Saturday, January 27, 2007

Certainly emboldens the enemy

Secretary of War Robert
gates 25
attacked the Senate’s non-binding resolution, saying it “certainly emboldens the enemy.” Wouldn’t their emboldenedness also be non-binding? And just how emboldened would they be, on a scale of 1 to 10 on the emboldenometer? “I think it’s hard to measure that with any precision, but it seems pretty straightforward that any indication of flagging will in the United States gives encouragement to those folks.”

In that press conference, a member of the press asked for the first time (as far as I know) about the US bombings in Somalia. Gates didn’t answer. And about whether the bombings killed the people they were supposed to kill, he really didn’t answer.

Asked several times about the policy of killing Iranians in Iraq, Gates tried to give the impression that there was nothing new or even very interesting about this, that it was always US policy to “go after... any foreign fighter in Iraq who’s trying to kill Americans.” But the Iranians are not armed “fighters” like the individual foreign jihadis killed in the heat of battle; they are (allegedly) support personnel, and killing them would not be a straightforward act of self-defense (“force protection”), as Gates is trying to suggest.

There’s been a fight in Britain over whether Catholic adoption agencies, financially supported by the state, would be allowed to discriminate against gay couples. The Catholic Church has been supported by Anglican and Muslim religious leaders. It looks like the government, overriding Tony Blair, won’t allow the Church to discriminate. Those agencies may close down rather than follow the law. The interesting thing is that they’re willing to place children with single homosexuals, but not homosexual couples.

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