web counter Media Lies: October 2004

Sunday, October 31, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
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What's the cause of this?

Working my way through my blogroll, I ended up reading a National Review article about Kerry's various deceits with regard to southeast Asia. (Via Powerline.) I'm not exactly unfamiliar with Kerry's shenanigans when it comes to Vietnam (and southeast Asia in general), but in reading this article I couldn't help wondering what the driving force behind Kerry's insistence in ignoring all evidence of perfidy in Asia must be. Kerry seems to have an inordinate desire to cover up crimes in southeast Asia and forgive all manner of criminal behavior on the part of her dictators.

This isn't normal behavior. There must be something in Kerry's background that compels this blind obesiance to the communist agenda in southeast Asia (but not elsewhere.) In all other matters, Kerry bows to the UN, but not in these.

I wonder if any of my readers have an idea what it might be?


Major development in Iraq

Sam at Hammorabi is reporting a major arrest of terrorists in Iraq.
Iyad Alawi the interim PM of Iraq announced that the Iraqi authorities with the help of the multinational forces arrested 167 Arab terrorists and at least 3000 Baathists under the leadership of Izat Al-Dori (Abo Al-thalaj). These arrests include two of Abo-Althalaj deputies. It also includes 4 of the important members of the Jordanian/Palestinian terrorists Abu Mosab Zarqawi. The movement names of these terrorists are Abo Anis the Palestinian, Abo Mohammad from Lebanon, Abo Ahmed from Tabok in Saudi Arabia and Abo Omar from Egypt.
With the defeat of Fallujah and Ramadi looming on the horizon, the end is near. The terrorists cannot sustain their reign of terror much longer.

Belmont Club is reporting that Fallujah is surrounded by the 5th Marines, Ramadi is surrounded by the 1st Marines and the 7th Marines are guarding the Syrian-Iraqi border to prevent reinforcements.
1st Marines is a brigade-sized force of about 3 thousand men and the other units are of the same size, all part of the First Marine Division. Chester's exposition above reveals a great deal about the nature of the conflict the US is facing in Iraq. The deployments suggest that Syria is the operational rear of the insurgents in the Sunni Triangle, which is why 7th Marines has been positioned to interdict the infiltration flow. The infiltration trickle finds its way to various sumps, or collection areas, where they are concentrated, tasked and launched out on attacks. Ramadi and Fallujah are probably typical of these. As Chester pointed out, they serve as command and control and probably training bases.

1st Marines will be supported by attachments, such as a logistics group and both aerial and artillery fires. The Iraqi component may consist of a slightly smaller force. The possible ground force deployed against Fallujah will be on the order of 5,000 men of whom about 3 thousand will be American. A glance at a large scale map (courtesy of Global Security) will give the reader a feel for the terrain.
Before the elections in January, the terrorists in Iraq will have been vanquished, and Iraq will be stabilized. Expect to see successful elections then, a dramatic change in the prospects for a democratic Iraq and an astonished Arab world, unable to explain or comprehend what has taken place.

The "experts" said it couldn't be done.


Do we have the will to win?

The Discerning Texan reproduces an extremely well-written article that argues that America will decide, on Tuesday, whether it has the will to win or the desire to be defeated. Fascinating reading.

UPDATE: Ranting Profs has more on Victor David Hanson's article.


Osama speaks - maybe

The talk of the Internet and media in general has been the statement of Osama bin Laden that was revealed on Friday. Wretchard sees it as a surrender proposal. He believes OBL has had enough.
It is important to notice what he has stopped saying in this speech. He has stopped talking about the restoration of the Global Caliphate. There is no more mention of the return of Andalusia. There is no more anticipation that Islam will sweep the world. He is no longer boasting that Americans run at the slightest wounds; that they are more cowardly than the Russians. He is not talking about future operations to swathe the world in fire but dwelling on past glories. He is basically saying if you leave us alone we will leave you alone. Though it is couched in his customary orbicular phraseology he is basically asking for time out.
Most of the media chose to show only one third of the entire tape, which was a lengthy complaint about the impact our military has had on him and his organization. (Via Instapundit.)
Officials said that in the 18-minute long tape -- of which only six minutes were aired on the al-Jazeera Arab television network in the Middle East on Friday -- bin Laden bemoans the recent democratic elections in Afghanistan and the lack of violence involved with it.

On the tape, bin Laden also says his terror organization has been hurt by the U.S. military's unrelenting manhunt for him and his cohorts on the Afghan-Pakistani border.
bin Laden, like so many others in history, underestimated the abilities and resolve of the American people.

He is right about one thing, however. The election will tell us a lot about America's intentions. He clearly understands the implications of a Bush re-election.
Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or Al Qaeda. Your security is in your hands. Each state that doesn't mess with our security has automatically secured their security.
This statement is right out of the Kerry playbook.

Unfortunately for Osama, America will choose Bush.

UPDATE: INDC Journal has more links and info. I should also have pointed out that the title included the "maybe?" because there is some speculation that the tape is not Osama but a double - unconfirmed, but provocative.

UPDATE 2: MEMRI differs on the translation of bin Laden's tape and offers additional insight.
The Islamist website Al-Qal'a explained what this sentence meant: "This message was a warning to every U.S. state separately. When he [Osama Bin Laden] said, 'Every state will be determining its own security, and will be responsible for its choice,' it means that any U.S. state that will choose to vote for the white thug Bush as president has chosen to fight us, and we will consider it our enemy, and any state that will vote against Bush has chosen to make peace with us, and we will not characterize it as an enemy. By this characterization, Sheikh Osama wants to drive a wedge in the American body, to weaken it, and he wants to divide the American people itself between enemies of Islam and the Muslims, and those who fight for us, so that he doesn't treat all American people as if they're the same. This letter will have great implications inside the American society, part of which are connected to the American elections, and part of which are connected to what will come after the elections."(3)

Another interesting aspect of the speech is the fact that while bin Laden made his specific threat to each U.S. state, he also offered an election deal to the American voters, attempting to influence the election by these means rather than influencing it through terrorist attacks.(4) This peace offer is a theme that follows up on his April speech directed to Europe, in which he offered a truce.(5) The Islamist website Al-Islah explains: "Some people ask 'what's new in this tape?' [The answer is that] this tape is the second of its kind, after the previous tape of the Sheikh [Osama bin Laden], in which he offered a truce to the Europeans a few months ago, and it is a completion of this move, and it brings together the complementary elements of politics and religion, political savvy and force, the sword and justice. The Sheikh reminds the West in this tape of the great Islamic civilization and pure Islamic religion, and of Islamic justice..."(6)

Another conspicuous aspect of the tape is the absence of common Islamist themes that are relevant to the month of Ramadan, which for fundamentalists like bin Laden is the month of Jihad and martyrdom. Noticeably absent from the Al-Jazeera tape was his usual appearance with a weapon, and more importantly the absence of references to Jihad, martyrdom, the Koran, the Hadith (Islamic tradition), Crusaders, Jews, and the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad on the duty to wage Jihad against the infidels. For the followers of the Al-Qa'ida ideology, this speech sends a regressive and defeatist message of surrender, as seen in the move from solely using Jihad warfare to a mixed strategy of threats combined with truce offers and election deals.


Saturday, October 30, 2004

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Radical Bush - Reactionary Kerry

The Boston Globe (surprisingly) published an article that is one of the best summations of the differences between Bush and Kerry that I've seen. (Hat tip Instapundit.)
To Bush the radical, 9/11 shattered the illusion that the Islamo-fascist terror can be controlled with indictments and criminal lawyers. And it shattered the belief that terrorism could be beaten without draining the swamps in which it breeds -- the dictatorships and theocracies of the Muslim Middle East. "Terrorists thrive on the support of tyrants and the resentments of oppressed peoples," Bush said last fall. "When tyrants fall and resentment gives way to hope, men and women in every culture reject the ideologies of terror and turn to the pursuits of peace."

From that insight springs Bush's campaign to democratize the Middle East and his rejection of the old "realist" policy of tolerating oppressive regimes in the name of stability. "This approach brought little stability and much oppression," he has said, "so I have changed this policy."

And Kerry the reactionary would change it back. He argues that "the goal . . . is a stable Iraq, not whether or not there's a full democracy." He told The Washington Post that if elected, he would, in the Post's words, "play down the promotion of democracy as a leading goal." In a Kerry administration there will be no effort to modernize the Middle East with freedom and pluralism. Democracy? "You can't impose it on people," Kerry says.
It appalls me that Kerry prefers the dictatorships of the mideast to freedom and democracy for the region.

Perhaps that's why Muslims hate us so much?


Beldar's fed up, and so am I

I have grown so weary of stupid arguments that I have little patience for them any more. I just read one today where a guy insisted that bin Laden's recent message was an attempt to determine if Americans are his enemy or just the American government. Stupid arguments like that make me laugh, but I feel compelled to address them if only to prevent them from going unchallenged.

Apparently Beldar has had enough too, because he posted a lengthy rant about stupid arguments today.
"By invading Iraq," they say, "President Bush has caused more terrorists." For example, I just saw a blogad pimping a new book with a blurb from a WaPo review by Richard Clarke that gushes, "[Jonathan] Randal makes a convincing case that the U.S. war on Iraq has needlessly extended the lifetime and ferocity of this generation of terrorists as never before." I haven't read Mr. Randal's book, and neither do I plan to waste the time or money to do so, because I already understand his "convincing case," and I know what it amounts to:

Rubbish and balderdash.

Radical Islamic extremists are not like poison ivy — "don't scratch it, it'll only get worse!" The necessary premise of this argument is, "If we'd only — (choose one or more) — (a) let them alone, (b) treat them with due respect, (c) allow them to drive Israel into the sea, then they wouldn't keep flying airplanes into our buildings, blowing up school busses, kidnapping and beheading civilians, etc."
What irritates me most about arguments like this is that they cheapen the debate.

There is plenty of room in our country to have genuine disagreements about how our government should be run and what it should be doing. Social issues, tax issues, administrative issues, foreign policy, whatever the issue is, there is ample room for disagreement, but when stupid arguments are advanced, the real issues that we need to resolve go unattended. That's why the furor over the "380 tons" of explosives is so infuriating to me.

First of all, it's incredibly naive to think that a President of the United States would even concern himself with the details of what happended to 0.06% of the explosives and ammunition in Iraq. Leaders set direction, build vision, establish policy. They do not concern themselves with the details of how things get done. With regard to the explosives situation, President Bush would have addressed it by asking Rumsfield to ask the generals to develop a plan for dealing with the problem of explosives in Iraq, if he was even aware of the problem. He would never have said, "Don't forget the RDX and HMX at Al Qaa Qaa." That's just not the way it works. Even Tommy Franks would have simply delegated that issue to trusted subordinates.

Furthermore, screaming "incompetence" when you're completely ignorant of the details of a situation is not only counterproductive but insulting. How would you feel if your supervisor blamed you for something when he wasn't even certain if anything had gone wrong? That's exactly what is being done now by those who are crying "incompetence!". They're accusing the troops on the ground, the brave soldiers who defend our freedom, and their leaders, the captains, and majors who lead them on the missions, of failing to properly carry out their orders. George Bush wasn't in Iraq. The soldiers were. If explosives were left unguarded, George Bush is not the one who is incompetent. The soldiers and their leadership are.

Before you accuse the military of this country of incompetence, shouldn't you at least have all the facts before you? Right now we don't even know how much explosive material was in al Qaa Qaa. Reports place the amount between 3 tons and 380 tons. That alone should be sufficient cause to shut up until all the facts are in.

But facts and evidence don't matter to many today. Scoring points do.

UPDATE: If you aren't up on all the latest having to do with the explosives story, Tom Maguire does a pretty good job of touching all the bases.


Friday, October 29, 2004

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Point taken

Charles Krauthammer turns our focus to Afghanistan and points out the astonishing transformation that has taken place in a land in which nobody thought we could possibly succeed - except for President Bush, of course.
In the 1990s, Afghanistan was allowed to fall to the Taliban and become the global center for the training, indoctrination and seeding of jihadists around the world -- including the mass murderers of Sept. 11, 2001. This week, just three years after a two-month war that destroyed the Taliban, Afghanistan completed its first free election, choosing as president a pro-American democrat enjoying legitimacy and wide popular support.

This represents the single most astonishing geopolitical transformation of the past four years. (Deposing Saddam Hussein ranks second. The global jihad against America was no transformation at all: It existed long before the Bush administration. We'd simply ignored al Qaeda's declaration of war.) But perhaps even more astonishing is how this singular American victory has disappeared from public consciousness.
No matter what you think of Iraq, you are forced to admit that Afghanistan is an unqualified success.

Is the same President who lead this brilliantly conceived plan that succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams the supposedly incompetent nincompoop that John Kerry so gleefully remonstrates? Iraq is and was much more difficult than Afghanistan. Remember, there was already an armed opposition to the Taliban - an ongoing civil war that was stalemated. All we had to do was tip the balances in favor of the Northern Alliance.

Iraq had a standing army, a determined leader and thousands of fanatically loyal Fedayeen. Yet it took only three weeks to get to Baghdad, and here we are 18 months later, on the cusp of free elections for the first time in their history and about to destroy the last remnants of the terrorists. By any reasonable measure, we have done unbelieveably better than could have been predicted or was expected. (Remember the concerns that we might lose 10,000 troops taking Baghdad?)

Have there been mistakes? Of course there have. This is, after all, a human endeavor involving huge bureaucracies (Pentagon, State Department, et. al.) If you step back and dispassionately look at what's been achieved so far, it takes your breath away. Would anybody have predicted, in 2000, that just four years later the Taliban would be ousted, Afghanistan would have elected a democratic President, Sadaam would be in jail, his sons dead and Iraqis yearning to cast their ballots in their own democractic elections? Absolutely not! Yet all of this is done.

There is much more to do, of course, but shouldn't the man who led this effort, who approved the plans and allowed the professionals to do what they do best, get the credit?

Shouldn't that credit be your vote at the ballot box?


An Iraqi woman speaks out

You simply must read this. I can't tell you how emotional it is to read. It tugs at your heartstrings.
She spoke of seeing many Iraqis break into tears when they heard President Bush speak of democracy and freedom as a "gift from the Creator" meant for all people - a message that resonated deeply with many of her countrymen. She is very optimistic that Iraq can and will become a major force for change in the Middle East. The current mission is to defeat the insurgency, secure the borders and hold elections.

It is, she acknowledges, a difficult mission. But, she says, "Democracy is not cheap! Your own revolution did not happen overnight. We Iraqis think that the current deaths are nothing, a small price to pay for being free of Saddam and having our own country again."
Go read it.


(Via Polipundit by way of Kinja.)


Tommy Franks and Bomb-gate

Tommy Franks introduced the President at a rally in Ohio and took a swipe at John Kerry's despicable, continued use of the now-debunked NY Times explosives story.
George W. Bush is a leader who knew that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the world and to the United States of America, and removed him from power. (Applause.) George W. Bush is a leader who knows that our troops, as of right now, have cleared 10,000 ammunition and weapons sites in Iraq. He knows that they have destroyed 240,000 tons of munitions in Iraq. He knows that they have under control -- (applause) -- he knows that they have under control another 162,000 tons of munitions in Iraq. We're talking about George W. Bush who knows, who understands that we do not yet have all the facts about 380 tons of munitions in Iraq. And he is a President who will look at you and say, we don't yet have the facts, but we will get the facts. George W. Bush. (Applause.)

In George W. Bush, you're talking about a leader who does not step out every day of his life and make more wild accusations. You're talking about a leader who actually cares about our troops, about their families, and about our veterans. You're talking about a leader who actually respects all those who serve our country with dignity and with honor. You're talking about George W. Bush. (Applause.)
I suspect he'll have even more to say in the coming days.


Sometimes words fail me

I got this in email this morning.
This says it well and points out quite clearly why I will vote for G.W. Bush even though he can't debate. Before dawn this morning I awoke with a sense of impending doom and panic. At first I thought I had been awakened by a dream about my deceased father but quickly realized that I was dreaming about a story that he told me many years ago. During an interview in the early 1960's, Nikita Kruschev, (of the old Soviet Union), told a reporter that the Russian army didn't need to attack the United States to bring it to it's knees. He said "that America would be destroyed from within." As a child I didn't understand the meaning of his statement and over the years I thought Kruschev meant that terrorists and illegal aliens would try to destroy our great nation by sneaking across our borders and physically attacking us on our own soil.

After 9/11 my notion was confirmed. But, I was wrong. The terrorists that brought down the World Trade Center towers managed to slaughter over 3,000 innocent Americans and people of other nationalities but they don't have the power to cripple our country. The subversants and ultra-liberals that convened in Boston have that ability.

In high school, as I studied and began to comprehend world events and history, I wondered how a despot like Adolph Hitler ever came to power. How did one wimpy, albeit schizophrenic, little guy whip up the crowds and turn rational, thinking human beings against their neighbors and supervise the massacre of millions of innocent people? I asked my father, a veteran of WWII, how this could have happened. He told me that he asked a German who had immigrated to this country after the war these same questions. The elderly gentleman hung his head and admitted to my father, "We allowed him to corrupt our youth."

Very late last night on MSNBC Brian Williams narrated a program about John Kerry and his anti-Vietnam War activities in the 70's. Even though he become a wrinkled, gray-haired "respectable" United States Senator, Kerry has never ceased to viciously swipe at the under belly of the American defenses, the military that protects his freedom to take those swipes. He has consistently voted against every bill that involved funding for the military and his record is even more liberal than that of Senator Hillary Clinton. The old hippie mentality has never wavered even though the wolf has disguised himself in the sheep's clothing of 3 piece suits and a millionaire lifestyle of mansions and yachts. What I've never heard is John Kerry admitting that HIS Democratic cronies are the ones that got us in Vietnam in the first place. Like a spoiled, coddled child, he just expected Richard Nixon, 0ur country's "parent" at the time, to get us out of the mess that his political party had gotten us into.

John Kerry is consistent in his climb toward a position of power to wreck as much havoc as possible on the American people. After throwing away the medals he questionably "earned" in Vietnam, he systematically acquired power by marrying and living off rich women but made his children illegitimate by annulling his marriage to their mother in order to achieve his goal. He supervised the dismantling and relocation overseas of his wife's factories which resulted in the loss of thousands of Americans' jobs while continuing to vote against all military spending bills that came up for a vote.

Watching John Kerry play the electric guitar on stage at a recent Democratic fundraiser reminded me of the time Bill Clinton donned sunglasses and played the saxophone on MTV. Like Hitler, they both knew that the key to their success was to capture the vote and support of the youth of America.

We watched over 10 years ago as a famous celebrity/retired athlete was acquitted of two heinous murders that we ALL knew in our hearts he committed. The jury of his peers was dazzled by his fame and were conned by his slick lawyer's ultimate "stick it to you" race car maneuvering. We have all become so insanely politically correct that we've allowed celebrities to spout their ultra liberal views, completely unchecked. We've allowed non-talents like Anna Nicole Smith to waddle her way across the screen of the American television industry and laugh as she watches her 18 year old son get drunk at her side. We've raised an MTV generation of young people who truly believe the garbage that Michael Moore "documented" and haven't risen up in protest to question the media's codependency in this widespread propaganda.

Who am I? I am a housewife, a nobody, a lone voice asking the American people, "How long will we tolerate the ultraliberal media to elect another President intent on weakening our defenses and shaming us in the eyes of the world? How long will we allow uneducated celebrities to denigrate and mock the very heart beat of America's moral foundation? How long will we allow the Michael Moores of this country to skew the truth and be praised and rewarded for it? How long will it take for us to become tired, ashamed old Germans, hanging our heads in disbelief that the youth of our country became angry, damaging senior senators who brought about our destruction from within?"

I have no power. I have no influence. I know that George W. Bush is just one man who, like all of us, isn't perfect. But, I also know and believe in my heart that he's the only hope we have in November, the parent's' voice who can tell the spoiled, hedonistic "children" of our country to shut their hypocritical mouths and quit working toward undermining our nation.

I'm asking you to forward this message to as many people as you dare risk insulting. I'm asking, "Will we wake up before Nikita Kruschev's prediction comes true?"

Jan Morrow, daughter of a WWII veteran, sister of a Vietnam War veteran
and the wife of a retired U.S. Air Force veteran.
I couldn't have said it better.


Thursday, October 28, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
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Please adjust your bookmarks.

Iraqi media on Oil For Food

The Iraqi daily, Al-Mada, discusses the Oil For Food scandal. Some of the beneficiaries were connected to terrorism.
he names of some oil voucher recipients stand out. One such person is Mawlana Abd Al-Manan who was allocated a total of 43.2 million barrels, most of it lifted by the Swiss branch of the Russian company Lukoil. One shipment was lifted by "Jordan Grain," whose name is unusual.

The intriguing part about Al-Manan is a reference made about him by the Iraqi intelligence service in a letter dated September 15, 1999. The letter referred to an instruction, delivered by phone, by "His Excellency the Director of Intelligence" to M5/15/2 instructing him to host "the Bangladeshi Mulana Muhammad Abd Al-Manan and his son Muhammad Mu'een at the Rashid Hotel in Baghdad at the expense of the Mukhabarat." [4]

Another person who was directly involved in terrorism is Abu Al-Abbas, who was allocated a total of 11.5 million barrels, some of which was lifted by Vilma Oil Consultant, a Spanish company. Abu Al-Abbas has also sold 1.5 million barrels through Ayad Ammora and Partnership (Syria), which is also listed as a recipient of vouchers for 18 million barrels.

Abu Al-Abbas was first mentioned in a "top secret and personal" letter (No.110/2/43 of 25 January 1993) from the Iraqi intelligence service to the secretary of the president of the republic. The letter listed the terrorist organizations that could be employed by Iraq to carry out sabotage and terrorism activities against American interests in the Arab world.
Yet the Democrats continue to insist that there were no ties between Sadaam and terorism and that Sadaam did not represent a threat to the US.


Saudi Arabia - the Great Satan?

One of the complaints against Bush has been that he should have attacked Saudi Arabia instead of Iraq. The basis of the complaint is valid. Almost all the hijackers were Saudi. The Saudis are the source of Wahabbism, the radical arm of Muslim that is the source of the philosophy that feeds terrorism - the belief that "pure" Islam is the true religion and all others are infidels worthy of death if they do not convert. Saudi money props up terrorism and promotes Wahabbism around the world.

The problem is that it's naive to think that we could invade Saudi Arabia and change its government. It will take other methods to change Saudi Arabia, but change it we must. Terrorism will not be defeated until Wahabbism is consigned to the dustbin of history.

You need only read the writings of Saudis to understand the depth of the problem. The Saudi's official government news predicts that the US will invade Pakistan. This is typical of the kind of conspiracy thinking that is the norm in Saudi Arabia.
"There is no doubt that the U.S. is the biggest enemy of Islam and the Muslims. It utilized Pakistan to bring down the former USSR, helped Pakistan form the Taliban and help the Taliban to come to power in Afghanistan. But when Afghanistan refused to allow passage of an oil pipeline it declared the Taleban as terrorists and, after 9/ll, attacked Afghanistan.

"After the destruction of Afghanistan, it sought the help of Pakistan through intimidation. Now it is not only trying to destabilize Pakistan but is also bent on dividing it. This is the worst example of friendship extended by the U.S., as Secretary of State Collin Powell recently avowed that Pakistan is the U.S. biggest and trusted ally outside NATO.

"The bomb blast in Pakistan and the sectarian fighting between the Sunnis and the Shiites show that the U.S. has started implementing its program.
You really can't make this stuff up - well, unless you're Noam Chomsky or Michael Moore...

Another article explores the supposed connections between the Bush family and the Nazis. (Seriously! We're both the biggest supporters in the world of the evil Jews and at the same time we cooperated with the jew-hating Nazis. I told you you couldn't make this stuff up.)
"Therefore, either these documents were archived during the terms of [Bush] the father and [George W. Bush] so they could be used as a means of blackmailing the two presidents into continuing to serve Israel, or the time has now come to publicize these facts, if they are indeed true. That is to say, perhaps Bush Jr. has played all his cards and he has no choice left but to leave the White House, with [John] Kerry as his successor, about whom it has been said that he has Jewish roots, like [Madeleine] Albright, the former Secretary of State who didn't make public her religious identity until several years after [assuming office].

"The delicate question is whether Israel cooperated with the ruling Bush family while knowing these secrets, according to the principle of whoever does you excellent service is your ally, even if in the past he had [ties] with the Nazis? Or perhaps this information is inaccurate or fictitious, and its publication has come at a time when the investigators don't have time to conduct a thorough investigation and to defend Bush, since the elections are fast approaching. If we assume that the accusation is true, it is probable that elements in the service of Israel and [acting] in conjunction with it felt which way the wind was blowing in anticipation of the elections, and [concluded] that Kerry was better suited to the Israeli positions."
Remember - this is the official Saudi government daily, not some grocery story rag like the Enquirer.

Can you imagine the US government making press releases like this? The administration would be laughed out of the White House. Yet in Saudi Arabia this passes for intelligent analysis.

Sooner or later this will have to change. How that change will come about is a question that will vex experts far more knowledgeable than I.


No man left behind

With just six days left until the election, John Kerry may have found the last group of military men left that he has not insulted. In a speech today, he insulted the brave Cuban-Americans who gave their lives in the Bay of Pigs invasion when an American president betrayed their cause at the last minute.

How appropriate it is that John Kerry, who betrayed his own crewmates from Vietnam, would chose an incident where his idol, John Kennedy, betrayed brave military men to insult the last remaining group of brave men in America he hasn't already offended. If you don't think this matters at this late date, read what a Cuban-American has to say.
I am completely stunned. What a great diservice Mr. Kerry does to those in the armed forces serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, dishonoring not only those Americans serving their country, but their allies. Like the men of Brigade 2506, the Iraqi's are fighting for their freedom. They depend on the strength of not just the US forces serving alongside them, but of the strength and conviction of the one man leading them.

John Forbes Kerry is not fit walk amongst these men, much less lead them.
Florida has a huge Cuban-American community. Florida is a crucial swing state. Cuban-Americans in Florida have been unsure about voting for Bush because of his stand on Cuba. John Kerry just gave them a reason to vote for Bush, push the state into the Bush column further, and close the election door on his hopes forever.

And he calls Bush incompetent!

UPDATE: Jim Geraghty saw the irony before I did.


Not convinced by the Swiftvets?

If you aren't convinced that the Swiftvets are telling the truth, if you think the Swiftvets are smearing John Kerry, if you think that they have lied about what John Kerry did in Vietnam, then you need to go now and view the five videos on their entry page. After you've watched them, if you still have doubts about their veracity, then you are not open-minded enough to look at evidence and accept what you see.


This bothers me a great deal

In a Tech Central article (via Instapundit), Forcing Democrats to 'Get Real' vs. The Spectre of Declinism, Carroll Andrew Morse discusses the practical results of supporting Kerry in the hope that it will force the Democrats to face terrorism head on. Morse discusses the two previous waves of declinism in America and describes the third wave thus:
Now, a third wave of declinism is taking shape. The new declinists, like the first wave, assume that the idea of pursuing victory is too risky to be considered -- the world is too dangerous, and outright victory over terrorism is not possible for any President. Instead, the primary function of the President should be to manage the damage created by terrorism. Kerry expressed this view in his New York Times interview with Matt Bai, saying "We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance". Senator Kerry is not alone in this belief. Just one year after September 11, for example, Arthur Schlesinger wrote an op-ed where he said, "Americans can learn to live with minor terrorism, as the people of Britain, Spain, India, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Sri Lanka and most of the world have already learned to do."
I don't know about you, but the idea of sacrificing myself or my children on the altar of "managing terrorism" is not an acceptable national strategy.

It's easy for leaders and elites to think this way. They can afford the best protection (bodyguards, armored vehicles, 24 hour surviellance, etc.) in the world. For the rest of us, it's purely the luck of the draw. If you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, well, they'll try to capture and try your killers. If one of your children happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, well, that's an unfortunate outcome of living in a dangerous world.

Is that how you want the world of your future to be? Where you never know what lurks around the next corner and your heart leaps into your throat every time the phone rings?

Morse points out that this theory hasn't held water in the past.
Sullivan and Hitchens are correct in their assertion that winning the Presidency will give John Kerry and the Democratic Party a renewed seriousness about dealing with the security of the United States. But they are mistaken in assuming that a renewed seriousness will automatically translate into the pursuit of victory over terrorism. The office of Presidency did not make Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter, leaders honestly concerned about the security of the United States, serious about winning the primary global conflict of their era. John Kerry is the heir to that tradition. Senator Kerry and his political allies have given every indication that they would use the Presidency to turn the energies of the United States towards most effectively incorporating a constant threat of terror, a threat regarded as too dangerous to be confronted, into a permanent part of day-to-day life.
Vote for Kerry if you don't mind losing someone close to you from time to time.

Vote for Bush if you think we should kill these people before they kill us.


Victor David Hanson on the stakes

Victor David Hanson writes about what's at stake in this election and reminds us of history. It's a quite compelling article.
This election marks a similar crossroads in our history. We are presented with two radically different candidates with profound disagreements about how to conduct a historic worldwide war. We should remember that all our victorious past presidents were, at the moments of their crises, deeply unpopular precisely because they chose the difficult, long-term sacrifice for victory over the expedient and convenient pleas for accommodation (if not outright capitulation). We are faced with just such an option today: a choice between a president whose call for patience and sacrifice promises victory, and a pessimist stirring the people with the assurances that we should not have fought, and now cannot win, the present war in Iraq.
There's more.....
By any historical standard, the Bush doctrine is working. In just over three years, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein have been eradicated. Consensual societies are starting to emerge in their place. Syria and Iran are jittery, fearing new global scrutiny over their longstanding, but heretofore excused, terrorist sympathies. Libya and Pakistan have flipped, renouncing much of their past villainy. Saudi Arabia and the other autocracies of the Gulf region feel the new pressure of American idealism. For all their vocal resentment, strategically critical sheikdoms are inching toward political reform and terrorist-hunting.
At one time both Edwards, and to a lesser extent Kerry, felt the same way, but the exigencies of getting elected apparently compelled both men to prostitute their principles.

Hat tip to The Discerning Texan.


When Arafat dies, Palestine dies with him

I suppose I should have written something about Arafat dying, but Wretchard does such a good job there's really no need. Suffice it to say, if you thought Palestine was chaotic before, "you ain't seen nuthin' yet".

We should let the Europeans, with their snotty, haughty attitudes, sort out the mess. Israel built the wall none too soon. The coming days in Palestine will put on the display the worst depravities that man has seen in many generations. It will make Iraq look like child's play.


al Qaa Qaa followup

In light of the recent story about satellite photos of trucks leaving al Qaa Qaa for Syria before the war, it occurs to me that had John Kerry simply done his job and attended the intelligence committee meetings that he routinely skipped, he wouldn't have been taken in by the bogus NY Times-UN scam of a story.

Just one more reason why he's Unfit For Command.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

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Vietnam Communists directed Kerry

I almost forgot to blog this story about Kerry's direct involvement with the Vietnamese Communists through his leadership of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). You can find more about it at the Winter Soldier site, and of course, the New York Sun article that I mentioned yesterday may be found here.

The short verions is, there appears to have been a great deal of coordination between the VVAW and the North Vietnamese Communists while John Kerry was the leader of the former.
The CDEC Viet Cong document titled "Circular on Antiwar Movements in the US" notes, "The spontaneous antiwar movements in the US have received assistance and guidance from the friendly (VC/NVN) delegations at the Paris Peace Talks." It also notes that "The seven-point peace proposal (of the SVN Provisional Revolutionary Government) [the Viet Cong proposal advanced by one of its envoys, Madame Binh, operating out of Paris] not only solved problems concerning the release of US prisoners but also motivated the people of all walks of life and even relatives of US pilots detained in NVN to participate in the antiwar movement."

The significance of the documents lies in the way they dovetail with activities of the young Mr. Kerry as he led the VVAW anti-war movement in the spring of 1971.
I know this is America. I know everyone is free to vote for the candidate of their choice.

Why on earth would someone vote for Kerry?


Must reads re: NYTrogate

There are two articles that you simply must read with regard to the explosives story. In Is the U.N. Meddling in the U.S. Presidential Election?, Nile Gardiner of The Heritage Foundation discusses a concern we should all have - is the UN trying to influence US elections? In Bomb-gate, Clifford May, in a National Review article which is being called the best summation of the salient issues connects the dots to implicate Mohammed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in what would be a world-wide scandal if the world actually cared about the truth.

UPDATE: I neglected to give a hat tip to Powerline, who also has this intriguing bit of news.
A Power Line reader writes from a .mil address:
I am a reservist stationed at CENTCOM. I did a search on SIPRNET the other day and I came up with a document with the following (unclassified) subject:


Other parts of the document are classified.

The subject pretty much tells it all but I do not know the final validity of the report. Perhaps you have access to people with more information. In any case, if the UN "inspectors" only checked the seals in March, then the materials could have been moved as early as January.
At this point, I feel compelled to agree with John Kerry. There is definitely incompetence involved in this scandal. Kerry is simply mistaken about who should assume the blame.

Instead of Bush, Kerry should be haranguing his first love, the UN.

UPDATE 2: Instapundit points to this WaTimes story that reveals that the Russians helped Iraq move the explosives before the war! So now we have France taking bribes from Sadaam in return for removing the sanctions and vetoing any US move to deal with Iraq, the UN displaying both gross incompetence and possibly even complicity in Sadaam's repeated violations of the sanctions, the French, Russians and Germans illegally supplying weapons to Sadaam before the war and the Russians helping Sadaam hide his weapons in Syria.

Now, what was John Kerry saying about a "global test"?

UPDATE 3: Just when you think this story couldn't get any more weird, along comes ABC News and reports that the explosives stored in al Qaa Qaa may have been as little as 3 tons, not the 377 tons reported by the NY Times.

This is history in the making. You are watching the collapse of old media credibility.

UPDATE 4: Could this be considered piling on?
Brett Baer on FNC reports that the Pentagon is reviewing sattelite imagery which reveals considerable truck activity in the days leading up to the Iraq war. The DoD is considering releasing the photographs.


Amazing confluence

This year has been amazing to me. Conservatives have complained for years about bias in the media, but the standard argument has been that there's no proof of bias and bias is in the eye of the beholder. Then along comes Rathergate, and CBS is exposed as a fraud for all the world to see. The Swiftvets had already raised serious questions about the old media's impartiality. You would have thought that the media would be much more circumspect, but their hubris overcame good sense.

Now along comes the "explosives" story, and before you can absorb the story, it turns in to "NYTrogate". It's almost incomprehensible that the media could be this stupid, but they are. The only conclusion I can come to is that they arrogantly thought they could get away with it and no one would realize they had.

This is a new day. As a wrote about in The Cathedral, the Bazaar and Blogs, "open source" reporting will eventually replace the old closed source system, and we will all be better off for it.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

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More Kerry two-facedness

INDC Journal has dug up more proof that Kerry is nothing but a lying windbag. Check this out.
But the administration missed an opportunity 2 years ago and particularly a year ago after September 11. They regrettably, and even clumsily, complicated their own case. The events of September 11 created new understanding of the terrorist threat and the degree to which every nation is vulnerable. That understanding enabled the administration to form a broad and impressive coalition against terrorism. Had the administration tried then to capitalize on this unity of spirit to build a coalition to disarm Iraq, we would not be here in the pressing days before an election, late in this year, debating this now. The administration's decision to engage on this issue now, rather than a year ago or earlier, and the manner in which it has engaged, has politicized and complicated the national debate and raised questions about the credibility of their case.
INDC points out that less than two months after 9/11 Kerry was already advocating invading Iraq.

And he claims Bush took his eye of the ball!


Wretchard writes about the explosives

Wretchard has written three articles about the explosives, all worth reading for the context they bring as well as the possible and most likely scenarios. RDX, Part 1, RDX, Part 2 and RDX, Part 3.

The amount of useless blabber this story has generated shows how much power the old media still has to influence the converstations in America. I look forward to the day when they're power is reduced to that of a gnat.


My apologies

I haven't had much time to blog the past two days because I'm breaking in a new employee. So I haven't been able to cover stories like the "explosives" story or the old media's continuing coverage, or the Kerry campaign's...just go see Hugh Hewitt. He has a pretty good roundup of the amazing number of things that are going on right now.


If this is true.....

Powerline reports
We pause briefly to interrupt QaQaagate for this question: What if captured Viet Cong documents revealed close coordination and cooperation between the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Communist Hanoi during the period John Kerry served most actively as VVAW's national spokesman and a member of its executive committee? Our sources suggest that we'll find out tomorrow, courtesy of Thomas Lipscomb and the New York Sun.
I guess I'll be watching the Sun carefully today.


Sunday, October 24, 2004

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WaTimes - Kerry lied

In a front page, above the fold article that's been the talk of the Internet for the past two days, the Washington Times investigated Kerry's claim, often repeated, that he had "met with the entire UN security council" before the war. According to Kerry, he was sounding them out to see how "serious" they were about dealing with Sadaam.
U.N. ambassadors from several nations are disputing assertions by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry that he met for hours with all members of the U.N. Security Council just a week before voting in October 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq.
An investigation by The Washington Times reveals that while the candidate did talk for an unspecified period to at least a few members of the panel, no such meeting, as described by Mr. Kerry on a number of occasions over the past year, ever occurred.
Kerry repeated the claim in the second debate.
At the second presidential debate earlier this month, Mr. Kerry said he was more attuned to international concerns on Iraq than President Bush, citing his meeting with the entire Security Council.
"This president hasn't listened. I went to meet with the members of the Security Council in the week before we voted. I went to New York. I talked to all of them, to find out how serious they were about really holding Saddam Hussein accountable," Mr. Kerry said of the Iraqi dictator.
It's difficult to say if this revelation, eight days before the election, will have much of an impact on the vote. I would think that those who intend to vote for Kerry really don't care if he lies. If they did, they wouldn't be voting for him.

On the other hand, it may sway some voters who are leaning Bush but not committed yet. The Times points out that Kerry has made honesty a central plank in his campaign.
The revelation that Mr. Kerry never met with the entire U.N. Security Council could be problematic for the Massachusetts senator, as it clashes with one of his central foreign-policy campaign themes - honesty.
At a New Mexico rally last month, Mr. Kerry said Mr. Bush will "do anything he can to cover up the truth." At what campaign aides billed as a major foreign-policy address, Mr. Kerry said at New York University last month that "the first and most fundamental mistake was the president's failure to tell the truth to the American people."
The Times closes by emphasizing the point again.
Mr. Kerry closed the final debate by recounting what his mother told him from her hospital bed, "Remember: integrity, integrity, integrity."
In an interview published in the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Mr. Kerry was asked what he would want people to remember about his presidency. He responded, "That it always told the truth to the American people."
It's hard for me to judge what impact this might have. Those who care probably already know Kerry lies regularly. Those who don't probably wouldn't be swayed anyway. There's certainly a lot of Americans who weren't the least bit bothered by Clinton's lies. In fact the relentless campaign of liberals to claim that Bush lies has, in my opinion, its genesis in the anger liberals feel over the (factual) charge that Clinton lied.

I'm not much for predicting things, so I'll wait to see the reaction, if there is one, to the article. Maybe it will make a difference in the final days. Maybe it won't.

UPDATE: Redstate.org has much more on this today.


This cracks me up

The liberals have been screaming for years how absolutely stupid, dumb, ignorant and uneducated Bush is. (None of which is true, of course. Bush scored 1206 on the SAT and holds an MBA from Harvard.) However, I am now prepared to concede that Bush is an idiot. Why? Because the the NY Times reports that Kerry is dumber than Bush.

So, all you Bush-haters out there, just how dumb does Kerry have to be to be dumber than Bush?



Two stories of note from the MidEast

MEMRI provides insight into the Arab mind with a story about a reform seminar in Egypt that triggered the ire of the Muslim clerics.
He further said, "The participation of Western [research] centers in a discussion of Islam and its legal sources is a mark of shame and a disaster which society and its leaders need to prevent… It is an obligation to forcefully intercede so as to prevent [these] affronts. This is a group of [religious] deviants, one of whom has already been indicted on charges of treason; thus it is forbidden to deal with them and it is an obligation to consider them insignificant in society."
Fine fellows, these Muslim clerics.

In a second story it looks like John Kerry's brilliant idea to provide the Iranians with nuclear fuel isn't going to work after all.
Recently, the three European countries, France, Germany, and the UK, initiated (in the talks between the EU and Iran in the past two years) a new proposal where nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes would be provided to Iran by European countries as part of an incentive package. Iran principally refused the offer. In the next few days, the three foreign ministers of France, Germany, and the UK are expected to arrive in Tehran for talks, in which they will officially submit the offer.
So much for innovation.


Gee, ya think?

In a study of media coverage of the elections, the Center for Media and Public Affairs, which describes itself as "a nonpartisan research and educational organization which conducts scientific studies of the news and entertainment media" found that the media was signficantly biased toward Kerry. The study, which covers the time frame of June 1 - September 2 is available in pdf form on the Center's home page.

The results, while interesting, shouldn't surprise any impartial observer of the media. Here's some highlights:
    Percent of Positive Evaluations
  • TV Overall - Kerry - 62% Bush - 41%
  • News Magazines Overall - Kerry - 67% Bush - 38%
  • Most Biased toward Kerry - Newsweek Magazine
  • Second Most Biased - NBC
  • Least Biased Toward Kerry - ABC
One statistic is fascinating.
    Bias by Source Type (Positive Evaluations)
  • Partisan - Kerry - 53% Bush 50%
  • Non-Partisan - Kerry - 71% Bush - 31%
So much for being "non-partisan", huh?

Here's the executive summary:
  • Evaluations of John Kerry were positive by a two-to-one margin, while evaluations of George W. Bush were over 60 percent negative.
  • Among non-partisan sources, Kerry's evaluations were almost three-to-one positive; Bush's were over two-to-one negative.
  • Among the networks, the gap between the candidates was largest on NBC; the coverage was most balanced on ABC.
  • Kerry's proportion of good press declined in August, as his but he still fared far better than Bush until the GOP convention.
  • Bush got better press than Kerry only during the GOP convention, which was the only time he received a majority of positive evaluations.
  • Based on our previous studies of primary and general election coverage, Kerry has gotten the best press on network news of any presidential nominee since we began tracking election news in 1988.
  • The coverage has focused more on the candidates' policies and personal characteristics than on the campaign horse race.
    The Fox News Channel Difference
  • Fox News Channel was about as negative towards Bush as the broadcast networks, but Kerry's evaluations were negative by a five-to-one margin.
  • There was little difference in the evaluations of party- and campaign-based partisan sources; but Bush fared over four times as well as Kerry among non-partisan sources.
Liberals' complaints about the bias of Fox News are obviously justified. Will they admit that conservatives' complaints about the bias of the rest of the media are also justified?

Somehow I doubt it.


Sen. Levin tries to refute intelligence

Stephen Hayes fisks Sen. Levin's attempt to prove that there has never been a relationship between al Qaeda and Sadaam. (via Cori Dauber) Like many Democrats, Levin likes to make use of selective evidence and obfuscation to make his case. Hayes reveals the Senator's dishonesty carefully and precisely.

This is still a very controversial area, and it's reprehensible of the Senator to use the power of his office to produce a report that is critical of the administration just two weeks before the election. Especially when he doesn't even handle the data honestly.

So it goes in DC these days.


Saturday, October 23, 2004

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This just in

Terrorism is a figment of our imagination. So says the looney British left (via Wretchard.) BBC2 recently aired a documentary, "The Power of Nightmares", that attempts to prove it.
Since September 11 Britain has been warned of the 'inevitability' of catastrophic terrorist attack. But has the danger been exaggerated? A major new TV documentary claims that the perceived threat is a politically driven fantasy - and al-Qaida a dark illusion. Andy Beckett reports.
You only imagined all those people dying in NY, DC and Pennsylvania. The USS Cole? An aberration. The embassies in Africa? Staged, fake events to consolidate political power. The first attack on the World Towers? A "one-off" event.
During the three years in which the "war on terror" has been waged, high-profile challenges to its assumptions have been rare. The sheer number of incidents and warnings connected or attributed to the war has left little room, it seems, for heretical thoughts. In this context, the central theme of The Power of Nightmares is riskily counter-intuitive and provocative. Much of the currently perceived threat from international terrorism, the series argues, "is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services, and the international media." The series' explanation for this is even bolder: "In an age when all the grand ideas have lost credibility, fear of a phantom enemy is all the politicians have left to maintain their power."
When I read this, I think of the looney toons who believe that the US flew remote-controlled planes into the towers in NY and there actually were no deaths. They're just hiding all those people somewhere so they can control our future.

This is what the left has come to. It's sad really. It's difficult to understand how rational, intelligent people can buy into theories like this, but there you have it.
Adam Curtis, who wrote and produced the series, acknowledges the difficulty of saying such things now. "If a bomb goes off, the fear I have is that everyone will say, 'You're completely wrong,' even if the incident doesn't touch my argument. This shows the way we have all become trapped, the way even I have become trapped by a fear that is completely irrational."
Do you get this? If a bomb goes off his theory still isn't wrong. His fear is that people will no longer buy in to his theory.

Well duh! Down here in the real world, where people actually live their daily lives Adam, a bomb going off is a sure sign that something isn't right. I know it's crazy to think that way, but people dying has that sort of effect on you.
The Power of Nightmares seeks to overturn much of what is widely believed about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. The latter, it argues, is not an organised international network. It does not have members or a leader. It does not have "sleeper cells". It does not have an overall strategy. In fact, it barely exists at all, except as an idea about cleansing a corrupt world through religious violence.

Curtis' evidence for these assertions is not easily dismissed. He tells the story of Islamism, or the desire to establish Islam as an unbreakable political framework, as half a century of mostly failed, short-lived revolutions and spectacular but politically ineffective terrorism. Curtis points out that al-Qaida did not even have a name until early 2001, when the American government decided to prosecute Bin Laden in his absence and had to use anti-Mafia laws that required the existence of a named criminal organisation.
I suspect Nicholas Berg, were he still alive, might argue that Curtis knows not whereof he speaks. The sad list of other victims might also weigh in with a different opinion. The "idea" seems a bit more real when you're the one being "cleansed" from the corrupt world.
Bill Durodie, director of the international centre for security analysis at King's College London, says: "The reality [of the al-Qaida threat to the west] has been essentially a one-off. There has been one incident in the developed world since 9/11 [the Madrid bombings]. There's no real evidence that all these groups are connected." Crispin Black, a senior government intelligence analyst until 2002, is more cautious but admits the terrorist threat presented by politicians and the media is "out of date and too one-dimensional. We think there is a bit of a gulf between the terrorists' ambition and their ability to pull it off."
You have to wonder how the Aussies feel about being completely dismissed. After all, they are part of the "developed world" aren't they? Hundreds of them died in Bali. Do they not count?

Apparently not, if you're a snobbish, eurocentric jerk who can't conceive of a world outside your brandy snifters, crumpets and tea. The arrogance hangs like a putrid body in the air. It's amazing how you can write off thousands of people simply because they aren't in the same "class" as you presume to be.

Personally I wish these were the people al Qaeda went after. If enough of them died, the world would certainly be a better place.


Zarqawi's network falling apart

The AP reports that a senior associate of Zarqawi has been captured along with five others.
The U.S. military has arrested a "senior leader" in the network run by Jordanian terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search), along with five others during overnight raids in the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah (search), officials said Saturday.
Operations in Fallujah seem to have fallen under the radar in the heat of the closing days of our election, so people may not realize what's going on in Iraq. The Zarqawi network is being slowly, methodically taken apart by the Americans and the Iraqi National Guard. I'm sure there's many stories that we won't hear about for some time.

There's an interesting data point in the latter part of the report that may escape attention.
Intelligence sources said the man captured was previously thought to be a relatively minor member of the terror network. But because so many of al-Zarqawi's associates have been captured or killed, he moved up to take a more important role.
I thought we were killing innocent women and children in Fallujah.

This closing note points out how well we've done there. Minor members are being promoted to higher responsibilities because senior members are dead. Yet you never hear this discussed on the US news channels, do you?


Friday, October 22, 2004

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Iraqi election news

Read this incredible post by Omar that talks about elections in Iraq.
Clerics endorse democracy

The elections fever is obviously rising up in Iraq and the belief in the necessity of the elections for the future of Iraq and in the importance of participating in this process is entering the hearts and minds of more Iraqis day by day as the time for elections is getting nearer.

Also we can see more statements coming up from various parties calling the Iraqis to vote in the coming elections and there's no indication for who's going to win in this 'announcements race' as many of these concentrate on the necessity of participating and voting for whomever the voters find qualified to represent them.

Today, Ahmed Al Safi, a senior aide of Ayatollah Sistani announced (link in Arabic) that "Those who don't participate in the elections will end up in hell" and he added in his speech "we must bear the responsibility and we must all participate in the elections because it's a patriotic duty and not doing so is like treason"
He also denied the news that spread about Sistani preparing or supporting a particular list of candidates.
Yep, sure enough, things are falling apart in Iraq. Bush's plan has failed. It's impossible to force democracy on the unwilling Iraqis.

But wait - what about the Sunnis?
On the other side, the "Association of Muslim scholars" called all the Iraqis to boycott the elections and considered those who disobey this call as "sinners" . I belive that this opinion does not represents the majority of Sunni population but rather the "Salafis groups". For example, the "Iraqi Islamic party" released an announcement that has a very different tone; this is according to this leaflet that was distributed this morning which says:

"To my Muslim brothers and sisters:
Beware not to ignore the elections; your participation is both a Sharia and a patriotic duty.
Do not miss your chance to choose your representatives...
And don't give a chance to the opportunists, racists and those with sectarian agendas...
Let your slogan be "let my participation make Muslims more dominant"
Remember the saying of the prophet (pbuh) "you all have responsibilities and you all shall be questioned for these responsibilities"
Don't forget to pray for us,
your brothers in the "Islamic Party""

From this we can conclude that the majority of political and religious trends in Iraq share the conviction that elections are a must and this is good sign for the future of this country and will erase many of the doubts about the prospects of the elections.

We can't let a small group that's still living the illusions of the past influence our strategies; the terrorists and their allies thought that they can stop the wild tides of freedom but day by day they're getting more isolated and I can feel that they are beginning to realize that their end is approaching.

They had missed the train and their call for negotiations strongly indicates that they're feeling defeated because this is a characteristic feature of the Ba'athists; they never sit down for negotiations untill they know they're losing and until it's too late.
OMG. Bush may have been right!

Whodda thunk the dumass, Texas cowboy would be right?

UPDATE: Alaa has more to say including comments on the Afghan elections and their effect on Iraqis.
What more justification for the "Great Campaign" do you want? Allah ( Subhanhu Wataala) shall reward America and her allies for the great charitable act that has freed these people from a most terrible tyranny and horror. That was a good deed, no matter what motivation lay behind it. And one day, sooner or later, the "Message" will come also, loud and clear, from the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people.
Now why don't you ever read this stuff in American newspapers?



Critiquing the war on terror

Both Winds of Change and Cori Dauber address a WaPo article that takes a look at the success or lack thereof of the administration's performance in the GWOT. These are long articles, necessarily, but if you really want to understand what's going on, they're both well worth the read, both for what they fault the administration for and for what they fault WaPo for ignoring, leaving out, distorting or misrepresenting.

The issue is much more complex than what politicians make it out to be, and there is no certainty to what the "right way" to fight terror is. At least Bush has made his choices and stuck with them. Only time will tell if there could have been a better way to go about it.

I personally think it's reprehensible for the departments that report to the President to "air their dirty laundry" to the press. After all, perfectly reasonable people can disagree greatly about matters of policy. When you work for the President (which all executive department employees do) your responsibility is to provide him with the best possible information and then follow his lead, whether you agree or disagree with his decisions. To characterize the President's choices as "wrong" simply because his final decision differed from the one you would have made is the heighth of arrogance, not to mention insubordination.

Military people understand this. "The polite request of your commanding officer is tantamount to a direct command." When you serve the President, if you choose to undermine him, you should be summarily fired.


The UN is worthless

If you don't think the UN is worthless, read Wretchard's description of the UN's struggle to define terrorism. If it doesn't remind you of decision by committee, you haven't worked in a large, bureaucratic organization.

So long as the UN struggles with this
This month, the United Nations Security Council voted to condemn terrorism ...but the convoluted text and the dealings behind the scenes ...reveal is that even after Beslan and after Madrid and after 9/11, the UN still cannot bring itself to oppose terrorism unequivocally. The reason for this failure is that the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which comprises fifty-six of the UN's 191 members, defends terrorism as a right. ...

True, the final resolution condemns "all acts of terrorism irrespective of their motivation." This sounds clear, but in the Alice-in-Wonderland lexicon of the UN, the term "acts of terrorism" does not mean what it seems. For eight years now, a UN committee has labored to draft a "comprehensive convention on international terrorism." It has been stalled since day one on the issue of "defining" terrorism. But what is the mystery? At bottom everyone understands what terrorism is: the deliberate targeting of civilians. The Islamic Conference, however, has insisted that terrorism must be defined not by the nature of the act but by its purpose. In this view, any act done in the cause of "national liberation," no matter how bestial or how random or defenseless the victims, cannot be considered terrorism. This boils down to saying that terrorism on behalf of bad causes is bad, but terrorism on behalf of good causes is good. Obviously, anyone who takes such a position is not against terrorism at all-but only against bad causes.
The UN will always be this way, because it wants to be all things to all people, and you simply can't do that.

There is a moral high ground. You do not deliberately target and kill civilians for any reason. Can someone explain to me why the Arab states think this is OK? Every despot since the beginning has believed it was alright to target and kill civilians as a matter of policy. Every freedom lover in the world knows damn well it is not alright to do so.

Here's the UN's moral clarity for you.
14. While terrorist acts are usually perpetrated by subnational or transnational groups, terror has also been adopted by rulers at various times as an instrument of control. The rubric of counter-terrorism can be used to justify acts in support of political agendas, such as the consolidation of political power, elimination of political opponents, inhibition of legitimate dissent and/or suppression of resistance to military occupation. Labelling opponents or adversaries as terrorists offers a time-tested technique to de-legitimize and demonize them. The United Nations should beware of offering, or be perceived to be offering, a blanket or automatic endorsement of all measures taken in the name of counter-terrorism.

15. The phenomenon of terrorism is complex. This does not, however, imply that it is impossible to adopt moral clarity regarding attacks on civilians. Terrorism deserves universal condemnation, and the struggle against terrorism requires intellectual and moral clarity and a carefully differentiated implementation plan.
Right. We don't know what it is, and we refuse to define it, but we condemn it outright.

Why oh why do we still pay dues to this organization and allow it to exist on our property?


New ad compared to Reagan ad

There's a lot of talk in the blogosphere about a new Bush ad called "Wolves". The Daily Recycler links to both so you can compare them. (Via Instapundit.)


You heard it here first

John Podheretz writes about blogs and politics in today's editorial, and the title he chose is "Perfect Political Storm". A blatant theft of my post from three days ago. ;-)

There's some interesting stuff in John's article.
Gerry Daly of dalythoughts.com crunched some Harris Poll numbers to see what it would take for John Kerry to overtake President Bush due entirely to increased turnout. He found that Kerry will need 9.6 million new voters. And he doesn't mean new voters between the ages of 18-21 who've never been able to vote for president before. He means "nearly 10 million people, aged 22 and over, who did not vote in 2000 but are going to this year."

"Maybe," Daly writes, "there is such antipathy towards George W. Bush that will bring voters out even more than the candidacy of Ross Perot did [in 1992]. We'll know in less than two weeks. If there are, then the Harris poll suggests that Kerry is in the ballpark. If these votes do not materialize, the Harris poll suggests that it will be a short night a week from Tuesday."
You've been forewarned. This election will be a landslide for Bush.

Even among black voters, traditionally a strong Democratic base, Kerry is struggling.
The Horserace Blog, meanwhile, uses a poll by the Center for Policy and Economic studies to look at the black vote: "According to this poll, Kerry is underperforming among blacks by roughly 14 percent of the vote, a statistically significant difference. What would that mean if these numbers hold for the next month?"

The answer: "If there were a perfect replay of Florida, Kerry's total would shrink by 122,312 votes. If there were a perfect replay of Ohio, Kerry's total would shrink by 62,207 votes (making Nader's absence on the ballot this year wholly irrelevant). If there were a perfect replay of Michigan, Kerry's total would shrink by 56,542 votes. If there were a perfect replay of the national vote, Kerry's total would shrink by 1,459,966. In other words, Bush would win the popular vote by about 1 million votes! John Kerry simply cannot win this election if he performs among blacks 14 percent worse than Gore did."
The only mistake Bush voters could make is the same stupid mistake they made in 2000 - not going to to polls and voting.

Ignore the media. Forget the results. Vote. You'll have plenty of time to watch the victory parties later in the evening.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
The new address is http://www.antimedia.us/.
Please adjust your bookmarks.

NY Times goes crazy

You will not believe this review of Stolen Honor the film about POWs that criticizes John Kerry for his antiwar stance when he returned from Vietnam. Here's how it begins.
Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," the highly contested anti-Kerry documentary, should not be shown by the Sinclair Broadcast Group.
OK, I'm not the least bit surprised - but wait - the next sentence is
It should be shown in its entirety on all the networks, cable stations and on public television.
Come again? This is the NY Times saying this?

Where's my twilight zone meter? Why should I watch this film again?
This histrionic, often specious and deeply sad film does not do much more damage to Senator John Kerry's reputation than have the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's negative ads, which have flooded television markets in almost every swing state. But it does help viewers better understand the rage fueling the unhappy band of brothers who oppose Mr. Kerry's candidacy and his claim to heroism.
There may be hope for the Gray Lady yet.

Alright, now I'm going off the deep end.


Commenting on the comments

Bill over at INDC Journal graciously opened his comment section and asked Kerry supporters to explain why they will vote for Kerry. At the same time, he asked Bush supporters to refrain from responding. He sincerely wanted to know what people who will vote for Kerry were thinking.

After reading the comments, I felt compelled to respond. Since I respect Bill's wishes, I will respond here, on my blog, rather than in his comment section. I can't possibly address every commenter, so I will attempt to distill the arguments made and respond to the major points.

1) Too many mistakes after 9/11
How many "mistakes" is too many? Eisenhower lost 2500 to 6000 men on Omaha Beach on D-Day alone. Among the mistakes "he" made were floating tanks that sank leaving the infantry with no protection and much less firepower, ships that bombarded the coast too far inland and completely missed their targets leaving the German machine gun emplacements intact allowing them to riddle the Americans with machine gun fire, bombers that missed their targets by miles failing to destroy any of the artillery emplacements allowing the Germans to rain artillery fire on the already imperiled invasion troops, and paratroopers who landed in flooded fields and drowned without firing a shot because intelligence never discovered that the fields had been flooded.

Should we have fired Eisenhower because of these monumental and terribly costly mistakes?

Mistakes are made all the time. What's important is the goals and the outcomes. We don't know the outcome of Bush's policies vis-a-vis terrorism yet. We probably won't for years to come. However we do know that Afghanistan, for the first time in its history, has held successful democratic elections. Libya has revealed its entire WMD program and turned over all its materiel to the US. In Iraq, al Sadr's "militia" are turning in their weapons. Samarra has been conquered and Fallujah is next. Iraqis are self-governed, national elections are scheduled for January of next year, and Sadaam is awaiting trial for crimes against his own people.

At least to the degree that we can know it, it appears that Bush's policy is working. Yes, there have been setbacks, but were you really expecting perfection?
2) Bush squandered the goodwill America had after 9/11
If you believe that, I have a bridge I'll sell you.

America didn't have any goodwill before 9/11. Perhaps for a few days or weeks after 9/11 "the world" was with us, but Europe (which is really "the world" everyone means when they repeat this canard) has been anti-American for at least the past 30 years. Read European newspapers. Or get up to speed on the Oil For Food scandal. France, German, Russia and the UN were never going to support our efforts anywhere but Afghanistan, but especially not in Iraq. (Although Russia may have had a change of heart after Breslan.) France took bribes in return for agreeing to veto any attempt by the US to do anything serious about Iraq. Do you seriously believe we could "repair" our relationship with them? Why would you want to? Furthermore, old Europe is rife with anti-semitism. (Source) Is that really who you want to align the US with?

Australia supports us. Britain supports us. Italy supports us. Holland supports us. Denmark supports us. Portugal supports us. Iceland supports us. Poland supports us. Japan supports us. South Korea supports us. Hungary, Turkey, Georgia, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Uzbekestan, Ukraine, Czech Republic - all support us. Honduras, El Salvador, Columbia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Panama - all support us. And there's more. (Source)

That part of the world that matters today is with us. Europe is dying from the self-inflicted diseases of socialism and hubris. Even if France and Germany wanted to provide us with troop support they couldn't. They don't have any troops to speak of. They even refuse to support the UN's mission in Iraq (preparing for elections), forcing Kofi Annan to come, hat in hand, begging to the US for protection. Wake up. The world has changed.
3) Bush failed to protect us at home
No terrorist attacks in the US since 9/11. This is failure? 75% of the al Qaeda leadership is either dead or in prison. This is failure? Al Qaeda is so weak now they can't even manage a major attack in Pakistan! This is failure? The terrorists are busy fighting our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and Musharref's troops in Pakistan. This is failure?

How would you define success?
4) Bush took his eye off the ball
I find great irony in the constant complaints of the opposition that Bush "has taken his eye off the ball" (which is not true anyway.) If you vote this election for a candidate because of their stand on domestic issues, haven't you taken your eye off the ball? Have you forgotten? Leon Klinghoffer, Charles Stinson, 243 Marines in Beirut, 17 sailors on the USS Cole, hundreds of people in the US embassies in Africa, PanAm 103 over Locherbie, the Khobar Towers, etc., etc., etc. Europe has lost 5000 people to terrorism in the past thirty years.

Exactly how high is your tolerance level for deaths? Do we have to wait for you to lose someone you love before you get it?
5) The Economy and Bush's tax policy
The economy is better than it was at any time that Bill Clinton was in office. Do the research. A tax policy that places the least amount of burden on the taxpayers is the only way for an economy to prosper. John Kennedy knew this, and pushed through the largest tax cuts in our history up to that time. Reagan's tax cuts ushered in twenty years of prosperity and dramatically increased the government's revenues. Again, do the research. The problem with our budget isn't tax cuts. It's spending.
6) Bush has eroded our civil liberties
Prove it. Seriously. Other than the political rhetoric, can you provide one concrete example of eroded civil liberties? Simply saying "Patriot Act" doesn't cut it. Stop listening to rhetoric and start doing some reading. More than anything, what the Patriot Act did was amend existing laws to give law enforcement the same authorizations they already had with regard to domestic crimes. How were your civil liberties infringed? If you can't articulate that, then why do you believe it?
7) Bush will turn the Supreme Court too far to the right
This is a legitimate concern if you buy the argument that the Constitution is a "living document" subject to the whims of the court. However, this position necessarily places you in peril. If the Constitution can be changed to benefit a liberal agenda, it can be just as easily be changed to benefit a conservative agenda. The very fact that you are concerned about conservative judges changing prior court rulings is an acknowledgement that activist jurisprudence threatens freedom.

We are a nation of laws - laws passed by our legislatures and upheld by our courts. When the courts create law, as they did in Griswold v. Connecticut, when the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court discovered a "right to privacy" in the "penumbra of emanations" from the Constitution, then we are all at risk. Just because the result was positive does not mean the methodology was correct.
8) Kerry won't be much different from Bush in the war on terror
If you truly believe this, you have not been listening to John Kerry.
Kerry's belief in working with allies runs so deep that he has maintained that the loss of American life can be better justified if it occurs in the course of a mission with international support. In 1994, discussing the possibility of U.S. troops being killed in Bosnia, he said, "If you mean dying in the course of the United Nations effort, yes, it is worth that. If you mean dying American troops unilaterally going in with some false presumption that we can affect the outcome, the answer is unequivocally no."
If you still want to vote for Kerry, that's your privilege.

We are still a free country.


Media bias?

Chrenkoff makes the point much better than I have.
A few days ago, 18 soldiers with the 343rd Quartermaster Company in Iraq refused to carry out orders and proceed with their convoy. It was the first mutiny of this kind during the current conflict.

As of the last count, Google News lists 1,900 news stories relating to this incident.

Since March 2003, there have been 175,000 similar such convoy missions conducted in Iraq without troops involved refusing their orders.

Based on this ratio, over the last year and a half we didn't see 322,500,000 news stories about the convoys successfully conducted.

Any wonder it is so difficult for outside observers to maintain a proper perspective on events in Iraq?
How many of you are aware that, after the mutiny, soldiers from the same reserve unit successfully completed the mission the 18 refused to carry out using the same equipment and traveling the same route, without incident? (You have to look hard for the one line in the AP report - "The mission was later carried out by other soldiers from the unit, which has at least 120 soldiers, the military said.")

Bet you didn't hear that in the headline news.


More news the media won't reveal

I received this in email from a friend.
Hi! Received this from a very good friend in PA. she wants everyone to know what she saw.

Good Tuesday morning! John Kerry brought his "front porch meeting" to our Canonsburg, PA neighborhood on Labor Day morning. Since you will never hear the truth from the TV or print media I thought that you should know from someone who was `almost' there.

The residents who live on the street where the event took place were not allowed to attend.

Kerry shipped in approximately 90 invitation only VIPs. In addition, there was a hard luck case who was about to lose her job at USAIR and another was an elderly woman who was having health care problems. Neither one was from this neighborhood. The street was closed to all traffic the night before and all residents on the street were REQUIRED to remove their Bush/Cheney signs.

The sympathetic police officers on duty told us that Kerry used imminent domain to claim the street for his purposes. Residents who have homes within the perimeter (approximately 1 full block) were kept behind a line away from the partisan crowd. The rest of us were not allowed within the 1 block cordon. A neighbor from across the street came to the line where we were being kept and asked us to come onto his property. The police told us that we could stand on this mans FORMERLY private property! This was set up so that Kerry's views could be heard - but not the neighbors. About 30 peoples (mostly neighbors) shouts echoed down the street "Let the neighbors in".

We could barely hear Kerry speaking with his microphone because press buses were used to block us off from view! This mornings papers are reporting hecklers tried to interrupt Kerry as he spoke to the neighborhood gathering, but he turned our chants to his favor by calling us rude.

Even though most of the media was there to record our stories of not being included in the neighborhood forum, not one of them printed or aired the truth. This is what America will look like if Kerry becomes president.

Get registered and get all of your friends registered to vote if they have not already. Kerry thinks that he is better than the rest of us, and he has the media on his side to make him out to be what he is not!

Finally, last night as I drove down the street where the rally was, I was shocked to see Bush/Cheney signs in almost every yard on the street!
Tolerance in action - the compassionate liberal's worldview.


Incredible article about 9/11

Written by a Brazilian, this article (via Vodkapundit) is one you simply must read. The arguments are so cogent, the logic so tight, that no amount of huffing and puffing will make its conclusion go away.

Here's part of it, but you really must read the entire thing.
if you happen to find a roach at night in your kitchen, that means there's at least one roach in your house. But if you find one at high noon in your living-room you can be sure your house's roach-infested.

That's one of the meanings of 9/11. That you cannot be safe in Darfur or Beirut, in the Phillipines or Indonesia, that's a problem. But if you can be murdered by Islamic terrorists while you're on the top floor of the WTC, then that's not a problem anymore. That's much bigger. The progressive idea was to turn, for instance, Beirut into NY. If that's not being accomplished, this is bad enough. But when people start turning NY into Beirut, we're definitely moving backwards. And fast.

An attack that manages to ground all US and most of the world's air traffic and close down the stock markets around the planet is something qualitatively different from a bomb in an Ulster pub. Human life is fragile, so is democracy, the world economy, globalization etc. The US can absorb U$ 1 trillion in damages. The rest of the world cannot. The US can survive a nuke in Manhattan. Brazil can survive a nuke in Sao Paulo. But Brazil cannot survive a nuke in Manhattan. What most of the world's anti-Americans fail to understand is that whatever harms deeply the US harms us even more. Were Africa to suddenly disappear, it wouldn't make much of a change in the life of New Yorkers. Were NY to disappear, Africa would go along.

So, this is what I have to say for those who think that Americans have overreacted to 9/11. Actually they have under-reacted. One more attack on America and Latin America will be condemned to a further hundred years of solitude and misery.
He closes with this.
There are two candidates in the US presidential election. One gets it, the other doesn't. I won't be voting for Bush, but that's only because I'm not American.
Lord how I wish Americans could think this clearly.