Saturday, February 22, 2003

Matthew Yglesias notices an interesting detail in the unmentionable Le Monde:

The Chief Inspector has not asked Baghdad to destroy the factories where the Al-Samouds are built, contrary to the wishes of certain American officials. Nor has he demanded the dismantling of a testing ramp which can be put to use testing missile motors even larger than those of the Al-Samoud.

Check out the continuous updates of the same post.
A bored programmer from Brussels puts a sensible question:

I'm not an International Lawyer

But maybe one of my readers is ;-) I have a question I've been wondering about lately. With all the diplomatic wrangling going on to get a second (well, fifteenth or so) U.N. resolution authorizing war in Iraq, would't there be another way for the U.S. to go to war 'legally'? Might there be a loophole in one of the previous resolutions? More specifically:

Would (some of) the reasons in the U.N. resolution authorizing the first Gulf war still be valid, and if so, could this resolution still be used to justify an attack now?
If I remember correctly, no peace treaty was ever signed with Iraq after the previous war, just a cease-fire. Is this correct? And if so, could hostilities just be resumed like that? It would of course have been neccessary for the U.S. to have officially declared war on Iraq back then. I'm not sure, but I don't think it did. At least, I can't find any 'Declaration of War' right now.

I realise this is highly hypothetical and would certainly be frowned upon by the international community, but could it be done?

I have been wondering about the same for some time now. The war talk is going on for several years - so why don't the US just do it?
And the title of
Psychologist of the week

goes to Adrian Nastase, the Prime Minister of Romania for the statement: "I as well, when I have trouble with my wife, I shout at my boys"

ExpatEgghead comments on my post linking to Brendan O'Neills 10 bad reasons to oppose the war against Iraq (O'Neill's text in quotation marks):

'The five permanent members of the UN Security Council are the only nations legally allowed to hold nuclear weapons;'
Wrong. There is no international treaty banning any country from having nuclear weapons. There is a treaty requiring weapon owning states not to help other states procure them. If it were illegal, then India and Pakistan and Israel would be in the dock.
'Because the weapons inspectors need more time...'
'Weapon inspectors won't kill anyone.
'they can decide whether, when and why to launch a war'
Wrong. It takes 9 members of the security council with no vetoes from any permanent member.
Here's another one to add. Because the pentagon thinks it's the wrong war.

Update: I admit to a weakness for "Spiked" and most of its contributors. I like their refreshing, sassy writing, but don't expect solid background checks from them on anything that extends beyond domestic affairs, least of all from O'Neill. This is rather amusing since he has lashed out against bloggers on two (1, 2) occassions, accusing them among other things of generating little "original content". Yet he himself only appears to write opinion pieces with zero of the same "original content", and based on poor research for that... just like any run-of-the-mill blogger, in fact...

Why don't they just offer a media job to Imshin?

Thursday, February 20, 2003

It is utterly illogical that I should be against the war on Iraq, but I am. Give me time to sort out why exactly. Besides, I have some work to do.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

A lively discussion on Thomas Nephew's post With regrets: For war on Saddam, plus an interesting blog via the same source: The Diablogger
A chance discovery: the beautiful site of Hiroette, a Japanese graphic designer. Note the gallery

Monday, February 17, 2003

Doesn't look like too serious a site, but still:

Israelis warned U.S. of al Qaida "misinformation" campaign

Israeli intelligence professionals warned the United States that Osama bin Laden's al Qaida network lacked sufficient resources to mount a 9-11 type large-scale attack on American targets but would instead use misinformation to keep intelligence agencies guessing just when and where the next attack would come.

A report given to the Central Intelligence Agency by Mossad, Israel’s highly-regarded intelligence agency, concluded American attacks against al Qaida in Afghanistan, coupled with seizure of assets in banks around the world, had, for the time being, crippled bin Laden’s ability to mount any large-scale attacks against the United States.

However, the Israelis warned bin Laden would use “misinformation” planted through CIA assets and captured al Qaida operatives to keep America guessing on just when and where such attacks might come and force the United States to waste time and resources preparing for attacks that would not come.

“Misinformation has always been a primary weapon of the terrorist,” says a highly-placed source within the Israeli intelligence community. “When properly utilized, such misinformation can cause an enemy to forfeit important resources and energy.”


To Israel’s dismay, the U.S. ignored the report and elevated the national threat level from yellow to orange, triggering a nationwide run on “survival” supplies at grocery and hardware stores along with an increase in anxiety among Americans.


Instead, the Israeli report details stronger ties that it says exists between bin Laden and Saudi Arabia, a country the Bush administration considers an ally even though its support for war with Iraq has been minimal.

Spokesmen for the White House, CIA, FBI and the Israeli government would not return phone calls seeking comment on this article
American Jewish leader says terror threat to U.S. Jews overstated:

Speaking in Jerusalem at the opening of the annual meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, executive vice chairman Malcolm Hoenlein said that although there is cause for concern, the threat level has been exaggerated by the media.


"Each day we get reports of another new alert or a rumor, which does create great concern and fear in the community," he said. "This is part of the tactic, terrorism is called terror because of the fear it instills."

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Brendan O'Neill of "Spiked" offers 10 of the worst reasons to oppose The War, but not a single good one. Last sentence:

Give me a break
From the site of Mr. Flag, a British - you guessed it - flag distribution company:

Top 5 Products:

  1. Palestine
  2. USA
  3. UK Red Ensign
  4. Set of "DINNER IS SERVED" and "BAR IS OPEN" flags
  5. Flag Gillet

The best-selling product comes in 10 sizes, the largest, 4.5 m wide, costs 120 British pounds. Makes me wonder what the patriotically-clad Mr. Flag himself thinks of it. They don't sell Palestinian waistcoats though... hey, I have just uncovered yet another Zionist conspiracy!