...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

August 31, 2006

Guardsman Beat Up By Crazy Liberals

Near Tacoma, Washington...

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is searching for five people who allegedly attacked a uniformed National Guardsmen walking along 138th Street in Parkland Tuesday afternoon.

The soldier was walking to a convenience store when a sport utility vehicle pulled up alongside him and the driver asked if he was in the military and if he had been in any action.

The driver then got out of the vehicle, displayed a gun and shouted insults at the victim. Four other suspects exited the vehicle and knocked the soldier down, punching and kicking him.

“And during the assault the suspects called him a baby killer. At that point they got into the car and drove off and left him on the side of the road,” Detective Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.

The suspects were driving a black Chevy Suburban-type SUV.

“This is something new for us, we have not had military people assaulted because they were in the military or somebody's opposition to a war or whatever,” Troyer said.

The driver is described as a white male, 25-30 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall, heavy build, short blond hair, wearing a black T-shirt and jeans, and armed with a handgun.

The vehicle's passengers are described as white males, 20-25 years old. Some of the suspects wore red baseball hats and red sweatshirts during the attack.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and charging of the individuals involved. Informants can call 253-591-5959, and callers will remain anonymous.

That is just sick. Every time some terrorist cell gets busted we hear no end of public service announcements intended to prevent "hate crimes" against muslims. They must be very effective, since I haven't heard of a single such "hate crime" since 9/11. Maybe we should be doing the same thing to protect our military in certain sections of the country.

h/t Beth at She Who Will Be Obeyed

Posted by annika at 08:31 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

Peter Pumpkin The Spectacular Pumpkin, Episode 48

Peter's vacation hits a snag...


Posted by annika at 08:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Jeopardy With Annika, Round 30

The penultimate round. (I love using using the word penultimate in a sentence. There, I did it twice.) This means that after this round, we move on to Final Jeopardy!


Leif is leading the pack with $1900; D-Rod and Tuning Spork are tied with $1500; Shelly has $1000; Victor has $700; Law Fairy has $500; Maximum Leader, KG, Blu and Kevin Kim have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each.

The category is "Dicks," for $100.


Posted by annika at 07:24 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

August 30, 2006

Peter Pumpkin The Spectacular Pumpkin, Episode 47


Posted by annika at 09:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

SOCOM - Combined Asault

Here's a preview of the upcoming Playstation 2 release, SOCOM - Combined Asault. It looks pretty cool, except for the annoying music track.

I'm so glad I don't have a video game console. Of course, if my boyfriend happens to read this, I do accept early Christmas gifts.

Posted by annika at 09:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Ahmadi-Nejad Kisses German Butt

Unless you're reading Darleen's Place or Dr. Sanity and a select few other sources of important information, you probably haven't heard about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad's recent letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. That's okay, I understand that there are far more critical events taking place in the world.

Let me break it down for you.

Ahmadi-Nejad tried to kiss up to the German Chancellor with an appeal to her religious convictions (Chancellor Merkel, unlike 49% of her countrymen and women, believes in God); flattery over Germany's achievements in the arts and sciences; and by patronizing her as a woman with a woman's unique gifts.

The purpose of the letter? To enlist Germany as an ally against the evil U.S.-Zionist worldwide conspiracy. You don't have to read between the lines to realize that Ahmadi-Nejad's impression of the German zeitgeist was probably formed by a close reading of Mein Kampf. He still thinks they're Nazis at heart, and therefore potential friends of Islamofascism.

If you take the middle third of the rambling missive (containing the most anti-semitic passages) and replace the universally accepted euphemism "zionist" with the word he really meant, "jew," it looks like the letter could have been written by Adolf himself.

Sixty years have passed since the end of the war. But, regrettably the entire world and some nations in particular are still facing its consequences. Even now the conduct of some bullying powers and power-seeking and aggressive groups is the conduct of victors with the vanquished.

The extortion and blackmail continue, and people are not allowed to think about or even question the source of this extortion, otherwise they face imprisonment. When will this situation end? Sixty years, one hundred years or one thousand years, when? I am sorry to remind you that today the perpetual claimants against the great people of Germany are the bullying powers and the [jew]s that founded the Al-Qods Occupying Regime [i.e. Israel] with the force of bayonets in the Middle East.

The Honorable Chancellor

I have no intention of arguing about the Holocaust. But, does it not stand to reason that some victorious countries of World War II intended to create an alibi on the basis of which they could continue keeping the defeated nations of World War II indebted to them. Their purpose has been to weaken their morale and their inspiration in order to obstruct their progress and power. In addition to the people of Germany, the peoples of the Middle East have also borne the brunt of the Holocaust. By raising the necessity of settling the survivors of the Holocaust in the land of Palestine, they have created a permanent threat in the Middle East in order to rob the people of the region of the opportunities to achieve progress. The collective conscience of the world is indignant over the daily atrocities by the [jew] occupiers, destruction of homes and farms, killing of children, assassinations and bombardments.

Excellency, you have seen that the [jew] government does not even tolerate a government elected by the Palestinian people, and over and over again has demonstrated that it recognizes no limit in attacking the neighboring countries.

The question is why did the victors of the war, especially England that had apparently such a strong sense of responsibility toward the survivors of the Holocaust not allow them to settle in their territory. Why did they force them to migrate to other people's land by launching a wave of anti-Semitism? Using the excuse for the settlement of the survivors of the Holocaust, they encouraged the Jews worldwide to migrate and today a large part of the inhabitants of the occupied territories are non-European Jews. If tyranny and killing is condemned in one part of the world, can we acquiesce and go along with tyranny, killing, occupation and assassinations in another part of the world simply in order to redress the past wrongs?


We need to ask ourselves that for what purposes the millions of dollars that the [jew]s receive from the treasury of some Western countries are spent for. Are they used for the promotion of peace and the well-being of the people? Or are they used for waging war against Palestinians and the neighboring countries. Are the nuclear arsenals of Israel intended to be used in defense of the survivors of the Holocaust or as a permanent thereat against nations of the region and as an instrument of coercion, and possibly to defend the interests of certain circles of power in the Western countries.

Regrettably, the influence of the [jew]s in the economy, media and some centers of political power has endangered interests of the European nations and has robbed them of many opportunities. The main alibi for this approach is the extortion they exact from the Holocaust.

One can imagine what standing some European countries could have had and what global role they could have played, if it had not been for this sixty-year old imposition.

I believe we both share the view that the flourishing of nations and their role are directly related to freedom and sense of pride.

Fortunately, with all the pressures and limitations, the great nation of Germany has been able to take great strides toward advancement and has become a major economic powerhouse in Europe that also seeks to play a more effective role in international interactions. But just imagine where Germany would be today in terms of its eminence among the freedom-loving nations, Muslims of the world and peoples of Europe, if such a situation did not exist and the governments in power in Germany had said no to the extortions by the [jew]s and had not supported the greatest enemy of mankind.

"The greatest enemy of mankind." That is just scary.

The man is so clueless about the progress of history, that he actually believes he can win Germany to his side by appealing to a wounded national pride that he imagines the Germans still feel. Germany has changed since 1945, not always for the better. But if it retains any nationalistic tendencies, it's people like Ahmadi-Nejad who need to worry. No, if Germany ends up aligning itself with Iran, it will be the pacifists and appeasers who'll be responsible for that decision.

I recommend reading the entire letter. Ahmadi-Nejad tries so hard to sound worldly and intellectual, but he just comes off as a poseur trying too hard to make friends. He and Hugo Chavez could form their own Axis of Smarmy.

Posted by annika at 07:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

What do you think about when you go for a walk? How does the mind work? It wanders along with your feet. The things you see along the path prompt your thoughts and vice versa. The transitions are invisible, unless you're paying attention, like today's poet. When you are ready, sometime today, take a walk with A.R. Ammons around Corsons Inlet. The poem is from 1965.

Corsons Inlet

I went for a walk over the dunes again this morning
to the sea,
then turned right along
   the surf
             rounded a naked headland
             and returned

   along the inlet shore:

it was muggy sunny, the wind from the sea steady and high,
crisp in the running sand,
    some breakthroughs of sun
  but after a bit

continuous overcast:

the walk liberating, I was released from forms,
from the perpendiculars,
    straight lines, blocks, boxes, binds
of thought
into the hues, shadings, rises, flowing bends and blends
          of sight:

                I allow myself eddies of meaning:
yield to a direction of significance
like a stream through the geography of my work:
   you can find
in my sayings
               swerves of action
               like the inlet's cutting edge:
       there are dunes of motion,
organizations of grass, white sandy paths of remembrance
in the overall wandering of mirroring mind:

but Overall is beyond me: is the sum of these events
I cannot draw, the ledger I cannot keep, the accounting
beyond the account:

in nature there are few sharp lines: there are areas of
    more or less dispersed;
disorderly orders of bayberry; between the rows
of dunes
irregular swamps of reeds
though not reeds alone, but grass bayberry, yarrow, all . . .
predominantly reeds:

I have reached no conclusions, have erected no boundaries,
shutting out and shutting in, separating inside
       from outside: I have
       drawn no lines:

manifold events of sand
change the dune's shape that will not be the same shape

so I am willing to go along, to accept
the becoming
thought, to stake off no beginnings or ends establish
      no walls:

by transitions the land falls from grassy dunes to creek
to undercreek: but there are no lines though
    change in that transition is clear
    as any sharpness: but "sharpness" spread out,
allowed to occur over a wider range
than mental lines can keep:

the moon was full last night: today, low tide was low:
black shoals of mussels exposed to the risk
of air
and, earlier, of sun,
waved in and out with the waterline, waterline inexact,
caught always in the event of change:
    a young mottled gull stood free on the shoals
    and ate
to vomiting: another gull, squawking possession, cracked a crab,
picked out the entrails, swallowed the soft-shelled legs, a ruddy
turnstone running in to snatch leftover bits:

risk is full: every living thing in
siege: the demand is life, to keep life: the small
white blacklegged egret, how beautiful, quietly stalks and spears
         the shallows, darts to shore
                  to stab —- what? I couldn't
    see against the black mudflats—a frightened
    fiddler crab?

         the news to my left over the dunes and
reeds and bayberry clumps was
         fall: thousands of tree swallows
         gathering for flight:
         an order held
         in constant change: a congregation
rich with entropy: nevertheless, separable, noticeable
       as one event,
               not chaos: preparations for
flight from winter,
cheet, cheet, cheet, cheet, wings rifling the green clumps
at the bayberries
   a perception full of wind, flight, curve,
   the possibility of rule as the sum of rulelessness:
the "field" of action
with moving, incalculable center:

in the smaller view, order tight with shape:
blue tiny flowers on a leafless weed: carapace of crab:
snail shell:
       pulsations of order
       in the bellies of minnows: orders swallowed,
broken down, transferred through membranes
to strengthen larger orders: but in the large view, no
lines or changeless shapes: the working in and out, together
       and against, of millions of events: this,
                so that I make
                no form of

orders as summaries, as outcomes of actions override
or in some way result, not predictably (seeing me gain
the top of a dune,
the swallows
could take flight—some other fields of bayberry
       could enter fall
       berryless) and there is serenity:

       no arranged terror: no forcing of image, plan,
or thought:
no propaganda, no humbling of reality to precept:

terror pervades but is not arranged, all possibilities
of escape open: no route shut, except in
   the sudden loss of all routes:

       I see narrow orders, limited tightness, but will
not run to that easy victory:
       still around the looser, wider forces work:
       I will try
    to fasten into order enlarging grasps of disorder, widening
scope, but enjoying the freedom that
Scope eludes my grasp, that there is no finality of vision,
that I have perceived nothing completely,
       that tomorrow a new walk is a new walk.

Posted by annika at 09:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 29, 2006

Annika's Jeopardy, Round 29

Leif is leading the pack with $1900; D-Rod and Tuning Spork are tied with $1500; Shelly has $1000; Victor has $700; Law Fairy has $500; Maximum Leader, KG and Blu have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each.

The category is "Anal Bum Covers," for $300.


Posted by annika at 09:13 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Katherine Harris

I don't really know much about the Florida Senate race, beyond the widely reported comments of Katherine Harris. And you all know how I feel about the so-called "separation" of church and state. But I just got done listening to Medved's interview with Harris on the radio, and even Medved, a sympathetic questioner, couldn't prevent her from coming off as a complete idiot.

Well hell, she's an embarassment, but why should the Democrats have a monopoly on bubbleheads in Congress?

Posted by annika at 01:24 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 28, 2006

Jeopardy With Annika, Round 28

D-Rod, Tuning Spork, and Leif are tied for the lead with $1500; Shelly has $1000; Victor has $700; Law Fairy has $500; Maximum Leader, KG and Blu have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each.

The category is "Vexatious Vexillology," for $400.


Posted by annika at 08:57 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Hurricane Katrina Anniversary

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall on the Gulf Coast. Lots of bloggers are remembering the event, and I just want to point to two ways it touched my life.

The first was definitely the proudest moment for me as a blogger. This whole exercise in semi-regular public writing is pretty ridiculous most of the time. But last September I can honestly say we made a difference. By we, I mean you, the very generous visitors to annika's journal who pledged $2,250 for hurricane relief.

You folks really deserve congratulations, because you showed how beautiful you are. We outdid some real big time blogs,* as you can see from the final list. Special thanks to Shelly who added a lot of cheerleading and cajoling to his characteristic generosity last year.

The second thing was that I bought a gun and started a disaster preparedness kit. Even though some of the horror stories turned out to be exagerrated, what did happen was still pretty horrible. And it could happen anywhere. I grew up in Oakland and have witnessed my share of natural disasters, so I have no excuse not to be prepared. The one lesson we should all take from Katrina is that each one if us is responsible for his or her own safety. Don't ever count on the government to do it for you, it's your job, and they're not very good at it.

* I didn't mention it at the time, because I thought it in bad taste (and maybe it still is) but I was really amazed at the sharp political division between the bloggers who joined in the fundraising and those who stood on the sidelines.

I did some informal research during the drive. I checked the biggies, like Kos etc, and they were on the ball. But I was curious about the smaller fish, so I started going down the list of the blogs listed as members of the League of Liberals. I actually went through the whole blogroll. Of those blogs that were still active, I was disappointed to see that the vast majority had absolutely no link to any charitable organization. That was despite the fact that most were not shy in hurling criticism at the administration (deserved) or at conservatives in general (undeserved). I seem to remember that there were only two blogs that had any charity hyperlinks. One of them put it up only after I left a scathing comment. And then it was to PETA or some sort of animal rescue org.

I acknowledge that my point is probably unfair. How do I know what these people donated in private? But the contrast between the left and right sides of the blogosphere back then really surprised me, and I think of it as kind of a watershed moment.

Posted by annika at 08:11 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

And Greta Van Susternerneren Wept

So big surprise here . . . John Mark Karr's DNA did not match. I guess it's back to Aruba for Greta.

And I suppose the only mystery left in the JBR case is why Boulder's DA didn't just wait until the tests came back before they spent all that money - only to find out what everybody with a brain and two ears already knew.

Posted by annika at 01:57 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 26, 2006

It's Time For Jeopardy, Round 27

D-Rod, Tuning Spork, and Leif are tied for the lead with $1500; Shelly has $1000; Victor has $700; Law Fairy has $500; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL, SkippyStalin and Blu have $100 each.

The category is "Ronald Reagan," for $200.


Posted by annika at 05:27 PM | Comments (39) | TrackBack

Peter Pumpkin The Spectacular Pumpkin, Episodes 45 and 46

Peter's summer vacation.


On a tropical paradise.


Posted by annika at 11:05 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 25, 2006

Peter Pumpkin The Spectacular Pumpkin, Episode 44


Posted by annika at 09:11 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

All Your CTOTIOTD Are Belong To Us

OMG this is the most ROTFL thing I've heard in fucking ever.

More versions here. The Doors one made me cry it was so funny.

This video is pretty good too.

Posted by annika at 08:20 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 24, 2006

Iran's War Against Women

I just read Photon Courier's excellent post about the murder of Atefeh Sahaleh by the Iranian government. I call it a murder because I learned in my first year criminal law course that the term is defined as "the unjustified killing of a human being by another." What was Atefeh Sahaleh's crime? Having sex.

Oh, she was 16 years old.

[Still think the Iranians are basically nice guys who can be reasoned with?]

So, that led me to Amnesty International's excessively neutral post about the execution. You've heard of Amnesty International. They're the organization that's always criticizing the United States because we still have capital punishment.

So then I decided to compare stats. Without looking, can you guess which country killed more women last year?

If you guessed Iran, you'd be correct. In 2005, only one woman was executed in the United States.

[Her name was Frances Newton, and she was executed by lethal injection on September 14, 2005, by the State of Texas. When she was 24 years old, she shot her husband Adrian, her 7 year old son Alton, and her 21 month old daughter Farrah with a .25 caliber pistol to collect life insurance money. Frances Newton was 40 by the time she was finally executed for the crimes.]

Then I went over to a site called Women's Forum Against Fundamentalism In Iran. It's worth bookmarking if you're curious at all about the type of society our enemy would like to impose upon us.

Just looking at the left sidebar, which contains links to various news stories, is pretty enlightening. Here's a selection of headlines:

Amnesty International: Young woman, Delara Darabi, 19, facing imminent execution

A Kurdish woman sentenced to stoning

More crackdown on women

Women-only buses another government run, gender-apartheid program

Iran’s police stop 10-year-old girl for “mal-veiling”

Women ejected by force from Iran stadium

300,000 homeless women in Iran capital

Iran police prevent women from watching football match

Iran's Islamist rulers want sex segregation on pavements

Iran to hang another teenage girl attacked by rapists

Iran to execute two other women

An Iranian woman in the town of Varamin is sentenced to death by stoning

Iran sentences a woman to death by hanging

Another woman is sentenced to death by stoning in Iran

Female workers are ordered to get home by dusk to serve their families

Senior Iran cleric: Prostitutes must be hanged

Iran to execute two other women

Iran to hang 19-year old mother

Sixty Iranian women activists made a public appeal on Thursday for the release of a Kurdish feminist campaigner

Fundamentalists recruit Women for Martyrdom Seeker Movement in Iran.

Post-election, A New Wave of Crackdown on Women.

Thousands join women’s anti-government demonstration in Tehran.

Crackdown on Women.

Defeating misogyny in Iran .

Save the Women, Save Ourselves.

UN women's rights official raps Iran over abuses.

Four Iranian Women were executed in 2004 by public hanging or stoning. There are 14 women to be hanged or stoned to death in coming days, weeks or months.

A woman is facing stoning in next five days

A 19 year old mentally ill girl is facing imminent execution in Iran

Another woman facing stoning in Iran

13 year old, Jila, facing death by stoning flogged 55 times

Iranian Student protest forced veiling

Imminent execution of a 33-year-old Iranian women, Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh...

Iran moves to roll back rights won by women...

Violence, poverty and abuse led girl, 16, to gallows...

Amnesty International outraged at the reported execution of a 16 year old girl in Iran...

'Painful' day as mother's death recalled. Zahra Kazemi's son still seeks answers. He has no faith in upcoming Iranian trial.

Iran's government has launched a crackdown on women who flout the strict Islamic dress codes during the hot summer months.

One of the links contains a story that is enough to make you want to cry. Here it is:
An Iranian court has sentenced a teenage rape victim to death by hanging after she weepingly confessed that she had unintentionally killed a man who had tried to rape both her and her niece.

The state-run daily Etemaad reported on Saturday that 18-year-old Nazanin confessed to stabbing one of three men who had attacked the pair along with their boyfriends while they were spending some time in a park west of the Iranian capital in March 2005.

Nazanin, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, said that after the three men started to throw stones at them, the two girls’ boyfriends quickly escaped on their motorbikes leaving the pair helpless.

She described how the three men pushed her and her 16-year-old niece Somayeh onto the ground and tried to rape them, and said that she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.

As the girls tried to escape, the men once again attacked them, and at this point, Nazanin said, she stabbed one of the men in the chest. The teenage girl, however, broke down in tears in court as she explained that she had no intention of killing the man but was merely defending herself and her younger niece from rape, the report said.

The court, however, issued on Tuesday a sentence for Nazanin to be hanged to death.

Instead of telling us how attractive he thinks Ahmadi-Nejad is, perhaps Mike Wallace should have spent an hour letting the world know about the above, completely barbaric death sentence against an innocent child.

You know, fuck Mike Wallace, fuck Ahmadi-Nejad, and fuck the fucking mullahs. These people are so completely evil, I can't even finish what I was going to write.

Update: Thanks to Beth of MVRWC, I've been alerted to this update regarding the Nazanin case.

On 3 January, 18-year-old Nazanin was sentenced to death for murder by a criminal court, after she reportedly admitted stabbing to death one of three men who attempted to rape her and her 16-year-old niece in a park in Karaj in March 2005. She was 17 at the time. (See Iran: Amnesty International calls for end to death penalty for child offenders, MDE 13/005/2006, 16 January 2006). At the end of May the Supreme Court rejected the death sentence against Nazanin, reportedly on the instructions of the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. The case will reportedly be retried in August and sent to a lower court for further investigation.
One more thing. The Wikipedia article on Nazanin points out that Iran's death penalty can be applied to males as young as fifteen, and females as young as nine!

The Iranian government really is waging a war against women!

Posted by annika at 07:06 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Iran Already Has The Bomb

Is the big surprise, which the Iranians are planning within the next few days, an announcement that they already have the bomb?

Read this chilling interview with former Danish agent Regnar Rasmussen in Front Page Mag. He says the Iranians already got three warheads from Kazakhstan back in the nineties.

In autumn 1991 Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Khazakhstan, sold three nuclear warheads to the Iranians. The Iranians wanted to use them as a prototype for their own bomb manufacturing. The price was said to have been 7.5 billion USD. Whether this amount is true or just the fantasies of a less paid government official, I cannot verify. The amount was to cover all bribes and kick-offs and military protection during transport. Every country involved had demanded their fair share of the deal.

Anyway, the warheads were removed from a military depot somewhere in Kazakhstan and transported by train down to Makhachkala in Daghestan. Here they were reloaded onto huge trucks and then taken through the Caucasian region and into Turkey. In the city of Dogubeyazit the Iranians met the convoy and took over. The three vehicles were then driven by Iranian drivers down to the border post Bazargan, where they entered Iranian territory.

The warheads were brought down to Teheran and parked in the military campus Lavizan. Here they were seen by a soldier who later defected to Israel and told the story to the Israeli intelligence services who at that time were unable to verify the matter further. Various rumours have been circulating ever since. Some stories say two bombs, some say four. The correct number, however, is three.

He also speculated whether Pakistan's recent nuclear test was actually a proxy for the Iranians. I think Rasmussen's story is plausible, and he's not the only guy who's been whispering it.

The Wall Street Journal again reminds us that a nuclear Iran would be a bad thing.

“A nuclear-armed Iran would likely embolden the leadership in Tehran to advance its aggressive ambitions in and outside of the region, both directly and through the terrorists it supports—ambitions that gravely threaten the stability and the security of U.S. friends and allies,” says the House Intelligence report. With a nuclear arsenal that they felt protected them from retaliation, the mullahs would also be more likely to use conventional military force in the Middle East. The domino effect as Turkey, Egypt and the Saudis sought their own nuclear deterrent would also not be “stabilizing,” to cite the highest value of our Middle Eastern “realists.” And don’t forget President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s vow that “Israel must be wiped off the map.”
As if any thinking person needs such a reminder. Yet, incredibly, some people are still in denial. And it's funny that those are often the same people who think we need to get out of Iraq immediately. As I've said before, one often overlooked result of a nuclear Iran will be that the United States will be forced to stay in Iraq indefinitely -- and to deploy intermediate range nuclear missiles there for the purpose of deterrence. I promise you, I'm not wrong about this.

h/t Regime Change Iran & Protein Wisdom

Posted by annika at 10:44 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

August 23, 2006

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

From the best contemporary Danish poet out there, Henrik Nordbrandt:


After having loved we lie close together
and at the same time with distance between us
like two sailing ships that enjoy so intensely
their own lines in the dark water they divide
that their hulls
are almost splitting from sheer delight
while racing, out in the blue
under sails which the night wind fills
with flower-scented air and moonlight
- without one of them ever trying
to outsail the other
and without the distance between them
lessening or growing at all.

But there are other nights, where we drift
like two brightly illuminated luxury liners
lying side by side
with the engines shut off, under a strange constellation
and without a single passenger on board:
On each deck a violin orchestra is playing
in honor of the luminous waves.
And the sea is full of old tired ships
which we have sunk in our attempt to reach each other.

Somewhat Billy Collins-esque, don't you think?

Posted by annika at 09:18 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Jeopardy With Annika, Round 26

D-Rod, Tuning Spork, and Leif are tied for the lead with $1500; Shelly has $1000; Victor has $700; Law Fairy has $500; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each.

There's still plenty of money left on the board for you dark horses to make a move!

The category is "Ronald Reagan," for $100.


Posted by annika at 09:11 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

August 22, 2006

A Lengthy And Perhaps Unnecessary Post Of Dubious Mathematical Merit To Illustrate Something You Probably Already Know

Guys like Chuck Hagel and David Gergen seem to think that talking to the Iranians will prevent them from joining the nuclear club. It's a crazy idea, and I don't understand why so many notable people have put their faith in this silly course of action.

Iran is presented with a finite number of choices and outcomes, which can be easily and logically analyzed. At the end of any honest analysis, you can see that it is simply not in the mullahs' interest to negotiate away their nuclear arms program. Therefore it's logical to assume that they won't, not only because they have repeatedly said they won't, but also because the best possible course of action from Iran's point of view (regardless of whether they are rational or irrational actors) is to continue their program until they get the bomb.

It's like simple math.

Assume three possible outcomes available to Iran from the current state of negotiations.

Outcome ON: Iran gets a nuclear weapon.1

Outcome OI: Iran gets a package of incentives from the West.

Outcome OS: International sanctions imposed on Iran, most likely a combination of economic and diplomatic restrictions.

Assume that the Iranians desire outcomes ON and OI, and wish to avoid outcome OS.

Although it's not essential to my analysis, you may also assume that the West2 wishes to prevent outcome ON, but also that the values of outcomes OI and OS are variable and uncertain, due to dissention within the West.

Now at first glance, one can see two alternative courses of action for Iran that are obvious.

Course of action CA1: Iran refuses to abandon its nuclear enrichment program, rejects all efforts at compromise, and continues working until they get the bomb.

Course of action CA2: Iran abandons its nuclear program in exchange for the package of incentives offered by the West.

If Iran takes course of action CA1, they give up outcome OI. On the other hand, if Iran takes course of action CA2, they give up outcome ON. Therefore the Iranians must decide between the following values (remembering that OS is a negative value):
CA1 = ON - (OI + OS)
or alternatively,
CA2 = (OI + OS) - ON
Those equations demonstrate that the West needs to make the value of their carrot+stick package equal to or greater than the value of an Iranian nuclear bomb. Thus, if (OI + OS) > ON, then CA2 > CA1. If true, Iran should then choose CA2. Even if the values were exactly equal, Iran would probably choose CA2, simply for the sake of peace and goodwill.

However, we live in the real world and we all know that the value of a nuclear weapon to the country that possesses it far outweighs the value of any combination of incentives or sanctions the West could possibly offer. Especially if said country has already expressed its desire to wipe a hated enemy off the map, and has recently sent weapons, including rockets, missiles and drones to a proxy army fighting said hated enemy as recently as this month.

Given the above, one would assume that Iran would pursue course of action CA1, but as we have seen, they continue to pay lip service to the negotiation track, CA2. Are they really pursuing course of action CA2? Not if CA1 > CA2! What then, are they doing?

Perhaps there is a CA3, a third course of action that would tempt Iran with the opportunity to gain outcomes ON and OI at the same time without incurring any sanctions.

CA3 = (CA1 + CA2) = (ON + OI) - OS
Remember OS is a negative value, so the above equation simplifies to:
CA3 = (ON + OI + OS)
A hefty sum indeed! Perhaps Iran believes it can have it all by simply agreeing to a compromise, while secretly pursuing the holy grail of enrichment a la North Korea.

But CA3 contains one flaw: verification. Certainly the West, weak as its negotiating position is, will never agree to deliver incentives without a gauranteed inspection regime. Although the inspections might be watered down, we already know about the Esfahan, Natanz, and Arak facilities, so it would be difficult for the Iranians to refuse access to those sites. Some experts estimate the number of centrifuges necessary at Natanz for a decent enrichment program to be 50,000. That kind of operation would be hard to disguise or relocate.

That's why I think Iran is following another course of action, CA4:

CA4 = (ON x TNT) - (OI - OS)
When multiplied by a factor of sufficient time (T), gained by negotiating tactics (NT), Iran can ultimately win the big prize: a nuclear bomb. Although they give up the Western incentive package, that loss is offset by the fact that they don't suffer any real sanctions (thus, OI - OS). That's because once Iran gets the bomb, sanctions become problematic. Everybody is going to have to kiss their ass then, and the probable severity of any sanctions the fickle West might be able to agree upon (which were weak under the best of circumstances) would shrink in proportion to Iran's newfound leverage.

Course of action CA4 translates into what we've been watching unfold during the past several months. Iran negotiates in bad faith, makes empty promises, renegs, delays, obfuscates, then makes more empty promises, all the while maintaining their research and enrichment activity.

It's possible that a compromise settlement might be reached in the near future, but I seriously doubt it. Iran has repeatedly and unambiguously asserted its intention never to give up its enrichment program (a fact that seems to be lost on many negotiation-fixated politicians and pundits). I take the Iranians at their word, because it's not in their interest to give up the bomb. They've already done the math.

1.    Or, more accurately, Iran successfully gains the ability to domestically produce fissile material for manufacturing nuclear weapons. One can assume that creating delivery systems such as missiles and warheads are less of a problem for the Iranians. These can be purchased, or reverse-engineered by Iranian technicians. But weapons grade plutonium and/or uranium from their own factories are what they need to become a nuclear power, and this is the outcome we need to prevent.

2.    i.e. the U.S. and certain allies, to varying degrees.

Posted by annika at 07:21 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Iran's Counter-Offer?

ABC News says Iran has delivered their response to the "package of Western incentives aimed at persuading Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment." Apparently, nobody knows what's in the Iranian proposal yet.

How much you wanna bet it's a "demand for Jizya," or a tax on non-muslims. Just a hunch, but we've already had the "call to Islam," so it's time for step two in Ahmadi-Nejad and the Mullah's 3 step plan for jihad.

Update: When you read stories about today's Iranian proposal (indeed, when you read any story about the current standoff), especially by the Associated Press, I want you to notice one conspicuous omission. The AP is always careful to balance the U.S.'s accusation that Iran wants to build a nuclear weapon with a "fair and balanced" disclaimer like this:

Iran says it wants to master the technology to generate nuclear power.
Or this, from Reuters:
Iran says it will not abandon what it calls its right to enrich uranium for use in nuclear power stations.
Yet, you'll never see the mainstream press include a sentence reminding its readers that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad has repeatedly threatened to "wipe Israel off the map."

One might think that little bit of information would add some important perspective to the story.

Posted by annika at 08:24 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Piling On Passey

[I can't help but join in the huge Passey hatin' dogpile that's been going on in every corner of the blogosphere lately. She's too easy of a target.]

passey ad.jpg

Every time I looked in the mirror, I cried a little. I'd see my own awful skin blemishes and they'd remind me of how inadequate I was next to Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey, the world's most perfect female.

Then I imagine Terrence out with her. And I remember the cruel questions he used to ask me before he dumped me for Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey, the world's most perfect female.

"Why can't you be slim like Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey, instead of being one of the 62% of women who are fat according to Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey?"

"Why can't you be more attractive than 86% of the women whose pictures have been rated by visitors to the website Hot or Not, like Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey is?"

"Why can't you be relatively young like Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey, instead of being one of the 82% of American adult women who are old according to Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey?"

"Why can't you be smarter than 97.5% of the population, like Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey, the world's most smartest and perfectest female?"

"Why can't you have your financial shit together like Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey the world's most financially shit-togetheringest female?"

"Why can't you have a strong libido and love to have sex like Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey, the world's most horniest female, whose lovers never have to beg, except when they have to beg to be allowed to go to sleep?"

"Why can't you have interests that tend to be more popular with men, like science fiction, libertarianism, blogging, politics, economics, guns, gambling, scratching, picking, sniffing, and eating of one's own boogers, like Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey, the world's most masculine female?"

After hearing those hurtful questions for months on end from Terrence, and poor me unable to answer them, is it any wonder that he left me for her - Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey, the world's most all around perfectest female?

How I wished I could win Terrence back. I cried and cried and cried, boo hoo hoo. Then my best friend told me about the secret of Dr. Passey's Super Stick Treatment!

Dr. Passey's Super Stick Treatment was such a quick, easy way to attain just the tiniest fraction of the perfection that Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey, the world's most perfect female was born with!

And since the whole country is littered with low quality men who've been cast off by Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey like so many squamous cells after a nightly exfoliation of her perfectly unblemished and taut ass, I realized that all I needed to have was a tiny fraction of Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey's perfect perfection in order to hook me a fine low quality man!

Why, if Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey can boast of receiving 50 to 100 (sometimes more) responses whenever she trolls for high quality men in the personal ads of her local free newspaper, I was sure I could find at least one medium quality man and perhaps several low quality men by utilizing Dr. Passey's Super Stick Treatment!

And when I heard that Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey (who knows how to make money blogging, ask her how) had kicked Terrence to the curb, because he turned out to be just another low quality man (and she being quality, only dates quality), I resolved to give Dr. Passey's Super Stick Treatment a try!

What did I have to lose? I asked. And after only a week of Dr. Passey's Super Stick Treatment, what I gained was Terrence, who became mine again . . . completely!

The secret is in the special patented Super Stick, invented by Dr. Passey. The treatment only takes three minutes a day and the results can be felt instantaneously!

passey ad2.jpgAfter you wake up in the morning, all you do is take Dr. Passey's Super Stick, apply the special patented Super Stick lubricating ointment to the outside of the Super Stick, apply some more to the outer rim of your anal sphincter, and then shove the Super Stick in as far as it will go!

Walk around like that all day, and I gaurantee you will begin talking, acting, and looking just like Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey in no time. She's the world's most perfectest female of them all!

Try Dr. Passey's Super Stick Treatment in the privacy of your own home for a free ten day trial and watch the results on your own face, when you first administer the treatment. I think you'll agree, there's no feeling in the world like the Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey feeling. It's absolutely gauranteed to take your breath away!

So act quickly, supplies are limited, and so is the number of low to medium quality men. You may never hope to bag as much high quality man-flesh as Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey, the world's most perfectest female, but once you start using Dr. Passey's Super Stick Treatment like she does, you'll be sure to have your pick of the leftovers.

So be a hot chick . . . hop on the stick!
Dr. Passey's Super Stick, that is!

Posted by annika at 12:56 AM | Comments (25) | TrackBack

August 21, 2006

With Apologies To Adam Ant

I'm a friend of haile selassie
I'm a friend of mother jones
I'm a friend of jackie passey
I'm a friend of long john holmes

I'm a friend of kathy griffin
I'm a friend of clay aiken
I'm a friend of old cal ripken
I'm a friend of barbie's ken

I'm a friend of stuart smalley
I'm a friend of michael moore
I'm a friend of janey pauley
I'm a friend of daniel schorr

I'm a friend of tuning sporky
I'm a friend of ned lamont's
I'm a friend of doc kevorky
I'm a friend of the country france

I'm a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend
I'm a friend of a friend but you don't know me
I'm a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend
And if I go there tonight, can I get in free?

I'm a friend of sarah connor
I'm a friend of miles dyson
I'm a friend of the party donner
I'm a friend of andre rison

I'm a friend of molly ringwald
I'm a friend of lance armstrong
I'm a friend of what's this thing called?
I'm a friend of long duk dong

I'm a friend of frida kahlo
I'm a friend of ed asner
I'm a friend of a girl named j-lo
I'm a friend of fat bastard

I'm a friend of lindsay lohan
I'm a friend of billy gates
I'm a friend of joshie groban
I'm a friend of norman bates

I'm a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend
I'm a friend of a friend but you don't know me
I'm a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend
So can I get in tonight . . . cuz I have to pee!

I'm a friend of chelsea clinton
I'm a friend of jar jar binks
I'm a friend of hergé's tintin
I'm a friend of michael spinks

I'm a friend of debbie schlussel
I'm a friend of that crocodile
I'm a friend of simon cowell
I'm a friend of katherine heigl

I'm a friend of kathleen willey
I'm a friend of blue man crew
I'm a friend of anything silly
I'm a friend of youtube too

I'm a friend of brian boitano
I'm a friend of what's-his-face
I'm a friend of kazakhstan-o
I'm a friend of the human race

Posted by annika at 08:48 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Question #90

[part of a continuing series]

What does "turnkey" mean? I keep hearing it in radio advertisements, referring to a kind of business.

Posted by annika at 09:09 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Most Aggravating Thing On The Internets Of The Day

Be my virtual valet. Please don't steal any change out of the dash.

Warning: don't click the link if you have anything important to do today.

h/t Merri Musings

Posted by annika at 07:07 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 20, 2006

Jeopardy With Annika, Round 25

D-Rod, Tuning Spork, and Leif are tied for the lead with $1500; Shelly and Victor have $700 each; Law Fairy has $500; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each.

The category is "Dicks," for $300.


Posted by annika at 10:21 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

From the New York Times:

A senior Bush administration official said Thursday that he anticipated that the United Nations would move rapidly in September to impose sanctions on Iran if it refused to halt uranium enrichment . . .
Ha ha ha ha ha.
"I think we would want to move very quickly in the first part of September toward a debate in the Security Council about sanctions," he said. "They will be well deserved as this has gone on a long time."
Ha ha ha ha ha.
The resolution passed by the Security Council on July 31 demands that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing work by the end of August or face the possibility of sanctions. It noted the need for “further decisions,” however, before any punishments for noncompliance could be pursued.
Ha ha ha ha ha.
“The will of a lot of countries has been strengthened by watching the Iranian government trying to destabilize both Lebanon and Israel over the last 30 to 40 days,” he said.
Ha ha ha ha ha.
The Iranian government denies that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons and says its nuclear program is peaceful, for research and energy development.
That is no laughing matter.

Posted by annika at 10:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

My Solution To The Planetary Crisis

There's currently a big brouhaha about whether to demote Pluto from its planetary status, or whether to keep it as planet under a definition that would also include hundreds of other objects in the solar system.

I don't understand what the problem is. When I learned the alphabet back in kindergarten, I learned that there were five vowels. They were a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y. Now if you count the vowels in that list you get six, not five. But that doesn't change the fact that there are five vowels, and y is one of them, sometimes.

So why can't we just say there are eight planets, and Pluto is one of them. We can then define "planet" with a definition that excludes Pluto, while giving Pluto some kind of honorary planet status.

We do things like this all the time. There are crayolas called "white" and "black" despite the fact that those are not real colors. And Canada is a member of the United Nations, despite the fact that it's not a real country. Also, Paris Hilton recorded a CD despite the fact that she's not a real singer.

So let's just call Pluto a planet and move on to more urgent global problems.

You're welcome. That's what I'm here for, to solve the big issues.

Posted by annika at 12:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 19, 2006

My Solution To The Fifth Column Problem

The civilized world is in trouble. At a time when our reputation for getting things done around the globe is in doubt, radical Islam's reputation is gaining steam. Israel just lost its first war, at the hands of a bunch of cowards who hid behind women and children. Only a week after we stopped a major terrorist attack that might have killed over three thousand innocent people, a judge in this very country declared one of the methods used to save those lives is unconstitutional. North Korea probably has a nuclear bomb. Iran will probably get one soon (If they can't make it, what's to stop them from getting one from Kim Jong-il?). The best we can do to stop these madmen is to threaten sanctions that will never be imposed and wouldn't work even if they were.

Anything we do to stop western civilization from spiralling down the abyss is criticized and opposed tooth and nail by a fifth column in our own country. Movie stars who deny that al Qaeda did 9-11; people who call Bush the world's #1 terrorist (forget that, people call me a terrorist!); newspapers that refuse to publicize any wartime successes, while rushing to weaken our ability to defend against our enemies; a Supreme Court that bends over backwards for feces throwing barbarians who would kill untold Americans if only they were set free.

We all know what the problem is. It's Bush hatred syndrome. John Kerry says we should have one-on-one talks with North Korea simply because Bush is persuing multilateral talks. Then he criticizes the administration's foreign policy for excessive unilateralism. Bush is villified for removing Saddam Hussein, which is merely the successful culmination of a policy directive signed by President Clinton. The United States, long criticized for supporting evil dictators, is now told by enlightened leftists that the Iraqi people were better off under Saddam (whom we created anyway?!).

There is one solution I can think of, which could neutralize the anti-Americanism of today's leftist fifth column. We need to neutralize them now because the time to fight for civilization's very existence may be coming sooner than we think. And when the real fight comes, it won't be pretty. This country needs to be free to act without destructive second guessing by those who have a political axe to grind, or who outright sympathize with the enemy. A proper solution is one that will silence anti-American critics, and get everybody working on the same side.

The solution I have devised would allow George W. Bush to maintain the same foreign policy course as he has for the last six years. The only thing he would need to do to silence all his critics is to announce that he is gay. A tearful press conference with his longtime "companion" on his right and Laura on his left should do it. From that point on, anything he does will be golden, in the eyes of the left. Andrew Sullivan might even turn Republican again.

What about the so-called evangelicals, you say? First of all, Bush isn't running in '08, so he doesn't need their vote. And if they're smart, they'll understand the unseen political wink, and not be too upset about it. You know the political wink I'm talking about. It's the same one Democrats give to their own base whenever they talk about "reaching out" to "religious people."

Let's all join in a new political battle cry: "George W. Bush, come out of the closet before it's too late!"

Posted by annika at 04:51 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 17, 2006

Annika's Jeopardy, Round 24

D-Rod and Tuning Spork are tied for the lead with $1500; Leif has $1400; Shelly and Victor are tied with $700 each; Law Fairy has $500; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each.

The category is "Vexatious Vexillology," for $100.


Posted by annika at 11:54 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Instalanche By Proxy

I'm gettin' Instalanched over at Six Meat Buffet. Why is it, the bigs never link to my blog? All my biggest 'lanches have been at other blogs. That's what I get for spreadin' the love!

Posted by annika at 09:04 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Freaks On A Plane

What's worse than snakes on a plane? Crazy "peace activists" on a plane!

Posted by annika at 12:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 16, 2006

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

Sorry I didn't post a poem this morning. But today's find is worth waiting for, I swear.

Wendy Battin has quickly become one of my favorite contemporary poets. In a just world, she'd be a household name.

Can you tell that Battin once taught at MIT?

And the Two Give Birth to the Myriad of Things

--said Lao-tse, sage of waterfalls, who

knew how the courtly heart keeps trying the world.
Heart wants only the good: dreams like a glass

harmonica, ringing light's measures. Love like art
if art could grow from seed, unfolding the code

inside it. But what the mind has sundered
cannot stay long uncluttered. Innocent heart, I

think, good heart, it wants, wants just now good
hands to coax my shoulders loose. What are we

birthing, when one thing leads to another,
two swimming the body's heat together?

If you want to know how the Way makes
a world, desire. But if you want to know the Way,

want nothing. A tall order, either way, worse
in the wanting not to want, as if desire can only

redshift like the galaxies who fly from us, who never
knew us. The distant water insists on falling inward,

to earth, to hell with all the stars retreating around us. O
Lao-tse, o Hubble, o love. It all comes down

to the ocean, in time, singing more deeply
the farther it travels. Its bass line thrums

the floorboards, the walls, such slow decay I can't
feel the dust on my skin until he is sleeping.

Posted by annika at 09:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Flyboys Trailer

September 29th is the scheduled premier of Flyboys, based on the story of the famous Lafayette Escadrille of WWI.

Here's the trailer.

It looks pretty cool, although somewhat Pearl Harbor-ish. Still, I can't wait to see it.

Posted by annika at 08:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Annika's Jeopardy, Round 23

D-Rod is in the lead with $1500; Leif has $1400; Tuning Spork has $1200; Shelly and Victor are tied with $700 each; Law Fairy has $500; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each.

And the final clue in the category "American Skankwomen," for $300, izzzz...

...wait for it...

...here it comes...


Posted by annika at 07:55 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Example Of Pro-Terrorist Media Bias #95,788

[part of a continuing series]

I know it's like beating a dead dog over and over again, but I feel like if I don't blog about these things when I see them, people might forget.

Check this article from AP, with the headline: "Iran leader praises Hezbollah resistance."

You will note that nowhere in the article does the word "resistance" appear, which leads one to believe that the editors who wrote the headline chose that word because they think it properly describes what Hezbollah is up to.

I'm not asking for an unbiased media, I just want them to admit that they are on the side of the enemy.

Posted by annika at 02:43 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 15, 2006

Jeopardy With Annika, Round 22

D-Rod is in the lead with $1500; Tuning Spork has $1200; Leif has $1100; Shelly and Victor are tied with $700 each; Law Fairy has $500; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each.

The category is "Anal Bum Covers," for $400.


Posted by annika at 09:20 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Somewhere LBJ Is Groaning, Or Laughing, Or Something...

You all remember the story about LBJ, after he saw Walter Cronkite declare the Vietnam War "unwinnable." He switched off the tv and said, famously:

If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America.
Well, I wonder what an appropriate George W. Bush quote might be, after reading Michael Yon, or Rich Lowry?

Is this a sign that some kind of critical mass has been reached?

Well, at least he's still got Annika.

Update: I think it's important to note that neither Michael, nor Rich have given up on Iraq. I am concerned, though, that Michael Yon has not been able to return to the war zone as he has requested. When Rich Lowry starts to get worried, it's even more important that we have the benefit of Yon's reportage, with his uniquely objective voice. Otherwise the real story will continue to be held captive by a biased or disinterested mainstream media.

Posted by annika at 07:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The British Talent For Euphemism

From Monsters & Critics:

[British Airways] has hit back at reports that more than 5,000 items of passenger luggage had gone missing since security measures were implemented at Heathrow airport.

There had been suggestions that up to 10,000 bags had been mislaid at the UK's busiest airport, and while a spokeswoman for the airline admitted that bags had been separated from their owners, they had definitely not been lost.

Isn't that a bit like saying, "She's not pregnant, She's just been separated from her virginity."

Posted by annika at 10:52 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack




... including the conclusion of Annika's Jeopardy. We're in the homestretch now.

Meanwhile, go visit Gates of Vienna.

Posted by annika at 09:18 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 11, 2006

There She Goes Again!

This is freakin' classic! Thanks Beth.

Don't forget to click the link too.

Posted by annika at 05:29 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Jeopardy Round 21 Hint

Okay, since nobody has a clue about the clue in Round 21, here's the full album cover with the letters blocked out.

You people are mostly older than me, I'm surprised you're not up on your 80's bands.


If Nobody gets it, D-Rod will retain control of the board. I probably won't post anything this weekend, since my brother's in town and I'm going to hang out with him. But you never know.

Posted by annika at 06:45 AM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

August 10, 2006

Theory #1

[part of a continuing series]

The prime impetus for modern American liberalism is the opposition to any restrictions on abortion. The prime impetus for European liberalism is anti-semitism.

Posted by annika at 09:16 AM | Comments (30) | TrackBack

Terror Plot Foiled

What is it with these terrorists and the 11th?

I was on a lot of planes during my vacation, and I didn't see a single muslim. Not that that means anything, but I remember noticing it at the time. Usually there's one or two waiting at the gate whenever I fly and I go through the usual mental gyration. You know the one, like this: "oh there's some muslims... I wonder if I should get on the plane... oh no then I'd look like a total racist... I guess they look okay... gee I hope they're not terrorists." Then you get on the plane, nothing happens and you realize you were nervous about nothing. But of course, then something like today's arrests happen.

People are saying this was supposed to be bigger than 9-11. If the plan was to blow up a dozen planes over the ocean, it would have been big. On a scale with 9-11, but it wouldn't have been worse than 9-11. Which makes me think that maybe they were planning to wait until the planes were over the U.S., and detonate the explosives over populated areas. Just a theory.

Or maybe not. Thinking about the whole "fourth generation warfare" thing, it's probably not in the terrorists' interest to "top" 9-11's horror. Ten or twenty planes blowing up over the ocean is evil enough to demonstrate that the terrorists are still there, and that they can still pull shit. It would have been terrible for the victims and their families. People would have been shocked and there would have been political repercussions for sure. But I still don't think it would have been big enough to change certain attitudes which need changing before we can really take care of the problem.

Attitudes like this one:

Do I sound as if I don't believe this alert? Why, yes, that would be correct. I just don't believe it. Read the article. They say the plot had an "Al Qaeda footprint." Ooh, are you scared yet? What that really means is that they found NO evidence whatsoever that the plot had anything to do at all with Al Qaeda, but the plot simply made them think "gosh, this is something Al Qaeda would do." That's what a footprint means. Nice, but no cigar.

Were these guys totally innocent? Probably not. But there's no reason to believe they were any more Osama's right-hand than Jose Padilla, the famed dirty-bomber who I think is now only being charged with jay-walking or something...

That was from a "brilliant" left wing blogger, quoted at Townhall.com, who apparently thinks that "red alert" is only appropriate if there's an al Qaeda plot. I suppose deadly plots by anyone else do not deserve a "red alert," This idiot thinks its a Republican plot to distract from Lieberman's loss. Yes, Lieberman the Democrat. In other words, if Lieberman the Democrat had not lost two days ago, then the Homeland Security Department would not have taken any steps to tighten airline security after the discovery of a plot to blow up airplanes.

You know what, after three plus years of blogging I've learned that I can't argue against such an idiotic theory. People who believe that shit will never be silent, but people will stop listening to them someday.

Posted by annika at 08:06 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

August 09, 2006

Annika's Jeopardy, Round 21

D-Rod gets the last Daily Double!

Let's go over the Daily Double rules once again.

The rules for Daily Double are almost the same as on tv, with an important exception. In my game everybody gets to play the Daily Double.

Every response must have a wager in it. The lowest you can wager is $100 and the highest you can wager is either $500 or however much money you have earned already, whichever is higher. Or you can wager any amount in between.

Since D-Rod picked the Daily Double, his response gets priority. If you guess before him you run the risk of tipping him off to the correct response. If D-Rod either guesses wrong or does not respond by the expiration of his time limit (9:00 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday) the rest of the responses will count in order of their posting.

Here are the official standings. Tuning Spork is ahead with $1200; Leif is second with $1100; D-Rod has $900; Shelly and Victor are tied with $700 each; Law Fairy has $500; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each.

The category is "Anal Bum Covers." I'll post the clue after I eat some dinner.

Okay, here's the video clue. I'm certain it's google proof!


Reminder: Just in case it wasn't clear. The time limit applies only to D-Rod. If he doesn't respond by 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time tonight, the clue is still open to anyone who wants to try.

Posted by annika at 07:48 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Slate Pans WTC

Although I saw United 93 the day it came out, I haven't made up my mind whether to see World Trade Center by Oliver Stone. Slate's review, which points out some glaring inaccuracies (what a surprise in an Oliver Stone film) makes me lean towards waiting for the DVD.

Since the filmmakers have repeatedly stated their desire to "chronicle what happened as truthfully as we could," World Trade Center will likely go down in the minds of many as a historical and factual account. But Sereika recently told me that he felt the entire rescue, as portrayed in the film, is "fiction"—the facts are so distorted that he didn't recognize what he was seeing as what he lived through.

. . .

This is a case where Hollywood can't be accused of hyping reality—the real rescue was much more amazing and harrowing, especially when you hear the men tell it themselves.

Part of me wants to go, just so I can yell "too soon.. too soon" during the credits. Why is it nobody is pushing the "too soon" meme when a famous nutcase liberal is the director? Oh, I just answered my own question.

Posted by annika at 07:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Fourth Generation Warfare

There's an excellent article in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle regarding a subject I tried to write about here. The subject is "fourth generation warfare."

The question I asked, and which the Chronicle article addresses, is this: How does a state fight against a non-state in a new era of warfare in which non-states seem to have the advantage?

Look at Hezbollah. It used to be that the side with the most casualties was the loser. It used to be that the side who was forced to give up ground to an opponent was the loser. But as we've seen in the Israeli-Hezbollah war, the world has entered a new era of warfare in which every casualty suffered on the side of the non-state combatant becomes a weapon to be used against the state combatant.

In this new type of warfare, it behooves Hezbollah (and those particular Iraqi insurgents whose goal it is to end the U.S. "occupation") to maximize casualties on their own side of the fence. What we have is a war of attrition in which one side sacrifices its own citizens in order to obtain a strategic goal by non-military means, i.e. by propaganda.

Chronicle staff writer Matthew Stannard provides a more detailed description of "fourth generation warfare:"

A use of all available networks -- political, economic, social and military -- to convince enemy political leaders that their strategic goals are either unachievable or too costly to achieve.

A lack of clearly defined conditions, including beginning and end, victory or defeat, peace or war, civilian and combatant. Modern wars of this type tend to last for years as conflict surges and ebbs and moves between political, military and other battlegrounds.

Antagonists are organized more as sprawling, "leaderless" networks than as tight-knit hierarchies.

At least one side is something other than a military force organized and operating under the control of a national government -- a force that appears widely dispersed and largely undefined, lacking bases, centers of power and other traditional points of assault. These groups tend to seek to use their opponents' size, power and legitimacy against them.

An emphasis on high technology that allows small organizations to asymmetrically attack larger ones -- for example, availability of weapons of mass destruction, tools of electronic warfare or easy access to global media for purposes of propaganda.

Fascinating stuff. I'm reminded of the revolution in warfare brought about by the invention of the "minie" ball around the time of the American Civil War. Military tacticians did not catch up with that sea change until the end of the First World War. And by then there was a whole third dimension to battle that needed to be understood: air power.

What we've seen with "fourth dimensional warfare" is a completely new way for weak opponents to attack and beat strong opponents. I would say this is one of the lessons of Vietnam, and like the "minie" ball revolution, military planners are slow to recognize that the rug has been pulled out from under them. It is especially important that we get a handle on this problem now, because the Cold War is over and we are going to be fighting Hezbollahs and al Qaedas for the forseeable future.

What concerns me is that, in the battle of civilizations called the "War On Terror," the thing that makes us civilized is the thing that makes us weak -- our compassion. When your enemy is uncivilized, and has no concept of compassion, it's hard to win if you're swayed by world opinion.

My thesis is that we cannot win under these new rules. Only a return to the more brutal methods of World War II can beat these non-state actors and their principals (Iran, Syria). But we can't resort to those older methods unless we abandon our aversion to civilian casualties. And I don't see that happening absent a horrific über-9-11 as a catalyst.

Which is why I ended my last post on the subject with that cryptic and ominous final sentence.

h/t Belmont Club

Posted by annika at 02:20 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Annie's Jeopardy, Round 20

Tuning Spork edges ahead with $1200; Leif is second with $1100; Shelly and Victor are tied with $700 each; D-Rod and Law Fairy have $500 each; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each. There is one Daily Double left.

The category is "Canadians You've Never Heard Of," for $400.


Posted by annika at 08:47 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

This skeptical piece is by Iraqi poetess, Amal al-Jubouri; written in 2002.

Veil Of Religions

If you are One
and your teachings are One
why did you inscribe our infancy in the Torah
and adorn our youth in the Gospels
only to erase all that in your final Book?
Why did you draw those of us who acknowledge your oneness into disagreement?
Why did you multiply in us, when you are the one and only One?

Posted by annika at 08:00 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 07, 2006

Jeopardy With Annie, Round 19

Leif is breaks away from the pack with $1100; Shelly, Tuning Spork and Victor are tied with $700 each; D-Rod and Law Fairy have $500 each; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each. There is one Daily Double left.

The category is "Vexatious Vexillology," for $500.


Posted by annika at 07:12 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Recommended Reading

Blu sent me the following. It's a commentary by Israeli journalist Ben Caspit for the newspaper Ma'ariv, written in the voice of Ehud Olmert. So far as I can tell, it is not an actual speech by Olmert, just something Caspit wishes Olmert had the guts to say.

I thought it was so good, I'm reprinting it in its entirety.

Ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world. I, the Prime Minister of Israel, am speaking to you from Jerusalem in the face of the terrible pictures from Kfar Kana. Any human heart, wherever it is, must sicken and recoil at the sight of such pictures. There are no words of comfort that can mitigate the enormity of this tragedy. Still, I am looking you straight in the eye and telling you that the State of Israel will continue its military campaign in Lebanon.

The Israel Defense Forces will continue to attack targets from which missiles and Katyusha rockets are fired at hospitals, old age homes and kindergartens in Israel. I have instructed the security forces and the IDF to continue to hunt for the Katyusha stockpiles and launch sites from which these savages are bombarding the State of Israel.

We will not hesitate, we will not apologize and we will not back off. If they continue to launch missiles into Israel from Kfar Kana, we will continue to bomb Kfar Kana. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Here, there and everywhere. The children of Kfar Kana could now be sleeping peacefully in their homes, unmolested, had the agents of the devil not taken over their land and turned the lives of our children into hell.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time you understood: the Jewish state will no longer be trampled upon. We will no longer allow anyone to exploit population centers in order to bomb our citizens. No one will be able to hide anymore behind women and children in order to kill our women and children. This anarchy is over. You can condemn us, you can boycott us, you can stop visiting us and, if necessary, we will stop visiting you.

Today I am serving as the voice of six million bombarded Israeli citizens who serve as the voice of six million murdered Jews who were melted down to dust and ashes by savages in Europe. In both cases, those responsible for these evil acts were, and are, barbarians devoid of all humanity, who set themselves one simple goal: to wipe the Jewish race off the face of the earth, as Adolph Hitler said, or to wipe the State of Israel off the map, as Mahmoud Ahmedinjad proclaims.

And you - just as you did not take those words seriously then, you are ignoring them again now. And that, ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world, will not happen again. Never again will we wait for bombs that never came to hit the gas chambers. Never again will we wait for salvation that never arrives. Now we have our own air force. The Jewish people are now capable of standing up to those who seek their destruction - those people will no longer be able to hide behind women and children. They will no longer be able to evade their responsibility.

Every place from which a Katyusha is fired into the State of Israel will be a legitimate target for us to attack. This must be stated clearly and publicly, once and for all. You are welcome to judge us, to ostracize us, to boycott us and to vilify us. But to kill us? Absolutely not.

Four months ago I was elected by hundreds of thousands of citizens to the office of Prime Minister of the government of Israel, on the basis of my plan for unilaterally withdrawing from 90 percent of the areas of Judea and Samaria, the birth place and cradle of the Jewish people; to end most of the occupation and to enable the Palestinian people to turn over a new leaf and to calm things down until conditions are ripe for attaining a permanent settlement between us.

The Prime Minister who preceded me, Ariel Sharon, made a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip back to the international border, and gave the Palestinians there a chance to build a new reality for themselves. The Prime Minister who preceded him, Ehud Barak, ended the lengthy Israeli presence in Lebanon and pulled the IDF back to the international border, leaving the land of the cedars to flourish, develop and establish its democracy and its economy.

What did the State of Israel get in exchange for all of this? Did we win even one minute of quiet? Was our hand, outstretched in peace, met with a handshake of encouragement? Ehud Barak's peace initiative at Camp David let loose on us a wave of suicide bombers who smashed and blew to pieces over 1,000 citizens, men, women and children. I don't remember you being so enraged then. Maybe that happened because we did not allow TV close-ups of the dismembered body parts of the Israeli youngsters at the Dolphinarium? Or of the shattered lives of the people butchered while celebrating the Passover seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya? What can you do - that's the way we are. We don't wave body parts at the camera. We grieve quietly.

We do not dance on the roofs at the sight of the bodies of our enemy's children - we express genuine sorrow and regret. That is the monstrous behavior of our enemies. Now they have risen up against us. Tomorrow they will rise up against you. You are already familiar with the murderous taste of this terror. And you will taste more.

And Ariel Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza. What did it get us? A barrage of Kassem missiles fired at peaceful settlements and the kidnapping of soldiers. Then too, I don't recall you reacting with such alarm. And for six years, the withdrawal from Lebanon has drawn the vituperation and crimes of a dangerous, extremist Iranian agent, who took over an entire country in the name of religious fanaticism and is trying to take Israel hostage on his way to Jerusalem - and from there to Paris and London.

An enormous terrorist infrastructure has been established by Iran on our border, threatening our citizens, growing stronger before our very eyes, awaiting the moment when the land of the Ayatollahs becomes a nuclear power in order to bring us to our knees. And make no mistake - we won't go down alone. You, the leaders of the free and enlightened world, will go down along with us.

So today, here and now, I am putting an end to this parade of hypocrisy. I don't recall such a wave of reaction in the face of the 100 citizens killed every single day in Iraq. Sunnis kill Shiites who kill Sunnis, and all of them kill Americans - and the world remains silent. And I am hard pressed to recall a similar reaction when the Russians destroyed entire villages and burned down large cities in order to repress the revolt in Chechnya. And when NATO bombed Kosovo for almost three months and crushed the civilian population - then you also kept silent. What is it about us, the Jews, the minority, the persecuted, that arouses this cosmic sense of justice in you? What do we have that all the others don't?

In a loud clear voice, looking you straight in the eye, I stand before you openly and I will not apologize. I will not capitulate. I will not whine. This is a battle for our freedom. For our humanity. For the right to lead normal lives within our recognized, legitimate borders. It is also your battle. I pray and I believe that now you will understand that. Because if you don't, you may regret it later, when it's too late.

Posted by annika at 06:46 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Overheard While Trying To Leave A Comment At My Own Site

"Fuck fucking fuck fuck fuck shit!"

Posted by annika at 06:15 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


In the aftermath of the Reuters photo meltdown, wherein photographs taken by a freelancer were doctored for political effect, it might be a good time to note that the most compelling independent evidence of the alleged Haditha atrocities are .... photographs taken by a freelancer.

Posted by annika at 01:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 06, 2006

Now We Know Why They Doctored The Photo

You may have been following the Reuters doctored photo controversy. If not, Beth has a great rundown.

Of course, my sources here at annika's journal came through for me again. Now we know why Reuters photographer Adnan Hajj felt the need to doctor the original photograph. Open the extended entry to view the original.

Sometimes smoke can form random patterns that are recognizable.


Lots of people have asked why this photographer would risk his career by crudely photoshopping the smoke in this particular picture. It makes sense now don't it?

Update: Now I'm all confused. What if this is the original photo?!

Posted by annika at 11:42 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Annika's Jeopardy, Round 18

Shelly, Leif, Tuning Spork and Victor are tied for the lead with $700 each; D-Rod and Law Fairy have $500 each; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each. There is one Daily Double left.

The category is "American Skankwomen," for $400.


Posted by annika at 09:34 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

August 05, 2006

Violence Begets Violence, The Macro View

Wikipedia has a list of ongoing wars:

Basque Terrorism in Spain; Colombian Civil War; Islamic Insurgency in the Philippines; Somalian Civil War; Tamil conflict in Sri Lanka; Shining Path Insurgency in Peru; Papua New Guinea Civil War in Indonesia; Turkish-Kurdish conflict; LRA rebellion in Uganda; Casamance Conflict in Senegal; Somali Civil War; Myanmar Civil War; India-Pakistan Kashmir conflict; Georgian Civil War; Algerian Civil War; Ethnic conflict in Nagaland, India; Zapatista Rebellion in Mexico; Nepalese Civil War; Second Congo War; Ituri Conflict; Second Chechen War; al-Aqsa Intifada in Israel and the Palestinian Territories; Laotian-Hmong Civil War; Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan; Côte d'Ivoire Civil War; South Thailand insurgency; Iraqi Insurgency; Balochistan conflict in Pakistan; Waziristan War between Pakistan and al Qaeda; Darfur conflict; Chadian-Sudanese conflict; Western Sahara Independence Intifada; and the Israel-Lebanon crisis.

I made some changes to Wikipedia's list, which was overinclusive. Obviously, the wars that are most relevant to us are the Iraqi Insurgency, the Taliban Insurgency, the so-called Waziristan War, and the Israel-Lebanon crisis. But the main thing one gets from looking at the 33 conflicts listed is that the majority of them involve nation states fighting against irregular armies or guerrillas.

In armed conflict between nations and guerillas, the advantages of a nation state are easy to name. They are usually better equipped and better trained. They have professional leadership. They can form alliances with other nation states to obtain resources such as weapons and intelligence, if not actual military assistance. Their status as a recognized state confers a measure of legitimacy to their actions that guerillas do not have, at least initially.

The weakness of guerrilla forces are similarly obvious. In comparison to national armed forces, guerrillas are usually outnumbered. Their access to advanced weaponry is limited or non-existent. They usually lack formal training and professional leadership. They must operate in secret, which hampers their ability to communicate among themselves and their allies, and to obtain and store weapons and supplies.

However, guerrilla forces have distinct advantages over national armed forces. They usually do not wear uniforms, and when not in actual combat can remain in close proximity to their opponent, safely disguised as civilians. Guerrillas are by definition committed to their goal, and thus have the luxury of time. They do not have to answer to indifferent political forces back home, which can be a great advantage in a war of attrition. As Mao once said: The enemy advances, we retreat. The enemy camps, we harass. The enemy tires, we attack. The enemy retreats, we pursue.

And now, the latest Israeli-Lebanon conflict has thrown the weakness of nation states vis-a-vis guerrilla forces into sharp relief. Hezbollah's strategy has been to exploit the political weakness of Israel and its ally the United States. That weakness has been an unwillingness to suffer the opprobrium of world opinion, and that weakness has to date proved decisive.

The war in Lebanon is not over, but it looks like a cease fire is inevitable. If it comes to pass, no one should have any doubts about the permanency of the cease fire. It will not be permanent. How can it be when one side remains committed to the complete destruction of its opponent and the other side is committed to its own survival?

I have always said that there are two sure-fire solutions to the decades long Middle East Conflict. The first would be for all the various Palestinian groups to lay down their arms and adopt non-violent protest as their philosophy. That's a subject for another entire post, but I truly believe that a Gandhi style rebellion in the Palestinian territories would result in a fully independent Palestinian state within probably five years, maybe less. It will never happen because the Palestinian terrorist leadership doesn't really care about independence; they only care about killing Jews.

The second sure-fire solution recognizes the fact that the Palestinian leadership wants the conflict to continue because that enables them to keep killing Jews, which is their reason for existence. The second solution is to allow both sides to fight each other until one side wins. That means no cease fire, no brokered agreement, no cessation of hostilities, no UN peacekeeping force. Fight until one side surrenders.

We all know that if Israel were allowed to engage in Clausewitzian total war against its enemies, Israel would win. The Palestinian terrorists know this too. That's why Hezbollah and Hamas try to walk a fine line. They goad Israel into attacking, then cry foul when Israel responds. A cease fire is imposed and the terrorists bide their time until the next intifada. The enemy advances, we retreat. The enemy camps, we harass. The enemy tires, we attack. The enemy retreats, we pursue.

The trouble with the total war solution is its ugliness. Since World War II, the civilized world has not had the stomach for civilian casualties on a large scale. Every civilian death is now "regrettable," which is a new phenomenon in the history of the world.

Civilians have always died in war. Before the modern era, civilians were targeted directly. The ancients knew that pillaging was part of war. Victors from Genghis Khan to Napoleon put whole villages to the sword, simply for the crime of having been on the other side of a line on a map.

Did people protest these atrocities? Sure. Its not that people didn't think this type of warfare was unfair to the innocent. They did, but people had different expectations than we do nowadays. If Napoleon burned your town and his troops raped your wife and killed your kids, you didn't complain to Napoleon. You complained to your king, and then he went over there and kicked Napoleon's ass.

It was all about tribalism in the old days. You belonged to a tribe, and the other guy belonged to his tribe. If the other guy did something bad to your tribe, you expected and demanded that your tribe would retaliate by doing something bad to his tribe. That was understood as justice.*

In more recent times, our rationale for killing civilians moderated a bit, even if the number of dead civilians seemed to go up. During World War II, while the Japanese, Germans and Russians were committing acts of barbarism against civilians on the ground, we held ourselves to a different standard. We killed civilians too, but we did it from afar. And we killed a lot of them. Almost a million German civilians died from strategic bombing, and a similar number of Japanese with them. That was total war, and along with all those corpses it produced a clear victor, and a lasting peace.

I started out by remarking how many of the conflicts going on in the world are between guerilla movements and nation states. I'm trying to understand why, in an age when B-2 bombers from Missouri can attack an unseen enemy 7000 miles away in Afghanistan, yet we're not able to defeat a bunch of punks armed with homemade bombs in Baghdad. One fine morning in 1967, the Israeli Air Force destroyed the entire combined air forces of three sovereign nations. Yet here we are in 2006, about to watch a band of criminals shooting glorified bottle rockets claim victory over the vaunted IDF.

I'm sure there's lots of guys working in thinktanks and war colleges whose job it is to figure these things out, but so far I haven't seen nor heard of any effective way to fight guerrillas other than by total unrestricted warfare — which we won't do. How do you counter the weighty advantage they've claimed for themselves by co-opting the machinery of world public opinion? How do you beat an enemy that has perfected the use of civilian deaths both offensively and defensively, if your one achilles heel is the fear of civilian deaths?

America has fought against guerrilla forces in the past. We did it successfully during the Plains Indians Wars and the Philippine Insurrection. We were unsuccessful during Vietnam, although the ugliness of our methods was similar in all three wars. And that's the point. We can't fight and win against a guerrilla enemy unless we do so in a brutal manner. And even then, the outcome is not certain.

To win, the enemy needs to know that violence begets violence. They need to know that if they mess with our tribe, we will mess with theirs and we won't be deterred if things get ugly and innocent civilians die. But the reality is something completely different, because in fact we are deterred by civilian casualties. In fact, we are fighting two wars and a nominal war on terror with the express handicap that we will do everything to avoid harming civilians as much as possible.

That's the situation, and that's why we're still in Iraq. The administration's policy is not to become more brutal, which could win victory but would turn the world against us. (Even more than they already have, that is.) Instead the administration's ultimate goal is to prepare an Iraqi security force to fight the guerrilla war. In truth, our plan is to pass the buck to the Iraqis. It's the only solution, if one recognizes the fact that the world is not in a place where it will accept brutality by a nation state in a small-scale war like Iraq.

I suppose that is understandable. I'm not arguing here for total war, indiscriminate killing of civilians, collective punishment, or the adoption of brutality in Iraq. I'm merely trying to point out the reality of our dilemma. We can't do what needs to be done, so we won't do it. The enemy knows this and is smart enough to recognize it as our greatest weakness. They will keep fighting us, and using our weakness against us. We advance, they retreat. We camp, they harass. We tire, they attack. We retreat, they pursue. Follow this line of thought to its logical conclusion and you'll realize something even scarier.

We may end up with total war, whether we like it or not.

* Nowadays the "world" has a different, some would say more enlightened, definition of justice. Today's justice revolves around preventing the innocent from getting killed. That's fine and dandy, except we don't apply that ideal evenly across the board. There's plenty of dead innocent people around the world who might have argued that our new definition of "justice" didn't do them a whole lot of good.

Posted by annika at 12:29 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Annika's Jeopardy, Round 17

Shelly, Leif and Tuning Spork are tied for the lead with $700 each; D-Rod, Law Fairy and Victor have $500 each; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each. There is one Daily Double left.

The category is "Canadians You've Never Heard Of," for $200.


Posted by annika at 07:28 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 04, 2006

Jeopardy With Annika, Round 16

Shelly, Leif and Tuning Spork are tied for the lead with $700 each; D-Rod and Law Fairy have $500 each; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events and Trint have $200 each; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each. There is one Daily Double left.

The category is "American Skankwomen," for $500. Let's do another video clue.


Posted by annika at 07:43 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Violence Begets Violence, The Micro View

I'd been ruminating on a post about the efficacy of violence in modern international conflict, when I came across Publicola's miniseries on the efficacy of violence in personal security. I may get to my own thesis this weekend, but I want to recommend Publicola's post today. It's especially timely when you consider what's been going on in Phoenix for the last year.

Publicola's divided his essay into three parts (with more on the way). The first deals with the philosophy of self-defense in an introductory way, the second deals more specifically with the use of firearms for self-defense and suggestions for proper training, and the third part contains recommendations on proper gun selection.

[A brief aside here: Publicola, like many others I've consulted, is a big fan of the shotgun for home defense. That's all well and good, and I understand his argument, but in my opinion the best firearm for home defense has got to be the Pistolet-Pulemet Shpagina model 1941, otherwise known as the PPSh or "burp gun."

It's the gun that kicked the Wermacht's ass. Check it out. At 900 rounds per minute, tell me that couldn't neuter any or all rapists and burglars you'd care to name. I'd like to try it on this asshole.]

If you're curious about what I've chosen for my own protection, here she is.

Posted by annika at 05:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Observations From The Cellphone #94

[part of a continuing series]

Panda Express is a phenomenon whose longevity, like that of rock & roll or the computer, seems unjustified by its present state of quality.

Posted by annika at 02:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Happy Birthday Pops

Born August 4, 1901, New Orleans, Louisiana. Died July 6, 1971, Queens, New York. Lives forever everywhere.


Pale moon shining on the fields below
Folks are crooning songs soft and low
Needn't tell me so because I know
It's sleepy time down south

Soft winds blowing through the pinewood trees
Folks down there like a life of ease
When old mammy falls upon her knees
It's sleepy time down south

Steamboats on the river a coming or a going
Splashing the night away
Hear those banjos ringing, the people are singing
They dance til the break of day, hey

Dear old southland with his dreamy songs
Takes me back there where I belong
How I'd love to be in my mammy's arms
When it's sleepy time way down south

Dear old southland with his dreamy songs
Take me back there where I belong
How I'd love to be in my mammy's arms
When it's sleepy time down south

Don't forget to listen to some Louis today. Take a visit to Jazzmania in this 1932 short film. Note the blunt smoking reference at the end.

Posted by annika at 07:44 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Two Men Arrested In AZ

Great news! It looks like they've arrested two suspects in the Arizona Serial Shooter case. Supposedly the shooter and his driver. That means the Baseline Killer is still out there. I hope they get him soon.

Posted by annika at 07:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Jeopardy With Annika, Round 15

Shelly, Leif and Tuning Spork are tied for the lead with $700 each; D-Rod and Law Fairy have $500 each; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events has $200; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each. There is one Daily Double left.

The category is "Anal Bum Covers," for $200.


Posted by annika at 06:20 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 03, 2006

Annika's Jeopardy, Round 14

Shelly, Leif and Tuning Spork are tied for the lead with $700 each; D-Rod is second with $500; Maximum Leader and KG have $300 each; Matt of Overtaken By Events has $200; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each. There is one Daily Double left.

The category is Ronald Reagan for $500.


Posted by annika at 07:05 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Danish Protest Video

Here is the video of the Danish protest rally, which I mentioned in my July 21st post from Copenhagen. Sorry it's only seven seconds long, my CF disk was getting full, but you get the gist of it.

The yellow flag is none other than the flag of Hezbollah, an organization that has killed countless innocent Israelis, a good number of innocent Americans, and wouldn't lose sleep if it killed a few Danes either.

In the foreground you see the edge of a black banner. I forgot what it said, probably something about the Jews. Anyway, I was about to turn around and go into the internet cafe, when the teenager who was holding one end of the banner saw me and asked if I wanted to hold it for a while. I said nej, of course.

Interestingly, among the 100 or so people there, the dude on stage was the only one who appeared muslim. The rest were typical eurotrash hippies, either real young or old Deadhead types.

We generally avoided any political discussions in our interactions with the Danes and Swedes during our trip, and the Scandinavians we met were stereotypically polite so the "war" subject never came up. The only anti-American thing I saw during the ten days was that someone had smashed the front window of the American food store on Gamla Stan in Stockholm. The damage was taped up, and the store remained open.

My aunt and uncle, being Jutlanders, are pro-Danish and therefore pro-DANCON (i.e. Iraq.)

Posted by annika at 07:48 AM | Comments (36) | TrackBack

Question #249

[in a continuing series]

Am I the only one who thinks it's ironic that even though he's dictator of the country with the GREATEST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND, Fidel Castro is still going to die?

Posted by annika at 06:56 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 02, 2006

Jeopardy With Annika, Round 13

Lucky Round 13 is here.

Shelly, Leif and Tuning Spork are tied for the lead with $700 each; D-Rod is second with $500; Maximum Leader has $300; Matt of Overtaken By Events has $200; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each. There is one Daily Double left.

The category is "Vexatious Vexillology," for $300.


Posted by annika at 05:35 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Odin's Day Is Poetry Day

Old Norse Poetry from the "Vellekla," an Icelandic epic of the tenth century.

Hakon the earl, so good and wise,
Let all the ancient temples rise; --
Thor's temples raised with fostering hand
That had been ruined through the land.
His valiant champions, who were slain
On battle-fields across the main,
To Thor, the thunder-god, may tell
How for the gods all turns out well.
The hardy warrior now once more
Offers the sacrifice of gore;
The shield-bearer in Loke's game
Invokes once more great Odin's name.
The green earth gladly yields her store,
As she was wont in days of yore,
Since the brave breaker of the spears
The holy shrines again uprears.
The earl has conquered with strong hand
All that lies north of Viken land:
In battle storm, and iron rain
Hakon spreads wide his sword's domain.

Posted by annika at 08:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 01, 2006

Coolest Thing I Saw On The Internets Today

Something tells me them boys on the Cole got a chip on their shoulder.

I freakin' love that Phalanx system. It sounds scarier than shit. Terrorists beware, heh heh!

Posted by annika at 08:09 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Jeopardy With Annika, Round 12

The long feared awaited return of Annika's Jeopardy!

Here's the situation when we left off. Shelly and Leif are tied for the lead with $700 each; D-Rod is second with $500; Tuning Spork has $400; Maximum Leader has $300; Matt of Overtaken By Events has $200; Drake Steel, TBinSTL and SkippyStalin have $100 each. There is one Daily Double left.

The category is "Canadians You've Never Heard Of," for $300. Here's the clue:


Posted by annika at 07:05 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack