Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stand by Your Man

Hilary Clinton’s campaign has given notice that hubby Bill’s behavior while President and Governor of Arkansas is off limits. While she feels free to highlight her and Bill’s record as Co-Presidents she will have none of the uglier aspects of that era mentioned. I understand that Bill is not running but many of his scandals reflect on her and her ability to win the general election, foremost being her meek role as First Victim. Yet the Clinton Political Machine will have none of it brought out in the open even though it is the talk of all the lefty social gatherings. As one Democratic strategist put it in a recent Newsweek article: "It's the 'Godfather' theory of politics. If people stray, you send them a message. That's how you keep them in line."

What amazes me is that they are even looking at Bill’s behavior to attack her when she herself has many of her own scandals. The White House Travel Office firings, Cattlegate, Vince Foster's death, missing billing records, and the most disturbing of all, Filegate.

I think most Republicans hope she gets the nomination. I know I’ll have a blast, so will Peter Paul.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

4 Years for Kareem

•Spreading data and malicious rumors that disrupt public security
•Defaming the Pharo
•Incitement to overthrow the country upon hatred and contempt
•Incitement to hate Islam and breach of the public peace standards
•Highlighting inappropriate aspects that harm the reputation of Egypt and spreading them to the public

Egypt, land of the Pharos. Still. Egyptian Blogger Kareem will get 4 years for voicing his opinion. Go here to help.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Surge Success and the Saudis

Iraq the Model has bird eye reports from Baghdad on the Surge:
Although attacks happen here and there, the general feeling is still closer to hope and appreciation of the plan than pessimism. More families are returning to the homes they were once forced to leave, and we’re talking about some of the most dangerous districts such as Ghazaliya and Haifa Street. Al-Sabah reports that yesterday alone 327 families returned home and that the scene of vans loaded with furniture of refugees leaving Baghdad is no more. There were times when the average was around 20 a day. The 327 figure brought the total to more than 500 families across Baghdad.
Al-Hurra TV aired a report on the story and interviewed some of the returning Baghdadis, one man said “those who returned earlier and saw the change in the situation called us and encouraged us to return, and I too will encourage the rest to come back”. The report showed those families asking the army to stay and not abandon their neighborhood, and showed the officer in charge giving his number to the locals so that they can contact him directly in case of emergency.
Fresh from brokering a deal between Hamas and Fatah Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan is now trying to strike a deal between Iran and the US while isolating Syria.
That leaves Saudi Arabia and the hyperkinetic Bandar. In his last visit to Washington he offered a rosy report on his travels. Iran, he assured his American friends, had been taken aback by President Bush's recent shows of strength (The Surge; Rancher) in the region, by the failure of his administration to collapse after midterm elections and by the unanimous passage of a U.N. resolution imposing sanctions on Tehran for failing to stop its nuclear program. The mullahs, he said, were worried about Shiite-Sunni conflict spreading from Iraq around the region, and about an escalating conflict with the United States; they were interested in tamping both down.
Again it says something when our enemies are rooting for the Democrats; they seem to have the same goals. Remember Bandar is working in Saudi Arabia’s interest, not ours, and the assertion that Iran is concerned about Sunni Shia violence rings hollow when you consider the fuel Sadr’s death squads have thrown on that fire. Nevertheless if he can split Damascus from Tehran it will help the region allot, especially Lebanon. However Amerji at A Heretic’s Blog advises caution.
In truth, however, it is indeed still too early in the day to celebrate and uncork those champagne bottles. This is not a done deal by far, and there are still plenty of opportunities to sabotage the whole thing. Moreover, the scenario itself does seem to call for some kind of a showdown with the Assads, who seem to be the ultimate losers here. Such a showdown, even if limited, is not going to be a rosy affair.
Joshua Landis at SyriaComment.com doesn’t like the idea of Saudi Arabian interference in these matters because he feels they will stoke the sectarian flames by ratcheting up fear of the Shia. However he thinks it might bear some fruit in Lebanon if Bush backs up the Saudis.
If Saudi Arabia can broker a Lebanon compromise by giving the opposition a larger role in the cabinet, will Washington agree to the Saudi brokered terms? There will be many in the White House and in Beirut who will try to torpedo it. Maybe that is the best diplomats in Washington can do at the moment? Better to have some diplomacy rather than none. All the same, the President of the United States should have the vision to carry out his own diplomacy. Those who expect Saudi Arabia to isolate Syria and Iran, will be deceived. In some respects, Washington is using the KSA to do what the Baker-Hamilton report recommended: get Iraq's neighbors together. Hopefully Washington will not spurn the results.
I am surprised that we are trying to get Iran to abandon Syria rather than the other way around. Of the two Iran is by far the greater danger to the region. What could Saudi Arabia give the Iranians that they would agree to abandon their nukes? I don’t think that the nukes are even on the table and if not what makes Iran think the issue will no longer be an issue? March 14 agreeing to allow Hezbollah more power, an agreement made at the point of a gun, helps us how? Is it not another victory for Hezbollah, a reward for their terrorism? Even the Mecca Agreement strengthens Hamas at a time we are trying to isolate them and prop up Fatah. As always Saudi Arabia, our erstwhile ally in the WOT, hurts more than they help. I want the Syrian Iranian relationship shattered as much as anyone but not if it means allowing Iran nukes and Hezbollah more power in Syria. Thanks but no thanks.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Surge

Again, the idea that 20,000 more troops would matter little entirely misses the point. What is significant is the change in attitude, Prime Minister Maliki's as well as President Bush’s.

Major General William Caldwell, USA, Spokesman, Multinational Force-Iraq:
Politically, Prime Minister Maliki's government has taken full ownership of this plan and is making a clear political commitment to its success. A resolution supporting this new strategy was unanimously endorsed by the Council of Representatives. Prime Minister Maliki has instructed his security forces that there will no longer be any political interference in military operations. Iraqi commanders have also been assured no neighborhood and no target is off limits.
Emphasis mine. This is a new and huge development. Omar at Iraq The Model got the message:
Back in Baghdad the most significant raid conducted yesterday was the one on Buratha mosque, one of the most important Shia mosques in Baghdad which is also considered a SCIRI territory. The raid ended without blood but the preacher of the mosque, a lawmaker from the SCIRI, expressed his dismay about the raid "because it was American soldiers who searched the mosque" and this seems to be one of the changes in rules of engagement. I recall that there was some kind of a rule that said only Iraqi soldiers or police were allowed to walk into places of worship while American troops would have to stay outside. This raid too is of political significance as it can be used to prove to that the operation is impartial and not directed against one sect without the other.
If mosques are no longer PC protected that does indeed send a message. Also a sign that we are serious about this is the fact that Brave Muqtada has run away. Apparently he didn't even tell his Lieutenants he was bugging out so many of them are running also. Others have been killed or captured. This leaves the Mahdi Army the choice of martyrdom by opposing the surge without their senior military corps or following the leadership’s example and lying low till Hillary or Obama can rescue them. I bet on the latter.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hugo Problemo

“You start parsing which countries’ politics we’re going to feel comfortable with, and only buying oil from them, then there are going to be a lot of people not driving their cars and not staying warm this winter.”
Former U.S. representative Joseph P. Kennedy II

A statement that has no bearing on what Joe Kennedy is actually doing. Hugo Chavez is turning Venezuela into Nuevo Cuba. Human rights are being curtailed, freedoms erased, Democratic institutions and foundations torn asunder and Joe Kennedy is out there singing this man's praises. Chavez is allying himself with every American enemy he can find including Iran, the world’s worst terrorists supporting and totalitarian regime. Because he has been bought off by cheap CITGO gas that his organization gets to parse out Joe Kennedy has become a goodwill spokesman for this enemy of the US with a series of TV ads running nonstop in Massachusetts. One ad goes like this:
Anxious-looking mother and daughter, shivering in a frigid apartment, the thermostat set at 60) “Mommy I’m cold.”

Elderly man with a foreign accent, “I can’t afford to pay for heat.”

(Joe, in a windbreaker, pops up on the screen – classic toothy Kennedy grin): “I’m Joe Kennedy and help is on the way – heating oil at 40 percent off from Citgo and our friends in Venezuela. Dial-1-877-Joe-4-Oil.”
Joe-4-Oil Kennedy draws a $400,000 salary from the Citizens Energy Corporation which gets to choose who gets this Marxist gift. In fact in a Boston Globe interview Joe shows us how much of a fan of socialism he is.
Meanwhile, in Venezuela, the president is socializing his nation’s oil profits. Poverty has dropped by 25 percent. State-sponsored provision of basic needs like food and health care has expanded.
I must admit I’m confused. If Cuban style socialism is a wonderful thing why don’t the Cubans like it? Why aren’t the poor in Miami fleeing to Cuba in any boat, bathtub, or inner tube they can find? Maybe he believes the left's BS about how wonderful Cuba and its Socialized Medicine are. The Real Cuba exposes the truth. Jungle Mom and Yekwana Man have many posts on how wonderful this style of dictatorship is working in Venezuela. If Chavez wants to bribe our poor with cheap gas we would be criminal not to let him do so. For Mr. Kennedy to say we are critical of his purchasing oil from Chavez he must ignore the fact that the US gets 15% of its crude oil from Venezuela. What we object to is his endorsement of Chavez. Old Joe, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., who was a big fan of Hitler, would be proud.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Brave Brave Muqtada

Sung to the tune of Monty Python's
Brave Sir Robin

Brave Muqtada ran away
Bravely ran away, away
When danger reared its ugly head
He bravely turned his tail and fled
Yes, brave Muqtada turned about
And gallantly he chickened out
Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat
Bravest of the brave, Muqtada

Muqtada al-Sadr has run away to fight another day. Back to people who love his terrorist heart, Iran.
Sources believe al Sadr is worried about an increase of 20,000 U.S. troops in the Iraqi capital.
Surge Successful.

Update: Sadr's spokesman Abdel Hadi al-Darraji is singing like a canary, implicating Sadr in atrocities carried out by his Mahdi militia.

Iran War

Here is more evidence that Iran is supplying Iraqi terrorists. Awhile back the National Iranian Police Organization bought 800 HS50 Steyr Mannlicher sniper rifles to use against drug smugglers. Good choice, as the article states “The rifle can pierce all body armour from up to a mile and penetrate armoured Humvee troop carriers”. They must have some pretty well outfitted drug smugglers in Iran. Oddly enough over 100 of those rifles have been found in the hands of terrorist in Iraq, over 1/8 of the police stock, assuming we have captured all of these rifles in Iraq. My guess is we have captured about 1/8 of all these rifles in Iraq. The Police Chief Ismail Moghaddamm used to be the Commander of the Basij, I can’t imagine how he let those rifles fall into the hands of criminals, I hope Ahmadinejad is investigating. Of course Bush lied people died so we can dismiss this report as more fiction from Bush Hitler, nothing to see here folks, move along, move along.

Monday, February 12, 2007

An Obama Nation

Repeat a lie often enough and people will begin to consider it the truth. Democrats have stuck to the Bush lied people died meme like fleas on a dog and are now using it to cast doubt on the administration’s claim that Iran is supplying Shia militias in Iraq. I’m not going to debunk the Bush lied BS, Norman Podhoretz does an excellent job here. That they would use that lie to justify sticking their head in the sand over Iranian involvement in Iraq lends credence to those who believe that they would put partisan politics ahead of National Security. When Australian PM John Howard said the terrorist would be rooting for Democrats like Obama both Democrats and Republicans told him to but out of American politics. However if we are going to abandon our allies I think they have a right to an opinion. Obama said he was flattered one of Bush’s allies “"started attacking me the day after I announced”. I wonder if he is also flattered that Al Qaeda and Sadr are pulling for him.