halfacanuck

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July 05, 2004

Some bits

Nice editorial in the Globe and Mail on the threat of radical Islam. Perhaps those who come away from Fahrenheit 911 persuaded that pre-war Iraq was full of shiny, happy people and that the war on terror is just another American oil-grab will realise it's not quite so simple. As the article says, we're not in a clash of civilisations, we're in a clash of civilisation against barbarism.

This Slate piece raises some interesting points about Islamic terrorism. Apparently Israeli intelligence, unlike most other participants in the war on terror, no longer uses "al-Qaeda" as a catch-all label for Middle East terrorism, but instead refers to "world jihad," noting that there are dozens of organisations with similar ideologies and goals as al-Qaeda and that all must be taken seriously (to which it's tempting to respond: no shit, Sherlock). Also interesting is the hint, hardly mentioned in the mainstream press, that foreign terrorists -- Palestinians, Jordanians, Saudis, etc. -- are resposible for a great deal of the violence, and the incitement of such, against coalition forces in Iraq.

A fascinating article on the "novel" 'Alam Saddam Hussein (Saddam Hussein's World), written anonymously, perhaps by a senior Ba'athist. Particularly interesting is the description of Hussein's attempt to assassinate Kurd leader Moustafa al-Barazani: it was arranged that al-Barazani would be visited by seven Iraqi sheikhs, and two of them were persuaded to carry under their gowns a tape recorder, ostensibly to gather intelligence on al-Barazani. Little did they know that the tape recorders were in fact bombs, which were detonated remotely while the sheikhs and al-Barazani met. The latter was injured by the flying severed arm of one of the unfortunate sheikhs. While unsuccessful, the plot was certainly ingenious, and serves to highlight the ruthlessness of Hussein.

Finally, Mark Steyn's review of Bill Clinton's My Life might be the most entertaining of them all. Steyn, right-wing maniac though he undoubtedly is, never fails to delight with his turns of phrase, e.g. "Clinton's book is a double flop: Either stake your claim to join the guys on Mount Rushmore or embrace your destiny as a guy who rushes to mount more."

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