Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Hentoff on Judicial Murder

The Democrats and others on the Left have been repeating the vacuity that Republicans have been using the Terri Schiavo case for political gain. The charge is moronic on its face but especially so now that Jesse Jackson has gone to Pinellas Park in solidarity with Terri's family and such right-wing Republican journals as The Village Voice are excoriating the judicial murder of Terri Schiavo.

Nat Hentoff, who no one will ever mistake for a Republican, unloads both barrels at those who have brought Terri Schiavo to the brink of death.

The whole tragic affair hinges on Michael Schiavo's testimony that Terri told him once that she wouldn't want to be kept alive if she were in a persistent vegetative state. There is no corroboration, however, that Terri ever said this, only the memory of her husband who recalled it seven years after she suffered her brain injury. But even if she had said it, it's not clear that she's actually in a PVS, and even if she is, it's not clear that she would want to die the way the state of Florida is killing her.

There is absolutely no good reason, no good argument, for doing what is being done to Terri Schiavo. None. The judge in this case is either an incompetent buffoon or a moral pygmy. The husband is utterly contemptible. The MSM has been irresponsible and disingenuous, as is its wont. Polls which show large pluralities of Americans siding with Michael Schiavo are going to soon begin showing those numbers swinging the other way as more people learn how Terri Schiavo's tragic situation unfolded.

If they don't, then we are no better than Sodom and Gomorrah.

And The Beat Goes On

It was the late Murray N. Rothbard who said "fiat currency by any other name smells just as sour". He may very well have been talking about the Euro.

The Euro was conceived as a new and "different" currency that would ultimately compete with and perhaps replace the US dollar in its role as a world reserve currency primarily because it was "backed", although not redeemable, by the 30% gold holding of the ECU whose singular mandate was currency stability.

Well, it looks like that mandate has caved to political pressure and now that...

"EU member states have agreed to relax constraints their budgets are subject to under the Stability and Growth Pact which underpins the euro".

the euro is no better than the worthless dollar and destined to suffer the same fate.

See this link for the full story.

So it appears that the ECU, too, succumbs to Mr. Rothbard's proclamation and the Euro is on track to follow the way of the US dollar into unlimited inflation. Note that nothing is said regarding the 30% gold "backing" which ultimately will have to be reduced as the Euro is inflated into oblivion.

The take home message is that all of the individuals who acquired Euros, in the belief that they would represent a stable currency, have been defrauded by the ECU since now the ECU will produce as many Euros as necessary to accommodate economic growth, diluting the value of each individual Euro. Is anyone really surprised?

As the article from the link above points out, this is good for gold advocates because the price of gold will undoubtedly rise against all currencies as, once again, there is no alternative unit of measure that represents true wealth.

How You Likin' Them Now, Teddy?

ABC News reports that:

Iraqi soldiers, backed by US helicopters, are reported to have seized 131 suspects in a dawn raid on insurgents planning attacks on the holy city of Kerbala.

The Defence Ministry says troops also retrieved tons of explosives. The Defence Minister, Hazim al-Shaalan, described it as a very successful operation based on intensive surveillance.

Several suspected militants were reported killed in the operation, which began late on Friday and culminated in the dawn raid just outside Kerbala, about 100 kilometres south-west of Baghdad.

Officials say say those arrested included foreigners using fake Iraqi identification papers. Three tons of TNT explosive, hundreds of rocket-propelled grenade launchers and at least three prepared car bombs were also found.

Earlier this week Iraqi police commandos said they killed 85 militants in a raid on a suspected insurgent training camp near Baghdad, hailing it as a breakthrough against the insurgency.

Somebody ask Ted Kennedy and his portside colleagues how they're liking the Iraqi security forces now. It was just a few short months ago, we recall, that there were no words disdainful enough to capture the contempt the Dems sought to heap upon the Iraqi effort to police themselves. There were too few troops and police, we were advised, and what there were of them, the stalwart warriors of Capitol Hill scoffed, turned tail and ran at the first sign of danger. We would be bogged down protecting people who wouldn't fight for themselves for years to come, they whined.

Our military cautioned us to be patient. They told us that training takes time, and that the Iraqis were brave and talented and that eventually they were going to prove it. Now they are. We'll wait patiently while the Democrats cobble together an admission that they were wrong, again.

The Twilight of the Insurgency

Three stories mentioned by Arthur Chrenkoff's article in the WSJ of Iraqi civilians taking up the fight against terrorists themselves are more evidence that the insurgency is doomed. When insurgents lose the battle for the hearts and minds of the people they cannot win. The terrorists in Iraq lost this battle when they turned from the militarily suicidal practice of targeting Americans to the politically suicidal practice of targeting Iraqis.

Here's an excerpt from the first account:

Just before noon today, a carpenter named Dhia saw a troop of masked gunmen with grenades coming towards his shop and decided he had had enough.

As the gunmen emerged from their cars, Dhia and his young relatives shouldered their own AK-47's and opened fire, police and witnesses said. In the fierce gun battle that followed, three of the insurgents were killed, and the rest fled just after the police arrived. Two of Dhia's young nephews and a bystander were injured, the police said.

"We attacked them before they attacked us," Dhia, 35, his face still contorted with rage and excitement, said in a brief exchange at his shop a few hours after the battle. He did not give his last name. "We killed three of those who call themselves the mujahedeen. I am waiting for the rest of them to come and we will show them."

Two other fairly recent examples can be found here and here.

Another sign of failure for an insurgency is when it ceases to be indigenous and is forced to rely on alien forces. The presence of so many foreigners among the dead is an indication that popular support among Iraqis for the terrorist effort is waning. Indeed, when the bulk of the adversary is foreign it really is no longer an insurgency, and perhaps it's time for the media to stop referring to it as such. No doubt a lot of the Iraqis who are left among the opposition are thinking that it's time to get out or to cut a deal.