A Compromise?

The White House is said to be backing a bill making it a crime to harm a fetus while assaulting his mother. The NOW has made noises of opposition to the concept, on the grounds that they fear giving legitimacy to the notion that a fetus is a person deserving of legal protections.

Well, we've had this discussion, and it's going nowhere. How about a compromise? Can we just modify the law to double the range of all penalties for violent crimes against pregnant women? If it works well, we can include children under twelve and the elderly in this blanket protection.

This article from the Washington Post treats the establishment of an armed, Islamist camp in Chechnya. The article is skewed by its timeframe, however. It focuses on the development of the Chechen rebellion since 1999, but pays insufficient attention to the period just before and after the fall of the Soviet Union.

The Soviet period was not uniformly brutal, but rather especially brutal in the areas occupied by unfavored minorities (as indeed, the Chinese state is today with its Muslims in East Turkestan, which the PRC calls Xinjiang, "New frontier"). There has been constant fighting since the collapse of the Soviet union. The Russian army found a number of the cities of Chechnya held against them. When they finally broke the last, it was by advancing street by street with infantry and armor, and blasting any buildings held by foes with rocket propelled grenades.

The Russian reconquest has been extrodinarily brutal as well. The rape of both Muslim women and Muslim men by Russian soldiers has been part of the official policy for breaking resistance. It is no wonder that the mid-late 1990s saw the incursion of al Qaeda into Chechnya, which turned into both a rallying cause and training center for the Islamists. Our Mr. Moussaoui ('the 20th hijacker") spent time fighting and training in Chechnya about 1996. When he was arrested in the United States, it was in company with a young American Muslim who claimed Moussaoui recruited him to fight in Chechnya.
A British Funeral in the Republic:

Rest in peace, Lance Corporal Malone. Interested readers will find my poem for this fallen Irishman in the archives.
Wild Life:

I'm thrilled to see that Aidan Hartley, correspondant to the London Spectator from Kenya, has a piece in the magazine this week after a long absence. I've missed his column, which used to run weekly. After the tragic murder of a close friend, he dropped out for quite a while. I hope he's making a return to regular correspondance.
Close, but not quite:

This letter to the editor in the NY Times today is on IRA disarmament:
Sir John Stevens's report that the British Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary colluded with Protestant paramilitaries to kill Catholics in Northern Ireland in the late 1980's confirms what many observers have suspected for some time.

Can there be any wonder that the Irish Republican Army is reluctant to give up all its arms?

The I.R.A. has sustained its cease-fire since 1996, but clearly, it feels that it and the Catholic community would be vulnerable to more attacks if the I.R.A. disarmed unilaterally.

The Good Friday Agreement calls for the general demilitarization of Northern Ireland, so the onus of disarmament should not fall on the I.R.A. alone.

All paramilitary groups in the province should disarm simultaneously, the British Army should withdraw, and the Northern Ireland police must be reformed so that the Catholic minority can trust them.
The IRA keeping its guns until the Protestants give up theirs is not the answer; and it certainly isn't the answer for the IRA to hang onto an arsenal until the British military withdraws. What do cached guns do for Catholics--even IRA members--that the Ulster paramilitary men want to kill, with or without British help?

The IRA should disband, but their guns should be divided among the Catholic population. The people of Ireland, and Northern Ireland, ought to enjoy a free man's right to self defense and the bearing of arms. It isn't through threats of future IRA reprisals that the power of terror can be broken. It's by the certainty of law-abiding self defense. Denying that right to the peoples of Ireland, Protestant and Catholic, prolongs the conflict and keeps the illegal armies ensconced in the shadows of power.
DPRK to test bomb?

This blog, 21st March: "Earlier this week I was discussing with a close friend a theory I had that they might test a weapon underground, thereby creating more fissible material on the instant as well as announcing that they were a nuclear state."

Today's Economist: "A further worry is North Korea�s threat at the talks, according to the Americans, that it might test one of its weapons, which would greatly escalate the crisis on the Korean peninsula"
We have no money going down the mountain:

The new "Parents: the Anti-Drug" page has this to say about marijuana use:
According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, teens who use drugs are five times more likely to have sex than are those teens who do not use drugs. . . . Kids need to hear how risky marijuana use can be.
Oh, yeah. Just what I'll tell my teenage son. "It makes it five times as likely that you'll have sex!" Good God.
I may win my Tikrit bet yet:

From Babbin's Warblog today:
In the flood of small news yesterday, one report caught my attention. A Fox reporter searching the offices of Mohamed al-Sahhaf, aka Baghdad Bob the Saddamite propaganda minister, said his crew had found a handwritten note to Bob from Saddam dated 30 March. If the note is genuine, it would show that Saddam survived the first "decapitation strike" and was still in command ten days before Baghdad fell. British Defence Minister Geoff Hoon said the other day that Saddam is alive, and probably still in Iraq. If he is, the hunch is that he's in the area near Tikrit, his home town. Oliver North is also there, with the Fourth I.D. If Saddam is found, I know one old Marine who will move heaven and earth to be there when the Ace of Spades in the Doomsday Deck is taken down.
Two from the British Papers:

Mark Steyn's piece on the UN in the London Spectator; Theodore Dalrymple on the question of SARS in Britian in the Daily Telegraph. The Telegraph may require free registration.
Special Operations:

Special Operations forces are not created equal. In fact, "special operations" is too loose a category to be meaningful. Spend time with military men, and you will invariably hear some bootless debate about whether the Navy's SEALs or the Army's Special Forces are better: in fact, there can be no comparison, as they serve different functions, and are therefore trained differently. Here's a quick guide to the special operations forces in the news just now, what they are for, and what they're not.

"Airborne": In the US Army, the "Airborne" designation originated in WWII, when it referred to paratroopers. These days, the 101st Airborne and 82nd Airborne are not really that--although we did see the first major deployment of paratroopers since WWII when the 173rd Airborne took an airfield in northern Iraq. Airborne units are now "air assault" units, generally capable of paratrooper operations, but more likely to be air-mobile infantry backed with attack helicopters like the Apache. In theory, this makes them fast-moving ground forces. In practice, the sandstorms in Iraq grounded the 101st for several days, while the traditional mechanized infantry units advanced at pace. Nevertheless, Airborne units tend to have had advanced training beyond the standard infantry school, to include paratrooper training in many cases. In the US Army, they are allowed to wear maroon berets.

Army Special Forces: The famous "green berets," these men are primarily trained for insurgency/counterinsurgency operations. They are generally proficient linguists, selected in part because they have an ability to pick up new languages quickly. They are meant to train guerrilla forces for proxy wars, or train armies in the methods of hunting and eliminating guerrilla forces, though they can of course function as guerrilla/antiguerrilla forces themselves. This made them the natural choice for the Afghan campaign, where their language skills let them pick up local Pashtun dialects to coordinate with Northern Alliance forces. This allowed the American air assets to function smoothly with an alien army. The Special Forces' small, capable teams are also good at commando attacks.

Army Rangers: The Army Rangers used to be designated by a black beret, but these days wear a khaki one becaue the black beret is now standard-issue for all GIs. Rangers are highly trained light infantry. They practice mostly the standard infantry skills, but to a greater degree of proficiency; in addition, they are trained in unusual methods of insertion and movement--for example, being flown in while dangling from a helicopter by a rope (SPI roping), or rappelling. They aren't really meant to function independently of the main Army forces, unlike the Green Berets, but to act as supplementary forces for particularly dangerous operations or difficult terrain. They are also used for reconnaisance missions, though the Army maintains scout units as well.

Delta Force: The Delta Force does not exist. It doesn't do anything, because it does not exist. One hears rumors from time to time--for example, that the Delta Force was hanging around Baghdad, keeping eyes on Baathist leaders--but these must be lies, since we are assured that it does not exist. If it did exist, though, it would be drawn from the best commando units the US military has to offer, and would be intended to be deployed for such commando raids as were most perilous and least likely to be survived. It was, rumor says, originally intended to combat terrorist groups.

Marine Corps Recon / Force Recon: Marine Recon normally is just that: a unit trained in reconnaissance and forward observation. They are remarkably stealthy, and meant to operate behind enemy lines, getting a picture of what the enemy is about. "Force" Recon units are more heavily armed, and intended to operate deep behind enemy lines, as well as to take on commando-style attacks. Force Recon is occasionally rumored to be involved with black operations--assassinations, for example--but there is no evidence to support these assertions. Whether this is because the assertions are untrue, or because Force Recon are utter professionals, is left to the reader to judge.

Marine Corps Scout Snipers: Their name explains what they do. They operate in pairs--a sniper, and a spotter. They can be sent forward to scout, as they are masters of concealment and camoflauge; or, they can operate with larger units to provide them with the very finest in sniping capabilities. In Vietnam, they frequently operated on hunter/killer missions behind enemy lines, at which they were so successful that the North Vientamese instituted a heavy bounty on the heads of any Sniper killed.

Marine Corps MEU (SOC): MEU stands for "Marine Expeditionary Unit," and (SOC) stands for "Special Operations Capable." The MEU is one of several MAGTFs (Marine Corps Air/Ground Task Forces). A MAGTF is a grouping of no set size, consisting of a group of Marine Corps infantry, possibly with attached armor or other mechanized assets, linked to a group of Marine Corps Air. The largest of these MAGTFs is the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), which is at least a reinforced division of Marines coupled with a full wing of Marine Air. The MEU is smaller than the MEF. SOC means that the entire MEU, every last member down to the cooks and postal workers, are trained in special operations procedures, and tested according to standards even more rigorous than USMC standard--which is, it ought to be remarked, a standard already far higher than the Army's. An MEU (SOC) is really an army that can be deployed anywhere, at any time, instantly: and, having arrived wherever it wants to be, is possessed of sufficient firepower to hold off whatever forces may be directed against it until such time as it can be relieved. They aren't commandos, and they aren't intended for sabotage missions. They are, themselves, a second front, to be opened anywhere the President wants them.

Navy SEALs: The SEALs, it is well known, got their start as underwater demolition teams (UDTs) in WWII, destroying mines to clear harbors. They have since evolved into a commando unit, probably the most technology-oriented of US commandos. They are especially skilled at insertion/extraction, which means that they can come and go without anyone knowing they were there. The SEALs, particularly the notorious SEAL Team Six, are used in much the same way that the Delta Force would be used if it existed. They are sent to rescue hostages, bring people out of hostile countries, or destroy facilities behind enemy lines. Their training in technology gives them remarkable flexibility--I've never met a SEAL who wasn't capable of flying a plane or jumping out of one, operating a remarkable range of underwater gear, and of course expert in firearms and small unit tactics. The SEALs aren't, however, selected for linguistic/training abilities, like the Green Berets: they are pure commandos, intended to operate either independently or as a wing of a larger campaign, but not intended to raise and train guerrilla forces or stay around long enough to learn the local tongue.

British Special Operations: The British have deployed three sets of special operations forces in Iraq: the Royal Marine Commandos, the Special Air Service, and the Special Boat Squad. It's useful to think of the RMCs as being similar to Marine Force Recon, and the SBS as very much like the Navy SEALs; but the SAS is quite its own thing. It is probably the finest commando force in the world, but it also selects for linguistics and other skills that one expects to see in the Green Berets. There are persistent rumors that the SAS has spent much of the last thirty years cutting its teeth on murder raids in the Republic of Ireland against IRA targets. We know it was employed in Afghanistan during the Tora Bora battle. However, most of the SAS's activities are still hidden in secrecy. Even its dead, posthumously awarded Britian's highest medals, are not named.

In The Corner today, Stanley Kurtz speaks at some length (and with additional links to previous articles) to the Santorum debate.
Mark Steyn on Bush:

I'm getting around to Mark Steyn rather late this time around--some ten days late, in fact. His profile of Bush is worth reading, though, if (like me) you missed it the first time out. The most interesting part of the piece to me is this:
Bush doesn't see why children in Mosul are so different from those in Crawford: why shouldn't they have the same freedoms? You can mock this if you wish. It seems very odd that the Left, which routinely bemoans the injustice of Barbara Bush's son having greater opportunities than the son of a crack whore in the inner city merely because of an accident of birth, then turns around and tells 20 million Iraqis that they have to accept their lot and live in a prison state forever. Julian Barnes, Iowa's Democratic Senator Tom Harkin and a zillion others continue to feel this way - even after Saddam's fall.

Whether or not Mr Bush can succeed in his most ambitious objective - to democratise the Middle East - it is surely hard to deny that, next to the shriveled condescension of Barnes and co, his is the progressive position - adopted in the teeth of cynical opposition, not least from his own State Department.
Progressive--I like that. Let's progress right on past the wasteland of modernism, exactly by returning to the old values of classical liberalism. It was, after all, the classical liberal who first propounded the idea that all men were created equal, and that some rights were endowed inalienably.
The Founding:

When I suggest that a federal system in Iraq which permits Sharia law would be "like what America looked like at the founding," I mean that more or less literally. It's often forgotten that, in spite of the 1st Amendment, religious liberty at the founding was a patchwork of tolerance and intolerance. Some states were quite liberal about what they would accept, and some quite illiberal. Georgia, for example, at its founding pointedly refused to accept Catholics (as well as lawyers and slaves), but went to some trouble to settle Jacobite Presbyterians (and probably a quiet Catholic or two), German Lutherans, and Jews. In fact, George Washington addressed the Jews of Savannah during his visit to the city. The debates between Bostonians and the denizens of "Rogue's Island," more commonly known as Rhode Island, provide a similar play. States founded by Puritans tended to support religious liberty for Puritans, but no one else; Rhode Island tended toward a radical form of Calvanist determinism which argued that, since we were all predestined anyway, we might as well enjoy ourselves.

The 1st Amendment's declaration of religious liberty, then, really touched on only the Federal government. As the Supreme Court Historical Society notes,
Madison would have accomplished at the Founding, at least in part, what the Supreme Court was destined to hold 160 years later. Madison crafted his second proposal very simply: "No state shall violate the equal rights of conscience." The proposal, I hasten to add, went on to protect the freedom of the press and the right to trial by jury in criminal cases; it was not devoted 'exclusively to religious freedom.

Nor should it go unnoticed from these two measures that Madison entertained a bifurcated notion as to governmental power to establish religion: under his two proposals Congress clearly could not establish a national religion, but the States, in contrast, could establish their own state religions, at least if they did not infringe upon "the equal rights of conscience."

This too, upon reflection, is unexceptional. For at that time 5 of the 13 States maintained establishments of religion, the last of which, Massachusetts, was not dissolved until 1833.
It took the Civil War, and the 14th Amendment, to change the nature of the Bill of Rights from restrictions on the Federal government alone to restrictions on state governments as well. But this is just what I am after. The Civil War is the story of wealth and power collecting in the liberalized areas of the nation, and then turning to bring the countryside to heel. Following the Civil War, during the long period after Reconstruction, we see a second collection of power and wealth in the cities of the South, whose relative liberality allowed them to for the basis for (admittedly segregated) prosperous black communities, out of which in turn grew the Civil Rights movement. The key is to let liberalization happen organically. We need to focus on keeping the framework for such liberalization stable, while keeping friendly ties to the Islamic leaders so that they will side with us instead of terror groups. That means giving the conservative elements a stake in Iraq's government, perhaps even a controlling stake at the level of local provinces.
Making Peace:

The NY Times today confirms Amir Taheri, arguing that the Iranian government is trying to destabilize the creation of a secular state in Iraq. Apparently Iranian agents are there, working to stir up the Shia Muslims in favor of an Islamist state. Michael Ledeen offers his advice on dealing with the Shia Muslims here.

I will reiterate my thoughts, which are that a stable state will require giving these clerics a stake in the power. It is necessary that we establish a free, and classically liberal, state in Iraq. It won't look like America, though, if it's going to be a stable state. It will look more like what America looked like at the founding: a constitutional federation of smaller states, each with local autonomy over certain questions. We may have to accept Sharia law in some of these local states in order to have a fully stable Iraq with a secular Baghdad.

This is ok, because power and wealth will accumulate in the liberal areas. In time, they will wield that power to liberalize the backcountry on their own. For the United States, there are just two concerns in Iraq: 1) to provide a stable framework for the gradual transformation and liberalization. This requires giving everyone a stake, provided only that they will forswear terrorism as a method of getting their way. 2) Ending the support of terror groups from within Iraq. This requires keeping friendly ties open with the Islamic leaders, rather than driving a wedge between ourselves and them. Give them local-states of their own, and they will become involved with the running of those states. Appoint ambassadors with knowledge of Islamic culture to those states, and keep a friendly dialogue open with regular gifts--provided that they, in return, help us ferret out al Qaeda and other terrorist infiltrators. Such groups are making it easy for us by targeting Shia holy sites and clerics for destruction. The cooperation of the 82nd Airborne in preventing that most recent attack is worth a division of State Department ambassadors.

It's a long haul, but I think it can be done, and done well. Of course, there are still those who would prefer letting the French take charge, as they are doing in the Ivory Coast. The French-backed "reconciliation government" in la Cote d'Ivorie reports great success in ending the troubles there, excepting those three hundred killed in yesterday's fighting.
Gays and the Presbyterian Church:

Gays don't get a lot of play on my blog, because of my disinterest in (and, let's be honest, distaste for) gay issues and culture. However, today we'll have two items on them, this one via Wren's Nest. It treats a Presbyterian minister who is marrying gays, which is against church law and, I suspect, state law. The fellow's church is apparently given to appointing actively homosexual decons in violation of church rules, which require chastity among unmarried lay leaders. In spite of these violations, the church has limited its punishment to a gentle chiding.

It reminds me of the old joke we used to tell:

Q: How can you tell a Baptist from a Methodist?
A: The Methodist will share his beer with you.
Q: How can you tell a Presbyterian, then?
A: The Presbyterian will run the church bus by the liquor store.

The minister in question plans to appeal even the gentle chiding on the grounds that he thinks the rules against gay marriage go against Scripture. This is a new one on me--I've heard of Scriptural interpretations that suggested that the crime of Sodom wasn't homosexuality but a failing of hospitality, but I have never heard of any Scriptural argument in favor of homosexual marriage. As I am interested in comparative religion, though, I'll be glad to hear the argument if any of my readers know what it is. Let me know, if you hear anything about it.
Gays & Polygamy:

Another Republican Senator is in trouble for his mouth. You'd think Republicans would just stop speaking in public. This time it's the Honorable Rick Santorum, who said this:
If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.
There are three things to be said about this. First, bigamy is perhaps the most improperly used word in American jurisprudence. It comes from the Greek, and does indeed mean "two-wifed." However, bigamy was the practice of having a second wife after the death of the first one, not the practice of having two wives at once, which was (and is) polygamy. American legislatures have always gotten the semantics wrong, which is irritating to those of us who like having words for each concept instead of confusing the concepts.

Second, Santorum here seems to be echoing Stanley Kurtz of the National Review, who has made this argument at great length. See his pieces "The Coming Battle," "The Real Issue" and "Gay Marriage Endgame". He's written more about it, most of which can be found by following the links contained in his articles. Stanley Kurtz and Andrew Sullivan have maintained a running fight about this for months. The Senator is just abbreviating Kurtz's points, with which he apparently agrees. It's unfair to call for his removal for participating in political discourse--that's what we expect of Senators, after all, it's what they are for.

Last, I find the Kurtz/Santorum argument astonishing. It takes this form: "Gay marriage should not be allowed because it would necessarily allow polygamy, and polygamy would mark the real destruction of marriage as an institution." But polygamy has been the main way in which marriage has been practiced for all of human history. It is specifically permitted in the Torah, which gives rules in Exodus for taking a second wife; when Jesus speaks to adultery in the New Testament, he clearly leaves open the traditional polygamist way of Jewish marriage; Mormonism obviously permits it in their scripture; and as for non-Judeo-Christian marriage, there isn't a religion among them that forbids polygamy. All of them have traditions of polygamist behavior historically, and many--Islam for example--have scripture to support the taking of extra wives.

No culture, however, has ever allowed gay marriage. The Kurtz/Santorum argument is perhaps the most extrodinary case of cart-before-horseism I've seen in my life. Polygamy, though problematic, would represent a return to roots, and indeed there are strong arguments in its favor in an era in which traditional families are crumbling and divorce rates are skyrocketing. Gay marriage is a complete departure from everything marriage has ever represented.
Guns & Free Men:

The Washington Post today prints this letter explaining why no one stopped a man from being beaten to death in Maryland. The short answer is this:
But I also understand the reluctance of unarmed bystanders to confront a large man in a homicidal rage. This is called "disparity of force," and it provides legal justification for the use of deadly weapons in self-defense.

Unfortunately, because of Maryland's strict gun control laws, no bystander was likely to be armed.

Police officers cannot be present at all violent crimes, but victims, by definition, always are. Without weapons, the weak will always be at the mercy of the strong.
Maryland's gun control laws--I've had occasion to look into them lately--are far more stringent than the norm for the United States. There is no "shall issue" permit for carrying a firearm, but rather permits are issued only if the state police agree with your reasons for going armed (apparently, "because people are getting beaten to death" isn't a good enough reason). Even if permits are issued, the fees are shockingly high--some seventy dollars even to consider the permit, which is good then only for two years, and must be renewed at fifty dollars a year thenceforth. In Georgia, the fee is three dollars a year, just to cover the administrative costs of the background check. Further, the permit is "shall issue," which means that the state is obligated to give you the permit unless they can prove you are disqualified under the law. They can't turn it down just because they want to.

But Georgia is a backwards Southern state, right? Well--it's a Southern state, but it looks to be ahead of the trend. All but 18 states now offer "shall issue" permits, with crime rates dropping in all such states after the change in the law, and by a more or less uniform percentage. Guns in law abiding hands seem to limit crimes, for just the reasons cited in the letter above.

Of course, if Maryland is bad, the situation in D.C. is far worse. However, that may be about to change.

(Full disclosure: I'm no utilitarian--I believe in the right of free men to keep and bear arms as a point of honor and tradition. I would back it even if it increased crime rates, simply because the right to bear arms is indivisible from the actual fact of being free. A man who is forbidden arms is not free, not only because he is prohibited from exercising a traditional liberty, but also because he must thereafter be at the mercy of the strong, or the many.)
Aussies Consider the DPRK:

The Aussie press seems to have decided that the US is going to take out North Korea. The Sydney Morning Herald ran this article titled Secret U.S. File: Oust Regime in Pyongyang. Meanwhile, the Advertiser has a piece called US Blueprint to Bomb North Korea. It suggests that we have a plan to strike the Yongbyon reactor and the DPRK's artillery positions on the DMZ line in the event of active reprocessing at Yongbyon.
The Pentagon hawks believe the precision strikes envisaged in the plan would not lead to North Korea's initiating a general war it would be certain to lose. The US would inform the North Koreans it was not aiming to destroy the regime of Kim Jong-il, but merely to destroy its nuclear weapons capacity.
No word on what kind of weapons would be used in the "precision" strikes on DPRK arty, but the positions they are talking about are extensive and fortified. The US military's precision strike weapons are impressive--this Iraq business has made that clear--but my own impression is echoed by John Derbyshire's article Night Thoughts:
The logic all points one way: to nuclear weapons. The only way to put North Korea out of business without South Korea�s co-operation is by attacking their emplacements along the DMZ with neutron bombs (�enhanced radiation weapons�). Nothing else does the job without precipitating an invasion of South Korea.
I have to agree. I don't think we have any other option that allows us to neutralize the artillery positions quickly enough to prevent them turning lose devastation on Seoul. The use of nukes will not pass as "precision strikes" in anyone's book, and I don't think there is any friendly message that Bush can send to talk Kim out of a reply. Once we go to guns on the DPRK, we're committed to a real war. There should be no joking around about this. It may be the right thing to do--I'm increasingly convinced that it is, though I am willing to see how the China talks develop. It should be understood, though, that we are not talking about precision strikes this time, nor a cost-free bombing run to solve all our problems.

Of course, these Canberra sources seem to be drawing on Pentagon and DoD sources. The State Department may have other ideas.
My Favorite American Beer:

Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer is apparently enjoying a renaissance among the young and hip. It was my grandfather's beer, and the one I took up when living in Hangzhou, China, on those occasions when I wanted beer not cut with rice wine. It's actually very good--leaving aside the microbreweries and specialists, probably still the best American beer. Glad to see it making a comeback. (Story via InstaPundit).
Guns in Iraq:

The Corner at NRO today has this post from Dave Kopel:
Although British troops in Basra have been urging residents to voluntarily turn in their guns, American forces in the middle-class Baghdad suburb of Hay al-Qudhat are doing no such thing. Instead, they are simply ordering people not to carry guns in public. Neighborhood residents have been defending their homes from looters. Said one resident, "We all have guns, but we don't want them. We just want peace and stability." The neighborhood is home to many doctors, lawyers, and other professionals.
Right. A free man has the right to bear arms. As this page has advocated before, arming and empowering the liberal elements in Iraqi society is the surest first step to creating a liberal, but free, Iraq.
Pax vobiscum:

A funeral for one of our own. Semper Fidelis.