All posts by Tanstaafl


White Phosphorus = Chemical Weapon

The anti-war people have got their panties all in a twist again. This time they’re outraged, outraged, that US troops use live ammunition. The anti-war blog takes it a step further and hallucinates a media conspiracy to cover up the blindingly obvious war crime that’s been commited:


These last few weeks we have endured the mainstream media’s proclamations about how sorry they were they did not report the truth that there were no WMDs in Iraq; how the media was deceived along with everyone else (ignoring the fact that pretty much everyone else knew what was going on), and how you would all try to do a better job.

Well, here is your chance to prove that. Italian TV just aired a documentary that proves the US used chemical weapons against civilians in Fallujah, and how Giuliana Sgregna, the Italian Journalist who was kidnapped, then nearly assassinated by US troops following her release, had been reporting on that very story along with one other journalist who was killed by US troops at the time. The British Press picked up the story this morning. The rest of the world is picking up the story. So, where is the US mainstream media on this?

Chemical weapons. Oh my. Of course the only people who consider white phosphorus a chemical weapon are the psychics (AKA "pretty much everyone") who knew, just knew, all along that Saddam didn’t have WMDs. Never. Except the ones Rummy sold him. Oh, and his white phosphorus. Which isn’t a WMD if it belongs to Saddam. Can you imagine the reaction if Bush pointed at a captured stockpile of Republican Guard WP and said "here are Saddam’s WMD"? Oops, did the peaceniks think of that before they lowered their standards? How long before they figure out gunpowder and TNT are "chemical weapons"?

Media Lies did a good job of deflating this story several days ago. The best part was a quote from Balloon Juice:

I’m a combat veteran of Iraq. Mostly Ramadi. I’m an infantry officer.

I have got to tell you guys that the knuckleheads who are tearing their hair out about WP being an illegal chemical weapon are some of the stupidest, most ill-informed, hysterical people on the planet right now. You guys are making idiots of yourselves.

Yes, I’ve seen the pictures. And I’ve seen similar effects in real life.

Not from WP, but from good old fashioned HE, which can “caramelize skin” and “leatherize skin” and cause severe flash burns.

I saw their effects because I saw what happened to Iraqi civilians after HE IEDs went off. Sometimes it happened to the guys who were setting them up.

Doctrinally, WP is used as a marking round. You pop off one or two WP rounds on the target, and then you call the air to fire up the WP round with whatever ordnance is appropriate.

You can also use WP if you desire lethal effect but a smaller blast radius. For example, if there is a structure nearby you don’t want to damage. It’s conceivable to use WP in order to minimize collateral damage, while still getting steel on the target.

It’s standard to use WP as the initial part of a smoke obscuration, and even as a navigational aid (though that’s unlikely in Iraq thanks to GPS.)

WP can also be used to force the enemy to abandon a ditch, to escape the burning bits of phosphorus. He can then be engaged with direct fires or DPICM.

There is nothing prohibiting a commander from using WP rounds against an armed enemy in the field, nor should there be. This idea that DPICM is somehow more humane than WP is a feel-good illusion propogated by people who lead sheltered lives.

Others are simply reaching for any argument, no matter how outlandish, with which to slander our troops with vile and ill-informed accusations in order to score cheap political points.

The fact is that Sherman was right: War is Hell, and you cannot refine it. The best you can do is put your head down and get the nightmare over with quickly.

Oops again. should have waited until their knew what really happened. Days have passed and the Kossacks still busy themselves with "research". They must use search engines that don’t extend outside their anti-war bubble.

The mainstream media, in spite of its bias, is at least smart enough not to call white phosphorus a chemical weapon. The US media that is. So far.

UPDATE: Confederate Yankee has more on Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre, the "documentary" that added white phoshorus to the anti-American lexicon. The fradulently edited helicopter footage reminded me of the techniques used in another disinformation masterpiece lauded by indignant leftists.


Arab Reactions to Eurofada 2005

Reactions in the Arab and Muslim World to the Rioting in France
November 10, 2005

Saudi Columnist: The Problem is Not with the French Government, but With the Arab Immigrants

Columnist Dr. ‘Ali Sa’d Al-Moussa wrote in the Saudi government daily Al-Watan: “The fires in Paris also set fire to all [the problems] that had accumulated with regard to Arab immigration. The Arab cannot live in harmony with a culture different from his own, for a simple reason: Today, the Arabs are spinning alone in a circle outside the circle of world culture… However much the immigrant puts down roots in the new country, he cannot aspire to full equality with the native residents of the land. The Arab generations that immigrated [to France] one after the other do not understand this, and cannot live with this fact, even though France is the best country for immigration…

“Whoever blames only the French government for the grave situation in these Parisian suburbs is mistaken. The Arabs clash culturally with the other, forcing each [side] to flee to his own community, so that the suburbs of the cities acquire the character of their mother culture. [The French immigrants of Arab origin] carry with their bags their heritage, their culture, their customs, and their conduct…

"The appearance of the streets, the doors, the schools, and the level of services [in the Paris suburbs] takes you back to the cities of Morocco, which have not changed for centuries. Respect for the [French] government is almost non-existent in daily life. Immigration requires a mental predisposition; why would any of us, who longs to immigrate to a different world, revile it with the most ugly of terms as soon as he reaches it?"

Hello? Did this fellow not get the memo? You know, the one from Chirac titled "It’s All Our Fault". If Al-Moussa were a white Westerner he be called an Islamophobic (even though this all has nothing to do with Islam) neocon bigot. Since he’s Saudi we can only hope he won’t fare far worse.

Events Prove that Western Ideas Will Not Improve the Middle East

In an article in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa, titled "Freedom, Equality, and Fraternity are Not for All," columnist Dr. Khaled ‘Awid Al-Jinfawi wrote: "This obvious failure of some of the immigrant societies in Western countries to integrate culturally and socially again sheds ‘historical’ light on the degree of success in implementing many Western ideas of progressivism, such as ‘liberty, equality, and human fraternity,’… in the Middle East.

"If the ideals of equality, justice, democracy, human rights, and fraternity, which emerged in the West and were adopted by the French Revolution in the late 18th century, have not managed to eradicate poverty and inequality, and have even increased the marginality of the [immigrant] communities, deprived [them of] their rights, and denied them many opportunities in the economy, in education, and in development – then how can these ideas… improve the lot of many in the Middle East?…"

Now that’s more like it. "You promised to eradicate poverty and inequality! Where are my mansion and yacht?" Are the French-born descendents of North African immigrants not infinitely better off than the current residents of North Africa? Would there be no riots if everyone were in equal poverty?

The ideals of equality, justice, democracy, human rights, and fraternity work well enough for those who actually buy into the system. How on earth could anyone expect it to also work for freeloading sociopaths whose only talent is for mayhem and destruction?

Criticism for the Critics

Bush takes on critics of Iraq war
Friday, November 11, 2005; Posted: 2:40 p.m. EST (19:40 GMT)

President Bush Friday accused critics of the Iraq war of distorting the events that led to the U.S. invasion, saying Democrats viewed the same intelligence and came to similar conclusions.

“While it’s perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began,” the president said.

“Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war,” Bush said. “They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein.”

“These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America’s will,” Bush said.

Many anti-war critics are so blinded by inexhaustible hatred, so enraged by their impotency, so determined to seize power at any cost, that they care not what damage they do. They tolerate the intolerance of Islam and condemn the influence of Christianity. They excuse our attackers and betray our defenders. They see the world through a prism of fear. They are irrational. They cannot be persuaded by logic. Unfortunately these irrational critics are not a fringe minority. Among them are senior leaders of the second most powerful US political party:

Who Is Lying About Iraq?
Norman Podhoretz

Nancy Pelosi, the future leader of the Democrats in the House, and then a member of the House Intelligence Committee, added her voice to the chorus:

Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons-of-mass-destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.

Senator Carl Levin also reaffirmed for Bush’s benefit what he had told Clinton some years earlier:

Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations, and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, agreed as well:

There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. . . . We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.

Perhaps most startling of all, given the rhetoric that they would later employ against Bush after the invasion of Iraq, are statements made by Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, also in 2002:

Kennedy: We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.

Byrd: The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical- and biological-warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons.

Even now these fevered American quislings stubbornly ignore the facts and busy themselves rewriting history…

The President Should Be Held Accountable
By Senator Ted Kennedy
t r u t h o u t | Statement
Thursday 10 November 2005

150,000 American troops are bogged down in a quagmire in Iraq because the Bush Administration misrepresented and distorted the intelligence to justify a war that America never should have fought.

As we know all too well, Iraq was not an imminent threat. It had no nuclear weapons. It had no persuasive links to al Qaeda, no connection to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, and no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

But the President wrongly and repeatedly insisted that it was too dangerous to ignore the weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein, and his ties to al Qaeda.

In his march to war, President Bush exaggerated the threat to the American people. It was not subtle. It was not nuanced. It was pure, unadulterated fear-mongering, based on a devious strategy to convince the American people that Saddam’s ability to provide nuclear weapons to al Qaeda justified immediate war.

Kicking Ass, Burning Cars

And they’re just about out of cars.

Arabs Blame French Society, Discrimination
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 9, 2005; 2:07 PM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — France’s riots have set off a round of troubled debate across the Arab world: Most here blame a failure to offer opportunity to immigrants, but others see a more ominous clash of cultures over Islam.

Across the Middle East, the images of burning cars and stone-throwing young people have dominated newspapers and television. Analysts have hotly debated the riots’ meaning, their cause and whether they might spread.

Wow. They’re actually seeing video from France? I’m wondering if Brian Williams and Anderson Cooper are on vacation. Maybe they’re still on assignment in New Orleans.

Great story. It absolves the criminals and blames the victims, and somehow squeezes in some Muslim paranoia and self-pity, even though of course this all has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.

Here’s a good rebuttal:

Troubling “Facts” of the Paris Riots
How our newspapers might turn bias to balance.
by Bruce Thornton
Private Papers
November 6, 2005

In the case of the Paris rioters, there are other explanations for their behavior that are more accurate than liberal clichés about “frustration.” As Dr Jack Wheeler puts it, “The problem is not that these Moslem kids are unemployed, but that they are unemployable. They are illiterate, unskilled except in crime, don’t speak French well, refuse to assimilate into French culture and think being Moslem is more important than being French. Worse, they are paid by the French welfare state not to work, living well off the dole (and crime). The problem was epitomized by these words of a young Moslem rioter to a French reporter: ‘In the day we sleep, go see our girlfriends, and play video games. And in the evening we have a good time: we go and fight the police.’”


Merde Storm

Hard to believe this disturbing analysis was written three years ago, the situation in the cités has only gotten worse:

The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris
Theodore Dalrymple
Autumn 2002

They are certainly not poor, at least by the standards of all previously existing societies: they are not hungry; they have cell phones, cars, and many other appurtenances of modernity; they are dressed fashionably—according to their own fashion—with a uniform disdain of bourgeois propriety and with gold chains round their necks. They believe they have rights, and they know they will receive medical treatment, however they behave. They enjoy a far higher standard of living (or consumption) than they would in the countries of their parents’ or grandparents’ origin, even if they labored there 14 hours a day to the maximum of their capacity.

But this is not a cause of gratitude—on the contrary: they feel it as an insult or a wound, even as they take it for granted as their due. But like all human beings, they want the respect and approval of others, even—or rather especially—of the people who carelessly toss them the crumbs of Western prosperity. Emasculating dependence is never a happy state, and no dependence is more absolute, more total, than that of most of the inhabitants of the cités. They therefore come to believe in the malevolence of those who maintain them in their limbo: and they want to keep alive the belief in this perfect malevolence, for it gives meaning—the only possible meaning—to their stunted lives. It is better to be opposed by an enemy than to be adrift in meaninglessness, for the simulacrum of an enemy lends purpose to actions whose nihilism would otherwise be self-evident.

The Belmont Club makes an excellent observation on the significance of the carbeque brinksmanship of the “youths”:

Do You Hear the People Sing?

Using expensive rotary wing assets to chase car arsonists isn’t an economical proposition, especially when you can’t fire on the arsonists. The ability to torch cars in the Place de la Republique is a good gauge of the limits of police response time. All in all, the tactic of car burning provides definite advantages to the attacker and many disadvantages for the defender. The tactics of the “youths” may have evolved spontaneously, and probably did. Nevertheless, because form follows function, they bear an eerie resemblance to tactics employed by the Chechens against the Russian Army in Grozny, and may have been fertilized by ideas from that source.

What’s happening in France is more serious than the LA riot or Katrina looting. It’s lasted longer and is more widespread. The LA mayhem wasn’t organized, and the government had the good sense to put it down with curfews and the National Guard before it spread to other cities. The Katrina looting, triggered by a natural disaster, is hardly comparable except for the curious lack of similar hyperbolic reportage. Did the media learn a lesson, or are they just casting around for an angle that doesn’t discredit their beloved moral relativism and multiculturalism?

Intifada in France
New York Sun Editorial
November 4, 2005

Back in the 1990s, the French sneered at America for the Los Angeles riots. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported in 1992: “the consensus of French pundits is that something on the scale of the Los Angeles riots could not happen here, mainly because France is a more humane, less racist place with a much stronger commitment to social welfare programs.” President Mitterrand, the Washington Post reported in 1992, blamed the riots on the “conservative society” that Presidents Reagan and Bush had created and said France is different because it “is the country where the level of social protection is the highest in the world.”

It sure smells like an “intifada”, it’s definitely more than a “riot”. Will the French not impose a curfew and mobilize their army simply because that’s what the cowboy Americans would do? Or are they afraid they wouldn’t win if it came to that? Do they remember what happened when they dithered in 1940?

Wake up, Europe, you’ve a war on your hands
November 6, 2005

The notion that Texas neocon arrogance was responsible for frosting up trans-Atlantic relations was always preposterous, even for someone as complacent and blinkered as John Kerry. If you had millions of seething unassimilated Muslim youths in lawless suburbs ringing every major city, would you be so eager to send your troops into an Arab country fighting alongside the Americans? For half a decade, French Arabs have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They seem to have lost that battle. Unlike America’s Europhiles, France’s Arab street correctly identified Chirac’s opposition to the Iraq war for what it was: a sign of weakness.

You might think this would also help dispell the belief that neocon arrogance caused 9/11, but the people who believe that are too busy dissecting Plame minutiae and lionizing their heroic marxist agitators in Argentina to notice anything that contradicts their worldview.

TV coverage has been thin. After two weeks don’t French city streets in flames rate some air time? Compare it for instance to the coverage of the LA riot or Katrina. What happened to “if it bleeds it leads”? We beat ourselves and our government up pretty badly over Katrina. They say Europe is more enlightened, France enjoys more solidarity. Wouldn’t it be instructive to examine their problems and compare them to ours? Wouldn’t it be fair to critique their government’s response to crisis?

Thankfully blogs have been a vibrant source of information, analysis, and opinion.
The better ones on this subject are The Belmont Club, ¡No Pasaràn!, Gates of Vienna, cuanas, and The Brussels Journal. The mainstream media is guilty not only of dragging their feet on the story, the links above reveal they’ve been neglecting for some time to report honestly on the problems of socialist Europe. They consistenty portray it as utopia compared to the US. From the 25% unemployment rate to the ticking time bomb of ingrateful, unassimilated, and surly Muslims I’m damn glad I don’t live in France.


1001 Eurabian Nights

After looking down their noses with disdain and disgust at the US – most recently for going to war against Iraq and for the looting and lawlessness in the wake of Katrina – what the French are now experiencing should cause them to reevaluate both criticisms. First, their general support for Muslim causes around the world and for Saddam and the Palestinians in particular has earned them no sympathy whatsoever from the disaffected 2nd generation North African Muslim “youths” they have adopted. Second, the line between civilization and chaos is thin everywhere, not just here in Cowboyland. If Katrina unmasked ugly class differences and government ineptitude then so have these French riots.

I don’t feel smug. I hope this wakes up the French, and the rest of Old Europe, so they finally join in the defense of civilization rather than pretentiously prevaricating while it collapses around them.

Ramadan Rioting in Europe’s No-Go Areas

Our mainstream media, in attempts to preserve the Left’s chimera of “universal cultural compatibility,” hardly write about all this. Nevertheless, for some years now West European city folk and police officers have been familiar with the reality that certain areas of major European cities are no-go areas, especially at night and certainly if you are white or wearing a uniform. Three years ago, a French friend who had his car stolen learned that the thieves had parked the car in a particular suburb. When he went to the police he was told that the police did not operate in that neighbourhood and consequently would not be able to retrieve his car. This is Western Europe in the early 21st century.

Nicolas Sarkozy became France’s most popular politician by promising to restore law and order in the whole of France, including in the areas abandoned by previous governments. Since Sarkozy became Interior Minister he has insisted on more police presence in Muslim neighbourhoods. This triggered last week’s riots in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, when policemen went in to investigate a robbery and two teenagers stupidly got themselves electrocuted while hiding from the police in an electricity sub station. Many French politicians now probably regret that the police had the audacity to investigate a robbery in Clichy.

. . .

The riots in France have been going on for a week now. During the second night of street fighting in Clichy, police officers already warned that they are not up to the task Sarkozy has set them. “There’s a civil war underway,” one officer declared. “We can no longer withstand this situation on our own. My colleagues neither have the equipment nor the practical or theoretical training for street fighting.” If there is, indeed, a war going on, Sarkozy cannot win it with troops that are mere policemen and fire fighters. As Irwin Stelzer pointed out last July when discussing the British reaction to the London bombings: In a war, use the army, rather than police. The latter, however, is unlikely to happen. If the politicians bring in the army they are acknowledging what the policemen, the fire fighters and the ambulance drivers know but what the political and media establishment wants to hide from the people: that there is civil war brewing and that Europe is in for a long period of armed conflict. This is the last thing appeasing politicians want to do and so they have begun to criticise Sarkozy.

This story is a few days old. The violence has gone on for 10 nights now. All along Brussels Journal has made insightful posts on the subject, identifying the situation as a civil war days before the US press acknowledged anything was even happening. The spin from the mainstream media right now is that the rioters are primarily “youths” of North African descent enraged by the deplorable living conditions the famously stingy French social welfare system forces them to live in. The rioting continues only because a fascist cowboy (Sarkozy) was insufficiently diplomatic in handling the situation. The fact the rioters are Muslim and a millet system of whitey no-go zones has emerged in Europe would just confuse us. Chirac is lying low, maybe vacationing in Crawford. They’ve pushed the facist cowboy aside and “negotiations” have begun. It will be interesting to see how they explain the inevitable failure of this new strategy, which is just a desperate return to the old strategy of appeasement that was in place before Sarkozy’s attempt to reclaim the millet ghettos.

All the Treason That’s Fit to Print

As I said leftists are all up in arms about the outing of a single CIA desk jockey, but they celebrate when whole CIA projects are outed:
HUGE: Secret CIA prison in Europe!!!!

WaPo goes on, great story, but refused to ID the Eastern European country in this article after a request from Bush administration officials.

What would YOU do? I am a journalist. I would name the country. I am NOT in the business of keeping the dirty secrets of the Bush administration’s dirty war.

So I have a beef with WaPo on their call on that one.

Translation from traitorese: “I would have betrayed my country even more quickly and deeply.” Their WaPo link appears broken, here’s one that works for now:
Report: CIA Has Secret al-Qaida Prison

The hidden global internment network is a central element in the CIA’s unconventional war on terrorism, the Post said. It depends on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services, and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public, foreign officials and nearly all members of Congress charged with overseeing the CIA’s covert actions.

“We prove our patriotism by disclosing our country’s covert activities to the world.” a WaPo spokesman was quoted as saying.

Joe Wilson, Your 15 Minutes Are Up

Compare, contrast, vomit.

Our 27 months of hell
By Joseph C. Wilson IV
October 29, 2005

The attacks on Valerie and me were upsetting, disruptive and vicious. They amounted to character assassination. Senior administration officials used the power of the White House to make our lives hell for the last 27 months.

. . .

It was payback — cheap political payback by the administration for an article I had written contradicting an assertion President Bush made in his 2003 State of the Union address. Payback not just to punish me but to intimidate other critics as well.

Who Exposed Secret Agent Plame?
Clifford D. May
July 15, 2005

The first reference to Plame being a secret agent appears in The Nation, in an article by David Corn published July 16, 2003, just two days after Novak’s column appeared. It carried this lead: “Did Bush officials blow the cover of a U.S. intelligence officer working covertly in a field of vital importance to national security — and break the law — in order to strike at a Bush administration critic and intimidate others?”

Since Novak did not report that Plame was “working covertly” how did Corn know that’s what she had been doing?

Apparently this is more a case of “character suicide” than “character assasination”. Valerie Plame’s exposure has more to do with Joe Wilson not being able to control his petty partisan urges and love of the limelight than anything else. And if you want to get really cynical, based on how quickly David Corn sprang forth with his premature accusation it’s easy to believe Wilson orchestrated or at least desired the exposure, whether to satisfy a martyr complex or in a premeditated attempt to cause problems for the Bush administration. Wilson hasn’t been “attacked”. His pain has been caused by his own lies and his wife’s nepotism coming to light. How is that “payback”? He should be grateful. What’s happened to him is nothing at all like the kind of inane ad hominem attacks the left often uses against their opponents.

And for a guy who spent some time in Africa you’d expect Joe to have some perspective on what “hell” is really like. Unless of course he spent all his time over there on a plantation sipping tea on a chaise lounge.