Monday, January 05, 2004

A pair from Lileks

I'm just feeling bloggerific today.

James Lileks has two great newspaper columns that I'd like to call your attention to:

The first, written on Dec. 22, notes inter alia (bringin' the Latin, are you impressed?) the following truths:

Saddam Hussein had a pistol when he was captured, but he didn't use it. He just surrendered without a shot. And people wonder whether he was still getting advice from the French.

. . . .

What bold new thinking would President [John] Edwards bring to this multidimensional world? A new U.N. Security Council resolution opposing the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Splendid idea. Just don't enforce it! Make it something nice and stern, with words like "strongly pledge" and "emphatically reject." Then take a vote and have a nice long lunch; New York is full of great restaurants. It's fun being a U.N. diplomat! And while you're up, make a resolution against killer asteroids and musicals based on Boy George, OK? Thanks; kisses.

Howard Dean graciously praised the capture [of Saddam], but you could hear the big BUT flexing in the wings. Sure enough: "The capture of Saddam has not made America safer," Dean said in his big foreign-policy speech. "I have never found the evidence convincing that Iraq was ever a significant threat to the United States." Drawing on his own network of Iraqi informants and private spy satellites, Dean also remarked that Saddam's capture "could have taken place six months ago."

Remind us again why we're getting foreign-policy advice from a former governor of a tiny state most famous for tree sap and ice cream?

And this one, from December 31, in which he elucidates his resolutions for both Bush haters and lovers:

For the haters:
I resolve, as a purely abstract philosophical matter, to consider the possibility that France may not have America's best interests as the guiding principle of its foreign policy.

. . . .

I resolve to ask myself whether my attachment to French approval is uncomfortably analogous to a high school chess geek mooning after the lovely but haughty cheerleader who regards everyone with bemused contempt. She winked once. That was weeks ago. Was it all a tease?

And for the lovers:
Whenever I believe that the president always and only acts from high-minded principle, I resolve to say the words "steel tariffs" and "campaign finance reform bill" in a soft, regretful voice. I resolve to recall the new prescription drug benefit, which sounds nice now but is an entitlement that will grow until it mandates government-funded Pepto-Bismol on tap in every house. And I really, truly resolve not to wish the whole "nukyular" pronunciation thing didn't dismay me at the molekyular level.

A day without Lileks is a day without, well... pretty much just without Lileks, but I really prefer days where I get to read his stuff.


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