Sunday, December 31, 2006

"A story in the New York Sun Wednesday also does not inspire confidence in the bureau. According to an FBI court filing, the files in 22 of 94 investigations into leaks of classified information are missing.

"Knowing what I know, I can confidently say that until the investigative responsibilities for terrorism are removed from the FBI, I won't feel safe," said former FBI agent Robert Wright in June 2001. Reading Mr. Lance's book won't make him feel any safer."

Welcome to the New (Crooked) Year, So Much Better Than the Old (Venal) Year...

"Conyers will remain chairman of the Judiciary Committee in Nancy Pelosi's "most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history.”"

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mockery's End

"Arab despotism is a fearsome phenomenon, renewing itself from within each and every time yet another glorified hit man sets out on his bloody career. In the spirit of pure self-aggrandizement, Saddam invaded Iran and Kuwait, fired missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia, decimated his own population and in the process resorted to poison gas, manipulated the great powers, and made a special mockery of the United Nations. And perhaps none of that matched in vileness the way that he deceived the husbands of two daughters of his into returning from exile under safe conduct, only to send a squad of gunmen under his son Uday to kill these fathers of his own grandchildren.

With such brutes, entreaty, diplomacy, conferences are exercises in self-deception. Regime change imposed by superior force was the only realistic way to ensure Saddam’s fall. This is what occurred in March 2003, and it is a historic marker. The collapse of his dictatorship has created a social and political void, and a variety of hit men, as usual, are trying to make careers out of it. The only way to prevent their doing so is to introduce the rule of law and impose enough security that it has a chance to take. Saddam’s trial, for all its flaws, was an exercise in the rule of law. Justice is never perfect, especially when carrying an element of retribution. Much more important, though, this case is exemplary. Saddam’s trial and execution could yet be the building block of a future with hope in it for an Iraqi society and state at last free from his tyranny."
"And to have convicted, sentenced and executed the dictator is a signal accomplishment for the new Iraq. When I was in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, shortly after the war, a young boy showed me his schoolbook. It was like my textbooks at his age - full of doodles and squiggles and amusing additions to the illustrations. With one exception: the many pages bearing pictures of Saddam were in pristine condition. Even a bored schoolboy doesn't get so careless that he forgets where not to draw the line. When the cowardly thug emerged from his hole, it was a rare moment: in the fetid stability of the Middle East, how often do you get to see a big-time dictator looking like some boxcar hobo and meekly submitting to a lice inspection by an American soldier?...

The reality is that, as long as he was alive, there was always the possibility that he would return. When a dictator has exercised the total control over his subjects that Saddam did, his hold on them can only end with his death."
"That I could feel pity for him struck the Iraqis with whom I talked as evidence of a profound moral corruption. I came to understand how a Westerner used to the civilities of democracy and due process — even a reporter who thought he grasped the depths of Saddam’s depravity — fell short of the Iraqis’ sense, forged by years of brutality, of the power of his unmitigated evil."

Friday, December 29, 2006

"When in 2005 we watched the early stages of what later became known as "Cartoon Rage" in Denmark, we could see we were dealing with a Shariah state of mind. It wasn't exactly going out on a limb to predict things would only get worse.

And, of course, in 2006, they did. Just ask Abdul Rahman if you can find him. The "apostate" fled Afghanistan for his life last spring. Or Robert Redeker, if you can find him. The teacher who published a critique of Islam in September still lives in hiding in France."

The Mossad Again...

"Ah, Somalia. Immediately the three adults in the car perked up. We acknowledged we knew there was big trouble in that country, the attack from Ethiopia on the ICU, etc. To our surprise, our driver immediately launched into a vitriolic attack on Al Qaeda. They were evil violent men, hijacking Islam across the globe. He had details of their infiltration of Somalia from a phone call he had made the previous night, how they were using Saudi money, etc. Thousands of people were being murdered by these Wahhabis for no reason. He was obviously following the situation closely. Al Qaeda was a danger to all mankind, he said.

It was a refreshing to hear this view from a Moslem taxi driver in Seattle. He was obviously pleased that we recognized the travails of his people too. So he continued with his explication of what was behind this terrible situation - how the Moslem religion could have been taken over by these violent forces. Someone was behind the rise of this Saudi Wahhabism . The answer, he said, was Israel. It was all an Israeli plot. They were behind the Wahhabis.

Suddenly our hearts sank. How could a man who seemed so reasonable, so knowledgeable, say something so obviously crazy?

Just then we were at our hotel. Sheryl and I left the cab, stunned. I phoned Gerard from the airport. What had the man said on the way to his place? Gerard - wisely - had let him continue. There was no point in fighting with a man like that. Better to learn how his mind worked. Gerard simply inquired why the Israelis would want to back Al Qaeda when Al Qaeda was sworn to destroy Israel. The man replied by talking about his childhood, his Islamic education. He had learned about the Jews from the Koran. That was the truth, of course."

Rule No. 19

"All of these inter-related phenomena serve as windows of understanding for us, through which we become able to grasp the demented and psychopathic psychology that creates the need for a rule such as the Taliban’s No. 19. It is a rule that exposes a fanatic mindset that holds the sight and reality of an unveiled woman to be a horrific nightmare and the greatest sin, yet simultaneously considers the forced rape of a young prepubescent boy to be in the normal swing of things.

It is on this eerie and putrid plateau that we come to see the factors that spawn the yearning for death and suicide inside militant Islam. Circumscribed in the most vicious and sadistic of ways, the men imprisoned in these cages long to regain a masculinity and humanity that was violently robbed from them as children. In a setting where healing through contact with feminine affection is denied and considered evil, self-extinction through hurting the “enemy” -- and the tempter -- becomes the only way out


"Here are rules No. 31-35, as proposed by Laity:

Rule 31: Suicide bombings will be a standard tactic and indiscriminate killing of civilians is regarded as irrelevant. However Taliban should not talk about this publicly because it is offensive to Afghan culture and morality.

Rule 32: In order to protect ourselves from international forces, Taliban should hide amongst civilians and as a standard tactic use women and children as shields against attacks.

Rule 33: Taliban should have no hesitation about abusing Afghan hospitality by using intimidation to force their way into citizens' homes.

Rule 34: Taliban should further exploit Afghan hospitality by using their homes as bases to launch attacks on international and Afghan forces.

Rule 35: Taliban should lie to the public to both exaggerate their successes and minimize their failures."
"As the decent world rejoices let us remember why his rape rooms and acid baths, his plastic shredders and mass graves are now shut down; why his plans to build nuclear and chemical and biological weapons and use them on his enemies are aborted; why his reign is over. For Saddam would be a force for evil in the world today if brave and courageous men women had not been determined to take him down and had not stayed the course until it was done."
"“We are worried,” Antonios said, “that [Saad] Hariri wants to use the tribunal to go after people whose faces in Lebanon he doesn’t like.”

I think I must have audibly sighed when I heard that. But these guys live in a part of the world where politics has always been a ruthless and murderous business. Political enemies really do disappear into dungeons. Voicing the “wrong” opinion in a newspaper column can get you car-bombed on the way to work in the morning. Foreign powers really do manipulate local governments for their own craven gain. Paranoia naturally thrives in environments like Lebanon’s, and I’m honestly surprised it isn’t an even bigger problem than it already is."

Founding Hunches

"We hold these preliminary findings to be more or less accurate, at least for now, that all cultures have equal validity, and that each culture has its own ideas about rights and duties and so forth and so on and blah blah blah. In our case, we have hit upon this idea -- no offense, but we have this tentative idea -- subject to further studies, of course -- that we would like the government -- that would be your government -- to cut us some slack so that we can do what we want to do -- basically acquire property and be happy, but not limiting ourselves to that. Anyhoo, it is our culturally conditioned idea that Governments -- not all of them, of course, but ours -- should actually derive their power from the people, although we have respect and tolerance for the contrary view that you folks hold. Nevertheless, some of our more headstrong citizens think that we should be able to form a government based upon these vague hunches of ours, which, after all, are as good as your hunches. No, that was rude -- let's just say that our hunches are different than yours, and leave it at that.... No one can presume to be a judge of whose hunches are best.... At any rate, since, as the saying goes, "different strokes for different folks".... "

Abnormal Psychology Isn't Our Field

"We rarely engage with the moonbats, mostly because we are busy and have neither the time nor the inclination. But, apart from its entertainment value, this episode illustrates, I think, some features of the moonbattery that is so common on liberal web sites: First, the tendency to fixate on, and go completely nuts over, a point that is of little or no importance. The whole "issue" of Kerry being more or less shunned by the troops was of less than earth-shaking consequence. Beyond that, when I tried to explain this controversy to my wife last night, she reacted with puzzlement: "What difference does it make if the picture was taken in January or December? It shows the troops avoiding Kerry either way." True; so, as often happens, the moonbats' rage was mounted over something that was minor at best.

Second, the immediate resort to abuse and invective. There is no middle ground with the moonbats; no reasoned critiques; no thoughtful questions; no logical observations. Instead, there is unreasoning rage. These are people who, if you were around them in person, would cause you to start edging toward a doorway while surveying the room for a blunt object, just in case.

Third, the obliviousness to obvious and innocent explanations. Our military correspondent hit the nail on the head when he referred to Occam's Razor. The moonbats don't rebut simple, benign explanations; they just ignore them in favor of gothic, fevered conspiracy theories. Their logic system favors, not the simplest explanation, but the darkest one.

It was kind of fun kicking around the moonbats over the last day or two, but I think it will be a while before we pay attention to them again. Abnormal psychology isn't our field."

Thursday, December 28, 2006

"In Iran, President Ahmadinejad said, "I have signed legislation outlawing Israel, Britain and the United States. The bombing begins in 18 minutes!" Commentators observed that he was obviously channeling a Reagan joke made when the mike was off and noted the difficulties Gorbachev faced in his bid to bring about world peace. The bombing actually did begin 18 minutes later, leading to renewed calls for stiff U.N. sanctions on toner cartridges, a move that would severely crimp Iran's ability to make copies of its instructions to its regional operatives."
"The question stands."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

"How has it come to this? In this devastating indictment, the cri de coeur of an Englishman who loves France but is exasperated by the French, the background to this breakdown of civil society gradually emerges. David Pryce-Jones has discovered the explanation in the archives of the French foreign ministry, known after its imposing headquarters, the Quai d’Orsay. The corps diplomatique who have run this institution like a private club - known to initiates simply as ‘la carrière’ - are responsible not only for the decline of French prestige abroad, but also for creating the conditions for the unfolding catastrophe at home.

Like so many misfortunes, this one has its origins in the megalomania of the Bonaparte clan. For more than two centuries, since Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt, French diplomacy has been gripped by a delusion of grandeur: the idea of France as une puissance musulmane, ‘a Muslim power’ - a phrase that has a new and sinister echo now."
"This is a true story....Check out this photo from our mess hall at the US Embassy yesterday morning. Sen. Kerry found himself all alone while he was over here. He cancelled his press conference because no one came, he worked out alone in the gym w/o any soldiers even going up to say hi or ask for an autograph (I was one of those who was in the gym at the same time), and he found himself eating breakfast with only a couple of folks who are obviously not troops.

What is amazing is Bill O'Reilly came to visit with us and the troops at the CSH the same day and the line for autographs extended through the palace and people waited for two hours to shake his hand. You decide who is more respected and loved by us servicemen and women!"

Today's Multi-Culti Satire

""I am going to tell the truth. We Africans really enjoy living in shantytowns where there isn't enough food, health care, or education for our children. Furthermore, our corrupt chieftaincy political systems are really marvelous.... It would be boring if free, democratic elections were organized all over Africa. Were that to happen, we would no longer be real Africans, and by losing our identity -- and our authoritarianism, our bloody civil wars, our illiteracy, our forty-five year life expectancy -- we should be letting down not only ourselves but those Western anthropologists who study us so sympathetically and understand that we can't be expected to behave like human beings who seek dignity.... So let us fight with the full support of those Western scholars who have the wisdom and courage to acknowledge that Africans belong to different world.”"

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas! And don't forget the slack! All the batteries are installed so now I can get back to it...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

"Now: fanatics may arise in any society. They invariably arise. The question we put to the larger society is, what are you doing to suppress fanaticism?

In defence of persecuted Christians, and all others persecuted around the world, it is worth carrying into the Eve of Christmas this one simple “secular” thought. What happens in the world, and what has always happened, when no one will stand up to the fanatics."

"So "Pants" Berger is a coward of a special kind - a character out of a novel, something for a modern Tolstoy perhaps, a refined species of modern narcissist. He can also be looked at as an example of another highly-reviled category - traitor. I don't use that word loosely at all either. I don't regard Cindy Sheehan, for example, as a traitor or Michael Moore or any of those people, much as I disagree with them. They have vigorously espoused their opinions in a free society. Sandy Berger smuggled top secret documents out of our National Archives. We may never know what that was about, what was in them (or in their notes) or why he did it. He is a traitor. They are not."

On Dedication

"Shortly after 9/11, a US muslim was interviewed on radio. He was appalled at what had happened, and said "I dedicate my son to fighting the enemies of the US".

"You don't get it", I thought to myself, "you have no right to dedicate your son to anything".

East, meet West."

Friday, December 22, 2006

"INDEED: "Pundits lose grip on reality when dealing with Internet." "Bloggers should definitely be open to criticism by the mainstream media. That's America. But lumping everyone together with the crackpots is neither fair nor honest. And the fact that so many reporters and pundits can't seem to get the story right just proves the bloggers' point that too many of them don't know what they're talking about on everything else.""

Thursday, December 21, 2006

800,000 Pound House? D'oh!

"A military aide to the commander of British forces in Afghanistan appeared in court yesterday accused of spying.

Corporal Daniel James (left) interprets for Lt Gen David Richards in Afghanistan recently
Cpl Daniel James, 44, is charged under the 1911 Official Secrets Act with "prejudicing the safety of the state" by passing information "calculated to be directly or indirectly useful to the enemy".


Neighbours at his £800,000 house in Brighton, said his mother speaks only Farsi, the main language of Iran."
"Finally, it's worth noting that Germany is the only example of a federalist nation that fell victim to a totalitarian takeover despite its federalism. Except in cases where totalitarianism was imposed by foreign conquerors, every other transition to totalitarianism occurred under unitary governments. Even in the German case, federalism helped prevent earlier efforts at a totalitarian takeover in 1919 (by communists) and 1923 (Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch). Fascist Italy is not a counterexample, because Mussolini's dictatorship, although oppressive, never rose to the level of full totalitarianism and - not coincidentally - did not engage in mass murder and other atrocities on anything like the same scale as the Nazis did (e.g. - Italian Fascist officials actually refused to take part in the Holocaust).

The degree to which federalism impedes totalitarianism remains an open question. But if it does so to even a small extent, that fact alone might justify establishing a federalist system with strict limits on central government power - even if a unitary state would be preferable otherwise. The choice between unitary government and federalism is an important issue in many new democracies, including Iraq. In making their decision, they should take due account of Adolf Hitler's insight."
"It's not for nothing that many have termed the BCRA the Incumbent Protection Act. The restriction on political speech that keeps groups from buying advertising that names politicians violates the fundamental reason for the First Amendment -- to allow Americans to criticize their elected officials."
""The idea that in any circumstances you could be let through passport control wearing a veil is barely credible," he said. "Doing so when an all-persons bulletin for murder has been issued demonstrates that our borders are not just porous - they are non-existent.""
Sandy Burglar again: "This goes a bit beyond stuffing a few documents in socks. If you or I had done this, we'd be looking through the razor wire at the lovely terrain outside of Marion, Illinois."
"Was gang violence a real issue in Los Angeles before 1988? Of course. Was it something worth spending significant resources on and attempting to suppress? Yes.

But the monomaniacal focus on Los Angeles as the "Gang Capital of the World" created a false impression that Crips and Bloods ruled the streets. Where did that perception come from? From reporting th[at], like a hip-hop drumbeat, regularly pounded home the point."

"Ledeen, who always writes with such insight about Iran, makes the case that Ahmadinejad serves a purpose familiar to bloggers: sock puppet. The recent demonstrations have served as a check against the more radical factions of the mullahs in a power struggle that Ahmadinejad's antics help to mask. With Khameini's health failing, Ledeen argues that the US and the UK have to start pressing hard in support of the current student activists if they want to bring an end to Iranian radicals and their dreams of regional hegemony -- and that we are missing the opportunity."
"According to ABC News, British law enforcement officials say it will be a "miracle" if the holidays pass without an al Qaeda attack."
"One of the most salient characteristics of the Left is that it is peculiarly incapable of learning. In my lifetime, it has been ridiculously wrong about virtually everything, but it is as if facts and reality don’t matter. The same people who were trying to convince us of manmade global cooling in the 1970’s are now trying to convince us of manmade global warming. The same people who argued for our unilateral nuclear disarmament in the 1970’s and 1980’s are now telling us that it didn't matter that Saddam would have undoubtedly acquired nukes or that Iran and other terrorists are on the brink of doing so. The same people who successfully curtailed nuclear power plants in America are now insisting that we must be “energy independent” and that we are only in Iraq for the oil. The same people who argued that Reagan’s tax breaks would destroy the economy have, like everyone else, enjoyed the unprecedented economic growth of the past 25 years, and yet, still want to raise taxes. The same Democratic party that accommodated southern racists for decades continues to argue that race is all-important and that government should be engaged in the task of dividing people by race and gender and giving special privileges to some. And of course, the Democratic part is now the main repository and champion of mankind’s most ancient and vile prejudice, anti-Semitism."
"Merry Christmas to all."
"Local Muslim leaders lit candles yesterday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to commemorate Jewish suffering under the Nazis, in a ceremony held just days after Iran had a conference denying the genocide.

American Muslims "believe we have to learn the lessons of history and commit ourselves: Never again," said Imam Mohamed Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, standing before the eternal flame flickering from a black marble base that holds dirt from Nazi concentration camps. ." [ This is good news as Glenn notes. But probably too late if you peruse the last few posts... -ed. ]

Dershowitz On The Excreble Jimmah

"The next week Carter wrote a series of op-eds bemoaning the reception his book had received. He wrote that his "most troubling experience" had been "the rejection of [his] offers to speak" at "university campuses with high Jewish enrollment." The fact is that Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz had invited Carter to come to Brandeis to debate me, and Carter refused. The reason Carter gave was this: "There is no need to for me to debate somebody who, in my opinion, knows nothing about the situation in Palestine."

As Carter knows, I've been to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, many times -- certainly more times than Carter has been there -- and I've written three books dealing with the subject of Middle Eastern history, politics, and the peace process. The real reason Carter won't debate me is that I would correct his factual errors. It's not that I know too little; it's that I know too much.

Carter's refusal to debate wouldn't be so strange if it weren't for the fact that he claims that he wrote the book precisely so as to start debate over the issue of the Israel-Palestine peace process. If that were really true, Carter would be thrilled to have the opportunity to debate. Authors should be accountable for their ideas and their facts. Books shouldn't be like chapel, delivered from on high and believed on faith."

A Harper With Brain Included

"“It’s unfortunate because with Hamas, and with Hezbollah in Lebanon, it has made it very difficult to have dialogue — and dialogue is ultimately necessary to have peace in the long term — but we are not going to sit down with people whose objectives are ultimately genocidal.”

“I think all of the civilized world is agreed — and it’s not just Canada — we can’t deal with organizations whose principle and only objective is terrorism and the eradication of the other side.”" [ Well why not? We saw how fabulously it worked for Chamberlain. He died in the middle of WWII not knowing whether Britain would survive because of his fascifist folly... -ed. ]

D'oh -- Part 73676

"So, Berger stole and destroyed classified material on multuple occasions — some of which had hand-written notations that are permanently lost — and his only punishment was a fine, some community service, and the temporary loss of his security clearance. At the very least, Berger should never have access to classified documents again."

Why They Hate -- Part 78936

". . . For generations, the leaders of these so-called Muslim countries have been spoon-feeding their populations a constant diet of propaganda similar to the one that generations of Germans (and other Europeans) were fed — that Jews are vermin and should be dealt with as such? In Europe, the logical conclusion was the Holocaust. If Ahmadinejad has his way, he shall not want for compliant Muslims ready to act on his wish."

On Footnote 55 and the "One Bomb State"

"Once Israel had a nuclear deterrent to conventional attack. Now however consider the words to be found in footnote 55 to the indictment of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for inciting to genocide. Footnote 55 to the indictment, the “Referral” to the International Court of Justice under the Genocide Convention described in the previous post, is the heart of the matter, the heart of darknesss.

These words, this genocidal sentiment, which I have been citing since 2002 in writing about the situation, in postulating the prospect of a second Holocuast, were uttered by the leader of what the Western press has lately taken to calling the “pragmatic conservatives” in Iran, Ayatollah Hashemi Rasfanjani:

If one day the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel’s possession [meaning nuclear weapons]—on that day this method of global arrogance would come to a dead end. This…is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.”

“Nothing on the ground” versus mere “damage”. In other words, as one rather dramatic version has it, Israel is “a one bomb state”. A state you can wipe off the map, along with its people, with a single nuclear device. Yes Tehran might be destroyed in return, other Muslim capitals as well perhaps, by Israeli retaliation. But at the end of that bleak day there will be “nothing on the ground” in Israel, once the homeland of five million Jews. And there will still be a billion or so Muslims, many of whom will be celebrating the outcome.

The Soviet Union was not suicidal, thus deterrence worked in the Cold War. There is no deterrent to suicidal fanatics who are willing to accept millions of casualties, aka “martyrs” to accomplish the murder of millions of Jews. All “a one bomb state” requires for its extermination is, well. one bomb." [ RTWT. Yes, Rafsanjani is the "sane" one. Welcome to the nightmare world of the Three Conjectures... -ed. HT Roger ]

I'm Betting You Can't Identify This Quote Since I Omitted The Only Phrase Not Yet Forced Down The Memory Hole

"“Let both sides unite to heed, in all corners of the earth, the command of Isaiah -- to "undo the heavy burdens, and [to] let the oppressed go free."

"In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe."

"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility -- I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world.


... but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

"Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"Realists criticize the Bush Doctrine for its emphasis on expanding democracy. But such an approach can be found in Thucydides, who noted that an important goal of both Athens and Sparta was to establish and support regimes similar to their own: democracies in the case of Athens and oligarchies for Sparta. The inference one can draw is that the security of a state is enhanced when it is surrounded by others that share its principles and interests."

You Might Think...

... the Danes have thrown in the towel after the cartoon lunacy by running an ad like this in Tehran.

Think again.

Professor Norris conceded astronomers could not explain how such big objects formed so quickly after the Big Bang.

(via Hugh)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Warren Again

"We may translate, “Oderint dum metuant” as, “Let them hate, so long as they fear.” It is the precise opposite of, “Win their hearts and minds.” And it is, once again, an attitude blessedly free of that panic which, I think, all Western policy towards the “Islamist” terror threat is now tending, starting with flight from Iraq.


What the older “just-war theorists” knew, or learned (starting with St Augustine, if you read his successive prescriptions for dealing with violent schismatics), is that war is ruthless. The very humane Clausewitz taught, that the war leader unprepared to be as ruthless as his enemy does not bring peace. He creates a quagmire, and his hesitations lead finally to defeat. The chemo-therapist does not negotiate with a cancer, nor grant it the benefit of the doubt. He does not weep for all the hairs that will fall out.

As to the enemy we presently face -- the same in the Sunni Triangle as over Manhattan in September, 2001 -- we cannot win their hearts and minds in the foreseeable future. They do not love us. Therefore let them hate, so long as we can make them fear us more than we fear them."

Today's Nutshell

"Japan was easier to occupy, but then we didn't nuke Basra and Kirkuk."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

"Imagine what the impact would have been if Olmert had rejoined, "Excuse me, but it is quite possible that at the end of the day a military strike against Iran will be the only way to prevent Iran from acquiring atomic bombs and so committing another Holocaust. Given this, your blanket opposition to the notion of military strikes constitutes Germany's effective acceptance of another Holocaust. Shame on you, Angie. Shame on Germany."

Such a statement would have changed the entire dynamic of the international discourse on Iran."

Oh, THAT Holocaust...

"Seized when Germany fell to the Allies in 1945, the documents were deposited in an archive in the German city of Bad Arolsen and have been tightly controlled for privacy reasons ever since. Sitting on 16 miles of shelving, they number 50 million pages covering 17.5 million victims, not only Jews but also millions of slave laborers, political prisoners, homosexuals and Roma. They reveal the horrible: For 90 minutes on Hitler’s birthday, a prisoner was shot every two minutes as a gift to the Führer. They tell the mundane: Lice on prisoners were counted and classified as small, medium and large."
"One would think that the threat of proliferation on the southern belly of Russia would give Putin and his regime some pause, but the Russian autocrat has his eyes on the wrong front. He sees his great conflict with Europe and the Western powers, which have come all the way to the doorstep of Russia, absorbing all of the buffer states that once shielded Russia from the West. That evolution of Westernization -- begun with the fall of the Berlin Wall -- has rattled Putin far more than it should, and it has kept his focus off of the real existential threat of a nuclear-armed radical Islam.

And we have no doubt that Ahmadinejad will share with his friends once he has a fully-developed nuclear process. His tip to the Kuwaitis only confirms his intentions to spread nuclear weapons throughout Southwest Asia in an attempt to eject the West from the area. He wants an end to the Israeli nuclear deterrent, and he's going to get it unless he's stopped. That would be true whether Putin hands him the fuel for his Messianic ambitions or not, but the day will come much more quickly now than before."
"The Palestinian Authority keeps coming closer to dissolving into two separate governments and two major bases of operation for each. Hamas already has primary control of Gaza, while Fatah holds the West Bank, although each has plenty of representation in both places. Both have their own armies, and both seek to gain full control over the state apparatus. The early elections will likely set off enough anger to end the facade of the PA altogether.

Perhaps this is the only way in which the Palestinians will get tired of war. It's unfortunate, because this could have been resolved a decade ago if Yasser Arafat had the courage to accept Ehud Barak's two-state solution. The Palestinians want it all from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, however, and they will instead reap the bitter harvest of all the violence they have sown. When they have had enough death, perhaps they will select leaders interested in peace. If that never happens, though, it seems more likely that they will exterminate themselves in an orgy of destruction."

Saturday, December 16, 2006

On Keeping Pace

"My major conclusion? Simply that it's not enough to acquire first-class technology. You also need the right organizational structures, training, and leadership to take advantage of that technology. Today, the U.S. is the undisputed leader in high-tech hardware but our government bureaucracy is still designed to fight mirror-image adversaries from the Industrial Age not nimble, decentralized foes like Al Qaeda. We need to transform the government in order to realize the potential of Information Age warfare and avoid the fate of previous superpowers, from the Ottomans to the British, which saw their influence wane because they couldn't keep pace with Revolutions in Military Affairs."
"No doubt Kerry also lectured Mubarak about once hyping the WMD threat (“Mubarak lied, thousands died?”). Remember, the Egyptian strongman, as part of his reservations about Iraq, had warned our generals that American troops would be targeted with gasses of all sorts by Saddam.

Kerry also called for new talks with Iran—a rogue state presently in the middle of uranium enrichment, supplying IEDs to the militias in Iraq, promising to wipe out Israel, and hosting a Holocaust denial love fest in Teheran. Surely if the senator once denigrated our own soldiers as terrorizing Iraqis he can at least say that Iranians do the same?
Jimmy Carter is publicizing his indictment of Israel as an apartheid state, this apparently awful democracy that is the only country in the present Middle East where Arabs freely vote in safety, publish their views without censorship, and enjoy a material existence unknown in the West Bank.

Perhaps he can offer suggestions on how to deal with Iran, since the last time he entered into that diplomatic arena he sent Ramsey Clark as an official envoy to apologize for American sins, to offer a new partnership, and in vain to beg for the return of the hostages. And we know the results of that gambit—and the subsequent moral careers of both the sender and his emissary.

The Iraq Study Group insists that it is not in the long-term interest of either Syria or Iran to perpetuate the present chaos (i.e., Americans soldiers and Iraqi reformers being blown up) in Iraq. But Iran’s own military commanders praise the present violence there for tying down American forces, and presumably giving them a pass to continue their bomb-making, whether nuclear or IEDs. Among the most prominent who praise Iran’s positive role is David Duke, who at last has found a kindred host government.

So all in all, it’s been a strange week, in a strange war."

Friday, December 15, 2006

"One more problem with increasing the size of the Army: where do you put all those troops? A good number of the bases where troops were stationed during the Cold War simply aren't there anymore. Ft. Ord, CA, the former home of the 7th Infantry Division, for example, is now part of the Cal State University system. And the bases in Germany that once housed elements of 5 divisions are, or soon will be, gone, with a just a couple of exceptions.

Even going halfway back to the roughly million-man Army we had during the Cold War would mean adding another 250,000 troops, requiring another 5-10 major installations. Not sure where you're going to find that-and when you do expect enviro-socialists to protest turning the habitat of the southern tigerspotted swamp tree newt into a tank range. And people who don't want to live next to the sounds of gunfire and artillery, or low flying helicopters."

A LOL Amen with Sharansky

"The chief agreed and the menorah reappeared. Sharansky then said a lengthy prayer, part of which he made up, and which he repeated to keep the service going as long as possible. Since he was praying in Hebrew, the prison chief didn't realize that Sharansky was repeating himself. Soon wax from the candles was dripping onto the chief's beautiful desk.

At the end, Sharansky prayed that he would soon be able to celebrate Hanukkah with family in Jerusalem and added, "may the day come when all our enemies, who today plan our destruction, will stand before us and hear our prayers and say 'Amen.' On cue, the chief, relieved that the service had finally ended, echoed "amen."

UPDATE: It is well known that President Bush has been inspired by Sharansky's book, The Case for Democracy. Sharansky said today that American Jews (among whom number many world-class Bush haters) tell him all the time that Bush has not really read the book. However, Sharansky reports that whenever they talk, Bush discusses the book in a way that makes clear his complete familiarity with it."

On The Difficulties Caused By The Self-Esteem Of Lunatics

"It's impossible - or very damn close to it - to negotiate with someone who is interested more in his self-image than in any objective thing that may be achieved in the negotiation. Because no matter how the matter is settled, each party to a good settlement feels somewhat wronged.

And if that feeling of wronged-ness is the driver...well, getting to a negotiated settlement is going to be damn difficult.

There are a few difficulties there, not the least of which is that the Israelis may decline to be sacrificed on the altar of Arab male self-esteem, and may do so in a way that leaves quite a mess.

At that point, self-esteem may be the last thing Arab males have to worry about."

Sherman on the Press

"I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are.

If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

"Almost all Holocaust deniers follow in Hitler’s footsteps, share Hitler’s two-faced view of Holocaust denial: They deny it happened but are glad it did. Mr. Ahmadinejad has taken this one step further, I’d argue: He denies that it happened, is glad that it happened, and wants to make it happen again."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

You Can Have Asphault Parking Lots -- Or Glass Ones ... Most Likely Some Of Them With U.S. Zip Codes

"To put this plainly: the “strategy” in Fallujah should have been to make it into a parking lot, and build a Wal-Mart at one end. There would have been great loss of life, but the message to our enemies and their supporters everywhere would have been, “We will not be toyed with.” Civilians whose sympathies are with the enemy cannot be won over, and have not been, by the “candy to children” approach. They must be taught that sheltering the enemy -- even involuntarily -- means sharing the enemy’s fate. (The distinction between what is voluntary and involuntary soon changes under those conditions.) And this, in the longer run, is what saves millions of lives.

The strategy against the insinuation of foreign jihadis and supplies, into Iraq across international frontiers, should have been -- should now be -- extremely hot pursuit. And the chief reason to build the allied force structure in the region is to prepare, and be seen to be preparing, for a much wider conflict. For the war in Iraq cannot be isolated.

As important as military might, is the consensus behind its use. What can I say?

That this is why wars must be fought quickly. We could never afford to have Iraq drawn out for longer than the U.S. stayed in WWII. Nor did we defeat Nazi Germany by “winning their hearts and minds”. It was done by insuperable violence and intimidation: the way wars have invariably been won in the modern world. And “bombing Dresden” was (for more reasons than I have space to expound) a necessary part of that mix.

What worked on the Nazis, would be not less but more immediately effective on an enemy conditioned to methods of war in which he feeds exclusively on weakness of will, exploitating our fear, hesitation, and cowardice; who reads every pulled punch not as decency but as a confession of allied weakness." [ Glass parking lots ho! says Mr. Ahmedinejad... Your counterarguments are that he is really just a bluffer or too incompetent to build a nuke or both. And like Chamberlain, you're willing to bet my children's lives on it... -ed. ]

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Today's Comforting Polonium-210 News

"Polonium-210 has a half-life of 138 days, necessitating the replacement of the triggers every six months. For this reason, the suitcase nukes are far from maintenance-free. In addition, the nuclear core of these devices emit a temperature in excess of one hundred degrees Fahrenheit - - further exposing the weapons to oxidation and rust. Small wonder that al Qaeda operatives including Adnan el-Shukrijumah, who are spearheading "the American Hiroshima" have received extensive training in nuclear technology.

Polonium-beryllium triggers are packaged in foil packs about the size of a package of sugar on a restaurant table. When the twin foil packages are crushed, the elements mix and the neutrons are emitted. A courier transporting nuclear triggers could have had a mishap causing the packages to rupture and a trail of contamination to occur.

Polonium-210 is a fine powder, easily aerosolized. Litvinenko could have inhaled the powder, or had a grain or two on his fingers when he ate the sushi."

What Holocaust? That Would Be THIS One...

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday told delegates at an international conference questioning the Holocaust that Israel's days were numbered. James Baker's would-be negotiating partner said that "just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out." The Soviet Union wasn't wiped out, of course; it dissolved. I don't think that's what Ahmadinejad has in mind for Israel."
"I have praised a “reformed” Human Rights Council that functions as a complete farce. I have demanded “peace” deals and pushed for a brand of morally blind diplomacy that has paved the way for a terrorist takeover of Lebanon, worsening turmoil in the Middle East, and a nuclear-armed Iran. In contradiction of the U.N. charter, which describes my role as the U.N.’s “chief administrative officer,” I have styled myself, in my own phrase, as “chief diplomat of the world,” setting up a vast array of opaque trusts, projects, partnerships, and programs which have massively expanded the U.N. beyond any provisions for oversight, while providing me with opportunities for patronage, and places to park my cronies. At the same time, while entrusted with a budget of billions, and a world stage, I have shirked all responsibility for my own failures, shifting blame especially to the United States." [ Gotta love that Kofi. Billions and billions served doesn't even begin to describe him... -ed. ]

Monday, December 11, 2006

"And such media as CNN (perhaps unfairly singled out), persist in airing a worldview tantamount to blaming the police for the existence of crime. For the consistent argument of the talking heads amounts to, “We may need more troops on the ground in the short term, but the long-term answer is to get out.” Translation: “We may need more cops in the short term, to deal with the mess they’ve already stirred up, but the long-term solution can only be to let the criminals get on with it.”

To the criminal mind, even working on low wattage, the response to that has got to be “wait them out”. To the mind I call “gliberal” -- to distinguish it from the honourable and responsible tradition of liberal thought -- the very concept of a mortal enemy is beyond processing. Even those who recall what happened on Sept. 11th, 2001, have persuaded themselves that we are only a target because, after that fact, the U.S. went into Afghanistan and Iraq. The unspoken assumption is, withdraw from there, and our problems are over.

It is true that our problems there will be over, if we withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq. Well, perhaps the advantage of doing so would be, to show the Western electorate what comes next."

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Inane Strategy Guesswork -- Not The Half Of It...

"With the Times story as background, I don't see how another spin with the insurgents will work. They would not likely trust us enough even to take a meeting, given our work with the Maliki government this year. Even if we put some distance between ourselves and Maliki -- which, given the Shi'ite majority in Iraq, would probably be another mistake -- our entreaties would not likely move the leaders of these groups. After all, the ISG just told the world that we should turn the future of Iraq over to a regional conference, a group that would be dominated by Syria and Iran. That would be an even worse situation that Maliki taking the reins in Baghdad.

The ISG panel didn't note any of this. Khalilzad comes up once in the ISG repot -- in a listing of embassy personnel. Ansar al-Sunnah gets zero mentions. It seems that we keep discovering how little their contingent actually discovered during their study period, and how useless their slate of recommendations are

Where's NOTA When We NEEDYA?

"And then when he's convicted, the House should refuse to seat a replacement. The Democrats don't need the seat for their majority, and both parties should make it clear that consequences will follow from knowingly sending a corrupt politician back to Congress. That might discourage the "he's our crook" thinking in the future." [ A great idea. But of course, this has as much of a chance as "NOTA" voting being allowed. Somewhere between zero and never... ]

Another Shocka

"In the wake of the final Ethics Committee report on the Mark Foley scandal, we have discovered what we expected -- that the Republicans shrugged off the scandal until it blew up in their faces, and that the Democrats knew about it long before the October Surprise release (in September, in this case) prior to the midterms. It shows both parties in a poor light, both of them sublimating ethical concerns and the safety of the pages to electoral interests. On page 76 of the report, the Ethics Committee makes clear that the Democratic House leadership had copies of the e-mails as early as October 2005 -- and withheld them."


"Many adults never metamorphose into moral manhood; if they cannot take the step from moral dependency onto the dry land of political maturity, then they are in an infantile predicament indeed. For dependency will always find a political father to exploit it, as the history of absolutism sufficiently shows. And if a man does not become his own small part in the state, then the state must always seem to him an omnipotent external power. --Weston Labarre

I'll just speak for myself and say that where I live in the vertical, none of us are really “left” or “right,” but overwing, so to speak. Our problem with the left is that it isn't really left, but "underwing," at least from our vantage point. From here, the left doesn't look progressive at all; it's like looking through a reversed telescope. They're very far away from here. Not as far as the Muslim world, but sometimes it's hard to tell, because they're both moving backward at such a high rate of speed. Either that, or time is whooshing past them so quickly that it makes them look as if they're falling backward. As for the right, they’re just sort of static at the moment, essentially “keeping up” with time. --Petey" [ Gagdad strikes again. LOL -ed. ]

Steyn Again: Inane Strategy Guesswork ... LOL

"Oh, but lest you think there are no minimum admission criteria to James Baker’s “Support Group,” relax, it’s a very restricted membership: Arabs, Persians, Chinese commies, French obstructionists, Russian assassination squads. But no Jews. Even though Israel is the only country to be required to make specific concessions — return the Golan Heights, etc. Indeed, insofar as this document has any novelty value, it’s in the Frankenstein-meets-the-Wolfman sense of a boffo convergence of hit franchises: a Vietnam bug-out, but with the Jews as the designated fall guys. Wow. That’s what Hollywood would call “high concept.”"
"The long Washington Post article should be required reading for anyone interested in national politics and economics. Members of both parties have vested interests in keeping farm and dairy subsidies in place, and the government-run system has developed over the decades into a syndicate that protects itself rather ruthlessly. The American consumer and taxpayer pays for it all, with every glass of milk and every bite of cheese."
"As I've suggested before, the administration caught a big break when the ISG signed on to James Baker's Middle East fantasies."
"If readers take this as data, not confirmation of any partisan political view, then it is easy to understand why Washington has been so ham-handed in fighting the war on terror. It goes a long way toward explaining why Michael Scheuer of the CIA and John O'Neill at the FBI were voices crying in the wilderness in the days leading up to 9/11. It may provide some insight into why the US officials during the early days of the occupation of Iraq behaved the way they did. Because we didn't have a clue."

Victicrat Voters Want To Keep Right On Being Victimized ... By Their "Leaders"

"One of the fundamental differences between Republicans and Democrats usually becomes evident when there's a scandal. When Republicans are caught misbehaving, they normally resign. Recall Rep. Livingston who immediately called it quits over a sex scandal. By contrast, Bill Clinton, with the solid support of his party, was clinging to power even though he had committed perjury in connection with a sex scandal. If such Republicans aren't inclined to resign, the odds are good that either their caucus or their constituents will promptly toss them overboard.

It doesn't seem to work that way for Dems, though. In the latest example, the good people of Louisiana's second district have resoundingly re-elected their corrupt Democratic representative William Jefferson. His margin in the run-off election with fellow Democrat Karen Carter was 57-43.

Jefferson is the subject of a bribery investigation. When the FBI raided his congressional office, it found $90,000 in $100 bills believed to have been paid as part of a bribe to help a Kentucky firm expand its business in Nigeria. A Louisville businessman has pleaded guilty to paying Jefferson $400,000. A former Jefferson aide has also pleaded guilty in the bribe scheme."
"In answer to the question posed in the heading, Carter would lie and then keep right on on lying."
"In a Nov. 29 blog, "Will the real Ramadi please stand up?" I observed that three articles on conditions in Ramadi and al Anbar Province had appeared within a week of each other giving entirely different points of view. Mine and one in the Times of London said we're winning the war in Ramadi; a Washington Post A1 story co-authored by "Fiasco" author Thomas Ricks claimed exactly the opposite. The difference, I said, could be explained simply. I and the Times writer reported from Ramadi. Ricks and his co-author have not only never been to Ramadi, they wrote their piece from Washington. Well now the WashPost has printed another article on the city, this time an upbeat one. What gives? You guessed it.The second one was reported from Ramadi. Case closed, thank you very much. Unfortunately, it's little solace knowing how few journalists ever leave their safe little hovels in Baghdad hotels or Washington, D.C."

Still Crazy After All These Years...

"Gulf Arab leaders are also concerned about Shiite Iran's growing role in Iraq and its standoff with the West over Tehran's nuclear program, although GCC Secretary General Abdulrahman al-Attiyah said the GCC states do not feel threatened by the Islamic republic.

"The United States talks openly of the danger of Iranian military activity in the region, but our countries do not feel threatened by Tehran. Iranian officials assure us that their nuclear program is peaceful," Attiyah said." [ But be sure and take their word for it ... they're not crazed at all... -ed. ]

Saturday, December 09, 2006

"But interest in Chthulu thesis was received by the discovery of another set of Terran characters, whose content is eerily reminiscent of the maverick Professor's hypothesis and of the same linguistic family as the Real Player clip. The characters, written on a large sheet of colored paper, is of unknown authorship. Loosely translated into Universal Galactic it contains this warning: "a great civilization is not conquered from without...until it has been destroyed from within." Coincidence? Maybe."

Uh, no...

"Uh, no. AQ is overwhelmingly Sunni, actually more Wahhabi Sunni than anything else. Osama bin Laden and his cohorts don't cotton to Shi'ites; they consider them heretics, as Stein points out. Nor was Reyes' ignorance limited to the composition of al-Qaeda. When Stein asked him about Hezbollah -- which hasn't exactly flown under the radar this year -- he couldn't identify the Iranian proxy terrorists as predominantly Shi'ite.

Has Reyes actually attended intel committee hearings over the last few years? Has he read newspapers? People talk about George Bush being out of touch, but this should send genuine fear into the American electorate. How, Stein asks, can Reyes exercise effective oversight on American intelligence when he has so little understanding of our enemies and of the chief battlegrounds in the war on terror?

The Democrats should seriously reconsider Harman's expulsion. With the nation at war, we need people of expertise in these positions. It has become obvious that Pelosi instead considers these assignments only for their patronage value."

Friday, December 08, 2006

"So the wise men met and decided that the price of a Normandy invasion was just too steep. According to leaked War Department memos, planners estimate deaths on D-Day alone could reach 10,000. In a lengthy, bipartisan recommendation the commission recommended America unilaterally meet with representatives of Berlin, Rome and Tokyo to develop a reasonable exit strategy. It would probably involve giving some concessions. England was a diminishing power in the world and could be abandoned. Other Allies were of little use to America’s long range interests.

There was widespread media opinion that President Roosevelt had made a mess of the War and refused—after repeated requests by key members of the press--to admit it publicly. Those in Congress who had voted in favor of the War after Pearl Harbor were changing their minds now that they suspected White House duplicity in the attack and the original rationale for the War.

A number of leading newspapers have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the War is lost and while sympathetic to the plight of millions enslaved people under Axis domination—some being exterminated—that it was just not in America’s best interests to continue to fight and die. After all, apart from several sub sightings off the Atlantic coast and a few rumors of Japanese ships near the pacific coast, no further attacks on the American mainland had happened since Pearl Harbor.

The commission’s findings and recommendations will be discussed throughout Washington in the days ahead."

Pearl Harbor, Intelligence and Offense

"As the MAGIC example dramatically demonstrates, there are serious limits to even the best intelligence. A reasonably smart enemy will deliberately send out contradictory signals and "noise" before any attack. This point applies with special force to modern terrorists, who have a large number of potential targets to choose from. Sooner or later, they will catch us by surprise again.

For these reasons, among others, we cannot win with a purely or even primariy defensive orientation. Ultimately, we have to engage in offensive operations, in order to destroy the enemy before they are able to implement their own attack plans, and so we ourselves cna claim the advantages of surprise and confused intelligence. Offensive strategies certainly have their own risks, and are not a panacea. However, even more than 9/11, Pearl Harbor demonstrates that an exclusively defensive orientation is a guarantee that our enemies will take us by surprise sooner or later - with potentially devastating results."

LGF has C&F. And they're rockin today...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"There is a deep principle at work here, contradicting what is embraced as “diplomacy” today. It is that reasonable ideas can invariably be communicated in clear language. For the reasonable assertion has nothing to hide. “Doublespeak”, as Orwell defined, is the substance within which ideas are hidden, that would be rejected if they were stated plainly. “Diplomatic doublespeak” goes a step further. It is the language in which such dubious ideas are absorbed and accepted; by which Western diplomats seek to fool themselves.

Jacques Chirac, the President of France, has recently said a very clear thing: that the Syrian regime, currently re-arming Hezbollah in Lebanon (under the noses of French “peacekeepers”), is beyond talking with. That he persists in talking with exaggerated civility to the regime in Tehran, belies his sincerity. But he is right in making a subtle point against the dreamworld proposals now emerging from the Baker-Hamilton “Iraq Study Group” -- the ludicrous idea that America could win the cooperation of Syria and Iran, in extracting herself from Middle Eastern commitments."
"When composing a list of neighboring countries that really have an interest in avoiding a chaotic Iraq, one should not worry about consuming too much ink."
"Perhaps the US could save time and give Amadinehjad a nuclear bomb and the coordinates to hit the White House after destroying Tel Aviv."
"The entire report exists in some kind of striped-pants-set fantasy world where all actors are rational and behave only in good faith. As a consequence, the report repeatedly offers idiotic banalities like, “No country in the region wants a chaotic Iraq,” in spite of previously acknowledging that one of Iraq’s most murderous militias, the Badr brigade, is a client of Iran.

Aaah, Iran. For a real indication of this report’s terminal lack of seriousness, check out the Group’s blithe ignorance regarding Iran’s malevolent intentions. “It is clear to the Iraq Study Group members that all of Iraq’s neighbors are anxious about the situation in Iraq,” opines the commission. “They favor a unified Iraq that is strong enough to maintain its territorial integrity, but not so powerful as to threaten its neighbors.”

Gosh, when did Iran become so altruistic and so unconcerned with its own interests? Last I heard, the mad Mullahs and their certifiable front-man were hell-bent on establishing a regional caliphate to be quickly followed by global domination. And yet now the Baker Commission informs us that Iran really has Iraq’s best interests at heart. Phew! What a relief."
"We cannot appease our enemies and we cannot continue to cut and run when the going gets tough. As it stands in the world right now our enemies view America as a country full of queasy people who are inclined to cut and run when things take a turn for the worse. Just as the Tet Offensive was the victory that led to our failure in Vietnam our victories in Iraq now are leading to our failure in the Middle East. How many more times must we fight to fail? I feel like all of my efforts (30 months of deployment time) and the efforts of all my brothers in arms are all for naught. I thought old people were supposed to be more patient than a 24 year old but apparently I have more patience for our victory to unfold in Iraq than 99.9 percent of Americans. Iraq isn’t fast food-you can’t have what you want and have it now. To completely change a country for the first time in it’s entire history takes time, and when I say time I don’t mean 4 years.

Talking doesn’t solve anything with a crazed people, bullets do and we need to be given a chance to work our military magic. Like I told a reporter buddy of mine: War sucks but a world run by Islamofacists sucks more."
"The Iraq Support Group, "part of the New Diplomatic Offensive", apparently excludes Jews. The report demands that we stop blindly supporting Israel and that we press them for concession after concession, all without any demand for reciprocity, but they will not have a seat at the regional conference on Iraq. That's extraordinary, especially considering that Baker, Hamilton, and Company insist that "all key issues in the Middle East—the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iraq, Iran, the need for political and economic reforms, and extremism and terrorism—are inextricably linked." If they're inextricably linked, then why isn't Israel invited?

Once again, we have to recall that James Baker has never been Israel's friend. Here he and the ISG make that very clear. The US will ask Israel to marginalize itself in order to enable Syria and Iran to dominate a regional conference comprised mainly of Israel's enemies that will supposedly deal with their territorial integrity. If that sounds a lot like Mussolini's efforts to call a regional conference together at Munich in 1938, it's not a coincidence."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"Some have speculated that the obvious nature of a polonium poisoning pointed away from Putin. Such a blatant use of a closely controlled substance would immediately implicate the Russian government, the argument goes, and therefore would never have been used by real FSB agents. However, the British say that the assassination was meant to send a clear message to Putin's critics and anyone tempted to offer information to Western nations about the activities of the Putin regime.

The Russians are not happy about the direction of the investigation. They're threatening the UK by suggesting that the probe has damaged diplomatic relations. The British ought to point out that conducting assassinations in their country damages diplomatic relations as well."
"When Muslims fully recognize the historical fact of the Holocaust and reject anti-Semitism, then we can take note of their ideas on how to staff Holocaust memorial panels."
"Is it just me, or does it seem like radical Islamists deeply fear women and their sexuality? Their entire worldview appears focused on the oppression of females -- burying them under yards of cloth, denying them any freedom of movement, and avoiding even their singing voices in public. [ No, it's not just you. -ed. ] After all of Ahmadinejad's ludicrous diplomacy and aggressive posturing, having him lose power because of a sporting event's opening ceremonies is nothing short of surrealistic.

Ahmadinejad will certainly atone for his sins shortly. All it will take is another conference on how beautiful the world will be once Iran removes Israel and the United States from it. The radicals will forgive all in their xenophobic ecstasy."
"It says a lot that Yahoo is more biased and less honest than AP."
"“Finally,” he added, “Shiite Muslim cleric Moktada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army numbers in the tens of thousands, will be captured, beheaded and buried with 72 virgin hogs at a pig farm in Israel. The video will be posted at” "
"Ray Robison has been examining the seeming ties between the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, and here’s another case in which the AP deliberately seeks to interview US enemies—not just “critics of our policies,” but enemies who are engaged in killing US troops as well as fellow Muslims—with the probable aid of Al Jazeera: Associated Press gives America’s enemies a clear channel."
"This whole thing is too weird."
"The President has always been a mystery on this, because there's always been a radical disconnect between what the President says in his speeches, and what the American government then does, or doesn't do. I mean, he's been talking for years about the importance of supporting the Iranian people in their legitimate desire to be free, but we haven't done anything. We haven't supported them at all."
"President Carter's book on the Middle East, a title too inflammatory to even print, is not based on unvarnished analyses; it is replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments. Aside from the one-sided nature of the book, meant to provoke, there are recollections cited from meetings where I was the third person in the room, and my notes of those meetings show little similarity to points claimed in the book. Being a former President does not give one a unique privilege to invent information or to unpack it with cuts, deftly slanted to provide a particular outlook."

WTF Continued

"Pelosi stripped Harman of the chair that she gave Reyes primarily because of her support of the war in Iraq and a lack of partisan animus on Harman's part. While Reyes promised to vigorously pursue the issues of the warrantless NSA surveillance of international calls and other counterterrorism efforts by the Bush administration, clearly the Democrats expected someone less inclined to keep troops in Iraq, let alone add to the contingent. Even Harman has not gone on record in support of an expansion of troop levels.

So why did she replace Harman? It seems obvious that the decision had much more to do with personal issues than with policy. Democrats may want to rethink her Speakership in light of the series of strange decisions she has made in the wake of their victory. The rule of personal whim has just about destroyed their momentum and may have set up the House caucus for a devastating split at the moment of their greatest unity in a generation." [ And don't forget to read this one either. -ed. ]
"The real comparison is not between what people are paid in Third World countries compared to what people are paid in the United States. The comparison that affects outcomes is what Third World people are paid by multinational corporations compared to what they can earn otherwise. By and large, multinational corporations pay about double the local pay in Third World countries.

Third World workers line up for these jobs and even bribe insiders to get them such jobs. If economically illiterate Hollywood busybodies and other mindless crusaders succeed in establishing more costly pay scales without regard to productivity, that will undoubtedly lead to fewer jobs, just as similar policies do in other countries.

What the Third World needs are more multinational corporations, not less."
"Churchill once said, "history will be kind to me because I intend to write it". He was speaking for himself. As for the rest of us, the Left which will write our -- and Corporal Smith's -- epitaph.

One of the saddest of today's news stories comes from the New York Times. It describes the belated efforts of the Israeli defense force to shop around satellite imagery, photos and intelligence reports to prove that Hezbollah used Lebanese neighborhoods as human shields."

Enlightenment? What Enlightenment?

"What would a beleaguered Socrates, a Galileo, a Descartes, or Locke believe, for example, of the moral paralysis in Europe? Was all their bold and courageous thinking--won at such a great personal cost--to allow their successors a cheap surrender to religious fanaticism and the megaphones of state-sponsored fascism?

Just imagine in our present year, 2006: plan an opera in today's Germany, and then shut it down. Again, this surrender was not done last month by the Nazis, the Communists, or kings, but by the producers themselves in simple fear of Islamic fanatics who objected to purported bad taste. Or write a novel deemed unflattering to the Prophet Mohammed. That is what did Salman Rushdie did, and for his daring, he faced years of solitude, ostracism, and death threats--and in the heart of Europe no less. Or compose a documentary film, as did the often obnoxious Theo Van Gogh, and you may well have your throat cut in "liberal" Holland. Or better yet, sketch a simple cartoon in postmodern Denmark of legendary easy tolerance, and then go into hiding to save yourself from the gruesome fate of a Van Gogh. Or quote an ancient treatise, as did Pope Benedict, and then learn that all of Christendom may come under assault, and even the magnificent stones of the Vatican may offer no refuge--although their costumed Swiss Guard would prove a better bulwark than the European police. Or write a book critical of Islam, and then go into hiding in fear of your life, as did French philosophy teacher Robert Redeker.

And we need not only speak of threats to free speech, but also the tangible rewards from a terrified West to the agents of such repression. Note the recent honorary degree given to former Iranian President, Mohammad Khatami, whose regime has killed and silenced so many, and who himself is under investigation by the Argentine government for his role in sponsoring Hezbollah killers to murder dozens of Jewish innocents in Buenos Aires."
"Virtual Fence = Virtual Corruption? Speaker Pelosi's fallback choice to head the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, voted against building the 700 mile border fence. He prefers a system of video surveillance cameras, apparently. And gee, it seems that his daughter works for a firm that won a government contract to provide such surveillance services! What's more, according to WaPo's John Mintz (who broke the story) the firm did a really bad job." [ RTWT. WTF-over. ]

Kick The Can - Part 83896

"Putin, like Hitler and Chavez and Mussilini and a whole laundry-list of other loud mouth low-rent thugs, have gaged the temperment of the world they live in with stunning accuracy. They know full well that the adversaries they see are obsessed with "stability and peace" and that they will sell their souls for it.

Russia doesn't need to worry about the quality of diplomatic relations when the West is in full "conflict avoidance" mode. We'll take care of that little problem just fine!"

Monday, December 04, 2006

Political Nuts In A Nutshell Updated

"I'm genuinely afraid that the ruling cohort, and those who enable it by participating in the political process, have so much lost touch with the realities that we face that they are incapable of looking at an issue like Iraq, or 9/11, or the economic straits we have spent and borrowed ourselves into as a nation except as a foothold in climbing over the person in front of them. I imagine a small table of gentlemen and -women, playing whist on a train as it heads out over a broken bridge. The game, of course maters more than anything, and the external events - they're just an effort to distract they players from their hands." [ Sadly, Armed Liberal's summary has stood the test of time all too well. I hope my latest political summary -- with equal offense to all -- doesn't stand up as well but I fear it will: Inane venality versus witless perfidy mediated by cynical narcissism. -ed. ]
"But we have never looked as chestless as we have during the past three years at war. We literally fear antagonizing our enemies in Iran and Syria. Domestically, the burden of deaths equal to 5% of those suffered in Vietnam has been repeatedly cited as evidence that we must withdraw from the greatest challenge of our era. For all his “bring it on” posturing, has there ever been a more chestless national figure than John Kerry? (Okay, Jimmy Carter, but you catch my drift.) If America is to prevail in this generational challenge, we better find our men with chests in a hurry."
"These people really do seem to think they’re a priestly class, immune to criticism, existing on some rarefied plane from which they hand down truth to the ungrateful masses."
"One of the greatest pieces of disinformation that the press ever sold the public was this notion that the Sunni insurgency was on the verge of defeating American forces in Iraq. This idea has made it difficult for much of the public to understand the dynamic of the fight and it represents a failure of narrative which is only latterly being corrected."
"The new regime takes U.S. embassy personnel as hostages. Now it is the U.S. president who is demoralized and lacking will. Eventually, he orders an absurd rescue plan that fails utterly, bringing even further humiliation on our country. Almost 30 years later, the Islamic fanatics remain in control. They sponsor terrorists and deadly anti-western militias throughout the Middle East. They apparently are close to developing nuclear weapons."

Which Part Of This Don't Some Of You Understand Again?

"The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in
front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy.

The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he
would return safely. But his life was over, he was part-disembowelled and then
torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes, the remains put on display
as a warning to others against defying Taliban orders to stop educating

These people are evil incarnate. It is disturbing that so many Americans have apparently lost interest in fighting them."

Sunday, December 03, 2006

"The way to improve security in the near term is to increase the only force in the country that is even-handed and competent - America's. It has been obvious for a long time that Iraq needs more U.S. forces, but Bush has never ordered it, because he has been determined to defer to his generals no matter what. Unfortunately, the best generals can be wrong.

Bush simply has failed to run his war. Historian Eliot Cohen describes how, in contrast, the best American wartime president conducted himself: ''Lincoln had not merely to select his generals, but to educate, train and guide them. To this end he believed that he had to master the details of war, from the technology to the organization and movement of armies, if only to enable himself to make informed judgments about general officers.''

Bush has taken the opposite approach and - for all his swagger and protectiveness of executive prerogatives - is becoming a disturbing study in lassitude in the executive branch

Holocaust Denial: Where The Problem Lies

"NOP also found a tendency for British Muslims to believe some, well, strange things. 45% thought that 9/11 was a conspiracy between the USA and Israel. 36% thought that Princess Diana was murdered to stop her marrying a Muslim. More seriously, only 29% thought that the holocaust occured, 2% denied it happened entirely, 17% think it was exaggerated (which is the stance proposed by most of today’s holocaust deniers), 24% said they had “no opinion” and 23% didn’t know what the holocaust was." [ Yes, that's right: ONLY 29% were certain that the holocaust occurred. THAT WOULD BE 19% THAT BELIEVED IT DIDN'T AND SOME 47% SUFFERING FROM EDUCATIONAL FAILURE AT BARE MINIMUM. Now there's a community that I would flee like a banshee if I only had a single neuron in my head. And note the 45% who believe that 9/11 was a BusHitler conspiracy. It turns out that there was recent poll in the U.S. that said only slightly fewer here believed it: 36%. And as you might expect, the breakdown on this was that 51% of Dems and -- almost as frightening in its own way -- 20% of elephants did! Think about that a little more: British Muslims are wacko about 9/11 and our Dems have an honest contest in progress to out-do them! Our political parties really are big tents filled with scary folks. Oh... And our vaunted independents came down at 33% so that's no refuge either... So forget that last "comforting" post about holocause denial and sweet dreams... -ed. ]

Holocaust Denial: The Lunatic Touchstone

"A January 1994 Gallup Poll found that a much lower percentage, approximately 4 percent, of those it surveyed "have real doubts about the Holocaust; the others (19 percent) are just insecure about their historical knowledge or won't believe anything they have not experienced themselves," says Frank Newport, Editor of the Gallup Poll." [ This was a U.S. poll. The 4% is frankly disturbingly high but doesn't seem way off base given the number of people running around that I would categorize in my experience as openly nutty. And I'm afraid that the 19% is a sad commentary on the state of our educational system (though, again, probably not completely off base given the number of people without GEDs or that skate through anything resembling an attempt at education. But at least I can comfortably pull two things out of this: 1) I can sleep at night with this. 2) Holocaust denial remains a touchstone for people that can safely be assumed to be lunatics. If you're going to believe in it, then I'm not rational for assessing YOU as rational. -ed. ]
"When the AP was forced to acknowledge this situation, it did so in a story about a new Interior Ministry policy regarding false reports. The AP buried the fact that its own false report prompted this new policy. ...

The AP, once a just-the-facts news delivery service, has lost its rudder. It has become a partisan, anti-American news agency that seeks to undercut a wartime president and American soldiers in the field. It is providing fraudulent, shoddy goods. It doesn’t even recognize it has a problem." [ Exactly. And who will watch the fourth estate if not us? The internet can end their monopoly and needs to end the reign of these perfidious fascifists forthwith. And that's my most charitable view. Oh. And now you know why I could never be elected to a political office as long as they rule anyway... ]
"“What has essentially happened since 9/11 has been that Bush has repeated the same themes, and framed those themes the same whenever discussing the War on Terror,” said Kuypers, who specializes in political communication and rhetoric. “Immediately following 9/11, the mainstream news media (represented by CBS, ABC, NBC, USA Today, New York Times, and Washington Post) did echo Bush, but within eight weeks it began to intentionally ignore certain information the president was sharing, and instead reframed the president’s themes or intentionally introduced new material to shift the focus.”

This goes beyond reporting alternate points of view. “In short,” Kupyers explained, “if someone were relying only on the mainstream media for information, they would have no idea what the president actually said. It was as if the press were reporting on a different speech.”" [ And reported it on page 37 whenever they thought they could get away with it of course... -ed. ]

Saturday, December 02, 2006

"Romney has no reason to apologize. He relied on his contractor to follow the law. If people want to hold Romney accountable for that, then I suggest that the Boston Herald start interviewing the Boston Globe's janitorial staff and landscaping services to determine whether their contractors have the same issue. After that, some enterprising blogger could follow the executives of the Boston Globe (owned by the New York Times) to see at which restaurants they eat and at which golf courses they play to determine whether they have carefully scrutinized all of these places to ensure no illegals work there."

Apocalyptic Assassins

"Detectives believe that a sizeable team travelled from Russia to smuggle the polonium-210 into Britain and shadow Litvinenko. There is a suspicion that Litvinenko’s mobile telephone was bugged and the surveillance team knew of his meeting with the Italian security expert, who had taken part in a parliamentary investigation in Rome into KGB dirty tricks." [ Insiders have been speculating that it couldn't have been a KGB FSB hit since if they would have done it, it wouldn't have been so sloppy. Two alternatives come to mind: 1) The Tinfoil Apocalypse leads to the conclusion that we have been outstripping not only our morality but also our competence and the Russians are not immune. 2) The Russians may have decided that this would be a cool way to get into the terror biz. And interestingly, these alternatives are not necessarity mutually exclusive... And of course, though I can't find the link this minute, others have noted there is another danger lurking in this episode. The Islamofascists now have a real example of the disruption that even a relatively minor radiation incident can cause in the West. Not. Good. -ed. ]

That Old Slow Mo

"This may also mark a defeat for the old-line CIA crowd, which has done its very best to stigmatize anyone who argued in favor of supporting pro-democracy forces in Iran. [ Damn that democracy crap anyway. What a stupid idea. -ed. ] General Hayden, the current head of CIA, has shown a refreshing ability to think things through, and he may have played a role in the latest revelations. [ Well, he won't be lasting long methinks. Hope he doesn't have any skeletons in his closet. -ed. ] There should be a lot more such information, if anyone is interested, but there’s a lot of political opposition to it, both inside and outside the government, since it is seen as good for Bushitler, and hence taboo. We’ll see.

You’d think that this would put an end to the jolly talk about “negotiating” with the mullahs and their Syrian pals. And you’d also think this would compel our leaders to look for ways to make life difficult for Tehran and Damascus. But then, you’d have thought that quite a while ago, wouldn’t you? I certainly did.

Faster, please. Every day lost produces more victims at the hands of the mullahs." [ Hojjatieh? What Hojjatieh? -ed. ]