Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Memory Hole Today

Being “fooled” by intelligence reports is unacceptable inasmuch as the Congressional leaders were given the same reports that the administration got, themselves consistent with those produced during the Clinton administration.

The only acceptable explanation for such an about face was the one never offered, something like the following:

“I thought removing Saddam could be accomplished at far less cost than transpired. But due both to the difficulty of establishing reform in postwar Iraq, and our own flawed assumptions about reconstruction, I now don’t think the ultimate goal of a stable constitutional Iraq is attainable—or at least not attainable at a price in American blood and treasure I am willing to pay.”

Not a single Democrat has been candid enough to admit the above.


Tim Rutten looks at the arguments from Lee Bollinger's apologists and finds them unconvincing. Reaching back to Columbia University's earlier support for fascists, Rutten scores the win for Ahmadinejad for his appearance at the Ivy League academy, and scolds Columbia for giving Ahmadinejad the Western legitimacy he craved (via Memeorandum):
Bollinger clearly had an American audience in mind when he denounced the Iranian leader to his face as a "cruel" and "petty dictator" and described his Holocaust denial as designed to "fool the illiterate and the ignorant." Bollinger's remarks may have taken him off the hook with his domestic critics, but when it came to the international media audience that really counted, Ahmadinejad already had carried the day. The invitation to speak at Columbia already had given him something totalitarian demagogues -- who are as image-conscious as Hollywood stars -- always crave: legitimacy.
Fascifism is nothing if not ignorantly ethnocentric...

Here's Hoping It's True...

Then a few months back the US government told the Pakistani government that we had the coordinates for twenty-nine terror training bases and in a week we will be destroying them (perhaps on Cheney's visit this summer). The intent was to drive the terrorists from those camps so we could get to them.

It worked. That's why those camps emptied out.

So the US left the terrorists an escape route into Tora Bora. Once they had detected a large group of al Qaeda at the fortress and the likelihood of High Value Targets as determined by large scale security detachments, the US dropped the curtain on the escape routes back into Pakistan. We have been pounding the hell out of them for weeks in near complete secrecy.

Iraqis To Put (Useless) U.N. In Their Place

Iraq plans to propose one final extension to the UN Security Council mandate for the American deployment, the AP reports this morning. After the end of 2008, Iraq wants to directly negotiate a bilateral security arrangement with the US similar to that of Kuwait and Qatar:

Iraq wants the U.N. Security Council to extend the mandate of the 160,000-stong U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq only through the end of 2008, then replace it with a long-term bilateral security agreement, Foreign Ministry officials said Saturday.

Aides to Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the mandate extension for the U.S.-led coalition, due to be discussed at the end of this year, would be "the last extension for these forces."

Iraq would then seek a long-term, bilateral security agreement with the United States like the ones Washington has with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Egypt, he said.

Turning Japanese

This letter has been sent to me -- and to others -- by a Burmese gentleman. Anyone who is currently or was ever a citizen of the Third World will attest to its essential truth.

Before I go to bed tonight, I will pray hard to Lord Buddha that I will wake up as a Japanese in the morning. All my life, I have been a Burmese and I have always thought that all the human lives have equal values in this world after reading “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. It was a rude awakening for me and I only realized it in the last few days.

Please don’t misunderstand me, myself along with all the Burmese appreciate the efforts of Nagai San to expose the living hell that the Burmese live day in day out, to the outside world. Our condolences go to his family. It is sad that an innocent Japanese life had to be lost because the government of Japan had ignored all the facts for decades knowingly.

I will also pray for all the other Burmese to wake up as Japanese tomorrow.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Worst President Update

"I think it would be almost inconceivable that Iran would commit suicide by launching one or two missiles of any kind against the nation of Israel."

--Jimmy Carter, speaking at Emory University, Sept. 19, 2007

On March 17, 1992, a suicide bomber crashed an explosive-filled truck into a building filled with Israelis in Buenos Aires. The bombing was so powerful that the destruction covered several city blocks--29 innocents were killed and hundreds more were injured. This occurred more than 8,000 miles from Tehran.

Mr. Toma says--based on Argentina's cooperation with intelligence agencies around the world--he's certain of the date, location and participants in the decision by the Iranian government to execute the second Buenos Aires attack. He pinpoints it to a meeting that occurred in the holy Iranian city of Mashhad on Aug. 14, 1993. It was presided over by the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, then and now the Supreme Leader of Iran; and the Iranian president at the time, Ali-Akbar Rafsanjani.

One Does Wonder Indeed...

One wonders sometimes how liberalism can survive, when its most cherished myths can be exposed as frauds in a matter of minutes.

The Prime Directive Is Not A Suicide Pact

Now the Picardians and Pelosians have become natural allies and would-be quislings in the burgeoning showdown with the Romulans. The old adage that the “Prime Directive is not a suicide pact,” means nothing to them. Would that the spirit of James Kirk (contributing editor from 2261 to 2271, we’re proud to say) could be conjured at this moment. Who among us can forget those immortal words, “Praetor Pardek tear down this neutral zone!” What would Kirk think as he watched the Federation appease the Romulans, feeding the targ one limb at a time, as the Klingons say.

Yes, THAT Land

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Indeed, of the charter members of the first Forbes 400, only 32 remain today. Far from a country where only the rich get richer, the wealthy in the US are very much a moving target. While there are 74 Forbes 400 members who inherited their entire fortune, 270 members are entirely self-made. Though many attended Harvard, Yale and Princeton, there are countless stories within of high school and college dropouts, not to mention others who grew up extremely poor. Politicians who regularly engage in class warfare would do well to keep the Forbes 400 out of the hands of their constituents, because it makes a mockery of the kind "Two Americas" rhetoric suggesting the existence of a glass ceiling that keeps hard workers at the bottom of the economic ladder. To read the Forbes 400 is to know with surety that the U.S. is still very much the land of opportunity.

The Soaring Pigs?

WASHINGTON -- Ahmadinejad at Columbia provided the entertainment, but Sarkozy at the U.N. provided the substance. On the largest possible stage -- the U.N. General Assembly -- President Nicolas Sarkozy put Iran on notice. His predecessor, Jacques Chirac, had said that France could live with an Iranian nuclear bomb. Sarkozy said that France cannot. He declared Iran's nuclear ambitions "an unacceptable risk to stability in the region and in the world."

His foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, had earlier said that the world faces two choices -- successful diplomacy to stop Iran's nuclear program or war. And Sarkozy himself has no great hopes for the Security Council, where China and Russia are blocking any effective action against Iran. He does hope to get the European Union to join the U.S. in imposing serious sanctions.

Emulation, The Sincerest Form Of Holocaust

In his speeches, most especially the one at Columbia University, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeats two myths about the Holocaust. The first every reasonable person knows is a total lie: namely that the Holocaust did not occur. The second myth, however, is one that escapes critical attention for the most part, because many people are not aware of its falsity. The myth is that the Palestinian people and their leadership had absolutely nothing to do with the Holocaust. The conclusion that is supposed to follow from this “fact” is that the establishment of Israel in the wake of the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people was unfair to the Palestinians.
The truth is that the Palestinian leadership, supported by the Palestinian masses, played a significant role in Hitler’s Holocaust. The Palestinian leader at the time was Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufit of Jerusalem.
Shortly after Hitler came to power, the Grand Mufti decided to emulate him.

Fauxtographic History

The ghost of Stalin is alive and well in modern day Europe. The British Culture Secretary, James Purnell, is being criticized after it emerged that his image had been digitally inserted in a group photograph a short time after he had railed against news media for fauxtography.

Media control and deception are a time-honored tradition of the Left. The Commissar Vanishes maintains a virtual museum of Bolshevik-era airbrushing. Nice to know that in a world of cheap change, some things remain the same. The Burmese socialist regime should know.

Technically Morons

The unworkability of FISA in its present form was dramatically highlighted in Congressional testimony yesterday:

U.S. authorities racing to find three kidnapped American soldiers in Iraq last May labored for nearly 10 hours to get legal authority for wiretaps to help in the hunt, an intelligence official told Congress on Thursday.

But wait! The surveillance was on terrorists in Iraq. So why was authorization needed first by the Attorney General, and then by a FISA judge?

McConnell told the committee last week that an outdated provision in the eavesdropping law made the approval necessary because the targeted foreign communications were carried in part on a wire inside the United States.

"We are extending Fourth Amendment (constitutional) rights to a terrorist foreigner ... who's captured U.S. soldiers," he said, arguing that this was unnecessary and burdensome.

This infuriating state of affairs will continue if the Democrats get their way.

Shy Al

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reluctance to go toe-to-toe with global warming skeptics may have
something to do with the - from the standpoint of climate change
alarmists - unfortunate outcome of a global warming debate in New York
last March. In the debate, a team of global warming skeptics composed
of MIT scientist Richard Lindzen, University of London emeritus
professor of biogeology Philip Stott, and physician-turned
novelist/filmmaker Michael Crichton handily defeated a team of climate
alarmists headed by NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt. Before the start of
the nearly two-hour debate, the audience of several thousand polled
57.3 percent to 29.9 percent in favor of the proposition that global
warming is a "crisis." At the end of the debate, the numbers had
changed dramatically, with 46.2 percent favoring the skeptical point of
view and 42.2 percent siding with the alarmists.

Howler Update

Now, I will say that Rush should have mentioned that some real soldiers oppose the surge strategy in Iraq, and some oppose the deployment altogether. However, the media seems to fixate on Jesse MacBeths and Scott Beauchamps, who served but lied about their experiences, and then never give the refutations anything close to the same coverage they gave the lies. Jesse MacBeth had served as the Left's poster boy for several months, but his guilty plea has not made much of a splash in the Leftosphere -- certainly not the fanfare his fantasies received.

That's the context of Rush's remarks. That's the context that his critics seem to ignore. Even if Rush had said what they claimed he said, they also managed to avoid asking why they felt so outraged over it when most of them defended MoveOn's slanderous accusations of treason against an American Army officer. It's on a par with last week's howler about how George Bush didn't know Nelson Mandela was still alive.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hookah Madness

Mark Steyn notes an appalling development in politically-correct Vancouver:

Okay, Muslim foot-baths in Kansas City airport, gender-segregated swimming sessions at French municipal pools, banning pork from Aussie hospital menus, no eating donuts for Belgian cops during Ramadan, no seeing-eye dogs or alcohol in Minneapolis taxi cabs, fine, fine, fine. Must be sensitive and all that.

But this is an amazing victory. In Vancouver, infidels can't smoke but Muslims can.

It's true; Muslim hookah-smokers have been exempted from a new anti-smoking ordinance in Vancouver. It seems that Muslims really, really need to smoke. A new motto for the Vancouver city council: Not just mad; stark, raving mad!

As in stark and raving.

A Despondent Sea Of Good Muslims

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My parents, too,
say the same.  Barbaric Muslims are stronger than us, more stupid and
ignorant, but stronger, you know."
to our isles and the same stark contrast emerges.  British Asians of
Indian background (including Muslims from India) are top of the league tables
in schools, universities, business and the professions. They are mentally
agile, inquisitive, and encouraged to strive by their families.  With some
individual exceptions, British Muslims of Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds
languish at the bottom of all indicator tables.  It is heartbreaking.
In the past
decade, there has been a sharp increase in British Muslims entering higher and
further education, but even this good news has a depressing undertow.  In
nearly all universities in this country, including the elite establishments,
there are cells of well organised Muslim obscurantists who entice or bully
fellow Muslim scholars seeking to liberate their minds.
One of my favorite quotes on Hitler comes from David Warren who pointed out that "Hitler rowed his oars through a sea of good Germans."

We're watching the Muslim version...

When Panic Is Good

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"Everyone in the government and military can only talk of one thing,' he reports.  'No matter who I talked to, all they could do was ask me, over and over again, 'Do you think the Americans will attack us?' 'When will the Americans attack us?' 'Will the Americans attack us in a joint operation with the Israelis?' How massive will the attack be?' on and on, endlessly.  The Iranians are in a state of total panic.'

And that was before September 6.  Since then, it's panic-squared in Tehran.  The mullahs are freaking out in fear.  Why?  Because of the silence in Syria. On September 6, Israeli Air Force F-15 and F-16s conducted a devastating attack on targets deep inside Syria near the city of Dayr az-Zawr.  Israel's military censors have muzzled the Israeli media, enforcing an extraordinary silence about the identity of the targets. 

Meet The New Imam, Same As The Old Imam

When the former leader of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, Fawaz Damra, was linked to funding of terrorists and deported in a very high-profile case, you might have expected that the new imam of the Islamic Center would be more moderate.

Think again: Ohio’s largest mosque hires Egyptian hate sheikh to replace deported terror cleric Fawaz Damra.

Not mentioned in the Plain Dealer’s report is Ahmed Alzaree’s anti-Jewish rants. According to Blumer, in a 15-second Google search, he came across a particular sermon dated March 7, 2003 where Alzaree offers this encouragement to his followers:

The hour of judgment shall not happen until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Muslims shall kill the Jews to the point that the Jew shall hide behind a big rock or a tree and the rock or tree shall call on the Muslim saying: hey, O Muslim there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him, except the Gharqad tree which will not say, for it is the tree of Jews.” Agreed upon.

Let's Help Him "Learn" About Them?

Ahmadinejad was at his most chilling when asked about the current crackdown on academics, journalists and intellectuals in Iran. He denied there was any generalised persecution, but added that eggheads could not be above the law.

Academics “could be involved in an accident”, and so would have to go before the courts, he warned. Or, from time to time, “one may be invited by the police to answer some questions”.

Most spookily of all, he smiled and said: “Everyone is under surveillance - the surveillance of almighty God.” ...

An Iranian-American journalist asked him to clarify his extraordinary claim on Monday that there were no gay people in Iran, pointing out, “I know a few myself.”

“Seriously? I don’t know any,” the president replied, in apparent surprise. “Give me some addresses so we’re able to go to visit them and learn about them.”

Given that sodomy is a crime punishable by death in Iran, it was a particular chilling offer.

Priests Are Pikers At Pederasty

It’s like an episode of “The Village People Gone Wild,” only with guns and suicide bomb vests: Allegations fly in Fatah-Hamas conflict.

The Hamas-Fatah power struggle has descended into the gutter over the past few days, with both parties trading allegations about the involvement of their members in homosexual relations and adultery.

The alleged “sex scandals” are said to have occurred in the Gaza Strip, which fell into Hamas’s hands in June. Shortly after the Islamist movement wrested control of the Strip, Hamas officials began talking about “embarrassing” and “damning” documents and films that were seized inside Palestinian Authority security headquarters formerly controlled by Fatah.

According to the officials, the Fatah men had been spying on several senior PA officials, some of whom were caught on tape having homosexual intercourse.

“Some of them were summoned for questioning and they admitted to having sexual intercourse with boys and adult males,”

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Piggery and Mosque

"As Lord Carey put it: "We are living in dangerous and potentially cataclysmic times". It is a time made perilous not only by the absence of moderate voices within Islam but by the even more conspicuous absence of any leadership among Western politicians. It is a failure which will sooner or later lead to what military historians call a "meeting engagement" in which two forces, each possessed of its own momentum, blunder into each other with catastrophic results. A false kind of tolerance has abolished the fence between the piggery and mosque, the adult video store and the cathedral, the flaming match and the stick of dynamite and called it progress. It is no such thing. It is called stupidity. [ Welcome to the Tinfoil Apocalypse. We have violated the Prime Directive in a very big way, all the worse for our dogged admiration of the scenery as we relentlessly cruise the proverbial river in Egypt... -ed. ] "

UPDATE: Wretchard gets a long-lived bump.

Hansen Hysteria (Part 90234)

Bush’s summit takes place in a climate of hysteria, fueled by unsupportable science fictions. James Hansen, NASA’s chief climatologist, has warned us for at least two years now that if we don’t do something substantial about emissions in ten years, much of Greenland’s ice is “likely” to be shed, raising sea levels “at least six meters” (20 feet) as soon as 2100.
Glen MacDonald, a geographer at UCLA, has noted that during much of this period, summer temperatures in the Eurasian arctic were between 4 and 13°
F warmer than what he calls “modern.” Greenland’s ice melts only in the summer.

The only way that the Arctic could become this warm, MacDonald wrote, is with an “extreme Arctic penetration of warm North Atlantic waters.” There’s only one route that this water can take to get to the Arctic Ocean — by passing between Greenland and Europe.

Obviously, Greenland’s ice sheets didn’t collapse into the sea.
By the way, the sea level at New York City has been rising about a foot per century. And even the IPCC's latest projection range for rise by 2100 range is 8-19 inches. Take the average any you have 14.5 inches. Even 19 inches is far from a cause for panic...

No Quarter

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But I would instead paraphrase Ecclesiastes and say there is a time to be polite, and a time to speak the truth. And I am with William Lloyd Garrison, as well, who asserted:

With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost.”

Ahmadejad’s appearance at Columbia, and Bollinger’s fighting words, were the waste of an argument. Our side thinks we won, Ahmadinejad and his supporters think he did, and the Left is only concerned (as usual) with moral perfection on our part. But sometimes, moral behavior requires harsh words—surely the Left, not known for its exquisite politeness, is aware of that fact.

The Boy's Club

Iranian President Ahmadinejad statement that there are no homosexuals in Iran puzzled many people, and none more than folks who have first-hand familiarity with that country. Thus, the Washington Post reports that, according to Iranian American scholars, "Persian culture has historically included the practice of powerful men who keep young boys for sex but are not considered gay." Moreover, "younger Iranian Americans [say] there is a gay culture in today's Iraq, although it is suppressed by Shiite authorities."

According to Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, director of the Persian Sutdies Center of the University Maryland, "he probably meant to say that there are pedophiles in Iran but that the country does not recognize homosexuality as an orientation."

The Climate Of Corruption

In 2006, Hansen accused the Bush Administration of attempting to censor him. The issue stemmed from an email sent by a 23-year old NASA public affairs intern. It warned Hansen over repeated violations of NASA’s official press policy, which requires the agency be notified prior to interviews. Hansen claimed he was being “silenced,” despite delivering over 1,400 interviews in recent years, including 15 the very month he made the claim. While he admits to violating the NASA press policy, Hansen states he had a “constitutional right” to grant interviews. Hansen then began a barrage of public appearances on TV, radio and in lecture halls decrying the politicization of climate science.

Turns out he was right. Science was being politicized. By him.

For Hansen to secretly receive a large check from Soros, then begin making unsubstantiated claims about administrative influence on climate science is more than suspicious — it’s a clear conflict of interest.

Another Syrian Shocka

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FUSES intended for use in a suspected plot to bomb US installations in Germany came from Syria through Turkey, the German interior minister said yesterday.

Wolfgang Schaeuble said the three suspects had received an order from Pakistan to act by mid-September.

The threat from the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Jihad Union, which claimed responsibility for the plot, has not been eliminated, he said. US installations remained a potential target.

So three graduates of al Qaeda U are still on the loose. And unsurprisingly, Syria is their Silk Road, a conduit for terrorists entering Iraq and for terror gear to enter Europe.

Columbia Into The Ether

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The official website of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has removed a portion of a transcript of his speech yesterday at Columbia University. In the scrubbed section, part of a question and answer period, Ahmadinejad said there are no homosexuals in Iran.

In a statement released by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission the organization noted that the comments had been removed from the Persian language version of the site, but left in the English transcription of the speech. Following an inquiry by PageOneQ made to the Iranian embassy, the entire question and answer period has been removed from the site

According to IGLHRC, no Persian language papers have reported on the remarks.

I don’t get it. What happened to truth, justice, science, and fairness for all peoples? His denial about gays isn’t the only part that’s been censored, either.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oil Changes And Gasoline

The average American doctor now spends 14 percent of his income on insurance paperwork. A North Carolina doctor we interviewed had to hire four people just to fill out forms. He wishes he could spend that money on caring for patients.

Imagine if your car insurance covered oil changes and gasoline. You wouldn't care how much gas you used, and you wouldn't care what it cost. Mechanics would sell you $100 oil changes. Prices would skyrocket.

That's how it works in health care. Patients don't ask how much a test or treatment will cost. They ask if their insurance covers it. They don't compare prices from different doctors and hospitals. (Prices do vary.) Why should they? They're not paying. (Although they do in hidden, indirect ways.)

In the end, we all pay more because no one seems to pay anything. It's why health insurance is not a good idea for anything but serious illnesses and accidents that could bankrupt you. For the rest, we should pay out of our savings.

"Neocon" Bollinger Wastes A Good Chance?

If you’re tempted to think that Ahmadinejad’s Columbia appearance discredited him, and that most people around the world saw through his lies and evasions and now have a deeper understanding of Iran’s schemes as a result, think again.

The president of Iran had a wonderful chance at Columbia to act as the more educated and civil person, and he used that chance.

America needs to recognize that Iran’s hostilities will not falter as long as ours hold so high. A little bit of trust could make them no longer have desire to use the weapons they may or may not have. Unless the west intends on starting a war, it may be beneficial to placate them, otherwise we won’t make any progress whatsoever.

Columbia wasted a good chance there.

Galen, Connecticut, USA

Holocaust? What Holocaust?

Just over sixty years ago, in the wake of atomic destruction and the horrors of Holocaust, world leaders united to say “never again.” This week, world leaders are giving a platform to Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a man who has opened the door to both: He calls for the elimination of a nation and pursues the means that would allow him to carry it out. Instead of inviting him to speak at the United Nations and Columbia University, he should be indicted under the Genocide Convention.

In prior conflicts, the signs of impending disaster were clear in hindsight. In their wake, we asked how the world’s leaders had ignored and abdicated their responsibility to humanity. Yet, the gathering storm of the Iranian regime's vision of genocide, terror, and nuclear weapons is all too clear today. Far from hiding his intentions, Ahmadinejad held a conference to deny the Holocaust.

One Not So Perfect Day

Nearly 6 months have passed since I first challenged the inexcusable refusal by DHS and FBI authorities to publicly connect the obviously connectable dots representing an unnerving number of alarming events -- particularly in the wake of the Beslan school massacre. These include:
  • Videotapes confiscated in Afghanistan showing al-Qaeda terrorists training to takeover a school [newly available Video]
  • Spokesman Suleiman Abu Gheith‘s declaration of al-Qaeda's "right" to kill 2 million American children
  • An Iraqi national with known terrorist connections caught with a computer disk containing information detailing Department of Education crisis planning for U.S school districts. 
  • Two Saudi men - one wearing a black trench coat despite the Florida heat -- terrifying a busload of Tampa schoolchildren by boarding a school bus
Osama bin Laden's promise that the 2004 terrorist attack at Beslan will happen many times over in the United States.

Oh, The Irony

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Oh, the irony of an Ivy League president being accused of cultural insensitivity. He should have shown more Middle Eastern style “hospitality” towards Ahmadinejad, it seems. The way Iran does towards, say, gays.

“The surprising point of the last night meeting is the behavior of the university president,” state-run radio reported, describing Bollinger’s introduction as “full of insult, which was mostly Zionists’ propaganda against Iran.”…

Betrayal Update

"One of the great advantages of going is you can look and get a sense of what the atmosphere is," Kline said. "People are going about their business, the shops are open, they're walking around the street."

Kline said the lawmakers were greeted by children who laughed, teased and asked for money. Adults smiled and gave the thumbs up.

"Just a sense of normalcy — people getting on with their lives," he said.

Like many observers, Kline credits our change of tactics more than the increased number of troops for the success we've seen in recent months.

So when John Kline says that he sees "amazing" progress on the ground in Iraq, his words are entitled to considerable weight. Unless, of course, you think that military officers who disagree with must necessarily be betrayers of their country.

What's A Few Million Dead And Brutalized Gays...

... when you've found a soul mate?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Al Capone Always Wins

The principle here is very simple. Ahmadinejad is a thug like Al Capone. Columbia is, whatever else you may think it, a well-regarded institution of higher learning; a place which has generated it's fair share of Nobel Prize winners, etc.

When Al Capone speaks at Columbia, Al Capone always wins. Capone can provide no prestige for Columbia that Columbia doesn't already have. But Capone's association with Columbia, however slight, will always benefit Capone.

This is why, for example, Presidents shouldn't associate with known criminals, except in a diplomatic capacity. The former confers a legitimacy on the latter. It doesn't do the cause of virtue any good to say "the president of Columbia debated Al Capone". But Al Capone can always claim to his advantage, "I wunze debated the Presdunt of Columbine, you know that fancy school in New York?"

Hitch on Steyn -- A Relatively Short Must Read

"8. We should, of course, be scrupulous on principle about stirring up interethnic tensions. But we should remind those states that are less scrupulous—Iran, Pakistan, and Syria swiftly come to mind—that we know that they, too, have restless minorities and that they should not make trouble in Afghanistan, Lebanon, or Iraq without bearing this in mind. Some years ago, the Pakistani government announced that it would break the international embargo on the unrecognized and illegal Turkish separatist state in Cyprus and would appoint an ambassador to it, out of “Islamic solidarity.” Cyprus is a small democracy with no armed forces to speak of, but its then–foreign minister told me the following story. He sought a meeting with the Pakistani authorities and told them privately that if they recognized the breakaway Turkish colony, his government would immediately supply funds and arms to one of the secessionist movements—such as the Baluchis—within Pakistan itself. Pakistan never appointed an ambassador to Turkish Cyprus.

When I read Sam Harris’s irresponsible remark that only fascists seemed to have the right line, I murmured to myself: “Not while I’m alive, they won’t.” Nor do I wish to concede that Serbo-fascist ethnic cleansing can appear more rational in retrospect than it did at the time. The Islamist threat itself may be crude, but this is an intricate cultural and political challenge that will absorb all of our energies for the rest of our lives: we are all responsible for doing our utmost as citizens as well as for demanding more imagination from our leaders

The Acceptable Alternative

The audience on repeated occasion applauded Ahmadinejad when he touched on international crises.

At the end of his address President Ahmadinejad answered the students' questions on such issues as Israel, Palestine, Iran's nuclear program, the status of women in Iran and a number of other matters.

This is, by the way, their entire report. They never mention Bollinger by name. Nor do the Iranian people ever hear that Bollinger called him a "petty and cruel dictator". What they have heard is that Americans gave him a standing ovation, that they repeatedly applauded his approach to "international crises", and that he participated in a Q&A session.

If Bollinger finds alternative points of view so appealing, then I assume that the ROTC will be invited back to Columbia's campus forthwith.
If the American military can't gain access to engage students for the defense of our nation, then Bollinger and the Columbia administration has made clear which alternatives it finds acceptable