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June 30, 2005

More on Al Quaeda and Iraq

Just happened to check in at The Weekly Standard website and I find that I've missed something big which proves the point I made in the previous post about the MSM (Main Stream Media) promoting the fallacy that there were no links between Iraq and Al Quaeda prior to 9/11. Apparently, as reported by Stephen F. Hayes, several anchors on CNN (including Carol Costello and Daryn Kagan, but I've also heard Aaron Brown pontificate on it as well) stated as fact that there is no evidence of any connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Quaeda. The problem for Costello was that she was interviewing a member of the House of Representatives, Robin Hayes, who knew better.

There really is no excuse for ignorance of this type. Representative Hayes indicates that there is substantial confidential information showing the connection, but there is also alot of publicly available info, such as the 9/11 Commission Report, that show the same thing. As Stephen F. Hayes explains in his article, other liberal pundits regularly repeat the same canard. And there is much more:

"Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post, regularly chides the Bush administration for presenting what he calls fabricated or "fictive" links between Iraq and al Qaeda. The editor of the Los Angeles Times scolded the Bush administration for perpetuating the "myth" of such links. "Sixty Minutes" anchor Lesley Stahl put it bluntly: "There was no connection."

Conveniently, such analyses ignore statements like this one from Thomas Kean, chairman of the 9/11 Commission. "There was no question in our minds that there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda." Hard to believe reporters just missed it--he made the comments at the press conference held to release the commission's final report. And that report detailed several "friendly contacts" between Iraq and al Qaeda, and concluded only that there was no proof of Iraqi involvement in al Qaeda terrorist attacks against American interests. Details, details.

There have been several recent developments. One month ago, Jordan's King Abdullah explained to the Arabic-language newspaper al Hayat that his government had tried before the Iraq war to extradite Abu Musab al Zarqawi from Iraq. "We had information that he entered Iraq from a neighboring country, where he lived and what he was doing. We informed the Iraqi authorities about all this detailed information we had, but they didn't respond." He added: "Since Zarqawi entered Iraq before the fall of the former regime we have been trying to have him deported back to Jordan for trial, but our efforts were in vain."

One week later, former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi told the same newspaper that the new Iraqi government is in possession of documents showing that Ayman al Zawahiri, bin Laden's top deputy, and Zarqawi both entered Iraq in September 1999. (If the documents are authentic, they suggest that Zarqawi may have plotted the Jordanian Millennium attacks from Iraq.)"

What to make of this? These anchors and pundits are intelligent people who can read, I suppose. So why continue to lie when the facts can be easily checked? My theory is that the left has a script - and these people are just following it. In this script the truth doesn't matter. As long as the Bush Administration, the military, and the Republicans are embarrased and hopefully made impotent, anything that people like Cohen and Stahl says will be acceptable. It's time for this to stop.

It Is About 9/11!

As I've said before many, many times - everything we are doing today, from the War on Terror to the War in Iraq to the hardline and possible conflict against North Korea and Iran - it all is because of the seismic shift made in foreign policy as a result of the attacks of 9/11. And balderdash to those on the left, including many of our Democrat Congressmen and Senators (judging by their response to the President's speech) who disagree with that. I'm not, as some would have you believe, questioning their patriotism. Most, if not all, of them are very patriotic. It's just that they are unable or unwilling to place their patriotism above their partisanship. Once again, I'm not questioning their patriotism - I'm questioning their intelligence, judgement, and their ability to lead in a crisis. Leaving 9/11 alone for a sec, the frenzy on the left over Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib is useful only to our enemies. There is a measured, disciplined way of investigating and punishing those responsible on our side for clearly unacceptable levels of abuse - but it is not the way of Dick Durbin, Jack Reed, Henry Reid, and Ted Kennedy.

And as to our treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo - specifically our treatment of the Koran - what are we doing? The Koran is an important religious text and deserves to be treated with respect, but doing things like handling it with only gloved hands is ludicrous. The essence of the Islamic Radicalism or Fundamentalism that we are fighting is that anyone not adhering to their particular brand of Islam is less than human. That includes Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and every other religion you can imagine including non-Wahabbist Muslims. Not only are we less than human - we should be converted or exterminated. By using only gloves to handle the Koran we are agreeing with that view - that we are dirty and unworthy. That's a bit too nice for my tastes. And what of the thousands of Korans that are being destroyed by radical Muslims during their daily world-wide bombings and murders, right now concentrated in Iraq? They have no problem 'desecrating' those Korans.

Those of the 'Bush lied' belief constantly bring up the 9/11 Commission and the Senate Intelligence Inquiry to 'prove' that there were no connections between Al-Quaeda and Saddam Hussein. And this view is being promoted by the MSM. I would advise those who believe that to actually read the reports. While there is no evidence at the present time that there was operational control between Saddam and Al-Quaeda, there was ample evidence presented to and acknowledged by both commissions that there were links and ties between the two. The fact was that Iraq was the biggest supporter of world-wide terrorism after Iran at the time of our invasion. Andy McCarthy has a good refresher about all of this on NRO. Read it all.

For Those of You Who Don't Think Evil Exists...

We have yet another exhibit, Dennis Rader, the BTK killer. He pled guilty the other day. I listened to several minutes of his lengthy testimony on the nuts and bolts of his killing spree. It's one of the scariest things I have ever heard. This person (who lived a very public life insofar as he wasn't a recluse, he had family and friends, and held responsible jobs) was a monster inside.

Here's the way I describe my support for the use of the death penalty (and my non-contradictory opposition to abortion). I believe that as human beings we are both capable of and have an innate responsibility to live good lives, and that gives us all a right to life from the moment of conception. But every once in a while a human being knowingly commits an act (or acts) so heinous that he or she forfeits that right to life. (Just being conceived does not qualify as such an act). And in rare cases like that, the death penalty is appropriate. A perfect example is Dennis Rader.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. has an excellent piece on this posted at Townhall.com today. He writes from the perspective of someone who is opposed to the death penalty, at least until now. It's good reading.

June 29, 2005

More Democrat Mischief...

Here's an interesting tidbit from today's Washington Prowler over at The American Spectator site:

"As if there weren't enough of them, former John Kerry campaign adviser Jim Jordan is starting up yet another 527. This one is targeted at attacking Republican senators and prospective Senate candidates (read Republican House members and state officials) during their off-election-cycle years.

Because 527s are barred from overt activities tied to political parties and campaigns, Jordan's Senate Majority Project would focus instead on attacking Republicans during those times when they weren't running for re-election or seeking election to the Senate.

According to a current DNC staffer aware of the project, Jordan envisions an aggressive, down and dirty opposition research operation that would generate negative press coverage in senators' home states. Jordan is already raising money. According to Democratic operatives and former Kerry campaign staffers, SMP isn't just focused on run of the mill Republican senators, its mission is to go after Senators with even higher aspirations.

"We're hearing they are looking at [Sens.] Frist, Brownback, and Hagel, among others," says a Democratic operative. "If SMP works on some level, it will make it harder for these guys to run for president, because the SMP will talking up the dirt long before they get into national campaign mode."

No word on who is funding the project, though Democratic Sen. Harry Reid has been briefed on the 527 and given it his blessing."

Nice. Very nice. Notice that the primary purpose of this 527 is to circumvent the current 527 law, and that it has been given the approval of the Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Way to go around the law, Harry!

Good Speech by the President

And he should give more of them. The 'rule' in journalism is 'if it bleeds, it leads'. Add to that a fervent anti-war attitude, a pro-Democrat Party mindset, and a 'let's relive our glory days in Vietnam' desire - it's not surprising that public opinion has changed via the War in Iraq. Just look at some of the reactions to the speech from that bastion of fairness, CNN. The commentators, most notably Wolf Blitzer and David Gergen, were furious that the President referred to 9/11. This was continued, predictably, in this morning's lead editorial in the New York Times. The news media is going to continue to try to have every bombing and death in Iraq on the front page of every newspaper every day without putting it in context. Our enemies are counting on it. They want us to defeat ourselves, just as we did in Vietnam. But what many people still fail to realize, and what people like David Gergen are really upset about, is that 9/11 did change everything. It created a situation where instead of just voting to make the United State's policy that of bringing Saddam's regime to an end, as we did in 1998, it became necessary to actually do it. And as to the fact that Iraq is now the battlefield for Al-Queda and its brethren - if it wasn't there now, it would be here today. Best to kill as many of the foot-soldiers in a real battlefield than to have Democrats trying to free them in our courts. Here's the text of the President's speech last night:

"Thank you and good evening. I am pleased to visit Fort Bragg — “Home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces.” It is an honor to speak before you tonight. My greatest responsibility as President is to protect the American people, and that is your calling as well. I thank you for your service, your courage and your sacrifice. I thank your families, who support you in your vital work. The soldiers and families of Fort Bragg have contributed mightily to our efforts to secure our country and promote peace. America is grateful — and so is your Commander-in-Chief.

The troops here and across the world are fighting a global war on terror. This war reached our shores on September 11, 2001. The terrorists who attacked us — and the terrorists we face — murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent. Their aim is to remake the Middle East in their own grim image of tyranny and oppression — by toppling governments, driving us out of the region, and exporting terror.

To achieve these aims, they have continued to kill — in Madrid, Istanbul, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh, Bali, and elsewhere. The terrorists believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and decadent, and with a few hard blows they can force us to retreat. They are mistaken. After September 11, I made a commitment to the American people: This Nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will take the fight to the enemy. We will defend our freedom.

Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war. Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women, and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home. The commander in charge of Coalition operations in Iraq — who is also senior commander at this base — General John Vines, put it well the other day. He said: “We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us.”

Our mission in Iraq is clear. We are hunting down the terrorists. We are helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We are advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are removing a source of violence and instability — and laying the foundation of peace for our children and our grandchildren.

The work in Iraq is difficult and dangerous. Like most Americans, I see the images of violence and bloodshed. Every picture is horrifying — and the suffering is real. Amid all this violence, I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it, and it is vital to the future security of our country. And tonight I will explain the reasons why.

Some of the violence you see in Iraq is being carried out by ruthless killers who are converging on Iraq to fight the advance of peace and freedom. Our military reports that we have killed or captured hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq who have come from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and other nations. They are making common cause with criminal elements, Iraqi insurgents, and remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime who want to restore the old order. They fight because they know that the survival of their hateful ideology is at stake. They know that as freedom takes root in Iraq, it will inspire millions across the Middle East to claim their liberty as well. And when the Middle East grows in democracy, prosperity, and hope, the terrorists will lose their sponsors, lose their recruits, and lose their hopes for turning that region into a base for attacks on America and our allies around the world.

Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war on terror. Among the terrorists, there is no debate. Hear the words of Osama Bin Laden: “This Third World War … is raging” in Iraq. “The whole world is watching this war.” He says it will end in “victory and glory or misery and humiliation.”

The terrorists know that the outcome will leave them emboldened, or defeated. So, they are waging a campaign of murder and destruction. And there is no limit to the innocent lives they are willing to take.

We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who exploded car bombs along a busy shopping street in Baghdad — including one outside a mosque. We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who sent a suicide bomber to a teaching hospital in Mosul. And we see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who behead civilian hostages and broadcast their atrocities for the world to see.

These are savage acts of violence — but they have not brought the terrorists any closer to achieving their strategic objectives. The terrorists — both foreign and Iraqi — failed to stop the transfer of sovereignty. They failed to break our Coalition and force a mass withdrawal by our allies. They failed to incite an Iraqi civil war. They failed to prevent free elections. They failed to stop the formation of a democratic Iraqi government that represents all of Iraq’s diverse population. And they failed to stop Iraqis from signing up in large numbers with the police forces and the army to defend their new democracy.

The lesson of this experience is clear: The terrorists can kill the innocent — but they cannot stop the advance of freedom. The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September 11 … if we abandon the Iraqi people to men like Zarqawi … and if we yield the future of the Middle East to men like Bin Laden. For the sake of our Nation’s security, this will not happen on my watch.

A little over a year ago, I spoke to the Nation and described our Coalition’s goal in Iraq. I said that America’s mission in Iraq is to defeat an enemy and give strength to a friend — a free, representative government that is an ally in the war on terror, and a beacon of hope in a part of the world that is desperate for reform. I outlined the steps we would take to achieve this goal: We would hand authority over to a sovereign Iraqi government … we would help Iraqis hold free elections by January 2005 … we would continue helping Iraqis rebuild their nation’s infrastructure and economy … we would encourage more international support for Iraq’s democratic transition … and we would enable Iraqis to take increasing responsibility for their own security and stability.

In the past year, we have made significant progress:

One year ago today, we restored sovereignty to the Iraqi people.

In January 2005, more than eight million Iraqi men and women voted in elections that were free and fair — and took place on time.

We continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country. Rebuilding a country after three decades of tyranny is hard — and rebuilding while at war is even harder. Our progress has been uneven — but progress is being made. We are improving roads, and schools, and health clinics … and working to improve basic services like sanitation, electricity, and water. And together with our allies, we will help the new Iraqi government deliver a better life for its citizens.

In the past year, the international community has stepped forward with vital assistance. Some thirty nations have troops in Iraq, and many others are contributing non-military assistance. The United Nations is in Iraq to help Iraqis write a constitution and conduct their next elections. Thus far, some 40 countries and three international organizations have pledged about 34 billion dollars in assistance for Iraqi reconstruction. More than 80 countries and international organizations recently came together in Brussels to coordinate their efforts to help Iraqis provide for their security and rebuild their country. And next month, donor countries will meet in Jordan to support Iraqi reconstruction. Whatever our differences in the past, the world understands that success in Iraq is critical to the security of all our nations. As German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said at the White House yesterday, “There can be no question a stable and democratic Iraq is in the vested interest of not just Germany, but also Europe.”

Finally, we have continued our efforts to equip and train Iraqi Security Forces. We have made gains in both the number and quality of those forces. Today Iraq has more than 160,000 security forces trained and equipped for a variety of missions. Iraqi forces have fought bravely — helping to capture terrorists and insurgents in Najaf, Samarra, Fallujah, and Mosul. And in the past month, Iraqi forces have led a major anti-terrorist campaign in Baghdad called Operation Lightning — which has led to the capture of hundreds of suspected insurgents. Like free people everywhere, Iraqis want to be defended by their own countrymen — and we are helping Iraqis assume those duties.

The progress in the past year has been significant — and we have a clear path forward. To complete the mission, we will continue to hunt down the terrorists and insurgents. To complete the mission, we will prevent al-Qaida and other foreign terrorists from turning Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban — a safe haven from which they could launch attacks on America and our friends. And the best way to complete the mission is to help Iraqis build a free nation that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself.

So our strategy going forward has both a military track and a political track.

The principal task of our military is to find and defeat the terrorists — and that is why we are on the offense. And as we pursue the terrorists, our military is helping to train Iraqi Security Forces so that they can defend their people and fight the enemy on their own. Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.

We have made progress — but we have a lot more work to do. Today Iraqi Security Forces are at different levels of readiness. Some are capable of taking on the terrorists and insurgents by themselves. A larger number can plan and execute anti-terrorist operations with Coalition support. The rest are forming and not yet ready to participate fully in security operations. Our task is to make the Iraqi units fully capable and independent. We are building up Iraqi Security Forces as quickly as possible, so they can assume the lead in defeating the terrorists and insurgents.

Our Coalition is devoting considerable resources and manpower to this critical task. Thousands of Coalition troops are involved in the training and equipping of Iraqi Security Forces. NATO is establishing a military academy near Baghdad to train the next generation of Iraqi military leaders — and 17 nations are contributing troops to the NATO training mission. Iraqi Army and Police are being trained by personnel from Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Poland, Romania, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Today dozens of nations are working toward a common objective: an Iraq that can defend itself, defeat its enemies, and secure its freedom.

To further prepare Iraqi forces to fight the enemy on their own, we are taking three new steps:

First, we are partnering Coalition units with Iraqi units. These Coalition-Iraqi teams are conducting operations together in the field. These combined operations are giving Iraqis a chance to experience how the most professional armed forces in the world operate in combat.

Second, we are embedding Coalition “Transition Teams” inside Iraqi units. These teams are made up of Coalition officers and non-commissioned officers who live, work, and fight together with their Iraqi comrades. Under U.S. command, they are providing battlefield advice and assistance to Iraqi forces during combat operations. Between battles, they are assisting the Iraqis with important skills — such as urban combat, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance techniques.

Third, we are working with the Iraqi Ministries of Interior and Defense to improve their capabilities to coordinate anti-terrorist operations. We are helping them develop command and control structures. We are also providing them with civilian and military leadership training, so Iraq’s new leaders can more effectively manage their forces in the fight against terror.

The new Iraqi Security Forces are proving their courage every day. More than 2,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces have given their lives in the line of duty. Thousands more have stepped forward, and are now in training to serve their nation. With each engagement, Iraqi soldiers grow more battle-hardened, and their officers grow more experienced. We have learned that Iraqis are courageous and that they need additional skills. That is why a major part of our mission is to train them so they can do the fighting and our troops can come home.

I recognize that Americans want our troops to come home as quickly as possible. So do I. Some contend that we should set a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces. Let me explain why that would be a serious mistake. Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis — who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done. It would send the wrong message to our troops — who need to know that we are serious about completing the mission they are risking their lives to achieve. And it would send the wrong message to the enemy — who would know that all they have to do is to wait us out. We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed — and not a day longer.

Some Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don’t you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job. Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight. And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever — when we are in fact working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave. As we determine the right force level, our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters — the sober judgment of our military leaders.

The other critical element of our strategy is to help ensure that the hopes Iraqis expressed at the polls in January are translated into a secure democracy. The Iraqi people are emerging from decades of tyranny and oppression. Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Shia and Kurds were brutally oppressed — and the vast majority of Sunni Arabs were also denied their basic rights while senior regime officials enjoyed the privileges of unchecked power. The challenge facing Iraqis today is to put this past behind them, and come together to build a new Iraq that includes all its people.

They are doing that by building the institutions of a free society — a society based on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and equal justice under law. The Iraqis have held free elections and established a Transitional National Assembly. The next step is to write a good constitution that enshrines these freedoms in permanent law. The Assembly plans to expand its constitutional drafting committee to include more Sunni Arabs. Many Sunnis who opposed the January elections are now taking part in the democratic process — and that is essential to Iraq’s future.

After a constitution is written, the Iraqi people will have a chance to vote on it. If approved, Iraqis will go to the polls again, to elect a new government under their new, permanent constitution. By taking these critical steps and meeting their deadlines, Iraqis will bind their multiethnic society together in a democracy that respects the will of the majority and protects minority rights.

As Iraqis grow confident that the democratic progress they are making is real and permanent, more will join the political process. And as Iraqis see that their military can protect them, more will step forward with vital intelligence to help defeat the enemies of a free Iraq. The combination of political and military reform will lay a solid foundation for a free and stable Iraq.

As Iraqis make progress toward a free society, the effects are being felt beyond Iraq’s borders. Before our Coalition liberated Iraq, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons. Today the leader of Libya has given up his chemical and nuclear weapons programs. Across the broader Middle East, people are claiming their freedom. In the last few months, we have witnessed elections in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon. These elections are inspiring democratic reformers in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Our strategy to defend ourselves and spread freedom is working. The rise of freedom in this vital region will eliminate the conditions that feed radicalism and ideologies of murder — and make our Nation safer.

We have more work to do, and there will be tough moments that test America’s resolve. We are fighting against men with blind hatred — and armed with lethal weapons — who are capable of any atrocity. They wear no uniform; they respect no laws of warfare or morality. They take innocent lives to create chaos for the cameras. They are trying to shake our will in Iraq — just as they tried to shake our will on September 11, 2001. They will fail. The terrorists do not understand America. The American people do not falter under threat — and we will not allow our future to be determined by car bombers and assassins.

America and our friends are in a conflict that demands much of us. It demands the courage of our fighting men and women … it demands the steadfastness of our allies … and it demands the perseverance of our citizens. We accept these burdens — because we know what is at stake. We fight today, because Iraq now carries the hope of freedom in a vital region of the world — and the rise of democracy will be the ultimate triumph over radicalism and terror. And we fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens — and Iraq is where they are making their stand. So we will fight them there … we will fight them across the world — and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won.

America has done difficult work before. From our desperate fight for independence, to the darkest days of a Civil War, to the hard-fought battles against tyranny in the 20th Century, there were many chances to lose our heart, our nerve, or our way. But Americans have always held firm, because we have always believed in certain truths. We know that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity, and returns to strike us again. We know that when the work is hard, the proper response is not retreat, it is courage. And we know that this great ideal of human freedom is entrusted to us in a special way — and that the ideal of liberty is worth defending.

In this time of testing, our troops can know: The American people are behind you. Next week, our Nation has an opportunity to make sure that support is felt by every soldier, sailor, airman, coast guardsman, and Marine at every outpost across the world. This Fourth of July, I ask you to find a way to thank the men and women defending our freedom — by flying the flag … sending letters to our troops in the field … or helping the military family down the street. The Department of Defense has set up a website — AmericaSupportsYou.mil. You can go there to learn about private efforts in your own community. At this time when we celebrate our freedom, let us stand with the men and women who defend us all.

To the soldiers in this hall, and our servicemen and women across the globe: I thank you for your courage under fire and your service to our Nation. I thank our military families — the burden of war falls especially hard on you. In this war, we have lost good men and women who left our shores to defend freedom — and did not live to make the journey home. I have met with families grieving the loss of loved ones who were taken from us too soon. I have been inspired by their strength in the face of such great loss. We pray for the families. And the best way to honor the lives that have been given in this struggle is to complete the mission.

I thank those of you who have re-enlisted in an hour when your country needs you. And to those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our Armed Forces. We live in freedom because every generation has produced patriots willing to serve a cause greater than themselves. Those who serve today are taking their rightful place among the greatest generations that have worn our Nation’s uniform. When the history of this period is written, the liberation of Afghanistan and the liberation of Iraq will be remembered as great turning points in the story of freedom.

After September 11, 2001, I told the American people that the road ahead would be difficult — and that we would prevail. Well, it has been difficult. And we are prevailing. Our enemies are brutal — but they are no match for the United States of America — and they are no match for the men and women of the United States military.

Thank you. And may God bless America."

June 28, 2005

I'm Back After a Short Working Hiatus

Took a quick early summer hiatus to do some much needed house repairs and get the abode ready for the summer. While I didn't post, I did read - alot - and have much to comment on. I'll be posting in time for Bush's speech to the nation tonight - I hear that it's still touch and go as to if all the broadcast networks will carry it. My opinion is that if you're going to highlight the negative (and only the negative) on your nightly news, the least you should do is let the other side show you why you are wrong. Unless, of course, that doesn't fit your agenda!

June 15, 2005

More on the Unpreditability of War (Plans)

War plans (and therefore plans for such things as the 'aftermath' of war) are inherently unpredictable. That's why I get so annoyed at pundits, the MSM, and the anti-war left in general when they pontificate on the lack of a plan for the Iraq War, the lack of a plan for the post war period, etc. It just drives me crazy. There were plans, and very good ones. It's just that, as I've said before, after the first shot, the plans go out the window. Adaptability to any senario is the key - and that's never going to be pretty. If you don't believe me - believe Winston Churchill. There's a great article on just this subject over at The American Thinker, and it starts with the following quote from Churchill:

“In war, nothing ever goes according to plan except occasionally, and then by accident.”

The article then describes an event during World War II that perfectly describes the above. Unless someone develops precognition or some other psychic ability that is foolproof, war will always be messy and imperfect. Those who use as their reason not to go to war the unpredictability of war are being incongruous, because that is part of the nature of war.

June 14, 2005

NY Times Contradicts Story it is Trying to Promote

Yesterday there was another story on apparently yet another 'Downing Street Memo' that calls into question the 'Downing Street Memo' that the left and the media has been claiming showed that Bush had decided to go to war with Iraq in 2002, much earlier than he has claimed. It's written by David Sanger, and he's writing it not to bolster the Bush Administration case that they hadn't made the decision to go to war early, but to show that according to the memo there was no post-war planning. But this particular memo was written over eight months before the invasion of Iraq - that's alot of time to do some additional planning, don't you think?

"WASHINGTON, June 12 - A memorandum written by Prime Minister Tony Blair's cabinet office in late July 2002 explicitly states that the Bush administration had made "no political decisions" to invade Iraq, but that American military planning for the possibility was advanced. The memo also said American planning, in the eyes of Mr. Blair's aides, was "virtually silent" on the problems of a postwar occupation."

Listen, one of the many certainties in war is that whatever plan you have virtually goes out the window the second the first shot is fired. There are just too many variables to have a plan that you can follow religiously - you have to learn to adapt. For instance, one supposition was that large members of the Iraq Army would surrender, just like they did during the first Gulf War. Then we would 'turn' them - get them organized and working for our side in post war security, etc. What we now know was that during the run-up to the war, much of the insurgency was planned and the troops were told to disperse.

In fact, one can convincingly argue that going to the United Nations and engaging in that never-ending debate on what to do actually hurt us. We had no more reason to re-engage Iraq's armed forces after the debate than before - all the debate did was increase the emphasis on the WMD rational for war (orchestrated and demanded by Colin Powell, the State Department, and the CIA) and give the insurgents time to disperse and prepare. (Also I'm convinced that we haven't heard the last of WMD - it's not in Iraq but where did it go? No one has yet to sufficiently answer that - even the inspections haven't turned up the evidence that things were destroyed.)

So the 'no post-war planning' argument is another canard. One thing that is for certain - just as this article on the 'new' memo shows that there was no "early" decision to go to war, we will see other memos saying that there was post-war planning. This is just a way to keep the left fired up.

NY Times Supports Madrassas

Islamic Fundamentalism, specifically Saudi Wahhabism, is at the center of modern day terrorism. That's not to say that members of that sect are the only terrorists, or that all practitioners of that brand of Islam become terrorists. But time and time again we find Wahhabists at the center of terror. The Wahhabists spread their form of Islam through mosques and madrassas thru-out the world, many in the United States. The Saudi Government is the main source of financing for this movement.

There is an op-ed this morning in the New York Times by Peter Bergen and Swati Pandi that claims that madrassas are not the terrorist training schools that they imply many people think, but rather innocuous learning academies. But, as Andy McCarthy points out over on The Corner (scroll down), critics of the madrassa system don't claim that those school teach things like bomb-making and other skills that terrorists need, but that they indoctrinate students into a world-view based in hate that enables (if not outright encourages) individuals to become terrorists. And Peter Bergen, of all people, should know this. So I'm unclear what the purpose of his op-ed is.

For an excellent summary of what is being taught in madrassas and mosques here in the United States, I refer you to a study released by Freedom House earlier this year. It's a compilation and analysis of several hundred official Saudi documents and teaching aids for students of their brand of Islam. It is a remarkable, and quite frightening, collection that is designed to spread hatred and contempt for any religion or culture other than Wahhabism. And, contrary to what Bergen and Pandi seem to infer this morning, it does condone violence against non-believers:

"The 89-page report, “Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques,” is based on a year-long study of over two hundred original documents, all disseminated, published or otherwise generated by the government of Saudi Arabia and collected from more than a dozen mosques in the United States.

The propagation of hate ideology by Saudi Arabia is known to be worldwide, but its occurrence within the United States has received scant attention until now. Within worldwide Sunni Islam, followers of Saudi Arabia’s extremist Wahhabi ideology are a distinct minority, as is evident by the millions of Muslims who have chosen to make America their home and are upstanding, law-abiding citizens and neighbors.

The report concludes that the Saudi government propaganda examined reflects a “totalitarian ideology of hatred that can incite to violence,” and the fact that it is “being mainstreamed within our borders through the efforts of a foreign government, namely Saudi Arabia, demands our urgent attention.” The report finds: “Not only does the government of Saudi Arabia not have a right – under the First Amendment or any other legal document – to spread hate ideology within U.S. borders, it is committing a human rights violation by doing so.”

And:

"Various Saudi government publications gathered for this study, most of which are in Arabic, assert that it is a religious obligation for Muslims to hate Christians and Jews and warn against imitating, befriending, or helping them in any way, or taking part in their festivities and celebrations;

· The documents promote contempt for the United States because it is ruled by legislated civil law rather than by totalitarian Wahhabi-style Islamic law. They condemn democracy as un-Islamic;

· The documents stress that when Muslims are in the lands of the unbelievers, they must behave as if on a mission behind enemy lines. Either they are there to acquire new knowledge and make money to be later employed in the jihad against the infidels, or they are there to proselytize the infidels until at least some convert to Islam. Any other reason for lingering among the unbelievers in their lands is illegitimate, and unless a Muslim leaves as quickly as possible, he or she is not a true Muslim and so too must be condemned. For example, a document in the collection for the “Immigrant Muslim” bears the words “Greetings from the Cultural Attache in Washington, D.C.” of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia, and is published by the government of Saudi Arabia. In an authoritative religious voice, it gives detailed instructions on how to “hate” the Christian and Jew: Never greet them first. Never congratulate the infidel on his holiday. Never imitate the infidel. Do not become a naturalized citizen of the United States. Do not wear a graduation gown because this imitates the infidel;

· One insidious aspect of the Saudi propaganda examined is its aim to replace traditional and moderate interpretations of Islam with extremist Wahhabism, the officially-established religion of Saudi Arabia. In these documents, other Muslims, especially those who advocate tolerance, are condemned as infidels. The opening fatwa in one Saudi embassy-distributed book, published by the Saudi Air Force, responds to a question about a Muslim preacher in a European mosque who taught that it is not right to condemn Jews and Christians as infidels. The Saudi state cleric’s reply rebukes the Muslim cleric: “He who casts doubts about their infidelity leaves no doubt about his.” Since, under Saudi law, “apostates” from Islam can be sentenced to death, this is an implied death threat against the tolerant Muslim imam, as well as an incitement to vigilante violence;

· Sufi and Shiite Muslims are viciously condemned;

· For a Muslim who fails to uphold the Saudi Wahhabi sect’s sexual mores (i.e. through homosexual activity or heterosexual activity outside of marriage), the edicts published by the Saudi government’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and found in American mosques advise, “it would be lawful for Muslims to spill his blood and to take his money;”

· Regarding those who convert out of Islam, the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs explicitly asserts, they “should be killed;”

· Saudi textbooks and other publications in the collection, propagate a Nazi-like hatred for Jews, treat the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion as historical fact, and avow that the Muslim’s duty is to eliminate the state of Israel;

· Regarding women, the Saudi publications instruct that they should be veiled, segregated from men and barred from certain employment and roles;

The report states: “While the government of Saudi Arabia claims to be ‘updating’ or reforming its textbooks and study materials within the Kingdom, its publications propagating an ideology of hatred remain plentiful in some prominent American mosques and Islamic centers, and continue to be a principal resource available to students of Islam within the United States.”

Truly frightening.

June 13, 2005

More Evidence that the Media has Declared War on the US...

Here's a post over at Free Republic, which shows via links that the New York Times has had a front page story on Abu Ghraib for 32 days straight, and 34 of 37 days. Amazing. 'Abu Ghraib' was the actions of a handful of very disturbed mostly unsupervised soldiers for their own personal amusement. But the New York Times, along with their Democrat bretheren, are determined to make it the face of the US in Iraq. For what purpose?

Do they want us to lose?

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