Thursday, September 29, 2005

As Iraqis Stand Up, We Will Stand Down

While the MSM slobbers all over itself in anticipation of Tom Delay going to jail for a legal money transfer that he knew nothing about, another major event occurred in Iraq that the MSM has ignored. This is why I get my news from sources other than the New York Times or CBS. Omar at Iraq the Model has the story.
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

Bashar's not so bad.

At least that’s what Joshua Landis at the New York Times wants us to believe. In a piece entitled “Don’t Push Syria Away” he laments the fact that GW didn’t have a cozy chat with Bashar Al-Assad, the tyrannical dictator of Syria. Instead Rice delayed his VISA and forced him to cancel his plans to attend the UN summit meeting in New York. Hell if we could do that to Assad my question is why didn’t we stop torturer and assassin Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian Puppet President from attending? After all those two countries are actively waging war on the United States and Iraq by funneling in arms and training killers to use those arms against Shi’ites, Iraqi security, and American troops. Oh, and Iraqi kids too.

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

What Stinks About the Madrid Bombings?

Something really stinks regarding the Madrid train bombings. At Eurabian Times we catch a glimps of reporter Joe Aguilar's attempt to get at the truth. May God protect this courageous man from powerful evil forces that may wish to silence him.

To Kill an American has this great post.


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.

My Daddy, the Government

We recently changed our emergency response plans at the New Mexico Corrections Department. Before this change emergency response was handled at the state level. When Guadalupe County Correctional Facility at Santa Rosa, NM had a riot they were ordered to “do nothing” until officials from Santa Fe arrived. In the meantime inmates destroyed much of the facility resulting in the loss of 306 beds. When Joe Williams became Secretary of Corrections he implemented the LETRA ™ Emergency Response System. Now each Warden at each facility is the Commander and has the authority to act in an emergency situation. The bureaucracy is actually trimmed even further, the shift Lieutenant is the Commander until the Warden arrives and is briefed. He has all the authority the Warden has with the exception of evacuating the entire facility outside the prison perimeter. This allows immediate reaction to an emergency when opportunities arise to contain or even resolve the emergency, opportunities that that may not happen again.

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

Louisiana's corrupt tone.

Louisiana has always had a reputation as the most corrupt state in the US. When the critical analysis of the emergency response to hurricane Katrina is finished and indictments are handed down we will see how corrupt. Till then we can go to a 2002 report by Corporate Crime Reporter: Public Corruption in the United States.

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

My little bit.

I have a one bedroom apartment that I will rent for four months free to any refugees. If you don’t mind being a prison guard and are not a felon there’s a job waiting for you too.

Email me at

Update: Anyone who has housing available for survivors of hurricane Katrina can post their information on the web at This site will match up survivors with available housing throughout the country.

Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans' Tone.

In studying disturbances and riots in correctional facilities one of the lessons learned is that the tone of the facility dictates how violent a riot will be. The tone of a facility is determined by how the facility is run. An institution that has good services like medical, food, and programming sets a good tone. Equally important are the staff. If they follow proper policy and procedures, act in a professional manner and treat the inmates with the proper respect then should the inmates gain control you can reasonably expect few serious injuries or damage. Case in point was the riot in 1986 at South Carolina’s Kirkland prison. When 700 inmates gained control of most of the facility inmates helped hide and protect staff. Kirkland was a well run facility and no one was seriously hurt and little damage was done. On the other hand the Penitentiary of New Mexico was a terribly run facility in 1980. The prison had poor food, sometimes containing rat feces, overcrowding, officer goon squads beating inmates, gladiator games with inmates forced to fight other inmates, officers stealing from inmates, an infamous snitch system, poor day to day security, corrupt administrators and a host of other problems. When the inmates gained control of the facility the result was the bloodiest, most brutal and destructive riot in American history.

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

Ganji Update

In what supporters say is a victory for the Democratic movement in Iran Akbar Ganji has broken his hunger strike after 71 days following pleas from his family and promises that he will soon be released. According to Akbar Atri a spokesman for the student organization that has supported Mr. Ganji's campaign:
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.