October 05, 2003


“So, let's just say we gave the U.N. the leading role in Iraq, and buttressed the whole operation with the genius of French military might,” writes NRO’s Denis Boyles. “How would we do?”

Not so good, as it turns out. Read the whole piece.

Posted by Tim Blair at October 5, 2003 12:56 AM

Of course, this is irrelevant to a lot of people because it doesn't make America look bad.

Posted by: Marty at October 5, 2003 at 01:07 AM

La Côte d'Ivoire est un morass.

Posted by: S Whiplash at October 5, 2003 at 01:53 AM

Mmmmmmmmmmm... more-ass...

Posted by: Dave S at October 5, 2003 at 02:15 PM

Wow. Read this comment by "Hunter Betts" at The Command Post (13th comment under this post). Sample: "Nobody can travel to Iraq and not see for themselves the absolute almost ecstatic joy with which they go about their daily tasks."

Here's the whole thing:

I came across this site by accident but sort of glad I did. I just returned from Baghdad 4 days ago. I was there evaluating regional airport reconstruction with the aim of getting internal light commuter air service to these smaller communites.

I was there 9 weeks. The reason I feel compelled to comment here is because I can see there is some confusion on behalf of some of the commentators. I will try to be brief.

During my 9 weeks in Iraq I must have had 100 conversations with the average Iraqi. These conversations were instigated about 90% of the time by an Iraqi, not I. In every single case, I mean every single case, the Iraqi I was talking to thanked me profusely for our(the Coalition of the willing) being there. It got a little embarrassing at times. Because I did nothing myself to bring this about. Now, the next thing I noticed is that they almost always cornered me away from the earshot of others to talk to me. When I finally asked why they were being so private I was repeatedly told that they still do not know who they can trust. That there is still thousands of Bathists and foreign mercenaries around who might harm him or his family if they heard what he or she said.

Nobody can travel to Iraq and not see for themselves the absolute almost ecstatic joy with which they go about their daily tasks. This new found freedom scares them as well as confuses them. They are almost like children who have been let out of a cellar after years of being in the dark.

WMD? who cares! The Americans and their coalition partners have done something much more significant by this invasion. Anyone who tells you different is either lying or has not been there to see for themselves.

Now, all that having been said does not bely the fact that being in such close proximity to the center of the Middle East, it is attracting like bees to honey every exteremist muslim who are even as I write this in transit to Iraq with the sole purpose of killing a US soldier. Therefore, the sooner we can get their Self Defence Force up and running the fewer brave soldiers will die.

Lastly, I notice we may have a French National on-board this meeting of the minds.'
To him or her I would like to say this.

Of all the countires in the world who have recent experience of living under a Tyrant it is almost unbeliveable that your position on this matter has been what it has been.
You may have a thousand reasons for not liking America but can you tell us all here what you have against freeing the Iraqi people?

Please feel free to visit our company web site at www.hunteraviation.com. You may find our activities interesting. Thanks for the opportunity to get this off my chest.

Regards Hunter Betts

Posted by: Hunter Betts at October 4, 2003 11:20 PM

* * *

Wow. Thanks, Hunter Betts.

All of us back here in the U.S. thank you for your work in building a democratic Iraq, too. Hunter Aviation deserves a special bookmark in the blogosphere - and in the mainstream media. But I won't hold my breath for that last one.

Posted by: nikita demosthenes at October 5, 2003 at 04:09 PM

To S Whiplash & to Dave S:
What about some useful suggestions instead of juvenile postings.
Did you bother to read the Hunter Betts posting?


Posted by: Gadfly at October 5, 2003 at 04:49 PM


The best I can work out, the word quagmire is a distinctly English word whereas morass is a much older word possibly deriving from the Old French marais for marsh. Do you understand now?

Is this a hobby or do you aspire to be a professional pain the arse?

Posted by: S Whiplash at October 5, 2003 at 08:20 PM

Tim, haven't got time to do it myself but you might want to have a geez at the French assistance to Cameroon in its war with Nigeria over a small peninsula which, coincidentally, is rich in peasant villages, dysentry, swamps and, oh yeah, oil.

Deafening silence from the usual suspects. I really don't mind nations going to war over oil, without it I'd be riding my bike everywhere and probably wouldn't have a job. Hypocrisy on this scale, however, just makes me feel mean. Eat up.

I'd really like to end this whole Liberation/Oil thing, it's about oil, bitch all you like but at least you'll be able to have plastic, mass transport, private transport, industry and KY without having to beg the Saudis for it.

One free can of "Harden Up" for the first 10 callers.

Just a thought.

These might help



Posted by: infopig at October 5, 2003 at 09:27 PM

Oh my god, another crisis in West Africa?

Quick, get 150 marines off the coast of Cote d'Ivoire. Let 'em hang around a coupla days and then pull 'em out.

We must get the Americans to do absolutely nothing, before it's too late!

Posted by: Miranda Divide at October 7, 2003 at 09:00 AM