Posts

Showing posts from March, 2004
Clarkes should be apoligizing for his book

Richard Miniter:

...

"...One momentous Bush-era episode on which Mr. Clarke can shed some light is his decision to approve the flights of the bin Laden clan out of the U.S. in the days after 9/11, when all other flights were grounded. About this he doesn't say a word. The whole premise of 'Against All Enemies' is its value as an insider account. But Mr. Clarke was not a Bush insider. When he lost his right to brief the Cabinet, he also lost his ringside seat on presidential decision-making.

"Mr. Clarke's ire is largely directed at the Iraq war, but its preparation was left to others on the National Security Council. He left the White House almost a month before the war began. As for its justification, he acts as if there is none. He dismisses, as 'raw,' reports that show meetings between al Qaeda and the Mukhabarat, Iraq's intelligence service, going back to 1993. The documented meeting between the head of …
Fighting hate

Belmont Club:

"One response to the Mogadishu-like mutilation of civilian contractors ambushed in Fallujah, in the heart of Iraq's Sunni triangle would be to pull American troops out entirely, an event eagerly awaited by some in the Shi'ite majority, the same ones who have been asking the US for permission to constitute and arm their militias. Just a month ago, 182 Shi'ite worshippers were massacred outside mosques in Karbalah and Baghdad on the holy day of the Ashura. Not a stone would be left on stone in the heartland of Iraq's former ruling elite, filled with men of whose sense of entitlement is only exceeded by the ignorance, were they not guarded by the US forces. (The Kurds might also like a shot at the thugs of Falluja--Prairiepundit.)

...

"But since it is Al Qaeda's policy to precipitate civil war in Iraq and America's goal to hold it together, the Sunnis in Fallujah will be safe from massive reprisal for the present, though the pe…
He needed lessons?Headline from CNN:

"Schwarzenegger takes sexual harassment course"
Iraqis in Falluja mutilate bodies of Americans civilian contractors

BBC:

"The US has condemned the killing and dismembering of four American civilian contractors in Iraq.

"The White House said it deplored the 'horrific attacks' but vowed the US would not be deflected from its mission to bring democracy to Iraq."

The US has already learned the price of shrinking in the face of muslim inhumanity. There will be no more retreats like the one in Mogudishu which is still costing American lives like the four killed today. The outrageous conduct is symptomatic of impotent rage. The bad guys are losing and having a hard time coming to grips with it. While it is tempting to treat Falluja the way the Romans dealt with Carthage, The city will probably be given the chance to turn over the bad guys first. The Marines may have to increase their force to space ratio in the city to the point where the insurgents will have no freedom to operate.
2 Saudi companies linked to al Qaeda also linked to Saudi intelligence

Chicago Tribune:

"Two private Saudi companies linked with suspected Al Qaeda cells here and in Indonesia also have connections to the Saudi Arabian intelligence agency and its longtime chief, Prince Turki bin Faisal, according to information assembled by German intelligence analysts.

"The Twaik Group and Rawasin Media Productions, both based in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, have served as fronts for the Saudi General Intelligence Directorate, according to an inquiry by Germany's foreign intelligence service, the BND.

...

"In the late 1990s both Twaik and Rawasin employed Reda Seyam, a 44-year-old Egyptian suspected by Indonesian authorities of having helped finance the Bali nightclub bombing. Germany's federal prosecutor is investigating Seyam on suspicion of supporting a foreign terrorist organization, namely Al Qaeda.

"The German inquiry also discovered that, during 1999 and 2000, Seyam too…
Euros stick head in sand on ethnic hatred of Jews

Telegraph:

...

"A study released by the EU's racism and xenophobia monitoring centre astounded experts by concluding that the wave of anti-Jewish persecution over the last two years stemmed from neo-Nazi or other racist groups.

" 'The largest group of the perpetrators of anti-Semitic activities appears to be young, disaffected white Europeans,' said a summary released to the European Parliament . 'A further source of anti-Semitism in some countries was young Muslims of North African or Asian extraction.

" 'Traditionally, anti-Semitic groups on the extreme Right played a part in stirring opinion,' it added.

"The headline findings contradict the body of the report. This says most of the 193 violent attacks on synagogues, Jewish schools, kosher shops, cemeteries and rabbis in France in 2002 - up from 32 in 2001 - were 'ascribed to youth from neighbourhoods sensitive to the Israeli-Palestinian …
Freudian correction

Via Samizdata:

"A story headlined 'Syria seeks our help to woo US' in Saturday's Weekend Australian misquoted National Party senator Sandy Macdonald. The quote stated: "Syria is a country that has been a bastard state for nearly 40 years" but should have read "Syria is a country that has been a Baathist state for nearly 40 years." The Australian regrets any embarrassment caused by the error."
Champs of campaign finance refore--evasion

Perry on Politics:

"The Boston Globe is reporting possible FEC violations at the Kerry camp. Since his campaign is very low on cash, he is having to rely on his friends to run ads for him, namely Bush-haters George Soros and MoveOn.org. According to the Globe:

'The Bush campaign and the Republican National Committee said they would file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing Kerry and pro-Kerry groups of violating a campaign law that broadly bans the use of ''soft money'' corporate, union and unlimited individual donations to influence federal elections.

'In a highly unusual move, the Bush campaign and RNC plan to ask the FEC to dismiss the complaint immediately so they can file a federal lawsuit to block the activities and force the groups to pay for presidential ads and get-out-the-vote drives with limited donations from individuals rather than soft money. Usually complainants pursue FEC…
Phillipines support for war on terror

Belmont Club:

"Dean Jorge Bocobo at Philippine Commentary has put together an impressive chronology of what it is like to be an American at the tender mercies of the Abu Sayaf, an Islamist group affiliated with the Al Qaeda. It also illustrates why the Belmont Club believes that 'punishment' attacks by Al Qaeda are wasted on countries like the Philippines. Whatever happens to Americans goes double for the locals, and any attempts by Robert Fisk, the BBC or any other agency to convince the islanders of the benignity of the Jihadis will be met, not with outrage, but by rolling-on-the-ground, knee-slapping, uncontrollable laughter. Current polls show that 90% of the Filipinos support the US War on Terror...."
I suddenly remembered what I knew all along

Gregg Easterbrook:

"...Richard Clarke's headline-making volume of self-praise might as well be titled, I've Suddenly Remembered I Knew It All Along. As yours truly noted yesterday (just scroll down), Clarke now claims he knew after September 11 it would be a colossal mistake to pursue Al Qaeda and attack Iraq simultaneously. I asked, Why didn't he say so at the time? Clarke left government about a month before the assault on Iraq began. This means he had plenty of time to speak out, as a private citizen, against the Iraq attack--and at that moment, an antiwar statement by the president's own counterterrorism advisor would have had tremendous impact worldwide. Instead in the month before the Iraq war began, Clarke did not oppose it. Suddenly in 2004 he has remembered his intense antiwar views--now that the political climate has shifted and suddenly remembering your intense antiwar views is a good way to sell a book.

"B…
Minimum gas price laws--really

Walter Williams:

"A couple of weeks ago, heading down to George Mason University, I pulled into my favorite Wawa gasoline station just off the Bel Air, Md., exit on I-95 South. At each of the 20 gasoline pumps, there was a sign posted that Wawa would no longer dispense free coffee to its gasoline customers. Why? The station was warned that dispensing free coffee put it in violation of Maryland’s gasoline minimum-price law.

"Here’s my no-brainer question to you: Do you suppose that Maryland enacted its gasoline minimum-price law because irate customers complained to the state legislature that gasoline prices were too low? Even if you had just 1 ounce of brains, you’d correctly answer no. Then, the next question is just whose interest is served by, and just who lobbied for, Maryland’s gasoline minimum-price law? If you answered that it was probably Maryland’s independent gas-station owners, go to the head of the class."

Read the whole thing.
Bush attack fatigue

John Podhoretz:

" THIS week's national polls tell a fascinating and unexpected story. The president's approval ratings should have tanked owing to the conversion of the political news into the 'Richard Clarke Show.'

"Instead, according to the Pew poll, 'A week's worth of criticism of his pre-9/11 record on terrorism has had little impact on President Bush's support among voters.'

"Gallup's results say pretty much the same thing. And they also indicate that Bush has significantly improved his standing in relation to John Kerry. Indeed, the big story in the Gallup poll is that Bush's political advertising has helped cause Kerry's positive numbers to drop precipitously over the past few weeks.

"How can this be? It seemed inevitable that last week's 9/11 hearings and the media's relentless efforts to publicize Clarke's patently dishonest charges against the administration were going to hurt Bush …
Clarke helped Bush?

Dick Morris:

...

" But what really happened was that the nation's focus was further diverted from the economy onto the issue of terrorism. Kerry is not about to close the huge gap Bush has opened up on this issue. No matter what negatives emerge on Bush's conduct in dealing with terrorism, it will still be the president's issue. So as damaging as the Clarke testimony was - and as hurtful as his book is - all it does is ratify terrorism and the response to 9/11 as major issues in the election.

...

" So what happened last week? Or last month? From March 4 through March 26, the Fox News poll reports that Kerry's negative rating has zoomed from 28 percent to 36 percent while his positives have dropped from 46 percent to 43 percent. Issues come and go. Bush's ratings will rise and fall as his conduct as president oscillates with events. But Kerry's negatives are forever. Without the power of the presidency to help him define himself, he l…
German elites pick Kerry

Those crazy Germans who were ignorant enough to choose Gerhard Schroeder would also pick John Kerry over President Bush. No wonder they have double digit unemployment and a horrible economy.
Air America

The new liberal talk radio "network" has chose to use the name of a CIA business used for clandestined operations during the Vietnam War. The NY Times aricle on the operation suggest the network thinks it is humorous to imply that John Ashcroft uses the service of a dominatrix. Pretty insenitive humor about a man recovering from gallstone surgery.
The world's largest financial rip-off

William Safire:

"Never has there been a financial rip-off of the magnitude of the U.N. oil-for-food scandal.

"At least $5 billion in kickbacks went from corrupt contractors — mainly French and Russian — into the pockets of Saddam Hussein and his thugs. Some went to pay off his protectors in foreign governments and media, and we may soon see how much stuck to the fingers of U.N. bureaucrats as well.

"Responding to a harangue in this space on March 17, the spokesman for Kofi Annan confirmed that the secretary-general's soft-spoken son, Kojo, was on the payroll of Cotecna Inspections of Switzerland until December 1998. In that very month, the United Nations awarded Cotecna the contract to monitor and authenticate the goods shipped to Iraq.

"Prices were inflated to allow for 10 percent kickbacks, and the goods were often shoddy and unusable. As the lax Cotecna made a lot of corporate friends, Iraqi children suffered from rott…
Houston lawyer debated Kerry on Dick Cavitt show

Houston Chronical:

"As President Bush plunges into his race against Democrat John Kerry, he might want to get some debating tips from Houston attorney John E. O'Neill.

"In 1971, O'Neill squared off against Kerry on the Dick Cavett Show in a 90-minute, televised forum in which the two Vietnam War veterans sparred over the U.S. role in Southeast Asia.

"President Nixon and top aide Charles Colson had taken a keen interest in O'Neill as part of their effort to discredit Kerry and the anti-war movement, according to memos and tapes in the National Archives. A clean-cut Naval Academy graduate, O'Neill was viewed by Nixon's team as an effective messenger against Kerry, who was causing the administration headaches as the leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

"O'Neill, who clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist later in the 1970s, has largely steered clear of national po…
Bush ads effective

Dan Balz:

"Since the end of the Democratic primaries, attacks on John F. Kerry by President Bush and Vice President Cheney, backed by millions of dollars in negative ads, have wiped out the narrow lead Kerry enjoyed at the beginning of the month and damaged his public image.

"The senator from Massachusetts emerged from the primaries unscathed but still little known, a condition Bush's team set about to change with an aggressive plan to define the senator before he could define himself. A month later, more voters see Kerry as 'too liberal,' and a solid majority says he is someone who has changed his positions on issues for political reasons -- both charges leveled by the Bush campaign's daily attacks through ads and public statements.

...

"The Bush campaign has sought to change the political dynamics after two months of bad news and unified Democratic attacks. 'For six months, it was a one-way conversation, and then you had the final …
41 says media unfaair to 43

George H. W. Bush says he is upset with media.

"It is 'deeply offensive and contemptible' to hear 'elites and intellectuals on the campaign trail' dismiss progress in Iraq since last year's overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), the elder Bush said in a speech to the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association annual convention.

" 'There is something ignorant in the way they dismiss the overthrow of a brutal dictator and the sowing of the seeds of basic human freedom in that troubled part of the world,' he said.

"The former president appeared to fight back tears as he complained about media coverage of the younger Bush that he called 'something short of fair and balanced.' "
Kerry was wrong aboutthe communist threat

Peter Kirsanow:

"During his 1971 congressional testimony about the Vietnam War, a man who would one day seek the Democratic party's nomination in the 2004 presidential race was asked by a senator to assess the threat of Communism, not just to Indochina, but to world peace in general. The witness responded, 'I think it is bogus, totally artificial. There is no threat. The Communists are not about to take over our McDonald hamburger stands.'

"In the decade following the witness's testimony, the nonexistent threat resulted in the slaughter of 2,000,000 Cambodians; the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets; the internment of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese in reeducation camps; numerous civil wars and bloody insurgencies in Central Africa, South and Central America and Southeast Asia; the mass migration of hordes of starving refugees; the proliferation of state-sponsored terrorism; the 'disappearance' of hundre…
The Clark pitch

John O'Sullivan:

...

"Al-Qaida's attacks are treated as natural catastrophes such as an earthquake. They simply happen. If they succeed in destroying our homes, then the fault belongs to us for not installing anti-earthquake technology. Thus former anti-terrorism adviser Richard Clarke is widely praised for apologizing for the failure to prevent 9/11. Yet 9/11 was an act committed by radical Islamist terrorists who deliberately sought out the weak links in our defenses. Clarke had sought valiantly to prevent it -- that was the theme of his testimony -- but he admitted that his proposals would not have succeeded. So the net effect of his apology was to shift the blame from al-Qaida to others in government who might have been negligent in averting the terrorist threat. And the fickle finger of suspicion pointed to -- President Bush and everyone in his national security team except Clarke.

...

"If Osama is not the enemy, who is? Like Clarke, many in the me…
Clarke's al Qaeda-Iraq connection

Christopher Hitchens:

"Opposition to the Bush policy since Sept. 11, 2001, has taken one of four forms. There are those who continue to believe that there must have been some administration collusion in the planning and timing of the attacks. (I notice that yet another book alleging this has attracted endorsements from about half of The Nation's editorial board.) There are those who feel that America has antagonized the Muslim world enough already, and that the use of force in Afghanistan and Iraq only makes the enemy more angry. There are those who think that Iraq is 'a war too far' (to annex David Rieff's phrase) and a distraction from the hunt for al-Qaida as well as a dangerous exercise in pre-emption. And there are those who think that the Clinton administration would have done, indeed was doing, a superior job.

"...He has been exposed as wildly wrong in saying that Condoleezza Rice had never even heard of al-Qaida?an …
Marines make their point

Strategy Page:

...

"The Marines have made their point in the Sunni Triangle ('don't mess with the Marines') and are now patrolling frequently and getting a friendly response from Sunni Arabs. The anti-government Sunnis, who thought the Marines might be an easier mark than the paratroopers they replaced, are now laying low and rethinking their tactics. Four days of fighting in Fallujah left dozens of anti-government Iraqis dead and many more wary of shooting it out with marines. The marines are out making contacts and collecting information so they can make raids on the anti-government forces. This worked for the paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne division, but the marines plan to try a tactic of working harder to establish contacts with less hostile Sunni Arab groups."
Pak attacks force communication

Strategy Page:

"The Pakistani army offensive along the Afghan border has greatly increased the amount of cell phone and radio use by al Qaeda and Taliban groups in the area. Normally, these electronic communications are used sparingly, because it is known that American and Pakistani electronic warfare units monitor all the conversations. But with Pakistani troops moving against al Qaeda and Taliban hideouts, the radios and satellite phones have to be used more often. It takes too long to send a messenger when the soldiers are coming down the valley to get you. Several interesting bits of information have come out of this. First, there was the amount of message traffic in foreign languages. Chechen, Arabic, Uzbek and other languages were heard. Then there were the reports of senior leaders being injured or killed. Today, there were reports of the Egyptian head of al Qaeda intelligence, Abdullah, was killed in the fighting. Abdullah took a major part i…
Al Qaeda's latest offensive

Belmont Club:

...

"The latest offensive shows the relative balance between offense and defense in the Global War on Terror. Like the kamikaze attacks of an earlier era, these Islamic bombers were probably tracked by intelligence until they could be engaged by the defenses, in much the same way the CAP and anti-aircraft shot down bogeys over Okinawa. In the case of Britain and the Philippines, the inbounds were splashed before they could deliver their ordnance. But in Uzbekistan the bogeys leaked through and killed 19 people.

"It also suggests that Al Qaeda has lost its organic capability to strike and must now rely on affiliates. The quality of the new affiliated Holy Warriors is markedly lower than the cadre led by Mohammed Atta. Here too, the analogy with the kamikazes may be apt. By 1945, the superlative aces of the Kido Butai had all been killed or crippled. Forced by logistical strangulation to cut back on training, the bogeys over Okinawa …
Brits bust bombers

Washington Post:

"Police arrested eight men Tuesday and seized a half ton of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer compound that can be used to make bombs, in raids across London.

...

"The operation, with 700 officers raiding two dozen locations, resulted in the largest seizure of potential bomb-making material since the Irish Republican Army suspended its campaign in 1997."
Do we need more lae enforcement to defeat terrorism or Superman clarke?

Wesley Pruden:

...

"Only yesterday — no more than a fortnight ago — John Kerry and the Democratic acolytes in the dominant media were having a high old time making sport of the notion that terrorism is a grim threat to life as we have known it. Terrorists, if there really were any, could be dealt with as 'a law-enforcement problem.' Pretty soon the cops would relegate al Qaeda and the Ba'athists in Iraq, the train bombers in Madrid and Islamists everywhere else as merely fodder for another episode of 'Law & Order.' Carey Lowell, the dishiest of the succession of 'L&O' prosecutor babes, could have put Saddam Hussein in the jug all by herself. George W. was advised to please shut up about his terror-fighting credentials.

"But then along came Richard Clarke, who would have saved Western civ with very little muss and almost no fuss if only someone at the Bush White House had…
Al Qaeda's other targets

Washington Times:

"Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, al Qaeda's purported operations chief, has told U.S. interrogators that the group had been planning attacks on the Library Tower in Los Angeles and the Sears Tower in Chicago on the heels of the September 11, 2001, terror strikes.

"Those plans were aborted mainly because of the decisive U.S. response to the New York and Washington attacks, which disrupted the terrorist organization's plans so thoroughly that it could not proceed, according to transcripts of his conversations with interrogators.

"Mohammed told interrogators that he and Ramzi Yousuf, his nephew who was behind an earlier attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, had leafed through almanacs of American skyscrapers when planning the first operation.

" 'We were looking for symbols of economic might,' he told his captors.

"He specifically mentioned as potential targets the Library Tower in Los Angeles, which was …
Poll shows bush stronger against Kerry despite Dem-Clarke attack machine

CNN:

"Despite a week of negative headlines about how his administration handled the threat of terrorism before the attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush's political position against presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry has strengthened, according to a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.

"The poll results suggest that the Bush campaign's attempts to paint Kerry as a tax-raising liberal who flip-flops on the issues has affected the race more than charges by former White House counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke that Bush and his national security team didn't pay enough attention to al Qaeda in the months leading up to 9/11.

"Among likely voters surveyed, 51 percent said they would choose Bush for president, while 47 percent said they would vote for Kerry, within the margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

"Three weeks ago, as Kerry was cinching the Democr…
How dare you?

David Frum:

...

"This administration came into office to discover that al Qaeda had been allowed to grow into a full-blown menace. It lost six precious weeks to the Florida recount – and then weeks after Inauguration Day to the go-slow confirmation procedures of a 50-50 Senate. As late as the summer of 2001, pitifully few of Bush’s own people had taken their jobs at State, Defense, and the NSC. Then it was hit by 9/11. And now, now the same people who allowed al Qaeda to grow up, who delayed the staffing of the administration, who did nothing when it was their turn to act, who said nothing when they could have spoken in advance of the attack – these same people accuse George Bush of doing too little? There’s a long answer to give folks like that – and also a short one. And the short one is: How dare you?"
The meaning of "ally"

Mark Steyn:

...

"...if Don Rumsfeld wants a light, mobile 21st-century military, the last place to base it is the Continent: given that the term 'ally' is now generally used in the post-modern meaning of "duplicitous obstructionist", it's not unlikely that any future Saddamesque scenario would see attempts to throw operational restraints around the use of US forces in Europe.

...

"What happens when a country becomes just as militant and aggressive about the virtues of "soft power" as it once was about old-fashioned hard power? Germany has a shrinking economy, an ageing and shrivelling population, and potentially catastrophic welfare liabilities. Yet the average German worker now puts in over 20 per cent fewer hours per year than his American counterpart, and no politician who wishes to remain electorally viable would propose closing the gap.

"Germany, like much of Europe, has a psychological investment in lon…
The Richard Clarke reading list

Just One Minute has a somewhat exhaustive list of links to things Clarke has said over the last few years and the last few days. It is a great resource.
The Hamas strategy

Alexander Rose:

"For those among us not wholly unsympathetic to Palestinian aspirations, the death of Sheikh Yassin was a terrible thing. This is not because his execution was an allegedly 'criminal act' by the Israelis, but because the Palestinian reaction to it demonstrates the poverty, folly, and futility of Hamas's grand strategy. The wild-eyed bellowing in the streets, the leadership's ferocious threats, its ungovernable rage, the panting adulation of a death-drunk cripple: Hamas is proving itself to be no Hezbollah, no IRA, no LTTE (the "Tamil Tigers" of Sri Lanka) ? all three fairly successful terrorist outfits.

"The most striking difference between them and Hamas is that the latter has displayed no obvious ability to think things through, to proceed to formulate a set of limited goals, and to then methodically achieve them by using a combination of violence, opportunism, and rational calculation. Clausewitz shrewdly dubbed t…
American Warlords

James Dunnigan:

"The U.S. Army Special Forces have gone back to their roots in Afghanistan. Using techniques developed and used with great success as far back as World War II, Special Forces A Teams are operating in remote Afghan valleys, and forming their own small armies by hiring local Afghans to help catch any Taliban or al Qaeda who might come through. U.S. troops have hired armed Afghans in the past, but from local warlords. This did not work too well. The warlord who supplied the troops had their own agendas. This included not getting any of their lads killed, and being open to bribery from the opposition. All of this is considered traditional in the Afghan scheme of things. A warlord becomes a warlord by having enough money to pay troops, some way to raise more money to keep paying them, and enough battlefield sense to keep down friendly casualties. Any warlord who misses too many payrolls, or gets too many of his guys killed, finds that no one wants to fo…
Hamas's logisical problem

Strategy Page:

"Israels attacks on the Palestinian terrorist groups key staff and infrastructure has seriously reduced the ability to launch successful terrorist attacks. Hamas has been humiliated by Israeli raids into Gaza, where superior Israeli training and tactics keep their casualties low while accomplishing their mission (capturing terrorist suspects or destroying terrorist workshops or supplies). As a result, Hamas, and other Palestinian terrorist groups, are turning more to foreign terrorist organizations. In particular, Hizbollah, which operates in Lebanon with the support of Syria and Iran, has been found providing increasing amounts of assistance. Israel, and the United States, has warned Syria and Iran to back off in supporting terrorism. Syria and Iran deny any involvement. The inability of Hamas to strike back quickly for the killing of their leader has put the Palestinian terrorists under pressure to at least spread rumors of really big …
Dick Cheney and Dick Clarke

Dick Cheney:

"He's taken advantage of the circumstances this week to promote himself and his book. I don't know the guy that well. I have had some dealings with him over the years, but judging based on what I've seen, I don't hold him in high regard."
The Kerry "boost"

Kaus Files:

...

"Senator Kerry's campaign got a boost yesterday with the news that the candidate would undergo elective shoulder surgery and be unable to campaign for four days while he recovers. ... Is it just a coincidence that Kerry's return to the campaign trail last Thursday corresponded precisely to the sharp reversal of his previously rising fortunes in the Rassmussen robo-tracking poll? ... Democrats demand more elective surgery for Kerry and more ambitious elective surgery for Kerry, with longer recuperation periods!..."
Clarke's transformation

Robert Novak:

...

"Until the past week, Clarke was best known inside Washington as one of the most skilled manipulators ever of the national security bureaucracy. He is the hero of journalist Richard Miniter's 2003 book, 'Losing Bin Laden,' a scathing exposure of Clinton's anti-terrorism failings. Clarke was described as 'blunt, tough and unrelenting' in pursuing terrorist Ramzi Yousef, sought in the first World Trade Center bombing. 'Imagine what he could have accomplished if Clinton had publicly endorsed his efforts,' Miniter wrote.

"Clarke was not only the hero but also obviously a prime source of 'Losing Bin Laden.' Miniter for the first time revealed, directly quoting Clarke, the meeting of 'principals' (Cabinet-level officials) on Oct. 12, 2000, after the terrorist attack on the USS Cole. The vote was 7 to 1 against an attack on Osama bin Laden. Only Clarke wanted action.

"In his own book, C…
Post Vietnam Kerry

John Fund:

"John Kerry mentions his service in Vietnam so frequently that it has become a running joke on the campaign press plane. He seldom if ever mentions his postwar activities as a national coordinator and principal spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War, a group he says he quit in 1971 because he was concerned about its radical agenda. One reason may be that a credibility gap has started to widen over his antiwar history, and he clearly doesn't want to discuss it at length. His campaign is issuing misleading and evasive statements on his antiwar service in a way that would do the Pentagon spinners of the Johnson and Nixon administrations proud.

"In fact, Mr. Kerry acts as if he can't remember much about the VVAW at all. This month his campaign several times said he "never, ever" attended a Kansas City meeting of antiwar leadership where members discussed and voted on an assassination plot against pro-war U.S. senators. Then, …
Jihadi discloses "root causes"

Richard Miniter:

...

"The grievances of Islamic terrorists are no secret — and poverty is not among them. Consider the revealing interrogation of the mastermind of the Bali bombing, Imam Samuda. 'I carry out jihad based on the following background and motives,' he said, listing 13 points: punishing America's allies, avenging the deaths of Muslims in Afghanistan, Australia's efforts to secure peace in East Timor, Hindu attacks on Muslims in Kashmir, Christian violence against Muslims in Ambon, Poso and elsewhere, the slaughter of Muslims in Bosnia, a duty to kill Jews and Christians, a desire to unite Muslims into a single, global state, a passage in the Koran (An Nisa, 74-76) to defend other Muslims, as a 'harsh reprimand' to the basing of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, to make the West feel the pain that Muslims feel when loved ones die and 'to prove to Allah that we have done all we can' to fight oppressors. E…
Disappointed doomsayers

Mark Steyn:

"Just under a year ago, Baghdad fell. A great day, or so you would think — especially after the idiotic predictions of how the city would be a new Stalingrad, with coalition troops fighting street to street for months on end.

"But, instead of even a moment of sheepish embarrassment, all the experts — the United Nations, the French, the world's media, the nongovernmental organizations and the left in general — simply galloped on to even more idiotic predictions of doom.

"On April 12 last year, I wrote a column mocking the global naysayers' latest Top 10 Quagmires Of The Week.

"If it seems cruel to dredge them up, I do so because, the current ballyhoo from Democrats would make you think the administration policy in this area has been a disaster. It hasn't. Indeed, for 2½ years now, the naysayers to the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rice approach to the war on terror have been close to 100 percent wrong on everything.

...

"Her…
The corrupt opposition to the war to liberate Iraq.

What the Safire excerpts reveal below is that much of the opposition to the war to liberate Iraq was not based on principal but on selfish corruption. That is what Kerry has tied himself to, by insisting that "diplomacy" would have overcome the resistance of France and Russia to the liberation of Iraq. By siding with the corrupt the liberals undermine their own case.
The world's biggest scandal

William Safire:

" Never has there been a financial rip-off of the magnitude of the U.N. oil-for-food scandal.

"At least $5 billion in kickbacks went from corrupt contractors — mainly French and Russian — into the pockets of Saddam and his thugs. Some went to pay off his protectors in foreign governments and media, and we may soon see how much stuck to the fingers of U.N. bureaucrats as well.

...

"To shift responsibility for the see-no-evil oversight, the U.N. spokesman noted that "details of all contracts were made available to the governments of all 15 Security Council members." All the details, including the regular 10 percent kickback to the tune of $5 billion in illegal surcharges? We'll see.

"To calm the belated uproar, Annan felt compelled to seek an 'independent high-level inquiry,' empowered by a Security Council resolution, as some of us called for.

"Nothing doing, said France's U.N. ambassador, …
The contradiction chief

Jack Kelly:

"We now know how Campaign 2004 will unfold: A Democrat will accuse President Bush of having started the Chicago fire, or poisoning Halloween candy or whatever. The news media will trumpet the charges, no matter how preposterous. When Bush aides deny the charges, and provide evidence refuting them, journalists will accuse Bush of making 'personal attacks.'

"Exhibit A for this pattern is the sordid saga of Richard Clarke, arguably the least credible whistleblower in American history. The counterterrorism chief in the Clinton administration who was held over by Bush charged in testimony before the 9/11 commission that Bush wasn't much concerned about waging war on terror before Sept. 11, and then tried to bully Clarke into falsely fingering Iraq for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"Clarke's testimony is refuted not only by every other national security official who was around Bush during the period i…
Hamas leader says God has declared war against US

NY Times:

"The new Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, called President Bush the enemy of Muslims and said today that God had declared war on the United States.

"Hamas has long said its battle is with Israel, and has directed its attacks, and most of its heated rhetoric, against the Jewish state. But since Israel's killing last week of Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the Islamic movement has issued bitter denunciations of the United States, though it has stopped short of saying it will strike at American targets."

You would think that God could find a better messenger if he decided to declare war. This nut case does not have the credibility to act as a spokesman for anything other than a death cult.
Kerry calls for new witness for 9-11 Commission

Scrappleface parody:

"Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee John Forbes Kerry today said that Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leaders of al Qaeda, should testify before the bipartisan commission investigating the 9/11 terror attacks.

...

" 'We're asking U.S. officials how 9/11 could have been allowed to happen,' said Mr. Kerry. 'It seems that Mr. bin Laden and Mr. al-Zawahiri would have first-hand information that would be relevant to the committee's proceedings.' "
Clarke tried to mislead commission on his 2000 vote

Real Clear Politics:

"Sunday on Meet the Press:

"Russert: Did you vote for George Bush in 2000?

"Clarke: No I did not.

"Russert: Did you vote for Al Gore?

"Clarke: Yes I did.

"Wednesday Before the 9/11 Commission: Clarke:

"Let me talk about partisanship here, since you raise it. I've been accused of being a member of John Kerry's campaign team several times this week, including by the White House. So let's just lay that one to bed. I'm not working for the Kerry campaign. Last time I had to declare my party loyalty, it was to vote in the Virginia primary for president of the United States in the year 2000. And I asked for a Republican ballot. "

"RCP: Clarke's statement before the 9/11 Commission was designed to leave the impression that he voted for George Bush in 2000, thereby innoculating himself against charges of partisanship. Turns out it was just another well played…
Murdering Vietnamese

Manchester Union Leader Editorial:

" BACK IN 1971, John Kerry said that 200,000 Vietnamese a year were 'murdered by the United States of America.' Now he says he didn?t mean 'murdered' and wasn?t referring to U.S. soldiers. Well then, what in the world did he mean?

"After accessing transcripts of testimony Kerry gave to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971, The Boston Globe reported Kerry?s ?murdered? comment last Thursday. The paper also reported that Kerry claimed to have flown to Paris and 'talked with both delegations at the peace talks,' clearly giving the impression that he was in some way involved in the Paris peace negotiations.

"Now Kerry says his Paris trip was a private affair with his wife, and he only met the Vietnamese for a few minutes. But back in 1971 he wanted people to think the trip was of some significance. The claim is reminiscent of Kerry?s more recent boasts that he has talked with world leader…
Hastert says Kerry has to change position on energy to save jobs

CNS News

"A ranking Republican congressman is calling on Democrat John Kerry to change his position on the energy bill before the Senate.

"Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) Friday said the Energy Conference Report would create jobs.

" 'Michigan voters need to know where Senator Kerry stands when it comes to jobs in their state and across America,' Hastert said in a statement.

"He said voters must know if Kerry plans to continue to push for higher CAFE' standards - 'a proposal to kill more than 100,000 UAW jobs.' "
Another Hamas nutcase thinks god is on his side

USA Today:

"The new leader of the militant group Hamas on Sunday called President Bush the enemy of Islam and said that 'God declared war' against Bush, the United States and Israel.

"In a speech at Gaza's Islamic University, Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi said he was not surprised that the United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel's assassination on Monday of Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin.

" 'We knew that Bush is the enemy of God, the enemy of Islam and Muslims. America declared war against God. Sharon declared war against God and God declared war against America, Bush and Sharon,' Rantisi said. 'The war of God continues against them and I can see the victory coming up from the land of Palestine by the hand of Hamas.' "

If god is on his side why is he doing so badly? An all powerful god would not be backing a group of losers like Hamas.
Hamas threatens more muder

The leader of Hamas has threatened "an earthquack of revenge." He does not say how that will be different from the genocide Hamas was already advocating.

"Mashaal, who heads Hamas' political bureau, also criticized the United States for vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution Friday condemning Israel for killing Yassin, but said his group will not attack U.S. targets in the Middle East.

"He warned, however, that 'America's bias' toward Israel and its occupation of Iraq were creating enemies for it throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds.

Mashael is based in Syria which has assured the US that there are no terrorist office.
Illusions outside the US

Amir Tahiri:

...

"The Arabs are not alone in deluding themselves that a Democrat at the White House will let them do as they please. Kerry's claim that several foreign leaders told him they need him to beat Bush is not as fanciful as the Republicans pretend. Some 'old Europe' politicians, including France's President Jacques Chirac, also hope a President Kerry will dance to their tune - not only on Iraq, but also on issues such as the Kyoto Protocol and the International Criminal Court.

"Dominique de Villepin, France's foreign minister, makes no secret of his belief that the Bush presidency has been an 'aberration' and that a Democratic president will 'lift the fog of war.'

"What the outside world must understand is that most Americans now believe that they are threatened by enemies who can strike in the very heart of the United States. But the average American's reaction is quite different from that of the …
Exploiting failure

Jim Hoagland:

...

"Clarke is 'stunning continuity' in human form. He led White House counterterror teams for both administrations and worked in others as well. He in fact had the greatest bureaucratic responsibility of any single individual to prevent 9/11. He now exploits his failure in a brilliant marketing campaign of media synergy: Clarke's kiss-and-tell memoir is published by the same conglomerate (Viacom) that owns the television network that promoted the book so relentlessly last weekend.

"Clarke is a clever operator. His blanket apology to the families of 9/11 victims at the opening of his testimony did not lead to his accepting responsibility for any specific planning or operational failures that he then identified. These failures unerringly turned out to be the fault of others. Challenged repeatedly on why he did not warn the nation publicly or Congress privately of Bush's glaring deficiencies, he finally slipped into candor to note…
Hizballah admits ties with Hamas

The leader of Hisballah in Lebanon has told the new Hamas murderer in charge that Hizballah is at his service.

In order to achieve peace in the middle east both organizations must be destroyed.
"You can't escape and you can't hide ... the coalition will find you and bring you to justice,"

US Marines left a message for the bad guys in Fallujah. The leaflets were left behind after a punitive sweep through the town which followed an attack on a humvee with a rocket propelled grenade.

"Residents angrily vowed revenge, saying Friday's casualties were caused by Marine reprisals for an insurgent strike on a supply convoy that took out a Humvee with a rocket-propelled grenade. 'For each one who is killed, we will get 10 American soldiers,' said Abu Mujahid, 35, taunting the fresh Marine forces as 'cartoon characters.'

So for the tally is "cartoon characters" lost one and bad guys lost betwen 7 and 15 depending on which story you read. It will take more than bluster to get the Marines out of town. There may be many more black mourning banners in town before it is over.

The Marines had another message for the town and area, &qu…
Friedman in fantasyland

Thomas Froedman:

"I have a confession to make: I am the foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times and I didn't listen to one second of the 9/11 hearings and I didn't read one story in the paper about them. Not one second. Not one story.

"Lord knows, it's not out of indifference to 9/11. It's because I made up my mind about that event a long time ago: It was not a failure of intelligence, it was a failure of imagination. We could have had perfect intelligence on all the key pieces of 9/11, but the fact is we lacked ? for the very best of reasons ? people with evil enough imaginations to put those pieces together and realize that 19 young men were going to hijack four airplanes for suicide attacks against our national symbols and kill as many innocent civilians as they could, for no stated reason at all."

The column goes downhill from there with a litany of liberal fantsies ending with a Kerry McCain ticket. The world would n…
A failure of nerve

Edwrd Luttwak:

...

"A final irony: the best opportunity to get Osama bin Laden was in February 1999. Members of the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates had flown into Kahandaron a hunting trip. Bin Laden arrived and set up camp next to them. He was monitored as he socialised with them for several days. The UAE was almost certainly giving him money.

"An American attack on the camp was opposed by none other than Richard Clarke, the former White House counter-terrorism adviser, who was concerned about the UAE visitors (even though they were funding bin Laden). This was because Clarke himself had just been to the UAE, where he had received elaborate Arab hospitality and fulsome promises of co-operation. Mr Clarke is in no position to criticise George Bush for his failure to act against terrorism."
Clarke's work of fiction

Mark Steyn:

"In January 2002, the Enron story broke and the media turned their attention to the critical question: how can we pin this on Bush? As I wrote in this space that weekend: 'Short answer: You can't.'

"So Enron retreated to the business pages, and, after a while, the media and the Democrats came up with an even better wheeze: how can we pin September 11 on Bush? Same answer: you can't. But that doesn't stop them every month or so from taking a wild ride on defective vehicles for their crazy scheme.

"The latest is a mid-level bureaucrat called Richard Clarke, and by the time you read this his 15 minutes should be just about up. Mr Clarke was Bill Clinton's terrorism guy for eight years and George W Bush's for a somewhat briefer period, and he has now written a book called If Only They'd Listened to Me - whoops, sorry, that should be Against All Enemies: Inside the White House's War on Terror - What R…