Thursday, April 29, 2004

AN INTRIGUING TERROR CONNECTION. Is there an actual, provable link between Saddam Hussein's former regime and international terrorism? That's always been the big question. If the White House had been able to prove such a connection, a whole lot more people would have supported the war in Iraq.

This editorial in today's Wall Street Journal tells what is known so far (which is admittedly not much) about a terrorist attack that was foiled in Jordan earlier this month. Among the allegations: the terrorists had planned to use poison gas, which could have killed as many as 80,000 people; the gas came from Syria; it might have been shipped to Syria from Iraq before the war; and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whom the Bush administration says was given carte blanche to operate in Iraq by Saddam's government, may have been behind the plot.

Here is a piece from the Christian Science Monitor of Tuesday covering much of the same ground.

Obviously we need to wait for a much more in-depth report. It's always curious when the Journal's right-wing editorial page runs with something that its news section - one of the finest in the world - has ignored. But this is potentially a huge story.

HATE SPEECH AT UMASS. There is opposing the war but supporting the troops. There is opposing the war while openly mocking the troops. And there is a UMass student by the name of Rene Gonzalez, who actually manages to trash the memory of Pat Tillman, the NFL star who joined the Army Rangers after 9/11, and who was killed in action in Afghanistan.

Gonzalez, after calling Tillman an "idiot," writes in the Daily Collegian:

Tillman, probably acting out his nationalist-patriotic fantasies forged in years of exposure to Clint Eastwood and Rambo movies, decided to insert himself into a conflict he didn't need to insert himself into. It wasn't like he was defending the East coast from an invasion of a foreign power. THAT would have been heroic and laudable. What he did was make himself useful to a foreign invading army, and he paid for it. It's hard to say I have any sympathy for his death because I don't feel like his "service" was necessary. He wasn't defending me, nor was he defending the Afghani people. He was acting out his macho, patriotic crap and I guess someone with a bigger gun did him in.

Wow. I guess what surprised me the most is that Gonzalez is described as a graduate student. Most people get such crap out of their systems by the time they're 21 or 22.

Well, Gonzalez's views are protected by the First Amendment, if not by the rule of common sense or decency.

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