Saturday, December 24, 2005
A poem in celebration of Christmas.... and Christ, who so loved the world....
Passing an old church in the late twilight,
I was drawn to stop by a striking sight.
So brilliant and visible from afar
was a tall tree topped by a blazing star.
Its strong shafts of rays seemed so magnetic
they drew me forward as if prophetic.
What was the message of this bold beacon?
Gazing in awe, I struggled to reckon.
Just seeing this bold enveloping glow
highlighting the path for my steps below,
reminded me vividly of a night
hundreds of years ago when that first light
shone down on a pathway to God's own Son,
revealing to all that He was the One
to lead true believers to salvation
through His perfect love and their redemption.
As I gazed at the apex of that tree,
the Star of Bethlehem I could then see
setting alight the road to renewal
and the Way, the Truth and Life Eternal.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
All I want for Christmas is....
Oh, give me a home.... where the buffalo roam.... and there's no lefty propaganda-slinger around....
"W" fights back against anti-Patriot Act/anti-intelligence gathering/anti-war crowd....
It's the usual suspects: the U.S. Senate Democrat obstructionists and filibusterers.... aided and abetted by four renegade pseudo-Republicans who often stray off the reservation.... and the always anti-war, anti-U.S., anti-George W. Bush mainstream media.... bottom tier losers all.
What a surprise.... sort of like the sun comin' up in the mornin'.
Only, when "W" gave his press conference cum dressing down, you would have thought it was high noon at the OK Corral....! Only thing missing was his white ten-gallon cowboy hat....
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid brazenly gloats over political victory of killing the Patriot Act...
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is roundly fisked in this article, just as he was by President Bush in his press conference yesterday, after Reid had been caught on camera consuming his usual foot sandwich as he brazenly bragged of having "killed the Patriot Act."
Reid was so puffed-up with his anti-war/anti-administration political victory and sticking it to Republicans and the President, he just let his base motivations hang bare for all to see and hear.
Have a look for yourselves in excerpts below or in uncut version at above link.
"Patriot Act Showdown Let Democrats take responsibility for their filibuster."
"At midnight on December 31, while Americans are ringing in the New Year, terrorists will have something to celebrate too: The expiration of 16 key provisions of the USA Patriot Act. Excuse us if we don't break out the Champagne.
There's still a chance a deal can be reached to extend the anti-terrorism law before the deadline, but don't count on it. That would require an act of responsibility from Senate Democrats--something that's in short supply these days on matters of national security.
Instead, this Senate minority of 42 Democrats and four Republicans prefers to impose its will on bipartisan majorities by refusing to let the renewal of the Patriot Act come to the Senate floor for a vote. President Bush called the filibuster "inexcusable" this week, and most Republicans seem ready to fight this one out for a change. They ought to.
The Patriot Act was passed in 2001 by huge bipartisan majorities--357-66 in the House and 98-1 in the Senate. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, most Members of Congress believed that the law provided reasonable protection of Americans' civil liberties. Its most important contribution was to tear down the infamous "wall" between intelligence gathering and law enforcement.
The Justice Department says that without the Patriot Act it could not have broken up terrorist cells in Buffalo, Portland (Oregon), Seattle, Detroit and Virginia. Critics say that claim is impossible to verify, but we do know for sure that no court has verified a single example of the Patriot Act being used to curtail anyone's civil liberties. Rest assured the Act's critics would have found one by now if it existed....
The Senate filibusterers include four Republicans--John Sununu, Chuck Hagel, Lisa Murkowski and Larry Craig.... this Republican foursome is abetting what looks to be nothing more than a political exercise to pin a defeat on President Bush.
Democrats don't even want to take responsibility for killing the legislation. Instead they want Republicans to let them extend the existing version for three months, which means they think it's just fine for Americans to live with the allegedly frightening terms of the original Act. This filibuster-and-pass-it-next-year strategy looks like an attempt to appease their vocal left-wing base that seems to think terrorism is a minor threat, while also dodging any responsibility for killing the Act as they head into next year's elections.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid gave this double game away when he boasted to a Democratic meeting last Friday that "I killed the Patriot Act." But after Mr. Bush cited him publicly for that quote, Mr. Reid turned around and said he really does want to pass it. If Democrats believe the Patriot Act is as terrible as they describe it, then let them take responsibility for their filibuster--and for killing it..."
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Hey, Santa.... it's those pesky little ACLUers, athiests, and secularists again.
Iraqi citizens, stepping up to secure their country and future, turned over top al Qaeda terrorist to Iraqi and U.S. officials....
Turning over al Qaeda terrorist leader Amir Khalaf Fanus was a big deal yesterday and was an extremely brave act of citizenship and responsibility. Their patriotism and belief in their country and its future should be a lesson for the whole world---particularly the anti-war naysayers, defeatists and cynics.
The citizens of Iraq are not about to wave the anti-war crowd's white flag of surrender and defeat and see their freedom sink into the desert sand.... They will hold their vital third election and they will succeed in proving the underminers wrong.
I am humbled by their bravery and conviction in the face of such danger and so proud to see that they are unselfishly prepared to lay their lives on the line to do what is necessary for the benefit of generations to come.
Such is the stuff true heroes are made of.
Read about it below or here.
"'Butcher of Ramadi' Turned Over to Troops in Iraq"
"A top al Qaeda terrorist detained Friday by the joint Iraqi and U.S. forces in the provincial Iraqi capital of Ar Ramadi was reportedly brought by local Iraqi citizens to a military base in Ramadi.
U.S. officials said Amir Khalaf Fanus was wanted for criminal activities, including murder and kidnapping. Fanus was a member of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda unit targeting Iraq. The unit is known as "Al Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers."
Fanus was listed as the number three terrorist on the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (28th Infantry Division) High Value Individual list. Known in Ramadi as "the Butcher" ....was reportedly well-known for his crimes against the local population.... is reported to be the highest-ranking al Qaeda member in Iraq to be turned in to Iraqi and U.S. officials by local citizens.
U.S. officials said the capture was a sign that locals were tiring with the insurgents' presence within their community. They also said that as the Dec. 15 national elections draw nearer "Iraqi and U.S. Forces are witnessing increasing signs of citizens fighting the terrorists...."
Wes Pruden.... on the 'White Flag Democrats,' who just might be driving their party into exile for another generation....
Here are some excerpts to peruse.... or read the whole delightful piece at the above link.
"White flags on the road to 'peace'"
"It's easy to mock Nancy Pelosi, to dare the San Francisco Democrats to say something sensible. They're determined to resurrect the '60s, with all that noise, dirty hair, B.O., and the strategy that George McGovern employed to drive the party into exile for a generation.
The white-flag Democrats want to get America out of Iraq at any price, to give "peace" a chance.
But a summer of love is particularly risky now in San Francisco, where the Age of Aquarius has morphed into the Age of AIDS.
Nevertheless, peace is nice, even in Iraq, and good citizens have a responsibility to seek peace, if not necessarily at any price at least at any place...."
Is Senator Barack Obama right about Democrat Presidents misleading our country into war....?
Those brave troops and their Commander in Chief have been thoroughly bashed for two years now by the mainstream media and hard-left Democrats who do not want the United States, its allies and the Iraqi military to win the war---preferring instead to wave the white flag of surrender and let the Iraqi people face the same fate the South Vietnamese people were forced to face.
But, worse than misleading America and its troops into war, Presidents Kennedy and Johnson got American troops into the Vietnam War and kept them there without providing them the necessary support and authority to prosecute the war in a manner to actually win it. Consequently, ca. 50,000 American heroes died in that war, while trying to protect millions of the South Vietnamese people from subjugation, oppression and slaughter.
You can read about Sen. Obama's imputed statements below or here.
"Barack Obama: Dem Presidents Misled on War"
Democrat presidents misled and troops wound up dead?
That's what Sen. Barack Obama seemed to be saying in a wide ranging interview with the Chicago Tribune this week.
Commenting on claims that President Bush used bogus intelligence to take America into the Iraq war - he noted that more than one Democratic president has done the same thing. The revelation came as Sen. Obama recounted a recent town meeting where an audience member had asked him about the war, saying: "Shouldn't the president be impeached for lying?"
The top black Democrat recalled answering: "Well, FDR, JFK, LBJ -- we have a pretty long list of presidents who maybe were not entirely forthcoming with intelligence information before they went to war, so I'd be cautious against making legal cases against the administration."
Sen. Obama was apparently referring to longstanding allegations that FDR ignored intelligence that showed the Japanese planned to attack Pearl Harbor - knowing that such an attack would mobilize public opinion for a war against Nazi Germany.
In JFK and LBJ's case, he was apparently alluding to intelligence that was manipulated before the Vietnam War - such as Lyndon Johnson's claim that the North Vietnamese attacked US ships in the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Historians now say no such attack ever took place...."
Friday, December 09, 2005
Democrat National Committee Chairman Howard Dean holds high the White Flag of Surrender for his party's left wing....
Murtha, Pelosi and Dean: the Democrats' Fraggers-in-Chief leading the anti-war war....
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.... into openly fighting against their own country, freedom, and democracy.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Who be da' judge in this courtroom....??
If so, it's working for me.... But, now that we've all seen it, why not just throw a net over him and throw him back into the spider hole he was dragged, lice-ridden, out of.... That works, too.
Then they could erect a memorial whipping post over it and let all comers beat it with their shoes.... which is a big huge insult in some mid-east countries. It could become a national pastime.
Although, what they'd really like to do to it, or him, probably isn't printable....
Andrew McCarthy's must read analysis of 9/11 Commission's burying vital Able Danger intelligence
McCarthy has done a great job pulling all this together for us, including important facts provided by former F.B.I. Director Louie Freeh, who has complained of Clinton administration barriers erected to prohibit the flow of vital intelligence information through necessary channels to adequately protect the American people.
I would also ask if Able Danger documents were among those classified documents purloined from the National Archives by Sticky Fingers Sandy Berger, former defense counsel to Pres. Bill Clinton, and destroyed.... and why isn't that being thoroughly investigated....?
And who did Berger telephone from the National Archives while going through classified materials....? Inquiring minds want to know....
You can read the beginning of McCarthy's piece below or all of it here.
"It’s Time To Investigate Able Danger and the 9/11 CommissionCrucial questions have gone unanswered too long."
'Tis the season when annual performance awards are handed out. If there is one for chutzpah, could there possibly be a more worthy candidate than the 9/11 commission?
It appears that this panel, an astronomically overrated study in self-absorption, is finally going away. You can never be too sure, of course. Clinging to the last fading glimmers of limelight, the august commissioners have already once overcome statutory death. Resurrecting themselves as an ombudsman through the miracle of private financing, they've been keen to morph from our high-profile raconteurs to our high-profile conscience. What they are, though, is a high-profile debacle.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
In Honor of Fallen Heroes at Pearl Harbor.... and all who serve today....
Mainstream Media's Garden of Bad News....
Our military heroes with boots on the ground and risking their lives on a daily basis for the rest of us want to know why.
And so do all of us who support the war, the troops fighting for us, the establishment of a secure, established Democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan, and security on our home front.
Soooo...., MSM, let's have truth in reporting all news for a change.... instead of agenda-driven bias and propaganda. Hopefully, you have not forgotten how to deliver news.... rather than inventing or distorting it.
Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld takes negative mainstream media to task....
Readers, this is a *****Five Star, must read and an indictment of the agenda-driven mainstream media for their almost totally negative coverage of the Iraq War and the war against Islamo-facist terrorism.
"'Do Some Soul Searching' Why aren't the media telling the whole story about Iraq?"
"I'm not one to put much faith in opinion polls. But the other day, I came across an interesting set of statistics that I want to mention. It seems that the Pew Research Center asked opinion leaders in the United States their views of the prospects for a stable democracy in Iraq.
Here were some of the results: 63% of people in the news media thought the enterprise would fail. So did 71% of people in the foreign affairs establishment and 71% in academic settings or think tanks. Interestingly, opinion leaders from the U.S. military are optimistic about Iraq by a margin of 64% to 32%. And so is the American public, by a margin of 56% to 37%.
And the Iraqi people are also optimistic. I've seen this demonstrated repeatedly--in public opinion polls, in the turnout for the elections, and that tips to authorities from ordinary Iraqis have grown from 483 to 4,700 tips in a month.
This prompts the question: Which view of Iraq is more accurate? The pessimistic view of so-called elites in our country--or the optimism expressed by millions of Iraqis and by the roughly 158,000 troops on the ground? But, most important is the question: why should Iraq's success or failure matter to the American people? I'd like to address these questions today...."
John Bolton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, presses for U.N. reforms first.... before passage of new $3.6B budget.
Of course, to call it the United Nations.... depends on a loose definition of the word "united."
It also depends on a loose interpretation of what "nations" qualify for membership in the U.N., according to the requirements stated in the United Nations Charter.
United Nations dragging feet on reforms.... to pass $3.6 billion 2-year budged first
The U.N.'s foot-dragging is nothing new and it goes hand-in-hand with unaccountable use of member nations' dues and failure in almost every area where the U.N. performs a chartered function. But then, we all know they do not follow their own charter. If you don't believe me, go to the PelicanPost links sidebar, click on United Nations Charter, and read it.
For more on John Bolton and the U.S. position, read excerpts below or entire piece here.
"U.S. firm on U.N. budget threat"
"U.S. Ambassador John R. Bolton said yesterday that U.N. reforms are lagging far behind Washington's expectations, and affirmed the Bush administration's intention to delay the U.N. budget if necessary.
The administration has demanded the 191-member General Assembly adopt a series of management reforms designed to streamline and improve the often cumbersome organization.
With less than three weeks of negotiations left before the 2006-07 budget is to be approved, Mr. Bolton said in an interview that Washington cannot allow the $3.6 billion spending plan to pass unless it reflects the reforms.
"We don't want to be in a position where we approve a biennium budget for two years and then find ourselves clawing from behind trying to make up the reforms," Mr. Bolton said in his spacious but sparsely furnished office at the U.S. Mission. "The way you focus you people's attention is by combining the reform work with the budget," he said....
The reforms sought by Mr. Bolton include the creation of an ethics office, increased oversight of U.N. activities and approval of new offices for human rights and peace building. Other changes would establish a policy to protect whistleblowers, make the auditing office more independent and streamline old mandates that have outlived their usefulness...."
New war banner for the hard-left Democrats.... the shameful white flag of surrender!
Having been unable, after all their and their allied MSM's propaganda, daily anti-war drumroll and daily body counts, to Vietnamize the Iraq War.... they are now telling the whole world that success in Iraq is not success, progress is not progress, and the American military are losers.
They could not be more wrong!
Don't know what "is" is Bill Clinton must be behind closed doors somewhere, inventing and directing the daily Democrat mantra.... in line with his anti-Vietnam war history and draft evasion.
Be sure to see a picture of the Democrats' white flag of surrender posted on PelicanPost yesterday. And you can read the rest of the NRO piece here.
"Rally Round the (White) Flag, Boys! Democrats finally find an Iraq policy they can get behind." by Edward Morrissey
"THE GOOD NEWS for the Democrats is that their leadership has settled on an electoral strategy for 2006. The bad news is that they have cribbed their game plan from one of the most disastrous campaigns in their history. The Democratic leadership has decided to elevate surrender to a party platform for the upcoming elections, with their national chairman, House leader, and last presidential nominee all running up the white flag as the Democratic war banner.
When was the last time that an entire political party stood for backpedaling the way the Democrats have in the past two weeks? Since Rep. John Murtha made his supposedly stunning announcement that he wanted an immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq, the Democrats have embraced surrender.
Not even during the Vietnam War did a major American party position itself to support abject retreat as a wartime political platform. For that, one has to go back to the Civil War, when the Democrats demanded a negotiated peace with the Confederate States of America and a withdrawal from the South...."
The photo of Bill Clinton the mainstream media chose to hide from the American public....
Here, "Slick Willie" was photographed in his outlandish attire donned for a lavish ball at St. Catherine's Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia---part of an oppulent three-day weekend on the tab of a millionaire friend. Even his Secret Service detail were in costume for the ball.... as "Cossacks."
Helloooo....., American taxpayers...., your tax money is at work. Or play, as the case apparently was.
Great coverage today by Myrna Blyth at NationalReview. Here is just an excerpt from her column about the 3-day fest and absence of coverage of it in the U.S..... including the above pix of decked-out Bill.... all of which was purposefully buried by MSM:
".....there was a doozy of a photo of our Bill in the London Sunday Mail this weekend that somehow just didn't make it into any of our papers of record. [You get the idea here.]
It showed Bill wearing a black velvet military jacket heavily embroidered with gold braid, finished off with a high gold and crimson collar. It was supposed to be a costume of a "Napoleonic military hero," but it made our 42nd president look more like Harold Hill, The Music Man. But then Bill thought he would never look right in a military uniform, now didn't he?
So what was he doing in this outlandish get-up? (His Secret Service men, it was also reported, were dressed as Cossacks. Wonder how the American taxpayers feel about that?) Well, he was at a lavish ball in the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, probably the most lavish ball held there since Catherine was feeling really great.
Now, I don't know exactly how the Clinton family spent Thanksgiving Day, but on Saturday of that family weekend, Bill wasn't eating leftover turkey and pumpkin pie, and watching football. No, he was scarfing Beluga caviar and beef stroganoff washed down with champagne. According to the Sunday Mail, the display "offered scenes of opulence unrivalled since the days of the Tsars...."
Well, footmen in Napoleonic dress lined the palace's driveway, and dancers in powdered wigs and frock coats stood by. And the ball was just part of a lavish three-day weekend that included private jets, rooms at the five-star Grand Hotel Europe, and a concert at the Yusupov Palace. It was all arranged by Richard Caring, a millionaire British-clothing tycoon...."
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
It's thumbs up for our troops and the great job they're doing in Iraq....!!
Our troops, their leaders and the Iraqi troops deserve much better than what they are getting from the hard-left mainstream media and hard-left Democrats. They don't need to be undermined by the MSM and the rest of the hate-America crowd in the war against extreme Islamic fundamentalist terrorists.
That's telling them, Secretary Rumsfeld....! And please keep on telling them.... until they get it right.
The only thing that would make Rumsfeld's words better, would be if they had been said a long time ago and consistently thereafter.
Some excerpts below, entire piece at above link.
"Rumsfeld scores press 'negativity'"
"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld urged the American press yesterday to reassess what he called repeated negative coverage of Iraq as his commanders in Iraq push an extensive information war to counter terrorists' propaganda.
"We've arrived at a strange time in this country, where the worst about America and our military seems to so quickly be taken as truth by the press and reported and spread around the world," Mr. Rumsfeld said. The reporting is "often with little context and little scrutiny, let alone correction or accountability after the fact."
Mr. Rumsfeld's remarks were part of the new Bush campaign of forceful answer to partisan criticism of the war and domestic policies. President Bush spoke of the expanding economy in glowing terms in North Carolina, citing strong job growth and swift recovery from two brutal hurricanes, and in Berlin, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice bluntly told Europeans that resistance to Islamic terrorism will require overcoming "new challenges" and new ways of warfare.
....The Pentagon chief cited a "false and terribly damaging" Newsweek story that American guards flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet at the Guantanamo Bay prison.... a New York Times editorial that equated U.S. troops with the police state of Saddam Hussein.... press reports quoting two Iraqis' unsubstantiated assertions that American soldiers attacked them with lions.
"Government has to reassess continuously, and we do," the defense secretary said. "So, too, it's useful, I believe, for the media to reassess."
Mr. Rumsfeld said the press is too fixated on the Iraq casualty count, which includes more than 2,000 American troops killed. "It's appropriate to note not only how many Americans have been killed -- and may God bless them and their families -- but what they died for, or, more accurately, what they lived for," Mr. Rumsfeld said.
When he meets with troops in Iraq, "They ask, 'Why aren't the American people being given an accurate picture of what's happening in Iraq?....' "
All I want for Christmas is Social Security and Medicare fixed....
I'm thinking about the long haul through retirement and leaving some of my personally invested Social Security withholding to my heirs. So, just twitch your nose, Santa, and get rid of Congress's foot-dragging, tunnel vision and backbone ossification.... and get them busy fixing Social Security and Medicare and approving personal withholding savings accounts.
That's all I'm asking! I may be young.... but I want something done NOW!!
Way to go, "W"....!!
Soooo.... why not proceed with such gusto in Iraq.... and in the greater WWIII against terrorism??
When it's told like it is, it's perceived as it is. Plus, confidence breeds confidence.... and those here at home need to have and show confidence in our brave fighting troops on the ground in the war.... as well as in their military leaders and Commander in Chief.
Great News!! The George W. Bush economy is BOOMING....!!
Read the positive news below and here.
"Productivity Expands at a Faster Pace"
"The productivity of American workers shot up at the fastest pace in two years during the July-September quarter, helping to ease fears that inflation pressures were threatening to get out of hand. The Labor Department reported Tuesday that productivity, the key component for rising living standards, rose at an annual rate of 4.7 percent during the summer, a big upward revision from the 4.1 percent initial estimate made a month ago.
The big jump in worker efficiency help to push labor costs down by 1 percent at an annual rate in third quarter, double the 0.5 percent drop in unit labor costs that had originally been reported. The stronger productivity and falling labor costs should help ease fears at the Federal Reserve that overall inflation was on the verge of worsening because of rising wage pressures.
Productivity is the key factor that determines whether living standards are improving. Gains in productivity allow companies to pay their workers higher salaries from their increased production without having to increase the price of the products they sell, which would fuel inflation....
The 4.7 percent rate of increase for productivity in the third quarter was sharply higher than the 2.1 percent increase for the April-June quarter. It was the best showing since a 9.6 percent surge in the third quarter of 2003.
In addition to the solid upward revision to GDP and productivity, the government on Friday reported that employment grew by a solid 215,000 in November...."
Mike Reagan expresses outrage at anti-war political demagoguery by radical DNC Chair Howard Dean.... calls it "treason."
In the first place, we did not lose the Vietnam War.... It was already technically won, even though leftist demagogues in the U.S. Congress like Democrat Senators Fulbright and Ted Kennedy, with help of the leftist mainstream media and traitor John Kerry and his Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), pulled off a political victory.... to snatch the appearance of failure in the war straight out of the jaws of victory....and then characterize it as "losing the war."
They did this to make it appear Republican Pres. Richard M. Nixon had "lost the war," which could not be farther from the truth. Nixon inherited that war which was started by Pres. John F. Kennedy and continued by Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson.... both Democrats.... without providing the necessary support and full prosecution of the war in a manner to win. It was after Nixon took office that the U.S. began winning that war. But you can't prosecute a war without adequate funding and delegated authority to fight it to win.
You can read more below and here. Also read, directly below, excerpts from a related column here, that includes the following:
"In an interview with WOAI-AM in San Antonio, Dean criticized what he called President Bush's "permanent commitment to a failed strategy" while saying, "We need to be out of there and take the targets off our troops' back." Dean suggested "a strategic redeployment" of U.S. troops over the next two years.
"I wish the president had paid more attention to the history of Iraq before we had gotten in there," Dean said. "The idea that we're going to win this war is just plain wrong."
Republican Chairman Ken Mehlman said Dean's "outrageous prediction sends the wrong message to our troops, the enemy, and the Iraqi people just 10 days before historic elections."
Now, here's the Reagan piece.... or you can reach the uncut version from the first link above.
"Michael Reagan: Dean 'Should Be Hung'...."
"Michael Reagan, son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is blasting Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean for declaring that the U.S. won't be able to win the war in Iraq, saying Dean ought to be "hung for treason."
"Howard Dean should be arrested and hung for treason or put in a hole until the end of the Iraq war!" Reagan told his Radio America audience on Monday.
Reagan was reacting to Dean's comments earlier in the day, when the top Democrat said that the "idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong."
In a Texas radio interview, Dean predicted a rerun of the Vietnam debacle, where U.S. forces had to withdraw after Congress voted to cut support for South Vietnam's government.
"This is the same situation we had in Vietnam," the top Democrat said. "Everybody then kept saying, 'just another year, just stay the course, we'll have a victory.' Well, we didn't have a victory....'"
Democrat U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) involved in accepting large sums of money from Greenberg Taurig LLC and Indian tribes....
Dorgan had a direct conflict of interest when he served as chief Democratic inquisitor in the Indian Affairs Committee’s investigation of Abramoff. Plus he actively lobbied and pressured the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of the Interior to bestow federal recognition on the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe in Massachusetts.
Sounds a bit like the old pot(s) calling the kettle black thing, doesn't it? Only, this time the pot(s) accepted traceable money from both the lobbying firm and Indian tribes. Just follow the money. And follow their official statements, now recorded in the Congressional Record.
Now, we have to wonder what other lurking under the radar Congress members have been involved in accepting such largesse from these sources....
Why isn't there a big huge investigation into Democrat involvement in possibly taking bribes or selling access? If the Democrats were in power and had this proveable info about Republicans, they would be all over it like white on rice---in Congress and in the MSM. They would be screaming for a special prosecutor and calling for indictments.
And, if there are culpable Republicans, they need to be held responsible as well. It's time to get the dirty back-room politics out into the sunshine so it can be cleaned up. And so the U.S. Congress can regain the principles, ethics and respect they have historically held. Right now, they are at an embarrassing ebb.
Read on below or here for more information.
"Democrat Dorgan Tied to Abramoff"
"Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) is the latest lawmaker ensnared in the scandal surrounding embattled lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Dorgan, the top Democrat on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, accepted nearly $95,000 in Abramoff-related money between 2001 and 2004 and held a political fundraiser in a stadium skybox leased by Abramoff.
The revelations call into question Dorgan’s role as chief Democratic inquisitor in the Indian Affairs Committee’s investigation of Abramoff.
In one curious exchange, Dorgan received a total of $19,000 in donations in the months immediately following a letter Dorgan signed to benefit an Abramoff client...."
Monday, December 05, 2005
Anti-war hard-left Democrats' Flag for Iraq....
RADIOBLOGGER has U.S. Senator from CA Barbara Boxer's number....
Included with the interview segment is Duane's spot-on analysis of Boxer's considerably less than bright responses to Wallace's questions.
Me.... I can't get past her off-putting singsong manner of speaking well enough to want to listen to what she has to say. And, believe it or not, it makes her seem even more stupid.... if that's possible.
However, I was particularly struck by one lucidless comment from Boxer: "Let them defend their own country. We cannot do this forever. No country survives when foreign troops are in there defending the country. They have to do this."
Please!! What about Kuwait? What about South Korea? What about South Vietnam? What about France in WWI and WWII? What about West Germany after WWII? What about Afghanistan NOW? Where has this wingnut been...??
The people of Iraq are surving with U.S. help post-Saddam Hussein and have requested that our troops stay to protect and defend them until they can do so themselves. They are preparing for their third election---to now approve their new Constitution and elect new and more permanent leaders. Boxer just doesn't let these facts get in the way of her elusive, all-over-the-map tortured logic and reasoning.
Now, heeere's Duane! Go to the above link for all of his posting.
"After a very bad week politically in California for conservatives, in which Governor Arnold Schwarzenventura replaced his chief of staff with one of the top aides to Gray Davis, the recalled governer that provided the vacancy Arnold filled, it was nice to see Barbara Boxer, our junior dimwit Senator, appear on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace and further give California a black eye. We've said it before, that Barbara Boxer is the dumbest member of the Senate. Every once in a while, Patty Murray or Dick Durbin or Mark Dayton will take a stab at wrestling the dunce cap off her head, but week by week, month by month, Boxer continues to prove that long-term stupidity can't be practiced. It just is who she is. Here's a sample from her interview with Wallace:..."
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Who, exactly, are the war critics and naysayers helping with their defeatist drumroll....??
Victor Davis Hanson: On the moral nature of the Iraq War, its prospects for success, and inciseful factual information about war support....
As usual, Hanson has cut through all the clutter out there in the ether about the Iraq War, which is the major front in the war against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, and provided a very clear and factual big picture. He pulls together relevant component parts that present the true overall story about what actually has been and is going on.... and accurately characterizes it as a "moral war."
Some excerpts are below. This is a fairly long piece, but well worth your time to read it.... if you wish to be well-informed and armed with incisive knowledge on this topic to prepare yourselves for encounters with anti-war liberal elites at holiday parties and on the political front in the runup to the 2006 elections.
"A Moral War: The project in Iraq can succeed, and leave its critics scrambling."
"Almost everything that is now written about Iraq rings not quite right: It was a “blunder”; there should have been far more troops there; the country must be trisected; we must abide by a timetable and leave regardless of events on the ground; Iraq will soon devolve into either an Islamic republic or another dictatorship; the U.S. military is enervated and nearly ruined; and so on.
In fact, precisely because we have killed thousands of terrorists, trained an army, and ensured a political process, it is possible to do what was intended from the very beginning: lessen the footprint of American troops in the heart of the ancient caliphate.
Save for a few courageous Democrats, like Senator Joe Lieberman, who look at things empirically rather than ideologically, and some stalwart Republicans, most politicians and public intellectuals have long bailed on the enterprise.
This is now what comprises statesmanship: Some renounce their earlier support for the war. Others, less imaginative, in Clintonian (his and hers) fashion, take credit for backing the miraculous victory of spring 2003, but in hindsight, of course, blame the bloody peace on Bush. Or, better yet, they praise Congressman Murtha to the skies, but under no circumstances go on record urging the military to follow his advice.
How strange that journalists pontificate post facto about all the mistakes that they think have been made, nevertheless conceding that here we are on the verge of a third and final successful election.
No mention, of course, is ever made about the current sorry state of journalistic ethics and incompetence (cf. Jayson Blair, Judy Miller, Michael Isikoff, Bob Woodward, Eason Jordan). A group of professionals, after all, who cannot even be professional in their own sphere, surely have no credibility in lecturing the U.S. military about what they think went wrong in Iraq.
Of course, the White House, as is true in all wars, has made mistakes, but only one critical lapse — and it is not the Herculean effort to establish a consensual government at the nexus of the Middle East in less than three years after removing Saddam Hussein.
The administration’s lapse, rather, has come in its failure to present the entire war effort in its proper moral context.
We took no oil — the price in fact skyrocketed after we invaded Iraq. We did not do Israel’s bidding; in fact, it left Gaza after we went into Iraq and elections followed on the West Bank. We did not want perpetual hegemony — in fact, we got out of Saudi Arabia, used the minimum amount of troops possible, and will leave Iraq anytime its consensual government so decrees.
And we did not expropriate Arab resources, but, in fact, poured billions of dollars into Iraq to jumpstart its new consensual government in the greatest foreign aid infusion of the age.
In short, every day the American people should have been reminded of, and congratulated on, their country’s singular idealism, its tireless effort to reject the cynical realism of the past, and its near lone effort to make terrible sacrifices to offer the dispossessed Shia and Kurds something better than the exploitation and near genocide of the past — and how all that alone will enhance the long-term security of the United States.
That goal was what the U.S. military ended up so brilliantly fighting for — and what the American public rarely heard. The moral onus should have always been on the critics of the war. They should have been forced to explain why it was wrong to remove a fascist mass murderer, why it was wrong to stay rather than letting the country sink into Lebanon-like chaos, and why it was wrong not to abandon brave women, Kurds, and Shia who only wished for the chance of freedom.
Alas, that message we rarely heard until only recently, and the result has energized amoral leftists, who now pose as moralists by either misrepresenting the cause of the war, undermining the effort of soldiers in the field, or patronizing Iraqis as not yet civilized enough for their own consensual government...."
Decision day is coming when Zarqawi’s bombers will have to choose either to die, or, like a Nathan Bedford Forrest (“I’m a goin’ home”), quit to join the reform-seeking majority. That progress was accomplished only by the war in Iraq, and without it we would be back to playing a waiting game for another 9/11, while an autocratic Middle East went on quietly helping terrorists without consequences, either afraid of Saddam or secretly enjoying his chauvinist defiance....
Europe is quiet now. Madrid, London, Paris, and Amsterdam have taught Europeans that it is not George Bush but Islamic fascism that threatens their very existence. Worse still, they rightly fear they have lost the good will of the United States that so generously subsidized their defense — an entitlement perhaps to be sneered at during the post-Cold War “end of history,” but not in a new global war against Islamic terrorists keen to acquire deadly weapons.
Our military realizes that it can trump its brilliant victories in removing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein by birthing democracy in Iraq — or risk losing that impressive reputation by having a new Lebanon blow up in its face. China, Japan, India, Russia, Korea, Iran, and other key countries are all watching Iraq — ready to calibrate American deterrence by the efficacy of the U.S. military in the Sunni Triangle.
Our armed forces have already accomplished what the British and the Soviets could never do in Afghanistan; what the Russians failed to accomplish in Chechnya; and what we came so close to finishing in Vietnam. They won’t falter now when they are so close to winning an almost impossibly difficult war, one that will be recognized by friends and enemies as beyond the capability of any other military in the world.
The Left now risks losing its self-proclaimed moral appeal. It had trashed the efforts in Iraq for months on end, demanded a withdrawal — only recently to learn from polls that an unhappy public may also be unhappy with it for advocating fleeing while American soldiers are in harm’s way....
The administration realizes that as long as it stays the course and our military remains confident we can win, we will — despite defections in the Congress, venom in the press, and cyclical lows in the polls. In practical political terms, only the administration, not the Congress or the courts, can choose to cease our efforts in Iraq....
....if the administration can emphasize the moral nature of this war, and the military can continue its underappreciated, but mostly successful efforts to defeat the enemy.... and give the Iraqis a few more months of breathing space, who knows what the current opportunists and pessimists will say by summer. Will they say that they in fact were always sorta, kinda, really for removing Saddam and even staying on to see democracy work in Iraq....?"
Good news in the counterterrorism war against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.... death of Al Qaeda's # 5, Hamza Rabia, near Afghan border....
Chipping away at top leadership and keeping them off guard, on the defensive and fragmented appears to be the right way to go in this WWIII against international Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. Sort of like cutting off the head of the snake and, at the same time, eradicating its offspring that have spread out around the world to terrorize peaceful, law-abiding nations.
As for our counterterrorism troops and President Musharraf's security forces.... You go, guys! We're proud of you!
Readers, there's more in excerpts below or you can read the entire piece here.
"Air assault kills Qaeda top plotter"
"One of al Qaeda's top five leaders, said to be responsible for planning overseas strikes, was killed by Pakistani security forces, with U.S. help, in a rocket attack near the Afghan border, American and Pakistani officials said yesterday.
Hamza Rabia, a key associate of al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri, died Thursday in an explosion in the North Waziristan tribal area, and his remains were identified with DNA tests, Information Minister Sheik Rashid Ahmed said. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf confirmed Rabia had been killed....
Two U.S. counterterrorism officials, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, also confirmed Rabia's death but would not elaborate on the circumstances.
The officials said Rabia was believed to be an Egyptian and head of al Qaeda's foreign operations, possibly as senior as the No. 3 official in the terrorist group that carried out the September 11 attacks. That would put him in a tier just below Osama bin Laden and al-Zawahri.
"He was al Qaeda's number five and this is what we know," Mr. Ahmed said. Rabia filled the vacuum created this year by the capture of the previous operations chief, Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the two U.S. officials said.
As head of operations, Rabia would have been responsible for recruiting, training, networking and, most significant, planning international terrorist activities outside the Afghan-Pakistan region. ....Rabia also may have been involved in operations inside the region. He had a wide array of terrorist contacts.... and was believed to be trying to reinvigorate al Qaeda's operations...."
Major General Rick Lynch fisks NewYorkTimes' "fake news" story slamming the Pentagon for positive war coverage
Lynch fisked the MSM for their phony display of outrage and for reporting a "fake story" to give themselves justification for such outrage. We need more military officers and public figures to stand up to the false reportage by the mainstream media and political hack war critics. It's refreshing that more of them are now feeling free to speak up and out.
It's sad that they are having to fight a political war while they are hard at work fighting a worldwide war against extreme Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. But, from their accomplishments, we can see that they are up to the job.
More in excerpts below or here. There's also an article posted below this one about another brave person speaking truth to fiction about the war and justification for going to war in the first place.
"Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch Turns Tables on Media"
"The American media is up in arms over reports that the Pentagon hired a public relations firm to write positive news stories about the Iraq war and get them printed in the Iraqi press.
But Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, spokesman for U.S. forces in Baghdad, isn't letting journalists get away with their phony display of outrage.
After the New York Times front-paged the "fake news" story Thursday under the headline: "U.S. Is Said to Pay to Plant Articles in Iraq Papers," Gen. Lynch defended the practice.
"We don't lie. We don't need to lie," he told reporters in Baghdad. "We do empower our operational commanders with the ability to inform the Iraqi public, but everything we do is based on fact, not based on fiction."
Sounds to us like Gen. Lynch was taking a none too subtle jab at the mainstream media's penchant for reporting - not just planted stories - but its own faked news reports. Perhaps the next time he's questioned about "planting" stories, he'll get even more specific, by reminding the military's accusers of their own sorry history. Beginning with:
• The New York Times - and the false reports the Old Gray Lady printed about PFC Jessica Lynch - courtesy of Jayson Blair.
• The Washington Post - which won a Pulitzer Prize for its series on Little Jimmy, the 8-year-old heroin addict - which the paper had to give back once star Post reporter Janet Cooke admitted she'd faked the whole story.
Perhaps at the next press briefing, Gen. Lynch could inquire as to whether the Tiffany network has yet discovered just who it was who forged President Bush's National Guard records - before Dan Rather committed professional suicide by putting them in the air....
In fact, the list of fake news stories reported by the mainstream press is so long it would make even Baghdad Bob blush. It's good to know that some in the military - like Gen. Lynch - aren't about to let the press' hypocrisy go unnoted...."
Kudos to Sen. Joe Lieberman for telling the truth about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction....!
Everybody knows that the brutal dictator of Iraq gassed---or caused to be gassed---ca. 20,000 Kurdish people.... using his chemical weapons arsenal. He did not accomplish that genocide using political hot air. Do these arrogant war critics think they can just ally themselves with hard-left mainstream media and revise history in plain sight.... just so long as they repeat the same lies often enough? Enough already!!
Read about Lieberman's brave standing up to the hard-left political demagoguery here or below.
"Sen. Joe Lieberman: Saddam Had WMD Programs"
"Following up on his Wall Street Journal article Tuesday defending the Iraq war, Sen. Joseph Lieberman is reminding Bush administration critics that it's wrong to claim that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. attacked in 2003.
"The so-called Duelfer Report, which a lot of people read to say there were no weapons of mass destruction - concluded that Saddam continued to have very low level of chemical and biological programs," Lieberman told ABC Radio host Sean Hannity on Wednesday.
"[Saddam] was trying to break out of the U.N. sanctions by going back into rapid redevelopment of chemical and biological and probably nuclear [weapons]," Lieberman said, calling the Iraqi dictator "a ticking time bomb."
"I have no regrets" that the U.S. toppled Saddam, the former vice presidential candidate explained. "I think we can finish our job there, and as part of it - really transform the Arab-Islamic world."
Lieberman said that his fellow Democrats haven't taken kindly to his decision to buck his party on Iraq. "There's been some grumbling," he told Hannity. "In Connecticut there's a 'Dump Joe' web site that has cropped up." But Lieberman added, "I've been here long enough where, at this stage in my career, I'm going to do what I think is right."
Friday, December 02, 2005
President Bush: "Guess I need to come up with a 'No War-Critic Left Behind Plan'...."
Rasmussen Reports: 48% Say U.S. Winning War on Terror.... 28% Say Terrorists Winning
RasmussenReports Monthly Update shows that Americans have gained a much higher level of confidence in the fact that the U.S. and its Allies are winning the 'War on Terror.'
This is a fact that Democrats don't want any of us to know. So, they keep on carping away, even in the face of evidence otherwise, that we have lost the war and need to pull out all our troops.... a la Vietnam.... tuck our tails, and slink home in abject surrender.
After all, the politically self-serving of the disloyal hard-left opposition cannot afford for a Republican President to win two wars in WWIII against extreme fundamental Islamic terrorism. Soooo....., their anti-war assault rages on.... ad infinitum.... ad nauseum, too.
More below or at the above link.
"....Confidence in the War on Terror is up sharply compared to a month ago. Forty-eight percent (48%) Americans now believe the U.S. and its Allies are winning. That's up nine points from 39% a month ago and represents the highest level of confidence measured in 2005.
Just 28% now believe the terrorists are winning, down six points from 34% a month ago. The survey was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday night following the President's speech outlining his strategy in Iraq.
Huge partisan divisions on questions dealing with Iraq remain. Seventy-four percent (74%) of Republicans believe the U.S. and its allies are winning. That's up from 64% a month ago.
Just 28% of Democrats believe the U.S. is winning while 45% of Nancy Pelosi's party believe the terrorists are winning. Even that is a more optimistic assessment than last month when just 19% of Democrats said the U.S. was winning."
MoveOn.org caught in the act of falsifying photos to serve their anti-war cause.... sort of like CBS with visual imagery rather than forged letters.
Now you see British troops.... And.... VOILA! Now, those British troops have suddenly become American troops....!
Could it be a mirage.... or, does the anti-war crowd just think that all troops "look alike," no matter their country or uniforms....?
Well, as it turns out, MoveOn.org has just photo-shopped some pictures to fit into the schema for their holiday anti-war propaganda. Who knew....?
CNS News exposes false reporting and photo-shopped pictures by MoveOn.org to distort war news against American troops, Republicans and the war.
In the ad, MoveOn "echoes Democrats' calls for an exit plan from Iraq" and accuses Republicans of "failing to offer a plan to end the U.S. occupation 'of that country.'"
Since MoveOn's reportage does not meet any ethical standards and is used primarily to create false propaganda and misinformation to hoodoo the American people and the rest of the planet into buying into their anti-war assault on the Bush Administration, Republicans and American troops fighting the war against terror in the mid-east battlefront...., isn't it time for MoveOn.org to just move on....?
Take a look for yourself in Randy Hall's piece at cnsnews and in excerpts below. Lance at Red State Rant also gives an interesting take on MoveOn's slick trickery and misrepresentation in his posting Moveon.org lies and then covers up.
"MoveOn.org Restores Ad That Misidentifies 'US' Troops"
"After Cybercast News Service reported Wednesday that MoveOn.org had removed from its website a television advertisement that misrepresented a photograph of British soldiers as Americans, the liberal group restored the spot to its site. However, the group dropped an accompanying picture that had been altered to cover the fact that one of the soldiers in the ad was wearing shorts, which are not part of the American combat uniform.
As Cybercast News Service previously reported, the 30-second spot begins by stating: "Some folks won't be home this holiday season." The ad then pans across a group of soldiers getting military rations as the voiceover states that "150,000 American men and women are stuck in Iraq."
However, Todd Vician, a spokesman with the U.S. Defense Department, told Cybercast News Service after viewing the ad that none of the men featured in the photograph are wearing U.S. uniforms. "We don't have that style of desert camouflage," he said....
Late Wednesday afternoon, the ad, which a press release from MoveOn.org Political Action indicated "echoes Democrats' calls for an exit plan from Iraq" and attacks Republicans for "failing to offer a plan to end the U.S. occupation" of that country," vanished from the group's website. When the spot reappeared hours later, the site no longer contained a scroll of still shots from the advertisement, including the picture of the soldiers...."
Thursday, December 01, 2005
MSM's and the rest of the hard left's obsession to bury the war has them on the wrong side of the facts....
The MSM's premature obituary for the war and democracy in Iraq took a big hit yesterday.... with President Bush's war strategy address and accompanying complementary written report that spells his strategy out in more detail.
So.... now they have to face the realization that their death watch will be perpetual and their anticipated and predicted early demise for the United States and Iraq in the war against extreme fundamentalist Islamic terrorism has been greatly over-rated.... and over-stated.
Rather, it is their own war against the Bush Administration and the American, allied and Iraqi troops that is a loser.
Tom Donnelly's analysis of written version of Bush's "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq"
Snagged here, it is well worth a mandatory read.... which can be done there or below.
"The Goal is Victory What the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq means for fighting the counterinsurgency."
"OH, YEAH. Victory. Almost forgot about that one.
Only time and continued effort will tell whether President Bush can retake the high ground in the debate over the Iraq war, but reminding Americans of the value of victory is an excellent way to seize the initiative. In his speech yesterday at the Naval Academy, the president began to change the subject from withdrawal to winning. It's about time.
And the complementary release of the "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" helps flesh out the path to success in greater detail than was possible in the speech. After so many stumbles over so many months, it is at last possible to have some confidence that the administration is on the right strategic track. The security strategy of "clear, hold, and build" is classic counterinsurgency doctrine. About time we got around to that, too.
The "Victory" document details a security strategy of six parts:
(1) The enemy "can win only if we surrender." That is, the military equation in Iraq is lopsided in our favor; the enemy has neither the manpower or firepower even to take on today's Iraqi army in a fight of any significant size or duration, let alone U.S. or British forces. Yes, the "insurgents" can explode roadside bombs or drive suicide cars into crowds, but the object of the terror campaign is purely political, and its primary target is American public opinion.
(2) American forces need to stay in Iraq until the mission is complete. The drawdown of U.S. forces coming next year should
not be confused with withdrawal. The Army and Marines need a rest, and Iraqi troops will take on a larger role, but victory lies in a continuing coalition of the two forces that matter most: Americans and Iraqis.
(3) Political progress will help shape the battlefield. As Iraqis are compelled to make a choice about their future, it will be easier to distinguish good guys from bad guys, "those who can be won over to support the new Iraqi state from the terrorists and insurgents who must either be killed or captured."
(4) Building a stable Iraqi state means "training, equipping and mentoring" Iraqi security forces, both army and police.
(5) There's no separating conditions inside Iraq from conditions in the region. Victory means that "regional meddling and infiltrations can be contained and/or neutralized." Syria, this means you. You too, Iran.
(6) Iraqis must embrace their new freedom and fight for it. We can "help, assist, and train," but ultimately the victory is theirs to be won.
THIS IS AN ESSENTIALLY SOUND STRATEGY, and there are two keys to realizing it. First, the U.S. military must stick with its new-found tactical approach meant to control territory rather than seek out enemy forces. Again, a more serious counterinsurgency strategy might have done this sooner, but weaning the American military--and the civilian leadership of the Pentagon--from its fixation on battle rather than war and its disdain for "boots on the ground" has not been easy.
We have been "clearing" the enemy out of Iraq, sweeping through but rarely staying, since the initial invasion, but only lately have we taken to "holding" ground in the Sunni regions where the counterinsurgency contest is centered. It's never too late to start doing the right thing. The "victory strategy" is worth quoting at some length:
During much of 2004, major parts of Iraq and important urban centers were no-go areas for Iraqi and Coalition forces. Fallujah, Najaf and Samara were under enemy control. Today, these cities are under Iraqi government control, and the political process is taking hold. Outside of major urban areas, Iraqi and Coalition forces are clearing out hard core enemy elements, maintaining a security presence, and building local institutions to advance local construct and civil society.
Please let it be so.
The second crucial element is, of course, creating Iraqi security forces that give substance to the dream of a new government in Baghdad. For all the empty promises of the past, the president's speech makes it clear that the administration is at last taking this effort seriously, even though the president continues to link "standing up" Iraqi forces so that American forces can "stand down."
Again, the purpose of making an Iraqi state is not so we can leave, but so we can continue the work of creating a greater Middle East that we can live with, whose repression does not become terrorist violence.
PERHAPS MORE IMPORTANTLY, Bush stressed that building a competent Iraqi army cannot be rushed. One of the reasons that the process of creating an Afghan National Army has been a success is that it's being done with patience, and the ANA has never been allowed to lose a confrontation with a potentially hostile force. The initial battle of Falluja was a greater catastrophe for the Iraqi army than it was for U.S. forces.
Indeed, one of the most misleading bits of recent conventional wisdom has been that the Iraqi army doesn't need to be as good as the U.S. Army. Indeed, very few ground forces are, so that's an unrealistic standard. But the Iraqi army needs to be very disciplined: The challenges of counterinsurgency war are no less for Iraqis than they are for Americans.
Distinguishing friend from foe or civilian from combatant in a split second, in the midst of chaos, in an ambush--choosing at the right moment to fire or to hold fire when every action might be captured on television--asks a lot of a young soldier. Like the Marines, the Iraqi army needs some "strategic corporals."
It is also clear from the president's speech that the quality of Iraqi army training has been vastly improved since the early days. Much more impressive than Bush's recitation of the total numbers of soldiers and units was the affirmation that there is "an increased focus on leadership training, with professional development courses for Iraqi squad leaders and platoon sergeants and warrant officers and sergeants major." Given that counterinsurgencies are small-unit wars, this sharpened focus is 20-20.
And given the administration's initially fuzzy approach to this war, let us pray that it is finally seeing things more clearly."
A Hamiltonian President Bush puts the quietus on hard left demagogues about his war strategy.... at last!
Monday morning quarterbacking and carping are easy for the armchair demagogues who have offered up no war strategy of their own since September 11, 2001. Their time for putting up has long since been past due, which has not inspired them to "shut up." So.... how about doing so now.
Excerpts from Owens' piece are below.... or you can read all at the above link.
"The president’s speech today at the Naval Academy is as fine an example of republican rhetoric as I have heard since the presidency of Ronald Reagan.
In Number 71 of The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton wrote about the relationship between presidential rhetoric and public opinion in a republic.
'There are some who would be inclined to regard the servile pliancy of the Executive to a prevailing current, either in the community or in the legislature, as its best recommendation. But such men entertain very crude notions, as well of the purposes for which government was instituted, as of the true means by which the public happiness may be promoted.
The republican principle demands that the deliberate sense of the community should govern the conduct of those to whom they intrust the management of their affairs; but it does not require an unqualified complaisance to every sudden breeze of passion, or to every transient impulse which the people may receive from the arts of men, who flatter their prejudices to betray their interests....'
One of the most important functions of the president in our form of republican government, writes Hamilton, is to shape public opinion, not put his finger in the air to determine what direction the wind is blowing...."
I don’t know if President Bush has ever read The Federalist Papers, but the steps he is to taking to explain the policy and strategy of the United States in Iraq means that he has at long last recognized Hamilton’s principle. His speech today at the Naval Academy is as fine an example of republican rhetoric as I have heard since the presidency of Ronald Reagan.
We often forget that opinion polls have no constitutional standing. Nonetheless, when properly done, they can tell us a great deal about what the citizenry are thinking. And it is clear that in the absence of any attempt by the president to defend his policies, the vacuum has been filled by “by the wiles of parasites and sycophants, by the snares of the ambitious, the avaricious, the desperate, by the artifices of men who possess [the people’s] confidence more than they deserve it, and of those who seek to possess rather than to deserve it.” Under such circumstances, it should not be surprising that public support for the war has gone down....
Another name for such operators is “demagogue.” Our demagogues have pandered to the fears and weaknesses of the American rather than to their virtues and strengths. In his Naval Academy speech, President Bush did just the opposite, exercising his “duty [as one whom the people have] appointed to be the guardians of [their] … interests, to withstand the temporary delusion, in order to give them time and opportunity for more cool and sedate reflection.”
Today’s speech is the opening salvo in a campaign of public diplomacy to reinvigorate the war effort and restore public support for our enterprise in Iraq. It coincides with the release of the president’s Iraq strategy document, which is important in and of itself. The fact is that the United States has always had a strategy for Iraq, but any strategy worthy of the name must be adaptable.
What critics mean when they say there is no strategy is that they don’t like what the president is doing, although none have offered any alternative but withdrawal. By publishing the outline of his strategy, the president makes it impossible for his critics to take the easy way out. Now they will have to put up or shut up…if only.
As far as the speech goes, I think he did a fine job today. Now he needs to keep up the fire...."