Around the ‘Sphere

Didn’t get a Friday Linkzookery up yesterday, but I’ll try to make up for it today with some links and stuff:

Frank Warner: Yo, mullahs! Damn these bombers to Hell!

Except for the Islamic Commission of Spain, the world’s leading Muslim clerics have taken no stand against the culture of death promoted by Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the other bloodthirsty, glory-hungry Islamists.

It’s time for the ayatollahs, the mullahs, the imams, the sheikhs and minor clerics, whoever leads mosques anywhere, to issue fatwas against the killing of innocents, no matter their faith, no matter their home country.

If there were hundreds of Catholics running around blowing people, places, and things to smithereens based on what they claimed the Bible said, don’t you think there’d be pressure on the Pope and the rest of the Catholic Church to condemn the violence? If the Pope didn’t support the terrorists, don’t you think he’d do it?

Frank Warner again: North Koreans: They eat in South Korea’s prisons?

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il was trying to show his starving, imprisoned nation how badly South Korea had treated a North Korean national hero.

He released a propaganda film about North Korean spy Lee In-Mo, who had been held 42 years in a South Korean prisons. The trouble is, when North Korean audiences saw the film, they noticed how well their comrade had been fed in South Korea.

Lee later went on a hunger strike, which was about the stupidest thing most North Koreans could ever imagine doing.


Last week, a Thurston County, Washington, judge ruled that on-air editorial comments by two of my old friends, Seattle talk hosts Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson of KVI-AM, are considered in-kind campaign contributions, subject to reporting under state disclosure laws.

She also points this out from the Seattle Times editors:

Two years ago, when the federal campaign-finance law reached the U.S. Supreme Court, dissenting justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas warned that something like this would happen. We doubted it; it seemed clear to us that the law applied to ads, not editorial content. We thought Thomas was over the top when he said campaign-finance law was leading toward “outright regulation of the press.”

Judge Wickham has made a step toward just that. It is a dangerous, unconstitutional ruling. The losers need to appeal it and the appellate courts need to reverse it.


Noting a piece in the Guardian that suggests (nay, declares!) that if we’d just do everything they want, they’d probably stop attacking so much.

Defense Tech: Off to Iraq

I’ve spent a big chunk of the last four years writing about how technology is changing the way battles are fought. Now it’s time for me to witness those changes close-up — and see how war still remains brutally, awfully the same. I’m leaving for Iraq on Saturday morning, on assignment for Wired magazine.

I, for one, cannot wait to see what he’s going to be writing about.

Strategy Page: The Outsourcing of the U.S. Army

As part of the major reorganization the U.S. Army has been undergoing for the last 18 months, it is using outsourcing and temps in a big way. As a result, about 20 percent of army troops are finding themselves getting moved, from civilian type jobs, closer to the fighting. The army is scrutinizing every job they have, and deciding which could be done by civilians. While the media reports a “recruiting crises” in the army, they are missing the real story of how the army is reorganizing so that it can get along without the people it is having trouble recruiting. The people who actually do the fighting continue to join up, and stay in.

Washington Times: U.S. commander says enemy in Baghdad blunted

The top U.S. commander in Baghdad said yesterday that a two-month counterinsurgency sweep has “mostly eliminated” the enemy’s ability to “conduct sustained high-intensity operations” around the Iraqi capital.
The assessment from Maj. Gen. William Webster Jr., who commands the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, comes after a joint Iraqi-U.S. campaign, “Operation Lightning.” It involved more than 500 raids and 2,500 checkpoints that captured more than 1,700 suspected insurgents.

At least he didn’t land on an aircraft carrier with a big banner that said “MOSTLY ELIMINATED”.

Victor Davis Hanson: The Same Old, Same Old…An anatomy of the London bombing

We all know the score of this war now in the near four years since September 11. The London bombings should remind us how the old tired game works.

Failed states in the Middle East — autocratic, statist, unfree, intolerant of women and other religions — blame the West for their self-inflicted miseries. Sometimes they are theocratic, like the late Taliban or the current Iranian mullahs. But more often they are dictatorial like the Syrians, Pakistanis, Saudis, or Egyptians, who all, in varying degrees and in lieu of reform, have come to accommodations with the terrorists to shift popular anguish onto the West and the Jews.

That is the Petri dish of Islamic fascism, an evil that will only disappear when the dictatorships that allow it or nourish it do as well.

Being American in T.O.: Root causes – bah!

I tend to believe that the timing of yesterday’s terror attack in London intentionally coincided with the G-8 conference for the same reasons as the Sept. 11 attackers targeted the World Trade Centers, and that while Britain may have been a high-profile target due to their staunch support and actions in the war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, they are also a target because they offer Muslims a place to work, live, and add to the fabric of multi-culturalism.

Al Qaeda does not want Muslims to become part of any Western society, and thus has no compunction about killing Muslims who have become so.

It’s 21st century vs. 11th century, folks. Of course, it’s more nuanced than just that, but that’s basically what we’re looking at.

Donald Sensing: Mistaken about the “flypaper strategy”

I didn’t originate the term “flypaper strategy,” of course, but I have used it frequently. I want to spend some time walking back the cat here because Kos’s criticism isn’t justified for a perhaps-surprising reason: the “flypaper strategy” was never a strategy of the Bush administration. What Bush & Co. should be criticized for is failing to foresee that Iraq would be like flypaper to al Qaeda terrorists.

I’ve said many times that I never bought the “flypaper” theory as our reason for invading Iraq, but I think that once it became flypaper we adjusted quickly and told them to “bring it on”.

Wizbang: This Week’s Cause For Leftist Overreaction

I’m not defending Brit Hume for what he said he thought about the futures market after hearing of the London attacks, but neither am I quite ready to burn him alive for it. If you listen to the entire exchange, it’s very clear that the discussion was comletely about the effect of the attacks on the stock market and the economy, and Hume is speaking in that capacity.

That being said, he should have worded it differently.

And while I’m not buying all the lathered-up outrage from the Left over the remarks, I will say that Righties would be better off not defending Hume too vocally. I like Britt Hume, but what he said shouldn’t have been said the way he said it. Fair enough. Don’t get all up in arms defending the guy.

Reuters: Taliban claims to kill ‘captured’ American

No confirmation yet, either that he’s been killed or even that he’s actually been captured. Still, apparently no air conditioners in the caves where they held him. I just hope they didn’t put panties on his head or flush the Bible down a toilet or something.

AP: U.S. launches offensive in volatile Iraqi province

About 600 U.S. Marines and Iraqi soldiers have launched a fourth counterinsurgency operation in less than a month in a volatile western province in Iraq, this time near Fallujah, the military said Saturday.

Operation Scimitar started Thursday with targeted raids in the village of Zaidan, 20 miles southeast of Fallujah. So far, 22 suspected insurgents had been detained. Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, was a major insurgent bastion until U.S. forces overran the city in November.

The military said it did not announce the offensive earlier because commanders did not want to tip off insurgents that a major operation had begun. The campaign — named after a curved Asian sword — includes 500 Marines from the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team-8, stationed in Okinawa, Japan, the military said.

Ooh-rah. It’s clear that the strategy has changed. There have pretty much been consecutive major offensives for a couple of months now. That indicates that the Iraqi forces are better able to provide security, freeing up US troops to lead other Iraqi troops into battle.

MSNBC: Wall Street surges after June’s jobs report

The media’s been working hard to make sure we all know that the number of jobs added in June is disappointing, but no one seems to be buying it.


  1. North Koreans: They eat in South Korea’s prisons? Reminds me of the story about Lenin letting the ‘Grapes of Wrath’ be shown in the Soviet Union. He wanted to show how Capitalism sucks. The message most Soviets got was that even poor Americans can afford cars.