December 30, 2004

New Year 2005


Thanks to our readers for another wonderful year. We appreciate all the links, compliments and even a few of the criticisms. We've probably picked up some new readers thanks to a link from Jordan Golson. His post about video of the tsunami -- which included a link to our tsunami cartoon -- was picked up by Drudge Report and Little Green Footballs, and we rode Jordan's coattails to a 23k-hit day. We hope that readers new to Cox & Forkum editorial cartoons will stick around to check out our coming cartoons as well as peruse our archives.

We also want to thank buyers of our new book, Black & White World II. Sales have been great, so good that even sales of our first book are up. We hope that everyone is enjoying the book.

As the New Year approaches, our thoughts will be with both our armed forces and all those affected by the South Asia tsunami/earthquake. Clicking on the previous links will take you to lists of agencies helping our troops and tsunami victims.

From me and John, best wishes to everyone in the New Year.

UPDATE -- January 3: Here's more information about all the traffic going to Jordan Golson's blog, Cheese and Crackers (mentioned above), and it's from The Wall Street Journal no less (congrats to Jordan): Video Blogs Break Out With Tsunami Scenes.

Posted by Forkum at 04:08 PM

December 28, 2004


UPDATE -- January 5: The cartoon below is being auctioned to benefit tsunami victims: click here.


From an AP report: One third of those killed in disaster may be children.

The U.N. organization estimates at least one-third of the tens of thousands who died were children, and the proportion could be up to half, said UNICEF spokesman Alfred Ironside in New York. He said communities are suffering a double loss: dead children and orphaned boys and girls.

"Our major concern is that the kids who survived the tsunami now survive the aftermath. Because children are the most vulnerable to disease and lack of proper nutrition and water."

Children make up at least half of the population in Asia. Many of them work alongside poverty-stricken parents in the fishing or related industries in coastal areas, so they were in harm's way when the tidal waves came. Many children from the more affluent families would also have been on the beaches for a stroll or for Sunday picnics.

In Sri Lanka, which suffered the biggest loss of life in the tsunami, crowds had come to the beaches to watch the sea after word spread that it was producing larger-than-normal waves.
Thousands of children joined their elders to see the spectacle. The waves brought in fish. The old and the young collected them. Many waited for more fun.

Then the 15 feet-to-20 feet tidal waves hit the tropical island of 19 million people.

"They got caught and could not run to safety. This is the reason why we have so many child victims," said Rienzie Perera, a police spokesman who said reports from affected police stations indicated children made up about half the victims in Sri Lanka.

FoxNews reports: Tsunami Death Toll Tops 52,000.

And from The Wall Street Journal editorials: A Great Natural Disaster: Prosperity is the best defense against tsunami.

Rich countries suffer fewer fatalities from natural disasters because their prosperity has allowed them to create better protective measures. Consider the 41,000 death toll in last December's earthquake in Iran compared with the 63 who died when a slightly stronger earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989.

The principal victims of the tidal waves in Sri Lanka and elsewhere Sunday were the poor people living in coastal shanty towns. The wealthier countries around the Pacific Rim have an established early-warning system against tsunamis, while none currently exists in South Asia. Developing countries that have resisted the Kyoto climate-change protocols have done so from fear that it will suppress their economic growth. These countries deserve an answer from the proponents of those standards. How are they supposed to pay for such protection amid measures that are suppressing global economic growth?

UPDATE I: Cheese and Crackers has a post with video, articles and donation links regarding the tsunami disaster.

UPDATE II -- December 29: From CNN: Tsunami death toll tops 80,000.

UPDATE III -- December 30: This cartoon appears in today's (Thursday's) Investor's Business Daily.

UPDATE IV: From CNN: Tsunami death toll tops 116,000.

UPDATE V: Digital Globe has high-resolution before and after pictures of the devastation caused by the tsunami (via LGF).

And from our post earlier today, here's a U.S. government list of South Asia tsunami/earthquake relief agencies.

UPDATE VI -- January 4: From CNN: U.S. tracks 4,000 reports of missing Americans.

Posted by Forkum at 05:48 PM

December 27, 2004

Ukraine Stakes


From CNN: Yushchenko: Ukraine finally free.

Opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko has said Ukraine will finally be free after declaring himself the winner of the rerun of fraud-filled presidential elections.

However, despite Western monitors declaring the election came closer to meeting international standards, supporters of the pro-Russian candidate, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych on Monday vowed to challenge the results in court. ...

Yanukovych had the backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin, while Yushchenko has stronger ties to the West.

Rybachak said Yushchenko intended to go to Moscow right away for talks with Putin.

"His first ... trip will be as president to go to Moscow to discuss with President Putin about bilateral relations," said Rybachak. "We clearly under[stand] Russia is our priority and Yuschenko's first trip will be to Putin."

Posted by Forkum at 04:30 PM

December 23, 2004

In Honor


This cartoon originally appeared in March 2003, and we're reposting here in honor of those killed in Monday's suicide bombing by Islamists, as well as in honor of all those who have died fighting the war on terror. Our thoughts are with the troops who are putting themselves in harm's way to protect our freedom. The Department of Defense has a Web page devoted helping our troops and their families: Defend America: Support Our Troops.

From FoxNews: Mosul Attack Likely Work of Homicide Bomber.

BAGHDAD, Iraq — The U.S. military was re-examining security measures at bases across Iraq on Thursday, a day after saying an attack that killed 22 people at a camp near Mosul was likely carried out by a homicide bomber who may have had inside information.

The explosion on Monday at the tightly guarded U.S. base raised questions about how the attacker infiltrated the compound, which is surrounded by blast walls and barbed wire and watched by U.S. troops who search every person going in and check his identity.

Also from FoxNews: Doctors Work to Save Wounded.

BERLIN -- U.S. military doctors worked through the night into Thursday stabilizing soldiers and civilians injured in a deadly insurgent attack on a base in northern Iraq, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Forty-two soldiers and civilians arrived for treatment Wednesday at the U.S. military's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (search) in southern Germany with chest wounds, shrapnel wounds, broken bones and burns.

"We've been working around the clock," said Landstuhl spokeswoman Marie Shaw.

With Christmas near, extra doctors working on lighter holiday schedules have been put on standby, told that they need to be able to report to the hospital within two hours if needed. So far, the regular staff has been able to cope with the workload, Shaw said.

"Even our commander went in to surgery last night," she said in a telephone interview.

The hospital was preparing to evacuate 11 patients later Thursday to Brooks Army Medical Center in Texas, which has a burn center.

"They need specialized care," Shaw said.

UPDATE I: The Ville has a good idea for helping the troops: buying them phone cards.

UPDATE II -- December 24: Young Pundits has even more links for helping the families of killed/wounded servicemen and women.

Posted by Forkum at 12:25 PM

December 22, 2004

Claus for Alarm


UPDATE -- December 23: This cartoon appears in today's (Thursday's) Investor's Business Daily.

Posted by Forkum at 12:01 AM

December 20, 2004

Time and Again


From The San Francisco Chronicle: President Bush named Time's Person of 2004 'for reshaping the rules of politics'.

President George W. Bush again holds the title of Time magazine's "Person of the Year" -- beating out Michael Moore, Mel Gibson and even his political adviser, Karl Rove.

After a grueling campaign and a second election win behind him, Bush remains a polarizing figure in America and around the world, and that's part of the reason the magazine selected him, said Managing Editor Jim Kelly.

"Many, many Americans deeply wish he had not won," Kelly said. "And yet he did."

Bush, tapped in 2000 by Time, joins six other presidents who have twice been named the magazine's Person of the Year: Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower (first as a general), Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Franklin Roosevelt holds the record with three nods from the editors.

UPDATE -- December 28: This cartoon appears in today's (Tuesday's) The Detroit News.

Posted by Forkum at 09:06 PM

December 19, 2004

Extreme Makeover


FoxNews reports: Saddam Speaks From Prison.

From his prison cell, ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein urged his compatriots to remain united against the U.S. occupation and warned of the potential dangers of the upcoming elections, his lawyers said Sunday.

Iraqi lawyer Khalil al-Duleimi met with Saddam on Thursday, the first meeting since Saddam was captured a year ago.

"Our representative in Iraq told us that the president warned the people of Iraq and the Arabs to beware of the American scheme aimed at splitting Iraq into sectarian and religious divisions and weakening the (Arab) nation," said Bushra Khalil, a Lebanese member of the defense team.

This can only get worse.

Posted by Forkum at 08:22 PM

December 17, 2004

At War


From Human Events Editor Allan H. Ryskind: Ugly Reporting Wrongs Rumsfeld.

Nowhere was the media's irresponsibility on the Iraq conflict more acutely demonstrated than in the barrage of ugly news reports on Donald Rumsfeld's exchange in Kuwait with Spc. Thomas Wilson, an exchange that is still reverberating across the country. ...

Virtually all the newspaper, magazine, radio, and TV accounts wildly misrepresented what happened next. As the Washington Post's Thomas Ricks "reported" -- and his piece was wholly representative of the media in general --" Rumsfeld replied: 'As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time." Rumsfeld, as the media would have it, was blowing off the deepest concerns of our men and women about to be placed in a deadly situation. ...

But the official transcript of the Kuwaiti townhall meeting with the troops ... reveals an entirely different story.

The first words out of Rumsfeld's mouth in response to Wilson were not what the media either said or implied or disclosed in film clips. They were, instead, words of encouragement. Rumsfeld dwelt at length on how much progress the military was making in solving the problem that began materializing a year ago August when the enemy started using explosives to blow up thin-skinned Army vehicles normally used in the rear of the combat zone. Nor was the secretary caught off guard by the question, as the media has suggested.

The Wall Street Journal ran two good editorials on this subject this week:

The first is by John R. Guardiano, an Arlington, Va.-based journalist who served in Iraq in 2003 as a field radio operator with the U.S. Marine Corps' Fourth Civil Affairs Group: Question Authority: What the media got wrong about Spc. Wilson and Secretary Rumsfeld.

To the media, it was a dramatic revelation of Bush administration hypocrisy and incompetence: A lowly American GI courageously speaks truth to power, thus showing that the emperor has no clothes. But to this Marine veteran of the Iraq war, the hullabaloo over Army Spc. Thomas J. Wilson's question reveals far more about media bias, prejudice and ignorance than it does about the U.S. military and Iraq.

Spc. Wilson asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld why, nearly two years after the start of the war, his unit still has too few "up-armored" humvees. The media were surprised that an enlisted man would ask so direct and pointed a question of the Pentagon's highest official. I wasn't.

I enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve after Sept. 11, 2001, and served in Iraq in 2003. Throughout boot camp, combat training and subsequent preparation for war, my instructors always stressed the importance of independent thinking and initiative. Obviously, when you're in the middle of a firefight, you cannot -- and must not -- second-guess split-second command decisions. However, when preparing for war, thoughtful and considered questions are not only tolerated; they are encouraged -- even demanded, I found.

As one of my combat instructors told us: "Marines, you're more likely to die from someone doing something stupid than because the enemy is skilled and ingenious. So make sure you've thought things through and that everyone's on the same page. Be polite. Be tactful. But don't be afraid to ask questions."

The second WSJ editorial is by Brendan Miniter: Hunter's Gun Truck: One reason for the Iraq armor shortage: The military is too thorough.

Mr. Rumsfeld stirred up a hornet's nest last week by saying, "You go to war with the army you have. They're not the army you might want or wish to have." He's right. We cannot afford to make the mistake George McClellan did in the Civil War, endlessly preparing for war but not doggedly going after the enemy. Our soldiers deserve the best equipment and training money can buy. And that includes the best equipment they can use now, instead of waiting around for something better. Sometimes what's good enough today is better than what would be perfect sometime down the road.

UPDATE -- December 19: This cartoon appears in Monday's Investor's Business Daily.

Posted by Forkum at 02:33 PM

December 16, 2004



From CNN: Purported new bin Laden tape criticizes Saudi royals.

A new audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden showed up on Arabic Web sites Thursday, referring to the December 6 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The voice on the tape says instability in Saudi Arabia is due to the kingdom's regime.

"While the struggle in Saudi Arabia appears to be internal, it is part of the struggle between believers and nonbelievers" of Islam, the speaker said. ...

Al Qaeda expert Paul Eedle, who said the voice on the tape appears to be that of bin Laden, said the main message of the recording is a call for the overthrow of the Saudi royal family.

"It's an enormously detailed piece of invective against the Saudi royal family and against other Arab rulers accusing them of being puppets of what Osama bin Laden calls a crusaders-Zionist alliance led by America, which is seeking to steal the wealth and occupy the lands of Muslims," Eedle said.

This cartoon originally appeared in November 2003 and is in our new book, Black & White World II, available at Barnes & and We're getting some lovely reviews at Amazon by leftists who haven't even read the book or our Web site, or if they have they've chosen to misrepresent us (surprise! ). We'd prefer and appreciate some reviews from those of you who know our work.

UPDATE -- December 17: Wow. Thanks to everyone who has posted a review at Amazon (and B&N for that matter). All the comments are welcome, and, of course, the compliments in particular are gratifying. But what I most appreciate is the that we're getting more informed reviews whether the reviewer always agrees with our cartoons or not. We expect disagreement and criticism. After all, we're in the criticism business. We just want to be judged on the ideas we actually advocate not the ones projected onto us by prejudice. Again, thanks to everyone.

Posted by Forkum at 03:58 PM

December 14, 2004

Mullah Pet


From CNN: U.S. opposes third term for IAEA chief.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that U.S. intelligence had taped conversations between [Mohammed] ElBaradei [head of the International Atomic Energy Agency] and Iranian officials in an alleged attempt to discredit the Egyptian-born IAEA chief, who has served at the IAEA's director-general since 1997. ...

The United States must win the support of 12 nations on the IAEA's 35-member Board of Governors to block ElBaradei's re-election, but its influence with the board has been limited. To date the U.S. has been unsuccessful in persuading the board to take a tough line with Iran.

In November, ElBaradei praised the European preliminary nuclear non-proliferation agreement with Iran as a "step in the right direction," despite the fact that Iran has a history of lying about its nuclear programs, not to mention a history of being the world's worst sponsor of terrorism and an open enemy of America and Israel. (One recent example: Iran group canvasses for suicide bombers.)

Around the same time, ElBaradei acknowledged that the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists was a "real danger," saying we should take "preventative measures" then: "We have to cross our fingers that nothing will happen." (Via LGF)

When one expects terrorist-sponsoring regimes like Iran's to abide by weapons agreements, then all that is left is to cross your fingers and prepare to be attacked.

The Bush Administration is long over due in confronting Iran, and at least one person has decided to do something about. The Los Angeles Times today published a story about a "grass-roots crusade against Iran," as Robert Tracinski of TIA Daily called it: Kerry Opponent Taking Aim at New Target: Iran.

Jerome R. Corsi, a leader of the Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth campaign against former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry, is hard at work on his next political project: preparing American public opinion for what he sees as a likely war with Iran.

"The world cannot tolerate the potential that these mad mullahs would have a deliverable nuclear weapon, even one, secretly developed," Corsi said in a recent interview. "They might just launch on Tel Aviv. The moment the world intelligence community becomes convinced that could happen, either the U.S. alone or the U.S. plus Israel or Israel alone will seriously contemplate a preemptive strike, and I'd be in favor of it."

Posted by Forkum at 09:04 PM

December 13, 2004

The Generation Graft


In The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes writes on the issue of social security reform: Republican Insecurity.

Democrats are a problem. On modernizing Social Security, most of them are reactionary liberals, committed to preserving an antiquated system. But at the moment, Republicans are an even bigger problem for the White House. For a reform measure to win approval in Congress, Republicans must be united. True, the conventional wisdom in Washington is that entitlement reform requires bipartisanship. With only a handful of Democrats likely to sign on, however, that won't happen. So that leaves the matter with Republicans, and they are anything but together.

In today's TIA Daily, Robert Tracinski commented on the above story:

The Democrats are on the ropes and in no position to resist President Bush's proposal for a partial privatization of Social Security. So it is up to cowardly congressional Republicans to stand in the way of progress -- which some of them are, of course, doing. This article provides a good overview of likely resistance from Republicans -- as well as the likely outlines of any Bush administration proposal.

UPDATE -- December 21: This cartoon appears in today's (Tuesday's) The Detroit News.

Posted by Forkum at 08:20 PM

SoA Blogger Challenge


Unlike last time, we are not directly participating in the latest Spirit of America Blogger Challenge. However, we'd like to direct your attention to a few bloggers who are. The following links will take you directly to donation pages and information about how the funds will be used. The challenge ends this Wednesday, Dec. 15, at midnight. So if you want to make a contribution, now's the time.

Team Pajamahdeen - Operation Viral Freedom: Team Leader Joe Katzman (Winds of Change) chose to direct donations to a specific project, one that will create Arabic blogging tools and hosting in the Middle East.

Castle Argghhh! Fighting Fusileers for Freedom!: Team Member Dean Esmay (Dean's World) was one of the originators of the blogger challenge concept. At over $5,000, his team is currently second in the challenge among teams.

And last but not least, Little Green Footballs: Charles Johnson entered the challenge as an individual, and his blog has so far generated more than any individual or team: over $14,000.

Posted by Forkum at 02:48 PM

December 12, 2004

In the Soup


The Telegraph reports: Hunt starts for Yushchenko's poisoner.

Viennese doctors said at the weekend that tests showed Mr Yuschenko had ingested a near-fatal dose of dioxin, probably in his food or drink.

Confirmation that he was poisoned is likely to improve his chances in the [Ukranian presidential election] run-off. Doctors have given him the go-ahead to return to the campaign trail but said it may be years before his face returns to normal.

The disclosure that Mr Yushchenko had ingested dioxin, an extremely rare poison, has increased suspicion that the regime of the outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, which had the most to gain from his demise, may have been involved.

Mr Yushchenko fell mysteriously ill in September after a late dinner at the country house of Volodymyr Satysuk, the first deputy chairman of the SBU, Ukraine's intelligence service and the successor to the KGB.

Other senior security officials were present including Ihor Smeshko, the head of the SBU. Mr Yushchenko began suffering agonising abdominal pains the day after the dinner. He partially recovered but his face has been left bloated, covered in lesions and turned bluish-grey.

BOOK UPDATE: At the moment of this post, our new book Black & White World II was ranked 1,437 at Barnes & B&N has promised faster delivery than, which likely accounts for the big ranking difference between them. The book's rank has jumped up and down quite a bit since it went on line, but this is the highest we've been on either one.

Posted by Forkum at 08:23 PM

December 10, 2004

Blood Money


Charles Johnson commented earlier this week on the Bush Administration's plans to give $20 million to the Palestinian Authority: Rewarding Terrorism.

It's amazing how nobody in the world wants to hold Palestinian society responsible for anything. Their economy is devastated because of four years of senseless violence, all right -- perpetrated by the Palestinians, in spite of a historic peace offer from Israel.

For a people who talk endlessly about having their own state, they have done almost nothing positive, on their own, to achieve it. The world has given them countless billions of dollars, much of which vanished into anonymous bank accounts, and the Palestinian people have nothing to show for it. Why are we giving them another huge handout?

Meanwhile, AFP reported the same day that PLO chief Mahmud Abbas was not opposed to convicted and jailed terrorist Marwan Barghouti running for the Palestinian presidency.

But Palestinians aren't the only ones defending Barghouti. So are Leftists, who are supposedly for the criminal prosecution of terrorists instead of waging war against them. Why the contradiction? TIA Daily's Jack Wakeland examined the issue: No War, No Justice.

The left complains when we invade countries allied with the anti-American terrorist cause, we do not treat captured terrorists and the criminal militamen who fight alongside them as if they are lawfully uniformed combatants of a hostile nation at war with the United States. Likewise, when police and intelligence operatives capture terrorists in Islamabad or Kabul or Baghdad, the left insists that the men be put on trial, proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and sentenced in accordance with the law, like any other criminal -- or released immediately for lack of evidence. The left has attempted to apply the rule of law out of context, as a fig leaf to cover their general rejection of national defense.

With Barghouti, Israel has done exactly as the left specifies. And the instigator of a dirty terrorist war responsible for the loss of well over a thousand innocent lives is slated to rot in prison for the rest of his life.

Does the left celebrate this successful use of their policy? No. They have dropped the fig leaf.

(This cartoon is a follow-up to "Vicious Circle", which is one of 450 cartoons in our new book, Black & White World II.)

Posted by Forkum at 10:24 AM

December 08, 2004

Sprawl or Bust


Yesterday The Washington Times reported:

More than 40 expensive houses under construction in Charles County were burned early yesterday in a development that has drawn criticism from environmentalists because it is next to a nature preserve.

Arson is suspected in at least four of the 41 blazes, a state fire official said. The houses, 12 of which were destroyed, were priced at $400,000 to $500,000.

Ecoterrorism is one of the motives that would be investigated, said Joe Parris, a spokesman for the FBI, which joined the investigation last night. ...

Environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and a citizens group opposed the Hunters Brooke development and another subdivision because of their proximity to the Araby Bog, a 50-acre magnolia bog. ... The Sierra Club said yesterday it condemned "all acts of violence in the name of the environment." ... The Sierra Club called the Charles County development "quintessential sprawl" in its fall 2000 sprawl report, noting that it is far from existing infrastructure and "threatens a fragile wetland and important historical sites near the Chesapeake Bay." ...

In recent years, the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a loosely structured group that opposes commercialism and industry in the name of preserving the environment, has taken responsibility for many similar incidents nationwide.

The Times today confirms: Arson cited as cause of fires.

UPDATE I -- December 12: This cartoon appears in Monday's Investor's Business Daily.

UPDATE II -- December 14: This cartoon appears in today's (Tuesday's) Investor's Business Daily.

Posted by Forkum at 02:37 PM

December 07, 2004

Update on PayPal Book Orders

Below is the back cover for our new book, Black & White World II. Farther below is the update on PayPal book orders...


The PayPal orders we've received to date have been shipped with only a couple of exceptions.

All single-book, Priority Mail PayPal orders since Dec. 1 went out today. They would have shipped sooner, but we've been waiting for more books. These buyers should receive their book this week. All single-book PayPal orders prior to Dec. 1 have shipped and will arrive (or have already arrived) via either Priority or UPS Ground.

All multi-book PayPal orders have been shipped via UPS Ground from our printer (except for two recent orders which should ship this week).

And all international PayPal orders have shipped via USPO Economy.

If you have any questions about your order, e-mail us at contact -- at -- .

As we announced earlier this week, Black & White World II is now available online at Barnes & ("Usually ships within 2-3 days") and ("Usually ships within 8 to 11 days"). We encourage those who have seen Black & White World II to write a review at B&N and Amazon.

Thanks again to all of you for your orders. We deeply appreciate the support and hope that you all enjoy the book as much as we do. (And don't forget: It makes a great gift!)

Posted by Forkum at 09:01 PM

December 06, 2004

Captive Audience


Reuters reports: Iranian Students Vent Frustration at Khatami. (Via Little Green Footballs)

Students, once the backbone of Iran's reformist movement, heckled and harangued President Mohammad Khatami Monday, accusing him of lacking the courage to deliver promised democratic reforms in the Islamic state.

"Khatami, what happened to your promised freedoms?," "Khatami, shame on you," "Students are wise, they detest Khatami," groups shouted as the moderate cleric attempted to address some 1,500 students at Tehran University.

The speech, held to mark Iran's annual Students Day, marked a nadir for Khatami's relations with students who were a major force in his stunning electoral victories of 1997 and 2001. ...

He said he still believed the path of reform would succeed.

"I really believe in this system and the (1979 Islamic) revolution and that this system can be developed from within."

But for most present, Khatami's words merely underlined the impotence of a man whom they now view as part of a system unwilling to accept real change. ...

Student leaders, many of whom have been jailed for taking part in pro-democracy protests in recent years, said Khatami had failed to stand by them.

"There is no difference between him and the authoritarians," prominent student leader Abdollah Momeni said. "Students are very disappointed because they paid a heavy price for supporting Khatami, but in return they got nothing."

Posted by Forkum at 08:03 PM

December 05, 2004

Abandon Ship


UPDATE -- December 8: Under the heading "Keep Kofi," Harry Binswanger (HBL email list) pinpointed the real issue:

The movement to force the resignation of U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan is a red herring, or a sop. What is needed, of course, is not to get Annan out of his office but to get the U.S. out of the U.N.

The evil of the U.N. is that it includes, in a world body allegedly devoted to peace, every and any dictatorship. It is one of the most egregious examples of the sanction of the victim, which serves to sacrifice the good to the evil.

This, not the graft of the "Oil for Food Program, is the scandal of the U.N. Deposing Annan will serve only to divert attention from this essential and quell the rising outrage against the nature of the U.N.

The best result for the U.S. would be if Kofi Annan keeps his job. That would reveal how corrupt the U.N. is, and the real cause of that corruption is only beginning to be faintly perceived by a few commentators.

Posted by Forkum at 08:19 PM

New Book Online at B&N, Amazon

I have confirmed with both online bookstores that Black & White World II is available through Barnes & ("Usually ships within 2-3 days") and ("Usually ships within 8 to 11 days"). Amazon's availability time will eventually be quicker, but I don't know if it will improve before Christmas. For a limited time, we're still taking PayPal orders here (scroll down).

Thanks again to everyone placing orders for Black & White World II.

Posted by Forkum at 06:11 PM

December 02, 2004

Gitmo Absurd


From The Wall Street Journal: Red Double-Crossed Again.

In this latest case, the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross] is alleging that the psychological conditions faced by Guantanamo detainees are "tantamount to torture." Why? Because -- we kid you not -- prisoners are being held for indefinite periods, and the uncertainty is stressful. And because some prisoners are subjected to psychological pressure techniques during interrogations aimed at thwarting further terrorist attacks. ...

The ICRC ... objects to interrogation pressure that is typically no more abusive than the good cop-bad cop routines common in American police stations. And where the interrogation techniques go further, they include nothing worse than loud music, temperature extremes, and uncomfortable positions. To call such discomforts "a form of torture" is to rob the word of all meaning and implicitly elevate the behavior of truly odious regimes.

Finally, from the damned-if-you-do file, we have the ICRC complaining that U.S. doctors took the care to examine the detainees' health to determine if particular stress techniques might be too much for a given individual. This is alleged somehow to be a violation of "medical ethics" rather than the example of American humanity that it actually is.

(AD: Don't forget to order your copies of Black & White World II now for delivery in time for Christmas.)

UPDATE -- December 7: This cartoon appears in today's (Tuesday's) The Detroit News.

Posted by Forkum at 07:58 PM

December 01, 2004

Fallujah Ice Cream


From The Union Leader: FALLUJAH SEARCH:Yields huge cache of weapons.

The seizures [by U.S. troops] -- amounting to tons of weaponry, from rifles to heavy bombs, from hand grenades to artillery rounds -- are part of what U.S. authorities describe as an intelligence and tactical bonanza uncovered in the city 35 miles west of Baghdad, the capital. The munitions were found in homes, mosques, cargo containers, bunkers and other sites.

Among the most novel finds: An ice-cream truck that had been converted into a mobile car-bomb factory, complete with all the parts and weaponry needed to turn any vehicle into a weapon on the spot.

Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs has put together a slide show about the Fallujah operations: Telling the Fallujah Story to the World.

Posted by Forkum at 08:13 PM