Saturday, February 12, 2005

...but don't expect to see the tape!

Jim Geraghty at TKS has been all over the Eason Jordan story and has a good round-up here.

Mr. Geraghty posts a question from Sisyphus asking why Jordan didn't simply ask for the tape of his comments to be released, on the theory that"there was always a chance that the public reaction would be, "oh, it's not bad as I thought it would be.", and then answers it:
UPDATE: Well, that didn't take long. William Boykin, on the discussion board of Jay Rosen's blog: "Eason Jordan has just been tire-necklaced by a bloodthirsty group of utopian, bible-thumping knuckledraggers that believe themselves to be bloggers but are really just a streetgang. Time Warner/CNN is spineless if not completely corrupted by its shareholders' thirst for petro-dollars. It is now clear that all pretenses to journalistic 'objectivity' benefit the torturing, gulag-building blood-cult known Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld's Republican Party."
The reason the tape hasn't been released, and is unlikely to be released, is that it would threaten Mr. Jordan's status as a Martyr of the Left. Without the tape, Jordan is a victim of the VRWC and its latest weapon the blogosphere. If the tape is released, and Mr. Jordan's comments are as reported he loses his martyrdom. Instead, he'd be just another Euro-wannabe, another America-hating American currying favor from the international elite and the enemies of his country by defaming those brave enough to fight for it. With the tape released, Mr. Jordan is a Dixie Chick.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Eason Jordan is Out at CNN

Fox News is reporting that Eason Jordan has resigned. Chalk up another scalp for the blogosphere, which has been the main source of coverage on the controversy.

In his column posted at National Review Online today, Larry Kudlow, one of the few MSM figures who have given the story play, gave kudos to the blogosphere. Kudlow had Senators George Allen, Jeffrey Sessions, and Norman Coleman on his show discussing Jordan's comments at Davos and attributed their awareness of the comments to blog coverage:

Importantly, each was aware of the story.This tawdry tale has been reported, for the most part, only on the blogosphere, again pointing out just how strong this alternative Internet medium has become. The blogosphere is relentless: It rightfully hammered Eason Jordan and CNN from day one and refuses to stop. We’ve seen this before, of course. Easongate comes only a few months after Rathergate, the blogosphere-led campaign that ensured the dismissal of producer Mary Mapes from CBS and Dan Rather’s hasty departure.The blogosphere has gained near immediate influence and credibility with its ability to widely disseminate alternative media coverage. (These days, “alternative” more often than not means “true.”) Powerhouse bloggers such as John Hinderaker, Glenn Reynolds, and Hugh Hewitt, among many others, have flexed their muscles and badly bruised CNN on this story.
Instapundit has numerous links to comments here. Powerline has further comments and links here, including a nice recap by Michele Malkin.

Friday, February 04, 2005

North Korea - Fast Enough?

A story in the Sunday Times takes a look inside North Korea and suggests that Kim Jong-il's regime may be in its death throes:
Some of those interviewed believe the “Dear Leader”, Kim Jong-il, has already lost his personal authority to a clique of generals and party cadres. Without any public announcement, governments from Tokyo to Washington are preparing for a change of regime.

The death of Kim’s favourite mistress last summer, a security clampdown on foreign aid workers and a reported assassination attempt in Austria last November against the leader’s eldest son, Kim Jong-nam, have all heightened the sense of disintegration...

The dictator’s favoured heir apparent, his son Kim Jong-chol, 23, who was educated in Geneva, is reported to have staged a shoot-out inside a palace with Kim Jang-hyun, 34, an illegitimate son of Kim Il-sung, father of the dictator and founder of the dynasty.

Rumours of rivalry and bloodshed have multiplied since the Dear Leader’s last meetings with dignitaries from Russia and China last September. Since then Kim has vanished from view.

Analysts in Seoul say that in recent propaganda pictures the bouffant-haired dictator is wearing the same clothes as in photographs from two years ago, suggesting that they may have been taken then. Observers await Kim’s official birthday, February 16, to see if the state media accord him the usual fawning adulation.

The article offers a glimpse inside one of the most isolated societies on earth, one dominated by the cult of Kim's father "The Great Leader":
Fifty miles south of the border we watched as schoolchildren obediently filed out in a shrieking gale to follow their teachers in pilgrimage along the seashore to a shrine to Kim Il-sung, who is still revered as the “Great Leader”. Lined up outside a fisherman’s cottage where the Great Leader stayed in 1953, they listened to a revolutionary harangue by a woman teacher with more attention than most seven to 12-year-olds might muster. They had marched two miles, wrapped up like small bundles against a wind that blew off the Sea of Japan so bitterly that the spray froze on the lines of the fishing boats. It was –15C that day.
These are children whose average weight and height after years of malnutrition are 20% less than those of their equals in South Korea, according to the United Nations. Their rations were recently cut from 300g to 250g of staple food a day.
The article attributes the turmoil in part to President Bush's re-election:
"Bush’s re-election dealt a blow to Kim, 62, who had gambled on a win by John Kerry, the Democratic candidate. Kim used a strategy of divide and delay to drag out nuclear talks with the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea through 2004.

Kim lost his bet and now faces four more years of Bush, who says that he “loathes” the North Korean leader and has vowed to strip him of atomic weapons."
The end can't come soon enough.

Give 'em Hell General Mattis

Speaking during a panel discussion hosted by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association on Tuesday, decorated Marine Corps General James Mattis reportedly said the following:

"Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. ... It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling."

He added, "You go into Afghanistan (news - web sites), you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."
The remarks have created a minor kerfuffle among the politically correct, but isn't this the type of guy we want out there - someone willing and eager to kill bad guys? From the General's remarks, its seems he's clearly speaking about Taliban thugs, not innocent civilians and don't we want those thugs dead? The left seemed pretty enthusiastic about John Kerry's "heroics" in Vietnam and I didn't see much hand wringing over the account of his leaping from his boat to gun down a wounded enemy combatant.

As Jonah Goldberg, writing in The Corner, points out, its not as if soldiers (and marines) never spoke like this before. General Mattis has a long way to go before matching General Patton, who once told his troops in a speech:

"We'll win this war, but we'll win it only by fighting and by showing the Germans that we've got more guts than they have; or ever will have. We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living Goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun cocksuckers by the bushel-fucking-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that instead of dirt it's the blood and guts of what once was your best friend beside you, you'll know what to do!"
AP's story on the comments comes with the typical left-wing, anti-American slant that would make Reuters proud. Take their headline for example "General Counseled Over 'Fun to Shoot' Talk". What does "counseled' imply? Psychiatric counseling? Sensitivity counseling? No. He is "being counseled to watch his words more carefully".

The story also contains the disingenuous remark that General Mattis "also made fun of the manhood of Afghans". Again, its clear from the comments quoted that the reference was to thugs "who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil". Nice to see AP standing up for the abuse of women. Look for them to defend the stoning of an adulteress any day now.

Finally, to put a bow on it, the story concludes with the mandatory quote from a CAIR spokesman: "We do not need generals who treat the grim business of war as a sporting event," said the council's executive director, Nihad Awad. "These disturbing remarks are indicative of an apparent indifference to the value of human life." This coming from a man who's coreligionists blow themselves up and say they pray for death. AP identifies CAIR as a "Muslim civil liberties group" - funny I don't recall seeing any CAIR condemnations of the human rights abuses that occur every day in the Muslim world.

Other Commentary

Blogs for Bush said the same thing a day earlier.

Macubin Thomas Owens has some good comments up on the Ashbrook Center's No Left Turns posting, citing General Mattis' message to his troops as they prepared to cross over into Iraq which included this passage:
Our fight is not with the Iraqi people, nor is it with members of the Iraqi army who choose to surrender. While we will move swiftly and aggressively against those who resisit, we will treat all others with decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who have endured a lifetime under Saddam’s oppression.
Best of the Web picked up the item today and has a link to the Reuters story on the comments, which, surprisingly, is much more balanced than AP's. You guys at Reuters need to stay on your toes - if this keeps up AP might replace you as Taranto's "news service" of choice.

And in other news, OJ is still searching for the real killers

Via Reuters:

Annan Pledges to Get to Truth in Oil-For-Food Scandal

"Obviously there were some hard knocks in the report and we are concerned about it," Annan said. "This is why we intend to take action promptly."

Those "hard knocks" would involve allegations that UN personnel aided Saddam in the theft of billions from the Oil for Food Program they were supposedly administering.

I guess its the fact that this theft led to the suffering and deaths of perhaps thousands of Iraqis who were deprived of the food an medicine those stolen dollars were intended to supply that makes them so "hard".

Still no word from Annan regarding the unkind words directed at the UN for turning a blind eye to the genocide in Rwanda and the Sudan.