Posts

Showing posts from September, 2003
Opposing nation building

Jonah Goldberg:

"...the nation building he (Bush) opposed during the campaign was the sort of stuff Charles Krauthammer has called foreign policy as social work - propping up countries such as Somalia, Rwanda and other places where America has absolutely no strategic interest whatsoever. Nation-building efforts in Iraq, and to a lesser extent in Afghanistan, are hardly irrelevant to our national security interests. Rather, they're central to it."

"...What's going on now with the debate over "nation building" is even more rank. For more than a year, Democrats scorned the White House for trying "nation building on the cheap" in Afghanistan."

"...It's too bad the Democratic Party seems more committed to defeating Bush than winning its own arguments - or winning the war on terrorism for that matter. Compared to the alternative, I'll take Bush's 'hypocrisy' any day."
Political intelligence

The Wall Street Journal agrees with Paraire Pundit.

"...The real intelligence scandal is how an open opponent of the U.S. war on terror such as Mr. Wilson was allowed to become one of that policy's investigators. That egregious CIA decision echoes what has obviously been a long-running attempt by anonymous 'intelligence sources' quoted in the media to undermine the Bush policy toward Iraq. Mr. Bush's policies of prevention and pursuing state sponsors of terror overturned more than 30 years of CIA anti-terror dogma, and some of the bureaucrats are hoping to defeat him in 2004."
Wilson is a man with an agenda

Why would the Bush administration hire Joe Wilson to do anything. The guy abviously has an axe to grind. He hates the president and hates his policies. If his wife hired him to go the Niger she should be fired for picking the wrong person to accomplish that mission. Why would she hire someone who likes Saddam better than President Bush?

Anyone who has fantasies of seeing the President's chief political advisor "frog marched" out of the White House, after admitting he has no evidence that the political advisor has done anything to harm him, should not be trusted with sensitive work involving war and peace.
Picking up the pace in Iraq

Steven den Beste:

"...there's another reason why it is that the rate of change has been accelerating, and that's because many things start slow and then pick up speed. That happened with things like the power grid, but where that is most critical and most important is in the attitude and behavior of the people of Iraq themselves.

"For 25 years, the people of Iraq lived under the most brutal and harsh of oppression. Anyone who drew any attention and suspicion at all would vanish in the night, or be taken away publicly in daylight. Some people were taken pretty much at random, tortured, and released just so everyone else would remain in fear of the government. Some people were forced to watch their own children be tortured; some such children were maimed or killed. In a situation like that, everyone learns to be extremely scrupulous about saying and doing exactly what they think those in power want them to. When any hint of dissent leads to a …
Hastert unloads on Clarke tax plan

From Inside Politics:

"General Clark takes dead aim at small-business owners with his economic plan," Mr. Hastert said in a statement.

"Twenty-three million small-business owners directly benefit from the tax cuts signed into law by the president. Those are the same tax cuts that Wes Clark wants to repeal. ...

"The Treasury Department estimates that if those tax cuts did not go into effect, the unemployment rate would be 1.6 percent higher, 3 million fewer Americans would be working, and real [gross domestic product] would be 3-4 percent lower.

"It is an open question whether General Clark was a brilliant military strategist. But there is no question he has flunked basic economics with his job-killing, tax-raising scheme."
Delay hits Kennedy and Dems

Tom Delay:

"Ted Kennedy has accused the president of treason, and no Democratic leader has had the guts to speak their mind about the accusation," Mr. DeLay said. "After all, opposing the war on terror may not be cowardly but staying silent about charges of treason is."
Iraq weapons cashes still being found

New York Times:

"Senior American military officials say that as much as 650,000 tons of ammunition remains at thousands of sites used by the former Iraqi security forces, and that much of it has not been secured and will take years to destroy."

"...The daunting task facing the military is illustrated in an infrared videotape of a sprawling, unguarded Iraqi air base taken by an Army helicopter crew in June that shows several huge hangars stripped bare of their roofing and siding, revealing bombs, missiles and other weaponry stacked dozens of feet high.

"On the videotape, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times by an American official in Baghdad, a crewman said: 'It looks like there's hundreds of warheads or bombs.'"

Not highlighted in teh story is whether in all thses arms caaches, there may be WMD. At this point there is no way to know.
Jordon to train Iraqi police

"Jordan announced yesterday that it would train 30,000 Iraqi police and troops, the first such pledge of aid from an Arab country in support of the American-led reconstruction effort in Iraq."

"...Abdullah also hinted at considerable Jordanian involvement in attempts to revive the Iraqi economy and to rebuild the infrastructure. Iraq is Amman's main trading partner.

"The Jordanian private sector has had a long and productive relationship with Iraqi companies," he said. "The knowledge and expertise that they command in Iraq can be tapped in the efforts aimed at reconstruction in Iraq.

"We would like a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship to be established, underpinned by strong private sector co-operation."

"The Jordanian monarch underlined the importance of his country in the war against terrorism. 'Jordan and other Arab and Islamic countries are committed to fighting terrorism and do play a …
Disingenious Dems ask for investigation

Democrats have asked for an investigation who who leaked the name of a CIA operative. The request is not made in good faith.

This is another attempt by former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV to make it more difficult for the Bush administration to implement its Iraq policy.

Wilso is still upset that Iraq was liberated and that Saddam Hussein is out of power. He is the guy who went to Niger and took officials at their word that Saddam had not tried to buy yellowcake uranium. Are we really supposed to believe that people who made an illegal sale would tell the truth. Even if they made no such sale, their hearsay testimony repeated by Wilson is pretty weak.

Wilson has an axe to grind with the administration and is using his wife to do so. Robert Novak disclosed in the course of a story that she was a CIA operative. However as Cliff May points out in the linked article he and other knew this information and were not told by anyone in the White H…
Dems criticism of Iraq policy demonstrates why they should not be trusted on issues of national security

Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussien both believe that if you bloody the US it will quit and leave. With the Democrats, that certainly appears to be the case. With militarily insignificant casualties in Iraq, many Democrats are ready to retreat. It does not take much to rout them.

This lack of toughness in the face of adversity makes clear that they do not have the fortitude to lead a great nation in war. One of their problems is that they seem reluctant to engage in this war. They want to go back to the failed policy of the Clinton administration with police actions and legalisms to bind US policy rather than aggressively pursuing the enemy.

Of course, to many Democrats, George Bush is the enemy, not radical islam. The "New Patriots" have a real problem of deciding whether they want the US to win this war.
At least one Palestinian comprehends what has gone wrong

"Armed Attacks Have Hurt Cause of Independence, says Outgoing Palestinian Official"

"Outgoing Palestinian Security Minister Mohammed Dahlan says armed attacks against Israelis have set back the goal of achieving Palestinian independence. The remarks were made on the third anniversary of the Palestinian uprising, the intifada, against Israel.

"Mr. Dahlan strongly criticized what he called the militarization of the Palestinian intifada that began on September 28, 2000.

"He said that resorting to armed violence in the past three years had proved harmful to the Palestinian national struggle."
Iraqi police join large raid in tikrit

Raids nets 92 "guerillas."

"Iraqi security forces and U.S. military police on Monday teamed up in Tikrit in the hunt for guerrillas behind a series of deadly attacks on American troops — the largest joint raid to date."

..."We think we are turning the corner with the police. This was completely led by the Iraqis," Lt. Col. David Poirier, who commands the 720th, based in Fort Hood, Texas, said. "We hope this operation has tightened the noose on the bad guys."

"This operation was designed to break the back of the Fedayeen," Poirier continued. "They are off balance, on the run, they know we are after them and that the Iraqi police are after them. We want to send the message that if you pull the trigger on the coalition, we will get you."
Trashy Dowd

Andrew Sullivan:

"DOWD DEGENERATES: Yes, it's possible. One - perhaps the only - theme of Maureen Dowd's columns is her man-hatred. You know she's really out for someone when she mentions their testosterone. Imagine a male columnist writing about female politicians constantly mentioning PMS. But I digress. Here's her "analysis" of Donald Rumsfeld's role in the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq: "I would describe him as the man who trashed two countries..." Now no-one can claim that everything is hunk-dory in Afghanistan and Iraq. But, compared to their existence under Saddam and the Taliban ... they're "trashed"? After two of the most target-precise wars ever conducted, with billions of reconstruction money going to Iraq, with levels of human freedom in both countries unprecedented in their history? Trashed? Dowd thinks that it was American intervention and not Saddam and sanctions that "trashed" Iraq? Is …
Islaamist and the military

Daniel Pipes:

"...It has been obvious for months that Islamists who despise America have penetrated U.S. prisons, law enforcement, and armed forces. In February, a milestone Wall Street Journal article established that imams who consider Osama bin Laden 'a hero of Allah' dominate the Islamic chaplaincy in the New York state prison system."

"...Executive-branch insistence on 'terrorism' being the enemy, rather than militant Islam, permits this Islamist penetration."

"...The U.S. government needs to use common sense and focus on militant Islam. It should consider such steps as:

* Breaking off contact with organizations (like the Islamic Society of North America and the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Council) that place Islamists in government jobs.

* Suspending presently employed Muslim personnel who got their jobs through those institutions until their loyalty can be confirmed.

* Working instead with anti-I…
Washington Post again tries to shoot down Atta meedting with Iraqi intelligence officer

The Post does not like Vice President Cheney's reference to an "alleged meeting in Prague between hijacker Mohamed Atta and Iraqi Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani."

"...The claim that Atta, an Egyptian and Sept. 11 hijacker, had met with al-Ani in early April 2001 has been a constant element of the vice president's case against Iraq. Surveillance cameras at the Radio Free Europe building in Prague had picked up al-Ani, an intelligence officer at the Iraq embassy, surveying the building in April, five months before the Sept. 11 attacks. The tape was made available to Czech intelligence. Al-Ani was expelled at the U.S. government's request soon afterward for conduct incompatible with his diplomatic status.

"In October 2001, after pictures of Atta had circulated publicly, an Arab student who worked as an informant for BIS, the Czech Security Information Service, told t…
Bush Strategy for '04

The bush team is waiting until dems settle on one candidate to run against.

"...Mr. Bush's senior advisers, in interviews last week, repeatedly described the Democratic field as unusually weak and divided, providing an important if temporary cushion for Mr. Bush."

..."'We expect it to be a hard-fought, close election in a country narrowly divided,' said Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's senior adviser. 'When a Democratic nominee is finally selected, our expectation is that it could be a close and hard-fought race.'

"The decision to delay the start of advertising until about the time the Democrats settle on a nominee is a rejection of what had been a central element of President Bill Clinton's re-election campaign. Mr. Clinton began advertising 16 months before Election Day, in an effort to define the election before the Republicans chose an opponent.

"Republicans said that would be a waste of money, given the battle tak…
Edward Said is dead

Mark Steyn:

"It's a generally good rule not to speak ill of the dead. I wish Professor Said had observed it in the days after September 11th when his almost every utterance was an insult to his fellow New Yorkers vaporized a few blocks from his ivory tower. He was a hugely influential academic, who found a way to make the institutional 'counter-tribalism' (in John O'Sullivan's phrase) of America's elites pay off for him big time. His bestselling Orientalism is a deeply disingenuous work riddled with factual errors and with a selectivity of focus that negates its main claim. But it remains a stunningly successful example of how to parlay western self-loathing into bestseller status. I mentioned Said a couple of times in the early chapters of The Face Of The Tiger mainly for one reason: he didn't seem to understand that the life he enjoyed was only possible in the west. In the Islamic world, where the theories of Orientalism are either…
Zawahiri says US wants to abolish Islam

Another tape from the terrorist:

"The crusade camp that is led by America and its allies from the infidels and hypocrites is targeting Islam and Muslims, even if it claims that it is fighting terrorism. This campaign is seeking to abolish Islam as a doctrine and a law," the voice said. What the West calls terrorism is the Muslim's jihad, he added. The voice, identified as that of al-Zawahri urged Muslims to "resist this Jewish crusade".

There would certainly be fewer murders by people looking to join their 72 virgins/white raisins if Islam was abolished, the fact of the matter is that no one in the US has ever suggested that Islam be abolished. It is a profoundly silly idea, that is well beyond the scope of the US war against terrorist like Zawahiri and bin Laden.

"...He also called Israelis arrogant, and Mr Sharon was 'the killer of Muslims and desecrator of the sanctity of al-Aqsa mosque.' In another excerpt…
Another poll shows Arnold winning

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Sunday showed 63 percent of probable voters said they would vote yes on the recall, compared with 35 percent who would vote no.

"...In a separate vote to choose a replacement for Davis, Schwarzenegger was the choice of 40 percent of respondents.

"Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante was the choice for 25 percent of voters polled, Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock received 18 percent."
The war on terror

It is probably more descriptive to say that our current war is against islamist religious bigots. The reasons it is called the "war against terror" relate to counter arguments.

The Islamist bigots would like to have a "clash of civilizations" between Islam and the rest of the world. If it were called the "war against Islamist bigots" they would be more effective at twisting it into a war against Islam in general.

Another reason for calling it the "war against terror" is that it puts people who would like to be fence setters in the war in the difficult position of being "for terror." The name fits in nicely with Bush doctrine of requiring countries to decide if they are with the US or with the terrorist.
Arnold moves to top

The recall race has moved in Arnold Schwarzenegger"s direction since last weeks debate.

"...Overnight polls taken statewide since Wednesday night's rollicking debate show that contrary to many pundits' conclusions, Schwarzenegger's barb-driven performance didn't hurt him with voters. Far from it.

"Lt. Gov. Bustamante, on the other hand, continued his slide -- with overnight tracking showing 50 percent of those surveyed now having an unfavorable opinion of him.

"One overnight poll commissioned by a Democratic-leaning union -- one of the state's biggest -- had it this way:

-- Schwarzenegger at 31 percent.

-- Bustamante at 24 percent.

-- Tom McClintock at 15 percent.

-- Peter Camejo at 4 percent.

-- Arianna Huffington at 3 percent.

"And 23 percent were still undecided or voting for one of the other 130 people on the ballot.

"In other words -- Arnold is No. 1, even with rival Republican McClintock staying in the…
Saddam's weapons fantasy

Time Magazine:

"...Over the past three months, TIME has interviewed Iraqi weapons scientists, middlemen and former government officials. Saddam's henchmen all make essentially the same claim: that Iraq's once massive unconventional-weapons program was destroyed or dismantled in the 1990s and never rebuilt; that officials destroyed or never kept the documents that would prove it; that the shell games Saddam played with U.N. inspectors were designed to conceal his progress on conventional weapons systems—missiles, air defenses, radar—not biological or chemical programs; and that even Saddam, a sucker for a new gadget or invention or toxin, may not have known what he actually had or, more to the point, didn't have. It would be an irony almost too much to bear to consider that he doomed his country to war because he was intent on protecting weapons systems that didn't exist in the first place."

"...So, why all the hide and seek if …
Tony blair is still right

Discussing al Qaeda Blair said, "They are well financed, determined on total destruction and we know perfectly well that this chemical, biological and nuclear trade is going on the whole time."

"It's not as if al Qaeda isn't still doing whatever it can do," he said.

"If you look at what's happening in Chechnya, or in Palestine or in India or in Indonesia, how long is it before it does something really spectacular again?" he asked.
"the biggest archaeological discovery of all time"

Has atlantis been found?

"It may be the answer generations of experts on the ancient world have been looking for. New research claims that the fabled ancient civilisation of Atlantis is located close to Cyprus.

"After nearly 10 years of research using ocean mapping technology and accounts from ancient texts, an American explorer says he has evidence that Atlantis lies beneath the deep blue waters off the southern tip of the island."

"...the site matches Plato's account of Atlantis, in the dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written in about 400BC. The description is said to be based on the writings of Solon, who recorded the account told to him by the Egyptians in around 600BC."

"...Central to the latest theory is the fact that the Mediterranean basin suffered a catastrophic flood with the destruction of the Gibraltar 'dam' that once closed the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic.

"Thi…
Neckties return to Afghanistan

The children of Afghans who left are returning and creating businesses and jobs in liberated Afghanistan.

"Rahim Walizada typifies the new Afghan Renaissance. He drives around Kabul in a bright blue 1959 Volga with an Afghan hound named James Bond and aims to revitalise the arts scene with the opening of his designer carpet gallery, Nomad.

"Mr Walizada, who owns the Chukpalu rug gallery on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, admits that his friends were less than impressed with his decision to leave New York for a more earthy experience in Kabul."

"...Mr Walizada, whose parents are carpet dealers in Paris, is among a growing number of Westernised young Afghans who have given up or postponed bright futures in Europe or North America to come to Afghanistan and help with the difficult task of reconstruction."

"...Jawed Ludin, 30, gave up doctorate studies at the University of London to help set up the communications department for Hamid …
Iran acting like it needs a regime change

Iran is sending agents into Iraq to stir up trouble.

"Iran has dispatched hundreds of agents posing as pilgrims and traders to Iraq to foment unrest in the holy cities of Najaf and Kerbala, and the lawless frontier areas.

"Teheran's hardline regime has also allowed extremist fighters from Ansar al-Islam, a terror faction with close links to al-Qa'eda, to cross back into Iraq from its territory to join the anti-American resistance."

"They are provoking sectarian divisions, inciting people against the Americans and trying to foment conflict and anarchy," said Abdulaziz al-Kubaisi, a former Iraqi major who was jailed by Saddam and is now a senior official in the Iraqi National Congress.

"The last thing that certain elements in the regime want is to see a stable democratic and pluralistic Iraq next door, so they are trying to export trouble here," said a leading official in another Iraqi party.


Antiwar pukes demonstrate against Iraq liberation

How can anyone respect this kind of stupidity being demonstrated for the rest of the world.

These demonstrators irrational complaints about the liberation of Iraq show they are more anti American than anything else. These people are demonstrating they are enemies of freedom.

Their numbers are shrinking from the million marchers prewar to 20,000 in the latest London show.
Large weapons chache found near Saddams birthplace

"In the second raid in as many days on a farm near the village of Uja, where Saddam was born and the site of a recent bomb attack against American soldiers, U.S. troops acting on a tip dug through the soft earth near a river bank and found the cache underneath a covering of reeds and straw."

"The cache turned up 23 Russian-made surface to air missiles, 1,000 pounds of plastic explosives, four rocket propelled grenade launchers and 115 rockets, a mortar and 40 mortar rounds, 1,300 blasting caps and 423 hand grenades

"The raid was a follow-up on information gleaned following a Thursday assault on the farm, a 2-square-mile spread of lime, pear and pomegranate trees."
Who is the enemy?

New York Post editoral:

"There was a particularly ugly moment during Thursday's free-for-all between the 10 Democratic presidential candidates at Pace University.
It came when an obviously stung Howard Dean lashed out at rival Dick Gephardt for comparing him to former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

"We need to remember that the enemy here is George Bush, not each other," said Dean.

"Say what?

"George Bush is the enemy?

"Did Dean misspeak?

"Or did he say what he meant?

"Casual slur?

"Or Freudian slip?"

"...So let's be clear here.

"George W. Bush is the president of the United States.

"Osama bin Laden is the 'enemy.'

"So was Saddam Hussein, until Operation Iraqi Freedom ended his murderous regime - no thanks to Howard Dean."
Rich get poorer

The tax codes soak the rich bias cost the treasury money when incomes were reduced during the recesion.

"...Over all, Americans had 2.8 percent less income in 2001 than in the previous year. But federal tax revenues fell 9.4 percent because the incomes of those at the top, who pay the highest tax rates, dropped so much more than the average."

Conservatives in a hostile environment

David Brooks:

"This is one of the most difficult things," says Alan Kors, a rare conservative at Penn. "One is desperate to see people of independent mind willing to enter the academic world. On the other hand, it is simply the case they will be entering hostile and discriminatory territory."

"Here's what I'm thinking when an outstanding kid comes in," says George, of Princeton. "If the kid applies to one of the top graduate schools, he's likely to be not admitted. Say he gets past that first screen. He's going to face pressure to conform, or he'll be the victim of discrimination. It's a lot harder to hide then than it was as an undergrad.

"But say he gets through. He's going to run into intense discrimination trying to find a job. But say he lands a tenure-track job. He'll run into even more intense discrimination because the establishment gets more concerned the closer you ge…
Evidence found of Iraq involvement in '93 WTC attack

Abdul Rahman Yasin indicted for mixing the chemicals for the explosives used in the blast, lived in Iraq and received other assistance.

"And we have learned subsequent to that, since we got into Baghdad and got into the intelligence files, that this individual probably also received financing from the Iraqi government, as well as safe haven," Vice President Cheney said.

"...The U.S. official said some Iraqi intelligence files indeed suggested support for Yasin after the 1993 bombing. But the official said it was too early to conclude what, if any, he received."
19 al Qaeda captured in Iraq

Paul Bremer said that 19 of 248 foreign fighters captured in Iraq were al Qaeda. Apparently their were no numbers on the dead al Qaeda fighters in Iraq.
Dean and kerry demonstrate their incompetance on national security

Dean and Kerry ask Rumfeld to resign.

These guys either do not know what is going on or they are deliberate attempting to cause the US Iraqi policy to fail for their own political advantage. This is not to say they are not "new patriots" as defined by Gen. Clarke.
Anti war pukes to march in London

Tens of thousands of people are expected to join a protest calling for the withdrawal of British and US troops from Iraq and the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in London this weekend.

This march for terrorism is expecting 100,000. That is an awful lot of ignorant people even for a city as large as London.
Paks arrest two more al Qaeda operatives

Using and internet cafe two al Aeada opeeratives were arrested trying to send messages to terrorist.

"...Working on a tip-off, agents followed the men for two days and monitored e-mails they'd allegedly sent from the northwestern city of Peshawar, two Pakistani intelligence officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

"Agents posing as customers in the Internet cafe swooped on the pair Thursday after one of them, a Yemeni national, sent an e-mail, the officials said. The other man's nationality wasn't revealed."
The Democrats patriotism problem

Democrats seem to think that questioning their bad ideas on national security is a challenge to their patriotism.

From The Best of the Web Today:

"...Hmm, public service, public good, liberty, free expression: The elements of Clark's 'new kind of patriotism' seem indistinguishable from the old kind. So what is Clark getting at? The New Republic's Peter Beinart argues that it's all an effort to obscure differences over policy:

'Much of the Democratic base still doesn't take national security seriously. Sure, Democrats know that most Americans don't trust the party to keep them safe. But they deny that this distrust has anything to do with prevailing Democratic ideology. The party, they reassure themselves, merely needs a tougher image.

'And so Democrats keep trying to find new, ever more Rambo-like personas to proclaim essentially the same message. First, there was John Kerry, whose Vietnam heroism supposedly inoc…
The right side of history

Victor Davis Hanson:

"At the end of this summer of our discontent, an array of Democratic presidential hopefuls, along with a number of restless pundits, are seeking to reclaim credibility after their mistaken prognoses about the Afghan and Iraqi wars. These critics now claim that we are in a Vietnam-style quagmire in Iraq and have become estranged from the rest of the world on a variety of fronts from the West Bank to the United Nations.

"Nothing could be further from the truth, which is immune to spin from both ends of the political spectrum. The facts themselves will not go away, and thus it is more likely that critics (quietly and without fanfare) will soon come over to the U.S. position, rather than vice versa — albeit on the cheap and at the eleventh hour.

"For all the harping, postbellum Iraq and Afghanistan offer hope; the Taliban and Saddam Hussein certainly did not. The world knows the United States is promoting liberal government and t…
Federal Judge says telemarketers have 1st amendment right to be a pest

In a ruling that defies logic and common sense a federal judge said the do not call list violates the First Amendment rights of the pest people do not want to hear from.

The decision is wrong on many levels, but the most obvious is that the First Amendment only gives you the right to speak, it does not require people to listen to you. The do not call list is made up of people who have already rejected the speech of the telemarketers.

Every property owner has the right to put up a no tresspassing sign to keep people off his property. The do not call list is a no tresspassing sign for the persons telephone.
"Keep your people here"

Iraqis were critical of UN personel leaving Iraq.

"A member of Iraq's Governing Council has criticised the United Nations' decision to pull more staff out of the country.

T"he minister responsible for foreign affairs, Hoshyar Zebari, said the UN was 'playing into the hands of terrorists.'


"His criticism came as the funeral of council member Akila Al Hashimi was taking place."

Bad news for antiwar Dems

There has been an explosion of consumer spending and business in Iraq according to USA Today.

"When Massoud Mazouri learned that the U.S.-led coalition had ousted Saddam Hussein from power on April 9, he hurried to Baghdad from his home in northern Iraq to set up an electronics business.

"Now the 28-year-old Kurdish merchant is selling televisions and satellite receivers at a brisk pace to gadget-starved shoppers. It's among the first signs that Iraq's larger economy is coming to life."

"...merchants such as Mazouri already are cashing in. Television sets, refrigerators and boxes of satellite receivers are stacked 10 feet high on the sidewalks of Baghdad's shopping districts. Shoppers who have waited for years to be able to spend their hoarded dollars are out in force.

'''When I started in late April, I was receiving one container of DiStar goods per month,' Mazouri says. 'Now, I am getting five to six cont…
Marines in Najaf

Lt. Eric Knapp:

"MY friends and family back in the states are frustrated because every time Najaf - the city in southern Iraq where my unit has been stationed - is in the news, the reports are of conflict between the U.S. forces and armed militias. To hear the media tell it, America has done nothing to improve the infrastructure or security, and the Iraqi public is volatile and seeking revenge.
This is not the Najaf I know. Here's the story lived by those who have worked hand-in-hand with the locals since the end of combat operations: the U.S. Marines.

"From the day it was given sole responsibility for the area, First Battalion, Seventh Marines (1/7) worked with the local governing council and religious leaders. Knowing the customs, culture and religion was crucial to the success of peacekeeping here in the Shia heartland.

"Governed by 1/7 battalion commanders Lt. Col. Chris Conlin and (after Aug. 26) Lt. Col. Chris Woodbridge, Najaf quickly recove…
The Iraqi resistance myth

Jonathon Foreman:

"MUCH of the discourse on Iraq continues to be dominated by myths - provable falsehoods that happen to confirm the prejudices of the antiwar crowd and/or those disposed to think our mission is failing now.
The mythos now culminates in the notion that a patriotic Iraqi "resistance" is slowly gaining ground against a hated occupation. But the distortions go back much farther.

"Here is Stephen Walt - a dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government! - writing in the Financial Times: 'The Iraqi people did not welcome U.S. forces with open arms and garlands and flowers.'

"In fact, the Iraqis did welcome us as liberators. I know, because I was there.

"I saw it firsthand: the old men kissing the Stars and Stripes on the shoulders of G.I.s, the children at the front of the crowds, thrusting flowers through the windows of humvees, the veiled ladies handing freshbaked bread to Bradley gunners in their hatches…
Iraq report

Bob Maginnas via "Inside the Ring:"

"Another great day in Iraq is completed. We flew to Mosul and joined the 101st Airborne at their palace. The division is doing great things to turn that region into a potential democracy. They have taken $30 million and invested it into thousands of projects that are quickly transforming that area into a safer and prosperous region. This is a great case study on how to build a new nation.

"We drove to the center of Mosul to meet the mayor and the vice governor of the province. No IEDs [improvised explosive devices] or mortar attacks, just a lot of Iraqis waving and smiling. We flew via Black Hawk to 4th Infantry Division HQs in Tikrit. The Sunni triangle is still dangerous but the division is making great strides.

"Like the 101st in Mosul, the 4ID is executing a plan to perfection and adjusting as appropriate. After a briefing in Saddam's favorite palace, we drove to the local government HQs where we met the g…
Partisanship and pathology

Charles Krauthammer:

"The Democrats have long been unhinged by this president. They could bear his (Florida-induced) illegitimacy as long as he was weak and seemingly transitional. But when post-9/11 he became a consequential president -- reinventing American foreign policy and dominating the political scene -- they lost it.


"Kennedy's statement marks a new stage in losing it: transition to derangement. As such, it merits careful parsing:

"(1) Imminent threat? How many times does one have to repeat this: When Bush laid out the case for the war in his 2003 State of the Union address, he deliberately denied imminent threat. ``Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent,'' he explained, but this president disagreed. The entire assumption underlying the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption is that Sept. 11 taught us that we live in a world where the enemy is too stealthy, his capacity for destruction too great, and the margin for…
What Dems believe

Rich Lowry:

"...This credo is often nonsensical and hypocritical, but it is clearly discernible. The Democrats of '04 believe:

"That wars should be authorized, but never fought.

That the United Nations is the world's last, best hope, and every jot of its writ should always be respected, unless it inconveniences Saddam Hussein.

"That nation-building is always a humanitarian and just cause, unless it is undertaken in Iraq.

"That anyone who said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction prior to the war was lying, unless his or her name is Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Madeleine Albright, Bill Cohen, John Kerry or Joe Lieberman, or the person ever served in the Clinton cabinet or as a Democratic senator."

The list goes on and is worth the read.
Iraqi postive about liberation

Most Iraqi thinks Saddam's overthrow is worth the inconveiences.

"...Two thirds, or 67 per cent, of those polled believe Iraq will be in better condition after five years than it was before the American-led invasion. Only eight per cent believe it will be worse."
The mother of misjudgements

If Saddam destroyed his WMD, why did he engage in deception for 12 years?

"...If Saddam had decided to scrap his chemical and biological weapons in 1991, he would have had nothing to hide. So why the deception?

"Moreover, Iraq never satisfied UN inspectors that this disarmament had taken place. Documents and witnesses were mysteriously unavailable. As late as March 7, less than a fortnight before the war began, Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector, said: 'Based on all the available evidence, the strong presumption is that about 10,000 litres of anthrax was not destroyed and may still exist.'

"And yet the evidence increasingly suggests that Gen Saadi really was speaking the truth. But if Saddam did destroy his banned arsenal after losing the 1991 Kuwait war, why not come clean? If he was going to scrap the weapons anyway, why not do so under UN supervision?"

"...If the dictator had wanted to guarantee his own downfall, he cou…
More weapons grade uranium found in Iran

The International Atomic Energy Agency has found more highly enriched uranium at a plant in southern Tehran.

The Clarke-Kerry bluff/stall

Andrew Sullivan:

"The only cogent response I've heard from my post yesterday about the Clark/Kerry position on the war is that we should have pulled back in February and sent in more inspectors before launching a war without U.N. support. If that's Clark's position, I think he should say so. What it would have left intact, of course, was Saddam's monstrous regime, and because he successfully hid or froze his WMD program, a clean bill of health from Mr Blix or a successor. Would we have maintained sanctions under those circumstances? That's another question Clark and Kerry need to answer. I can't see how we could have in the medium and long run - at least on moral grounds. So how could we be assured that Saddam would not have been emboldened by the triumph of his allies in the U.N. and re-started his WMD program or upped his financing of terrorism in the Middle East and here? These were our actual options. I still strongly think B…
The Iraq al Qaeda connection

Richard Miniter:

"...A wealth of evidence on the public record -- from government reports and congressional testimony to news accounts from major newspapers -- attests to longstanding ties between bin Laden and Saddam going back to 1994.

"Those who try to whitewash Saddam's record don't dispute this evidence; they just ignore it. So let's review the evidence, all of it on the public record for months or years:

"* Abdul Rahman Yasin was the only member of the al Qaeda cell that detonated the 1993 World Trade Center bomb to remain at large in the Clinton years. He fled to Iraq. U.S. forces recently discovered a cache of documents in Tikrit, Saddam's hometown, that show that Iraq gave Mr. Yasin both a house and monthly salary.

"* Bin Laden met at least eight times with officers of Iraq's Special Security Organization, a secret police agency run by Saddam's son Qusay, and met with officials from Saddam's mukhabara…
Iraqi war convert

Donald E. Walters:

"IN mid April, I got a call from the Justice Department asking if I would be willing to go to Iraq for up to three months to evaluate the justice system and make recommendations.

"I was in Iraq for fewer than 40 days, in Baghdad for a little over three weeks and in the three provinces of the far south for two weeks. I am limited in what I saw and heard. I want to make it clear that, initially, I vehemently opposed the war. In fact, I only changed my mind after my trip."

"...What changed my mind?

"When we left in mid June, 57 mass graves had been found, one with the bodies of 1,200 children. There have been credible reports of murder, brutality and torture of hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iraqi citizens. There is poverty on a monumental scale and fear on a larger one. That fear is still palpable. I have seen the machines and places of torture.

"Terrible things happened with the knowledge, indeed with the participat…
The new "Copperheads"

Charles G. Kels:

"Facing an election year, a weary but determined president was blamed by Democrats for the human and financial costs of war. They accused him of violating civil libertiesandrunning roughshod over the Constitution. They said the military was inequitably composed of poor, urban Americans. They demanded an end to the war and a pullback of U.S. troops."

"...Former presidents had ignored the warning signs and left it to this president to confront the problem once and for all. Seeking legitimacy, the Democrats looked longingly to a disgruntled former four-star general as the best chance to unseat the sitting administration.

"The coming election was a referendum on national resolve.

"The year was 1864. The incumbent president was Abraham Lincoln."
Gov. Perry says voters will remember Dems left the state

National Dems overplayed their hand and Texas Democrats will reap the backlash Gov. Rick Perry said.

"...Mr. Perry said Texas Democrats' flight to avoid a quorum was a violation of the state constitution, 'which clearly states' that legislators must stay put in Austin and do their jobs.

"Six months from now, voters won't remember the issue was redistricting but will remember that Democrats didn't show up for work," he said.

"The Democrats made a tactical error and lost substantial public support. People go to work every day in Texas — Democrats, Republicans, independents," Mr. Perry said. "They do not accept the idea that you run off to Oklahoma or New Mexico."

"Surveys, he said, showed that voters disapproved 2-to-1 of the Democrats walking out — even though the people were much more closely divided on the redistricting issue.

"People don't pay attention to r…
Hostile enviroments for religious speech

Ann Coulter:

"David Limbaugh's new book, "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity," will make you cry for your country. (But don't pray for your country if you're anywhere near a public school!) Released this week, Limbaugh's copiously researched book documents how the courts, the universities, the media, Hollywood and government institutions react to any mention of Christianity like Superman recoiling from kryptonite, Dracula from sunlight, or Madonna from soap and water."

Democratic gaffes

Larry Elder list some recent gaffes on the Dem campaign trail.

Dems go for antiwar general again

Rush Limbaugh:

"The mainstream media and inside-the-Beltway crowd are very excited about their new favorite presidential candidate, retired general Wesley Clark. The soft-on-national-security Democrats want to persuade us that, well, they're not really antiwar. They're just opposed to any war when the commander in chief is a Republican. You know, not enough coalition building, postwar planning, U.N. consulting and so forth. Never mind that Bill Clinton launched cruise missiles into Sudan and Iraq, and invaded Haiti, with little concern for international niceties and postwar consequences. And he did so with the unequivocal support of today's naysayers."

Mongolians return to Iraq

"In 1258, the Mongol general Hulegu, a grandson of Genghis Khan, sacked Baghdad, killing 800,000 people and ending its primacy as the largest city in the Arab world."

James Brooke of the NY Times says, "This month, the Mongolians returned to Iraq. Ferried into the country on American military transports, 180 Mongolian Army soldiers — all male, all volunteers — are guarding pipelines and working on construction projects under a Polish command."

aBrooke has written a very interestin article. Read the whole thing.
More on the Clarke-Kerry bluff

Andrew Sullivan:

"...Let's put the best gloss on Wesley Clark's ever-shifting position on the Iraq war and glean a coherent case within it. He would have voted for the Congressional Resolution - but only as a way to increase pressure for a diplomatic solution through the U.N. But wasn't that Tony Blair's position? Blair had all along preferred the U.N. route. He and Bush won an amazingly unanimous vote on the first resolution. He almost burst every blood vessel trying to get the Security Council to agree to the second. He wanted unanimous U.N. support precisely for the reasons Clark says he did as well - so as to avoid war. So what happened? He was double-crossed. The French declared that they would veto a second U.N. resolution promising war, regardless of what Saddam did. I've been reading the excellent inside account of the Blair government's attempt to forge this middle way in the winter and early spring of this year. It…
Shelton want vote for Clarke

The former chairman of the joint chifs was asked about Wesley Clarke:

"What do you think of General Wesley Clark and would you support him as a presidential candidate," was the question put to him by moderator Dick Henning, assuming that all military men stood in support of each other. General Shelton took a drink of water and Henning said, "I noticed you took a drink on that one!"

"That question makes me wish it were vodka," said Shelton. "I've known Wes for a long time. I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote."

On Iraq:

"...Three days after Shelton took office as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, his commitment to the integrity of the military was tested. When U.S. planes in the Iraq …
Clarke and McClellen

Richard Brookhiser:

"...The glittering façade masking dither, the appearance of complexity that gives way to pandering: So far Gen. Wesley Clark resembles another Democratic general-politician, George McClellan—second in his class at West Point, nicknamed the "Young Napoleon" until he bungled the peninsular campaign in the Civil War and ran on a Peace Now platform against Abraham Lincoln in 1864. McClellan, in the words of military historian John Keegan, was 'vain, vainglorious, opinionated, worldly, self-satisfied, ostentatiously busy—but also dilatory and self-doubting. He was a splendid organizer, on the principle of doing everything himself and delegating to nobody, but his gifts were for solving problems presented to him by unsatisfactory subordinates, not by active and contentious enemies. He was a great fault-finder [yet he] found no fault with himself. If he were to be compared with other famous American generals, it could be said that he …
Democracy in Iraq

NOAH FELDMAN:

"...Mr. Bush was right to refuse a rushed transfer of sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government as the price to pay for greater international participation in the postwar effort. The reconstruction of Iraq is a two-track process: one track for security, one for politics. The problems on the security track will not be overcome simply by bringing in more soldiers, American or otherwise. Meanwhile, the political track has been going much better than critics admit — but it could be derailed if the coalition fails to help Iraqis achieve security before turning things over to an Iraqi government that can actually rule the country. To depart from our present course probably wouldn't help — and it could do real harm.

"First, security. Instability in Iraq is not as broad-based as many fear. Essentially all of Iraq's Shiite Muslims and Kurds, who between them make up 80 percent of the population, were happy to see Saddam Hussein go and have made …