»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Friday, June 23rd, 2006


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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]

01 — Intro.     Greetings, NRO addicts. That little music intro was one of Haydn's Derbyshire Marches; and this is John Derbyshire bringing you Derb TV, with news and views from the past week.

I've been told by our dedicated team of engineers that our technical problems have now all been solved; except that, they tell me, if I were to sing on Derb TV, the entire website would crash. So I'm sorry to say that Derb TV will be spoken word only.

Here's the news.


02 — The war against our troops.     The ferocious and unrelenting war against our armed forces in Iraq continues.

Item.  Two infantrymen from the 101st Airborne were seized by terrorists, then tortured and killed. This happened in what the wire service calls "the terrorist-dominated hell-hole of Youssifiya." The soldiers' bodies were mutilated, then they were left out to be found, though of course heavile booby-trapped.

Why, three days later, there is still one brick left standing on another in "the terrorist-dominated hell-hole of Youssifiya," no-one can explain to me.

Item.  U.S. Marine Corporal Joshua Belile recorded a very funny song he'd made up, with the title "Hadji Girl," riffing on a theme from that excellent movie Team America. Well, Muslim lobbies howled, and the Marine Corps now has an investigation going into whether Corporal Belile should be tried for a military crime.

Item.  Seven other U.S. Marines and a sailor, accused of shooting an Iraqi civilian who would not tell them the location of some terrorists, have all been charged with murder. That's right: murder — just like if you strangled your real-estate broker. Murder.

Item.  The General charged with investigating whether marines tried to cover up the killing of twenty-four civilians in Haditha last November wrapped up his report, finding that there had been no cover-up.

Meanwhile a broader Pentagon investigation continues — as does the media campaign to try to blow up the Haditha incident into another My Lai massacre.

And, as I said, the war against our troops continues.


03 — Iraqis still don't like us.     Meanwhile, the great one-hundred-billion-dollars-a-year project to persuade Arabs to like us and to see how good we are, seems to have run into a spot of bother.

The World Values Survey, a joint project of some Michigan universities, has been polling Iraqis. Guess what? They don't like us.

The percentage of Iraqis who said they would not want to have Americans as neighbors rose from 87 percent in 2004 to 90 percent in 2006.

Asked whether they agreed with the statement that: "In Iraq these days life is unpredictable and dangerous," 59 percent strongly agreed in 2006. In 2004 it was only 46 percent.

Not to worry, though. If we just keep working away at it, one day they'll start liking us. And then it will all have been worthwhile!

One hundred billion dollars a year, by the way, works out at about three thousand dollars a second.


04 — No soccer please, we're Americans.     Flags are at half-mast everywhere I look. Some people, overcome with despair, have hurled themselves from tall buildings. Everwhere can be heard the sounds of weeping and lamentation. Rumors are going round that the President may declare a National Day of Mourning.

Yes, folks: The U.S. team has been knocked out of the soccer World Cup. Our brave lads were defeated by Ghana, two goals to one. Ghana is a small nation in West Africa, population 22 million, GDP per capita $2,500.

Personally I take great delight in the refusal of the U.S. public to give a damn about soccer. We're supposed to like soccer (a) because it's a global game and we're all supposed to be keen on globalization, and (b) because it has that European cachet that makes our over-educated elites swoon.

We proles aren't buying it, though. If you can't break bones when you're playing it, and you can't chew tobacco when you're playing it, and you can't look into your opponent's eyes and trash-talk him while you're playing it, we Americans don't want to play it.


05 — Deportation? We don't do that.     The determination of our federal government not to enforce the people's laws on immigration grows daily more shameless.

Police officers in St Clairsville, Ohio stopped a van that was going the wrong way on an interstate. Inside the van were twenty illegal immigrants from Mexico, including three who'd previously been deported.

The cops notified federal immigration officials; and guess what they did. "Let 'em go!" laughed the feds, and the officers had no choice but to comply.

Meanwhile, over in Waverly, Tennessee, Donna and Sean Wilson were laid to rest. The married couple were killed in a head-on crash with a drunk driver, name of Gustavo Garcia Reyes. Mr Reyes turned out to be another illegal immigrant.

To hear some of our politicians talk you might suppose that Mr Reyes had been lurking "in the shadows" for fear of arrest and deportation if his illegal status was discovered.

Well, not exactly. In fact he's been arrested fourteen times before for a range of offenses, most of them relating to DUI. Not one of those fourteen arrests got him deported.

Deportation? Nah, we don't do that. Wouldn't be nice. It might make someone dislike us, you know.


06 — The busy Space Shuttle.     Oh, the Space Shuttle — yes! Radio Derb fans know how I feel about the Space Shuttle.

Well, next Saturday, July 1st, the Space Shuttle Discovery is set for launch. The main tasks for this mission are to do some tests on the safety of the Shuttle and to transport an astronaut to the International Space Station — you know: that thing that exists so that the Shuttle has something to do.

In future missions the Shuttle will show that it can take off and land without blowing up, take lots of photographs of itself to see if its heat shield is intact, and transport more astronauts to and from the Space Station. Oh, and they will do some experiemts to test the effects of weightlessness on rats.

Onward and upward with the Shuttle!


07 — Bush in Budapest.     Speaking as a Hungarophile, I was glad to see our President in Budapest on the fiftieth anniversary of their uprising against their Soviet occupiers.

The President gave a very Bushian speech, which went over very well. Reading it, though, you couldn't help thinking that the President's extended analogy with the current Iraq War was, well, a bit of a stretch.

Hungary, after all, is an almost perfect ethnostate. Nobody much lives there except Hungarians. Iraq is … different.

And then again, the Hungarians' enemy back in 1956 was an occupying power that had come into Hungary in force, and overthrown the government, and set up a different government more to its liking. While the enemy in Iraq … well, let's not pursue this train of thought.

Said our President: "The lesson of the Hungarian experience is clear: Liberty can be delayed, but it cannot be denied. The desire for liberty is universal because it is written by our Creator into the hearts of every man, woman, and child on this earth." End quote.

Well, that's a nice lesson to draw from Hungary's experience. However, the lesson actually drawn by President Eisenhower back in 1956 was, that while the U.S.A. might be able to help Hungarians get their freedom, it was not in our national interest to get involved.

That of course was a different time and a different world. Still, I can't help wishing the President had left Iraq out of what was otherwise an excellent and moving speech.

It left the impression that he believes he has to justify his Iraq policy in every speech he gives, under any circumstances at all; and that leaves him looking a bit short in the confidence department.


08 — Bribing Iran to behave.     Having totally failed to persuade Iran to stop making fissionale material for its atom bombs, the Great Powers of world diplomacy put their heads together and came up with a solution: bribery.

Let's offer Iran all sorts of goodies, including help with — yes! — a nuclear power program. Hey, it worked with North Korea back in the nineties, didn't it?

Well, no, actually it didn't. The Norks went ahead and made atom bombs anyway … in the time they could spare from falling around laughing at the cpwardice and gullibility of the civilized nations.

But let's forget that. The Mullahs in Iran are much more reasonable than the North Koreans. And in any case they're going to be overthrown any day now by Iranian people demanding a representative democracy, and more Starbucks franchises, and more re-runs of Beverley Hills 90210.

The Iranians, stifling their laughter as best they can, have told us that they might reply to our contemptible and insulting offer by the end of August … if they feel like it.

Come August we'll probably get: "Oh! Did we say August? We meant December." And then our diplomats will be running around trying to put together an even bigger, juicier package of goodies.

Perhaps we could arrange for Brad and Angelina's next baby to be born in Tehran. I bet they'd go for that!

This is called "standing firm on nuclear proliferation."


09 — The Irish in "England's wars."     One of the nicest stories out of the British Isles recently has been the decision of the Republic of Ireland to honor those Irishmen who served as members of the British armed forces in the two World Wars.

The Irish are even issuing a stamp to commemorate the Battle of the Somme, whose ninetieth anniversary come up next week.

The Somme was one of the bloodiest engagements of World War One, remembered still with much emotion by British people. That battle came soon after the Easter Rising in Dublin, remembered with equal emotion by Irish republicans.

The English thought that the Irish had stabbed them in the back, stagin the Easter Rising just when they were fighting a critical war. The Irish thought the English had swindled their young men into fighting for England on the promise of Irish independence — a promise that they thought England never meant to keep.

The stiffer sort of Irish republicans, like Gerry Adams, used to sneer at World Wars One and Two as "England's wars," and they used to plant bombs at war memorial services, just to drive the point home.

The English, on the other hand, couldn't wait to tell you how Irish leader Éamon de Valera went to the German Embassy to give his condolences on the death of Hitler, walking all the way to show respect.

England, Ireland, it's all bad blood, down through the centuries. It used to be, anyway. Now, with the new prosperity of Ireland, and a long European peace, it's all beginning to fade at last.

Good riddance! I say. We conservatives are supposed to have a fond attitude to the past; and that's all well and good in its place. But there comes a point where the past is best buried and forgotten.


10 — Signoff.     That's all for this week, NRO fans. Tune in again next week for more of the sad, the bad, and the mad from Derb TV. Here's some more Haydn to see you out.


[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]