Monday, January 30, 2006
The Shape Of Things To Come|
Friday, January 27, 2006
61st Anniversary of the Auschwitz Liberation
The liberation of Auschwitz is a metaphor for the liberation of all the slave labor and death camps the Germans and its allies ran in WWII.
The enormity and extent of the camp system is staggering and is certainly not known or taught the way it should be in the US. There are numerous resources that catalog the types, number and functions of the camps and programmes to solve the 'Jewish Question' in Eurpoe from the 1930s - 1945 and the after math of the DP camps.
The Forgotten Camps
The Wannsee Conference
The Shoah Page
US Holocaust Museum
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Why is anyone surprised by the recent Hamas win?
Second, there is no ‘Western Face’ that Hamas can put on this election; Abbas is no darling of the media as a replacement of YA when he died of the butt flu a while back. Since Israel no longer has an arbiter of pseudo-legitimacy to respond to, any terror act from this point in time should be considered as an act of war. And if self preservation is an instinct that anyone in the Hamas leadership possesses, it better get to the table and negotiate with Israel. If not, the Sons of David will kill Hamas unlike anything the world has seen since the six days war.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Ideas Win Elections, Mr Hume! Not Money
Brit, Brit, Brit...it's not the money that wins elections, it's ideas. This piece seems to be lifted right out of the DNC manifesto on communications used when Democrats lose elections. Don't buy it!
Monday, January 23, 2006
God Bless America
There were protesters on the train platform handing out pamphlets on the evils of America. I politely declined to take one.
An elderly woman was behind me getting off the escalator and a young (twentyish) female protester offered her a pamphlet, which she politely declined. The young protester put her hand on the old woman's shoulder as a gesture of friendship and in a very soft voice said, "Lady, don't you care about the children of Iraq?"
The old woman looked up at her and said, "Honey, my father died in France during World War II, I lost my husband in Korea, and a son in Vietnam. All three died so you could have the right to stand here and bad mouth our country. If you touch me again, I'll stick this umbrella up your ass and open it!"
~God Bless America~
Guard The Border Blogburst - Jan 23
Some confrontations between the Mexican military troops and our own Border Patrol agents have become violent as Mexican soldiers have fired their weapons at the Border Patrol. It's a mystery why our government refuses to acknowledge these hostile invasions. They surely know about it, and the Mexican Embassy in Washington D.C. has gone so far as to publicly deny that the Mexican soldiers are hostile, but rather there to "patrol for illegal border jumpers". Contrary to that public statement, however, most of the Mexican military troops on the border are moonlighting as security escorts for drug smuggling gangs the coyotes who are running large groups of illegals across the border.
T.J. Bonner, a 27-year Border Patrol veteran who heads the National Border Patrol Council [said], "Intrusions by the Mexican military to protect drug loads happen all the time and represent a significant threat to the agents. "Why else would they be in the area, firing at federal agents in the United States? There is no other explanation," said Mr. Bonner, whose organization represents all 10,000 of the nonsupervisory Border Patrol agents.
He also challenged reports that Mexican military units had crossed mistakenly into the United States, saying, "Every country's military has a [global positioning system] nowadays, including the Mexicans. "If the border is so poorly marked, why don't the thousands of Border Patrol agents working 24/7 along it ever seem to get lost, and none of us have been issued a GPS," he said.
Attacks on Border Patrol agents in the past few years have been attributed to current or former Mexican military personnel. U.S. law-enforcement officials have long thought that current and former Mexican soldiers are being paid to protect drug shipments bound for the United States.
Several agents said the attacks have escalated in the past two years as U.S. security efforts on the border have increased -- including the July shooting of two agents in an ambush near Nogales, Ariz., by assailants in black commando-type clothing, who fired more than 50 rounds. Authorities said the gunmen used military-style cover-and-concealment tactics to escape back into Mexico. No one has been arrested.
Without any federal commitment to secure our borders, the Minutemen, a volunteer citizen's group, has performed an invaluable civic service in patrolling our borders to document and verify the location of illegal border crossers. They, too, have encountered Mexican soldiers on the WRONG side of the border. The video clip below comes directly from the Arizona Minutemen who told the Mexican soldiers, when confronted, they were there as "media" to document the border situation. It is incredibly important to note that there is no reason why American citizens should EVER be required to justify their lawful activities on American soil to a FOREIGN military presence. That is anathema to our rights as American citizens!
(SCOTTSDALE, AZ) January 20, 2006 – The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps ("MCDC") announced the release today of video footage of an incursion by a unit of the Mexican army across the U.S. border in Arizona.
Chris Simcox and a group of Civil Defense Corps volunteers encountered a squad of approximately eight armed Mexican soldiers about 500 yards inside American territory. The Mexican soldiers started running back through the brush to Mexico when they realized they had been spotted.
The video shows a uniformed Mexican soldier climbing through a barbed wire fence on American soil to return to the Mexican side of the border as he races to catch up with the other Mexican soldiers who had also climbed back through the fence as they retreated back into their country.
A group of armed Mexican soldiers then returned to the barbed wire fence (on American soil) and confronted Simcox and the volunteers. A discussion in Spanish ensued, with the agitated soldier 'in charge' saying the Americans had no business being there.
Simcox and the volunteers did not budge. The Mexican soldiers left and drove off. Judging from earlier activity observed at the ranch that morning, Simcox is of the belief that a trafficking operation had been disrupted by the volunteers.
The footage, filmed in 2004, was sent to then Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. His office did not respond. The video has remained in the Minuteman video archive and is being released in response to recent news reports that over 200 cross-border incursions by the Mexican army have been documented since 1996.
This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.
Blogs already on board:
A Lady's Ruminations
TMH's Bacon Bits
The Right Track
Ogre's Politics and Views
In The Bullpen
Stuck on Stupid
Third World County
Right on the Right
The Irate Nation
Bear Creek Ledger
Something and Half of Something
The Neo-Con Blogger
Ravings of a Mad Tech
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Lawmaker hits incursions by Mexico military
Chertoff said, "Sometimes they may be people who are dressed in what appear to be military uniforms but they are just criminals, they are not military but they are wearing camouflage so someone may assume they are military,"
"We have good relations with our counterparts across the border, we do have instances where we have Mexican police or military who deserted and become involved with criminal activity but we also have bad cops in the United States, too. It happens,"
OMG – What if the crossers are not ditch diggers and military deserters? What if these are real members of the corrupt Mexican military smuggling in people, weapons, drugs, terrorists who pay as much as 8K to cross into the US?
…’we also have bad cops in the United States, too. It happens.’
You absolute moron…what a slap in the face to anyone connected to law enforcement and the brave men and women who try to plug the leaks on our porous border. And the fact that you are acknowledging that this is happening makes it criminal!
So since it just happens, Mr Chertoff, let’s have everyone cross unabated…let them all in. Send the Border Patrol home, dismantle the gates, don’t check anymore cars, and let the ones we know who are here illegally stay here forever.
We are being invaded and all our Homeland Security Chief can say is that it happens?
Deploy the National Guard and all available active duty units from TX to CA - shoot to kill, we are being invaded. This is War!
Hey Kerry and Fonda!
Re-Post after several requests were sent to me...
I had a lot of fun with this bumper sticker. I made a template for the 2004 Campaign to honor the Veterans who served in Viet Nam. It does not matter that Kerry was the candidate or the target of the message on the bumper sticker. The intent was to criticize anyone who uses his military experience for political gain and hides the true record of being awarded medals. It really does not make any difference that Kerry did not release his DD-214, though. The Swifites were extremely effective in making the fact that Kerry’s Purple Hearts were not won with honor. (For those that do not know what a DD-214 is, you need not reply to this post, but I’m sure I’ll get hate mail anyway).
I plan to make these stickers public and for sale the next time the Traveling Wall comes to Florida (Feb '06). The great thing about how these are made is that the VN Ribbon background and the text will act as the functioning layout. (I also am posting one without the VN Ribbon so you can see how it would look plain). I plan to make Unit Stickers that can be directly applied to the VN background for the Infantry, Airborne, Marines and lots of other units that served in Viet Nam. All proceeds, after cost of printing, will be donated to Veterans groups. When I went to the Traveling Wall a few months ago, there was a cry from Vets for anything Anti-Kerry or Anti-Fonda. So I plan to have both stickers available so any Vet can choose his unit and apply it to either a Kerry or Fonda bumper sticker. I posted the Kerry sticker, but I have made several with Fonda substituted for Kerry. (All content is copywritten and is not available for publication without permission from me)
Thanks, Veterans. We owe you and all Veterans unending gratitude for your service, honor and love of Country!
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Bagdhad Talk Radio Live!
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
First Madame Hillary and the Cat House at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Let’s face it, Hillary ran the White House. Everyone knew it. Bill knew it. The press knew it. Monica knew it. And what a great manager of people and carnal activities she was. She knew everything that went on in the WH – well, nearly everything as we have found out – every person going and coming (oops).
Hillary took the time to use MLK Day as an opportunity to race bait Americans claiming such stupid crud like blacks were left behind during Katrina. What she said about the members of the church congregation knowing what it’s like to live on a plantation is the most disingenuous, cruel and degrading thing I have ever heard a politician say, let alone a former first lady. And how many of those in the congregation actually lived on an ante-bellum plantation, Madame Hillary? How about NONE! Not one person sitting in that church was a slave. And why hasn’t our party stomped on her guts for this? This is worse than a ‘Bushism’, worse than what Rush said about Philly’s QB, worse than Howard Cossell, Jimmy the Greek, Bill Bennett, and David Duke all rolled into one. Where is the outrage? What would MLK think if he heard that speech? I would hope that he would pray for her souless soul. Part of me thinks he would have slapped her face in private? The other part of me thinks he would not have lowered himself to such depravity.
But if Madame Hillary is right, where would you rather live? The Plantation where all there is to do is jump down, turn around, pick a bail of cotton? Or would you rather live where the sun rises and sets like the undergarments of teenage interns?
Hillary might be right, but at least a day on da plantation is an honest day’s work!
It's Quit'in Time, Big W!
Liberal Jackass Quote Of The Day!
In the internet sea of over information and look-a-like blogs, Poison Pero is bright light for the right side of the political blogsphere.
I have not visited this site as much as I should. But when I do, it makes me realize how unique this site is. Why? Most political blogs left and right simply regurge news items then pat themselves on the back. I strive to at least have most of what I post to be my own commentary or links to items that are not seen on the more popular conservative blogs. And I also try to link to other sites that do the same like Razor Sharp Claws, Conservative UAW Guy, Illuminated Obscurity, Say No to PCBS, Hoohaw Wife, Mike's America, Latino Conservative Blog. (Time and space preclude a complete listing of the links I have on my site, so please do not feel offended - all the sites I have listed are top notch!)
If Poison Pero keeps his content and theme on his current course, he certainly will never fall into the snooty and stale category. Major kudos from me for Poison Pero. It's original, funny as hell, and slap in the face to all political blogs - left and right!
Give it a visit. It's Great!
Monday, January 16, 2006
MLK Day and The Bush Administration
President George W. Bush receives the Black Expo Lifetime Achievement Award by Black Expo Chairman Arvis Dawson during the Indiana Black Expo Corporate Luncheon in Indianapolis, Indiana, Thursday, July 14, 2005. (White House photo by Eric Draper)
Other observations about this administration and its impact to minorities from Gateway Pundit are below:
I love the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.
That may be the reason why I get so upset when I see shameless angry comments as this holiday draws near meant for political gain (see Code Pink's MLK Peace Salute).
Isn't it strange that this holiday, that could be a great occasion to unite our great country, can separate us more than any other American Holiday? And, this is not because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but because with each year we hear more speeches "against" a group, person, or idea, than "for" all of us. But, here is Dr. Martin Luther King's dream:
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
This is not a dream owned by just blacks, or just liberals, or just the poor, or the abused. This is a dream for All of America. Everyone owns a piece of this dream!It is not right of one party to claim this dream! It is selfish!
This weekend we will hear some people want to lift themselves up, by putting others down. We will hear from people who want to put their beliefs over the beliefs of others.We will hear people who will want to shut others down, and shut others out of the conversation.
This is not what Dr. Martin Luther King wanted. Those ideas were not taken from his "I Have a Dream" speech.
As you hear words this weekend where you feel shut out of the discussion (Al Gore's impeachment talk on Monday) remember these truths. They won't be repeated often enough.
* The Bush Administration has increased spending on elementary and secondary education by 41 percent.
* Minority students are also making progress at a faster rate, so the achievement gap is narrowing. According to NAEP, African-American and Hispanic fourth graders set records in both reading and math scores. Eighth grade Hispanic and African-American students achieved the highest math scores ever. (January 2006)
* Reading and math scores for African-American nine-year-olds reached their highest levels in the history of the test, with reading scores up 14 points and math scores up 13 points in the past five years.
* African-American Business Ownership Is At An All Time High.
* Bush cut taxes on small businesses, and last year increased Small Business Administration loans to African-American businesses by more than 28 percent.
* The Administration is working to give minority-owned businesses better access to compete for Federal contracts, and has provided $8 billion in New Market Tax credits to boost investment and community development in low-income areas.
* Nearly Half Of All African-Americans Now Own Their Own Home. The minority home ownership rate rose a record 51.6 percent during the first quarter of 2005, as 15.7 ethnic minorities claimed ownership of the roof over their heads, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
* Violent crime is at a 30 year low. Violent crime rates in Canada, the EU and have begun to equal or surpass the rates in the US (see France).
* The Bush Administration has awarded $2 billion in competitive grants to faith-based institutions that are working to transform minority neighborhoods with faith and compassion.
* The Bush Administration partnered with the National Urban League in a new initiative to expand business ownership and entrepreneurship among minorities July, 2004.
* 50 million Iraqis and Afghanis now live in freedom because of the War on Terror - and millions across the broader Middle East are claiming their liberty as well.
* Because of the US and Allies action, there are significantly less people dying daily in Iraq today than when Saddam was in power.
* Minority unemployment rates are lower now (Black 9.3, Latino 6.0) than they were in 1997 (Black 9.9, Latino 7.5)
* Hurricane Katrina was not a racist disaster, not hardly.
* George Bush has put more blacks in prominent positions than any other president in US history.
* The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief. PEPFAR, the largest international health initiative dedicated to a single disease in history, is providing historic levels of support to the fight against the AIDS pandemic.
* The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Has Supported Life-Saving Treatments For Approximately 400,000 Sub-Saharan Africans Living With HIV/AIDS.
* And, of course there are the other black history moments that the democrats won't share with you this weekend including the Twenty-Five Historically Significant Black Experiences.
Thanks Gateway Pundit!
Friday, January 13, 2006
The New TSA Security ‘Puffer’ Blows!
I went through Dulles TSA Security last night. I was ‘puffed’ by the newest gadget for airport security screening.
Seems like the folks at TSA have partnered with Disney Imagineers to devise a way to make national security both safe and entertaining. This is the machine that blows air from head to toe in a verticle open chamber-like contraption designed to track explosive residue.
You can leave your shoes on…that is a bonus. But no one in my line was told that. So I had to put my shoes back on to get re-puffed. Then the air jets hit you. Pretty cool. With the all clear given, I then had to walk through the regular metal detector. And of course my shoes tripped the alarm. Then I had to go back to the puffer without my shoes, get puffed, put my shoes on the x-ray conveyor belt, and walk through the metal detector again.
Why can't the puffer do both? Puff and detect? TSA has just added another step forward in making us all safer.
Conclusion – The Puffer Blows!
Thursday, January 12, 2006
A Kiss Is Just A Kiss
Shahimi Abdul Hamid, 33, will perform the dangerous feat on March 11 in a bid to break the current record held by an American man who kissed a poisonous snake 30 times in an unspecified time, the national news agency Bernama said Thursday.
Shahini has urged Malaysians to support him in his endeavor, saying he "wants to prove that Asians can also be champions in taming poisonous snakes." (Should be an Olympic Event)
He could not be reached for comments.
I wonder if he does children’s parties?
Yemeni prisoner at Gitmo to 'boycott' tribunal
Ali Hamza Ahmed Sulayman al Bahlul, who has acknowledged that he is "from al Qaeda," is one of nine Guantanamo prisoners charged with crimes. Most of the 500 or so detainees have been held without charges for years in the U.S.-led war on terrorism. The hearing began on the fourth anniversary of the camp's opening. "There's going to be a tribunal of God on the day of judgment," al Bahlul told the court in Arabic. "Do what you have to do and rule however you have to rule. ... God will rule based on justice." (And the sooner we can get you to him, you can find out if you’re right)
Al Bahlul ended his participation in the proceedings with one word in English: "boycott." Presiding officer Army Col. Peter Brownback set the suspect's trial tentatively for May 15. (The prosecutor then added the Arabic word for ‘dead meat’ and handed the paper back to Al Bahlul) Earlier in the hearing, he read a list of nine reasons why he refused to be represented by a military lawyer or to participate further, including the treatment of Palestinians by U.S. ally Israel -- "your allies, the Jews," he said -- and because his native country had been accused in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. (SOB…why waste time with a hearing)
"We are prisoners of war and legal combatants based on our religion and our religious law," he said. "We do not care about anything that you call us." (Fine, you’re totally screwed and you’re going to die) Maj. Fleener has called the tribunals a sham and said he thinks it is an ethical violation for him to represent a prisoner who has rejected his services. Col. Brownback ordered him to defend al Bahlul anyway. (An active duty JAG Officer called the proceedings a ‘sham’ – who is this puke’s CO and how can he get away with criticizing the proceedings)
The United States has faced criticism at home and abroad for its treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo since the first group arrived from Afghanistan, shackled and wearing black-out goggles and surgical masks, on Jan. 11, 2002. (Reuters wants Gitmo to look ever so much like jails in Yemen, but can’t stomach the idea that even in the US, scum like Al Bahlul can get due process) Human rights groups have criticized rules allowing the use of evidence that may have been obtained through torture. (Thanks for your opinion Reuters – now go to hell!)
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
I do not take exception to the right of the committee to question any nominee about RvW, civil rights, privacy rights (which is not in the Constitution), pending cases, etc. It’s perfectly reasonable to expect such questions. But as a BFOQ (that’s a bona fide occupational qualification for all you Democrats), why is membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton such a concern? It’s enough to be asked, but certainly not anything to dismiss him for – even if he used it to pad a resume (and for those lefties that have jobs who read this, fess up and claim you’ve never padded a resume – I have, so what!) Certainly anyone like Teddy can’t say anything about youthful indiscretions!
Propriety! A word Kennedy, Chuckie Boy, and the DE Plug-Head-Plagiarist never met!
What I saw today made me sick. Even I would not have done that to a Democrat nominee - and I hate everyone of them!
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Hypocrisy On The Tarmac
...The Clinton Administration actually gave away the very technology that allowed the terrorists to encrypt their communications and thereby go undetected fro the 9/11 attacks.
...Consider former Defense Secretary William Cohen's 1997 observation that Iraq already may have "produced as much as 200 tons of VX [nerve gas], theoretically enough to kill every man, woman, and child on the face of the earth." Notwithstanding this alarming possibility,
...Clinton assented to a U.N.brokered deal that greatly restricted U.N. inspectors' access to Iraq's "sensitive presidential locations" suspected of housing nuclear and biological weapons production plants.
...By 1998 Scott Ritter, the longest serving American weapons inspector in Iraq, angrily resigned in protest to what he called Clinton's surrender to Iraqi leadership." Ritter candidly explained that the Clinton Administration had "made a farce" of U.N. inspection efforts by reining in investigators who were literally "on the doorstep" of uncovering Iraq's hidden weapons programs.
...Clinton withheld from the public any mention of the 1997 U.S. intelligence satellite photographs showing some 15,000 North Korean workers building an immense underground nuclear facility in an area called Kumchangni.
...How many Americans realize that on January 25, 1995, our country actually came within a hairsbreadth of sustaining a Russian launched nuclear attack when Russian military forces temporarily mistook a Norwegian scientific rocket for an American ballistic missile headed for Russia?
...When CIA Director George Tenet testified in 1998 that Russia was illegally giving enormous assistance to Iran's missile program, Clinton never batted an eye. Preferring to pretend that all was right with the world, he actually vetoed Congress' 1998 legislation mandating retaliatory sanctions against Russia.
...Clinton continued to oppose the develmissile defensessiledefense system even when our country's National Security Agency learned in 1999 that Chinese scientists were aiding North Korea's satellite program for the guidance of longrange missiles.
...Clinton loosened our country's longstanding export controls on supercomputer-high technology products that have dramatically improved the potential accuracy of Chinese intercontinental missiles.
...In 1996 it was discovered that Chinese spies had stolen nuclear design secrets from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the most damaging security breach in American history giving China the ability to produce and deliver nuclear warheads via submarines, mobile long range and longrange missiles.
...Between 1993 and 2000, the U.S. Army's ranks were reduced from 18 divisions to 9, the Navy's fleet from 600 ships to 300, and the Air Force's capabilities similarly diminished by half.
Oh Yeah, if I was active duty, I'd love to shake his hand and get a hug from someone with such a glowing record and dedication to the national security of this nation.
The Latino Rosenbergs (comments embedded)
Carlos Alvarez, 61, a psychology professor (code word for loser) at Florida International University, and Elsa Alvarez, 55, used an encryption system to communicate with their handlers via short-wave radio and carried messages to and from Cuba, said federal prosecutor Brian Frazier. (why is this not espoinage since they used devices for gathering and transmitting information to a country on our enemy's list?)
"These were highly placed and very well-regarded operatives in the United States," Frazier said. The couple were charged with acting as agents of Fidel Castro without registering with the U.S. government. (straight to hanging!)
Frazier said Alvarez had spied for Cuba since 1977 and his wife since 1982. Neither was charged with the more serious offense of espionage, and FBI agents said there was no evidence they provided classified or military information to Cuba. (isn't the transmission of private infromation to a foregin hostile gvt espionage?)
Much of what they provided involved information about the U.S. political situation, prominent Cuban-Americans in South Florida and the names of at least one FBI agent, Frazier said.
The couple were ordered held without bail Monday after prosecutors warned that they might leave their five children and flee to Cuba if released.
Neither defendant entered a plea, and another hearing was set for Jan. 19. They were arrested Friday, months after giving statements to the FBI last summer about their contacts with Cuba, prosecutors said. (why isn't this national news? a perfect example of the rights of our gvt to spy on anyone)
Alvarez is identified on the Florida International Web site as an associate professor in the educational leadership and policy studies department. Elsa Alvarez is described as a coordinator in the social work training program, specializing in psychological treatment, crisis intervention and group psychotherapy. (you can acutally major in this bilge?)
The indictment marks the latest turn in the cloak-and-dagger underworld of espionage between the United States and Cuba, much of it taking place in South Florida where thousands of Cuban exiles live.
In August, the convictions and sentences of five alleged Cuban spies were thrown out by a federal appeals court, which said the five were unfairly tried because of intense publicity, community prejudice and inflammatory remarks by prosecutors. (and why isn't that judge in jail - probably since he was appointed by Clinton) The defendants insisted they were spying on Cuban exiles opposed to Castro, not on the United States itself. (this is treason - public execution is not good enough for these communists - of course I want them to have a fair trial, found guilty, then hanged)
Hey Jeb, revoke FIU's charter and call for a federal investigation of all non-citizen proffs in all FL Schools!
Monday, January 09, 2006
The soldier shrugged and replied, "Recoil."
Friday, January 06, 2006
Sniper shot that took out an insurgent killer from three quarters of a mile
"I believe it is the longest confirmed kill in Iraq with a 7.62mm rifle," said Staff Sgt Gilliland, 28, who hunted squirrels in Double Springs, Alabama from the age of five before progressing to deer - and then people.
So says the article on The Telegraph. Click on this link to read the whole article. It is as chilling as it inspiring.
US Army 2005 In Pictures Slideshow
Thursday, January 05, 2006
A Christmas Wish Come True!
On my Christmas Wish List (see post further down), one of my wish fors was to ‘Never put a microphone in front of any athlete or coach within 48 hours of any sports event.’
The Rose Bowl game was not even thirty seconds old when an ABC reporter put a microphone in front of USC QB Matt Linert’s face and asked him what he just thought about losing. In Linert’s typical athlete-playground-brogue he said that 'USC still had a better team than UT.' Are you kidding? You just got your butt kicked up and down the field, got out-coached, out-trick-played, out-heismaned, showed no heart, and you think you’re still a better team? What stinks about Linert’s ‘I’m gonna take my ball and go home’ crybaby statement is that it was forced - ABC shoved a microphone in his face and wanted immediate reaction on national television. Simply horrible.
The commentary by ABC after the game was just as bad. The three person ESPN crew (Man, I hate Corso – FSU git…ok, he did coach at Navy, but he’s still a git) lamented that there might have been ‘too much hype’ about this game and USC in particular. What? The sports media created the hype, invested, marketed and sold the hype, talked incessantly about the '3-peat', Reggie Bush, 'Carroll The Great' and 'Linert The Brave' for over six weeks. After it’s over and the media favorite lost, the fellas on the panel said there might have been too much hype? God, the sports culture in this country is sick!
What a great game! And what a validation that no team West of the Mississippi (except Texas) should be in the College Top 25 in anything. USC is pansy program in a pansy conference with a pansy non-conference schedule. If Linert’s right, let him live and play in the SEC or Big 10 week in and week out and try and prove that his team is still better than those that did not lose bowl games. He certianly can’t live in the Big 12 – we know what the better team is.
Ya'll Hooked 'Em Horns! Sa'lute!
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Senate Judiciary To Confirm Alito
The Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings next week. And in front of this nomination, groups on either side of this nomination will run ads in favor or against Alito. And what affect will these ads have? Nothing. These ads are folly at best since it is Congressman who decide if any USSC nominee gets confirmed. And since Senators are already aligned with groups on either side, what is the point of having the ABA say Alito is great while People For The American Way say Alito is a total git?
Help me understand why ads for political appointments need to be aired. I just don’t get it. Its bad politics and a waste of time, talent and money.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
The Legacy of Tet
It was with Tet ‘68 that the American media first knew sin. Anyone seeking to understand the character of consistently negative media coverage of the Global War on Terror must understand Tet.
The Tet offensive of February 1968 is widely regarded as one of the turning points of the Vietnam War – though not for the customary military reasons. Tet had its origins in the plans of North Vietnamese commander Vo Nguyen Giap, a competent general given to flights of overconfidence. Giap decided to throw all available assets, both PAVN (People’s Army of North Vietnam) and Viet Cong, against every major target across South Vietnam. He anticipated a massive revolt by the South Vietnamese populace, who would overthrow the government, set out the welcome mat for their Communist liberators, and leave U.S. and allied forces sitting high and dry. The attack was scheduled to begin on the night of January 30, the beginning of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. Tet was normally considered a truce period, when the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) was at its lowest level of alertness.
The result of all Giap’s efforts was a total rout. The South Vietnamese, utterly horrified by the prospect of a Communist takeover, sat tight while U.S. and government troops crushed the attack in a matter of days. The sole holdout was the old imperial citadel at Hue, which required three weeks to be retaken. The government stood firm, the ARVN, once recovered from its initial surprise, did a creditable job.
The Viet Cong, on the other hand, were ruined as a military force, their rural infrastructure left in tatters. They never fully recovered, forcing the PAVN to take over the bulk of combat duties. Giap, his reputation saving him from the usual fate of failed generals in communist societies, went back to the drawing board. (Though not very fruitfully—his next scheme was a “mini-Tet” in April, which ended much the same way.)
But that’s not how the U.S. public saw it.
American readers and viewers were presented with a disaster nearly beyond comprehension, with U.S. forces hanging on by their fingernails, ARVN troops tossing guns aside and running for safety, government officials given over to complete panic, Viet Cong and PAVN forces running wild with no losses to speak of, while General Giap, the 20th century Napoleon, nodded in approval at seeing his plan unfold. Tet ended up being a major success for communist forces after all.
It was the first time in history that the news media overturned a victory won by forces on the ground.
One observer struck by the dichotomy between what occurred and how it was reported was a journalist named Peter Braestrup, chief of the Washington Post’s Saigon bureau. Braestrup had also worked for Time Magazine and The New York Times. In later years he became a fellow of the Smithsonian’s Woodrow Wilson International Center and editor of The Wilson Quarterly. Not the CV of any sort of conservative, and in fact Braestrup was an establishment liberal of the type that scarcely exists any longer.
But he was also the kind of reporter who treats a story as personal property. After ten years work, Braestrup produced his book Big Story: How the American Press and Television Reported and interpreted the Crisis of Tet 1968 in Vietnam and Washington, an analysis of every major news reportconcerning the Tet Offensive, along with the military, political, and social results that ensued.
Big Story is sui generis, a book as remarkable as the event it describes. The book punctured not only the myth of Tet, but the myth of the news coverage surrounding it, revealing exactly how the national media acted as a catalyst for the loss of a war.
Braestrup portrayed a press corps living a privileged, near-aristocratic existence in Saigon, feeding off of gossip and rumor, cynical about the country, the government, and prospects for victory. Most were ignorant of military affairs. None could speak Vietnamese or had any deep knowledge of the country.
When the attack came, the press corps responded with shock. The first stories were written in a state of panic, expressing reporter’s own confusion rather than anything occurring in the quotidian world. As the picture began to coalesce – a picture that completely contradicted early dispatches – most of the journalists, out of stubbornness, fear of looking foolish, any mixture of human frailties, stuck with their original reports, aided and abetted by editors back home who knew a great story when they saw one.
Many of the names involved are still well-known today. The New York Times’ Charles Mohr, once a supporter of the war effort, was among the first to cast doubt on claims of Allied success. The Washington Post’s China expert Stanley Karnow wrote a front-page appreciation of Giap as a “military genius,” followed a few weeks later with another piece claiming that the offensive had “scored impressive gains.” His Post colleague Ward Just played the “unidentified official” angle to draw pessimistic conclusions. Hanson Baldwin, the Times’ resident military expert, consistently overrated North Vietnamese capabilities while downgrading allied forces. Even Robert Novak (at that time partnered with Rowland Evans) added his bit of alarmism from10,000 miles away.
Braestrup was the first to identify Peter Arnett as a serial prevaricator. Arnett was the source of the story that became emblematic of the entire offensive: that the Viet Cong had shot their way into the U.S. Saigon embassy and held it overnight. In truth, the VC sappers who penetrated embassy grounds were quickly dispatched before entering any buildings, a fact that went unmentioned by Arnett and many later histories of the war. Shortly afterward Arnett reported a quote from an American major concerning operations in the town of Ben Tre:
“We had to destroy the town in order to save it.”
Nobody, not Arnett, not the reporters who accompanied him, not his employers at the AP, were ever able to produce this “major,” which didn’t prevent the line from becoming the leading catchphrase of the antiwar movement. (Braestrup’s research uncovered the fact that the phrase was already in the air – almost identical words were used by the Times’ James Reston in an editorial appearing the same day as Arnett’s report.)
Alternately, all reports calling the disaster narrative into question were downplayed. A mid-February analysis by counterinsurgency expert Douglas Pike concluding that Communist forces had overextended themselves and been badly whipped was either ignored or dumped onto the back pages.
Media coverage of Tet destroyed public confidence in the war effort.
The antiwar movement, until then little more than a freak show, exploded in size and influence. Various rebel Democrats began scheming. The Johnson Administration, already off balance, was effectively shattered. Within weeks Walter Cronkite, speaking ex cathedra from his CBS anchor’s chair, pronounced judgment on both the war and the administration, prompting Lyndon Johnson, with the spinelessness of a lifelong bully, to withdraw from the 1968 presidential campaign.
Of course, after the offensive was put down and calmer days returned, the papers and networks examined the reports, uncovered the facts, disciplined those responsible, issued corrections, and instituted procedures to assure that such a situation would never recur.
Actually, no. There are errors so vastly wide-ranging that they can’t ever be admitted to, and Tet was one of these. No such actions were ever taken. Quite the contrary – the type of distortion so evident during Tet became standard procedure for Vietnam reportage. Within a few months, the battle of Khe Sanh, a hard-fought, undeniable U.S. victory which accounted for something on the order of 40,000 North Vietnamese casualties, was reported as a defeat of American arms.
As the years passed, Giap-worshipper Stanley Karnow achieved fame as author of the war’s standard history. Ward Just became noted for topical, well-written, and extraordinarily dull political novels. Arnett pursued a long and varied career until events caught up with him in the form of the Tailwind scandal, appropriately involving lies concerning a U.S. operation in Vietnam.
Braestrup was reluctant to draw any conclusion as to reasons behind the media distortion. He did not buy an ideological explanation, and found claims that media coverage led to allied defeat to be “highly speculative”. As is true of most historical events, a single explanation is unlikely to be adequate. A list could start with cynicism, an embrace of the anti-authoritarian ethos of the period, journalism enduring a period of decadence as every human endeavor eventually does), and continue from there. It scarcely matters at this point.
What does matter is that the Tet style became accepted practice. Journalism was becoming “professionalized” at the time, with the press thinking itself an elite, and the attitudes and procedures surrounding Vietnam reportage were institutionalized. Virtually every military confrontation since 1968 has been covered from the same adversarial stance that marked theTet reports. (And not only wars – Katrina coverage was just as distorted, hysterical, and harmful as any recent war reportage.)
Big Story is not considered suitable for Vietnam scholarship, and is very rarely referenced or even mentioned. College students studying the era are rarely if ever exposed to its contesting of the conventional wisdom. But it remains one of those rare volumes that actually does a service, by identifying a malady, giving its origins, and listing it symptoms. It is a book of value, and will eventually find its place.
Not the least of its virtues is how much light it sheds on events in Iraq. To read Braestrup is to understand fully why current war reportage is so relentlessly downbeat. Why stories in the legacy media are at such variance with sources such as warblogs or Iraqi websites. Why reporters appear to take on the role of advocate for the enemy. Why Cindy Sheehan and Jimmy Massey – both almost pure media constructs – get the coverage they do. Why bogus issues involving Guantanamo Bay, prisoner interrogation, and “torture” receive such attention. Why Coalition successes go virtually unmentioned. Why the unfolding of a political miracle, an Arab democracy, has been greeted with near-indifference.
And why the media will never again play a useful role until the legacy of Tet is eradicated.
Among many other things, J.R. Dunn was the editor of the International Military Encyclopedia for twelve years.
Start The New Year Right (Not Left)
Michael Barone looks to the future by looking at the last twenty-five years.
In God We Trust should move you to emotion. For those uninspired by the content of this link, you need not visit here again. (The quote Lincoln made is unbelievably stirring).
Happy New Year