Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Iraq Rationale

Wrongly believing the point of the Iraq War was WMD, many now believe it "wasn't worth it", according to polls, presumably as stockpiles of WMD were not found -- never mind that Hussein chose to be deliberately ambiguous if not outright misleading in that regard, in defiance of UN disarmament resolutions.

And never mind the intent to restart the programs once the crumbling sanctions and UN inspections regime came to an end.

But WMD were not the sole rationale for the war.

When these other reasons are given, it is attacked as a "shifting rationale", as if the other reasons were dreamed up as an ex post facto justification after no WMD stockpiles were found. That too is wrong.

Or, even if the additional reasons are conceded to make sense, it is claimed they are being made by outside apologists, and that there is no evidence the administration itself actually had any of these ideas in mind, so Bush is not given credit for any obvious strategic advantages that may arise from the operation.

It is easy, however, to show that's all wrong.

The administration enunciated many complex and important reasons for the Iraq invasion, before the war even started.

Let's go right to the primary sources.

I will quote from a speech given by Bush himself on February 26, 2003 -- about a month before the invasion began. These remarkes were delivered at the Washington Hilton Hotel, apparently to an American Enterprise Institute audience.

I will also use a raw Vanity Fair interview transcript with Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, considered one of the chief architects of the Iraq policy, conducted on May 9, 2003 -- just 7 weeks into the operation and before the lack of WMD stockpiles became an issue.

As a preamble, both stress that an entirely new strategy was needed in the Middle East after 9/11: we could no longer just respond to attacks after they happened, but rather had to transform the region:
Bush: On a September morning, threats that had gathered for years, in secret and far away, led to murder in our country on a massive scale. As a result, we must look at security in a new way, because our country is a battlefield in the first war of the 21st century.

We learned a lesson: The dangers of our time must be confronted actively and forcefully, before we see them again in our skies and in our cities. And we set a goal: we will not allow the triumph of hatred and violence in the affairs of men.
A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions. America's interests in security, and America's belief in liberty, both lead in the same direction: to a free and peaceful Iraq.

Wolfowitz: You know it's completely out in the open who holds what views in this Administration. You couldn't be more transparent about what the arguments are. The most significant thing that has produced what is admittedly a fairly significant change in American policy is the events of September 11th which are going to count as one of the -- If you had to pick the ten most important foreign policy things for the United States over the last 100 years it would surely rank in the top ten if not number one. It's the reason why so much has changed, and people who refuse to look at that, for whatever reason, or are unwilling to face up to the implications of that then go around and look for some nefarious explanation. But it's shameful.
I know my thinking at that point was that the old approach to terrorism was not acceptable any longer. The old approach being you treat it as a law enforcement problem rather than a national security problem. You pursue terrorists after they've done things and bring them to justice, and to the extent states are perhaps involved, you retaliate against them but you don't really expect to get them out of the business of supporting terrorism completely. To me what September 11th meant was that we just couldn't live with terrorism any longer.

Throughout the '80s and '90s it was sort of, I've never found quite the right words because necessary evil doesn't describe it, but a sort of an evil that you could manage but you couldn't eliminate. And I think what September 11th to me said was this is just the beginning of what these bastards can do if they start getting access to so-called modern weapons, and that it's not something you can live with any longer. So there needs to be a campaign, a strategy, a long-term effort, to root out these networks and to get governments out of the business of supporting them. But that wasn't something that was going to happen overnight.

Q: Right. So Iraq naturally came to the top of the list because of its history and the weapons of mass terror and all the rest, is that right?

Wolfowitz: Yes, plus the fact which seems to go unremarked in most places, that Saddam Hussein was the only international figure other than Osama bin Laden who praised the attacks of September 11th.
So basically they knew immediately that the Middle East and all the old strategic thinking had to be changed, and so somebody else in the region had to get taken down. Of the many candidates, Iraq seemed the best choice for several reasons, which they then elaborate upon.

1. One reason, of course, was Hussein's WMD aspirations:
Bush: In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world -- and we will not allow it. (Applause.) This same tyrant has close ties to terrorist organizations, and could supply them with the terrible means to strike this country -- and America will not permit it. The danger posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons cannot be ignored or wished away. The danger must be confronted. We hope that the Iraqi regime will meet the demands of the United Nations and disarm, fully and peacefully. If it does not, we are prepared to disarm Iraq by force. Either way, this danger will be removed.

The safety of the American people depends on ending this direct and growing threat.

Wolfowitz: The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue [WMD] that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason....
But there were many other recognized reasons.

2. Another reason -- tied directly to the 9/11 attacks as a stated grievance of bin Laden's -- was to be able to remove American troops from Saudi Arabia, where they were needed to enforce the terms of the First Gulf War:
Wolfowitz: There are a lot of things that are different now, and one that has gone by almost unnoticed--but it's huge--is that by complete mutual agreement between the U.S. and the Saudi government we can now remove almost all of our forces from Saudi Arabia. Their presence there over the last 12 years has been a source of enormous difficulty for a friendly government. It's been a huge recruiting device for al Qaeda. In fact if you look at bin Laden, one of his principle grievances was the presence of so-called crusader forces on the holy land, Mecca and Medina. I think just lifting that burden from the Saudis is itself going to open the door to other positive things.

I don't want to speak in messianic terms. It's not going to change things overnight, but it's a huge improvement.

Q: Was that one of the arguments that was raised early on by you and others that Iraq actually does connect, not to connect the dots too much, but the relationship between Saudi Arabia, our troops being there, and bin Laden's rage about that, which he's built on so many years, also connects the World Trade Center attacks, that there's a logic of motive or something like that? Or does that read too much into --

Wolfowitz: No, I think it happens to be correct.
3. And to make progress on the Israel-Palestine issue:
Bush: Without this outside support for terrorism, Palestinians who are working for reform and long for democracy will be in a better position to choose new leaders. (Applause.) True leaders who strive for peace; true leaders who faithfully serve the people. A Palestinian state must be a reformed and peaceful state that abandons forever the use of terror.

For its part, the new government of Israel -- as the terror threat is removed and security improves -- will be expected to support the creation of a viable Palestinian state -- (applause) -- and to work as quickly as possible toward a final status agreement. As progress is made toward peace, settlement activity in the occupied territories must end. (Applause.) And the Arab states will be expected to meet their responsibilities to oppose terrorism, to support the emergence of a peaceful and democratic Palestine, and state clearly they will live in peace with Israel.

Wolfowitz: The other thing is trying to get some progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. I do think we have a better atmosphere for working on it now than we did before in all kinds of ways. Whether that's enough to make a difference is not certain, but I will be happy to go back and dig up the things I said a long time ago which is, while it undoubtedly was true that if we could make progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue we would provide a better set of circumstances to deal with Saddam Hussein, but that it was equally true the other way around that if we could deal with Saddam Hussein it would provide a better set of circumstances for dealing with the Arab-Israeli issue.
4. And to remove instability in a vital region:
Bush: Acting against the danger will also contribute greatly to the long-term safety and stability of our world. The current Iraqi regime has shown the power of tyranny to spread discord and violence in the Middle East.

Wolfowitz: I said on the record, I don't understand how people can really believe that removing this huge source of instability is going to be a cause of instability in the Middle East.

I understand what they're thinking about. I'm not blind to the uncertainties of this situation, but they just seem to be blind to the instability that that son of a bitch was causing. It's as though the fact that he was paying $25,000 per terrorist family and issuing regular threats to most friendly governments in the region and the long list of things was of no account and the only thing to think about was that there might be some inter-communal violence if he were removed.
5. And to relieve the suffering of the Iraqi people under both the embargo and the tyranny:
Bush: The first to benefit from a free Iraq would be the Iraqi people, themselves. Today they live in scarcity and fear, under a dictator who has brought them nothing but war, and misery, and torture. Their lives and their freedom matter little to Saddam Hussein -- but Iraqi lives and freedom matter greatly to us.

Wolfowitz: ...there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two.
6. And to spread democracy, to reduce future conflict:
Bush: The world has a clear interest in the spread of democratic values, because stable and free nations do not breed the ideologies of murder. They encourage the peaceful pursuit of a better life. And there are hopeful signs of a desire for freedom in the Middle East....A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region.
7. And to provide an ideological counterweight in Shia Islam to Iran:
Wolfowitz: We've understood very clearly that Iraq, especially the Shia population of Iraq, is both a source of danger and opportunity to the Iranians. I think it's more danger than it is opportunity. But the danger itself is incentive for them to try to intervene because the last thing they want to see, which I think is a real possibility, is an independent source of authority for the Shia religion emerging in a country that is democratic and pro-Western.

Q: That's a --

Wolfowitz: There's going to be a huge struggle for the soul of Iraqi Shiism, there's no question about it.
8. And to strengthen the diplomacy of international institutions by backing up words with the credible threat of force:
Bush: In confronting Iraq, the United States is also showing our commitment to effective international institutions. We are a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. We helped to create the Security Council. We believe in the Security Council -- so much that we want its words to have meaning.
High-minded pronouncements against proliferation mean little unless the strongest nations are willing to stand behind them -- and use force if necessary. After all, the United Nations was created, as Winston Churchill said, to "make sure that the force of right will, in the ultimate issue, be protected by the right of force."

Another resolution is now before the Security Council. If the council responds to Iraq's defiance with more excuses and delays, if all its authority proves to be empty, the United Nations will be severely weakened as a source of stability and order. If the members rise to this moment, then the Council will fulfill its founding purpose.

Q: And Iraq. When I think about it, these other three [North Korea, Syria, and Iran] that have now been brought up, being discussed, have actually been very kind of multinational and diplomatic and yet it's partly the threat of force that seems to strengthen the approach, doesn't it?

Wolfowitz: There's no question that in certain -- First of all, diplomacy that it's just words is rarely going to get you much unless you're dealing with people who basically share your values and your interests.
9. And to serve as a warning by making an example of someone:
Bush: And by acting, we will signal to outlaw regimes that in this new century, the boundaries of civilized behavior will be respected.
And other regimes will be given a clear warning that support for terror will not be tolerated.
The war opponents have worked hard to make that strategic goal come to naught.

10. And to sever links between Iraq and terrorists:
Bush: The passing of Saddam Hussein's regime will deprive terrorist networks of a wealthy patron that pays for terrorist training, and offers rewards to families of suicide bombers.

Wolfowitz: That second issue about links to terrorism is the one about which there's the most disagreement within the bureaucracy, even though I think everyone agrees that we killed 100 or so of an al Qaeda group in northern Iraq in this recent go-around, that we've arrested that al Qaeda guy in Baghdad who was connected to this guy Zarqawi whom Powell spoke about in his UN presentation.
That makes 9 coherent reasons, other than the soundbite of WMD that has been myopically focused upon by the MSM, with an underlying long-term strategy stemming directly from the implications of 9/11.

So it's not like key administration officials didn't explain the whole thing three years ago!

Some critics have found something sinister in the idea that the administration considered removing Hussein right after 9/11, as if they were cynically using that as an excuse to do something they wished to do for nefarious reasons -- picking on poor old Saddam to get his oil!

Instead, we see it as an important cornerstone to a rational policy of long-term American interests and security.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Deadly Arrogance

The preening moral dwarves have struck again.
TWA Hijacker Released From German Prison
Not merely a hijacker, this vermin also brutally murdered an American citizen, Robert Stethem, who was onboard the plane and a mere 23 years old.
BEIRUT, Lebanon - A Lebanese man serving a life sentence in Germany for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jetliner and killing of a U.S. Navy diver has returned to Lebanon after being paroled in Germany, security and guerrilla officials said Tuesday.
The "guerrillas" have "officials", do they? This level of diplomatic recognition is in itself repugnant.

The cowardly and arrogant euroweenies didn't extradite the murdere to the United States, because he MIGHT have been executed.
U.S. authorities had requested his extradition so he could stand trial in the United States, but the Germans, who have no death penalty, insisted on prosecuting Hamadi.
They were more concerned about the well being of this terrorist scum than about the victim, choosing to make some ridiculous empty gesture about their moral superiority.

Their concern was bizarrely misplaced. It's evil to worry so much about the evil at the expense of the good.

Well that line about life in prison instead of execution is supposed to include the "wihtout parole" clause. Even then, it's a weak argument that life in prison is better.

And these morons just made their own argument worse, because the counterclaim was always that some future government out of political expediency would release the dangerous terrorists back into the bloodstream of the civilized world like a toxin.

And now we have PROOF that that's EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS.
It was not known where Hamadi, who spent 19 years in prison, went after entering Lebanon.
So first, he didn't even get 20 years for hijacking and murder. Not long ago such piracy and anti-civilizational behavior was met with a noose on the spot, with good reason.

And worse, they don't know where he is.

Perhaps he's gone to weave baskets.

Or perhaps he's plotting to blow up the next plane your family is on.

Gosh, we just don't know, do we.

Hamadi's case came up for a court-mandated review, and he was released after an expert assessment and a hearing, said Doris Moeller-Scheu, spokeswoman for the Frankfurt, Germany, prosecutor's office.
Oh, I feel much better! And expert assessment!

Whose side are they on?

Maybe they thought he'd be a useful bargaining chip someday.
German Foreign Ministry spokesman Sgt. Schultz Martin Jaeger said there was no connection between Hamadi's release and the recent freeing of former hostage Susanne Osthoff, a German woman released over the weekend after spending more than three weeks as a captive in Iraq.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Wrong Script

Many have commented on the recent incidents at Australia's Sydney beaches.

The media insists on using the wrong script to characterize events:
SYDNEY (AFP) - Sydney's famous beaches were eerily quiet on a hot summer day as fears of a new eruption of racial violence were fuelled by the seizure of petrol bombs and other weapons.

Two thousand police in cars, boats and helicopters, on foot, bicycles and horseback, patrolled beaches hit by unprecedented race riots the previous Sunday between whites and mainly-Muslim Arab-Australians.
They keep calling them race riots. That immediately implies the majority "white" Australians are bad, and the muslim gangs are "good" and "oppressed" -- the old racism script.

To anyone who hasn't been under a rock the last few years (though all too many seem to enjoy living there, unfortunately), it's been clear this has nothing to do with race and everything to do with religion.

This is a religious war, not racism.

There's a huge difference.

Religions, being belief systems that are chosen by their believers, are perfectly legitimate targets of criticism and disapproval, as are those who believe them.

Race, on the other hand, of course isn't determinative of behavior, and is an invalid basis for making value judgments.

But it is not only valid, but obligatory, that we make value judgments based on what people choose to believe, if we are to keep our culture and civilization safe from attack and subversion.

The "racism" script however is designed to keep us from questioning who might be in the wrong in this case.

And it's clear that the beaches had been terrorized by muslim gangs who enjoyed raping women as the allah-sanctioned spoils of jihad, and of harrassing other women they felt were indecently dressed.

This has been going on for years, and it is only now that non-muslims decided to take them on and make a stand, because the PC authorities had let the problem get out of hand.

News reports still make it hard to understand the real underlying causes, instead painting this as simple ugly white supremacy.

But as Belmont Club notes, ignoring the problem in the name of multiculti tolerance only makes it fester until it explodes, and then, guess what, the innocent (i.e., Lebanese Christians) and guilty alike will be caught up in the whirlwind.

From the Police Logs

At one time I lived in Concord, Massachusetts. I just found an envelope in which I had collected clippings from the local paper from the police logs that I had found amusing, bizarre, or otherwise noteworthy as indicative of the issues facing small-town New England: namely, nosy busybodies with too much time on their hands.

These are all actual entries, circa 1997.

At 1:04 am, police investigated a loud noise complaing on Pilgrim Road. The residents were informeed that MBTA workers and street sweepers were in the area.

At 1:22 am a Fairhaven Road resident called police to complain of a loud noise in the area. The caller was informed that street sweepers had just driven down the street.
I could fill up the whole list with reports of loud railroad or maintenance workers, or of buses idling "too long".

What's this, a sighting of the first Flasher of Spring?
At 12:14 pm, police investigated reports of a suspicous person in the bushes at the library on Main Street.

At 8:02 pm a resident reported that a man exposed himself to her while she was jogging.

At 10:11 pm, police investigated reports of a suspicious person on Main Street.
That was the most serious incident since the series of 9 reports of mailbox vandalism over a weekend.

Usually it's more along these lines:
An anonymous caller reported that a spider was trapped inside a parking meter on Comm. Ave. Police investigated and removed the spider.

An anonymous caller thanked the police for taking care of the spider that was trapped in aparking meter on Comm. Ave. last week.

A Wellesley resident called police to report that she believed a bracelet stolen from her is in the window of a Concord store. Police accompanied her to the store, and found the claim to be unfounded.

Police responded to Monument Street to deliver a trespassing notice to a man refusing to leave a resident's property. The man told the resident that he wants to run for president and use the house for campaign headquarters.

Police were notified by a Concord resident of the lights being too bright on Commonwealth Avenue.

A Walden Street resident reported there were thousands of blackbirds across the street from her home and were making a lot of noise. The caller said she was not scared by the birds, she just wanted to make sure the police were aware of them.

Police responded to Comm. Ave. for a resident reporting that someone had showered at his home while he wasn't there. There was no sign of trespassing.

A Florio Drive resident reported that she believes someone entered her home and placed her cat in the attic.

An illegal transmission of a belching sounds on the police main frequency was heard.

A Central Street resident reported his telephone line is being "zapped." No more information was given.

A Bedford Street resident reported her garbage can lid was missing. Police helped her find it.

A Comm. Ave. resident reported that the outline of a body had been painted in the alley near his home.
Finally something interesting?
A Wolf Pine resident reported seeing a suspicous man driving a golf cart and carrying a shovel in the area of the Concord Country Club. Police found the man was maintaining the club's irrigation system.

A Wright Farm resident reported that he often walks near the prison at night and requested police give him a friendly wave when they pass him in order to assure him that police do not think he is an escapee. The caller was told that patrol officers would be advised of his request.
...and they'll get right to it as soon as they stop laughing!
At 12:04 pm, a man reported that a vehicle passed him at a high rate of speed and did not yield to him while he was in the crosswalk by the South Bridge Boat House on Main Street. He said he threw a pedestrian cone near the car.

At 12:36 pm, a driver reported that while passing the South Bridge Boat House, a man stepped into the road and hit her car with the pedestrian cone he was holding. The sign damaged the right front quarter of the car. Police are investigating the incident.
Hmmm, like the Worms and the Spice, could there be a connection between those reports???

Police were called to Sudbury Road for a report of a man in a tutu walking along the street. Police spoke with the man, who was wearing a woman's style swimsuit and tennis skirt, and said he was just going for a walk.
Ok, that's a little weird and perhaps worthy of investigation, but what about these?
At 1:31 pm, a caller reported a suspicious person in the Pine Hill Lane area. The person was out for a walk.

At 2:04 pm, police investigated a report of a suspicious person in St. Bernard's Cemetery. An officer spoke with the man who was just walking.

At 5:55 pm, police resonded to Lowell Road for a report of a suspicious man sitting in a car at the Brooks Pharmacy parking lot. The man was waiting for his wife who was shopping.

Police investigated a report of a suspicous person in a car at the Hapgood Wright Forest. The woman was just sitting in her vehicle singing.

Police responded to Monsen Road for a report of a person sitting in a car on the street. The woman is considering purchasing a home on the street and told police she was sitting there to observe the noise and traffic at night.

Police received a report of a man acting strangely near Route 2. The man was practicing tai chi on the side of the road to help his back problems.

A resident reported a suspicious car at the Alcott School. Police confirmed it was a police car.
There are too many more like that to list them all.

Police work is hard, but there are perks:
At 11:18 am, police received a box of chocolates.

At 2:45 pm, the Middlesex School dropped off two cakes and an apple pie at the police station, and Scimone Farms left apples.

At 3:36 pm, a resident left chocolates, coffee, and biscotti -- a holiday gift -- in the police station.

At 5:07 pm, police recieved a turkey and other food from Concord Academy. Police later received a deli tray and soda from a resident.
Killjoys abound:
A caller reported three people were throwing rocks into White Pond, possibly trying to hit a buoy. Police found three people who had been fishing from the shore. They said they had been skipping stones when a woman yelled at them to stop.

An anonymous caller requested that police keep an extra watch on the Old Marlboro and Williams roads area in order to speak to two joggers who run side-by-side every day. The caller said she felt this was a safety issue.

A caller reported that a neighbor's dog would not let him pass on Garfield Road when he was jogging. The matter was turned over to the dog officer.

A resident reported driving by a group of people in Lincoln near Walden Pond who appeared to be ignoring someone who needed medical attention. The people were students from Emerson College making a short movie.
The movie, no doubt, being about how quickly Concord residents respond to the slightest hint of deviancy.
A Harrington Avenue resident reported that her children confronted an unknown woman digging up flowers in her yard. The woman said she was "fixing" the flowers.
Right. And I'm "adjusting" your breasts.

As for adding insult to injury:
At 12:46 pm an Upland Road resident reported that his lawn has been damaged the previous night and several times in the past few months by cars driving over it.

At 10:02 am, police investigated the larceny of markers placed on the lawn of an Upland Road residence to prevent vehicles from driving on his land. The resident also reported that a vehicle had driven on his land.
Everyone wants to be Thoreau:
A Cottage Street resident reported a man had built a lean-to on private property behind his house. The man told police he is homeless and frequents the Cambridge area but comes to Concord when his job as a graphic designer becomes stressful.
And those darn kids!
At 7:54 pm, police resonded to Westford Road for a complaing of boys building a tree fort and making noise hammering. The boys agreed to stop work for the night.

At 11:15 am, police investigatd a report of kids having acookout in the parking lot at the high school. They were not violating any fire codes. They moved to the Hapgood Wright parking lot.

At 8:40 pm, an Everett Gardens resident reported several youths playing with what sounded like cap guns outside. Police checked the area but found nothing.

Police responded to Thoreau Street for a report of a group of youths with eggs. The teenagers were having afriendly egg fight, and there was no damage to nearby buildings or property.

At 6:35 pm, a caller reported that several skateboarders were "doing dangerous things" behind the Harvey Wheeler Community Center. Police resonded and spoke with four youths, who agreed to call it a night.
I love this one:
Police responded to a 911 call from the West Concord Supermarket. The caller stated that a man was acting very suspiciously and representing himself as a news reporter. Police spoke with the man, who is a reporter for USA today.
Welcome to Concord, buddy!

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Try as they might to avoid it, some good news is seeping through the MSM filters. There must be so much of it, they can't stop it all!

First, the economy:
Dow's glide to 11,000 looks smooth
Then, Iraq policy:
Poll: Many Oppose Immediate Iraq Exit
Of course, they try to spin it as a drop in support, but it's still a solid majority.

And the headline-writer, perhaps due to the recent successful elections there, just couldn't find the cynicism to emphasize that point, it would seem!

And then W issues a smackdown:
WASHINGTON - President Bush said Saturday he personally has authorized a secret eavesdropping program in the U.S. more than 30 times since the Sept. 11 attacks and he lashed out at those involved in publicly revealing the program.

"This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security," he said in a radio address delivered live from the White House's Roosevelt Room.

"This authorization is a vital tool in our war against the terrorists. It is critical to saving American lives. The American people expect me to do everything in my power, under our laws and Constitution, to protect them and their civil liberties and that is exactly what I will continue to do as long as I am president of the United States," Bush said.
Soem people want to stay in an infantile fantasy land when real lives and even our entire way of life, is at stake.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Tookie Must Die


When's it Mumia's turn?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Signs of Victory

Increasingly there are positive signs in the anti-jihad struggle.

First, we have a rift among the terrorists in Iraq:
The influential Sunni Muslim Scholars Association urged their large community to boycott the "illegal" polls in January.

Nearly one year on, the group has so far been officially neutral but some of its members have called participation in the polls a "religious duty".
Saddam loyalists have turned against Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant whose fighters travel to Iraq from across the Arab world to blow themselves up in a bid to spark sectarian civil war.

"Zarqawi is an American, Israeli and Iranian agent who is trying to keep our country unstable so that the Sunnis will keep facing occupation," said a Baathist insurgent leader who would give his name only as Abu Abdullah.
Whatever, Abu, if that excuse helps you sleep at night. Works for me.

Second, while Osama remains conspicuously silent (hmmm, wonder why...), Zawahiri has come out with some complaints:
CAIRO, Egypt - In a tape that surfaced Sunday, Osama bin Laden's deputy urged all Muslims to take up arms, saying a refusal to join the fight against "the Cross and Zionism" was a "malignant illness" that would lead to the defeat of militant Islam.
Complaining about conditions for defeat that clearly already exist is a position of weakness.
"As long as this malignant illness continues to survive within us, there is no hope for victory and there can only be more defeats, tragedies, disasters and betrayals," al-Zawahri said.
Aw, been getting defeats, tragedies, disasters, and betrayals?

(I don't know why, but they've recently changed the spelling of his name in news reports, dropping one of the "i"s.)

After spinning a fantasy about Mullah Omar controlling much of Afghanistan, he then rants about the Saudis, who might actually be doing something useful for once:
Al-Zawahri also criticized the lack of support for al-Qaida-linked militants in Saudi Arabia, saying the mujahedeen had suffered "defeat" in Saudi authorities' high-profile campaign against militants.

"These idolatrous regimes achieve victory over us because each one of us wants to save his own skin and avoid harm for himself," al-Zawahri said on the tape.
This is all excellent news.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

To The End

A tidbit:
BUCHAREST (AFP) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed a historic agreement with Romania to establish permanent US military bases in the country, the first ever in a former Warsaw Pact nation.
Times are changing.
Romania has 860 troops with the US-led coalition in Iraq, as well as soldiers in Afghanistan. Romanian President Traian Basescu said at the press conference his country would stay with the Americans "to the end" of the mission.

NORAD Tracking Santa

What an incredible site! NORAD tracks Santa Claus.

There's music, videos, maps, countdowns, downloads...and it's all cool!
This is the 50th Anniversary that NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa. The tradition began after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. store advertisement for children to call Santa on a special "hotline" included an inadvertently misprinted telephone number. Instead of Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first "Santa" call on Christmas Eve 1955. Realizing what had happened, Colonel Shoup had his staff check radar data to see if there was any indication of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Indeed there were signs of Santa and children who called were given an update on Santa's position. Thus, the tradition was born.
NORAD has adapted and upgraded its Santa Tracking Technology:
NORAD uses four high-tech systems to track Santa - radar, satellites, Santa Cams and jet fighter aircraft.

It all starts with the NORAD radar system called the North Warning System. This powerful radar system has 47 installations strung across Canada's North and Alaska. NORAD makes a point of checking the radar closely for indications of Santa Claus leaving the North Pole on Christmas Eve.
Rudolph's nose gives off an infrared signature similar to a missile launch. The satellites can detect Rudolph's bright red nose with practically no problem. With so many years of experience, NORAD has become good at tracking aircraft entering North America, detecting worldwide missile launches and tracking the progress of Santa, thanks to Rudolph.

The third system we use is the Santa Cam. We began using it in 1998 - the year we put our Santa Tracking program on the Internet. NORAD Santa Cams are ultra-cool high-tech high-speed digital cameras that are pre-positioned at many places around the world. NORAD only uses these cameras once a year - Christmas Eve.
The last system we use is the NORAD jet fighter. Canadian NORAD fighter pilots, flying the CF-18, take off out of Newfoundland to intercept and welcome Santa to North America.
About a dozen NORAD fighters in Canada and the United States are equipped with Santa Cams.
NORAD explains how Santa accomplishes his task:
the only logical conclusion is that Santa somehow functions on a different time and space continuum.
Be sure to watch the ultra-cool 60-second promo video of NORAD tracking Santa here!

This is Totally Awesome!

The site is available in 6 languages.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Page 12 News

Normblog finds some interesting information buried on page 12 of a Saturday NYTimes story:
Earlier this week, a leading cleric in Falluja, Hamza Abbas al-Issawi, 70, considered the city's grand imam, who had urged Sunni Arabs to defy the insurgents and vote in the Dec. 15 elections for a full four-year national government, was shot and killed. He had received insurgent death threats in recent months.


In Falluja's mosques, angry residents have vowed in recent days to avenge the clerics' killings by hunting down Islamic extremists loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, America's most-wanted man in Iraq. The anger spread on Friday to fiery condemnations at the main weekly prayers at two of Baghdad's most militant Sunni Arab mosques.

At the Mother of All Battles Mosque in the west of the city, the preacher, Sheik Ali Abu Hassan, called the killers "murderers" and said believers should respond by voting in large numbers. At the Abu Hanifa Mosque in the eastern Adhamiya district, a stronghold of support for Iraq's ousted ruler, Saddam Hussein, the preacher, Sheik Ahmad al-Samarrai, said, "The election is both legitimate and necessary, and your duty to vote is heavier than a mountain."
As Normblog points out, that's in Falluja.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Some Random Stuff

Here's a fascinating site found via The Anchoress -- ordinary people mailing in postcards with their deepest secrets.

The economy grew at a whopping 4.3% rate last quarter, and the Dow is less than 1% shy of 11,000. So here are some headlines the New York Times is bound to use any day now.

In fact, for more on the sheer denial of good news in the economy and elsewhere, see this roundup by Dr. Sanity.

The President's job approval has jumped from 36% to 42% as gas prices have plummeted, which is lucky because, you know, if they fall under 30%, he gets frog-marched in handcuffs out of the White House and is summarily executed on national tv. Didn't you know?

Democrat Logic

In addition to
There aren't enough troops in Iraq, but they need to be withdrawn now
The unilateral coalition is crumbling
we now have this doozy of reasoning:
1. We cannot stay the course.

2. Staying the course means "not cutting and running."

3. Therefore we propose "not not cutting and running."

4. But we do not propose "cutting and running."
In symbols, the Democrat leadership and the MSM is asserting that
~~A <> A
which, of course, is a contradiction, as it reduces to
A does not equal A.
Proceeding from a contradiction, any proposition can be proved.

Welcome to the leftist mind, or what passes for it.

The point is, it's absolutely impossible, and irrational, to even to try to reason with people who willingly make such arguments.

Their axioms are different, and inconsistent, from ours.

Debate is no longer an option.

It is, at this point, foolish to even try.

Since it is demonstrable that logic cannot even in principle work with them, the next alternative is to use emotion.

I have lost all patience. Ridicule, scorn, and scathing sarcasm are the only rational verbal tactics left.

PC works through social ostracism. We must create a counterreaction. Here are some examples of some recent comments left on this blog by newcomers looking at old posts, and my uncharacteristically ungracious responses.

Example 1:

Sonic said...

"If handled improperly, the situation in Iraq could go from "today, one (Osama) bin Laden, next few years 10 bin Ladens, then 100 bin Ladens," the Dalai Lama said."

8:42 PM, November 06, 2005

RDS said...
Yes, you are quite desperate.

Do you understand the word "If"?

You'd like 100 bin Ladens, wouldn't you, Lenin-lover?

You've lost.

8:57 PM, November 06, 2005

Sonic said...
Great stuff mate, I might link to this excuse for a blog for the comedy value!

"Lenin lover"

comedy gold

10:33 PM, November 06, 2005

RDS said...
Go for it! It wouldn't be half as funny without your comments, thanks!
Sonic links admiringly on his own blog to a lefty site called "Leninstomb", hence my comment.

Example 2, from my Roadkill is Yummy! post about roadkill-eating anti-civilizationists:
Nate said...
Ya know, I just was looking for some tips on collecting road kill and happened to stumble upon your commentary. I must say the idea of eating road is gross, but compared with many of the chicken factories and pig factories I have seen it is not gross at all. What is gross to me is that I have to skin this creature, tear it's guts out, cut it up and eat it. That's all that is gross to me. But really I see this forum as not so much about debating the idea of eating road kill, but rather ragging on people who are different than you, people whom you don't understand. I must admit, I don't understand you. I don't understand what you mean by eco-weenies. Do you mean people who care about their world are some how weak people or bad people? But you are right about the gratitude part. I should be thankful that our people of this USA have it in their hearts not to torture me, enslave me, or in other words do nasty things to me. As for living in many other countries that is not true. I would be one of the first to be hung with my guts ripped open, I imagine. If I had the guts to stand up for my beliefs. Maybe they will start after people here sooner or later. Oh wait, there are hate crimes everyday in this country...and there are forums where people make fun of others just because they don't "get" them. And it sure is fun, isn't it? Well I sure enjoy the daily show and that does just that. But does it help us understand eachother? And that other guy sure does make a point about wolves. Why not go look up how many humans have been eaten by wolves in this country? Have you ever heard the wolves howl? It is beautiful. If you truly believe that things are going well for humanity and this planet right now, you are not paying very good attention to the world around you. Go educate yourself.

5:15 PM, October 21, 2005

RDS said...

You have deliberately missed the point; this is not about grossness but the politics it represents.

You say you don't understand me.

That's because you are incapable of basic thought and don't know anything.

What's an "eco-weenie"? Someone like you who, yes, is a "weak" and "bad" person. And who is ignorant of scientific facts.

If you and your ilk really "cared about the world", you'd be for clean, cheap energy which means nuclear power. And you'd be for eliminating the scourge of Islamic fascism.

Instead, you make a stupid equivalency between your hysterical claims of "hate crimes" in this country with the very real, socially accepted evils of stoning women or murdering them for "honor".

And yes, fool, things are going well, compared with the past. But you wouldn't know that, since you are not educated.

I laugh at you! You are so funny! Have you considered a career as a jester or some sort of clown?

6:49 PM, October 23, 2005
Let us wield our contempt for their dangerous ignorance proudly.

Look, for example, at the website of this dumpster-diving sick freak and terror-enabler. I won't even quote his drivel; scroll down for the revealing "statement of identity."

Having It All Ways

Oh, so now we're leading a "coalition"!
U.S.-Led Iraq Coalition Steadily Eroding
And all along, I thought the AP was telling me this was a "unilateral", allyless expedition.

Wait, it gets better!
Bulgaria and Ukraine will begin withdrawing their combined 1,250 troops by mid-December. If Australia, Britain, Italy, Japan, Poland and South Korea reduce or recall their personnel, more than half of the non-American forces in Iraq could be gone by next summer.
Note the "IF".

So, the story line is, we need an "exit strategy" to reduce troop levels, but if troops actually come home, it's a -- steadily! -- "eroding" coalition...and a coalition which, due to our unilateral action, never existed in the first place.

They don't even bother to try to be consistent.

The tagline for this story in the link above is the opinion and emotion-laden "iraq_crumbling_coalition."

It's truly disturbing to see such venom harbored over the liberation of over 20 million human beings.

Oh yes, buried at the end we find this example of "steadily eroding" coalition support:
Many coalition members have pledged to stay in Iraq for all of 2006; at least one, Lithuania, has committed to the end of 2007. And the coalition is still drawing new members, most recently Bosnia, which sent 36 bomb-disposal experts in June.
Objectivity? What's that?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Facing Reality

We need a fence. Israel is already completing one. And it's creating certain realities:
JERUSALEM - Israel's border with a future Palestinian state will roughly follow the route of the contentious barrier Israel is building along and inside the West Bank, a top ally of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was quoted Thursday as saying.
"This is a very dangerous development and undermines the chances of permanent state negotiations," Erekat said. "This just proves that Israel wants to dictate and not negotiate."
Yes, the Palestinian side has just been SO open to peaceful negotiation...
Final borders and the fate of Jewish settlements in the West Bank are among the most contentious issues in negotiations. The barrier, when completed, would place 8 percent of the West Bank on the "Israeli" side by encompassing the major Jewish settlement blocs.
A mere 8 percent? They're lucky the Israelis don't just expel them and take it all -- they captured it by right of conquest and annexation of any or all of the West Bank would be perfectly within historical precedent; forcing border populations to move when lines are redrawn is something the Europeans of the 20th century are quite familiar with.
Livni's remarks are the latest by politicians who have joined forces with Sharon after he left his Likud Party last month to form a new, centrist movement in an effort to gain a free hand in negotiations with the Palestinians.
This maneuver by Sharon could be just what it takes to impose -- finally -- a settlement on the Palestinians, who never were honest negotiators and only wanted to establish Palestine in place of, rather than beside, Israel.

It's funny to see them squirm when they have to reject actual peace settlements!
The route of the barrier "also makes Jerusalem more Jewish," Ramon said. "The safer and more Jewish Jerusalem will be, it can serve as a true capital of the state of Israel."

Israel captured east Jerusalem along with the West Bank in 1967, but though Israel has always controlled west Jerusalem, most nations, including the United States, have their embassies in Tel Aviv.
Ah, this is the stuff that makes End-Timers salivate!

It's truly reprehensible we do not have our embassy in Jerusalem. What other country in the world is not allowed to name its own capital? I believe Congress has even passed resolutions to that end, but the State Department won't budge.

Someday soon, they're going to have to face reality at State, just like in Palestine.

Sedition Laws

The Aussies are leading the way in reviving anti-sedition laws -- this is absolutely vital, as it represents a cultural self-confidence that is necessary to survive, which has gone missing in too many places in the West:
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's conservative government has refused to drop strict sedition provisions from a raft of changes to counter-terrorism laws, despite fears from media groups that they will curb freedom of speech.
And the media is baffled that it was unable to stop it!
The laws upgrade the little-used offence of sedition so it attracts a seven-year jail term for threatening the "peace, order and good government of the commonwealth".

Media organisations and civil libertarians have called for the revived sedition laws to be dropped, arguing they are unnecessary as there has been no prosecution under the existing sedition provisions since 1960.
Well it's about time then, isn't it?
Ruddock said the laws would not limit media and political comment as they were drafted to specifically target people who advocated violence against the government.

"It's highly unlikely unless people are urging the use of force or violence to overthrow our democratic institutions or against one group of people involving another group of people, or our troops abroad," he told Sky News.
The media also doesn't like that it will be punished for giving up wartime secrets:
The Australian Press Council has warned that under the laws, journalists who report that a suspected terrorist has been detained by police could be jailed for five years.

The council said police would also have the power to detain journalists if this was deemed necessary to "preserve" evidence relating to a terrorist attack, and they would have free licence to enter newsrooms and seize journalists' notes.
The media need to stop being part of the problem.

Where the Aussies lead, we should follow.

Crazy Headline

Is this bias? Or stupidity?

The headline referring to Bush's speech on Iraq strategy, carps in the most ridiculous way possible:
Bush offers no date for Iraq victory
ANNAPOLIS, United States (AFP) - President George W. Bush sought to overcome mounting worries about his Iraq war strategy, but would not set a date for a US pullout, warning that victory requires "time and patience."
This is almost too boggling even to analyze.

Note the petulance, and ironic lack of patience, in childishly demanding a date for victory, as if that were ever possible.

Note also the equating of victory with pullout, which is either naive, or a deliberate attempt to create a meme that conflates the two in an Orwellian sense, as a declared pullout date is really a defeat.

It's beyond parody.