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March 31, 2003
Quagmire and Militia

I noticed something interesting about media coverage of Saddam's Fedayeen. I'll call it political expediency by certain in the media with a set of assumptions about what the correct political outcome is on a host of issues.

Some are trying to say that the "unexpected Resistance" of the militia is going to cause us to lose the war or at least be significantly hindered in our objective. I find it hilarious that these are likely the same folks who scoff at the claim that an armed militia here in the US made up of all males 18-45 (which is the current Federal legal definition of militia) creates a realistic check on the power of the United States government.

I actually think that the only thing surprising about the Fedayeen was their desire to use suicide tactics. I also think that the US common citizen's militia would be far more effective for a variety of reasons, least of which is that in comparison to the Fedayeen we wouldn't use thuggery against our own. That tactic alone belies a certain lack of enlightenment about tactics.

Posted by hoffmang at 11:50 PM

March 28, 2003

I'm peeved that this has become Mr. Bush's war. I think that this is a clear sign of bias in the media. This is the United State's war to end tyranny in Iraq, enforce our original cease fire there, and liberate the Iraqi people. The personification of this to George W. Bush tells me two things.

First, it strongly hints that if a Democratic president were prosecuting the same just war, we would have the support of many in the media. Second, its clear that the same stupid hate that clouded the right into hyperbole over Clinton clouds the left over Bush.

About the best way to be tuned out by a learned listener is to insert hate into your argument. Calm down and get over the fact that Gore's campaign was inept enough to cause a tie. I felt the same way when I listened to witch-hunt after witch-hunt in the Clinton years. Both leaders have their issues, but no one said that Roosevelt suffered a setback when German forces surrounded the 101st at Bastogne...

The left and the right need to grow up.

Posted by hoffmang at 11:32 PM

March 27, 2003
Colin Powell's Quote

I often spend time on various boating message boards on the web. I'm the guy that posts links to snopes.com to debunk stuff that gets posted on the "Dock Walk" or "Non Boating Related" section.

Today I ran across this that I had seen elsewhere before:

When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush.

He answered by saying that, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."

It became very quiet in the room.

I dutifully headed off to Snopes. It turns out that not only is it true (though the paraphrase is a bit off) there is even more laudable in the Secretary of State's comments. Snopes on Powell's comments.

Posted by hoffmang at 10:45 PM


One of the things that I have to disagree with the common wisdom on is Al-Jazeera. Lots of folks seem to think that they are despicable for broadcasting Osama and all the rest. Interestingly, they have this habit of irritating every government in the region - including ours and their own. It's a great statement that the Emir of Qatar gets it and allows a truly free press.

I'll certainly agree with some folks who say that showing the executed American soldiers was in poor taste, but poor taste is something true freedom of speech has to embrace.

I agree with Glenn as far as the Reuters comparison goes, but further, as I often hear, is too much.

It just seems wrong to me that we wish to pressure one of the more progressive states in the area to put pressure on the only free arab TV. Now, that doesn't mean we aren't all allowed to criticize them or disagree, but the rhetoric I read always seems to be that we should censor them somehow.

One impact of Al-Jazeera that I've only seen mentioned once on the web (and I'm looking for the URL again) is the impact they have had on Saddam's support outside of Iraq. Al-Jazeera has been showing video of the gassing of the Kurds and running stories about his oppression which had kept the street protests in the Middle East leading up to the war much quieter.

How much difference is there between Al-Jazeera running Iraq TV and then Fox or CNN running it minutes later.

Posted by hoffmang at 09:36 PM

March 22, 2003
Real Protesters

Ok, so I admit that I had been thinking about counter protesting here in SF, but these guys went and did it. I love it!

Here are my favorite signs from them:

"Except for ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism, & Communism War has never solved anything"

"Protect Islamic Property Rights Against Western Imperialism" set next to a fist holding a Muslim woman chained around the neck. See it to undestand.

Communism has only killed 100 million people let's give it another chance!"


Posted by hoffmang at 12:57 PM

March 21, 2003
The Most Important Discussion

I've listened and watched and babbled as the great debate about war in Iraq went on and on.

I think these images finish the debate:

Thanks Tacitus and AP.

Posted by hoffmang at 09:53 PM

March 20, 2003
Shock And Awe

The only thing this phrase creates is laughter and triteness. Can the media just drop it until we start the air campaign? That is if we have to start the air campaign.

I will say that I thought it was Saddam in the video, but maybe he's gone...

Update: Maybe this is all something akin to the windtalkers?

Posted by hoffmang at 09:07 PM

Sleep Is Hard

As usual, there is nothing on TV, but as history unwinds a particularly rich thread, its just hard not to want to pay attention.

Well, morning pacific time will be sunset Iraqi time. I expect more events then.

Posted by hoffmang at 01:12 AM

March 19, 2003
Cry Havoc

The deadline is passed.

The battle to free the middle east will begin shortly.

Posted by hoffmang at 05:00 PM


Brett Thomas has been posting about how truly bad Reuters is. I had a couple of other headlines that had peeved me a week ago that I had wanted to post. Alas, both the articles and my memory of them have disappeared into the ether.

However, this headline was so bad that I had to post:

"Iraq War Illegal but Trial Unlikely, Lawyers Say"

I didn't have to look to know it was Reuters. They are objective alright - objectively anti american. I've been enjoying watching their financial decline in light of all this.

Posted by hoffmang at 12:46 PM

A Better Future

Its an uncertain time. I am a risk taker and an optimist, so I think that the second battle in the war on terror will be a dramatic step in the right direction. I honestly believe that things will be better for my little one and my nieces and nephews before they get to college and that makes a lot of this worth it.

The things I'm watching are:

1. Has Saddam payed off the North Koreans to attack?

2. Will Saddam find a crazy enough group to use the weapons he "doesn't have" on our troops?

3. What will we do if he does?

4. What (tactical and gadget) surprises does the DoD have in store for us and them?

I expect the next 48 hours to be very interesting. I doubt we'll see any actual domestic terror, but that doesn't mean that I'm not making sure that my emergency supplies are ready.

Good luck America.

Posted by hoffmang at 01:00 AM

March 06, 2003
Being a Geek

I always have been and always will be a geek.

Posted by hoffmang at 11:33 AM

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