Sunday, November 27, 2005
A Fitting Address
By JAMES Q. WILSON
November 26, 2005; Page A10
President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are arguing against critics of the Iraq war who are trying to rewrite history. There is some value in this, but it is a fight about the past and not about the future.
What most Americans care about is not who is lying but whether we are winning. I offer this speech that the president might use to tell Americans that we are winning.
* * *
"My fellow Americans: We are winning, and winning decisively, in Iraq and the Middle East. We defeated Saddam Hussein's army in just a few weeks. None of the disasters that many feared would follow our invasion occurred. Our troops did not have to fight door to door to take Baghdad. The Iraqi oil fields were not set on fire. There was no civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites. There was no grave humanitarian crisis.
Saddam Hussein was captured and is awaiting trial. His two murderous sons are dead. Most of the leading members of Saddam's regime have been captured or killed. After our easy military victory, we found ourselves inadequately prepared to defeat the terrorist insurgents, but now we are prevailing.
Iraq has held free elections in which millions of people voted. A new, democratic constitution has been adopted that contains an extensive bill of rights. Discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, or politics is banned. Soon the Iraqis will be electing their first parliament.
An independent judiciary exists, almost all public schools are open, every hospital is functioning, and oil sales have increased sharply. In most parts of the country, people move about freely and safely.
According to surveys, Iraqis are overwhelmingly opposed to the use of violence to achieve political ends, and the great majority believe that their lives will improve in the future. The Iraqi economy is growing very rapidly, much more rapidly than the inflation rate.
In some places, the terrorists who lost the war are now fighting back by killing Iraqi civilians. Some brave American soldiers have also been killed, but most of the attacks are directed at decent, honest Iraqis. This is not a civil war; it is terrorism gone mad.
And the terrorists have failed. They could not stop free elections. They could not prevent Iraqi leaders from taking office. They could not close the schools or hospitals. They could not prevent the emergence of a vigorous free press that now involves over 170 newspapers that represent every shade of opinion.
Terrorist leaders such as Zarqawi have lost. Most Sunni leaders, whom Zarqawi was hoping to mobilize, have rejected his call to defeat any constitution. The Muslims in his hometown in Jordan have denounced him. Despite his murderous efforts, candidates representing every legitimate point of view and every ethnic background are competing for office in the new Iraqi government.
The progress of democracy and reconstruction has occurred faster in Iraq than it did in Germany 60 years ago, even though we have far fewer troops in the Middle East than we had in Germany after Hitler was defeated.
We grieve deeply over every lost American and coalition soldier, but we also recognize what those deaths have accomplished. A nation the size of California, with 25 million inhabitants, has been freed from tyranny, equipped with a new democratic constitution, and provided with a growing new infrastructure that will help every Iraqi and not just the privileged members of a brutal regime. For every American soldier who died, 12,000 Iraqi voters were made into effective citizens.
Virtually every American soldier who writes home or comes back to visit his or her family tells the same story: We have won, Iraqis have won, and life in most of Iraq goes on without violence and with obvious affection between the Iraqi people and our troops. These soldiers have not just restored order in most places, they have built schools, aided businesses, distributed aid, and made friends.
To take their places, Iraq has trained, with American and NATO assistance, tens of thousands of new troops and police officers. In the last election, there were more Iraqi soldiers than American ones guarding the polling places.
We know that much remains to be done. Sunni and Shiite leaders must work together more closely. We know that for centuries Sunni leaders, including Saddam, ruled Iraq even though the Sunnis are only a minority of its population: The terrorists began by killing Shiites but now have killed Sunnis as well, all without the slightest moral justification. But we know from America's own experience that when different groups work together constructively, they learn to trust one another. That must happen, and will happen, in Iraq.
Our success is not confined to Iraq. Libya has renounced its search for nuclear weapons. Syria has pulled out of Lebanon. Afghanistan has produced a democratic government and economic progress for its people. Egypt has had the beginnings of a democratic vote. In an area once dominated by dictatorships, the few remaining ones are either changing or worrying deeply about those that have changed.
We know now that some of our information about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was wrong. But we also know now what we have always believed: That Saddam Hussein, who had already invaded both Iran and Kuwait, had the money, authority and determination to build up his stock of such weapons. When he did, he would have become the colossus of the Middle East, able to overwhelm other countries and rain rockets down on Israel.
We have created a balance of power in the Middle East in which no regime can easily threaten any other. In doing this, we and our allies have followed a long tradition: We worked to prevent Imperial Germany from dominating Europe in 1914, Hitler from doing the same in 1940, and the Soviet Union from doing this in 1945. Now we are doing it in the Middle East.
And we are winning. Soon Iraqi forces will be able to maintain order in the few hot spots that still exist in Iraq. We will stay the course until they are ready. We made no mistake ending Saddam's rule. We have brought not only freedom to Iraq, but progress to most of the Middle East. America should be proud of what it has accomplished. America will not cut and run until the Iraqis can manage their own security, and that will happen soon.
Thank you, and God bless you."
Mr. Wilson has taught at Harvard, UCLA and Pepperdine, and is the author, among other books, of "The Moral Sense" (Free Press, 1997).
Saturday, November 26, 2005
of the counterculture.
The first and most important thing of all for any real understanding of the nature of America’s cultural war is the fact that it has been going on not merely since the period identified by the name of “Vietnam” but for about a century and a half. That clash of ideas and attitudes that made such a deal of noise in the 1960s and 1970s—and which has continued more quietly and more deeply in recent years—is in fact no more than a particularly gaudy episode in a very old conflict.
I like to say that this conflict began on July 8, 1839. Why that day in that year? Obviously, historical developments can never really be dated quite so neatly, or neatly at all, especially where such developments have to do with culture. Anyway, I am, of course, being somewhat facetious.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Why does the ultimate precision guided weapon kill so many innocent bystanders?
Yet with even these precise weapons, mistakes are made, bombs or rockets go awry and innocents are killed. Those opposed to the current war refer sneeringly to a term that the military coined for this: “collateral damage.” And every time it happens, it creates headlines.
Yet there is a weapon that are a great deal more precise than ours. In fact, this weapon can find the inside of a closed room, pick its spot, and blow up, killing everything in its range with both blast effect and shrapnel.
This is the suicide bomber: the ultimate precision weapons. The suicide bomber sees his victims face to face, assesses the situation and decides whether to kill or not. This is no precision guided bomb that – once it is released – will detonate since it is beyond recall.
The suicide bomber can walk into a wedding party and choose which side of the room he will destroy; which individuals he will kill. He can detonate his weapon in the midst of a crowd of schoolchildren gathered around an American handing out candy. He can enter a mosque and determine which worshippers he wants dead. He can target police recruits in a crowd knowing he will also kill the shopkeepers around him.
There can be no doubt that if we possessed a bomb that had this much discrimination, this much precision and this much judgment until the moment of detonation, we would not kill those children, shopkeepers and worshippers.
The question before the house is: if the US is condemned when one of our precision guided weapons kills innocents, why is there not condemnation (among the International Left) of the Islamofascists when their more precise weapons destroy vastly more innocents – on a daily basis?
Does the Left have any moral scruples at all? Did it ever?
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Earlier today, I posted about John Murtha's stance on Somalia based on a Newsmax article. Various CQ readers have had an opportunity to research the subject further, and have discovered several references to the cut-and-run position Murtha urged on the Clinton adminstration -- advice it took, and helped to create the paper-tiger reputation that led to a decade of escalating attacks on the United States. These remarks come not from Newsmax but from Nexis searches of mainline press and from the Congressional Record itself.
Let me be clear on one point. In 1993, many people espoused the cut-and-run position from Somalia, among them Curt Weldon, one of the most vociferous hawks on Iraq. In fact, it does not stretch the imagination at all to call that position one of the more bipartisan efforts in the 103rd Congress. The difference is that in the eight years between our run from Somalia and 9/11, most of us learned the bitter lesson that retreating in the face of Islamists does not connote reasonableness and humanity, but cowardice and powerlessness. Combined with our spinelessness in Teheran, Beirut, and in caving into hostage demands from Hezbollah in the mid-80s, the pattern clearly gave Islamists the accurate depiction that Americans could not stand any sort of casualties in war and would quickly retire after the first bloody nose.
Most of us learned that retreat means that the Islamists simply follow you home. The first WTC attack should have taught us that, but even though the Clinton administration insisted on treating it as an organized-crime case, other battles followed: Khobar Towers, Tanzania, Kenya, and finally an attack on the USS Cole, a daylight attack on our military that went unanswered. Each silence that followed each attack only emboldened our enemies more. They do not want peace -- they want a war, and will take it to our shores if we don't give it to them elsewhere.
I point out these examples of Murtha's statements on Somalia for two reasons. One, his remarks on the state of the troops sounds almost exactly like his assessment of the troops in Iraq; indeed, it sounds like he's using the same script. Two, his track record hardly makes him a "hawk", as the media describes him, but an isolationist that has never believed in a forward strategy against terror or anything else. That doesn't make Murtha dishonorable, at least to the extent that he doesn't pretend his record says anything other than what it does.
In the extended entry, I have copied Murtha's remarks from November 9, 1993 (page H9054) in the Congressional Record. I have also copied portions of Murtha's comments to the public as reported by Murtha's home-state newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (h/t: CQ reader Tom W). See if you, as I, notice the similarities in argument for Murtha. It points to a serial isolationist that refuses to stand and fight outside of the United States, not to a hawk on Iraq or any other theater of battle.
My 17 year-old daughter is conservative but not across-the-board, and she has a very open mind. In fact, she led the family rebellion that caused us to re-subcribe to the Washington Post after I had cancelled our subscription in the summer of 2004.
I'm glad she did. Now, every morning she reads the headlines from both the Post and the Washington Times. Often the bias of the Post headlines leaves her shaking her head.
Today, the Post's headline for its story on Vice President Cheney's speech was "Cheney Again Assails Critics of War." (The Times said "Cheney hits Democrats on war tack). By using the word "again," the Post signaled to its readers that there was nothing new to report, and that Cheney was merely up to his old tricks. Nowhere in the article, however, does the Post make any mention of a prior instance in which Cheney "assailed" war critics.
The article, in fact, has little to do with Cheney's speech. Instead, it focuses on Cheney's poll ratings. Indeed, the subtitle of the piece is "Rejection of 'Revisionism' Comes as His Standing Drops in Polls.'" Here the Post signals to its readers that, even if they don't mind Cheney's alleged repetition, they should ignore the substance of the speech (as the Post does) because it's the work of a desperate man.
The Post also works Scooter Libby into the piece. Writers Michael Fletcher and Jim VandeHei claim that unnamed White House officials were surprised that Chaney replaced Libby with advisers who share his views on detainee policy and the war, and who testified before Fitzgerald's grand jury. Such officials, if they exist, are morons. Why would the indictment of Libby for perjury cause Cheney to appoint advisers who disagree with him on policy matters, or to shun aides who are not accused of perjury?
The Post also suggests that Cheney erred in describing the people who blow up innocent civilians in Iraq as "terrorists." It cites evidence that most of those fighting against the U.S. and the Iraqi government are not foreigners. But why does their status as Iraqis make them other than terrorists? Apparently, the Post takes offense that Cheney is assailing Iraqi killers as well as Democrats.
In any case, I'm not displeased that the Post is willing to risk sacrificing its credibility with a new generation of potential readers by failing to keep its bias out of their plain view.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
But consider the number of radio stations in each city, and the number of cities in America, with each station producing programming and fighting for local market share. The potential for something different to arise was vastly greater in radio than in television. And compared to television, “something different” could only mean something more conservative. Thus, when something different did arise, it had a ready-made audience in the millions of people that were sick of the left wing axis of drivel, ABC-CBS-NBC.
So talk radio became conservative because it could, and because there was a market for it when it did. Dan Rather helped create Rush Limbaugh. ...
Together, the twin forces of biased television news and socialized radio nearly ensured that commercial talk radio would become conservative. It was not, as is often implied, the result of some secret Rovian conspiracy in which political ideologues funded by billionaire megalomaniacs sought to propagandize listeners to their political agenda. That would be Air America.
Interestingly, this same sort of market-driven evolution can now be seen at work reshaping two other areas of the media. The proliferation of television stations via cable and satellite has finally created enough variation in news networks to allow viewers to select a non-liberal format from the mix: Fox News. Judging by Fox’s success, there is probably room for other such stations. One wonders why MSNBC insists on remaining CNN Jr.
And in the greatest example so far of low-production costs and diverse content knocking down a market-insulated monolith, the internet is busy destroying the newspaper business. Eat my digital dust, New York Times Corp. The Internet is somewhat more evenly split between liberal and conservative, however. But hopefully, the government will create National Public Internet News soon and destroy much innovation on the leftward side of the web as well.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
The Able Danger intelligence, if confirmed, is undoubtedly the most relevant fact of the entire post-9/11 inquiry. Even the most junior investigator would immediately know that the name and photo ID of Atta in 2000 is precisely the kind of tactical intelligence the FBI has many times employed to prevent attacks and arrest terrorists. Yet the 9/11 Commission inexplicably concluded that it "was not historically significant." This astounding conclusion -- in combination with the failure to investigate Able Danger and incorporate it into its findings -- raises serious challenges to the commission's credibility and, if the facts prove out, might just render the commission historically insignificant itself.
The commission, at the very least, should have interviewed the 80 members of Able Danger, as the Pentagon did, five of whom say they saw "the chart." But this would have required admitting that the late-breaking news was inconveniently raised. So it was grossly neglected and branded as insignificant. Such a half-baked conclusion, drawn in only 10 days without any real investigation, simply ignores what looks like substantial direct evidence to the contrary coming from our own trained military intelligence officers.
So Europe's present biculturalism makes disaster a certainty. One way to avoid it would be to go genuinely multicultural, to broaden the Continent's sources of immigration beyond the Muslim world. But a talented ambitious Chinese or Indian or Chilean has zero reason to emigrate to France, unless he is consumed by a perverse fantasy of living in a segregated society that artificially constrains his economic opportunities yet imposes confiscatory taxation on him in order to support an ancien regime of indolent geriatrics.
Reality is dawning on many American Jews that something is amiss, although it seems lost on some of the country’s most venerable Jewish organizations. There’s a sad, if comic irony associated with the fact that employees at organizations like ADL, the American Jewish Committee, and the Presidents’ Conference must pass through a gauntlet of concrete barriers, armed guards, metal detectors, and double bulletproof anterooms as they come to work each morning to protect them from radical Islamic terrorists, in order to spend their days studying and disseminating reports on the "threat" posed by Evangelical Christians. Meanwhile, the legislative affairs staffs of these organizations are directed to lobby against immigration reforms that could minimize the danger.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Two Palestinian men are showing pictures of their children to each other.
The first says: "This is my oldest, Muhammed. He was a martyr.... this is my second oldest, Muhammed. He was a martyr too.... This is my baby boy, Muhammed. One day I hope he will be a martyr too."
The other replies: "They blow up so fast, don't they?"
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who secured grand jury indictments against a top Bush administration official last month, today announced he may be close to discovering who told Valerie Plame that she was an undercover CIA agent.
Mr. Fitzgerald refused to release any names, but sources close to the probe said evidence indicates that the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward may have revealed Ms. Plame’s covert status to her.
Read the whole thing.
Michelle Malkin has a great analysis of Bob Woodward's revelation that he was told of Joe Wilson's wife working at the CIA years ago. click on the link for the story.
Woodward testified that he told Walter Pincus, a reporter for the Washinton Post about the Plame/Wilson connection. Pincus denies this. So:
So, if Woodward and Pincus both testify to different memories of their conversations, how is that different from Libby and Russert both testifying to different memories of their conversations? If we can believe that the great Bob Woodward is misremembering when he told someone something, isn't it possible that Tim Russert could misremember something, too? Or that Scooter Libby could? Why does is one discrepancy worthy of indictment and the other one chalked up to "confusion about the timing"?
Captain Ed chimes in.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Got to love those Liberals and their open mindedness.
"This operation was a major achievement," said US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham in a statement.
He said it would keep "potentially dangerous nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists".
Along with 1.77 tons of enriched uranium, about 1,000 "highly radioactive sources" were also removed.
Read the whole thing.
Jack Shafer in Slate:
Last night on Larry King Live, [Judy] Miller once again blamed "faulty intelligence" for her "handful" of flawed stories, neglecting to explain that real investigative reporters aren't passive conduits for intelligence but skeptical analysts of it. [Emphasis added]
This is patent nonsense. If this were in fact the case, we'd lose every investigative reporter who took Joe Wilson's word about what he "found" (but, alas, didn't find) in Africa. Skeptical analysts? Journalists such as The Nation's David Corn, in spite of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, still covers the Wilson/Plame affair as if its protagonist has not been roundly discredited, and as if his wife was still some kind of top-secret foreign operative, rather than a CIA bureaucrat who did in fact recommend her husband for the Niger assignment.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Mary Mapes, it is an honor to have the opportunity to speak with you.
Why, thank you very much.
I see you are unfamiliar with the concept of sarcasm.
Click on the link and read the whole thing.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
I've been thinking that it's only a matter of time before mainstream thought in this country begins the process of lionizing Saddam Hussein. With his trial beginning, the tone of media coverage is starting to bear out my worst fears. (You wouldn't think it would be possible to admire someone who has done what Saddam has uncontestably done, but in a country where people wear Guevera t-shirts without hiding their faces, I suppose just about anything is possible.)I predict:
- The words "defiant", "strong", "canny", and "independent" will become de rigeur in all stories concerning Saddam's trial.
- The meme that the trial is "illegal" (because not blessed by "international-law experts") will spread. Shortly, it will be routine to refer to the "illegal trial" in editorials, and to "the trial, whose legality is disputed" in news coverage.
- If and when he is executed, the television news coverage will feature somber voices.
- On the day, no Iraqis who were victims themselves or who lost family will be quoted. Only Baathist voices will be heard, mourning "the great lion", and so on.
- Editorials will announce that since obviously the Iraqi people mourn Saddam Hussein, his execution will only increase the "Iraqi" "insurgency".
- Within two months, Saddam's daughter Raghad will be the subject of a sympathetic television interview, perhaps by Barbara Walters. The interviewer will not ask her what kind of a tree she would be, but will ask how she felt "the day you lost your father".
- Raghad will do a lecture tour of the US, and will be invited to speak at several prominent universities.
- None of the victims of Saddam Hussein will be invited to speak in any of these venues, then or in the future.
Al Qaeda of Iraq issued a statement claiming responsibility for the mass murders carried out last week in Amman, Jordan. In passing, they mentioned that the bombings featured the first-ever husband and wife team. Maybe they didn't realize that the female half of the team was still alive and had escaped, or maybe they just didn't care--after all, she was supposed to be dead anyway.
It's a remarkable fact that Zaraqwi has not yet been captured, given how many of his close aides have been killed or captured (Mrs. al-Rishawi's brother, described as Zarqawi's right-hand man, was killed in Fallujah.) But I have to think that his days are numbered, given the pretty much universal outrage his psychopathic crimes have generated in Iraq and around the Middle East. Reportedly, even other elements of the Sunni "insurgency" would like for him to be caught, because he has generated so much bad publicity.
Of course, the American MSM and the Left have yet to condemn the bombings.
Sen. Kennedy Said Saddam Hussein Was Developing WMDs:
Sen. Kennedy: "Saddam Hussein Is A Dangerous Figure. He's Got Dangerous Weapons."
Sen. Kennedy Now Says The President Manipulated Facts About Iraq's WMDs
Kennedy Opposed Removing Saddam Hussein From Kuwait
Sen. Kennedy Opposed Removing Saddam Hussein From Power
Bottom line: if Senator Kennedy had his way Saddam would still be putting his opponents through shredders, getting his WMD plans in gear, gassing more Kurds and occupying Kuwait.
And Teddy would still be a fat, obnoxious, lying drunk.
Split stage. On the right, a group of immigrant street toughs mill outside a bleak suburban banlieu. On the right: President Jacques Chirac’s office in Elysee Palace, where Chirac is toasting another French diplomatic victory with Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin (who is a man).
CHIRAC It’s great to be part of the UN… the EU’s a marvelous thing…
VILLEPIN In our little cloister the world is our oyster…
TOGETHER ‘cuz – we – get – to – pull – all - the - striiiiings!
CHIRAC We are FRANCE!
VILLEPIN We are France!
TOGETHER If you think you can beat us, bon chance!
CHIRAC We’re on a first name basis with the Chinese.
VILLEPIN Not to mention Kofi Annan on speed dial.
TOGETHER With speeches so emphatique and manuevers diplomatique, we’ll twist the rusty knife in while we smiiiile!
TOGETHER We are France, we are France!
CHIRACWe’ve got the Saudi contacts…
VILLEPINto get us oil contracts…
TOGETHERand stuff away the profits in our pants!
Music makes dramatic minor key shift, stage rotates to the immigrant boys.
KHALIDMy parents immigrated from Morocco.
TARIQMy dad arrived in Paris from Algiers.
HASSANNow all that we can do is hang out by the banlieu…
TOGETHERMom and Dad ain't found a job in 30 years!
KHALID (angrily)We are France!
HASSANWe are France!
TOGETHERWhere a guy can’t get the break he wants!
TARIQA hundred Euros weekly for our welfare.
KHALIDThey think that it will keep us satisfied.
TOGETHERThey invented mimes, and we’re accused of crimes? It's time for these two worlds to collide!
TOUGHS (angrily)We are France!
CHIRAC/VILLEPINWe are France!
TOUGHS We are France!
CHIRAC/VILLEPINWe are France!
The stage rotates as the two groups continue singing. Finally they bump into each other and begin catlike finger snapping.
CHIRAC/VILLEPINWhen you’re a Frog you’re a Frog all the way, from your first cigarette to your last beaujolais!
TOUGHSMohhhhh- OH! – rocco! Where the wind comes sweeping down the dunes! Where the sand can fly straight in your eye, but they don’t have these French buffoons!
Pantomime sissy knife fight
Read the whole thing.
Virginian Pilot Embraces Irrelevance
Today, Pilot’s editors illustrated in no uncertain way that they are determined to fade into irrelevance as a newspaper.
The headline story in the Sunday edition was a three page account of a fifty year-old murder. The writer obviously meant to dredge up doubts about the case even though there was a trial, the killer was convicted and even testified that he killed his victim.
The rest of the front page is devoted to the following stories:
- “Stymied by Medicare? You’re not the only one”
- “With Kaine Victory, Warner Basking in the Spotlight”
- And the final front page story: “Churches try to get more to step up to the offering plate.”
With these moves, the Virginian Pilot now aspires to become the paid version of the free weeklies.
Meanwhile the Internet has these stories from overnight:
More Cars Torched in France Overnight (502)
Tear gas, unrest spread to Lyon
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said on Saturday that it may be possible to reach an agreement by the end of 2006 on the withdrawal of foreign troops from his country.
Al-Qaeda on defensive as bombs begin to backfire
Twenty slain as soldiers, Muslim extremists battle in Philippines
Feds accuse Southern Illinois University of bias against whites
Al-Qaeda calls Queen an ‘enemy of Islam’
But back to the Virginian Pilot.
On page A17 we are treated to a story about the riots in France. It contains this delicious quote: “Burning cars is rather typically French.” Strange. The last time I was in France, this national past-time was not pointed out to me.
One pages A18-19 we get more coverage with cut-and-past stories from the AP.
What does this mean:
As readership declines, the dead tree media are being advised to focus on local stories, realizing that that national and international news is going to be old news by the time organs like the Virginian Pilot print it. This is true now and, as more people are unable to get news from local newspapers, this trend will accelerate. In effect, the Virginian Pilot is ceding the important global news events to alternative media.
However, by virtue of the limited interest that people have in strictly local events, the need to subscribe to papers like the Virginian Pilot will decrease. The Virginian Pilot has already downsized its staff and has set itself on a course of steadily diminishing readership, influence and size.
At a point in the not too distant future, the Virginian Pilot may become a tabloid, given away free in newspaper boxes and supported by strictly by advertising.
But why would advertisers continue to buy space in media that attracts the attention of fewer and fewer readers. The trend to Internet advertising has already begun and is bound to continue. And since there is a finite amount of money available for advertising, the gains for alternative media will be at the expense of newspapers.
There is little that buggy whip manufacturers could do in once autos became popular, except go into the auto business. None did. Of course, newspapers have created web sites, but there is really very little reason to visit them. After all what can you learn from the Virginia Pilot web site that is not covered more comprehensively by Drudge and five or six national web sites that cover all the important events of the day – including hyperlinks so that readers can go to original sources.
If the people who edit newspapers were not such insufferable jerks, it would be possible to feel some sympathy for them. But having sat astride the pipeline of information, and abusing that responsibility of trust for so many years, I’m not a bit sorry.
Sayonara Virginian Pilot.
I Once Wrote Something About Veteran's Day
I love this country, my country, my people. And those who attack her...from guerilla cells, boardrooms, or their comfy chairs in expensive restaurants... better watch out.
I don't get a clear sense that my fellow liberals feel the same way. And if so, why should ‘the folks’ follow them? Why are we worthy of the support of a nation that we don't support? So let me suggest an axiom for the New Model Democrats:
America is a great goddamn country, and we're going to both defend it from those who attack it and fight to make it better.
And for everyone who is going to comment and remind me that ‘all liberals already do that’…no they don't. Not when the chancellor has to intervene at U.C. Berkeley to get ‘permission’ for American flags to be flown and red-white-and-blue ribbons to be worn. Not when the strongest voices in liberalism give only lip service to responding to an attack on our own soil.
Loving this country isn't the same thing as jingoism; it isn't the same thing as imperialism; it isn't the same thing as blind support of the worst traits of our government or our people.
It starts with recognizing the best traits, and there are a hell of a lot of them. They were worth defending in my father's time, and they are worth defending today.
So thanks, veterans. Thanks soldiers and sailors and marines and airmen. Thanks for doing your jobs and I hope you all come home hale and whole, every one of you.
Then, from Ace of Spades:
Half of the problem is that lefties are intellectually insecure and have been taught that patriotism is for stupid people. Determined to prove themselves non-stupid through an easy course (not everyone can split atoms, you know), they buy into the various signifiers of a high intellect promoted by their lefty heroes.
If it became Liberally Correct to wave flags and wear flag pins tomorrow -- if suddenly that denoted education, erudition, and progressive virtue -- you'd have seas of red, white, and blue in San Francisco.
Anti-patriots denigrate patriotism as empty-headed jingoism. But most of their antipatriotism is itself empty-headed, a trivial tribal signifier, a vapid fashion accessory informing the world that they are members of the smart set of Sneeches whose bellies defintely do not have stars upon thars.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Oh yeah, you read that correctly. All you liberals out there that would rather score political points against the President and Vice President than win this war hate your country. Willfully LYING about how the US came to be in Iraq is not dissent; it is sabotage of our national security. Dissenting IN GOOD FAITH is patriotic. All Americans are duty bound to speak up against the actions of our countrymen when we feel they are acting in error. But repeating lies every day to get back at the President that beat you doesn't make them true; it makes you a traitor to this country and disloyal to the troops who are on this day protecting you.
BDS: Bush Derangement Syndrome
What makes Bush Hatred completely insane however, is the almost delusional degree of unremitting certitude of Bush's evil; while simultaneously believing that the TRUE representatives of evil in the world are somehow good and decent human beings with the world's intersts at heart.This psychological defense mechanism is referred to as "displacement".
One way you can usually tell that an individual is using displacement is that the emotion being displaced (e.g., anger) is all out of proportion to the reality of the situation. The purpose of displacement is to avoid having to cope with the actual reality. Instead, by using displacement, an individual is able to still experience his or her anger, but it is directed at a less threatening target than the real cause. In this way, the individual does not have to be responsible for the consequences of his/her anger and feels more safe--even thought that is not the case.
This explains the remarkable and sometimes lunatic appeasement of Islamofascists by so many governments and around the world. It explains why there is more emphasis on protecting the "rights" of terrorists, rather than holding them accountable for their actions (which, by the way are also Bush's fault--not theirs). Our soldiers in Iraq are being killed because of Bush--not because of terrorist activity. Terrorist activity itself is blamed on Bush no matter where it occurs.
It isn't even a stretch of the imagination for some to blame 9/11 on Bush.
This is the insane "logic" of most psychological defense mechanisms. They temporarily spare you from the painful reality around you and give you the illusion that you are still in control.This is exactly illusion/delusion circulating in the minds of many of the Bush Haters. They want desperately to forget that there is a tidal wave of terror reverberating around the world and to pretend that everything is America and Bush's fault. If that is true, then they will still be in control of events.
So what do they do? They lionize terrorists like Zarqawi ("freedom-fighters"). They explain away the horror and brutality by refering to them as "insurgents" and "militants". They support Palestinian suicide bombings as justified and see the Palestinians--not as independent agents acting of choice, but as victims of America and Israel.
They sincerely believe that Osama is a reasonable person and seek dialog with him; but that Bush is not. They threaten violence toward Bush and hold demonstrations; and placate and enable those who would implement Sharia Law in their country without a qualm.
Hundreds of their fellow countrymen are murdered by terrorists, but they demand that troops be pulled out of Iraq (thinking that if they hadn't cooperated with the evil BushHitler, their countrymen would have been spared).Rather than blame the terrorists; rather than admiting they have to take action against them; their fear is transformed to anger and displaced onto President Bush.
If everything is his fault, then the reality of what happened does not have to be faced (this also explains the intense psychological denial that these same individuals tend to have about 9/11).
Bush becomes the "criminal mastermind", so devious, so evil, that everything he says is a "lie", everything he does is part of a vast global consipiracy. His family has intimate ties to Bin Laden and the Saudis; He is trying to enrich his oil business friends; He is trying to avenge the insult to his father by getting rid of Saddam; He plans world domination etc. etc. I could go on an on, but you get the point.
Steve Hayes has tried to get accesss to unclassified papers that we recovered from Saddm's regime after his fall. he has been stonewalled ... so far.
For two years, I have been working to obtain copies of unclassified documents discovered in postwar Iraq. My reasoning is simple: If we understand what the Iraqi regime was doing in the months and years before the war, we will be better able to assess the nature of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and, perhaps, to better understand the insurgency. It's not a light subject, to be sure.
But the quest for the documents, while frustrating, has also been highly amusing. It is a story of bureaucratic incompetence and
strategic incoherence. It is also a story--this one not funny at all--about the failure to explain the Iraq war. Two years after I started my pursuit, I'm not much closer to my goal.
Read the whole thing.
Liberals Bloody Hands
Notice that after The US abandoned South Viet Nam and cut off it military supplies, there was no regret for the millions killed in the killing field of Cambodia? The association between the US government’s betrayal of the people of Southeast Asia and their deaths was never made. Likewise for the hundreds of thousands of “Boat People” who died on the high seas trying to escape the Communists and the hundreds of thousand who suffered in “Re-education Camps.” The Liberals who marched and held “Winter Soldier” shows never acknowledged their complicity in these horrors.
One – I believe it was Anthony Lewis – even had the gall to write a column as Pol Pot was emptying cities and beginning his genocide that we should not make adverse judgments about what was going on, it was part of their culture.
It’s as if we had pulled out of World War 2 and Hitler had been able to fully implement his “Final Solution.”
When by your action millions are slaughtered you have blood on your hands, even if you did not pull the trigger. There is so much blood on the hands of the Left over the last 50 years that it will take a generation to wash it off.
Yet here they sit, cherry picking phrases, waving lawyerly briefs and sniping from the sidelines and giving hope to mass murderers. That what they do best.
Oh, and don’t you dare QUESTION THEIR PATRIOTISM.
Mona Charen gave a speech at Grove City College in 2003 entitle “Useful Idiots: Then and Now.”. Here is a little of what she said:
By contrast, today’s liberals have paid no price in prestige for their disgraceful toleration of tyrants and despots who were, in every relevant respect, Hitler’s equals. In fact, they continue to look back on their so-called youthful activism with pride. They continue to offer their wisdom on foreign policy as if the USSR, Nicaragua, China, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Cuba had never happened. Talleyrand is supposed to have said of the Bourbon restorationists that they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing. Liberals have learned nothing and want us to forget everything….
I’m frequently asked, “Who was the biggest useful idiot?” I think the answer would have to be that it is not one person but an institution: the New York Times. Walter Duranty was the New York Times correspondent in Moscow in the 1920s and 30s. Here’s what he said about Stalin: “Stalin is giving the Russian people, the Russian masses – not Westernized landlords, industrialists, bankers, and intellectuals – but Russia’s 150 million peasants and workers, what they really want, mainly joint effort, communal effort.” Later when Stalin was starving millions to death, Duranty filed dispatches denying that anything was amiss. It was later learned that the Soviet secret police were blackmailing Duranty….
Ten years later the scene was again different. This time it was Southeast Asia, but the New York Times was again telling the world it had more to fear from anti-communists than from Communists. Having succeeded in getting the United States to withdraw all of its forces from Southeast Asia, liberals were scornful of the notion that a Communist victory might lead to a bloodbath. The Washington Post editorialized: “The threatened bloodbath is less ominous than a continuation of the current bloodletting.” The LA Times urged a cutoff of all aid to the Cambodian government, “for the good of the suffering Cambodian people.” Anthony Lewis, who was a columnist at the New York Times for 40 years, wrote: “Some will find the whole bloodbath debate unreal. What future possibility could be more terrible than the reality of what is happening in Cambodia now?” Lewis had an impoverished imagination. But even in the midst of the horror that followed – mass starvation and executions – many liberals could not see the reality in front of their eyes.
I disagree with Charen. They do see the reality in front of their eyes. They just don’t care as long as it does not happen to them. They are the ultimate racists.
As long at it happens to others … tough. They’ve got theirs.
Friday, November 11, 2005
OK, You’re Unpatriotic
You want the American war effort to fail. You believe that America – on balance – does more harm than good.
You objectively support people who cut off the heads of bound captives, commit mass murder as a policy, target civilians because of cowardice, subjugate women because they doubt their masculinity and deny freedom of worship to everyone.
You believe that people who walk into hotels or restaurants and commit mass murder are “freedom fighters.”
You believe that people who put women’s panties on prisoners’ heads are the moral equivalent of people who rape women in front of their families and feed their remains into shredders.
You believe that Saddam should be in charge or Iraq, and maybe Kuwait.
You go to soldiers’ funerals and call them war criminals.
But you believe that you are patriots because – by your definition - patriots disagree with their country.
You are a piece of scum, you are a collaborator, you stand with holocaust deniers, you make moral eunuchs your superior and simple traitors your betters. You are the pus on the wound of civilization.
Those Lying Documents and the Liars Who Peddle Them ... Mary Mapes Strikes Again
It's devastating for Mapes. Read the whole thing, but she leaves Mapes' credibility more shredded than ever ... if that were possible.
[Mapes]Page 167: "Concerned, I asked her what the trouble was.She said she had done research on the Internet about President Bush's military record and found that he had been in Alabama at the time those documents were written, so there was no way they could be true."
[Will]Book version is ABSOLUTELY FALSE. What did happen is that in our conversation on Sunday I outlined several problems with two questioned signatures, and with the typescript of the documents, including the superscripting and the proportional spacing, and I said that I had been researching online to determine the earliest date of production of typerwiters offering those features
Republicans vs. Democrats: Arrogance vs. Insanity
Near the end he asks about the recent elections. Steyn replies:
I think there are problems...you know, the Republican Party coalition...an internet blogger I like very much, Meagan McCardle, said...summed it up as saying, you know, the ruling party is smug and arrogant. She wrote this a couple of years ago, I think. The ruling party is smug and arrogant. The opposition party is insane.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
What the MSM totally failed to cover was the smashing win of MY SISTER, GERI, winning her race for re-election to city council in Grand Haven.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Ever since 9/11, I've been gloomily predicting the European powder keg's about to go up. ''By 2010 we'll be watching burning buildings, street riots and assassinations on the news every night,'' I wrote in Canada's Western Standard back in February.
Silly me. The Eurabian civil war appears to have started some years ahead of my optimistic schedule. As Thursday's edition of the Guardian reported in London: ''French youths fired at police and burned over 300 cars last night as towns around Paris experienced their worst night of violence in a week of urban unrest.''
READ THE WHOLE THING.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
And one comment was too funny not to repeat:
A GRIM MILESTONE APPROACHES!!!
Very soon, a grim milestone of 2,000 burned cars will be reached in Paris.
HOW LONG MUST WE SEE THIS SENSELESS SLAUGHTER?!
CHIRAC LIED, PEUGEOTS FRIED!!!
FRENCH OUT OF PARIS!!
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL LOOKS AT THE WAY THE CIA SET UP PRESIDENT BUSH
The CIA sent her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, to Niger on a sensitive mission regarding WMD. He was to determine whether Iraq had attempted to purchase yellowcake, an essential ingredient for nonconventional weapons. However, it was Ms. Plame, not Mr. Wilson, who was the WMD expert. Moreover, Mr. Wilson had no intelligence background, was never a senior person in Niger when he was in the State Department, and was opposed to the administration's Iraq policy. The assignment was given, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee, at Ms. Plame's suggestion.
KEEPING THE CIA OUT OF DOMESTIC POLITICS
Real THIS article by Zell Miller.
He owns tens of thousands of shares - including nearly 2,000 shares of Boeing, nearly 1,000 of Sonoco, more than 4,000 of Best Foods, more than 3,000 of Eli Lilly, more than 8,000 of Bank One and more than 2,000 of Halliburton.
In "Do As I Say," Schweizer reports that Franken has hired 112 employees over the years and only one was black - news that Franken was not pleased to see in print.
Here's a story on the book by Schweizer "Do As I Say." Read about:
- Nancy Pelosi and her Non-union restaurants.
- Noam Chomsky on the Pentagon payroll
- Barbra Streisand and her $22,000 water bill
- Ralph Nader living in fancy digs
The balloon floated by anti-administration rogues in the CIA, and carried by their cohorts in mainstream press, was popped when the end result of all the wailing and gnashing of teeth was that maybe someone lied about something that wasn’t a crime.
Of course renegade intelligence officers can’t just hold press conferences and air their politically motivated opposition to administration policies, so they leak to willing and able journalists who hold similar political dispositions. See, it is exciting and something to brag about when you talk to a member of the Senior Intelligence Service and can attach your byline to an intelligence-related expose. These comrades with clearances are even willing to provide corroboration to their stories; usually like-minded pals who aren’t on active duty anymore, but who have lucrative consulting gigs from their pals who still run the secret show. No sense in talking to the Gerechts and Baers of the world who might provide a little balance, since they are probably disgruntled (and Republican) anyway.
Conservatives roll their eyes at the “moonbats” who shout about “no blood for oil” and join the ranks of ANSWER, but there is little difference in belief and outlook between the nut-jobs waving signs and their fellow-travelers in the intelligence business; except of course that intelligence officers can actually help bring about change. The CIA made a name for itself destabilizing regimes, only this time the leader of the regime they are aiming to change isn’t named Allende or Pahlavi.
And don't overlook this comment by Coldwarrior415:
With regards to Vox Taciturn's comments on a politicized CIA....it is quite true, very true, actually, moreso in the past four years or so, that the analytical side out in McLean has moved decidedly left. The DO likewise has seen more and more liberalism in its crew and staffing.
After the end of the Cold War, CIA went through a major identity crisis, one still being grappled with. The old Cold Warriors were pushed out, early retirement, or just jumping over them when it came to assignments and promotions. The "fast trackers" those with little or no Cold War experience moved higher and higher within the DO command structure. There was a blatant move to keep the Cold War dead...and try to validate the need for such an intelligence resource such as the DO in light of Administration efforts during the 90's to depend on more high tech systems and gradually move HUMINT out of the major focus of CIA.
A number of in-house reorganizations took place, and older, more experienced operations officers, especially one's who earned their tradecraft wings as Cold Warriors, were simply overwhelemed by the fresh new, politically correct blood being recruited, trained and assigned within the DO. Many left in the 90's, most not nearly at the former established retirement age...the early retirement buy-out offer was snatched up by hundreds and hundreds of experienced operations officers.
What was left was a new crew, a new crew who really had never taken the boat out into blue water before. The initial disaster in Northern Iraq, when the "station" bailed out and left tons of equipment and files behind for Saddam to browse through is one example. The piss-poor support for Kosovo and Bosnia,when the military essentially decided to cut CIA out of the loop, is another...anyone remember the accidental bombing of the Chinese Emabssy anymore? Simple tradecraft and establishing ground truth and not using old edition maps, would have prevented that little display of intelligence excellence.
Our counter-terrorism effort at CIA, likewise, was trial and error..and a whole lot of funding spent, and promotions made...but a cogent counter-terror program? Not. Was an overwhelming decision, somewhere within CIA, up on the 7th Floor, that if it wasn't obtained covertly it wasn't intelligence. Not a lot of institutional memory of most of our Cold War intelligence being overtly [derived]. (corrected by Coldwarrior)
Funny thing, when you take time to step back and look at it all...the "surprise" of 9-11 shouldn't be a surprise at all. The JV's were running the show after the Varsity was forced from the field.
Rather than face the fact that CIA's decision to send the old Cold Warriors out to pasture may have been something that should have been quickly reversed...CIA, both the analytical side and the operations side, hunkered down, got defensive, and the slightest hint of wanting to repair the losses of the 90's, sent many an operations officer outside the fence. In that vacuum, CIA's new up-and-coming "fast tracker" staffing grew more left, more liberal, to the point where after GWB's first election, the politization of CIA was complete.
"We in America know the benevolence that is at the heart of Islam," declared Condoleezza Rice, addressing assembled Muslim dignitaries at the annual Ramadan dinner at the State Department ...
Annual Ramadan dinner????
"Why"? Why has it become the post-September 11 function of the U.S. government to celebrate Ramadan? The buzzword of "Muslim outreach" comes to mind, but, as the Judeo-Christian culture hit by Islamikazes on September 11, haven't we got it exactly backward? That is, wouldn't Muslims better outreach themselves if the Saudi Embassy, for example, celebrated Christmas and Hanukah?
"We in America know the benevolence that is at the heart of Islam," Miss Rice said. Really?
I'm thinking of the Muslim suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that killed five, and the Hitlerian promise of Iran's Shiite president that "the stain of disgrace"—Israel—will be "purged from the center of the Islamic world." I'm thinking of the week of Muslim rioting in Paris, and the news that a July 7 London suicide bomber was buried in Pakistan (his exploded remains, anyway) at the shrine of an Islamic saint. In New Delhi, Muslims are suspected of killing 60, while actor Omar Sharif has received Internet death threats, thought to come from Muslims in Italy, for playing St. Peter. And I can't stop thinking about the three Christian girls who were beheaded in Indonesia en route to their Christian high school. The killers carried off one of the severed heads to a new church, where they left it.
• Why did the CIA, under your direction, treat the Vice President’s query about Iraqi efforts to purchase yellowcake in Niger so casually?
• When Joe Wilson started blabbing in public about his CIA mission to Niger – and lying about what he reported to the CIA upon his return – why didn’t you say something rather than allow the President’s credibility to be shredded?
RIPPING OFF FEMA FOR FUN AND PROFIT
The result is predictable; people are coming out of the woodwork with bogus claims and rip-offs. Here are two stories from FreeRepublic.com:
Morning... Just returned from a long out of the country business trip...had to catch up with all of of you.. however, you are terrific keeping everyone up on the news.. connecting people and providing a platform for communication among our FRiends.. now let's look at all of the "white collar" response to the Wilma situation...I have an in-law living in Palm Beach Gardens Florida.. last year a hurricane blew off several pieces of his garage roof.. he had FEMA folks come out to take a look and they gave him the full cost of his roof for complete replacement - he personally fixed the few shingles, pocketing the FEMA check... well.. it happened again...
Wilma blows through and now the SAME shingles left his home.. he is the first to connect with FEMA.. asking for another full roof replacement.. and guess what.. they have already assessed the damage and agreed to the full cost of yet another replacement... check is on its way...
Now this same inlaw just purchased a mobile travel home - cost? $125,000. - paid cash.. has owned his home for forty years, is an early retiree of a major aircraft firm with a $4,000 a month retirement check, plus his Social Security...
Last night he called to tell us that he has bottled water for the next six months, two cases of canned tomatoes, butter, cheese, and a check for $400. for groceries... all from FEMA...
I am SO disgusted.. I am not sure that I can actually face this man at Christmas dinner..
Frankly, I don't believe this is an isolated case.. millions of dollars are going down the drain - not just from poor people who are milking the system - but out and out thieves with the means to stand on their own..
There should be a huge FEMA overhaul.. extensive records (Check out the IRS, or Social Security they can spot a person in a New York minute.. no matter who..). and then trained outreach personnel that can use a hand computer on site... this is absolutely nutz!
Now for the rest of the story.. this same in-law told us in last night's conversation that he was taking his new Mobile to Miami (full expenses paid) to help with the Wilma Mop Up.. hired by.. you guessed it.. FEMA in DC... go figure!
Have to catch up with my desk.. thanks for caring so much for our FReepers.. my hat is off to you!
Story number 2
A friend of mine went to the local flea market last week. One booth had several brand new, unused generators. My friend noticed it was the same brand his neighbor had been given by FEMA, mentioned it, and the booth owner smiled and said that's where ALL these generators came from also.
LAST year he knew a lot of people who'd gotten free generators from FEMA- so this year he told the same group to ask for more- and of course FEMA complied. Now he's given each of these people a little finder's fee and is off selling the generators at full list price at a flea market.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
At Karbala, U.S. troops stumbled upon 55-gallon drums of pesticides at what appeared to be a very large "agricultural supply" area, Hanson says. Some of the drums were stored in a "camouflaged bunker complex" that was shown to reporters - with unpleasant results. "More than a dozen soldiers, a Knight-Ridder reporter, a CNN cameraman, and two Iraqi POWs came down with symptoms consistent with exposure to a nerve agent," Hanson says. "But later ISG tests resulted in a proclamation of negative, end of story, nothing to see here, etc., and the earlier findings and injuries dissolved into nonexistence. Left unexplained is the small matter of the obvious pains taken to disguise the cache of ostensibly legitimate pesticides. One wonders about the advantage an agricultural-commodities business gains by securing drums of pesticide in camouflaged bunkers 6 feet underground. The 'agricultural site' was also colocated with a military ammunition dump - evidently nothing more than a coincidence in the eyes of the ISG."
So the question before the house is whether chemical and biological weapons stashes have been found but were called "pesticides."
Hat tip: Powerline.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." - President Bill Clinton, February 17, 1998
"We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction." - Madeline Albright, February 1, 1998
"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." - Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, February 18, 1998
"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." - President Bill Clinton, February 17, 1998