This probably isn't going to pass...

...but it's a nice thought. KLo in the Corner:
An amendment passed the House by voice-vote last night, sponsored by Rep. Mark Kennedy (R., Mn.). It would limit French, German, Russian, and Syrian influence in postwar Iraq. It would prohibit taxpayer money spent on reconstruction in Iraq from going to any companies in those countries. Here's the text:
An amendment to provide that none of the funds made available in the bill for reconstruction efforts in Iraq may be used to procure goods or services from any entity that includes information on a response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) that indicates that such entity is organized under the laws of France, Germany, the Russian Federation, or Syria.
Now that's some legislation I can get behind. Call me vengeful.
Raffarin: US war on Iraq a moral, political, and strategic mistake.

The French Prime Minister apparently decided there had been enough conciliation of US allies offended by France's recalcitrant stance on the progress of the war and launched a new offensive.
"The Americans made a triple mistake: first of all a moral mistake, and I think we have to say this: there was an alternative to war. We could have disarmed Iraq differently."
But he doesn't say how. And they weren't exactly chock full o' ideas at the time, apart from temporizing with Blix.
That was clear by Washington's failure to secure a U.N. resolution authorizing military action should Iraq fail to destroy its alleged weapons of mass destruction, he said.
1441 did that. Thought we were pretty clear on that up front.
"Also, (they made) a political mistake, because we know very well the difficulties of this region of the world," he added. "We see how serious the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is, and at any moment it can set the world ablaze. It's a serious political error to start trouble in this region.
To quote Billy Joel (however inadvisedly), we didn't start the fire. But unlike France, neither are we willing to sit around and watch the house burn down.
"And then, there is a strategic mistake: that today one country can lead the world," he said, arguing that Europe should be one of the major poles of influence in the world.
And by Europe, of course, he actually means France. If France wants to be a world leader, then perhaps they should act like one. Whining about not being listened to and infantile demands for post-conflict control of a situation they chose to sidestep won't cut it.


A man of many parts.

Coffeemuse on Museblog links to a very special MSNBC article about a very special poetic talent--our own Donald Rumsfeld. My personal favorite:
A Confession

Once in a while,
I’m standing here, doing something.
And I think,
“What in the world am I doing here?”
It’s a big surprise.

—May 16, 2001, interview with the New York Times
Tina Brown weighs in.

IF ONLY TONY BLAIR were President” is still the prevailing feeling among Americans, whatever they feel about the war.
Speak for yourself, you twat. [Link via Drudge.]
I resent sharing a name with this idiot.

John Kerry calls for US "regime change" and promises to usher in a "golden age of American diplomacy".
Kerry said that he had spoken with foreign diplomats and several world leaders as recently as Monday while fund-raising in New York and that they told him they felt betrayed when Bush resorted to war in Iraq before they believed diplomacy had run its course.

He said the leaders, whom he did not identify, believed that Bush wanted to ''end-run around the UN.''

''I don't think they're going to trust this president, no matter what,'' Kerry said. ''I believe it deeply, that it will take a new president of the United States, declaring a new day for our relationship with the world, to clear the air and turn a new page on American history.''
Is he on crack? We've just turned a new page in American history with Bush taking that "kick me hard" sign off our backs that got slapped on there during the Clinton admin.; the idea that we should make our nation subject to the agendas of foreign governments is neither new nor particularly desirable. And someone should remind him that foreign nationals do not elect American presidents. Not yet, anyway. [Link via Drudge.]

Update: I really should check with Charles Austin before I write anything.


Quite possibly the single stupidest question of the war so far:

Augusta Policinski, Polish Weekly: Do you receive information about increasing movement of antiwar protesters around the world? Does the information change your decisions, influence your decisions?
Addressed to Gen. Brooks at one of the CentCom briefings. Jonathan Last examines what the hell runs through the minds of foreign correspondents when they ask questions like this. [Stolen from the same Instapundit link as the preceding post.]
"They griped with the belly growls of jackals."

Austin Bey imagines what might be going on inside the Iraqi high command. Best line:
We say we rely on the Arab street, but the Arab street is a pitiful alley where shouts die quickly and the strong man's banners tatter and burn once his bayonet is gone.
[Link shamelessly lifted from Instapundit.]
And Geraldo is leaving Iraq.

"Voluntarily", at the request of the Pentagon. [Link via the Corner.]
French rooting for Saddam.

According to the Times UK, 1 of every 3 French persons actually wants Saddam to win this war. Can't really say I'm surprised--it's obvious they miss being an empire and having the world cater to their whims, and would back the devil himself if he were on the other side of a war with les Anglo-Saxons. [Link via Jonah in The Corner, who got it from Drudge.]
Like I don't have enough reason to despise the French.

Jkrank at Sofia Sideshow piles another one on: someone has desecrated a cemetary for the British war dead near Boulogne, spraypainting "Rosbeefs go home" on the big cenotaph in the center, as well as the standard suggestions that Bush and Blair are Nazi war criminals, death to the Yankees, blah blah f'n blah. These are all that remains of the valiant men who died defending their forbears, and they actually spray-painted, "Dig up your garbage, it's fouling our soil".

Intellectually, I realize not all the French think this way, and some remember and are actually grateful to the Anglosphere for giving them their country back. Emotionally, however, this just adds weight to the low opinion I have of the entire country. It's hard to remember the debt we owe Lafayette when every French son of a bitch after him is such a low-rent bastard.



Peter Arnett falls into the Mirror's tub of margarine, and spends his first column crying about being fired.
At least not for Peter. Heh.
I am still in shock and awe at being fired.
Obligatory and yet ill-advised play on words.
There is enormous sensitivity within the US government to reports coming out from Baghdad.

They don't want credible news organisations reporting from here because it presents them with enormous problems.
"I am an enormous threat to the US government because I am a shining beacon of truth and light." Right. The US government didn't fire you, Pete.
I reported on the original bombing for NBC and we were half a mile away from those massive explosions. Now I am really shocked that I am no longer reporting this story for the US and awed by the fact that it actually happened.

That overnight my successful NBC reporting career was turned to ashes. And why?
Because you lent yourself to a despotic regime for propaganda purposes like the whore you are?
Because I stated the obvious to Iraqi television; that the US war timetable has fallen by the wayside.
Like you were privy to the timetable.
I have made those comments to television stations around the world and now I'm making them again in the Daily Mirror.

I'm not angry. I'm not crying. But I'm also awed by this media phenomenon.
You are angry. You are whining. And you have surpassed your shocknawe quota. Knock it off.
The right-wing media and politicians are looking for any opportunity to be critical of the reporters who are here, whatever their nationality. I made the misjudgment which gave them the opportunity to do so.

I gave an impromptu interview to Iraqi television feeling that after four months of interviewing hundreds of them it was only professional courtesy to give them a few comments.

That was my Waterloo - bang!

I have not yet decided what to do, whether to pack my bags and leave Baghdad or stay on.

I'll decide what to do today, right now I'm chewing on what has happened to me.
And chewing. And chewing. And chewing. Because for Arnett, that's what the entire exercise is about--what has happened to him, and how unfair it is. Not what he did, not what repercussions what he did might have, just his Christlike persecution--by the government, implicitly--for trying to enlighten the rest of us.

There's more. I don't have the energy to slog through it. Arnett sucks more as a writer than he does as a talking head.

[Link via LGF. I don't read the Mirror. Really. I do have some standards.]

In Lupica's column today:
"Oh, sure, I've seen some bad ones," he said. "We had a bad start in '62 that lasted nine games." Kiner shook his head, smiling, and said, "But I don't believe I've ever seen one here worse than this."
More of the same: MTV self-censoring its playlist.

And the reason is frankly astounding: they don't want to risk offending their audience, which polls as at least marginally pro-war.
Werde links MTV's surprisingly cautious playlist to a poll taken by MTV.com that found that 61 percent of the music channel's viewers support the war.

"The majority of Americans still support this war," Werde writes, "no matter how boisterous folks are at protests, no matter how long the city of San Francisco is shut down by people with their arms chained together, no matter how loudly protesters scream ‘Not in my name!' "
Heh. Does my heart good to read that. I just find it incredible that MTV viewers support the war.
Faux-Brit Madonna not going to release "American Life" in America.

"I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video."
This from the woman who humped a statue of a black Christ in one of her videos. Now she's worried about offending people.
"It was filmed before the war started," she explains, "and I do not believe it is appropriate to air it at this time."
Inappropriate how, exactly? Because Madonna has changed her stance on supporting the war? Unlikely. Because she's afraid of being "Dixie Chicked"? Possibly. Although her core audience is certainly not comprised of the same people as the Dixie Chicks', the release of the video in Europe would seem to indicate that she thinks it'll resonate better with the audiences there, due to anti-war/anti-American sentiment. She's never shied away from offending large segments of the American audience before, but she's never put a foot wrong in estimating what her fans will tolerate, either (Musically. Repeated failed stabs at a movie career duly noted.)


Technically not incest.

It just seems like it: Mick Jagger's son dating Keith Richards' daughter. [Link via the hilarious Great Satan Quarterly.]
Such a lovely place.

Via the WSJ Opinion Journal:
"Iraqi civilians fleeing heavy fighting have stunned and delighted hungry US marines in central Iraq by giving them food, as guerrilla attacks continue to disrupt coalition supply lines to the rear," Agence France-Presse reports from central Iraq. Sgt. Kenneth Wilson tells the wire service: "They had slaughtered lambs and chickens and boiled eggs and potatoes for their journey out of the frontlines":
Khairi Ilrekibi, 35, a passenger on one of the buses, which broke down near the marine position, said he could speak for the 20 others on board.

In broken English he told a correspondent travelling with the marines: "We like Americans," adding that no one liked Saddam Hussein because "he was not kind."
The same dispatch quotes Lance Cpl. David Polikowsky, who's been guarding prisoners of war at the camp. Of one group of POWs, mostly conscripts, he recalls: "They told me they wanted to go to America after the war. I said where. They said California. I said why? They said the song Hotel California and they left singing Hotel California."
Oh, and before I forget:
Meet the Mets, meet the Mets
Step right up and greet the Mets
Bring your kiddies, bring your wife
Guaranteed to have the time of your life
Because the Mets are really sockin' the ball
Knockin' those homeruns over the wall
East side, West side, everybody's comin' down
To meet the M-E-T-S Mets, of New York town

Oh, the butcher, and the banker, and the people in the street
Where do they go? To meet the Mets
Oh, they're hollerin' and cheerin' and they're jumpin' in their seats
Where do they go? To meet the Mets
All the fans are true to the orange and blue, so hurry up and come on down
'cause we've got ourselves a ballclub, the Mets of New York town

Give 'em a yell! Give 'em a hand!
And let 'em know you're rootin' in the stands...

Come on and meet the Mets, meet the Mets,
Step right up and greet the Mets
Bring your kiddies, bring your wife
Guaranteed to have the time of your life
Because the Mets are really sockin' the ball
Knockin' those homeruns over the wall
East side, West side, everybody's comin' down
To meet the M-E-T-S Mets, of New York town,
Of Neeeew Yoooork Toooooooooooown.

Just be thankful I only do this once a year. (1963 Meet the Mets wav file available here.)

Update: You don't have to say it, I know.
And may I just add...

...regarding Nick de Genova, the Columbia professor who said he would like to see "a million Mogadishus" at a "teach-in" last week, the people in that audience who didn't stand up and tell him what an utterly brainless prick he was should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
And the Marines are escorting Geraldo out of theater.

Evidently for broadcasting details of ongoing military ops. I'd like to see his dumb ass prosecuted for treason, if true. This just highlights the reasons for keeping the press the hell away from the military; in most cases they have absolutely no understanding of what they're seeing, no comprehension of the big picture, and no qualms about compromising the mission. And if Geraldo happens to catch a bullet in the skull on the way out I'm not among the ones who'd weep for him, nor would I recommend looking too closely into the source of that bullet.

UPDATE: Bernadine tells me it's a hoax (see comments). I am now bitterly disappointed.

Update update: Reuters and AFP both say it's true.

Veteran reporter Geraldo Rivera, a correspondent for Fox News, is being removed from Iraq by the U.S. military for reporting Western troop movements in the war, the Pentagon said on Monday.

"He was with a (U.S.) military unit in the field and the commander felt that he had compromised operational information by reporting the position and movements of troops," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told Reuters.

"The commander thought it best to get the reporter out of his battle space and we understand he is being removed from Iraq," Whitman said.
Sounds like the goods. I don't think the Pentagon is inclined to play along with the merry pranksters at CNN and MSNBC. [Links via Drudge.] Curiously, Fox doesn't seem to have noted the incident on their website yet.
Arnett terminated with extreme prejudice.

For that stupid fucking interview he gave Iraqi television. [Link via the Corner.]