Thursday, July 24, 2003

Wow. It's been quite a while since I last posted.

But with the economy improving, interest rates rising and refinancing dropping off, the work-related frenzy seems over. Now there'll be less money coming in but more time for other things, including blogging. Not so sure that's a good tradeoff.

Regardless, I neglected this blog to spend some time checking out some sites. Took a walk on the wild side at dailykos for a few days. Attempted some meeting of the minds with some mixed results. Especially with Steve Gilliard, who is easily enough engaged but rarely, if ever, swayed.

Not all of the posters there seemed as hardcore as him, but the overall attitude was unsettling. Think, do, or say anything on any issue to get Bush the hell out. Felt like an inbed behind enemy lines.

Felt so good to be out of harm's way that I went straight to littlegreenfootballs and celebrated by posting about the disappointment on the part of the Left to the good news about the demise of the Saddam sons.

Pictures here and here.

Good to be back.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Three cheers for Tony Blair

An impressive, eloquent, stirring speech from PM Tony Blair. Heck, it was downright flag-waiving. Foxnews has the transcript on its website.

He began:
Mr. Speaker and Mr. Vice President, honorable members of Congress, I'm deeply touched by that warm and generous welcome. That's more than I deserve and more than I'm used to, quite frankly.

...And our tribute to them (servicemen and women) should be measured in this way, by showing them and their families that they did not strive or die in vain, but that through their sacrifice future generations can live in greater peace, prosperity and hope.

One of the best cases for support:
Can we be sure that terrorism and weapons of mass destruction will join together? Let us say one thing: If we are wrong, we will have destroyed a threat that at its least is responsible for inhuman carnage and suffering. That is something I am confident history will forgive.

But if our critics are wrong, if we are right, as I believe with every fiber of instinct and conviction I have that we are, and we do not act, then we will have hesitated in the face of this menace when we should have given leadership. That is something history will not forgive.

Bush's plain-spoken stern conviction and Blair's Churchillian (as it's been described) eloquence and passion went a long way to elevating the discussion to what really matters. In Blair's words:
Anywhere, anytime ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same: freedom, not tyranny; democracy, not dictatorship; the rule of law, not the rule of the secret police.

The spread of freedom is the best security for the free. It is our last line of defense and our first line of attack. And just as the terrorist seeks to divide humanity in hate, so we have to unify it around an idea. And that idea is liberty.

We must find the strength to fight for this idea and the compassion to make it universal.

Abraham Lincoln said, "Those that deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."

And it is this sense of justice that makes moral the love of liberty.

Tough to watch that speech and not get choked up. And more than once. In fact, during panel time on Special Edition, Fred Barnes had trouble finishing his last sentece as he described Blair's comment about the National Anthem. In Blair's words:
Tell the world why you're proud of America. Tell them when the Star-Spangled Banner starts, Americans get to their feet, Hispanics, Irish, Italians, Central Europeans, East Europeans, Jews, Muslims, white, Asian, black, those who go back to the early settlers and those whose English is the same as some New York cab driver's I've dealt with ... but whose sons and daughters could run for this Congress.

Tell them why Americans, one and all, stand upright and respectful. Not because some state official told them to, but because whatever race, color, class or creed they are, being American means being free. That's why they're proud.

He wasn't the only one.

The debates may drag on indefinitely, but it's apparent that Bush and Blair have risen above the petty political bickering and reminded us, in their own words, why we are where we are; and why we must go where we must.

That sounds so clumsy compared to Blair's own words. Glenn Reynold's "Advice for Democrats" also makes an eloquent case and rises above the bickering WMD-gate issues, in a Blairish way.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Thanks, Glenn Reynolds, for the mention.
FOXNEWS HONG KONG UPDATE: Reader Paul Shelton emails:

Seems like someone got your memo about FoxNews not picking up the Hong Kong protestors. Tony Snow and the All-Star panel gave the story a thorough discussion.

Wow. What pull. Maybe as much as Moveon.org has with CNN.

Surely not that much.

UPDATE: Speaking of Hong Kong, the protests seem to be doing some good, as officials resign under pressure.

posted at 08:58 PM by Glenn Reynolds

And it was just a tongue-in-cheek remark that FoxNews takes memos from Instapundit.

Or was it?

Two for one special

Fresh from flooding the headlines with the Niger intelligence during Bush's trip to Africa, detractors in the media seemingly are going for a 2 for 1 special. The same intelligence issues that have made headlines for a couple of weeks apparently have been deemed to "have legs" enough to greet Prime Minister Blair when he arrives on Thursday to meet with Bush.

The NYTimes take is Dispute on Iraq Weapons Clouds Blair's Trip to U.S.

More on UraniumGate at Senators Press Tenet on Assertion About Iraqi Uranium.

Nevermind that Thomas Friedman simply refuses to be a team player at the NYT with his Winning the Real War. Instapundit and andrew sullivan link to good quotes. Here's another:

Eyes on the prize, please. If we find W.M.D. in Iraq, but lose Iraq, Mr. Bush will not only go down as a failed president, but one who made the world even more dangerous for Americans. If we find no W.M.D., but build a better Iraq — one that proves that a multiethnic, multireligious Arab state can rule itself in a decent way — Mr. Bush will survive his hyping of the W.M.D. issue, and the world will be a more hospitable and safer place for all Americans.

No wonder Friedman gets abused in the DailyKos posts.

The WaPost widens the debate to many intelligence "questions." A sidebar summary provides even more resources:

__ Weapons of Mass Destruction __

• Bush, Rice Blame CIA for Iraq Error (Post, July 12, 2003 )

• CIA Asked Britain To Drop Iraq Claim (Post, July 11, 2003 )

• White House Backs Off Claim on Iraqi Buy (Post, July 8, 2003 )

• Secretary Expects Arms to Be Found (Post, June 25, 2003 )

• Lawmakers Begin Iraq Intelligence Hearings (Post, June 19, 2003 )

• Full Coverage of the Hunt for WMD

___ The Debate ___
• Commentary & Opinion
• Post Editorials

The WaPost deserves some credit, however, for bothering to print this: Italy May Have Forwarded Uranium Claims, although it comes a little late to the controversy.

As to the Blair visit, one story reveals the smell of conspiracy--VisitGate?:
Bush has a full menu of perks to reward a foreign leader. The selective special treatment has another purpose, too: It sends a not-so-subtle message to those who miss out.

But UraniumGate is not forgotten:
Bush and Blair stood shoulder to shoulder in the war to depose Saddam Hussein. Now they face similar problems, particularly questions about their still-undocumented claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Even Silvio Berlusconi's trip is clouded in controversy, since "...Like Bush and Blair, the Italian leader has problems, too." Apparently, insulting a German minister is a "problem" for the WaPost.

But Bush might not consider that a problem. More like Berlusconi's ticket into Camp David and the Ranch.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

You mean UraniumGate isn't a 'Gate after all?

The UK Telegraph reports that the French intelligence services do have evidence of a Niger Yellowcake deal but are withholding it:

French secret service 'kept CIA in the dark over Iraq and uranium'
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 14/07/2003)

The French secret service is believed to have refused to allow MI6 to give the Americans "credible" intelligence showing that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore from Niger, US intelligence sources said yesterday.

MI6 had more than one "different and credible" piece of intelligence to show that Iraq was attempting to buy the ore, known as yellowcake, British officials insisted. But it was given to them by at least one and possibly two intelligence services and, under the rules governing cooperation, it could not be shared with anyone else without the originator's permission.

US intelligence sources believe that the most likely source of the MI6 intelligence was the French secret service, the DGSE. Niger is a former French colony and its uranium mines are run by a French company that comes under the control of the French Atomic Energy Commission...

US sources also point out that the French government was vehemently opposed to the war with Iraq and so suggest that it would have been instinctively against the idea of passing on the intelligence.

Could this be the handywork of the French-looking, not having served in Vietnam, Jacques Chirac?

And as to the NYT and WashPost's favorite, oft-cited Joseph C Wilson, IV:
They dismissed a report from a former US diplomat who was sent to Niger to investigate the claims and rejected them. "He seems to have asked a few people if it was true and when they said 'no' he accepted it all," one official said. "We see no reason at all to change our assessment."

Many thanks ought to go to: Jacques Chirac, the NYT, the WashPost and the Democratic candidates for creating this issue and managing to trip themselves up over the stubborn facts. If they could just keep this up for about a year or so.

And credit the watchdog (and when necessary, the attack dog) LittleGreenFootballs for the link.

Niger-Iraq uranium deal: What does Chirac know, and when did he know it?

John Batchelor/Paul Alexander on WABC interviewed John Loftis Tuesday morning, who reported that French intelligence HAS CONFIRMATION that Iraq was seeking yellowcake from Nigeria. The French intelligence service has the Nigerian unanium mine operator's name and the exact amount of yellowcake that was being sought.

The problem was Chirac. The French intel service apparently knew that Chirac wouldn't allow them to share the intel with the British, so the Brits couldn't get the hard evidence to provide to the CIA.

So instead, the Brits went to the Italians, who also said the story was true and could get confirmation. But they were apparently set up by a Nigerian diplomat who sold them the infamous forged documents for a few thousand dollars.

But both the French and the Nigerian diplomats have reportedly been lying about the whole uranium procurement attempts. The often cited "former CIA" diplomat, Joseph C Wilson, IV, wrote a NYT article that relaunched the debate the Sunday before Bush's trip to Africa. Wilson was quoted in both the NYT and the WashPost:
A former diplomat was sent by the CIA to the region to check on the allegations and reported back that one of the Nigerian officials he met "stated that he was unaware of any contract being signed between Niger and rogue states for the sale of uranium during his tenure in office..."

The WashPost or the NYT didn't bother pushing their investigative reporting past this "Nigerian official's" apparently patent lie; or Wilson's immediate acceptance of it. (At least Jayson Blair at the NYT would have had the sense to save a trip to Africa and make the whole story up at his desk).

But Wilson was revealed in a piece in the NRO by Clifford May to be a Left-leaning, anti-Bush, anti-war partisan.

Gabon and Mali also reportedly were willing to deal with Iraq in the sale of yellowcake, but Batchelor and Alexander singled out Niger as a puppet of the French, who apparently have business interests in the Nigerian uranium mines.

No word yet from Jacques Chirac...

Monday, July 14, 2003

Sitting here working with Beatles Anthology playing in the background. When Lennon's "I'm only sleeping" was playing, my mind meadered to what it must have been like for him, sitting in his New York apartment in the Dakota, overlooking the spot in Central Park that would later be dedicated to him, Strawberry Fields.
Lying here and staring at the ceiling
waiting for that sleepy feeling...
please don't wake me
no, don't shake me
leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping.

And of course, having earned the right to live comfortably enough to spend the day in his apartment, listening to tunes and tripping on acid, watching people scurrying about.

And then J.F.Kerry pops into my mind. Must be from the snapshot of him and John Lennon on stage in '71 that went around yesterday. Kind of jarring mental image, actually. Not sure how to take it.

But you wonder if he and Lennon partied together. I'm not saying they dropped acid, or anything. Mabye a quick doobie backstage?

I don't mean anything by it. Just saying.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

RadioFarda reports how Iran managed to block Western satellites:
Cuba Helps Iran to Block Los Angeles-based Anti-Regime TV, Says Broadcaster

•The Operator of Telstar 12 informed Los-Angeles-based Persian-language TV broadcasters that the source of disruptions in their satellite signal is in Cuba, head of Azadi TV Reza Fazeli tells Radio Farda. He says he and other broadcasters are signing a deal with a satellite operator half owned by the US Navy, and will soon resume broadcasts to Iran on new channels. (Jamshid Chalangi)

Friday, July 11, 2003

Critics lied about Bush having lied

NRO's Clifford D May exposes the "lies" about Bush having "lied" about the uranium from Niger (pronounced Neee--ZZZJJJERE):
A big part of the reason this has grown into such a brouhaha is that Joseph C. Wilson IV wrote an op-ed about it in last Sunday's New York Times in which he said: "I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat."

...let's give Wilson the benefit of the doubt and stipulate that he was correct when he reported back to the CIA that he believed it was "highly doubtful that any such transaction ever took place. "

...But, again, because it was "doubtful" that Saddam actually acquired yellowcake from Niger, it does not follow that he never sought it there or elsewhere in Africa, which is all the president suggested based on what the British said — and still say.

So Wilson parsed his words to either make or bolster his case.

But was there a motive for Wilson's parsing? May continues:

It also would have been useful for the New York Times and others seeking Wilson's words of wisdom to have provided a little background on him. For example:

He was an outspoken opponent of U.S. military intervention in Iraq.

He's an "adjunct scholar" at the Middle East Institute — which advocates for Saudi interests. The March 1, 2002 issue of the Saudi government-weekly Ain-Al Yaqeen lists the MEI as an "Islamic research institutes supported by the Kingdom."

He's a vehement opponent of the Bush administration which, he wrote in the March 3, 2003 edition of the left-wing Nation magazine, has "imperial ambitions." Under President Bush, he added, the world worries that "America has entered one of it periods of historical madness."

He also wrote that "neoconservatives" have "a stranglehold on the foreign policy of the Republican Party." He said that "the new imperialists will not rest until governments that ape our world view are implanted throughout the region, a breathtakingly ambitious undertaking, smacking of hubris in the extreme."

He was recently the keynote speaker for the Education for Peace in Iraq Center, a far-left group that opposed not only the U.S. military intervention in Iraq but also the sanctions — and even the no-fly zones that protected hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Kurds and Shias from being slaughtered by Saddam.

And consider this: Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Wilson did believe that Saddam had biological weapons of mass destruction. But he raised that possibility only to argue against toppling Saddam, warning ABC's Dave Marash that if American troops were sent into Iraq, Saddam might "use a biological weapon in a battle that we might have. For example, if we're taking Baghdad or we're trying to take, in ground-to-ground, hand-to-hand combat." He added that Saddam also might attempt to take revenge by unleashing "some sort of a biological assault on an American city, not unlike the anthrax, attacks that we had last year."

In other words, Wilson is no disinterested career diplomat — he's a pro-Saudi, leftist partisan with an ax to grind. And too many in the media are helping him and allies grind it.

Tenet accepts blame for critics' lies about Bush having lied

Since the NRO article, George Tenet has apparently agreed to be the fall guy. From the WashPost:
"These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president," Tenet said in a statement released after Bush and his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, blamed the miscue on the CIA and members of Congress called for someone to be held accountable.

"This was a mistake," the director's statement said.

Tenet said the responsibility for vetting the allegations included in Bush's State of the Union address about Iraqi efforts to get uranium from Africa beloing to the CIA and ultimately with himself.

"Let me be clear about several things right up front," he said. "First, CIA approved the president's State of the Union address before it was delivered. Second, I am responsible for the approval process in my agency. And third, the president had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound."

The WashPost obligingly provides the "crucial evidence" upon which much of this media frenzy has been based:
A former diplomat was sent by the CIA to the region to check on the allegations and reported back that one of the Nigerian officials he met "stated that he was unaware of any contract being signed between Niger and rogue states for the sale of uranium during his tenure in office," Tenet said.

And that "former diplomat" would be...none other than Joseph C. Wilson IV, right?

So Wilson was "unaware of any contract being signed." Hmm. So, what? Case closed? Whether true or not, one is led to believe that Saddam couldn't have "sought" to acquire anything without making Joseph C. Wilson IV aware of it. And in addition, Saddam would have to have had a contract signed. Nothing else would do, apparently--not a verbal contract, not a "seeking" of nuclear materials from either Niger, Somalia or the Congo (as suggested on Foxnews' Special with Brit Hume).

Oh, well. Good ole George tenet. What a team player to fall on his own sword. E tu, Bush?

But what a knucklehead. May wrote that "Mr. Wilson was sent to Niger by the CIA" to verify the uranium claim. Why send Wilson? Tenet may as well have sent Terry McCauliffe, Howard Dean, or the French-looking J.F.Kerry, who happens to have served in Vietnam.

But of course, the dailykos still smells a conspiracy. Nothing gets past them.

The BBC of Saudi Arabia, Arabnews, describes Iran as an innocent present and future likely victim of US aggression in Who's turn is it next?

It was too easy to take the bait:

OK, so the US is influencing events in Iran and denying visas.

On the other hand, Iran is actively funding "resistence" in Iraq. And along with Syria and Lebanon, is bringing in fighters to destabilize Iraq.

Sounds like a fair fight to me, right? Just bring on the fight, and quit your bitching.

You try to tie the US down in Iraq to delay our coming after Iran. We try to destabilize Iran with the students. Oh, and we'll leave you rich princes in Saudi Arabia to fend for yourselves since your paymasters are also financing "resistance" in Iraq.

And the denial of visas? Boo Freaking Hoo! If the US is such a Great Satan, then why bother coming here and defiling yourselves.

Paul S.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

What is up with Blogger lately? What you see isn't always what you get.

Anyway, this fits in there someplace in the last post:

Instapundit reports the mostly deafening silence by the mainstream media on the protests. They would rather take the bait on two other stories:

Top story at the Tehran Times is their well-planned distration, the IAEA visit.

And the incredibly well timed separation operation of the conjoined twins that died. Not to be cruel. It's just striking.
Iranians spent much of last night driving around Tehran blowing their horns in defiance, according to WSJ correspondent on the Batchelor & Alexander show on WABC am radio.

The suppression of the protests seems to have, at least in part, backfired on the Mullahs. Also, Khatami is now being regarded as "impotent," after remaining silent on the protests. He even got dissed by his own brother.

RadioFarda reports:
Regime Crushes July 9 Demonstrations in Tehran

•Police and plainclothes security agents violently put down anti-regime unrest that started around 8 PM in the Enqelab circle, near Tehran University's main campus, Tehran university student Mohammad Amini, an eyewitness, tells Radio Farda. He says more than 20,000 people gathered in the area, despite heavy anti-riot police and security agents presence. “They just beat people, with anything they can grab, clubs, chains, whips and iron bars, he adds. Panting heavily, he says he was struck on the neck with a club. “They have no mercy; they beat people. People have started bon fires in the Enqelab circle and in the Azadi avenue, but the police smothered them. He adds that the demonstration began half-hour ago, when the area swelled with cars and people. He adds that the area was more crowded than usual since this morning, with people gathering to shout anti-regime slogans, only to be dispersed under attacks by the security agents. The plainclothes agents broke windshields and windows of honking cars, and videotaped the whole scene. Police arrested many of those who shouted slogans demanding the release of arrested students, he adds. (Mahmonir Rahimi)

Instapundit reports the mostly deafening silence by the mainstream media on the protests. They would rather take the bait on two other stories:

Top story at the Tehran Times is their well-planned distration, the IAEA visit.

And the incredibly well timed separation operation of the conjoined twins that died. Not to be cruel. It's just striking.

Unrelatedly, Dar Al Hayat reports:
Israeli Police Arrests Saddam Hussein
Reuters 2003/07/10
Saddam Hussein has been arrested in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

No, not that Saddam Hussein.

Israeli police said on Thursday they arrested a 21-year-old Druze Arab who shares the same name as the ousted and missing Iraqi president after he threw stones at an Israeli tourist bus.

"Police in the Golan...succeeded in doing what no one else has done -- they arrested Saddam Hussein," quipped national police spokesman Gil Kleiman.

Oh, sure, that's a real side-splitter.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

July 9th--Iranian student anniversary day

Reuters reports that students vow to defy the protest ban:
"We haven't obtained any permission for gatherings but there will be some sit-in protests at the universities and some people are going to gather outside the U.N. building," in Tehran, one student leader told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

But expectations are seemingly being lowered:
But with little organization or leadership for the planned protests and security expected to be tight, most analysts expect any gatherings to be small-scale and quickly dispersed.

Jeff Jarvis has more links about Iran.

Pejman Yousefzadeh looks at some possible future leaders for Iran in his article for Techcentralstation.

NRO's Pooya Dayanim's Judgement Day describes the steps taken by the regime to suppress the protests, but concludes with:
Judgment Day is approaching for those who have shed the blood of tens of thousands of innocent Iranians. Judgment Day is approaching for those who have ordered the stoning of women. Judgment Day is approaching for those who ordered the bombing of the Jewish community center in Argentina. Judgment Day is approaching for those who ordered the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon and the Khobar Towers in Riyadh. Judgment Day is approaching for those who started the chant: "Death to America" and everything America stands for. Judgment Day is approaching for the Islamic Republic of Iran. It may not be tomorrow, but soon this evil regime will join the other evil regimes in the dustbin of history. Judgment Day will come.

Although Hohamed ElBaradei's IAEA visit to Tehran is being seen as a distraction from the protests--he just happened to go on July 9th?!--here is some of the ridiculous Kabuki dance with the UN: RadioFarda news reports:
Reformist MP Ahmad Azimi implicitly criticized Iran's refusal so far to sign the additional protocol of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which would allow impromptu inspection of Iran's nuclear facilities. This is the first time a regime official criticizes Iran's position on the protocol.

But not surprisingly come warm fuzzy cooing noises of compromise from Iran's own Tehran Times:
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Tuesday that ElBaradei's visit should be aimed at building mutual trust.

"Tehran is ready to listen to ElBaradei's views, and we hope that during the negotiations Iran's concerns and standpoints are also taken into consideration," he said in a telephone conversation with Annan, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Here's where the Kabuki dance gets good:
Tehran has conditioned the signing of the additional protocol on nuclear countries lifting of sanctions which Iran says have been preventing the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear energy know-how.

Iran, which is a signatory to the NPT, would like to be provided with the technology in order to complete its nuclear energy plans in order to generate 7,000 megawatts of electricity in the next 20 years.

Hmmm. But with as ridiculous as that "deal" might sound--compliance in exchange for nuclear weapons--one ought to ask: What would Hans Blix do? Agree to "more inspections" and "more time" for more inspections, right?

So in that light, like in The Godfather, that might be one offer that ElBaradei can't refuse.

On another Iranian front, NRO's Max Singer's Keeping It a Victory highlights the Iran-Iraq connection most likely the source of funding behind the daily deaths of our soldiers:
Major enemies of the U.S. — primarily Iran, Syria, and various organizational expressions of militant Islam, most of which are dependent on Saudi money — have chosen to protect themselves by going on the offensive, joining forces with the underground Saddam and Baathist remnants...

And this one's for the Mullahs:
The most important enemy is Iran, and events there may now be heading toward a climax, regardless of U.S. policy. There are signs that the recent demonstrations in Teheran and other cities shook the regime, which is now trying to prevent the strike and demonstrations scheduled for July 9. This increases the stakes, and makes it easier to focus opposition on that date.

If Iranian subversion continues to threaten the U.S. in Iraq, President Bush is likely to try to relieve the pressure by encouraging Iranians who want to free their country from the oppression of the mullahs. Such a policy would not require anything like the public debate needed for military action.

That's right. And no begging hat in hand on bended knee for one last vote at the UN this time. On the other hand, unlike the UN's opportunistic switch to shamelessly pushing for US troops into Liberia, the UN will unsurprisingly not lift a finger for the suffering and dying Iranians. Aside from basically offering the regime nuclear weapons, that is. *sigh*

Anyway, hopefully the Iranians struggling for change will get from us what they seem to desire the most: encouragement, support, and steadfast conviction for a do-it-yourself Iranian solution. And not just on July 9th, but for as long as it takes.

Good luck to them.

andrewsullivan again disses sweet little Ann Coulter's book as a "dumb and ugly message." This time, though, he links to an excellent piece by David Horowitz. Horowitz, though, seems not to be so harsh as Sullivan. Clip:
It is important for conservatives to make distinctions between those on the Left who were (and are) traitors or self-conceived enemies of the United States, and those who were (and are) the fellow-travelers of enemies of the United States, and those who are neither traitors, nor enemies, nor friends and protectors of enemies, but are American patriots who disagree with conservatives over tactical and policy issues.

Sure, there's little doubt that Coulter is a bit reckless in the breadth of her accusations. And then she seems incapable of backing down from anything she says.

Of course, much the same was said about Hillary Clinton and her book. And already it's all but forgotten.

So as long as the wave of attention keeps swelling, Coulter should ride it. Oh my--that sure came out funny...

Monday, July 07, 2003

How's about some good news out of Iraq?

Even the NYTimes sounds somewhat positive about the "governing" body being set up in Iraq later this month.

And one solution to the daily US casualties:
At the same time, several prominent members of the former opposition forces, including Massoud Barzani, the Kurdish leader, and Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress, said they were urging United States military commanders in Iraq to allow the creation of an Iraqi national security force to help thwart attacks that are destabilizing the country.

"We always told the Americans that the most difficult stage would be after the war and that it is not good for them to be in the forefront," Mr. Barzani said after the daylong session.

"They should keep their distance," he added, "and support Iraqi forces as they try to solve the problems themselves."

Amen to that, although 7 Iraqis on their police academy graduation day already made the ultimate sacrifice.

The WashPost paints a picture of growing fear in Iraq, but the Iraqis themselves aren't giving up:
The growing number of attacks on U.S. forces has also disquieted some Iraqis, who worry that rising casualty figures will prompt President Bush to start withdrawing troops before Hussein is caught and fighters loyal to him are rounded up.

"Inside every one of us there is the fear of what will happen if the American people start pushing their government because they are losing so many soldiers every day," said Fadhil Majid, an employee at a bridal shop in the Adhamiyah neighborhood. "If they decide to withdraw, what will happen to us? Saddam is still free. With all the [militiamen] around, what kind of life will we have?"

Wonder if any of the anti-war, "Bush lied," "get us out of this quagmire" types read this, too.

Iraq from the Left

moveon.org, who brought us that crucial straw poll won by--surprise--Howard Dean (better luck next time, Kucinich) shows a picture of Pres. Bush with the caption, "MisLeader."

But even one of Howard Dean's biggest online cheerleader, Steve Gilliard's dailykos, can't seem to do more than nitpick Bremer's plan in Gilliard's "What to do in Iraq."

First, we need to realize that we will be unable to provide security in Iraq. Until we can build an Iraqi Army of 100,000, not the 40,000 currently projected, Iraq will be essentially insecure...

Second, all such talk of "having to finish the job," "Saddam broke it, we'll fix it" is nonsense. We are only in Iraq as long as the Shia clerics tolerate us...
Third, we need to establish dates for an election and work towards that by conductiing a UN-monitored census, survey and finally election...
And more UN:
Fourth, bringing in the UN in an advisory role and phasing out the CPA would be a very smart move...

Aside from his overall doom and gloom, especially about the Shia clerics, and aside from his longing for the U.N., Gilliard seems to be simply nitpicking. But I love his disclaimer:
I do some technical work for Howard Dean.
So maybe Gilliard can run some of his 5-point plan past Dean, because you'd think Dean would vehemently disagree. Dean still seems to be surfing the anti-war wave that won him that crucial straw poll. And won him online $$$.

So will Dean and the Dems defiantly stay anti-war and raise more money? Would President Dean pull us out of the Iraqi quagmire despite the will of most Iraqis?

Hey, does Dean even give a crap about foreign policy or what the DailyKos suggests for Iraq, as long as this "Internet insurgency" keeps bringing him in money?

So many questions, so few answers.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Have a non-treasonous Independence day

After having seen Ann Coulter again on tv defending her latest book, it was interesting to see andrewsullivan's take on her, Coulter Dissected. It's hard to get past her virulence sometimes, probably because it is a tactic most often used by the Left (the "passion thing"). But I've got to admit that there's something fascinating about watching someone passionately bash the Left who's also a blonde babe.

A.S. links to Bendan Nyham's piece on Coulter and describes it as a "devastating little piece." But after suffering through 9 pages of it, maybe "hairsplitting" would be more accurate. If picking at details about her quotes and their sources is the best rebuttal to Coulter's broad point, it kind of leaves her charge standing.

I haven't even read the book. What convinced me was when I heard some of the tapes from McCarthy's Un-American Activities hearings that aired on Cspan about a year ago. It blew my mind.

I remember thinking: that sounds just like the Left today. One of the more interesting ones was when McCarthy read a list of states starting with the largest Communist Party membership (not sure of the exact order): New York, California, Illinois, Washington state, New Jersey, etc. Maybe not still Communist today, but all of the states still are heavily Democratic.

He also described the Communist Party targets for infiltration in the US:
McCarthy also described some of the tactics used by American Communists. They included party literature that advocated the heavy use of emotion to make their case, even condoning deception and deceit under the umbrella of something like "whatever the means." Straight out of George Orwell. Or an ANSWER coalition anti-war rally.

And of course they threw in opposing the "imperialist foreign policy goals" of the US and of Great Britain. It was basically whatever the US and Great Britain support, you need to be against. And of course it included populist talk of revolution and popular overthrow of government, if necessary.

Sounds pretty much like treason, doesn't it? Not to say that some, if not many, Dems today are treasonous. If that even is Coulter's main point in her book. But it's hard to argue that McCarthy was NOT onto something important. And that that something--call it treason, subversion, revolution, anarchism, Communism, Socialism, or modern anti-American-blame America first-guilty-Liberal Lefty-ism--is still a force that can be felt today.

Like Ronald Reagan said at those same hearings, paraphrasing: the way to deal with Communism was with the Truth. He advocated getting more information and facts out to the American people; and that they could take care of the rest. That was in the early fifties, I think. Who knew that 30 years later he would use "the Truth" (and military spending) to take Communism down.

So if Ann Coulter is being "uncivil," then more power to her. The bias in the media that has existed for generations, including it's portrayal of McCarthy, has been at the very least "uncivil" and still needs to be redressed. Call it Affirmative Action for Conservatives.

But in the spirit of the 4th of July, maybe we all can simply take pride in something about this country and the sacrifices that made her possible. And if some people can't? Then, like Archie Bunker might have said: luv it er leave it, you treasonous Commie Pinko Fag Junkies.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

My nephew stopped by. Made him do chores. Builds character, I say. He might not agree.

Right, Paul Michael?

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