The Best Defense: Analyzing Bush's doctrine of preemptive war.
In December 1837 British military forces based in Canada learned that a private American ship, the Caroline, was ferrying arms, recruits, and supplies from Buffalo, New York, to a group of anti-British rebels on Navy Island on the Canadian side of the border. On the night of December 29, British and Canadian forces together set out to the island to destroy the ship. They did not find the Caroline berthed there, but they tracked it down in United States waters. While most of the crew slept, the troops boarded the ship, attacked the crew and passengers, and set it on fire. They then towed and released the Caroline into the current headed toward Niagara Falls, where it broke up and sank. Most on board escaped, but one man was apparently executed and several others remained unaccounted for and presumed dead.
See also: Iraq: The Case Against Preemptive War
The administration's claim of a right to overthrow regimes it considers hostile is extraordinary - and one the world will soon find intolerable.
[via Follow Me Here]
Iraqi Body Count: Keeping track of Iraqi civilan war dead, so the Gen. Tommy Franks doesn't have to. [via Quark Soup]
Kevin Sites, a CNN correspondent, is blogging from what will soon be a war zone in Iraq. [via Boing Boing]
Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The National Security Archive analyzes recently declassified documents about the U.S. reaction to the Iran/Iraq war in the early 80s.
[via Quark Soup]
Excerpts from Iraqi Poetry Today.
We have tales full of tragic knights,
who descend upon burning horses
from distant skies
like meteors at night.
We have many sleeping dinosaurs, which we have tied to rocks
in green meadows full of singing birds.
-- from In a magic land by Fadhil al-Azzawi
Julian has a nice analysis of Bush vs. Hussein from a game theory perspective. [via A Voyage to Arcturus]
The Softer Side of Saddam Hussein: his second novel, The Impregnable Fortress is out and the reviews from Iraqi critics are bubbling.
In a similar manner, the writer Amjad Tawfiq said in praise of Saddam's novel that "what distinguishes this novel from others is its ability to weave a string of pearls on which love and war are strung together. And the way it celebrates the fundamental human qualities that refuse to allow war to be an interruption of the affairs of daily life, bespeak an author with a sensitive heart and mind. As for the author's treatment of love in the novel, it is depicted as a spiritual strength which was bestowed to increase and support the ability of the [protagonist] warrior, who gives of himself in selfless sacrifice in order to perform his duties with distinction and bravery in war."
Springtime, Taxes, and the Attack on Iraq: on the discovery of calutrons in Iraq, the expulsion of the inspectors, and why both lead to the conclusion that Bush will soon take military action against Hussein.
In the next few months, spring will return, we will pay our taxes, and the United States will attack Iraq. The seasons have always returned, with perhaps a few exceptions when asteroids and comets slammed into the Earth. Taxes are often listed among those things considered "inevitable." Why do I put the U.S. attack on Iraq on the same list? Because it is also going to happen, and happen soon. My prediction is not based on hearing three jackals howl in the night, or on the fact that Mars and Venus are flirting in the heavens; it's based on what I consider to be a clear vision of some recent political and technological events. After I review the facts, I think you will share this vision with me.
Tempted by Oil, Russia Draws Ever Closer to Iraq: on the problems the American continued opposition to Iraq causes Russia, focusing on Lukoil's West Qurna oil field contract. That contract can't be developed under the current U.N. sanctions and might not survive Hussein's fall.
This 1997 report,Oil, Business, and the Future of Iraqi Sanctions, from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy summarizes the oil reserves and deals that were in place around the time Lukoil signed it's West Qurna contract.
Who will cry for Saddam? "Is ousting Saddam Hussein from power an act that would anger Arab States and provoke the masses in the region? If such a question is serious, the answer in fact is that nothing of the kind would happen." [via Rantburg]