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« August 2006 | Main | February 2007 »

September 18, 2006

AP Retitles and Rewrites Article for Dems

A pretty amazing, but not surprising, blog post over at RealClearPolitics. On Saturday, RCP posted a link to an AP article under the title "GOP Gains Ground in Battle for Congress". A longtime (and very respectful and polite) liberal reader wrote in wondering why RCP had retitled the article in favor of the GOP - since the title of the article that he went to was "Poll Show that GOP Not Making Its Case". Tom Bevan of RCP was certain that he had copied the correct title, so he went to the article and, sure enough, its title was the second one noticed by his reader. But he did find one site, CBS News, that still had the original title to the article that he had linked to:

"So, sometime between roughly 6:30 am and 10:26 am the Associated Press switched the header on the story about its own poll results from being pro-GOP to something decidedly more negative."

Not only that, but the article by Liz Sidoti on September 15th was rewritten to give it an anti-GOP slant. I guess the first header and article was too positive to the GOP for the AP to run during an election year!

September 05, 2006

The Dem’s Latest National Security Strategy for the Elections

It’s apparent that one of the main thrusts of the Democrats this fall is the meme that America is not safer under President Bush and the Republicans in Congress. As part of that attack, the Democrats released a report today on Bush National Security Failures. See the press release here. It’s an attempt by the Democrat leadership to counter the President’s recent speeches on National Security and the publicity surrounding the upcoming 9/11 anniversary. However, as always, the Democrats manage to take a serious subject worthy of debate and turn it into a joke, showing once again that they have no clue on National Security issues. That the sponsors of this include Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid (who tried to shut down the Patriot Act and the FSA Intercept Program) and presumptive 2008 Democrat Presidential candidates Dick Durbin and Wesley Clark makes it even more humorous. Memo to Dems – if you want to be taken seriously, don’t use as a title for your main National Security document for the 2006 elections a bad pun that is often used by the Left as pejorative for Jews in government – "The Neo Con".

This ‘study’ is pretty rich, and I predict that it will be quickly ripped apart and ridiculed, if the media doesn’t decide to do the Democrats a favor and bury it first. It takes a “Then” and “Now” look at the major foreign policy and defense issues that we face today – Iraq, Terrorism, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, China, and the shape of the US Military. The obvious hope of the Democrats is that this report will be read by people who don’t have a clue as to what is really going on with these issues, or those people who get all of their news from the New York Times, or those who can’t look up the real facts on their own. They offer out-of-date facts, use quotes on what should be our involvement in international affairs made by members of the Administration from before 9/11 (when all of us can agree that the world drastically changed), and criticize the Administration for following the Democrats’ diplomatic strategy in dealing with Iran and North Korea. Oh, and apparently the United States should not be allowed to sell debt to China anymore.

To give you an idea of the tenor of the ‘study’, in the Iraq section it claims that we have “more than 100,000 troops stranded” in Iraq “with no end in sight. All of this in a country that had been effectively contained for more than a decade.” Oh really! What about the collapsing sanctions program? What about the Oil for Food scandal? What about the No-Fly Zones? What about Iraq’s sponsorship of Palestinian and international terrorism? What about Salman Pak? What about David Kay and Charles Duelfer’s reports (the actual reports, not the media stories) to Congress and Kay’s statement to Tom Brokaw that “I think Baghdad was actually becoming more dangerous in the last two years than even we realized.  Saddam was not controlling the society any longer. In the marketplace of terrorism and of WMD, Iraq well could have been that supplier if the war had not intervened.”?

And as far as the documented facts are concerned, I used the report’s own bibliography to follow up on some it’s own figures. I noticed that the Brookings Institute provided the primary source for the numbers used for Iraq, as one would expect. But I found some major discrepancies between the “Then” facts in the report and the numbers as reported by Brookings, let alone numbers on the “Now” side, which often could have been derived from more recently published numbers (but would have made the Administration look better). Hard to excuse, with the ease in which you can update data in a report like this these days. For example, the report claims that Iraq’s monthly pre-war electricity was 4500 megawatts as compared to capacity in Iraq now at 4000 megawatts. But if you go to the Brookings Institute Iraq Index referenced here (page 9) you find the pre-war level at 3300 megawatts, and if you go to the most recent Multi-National Force Iraq Sheet here (updated 4/06) you find that the average monthly production in Iraq then at 4800 megawatts. And I have no idea where the Dems are getting their numbers on oil production levels. In one Brookings Institute Iraq Index they claim that pre-war crude oil production was 3.1 million barrels per day. Now the Brookings index claims that peak pre-war production was 2.5 million barrels per day. The Dem report claims that average pre-war oil production “Then” was 2.5 million barrels per day, and that “Now” the average barrels per day of production is 2.27 million. In fact, the pre-war per day production average was 2.0 million barrels, while it is now at 2.31 barrels per day. The report is full of misrepresentations like this.

Today, with the release of this report and their accompanying press conference, the Democrats intended to position themselves as a legitimate national security alternative for the nation during the elections of 2006 and 2008. Instead, the report and their statements are nothing more than misrepresented (if not fraudulent) facts in a format that sounds more like childish whining with no alternatives or alternate pans offered at all. Which leaves the real national security debate between factions within the Republican Party, as opposed to between the Republicans and the Democrats.

The sooner that the Democrats like Harry Reid, Jack Reed, and Dick Durbin stop treating the War on Terror like a video game that we should have won already, the better for the nation as a whole. This report, and the Democrat’s current rhetoric, isn’t it.

September 04, 2006

My Problem With How Thw Iraq War Was Initially Waged

A reader sent in a quick note to Jonah Goldberg over at NRO's The Corner that pretty succinctly describes the foolishness of how we have been dealing with that terrorist Sunni cleric Sadr in Baghdad:

"Dear Mr. Goldberg,

In our nation's military history, every time we build schools before the enemy unconditionally surrendered, we lost, or signed an armistice (Korea) that has not worked to our advantage. Every time we destroyed our enemy ruthlessly, not we have won, but our enemy eventually became our ally-Britain/the South/Spain/Germany/Japan. Sadr is our enemy, there should never have been any discussion.

It has been time to take him out; years ago."

Our problem with the initial waging of the Iraq War had nothing to do with troop levels, as the Democrats would like to have you believe. It had to do with viciousness, or lack thereof. Our race to Baghdad was exhilarating, but we really needed to deal with the enemy (in Fallujah and Tikrit for example) by wiping them off the face of the earth. We seemed to be more worried about civilian casualties and international opinion than in winning the war. That's what happens when your have a State Department involved in war planning, and have lawyers approving (or disapproving) targets and strikes. If we had been tougher at the beginning, the short term result would have been cries of outrage from the usual suspects (but that has happened anyway), but we'd be much better off now, and the world loves, respects, and fears a decisive winner.

In addition to more viciousness towards our enemy, the other main thing that we needed at the beginning of the Iraq War was more special forces troops. The focus away from general infantry to special forces has been happening since 2001, but it takes time. That change in emphasis on type of troops has been central to Rumsfeld's much maligned transformation policy at the Defense Department since Bush took office. Now we see why - asymmetrical warfare is the warfare of the 21st Century. Much of the entrenched military, and the Democrats in general, are still basing their criticism of Bush, Rumsfeld, and the Iraq War on old, outmoded war planning strategies, complete with tanks and heavy artillery divisions. We have enough of those already to do what we need to do at the beginning of a war. Now we need the specialized forces to do an effective mop up, before the enemy can blend into the civilian population. And the goal there must be to kill, not capture.

To win wars (this one, and the next one) we need to kill our enemies quickly and viciously. We have the capability - we just didn't use it in Iraq. We need to care less about public opinion and the media and more about our ultimate objectives.