Showing posts from January, 2005
Is this country serious about enforcing immigration laws? Mark Tapscott: By law, illegal aliens convicted of heinous crimes — rape, murder, child molestation — are to be deported once they've served their jail terms. But lately, thousands of them have simply been let go. And Justice Department officials have refused to release a government database that could help journalists and private citizens find these aliens. No one knows exactly how many of these criminals there are nationwide, but Cox Newspapers Washington Bureau journalists Eliot Jaspin and Julia Malone examined Georgia state prison records in 2002 and found numerous cases like convicted pedophile Miguel Angel Gordoba. He served a four-year sentence for molesting a 2-year-old girl in Alma, Ga., then disappeared following his release. Federal officials are required by law to deport people like Cordoba when they are released from prison, but immigration officials are often nowhere to be found when the illegal a
Dems want retreat in the face of victory Frank Gafney: “Stop the world, I want to get off” was once the title of a popular theatrical comedy. Today, it seems to be the mantra of Democratic Senator Teddy Kennedy of Massachusetts and others who are demanding that the United States have an “exit strategy” from Iraq. Senator Kennedy has even announced that its first step should be the immediate withdrawal of 12,000 troops. The problem is, exit to where? The truth is, whether we like it or not, the United States cannot exit the global war being waged against us by Islamofascist terrorists and their allies, any more than we can stop the world and get off it. In fact, were America actually to heed the siren’s call – issued by Sen. Kennedy before Sunday’s remarkable election in Iraq made doing so, at least for the moment, unimaginable – and retreat from the Iraqi front in that war, it would simply assure that we will be fighting these enemies far closer to home and, indeed, in all l
Kuwait nabs terror leader The Scotsman: Kuwaiti police stormed several suspected terror hideouts today, arresting a reputed terror leader and sparking a gun battle that killed five people, including four of his followers, as a government crackdown on Islamic militants intensified. The fighting, in Mubarak Al Kabir, south of Kuwait City, also wounded three terror suspects and three police officers, officials said. Three other suspects surrendered during the raid, including Amer Khlaif al-Enezi, a wanted militant leader, authorities said. Al-Enezi is a former mosque preacher described as a mentor to many young militants. The raid was the fourth over the past three weeks and reflected a new sense of urgency in the battle against militants. Kuwait, a major ally of the United States, has been battling Islamic fundamentalists deeply opposed to the presence of US forces in their country.
Did the money ever exist? AP: The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq ( news - web sites ) was unable to keep track of nearly $9 billion it transferred to government ministries, which lacked financial controls, security, communications and adequate staff, an inspector general has found. The U.S. officials relied on Iraqi audit agencies to account for the funds but those offices were not even functioning when the funds were transferred between October 2003 and June 2004, according to an audit by a special U.S. inspector general. Under the logic used by the left on WMD, it is clear that the money never existed and the audit was just another example of US aggression.
Antiwar camp routed Melanie Phillips: For the moment, they are routed. The grudging tones and surly looks of the anti-war camp, as they are obliged to comment through gritted teeth on the undiluted joy of the immensely brave and determined Iraqi people who have never in living memory been able to choose how they are governed, provides a shocking reminder of the moral sickness of the west. The anti-war camp is having to watch the awesome spectatcle of the assertion of the deepest human instinct for freedom -- an instinct they have done everything in their power to frustrate. At every stage of the Iraq war, they have talked down the enterprise, predicted dire outcomes, dwelt disprortionately on every setback and never reported the advances being made -- in short, mounted a propaganda assault based on lies in the service of defeatism and appeasement. In the process, they have given succour to the forces of darkness who have been stacking up the bodies of the murdered higher and hi
Terror strikes out James Robbins: S unday was a great day for freedom in Iraq — and a bad day for the terrorists. They had big plans for Sunday. They were going to make it their day. Terror attacks intensified during the lead-up to the election as a prelude to something spectacular. Surely the terrorists wanted to accommodate — they had been talking about it for weeks, threatening voters with beheadings and other grisly consequences. They promised victory or martyrdom to their followers. Now it seems they have achieved neither. Election day saw dozens of acts of random violence, but the terrorists had promised hundreds of attacks. Over 40 people were killed during the day, an unfortunate total but not an extraordinary one. Of the attacks that were executed, none were of particular notoriety. If any large-scale incident had been planned aimed at a symbolic target or vital center, it was either broken up by the excellent security system or the attackers
"...this gaseous dybbuk of democracy..." Jonah Goldberg: ... ...Is there a more execrable, horrid parody of an American statesman alive today than Ted Kennedy? Yes, yes, of course he's a joke; a family name wrapped around a bundle of appetite, cynicism, and asininity. But he matters precisely because his party and the media imbue him with a moral stature now wholly severed from the admirable traditions and ideas we associate with the president who swore we would pay any price and bear any burden to defend the survival of liberty. Three days before the Iraqi election, this gaseous dybbuk of democracy proclaimed that America was losing — or "not winning" — the battle for the "hearts and minds" of Iraqis even as the barbarians were scrawling on walls that anyone who voted would be slaughtered. Does Kennedy truly understand the meaning of the phrase, "winning the hearts and minds"? You do not win a man's heart or mind by threa
Badge of courage Deborah Orin: IT was the blue badge of courage — Iraqis defied evil and danced through the Valley of the Shadow of Death to cast their ballots and then wave the purple ink-stained fingers that proved they'd voted. The sheer joy recalled the fall of the Berlin Wall, some said, but the Germans dancing around that wall didn't have to face down evil because communism had already fallen, while Iraqis knew they risked death — and more than 30 were killed. "The people have won . . . Take a look today to meet the model of courage and human desire to achieve freedom, people walking across the fire to cast their votes," proudly wrote the Iraqi bloggers Mohammed and Omar. For over a year the two brothers — whose Internet site is "Iraq the Model" — have recounted Iraq's daily life and their hopes for freedom and yesterday they told of their joy at dipping their fingers in purple ink. "I walked forward to my station, cast my vote and
The Dem's suicide note Dick Morris: WHEN the British ul tra-liberals in the pre- Tony Blair Labor Party published their lengthy election manifesto in the late 1980s, the radical document so explicitly spelled out their defiance of English public opinion that a Tory politician called it "the longest suicide note in history." Now, in choosing their new national leader, the Democratic Party is publishing a much more succinct suicide note. It reads "Chairman Howard Dean." There is a school of thought among Democrats that by embracing policies and programs deeply at variance with what most Americans think will enhance the party's electoral viability. It was such wisdom that led to the selection of doomed nominees like Walter Mondale, Mike Dukakis and John Kerry. It is only when the views of these crazies were repudiated — as with the nominations of JFK, LBJ, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton — that the party can win elections. So why are the Democrats se
Vindication John Podhoretz: WHEN you heard about the stunning success of the Iraqi elections, were you thrilled? Did you see it as a triumph for democracy and for the armed forces of the United States that have sacrificed and suffered and fought so valiantly over the past 18 months to get Iraq to this moment? Or did you momentarily feel an onrush of disappointment because you knew, you just knew, that this was going to redound to the credit of George W. Bush? This means you, Michael Moore. I'm talking to you, Teddy Kennedy. And not just to the two of you, but to all those who follow in your train. There are literally millions of Americans who are unhappy today because millions of Iraqis went to the polls yesterday. And why? Because this isn't just a success for Bush. It's a huge win. It's a colossal vindication. It's a big fat gigantic winning vindication of the guy that the Moores and Kennedys and millions of others still can't be
Badge of courage Deborah Orin: IT was the blue badge of courage — Iraqis defied evil and danced through the Valley of the Shadow of Death to cast their ballots and then wave the purple ink-stained fingers that proved they'd voted. The sheer joy recalled the fall of the Berlin Wall, some said, but the Germans dancing around that wall didn't have to face down evil because communism had already fallen, while Iraqis knew they risked death — and more than 30 were killed. "The people have won . . . Take a look today to meet the model of courage and human desire to achieve freedom, people walking across the fire to cast their votes," proudly wrote the Iraqi bloggers Mohammed and Omar. For over a year the two brothers — whose Internet site is "Iraq the Model" — have recounted Iraq's daily life and their hopes for freedom and yesterday they told of their joy at dipping their fingers in purple ink. "I walked forward to my station, cast my vote and
Sharansky's case for democracy NY Times: Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident, was in Philadelphia in early November promoting his new book on democracy when his publisher, PublicAffairs, got a call from the White House. Would Mr. Sharansky be available to meet with the president the next day? Less than 24 hours later, on Nov. 11, 2004, Mr. Sharansky found himself in the Oval Office in an hourlong conversation with the president about the book, "The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror." Mr. Bush apologized for not finishing it, Mr. Sharansky said in a telephone interview last week from Jerusalem - "He said, 'I'm on Page 211' " - but otherwise threw his arms around Mr. Sharansky's theme that spreading democracy is in the strategic self-interest of free societies. "I felt like his book just confirmed what I believe," Mr. Bush said in an interview on Thursday in the Oval Office. &qu
So Arabs are not interested in voting? Opinion Journal: The world won't know for a week or longer which candidates won yesterday's historic Iraq elections, but we already know the losers: The insurgents. The millions of Iraqis who defied threats and suicide bombers to cast a ballot yesterday showed once and for all that the killers do not represent some broad "nationalist" resistance. The true Iraqi patriots are those who risked their lives to vote, apparently in much larger numbers than anticipated. "I would have crawled here if I had to," 32-year-old Samir Hassan, who lost a leg in a car-bomb blast last year, told Reuters. "I don't want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me." Yesterday's coverage on TV and in print was full of similar comments from Iraqis--which is especially notable since so much of the Western press has been anticipating a much worse outcome. (See today's Wall Street Journal for a
In numbers too big to ignore Amir Taheri: The brave voters of Iraq defied the terrorists — and proved the doom-mongers wrong AS IRAQIS voted in their first truly free election, they may have noticed a slogan on some walls in Baghdad and parts of the Sunni Triangle: Min al-sanduq il-al-sanduq . Its literal translation is “from the box into the box”. But the message is starker: “From the ballot box to the coffin.” Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian leader of the jihadists in Iraq, issued a statement before polling day threatening: “We shall kill anyone associated with elections: candidates, monitors, and voters.” The tone of those who opposed yesterday’s election was set by Yussuf al-Ayyeri, the al-Qaeda theoretician, who in a book published in 2003 described Iraq as “the principal battleground between Islam and the forces of Unbelief”. “It is not the American war machine that should be of the utmost conce
Enemy unable to wash the streets with blood NY Times: By increasing American troop strength in Iraq, banning all civilian car traffic and ordering a host of other security measures - some within standard military procedure and others distinctly not - American and Iraqi forces widely thwarted insurgents who had threatened to wash the streets with blood. Even so, military officers acknowledged that the security measures could not all be sustained over time and that insurgents might still be capable of conducting a catastrophic attack. But even on a day where as many as 44 people were killed and a hundred wounded by insurgent attacks, Pentagon officials and military officers said they had expected much worse. And they pondered whether their major offensive push over recent weeks had, in fact, knocked the insurgency back on its heels. Some even cautiously ventured that election day had been a test for the insurgency, too, and it had been found unable to press a sustaine
Norks near collapse Sunday Times of London: ... In interviews for this article over many months, western policymakers, Chinese experts, North Korean exiles and human rights activists built up a picture of a tightly knit clan leadership in Pyongyang that is on the verge of collapse. ... According to exiles, North Korean agents in Beijing and Ulan Bator are frantically selling assets to raise cash — an important sign, says one activist, because “the secret police can always smell the crisis coming before anybody else”. ... Word has spread like wildfire of the Christian underground that helps fugitives to reach South Korea. People who lived in silent fear now dare to speak about escape. The regime has almost given up trying to stop them going, although it can savagely punish those caught and sent back. ... Here in the north of the country, faith, crime and sheer cold are eroding the regime’s grip at a speed that may surprise the CIA’s analysts:
Arab news channels make election, not violence the story NY Times: Sometime after the first insurgent attack in Iraq this morning, news directors at Arab satellite channels and newspaper editors found themselves facing an altogether new decision: should they report on the violence, or continue to cover the elections themselves? After close to two years of providing up-to-the-minute images of explosions and mayhem, and despite months of predictions of a bloodbath on election day, some news directors said they found the decision surprisingly easy to make. The violence simply was not the story this morning; the voting was. Overwhelmingly, Arab channels and newspapers greeted the elections as a critical event with major implications for the region, and many put significant resources into reporting on the vote, providing blanket coverage throughout the country that started about a week ago. Newspapers kept wide swaths of their pages open, and the satellite channels dedicated
The Najaf vote Washington Post: The Shiites of Najaf went to the polls Sunday with decades of grief, with memories of fathers wrenched from homes, with scars left from torture, with names of loved ones dumped in mass graves. And they put it all in the ballot box. "Today was the triumph over 35 years of suppression," said an elections official, Nadeen Abdul Raheem. He watched in satisfaction as poll workers sitting on blankets in a schoolroom floor counted ballots by kerosene lantern. "This is a new experience." Election Day in Iraq was an occasion of fear for many, violence for some. But in Najaf, it was a time of rejoicing. Shiite Muslims, who make up an estimated 60 percent of the population, have been kept under the thumb of rulers from the Sunni minority for most of the last century. When President Saddam Hussein was in power, Shiites were impoverished and imprisoned. He herded Shiites into minefields during Iraq
Glenn Reynolds clips a quote from the alternate universe, aka Democratic Underground: And more wet-blanketry -- actually, it's a lot worse than that -- over at the ironically named Democratic Underground: All the media keeps talking about is how happy the Iraqis are, how high turnout was, and how "freedom" has spread to Iraq. I had to turn off CNN because they kept focusing on the so-called "voters" and barely mentioned the resistance movements at all. Where are the freedom fighters today? Are their voices silenced because some American puppets cast a few ballots? I can't believe the Iraqis are buying into this "democracy" bullshit. Sigh. More along those lines here. Jeff Goldstein is deeply disappointed in some of the critics.
Z-man gets a visit from a scary lady
Insurgents fail to deter Iraqis NY Times: After a slow start, voters turned out in very large numbers in Baghdad today, packing polling places and creating a party atmosphere in the streets as Iraqis here and nationwide turned out to cast ballots in the country's first free elections in 50 years. American officials were showing confidence that today was going to be a big success, despite attacks in Baghdad and other parts of the country that took at least two dozen lives. The Interior Ministry said 36 people had been killed in attacks, Agence France-Presse reported. But the violence did not seem to have deterred most Iraqis. ... The streets of Baghdad were closed to traffic, but full of children playing soccer, and men and women walking, some carrying babies. Everyone, it seemed, was going to vote. They dropped their ballots into boxes even as continuous mortar shells started exploding at about noon. ... But if the insurgents wanted to stop
LA Times dying to do a downer Hugh Hewitt: So I unwrapped the Sunday Los Angeles Times. The cover story on the magazine? "Who's Dying in Our War." Given that these stories are planned and their covers budgeted weeks and months in advance, can anyone imagine the thought process that accompanied this selection for this morning? A story on the sacrifice of the nearly 1,500 Americans killed and 10,000+ wounded is almost always appropriate, unless it isn't intended to be a story on their sacrifice and the suffering of their families, but is instead a crude manipulation ala Michael Moo
Free people would not chose to live under Zarqawi Jim Robbins: ... Our opponents' rhetoric has seldom been so literal. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and its satellites attempted to mask the authoritarian consequences of socialist rule behind the term "people's democracy." They obscured the lines of cleavage between East and West by claiming to represent the same human aspirations of freedom, dignity and equality, but to do so more effectively. The terrorists make no such claims. They do not promise to give people the liberties they want. Rather, they seek to supply the guidance they need. They make no pretense of allowing people to live freely. Instead, they want to force them to live justly. All of this underscores a fundamental fact: No free people would voluntarily choose to live in the type of society Mr. al-Zarqawi advocates. This is why the terrorists resort to violence. They are seeking to compel people for their own good. Their a
Eelction attacks demonstrate failure of insurgents Reuters: Al Qaeda's group in Iraq said 13 of its suicide bombers were involved in a string of attacks against election centers in Iraq Sunday, according to an Internet statement. "Thirteen lions from the martyrs brigade of the Al Qaeda Organization for Holy War in Iraq launched attacks on the centers of infidelity and apostasy (polling stations) in various regions of Iraq," said the group led by al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. "Other brigades of the organization launched at least 30 rockets inside the Green Zone and some polling stations and all Sunni areas saw confrontation today," the statement said. Militants struck mainly in Baghdad, rocking the capital with nine suicide blasts in rapid succession. ... In earlier Internet statements the group said it was behind seven attacks on polling stations and U.S. forces in Iraq's northern city of Mosul Sunday,
Vote story Reuters: Millions of Iraqis flocked to vote in a historic election Sunday, defying insurgents who killed 33 people in bloody attacks aimed at wrecking the poll. Voters, some ululating with joy, others hiding their faces in fear, cast ballots in higher-than-expected numbers in their first multi-party election in half a century. Election officials estimated the turnout at 72 percent, a figure that -- if confirmed -- would enhance the legitimacy of a national assembly that will choose Iraq's new leaders. But in parts of Iraq's Sunni Arab heartland, where the insurgency has been bloodiest, some streets and polling stations were deserted. Militants struck mainly in Baghdad, rocking the capital with nine suicide blasts in rapid succession. The Iraqi wing of al Qaeda claimed responsibility. Do the liberal Democrats still claim that al Qaeda is not operating in Iraq? Do they really think retreating in the face of a waek al Qaeda attack is the way to w
Voting disrupts media's bombing stories Scrappleface parody: News reports of terrorist bombings in Iraq were marred Sunday by shocking graphic images of Iraqi "insurgents" voting by the millions in their first free democratic election. ... Journalists struggled to put a positive spin on the day's events, but the video images of tyranny's traitors choosing a future of freedom overwhelmed the official story of bloodshed and mayhem.
Admissions of success? Lorrie Byrd: Democrats have criticized Bush for not admitting mistakes in Iraq. How much credibility do they have to ask that question when they can’t admit any successes in Iraq?
Iraq economy outperforming all others in region Mark Steyn: ... ... When you consider the behavior of the Shia and Kurdish parties, they've been remarkably shrewd, restrained and responsible. They don't want to blow their big rendezvous with history and rejoin the rest of the Middle East in the fetid swamp of stable despotism. The naysayers in the Democratic Party and the U.S. media are so obsessed with Rumsfeld getting this wrong and Condi getting that wrong and Bush getting everything wrong that they've failed to notice just how surefooted both the Kurds and Shiites have been -- which in the end is far more important. The latter, for example, have adopted a moderate secular pitch entirely different from their co-religionist mullahs over the border. In fact, as partisan pols go, they sound a lot less loopy than, say, Barbara Boxer. Even on the Sunni side of the street, there are signs the smarter fellows understand their plans to destroy the election have flopp
Dems in denial Steve Rattner: In his 1998 State of the Union address, President Bill Clinton waved his pen at the assembled Congress and declared that we must "save Social Security first." Democrats have since generally clung to that vision. But now, in an ill-conceived effort to derail President Bush's privatization initiative, many prominent Democrats are suddenly dismissing the notion of a Social Security crisis or even a Social Security problem. Instead of offering sensible alternatives to the president's flawed proposals, Democrats are devoting their energies to attacking both the president's ideas and any notion of altering the Social Security construct. We can debate endlessly what constitutes a "crisis" but not that Social Security faces a major financial challenge. According to actuarial estimates by the system's trustees, Social Security costs will begin to exceed revenue beginning in 2018 -- not
Self indulgent orgies Thomas Sowell: The enraged speeches and street disorders across the country that accompanied the second Inauguration of President Bush may tell us more than we want to know about what is happening to this country. The media dignify these outbursts by calling them "protests." But what are they protesting? That they lost the election? Doesn't somebody always lose an election? Did the Republicans take to the streets when Bill Clinton was elected? Are the shouters and the rioters protesting that they disagree with Mr. Bush's policies? Isn't that why we hold elections in the first place — because people disagree? Elections are supposed to be an alternative to other ways of settling political differences, including riots, military coups and dictatorships. But riots have been rechristened "demonstrations" by the mealy-mouth media. What are these "demonstrations" demonstrating — other than adol
Bush's corollary to the Monroe Doctrine Thomas Wolfe: SURELY some bright bulb from the Council on Foreign Relations in New York or the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton has already remarked that President Bush's inaugural address 10 days ago is the fourth corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. No? So many savants and not one peep out of the lot of them? Really? The president had barely warmed up: "There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants ... and that is the force of human freedom.... The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. ... America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one..." when - bango! - I flashed back 100 years and 47 days on the dot to another president. George W. Bush was speaking, but the voice echoing inside my skull - a high-pitched voice, an odd voice,
Terrorist lose Iraqi election AP via NY Times: Iraqis danced and clapped with joy Sunday as they voted in their country's first free election in a half-century, defying insurgents who launched eight suicide bombings and mortar strikes at polling stations. The attacks killed at least 36 people. An Iraqi election official said that 72 percent of eligible Iraqi voters had turned out so far nationwide. The official, Adel al-Lami of the Independent Electoral Commission, offered no overall figures of the actual number of Iraqis who have voted to back up the claim. After a slow start, men and women in flowing black abayas -- often holding babies -- formed long lines, although there were pockets of Iraq where the streets and polling stations were deserted. Iraqis prohibited from using private cars walked streets crowded in a few places nearly shoulder-to-shoulder with voters, hitched rides on military buses and trucks, and some even carried the elderly in their arms. ``T
Bush State of the Union--Good news for American is bad news for Democrats Thomas B. Edsall and John F. Harris: When President Bush stands before Congress on Wednesday night to deliver his State of the Union address, it is a safe bet that he will not announce that one of his goals is the long-term enfeeblement of the Democratic Party. But a recurring theme of many items on Bush's second-term domestic agenda is that if enacted, they would weaken political and financial pillars that have propped up Democrats for years, political strategists from both parties say. Legislation putting caps on civil damage awards, for instance, would choke income to trial lawyers, among the most generous contributors to the Democratic Party. GOP strategists, likewise, hope that the proposed changes to Social Security can transform a program that has long been identified with the Democrats, creating a generation of new investors who see their int
Election putting stress on insurgents The normal advantage that insurgents have, ambiguity as to the place and time of attack, is not available for the election. The election pins any anticiapted actions to a specific time period and to specific locations where the election will be held. There are also other targets such as the US emabassy that are being closely watched. When a rocket hit the embassy compound to day it was tracked on counter battery radar and a drone quickly spotted the seven man team that fired the rocket. The drone followed them to a house where US forces captured them, according to Fox News. Each polling place is surrounded by three rings of security with US forces taking the outer ring. The insurgents only hope of mounting an attack on the polling place will be with someone wearing a suicide vest or with indirect fire weapons like a mortar or rocket. With the defensive perimeter in place the insurgents will have the same problem the rocket team had th
Someone else gets it Coldfury: 1) Condi didn’t lie to anybody, and neither did Dubya. Lying implies both knowledge and intent, and neither has been remotely established, nor will they be, because they do not exist. We know that Saddam at one time had WMD ’s; there is simply no argument possible on this. The fact of their existence was unquestioned by anybody, including the UN, after the first Gulf War, and we know he actually used them on more than one occasion. What we don’t know is where they all went, and if you on the Left were truly concerned about American security in the age of global terrorism you’d be a lot more worried about that than you are. You are not serious about defending this country. You are dead wrong, and you do not deserve to be taken seriously. 2) Bush acted on the best intelligence available in making the decision to remove Saddam from power; the same intelligence led President Clinton to make regime change the official goal of the USG back in ‘98.
Liberal Racism Right Intentions via LGF: ... Colbert, I am also a Black man. And it's about time we stop dancing around the issue. The evidence is piling up and the answer is obvious. Liberals are racist, too. Over the last few years, I've become quite disappointed with the Democratic party on a number of fronts. I believe the party is too reactionary and offers up no ideas of its own. They more or less just oppose whatever the Republicans want to do. I believe the party is too soft on national defense, and is more worried about opinion polls in France than defending the country. I believe that the Democrats are more worried about pleasing certain special interest groups than implementing worthwhile ideas (teacher's unions vs. school vouchers). And so forth. But nothing has surprised or saddened me more than to see the overt racism from the left. ... But I was gratified to hear the Democratic leadership loudly condemn these people and say there
Prosecuting a sheik who took joy in terror NY Times: A Yemeni sheik on trial in Brooklyn prayed "to put the Jews and the Americans in their coffins" after promising to funnel millions to terrorists and laughed over a fatal bus bombing by Hamas, a federal prosecutor said yesterday. But a defense lawyer countered that the sheik was just an "ailing and vulnerable man" who was coerced in a videotaped sting that the lawyer likened to a television reality show. The government-produced tape, however, was "all show, no reality," the lawyer, William H. Goodman, told the jurors. The claims by defense lawyers and the prosecutor, Kelly Moore, came at the start of a trial in Federal District Court in Brooklyn that officials say may involve the most money of any terrorism-financing network prosecuted in the nation. Ms. Moore, an assistant United States attorney, said the evidence would come largely from tapes of conversations secretly recorded during th
Exploding stories in Iraq Belmont Club: ... Staged? Staged? The Obsidian Order forgets that coincidences of this type are normal in Iraq. An AP photographer also happened to be around when Iraqi election workers were murdered on Haifa street. Some French journalists just happened to be present when 'insurgents' attempted to shoot down a DHL cargo plane. So why shouldn't three wire service photographers happen to stroll by when a car 'explodes' in front of an obscure high school building in Baghdad? But Chester is not to be persuaded that everything is on the up-and-up. He observes that the three wire service accounts differ from that provided by the Iraqi police. One of the comments on the site says: Fox news had the sequence on the TV tonight. FNC said the Iraq police had shot up the car and stopped it -- the car caught fire -- then apparently a bomb inside went off. When the camera pulled back, the police with their gun
Rooting for failure Roger Simon: Root, root, root for the AWAY team.... TigerHawk has an interesting grammatical analysis of this morning's New York Times editorial on the Iraq election, which exposes what we might call a subtextual ambivalence about this weekend's event. I can understand this. The leaderships of The Times and similar traditional publications are conflicted. They are certainly in favor of democracy and yet if this election is even relatively successful and three or four years down the line Iraq is struggling along as a fledgling democracy, possibly even instigating further democratic reform in the Middle East (maybe it already is among the Palestinian Authority), then they will have been revealed to have been on the wrong side of history. But as an ambivalent as the NYT may be, their language is nothing compared to James Zogby , President of the Arab American Institute, whose desire for the elections to fail resides only centimeters from t
Making history appear inevitable Rich Tucker: There’s nothing easier than predicting the past. For example, after the Patriots win the Super Bowl next week -- even if they again win on a late field goal -- a billion viewers will listen to experts explain exactly why they won, and why it was sure to happen all along. As author Lee Simonson put it, “Any event, once it has occurred, can be made to appear inevitable by a competent historian.” In much the same vein, Sen. Ted Kennedy and a few of his Democratic counterparts have perfect hindsight about our war in Iraq. “[Condoleezza] Rice was a key member of the national security team that developed and justified the rationale for war, and it’s been a catastrophic failure, a continuing quagmire,” Kennedy said during the recent “debate” over whether Rice should be confirmed as Secretary of State. Well, first of all, there was no real debate in the Senate, just hours and hours of soliloquies. Senators including
The courage to vote Kathleen Parker: Like most Americans, I've never had to be brave to vote. I just show up at the polls, negotiate the ballot, grab an "I voted" sticker and drive home satisfied that the world will continue to turn on its axis in the usual way. Piece of cake, democracy. Then again, not really. As I was pondering the Jan. 30 elections in Iraq - and wondering whether I'd have the courage to vote under such circumstances - I was reminded that not so long ago one group of Americans had to be that brave. It was just 40 years ago in the United States that many African-Americans were prevented from voting and some killed for trying, as were whites who tried to help them. It was only after numerous acts of violence and, yes, terrorism against blacks that the 1965 Voting Rights Act passed. Imagine that. In Iraq, terrorists and insurgents loyal to the former Baathist regime try to terrorize men and women who wish o
Churchill was not a guy who got down on himself Charles Moore: ... So strong was his sense of entitlement that he suffered from no serious self-questioning about any role that fell to him. In his memoirs, he says that his reaction to becoming prime minister in May 1940 was "a profound sense of relief". That is an extraordinary phrase to use about taking up the most difficult job ever performed by any Englishman, but it fits. When Churchill was buried 40 years ago tomorrow, he received the only non-royal state funeral of the century. Big Ben was hushed. A gun in Hyde Park fired once a minute for 90 minutes – one for each year of his life. The Dockland cranes dipped in salute. Churchill's only instruction for his funeral was that there be "plenty of bands" (there were), but there can be no doubt that he would have been quite unembarrassed by the fuss. Nicholas Soames told me that, when a boy, he once entered the study at Chartwell and said to Ch
Ruthless Dems Fred Barnes: ON THE EVE of the election in Iraq, Democratic senator Edward Kennedy called President Bush's Iraq policy "a catastrophic failure." He demanded that American troops immediately begin to withdraw. "We have no choice," he declared, "but to make the best we can of the disaster we have created in Iraq." Kennedy said the retreat of American forces should be completed "as early as possible in 2006," and suggested that, in Iraq, American troops are a bigger problem than terrorists. Though appalling, Kennedy's statement was not out of character for Democrats these days. "I don't like to impugn anyone's integrity," said Democratic senator Mark Dayton, before impugning the integrity of Condoleezza Rice. "But I really don't like being lied to, repeatedly, flagrantly, intentionally. It is wrong, it is undemocratic, it is un-American, and it is dangerous." After Rice took excep