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Right Intention: February 2005

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Media Being Called Out

Jack Kelly is calling out the media over poor Iraq reporting:

Those who get their news from the "mainstream" media are surprised by developments in Iraq, as they were surprised by our swift victory in Afghanistan, the sudden fall of Saddam Hussein, the success of the Afghan election and the success of the Iraqi election.

Journalists demand accountability from political leaders for "quagmires" which exist chiefly in the imagination of journalists. But when will journalists be held to account for getting every major development in the war on terror wrong?

Syria Feeling The Pressure

This has been a horrible week for those rooting for a US defeat- that means you, leftists & media- in the Middle East.


Iraqi officials said Sunday that Syria captured and handed over Saddam Hussein's half brother, one of the blood-soaked insurgency's most wanted leaders, ending months of Syrian denials that it was harboring fugitives from the ousted Saddam regime.

Iraqi authorities said Damascus acted in a gesture of goodwill.

Sab'awi Ibrahim al-Hasan, who shared a mother with Saddam, was nabbed along with 29 other fugitive members of the former dictator's Baath Party in Hasakah in northeastern Syria, 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Iraqi border, the officials said on condition of anonymity.


The leftist worldview is being crushed. They are banging their heads against the wall. Buy stocks of aspirin manufacturers. You'll make a fortune.

Canada = Europe

Typical.

Prime Minister Paul Martin said Thursday that Canada would opt out of the contentious U.S. missile defense program, a move that will further strain brittle relations between the neighbors but please Canadians who fear it could lead to an international arms race.

What no one wants to say out loud is that the reason Canada feels free to not pitch in is because they know at the end of the day the US will work on this problem and give Canada protection anyway. This is known in economics as being a free rider.

So Canada and Europe are becoming more similar by the day. First, both Canada and Europe tilt severely to the left politically. Second, they both feel free to mooch off the generousity of the US. Third, their mooching allows them to fund overly generous social programs at the expense of a functioning military.

Talking to reporters several minutes after his foreign minister first announced the move in the House of Commons, Martin said Canada would instead focus on strengthening its own military and defense in proposals laid out Wednesday in the federal budget.

"Canada recognizes the enormous burden that the United States shoulders, when it comes to international peace and security," Martin said. "The substantial increases made yesterday to our defense budget are a tangible indication that Canada intends to carry its full share of that responsibility."


Canada wants to pitch in? Great!

The federal budget presented to the House of Commons calls for $10.5 billion in the next five years to increase the country's beleaguered armed forces -- including an additional 5,000 soldiers and 3,000 reservists -- the largest commitment to defense in two decades. It also called for another $807,950 to improve Canada's anti-terrorism efforts and security along the unarmed, 4,000-mile border with the United States.

$10.5 billion over five years? 5,000 soldiers? Whoop-de-freaking-do. Is this the same country that had responsibility for Juno Beach on D-Day? What happened to these people?

And less than $1 million for anti terror efforts? Why bother? To present the illusion you are chipping in? Spare me.

But U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci told reporters Wednesday that he was perplexed over Canada's apparent decision to allow Washington to make the decision if a missile was headed toward its territory.

"Why would you want to give up sovereignty?" he said. "We don't get it. We think Canada would want to be in the room deciding what to do about an incoming missile that might be heading toward Canada."


Here's the decision: don't do anything if a missile is heading towards Canada. If Canada doesn't want in on missile defense, then so be it. Every country can have its own level of relationship with the US. We can cooperate or not cooperate on any issue. But what I would love to see the US do is for once put its foot down and tell our "allies" that if they don't want to chip in on security issues, don't expect the US to do it for them and don't expect to reap the benefits of our work. No more free riders.

Europe Bashing

I always enjoy a good Europe bashing column. Mark Steyn doesn't disappoint:

But either way the notion that it's a superpower in the making is preposterous. Most administration officials subscribe to one of two views: a) Europe is a smugly irritating but irrelevant backwater; or b) Europe is a smugly irritating but irrelevant backwater where the whole powder keg's about to go up.

For what it's worth, I incline to the latter position. Europe's problems -- its unaffordable social programs, its deathbed demographics, its dependence on immigration numbers that no stable nation (not even America in the Ellis Island era) has ever successfully absorbed -- are all of Europe's making. By some projections, the EU's population will be 40 percent Muslim by 2025. Already, more people each week attend Friday prayers at British mosques than Sunday service at Christian churches -- and in a country where Anglican bishops have permanent seats in the national legislature.


I rarely quibble with anything Mark Steyn writes, but I will here. Europe's problems are partially the fault of America. No, I didn't just join the club of "Blame America First Democrats". I'm liberal, but not of the self loathing variety. But America does have some responsibility. And that is because we made Europe dependent on us for the last 60+ years through generous military protection. In any entitlement program, a certain percentage of the recipients lose their incentive to improve their lot and simply come to rely on the entitlement. Resources and efforts will not be spent duplicating what the recipient gets for free. In the case of Europe, they no longer understand the cost of having a free, safe society because the US heavily subsidizes it. Scarce resources that should be spent on defense are instead spent on trying to create their version of utopia through overly generous social programs. If Europe had to provide for its own defense, they would be forced to cut the social programs, which would liberalize the economy. If Europe wanted to keep the social programs, they would still have to liberalize the economy to generate enough resources for both. Either way Europe benefits. No matter how you slice it, the single best thing America could do for Europe is to cut her loose and force it to defend itself.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Buy Stocks Of Aspirin Manufacturers

Another event that will cause lefties to bang their heads against the wall:

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered the constitution changed to allow multi-candidate presidential elections in September, making a surprise reversal Saturday that could mean he will face a challenger for the first time since taking power in 1981.

It was the first significant move toward political reform in decades in Egypt, a powerhouse in the Arab world that has had one-party rule for more than half a century.

The announcement came amid increasing calls for political reform from the domestic opposition and from the United States and after historic Iraqi and Palestinian elections that brought a taste of democracy to the region.

Opposition figures and reform advocates welcomed Mubarak's announcement, but some feared it may only be a superficial change to appease pressure at home and abroad. The step came as a dispute sharpened with the United States over Egypt's arrest of one of the strongest proponents of multi-candidate elections.


Buy stocks of aspirin manufacturers. Lefties around the world will need to relieve their headaches as Bush continues to smash their worldview. You'll make a fortune.

Friday, February 25, 2005

The Making Of A 9/11 Republican

From Chrenkoff, I found one of the best columns I have ever read about how a liberal became a Bush supporter.

So, what happened to change all that? In a nutshell, 9/11. The terrorist attacks on this country were not only an act of war but also a crime against humanity. It seemed glaringly obvious to me at the time, and it still does today. But the reaction of my former comrades on the left bespoke a different perspective. The day after the attacks, I dragged myself into work, still in a state of shock, and the first thing I heard was one of my co-workers bellowing triumphantly, "Bush got his war!" There was little sympathy for the victims of this horrific attack, only an irrational hatred for their own country.

As I spent months grieving the losses, others around me wrapped themselves in the comfortable shell of cynicism and acted as if nothing had changed. I soon began to recognize in them an inability to view America or its people as victims, born of years of indoctrination in which we were always presented as the bad guys.


Sound familiar? I imagine that many of us Bush supporters went through the same transformation.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Taking Estrich to Task

This is an excellent commentary on some of the more recent flare ups in the political correctness/ forced equality wars. Here is a great quote:

Gee thanks, Susan. Political pundit Susan Estrich has launched a venomous campaign against the Los Angeles Times’s op-ed editor, Michael Kinsley, for alleged discrimination against female writers. As it happens, I have published in the Los Angeles Times op-ed pages over the years, without worrying too much about whether I was merely filling a gender quota. Now, however, if I appear in the Times again, I will assume that my sex characteristics, rather than my ideas, got me accepted.

The author gives a good summary of the controversies and then goes on to skewer them. But to me, this is the key quote. There is an unintended consequence of assuming that everyone is exactly the same and allowing no discussion of the topic whatsoever. And that is eventually those who you purport to help will suffer from something quite different than discrimination. And that is an unspoken, but very real, lack of respect. People start to assume that what you have you didn't earn, and it was simply given to you because its easier than listening to the PC police or being taken to court. It's damaging.

Zapatero

Barcepundit has a rather funny roundup of Zapatero's attempts to get Bush to pay attention to him. Here's one:

Zapatero said he was anti-Bush, the complete opposite of former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. But ever since his election, Zapatero has spent much of his time shadowing Bush and attempting to shake his hand. On Wednesday, he was waiting in the shadows, and made his move when Bush was talking to Tony Blair. Bush, who I suspect didn't really know who Zapatero was said “hola amigo” and continued talking to Blair. Meanwhile, Zapatero walked off smiling away like a child with a new pair of shoes. The exchange was so brief Spanish newspapers had a nightmare trying to find a photograph of the “great meeting.” To make matters worse a Spanish government spokesperson said that Bush and Zapatero had a “cordial exchange.” (They forget to mention it lasted about two seconds.) Even more laughable was the “meeting” Spanish Foreign Secretary Moratinos had with U.S. Secretary of State Rice. He literally rushed over to her in a passageway and then later claimed he had a summit meeting.

[...] If Zapatero got an invitation to the White House, he would probably frame the invitation card!


It occurs to me that Zapatero has a few too many letters in his last name. Removing letters two through five would present a more accurate picture.

Non-negative Commentary From German Newspaper

How did this make it past Der Spiegel's editorial board?

Germany loves to criticize US President George W. Bush's Middle East policies -- just like Germany loved to criticize former President Ronald Reagan. But Reagan, when he demanded that Gorbachev remove the Berlin Wall, turned out to be right. Could history repeat itself?

Did I read that right?

It was difficult not to cringe during Reagan's speech in 1987. He didn't leave a single Berlin cliché out of his script. At the end of it, most experts agreed that his demand for the removal of the Wall was inopportune, utopian and crazy.

Yet three years later, East Germany had disappeared from the map. Gorbachev had a lot to do with it, but it was the East Germans who played the larger role. When analysts are confronted by real people, amazing things can happen. And maybe history can repeat itself. Maybe the people of Syria, Iran or Jordan will get the idea in their heads to free themselves from their oppressive regimes just as the East Germans did. When the voter turnout in Iraq recently exceeded that of many Western nations, the chorus of critique from Iraq alarmists was, at least for a couple of days, quieted. Just as quiet as the chorus of Germany experts on the night of Nov. 9, 1989 when the Wall fell.

Just a thought for Old Europe to chew on: Bush might be right, just like Reagan was then.


I'm stunned.

(Thanks, Chrenkoff)

Bush Middle East Plan Working

Let the liberal teeth gnashing begin:

I dined Monday night with Jumblatt in his mountain fortress in Moukhtara, southeast of Beirut. He moved there for safety last weekend because of worries that he would be the next target of whoever killed Hariri. We sat under a portrait of Jumblatt's father, Kamal, who was assassinated in 1976 after he opposed the initial entry of Syrian troops into Lebanon. With me was Jamil Mroue, a Lebanese Shiite journalist whose own father was assassinated by Arab radicals in the 1960s. It was an evening when the ghosts of the past mingled with hopes for the future.

Jumblatt dresses like an ex-hippie, in jeans and loafers, but he maintains the exquisite manners of a Lebanese aristocrat. Over the years, I've often heard him denouncing the United States and Israel, but these days, in the aftermath of Hariri's death, he's sounding almost like a neoconservative. He says he's determined to defy the Syrians until their troops leave Lebanon and the Lahoud government is replaced.

"It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq," explains Jumblatt. "I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world." Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. "The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."


That sound you hear is lefties all around the world banging their collective heads against the wall. The more investment minded of you may want to buy the stocks of aspirin makers. If Bush keeps this up, sales will skyrocket.

Jeff Gannon/James Guckert

Ann Coulter takes leftists to task over the Jeff Gannon/James Guckert controversy:

The heretofore-unknown Jeff Gannon of the heretofore-unknown "Talon News" service was caught red-handed asking friendly questions at a White House press briefing. Now the media is hot on the trail of a gay escort service that Gannon may have run some years ago. Are we supposed to like gay people now, or hate them? Is there a website where I can go to and find out how the Democrats want me to feel about gay people on a moment-to-moment basis?

It is truly amazing how the party of tolerance can be just as bigoted as a Klansman when it suits them. The only good minorities and gays are liberal ones, evidently.

On the op-ed page of the New York Times, Maureen Dowd openly lied about the press pass, saying: "I was rejected for a White House press pass at the start of the Bush administration, but someone with an alias, a tax evasion problem and Internet pictures where he posed like the 'Barberini Faun' is credentialed?"

Press passes can't be that hard to come by if the White House allows that dyspeptic, old Helen Thomas to sit within yards of the president. Still, it would be suspicious if Dowd were denied a press pass while someone from "Talon News" got one, even if he is a better reporter.

But Dowd was talking about two different passes without telling her readers (a process now known in journalism schools as "Dowdification"). Gannon didn't have a permanent pass; he had only a daily pass. Almost anyone can get a daily pass – even famed Times fantasist Maureen Dowd could have gotten one of those. A daily pass and a permanent pass are altogether different animals. The entire linchpin of Dowd's column was a lie. (And I'm sure the Times' public editor will get right on Dowd's deception.)


Resorting to deception and half truths? Dowd? Say it isn't so.


Any day now, Matthews will devote entire shows to exposing Larry Zeigler, Gerald Riviera and Michael Weiner – aka Larry King, Geraldo Rivera and Matthews' former MSNBC colleague Michael Savage. As a newspaper reporter, Wolf Blitzer has written under the names Ze'ev Blitzer and Ze'ev Barak. The greatest essayist of modern times was Eric Blair, aka George Orwell. The worst essayist of modern times is "TRB" of The New Republic.

Air America radio host and "Nanny" impersonator "Randi Rhodes" goes by a fake name, and she won't even tell people what her real last name is. (She says for "privacy reasons." That name must be a real doozy.) As Insideradio.com describes Rhodes, she refuses "to withhold anything from her listeners" and says conservatives "are less likely to share such things." How about sharing your name, Randi? We promise not to laugh.


Hypocrisy is unfortunately par for the course for Democrats these days.

Democrats in Congress actually demanded that an independent prosecutor investigate how Gannon got into White House press conferences while writing under an invented name. How did Gary Hartpence, Billy Blythe and John Kohn (Gary Hart, Bill Clinton and John Kerry) run for president under invented names? Admittedly, these men were not reporters for the prestigious "Talon News" service; they were merely Democrats running for president.

How can anyone take this party seriously anymore? Between crackpot conspiracy theories and ridiculous posturing, the Democratic party is a complete and utter joke.

Liberals keep telling us the media isn't liberal, but in order to retaliate for the decimation of major news organizations like the New York Times, CBS News and CNN, all they can do is produce the scalp of an obscure writer for an unknown conservative Web page. And unlike Raines, Rather and Jordan, they can't even get Gannon for incompetence on the job. (Also unlike Raines, Rather and Jordan, Gannon has appeared on television and given a series of creditable interviews in his own defense, proving our gays are more macho than their straights.)

How true.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Deep Throat

Jonah Goldberg is skeptical of the existence of Deep Throat. A number of the suspects are getting up in years, and won't be able to defend themselves of whatever accusations are hurled at them after they die. Here's Jonah's solution:

Presumably, if Deep Throat exists he is aware that he will be named when he dies. So, gentlemen, why not get your side of the story on paper - or video - now? If you suspect you might be fingered for doing something you didn't, you have even more reason to get your version squared away.

But here's the part I like best:

Watergate prompted a generation of preening journalists to lecture America from a pedestal. The least Deep Throat can do - or, the least the leading Deep Throat suspects can do - is to let us know if the journalists belonged on that pedestal in the first place.

I agree with Jonah. If Deep Throat is a figment of Woodward and Bernstein's imagination, the irony would be too much, considering bringing down Nixon is a key reason why journalists have a hugely exaggerated sense of self importance.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

More Fruits Of A Lefty Education

This is disgusting.

SOLDIER STUNNED BY LETTER KIDS' RANTS
By DAVID ANDREATTA

An American soldier overseas is fuming over letters he received from Brooklyn middle-school children accusing GIs of destroying mosques and killing civilians in Iraq.

Pfc. Rob Jacobs of New Jersey said he was initially ecstatic to get a package of letters from sixth-graders at JHS 51 in Park Slope last month at his base 10 miles from the North Korea border.

That changed when he opened the envelope and found missives strewn with politically charged rhetoric, vicious accusations and demoralizing predictions that only a handful of soldiers would leave the Iraq war alive.

"It's hard enough for soldiers to deal with being away from their families, they don't need to be getting letters like this," Jacobs, 20, said in a phone interview from his base at Camp Casey.

"If they don't have anything nice to say, they might as well not say anything at all."

One Muslim boy wrote: "Even thoe [sic] you are risking your life for our country, have you seen how many civilians you or some other soldier killed?"

His letter, which was stamped with a smiley face, went on: "I know your [sic] trying to save our country and kill the terrorists but you are also destroying holy places like Mosques."

Most of the 21 letters Jacobs provided to The Post mentioned some support for the armed forces, if not the Iraq war, and thanked him for his service. But nine of the students made clear their distaste for the president or the war.

The letters were written as a social-studies assignment.

The JHS 51 teacher, Alex Kunhardt, did not return phone calls, but the school principal, Xavier Costello, responded with a statement:

"While we would never censor anything that our children write, we sincerely apologize for forwarding letters that were in any way inappropriate to Pfc. Jacobs. This assignment was not intended to be insensitive, but to be supportive of the men and women in service to our nation."

New British Reality Show

Chrenkoff found an interesting experiment being conducted by Channel 4 in Britain.

A group of volunteers has been locked up in cages and sexually humiliated in a British reality show that seeks to explore the use of torture by recreating conditions inside the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

The four-part series on Channel 4 asks whether torture methods applied at the notorious U.S. Navy base in Cuba and other prisons in places such as Iraq and the United States can be justified in efforts to combat terrorism, a spokesman for the station said.

"The information gained through torture has been justified as the center of the war against terrorism," said the spokesman, who asked to remain anonymous.

"We want the viewers to watch techniques that we know are used at Guantanamo and to really raise questions about whether torture is justified and if it works and what does it say about our values as a Western society," he told AFP Tuesday.


I have an idea. Why don't we gather up a bunch of European leftists and put them on "Survivor: 9/11"? Let's put them in a towering inferno to see who makes it out alive. To make it more realistic, let's send them to the memorial services (no bodies for funerals) of friends and loved ones who died. Then our special terrorist guest contestant makes it clear that it is his ambition to destroy you, your loved ones and your country through any means possible. At the end of the show, we conduct interviews with the surviving contestants to see if using loud music, sleep deprivation and wearing women's panties on your head is still impermissible in the interrogation of terrorists.

But it probably wouldn't work. Liberal self loathing is so great that the contestants will likely think they deserved what happened to them and beg the terrorist for forgiveness. Aggressive questioning of terrorists in an effort to prevent future attacks would still be out of the question in their minds.

Monday, February 21, 2005

UN Rapists vs. Abu Ghraib

I finally saw the first serious report on television regarding the rapist UN peacekeepers in Congo. It's probably not the first time a report has been on television, it's just the first I've seen. Anyway, I thought I'd do a little experiment.

It has been my contention that the world doesn't really care about abuse and torture unless it is in some way caused by Americans. Well, let's put that theory to the test. I did a simple Google search using the following keywords:

Iraq Prison Abuse = 1,030,000

America Prison Abuse Iraq = 936,000 entries

America Soldier Prison Abuse = 423,000

Abu Ghraib Prison Abuse = 388,000 entries

UN Peacekeeper Congo Rape = 63,900

UN Peacekeeper Sex Scandal = 37,700

UN Peacekeeper Rape = 6,210

Now there are a couple of problems with this comparison, one objective and one subjective. The first is that Abu Ghraib hit its height about a year ago and has had all that time to accumulate stories. And even though those of us who frequent blogs have known about the rapist peacekeepers in Congo for a few months now, it is only now getting any real MSM attention. Therefore what I'll do is re-run the Google search from time to time to see if the Congo search is closing the gap in a meaningful way.

The subjective problem is that I think systematically raping 12 year old girls is much worse than forcing a terrorist to wear panties on his head. Therefore I think that coverage of the rapist peacekeepers should generate substantially more attention and press coverage, particularly given the high esteem in which the world in general, and the media in particular, hold the UN. In other words, there will have to be significantly more coverage of the rapist peacekeepers before I'm convinced I'm wrong about my thesis.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Democrats Are A Joke

You have to hear this to believe it. LGF found a recording of Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) accusing the Bush administration of supplying the forged Nat'l Guard documents to CBS. The Congressman freely admits he has no proof. Just made the accusation. And no, he doesn't answer the obvious question of even if the White House did this, why did CBS ignore their own hired experts who told them the documents were forged?

Unfortunately, this is par for the course with the Democrats over the last few years. Here are a couple of examples: Howard Dean said the idea that Bush had advance knowledge of 9/11 was credible, Madeline Albright claimed we had already caught OBL and Bush was just waiting for a politically advantageous time to reveal it, and Jim McDermott (D-WA) claimed that Saddam's capture was staged. There are more, but you get the idea.

The Democratic party is a joke. With representatives like this, they do not deserve to be taken seriously.

William Pfaff

William Pfaff is one of the more annoying anti Americans I have read. I generally avoid reading his drivel, but for some reason today I felt masochistic. Here it is:

First is the definition of the crisis. Few Europeans believe either in the global 'war on terror' or the 'war against tyranny', as Washington describes them.

American claims about the threat of terrorism seem grossly exaggerated, and the American reaction disproportionate and even hysterical. Three thousand were killed in the Twin Towers, but most advanced societies have already had, or still have, their own wars with 'terrorism' sustaining losses proportionately as severe: the British with the IRA, Italians and Germans with their Red Brigades, the Spanish with the Basque separatist Eta, and so on. It has been a condition of modern political existence.


Translation: 9/11 was no big deal. What are the Americans bitching about? It's only 3,000 dead. Most important, it didn't happen to Europe, so why should Europe care? This is a far more common opinion in Europe than anyone wants to admit. At least Pfaff says it out loud.

There is one critical difference between the other terrorist movements and what happened on 9/11 that Pfaff either cannot or will not acknowledge. The other examples he cited were all homegrown movements of a sort. We are reacting to an external threat. Therefore we have to act externally to a large extent. Had 9/11 been committed by the Michigan militia, I doubt we'd be in the Middle East trying to transform the region. After all, the US didn't go to war in the Middle East after the Oklahoma City bombing.

The American-led invasion of Iraq is widely regarded in Europe as irrelevant to the reality of terrorism, overwrought in scale and destruction, and perverse in effect, vastly deepening hostility between the Western powers and Muslim society.

Let's leave aside the Left's clinical example of cognitive dissonance with respect to Saddam's well documented ties to terrorism. The terrorists, including OBL, believe Iraq is the central front in the terror war. Therefore, Iraq is the central front in the terror war. It's that simple. No nuance necessary.

It's also interesting how Pfaff chooses to ignore the desperation of the terrorists to prevent democracy from springing up in the region. Here's a news flash, Bill. That means the terrorists find democracy threatening to their existence, which probably means we should help the Middle East achieve it. The Iraqis know who liberated them. The Afghans know who liberated them. It's the US that the Iranian students look up to, not France. And at the end of the day, hostility of the vaunted Muslim street will be towards those who actively tried to prevent democracy, not to those who promoted it. That means your beloved Europe, Bill.

To most Democrats as well as Republicans, 11 September was the defining event of the age, after which 'nothing could be the same'. Their imperviousness to any notion that this might not be so astonishes many abroad. Many European believe it is not the world that has changed, but the United States.

I actually agree with Pfaff on this one. Some things are constant, post 9/11. Some examples are European cravenness in the face of threats; anti Americanism, whose flames are fanned constantly by the likes of Pfaff; and a liberal self loathing so great that it threatens Western Civilization itself. Other things have changed, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and better cooperation on WMD proliferation. What has changed the most is that America is now paying better attention, and is unwilling to stand idly by as threats gather. I'm sorry if our insistence on defending ourselves bothers you, Bill. But we're unwilling to die to satisfy your anti American impulses.

The second cause of transatlantic disagreement is the American claim to global domination, and its hostility to Europe's acquiring political or military power commensurate with European economic power.

Yes, yes, we are quaking in our boots about the unstoppable European economic machine. That would be why the entire European continent revolves around US consumer spending. Here's another news flash, Bill. The US would actually like it if Europe could stimulate domestic demand and not just depend on export driven growth to the US. We are a little tired of being the main engine for world economic growth. If the US doesn't grow, no one does. We actually want Europe to do its fair share. You're big talkers. Do it already.

The same goes for the military. We want Europe to develop real capabilities. We Americans don't want to be the sole global policeman. But that would mean Europe giving up its overly generous socialist programs, the resources for which are made possible by the very American military Europe hates so much, but yet offers free protection to Europe, which allows Europe to forgo guns entirely for butter. Funny how anti Americans don't want to acknowledge this fact.

The third basic disagreement is that the US has repudiated the system of absolute state sovereignty that has governed international society since 1648, and is the basis of modern international law.

This was an early casualty of the Bush administration's National Security Strategy, announced in 2002, which declared that preemptive attack had become an American policy option in the war against terror.


Yes, we Americans have a weird desire to defend ourselves. Pfaff evidently believes we should wait until the nuclear blast hits before we try to do something about it.

The US then renounced, 'de-ratified', or simply abandoned a series of treaty commitments. These included Geneva standards on the treatment of prisoners and the prohibition of torture.

And Kyoto, and the ICC, and the ABM and....

What's tiresome about people like Pfaff is that they are most frustrated that America has a different point of view. America does not want to be bound by the ICC, Kyoto, and whatever else. So that makes America bad in their view. America does take external threats more seriously now and is committed to aggressively defending itself. Europe instinctively is an appeaser so that makes America bad again. We forced Iraq to live up to its UN obligations. One might expect a thank you for trying to make the UN relevant, but apparently people like Pfaff have a different expectation for the UN. So again the US is bad. And in his zeal to criticize all things American; he dumbs down the definition of torture to include naked prisoner piles, all the while ignoring the barbarity of head chopping, disemboweling terrorists.

But throughout history nations and other political forces have been disposed to challenge claims to universal power. This is the source of current tensions. It is the closest thing to a natural law that history can offer. 'Stuff happens', whether intended or not, to use Donald Rumsfeld's language. Uneasy lies the crown, even for republics.

It is undoubtedly a dream of Pfaff's to see the US knocked down a peg or two. I'd love to give people like him a little preview of their lives if that were to ever happen. Let's disengage from Europe. No more free defense. Have fun the next time there is a conflict on the continent. See what it's like to be a grown up and have to handle your own business. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

State of the Democratic Party

Polipundit found a nice piece on the state of the Democratic party:

Not-so-slowly, but surely, Karl Rove's vision of a vanquished Democratic Party is being realized. The Democrats, meanwhile, do not seem to know what has hit them. Like stoners searching for their cars, they are dazed and confused by the realities of Twenty-First Century politics.

In my opinion, anyone who has fond memories of the Democratic party or likes a functioning two party system should be rooting for a total meltdown of the Democrats. After all, a phoenix can only rise from the ashes of its own destruction.

That's why the MSM being so over the top for the Democrats this past election was not beneficial for the party. I don't really think there is any debate that Kerry's vote totals were artificially inflated by a few points because of over the top media bias. And because of that, the Democrats haven't realized the full extent of their loss. If they better understood the losing hand they hold, you would see an active purging of the psycho wing of the party, and a fundamental reassessment of policies and positions. There are a few lonely voices out there calling for just that, but just a few. After all, its hard to believe that a serious party would select Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer and Howard Dean as its leaders.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Greenpeace Learns A Lesson

Give 'em one for me:

WHEN 35 Greenpeace protesters stormed the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) yesterday they had planned the operation in great detail.
What they were not prepared for was the post-prandial aggression of oil traders who kicked and punched them back on to the pavement.

“We bit off more than we could chew. They were just Cockney barrow boy spivs. Total thugs,” one protester said, rubbing his bruised skull. “I’ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view.”

Another said: “I took on a Texan Swat team at Esso last year and they were angels compared with this lot.” Behind him, on the balcony of the pub opposite the IPE, a bleary-eyed trader, pint in hand, yelled: “Sod off, Swampy.”

Americans Losing Respect For UN

Instapundit has found a poll about the UN at Rasmussen:

Thirty-seven-percent (37%) of Americans have a favorable opinion of the United Nations. That's down from 44% in a November survey.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of Americans also believe UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan should resign. A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults finds that 26% disagree and say he should not resign. Another 37% are undecided.

Just 54% of Americans are following news coverage of this story "very" or "somewhat" closely.

Among those following the story very closely, 63% believe Annan should resign. Twenty-eight percent (28%) say he should not.

The oil-for-food scandal is taking its toll on the international institution. Forty-two percent (42%) believe Saddam Hussein used the program to bribe nations such as France and Russia. Just 12% think he did not use it for bribery.

Thirty-nine percent (39%) believe some nations opposed the invasion of Iraq because they were bribed by Hussein. Just 23% say that did not happen.

Among those following the story very closely, 72% believed that Hussein used the program to bribe other countries. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of that same group believe that some nations opposed the U.S. invasion because they were bribed.


Excellent. The UN is worthless and others are catching on. Here are a couple more questions that Rasmussen could ask:

1. Should the UN be reformed?
2. Should the UN be disbanded?
3. Should the US leave the UN if it is not reformed and/or not disbanded?
4 Would an organization comprised solely of democracies work better?

You get the idea.

Oh, The Irony

What goes around comes around. The latest on the Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame investigation:

Miller and Cooper, who are refusing to reveal their sources in a federal investigation, have hit the talk-show circuit as anguished defenders of the First Amendment and of the media's watchdog role. They are quite sincere about that. But they would actually be going to jail partly to provide after-the-fact vindication for an absurd media feeding frenzy about a non-crime that journalists relentlessly hyped to hurt the Bush administration.

Journalists want sympathy for something they've done to themselves. You're breakin' my heart. Boo Hoo.

I love this next part:

Cue the caterwauling. The media and Democrats were wracked by spasms of outrage. The Bush administration was punishing Wilson by outing his wife and putting her life at risk! It had violated a law against exposing covert agents! The scandal was Watergate, Iran-Contra and every other -gate wrapped up into one (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the administration's conduct came "perilously close to treason")! The administration must, must appoint a special prosecutor to investigate! Now!

Well, the press and President Bush critics got what they wanted -- good and hard. The special prosecutor in the case, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, has done what special prosecutors usually do, namely trample all over any sense of proportion. He has subpoenaed various journalists, including Miller and Cooper, who have refused to reveal their sources. They are now in contempt of court.


Tears are streaming down my face. From laughter.

A much simpler, more obvious argument is available to the defense -- that the Intelligence Identities Protection Act that was supposedly violated in this case wasn't. The act establishes an extremely high standard for a criminal violation -- the agent in question has to be undercover (Plame wasn't), and the leaker has to know she was undercover and be intentionally trying to undermine U.S. intelligence (very, very unlikely).

But the Miller/Cooper defense hasn't made this argument, probably because it would be so embarrassing. You mean to say, after months of chest-beating, the Bush administration's crime of the century wasn't even a crime? It was just a Washington flap played for all it was worth by the same news organizations now about to watch their employees go to prison over it? That's the truth that the media will go to any length to avoid.


It's not every day that one can witness such a perfect example of irony. I have zero- and I mean zero- sympathy. Don't drop the soap in the shower, guys.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

This Seems Appropriate

More Scrappleface

Jimmy Carter Attack Sub Armed with Nerf Missiles
by Scott Ott

(2005-02-16) -- The U.S. Navy on Saturday will commission its newest nuclear-powered attack submarine, the Jimmy Carter, with many new features, including multiple-warhead Nerf missiles.

President Carter, who brought peace to the middle east, vigorously defended America's right to give away the Panama Canal and, in 1994, convinced North Korea to abandon talking about its nuclear weapons, said he's honored to have his name on "one of the most powerful peacemaking devices on earth."

Jimmy Carter is the first of the American Seahare-class subs, featuring a high-tech sonar system which alerts enemy forces to its presence and a safety device on the Nerf missiles which allows firing only after an enemy missile impact.

"This new generation of nuclear submarines is designed to use trust in our enemies as our first line of defense," said an unnamed Navy spokesman.

President Carter has invited leaders from North Korea and Iran to the commissioning ceremony, during which former First Lady Rosalyn Carter, in a time-honored Navy tradition, will give the first order to "man our ship, bring her to life then park her over there by the dock!"

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Another Lefty Coming Around

Admitting that Bush could be right is like pulling teeth even for the rare lefty that supported the war.

After the blizzard and before the fashion shows, you may have heard, the elections in Iraq went off extremely well. Remember? Or, like most New Yorkers, perhaps you let that fact slide from your consciousness as quickly as possible . . . Hey, speaking of Fashion Week, what is it with this renaissance in corseting?

Seriously: The success of the elections poses a major intellectual-moral-political problem for people in this city. The cognitive dissonance is palpable.

New Yorkers think we are smarter than other Americans, that the richness and difficulty of life here give our intelligence a kind of hard-won depth and nuance and sensitivity to contradictions and ambiguity. We feel we are practically French. Most New Yorkers are also liberals. And most liberals, wherever they live, believe that they are smarter than most conservatives (particularly George W. Bush).

And finally, most liberals and New Yorkers suspect that we may be too smart for our own good. It is a form of self-flattery as self-criticism. During these past few years, I have heard it said again and again that liberals’ ineffectiveness derives from their inability to see the world in the simple blacks and whites of the Limbaughs and Hannitys and Bushes. (Why else, the argument goes, did John Kerry lose?)

Maybe. But now our heroic and tragic liberal-intellectual capaciousness is facing its sharpest test since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Back then, most of us were forced, against our wills, to give Ronald Reagan a large share of credit for winning the Cold War. Now the people of this Bush-hating city are being forced to grant the merest possibility that Bush, despite his annoying manner and his administration’s awful hubris and dissembling and incompetence concerning Iraq, just might—might, possibly—have been correct to invade, to occupy, and to try to enable a democratically elected government in Iraq.


(Thanks, Instapundit)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

UN is Worthless

Mark Steyn, two times in a row:

And, of course, corrupt organisations rarely stop at just one kind. If you don't want to bulk up your pension by skimming the Oil-for-Food programme, don't worry, whatever your bag, the UN can find somewhere that suits - in West Africa, it's Sex-for-Food, with aid workers demanding sexual services from locals as young as four; in Cambodia, it's drug dealing; in Kenya, it's the refugee extortion racket; in the Balkans, sex slaves.

But you get the general picture: on a UN peace mission, everyone gets his piece. Didier Bourguet, a UN staffer in Congo and the Central African Republic, enjoyed the pleasures of 12-year-old girls, and as a result is now on trial in France. His lawyer has said he was part of a UN paedophile network that transcends national boundaries.

Now how about this? The Third Infantry Division are raping nine-year olds in Ramadi. Ready, set, go! That thundering sound outside your window isn't the new IKEA sale, but the great herd of BBC/CNN/Independent/Guardian/New York Times/Le Monde/Sydney Morning Herald/Irish Times/Cork Examiner reporters stampeding to the Sunni Triangle. Whoa, hold up, lads, it's only hypothetical.

But think about it: the merest glimpse of a freaky West Virginia tramp leading an Abu Ghraib inmate around with girlie knickers on his head was enough to prompt calls for Rumsfeld's resignation, and for Ted Kennedy to charge that Saddam's torture chambers were now open "under new management", and for Robert Fisk to be driven into the kind of orgasmic frenzy unseen since his column on how much he enjoyed being beaten up by an Afghan mob: "Just look at the way US army reservist Lynndie England holds the leash of the naked, bearded Iraqi," wrote Fisk. "No sadistic movie could outdo the damage of this image. In September 2001, the planes smashed into the buildings; today, Lynndie smashes to pieces our entire morality with just one tug on the leash."

Who's straining at the leash here? Down, boy. But, if Lynndie's smashed to pieces our entire morality with just one tug, Bush's Zionist neocons getting it on with Congolese kindergarteners would have the Independent calling for US expulsion from the UN - no, wait, from Planet Earth: slice it off from Maine to Hawaii and use one of those new Euro-Airbuses to drag it out round the back of Uranus.

But systemic UN child sex in at least 50 per cent of their missions? The transnational morality set can barely stifle their yawns. If you're going to rape prepubescent girls, make sure you're wearing a blue helmet.


Mark Steyn makes two points quite well in this one. First, the world only cares about abuse and torture if somehow it is caused by Americans. Second, the UN is one of the most useless organizations in the history of mankind.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Cultural Suicide

Mark Steyn has another brilliant op ed:

Here are three small news items from around the world you might have missed:

1) An unemployed waitress in Berlin faces the loss of her welfare benefits after refusing a job as a prostitute in a legalized brothel.

2) A British court has ruled that a suspected terrorist from Algeria cannot be detained in custody because jail causes him to suffer a ''depressive illness.''

3) Seventeen-year-old Jeffrey Eden of Charlestown, R.I., has been awarded an A by his teacher and the ''Silver Key'' in the Rhode Island Scholastic Art Awards for a diorama titled ''Bush/Hitler and How History Repeats Itself.''


It's amazing how there is virtually no coverage of these stories.

I'm not worried about Iraq. As they demonstrated on Jan. 30, they'll be just fine. The western front is the important one in this war, the point of intersection between Islam and a liberal democratic tradition so mired in self-loathing it would rather destroy our civilization just to demonstrate its multicultural bona fides. It's not that young Eden knows nothing, but that neither his teachers, judges nor furniture showroom proprietors do. By contrast, our enemies know us very well, at least when it comes to courtroom strategies and canny manipulation of the fetish of ''tolerance.''

I think that is literally true.

What Easongate Means

One columnist understands the implications of Easongate:

The editor of the Post-Gazette recently held a discussion with staff about the future of the news business, and the topic of web logs naturally emerged. The consensus seemed to be that we needn't worry much about them, because we report the news and bloggers only offer their opinions. But the Eason Jordan story was brought to our attention by a web logger, and it was other bloggers who uncovered earlier remarks by Mr. Jordan in the same vein. Seems like reporting to me.

The earth rumbles, and we think it's our big feet, stomping the Lilliputians. But what if it's an earthquake about to swallow us up?

The Palestine Hotel

Somehow, I get the sense that those who choose to believe the worst of America and its institutions- like the military, for example- either deliberately choose not to learn information that may conflict with their preferred worldview (all things American are evil) or have a well developed case of cognitive dissonance. After reading this entry from the Mudville Gazette, no rational person could possibly believe that these journalists were targeted deliberately.

This is a lengthy entry. Read the whole thing.

(Thanks, Instapundit)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Scrappleface

U.N. 'Pre-bukes' U.S. Over North Korean Nukes
by Scott Ott

(2005-02-10) -- The United Nations Security Council, in the wake of North Korea's admission that it has nuclear weapons, has passed a resolution "pre-buking" the Bush administration for whatever action it might take against the communist dictatorship.

"When we learned of nuclear weapons in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), we immediately feared a U.S. response," said Secretary-General Kofi Annan. "By pre-buking the U.S., the Security Council demonstrates solidarity with the future victims of the American military occupation."

Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress have introduced a resolution condemning President George Bush in advance for "misleading us into conflict with North Korea simply because it's a nuclear-equipped Stalinist regime which has threatened to turn America into a lake of fire."

Journalists Targeted

Mazen Dana is one of the journalists killed in Iraq whose death others in the profession regard as suspicious and hasn't been explained by the military. I'll be nice and not say "deliberately killed" so we can avoid semantics.

However, I think it's a little more explainable when one looks at this.

If journalists are going to make the charge of being "targets" of the US military, they will have to come up with something better than this. If I'm a soldier, I'm not going to risk my life or the lives of those in my unit because the person I'm targeting who is weilding a shoulder mounted device might really be a cameraman instead of a terrorist with an rpg. That's a bit much to ask.

Just how many soldiers do journalists expect to die to guarantee journalist's safety in a war zone?

(Thanks, Michelle Malkin)

Friday, February 11, 2005

Jonah Goldberg Nails It

Jonah Goldberg compares the Lawrence Summers flap to Ward Churchill.

In the Summers affair, free speech and academic freedom barely came up, except among a few conservative commentators and one or two academics who were already known for their political incorrectness. Instead, Summers was a pinata to be bashed for material rewards and to send the message that some subjects are simply taboo even among serious scholars, no matter what the evidence, in closed-door, off-the-record meetings.

Meanwhile, Ward Churchill, whose scholarship is a joke, whose evidence is tendentious at best, and who called the victims of 9/11 the moral equivalent of a man who sent babies to the gas chambers, is a hero of free speech. He has refused to apologize. Many conservatives are forced to defend free speech and "diversity" in academia while liberals let the NOWers feed on Summers' flesh....

...You really have to marvel how the other side has mastered this game.


This is so true. It is amazing how the left can cow the right with bogus claims of discrimination, all the while dealing in hate themselves.

Ward Churchill Meets Ann Coulter

I'd never want to get into an argument with Ann Coulter. She'd slice you to ribbons.

In his most famous oeuvre, the famed 9-11 essay calling the 9-11 World Trade Center victims "little Eichmanns," he said "Arab terrorists" – his quotes – had simply "responded to the massive and sustained American terror bombing of Iraq" by giving Americans "a tiny dose of their own medicine."

Having blurted out "Iraq" in connection with 9-11 in a moment of pique, Churchill had to backpedal when the anti-war movement needed to argue that Iraq had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Arab terrorism. He later attached an "Addendum" to the essay saying that the 9-11 attack was not only payback for Iraq, but also for various other of this country's depredations especially against "real Indians" (of which he is not one)...


...By now, all that's left of Churchill's claim to Indian ancestry is his assertion: "It is just something that was common knowledge in my family." (That, and his souvenir foam-rubber "tommyhawk" he bought at Turner Field in Atlanta.)...

...Even the credulous Nation magazine – always on red alert for tales of government oppression – dismissed Churchill's 1988 book "Agents of Repression" about Cointelpro-type operations against the American Indian Movement, saying the book "does not give much new information" and "even a reader who is inclined to believe their allegations will want more evidence than they provide." If The Nation won't buy your anti-U.S. government conspiracy theories, Kemosabe, it's probably time to pack up the old teepee and hit the trail of tears.

I know. She's a little too shrill. But I love her stuff anyway.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Friedman Gets It Mostly Right

Thomas Friedman has finally written something I agree with:

In the past week, I've received several e-mail notes from Democrats about the Iraq elections, or heard comments from various Democratic lawmakers - always along the following lines: "Remember, Vietnam also had an election, and you recall how that ended." Or, "O.K., the election was nice, but none of it was worth $100 billion or 10,000 killed and wounded." Or, "You know, we've actually created more terrorists in Iraq - election or not."

I think there is much to criticize about how the war in Iraq has been conducted, and the outcome is still uncertain. But those who suggest that the Iraqi election is just beanbag, and that all we are doing is making the war on terrorism worse as a result of Iraq, are speaking nonsense.


He's right so far. It's funny how Democrats have positioned themselves so that they only benefit if America loses. And then they wonder why voters question their patriotism.

Here's the truth: There is no single action we could undertake anywhere in the world to reduce the threat of terrorism that would have a bigger impact today than a decent outcome in Iraq. It is that important. And precisely because it is so important, it should not be left to Donald Rumsfeld.

Right again. But I could do without the gratuitous slam against Rumsfeld. Why do lefties hate this guy so much? I don't get it.

There will be a lot of trial and error in the months ahead. But this is a hugely important horizontal dialogue because if Iraqis can't forge a social contract, it would suggest that no other Arab country can - since virtually all of them are similar mixtures of tribes, ethnicities and religions. That would mean that they can be ruled only by iron-fisted kings or dictators, with all the negatives that flow from that.

But - but - if Iraqis succeed in forging a social contract in the hardest place of all, it means that democracy is actually possible anywhere in the Arab world.


The fact that Friedman has to try to explain this rather obvious point to his fellow leftists says a lot about the state of the Democratic party. If the Democrats want to come on board at this late date, great.

Democrats do not favor using military force against Iran's nuclear program or to compel regime change there. That is probably wise. But they don't really have a diplomatic option. I've got one: Iraq. Iraq is our Iran policy.

But don't even try to co-opt the issue. Get on board, fine. But don't come along as we get to the goal line and try to pretend the idea of spreading freedom and democracy was yours all along. And yes, I know Friedman supported the war. I'm talking about those he might convince to see the errors of their ways with this column, or those who could see a political opportunity to outflank the Republicans. Trust me, anyone who has supported this effort throughout will not be fooled by those who have a sudden change of heart.

The war on terrorism is a war of ideas. The greatest restraint on human behavior is not a police officer or a fence - it's a community and a culture. Palestinian suicide bombing has stopped not because of the Israeli fence or because Palestinians are no longer "desperate." It has stopped because the Palestinians had an election, and a majority voted to get behind a diplomatic approach. They told the violent minority that suicide bombing - for now - is shameful.

Wrong. It was the fence. It was that, combined with the old axiom of war which only the Israelis seemed to remember, which is "when at war, kill your enemies". Building a fence so the bombers couldn't get in, wasting the Hamas leadership and Arafat's death are the reasons the Palestinians are in more of a mood to negotiate. I have trouble believing that if the Palestinians really could drive the Israelis into the sea that they would be negotiating now. It just doesn't work that way.

We have paid a huge price in Iraq. I want to get out as soon as we can. But trying to finish the job there, as long as we have real partners, is really important - and any party that says otherwise will become unimportant.

Spot on. Will the lefties listen? Why do I have my doubts?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Questioning the Left

This is so good. I wish I'd thought of it:

Liberals are or should be aligned with progressive politics and values. So in light of political progressives who eschew President Bush's war against Saddam, a few questions:

What would have been the best, most legitimate way for Iraq to achieve democratic elections? Can it be applied to Burma, North Korea, Iran, and other dictatorships?

If your answer to this question involves the UN, address the UN's corruption with the Oil-for-Food scandal, sex slaves in the Congo, and the inability to prevent the Rwandan genocide. If the top dogs of the UN are profiteers for the containment of dictators like Saddam, and their representatives trafficking sex in the countries they purport to peace-keep, how can the UN be a legitimate force for democracy?

Are tyrants defeated with soft power, or merely contained until they fade away? Is contained fascism simply the unstated and accepted cost of soft power? If it is, should Hitler have been opposed?

What can corrupt soft power?

Are there any circumstances where hard power is warranted?

If the UN is too corrupt and impotent, and the US is too sovereign to represent the world, what organization would you propose instead?

Would a 'UN-D' -- a variation or branch of the United Nations, except the members are all democracies -- be a better legitimizing force for democracy than either the United States or the current United Nations?

If you had to wear a uniform and be put in harm's way, but could choose the flag you fought for, which flag would it be: Your family crest; your town's flag; your state's flag; your country's flag; your religion's flag; the UN, NATO or EU flag; or an NGO flag. Why?


No one will answer, obviously.

Democrats Week From Hell

Noemie Emery writes about the significance of the last 10 days for the Democrats. Here's the conclusion:

And there you have the real vision gap between the two parties: Republicans want to win wars and spread freedom; Democrats want to save their rear ends. Bush thinks freedom is better than terror and tyranny; Democrats think they themselves are better than Bush. In 2004, Bush made it clear he was willing to lose on the basis of his convictions--and won in spite or more likely because of this. Democrats had no convictions beyond the end goal of winning, and therefore quite properly lost. No party deserved to lose more than the Democrats did in these past two elections, and unless they make changes, they stand to lose many more.

Since Black Tuesday last November, Democrats have spent hours of airtime, gallons of newsprint, and billions of words trying to find out why wonderful people such as they keep on losing. They'd be better off taking a hard look at Hell Week. All of the answers are there.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Democrats Then & Now

From Polipundit. This about sums it up:

It Ain’t Your Father’s Democratic Party Anymore

Our policy has been one of patience and restraint, as befits a peaceful and powerful nation which leads a worldwide alliance. We have been determined not to be diverted from our central concerns by mere irritants and fanatics. But now further action is required, and it is under way; and these actions may only be the beginning. We will not prematurely or unnecessarily risk the costs of worldwide nuclear war in which even the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth; but neither will we shrink from that risk at any time it must be faced.

– President John F. Kennedy, October 1962.

On the other hand, there’s this:

Even if Iran was a full democracy like India, it would want nuclear capability, like India. What the world needed to address was Iran’s emotional needs, with a nonaggression pact.


– Senator Joe Biden, as paraphased by the Boston Globe, February 2005.


Kennedy's Democratic party is the one I used to belong to.

Ward Churchill

Here's an angle on the story that most people are missing, in my opinion.

I listened to the endless chatter about it on talk radio. I read the news stories, along with the editorials condemning Ward Churchill's essay. I have just gotten around to reading what the professor actually wrote.

The University of Colorado professor could have used a good editor. That's the first thing I noticed. And certainly, he holds back not at all in casting blame for Sept. 11.

What struck me the most, though, is how familiar it all was. The Eichmann reference clearly was stupid and was designed to be incendiary. A fair reader of the essay will not, though, be tripped up by it. In no way was he saying children, police officers and firefighters deserved to die.

Instead, he is saying they were the enemy's "collateral damage," no different from the innocent Iraqis, Afghans, Vietnamese and a host of others who have been killed when our military weapons miss and, sometimes, hit their targets.

The familiarity of what Ward Churchill wrote comes from the books and extensive articles in national publications that have been written in recent years on this very subject, with the same accusatory finger for Sept. 11 pointed directly at the U.S. and its citizenry for closing a blind eye to our country's adventures overseas.


It's good to see a spotlight is being shone on this idiot. But let's not only look at him. As this article makes clear, he is far from being the only one who harbors the "America had it coming" viewpoint. We are way too focused on one sick mind, and not on a widespread mindset. People who have this point of view need to be exposed.

That said, I think the calls for Churchill's ouster from the University of Colorado are misplaced. The best way to combat this type of speech is with more speech, not to make them martyrs. Moreover, I doubt the university could do it. It is free speech at a government institution. I'm no lawyer, but I'm sure he's protected. And in any event, those of us in the middle and the right should not lower ourselves to the standard of the left, which is "free speech for me, but not for thee".

We must not forget the hypocrisy of the left from last year. The left claimed to be staunch defenders of free speech while best selling anti Bush books were coming out weekly (check out this list!), and Hollywood was pumping out anti Bush propaganda films, and news organizations were desperately trying to find something new about Bush's National Guard service. But free speech was not so important in the case of the swiftvets (look here, and here) and Sinclair broadcasting.

We in the middle and right are better than that. Let Ward Churchill stay. We should just expose him, and those like him, for the fools they are to the entire world.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Victor Davis Hanson

This essay is utterly brilliant.

Thus we now expect that the New York Times, Harper's, Le Monde, U.N. functionaries who call us "stingy," French diplomats, American writers and actors will all (1) live a pretty privileged life; (2) in recompense "feel" pretty worried and guilty about it; (3) somehow connect their unease over their comfort with a pathology of the world's hyperpower, the United States; and (4) thus be willing to risk their elite status, power, or wealth by very brave acts such as writing anguished essays, giving pained interviews, issuing apologetic communiqués, braving the rails to Davos, and barking off-the-cuff furious remarks about their angst over themes (1) through (3) above. What a sad contrast they make with far better Iraqis dancing in the street to celebrate their voting.

There is something else to this shrillness of the global throng besides the obvious fact of hypocrisy — that very few of the world's Westernized cynical echelon ever move to the ghetto to tutor those they champion in the abstract, reside in central Africa to feed the poor, give up tenure to ensure employment for the exploited lecturer, or pass on the Washington or New York A-list party to eat in the lunch hall with the unwashed. Davos after all, is not quite central Bolivia or the Sudan.

Why Clintons Want Dean As Head Of DNC

Adam Yoshida is too far right for my tastes. But he does have insights I find interesting from time to time. Like this one:

I can’t believe how blind everyone is. There’s been a lot of comment about how the Clintons have failed to act against the possibility of former Vermont Governor Dr. Howard Brush Dean III becoming the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Dick Morris called the words “Chairman Howard Dean” the, “shortest suicide note in history.” What everyone’s missed is this: that’s exactly what Hillary and Bill both want.

Read the whole thing.

Garofalo: Solidarity With Iraqis = Nazi

Janeane Garofalo thinks that Republicans staining their fingers with ink as a show of solidarity with Iraqi voters is the equivalent of a Nazi salute:

Actress and liberal talk-radio host Janeane Garofalo is taking issue with congressional Republicans who dipped their fingers in ink for President Bush's State of the Union speech as a sign of solidarity with Iraqi voters, likening it to a Nazi salute.

It's interesting how leftists never tire of making incredibly stupid statements of "equivalence". Over the last few years we've heard Bush is Hitler, Bush is Stalin, Abu Ghraib is Auschwitz, Terrorists are Minutemen or Freedom Fighters, and so on. The histrionics of the left is tiresome.

Keep it up. Rove is laughing at you. It looks increasingly likely that we'll see a veto proof Republican majority in the Senate in the near future.

Max Schmeling

Max Schmeling has died:

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Max Schmeling has died at the age of 99.

The German sporting idol died on Wednesday, his charitable foundation announced on Friday. No cause of death has been given.



Scrappleface

Dems to Stage Spontaneous Hug of Their Own

by Scott Ott

(2005-02-04) -- In an effort to capitalize on the emotional power of the now-famous hug during the president's state of the union address, Congressional Democrats today will stage a warm embrace of their own.

During the president's speech Wednesday night, the mother of a slain U.S. Marine was spontaneously hugged by the daughter of an Iraqi killed by Saddam Hussein. The image captured the hearts of people in both nations as it highlighted what is at stake in Iraq.

In response, Congressional Democrats plan a news media event today which will highlight their party's contribution to global freedom.

According to planners, during a stirring speech by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, he'll introduce the mother of an unnamed U.S. soldier who is currently absent without leave (AWOL). Later, the Senator will recognize the sister of an Iraqi al Qaeda suicide bomber, and the two will impulsively share a hug.

"Image is everything," said Mr. Reid. "That's what my mother taught me, between loads of other people's laundry back in Searchlight, Nevada. We Democrats are the party of hugs. Hugging is one of our God-given Democrat values that God gave us Democrats and that we value because it comes from God."

The senator then offered to hug a nearby reporter.

US Out Of UN

Here is another good UN-bashing article.

Is the United Nations attempting self-parody?

How else to explain the announcement that a panel has been elected to decide which complaints will be heard by the U.N. Human Rights Commission at its annual meeting in Geneva this spring -- and that three of the five members are Cuba, Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia?


After listing other silly UN panel compositions and instances of UN ineffectiveness, Clifford May asks a question:

What does trouble the U.N.? Shashi Tharoor, a senior official, says that it is “the exercise of American power” that “may well be the central issue in world politics today.”

This is why the UN is useless. Whatever the original intention of the organization, the mission has morphed into trying to hinder anything the US wants to do. Oh, and by the way, the US is still expected to provide most of the funding, material, and other resources necessary for the UN to function. The situation is surreal.

Is it not high time at least to consider alternatives to the U.N., to explore the possibility of developing new organizations in which democratic societies would work together against common enemies and for common goals?

Free Iraq could be a charter member along with liberated Afghanistan, democratic Taiwan (barred by Beijing from having even “observer status” at the U.N.) as well as Israel, the U.N.'s perennial whipping boy. The emerging democracies of Eastern Europe would surely sign up as well.


I want the US out of the UN. I don't want competition to the UN, I want the US to leave and watch it collapse. It is a worthless, worthless organization.

Bush Critics

Great quote from Gerard Baker on the cynicism of Bush critics with respect to the SOTU speech:

The visual field of the smart-thinking classes is now so seeped in red whenever the American President speaks that there is not the least possibility any longer that they will faithfully report what he has said. They simply use it as another opportunity to promote their own caricature of him.

If he had announced on Wednesday that he was replacing Donald Rumsfeld with Michael Moore, converting to Islam and seeking permission for the US to join the European Union, the headshaking verdict from the European cognoscenti and the American elite would have been the same: bad, dangerous, foolish man on a religious mission to destroy the world.


This is why I have a hard time taking Bush's critics seriously. Just like I couldn't take Republicans seriously when they went off the deep end with Clinton.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Democrats & Iraq

This about sums it up:

Every so often, an American politician takes an unpopular stand for the sake of what's right: Think of Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon. Frequently, he takes an unprincipled stand for the sake of what's popular: Take Richard Nixon's price controls. Sometimes, even, he does what's right, which also happens to be popular: Ronald Reagan's bombing of Libya.

Only in the rarest of instances, however, do politicians take positions that are both unpopular and unprincipled. That is where the Democratic Party leadership finds itself today on Iraq.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

EU = Appeasers

The EU is demonstrating it's love of dictators yet again:

Today, the EU is dancing to Fidel Castro's tune. That means that tomorrow it could bid for contracts to build missile bases on the coast of the People's Republic of China. The following day it could allow its decisions on Chechnya to be dictated by Russian President Vladimir Putin's advisors. Then, for some unknown reason, it could make its assistance to Africa conditional on fraternal ties with the worst African dictators.

Where will it end? The release of Milosevic? Denying a visa to Russian human-rights activist Sergey Kovalyov? An apology to Saddam Hussein? The opening of peace talks with al Qaeda?

Coexistence with dictators

It is suicidal for the EU to draw on Europe's worst political traditions, the common denominator of which is the idea that evil must be appeased and that the best way to achieve peace is through indifference to the freedom of others.

Just the opposite is true: Such policies expose an indifference to one's own freedom and pave the way for war. After all, Europe is uniting to defend its freedom and values, not to sacrifice them to the ideal of harmonious coexistence with dictators and thus risk gradual infiltration of its soul by the anti-democratic mind-set.


What cowards. Someone please explain to me why the transatlantic alliance so important? What do we really have in common with these people? The majority of the US has as much in common with Europe as with China.

(From Instapundit)

Does Left Know Good From Evil?

Dennis Prager takes the left to task:

Since the 1960s, with few exceptions, on the greatest questions of good and evil, the Left has either been neutral toward or actively supported evil. The Left could not identify communism as evil; has been neutral toward or actually supported the anti-democratic pro-terrorist Palestinians against the liberal democracy called Israel; and has found it impossible to support the war for democracy and against an Arab/Muslim enemy in Iraq as evil as any fascist the Left ever claimed to hate.

There were intellectually and morally honest arguments against going to war in Iraq. But once the war began, a moral person could not oppose it. No moral person could hope for, let alone act on behalf of, a victory for the Arab/Islamic fascists. Just ask yourself but two questions: If America wins, will there be an increase or decrease in goodness in Iraq and in the world? And then ask what would happen if the Al Qaeda/Zarqawi/Baathists win.


Hard to argue with.

Troops Leave Iraq?

Should we stay or should we go? Well, let's go to the tape:

Iraqi President Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer said yesterday that it would be "complete nonsense" to ask foreign troops to leave the country now, although some could depart by year's end.

Hmmm. According to the blame America first Democrats, wonderfully represented by Teddy Chappaquiddick, I thought our military was the problem, not the solution. Anyone going to ask Lifeguard Teddy about this? Anyone?

Ukraine Saved By Vodka

Can this be true?

"Eastern Ukraine is heavily ethnic Russian. The main industry is coal. The miners are rough, tough, and hate Yushchenko for wanting to take Ukraine away from Russia and toward the West," writes Wheeler. "It was arranged for more than a thousand of them to be taken from Donetsk, the capital of the coal-mining region, by bus and train to Kiev, where, armed with clubs and blunt tools, they would physically beat up the Orange Revolutionaries. Such mass violence was not only to disperse the demonstrators but serve as an excuse for the government to declare martial law, suspending the Ukrainian Parliament (the Rada) and elections indefinitely."

Now comes the secret weapon: vodka.

"When the miners got on their buses and trains, they found to their joy case after case of vodka – just for them. When they arrived in Kiev, trucks awaited them filled with more cases of vodka – all free provided by 'friends' of the Donetsk coal miners. Completely soused, they never made it to Independence Square. Too hammered blind to cause any violence at all, they had a merry time, passed out and were shipped back to Donetsk." ...

...Wheeler's column goes on to explain who provided the liquor: teams of Porter Goss' CIA working with their counterparts in British MI6 intelligence.


Ukrainian democracy was saved by vodka? Amazing if true.

Germany May Arrest Rumsfeld

This isn't getting enough attention:

Concern over potential prosecution in Germany for alleged war crimes has become a factor in deciding whether US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will attend a conference in Munich, according to Pentagon officials.

This is precisely why the left's fascination with international law is silly. Whatever the noble intention behind its creation, international law quickly degenerates into politically motivated prosecutions, to be used principally against Americans. And the left wants the US to join the ICC.

You know, I actually wish Rumsfeld would go to Germany and get arrested. Go ahead. Create an international incident. It will only infuriate Americans and further the backlash against Europe and other leftists.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Catchy Tune

Just to show I'm fair and balanced, here is a tune titled "I Hate Republicans". It's hilarious.

(Thanks OpinionJournal)

CNN Accuses Military Of Deliberately Killing Journalists

From the National Review, I found this bit of sheer idiocy at the Davos forum:

During one of the discussions about the number of journalists killed in the Iraq War, Eason Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by US troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted. He repeated the assertion a few times, which seemed to win favor in parts of the audience (the anti-US crowd) and cause great strain on others.

In case you didn't know, Eason Jordan is the EVP and Chief News Executive of CNN. Let's continue:

His statements, his reaction, and the reaction of all in attendance left me perplexed and confused. Many in the crowd, especially those from Arab nations, applauded what he said and called him a "very brave man" for speaking up against the U.S. in a public way amongst a crowd ready to hear anti-US sentiments. I am quite sure that somewhere in the Middle East, right now, his remarks are being printed up in Arab language newspapers as proof that the U.S. is an evil and corrupt nation. That is a real nightmare, because the Arab world is taking something said by a credible leader of the media (CNN!) as the gospel, or koranic truth.

This is unbelievable. Again you see a leftist doing his utmost to undermine the US in front of an anti-American audience, joining a long list that includes morons like Michael Moore and Jimmy Carter. Why on earth does this idiot believe this is appropriate? Why undermine our military? If you have evidence, present it. But don't speculate. Jackass.

The left has been attacking our military since the 1960s. And they are still trying to undermine it. But then these same leftists cannot understand why few trust them on foreign policy and national security matters. And please, whatever you do, don't say they are unpatriotic. That would be out of bounds.

Another Lefty Coming Around

I've been seeing more and more articles like this lately:

But after watching Sunday's election in Iraq and seeing the first clear sign that freedom really may mean something to the Iraqi people, you have to be asking yourself: What if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong?

That sound you hear is the head of a democratic underground member exploding.

Democratic Tactics

Fred Barnes makes an observation:

Dean is delusional. He and other Democrats cannot confer or deny legitimacy. Nor do they really understand the lessons of the Gingrich era. True, Newt used rough tactics to tear down Democratic proposals and challenge Democratic leaders. He was relentless. But he was also an idea factory of conservative concepts and initiatives. His goal was to attract conservative voters who weren't Republicans. And he succeeded.

The 1994 breakthrough "was the culmination of a long process in which voters' ideology finally got in line with their partisanship," columnist David Brooks explained recently in the New York Times. "The Democrats today . . . have all the liberals. What they lack is support from middle-class white families in fast-growing suburbs. But by copying the Gingrich tactics--or what they think of as Gingrich tactics--of hyperpartisanship and ruthless oppositionalism, they will only alienate those voters even more."

Brooks is correct. Democrats misunderstand their situation. Their view is that Republicans have been mean and bruising while they've been too nice and forgiving. That's right. They think former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, who was plainly obsessed with obstructing Bush at every turn, was too kindly. The lesson of the 2004 election for Democrats, then, is that they need to play rough. The real lesson, of course, is that blatant obstructionism is a failed strategy. It's what caused Daschle to lose his seat.


Translation: Being even bigger assholes than you've been for the last four years is unlikely to help the Democratic cause.

Somehow I doubt they will listen.

Democratic Lies From Last Election

From Ankle Biting Pundits I found this link about one of the Democrats more outrageous claims:

January Surprise - Rest in Peace
In memoriam of the January surprise, that the draft would be reinstated, which perished on February 1st, 2005. This memoriam is dedicated to Democrat Chuck Rangel, the lawmaker who introduced legislation to reinstate the draft that was promptly put down by his fellow lawmakers. This montage of quotes serves as a reminder of those who warned the draft was eminent under George Bush II


He has a lot of examples. Go check them out.

I've become so irritated with the Democratic party that I more or less tune them out now. It's better for my blood pressure. So because of that, I'd forgotten about some of the ridiculous claims by the party that were either mindlessly repeated or vigorously promoted by the media. The draft is a good example. What an amazing out and out lie, which was promoted solely to enhance the prospects of a Kerry victory. The proof? When was the last time you heard anyone claim the draft would be reinstated? You haven't, because the election is over. The lie will do no good now. Here are some more silly claims from the last campaign that were made solely to help Kerry's election prospects.

"RISE AND WALK"

Remember when John Edwards claimed Kerry would cure paralysis?

It turned out days later that the Kerry campaign has a plan -- nay, a promise -- to cure paralysis. What is the plan? Vote for Kerry.

I'm not making this up. I couldn't. This is John Edwards on Monday at a rally in Newton, Iowa: ``If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.''


Look, I'm for stem cell research, provided it only uses the embryos that are sitting in fertility clinics that won't be used anyway. I do not want to see embryos created solely for the purpose of destroying them.

That said, isn't promising a cure for paralysis just to enhance one's election prospects a bit much? Isn't that just a bit over the line? And no one in the MSM called him on it. Not only was Edwards not criticized; the MSM replayed Edwards making this ridiculous claim, over and over again.


"WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!"

Remember the flu shot controversy? Remember the shortage that was blamed on Bush? Kerry even created an ad for it. Of course, now there is a surplus and a lot of vaccine will likely be wasted. Don't hear the Democrats or the media talk much about the flu vaccine now, do you? Why? It can no longer help the Kerry campaign. If the Democrats and media genuinely cared if the public got their flu shots, they would let the people know there is plenty of vaccine available.

"HEY, WE'RE TOUGH, TOO"

How about Democrats promising not to cut and run from Iraq? That was a good one. They said it with a straight face, too. Someone should have given the talking points memo to Teddy Chappaquiddick and these Congressmen. And just what is the difference between demanding a timetable for troop withdrawal and cutting and running anyway?

And John Kerry had the nerve to accuse Bush of having a cut and run strategy. And no one calls him on it. Amazing.

"DISENFRANCHISEMENT"

The "2000 election was stolen" is my personal favorite. There is not a shred of truth to it, but the lie nonetheless enjoys great currency with Democrats and the media. Funny, the Democrats do not show the same concern for alleged election fraud in Washington State or the State of Wisconsin.

These are yet more reasons why I don't take Democrats or the media seriously.