MoonDawg's Den: December 2006

MoonDawg's Den

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy Holidays

Blogging will be light for the next week as I'm headed for the airport shortly to fly out to San Antonio and spent the X-mas holidays with family (and doubtless have a margarita or two on the Riverwalk). Have a Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Bali redux?

Last month Indian intelligence warned of a possible al-Qaeda plot in the resort area of Goa, patterned after the horrific nightclub bombings in Bali in 2002:

A few weeks ago the Union Home Ministry issued a terror alert warning of Bali-like bombing in Goa, and the danger it seems is far from over.

Sources tell NDTV that two Al-Qaeda terrorists, an Algerian and a Yemeni, carried out a recce and dry runs of attacks in Goa some time ago and are likely to return and carry out an attack, possibly with help from modules in India.

Sources say that the two terrorists conducted recces of Goa's beaches and even dry runs for attacks on popular hotels and nightclubs like Tito's and Cabana.

Their likely targets are tourists from Israel and Western Europe.

Now Israel's government is telling its citizens to get the hell out of Goa:
Thousands of Israelis visiting the popular Indian resort of Goa, many of them freshly out of the army, have been urged to return home immediately amid warnings of an al-Qaida terrorist plot.
Yet despite the warnings from Israel and from India's own intelligence services, the local government is downplaying the threat:
Chief Minister Pratapsing Rane has dismissed Al Qaeda threat to Goa and assured that the State “is safe for tourists and stringent security measures were in place to protect them. The authorities have taken all possible steps to ensure security...There is no reason to fear.
No no, musn't scare the tourists - especially at the height of the tourist season. As the Jawa Report (which is banned in India, by the way) says, "Word of advice to India: Israeli intelligence is perhaps the best in the world. When they give you a warning, take it."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Never again?

Hugh Hewitt has a transcript of a chat he had on his radio show with Mark Steyn this week; as usual Steyn is both funny and sobering. Part of the discussion involved the recent "academic" conference in Iran composed of Holocaust-deniers; Steyn notes that it took anti-Semitism to an insane new level: "But to take it beyond that, as Ahmadinejad, so to say, you don't like Jews, but to deny this central event in 20th Century history, I think, is a stage beyond that, because that's not just hatred, that's also a kind of madness."

Steyn then goes on to note how hollow the words "Never again" have become:
HH: Mark Steyn, our friend James Lileks has written, "It'll all make horrible sense in retrospect."

MS: Yes, and I think that's right. I think one of the horrible and contemptible aspects of our generation is that we're posers. You know, after 1945, everybody said never again. It's chiseled on the markers in front of concentration camps all over Europe. Never again. Never again. And we thought those words meant something. And in fact, the never again event turns up all the time. It turns up in Rwanda. It turns up in Darfur. it turns up when we sit by and listen to people like Ahmadinejad pledging to wipe Israel off the face of the map. And we think that that is just like a kind of rhetorical ploy in the opening of negotiations. We don't understand that he does mean it, that he wants a world, and certainly a Middle East, but preferably a world, without Jews. And I think we are morals posers, and these are perhaps the most hollow words of our time, those words, never again.

HH: And as is, I think, increasingly hollow, the support that we had for the Cedar Revolution, as Hezbollah becomes more and more belligerent, and less and less inclined to do anything other than bring down the government of Lebanon.

MS: Yes, and I think there is a...Hezbollah is really a kind of model for the future, that you will have these institutions that prey on weak states, and take over sections of weak states, and yet have all the advantages of not being a state entity with the responsibility that imposes. One of the most disgusting things about this settlement of the Israeli-Hezbollah war, as it was, is that you had the U.N., and you have European nations, and other nations effectively treating Hezbollah as a quasi-state entity. And who's fault is that? I mean, the U.N. gave the PLO, a terrorist organization, a seat at the United Nations. In a sense, we have made this rod for our own back.
An Iranian terrorist group is in the process of destroying a democratic country, while at the same time the Iranian government denies the original Holocaust even as it sets out to create a new Holocaust - this time with the benefit of nuclear weapons. And the world does...nothing. "Never again" could well become, "Ok, never never again - we really mean it this time - honest".

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

International "asylum"

How good it is that we are soon to be rid of that incompetent jackass at the United Nations, Kofi Annan. His execrable valedictory op-ed in yesterday's WaPo encapsulates everything wrong with his tenure as the UN's Secretary General - his bleating for "accountability" even after he and others in the UN did everything they could to obstruct any accountability in the Oil for Food scandal; his decrying of genocide without a single mention of the UN's disgraceful and deadly inaction in Rwanda and Srebrenica; his facile statements about "respect for human rights" even though under his tenure paragons of liberty such as Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Cuba ascended to the UN's Commission on Human Rights, and his chastising of the United States for being "aloof", even as the U.S. is spending enormous blood and treasure around the world to fight an existential struggle against a fascist anti-democratic ideology. One of Kofi's lasting legacies will be the $2 billion boondoggle for the "renovation" of the UN complex in New York. Guess who will be forced to pony up the bulk of that $2 billion? Those "aloof" Americans, of course.

Just one of the many gems from Kofi's piece: "Developing countries should have a stronger voice in international financial institutions". Sure Kofi, by all means lets give corrupt third-world kleptocrats the keys to the international vault. Brilliant.

Thirty years ago Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the Democratic Senator who formerly served as our UN Ambassador, described the United Nations as "a theater of the absurd, a decomposing corpse, and an insane asylum." Nothing has changed in three decades, although at least the asylum is about to lose its leading inmate.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Forgotten Heroes

Few people have heard of the merchant ship S.S. Cynthia Olson, which was sunk by a Japanese submarine 65 years ago today - December 7, 1941, the day of the Pearl Harbor attack. The unarmed steam schooner was ferrying Army supplies to Honolulu, Hawaii from Tacoma, Washington when it came under attack several hours before the Imperial Japanese Navy raided Pearl Harbor. The Cynthia Olson was the first US-flagged merchantman to be sunk by the Japanese in World War II. All 33 seamen aboard were lost, along with two US Army servicemen who were riding along.

Those 33 men were not even the first among the many in the US Merchant Marines who would give their lives during WWII; over a year earlier a merchant mariner serving on the S.S. City of Rayville drowned when the ship sank after striking a German mine off the Australian coast.

Between 6,000 to 8,000 Merchant Marines became casualties of war as they carried critical supplies across hostile seas, and 11,000 others were wounded - one out of every 26 of those who served as merchant mariners died in the line of duty, making theirs the most dangerous out of all the services during that conflict.

So as we rightly remember those lost at Pearl Harbor today, also take a moment to remember the forgotten heroes aboard the Cynthia Olson.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bull Crap Series

As a Georgia Bulldogs fan, I have little love for the Florida Gators - but, they probably are more deserving of the No. 2 slot in the BCS and a trip to the national championship game than Michigan, who already had their crack at Ohio State and lost. Still, the controversy this year again highlights what an idiotically flawed system college football's Bowl Championship Series is. Pat Forde at ESPN nails it:
The voters have spoken. Between Gator chomps, here's what they said:

Never mind.

Never mind what we did the last couple of weeks, voting Michigan ahead of Florida. We've changed our minds because, hey, we can.

Because the rematch thing suddenly became too real. Because when Urban Meyer politicks, we listen. Because we thought it was time to throw the embittered SEC a bone after stonewalling Auburn's national title bid two years ago.

We thought the Wolverines were better than Florida back in November -- and even though Michigan hasn't played a down of football since Nov. 18, we've decided that we don't think so anymore. We were dazzled by the Gators' work since that date: a seven-point victory over Florida State and a 10-point win over Arkansas. And we decided that Ohio State-Michigan was not in need of a sequel.

That's our story and we're sticking to it. Now if you'll excuse us, we'd like to put our fake nose and glasses back on and return to anonymity. These publicized ballots make us more accountable than we'd prefer. Goodbye.
To put an end to this nonsense, Captain Ed proposes a 16-team tournament, using the current BCS ranking system to set the seedings. Good plan - which has about as much chance of happening as a Danish cartoonist convention being held in Mecca.