Friday, December 30, 2005
1. The Senate supports efforts by the people of Iran to exercise self-determination over the form of government of their country.
2. The Senate supports a national referendum in Iran, with oversight by international observers and monitors, to certify the integrity and fairness of the referendum.
Well, anyone can see why that’s offensive, it’s a call for Democracy! Why do the Democrats object to Democracy? They won’t say. They won’t even let us know which Democrats objected. When the first offensive referendum was brought to the floor Senate Democrat Ron Wyden said: "Mr. President, while I personally am vehemently opposed to the statements that have been made by the President of Iran, I have been asked by the Members on this side of the aisle to object, and I do so object." One lone voice wouldn’t be enough for the party to openly object to Democracy in Iran, this has to come from the leadership. Why they won’t come out in the open with who and why they objected I can only speculate that it’s because GWB is for it and their objections can’t be rationally defended.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The value of this intelligence was so high that it was the most closely guarded secret of the war. Only nine people in the US were privy to MAGIC. In order to protect ULTRA Churchill condemned hundreds of people in Coventry to their deaths rather than warn them the Germans were going to bomb. Some contend FDR ordered the internment of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans rather than focus on the espionage rings MAGIC identified in order to keep the knowledge from Japan that we had broken their code.
One has to wonder that if the Washington Post or New York Times had gotten hold of this electronic surveillance without a court order would they have gone public to the detriment of the war effort? Of course not, those were different times when one could be both a patriot and a journalist. The American left still believed that the Nazis and Imperial Japanese were the enemy and there was no moral relativism that likened FDR or Churchill to Hitler or Tojo. Sadly that is no longer the case, our secrets can be splashed all over the nation’s newspapers to the delight of our enemies. Be assured that Al Qaeda communications into and out of the US has been sharply curtailed. Now that they know we are listening without warrants, with out the long delays necessary to get FISA permission they are rethinking their policies and procedures to take into account the valuable intelligence given them by the New York Times.
Americans are being illegally spied on by Bush, the left cries. Keep in mind the only surveillance occurring was on phone numbers obtained from data located in captured Al Qaeda computers. Zacarias Moussaoui had such numbers but the FBI bureaucracy involved in applying for a FISA warrant did not allow us to connect the dots and prevent 9/11. Keep in mind that a legion of White House lawyers think this is legal. Keep in mind that the Clinton White House felt the same way. Keep in mind that this story was released at the same time as one of the most historic events to take place in the Middle East was occurring. Keep in mind that congress was continually briefed on this. With all this in mind I can sure as hell question the patriotism of these journalist who seem to mind not at all who may die as a result of their never ending hatred of George Bush.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Short Term- Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorist, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.I would argue that conditions for this short term victory have already been met. Progress is being made. Suicide bombings fell in November to their lowest level in seven months. We are getting 10 times the number of tips from civilians than we were even a few months before. There are far fewer foreign fighters in Iraq due to the fact that we have killed a whole lot and fewer are able to come across the now more secure Syrian border. We are still taking casualties because we are systematically gaining control of terrorist safe havens but they are not retaking those areas so Iraq is getting smaller and smaller for them. Take for example Route Irish, the road to the Baghdad airport. One journalist once said when you can safely drive that road then you can believe the war is winnable. Well what was once the most dangerous route in Iraq is now one of the safest due to the Iraqis that now patrol the area.
We have seen political milestones with the election of constitutional delegates and then ratification of a constitution. We will see another election in December that will put a face on the leadership of Iraq. Do you think anyone who runs on a platform of kicking the Americans out could possibly win? The left says that ”80% of Iraqis want us out”, they fail to mention the caveat “but not yet”.
Democratic institutions are being developed, the old saw that Arabs or Muslims can’t be democratized is especially odorous and will be proven wrong in Iraq just as Turkey and Indonesia have already proved. Iraq has several things going for it when it comes to democracy, as well as some against. Democracy is easier if a country has a GNP per capita of $5000 or above. At $2500 Iraq is not there yet but its economy is growing in leaps and bounds. Besides oil Iraq was once an important player in world agriculture and a lot has been done to restore that sector of the economy. After the lifting of UN sanctions and the implementation of the 100 "orders" decreed by Paul Bremer economic growth of 53% in Iraq topped the list of the world's fastest growing economies. Strong democracies require high literacy rates which Iraqis posses. There is a large middle class which sees democracy as being in their best interest. There is a free press. Article 85 of the new constitution states: "Judges are independent and there is no authority over them except that of the law. No authority shall have the right to interfere in the Judiciary and the affairs of Justice.", so you have an independent judiciary. Going against Democracy is a lack by some, especially Kurds, of a sense of national unity. However we need to remember that when we were a fledgling democracy we were not a United States regardless of what we called ourselves. We were Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, etc. with a huge mistrust of centralized government. How did we manage? Same as the Iraqis, with a federalist style of government that leaves a great deal of autonomy within each state or region.
The standing up security forces is occurring. Every day the Iraqi armed forces are getting better trained, more experienced, and better equipped. Gradually they take over operations, bases, towns, and whole regions freeing up American and other coalition forces who can then further take the fight to other areas. Since September Forward Operating Base Lima in Karbala, Camp Zulu in As Suwayrah, and one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces in his home town of Tikrit, Forward Operating Base Dagger have been turned over to Iraqi Forces. 25 bases in all are now in full Iraqi control. 6th Iraqi Army Division took over authority of the Kharkh, Rusafa, Thawra and Adhamiyah districts of Baghdad on Oct. 3. British forces have handed over their main base in the city of Basra to the Iraqi military to allow it to take over the main security duties there. On Nov. 29 the 2nd Iraqi Army Brigade from al Hillah successfully accomplished its certification process and is now ready to plan and conduct military activities independently when it takes over responsibility of Babil Province.
Short term victory is not victory however. Even though it is only a matter of time when we can leave Iraq to the Iraqis to leave now would jeopardize all we have gained. We need to hold out for the Medium Term Victory. The goals for that include an Iraq that can provide for its own security, has a fully functioning constitutional government in place, and is on its way to achieving its own economic potential. When that eventually happens then we can safely leave without all the blood and capital we have invested being for naught. Stay the course is not “tired rhetoric” as Harry Reid said, it’s common sense.
The Long Term Victory as defined by Bush’s strategy is a peaceful, united, stable, and secure Iraq, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terror. That victory must be won by the Iraqis themselves, but if they bring it to fruition then we will have changed the Middle East forever and that was what this whole endeavor was about.
Friday, November 18, 2005
When World Com went under she lost a portion of her nest egg. However she was diversified and didn’t complain knowing that investing carries with it some risk. What she lost in one sector she gained in others, most noticeably in Energy with her oil company investments. Yes, my mom is part of big oil. However we now learn that the evil oil company’s profits are seen to be obscene and should be taken from my mom. The Senate Finance Committee is seeking $30 billion in tax increases, including an indirect $5 billion tax on oil companies. This is only fair, when we were losing money in sheep ranching, when we were loosing money in World Com, when we loose money in other investments, the government is there to give some of it back to us right? Of course not, we live in a capitalist society when you loose money but we are a socialist country if you make money.
Be my voice. I want this message heard. It is mine and my platoon’s to the country. A man I know lost his legs the other night. He is in another company in our batallion. I can no longer be silent after watching the sacrifices made by Iraqis and Americans everyday.Send it to a congressman if you have to. Send it to FOX news if you have to. Let this message be heard please…
My fellow Americans, I have a task for those with the courage and fortitude to take it. I have a message that needs not fall on deaf ears. A vision the blind need to see. I am not a political man nor one with great wisdom. I am just a soldier who finds himself helping rebuild a country that he helped liberate a couple years ago.
I have watched on television how the American public questions why their mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters are fighting and dying in a country 9000 miles away from their own soil. Take the word of a soldier, for that is all I am, that our cause is a noble one. The reason we are here is one worth fighting for. A cause that has been the most costly and sought after cause in our small span of existence on our little planet. Bought in blood and paid for by those brave enough to give the ultimate sacrifice to obtain it. A right that is given to every man, woman, and child I believe by God. I am talking of freedom.
Freedom. One word but yet countless words could never capture it’s true meaning or power. “For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know.” I read that once and it couldn’t be more true. It’s not the average American’s fault that he or she is “blind and deaf” to the taste of freedom. Most American’s are born into their God given right so it is all they ever know. I was once one of them. I would even dare to say that it isn’t surprising that they take for granted what they have had all their life. My experiences in the military however opened my eyes to the truth.
Ironically you will find the biggest outcries of opposition to our cause from those who have had no military experience and haven’t had to fight for freedom. I challenge all of those who are daring enough to question such a noble cause to come here for just a month and see it first hand. I have a feeling that many voices would be silenced.
I watched Cindy Sheehan sit on the President’s lawn and say that America isn’t worth dying for. Later she corrected herself and said Iraq isn’t worth dying for. She badmouthed all that her son had fought and died for. I bet he is rolling over in his grave.
Ladies and gentleman I ask you this. What if you lived in a country that wasn’t free? What if someone told you when you could have heat, electricity, and water? What if you had no sewage systems so human waste flowed into the streets? What if someone would kill you for bad-mouthing your government? What if you weren’t allowed to watch TV, connect to the internet, or have cell phones unless under extreme censorship? What if you couldn’t put shoes on your child’s feet?
You need not to have a great understanding of the world but rather common sense to realize that it is our duty as HUMAN BEINGS to free the oppressed. If you lived that way would you not want someone to help you????
The Iraqi’s pour into the streets to wave at us and when we liberated the cities during the war they gathered in the thousands to cheer, hug and kiss us. It was what the soldier’s in WW2 experienced, yet no one questioned their cause!! Saddam was no better than Hitler! He tortured and killed thousands of innocent people. We are heroes over here, yet American’s badmouth our President for having us here.
Every police station here has a dozen or more memorials for officers that were murdered trying to ensure that their people live free. These are husbands, fathers, and sons killed every day. What if it were your country? What would your choice be? Everything we fight for is worth the blood that may be shed. The media never reports the true HEROISM I witness everyday in the Iraqi’s. Yes there are bad one’s here, but I assure you they are a minuscule percent. Yet they are a number big enough to cause worry in this country’s future.
I have watched brave souls give their all and lose thier lives and limbs for this cause. I will no longer stand silent and let the “deaf and blind” be the only voice shouting. Stonewall Jackson once said, “All that I have, all that I am is at the service of the country.” For these brave souls who gave the ultimate sacrifice, including your son Cindy Sheehan, I will shout till I can no longer. These men and women are heroes. Their spirit lives on in their military and they will never be forgotten. They did not die in vain but rather for a cause that is larger than all of us.
My fellow countrymen and women, we are not overseas for our country alone but also another. We are here to spread democracy and freedom to those who KNOW the true taste of it because they fight for it everyday. You can see the desire in their eyes and I am honored to fight alongside them as an Infantryman in the 101st Airborne.
Freedom is not free, but yet it is everyone’s right to have. Ironic isn’t it? That is why we are here. Though you will always have the skeptics, I know that most of our military will agree with this message. Please, at the request of this soldier spread this message to all you know. We are in Operation Iraqi Freedom and that is our goal. It is a cause that I and thousands of others stand ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice for because, Cindy Sheehan, freedom is worth dying for, no matter what country it is! And after the world is free only then can we hope to have peace.
SGT XXX and 1st Platoon
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Operation Steel Curtain continues in its goal of restoring Iraq’s borders to Iraqis. Terrorists, many of whom are foreigners and al Qaeda, are systematically being killed, captured or forced to leave the al Qaim region. Iraqi and coalition forces swept the city of Husaybah from east to west, driving the terrorists into nearby Karabilah. Now Karabilah has been secured and both cities will continue to be secured by the Iraqi Army. Once the locals realize that the area will be continuously held they wholeheartedly lend their support to the operation by telling us who supported the terrorists, where they are hiding, where weapons and ammo are located as well as other intell. Yesterday began the task of capturing Ubaydi, 20 km from the Syrian border
Every day the Iraqi armed forces are getting better trained, more experienced, and better equipped. Gradually they take over operations, bases, towns, and whole regions freeing up American and other coalition forces who can then further take the fight to other areas. Iraq is getting smaller and smaller for the terrorist. Since September Forward Operating Base Lima in Karbala, Camp Zulu in As Suwayrah, and one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces in his home town of Tikrit, Forward Operating Base Dagger have been turned over to Iraqi Forces. 25 bases in all are now in full Iraqi control. 6th Iraqi Army Division took over authority of the Kharkh, Rusafa, Thawra and Adhamiyah districts of Baghdad on Oct. 3. This is not a quagmire as the left likes to portray it, we are winning. Fallujah is firmly in our control, there are no al Qaeda bases left in country and we are now securing the Syrian border. You can never fully cut off smuggling routes but the ability to come and go across the Syrian Iraqi border gets more difficult every day. Its now easier for al Qaeda to slip across American borders than Iraqi borders, at least in the West. The Iranian border will be next.
We hear of each American Armed Forces casualty but not of their bravery or success. While we continue to have our brave soldiers killed, we are also killing the enemy, but there is no point in reporting those deaths, that won’t help the left’s anti-war effort. More important is the number of suspects captured, 202 since November 1st according to Multi-National Force Iraq press releases. That includes the capture of Hamid Sharki Shadid, the leader of the New Ba’ath Party in Diyala Province. Asadallah and Abu Zahra, two known al Qaeda leaders, and Majid Adnon Swedowi,head of a terrorist network in Ramadi, have been killed. Along with the suspects huge caches of ammunition, AK 47s, mortars and other munitions are being captured, discovered or identified by friendly Iraqis.
All of these suspects may not be terrorists, we just released 500 other suspects from custody, but many were caught red handed. If McCain has his way we will have to treat these guys with all the rights criminals in America get with no hope of interrogating them without their ACLU lawyers present. If the Senate has it’s way we will be seen as dictating to the Iraqis that they need to step up in their defense of Iraq, something they are already doing. Bryan Preston at Michell Malkins's site asks ..” how much worse would a Democrat senate majority really be? The GOPers spend too much, they killed ANWR drilling again, and they're making moves on the war that are at least head-scratchers and probably counterproductive to actually winning the war.”
The terrorists are making a last stand at Ubaydi. Bill Roggio at The Fourth Rail reports:
Since the assault force of Operation Steel Curtain moved from Husaybah and Karabilah to Ubaydi early Monday, eighty insurgents and terrorists have been killed in the town, with thirty killed since just last evening. Over 150 insurgents are believed to have been captured since Steel Curtain began.
Operation Steel Curtain has had a noticeable impact on the terrorist’s supply chain. Reports indicate 36 weapons caches, including “several that contained suicide vests and bomb making material”, along with 107 IEDs and multiple homes rigged as bombs have been discovered. These are weapons that will not be able to be used to disrupt the upcoming parliamentary election on December 15th.
With Husaybah, Karabilah and Sa’dah hosting a strong Coalition contingent directly on the Syrian border, Coalition forces holding the bridges and roads eastward, and the borders essentially closed down at Tal Afar in the north and Rutbah in the south, the insurgents in the region may be finding it difficult to move around and reestablish a base of operations elsewhere. Jihadis attempting to flee the battlefield are resorting to humiliating tactics to evade capture; “Several detainees were captured trying to sneak out of the area by crawling among a flock of sheep.” Such is the state of the mighty warriors of Zarqawi.BTW Bill will be sending himself to Iraq next month to better report the war. Go to his site and lend a little support.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Everyday we hear reports on every explosion and casualty out of Iraq. What’s missing from these MSM stories are the victories that we are experiencing daily. Have you seen any reports on Operation Steel Curtain by the MSM? I had to go, where else, to the blogosphere to get my news. The news is we’re winning and the MSM doesn’t want you to know that. In fact, from printing CIA leaks and stories about phony Koran flushing, to the lack of fact checking traitorous marines, (you don’t know how much it hurts to say that), the MSM seems to want us to loose. We are however gaining ground every day. Our Armed Forces along with elite Iraqi forces secure areas and other trained Iraqis take over security in those areas. We heard that 2000 soldiers had died by the MSM, but did they mention that 200,000 Iraqis are now members of the police force or National Guard?
Bill Roggio at The Fourth Rail conducted an interview with the Commander of Marine Regimental Combat Team – 2, Colonel Stephen W. Davis. His Marines and Iraqi units are in the border town of Husaybah. Some excerpts:
Bill: What is the current status of Operation Steel Curtain?
Col Davis: Husaybah has been cleared and secured. Coalition forces are now conducting combat patrols. Construction is underway for basing of Iraqi and U.S. troops to maintain a permanent presence in the city, and provide security. We had a real good plan, but the execution was even better. I am pleased with the results of Operation Steel Curtain.
Bill: MNF-West states there were 1,000 Iraqi troops involved, while CNN and other news outlets reports 550. Is there an explanation for this discrepancy?
Col Davis: The number is just a hair short of 1,000. There is one full battalion of Iraqi Army soldiers, one brigade headquarters unit, units from the Desert Protection Force, and a Special Operations Forces unit, which was trained by [U.S.] Army Green Berets. These SOF units are high caliber units with a great deal of expertise and bring it to the battlefield.
Bill: How is the Desert Protection Force organized and trained?
Col Davis: These are platoon sized units recruited locally and trained in reconnaissance and scout techniques. They add a level of granularity due to their experience and local knowledge of the region. They have been very, very helpful during Operation Steel Curtain.
This next comment especially tells me we are winning, that each day brings us closer to an Iraq stable enough for us to pull out.
The Desert Protection Force escorted residents out of harms way to the displaced persons facility, where they receive food, shelter and medical care. Word spreads pretty fast throughout the city and they came to the facility on their own. As in all of the cities and towns out here, once the citizens are free of the influence of the insurgents and are assured the Iraqi Army will remain, they open up and show us who has been supporting the insurgency, where they are hiding, lead us to ammunition dumps and safe houses and provide tips on what the insurgent have been saying and planning.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at secret prisons in several other countries. Now, if true, that would certainly fall under classified information, and giving that information to the press would certainly harm national security. This could open the U.S. to legal challenges in foreign courts, cause a backlash here and abroad, and cause us to loose facilities that may be producing valuable information and saving countless lives now and in the future. The EU has already formed a commission to look into the allegations since some of the prisons are supposedly located in Eastern European countries. Of course the Post doesn’t care about national security as long as it can hurt Bush, but does the CIA? Will these leaks by “officials familiar with the arrangement” be investigated? We shall see.
Update: The Justice Department has received a request by the CIA to investigate the leaks, it’s in their hands now.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Why should we care? GOP Vixen Bridget Johnson notes in NRO that we obviously don’t.
I included tales of a 14-year-old boy arrested last November for eating in public during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan; eyewitnesses say that he was killed with a metal cable as his 85-lash sentence was carried out. I told them about 16-year-old Ateqeh Rajabi, a girl who was hanged last year for allegedly violating chastity laws; the unnamed male codefendant got 100 lashes, but lived. I told them about the paramilitary groups that violently attack peaceful protesters, the student activists and dissidents who are tortured, and the journalists who are persecuted for trying to tell the truth.
Then I took questions from the audience.
A hand shot up. "Is Blair going to win the election today?" the woman asked. Another woman's question was about the border, and yet another asked how I could possibly be a conservative journalist.
It was yet another reminder that as crisis in Iran escalates, Americans are often apathetic.Bridget thinks that one of the reasons for this apathy is the perception that Iran isn’t hurting us. That perception is false, Iran is giving aid to the terrorist in Iraq and Afghanistan in the form of arms, money, agents, and sophisticated explosive devices. The IEDs killing our troops today may well have come from Tehran. Time reports:
The U.S. Military's new nemesis in Iraq is named Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani, and he is not a Baathist or a member of al-Qaeda. He is working for Iran. According to a U.S. military-intelligence document obtained by TIME, al-Sheibani heads a network of insurgents created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps with the express purpose of committing violence against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. Over the past eight months, his group has introduced a new breed of roadside bomb more lethal than any seen before; based on a design from the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia Hizballah, the weapon employs "shaped" explosive charges that can punch through a battle tank's armor like a fist through the wall. According to the document, the U.S. believes al-Sheibani's team consists of 280 members, divided into 17 bombmaking teams and death squads. The U.S. believes they train in Lebanon, in Baghdad's predominantly Shi'ite Sadr City district and "in another country" and have detonated at least 37 bombs against U.S. forces this year in Baghdad alone.Iran is also the number one supporter of other terrorist organizations that may kill you or your family tomorrow. They could soon be able to supply those terrorist with a nuke, coming to a city near you.
Khamenei noted intriguingly that “the Islamic Republic of Iran has resolved the nuclear problem”, in what some analysts believe could be a hint at a possible breakthrough in the theocratic state’s quest to develop nuclear weapons.Can we safely ignore the warning Iranian presidential candidate Abrahim Asgharzadeh gave back in may:
A coalition of military commanders and mullahs is in the making with the aim of provoking "a direct confrontation" between the Islamic Republic and the United States in the Middle East, especially Afghanistan and Iraq. If these schemes go through the nation will be led into dangerous waters. There are people who want to push Iran into a war against the rest of the world, especially the United States.Is that a dot we’re failing to connect? Failing regimes do start wars to galvanize the people against someone other than themselves. Make no mistake this is a failing regime with an increasingly dissatisfied population. “Allah on Earth"
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently said:
The only entity capable of challenging the hideous world order is a common international entity that is taking shape with the Islamic Republic of Iran at its core.
Iran is in the hearts of Muslim nations around the world. We have strategic depth in other Muslim nations. We are able to challenge the condensed economic power that the evil entities have created for themselves. They create wars, deprivation, and crises.It seems we are going to sit and wait for Iran to initiate that challenge on it's terms and at a time of it's choosing. Add to all that the danger Iran presents to our only other Democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel.
Iran's hard-line president called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and said a new wave of Palestinian attacks will destroy the Jewish state, state-run media reported Wednesday.The Mullahs are waging war against Israel on two fronts. From Gaza and other territories Iranian backed Hammas is trying to exterminate Israel while Iran is aiding Syria with the means to do the same.
Jane’s Defense Weekly magazine reported yesterday that Iran is assisting Syria, Israel’s neighbor and arch enemy, with acquiring the know-how to produce advanced chemical weapons.
According to al-Sharq al-Awsat, a few months ago Syria and Iran signed a mutual assistance agreement by which Syria will provide Iran with advanced military technologies in return for assistance in producing banned weapons.
Under a multi-million dollar project Iran will help Syria set up missile-launching sites, perform test launches of ballistic missiles and acquiring chemical weapons like mustard gas and nerve gas, the magazine reported.
We ignored the Taliban to our sorrow, no one cared. Can we afford to make the same mistake again?
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
I was too young to know why we were treated like that, but I sure knew the meaning of being scared to death. The sound of foot steps that stops by the door was enough for every one to freeze, as after that the door would be opened, a name of one of the men would be announced and he would be dragged to the interrogation room to return few hours later unconscious, covered by blood, wrapped in a blanket, and would be thrown on us.
The women and children had their share, and this is what saw: extraction of nails and teeth, electric shocks, whipping with lashes, using razors to tear the skin into shreds, my aunt was left hanging from the roof after her clothes had been wrapped of her in front of her brothers to force them to talk. Do you know how much pain we suffered? Can you imagine? I doubt it.
After that we were transferred to Abu-Ghraib prison, where we met the men for the last time, after that, the 143 men separated from us and then transferred to another place, as for the rest of us, we were kept in Abu-Ghraib prison for six months, during that time, the day for my mother to deliver her baby came, she had complications and they didn't take her to the hospital until it was too late, the baby died. my mother never if it was a boy or a girl. In the prison, 4 people died, my grandfather(Yousif Ya'koob), my uncles wife(Noofa Hasan), the old man(Abdul Wahab Ja'far) and his wife (Sabreya), after that we were transferred to a camp in the desert, near the Iraqi-Saudi borders, 400 kilometers south-west to Baghdad(Leeah camp). We spent four years there.After the liberation:
We started to search the security departments in Baghdad,- like thousands of Iraqis- looking for a trace, I didn’t take a long time, we found what we were looking for. The documents of the crime, I read with tears in my eyes; the presidency order dated: 7 /23 /1985, signed by the tyrant, ordering the execution of 143 men from Al-Dujaile, the youngest one (Najeeb Abd Kadim) 11 years old.
Read the whole account as well as Omar’s preface to the peace activists.
This is one example that may help them imagine the (peace) we lived in.
Update: The trial has been adjourned until November 28. CNN says the Judge was granting the defense’s request for a delay. ABC quotes the Judge saying it was because many witnesses were too afraid to turn up.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Today, American forces in the city of Kerbala officially handed over security responsibilities to Iraqi army and police units in the city. This makes Kerbala the second Iraqi province that undergoes this transition of power after a similar step was taken in Najaf nearly two months ago.Besides the turnover of Karbala and Najaf, British forces handed over their main base in the city of Basra to the Iraqi military to allow it to take over security duties there.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Mr. Landis believes:
Mr. Assad's regime is certainly no paragon of democracy, but even its most hard-bitten enemies here do not want to see it collapse. Why? Because authoritarian culture extends into the deepest corners of Syrian life, into families, classrooms and mosques. Damascus's small liberal opposition groups readily confess that they are not prepared to govern. Though they welcome American pressure, like most Syrians, they fear the deep religious animosities and ethnic hatreds that could so easily tear the country apart if the government falls.
Farid Ghadry, president of the Reform Party of Syria, disagrees that opposition groups are not prepared to govern.
Never forget, revolutions are not opportunistic things molded out of an environment ready for their launch. Rather, revolutions create the environment in which they thrive and grow. It is up to our will to follow them through — despite the misgivings of those comfortable with a status quo that if allowed to continue for much longer will spell a de facto defeat for not just democracy in the Middle East, but for stability everywhere.
No doubt things could get ugly without a brutal monster keeping a lid on things through assassination, jailings, and torture. Look at what's happening in Basra now that Saddam is gone. Aside from the foreigners that Syria is allowing in, Shi’te militias controlled by different clerics are killing each other to see who is best able to lead the flock to heaven. Civil war is already happening on a small scale there and they belong to the same religious sect. Nevertheless even a chaotic Syria would be an improvement over the organized effort by Syrian Sunnis to undermine the Iraqi democracy. I hate to be hateful but if they are killing each other they will be less able to kill our troops in Iraq. Maintaining stability in Syria so the pipeline of terrorists coming into Iraq will continue flowing seems a little stupid to me.
Next week, United Nations investigators will begin interviewing top officials in Damascus about the bombing death of the anti-Syrian politician Rafik Hariri in Lebanon, a matter that many expect the United States will bring before the Security Council. Politicians and businessmen alike here are convinced that Washington wants to bring down the regime, not merely change its behavior.Allah forbid that we hold Assad responsible for the assassination, after all Assad did warn Hariri, saying:
You have to bear in mind that I am capable of destroying Lebanon, you included.This little blurb from the Landis article was especially strange.
Worse, if Mr. Assad's government collapsed, chances are the ethnic turmoil that would result would bring to power militant Sunnis who would actively aid the jihadists in Iraq.Mr. Landis earlier admitted that this is already happening, and Assad wont put a stop to it because it would jeopardize domestic peace. They are actively aiding the terrorist but we can’t allow Assad to loose power because then they will actively aid the terrorists. What does Mr. Landis suggest we do to help Assad stop these militant Sunnis without jeopardizing the domestic peace?
For Mr. Assad to help the United States, he must have sufficient backing from Washington to put greater restrictions and pressure on the Sunni majority.Ah, if only we would support more oppression of the Sunni majority in Syria then Assad could get the job done. All in the name of Democracy.
Hat tip to Oubai Shahbandar at Reform Syria Blogspot
Saturday, September 10, 2005
You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what an American is ... so they would know when they found one.
"An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.
An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.
An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.
An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.
An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.
When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!
As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best of everything...the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least.
The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.
Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.
So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
Please circulate this. This is the best instruction for those bigotted Muslims who are filled with the hatred of America and Americans.
Such a bottom up approach may seem like common sense but when governments get involved the tendency is to depend on those higher up to get a job done and to pass the buck up when it isn’t. The mindset to look for someone else to take responsibility for our lives begins at the individual level. More and more we want the government to take care of us. 100 years ago no one believed it was anyone else’s job to see that we had work, a home, healthcare, or a secured retirement This belief continues at a city, county, and state level. Some even want our welfare to be handed over to the U.N. The problem is that governments rarely do things well, and the larger the entity the worse it gets. Bureaucracy at the federal level dwarfs that at the county level. Such bureaucracy can slow or even prevent commonsense responses to an emergency. One of the countless heroes of the Katrina disaster was Jabbar Gibson who commandeered a school buss and drove evacuees to Houston. When he arrived at the Astrodome ahead of the official convoys they were initially denied entry because of his unofficial status. The people of New Orleans who depended on the Mayor, the Governor, or FEMA were tragically let down, individuals that took matters into their own hands were saved.
Whose responsibility was it to see that the Superdome was supplied with food and water? I’m sure it wasn’t FEMA’s. If the city felt it’s police couldn’t handle security after the storm who’s responsibility was it to request the National Guard or federal troops be called? The President can’t do so unilaterally, it’s against the Constitution. Those that most fear Bush becoming a dictator are now criticizing him for not acting like one. It was distressing to see Mayor Nagin, who had at least two days warning, crying:
I need reinforcements, I need troops, man. I need 500 buses, man.
Get every Greyhound bus in the country and get them moving.He had hundreds of his own city busses sitting in their depots ruined by the storm. Tens of thousands could have been ferried to higher ground before and after the storm had those busses been utilized. Similar dereliction of duty can be laid at the feet of Governor Blanco, FEMA’s head Michael Brown, and ultimately President Bush since the buck stops there. The point is you just can’t rely on others for your life or the lives of your loved ones, especially the government. If you’re a city you can’t count on the parish, if you’re a parish, don’t count on the state. Especially if you live in the most corrupt state in the U.S. If you want to put your life in FEMA’s hand understand that that far up the food chain bureaucracy is thickest. And when people say elections matter, remember they matter most at the local level.
Update: Another hero who took matters into his own hands instead of depending on "Daddy".
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
They ranked the States based on the total number of public corruption convictions from 1993 to 2002 per 100,000 residents. The top three:
1. Mississippi (7.48)
2. North Dakota (7.09)
3. Louisiana (7.05)
However this is ranked by convictions and you have to have laws in place to convict. The report ranked the States using a BGA Score.
We wanted to determine which states are best prepared to fight corruption and which are vulnerable." The BGA Integrity Index is an in-depth analysis of five laws that play a direct role in ensuring integrity and combating the corruption of government. The group analyzed freedom of information laws, whistleblower protection laws, campaign finance laws, gifts, trips and honoraria laws, and conflict of interest laws. "We chose those laws because they reflect three principles that are central to open and honest government – transparency, accountability and limits.
The top five states in the BGA Integrity Index were Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Kentucky, Hawaii and California. The bottom five were Louisiana, Alabama, New Mexico, Vermont and South Dakota.
So while Louisiana ranks 3rd in convictions it ranks 5th in States least prepared to convict.
Corruption Rank..................BGA Score
1. Mississippi (7.48).............18
2. North Dakota (7.09)..........12
3. Louisiana (7.05)................5
Make your own conclusions.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Email me at Burguete420@hotmail.com
Update: Anyone who has housing available for survivors of hurricane Katrina can post their information on the web at http://www.katrinahousing.org/. This site will match up survivors with available housing throughout the country.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Poorly run cities can expect the same behavior when the thin veneer of civil authority disappears. Baghdad was a perfect example, Watts was another. Now it seems that New Orleans will become an example of what seems to be a commonsense cause and effect. Were things so bad for the citizens of New Orleans that at a time when everyone should be coming together to help each other survive a disaster they instead turn on each other in an orgy of looting, rape and murder? You don’t hear of similar conditions in other cities hit by Katrina. I can’t imagine such a thing happening in Albuquerque, a city I know. It’s not like we don’t have animals that will shoot down helicopters because they are “annoyed by the sound “. We do. But the carnage taking place in New Orleans seems to require a large scale disrespect for authority and morality. These are not random events scattered across a large city, it sounds like a city wide phenomenon that is keeping volunteers from across the country trapped in their staging areas. Maybe the media is over blowing the chaos and what we hear is not as bad as it seems but from the initial reports I have to conclude that New Orleans had to have had a very bad “tone”.
Update: There are looters and there are looters. In the first case we have dirty cops, which of course contribute to a bad tone in a city. In the second we have a hero that may face prosecution for utilizing an asset that the city should have utilized. Michelle Malkin, whose blog pointed me to this story, is on the case so I can feel assured that this guy wont go to jail for this. Maybe the Mayor should be prosecuted for failing to see that school buses should be utilized in an emergency when they obviously aren’t going to be used to transport kids to school. Help is on the way. La Shawn Barber,who by the way wants looters shot on sight, got this message.
You may get your wish, LaShawn. The 256th BCT is coming home. We are a battle-hardened, experienced urban counter-terrorist brigade of Louisiana boys who are coming home only to see our beloved State trashed and the animals running the streets of New Orleans. God grant that we be given free reign to clean out our city.Ooh Ra!
Busses Update. B. Preston at Junk Yard Blog has done some amazing blogging on the busses scandle that will make your blood boil. Someone needs to go to jail for this.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
We are very happy that Akbar Ganji has broken his hunger strike because he is a symbol of our democracy movement in Iran against Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Republic.
Mr. Atri said yesterday that as a figure fighting for democracy in Iran, Mr. Ganji was significant because he was "able to change the dynamic of the discussion on the international stage. For this summer, the world talked to Iran about something other than nuclear energy. Human rights, political prisoners, terrorism, support for democracy should be the new demands and issues for the West and the international community."Others have taken up the cause. Manouchehr Mohammadi, secretary general of the National Association of Iranian Students, is on day 52 of his hunger strike. He was jailed for traveling to Turkey and to the United States in the autumn and winter of 1998, "with the help of the counter-revolution and of the so-called human rights circles". Human rights are anti-Islamic according to the Mullahs and therefore counter to the Islamic revolution. Some Kurdish journalists recently arrested in late August are also reported to be on a hunger strike. Lest we forget the dangers of being a journalist in Iran I will remind everyone of Zahra Kazemi who was raped, tortured and then murdered by the Mullahs for taking photographs of protesters. The pressure exerted by the MSM, the Blogosphere and world leaders are having an effect and should not let up because of Ganji’s release, if it should happen. Rather we should be emboldened and double our efforts to support the Democratic majority that exist in Iran.
Update to the update 9/2/05: DoctorZin reports that maybe he wont be released.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
The centrality of Iran in the terror network is the dirty secret that most everyone knows, but will not pronounce. Our military people in both Iraq and Afghanistan have copious evidence of the Iranian role in the terror war against us and our allies. Every now and then Rumsfeld makes a passing reference to it. But we have known about Iranian assassination teams in Afghanistan ever since the fall of the Taliban, and we know that Iranians continue to fund, arm, and guide the forces of such terrorists as Gulbadin Hekmatyar. We know that Zarqawi operated out of Tehran for several years, and that one of his early successes — the creation of Ansar al Islam in northern Iraq, well before the arrival of Coalition forces — had Iranian approval and support. We also know that Zarqawi created a European terror network, again while in Tehran, and therefore the “news” that he has been recycled into the European theater is not news at all. It is testimony to his, and the Iranians, central role in the terrorist enterprise. And we know — from documents and photographs captured in Iraq during military operations against the terrorists — that the jihad in Iraq is powerfully supported by Damascus, Tehran, and Riyadh.
Iran knows it's at war, and may be planing to step that war up a notch. Amir Taheri writes that back in May registered presidential candidate Abrahim Asgharzadeh warned:
A coalition of military commanders and mullahs is in the making with the aim of provoking "a direct confrontation" between the Islamic Republic and the United States in the Middle East, especially Afghanistan and Iraq.
Mr Taheri also reports:
"If these schemes go through the nation will be led into dangerous waters," Asgharzadeh warned. "There are people who want to push Iran into a war against the rest of the world, especially the United States."
Defense Minister Rear-Admiral Ali Shamkhani has said his ministry had "comprehensive plans" to make "life like hell" for the US and its allies throughout the region. "Wherever they [i.e. the Americans] are, we are also," he said. "And wherever they can hit us we can hit them, and harder."
Khamenei has claimed that the Middle East and the Muslim world at large were now faced with a choice between "American-imposed" democracy and "revolutionary Islam" offered by Iran.
There can no longer be any doubt that the purpose of Iran’s nuclear program is to build a bomb. Iran has said they will resume uranium conversion and are not afraid of UN sanctions. That is because China or Russia will veto any sanctions. Russia may not but China most likely would. Memri TV watched as Hosein Musavian explained why Iran entered into negotiations with the EU in the first place. Mr. Musavian is Iran’s chief negotiator on the nuclear issue.
The negotiations with Europe bought us time to complete the Esfahan UCF Project and the work on the centrifuges in Natanz.
When the Taliban refused to give up the 911 masterminds who killed thousands of Americans we considered it a an act of war. We invaded when they refused to surrender those monsters to our justice. The Mullahs refuse not just to give up the terrorist who are very much involved in the violence in Iraq but also supply, train, and allow them free access to Iran and it‘s borders. How is that different from the Taliban? Yet we do NOTHING. President Bush and the State Department have stated a “No regime change” policy towards Iran. Iranian Kurds currently being butchered in the streets get no support. Iranian dissidents get nothing but lip service. A military option is only being discussed in relation to the nuclear facilities and not to the greater problem of massive terrorists efforts operating out of Tehran. We need to do more or our troops and our Iraqi friends will continue to be killed daily and support for Iraqi Freedom will continue to erode. Unless Iran cease to be a base for the terrorists winning in Iraq will not be possible.
This post submitted to Basil's Breakfast.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you.I can’t tell! Do not the Kurds in Iran count as Iranian people? Civil demonstrations and protests in Iran’s north-west Kurdish regions has Iranian troops and Islamic vigilantes cracking down with brutal force resulting in scores dead. What, you haven’t heard this? The MSM for whatever reason really haven’t given this much coverage. While media access to Iran is limited by the Mullahs, Kurdish and Iranian opposition sources are available but ignored. Shahin B. Sorekli at KurdishMedia asks:
Why is it that the shooting of an Israeli or Palestinian (although unfortunate and sad) is shown over and over by TV channels such as BBC and CNN, leave Al Jazira TV aside, while the shooting of at least 13 Kurds and several large demonstrations in the Kurdish regions of Iran remain unmentioned?
That question answers itself, you can't blame Jews, Bush, the military, or even America for this. If those factors don't apply then expect more coverage of the latest Abu Grahaib allegations than on what is actually happening to the Kurds.
We expect as much from the MSM. But the Bush administration hasn’t had much to say either. For a little background Gerald A. Honigman gives an historical account of how Britain, whose Navy was switching from coal to oil, gave in to it’s WWI Arab allies, abandoning Jewish, Kurdish, and Sudanese national aspirations. The resulting Balkanization of these Middle Eastern countries leaves us with large ethnic minorities in those Arab countries and the resulting atrocities used to subjugate and suppress those minorities. In the case of the Kurds, we’re talking about Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. Turkey is allegedly an ally, although when we needed them they told us to kick rocks. We don't want to anger Turkey by supporting Kurds, they are a persecuted minority in Turkey and support of Kurds elsewhere might encourage Turkish Kurds to fight for their basic human rights. Can’t have that. Likewise Iraq. The U.S. and Britain are pressuring the Kurds to compromise on Kirkuk and federalism. Basically we are asking the Kurds to give up the autonomy they have had since GWI and hope a Shi'ite controlled government later gives it back. Same with the historic capital of Southern Kurdistan, the oil rich region of Kirkuk. The Kurds recognize that they need constitutional protection from Shi'ite majority tyranny. But Bush doesn't want to rock the boat, hoping that this region that has never seen Democracy will eventually put national interests ahead of religious and tribal loyalties. He's hoping the Democrats will do the same. A hopeless hope on both accounts.
Along with Israel the Kurds are our greatest allies in the Middle East. But just as we expect Israel to bend over backwards in dealing with their enemies we expect the Kurds to do the same. It's time instead to support our allies and tell our enemies to kick rocks. Iraq doesn't stand much of a chance as long as Syria, Iran, and Iran's favorite terrorist organization Hammas continue as they are. Support for the Kurds in all of the countries that are trying to keep them down is in our best interest, and no more so than in Iran.
Michael Ledeen gives us some insight on why politicians will turn a deaf ear on information that they don’t want to have to act on. Mr. Ledeen was present at a meeting in 2001 in Rome with Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian expatriate who provided information to the Pentagon. "That meeting produced very high-quality information that we did not have, which, according to American armed forces in Afghanistan, saved American lives," Mr. Ledeen has said. However, the CIA and State Department took steps to shut down the information channel. Later Rumsfeld gave orders that Pentagon officials were forbidden to talk to Iranians, period.
This is similar to the “Able Danger” affair where the 911 hijackers were identified in 1999 by a classified military intelligence unit. Ledeen says:
We have two cases where life-saving information was available, but the system refused to accept it, because the political considerations were more important. In the Weldon story, the administration didn't want to know about terrorist groups operating inside the United States. In the Rome story, they didn't want to know about Iranian groups killing Americans. In the first case, we'd have had to act against sleeper cells, which is a very nasty business. In the second case, we'd have had to act against the biggest terror sponsor in the Middle East, another can of worms. Better to pretend we didn't know, hope that nothing terrible would happen, and concentrate on career advancement.
Atlas Shrugs has some graphic pictures of the atrocities the Mullahs are inflicting on Kurdish children!
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
We are appealing to the United Nations, human rights groups, and other nations to pressure our government to release my husband. Our struggle must reach out past the borders of Iran now. Our leaders will not listen to their people, they will only respond to external pressure
She is right to be concerned, the regime has killed many journalist, the most notable being Zahra Kazemi. Ms. Kazemi was a Canadian-Iranian who was arrested for photographing regime thugs beating young Iranians who were demonstrating for freedom. After being beaten and raped she turned up dead in a local military hospital. We will not see a Turquoise Revolution in Iran until the fear such human rights violations instill in Iranians is muted.
Make no mistake, Iran is a powder keg waiting for a spark. From an article by Slater Bakhtavar:
In Iran, pro-democracy students have taken to the streets several times during the past couple of years. A poll conducted this month by student activists at Amir Kabir University the countries second largest university provided a discomfiting message for the reigning Ayatollahs. The University poll chronicled a mere five to ten percent support for the mullahs and eighty-five percent support for a secular democratic government. President Bush has consistently reached out to this nation that Michael Rubin of the Washington Enterprise Institute dubbed the "most pro-American in the entire region, if not the world", and Thomas Friedman of the New York Times called "the ultimate red state. . ."
Because the world is watching Mr. Ganji, hopefully the government won’t let him die and become such a spark. But then the Mullahs have not always shown good judgement.
We all have a stake in Iran. The State Department reports:
Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2004. Its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Ministry of Intelligence and Security were involved in the planning and support of terrorist acts and continued to exhort a variety of groups to use terrorism in pursuit of their goals.
Specifically regarding al Qa’ida:
Iran continued to be unwilling to bring to justice senior al-Qa'ida members it detained in 2003. Iran has refused to identify publicly these senior members in its custody on "security grounds." Iran has also resisted numerous calls to transfer custody of its al-Qa'ida detainees to their countries of origin or third countries for interrogation and/or trial. Iranian judiciary officials claimed to have tried and convicted some Iranian supporters of al-Qa'ida during 2004, but refused to provide details. Iran also continued to fail to control the activities of some al-Qa'ida members who fled to Iran following the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
Hamas, Hizballah, and others:
During 2004, Iran maintained a high-profile role in encouraging anti-Israeli terrorist activity, both rhetorically and operationally. Supreme Leader Khamenei praised Palestinian terrorist operations, and Iran provided Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist groups -- notably HAMAS, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command -- with funding, safe haven, training, and weapons. Iran provided an unmanned aerial vehicle that Lebanese Hizballah sent into Israeli airspace on November 7, 2004.
And as pertains to the greatest threat facing Fascist Islamists, a successful Democratic Iraq:
Iran pursued a variety of policies in Iraq during 2004, some of which appeared to be inconsistent with Iran's stated objectives regarding stability in Iraq as well as those of the Iraqi Interim Government (IIG) and the Coalition. Senior IIG officials have publicly expressed concern over Iranian interference in Iraq, and there were reports that Iran provided funding, safe transit, and arms to insurgent elements, including Muqtada al-Sadr's forces.
Oh, and don’t forget the Nukes.
What can we as bloggers do to support Ganji and the freedom movement in Iran? Join and support Blog Iran and Regime Change Iran. Go to the Release Ganji web site and scroll down to the activities section. Above all, don’t stay silent. We are the Blogs and are a loud voice in the world. Ask CBS and Dan Rather. As Regime Change Iran states:
Those of us in the blogosphere need to publish the news on Iran in order to help Iranians searching for news know that we support their efforts to replace the existing regime with a real democracy. This is why we ask you to publish our campaign logo on your blog.
Why republish the news? Because the regime is blocking access to most major news sites and the blogosphere is a means to frustrate their efforts. It is also important for the people of Iran to know that people around the world are standing with them in their struggle. This support has proved invaluable to others that successfully overthrew their oppressive regimes in other places around the world, such as Georgia, the Ukraine, Lebanon and elsewhere.
When the people realize they have the power to expose the deceit underlying a government prone to repression, it is the beginning of that regime's end.
We can be that power.
Update: 17 March 2006 Ganji is released.
Friday, July 29, 2005
Thursday, July 21, 2005
PRIME MIN. HOWARD: Could I start by saying the prime minister and I were having a discussion when we heard about it. My first reaction was to get some more information. And I really don't want to add to what the prime minister has said. It's a matter for the police and a matter for the British authorities to talk in detail about what has happened here.
Can I just say very directly, Paul, on the issue of the policies of my government and indeed the policies of the British and American governments on Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it's given the game away, to use the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.
Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq.
And I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq.
Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor. Are people by implication suggesting we shouldn't have done that?
When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan?
When Sergio de Mello was murdered in Iraq -- a brave man, a distinguished international diplomat, a person immensely respected for his work in the United Nations -- when al Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the role that de Mello had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations administrator in East Timor.
Now I don't know the mind of the terrorists. By definition, you can't put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at objective facts, and the objective facts are as I've cited. The objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq. And indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of principles of the great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.
PRIME MIN. BLAIR: And I agree 100 percent with that.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
My feelings were to pull out, give the Palestinians their state and then hold them accountable for the actions of their citizens. When attacks on Israel continue, and they will, bomb the hell out of them and repeat as necessary. I also believed that bringing Israelis inside the wall was just common sense. After reading articles like Professor Arieh Eldad's I changed my mind. Israel is being pressured to do this by the US and the EU. It is a capitulation of the principle that terrorism not be rewarded. Hamas will gain control of Gaza and it will become a major terrorist base with access to the sea.
Friday, July 08, 2005
An add that was on my blog called Americans on Britain seeks input from Americans in order to discover what the citizens of each country think and believe about each other. When I think of Britain I usually get a mental picture of a brave steadfast people enduring the Battle of Britain. Sir Winston Churchill often comes to mind.
…We shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France and on the seas and oceans; we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in streets and on the hills. We shall never surrender…
Now is that an accurate portrayal of today’s Englishman? Tony Blair certainly fits the mold. In the wake of the 7/7 bombing he will not waver on his support for the US and the WOT. What of the average Brit however, most of which were not in favor of going to Iraq in the first place? They are the target of the bombings, the people the terrorist wish to mobilize into an anti-war movement that will strip Britain from the Coalition. It worked in Spain. Can Blair continue to keep troops in Iraq if a large majority of Britains are against it? As Commander in Chief Bush can and will prosecute the WOT however he sees fit and Congress can do little about it other than withhold funding from the military. George Bush isn’t about to let opinion polls drive his policy, he will do what he thinks is right even if most Americans oppose him. That’s what leaders do. Does Blair have the same authority? I hope so because I’m not to hopeful that the average Brit has the same determination to fight evil as their parents had.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
So expect Democrats to stage a last stand against any Bush nominee right of Ted Kennedy. Senate Judiciary Committee member Chuck Schumer has already been heard to say “We are contemplating how we are going to go to war over this.” This before any names have been put forward. From the Washington Post
Democrats signaled that whoever the nominee is, their three likely lines of attack will be to assert the White House did not consult them sufficiently, then paint the nominee as ideologically extreme and finally assert that the Senate had not received sufficient documents about the candidate.
Whoever the nominee is.
While Roe vs. Wade is not in danger of being overturned if a pro-life Justice gets in, the left is playing it that way despite still having five votes for abortion. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NOW, Feminist Majority Foundation, and The National Abortion Rights Action League are all saying that if Bush puts in an originalist, someone who will interpret the Constitution based on what it says, a woman’s right to choose is in jeopardy. The media, BTW, is very pro-abortion. Will Bush nominate a strict originalist that might place limits on abortion or actually overturn Roe vs. Wade? Ed Kilgore believes he must.
This appointment represents the giant balloon payment at the end of the mortgage the GOP signed with the Cultural Right at least 25 years ago. Social conservatives have agreed over and over again to missed payments, refinancings, and in their view, generous terms, but the balance is finally due, and if Bush doesn't pay up, they'll foreclose their entire alliance with the Republican Party.
Sure, they care about other issues, from gay marriage to taxes to Iraq, but abortion is the issue that makes most Cultural Right activists get up in the morning and stuff envelopes and staff phone banks for the GOP. And for decades now, Republicans have told them they can't do anything much about it until they can change the Supreme Court. With a pro-choice Justice stepping down, the subject can no longer be avoided. And thanks to the Souter precedent (and indeed, the O'Connor and Kennedy precedents), there's no way Bush can finesse an appointment that's anything less than a guaranteed vote to overturn Roe.
So expect all these forces to be unleashed when the first nominee is put forward. The left expects to pick the nominee and is even saying it has to be consulted about the nominees according to the Constitution. Of course that’s not what the Constitution actually says. Article II, Section 2 says the president "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint" judges. Advice and Consent after nomination. This is how libs play fast and loose with the Constitution. It’s as if they still don’t get the fact that they lost last November. As for picking the choice Alexander Hamilton once stated
There will, of course, be no exertion of choice on the part of the Senate. They may defeat one choice of the Executive, and oblige him to make another; but they cannot themselves choose - they can only ratify or reject the choice of the President.
However the Senate will not get to ratify or reject the President’s choice because the liberal minority will filibuster. We will need to go nuclear.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
His quarrel with Franken had begun the very moment Franken had expressed his horror that Fox News anchors wore American flag lapel pins on the air.
“How can you be a patriot and a journalist?” Franken had asked. “They’re mutually exclusive occupations.” T.R., who considered himself both, had asked why Franken could not love his country, to which had come the answer, “America is not my country. I’m a citizen of the world.”
Jay Rosen at Press Think believes the Newsroom Religion taught at Journalism began with Water Gate. The press is seen as a Forth Estate that can act as another check and balance to the Government. It’s the dream of every journalist to bring down a President, but of course personal beliefs dictate that to a MSM that is mostly liberal the dream is to bring down a Republican President. Add to that the belief that it was a press hostile to the Vietnam war that brought our boys home and condemned millions of Asians to tyranny. What you get is a media that actively paints the worst picture of the Iraqi situation and totally ignores all the good news coming out of Iraq.
The President outlined the failures that the terrorist have endured.
The terrorists, both foreign and Iraqi, failed to stop the transfer of sovereignty. They failed to break our coalition and force a mass withdrawal by our allies. They failed to incite an Iraqi civil war. They failed to prevent free elections. They failed to stop the formation of a democratic Iraqi government that represents all of Iraq's diverse population. And they failed to stop Iraqis from signing up in large numbers with the police forces and the army to defend their new democracy.
The terrorist will not give up. They believe America will eventually cut and run and leave the field to them. Constant negativity by the MSM and defeatist politicians like Ted “where’s my car” Kennedy, Robert Byrd, Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee and others make this a possibility but not while GW is in the White House.