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02/09/2003 Archived Entry: "The Mood Ring of Terrorism"

On the Political Front:

Tensions are rising...According to an article in the BBC, "The former Taleban regime of Afghanistan has issued a rare statement urging Afghans to take part in a jihad (holy war) against US-led coalition forces based in the country."

India and Pakistan have been expelling each other's diplomats. Bush has declared that, unless the UN Inspectors are fully satisfied, he may give Saddam as little as 48 hours to get out of Dodge City. Bush and Blair are at odds with their own intelligence agencies, which claim "that the intelligence they provide is being selectively applied to lead to the opposite conclusion from the one they have drawn, which is that Iraq is much less of a threat than their political masters claim." One source of tension is the dossier on Iraq that Blaire plagiarized and passed off as MIA's work...the real authors are complaining as well. Caught red-handed, Downing Street said it made a mistake in failing to acknowledge that a large section of a dossier on Saddam Hussein was copied from a Californian postgraduate student's outdated thesis.

Meanwhile, Bush officials throw gas on the fire through their heightened alert "orange" status. (BTW, so far my favorite description of the multi-colored tiered alert system is "the mood ring of terrorism.") Nor did Bush calm the situation with North Korea. South Korea's ruling party says that it fears "Washington might be getting emotional in its handling of a nuclear standoff with North Korea" because "President Bush left open the possibility of a military strike."

On the Personal/Movement Front:

I just discovered that Tibor Machan's Little Libertarian Encyclopedia is available online for free. Or, if you prefer pure viewing-candy...then nuke some popcorn and prepare for a treat. I am indebted to Billy Beck's blog for pointing me toward this amazing archive of 1255 film shorts that capture decades of American history and offer it free of charge. What a find!

Eugene Volokh has an interesting piece on the importance of the First Amendment during times of war. I'm sorry to read that he supports the war itself.

Yesterday was a much-needed respite from work during which I played cards with Brad, lunched with a neighbor, and started a new John Saul novel. Then, unable to sleep, I trundled downstairs with my usual entourage of dogs underfoot and finally managed to slap the next FOX News column into shape. Now onto doing some autographed inserts for Laissez-Faire Books who is featuring "The Debates of Liberty" in the next catalog. And, while I'm thinking of it, thanks once more to wonderful Bettina Greaves for her review of "Liberty for Women" in the last Liberty Magazine. And thanks in advance for her upcoming review of the same in Ideas on Liberty.

Best to all,

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