At the blogs:
Causes of Interest is reporting on human rights in Iran and Sudan. Speaking of human rights, Gates of Vienna posts that Nigeria’s importing amputation machines from Saudi Arabia for the purpose of implementing Sharia law.
Riehl World View posts on Libby Files Response To Fitzgerald. Apparently Joe Wilson will be called as a hostile witness. While on the subject of the discreted Wilson, don’t miss Hitchens’s Wowie Zahawie: Sorry everyone, but Iraq did go uranium shopping in Niger
At a later 1995 U.N. special session on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Zahawie was the Iraqi delegate and spoke heatedly about the urgent need to counterbalance Israel’s nuclear capacity. At the time, most democratic countries did not have full diplomatic relations with Saddam’s regime, and there were few fully accredited Iraqi ambassadors overseas, Iraq’s interests often being represented by the genocidal Islamist government of Sudan (incidentally, yet another example of collusion between “secular” Baathists and the fundamentalists who were sheltering Osama Bin Laden). There was one exception—an Iraqi “window” into the world of open diplomacy—namely the mutual recognition between the Baathist regime and the Vatican. To this very important and sensitive post in Rome, Zahawie was appointed in 1997, holding the job of Saddam’s ambassador to the Holy See until 2000. Those who knew him at that time remember a man much given to anti-Jewish tirades, with a standing ticket for Wagner performances at Bayreuth. (Actually, as a fan of Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung in particular, I find I can live with this. Hitler secretly preferred sickly kitsch like Franz Lehar.)
In February 1999, Zahawie left his Vatican office for a few days and paid an official visit to Niger, a country known for absolutely nothing except its vast deposits of uranium ore. It was from Niger that Iraq had originally acquired uranium in 1981, as confirmed in the Duelfer Report. In order to take the Joseph Wilson view of this Baathist ambassadorial initiative, you have to be able to believe that Saddam Hussein’s long-term main man on nuclear issues was in Niger to talk about something other than the obvious. Italian intelligence (which first noticed the Zahawie trip from Rome) found it difficult to take this view and alerted French intelligence (which has better contacts in West Africa and a stronger interest in nuclear questions). In due time, the French tipped off the British, who in their cousinly way conveyed the suggestive information to Washington. As everyone now knows, the disclosure appeared in watered-down and secondhand form in the president’s State of the Union address in January 2003.
Lost Budgie notices that Toronto City TV Goes Pro-Life – Unintentionally
Cindy Sheehan Says Don’t Attack Iran. She said the U.S. “must elect leaders that will get at the root causes of terrorism”. Thank you for sharing that insight with us, Cindy.
Today’s articles from Maria
Bert Preluski’s at it again
In fact, some U.S. government reports suggest that the United States lost a clear opportunity to kill bin Laden because he was too close to U.A.E. officials traveling in his entourage – officials Clinton security adviser Richard Clarke may have thought were too important to harm.
. . .
If the U.A.E. had been tipped off to a pending U.S. military strike, one motive had been the Clinton administration’s desire to save the deal to sell F-16s to the U.A.E.
I certainly hope this is not true: Air Force One defenses, diagrams posted online. Anti-missile info about president’s planes raises alarm, ‘affects operational security’
Brigitte Gabriel writes about her speech at the University of Memphis
At the end of the lecture, the Muslims immediately in front swarmed over me questioning and intimidating. Police officers quickly moved in and pulled me out straight to the police cars as the enraged Muslims started shouting
Maria also sent a link to the Wyeth show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. While I find Andrew Wyeth’s art profoundly depressing, many people seem to enjoy it. I’m more of a Dada type. The New Republic has a subscribers-only Dada section.