Showing posts from May, 2006

An unflattering description of the Marines stationed near Haditha

This story in the Telegraph paints a picture of some undisiplined troops. ... Normally, American camps in Iraq are almost suburban, with their coffee shops and polite soldiers who idle away their rest hours playing computer games and discussing girls back home. Haditha was shockingly different - a feral place where the marines hardly washed; a number had abandoned the official living quarters to set up separate encampments with signs ordering outsiders to keep out; and a daily routine punctured by the emergency alarm of the dam itself with its antiquated and crumbling machinery. The dam is one of Iraq's largest hydroelectric stations. A US special operations unit had secured it during the invasion and American troops had been there ever since. Now they were spread across the dozen or so levels where Iraqi engineers once lived. The lifts were smashed, the lighting provided only a half gloom. Inside, the grinding of the dam machinery made talking difficult. The place routinely sta

Car burning cults spring up again in Paris quagmire

NY Times: Youths in two Paris suburbs threw rocks at police officers and set a dozen cars ablaze overnight Tuesday, in the second night of violence reminiscent of the unrest that swept France in October and November. The police in the two towns northeast of Paris, Montfermeil and Clichy-sous-Bois, arrested 13 people, including Muhittin Altun, 18, the only survivor of the electrocution accident that set off the wave of violence last year. Two youths died in that incident. About 15 youths attacked the police with rocks and other projectiles in a housing project in Clichy-sous-Bois about 9 p.m. Tuesday. The police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, and arrested a number of the alleged assailants, including Mr. Altun, said a national police spokeswoman, who under police rules cannot be identified. The attackers also burned a number of vehicles and set fire to a police car in which four officers were sitting, the spokeswoman said. The officers escaped unharmed. About 11 p.m., a gr

Sinking feeling for real in New Orleans

AP /Washington Post: Everyone has known New Orleans is a sinking city. Now new research suggests parts of the city are sinking even faster than many scientists imagined _ more than an inch a year. That may explain some of the levee failures during Hurricane Katrina and it raises more worries about the future. The research, reported in the journal Nature, is based on new satellite radar data for the three years before Katrina struck in 2005. The data show that some areas are sinking four or five times faster than the rest of the city. And that, experts say, can be deadly. "My concern is the very low-lying areas," said lead author Tim Dixon, a University of Miami geophysicist. "I think those areas are death traps. I don't think those areas should be rebuilt." The blame for this phenomenon, called subsidence, includes overdevelopment, drainage and natural seismic shifts. ... Texas actually has subsidence districts to manage it. Most of it was caused by the extract

Trop artics

NY Times: The first detailed analysis of an extraordinary climatic and biological record from the seabed near the North Pole shows that 55 million years ago the Arctic was much warmer than anyone had thought — a Floridian year-round average of 74 degrees Fahrenheit. The findings, in three separate papers in the issue of the journal Nature that comes out on Thursday, show how much remains to be learned about climate change, both natural and human-caused. But experts say that if anything, the papers suggest that scientists have greatly underestimated the power of greenhouse gases to warm the planet. Computer simulations done without the benefit of the seabed sampling do not reproduce an ancient Arctic nearly that warm, the authors said, and thus must be missing elements that lead to greater warming. "Something extra happens when you push the world into a warmer world, and we just don't understand what it is," said one lead author, Henk Brinkhuis, an expert on ancient Arctic

Calling Iran's bluff on direct talks

AP /ABC News: The United States said Wednesday it would join in face-to-face talks with Iran over its disputed nuclear program if Tehran first agreed to put challenged atomic activities on hold, a shift in tactics meant to offer the Iranians a last chance to avoid punishing sanctions. Iran dismissed the offer as "a propaganda move." Before leaving for meetings in Europe on Iran, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that while the U.S. was willing to join talks between European nations and Iran, it was also helping to prepare a package of sanctions that Tehran could face should it decline the new offer. "We're prepared to go either way," she said ... I think this was just to prove to the Russians and Chinese that the Iranians wre not serious about avoiding sanctions.

Media massacres and war crimes

Gateway Pundit: The Western news giants are keeping the public up on the latest "massacre" news from Haditha: The Washington Post on Saturday, May 27, 2006: In Haditha, Memories of a Massacre CNN, May 29, 2006: Was Haditha massacre covered up? The BBC, May 30, 2006: Iraq to probe US massacre claims But, when the killing is done by "insurgents", here are the mainstream media headlines: CNN, Monday, February 28, 2005, on the deadliest single insurgent attack of war : Iraq suicide bomb kills at least 125 The BBC, February 28, 2005,... No blame here: Iraq car bombing causes carnage The New York Times, May 4, 2005, on a suicide bombing that killed 60: Bomber Posing as Iraqi Police Recruit Kills at Least 60 Get the picture? ... There is more on the media double standard. The enemy in Iraq's primary target has been non combatants for over a year. This is because they know they will lose if they attempt to take on the US or Iraqi troops and because they know the me

Democrats and the politics of fraud

Captain's Quarters: The Democrats have a deep divide on electoral strategy , the Los Angeles Times reports, which has its basis in policy, at least indirectly. Instead of a party debate between moderates and leftists on the nature of the Democratic legislative agenda, however, the party cannot decide whether to be honest with the American public.... ... In other words, the Democrats know that their agenda will lose them support in the upcoming elections. They want to offer more big-government, big-spending programs at a time when we can't afford the programs we already have. Democrats don't need a debate to determine this; it appears to be a consensus. Instead, they divide on the tactical wisdom of telling voters who they are and what they will do if elected. Honesty may be the best policy, but dishonesty seems to be the Democratic strategy for the midterms. That may cause them more headaches than simply acknowledging their affinity for increased government spending -- an

Chavez the big defense spender

Washington Post: -- Venezuela is buying helicopters, boats and military transport planes in defense deals worth about $2.7 billion, modernizing its military as tensions grow between leftist President Hugo Chavez and the United States. Flush with oil profits but blocked from buying U.S. arms, Chavez is increasingly looking to countries like Russia and Spain as suppliers. A cargo ship carrying 30,000 Russian-made Kalashnikov assault rifles is headed to Venezuela with the first shipment of an order totaling 100,000 guns to arrive by year's end. The military is looking to buy more submarines, and Chavez is planning an even bigger deal for Russian fighter jets. "The United States is failing in its attempt to blockade us, to disarm us," Chavez said after announcing the first shipment of Kalashnikovs. Washington has pointed to the mounting defense deals with concern and urged Russia and Spain not to do business with Venezuela. Both countries have shrugged off the warnings. Venez

Legislative travesty in the Senate

Rich Lowry: T he Senate is being praised for its bipartisan stewardship of a “comprehensive” immigration bill to passage. Supporters of the bill never discuss it without that adjective, which is supposed to denote a courageous commitment to solving the immigration problem in its totality. What comprehensive means in this context, however, is dishonest, unworkable, and radical. The Senate bill pretends to do what it doesn’t truly intend to do—tighten up enforcement—while really doing what its supporters hope no one will notice: conducting a vast social experiment that involves extending the benefits of the welfare state of the world’s richest country to tens of millions of poor, uneducated inhabitants of Latin America, through the expedient of importing them into America. The Senate bill—which the House, thankfully, is resisting—requires that a system for employers to verify the legal status of employees be created in 18 months. That sounds admirably rapid. Only it’s a fantasy. The peo

It is time for political courage on immigration reform

David Limbaugh: As much as I prefer imperfect Republicans over Democrats and fear the consequences of a Democratic majority, this is one issue where we simply have to draw the line. This bill, which could easily result in an exponential wave of immigrants entering this country over the next two decades alone, whom our P.C. culture will not even encourage to assimilate, must be vigorously opposed. While I agree that we can't allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good, we simply can't risk bargaining away the very identity of this nation on the illusory promise that holes in the bill will be patched over in time. If there isn't enough time to craft a nation-preserving bill before the election, there won't be afterwards either. Having said these things, I don't accept the premise that failure to pass a deeply flawed bill is politically suicidal for Republicans. If you believe that, you probably believe the conventional wisdom that elections are controlled b

How the insurgents want us to fight

Mackubin Thomas Owens: ... In Iraq, our opponents have chosen to deny us the ability to fight the sort of conventional war we would prefer and forced us to fight the one they want—an insurgency. Insurgents blend with the people making it hard to distinguish between combatant and noncombatant. A counterinsurgency always has to negotiate a fine line between too much and too little force. Indeed, it suits the insurgents’ goal when too much force is applied indiscriminately. For insurgents, there is no more powerful propaganda tool than the claim that their adversaries are employing force in an indiscriminate manner. It is even better for the insurgents’ cause if they can credibly charge the forces of the counterinsurgency with the targeted killing of noncombatants. For many people even today, the entire Americans enterprise in Vietnam is discredited by the belief that the U.S. military committed atrocities and war crimes on a regular basis and as a matter of official policy. But as Jim

The price of Clinton's retreat from Mogadishu

Ralph Peters: THIRTEEN years ago, our troops won a lopsided battlefield victory in Mogadishu. President Clinton declared defeat and pulled out. We've been paying the price in terror ever since - and it might be about to soar. When it comes to strategy and military affairs, folk wisdom is worth a century of scribbling theorists. Your father could have told you how to handle the Mogadishu warlords: "If you start something, son, finish it." We were close to finishing it. And a cowardly president quit. Osama bin Laden repeatedly cited the pullout from Somalia as evidence that Americans were weak and wouldn't fight. Our rewards for quitting were the attacks on our troops housed in the Saudi Khobar Towers complex and on our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya - next door to Somalia - followed by the USS Cole bombing. Dead Americans. The Clinton administration could not have cared less, as long as its poll numbers were good. As for the attack on the USS Cole, our dead sail

The hippopotamous and the pea

Tony Blankley: With Congress out of town for a week, it gives the nation a chance to lick our wounds before having to endure the next round of damaging blows to the body politic. I have tried hard to maintain a polite apathy in the face of the more recent congressional and White House episodes of their opera bouffe. But short of having my hands tied to my chair so as to stop me from typing, I rather fear that my more feral political instincts must be given a little room to run. Watching Speaker Denny Hastert attempt to defend Congress' separate powers, I was reminded of H.G. Wells' criticism of Henry James' writings. He likened it to "a hippopotamus in a room resolved at any cost upon picking up a pea." Was the assertion of a remarkably weak legal point (the burden of legal opinion weighs against the speaker's legal judgment) really worth the vast and conspicuous political damage? As a former wrestling coach, Mr. Hastert surely understands how

Jefferson was trying to hide evidence

Washington Post: The Justice Department yesterday vigorously defended the recent weekend raid of Rep. William J. Jefferson's Capitol Hill office as part of a bribery investigation, asserting that the Democratic lawmaker attempted to hide documents from FBI agents while they were searching his New Orleans home last August. The government questioned in a 34-page motion filed in U.S. District Court here whether it could have obtained all the materials it had sought in a subpoena if it had not launched the surprise raid on Jefferson's congressional office May 20. According to the government filing, an FBI agent caught Jefferson slipping documents into a blue bag in the living room of his New Orleans home during a search. "It is my belief that when Congressman Jefferson placed documents into the blue bag, he was attempting to conceal documents that were relevant to the investigation," FBI agent Stacey E. Kent of New Orleans stated in an affidavit that was part of the gover

The East Timor quagmire

Washington Times: Analysts warn Australia may have stumbled into a "mission impossible" in nearby East Timor, where its troops dominate an international force of more than 2,000 soldiers and police seeking to end a lawless rampage that threatens to devolve into civil war. East Timor's president, Xanana Gusmao, yesterday declared a state of emergency and assumed sole command of security in the world's newest country, hoping to end the violence that has left at least 27 persons dead and much of the capital city of Dili a smoldering ruin. The state of emergency will last for 30 days, during which time authorities, including foreign forces, will have the power to stop large gatherings, demand identity papers, carry out surveillance and seize weapons, ammunition and explosives. The much-criticized prime minister, Mari Alkatiri, will remain in office, but with severely curtailed powers, and Mr. Gusmao said he reserved the right to declare more severe measures under

Iran's plan for US invasion

Washington Times: Iran, apparently anticipating an American invasion, has quietly been restructuring its military and testing a new military doctrine that calls for a decentralized, Iraqi-style guerrilla campaign against an invading force. Iran's military planners are acutely aware that a military confrontation with technologically more advanced U.S. armed forces would be rapid and multifronted, unlike the static and slow-paced 1980-88 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Therefore, a series of war games have been carried out since late last year to test the army's readiness. In December, more than 15,000 members of the regular armed forces participated in an exercise in northwestern Iran's strategically sensitive Azerbaijan border provinces that focused on irregular warfare carried out by highly mobile army units, according to the official MENA news agency. A second exercise was conducted in the majority-Arab province of Khuzestan in September, according to the

Liberal stars do not want to disclose income

LA Times /Houston Chronicle: A plan to force companies to disclose salaries of high-paid employees who are not corporate officers is in jeopardy after a backlash from Hollywood, where film and TV stars often get bigger paychecks than executives. Opponents claim the measure could put media companies at a competitive disadvantage by forcing them to disclose detailed compensation packages for luminaries such as Tonight Show host Jay Leno, film director Steven Spielberg and departing Today anchor Katie Couric. The new rule was proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission this year to ensure that top corporate policy-makers cannot evade disclosure rules. But officials acknowledge that it could potentially expose the salaries of actors and athletes as well. ... The SEC requires publicly traded companies to disclose compensation packages for the chief executive and the next four highest-paid executives. The proposed new rule would force companies to make the same disclosures for as ma

Immigration an issue in Nebraska

AP /NY Times: Forget the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Nebraska natives, who have watched a steady flow of immigrants fill jobs at local meatpacking plants, increasingly oppose the new faces. And they are showing their opposition at the polls. ''It isn't so much that people don't like the immigrants or don't think there's a place for them,'' said Gary Pence, a 59-year-old Crete salesman. ''It's just not that 'Leave it to Beaver' era we grew up in.'' While the nation debates border security and the fate of 11 million illegal aliens, the farm town of Crete, population 6,000, is having a debate of its own. Immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala have come to America's heartland for jobs at the Farmland Inc., meatpacking plant, working for about $9 an hour slaughtering hogs, boxing frozen hams and pork chops and cleaning up entrails. They send their children to local schools -- which added seven bi

House committee to call AG, FBI chief on Jefferson search

NY Times: The House intends to summon Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation , Robert S. Mueller III , before the Judiciary Committee to justify its search of a Congressional office, the panel chairman said Tuesday. The chairman, Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Republican of Wisconsin, called the search "profoundly disturbing." Mr. Sensenbrenner also said he planned a legislative response to the search on May 20 of the office of Representative William J. Jefferson, Democrat of Louisiana. The bill would be patterned on a law limiting searches of news media offices. "I think this law will help the Justice Department get it right next time because they didn't get it right this time," Mr. Sensenbrenner said as his committee heard from legal experts and a former lawmaker. ... Sensebrenner is the one who did not get it right on this search. His attempt to insulate Congress from the due process of law i

Constructive criticism on border fence

NY Times: Advocates of tougher border security have sent thousands of bricks to Senate and House offices in recent weeks to make a none-too-subtle point with lawmakers about where many of their constituents come down on emerging immigration bills. Leaders of the campaign, which has delivered an estimated 10,000 bricks since it began in April, said they had hit on the idea as a way to emphasize the benefits of a fence along the border with Mexico. In an age when professionally planned lobbying campaigns have long since overwhelmed spontaneous grass-roots pressure, organizers of the brick brigade said they also saw an opportunity to deliver a missive not easily discarded. "E-mails are so common now," said Kirsten Heffron, a Virginian who is helping coordinate the effort. "It is really easy for the office to say duly noted, hit delete and never think about it again." If the impact was notable, so were the logistical difficulties, particularly given the mail screeni

This post from April 18, 2006 is worth repeating in the light of Rahn Emanuals Mogudishu analogy

The intimidated generals Judith Apter Klinghoffer: I am writing in the hope of lowering my blood pressure. Islamists around the world are on a rampage and all the media focus is on retired generals who did not dare confront their superiors or even tell the truth to the president when asked to do so in the most direct manner. I have called for Rumsfeld's replacement months ago but that is besides the point. For the generals to attack the Secretary of Defense on the issue of troop numbers in Iraq in 2003 is ridiculous. I want to know whether they think we need more troops in Iraq today or tomorrow. To hear two and three star generals whine that Rumsfeld is too intimidating causes one to ask who else can so easily intimidate them? Are we talking perhaps of the insurgents, Ahmadinejad, Assad Fils, the North Korean or China? Imagine being a soldier who has served under the command of so easily intimidated a general. Their retired generals' cont

Iraq marshes recover from Saddam destruction

UPI: Re-flooding of Iraq's destroyed Mesopotamian marshes has resulted in what scientists say is a remarkable rate of recovery for its plants, fish and birds. U.S. researcher Curtis Richardson of Duke University and Najah Hussain of Iraq's University of Basra have spend two years engaged in fieldwork conducted at four of southern Iraq's large marshes. They say water flowing from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers has been greater than expected. Not only has the quantity of water been more than expected, the scientists say both salinity and toxin levels have been lower than had been feared. As a result, many native species have returned, including rare bird species, although their numbers have not rebounded to historical levels. Iraq's marshes were devastated during the 1980s and 1990s by the efforts of Saddam Hussein's regime to eliminate the marshes in a political move against its enemies. As a result, tens of thousands of marsh Arabs fled to southern Iran. ... A succ

Mother of 6 not deported from UK because she claims to be lesbian

Daily Mail: An asylum seeker who falsely claimed she was a lesbian has been allowed to stay in Britain because of bungling at the Home Office. Carol Ajoh, a married mother of six, will not be sent home to the Caribbean after a judge ruled it would violate her human rights. In the High Court, Mr Justice Collins said her 2002 claim that she would be persecuted in Jamaica over her sexuality was 'totally bogus'. But because she remarried and gave birth to three children while her case was being decided, he said it 'lacked humanity' to remove her. He laid the blame with the Home Office, which took an 'inexcusable and appalling' 22 months to determine if she could remain on the basis of the second marriage to a British citizen. The case is yet another example of the crisis engulfing the Home Office. On Saturday, the Daily Mail told how Somalian Yonis Dirie, who violently raped a 21-year-old woman in Stratford, East London, could not be deported by a judge because he h

Grahic evidence of Mugabe's destruction in Zimbabwe

Independent: The true scale of a destructive campaign waged against Zimbabwe's poorest and most vulnerable citizens by their own government has been revealed in previously unseen satellite images. The pictures show how a community of 30,000 at Porta Farm, outside Harare, was wiped from the map last year, during President Robert Mugabe's Operation Murambatsvina, or "Restore Order". Countrywide, these demolition orders resulted in up to 700,000 people being made homeless in the midst of a food crisis. Kolawole Olaniyan, the Africa programme director at Amnesty International, who released the images, said: "They are irrefutable evidence - if further evidence is even needed - that the Zimbabwean government has obliterated entire communities - completely erased them from the map, as if they never existed." During the operation, state security forces were sent in their thousands into informal settlements, marketplaces and slums to forcibly evict the urban poor. Th

Saudis behind attacks in Basra

Telegraph: Foreign terrorists, led by fighters from Saudi Arabia, are behind an upsurge in attacks against British troops in Basra, military sources said yesterday. As the Army suffered the highest number of fatal attacks in a month since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, commanders on the ground are concerned at the level of sophistication and ferocity of the assaults. ... Commanders are concerned that Saudi and other foreign fighters are co-ordinating the attacks in a "consensual environment", in which the locals will not tell the military where roadside bombs have been planted. "The concern is that support for our presence is going down," a defense source said. There is also a strong belief, particularly among the Americans, that Iran is continuing to ferry bombs to Baghdad via Basra. The "consensual environment" that concerns the Brits is very different from that the US is dealing with, where tips from Iraqis have significantly redu

Incident at Haditha

Michelle Malkin has a long post with several links about the Marines at Haditha. This story from Time suggest the investigation has been thorough and professional. ... Those memories would have come in handy for sleuths of the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS, who have spent time in Haditha in recent weeks, to uncover the facts of the massacre. Belated as the investigation was, the residents of Hay al-Sinnani say they were gratified by its thoroughness. That there have been three separate enquiries suggests the U.S. military “want to get at the truth,” says Walid Abdel Khaliq, the doctor of the Haditha morgue where the victims' bodies were taken. They were especially impressed by the NCIS investigators. “They must have visited the houses 15 times,” says Khalid Raseef, a spokesman for the victims' kin and uncle of Emaan and Abdel Rahman Waleed, the children who lost almost their entire immediate family in the massacre. The investigators “asked detailed

Lying about lying

The Big Lizard takes a long look at the recent John Kerry rehab operation at the NY times over his service record in Vietnam and the effect of the charges by the Swiftvets. It is very detailed and very interesting, particularly in the questions the NY Times did not ask, as well as the Times false assertions about what the Swiftvets actually said. Apparently the reporter relied on the Kerry people for her information and the fact checkers at the NY Times did not look at the actual Swiftvet charges either.

A reporter remembers her time with the Marines at Haditha

CNN: It actually took me a while to put all the pieces together -- that I know these guys, the U.S. Marines at the heart of the alleged massacre of Iraqi civilians in Haditha. I don't know why it didn't register with me until now. It was only after scrolling through the tapes that we shot in Haditha last fall, and I found footage of some of the officers that had been relieved of their command, that it hit me. I know the Marines that were operating in western al Anbar, from Husayba all the way to Haditha. I went on countless operations in 2005 up and down the Euphrates River Valley. I was pinned on rooftops with them in Ubeydi for hours taking incoming fire, and I've seen them not fire a shot back because they did not have positive identification on a target. ( Watch a Marine's anguish over deaths -- 2:12 ) I saw their horror when they thought that they finally had identified their target, fired a tank round that went through a wall and into a house filled with civilians

The search for a mate with active D4 receptor

Live Science: Your sexual desire or lack thereof could be in your genes , scientists announced today. The discovery might change how psychologists view sexuality. The researchers found that individual differences in human sexual desire can be attributed to genetic variations. The study is the first to provide data to show that common variations in the sequence of DNA impact on sexual desire, arousal and function, the researchers said. The scientists, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, examined the DNA of 148 healthy male and female university students and compared the results with questionnaires asking for the students' self-descriptions of their sexual desire, arousal and sexual function. They found a correlation between variants in a gene called the D4 receptor and the students' self-reports on sexuality. ... Perhaps couples will need to see if their D4 receptors match before committing to a long term relationship. Mismatched D4 receptors would have to lead to frustrat

Former Marine fights off 4 armed robbers with his pocket knife

AP : A former Marine used a pocket knife to fend off a group of would-be robbers, killing one and wounding another, police said. Thomas Autry, who authorities said will not be charged, had been walking home from his job waiting tables Monday night when four people got out of a car and chased him, Atlanta police detective Danny Stephens said. One of the attackers had a shotgun and another had a pistol, Stephens said. The suspects caught up with Autry, who yelled for help and pulled a knife out of his backpack. He kicked the shotgun out of one of the attacker's hands and stabbed both a 17-year-old girl who jumped on him and a man who also attacked him. The suspects fled in their car but police found them later at a hospital where the girl was pronounced dead. The man stabbed in the incident was in critical condition, Stephens said. Autry's attackers will face robbery and aggravated assault charges and are suspected in other robberies over the past week, Stephen said. ... I wo

Remember them for what they did

Brian Bresnahan: I am in the habit of reminding others about the sacrifice of those who defend us. And willingly do so on days other than the holidays set aside specifically for that purpose. So much emphasis is placed on remembering the deaths of the fallen, but I feel it more important to remember what they accomplished in the struggle for freedom. The words of a young Marine Lance Corporal from Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines are powerful reminders of what we need to focus on. In remembering his fellow, fallen Marines he said, “I want them to be remembered for what they did, not just because they died.” What have the deaths of our fallen men and women attained? Their deaths allow each of us to live freely. Their deaths let us fully experience secure lives of liberty and allow each man and woman to be equal. Their deaths allow each of us to exercise the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to which Our Declaration of Independence speaks. Their s

Why Rush is a success

Hugh Hewitt: Since my Sunday morning appearnce on CNN's Reliable Sourcs with Howard Kurtz , ( Expose the Left has the video ) I have been receiving the usual run of angry e-mail from lefties who don't ever want to have their beliefs challenged. In this case the cause of their ire is the following exchange, specifically my comments about Rush.... ... The objections fall into three braod categories. The first category is that Rush lies, distorts, reads talking points etc. Of course he has made mistakes as his show has been on for, what, 17 years, five days a week, three hours a day. But his work product is exceptionally accurate though of course his opinions are conservative and always openly expressed as opposed to smuggled into the story. He lays out facts, calls attention to stories and comments on them. He does a few interviews, but mostly he is an analyst, and as he has shrewdly rebranded himself, an anchorman, doing exactly what Brokaw, Jennings, Rather, Chancellor, and Cr

Christian support for Israel

American Thinker interviews David Brog, author of the book Standing with Israel: Why Christians Support the Jewish State . ... ... In my book, I argue that the main source of evangelical support for Israel is their theology towards the Jews. Unlike so many generations of Christians in Europe, evangelicals interpret the word “Israel” in the Bible to mean “the Jews” and not “the Church.” This small change in interpretation has enormous theological ramifications. It means that the Jews are still the chosen people, that they are still in covenant with and beloved by God, and that they are still the rightful heirs of the land of Israel. Christians who read their Bible this way tend to reject anti-Semitism and embrace both the Jewish people and their national aspirations in Israel. This positive theology towards the Jews originated with some small Protestant sects in Europe. When the seeds of these ideas crossed the Atlantic, they took root and richly flourished to the point that th

What to do with the 28 failed states

The Belmont Club: ... For two successive years ( 2005 , 2006 ) Foreign Policy has listed the 'most failed' states based on twelve indicators which attempt to measure the degree to which each has broken down.... ... One problem with the Foreign Policy list of failing states is that it does not factor the geopolitical significance of each state -- from the perspective of the West -- into its rankings. If it did then the failed states of greatest concern would be those which intersect the axis of the Global War on Terror (Sudan, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc); involve nuclear weapons (Pakistan, North Korea) or are geographically close to the major Western countries (East Timor [unrated], Solomons [unrated], Indonesia [32] for Australia; Mexico [85] and Cuba [62] for the US). If the Failed State problem were viewed less as a humanitarian challenge and more as gigantic politico-military problem then they would be less a fit subject for aid agencies and more the stuff of serio

Iragis get big haul with capture of a top terrorist

AP /Fox News: The Iraqi government said Tuesday it has captured a key terror suspect who allegedly confessed to hundreds of beheadings. ... Ahmed Hussein Dabash Samir al-Batawi was arrested by a terrorist combat unit on Monday in Baghdad, according to the prime minister's office. The unit also seized documents, cell phones and computers that contained the names and addresses of other wanted terrorists and information on Islamic extremist groups, the government said in a statement. "Al-Batawi is considered at the top of the terrorist list," the statement said, adding he had "committed the ugliest crimes against innocent civilians especially in Hurriyah neighborhood that witnessed many massacres." The government said al-Batawi confessed under questioning that he beheaded hundreds of Iraqis in Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces. ... Perhaps he will also confess the locat

Who is trampling on the Constitution

Andrew McCarthy: L ater today, the Republican-led Congress is scheduled to raise to new heights of hysteria and arrogance its protest against the FBI’s search of the Capitol Hill office of Rep. William J. Jefferson (D., La.). But as House Judiciary Chairman James F. Sensenbrenner (R., Wi.) prepares what promises to be a contentious hearing—breathlessly titled, “Reckless Justice: Did the Saturday Night Raid of Congress Trample the Constitution?”—we should note with gratitude that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, and FBI Director Robert Mueller have just enjoyed their finest hours. As leaders of agencies whose best traditions lie in apolitical, non-partisan law enforcement, all three were apparently prepared to do what the hierarchy of the Justice Department and the FBI must always be prepared to do if the rule of law, so vital to our nation’s prosperity, is to thrive. They were ready to resign over a matter of high principle. According to several

Say what?

MSNBC headline: TOP STORIES • Red accepted free boxing tickets They mean Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Leader.

Ethnic hatred of Zionist

Dennis Prager: Imagine someone saying that he seeks the destruction of Italy because he regards Italian national identity as racist. Further, imagine that this person constantly denies being anti-Italian, because he does not hate all Italians, only Italy and all those who believe Italy should exist. Now substitute "Jewish" for "Italian" and "Israel" for "Italy" and you understand the absurdity of the argument that one can be anti-Zionist but not anti-Jewish. Among the many lies that permeate the modern world, none is greater -- or easier to refute -- than the claim that Zionism is not an integral part of Judaism or the claim that anti-Zionism is unrelated to antisemitism. In order to understand why, it is first necessary to explain Zionism and anti-Zionism. A modern secular movement called Zionism was founded in the 19th century, but the belief that Jews belong in Zion (the biblical term for Jerusalem) is as old as the Jewish people. See Part One

Mexico's shame

Georgie Anne Geyer: Funny thing about Mexican President Vicente Fox's visit to the American West last week: It didn't turn out as one would have expected. The tall, lanky, laconic “presidente,” who seemed to offer such hope to Mexico when he was elected five years ago, started out in Salt Lake City with the usual emotional cries for “fairness” and “decent treatment of our people.” But before his visits to Washington and California were over, it was clear that the background music to the old show had changed dramatically. Fox was greeted by some of the best in the American intellectual community with an honesty about his abundant failures that has not been seen before. A brilliant paper by professor George W. Grayson of the College of William & Mary, widely circulated before the visit, laid out Mexico's shame: President Fox makes $236,693 a year, more than the leaders of France, the United Kingdom and Canada; Mexican congressional deputies, who serve only a few mont

Fast times in West Texas

Washington Times: One of the fleetest critters in western Texas, so they say, is the kooky-looking bird called the chaparral, or "roadrunner." The main tourist attraction in Fort Stockton is a huge statue of an 11-by-22-foot roadrunner called Paisano Pete, who greets visitors from atop the town's "Welcome" sign. But on parts of Interstate Highways 10 and 20 around Fort Stockton -- heading west toward El Paso and east toward San Antonio and Dallas -- the gawky bird no longer will be the fastest thing going. Last week, state highway officials in Fort Stockton unveiled the first 80-mph speed limit sign -- reportedly the fastest posted speed limit in the nation. Rep. Pete Gallego, who represents a district bigger than Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined and sponsored the bill, said it will only add to the comfort of drivers who travel the desolate highway. "Probably the only difference might be that police write f

Drone may have video of Haditha action

Washington Post: Military investigators piecing together what happened in the Iraqi town of Haditha on Nov. 19 -- when Marines allegedly killed two dozen civilians -- have access to video shot by an unmanned drone aircraft that was circling overhead for at least part of that day, military defense lawyers familiar with the case said in interviews. It is unclear whether the video obtained from that day's flight captured the violence, said the lawyers, who have consulted with Marines who were there. One lawyer said investigators have reviewed surveillance footage taken hours after the shootings, which showed the Marines returning to the town to remove the bodies of the Iraqis. ... In addition to video from the drone, investigators have records of radio message traffic between the Marines and a command center, said military defense lawyers who have discussed the investigation with Marines who were at Haditha but who have not yet been formally retained by them. "There's a ton o

It is too early to say Dems will win in November

Donald Lambro: The only thing that can be said with any certainty about the 2006 midterm elections is that none of the top campaign forecasters is flatly predicting Republicans will lose the House or Senate -- yet. President Bush's job approval polls are the lowest in his presidency; the Democrats are leading Republicans in the generic congressional election polls by an average of 13 percent; and voter surveys suggest a strong anti-incumbent tide is building. But leading analysts still think at this point that Republicans will hold on to majority control of both chambers, though with reduced numbers. "The 2006 midterm elections are a political analyst's nightmare. The national climate seems to portend big changes, yet race-by-race analyses reveal formidable odds against a Democratic takeover of either the House or the Senate," veteran elections tracker Charlie Cook says in his latest National Journal election preview. Several structural problems confront t