Monday, March 31, 2003

Woman foiles Robber with Gat.
Acting as if he had a handgun, the man tried to rob a 40-year-old woman. But he wound up on the wrong end of a pistol wielded by his intended victim.

Clutching $6 in one hand, she began struggling with him as he again demanded her money.

Determined not to become a robbery statistic, the woman reached with her other hand to the passenger seat for her 9 mm handgun, grabbed the pistol and pointed it at his face.

"If you're going to shoot me then do it, 'cause I'm definitely going to kill you," the brave resident replied, according to police reports.

More Guns Less Crime
Washington Elite Bids Farewell to Moynihan

Pat Moynihan was respected by everyone is Washington. Even William F. Buckley, whose brother lost his Senate seat to Moynihan in 1976, spoke well of the late Senator. I could never figure Moynihan out. He'd talk conservative for a while. He's talk liberal for a while. He blasted Clinton for lying to the Grand Jury and then voted not to convict him in the impeachment. He then supported Hillary in her election to his old seat. The conclusion to this story is worth reading even if you skip the article.
Moynihan had "this uncanny ability to know who to trust about any particular subject," said Tim Russert of NBC, for years a Senate aide to Moynihan.

Russert recalled preparing the senator to appear on a New York talk show the day the Yankees were to play the sixth game of the 1977 World Series -- a subject the cerebral Moynihan knew nearly nothing about.

On the air, Moynihan predicted with confidence a Yankee championship: "If the Yankees don't do it today, (pitcher) Mike Torrez will do it Tuesday," he declared.

"I fell out of my chair," Russert recalls. "How did you know about Mike Torrez?" he asked afterward.

Moynihan's reply: "I didn't know who it was. I was sitting in the makeup chair and this little kid with a Yankee hat and a ball and glove comes in. ... I said, `Hey, tiger, the Yanks going to win today?' He said, `If they don't win today, Torrez will do it Tuesday.'

"If you can't trust a 10-year-old with a Yankee hat, you can't trust anybody."'

The Yankees won the World Series in six games.

That is a great worldview. I'll forgive him for Hillary,
ESPN's expert Baseball predictions

This will be nice to reference at season's end. Only 3 of the 25 pick my Yankees to win the World Series though more than 20 pick them to win the AL East. 11 pick the young and underachieving A's to finally win the big one.
Powell Warns Iran and Syria
Turning to Iran -- which President Bush has denounced as a member of an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and North Korea -- Powell said it must stop its support of terrorism against Israel and "Iran must stop its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and the ability to produce them."

Following up on an accusation last week by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld that Syria is allowing war material to flow into Iraq, Powell said "Syria faces a critical choice" -- whether to "continue its direct support for terrorism in the dying days" of the Iraqi government.

Rumsfeld has called Syria's actions "hostile" and Powell kept up the pressure with a warning that "Syria bears a responsibility for its choices and consequences."

We are there and we can invade either country at this the conclusion of this war. Where do they stand? This is their chance to decide their future. They can make nice or spend the rest of their short lives in a bunker.

Reporter Arnett: U.S. War Plan Has Failed

Journalist Peter Arnett, covering the war from Baghdad, told state-run Iraqi TV in an interview aired Sunday that the American-led coalition's first war plan had failed because of Iraq's resistance and said strategists are "trying to write another war plan."

The first Bush administration was unhappy with Arnett's reporting in 1991 for CNN, suggesting he had become a conveyor of propaganda. He was denounced for his reporting about an allied bombing of a baby milk factory in Baghdad that the military said was a biological weapons plant. The American military responded vigorously to the suggestion it had targeted a civilian facility, but Arnett stood by his reporting that the plant's sole purpose was to make baby formula.

This occurred to me when Dan Rather was interviewing Saddam a few weeks ago. Why don't these "objective" journalists ever ask dictators real questions? Instead they take the dictator at face value. But let an American official criticize them and they'll yell censorship. How in the world does Arnett know that the factory produced baby milk besides being told that? I’m sure Arnett would want more proof it were a U.S. factory being bombed. And how can Peter Arnett assess from Bagdad that the U.S. is writing another war plan? And what kept Peter Arnett from getting a regular gig on Iraqi state TV after the last war?

UPDATE: NBC Severs Ties With Journalist Peter Arnett
UPDATE #2 Daily Mirror newspaper hires fired journalist Peter Arnett
In the free world there will always be some publication who will freely publish a Marxist.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

The Day Reagan Was Shot (Atlantic Monthly, March 30, 2001)
On this day 22 years ago, an assassin almost prevented the greatest President of my lifetime from making the world a better place. This is an interesting story written two years ago by Richard Allen who was Reagan's national security adviser at the time. He recounts what happened that day through transcripts and memory.

All we knew in the first hour was that the President had been shot. We had virtually no information about the assailant or his motives, or about whether he had acted alone. Vice President Bush was in the air over Texas. (I remember vividly the image of Haig, in a trench coat, shouting over a bad connection, "George, it's Al ... turn around ... turn around!") Bush was on his way back, but he had no means of secure voice communications from his aircraft. The first assessments by the Pentagon revealed that more Soviet submarines than usual were off the East Coast.

I was in the 6th grade having two months prior gotten into trouble not returning after recess, because I was sitting in the Music room watching Reagan's inauguration. I knew at twelve it was history even before I understood Goldwater conservatives and the history that led to Reagan's election. I knew it was history because my business-owning dad told me that Reagan was someone different. He was a president who understood economics.

Dad said that Reagan's tax ideas would make it much easier for him to run his clothing store and it would be easier for others to start businesses and that would create jobs. He had recently complained that the local anchor department store in the mall was being bailed out by the city. His business was less glamorous, but profitable. The mall department store couldn't stay in business because the economy was lousy and people were cutting luxuries for utility. He griped that the city would never bail him out, but they could certainly put him out of business with their regulations and tax codes. In fact, it was his taxes that were being used to bail out his competitor. Jimmy Carter had done the same thing for Chrysler using tax dollars from Ford and GM. How was that fair to the businesses who were more efficient? This was an upside down world in which the small guy just couldn't survive with large taxes and a government that cherry picks businesses they want to see succeed. Dad knew Reagan would see things differently, but no one could have predicted how great Reagan was going to be.

The sympathy from getting shot probably helped him pass the tax cut over a Democrat controlled House of Representatives. And the tax cut was the centerpiece on which he built the economy and ruined the Soviets. Right now, the greatest living American doesn’t even recognize his own wife. He probably has forgotten all that he has done for us and why he did it. But I won’t forget him.


I've heard the criticisms.
1) Baseball is too slow
2) The Baseball Season lasts too long
3) They televise too many games so they seem unimportant.

The culture of baseball just isn't understood by non-fans. Baseball has the perfect game. Do they have the equivalent in football or basketball? No. There is no perfect way to play football or basketball. Baseball doesn't attain perfection often (less than 20 times in the entire history of MLB) but every pitcher in every game can strive for it. I was at David Cone's perfect game in 1999. The cynical Yankee fans that spent the game complaining about the team's shortcomings (they eventually won the World Series that year) shut their mouths and cheered like kids. We all cheered for what seemed too short a time. I wish I were still there cheering. Soon thoughts ran across my mind like maybe I should stop attending baseball games, because I will never see perfection again. But we watch baseball to see men strive for perfection, knowing that they won't attain it.

We watch to see if Randy Johnson can break Nolan Ryan's strikeout records or if Barry Bonds old legs can keep him young enough to catch Hank Aaron. In baseball, every great player is playing the retired great players and their statistics as much as the game in front of them. I remember my father talking about Mickey Mantle when I grew up with Graig Nettles and later with Don Mattingly. Now, I can talk about Mattingly when the discussion becomes Bernie Williams. Baseball is one long dialogue that cannot be ruined by strikes or economics. I will get angry, but I will always return.
Iraqi civilians feed hungry US marines
Sergeant Kenneth Wilson said Arabic-speaking US troops made contact with two busloads of Iraqis fleeing south. . . "They gave us eggs and potatoes to feed our marines and corpsmen. I feel the local population are grateful and they want to see an end to Saddam Hussein," he said. "It was a lovely, beautiful gesture."

Khairi Ilrekibi, 35, a passenger on one of the buses, which broke down near the marine position, said he could speak for the 20 others on board. In broken English he told a correspondent travelling with the marines: "We like Americans," adding that no one liked Saddam Hussein because "he was not kind."

He said another group of POWS, largely conscripts, had been moved south. "They told me they wanted to go to America after the war. I said where. They said California. I said why? They said the song Hotel California and they left singing Hotel California."

This is really why the terrorists hate us. People the world over, and especially in brutal regimes, love America. The internet and satellite TV means that despots can't control the messages being delivered to their subjects. Since our culture sends the message of freedom and opportunity, we pose the biggest threat.
Takoma the dolphin is Awol
“Why would they go missing when they have the best food and daily spruce-ups and health checks?” Two hours later Takoma had gone Awol. “Twenty-four hours is not unusual,” a nervous Petty Officer Whitaker said. “After all, he may meet some local company.”

Takoma has now been missing for 48 hours and the solitary figure of Petty Officer Whitaker could be seen yesterday patting the water, calling his name and offering his favourite fish, but there was no response.

Not unlike the Dolphins of Miami that are full of promise during summer training camp, but tend to disappoint by the end of the season.
The War for Liberalism (William Kristol, The Weekly Standard)

Bill Kristol is the loudest neo-conservative voice in America. I've been citing articles recently on the debate between Paleos and Neos. The Neos believe in a strong American presence overseas. Bill asserts here that the Democrats have fractured into two camps over the war and terrorism.
The Gephardt liberals are patriots. They supported the president in the run-up to this war, and strongly support the war now that it has begun. It would be misleading to call this group the Joe Lieberman liberals, because he was already too much of a hawk to be representative, but the group certainly includes Lieberman. It also includes Hillary Rodham Clinton, probably a majority of Senate Democrats, less than half of the House Democrats, Democratic foreign policy experts at places like the Brookings Institution and the Council on Foreign Relations, and a smaller number of liberal commentators and opinion leaders--most notably the Washington Post editorial page.

The other group includes the Teddy Kennedy wing of the Senate Democrats, the Nancy Pelosi faction of the House Democrats, a large majority of Democratic grass-roots activists, the bulk of liberal columnists, the New York Times editorial page, and Hollywood. These liberals--better, leftists--hate George W. Bush so much they can barely bring themselves to hope America wins the war to which, in their view, the president has illegitimately committed the nation. They hate Don Rumsfeld so much they can't bear to see his military strategy vindicated. They hate John Ashcroft so much they relish the thought of his Justice Department flubbing the war on terrorism. They hate conservatives with a passion that seems to burn brighter than their love of America, and so, like M. de Villepin, they can barely bring themselves to call for an American victory.

Interesting take, but I think in the case of Gebhardt and certainly Hillary Clinton, Presidential aspirations are the real motivator for supporting the war. Nancy Pelosi and Teddy Kennedy know they can't be President or defeated for re-election, so why not become a real opposition to Bush? Does anybody think that Hillary is more moderate than Pelosi and Kennedy?
History or Hysteria? (Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, March 28, 2003)
I took a drive to Washington to the National Cathedral on Sunday. Big mistake. All except one of the entrances were closed due to security concerns. . . A small statue of a kneeling Lincoln, who sent thousands into battle to eradicate slavery, was in the corner. A plaque of quotations from Churchill, about the need for sacrifice in war, was on the wall. So I was feeling somewhat good again — until I heard the pious sermon on “shock and awe.” In pompous tones the minister was deprecating the war effort, calling down calumnies upon the administration, and alleging the immoral nature of our nation at war.

Such a strange man at such a strange time, I thought. His entire congregation, by its own admission, is in danger from foreign terrorists (why else bar the gates?). His church is itself a monument to the utility of force for moral purposes. His own existence as a free-speaking, freely worshiping man of God is possible only thanks to the United States military — whose present mission he was openly deriding at the country’s national shrine.

This is just a small part of the piece Hanson writes about the human disconnect from the reality of war. This part interested me, because too many people live in their own vacuums. Freedom of religion to this vicar was purchased at no cost and it has always existed because we're a peaceful people. If his church is attacked, then the administration hasn't done enough. If the administration prosecutes a war to end Islamic terrorism, then Bush is doing the devil's work. It's as if this guy is more than willing to hold church services in a lockdown hoping that the redeemer returns before the next terrorist attack. Maybe we can't expect the average hippy on the streets to understand the doctrine of just war, they haven't grasped the principles of bathing yet. But a man who can rise to a position that he sermonizes in the National Cathedral should understand a little about his country's history. If a war for the survival of the American way of life isn't a just war, then this country has been immoral since 1776.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Editorial: Crackdown in Cuba / A reminder that Castro is still a tyrant
What the "Fidel Castro is really a cuddly agrarian reformer" group may have missed is that over the past week or so the Castro regime has arrested as many as 75 economists, librarians, journalists and human rights activists -- in sum, pretty much the active opposition to his regime. Some of them were arrested for being too much in communication with the wrong Americans, officials of the U.S. Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Cuba, where American diplomats are based absent U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Jesse Helms was right when he said that invading Haiti in the Mid 90s was a mistake when Cuba was a far better choice.
White House Persists in Alaska Refuge Fight Over Oil Drilling
The White House is turning its attention to the House in hopes of salvaging a key part of the president's energy strategy. Republicans fell two votes shy in the Senate of passing the legislation that could lead to removal of a 43-year-old ban on developing millions of barrels of oil from the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

If 99.9999999% of Americans will never get the opportunity to see this land, then why "protect it." Shouldn't we spend our money to protect land that people can visit? Isn't the whole purpose of conservation letting people enjoy the natural undeveloped lands? Or is conservation just protecting land just for the sake of protecting land? I know there is a religious faction of the environmental movement that sees the untouched earth as holy, but are they driving the whole environmental movement?

Resources are scarce and when we spend money to protect land or when we forgo the mining of natural resources we are spending scarce resources. We can’t protect everything, so therefore when we choose to protect the Alaskan Wilderness we are sacrificing the protection of something that more people can actually use. And doesn’t it make sense to drill for our oil as far away from civilization as possible? People here want to ban drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, because it is too close to our beaches. ANWR seems heaven sent for people who like visiting National Parks and hate to have drilling close to home.

Saddam sacks air defense commander: Britain
Briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, Prime Minister Tony Blair's official spokesman said Saddam had sacked his cousin, Musahim Saab al-Tikriti, and replaced him with Gen. Shahin Yasin Muhammad al-Tikriti.

The spokesman also said new, unspecified intelligence indicated that U.S. and British bombing may not have been to blame for explosions in two marketplaces in Baghdad this week.

The Blair spokesman said many Iraqi surface-to-air missiles "have been malfunctioning and many have failed to hit their targets and have fallen back onto Baghdad before exploding."

JuntoBoys intercepted this transmission earlier this morning.

VOICE: "This is the hardest job a dictator has to do. The regime has decided to make a change. You probably always knew that one day we would be toppled and I'd be looking for scapegoats. Don't let it bother you. If you can manager to survive my wrath, you'll probably wind up in Hollywood as a technical adviser for movie adaptation."
U.S. Teams Seek to Kill Iraqi Elite
U.S. covert teams have been operating in urban areas in Iraq trying to kill members of President Saddam Hussein's inner circle, including Baath Party officials and Special Republican Guard commanders, according to U.S. and other knowledgeable officials.

The covert teams, from the CIA's paramilitary division and the military's special operations group, include snipers and demolition experts schooled in setting house and car bombs. They have reportedly killed more than a handful of individuals, according to one knowledgeable source. They have been in operation for at least one week.

Rambo has landed. Notice that these guys don't waste their time killing average soldiers, but are trying to kill the bigwigs to end this thing and save lives. Of course, these activities will be described as morally equal to the suicide bombings by the unthinking.
Suicide Bomb Kills 4 U.S. Troops in Iraq
A suicide bomber driving a taxi killed four American soldiers Saturday at a checkpoint in south-central Iraq. An Iraqi official said the bomber was an army officer, and threatened such attacks would become "routine military policy."

"This is just the beginning," said Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan.

I don't know how you train an American soldier to deal with this. Americans are risking their lives in order to save Iraqi lives; otherwise we'd be bombing civilian targets to win this war quickly. In the meantime, their army is dressing as civilians in order to fight unnoticed. The United Nations loves every minute of it. In this moral relativist world, we cannot discount what Americans are risking for the freedom of mankind.

Friday, March 28, 2003


Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Thursday told the media how George Bush thrice sought his help in the war on Iraq, and how he refused the American President.

Vajpayee told Bush that India believed war was not a solution to any problem and so could not help. India is also trying to consolidate the support of many countries to prevent escalation of the battle between US and Iraq, Vajpayee said.

"I have written to the heads of many countries including China, Russia, France and USA as we are very seriously concerned with this war which goes against the United Nations," Vajpayee said.

Just last year we stepped in to prevented a nuclear situation between Indian and Pakistan. The United Nations didn't stick their neck into that one. I can only think a lot of these countries have stopped taking us seriously after 8 years of Clinton waffling. I don't think they appreciate Bush's resolve or his words when he told the world that they we either with us or against us. A number of countries are going to learn that their actions have consequences.
Wounded troops say Iraqis fought in disguise
The soldiers, a Marine corporal and two army sergeants, told harrowing stories of their experiences Thursday at a military hospital here, where they are being treated for bullet and shrapnel wounds. They are among 24 soldiers who have been flown here from field hospitals in and near Iraq.
These men were injured during two ambushes last weekend by armed Iraqis who were dressed in traditional robes. In the first attack, Sergeant Jamie Villafane said he captured four Iraqis, who took off their robes as they surrendered to reveal Iraqi army uniforms underneath.

In the second, a Marine unit patrolling a bridge in the southern town of An Nasiriyah came under fire from people in civilian clothes carrying AK-47 assault rifles. It was not clear who they were. Lance Corporal Joshua Menard, who was shot in the hand during that attack, said he was surprised, not just by the fact that his assailants wore civilian clothes, but by the ferocity of their resistance.

This war could get ugly for the Iraqis. If the line between civilians and military is blurred then everyone will be fair game. We've tried very hard to limit civilian casualties with our surgical strikes. At some point we may be forced to consider total war. Bush won't lose this war. He isn't going to have another Vietnam. He's neither ashamed nor shy about using the firepower that we have. Iraq can go quietly or face more destruction than necessary. It’s up to them.

Artificial stupidity (Thomas Sowell, March 28, 2003)
Creating mindless followers is one of the most dangerous things that our public schools are doing. Young people who know only how to vent their emotions, and not how to weigh opposing arguments through logic and evidence, are sitting ducks for the next talented demagogue who comes along in some cult or movement, including movements like those that put the Nazis in power in Germany.

At one time, the educator's creed was: "We are here to teach you how to think, not what to think." Today, schools across the country are teaching students what to think -- whether about the environment, the war, social policy, or whatever.

If students haven't been taught to think, then they are at the mercy of events, as well as being at the mercy of those who know how to take advantage of their ignorance and their emotions.

There are any number of problems with public education, but is any problem bigger than this one? Just like NPR has the luxury to espouse views outside of the mainstream because they don't have to compete in a free market, schools and teachers can use their classroom as a platform for their social consciousness rather than education. How can parents guide their own kid’s education if they can’t control where their kid will attend class? Only a free market education system will allow parents to control what they are already paying for. It will force schools to teach academics instead of fashionable politically correct nonsense and it will keep the nutty teachers from hijacking the system with their pet ideas.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

France Continues to Exist
France's attempt to repair relations with America and Britain over Iraq backfired yesterday when Dominique de Villepin, their foreign minister, refused to say which side he supported.

Embarrassed French officials tried to salvage the situation by pointing out that, on French television on Monday, M de Villepin said: "Clearly, we hope the US will win this war quickly."

Read the rest of the article if you like to watch embarassed politicians backtracking.

Top Rumsfeld adviser (Richard Perle) resigns over ethics
"With our nation at war and American troops risking their lives to protect our freedom and liberate Iraq, I am dismayed that your valuable time, and that of others in the Department of Defense and the administration might be burdened by the controversy surrounding my chairmanship of the Defense Policy Board," Perle wrote in a letter Wednesday to Rumsfeld.

Perle, one of George W. Bush's foreign policy advisers during the 2000 presidential campaign, was hired last week by the bankrupt Global Crossing telecommunications company to help it restructure a deal to sell a majority holding in the company to Hutchison Telecommunications and government-run Singapore Technologies Telemedia. The United States government -- particularly the Defense Department and the FBI -- has national security concerns about the deal, according to The New York Times. It would put Global Crossing's fiber optics network -- which the military uses -- under Chinese ownership.

Those of you who follow these things closely know that Richard Perle was a vey important adviser and war hawk within the administration. Now that the war is already begun his loss isn't quite as signifigant, but his influence on war matters cannot be underestimated. I don't know why Perle would involve himself with such a company in the wake of world events, but who knows why anybody does anything anymore. I'm glad he decided to resign rather than spend months explaining himself. China! They're not much nicer to their people than Iraq, Perle.

Terry McAuliffe that leader of the Democratic party guy once accepted $18 million from Global Crossing, but he didn't bother to resign when it became known. Like Clinton, he decided to stay and fight for the American people.
Al-Qaeda fighting with Iraqis, British claim
Near Basra, Iraq: British military interrogators claim captured Iraqi soldiers have told them that al-Qaeda terrorists are fighting on the side of Saddam Hussein's forces against allied troops near Basra.

At least a dozen members of Osama bin Laden's network are in the town of Az Zubayr where they are coordinating grenade and gun attacks on coalition positions, according to the Iraqi prisoners of war.

Does that mean the smelly guy who was protesting on Orange Avenue will relent? He said that Bush's war against Iraq had nothing to do with 911. He said the al-Qaeda was getting away with murder while Bush finished daddy’s war. Could it be that Islamic terrorists are all fighting for the same thing?
Media miscalculate (Jonah Goldberg, Orlando Sentinel, March 27, 2003)
The 300-mile coalition advance to the outskirts of Baghdad in not even five days of ground war was arguably the fastest in military history.

In that time, coalition forces secured all of Iraq's southern oil fields. The 500 oil-well fires many feared were contained to less than a dozen. The massive oil spill into the Gulf, planned by Saddam Hussein, was foiled. The missile launchers in Western Iraq, which could have ignited a disastrous war with Israel, were taken out of commission. Strategically vital cities, including Umm Qasr and Basra, were contained or captured.

There is every reason to believe that we are killing at least 100 enemy soldiers for one American life lost. Thousands of precision-guided bombs were sent into Baghdad -- attacks so accurate that even the Iraqis set civilian casualties at about 200.

It smells like. . . like. . . (Takes deep Breath) Victory.

In response to dave mattews who said:
Saddam Hussein is a barbaric murderous dictator. I wish the world were free of him. But the answer is not to bomb this great culture of Iraq out of existence to stop him. Why must the children of Iraq die by the thousands to stop a tyrant? It is not justice. And if we kill him what will we achieve? We will have taken the most unpopular leader in the Middle East and turned him into the greatest martyr radical Islam has ever had. The U.N. weapons inspectors must be allowed to do their job thoroughly and any military action should be internationally agreed upon. We must not allow our government to turn us into a rogue nation.

I fear that our true motivation is about oil and our own flailing economy; about the failure to destroy Al Qaeda and about revenge. It is criminal to put our servicemen and women in harm's way and to put the lives of so many civilians on the line for the misguided frustrations of the Bush administration.

Bottom line: this war is wrong and this war is un-American.

I love dave mathews… he is a brilliant musician, but he smokes A LOT OF WEED for me to take any _critical_ thoughts of his _seriously_

According to polls, 75-80% of America support this war. And only 10-15% oppose it.

(A minority in opposition, but in America the minority still has a legitimate voice regardless of its size.)

Here is the great irony of the war and war protests…

Anti-war protestors in America (and in other parts of the world) are using their freedoms to oppose an action to bring freedom to the Iraqi people.

Are we the only country that should be allowed to speak freely?

(In Iraq if you speak out against the government they cut your tongue off)

In other words, by opposing this war you are stepping on the potential rights of Iraqis. _That_ is UN-American.

As far as bombing ’this great culture of Iraq out of existence”… we could do that easily with missiles from the comfort of a military base in America.. We could have done that months ago and saved many American and British lives.. but we did not and we will not.

We are putting our soldiers at increased risk to make every effort to protect innocent civilians, even when their army raises a white flag and then opens fire. Even when they dress in civilian clothing and then open fire, even when they put on American uniforms and shoot their fellow Iraqis who are trying to surrender…

Here is a fact:

Saddam has killed more muslims than anyone else in the history of Islam. With bullets, with gas, with knives, with torture, with a plastic shredding machine… these are all facts reported to us by Iraqis that have escaped. If anyone is trying to destroy a culture…

Now, let’s talk about “the people of Iraq”

The people of Iraq… are really three people. Ba’ath, suni, and shia. Three tribes of what we call Arabs..

Iraq, the country, is largely an invention of the French government. About 60 years ago, French mapmakers under the direction of the French government drew lines on a map and then told these people that this is their new home. Well, sorry, but these three tribes HATE each other and have for centuries. I guess no one told those French map makers.

Suni (in the north, the kurds) and Shia (in the south) tribes are on our side 100% in this war, that’s two-thirds of Iraq. Ba’ath tribe is controlled by Saddam. At the point of a gun they support him. When his gun is taken away we will see a different story.

How much money has France made off this country called Iraq? Billions. Here is a breakdown.

First, they have large (read- 6 billion dollar) oil contracts with Iraq. They buy oil and sell iraq weapons.

They oppose this war because when saddam is killed, they will have to renegotiate their contracts and probably pay more money for their oil.. and no longer have a country to sell their military gear to… as a future iraq will be totally disarmed.

The Iraqi air force has two types of fighter planes. Russian made MiGs and FRENCH made fighter aircraft.

Hmmm, what were the two nations that blocked the war in the UN???

Oh yeah, Russia and France. Russia is still selling arms and weapons to iraq. Shipments took place as little as six months ago. some friends, huh?

These two countries make a lot of money off of Iraq, at the expense of the Iraqi people. They profit from the torture and starvation of millions.

These are facts. I challenge anyone reading this to find out for themselves.

This IS a war about oil and money.

But look closely. Who is profiting the most from this war?

America will spend as much as 80 Billion dollars to free the Iraqi people. And that does not include all costs after the war to rebuild and reestablish a peaceful Gvt. Yes, American contractors will get a lot of those jobs. And they will deserve them because we were the country brave enough to stand up to the UN when they wanted to talk and talk and talk, but DO nothing.

However, the UN serves a purpose. Talk first. Try EVERYTHING that you can to avoid war… and that is what the UN has done for the past 50 or 60 years… they talk and talk and then they pass resolutions.

But what good are these resolutions if there is nobody willing to enforce them?

Over a period of 12 years, the UN passed 17 resolutions condemming saddam These resolutions were written beautifully, debated over at great length and then put in a file cabinet.

What good did they do? Did they stop the gassing of 100,000 kurds? The genocide of innocent muslim people?

Laws are worthless if there is nobody to enforce them. Why do we have police in our civilization? Because without them many people would not follow the laws.

Time to bust saddams ass. HARD.


Is Saddam connected to Osama and his gang of terrorists? Probably. Do we have proof that saddam was connected to the attacks on 9-11? Probably. I imagine the CIA has proof… it will come out after the war. The smoking gun is lying on saddams desk. We will find it.

And then France will be crying and moaning about wanting to be allowed to help rebuild Iraq. F--- you France. If it wasn’t for the American military, you’d still be under the Third Reich.
Blix Has No Evidence Iraq Has Used Banned Weapons
"I didn't think they would do it because, first of all, the world would say that they were liars," he said. Baghdad has denied having any weapons of mass destruction.

"And in the second place, it would also then change, I think, the attitude of the world toward the armed conflict. The skepticism about the armed conflict would, I think, give way to one of greater understanding," he said.

Oh Really. This position is actually a subtle change from his earlier opinion. Now he is saying that they won't use them. Before he said that there was no evidence they had any. Even Blix would have a hard time arguing against their existence after this. It's time for Dr. Blix to admit that further inspections would have only yielded what the U.S. Army has already found, and therefore the war is consistent with U.N. Resolution 1441. But Dr. Blix is naive thinking they won't use them. Remember, Iraq has never cared about world opinion. If they did, they wouldn't have manufactured these weapons or invaded Kuwait for that matter. Didn't Blix take that college course where they teach about despots bent on world domination? I think some of those other guys did some things contrary to good public relations too.

A group of Americans/Britons called Voices in the Wilderness were given airtime on NPR today. The group is in Iraq monitoring the bombing campaign. They have been loud opponents of the sanctions for some time now, and one would hope that they would embrace the invasion as the first step to normalizing Iraq, but no.

This group already has their villain all picked out. It’s the United States Government, of course.

The girl being interviewed said they were going to hospitals and taking account of the civilian wounded. She went on and on about civilian casualties and talking about the children who are hurt.

What was annoying about this report is that the NPR reporter asked none of the obvious questions.

1) Were the injuries caused by U.S. weapons or Iraqi weapons?
2) Did you see U.S. bombs hit these people or did the Iraqi government tell you that?
3) Do you know if the people hurt were in residential areas where the Iraqis are storing weapons?
4) Can you be sure the wounded people weren’t being used as human shields by the government?
5) Do you worry that the Iraqi government could use your group as a propaganda tool?
6) Finally, if the United Nations lifted the sanctions on Iraq and the U.S. decided not to invade, would the people in Kuwait be any better off than the people you worry about in Iraq?

These groups are suspicious because they can find moral relativism between any two-bit dictator and the United States. The fact that they are only interested in U.S. atrocities and ready to look the other way at Iraqi wrongdoing demonstrates what frauds they are. The reporter had a chance to get them on record for the real questions, but instead the reporter took everything the girl said to be fact. Is that news reporting or is that a cleverly disguised anti-American agenda.


I listen to NPR nearly everyday. I like the long in-depth news stories, and I usually get a laugh at the lefty fringe groups they give airtime to. It’s much more fun to see these groups on O’Reilly, but they rarely have the guts to go on there. Even their sports coverage has a leftward bent, but I like to listen as an alternative to the conservative talk radio I hear in the afternoon.

So, the question comes up few months as to whether I should become a member. There have been times that I have come close, but becoming a member won’t solve the inherent problems with Public Radio.

Every three months they get on their knees and plead for money. Why?

They have no standard commercial advertising that’s true, but they have a number of underwriters. Could it be that the programs cost more money than the revenue. Probably, but why is that?

The market doesn’t lie. It’s obvious that they aren’t delivering what enough consumers want. Some will say that their coverage is too sublime for most listeners and it is to an extent, but it could also lie in their bent for socialism.

Why should I financially support an organization whose philosophy is rooted in getting me to pay more taxes and support a bigger government? It’s the same reason I refuse to join the union at work. The AFL-CIO is just going to give the money to big government Democrats. I believe in smaller government and lower taxes and I don’t want to willingly support any group whose goal is contrary to mine.

The paradox is that NPR's “enlightened” thinking about higher taxes is probably due to the fact that their salaries are above market level. If the people on NPR made salaries commiserate to the money that NPR brought in, I bet they would be for smaller government and less taxes. This would be especially true if the government gave them no money at all. It's easy to see the world from such lofty heights when the working men and women of this country support through taxes or utopian bent.

I find their liberal slants interesting and mostly funny, but supporting them with my pocket book is like burning money, because it only encourages them to cash their big paychecks and push public policy towards bigger government. They'll have to settle for the money that is taken away from me by the point of a gun.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Our Coalition (CONDOLEEZZA RICE, Wall Street Jounral, March 26, 2003)
Nearly 50 nations are committed to ridding Saddam Hussein's regime of all its deadly, destructive and illegal weapons. To put this in perspective, the combined population of coalition countries is approximately 1.23 billion people, with a combined gross domestic product of approximately $22 trillion. These countries are from every continent on the globe, representing every major race, religion, and ethnicity in the world.

Just what I thought, unilateral.

Bill Clinton Urges U.S. to Support Bush (New York Newsday, March 26, 2003)
"Whatever our politics at this hour, we all should want them and their commander in chief to know that we're praying for them and pulling for them, for their success in their mission, for their safety, for as little loss of life as possible."

Hilarious! He'll have every possible statement on record for whatever outcome may occur.
Civilians killed in Baghdad missile attack (L.A. Daily News, March 26, 2003)
Two cruise missiles struck a residential area in Baghdad on Wednesday, killing 14 people, Iraqi defense officials said - the worst single reported instance of civilian deaths since the U.S. bombing campaign began a week ago.

Thirty others were reported wounded in the attack, which took place around midday in the heavily populated northern Baghdad neighborhood of Al-Shaab. The area consists of homes and about 30 shops, mostly inexpensive restaurants and auto repair shops.

It's amazing to live in a country that has a press that yells censorship if anyone questions their reporting, but will take a quote from a controlled totalitarian government and treat it as gospel.
Associated Press Television News video showed a large crater in the street, a smoldering building, demolished cars, and bodies wrapped in plastic sheeting in the back of a pickup truck. . . Hundreds of people milled around on the street in front of the gutted market. Some of them shook their fists in anger.

Oh, I'm sure reporters just happened upon this video, and it wasn't in any way controlled by the government. No chance that those bodies were victims of Saddam's hand.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, reacting to reports of the civilian deaths in Baghdad, said he was "getting increasingly concerned by humanitarian casualties in this conflict. I would want to remind all belligerents that they should respect international humanitarian law and take all necessary steps to protect civilians," Annan told reporters at U.N. headquarters.

We really need to be reminded by this fool? How about telling the Iraqis to get their military equipment away from the civilians?
U.S. Central Command said in a statement. . . "In some cases, such damage is unavoidable when the (Iraqi) regime places military weapons near civilian areas."

This quote is for the ages:
"We are determined to defend our capital after what we have seen of our brothers' resistance in the south," Baghdad truck driver Ahmed Falah said. "The whole world is with us now, even the weather, because the sandstorm has brought benefits to us. They are the storms of God."

Does that mean if by some off chance that we defeat these guys, God is really on our side?

When you talk to Iraqis away from Saddam you get a different story.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Axis of Ego(Robert Novak, American Conservative March 24, 2003)

Recently, I cited David Frum's long article about Neo-Consevatives (Frum being one) versus Paleo-Conservatives (Bob Novak being one). Here Bob Novak reviews Frum's new book about his experiences as a speech writer in the Bush White House.
Senior colleagues say Frum had personal contact with Bush on no more than three or four occasions, and he does not seem to understand George W. Bush very well. Of a president who may be more basically conservative than Ronald Reagan, Frum writes, “He was not at all an ideological man.” He contends Bush “does curiously resemble [John F.] Kennedy”; as someone who knew both, I can think of no two more dissimilar men.

Novak seems to spend much of the review defending the President from a "disloyal" Frum. Novak, of course, was mentioned a few times in Frum's last article. Now that conservatives control Congress and the White House the only war left is the ideological one. The infighting seems more vigorous than the fighting between the parties. I think the Neos will win out, because a world economy is going to mean engagement. We could always isolate ourselves before the days of emerging markets and American investment in foreign lands. But the world is different now. In fact, that investment is what will keep us a world power and give us the ability to defend ourselves.
Texas political titans clash despite party ties

An interesting article for political junkies. It's about how Tom Delay House Majority Leader and Seantor Kay Bailey Hutchinson may be conservative Republicans, but they still find ways to disagree.
Hutchison pushed for improved airport security long before the September 11 attacks, but that made her adamant about converting airport screeners to federal employees. DeLay argued hard for screening by private contractors under government oversight.
DeLay is responsible for a ban on spending federal money to build light rail in Houston, while Hutchison has pressed hard to win money for it.

Hutchison voted for the Senate's bill banning a procedure that opponents call partial-birth abortion. But she also backed a resolution affirming the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade ruling upholding a woman's right to an abortion.

DeLay is an unswerving opponent of abortion and has made a ban on partial-birth abortion a priority on the House agenda.

My guess is that Delay is trying to stop the onslaught of bigger government, while Hutchinson isn't all that ideological.
Pope Endorses Antiwar Movement
He cited the "vast contemporary movement in favor of peace" around the world and said he took "comfort and hope" from the efforts for peace by various religions.

Is this the same pope who helped Ronald Reagan defeat communism? Is this the same Pope who went to Poland and supported Solidarity? The group running these protests, A.N.S.W.E.R. is a part of the World Workers party, ie, the communists. Most of the other protesters have gone home. I can only think that his health has failed to the point where other members of the Vatican are writing this stuff.

Maybe they're moving leftward to help deflect the criticism of the recent priest scandals. It wouldn't be the fist time someone shielded themselves behind liberalism to avoid taking a shot on the moral front. What a shame.

Sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad's meltdown

Here's an update of that Beltway Sniper freak. A long look at a misspent life.

Peace-Lovin' Tim Robbins (New York Post, March 25, 2003)

You might remember the story last week about Susan Sarandon's Republican Mom.

Elsewhere at the Vanity Fair bash, Tim Robbins confronted Washington Post columnist Lloyd Grove, who recently interviewed Susan Sarandon's mother, a rock-ribbed Republican who complained that the leftist parents of her 13-year-old grandson were brainwashing him. Robbins warned Grove: "If you ever write about my family again, I will hunt you down."

When Robbins is faced with a threat does he resort to peace and love? No. When Robbins wants to protect his family he doesn’t wait for something bad to happen. He resorts to pre-emptive action. When Bush wants to protect the American people he’s fighting an unjust war.

They had old guns but 2002 gas masks, chemical decontamination kits and atropine - an antidote for nerve gas, reported CBS correspondent Jim Axelrod, traveling with the Army's 3d Infantry Division south of Karbala.

"I would guess they were planning on using chemical warfare. They may or may not use it but they were ready for it," Sgt. Jennifer Raichle told him.

A captured Iraqi soldier said he believed that chemical weapons were hidden at a nearby depot, along with conventional arms and chemical gear, and U.S. forces will check it out today, the report added.

They'd rather spend their money on gas masks, eh? I can't wait to see the way the anti-war crowd wiggles out of this one. I got it. “They were only planning to use chemical weapons for defense.”

Monday, March 24, 2003

Iraqi TV Shows Two Men Said to Be Captured U.S. Pilots
Gen. Tommy Franks, the U.S. war commander, confirmed that a helicopter did not return from its mission Sunday and that its two-man crew was missing: Chief Warrant Officer Ronald D. Young Jr., 26, of Lithia Springs, Ga., and Chief Warrant Officer David S. Williams, 30, of Orlando, Fla.

What goes through your head when a person who can kill you at any moment stands over you? These guys were downed, captured and paraded in front of TV cameras in one day. I live in the same town as David Williams. We have probably watched movies in the same theatres, walked in the same parks, and ate in the same restaurants. The sacrifice is not theoretical. These guys are heroes.
Hollywood's Anti-War Protestors: Idealism Or Career Promotion?

As long as the Oscars are fresh I might as will cite this interesting article about Hollywood and politics. I share his premise that Hollywood people are probably more divided on the issue than we know. But his conclusion that Hollywood people keep quiet because they worry about overseas box office returns seems too simplistic to me. I think that their reticence is more complex than that.
Director Moore Scolds Bush from Oscar Stage

Wagging his finger from the stage as he was both applauded and booed by the assembled celebrities, Moore said, "We are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you."

"We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where we have fictitious election results, that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons," Moore said.

Though he got a standing ovation for winning, Moore received more boos than cheers when he derided Bush. The Hollywood celebrities mostly sat on their hands. Harrison Ford seemed to be laughing at the surrel nature of the whole thing.

The other nominees mentioned the war in way that wouldn't get them in trouble with anyone. Best Actor Adrien Brody leaned into territory that seemed dovish but ended with hopes that a friend who was fighting in Kuwait would return safely with his men, an idea everyone could cheer. Best Actress Winner Nicole Kidman may have made the bravest statement of the night when she reminded people of 911 and the war all in one breath, saying that a lot of people have lost loved ones in both. It was a rare Hollywood admission that both of these events are related.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Unpatriotic Conservatives (David Frum, National Review, March 19, 2003)

When I thought I knew politics well in the mid 1990s, I was surprised when candidate Patrick Buchanan appeared as a guest on This Week with David Brinkley and George Will went after him harder than anyone. I didn't understand why Will would be so adversarial to Buchanan when they were both conservatives. I didn't understand the nuances of conservative thought and how different brands of the ideology were at war for the future of the movement. This article by David Frum is a long but interesting history of that disagreement.

Lately, it has been much easier to see who leans more conservative in Hollywood. They always act perplexed by what's going on in the world instead of commenting on it.

Dennis Quaid, who won for his supporting role as a gay husband, said he did want to "politicize" the Independent Spirits." "It's a strange time for all of us," he told reporters backstage. Quaid was one of the few guests not wearing a peace lapel pin; he explained that he had just flown in from a shooting in Montreal and was a little disoriented.

Quaid, it may be remember was quoted after Bush beat Gore in 2000 as saying flippantly, "Too Bad." You may also remember those past Oscar shows when Quaid and Meg Ryan were two of the few people not wearing Aids ribbons in a sea of red. Has Aids been defeated? I don't see many ribbons these days. Quaid has never come out and said he is conservative. He certainly doesn't want that kind of "negative" publicity, but I'm sure he is uncomfortable with the typical Hollywood left. Otherwise he would probably play their game a little more.

Sly Stallone had an uncomfortable situation recently, too. I don't have the link, but he wouldn’t commit his feelings around the other celebrities that were anti-war. He was stunned by the war, but wouldn't really elaborate as to what that means. His Rambo movies certainly show his political bent, but he is striving to the apolitical now that his career is waning. He’s been in talks to make a new Rambo movie for Miramax in which he gets Bin Laden, but he may have misinterpreted Hollywood's shock at 911 for a willingness to make the kinds of conservative movies that were fashionable in the 1980s. If he wants to make that movie, he'll have to tackle it with a very narrow approach that doesn't endorse Bush's larger war on terrorism. He'll have to start the narrow approach by remaining on the fence during the Iraqi campaign.

I think that Hollywood Conservatives have had to re-invent themselves since the early 1990s. I’m working on a piece that will deal with that thesis. Coming Soon . . .

Serbia Accuses NATO of War Crimes (September 18, 2000, Associated Press)

Here's a recent history flashback. . .
A Belgrade court accused President Clinton and other leaders of NATO nations of war crimes Monday in a trial intended to resurrect memories of the alliance's bombing campaign ahead of elections in Yugoslavia.

Besides Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, those indicted include U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, as well as NATO's former Secretary-General Javier Solana and retired commander Gen. Wesley Clark.

Last month, Milutinovic accused senior NATO officials and Western leaders of "inciting an aggressive war and committing war crimes against a civilian population." The 120-page indictment included charges of use of illegal means of warfare, attempted murder and "violation of the territorial integrity" of Yugoslavia.

This is the same argument that is being used by war protestors now. But why were they not marching before? Because Bill Clinton was president. This anti-war movement especially in Hollywood is nothing but an un-paid political ad for whatever Democrat is running against Bush in 2004.

As Oscars Near, Hollywood Blasts Iraq War

In a star-studded luncheon at the Independent Spirit Awards, the arthouse movie industry's version of the Oscars, celebrities blasted President Bush and the American-led war against Iraq.

Actor/filmmaker Mike White, who won for his screenplay for the Jennifer Aniston black comedy "The Good Girl," said, "Let's use a little more spirit this year to get Bush out of office."

American Muslim soldier grenade attack on a US military camp kills one

Three grenades were rolled into three tents housing military leaders of the 101st Airborne Division on Saturday night at Camp Pennsylvania, near the Iraqi border, said Sky correspondent Stuart Ramsay, who is in the base.

"As the man who carried out the attack moved away there was some shooting. He was shot in the leg.

Eleven soldiers who were seriously hurt were flown out of the camp by helicopter. . . Ramsay said a criminal investigation is now being carried out.

I don't want to see this trial on Court TV. I don't want to hear about his storied childhood. We're at war. He should be tried in military court, if convicted, he should be shot.


UPDATE #2 Second Serviceman Dies From Grenade Attack

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Conscripts shoot their own officers rather than fight

IRAQI conscripts shot their own officers in the chest yesterday to avoid a fruitless fight over the oil terminals at al-Faw. British soldiers from 40 Commando’s Charlie Company found a bunker full of the dead officers, with spent shells from an AK47 rifle around them.

These were the men (the officers) who had left their soldiers hungry, poorly armed and almost destitute for weeks, judging by the state we had seen them in, while appearing to keep the money for themselves.

“We started engaging their positions with GPMGs (general purpose machineguns) when I noticed this white flag go up,” he said. “I didn’t know whether it was a trick or not, but I approached the trench anyway, probably a pretty silly thing to do if I think about it.

“But as soon as I saw their faces I knew they were genuine. They actually looked very relieved they didn’t have to fight any more. And they became very pleased to see us when they realised we weren’t going to do them any harm.”

If it takes an illegal war to give people back their country, then we're playing the part of Robin Hood.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Chirac to resist control of postwar Iraq by US allies

Jacques Chirac, French president, on Friday ended the fragile truce at the European Union summit in Brussels with a strong attack on the "illegal" US-British attack on Iraq.

Illegal? What law was that again? The United Nations isn't a lawmaking body, but a place for mutual understanding and negotiations. You'd think that every U.S. military operation was approved by the U.N. when this was only the second time we have asked for their counsel.

"France will not accept a resolution that would legitimise military intervention and give the US and British the powers of administration in Iraq," he said.

Blair is going to face a lot of pressure to go through the U.N. but if Chirac keeps this up, he will be off the hook.

By attacking a nation that has not attacked us and that does not pose an immediate threat to international peace and security, the Administration has violated the United Nations Charter and opened a new and shameful chapter in US history. . . To justify the war, the President has invoked the doctrine of "preventive" war, under which the United States is to be the sole judge of that doctrine's legitimacy and application. Thus, the war is about more than Iraq; it is about the character of our society and the international order in which we live. The Administration hopes that a quick victory will not only silence critics and confer an ex post facto legitimacy on the war but also give momentum to its larger political agenda. But even if there are minimal casualties and devastation, that will not justify overturning international norms developed over sixty years. Nor can it legitimize a worldview that will make Americans the target of international outrage and make the world less secure.

This is just about the sort of thing you would have read in 1937, had Winston Churchill been Prime Minister of Great Britain and decided to defeat the Nazi's before they ran roughshod over Europe.

In America, in the weeks and years ahead, this movement confronts several historic challenges. In the long term it must build an alternative foreign policy and sustain its dedication to a nonimperial future. In the short term it must organize to remove the Bush Administration from office and elect new leaders dedicated to international cooperation and peace.

Ah, but this is the thing that the left can never answer. What do thoughtful leaders do to foster cooperation and peace when tyrants like Saddam Hussein ignore 17 United Nations resolutions? Great Britain made this mistake once. France made this mistake twice. And the Nation Magazine is willing to make this mistake during every conflict right up until the time that an invading force is shutting down their printing press.
Don't Go Back to the U.N. (Charles Krauthammer)

Why in God's name would we want to re-empower the French in deciding the postwar settlement? Why would we want to grant them influence over the terms, the powers, the duration of an occupation bought at the price of American and British blood? France, Germany and Russia did everything they could to sabotage your policy before the war. Will they want to see it succeed after the war?

If we're going to negotiate terms, it should be with allies who helped us, who share our vision and our purposes. Not with France, Germany, Russia and China, which see us -- you -- as the threat, and whose singular purpose will be to subvert any victory.

There were wars and truces and treaties before the United Nations was created -- as there will be after its demise. No need to formally leave the organization, Mr. President. Just ignore it. Without us, it will wither away.

Krauthammer is so right, but Tony Blair continues to need the cover of the United Nations to keep in good standing with the Labor Party. George Bush agrees with Charles Krauthammer I'm sure, but right now he needs to keep the bargains that bound the coalition. I much better like the idea of private companies bidding on the re-building effort. And I want to see no part of the French there.

DNC asks party to rally behind Daschle

"Democratic leaders are standing up to Bush; Make sure you stand up for them!" ---- "Republicans will stop at nothing to gain a political advantage from this military conflict," said an e-mail yesterday.

Do you remember how Clinton would give a speech for any positive American achievement as if to attach himself to it? The funniest one was the speech he gave when Scientists were mapping the human genome. His attitude was that he was some sort of Godfather of the whole project. These same people that say Bush is going to get political gain from the war are the ones who were critical of him all the way to Iraq. If they wanted to share the credit, they should have joined the cause. Now that Bush has worked his way through the U.N. process and has two congressional authorizations, and is prosecuting the war, they cry that he will get credit. He deserves the credit for standing up to a shortsighted world and opposition party. If the Democrats wanted the credit, they could have taken care of this mess in the 1990s when our embassies and military ships were bombed. You have to risk your popularity and do tough things to be a great President. Watching poll numbers and reacting to attacks with a measured response may get you good press in the New York Times, but it won't resonate with the American people or with history.

"Now is one of those times when we are all standing shoulder to shoulder," said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut. "President Bush is a Republican. I'm a Democrat. But at this moment there's not an inch of distance between us."

Lieberman is another matter. His unwavering support for the war makes him ample competition for Bush in 2004. He's either shown great character (which isn't rare) or shrewd political savvy (which hasn't been rare since the 2000 election). He is the only Democratic candidate that I think is more interested in National Security than being President. But can Lieberman please enough high-octane liberals to win the nomination? That's the question.
Anti-War Groups Throw Protests Into High Gear

Anti-war protesters are living up to their promise to ramp up demonstrations after the United States launched the introduction to its full-blown attack against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But some experts say the demonstrations may compromise homeland security, particularly when the nation is on high alert.

"If it takes 30 to 40 police officers to keep order at a demonstration and arrest people for civil disobedience … they're not out on the street looking for the bad guys," David Cid, a former FBI counterterrorism expert and current president of Salus International security firm, told

I could understand the protests in the period before we took action, because they may have had an effect on the policy. But what in the world are the demonstrations proving now? Okay, some people support repressive dictators more than Republican Presidents. We get it. Now you're free to go home and let the cops find the people who are trying to kill us.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Random thoughts (Thomas Sowell)

I can't help but cite Sowell at every opportunity. He is of sound mind and uses humor very effectively. Here are some short thoughts from his column today:

If CBS had had Dan Rather during World War II, instead of Edward R. Murrow, perhaps it could have broadcast an interview with Adolf Hitler, who would have explained how he had been misunderstood and how he and FDR should debate their differences publicly instead of having all those troops landing at Normandy.

Why do actors -- people whose main talent is faking emotions -- think that their opinions should be directing the course of political events in the real world? Yet it is a mistake that they have been making as far back as John Wilkes Booth.

Much of what is promoted as "critical thinking" in our public schools is in fact uncritical negativism towards the history and institutions of America and an uncritical praise of the cultures of domestic minorities and of foreign countries..

Most people do not realize that Winston Churchill was a pariah in the 1930s, for telling people what they didn't want to hear -- namely that Britain needed to build up its military forces to deal with the threat that Hitler and the Nazis represented. What we are seeing today in the attempts to ridicule or demonize President Bush is nothing new.

Suspensions For Flag Burning At School

A small group of students watched as three others burned a canvas theater prop that resembled a French flag on the sidewalk school Tuesday afternoon.

The students said they were protesting France's opposition to an an American invasion of Iraq.

"The French actions have been bad so far," said senior Austin McChord, 17, who told The News-Times of Danbury that he helped to hold the canvas flag, painted with three large stripes of red, white and blue, while other students lit it on fire.

A shame when you think of how many Frenchmen fought and surrendered for that flag.
Letters from two exiled Iraqis

Thanks to Tricia for sending me this link. These letters written to Tony Blair by former Iraqis.

I have lived in Glasgow for 22 years having left Iraq in 1980. When I was a university student in Basrah I saw tens of my closest colleagues disappear from classes, both Shias and Sunnis. No one could even mention their absence! My family has also suffered executions and imprisonments. The only equality and justice Saddam applied is that no ethnic, political or religious group escaped his acts of terror.

This is just the tip of it. I could quote a number of other passages. These are by no means Pro-American letters. There is plenty of U.S. criticism here. These are just people that want their country back. There are a lot of terrible places in the world to live, but soon there will be one fewer.
CIA Had Fix on Hussein

Around 4 p.m. yesterday, Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet offered President Bush the prospect -- improbable to the point of fantasy, yet somehow at hand -- that the war against Iraq might be transformed with its opening shots. The CIA, Tenet said, believed it had a fix on President Saddam Hussein.

Hussein and others in "the most senior levels of the Iraqi leadership," ordinarily among the most elusive of men, had fallen under U.S. surveillance. The unforeseen glimpse of the enemy was not expected to last, and so presented what one administration official called "a target of opportunity" that might not reappear. Not only did the agency know where Hussein was, according to the official's description of Tenet's briefing, but it believed with "a high probability" that he would remain there for hours to come -- cloistered with his war council in an isolated private residence in southern Baghdad.

and then. . .

When Bush signed the launch order at 6:30 p.m., it included a hasty improvisation. The first shots would strike through the roof and walls of an anonymous Baghdad home, and deep beneath it, in hopes of decapitating the Iraqi government in a single blow.

"If you're going to take a shot like this, you're going to take a shot at the top guy," said a government official with knowledge of the sequence of events. "It was a fairly singular strike."

The aircraft and missiles each carried satellite-guided warheads. The bombs aboard the F-117s were Joint Direct Attack Munitions, designed to penetrate layers of stone and steel.

Three hours after Bush gave the order, at 5:33 a.m. local time, a series of closely spaced explosions rocked southern Baghdad, witnesses in the city said. Iraqi television, competing for air time with the newly American-flagged frequencies of Iraqi radio, reported swiftly that Hussein was alive and well and would address the nation shortly.

Then another three hours passed, and Hussein made what was billed as a live appearance at 12:30 a.m., Eastern time, today.

In their first urgent review, U.S. analysts were said to be uncertain whether the man on the screen was in fact Hussein, or was speaking live. One official said the case against the broadcast's authenticity included that Hussein has several body doubles and his glasses looked nothing like the ones he normally wears. Though Hussein mentioned yesterday's date in the broadcast, that corresponded to Bush's ultimatum for war and could have been recorded. He said nothing specific about the bomb and missile strike. On the other hand, an official said, "the rhetoric is not unlike rhetoric he has used in other speeches."

Was it Saddam giving the address? The guy in this photo looks odd to me.
WAR HAS BEGUN (Full Text of Bush's Speech)

My fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.

On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war. These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign.

More than 35 countries are giving crucial support, from the use of naval and air bases, to help with intelligence and logistics, to the deployment of combat units. Every nation in this coalition has chosen to bear the duty and share the honor of serving in our common defense.

To all of the men and women of the United States armed forces now in the Middle East, the peace of a troubled world and the hopes of an oppressed people now depend on you.

That trust is well placed.

The enemies you confront will come to know your skill and bravery. The people you liberate will witness the honorable and decent spirit of the American military.

In this conflict, America faces an enemy who has no regard for conventions of war or rules of morality. Saddam Hussein has placed Iraqi troops and equipment in civilian areas, attempting to use innocent men, women and children as shields for his own military -- a final atrocity against his people.

I want Americans and all the world to know that coalition forces will make every effort to spare innocent civilians from harm. A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict. And helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable and free country will require our sustained commitment.

We come to Iraq with respect for its citizens, for their great civilization and for the religious faiths they practice. We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people.

I know that the families of our military are praying that all those who serve will return safely and soon.

Millions of Americans are praying with you for the safety of your loved ones and for the protection of the innocent.

For your sacrifice, you have the gratitude and respect of the American people and you can know that our forces will be coming home as soon as their work is done.

Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly, yet our purpose is sure. The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.

We will meet that threat now with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of firefighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities.

Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures and we will accept no outcome but victory.

My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others. And we will prevail.

May God bless our country and all who defend her.
Bush's war big political mistake, Gorbachev says (Courtesy of Drudge)

OTSU, Japan, March 20 (Kyodo) _ Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on Thursday criticized U.S. unilateralism in the world, saying the just-started U.S. war against Iraq cannot be justified for any reason and is a big political mistake.

Gorbachev, in a speech to a meeting of the Third World Water Forum, said, ''The move defies the existence of the United Nations and international laws. The U.S. stance...means it regards other nations as subject countries or states.''

U.S. President George W. Bush's policy ''is far from real world leadership,'' Gorbachev said.

At a press conference after the meeting, the 72-year-old Russian politician said he heard from a taxi driver about the U.S. air attack on Baghdad. ''It's really too bad. What has become of the world? I'm afraid the U.N. system has collapsed. We have to give our earnest consideration to the problem.''

''The United States seems to believe this military action shows its world leadership. But that is its misconception. Real world leadership is to take initiatives in promoting the Kyoto Protocol, nuclear disarmament, and arms control, and solving environmental issues,'' Gorbachev said.

Just ask Gorby what it feels like to go from dictator to having Reagan's hands clinched around his neck.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

45 nations back war, U.S. says

We now have a coalition of the willing that includes some 30 nations who publicly said they could be included in such a listing," Mr. Powell said. "And there are 15 other nations, for one reason or another, who do not wish to be publicly named but will be supporting the coalition."

Unilateralism is now defined as any country going to war with less than 46 allies.
The Anit-War Baby Steps to the plate

On Tuesday's Today Al Roker featured a ten-month-old “anti-war” baby, though he apparently did it inadvertently.

Roker prompted a woman: "And we got a couple of babies out here. First of all who's this?"
The woman, holding a baby with a “No War” sign being held up behind her, asserted: "This is Lana and she's an anti-war baby."
Roker: "Oh how old is she?"
Woman: "She's ten-months-old and she's against the war."
Roker quickly moved on down the barricade to someone else: "Okay, thank you very much."

I wonder if the baby can put its differences with the administration aside, and support the troops.
Former CBS anchor Cronkite voices disappointment in move to war

It was said that when the President lost Cronkite, he lost the Vietnam War. That’s how important Walter Cronkite was in his day.

"I'm very disappointed that we've come to this point," Cronkite said.
While many are confident the United States would easily oust Saddam Hussein, Cronkite said he isn't so sure. "The military is always more confident than circumstances show they should be," he said.

He sees Vietnam. Another in a long line of critics who are sure we’re heading for rough waters. In a real civil war like Kosovo, they see humanitarianism, but when U.S. security is involved they see Vietnam.

In response to a question about media bias, Cronkite said the press is not politically partisan but does tilt toward liberalism. He said that the smartest president he ever met was Jimmy Carter.

Liberal? You better tell Eric Alterman.

I think we give too much credit to raw intelligence. Many baseball players have great raw ability but can never become Major League regulars. Others are ignored all through their rise in the farm system only to become productive big league players. You can easily point out someone's raw ability, but it is difficult to figure out whether that person has what it takes to stick. Carter is a smart and nice man, but he was inept as a president. Bush has always been underestimated. What he has done to prosecute this war is gutsy and unprecedented. The scouts can talk and talk about Carter, but Bush is making the All-Star team.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Trust Tony's judgment (The Guardian, By Bill Clinton)

The credit for 1441 belongs in large measure to Blair, who saw it as a chance to disarm Saddam in a way that strengthened the UN and preserved the Atlantic alliance. . .

I wish that Russia and France had supported Blair's resolution. Then, Hans Blix and his inspectors would have been given more time and supprt for their work. But that's not where we are. Blair is in a position not of his own making, because Iraq and other nations were unwilling to follow the logic of 1441.

This is a Bill Clinton article that basically says that he can now support a war on Iraq because Tony Blair supports it. This guy is dying at the idea that he could have solved these problems in the 1990s and chose to do nothing. Now others are poised to get the credit, he can only remind everyone of his great relationship with Blair.

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg reminds us that Clinton had a different speech to his American audience.

Of the people who don’t want this war a late question that I have heard is “why are we going into Iraq for human rights violations when we have allies that have terrible records on human rights issues?” Well the fact is, we’re not going because of Saddam’s human rights infractions. If we started going around the world to get rid of every despot, it would take several administrations, and cause us to be in conflict with countries that are otherwise friendly with us.

We have to settle on those countries that are threats to our well-being that we can take down now. The human rights arguments are strictly for the appeasers on the left that would put American lives in danger for operations like Haiti and Bosnia. Those missions were for the purpose of helping people in repressive regimes, and Iraq is just as repressive.

Republicans thought that Democrats were serious about human rights violations or at least wouldn’t argue because it would meet their usual stated purpose as well. In this mission they learned something very interesting about the left. It’s not really about the people at all. It’s really about the liberal do-gooders. It’s about their compassion. What good is going into Iraq to rescue oppressed people if they don’t get credit for it?

The fact that there is a strategic American reason for defeating Iraq, also calls the whole thing into question. No, says the left, we’ll only spend a lot of money and send American troops into harms way, when it serves no other purpose than altruism, then we can’t be questioned.

The liberals were all ready to fight after 911, but Bush was smart not to rush into anything. He found a deliberate plan. Now that he is ready to move forward with that plan, their emotion has died. With no further terrorist attacks, they are ready to put the whole thing behind them and pretend that it was an aberration.

We’re lucky that George Bush sees the world the way it is and is willing to buck world opinion to do the right thing. Maybe next time he will just frame it as a national security issue and forget the human rights violations that are no doubt happening in these countries. It doesn't seem to matter to the left either way.
Turner ponders staying on AOL Time Warner board

Once I built a railroad
I made it run
Made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad
Now it's done
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Okay, Turner isn't that destitute but his merging with Time Warner was the path that cost him control of his company and most specifically his beloved Atlanta Braves and CNN. He was such a pioneer in so many ways, and the kind of knee-jerk liberal that was surprising for a millionaire (oops billionaire) from the south. But he was full of contradictions. Turner’s embrace of politically-incorrect movies like GONE WITH THE WIND, certainly make him an enigma on the left. And it was Turner who made Warner Brothers add the caped figures in EYES WIDE SHUT to cover up the graphic nature of the film. Just when it looks like he's old-fashioned, he divorces Jane Fonda, because she discovered Christianity. His most recent movie, GODS AND GENERALS was blasted for everything, but most notably it's embrace of the 19th century southern culture.

Turner also talked about the $70 million investment in "Gods and Generals," the Civil War epic that has flopped at the box office, and the toll the AOL Time Warner stock meltdown has taken on his personal fortune. "I thought this movie needed to be made and, at the time, I was worth $7 billion," Turner said. "I would have never taken on that big a project on my current financial base."

Will Ted Turner resurface with another project, another scheme, another deal or is he through?
Blair Vows: 'Back me or I quit'

"Back away from this confrontation now and future conflicts will be infinitely worse and more devastating."
And he said that to retreat now, he believed, "would put at hazard all that we hold dearest ... tell our allies that at the very moment of action, at the very moment they need our determination, that Britain faltered. I will not be party to such a cause."

During the 1990s it was very fashionable to compare this young Labor leader to President Bill Clinton. I read a lot of stories that said he had no substance, but a great eye for the camera and an ear for the soundbite. As our biggest ally since 911, and his willingness to ignore the liberal appeasers in his own party, he has shown a strength that no one imagined. He's been a constant voice of support and a welcoming one in the wake of world opinion. The United States should offer Britain and like countries entry into NAFTA and convince them to forget the European Union. We should reward our allies with our economic pie and deny this right to those countries too skittish to join us.
Susan Sarandon's 'Rabid' Republican Mom

I am a conservative. I voted for George W. Bush and I simply agree with most everything he has said," Tomalin told us yesterday from the Northern Virginia home of keyboardist John Carroll, her son-in-law, and daughter Meredith Carroll, one of Sarandon's eight siblings. "It's not that I'm pro-war. It's just that I think that I trust my government more than I would empathize with the government of Iraq."

This whole article was funny especially in the way it points out that liberals are less tolerant than conservatives when it comes to opinions.

"When I visit Susan, I tread on eggs," Tomalin said. "The most difficult time was during the election of 2000. I live in Florida, and I was a Republican poll-watcher in Polk County. Afterward, I was sitting at the breakfast table with Jack Henry, my then-13-year-old grandson, and he looked over at me, with the sweetest little smile on his face, and said, 'I hear you voted for Bush.' I looked up at Susan, who's standing at the sink, and she says, 'All he wants to know is: How could you have voted for Bush?' And I thought, 'I'm not going to discuss my politics with a 13-year-old who has been brainwashed!' But I just let it go -- even though I have never been as rabid as I have been during the past few years."

A shame that Susan doesn't enjoy the "Diversity" of opinion. This would have been a great chance for her son to learn about different cultures.
Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno speaks at Brown

After watching President Bush's address, Reno said, ''We will not solve the world's problems by might.'' ''I had hoped people would come up with an opportunity for him to save face,'' she said.

See men shredded, then say you don't back war

“There was a machine designed for shredding plastic. Men were dropped into it and we were again made to watch. Sometimes they went in head first and died quickly. Sometimes they went in feet first and died screaming. It was horrible. I saw 30 people die like this. Their remains would be placed in plastic bags and we were told they would be used as fish food . . . on one occasion, I saw Qusay [President Saddam Hussein’s youngest son] personally supervise these murders.”

What kind of diplomacy works with men who use shredding machines? What say you Ms. Reno?

Monday, March 17, 2003

Ten Most Outrageous Government Programs (Human Events Magazine)

These are good. Most of them were proposed by Republicans. When will they learn?
Bush sets ultimatum for Saddam: Leave country in 48 hours or face war

Karen Hughes, a former White House aide who was helping Bush prepare for the speech, said the president would set a deadline for the Iraqi leader to leave.
She added that the speech, expected to last about 15 minutes, would present ''a summation of what we have tried to accomplish at the U.N. Security Council, what we have tried to accomplish peacefully and of the threat Saddam Hussein's weapons pose to the world.''


Democrats Response to War
"It's time to come together and support our great American men and women in uniform and their commander-in-chief," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a Democratic contender for the 2004 presidential nomination. If military action is necessary, the fault will clearly be Saddam Hussein's," Lieberman said. He urged other nations to "stand strong and together."


"I'm saddened," Daschle, D-South Dakota, said in a speech to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "Saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war. Saddened that we have to give up one life because this president couldn't create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country. But we will work, and we will do all we can to get through this crisis like we've gotten through so many."

Playing politics with the war on terrorism.
Anyone tired of Daschle’s unilateral filibuster of Miguel Estrada?