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.