February 13, 2003
Here and There, Feb. 13

Fascinating Search Engine Query Watch I just got a hit from the United Arab Emirates looking for "uae gay sheik". Not that there's anything wrong with it. Just don't tell the Islamic police

The Belgians, at some point, will probably back down from their morally bankrupt and overreaching attempts to put Israeli soldiers on trial for fabricated human rights abuses, while simultaneously tanking the NATO alliance in order to keep Saddam Hussein in power. When they do back down, the wags will undoubtedly chuckle "Belgian waffles!" (you heard it here first). In the meantime, we will call the Belgians (their government, that is) "a bunch of Belgian chocolate boobs" [as seen in a Bruges shop window].

Multinational Unilateralism Watch The predominantly Muslim Kazakhstan, a former member republic of the USSR, is the latest country to join the several dozen other countries in the unilateral coalition to disarm Iraq.

Thomas Friedman writes that

the Bush hawks need to realize they cannot achieve their ultimate aim of disarming and transforming Iraq without maximum international legitimacy...We don't need a broad coalition to break Iraq. We can do that ourselves. But we do need a broad coalition to rebuild Iraq, so that the American taxpayer and Army do not have to bear that full burden or be exposed alone at the heart of the Arab-Muslim world. President Bush, if he alienates the allies from going to war the part we can do alone is depriving himself of allies for the peace the part where we'll need all the friends we can get.
Read the whole thing. Friedman makes some good points and also tells the Euro-doves to get real and cooperate with the US. But I think he misses the main point. Once Saddam has been dispatched to join up with Nebuchadnezzar then I suspect that Gerhard, Vlad and Jacques are going to be in a very different posture than they are in today. With the US-led coalition in control of Iraq, the Euro-moochers are going to be lining up like hookers at a dental convention for some of those big-ticket contracts to rebuild Iraqi infrastructure and resell Iraqi oil. No, I don't think there will be too much of a problem with other countries ceding to the US exclusive influence over post-Saddam Iraq and its resources. They just want to stick us with the check for the hard part.

John Hawkins posted his interview of Mark Steyn. It's well worth reading.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at February 13, 2003 03:13 PM

I find Friedman to be the most inconsistent editoral writer alive. The problem with his most recent column is the suggestion that a delay is necessary if it can guarantee a larger coalition. To quote:

"If war proves inevitable, it must be seen as the product of an international decision, not an American whim. The timing cannot be determined by the weather or the need to use troops just because they are there. You cannot launch a war this important now simply because it's going to be hot later. I would gladly trade a four-week delay today for four years of allied support after a war. I would much prefer a hot, legitimate, U.N.-approved war with the world on our side to a cool, less legitimate war that leaves us owning Iraq by ourselves."

Let's cut to the chase of Tom's proposal. Is short, delay's (particularly to the summer) will increase the casualties of American GI's. Why? Because the use of chemical warfare suits (that will likely be necessary) used during the summer months will slow any invasion and place combatants at greater risk. In addition, increased temperatures produce greater equipment failures and make maintenance more difficult...just ask a GI working on a F-16 located on a tarmac during a Phoenix summer day. Hint, it can't be done. And finally, the longer troops remain on high-alert the more likely our situational awareness will decrease.

My conclusion. Tom may be willing to trade American lives for French/German acquiescence. I am not.

Posted by: Carlee on February 13, 2003 08:47 AM

"When they do back down, the wags will undoubtedly chuckle 'Belgian waffles!' (you heard it here first)."

Sorry to disappoint, but actually, I heard it here first, along with the French whine and a really sour Kraut.

Posted by: Xrlq on February 13, 2003 02:02 PM

Ott scooped me again. Damn his eyes.

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on February 13, 2003 05:12 PM

Actually, I scooped you both with a cartoon on stripcreator.com:

The Hadrosaur Was Already Used & Belgium's Not That Big

(From 2/11/03)

It was one of my "Old Europe" series...


Posted by: BarCodeKing on February 14, 2003 08:36 AM

Crap! I botched the link...

Try this:

The Hadrosaur Was Already Used & Belgium's Not That Big...

Posted by: BarCodeKing on February 14, 2003 08:38 AM
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