Saturday, March 29, 2003
Taste of Amageddon, Taste of Baghdad
In the original series Start Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon, to preserve the culture during a war, the people of a pair of planets have agreed for 500 years to conduct a proxy war by computers. The destruction is virtual but the humanoid casualties are real. Citizens are forced to walk into non-violent disintegration chambers: Buildings intact. People die.
Kirk interferes with their internal affairs, destroys the computers, and rather than face violent, bloody war, both sides agree to negotiate.
In Iraq we have a war where the accuracy of the weapons give people a sense of security in the war zone. Frankly, they are not being terrorized by the missiles that are striking only military and government buildings: Buildings turned to rubble. People live.
Where terror there is there is really coming from their own side. These hostage takers are not pushing them into disintegration chambers but into suicide squads or otherwise killing them for propaganda purposes.
Kirk's war was so wonderfully symmetric and antiseptic. We've got a mess that 60's television has not prepared us for.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:56 PM Permalink
New York Times: As the Battles Heat Up, War Buffs Turn to Maps and Play Board Games
The war in Iraq has provided a rich and overflowing fount for military buffs. So they are breaking out their board games: "Back to Iraq 3" or "Gulf Strike," portrait of Saddam Hussein included.
Personal note: I was into this genre in high school and college. I used to "playtest" at the offices of Simulations Publications Inc. (SPI) on East 23rd Street. So I met James F. Dunnigan and Redmond Simonsen back in the 70's. Greg Costikyan has an excellent blog on the past and present of the genre of wargames.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:58 PM Permalink
Cool Site DGA GAMES
Open this site and you hear Winston Churchill's "We will never surrender" speech.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:40 PM Permalink
National Review Online Corner Rod Dreher: PRAYING FOR VICTORY
I'm making Fr. Wilson the honorary chaplain of the Lepanto Group
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:56 AM Permalink
Domenico Bettinelli has story on confrontation with a "peace protester". I return the favor with this local story:
From a reader to Jonah Goldberg:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:05 AM Permalink
Friday, March 28, 2003
Wall Street Journal William McGurn: War No More? How much of a pacifist is the pope?
Mea culpa. No sooner had this page editorialized about the papal opposition to the U.S.-led effort to disarm Saddam Hussein than the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus e-mailed to say that the pope hadn't used the words "crime against humanity." Phone calls to Britain, where the comment was first reported, suggest that Father Neuhaus is right, that the phrase was a mangling of an earlier papal reference to a "defeat for humanity."
I think it would have been helpful to recall that the Pope has, on occaision, reminded the world of Iraq's obligations to disarm. At least the Pope hasn't presented Saddam Hussein is an innocent as others have.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:39 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 PM Permalink
Oswald Sobrino of Catholic Analysis sees the CNN vs. Fox News presentations as I do
Fox News makes clear that there is no moral equivalence between the two sides. That is the truth of the matter, and all news networks should stop treating the absurd claims, accusations, and photo opportunities of the Iraqi propaganda machine as being even remotely credible.
Click and read the whole thing. He makes the same points about credulity and skepticism that I've been making.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:50 PM Permalink
CNET: Legislator makes call for Qualcomm
Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican who just happens to represent the corner of California where Qualcomm's headquarters is located, believes that company's technology must be used in Iraq's post-war cell phone system. And Qualcomm just happens to be one of Issa's top 10 corporate donors in the last election.
This is like the Battle of the Bulge or the landings at Iwo Jima are happening and someone is lobbying to get Philco radios sold to the defeated Germans and Japanese.
This is stupid and it just ain't going to happen. Decisions like this are best left to some Iraqi college graduate now in the US who fled Saddam Hussein and is living a middle-class life now in the suburbs. He or she is going to be incorporated into the governmental bureaucracy. Let Iraq decide how it is going to be rebuilt.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:20 AM Permalink
Hang-Glider Tries Protest at St. Peter's
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- A 26-year-old Austrian hang-glided into St. Peter's Square on Friday and tried to put up an anti-war banner before police carried him away, police said.
I'd like to see them try that in Mecca and glide into the Ka’ba before assembled haj pilgrims of the Religion of Peace
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:49 AM Permalink
National Review, Victor Davis Hanson: History or Hysteria? Our vulture pundits regurgitate rumor and buzz.
A very intelligent article on the anti-war movement and the media.
Have these people any intelligence or shame?The answer appears to be "no". And Regarding peace:
Unlike in 1991, commanders in the field must be given explicit instructions from the White House about negotiations: There are to be absolutely none — other than the acceptance of unconditional surrender.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:44 AM Permalink
Fox News: Protesters Throw Stones at National Guardsman
MONTPELIER, Vt. - A group of Vermont teen-agers threw rocks at a uniformed female Vermont National Guard sergeant last week, in the latest example of a service member facing hostility in the United States.
This is the same peace movement that claims the they have the support of the Pope.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:12 AM Permalink
The Cardinal cries out "Attention Must Be Paid!"
IRAQ: CARDINAL TUCCI, THE POPE IS NOT IRRELEVANT (Italian News Agency) - Vatican City, March 27 -
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:36 AM Permalink
Thursday, March 27, 2003
Another opinion on Moynihan
David Frum at National Review agrees with me. And he says it with flair:
He was a brilliant political intellectual, a fine social scientist, a graceful writer, a distinguished official, and a surprisingly canny politician. But Moynihan will need multiple obituaries in another way – he was one of the very few (maybe the only) political figure of his time to convince both right and left that he was really one of theirs, and not just one of their followers, but one of their leaders.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:53 PM Permalink
New York 1: Anti-war protestors in Midtown New York
Not many of them -- I noticed nothing out of the ordinary while this was going on three blocks away.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:33 AM Permalink
Tech Central Station: Glen Reynolds
Glen Reynolds pulls together a lot of media watching of the BBC:
It seems that everybody is dissing the BBC these days. Andrew Sullivan has been calling it the "Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation" for months. Now others are joining in.
It's an introduction to realtime anti-anti-war propaganda analysis.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:29 AM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:06 AM Permalink
Brush up on your Bible
Beliefnet has story of locations in modern Iraq mentioned in the Bible.
I suspect that Iraq will try to become a tourist destination over the next decade.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:01 AM Permalink
Moynihan mastered th art of triangulation before anyone knew what it was. Publicly he would give these conservative speeches, and privately he would reassure the establishment that he would not rock the boat. His own writings would tell you -- convince -- you that racial preferences were harmful and the welfare state was killing the stability of lower class families, and then he'd vote to keep the status quo.
The Republicans in New York did not know how to handle this charming two-faced Irish-American. I suppose they admired his political skill in pulling it off.
The Democrats never trusted him and the best indicator of that is that a freshman Senator -- Hillary Clinton has already acquired a higher position in the leadership than Moynihan did in 24 years.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:57 AM Permalink
Former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan dead at 76
Lots of people will be saying good things about Pat Moynihan. I want to mention that as close as he was to Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford he was in a position to work as a champion for life but was a coward.
He ran as the pro-abortion candidate (against the last pro-life Senator New York had, James Buckley).
In spite of this position, he was close to both Cardinals Cooke and O'Connor.
After fourth and final election, he was a small ineffective voice opposed to partial birth abortion. By 2000 he was completely marginalized in his own party. Hillary Clinton succeeded him.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:43 AM Permalink
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
I thought the decision made last week to suppress national and regimentals flags was bad. I have no military experience so I didn't blog it. But the reasons I had were these:
The reason it's not a good idea is now obvious, it would just be used as another deception technique by the Iraqi troops to ambush the coalition troops..
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:29 AM Permalink
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
The U.S. bishops' conference identified more than 100 legislative issues of concern in Congress
After reading this list, I thought it's a shame that Not in our name as a name is already taken.
Really I agree with a lot of the items here, but is it the job description of bishops to organize lobbying efforts like this? Isn't this the domain of political parties and other groups to make these requests?
(Blogger Credit: HMS blog)
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:59 PM Permalink
If you have fond nostalgia for February 2003, fighting on First Avenue (the U.N. headquarters), Hans Blix, and the parliament of Turkey, here's a second look at the Code Pink crew.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:49 PM Permalink
The moral gap grows larger
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:25 PM Permalink
L. Brent Bozell III: Anti-Catholic "Entertainment"
Entertainment television relishes salacious current events, so much so that countless hours of fictional television are brazenly advertised as "ripped from the headlines."
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:09 PM Permalink
Domestic The New York Times leads the pack here with its emphasis on the casualties and rather than factual reporting on the progress of the war objectives. Media Research Center and TimesWatch are excellent resources for looking at media bias.
Another big problem is credulity of anyone with an anti-American agenda: the Iraqis, the French, the UN, etc. as -- the Iraqi Foreign Minister reports that a farmer shot down an Apache helicopter with his own rifle. ABC reported this and incredulity of the administration -- as in the White House makes the claim that President Bush is not watching television or "This administration is very secretive,’’ said Eleanor Clift of Newsweek. "But I have to say they have been masterful at spinning their message this week.’’
Foreign Al Jezeera has a creative staff, because of the restrictive rules of engagement, the coalition forces are trying very hard to avoid killing civilians, so they have staged atrocities, complete with people screaming that American have killed everyone in their village.
There's no way that anything like the truth is going to get out there.
The Iraqi National Congress which could be another voice to demonstrate that Saddam's regime is ending has been denied funding by State Department playing bureaucratic games. Congress voted the money months ago.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:01 PM Permalink
I want the United States to Win
There's no liberal or conservative in this war. Every American should want American to win this war. Some of these people opposed to the war talk about casualities as if they want them to be greater because they believe it will undermine the support for the war.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:39 PM Permalink
The War Phase II, James V. Schall, S. J., Georgetown University, 21 March 2003.
The intention of the Islamicists (terrorists) is not modest. It is no less than to take up the cause of the expansion that was stopped and turned back after the Battle of Vienna, September 11, 1683, and by the subsequent scientific, commercial, and industrial revolutions which Muslim states could nor or choose not to imitate.
Fr. James Schall is an honorary member of the Lepanto Group
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:29 PM Permalink
Spinning the Pope, Part II
VATICAN CITY (AP)--The vast antiwar movement in the world shows that a ``large part of humanity'' has rejected the idea of war as a means of resolving conflicts between nations, Pope John Paul II said in a message released Tuesday.
Now the AP has the Pope allied with the Anti-American Anarchists – why don’t they Photoshop a picture of the Pope with a sign reading “No blood for oil” and a picture of Bush with a Hitler moustache??
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:54 PM Permalink
Spinning the Pope Department
Catholic World News: Has the Pope Condemned the War?(subs. reqd.)
Despite a barrage of media reports to the contrary, Pope John Paul II has not issued a moral condemnation of US military action against Iraq.
Unlike your blogger here, Phil Lawler is CWN Editor and a legitimate member of the Catholic press -- so now you've got me, the Wall Street Journal, and the Catholic World News Service on the same page.
I would go further and say that the Pope needs to take more care that he is not being "spun" by the curia, Vatican Radio, L'Oversatorre Vaticano, Civilita Catholica, the United States Catholic Conference, anti-American/anarchist movements, Michael Moore, etc...
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:40 PM Permalink
The battle for the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people is extremely important for the future of Iraq.
Look at what the US is doing for both combatants and non-combatants:
Look at what Saddam's remnant are doing:
What we have now are the last gasp Hitler Youth in Berlin and not the heroic defenders of Stalingrad. There’s utter futility in “sacrificing” oneself for Saddam by firing back at the Marines.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:19 PM Permalink
AP: Planned Trips of the Pope
Bosnia, of course, is where Medjugorje is. Since the 1981 alleged apparitions started, its advocates have waited for or demanded the Holy Father to visit. We shall see what happens...
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:13 AM Permalink
New York Times: The Annunciation, in the Eyes of a Frightened Mary
In typical depictions of the Annunciation, the biblical story of the angel Gabriel appearing to the Virgin Mary with his stunning news, the young woman is presented as confused, yes, but full of wonder. In John Adams's remarkable dramatic oratorio, "El Niño," which received its New York premiere in an affecting production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Thursday night and repeats tonight, this incident is boldly related from the perspective of the frightened 16-year-old girl Mary is said, in some sources, to have been.
What sources would they be?
They don't say, but one can be sure that the deny the historical validity of the gospels and are opposed to the faith.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:07 AM Permalink
Germany Turning to the Church As War Rages
Church-going numbers are reportedly up since war with Iraq began. Midday prayers for peace are drawing large congregations.
And when the war is over, it's back to the status quo, i.e. sinning and acting as if God doesn't exist.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:26 AM Permalink
AP: War causing Pope deep worry and pain
Vatican City-AP -- The pope has been telling Catholic military chaplains that the war in Iraq causes him "deep worry and pain" -- and that he takes comfort in peace efforts around the world.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:22 AM Permalink
Monday, March 24, 2003
John Travolta's mother was Irish
I follow very closely a few celebrities who were born the same week or month of my birth. Among them are John Travolta and Howard Stern. Howard in fact, was born less than 10 blocksd from where I was born.
But today's story is John Travolta. I never knew it, but his mother was Irish and she passed away recently. The Irish Echo is a newspaper and the link is above.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:29 PM Permalink
AP: War Waking Activist Spirit of U.S. Youth
Actually, I prefer the headline from the 70's when I was in college "American youth is revolting".
This story dropped into my filter because it contained the word "Catholic" as in "Catholic University of America". My favorite is
Regardless of your opinion, I think people should just suck it up," says Devin Conroy, freshman at Catholic University of America. "If everyone unites, it'll be a much better scenario for our country."
Sure, anything liberals don't like in political debate is McCarthyism. I've believed this for a long time. Jonah Goldberg in National Review Online recently explained it better than I could.
One talk radio caller critical of the Dixie Chicks is McCarthyism.
A minority of 45 Democratic United States Senators calling Miguel Estrada dangerous and out of the mainstream without evidence is not McCarthyism. That's the power of words.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:39 PM Permalink
Lileks Bleat: How the BBC is covering the war
11:50 NPR is running . . . the BBC. It’s interesting, listening to these guys - I’m unsure how it’s possible to sneer the entire time you’re speaking. I fear the announcer’s face will stay that way. Perhaps you can recognize an old Beeb hand by the permanently curled lip. I’ve tuned in twice in half an hour; both times they were talking about the FAILURE to get Saddam, and what this FAILURE means for the war which might be hindered by this initial FAILURE. And then the reporter - a female one, with a sneerier sneer - says the question now is when the attack will come, and whether the President will give his generals permission to act with a free hand.
I have digital cable and watched a little of the coverage of the war on BBC America
They repeated over and over again, the names of the reporters who were dead, missing, or injured. The names of the coalition soldiers who were dead, missing, or injured. A piece on how the identification-friend-or-foe system is supposed to work and how American incompetence was to blame for the death of the British pilots. etc. All sneering all the time.
In 30 mins of watching, I never heard them discuss the progress of the coalition forces towards their military objectives. That would be a least a small part of the story.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:56 PM Permalink
New Zealand Herald: A Cross of Blood poured on the carpet at the US Consulate
A Catholic worker and priest poured a cross made from their own blood on the carpet of the United States consul's office to protest at the invasion of Iraq.
Rather than make a funny comment about this (bodily fluids, etc.) -- I'm rather alarmed that visitors who enter the consul's office are not frisked. We're lucky that it was only blood and not acid or gasoline. These peace protesters are seeing our respect for their rights to enter our consulates as a sign of weakness.
No word if they were arrested or not. They ought to be forced to clean up the mess on the carpet. Please use only cold water.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:29 PM Permalink
So they threw a putsch here in New York, I didn't notice.
Is George W. Bush going to bring democracy to Iraq? I’ll believe that when he brings democracy to New York,” said the long-time member [Tom Cornell] of the The Catholic Worker Movement.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:22 PM Permalink
Some are laughing with you, some are laughing at you, some just don't get the joke.
So, lighten up already. Fr. Jim Cassidy is not taking the the war too seriously:
"I never miss an opportunity when we can line up so beautifully with the Vatican," Cassidy joked.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:11 PM Permalink
Oakland Tribune: Explosives found on S.F. protest route
I wouldn't think that Jesus or St. Francis would bring along Molotov cocktails, locks, chains, bolt cutters, pepper spray, etc. to carry a message of peace.
I haven't heard of any weapons or violence at pro-war demonstrations.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:06 PM Permalink
My email to Rush Limbaugh
I know you are an admirer of the economic policies of the Kennedy administration. I found something that’s quite relevant to the positions the Democratic leadership is taking towards the war in Iraq – why they cannot get behind the idea that Saddam must go – the same idea that Clinton spoke but didn’t act on in 1998.
In 1940 22 year old Harvard student, John F. Kennedy expanded his senior essay into “Why England Slept”. In the 1930’s England did not build ships, tanks, or aircraft in significant numbers, leaving it unprepared for 1939 and that start of WW II. His final chapter is “America’s Lesson”:
Labor naturally did not want to lose its identity by joining wholeheartedly with the Government on its armaments program… (p.219)
Kennedy saw the danger of party politics that automatically rejects ideas that would be good for the long-term interests of the nation. On some matters a democracy needs a real unity of purpose and not the inside-the-beltway rhetorical label of bipartisanship on a new highway or dam.
Thankfully, the United States never reduced its capability to defend itself to the extent of 1939, but if the Democrats don’t want to hear this lesson from our side, we can let them hear it from John F. Kennedy on the eve of his war.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:59 AM Permalink
Does the calendar still read March 19 at the Vatican?
The news that I can read here in New York from the Vatican is focused on one thing: avoiding a war.
Is there a big cloud of denial over the Vatican now. There is a war and its time to speak to the morality of its conduct.
The United States reminds me of New York City police officer Steven McDonald who hesitated in using his weapon on 15 year old Savod Jones who had just aimed a gun at him in Central Park in 1986. McDonald was shot in the spine and became a quadrapelegic. The United States every day exposes itself to more casualities because it is determined to fight this war according to the just war principles.
What higher purpose is being served by the Vatican's silence so far on the phony surrender ambushes, that some Iraqi soldiers are no longer fighting in uniform, and that coalition POW's are being shot or mistreated?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:46 AM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:21 AM Permalink
UK Guardian: Cardinal Groer is dead.
He was forced to withdraw from an active role in the Church in 1998 because of allegations of sexual abuse against boys.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:17 AM Permalink
And any time you've got the pope and Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up!
This statement of Michael Moore is wrong in three ways:
There was cheering for "fictious president" -- meaning that the Hollywood left has not gotten over the election of 2000 and booing when the above was spoken -- meaning that not everyone in Hollywood has lost common sense.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:13 AM Permalink
Sunday, March 23, 2003
A priest who knows what his people needs
A priest in my parish started off with "It's common now to hear in other parishes about what the priest did during vacations or politics, I'm not going to do that I'm going to give a homily on today's gospel..."
Thank God for excellent priests.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:37 PM Permalink
Drudge on the American POW's
The tape, he says is worse than the Daniel Pearl execution. The pants of the dead Marines are pulled down and a Iraqi man is laughing and playing with the bodies. It appears that there are execution wounds as well.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:17 PM Permalink
Scripps-Howard News: Details on the soldier who threw grenade into command tent
In this instance, the so-called "fragging" took the life of one Army captain and injured 15 others. Sgt. Asan Akbar was detained in the attacks.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:50 PM Permalink
If you read in my blog on Monday, you will see the resemblance to this item now in The Weekly Standard Scrapbook dated 3/31 and online today
I Scream You Scream
Relax, it's coincidence and not plagarism.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:30 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:02 AM Permalink
Why hasn't this hapenned yet?
I keep looking for liberated Iraqi's to begin to tell the story of their lives under Saddam. If the stories of torture and mass murder were now given a human face it would help give moral weight for the cause of the war.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:45 AM Permalink
All this and world war, too
In the most striking words of his radio interview, [Cardinal Etchegaray] said: "What has struck me recently-- and I think a lot about it-- is that up until now, in schools we are taught about the two world wars. But the one that has just now broken out, I believe, should also be described as a 'world war,' because its impact really touches the whole world."
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:40 AM Permalink
CNS: Papal preacher weighs in on U.S. debate about conversion of Jews
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Weighing in on a delicate U.S. debate in Christian-Jewish relations, Pope John Paul II's in-house preacher said Catholics must continue to pray for the conversion of Jews to Christ. Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, in the first of several Lenten meditations preached for the pope March 21, rejected arguments by some Catholic theologians that the Jews' enduring covenant with God precludes not only direct missionary efforts but also even desiring Jews' conversion. "Renouncing even desiring this means, for me, loving neither Christ nor the Jews," Father Cantalamessa said. He said the Catholic approach to Jews should be a gradual and respectful one, "to not take initiatives of evangelization but, as the occasion presents itself and if asked, to witness the hope that Christ is for us." This approach, emphasizing Christ more than the church, also recognizes that the Jewish people "have suffered so much in the past at the hands of Christians and the church," he said.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:35 AM Permalink
Was this a 20 minute war?
The war was won in the first 20 minutes. The decapitation attack killed Saddam and his two sons, and other leaders. There was a second attack which killed Tariq Aziz and all the remaining leaders who were there to discuss the succession. These targets were laser-painted by special forces in Baghdad as the missiles were flying in. The confirmation of this is that the US deliberately left the civilian telephone network in place and the military communications network in place and our side is listening and hearing no one taking authority and issuing orders.
Let's see if that story from the Batchelor and Alexander radio program turns out to be accurate.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:12 AM Permalink