Thursday, June 30, 2005
Maybe that's because Zell Miller is too much of a Cartoon character.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
This is the core problem: A horrific disfigurement of religious belief into a killing frenzy. It was the motivation behind 9/11, Bali, Madrid, and Beslan, and it is the motivation behind the terror is Iraq today. The only solution -- the only solution-- is the creation of societies committed to religious pluralism. It takes a long, long time for such societies to develop, but a beginning has been made in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan. The president's speech was an argument about why perseverance is not only necessary but in fact indispensable to survival of the West.
A perfectly reasonable project if you are a Wilsonian liberal who believes that human nature is as pliable as playdough; and thus the U.S. Army can move into the cradle of civilization and uproot prejudices older than our own country within an acceptable time horizon. Everybody else should easily realize that Hewitt's plan is sheer lunacy.
UPDATE: Roger Simon sets reasonable goals as well: "he is partly responsible for redirecting attention from what is by far the major issue of our time -- the modernizing of Islamic civilization before it becomes massively destructive to itself and others." Isn't it a little late for that?
He can't have it both ways. If the soldiers are so disciplined that they can withold their approval, surely they might also be disciplined enough that they can also withhold their disapproval as well; especially when you consider the fact that showing disapproval could lead to serious consequences.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Yeah, that's the President's problem, he never gets to speak to Americans, everything is filtered through Democrats and the "Liberal Media."
And for those of us -- a majority, I think, of those who have given the matter any thought -- who believe that a stable, democratic Iraq is a pipe-dream, the President should drop some strong hints that something much less than that will be acceptable to the admin., so long as what we leave behind on withdrawal is not hostile to us or our interests, and the withdrawal can be seen as amicable and honorable.
Poddy, however, is not amused.
BASRA, Iraq — Physicians have been beaten for treating female patients. Liquor salesmen have been killed. Even barbers have faced threats for giving haircuts judged too short or too fashionable.
Religion rules the streets of this once cosmopolitan city, where women no longer dare go out uncovered.
"We can't sing in public anymore," said Hussin Nimma, a popular singer from the south. "It's ironic. We thought that with the change of the regime, people would be more open to singing, art and poetry."
Unmarked cars cruise the streets, carrying armed, plain-clothed enforcers of Islamic law. Who they are or answer to is unclear, but residents believe they are part of a battle for Basra's soul.
In the spring, Shiite and Sunni Muslim officials were killed in a series of assassinations here, and residents feared their city would fall prey to the kind of sectarian violence ailing the rest of the country.
I'm sure glad we went to war to "liberate" Iraq.
Monday, June 27, 2005
However, if the Bluegrass States wants to put up framed copies of the Ten Commandments in its public buildings, it should be allowed. Even if construed as a state endorsement of religion, that is not the same as a state establishment of religion. A stricter interpretation of the clause will save us from having the Supreme Court read minds and split hairs over the different settings for the document.
That doesn't mean hard questions would never arise. I would be inclined to not allow mandatory prayer in public school classrooms where children are required to attend.
This whole business of the Court trying to divine religious motivation while state officials pretend to put the Ten Commandments up for secular reasons is nuts. Americans have the right to not believe and to not have religion shoved down their throats, but that doesn't include the right to never be offended or feel some way excluded.
I am influenced in part by my experience in public school. The middle school I attended had a regular moment of silence, a Christian "Crusade Club" and at least one teacher who used his classroom as a pulpit. Mr. Klein, my seventh or eighth (it was a long time ago) grade English teacher frequently discussed his faith and had Chick Tracts at the back of the room with other reading material. Although Barry Lynn would have a stroke over it, his witnessing had no more effect on me than his speling lessons. I could name dozens of other problems at that school that were more pressing than potential First Amendment violations.
Color me skeptical since they are only going to be there for five days. Also, Patterson, at least seems to have made up his mind already and is unlikely to report anything that contradicts his preconceptions:
Buzz and 10 other radio hosts are heading to Baghdad from July 10th through July 15th to greet our troops, broadcast live, and give you THE STRAIGHT SCOOP! He's sick of the mainstream media disinforming, under reporting, and sensationalizing events that never occurred!
Has she or President Bush thought through the consequences should their hectoring succeed in destabilizing and bringing down Saudi Arabia or Egypt? Have they observed how the elections they've been demanding have been going of late?
In southern Lebanon, Hezbollah and the Amal militia took every parliamentary seat. In the West Bank and Gaza, Hamas is so strong the Palestinian Authority postponed the July elections. If Hosni Mubarak held free elections in Egypt, his principal rival would be the Muslim Brotherhood. If the Saudi monarchy should hold elections, Osama bin Laden might not win, but my guess is he makes the runoff.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Friday, June 24, 2005
I graduated from Parris Island in the 1980s so I know a bit about it. Marine training is indeed tough. Things may have changed, but when I was in, nobody in my platoon was killed. Nobody was subjected to the moral depravity evident at Abu Ghraib. In fact, one drill instructer was relieved from duty after a recruit made charges against him.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Karl Zinsmeister, who just returned from one of several trips to Iraq declares victory:
What the establishment media covering Iraq have utterly failed to make clear today is this central reality: With the exception of periodic flare-ups in isolated corners, our struggle in Iraq as warfare is over. Egregious acts of terror will continue -- in Iraq as in many other parts of the world. But there is now no chance whatever of the U.S. losing this critical guerilla war.
Contrary to the impression given by most newspaper headlines, the United States has won the day in Iraq. In 2004, our military fought fierce battles in Najaf, Fallujah, and Sadr City. Many thousands of terrorists were killed, with comparatively little collateral damage. As examples of the very hardest sorts of urban combat, these will go down in history as smashing U.S. victories. (emphasis added)
Note Zinsmeister's qualification, "with the exception of periodic flare-ups in isolated corners." What exactly is Guerilla warfare anyway? I will believe what he says when the Bush administration cuts our troop strength there by a half or a third or a quarter, and a Baghdad cab ride becomes affordable.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Hewitt has already called Andrew Sullivan hysterical. He should know.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
The Bush Administration has a plan however, the magazine reports -- a PR campaign. I feel better now.
Here are some choice quotes from Freepers about Hagel:
Hagel is a German boot licker!
Sounds like UpChuck Hagel is going to take the McLame approach to running for President.
RepublicanRINO Sens. Lincoln Chafee and Lindsey Graham have voiced their concerns.
Hagel is just the RINO version of Joe Biden.
Senator Chuck Hagel
248 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Have you registered as an al Qaeda lobbyist yet?
Get in line in the fifth column.Spoken like a democrat, and Hagel has presdential aspirations...lol.
Hagel is a spineless worm who stands for absolutely nothing.
Friday, June 17, 2005
P.S. While at the Chronicles website, give til it hurts.
Just as the Nazis did, they are confiscating people's money, land, cars -- anything they can get their hands on.
Such conditions provide the fertile soil for tyrants like Bill Clinton, as we are witnessing . . .
Did you know that the leader of Muslim Bosnia that Clinton sided with was a Nazi youth allied to Bin Laden?
I sure I could have found much more with more time and effort. I'm sure that the usual suspects will express their outrage at this rank America hating forthwith.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
On one occasion the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. On another occasion the air conditioner had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.'Whether Durban is correct, or a little over the top, I can't say. I know that when I saw the photos from Abu Grahib, the worst of them made me think of the Nazis.
If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.
Note that anything that the Nazis might have done is not the same as the worst that the Nazis did. I don't know if anything that bad happened at our prison at Cuba, but abuses seem to have occurred everywhere the Bush administration set up a prison camp. It is notable that Durbin did not say anything in the quote above about our troops since, as he pointed out on the floor of the Senate today, he doesn't even know if the actions he describes were performed by members of the military (it could have been done by intelligence personnel or private contractors). However, Hugh Hewitt disagrees:
The Democratic Party's #2 in the Senate is anti-military, because to speak slander about the military -- even a specific subset of the military -- is to be anti-military. The left's #1 blogger is supporting the slander. Is it ok yet to assert that the left is anti-military, even if some, like Kos, have served in uniform? Objectively speaking, it is anti-military to equate soldiers, sailors, arimen and Marines as Nazis, Stalinists, and Khmer Rouge, right? It is anti-military to hand huge propaganda wins to our enemies, isn't it?
Hewitt is hysterical as usual. Durbin is being critical of the Bush administration here, not the military. Hewitt would have it so that nobody can criticize the war effort. He wanted Congress to bully Newsweek into servility after they retracted the phony Koran-flushing story.
The problem for the Hewitt crowd is that they helped sell the country on the colossal blunder of invading Iraq. At almost every turn, they have been proven wrong -- no usable WMD, the war continuing long after the carrier landing stunt, the administration's shabby treatment of the people who got it right, etc. The only response they have is to try to demonize the critics.
I don't know anything about Sen. Durbin. For all I know he is as much a partisan hack as Hewitt who would be defending the government's actions at Guantanamo if a Democrat was responsible. Hewitt and his crowd might succeed in discrediting the Illinois Democrat but they can't cover up the manifest failings of the Bush administration's handling of the terror war.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Monday, June 13, 2005
But why stop there? Boortz has more mouth than he does money. He, along with fellow talk radio hosts such as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt and Laura Ingraham, ought to be using their powerful platforms to encourage young men (and perhaps young women) to volunteer. These hosts should be giving callers under the age of, say, thirty-five, they should start handing out (metaphorical, over the radio) white feathers.
During the First World War, the Order of the White Feather encouraged the young women of England to give white feathers, a symbol of cowardice, to young men not serving in the Army. Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter, should be attending gatherings of the Young Americas Foundation and Students for War, giving (real) white feathers out.
With their great moral authority, these, and other War Party loudmouths ought to be able to correct the recruiting problems of the military.
UPDATE: Ben Stein, who thinks that negative media coverage is what hurts recruiting, should join in. "why would anyone join the Army if he reads the newspapers and watches TV? " Because the Ben Steins of the world are going out and talking it up.
Friday, June 10, 2005
The program dealt with DeLay's relationship with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who lobbied for the Mariana Islands and their low-wage clothing makers. Brancaccio's opening echoed liberal Rep. George Miller, who said conditions in the Marianas were close "to indentured servitude, to slavery." PBS had no DeLay defenders on the program. The DeLay critics were bipartisan: Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) told PBS DeLay needs to resign. It was a one-sided get-DeLay program. (Now hasn't tackled the ethics of Hillary Clinton.) . . .
What is notable about the Graham's take on the subject is that he doesn't dispute the facts of the Now program about the Marianas. As far as Graham is concerned, Delay may be supporting indentured servitude in the Mariana Islands. He is just mad that they haven't gone after Hillary as well.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
June 8 - I'm sitting here with a gloomy letter from Iraq, written by a high-ranking officer I cannot name in a branch of service I cannot name in a part of the country I cannot name. But trust me, because I trust him. Iraqis, he says, have no feel for or belief in the democracy we want to create, and our occupation is making them less, not more, capable of self-government.
"Our eventual departure," he worries, "will leave nothing but cosmetic structure here." "Every mission," he writes, "requires a conscious escape from the resignation that there is nothing here to win and every occasion to fail."
Small miracles do happen -- a child is saved, a generator is installed. There remain "possibilities." But sullen eyes along the roadsides give this officer "the feeling that we have stayed too long but can not leave."
The difference between a source saying "Interrogator X flushed a Koran on day Y" and the above sentiments should be reasonably obvious.
And for the life of me, I can't understand what he means by "so soon after the Newsweek Koran-flushing debacle." Is Newsweek required to stand down from using anonymous sources for a specific period of time?
Neal Boortz entertains the issue of taxes to pay for the war in Iraq and has a ridiculous idea:
Yeah, lets wait until Iraq can pay for it on its own, that will happen real soon. I've said it before; there will be tax increases to pay for the war, and the rest of Bush's reckless spending, when a less dishonest administration is in office. Anti-tax "libertarians" like Neal Boortz should own up to their support of big government in the form of Imperialism.
Yesterday we had a caller who floated the idea of a tax increase on the top 1% of income earners to finance the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. This idea would no doubt be popular with the 50% of American income earners who pay no federal income taxes at all, and somewhat popular with the a good hunk of the remainder of taxpayers. People love to hate the rich, and they love to see them taxed.
But ... no. Let's not do it. Instead, why not wait until Iraq is stable and operating on its own, and then ask them to foot the bill out of their oil revenues. If freedom works, Iraq is poised to become the richest oil nation in the Middle East.
That's what people do in the Marine Corps, pursue their love of chemistry.
Just a few tests. And so many free opportunities, the recruiters told him.
He could pursue his love of chemistry. He could serve anywhere he chose and leave any time he wanted on an "apathy discharge" if he didn't like it. And he wouldn't have to go to Iraq if he didn't want to.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
What is the intelligence community doing to prevent the 12th Imam operation? Nothing. They are, in fact, ignoring it.
After eight years of deep slashes in our defense and intelligence budgets by Slick Willie and his gang, decades of strategically disastrous over-reliance on technical rather than human intelligence, and a tendency towards politically correct groupthink, our nation's intelligence agencies are in deep trouble -- and all of us are at risk.
Bill and Hillary Clinton is to blame for almost everything in the eyes of Human Events, but one HE "expose" that they list stands out:
How the Clinton Administration's political corruption of the intelligence community destroyed the careers of patriots and put us all at grave risk today
Have these people never even heard of the Office of Special Plans, a Pentagon operation concocted for the purpose policizing intelligence to build support for invading Iraq?
I am surprised that it doesn't occur to them that Weldon's thesis is implicitly damning to the Bush adminstration. With 130,000 troops tied down next door in Iraq, the U.S. is ill prepared to deal with Iran, if it is such a burgeoning threat. But I'm sure that's Clinton's fault as well.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
What will future generations think when they see the front pages of our leading newspapers repeatedly preoccupied with whether we are treating captured cut-throats nicely enough? What will they think when they see the Geneva Convention invoked to protect people who are excluded from protection by the Geneva Convention? . . .
During World War II, German soldiers who were captured not wearing the uniform of their own army were simply lined up against a wall and shot dead by American troops. This was not a scandal. Far from being covered up by the military, movies were taken of the executions and have since been shown on the History Channel. . . .
The frivolous demands made on our military -- that they protect museums while fighting for their lives, that they tiptoe around mosques from which people are shooting at them -- betray an irresponsibility made worse by ingratitude toward men who have put their lives on the line to protect us. . . .
If American troops kill a hundred terrorists in battle and lose ten of their own men doing it, the only headline will be: "Ten More Americans Killed in Iraq Today." . . .
What will the generations of the future say if we allow Iran and North Korea to develop nuclear weapons, which are then turned over to terrorists who can begin to annihilate American cities?
Our descendants will wonder how we could have let this happen, when we had the power to destroy any nation posing such a threat. Knowing that we had the power, they would have to wonder why we did not have the will -- and why it was so obvious that we did not
Note that Sowell seems to favor a preemptive nuclear strikes on Iran and Syria as Jeff Taylor pointed out at Reason's website.
World War II was the last major war that makes people feel warm and Fuzzy inside, so neocons are always trying to draw parallels with the current war. But WWII was a total war. The policy of the Allies was to demand unconditional surrender of Germany and Japan and slaughter them until they capitulated. Not only did we execute spies, we terror-bombed cities and slaughtered civilians. Presumably Catholic and Lutheran churches were destroyed and Bibles burned and clergy killed in the bombing of Dresden in 1945. If the U.S. were engaged in a total war against the Islamic world, offending their various sensibilities and sensitivites would be unimportant, but that is not the war the the U.S. is fighting.
Sowell should do a little more perusing of headlines, he might see more than casualty figures. If he thought about it for half-a-second, it might occur to him that casualties remain such a big story because the Bush Administration keeps declaring victory. The first time was the president's infamous carrier landing stunt that set neocon hearts to fluttering. The most recent example was the Vice President's recent claim that the Iraq insurgency is in its "last throes."
Dr. Sowell misses several questions that future generations will surely ask about our handing of the terror war. For example, why did the US invade a country that didn't attack us and posed no threat to us? Also, they might ask why the Bush administration rewarded the people who screwed up and punished the ones who got it right.
It is a messed up war that the United States is mired in. However, it is the war that Bush and the Neocons wanted. If Thomas Sowell wants to see who is to blame for the fact that American soldiers must tiptoe around the mosques like Tiny Tim, he can start by looking in the mirror.
Some members of the Bush administration have taken a cue from a classic John Wayne Western and are advising their boss to take the film's advice – "Never apologize" – when dealing with Muslims, reports geopolitical analysts Jack Wheeler.
In a column on his intelligence website, To the Point, Wheeler explains Wayne's "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," made in 1948, though lesser known than many of the star's films, includes what's been called one of the top 100 movie quotes of all time.
Wayne's character, Capt. Nathan Brittles, who is facing an Indian attack, advises a junior officer: "Never apologize, son. It's a sign of weakness."
Amazingly, Jack Wheeler ("an oasis for rational conservatives") charges $95 dollars a year for that sort of "intelligence." For that amount of money, a "rational conservative" can subscribe to Chronicles and The American Conservative, make a modest donation to Antiwar.com, and still have money left over.
Monday, June 06, 2005
Friday, June 03, 2005
But why bother to point out when Rush Limbaugh tiresomely panders to his listener's prejudices by declaiming that making elections a national holiday won't "help them that much" because "[m]ost of their voters don't work anyway." It hardly even qualifies as opinion. It's just a rant. Everybody knows about Limbaugh's bias, which I won't dignify as "conservative" (it's more like "yeah Red Team"). David Brock and crew could spend all of their time on Limbaugh, since every statement he makes is going to offend liberal sentiments.
The same might be said about Robert Novak. The MM guys whine that Novak said on Crossfire, "I don't bash Hillary because I think she's weak. . . I bash her because I like to." Who cares? It was on Crossfire -- the lamest political show on TV -- for crying out loud. Also it is the purest expression of opinion, which Robert Novak is entitled to.
How else am I supposed to respond to a rant about Robert Byrd as a partisan hack coming from a man who has made a career out of gushing over Bush administraton studs such as Don Rumsfeld. Readers of Byrd's Losing America know that he does criticize Democrats, especially when they try to usurp the powers of Congress. A staunch opponent of the Iraq invasion, he was also critical of Clinton's Kosovo adventure.
Nordlinger, on the other hand, has a relationship with the Bush administration similar to People magazine's relationship with Tom Cruise.
When her son, Jonah, said he was thinking of sitting out a gym class that was to be led by National Guard recruiters, Ms. Rogers, who works part time as a clerk at the local motor vehicles office and receives public assistance, said she told him not to be "a rebel without a cause."
"In this world," she recalled telling him, "we need a strong military."
But then she heard from her son that the class was mandatory, and that recruiters were handing out free T-shirts and key chains -- "Like, 'Hey, let's join the military. It's fun,'" she said.
First she called the Rondout Valley High School to complain about the "false advertising," she said, then her congressman.
On May 24, at the first school board meeting since the gym class, she read aloud from a recruiting handbook that advised recruiters on ways to gain maximum access to schools, including offering doughnuts. A high school senior, Katie Coalla, 18, stood up at one point and tearfully defended the recruiters, receiving applause from the crowd of about 70, but Ms. Rogers persisted.
"Pulling in this need for heartstrings patriotic support is clouding the issue," she said. "The point is not whether I support the troops. It's about whether a well-organized propaganda machine should be targeted at children and enforced by the schools."
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Glenn Reynolds is a law professor. . .you can't criticize him for not being fact-based. If you go to Instapundit.com every morning, and about twenty times during the day, you can see updates every twenty minutes it seems, he...the one thing he isn't short of is facts. He's got links to this, links to that. He's got both points of view. He's got several points of view.
So Reynolds is a law professor. I'm sure he knows a lot about how law schools work. I can't see how that helps him know how newspapers are run. I worked at a magazine for seven years and I have seen Deadline USA several times, but I can't say I know much about how newspapers work. The reporter was responding to the statement attributed to Reynolds that the New York Times released its recent story about abuse at the Bagran Detention facility in Afghanistan to divert attention from the Newsweek toilet bowl story.
If Reynolds actually believes that then he's a nutball crank who probably doesn't know much about how newspapers work. Contra Steyn, Instapundit is one of the least fact-based blogs out there. So much of it consists of links to other sites with a pithy "heh" or pompous "indeed."
I have found it very difficult to get Reynolds to correct errors.
don’t think it’s at all a “coincidence” that this came out so soon after the NewsWeak fiasco.
Remember: Bob Woodward is waaaay up in the heirarchy of WaPo these days.
And . . . drum roll . . . WaPo owns NewsWeak!!
So, “Deep Throat” is revealed. And that gives the media a week or two to wax and wane about the virtues of – ahem – investigative reporting and anonymous sources.
It also gives them a chance to implicitly bash President Bush by association (hint: Iraq = Viet Nam, Bush = Nixon). And now they also can sit around and pontificate about Nixon’s scandals versus “DeLay’s scandals” or some such drivel. Hell, anything to distract the Drone bloc from the utter implosion of their Democratic Party.
It’s a rich tapestry of political ruthlessness.
Interesting that this bit of ?news? should surface just when former Nixon prosecutor Hillary is making a run for the presidency.
It’s my understanding that the statute of limitations has run out for the crimes Felt committed passing this info to the press. Lucky for us he never became head of the FBI.
UPDATE: Thoughts from Lucianne's Loonies. I surprised that the word "traitor" only comes up four times.