Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Ronald Reagan's Last Words
Monday, February 26, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Cal Thomas - A Soldier's Letter From Mosul
By Cal Thomas
With the House debating this week how much "non-binding" grief to lay on President Bush about Iraq , I e-mailed a soldier friend of mine for his impressions of the increasingly amplified protests.
Army Sgt. Daniel Dobson, 22, of Grand Rapids , Mich. , is on his second tour in Iraq . I asked him what he thinks of the growing opposition to the war. Writing from Mosul , he says he appreciates the freedom Americans have to protest, but adds: "The American military has shown a stone-cold professional veneer throughout the seething debate raging over Iraq . Beneath that veneer, however, is a fuming, visceral hatred. We feel as though we have been betrayed by Congress."
Sgt. Dobson believes the military is being hamstrung against an enemy with no reservations or restrictions:
"It is our overwhelming opinion that we have not been allowed to conduct the war to the fullest of our capability; neither do we feel that we should pull out because of a lack of 'results.' War is not a chemistry set with predetermined outcomes or complications. With a great army matched with an equally cunning enemy, we find ourselves in a difficult, but winnable fight. We do not seek results; rather, we seek total and unequivocal victory."
It's been a while since anyone spoke of "victory." Critics ask war supporters to define the word. Sgt. Dobson makes an effort: "That victory is close at hand. With nearly 80 percent of all terrorist and insurgent activity within 50 miles of Baghdad , the sheer thought of not taking out this stronghold is madness. If we can eliminate 80 percent of terrorist activity, the war is nearly won. To throw away a battle of this magnificent importance would be to waste the suffering and the sacrifice of American service members."
What of the effect on the troops from anti-war remarks on the streets and in Congress? Some assert it doesn't hurt troop morale. Sgt. Dobson disagrees:
"The question has been posed to me recently what congressional resolution hurts troop morale the most. No doubt we would be happy to come home tomorrow. But the thought is bittersweet. Most service members would tell you the same thing: there is no honor in retreat . and there is no honor in what the Democrats have proposed. It stings me to the core to think that Americans would rather sell their honor than fight for a cause. Those of us who fight for (peace) know all too well that peace has a very bloody price tag."
To make his point, he tells a story: "An army once marched on the great city of Rome . The emperor, fearing for the future of the Roman Empire , sent the Empire's greatest warrior to the camp of the general to negotiate the cessation of hostilities. After several hours with the general, he asked the warrior just how much he loved Rome . Without thinking, the warrior rose and walked to a fire and stuck his right hand in the flames until it was completely burned away. 'This,' the warrior said 'is how much all Romans love Rome .' The general, struck with fear, said that if all Romans should have the same spirit as this warrior, he could not afford war with Rome , and so retreated back to his homeland.
"I fear that when questioned of their love for country, many Americans would shy from the flames. It breaks our hearts to see our nation, which was more of a Union on Sept. 12, (2001) fall to such petty bickering. No longer are we (one) out of many, but have fallen from one into many. We on the front lines long to see the white-fisted, purple-faced, raging hatred for our enemies that we saw on the morning of the 12th. We long to see America seeking victory as much as we do."
Sgt. Dobson has another wish beyond the desire to come home and a successful ending to the conflict:
"We need to drop the politics and get back to what really matters: Our nation and its future. The question, therefore, lies in what will leave scars on our national spirit; a war in Iraq , or a war between Americans..."
To the recurring question about patriotism and policy, Sgt. Dobson replies: "I would never presume to call anyone's love for country into question. I ask the same of you. Truly our nation's honor is at stake, and we have been given the opportunity to put our hand to the flame. Should we now, in our moment of testing, shy from it? When asked how much we love our country, should we call retreat? No, we stand at a moment of great truth, let us now show our enemies just how much we love America and our way of life. Let us show them our love of country is as great as it ever was."
CalThomas@tribune.com (C) 2007 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
Pro, or anti-war, you've got to admire Sgt. Dobson and the other virtuous and committed young men and women our military attracts.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Stratfor Intelligence Report - Russia's Great Power Strategy
Most speeches at diplomatic gatherings aren't worth the time it takes to listen to them. On rare occasion, a speech is delivered that needs to be listened to carefully. Russian President Vladimir Putin gave such a speech over the weekend in Munich , at a meeting on international security. The speech did not break new ground; it repeated things that the Russians have been saying for quite a while. But the venue in which it was given and the confidence with which it was asserted signify a new point in Russian history. The Cold War has not returned, but Russia is now officially asserting itself as a great power, and behaving accordingly.
At Munich , Putin launched a systematic attack on the role the United States is playing in the world. He said: "One state, the United States , has overstepped its national borders in every way ... This is nourishing an arms race with the desire of countries to get nuclear weapons." In other words, the United States has gone beyond its legitimate reach and is therefore responsible for attempts by other countries -- an obvious reference to Iran -- to acquire nuclear weapons.
Russia for some time has been in confrontation with the United States over U.S. actions in the former Soviet Union (FSU). What the Russians perceive as an American attempt to create a pro-U.S. regime in Ukraine triggered the confrontation. But now, the issue goes beyond U.S. actions in the FSU. The Russians are arguing that the unipolar world -- meaning that the United States is the only global power and is surrounded by lesser, regional powers -- is itself unacceptable. In other words, the United States sees itself as the solution when it is, actually, the problem.
In his speech, Putin reached out to European states -- particularly Germany , pointing out that it has close, but blunt, relations with Russia . The Central Europeans showed themselves to be extremely wary about Putin's speech, recognizing it for what it was -- a new level of assertiveness from an historical enemy. Some German leaders appeared more understanding, however: Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier made no mention of Putin's speech in his own presentation to the conference, while Ruprecht Polenz, chairman of the Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee, praised Putin's stance on Iran . He also noted that the U.S. plans to deploy an anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic was cause for concern -- and not only to Russia .
Putin now clearly wants to escalate the confrontations with the United States and likely wants to build a coalition to limit American power. The gross imbalance of global power in the current system makes such coalition-building inevitable -- and it makes sense that the Russians should be taking the lead. The Europeans are risk-averse, and the Chinese do not have much at risk in their dealings with the United States at the moment. The Russians, however, have everything at risk. The United States is intruding in the FSU, and an ideological success for the Americans in Ukraine would leave the Russians permanently on the defensive.
The Russians need allies but are not likely to find them among other great-power states. Fortunately for Moscow , the U.S. obsession with Iraq creates alternative opportunities. First, the focus on Iraq prevents the Americans from countering Russia elsewhere. Second, it gives the Russians serious leverage against the United States -- for example, by shipping weapons to key players in the region. Finally, there are Middle Eastern states that seek great-power patronage. It is therefore no accident that Putin's next stop, following the Munich conference, was in Saudi Arabia . Having stabilized the situation in the former Soviet region, the Russians now are constructing their follow-on strategy, and that concerns the Middle East .
The Russian Interests - The Middle East is the pressure point to which the United States is most sensitive. Its military commitment in Iraq , the confrontation with Iran , the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and oil in the Arabian Peninsula create a situation such that pain in the region affects the United States intensely. Therefore, it makes sense for the Russians to use all available means of pressure in the Middle East in efforts to control U.S. behavior elsewhere, particularly in the former Soviet Union .
Like the Americans, the Russians also have direct interests in the Middle East . Energy is a primary one: Russia is not only a major exporter of energy supplies, it is currently the world's top oil producer. The Russians have a need to maintain robust energy prices, and working with the Iranians and Saudis in some way to achieve this is directly in line with Moscow 's interest. To be more specific, the Russians do not want the Saudis increasing oil production.
There are strategic interests in the Middle East as well. For example, the Russians are still bogged down in Chechnya . It is Moscow 's belief that if Chechnya were to secede from the Russian Federation , a precedent would be set that could lead to the dissolution of the Federation. Moscow will not allow this. The Russians consistently have claimed that the Chechen rebellion has been funded by "Wahhabis," by which they mean Saudis. Reaching an accommodation with the Saudis, therefore, would have not only economic, but also strategic, implications for the Russians.
On a broader level, the Russians retain important interests in the Caucasus and in Central Asia . In both cases, their needs intersect with forces originating in the Muslim world and trace, to some extent, back to the Middle East . If the Russian strategy is to reassert a sphere of influence in the former Soviet region, it follows that these regions must be secured. That, in turn, inevitably involves the Russians in the Middle East .
Therefore, even if Russia is not in a position to pursue some of the strategic goals that date back to the Soviet era and before -- such as control of the Bosporus and projection of naval power into the Mediterranean -- it nevertheless has a basic, ongoing interest in the region. Russia has a need both to limit American power and to achieve direct goals of its own. So it makes perfect sense for Putin to leave Munich and embark on a tour of Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries.
The Complexities - But the Russians also have a problem. The strategic interests of Middle Eastern states diverge, to say the least. The two main Islamic powers between the Levant and the Hindu Kush are Saudi Arabia and Iran . The Russians have things they want from each, but the Saudis and Iranians have dramatically different interests. Saudi Arabia -- an Arab and primarily Sunni kingdom -- is rich but militarily weak. The government's reliance on outside help for national defense generates intense opposition within the kingdom. Desert Storm, which established a basing arrangement for Western troops within Saudi Arabia , was one of the driving forces behind the creation of al Qaeda. Iran -- a predominantly Persian and Shiite power -- is not nearly as rich as Saudi Arabia but militarily much more powerful. Iran seeks to become the dominant power in the Persian Gulf -- out of both its need to defend itself against aggression, and for controlling and exploiting the oil wealth of the region.
Putting the split between Sunni and Shiite aside for the moment, there is tremendous geopolitical asymmetry between Saudi Arabia and Iran . Saudi Arabia wants to limit Iranian power, while keeping its own dependence on foreign powers at a minimum. That means that, though keeping energy prices high might make financial sense for the kingdom, the fact that high energy prices also strengthen the Iranians actually can be a more important consideration, depending on circumstances. There is some evidence that recent declines in oil prices are linked to decisions in Riyadh that are aimed at increasing production, reducing prices and hurting the Iranians.
This creates a problem for Russia . While Moscow has substantial room for maneuver, the fact is that lowered oil prices impact energy prices overall, and therefore hurt the Russians. The Saudis, moreover, need the Iranians blocked -- but without going so far as to permit foreign troops to be based in Saudi Arabia itself. In other words, they want to see the United States remain in Iraq , since the Americans serve as the perfect shield against the Iranians so long as they remain there. Putin's criticisms of the United States , as delivered in Munich , would have been applauded by Saudi Arabia prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq . But in 2007, the results of that invasion are exactly what the Saudis feared -- a collapsed Iraq and a relatively powerful Iran . The Saudis now need the Americans to stay put in the region.
The interests of Russia and Iran align more closely, but there are points of divergence there as well. Both benefit from having the United States tied up, militarily and politically, in wars, but Tehran would be delighted to see a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq that leaves a power vacuum for Iran to fill. The Russians would rather not see this outcome. First, they are quite happy to have the United States bogged down in Iraq and would prefer that to having the U.S. military freed for operations elsewhere. Second, they are interested in a relationship with Iran but are not eager to drive the United States and Saudi Arabia into closer relations. Third, the Russians do not want to see Iran become the dominant power in the region. They want to use Iran , but within certain manageable limits.
Russia has been supplying Iran with weapons. Of particular significance is the supply of surface-to-air missiles that would raise the cost of U.S. air operations against Iran . It is not clear whether the advanced S300PMU surface-to-air missile has yet been delivered, although there has been some discussion of this lately. If it were delivered, this would present significant challenges for U.S. air operation over Iran . The Russians would find this particularly advantageous, as the Iranians would absorb U.S. attentions and, as in Vietnam , the Russians would benefit from extended, fruitless commitments of U.S. military forces in regions not vital to Russia .
Meanwhile, there are energy matters: The Russians, as we have said, are interested in working with Iran to manage world oil prices. But at the same time, they would not be averse to a U.S. attack that takes Iran 's oil off the market, spikes prices and enriches Russia .
Finally, it must be remembered that behind this complex relationship with Iran , there historically has been animosity and rivalry between the two countries. The Caucasus has been their battleground. For the moment, with the collapse of the Soviet Union , there is a buffer there, but it is a buffer in which Russians and Iranians are already dueling. So long as both states are relatively weak, the buffer will maintain itself. But as they get stronger, the Caucasus will become a battleground again. When Russian and Iranian territories border each other, the two powers are rarely at peace. Indeed, Iran frequently needs outside help to contain the Russians.
A Complicated Strategy - In sum, the Russian position in the Middle East is at least as complex as the American one. Or perhaps even more so, since the Americans can leave and the Russians always will live on the doorstep of the Middle East . Historically, once the Russians start fishing in Middle Eastern waters, they find themselves in a greater trap than the Americans. The opening moves are easy. The duel between Saudi Arabia and Iran seems manageable. But as time goes on, Putin's Soviet predecessors learned, the Middle East is a graveyard of ambitions -- and not just American ambitions.Russia wants to contain U.S. power, and manipulating the situation in the Middle East certainly will cause the Americans substantial pain. But whatever short-term advantages the Russians may be able to find and exploit in the region, there is an order of complexity in Putin's maneuver that might transcend any advantage they gain from boxing the Americans in. In returning to "great power" status, Russia is using an obvious opening gambit. But being obvious does not make it optimal.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I did not know that ignoring my wife was genetic. Now that this is known, it can be named and I can get some help from the government for treatment; especially if a Democrat wins in '08 and there is universal healthcare.
According to this article, this affliction is subconscious. So what is the name of this affliction? 'Reactance' is the clinical name. But that is not good enough. And I guess there should be a spectrum of reactance based on how much of a shrew you are married to.
Levels of Reactance on my scale would include identifiable behaviors as follows:
Naggus Interruptus: Pertaining to the cognitions of a wife that disturbs you while watching any sporting event, especially if your team is about to score with less than five seconds left in the game.
Bitchus Comorbidity: The coexistence of two or more personalities in a wife that manifest themselves in the same bitching tirade.
Parasitic Psychobabalry - NOS (Not Otherwise Specified): Having to do with a parasite, as in a parasitic infection; or acting like a parasite by taking nourishment from another parasitic source like Oprah, Dr. Phil, or Cosmopolitan wherein the affected person drones on and on about what an idiot you are, why you don't love her, and why your mother should die in the most expedient manner available with no traces or connection to your wife as the perp.
On a spectrum, with 1 being the lowest form of reactance to 10 being the highest end of the spectrum, then the scale could look something like this:
Happy Valentine's Day - Give Me The Remote - Your Flowers And Russel Stover's Gift Pack Are At The Front Door!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I am a massive supporter of Israel. But what is it with the Jewish left in this nation? As I posted on the Yid With A Lid site: 'OK - look, Henry Ford hated everyone, not just Jews. He hated Catholics, Socialists, Communists, most Protestants, Congressman, newspaper editors and reporters. He hated everyone! So to say that having the kick-off of a Presidential Campaign at the home of a dead person is like saying Atlanta is a racist city since there used to be slave owners in the South. I am as Pro-Israel, anti-defamation'ist as anyone else. When will this oversensitivty stop? Get over it. Romney is kicking off his run using a symbol of America's greatness. Get over it! Oy!
Air Force Three - Nancy Pelosi's New Ride!|
ABC, Apple-Polisher for Autocrats
by L. Brent Bozell IIIFebruary 7, 2007 (I love reading Brent Bozell - he has been a watchdog over the MSMfor the last twenty-five years. This is a great article)
Never try to say ABC anchor Diane Sawyer hasn’t been tough on oppressors. In one interview in 1998, she stared one in the face and said, “You’ve been compared to Saddam Hussein. Nero. To Torquemada, who was head of the Inquisition.”
Oh, forgive me. That wasn’t a dictator she was questioning. It was Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel investigating Bill Clinton’s lying under oath. This was a common practice for ABC at the time. Their website had an infamous instant poll asking if there was an “Ig-Nobel” prize, who should win it? The choices were Saddam, Slobodan Milosevic, Osama bin Laden and....Linda Tripp.
So how do ABC news anchors like Sawyer perform when they land “exclusive” interviews with actual dictators? The rings of international thugs are kissed for the privilege. Their obvious lack of respect for the concept of democracy is politely skimmed over. The real threat they pose to America is downplayed – or ignored.
Last fall, Diane Sawyer traveled to North Korea , and interviewed a general in the world’s harshest communist tyranny. She was an incredibly passive transmission belt, relating back to her American audience that the general insisted President Bush should be blamed for any nuclear weapons testing in North Korea , and added that "the General said to us, he does want peace. And he also said, again, reiterated, North Korea will not be the first to use a nuclear weapon." From there, Sawyer produced a very strange piece about regimented, yet refreshing North Korean school children, “a world away from the unruly individualism of any American school.” Proclaimed a student, no doubt surrounded by minders watching her every word: “We are the happiest children in the world!”
Last week ABC and Sawyer were at it again. Another continent, another ruthless anti-American dictator, but the same results. This time, Sawyer flew to Syria , following in the footsteps of Sen. John Kerry, who warmly announced a few weeks back that dictator Bashar Assad is ready to work with the United States . That was exactly Sawyer’s message, too, on the February 5 “Good Morning America .” Sawyer diplomatically awarded Assad the title of “President,” although no one elected him there. Dictatorship was handed down as the family business, but she called him “Your Excellency.”
She lamely suggested to Assad in the first day’s interview that “Americans would say they voted” in Iraq , that there’s a democracy. Assad shot back, “What is the benefit of democracy if you’re dead?” Sawyer didn’t challenge him, about say, his father Hafez Assad’s massacre at Hama of more than 10,000 people. She moved on instead to discuss gently how a peace process with America would work.
But the truly maddening part was Sawyer trying to take this dictator and turn him into a sympathetic human being. “You like video games?...Do you have an Ipod?” Obviously, she was slavishly toeing a PR line some Syrian functionary spoon-fed her. “You’re a country music fan. Faith Hill? Shania Twain?” Assad laughed and said, “Is it considered an ad?” Sawyer played along: “Yes, that’s true. They get free advertising.” Yippee!
The problem here is the free advertising ABC is handing the dictator of Syria . Can we imagine that if Hitler were alive and still ruling Germany with an iron fist, Sawyer would be asking him about his Ipod, too?
On the second day, February 6, Sawyer asked the more serious questions, about political prisoners in Syria , about Syria ’s role in assassinating Lebanese political leaders, its support for the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas. But Sawyer had an odd tic throughout all of this, and it’s one that drives this writer mad. It was always “Americans say” or “human rights groups say” that Syria is unfree and supports terror, etc. Can’t the glorious fact-checkers at ABC News determine for themselves if Syria is oppressive? Or is an obsequious tone before dictators more important than giving American viewers the impression you have a firm grasp on hard facts?
Then, once again, after a few of those questions about democracy and terror, Sawyer went back to humanizing the Assads, not just the dictator, but the “elegant, athletic” dictator’s wife, Asma, the “31-year-old former career girl” who once lived in New York. What followed was a pathetic trail of ooze about the “amazing” work this woman is doing for women’s and children’s rights – in the middle of this dictatorship. We’re told the Assads “famously live in a modest home” and drive the kids to school, and bike together.
ABC famously forbids its reporters to wear flag pins, lest they be seen as tools of the U.S. government. But once again, in their frantic desperation to be “independent” of America , they look instead like enthusiastic apple-polishing tools for every dictatorial enemy America faces in the world.
Britney Spears vs. The Terrorists
In the spring of 2003, across a field of rubble in Baghdad , a young Iraqi journalist accosted me and demanded: "Why did you stop broadcasting substance and substitute music?" The year before the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the government entity in charge of radio broadcasting, had shut down the Voice of America's Arabic service, and it ended most of its Farsi service in 2003. Voice of America had been broadcasting features, discussions of issues and editorials reflecting U.S. policies. But now it filled 50 minutes of each hour on Arabic-language Radio Sawa and most of the time on Persian-language Radio Farda with Eminem, J. Lo and Britney Spears.
This change in format provoked other angry questions: Are Americans playing music because they are afraid to tell the truth? Do they not have a truth to tell? Or do they not consider us worth telling the truth to?
We did not fight communism with pop music. In fact, during the Cold War, America used its government media institutions to broadcast its ideas and beliefs. So why are we not refashioning those successful broadcast strategies and trying to spread our ideas in the Muslim world, the breeding ground of much of the world's terrorist threats?
Members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (B BG ) have shared their answer: Radio Sawa's progenitor, media mogul Norman Pattiz, was still serving his Clinton-appointed term in 2002 when he told the New Yorker that "it was MTV that brought down the Berlin Wall." (Not Ronald Reagan, Lech Walesa or Vaclav Havel, of course.) President Bush's appointees did not improve the board's outlook. In October 2002, Ken Tomlinson, then the board's new chairman, approvingly quoted his son as saying Spears's music "represents the sounds of freedom." It seems that the board transformed the "war of ideas" into the battle of the bands.
So, is MTV winning the "war of ideas"? After years of the United States broadcasting Britney Spears to the Levant , the average radical mullah has not exactly succumbed to apoplexy or come to love democracy. A State Department inspector general's draft report on Radio Sawa (the final report was never issued) found that"it is difficult to ascertain Radio Sawa's impact in countering anti-American views and the biased state-run media of the Arab world." Or, as one expert panel assembled to assess its value concluded, "Radio Sawa failed to present America to its audience."
The B BG has achieved part of its objective in gaining large youth audiences in some areas of the Middle East, such as in Amman , Jordan , where it has an FM transmitter. But as the Jordanian journalist Jamil Nimri told me: "Radio Sawa is fun, but it's irrelevant." We do not teach civics to American teenagers by asking them to listen to pop music, so why should we expect Arabs and Persians to learn about America or democracy this way? The condescension implicit in this nearly all-music format is not lost on the audience that we should wish to influence the most -- those who think.
Some, of course, suspect that the United States is consciously attempting to subvert the morals of Arab youth. Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes told columnist Cal Thomas in December that our "view of freedom is sometimes seen as licentiousness. . . . And that is only exacerbated by the movies and the television and some of the music and the lyrics that they see exported from America ." Especially, Hughes might have added, since the B BG , on which she sits as an ex officio member, promotes this very image.
Becoming a caricature of ourselves is bad policy and bad public diplomacy. The job of U.S. international broadcasting is to present, before we are attacked, what much of the world saw only after Sept. 11 -- the sacrifice, bravery and piety of the American people -- as part of a complete picture. By presenting this aspect of our culture, we might even prevent the miscalculations of those who believe they should attack the United States or can do so with impunity because we are a weak, irreligious, morally corrupt country.
We need radio broadcasting in the "war of ideas," but it has to deal in ideas to be effective. The "MTV message" is something that commercial broadcasting can do and would do better than government-funded radio. Government broadcasting is needed when the United States must communicate a message to a key audience that that audience otherwise would not hear.
Music may have a role in this kind of broadcast mission, but only if it is part of a larger, idea-based strategy. Where are the ideas that will help us win this war, and why are they not being deployed by all available means to the places that most need to hear them? Isn't it time to change our tune?
The writer was the 25th director of the Voice of America and was senior adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Information during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
© 2007 The Washington Post Company
Congress Short on Military Experience
Congress Short on Military Experience
Richmond Times - Dispatch February 06, 2007
As Congress debates the war in Iraq , the Senate and House are short on military experience. Only 130 of the 535 senators and representatives in the recently seated 110th Congress served on active duty or in the reserves of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard.
It's the lowest number since World War II, when 196 veterans served on the Hill in 1945. The ranks of veterans in the House peaked at 317 in 1973. The Senate had 78 in 1977.
Since then, the roll call of veterans has become much shorter. Public discontent over the Vietnam War, plus elimination of the draft, meant fewer people entered the armed forces.
Since 9/11, Congress has been dealing with the gamut of military issues -- from funding equipment and more troops to boosting pay and benefits.
Organizations representing veterans and military personnel said they spend more time lobbying nonveterans -- both politicians and staff members -- than those who served. "The impact to us is we have to educate them on veterans' issues," said David Greineder, deputy national legislative director for AMVETS.
The lack of veterans in Congress has resulted in an insensitivity to the burdens placed on troops and their families by the war and frequent deployments, said Steve Strobridge, director of government relations for Military Officers Association of America.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Anna Nicole Smith Is Dead
ANS is a product of the minute-by-minute media that latches on to someone or some topic and won't let it go. Everything about ANS' life was made public, by her own choice and also by a media that wrote and pictrued everything about her life.
It's a sad end to a sad life, it seems. There will be another ANS to take the place of this beautiful and tragic figure the media and many in this nation could not get enough of. I only hope that the next ANS does not end like this.
Labels: Anna Nicole Smith
The BBC article ends with this, 'The Windy City may have lost the Super Bowl but it is lucky to have two of the most intriguing candidates in the most open presidential election since 1928.'
It's too much hope to think that there is any way Frei would say the same of the two most intriguing conservative candidates, Rudy and Newt. I guess Atlanta and New York City just aren't on the list of cities the BBC would allow him to visit.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
In the race to the bottom for votes to win office, or to preserve themselves in office, it would be difficult to out-run Republicans as they pander to the Hispanic vote by refusing to control our southern border against an invasion by millions of illegal aliens. Democrats are trying and they may soon pass Republicans in their cynical pursuit of political power.
At the Democrats' "winter meeting" (they used to call it a "retreat," before that word conjured up negative implications about the war), a clergyman was asked to deliver the invocation. He was Husham Al-Husainy of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center, a Shi'ite mosque in Dearborn , Mich.
According to a transcript published on the Website HotAir.com, Al-Husainy offered a prayer with anti-American and anti-Israel undertones: "We thank you G-d, to send us your messages through our father Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Mohammed. Through you, G-d, we unite. So guide us to the right path. The path of the people you bless, not the path of the people you doom. Help us G-d to liberate and fill this earth with justice and peace and love and equality. And help us to stop the war and violence, and oppression and occupation…"
To the untrained ear and uninformed mind, the first part sounds kind of ecumenical, a type of universalism and religious correctness, in which everybody's biblical or Koranic figures get equal billing, so as not to offend. But Muslims see all of these religious leaders as Muslim prophets. Their view is that Abraham, Moses and Jesus taught Islam and that the Jews and Christians perverted the Islamic faith and, according to some, deserve death for doing so.
Al-Husainy was engaging in something more dangerous than prayer. He proclaimed religious superiority and triumphalism. Surely Democrats do not subscribe to his not-so-subtle religious doublespeak, which places the United States and Israel among the people G-d "dooms." Neither do most Democrats believe that all of Israel is occupied and that "oppression and occupation" applies to the Jews who live there and must be evicted. So why invite a clergyman who leads them in such a prayer? It isn't that his background is unknown.
As blogger Debbie Schlussel has written, Al-Husainy led "almost daily protests" last summer "of thousands of Hezbollah supporters on the streets of Dearborn and Detroit , swarming with swastikas and anti-Semitic, anti-American signs. Later, I watched him … at an anti-Semitic rally of 3,000 Hezbollah supporters at Dearborn 's Bint Jebail Cultural Center . He was among several who delivered hate-filled, anti-American rhetoric. I watched him cheer others on when they called for the hastened destruction of the Jews and when they said Americans are 'diseased.'"
On the Website "Jihad Watch" (a good place to keep up with what the Islamofascists are planning for us), Robert Spencer writes, "…the West is facing a concerted effort by Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by the Western media, to destroy the West and bring it forcibly into the Islamic world — and to commit violence to that end even while their overall goal remains out of reach."
A clergyman who advocated white supremacy and the inferiority of all other faiths would never have been invited to offer the invocation at a DNC gathering. Yet Democrats got the equivalent of such a person in Al-Husainy.
Democrats have been trying to get back in the religion game since Republicans cornered most of the Evangelical Christian vote in the last several election cycles, but choosing Husham Al-Husainy as their instrument to put them in closer touch — if not with G-d, than with Muslim voters — is more outrageous and shameful than Sen. Joseph Biden's remarks about Barack Obama, and far more dangerous.
The Muslim vote went largely to Democrats in last year's election. In Virginia , Democrat James Webb received 92 percent of the Muslim vote, compared to Republican George Allen's 8 percent, according to the Muslim American Society and the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee. Was inviting Al-Husainy to pray for the destruction of America and Israel payback to the Muslim community? If so, the price is too high and the potential consequences are too great.
Has politics come to this, that some politicians would sell out their own and other free countries for a voting bloc that contains elements committed to our destruction (Democrats), or pander to illegal immigrants who break our laws and then get Social Security checks (Republicans)? Have politicians no sham
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Iran's Rocket's Red Glare!
For all those detractors of our policy in the Mid East, how did you feel after reading that article? Safe, happy, reassured that Iran's intentions for nuclear power are peaceful?
Morons. Do any of the anti-Bush Mid East policy chuckle-heads think Iran is going to send a satellite into space with a North Korean missile? If you answer yes, then pack your bags and head to Canada.
If Iran launches an ICBM into space, you can bet your a**, your cowboy boots and your house cat that the trajectory is Latitude: 32° 4' 0 N, Longitude: 34° 46' 0 E.
Find a map and look up those coordinates.
Israeli Official: Foreign Sources Arming Hezbollah, Hamas at Alarming Rate
The 'disproportiniate' response this time should be the utter destruction of any standing building in Lebanon all the way up to Syria and into Syria. The IDF shold create a path of destruction - a killing swath from Gaza to the Turkish border.
So instead of buying food for their people, Hezbollah is buying rockets and guns. Read. 'There is a recorded 150 percent increase in the number of terror groups being guided by Hizbullah over the course of the first half of 2006.'
This will lead to another war. Lebannon is posied for Civil War. And that conflict wil spill into Israel. I hope the IDF and the Israeli's have the guts to strike first. Take out where they know Hezbollah is now, not after another rocket falls into another Israeli city.
Za, Za, Za (Go! Go! Go!) One more good link on Israel.
Run, Rudy, Run
Rudy has it all...
I can't wait for the day when he gets in front of the press corp and tells it to go to hell...
I can't wait for a debate with any Democrat and Rudy says, 'Imanaged NYC, what have you ever done?'
And the debate about all the social issues crap can hang - abortion, gays, blah, blah, blah...let the Merovingian Do Nothings in Congress prattle away at tax payers expesne.
The only question that anyone needs to ask is: Who is going to make the nation safest? It ain't Her Thighness Hillary, Obama, or the rest of the Dems, nor is it McCain or any of the other Republicans.
Run, Rudy, Run. I'll vote for you as many times as it takes. And since I live in FL, I am collecting ballots as I type!
Labels: Guliani Announces Candidacy
Monday, February 05, 2007
I Got A 40 - How Conservative - Liberal Are You?
CBS - Completely Boring Superbowl
Except for Colts fans and their new band-wagoneers, did anyone else fall asleep in the rain like I did? I can't blame CBS for the quality of the game, but I can blame CBS for its coverage. First, Jim Nantz - God love him! He is a great commentator for sports like golf, golf, golf and golf. Hey Jimmy, this is not Augusta National and Tiger is not trying to decide if a 7 iron or an 8 iron is going to carry him over the left fairway bunker before he makes his approach shot on the 9th hole. Professional football is about violence, coaching, team stuff...all the stuff that golf is not. I was having Madden withdrawl, seriously. So we cooked a turkey and I was waving the turkey legs at the screen and drawing yellow circles on the tv for every play. If you need a little Madden, click here. Next, Prince! There may not have been a wardrobe malfunction, but there was no mystery to what that dwarf was doing with his guitar behind the curtain...and anyone who says differently is in denial.
The commercials were a snore-fest too, except the Blockbuster hamsters using the mouse to order movies - pretty funny. Coke and some of the other sycophant dribblers lathered up the black history month thing which leads me to this question: why is it important that a black coach be in the Super Bowl? If the representation of ethnicity is the issue, and since 75% of the players on the field this day were black, why is race an issue for the head coaching spot? Mark this sport/group off the list and move on. Hockey and Curling - now there are two sports where the NAACP should spend time advancing the participation of Afro-Americans since we know that ice sports routinely and by design shut-out blacks from inclusion. Now that the glass ceiling has been pierced in the NFL, what's the next brass ring - assistant coaches? Hell, we could go down the ranks of all coaching positions until one day there is a dyslexic, ADA, 1/2 Puert0 Rican-1/2 Jap who coached and won a Super Bowl. See how stupid this whole 'let's be special by being different crap is?
I could care less that the coach who won last night is black. I only care that he is legal to work in the US.
And since the Saints were not in the SB, did it really matter?
Friday, February 02, 2007
Dick Morris - Cut The Funds To Iran
The Iranian regime stands at the center of global terrorism and its nuclear ambitions must send a chill down our collective spine.
Bush is increasingly standing up to Iran with almost daily warnings and the deployment of a second carrier task force nearby. But the president's focus has been on Iranian involvement in Iraq and on its policy of shipping weapons, agents, provocateurs and possibly combatants into the war zone to harass and kill Americans. This emphasis is understandable given the dangers that face our troops in Iraq. Anything Bush can do to lessen the threats they face must be done.
Bush should continue and accelerate his efforts to destroy Iran's economy by cutting off investments to companies that invest there. Frank Gaffney's disinvestterrror.org campaign says that 87 state-administered pension funds in the United States have invested $188 billion in one of 500 publicly traded companies that "partner with terrorist-sponsoring states."
These 500 companies among them "have $73 billion invested in Iran, Syria, Libya, and North Korea."
Morris is exacly right. Iran should have been a bigger part of the 'de-financing' the GWOT. Some US companies are doing it:
Among these companies are: Alcatal SA, BNP Paribas, Hyundai, Linden Petroleum, Oil and Natural Gas Corp, Siemens AG, Statoil ASA, Stolt Nielsen, Technip Coflexip, and Total SA. UBS, which was once on the list, has divested itself of all such investments.
More is needed. Any US company that does business with Iran and NK should be fined a million a day until it is completely divested of any support of Iran.