Pontificator: News and Commentary

Saturday, February 15, 2003 :::
Talking Points Memo points out how unpopular the Iraq war is outside the United States. That's a bad thing, because if anything goes wrong, i.e., a smart bomb hits a children's hospital instead of a weapons factory, we will get no sympathy. We may, in fact, be headed for a war crimes crisis if the war goes badly, and the prosecutions will be aimed at officials low and high.

All of which means the United States has to be on its BEST behavior in conducting the war, since every mistakenly killed civilian will be subject to rigorous fact-finding by first the press, and then perhaps by more formal international bodies.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that some of our top officials will not be able to leave the country for fear of being put in handcuffs by Interpol when this whole thing is over.

But that's the risk of fighting a war without international support.

::: posted by Pontificator at 6:54 PM

Some individuals believe that the Osama tapes are fakes, and Osama is really dead. These individuals tend to also believe that a dead Osama and fake tapes is a good thing.

These individuals are sadly misguided. The fact is, it is far, far scarier to believe that Al Qaeda has the technology to fake a tape recording of such high quality that it fools the CIA and most of the world's top analysts on the subject. If they could do that, they shouldn't have too much trouble with a dirty bomb. Therefore, I find the "fake tape" scenario scarier for us than a scenario in which Osama is holed up in an unidentified safehouse where he can't use the phone or issue instructions for fear of being caught.

That's what it means to be a foreign policy realist -- understanding that, under the circumstances, we're better off if Osama is alive.

::: posted by Pontificator at 10:16 AM

Thursday, February 13, 2003 :::
Now there's an O'Reilly boycott!!

This could use a little publicity, don't you think?

::: posted by Pontificator at 5:27 PM

Wednesday, February 12, 2003 :::
The worm is turning, and it's carrying an uzi!

::: posted by Pontificator at 12:37 AM

Tuesday, February 11, 2003 :::
Missile Launchers????

::: posted by Pontificator at 11:00 PM

Alterman on O'Reilly tonight. Unless the OBL tape bumps him.

::: posted by Pontificator at 8:16 PM

Monday, February 10, 2003 :::
O'Reilly is not only a racist, he is also a coward.

He did not even mention, much less apologize for, his racial slur -- aimed at Latinos -- on last Thursday night's factor.

Obviously, he thinks that if he ignores the problem, it will go away.

Well it won't.

We will not let it. We will remind O'Reilly of his racism this night and every night until he apologizes.

::: posted by Pontificator at 9:13 PM

Try this on for size:

We know the identity of the 13 hijackers on September 11.

And we know Osama Bin Ladin and the Al Qaeda leadership were the spiritual leaders of the attacks.

But we still don't know the identities of the individuals who planned the attacks, wired the money to the 13 hijackers, and gave them their marching orders. Nor do we know how the attacks were planned and organized.

It's really quite breathtaking how much we still don't know about September 11.

::: posted by Pontificator at 12:01 AM

Sunday, February 09, 2003 :::
The Cogent Provacateur, in a withering attack on Colin Powell's U.N. presentation (that's what the word "fisking" was invented for), closes with an unsettling question: Why frame a guilty subject?

::: posted by Pontificator at 10:04 PM

The filibuster is on, and that's a good thing.

Republicans seem to be under the misimpression that they'll make hay with hispanic voters by pushing for the Estrada judgeship. They also think they'll make Democrats look like whiney obstructionists.

They're wrong. Estrada is opposed by every mainstream Hispanic organization. And Democrats, long disparaged as ineffectual, will be the shining knights of the left again.

Democrats will argue they're saving the country from the radical religious right -- putting the republicans on the defensive (they always lose when they defend the religious right). If the linked story is to be believed, the Dems will also ultimately win the battle and hold the filibuster.

The press will then present Bush as a LOSER, and, as we all know, everyone loves a winner and hates a loser.

We can then expect some glowing cover story on Tom Daschle, and, following that, we can expect Rush L. to go over the line and say something so offensive and disgusting about the minority leader that he is expunged from civilized society, like a butt boil burned off after it's served its purpose by keeping a cowardly future radio talk show host out of Viet-nam.

::: posted by Pontificator at 9:45 PM

Orcinus (I think the name has something to do with the endangered yet dangerous orcas), is all over the dirt stain that is Congressman Howard Coble, and his utterly false and still unretracted views of Japanese internments. Oh yeah, and apparently FDR was an out-and-out racist (read his statements on the "racial inter-mixing," it will make your hair curl).

By the way -- Congressman Coble is the House member in charge of homeland security policy. Can house members be impeached?

::: posted by Pontificator at 9:19 PM

Yes, now there is no doubt. There will be war.

And we're likely to go it alone. With token assistance from the British and the Italians (but NOT the Vatican).

::: posted by Pontificator at 9:08 PM

Are the war-hawks "emotional"?

"South Korea's ruling party said Saturday it feared Washington might be getting emotional in its handling of a nuclear standoff with North Korea, a day after President Bush left open the possibility of a military strike."

It's enough to make George W. cry!

::: posted by Pontificator at 12:10 AM


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