web counter Media Lies: November 2004

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
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It's official now

The economy really sucks.
Strong consumer spending and business investment and a slightly lower than previously reported trade deficit meant the US economy grew at a 3.9 per cent rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said.

The upward revision from the 3.7 per cent advance estimate was above consensus expectations and represented a rebound from 3.3 per cent growth in the second quarter.

Core personal consumption expenditures inflation, excluding food and energy, the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation, was unchanged at a 0.7 per cent rate in the quarter - the lowest reading since the 1960s.
Lord only knows what the Bushies will do to us next.

Abolish the IRS? Create a national sales tax?


Chemical caches in Fallujah

Command Post quotes a Major General who reports at least three chemical caches, including glycerin and cyanide.


If you want to support the troops....

....Blackfive has a few suggestions.


One wonders....

....if the state of Washington will ever elect a Governor.


This is one of the....

....dumbest ideas I've heard in a while. Do we really not have any qualified native-born Americans left? Besides, it will pass about the same time the anti-gay marriage amendment does.


Would you volunteer....

.....to participate in these clinical trials? I'm going to make it a point to steer clear of UTSW for a while. :-)


It doesn't get any sillier.....

....than this.


Ukraine resolution?

The Parliament promises a resolution by tomorrow. This should be interesting.

UPDATE: Maybe not. Then there's this
The opposition's rejection of the talks raises pressure on Ukrainian authorities, while Russian President Vladimir Putin said the crisis in the former Soviet republic must be resolved without foreign meddling.
Including Russia, Vladimir?


A cruel twist of fate

Seven soldiers from Fort Hood, 4th Infantry Division, died in a helicopter crash near Waco. All the men on board had served in Iraq. Their division (the 4th ID) was the one that captured Sadaam Hussein.

They returned home safely from war, only to die on a routine mission at home.

Of the 1254 servicemen and women who have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom (pdf file), 271 (21.6%) have died from non-combat related causes. In Operation Enduring Freedom (the GWOT - OIF) we have lost 148 servicemen and women, and 88 (59.4%) have died from non-combat related causes.

Accidental death is not at all uncommon in the military. In fact, from 1980 to 2002 (pdf), the DoD reports 35,227 total deaths of which 19,609 (55.7%) were accidental. During that same period of time we lost 416 servicemen and women in terrorist attacks and 246 in combat. (Which would you prefer? Service members dying in terrorist attacks? Or dying while killing the terrorists?)

The military's accidental death rates per thousand (pdf) has improved from a high of 72.0 in 1980 to the high 20's to low 30's by 2002, which compares favorably to the overall accidental death rates for all US citizens. That still doesn't lessen the pain of loss, however, especially when family members felt their loved ones were back home, and safe from the dangers of combat.


Monday, November 29, 2004

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The reward for a job well done

In the case of Steve Gardner, financial ruin.


It never ceases to amaze me....

...how intelligence and common sense are not always linked together in the same mind. How anyone could think appeasement of Osama bin Laden could lead to anything but death is beyond me, but there you have it. Obviously well educated and intelligent people with common sense whatsoever.

I have a friend who insists that there is no such thing as common sense. He says it should be called "good sense", because it's not all that common.

Maybe he's right.


Kicking ass and taking names

The coalition, building on its success in Fallujah, is even more successful in Operation Plymouth Rock, an effort to clean out the "triangle of death". The triangle, so called because of the number of bombings and assassinations occuring there, is the "safe haven" that terrorists fled to, abandoning their more radical comrades in Fallujah.
The operation, code-named "Plymouth Rock" (because it was launched Thanksgiving week), began last Tuesday when Coalition forces struck enemy forces in the town of Jabella, some 50 miles south of Baghdad. The strike was followed by a series of precision raids — conducted by a 5,000-man combined force of U.S. Marines, members of the famed British Black Watch regiment, and Iraqi soldiers — aimed at cleaning out a region of southern Baghdad and northern Babil Province known as the Triangle of Death. The triangle — its three points connecting at Fallujah, Baghdad, and then south to Najaf — is located just below the Sunni Triangle where the Coalition has focused much of its efforts over the past several months.
These are the guys who, like bin Laden, Zarqawi and Arafat, are more than happy to have others die for their cause while they studiously avoid contact with the enemy - what we in America would call "cowards".

However, they're dying now.
In the Triangle of Death, Coalition raids have been characterized by collecting and processing intelligence on a specific enemy stronghold, planning a raid, then attacking that stronghold with a modicum of surprise by units trained to fight both as shock-troops and room-clearing commandos. In nearly all cases, large numbers of insurgents have been killed or captured, weapons caches seized, and new intelligence gleaned which serves planners for the next raid on the next town.

It's not an easy task. An estimated 6,000 insurgents — former members of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard, followers of Abu Masub Al Zarqawi who slipped through the Fallujah net, as well as unemployed locals or those coerced into fighting the Americans — are believed to be operating in the region.

Still, the success of Plymouth Rock has been overwhelming. And much of that success can be attributed to the Iraqi SWAT team (see here), a U.S. Marine-trained police-commando force that reportedly leaves postcard-size calling cards at raid sites that say, "Are You a Criminal or Terrorist? You Will Face Punishment."
Good to see the Iraqis have a sense of humor.
Capt. Thomas "Tad" Douglas, commander of the Marine Force Reconnaissance platoon that has trained and led the Iraq SWAT team since July, points to a bond between his Marines and the Iraqi commandos that is as strong as any found in any elite unit in the world. With that combined force "we are taking advantage of the enemy while he's reeling from Fallujah to push the fight to them," Douglas told NRO on Thanksgiving Day. "We conducted a combined ground/air assault yesterday with my Force Recon guys and Hillah SWAT [the Iraqi SWAT team is also known as Al Hillah SWAT because most of the team members are from the town of Al Hillah], and it went off flawlessly, netting us 43 detainees."

Douglas, a key leader in the dramatic rescue of Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch in April 2003, added, "To my knowledge, this is one of the first successful joint Iraqi/American air assaults."
"Experts" say (my father used to tell me that "expert" is a compound word made up of "ex" = "former" and "spert" = "drip under pressure") that the Iraqis won't be able to take over their own defense for some time to come.

Tell that to the Hillah SWAT team. :-)
Col. Ron Johnson, commander of the 24th MEU, tells NRO that the operations have been seamless and effective. "We can tell by the reaction of the enemy," he says. "We can tell by the increase in their activity, for example the fever pitch at which they're laying IEDs [improvised explosive devices]. We're starting to suffocate them, and they're panicking. We have a large target list, and we're going to continue to stay after them."

On Thanksgiving Day, elements of the 24th MEU, the 1st battalion of Britain's Black Watch, and the Iraqi SWAT team attacked a number of targets near Yusufiyah, netting 81 guerrillas (55 bad guys for the Americans and Iraqis, 26 for the British).
Are you worried about the future of Iraq?

I'm not.


Another success story

Proving once again that he is "color-blind", President Bush selects a Cuban-American as his new Commerce secretary. I'm sure he'll be welcomed by Democrats as warmly as Condoleeza Rice, Collin Powell and other "minority" appointments have been.


Sunday, November 28, 2004

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The stench of hypocrisy

In an editorial condemning Republican attempts to "reign in" the troops, the NY Times writes
Flexing their new muscles, Congressional Republicans seem intent on reigning as a dissent-smothering monolith. First, House G.O.P. members slavishly obeyed the maneuver by Tom DeLay, the majority leader, to render his control of the caucus ethics-proof by making it possible for a party leader to keep his post even if he is under indictment. His counterpart in the Senate, Bill Frist, was more discreet but no less ham-handed. He has engineered a rules change designed to cow the few Republican moderates who may still be willing to nip back at demands for party fealty.

The rule undercuts members' independence by giving Dr. Frist the power to fill the first two vacancies on all committees. This hobbles seniority, which has been the traditional path to power. The leader now has a cudgel for shaping the "world's greatest deliberative body" into a chorus line. Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, chronic Republican maverick, got to the heart of the matter in skewering her leader's accomplishment: "There is only one reason for that change, and it is to punish people."
One wonders, when reading this, where the Times was when the Democrats were suppressing dissent at the convention and denying the anti-war segment of their supporters any voice in their campaign.

Oh, that's right. They were busy demanding that the Democrats "circle their wagons".


News from Fallujah

2Slick published a letter from an Army officer who was involved in the fight in Fallujah. It's a memorable letter that ought to be read by every American.
The enemy tried to fight us in "the city of mosques" as dirty as they could. They fired from the steeples of the mosques and the mosques themselves. They faked being hurt and then threw grenades at soldiers when they approached to give medical treatment. They waived surrender flags, only to shoot at our forces 20 seconds later when they approached to accept their surrender.
To think that our troops get criticized for Geneva Convention violations while the enemy receives favorable treatment in the press. I'm outraged.
In Fallujah, the enemy had a military-type planning system going on. Some of the fighters were wearing body armor and kevlars, just like we do. Soldiers took fire from heavy machine guns (.50 cal) and came across the dead bodies of fighters from Chechnya, Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Afghanistan, and so on...no, this was not just a city of pissed off Iraqis, mad at the Coalition for forcing Saddam out of power. It was a city full of people from all over the Middle East whose sole mission in life was to kill Americans. Problem for them is that they were in the wrong city in November 2004.
I've said it before. I'll say it again. It's a good thing that the terrorists have flocked to Iraq. Our troops have killed over 2,000 of them, and they will kill many more. Better they die in Fallujah than while flying planes into American cities.
Anyone back home who thinks the world is a safe place needs to come here for a day and learn real fast that there are an awful lot of people out there who hate Americans so much that they risk their lives to try to kill us. We cannot live peacefully back at home right now unless we continue to stay on the offensive against our enemies and fight them in their backyards. Remember, radical Arabs started this war...and they continue to fight it, proving to America over and over that they need to be fought.

I am hopeful that most Americans understand that you have to accept death to defeat evil; all of us soldiers accepted that the day we signed up.There are some things worth fighting and dying for, and making the world and especially America, a safer place, is one of them. For every Mom out there that you read about who turns into a peace protestor when her son is killed in action, there are 99 Moms you don't hear about who are proud and believe in this mission even more.
Only in America can you find men proud to fight, and die if necessary, to defend freedom halfway around the world.

That is what I've been thankful for this Thanksgiving. (Hat tip to Blackfive.)


Judicial nominees and the "nuclear option"

Beldar has one of the best discussions of "the nuclear option" that I have read. I highly recommend you read it. I agree with him completely.
Yes, I recognize that someday the shoe may be on the other foot, and that then, to my political dismay, it may be a liberal Democratic President submitting judicial activist nominees for consideration by a less-than-60-member-majority of Democratic senators.  But the requirement that a judicial nominee gather an affirmative majority of Senators voting is still a significant institutional check on the President's power — and it's the precise check written into the Constitution, no more and no less.
Fear of future loss should not be the deciding factor for decisions made in the Senate.

Doing the right thing should be.

Patterico extends the conversation further.


Friday, November 26, 2004

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"Insurgents" under duress

Apparently Fallujah was a rousing success - for the Iraqis and the coalition. It sounds like the "insurgents" are getting desparate.
Over the last few days, Al Zarqawi supporters have appealed for help from Al Qaida and related groups. The sources said Al Qaida's allies, including the Salafist Brigade for Combat and Call, have sought to increase recruitment of Muslim volunteers to fight the coalition.

The Internet has also reflected the growing concern that Islamic insurgents would be routed in Iraq. A message posted on an Islamic website appealed for help from Islamic insurgents in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Pakistan and the Palestinian Authority.

The message, posted by a purported insurgency supporter who used the name Abu Ahmed Al Baghdadi, acknowledged that the Sunni insurgency has been harmed by the U.S.-led offensive in Fallujah. Al Baghdadi said insurgents have lost their haven in Fallujah, but asserted that Al Zarqawi has acquired a broader base for operations and recruitment.
The US media just can't bring themselves to call Fallujah a victory for the coalition, but that's exactly what it is.

Elections are looking much more likely, which probably explains why the Sunnis have now changed their tune. Instead of saying they'll boycott the elections, now they trying to delay them for six months instead.

Once they realize that won't work either, watch for them to encourage Sunnis to vote to protect their rights.


Adopt A Soldier

Juan Salas, a Venezuelan immigrant who serves in the US Army and has served in Iraq, designed a program called Adopt A Soldier that allows individuals or groups to adopt a military person and develop a personal relationship with them. It's a concrete and simple way for you to support the troops sans politics.

I signed up today. Will you?

(Hat tip to Jason.)


Thursday, November 25, 2004

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Democracy on the rise.....

...in Iraq.


Something is definitely up....

....in North Korea.


The hits keep coming

Coalition forces have captured a high level Sarqawi leader with WMD.
A lieutenant of Iraq (news - web sites)'s most feared terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was captured a few days ago in Mosul, and Iraqi troops searching suspected terrorist hideouts in Fallujah discovered a laboratory with manuals on manufacturing explosives and toxins — including anthrax, Iraq's national security adviser said Thursday.
Yeah - there's no way we should have gone into Iraq. Nothing to see there. Move on. (Hat tip to Captain Ed.)

UPDATE: I was wrong about the WMD. They were in Fallujah, not with the Zarqawi lieutenant in Mosul, and they were instructions not actual weapons. I should read more closely before posting. My apologies.


If you can still support the UN.....

.....after reading this then you disgust me. The US needs to kick the UN out now. Send them to France where they belong and sever all ties to this evil organization.


This is America

Blackfive reports on a reporter's reaction to our troops in Iraq. This is nothing new. It's the way we were in Europe during World War II. It's the way we were in Vietnam, although few want to admit it. It's the way we've been in every war we've fought for some time now. As the Marines say, "No greater friend, no worse enemy".
While surfing through websites for information on my old unit, the 101st Airborne Division, I ran across a quote by a reporter, who was embedded with the 101st in Iraq during the invasion. In his tribute to the young troopers he served beside, he marveled at how they could fight Iraqi forces so ferociously through the night, then spend their days handing out food and medicine to Iraqi civilians. The reporter observed that Stephen Ambrose, historian and author of “Band of Brothers,” another tribute to the Screaming Eagles, but those of an earlier war, had this to say about American troops,
“"When soldiers from any other army, even our allies, entered a town, the people hid in the cellars. When Americans came in, even into German towns, it meant smiles, chocolate bars and C-rations.”
The reporter followed that quote with two sentences of his own which I find truly moving and profoundly insightful,
“Ours has always been an army like no other, because our soldiers reflect a society unlike any other. They are pitiless when confronted by armed enemy fighters and yet full of compassion for civilians and even defeated enemies.”
Those words should be chiseled into granite on a prominently displayed memorial somewhere, because they speak a great truth, not just about our fighting men and women, but also of the nation and society that molded them.
This is America.

You should be proud.


Because the world needs to know

A link to a slide show that portrays what the coalition troops found in Fallujah. WARNING: Some photos are graphic. (Hat tip to Wretchard.)


Was Fallujah worth it?

Are you kidding?

'Stunning' weapons cache found in Fallujah.

What does this mean?
U.S. Marine officers said Wednesday that U.S. and Iraqi troops sweeping Fallujah have uncovered enough weapons to fuel a nationwide rebellion and that clearing the former insurgent bastion of arms is holding up the return of civilians.
What did they find?
"The amount of weapons was in no way just to protect a city," said Maj. Jim West, a Marine intelligence officer. "There was enough to mount an insurgency across the country."

A huge store of weapons and explosives was discovered at the mosque of Abdullah al-Janabi, a Muslim cleric and insurgent leader, according to a report on The New York Times' Web site. Al-Janabi is thought to have fled the city.

The Times said the mosque compound in a residential area had sheds stacked with TNT, mortar shells, bombs, guns, rocket-propelled grenades and ammunition. A naval mine was in the street outside, it added.
So it looks like the benefits of taking Fallujah will be much greater than was envisioned.

Here's more about what was found.
Marines clearing houses in Fallujah have found Kalashnikov rifles, ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades, artillery shells and heavy-caliber cannon – with weapons caches often marked by a brick hanging by a string on homes' outside walls.

U.S. and Iraqi forces moving into the city smashed much of the insurgents' weaponry, bending gun barrels to prevent future use. Many large weapons caches were blown up quickly with only a cursory attempt at inventory.

West noted that insurgents stashed arms in mosques. "Even gravesides were used to bury weapons," he said.

West said U.S. forces turned up a "cook book" with instructions on using mercury nitrate and silver nitrate and descriptions of nerve agents. He didn't elaborate.

West said the majority of the weapons caches were in the south, as the insurgents likely expected the attack to be initiated from there.
As you can see, even though we gave the terrorists plenty of warning that we were coming, we still managed to fool them with regard to where we were attacking from. This gained us many benefits, not least was the overrunning of areas before the terrorists could remove vital documents and weapons.

All of this will accrue to us great benefits in the coming days and weeks and should go a long way toward ensuring that elections take place as planned.


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

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Posting will be very light..

...for the next few days. I'm traveling, and it's a holiday.


It's time....

...for some perspective. Liberals argue that we should be part of "the community of nations". They claim that we've acted "unilaterally" and offended the entire world.

If this is part of the world they are referring to, then I don't really care if we offend them.This is the "community of nations" that John Kerry wanted us to rejoin.

No thanks.

UPDATE: As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.

Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

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For those naysayers...

...who think we don't need to deal with Iran, how would you answer this?
The danger of civil war is clear in recent reports that Iranian-backed assassination teams are targeting Sunni leaders. Iraq's intelligence chief, Mohammed Shahwani, charged on Oct. 14 that the Badr Organization of the Iranian-backed Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) had killed 10 of his agents, and that he had found detailed evidence of the plot in three Iranian safe houses in Baghdad. SCIRI leaders denied the allegation.

Iraqi sources tell me they have independent evidence of an Iranian plan to recruit as many as 3,000 Iraqi Shiites and organize them into hit teams of 10 to 15 people each. These sources also describe an Iranian plan last summer to provide intelligence training in Syria for some leading members of the anti-American Mahdi Army of Moqtada Sadr. "The rationale for the Iranians is that the Sunnis must never get control of Iraq again," an Iraqi source tells me.

The Sunnis have embraced this dirty war. The insurgency has been conducting a vicious assassination campaign of its own against the Iraqi government, military and police. Most of the victims are Shiites.
While I'll admit the administration is walking a tight rope here, I really don't think the worst outcome is the most likely. I think the "score settling" that's supposedly going on now is more likely the elimination of obstacles to a democratic outcome.

IOW, the Iraqi Shias have started taking matters into their own hands (and possibly the Kurds as well) in order to effect the outcome they want - democratic elections. I don't think anyone in Iraq is foolish enough to think that outright civil war is a good outcome for what's going on right now. (Hat tip to Belgravia Dispatch. Greg has much more on the issue as well.)

UPDATE: Edited the first sentence to change Iraq to Iran, which was what I meant to say all along.


Zarqawi trapped?

We can only hope he is. There's been many rumors about him before. Maybe this one will be true. Meanwhile, a senior commander of the "insurgency" has been captured.


Another assassination

A second Sunni cleric has been assassinated. It looks to me like the Shia's are taking their revenge. Let's hope this doesn't spread.

Coalition forces have also begun a new offensive south of Baghdad designed to root out the terrorists in that area and make travel to southern Iraq safe again. There's a lot going on in Iraq right now, and much of it is very positive for the future of Iraq. The terrorists are on the run, despite what you read in the US papers or see when you watch alphabet news. (I'm assuming here. I don't watch any of them anymore.)


If you still don't think...

....al-Qaeda is serious, this might change your mind. Then again, if that's what it takes to convince you, you've been living in an hermetically sealed cocoon......or you're a liberal.


Iraqi Shias in the south...

...are eager to vote according to Omar. He also comments on the recent oil pipeline explosions and the assassination of a Sunni imam...and internet service in the marshes.


Monday, November 22, 2004

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The reality of jihad

Jihad is holy war, right? What God would approve of this?
Acting on information from a man who claimed to have escaped from militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's network, the U.S. military over the weekend inspected a house where intelligence officers believe hostages were detained, tortured and possibly killed.

A banner for Tawhid and Jihad--the name of al-Zarqawi's organization until he changed it last month to Al Qaeda in Iraq--was recovered Saturday from the home, as were several black face masks, volumes of documents, handcuffs and two long, apparently blood-stained knives, military officials said.

On Sunday, a somber patrol of Marine officers visited the squalid two-story house on the edge of a dirt field in southern Fallujah.

The site is among nearly 20 found in Fallujah where insurgent atrocities are believed to have been committed. Maj. Jim West, intelligence officer for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said Sunday that some of the sites appear to have been used to hold Western hostages and others to torture or kill local people who disobeyed insurgents.
This is the "Allah" of Islam?

If Muslims of the world will not condemn this, then what are we to think?


Brave men all

Yet another compelling embed report of the fighting in Fallujah. United States Marines are a tough bunch. I'm glad they're on our side.


Sites, the Marine and the video

Kevin Sites has posted the story of the shooting on his website. I've read a great deal about this incident, but I haven't written about it personally before. I fully understand why people get so emotional about something like this, but when I read comments that call Kevin Sites "a traitor", I think people are getting carried away.

If you advocate always telling the truth, you cannot be selective about the truth you're willing to reveal. You have to take the good with the bad. If the videos of French troops slaughtering unarmed civilians are fair game, then so are videos of American troops killing the enemy. Rather than protest the airing of the video and label Sites as a traitor, we should look at this as an opportunity to educate.

War is hell. Anyone who is honest knows this. It should be avoided at all costs. When it becomes necessary, we should not romanticize it. Ask any vet who has seen combat to describe what they saw, and they will answer you with silence. Combat is not something you share with anyone but the men who fought beside you.

Civilians need to understand that war is awful, nasty, inhuman, bloody hell. When you put men in the position of having to make split second life or death decisions, there will be questionable decisions made at times. When those times occur, it's the job of the JAG corps to sort out the details and determine what happened and whether or not a crime was committed under the rules of engagement. Until then, the rest of us should close our eyes and thank God that we have not been asked to make a similar decision or live in similar circumstances.

Pray for the Marine and for justice, but leave Kevin Sites out of it. All he did was provide the film. (Hat tip to Powerline.)


This is where I work

The Opinion Journal published High Bias today, a look at the incredibly biased world of academe. I work there. It's a fertile field for change. :-)
Robert Brandon, a Duke University philosophy professor, is one liberal who has at least made an effort to explain why conservatives are seldom seen in academia. "We try to hire the best, smartest people available. If, as John Stuart Mill said, stupid people are generally conservative, then there are lots of conservatives we will never hire. Mill's analysis may go some way towards explaining the power of the Republican Party in our society and the relative scarcity of Republicans in academia."
(Emphasis mine.)

Yes, there really are people in academe who think like that. There's also a lot of really good people who are simply confused. Having a high IQ and an esteemed education doesn't make one an expert in anything but their chosen field. Believe me, some of them can't even figure out how a mouse works. (I could tell some stories here, but I won't.) Frankly, I feel sorry for many of the really liberal profs. Their grasp on reality is tenuous at best.

They sure are fun to argue with though.


I'll bet money..

...you haven't heard about this.


Who asked you?

It seems the Arab ministers want a say in the Iraqi elections. In fact they think they get to decide.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, hosting the conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh said the meeting would be deciding whether the vote could be held on time, adding that "the question needs to be re-examined".
Despite the fact that they haven't lifted a finger to help Iraq, and in fact, some members are actively working against Iraqi democracy, they still don't mind effusive hand-wringing over the situation.
"We support all the measures taken for the conduct of the elections with the participation of the factions of the Iraqi people," Jordanian government spokeswoman Asma Khodr said in Amman.

But she added: "We are worried that the conditions could prevent the realisation of that objective ... The situation in Iraq worries us and we think it could have negative repercussions on holding the general elections on the date fixed."

In Syria, the state-owned daily Ath-Thawra said that the Sharm el-Sheikh conference represented "the best chance for the international parties to affirm the importance of the United Nations and neighbouring countries" in organizing the elections.

But it also warned: "The elections must take place on all Iraqi territory and not on 75 percent of the country as the United States hints at due to the insecurity in regions where resistance actions are taking place."
Your concern is noted. Now if you'll just stop allowing terrorists to cross the border....

I'll bet that Iran and Syria will try hard to keep the elections from going forward, but they will fail. The Iraqis really don't care what they think anymore.



...speak louder than words.


Has it begun?

Have the Iraqis finally had enough? It just might be true.
A member of an influential Sunni clerics' group that has called for a boycott of Iraqi national elections was assassinated Monday, one day after government officials announced that the vote would be held early next year despite rising violence.

Sheik Faidh Mohamed Amin al-Faidhi, a member of the Association of Muslim Scholars (search), was shot by gunmen at his home in northern Mosul.
At a minimum, I think this is a message sent by PUK. "Don't screw with us." The Kurds are much more likely to rid themselves of the terrorists than the Sunnis, who may still see them as, at least partially, defending their rights.

Maybe if the Sunni leaders start to wonder if they're next, they might just reconsider their opposition to the rule of law, especially now that Allawi is getting serious about ridding the countryside of "insurgents".


More good news from Iraq

Chrenkoff has published his 15th installment of "Good News From Iraq". If you're not familiar with his series, grab a cup of coffee before clicking on the above link. His reports are extensive.


Iraqis speak

A film, Voices of Iraq that refutes the old media's doom and gloom pronouncements. Are we even talking about the same place?


Outrage in the Ivory Coast

Little Green Footballs reports on a French outrage. In the Ivory Coast, a group of protestors, singing and chanting and peacefuly demonstrating, separated by what appears to be at least 50 yards or more from French troops, were fired upon without provocation resulting in the deaths and injuries of a number of unarmed civilians.

The videos are huge (over 100MB) so they will take quite a while to download, which is why I waited until I was at work.

This is the same French government that has been outspoken about Iraq. The stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming.

This is what passes for coverage in the old media. I saw the film. I can assure you there were more than three dead.

UPDATE: It appears the total is 7 dead and many more wounded. The French are clearly lying about what happened, but why should that surprise anyone? (Hat tip - again - LGF who broke this story. Where is the media???)


Unrelenting assault

The NY Times continues to carry the "not enough troops" water, and I continue to be irritated by it. If the President asks the generals how many troops they need, and the generals tell him, and he says, "OK, deploy that many", then who are these so-called experts that think the generals are wrong?
One big reason that last year's "mission accomplished'' started to look like "mission impossible'' was that Pentagon planners provided only enough troops to defeat Saddam Hussein's crumbling armies and not enough to provide security for physical and political reconstruction. Large swaths of a country used to strong governance suddenly had no effective governance and insurgent militias surged forth to fill the gap. Over time, the insurgency established bases in Sunni Arab cities like Falluja, where nostalgia for the Sunni-oriented Baathist dictatorship has been greatest and support for the Shiite-led interim government remains virtually nonexistent.
This is wrong on many levels.

I've already handled the so-called "planning mistakes" in an earlier post and shown that the Time is ignoring the evidence. The famous "Shinseki" argument is simply false on its face.

Secondly, we know now that the "insurgency" had been planned well in advance of the war. The obsession with protecting innocent civilians has given Sadaam and his henchman ample warning on numerous occasions, including moving some of his weapons and money out of the country, putting in to place the plans for his "insurgency" and allowing terrorists to get a strong foothold in Fallujah, among other things.

We have so many "experts" in this country, it's not funny. Wouldn't it be nice if they used facts to form their opinions?


I thought we red-staters..

...were the only intolerant bigots. I guess not. We still have a long way to go in this country, to get to the point that all men are treated equal.


Sunday, November 21, 2004

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

I hate censorship, but...

....I would support censoring this. Doesn't there have to be a line drawn somewhere?


What you don't know....

....can hurt you. Is the US media intent on destroying the country? Read this and you may think so. (Hat tip LGF.)

UPDATE: At least one in the media gets it. (Hat tip the Corner.)


Men of valor

There's a reason the NY Times is "the paper of record". Despite their constant liberal whine, they produce reporters who win Pulitzer prizes after cutting their teeth in the gritty back streets of some of the world's lonliest and most dangerous places. Today they published an embed's report of the battles in Fallujah. It's up close and personal, the nasty, bloody, melancholy business of war.
On one particularly grim night, a group of marines from Bravo Company's First Platoon turned a corner in the darkness and headed up an alley. As they did so, they came across men dressed in uniforms worn by the Iraqi National Guard. The uniforms were so perfect that they even carried pieces of red tape and white, the signal agreed upon to assure American soldiers that any Iraqis dressed that way would be friendly; the others could be killed.

The marines, spotting the red and white tape, waved, and the men in Iraqi uniforms opened fire. One American, Corporal Anderson, died instantly. One of the wounded men, Pfc. Andrew Russell, lay in the road, screaming from a nearly severed leg.

A group of marines ran forward into the gunfire to pull their comrades out. But the ambush, and the enemy flares and gunfire that followed, rattled the men of Bravo Company more than any event. In the darkness, the men began to argue. Others stood around in the road. As the platoon's leader, Lt. Andy Eckert, struggled to take charge, the Third Platoon seemed on the brink of panic.
Writing like this harks back to the days of World War II, when men with real courage reported the war from the front lines.

In a story published in the Post-Gazette of Pittsburgh, Jack Kelly takes on the media's parsimonious and grossly slanted coverage of the conflict.
The victory in Fallujah was also remarkable for its speed, Peters said. Speed was necessary, he said, "because you are fighting not just the terrorists, but a hostile global media."

Fallujah ranks up there with Iwo Jima, Inchon and Hue as one of the greatest triumphs of American arms, though you'd have a hard time discerning that from what you read in the newspapers.

The swift capture of Fallujah is taxing the imagination of Arab journalists and -- sadly -- our own. How does one portray a remarkable American victory as if it were of little consequence, or even a defeat? For CNN's Walter Rodgers, camped out in front the main U.S. military hospital in Germany, you do this by emphasizing American casualties.
Thanks to Powerline for highlighting both of these stories.

UPDATE: More compelling stories about our fighters. Hat tip to Roger Simon.


Saturday, November 20, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
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Here we go again

At least that's what the NY Times thinks. In an editorial named "Groundhog Day", the times bemoans the "fact" that the "same things" are happening now with regard to Iran that happened with regard to Iraq.

You know the drill.
Stop us if you've heard this one before. The Bush administration creates a false sense of urgency about a nuclear menace from a Middle Eastern country. Hard-liners talk about that country's connections to terrorists. They portray European diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions as a feckless attempt to appease a rogue nation whose word can never be trusted anyway. Secretary of State Colin Powell makes ominous-sounding warnings about new intelligence, which turns out to be dubious.

That is how President Bush rushed the country into an unnecessary conflict with Iraq in his first term, and we have been seeing alarming signs of that approach all week on Iran.
What is the evidence for their concerns?

The admit that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program and that they have been dishonest in their international dealings, but they complain that there's nothing "imminent" compelling a military solution. Of course, Bush never used the word "imminent" with regard to Iraq either, but we've got to stick to the party line.
Europe promises to resume talks on a preferential trade agreement. If they don't, it will be time for international economic sanctions.
Sure. Sanctions worked so well with Sadaam. Why not give them a second chance? (Note to self - monitor how closely the Times follows the Oil For Food scandal.)

(Skip over the whining about faulty intelligence and scary prognostications.)
mall wonder, then, that the Europeans started to accuse Washington of trying to undermine diplomacy with Iran, just as the Bush administration thwarted their efforts to resume the U.N. inspections of Iraq - inspections that we now know had been highly effective.
Um, no, we don't know that, because we don't know yet what happened to Sadaam's weapons. There is a strong possibility they were taken to Syria, but without confirmation, we simply don't know. The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.
Iran has long been a target of the hawks in the administration, who are undoubtedly feeling their oats after the election. But we hope that President Bush has learned enough from the Iraq adventure to understand the dangers of using flawed intelligence to create a false sense of urgency about a national security threat.

Obviously, a nuclear-armed Iran run by its current brand of extremists, who have twisted religion to support terrorism, would be a cause for real concern. But there is no military solution here. Iran's scattered and secretive nuclear program cannot be bombed out of existence. And even if the United States had not stretched its military to the limit in Iraq, invading Iran, a country of nearly 70 million people, would be a catastrophic mistake.

The Bush administration has said that stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons is at the top of its foreign policy agenda. That's where it belongs. But it's a goal that can be pursued only through truly multilateral diplomacy, in which the United States works with its European allies, rather than trying to undermine them, and the Europeans are prepared to stand behind Washington with a credible threat of economic sanctions when they are justified. It is not an excuse for war or even for pretending that war is a rational option.
Would that be the way that France, Germany and Russia stood behind us while taking bribes from Sadaam?

I'm not wondering.


Juan Cole versus Ali

Guess who wins?

Juan Cole, in case you weren't aware, is a history professor at the University of Michigan. History professors are notoriously leftist in this country, and Juan Cole is no exception. He is also an acknowledged expert in Middle East history, and is extensively quoted as an expert by the media.

Ali just needs one post to show how truly ignorant of the facts Professor Cole is.

Just one more example of why blogs will become THE source for news in the future.


Moving tribute..

.....to our troops. Thanks John and Peg, for pointing it out to me. Semper Fi.


They write 'em, I rip 'em

The Times has done it again. They've written an editorial that begs for a fisking.

Entitled "Contempt for a Free Press", it should have been titled "Contempt for Logic".
Jim Taricani, a television reporter in Providence, R.I., fell victim to a widening judicial assault on freedom of the press this week.
Save us the hyperbole! The military and the police do assaults. The judiciary upholds the law.
Mr. Taricani was convicted of criminal contempt of court on Thursday for refusing to reveal who gave him an F.B.I. videotape documenting bribery and corruption in city government. He will most likely be sentenced to as much as six months in jail by a peevish federal court judge. Neither Mr. Taricani nor his station, the local NBC affiliate, did anything illegal broadcasting the tape in 2001.
Ummm, apparently the court disagrees with you. In our country, you can say anything you like about a court's decision, but it still has the force of law. Get used to it. The man was convicted. That's prima facie evidence that he committed a crime.
It showed the mayor's top aide taking an envelope stuffed with cash from a businessman who was acting as an informant for the F.B.I. Airing the tape had no detrimental effect on the aide's trial. He was convicted and is now in jail, as is the former mayor.
Keep this in mind. It will be important later.
What irks the judge is that someone leaked the tape against a court order that it be kept under wraps.
Guess what? Violating a court order is illegal.
The judge appointed a special prosecutor to find the source of the leak, but that inquiry turned up nothing beyond denials from the most likely suspects. The judge then started fining Mr. Taricani $1,000 for each additional day he refused to name his source, but that, too, failed. So now the judge has found Mr. Taricani guilty of criminal contempt.
That would be because Mr. Taricani is a material witness to the commission of a crime and is refusing to reveal the criminal. This behavior would put a lawyer in jail as well. Despite their canon of ethics and their duty to their client, lawyers cannot withold evidence of a crime. Neither can reporters. That is illegal.
That looks more like vindictive punishment than a continuing effort to find the leak.
I suppose it does, if you refuse to look at it objectively!
The judge cast his actions as necessary to uphold the rule of law and judicial authority, lest others feel emboldened to violate court orders.
Why do you think he cast them that way? Has it ever occurred to you that he might actually be right?
But there is a more important value at stake here - the ability of reporters to get information by promising confidentiality to skittish sources.
So "the ability of reporters to get information" is more important than upholding the law? I don't think so!
In this case, the leak caused no harm to the legal system,
So breaking the law causes "no harm to the legal system"? I'll be watching to see if you make this same argument when you think someone in the Bush administration has broken the law. (Think Valerie Plame.) It's astounding how you think that the press can play fast and loose with the law but no one else is allowed to.
but imprisonment of Mr. Taricani could have a chilling effect on journalism's ability to expose corruption.
How would that be exactly? You admitted earlier that "Airing the tape had no detrimental effect on the aide's trial. He was convicted and is now in jail, as is the former mayor." Since this is true, it must also be true that airing the tape was not exposing corruption. Therefore, asking the reporter to reveal his source would not have a "chilling effect" on reporters' ability to expose corruption, because the court was already doing that.

What it would have a chilling effect on is people violating court orders and leaking protected information to the press. That might irritate you, but it doesn't impact your ability to uncover corruption.

Unless you think it's the job of the courts to do the hard detective work on your behalf so you can slop up any titillating details for the evening news.


The new face...

....of Iraq (via Captain Ed.)


If you only do one thing today

please read and sign the petition to Congress to either return "the Marine" to his unit or give him an honorable discharge. When I signed it they had almost 100,000 signatures. Let's make it one million.


Friday, November 19, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
The new address is http://www.antimedia.us/.
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A voice of sanity...

...in a world gone mad.


Where does a Ba'athist go....

...when it's no longer safe in Iraq? Paris.
With the defeat of the Saddam Hussein regime on April 9, 2003, the Ba'th ruling party was outlawed and a committee for the de-Ba'thification of Iraq was established. However, the Ba'th's propaganda machine appears to have found a new abode in Paris, France, whence threats to the U.S. are issued regularly in three languages - English, French, and Spanish. Not surprisingly, the Ba'thist propagandists use the word "resistance" (in French, "la resistance") to underscore the association with the struggle against the Nazi occupation of France during WWII.

The resurrection of the Ba'th Party on French soil was further strengthened by France's proposal that representatives of "la resistance" should participate in any future conference that will be convened to discuss the future of Iraq. This position was clearly stated by Michel Barnier, the French Foreign Minister, in an interview with the French TV station " France Inter." In the interview, Mr. Barnier called for a political process in Iraq that would include "a number of groups and people who have today opted for the path of resistance through the use of weapons."
They should feel right at home with Chirac.



...in Texas?.

UPDATE: More info on the pyrotechnic teen.


You know it's a big story...

...when all you have to say is, the Marine. Ollie North provides the best explanation of what took place. Hat tip to Command Post.


This is a joke, right?

Bill Clinton lashed out at Ken Starr in an interview with Peter Jennings. This part, I have to be honest, made me laugh out loud.
"No other president ever had to endure someone like Ken Starr," Clinton said. "No one ever had to try to save people from ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, and people in Haiti from a military dictator that was murdering them, and all the other problems I dealt with, while every day an entire apparatus was devoted to destroying him."
Let's see.

President Bush has had to deal with 9/11, Afghanistan and the war in Iraq, capture Sadaam and free 50 million people from two of the most despicable, dictatorial, murderous governments in history. Meanwhile the partisan media has tried their best to destroy him and his Presidency, using forged documents and false testimony to paint a picture of him as a liar and an idiot, ignoring evidence that supported his decisions and giving credence to some of the most outrageous, slanderous charges ever hurled at a US President.

Poor Bill. He had it rough. George has had it so much easier. All poor Bill did was perjure himself in Federal court.

George, on the other hand, completely ignored world opinion, took responsibility for America's safety and refused to back down to win re-election.


There's "news"...

...and then there's reality.

They don't look much alike, do they?


This says it all

Cori Dauber hits the nail on the head. She quotes a reporter waxing nostalgic for the "good old days" before all the bombings, etc., and she pierces right to the point.
Now, I don't know this woman's work, so I'm not talking about her specifically here.

But all these pieces of regret -- oh, it used to be we could walk where we wanted, shop, eat out, enjoy the nightlife -- describe a Baghdad that was coming back, bustling, relaxed.

When was that ever reflected in the reporting?

Wasn't that the essence of the debate over balancing the good and bad news?

Wasn't that precisely what the bloggers, milbloggers, many troops, the returning service members, local press, and, yes, Fox News, were all asking for?

Not whitewashing, but balance. And it was called "cheerleading." But now we get all these pieces from the journos telling us how much they miss the way Baghdad was.

When did their reporting ever truly, fully reflect that Baghdad?

Now you tell us.
Yes. Please tell us, old media. Tell us now.


Now THIS is news

If you've grown weary of the constant negative drumbeat of cowardly reporters who don't even bother to go where the battle is, then read this account of fighting in Fallujah (via, where else?, Blackfive). Short on opinion and long on action, it tells the story of house to house, street by street combat through the eyes of the men doing the fighting. You'll feel transported to another time, when reporters reported and left the editorializing to the jerks back home.

Here's just two paragraphs of this multi-page report.
Lawson stays downstairs while Bellavia scours the first floor for more insurgents. A string of rapid-fire single shots ring out. Then silence. Then a low, pained moaning. The two soldiers waiting in the courtyard call out to Bellavia, "Hey, Sergeant Bell," but get no response. "Sergeant Bell is not answering," a message is shouted back to the platoon members across the street. "We need more guys." The platoon's other staff sergeant, Colin Fitts, 26, steps up. "Let's go," he says.

Fitts takes a small team over the road. "Terminators coming in," he bellows as he goes inside, using the unit's name in a code to warn that friendly forces are entering. Inside they find Bellavia alive and on on the hunt. Upstairs he scans the bedrooms. An insurgent jumps out of the cupboard. Bellavia falls down and fires, spraying the man with bullets. At some point another insurgent drops out of the ceiling. Yet another runs to a window and makes for the garden. Bellavia hits him in the legs and lower back as he flees. When it's over, four insurgents are dead; another has escaped badly wounded. To Bellavia, Fitts says, "That's a good job, dude. You're a better man than me." Bellavia shakes his head. "No, no, no," he mutters.
Grab me a beer, will ya?


Rumblings of an earthquake..

..at the UN.


Can we please get a clue?

Congress has increased the debt ceiling again. One wonders what a debt ceiling is for if Congress just keeps raising it.

Here's what really irritates me though.
Democrats blame Bush's tax cuts for pushing up government borrowing and turning the fiscal surplus he inherited into a record deficit.

Republicans say the fiscal shortfall is due to the 2001 recession, the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Do we not have one politician that will admit the problem is spending too much? Even us dumb-as-a-rock red state bigots know if you spend more than you earn you go into debt.

Why can't Congress figure it out?

UPDATE: Maybe the President has.


A new day in Iraq

Allawi is getting serious about ending the violence.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

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

Where should I begin?

The NY Times published a really stupid editorial that screams for a fisking.

Here it is.
When President Bush rushed to appoint Porter Goss, a partisan Florida congressman, as director of central intelligence before the election,
"..a partisan Florida congressman"? I'm getting so tired of reading this I want to scream. Please, can just one journalist in this country get over the "partisan politician" crap? Is there some other kind? When the Republicans gerrymandered the districts here in Texas to elect more Republicans and get rid of some long time Democrats, the press screamed, "Parisan!". Duh! You think??? Good lord, people! Politics is partisan! Get over it already! The last non-partisan politician died thousands of years ago. ARRRGH!!! My head hurts!!!

Here's a shocker for you high-falutin' northeast liberal types. Our forefathers actually knew that politics is partisan! Even more amazing, they actually planned for it in our government's design! Gasp! Oh the horror!!

Now that I've gotten that off my chest.....
the choice raised concerns about how serious Mr. Bush was about fixing one of the central problems with American intelligence: that the president was being told what he wanted to hear to confirm his policy choices, rather than what he needed to know. Now that Mr. Bush has been safely re-elected, Mr. Goss is only heightening those fears.
Accusing Bush of "being told what he wants to hear" is a bit like accusing a bull of being careful in a China shop after he's broken all the dishware. If there is one thing that is obvious about the President's management style it's that he relishes conflict among his strong-minded advisors. Hello! Powell v. Rumsfeld? Earth to the Times??? Do you suppose the President might have already made up his mind what needs to be done at the CIA and now he's implementing those changes?

Or would you prefer that he remain indecisive? How dense can you possibly be?
No one who has read the 9/11 commission's report or the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the prewar intelligence on Iraq could doubt the need to shake things up in the intelligence apparatus. It's also important to allow the head of a major government agency to make changes without undue second-guessing. But what Mr. Goss is doing at the Central Intelligence Agency is starting to seem less like reform and more like a political purge.

Mr. Goss has removed the head of the clandestine operations division and his deputy - both career intelligence officers. The No. 2 C.I.A. official, John McLaughlin, has resigned, along with four other senior people. Others are reported to be thinking about leaving. Many of them feel trampled by Mr. Goss's inner circle of political operatives from the House, where he was chairman of the Intelligence Committee.
Help me understand your "logic" here. You agree that we need to "shake things up" at the CIA, but then you complain that what Goss is doing is "a political purge"? Can you say h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e? Give me a break already. Man! What morons!

I'll bet a Moon Pie and a Nehi that you wouldn't be complaining if this was a Democratic administration! Oh wait! I win!
He dutifully noted that the C.I.A.'s job is to "provide the intelligence as we see it - and let the facts speak to the policymaker." But Mr. Goss added language that has reportedly sent a chill through the intelligence agencies: "I also intend to clarify beyond doubt the rules of the road. We support the administration and its policies in our work. As agency employees we do not identify with, support or champion opposition to the administration or its policies."

Certainly, the C.I.A. should not be taking sides in presidential campaigns. Many of Mr. Bush's supporters claim that high-ranking members of the agency attempted to undermine the president's re-election - if Mr. Goss has evidence of that, he should present it.
Here's an idea. Mr. Goss could provide reprints of your "news" stories quoting "unamed sources" within the CIA. Would that be sufficient? Hmmmmm????
But it's inappropriate for him to suggest that it's the job of the C.I.A. "to support" a particular administration and its political decisions.
Well what exactly is the job of the CIA, bozos?
The C.I.A.'s loss of public credibility in recent years has been due, in part, to a perception that the agency saw how much the Bush administration wanted to invade Iraq and cooked its conclusions to support that goal.
Which claim was conclusively refuted by the Senate Intelligence Committee. You did read that, didn't you? You cite it earlier as proof of your point. Did you even bother to read the darn thing?
What the country wants, and deserves, is an agency where intelligence operatives feel free to tell the administration that policies are based on wrong or incomplete information.
No..what the country wants and deserves is an agency that gives the President accurate, timely information, appropriately vetted, cautious when necessary, definitive when possible, and let the President and his advisors decide what policies to develop from that information. This isn't some editorial board, you loons! It's an intelligence agency!
They should be able to blow the whistle on mistakes and wrongdoing to the appropriate bodies in Congress without having to go through Mr. Goss's palace guard.
Which part of this argument justifies leaking opinions to the press, writing "tell-all" books and airing the administration's dirty laundry in public? Huh?

Here's a hint. If your sports department decided that the way you were running things was completely wrong and they decided to air their opinions in the Washington Post, what would you do? Take all the time you need. I can wait.

The CIA is an executive branch agency. So is State, Education ,etc., etc. (I know, I know, I really shouldn't have to point this out.) They serve the President. Not me. Not you. Not the taxpayers. The President. Their job is to provide the President with the information that he needs to do his job and to carry out the orders that he gives them. They do not work for Congress. They work for the President. Yes, Congress has oversight of their budgets, and they brief Congress on their activities, but they work for the President.

As soon as you start allowing your employees to blab your inner secrets and bitch and gripe to every Tom, Dick and Harry blogger that is eager to embarrass you, then you can start pointing fingers at the White House. Until then, SHUT UP!!

DId I make myself clear?


Zarqawi's headquarters found

Information coming out of Fallujah indicates that valuable intel about Zarqawi has been found. As a result, one of his top men was arrested in Baghdad with a number of associates. Zarqawi's headquarters has been found as well as a recording studio where they apparently handled the videotapes of hostages begging for their lives (as well as the beheadings.) Terrorists killed or captured have been identified as coming from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, Sudan, North Africa and Yemen. Arms from Jordan and China have also been found.

The next few days and weeks should be very revealing. I think that capturing Zarqawi (and bin Laden for that matter) is more symbolic than anything, but it could be devastating to the morale of the terrorists, causing them to withdraw from Iraq to regroup elsewhere.

UPDATE: Captain Ed reports it may not have been Zarqawi's headquarters. The intelligence is valuable at any rate.


I have one thing to say.

Bring it on!.

UPDATE: Beldar agrees.


It ain't over

Republican Senators are not done with Arlen Specter yet.

UPDATE: Now it's over.


If you can't say anything good....

....then shut up!. The AP is trying really hard to paint the worst picture of Iraq that they can. So they have this to say about the present situation in Iraq.
The recapture of Fallujah (search) has not broken the insurgents' will to fight and may not pay the big dividend U.S. planners had hoped — to improve security enough to hold national elections in Sunni Muslim (search) areas of central Iraq, according to U.S. and Iraqi assessments.

Instead, the battle for control of the Sunni city 40 miles west of Baghdad has sharpened divisions among Iraq's major ethnic and religious groups, fueled anti-American sentiment and stoked the 18-month-old Sunni insurgency.

Those grim assessments, expressed privately by some U.S. military officials and by some private experts on Iraq, raise doubts as to whether the January election will produce a government with sufficient legitimacy, especially in the eyes of the country's powerful Sunni Muslim minority.
Notice how the "some..military officials" and "some private experts" are not named? This is a trick that reporters use to provide "credibility" to their negative view of the story they are "reporting". They haven't actually spoken to any "experts" or "officials".

Keep this in mind when you read stories like this, and you'll be a lot more aware of when the wool is being pulled over your eyes.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

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

The Iraqi "insurgency"

I must confess, I've been angered by the use of the word "insurgents" to describe what I believed were almost certainly terrorists. I'm still certain that there are quite a few terrorists involved in the Iraqi "insurgency". The presence of Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi is dispositive of that view, as well as a number of Kuwaitis and Jordanians (as well as Syrians and Iranians) who are in Iraq.

However, my recent reading has led me to the conclusion that a great deal of the people involved in the "insurgency" are Ba'athists. Historically terrorists have been fond of vehicle and suicide bombings. They like to take out large numbers of the targeted victims because that draws media like moths to a flame, and the bombings can instill a sense of aimless fear in that they can happen at any time, anywhere, without warning.

What terrorists don't have a long history of is beheadings, certainly not kidnappings and beatings or summary executions by a bullet in the back of the head and mutilations. Yet all of these things, and much more, are typical behavior of the Ba'athists under Sadaam.

Under Sadaam, literally thousands of people where shot in the head. People were fed into wood chippers, castrated live, had their fingers surgically removed, were beaten unmercifully, and much, much more. These acts were done to instill a very real and specific fear in Iraqis. Unlike the terrorists, who could strike at any time anywhere, Ba'athists knew exactly where you lived and you knew exactly what they would do to you if you got out of line.

Reports of "an underground bunker and steel-enforced tunnels connecting a ring of houses filled with weapons, medical supplies and bunk beds" indicate a level of planning and construction that almost certainly requires that it be done before the war began. The behavior of the "insurgents" in Fallujah and the fact that many Ba'athists come from there implies that much planning and preparation was behind this "insurgency".

Until the "insurgency" is quelled sufficiently to obtain some semblance of normalcy across Iraq, many Iraqis will remain wary. Sadaam may be in prison, but his henchmen are still signaling the Iraqi people that they are not safe. The next few weeks will be critical. The Iraqi and coalition forces need to reduce the "insurgents" number to a "nuisance" before the January elections or the Iraqis may be too afraid to come to the polls.


Get the facts, then decide

Normally I would be opposed to changing the rules to protect someone. Besides, I don't particularly care for Tom DeLay anyway. Before I jump on the bandwagon to get rid of him, however, I want to know more. Down here in Texas we're not averse to using the courts to win political battles. In fact the Sheriff of Dallas County was indicted just one month before an election. Then, after he lost the election, the indictment was thrown out.

Gee, do ya think it might have been political?


Noteworthy commentary

I heard this op-ed over the radio driving home from work. It's short but memorable. Especially this.
But this thing in Fallujah was not hidden.

Little is hidden in this watched war, this most watched of wars.

The embedded camera pries and spies.

It sees all.

And tells nothing.
A pox on those who judge without the facts.


Could it be?

Freedom sprouting in North Korea?


Shocking pictures from Iraq.......

....too hot to pass old media standards.


Note to Swiftvets....

....don't close up shop yet.


Still a scandal after all these years....

The UN Oil For Food scandal isn't going away. Now that the facts are being revealed, we find out that the UN, under Kofi Annan's "leadership" ignored the leads given to them by private investigators and is stonewalling the US Senate investigators.
Mr. Baldwin said new information related to the U.N. oil-for-food program uncovered by the company includes:
  • A network of Iranians who were involved in smuggling oil under the U.N. program.
  • Connections between the U.N. program and a French organized crime figure who U.S. officials said was a conduit for oil-for-food-related payments to French President Jacques Chirac.
  • Information on the Swiss-based company Cotecna, which was involved in border inspections of oil-for-food goods. Cotecna at one point during the oil-for-food program hired Mr. Annan's son as a consultant.
  • Data on the activities of an Egyptian oil broker who took part in illegal activities related to the oil-for-food program.
"As an experienced investigator, it became clear to me that the U.N. is failing to act on the leads and intel streams developed by us in specific areas where we were asked to develop leads and intel streams," said Mr. Baldwin, a fraud investigator and former intelligence official. "That is inexplicable."
There's far too many oxen that will be gored. So look for huge coverup attempts as this unravels even more.

Kofi Annan still has not explained how Oil For Food was funding suicide bombers in the Middle East. The French have a lot of explaining to do as well.

Why should the US continue to fund the UN, allow its headquarters to remain in New York and grant its corrupt and vile representatives immunity here in the US?

Isn't it time to dump the UN?

UPDATE: We have the coalition of the willing. They have coalition of the bribed. (Hat tip to Roger Simon.)


Thought for the day

A friend emailed me and said she hoped that things were "calming down" for me. I responded by writing "Never calm, but always serene." She then emailed me back with a typically "modern" response - "I need some of your meds then."

This was my response.
You already have them - holy spirit. Just keep telling yourself that everything is in God's hands, and He will not allow you to suffer more than you can endure (which you've already proven is a great deal.) Then sit back and relax and watch God work in your life.

I once attended a Christian mountain climbing camp in New Mexico. When I first started climbing, I climbed in my own strength and grew proud of what I could do. I felt manly and athletic, and I was filled with pride at my accomplishments.

On the last day of climbing, we attacked a vertical cliff with a negative overhang. I watched two men, whose physicality I greatly admired and whose climbing techniques I had emulated, fall while trying to climb that cliff (they had ropes, of course), and I knew immediately that I could not climb that cliff in my own strength.

As I tied on the rope to begin my climb, I voiced a silent prayer to God. I said, "God, I can't climb this cliff without you. So I'm asking you to guide my hands and my feet and take me to the top."

The next day we were hiking back to base camp when the leader of my group pulled me aside and asked, "How long have you been climbing?"

I said, "I've never climbed before in my life. Why?"

He responded, "I've seen experienced mountain climbers fall on climbs like that. Yet you went right to the top as if you knew exactly how to climb that cliff. Only someone with world class experience could do that on the first try."

That's when I knew that, if I would just place my trust in God and allow him to guide my hands and feet, I could climb every mountain in my life, no matter how intimidating it might be, without worry or fear.

I'm human, so I sometimes forget to include God on the mundane hills of every day life, but I've never climbed a mountain in my life since then without first asking God to guide me and trusting that where I placed my hands and my feet was exactly where God wanted them to be.

If you ask God for bread, will he give you a stone? He is your shepherd. You shall not want. He makes you to lie down in green pastures. He restores your soul. Even when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God will be with you, guiding you, placing every step right where it needs to be, leading you to the safety of cool waters.

God is love - everlasting, all powerful, magnificent love. He loves YOU. If you rest in His arms, he will never leave nor forsake you nor allow you to fall.

The most amazing thing in the world to me is God's love. He knew before I was born that I would be prideful, lazy, procrastinating, quick to anger, thoughtless, emotional, unloving and selfish. Yet He chose ME anyway, and he accepts ME with loving arms, just as the father did his prodigal son, without reservation, without condemnation, without an apology and without bitterness. All I have to do is seek Him, nothing more.

Can you believe that? Can you fathom the grace? Can you comprehend the mercy? Can you feel the humility? Can you bring yourself to curl up in His arms and let Him lead you through life?

Because if you can, you will never again have sleepless nights. You will never again worry about the future. You will never again wonder what to do next. And you will never again face a mountain that you cannot climb.


Everything you want to know.....

....about Fallujah may be found here.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
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Turnover isn't just.....

...at the White House.


Sadaam never supported terrorists.....



Eulogizing Arafat not universal

Apparently some Egytians were not exactly thrilled by Arafat and are happy to see him go. They still resent his celebrating the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981.
"Life is in the hands of Allah, O Abu Ammar. and one must not gloat over a death. [However,] we in Egypt will never forget how Yasser Arafat broadcast the song 'Rejoice My Heart' in the [West] Bank and the [Gaza] Strip when President Al-Sadat was assassinated, [nor will we forget] the exclamations of joy regarding 'the fall of the Zionist traitor, agent, criminal, and exterminator Anwar Al-Sadat!'
Seems we Americans have some common ground with Egyptians.

Perhaps you aren't aware that Arafat (or Abdel-Rahman Abdel-Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini to his family) was Egytian, not Palestinian? Or that Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's right hand man, was involved in Sadat's assassination?


Truth versus News

Iraq the Model has been working on a democracy project in coordination with Spirit of America. This is exciting and historical. He closed his post with something everyone should heed.
We were planning to stay in Jordan for only 4 days but with the airport being closed, we had to stay there for a longer time.
Being out of the events' field for a week and having the media as the only source of information made me understand more why many people have a blurred vision about the situation in Iraq, I mean watching Al- Jazeera and the CNN for a relatively long time made Iraq - at certain moments - look like "hell on earth". Fortunately I lived my whole life in Iraq and when it comes to events taking place over there I can distinguish between the truth and the lies to a certain degree but my concern is about people who have never been there because the media twist facts and exaggerate things in an unbelievable manner.
As a matter of fact, from the news I got from the media I expected to find Baghdad in a terrible condition when I return; no gasoline, no electricity, fighting at every corner and dead bodies everywhere but of course I didn't find it this way when I returned. Actually I haven't seen any significant difference except for losing some hours of electricity!
The news media is not the friend nor the ally of freedom. They are not interested in the truth - only in telling their version of what is going on.

As you can see, it's wildly off the mark.


My sentiments exactly

This poem expresses my sentiments exactly. Thanks to Blackfive for publishing it.


Monday, November 15, 2004

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Iraqi press reactions to Bush re-election

MEMRI reports on Iraqi news coverage of the US elections.
Much can be said about this event, its meaning and consequences... I wish to express my feelings of happiness as a nationalist democratic Iraqi about this victory, which confirms anew the legitimacy and justice of the war of liberation of Iraq from the Saddam regime and the danger it had posed to the security of the region and the world.

"Kerry's opportunistic maneuvers with the Iraqi subject have failed, particularly his claims that Saddam did not represent a threat to the American and world security. We know that the Saddam danger was far greater than the danger of Al-Qa'ida and bin Laden because Saddam's regime had enormous capabilities in a very sensitive region and possessed forbidden weapons and capacities and programs to produce many types of these weapons. The betting on the defeat of Bush by the terrorists with all their tribes and branches, the nationalists, the Arab and European left, and the murderers in Fallujah, Ramadi, and Mosul, and the Iranian and Syrian regimes, has failed... These groups with disparate ideologies and objectives had one common denominator - a blind hatred for Bush. We offer them our deep condolences..."
Try finding "cheerleading" like this in the US press!
"...This is the difference between the values and habits in America and our values and thinking in the East. The common domestic animals in most of the villages in the [Middle] East are donkeys, mules, camels, sheep, and cows. What would people say in a [Middle] Eastern country if someone were to decorate the head or neck of a docile donkey, a dutiful mule a beautiful camel, a cow, a goat, or a sheep? The entire instruments of security, intelligence and the army will fly into a rage, and a state of emergency will be declared in search of the poor beast to be destroyed, to be followed by inflicting the most severe punishment on its owner! I say this for the sake of comparison, not for the sake of [advocating] the wrapping of animals with the national flag."
I'm pretty sure this means something to the Iraqis. :-)
In an editorial titled, "Iraqi Politicians Prefer the Election of Bush," the daily Al-Taakhi wrote about a number of Iraqi politicians who have expressed their support for the election of President Bush for a second term, because "the contrary will provide happy news to the terrorists."

The paper went on to say that Bush has committed certain mistakes, but the arrival of a different administration at the White House would have worsened the situation. It quotes Muwwafaq Al-Rabi'i, the national security adviser of the interim Iraqi government: "George Bush has a comprehensive view about Iraq. He has deposed Saddam Hussein and liberated the country." He concluded by saying that "Bush has a commitment toward Iraq and I believe his re-election will provide pleasant news to Iraq and bad news to the terrorists"
A lot of Americans agreed with Al-Rabi'i.
"If we look carefully, we will see that this assessment represents narrow mindedness apart from forgetting the sequencing of events. Since the 9/11 operation carried out by Al-Qa'ida in America, Bush has appeared stronger than before. While he made it to the White House the first time with the help of the courts, today he has won with a landslide. How do we explain that?

"Politics is measured by its practical results. By this measure, terrorism has strengthened the Bush administration and its unique theory of fighting it… By their fanaticism and the absence of a political horizon, [the terrorists] cannot distinguish between their political intentions and the practical consequences of their activities. For they have either been afflicted with political blindness, or have willy-nilly become an instrument of the Bush administration... How can these people not distinguish between the white and the black, if their intentions weren't dark?

"We call on our Iraqi brothers in political positions to expel them [the armed insurgents] from their ranks and choose the organized political work for unifying our people, removing the occupation, and building a democratic and just system that represents our interests."
Do elections and democracy have a chance in Iraq? If these comments are at all representative, yes!


Oil For Food much worse than thought

The Senate, under Norm Coleman's leadership, has been investigating the UN Oil For Food scandal. Today it was revealed that the amount of money involved, thought for a long time to be about $10 billion is actually more than double that - over $21 billion. This is an incredible amount of graft and corruption.
New figures on Iraq's alleged surcharges, kickbacks - and oil-smuggling dating back to 1991 - are based on troves of new documents obtained by the committee's investigative panel, Coleman told reporters before the hearing. The documents illustrate how Iraqi officials, foreign companies and sometimes politicians allegedly contrived to allow the Iraqi government vast illicit gains.

The findings also reflect a growing understanding by investigators of the intricate schemes Saddam used to buy support abroad for a move to lift U.N. sanctions.
Sadaam was bribing the French and Germans to get the sanctions lifed and turn a blind eye to his weapons program.

The UN isn't exactly being cooperative either.
Coleman said the probe is just beginning and that officials aim to discover "how this massive fraud was able to thrive for so long." He said he is angry that the United Nations has not provided documents and access to officials that investigators need to move ahead.
Yet Senator Levin, the highest ranking Democrat on the committee doesn't think it was a big deal.
But the committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, said "for the most part the U.N. sanctions achieved their intended objective of preventing Saddam from rearming and developing weapons of mass destruction."

Saddam's military spending plummeted after sanctions were imposed in 1991 to a fraction of what it had been before, he said, adding that the vast majority of illicit income was from publicly disclosed trade agreements that the world well knew about "but winked at."
How can it be that the Democrats continue to ignore reality? Every single Senator should be outraged by this scandal. They are not, and yet they still can't fathom why they keep losing elections!

UPDATE: More on Oil For Food at the NY Post, via Roger Simon.