The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
DiscerningTexan, 2/28/2006 07:48:00 PM | Permalink | |

The Media needs a Math Lesson

An outstanding post from Captain Ed highlights several recent examples of the "mainstream" media manufacturing news (and statistics) to aid in its relentless attack on the Bush Administration. The good Captain discusses the difficulties that both the New York Times, the Washington Post and CBS have with the Iraqi death toll--which is why you should read his entire post--for I am only going to quote from the portion that deals with the completely scandalous way that CBS News came up with "President Bush's lowest Approval ratings ever" as a perfect illustration; not only of the utter bias of CBS, but also as proof that the symbolic firing of Dan Rather (over his using falsifyied documents about the President's military service) has done absolutely nothing to halt CBS' zeal to manufacture "news" to fit its clearly anti-Bush ideology. CBS News is an absolute disgrace to the once respected profession of 'journalism':

CBS released a poll showing the George Bush has tanked in public opinion, dropping to a miniscule 34% coming into the midterm primary season. This would worry most politicians, but the CBS poll has a major sampling problem, as reported at The Corner and just about everywhere else in the blogosphere.

First, the poll samples adults in general, not voters or likely voters. That's not fatal, but it does tend to skew the data and make it less reliable as a predictor of voter action. However, what makes it completely unacceptable is the
wide disparity between Republicans and Democrats in the sample. Even when weighted by CBS to correct for a 13-point Democratic advantage in the sample, the gap remains at nine points, and Republicans still wind up with less representation than independents. That nine-point gap skews the end results and makes this poll representative of ... New York, Massachussetts, and California, but not the rest of the nation.

In contrast, the more reliable tracking poll at
Rasmussen shows that Bush's numbers have held steady at the mediocre level of the mid-40s. Today's result shows a 43% approval rating, down six points from its two-week peak. That seems a bit more realistic than CBS' numbers.

CBS has an
explanation of its polling process at its blog, Public Eye, and the Anchoress has a long list of blog links debating the topic. Vaughn Ververs writes a calm and rational defense of the methodology, but in the end cannot explain two aspects of their sampling -- the huge disparity in the raw numbers between Republicans and everyone else, and the weighting that winds up with almost the same disparity as before.

If this is the best math that the Exempt Media can muster, our educational system needs a lot more focus on basics.
DiscerningTexan, 2/28/2006 07:28:00 PM | Permalink | |

Red Meat Alert: The Betrayal of America

Max Friedman, columnist for the Augusta Free Press (Augusta, Georgia), is fed up--to say the least. There were very few things I found here to disagree with--his rant probably speaks for a large number of us, particularly his dead-on depiction of the tremendous damage that the mainstream media has done to the United States. But the main reason that you should read his column is because he painstakingly identifies who is really the power behind some key members of the Democratic party. An eye-opening and disturbing column:

This column is a rant, not a soft, cuddly piece of fluff opinion. It is going to tell the truth like you have never heard it before. To quote Jack Nicholson from the movie "A Few Good Men" - "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth" - but I'm going to give it to you anyway.

So, as your mother used to do to those of you readers who are old enough to remember, hold your nose and take your medicine, because the doctor is in, and he's operating with a chainsaw.

After 35 years in the news/journalism business, from D.C. to Vietnam, I can honestly say that most of the leading Democratic Party politicians and their far-left support groups are traitors to this country. Besides the few who are deceased or out of office, today's DP is loaded with leaders who have sold out this country to the communists, to the Islamofascists and to their egos. Others are just plain stupid, addle-brained and knee-jerk jerks.

(I'll get to the Republicans in a minute).

Joining them in this class of betrayers is the mainstream media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, CNN and CBS (as we used to say in Vietnam, the Communist Broadcasting System). They have put their hatred for President Bush before the safety and security of the country, and they have severally damaged our security efforts, not only at home, but abroad, and I will give examples to prove my point.

The Republican leadership in both the House and Senate should resign immediately because they are ineffective, incompetent, stupid and clueless as to what needs to be done to protect this country, to fix internal problems quickly and rationally, and they have no backbone for a fight with the Demonrats. Rep. Dennis Haslert is a nice guy, but he's too slow in a fight. The first one to draw and fire accurately wins, and he can hardly get his gun out of his holster. With Tom DeLay out of the picture, perhaps we are witnessing a new wave of younger Republicans who will have the guts to fight the Democratic Left the way they should be fought, to the death, because the security of the United States depends on it.

Sen. Bill Frist is a great guy, but he lacks the skillfulness and hunter instinct needed to stop the Senate Democrats from destroying this country. Sen. Trent Lott, not!. Sen. Arlen Spector, head of the Judiciary Committee, is a total waste, and I used to like his fighting spirit when he was a prosecutor in Pennsylvania in the 1960s. Now he is the great compromiser, and usually loses to the mean-spirited Democrats every time, plus the fact that he isn't a great committee chairman. Too often he misses the real point of the hearings and lets good opportunities for getting at the truth go right down the drain. Also, he is anal-retentive on the Constitution and national-security surveillance to the point that he is endangering our safety. As one jurist said years ago, "The Constitution is not a suicide pact," but Spector doesn't seem to know it.

The White House staff - I couldn't give a rat's behind about Karl Rove. If he is so smart and skilled, then why is he a political eunuch right now? And why did Scooter Libby talk to the press at all? Stupidest move he could ever make. The press is the enemy, not a neutral and objective medium. I don't care if higher-ups did authorize him to leak items on Iraq - he just should have kept his mouth shut.

Karen Hughes is a nice woman and good for domestic politics, but she is so out of her league in the international arena (as a spokesperson for the American position), that she is, indeed, in a "League of Her Own." In fact, she's not even in the right league, or stadium. Her first meeting with Moslem women months ago gave her a black eye and proved how ineffective she is for the job.

The White House public-relations/media-relations people - fire them all, for they are totally incompetent and useless. I get more news, better news, more timely news, and more detailed news from overseas on-line journalists such as Michael Yon and Bill Roggio in Iraq, and from other on-line journalists on various topics, including The Augusta Free Press' own contributor Bruce Kesler (now with the Democracy Project), Ruth King (for extensive on-line website coverage of the Middle East and Europe), and the guys from the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation/Radix Foundation, concerning Southeast Asia, the POW/MIA issue, and related military affairs, than I get from all the mainstream media put together.

Only Fox News Channel comes close to providing news no one else reports, a sort of visual version of The Washington Times (the best source of information on terrorism and security issues in the daily print media) and its cousin, The Weekly Standard, followed by Newsmax and

The press onslaught against President Bush has culminated in the U.S. losing many of its tactics and methods in the war against terrorism. The lies about how the U.S. treated terrorist prisoners and suspects at Guantanamo Bay, and the exaggerated stories about Abu Graibh (which was a disgraceful affair), the exposure of so-called black prisons for questioning terrorists held in back-line countries (as versus frontline countries), the disinformation reporting on what is actually in the Patriot Act, and now The New York Times deliberate sabotaging of an electronic surveillance operation run by the National Security Agency on a few dozen Americans, are only part of the picture of how the Left in this country is putting their own political and ideological agenda above and beyond the security of the United States.

If anyone thinks that the Dec. 18 story by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau in The New York Times, "Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts: Secret Order to Widen Domestic Monitoring," was anything other than a deliberate attempt to scuttle the vote on the Patriot Act, which was before the Senate on that same day, then you are crazy. And it wouldn't hurt book sales for Risen's new publication. This has been the typical modus operandi of the NYT, LAT and Washington Post for the past 35 years. Any chance they get to destroy America's operational agencies and tactics, they jump at with glee. Risen and Lichtblau are just the latest in a long line of subverters of America's security, all in the name of a free press.

Guys like Seymour Hersch (NYT), Walter Pincus (WP), Dana Millbank (WP) and other hatchet-job writers have always been assigned the dirty work of exposing and destroying America's intelligence systems and internal-security operations. Somebody should look into Pincus' background around 1959. They might find something very strange.

These subverters have been aided by Newsweek (the false Koran flushing down the toilet at Gitmo); CBS (the Bush National Guard documents fraud); and many misinterpretations or deliberate distortions of the actual scope of threats to our security (Jack Anderson and Karen De Young, WP, on the communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua); NYT (Ray Bonner on the true nature of the Communist guerrillas in El Salvador, the FMLN); the real nature of communist penetration of Grenada (the 100 feet of seized documents tells it all); the continual blaming of the White House and the military for not capturing Osama Bin Laden (covering up for Bill Clinton's missed opportunities to have Bin Laden hand-delivered to U.S. intelligence), and the nearly complete failure of the media to tell about the tremendous progress being made daily in Iraq, are only part of the truth about the anti-American, left-wing, so-called liberal or mainstream media, in America.

Go back to 1970 and look at the timing of these stories, and you will eventually see the pattern of destruction that they have on ongoing congressional hearings, legislation, military operations, intelligence operations and the morale of the homefront and military front in the war on terror. The same could be said about some of the MSM during the Cold War when the U.S. was held in a moral-equivalency position to the two greatest genocidal nations in the world, the Soviet Union (an estimated 60 million dead), and Red China (an estimated 100 million-plus dead). The apologists and protectors of these countries were legion in the op-ed pages, and often on the editorial pages of the NYT and WP (as the two most influential papers in the country).

What Walter Duranty started in the NYT in the 1930s by covering up the mass murder that Joseph Stalin was perpetuating on the people under his control, was continued over into covering up for the so-called Viet Cong and their North Vietnamese masters, the mini state terrorist regime that the Palestine Liberation Organization had established in Lebanon, and now the extent of the threat that Islamofascism poses to the U.S. and Western civilization. Look at how so-called Moslem advocacy groups in the U.S. have been portrayed despite the fact that their leaders have been convicted of supporting terrorism, and that their members call for Jihad against the U.S. and the West.

At to this list both Playboy and Penthouse magazines during the 1970s when they ran often damaging articles about U.S. intelligence operations and techniques. They seemed to be trying to out as many operations as possible, and in one case, Playboy gave money to a longtime identified CPUSA member (Frank Donner) at Yale who headed an ACLU-backed project to uncover and destroy U.S. intelligence operations. They didn't like it when I exposed their gift to this longtime CP security operative who was now a part of the ACLU Surveillance Project at Yale.

Having been involved in internal-security matters since 1969, as both an operative and a journalist, I have both seen things that the WP and NYT would never publish (I tried), and have been told things that would make you want to go out and shoot, as traitors, a number of journalists (a few were actual communists and a couple may have been enemy operatives), as well as some lawyers and politicians. Maybe one day the documentation on this will be available to the public.

I will only give you a few insights here because of space considerations, but you might someday be able to read the whole story.

There have been numerous members of the Communist Party and their sympathizers in the U.S. Congress since the 1930s, and a few are suspected of being KGB agents of influence, if not actual KGB agents. When Professor Harvey Klehrs and John Haynes (Library of Congress) had access to the Soviet COMINTERN files (the operational arm of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the MVD/NKVD) in the 1990s, they found lists of American labor leaders who were not only Communist Party USA members but also Soviet COMINTERN agents, including the late Harry Bridges, who lied his way through congressional hearings, immigration hearings, court hearings and the media (who covered up his past very successfully) until the Klehrs/Haynes discoveries in the 1990s.

The same goes for the Democratic Party cover-up of Soviet spy Alger Hiss.

Some of the CPers/sympathizers in Congress were in powerful positions, including chairmanships of both full and subcommittees, and used these positions to promote communist propaganda and disinformation, to attack U.S. foreign policy, to discover intelligence secrets, to undermine and eventually destroy internal-security committees/agencies, and to aid our communist enemies. Freedom of Information requests to the FBI have revealed the communist ties of the late Rep. Emanual Cellers and Samuel Dickstein, as well as those of the late Leonard Bernstein and so-called journalist I. F. "Izzy" Stone (a probable KGB-agent-of influence).

Often congressional aides were part of the equation, with some of them being active in CPUSA-funded think tanks such as the Institute for Policy Studies or the Fund For Peace operations including the Center for International Policy. One look at the names of congressmen/senators and their staffers on those letterheads and in the publications of these organizations verify what I have just said, and the list is much long.

A few congressmen/women have/had CPUSA front records that stretch for miles, and some also supported the Trotskyite Communists of the Socialist Workers Party and the once-Trots, now Stalinists, Workers World Party, whose fronts are led by Ramsey Clark, the former attorney general under Lyndon Johnson. These fronts include the International Action Center and ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), as well as others.

Among the CP fronts that the dirty dozen members of Congress have supported have been the Labor Research Association, the National Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression (the old Angela Davis support group), the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee/House Internal Security Committee, and its successor, NCARL, the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation), the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, led by identified Soviet agent Steve Nelson, the U.S. Peace Council/World Peace Council, and the National Coalition to Fight Inflation and Unemployment (this only covers some of the 1970s).

Besides supporting the communist-dominated anti-war groups, including the various Mobes (of which I was a covert member), and their successors, PCPJ (Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice) and NPAC (National Peace Action Coalition), the one major SWP front that lists congressional sponsors is the Political Rights Defense Fund, which, like PCPJ/NPAC, has one John Kerry as a sponsor/endorser. It was an anti-FBI operation.

If you want names of these people, here are a few of the worst: Abzug, Conyers, Dellums, G. Miller, D. Edwards, Rangel, Kastenmeier, Harkin, Kerry, Braun, P. Burton, P. Mitchell, C. Hayes (CPUSA), G. Crockett (CPUSA), T. Weiss, and about another dozen with lesser numbers of fronts or less serious affiliations. Dellums even wrote a glowing memorial statement for Sandy Pollack, a key CPUSA operative and a true Comintern (Communist International) agent if there ever was one in the 1970s and 1980s. It is in her tribute book, along with a lot of other people whose names would shock you.

For a few of these mentioned congressional names, there is some serious evidence that they were secret members of the CPUSA, but this for a future story. For some congressional names not mentioned here who were reportedly members of the CPUSA, I am working on finding the documents that will allow me to reveal the truth about them. Don't ask me how I know about them, I do. Unfortunately, I can't tell you all of it right now until the proof is in my hands, and getting them declassified for public review is going to be one heck of a battle. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich) tried his best to make sure that these documents were either destroyed or sealed for 50 years (when the House Internal Security Committee was destroyed in 1975). He knows what's in them and fears the devastating damage that they will do to him and the Democratic Party should they ever be released. His own record is a beaut, even just the public one.

John Kerry - let's ask him why he and Sen. Tom (the Vietnam veteran fraud) Harkin (D-Iowa) made a trip to shore up the Communist Sandinista leadership of Nicaragua in 1984 right before a congressional vote was to be held on whether or not to fund the anti-communist freedom fighters known disparagingly as the contras (a communist-disinformation term). Congress voted down arms for the FFs. Then right after this trip and the vote, Daniel Ortega went to Moscow for an arms deal in complete betrayal of pledges he had made not to do so. (See Stephen Powell's book, Covert Cadre, for much more on this pair).

Congress then regained a little sanity and revoted to aid the freedom fighters in Nicaragua, which led to the military stalemate in that country and then to free elections that ousted the Reds.
Kerry and Harkin have a lot to answer for on this one, and Kerry misspent millions of investigation dollars on a communist-perpetrated fraud regarding the so-called Contras and drugs in Latin America. Some of the key people Kerry relied on for information were avowed supporters of Hanoi and the VC, a self-proclaimed saboteur, an finger wound exaggerator (just like Kerry), and an FBI informant who committed perjury before Congress.

You might also want to ask Kerry and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) about the destruction of secret documents from the POW/MIA Task Force they headed in the mid-1990s, as well as their deal to cut out the human-rights requirements and live-sightings reports issue from the conditions for any diplomatic recognition of Hanoi's dictatorship. Former POWs and the families of MIAs are seething at this betrayal, which is why many Vietnam veterans will never vote for John McCain.

A member of this task force is available for any hearing on what happened to those files.

Ted Kennedy - The man is only interested in one person in the world, and that is Ted Kennedy. I feel that he sold his soul to the devil a long time ago, a la Damn Yankees, and he has and will betray anyone (Mary Jo Kopechne, for starters) and his country for power. Following in his footsteps is Kennedy-wannabe Kerry, who has a number of other skeletons in his closet that he doesn't want the public to know about. Remember, he told Tim Russert of "Meet the Press" last year that he would release his military records by signing the SF 180 form. We're still waiting - and waiting and waiting. Has our boy done something rash in the past that he doesn't want the public to know about? The evidence points that way, and the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth only scratched the surface of the egomaniac known as JFK-lite.

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), once the hero of moderate liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, has been used to spearhead the Democrat Party's surrender policies on Iraq, and while he was once a valiant soldier fighting in the big muddy of Vietnam, the only thing he is fighting in today is his muddled mind. He sounds like a programmed robot from the 1960s protests, only he doesn't know it is 2006, and things have changed. The U.S. is winning in Iraq, and his opinions are not only outdated, they are just plain wrong. I don't know whether to pity the man or to write him off as a turncoat. Either way, he has betrayed his country and her fighting forces, thus following in the fine footsteps of the Democratic Party of George McGovern and Ted Kennedy, Frank Church, Jimmy Carter and John Kerry.

I found a photograph the other night in a KGB-front publication, the World Peace Council, and its newsletter of 1978, which featured a KGB-agent of influence led delegation of WPC leaders (mainly Communists) to the U.S., including Washington, D.C., and Detroit, Mich. The Detroit City Council, led by veteran CPUSA front supporters Mahaffey and Henderson, was in the picture, as was one city councilman named Carl Levin, as in present-day Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.).

The DCC gave the WPC party a grand welcome, as did some members of Congress in a reception for them in D.C. Carl was known for his anti-intelligence activities in Michigan, so it was no surprise to see him in that photo. He helped destroy the information on that group.

Today, Sen. Levin, the anti-intelligence fool on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is a powerful enemy of America's ability to defend herself. It looks like stupidity is habitual. And don't worry, Detroit's other veteran CPUSA/WPC fronts supporter Conyers also shows up in WPC newsletters giving speeches to worldwide WPC meetings bought and paid for by the KGB and the CPSU/International Department.

However, when a WPC publication was published by Congress in 1983, all photos of congressmen at WPC affairs (including Conyers) were left out, deliberately. I have the original version of the WPC booklet, and that's not what was published by Congress.

To sum up this still incomplete rant about the Democrats, the media and gutless Republicans, the Democrats have sold their souls to the devil so that they can destroy George W. Bush at all costs, including the betrayal of our troops in the field and the security of the United States in the long run. All they want is power, and they will do anything to get it by smearing the president and his administration, by lying about the Clinton administration's past actions and inactions, covering up the destruction of U.S. intelligence capabilities that led to the intelligence failures of their policies and administrations (Carter and Clinton), i.e. Iran and Khomeini, World Trade Center I bombing, Black Hawk Down in Somalia, the USS Cole, the African Embassy bombing, the Khobar Towers bombings, and the multiple failures to take Bin Laden when the Sudanese offered him to us, all of which led to 9/11.

The Democrats perverted the 9/11 Commission into near impotency, covered up the firewall that obstructed U.S. intelligence agencies from cooperating, and now they are stonewalling other government investigations, including the potentially most damaging scandal of all, Able Danger.

While the Republican leadership has almost no backbone in Congress and did not have a very effective public leadership in the White House regarding Hurricane Katrina, the Democrats have done nothing but endanger the U.S. for the past 40 years. One betrayal costing 58,000 lives in Vietnam and Indochina should have opened the eyes of even the most dedicated Democratic Party member as to what the DP stood for. Yet they want to repeat it again in Iraq, and their supporters still think that their party cares about America.

These are the most treacherous Democrats ever to sit in Congress, the most incompetent, the most egotistical, and the most stuck on stupid bunch of SOBs in modern American political history (Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi being the prime examples), and a lot of the American people are the dumbest bunch of yahoos ever to go into a voting booth to help them carry out this betrayal.

As for the mainstream media, hell is too good for them. There must be a special place for traitors and fools, and I know that it isn't half full yet. Ask any soldier in Iraq about the mainstream media, and they will tell you they prefer the honesty of Al-Qaeda and the Ba'athist terrorists.

I am so ashamed of what the Democrats have become, and so angry at their betrayal of our armed forces (including my son), that I will never vote Democrat again for the rest of my life. Sorry, Scoop and Hubert, you were honorable men, but you have been desecrated by your party just as John Kerry desecrated the honor of the Vietnam veterans in 1971.

God help America! The Democrats won't, ever, and the Republican leadership can't unless they get some backbone.

DiscerningTexan, 2/28/2006 06:20:00 PM | Permalink | |
Monday, February 27, 2006

The Islamic view of a "free press"...
DiscerningTexan, 2/27/2006 10:33:00 PM | Permalink | |

Is Iraq REALLY falling apart?...or is it UNITING?

Funny how our Mainstream media wants things to appear at their blackest just when things might be on the tipping point of dramatic improvement. There is no better example than the reporting out of Iraq this week. Witness this telling post from Wizbang:

Civility in Iraq
Gateway Pundit has an English translation of an Iraqi newspaper which reports about demonstrations for unity in Iraq. Here's a portion:

In Hillah over 3000 demonstrated after Friday's united prayers (Shiite & Muslim together) at the Haytaween mosque. The united prayers were lead by Sheik Mohamed Alfateh (Sunni) and Sheik Jasim Alkalebi (Shiite). The two speakers called for Muslim unity and denounced all terror activity as unIslamic and asked for keeping unity.

In Al-Koot hundreds demonstrated after Friday prayers protesting the bombing of the samara shrine and the attacks on the Sunni mosques. Unified Friday prayers in Al-Koot were held at the large central mosque in the city. Speakers at the prayers call for rejecting sectarianism.

In Amarah over 15,000 demonstrated after Friday prayers condemning the samara bombing and attacks on Sunni mosques. Banners read, Sunnis & Shiites are like Hassan & Hussein (referring to two grand children of the profit Mohamed), banners also read that Muslim references (Shiite religious leaders) condemn terrorism in all its forms.

In Karbala Sheik Abdulmehdi Alkarblaa'i (representative of Sustain) in his Friday after prayers speech at the Hussein Shrine called for peaceful and brotherly coexistence, condemned violence and called for national unity. He added; "We know the nature of this crime and the ones before it, we also know these crimes are not of Sunni doings, but they are the deeds of the enemies of Sunnis & Shiites".

In Basra over 10,000 demonstrated with banners asking to form the new government as quickly as possible.

Of course, these demonstrations are not covered in the MSM. Instead, we've got practically gleeful declarations of Iraq being on the brink of civil war.

Here is Time Magazine's cover for this week.

Kim Priestap blogs at
Kim Priestap A Conservative Blog in Flyover Country

UPDATE: Victor Davis Hanson just returned from Iraq, and his essay about his experience there is also a far cry from what the media would have you believe. Read it all.
DiscerningTexan, 2/27/2006 10:13:00 PM | Permalink | |

The Bush Doctrine: No Turning Back?

I mostly agree with Michael Barone's assessment of the Bush Doctrine--it was necessary for our survival, and it will remain so for years to come. But that does not mean that I would necessarily trust a Kerry peacenik or a another "hands-off" Clinton administration to carry it out. If you have read Jerome Corsi's book Atomic Iran, you know that the Iranian regime funneled large sums of money to the Clintons and also to the Kerry campaign.

While Barone's contention that to a certain extent even a Democratic president may be bound somewhat by the Bush Doctrine, who is to say that someone really dangerous could get elected on running on an isolationist Democrat platform? The party's base certainly seems to be isolationist in nature... I think Barone is underestimating the importance of the '08 elections--this election is going to be almost as important as were the '00 and '04 elections. And let us not take our eyes off the ball this year: do we really want a bunch of partisans--as a result of voting in a Democrat majority in the midterms--to waste the public's time and attention during a war for our very survival trying to impeach a President who (unlike his predecessors) clearly knows the difference between right and wrong, who knows and confronts our enemies, and who practices what he preaches?

Barone's fine analysis (from Real Clear Politics) follows:

Three and a half years ago, in September 2002, the Bush administration issued its National Security Strategy. It was, as Yale historian John Lewis Gaddis has written, "the most fundamental reassessment of American grand strategy in over half a century," since Harry Truman set America on its course in the Cold War.

Today, a consensus seems to be rising that the Bush administration is veering off the course it set then. Gerard Baker in the Times of London writes that the days of American military intervention are over. Reporters write that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has shoved aside neoconservatives and taken her stand with State Department professionals. It's not a bad time, then, to look back at the National Security Strategy, to see how it has fared.

When the NSS first appeared, news stories focused on its assertion that America would act pre-emptively. This was just after George W. Bush challenged the United Nations to take action on Iraq and just as Bush was pressing Congress to vote on military action.

"We will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary," the strategy read, "to exercise our right of self-defense by acting pre-emptively against such terrorists, to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country."

But pre-emption was not the only doctrine in the document. The words just quoted were preceded by a clause reading, "While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community ..." Even while claiming the right to act pre-emptively, Bush agreed to Tony Blair's plea for a second United Nations resolution to justify military action in Iraq, even though it was justified by previous resolutions and Saddam Hussein's defiance of them.

And there was more to the strategy of securing America than just dealing with immediate threats. The NSS called for "global efforts to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations." Bush critics say that he has undercut that by continuing to reject the Kyoto Protocol. But the agreement Bush concluded with India, China, Japan and Australia to limit growth of greenhouse gases seems likely to produce significant results, while the European countries, for all their hauteur, are failing to meet their Kyoto targets.

Bush has also gone beyond the NSS by agreeing to joint military operations with India and encouraging a Japanese military presence abroad -- both counterweights to Chinese military power. Also going beyond his proposals is his massive commitment to combat AIDS in Africa, which is only hinted at in the document.
In other respects, Bush has not delivered on the promises of the NSS. The Free Trade Area of the Americas, envisioned for 2005, is nowhere in sight. And "an independent and democratic Palestine, living beside Israel in peace and security," won't appear soon.

But there is much evidence that Bush has made good on the multilateral diplomacy that the strategy called for. He has let Britain, France and Germany carry on negotiations with Iran; urged China, the only country with real leverage, to use it against North Korea; and worked with France in supporting the "Cedar Revolution" in Lebanon. And America is getting more cooperation from newly elected governments in Germany and Canada.

It may be argued that we aren't having much success stopping the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea. But the NSS didn't promise success everywhere, any more than it promised military action everywhere. It proposed instead to use American power where and when possible to further "the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity."

Bush has followed the National Security Strategy pretty faithfully, if not without mistakes -- just as Harry Truman made mistakes in following his Cold War strategy. What about future administrations? Truman's successors mostly followed the course he set in NSC-68 for four decades, as Gaddis shows in his new book, "The Cold War."

My prediction: Bush's successors, for all their criticisms (John McCain wants a larger military; Hillary Rodham Clinton says she wouldn't have voted for military action in Iraq knowing what she knows now), will find it hard to move outside the framework of the National Security Strategy, as they take on Bush's burden of fighting what we're starting to call the Long War.

DiscerningTexan, 2/27/2006 01:10:00 PM | Permalink | |
Sunday, February 26, 2006
DiscerningTexan, 2/26/2006 05:22:00 PM | Permalink | |

MUST READ: Victor Davis Hanson on the Roots of Islamist Radicalism and the decline of the West

Much of the elites in the west seem to believe the rise of radical Islam is about something WE are (or are not doing). The list of excuses are virtually endless: jobs, economy, western imperialism, poverty and desparation, yada yada yada. But they could not be further from the truth.

In what may be among Victor Davis Hanson's finest work ever, he gets to the bottom of the real roots of Islamic radicalism--the widespread and absolute fanatical faith in Islam in its most fundamental form. This is a must read:

Coming hard upon the heels of the cartoon riots and the election of the Hamas terrorists, the destruction of the Shi’ite mosque of the Golden Dome in Samarra by Sunni jihadists, and the subsequent Shi’ite bloody retaliation, should put to rest Western delusions about the true nature of Islam. But don’t hold your breath. Such displays of Islam’s violent intolerance have been coming thick and fast the last few decades, and can be found on every page of history going back to the 7th century, when Islam began its expansion with the blood of several hundred decapitated Jews.

Yet still some Westerners, enthralled to their own materialist assumptions and multicultural “we are the world” sentimentalism, wave away this evidence and reduce this destructive behavior to any and every cause except the one that counts: spiritual belief. So we hear that the violence is caused by a lack of jobs, or a lack of liberal-democratic institutions, or “frustration” and insecurity about the dismal backwardness of most Muslim states, or wounded pride in the face of Western success, or resentment of Western imperialist and colonialist sins, or oppressive autocrats, or . . . take your pick. The same therapeutic mentality that thinks destructive behavior in teens results from a “lack of self-esteem” reduces the religious values of Muslims to mere “epiphenomena,” as the Marxists see it, symptoms of some underlying condition rooted in material deprivation, political impotence, or psychological trauma.

The problem with Islam, however, is not a lack of self-esteem but too damned much. This is a faith fanatically certain of its truth and righteousness, the culminating vision of God’s relations with humanity, the ultimate meaning of human existence on every level, including the social and political. As such, its destiny is to spread over the whole world until the benefits, both in this life and the next, of submission to God are bestowed on all humans, and the dysfunctional man-made values–– including democracy, materialism, “equal rights,” and freedom–– are swept away. For however alluring, these do not deliver true happiness or true freedom, but mere hedonism and license that create misery and degradation in this world, and put the soul at risk in the next.

If, then, you are in possession of this truth that you are absolutely certain holds the key to universal happiness in this world and the next, why would you be tolerant of alternatives? Why should you tolerate a dangerous lie? Why should you “live and let live,” the credo of the spiritually moribund who stand for everything because they stand for nothing? And why wouldn’t you kill in the name of this vision, when the infidel nations work against God’s will and his beneficent intentions for the human race?

This is precisely what the jihadists tell us, what fourteen centuries of Islamic theology and jurisprudence tell us, what the Koran and Hadith tell us. Yet we smug Westerners, so certain of our own superior knowledge that human life is really about genes or neuroses or politics or nutrition, condescendingly look down on the true believer. Patronizing him like a child, we tell him that he doesn’t know that his own faith has been “hijacked” by “fundamentalists” who manipulate his ignorance, that what he thinks he knows about his faith is a delusion, and that the true explanation is one that we advanced, sophisticated Westerners understand while the believer remains mired in superstition and neurotic fantasy.

And of course, it doesn’t help that the Westernized Islamic apologists and propagandists, having taken the measure of the West’s own superstition and fantasy, speak in our terms and manipulate our materialist causes. So we hear that Western support of autocrats is really to blame for terrorist discontent — but overthrowing Saddam Hussein, one of the most brutal murderers of Muslims ever, and creating for the Iraqi people an inclusive, law-based government, earn us absolutely nothing other than more hatred and murder. Ah, but the neo-colonialist Zionists are responsible, we are told. Yet billions of Western dollars given to the Palestinian Arabs, decades of obsessive, fawning attention on the part of the Western media and the U.N. even as millions have suffered and died elsewhere, have not moved us one inch closer to resolving the crisis or removing the existential threat to Israel. Give us jobs, we are told, an excuse echoed recently by Thomas Friedman, and we will be happy. Yet the terrorists in the main are not poor or dispossessed. Their leaders are billionaires, surgeons, engineers, and the college educated. But the West disrespects Islam, they cry, all the while our apologetic gestures of admiration for Islam do not stop the persecution and murder of Christians, do not elicit reciprocal apologies for the vile insults to Judaism that appear in state-run media throughout the Muslim world.

Meanwhile, all our attempts to bolster Muslim self-esteem, our desperate protestations of respect for their wonderful religion, our groveling apologies for exercising our own rights and values, our donning of the hair-shirt of racist, colonialist, or imperialist guilt, do nothing more than convince the jihadist that his spiritual superiority is justified. He looks at our appeasement, our fear, our rationalizations, our self-doubt, our unwillingness to defend the values we preach to the world, and sees the craven inferiority of the dhimmi, the conquered infidel who must acknowledge by his public actions the superiority of Islam, and who must pay the jizya, the “poll tax” that purchases his trembling security. Only we call the poll tax “foreign aid” or “welfare payments,” and the gestures of submission “respect for diversity.” We think our submission buys us affection and gratitude and respect for our interests, but in fact it purchases nothing except more contempt for our spiritual bankruptcy, more scorn for our belief that money and material comfort trump spiritual truth.

The true measure of our failure adequately to respect spiritual motives can be taken from the Bush administration’s steadfast refusal to put the crisis with Islam in these terms. The materialist left, of course, has been taught by Freud and Marx that religion is an “illusion,” so obviously we can’t expect them to grasp how powerfully spiritual imperatives can move people. But when a self-proclaimed born-again Christian either can’t or won’t see the clash of spiritual goods underlying the conflict, then we know how thoroughly the materialists have done their work of marginalizing religion in the West.

Perhaps the best example of this contempt for our spiritual foundations came when the President apologized for using the word “Crusade.” The demonization of the Crusades is a historical distortion that acquiesces in the jihadist rewriting of history in order to exploit Western self-loathing and spiritual emptiness. Whatever the sordid or brutal motives and actions of the Crusaders, they were still for the most part driven by a spiritual imperative to restore the Holy Land to the Christian civilization that had defined the Middle East for six centuries before being violently transformed by the armies of Allah. For the most aggressively imperialistic culture in the history of the world to whine now about Western imperialism — and be taken seriously by Westerners — testifies to the intellectual corruption endemic in the West.

If we continue down this road of appeasement, apology, and blackmail, then our outlook is indeed grim. A culturally weaker and ruder Europe turned back the Islamic tide because it was united by its Christian faith, the spiritual strength of all those before us who died and killed so that this prosperous, free world we enjoy could exist. But what unites the West now, when our credo seems to be that juvenile sentiment from John Lennon’s “Imagine”: “Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too”? Is this the belief that can resist an enemy who knows with absolute certainty what is worth killing and dying for?

DiscerningTexan, 2/26/2006 04:42:00 PM | Permalink | |

Dramatic increase in anti-Semitism in Europe: Is anyone listening?

Another absolutely brilliant piece by Mark Steyn in the Chicago Sun-Times. The shock here is not so much that violent anti-Semitic behavior is on the rise in Europe (the growth in Islamist population demographics there clearly explains increased anti-Semitism...); the shock is that after the experience of 1933-1945 Europe seems to care not one bit as bias against Jews turns into violence against Jews. Adolf Hilter would have been so proud (bold highlights are my own):

In five years' time, how many Jews will be living in France? Two years ago, a 23-year-old Paris disc jockey called Sebastien Selam was heading off to work from his parents' apartment when he was jumped in the parking garage by his Muslim neighbor Adel. Selam's throat was slit twice, to the point of near-decapitation; his face was ripped off with a fork; and his eyes were gouged out. Adel climbed the stairs of the apartment house dripping blood and yelling, "I have killed my Jew. I will go to heaven."

Is that an gripping story? You'd think so. Particularly when, in the same city, on the same night, a Jewish woman was brutally murdered in the presence of her daughter by another Muslim. You've got the making of a mini-trend there, and the media love trends.

Yet no major French newspaper carried the story.

This month, there was another murder. Ilan Halimi, also 23, also Jewish, was found by a railway track outside Paris with burns and knife wounds all over his body. He died en route to the hospital, having been held prisoner, hooded and naked, and brutally tortured for almost three weeks by a gang that had demanded half a million dollars from his family. Can you take a wild guess at the particular identity of the gang? During the ransom phone calls, his uncle reported that they were made to listen to Ilan's screams as he was being burned while his torturers read out verses from the Quran.

This time around, the French media did carry the story, yet every public official insisted there was no anti-Jewish element. Just one of those things. Coulda happened to anyone. And, if the gang did seem inordinately fixated on, ah, Jews, it was just because, as one police detective put it, ''Jews equal money.'' In London, the Observer couldn't even bring itself to pursue that particular angle. Its report of the murder managed to avoid any mention of the unfortunate Halimi's, um, Jewishness. Another British paper, the Independent, did dwell on the particular, er, identity groups involved in the incident but only in the context of a protest march by Parisian Jews marred by ''radical young Jewish men'' who'd attacked an ''Arab-run grocery.''

At one level, those spokesmonsieurs are right: It could happen to anyone. Even in the most civilized societies, there are depraved monsters who do terrible things. When they do, they rip apart entire families, like the Halimis and Selams. But what inflicts the real lasting damage on society as a whole is the silence and evasions of the state and the media and the broader culture.

A lot of folks are, to put it at its mildest, indifferent to Jews. In 2003, a survey by the European Commission found that 59 percent of Europeans regard Israel as the "greatest menace to world peace." Only 59 percent? What the hell's wrong with the rest of 'em? Well, don't worry: In Germany, it was 65 percent; Austria, 69 percent; the Netherlands, 74 percent. Since then, Iran has sportingly offered to solve the problem of the Israeli threat to world peace by wiping the Zionist Entity off the face of the map. But what a tragedy that those peace-loving Iranians have been provoked into launching nuclear armageddon by those pushy Jews. As Paul Oestreicher, Anglican chaplain of the University of Sussex, wrote in the Guardian the other day, "I cannot listen calmly when an Iranian president talks of wiping out Israel.
Jewish fears go deep. They are not irrational. But I cannot listen calmly either when a great many citizens of Israel think and speak of Palestinians in the way a great many Germans thought and spoke about Jews when I was one of them and had to flee."

It's not surprising when you're as heavily invested as the European establishment is in an absurd equivalence between a nuclear madman who thinks he's the warm-up act for the Twelfth Imam and the fellows building the Israeli security fence that you lose all sense of proportion when it comes to your own backyard, too. "Radical young Jewish men" are no threat to "Arab-run groceries." But radical young Muslim men are changing the realities of daily life for Jews and gays and women in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and beyond. If you don't care for the Yids, big deal; look out for yourself. The Jews are playing their traditional role of the canaries in history's coal mine.

Something very remarkable is happening around the globe and, if you want the short version, a Muslim demonstrator in Toronto the other day put it very well: ''We won't stop the protests until the world obeys Islamic law.''

Stated that baldly it sounds ridiculous. But, simply as a matter of fact, every year more and more of the world lives under Islamic law: Pakistan adopted Islamic law in 1977, Iran in 1979, Sudan in 1984. Four decades ago, Nigeria lived under English common law; now, half of it's in the grip of sharia, and the other half's feeling the squeeze, as the death toll from the cartoon jihad indicates. But just as telling is how swiftly the developed world has internalized an essentially Islamic perspective. In their pitiful coverage of the low-level intifada that's been going on in France for five years, the European press has been barely any less loopy than the Middle Eastern media.

What, in the end, are all these supposedly unconnected matters from Danish cartoons to the murder of a Dutch filmmaker to gender-segregated swimming sessions in French municipal pools about? Answer: sovereignty. Islam claims universal jurisdiction and always has. The only difference is that they're now acting upon it. The signature act of the new age was the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran: Even hostile states generally respect the convention that diplomatic missions are the sovereign territory of their respective countries. Tehran then advanced to claiming jurisdiction over the citizens of sovereign states and killing them -- as it did to Salman Rushdie's translators and publishers. Now in the cartoon jihad and other episodes, the restraints of Islamic law are being extended piecemeal to the advanced world, by intimidation and violence but also by the usual cooing promotion of a spurious multicultural "respect" by Bill Clinton, the United Church of Canada, European foreign ministers, etc.

The I'd-like-to-teach-the-world-to-sing-in-perfect-harmonee crowd have always spoken favorably of one-worldism. From the op-ed pages of Jutland newspapers to les banlieues of Paris, the Pan-Islamists are getting on with it.

DiscerningTexan, 2/26/2006 04:03:00 PM | Permalink | |

How to drive a feminist insane

(With a h/t to Allahpundit) How does one drive a feminist to a complete meltdown, to the point of short circuiting? Just ask her where she comes down on this issue. (You may want to put on a hazmat suit first.)
DiscerningTexan, 2/26/2006 03:44:00 PM | Permalink | |
Saturday, February 25, 2006

Biggest embarassment of a President...ever?
DiscerningTexan, 2/25/2006 11:23:00 PM | Permalink | |

The Port Controversy and Hillary's Selective Amnesia

Andrew McCarthy, writing in National Review, says just about everything that needs to be said on the UAE port management issue. A lot of hysteria and hype, a small amount of legitimate concern--but mostly an incredible amount of selective amnesia on the part of Democrats and the media:

With the approval of the Bush administration, a company owned by the United Arab Emirates is poised to take over commercial management of shipping and stevedoring operations at six major American ports, located on the eastern seaboard and in New Orleans. When attention was suddenly drawn to this development last week, the urge toward public-safety questions was understandable. Not panic, but legitimate questions.

Sure as Dean follows Howard, though, understandable concern rapidly degenerated into calculated hysteria from poseurs seeking to claim the high ground from a president against whose measure they stand as national-security Lilliputians. Accelerating the downward spiral, the administration’s initially temperate but unconvincing defense of the transaction devolved just as quickly into nauseating politically correctness.

Neither corner of the ring has distinguished itself. In one, leading Democrats and some Republicans are evidently shocked to learn that many of the nation’s ports are managed by foreigners. Indeed, even as they railed against the prospect of this buy-out by UAE’s Dubai Ports World, Inc., they skipped past the inconvenient fact that the seller, the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, is a British concern.

Naturally, they prefer to cast the issue as one of foreign port-terminal management because they lack the gumption to state that the problem is Islamic participation in what is a gaping soft-spot in our armor. Yet, as usual, such too-clever-by-half cravenness has landed them in a box. Terminals at the ports in question — like many others in the country — have long been under the management of non-Americans. Should we expel everyone?

Especially precious in this regard is Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s newfound passion for port security. Fresh from throwing in her lot with partisan efforts to derail the Patriot Act and frame the NSA’s surveillance of wartime enemy communications as a crime, the ’08 stars in Mrs. Clinton’s eyes have suddenly twinkled with a fond memory: namely, how her husband managed to win the 1992 election, in large part, by getting to the right of the first President Bush on what was that era’s great global menace — post-Tiananmen Square China. So here she is, trying to elbow her way to the right of the current Bush administration on the scourge of al Qaeda … and hoping the rest of us are struck by amnesia.

You may recall, however, that, upon election, President Clinton proceeded to get tough with Beijing for, oh, about ten minutes. After that, there was no transfer of precious technology and no national security secret that couldn’t be had for the right price.

Oh, and guess who now controls several port operations on the West Coast? And has for years? Well, whaddya know? It’s China.

Indeed, Chinese infiltration of U.S. ports would have been even more pervasive if Senator Clinton’s husband had had his way. In 1998, the Republican Congress (led by Senator James Inhofe (OK) and Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA))
had to stop him from turning over management of a 144-acre terminal at the former U.S. Naval Station in Long Beach to the Chinese Ocean Shipping Company — a subsidiary of the People’s Liberation Army linked to arms trading to Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, Pakistan, Cuba, and even the street gangs of Los Angeles.

Of course, in the Clinton years, when anyone had the temerity to suggest that maybe it wasn’t such a hot idea to give away the store to thuggish, democracy-crushing Communists, we were told such troglodyte notions were insentient to the alchemy of “constructive engagement.” This was the very “why make friends when you can let them buy you?” philosophy that led these super-competent, obsessed-with-national-security Clintonistas to sell $8 billion worth of F-16s, anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles, other advanced weapons, and sundry munitions to — guess who? — The United Arab Emirates.

That happened in early 2000. For those keeping score, that’s less than two years after al Qaeda blew up our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. It is one year after the Clinton administration had Osama bin Laden targeted at a camp in Afghanistan … but called the strike off because the al Qaeda chief was in the company of high UAE officials, including an Emirati prince. A few months later, while the Clinton folks were getting the UAE its new military hardware, the regime’s friends at al Qaeda were blowing up the U.S.S. Cole.

So why do I have this crazy feeling that, in a new Clinton era, we’d be apt to find a lot more “engagement” than exclusion of the UAE (not to mention other dubious “partners”) at our ports? In any event, now that Senator Clinton is all over this port thing, it’ll be interesting to hear how she plans to tackle those dread Chinese foreigners managing California’s coastline — not to mention her explanation of why the administration in which she figured so prominently thought it was okay to sell lots of stuff that goes boom to a country apparently not even fit to run a port terminal.

Meanwhile, President Bush, who has never, ever vetoed anything in five years — not campaign-finance “reform” that shredded core First Amendment protections, not bursting budgets they haven’t built calculators big enough to tally, not a law extending Fifth Amendment protections to alien enemy combatants, etc. — has somehow decided that this, the great principle of equal-market access for checkered Muslim regimes, is where he draws his line in the sand.

The president is promising to kill any legislation aimed at derailing the deal, so offended is he by the suggestion that, in the middle of a war against jihadists, a tiny Islamic country with a history of terror ties, which lives in an unstable, al Qaeda-friendly neighborhood, maybe, just maybe, might be a smidge less suitable for port management than, say, a private company based in England. (England, for those with a short memory, is a country with which we have a bit of history, and which was, for example, patrolling the no-fly zone with us in Iraq while the aforementioned Emirati prince was cavorting with bin Laden in Kandahar.)

I mean, does it get any more chauvinistic than that?

So while Democrats pander to our fears (and thus adopt the very cudgel they claim the administration has clubbed them with since 9/11), the president panders to what he takes to be our sense of fair play. He has he challenged lawmakers, the Wall Street Journal reports, to “step up and explain why a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard” than a British company.

Well, okay. The Middle Eastern company is wholly owned by an Islamic autocracy. The president says we need to democratize the Islamic world because autocracies are unstable. And this particular one, oil-rich but only about the size of Maine, has more non-citizens than citizens among its four million or so residents, is enmeshed in a territorial dispute with those famously reasonable mullahs in Iran (over the Tunb Islands and Abu Musa Island), and has been a hub for international narcotics trafficking and money laundering.

Nonetheless, the administration regards the regime — which does not show much promise of democratic reform — as both friendly and adherent to moderate Islam. As usual, “moderate” is in the eye of the beholder. For example, it is a crime punishable by imprisonment in the UAE for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man — because that is a violation of the meta-tolerant Religion of Peace’s sharia law, which governs the realm. Muslim men can marry non-Muslim women (and more than one if they like), but you can get sent to prison for such crimes as urging Muslims to convert to other faiths.

Moreover, as my friend Frank Gaffney
points out, the regime despises our close ally, Israel. The UAE promotes the idea of a one-state solution in “Palestine” (hint: the one state is not Israel), and may well be funding charities in Gaza and the West Bank — where “charities” are notorious for underwriting terrorism.

It was also a key supporter of the Taliban — one of only three countries to recognize bin Laden’s kindly hosts as the official government of Afghanistan. In fact, the UAE is the country through which bin Laden was allowed to transit when al Qaeda moved its headquarters to Afghanistan from Sudan in 1996.

All that aside, we are at war with jihadists who, more than anything else, seek to strike us domestically with weapons of mass destruction — including nukes if they can access them. Lo and behold, it turns out that the UAE has been used as a transfer-station for nuclear components in the conspiracy of Pakistani proliferator A. Q. Kahn, who was selling technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya. Obviously, the Kahn enterprise would have made other plans had it not believed it was on safe footing with the UAE.

Does all this mean the port deal ought to be scotched? I think it does, but I have a (slightly) open mind — as do a lot of other people who fret over our security.

The Bush administration contends that the UAE has cleaned up its act since 9/11. There are reasons to be skeptical. The administration, after all, also counts Saudi Arabia and Yemen as cherished friends. It has set a laughably generous grading curve for Islamic regimes (and Islamic leaders) seeking the “moderate” diploma which qualifies them for the status of “ally” in the war on terror. Moreover, while the UAE has plainly taken some steps in the right direction, its facilitation of the enemy prior to 9/11 was substantial. It is not generally our practice to consider hardened criminals redeemed after only four years of good behavior — especially when “good” in this context is, to put it mildly, relative.

On the other hand, port commercial management is not exactly the same as port security. If it really insists on pressing ahead with this deal, the administration should have a chance to demonstrate why, at a time when our homeland is a target and it takes very few operatives to execute a massive attack, we should be comfortable with the UAE in such a prominent role at our borders — even if security remains primarily the task of the Department of Homeland Security.

But the administration should make that case to Congress and the American people, not to a secret tribunal (the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) which is run by the Treasury Department — rather than the Pentagon or DHS — and for whom the promotion of commerce has pride of place over national security.

Which is all to say: This transaction needs a long, careful look. It doesn’t need stone-throwing from opportunists who would be better advised to check their own glass houses. And it doesn’t need bully-pulpit demagoguery.

You don’t need to be an “Islamophobe” to have doubts here. You just need to have an IQ of about 11.

DiscerningTexan, 2/25/2006 11:10:00 PM | Permalink | |

Time to recognize and take on the Left for what it is--anti-Americanism

It's great to be back in America again. And it is great to see that The American Thinker is continuing its fine work in cutting to the chase. Witness Richard Berry's assertion that the American Left has come to represent everything that the United States has fought for over 200 years to get away from. Which is why it must be confronted--head-on--right now:

Much is made of the “partisan divide” that plagues our national life these days. The bitter presidential contests of 2000 and 2004, the vitriolic tone of public discourse about the Iraq War, Supreme Court nominees, and much else have led to alarmed commentary about an irreconcilably deadlocked America, a country split 50/50 between Republicans and Democrats, Conservatives and Liberals. That a sharp divide exists is beyond question, and astute observers agree that the nature of the divide is primarily ideological, perhaps more so than ever before.

Not so well explored are the reasons for the special virulence of the current climate, and the accuracy of the commonly given proportions of the populace on either side of the political chasm. Specifically, we need to assay the nature of the divide, ask why the divide is so pointedly ideological nowadays, and inquire whether the national split is truly 50/50.

The Culture War raging among Americans has swamped and effectively subsumed the merely political elements of our national disagreements. Disagreements among the two American camps have become cultural and pointedly ideological precisely because the American Left has, by its conduct and its rhetoric, insisted upon it. American liberalism, which began to be infected by radical Leftism in the 1960s, has now been largely taken over by that thoroughly alien ideology.

As a result Leftism itself is the issue.

The battle to embed Leftist assumptions and values in our institutions, versus the resistance against its cultural depredations, has become the central struggle of our politics. Activists on both sides are mobilized in the epic struggle over who we are and what we are to become.

The bitterness we’re experiencing these days is easy to explain. We disagree about much bigger things now than at any time since at least the Civil War. Here are some of the truly Big Things that today are in dispute:

-the basis of national community and national loyalty;

-the natural complementarity of the two human sexes;

-the centrality of the traditional family unit to American civilization;

-the dignity of every human life;

-the reality of a flawed, never to be perfected human nature.

American liberalism, having embraced post-modern Leftism, put these issues in dispute. It has changed fundamentally during the past four decades. None of these questions was seriously at issue on a large scale until the 1960s.

In allying with the post-modern Left, American liberalism has broken the national compact. It has stepped outside the 230 year stream of American consensus. It rails shrilly against the American creed, civic and spiritual. It unreasoningly indicts the phenomenally successful American economic system. It heaps scorn upon idealistic American purposes in the world and, indeed, actually impedes as best it can every exercise of American self-defense.

While American liberalism has morphed into post-modern Euro-leftism, the rest of America remains American, which is to say, thoroughly and congenitally anti-Left.

The American mainstream upholds the American cultural tradition. The liberal-Left shills for multiculturalism.

The American mainstream takes pride in America’s soaring historical achievements. The liberal-Left trashes that history and fabricates anti-historical propaganda.

The American mainstream has always been and remains believingly and tolerantly Christian. The liberal-Left is aggressively agnostic and demands the de-Christianization of every American reference point, all in the guise of a false tolerance.

The American mainstream is self-sacrificing and optimistic. The liberal-Left is almost comically narcissistic and devoured by bleak pessimism.

The American mainstream wants to preserve and protect America and take her triumphantly into the future. The liberal-Left wants to overthrow the historical and actually existing America and replace her with the sort of Euro-Lefty utopia presently self-destructing before our very eyes in Old Europe.

In fact, the ideology of the Left is so completely alien to the American essence that I personally doubt it could possibly command the allegiance of 50 percent of Americans. I believe that when it comes to the all important questions that now divide us, we are closer to a 60/40 nation, at worst, in favor of the conservative American mainstream. The Right/Left split on some important matters is actually even more unfavorable for the Left than that.

The reason such proportions have not been reflected in recent electoral results is that the Right has not been led boldly and uncompromisingly, by word and deed, on the fundamental cultural questions. Instead, the Bush Administration has tacked hard away from the battlefields of the Culture Wars. I imagine this aversion to cultural combat is because it thinks such a course is necessary to maintain the social peace against even higher volume assaults from the Left.

The Administration is absolutely right about the predilection of the Left for institutional and cultural destruction. The Left is indeed the destroyer of the social peace in this country. It the school yard bully of our youth, shoving and punching to get other kids’ lunch money.

The Administration is wrong, however, to think that a conclusive fight with the Left over first principles can be indefinitely avoided. The battle must be waged. Success in the War on (radical Islamic) Terror depends on it. The long term health of the American economy requires it. Restoration of the judiciary to its proper role demands it.

Most of all, the ability and the great privilege of Americans to pass on to posterity the common culture, storied history and undying hope of their glorious country is at stake.

UPDATE: Anyone who has trouble connecting some of the dots ought to rush to your nearest bookstore and purchase 'Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left' by David Horowitz. Horowitz is a former 60's leftist radical who has seen the errors of his ways--and he knows where the bodies are buried. It's a chilling book to read, but it is eye-opening about the powers that be on the Left and its unadulterated scorn for the American system. And it is now available in paperback.
DiscerningTexan, 2/25/2006 07:59:00 PM | Permalink | |
Monday, February 20, 2006

"All the News That's Fit to Print" (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 2/20/2006 12:54:00 PM | Permalink | |

The Media's obsession with triviality--as the very 'freedom of the press' they so highly espouse goes up in flames

Lima, Peru -- It was long, long day of travel yesterday--and an even longer evening of wanting to throw up at CNN International's "cheerleading" for America's staunchest ally, Vladimir Putin, as he tries to broker a "deal" to process used nuclear fuel for the "peaceful energy purposes" of those kindly, well-meaning guardians of light and love for their fellow man: Iranian President Ahmadinejad and his puppet-master Ayatollah Khameni (you know, this episode sort of reminds me of the Carter-Clinton-Albright "deal" to keep North Korea from going nuclear; remember that "success"? Worked out real well, didn't it?).

Anyway with these tidbits in mind, it was a pleasure to wake up this morning and read Mark Steyn's weekly column in the Chicago Sun-Times about the sheer gall of our "free press"; particularly its "sensitivity" to highly-orchestrated Islamist anarchy, burning, and killing--not to be confused with its own vitriolic "Jihad" against the Bush Administration. To me, the stance of the AMERICAN media today would be analogous to Edward R. Murrow broadcasting pro-Hitler propaganda at home while our soldiers were dying by the hundreds of thousands at his hands in World War II. Am I living in a parallel universe or something? If so, somebody please wake me up from this nightmare...

Just to make sure I have all of this straight--the entire WORLD is about to explode over the Iran nuclear crisis, meanwhile the Press can't seem to find its way out of its own blind hatred of anything Republican, no matter how trivial. Never mind that an attack on Iran--and nuclear, chemical, or biological retaliation--could be only weeks or months away. Who cares about that? Let's rather have a canyption fit over why Cheney spent more time tending to his wounded friend's health than he did about holding a press conference... What have we come to, folks? This is beyond reprehensible. Talk about 'fiddling while Rome burns'...

As I said the other day: it is time for President Bush to excercise its executive authority granted him by the Constitution in wartime and pull the plug on these yahoos (and while they are at it, what say we send a couple of B-2's over and turn Al Jazeera into a smoking crater?). There is one reason and one reason only why we could lose Western Civilization and our way of life: the unhinged 'mainstream' media and its single-handed destruction of morale and public support to prevail:

In an otherwise grim week -- at least on unimportant peripheral matters like Iranian nukes -- three things cheered me up. The first was the decision of Iran's bakers to rename Danish pastries "Roses of the Prophet Muhammed pastries.'' Has a ring to it, don't you think? If they're looking for a slogan, how about "Iranian pastry: There's nothing flakier. Except our president."

The second cheery sight was the destruction of a McDonald's in Lahore by the usual excitable young lads from the religion of pieces. Apparently the lively Pakistanis had burned every single Danish target in the city -- one early Victor Borge LP left behind by the last British governor -- and had been obliged to diversify. So they dragged Ronald McDonald out of the joint, torched him in the street and danced around his flaming remains shouting "Death to America! Death to Britain! Death to Tony Blair!"

I'm not sure I even get that. Ronald and Tony seem kind of similar from a distance but even on the all-infidels-look-alike-to-me-especially-when-they're-alight thesis you'd think they weren't that easily confused.

The third jolly event of the week was those other excitable fellows -- the Big Media White House reporters -- jumping up and down shouting "Death to Dick Cheney!" NBC's David Gregory, the George Clooney of the press corps, was yelling truth to power about why the Elmer-Fudd-in-gun-rampage story was released to "a local Corpus Christi newspaper, not the White House press corps at large.'' I know how he feels. I remember, like, four or five years ago -- early September, maybe second week -- there was this building collapse in New York and I had to learn about it from the TV because this notoriously secretive paranoid administration couldn't even e-mail me a timely press release. For an NBC guy discovering that some hicksville nowhere-burg one-stop-light feed-price sheet got tipped off before he did is like a dowager duchess turning up at the royal banquet to discover the scullery maid's been seated next to the queen.

So anyway David Gregory's going bananas and yelling "I will yell!" and "Don't be a jerk!" at the White House press secretary, and there's more smoke coming out of his ears than from Ronald McDonald in Lahore, and I'm thinking, you know, maybe Karl's latest range of Rovebots that he planted in American media corporations are just a wee bit too parodically self-absorbed to be plausible. And then this lady pipes up and asks, "Would this be much more serious if the man had died?"

Well, maybe. And maybe it would be even ever so much more serious still if, after peppering him with birdshot, Cheney had dragged him into a safe house in the Sunni Triangle and decapitated him with a rusty scimitar while shouting "Allahu Ahkbar!" and then sold the video to al-Jazeera.

Fortunately, the Washington Post had that wise old bird David Ignatius to put it in the proper historical context: "This incident," he mused, "reminds me a bit of Sen. Edward Kennedy's delay in informing Massachusetts authorities about his role in the fatal automobile accident at Chappaquiddick in 1969."

Hmm. Let's see. On the one hand, the guy leaves the gal at the bottom of the river struggling for breath pressed up against the window in some small air pocket while he pulls himself out of the briny, staggers home, sleeps it off and saunters in to inform the cops the following day that, oh yeah, there was some broad down there. And, on the other hand, the guy calls 911, has the other fellow taken to the hospital, lets the sheriff know promptly but neglects to fax David Gregory's make-up girl!

One can only hope others agree with Ignatius' insightful analogy, and that the reprehensible Cheney will be hounded from public life the way Kennedy was all those years ago. One would hate to think folks would just let it slide and three decades from now this Cheney guy will be sitting on some committee picking Supreme Court justices and whatnot.

Meanwhile, from Malaysia to Jordan to Scandinavia, it was a bad week for journalists increasingly constrained -- not to mention fired and otherwise humiliated -- in their ability to cover the big story of our time. If I had to pick a single moment to contrast with the hilariously parochial narcissist buffoons of the Washington press, it would be another press conference in another government building, this time in Oslo, called by Norway's minister of labor. Surrounded by cabinet ministers and a phalanx of imams, Velbjorn Selbekk, the editor of an obscure Christian publication called Magazinet, issued an abject public apology for reprinting the Danish Muhammed cartoons. He had initially stood firm in the face of Muslim death threats and the usual lack of support from Europe's political class, but in the end Mr. Selbekk was prevailed upon to recant and the head of Norway's Islamic Council, Mohammed Hamdan, graciously accepted the apology and assured the prostrate editor that he was now under his personal protection. As the American author Bruce Bawer commented, "It was a picture right out of a sharia courtroom."

In Canada, by contrast, the Western Standard (for which I also write) stood firm in its decision to publish the cartoons, and as a result is suffering legal harassment from Muslim lobby groups and has been banned from both Air Canada and two of the country's leading bookstore chains, Indigo-Chapters and McNally Robinson. Paul McNally of the latter defended his action this way: "We feel there is nothing to gain on the side of freedom of expression and much to lose on the side of hurting feelings." Not exactly Voltaire, is it? "I disagree strongly with what you say but I will fight to the death for your right to say it as long as it doesn't hurt anybody's feelings." Maybe it could be Canada's new national motto.

It's easy to be tough about nothing. The press corps that noisily champions "the public's right to know" about a minor hunting accident simultaneously assures the public that they've no need to see these Danish cartoons that have caused riots, arson and death around the world. On CNN, out of "sensitivity" to Islam, they show the cartoons but with the Prophet's face pixilated so that he looks as if Cheney's ventilated him with birdshot and it turned puffy and gangrenous. C'mon, guys, these are interesting times. Anyone can unload the umpteenth round of blanks into the bulletproof Chimpy Hallibushitler, but why not take a shot at something that matters?

Or perhaps it would just be easier to change the term ''free press'' to the ''Roses of the Prophet Muhammed press.''

DiscerningTexan, 2/20/2006 11:45:00 AM | Permalink | |
Saturday, February 18, 2006

A few days off...

It is looking doubtful that I will be posting much this week due to business travel in South America, beginning tomorrow. Will be very spotty indeed until next Sunday, but I will hopefully be back in full swing after that.

Until then, keep in mind that we are all--all of us--soldiers in this War for our Civilization. This war will be won or lost in the arena of public opinion. So don't let up--as our adversaries fully expect us to do; for it is a certainty that our evil murderous enemies certainly will not stop trying to kill as many of us as they possibly can...

What are YOU going to do about that? See you soon...
DiscerningTexan, 2/18/2006 05:53:00 PM | Permalink | |

This photo says it all...

The true face of "The Religion of Peace" as displayed by Muslim women at an anti-cartoon rally in Pakistan. (Via German site and Little Green Footballs)
DiscerningTexan, 2/18/2006 05:48:00 PM | Permalink | |

Why the Wimps in Congress should drop this NSA matter altogether

It is obvious that Congress is punting--for the moment, anyway--its showdown with the President over Executive authority to conduct National Security policy (i.e. listening in on conversations with known or suspected terrorists). Via this post in Captain's Quarters, Ed Morrissey quotes Senator Pat Roberts:

"You don't want to have a situation where you have capability that doesn't work well with the FISA court, in terms of speed and agility and hot pursuit," Roberts was quoted as saying in Saturday's New York Times.

Roberts said he does not believe much support exists among lawmakers for exempting the program from the control of the FISA court. That is the approach Bush has favored and one that would be established under a bill proposed by Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio.

The good Captain concludes his post with the following opinion, and I could not agree with him more (bold highlights are my own):

I still think either approach is superfluous; the executive has always had the ability to perform warrantless searches for those who cross international borders, including luggage and persons, and that's in peacetime. Where FISA demands that the executive bow to Congress in wartime espionage, the statute is clearly not only unconstitutional but also defies 200 years of precedent in the allocation of war powers.

Now, however, Congress wants to eat its cake and have it too. They want to take executive powers, and instead of making themselves politically responsible for the consequences, they want to pawn it off to a court. This is no different than their stated interpretation under FISA, except that Roberts is proposing an expediting process that clearly doesn't exist now. In fact, Roberts wants to create another appointed court to supercede the FISA jurists, and who share with them the complete lack of accountability for their actions.

This is nothing more than a cowardly dodge, an attempt to keep this power dispute between Congress and the executive from reaching the Supreme Court -- which will likely rule against Congress and strike down the wartime provisions of FISA. It also is another attempt to force a wartime role onto the judiciary, which has never before been propsosed and for which they are completely unsuited. Congress either needs to accept the oversight responsibility that the Administration has offered or drop the entire debate altogether.

Bingo. How wonderful it would be if the blow-hards in Congress--for once--would simply shut the hell up... Otherwise they should for once put their egos and reputation on the line: take the President to court. Like Morrissey, I think there is an excellent chance that the Supreme Court would throw out the entire FISA law as unconstitutional. Which of course it is...
DiscerningTexan, 2/18/2006 05:23:00 PM | Permalink | |

Report: ABC edited Saddam Hussein tape translations to make them "less offensive"

Anyone with even half a brain can see that the US news media quite simply hates the Bush Administration, and would do anything it possibly could to discredit it. But when a network goes out of its way to purposely alter the truth--particularly the words of a man who has personally been responsible for the murder of millions, all in the name of discrediting the Iraq war--it is time for Americans to wake up and smell the coffee. As someone who has always leaned towards the Libertarian side of the equation, even I recognize that we are rapidly reaching a point with the media in this country that censorship during a war--especially a war that could result in a nulear holocaust in a US City--is not only appropriate, but is absolutely necessary. Get a load of this report, from INDC Journal:

A stunning example of media deception, if true:

The FBI translator who supplied the 12 hours of Saddam Hussein audiotapes excerpted by ABC's "Nightline" Wednesday night now says the network discarded his translations and went with a less threatening version of the Iraqi dictator's comments.

"What you heard on ABC News was their translation," former U.N. weapons inspector Bill Tierney told ABC Radio's Sean Hannity on Thursday.

"They came up with something different on a key element regarding terrorism in the United States," Tierney insisted.
In the "Nightline" version of the 1996 recording, Saddam predicts that Washington, D.C., would be hit by terrorists. But he adds that Iraq would have nothing to do with the attack.

Tierney says, however, that what Saddam actually said was much more sinister. "He was discussing his intent to use chemical weapons against the United States and use proxies so it could not be traced back to Iraq," he told Hannity.

In a passage not used by "Nightline," Tierney says Saddam declares: "Terrorism is coming. ... In the future there will be terrorism with weapons of mass destruction. What if we consider this technique, with smuggling?"

Again, if verified, I'd say that this deserves some serious attention from the blogosphere.

This insult to the public's "right to know" by ABC is merely the latest partisan network disgrace, and you could go on forever listing them (Dan Rather, Chris Matthews, and Katic Couric come instantly to mind...). But when publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post--with the help of traitors within the Senate Intelligence Committee (Jay Rockefeller--are you listening?)--leak stories that actually are harmful to the security of the citizens of the United States, the "right to know" is trumped by our right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Particularly the right to stay alive. It is time for the Executive Branch to exercise its authority during wartime--the same authority that past Presidents such as Lincoln and FDR used--to pull the plug on the publication of anything that harms the war effort. The stakes could not be highter: it is time for censorship of the mainstream media.
DiscerningTexan, 2/18/2006 04:54:00 PM | Permalink | |

Bolton making waves at the (inept) UN

Via an AlertNet article, Sean over at Everything I Know is Wrong finds that John Bolton is really stirring up things over at the United Nations with his call for sorely-needed reform:

John Bolton seems to be raising some hackles by pushing hard for reform at the United Nations.

The simmering conflict between Washington and the developing nations that make up a majority of U.N. members boiled to the surface this week when two U.S. congressmen said nonaligned states had "worked feverishly in New York to block the efforts ... to clean up the institution."

"We and our colleagues in the House of Representatives have followed, and will continue to follow, your actions very closely, and we intend to hold you accountable for them," Republican Henry Hyde of Illinois and Democrat Tom Lantos of California wrote South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo in a letter circulated at the United Nations on Friday.

Kumalo, chairman of a bloc of 132 developing nations and China, which is inexplicably called the Group of 77, responded by insisting that the group would... not respond.

Kumalo... said the group had been "very, very upset" by the letter but had decided at a hastily called emergency meeting not to respond to it.

He continued with his non-response.

"They [the U.S.] are just one of 191 parliaments," Kumalo said. "They were upset. We were upset. You can play that game endlessly."

Following the "endless" theme, Kumalo had still more to say in his remarkably responsive refusal to respond.

"The mistake being made by Washington is to assume management reform matters only to Washington. It matters to all of us," he told Reuters.

Perhaps, but by resisting Bolton's push for reform Kumalo makes it seem as though, to them, the thing that matters most about reform—is stopping it.

DiscerningTexan, 2/18/2006 04:44:00 PM | Permalink | |

Europe's Last Chance for Survival?

Vasko Kohlmeyer, writes in The American Thinker that the grave crisis with Iraq may offer Europe its final chance to leave behind the ghost of Neville Chamberlain--and to save its civilization. A great (and disturbing) read:

The Islamic fury directed at some European countries after the publication of the Mohammed cartoons made their populations recoil in shock and fear. Their reaction is not surprising, since they assumed they had done nothing to deserve this kind of odium.

But this is precisely the source of their trouble – with the exception of Great Britain they had nothing. They had done nothing when Islamists called for the death of the West. They had done nothing when Islamists declared war on western culture. They had done nothing when Islamists attacked.

Hoping to escape the fury of those harboring hatred for their way of life, the west European democracies chose appeasement over confrontation. Faced with fanaticism, they cowardly took the easy route.

And now that which they have tried to ignore threatens to devour them.

When evil stares you in the face, you better not pretend it is not there. If you do, of one thing you can be certain – sooner or later it will come to bite you. Standing up to fanatics entails unpleasantness and in the short run appeasement seems the more prudent way, but in the end it invariably carries a price. Appeasement does not avert confrontation; it only delays it. And in the interim the evil grows stronger and more audacious.

World War II claimed some fifty million lives. Most of them could have been saved had the western powers united to remove Hitler in 1935 or 1936 when they still could. They could have and should have seen what was coming. The signs were right there before their eyes. But they did not want to see and instead tried to convince themselves that the evil was actually not all that bad. A voice in the wilderness cried foul and urged them otherwise. But Churchill was ignored and the price was the greatest tragedy the world has seen.

During the course of its existence, The Soviet Union killed twenty million people. It sponsored world communism which claimed the lives of nearly sixty million more. It unleashed the Cold War which almost brought the world to an end. In 1918 the clear-minded understood that communism had the potential to bring about horrible things. Had the western democracies come together then, they could have cut down the struggling Bolsheviks before they had time to entrench themselves. But they did not, and the evil just grew and grew and in the end it almost swallowed everything.

A wise man once said that evil flourishes when the good remain idle. History is his witness.

The Old Continent has stubbornly refused to learn – or rather has foolishly forgotten – this lesson. So much so that one almost begins to suspect the existence of a civilizational death wish. Twice in the last century its vacillation brought it to the brink of annihilation. Western Europe did not confront the Bolsheviks and it did not stand up to Hitler. It had to be dragged into fighting the Cold War and even then it was only a lukewarm warrior at best. There was even a moment when Western Europe was all but dead. Overrun by fascism, the flame of its once great civilization flickered only weakly in the English Isles. And even there it was not due to the resilience of a culture rising in defense of that which it held precious, but to the fortitude of a single man. That man understood that there can be no conceding to evil. He understood that appeasement is unto death. It was he who said that ‘an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.’

The Europeans stood by when Islamists called for their destruction. Perversely, they have even chastised those who try to do defend them. Now they are paying the price.

They should be neither shocked nor surprised at this. Such is the nature of things that if you ignore evil, it will come back to haunt you. That time has come for the Europeans. They are not victims – their troubles are largely of their own making. Will they finally stand up and fight to save themselves? Or will they continue on their suicidal course of appeasement?

The point of no return seems to be approaching fast. This, indeed, may be Europe’s last chance.

DiscerningTexan, 2/18/2006 04:06:00 PM | Permalink | |