Saturday, March 31, 2007

Berger show on Fox

There's been an interesting back and forth at The Corner this morning about the upcoming Fox News expose about the Sandy Berger case. Former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, himself a guest on the show, set it up:
David Asman at Fox News will try to answer that perplexing question — with the help of moi, among others — in a special report called "Sox, Scissors, Paper: The Sandy Berger Caper." Naturally, since I will be appearing, the program will air Saturday night at 9pm — i.e., up against college basketball's annual crown jewel, the Final Four games. But I believe the program will also be rebroadcast sometime Sunday afternoon.
Mona Charen then chimed in with the news that Mr. Berger may have been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Said McCarthy:
Further, given the egregiousness of Berger's conduct and Justice's inexplicable decision to give him a mere slap on the wrist, it would have been greatly in both their interests to disclose a condition like a brain tumor if that had had anything whatsoever to do with the case and how it was resolved.
Danger Will Robinson. Based on the excoriation Katie Couric just received for her Edwards interview the nutroot attack machine might well explode on this one. In the annals of 'kicking a man when he's down' this one would be pretty high on the list.

Fox News needs to do some quick checking. Did a medical condition play a part in the sentencing or not? If not, is it possibly being suggested now to set up a post-show attack? The opinions from The Corner commentators are not very sympathetic thus far. Personally I think they should can (or at least postpone) the show if they can't get confirmation. It's not too late to fill the slot with a quick expose on Diane Feinstein's recent mysterious resignation from the MILCON subcommittee.

MORE 3/31/07


Andy McCarthy found the answer to the brain tumor rumor. It doesn't sound like something that would have been part of a settlement.

The show was rather enlightening (I could have done without David Asman's grin). Fox is doing the job 60 Minutes should have done long ago, who could have approached it from an angle of why the Bush administration was so lenient, perhaps suggestive of a quid pro quo. Who knows, maybe they were afraid of finding out that Berger was actually after something besides the Millennium After Action Report.

When asked for comment Berger's attorney Lanny Breuer issued a statement that said he has "moved on" with his life, which includes a consulting company called Stonebridge International. Bizarrely, 9/11 Commission co-chair Lee Hamilton is on the advisory board of Stonebridge, something Fox didn't mention.

Plame saga not over yet

Washington Times

Yes, there is a movie (and a book) in the can, but we've apparently not heard the last from Henry Waxman's posse. We can only hope the Code Pink guy, er gal has seen his, excuse me, her, 15 minutes of fame already.

On Monday Byron York reported that Georgia Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, one of only two Republicans who showed up at the hearing, had written a letter to the Chairman asking a few questions about the mysterious CIA staffers Ms. Plame vividly recalled in her made-for-TV testimomy yet had no recollection of during her made-for-Congress Senate Intelligence Committee appearance a few years ago.

But did Waxman accede? Negatory, rubber duck. The liberalist avenger fired off demands on the Senate for more information, specifically about this addendum at the end of the bi-partisan report, which made some assumptions about how Joe really went to Africa. Byron York reported back on Tuesday that Waxman may indeed end up satisfying Westmoreland's request in the process of trying to prove Plame's innocence, that is, if the CIA plays ball.

But wait, that's not all! The Wax Man has now demanded that Condi Rice make an appearance before his court, er, committee and fess up about the fake Niger docs. Weird, we now have Pelosi pretending to be the Secretary of State and Waxman pretending to be Patrick Fitzgerald. Their heads are so deeply embedded in sand they should be nearing the water table any day now.

Add the above to the British hostage situation and the idiotic war funding gamesmanship and it looks like we're heading to showdown city come April. It's all so pointless, but at the same time, all so important.

Something completely different

The world is crazy. Life is an enigma. So, since this is a blog and it doesn't matter, enjoy this flashback from the past, ignoring politics and current events for the moment.



And now, the past blasted into the present.



By the way.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Nancy Pelosi, double agent?

Slate.com

Madam Speaker has just announced that she'll "do the Diane" and visit Syria while on her Middle East Surrender Tour. Cripes, that joke Bush told comparing her to his mother must have really hit hard.

The speaker for the Speaker said that other than visiting the Israeli Knesset on Sunday the rest of her itinerary was top secret for security reasons. Isn't security a dirty word these days? Guess it depends on who's getting secured.

Anyway, White House spokesperson Dana Perino spoke for all thinking people when she said:
"We think that someone should take a step back and think about the message that it sends ... to our allies."
"Think"? It's feel, Ms. Perino, feel. Welcome to our new reality.

To heck with Syria, the real question is her other secret destinations. Probably a swing back by Baghdad and maybe Saudi Arabia, but how about Tehran? Just imagine her there talking to Mockmood while across town the al-qook Revolutionary Guards puppeteer another confession out of the Royal Navy prisoners (after a delicious meal).

But hold the phone. Let me propose a very strange and counter-intuitive idea. What if Ms. Nancy is not who she seems? Everyone believes she's at odds with Bush and wants to end the war, probably even the Middle Eastern tinhorns. Who better to gather intelligence? If she goes to Iran she can start by helping them chant "death to America" then maybe crack a few "Bush is an idiot" jokes while casually asking where they keep the infidels.

Yes, such a dangerous and patriotic stunt might result in her capture but in a war that threatens the very liberal lifestyle she's fought so many years to preserve, like womens rights and reproductive rights, currently given a backseat in that part of the world, chances must sometimes be taken. I'm imagining a ticker-tape parade down Park Avenue, or maybe her being crowned as an honorary Royal by the Queen.

Into Baghdad's no-man's land

According to the Iraqslogger forces are entering into the Duwanim district of Baghdad. So what, you say? Here's why it might be worth watching:
As reported earlier, Iraqi forces have not entered the area for a year.
It's supposedly a lawless place teaming with Sunni insurgents:
Slogger sources also report that a large part of the population in the area had been employed in nearby presidential installations during the old regime, and after the fall of the regime many were organized by the Ba'thist underground to support the resistance against the US and the new Iraqi government
Sounds like the perfect hiding spot for an old Republican Guard soldier like al-Baghdadi or his friend al-Masri.

By the way, an anniversary of sorts just passed and I missed it. Better late than never:
Rashed had been a member of a pro-Palestinian group that in the 1980s undertook a terrorist campaign against U.S. and Israeli interests, according to prosecutors. The group, known as the 15th of May for the date in 1948 when the first Arab-Israeli War began, was based in Iraq, with operatives around the world.
Who is Mohammed Rashed and what did he do? Well, he was sentenced last March 25th for planting a small bomb under a seat on Pan Am flight 830 from Toyko to Honolulu in 1982. Rashed got on the plane in Baghdad, where it originated, then got off in Tokyo only to leave the bomb on board to explode under the seat of Japanese teenager Toru Ozawa, who was killed. Fifteen others were injured but the plane managed to land safely.

Interestingly, this was the same MO used by super-terrorist Ramzi Yousef, himself a Palestinian sympathizer. Rashed's 15th of May terrorist group was relatively inactive past the mid 80s, but according to Thomas Jocelyn, Saddam still harbored its leader Abu Ibrahim until 2001-2002. Add him to the likes of Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, and the still unaccounted for Abdul Yasin, a WTC-One bomb mixer.

Now, what was that The Donald recently said about Saddam's hatred for terrorists?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Letter, she wrote

Another one. Contents not surprising:
Iran released Thursday what it says is a second letter from captured British sailor Faye Turney in which she criticizes British policy in Iraq.

"Isn't it time for us to start withdrawing our forces from Iraq and let them determine their own future?" said the letter, addressed to the British parliament and released to media organizations by the Iranian embassy in London.
How ironic--the tyrannical Tehran regime forcing an illegally captured hostage to write a message demanding we let the Iraqis determine their own future. How many netroots will get the irony?

Meanwhile, as to this, it certainly sounds bad on its face but I'd prefer to wait for more information (a plausible rationale) before unloading.

BY THE WAY 3/29/07

John McCain has a petition site up based on the Congress's squalid vote to install timelines in the funding bills. Leaving your email addy is optional (HT Blue Star Chronicles).

Webb and the gun

This really is quite an entertaining story:
Members of Congress and designated employees can bring unloaded guns into the Capitol. The lawmakers can even load the guns once inside their offices. But there is a hitch: They cannot bring guns through the District's streets on their way to the Capitol grounds.
What else should anyone expect from a town built on bureaucracy? This ranks up there with some state fireworks laws, which allow vendors to sell them but prohibits citizens from setting them off. By the way, Congress seems to have an exemption other Federal workers don't enjoy. If Joe Federal worker (with a legal conceal/carry permit) drives to work with the gun in the glovebox and the gun is then found on Federal property, a crime has been committed.

It's not overly surprising that Congressfolk would exempt themselves in light of the shooting that took place in the Capitol some years back, but we all know about Postal workers, so hypocrisy seems to run quite rampant on this issue. Remember the Rosie O'Donnell thing? All providing ample reasons why the Second Amendment should not be toyed with.

In some good news, the Tennessee Senate just yesterday made it quite clear that the Governor's powers to confiscate firearms during emergencies are to remain limited.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Feinstein resigns

From an appropriations subcommittee:
SEN. Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein
This may not be a real big deal and there is no indication she did anything wrong. But today everything revolves around perception, and the Democrat leadership probably worried about her possible conflict of interest getting in the way of Scandal Mania. Now, if we can just figure out where the mainstream coverage disappeared to. It's gotta be around here somewhere..


But not as of 7:17pm CDT 3/28/07, whereupon a search at both New York Times and Washington Post turned up nothing on this. It's pretty clear this story isn't getting any traction.

MORE 3/28/07

Couldn't find anything here, either. Nothing here, either. This Senate page seems to confirm she's no longer on the committee.

All of this seems to be coming from this one reporter in Silicon Valley. Somebody help this guy out!

While we're waiting, take a look at this from an earlier article dated March 14 (which was also in the article above):
The MILCON subcommittee is not only in charge of supervising military construction, it also oversees "quality of life" issues for veterans, which includes building housing for military families and operating hospitals and clinics for wounded soldiers. Perhaps Feinstein is trying to disassociate herself from MILCON's incredible failure to provide decent medical care for wounded soldiers.
The Walter Reed scandal was running hot during the last two weeks of February. Again, this is simply a perception issue with Senator Feinstein, and I believe she did the correct thing in stepping down. But don't we deserve to know why she was allowed on the subcommittee to begin with such an obvious conflict, and how/why she resigned?

UPDATE 3/28/07

Removed the graphics. The blatant advertisement was beginning to challenge the non-profit status of this site and didn't want them to be associated indirectly.

MORE 3/29/07

Jawa Report is asking, rather loudly:
WHERE IS THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA? WHERE ARE THE DEMOCRATS TO CONDEMN AND ASK FOR HER RESIGNATION? WHERE IS NANCY PELOSI? WHERE IS HARRY REID? WHERE IS CHUCK SCHUMER?

More importantly, WHERE THE HELL ARE THE REPUBLICANS?
When this was posed to a few liberals I know, that was the first question--where is Fox News? Where is Rush? Hannity? There are Republicans on the subcommittee who obviously know the whole story, but have remained mum. That seems to mean that 1) there's no there there, 2) opening the can of worms publicly might expose them, too, or 3) something else I haven't thought of.

Feinstein (I believe) became the Chairperson after the Democrats took control in November. Now Tim Johnson wears that hat. Is he formally back to work yet? I could find no press releases on his website that would shine any light.

World Net Daily is also reporting, which is where Michael Savage got this link, but they've simply copied the Metroactive article. Instapundit was on it last night. Still no MSM coverage. And crickets from the Repubs. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

A PEEP BECOMES A SHOUT 3/29/07

Michelle Malkin is on it, and reminds everyone she was on it in January. I'm still having trouble understanding why the mainstreamers aren't interested, including Fox News, but let's give it a little more time.

WHAZZUP 3/29/07

Wil's Corner has a lot of questions and links.

God save the hostages (and the Queen)

rangerjoes.com

I've placed a Union Jack on the sidebar in solidarity with the Brits until the hostages are returned safe. This concept was basically stolen from Marie over at MTC, but it's a good idea.

There seems to be a lack of outrage about this for some reason. It might be burnout, but I suspect some just don't want to deal with the consequences.

Speaking of Britain, check out the disruption at Westminster Abbey from yesterday (from Alphabet City) during a Slave Trade Abolition service. The Queen was in attendance and only a few feet away. Blair wasn't much further. Nothing related to terrorism but it says something about access.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister announced they will soon release information proving that his Royal Navy Sailors and Marines were in Iraqi waters---unless---Iran gives Britain access to the prisoners. Reportedly the Mullahs and their minions responded by leading another chorus of "death to America". Not sure if those chanting were the "great people" Sean Penn was referring to, or stand-ins.

Both the hostage event and the Westminster disruption point out the dramatic difference in how our two countries handle crises. Is there any doubt the heckler would have been wrestled to the ground in seconds in America with the President that close by? Similarly, had Iran captured US Marines or Sailors without cause it's likely Bush would have already said a few choice cowboy words and perhaps even dispatched some bombers. Iran certainly knows this.

We'll all soon witness which approach works best and perhaps learn some things in the process.

MORE 3/28/07

Looks like Her Majesty's government went ahead and released the co-ordinates proving they were in Iraqi waters. Britain is playing this to perfection, so far.

Meanwhile, the Drudge-linked story about the Russians claiming that US forces are building along the Iranian border included the mention of Patriot missile defense installations. For weeks they've been blabbing about our imminent attack on April 6, even releasing the go time--0040 hours.

Disinformation, or misinformation? You be the judge, but recall that the Russians supposedly had a mole at CENTCOM before the Iraq invasion who passed details along to Uncle Saddam. Speaking of Patriots, during Bush's speech about the Iraq Study Group he said:
"We will expand intelligence sharing, and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region."
Maybe this was the source.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Kudos, Steve Cohen

Our local Representative, Democrat and uber-liberal Steve Cohen, saw the wisdom of protecting airline passengers from lawsuits by voting YES to an amendment to a transportation bill today. The total roll call is here, with the usual suspects voting no. Notice that John Murtha and David Obey both voted yes. Credit where due, although admittedly this has nothing to do with Iraq.

Oh yeah, this also happened in upper chamber today, thanks to the support of Chuck Hagel and Democrat Ben Nelson. They said they wanted to send Bush a message. I wonder if our enemies are celebrating or just confused out of their minds? Knowing the suspicious nature of Arabs they probably think Hagel and the others are double agents.

But here's the takeaway quote from the bill:
In a (quite) large sign that protecting U.S. troops isn't the only thing on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's mind these days, the Nevada Democrat inserted an item into the Senate's Iraq war funding bill -- safeguarding billboards.
Wonder if that would apply to protecting this billboard? But hey, here's a new slogan--"Senator Reid, looking out for al Qaeda while protecting your right to view billboards".

By the way, I'd like to throw out a prayer for Tony Snow, the epitome of a true fair and balanced guy.

Now for the good news

Via Reason Online, in response to fears that globalization leads to environmental disasters and human suffering:
Indeed, the 20th century saw the United States’ population multiply by four, income by seven, carbon dioxide emissions by nine, use of materials by 27, and use of chemicals by more than 100.

Yet life expectancy increased from 47 years to 77 years. Onset of major disease such as cancer, heart, and respiratory disease has been postponed between eight and eleven years in the past century. Heart disease and cancer rates have been in rapid decline over the last two decades, and total cancer deaths have actually declined the last two years, despite increases in population.
But the jist of the article is as follows:
Equally important, the world is more literate and better educated than ever. People are freer politically, economically, and socially to pursue their well-being as they see fit. More people choose their own rulers, and have freedom of expression. They are more likely to live under rule of law, and less likely to be arbitrarily deprived of life, limb, and property.
That leads to the 64,000 dollar rhetorical question--why has this goodness largely bypassed sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab world? Hmm.

The politics of justice

There's lovely Lady Justice, adorned with her scales and a blindfold. Does she represent anything in the real world other than sculpting abilities? That question is currently being juggled by the clowns under the three ring circus tent known as Washington, DC.

I'll admit to not following the U.S. Attorney firings as closely as some, since from the outset it appeared trumped up. From an occasional read it looks like Attorney General Gonzales pooped in his hat and might have to resign. Bush has already come out with strong support and the AJ is out telling his story to the left wing media in earnest. If it's shown that he deliberately misled Congress, case closed, adios. But it's also entirely possible he's the latest victim of the vendetta machine, just as sinister, in which case he should not resign.

Whatever the case it's all good for the Democrats. In our post-Libby world we're likely to see a run on fifth amendment pleadings as folks are hauled in front of Waxman, but that works just as well since the American public still believes in the Honest Abe form of government (except when their local favs are hauled in). In that vein Watergate produced a generational indoctrination that says only Democrats can decipher the truth.

It's part of the conventional perception that the Dems are the "people's party" while the Repubs are the party of Halliburton and Enron, indirectly responsible for driving the Exxon Valdez into the rocks and starting the War on Terror (directly for some). That's a mighty hard perception to fight with little to no help from the mainstream media or Comedy Central.

But frankly, Bush has not done a very good job at helping to change that perception despite running as a compassionate conservative and helping Congress spend record amounts of taxpayer monies. Bad apples such as Duke Cunningham and Jack Abramoff keep bobbing to the surface. In the case of Repubs, "one bad apple" DOES spoil the whole bunch.

Over at Just One Minute Tom Maguire is still poking the dead horse known as the Libby trial, even though the Dems have apparently milked the cow for all it's worth and have decided to move on. Ms. Plame clearly has some 'splainin to do regards some irregularities in her testimony, but the general public never cared much anyway and DemCo got what they wanted from the show. Without a willing media (who was involved) and a fair and balanced Chairman, nothing will happen.

This perceptive double standard puts the Repubs in a disadvantageous position when it comes to tip-off time. The president was able to hide some of his political machinations behind the war, but as the war fades so does the cloak. That's not an indictment, only an acknowledgment. Hillary has indicated that she'll fire all 93 U.S. Attorneys if elected (apparently no matter what they might be in the middle of investigating). She included this line:
She said that's merely following traditions in which presidents appoint prosecutors of their own party.
Now I ask, how can the Democrats whine and pretend they want a "devotion to the rule of law" then fire every single US Attorney and replace them with one from their own party? See above.

In a perfect world some form of oversight not associated with partisan Congressmen with axes to grind would solve the problem. That same world would also feature flying cars powered by discarded plastic bags and CO2. In the meantime we'll continue living under partisan justice, where high-profile cases like the Tennessee Waltz sting here in Tennessee are seen as selective persecutions while illegal aliens roam freely with a six strikes 'til you're out card.

It's noble to carve Lady Justice with a blindfold and its certainly something we should all hold dear and aspire to, but in reality it may never be possible under a two-party system stocked by clowns with long, clear memories.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Scheuer and KSM

James Lewis at the American Thinker has a searing expose on Michael Scheuer's recent piece on KSM. In essence Scheuer ascribed the same mystical qualities to KSM he has to bin Laden and other jihadists, almost to the level of making the reader think he'd spent a little too much time down in the bowels of Langley (that beard did get rather long). But Lewis might be pushing back a little too hard.

Scheuer is indeed a liberal, perhaps rooted more in a theological liberalism than that of other Bush-bashers. He has openly criticized Bill Clinton for his failures to capture/kill Public Enemy Number One and has been overly critical of the many times the CIA was told to stand down. His mission seems more about educating the public about the fundamental differences between legacy terrorists and al Qaeda.

Lewis should have touched on Scheuer's real first book, which came out after Imperial Hubris but was written largely before 9/11. In it he admits Saddam was a threat and probably had WMDs. Not only that, but he opined that Osama and Saddam were probably working together through charismatic Sudanese leader Hassan al-Turabi, an allegation shared by ohers at the time. Scheuer then revised the book to include a rather amazing about face after it became evident Saddam was WMD-less.

While overall a bit harsh Lewis was dead-on in comparing him to Plame, since it's clear there were ideological divisions within CIA during the 90s and leading up to 9/11, which has produced a plethora of butt-covering ever since.

MORE 3/27/07

Laurie's view of the GTMO guys. Using the latest trendy phrase, here's the money quote:
What were al Qaeda members doing in Syria?

The Edwards interview

Drudge has all kinds of headlines about Katie Couric's interview of John and Elizabeth Edwards last night on 60 Minutes. I watched in real time and was a bit taken aback myself at the lack of softballs being tossed.

But her questions were not unreasonable. This is a man who aspires to become the leader of the free world and we need to know this stuff. Ironically, the questions were of such a nature that Katie was probably the only mainstream journalist who could get away with asking them. Just imagine had Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly been doing the asking. So, give Couric some credit for doing what 60 Minutes always does to Republicans. It's not supposed to be Oprah or Olbermann.

Edwards kept his cool and responded pretty well, although I couldn't get the mental image out of my head of him dragging her around on the campaign trial as she's going through cancer treatments. I'm trying to resist getting overly judgmental since everybody handles challenges differently.

I was intrigued by one of his answers regards running with a sick wife when he used words things like "service" and "too important" as the reasons for pressing on. That was probably stock politico-talk, but it could have been interpreted as a belief that not only would a Republican victory be bad, but also a Hillary or Obama victory as well. Katie didn't explore that area.

He did manage to squeeze in a few down-home Democrat talking points and deflect a personal issue when he mentioned running to give everyone the same chance at getting filthy rich that he had. Couric didn't think to ask him who he thought was currently stopping people from reaching the Edwards plateau, nor did she point out that opportunities are so vast we're even letting foreigners in to enjoy them without penalty. Something for the debates, I reckon.

MORE 3/26/07

Speaking of opportunities for foreigners, this LA Times story was all too predictable in it's coverage of the pro-illegal immigration rally in LA yesterday, leaving the impression it was the counter-protesters (citizens) who caused all the problems. Then they dropped this bomb:
A crowd of about 60 immigrant rights supporters gathered on an adjacent corner of the two major downtown streets, making their own voices heard by waving Mexican flags, stomping on an American flag and, in at least one case, burning it. "Racists!" they yelled at the anti-illegal immigrant groups.
Edwards was correct when he said this next election was "too important". We best choose wisely.

Zbigniew's follies

Here we go again:
The "war on terror" has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration's elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America's psyche and on U.S. standing in the world. .
This is really nothing but repackaged leftist mantra that says America is to blame and the only strategy is an exit strategy, but it's worth a rant. You've been warned.

OK, what difference does it make whether it's called the Global War on Terror or the global fight against extremism? Many of Mr. Brzezinski's peers would have us call the fight nothing at all, relegating terrorist acts such as 9/11 as crimes rather than acts of war. This despite the fact the 9/11 Commission reminded us that bin Laden repeatedly declared war on us through the 90s, which we met with a law enforcement response. History shows us the fruits of that endeavor.

I share the opinion that 9/11 has affected everyone in much deeper and traumatic ways than any of us are willing to admit. I know it has for me. Such is the natural reaction to seeing two 110 story buildings get struck by commercial aircraft and fall down, which can be a bit, well, terrorizing. Who out there didn't believe more was coming? Who doesn't now?

There are many parts of the American house that need to be put in order but accusing Bush of spreading fear in response to that act is quite reprehensible and demeaning to the population in general. Bush didn't create the divide in America, it was already there and quite evident during the contested elections in 2000. This pernicious (I can use that word, too) moral divide actually had been accumulating since the Reagan years. Not only that, but every war has its own "make it all go away" constituency--good leaders tend not to listen.

Mr. Brzezinski's article is not much different than his recent testimony before Congress, which suggested that Bushco started the Iraq war on false pretenses and if left unchecked would do the same with Iran. Sounds like he's spreading something right there.

One thing he didn't spread was the fact the GWoT has created a sub-culture of barking moonbats led by washed up movie stars who trash America on a daily basis. Seems an important omission, especially since he's accusing Bush of causing unnecessary fear. Fact of the matter is he should have included the many know-it-all former government officials in his laundry list of bad guys, the ones who couldn't get things right while they had the political wheel, yet who now suddenly see themselves as Gandhi.

For example, despite all his talk about how Bush screwed the pooch he failed to mention his own personal history with the Iranians. No disrespect to the men involved in the Desert One debacle, but it's doubtful that event helped our cause down the line. For all the world it looks like he's suggesting another "abort" message today, but on a larger scale.

Rant's about over. In closing, his misty-eyed pre-Iraq War reflection begs for reply:
The events of 9/11 could have resulted in a truly global solidarity against extremism and terrorism. A global alliance of moderates, including Muslim ones, engaged in a deliberate campaign both to extirpate the specific terrorist networks and to terminate the political conflicts that spawn terrorism would have been more productive than a demagogically proclaimed and largely solitary U.S. "war on terror" against "Islamo-fascism." .
Does he really believe that folks like Saddam Hussein, the Iranian Mullahs, Bashar Assad, Hassan Nasrallah, Kim Jung Il, Moahmmar Gaddafy, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and the late Yassar Arafat were somehow about to transform into moderates when Bush spoiled it all by taking out Saddam? Such fantasy completely ignores the fact these tinhorns have sponsored terrorism for years and were not about to change their low-down ways. No how, no way.

Mr. Brzezinski might be well-meaning but with all due respect he's applying 30 year old solutions that didn't work to current problems while at the same time exacerbating the very same societal fracture he's accusing others of creating. I'll leave it to you to decide how much of his opinion is based on enacting political change rather than achieving any sort of victory in this global struggle.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The mystery of Chuck Hagel


He certainly knows which buttons to push:
“Any president who says, I don’t care, or I will not respond to what the people of this country are saying about Iraq or anything else, or I don’t care what the Congress does, I am going to proceed — if a president really believes that, then there are — what I was pointing out, there are ways to deal with that,”
There are other ways besides impeachment for the Congress to deal with such things, like voting. To wit:
On Sunday, Hagel said he was bothered by Bush’s apparent disregard of congressional sentiment on Iraq, such as his decision to send additional troops. He said lawmakers now stood ready to stand up to the president when necessary.
Standing up IS their job, right? Besides, impeachment should NEVER be taken off the table for any president at any time. Conversely, Bush's job is to consider long-term threats to the Union. If he thinks withdrawal from our present situation prior to stabilization would be harmful down the road (perhaps leading to more deaths) that's hardly a flexible position. The events occurring now with Iran only serve to amplify how risky any withdrawals might be. It's not something a president can compromise.

Besides, Hagel knows we've already tried redeploying forces out of Baghdad to a smaller degree and nothing but chaos ensued. The surge is really the last best hope to win, which everyone, including rogue Senators, should be in favor of.

In reality he's got zero chance of gaining the nomination. Zip. So, it's a mystery as to why he's doing this aside from perhaps thinking Bush really is the stupid evil genius the left accuses him of being and he's Captain America. Or, maybe he fashions himself some kind of modern day Howard Baker--getting out ahead of a problem and saving the Republican Party. It could be his love for the military man in the trenches, where he once was. Or, it could be because he doesn't like being ignored. Whatever it is, it's a mystery to me.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Davy said to Jim

It's Saturday night and I have no life. So here's some of the best from email..


On a fateful day in 1836 Davy Crockett woke up and walked from his bunk on the floor of the Alamo up to the observation post on the west wall. William B. Travis and Jim Bowie were up there already. The three gazed at the hordes of Mexicans moving steadily towards them.

Crockett turned to Bowie with a puzzled look on his face and said, "Jim, are we pouring concrete today?"

---

From a "church sign": "Where will you be sitting in eternity, smoking or non-smoking?"

---

There's this blonde out for a walk. She comes to a river and sees another blonde on the opposite bank. "Yoo-hoo!" she shouts, "How can I get to the other side? The second blonde looks up the river then down the river shouts back, "You ARE on the other side.

---

What's the difference between a southern zoo and a northern zoo?

A southern zoo has a description of the animal on the front of the cage along with... "a recipe".


Last but not least, a blast from the past..

Iranian hostage crisis part deux

There appears to be no coincidence in the grabbing of the Brit sailors by Iran:
“We’ve got the ability to capture a nice bunch of blue-eyed blond-haired officers and feed them to our fighting cocks,” he said. “Iran has enough people who can reach the heart of Europe and kidnap Americans and Israelis.”
By Friday it had become apparent the US was going to "scupper" Ahmadinejad's PR visit to the UN, so in effect the sailor grab appears like plan B--they desperately can't afford more sanctions.

More likely Plan B was actually Plan A, since they knew Plan A would never work. Plan B is more their style anyway and has been successful for them in the past.

What's next? They've already forced the sailors into admitting their own guilt, nothing unusual. It really doesn't matter. Walid Phares believes the move was designed to create a crisis to foster nationalism from their increasingly divided and hostile population, which sounds possible.

We've got our own dissidents (Congress) and Phares believes the Mullahs are playing a waiting game since both Tony and George are nearing the end of their effective reigns with only limited time to make any impact.

With political wolves howling at all doors this situation should be a tad frightening, although the mere fact Tehran would intentionally kidnap British sailors indicates they don't believe we've got the ability (or the stones) to retaliate militarily right now. And yes, we've been down this road before but never to this mile marker. No action in the face of such hostility only justifies the action.

Speaking of taking no action, it'll be interesting to see whether any of this has an effect on the "unanimous" sanctions the UN has on the table today. Any flinching would render the UN completely and absolutely impotent beyond all doubt and should trigger the clearing of the building immediately with it's valuable space put up for bid on the open market.

OTHER OPINIONS 3/24/07

--Right Truth points out the British hostages include women.
--LASunsett compares this to other hostage crises.
--Rick Moran isn't talking about Iran, but notes the Gonzales debacle makes Bush look weaker at the very time he needs strength.
--A.J. Strata wonders if this might in response to a successful surge.
--My Pet Jawa isn't talking about Iran either, but notes a CNN email alert that Abu Omar al-Baghdadi might have been captured. Again. Wonder what he would know about all this?
--Pundita has insight on how certain UN members tend to vote.
--And, Time reminds us (or perhaps informs us) that an Iranian submarine was recently involved in an altercation very close to the King Abdul Aziz naval base in Saudi Arabia. Keep in mind the Iranians have suggested they've obtained a weapon that could knock out aircraft carriers, two of which are on patrol in the Gulf right now.

UPDATE 3/25/07

According to the London Times sources inside Iran indicate they are planning to charge the captured Brits under espionage laws, a euphemism for murdering them. They want their Qods general and others back and figure to use these poor sailors to get them. The bastards are basically trying to leverage the Brit people against the American people, and we shouldn't let them get away with it.

That said, whenever someone tries to goad a person into a fight it usually doesn't turn out well, and that's what Iran is trying to do.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A victory for symbolism

Think that picture is too dramatic or unrepresentative? If the House Democrats have their way that's what we're facing again.

I'd like to think these hapless politicians are fully aware of the stakes, but I'm not sure. Rick Moran and others believe today's vote was mostly dog and pony, and I agree to a point. They absolutely had to come out with something or else face the wrath of the roots. It's pretty bad when your own constituency threatens to hijack your office just over 100 days after the election. So yes, this was mainly a bone to the "idiot liberal" wing despite the consequential message it sent to bin Laden and company.

But there's more at play here, I believe. For years the Democrats have been playfully referred to as "the mommy party". Today's vote seemed to solidify that notion a bit more. Listen closely to the left and you'll hear things like "we just want the troops home and safe" or other analogous phrases designed to suggest the main function of combat troops is to be safe on base and not defend the country. It displays a nearly unbelievable misunderstanding of the situation.

My own mother, who has supported Bush on Iraq and AQ, displays similar logic. She's told me several times she hopes my youngest son doesn't sign up when he turns 18. When I ask why, she says she doesn't want him to be lost in the war. When I point out that if the war's worth fighting then his service would be noble she says, "well, let him be noble stateside". Discussion past this point is futile. Surely this same mentality has been in play since men began doing dangerous things.

The other night Dennis Miller gave Cindy Sheehan a pass since she'd lost her son, yet she and her mates are now driving the boat. Lawmakers like Pelosi and Boxer are mothers, grandmothers, wives, and it's hard to make the case to the right brain.

That's not the whole ball of wax, of course. Rank politics is always at work in DC and the Dems have positioned themselves to where even if we chopper out any future recriminations will be blamed on the Republicans. The August 2008 deadline was also set to remove any hint of culpability for their presidential candidate as well, since chances are we'll still be in Iraq by then. The Dems will claim they tried hard to get us out and will run on that symbolic notion.

I'll leave you with my own symbolism..

MSNBC
















HALP IS ON THE WAY 3/23/07

Must be part of that going to war with the Army you have thing.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Basketball buzz

Just got through watching the Memphis/A&M game. Great game until the end when A&M got shafted to the extreme by the drop off of 1.1 seconds on a play that should have cost them two or three tenths at most. What's the difference? Getting the ball inbounds and setting up a reasonable shot, not some hail mary from near half court. Don't get me wrong, I wanted the Tigers to win. But dang if that didn't take some of the fun out of it.

OK, the grieving is over! My bracket is still in play, whew.

While we're on B-ball, the buzz around Memphis (which includes my small sphere of influence and one afternoon disc jockey) is that the resignation of Kentucky coach Tubby Smith might result in the eventual loss of Memphis coach John Calipari. I think it's possible. Not often does one get the chance to coach one of the biggest named programs in the nation in the backyard of former nemesis Rick Pitino.

"Curveball" photos released

More leaking of secret intelligence by the media:
The Iraqi defector known as Curveball, whose fabricated stories of "mobile biological weapons labs" helped lead the U.S. to war four years ago, is still being protected by the German intelligence service, an ABC News investigation has found.
According to ABC News they were given the photos by "intelligence sources". Shall we make any comparisons between outing an intelligence asset and the Libby case? Speaking of which:
Powell told ABC News he is "angry and disappointed" that he was never told the CIA had doubts about the reliability of the source.

"I spent four days at CIA headquarters, and they told me they had this nailed," Powell said.
Some folks recently made hay with Valerie Plame's insinuations that Cheney and Libby were bullying CIA staffers by making trips to Langley to discuss intelligence. Plame told a tale about how a junior staffer was upset because the White House wanted further information about the yellowcake. Apparently that didn't apply to Powell's shop.

Former CIA deputy director John McGlaughlin also denied being told that Curveball was unreliable prior to Powell's speech, a fact disputed by another former CIA employee Tyler Drumheller, who claimed he had a meeting with McGlaughlin and told him not to use the Curveball stuff. Are everyone's pants are on fire around DC-land?

We know Armitage leaked to Novak, a journalist he never talked to but one of considerable reputation. Prior to that he'd leaked to Woodward, where he said the CIA was "not going to get hurt by this". Did he mean collectively (including those down in the bowels) or was he referring to the top brass (Tenet/McGlaughlin)? Hard to know, but we DO know that his boss Mr. Powell had a lot to lose on the WMD issue, as did George Tenet.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gore's climate crisis hearing

Listening to the CSPAN3 coverage of Gore's bloviation session in front of the lap-dog Congress. Funniest comment, from the opening introduction, that Mr. Gore has racked up "countless frequent flier miles". Hmm, didn't know they gave out frequent flier miles for traveling on private jets??

Gore blew off the Republicans' opening statement, which was beyond arrogant. The ranking member got his five minutes anyway, but it cut into their ability to question the Gorebot. His written report that was supposed to be submitted 24 hours in advance of the hearing so Republicans could study it, but it shows up 2 hours before.

For the most part this will be nothing but hot air from both sides since no scientists are present at the hearing. And the Code Pink transvestite isn't even there.

MORE

Gore's idea about local power generation sounds interesting. But his answer (or lack thereof) to the first Republican questioner was telling--he didn't want to answer the CAFE standards question.

Homespun Texan Ralph Hall brought up the cost question again, and Gore responded by basically laying the onus on America to pay the tab. Maybe someone could have asked him whether we should confiscate China's nuke and burgeoning aircraft businesses to help pay their share.

MORE

I have no quibbles with Gore on revolutionizing the transport industry. The problem is generation--there are no known forms of fuel cheap enough to practically work. BTW, Gore just said "grassroots". Anyone who followed his 1988 presidential run commence to vomiting now.

His answer to clean coal was fine, but the problem remains getting the other major countries to do their part as well, like China, who is building an average of one new coal-fired power plant per week.

MORE

Denny Hastert just called Gore a "movie star". He also acknowledged the fact of "global warming", which is occurring. The controversial question is not about warming, but about what's driving it. Hastert touched on the vast amounts of coal and oil under American soil and nookular power, which the liberals are generally against. BTW, as these things go, the Dems are throwing out a quick question then letting Gore talk, while the Repubs are filibustering to keep Gore from talking.

MORE

There has been considerable chatter about CO2 and warming, and which came first. It's sort of a chicken and egg argument. There's no real conclusive agreement that CO2 increases cause warming, or whether warming causes a CO2 increase. That's fairly important, since everything is based on carbon, not the sun. Water vapor rises as the temp rises because a warm atmosphere can hold more moisture than a cold one, yet water vapor is also a greenhouse gas.

That reminds me of a chicken-egg joke. "The chicken and the egg were in bed together. The chicken had a satisfied look on his face and was smoking a cigarette, while the egg had a disgusted look on her face and her arms folded. She said, "well, I guess we've answered that question.."

That's enough for now.

FINAL COMMENT

Gore has his talking points down. Most of his answers (except the questions he effectively dodged) made scientific sense. Then again, so does this.

FINAL FINAL 3/21/07

Notice anything strange about this CNN photograph?












He seems a bit phosphorescent. Or something.

FINAL FINAL FINAL 3/22/07

Gore says the planet has "a fever". He's right--just peruse the left wing fever swamps and the source is quite clear. It's like a synergistic f&rt. Wonder if they are selling offsets for that?

Canyon Skywalk - wow

Yahoo


Would YOU take the walk?
"I can hear the glass cracking!" Hualapai Chairman Charlie Vaughn said playfully.

The deck is anchored deep into a limestone cliff. As people walk across it, the glass layers creak and the deck wobbles almost imperceptibly.
Not sure I'd pay 50 bucks to walk the walk. Maybe. But this has to be the dumbass quote of the year:
..environmentalists have blamed the tribe for transforming the majestic canyon into a tourist trap.
Indian haters!

1 in 5 cnat raed tihs psot

What a stunning indictment (see video on main page) of our educational system and America in general. Not only are 20 percent of the population unable to read this post, but most of them were passed through public schools--as the CNN story says, without being able to read the writing on their diplomas.

Only half of all Americans are competent at the level of what's considered necessary to function in the workplace (in English). It's not clear whether these figures include the millions of illegal aliens, but the numbers are disproportionately tilted towards minorities. In the DC area 1 in 3 adults are functionally illiterate.

America has been throwing tax money at this problem for decades. People make fun of "No Child Left Behind"--I'm in no position to judge its effectiveness but the concept seems appropriate. Our educators simply MUST BE leaving children behind if the data is to be believed.

In the end we can throw all the lottery money in the world at the problem but the buck still stops with the parents or guardians. It's their responsibility to make sure their kids learn and get ready for the world. That's not designed as a hall pass for the National Education Association, but until parents start doing their jobs things aren't likely to improve.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sestak, CAIR and beyond

In the shadow of all the dust flying around the U.S. Attorney scrap there's a minor story playing out regarding Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak and his agreement to keynote a banquet hosted by CAIR. So minor that's it not even the point of this post.

Researching this story revealed Vice-Admiral Sestak's distinguished and formidable Navy career. He was a ship's captain then moved up through channels to the point of serving on Clinton's National Security Council staff in 1997, around the same time Joe Wilson was there.

Then it dawned on me--Mr. Sestak was the same guy who defeated ten-term Pennsylvania Congressman Kurt Weldon last November. Recall that Weldon was the recipient of an 11th hour Justice Department investigation on alleged influence peddling. Earlier he had been quite outspoken on things like Able Danger and WMDs in Iraq. One of the last things he was apparently looking at was TWA 800, according to investigative journalist Jack Cashill. Some thought he might be slipping off the deep end with all that stuff.

Perhaps those little peccadilloes took the luster off Sestak's incredible accomplishment:
He is only the second Democrat to represent the Delaware County-based district and its various permutations since the Civil War.
Such an unlikely victory could very well be explained by the mood of the electorate last year, the purported lobbying scandal, and Sestak's Navy background. However, when other variables are factored in, his victory might raise a red flag or two in some quarters. For example, Sandy Berger (Clinton's National Security Advisor from March 1997) had just recovered from his taxing sentence of community service for stealing National Archives documents when he seemingly took a liking to Joe:
Berger began his spring offensive in March 2006 with a fund-raiser for Weldon's opponent, Joe Sestak. Almost universally despised by his Naval colleagues, the former vice admiral was forced into retirement for what the U.S. Navy charitably called "poor command climate." Before being recruited to run for Congress, Sestak had not lived in Weldon's district for 30 years.

Although hosted by Berger, the fund-raiser was held at the law offices of Harold Ickes, a veteran Clinton fixer, and Janice Enright, the treasurer of Hillary Clinton's 2006 Senate campaign.

Before the campaign was through, Clinton insiders would enlist Stonebridge's director of communications to serve as Sestak's campaign spokesperson, summon former President Clinton to rally the troops, and finally call in the federales. Their motives were transparent even to the local media.

"A Sestak victory," observed suburban Philadelphia's Delco Times early in the campaign, "would muzzle a Republican congressman who blames Clinton for doing irreparable harm to America's national security during the 1990s."
The late Commander Donaldson, founder of the TWA 800 site, was an outspoken defender of the Navy and insisted they had nothing to do with the 800's fiery demise. But, if shoulder fired missiles or an on-board bomb didn't cause the crash, and we eliminate the nonsensical explanation from the NTSB, that seems to only leave one possibility.

If the Clintonistas were really trying to stop Weldon from exposing some of that "irreparable harm" should we make anything out of the fact they backed a career Navy man who had served on the Clinton NSC against him? Looking back, there was a lot to lose for team Clinton in 1996, including a looming election against a decorated veteran.

Molehill mountain

This U.S. Attorney story is just not stimulating any writing juices (with the exception of what you're currently reading). We have a story about rank politics at work and the Democrats are trying to criminalize it. Not to condone this, but it's really the heights of hypocrisy with William Jefferson sitting there in Congress.

Heck, if they investigated every email the Donkeys have sent since they've been in power it would probably boggle the mind and overload Waxman's schedule through the end of his term.

When he's finished maybe he could come to Memphis and investigate some of our local culture of corruption warriors.

Bush will be speaking soon and many on the right hope he'll dig in his heels and put on the cowboy hat. That would be stunning but refreshing. Short of it, as stated here earlier, they might as well just all resign and get it over with. The upside of that would be Waxman with nothing to do.

Oh--we're still waiting for Congressional and MSM outrage that the allegations of Democrat voter fraud were never investigated. Something tells me the Congress will be hearing about it soon enough from the interviewees.

MORE 3/20/07

Advice from Karl Rove:
“You’re just reinforcing the public perception that President Bush is a stupid, evil genius,” Mr. Rove wrote, ending his terse note with instructions to “delete this email after you read it.”

Monday, March 19, 2007

An anniversary and a confession

On this the four year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq it's amazing how far we've come as a nation. If the measure of our success is the overturning of a tyrannical government and its despotic leader, who'd murdered many and used WMDs against his own people, then it would have to be seen as a great success.

But if we measure it by American resolve, unity, togetherness, and the general understanding of what a free Iraq means in the global scheme of things then we're failing big time.

As a war supporter I've been called the names and such, but to be honest I believe the average American against the war is far from unpatriotic, they are just tired of all the dying and want things to go back to normal. They've seen no further attacks. Most of all, they've been unconvinced by Bush about the necessities of not leaving Iraq unfinished. It's always been a little hard to grasp what victory looks like after the Ba'ath Party hoods began their successful insurgency. Along the way and in an effort to bolster morale and not give credit to the enemy, Bush and Cheney have made horribly unsupportable statements about how things are going.

Thing is, the conventional wisdom that we've failed is becoming rooted in the culture brick by brick every day. Those supporting the surge (not giving up) are treated by some as if they have no sense. It's so bad that even a neo-liberal like Christopher Hitchens has been mocked as a "neocon" in the fever swamps without the slightest understanding of his politics.

Sites like the Huffington Post don't help. Yesterday they ran a post listing all the conventional wisdoms that illustrate the stupidity of the neocons. Nothing atypical for that bomb-throwing site (ironically, Arianna has hidden her comments section several layers off the front page to hide some of the bile from casual users) but really, how does that help?

We should all be hoping for this kind of outcome. Instead, people think a regime change here would save the day, as if the terrorists would care on iota whether or not we frogmarch Bush, Rove and Cheney out the front door of the White House. They have been and will be mortal enemies.

One among them confessed to the Cole bombing (back during the peaceful years). Walid bin-Attash was a high-level AQ player who also attended the terror summit at Kuala Lumpur in 2000 (during peacetime). Good news, right? For some. Others delve into the finger-pointing and back biting as to why we let him escape surveillance or the finer points of face-saving diplomatic protocol, and he doesn't even have a connection to Iraq.

Since it's so hard to change hearts and minds in closing I'd like to offer my own feeble thank you to the men and women who've sacrificed and served to remove the dictator through hard fighting these past four years. We can surely do better for them, both at VA hospitals and through our own wallets, but we also owe them the chance at victory in the end, lest all of those sacrifices go down the drain.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Duke boys blacklisted?

What in the world?
Former Georgia Congressman Ben Jones, a former cast member of the TV series, "The Dukes of Hazzard," is raising a ruckus over the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra's decision to cancel plans for a musical program featuring the series stars, John Schneider and Tom Wopat.
Seems a member(s) of the orchestra were offended by the "General Lee" because the Dukemobile had a Rebel flag painted on the roof. Said Schneider:
"I find it sad and depressing that in this day and age, someone could be as misinformed and narrow-minded as this. If you want to know what kind of guy I am ... go and see my work. Unless of course, someone has denied me the right to do so."
Boy howdy. I was never a real big fan, usually flipping past that show unless Daisy Duke happened to be in the scene, but since when do a few hypersensitive namby-pambies stop an entire show? The American Flag also flew under slavery, as did the British, French and Spanish flags. It's not like Schneider and Wopat are bringing hoods with them.

By the way, this flag was the flag of my fore-fathers. It's part of history, like it or not. I've never defended the South's stance on slavery but I don't connect the flag with slavery.

Some do, but it's not a big deal for me because I don't go driving around with one on the back of my pickup anyway. My feeling is the flag doesn't belong permanently displayed on government property--the war is over. No problem at a park for Confederate remembrance day, etc, or on private property.

At the same time, if someone wants to drive around with Hamas or Hizballah flags on the back of their pickups, so be it. Just be careful in Mississippi, boys.

Saving Darfur

BBC

Surely you've seen them--commercials that sound overly critical of Bush and Condi for not taking more action to save Darfur. Although their website denies this...
The recent television ads sponsored by the Save Darfur Coalition asking President Bush to take the lead in pushing for the deployment of a UN force in Darfur are not meant in any way to “bash” the President, but rather to urge him to follow through on the good work he and his Administration have already begun. We are both cognizant and appreciative of the fact that the President has done more for the people of Darfur than any other world leader. In fact, it is because of his leadership thus far that we direct our pleas to President Bush now.
..they still come across as bashing with an arguable overtone or undertone related to Iraq. Perhaps Bush is just too radioactive to publicly praise and still get adequate attention and donations, or maybe they meant it.

The Darfur coalition is certainly a worthy cause and one the administration could perhaps give more voice to, so why don't they? Perhaps the reason stems from the fact that Sudan has long been allied with Islamist radicals and Zawahiri recently issued a declaration calling for jihad against any UN force buildup in Sudan. Take a look at the list of organizations associated with the Save Darfur Coalition and notice the lack of Muslim charities compared to the many Judeo-Christian groups represented.

The website suggests they aren't calling for a US troop deployment but rather a more effective use of the bully pulpit to pressure (or guilt) UN member states into ponying-up more troops and resources. The problem is those UN countries know very well that any "peacekeepers" they send will end up in the middle of a jihad quagmire. The EU countries can't even find it sufficient contributions to their NATO responsibilities in Afghanistan despite the clear and present threat AQ poses to their security.

We could add troops to a UN-led force but the Muslims would see this as imperialism just as they did with Somalia. We all know how that turned out. Here's Bill Frist on the Save Darfur Blog:
President Bashir says he believes that allowing UN peacekeepers in will lead to his being ousted. He believes that the US wants to overthrow him with a regime change, and the way they will accomplish is to have the UN peacekeepers come in ... and possibly indict him for genocide-related activity.
One of the current arguments against engaging Iran is that we are maxed out troop-wise. We can't afford to move any forces from either Iraq or Afghanistan in support of a humanitarian mission to save non-Muslims being mistreated by Muslims without inflaming more hatred for America, which is the biggest charge being leveled against Bush these days. If there's a diplomatic solution around this, let's hear it.

The Washington Post has a balanced article today in memory of the four year anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War. It's bound to tick off the left more than the right, but it's a clear-thinking retrospective, including this mention of Darfur:
Multilateralism and U.N. authorization are force multipliers, morally and literally; unilateralism should be a last resort. But ask the victims of genocide in Darfur whether international law and multinational organizations can always be counted upon.
Hillary Clinton employed the same rationale to explain her husband's actions in Kosovo when confronting Code Pink in 2002. We are still in Kosovo. If we go into Darfur we'll be there for a long time as well, certainly well into the next presidency.

The Kosovo comparisons are natural, as is the mention of oil. Claims are made it's a racist disregard for poor black people just like Rwanda or Katrina. The reality is Darfur is not a threat to America, which should be the litmus test for any deployment of US forces under the Constitution, and certainly in a unilateral fashion. Like many other areas around the world it's a colossal mess that needs intervention, but the cost of intervention is prohibitive. Sola Gratia.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Rosie and Donald: You're both fired

Guess Trump's ratings are down since the O'Donnell dust-up, so what better way to recover than with a piping hot Bush bash:
On Saddam Hussein:

"Whether they like him or didn't like him, he hated terrorists. He would shoot and kill terrorists. When terrorists came into this country, which he did control and he did dominate, he would kill terrorists. Now it is a breeding ground for terrorists."
No terrorists, Donald? Let's explore.

Internationally renowned terrorist and killer of Americans Abu Nidal was allowed to live freely in Iraq until 2002. Tragically, he shot himself in the head. Four times. Hey, maybe the Donald was right--Saddam would shoot a terrorist when it was politically expedient. Or was he just doing his part in the GWoT? Probably. But remember, he would never have stooped to working with al Qaeda terrorists. Adding "Allah is great" to the Iraqi flag after the Gulf War was a move from the heart, of course.

Maybe the Donald misremembered the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was allowed to enter Saddam's 'controlled' country without being fired at once. He even ordered the murder of one of our Envoys not named Joe Wilson. Surely the benevolent one, sitting in his prison cell, was thrilled with the news that we nailed Z-man, although Ramsey Clark never mentioned it.

Or, maybe the Trumpster was busy fantasizing about Rosie when it was reported that we captured Abu Abbas shortly after the invasion, the man who murdered American Leon Klinghofer. Poor Abbas must have lived a tortured life in Iraq, running around like "the Fugitive" waiting for his destiny with a bullet. Or not.

Maybe he's ignorant of the fact that Saddam harbored the MEK terror group, allowing them to operate from Baghdad as they planned attacks on the Iranians. Or perhaps his mind was on Ivana when CNN/Time reported that the Butcher was cutting checks to the families of suicide bombers in Israel, sowing seeds of peace across the region.

But c'mon, Trump's not that dumb. He knows all this, he just had to find a way to "trump" Rosie, and he's done it. Pretty disgusting to use serious stuff like this to garner cheap publicity, but that's America in 2007. How long til we see a much-publicized kiss-and-make-up appearance on The View?

Meet Valerie's new PR firm

Commonly known as "the Associated Press":
Although she's had little to say publicly, Plame has made more than a few splashy appearances with her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson (news, bio, voting record). Last month alone, the Wilsons attended a book party for Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic Party chairman, and were spotted having lunch with actress Morgan Fairchild at the Four Seasons.
Discussing her movie role, no doubt, but in hushed tones of course. Ms. Plame will be testifying in Congress today even though it's not officially in session. She'll have the undivided attention of Plameologists, moonbats and ex-CIA officials far and wide. Too bad they aren't calling David Gregory. Bummer. But there's always time for fun!
Asked who he'd like to play them in the movie, Wilson, who has done most of the couple's talking, joked: "I don't know. I would only ask that Jack Black be cast in a role other than that of Joe Wilson."
I had Don Johnson playing Wilson but couldn't really decide on Plame. It's interesting that Joe would name Jack Black--Freudian, perhaps? Actually, he might work well in a sinister, sleazy sort of way.

Anywho, I've got a suggestion for the theme song:



MORE 3/16/07

In an effort to live up to my low "political radical" score I must admit that AP reporter Matt Apuzzo has been exceedingly fair and balanced regards the Plame affair. While we're at it, the Rove leak to Novak and no follow-up investigation regards his security clearance is worth having a hearing about, but we learned in the Berger trial that security clearances ain't what they used to be.

One final observation. Valerie Plame admitted today she worked at CPD investigating Iraq's WMDs. OIF began in March 2003 and our forces had pretty much rolled up the capital by May. The Plame leak occurred in July 2003. Judith Miller was embedded with MET Alpha, part of the 75th Exploitation Task Force looking for WMDs on the ground and the Iraq Survey Group was stood up in May 2003. These were both DoD/DIA operations.

We know there were disagreements between intelligence analysts before the war. I'm honestly wondering what became of the Iraq Desk at CPD after the regime had been toppled and after the DIA was essentially put in charge of finding the WMDs on the ground. For example, do we still have an Iraq Desk at CPD? Maybe the transvestite knows (friend of Olbermann's perhaps)?

WALK ON BY 3/16/07

From the Corner recounting Val's testimony of the fateful day she didn't recommend her husband:
An officer serving under her was upset to have received an inquiry from the vice president's office about yellowcake from Niger and evidently, while she was comforting that junior officer, some guy walked by her office and suggested her husband should go to Niger to check it out.
Wonder if "some guy" was the same guy who later told Cheney's office that Valerie had recommended Joe? After all, that's what was testified to at trial. By the way, why was the junior officer "upset"? Did he have a coupla weeks annual leave coming up? An afternoon tee time? A hot date with some Nastassja Kinski lookalike? Hmm...maybe an innocent remark or maybe the root of this whole thing.

I'd love to believe Ms. Plame-Wilson. She seemed genuine today and I certainly agree with her passion about protecting intelligence in this country. If she could only explain some of those loose ends just a little better...

LOOSE ENDS 3/17/07

Happy St. Paddy's Day. Victoria Toensing posed some good questions during her testimony, which clearly irritated Henry Waxman. Here's a sample:
In fact, in a curious twist, while the CIA was turning a blind eye to Wilson writing about his mission to Niger (Did he go through the pre-publication review process like the rest of us have to do?), it was sending to the Vice-president’s office documents about that same trip and these documents were marked classified. So the very subject Wilson could opine about in the New York Times was off-bounds for the Vice-president to discuss unless the person had a clearance.
I think the Democrats usually counter that Wilson was whistleblowing, despite the fact he wasn't a federal employee. Couple that with the slightly off-kilter oath given to Ms. Plame and we have what amounts to a plethora of mysterious questions still not answered.

HT Macsmind/Justoneminute

Thursday, March 15, 2007

An alarming sense of alarm

It's not the first time, but this is just as hilarious every time they do it. Speaking of nature, have you done your part yet? There's still time!

The skinny from KSM

Expanding on the previous post, they've now released KSM's testimony to the public. It's easy to see why he wasn't brought to Manhattan to face trial sooner. Aside from his flowery notions and rationalizations about Jihad or his self-comparisons to George Washington (somebody contain Micheal Scheuer) there were a few interesting morsels that emerged. From the report, page 18:
1. I was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center Operation.
2. I was responsible for the 9/11 Operation, from A to Z.
3. [REDACTED]
4. I was responsible for the Shoe Bomber Operation to down two American airplanes.
The emphasis was added to make a point--he said the "Shoe Bomb operation" was designed to bring down two airliners. All we've been told about was Richard Reid's botched attempt. It appears he may be trying to take credit for the downing of American flight 587, which crashed into Long Island in November 2001. The NTSB chalked it up to "pilot error" after he supposedly overtaxed the vertical stablizer after experiencing wake turbulence upon takeoff from JFK, which is turn caused the tail fin to fall off. More on that shortly.

Take a look at number 3--it was completely redacted. Although the entire list was not in chronological order, most of the first few events were. If indeed he was going in chronological order early on, we must ask ourselves what calamitous event took place directly following 9/11 but preceding the shoe bomb event(s)? Think hard.

As to AA 587, I've spoken to a few pilots (including a jumbo jet rated captain) and they've had no trouble believing that overuse of the rudder pedals could cause the crash. This was indicated in the Flight Data Recorder and is not a point of contention. However, a bomb exploding immediately before such actions were taken could explain some things. It was never conclusively proven that he ran across the "wake turbulence" from the prior aircraft with certainty, an event which would have triggered his harsh reaction.

But we must keep in mind one thing with any of this testimony--during Moussaoui's trial he categorically stated, "it's permitted to lie for Jihad" (KSM himself added murder to that list as well) so his bragging is not automatic evidence he committed acts we consider accidents. Terrorists have long been known for taking credit with everything short of the morning sunrise to bolster their causes.

Speaking of which, his predictable laundry list of grievances were designed to impress the impressionable along with the MSM and Democratic far left. Ironically, he didn't seem to understand that virtually no other political system in the world would allow an admitted criminal to bloviate in such a fashion and spittle out a personal manifesto after the acts he's committed. Certainly his Utopian Sharia world would never permit such a thing. In that same vein I look forward to the comments to come from Huffington Post and Kos.

OTHER OPINIONS 3/15/07

Right Truth
Jules Crittenden
Allahpundit
Gateway Pundit
Tel-Chai Nation

THE PUSH BACK 3/15/07

Has begun. Sure, KSM might have exaggerated his role in that he didn't personally take part in all the attacks, but nor did bin Laden or Zawahiri, and most folks don't seem to diminish their significance. Perhaps they would start if we caught them?

The interesting angle here is the purported torture, whereupon the media has already begun to trot out legal experts to claim such a thing diminishes any confession he's made. It's probably going to be successful. In a few days he'll be forgotten, and we'll be full steam ahead on the fired attorneys.

I'll leave you with a comment from a commenter on the HuffPo. It's nasty, so I'm redacting the bad words, but you can visit yourself and verify. BTW, she's made it difficult to get to the comments now, you have to dig a little:
Its all bullshXX. The brainwashing at Gitmo is working great. The true evil fXXXing bXXtXrds reside in the White House. Execute those swine and the USA might have a chance to be a great country.
I've screen capped that one for posterity just in case it goes away.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Scooter and KSM

While it's popular in some sects to chastise Bush for not getting "the guy who caused 9/11", ie, Osama bin Laden, it seems we've had the real culprit all along:
"I was responsible for the 9/11 Operation, from A to Z," Mohammed, speaking through a personal representative, said according to the transcript of the hearing on Saturday at the U.S. military prison camp in Cuba released by the Pentagon.
This shouldn't be any kind of news flash, but if so we can only blame the MSM and politicians (the ones who wanted to shut down the secret CIA prisons he was staying in).

KSM is believable to a point, since he was well-known as Ramzi Yousef's uncle during the 90s when Yousef was wreaking global havoc. It's not as if he just popped out after 9/11 but it's also quite true he wasn't public enemy number one, two or three, either. The important point here is that KSM's allegiance wasn't necessarily with bin Laden while he was orchestrating attacks on America.

As a matter of fact we learned quite a bit about his feelings for Osama during his "substitution for testimony" during the Zacarious Moussaoui trial, including how he finally pledged a bond with AQ right before the 9/11 attacks, but only reluctantly. He certainly had much in common with weird beard in their mutual wishes to see death and destruction in the west and Israel, but it's hard to say whether his coolness to the top Sheikh is simply an artifact or real. It's also hard to say how connected they were to any states, although Bush and Cheney have taken extreme heat for leaving the impression such a thing was possible. After all, the 9/11 Commission told us these terrorists were "rootless".

Just how rootless they were may never be answered, depending on the answer. Speculations have included Iraq, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or perhaps even Russia or China. Supporting facts have been elusive aside from a few circumstantial nuts and bolts. Nevertheless, no matter who might have supported them the end result was the same.

KSM's name was on the speed dial of just about every Islamist terrorist of note and his laptop contained some very scary stuff. It's no wonder Bush wanted him stashed in an unknown location. But here's a bit of trivia that might be pertinent in light of recent events:
The attorney for White House staffer Scooter Libby would reveal that Libby in July 2003 was preoccupied with many national security issues, including the possibility al-Qaida had brought anthrax into the United States.
As mentioned, when Libby decided not to testify the CIA briefers went away as did any further mention of such intelligence. Better to let others spend hours jawboning about whether Scooter lied than have Scooter tell us why he might have forgotten, I guess.

It'll be interesting to see what becomes of KSM. New York and the nation might benefit from seeing him sentenced in Manhattan then sent off in shackles to rot with his "nephew", but it wouldn't be too surprising if he disappears again.