Steyn is all over the place in this interview at RightWingNews. With a little rewriting to make it duller, this ought to become the Republican Platform for '08. A few nuggets (but you owe it to yourself to read the whole thing):
On the Israeli wall:
But the fact is what Israel is doing is the only thing that will force the Palestinians to get up off their allegedly occupied butts and run a state: the Israelis are walling off what they feel they need, or what they can get away with, and it will be up to the gangsters of Arafatistan to see if they now feel like dropping the jihad and getting on with less glamorous activities like running highway departments and schools.
On Old Europe
Well I'd say the Cold War in the end caused many of the irreconcilable differences. By guaranteeing the Continent's security, the US liberated most of Western Europe from the core responsibilities of nationhood. And if you treat grown-ups like children they’ll behave like children. It's essentially the American taxpayer, for example, who pays for European government health care, by assuming the defence costs for Germany, Belgium and so forth. The utopian welfarism of Europe has so corroded the basic impulses necessary for societal survival - ie, breeding - that I doubt anything can be done. But if the US seriously wanted to help it would accelerate the closure of all Continental bases.
[Nato] should be written off. It’s simply not worth the amount of diplomatic effort and negotiation required to crowbar military contributions to, say, Afghanistan that are smaller than those of the New Hampshire National Guard. For example, if you look at last year’s supposed triumph of multilateral cooperation, after the Secretary-General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, put the squeeze on Nato’s 26 members, they reluctantly ponied up an extra 600 troops and three helicopters for Afghanistan. That averages out at 23.08 troops per country plus almost a ninth of a helicopter apiece. And the helicopters went back after six months. What’s the point?
And to those who say that Nato is a harmless talking shop, no talking shop involving French officials is ever harmless. That's one battlefield those fellows know their way around.
Lot's more things I wanted to cut & paste, but it's getting late, so if you like Steyn, but especially if you don't know who he is, go read it yourself.
Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis, who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done.
It would send the wrong signal to our troops, who need to know that we are serious about completing the mission they are risking their lives to achieve.
And it would send the wrong message to the enemy, who would know that all they have to do is to wait us out.
We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed and not a day longer.
Sorry, but I disagree. I think a thoughtful phased plan of gradual troop withdrawl should naturally go with a plan of gradual Iraqi security force build-up. Why not? Of course there is a schedule for Iraqi security forces -- by such and such a date they plan to have x battalions of this type of soldiers; does it not follow that by that same date we can withdraw an equivalent number of our soldiers of the same type? We have already greatly reduced the number of armed forces in Iraq from the initial invasion because they're no longer needed. We probably have no plans to reduce our forces to zero, ever, subject to the continued in invitation of the freely elected Iraqi government. Why not be honest about it? Isn't it obvious that it takes much longer to create certain kinds of military units from scratch, for instance, Army aviation compared to Army MP's? So naturally we'll have our aviators there longer than our MP's, right?
Deadlines are powerful tools. They focus the mind. They force allocation of resources. In this case, I believe deadlines -- a carefully structured and phase series of deadlines all subject to review as any sensible person would do -- would send exactly the right message to the Iraqis, which is "You'd better get off the stick and get busy, friends, because by the fill-in-the-blank we are di-di-mow and you are on your own." I think this would stiffen their spines and get them serious. The worst thing that could happen to the Iraqi Army would be for it to become like the ARVN's were in Viet Nam, and you can't stiffen a bucket of spit with buck shot. That is the one scenario that worries me over there, and I think deadlines would be a good way to prevent the ARVNization of Iraq.
Another thought: Liberals are constantly saying Iraq has an insurgency because we are there. We caused it by invading and occupying the holy land of Mesopotania. Well, I think that's mostly bullcrap. Saddam Hussein kept the various terrorist groups/clans/tribes whatever you want to call the medieval mindset over there in line with an iron fist. And plastic shredders, poison gas, rape rooms, etc. The terrorists are not democrats at heart who are just pissed beyond their self control because the USA just happens to be there. But... I do think there's a grain of truth to that. A bit. Some of the foreign volunteers, the idiots from northern Africa in particular, are getting themselves all blowed up in Iraq just because they hate America. If we had a phased draw-down time table, and were seen to be sticking to it just like we stuck to the time table for the new Iraqi state, elections, constitution, etc., then we should see a corresponding drop in the foreign jihadi flow.
Just maybe. And if we didn't see a drop, then we would have proved that the terrorist insurgency was not because of our presence.
And another thing: don't we want to get out? Yes we do. So let's set up a schedule. A smart, phased, logical, subject-to-revision, subject to invitation schedule for withdrawing our forces. Of course, the left will say it stinks Bush lied told you so no matter what the President does. That should not stop us from doing the smart thing.
Weare, New Hampshire Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.
Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.
On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.
Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.
The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."
Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.
"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."
Clements' plan is to raise investment capital from wealthy pro-liberty investors and draw up architectural plans. These plans would then be used to raise investment capital for the project. Clements hopes that regular customers of the hotel might include supporters of the Institute For Justice and participants in the Free State Project among others.
Like with your friendly zoning & code compliance department, once the government gets the right to force you to mow your lawn, they immediatley acquire the duty to force you to mow your lawn. And Souter, your lawn needs mowing. FYATHYRIO, you MFSOB. I hope other people bring similar action against every idiot on the Supreme Court who voted for this power grab, and then against the private property of every County Commissioner, Selectman, Mayor or whatever who actually proceeds with the grabbing. After all, tarring & feathering has gone out of style -- how much sweeter to "hear the lamantation of the women" of these anti American morons.
John, our favorite recovering architect, has a nice collection of pictures, plans, renderings, etc of the original Madison Square Garden in NYC, ending with a picture of the modern "Garden". Everything that's bad about modern architecture is right there before your eyes.
Just start here, then keep clicking 'next' until you see the modern "Garden".
Hummingbird Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
Flamingo! One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
Falcon! Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
Black Skimmer These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
Dead sea turtle cool, but smelly
Reddish Egret These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
Brown Pelican I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
Wood Pecker They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.