Friday, July 28, 2006

Thanks, I Needed That!

2224 hrs MDT Last Evening. P-Town is just below the "lo" in Clovis

Yesterday was a remarkable day, weather-wise: it rained for over ten hours straight. Remarkable. That’s more rain in a single sitting than I’ve seen during the three and a half years I’ve been in P-Town. East Central New Mexico, while not technically a desert, is very dry country. Our rain usually comes in bursts, as in cloudbursts. Thunderstorms. It’ll rain fairly hard for a short while, say 15 to 30 minutes, and then the storm moves on or just dissipates into the ether, rapidly. Not so with yesterday’s rain. What we had yesterday was what Mom called a “planter’s rain,” which is to say a slow, steady rain that lasts all day and thoroughly soaks the ground. And makes wonderful, relaxing sounds on my roof.

I needed those relaxing sounds from time to time, which should be apparent if you followed the link in the post below. My tolerance for wacky conspiracy theorists is pretty low; it’s completely absent when conspiracy theory is mixed with blatant bigotry. Sometimes I think some people are simply too stupid to breathe, yet they do.

Ralph Peters, in today’s New York Post:

For the Israelis, the town of Bint Jbeil is an embarrassment, an objective that proved unexpectedly hard to take. But the town's a tactical issue to the Israeli Defense Force, not a strategic one.

For Hezbollah, it's Stalingrad, where the Red Army stopped the Germans. And that's how terrorist propagandists will mythologize it.

Considering only the military facts, the IDF's view is correct. But the Middle East has little use for facts. Perception is what counts. To the Arab masses, Hezbollah's resistance appears heroic, triumphant - and inspiring. We don't have to like it, but it's true.

So why is defeating Hezbollah such a challenge? Israel smashed one Arab military coalition after another, from 1948 through 1973. Arabs didn't seem to make good soldiers.

Now we see Arabs fighting tenaciously and effectively. What happened?

Mr. Peters provides answers, of course, along with analysis that seems correct to me. I don’t always agree with Col. Peters, especially when it comes to his opinion on airpower, but he seems to be spot-on today. I hope Mr. Olmert and the Israeli cabinet are listening reading.

Charles Krauthammer, writing at Real Clear Politics, expanding on the riff he used on Special Report’s Panel Discussion this Monday past (and quoted on this blog, three posts down):

WASHINGTON -- What other country, when attacked in an unprovoked aggression across a recognized international frontier, is then put on a countdown clock by the world, given a limited time window in which to fight back, regardless of whether it has restored its own security?

What other country sustains 1,500 indiscriminate rocket attacks into its cities -- every one designed to kill, maim and terrorize civilians -- and is then vilified by the world when it tries to destroy the enemy's infrastructure and strongholds with precision-guided munitions that sometimes have the unintended but unavoidable consequence of collateral civilian death and suffering?

Hearing the world pass judgment on the Israel-Hezbollah war as it unfolds is to live in an Orwellian moral universe. With a few significant exceptions (the leadership of the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and a very few others), the world -- governments, the media, U.N. bureaucrats -- has completely lost its moral bearings.

The word that obviates all thinking and magically inverts victim into aggressor is "disproportionate," as in the universally decried "disproportionate Israeli response."

As usual, Mr. Krauthammer nails it, particularly on the subject of “disproportionate response” and Hezbollah tactics:

The perversity of today's international outcry lies in the fact that there is indeed a disproportion in this war, a radical moral asymmetry between Hezbollah and Israel: Hezbollah is deliberately trying to create civilian casualties on both sides while Israel is deliberately trying to minimize civilian casualties, also on both sides.

In perhaps the most blatant terror campaign from the air since the London blitz, Hezbollah is raining rockets on Israeli cities and villages. These rockets are packed with ball bearings that can penetrate automobiles and shred human flesh. They are meant to kill and maim. And they do.

But it is a dual campaign. Israeli innocents must die in order for Israel to be terrorized. But Lebanese innocents must also die in order for Israel to be demonized, which is why Hezbollah hides its fighters, its rockets, its launchers, its entire infrastructure among civilians. Creating human shields is a war crime. It is also a Hezbollah specialty.


There’s a downside to all that wonderful rain we had yesterday: it’s humid. Mississippi humid. Houston humid. Ah, but it’s only gonna get up to 86, so it’ll feel close to normal for this time of year, and there are more thunder-boomers in the forecast for this evening. Lovely! (Seriously.)

And now I must get out and about…


  1. It's slightly cooler here today - and the drugstore finally got in some more fans. As you know, Buck, Coastal So Cal inhabitants usually do not have A/C and this weather has been miserable. Give me desert heat anyday! Can't imagine what our pioneer ancestors did in this weather - they had heavier clothes, too.
    "Planter's rain." I love that. And your writing was especially delighful today.
    Sometimes I think some people are simply too stupid to breathe, yet they do. This is too funny.

    Say, going back to the BBC conversation, I found a great site. (At least it's a new one to me. Unless you mentioned it?)
    Loved Krauthammer - and the analysis on Bint Jbeil seems accurate to me. Did you catch Bush and Blair today? They did a great job. They really took their time to explain the "big picture" and I hope more of the reporters "got it."

    Just looked up "BBC bias." Amazing number of sites. I had no idea. What a shame. My parents had been saying this for years, but I've only recently wised up. What is going on there?

  2. Bec, in the pioneer days, it wasn't so hot, they didn't have global warming then. They were 100 years closer to the ice age than we are too ;) What? The dust bowl? Oh, that was just fictional, somebody made it up.

  3. Bec: The site is good; thanks! And thanks for your kind comment about the writing. I missed the Tony and Dubya show in its entirety but caught soundbites on the news. Once again, it appears Blair is a lot more adept at explaining "things" than is Dubya. Oh, well.

    Laurie: LOL. After I thought about it for a minute... :-)


Just be polite... that's all I ask.