The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Cartoon by Scott Stantis (click to enlarge)
VDH: How Dems War Stance may return to Haunt them someday
The New New Left...and Radical Islam
One of the strangest features of the contemporary political landscape is the convergence everywhere of the Left with Muslim jihadis and extremists. Those who once protested against the installation of cruise missiles in Western Europe, say, now demonstrate against the war on terror. Those who praised the Soviet Union as peace-loving are now busy signing petitions and publishing articles to the effect that Iran’s nuclear program and nuclear weapons (if it comes to that) are a third-world success and nothing to worry about. Anti-Americanism has made bedfellows of people whose world views and values are ostensibly incompatible.
Read the rest here...
Kiddie Cartoons in Iran
Bush will Veto Collective Bargaining for TSA
Still, the vote looks to be--as have most other votes taken by this Congress--purely for show; the President has already promised to veto it, and he reportedly has enough Senators to prevent an override.
Musharraf to "Foreign Fighters": Leave Pakistan Now
Republicans in House to force floor vote on Jefferson
The GOOD News about the Stock Correction UPDATED: And the not so good news
And yes, I think this little stock correction drove that point home quite nicely.
UPDATE: Stratfor is claiming that the entire thing was engineered by the Chinese. Even if true, the unintended spread of the correction to worldwide markets does server to drive home to the meddling Chinese government the high price of interference with free markets. They are learning that they can no longer make decisions in a vaccum.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Cartoon by Michael Ramirez (click to enlarge)
CNN's Anderson Cooper 360: Recruiting Video for Mass Murder
The Huffington Post has been VERY busy
This is a great example of the use of technology to uncover what the left is trying to cover up about its own hate-driven supporters. And very telling.
Equally telling is Jihad Watch's report that Afghan intelligence leaked information about Cheney's visit to the Taliban. Disturbing to say the least.
Good Early News: China Markets seeming to bounce back
Seems to me it might be a good day to buy stocks tomorrow. It is like the Dow Jones just put a "One Day Only: 4% discount" sign on its storefront!
AJ Strata comments further.
Are you sitting down? CARL LEVIN calls for ATTACK on Syria, Admits AQ in Iraq and Troops should Stay!
Is it a bait and switch ploy? Who knows.
Has the Democratic Senate Caucus decided to join the War for Western Civilization in a BIG way? Who knows (but I do have my doubts on "C"...).
There is a video of this too!
BREAKING: U.Missouri - Rolla Closed due to Anthrax/Bomb Scare: Perp was "International Student"
The man’s identity and nationality were not released, although school spokesman Lance Feyh said he was an international student.Gee, I wonder what this "international student's" name, nationality, and religion might be? Hmmm? I am very interested in knowing the answer to this question and also in knowing the over/under for how long it will take the elitisit leftists in the media to actually TELL us.
Dems in "free fall" backpedaling on the War
Al Gore's Electric Bill: He BETRAYED this country...
Monday, February 26, 2007
No Child Left Behind
Cartoon by Larry Wright (click to enlarge)
The Left's conception of "Free Debate in the Arena of Ideas"...
This has always been theLeft's dirty little secret: deep down they know that if the public truly understood where it wanted to take this country, their political rubes in the Democrat party would never again see the light of day in a fair election. And so the suppression of free speech continues--even in the blogosphere; the truth does tend to frighten the guilty into doing really stupid and transparent things.
Stalin and Hitler would have been so proud ...
An Open Letter from the Front Lines UPDATED
CSM James Pippin writes to the American People from Mosul: you need to read this.
This dispatch is only scratching the surface for Michael Yon, who has risked life and limb for over a year now as an embed--to bring to us the story that our defeatist media refuses to cover. We owe him our thanks and our support; I've given him mine. You can keep his mission moving forward by giving as much as you can here.
UPDATE: Meanwhile, the good guys have nabbed more AQ leaders in Iraq.
UPDATE: Another great interview of SFC Smith near Basra. Wonderful frankness here.
CBS Cherry Picks Anti-war Activists for "Expose" UPDATED
This is right along the lines of what one would expect from al-CBS, but it is dismaying nonetheless.
In the meantime, Media Lies has the inside scoop on who these "conscientious objectors" really are.
UPDATE: The American Thinker--"Astroturfing CBS and the WaPo"
Twelve...Um, make that ELEVEN...Angry Men...
Bringing the Big Guns to bear on Pakistan
Rick Moran wonders if it isn't too little, too late.
al Sadr Speaks...but he is still hiding
Joe Lieberman, Statesman
Lieberman's words today in the Wall Street Journal were statesmanlike, even-handed, and sensible. The tragedy is that no one else in his old party recognizes this fact. If you have not already seen it, do not hesitate read the whole thing.
Labels: Joseph Lieberman
Did Sandia Labs Cover-up Nuclear Security breach?
Obsessed with "Obsession"
ps - if you have not yet seen the film, you can watch a representative clip here.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
"Just LOSE, Baby..."
Cartoon by Gary Varvel (click to enlarge)
Saboteurs by MoveOn.org
No Kidding: THIS Came from The Daily Kos
...it is certainly conceivable that at some point in the future, the Bush administration will be able to provide genuine evidence of Iranian aid to militant groups in Iraq. Will it then follow that an attack on Iran is justified? The question is an interesting one: should we despise Iran for aiding the insurgent attacks that are killing our troops, or should we respect them for it?
Again, this is not made up; the unofficial daily go-to site of the Democrat left is now on the record as wanting the enemy to kill our troops. These folks are bankrolling and driving the agenda of the hard left of the Democratic Party--the Nancy Pelosi/John Murtha wing. These are the people behind the hypocrites who give lip service to "supporting the troops" even as they plot daily how to get them killed--so they can climb on the backs of dead American kids towards further consolidation of their political stranglehold on the rest of us...
If these folks had surfaced during and expressed such sentiments during the Civil War, World War I or World War II, then Lincoln, Wilson, or Roosevelt/Truman respectively would have had them tossed them summarily into the deepest, darkest prison in the land for sedition. But now we have "PC" and respecting people's "feelings"...
Ah, the good old days...
"Encroachment...United States...10 Yards...Still First Down Mexico..."
Truth, Irony, Tragedy in One Place...Semper Fi
Photo by John Moore, Getty Images.
h/t's to OpFor, Murdoc, and Instapundit
(click to enlarge)
1881 and 2007
How far we have come...
Founder of "Ex-Muslim" Organization in Germany receives Death Threats
There are many who say that Islam is like the Mafia: you can opt in, but you can never opt out. If you listen to guys like Robert Spencer and Bernard Lewis, it is not even a matter of interpreteation--it is a undeniable tenet of Islamic religious teachings that Apostacy is punishable by death. And this "convention" certainly appears to be en vogue in Germany...
The founder of a group in Germany for former Muslims has sought police protection after receiving death threats.
Mina Ahadi, a native of Iran living in Cologne, said about three dozen people have joined the Central Council of Ex-Muslims.
"I happened to be born in a Muslim family, and I have decided not to be a Muslim," she told the magazine Focus.
Ahadi said she and other members of the group have been "terrorized" and have received death threats, most of them sent via e-mail.
In many Muslim countries, people who abandon the faith face the death sentence under Sharia law. ...
But what I think people don't get is that this story is not about some people doing something "over there"; this is about us. By their cooperation with and skillful manipulation of the elites in the Western "PC" left--Islamists are working tirelessley to blur the lines between religion and state so as to "dumb down" objections to behavior that would otherwise be considered outrageous, if not barbaric. Indeed the real irony is that many on the left--whose visceral hatred of the religious right and anything having to do with the word "Christian"--so clouds their judgment that it helps to engineer the very thing they claim most to fear: namely the merging of "church" and state. Only in this case "church" is Political Islam, not the more benign Christianity it has spent decades being so fearful of.
A perfect example of this phenomenon was the Danish Cartoon episode. Taken by itself, the political reaction of the Muslim world to the characterature of Mohammed was illustrative of just how great the divide is between the Islamic world and the West--and of why the West is a much more civilized place to live. But it was the shameful reaction of Western governments and publishers that was the real scandal: rather than defend the rights of any individual or newspaper to publish any opinion or cartoon they wanted, the West--by its cowering before all this blathering Islamist "emotion"--instead granted Animal Farm-like privalaged class to Islam: i.e. "all the Animals are created equal, but some are more 'Equal' than others..."
By uniformly condemning the Cartoonists and the behavior of the Western publishers for their "insensitivity"--instead of criticizing the clearly well-orchestrated (and well-televised...) burning, rioting, and destruction taking place throughout the Muslim world--the cowards in the Western intelligensia have only served to encourage more egregious violations of Western Civilization's norms in the future. What will be next: the need to "understand" the honor killings of women as "part of their faith'? The need for all women to wear burquas so as not to offend those who belive it is called for?
It was the betrayal of the West since 9/11--illustrated by this and many other documented examples of Western "submission" to Islamists by its own "leadership"-- which prompted Italian Oriana Fallaci's continent-shattering epitaths before her death, i.e. The Rage and the Pride and The Force of Reason. But I see very little evidence that anyone is listening to Fallaci's powerful words.
It can be argued that the very genesis of the idea of America the nation was the notion that there should be a place where refugees from religious persecution anywhere could be free to worship (or not worship) as they pleased, without fear of governmental interference or retribution. In 18th century England--where faith had been allowed to bleed over into political life--the faith du jour had long became a function of the belief system of the monarch in power. If your faith happened to be different than the faith in power, your chances of persecution--economic and otherwise--rose dramatically. This of course led to the mass exodus of religious refugees from the UK to the New World; a trend which continued even through the 1930s-1940s with the Jewish refugees fleeing Naziism.
Because of the historical context of this religious persecution preceeding the migration to America, the Founders went out of their way to when writing the Constitution to ensure that religion be protected--but I think it is also clear that to the founders the idea of "religion" was more grounded in the Christian notion of "worship" than the Islamic notion of a political way of life.
As a result the Constitution--still to this day revolutionary in all of human history--separated religious faith from the political, the famous "separation of church and state". It is this idea which made the American experiment so extraordinary--and so transformational in a society of immigrants from all over the globe. Democracy had already been tried, but never with guarantees of religious freedom and the freedom to speak your mind.
Since that dramatic experiment, millions of Americans have died fighting to defend the rights of Americans to choose their own faith and to speak freely. This is not a trivial thing. Generations of Americans have been raised understanding how and why we were so different from all the "great civilizations" which had preceeded us. But in today's "PC" world, we seem to be losing that understanding in favor of a lazy and deadly tolerance of the intolerable.
Islam as it exists today presents a huge problem for secular democracies, because unlike the Christian concept of religion as a "personal choice for worship", Islam is both a political and spiritual entity. Islam is not merely "worship", it is steeped in political law of how adherents must live. A majority of predominantly Muslim states have adopted this Sharia law as part and parcel of their political organization--to the great detriment of any non-Muslims in those countries, and obviously, to the detriment of former Muslims as well.
The political aspect of Islam is very much a part of its history and even scriptual basis (i.e. the Quran and the Hadith). Therefore--especially for that fundamentalist strain of Islam being so heavily promoted by so-called "moderate" nations like Saudi Arabia--there is no separation between religion and the political state. And so: when a Religious mass-movement that is also a Political movement clashes with secular societies where religious freedom and freedom of speech are protected, something has got to give.
If America is to maintain a society where all of its citizens are free to decide, write about, or even to draw pictures illustrating what they believe or what faith they do/do not adhere to; then that society must make a firm stand for its founding principles. "All Men are Created Equal..." means nothing unless it means everything. Which is it?
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Somehow, the timing just seemed Right for this one...
Hillary's Presidential Express takes a Direct Hit
Florida Voters: STILL Out to Lunch
The media tried to play it like it was the process that was flawed or that the ballots were not clear enough to be understood by all; so I would like to now hear how the media will try and explain away the 13% of voters in yet another recently challenged Florida election who were found to be--quite simply--illiterate?
Labels: US Politics
A World Without America: Not so Hot
Personally I think they ought to be running that ad IN America...
Sowell Schools Obama
Let’s allow our unions and their organizers to lift up this country’s middle class again.
Thomas Sowell takes that whopper and runs with it; giving candidate Obama a real home schooling in Economics 101... (h/t Betsy Newmark)
Islamist Jihadist website accuses Spencer and Pipes of "Hacking In"
Floyd Landis Vindicated?
Good for Floyd. That ride to regain the lead was one of the most dramatic things I have ever witnessed in sport. I hope it works out for him.
American Child-porn Liberties Union?
The Return of the "Copperhead Democrats"
Henry P. Wickam, Jr. has a very educational essay up today about the history specific to the Civil War Copperheads and their relevance to today's "Iraq Defeat Caucus". He concludes:
You will want to read the whole thing.
There are some lessons about our Neo-Copperheads to be learned by examining these wars and their domestic opponents:
1) Both wars produced opportunists who are willing to sacrifice long-term American interests for short-term political gain. Thus, our Neo-Copperheads leak important classified information about US intelligence-gathering techniques to the press, who are in turn, only too happy to use its publication to score political points against the president whom they loathe. They propose non-binding resolutions to stop the war in order to give themselves political cover for any disaster that they themselves help bring about. That this opportunism aids and emboldens our enemies is of no interest to them.
2) There always seems to be people who want peace at any price, even if it is the peace of a slave-owning society, the peace of the Gulag, or the peace of the graveyard. Our Neo-Copperheads argue, at least implicitly, that if only the US would not engage in military action, there would be peace. There is the unspoken assumption here that the US is the cause of all conflict, and that if only the US would beat its swords into ploughshares, the world would live happily ever after. So, the mantra of "peace" performs a double duty here. It generates enormous self-satisfaction among its advocates while it provides the stick with which to beat American policy.
3) Like deviancy, patriotism and its opposite have been defined down. Thanks to our Neo-Copperheads, short of joining the Taliban or actually setting off bombs, it is difficult to imagine any action today, no matter the benefits for our enemies, which cannot in some manner be rationalized as "patriotic." The converse is also true. As John Walker Lindh has proven, there seems to be no action undertaken against American interests, policies, and soldiers that can actually result in a treason charge. Thus, the corruption of language and meaning are not just academic exercises. It has very real consequences to the detriment of American interests.
4) These notions of peace as advocated by our Neo-Copperheads are symptoms of a problem much deeper than mere naivete or opportunism. At the risk of being labeled "judgmental," allow me to suggest that the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians is evil. Our Neo-Copperheads have no capacity for processing in any meaningful way evil such as this. They deny its existence (killing the innocent is for a good cause). They rationalize it (terror is the only tactic of the oppressed in a nuclear age). They appease it (if Israel makes more concessions, we will have peace). They mis-attribute it. (It is the free and democratic America that is evil). Recognize evil and make sacrifices to fight it---Never!
As the military tide turned for the Union in late 1864, the Copperheads were routed. With no such victories in Iraq in sight, the Neo-Copperheads are flourishing, and this does not bode well for either the Iraqi or American people. Many of our American contemporaries are on the same moral plane as those Copperheads content to live with a fractured regime and slavery, and this fact itself is one of those evils that our Neo-Copperheads can never really acknowledge.
I think it is important to add to this important article the following truth: given enough time, will, and patience from the American people here at home, there is no way the United States military--the finest the world has ever seen--can fail in Iraq, nor can it fail to win the broader conflict with Iran, Syria, and other state sponsors of the Jihadists...on our terms (in the words of the Gipper: "We win....they lose...")
Alternatively, a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, and the resulting humiliation of the United States before our worldwide Jihadist enemies and our allies who had previously counted on the word of the United States to actually mean something--would do irreperable harm to our National Security here at home, would fan the flames and encourage the Jihadists to press their worldwide slaughter even more intensely, and will strongly discourage our friends from ever trusting us to keep our commitments to them again. Not to mention the genocide that will result in Iraq the nanosecond we were to bug out. And these are only the short-term costs. If New York or DC goes up in a mushroom cloud someday, it could well be because we did not do what was necessary now.
What needs to be understood clearly is that this nightmare scenario need not occur: the only way that this War can possibly be lost--and our enemies know this--is by allowing the "neo-Copperhead" defeatist voices at home to convince other American citizens--who paying more attention to cultural refuse like Anna Nicole and Britney than to the most important struggle in their lifetimes--that all is lost and there is no hope for winning. In other words, the only way to lose is if "The Big Lie" is allow to continue to be trumpeted, unchallenged by an elitist leftist media who provides more aid and support to our enemies today than did all of the Civil War Copperheads combined.
If we lose an American city someday, because our "asleep at the wheel" citizenry and our suicidal media did not have the guts or the will to face the truth that all should have seen clearly after 9/11--that in this war against this apocalyptic enemy, weakness or isolationism is not an option--we will think back to this time and to how we could have ended this so much more simply; if only we had shown the patience and intestinal fortitude that our President and a few others have shown in the face of the mass hysterical myopia we face today...
This American nightmare can only materialize if historical precedents like that of the Copperhead Democrats continue to be ignored; it is left to those of us with our eyes wide open to see that they must not.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Can it be? Has Chris Muir Returned?
If I am not mistaken, that is today's date on this cartoon...
Is Mr. Muir is back from his imbed, or posting from Iraq?
In any case: Nice to have you back!
Day by Day by Chris Muir (click to enlarge)
A White Flag Republican Lowers the White Flag...for now
Nancy's New Ride!
A National Disgrace: The Congress that Won't Stand Up UPDATED
UPDATED: Fortunately there are people who still do stand on their principles.
Steyn: Separating Allies from Pretenders
Blair may be pulling a token number of troops, but Prince Harry--son of Princess Diana--is heading straight for the front. Which sort of hijacks John Kerry's original quote:
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If [on the other hand, you are third in line for the British throne] you get stuck in Iraq."
What REALLY went down in the Wilson-Plame-Libby Affair
UPDATE: After watching the entire trial, Rich Lowry and the Editors of National Review stand by their original take.
Are Dems backing away from "Slow Bleed"?
Islamism and the European Left: Brothers in Arms in Jihad against the West
This is no fantasy or concoction of the "vast right wing conspiracy": this really IS happening under our noses. And we had better wake up and smell the coffee:
Part 1 here
Part 2 here
And don't think that this is only happening in Europe, either.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
The Logical Conclusion of Democrat Sabotage
Associated (with Jihadists) Press -- continued...
You call this "Moderate"?
Is Fred Thompson Jumping into the race?
Thompson has always had a certain panache about him; a wise, knowing, father-figure like persona, on and off the screen. He did a great job as Senator from Tennessee--managing to keep his reputation intact, above an otherwise often unseemly and bloody partisan fray. So when Glenn Reynolds pointed today to this article which suggested that Thompson was considering an entry into the Presidential race, I must admit my initial reaction is that Thompson would be a very, very welcome additon to the fray. Yes, Thompson is a really really good Hollywood actor: but that should not be seen as a disadvantage--so was the greatest President of the 20th century.
I think the more really quality Republican candidates which enter this critical race--and Thompson definitely qualifies--the better the chances that the Republican which finally emerges to take on Hillary or Elvis Obama will be a truly formidable opponent.
George Will rips Spineless Dems
Suppose Democrats write their restrictions on the use of forces into legislation that funds the war. And suppose the president signs the legislation but ignores the restrictions, calling them unconstitutional usurpations of his powers as commander in chief. What could Democrats do? Cross First Street NE and ask the Supreme Court to compel the president to acquiesce in congressional micromanagement of a war? The court probably would refuse to get involved on the grounds that this is a "political question."UPDATE: Meanwhile Victor Davis Hanson has some choice words for the numerical majority of Dems in the Senate who voted FOR the war.
The court has held that some constitutional controversies should be settled by the government's political -- meaning elected -- branches. In 1962, the court said that a case involves a political question when there is:
" . . . textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department; or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it; or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for nonjudicial discretion; or the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government; or an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made; or the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question."
In that welter of criteria there are reasons that the court will not rescue congressional Democrats from facing the logic of their posturing. They lack the will to exercise their clearly constitutional power to defund the war. And they lack the power to achieve that end by usurping the commander in chief's powers to conduct a war.
Lieberman threatens Party switch over War
(ps - suggestion to Senate Republican Leadership: it would not be in appropriate to arrange for a very plum position to be offered to Lieberman should he jump--on the Armed Services and/or Intelligence Committees--and if it takes a chairmanship offer, it is well worth it....)
UPDATE: The coward Hagel is talking about jumping parties also. (if so: good riddance!) But Lieberman would still be a real catch. I'd trade Joe for Chuck straight up any day of the week. Rick Moran comments on both.
The Spanish Connection to 9/11
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
"Pay no Attention to the [Killers] Behind the Curtain..."
Cartoon by Steve Breen (click to enlarge)
LA Times "Outs" CIA Agents
(This does beg another question: just where is the FBI and the Attorney General? At last report, I had heard that the AG actually was working in Washington; at least that is my understanding of the situation... If there are any sightings. let me know.)
Washington Imam openly advocates Terror
James Webb: Looking the other way....THIS time
Did Justice Dept. try to Whitewash Sandy Berger's Classified document theft?
Moran's analysis in particular is compelling and spot-on.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Constitutional Crisis Looming Ahead UPDATED
It's about to get really ugly.
UPDATE: On the other hand, Lt. Smash thinks the worm may have turned. (h/t Glenn Reynolds).
Also: Mark Levin discusses Murtha's treachery and its lack of Constitutionality.
Europe: in cahoots with iran
Doing "the People's Work"
(click to enlarge)
Afghanistan's Parliament approves resolution granting "mujahedeen" immunity from war crimes
I think Bush's idea of "democracy" is flawed. A democracy is a place you can be in the minority and have your rights protected by constitutional law. During the occupation of Japan we insisted that Shinto as a religion would be allowed but that Shinto as a political entity (which it had been in Imperial Japan) would be outlawed. It is looking more and more as if it would have been much more productive had we similarly "insisted" in secular, rather than Islamic-based Constitutions in Afghanistan and Iraq...
Who is Suhail Khan?
Mitt Romney is running Presidential Ads!
Romney is an impressive man, but I countinue to hold out hope for Newt; at this rate though, September may be way too late to jump in.
I'm having a hard time deciding between Mitt and Rudy when it comes to second choice; McCain would be a very difficult vote for me to cast...
Islamist Murderers blow up Kashmir "Peace Train"
Oh, and by the way: somebody try and tell me this is about Israel and Palestine... Face it: wherever they are located on the planet, Islamist nationalists do not play well with others. This is about spreading the 7th century ideology of "Political Islam", no many how many thousands or millions have to die first.
Reynolds Fires Back
I thought at the time and think now that his suggestion might be the best of both worlds: it avoids invasion and the political firestorm an invasion would cause; it solves the immediate nuclear problem--and sends a clear message to other regimes contemplating similar plans; and lastly it would likely create a great amount of instability in Iran that would hopefully cause the citizenry to rise up against the mullahs.
But Reynolds has also created quite a firestorm of his own, simply by making the suggestion. Today, Reynolds answers his critics. Heh.
Libby Closing Arguments
Meanwhile John Hinderaker weighs in and Clarice has a thread open over at Just One Minute.
Did Chavez actually LOSE both of his last two elections?
Monday, February 19, 2007
Nightmare on K Street
Cartoon by Michael Ramirez (click to enlarge)
Must Read(s) of the Day
When you are done Legrand's piece--if you haven't already--be sure you definitely read all of Linda Kimball's riveting essay: Marxism is alive and well in America.
Can Murtha Succeed? UPDATED
When Murtha revealed the strategy, the House Republican staff quickly dispatched e-mails to GOP members that list Democrats who had campaigned last year against restricting support for troops in the field. The message asked: "Will they side with Jack Murtha and their leadership in Washington, or with the promises they made to their voters?"
But only eight such Democrats, including six newcomers, were listed. Rep. Nick Lampson, who returned to Congress from Tom DeLay's conservative Texas district, had said (according to the Associated Press) that "he opposes withdrawing until the Iraqi army is capable of controlling the country." Lampson declined to talk to me when I said I wanted to ask him about Iraq. Freshman Rep. Brad Ellsworth won election to a swing district in Indiana by saying ( according to the Evansville Courier & Press) that "he would not support any measures that would cut funding for forces in Iraq." Ellsworth said he was "too busy" to talk to me after I said the subject was Iraq.
Mr. President, regarding Iran--and regarding taking all the gloves off, now: Faster, please.
UPDATE: Before you get too panicked, read this, from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies:
The president is commander-in-chief. That is not just a title; it is an assignment of constitutional duties that may not be performed by any other branch.
Congress can deny him funding; it cannot exercise commander-in-chief functions. Rotating troops and assigning materiel for military engagements is an executive function -- just like deciding which target to hit, which hill to take, and which captives to detain.
If Congress wants to end the war, Congress can end it by de-funding it. Then the president has to bring everyone and everything home -- and members of Congress can then be politically accountable to the voters for the decision to abandon the battlefield before the President believed the mission was completed. Congress, however, cannot manage, much less micro-manage, the exercise of commander-in-chief authority in connection with military engagements that are authorized either by Congress or under the President's inherent Article II authority. It is for the president alone to exercise that power.
And what if the United States is invaded, or if our forces and interests are attacked overseas (as, for example, they have been repeatedly since 1996, and as they are currently being attacked from Iran and Pakistan, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan)? The Supreme Court has held since the Civil War era Prize Cases that the president has not only the authority but the duty to respond to provocations against the United States, regardless of whether Congress has acted. But would a president be expected to wait to dispatch forces until the Murtha two-year lay-off has run its course?
In The Federalist No. 73, Hamilton explained that the Constitution armed the executive with vigor and irreducible powers in order to defend against “the propensity of the legislative department to intrude upon the rights, and to absorb the powers, of the other departments.”
Smart guys, the Framers.
Cutting to the Chase on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem
Those Wacky, Fun Loving, Happy-Go-Lucky Misogynistic Islamists!
LA Times: Mouthpiece for the Mullahs
UPDATE: This is who the Times is shilling for.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Brit Hume Eviscerates John Murtha
But on Sundays the Fox anchor is free to weigh in with his own opinion; and today, when the Fox News Sunday panel discussed the disgraceful John Murtha's "plan" for Iraq, Hume could not hold back: he let Murtha have it with both barrels. Beautiful.
As an aside--the following needs to be said, and now is as good a time as any: if most Democrats had run last fall based on the platform Murtha is now advocating, I believe the Republicans would have won in a filibuster-proof landslide of epic proportions. The fact that instead the Dems ran a much more moderate campaign in which Nancy Pelosi, Murtha, Rangel, et. al. were relegated to the sidelines--all so that the party would "appear" more conservative on the war--is a clear indication that savvy Democrats know that the center in America supports this war.
Thus--if Murtha/Rangel/Pelosi get their way and make it impossible for the US to achieve victory in Iraq/Iran--then, to the electorate, the Democrats' entire campaign strategy will be seen to have been based on a fraud and a lie. Perhaps I am being optimistic--but in a democracy, you have to hope that most people who care enough to vote are paying attention, and trust that they do not like it at all when they are fooled by their politicians into believing they support "the troops", when indeed they trumpet it loudly from the hilltops every time an American soldier, sailor, or airman is killed.
But it is a long way to the next election. And--because the American people were fooled so badly last year--it is just going to get uglier from here... We are going to have to dig in and fight like Travis at the Alamo to try and save this country and the world from a looming catastrophe. Welcome to December, 1776: we need to cross the Deleware.
al-Newsweek adopts the AP's Journalistic Standards UPDATED
Of course some would say that this has been going on for years. They have a small point, with one very large difference--which is: in the past the media actually used facts to back up its bias.
Today not only is the bias much more virulent, acidic, hard-left, and noticible, but there seems to be no need or even desire for many of these "news" outlets to get their stories right; it is rather the ideological conclusion that is important instead of the real world. We seem to truly have arrived at a version of the future as lampooned in Orwell's Animal Farm--only Orwell was talking about Stalinism.
When conclusions are based on conjured events which are pure fantasy, the media has entered an Alice in Wonderland existence; to quote Grace Slick "when logic and proportion have fallen softly dead...", it is time for the citizens of the world to look elsewhere for their facts.
UPDATE: Michael Novak:
In America, our editors still seem to work to increase the power of the anti-democratic forces by being cooperators in their propaganda war, whose aim is to make cowards of all Americans.
An Analogy even the White Flag Republicans can understand
Steyn: Why this War is about America, not Iraq
According to a report by the New York Sun's Eli Lake last month, Iran is supporting Shia insurgents in Iraq and Sunni insurgents in Iraq. In other words, it's on both sides in the so-called civil war. How can this be? After all, as the other wise old foreign-policy "realists" of the Iraq Study Group assured us only in December, Iran has "an interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq.''
Au contraire, the ayatollahs have concluded they have a very clear interest in fomenting chaos in Iraq. They're in favor of Sunni killing Shia, and Shia killing Sunni, and if some vacationing Basque terrorists wanted to blow up the Spanish Cultural Center in Mosul, they'd be in favor of that, too. The Iranians don't care who kills whom as long as every night when Americans turn on the evening news there's smoke over Baghdad. As I say in my book, if you happen to live in Ramadi or Basra, Iraq is about Iraq; if you live in Tehran, or Cairo, or Bei-jing, Moscow, Pyongyang or Brussels, Iraq is about America. American will. American purpose. American credibility.
Steyn's conclusion is the only conclusion that anyone with half a brain could reach: our politicians are knowingly sabotaging our country's interests for blatantly partisan political gain. If John Murtha had been in Washington's Continental Army he would have been executed by a firing squad. Steyn gets to the heart of the treachery:
This al-Qaida honcho, al-Masri, is an Egyptian. His predecessor, Zarqawi, was a Jordanian. Al-Sadr is a Persian stooge. For four decades, the country was a British client. Before that, it was a Turkish province. The Middle East is a crazy place and a tough nut to crack, but the myth of the unbeatable Islamist insurgent is merely a lazy and more neurotic update of the myth of the unbeatable communist guerrilla, which delusion led to so much pre-emptive surrender in the '70s. Nevertheless, in the capital city of the most powerful nation on the planet, the political class spent last week trying to craft a bipartisan defeat strategy, and they might yet pull it off. Consider this extraordinary report from the Washington Post:
"Democratic leaders have rallied around a strategy that would fully fund the president's $100 billion request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but would limit his ability to use the money. . . . The plan is aimed at tamping down calls from the Democrats' liberal wing for Congress to simply end funding for the war. "
The Murtha plan, based on existing military guidelines, includes a stipulation that Army troops who have already served in Iraq must be granted two years at home before an additional deployment. . . . The idea is to slowly choke off the war by stopping the deployment of troops from units that have been badly degraded by four years of combat."
So "the Murtha plan" is to deny the president the possibility of victory while making sure Democrats don't have to share the blame for the defeat. But of course he's a great American! He's a patriot! He supports the troops! He doesn't support them in the mission, but he'd like them to continue failing at it for a couple more years. As John Kerry wondered during Vietnam, how do you ask a soldier to be the last man to die for a mistake? By nominally "fully funding" a war you don't believe in but "limiting his ability to use the money." Or as the endearingly honest anti-war group MoveCongress.org put it, in an e-mail preview of an exclusive interview with the wise old Murtha:
"Chairman Murtha will describe his strategy for not only limiting the deployment of troops to Iraq but undermining other aspects of the president's foreign and national security policy."
"Undermining"? Why not? To the Slow-Bleed Democrats, it's the Republicans' war. To an increasing number of what my radio pal Hugh Hewitt calls the White-Flag Republicans, it's Bush's war. To everyone else on the planet, it's America's war. And it will be America's defeat.
We simply cannot let that happen. Read ALL of Steyn's great essay. And then join the Victory Caucus now.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
"This is simply a political class that is unworthy of a serious power"
Timely Quote by Mark Steyn
Cartoon by Glenn McCoy (click to enlarge)
"Cowards Give up on GI's..."
I really enjoyed Alexandra's take as well (welcome back!).
"Moderate" Imam plays the Big Time Victim on Hannity show
Newt's Brilliant Idea
Gingrich is starting an initiative to try and get candidates from both parties to debate frequently--not just with other Primary candidates in their own party, but also against the Opposition party, during the primaries. Gingrich and others from across the aisle like former New York Governor Mario Cuomo are promoting the idea in order to lessen the bitter partisan campaigns of the recent past by encouraging ongoing party-to-party discussion of the issues. Gingrich argues that it does not encourage dialogue and bipartisan solutions to American problems to simply have the parties go to opposite corners and for each party to fan the flames of red-meat partisanship with "their own". The idea is by (occasionally, not every time) getting primary candidates to debate other primary candidates of the other party, the country might experience less fire-breathing partisanship and more real dialogue. Gingrich has already begun this process himself, and yesterday he held a dialogue with liberal New York Senator Chuck Schumer, which will be followed by other dates debating Democrats across the country.
Of course it goes without saying that Gingrich is--quite simply--brilliant, and that a man with the combination of his intellect, his charisma/presence, and his ability to articulate and argue for those ideas would no doubt be a serious danger to all-fluff-and-no-substance candidates like Hillary and Obama in any debate. And no doubt his ongoing debtes with Democrats around the country will be "good practice"... to say the least.
But his personal prowess aside, Gingrich deserves his props for this debate the other party idea. In addition to the points discussed above, this approach would give primary voters a good look at the debating skills of thier favorite candidates up against the party they will run against in the fall--if you will, a sneak preview of possible Presidential debates. I especially like this idea, because it would encourage candidates of both parties to get away from the current practice of showing one "face" to their own party to get the nomination, and then showing another (opposite) "face" in the fall in order to win the general election. Party to party debates during Primary season (or before) would give each party a much more realistic idea of what their Primary candidates really stand for, while hopefully taking some of the bitter negativity out of campaigning. I personally think it is a tremendous idea, and the fact that Gingrich came up with the idea only makes his candidacy that much more attractive.
I listened the other night to Captain Ed's web radio cast where he interviewed Gingrich, and I came away with the impression that he really does want to get in--but that he wants to wait until fall because he believes this two-year Presidential campaign business is ridiculous. I hope he does run: I truly think he can be another giant of a President like Ronald Reagan; and never has our country needed such a leader so desparately. Please, Mr. Speaker: this is your calling.
Iran Arrests Bombing Suspects; Asserts ties to US and British Intelligence
Murtha: US Troops "Have Everything they need...Live in Palaces..."
UPDATE: Captain Ed points out that even the unbelievably partisan Editors of the Washington Post have had their fill of Murtha:
Mr. Murtha has a different idea. He would stop the surge by crudely hamstringing the ability of military commanders to deploy troops. In an interview carried Thursday by the Web site MoveCongress.org, Mr. Murtha said he would attach language to a war funding bill that would prohibit the redeployment of units that have been at home for less than a year, stop the extension of tours beyond 12 months, and prohibit units from shipping out if they do not train with all of their equipment. His aim, he made clear, is not to improve readiness but to "stop the surge." So why not straightforwardly strip the money out of the appropriations bill -- an action Congress is clearly empowered to take -- rather than try to micromanage the Army in a way that may be unconstitutional? Because, Mr. Murtha said, it will deflect accusations that he is trying to do what he is trying to do. "What we are saying will be very hard to find fault with," he said.
Mr. Murtha's cynicism is matched by an alarming ignorance about conditions in Iraq. He continues to insist that Iraq "would be more stable with us out of there," in spite of the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies that early withdrawal would produce "massive civilian casualties." He says he wants to force the administration to "bulldoze" the Abu Ghraib prison, even though it was emptied of prisoners and turned over to the Iraqi government last year. He wants to "get our troops out of the Green Zone" because "they are living in Saddam Hussein's palace"; could he be unaware that the zone's primary occupants are the Iraqi government and the U.S. Embassy?
It would be nice to believe that Mr. Murtha does not represent the mainstream of the Democratic Party or the thinking of its leadership. Yet when asked about Mr. Murtha's remarks Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered her support. Does Ms. Pelosi really believe that the debate she orchestrated this week was not "the real vote"? If the answer is yes, she is maneuvering her party in a way that can only do it harm.
Rick Moran comments further.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Flags of our Cowards
Cartoon by Tom Stiglich (click to enlarge)
Hewitt/Steyn on the White Flag Republicans
Another Bomb Explodes in Iran
Today, Iran remains the world's primary state sponsor of terror -- pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve. We are working with European allies to make clear to the Iranian regime that it must give up its uranium enrichment program and any plutonium reprocessing, and end its support for terror. And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you.
Syria Orchestrates More Lebanon Violence
The Beauty of a Failed Suidide Bomber
What? Didn't catch these on CNN? Really?? Go figure...
House of Reps Imitates France...
Victory at all costs, regardless of Party affiliation
The Victory Caucus was born out of the desire to make Republicans who even consider betraying their party and their country think twice--because the caucus has made it a point to work for the primary opponents of any Republican who raises the White Flag. It also applies pressure to Republicans who might be getting a bit weak-kneed when the going gets tough. Hewitt explains the group's progress to date.
I personally believe this to be an enormously important moment in history, a real crossroads. The future of our country and the world may depend on what happens next in Iraq: it is that important. If you agree, and if you are willing to put your words and/or your money where your country's interests are, The Victory Caucus is the place for you.
Lieberman Stands Tall
Whoever wins the Republican nomination could do worse than to consider putting Joe on the ticket. The War trumps all other considerations, and there are few who more staunchly support our war against the Jihadists more than Lieberman. To me, this man is an American hero.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Iraq AQ Chief Al Masri Reportedly Wounded
"The Enemy at Home" or The Enemy Abroad? Yes
Mark Steyn argues at The Corner that it's not all about the US--and with that specific qualification added, I can unequivocally agree with him. To wit:
No question about that. Steyn adds a historical reference to the "Religion of Peace" as practiced 125 years ago (emphasis mine):
Speaking of "preferential patrilateral parallel cousin marriage" – and I don’t know about you but by the time I’ve said it I’m too exhausted to do it – but I hope everyone’s read Stanley’s take on Dinesh D’Souza, which is by far the best critique of The Enemy At Home that I’ve read.
Dinesh’s argument that America’s worthless porno-sodomite-lapdance culture is the root cause of jihad has one very big hole in it: He speaks in praise of "traditional Islam" and notes that most of the world’s people also live in "traditional societies" who are as revolted by our pop culture as your average imam. But how then do you account for the very problematic relationship "traditional Islam" has with other "traditional societies"? In Nigeria, in Sudan, in southern Thailand, etc.
It’s hard not to conclude that if America plus the fleshpots of, say, Amsterdam were all vaporized at twenty past three, at 3.21 the Islamists would simply shake off the dust and get on pursuing their grievances with the rest of the planet.
A pertinent point; however having read D'Souza's book, I think there may be too big of a rush in the conservative sphere to toss the baby out with the bathwater. Jonah Goldberg weighs in:
I mention in my book that in 1871 John Norman, the acting Chief Justice, was fatally stabbed by a Wahhabi and the following year the viceroy, Lord Mayo, met a similar fate. And it wasn’t because Indian Muslims were worried their daughters would be tarting about like Paris Hilton. India’s 19th century administrators understood, as our governments still apparently do not, that Wahhabism is a project to subvert and radicalize Muslim populations. The only difference between then and now is that today’s Wahhabists are flush with petrodollars.
It’s very surprising, given that Dinesh discusses his own family background in India during his book, that he seems either unaware of or indifferent to the deep roots of the Islamo-imperialist project in the region.
No doubt. But Goldberg has a point, and I will take it further: sufficient consideration must be given to the value of America's "permissive" culture in recruiting devout young Muslims to the Jihadist cause. I travel abroad quite often, and it is generally the worst aspects of American culture which seem to be exported in inverse order of their true intrinsic value. It is easy to find a McDonald's in Mexico City or to watch "Brokeback Mountain" in a Sao Paulo hotel. It is much harder to find the actual moral principles that were the underlying foundation for the Founders, the Great American Experiment and our Constitution. And to the extent that we export a culture of permissiveness and decadence, it is unfortunately not that "Shining City on a Hill" aspect which stands out.
Well, since we're all chiming in, I suppose I should say something too as I've written a review for The Claremont Review of Books (available soonish). I agree very much with Andrew on the big picture — the book's failings, man's inherent weakness for fanaticism, etc — but let us note that amidst the many flaws of Dinesh's argument, there is some truth to his basic point. American culture doesn't always help our task in winning hearts and minds. Liberals had no problem pointing this out when it came to, say, Jim Crow during the Cold War. Dinesh makes a similar point about the push for gay marriage, feminism etc. I don't see why we have to reject the point entirely simply because we think Dinesh exaggerates its importance way too much (and he does).
But, there is a caveat (though I'll be short so as to not anger the editors of the CRB): It shouldn't matter. If gay marriage is wrong, it's wrong. If feminism goes too far, it goes too far. Jim Crow was wrong because it was wrong, not because it gave the Soviet Union talking points at the UN. So even if Dinesh were right that our "pagan depravity" prompts Jihadis to behead Jews and Christians, kill homosexuals, enslave women, hijack planes, and blow up buildings full of civilians, the fault still lies entirely with the Jihadis.
I don't like Michael Moore. If he says something really, really obnoxious and, in response, I cut off his head I don't think I get to claim that he was asking for it.
Therefore, in a world where American culture is ubiquitous--only a Satellite dish away at worst, so also lies the ugly side of that culture. And--in the Arab world--where (as Steyn himself points out) the average inhabitant is a 17 year-old male; it is not difficult to see how the decadent side of exported American culture would be an enourmously impactful recruiting tool for young, disillusioned Muslims with neither a lot of hope, nor a plethora of sources for alternative ideologies.
D'Souza unquestionably is off base if he is suggesting that this cultural decadance is the sole cause for 9/11--Islamism and Jihad is what it is, as Steyn and many others like Robert Spencer point out. Still one cannot deny that--for a teenage boy who grows up in a world where men's complete dominance over women is a given and homosexuality is punishable by death--a rapdly spreading American culture where women openly display their power, sensuality and enjoy equality status with men, and in which same-sex marriage is becoming closer and closer to a ubiquitous reality--these and other issues with the exported "American morality" constitute a real reason for that teenager to be terrified the overwhelming change that such a cultural shift would entail in a traditonal Muslim society. And so it would make him an easy target for opportunistic Jihadists.
D'Souza's book is therefore important, not because it is the be-all and end-all theory behind the attack on America. In fact I think selecting 9/11 might be catchy for selling books and causing controversy, but the title almost misses the point here: I do not think it is even in question that the "decadence" of American culture, when contrasted with traditional "mores" of Islamist societies, is an enormous motivation for disaffected young Muslim boys and men to gladly take up the Jihadist cause which is called for in their own scriptures--if for nothing else in the name of the "morality" that (supposedly) underlies the belief in Islam.
I grew up in the 60's too, and I seriously doubt my own life choices would stand up that well to Islamic Law. Steyn and others are right that I probably would not have lived as long in any Islamist society--if for nothing else because of my own use of those "freedoms". But that does not mean I do not understand that--to someone where such a culture is as alien as an H.G. Wells flying saucer--the freedoms that we enjoy (in many cases to excess, or at least more than we ought to) are a real threat to their worldview and upbringing. To deny that is to live in a fantasy world. And this is the central theme of D'Souza's book, even if the titular conclusion is somewhat flawed. I enjoyed the book found it to be quite thought provoking, even if its central thesis is not completely impregnable.
Is it the Enemy at Home or the Enemy Abroad that is the problem? As Deion Sanders famously said to Jerry Jones: "Both".