Thursday, January 29, 2009

Spanish Judge Launches War Crimes Probe into 2002 Killing of Hamas Terrorist by Israel

Back in May 2002, the George W. Bush Administration announced that the United States was withdrawing from the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty, which the Clinton Administration had signed in 2000. In a letter to the United Nations, the U.S. announced that it would not be bound by the treaty. The U.S. opposed the establishment of the ICC, because it feared that American soldiers and diplomats might be brought before the court on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Bush Administration came under scathing criticism for the withdrawal from the treaty. Its critics saw the oppostion to the ICC as further evidence of the unilateral approach of the Administration to foreign policy, because the action put the U.S. at odds with Canada and the European Union, which supported the ICC. American concerns over the potential for war crimes prosecutions of its soldiers and diplomats was dismissed as overblown and farfetched.

As time passes, the wisdom of President George W. Bush's policy seems more and more apparent, as terrorists and despotic regimes now commonly file war crimes allegations in the European Union courts against the defenders of democratic States.

In the latest outrage, as reported in the Jerusalem Post, a Spanish judge has launched a war crimes investigation into the 2002 killing by Israel of a top Hamas terrorist leader, Salah Shehadeh. Israel killed Shehadeh in a Gaza bombing that took 14 other lives. The targets of the probe include seven former top Israeli military and security officials, including Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, who at the time was head of Shin Bet, the Israel Security Agency.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak blasted the decision of the Spanish judge, Fernando Andreu, saying, "Someone who calls the assassination of a terrorist a crime against humanity lives in an upside-down world."

Dichter told the Jerusalem Post:

"Shehadeh was responsible for the murder of dozens of Israelis. We pursued him for a long time. The man was a terrorist responsible for dozens of attacks against Israeli civilians. He knew we were pursuing him and went from multi-story building to multi-story building. On the day of the assassination, he was in the building with his wife, who aided him, and was killed in the strike.

"To my sorrow, innocent people were harmed in the strike, and I do regret that."

Spain has utterly no connection with the Shehadeh assassination. Neither Shehadeh, nor the other casualties, nor the alleged perpetrators are Spanish. The killing occurred in Gaza. But traditional notions of jurisdiction are completely foreign to the new international war crimes jurisprudence. The Spanish judge is acting under a doctrine that allows prosecution in Spain of such an offense or crimes like terrorism or genocide, even if they are alleged to have been committed in another country. Moreover, under European Union law, should the Spanish judge choose to issue an international arrest warrant for any of the Israelis in question, they could be arrested upon arrival in any European Union member state.

For Dichter, this is deja vu all over again. In late 2007, he canceled a trip to England out of concern that he could be arrested on similar charges, and a Palestinian organization filed a civil suit against him in the United States in 2005. That suit was thrown out by the court in 2007, but according to a senior member of Dichter's staff, the decision has recently been appealed.

"The administration is putting itself on the wrong side of history," said Kenneth Roth, director of Human Rights Watch, back in May 2002, speaking of President George W. Bush's decision to withdraw from the ICC treaty. "Unsigning the treaty will not stop the court. It will only throw the United States into opposition against the most important new institution for enforcing human rights in 50 years," he said.

To the contrary, it is Bush critics such as Mr. Roth who were on the wrong side of history, as well as dangerously naive. The ICC and the courts of the European Union instead are becoming the most important new institution for abusing human rights, and protecting terrorists such as the leaders of Hamas.

One hopes and prays that President Barack Obama will resist the lure of the politically correct, and adhere to the Bush Administration policy. Just last week, U.S. predator drones launched a missile attack against Al Qaeda leaders that apparently took civilian lives, an action that is virtually identical to the alleged "war crimes" of the Israeli military and security leaders. It is hardly farfetched to imagine that President Obama might someday himself in the dock of an international criminal court, if the U.S. does not vigorously oppose the assertion of jurisdiction by such tribunals.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fouad Ajami: Obama Tells Arab Despots They are Safe from the U.S.

I must admit that when I listened to the Al Arabia interview with President Barack Obama, I had thought it was at worst innocuous, and possibly of some diplomatic advantage for the United States. I even told my wife that I thought that the President had done a good job and found nothing in his remarks to which I would object (except for a minor gaffe that I will mention at the end of this piece.)

It took the ear of Professor Fouad Ajami, more finely tuned to how President Obama's words would be heard in the Arab world, to set me right. In a piece in today's Wall Street Journal, Professor Ajami states that the message conveyed by the President to Arab leaders is that the United States is back to business as usual with Arab despots--they need fear no challenge from the U.S. to their authoritarian rule. Ajami notes:

The irony now is obvious: George W. Bush as a force for emancipation in Muslim lands, and Barack Hussein Obama as a messenger of the old, settled ways. Thus the "parochial" man takes abroad a message that Muslims and Arabs did not have tyranny in their DNA, and the man with Muslim and Kenyan and Indonesian fragments in his very life and identity is signaling an acceptance of the established order.

If Professor Ajami is correct, the "back to business" approach to American foreign policy in the Middle East will have some pernicious consequences:
Where Mr. Bush had seen the connection between the autocratic ways in Muslim lands and the culture of terror that infected the young foot soldiers of radicalism, Mr. Obama seems ready to split the difference with their rulers. His embrace of the "peace process" is a return to the sterile diplomacy of the Clinton years, with its belief that the terror is rooted in the grievances of the Palestinians. Mr. Obama and his advisers have refrained from asserting that terrorism has passed from the scene, but there is an unmistakable message conveyed by them that we can return to our own affairs, that Wall Street is more deadly and dangerous than that fabled "Arab-Muslim Street."

And yet, Professor Ajami notes, the Arab Islamist radicals are under no compulsion to accept America's current preoccupation with its domestic economic woes, just as 9-11 showed that the Islamist terrorists were willing to strike at the heart of the United States financial empire at the time of its maximum prosperity:
But foreign challengers and rogue regimes are under no obligation to accommodate our mood and our needs. They are not hanging onto news of our financial crisis, they are not mesmerized by the fluctuations of the Dow. I know it is a cliché, but sooner or later, we shall be hearing from them. They will strip us of our illusions and our (new) parochialism.

A dispatch from the Arabian Peninsula bears this out. It was learned, right in the midst of the news cycle announcing that Mr. Obama has ordered that Guantanamo be shut down in a year's time, that a Saudi by the name of Said Ali al-Shihri -- who had been released from that prison in 2007 to his homeland -- had made his way to Yemen and had risen in the terror world of that anarchic country. It had been a brief stop in Saudi Arabia for Guantanamo detainee No. 372: He had gone through a "rehabilitation" program there, then slipped across the border to Yemen, where he may have been involved in a terror attack on the U.S. Embassy in the Yemeni capital in September of last year.

This war was never a unilateral American war to be called off by an American calendar. The enemy, too, has a vote in how this struggle between American power and radical Islamism plays out in the years to come.

A rather profound and sobering assessment, I think, and from a source that merits our close attention.

As for the gaffe by the President that I noted, that came in a description of his hopes for a future Palestinian state, living side by side in peace with Israel, a Palestinian state that (echoing a similar error by then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice) would have "contiguous" boundaries. To appreciate the nature of the mistake, the reader need only look at this map of Israel, which shows her 1948-1967 borders in tan and lands conquered in the June 1967 war, including the so-called West Bank and Gaza, in yellow.

Even under the Arab League's peace proposal, under which Israel would roll back to its June 5, 1967 borders and cede the entire Gaza and West Bank to a new Palestinian state, the West Bank and Gaza are not contiguous. They are separated by Israel. The only way to make them contiguous would be to chop Israel in half and make it non-contiguous.
The President therefore obviously misspoke, I hope.

Whither the GOP?

Pia Varma (photo right) is a young Republican Party activist. I know little about her other than she attended Columbia University and has been involved in a real estate devlopment project in the Philadelphia area. Her column on the future of the Republican Party, "The Fault, dear Republicans, is not in our stars, but in ourselves," appears on The Truth Mill, a blog run by the Los Angeles County Republican Alliance. She is speaking at that organization's meeting this evening on the topic of "Rebranding the Republican Party." The Kosher Hedgehog is unable to attend, but I found Ms. Varma's take on rebuilding the Party, as expressed in her column, to be intriguing. Any reactions, dear readers? Please confine your comments to her column, not her photo.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Barack Obama, War Criminal?

The American left wants to try George W. Bush, Dick Carey and Donald Rumsfeld as war criminals. The United Nations and various "human rights groups" are calling for war crime investigations into Israel's military actions in Gaza. And now, assuming that the same standard is applied across party lines (admittedly a far-fetched assumption), we may expect to hear an international outcry to bring the latest war criminal into the dock at the Hague, President Barack H. Obama.

On January 23, as reported here by Bloomberg, two predator drone missile strikes in Pakistan killed 15 persons. The targets presumably were Al Qaeda or Taliban leaders. One hopes some of them were killed. Almost certainly, however, when the rockets struck the village homes that were their target, civilians, including women and children, were also killed and injured. According to those who accuse Israel of war crimes, this must be a war crime as well, and as the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. armed forces, President Obama is responsible.

Indeed it is interesting to compare these attacks with the standards of "proximity" and "proportionality" by which Israel is frequently condemned. Israel was responding in Gaza to actual rocket and missile attacks occurring immediately prior to its military actions in Gaza. In contrast, there has been no terrorist attack by Al Qaeda and the Taliban on the United States since September 11, 2001, over 7 years ago.

It is true that the September 11 attack on the United States took nearly 3000 lives, but it is highly likely that military action by the United States and its allies in Afghanistan have resulted in many multiples of that number of deaths since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in December 2001. Indeed, one estimate cited in a Wikepedia article estimated that 4200-4500 civilians had been killed by U.S. military actions by January 2002. Surely by now, by the standards applied to Israel, any further U.S. military action constitutes disproportionate force.

One hopes that the readers of our blog appreciate irony. Please be assured that I thoroughly support President Obama's authorization of attacks on terrorist targets in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere. I certainly do not view him as a war criminal. I merely suggest that if President Obama is innocent of the charge of war crimes, then Israel is as well.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obama Kool-Aid: Yes, We Can!

We found this image pretty funny, so we are sharing it with our dear readers.

(HT: The Radio Equalizer.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Black Plague Slays Al Qaeda Terrorists--Were They Developing Bio Weapons?

Here is one of the scarier stories of the week. reports that bubonic plague has killed over 40 operatives of the Algerian-based Al Qaeda network known as AQLIM (Al Qaeda in the Land of Islamic Maghreb). The new epidemic began in the cave hideouts of AQLIM in Tizi Ouzou province, 150km east of the capital Algiers. The group, led by wanted terror figure Abdelmalek Droudkal, was forced to turn its shelters in the Yakouren forest into mass graves and flee. The group now fears the highly-infectious disease could have spread to other al-Qaeda training camps or Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, the paper said. A source said: "The emirs (leaders) fear surviving terrorists will surrender to escape a horrible death."
However, before one rejoices at divine retribution, consider this follow-up story, also in While it was initially believed that the terrorists may have caught the plague through fleas on rats attracted by poor living conditions in their forest hideout, some experts in biological warfare are now speculating that the AQLIM terrorist cell was actively developing the plague virus for use as a biological weapon against western cities.
Even if that suspicion turns out to be hyperbolic speculation, in a world tied closely together by rapid air transportation, even a naturally occurring outbreak of plague presents a danger of spreading beyond the Algerian terrorist camp where it began.
The plague, commonly known as the "Black Death," caused one of the largest pandemics in human history in the 14th century, when it swept across Asia, Europe and North Africa, taking an estimated 75 million lives. Bubonic Plague is spread by bites from infected rat fleas. Symptoms include painful boils in the groin, neck and armpits. In Pneumonic Plague, airborn bacteria spread like flu. Without medication it can be deadly.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Italian Paper Reports Hamas Inflated Civilian Casualties

According to HaAretz, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Thursday that a doctor at Gaza City's Shifra Hospital disputed the number of civilian casualites suffered by Palestinians in the recent Gaza fighting. "It's possible that the death toll in Gaza was 500 or 600 at the most, mainly youths aged 17 to 23 who were enlisted by Hamas - who sent them to their deaths," the physician said. He added ""Perhaps it is like Jenin in 2002. At the beginning they spoke about 1,500 dead, and at the end it turned out to be only 54 - of whom 45 were militants." The Italian paper also reported that Palestinian civilians have accused Hamas of forcing them to stay in homes from which gunmen shot at Israeli soldiers during the recent hostilities.

Kudos to HaAretz, a leftwing Israeli newspaper that advocates negotiations with Hamas, for reporting this story. Unfortunately, I do not read Italian, and it is unlikely that the Los Angeles Times will pick up this story.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama In Office: Some thoughts

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Glen Reynolds has some "tonal hopes" for the Obama administration:
I agree with Barack Obama on some issues and disagree on others, but my hopes for the Obama presidency have mostly to do with tone. By reaching out to conservative columnists, and by going out of his way to say that he thinks George W. Bush is "a good man," Mr. Obama has made some efforts to transcend the nastiness that has emanated from much of the Democratic Party over the past eight years, where open hatred of Mr. Bush and Republicans has been a major source of social bonding. That is a wise move on his part, as it makes it less likely that Republicans will return the favor. Venomous hatred by the opposition seriously harmed the Clinton and Bush administrations, and Mr. Obama will have a much more successful presidency if he can avoid similar problems. Whether this approach succeeds or not, however, will depend on whether his followers go along; in this, it is an early test of President Obama's ability to lead.

John Taylor, who also runs the Nixon Library, has an interesting take on Rick Warren's Inaugural prayer, which he thinks was needlessly exclusionary because it ended with the Lord's Prayer. In comments, I disagreed mildly:
I like the approach of the Boy Scouts. Everyone is encouraged to pray in accordance with his or her own faith's tradition and beliefs. So when a group of Boy Scouts is led in prayer, the one praying prays in his or her own way. If the voice of the prayer is a Jew, then it's a Jewish prayer. That probably wouldn't work in a national political forum, but I would like to see us move in that direction.
(HT: Hugh Hewitt.) What do you think?

Monday, January 19, 2009

In Honor of the Inauguration of Barack H. Obama, 44th President of the United States

This is from Catholic Vote and will run during tomorrow's inaugural:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hal Lindsey States Israel's Case

Who wudda thunk it? The best defense of Israel's actions in Gaza comes not from the mainstream media (of course), not from the U.S. State Department, not even from the State of Israel itself, but rather from Hal Lindsey, in this video.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bibi Netanyahu Describes the Stakes in Gaza, for Israel and for the World

"This is the front line of the battle between militant Islam and the rest of the world. It's a battle line that stretched from Afghanistan through Iraq, through Lebanon, through Gaza, down to Yemen, the Sudan, and forward into Mumbai, and London, New York and Washington. And so in fact this is something of enormous global consequences."

With those words, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, opened a briefing of American and international bloggers today, organized by One Jerusalem. You can hear the entire briefing at the One Jerusalem website. While you are there, please consider making a donation to further their excellent work.

Despite that fact that Mr. Netanyahu heads the opposition Likud Party list in the February elections, in which he hopes to win his old job back, Mr. Netanyahu has ordered Likud to suspend its election campaigning for the duration of the Gaza crisis--which may well continue until election day. Mr. Netanyahu is now spending much of his time defending Israel and making her case for self-defense in the international press. He is doing so because of the potential grave consequences riding on whether Israel achieves the goals of its military campaign in Gaza.

"The first consequence," Mr. Netanyahu explained, "is whether Iran has a victory or a defeat in one of its forward outposts on the Mediterranean. It's got two of them, the other one is Lebanon.

"The second question is whether the civilized world gives credence or legitimacy to the hideous tactic of firing rockets on civilians while hiding behind civilians as a human shield. The consequence of affixing blame to Israel or even affixing symmetrical responsibility to Israel and the Hamas means that the world will legitimize the use of this tactic by terrorists and they will have won an important victory here as well.

"So I would say that the consequences are important for everyone. Does militant Islam get rolled back or does it enshrine itself as a fixture both in place and in tactics?"

All that eloquence and perception comes in the opening five minutes of the briefing. Mr. Netanyahu goes on to analyze the doctrine of a just war as it applies to Israel's actions in Gaza. If you have 26 minutes to absorb wisdom from a world leader, I urge you to listen to the briefing from Benjamin Netanyahu in its entirety. Let's hope that the Israeli electorate has the good sense to make him Israel's next prime minister.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Israeli PM Olmert Rejects UN Security Council Ceasefire--And Well He Should!

Showing more backbone than I would have thought he could muster, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today rejected the ceasefire resolution passed by the UN Security Council. Olmert stated, ""The State of Israel has never agreed that any outside body would determine its right to defend the security of its citizens. The IDF will continue operations in order to defend Israeli citizens and will carry out the missions with which it has been assigned in the operation. This morning's rocket fire against residents of the south only proves that the UN Security Council Resolution #1860 is not practical and will not be honored in actual fact by the Palestinian murder organizations." This news is from Jerusalem One, which is a good source for a pro-Israel perspective on the ongoing war in Gaza.

The reason why this is good news is revealed in a column by Edward Luttwak in today's Wall Street Journal, entitled, "Yes, Israel Can Win in Gaza--Israel is significantly weakening Hamas – with Palestinian Help." Luttwak puts to rest the notion that Israel cannot achieve victory against Hamas in Gaza. He is the first pundit to note that Israel could not possibly have kept the civilian casualty rate from its attacks down to 25%--the figure up to the commencement of Israel's ground incursion reported by UN and Palestinian sources in Gaza-- if it were not receiving intelligence reports on Hamas targets from Palestinian Arabs working inside Gaza, aiding Israel against Hamas. [By way of comparison, as noted in the Jewish Daily Forward, "civilians make up 67% of the dead in America’s Iraq War and were 80% in Russia’s Chechnya wars."] That suggests that a growing number of Paletinians are fed up with Hamas misrule and are ready to challenge its authority.

Luttwak also finds it significant that Hezbollah--whose supposed "victory" against Israel in the August 2006 Lebanon War as the model for Hamas' rocket campaign against Israel--is taking pains to avoid active participation in the current fighting. The Hezbollah claim of victory was always overblown; Luttwak cites that Israel never committed more than 600 troops on the ground in Lebanon in 2006, and nonetheless managed to kill some 400 Hamas fighters at a cost of only 30 casualties. That did not stop Hezbollah from verbally encouraging Hamas to renew hostilities against Israel. However, Luttwak writes:

But as soon as the fighting started in Gaza, Nasrallah reversed the terms of his declarations -- threatening Israel if it attacked Lebanon (which of course nobody in Israel would want to do). When three rockets were fired from inside Lebanon on Thursday, Hezbollah wasted no time assuring the Israelis that it had nothing to do with it, and that it did not even have that type of rocket in their inventory. This is a familiar trope of the Palestinian experience. There is always some extremist leader ready to instigate the Palestinians to fight, implicitly promising his valiant participation -- until the fighting begins and the promises are forgotten in fear of Israeli retaliation.
Both Luttwak and Charles Krauthammer in his column today note that the Israeli goal is not to totally destroy Hamas, but rather to significantly weaken it, degrade its fighting capability and humiliate its leadership. Achieving those objectives not only would reduce the threat Hamas poses to Israel; it may encourage the people of Gaza to rid themselves of the plague of Hamas misgovernment. And that would be significant progress toward a peaceful two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

"A Proportionate Response Would Be to Eliminate Hamas"

Rick Richman at Jewish Current Issues ably disposes of the "Try Diplomacy First" and "Disproportionate Response" attacks on Israel's war against Hamas.

Hear Israeli General Eitam's Briefing on the Gaza War

Ephraim "Effie" Eitam is a Brigadier General (reserves) in the Israel Defense Forces and a Member of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, where he serves as a senior member of the Security and Foreign Affairs Committee. He is a much decorated war hero, and was the commander of the elite special forces unit, the Sayeret Golani, during the legendary Operation Entebbe. An religiously observant Jew, MK Eitam may be the only person in the world who is able to say that he studied both at Mercaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva in Jerusalem and the British Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

This morning the Kosher Hedgehog participated in a one-hour conference call briefing by MK Eitam delivered to Jewish-interest bloggers, organized by One Jerusalem. You may listen to the entire briefing here.

MK Eitam indicated that the Israel Defense Forces have divided Gaza into three sectors and have surrounded Gaza City. As a result of the airstrikes on weapons stores and the actions of the IDF ground forces, while Hamas can still fire mortars and rockets into Israel, it no longer can replenish its supplies. MK Eitam stated that in a short while Hamas would essentially have depleted its supply of rockets and mortar shells, and would no longer be able to launch an effective barrage at Israel, although it might still be able to occasionally launch a shell or missile.

MK Eitam informed us that over the next number of days, Israel will open a secure corridor out of Gaza City, to an area some five kilometers south of the city, and will notify the civilian residents of the Gaza City that they have safe passage to walk out of Gaza City to humanitarian camps that Israel will set up, where food, water and medical care will be available. Of course, Hamas might choose to fire on refugees who try to take advantage of the offer of safe refuge, but that would clarify for the world who the real war criminals are in this conflict. Eitam stated that Israel intends to provide for 300,000 to 400,000 civilian refugees at the temporary encampment. By emptying out Gaza City of non-combatants, Gaza City would become a free fire zone, and the IDF would be able to treat anyone who remained as a legitimate Hamas target. After a relatively short period of time, the IDF would be able to clean out Gaza City of Hamas combatants and allow the refugees to return to their homes.

I am uncertain whether this plan will prove practical. We have seen that the world little cares about Arabs killing other Arabs--only if an Israeli kills an Arab is there an international outcry. It is quite possible that Hamas would be able to frighten much if not all of the non-combatant population of Gaza City to remain in place as human shields, since the certain risk of death from a Hamas gunman may outweigh the possible threat of Israeli bombs and shells. MK Eitam himself related reports from the current fighting where Hamas leaders grabbed children on the street to use as human shields in crossing from building to building. If Hamas follows its usual cowardly course of action, and a substantial non-combatant population remains in Gaza City, one may safely predict that making the City a free-fire zone would further blacken Israel's name in international opinion. It is a double standard, it stinks, but that is the world we live in. It appears that this time, however, unlike in Lebanon in 2006, Israel may have the resolve to absorb the diplomatic cost of defeating Hamas.

Send A Message or Even Some Cookies to Israeli Soldiers On the Front Lines Against Hamas

Those who support the Israeli soldiers fighting against Hamas in Gaza may send their greetings and good wishes for free or cookies for a bit more. The e-mail on this campaign that I received today appears below. Since the link on the advertisement will probably not work, here is the link to the website.

More on college football's Bowl Championship Series: The emperor's clothes seem to be missing

Paul Daugherty of The Cincinnati Enquirer thinks the University of Utah Utes have 13 reasons to feel cheated. (Namely, their 13 wins against no losses.)

The Utes are a problem only a playoff would solve. They are the radical at the door of the Old Boys Club. They're the gorgeous librarian with the horn-rims and her hair up, finishing fifth in a four-team beauty pageant. No one could have watched the Sugar Bowl and concluded a playoff wouldn't be sweet.

For a month during the regular season, we'd decided Alabama from the almighty SEC was the best team in quasi-amateur football. The Utes led 'Bama 21-0 in the firs quarter, then painted their toenails for three quarters and tried not to look bored.

This could make you question some things.

In the Washington Post, the highly-respected John Fenstein writes an open letter to all 72 of the writers who vote in the AP college football poll:
While the case for the Utes as the No. 1 team can be made based on record, on their win over Alabama, on BCS teams' refusal to play them on the road and on the remarkable mediocrity of three of six BCS conferences (not to mention Notre Dame which is reveling in a 7-6 record; boy is that Charlie Weis a coaching genius), that's not why you should vote for them.

The reason to vote for Utah is simple: This is the one and only way you can stand up to the BCS bullies -- the university presidents, commissioners, athletic directors and the TV networks who enable them -- and, to renew a catch phrase, just say no. Say no to this horrible, hypocritical, feed-the-big-boys system. Say no to the idea that fair competition doesn't matter. Say no to all the hype surrounding the power conferences and power teams. To co-opt yet another catch phrase, say yes to change.
Sounds good to me.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Mike Lupica: the college football Bowl Championship Series will never be changed

I actually hope he's wrong. Although I haven't been following the controversy closely, the more I learn about the BCS the more ridiculous and outrageous it seems. Of course, I just came back from the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, where my beloved Utah Utes finished their season undefeated (13-0) and soundly defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide. Lupica thinks the Utes deserve to be in the mix for the national championship, but doesn't see that happening anytime soon:

Will this system ever be changed? Are you kidding? With this much money on the table for the big schools? It won't. The presidents and the television networks, especially ESPN, which just bought the BCS wholesale, love this idea of the season riding on some big game all during the regular season, love the idea of selling you this idea that the tournament in college football is every weekend.

They do everything in this dishonest system except produce the kind of honest champion that all the other sports produce. And then I hear this claptrap about how all the debate is great for the sport. Tell that to Utah. The Utes ought to declare themselves the champs now, and if somebody wants to say they're not, let them do what you're supposed to do in sports:

Play them.
--Mike Lupica, "Utah adds to BCS mess."

I disagree. I think the BCS system will crumble over time as its nature as a self-serving cartel is exposed. We shall see who is right - Lupica or thousands of others like me.