"The fact that one of the American universities invited the Iranian president to raise whether the Holocaust happened proves that in the American people and leadership there is a hidden will to raise a serious discussion about these Zionists lies and propaganda."
-- Abu Mosaab, an Islamic Jihad spokesperson and leader in the Gaza Strip.
Thanks Columbia U... You've elevated Holocaust denial to a mainstream debate topic, just like in parts of the world -- to quote Ralph Peters -- where "religio-social societies restrict the flow of information, prefer myth to reality, oppress women, make family, clan or ethnic identity the basis for social and economic relations, subvert the rule of secular law, undervalue scientific and liberal education, discourage independent thought, and believe that ancient religious law should govern all human relations."
[Boston Globe] Disgraced fund-raiser Norman Hsu did a lot more than just pump $850,000 into Hillary Clinton's campaign bank account: He also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local, state, and federal candidates who have endorsed Clinton or whose support she courted.
In at least some cases, Clinton or her aides directly channeled contributions from Hsu and his network to other politicians supportive of her presidential campaign, according to interviews and campaign finance records. There is nothing illegal about one politician steering wealthy contributors to another, but the New York senator's close ties to Hsu have become an embarrassment for her and her campaign.
Okay, given, technically Clinton broke no laws. But, neither did so many Republicans whom the mainstream media smeared with the broad Abramoff scandal brush during the 2006 election cycle -- costing Republicans Congress.
I don't recall a single media report every so quickly volunteering that Republicans who accepted contributions from a shady character weren't breaking a law. It's always implied.
But back to Clinton -- I like how this paragraph is buried second to last from the article's end:
But the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that a California businessman had warned the campaign about Hsu in June and that a Clinton aide dismissed the concerns. "I can tell you with 100 [percent] certainty that Norman Hsu is NOT involved in a ponzi scheme. He is COMPLETELY legit," Samantha Wolf, Clinton's former West Coast campaign finance director, wrote in an e-mail to a California Democratic Party official, the Times reported.
Again, were Mrs. Clinton a Republican you can bet that the above section would have been paragraph two, while the "broke no laws" paragraph would have been second to last.
One should suspect that there's far more to the Clinton-Hsu connection than meets the eye. The question is: will the media dig into it with as much effort as they did Jack Abramoff?
Looks like I'm in the wrong line of work... there's a lot of money to be made in the Global Warming business.
First off, The Olympian reports that the Olympia City Council is paying two speakers - one of them a NY Times reporter - $12,500 each plus lodging for a 30-minute presentation on the impacts of global warming. That's $435 per minute. Worse, "what's really galling is the fact that the two speakers, Andrew Revkin, author and environmental writer for The New York Times and Terry Tempest Williams, a naturalist and author, are not even going to take questions from the audience."
No questions? That's the academic honesty the left loves!
"Wouldn't a video conference have been more environmentally conscious?" The Olympian adds.
Another case of do as we say but not as we do.
Meanwhile, Investor's Business Daily reports that the so-called maverick NASA scientist championing global warming and associated policy changes - Mr. James Hansen - receives funding, and a ton of it, from George Soros!
How many people, for instance, know that James Hansen, a man billed as a lonely "NASA whistleblower" standing up to the mighty U.S. government, was really funded by Soros' Open Society Institute , which gave him "legal and media advice"?
That's right, Hansen was packaged for the media by Soros' flagship "philanthropy," by as much as $720,000, most likely under the OSI's "politicization of science" program.
That may have meant that Hansen had media flacks help him get on the evening news to push his agenda and lawyers pressuring officials to let him spout his supposedly "censored" spiel for weeks in the name of advancing the global warming agenda.
Hansen even succeeded, with public pressure from his nightly news performances, in forcing NASA to change its media policies to his advantage. Had Hansen's OSI-funding been known, the public might have viewed the whole production differently. The outcome could have been different.
According to IBD, George Soros is behind a variety of policy change efforts to the tune of $74 million in 2006 alone.
Including: $17 million to a, what was then thought to be spontaneous, rally of "2 million angry Mexican-flag waving illegal immigrants demanding U.S. citizenship in Los Angeles, egged on only by a local Spanish-language radio announcer."
Soros is also dorking around with your personal security:
Do people know last year's Supreme Court ruling abolishing special military commissions for terrorists at Guantanamo was a Soros project? OSI gave support to Georgetown lawyers in 2006 to win Hamdan v. Rumsfeld — for the terrorists.
OSI also gave cash to other radicals who pressured the Transportation Security Administration to scrap a program called "Secure Flight," which matched flight passenger lists with terrorist names. It gave more cash to other left-wing lawyers who persuaded a Texas judge to block cell phone tracking of terrorists.
They trumpeted this as a victory for civil liberties. Feel safer?
It's all part of the $74 million OSI spent on "U.S. Programs" in 2006 to "shape policy." Who knows what revelations 2007's report will bring around events now in the news?
I thought Democrats were all about transparency and getting the money and special interests out of politics...
Oh, I'm sorry, they're all about getting other people's money and interests out of politics, but not their own.
Bob Owens' assessment of this Washington Post is spot on: "I suppose that Karen DeYoung's story could have been buried deeper in the Washington Post, but it would take some effort."
Iraqi Prime Minister Says That Civil War Has Been Prevented
Maliki Also Plays Down Iran's Influence
By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 25, 2007; Page A15
Civil war has been averted in Iraq and Iranian intervention there has "ceased to exist," Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said yesterday.
"I can't say there is a picture of roses and flowers in Iraq," Maliki told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. "However, I can say that the greatest victory, of which I am proud . . . is stopping the explosion of a sectarian war." That possibility, he said, "is now far away."
Read the rest.
Again, had Maliki said the opposite - that civil war was inevitable - would the Post have put this story on page 15, or page 1?
The Wall Stree Journal explains how Congress might screw up the economy on November 1, the day "the federal Internet tax moratorium is due to expire."
The Internet Tax Freedom Act, enacted in 1998 and since extended twice, prevents multiple and discriminatory taxes on the Internet. In other words, different states can't tax the same e-commerce transaction, and states and cities can't create Internet-only taxes that don't exist offline. So, except for a few grandfathered states, Internet access taxes are banned.
But a Congressional failure to extend the moratorium would quickly show up on monthly bills, and not quietly. Taxes on telephone service can run above 20%, more than triple the average general sales tax rate. Absent the moratorium, state revenue departments will begin to issue letters ruling that Internet access services are subject to these same sky-high telephone tax rates. The revenuers will do this because they can (until state courts judge their merit), not because they need the money. State and local governments have enjoyed 17 straight quarters of increasing revenues.
Unable to show that the tax ban hurts states and localities, moratorium opponents are now trying out a new argument: Yes, taxes will raise the price of Internet access services, but consumers don't care about price. Right. Congressional staff tempted to buy this line should remember that they're the ones who will have to answer the phone when consumers start seeing the new charges.
[World Net Daily] A taxpayer-supported "gay" celebration in San Francisco, featuring a poster portraying Jesus Christ and his disciples as "half-naked homosexual sadomasochists," has come under heavy fire from major Christian groups demanding that California lawmakers condemn it.
The poster by organizers of the Folsom Street Fair, sponsored in part by Miller Brewing, replaces the bread and wine representing Christ's blood and body with sadomasochistic sex toys.
...[Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues with Concerned Women for America] Barber said his group wants California's elected officials – including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer – to "publicly condemn this unprovoked attack against Christ and His followers."
"We further challenge the media to cover this affront to Christianity with the same vigor as recent stories about cartoon depictions of Muhammad and other items offensive to the Muslim community," he said.
...Catholic League president Bill Donohue urged Miller to pull its sponsorship of the event.
Donohue says his group is targeting Miller because it's the only national household sponsor.
"Furthermore, Miller has a record of acceding to requests from various segments of the population that have objected to certain ads: it has bowed to the wishes of Muslims, African-American clergy, lawyers and feminists by pulling ads deemed offensive," he said. "Surely it will do the same in this instance: the ad, like the event, is morally depraved. Indeed, it is the kind of ad that only the enemies of Christians would entertain."
No matter what you think of these groups their points are valid. If a Christian group organized a fair and portrayed gays as, say, pedophiles, don't you think others could righteously boycott the parent sponsors and protest to city officials? Would it not make headline news?
I suppose if the Christian groups resorted to the methods of Islamic extremism -- as they murdered Theo Van Gogh, incited riots and violence for the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten's Mohammed cartoons, or put bounties on the heads of men like Salman Rushdie and - recently - cartoonist Lars Vilks -- then perhaps the Far Left would come to learn the true definition of intolerance.
It's the same old double standard.
Overall, I have to agree with the former Education Czar Bill Bennett: the decision by Columbia University officials to allow Iranian "president" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak on their campus was hypocritical, foolish and deeply naive.
Here's an excerpt of Bennett's comments from his show this morning.
My personal opinion of University President Lee Bollinger improved somewhat from prior posts -- he did not pitch soft balls, as I worried, but instead used clear logic and hard facts in an attempt to pin down Ahmadinejad.
To an extent - such as when Ahmadinejad was mocked for suggesting there are no homosexuals in Iran - this worked.
However, as Bennett mentions, Bollinger went over the top in personal attacks of Ahmadinejad and as a result played into Ahmadinejad's hands, allowing him to slip into the role of the underdog, the victim, and earn sympathy not only from outside (world community) observers but from an often cheering and clapping Columbia student body! That Bollinger spoke truth cannot be denied, but delivery of one's points, especially in a formal debate, matter.
Worst of all, as I mentioned yesterday, Columbia officials displayed amazing arrogance in misunderstanding that the scene was not so much about demonstrating American liberty -- see, even an illiberal autocrat may debate here -- as it was undermining opportunities to correct the Iranian lack thereof.
Iranian and Arab media, whose editing ability would make Michael Moore blush, have begun a spin campaign that will only empower Ahmadinejad and the mullahs, while disheartening and weakening the moderate and pro-democracy Iranian movements.
Michael Rubin's roundup of the Iranian media include the following:
* The Iranian press' take on Ahmadinejad's rapturous welcome and masterful speech at Columbia University.
*Ahmadinejad plans to lay wreath at ground zero.
*Despite Rice objection?
*Iranian parliamentarian: Bush should be hanged like Saddam.
*Iran headlines that Ayatollah Sistani refused Bush request for meeting.
*Former IRGC head (now Supreme Leader's advisor) states, "Iran has become an extra-regional power."
*Warns that Iran is conducting surveillance on U.S. troops.
*CIA and Rice still argue IRGC is separate entity from Iranian government
*Ahmadinejad: Iran will never recognize Israel.
*Russia seeks expansion of ties with Iran.
*Labor union organizer Mansour Osanlou's 76th day in prison.
*White House, State Department still working on statement?
*Washington Post, New York Times afraid reporting on labor crackdown might undercut access?
*Photo of the Day: Ahmadinejad receives rapturous welcome in New York.
The following is an excerpt from a letter to the Wall Street Journal critical of the "so-called Blue Dog Democrats" who, like every other color dog in Congress, consider tax cuts a "cost."
Anyone who has been following the tax issue knows that the lower Bush tax rates have produced more revenue for the Treasury than at any time in our history, far more than the higher Clinton-era rates produced. If the GOP Congress hadn't squandered billions on earmarks, and if President Bush had exercised his veto in his first term the way he's threatening now, we would have no deficit to talk about. By criticizing the president's threat to veto the seven appropriation bills making their way to his desk, and joining with [House Majority Leader] Ms. [Nanci] Pelosi and the hard-left leadership in their task of returning to the higher tax rates of the 1990s, the Blue Dogs are going to prove they are no different from any other present-day Democrats.
-- Bob Branson, Aurora, Ill.
The issue we see with Columbia is deeper than freedom of speech but rather the inconsistency with which university faculties choose to support it. If men like Richard Bulliet and Lee Bollinger, and women like Lisa Marie Anderson cared about freedom of speech, they might want to enable those who don't have it, rather than celebrate the men who have taken it away.
That point is from NRO's Michael Rubin, who cites many pro-democracy foreign activists whom our academic institutions ignore, choosing instead to empower those who are already empowered.
These academics hide behind, or perhaps themselves do not understand, the issue of free speech. Under a guise of "protecting speech," one columnist noted, an academic institution could invite a speaker who championed the random mass shootings of Cho Seung-Hui at Virginia Tech. But would that ever occur? Or would that institution, rather, appreciate that the topic is so fringe, so beyond the pale, as to ever warrant discussion?
The question needs no answer.
Columbia U's hypocrisy has also been well noted: Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain reminded in a statement that Iran executes homosexuals but Columbia U bars the ROTC from their campus for the military's homosexual policy. Perhaps if the US military began executing homosexuals the wise academics at Columbia would see fit to bring them back on...
Another point to be made is that one shouldn't expect a dictator who obfuscates at home in order to keep his own illegitimate, unelected power to be suddenly honest and open once outside his borders.
This futility is obvious after reading the Q&A a 60 Minutes reporter (Scott Pelley) conducted with Ahmadinejad -- at one point Ahmadinejad even accuses Pelley of working for the CIA. The interview was pointless.
On the brighter side, at least two notible Columbia U officials, the Law and Business school deans, David M. Schizer and Glenn Hubbard, respectively, both called the university decision a disgrace.
Hubbard said, "Some would argue that a University should be a place of intellectual freedom and open debate, but others including me argue that Mr. Ahmadinejad, who is responsible for the death of American soldiers, denies the Holocaust, and calls for the destruction of Israel, has proven himself incapable of engaging in a true and honest academic discussion."
Schizer added, "It would be deeply regrettable if some misread this invitation as lending prestige or legitimacy to his views."
David Feith and Jordan Hirsch opine, "By its invitation, Columbia has chosen to give Ahmadinejad a valuable political gift that he does not deserve, and that he will use to further repress his people and threaten his neighbors."
Nonetheless expect Arab media worldwide to propagate the appearances at Columbia, the National Press Club and on CBS 60 Minutes as just that. Columbia U proponents miss the forest for the trees - there are those within Iran who are observing our treatment of Ahmadinejad. We bestow legitimacy to an illegitimate figure. We strengthen him and his mullah puppet masters, but worse, in the process we weaken the pro-democracy figures in Iran.
"What's the most important thing Americans need to know about Iraq that they don't currently know?" I said.
"That we're fighting Al Qaeda," he [Lt. Col. Silverman] said without hesitation. "[Abu Musab al] Zarqawi invented Al Qaeda in Iraq. The top leadership outside Iraq squawked and thought it was a bad idea. Then he blew up the Samarra mosque, triggered a civil war, and got the whole world's attention. Then the Al Qaeda leadership outside dumped huge amounts of money and people and arms into Anbar Province. They poured everything they had into this place. The battle against Americans in Anbar became their most important fight in the world. And they lost."
-- Michael Totten interview with 3rd Infantry Division's Lieutenant Colonel Mike Silverman.
Honestly, one could devote a blog just to left wing bias exclusively from Reuters.
Both the Wall Street Journal and MRC's blogs picked up this sham of journalism from Reuters: Spinning an implied metaphor by Bush as a literal comment simply as an attempt to make him look stupid.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Nelson Mandela is still very much alive despite an embarrassing gaffe by U.S. President George W. Bush, who alluded to the former South African leader's death in an attempt to explain sectarian violence in Iraq.
..."I thought an interesting comment was made when somebody said to me, I heard somebody say, 'now where's Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead. Because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandela's.
He was a brutal tyrant that divided people up and split families and people are recovering from this. So there's a psychological recovery that is taking place and it's hard work for them and I understand that it's hard work for them."
That's "Mandelas" with an "s" (Reuter's added the apostrophe). Clearly Bush was making a comparison, and neither calling Mandela dead nor labeling him an Iraqi citizen.
James Taranto at the WSJ justifiably claims the Reuters gang is guilty of "stupidity," "laziness," or "dishonesty."
"The reporter knew full well that Bush was speaking metaphorically and deliberately twisted his meaning in order to fit the stereotype that Bush 'has a reputation for verbal faux pas,'" wrote Taranto.
Well, what's worse, having a reputation for the verbal faux pas, or having a reputation for outright fabrication of stories, eh Reuters?
[MRC] CBS and NBC on Thursday night aired brief updates on how the Justice Department filed a criminal complaint against Norman Hsu, the captured fugitive Democratic/Hillary Clinton campaign donor, for bilking $60 million from investors -- but ABC was once again absent on the story. ABC's World News hasn't uttered Hsu's name since its one and only story the Friday night of Labor Day weekend while Thursday's mention was the fifth for NBC and fourth for CBS. (Coverage details below.) On the NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams read this very short item: "Norman Hsu, that Democratic fundraiser indicted today by federal prosecutors -- accusations of a massive Ponzi scheme. Hsu funneled a lot of money to Senator Clinton's campaign."
Again, just as big a story as the Jack Abramoff scandal... and if not, well then the Jack Abramoff scandal shouldn't have been either. The double standard on campaign finance scandal reporting continues.
[Washington Post] After two weeks of denials, the New York Times acknowledged that it should not have given a discount to MoveOn.org for a full-page advertisement assailing Gen. David H. Petraeus.
The liberal advocacy group should have paid $142,000 for the ad calling the U.S. commander in Iraq "General Betray Us," not $65,000, the paper's public editor wrote yesterday.
Clark Hoyt said in his column that MoveOn was not entitled to the cheaper "standby" rate for advertising that can run any time over the following week because the Times did promise that the ad would run Sept. 10, the day Petraeus began his congressional testimony. "We made a mistake," Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis was quoted as saying.
... The Times also violated its own advertising policy, which bars "attacks of a personal nature," Hoyt reported. He wrote that the episode "gave fresh ammunition to a cottage industry that loves to bash The Times as a bastion of the 'liberal media.' "
An apology... or is it? The reason the Times is bashed as a bastion of liberal media is because, you know, it is a bastion of liberal media.
The mainstream media is calling today's Senate vote a condemnation of the MoveOn.org advertisement which attacked the character of General Petraeus. This is a ploy. The words "MoveOn.org" appear nowhere in the resolution. Thus, there was absolutely no danger of fallback from Democrats passing the resolution, with the proper spin that is.
And yet, 25 Democrats voted that it's fine and dandy to attack the character of Petraeus. That's how beholden the Democrats are to MoveOn.org money.
To repeat, MoveOn.org wasn't even mentioned in the text. Here's the full text as it appeared:
To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.
These Senators who voted "Nay" to the above are disgusting. There's no other word for them.
Months ago most of these senators voted 81-0 to confirm Petraeus. Senators Dodd, Byrd, Clinton, Reid, Rockefeller, Sanders... almost every Democrat voted to confirm Petraeus. But now, because they cannot afford to lose the support of MoveOn cash they attempt to disassociate themselves from Petraeus, even by means of condoning personal attacks against him.
And they say Republicans are corrupted by special interests!?
Here's the list of losers:
Akaka (D-HI); Bingaman (D-NM); Boxer (D-CA); Brown (D-OH); Byrd (D-WV); Clinton (D-NY); Dodd (D-CT); Durbin (D-IL); Feingold (D-WI); Harkin (D-IA); Inouye (D-HI); Kennedy (D-MA); Kerry (D-MA); Lautenberg (D-NJ); Levin (D-MI); Menendez (D-NJ); Murray (D-WA); Reed (D-RI); Reid (D-NV); Rockefeller (D-WV); Sanders (I-VT); Schumer (D-NY); Stabenow (D-MI); Whitehouse (D-RI); Wyden (D-OR)
At first glance, it's shocking that Columbia University is going to allow Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at their campus -- thus, Columbia U will give the Iranian president speech and assembly freedoms he denies to his own people on a daily basis.
At second glance, however, we shouldn't be surprised that academics and officials at our one of our nation's top universities is so hypocritically backwards in their priorities, as noted by Bill Kristol:
As Columbia welcomes Ahmadinejad to campus, Columbia students who want to serve their country cannot enroll in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at Columbia. Columbia students who want to enroll in ROTC must travel to other universities to fulfill their obligations. ROTC has been banned from the Columbia campus since 1969. In 2003, a majority of polled Columbia students supported reinstating ROTC on campus. But in 2005, when the Columbia faculty senate debated the issue, President Bollinger joined the opponents in defeating the effort to invite ROTC back on campus.
A perfect synecdoche for too much of American higher education: they are friendlier to Ahmadinejad than to the U.S. military.
Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the president of the United States is deprived of the authority to decide when and where to send troops in time of war. Nowhere--nowhere in the history of this country have such restrictions been imposed or privileges assumed by the Congress of the United States. We have one commander in chief and one only, and to somehow assume that we would begin with Congress--535 commanders in chief--I think would reduce our ability to ever fight another war effectively.
But let me sum up, madame president, by saying clearly the message I'm getting from the troops in the field is not that 'the war is lost,' as the majority leader of the senate stated last April; we are succeeding and we are winning, and with the enactment of this amendment, we will choose to lose. This is setting a formula for surrender, not for victory. And I'm hearing from the troops in the field, madame president, three words. Three words. 'Let us win.' They've sacrificed a great deal, as the majority leader just described very dramatically. Now give them a chance to win. That's what they want. They don't want that sacrifice to be in vain. This amendment would do exactly what the secretary of defense says as well as other interested observers. I urge my colleagues to reject this amendment, allow this new strategy and this great general who the American people had a great opportunity to see last week as he spoke to the Congress and the American people. Madame president, reject this amendment and let us win.
That's a statement from Sen. John McCain (R, AZ) in debate prior to the defeat of the Webb Amendment (proposed by Virginia Democrat Sen. Jim Webb), in a 56 to 44 vote. The Webb Amendment proposed radically unconstitutional and especially unenforceable rules requiring the military to provide that "troops be granted home leaves at least as long as their most recent combat deployments before being sent back to war," according to this detail-lacking report from the Washington Post.
Sure it sounded great on the surface -- whom but a cold, callous neocon would oppose such a measure, right? -- but in addition to rewriting the constitution it would have been a logistical nightmare for the military. This was best described by Sen. Jim Bunning (R, KY):
The problem is that when a unit returns from a deployment its personnel are often reassigned to other units and other assignments. Divisions, brigades, battalions, and units don't stay together forever. In a military of millions of people, there are a lot of people reassigned each day.
This amendment would essentially require the Army and Marine Corps staffs to keep track of how long every service member has spent in Iraq or Afghanistan, how long they have been at home, and how long their unit was deployed and how long it was home.
This is absurd! This would mean pulling soldiers out of units scheduled to deploy if the service members did not have enough dwell time. This breaks up leadership and soldier teams, the formation of which is the purpose of the Army and Marine training system.
Requiring the President to issue a certification to Congress to waive this requirement for every individual service member who might be affected by this is even more absurd.
This amendment takes tools and flexibility away from our commanders on the ground like General Petraeus. That is why it is being offered today.
Exactly. Disguised as a fluffy "help the troops" bill, it was actually a measure to fracture resources in order to withdraw from Iraq. The tactic once again speaks to the political cowardice of the Democrats, the majority of whom voted to wage war on Iraq in 2003. At any time they could offer a vote to pull funding for the war, but that would mean taking some responsibility for the aftermath, and they have no stomach for that. They'd rather use subterfugal media campaigns to undermine troop morale and, in turn, bolster the enemy's resolve.
Once more, a Western liberal is blinded by their concepts of diversity and multiculturalism and thus assume that all cultures are motivated by the same rewards...
ATLANTA (AP) - Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday that it was almost inconceivable that Iran would "commit suicide" by launching missiles at Israel.
Speaking at Emory University, Carter, who brokered the 1979 Camp David peace accord between Israel and Egypt, said Israel's superior military power and distance from Iran likely are enough to discourage an actual attack.
"Iran is quite distant from Israel," said Carter, 83. "I think it would be almost inconceivable that Iran would commit suicide by launching one or two missiles of any kind against the nation of Israel."
Carter speaks of "suicide" as though Islamic fundamentalists consider it a bad thing. But this is horribly basic misunderstanding of Islamic fundamentalists -- the very opposite is true!
For the Islamic radical there is no greater glory then giving one's life to destroy one's enemy. That which Carter terms "suicide" the Islamic fundamentalist calls "shaheed." Shaheed for the individual means personal glory in heaven, with 72 virgins and the gift of salvation for up to 70 family members (see the Shoebat quote below).
The belief of martyrdom through suicide killings is both powerful and deep, taught to the offspring when they are very young. Islamic fundamentalist rulers champion it, the parents and educators teach it, the television and media constantly propagate it.
Even if just one percent of one billion muslims are fundamentalists, and the remaining 99 percent moderate, you're still talking about 10 million Islamic radicals who believe in suicide-murder as a means to acheive eternal paradise -- and just around 25 of them killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11 using ingeniuity and deception as their weapons. Imagine what they will accomplish should they attain more tangible weapons, like nuclear power.
So it matters not that many or even most of the 71 million persons in Iran are not true believers. It only matters that the ones in charge - 12 mullahs lead by the Ayatollah, and a hand-picked "president" with military control - are.
[Washington Post] Justice Department officials in New York today issued criminal charges against Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu for allegedly orchestrating a $60 million fraud scheme and committing related federal campaign finance crimes.
What? No round-the-clock news reports linking Hsu to Democrats like the main stream media did connecting Jack Abramoff to Republicans?
A truly disturbing report from military embed Jeff Emanuel:
Earlier this week in Samarra, the Iraqi National Police apprehended a man named Ahmed Mohammed Sabar Hamud al-Medhi al-Bazi, a key figure in a five-man ISI [Islamic State of Iraq (or "ISI," the name under which al Qaeda in Iraq has organized in Iraq)] cell which was responsible for an attack on the National Police using an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), as well as for IED, rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), and small arms attacks on coalition forces.
Upon being taken into custody, Medhi openly declared himself to be a member of al Qaeda, and freely admitted (and signed a written confession stating) that he had helped orchestrate and execute these attacks on Iraqi Security and Coalition Forces. Perhaps wishing to escape the punishing clutches of the NPs, and knowing full well -- as do all fighters in Iraq and elsewhere – how strict the rules are that Americans must abide by with regard to the humane treatment of prisoners and detainees, Medhi asked to be handed over to the coalition forces from Charlie Company 2-505 PIR (82nd Airborne) at Patrol Base Olson, in northwestern Samarra. In exchange for the transfer of custody, he had more information (and more confessions) that he was willing to provide.
What it was that he confessed to once in American custody shocked and outraged even his seasoned coalition captors, who had been facing ISI in this city for over a year.
Without a bit of pressure -- indeed, without the appearance of a care in the world -- Medhi, described in graphic detail the other half of his ISI cell's operations: running an organized al Qaeda Rape ring in Samarra. With a modus operandi of breaking into various houses and either raping women on the spot or threatening the family with death while taking their daughter away to become a hostage and a sex slave, Medhi, a self-described homosexual who engaged in intercourse (via rape) with women "because other members of this group" did, confessed to his cell's penchant for abducing girls and "holding them [hostage] just for their pleasure." Most recently, he said, he had taken part in the rape, kidnapping, and/or killing of five women, three of whom were supposedly still alive.
Among these most recent victims was "a twenty-five year old virgin," who was "alone in her house" when the al Qaeda leaders "raided" it. Breaking into the house, all five members of the cell held her captive in her own home and raped her repeatedly. Finally, when all five had quenched their base desire for that action which they so brutally prohibited others from humanely engaging in, under the guise of enforcing "true Islamic law," the terrorists departed, leaving the woman alone in her pain and misery.
If there is such a thing as "getting off easy" for a girl who is gang-raped, this first woman did just that. Two others, both age 23, met a much more gruesome fate shortly after the first, as they were taken from their houses (in front of their families), raped repeatedly by the entire al Qaeda cell, and then slaughtered. According to Medhi, their bodies were buried in a cemetery somewhere in the city.
The two most recent victims -- girls aged 23 and 20 -- were also taken from their family and gang-raped by these supposed enforcers of Islamic virtue. Both, claimed Medhi, were still being held hostage somewhere in Samarra. Unfortunately, the al Qaeda captive's keenness to confess to such atrocities as though they were simply ordinary daily activities did not translate into a willingness to provide coalition forces with an accurate location of his cell's current hostages. Twice Charlie Company platoons were dispatched to raid houses fingered by al-Medhi as being the site of his group's activities; both times, the information turned out to be inaccurate. However, on the last raid -- early on the morning of September 18th -- Charlie Co.'s White (2nd) Platoon was able to gather enough information to confirm that the other members of the cell, upon Medhi's capture, had fled Samarra, with the leader having gone all the way to Syria.
The dungeon was never found, nor were the two supposedly living captives, though the best guess by coalition forces is that they were either freed or -- much more likely -- killed when the remaining members of Medhi's al Qaeda cell decided to depart the region.
The mindset of such a person as Ahmed al-Medhi is impossible for a civilized person to comprehend; however, this is the face -- and the mind -- of the radical Islamist movement. This faction, which so brutally enforces "Islamic virtue" in others, is capable of turning right around and walking into families' houses, taking their daughters (about whom, Medhi said, there was "nothing special" – they just happened to be randomly chosen); and, after gang-raping them, either holding them hostage or slaughtering them.
Though few now seem to remember (only 4½ years from the end of his reign), this is the type of treatment that women in Iraq were subject to under the bloody rule of Saddam Hussein and his two sons, Uday and Qusay. Rape rooms were common throughout the country, and any woman in the vicinity of the Hussein family or their trusted high-ranking Ba'athists had to fear being randomly selected for such brutal treatment.
And the emmy for most out of touch with reality goes to.... Sally Field!
[MRC] Using her Emmy acceptance comments on stage to praise mothers, Sally Field turned political Sunday night as she declared: "Let's face it, if the mothers ruled the world, there would be no Goddamned wars in the first place."
Well, there are countless mothers of suicide bombers whom disprove Field's naive theory. In fact, the culture of Islamic extremism fosters the concept that children are procreated especially for martyrdom.
Just a few examples:
A martyr is a sacrificial lamb, a sacrifice to obtain salvation, which is evident from the cultural term given to terrorists - Fida'e, which literally means 'the sacrifice.' The Islamic argument against blood atonement is somewhat contradicted when it comes to the concept of martyrdom in Islam. Blood atonement is hardly absent in Islam. In fact, blood atonement makes it possible to intercede on the behalf of others, since the Shaheed [suicide bomber] takes on Christ-like abilities, interceding for seventy members of his or her family, who would otherwise have entered hell's fire. So, in order to alleviate the suffering in hell, at least one family member is encouraged to be given as a sacrifice."
-- Walid Shoebat, author of Why We Want To Kill You: The Jihadist Mindset and How to Defeat it.
A new online magazine published by the 'Women's Information Office on the Arabian Peninsula' aims to teach women how to contribute to jihad, or holy war. "Our main mission: push our children to the battlefield, like Al-Khansaa," declares Umm Raad al-Tamimi in the magazine. The monthly publication champions the ideology of Al Qaeda terrorist chief Osama bin Laden: "Drive infidels from the Arabian Peninsula," or Saudi Arabia.
-- Agence France-Presse, Sep 4, 2004
"The mother of the Palestinian suicide bomber who blew himself up in Eilat three days ago also told Agence France-Presse that she was happy her son was martyred. She revealed that she had said goodbye [to him] before he left for his mission and had wished him success, and that she was happy that 'God had heard her prayers.'"
-- Al-Hayat, February 1, 2007
The mother of the first female Palestinian suicide bomber has said she is proud of her daughter and hopes more women will follow her example. ...
Body parts found at the scene suggested that an attack on Sunday, which killed an 81-year-old Israeli man and left more than 100 injured, was the first of its kind by a woman. ... "She was happy when martyrdom attacks were carried out against the Israelis and told me she wished she would one day carry out such an attack," another relative, Manal Shaheen, said.
-- BBC, Female bomber's mother speaks out, 30 January, 2002
"Allah be praised, I am a Muslim and I believe in Jihad. Jihad is one of the elements of the faith and this is what encouraged me to sacrifice Muhammad in Jihad for the sake of Allah. My son was not destroyed, he is not dead; he is living a happier life than I. Had my thoughts been limited to this world, I would not sacrifice Muhammad. I am a compassionate mother to my children, and they are compassionate towards me and take care of me. Because I love my son, I encouraged him to die a martyr's death for the sake of Allah… Jihad is a religious obligation incumbent upon us, and we must carry it out. I sacrificed Muhammad as part of my obligation."-- Umm Nidal, mother of suicide bomber Muhammad Farhat, in an interview with Dream 2 TV (Egypt), December 21, 2005
"I feel the martyr is lucky because the angels usher him to his wedding in heaven. I feel the earth moves under the occupiers' feet… There is no doubt that a child [martyr] suggests that the new generation will carry on the mission with determination. The younger the martyr - the greater and the more I respect him… They [mothers of martyrs] willingly sacrifice their offspring for the sake of freedom. It is a great display of the power of belief. The mother is participating in the great reward of the Jihad to liberate Al-Aqsa… I talked to a young man… [who] said: '… I want to marry the black-eyed [beautiful] women of heaven.' The next day he became a martyr. I am sure his mother was filled with joy about his heavenly marriage. Such a son must have such a mother."
-- Mufti Sheikh Ikrimeh Sabri, Al-Ahram Al-Arabi (Egypt), October 28, 2000
In an interview with Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nuzhah Ziyadeh, also known as Umm Souheil, a 55-year-old woman from the Jebaliya refugee camp who had "sacrificed two of her sons as Shahids for the sake of Allah," expressed "pride and a sense of honor that Allah had honored her with the martyrdom of her two sons Souheil and Muhammad, and made their wish come true." The paper called Umm Souheil " Al-Khansaa" – referring to the mother of Shahids in Islamic history. -- Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), June 7, 2003
The Palestinians are fighting against the Zionists with a lethal weapon - the weapon of the multi-birthing woman. If they kill ["The Engineer" Yahyah] 'Ayyash, or if a Mujaheed is Martyred, the wombs of the women pushed, push, and will continue to push thousands Ayyash's of Mujahideen who suckle with their mothers' milk, the education for Jihad... Ah, If only [former Israeli PM Ariel] Sharon and his angels of destruction knew that the mother of a Shahid [suicide bomber] receives the news of her son's Martyrdom with cries of joy... One of them, so it was reported, took an oath to send the four sons she had left to the battlefield so they would gain Martyrdom as well, just like their brother. We wish that just like the Zionist airports were filled with those vagabond homosexuals on their way in, they will be filled once again on their way out, without anyone feeling sorry for them..."
-- Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), June 5, 2001.
A large number of summer camps were named after Shahids [suicide bombers], without distinction between whether they were involved in attacks in the Palestinian territories or carried out suicide bombings within the Green Line [Israel]. The following is a partial roundup of some camps that were mentioned in the Palestinian media:
Two summer camps were named after the first female suicide bomber Wafaa Idris, in Qalqiliya and in the Al-Am'ari refugee camp; A summer camp in eastern Gaza, organized by the Fatah Shabiba, was named after female suicide bomber Ayat Al-Akhras ; A summer camp was named after commander of Fatah's military wing Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Tulkarem, Ra'id Karmi; A summer camp in Gaza was named after Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades Commander in Gaza, Jihad Al-'Amarin; A summer camp was named after the Shahid Mahmoud Al-Jamasi, who blew up an IDF boat in Gaza; A summer camp in the town of 'Azoun in the Qalqiliya district, organized by the National Guidance Administration and named after the Shahid Muhammad Salim, an activist in the Hamas military wing Iz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades who was killed while trying to blow up a tank; A boys' summer camp in Dir Ballah named after Shahids; A boys' summer camp named after "the Shahids of Surif"; The "Loyalty to the Blood of the Martyrs" summer camp; The "Loyalty and Love for Chairman Yasser Arafat" summer camp, which this year was named after Shahids from the Rafah district; The "Independence and [Refugee] Return" summer camp in Nablus; At an Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades summer camp in the Hebron district, the children held a closing ceremony which included a play called "The Shahid's Wedding" – that is, his wedding in Paradise to the 72 black-eyed virgins; The Charity Organization for Aid to Orphans and the Needy in Jericho, which is close to the Hamas movement, concluded its summer camps with an exhibit of handicrafts. The 230 children participating in these camps were divided into groups with names that have Islamic connotations. Some of the names were: Al-Khansaa, Al-Tayyar, and Paradise.
-- Middle East Media Research Institute special report.
I was going to blog about this, but I decided that Jonah Goldberg does it better in his opinion piece today. To whit: Ho, hum, the media once again misquoted or quote out of context simply for the sake of bashing Bush.
Greenspan wrote that the Iraq war was "largely about oil," according to an excerpt in the Washington Post on Saturday. The statement quickly raced around the globe, with headlines like this one from Britain's Daily Telegraph: "Iraq was about oil -- Greenspan attacks U.S. motivation for war." The Independent began its own editorial by declaring: "The credibility of President George Bush's policy on Iraq has suffered another devastating blow. It is all the more powerful for having come not from a political enemy but from someone who was showered with plaudits by the administration."
The quoted phrase ran through the Sunday news shows and the blogosphere like a bad intestinal virus. On CNN's "Late Edition," Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Burlingame) was asked if he agreed with Greenspan. "To a very large extent I agree with him, and I think it is very remarkable that it took Alan Greenspan all these many years and being out of office [to state] the obvious."
Well, that is very interesting. But first we should clear the air about something. Greenspan claims that the quote was taken out of context. Greenspan called the Post -- Bob Woodward, no less -- to say that, in fact, he didn't think the White House was motivated by oil. Rather, he was. A Post story Monday explained that Greenspan had long favored Saddam Hussein's ouster because the Iraqi dictator was a threat to the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world's oil passes every day. Hussein could have sent the price of oil way past $100 a barrel, which would have inflicted chaos on the global economy.
In other words, Greenspan favored the war on the grounds that it would stabilize the flow of oil, even though that wasn't the war's political underpinning. "I was not saying that that's the administration's motive," Greenspan told Woodward, "I'm just saying that if somebody asked me, 'Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?' I would say it was essential."
So let's get back to Lantos, the California congressman who agreed with the misconstrued Greenspan that it was "obvious" we went to war for oil. What's funny -- though not really ha-ha funny -- is that Lantos voted for the war. If it was so obviously a war for oil, why did he vote for it? Unless, of course, he thinks it's hunky-dory to go to war because of oil -- though that didn't sound like what he was trying to say.
As several other politicians and officials noted over the weekend, no White House briefer ever told Congress that this was a war for oil. The debates in Congress didn't say this was a war for oil. Bush never gave a single speech saying this was a war for oil. (If oil was all Bush wanted, he hardly needed to go to war to get it.) So why is it so "obvious" to Lantos that it was a war for oil?
Perhaps the answer is that when it comes to bashing Bush about the war, no accusation is inaccurate -- even if it contradicts all the accusations that came before. Some say it's all about the Israel lobby. Others claim that Bush was trying to avenge his dad. Still others say Bush went to war because God told him to.
Which is it? All of those? Any? It doesn't seem to matter. It's disturbing how many people are willing to look for motives beyond the ones debated and voted on by our elected leaders.
Labels: just cool stuff
Columnist Mark Steyn reflects on the recent morally equivilant Kumbayah approach to counter-terrorism by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. On the sixth anniversary of 9-11, Patrick told a crowd that the attacks were "a failure of human beings to understand each other, to learn to love each other." Pass the sick bag.
We should beware anyone who seeks to explain 9/11 by using the words "each other": They posit a grubby equivalence between the perpetrator and the victim – that the "failure to understand" derives from the culpability of both parties. The 9/11 killers were treated very well in the United States: They were ushered into the country on the high-speed visa express program the State Department felt was appropriate for young Saudi males. They were treated cordially everywhere they went. The lap-dancers at the clubs they frequented in the weeks before the Big Day gave them a good time – or good enough, considering what lousy tippers they were. Sept. 11 didn't happen because we were insufficient in our love to Mohamed Atta.
This isn't a theoretical proposition. At some point in the future, some of us will find ourselves on a flight with a chap like Richard Reid, the thwarted shoe-bomber. On that day we'd better hope the guy sitting next to him isn't Gov. Patrick, who sees him bending down to light his sock and responds with a chorus of "All You Need Is Love," but a fellow who "understands" enough to wallop the bejesus out of him before he can strike the match. It was the failure of one group of human beings to understand that the second group of human beings was determined to kill them that led the crew and passengers of those Boston flights to stick with the obsolescent 1970s hijack procedures until it was too late.
You gotta admire the Israelis. They identify a threat and they act.
They don't cry to the U.N. They don't demand sanctions. They don't ask for permission from the Security Council. They don't try to triangulate France or China. They don't wring their hands and wonder if a potential response might not poll well with the "world community." They don't subscribe to John Kerry's "world test." They act.
After 5 months of surveillance, they identify that the terrorist-sponsoring, Lebanon-occupying, illiberal regime of Syria is importing nuclear material from North Korea... and they bomb that site.
What is Syria going to do? Conventionally attack Israel? Fat chance. Perhaps attack them by proxy via Hezbollah or another terrorist group? Well, they do that anyway, so for Israel, what's the difference? Won't the world villify them, call them war-mongers? Again, that already occurs anyway. So Israel loses nothing. The difference is that if you're going to be smeared for protecting your country, you better damn sure protect your country.
[UK Times] Results are forthcoming." The official story that the target comprised weapons destined for Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi'ite group, appeared to be crumbling in the face of widespread scepticism.
Andrew Semmel, a senior US State Department official, said Syria might have obtained nuclear equipment from "secret suppliers", and added that there were a "number of foreign technicians" in the country.
Asked if they could be North Korean, he replied: "There are North Korean people there. There's no question about that." He said a network run by AQ Khan, the disgraced creator of Pakistan's nuclear weapons, could be involved.
But why would nuclear material be in Syria? Known to have chemical weapons, was it seeking to bolster its arsenal with something even more deadly?
Alternatively, could it be hiding equipment for North Korea, enabling Kim Jong-il to pretend to be giving up his nuclear programme in exchange for economic aid? Or was the material bound for Iran, as some authorities in America suggest?
According to Israeli sources, preparations for the attack had been going on since late spring, when Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, presented Olmert with evidence that Syria was seeking to buy a nuclear device from North Korea.
The Israeli spy chief apparently feared such a device could eventually be installed on North-Korean-made Scud-C missiles.
"This was supposed to be a devastating Syrian surprise for Israel," said an Israeli source. "We've known for a long time that Syria has deadly chemical warheads on its Scuds, but Israel can't live with a nuclear warhead."
An expert on the Middle East, who has spoken to Israeli participants in the raid, told yesterday's Washington Post that the timing of the raid on September 6 appeared to be linked to the arrival three days earlier of a ship carrying North Korean material labelled as cement but suspected of concealing nuclear equipment.
The target was identified as a northern Syrian facility that purported to be an agricultural research centre on the Euphrates river. Israel had been monitoring it for some time, concerned that it was being used to extract uranium from phosphates.
According to an Israeli air force source, the Israeli satellite Ofek 7, launched in June, was diverted from Iran to Syria. It sent out high-quality images of a northeastern area every 90 minutes, making it easy for air force specialists to spot the facility.
Early in the summer Ehud Barak, the defence minister, had given the order to double Israeli forces on its Golan Heights border with Syria in anticipation of possible retaliation by Damascus in the event of air strikes.
Sergei Kirpichenko, the Russian ambassador to Syria, warned President Bashar al-Assad last month that Israel was planning an attack, but suggested the target was the Golan Heights.
Israeli military intelligence sources claim Syrian special forces moved towards the Israeli outpost of Mount Hermon on the Golan Heights. Tension rose, but nobody knew why.
At this point, Barak feared events could spiral out of control. The decision was taken to reduce the number of Israeli troops on the Golan Heights and tell Damascus the tension was over. Syria relaxed its guard shortly before the Israeli Defence Forces struck.
Only three Israeli cabinet ministers are said to have been in the know: Olmert, Barak and Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister. America was also consulted. According to Israeli sources, American air force codes were given to the Israeli air force attaché in Washington to ensure Israel's F15Is would not mistakenly attack their US counterparts.
Once the mission was under way, Israel imposed draconian military censorship and no news of the operation emerged until Syria complained that Israeli aircraft had violated its airspace. Syria claimed its air defences had engaged the planes, forcing them to drop fuel tanks to lighten their loads as they fled.
But intelligence sources suggested it was a highly successful Israeli raid on nuclear material supplied by North Korea.
This is a great satire of MoveOn.org's attempt to undermine and villify General David Petraeus. From Red State, they wonder, "What if MoveOn had been around 65 years ago?"
It's like I've said, had this current crop of capitulators been around during WWII we would have lost.
September has not been kind to Hillary Clinton.
First, the Hsu scandal envelopes her campaign.
Next, she opens the door to criticism that even fellow Democrats are willing to dish by hiring former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and former National Security Advisor Sandy "Fined $50k And Revoked My Security Clearance" Berger.
One would think that Mrs. Clinton wouldn't want to remind voters of all of her husband's baggage. Perhaps the Clintons think that everyone will just remember the "feel good" 90s, but it's just as likely people will recall bomb blasts from the WTC to Khobar to the USS Cole, or that 19 Islamic militants, many on bad visas, were plotting 9-11 well before Bush took office.
They may also be overestimating the traditional love liberals have for the Clintons, at least as long as Barak "RockStar" Obama is running. After all, Obama is the George Clooney of Congress.
It wasn't smart, then, for Hillary to attack General David Petraeus' character during his Senate testimony on Wednesday. Her advisers must have neglected to mention to her a recent Gallop poll showing that citizen's confidence in the military ranked the highest of all American institutions, at 73 percent.
Mrs. Clinton's Congress, by the way, ranks an historically low 19 percent, which was even lower than confidence in the president.
To Petraeus, Mrs. Clinton smeared thusly:
"You have been made the de facto spokesman for what many of us believe to be a failed policy in Iraq. Despite what I view as your rather extraordinary efforts and your testimony both yesterday and today, I think that the reports that you provide us really require a willing suspension of disbelief."
Is that akin to the "meaning of is"? That takes gall, folks. For eight years the Clintons were masters at asking Americans to suspend disbelief. This, after all, is the same lady who twice claimed that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary for his Mt. Everest expidition, which indeed he did...six years after Hillary was born.
And let's not kid around here, Clinton is calling Petraeus a peddler of fabrications. Her introduction is nothing more than a backhanded compliment: "General, you're a very extraordinary person... for a liar."
Well, it's one thing to call the supposed Bush-Cheney-Rummy-TheyKnew!-FreeMasons-911Conspiracy-Cabal liars and get a pass from the moderates one is trying to court.
It's another thing to do it to a guy who serves his country for little pay, who's sacrificed everything, is constantly away from his family, who's had to sleep in the dirt in a desert (among other uncomfortable places) and get shot at, and who's earned a Master's Degree and PhD and has more medals than Fort Knox (just check out the bottom of this page!)
I think Hillary's going to regret reminding the public just how much the military legitimately hate and disrespect the Clintons. On his worst Swift Boating day John Kerry never had the military perception problems that the Clintons have.
And I think both Rudy Giuliani and John McCain are going to mop the floor with her, should either ever live debate her.
McCain was particularly pointed in his retort.
[John McCain] "Senator Clinton said that believing General Petraeus' testimony requires a 'willing suspension of disbelief.' I think it willingly suspends disbelief to not repudiate an advertisement run by a radical left wing organization that impugns and dishonors the integrity of a man who has served his nation with dedication all of his life. If you're not tough enough to repudiate a scurrilous, outrageous attack such as that, then I don't know how you're tough enough to be President of the United States."
Yowza. To borrow a quote from Private Hudson from Aliens, "I don't know if Hillary's keeping up with current events, but she just got her butt kicked."
And September isn't even half over yet...
Just an awesome editorial by Michael Graham...
Deval's naivete endangers us all
How do you explain to someone who just doesn't get it, that the problem is that he just doesn't get it?
This is the Deval Patrick Dilemma.
He is our governor, and he's unlikely to leave office before serving two full terms. (Patrick may be a lot of things, but he's no Republican.)
He is our chief magistrate. Due to his involvement with the courts and police, he is essentially Massachusetts' top cop.
And yet he seems completely and utterly incapable of telling the good guys from the bad guys.
Ben LeGuer, rapist of grandmothers - bad. Police officers and prosecutors who locked LeGuer up - good.
Sex offenders looking for jobs at Massachusetts day care centers - bad. Employers who want to see complete CORI reports before hiring day-care providers - good.
Islamist hijackers who board planes at Logan and fly them into the World Trade Center - bad. The Americans they killed, and the nation they terrorized. . .
See the pattern here, Gov?
In his 9/11 commemoration speech, Patrick observed that while the attack on the World Trade Center was "mean and nasty," (that's telling 'em, Deval!) the real tragedy of six years ago was the "failure of human understanding."
Yes, 9/11 was, Patrick said "a failure of human beings to understand each other, to learn to love each other." [Emphasis added.]
To find out what the victims of 9/11 didn't understand about the terrorists that might have prevented the attack, I turned to Debra Burlingame. Her brother, Chic, was the pilot of American Airlines [AMR] Flight 77 - the plane that hit the Pentagon.
When I first read Debra the governor's remarks over the phone, her reaction was astonished silence. "Can you read that again please?"
I did. More silence.
"Did he have the audacity to say that in front of grieving 9/11 family members?" she asked, somewhat astonished.
"Well, I'm glad I didn't have to listen to that on 9/11," she said in a measured tone, trying unsuccessfully to conceal her anger. "I would have found it extremely insulting to the memory of my brother."
"Did he really say 'mean and nasty?' " she wanted to know. "At Ground Zero, they've recovered 21,000 body parts and still counting. That's not mean and nasty, that's an atrocity."
Debra wasn't happy with the governor's suggestion that 9/11 was born of the failure of mutual understanding between the victims and their killers, but she understood it. She called is a form of moral vanity.
"It appeals to one's sense of vanity to think we're better than these people because we're nicer than they are. Liberals like this think 'I'm not judgmental, so that makes me superior,' " Debra said.
This self-gratifying "we're all responsible for 9/11" preening isn't just dumb, however. It's also dangerous. "If your governor thinks we can love-bomb al-Qaeda into submission, he's living in a dream world."
Perhaps that's Patrick's problem. Maybe he's living in another world, an imaginary liberal land were every Muslim radical is just one hug away from Methodism, and every criminal can be rehabilitated by a proper diet and midnight basketball.
The rest of us, alas, are trapped in the real world. And in this world, "9/11 is the price we paid for not truly understanding the enemy," Debra told me. "It was the moral vanity of our politicians that told them the Islamists could be dealt with through diplomacy, or negotiated with.
"The only negotiating they do is with a Kalashnikov rifle."
I'm still unclear what it is Patrick wants us to understand about the radical Muslims who want to kill us. But thanks to liberals like Patrick and MoveOn.org, the terrorists understand America.
All too well.
[US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT] Six years ago, Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda weren't just attempting to bring down the twin towers of the World Trade Center. They were trying to smash the American economy as well. Here is what bin Laden himself said about his goals and motivations back in December 2001: "If their economy is destroyed, they will be busy with their own affairs rather than enslaving the weak peoples. It is very important to concentrate on hitting the U.S. economy through all possible means." And here is what al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri said in September 2002: "We will also aim to continue, by the permission of Allah, the destruction of the American economy."
No luck so far, despite bin Laden's recent videotape ravings about our taxes and mortgage debt. Although the towers came down, the resilient American economy didn't. Since September 11, the economy hasn't suffered a single down quarter. In fact, it has notched 23 straight quarters of economic growth. (And despite the subprime mortgage crisis, this is likely to be the 24th straight quarter of growth.) Those numbers are especially amazing when you consider that when the terrorist attacks happened, the Internet stock bubble was in full implosion mode. The economy dipped in the third quarter of 2001 and was slightly negative in two of the previous four quarters. But it's been nothing but growth since then. Overall, the American economy is, adjusting for inflation, $1.65 trillion bigger than it was six years ago. To put that gigantic number in some perspective, the U.S. economy has added the equivalent of five Saudi Arabias, eight Irans, 13 Pakistans, or 15 Egypts, depending on your preference. And while 9/11 did cause the stock market to plunge, the Dow is 37 percent higher than it was on Sept. 10, 2001, creating trillions of dollars of new wealth for Americans. What's more, the unemployment rate is 4.6 percent today vs. 5.7 percent back then. Not bad at all.
"We pulled out of the Gaza Strip two years ago, we took down all of the settlements, we pulled out all our military personnel, we ended the military occupation and these extremists who are shooting rockets really have no positive agenda. It's just nihilism."
-- Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry, commenting on a Gaza-based Palestinian rocket attack into Israel, wounding 70.
A rare voice of reason in the mainstream media, ABC News' John Stossel takes on Michael Moore's view of healthcare:
When government is in charge of health care, the result is not that everyone gets access to experimental treatments, but that people get less of the care that is absolutely necessary. At any given time, just under a million Canadians are on waiting lists to receive care, and one in eight British patients must wait more than a year for hospital treatment. Canadian Karen Jepp, who gave birth to quadruplets last month, had to fly to Montana for the delivery: neonatal units in her own country had no room.
Rationing in Britain is so severe that one hospital recently tried saving money by not changing bed-sheets between patients. Instead of washing sheets, the staff was encouraged to just turn them over, British papers report. The wait for an appointment with a dentist is so long that people are using pliers to pull out their own rotting teeth.
Patients in countries with government-run health care can't get timely access to many basic medical treatments, never mind experimental treatments. That's why, if you suffer from cancer, you're better off in the U.S., which is home to the newest treatments and where patients have access to the best diagnostic equipment. People diagnosed with cancer in America have a better chance of living a full life than people in countries with socialized systems. Among women diagnosed with breast cancer, only one-quarter die in the U.S., compared to one-third in France and nearly half in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Moore thinks that profit is the enemy and government is the answer. The opposite is true. Profit is what has created the amazing scientific innovations that the U.S. offers to the world. If government takes over, innovation slows, health care is rationed, and spending is controlled by politicians more influenced by the sob story of the moment than by medical science.
The Big Lie that Continues About Iraq [W. Thomas Smith Jr.]
Why does everyone continue this bit about our invasion of Iraq being "based on a lie?" That in and of itself is a lie.
In terms of weapons of mass destruction (which Saddam indeed previously possessed, used, and was always seeking to develop or acquire — and no one has the definitive answer as to what might have happened to any WMDs he might have possessed prior to the invasion), we and our coalition partners acted on the best intelligence we had available at the time — and intelligence collection and processing is an art, not a science.
In terms of direct links to 9/11, there were indeed links to terrorists who linked either directly or indirectly to global al Qaeda (though, to the anti-Bush crowd, what rises to the level of a legitimate link would have to be something along the lines of a Ba'athist intelligence officer making love to Osama bin Laden in the presence of George Tenet, Robert Mueller, and film crews from the big three television networks). But don't take my word for it. READ the 9/11 Commission Report, something the Left does NOT want America to do. Talk about cherry picking facts — those birds have been cherry picking passages from the 9/11 Commission Report, and then interpreting those facts for the masses, since it was first published.
If anyone wants the actual pages that clearly show glaring evidence of "links" between pre-invasion Iraq and terrorists (and remember, after 9/11, America went to war against terrorists and those who would harbor them anywhere in the world), ask me. I'll go back and find them.
If you want other evidence, I'll share some of that too. In fact, I (and so many others) here at NRO and elsewhere already have.
But this bit about lying us into war is an absolute lie, and educated, well-informed Americans should not tolerate it any more from reps like Dennis the Menace, who say:
The fact of the matter is we are all being weakened by continuing a war that's based on a lie. This war was based on lies.
That, my friends, is a manipulative lie.
And it's a lie that works for them and they feel comfortable with: After all, it's been repeated enough times as in any lie in a successful propaganda campaign.
Ol' Robert Byrd tried to use the lie yesterday when he attempted to get General Petraeus to take the "links" bait, so he (Byrd) could force Petraeus to go back to 2003, and spend all of his time on the defensive, instead of continuing to focus on 2007 and beyond.
Fortunately, Petraeus did not take the bait.
[Yale Daily News] When it comes to the "money primary," Yale employees favor Democratic presidential candidates over their Republican rivals — by a margin of 45 to one.
Federal Election Commission filings from the first two quarters of the year show that University faculty and staff have given $44,500 to Democratic presidential candidates — most often to Sen. Barack Obama — and just $1,000 to Republicans.
...Charles Lockwood, the chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and the only faculty member known to have contributed to Giuliani, joked that, "Most people in my department are slightly to the left of Joseph Stalin."
Labels: academic bias
So maybe out of my bitter post below I can find something more constructive, eh?
As part of the Project 2996, a September 11 tribute, I've chosen to highlight and remember on my blog Gregory Saucedo.
I picked him because his name stuck out - obviously - he was about the same age as me at the time, and unlike me, he was just a tough son of a gun.
Greg Saucedo was a firefighter and died trying to save the lives of others. God bless you Greg.
Here's a writeup on him from Legacy.com:
Speaking His Mind
Gregory Saucedo was marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade last year when he came across some men he knew. "He said, 'This guy's a great guy, this guy's a great guy, this guy I just don't like,'" said Dave Simoes, a childhood friend and fellow firefighter.
Firefighter Saucedo, who happened to be the self-proclaimed bench-press champ of the Ladder Company 5 stationhouse in SoHo, was not much of a diplomat. But "he was much the same way in telling you that he did like you and what he did like about you," Firefighter Simoes said.
After losing both his parents, Firefighter Saucedo drew strength from ties to his three older brothers. On his muscular arm he displayed a tattoo of a gnarly oak tree with four outsized branches, and in his life he displayed absolute candor. Strength and devotion are cousins, and Firefighter Saucedo was the kind of guy who would jog with a hangover.
Now his brothers collect scraps of information about the time Firefighter Saucedo spent inside the World Trade Center, documenting the way that cultivated strength was put to its final use. "The last 90 minutes of his life were extremely important," said Christopher Saucedo. "The family is wrapped up in that moment of terrible sadness and tremendous pride."
At least, he said, there is "nobody wondering, 'How did Greg feel about me?'"
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 15, 2001.
And God bless and comfort his family.
...I'd show it every day.
See my post from last year. It's pretty much how I feel this year.
If I had said in late 2001, with bodies still being pulled from the wreckage, anthrax flying through the mail, pandemonium reigning at the airports, and bombs falling on Kabul, that by '07 leading Democrats [John Edwards] would be ridiculing the idea of the war on terror as a bumper sticker, I'd have been thought mad. If I'd predicted that a third of Democrats would be telling pollsters that Bush knew in advance about 9/11, and that the eleventh of September would become an innocuous date for parental get-togethers to talk about potty-training strategies and phonics for preschoolers, people would have thought I was crazy.
... There are a lot of reasons why the emotional half-life of 9/11 has been so short, many of them good, or at least understandable. We haven't been (successfully) attacked at home since 9/11, for example. But it's important to remember that from the outset, the media took it as their sworn duty to keep Americans from getting too riled up about 9/11. I wrote a column about it back in March of 2002. Back then the news networks especially saw it as imperative that we not let our outrage get out of hand. I can understand the sentiment, but it's worth noting that such sentiments vanished entirely during hurricane Katrina. After 9/11, the press withheld objectively accurate and factual images from the public, lest the rubes get too riled up. After Katrina, the press endlessly recycled inaccurate and exaggerated information in order to keep everyone upset. The difference speaks volumes.
-- Jonah Goldberg, NRO
A Washington Post story describes the mood during testimony of Gen. David Petraus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, and reaction by Rep. Jan Schakowsky, whom the post calls "one of the House's most vociferous critics of the war."
The Post shadowed Schakowsky yesterday during which she spent her day in a general state of enraged kookiness, "firing off messages" on her BlackBerry to friendly media outlets, "mere minutes into his [Petraeus] testimony."
It's a classic display of a liberal unhinged. The all-CAPS below were Schakowsky's actual use, not my emphasis:
"Did I hear him correctly? I thought I heard Gen. Petraeus say that because of the 'progress' that's been made, the US will reduce the number of troops to pre-surge levels by NEXT SUMMER," she wrote to a reporter, offering her real-time reaction.
"He is presenting the same cherry-picked numbers that we've all heard before. . . . 4 1/2 years later and we are still hearing how, despite their deficiencies, Iraqi security forces are expanding their capacities.
"Bottom line? He is saying in effect, 'Stay the course.' "
Next came Crocker's opening remarks -- and another furious e-mail from Schakowsky, with the subject line "Just Wrong!"
"Crocker had the chutzpah to begin by comparing Iraq and the chaos and violence there with U.S. history of slavery, universal suffrage, civil rights. . . . The US was not occupied by another nation that ran the show. . . . How dare he!"
Look, I'm not a big fan of direct war comparisons but Crocker is closer to the truth than Schakowsky realizes. Perhaps were she not so blinded by rage she might recall some facts.
To whit: Even well after Reconstruction began (1865 to 1876), former citizens of the Confederate States of America, you see, certainly viewed Union soldiers on their territory as an occupying force.
The only reason the Civil War ended in conventional fashion (after 500,000 dead) was because commanding General Robert E. Lee refused to engage in the "Bushwhacking" (guerrilla) warfare some of his generals were proposing.
Even with Lee's refusal, Reconstruction was a very bloody period filled with ex-Confederate anti-Union propaganda, voter intimidation via racially-based, tribally-based (.i.e., anti-Northern) violence, kidnapping and torture against blacks, northern whites and pro-Unionists. The effects of this lasted well into the 1960s.
Thus, the difference between Iraq and the US Civil War isn't a matter of "occupation," as Schakowsky asserts, but of technology and ideology.
Insurgency warfare was fully mature by this period, displayed during the Civil War and even going back to the Revolution and French & Indian Wars. But Confederates didn't have IED's and cellular phones. Nor did they embrace the notion that murdering civilians in suicide-attacks was a fast track to heaven, as Islamic fundamentalists thoroughly believe. If they had we would be a much different country today.
Furthermore, the US Civil War was just as unpopular as today's Iraq War. Abraham Lincoln was under constant criticism by Union media. Cities one would think of as Union loyal were often hotbeds of Confederate sympathy -- John Wilkes Booth and his fellow conspirators began their plotting in New York City, the heart of the Union.
As for Schakowsky's criticism of Petraeus, it's just plain premeditated, predetermined hate and pessimism. Petraeus wasn't in charge 4 1/2 years ago. Those commanders - Abazaid, Sanchez, Rummy - are all gone. It's pointless and silly to pin past mistakes to Petraeus, or otherwise imply nothing's changed. On the contrary, leadership and tactics change everything.
Now let's not compare war, but attitude: On June 6, 1944, after the US took a fresh 7,000+ dead at Normandy, one would have not found a single US Congressman, Republican or Democrat, rue the slew of US strategy mistakes from 1941 to 1944 (Operation Market Garden comes to mind), and attempt to use them for political agendas. But that's precisely what Schakowsky and her ilk do today.
Beyond surrender, her kind have no other plan. So it would seem that antiwar liberals are the ones staying the course -- a course of capitulation.
Terry Trippany and the conservative bloggers discover that the New York Times gave MoveOn.org a $100,000 discount, or 60 percent, to purchase it's smear advertisement against Gen. David Petraeus.
Trippany says, "For a newspaper that pretends to be objective purveyors of news this discount seems a bit steep for the deep pocketed liberal advocacy group. In fact the amount MoveOn paid is less than any rate listed in the New York Times schedule."
Well, the Times is still a good newspaper for wrapping up old fish.
Is it Time to Withdraw Support for a Congress that Can't Govern?
The U.S. Congress appears almost dysfunctional, unable to address pressing issues of national welfare. And now there's more alarming news: Congress is failing to meet certain benchmarks--even those that have already been allowed to slip before. Congressional Quarterly says "Deadlines Are Piling up in September for Must-Pass Legislation":After failing to meet several previous goals for going to conference on Food and Drug Administration overhaul bills, lawmakers in both chambers are committing to a new wrap-up date of Sept. 21.
The legislation (HR 2900, S 1082) would reauthorize the FDA program that approves new drugs. Without a funding renewal, the agency will have to start laying off workers at the end of this month, when current funding expires.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Because Congress has not cleared a single one of the 12 appropriations bills needed to run the government, we face the prospect of entire departments closing their doors on October 1, when current funding expires:Setting the stage for what one budget analyst predicted will be "great budgetary theater" is the clock. The 2008 fiscal year begins Oct. 1, and Congress has yet to send to the president a single appropriations bill needed to keep government agencies running.
The House has passed all 12 appropriations bills, but the Senate has passed just one.
We can expect Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to try to gloss over this--to invent new benchmarks with the hope of convincing the American people that they are making progress. But we need to face reality: this Congress simply doesn't work. It seems that the current leadership is too heavily identified with just one faction and is incapable of bringing together divergent interests. It may be time to toss the lot and hold new elections--or, at the very least, to withhold financial support as a signal of our dissatisfaction.
-- Brian Faughnan
So the bombshell is in. Because the surge has been so successful in meeting its objectives, General Petraeus recommends a drawdown of 25 percent of the combat brigades in Iraq by next summer, and expects to continue drawing down after that.
Since this is what the Democrats have been asking for, they must now shift their position, and insist that the drawdown be deeper and faster. This is the lesson of the Vietnam period. The Nixon administration often announced troop withdrawals in excess of what the Democrats had called for. Weeks later, the Democrats would conclude that the withdrawals were not nearly deep enough, or rapid enough, and press for more.
Notice the pickle that the Democrats are in, however — the difference between this and Vietnam. Petraeus recommends a massive drawdown because in his view we are winning and the surge troops won't be needed for much longer. But the Democrats have no choice but to dispute the premise of this recommendation — absurdly arguing, by implication, the troops are needed, but the cause is hopeless so we should withdraw anyways.
The fact of the matter is that between the desires of their base and the increasingly clear progress in Iraq, the Democrats have an almost impossible communications problem. It is going to interesting to see how they negotiate it.
MoveOn.org Calls Petraeus a Traitor
Do Democrats in Congress agree?
by Pete Hegseth
Tomorrow--as General David Petraeus provides his Iraq assessment to Congress--the antiwar group MoveOn.org is running a full-page advertisement in the New York Times under the headline: "General Petraeus or General Betray us? Cooking the books for the White House."
Let's be clear: MoveOn.org is suggesting that General Petraeus has 'betrayed' his country. This is disgusting. To attack as a traitor an American general commanding forces in war because his 'on the ground' experience does not align with MoveOn.org's political objectives is utterly shameful. It shows contempt for America's military leadership, as well as for the troops who have confidence in him, as our fellow soldiers in Iraq certainly do.
General Petraeus has served this country for over 35 years with honor, distinction, and integrity. And this is not just about General Petraeus. After all, if General Petraeus is "cooking the books," then the entire military chain of command in Baghdad, and all the staff, military and civilian, who have been working with General Petraeus are complicit, since Petraeus did not write his report in isolation. They are all, apparently, 'betray[ing] us.'
MoveOn.org has been working closely with the Democratic congressional leadership --as an article in today's Sunday New York Times Magazine makes clear. And consider this comment by a Democratic senator from Friday's Politico: "'No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,' noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. 'The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.'
So, veterans who served in Iraq ask the Democratic leaders in Congress: Does MoveOn.org speak for you? Do you agree with MoveOn.org? Or do you repudiate this despicable charge?
MoveOn.org has helped frame the core choice: Whom do we trust to run this war--MoveOn.org and its allies in Congress, or Gen. David Petraeus and his colleagues?
Pete Hegseth is executive director of Vets for Freedom and an Iraq War veteran.
A group of 31 bipartisan Congressional leaders have asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to denounce the group.
This is www.gregnews.com
Greg Reports... Greg Decides
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile--hoping it will eat him last.." -- Winston Churchill
Wish I Could Write Like...
News & Views I Use
Mil-Blogs of Note
Greg's Published CommentaryThe Halliburton Candidate The Peace That Never Was The Neglected Point of Abu Ghraib Date With Destiny Dictators and Double Standards Redux