How did Yasser Arafat blow it this time? And who would've thought that I cite TNR more than I do more right-center stuff? Perhaps it is because I like the foreign policy pieces that the TNR people write, they are grounded in realism and good work than just perky agitprop. Can you imagine how ugly it would have been if the Karine A had made it to port?
West Wing Replies
Many thanks to Daniel Alvarez (F'00), Simon J. Torres (F'00), and R. Livy Keithley (C'98) for responding to my question regarding who said what on the show on Wednesday.
Here are some snippets:
"The character making the utterance was
Communications Director Toby
Ziegler...he was talking to a (very) Democratic
House Member who was
complaining that language in an upcoming speech to
the UN; the language was
to the effect that, "the largest scourge in the
world is oppression; we will
not stop until democracy and freedom is spread
around the world. And we as a
freedom-loving people will no longer tolerate the
hell imposed by oppressive
movements, be they Nazis or Fascists, or those
'suffering from the disease of
Islamic fanaticism.'" (last part is actual quote).
But, as the situation in West Wing
last night exemplified,
we should really firm up our reactions with our
international partners to let
them know that we will not and do not tolerate such
"hate speech," whether it
be in our own country or our neighbors abroad.
Even here, free speech is
protected; but speech which deliberately and
incessantly incites violence is
prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law -
rightfully. If you want to
make a statement, make a statement and begin a
diplomatic dialogue, realizing
the whole time that words are the medium to the
solution. If you want to
declare a jihad, and bring young boys from around
the world, and plant in
their head the idea that "dying for your cause" is
somehow right and just,
and you better plan to have an American GI or FBI
agent knocking on your door
REAL DAMN soon."
"the west wing character in question is toby, who
was responding to some
congressional criticisms (in particular, his
ex-wife's) of a speech they are
writing for bartlet to give at the un general
assembly. he was quite
serious. i think he said "they'll like us when we
win" about 8 or 9 times
during this conversation."
"That was an accurate quote from the show, and it was spoken by Toby Zielger in an answer to criticism that a speech to be given by the president at a UN General Assembly gathering outlining a new foreign policy was too abrasive and pushy of US ideals. He also went on to say that it is hypocriticial of the US and the "administration" to push ideals such as freedom of speech and religion while tolerating "fascist dictators, totalitarianism, and dare I say it, Islamic fundamentalism." It was quite good, and provoked a debate between me and Beth about the langauge. I said that he was dead on, and we shouldn't have to kiss ass of the very people and states that are stockpiling weapons and training children towards the single goal of eliminating the United States. She says that perhaps a speech given to the world wasn't the right place to come out guns blazing. I can't think of a better place, either fictional or actual. I don't know how "axis of evil" sits with me, though."
Unlawful Detainees of Prisoners of War, We Think
You know what the President has exclusive capability to do that makes him the most powerful man on earth? He can split the difference and get away with it. That is the only way one can explain the position adjustment made in reference to distinguishing between Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters detained at Camp X-Ray.
Aaron Ammerman (F'00) relays this to us:
"Can you offer any explanation for why the Bush
administration distinction between Taliban detainees
and Al-Qaeda detainees for the purposes of the Geneva
Convention does not apply equally to their status
Because the Taliban soldiers represent combatants
for an actual state (even if the U.S. didn't
recognize it) and the Al-Qaeda members represent a
stateless terrorist organization, the Taliban detainees
shall officially be considered captured under the
terms of the Geneva Convention ... but they're not
POWs because they're still considered "unlawful
I think W just really muddied the waters. it's one
thing to offer a bogus policy but it's another to
offer up two simultaneously contradictory policies
and expect us to swallow it.
Granted, the important point is that their captors
are treating everyone equally humanely to a degree
that far exceeds the minimum requirements of
generally accepted decency"
I think this is the best Bush was going to manage, staking a position that made neither the Pentagon nor the handwringers at State happy, but it didn't necessarily make them angry, either. On a practical level, it mutes the obnoxious Fleet Street British press from its disgustingly inane "Camp Aushwitz" talk. Substantively, I don't think it changes anything. The prisoners aren't going anywhere anyway. But do you honestly think that by formally extending the Geneva Convention to murderous thugs that if our soldiers and Marines get captured, that it will be extended to them? Do you remember what they did to Allied pilots during DESERT STORM? Or, more importantly, what the NVA and Viet Cong did to our pilots? I'm telling you, the ZoNotes original term of "detainee of war" -- DOW -- is the way to go!
"Sleep feels the best right as it is about to end."