deaths, massive military deaths, destabilization, terrorism, despotism, imperialism, mushroom clouds… in other words, all sorts of very bad things.
So, lobby against the war. Argue against it to your last breath. And then when you’re rebuffed, and war happens anyway, feel free to stand firm in your belief that the war was and is the wrong choice, but at the same time as you maintain your moral opposition to it, root for America to win it easily and quickly. Not because you’re a blind patriotic fool, but because if there is a war, it damn well better go well, for everyone’s sake.
When President Bush first publicly contemplated going to war with Iraq, some members of his administration said he need not obtain approval from Congress before doing so. But liberals insisted, rightly, that a war would lack constitutional or popular legitimacy if the president did not first receive explicit authorization from Congress. Bush complied. Later, some administration officials maintained that the United States could attack Iraq without giving Saddam Hussein one more chance to disarm peacefully through U.N. weapons inspections. But liberals argued, again rightly, that a final push for inspections was necessary to demonstrate that the United States desired war only as a last resort. And Bush complied again, persuading the U.N. Security Council to unanimously approve Resolution 1441, which offered Iraq a “final opportunity” to dismantle its nonconventional weapons. Bush may now dismiss the importance of these steps–”America’s purpose is more than to follow a process,” he said in his State of the Union address. But, in fact, so far the process of disarming Saddam has gone exactly as liberals rightly demanded.
The day before the president’s address, the world received what should have been the final word on that process in the form of a report by chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix. Blix’s verdict is positively devastating. Iraq, he writes, “appears not to have come to genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament which was demanded of it.” Blix produces a litany of noncooperation: Iraq has failed to provide a full accounting of its weapons, as demanded; it has denied private interviews with its scientists; it has hidden crucial documents in private homes; and it has whipped up demonstrators to harass the inspectors with slanderous charges. (Some, hilariously, have described this report as “mixed.” By this standard, Saddam’s record of aggression is also mixed–we must consider the lengthy list of countries he has not invaded.) All these actions unquestionably fulfill the definition of a material breach agreed to under Resolution 1441.
So we now have reached the conditions under which, according to the standards once urged by most liberals, the United States must disarm Iraq by force. Yet the moderate, respectable opponents of the war–those who claimed they would favor military action if other steps failed–remain, for the most part, unmoved.
Precisely! Under the explicit terms of Resolution 1441, we should go to war now. That’s it, end of story. So, the only reason to oppose war is if you opposed Resolution 1441’s terms. But most antiwar folks were positively thrilled when Bush went to the U.N., made a few concessions to France, and produced a unanimous vote in favor of Resolution 1441. They hailed it as a towering achievement of multilateralism.
Liberals supported the resolution, and the resolution has now been breached, which, under the resolution’s own terms, means “serious consequences” (i.e., war) must result. So, having supported the resolution, liberals should be in favor of war now. Actions have consequences, people!
But, the fact is, antiwar folks only supported Resolution 1441 because they thought it had a chance of averting war. They didn’t support it because of what it said; they supported it because of what they thought it might do for them. Now it’s doing something else, so they’re dodging the logically unavoidable consequences of their initial support. And they don’t even see the hypocrisy of that.
Andrew, I think, would elaborate on that point further to say that liberals seem to have a general habit of doing precisely this: citing laws and frameworks and paradigms, as if to be objective about things, but really employing them only when it’s beneficial to a liberal cause, and otherwise ignoring or subverting them. (Robert Torricelli, anyone?) And you know what? In my heart, I fear he may have a point.
Read the whole article. It’s good.