Saturday, September 30, 2006

"For you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.... Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand."
"Well, well, well. It appears the Republicans actually can make the Foley controversy worse. As if it wasn't bad enough that John Boehner knew about Foley's track record of sexual harassment of his underage pages, now it turns out that Speaker Denny Hastert lied about what he knew and when he knew it. [ Washington: the eternal battle of mental midgets. GW -- you know, the one the capitol is named after? -- must be a veritable whirling dervish in his grave by now... -ed. ] "
"But the part I emphasized is the part that the Democrats keep coming back to...better intelligence, surgical military operations, using 'soft power to marginalize extremists', and getting allies...and there are more than a few problems with that.

The first one is that the same Democrats are the ones who keep kneecapping intelligence programs like SWIFT and they are the ones who led the charge to get the 'icky people' out of the humint business. They don't have a lot of credibility there.

The second is the classic Clinton 'ninjas from helicopters' fantasy. I've blogged my criticism of it several times in the past, but I'll lay out the three core objections here: a) it probably won't work (because we need huge networks within the target country to make such an attack work, and we can't and won't assemble intel networks in that depth everywhere in the world); b) it's immoral - we're talking a covert war of assassination here. Think the film Munich times 2,356; c) it consists of our committing acts of war in a number of foreign countries - something they may have a say about and a response to.
"In his dotage, Carter is proving once again that he is as malicious and mean-spirited a public figure as he is historically ignorant. And for all his sanctimonious Christian veneer, and fly-fishing, ‘aw shucks blue-jeans image, he can’t hide an essentially ungracious and unkind soul. . . . Carter’s Waterloo, of course was the Iranian hostage crisis. It was not just that his gutting of the military helped to explain the rescue disaster. Far more importantly, we can chart the rise of radical political Islam with the storming of the American embassy in Teheran and the impotent response of Jimmy Carter. [ It may be hard to comprehend, but yes, when history is finally pulled out of the Memory Hole, Clinton will seem like a boy genius compared to JC. Scary, isn't it? -ed. ] "
"Many people wondered about the connections between the ISI and the two Islamist groups. The ISI was instrumental in assisting the Taliban to power in the 1990s and has always had Islamist sympathies. If India has evidence of the connections it alleges, one has to conclude that either the ISI has gone rogue or Musharraf's surrender was worse than first imagined."
"War is rough work, incompatible with the postmodern, “gliberal” mindset, that permits fighting only if there will be no casualties, and assumes all offensive warfare is morally tainted. Mr Rumsfeld has moulded a fine offensive army, but for diplomatic and political, rather than military reasons, it is being used only on defence."
"This is true, and Pelosi is right to demand an ethics probe, to which John Boehner immediately agreed and the House supported unanimously. However, let's please recall the case of Gerry Studds and his sexual relationship with a 17-year-old page in 1983. This didn't involve a few e-mails and explicit instant messaging; Studds started a sexual relationship with a minor, and then announced in a press conference that people should mind their own business about his private life. The House censured Studds (he turned his back on them as the censure was read), but the Democrats endorsed Studds for five subsequent elections. The only reason he no longer serves in the House is because he retired. He didn't even lose his chair on the House Merchant Marine and Fishing Committee until 1995, when the Republicans took over and abolished the committee. [ To be clear: Foley should be locked up and they should thow away the key. I'm sure that's "disproportionate" to the current laws but that's how strongly I feel about anything even resembling child molestation. However, notice that there were no dissenting Republican votes. That, and the kind of Dem history noted by Ed is why I would never in a million years consider the Dems as anything but hypocrites with their latest puffing. -ed. ] "

Friday, September 29, 2006

"He also said more than 4,000 foreign militants have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 -- the first known statement from the insurgents about their death toll. It was unclear why al-Masri would advertise the loss of the group's foreign fighters, but martyrdom is revered among Islamic fundamentalists, and could be used as a recruiting tool. Analysts said the announcement was likely a boast aimed at drumming up support. "It's showing the level of dedication to their cause, the level of sacrifice jihadists are making," said Ben N. Venzke, director of the Washington-based IntelCenter, which monitors terrorism communications. "In a strange kind of way, it's almost showing a sense of strength and purpose in their cause to other people around world who might be thinking about joining the fight," Venzke said in a telephone interview.

In the topsy-turvey world of perception, analysts regard the admission of a heavy losses as a demonstration of al-Qaeda strength. Now for the bad news. Since conventional war does not seem to be working too well for al-Qaeda in Iraq, it is now seeking to acquire nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. [ Now that's just shocking. 4,000 dead al-Qaeda? Why the Fascifists claim they would do way better than that. Especially since there aren't any al-Qaeda in Iraq. It's a proven fact you know. And everyone knows there will be no Tinfoil Apocalypse. Not a chance. Never. Why W is the great Satan after all. He's the one who's going to nuke the world don't you know? Wake up! Would Hugo lie to you? Why, he has an IQ vastly greater than Einstein -- it's irrefutable. -ed. ]
"So there is history and mythtory. But with the right eschatall tale, you can know the end of the story and place contemporary events in their proper context. You may--dare I say--know the signs of the times, and discern them from the designs of the Times."
"2006 - 58 = 1948."
"Zawahiri knows that because of the incompetence (or worse) of American journalists, he can ridicule the idea of connections between al Qaeda and Iraq, even though he himself attended, according to multiple reports, a conference of Islamic extremists in Baghdad in 1999.

It's interesting to think about the possible explanations for the fact that al Qaeda's leaders believe that their most effective public relations strategy is to repeat the Democratic Party's talking points.
"When Catholicism first arrived there, northwest Europe was as barbaric as sub-Saharan Africa was, much later. What we call “European” today is the result of centuries of civilizing action, by a Church that exalted reason as well as faith, and which instituted and enforced rules to prevent its own clergy from “going bush”. African Catholics today -- I know several -- are among the least likely to suggest concessions to African tribal customs. The continent itself is slowly rising above the murky relativism of its past, just as we in Europe and America are sinking back into the relativist welter. Some day Africans may have to re-civilize us, by faith and reason.

In the meantime, we of the West have another opportunity to recall that we are not “Western” by some accident of geography, but by the authority and responsibility, the laws and rules, that supply the very conditions of our freedom.
"The mounting death toll in Darfur tests Annan's stirring words. But when it comes to ending genocide, words require swords. Fine words cannot protect the vulnerable from dedicated killers -- that job demands soldiers. . . . Despite Annan's fine words, outside of London and Washington such leadership is not in evidence. Until it appears, 'the international community' deserves to be shamed."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

"So apparently it is OK for the government to listen in on phone call regarding a marital problem - and then publicize it during an election - but we cannot listen in on terrorists because that is a threat to privacy!???? Did someone slip dumb-dumb pills into the DNC water??"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"I tried. I really really extremely really tried. They didn’t try and I did, and this is the real difference, the trying. And also, I tried."
"Congress can certainly fix most of this. Or they can run around making speeches about how pro-business they are. That's a whole lot easier."
"The heavily awaited National Intelligence Estimate has turned out to be “The Heaven’s Gate” of government reports. I say this not because The Estimate vindicates the Bush administration and humiliates the New York Times. The Estimate is such a dud because it is so wondrously uninteresting, and so magnificently obtuse. If this is the best our intelligence community can produce, we might consider shutting the whole intelligence system down and instead funneling the funds saved into crash Arabic lessons for the American populace."
"When Pakistan has its own version of The Daily Show, we will have won. [ But don't hold your breath. For you would be somewhat more than blue... -ed. ] "
First classical music is cancelled in Iran. Now Germany. Then ?
"Chancellor Angela Merkel warns against bowing to fear of Muslim violence.

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans on Wednesday not to bow to fears of Islamic violence after a Berlin opera house canceled a Mozart work over concerns some scenes could enrage Muslims and pose a security risk.

“I think the cancellation was a mistake. I think self-censorship does not help us against people who want to practise violence in the name of Islam,” she told reporters. “It makes no sense to retreat.”
Mozart, Schmotzart if you're a dhimmi I guess...
"“Muslims have never nurtured dreams of world conquest,” wrote Karen Armstrong, a prominent representative of this view, shortly after September 11. “They had no designs on Europe, for example, even though Europeans imagined that they did. Once Muslim rule had been established in Spain, it was recognized that the empire could not expand indefinitely.”

This assertion couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only was the conquest of Spain, some 2,000 miles from the Arabian homeland, a straightforward act of imperial expansion, it hardly satisfied Islam’s territorial ambitions. No sooner had the Muslims established themselves in that country than they invaded France in strength. Had they not been contained in 732 AD at the famous battle of Poitiers in west central France, they might well have swept deep into northern Europe.
"Now consider the east London mosque. Its backers are the Tablighi Jamaat, a missionary organisation that says it is non-political and peaceful. Yet a senior FBI anti-terrorism official has called it a recruiting ground for al-Qa’eda, and the French secret services described it as “an antechamber for fundamentalism”. Its current European headquarters are in Dewsbury, home town of Mohammed Siddique Khan, leader of the July 7 suicide bombers, who attended the local mosque. Much of the funding for the Markaz, which will cost about £100 million, is expected to come from Saudi Arabia. ...

It is suggested that the Markaz complex will become the “Muslim quarter” for the Olympics, acting as a hub for Islamic competitors and spectators, something that is surely contrary to the spirit of the Games, which are meant to bring people together, not keep them apart. Futhermore, in an irony not lost on Mr Craig, just a mile or so from where the mosque is due to go up, the Kingsway International Christian Centre, the biggest evangelical church in Europe with 12,000 worshippers on a Sunday, is coming down to make way for the Olympic stadium.
Gagdad rocks today: "Memo to the NY Times: Conservatism is Caused by Fighting It":
"For example, the typical liberal unreflexively believes that “poverty causes crime” (thus the New York Times clueless headline, "Crime Down Despite Rise in Prison Population") whereas I believe that bad values cause crime. The difference is that the typical liberal has never thought this through. They are generally quite naive about their beliefs, for the simple reason that they have never been challenged. They don’t experience the kind of constant cognitive friction that a conservative does, so they don’t even know how to argue or defend their ideas, which we saw with Clinton last Sunday.

Liberals will typically say that Israeli policies somehow have something to do with Palestinian terror, while I believe that Palestinian terror is caused by their psychotic death cult theology. After all, there are no Christian Palestinian terrorists.
They are just as “occupied” as Palestinian Muslims, and yet, it doesn’t occur to the Christians to strap on bombs with pieces of twisted metal and rat poison in order to kill and maim as many women and children as possible. You and I are not even able to entertain thoughts so evil. We cannot even go there. Under no circumstances whatsoever can we imagine decapitating an innocent journalist or murdering a baby. But could I waterboard a terrorist? In a hearbeat. I literally cannot understand the mind of the person who wouldn’t.

If you unreflexively believe that poverty causes crime or that the cause of terror is fighting it, then all of your reporting is going to reflect those basic assumptions, something we constantly see in the liberal media. For them, these notions are simply “reality,” whereas the idea that bad values cause crime is a “conservative” idea.

Likewise, for liberals, it is simply gospel that “the war on terror causes terrorists” instead of terrorists are the cause of terror. If you give it a moment’s thought, their whole world view is just so stupid. Would they ever report that terrorists are the cause of the American military, and that if terrorists would only appease us, the American military would stop trying to harm them? Or that Islamo-nazis have to stop their unwinnable war on the west, because it will only create more George Bushes?

Or that they simply must stop mindlessly attacking conservatives, because it will just make us stronger?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"Consequently the one thing the Press left out of discussing the NIE, which heavily emphasizes the role of perception, is the role of the Press itself. Iraq the battlefield -- with its success and failures -- is largely what the combatants have made it. Iraq the symbol is largely the manufacture of observers. Both are factors in the War on Terror."
"You know, to suggest that if we weren't in Iraq, we would see a rosier scenario with fewer extremists joining the radical movement requires us to ignore 20 years of experience. We weren't in Iraq when we got attacked on September the 11th. We weren't in Iraq, and thousands of fighters were trained in terror camps inside your country, Mr. President. We weren't in Iraq when they first attacked the World Trade Center in 1993. We weren't in Iraq when they bombed the Cole. We weren't in Iraq when they blew up our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. My judgment is, if we weren't in Iraq, they'd find some other excuse, because they have ambitions. They kill in order to achieve their objectives. [ And did I forget to mention that the objective of the 1993 WTC bombing was to kill 250,000 people by toppling one tower into another? -ed. ] "
"If our intelligence agencies are laboring under the moonbat illusion that Muslim hatred of the infidel West didn't really start bubbling until the year 2003, we are really in deep, deep doo-doo.

Well, it appears we are, in fact, in deep doo-doo.
"Is this the Animal House suspension? Did Dean Wormer advise Ali Larijani to put their uranium-enrichment program on double secret suspension? If a uranium-enrichment program freezes in a forest and no one is around to see it, does it make a noise later when strapped to a Shahab-3 missile?"

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Emperor Manuel II Paleologus pondered this question in his debate with the learned Persian. How can a god who commands conversion by the sword be the same god as the emperor's god--a god who wished to gain converts only through the use of words and reason? If Allah is happy to accept converts who are trembling in fear for their lives, with a sword hovering over their necks, then he may well be a god worth fearing, but not a god worth revering. He may represent an imaginary construction of god suitable to slaves, but he will not be an image of god worthy of being worshiped by a Socrates--or by any reasonable man.
In fairness, I found Chomsky to be a readable apologist for genocide.
Sadly, I don't think the answers to these questions are much in doubt. The bureaucrat leakers are Democrats who wanted to advance their party's interests, and the reporters at the New York Times and Washington Post were also Democrats, and were happy to oblige. The bottom line is that you just can't get adequate information from these news sources. Their grotesque biases outweigh the resources that, in theory, they are able to devote to covering the news. They can't even provide a balanced account of a single bureaucratic report, let alone of a war.
"For, although they are the benefecesaries of liberal academics who teach the false absolute that truth doesn't exist, they don't believe that for a second. Rather, they simply use the means of leftist relativism to advance their own absolute end of religious totalitarianism. For when truth is denied, raw power fills the vacuum, destroying love and everything else in its wake."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"One major spoke cogently of the lessons he drew from interacting with Arab officers. Another stressed the criticality of education for women in breaking the chain of societal failure (and this guy was an aviator, a category of officer better known for fly-by targeting of the human female - tell Ms. Steinem we're making progress). A Navy SEAL raised the lessons medieval Europe offers for analyzing the Middle East today.

Not exactly The New Yorker's snitty view of military officers. There was no bluster or swagger, no trace of close-mindedness (for that, you have to go to a liberal arts faculty). No matter how controversial the discussion became, no one raised his or her voice.

The quality of their questions and observations was signally higher than those on any campus I've ever visited. It's the same story every year at Ft. Leavenworth. If the readers of this paper only could meet these magnificent Americans, you'd be immeasurably proud of them.
The CCoC: Clinton's Crock Of Crap:
"All this to say, militarily, Clinton's spouting a crock of crap. We did, in OEF, what he said he couldn't do because of Uzbekistan and night air-refueling. Nonsense.

3. "The CIA and the FBI refused to certify that Bin Laden was responsible while I was there. They refused to certify."

So what? That's why the president gets paid the big bucks. To make decisions like that. Everyone but the CIA and FBI apparently knew who was responsible. Since when do those agencies get a defacto veto on whether or not to strike an enemy? [ It seems the CIA (and the Fourth Estate) gets the final say on everything under W also ... in spite of W of course... -ed. ]
"The most sensible proposal this week came from Chavez, who demanded the U.N. relocate to Venezuela. You go, girl! [Reform advocates] would be better off trying to get America expelled from the U.N., and encouraging it to join a new group of nations serious about defending freedom in the world: It would be a very small club. . . .Anyone who thinks the U.N. is the body to mediate Iran's nuclearization or anything else is more deluded than Ahmadinejad. At this rate, the Twelfth Imam will be the next secretary-general."
"Who has conquered the Middle East ...? See 5,000 years of history in 90 seconds. [ COOL! -ed. ] "
"The pro-Clinton Richard Clarke has managed to capture in a paragraph why Clinton, despite his enormous gifts, was unfit for high office, and why President Bush deserves credit for being willing to push the bureaucracy, ignore partisan criticism, and make the tough calls."
"ANGLE: So, just to finish up if we could then, so what you’re saying is that there was no — one, there was no plan; two, there was no delay; and that actually the first changes since October of ‘98 were made in the spring months just after the administration came into office?

CLARKE: You got it. That’s right.
[ Did Bush take Osama seriously enough? No. And Clinton did? Hardly. -ed. ]