The Iraq War Was Appropriate

Monday, November 29, 2004

Me, My Writing, My Thinking, and You

I noticed a few inquiries in comments as to my whereabouts and sparse posting as of late. These inquiries are misplaced and inapt. Let me explain something.

I write for me, not for you. When I compose my posts, I am doing so at my pleasure and at my leisure. I feel at liberty to compose long posts, short posts, or no posts at all, at any pace which I care to choose. I also feel at liberty to alter that pace, alter the length of my posts, at will. You, the reader, are not a variable in this equation. You are not a presence. You are literally as nothing. I am content that you are reading the posts; I tolerate your reading them, in other words. Nothing more.

I may give you warning when where will be light posting. Then again, I may not. If I do so, it will be because doing so pleases me, and for no other reason. I reserve the right to make no posts for a year and a half with no warning or explanation at all. Then again I reserve the right to make 50 posts in the span of an hour. Either one.

Let me tell you why I don't post. I don't post because I have you, the readers, to please. Let me tell you why I do post. I post because thoughts come to me and I must get them down. Or for some other reason which is related to me, my internal thoughts, my desires, my needs. The important thing to keep in mind is that it has nothing whatever to do with you. You are an artifact of the publishing procedure; in other words, you exist (as my readers) because I happened to publish these things that I typed. If I hadn't done so, you would not exist (as such).

This all comes from the fact that I have a rather unique and different way of thinking, which may be - and probably is - unfamiliar to you. The best way to explain it is to simply say that, for many years, perhaps in some cases more years than many of you have been alive, I worked as - for all intents and purposes, let's call it - an Analyst.

Other Analysts instinctively know what I'm talking about, but many of you may not. As an Analyst, part of what I do - and what I believe is an integral part of my very personality - is to incorporate and assess large amounts of data, and make a macroscopic judgment of that data. A summary, but more than that. A picture. A model. I tell the story of the data, to put it in words you may be able to understand.

How this occurs is by a brain process which is probably foreign to you unless you are also an Analyst. It is something that is nonlinear and holistic. It does not proceed from one step to the next, simply, in an ordered progression such as those of you in Computer Science may rely on. It is at least three (by some measures, four) levels of abstraction above that. The only way I can explain it is to say that when I am trying to, let's say, solve some "problem", my brain switches into an alternate mental state. It is, perhaps, similar to meditation - but more disciplined and intense. It takes a large amount of focus. (Afterwards, I am often exhausted. Tea helps.)

My brain in this state is perhaps interesting for you to ponder and attempt to understand. First of all, I have found (and this has been verified) that I have the ability to suppress the alpha waves, as in sleep. This allows me to focus more of my brain's energy on the beta waves which are necessary for the cognitive processing involved in analyzing. Interestingly, however, I have also found that part of this energy is diverted into theta waves, which are usually found only in children. So this may go some way towards explaining how I have been able to function as an Analyst for so long, with few ill effects.

When I set my mind to a problem, it works on it with little to no guidance or further input from me. This is difficult to explain and requires wisdom to understand. My brain has a mind of its own. I believe it transcends time, and perhaps to some extent space (as you can imagine, I attend to all new developments in string theory with some interest), to access the processing power it needs to finish its task. I have little control over when my brain will finish solving that problem either; it may happen while I am in the shower, or tuning my flamenco guitar, or pruning my bonsai. Something happens inside my brain, which I shall not attempt to describe but which I visualize as a phase transition and a fracture simultaneously, and suddenly the realization comes to me that I have a Solution.

Often it is at such times that I find it pleasurable to compose a post to this electronic journal and publish it.

So now you have, I think, a deeper understanding of both my motivation and of your place in the scheme of things. Please be advised accordingly.

By the way, in case you were wondering: Yes, it is precisely due to my skills as an Analyst that I was able to perceive that the invasion of Iraq initiated by President Bush in 2003 was an entirely appropriate act in the context of the circumstances present at the time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Oh Boy

Johann Hari wouldn't know a strong man, of strong will, if one bit him in the ass.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Bold Decisiveness in Conflict

The meetings are going well, if slowly. Although at times tempers have flared, old alliances have been renewed and misunderstandings clarified. Unexpectedly, my presence has proved to be, if not essential, let us say pivotal. I cannot say much more; I trust you understand.

On an unrelated note, upon adjourning for the evening two nights ago I had a rather sour experience at a local dining establishment which put me in the mind of the genesis of our recent escalation of hostilities vis-a-vis Iraq. To better elucidate the intended parallels, I thought a side-by-side presentation of their essential aspects would be best, and have replicated the resulting table below. For the record, the name of the establishment was "Olive Garden", and I do not recommend that you patronize it if you are ever in the area.







































Iraq Olive Garden
What is it? A nation-state in the Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait. Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire. A restaurant which purports to serve authentic Italian cuisine
Ultimate origin of conflict August 1990 invasion of Kuwait Poor service and food quality. Specifically: the restaurant was air conditioned to an obscenely cold temperature; it took four minutes for a waitress to acknowledge my existence; the menu was scanty at best and I recognized virtually nothing as being authentically Italian; children at the neighboring table were not properly chastened for the din they were creating, which was propagated and magnified by the restaurant's horrible sound-damping, especially the tile floors; the pasta was overcooked; and the "sausage" on the plate which I ordered - needing some meat after all that bread - was somehow nauseating even in the niggardly amounts in which it was dispensed.
Response President George H.W. Bush assembled a UN-led coalition of nations to expel Iraq from Kuwait in January-February 1991 I made my grievances known to the waitress and specifically demanded that she serve me a new, proper plate of food at no additional charge. (Further, the soup was by this time cold and I demanded a new cup.)
Effect Hussein was chastened and convinced to agree to a cease-fire, the terms of which involved demanding his disarmament, arranging for a blockade ("sanctions") to restrict his imports, and disallowing the movement of his forces in "no-fly zones" to the north and south. The waitress was rather curt with me for the rest of the evening. She ultimately brought me a new plate of pasta with sausage, but I detected a smirk on her face as she turned to walk away. The new plate was of equally poor quality as the old.
Things come to a head By the early 2000s, Hussein had corrupted the UN's "Oil for food" program thoroughly. He had preserved the seeds of his NBC weapons programs so that, even if they were not at the time proceeding in secret (an issue still under debate in some quarters - I know what my ex-colleagues think but, out of honor, we can agree to disagree), they could be easily resurrected at any point following the lifting of sanctions. He had employed propaganda, political pressure, and bribery to successfully build up a critical mass of political momentum opposed to continuing the sanctions against, and in favor of normalizing all relations with, Iraq. Finally, in September 2001 the bill for the cost of our "containment" strategy was collected upon; fanatics angered over the 1991 action against Iraq, and our troops' presence in Saudi Arabia - who were there wholly as part of "containment" of Iraq - attacked our home soil. (My colleagues like to call this "blowback"; although I do not care for the term, it will suffice.) This all served to illustrate that further "containment" was no longer in our interest, and that the standoff with Iraq must be resolved one way or the other in finite time. Despite the clearly unacceptable resolution of my grievances, the waitress placed a bill on my table, apparently expecting me to pay for the shoddy service and food which I received.

Conflict is resolved, decisively
President George W. Bush obtains War Powers authorization from Congress, and following a failed sequence of brinksmanship and charges at the UN, leads a UN-independent coalition of nations to topple the Hussein regime I made my dissatisfaction known in no uncertain terms to the waitress, to her manager, and to the chef whom - after a lengthy standoff - I caused to be summoned from the kitchen. (The chef's name was Enrique and he was clearly Mexican rather than Italian, which nobody but me seemed to find ironic.) Having said my peace piece [HT: Skor Grimm], I delivered the coup de grace by, after paying the bill, leaving the symbolic tip of one penny ($.01) on the table for Ori to ponder over and ruminate upon. It was the only way she would learn.


In both cases what we can observe is that, sometimes, it takes men of decisiveness to take the bold actions required to keep the world's bad actors in line. I hope the table format has been illustrative of this parallel structure which often arises in conflicts. (I expect tabular presentations to be a semi-regular component of this journal in the future.)

Friday, November 19, 2004

My Advice Is That You Steer Clear Of "Irate Savant"

For you see, I know the type. All too well.

Folks like this, they're a sorry lot and a waste of your time.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Overrun

As our boys streamed into Fallujah, incurring a rout, the jihadis did not stand a chance. Such is the ruthless logic of war. The prize of course would be Zarqawi. This prized has escaped us - for now, but, I wager, not for long. It is but a matter of minutes, days, months. Zarqawi kills those with whom he shares the tightening noose.

Second prize would be the headquarters. As every cat knows, there are no rats without a rathole. As of this publishing, that rathole has been found.

You have heard tell about the banality of evil. This is what they found in the jihadis' holy of holies. Portable computers. Korans. Notebooks. A sign on a wall reading "Al-Qaeda Organization"; although the text is in Arabic, it translates into the laconic joke of a Johnny Carson or a Steve Allen. Our enemy is opaque to us, and - with our technology, our night vision, our rock and roll music - we to it.

But we have the upper hand and the Arabs do not. Not by dint of innate superiority, mind you, but for reasons at once pedestrian and unromantic, and, one must grant in those midmorning hours between wakefulness and dreamworld, seemingly unfair: by our superior way of war. The cold, machine-like Western way of war devours all before it, cowards and heroes alike.

There is no longer any place for Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish today. Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish now either makes the full transition to Western politician, or gives way to a freckle faced recruit from Omaha, Nebraska named Brian, less than two years away from having scored the winning touchdown before his hometown fans, admiring, his girl bouncing on the sidelines, his preacher cheering along with the rest of them. Either that or Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish steps out from behind the movie role and reveals himself to have been Omar Sharif, play-acting all along. There is no fourth way.

You will hear in the days to come much talk - talk of Zarqawi, talk of that shadowy network "Al Qaeda", talk of prospects for the future, for Iraq, for elections, for the re-painting of schools, for strategy, for tactics, for logistics, for Iraq - but it is all so much noise. War is clarity. And there is no clarity like war. Words pale in comparison, insufficient to the task.



I think it better that in times like these
A poet keep his mouth shut, for in truth
We have no gift to set a statesman right;
He has had enough of meddling who can please
A young girl in the indolence of her youth,
Or an old man upon a winter's night.
--Yeats




A Test

Having now completed my journey north (by train, naturally, for I detest airplanes for reasons best left undelved into), seeking rest & decompression I happened upon a pleasant if highly priced little coffee bar which goes by the whimsical name of "Starbuck's". In conversing with the young lass behind the counter, it came out that this establishment has made provisions enabling patrons to access the internet via their portable computer, provided it is sufficiently equipped. It proved that mine is, and so with the help of a young man named Ethan of Israeli Jewish extraction, I attempted the linkup, and sure enough, I was able to access my electronic mail and certain other, private, systems.

This post is merely a test of the capability of composing entries while connected via just such a linkup and then sending them to my web journal via electronic mail. If all goes well, the effect should be seamless to the reader, who, upon reading this, may surmise with satisfaction that the likelihood of my publishing entries from time to time while here in Virginia is rather high.

So far, I cannot but say that the linkup service provided here at "Starbuck's" is highly recommended. Having experienced the technology firsthand, I must say that I see big possibilities for this in the future.

And now, back to my java and my preparation. Traveling often makes me wax pensive, yet cautious. But most of all one wonders at the immensity of our vast land. As the historian recorded,



Men that have scant land measure by feet;
those that have more, by miles;
those that have much land, by parasangs;
and those who have great abundance of it, by schoeni.

The parasang is three and three quarters miles,
and the schoenus,
which is an Egyptian measure,
is twice that.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Publication of entries shall likely be less frequent in the near-term

This journal entry is intended as an advisory that publication of entries to this journal shall likely be less frequent in the near-term.

I have been called away, out of town, to render some assistance to certain former colleagues of mine. To phrase it as specifically as I am able, they are having a bit of trouble with their new management. Oh, to be sure, I have been out of the game for a long while now, but all the same I do still keep my "finger" in a few pies here and there. This morning I received a call to join the aforementioned colleagues in a sort of emergency pow wow and strategy session, and so I shall go. Where I come from it's as simple as that.

I do apologize for the inability to state it less vaguely. Were the details known, some of my readers - who suffer from a pathetically shallow view of how the world functions, of where and how allegiances are formed - would no doubt be asking me, Hedge, why are you helping them?

I'll tell you why, son: Because of something called honor. That's why. I know this is not something that many of you are able to grasp, the concept of honor being an antiquated notion, but there you have it.

During the trip I expect I shall still have access to electronic mail, thus retaining the capability of journal publication, but in a somewhat limited capacity due to constraints on my time and person. Hence the need for this advisory.

Puerile Nonsense

Not to state the obvious, but it's worth interjecting that the Spring 2003 invasion of Iraq initiated by President Bush was not an initiation of hostilities. It was a continuation of them. This mutual-masturbatory daydream we've all got going that prior to this oh so discontinuous geopolitical maneuver the relations between the US and Iraq were as like Huck & Jim or Lenny & George is puerile nonsense.

Ladies and fops, I hate to break it to you but laying incompetent siege to a country and setting up a sissy-boy bureaucrat's blockade ain't no game of pattycake once you get into it, and you can bet that despite the laundering opportunities this whole shell game afforded him, old Saddam wasn't a happy camper. You don't get to be the next Saladin by moving paper around. They don't respect that over there. That's for soft societies, like ours.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Talk Of The Ladies' Luncheons

I suppose it is inevitable that I should be remarking upon this. My remark consists of assigning all of you, at least the ones whose knees quake from having your delicate eyes exposed to such images, to go and find a dictionary, and seek out the entry for the word "war". Not later, NOW.

As a hint you will note that it comes somewhat after "walk" as in "walk in the park", but precedes "warmth" as in "the warmth of your mommy's breast". The latter of which is rendered impossible if not moot absent men of strong will and iron constitution who go into theater to do what men do. (Mohammetans have, shall we say, rather different plans for your mommy's breast, do you get my drift yet?)

Oh, but that doesn't stop the ladies from getting all a-flush in their drawing-rooms because one of our boys did his duty, now does it? "Oh Lordy be, my stars, I do declare, I didn't know that people could die in wa-arrs. I feel a spell comin' on." What a spectacle this is. What a sorry, soft lot we have become.

I'll bet Rommel never had to put up with this kind of dog and pony show.

I have commented elsewhere

For those interested I have commented elsewhere. Find my name.

UPDATE: That site's cowardly owner is messing with posts, breaking my link. Just to go the site itself, and find my name in one of the comments sections.

UPDATE II: Perhaps this link shall not be broken. If not, find my name.

World of difference

My mentor, who reads this journal and who I shall call simply "Edwin", has clued me in to a potential seeming incongruity. This is only his way of ribbing me, mind you, but he points out the irony that I - with my well-known (to him) disregard for the halls of academe - am now at the stage in my life when I do venture to teach the occasional community college class myself.

Hardy har, Edwin. Hardy har old man.

I hasten to reveal, then, lest it truly be an issue, that I took up lecturing only at the personal request of the college's provost, as a personal favor, for we were compatriots long ago in an ill-fated venture best left undescribed. But suffice it to say that if my readers cannot tell the difference between a gentleman itinerant lecturer doing so for pleasure, and a coddled Intellectual sucking on the lifetime emasculating teat that is Tenure, then we have a real problem, as I shall get nowhere with this journal.

Response to a comment 2

Someone using the handle of "the UNPOPULIST" (I shall keep my feelings on populism to myself - suffice to say that it has its place) writes:


Welcome to blogging, and what is undoubtedly the most extreme blog-oddity of the moment, The Iraq War Was Wrong Blog. "Daisy the Lamb," is one of the alter egos of "the Proprietor" of that site, which he uses (you guessed it) to talk to himself in comments.

Consensus is, he's a satirist. A MAD one.

I take the time to explain this because I linked to you earlier today, and he reads the blog, so I think I'm how he found you.

It's childish stuff. Disregard.


I would express gratitude for the tip, but I am quite capable of policing my own reading myself, thank you very much. Further, your tip to disregard is not well taken.

In private childishness is best disregarded but in the public square, to which - sadly - even the mad satirist you speak of (if that's what he is) now has access because of technological advance, it must be met head-on, scolded, and disciplined by men of sufficient stature, knowledge, and experience. I assure you I am well aware of the consensus vis-a-vis the intent of the journal in question; I doubly assure you that it changes not my aim here one whit. Satirist or not, the person behind that site is spewing filth - yes, filth, every bit as toxic as the pornography so loved by our European brethren - and I for one have no intent to let it stand unchallenged or unopposed.

There is a war going on, as they say, and the sad truth is that we have a democracy, whose warfighting abilities are continually undermined by the morale-sapping yapping of postmodern "ironic" twaddle. If the young dance-hall-haunting layabouts too lazy or soft to volunteer for war were to entertain only each other with their oh so clever "irony", as they do with their homosexuality and their hashish, that would be one thing. But to place it on the world-wide network for all to see - including our weak-minded enemy foot-soldiers - is quite another.

The "irony" will be lost on such as our Arab Jidahi enemy, I assure you. The latter will take away from it only that we are, as a culture, profoundly unserious, which raises soft, flabby men. Although that is not so far from the truth, I would prefer them to know no more or less than that we mean business - and it is partially to this end that I have started up this public journal.

Good day.

Response to a comment

Someone calling herself "daisythelamb" left a barely literate comment in my journal as follows:


P. Wallach Hedge: Hi greetings just wanted to drop by and tell you (seem to be badly informed) Iraq war was/is/will be wrong! You seem smart (saw lots of "collage" type words i.e. dictum, modality, fulcrum, ect) so why this stance (Iraq war right?)? Most of American intellegencia seems to agree with us (left)(Iraq war was wrong).
Off topic but, not sure why but, I am picture you as looking like Monopoly man? If true do'nt freak I sometimes have strange physic qualities.

Havea day,



To respond, Miss (or Mr. - you never know these days) daisythelamb,

I am of the mind that the pseudonyms we choose reveal something essential about ourselves. It is interesting, if not surprising, that yours combines the lamb - symbol of weakness and sacrifice - with the daisy. You're probably too young to remember this, but a frilly daisy was used to take down a guy we liked to call AuH2O. Probably the last major politician we've had who understood the true nature of power and approached public life with a sense of maturity. (I was never all that bowled over by Mr. Hollywood Bonzo myself.)

As for you and your intelligentsia, I have no truck with the type you mean. Ivory tower parasites with their cowardly Gramscian slow march, it's all so passive-aggressive, isn't it? Take your typical college professor. How can one even begin to respect such a man? The primary qualification of the intelligentsia is that they sit writing grant proposals all day, generously granting each other other peoples' money in an incestuous ourobouros. This is a world for phony sissies and chattering women; it almost by definition excludes anyone who knows anything about the world, who has experience with the physical, with moving things, lifting things, killing things.

You show me an intellectual who has lifted a gun, and I'll show you an ex-intellectual.

The real world, and its cold unforgiving realities, is for grownups, not teacher's pets who never stopped seeking their gold star and now live ensconced amongst a never-ending pre-arranged parade of nubile, 18 year old impressionable minds to worship them and their delicate egos. The so-called intelligentsia has nothing of interest to say about the real world, let alone Iraq, to answer your question.

As for how you choose to envision me, this I cannot control. It is in the nature of the written word that the reader must use his (or her) imagination, and will supply an apt or inapt image, as the case may be. This is true of the great literature - I am sure that I envision Huck Finn in a different, and more historically accurate, way from you - and it is true here as well. You probably intend the Monopoly-man image to be a derogatory one, but I assure you I consider it a compliment. The Monopoly-man is actually a perfectly respectable, if forgotten, American archetype, a symbol of a time when the business of America was business and men who knew this could make a name for themselves if they worked hard.

Now it's a world for day-care ninnies and "sensitive" latte drinking emasculating Mr. Moms who spend more time behind the stroller than the lawnmower. To complete the analogy therefore I suppose I shall imagine you, Miss Daisythelamb, as the thimble.

Good day.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Morale in the age of Electronic Gossip

For better or worse we live in the age of the internet which, to my mind, whatever benefits it may endow, has the primary effect of ennobling the proverbial "two housewives gossiping over the backyard fence" as a respectable pursuit. Twittering gossip about the leaders and the men they lead, and the actions they take, once relegated to puerile caricatures in dreary plays and puppet shows for peons, is now both realistic (in Technicolor!) and democratized. Anyone can do it.

This site is a perfect example. In days gone by wars were fought far from home, on blood-darkened battlefields. Men fought and they killed, or died, and then they came home in chariots or caskets, either way leaving the offending images on the battlefield and in their deep memories, nothing to gloat or swoon over, just visual flashes of crimson and char to be pondered over, but undiscussed, as one bounced one's grandchild on one's knee.

Now they are spread all over the globe for every coed and debutante to cluck over.

The effects on the morale of the West, that civilization which we defend, are there for all to see. Every photograph paraded around saps one more bit of our culture's manliness. Every TV news "Special Report" on casualties, or accidents, or prisoner abuses, increases our womanly timidity.

Combine this with the Arab Way Of War, a cowardly systematic alternation between provocation and special pleading, which is designed to prey directly upon that weakness, and you can see the problem.

I do not advocate direct censorship mind you, but any military planner or civilian leader needs to be aware of this problem. It's not going away. There are measures which can be taken of course but in the meantime, as citizens all you and I can do is turn up our noses.

Bio

It is enough, I think, or should be, to say that I am a sixth-generation American and a patriot. I am partisan for my country and make no apologies. That being said, it is still my responsibility to show, to borrow the words of our Founding Fathers, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind in explicating our exertion of power, whenever we choose to do so, as we have done in this recent cycle. Indeed, this online journal shall partially fulfill my responsibility to that end.

Personally, I have achieved moderate to, some would say, high success in at least two business ventures, punctuated by an enjoyable if frustrating stint in the public service. In sum, some two decades of this were spent abroad, at times in places best left unsaid and better left to the mists of memory. Currently semi-retired and living in anonymity, apart from the occasional semester spent teaching at a lovely little community college which shall remain nameless. Seven years ago, largely on a whim, I took up flamenco guitar; it is a pleasing hobby, although I am largely self-taught. I am able to live comfortably, if not extravagantly; it is quiet that I value above all else now, and so fortunately my current situation, a modest home bordering on a beautiful little forest where I can walk my two dogs, requires that I visit the cattle-herd world of supermarkets, hardware stores, mega-malls and gasoline stations no more than perhaps three times per month. It is, all things considered, a good life.

The name under which I post is a nom de plume, as some will have already surmised, as I highly value my privacy. The name P. Wallach Hedge is just what it sounds like: a literary reference, albeit one you will not recognize, for it is the name of the protagonist of my (unpublished) semi-autobiographical political-espionage novel in three parts (The Realignment Crescendo: Black Marbles White Marbles (part 1), Maelstrom Of Wills (part 2), and The Beacon Atop The Eagle's Perch (part 3)), which was in fact largely completed last winter but for which I still seek a publishing arrangement which would entail acceptable remuneration and other considerations.

It is one of my guilty pleasures that I do still enjoy following baseball; something about the nature the game helps to mask the passage of time, remind me of what once was. It is by accident of where I was born and raised, rather than because of my current location, that I remain and always shall be a (now) San Francisco Giants fan. The deal was sealed ever since the day Bobby Richardson broke a young boy's heart.

I do venture down to take films from the local library now and then. I have a distinct preference for the classic films; call me a fuddy-duddy but something about the so-called "realism" of modern filmmaking, with its gratuitous violence and sexuality, leaves me cold. It warps the mind, for despite the moniker, it is not at all like the real thing. And actors today are like children posturing at recess. James Stewart: now for my money, there was an actor.

There are other things I could mention - the family that once was, the children who are grown now and seen mostly at Thanksgivings, glimpses of grandchildren in digital photographs attached to electronically mailed epistles. But, enough. These things are but trivia now. In this world there are large movements, and small. I am here to shed the small and discuss the large, as I lay out the groundwork, drawn from my experience and knowledge, for why the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was entirely appropriate to the circumstance.

If you're reading this - well, that's all you should need to know, frankly.

The Zeroth Casualty

You've heard it said that Truth is the first casualty in any war. Not so.

Rather, I would put it another way: There is a zeroth casualty. It is that aversion to death which is common to all humans.

This aversion must be overcome by the men of strong will in order for war - that awful necessity - to run its course fruitfully. And that, in a nutshell, is what I mean by the zeroth casualty.

At some point it is inevitable that I will be addressing the recent much-discussed Economist study purporting to show that the war has engendered a median of some 100,000 excess deaths in Iraq. Now, I shall leave it to others, the bean-counters and engineers, to debunk the study's methodology, data analysis, et al. But let us be generous to the rabble of the Left and stipulate that, indeed, the excess-death ledger contains six figures.

The unstated corollary is that this fact values the war's cost out of the price range of decent society. This corollary is nonsense of course but it makes for a useful pillow for the weak to cry on.

Now, leaving aside Stalin's much-cited dictum regarding deaths and statistics, the question which citizens of strong character must ask themselves in response to such piffle is: What is the activation energy?

In chemistry, activation energy is (to give as plain an explication as possible) the energy required to overcome some group of chemicals' natural resistance to approaching each other or combining, in order that some desired fruitful reaction may proceed. In our case the reaction in question is the toppling of the Hussein regime and its control over the lucrative oil fields of Uruk, in a geopolitically significant pivot point for that region. The benefits of this reaction proceeding are transparent; the activation energy is raised by the presence - as exists in all Western societies - of the dove faction. The dove faction points at numbers - a hundred thousand, ten thousand, a thousand, it matters not - and proclaims them "too high". This is what they do. It has always been thus, as it shall ever be.

Ultimately, the question of whether we accede to that verdict is identical with the question of whether we shall be a strong society or a weak one, a long-lived nation or but a flicker in the evolution of human history. You must choose.

Test 2

Another test; I am attempting another test in the same vein as before, only, using a slightly different modality. If all goes well the difference shall be transparent to the reader.

A Test

This is a test post. As I travel often in my current
situation of semi-retirement, it will often prove
necessary for me to make posts via email. I am
endeavouring to verify the functionality of this option.

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Hello and welcome to my new endeavor.

This web journal, to which I expect to be publishing on a semi-regular basis, is intended as a vigorous defense and explication of the roots and justification for the invasion of Iraq which President Bush initiated in the Spring of 2003. In case you are interested, I originally conceived of this web journal as a direct response to this piece of logorrhea, so feel free to peruse that site at your leisure for background and motivation. It and its feebleminded adherents should give you some idea of the remedial instruction which, sadly, seems to be required among some of our fellow, often younger, citizens.

Mind you, I am well aware that there is a tentative but significant bare majority of opinion which considers "The Iraq War Was Wrong Blog" [sic], which is to where the above link points, to be a particularly manic form of parody. I have decided that nevertheless its sophistry and asininity cannot go unrefuted. Too often the World Wide Web fails to police its own information junk-piles. Consider me a trained specialist in this regard; the less said the better.

I shall attempt to replicate much of the aforementioned's blogroll as a jumping-off point, to put us on an even footing. The people on it need to be made aware that drivel will be met with fact, puerility with virtue. And irony, if that is the case, is something I consider to be fun & games for children and women. The world, unfortunately, contains threats which must be met with adult sobriety and singleness of purpose.

This is simply not the time or place to be polluting our worldwide information network with fatuous nonsense, for incredulous consumption by our enemies or their weak-minded foot soldiers.

Citizens, this is a fulcrum moment, an inflection point. We have just passed through a crossroads, a Presidential election of monumental import, and barely come out of it with our national soul unscathed. But the road ahead is precarious. As we make the journey together then, it is crucial for morale and unity to remind ourselves of one thing:

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was the proper and appropriate course of action.

I expect to be expounding upon this point in future posts.