Saturday, August 04, 2007

Koz Memory Hole

The first Daily Kos diary on the subject of the Soltz Shoutdown has disappeared from their site. Gone missing, along with more than 50 comments. Here’s where it used to be:

They'll of course accuse Charles of making it up in Photoshop... Ugghh.

Dimwit Democrat File

Thy name is Obama. Here's the current score. I'd rather have my toenails pulled out with a pliers than vote for HillBill. But I'd vote for her in flash given a choice against Obama.

If Hillary Were Actually A Feminist Worth The Name...

It's the small things that tell us the most.

Iran's great "moderate" "reformer," Mohammed Khatami, shook hands with a woman in Italy while chatting genially with a group of women who were not covered from head to toe, or even wearing head-scarves.

This is a scandal in Iran.

So what is the Moderate Reformer's reaction?  Did he tell his critics to stop being ridiculous?

Nope.  He claims, preposterously, that the pictures and film footage of the incident are fakes ... while concurrently announcing he is withdrawing his from a 2009 presidential bid.

I'd like to be encouraged that there is a swelling democracy movement in Iran ready to revolt against the regime any time now.  But what does it say about the state of things in mullah-land that the hero of what passes for liberal reform there feels he has to deny shaking hands with a woman?

...this would be front and center in her campaign. Depressing...

MSMemory Hole Today (Part 92365)

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When a member of the journalism community is murdered, wouldn't you expect most news agencies to report it?

Well, on Thursday morning, Chauncey Bailey, the editor of the Oakland Post, was gunned down by an at that time unknown assailant.

On Friday morning, Oakland police arrested seven people at Your Black Muslim Bakery in connection with Bailey's murder.

Yet, despite all this, ABC, CBS, and NBC haven't said a word about this shooting, or the connection to Your Black Muslim Bakery. Why?

As a post script, a handyman for Your Black Muslim Bakery confessed to Bailey's shooting on Saturday. I wonder if these fine news organizations will ignore that as well.

Today's Etiquette Lesson

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Welcome To The Bananacrat Republic

Faced with a clear example of vote fraud, the House has agreed to investigate .. itself. The day after Democratic leadership in the House attempted to nullify a completed floor vote, the Majority Leader had to issue an apology and agree to an extraordinary bipartisan panel to probe the actions of House leadership:

The House last night unanimously agreed to create a special select committee, with subpoena powers, to investigate Republican allegations that Democratic leaders had stolen a victory from the House GOP on a parliamentary vote late Thursday night.

The agreement to form a special committee was extraordinary. Such powerful investigative committees are usually reserved for issues such as the Watergate scandal and the funneling of profits from Iranian arms sales to the Nicaraguan contras in the 1980s.

"I don't know when something like this has happened before," said House deputy historian Fred W. Beuttler. He called the decision "incredible."

I would use bad words here but you've probably used them all up already if you've been paying any attention.

He Who Controls The Present Update

Tom Woods's book has a sad irony to it. In his conclusion he writes,
"You almost have to give the architects of this system credit for the cleverness of the racket they have going: the same group of people who hold a monopoly on the power to tax and the power to initiate force also wield an effective monopoly on the power to educate future generations of Americans."
It is, of course, our children and grandchildren who are unwitting subjects of the apologias for the state elite.
"For this reason alone, the state's official version of history, which is always and everywhere another such apologia on behalf of itself, deserves not the benefit of the doubt but an abiding and informed skepticism. No free people ever survived on a consistent diet of official propaganda. Hayek was right: how we understand the past dramatically influences how we view the present. That is why, for the sake of American freedom, there should be no questions about American history you're not supposed to ask."


And so today insurgents are planning to kill as many American soldiers and Iraqi civilians as possible -- not for any military value in the classic sense of destroying combat power -- but simply to grab headlines in connection with the media cycle surrounding the mid-September report to the U.S. Congress on political and military progress in Iraq. And now the US military is launching a spoiling attack to keep those headlines from splashing across the global news screens. Patton would not have understood a war in which people lived and died to put a few lines of black ink on a page.

Maybe we should replace the old antiwar slogan "what if somebody gave a war and nobody came?" with "what if somebody scheduled a made-for-media massacre and nobody covered it?" I can dream, can't I?

Friday, August 03, 2007

More Bottoms Up

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Everyone is missing the most important point about what seems to be happening in Iraq!

There is only one major question that dominates everything else in Iraq -- what are the customers buying? When it comes to those selling al Qaeda terror bombings of civilians, the customers are deciding in increasing numbers that they don't like it.

I can understand liberals, given their love of government and its top-down "solutions", focusing on the state of Iraqi democracy. I don't understand libertarians and those who focus on the market missing this.

What is important is that ordinary muslims, not just in Iraq, are looking at the terror bombings killing ordinary Iraqis and deciding that this is not what their religion is all about. More and more of them are deciding that they don't want it anymore. So support for the terrorists and their cause is declining among muslims in Iraq and around the world.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Fairy Plan

A frequently asked question recently has been something like the following: do you think the Democratic Left really wishes us to lose in Iraq? Or how can you explain the overwhelming emphasis by the liberal media and politicians on Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo and the relative neglect of medal-winners in Iraq?

I think the answers are something like the following. The liberal Democratic leadership believes that Iraq can fail, thereby repudiating the Bush doctrine and the current war on terror, discrediting conservative candidates at large, teaching the American people about the limits of empire and foreign adventurism, restoring humility to foreign policy, ushering in a Democratic renaissance under which higher taxes, more entitlements, and greater government intervention promote egalitarianism and ‘correct’ the past mistakes of the unenlightened electorate—and do so without serious or lasting harm to their nation’s security.

Bottoms Up

Now the really interesting question, as I've argued in earlier posts, is whether the Surge actually makes divisions at the top worse. Empowering grassroots organizatons and giving them ownership over local security may actually weaken central institutions. Why would you look to squabbling politicians at the top to provide security that you know darned well it is being provided locally and by the Iraqi Army/Coalition Forces?

But on the other hand, grassroots empowerment is the only sure basis for creating a national political consensus. Recently Hillary Clinton's college thesis on organizing guru Saul Alinsky was released. One of Alinsky's tenets is that truly stable organizations can only be built from the bottom up.

My Shock Never Ends

The executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Nihad Awad, participated in a three-day summit of U.S.-based HAMAS members and supporters in 1993.

The FBI already had wiretap warrants on several people who wound up organizing the 1993 meeting and agents listened in on the meeting itself. They concluded the two-dozen men present were HAMAS members or supporters. Transcripts and FBI analyses released since then show the meeting sought a strategy to kill the peace accord, which threatened to marginalize the Islamist movement. The group also discussed ways to improve HAMAS fundraising in America.

According to FBI reports, the men tried to hide their true agenda, agreeing not to even say the word “HAMAS” - but to call it “SAMAH” its reverse - even in their private conversations.

Seems Like A Reasonable Trade

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Lifelike Pundits says that since the Russians have claimed the North Pole by planting their flag, then the Moon belongs to the United States.

Joiners Redux

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A Very Good Question

You Know It's A Real Stopped Clock Day...

Here's a really lethal combination. Telling the enemy that you are going after him with inadequate forces and then specifying in advance what the limits of your rules of engagement are. Barack Obama, just days after saying he would send American forces into Pakistan if Musharraf did not crack down on al-Qaeda said but added that he would not use nuclear weapons against al-Qaeda under any circumstances. The Washington Post reports:

"His position could not be more clear," said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki. "He would not consider using nuclear weapons to fight terror targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan." That position came a day after Obama vowed he would be willing to strike al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan with or without the approval of the government of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

The New York senator and former first lady quickly pounced
"I think presidents should be very careful at all times in discussing the use, or non-use, of nuclear weapons," she said.
...when you find yourself on the same side as Hillary and Pakistan at the same time...

Pakistan Stopped Clock Watch

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan accused Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama of “sheer ignorance” for threatening to launch US military strikes against Al-Qaeda on Pakistani soil.

Obama warned Wednesday that if he is elected president, he would order US forces to hit extremist targets on Pakistan’s frontier with Afghanistan if embattled military ruler President Pervez Musharraf failed to act.

“Such statements are being made out of sheer ignorance,” Pakistan’s Minister of State for Information, Tariq Azeem, told AFP. “They are not fully apprised about the ground realities and not aware of the efforts by Pakistan.”

I rarely agree with the Pakistanis to say the very least.

But I could hardly agree more in this case...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Remember The History

But it is important to remember the history. A previous generation of these Democrats first insisted on shoving their South Vietnamese allies aside, and trying to run the war for them; then of imposing all kinds of restraints on their battlefield commanders which, in aggregate, made victory impossible. And then, when they tired of the war, they abandoned the Vietnamese to their fate, with the additional Congressional touch of cutting off South Vietnam’s supply of arms and ammunition. Finally, they just watched as the Communist guerrillas from the jungle were replaced by North Vietnamese regulars in tanks, driving openly down the American-built highways to receive the surrender of Saigon, while the U.S. Seventh Fleet was hovering offshore, with the equipment to "mow them down to marmalade."

It was a rout so ignominious, that it destroyed the credibility of the United States, probably adding ten years to the life of the Soviet Empire.

Pigs At Least Leaping

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Keith Ellison made a weekend trip to Iraq, where a pair of sheiks urged Congress' only Muslim lawmaker to help in countering al-Qaeda's vision of Islam.

Ellison, D-Minn., said he met in Ramadi in Anbar province with the two sheiks, who oversee several hundred thousand congregants.

"They were very upset and concerned that al-Qaeda is misrepresenting Islam," Ellison told reporters on a conference call Monday from Germany, on his way back to the U.S. "And they were talking to me about what I can possibly do to work with them to give a clearer, more accurate picture of what Islam is all about."

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico called on the United States to alter a plan to expand border fences designed to stem illegal immigration, saying the barriers would threaten migratory species accustomed to roaming freely across the frontier.


So much for the “Bush doctrine.” You’re either with us ... or we’ll reward you, with everything you’ve been killing for.

And lots of weapons too.

Interesting Dynamics

The deliberate pace of the attack, the systematic and thorough process of clearing the city house by house, street by street, and block by block, were factors in this; but the civilian and military casualties were also kept low by the unexpected and overwhelming cooperation of ordinary Iraqi citizens, who pointed out the enemy and many of the bombs set to ambush troops.

There were interesting dynamics unfolding. For instance, our soldiers were much more reluctant to use force when civilians were helping. I saw numerous occasions where soldiers cleared out all the civilians in areas before attacking known targets that civilians had pointed out. For instance, in the more than two dozen houses and buildings rigged as giant bombs, civilians pointed out many of those bombs.


"Given the emissions growth rate of China, if the United States drops its emissions 25 percent over the next 20 years, it simply won't be noticed," Cato's Michaels noted. "Everyone who's looked at this knows that." Everyone, perhaps except the U.N. secretary-general.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Not Even The Sun Shines

But in Washington DC nothing has a life apart from the official partisan view. Not even the sun shines. Instead it is assigned a shadow existence, fitted into a narrative, and tortured into a Procrustean bed of arbitrary political specification.

While Democrat support for creating political reform in the Muslim world, starting with Iraq would be welcome, however reluctant, it would be still more welcome if it were based on a sound assessment of the situation rather than politics. Much has been written about foreign quagmires. But perhaps the mother of all bogs is the really the domestic slough of talking points which clutch at our faculties in so many constricting ways. On both sides of the political aisle.

Smilin' Joe

Putin has resurrected another Stalinist recipe for dealing with critics and opponents, apart from imprisoning and murdering: forced placement in a mental institution.

It's another female journalist, just like Anna Politkovskaia. Her name is Larissa Arap. Radio France Internationale reports that she has been arrested in Murmansk and then forcedly placed in a mental hospital. In June she had published an article about the cruel and inhumane treatment children are submitted to in the local mental institutions, including electroshocks. Arap is also an active member of Gary Kasparov's opposition party, who now accuses the resurrection of Stalinist methods.

Target: Narrative

Time will tell. But if focusing on al-Qaeda in Iraq is the right choice the most interesting question is why. My own guess is that by attacking al-Qaeda, the US took engaged not only the most fanatical force in Iraq but the one with the most powerful narrative. And by shrewdly matching kinetic warfare with political warfare, organizing the victims of al-Qaeda's depredations, it brought the myth down to earth. As long as al-Qaeda remained an "idea" it might be regarded as invincible, a mystical will o' the wisp. But once this mystical force was forced to materialize in Iraq, it became embodied in the likes of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his henchmen, who, viewed up close, turned out to be nothing more than brutal gangsters of the lowest and most sadistic type instead of latter day Companions of the Prophet.

The Gorillephant

the breakdown occurred when the Iranian government “officially” requested that ex-Prime Minister Iyad 'Allawi be excluded from the talks, a request that was rejected by the Sunni IAF. As a result, the paper added, Kurdish leader Mas'ud al-Barazani may no longer travel to Baghdad, as was expected, to participate in the dialogue.

Now Az-Zaman is just a local paper, and even the best paper gets it wrong, so this assertion may well be wrong in one detail or another. But the general point is undoubtedly true: Iran plays a direct role within the Iraqi political universe, and both Maliki and Barzani are responsive to Tehran, as are most of the Shiite and Kurdish leaders. Even those who are not inclined to carry out the mullahs’ directives are often obliged to do it, since they know that Iranian-backed terrorists can kill them, and the desire to survive trumps the quest for ideological consistency most of the time.

Actually, Partisan Doesn't Quite Describe It...

Chief Justice John Roberts, in my view the most extravagantly qualified Supreme Court nominee in my lifetime, had a "benign idiopathic seizure" today. He's fine, but might be placed on anti-seizure medication since he also had one in 1993. This is how the prominent liberal web site Wonkette covered the news:

Chief Justice John Roberts has died in his summer home in Maine. No, not really, but we know you have your fingers crossed.

A lot of them did, too.

I Hadn't Noticed

Both parties like to blame the other for failing to exercise independence in Congress. Their supporters blame the members of the opposite side for excessive partisanship which keeps Washington DC from accomplishing anything for the people. The Washington Post decided to take a look at the 110th Congress to see which party exercises the most partisanship -- and the Democrats win the prize.

Of course, Norwood is dead, and has been since February (h/t: The Anchoress). After Norwood, the next Republican comes in at 94.8%. JoAnn Davis (R-VA) has only cast 134 votes, however, as she has missed significant time while fighting a recurrence of breast cancer. She comes in at #174 on the list of partisans -- which means that Democrats occupy all of the previous 173 slots, of those among the living, anyway.

NYeT! Plug Your Ears! NYeT!

Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack of the center-left Brookings Institution take to the pages of the solidly-left New York Times with an unusual mission. The pair have recently returned from Iraq to study the military effort by the US, and they have some bad news for the Gray Lady's readers.
Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.
In fact, O'Hanlon and Pollack recommend that Congress stop talking about withdrawal. They conclude with a near-heresy: they recommend sustaining the current effort until 2008.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Of Course, They Never Meant It In The First Place...

Liberals used to be the ones who argued that sending U.S. troops abroad was a small price to pay to stop genocide; now they argue that genocide is a small price to pay to bring U.S. troops home.

Overlawyered (I've Lost Count What Part)

It seems that the Democrats are, belatedly, becoming concerned with their image: they are concerned that they may be portrayed as unreasonably hampering legitimate requirements of the national defense and are seeking a face-saving, cover-their-behind patch of FISA, while at the same time continuing to bluster and threaten and obstruct almost all the President's national security initiatives.

Isn't it time that this nation had an open and freewheeling debate on FISA and Congressional and Judicial attempts to micromanage even the tactical aspects of the President's national security powers and duties?  Isn't the defense and security of this nation too important to be left to the lawyers? 

If FISA is unconstitutional as it restricts the President's Constitutional powers and duties, let's have it out.

None Taken

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None taken. Everyone cares about soccer more than Americans do. But follow the link for his liveblogging of the match. He concludes: "Our players, tonight our heroes, learned that only with team work they had a chance to win. May our politicians learn from the players . . . The fear is gone, the curfew is ignored, tonight Iraq knows only joy." May there be more days like this, and with more occasions than soccer.

The Off Site Storage Plan

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They are not enriching it. They are condensing it, like canned soup, so it can be packed neatly in a small container that can be quickly delivered by plane or missile to off site storage in Israel


The top teams in this tournament -- Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Japan, Iran, and Australia -- are roughly comparable to the U.S. in soccer stature. Most of them would rank in the top 40 among the world's national teams in an honest ranking (as opposed to the garbage ranking put out by the international soccer bureaucracy). Iraq probably would not have been thought of in the top 80 going into this tournament. Under Saddam, the team was known only for having its members tortured by one of his sons when they failed to meet his expecations. After the liberation, Iraq showed immediate signs of improvement and performed well in the 2004 Olympics. Still, its performance in this year's Asian Cup was totally unexpected, particularly given the difficulties the team faced in trying to prepare under the conditions that prevail in Iraq.

Pamela Strikes Again


Moonbats converged today (all 20 of them) to support Mama's bid fro Congress (would her to unseat Peloshia - wouldn't you?)

And Which 1/3 Might That Be?

The BBC has apparently completely banned the use of the M word, in favor of “Asian.” Here’s an article that they’re playing as a sort of lighthearted slice of Asian life, in which we learn that over a third of UK “Asians” do not feel British.

Over a third of British Asians do not feel British, a BBC poll suggests.

Mindcrimes Today

Muslim activists had called on Pace University to crack down on hate crimes after the incidents. As a result, the university said it would offer sensitivity training to its students.

The school was accused by Muslim students of not taking the incident seriously enough at first. Pace classified the first desecration of the holy book as an act of vandalism, but university officials later reversed themselves and referred the incident to the New York Police Department’s hate crimes unit.

Yes. And I'm quite sure that dunking a Bible in the toilet would get similar legal attention. And never mind in Saudi Arabia. Where it would be a spectator sport if they had thought of it... yet...

Fred: Back To Basics

The Framers drew their design for our Constitution from a basic understanding of human nature. From the wisdom of the ages and from fresh experience, they understood the better angels of our nature, and the less admirable qualities of human beings entrusted with power.

The Framers believed in free markets, rights of property and the rule of law, and they set these principles firmly in the Constitution. Above all, the Framers enshrined in our founding documents, and left to our care, the principle that rights come from our Creator and not from our government.

That Darned Tipler Again

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ACCORDING TO THIS ARTICLE FROM THE GUARDIAN, the Bush Administration was already supporting torturing suspects back in 1998. "The report criticises the Bush administration's approval of practices which would be illegal if carried out by British agents. It shows that in 1998, the year Bin Laden was indicted in the US, Britain insisted that the policy of treating prisoners humanely should include him. But the CIA never gave the assurances."

I blame John Ashcroft. Er, and Stephen Hawking or Frank Tipler, I guess . . . .


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"They're in the business of killing stories these days, not publishing them."

That has always been the most important power of gatekeepers. Not in deciding when to open the gate, but in when to close it.

And that's the reason that the gatekeepers are so upset by the rise of blogs and other alternative media. They still have the ability to open the gate for stories they like, and to try to focus attention on those stories, but they no longer have the ability to close the gate because thousands of bloggers have dug tunnels under the fence.

New Bumper Sticker On Its Way

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Democrats: For freeing jihadists faster.
Needless to say, this doesn't say anything very complimentary about Repubs either.


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Umm, sorry to break it to you, but on LCD displays the color of the page has nothing to do with the energy used. The liquid crystal part is a filter the colors the light that passes through it. The backlight is usually a flourescent that doesn't vary in brightness in response to what's dispalyed.

So yes, use Blackle if you have a CRT monitor. If you have an LCD you're just using it for the esthetics though...

Hope In Waziristan?

The Islamists have called for a general uprising against Musharraf in Pakistan as a result. However, after their performances at the Red Mosque, they may have lost what little draw they had with the Pakistani populace. The radicals have sympathy with only about 10% of Pakistanis under normal circumstances, but their attempts to Talibanize the community surrounding the Red Mosque through hostaging and terror opened eyes, and not just in the military.

The military, though, has had enough and sees a fight as their only option. The Times of London quoted their sources in the army as saying, "There is no other option. It’s bad, but we have to fight.” Taliban leaders warn about the wrath of Allah coming down on Musharraf, but it's more likely they're worried about the wrath of the US.

With his political flank secured, Musharraf has an option for total war in Waziristan. Let's hope he makes better decisions this time around.