A group of Jews endeavors towards total domination of the blogosphere.

Saturday, February 08, 2003  

hello boys and, um, boys. i've certainly been remiss in not sharing my thoughts with the group. my apologies. if anyone is still wavering regarding the bedeviling question of whether the removal of saddam hussein would be good for human rights, i'm sorry that i haven't argued the point. and i'm not going to. but here's some interesting (though extremely lengthy) reading material at the New Yorker hope i haven't let anyone down.

posted by Deranged GOT Fan | 11:46 PM |

posted by Deranged GOT Fan | 11:46 PM |

Friday, February 07, 2003  

Camille Pagila on war with Iraq, courtesy of Salon:

As we speak, I have a terrible sense of foreboding, because last weekend a stunning omen occurred in this country. Anyone who thinks symbolically had to be shocked by the explosion of the Columbia shuttle, disintegrating in the air and strewing its parts and human remains over Texas -- the president's home state! So many times in antiquity, the emperors of Persia or other proud empires went to the oracles to ask for advice about going to war. Roman generals summoned soothsayers to read the entrails before a battle. If there was ever a sign for a president and his administration to rethink what they're doing, this was it. I mean, no sooner had Bush announced that the war was "weeks, not months" away and gone off for a peaceful weekend at Camp David than this catastrophe occurred in the skies over Texas.

From the point of view of the Muslim streets, surely it looks like the hand of Allah has intervened, as with the attack on the World Trade Center. No one in the Western world would have believed that those mighty towers could fall within an hour and a half -- two of the proudest constructions in American history. And neither would anyone have predicted this eerie coincidence -- that the president's own state would become the burial ground for the Columbia mission.

Including one small town where the debris fell called Palestine, Texas.
Yes, exactly! What weird irony with an Israeli astronaut onboard who had bombed Iraq 20 years ago. To me this dreadful accident is a graphic illustration of the limitations of modern technology -- of the smallest detail that can go wrong and end up thwarting the most fail-safe plan. So I think that history will look back on this as a key moment. Kings throughout history have been shaken by signals like this from beyond: Think twice about what you're doing. If a Roman general tripped on the threshold before a battle, he'd call it off.
Starting from Bush's original campaign, he's been described using cowboy imagery. It seems over the last month or so (definitely the last week here on Protocols) that he's gone classical on us. It almost makes sense, though. The war's being billed as part of a clash of civilizations. Actually, Hussein apparantly is, too, if we believe the reports that he's styled himself after Nebuchadnezzar (not the best of links - sorry). If so, then why shouldn't we go back to the source as well?

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 9:37 AM |

Thursday, February 06, 2003  

Any Protocols entries for the OxBlog bombing pool?

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 1:20 PM |

As an addendum to my previous post, which stated, in part, that "there's no question that if push comes to shove (and the election is coming up, after all) Saddam doesn't really have a chance," I reminded myself what happened at the Millenium Challenge. The Millenium Challenge, as you all surely remember, was:

...the biggest war game of all time. It had been planned for two years and involved integrated operations by the army, navy, air force and marines. The exercises were part real, with 13,000 troops spread across the United States, supported by actual planes and warships; and part virtual, generated by sophisticated computer models. It was the same technique used in Hollywood blockbusters such as Gladiator. The soldiers in the foreground were real, the legions behind entirely digital.
The game was theoretically set in 2007 and pitted Blue forces (the US) against a country called Red. Red was a militarily powerful Middle Eastern nation on the Persian Gulf that was home to a crazed but cunning megalomaniac (played by Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper)
According to the UK Guardian, Riper used a series of USS Cole-type and other such attacks to sink 16 ships, kill thousands of Marines, and bring the invasion to a startling halt before it even really began. At that point:
Faced with an abrupt and embarrassing end to the most expensive and sophisticated military exercise in US history, the Pentagon top brass simply pretended the whole thing had not happened. They ordered their dead troops back to life and "refloated" the sunken fleet. Then they instructed the enemy forces to look the other way as their marines performed amphibious landings. Eventually, Van Riper got so fed up with all this cheating that he refused to play any more. Instead, he sat on the sidelines making abrasive remarks until the three-week war game - grandiosely entitled Millennium Challenge - staggered to a star-spangled conclusion on August 15, with a US "victory".
Stranger things have happened. As Riper puts it:
"A phrase I heard over and over was: 'That would never have happened,'" Van Riper recalls. "And I said: nobody would have thought that anyone would fly an airliner into the World Trade Centre... but nobody seemed interested."
Just one more thing to think about, huh.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 10:57 AM |

Steven I. Weiss and Avi Shafran... apparently, we both have columns at Jewsweek. His is about the afterlife for pets.
AND THAT'S NOT ALL! Another thing we have in common...

That was the point I tried to make when the producer and her entourage eventually shlepped their camera equipment to my office to film the segment. I have no idea how many, if any, of my comments made it into the program that was broadcast (I don't own a television), but I hope that what I had come to recognize as a truly important opportunity to raise an important point wasn't squandered, that at least a phrase or two of mine survived the cutting room floor.


posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:25 AM |

Wednesday, February 05, 2003  

Just as a quick response to Sam's Gauntlet, I was struck by Lapham's comparison of an invasion of Iraq to the Athenian move on Sicily.

The Athenians know as little about Sicily as Senator Biden knows about Iraq ("For the most part ignorant of the size of the island and of the numbers of its inhabitants," says Thucydides, "they did not realize that they were taking on a war of almost the same magnitude as their war against the Peloponnesians"), but they are not the kind of men who stoop to count a crowd of mere barbarians.
Actually, Biden knows a heck of a lot more about Iraq, and how it compares to America in terms of fighting ability, than the Athenians knew about Sicily. There's no question that if push comes to shove (and the election is coming up, after all) Saddam doesn't really have a chance.
Additionally, Athens didn't really have the option of the embassy-roof escape that we have should something go horribly wrong. This from WSU:
In 413 BC, the entire [Athenian] army was defeated and captured and a large part of the great, powerful fleet of the Athenians was destroyed in the harbor of Syracuse. Athenian power since the Persian Wars had rested solely on the power of the navy; the disastrous Sicilian expedition left Athens almost completely powerless. Knowing a good thing when they saw it, the Spartans soon attacked Athens and—worse news piled on top of bad news—they were soon joined by the Persians who were still smarting from the war Athens had so vigorously prosecuted in the first half of the fifth century.
Even assuming we end up weakened in the Gulf, its not like we're facing immediate invasion from the Mexicans or Canadians - or even the Saudis, Iranians, North Koreans, or anyone else we've ill-treated over the last 50 or so years.
That all said, Nicias does raise some good counterpoints to Bush:
[E]ven if we did conquer the Sicilians, there are so many of them and they live so far off that it would be very difficult to govern them. It is senseless to go against people who, even if conquered, could not be controlled, while failure would leave us much worse off than we were before we made the attempt...The right thing is that we should spend our new gains at home and on ourselves
I mean, its not like Afghanistan is a liberal democracy yet, ever will be one, or will stabilize to the point where we can ever get our troops out of there. Iraq is basically Afghanistan with oil and (even more) lunatic, though less nuclear, neighbors. As crazy as the Middle East is now, it can get a lot worse (as this flash demonstates). Better we should focus on getting people jobs and not risk a conflaguration of some sort.(sorry for any bits of incoherency - this's a rush job - will hopefully fix up soon...or maybe not. depends on how motivated I feel)

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 4:18 PM |

Stormfront's proposal for a pro-white, anti-Jew blog. Check out the flaming flag!
Linked by following Instapundit to Volokh. Surely Sam has something cute to say about this.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 11:58 AM |

Gauntlet considered... will respond soon.
BTW: Let it not go unnoticed that Steven I. Weiss does not attempt to escape the gauntlet like, say, Kraut does.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 11:00 AM |

Tuesday, February 04, 2003  

Good piece by Lewis Lapham in this month's Harpers. Steve argues that I comment on "long-ass articles that no one else bothers to read" so no one can challenge my comments. Well, I refrain from comment for the time being until some of you out there have the time to peruse this particular essay. Suffice it to say that I take exception with Lapham on particular points as well as with his entire thesis. I do think this is a particularly powerful read, however. Made me quesiton my nascent neo-con (is that a redundancy?) tendencies for a while, though. The specifics will await some comment from my fellow Elders. My pen is at the ready position, awaiting the opportunity for some dialogue. Consider the gauntlet thrown down, Steve...

posted by Sam | 11:03 AM |

Monday, February 03, 2003  

You may have heard about the photo-book Rabbis: The Many Faces of Judaism. While criticism has been raised in some quarters at the prospect of having Orthodox Rabbis appear on the same pages as Conservative and Reform Rabbis (hint: it wasn't the latter two that were upset), YU's own Esteemed President approached the issue from a slightly differerent angle: (this from the LA Times):

Another rabbi featured in the book is Norman Lamm, president of New York's Yeshiva University.
"When I was making a date to get together with him," Kalinsky said, "he had heard already about my position at the Garden. So, the first thing he said to me was, 'Hey, how do I get on the Garden court to shoot some hoops?' And this is one of the most respected rabbis in the world."
Stormin' Norman, indeed.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 12:25 AM |

Sunday, February 02, 2003  

Somehow, I don't think this is going to affect the Brooklyn vote, but did anyone else know that John Kerry has Jewish roots, at least on his father's side? Apparantly, Frederick A. Kerry was born as Fritz Kohn in the Czech Republic and had a Jewish wife. I dunno, maybe we really do control the world - or at least the Democrats..

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 10:30 AM |
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