Thursday, November 18, 2004
Of course, so is boobie-trapping bodies. Or pretending to be wounded and unarmed and then opening fire on us. But that's the problem... terrorists best advantage is they use our rules against us, and then scream bloody murder if we don't hold to them.
Tell me this.... is kidnapping non-combatants, torturing, and killing them permitted by the Geneva Convention?
How about if they kidnap and kill the head of the local chapter of a global aid organization, say, like CARE international?
Where is the Islamic Outrage over this? You know why Al-Jazeera didn't show it? Yup. To minimize any negative PR impact this might have on the terrorists (oops I mean insurgents).
That murder does illustrate one thing very clearly... the terrorists aren't terribly concerned about their own PR in the short run. They want the state to fail, for the U.S. to pull out, and for them to take over and create another Afghanistan, only with a lot more oil. They killed her to discourage aid organizations from coming to help, and to encourage the few still left to leave.
People of Iraq, you can not allow the terrorists to succeed.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
NPR does not go on to speculate on why withdrawal isn't really an option. It's as if the bad, bad U.S. Military and its evil "puppet" government are being so mean to the poor, poor terrorists, whose idea of just military tactics is to cause outrage at the government and the US by kidnapping and beheading innocent people.
The press does a lot to avoid the obvious disconnect of culpability between the beheaders and the U.S. and Iraqi governments. They don't go quite so far as to say it, but they allow the idea that the blame for the highly publicized and grizzly deaths lies not with the belligerent outlaws, but with the Governments.
Well what the fuh?
The last time we tried to take down the terrorists in Fallujah (in April), reports of casualties (oh my God, we were actually KILLING people... in a WAR!!!! ... against people who cut innocent people's heads off for their own political ends!!!!) we were pressured into stopping the assault, pulling back, and sending in poorly trained and poorly motivated Iraqi troops who immediately deserted.
So terrorist intimidation and propaganda worked.
Why did they kidnap Alawi's relatives? Because the outrage they cause (oddly not at themselves but at Alawi and the US) WORKS. Maybe not all of the time, but enough for them to keep trying.
And if the pressure leads to a pullout of US troops?
It will have worked again.
People will stick with what works. Which is why we can never give in to terrorist demands, no matter how much it hurts.
For all the negative stuff I'm hearing, it sounds like the operation is going about as well as can be expected. But you have to listen to what's not being said to figure that out.
Monday, November 08, 2004
A gut-check tells me this man has got to be one of the most sensible men in government in a long time. The press hates uncertainty, and Rumsfeld deals with it every day. He is very good at reminding them of how silly some of their questions are.
At the end of the press converence this afternoon, someone pressed him to "come down" and see them more often, and Donald gave his explanation as to what was going on. He said he loved coming down, but after the handover of soveriegnty to the inerim Iraqi government the administration thought it was important that the Iraqi government do most of the speaking concerning Iraqi affairs. Makes sense to me, as most of what Rumsfeld says typically does.
On top of that, apparently, the President asked Don Rumsfeld and Colin Powell not to get involved in the campaign. Rumsfeld correctly pointed out that every question in any press conference involving him during the campaign would have been in effect a campaign question.
He said he'd've loved to come down and talk to them. He had a few things he'd've liked to say.
I think we'll be seeing more of Rummy now that the election's over.
Read some of the comments on the BBC's "Have your say" on the Fallujah invasion. Fortunately, a number of them are supportive. The ones that aren't, however, show a cluelessness that is frightening. It's frightening because it seems to be a position that far too much (close to half?) of the world population holds.
Here's what I had to say about it:
To those shaking their fingers with predictable warnings of gloom and death (really sticking your neck out there predicting tragedy in a war, aren't you?) please provide us with your alternative plan. Stop telling us what you're against and tell us what you're for.
Alawi invited the U.N. to come up with a better plan.
The nay-sayers appear to want us to pull out and let the peaceful people if Fallujah and Iraq in general get on with their pastoral, butterfly-filled lives. Get a clue. We pull out, the "insurgents" take over, and Iraq becomes a very wealthy state controlled by Muslim extremists. It's not what most Fallujans want, nor what most Iraqis want.
It would be, however, a windfall victory for Al-Queda.
An Al-Queda with billions of dollars at its disposal. Now isn't that an attractive thought?
Perhaps the U.N. should demand withdrawal of all French nationals from "occupied territory" in the Ivory coast and leave the poor Ivoronians alone.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Americans take their presidents very personally.
Rather than carefully weighing a candidate's policies, they tend to do a "gut check". If the British could elect the Queen, they too would be less interested in the policies than having someone who shared their outlook. And for millions of Americans, George W Bush managed to connect to voters in a way that Mr Kerry did not.
In large part, it is a trick of political packaging.
In reality, Mr Bush has no more in common with Mid-West values than John Kerry, but he is relentlessly disciplined about masking his true origins (private school, wealth and East Coast privilege) with a down-home folksiness.
Maybe Conservative Americans really don't hold a person's social background against them. I know it wasn't a factor for me. Liberals are so smugly certain that they are right and Bush is wrong that they can't believe that anyone else could possibly see the merit in the man's policies. Certainly your background can shape you. But it's how you react to those shaping forces over time that determines who you are.
For all their talk about judging people on who they are rather than where they came from, Liberals can be the most prejudiced of all.
Friday, November 05, 2004
I give you these links:
http://www.brain-terminal.com/discuss/viewtopic.php?t=410 (see original post at bottom of page)
How is George Bush (or anyone else) supposed to unite people with this mindset?
"These people are voting against their own interest", refering to farmers and blue-collar workers.
I can't think of a better example of the smug condescention of the Liberal Intellectual than that.
"You don't know what you want. You don't know what's good for you. Let us take care of you."
The divide in the electorate is obvious. Those who live in heavily populated areas lean to the left, and the more rural you get, the more right you lean. The left would like to believe (and therefore often do believe) that this is because of an education divide between the cultures -- the more educated tend to live in cities, the less educated in rural areas.
First of all, as a percentage of the population, I have to wonder if that's true. It seems to me that cities are full of lots of people who went only through high school, or often didn't finish at all. But never mind that for now unless someone has some real numbers.
On top of that, I hate to do it, but I'd be remiss not to point out that in education, especially higher education, is incestuously rife with liberal ideology. Now you may get the idea that I think that all liberal thought is bad and should be tossed, but this is not the case. I think there should be a genuine conversation between liberal and conservative ideas, where the merits and follies of the ideas are objectively analyzed. But that's not what goes on. In today's liberal colleges, conservative ideas are supressed, even silenced by intimidation -- in the name of protecting others from being intimidated.
I have a theory that cities foster collectivism, whereas rural populations preserve the original individualism that made this country great. Its not that all collectivism is bad -- but it should come as volunteer action from the people, not be enforced by implicit government coersion.
The blindness behind the assumption behind the idea that people are voting against their own interests begs the questions -- what do you think their interests are, and what do they think their interests are? And why?
I believe the answer is that the Left believes that it is in farmers and blue-collar workers best interest to have the government "look after them". This means more governmental control in their affairs. The left talks of "creating jobs". The fact is, the only jobs the government can create are government jobs, and government jobs cost money. And money doesn't come from the sky. It comes from our pockets. And with government jobs comes bigger government. Bigger government means more regulation. More regulation means less liberty.
Liberty. The other "L" word.
Is that in our interests? Our forefathers sure as hell thought so. I sure as hell do, too.
I saw Demolition Man. I think that is where this country is headed. I don't think George Bush is taking us there. I'm pretty certain that electing John Kerry would have given us a huge joy-joy boost in that joy-joy direction. Already schools are banning physical contact between children, people are not allowed to say what they think if isn't liberal-approved, and religion-specific language is being bleached from society. To say anything negative about a person who happens to be in a "blessed" minority is racist or sexist.
Take the following New York Times Op. Ed. piece under consideration
The Democrats love to say "It's the economy, stupid!" Well -- maybe it's not. Maybe "It's the Liberty1, stupid." I live in the middle of "Flyover Country". I grew up 30 miles from the closest city of 10,000. I graduated college with two degrees. I make well under $100k a year. I don't begrudge wealthy people their money. I don't think they should have to give more of it to me or to anyone else. Contrary to popular leftist propaganda, the rich pay a huge portion of our taxes, AND they create wealth by running the buisnesses that give the rest of us jobs. The reward for their risks is a lot of money, and I say more power to them. And that's what most conservatives think, even the poor ones. Maybe they're not rising up against the rich. Maybe they're rising up against a self-appointed intellectual culture that is trying to codify into law the way it thinks they should look at the world. Which translates into what they believe -- which translates into a state religion. Which is what the whole church-and-state separation was trying to avoid.
"Like many such movements, this long-running conservative revolt is rife with contradictions.. It is an uprising of the common people whose long-term economic effect has been to shower riches upon the already wealthy and degrade the lives of the very people who are rising up. It is a reaction against mass culture that refuses to call into question the basic institutions of corporate America that make mass culture what it is. It is a revolution that plans to overthrow the aristocrats by cutting their taxes."
So while trying to figure out what went wrong, perhaps the Democrats would do well to think outside of the Liberal box, and not assume that the people who vote the other way are evil, or as they apparently think, stupid.
1Granted, laws against gays are anti-Liberty, and a lot of Christian Conservatives would probably vote for them. But that's just one issue. But perhaps if the core Leftist culture weren't so vehemently anti-Christian, American Christians wouldn't be so peeved about having to change their language to be incredibly sensitive people who inspire joy-joy feelings in all those around them.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
One thing I noticed before the election much was made about how people answered the question "Do you think the country is going in the right direction?"
Most people answered "No". And it was assumed that was bad news for Bush, the incumbent.
However, the question was far too general. The people asking it and analyzing the answer assumed it meant the war and the world's opinion of us, maybe lack of health care or jobs. Which I'm sure many of the people answering it thought meant, too.
But a whole bunch of other people might be talking about eroding morals, rampant out-of-touch activism, and bigger government. Apparently, a lot more of them thought the question meant that.
And part of it is that tolerence, what conservatives get lambasted on, is a two-way street. The middle of the country, which is still largely conservative and largely Christian -- gets dismissed as "fly over country", hicks, backwoods, rednecks, ignorant and intellectually vaccuous. The condescention from the Left Coasts is visceral, thinly veiled (or unbridled) contempt. Not even remotely tolerant. Patronizing at best. Overwhelmingly dismissive.
And maybe, just maybe, "Fly Over Country" has a right to be a little steamed.
I've been listening to a lot of NPR blather on "what went wrong" for the Democrats. Surely, one the biggest issues (and it kind of surprised me) that got people out to vote for Bush was the morality question of abortion and the gay marriage issue. A lot of Christians got out to vote. A lot of poor Christians. A lot of Black and Hispanic Christians.
The concession speech started out talking about how his constituents stood in line in the rain for hours and hours (as if people who voted for Bush waited in warm, dry parlors on velvet chairs with hot chocolate) and how he would keep fighting for people who were jobless or needed healthcare or had a relative die in Iraq (as if none of those people voted for Bush).
Now as a guy who understands the Church and State thing and as someone who would approve of legal same-sex unions (while I woudln't want to be forced to call it by the same name I call the one I have with my wife) -- I can say I got a lot of help from people I don't agree with 100%. But I do agree with them on a lot of issues.
What Liberals are missing is that they are convinced that they are right. You can't tell them they are wrong. Ironic, because that's what they themselves say about Bush and Christians. If they say that abortion is an unrestricted right, they're right and there's no room for compromise. But it's not what most Americans think. However, they think it's what Americans SHOULD think, and if they don't it must because some vast Illuminati-Freemason-Rockerfeller conspiracy is somehow controlling them and making them think "wrong".
They forget that this country was founded largely by Christians and the culture is still basically a Christian-derived one. They screech when anyone suggests anybody's morals and traditions be questioned -- unless it's Christian morals and traditions... then it's fine.
Government should make no law supporting or hindering religion. But religious values are the values of real live people, and ignoring those values is to ignore ourselves.
Want a big reason for why the country is so divided? Try the fact that in an effort to produce a multi-cultural culture, they've basically created a culture of no culture and pitted it against a largely Judeo-Christian one, and villified that culture as the enemy.
It's time this country got involved in a serious discussion about what the role of government should be, what our forefathers thought when they wrote the Constitution, and stop trying to dole out "rights" that we just don't have -- like the right not to be offended and the right to free health care and the like.
Ok, that's enough blowing off the top of my head.
This time, in order for Democrats to claim Victory, they'd have to win Ohio, pretty much -- which seems unlikely unless every single provisional ballot in Ohio was cast for Kerry -- and even then they will have lost the national popular vote by around 3,500,0000.
This would put them in an odd spot indeed, but then again liberals are the kings and queens of rationalization and will somehow find a way to argue that the victory is legitimate when their guy wins the electoral college but loses the national popular vote, but not when that's the position they're in.
But that probably won't happen. Between that and the fact that more than half the voters in the country voted for Bush this time -- Kerry's in a tough spot.
I can wait for him to concede. Because -- he's gonna have to sooner or later.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
It is the oldest technique in the book for oppressors to accuse their victims of oppressing them.
Saying that we are doing that is really just a tactic they use to intimidate and suppress those with whom they don’t agree while they are actually doing what they accuse of the realists. If they can make people who don’t like their work fear being labeled as right wing extremists or “oppressors” then they have effectively silenced their opposition, in the name of freedom of expression. But for four generations, Modernist ideologues have controlled all the major museums in the free world and most of the minor ones. They control nearly every college and university art department, and their puppets and clones rule journalistic art criticism with total control. They receive all government funding, and their propaganda missives are called text books in secondary schools and college.
- Fred Ross, ARC Chariman
For the whole article, click here.
It applies to many things beyond art and voting as well.
I voted for promoting Democracy in the Middle East.
I voted for Second Amendment rights.
I voted for tempering Science with Ethics.
I voted for Social Security Reform.
I voted against government-run healthcare.
I voted for less government interference in the economy.
I voted for keeping taxes down.
I voted for a man with fortitude.
I voted for "W".
I also voted against a local proposition for the city that would mandate that we buy incrementally more and more green energy, with arbitrary percentage points and at arbitrary times -- over the next 10 or 20 years.
I suppose that makes me "anti-environment" in the eyes of many. But I'm not. I'm very much for clean energy. Just not through arbitrary government mandates. And I'll give you an example.
A similar proposition passed in Springfield, MO years ago. They have like 8 solar panels and a windmill (might be able to power maybe two, or let's be generous, 5 houses with that setup). I drove by it twice this weekend. At any rate, people would drive by the windmill on the highway, and complain to the city that they payed all that money and why wasn't the windmill "working" (turning, that is) all the time?
I trust I don't need to tell intelligent people why that was.
The solution? When it's not windy, the windmill ACTUALLY USES POWER because they run power to it TO MAKE IT TURN so they won't get complaints from the idiots who voted for it.
That's government by the stupid for you.
Monday, November 01, 2004
Remember, Al Queda's goal is the complete deconstruction of Western Civilization - and by that I mean Civilization derived from liberal Greek philosophy. Any kind of internal unrest he can incite furthers that goal. He senses the frustration of half the population in a tight political race. Passions are high, and no matter who wins, half the nation will feel "disenfranchised". In other parts of the world, this could very well spark internal clashes.
Probably not here, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.
Think about it. Then his strange message makes more sense.
Then we gotta show him. No matter who wins, the country must get behind the President.
Yes, and for me, that means even if (and I hope he doesn't) Kerry wins.
Osama apparently made his bid for affecting the US election over the weekend, though it's not clear how and for whom. I don't think too many of us are listening to him. It does seem to suggest that he either wasn't able to muster an attack, or he was afraid an attack would favor Bush. Or both.
Apparently the 380 tons of missing explosives that Kerry and the press screeched about last week 1) were never there, or 2) were trucked off before the war, or 3) trucked off by US troops and destroyed along with another FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND tons of explosives. Bush probably didn't respond because he didn't have the facts and he's not one to spout off at the mouth before he knows the whole story.
Kerry, on the other hand, is willing to say anything if he thinks it will help get him elected, the facts be damned.
If you're thinking of voting Kerry -- consider that. You may like what he's saying, but from the look of it, he's just saying things to get elected, not out of any deep convictions he might hold.
Of course, if you haven't decided who to vote for by now, you probably shouldn't vote anyway. Voters should be educated on the issues and the issues behind the issues. If you're not, don't.
Monday, October 25, 2004
This weekend CIA came out to say that there does not appear to be a terrorist plan in the states before the election.
This is probably because the terrorists have decided that an attack on US soil might tilt the election toward Bush. Their efforts are much better spent keeping violence against civillians in Iraq in the news, to erode American resolve which would translate into votes for Kerry at the polls. That and the fact that they want desperately for Iraq to fail and become a dictatorship again, theocratic or not.
This morning on Morning Edition, it was reported that UN inspectors are furious at Duelfer and his report for saying that Saddam planned on restarting his WMD programs as soon as sanctions were lifted, and for leaving out the crucial fact that the sanctions were working and that the UN had planned to oversee Saddam's weapons programs for years.
Sort of like they oversaw the oil for food program? Yeah, that was effective. Trutfully, some well placed bombs, inspections, and sanctions by the UN were, in fact, effective through about 1995, when Saddam was reduced to the point of accepting the Oil for Food offer. However, the UN gave Saddam far too much autonomous control in the program. What Duelfer reported was that Saddam quickly found a way to scam the program by selling oil well under the market rate and splitting the profits with the buyers in secret bank accounts -- to the tune of 2.6 and 2.8 billion dollars with the Russians and French, and just under 2 billion with the Chinese. Since the UN was kicked of Iraq out in the mid 90's, Saddam was in fact building missiles while continuing his huge propaganda campaign of dead babies and other social hardships which could easily have been avoided if, in fact, Saddam would have used the Oil for Food program for .... Food. He was within a year or two of having sanctions lifted.
So... the sanctions worked until Saddam took the UN up on Oil for Food and found a way to use it to negate the effect that sanctions had on his goals while he exploited the consequential suffering of his own people to get the sanctions lifted. There were no inspectors until right before the invasion of 2003. Saddam was quite successfully thumbing his nose at the UN to the point of practical subversion.
And this organization, the UN, was going to oversee Saddam's weapons programs and make sure he was on the up and up for years after the sanctions were lifted.
Pardon me for having less than 100% confidence in the UN.
This man was up to no good. He had proven himself an expert at deception, and was well on his way to having the UN let him off the hook even in the weeks leading up to the war. If Bush had let things take their course, Saddam would have gotten away with it. Bush knew that. He said enough screwin' around -- we're takin' him out with or without your support -- and it was the right thing to do.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Reasons vary from George helping out his "old oil buddies" (right. gotcha. next?) to reasoning that the war in Iraq raised the price of oil ... which it did, but that wasn't an unexpected side effect of the war. You don't refrain from doing the right thing because it will raise gas prices.
Anyway, good article here from today's Cato Daily Dispatch --
What Should the Government Do About Higher Gas Prices?
and another on the first amendment, Sinclair, Michael Moore, and both parties....
Sinclair Decides Not to Broadcast "Stolen Honor"
Let's not forget, liberty, free speech, and free markets go hand in hand. Those should be our government's priorities. Health Care & Gas Prices are OUR problems.
Edwards responded by saying Bush's decision to forgo a shot is no answer.
"I love this ... that's a great solution for the country," Edwards said. "This president couldn't even deal with the flu shot crisis."
Mmm-hmmm.... And Kerry/Edwards solution would have been something like this, I suppose....
We have a plan for the flu-shot crisis. We're going to make sure that every American who needs one, the sick, the young, and seniors, get the flu shots they need and deserve.
Which, like all of their other "plans", is not a plan, it's a goal. A goal is not a plan. Bush, of course, has that same goal, but the government agencies in charge of making the plan have already made it and are executing it.
Cheney, who is over 65 and has a history of heart problems, would easily fit the definition of someone who should get one. And he did.
And to that the Kerry/Edwards campaign responds:
"Once again, the Bush administration proves that it is the 'do as we say, not as we do' White House," the campaign said in a statement issued in Pittsburgh where Kerry was campaigning."The very week that (health) secretary (Tommy) Thompson is telling Americans to keep calm, Dick Cheney, John Snow and Bill Frist are getting flu shots."
Well, I'm keeping calm. I guess according to the Kerry/Edwards I should be panicing. I, for one, plan not to get a shot. Maybe late November I might do the mist if it's still available -- there's only about a million doses of that, but people are more reluctant to take it because you could get a little mini-flu for a few days. I'll probably just skip it altogether and try keep my hands clean.
As to John Snow and Bill Frist, I don't know what their health situations or their ages, and it's not for me to pass judgement. It is still the perrogative of every American to make his or her own choice about whether or not to seek a shot.
Our leader, the guy I'm voting for, chose not to get one as an EXAMPLE -- as a good leader should do. He didn't make an ultimatum or law (and he couldn't - he's not Congress, and that's the way it should be) -- but he set the example. It's up to us to follow it or not.
To put things in a little perspective Center for Disease Control director Julie Gerberding points out
"Just a few years ago, we went through the whole flu season with the same number of doses that we're dealing with this year."
I'm not saying there isn't a problem, but it sure has been magnified this political season.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
If you can't deal with the responsibility (I know, there I go with those out-dated conservative ideas again) -- of getting yourself informed so you know how to vote and where you're supposed to do it, stay home and let people with a clue vote.
Oh, sorry... is expecting people to be responsible for themselves too intimidating?
Raise your hand if you think the Democrats have nothing to do with the dividedness of the country right now.
For the past 18 months, Democrats have worked tirelessly to stoke up divisiveness in this nation with one self-serving goal: to defeat President Bush. In their version of the world, George Bush never has, and never will, do anything right. They like to accuse him of politicizing 9/11 -- it is the Democrats who have politicized it.
Everything, to them, is George Bush's fault. And do you think their patrionizing contempt for Christian America has anything to do with why the nation is divided?
They forget that at least half of America is still Christian and has relatively conservative social values (and by those I mean responsibility and consideration) -- but it's ok to ignore them... they're uneducated. Unenlightened. (read: they don't think like Liberals do, so they're wrong).
Oh, I know, I'm partisan. (Wait, I've voted Libertarian in every election since 1992 -- until this one).
What other purpose could Teresa Heinz Kerry have had in mind than to slam the first lady when she said "...I don't know that she's ever had a real job — I mean, since she's been grown up." It was couched in all kinds of qualitative language, but if she didn't mean to "dis" her, then why put it that way?
Clearly, she wanted to frame Laura as the vapid Stepford Wife that Democrats would like everyone to think she is -- and by doing that imply that Bush is some sort of controlling freak with no respect for women.
Clearly, Laura Bush has more class in her left pinky than Teresa Heinz will ever have. It can't be bought.
I saw ACT in our neighborhood a few weeks ago and got suspicous about who they were and looked them up. Now it appears they are, at least in Missouri, handing out fliers with a 40 year old shot of a fireman blasting a young African American with a firehose. The caption reads "This is what they used to do to keep us from voting." Implying that Republicans are trying to intimidate black voters.
Of course, the caption should have read "This is what Southern Democrats used to do to keep us from voting", because I'll guarantee you that it wasn't a Republican who ordered the hosing.
Let's review. The party was organized in Ripon, WI on February 28, 1854, as a party opposed to the westward expansion of slavery. Abe Lincoln, a Republican, led the fight to end slavery. President Grant committed federal troops to the South to enforce the constitutional rights of the freed slaves. Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, sent troops to Arkansas to enforce desegregation. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 would not have passed if a majority of Republicans hadn't supported and voted for it.
Republicans believe in African Americans just as they do anyone else. They're colorblind in policy. They want African Americans to gain their own self-respect by working hard and being decent folk like everyone else. America is divided if we look at it any other way.
Democrats want African Americans to believe that they need Democrats to protect them. They thrive on stirring up divisions between black and white America. And look where 35 years of condescending liberal policy have gotten them?
Self-Righteous. Condescending. Those two words describe the core of the liberal self-appointed elite.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
A Kerry victory would be seen and used by Al Queda as an Al Queda Victory. As I've noted before, give a screaming child what it wants, and you can expect more screaming. You've just taught him that his tactics work.
It does not matter whether or not Kerry would chase down terrorists and kill them or how much more effectively he might (speculatively) do it.
We are at war. Our enemy realizes that there is no way to defeat us militarily. They opt, therefore, to fight a propaganda war. Not one where they just stand up and bloviate, but one where they provide fodder for Amercans and others with no stomach for fighting to stand and say "enough!". This is a war where they let us defeat ourselves with our own internal propaganda. It worked in Vietnam. It's dangerously close to working today.
Osama Bin Laden and Al-Zarkawi don't have to say "we kill more and more of you every month". They just step up their efforts and let our own press analyze & re-hash & speculate & bloviate, and allow Kerry to stand up and say "More in July than June, more in August than July, more in September than August" -- he is their mouthpiece, as he was 30 years ago after he left Vietnam for the Viet Cong.
As Putin said a few days ago, "Any unbiased observer understands that attacks of international terrorist organizations in Iraq, especially nowadays, are targeted not only and not so much against the international coalition as against President Bush."
The terrorists want Bush to lose. That is their biggest short-term tactical objectiveright now. If Kerry wins, whether or not it's correct (though I believe it would be), they would believe it was because of their terrorist efforts. Their inexcusible violence against civilians (terrorism) will have changed the political landscape of the United States of America. It would be a huge morale boost to them, and a potent recruitment tool.
They are throwing everything they have at Iraq right now in a desparate effort to bring Bush down. If they succeed, all of the health-care, social security, and jobs in the world won't be enough to make up for the victory the American people will have handed them. As they did after Somalia, Al-Queda will use for their recruiting the tagline that America has no stomach for a fight, and we will have proven them right.
This is serious. You want to deliver a blow to Al-Queda yourself without firing a shot? Now is your chance. Get out and vote. You and anyone else you can convince -- get out and vote against Bin Laden by voting for George Bush.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
I've been waiting to see this. Kerry's insistence that "we had him cornered" and "let him go" by "outsourcing the job" (as if we turned our backs while the Warlords took bribes) probably cost Bush dearly in undecided votes -- because he didn't rebutt it. I'm not quite sure why that was.
But here's the crux of Tommy's letter:
First Mr. Kerry's contention that we "had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden" and that "we had him surrounded." We don't know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001. Some intelligence sources said he was; others indicated he was in Pakistan at the time; still others suggested he was in Kashmir. Tora Bora was teeming with Taliban and Qaeda operatives, many of whom were killed or captured, but Mr. bin Laden was never within our grasp.So we did have Afghans and Pakistanis helping us, but we were there running the show. I guess "acting unilaterally" is good when Bush doesn't do it, and it's bad when he does. Make up your minds.
Second, we did not "outsource" military action. We did rely heavily on Afghans because they knew Tora Bora, a mountainous, geographically difficult region on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is where Afghan mujahedeen holed up for years, keeping alive their resistance to the Soviet Union. Killing and capturing Taliban and Qaeda fighters was best done by the Afghan fighters who already knew the caves and tunnels.
Third, the Afghans weren't left to do the job alone. Special forces from the United States and several other countries were there, providing tactical leadership and calling in air strikes. Pakistani troops also provided significant help - as many as 100,000 sealed the border and rounded up hundreds of Qaeda and Taliban fighters.
To be fair, Jefferson DID mention the words "Separation between Church and State" when addressing a Baptist Congregation once, to reassure them that the state would not try to dictate what they could say.
I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
Christian Antagonists love to quote the first part of that "no law respecting an establishment of..." but ingnore the "or prohibiting the free exercise of" part. It was meant to protect religious freedom, not to remove religion from society. The intent was to protect churches from the meddlings of the state.
I've been reading leftist comments on the web -- and I note that anyone who has an opinion that opposes one of theirs is a "Right-Wing Shill" or a "Republican Shill." They love to label and throw what they don't like in the "it would be ludicrous not to ignore these people" pile.
Of course, somebody calls a lefty a "Liberal" and he'll scream "labels! libels! labels!"
I heard someone interviewing soldiers in Iraq on NPR last night. The interviewer, it seemed, went out of her way to make sure to get an equal number of soldiers saying they would vote for Kerry as would vote for Bush.
The story didn't say it, but it leaves the impression that military folks are evenly split between Kerry and Bush. I understand the equal-ness in air time and all, but what I want to know is... what's the truth? Are Military voters more likely to vote Bush than Kerry, or not?
The right wants us to believe that the Military leans heavily Bush, while the left wants us to believe that they're all unhappy over there and don't believe in what they're doing. Which is true?
My suspicion is that the first position is the correct one, but it flies in the face of the left's position that Big Bully Bush threw our boys and girls over there unprepared and armorless and they're not happy about it. I think that NPR wants us to believe that it's more evenly split so that we can buy the argument "Support Our Troops. Bring 'em Home." I suspect if they really were evenly split, it would have been mentioned for sure -- but that could have been refuted by a poll. Rather than take the poll themselves and report an answer they don't like, they opted for the more subtle approach -- air 4-6 interviews, evenly split Bush/Kerry and just leave the impression.
A friend recently went ballistic over a headline in the St. Louis Post Dispatch that proclaimed that the Archbishop of St. Louis declared a vote for Kerry would be a mortal sin. Not only was she pissed at the Bishop, she was pissed at the Post Dispatch, saying she'd never buy the paper again because they put that story so prominently on the front page.
So I suppose this means she stands firmly against the First Amendment, and for supression of news she doesn't want people to hear.
However, she was apparently also for the First Amendment, as she decried it as a violation of the "separation of church and state".
So here's the first amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Note, just for the record, that the words "separation", "church", and "state" do not appear anywhere in there.
First, the Church cannot make laws. It cannot use the power of the state to throw you in jail or in fact do anything to you if you refuse to do what it says. The government does not support or refute the church's position, which is clearly one of the intents. The Church is free to peaceably assemble people and say what it wants.
So where's the problem?
She said the Church should lose its tax-exempt status for speaking its position on the race for the Presidency. I didn't push her, but I wonder how she feels about labor unions telling their employees to back Kerry (tax exempt) and the Muslim Cleric who recently stated that it was the moral responsibility of all American Muslims to vote for Kerry. I'm sure she was fine with that (although she'd probably have to back down from that in a public argument because it's such a ludicrous double-standard).
That's where the Left wants to take the country.
Monday, October 18, 2004
But it's nice to see someone in a position of informed authority -- president of an anti-Iraq-war country, no less, come out and say it flatly:
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says terrorist attacks in Iraq are aimed at preventing the re-election of U.S. President George W. Bush and that a Bush defeat "could lead to the spread of terrorism to other parts of the world." . . .
"Any unbiased observer understands that attacks of international terrorist organizations in Iraq, especially nowadays, are targeted not only and not so much against the international coalition as against President Bush," Putin said.
Well, they succeeded in Spain in removing Anzar. Success breeds success. They are trying and will continue to try here. If they succeed here, they will be emboldened to try to push their world view on us and the rest of the world. I don't think many of us want that world view. And sorry, it is NOT the moral equivalent of Bush's.
Give a screaming child what it wants, and you can expect more screaming. Give killers of innocent people what they want, and you can count on more killing of innocents.
Let's see, Osama Bin Laden wants Kerry to win. Kim Jung-Il wants Kerry to win. Ingrid Newkirk (PETA) wants Kerry to win.
Do I need any more reasons to vote for Bush?
The first move would be no surprise, first of all, as Bush has already come out in favor of taking the difficult but responsible move to wean social security away from a gigantic pyramid scheme (aren't those illegal for everyone else?) that's about to collapse under it's own weight. The plan is to do it in a way that protects people who are retired or are about to retire. Nonetheless, the intent is to frighten seniors into voting for Kerry in large numbers.
Kerry, on the other hand, plans to leave the pyramid scheme alone (at least until he's elected by the in part people who are for that) and then he can change his mind later when the political winds dictate it. Remember, this campaign is far from the first one to expose Kerry for the weathervane that he is.
The draft issue is a complete fabrication. The Republicans recently brought the Democrat-sponsored bill up again in order to kill it and end all speculation on whether or not it would happen. Even the bill's sponsor voted against it. It's dead. Bush said No, Congress said No, Kerry's hoping to use this Halloween season to keep it's ghost alive.
Friday, October 15, 2004
So I can think of two reasons why he would have brought her up.
- Some say that it's a back-handed compliment aimed at pointing out some sort of hypocrisy on the part of the Bush Administration for being against gay marriage while having a prominent gay in their midst.
- The other reason, which I'd like to find to be the more probable one, would be that he was trying to diffuse any advantage Bush/Cheney might have on the issue because the Cheneys do have a family member that is gay who they love and embrace -- which might give them more legitimacy on the issue. Perhaps the back-patting was genuine.
So while I think it was in the end inappropriate, (one's sexuality is personal) especially if the flag was raised by the Cheneys after the VP debate, I'm not so sure it was ill-intended.
I'm not going to pretend I understand the emotions that caused the Cheneys' tempers to flare, but a simple "I'm sorry if I offended anyone, I certainly didn't mean to" from the Democrats
would probably be the proper response.
Mrs. Edwards' response to the flash of anger on the part of the Cheneys, however, stinks to high heaven.
"She's overreacted to this and treated it as if it's shameful to have this discussion. I think that's a very sad state of affairs. ... I think that it indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter's sexual preferences. ... "
Shows a classless and condescending attitude toward the Cheneys.
The Left is so busy self-righteously bashing Christians' self-righeousness that they can't see their own. Their attitude toward the populace is "we, the enlightened and educated will tell you how to think", and "we will take care of you".
Which is the basic difference between the country they want and the country I want. I want a country where I'm free to take care of myself and believe what I want to believe. They want me to believe what they want me to believe, and they want to use the coercive power of the government to do it. It's the very reason we have the separation of church and state -- so the government is not promoting or hindering any deeply held ideologies on the entire populace.
I've said, I'm for gay unions, but I don't want it legislated that I have to call it marriage, and to me, that's what this is about. Recognize gay unions, give gay couples rights to health-care benefits and visitation rights. Just don't force a language change on the country because YOU think that's what I should have to call it. We can bestow rights on people in different situations without re-defining what we call one of them.
As a Libertarian, I'm against a lot of federal controls, and actually agree that ideally it should be left to the states -- however, I understand Bush's point on activist judges passing law from the bench and bypassing Congressional representation. That's not the way it's supposed to work, and it works more and more like that as years go by. Something needs to be done about that.
Judges need to rule that they can't legislate, only interpret laws that the legislature passes.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Great quote from today's Cato Daily Dispatch by Doug Bandow
Soul molding is important business, but it isn't government's business. The state doesn't do the job well; the government's agenda won't always be benign.
Most important, that's not the state's proper role. Government has been instituted to secure individual rights, not to empower those who would reprogram their neighbors. The state should step out of the way of the family, church, community, and other institutions as they seek to shape values. Government should not seek to override or supplant those institutions.
Couldn't have said it better myself. This is what the activists want... to use government to reprogram their neighbors.
How is Kerry going to make sure everyone is covered without government subsidy? It also sounds to me like he plans to "lower costs" by having the government pay the difference. This isn't lowering costs, it's hiding it. When the government guarantees the medical profession the high prices they charge - they can charge what they want. And why not? The government will pay for it.
The fact is that government subsidies have as much if not more to do with high health care costs as anything else.
I'm hearing that Kerry won this debate. I missed it last night and watched recording of afterwards. I'll tell you right now Kerry lost on abortion no matter which side you're on -- he was all over the map. Frankly, I can't tell where he stands. He lost on gay marriage. He wants it both ways. He wants to be against it and for it. (for the war and against it. His faith guides his decisions, unless they'll lose him the votes of his base). And he lost on Social Security. The man with the plan's answer was not convincing. It sounds to me like he's trying to reassure the skiddish seniors to get their votes.
Here's a good quote from Kerry... "The fact is we have people from the middle east... allegedly.... coming across the border...."
The fact is... allegedly. Boy that sounds as convincing as "the fact is, these memos are authentic... allegedly...." Beware when you hear people in a political campaign start their sentences with "the fact is", or "the truth of the matter". It may be a fact or the truth, but don't just take it at face value.
Economically, guys, the equation is simple. Raise taxes, lose jobs. Raise minimum wage, lose jobs. Government pays for health care, cost goes up (and taxes must follow).... surely the American people see this. Take the president up on his challenge. Ask countries that have socially run healthcare... federal health care plans, how they feel about health care in their countries, as well as the tax burden they bear.
To listen to Kerry, the President has done nothing right in the last 4 years, he hates women, sinisterly helps big business buddies of his, hates the middle class, hates blacks, started a war for political gain, doesn't give a rot about health care, and is a big, stupid liar -- this is an unreasonable mode of thought, and underscores the fact that the democratic campaign is much more about defeating Bush than it is about John Kerry being president.
Kerry talks as if there's this magical box of free money somewhere to pay for the programs he wants more spent on, yet he bashes the president for money he has committed to things such as national security. He wants to pay as you go, balance the budget, and pay for a bunch of new and expanded government programs. The equation doesn't add up.
I must disagree with the assessment that Kerry won this debate. I don't think he did.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
"I take full responsibility and apologize for any information given in good faith that has subsequently turned out to be wrong," Blair told the House of Commons, in a stormy session dominated by the war.
"What I do not in any way accept is that there was any deception of anyone. I will not apologize for removing Saddam Hussein. I will not apologize for the conflict. I believe it was right then, is right now and essential for the wider security of that region and world."
This is a much more elloquent and consise way of putting Bush's position on the subject. George, put this one in your speech book.
This is what I buy, and I've bought all along. If you go back to the beginning days of my blog in the leadup to the Iraq war, I've been pretty consistent on this. I do not believe the conspiracy theories about the war largely because they don't make sense.
- Blood for Oil? Bull hockey. We were getting plenty of oil before the war and there was no reason to believe the war would improve the situation any.
- Corporate interests? Right. I think any objective analyis of George Bush, the man -- will tell you that he wouldn't send a thousand Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis to their deaths to give Halliburton a boost in profits.
- Revenge for Dad? Hey, there are all kinds of motives for doing things, and I'm sure the assassination attempt on his father didn't detract from the argument any.
- Imperialism/Empire Building? -- that's the shrill Left shrieking out one of its many conspiracy theories.
- Knew Saddam didn't have WMD? Right. Perhaps you weren't paying attention to the UN between 1991 and 2002.
I remember what was going on leading up to the war. Saddam was playing the UN like a marrionette show and succeeding. The longer we waited, the better the chance that there would not be enough support at home, let alone the world, to take the man out.
Saddam wasn't a direct threat to the US mainland -- and I think everyone knew that. -- However, the world knew he had Chem/Bio weapons, was willing to use them and demonstrated that willingness by using them, and thought nothing of annexing a neighboring soveriegn country. It now appears that he had indeed gotten rid of the Chem/Bio stocks and his nuclear program (though that may have been outsourced), but he seemed to go out of his way to look like he had something to hide. What was the world to assume after 9/11?
It wasn't like he was going to fire a missile at Miami or Washington DC. More likely, he would take a cue from Al-Queda or even perhaps enlist their help by passing chem/bio to them for use here and elsewhere.
A sworn enemy of the United States and a proven unscrupulous man, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and keeping the whole country clutched in fear, who cheered the 9/11 "bombing" of Civillian America and provided safe haven for terrorists such as Al-Zarkawi, who sponsored suicide bombings in Israel at one time had weapons of mass destruction, used them, and tried very hard to cover his trail even when he disposed of them, who refused to prove he disposed of them, who routinely shot at our planes as we tried to enforce some of the 17 UN resolutions and sanctions -- dude, I just don't feel bad that we didn't find any WMD.
Does that mean we invade Iran or North Korea?
No, it doesn't. As Bush has said, they're entirely different situations. That question is based on the assumption that we went in to Iraq for one reason and one reason only, WMD. That was just a part of the argument.
Kerry, who voted against the 1991 war AFTER George Senior got UN approval for it and the much touted "good" Coallition, said himself right before the war (and after voting to authorize it)
"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous
dictator, leading an oppressive regime. He presents a particularly grievous
threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation."
and went on to say that the threat of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction is not new, but that "it had been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War."
It's a little disingenuous to attack the President for "lying" and "rushing to war" with those two statements under your belt.
I have no doubts that if John Kerry and the UN got what they wanted, Saddam would still be in power, eroding the effectiveness of UN Resolutions and sanctions at the expense of the US and UK (as we were pretty much the only ones with our necks on the line enforcing them) until he re-established his chem/bio programs, all the while killing & torturing more Iraqis, sponsoring terrorism in Israel and encouraging and supporting it elsewhere, shooting at our planes, and possibly passing out Anthrax to terrorist agents regargless of their Al-Queda affilliations.
Bush, Blair, and Anzar did the right thing.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
His record on gas prices?
The government should have nothing to do with gas prices (other than the tax... is Kerry proposing a gas tax cut? That should help his budget-balancing act ... and make the Enviro-Activist left REAL happy.)
Go away, Kerry.
Monday, October 11, 2004
But not before Hannity ran a brilliant collage of about 50 or so different clips of Kerry saying "I have a plan" -- the funniest thing I've seen since the Daily show ran clips from Bush's farewell speech to Texas when he left for the Whitehouse, where he said "Texas" ... um... several times.
On the other hand, I think Bush is proud to be called a Texan and he's proud of Texas. So frankly, it worked for me.
But I've heard very little about Kerry's plan, only that he has one, and I've heard that he has one over and over and over. Or one for everything. His plan for ending war is peace. His plan for regaining our popularity in the world is to have a big meeting and find out what we have to do to get in the club. His plan for health care is to spend a lot of money from the Infinite Money Chest of the Rich and Priviledged so everyone is covered. His plan for unemployment is to get jobs for everybody. See how this goes?
Go to JohnKerry.com and download the "Plans" -- lots of quotes, not a lot of substance -- or what one might call a "plan".
I have a great solution to end world hunger. We'll make sure everyone gets enough to eat!
Ran across a good article (Oct 10) on voting and who should, shouldn't, and why: Conservative Crust the Oct 10 Article "Thoughts on Voting ".
Let's see, "Bush Leads... but"...
"...whatever bad news develops in Iraq..."
Yeah, we see where you're going with this.
Looks like the Afghan election went pretty well -- although they had hangnails instead of hanging chads. Can't really complain - as we learned in 2000, elections aren't perfect and that can make a difference in close ones. I don't know how close the election in Afghanistan was, but I'm thinking it wasn't that close. We'll know soon. Congratulations, guys! May this be the beginning of a bright new future for Afghanistan.
Been reading more in Coulter's book. She continues to be witty and biting -- she's a very entertaining writer. You know she's cherry-picking some of the facts, but the libbies (and there are a lot more of them) have been doing that for years. I have found some examples of her biting too hard to the Right, but -- there is a lot of truth to be gleaned from her viewpoint that gets ignored in this world where the Liberal point of view isn't typically qualified by the word "Liberal", whereas if you have a conservative point of view, it is pre-emptively tagged "Conservative" so it can be dismissed without discussion.
Bush did well Friday night. I especially appreciated him bringing up the fact that there IS still such a thing as ethics, and calling Kerry out on 1) not voting, 2) voting against a thing or two he said he was for, and 3) specifically when Kerry charged Bush with sending kids to Iraq without body armor, and Kerry voted against it. Well, after he voted for it -- you know the drill.
Oh, and the stuff about doing the right thing when it's not popular? Bingo, buddy.
And of course, the whole "how're you gonna pay for this [big social package]?" thing.
I noted Coulter mentioning that the new liberal tactic is to prefix propaganda with "The fact of the matter is,...." and "studies show...." - I noticed a lot of that in the debate and post-debate spin.
Friday, October 08, 2004
Bush claims 1.7 million jobs created. Kerry counters "ah, but they're not private sector jobs" (hey, doesn't the money spend the same?). And in the end there is some factiod about 1.6 fewer private sector jobs than when Bush took office.
And my response is....????
Does anyone honestly thing that Bush's policies have Jack to do with the bulk of these numbers? Geez, I'm glad we didn't have a nation-wide drought on Bush's watch. We could blame that on him, too.
The economy can certainly be affected by Federal policy, but it's very hard to correlate and it's usually quite slow in reacting. For one thing, the economy is always an up-and-down thing. It has it's own cycles, and on top of that there are other factors in this economy that have had far more impact, not the least of which was 9/11 and fear-driven oil prices. To say that Bush's policies led to huge job losses is ludicrous.
Don't let Kerry slip crap like that by you tonight, Mr. President.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
So I just bought her new book (How to Talk to a Liberal) looking for the terribly heartless bitch that the Liberals complain about. She's just not there. (Don't the liberals love lamenting "if a woman is opinionated, then she's a bitch". Well, apparently it's only a lament if the woman has Liberal opinions. Otherwise, she's a bimbo bitch.)
When I read, I try to look for the truth behind what someone is saying. In today's politically charged times, I mostly see people (especially in the media) reading to find one inconsistency, one inaccuracy, one outrageous statement and then use that to discredit the whole work if they don't like where its going.
[Oh, I know. You wanna ding me on Dan Rather. Dan held up something as "irrefutable" proof that "W" got preferential treatment. The fact that it was not only refutable but he knew it was refutable at worst, or at best knew that he didn't know it was irrefutable.]
Ann is willing to say things media does not want to admit. Not only does the media not want to admit them, it refuses to let the Ann Coulter side of the topic to be brought up.
The book title mostly refers to Chapter 1. The rest of it is various entertaining and thought-provoking articles she has written over the past year or so.
She's right about the Left's tactics in arguments. No, not the statesmen who have to get normal peoples' votes to elect them (they're usually more careful about actual rhetoric), but the core leftist base. You bring up a fact or angle they don't like, and they haul out the labels. "Nazi" usually being their favorite. Over the last 20 years, that one has replaced the previous favorite of "Facist" which is now down in the #2 spot. Search the web on Ann Coulter and you hear the Left calling her a bimbo because she's got long blonde hair and wears short skirts and heels. "We don't have to address what she's saying. She wears short skirts!" They love to demean her skinny legs, and infer that if a woman has something like a libido and embraces femininity and expresses it -- she must be brainless. And what is this, anyway? I thought we weren't supposed to be holding women to a particular body image.
The other thing she brought up about arguing with a Liberal is also something I've noticed when doing the same myself. It's almost impossible to argue with a liberal at all (no, not because they're right, but) because they keep shifting what the argument is about in some clumsy "slight of mouth" fashion. As she says, "you think you're talking about the war in Iraq, and suddenly they're talking about Nixon and Oil."
Anyway, I'm enjoying the book.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Mr Kerry said Mr Bush knew there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda when he ordered the invasion of Iraq and, on Monday, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld seemed to add weight to Mr Kerry's arguments when he said he had not seen "strong, hard evidence" of a link.
Ok. The charge?
Mr. Bush knew there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda when he ordered the invasion of Iraq.
The "supporting argument"?
"[Rumsfeld] said he had not seen 'strong, hard evidence' of a link."
There's a big difference between "knowing" and "not having strong hard evidence."
Friday, October 01, 2004
So here's how debate prep should have gone: Get some willing (probably conservative) news guy to ask questions he thought Leher might ask. Bush would play Kerry. Rumsfeld would play Bush. Bush observes Rummy, then they switch roles.
Yeah. Oh well. Too late now. Bush didn't exactly lose, but I think Kerry gained more than Bush did. I hope I'm wrong. See previous post for my expounding.
But how one comes across and what's really going on in the world are two separate issues. Kerry made some strong attacks against the Bush Administration's policy in the war on terror, especially where Iraq is concerned.
One of his strong points was that US troops had Osama Bin Laden surrounded in Tora Bora with 1,000 of his followers, and that we "outsourced" the job to less competent and less motivated Afghan forces. I don't think Bush responded to this well -- he should have challenged and refuted it.
After the debate, in an interview with Tommy Franks (the guy in charge of the operation) he said that there were intelligence reports at that time that placed Bin Laden all over the Afghan map. Kerry made it sound like we knew right where he was and let him slip away.
A second point to that issue would be that the world, especially the left and the Arab world -- were desparately trying to paint the war in Afghanistan as US agression and imperialism. By coordinating with Afghan troops who know those mountains better we showed that real Afghans had both the interest in and the capacity to police their own state -- and that it was, in fact, an Afghan state, not an American "colony".
The fact of the matter is, we did not know then nor do we now know where he was at that time. We had some "dots of possibility" on the map. And there were very good reasons we chose to involve and leverage the Afghans.
Kerry also made the tired charge that the war in Iraq was about oil, citing that the Iraq Oil ministry was protected, but the nuclear power plants were not.
Question1: Which was the more likely target?
Question2: Which resource was/is the most vital for getting Iraq on it's feet again as quickly as possible?
Once again, Kerry tries to paint Bush as the Head of the Greed lobby, when there is another, better, more easily supported explanation. Quite simply, interruption of oil production would have the most devastating effect on Iraq's economy -- and come winter, Iraqi's chances of staying warm. For Iraq's new government to succeed, it must have a strong economy, and that economy comes largely from Oil.
It's also not like someone could just barge into a nuclear power plant and walk out with rods of uranium and plutonium in a suitcase.
Question3: How many of Iraq's nuclear power plants were attacked after the invasion?
Looks like Bush was right after all when you look at it that way.
Bush's counterattacks on Kerry's charges that Iraq is a diversion from the "real" war were ok, but too soft. The term "walk and chew gum at the same time" comes to mind, and would've been very effective coming from his Texas mouth. But one of Bush's drawbacks is that he's not extremely elloquent and didn't distill the (I believe correct) argument that Iraq and our involvement there from 1991 to 2003 had a lot to do with our problems in the middle east. If we could have gone in in 1991, finished the job, and gotten out, it is likely that 9/11 would not have happened. The very fact that we had an active military presence in Saudi Arabia to support the U.N. No Fly Zone policies in Iraq-- was Bin Laden's biggest gripe about the U.S. That condition would not have existed were it not for our role in enforcing the U.N.'s will after the 1991 expulsion from Kuwait.
So Iraq had plenty to do with 9/11. It probably wasn't involved in the planning and support, but that doesn't mean that the situation had nothing to do with it. Bush should've made this argument.
A big point Bush missed was that Kerry blamed the lack of body armor on Bush, but Kerry voted against the funding package that was to provide, in part, just that. He should not have let that one slip by.
Kerry kept stressing that he has a plan, but the plan seems to be that he's going to have a big meeting with world leaders, and then commit a bunch of new troops. U.S. Out of Iraq? Not under Kerry.
On the UN Rules The World issue, Kerry said the following
"No President, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But if and when you do it, Jim, you've got to do in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test, where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."
For all of Kerry's posturing to the contrary, it is clear he still believes that the US needs the world's permission to do what it thinks is right. Here he flip-flops himself in the same statement.
Bush pounced on it, probably got his point across, but not with the knockout blow that should have come after that. I mean, Kerry set him up for a spike on that one. The first part of his response was good, the second could've been much stronger. But the president was playing it safe.
"I'm not exactly sure what you mean, 'passes the global test'. You take preemptive action if you pass a global test? My attitude is you take preemptive action in order to protect the American people, that you act in order to make this country secure."
The final topic I think was important was North Korea. Kerry made the argument that North Korea is nuclear because of our handling of the war on terror, and that simply is not true. Bush did not make it clear that North Korea's been thumbing its nose at us and our treaties for years, long before he ever became president. The CIA believes that they had 1 or 2 nukes before Bush ever took office. This is not a new development since we unseated Hussein and declared the "axis of evil". Kerry hinted at the idea that North Korea was a more important military target. In the Leftist simplistic "all countries are equal" view, since North Korea was a known nuclear state while we only thought Iraq was, the same solution should be applied to both in order of certainty. Of course, the fact of the matter is that as long as Saddam had oil, sanctions were not working in Iraq, whereas the North Korean economy is crumbling much like the Soviet Union's was in the last days of the cold war. The two situations are, in fact, different and different approaches make sense.
So in effect, Kerry sort of "won" the debate because he made some shaky claims that Bush did not challenge well or at all. It doesn't change the fact that Kerry was wrong, but it may change the minds of some voters if they don't get their facts from multiple sources as I try to do. Hopefully, some of the facts and arguments I've presented will come out post-debate and quell some of that, because it's the facts we need to vote on, not arguments that are off-base.
Thursday, September 30, 2004
“That was a false statement. It was false to state that Saddam Hussein had a vast store of weapons of mass destruction or that Iraq was a direct threat to the security of the United States. "
But at the end of the interview, when asked what advice he'd give Kerry on his being painted as a "flip-flopper", he said,
"I know from experience that circumstances change and the knowledge that you have about an event changes. And when the times change and the circumstances change or when you learn more information, it's natural for a strong leader to say, ‘okay, my previous commitments, my previous statements were erroneous."Wait a minute....
So you're saying it's ok to act on the information you have based on your understanding of a situation at the time you took action.
Which is what Bush says he did. The only thing that the President hasn't done is to apologize for the decision he made -- and Jimmy just established the fact that we should allow for it. It's pretty hard to apologize for removing Saddam Hussein from power. Everybody points to the WMD argument as if it were the sole reason for going into Iraq in the first place, and it clearly was not. So he didn't have stockpiles. That part was (apparently) wrong. But we thought it was right. So did the rest of the world.
But the facts remain: He did have them. He did use them. He was not complicit with the terms of the 1991 war's cease-fire agreement, he was not complicit with the UN in disarming and proving he was disarming. He kicked the UN out. He frequently shot at our planes for the 11 years we had forces over there to try to keep him from slaughtering more Kurds. He was paying for terrorism in Israel. And he would, given the opportunity, facilitate terrorist attacks inside the United States.
Anything else is political spin.
At one point in the Carter interview he is asked about security. Carter says that the insurgency and violence is there because we are there, and suggests that our pulling out will put an end to it.
That is partially true. But the bigger truth is that even if we had gone in, toppled Saddam, and pulled out, it would be there. Even if Bush had managed to get the whole world behind the effort in the first place (which obviously wasn't going to happen) -- this violence would be there. The violence is there to cause the state to fail, not to get us out. Getting us out would certainly help cause the state to fail very quickly, so certainly that is one of their goals. Certainly our presence is an aid in recruitment, but any suggestion that our pulling out anytime soon will help matters is at best naive.
There was a range of possible outcomes before we went in ranging from best case (more like Afghanistan) and worst case (Civil War) -- and Bush knew it. And he made the decision anyway. Not because he was stupid. Not because he's a war-monger. But because because the risk of not going in outweighed the risk of going in.
One of the major points of contention between Arabs and the US was a sizable US presence in the Middle East. The main reason the US was there in such numbers was Hussein's defiance of the agreements he made and the UN Resolutions passed after the 1991 war. The only responsible way to get out of there was to finish that war.
Which is what we're doing over there.
Monday, September 27, 2004
Of course, that directly contradicts the "Bush is a Bumbling Idiot: I Would Vote for a Single Celled Organism Before I Vote For Bush" theme which is also popular with the Anybody But Bush crowd.
This kind of irrational/hyper-rational thought permeates leftist rhetoric. (Oddly, it also permeates far right rhetoric as well -- but you have to get much farther to the right before you get to it. I've always said the two meet and shake hands around back.)
It does fit the leftist view that
- America is bad
- Especially Bush
- It's all about the oil
- Bush is evil
- Bush is evil
- Bush is evil
- Bush is EVIL????
Vote for what's-his-name. No, not that what's-his-name. The one married to the Ketchup lady.
It's funny how ANYTHING Bush does can't possibly be motivated by doing what he thinks is right, but rather -- it MUST be for political gain. You know, people tend to think that everyone else thinks the same way they think. What would that say about the Left's motivation?
I am a fan of Jefferson and Paine, who she starts out her article with -- establishing their view that a Creator's works could be understood through reason. Hear here.
Then she goes on to paint all who are opposed to abortion in any way as relgious fundamentalists and goes on about how dangerous they are. I agree that religious fundamentalism can be and is often dangerous.
Now I am by no means a religous fundamentalist. I hardly fit the profile. But since I can see the valid points that the pro-life movement has, I sypmpathize with the fact that they can't even get anyone to acknowledge their valid moral points. Feminist fundamentalism therefore would lump me in as a religious fundamentalist.
She proclaimed that:
"fundamentalists do not have a monopoly on truth; they do, however, have one on self-righteousness."
I found her whole dissertation quite pious and self-righteous in and of itself.
What really got me was this statement, and it's what motivated me to write this article in the first place.
"... the abortion issue has never really been about fetuses. It is about keeping women in subordinate positions in accordance with religious fundamentalist ideology. "
Doest I hear a tinge of dogma in there myself? I haven't been to any rallies, but I'm pretty sure if you ask anyone who is against abortion in any way they'll tell you that it is definitely about the fetuses. But apparently this lady knows better what their true agenda is than they do. Of course men don't have any right to speak on (I mean against) abortion because they can't get pregnant and they are the opressors. Women who speak against abortion are obviously religious fundamentalists and their opinions obviously don't matter. However, this pro-abortionist has no problem directly contradicting what anti-abortionists say is their motivation. Clearly, she's not one of them, so how could she possibly be qualified to speak on the subject of "what they're about"? She has read what her Women's Studies experts (clergy) who are pro-abortion have to say on the subject, and they are above question. Who will challenge her on this? Well, somebody needs to.
This kind of feminism is, in essence, its own religion with its own dogma. The priests and priestesses are the professors and authors of the books. Their churches are rallies and books, and sermons are often written in the papers.
I love women. I get along with them much better than I do with most men. I indeed do subscribe to "the radical idea that women are people, too" (to quote a feminist bumpersticker). But without even taking sides on the issue, I've really got to draw the line when someone suggests that to the anti-abortionists the issue was never the fetuses. It's so blatantly false and yet I'm sure she fervently believes it. Whether or not you think it should be legal, that's the most outrageous line I've ever heard on the subject. It's also straight out of the feminist fundamentalist bible.
The shift in focus is necessary to the apparent strategy of pro-abortionists. If it's not about the fetus, then the moral issue is solely about women's rights. If the two sides on the issue want to get any closer on any sort of compromise, the anti-abortionists have to talk about the womens' issues, and the pro-abortionists are going to have to acknowledge that there are valid moral questions to be addressed surrounding the rights of developing human beings.
Religions teach that murder and stealing and lying are bad, and yet murder and larceny and pergury are all against the law -- nobody cries about religious fundamentalists there. Many on the left decry abuse of animals, but abortion is sacrosanct. It would be unthinkable to consider that there might be an issue shredding a fetus that can feel and hear and see -- for the whole nine months of a pregnancy.
I seriously doubt Roe vs Wade will ever be repealed, as this woman warns (" ... if Bush is re-elected....")
I think she has little to worry about. I just wish the Fundamentalist Left would wake up and see their own hypocisy when it comes to labeling people with a different moral code than theirs as Self-Righteous Religous folks when they're no less self-righteous themselves.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
They asked him what he had to say about the killers, and he said "They killed the wrong man" and went on to explain that his brother was there helping rebuild Iraq's infrastructure -- water, sewer, electricity... things Iraq and everyday Iraqis desparately need.
I got to thinking about that. From our point of view, they did kill the "wrong" man. But that's not the terrorists' point of view.
We (I mean the American Public) for some reason still see the fight against the US in Iraq as a fight against US aggression and occupation. Part of the reason is that's what the Left believes, and it's in all the Leftist rants you hear on the subject. In this view, Americans are agressors and the fighters are merely patriotic "minutemen" fighting for their country's autonomy. If this is true, then the terrorist kidnappers killed the wrong man.
But that ain't the case. These aren't ordinary Iraqis. Many, maybe even most of them, aren't Iraqis at all. Al-Sadr and his followers are a different story -- they're mostly Iraqis although I wouldn't call them ordinary ones.
But these kidnappers, Al-Zarqawi and his Al-Queda friends -- are not doing this to bring about Iraq's standard of living up -- they do not want the sewers to work or the electricity to work or the water to run or the oil to flow. They want this whole plan to fail so that they can supply the answer. A Democratic, free, prosperous Iraq is precisely what they don't want. And to that end, they killed the right man.
They want to intimidate in the strongest way possible anyone who is working toward a prosperous and free Iraq, be they Italian, Egyptian, Phillipino, Russian, English, Polish, and on and on.
To do this, they are kidnapping and killing mainly civilian workers. Oh sure, they make some demands, too, to see what they can get. Anyone with an independent and sound mind can see that dealing with hostage takers can only lead to encouraging more hostage taking. But in the end, it's not the deals these people are after. It's the intimidation... the sheer "terror" of it. To keep people away. To cause the new state to fail, so that it can be replaced by a Fundamentalist Islamic government.
Most Iraqis know this, and they don't want it. This is why they risk their lives anyway waiting in lines to join the police force and military.
The last thing the terrorists want is a strong, stable democracy in the middle east. And it's what the West and most of the Arab population desperately wants and needs. This is step 1 in the swamp-draining. It is a part of the Bush Doctrine, and I think there's merit in it.
All that being said, Bin Laden and Zarqawi need to be found and eliminated.
Monday, September 20, 2004
What's the simplest explanation?
What nobody in the news will say is, "There was an agenda."
Let's see, CBS says it's been working on this story for 5 years. FIVE YEARS!!!! Suddenly, somebody magically comes up with documents supporting the agenda (ahem... thesis of the story) right in the middle of a heated political campaign and right after candidate A's supprters were upset that his touted (and later denounced, but now reclaimed) war hero-hood was questioned and he fell in the polls....
...and 5 days later, the story's on the air, even after questions were raised by some who were asked to examine the supporting documents.
I heard someone on MSNBC lauding Rather and CBS for being the Gold Standard of Journalism and that this was obviously an abberation.
Really? I gotta wonder. It smells to me like this kind of stuff goes on all the time, and in their (5-1 bias) zeal to take Bush down a peg, they got sloppy and got caught.
As I've mentioned before, the beef over Kerry's war hero status stemmed from the fact that he chose to use it as the basis for his campaign at the DNC. So questions about it were relevant to that.
Bush has never used his military record as a central part of his campaign ... indeed, he hardly mentions it. And perhaps that is because he got preferential treatment -- perhaps not. Whatever the case, Bush doesn't consider his military service relevant to his campaign. Kerry does.
Let's not forget that Bush has had nothing but praise for Kerry's military record. The Kerry camp cried foul to Bush, not to the Swifties, when they came out with their ad campaign questioning how much of a hero Kerry was. I trust the Bush campaign will keep quiet unless strong evidence of corroboration between CBS, Burkett, and the Kerry campaign comes out. If anything, the Bush campaign should have words for CBS at this point. But I imagine they won't say much. They don't need to.
The Left, no matter who is responsible for Rathergate, has been shot in the foot with one of its own guns. It doesn't really matter who pulled the trigger.
Thursday, September 16, 2004
I have up to now been reluctant to completely buy into the idea that stories are consciously ignored or emphasized by the press to forward an agenda. The 5 to 1 liberal bias in broadcast news was, to me, a problem, but not necessarily a problem of intentional sin. I suspected it from time to time, but my faith in humanity kept me from buying it.
Thank you, Dan, for opening my eyes.
How many stories did you do on the preponderance of evidence that scores of swiftboat veterans represented? Or, as I suspect (because I don't watch you mainly because of egotistical self-important, primadonna behavior I've seen you engage in in the past - another Sept 11, 1987 springs to mind for one) did you instead focus on possible connections between the Bush campaign and the swiftboat vets, or work on discrediting their stories?
Now to the crux of the matter .... you presented as physical evidence -- a linchpin argument, documents that backed up Operation Fortunate Son's (oops, no connection to you, right?) claims, aiming to convince millions of voters (I mean viewers) that it was an open-and-closed case.
The documents, as it turns out, are likely forgeries. You say "well, they might be, but that's not important."
NOT IMPORTANT? In what Universe? Saddam Hussein's? Oh, that's right, Dan. I forgot. You're buddies with the victim of America's great crime.
"Your honor, this glove was found at the site of the crime, and it belongs to the defendant"
"But the glove was manufactured two years after the crime took place."
"It doesn't matter, your honor. There was a glove that belonged to the defendant at the crime scene, take our word for it. If you don't believe us, take the word of one of the defendant's enemies. She said there was a glove, and it was his. This one merely represents it."
PS - vote for the other guy.
Dan, you Walter Cronkite wannabe, you'll never fill his shoes.
"And that's the way it would have been. If I could prove it. Which I can't ... I mean won't. Courage."
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Friday, September 10, 2004
Democrats are certainly fond of calling people names.
I mean, that offends me, it should be against the National Speech Code, shouldn't it? ;-)