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Thursday, June 30, 2005
Jon Stewart Gets a Doctorate Before I Do
And he didn't have to work for it.
Read his very funny commencement address
9/11 and the Big Lie
Some required reading on the links between Saddam and terrorism can be found here and here.
Update: Don't forget this one.
I'd post more, but I am busy filing an amicus curiae brief in support of Saddam's lawsuit claiming it was unfair that he was photgraphed in his underpants.
High Ranking Al Queda Leader Captured in Baghdad
If American forces leave Iraq prematurely, guys like Sami Amer Hamid Mahmud, another Al Queda middle-manager recently captured in Iraq would have much less to worry about.
But, let's not lose our focus. The most important thing is to support any policy that undermines George W. Bush and Republicans, right? Because, at the end of the day, isn't the most important fight here at home to protect abortion rights and homosexual marriage?
Did anybody see/hear/read the Democrat response the other night? I think it is interesting that they feel comfortable playing the "Bin Laden" card again. That's a dangerous game... because it betrays a misguided lack of confidence in our nation's military. I'm waiting for Al Gore to make a similar statement -- his knack for bad timing would almost certainly lead to an announcement on Bin Laden's capture.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
For carrying the ball lately. Been busy with the Energy Bill.
Four of SCG meeting tonight to enjoy some of America's great pastimes....beer drinking and baseball.
Jay is in town for work and is meeting up with Sip, Skip, and I to see the Nats vs. the Pirates in the nation's Capitol.
What was that Rove said about therapy?
John Hinderaker at Powerline has a great post on the President's references to 9/11 and the predictable criticism that followed.
Captain ED with some good news...
For those of us who were frustrated by the failure of the muslim community in WNY to stand up against terrorism at any point after the arrest, indictment, trial and conviction of the Lackawanna Six, Captain Ed has an excellent example from Lodi of Muslim-Americans stepping up to their responsibilities as Americans..
I've been critical of the Islamic community because they have failed to speak out against America's enemies. So I think it is only fair to call attention to this action which, albeit belatedly, distances the Islamic community from a known and dangerous extremist.
One of these things is not like the other...
A former Vietnam POW contrasts his experience with current detainees at GITMO. His conclusion:
"The argument that detainees at Guantanamo are being treated badly is specious and silly. In the eyes of normal Americans, Democrats believe this argument because, as Jeanne Kirkpatrick said 20 years ago, they 'always blame America first.' "
Read it here.
YOU GOTTA LOVE PEGGY
She has a great article today on the over-inflated egos that are running wild in our nation's capital.
A must read.
Supporting our Troops... Just like in Vietnam
Still waiting to hear patriotic Democrats denouncing this sort of hate speech.
I guess they are too busy demanding Rove's resignation while their supporters are working to keep our military from recruiting on college and high school campuses.
Hat tip: Malkin
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
The full text of Bush's speech is available here.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Rove Playing Rope-A-Dope?
Glenn Reynolds makes the point better than I did -- over at Instapundit
Thursday, June 23, 2005
DEMS TO REPUBLICANS: STOP WITH THE ON-BRINGING!
Whatever happened to good old John Kerry and his "Bring. It. On." approach to politics?
The indispensible Michelle Malkin is tracking the latest Democrat strategery, which involves three core elements:
Time and time again, the Dem leaders have said things that reveal their true feelings about a number of subjects, ranging from our troops, the treatment of our enemies and Christians. Their attacks have gone far and above anything said by a mainstream Republican elected official or party leader. And they have, until now, gotten away with it.
The MSM tried to sweep the Durbin story under the rug, but the new media didn't let it happen. Durbin gave our enemies a huge propaganda victory with his attack on our troops and was ultimately forced to issue two phony and insulting non-apologies.... but he did have tears in his eyes, so I guess he must have been sincere about something. Sincerely disgraceful, if you ask me.
Now, the new strategy emerges. The Dems will attempt to shift attention away from their wacko leadership by saying Rove needs to apologize/resign for saying the following at a recent speech:
Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.
This is a big mistake for the left. They should have taken their losses and "moved on" as the saying goes. This is our ground. And, because it is the Democrats attack, the MSM will finally cover it in full. That's fine with me. It gives our side the opportunity again and again to call attention to the left wing approach to terrorists -- treat it like a "crime problem" and arrest (and ultimately release many of the people you catch on the battlefield) -- versus the right's approach: treat it like a military problem and kill (or detain) as many of the enemy as you possibly can.
The hysterical approach to GITMO, the Koran, Abu Gareb; the comparison of US troops to Nazis and GITMO to Gulags; the Democratic party's unwillingness to put winning the war ahead of cheap political points and "gotcha" games... has been absolutely shameful.
Without a doubt, it emboldens our enemies and puts our troops at risk. The reality is, the left and the Democratic party are the ONLY hope that the enemy has of winning in Iraq. Were the Democratic party to stand up and say we are in this for the long haul to win the war because the stakes are too high to lose -- there wouldn't be much point to the insurgency, would there?
The Democrats should be in disarray on this. Up until Durbin gave his second phony apology yesterday, not a single prominent national democrat criticized Durbin. Not a one.
Consider the behavior of my Senators: Hillary Clinton, lied and said she was unaware of the comments, and had no comment when they were read to her... Schumer turned his back on reporters who asked for his reaction. Mind you, this wasn't some offensive criticism of Republicans or their leadership (and their have been plenty of those)... but criticism of our troops who are risking their lives every day to win the war and change the course of the sad, pathetic modern history of the Middle East.
I, for one, welcome a full and open debate about the Democrats defeatist rhetoric and their backhanded support of our troops.
In the words of John Kerry: Bring. It. On.!
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Forget an Amendment
This should keep the American flag safe from desecration once and for all.
Hat tip: Instapundit.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
A funny one from J-No:
I was reading about some congressional nutjobs, and the question occurred to me, "Where's Cynthia?" Where's Cynthia McKinney, the Jew-hating, conspiracy-mongering loudmouth from the Fourth District of Georgia? Many of us were anticipating her return to Congress, for she is always great copy. But, unless I've missed something, she has been awfully quiet — suspiciously quiet. Has the Democratic party worked out some kind of deal with her, whereby she doesn't embarrass them? (Talk about conspiracy-mongering!)
Unleash Cynthia! Free Cynthia!
WE ARE SORRY FOR GITMO
Americans have taken to the streets to apologize for GITMO. Junkyard blog has the details here - don't miss it. It is great stuff.
What was that you said about "the youth, hungry for Jihad...?"
Anyone who thinks the insurgency is gaining steam should read this story over at Chrenkoff.
If the Jihad is going so well, why do our enemies have to recruit retarded kids and mutilated women?
The answer is obvious. Of course, there are many who don't want to believe we are winning this war because their worldview cannot accomodate an America that is not on its knees. Our enemies can take solice in the fact that they have their own cheering section right here in America -- of course, I wouldn't want to question anybody's patriotism. The "patriots" are too busy comparing our troops to Nazis and communists and painting them as war criminals.
I have one thing to say to the fifth column: Shame. On. You.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Cause for hope
The battle is growing more difficult by the day. Each new wave of recruits from Syria and Algeria is being slaughtered by American and Iraqi forces. We have had to convert our operations almost exclusively to suicide martyrdom missions, and as those attacks continue to focus more on Iraqis than Americans, the Iraqi people are becoming increasingly vocal and unified in their opposition to our actions. With Sadr and others now involved in the political process, it is becoming even more difficult to get the Sunnis involved in the insurgency. If attempts to stop the steady stream of foreign fighters through the porous Syrian border are successful, and things continue as they appear headed here in Iraq, I fear the operation will fail.
But there is cause for hope. There is reason to continue in our resolve to drive these crusaders from our holy lands. Your belief that the Americans are weak may be correct. I heard one of their politcal leaders just this morning on Al Jazeera comparing their own forces to that of Nazis and the Soviets, calling their prisons gulags. This will certainly embolden and incite are young recruits. A small group of Senators, including some from the evil Bush’s own political party, are even calling for a timetable for bringing the infidel troops home. In the end, perhaps we do not need to defeat these invaders on the battlefield or even stop the Iraqi political process from moving forward, indeed, I don’t think we can. But if all we have to do is disrupt the process enough and create enough bloodshed for their media to convince the weak American people to stop supporting their military and their treacherous leaders, they may leave on their own before the Iraqi collaborators are able to build up their own forces. It would seem as though perhaps all we need to do is persevere long enough for the Americans to lose the will to fight. This is our best and maybe our only hope of victory, god willing it will be so.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Sure it’s not real, but couldn’t it be?
I REALLY LIKE HEARING THIS
Chrenkoff links to a pretty cool story about an Aussie Kidnap Victim who supports the troops. (He may not realize they are the modern day equivalent of Nazis).
His conclusion, after being kidnapped by insurgents: "I'm proof positive that the current policy of the American and the Australian government is the right one."
While this certainly doesn't prove anything, it is great to see.
UPDATE: I fixed the link on this one.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Save a Bed At Gitmo
Ph.D. student announces he is leaving to join a terrorist group to take part in the Jihad against Israel. Smackdown. Arkansas style!
My guess is that he will still be a high quality candidate for a tenure-track position!
Time Magazine's Story on Interrogation at GITMO
Time has a big story on the interrogation of Mohammed al-Qahtani, the "20th" hijacker who tried, but failed, to get into the country to help Atta and his jihadi buddies kill 3,000 Americans on September 11th. You can link to some of the stories here and here.
Here is some detail on the interrogation techniques, with my commentary:
23 November 2002
0225: The detainee arrives at the interrogation booth a Camp X-Ray. His hood is removed and he is bolted to the floor. SGT A and SGT R are the interrogators. A DoD linguist and MAJ L (BSCT) are present
Sounds good so far. Bolted to the floor -- he won't be a threat.
0235: Session begins. The detainee refuses to look at SGT A "due to his religion. This is a rapport building session.
0240:Detainee states he's on hunger strike. SGT A explains the affects of a hunger strike on the body. SGT A runs "love of brothers in Cuba" approach.
0320:The detainee refused to answer whether he wanted water. SGT R explained with emphasis that not answering disrespects SGT A and embarrasses him. The detainee said no, he didn't want water. The detainee continues to say he's on hunger strike.
I don't like this detainee already. He has a bad attitude. Someone call in Sipowitz.
0345: The detainee dozed off during a break. SGT R woke him up.
0355: SGT R wakes up detainee again.
0450: Interrogators take a break. Detainee goes to the bathroom
0520: Interrogations resumes. The detainee refuses food and water.
0540: SGT A begins 9/11 theme. The detainee asks to pray and is refused.
0550: Detainee drinks __ bottle of water and states after this he is on strike, he refuses food.
"Just one more slice of peperoni pizza and that's it -- I'm on a hunger strike."
13 December 2002
1115:Interrogators began telling detainee how ungrateful and grumpy he was. In order to escalate the detainee's emotions, a mask was made from an MRE box with a smily face on it and placed on the detainee's head for a few moments. A latex glove was inflated and labeled the "sissy slap" glove. The glove was touched to the detainee's face periodically after explaining the terminology to him. The mask was placed back on the detainee's head. While wearing the mask, the team began dance instruction with the detainee. The detainee became agitated and began shouting.
There is no mention of music here. How can there be dancing without music? Also, I am going to make one of these "sissy slap" gloves and next time Sip orders a swirlee -- look out!
20 December 2002
1115:Detainee offered water—refused. Corpsman changed ankle bandages to prevent chafing. Interrogater began by reminding the detainee about the lessons in respect and how the detainee had disrespected the interrogators. Told detainee that a dog is held in higher esteem because dogs know right from wrong and know how to protect innocent people from bad people. Began teaching the detainee lessons such as stay, come, and bark to elevate his social status up to that of a dog. Detainee became very agitated.
Are the liberals in the audience good and agitated? Good. This is exactly how I want the murderers of September 11th treated. Like vermin. How would you want Mohammed Atta treated? Now.... STAY. Before I hit you withthe sissy slap glove.
There is much more in the story. Including how we tell this guy he is worse off than a stinking rat, because rats have freedom and some capacity to enjoy love -- but he will have none. I know, this is really, really mean stuff. But you know what? We broke him. We broke him physically, emotionally and psychologically. And we have the information we need to roll up some more human garbage like him and repeat this process over and over again until we have killed or captured every single one of them.
The lesson has to be clear: don't mess with America. Instead of self-flagelating ourselves over GITMO, we should be saying -- that's exactly what you are going to get too, jihadi boy, if you mess with the United States.
I could get upset when reading this account, but frankly, I think more about the people these guys killed -- and are continuing to kill. I'll save my outrage for the next time this guy's buddies cut off some innocent contractor's head.
It is clearly evident the difference between this actual interrogation effort and barracks hijinks. This is the type of stuff that is clearly effective -- as at one point later on, this guy is found naked on the floor pulling his own hair out. The guys doing the naked pyramids, you just aren't going to get results like this.
Final point -- I am kinda hopeful that Halliburton made some money on this deal, at least on the hood, bolts and chains.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
DURBIN'S NON-APOLOGY APOLOGY
The Shape of Days: Hutchison, others urge Durbin to retract; Durbin apologizes: "More than 1700 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq and our country’s standing in the world community has been badly damaged by the prison abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. My statement in the Senate was critical of the policies of this Administration which add to the risk our soldiers face. I will continue to speak out when I disagree with this Administration. I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood. I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support.”"
Usually, an apology involves someone admitting they made a mistake. Durbin, however, shifts responsiblility to others, saying, in effect, that we all "misunderstood" his comments (or, less generously, "misused" them). He regrets that we misunderstood how he really feels -- don't you see? The fact is, this isn't an apology.
Non-Apology NOT ACCEPTED.
C-E-N-S-U-R-E Him. Call your Senator today.
Friday, June 17, 2005
VD Hanson on NRO…
“ Our own fundamentalist Left is in lockstep with Wahhabist reductionism — in its similar instinctive distrust of Western culture. Both blame the United States and excuse culpability on the part of Islamists. The more left-wing the Westerner, the more tolerant he is of right-wing Islamic extremism; the more liberal the Arab, the more likely he is to agree with conservative Westerners about the real source of Middle Eastern pathology.
The constant? A global distrust of Western-style liberalism and preference for deductive absolutism. So burn down a mosque in Zimbabwe, murder innocent Palestinians in Bethlehem in 2002, arrest Christians in Saudi Arabia, or slaughter Africans in Dafur, and both the Western Left and the Middle East's hard Right won't say a word. No such violence resonates with America's diverse critics as much as a false story of a flushed Koran — precisely because the gripe is not about the lives of real people, but the psychological hurts, angst, and warped ideology of those who in their various ways don't like the United States.”
As usual, we are not worthy.
Media Bias at work -
First the AP story - and then what Dana Milbank (obviously no right wing stooge) saw.
From the AP -
WASHINGTON - Amid new questions about President Bush's drive to topple Saddam Hussein, several House Democrats urged lawmakers on Thursday to conduct an official inquiry to determine whether the president intentionally misled Congress.
At a public forum where the word "impeachment" loomed large, Exhibit A was the so-called Downing Street memo, a prewar document leaked from inside the British government to The Sunday Times of London a month and a half ago. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, organized the event.
Recounting a meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair's national security team, the memo says the Bush administration believed that war was inevitable and was determined to use intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the ouster of Saddam.
"The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy," one of the participants was quoted as saying at the meeting, which took place just after British officials returned from Washington.
The president "may have deliberately deceived the United States to get us into a war," Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said. "Was the president of the United States a fool or a knave?"
The Democratic congressmen were relegated to a tiny room in the bottom of the Capitol and the Republicans who run the House scheduled 11 major votes to coincide with the afternoon event.
"We have not been told the truth," Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier son was killed in Baghdad a year ago, told the Democrats. "If this administration doesn't have anything to hide, they should be down here testifying."
The White House refuses to respond to a May 5 letter from 122 congressional Democrats about whether there was a coordinated effort to "fix" the intelligence and facts around the policy, as the Downing Street memo says.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan says Conyers "is simply trying to rehash old debates."
Conyers and a half-dozen other members of Congress were stopped at the White House gate later Thursday when they hand-delivered petitions signed by 560,000 Americans who want Bush to provide a detailed response to the Downing Street memo. When Conyers couldn't get in, an anti-war demonstrator shouted, "Send Bush out!" Eventually, White House aides retrieved the petitions at the gate and took them into the West Wing.
"Quite frankly, evidence that appears to be building up points to whether or not the president has deliberately misled Congress to make the most important decision a president has to make, going to war," Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said earlier at the event on Capitol Hill.
Misleading Congress is an impeachable offense, a point that Rangel underscored by saying he's already been through two impeachments, of President Nixon in Watergate and President Clinton for an affair with a White House intern.
Conyers pointed to statements by Bush in the run-up to invasion that war would be a last resort. "The veracity of those statements has - to put it mildly - come into question," he said.
Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson said, "We are having this discussion today because we failed to have it three years ago when we went to war."
"It used to be said that democracies were difficult to mobilize for war precisely because of the debate required," Wilson said, going on to say the lack of debate in this case allowed the war to happen.
Wilson wrote a 2003 newspaper opinion piece criticizing the Bush administration's claim that Iraq had sought uranium in Niger. After the piece appeared someone in the Bush administration leaked the identity of Wilson's wife as a CIA operative, exposing her cover.
Wilson has said he believes the leak was retaliation for his critical comments. The Justice Department is investigating.
John Bonifaz, a lawyer and co-founder of a new group called AfterDowningStreet.org, said the lack of interest by congressional Republicans in the Downing Street memo is like Congress during Nixon's presidency saying "we don't want" the Watergate tapes.
And now...what really happened -
Dana Milbank -
The hearing was only nominally about the Downing Street Memo and its assertion that in the summer of 2002 Bush was already determined to go to war and was making the intelligence fit his case. Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador whose wife was outed as a CIA operative, barely mentioned the memo in his opening statement. Cindy Sheehan, who lost a son in Iraq, said the memo "only confirms what I already suspected."
No matter: The lawmakers and the witnesses saw this as a chance to rally against the war.
OK - so maybe 'exhibit A' was a little over the top - but the memo was the pretext for the hearing - so lets give the AP the benefit of the doubt.
The session took an awkward turn when witness Ray McGovern, a former intelligence analyst, declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by administration "neocons" so "the United States and Israel could dominate that part of the world." He said that Israel should not be considered an ally and that Bush was doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
"Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation," McGovern said. "The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic."
Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), who prompted the question by wondering whether the true war motive was Iraq's threat to Israel, thanked McGovern for his "candid answer."
Wow...one of the witnesses is an accused anti-semite (that sounds newsworthy to me). In addition, a Congressman (who has made anti-semitic statements in the past) asked what sounds like an anti-semitic question - again - I might want to include that in my article.
But...it gets better -
At Democratic headquarters, where an overflow crowd watched the hearing on television, activists handed out documents repeating two accusations -- that an Israeli company had warning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and that there was an "insider trading scam" on 9/11 -- that previously has been used to suggest Israel was behind the attacks.
hmm...Conspiracy theories blaming Israel handed out at Democratic HQ...I guess that's just not something anyone would really care about.
Interesting how that works...
While the mainstream media attacks American soldiers relentlessly, they appear to be taking staged propaganda pictures for our enemies and passing them off as "news."
Cap'n Ed is on it over at Captain's Quarters
Maybe Durbin has a Point?
I was thinking that Durbin's comparison of American soldiers at Gitmo to Nazis, communists and Khmer Rouge was completely uncalled for, and then I heard more about the new guy they hired as the manager of food services for the camp.
Here is the latest picture of him, asking the inmates if they need him to warm up their falafel.
I want to warn you guys -- no questioning Senator Durbin's patriotism. Just because a guy compares our soldiers to fascists, communists and murderers, that is no reason to think he doesn't love America every bit as much as you do. And remember, he probably loves America even more, because dissent is what made this country so great. Sure, our enemy will use his baseless remarks as propaganda. Sure, it will serve to discourage our own soldiers who are bending over backwards and putting themselves at risk every day that they deal with these murderers. But he was speaking truth to power! Like a modern day Lincoln, I say.
Can you say C-E-N-S-U-R-E? If it is good enough for Trent, it is good enough for Dick.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
WHY THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS NEED GITMO
Jason hits the nail on the head. War is tough business. At the end of the day, though, the closure of GITMO would mark the end of the geneva conventions as a meaningful agreement. Why? Because the geneva conventions lay out rules of conduct for each side to follow in a conflict that guarantees some common-sense rules of conduct that protect soldiers and civilians alike. Among those rules -- you wear an identifiable uniform to set yourself apart from civilians. You don't target civilians. You don't force civilians to commit acts of violence on your behalf. You don't kill captured soldiers. You don't use religious buildings or hospitals for military operations.
In return for abiding by those rules of conduct, you get a) quarter on the battlefield and b) decent treatment as a prisoner of war. Also, Under the conventions, a captured soldier can be kept as a prisoner of war until the end of the conflict.
The new standard that McCain and Democrats are calling for would essentially say that enemy combatants should be tried in a court of law or released. Think about that: terrorists who violate ALL of the rules of conduct that I laid out above, are not only entitled to all the same protections as the everyday soldier, but have the added advantage of being able to challenge their detention through our criminal justice process, which as we see this week, places the onus on the prosecution, rather than the criminal. The result: terrorists get a chance to walk free, even though their allies and organizations are still actively at war with the United States, while the uniformed soldier is confined for the duration.
If we allow this self-flagellation to continue, and we hamstring ourselves into providing terrorists and murderers with more rights than soldiers who act honorably, we are giving our enemies (today and in the future) every incentive to resort to the tactics of terror. The result -- more civilian deaths.
My sense is that the most effective way to deal with this is to take no prisoners. Kill them on the battlefield. If you can't get any information from them, and you can't even turn the air conditioning up too high for fear of some monday morning quarterback in the senate comparing our soldiers to Nazis, then you may as well kill them right then and there. Oh, I don't mean murder them. Don't have to. Our soldiers throw hell at these guys, then back off a bit to let them think better of it. All we have to do is eliminate the lull in the battlefield that allows them to come out of their hiding space with their hands up.
The sad thing is, this doesn't serve us well either, since we could use the information to help stop terrorists before they strike. But if the choice is to kill them, or pamper them, release them and have to fight them later. I say kill them.
One more thing -- I was glad to finally see some members of the House and Senate standing up for our troops and fighting back against this ridiculous feeding frenzy. We have to win this war. And that is going to require us to do lots of nasty things we wouldn't ordinarily do and things we don't like to do. If we have to chain up a terrorist and put naked pictures around his neck, and turn the airconditioning off to get some information that saves the lives of AMERICAN SOLDIERS, as well as innocent civilians, I am comfortable with that.
It seems funny that people who claim to be so supportive of the American soldier value knee-jerk anti-American "international opinion" more than the lives of our soldiers on the ground. Make no mistake about it -- these hysterical outbursts that we are becoming monsters because of what we are doing at GITMO are providing aid and comfort to the enemy. This whole issue is about one thing: scoring cheap political points by running down the reputation of our nation's armed forces (in an attempt to tar the President) is as transparant as it is shameful.
On the plus side, it is good to see they are finally interrogating these prisoners the right way -- systematically and effectively breaking them down to get information. The disorganized naked pyramid approach was not very effective.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
A jury of his peers…
I’ve been pleased that this site has been Jacko free during this whole freakish debacle, and while I’m embarrassed to be the one that breaks that trend, for some reason I felt it necessary to say the following.
To me the most obnoxious aspect of this circus over the past week was just how many groups and individuals got out in front of the verdict to say that if he were found guilty, that it would simply be because of racism as there were no blacks on the jury - that somehow Jacko was denied a jury of his peers. Now beyond the obvious quip that a rich white male should feel right at home in Santa Maria, one has to ask the question - a jury of his peers? Is that even possible?
So if you were going to stock a jury with Michael Jackson’s peers, who would they be? Here’s my list:
Dennis Rodman, Tiny Tim, Liza Minelli, Mike Tyson, Divine, Carrot Top, Al Sharpton, Siegfried and Roy, Liberace, Marilyn Manson and Helen Thomas as the jury foreperson.
Now I think several of those people are no longer with us, so I’ll accept nominations for replacements.
Gulags – they just ain’t what they used to be…
So as we all now know, a few weeks ago, Amnesty International accused the Bush administration of being a "leading purveyor and practitioner" of human rights violations and referred to Guantanamo Bay as a “gulag of our times.” A gulag. Now I suppose it’s possible that the folks at Amnesty International are just ignorant and don’t really know what a gulag is (or was), but I’m not sure I’m ready to give them that benefit of the doubt.
The gulags in the former Soviet Union were a widespread system of concentration-camp-style oppression, forced labor, torture and death. You ended up in the gulags for speaking against the state – or in support of freedom – or simply being suspected of either. Over twenty-five million (think about that number) people entered the gulags, were forced into outright slavery, and most, nearly twenty million, never made it out. They were massive, the size of large college campuses or small towns. The gulags were repositories of humiliation, torture and death on a genocidal scale – really surpassed only by the holocaust in terms of magnitude of evil.
To refer to the Guantanamo Bay facility as a gulag, not only accuses the US Government, and the soldiers and agents that run the facility, of unspeakable acts of sheer evil – but it at the same time trivializes the inhuman suffering of over twenty-five million victims of Stalin’s genocidal oppression.
Beyond the fact that most of these accusations are likely bogus, as we already know that the AL Qaeda Handbook instructs recruits to "Claim the Americans are torturing you" if captured, the bottom line is that even if everyone of these accusations were true it barely rises to the level of “questionable” when one considers who these prisoners are and what their intentions are towards the American people. These are people who were captured on the battlefields in Afghanistan – they are Al Qaeda, they are Taliban, they are terrorists.
The upcoming Time Magazine article on these alleged abuses focuses on the treatment of Mohammed al-Qahtani - the twentieth hijacker. Outrages such as forcing him to pee in his pants, and listen to Christina Aguilera music, making him stand in uncomfortable positions, and hanging pictures of scantily clad women in his cell – these acts according to Chuck Hagel should offend the sensibilities of "any straight-thinking American, any straight-thinking citizen of the world." THIS IS THE 20TH F-ING HIJACKER!!!! HELLO? If Mohammed Atta had survived his attack on the World Trade Center, would these acts be too much to try and obtain information from him? Are these acts worthy of a “gulag” reference?
As we've said soooo often, where’s the perspective? These are people who have pledged death to all of us. They behead American citizens and they’re called “insurgents,” we fail to serve sorbet to cleanse the palate between courses – TO TERRORISTS – and we’re running a gulag.
Maybe the Amnesty International folks are just ignorant, or lazy, or both – maybe they just thought it would be catchy and thought provoking to refer to Gitmo as a gulag without really thinking about what they were saying – but I don’t think so. By invoking the term gulag, they attempted to convey the notion that what is happening to the prisoners there is somehow comparable to the Stalinist style repression that resulted in the torture and death of twenty million people. That’s not just ignorant or lazy - or wrong - it’s irresponsible, and history does not allow it.
Got that right...
You may be interested in this excerpt from President Bush's remarks last night's at the 2005 President's Dinner. It frames things rather well:
"Members of the other party have worked with us to achieve important reforms on some issues. Yet, too often, their leadership prefers to block the ideas of others. We hear 'no' to making tax relief permanent. We hear 'no' to Social Security reform. We hear 'no' to confirming federal judges. We hear 'no' to a highly qualified U.N. ambassador. We hear 'no' to medical liability reform. On issue after issue, they stand for nothing except obstruction, and this is not leadership. It is the philosophy of the stop sign, the agenda of the roadblock, and our country and our children deserve better."
"Political parties that choose the path of obstruction will not gain the trust of the American people. If leaders of the other party have innovative ideas, let's hear them. But if they have no ideas or policies except obstruction, they should step aside and let others lead."
Saturday, June 11, 2005
THIS WOULD EXPLAIN THE RIOTING IN MANY AMERICAN SUBURBS TODAY
This is just another example of the cultural insensitivity that leads to trouble.
Hat tip: Instapundit
TCS: Tech Central Station - And So the Kinder, Gentler War on Terror Began...
Great piece of satire on the PC war on terror. Money quote:
"If the bad guys have information, I'd do anything short of torture to get it out of them. I'd take to those Korans like Gallagher to watermelons. I'd use rendering plants, pigs in yarmulkes, Vegas strippers, wood-chippers, sumo wrestlers, leather-clad perverts, battery acid, Jesuits -- everything! I'd feed every last Koran in the world to rabid aardvarks if it would save the life of even one of my men. And if that ticks off the 'patriotic Iraqi protestors,' maybe somebody better tell them that in the civilized world, lives are worth more than books."
Read it. Hat tip: Chester.
THE PARTY OF THE PEOPLE
Well, the perverts, kid-touchers and rapists at least.
The Democrats in New York's Assembly are blocking a bill that would provide GPS monitoring for sex offenders. You can read the story here.
In Niagara Falls, one of these freaks was just caught with an 8 year old trapped in a hidden basement in his house.
Friday, June 10, 2005
THE "JUMPMASTER" WEIGHS IN
I wanted to post the Comments made by "Jumpmaster" -- a civilian contractor in Iraq who fought in Operation Desert Storm.
I have been in Iraq as a civilian contractor for 17 months. (Been here before as a soldier in the first Gulf War). Forget the pros and cons of the strategy and the warfighting...we can argue that all day with no resolution, but remember we are not in the room making the decisions.
I can tell you in short I have made many friends in the units here at my camp as well as Iraqi civilians. I have and am friends with many...I have lost many friends both military and local citizens...I have seen the results of war from both sides...and the short term losses are terrible...but they are all part of a sacrifice that is made for the emergence of a free nation.
I will discuss later my job here but want to share a story from my day today that touched me peronally and will give you an idea that we ARE making a difference one person at a time. Remember that this generation of Iraqis already know they will not see ALL the benefits of this action...but their children will and it is them whom we are serving.
Back in Jan/Feb of this year I was in the aid station (medical clinic) inspecting some construction work we did and talking with my medic friends from 1st CAV Division. They brought me into a treatment room where 2 female medice were tending to a young Iraqi girl, about 12 years old, they were painting her nails for her and braiding her hair, and basically mking her feel like a little girl again. She was there because she had her legs broken by a 'quack' doctor in her neighborhood (directly aross the highway from our camp). Her mother brought her here because she knew we would help her. I asked what happened to her. She was burned severely in a firefight and ensuing explosion. With no medical treatment for some time the skin scarred on her legs forcing them into a permanently bent state, she could not walk or straighten her legs. he 'doctor' in her neighborhood came by and forced her legs straight and broke them.
Fast forward to today...a Civil Affairs Captain friend from the Army asked me if I could find an AC unit for a family he has been working with. They had nothing, very poor, and no AC in the house. The temp yesterday was 120 degrees so imagine the misery of this family. I asked my AC guy if we had any extra, and we did...they jumped at the chance to help a local kid who needed AC in her house...his exact comment, 'that's what it's all about'. After talking with the captain more tody I realized he was describing the family of the same little girl I met in the winter at the aid station. She had surgery (by the Army) to fix her legs but was still convalescing slowly. She lost her sister in the firefight and was the only child left...and needed to live in comfort to heal well. Bottom line is that we got them the AC and they will have a comfortable summer in spite of their poverty...the United Sttes did that for her and her family, a couple civilians who long for the opportunity to elp someone, and a captain who cared so much he followed her progress and made sure her family was taken care of over the past many months. this is the face and the story you will never see on the news...the ones where we change lives with a simple act...the ones where we change the notion that we are here to harm them...this girl is the future of the country here, the ones whose impression of the US is formed by the acts of love and kindness shown to her and her family by us...I can tell you story after story like this...NEVER let anyone tell you we are not making a difference...we do it quietly and one person at a time.
# posted by Jumpmaster : 8:31 AM"
Stay safe jump-master and keep in touch. We would be proud to post any of your reports from the field.
REVENGE OF THE ZZZZZZZZZZZ
Saw ROTS for the second time. This time with my son, Jack. There was something pretty cool about going to see a Star Wars movie at the theater with my son. He is just a little younger than I was when the first Star Wars came out. We saved the movie tickets and all.
On the second viewing, I found the movie much, much less enjoyable. We are invested in very few characters (Yoda/Obi Wan) but more because of what we know of them in the past (well, future really) than what they are in this movie. The characters were flat. The dialogue horrible. The special effects were great, but so over the top all the time that it was more like watching somebody's class project in CGI school than a movie.
Best moment - Vader in full regalia looking over at Emperor and asking about Padme. It was the first time you ever hear Vader (in costume anyway) expressing any sort of compassion for anybody. The moment Vader starts breathing with the mask is pretty cool and happens just before.
Worst moment - Everything from there on out was terrible. Vader breaking out of the shackles like Frankenstein. Screaming NOOOOOOO when learning of Padme's fate.
Something tells me that Star Wars isn't going to have the same impact on my son as it did for me. No box full of action figures. No cards. No Millenium FREAKIN Falcon. We may have a lightsaber at some point, but nothing is for certain.
Yes, I am a world class nerd. You are lucky I didn't see Hitchhikers' Guide yet.
WHATEVER YOU DO, TIBS, DON'T LOOK AT THIS
I'll take some flak for this... it definitely breaks the "family site" rule. But it just doesn't get ANY better than this.
Hat tip - Instapundit!
Look away Tom. Don't cave in to the Dark Side.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
OPEN THREAD FOR COMMENTS FROM US MILITARY PERSONNEL
We rant a lot about things we don't know much about. I recently heard from a college friend and fraternity brother who has spent some time in Iraq. He will be posting in the comments section. Our thanks and prayers go out to all those serving in our nation's military or in support of their mission.
"DISLOYAL, CONTEMTUOUS WATERS
Read Ben Stein
AS INSTAPUNDIT MIGHT SAY
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
KERRY COMES CLEAN... OR DOES HE?
The Boston Globe reported today that John Kerry has finally relented and released his full military records. Problem is, that isn't true on several levels.
First, Kerry only released records to Mike Kranish, the Boston Globe reporter who carried water for his campaign for the past four years. Other reporters -- those who aren't in the Senator's pocket and would be far more likely to challenge the Kerry spin -- do NOT have access to these records, nor does the public.
Ask yourself, why weren't those records released to everyone? Why just the Globe? Why did Kerry take so long for his staff to "go through the records" and identify what was relevant? What, exactly, was irrelevant?
Second, it seems clear from the story that Kerry did not actually release his full records. Where, for example, are the 'after action reports?"
The smokescreen that has been released is that Kerry didn't want people to know he was a poor student. Please. Many people on the right seem to be buying that answer. I don't. I think they were in need of an explanation as to why he didn't release the records and this is one that wouldn't really cause him any damage (if anything, his campaign might argue it makes him more of a regular guy, like Bush).
I don't know why I care, since Kerry's campaign is dead in the water anyway. It is kind of like watching the Pataki campaign... you know the ending, but it is interesting to watch how the whole thing comes crashing down around them. Although, in fairness, Pataki was probably way better looking than Kerry in college.
What bothers me most is that the MSM is so easily played by Democrats. Can you imagine if Bush released his records to Fox News only and said, "I've made my records public!" Yeah, I am sure he could easily get away with that.
Before any of you lefties suggest that he did too make his records public, please visit this site, the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Mo. Request a copy of the good Senator's records -- make sure to ask for all of 'em. It will be a long wait at your fax machine.
Monday, June 06, 2005
Chertkoff has more good news from Afghanistan up. Guess there wasn't time to send reporters out to do these stories. We have to rely on an Australian blogger.
Quick, get two more teams of reporters working on the Q'uran desecration!
First Wave At Omaha Beach
Read this account of Omaha beach. Harrowing.
Of course, if it happened today, we would be asking the President to remove IKE because the military got so much went wrong. The bombs overshot their mark, leaving our men sitting ducks on the beach. The men were overloaded, leaving hundreds (maybe thousands) to drown. The intelligence about defense strength were way off base.
Of course, we understood things a lot differently then. And we knew who our real enemies were -- and being an American came ahead of being a Republican or Democrat.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Remember that Pinhead?
Who insisted we leveled Fallujah -- making it uninhabitable for years to come? Here's an update on our progress there.
If we destroyed the city (as was falsely alleged) then we must have rebuilt the whole damn thing in six months. If that is the case, we really need to do something to break the unions in my state, because it takes a heck of a lot longer than that to put up a single building in my town. Permits, design, RFPs, work stoppages, and so on.
Yes, there were, "awesome scenes of destruction" -- but that isn't the same as leveling the city.
I wouldn't pile on here, but I recently read another report that Al Sadr was doing his best to participate in the political process rather than taking to the streets or going all insurgent on us.
Once again, Mr. Anonymous, I was right and, well you were blinded by your anti-Americanism. Yes, I am questioning your patriotism, and yes, I did call you a pinhead.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
My Advice to College Republicans
A former student of mine asked me for some advice on how the College GOP can make a bigger mark on campus. He was motivated by the fact that a faculty member was recently arrested for trying to block the President's motorcade.
I thought I would share some of my advice and solicit some ideas from you guys.
1. Expand your reach. Take over some clubs. Why? They are a source of funding for events and speakers. They are also a way to recruit new members. The History Club and Political Science Club are great places to start. Don't make a big noisy deal of it. Just do it slowly and quietly. Don't be afraid to start a few clubs either. And make sure you get some of your members elected to the student senate and to the campus programming board. The campus programming board (or whatever they call it on your campus) is responsible for promoting concerts, events and major speakers. They are a huge source of money, and if you are involved, you can influence who gets paid $20k to come on campus. Do you want it to be George Stephanopolis or Ann Coulter? Well then do something about it.
2. Engage the battle of ideas. Get some of your members on the college newspaper as contributors. Better yet, start your own conservative newspaper -- even it if appears twice a semester, it gives you the chance to define what the dialogue is about. Do you want people talking about parking problems on campus or debatingt he colleges affirmative action policies? Again, your choice.
3. Expand the Scope of Conflict. In battles with lefties (be they faculty, staff or administration) they hold all the cards. The solution is to expand the scope of conflict. To varying degrees, you will find much more support for your ideas from the college board of directors, alumni, donors, the student body and the public. Don't like a policy and the administration shut you down? Bring it to the board of directors -- send them a letter! Better yet, figure out how to get one of your members or a friendly alumnus on the board of directors (see what's happening at Princeton!). Use the media to your advantage -- both on campus and in the community.
4. Identify and destroy the speech codes - The left knows it can't win the battle of ideas -- so they shut down the debate with threats and intimidation, on the pretext that they need to protect people's "feelings" and protect against a "hostile environment." Go after speech codes -- relentlessly. Consider legal challenges if necessary. This has a dual purpose -- first, you have an issue where you have the high ground -- free speech! Second, you make the administration think twice before they shut down your speech -- it gives you more leeway on lots of other issues if they fear a lawsuit or negative publicity.
5. Pick your battles.There are lots of good ones. Here are a few:
a) Is ROTC allowed on campus? If not, how can you change this? Can you contact alumni vets? Can you invite World War II vets in to participate in a protest, dialogue or, even better, an old fashioned "teach in" where you -- and not some lefty professor -- controls the floor!
b) Does NYPIRG -- or its equivalent elsewhere -- impose a separate fee on student bills -- requiring you to pay for their liberal political activism? Does that sound right to you? Do something about it!
c) Is there ideological balance on the faculty? Voting registration information is public -- you can pretty easily take a list of names to the board of elections in nearby communities to figure out what the proportion of dems to republicans is on your campus. Use that data to start a discussion about intellectual diversity...
6. Be civil. Be nice to people, even when you disagree with them.
7. Most important, be funny. College students think politics is boring. Don't prove them right. Entertain people. Take risks. Don't like homosexual marriage? Have a mock wedding on campus where four or five people get married. Demand your equal rights to marry four people at a time! It will get your point across. Marry a toaster. Or a goat. Whatever. Do something different, that makes people laugh. Scratch that goat thing, though -- it may haunt you for a long time.
The Affirmative Action Bake sales are a good example of an effective political event because they are unique and interesting -- getting people to say, hmmm... I never thought about it like that before -- that's the reaction you want! Make people think. Then keep the debate going.
Law School Chris Weighs in on the Filibuster
The good news on the filibuster deal -
This is a quote from "acceptable judge" William Pryor on Roe v. Wade - "The worst abomination in the history of constitutional law."
When a filibuster might be permissible - The head of NARAL said, “We are confident that a Supreme Court nominee who won’t even state a position on Roe v. Wade is the kind of extraordinary circumstance this deal envisions.”
Also, Chuck Schumer on his 'test' - "Will they interpret law and not make law? Will they not impose their own views and have enough respect for the Constitution and the laws of this land that they impose their own?"
I know things seem bleak at the moment - but the parameters of the future debate seem clear. We have seen a major sea change in the climate for judicial activism. When Clarence Thomas was nominated he had to hide behind the fig leaf that he had never thought about Roe. Now, it is an established fact that a Roe opponent can and should be confirmed. Also, if any of these three judges are nominated for the Supreme Court - they can not be filibustered. We now have three battle tested conservative judges - all with the votes to be confirmed onto the Supreme Court.
Is this deal perfect? - No, but consider these silver linings and the fact that thankfully John McCain seems to have sown the seeds of a primary defeat if he chooses to run for President in 2008. All in all not a bad deal.
Note - The real change however should be to remove the gag order from judicial nominees. Letting them fire back might change a little of the pinata effect where democrats feel free to impugn the dignity, intelligence and honesty of these nominees with little regard to fact.
btw - sorry I haven't posted in a while - studying and taking finals.
Amnesty International? Hulk SMASH!
Well, it isn't quite the Hulk, but Citizen Smash is on the case of the true Iraqi war crimes. But you won't read about these in the AI reports.
Note, in particular, that the Geneva Conventions do not only apply to military personnel, but actions by non-military civilian agents as well -- and I think "insurgents" (read: Terrorists) qualify.
Hat tip: Instapundit.
I've been avoiding reading about Mark Felt. I have a distain for anyone, especially those holding high ranking intelligence positions or government jobs, that leak information to the media or others. His failures include his unwillingness to work within the agency and chain of command that he apparently so highly respected and his hiding behind the media and their First Amendment blanket. I see him as a coward.
The Lefts desire to call him "an American hero" is also wrong. I don't believe their calling Felt's acts herioc is genuine or based in principle as they claim, but helps them rationalize their support for him simply because it helped their attack on the Nixon Administration and government. I don't believe that the Left would feel the same way about a whistle-blower in the Clinton Administration.
Isn't the Left conflicted? In 1980, Felt and another senior FBI veteran were convicted of conspiring a decade earlier to violate the civil rights of domestic dissidents in the Weather Underground movement. Shouldn't Felt be on their list of enemies?
I'm unhappy that this puts Woodward, Bernstein and their like back in the limelight. Do Bernstein's and Woodward's egoes really need it? Can we tolerate the 'Me' generation baby-boomers talking more about themselves and their heyday?
The behavior of Felt's daughter and grandson is appalling. The daughter stated that she has tried to coax Felt to reveal himself earlier because he could help her "make at least enough money to pay some bills," and help pay for the debt she was incuring paying for her son's college education. The same family has asked the media to not speak with Felt out of respect for his privacy and weakening condition. Need to make a buck while they can?
From the New York Times: "J. Todd Foster, managing editor of The News-Virginian of Waynesboro, said that in 2003, after being frustrated in their efforts to persuade Mr. Woodward to cooperate, the Felt family had come to him - about six months after he had approached them on his own hunch that Mr. Felt was Deep Throat - to propose a collaboration. At the time, Mr. Foster was a contributor to People, which he said considered but rejected an article because the Felts wanted payment. "This was always about the money, and they were very up front with me," he said in a telephone interview. Mr. Foster and the Felt family then took the project to ReganBooks, an imprint of HarperCollins. But Judith Regan, president and publisher of ReganBooks, said Wednesday that a possible book had collapsed because of serious concerns that Mr. Felt was no longer of sound mind." Sad.
On another matter - Jason, glad your brother came home safely. Send him my thanks. And thanks to all those currently serving the military and the past and future vets out there.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
I'M DISAPPOINTED, BUT I CAN'T SAY I AM SURPRISED
Stallone announced a new Rambo movie. With the war on terror in full swing, it wouldn't be too hard to gin up a good patriotic, kick some terrorist behind flick.
No big surprise, though -- the enemies in this latest Rambo are not islamic terrorists at all -- but white supremacists.
I have been thinking about posting about this subject (media/entertainment being AWOL in the war on Terror) ever since reading this article from the Adventures of Chester website.
It isn't a huge surprise that hollywood would avoid portraying our real enemies in a negative light (fear of pickets and boycotts and negative press). In the past, they went so far as to change the plot of a Tom Clancy book to make the bad guys racists rather than islamic terrorists. At least this time, they waved the white flag of surrender to the forces of political correctness right from the start.
Can anybody think of a post- September 11th movie from a major studio that featured islamic fanatics as major bad guys? (I don't know if Team America would count -- and anyway, the main bad guy was Korean! Unless you count Sean Penn). While we are on the subject -- has anybody seen any sort of dramatization of September 11th? I think there was one -- but I can't name it. It certainly wasn't a major studio effort, and I think it appeared on lifetime or something like that.
This war has already lasted longer than WW2 and I can name dozens of movies that dramatized the war effort -- and celebrated the heroism of the American Armed Forces.
Yes, I understand -- war and war movies are two different things. But I get the feeling that we don't recognize our enemy the same way we did in the 1940s. And I have to wonder why that is... and what is the consequence? If RAMBO (for god's sake -- Rambo!) can't go after the islamofacists and terrorists -- who can?
We should just end the charade and make the next villain Antonin Scalia -- Rambo can take him on to preserve affirmative action or some such thing.