Saturday, September 15, 2007

The U.S. Never Will Either

“Our strategy is this,” President Bush said last month. “We will fight them over there so we do not have to face them in the United States of America.”

He was talking about jihadists, of course. And Mr. Bush is behind the curve. The president apparently missed the smoking-gun 1991 document his own Justice Department introduced into evidence at the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas. The FBI captured it in a raid on a Muslim suspect’s home in Virginia.

This “explanatory memorandum,” as it’s titled, outlines the “strategic goal” for the North American operation of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan). Here’s the key paragraph:

The process of settlement [of Islam in the United States] is a “Civilization-Jihadist” process with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that all their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” their miserable house by their hands

Thompson Update

Conversations with Floridians at every Thompson stop found them coming back to the Tennessean’s down-home demeanor. “He didn’t seem like a smooth talker,” said Rex Wagner, a cabinet maker in Jacksonville. “He talks in a style that everybody can understand,” observed Phil O’Donnell, “just lays it on the line.” To these Republicans, Thompson’s syrupy stump-style is endearing. . . .

[T]here is also a difficult-to-describe comfort level that Republican voters seem to have with Thompson, even the first time they see him in person. “They think they know him from beforehand,” is how campaign adviser Rich Galen put it. In his speech in Jacksonville, Thompson portrayed it as “a special relationship with an awful lot of folks in the country.”
It came, he said, “because they look into my heart and they know that they’re looking at a fella who doesn’t have anything to lose but to tell the truth about the situation in Washington.”

Quiet As A Mouse

You've no doubt read about the shrinking ice cap at the North Pole, and the plight of the polar bears there. It's less likely that you've heard that in the meantime, the ice cap at the South Pole has been expanding, and just recently reached its largest extent since measurements began in 1979.

I compared Google News searches for "ice cap 'north pole'" and "ice cap 'south pole.'" The North Pole stories were all about the shrinking ice cap there as evidence of global warming. I couldn't find a single news story about the expanding ice cap at the South Pole. This strikes me as a pretty good illustration of how the conventional story line about Earth's climate drives news reporting.

But Maybe The West Never Will

Thinking of al-Qaeda as a religion like Buddhism will take one down the wrong path. It's easier to understand it as a gang, with territories, local bosses, rackets, internal rivalries, and a secret culture which requires you to be "made". Al-Qaeda is in fact linked to gangs. It operates an actual narcotics trade in Afghanistan. It performs contract hits on behalf of clients and subcontracts hits to independent operators. It does everything gangs do and very little that religions, as we know it, undertake. The reason al-Qaeda is poorly understood is that the West insists on misunderstanding it; giving it a dignity far beyond any it would accord itself in candid moments. The contracted Vilks murder is a case in point. It's not about cartoons, blasphemy or piety but about intimidation and dominance. A desert raider will grasp the point immediately. But maybe the West never will.

NYeT: The Value Of Not Having Values

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MICKEY KAUS: "Maybe Murdoch Bid on the Wrong Company: New York Times stock falls below $20 a share, down from $50 in 2002. ... Soon even Ron Burkle will be able to buy the place!"

UPDATE: Reader George Zachar emails:

Shareholder equity in the New York Times company is roughly $825 million. That's about the value of the Times' interest in its new headquarters tower opposite the bus terminal. The implicit value of the Times newspaper and other properties is therefore zero.

I blame excessive ad-discounting.

Unwarranted Assumptions

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One of the most damaging and unwarranted assumptions made is that sectarian differences within Islam should prevent cooperation in operations against the West. A brief look at the evidence shows that Iran and others have had no trouble in putting aside differences in theology to harm their enemies, especially America. Specific links include the Iranian connection to al-Qaeda in the Sudan, a partnership brokered by Hassan al-Turabi, one-time leader of Sudan’s ruling party, the National Islamic Front. Next, there is Imad Mugniyah, Hezbollah’s master terrorist, who helped Osama bin Laden upgrade al-Qaeda’s capabilities in the early 1990s.
There are disturbing signs that may implicate Iran in, at the very least, facilitating travel for some of the 9/11 hijackers. Finally, there is extensive evidence that Iran aided al-Qaeda’s retreat from Afghanistan in late 2001 and has allowed al-Qaeda agents to operate from Iranian soil ever since.

The War Against The Child

But in its narrowest sense, she also spoke truth, aloud, in the presence of the powerful, signally to their embarrassment rather than her own. Remember, for instance, the opening of her remarks to the U.S. National Prayer Breakfast, Feb. 3, 1994, at the White House, in the presence of President and Mrs Clinton, and Vice President Gore:

"I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself, and if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?"

This is one of many such remarks, on the topic of abortion and on several others, which showed both of the supports I have mentioned, that are required by the truth.

One Full Day

In other words, when someone announces that he is going to “speak truth to power,” it is invariably time to brace ourselves for a scintillating display of hypocrisy and narcissism. With the possible exception of Vaclav Havel (in his jailbird days, well before he became president of then-Czechoslovakia), people living under conditions of real oppression do not announce that they will speak truth to power.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn once famously said, back when the Soviet Union existed, that if everyone in Russia would wake up one morning and agree to speak only the truth for one full day, the entire Communist system would collapse. Something like that actually happened, on the 9th of November 1989, but the point of Solzhenitsyn’s remark would be lost, did we not also inwardly understand, that no one can tell the truth all day. It is just too difficult.

To begin with, it requires intelligence and courage. Both, working in mutual support.

And Now ... Al Gore!

In his most recent video -- which seems as genuine as the previous ones -- he sounds more than ever like a Left Democrat who just happens to be a Muslim. The best moment was when he cited Noam Chomsky as an authority in U.S. foreign policy. We cannot know what media he is receiving in his current abode, but from his general understanding of developments in the West, we might guess it is the standard MSM package that comes with almost any cable or telephone/Internet hook-up. He utters clich├ęs -- including cheap Marxist nostrums, now mixed with boilerplate on global warming -- that make me think only an editor, a shave, and a few wardrobe alterations stand between him and co-hosting documentaries with Al Gore.

Pluralis Majestatis

The Wars Iraq and in Washington have merged. Iraq the Model describes the impending onslaught on Washington by Iraqi politicians come to plead their special case.

Giuliani took Clinton to task over an advertisement by liberal anti-war group, which ran in the Times earlier this week with a headline of "General Petraeus, or General Betray US?"

"Just when our troops need all our support to finish the job, Hillary Clinton is turning her back on them," says a narrator in the web ad.

The odds Hillary is going to fire back are high. The fire will be withering.
These events are hard on the heels of Osama Bin Laden's recent speech to America on the subject of the Democratic Party not doing enough to End the War, the evils of capitalism, high taxes and Global Warming. Given the attractions of the impending political clash, perhaps Osama's chief regret is that as a fugitive he can't appear as a guest on all the talk-shows.

al-Baghdadi's Dilapidated Theatre

The leaders of al-Qaeda in Iraq will never run short on enemies, mostly because they hate everybody. Today they issued a statement declaring war on the Sunni tribes of western Iraq, a move that will undoubtedly underscore the folly of believing them to be liberators in the post-invasion, pre-surge period:

AQI probably realizes that the new offensive and the targeting of tribal leaders will only push the Sunnis closer to the Baghdad government, but they're running out of options. They can't beat the Americans in a stand-up fight, or even with guerilla warfare as long as local populations can't be intimidated into providing them with cover. Their attacks on tribal leaders will inflame Sunnis against the foreigners and create even more recruits for Iraqi security forces, which will help cement ties to the elected government as more Iraqis take over security efforts in the west.

In fact, they've become so desperate that they've returned to using "Abu Omar al-Baghdadi" in their audio tapes.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Without Comment

If the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over despite consistent failure, then the American judiciary needs a shrink when it comes to Norman Hsu. Despite having run out on his sentencing for a nolo contendere plea on fraud 15 years ago, and despite having jumped bail when finally brought to justice for jumping bail before, a Colorado judge set a $5 million bail for Hsu:

A judge ordered a cash bond of $5 million for Norman Hsu, the shadowy Democratic fund-raiser, after Colorado authorities told the court here that Mr. Hsu might have been involved in another multimillion-dollar fraud investigation involving dozens of investors in Orange County, Calif.

The prosecutor noted that police found a checkbook on Hsu that listed a $6 million balance.

Let's think about that for a moment. Who keeps $6 million in a checking account?

And even before jumping bail, why did Hsu need to be that liquid?
Because if I commented, your ears would be damaged.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Yes, Neo, I Suspect They Are That Ignorant

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Here’s American History 101, the 60s according to Osama:

In the Vietnam War, the leaders of the white House claimed at the time that it was a necessary and crucial war, and during it, Rumsfeld and his aides murdered two million villagers. And when Kennedy took over the Presidency and deviated from the general line of policy drawn up from the White House and wanted to stop this unjust war, that angered the owners of the major corporations who were benefitting from the continuation. And so Kennedy was killled….

But Osama seems to think that JFK was elected President on some sort of anti-Vietnam War platform after Rumsfeld and his aides did all this Vietnam villager killing. and that Kennedy was then killed because of his antiwar activity.

I’ve often lamented present day ignorance of history in general, and of the second half of the Vietnam War in particular, but this is ridiculous.


Jeff's Memory Hole Update

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To the “neocons,” the risk was worth the reward, particularly in light of the 911 attacks, which only reinforced how seriously we need to take the threats of jihadists who have declared war on the US.

Others, however, long for the status quo — and into that vacuum have stepped “progressives,” acting very much like Colin Powell, and sounding very much like Bush pre-911: opposed to nation building, advocating foreign policy realism, and leaving it to the Other to fend for himself.

How quickly they forgot Iraqi Regime Change and the Clinton airstrikes, based, remember, on sketchy reports about chemical precursors in the soil.

For these reasons, we “wingnuts” look upon today’s left as either cynical and insincere, or else suffering from the kind of mass delusion and collective political amnesia that we can’t comprehend — especially because we are able to show them their own words from a half decade ago, when the cause seemed quite just

A Tale Of Two Rosies

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I am referring to the extraordinary inability of Bush and those surrounding him to understand and to respond to the paramount importance of public relations in asymmetrical war. Indeed, it can be argued that asymmetrical war is in essence about public relations. You would think, given the recent history of our time, the Tet Offensive, indeed the whole story of Vietnam, the administration would have known that, seen the inevitability that a powerful opposition would coalesce in the media and in the political classes (one that Podhoretz describes so well) and moved to head it off, to co-opt their opponents, but they did the opposite. They told us to go shopping.

What a basic misunderstanding or lack of understanding of human psychology is that! In World War II, all Americans were asked to participate, to come together against a common enemy. No such thing was asked of us.

Result? In World War II, we had Rosie the Riveter; in World War IV, we have Rosie O’Donnell.

We're The Ones...

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OUCH: "As you have found, our hearings are more about listening to ourselves than listening to our witnesses."

As I have said, the best Bush strategy is to put Congress on TV as often as possible.

...who need the benchmarks. Not the Iraqis. Pitiful.

Saudi Shocka (Part 1,983,775)

“If I could somehow snap my fingers and cut off the funding from one country, it would be Saudi Arabia,” Stuart Levey, the under secretary of the Treasury in charge of tracking terror financing, told ABC News.

Despite some efforts as a U.S. ally in the war on terror, Levey says Saudi Arabia has dropped the ball. Not one person identified by the United States and the United Nations as a terror financier has been prosecuted by the Saudis, Levey says. 

“When the evidence is clear that these individuals have funded terrorist organizations, and knowingly done so, then that should be prosecuted and treated as real terrorism because it is,” Levey says.

Among those on the donor list, according to U.S. officials, is Yasin al Qadi, a wealthy businessman named on both the U.S. and U.N. lists of al Qaeda financiers one month after the 9/11 attacks. Al Qadi, who has repeatedly denied the allegations, remains free, still a prominent figure in Saudi Arabia.

Choked Up

The Herald Sun reports that "a Melbourne GP [general practicioner] refused high-level chemotherapy, ultimately sacrificing her life to save her unborn daughter. ... Dr Ellice Hammond, 37 ... was diagnosed in the 22nd week of pregnancy and refused high-level chemotherapy that could have saved her but might have killed Mia, whose induced birth took place on August 20."

The Overreach's Long Arm

Soldiers in Bravo Troop are certain some of those joining the Iraqi Provincial Volunteers were actively fighting US soldiers just months ago, and sometimes this is confirmed by the biometric data.

The region is by no means fully secured. The sheikhs are being approached by neighboring tribal leaders for support, wishing to model their success.

The Sunni sheikhs are looking to support the Shia leaders just north of Yusifiyah who have tired of the Mahdi Army influence. Just as many Sunnis rejected al Qaeda’s presence, some Shia are looking to eject the Mahdi Army. When the security situation deteriorated in 2005 and 2006, many of the Shia turned to the Mahdi Army for protection. And like al Qaeda, the Mahdi Army has overreached by imposing its strict version of Shia Islam and interfering in local business with criminal enterprise.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Perpetual Burglar

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professor Jonathan Adler sums up Berger's conviction and underlying crime(s) this way (h/t InstaPundit):

Berger repeatedly stole and destroyed classified documents, resulting in the temporary loss of his security clearance. Berger has never provided a plausible explanation for his actions. By voluntarily giving up his law license, he avoided a cross-examination from bar counsel, so we still do not know precisely what he was doing and why. Indeed, the only assurance that Berger did not destroy unique copies of classified national security documents — such as copies of reports containing notations in the margins and the like — comes from Berger himself, something that the 9/11 Commission was not told when it was preparing its report (as I noted here).


Berger proceeded to show the world just how very, very seriously he took the conditions of his probation. According to the Washington Post, less than 48 hours after his sentencing

Berger was clocked going 88 mph in a 55-mph zone

Why? Well he's now a Hillary adviser of course...

Inconvenient Facts

More scientists are citing solar energy levels, cosmic rays and clouds as determinants of climate — and saying CO2 plays only a minor role. Over the last year, dozens have publicly switched from believers to skeptics about climate Armageddon theories.

Eight eastern European countries are threatening legal action against European Union decisions to restrict their emissions, as they work to grow their economies after decades of impoverishment under communism. China and India refuse to sacrifice their economic growth to climate chaos concerns.

China has surpassed the United States as the world's leading CO2 emitter. And EU carbon dioxide emissions have increased faster since 2002 than those in the United States, where both population and economic growth have been substantially higher than in Western Europe.

Al Iran

Beinart is especially critical of Ledeen’s discussion of the connection between Iran and al Qaeda. He takes Ledeen to task for claiming that the August 7, 1998, embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania “were in large part Iranian operations.” Beinart goes on to claim that this would “come as news to the 9/11 Commission, which attributed them solely to al Qaeda.”

Ironically, though, it is Beinart who, by this very comment, demonstrates he has not read the 9/11 Commission’s final report very carefully. In fact, the Commission explicitly tied Iran’s main terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, to the embassy bombings. The Commission found that several members of al Qaeda’s Kenyan cell were trained in Hezbollah camps months prior to the attack.

Did I Forget To Mention The Axis?

One theory holds that North Korea is selling off its nuclear material to Iran and Syria. It's interesting that North Korea issued a statement denouncing Israel's air strike.

Maybe it's time to dust off the "Axis of Evil." Remember those who scoffed at the idea that North Korea could have anything in common with Iraq and Iran?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Friend Became The Enemy

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On al Qaeda, one volunteer said: "It was very bad. They were targeting everyone: American, policeman, civilian. There was no difference between a target and another target. They were killing and kidnapping and planting bombs on the side of the roads, and targeting everyone, [not just] American forces. They were bombing the mosques and targeting the imams who spoke out against al Qaeda."

"Now we start to know what is right and what is wrong," said another recruit. "The picture is so clear now. When things started and the [initial] invasion came to Fallujah, we said, 'It's OK for civilians to [take up arms] and fight the invasion and throw [the Americans] out from Fallujah.' We said, 'OK, they are the enemy and that's our friend.' But things were confused, and the enemy has become the friend and the friend became the enemy."

Missing A Few Items

In its coverage of the event, Time magazine suggests that the Israeli raid might be connected to the acquisition of Russian-made Pantsyr-1 air defense systems by Syria and Iran. Damascus took initial deliveries of the system in August, and Iranian crews are likely training on the Pantsyr as well. But the destruction of an air defense training site wouldn't account for that "big hole" in the desert. The attack was apparently concentrated in an area that's not far from known Syrian surface-to-surface missile facilities. Given the scope of the damage inflicted--and the apparent size of the Israeli strike force--we're guessing that the attack was aimed at more than air defense equipment.

In any case, it looks like Hizballah's order-of-battle will be missing a few items, at least temporarily. The raid was also a wake-up call for Damascus and Tehran, reminding them that the IDF can reach remote targets with air and ground forces.

On Demolishing Morons

One of the more enduring myths of the 9/11 truther movement involves the rapid collapse of the Twin Towers after being hit by the commercial jets six years ago today. The conspiracy theorists insist that a self-initiated collapse could not have occurred, and even if it did, it could not have progressed so rapidly.

Instead, their theories on the impossibility of collapse just got demolished at Cambridge:

The study by a Cambridge University engineer demonstrates that once the collapse of the twin towers began, it was destined to be rapid and total. ...

Dr Seffen was able to calculate the "residual capacity" of the undamaged building: that is, simply speaking, the ability of the undamaged structure to resist or comply with collapse.

His calculations suggest the residual capacity of the north and south towers was limited, and that once the collapse was set in motion, it would take only nine seconds for the building to go down.

Monday, September 10, 2007


The idea of using suicide pilots to obliterate the skyscrapers of Manhattan originated in 1940s Berlin. "In the latter stages of the war, I never saw Hitler so beside himself as when, as if in a delirium, he was picturing to himself and to us the downfall of New York in towers of flame," wrote Albert Speer in his diary. "He described the skyscrapers turning into huge burning torches and falling hither and thither, and the reflection of the disintegrating city in the dark sky."

Not only Hitler's fantasy but also his plan of action foreshadowed September 11: He envisioned having kamikaze pilots fly light aircraft packed with explosives and with no landing gear into Manhattan skyscrapers. The drawings for the Daimler-Benz Amerikabomber from the spring of 1944 show giant four-engine planes with raised undercarriages for transporting small bombers.

Sixty years later, it so happens, the assault on the World Trade Center was coordinated from Germany.
You. Must. Read. This. Will be added to the classic links ASAP...

Where There Isn't Smoke There's Fire

Some in the United States are unconvinced that Al Qaeda was really at the center of the conflict in Anbar. So I asked Colonel John Charlton how the Army knows Al Qaeda is really who they have been dealing with. He was supremely annoyed by the question.

“We know it’s Al Qaeda,” he said. There is no controversy whatsoever about this in Iraq. My question seemed to him as if it had come from another planet. “They self-identify as Al Qaeda. We didn’t give them that name. That’s what they call themselves. We have their propaganda CDs which have Al Qaeda written all over them.”

“Market Street [the main street downtown] was completely controlled by Al Qaeda,” Lieutenant Welch said. “They rolled down the streets, pointed guns at people, and said we are in charge. They had crazy requirements for the locals. They weren’t allowed to cut their hair. Girls were banned from going to school. They couldn’t shave or smoke. One guy defiantly lit a cigarette and they shot him four times.”

And Sean Penn seems to have quit smoking. Hmmmm....

Seriously, this piece by Totten is a RTWT.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Did You Help?

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Sooner or later, we will be too late. And if that is when they use a weapon of mass destruction, our losses will be unfathomable.

That fact is a given in law enforcement, but it has not yet seeped into our culture. We do port security on the cheap, counting on luck to save our civilization.

We dwell more on the cost of protection than on the cost of a calamity.

A recent segment of the PBS series "Nova" wondered why we have not improved construction and evacuation plans in most high-rise towers. It took five hours to evacuate the World Trade Center after the 1993 truck bomb that killed six, but the buildings collapsed within two hours of the 2001 attacks. Do the math.

Iraq is the main proxy for this larger war, both there and here, and the divisions it has unleashed will take center stage in Washington this week. As you watch the serious testimony and the political grandstanding, remember two things: We must win to survive. And each of us is responsible for helping.

Taking A Look

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Finally, we need to learn the details of North Korean nuclear cooperation with other countries. We know that both Iran and Syria have long cooperated with North Korea on ballistic missile programs, and the prospect of cooperation on nuclear matters is not far-fetched. Whether and to what extent Iran, Syria or others might be "safe havens" for North Korea's nuclear weapons development, or may have already participated with or benefited from it, must be made clear.

For our own safety's sake, and that of allies like Japan and South Korea, there can be no compromises on these points.

My hunch is that Israel is taking a closer look at industrial sites outside of Deir al-Zur to see if they can see if anything looks Korea-like and what is going on with missile and weapons development.

This is speculation, but Western intelligence agencies have been suspicious for some time that Korean technology is working its way to Syria.

No Good Choices

Whether the mullah see themselvs as the progeny of Muhammed or Cyrus makes little difference in the long run. The implications of a nuclear armed Iran are unacceptable. Sometimes there are no good choices. If we have to spend the next few generations playing whack-a-mole with Islamists then let's at least keep the nukes aways from the moles.

I hope the Europeans can get on board with us. The Brussels city council is now majority Islamic and absent a radical change in attitude among native Europeans this unwholesome trend is going to continue across the continent. Time is of the essence. For all his insights into connectivity Barnett never seems to have envisioned the Core becoming subverted with the Gap's value system.


Well, lessee, his associates were "worried about his condition".

Maybe be heard about that somewhere and remembered that pretty much the same crew had reported ex post facto having been worried about Vince Foster's condition --and sooo he decided he'd better get far away and have a breakdown.

Viola, he has his cover for the skip, and at the same time is safe under many watchful "civilian" eyes.

If The Surge Isn't Working...

If the surge isn’t working, why did Ibrahim al-Douri switch to fighting al-Qa’ida?

The leader of Iraq’s banned Baath party, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, has decided to join efforts by the Iraqi authorities to fight al-Qaeda, one of the party’s former top officials, Abu Wisam al-Jashaami, told pan-Arab daily Al Hayat. “Al-Douri has decided to sever ties with al-Qaeda and sign up to the programme of the national resistance, which includes routing Islamist terrorists and opening up dialogue with the Baghdad government and foreign forces,” al-Jashaami said.

Al-Douri has decided to deal directly with US forces in Iraq, according to al-Jashaami. He figures in the 55-card deck of “most wanted” officials from the former Iraqi regime issued by the US government. In return, for cooperating in the fight against al-Qaeda, al-Douri has asked for guarantees over his men’s safety and for an end to Iraqi army attacks on his militias.

Meanwhile, In The Smoke-Filled Room...

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Huge strides towards peace in Iraq were made during discussions between Middle Eastern power-brokers over the weekend, Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister said today.

Martin McGuinness said four days of Finnish talks involving politicians from Northern Ireland and South Africa were a major stepping stone towards a resolution of conflict in the troubled region. . . .

Organisers said the representatives from Sunni and Shiite groups in Iraq agreed on a road map to peace during the secret talks in Finland.

The four-day meeting brought together 16 delegates from the feuding groups to study lessons learned from successful peacemaking efforts in South Africa and Northern Ireland.

Osamacrats Part II

Tigerhawk comments:

...the Geneva Convention of 1949, which governs the conduct of war and obviously postdates Roosevelt's time, may in fact operate to impose enormous disadvantages on countries that actually care about following the law, particularly in asymmetrical wars. The Fourth Geneva Convention essentially criminalizes all forms of collective punishment and reprisals against civilians, both of which were favorite tactics of the Anglo-American alliance during World War II. But what if lasting victory only comes with breaking the enemy population's will to fight?

And isn't this just fitting when you consider that the antiwar Left, not to mention a considerable part of the Democratic Party, consider George W. Bush to be more of a danger than the terrorists? Add to that the thought that al Qaeda's grand strategy is to vex and exhaust the enemy until it gives up, and all we can say is that it's a beautiful thing when a plan comes together.

The Osamacrats