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—————————[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. Yes, NRO fans, it's that time of the week again. And it's that man again: your genial prophet of doom, John Derbyshire, bringing you the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, dressed up in a bit of cheery banter and some obscure literary references.
Let the deconstruction begin.
|02 — Arming Iraqis for a civil war. I reported last week on the blowing up
by one bunch of Iraqis of a mosque that is deeply sacred to some other bunch.
The party of the second part then retaliated against the party of the first part and general mayhem ensued. There was talk of civil war; but after the imposition of drastic curfews and some strenuous arm-twisting by (a) the U.S. advisors, on Iraqi politicians, and (b) those politicians, on their community leaders, the mayhem fizzled out, leaving only thirteen hundred people dead.
All is now quiet on the Iraqi front at least until the next mosque blows up. The president of Iran, to the surprise of no one at all, blamed everything on the Jews.
Reflecting on all this, it occurred to me that to really get a civil war going, it helps to have an army. Does Iraq have an army?
Digging around in last week's news, I see that the one Iraqi army battalion deemed capable of operating without us support has been downgraded to … not capable.
That makes the number of Iraqi army units that can operate independently … hold on, let me get my calculator here … one minus one … I make it zero. So perhaps the reason the Iraqis decided not to have a civil war last week was that they didn't have an army to get the ball rolling.
Not to worry. Pretty soon the Iraqis will have tanks, planes, and howitzers, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. Blow up a mosque and see what happens then.
And the occupation of Iraq prepares to enter its fourth year.
|03 — Oscars non-review. I was going to comment on this week's Oscar
ceremony, but I lost heart after reading Ann Coulter's superb column
on the event.
As the good lady points out, the thing is basically a PC-fest; which is to say, an opportunity for rich Hollywood lefties to show the rest of us knuckle-dragging Neanderthals out here in the sticks how morally superior they are to us.
The contest for best movie this year basically comes down to whether the normalization of homosexuality trumps sympathy for terrorists or not, with anti-racism, opposition to the death penalty, and the horrors of McCarthyism as runners-up.
I shall content myself with a judicious choice of weekend rentals from Netflix: Midnight Express, True Lies, Angels with Dirty Faces, … let's see … The original Manchurian Candidate … Birth of a Nation? — no, I think I'll pass on that one.
All right, I'm engaging in gesture politics. But then, so are the Hollywood crowd. Gesture politics is in fact the only politics they know.
|04 — Was NASA the worst idea of the 1960s? It is now over three years
since the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated forty miles above Texas.
There has been just one shuttle flight since that event; and if anyone wants my opinion, that was one too many. As the Bible reminds us though, fools return to their folly like dogs returning to their vomit.
And a breezy little memo from NASA the other day announced the agency's hopes of three shuttle launches this year. Not one launch but three. That will set you, Joe and Susie taxpayer, back around teo billion dollars. That is on the highly optimistic assumption that none of the three launches turns into an aluminum shower. If that happens, you get billed another four hundred million or so for the follow-up investigation.
And what are you getting for all that money? Well, we are starting to get a really good understanding of how seeds germinate in weightless conditions.
We all know that that one decade of the 1960s generated more stupid ideas than an average five centuries of normal time. In the long view, NASA may turn out to have been the worst idea of them all.
|05 — Colorful Mardi Gras traditions. Those wonderful irrepressible folk
down in New Orleans held Mardi Gras as usual, defying the disorder and destruction caused by last year's hurricane.
All sorts of ancient and colorful traditions were on display. There's a new one too, I've heard. If you see a pretty woman and give her a set of cheap beads, she'll flash her FEMA check at you. That's what I heard.
|06 — Western Civ., love it or leave it. Western Civilization — Love It or Leave It.
No, that's not a bumper sticker, though perhaps it should be, but it is a growing sentiment in all sorts of places afflicted with crazy Islamofascists.
Across the pond, Trevor Phillips, Chairman of Britain's Commission on Racial Equality — and, I'm sure he won't mind me telling you, a black man — has said out loud that Muslims who want to live under Sharia law should leave Britain and find a country more agreeable to them.
Over on the other side of the planet we have Peter Costello, Finance Minister of Australia, who said — also out loud and in public — that immigrants who don't respect Australian laws and traditions should lose their citizenship.
Well! All I can say is, thank goodness we don't have mean-spirited racists like that here in the U.S.A.
Here in this great Republic of Diversity we open our arms to anyone, even people who hate us — as the next item illustrates.
|07 — Yale enrols Taliban. Meet
Mr Sayed Rahmatullah
Hashemi, formally a senior official in the Islam of fascist Taliban government of Afghanistan.
You remember the Taliban. They were the people who played host to Osama bin Laden when he was plotting the 9/11 attacks; the people we spent a bazillion dollars to overthrow and whose leaders we chased off into the further recesses of the Hindu Kush.
Well, Mr Hashemi found his way back from there — all the way back to Yale University, in fact, where he is now enrolled, having been given a US student visa by our ever-vigilant State Department.
Ah, the transforming power of America! from being a functionary in a terrorist-friendly, oppressive, America-hating regime of cruelty and intolerance, Mr Hashemi is now just one more bright little tile in the gorgeous mosaic of American diversity.
What course is he studying, one wonders? Nuclear physics, perhaps? Microbiology? Commercial aviation? I'm sure we will find out in due course.
|08 — Hillary plays Twister. The sight of Hillary Clinton's pinched features
always brings to my mind Dr Johnson's remark about Alexander Pope: "He could not drink tea without a stratagem."
Recently Mrs Clinton's stratagems have been colliding with each other, and the results aren't pretty.
Her basic principle is the one her husband called "triangulation" — please as many different groups as you can. So Hillary sets out to please patriots by declaring her support for our troops. Then she sets out to please Bush-haters by grumbling that the troops aren't properly equipped.
To please homosexuals she opposes a federal amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. Then, to please family-values groups, she supports the Defense of Marriage Act.
To us observers it's all a bit nerve-wracking, like watching a person who isn't very large or very agile trying to play Twister.
I'll say again what I've said before: Mrs Clinton will crash and burn in '08. If the Democrats are crazy enough to give her the nomination, she will lose the election.
Go home, Mrs Clinton. Take a cab. God knows you can afford it.
|09 — Gorby turns 75. Happy Birthday, Michael Gorbachev!
Everybody's favorite commie turned seventy-five the other day. That's one more year than the U.S.S.R. lasted.
Gorby celebrated the occasion by making an anti-American speech, lashing out at our, quote, "arrogance and unilateralism."
So different, you know, from the humility and collegiality of the dear old Worker's Paradise, and the Party that Splotch-Top served for most of his life.
|10 — Euro decision-making, a sample. Okay, pay attention here. I'm going to
give you a quick run-down of some recent Euro decision-making. Ready?
Last December the President of the European Union said that funds were short and the EU would have to tighten its belt, cut down on some of its projects.
That was December. Forward to January. In January, Hamas won the Palestinian election. The EU threatened a cut-off of funds, since, after all, even aside from the belt-tightening issue, EU rues forbid the funding of terrorist organizations.
On to February. Rioting Palestinians sacked the EU office in Gaza. They kidnapped a German teacher and they bombed a French cultural mission. Oh, and auditors looking into the Palestinian Authority's finances discovered that seven hundred million dollars had gone missing.
Now to the end of February. At the end of February the EU announced that it will give a hundred and twenty million euros to Hamas. I mean, we wouldn't want those little Palestinian kiddies to go without schooling or medicine, would we?
|11 — Signoff. Well, there you have it, ladies and gents. As I promised,
the Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse: Jacques, Herman, Hillary, and Mr Hashemi.
Any time you find yourself thinking that perhaps things can't be all that bad in the world, Radio Derb is here to plunge you back into existential despair.
Tune in again next week for more news and views from Radio Derb.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]