Friday, December 31

$315 Million More from the "Stingy" Americans

From ABC News:
The United States upped its tsunami relief aid tenfold to $350 million Friday as the world's ships and planes converged on devastated shores.
Is this enough for the UN? I doubt it. The anti-Americanism is so ingrained that they could more easy say good things about UBL. It's time we recognized the UN for what it is, a waste of money that solves nothing and stands against the cause of freedom.

Thursday, December 30

Gregoire "Wins"

From ABC News:
After three vote tallies and nearly two nerve-racking months of waiting, Democrat Christine Gregoire was declared Washington's governor-elect on Thursday. But her Republican rival did not concede and wants a new election.
He should. This one was stolen.

"Do-overs" occur only in golf, and only during practice, she said. "This is not golf and this is not practice."
Really? Is that why you counted the votes three times?

After the election, more than 700 ballots surfaced in King County, which includes Seattle.
Amazingly convenient isn't it?

There needs to be a simple standard so things like this can be avoided in the future. For example, just count the ballots, and who ever comes out on top wins. You're never going to get a perfect result in these things. When the votes are this close, the margin is more like a random variable then anything else. This makes taking recounts a waste of time. The first recount is just as good as any subsequent count if not better because there is less opportunity to "find" new votes.

Tuesday, December 28

The US is 'stingy'? What about the $22 billion the UN stole?

This is an outrage. Where did these people come from? When someone gives money do you slap them in the face and say, "You did give enough?" So how about 20 million more is that enough? Of course, we'll probably add hundreds of millions of dollars more in the next months. Plus we've mobilized numerous military assets to help in the recovery effort, but this isn't enough for the UN. What do they want another $22 billion so they can funnel it to terrorists and mass murders?

We're so evil aren't we?

After the truly massive disaster in southern Asia, America is rushing to provide assistance, which includes money, US military aircraft to help assess the damage in remote areas, and personnel to help in the relief effort. The US government has pledged four and a half million dollars and will likely put forward 11 million more in the coming days. This is of course is just the beginning. The US will continue to help these countries until they recover. This of course begs the question: Why don't people consider these things before they pass judgment on America?

Monday, December 27

More Saber Rattling from the Chinese

From China Day:
Beijing's latest white paper on defence includes its strongest warning yet to Taiwan separatist forces.

It is a "very strong" warning to Taiwan independence forces, said leading experts from the Chinese People's Liberation Army think-tank.
[...]
"Should the Taiwan authorities go so far as to make a reckless attempt that constitutes a major incident of 'Taiwan independence,' the Chinese people and armed forces will resolutely and thoroughly crush it at any cost," says the white paper.
Including nuclear war? I hope that this is little more then propaganda. If Taiwan were to declare independence and the US were to stand in its defense, China would be risking a lot if they moved against Taiwan. This scenario is unlikely, however. Taiwan is not likely to move strongly toward independence in the near future because of the makeup of its current government and US pressure not to make such a move.

Democracy finally prevails in Ukraine

After three elections, Ukraine finally has a freely elected President, Viktor Yushchenko. His opponent hasn't yet given up, but how could he? He's given up everything in pursuit of the leadership of Ukraine including his integrity. Of course, this isn't just a defeat for Yushchenko's opponent, Yanukovych. It's a defeat for Putin as well. This hopefully will stunt his expantionism at least for the moment.

Is this where Russia is heading?

From Swissinfo:

Uzbekistan has voted in an election that featured only parties loyal to autocratic President Islam Karimov, who said
he would not tolerate "revolutions" such as those which shook Ukraine and Georgia.
[...]
"Democracy just can't be universal, as there cannot be two completely identical countries," he said. "One cannot use democracy as a
means to topple state power."
[...]
Around 500 candidates from five parties are vying for 125 seats in parliament after four opposition ones were barred from taking part.
Karimov said there was no room for a weak opposition that had little impact on society.
Karimov is an autocrat to his core. What's important to him is not the welfare of his people, but rather "state power." In this case, it's really just his power.

Thursday, December 23

In case anyone was wondering want would have happened if the dems had got their way in Florida

The Democrats would have continued to "count the votes" until they got the result they wanted. How do we know this? Well, that is what just happened in Washington. After the third recount, the Democrats in King County managed to find just enough votes to change the result.

Putin's Belligerence Continues

This is the kind of thing that happens when a politician starts to feel untouchable.
Responding to a reporter's request for his reaction to a statement allegedly made by Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski (search) to the effect that "Russia without Ukraine is better than Russia with Ukraine," Putin said angrily that the Polish leader sounded "like someone trying to find a new job" when his term runs out.
Well, it's that an ominous statement. Putin seems to think he can pick the leaders of foreign countries like the USSR used to. You'd think after Georgia and Ukraine he'd get the message that the Russian Federation isn't even close to as powerful as the USSR was, but Putin has the blind ambition typical of many fascist dictators. Hopefully, he's stopped before he can make the inevitable bloody miscalculation like invading one of Russia's neighbors.
"I don't think that is the goal of U.S. policy," he said, adding however that he would pose the question to U.S. President George W. Bush when they meet in Slovakia in February.

"If it's indeed so, then the position on Chechnya is becoming more understandable. That means that there, as well, a policy aimed at creating elements that would destabilize the Russian Federation is being conducted," Putin said.
The position he's talking about is the belief that genocide is wrong, and therefore, Russia should not be slaughtering innocent people in Chechnya.

Update
Another Gem:

"Some market participants got multibillion state assets using different tricks, including some violations of then-existing legislation," Putin said.

By contrast, he said, the 100-percent state-owned Rosneft's purchase of the Yukos stake "was done in absolute conformity with market means."
Like jailing it's CEO for example.

Look Palestinians are Voting!

From Yahoo!:
Palestinians voted on Thursday in the first municipal elections in the West Bank for nearly three decades, a dry run for a presidential ballot next month to choose a successor to Yasser Arafat.

The elections, which drew a heavy turnout, were expected to be a test of strength between the dominant Fatah movement and Islamists sworn to destroying Israel.

Voting ended at 7 p.m. and results were expected to be released on Saturday.

"This is democracy and freedom, and God willing we will choose the right people who will serve our needs," said Rahma Hamed, a school principal who voted in the village of Silwad, some 12 miles north of Jerusalem.

In the West Bank, roughly 1,000 candidates were competing for about 300 seats on 26 local councils, mostly in villages, during the first phase of the elections. A similar vote in Gaza was delayed because violence prevented registration.

In the West Bank, long lines formed in front of polling stations in mild weather for what was also the first Palestinian ballot since Arafat was elected president in 1996.
And there goes another nail into the coffin of the "Arabs aren't capable of democracy" argument. It is odd to hear many leftist espouse this argument. Especially as they rant about the US Government taking away their rights. I'm always tempted to say, "Well maybe democracy isn't the best system of government for us either." I think that would send most of them over the edge, however.

Of course, what would a day when Palestinians make progress be without a Palestinian leader putting his foot in his mouth.
Abbas has welcomed a proposal by British leader Tony Blair to host a London conference in March on Palestinian reform.

But Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie said that what was really needed was a peace conference.

"It is the Israeli side that requires rehabilitation for peace, not us," Qurie told reporters.
I'm sure that comment will go over real well in Israel while they are burying the dead from the last terrorist attack.

Wednesday, December 22

Monday, December 20

Is Kim Jong Il Still Ruling North Korea?

From Front Page Magazine
Suddenly in North Korea pictures of Kim Jong Il, the peoples' Dear Leader by unchallengeable fiat, have gone missing. Comparative photos taken in a Peoples Cultural Center auditorium in May and August of this year have piqued outside interest in the future of Kim Jong Il. The earlier photo portrays what we have come to think of as the usual adulatory presentation: a portrait of Kim Jong Il side-by-side with one of his father Kim Il Sung, the modestly self-proclaimed Great Leader, dominates the head of the auditorium,. The late summer shot shows the KJI portrait missing so that the late elder Kim's portrait stands alone. All very mysterious.
This is of course pure speculation. They could have taken the Kim Jong Il portrays down to have them cleaned, but since we have virtually no way to know what is going on inside North Korea, We have to look at things like this. Thus, let's assume that the disappearance of the portrays means there has been a change in power inside North Korea. What could this result in? It could be one of two things in my judgment.
  • North Korea moves to become more moderate. This would probably indicate the involvement of China in forcing Kim Jong Il out. This would probably mean that the North Korean government would be willing to abandon it's nuclear ambitions permanently.
  • North Korea becomes more extreme. This would indicate some of the hard liners didn't feel like they were getting what they wanted from Kim Jong Il, and therefore simply got rid of him. This would obviously be a bad thing. North Korea could begin in move to a more aggressive posture. This could eventually necessitate U.S. intervention though i doubt it because China would likely take care of that before we would be inclined to.

  • Saturday, December 18

    Russia Turns from Freedom to Fascism

    From IHT:
    Practically overnight, Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, would create an energy company that not only controls about 20 percent of the nation's oil exports but also has some of the world's largest energy reserves.

    A Kremlin campaign that unfolded over the past year will have succeeded in dismembering the country's foremost private oil company, and it will send a signal to Russia's business elite that the state is back in business, literally.
    This isn't good for Russia, and it isn't good for the rest of us either. Putin is essentially creating a fascist state. He exposes fierce nationalism, expansionism, domination of Russia's neighbors, and socialism. The West must do everything it can to stop Putin before this gets out of hand because we know were National Socialism leads.

    A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in Houston on Thursday ordered a 10-day delay in the sale, but officials in Moscow organizing the sale rejected the ruling.
    Putin has put too much effort into destroying this company to stop for some US Federal Court judge.

    The U.S. judge, Letitia Clark, issued a temporary restraining order intended to block the participation of lenders and Gazprom. The banks, analysts said, have extensive operations in the United States, and violating the ruling could put them in contempt. Clark's ruling did not apply to the government of Russia.
    Unfortunately that isn't going to stop it either. Putin would rather not make it blatant that he is trying to nationalize Yukos, but he will if he has to. Remember, he controls the media in Russia. He can spin this as he wishes at home.

    Although two other largely unknown companies have submitted bids for Yukos, their presence was seen as purely an effort to make the auction seem valid. Foreign suitors, including companies from China, India and other energy investors, have been discouraged from participating in the bidding process.
    This is just a façade. I do, however, wonder what Putin has on some of these companies that he's able to "discourage" them from participating.

    If the auction is completed on Sunday, Yukos will essentially die that day - a casualty of efforts by Russian prosecutors that came with the tacit blessing of Putin. The founder of Yukos is now jailed and on trial on tax and fraud charges, the company's American executives are in self-imposed exile, and its shareholders are out billions of dollars. Russia's actions have set foreign and domestic investors on edge, prompted a capital flight and raised questions about the rule of law and how businesses will fare.
    This is a very clear message to investors and business that operate in Russia. "Agree with Putin, or the state will take everything you have." This is, of course, a very bad message to be sending because investors because they have many choices. So why would they let themselves be bullied in Russia?

    Lee Raymond, the chief executive at Exxon Mobil, said this month that he was re-evaluating whether it was the right time to invest in Russia.
    Hint: If Exxon Mobil is thinking of pulling out and you have some kind of business operation in Russia, you should already be gone. Putin is less likely to pick on a large company like Exxon Mobil then a smaller less noticeable operation.

    "Chemical Ali" Begins to Face Justice

    From Fox:
    Once regarded as one of Saddam Hussein's most feared cohorts, the general who gained notoriety as Chemical Ali (search) for the gassing of thousands of Kurds faced a judge Saturday looking haggard and leaning on a cane in the first investigative hearings of former Baath regime members.
    ...
    Al-Majid - who earned his nickname of Chemical Ali for his alleged use of chemical weapons against Kurds and others in the 1980s - appeared haggard in a video released after the interrogation. The gray-haired first cousin of Saddam leaned on a walking stick before sitting in front of a judge behind a desk.

    Ahmad was shown staring blankly at the ground as police officers stood to either side of him holding his arms. A thickly set man with black mustache, Ahmad was later seen smiling broadly to others in the hearing room.
    This guy was one of the worst of the worst. His trial is likely to by in Early to mid January. Maybe when people hear what these thugs have done, they will see the humanitarian case for the war.

    The lawyer, who declined to be identified, quoted Ahmad as telling the judge: "I have been a military officer for 40 years and have never been punished…
    Somehow I don't think the "Saddam never told me I was doing anything wrong" defense is going to fly.

    Most Disturbing Story of the Day by a Mile

    Before we details of this sickening story, let's look at how ABC titles the story.
    Woman Charged in Grisly Theft of Fetus
    "Theft" The child is a person! You don't steal people. You kidnap or abduct them. I'm not going to go into the abortion argument, but since the baby did end up living you could call it a "child" instead of a "fetus"

    You may not want to read this part. So be warned, It's truly sickening.

    A baby girl who had been cut out of her mother's womb was found after a frantic search, and authorities arrested the woman they say strangled the mother and stole the child. The baby was in good condition Saturday.

    The child was found Friday at an eastern Kansas home. A red Toyota similar to a description given earlier by police was in the driveway.

    Bobbie Jo Stinnett, 23, was found Thursday in a pool of blood inside her small white home in Skidmore, a town in northwest Missouri.

    Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, had earlier been talking with her mother on the phone, and hung up saying a woman she had chatted with online had just arrived at her door, authorities said.
    ...
    Montgomery is the mother of two high school-age children, but Graves said she had been pregnant with another child that was never born.
    ...
    Montgomery confessed that she strangled Stinnett from behind, cut her open, removed the baby and cut her umbilical cord. She also admitted that she lied to her husband about what happened.
    You have to wonder what this woman was thinking. In fact, it seems obvious that she wasn't thinking at all. She will likely never see the outside of a prison in either case. That, however, is not much consultation to her husband or the child that will grow up without a mother.

    There is of course one positive aspect to this:
    The baby was named Victoria Jo and was united with her father, Zeb Stinnett, late Friday, Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka said in a statement Saturday on its Web site. She was listed in good condition at the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.
    I don't know much about medicine, but it's would seems to be miraculous that the child survived.

    Update:
    The people at Fox didn't use very good diction either.
    Woman Charged in Stolen Fetus Case

    Update 2:
    Well, at least someone knows how to right an appropriate headline and shockingly it's Yahoo! News:
    Mo. Woman Charged With Kidnapping, Murder

    Friday, December 17

    Cults of Personality

    Quotes from the Economist
    DPRK (North Korea)
    Chaperones escort foreign visitors everywhere, lying constantly. "This shop is empty because it's a holiday." "The lights have gone off because it makes a more romantic atmosphere for dinner." "The Americans started the Korean war." And so on. A Chinese diplomat in Pyongyang once begged your correspondent to linger for tea, explaining that, bored witless, he had to talk to someone who would not keep praising the Kims for the sunshine.
    When the Chinese get tired of hearing your propaganda, you've gone a bit overboard. The worse part is that these people don't believe they're lies. They have lost all sense of what the truth is.
    Presidents-for-life are passé in most places, but not in North Korea, where the Dear Leader's father, the country's founding tyrant, was declared "eternal president" after his death in 1994.
    North Korea is the ultimate socialist system. The state has even replaced God!
    they proclaimed a uniquely Korean ideology of juche, or self-reliance
    Ha, that's a rich one. Twenty-five percent of the DPRK's population survives solely on foreign aid.
    In the camps, prisoners have to memorise rules such as "Adore Kim Jong Il with all your heart," and informers report disloyal sleep-talk, which is punishable by death.
    What a sick society! It can't be much longer before that house of cards collapses, and if it doesn't, we should give it a push.
    Nationalism can elide into that other powerful emotion, hatred, and despots like the Kims make sure to push it that way. A foreign enemy makes it easier to demand unity and obedience. That is why, in maths classes, North Korean children are taught to add and subtract by totting up, and taking away, numbers of dead American soldiers.
    That speaks for itself.
    His other strategy is to seek nuclear weapons, presumably in the hope that foreigners will take him seriously and buy him off. But that will not protect him from his own people, who will surely demand one day to join the other, richer, freer Korea to the south, just as the East Germans wanted to rejoin West Germany. For now, no one wants to be the first to drop the charade of Dear Leader-worship. But as Nicolae Ceausescu discovered in Romania, the first jeer can swiftly become a revolution.
    Kim must have forgoten. The President of the United States is George Bush. He won't be making any deals to pay off the DPRK.

    Turkmenistan
    Turkmenistan, a country of 5m people in Central Asia, is not as shackled as North Korea, but the locks are clicking. It used to be a Soviet vassal state, ruled by a Moscow stooge called Saparmurat Niyazov. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Mr Niyazov deftly reinvented himself as a Turkmen patriot, the "Turkmenbashi" or father of all Turkmen. He banned all opposition, declared himself president-for-life and erected golden statues of himself everywhere, including one in Ashgabat, the capital, which revolves with the sun.
    ...
    Mr Niyazov has renamed months of the calendar after members of his family,
    The greatest sin in every religion: Pride
    A collection of his thoughts on philosophy, ethics and Turkmen culture, the “Rukhnama” (“Book of the Soul”), forms the basis of the school curriculum. Even to pass a driving test, his subjects must show their knowledge of this “sacred” text.
    ...
    [Mr Niyazov] keeps mosques under state control and puts a copy of the "Rukhnama" next to the Koran in every one.
    OBL should take his jihad there. Talk about breaking the tenants of Islam. This guy is making himself a God.

    Togo
    Togo's ruler, Gnassingbé Eyadéma, is the least revolting of the three, but has been around the longest. A former wrestling champion, Mr Eyadéma seized power in a coup in 1967, when he was 29. He has held on to it through a mixture of guile, force and French support.
    The French supported a dictator? That's never happened before.
    Be reassured, Eyadéma,
    You were crowned by God!
    Be reassured, Eyadéma,
    The people are behind you!

    He sings that to himself every night. I'm sure.

    Republicans Need to Get It Together

    We aren't even in Bush's second term, and the Republican party can't get any kind of unified message. First, it was McCain and Hegel, and now this:

    Lott, speaking to the civic club Wednesday, said the United States needs more troops to help with the war and a plan to leave Iraq once elections take place in late January. The Mississippi Republican doesn't think Rumsfeld is the person to carry out that plan.

    "I would like to see a change in that slot in the next year or so," Lott said. "I'm not calling for his resignation, but I think we do need a change at some point."
    The President needs to settle this down, or he's going to start losing that hard won "political capital." He should either get rid and Rumsfeld, or drag these Republicans into the White House and tell them nicely to keep there opinions about this to themselves.

    I'd much prefer the latter. Why? There are two reasons. First, you don't change horses in the middle of the race. If Rumsfeld goes, the terrorists will claim it is because of them. Second, he has done a fine job. We can all sit here and Monday-morning-quarter every decision that is made, or we can move forward focus on what's next.

    Bush and Faith

    Quotes from the Economist:
    Mr Bush clearly does believe God is involved in his life. Asked at a debate in the Republican primary contest in 1999 which philosopher he most identified with, Mr Bush replied promptly, "Christ-because he changed my heart." At a national prayer breakfast in February 2003, he said he "felt the presence of the Almighty". The president has talked of making decisions "on bended knee".
    If you had to make a decision, and you believed the following things: a) If you pray to God, he will answer you by guiding your actions to his will. b) You will make better decisions when you ask God. Wouldn't it be logical to ask God before making any important decisions?
    By the standards of most evangelical Christians, these beliefs would be considered unremarkable. But Mr Bush cannot be judged by those standards. He is president of all Americans. What about the measure of America's political mainstream?
    ...
    ...in the American context, is the president's belief that God is involved in the world's affairs exactly ground-breaking.
    If you believe in God, how could you not believe he has a plan for the world?
    Critics have complained that such quotations are code to please evangelicals, who recognize them.

    <<==rolls eyes. "Code words." Why not just listen to what he has to say instead of searching for what is not there?

    A Hero to Remember

    From CNN:
    Sixty years ago, Bouck was a young, whip-smart lieutenant, commanding a U.S. Army intelligence and reconnaissance platoon made up of 18 elite soldiers -- the eyes and ears of a fragmented Allied force pushing through Belgium toward the German border.

    By mid-December 1944, they had just about reached the border. But there was a huge gap in the front lines, and Bouck's platoon was ordered to plug an isolated stretch of it, on a hill.

    "We weren't trained to occupy a defensive position in the front lines. We were trained to patrol and get information about the enemy," says Bouck.

    But the enemy found them.

    On December 16, a huge column of German paratroopers got wind of Bouck's platoon, dug in on that hill.

    The Germans threw some 700 men, in three waves, at Lyle Bouck and 17 other Americans.

    The GIs had their orders.

    "They were told to hold at all costs. Basically that meant 'until you get killed or taken prisoner,'" says Alex Kershaw, whose new book, "The Longest Winter," recounts the story of Bouck's platoon.

    But by day's end, hundreds of Germans were dead.

    Some Americans were badly wounded, but not one was killed, and they were captured only when they ran out of ammunition.
    This is an amazing story, and he doesn't see himself as a hero either. I thank him for his service and wish Lyle and his wife Lucy well.

    Thursday, December 16

    I'll be watching MSNBC Tonight

    Although I don't usually encourage such activity, I hope you'll watch MSNBC tonight at 10 pm eastern. They are going to feature a documentary about 2Slick's brigade. (The 159th Aviation Brigade) Here is the Web Site for the film.

    "Chemical Ali" Will be the First to Face Justice

    From Fox:
    Iraqi officials plan to make one of the highest-profile figures in Saddam Hussein's regime - Ali Hassan al-Majid (search), called "Chemical Ali" by the West - the first person to be tried for war crimes.

    "In the next few days we will have the trial of Ali Hassan al-Majid, one of the close followers of Saddam Hussein," Defense Minister Hazim al-Shaalan said Wednesday. "He will be the first to be tried."

    The trial could begin as early as next week, but would definitely begin by the middle of January, al-Shaalan added.

    Like many of Saddam's closest confidants, "Chemical Ali" is a kinsman from Tikrit. Leading the list of charges against him will be allegations that he ordered the gassing of as many as 5,000 Kurds in the town of Halabja (search) in March 1988, near the end of the Iran-Iraq War.
    Let justice be swift. This animal does not deserve to take one more breath in this life.

    This is Sickening!

    From WPLG Fort Lauderdale, FL:
    Lake County mom convicted of simple assault after a school bus camera caught her beating a student who had gotten into a fight with her daughter didn't show up for her sentencing Tuesday.
    Where is the self-control? At some point in the not to distance past, people decided that they had the right to assault other people for no good reason. It was the same concept with the fight between the NBA players and the fans in Detroit. You just have to ask, "What were this people thinking?"

    HumVee Armor isn't from Wal-Mart!

    From Fox:

    The Army says it will spend more than $4 billion in the coming months to rush more armored vehicles (search) to Iraq to protect troops against bombs.

    Officials rejected criticism that shortages reflect poor war planning and said they've been working as fast as possible to give troops what they need.

    "This is not Wal-Mart," said Brig. Gen. Jeffery Sorenson
    As has been shown in previous posts, this stuff isn't easy to make, and it isn't cheap. The Wal-Mart comment was apt. It isn't like there are warehouses full of this stuff, and the government is just sitting on it.
    There was too little advanced body armor and were too few armored vehicles to deal with what the Pentagon has since acknowledged is a far stronger and longer insurgency than expected, critics say.
    Isn't hindsight grand?

    Wednesday, December 15

    Who Does This Guy Think He Is?

    From WKMG in Florida:
    "I have not been standing for the Pledge of Allegiance due to a conflict I have with the wording of the pledge, specifically the words 'under God,'" Councilman David Habecker said.
    The Pledge is for all Americans. If you don't want to say "under God," that's fine, but say the rest of the Pledge. This guy is spitting on the people who died for his right to act like an idiot.
    "I'm sad for the community, that there is that much intolerance in our community."
    Intolerance? This is the second time today I've heard that accusation hurled at conservatives. Apparently, we're not allowed to call these people out anymore for being fools.

    A Story from Iraq

    From Idn_Alrafidain
    One of my neighbors told me another story about a teenager. My neighbor recalled his story when the teenager crossed in front of the car which we were using to tour gas stations looking for fuel (there is a real fuel & power crisis nowadays). This teenager volunteered for Al-Mahdee militia of Muktada Al-Sadder. He was assigned to fight in Najaf, though he lives in Baghdad. When he was in Najaf, another group of Al-Mahdee militia who fight in Baghdad took position, to shoot at the American troops, in front of his family house. His father and brothers tried to prevent them from doing so, since the Americans would retaliate causing lot of casualties to the family. They had a quarrel with the militants which evolved into shooting. As a result two brothers of the volunteer fellow were killed.
    Two of his brothers were killed by his comrades. Paradoxical, isn’t it?
    Visiting his family, on leave, the volunteer discovered the truth of how such militias can harm the people. He quit immediately and started to work as a porter.


    Hopefully Iraqis can learn from this story that the terrorists are not fighting for freedom no matter what they may say.

    Yushchenko Poisoning Gets More Disturbing

    From Fox:
    New tests reveal the level of dioxin in the blood of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko is more than 6,000 times higher than normal, according to the expert analyzing the samples.
    Who ever did this wanted him dead bad. If I had to guess, I'd say it was someone sent by Putin.
    Experts say Yushchenko, whose face has been pockmarked and disfigured, has probably experienced the worst effects already and should gradually recover, with no impairment to his working ability.
    Despite predictions by his opponent, it appears Yushchenko is going to be fine. I'm sure Putin's relieved

    There is Nothing Wrong with This

    From Fox:
    A judge refused to delay a trial Tuesday when an attorney objected to his wearing a judicial robe with the Ten Commandments (search) embroidered on the front in gold.
    Where's the ACLU? This guy is being demagogued by the media for engaging in Free Speech.

    Attorney Riley Powell, defending a client charged with DUI, filed a motion objecting to the robe and asking that the case be continued. He said McKathan denied both motions.

    "I feel this creates a distraction that affects my client," Powell said.
    How about you don't drink and drive? Then, you wouldn't have to be "distracted" by the Ten Commandments, well...that and prison time.

    Tuesday, December 14

    The Inside on the HumVee Controversy: Production is Not Easy

    From RebelRouser.net:
    The very first thing you need to know about this armor is what it is. I can’t tell you everything, but I can tell you that it is only an inch and half thick, but yet it stopped an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) from taking my buddy’s head off. If you have all the pieces, it covers every inch of your vehicle, even the floor panels, and weighs so damn much that you use twice the fuel anytime you go out and this stuff is on your vehicle. Pretty much all it is is a mean ass Exo-Skeleton for HMMWV’s.

    Okay, so you know what it is, now I’m gonna tell you where it is. The manufacturing process of this Armor takes a good long time for two reasons.

    1. The alloys involved are difficult to manufactory.
    2. Every piece must be blast tested before it can be sent to Iraq.

    What this means is that the company takes these pieces, blows them up and checks to make sure their structural integrity is still good to go. This is very expensive and very time consuming, but this doesn’t mean that there isn’t A LOT of armor being shipped to Iraq. When I left, shipments were arriving every week and this was in February when the program was first starting. Now that it has been awhile it is probably more often.
    If you have a chance, you should read the whole article, but this part sums up the main point. Namely, HumVees and their armor don't drop out of the shy, and no amount of wishing by Rumsfeld or anyone else is going to make them just appear because they are difficult and time consuming to produce.

    If We Hadn't Stopped This Who Would Have?

    From Reuters:
    Allawi gave no further details but residents living nearby said workers found the remains while preparing the ground for a new hospital near a highway in Debashan, north of Sulaimaniya.

    Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights has sealed off the site, where its staff are working. The driver of a mechanical digger told Kurdish television about 900 bodies might be in the grave but it was too early to know how many were buried there.
    Did we go to Iraq because it was a threat? Yes, but there is another equally valid reason. Saddam was on a rampage killing hundreds of thousands of people. We don't need to go into the depths of what he did to some of those that he didn't kill. It's obvious that he was a depraved man, and he was running his country in character.

    Russian Grip on Power in the Ukraine Slips; Yanukovych's Campaign is Crumbling

    There is no better example of the walking disaster that is Viktor Yanukovych then this gem from Fox:
    For his part, Yanukovych said he sympathized with his rival and that he wished him "no evil."

    In an interview with The Associated Press, he demanded a thorough investigation and promised not to interfere in it. But he stressed that the impact of the dioxin could hamper Yushchenko's performance should he be elected in this month's rerun.

    "The fact of the matter is that Yushchenko is seriously ill," he said. "We can all see it."
    Translation: I didn't do it, but I hope it accomplishes what it intended.

    Not very tactful to say the least.

    An Iraqi Fighting the Good Fight in Iraq

    From Ibn_Alrafidain:
    I wrote letters to newspapers to publish the [universal] declaration [of human rights]. At least one of the most popular newspapers (Al-Sabah) published it and other universal declarations by the UN which I had known nothing about them.

    I believe and insist that we, Iraqis, need educational rehabilitation. For that we need continuous support by the free world.


    People like this are a modal of what Iraq must become. Not just standing back and waiting from democracy, human rights, and an end to terrorism to happen, but going out and doing something about it.

    Bernard Kerik Deserves Better

    I often nail left wingers for their vicious ad hominem attacks on people they disagree with, but I'm an equal opportunity offender. I was listening to Michel Savages talk show on the radio, and I hear him compare Bernard Kerik to Scott Peterson. Before I go further, let's review the facts. What has Kerik done? He's employed an illegal immigrant and supposedly had an extramarital affair. Now is this enough to prevent him from becoming Homeland Security Secretary? Probably, but does that mean he deserve to be raked over the coals by Michel Savage with comments like "One sick bastard got the death penalty today and another got a life sentence of shame?" Absolutely not. Kerik was a hero on 9/11 and then he went to Iraq to train the Iraqi police. Affairs and illegal nannies don't trump that. Michel Savage should apologize.

    Kofi Annan should resign

    “In any other organization, if the CEO was around at the time when there was a $21 billion rip-off, the board of directors would say it’s time to go,” said Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman, whose subcommittee on investigations is looking into a wide range of alleged UN improprieties. “Unless folks see us getting to the bottom of this, I think the U.S. relationship with the United Nations is jeopardized.”
    [...]
    Rep. Roger Wicker, R-MS, has collected 52 cosponsors for a resolution calling on Annan to resign “due to the allegations of fraud, mismanagement, and abuse.” Sen. Coleman says the condition for continuing U.S.-UN relations is “Kofi himself taking responsibility and stepping down.”


    I understand that it might be counter-productive if we are seen in the world as trying to force Annan out, but allowing him to stay is not an option. He is an impediment to the things we need to get done in the world, including in Iraq and with regard to the Israel/Palestinian issue. If getting him out mains withholding funding, then it must be done.

    There is another important aspect to the Oil-for-Food Scandal, which has gone largely unnoticed. Oddly enough, Kofi Annan sums it up nicely:

    Corruption hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a government's ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice and discouraging foreign investment and aid.

    Quote of the Day

    From Soldiers for Truth:

    We need to get over this PC mindset once and for all. The insurgency terrorists will take their entire country down with them if given the chance. We need to use every resource at our command to obliterate these deviants, and hopefully thereby discourage future would-be combatants.

    It is Getting Bad in Darfur

    From 7am News:

    Two Save the Children aid workers have been shot dead in the war-torn Sudanese region of Darfur.

    The charity has suspended its operations in the region, which a United Nations report last week said was spiraling into chaos.

    The two died after the vehicle that the two Sudanese nationals were traveling in came under fire in South Darfur.
    I fail to see the logic in killing people who are just trying to help. It's morally reprehensible.

    The number of ceasefire violations has been on the rise in recent months, with rebel leaders accusing the government of breaching the truce and threatening to boycott peace talks.

    The rebels announced that they would stay away from the talks in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, until the government promised to halt attacks.
    If countries don't start stepping up to the plate, a lot of people are going to die. You may not think this is your problem, but it is. If the Arabs in that area wipe out all the blacks, there is high likelihood that Sudan could become a terrorist haven in the mode of Afghanistan, which it can’t today because there is a moderating force. i.e. the black Christians

    Monday, December 13

    I Try

    From our friends at CBS:

    Internet blogs are providing a new and unregulated medium for politically motivated attacks.
    So CBS is now for so kind of "regulation?" But when they have a striper at the half time show of the Super Bowl, it's some kind of fascism when they get fined, and what kind of "politically motivated attacks" are they talking about? Like say if I forged documents in an attempt to defeat a sitting President in a time of war. Is that the kind of attack we're talking about here?
    At minimum, the role of blogs in the Daschle-Thune race is a telling harbinger for 2006 and 2008. Some blogs could become new vehicles for the old political dirty tricks.

    Like all media, blogs hold the potential for abuse. Experts point out that blogs' unregulated status makes them particularly attractive outlets for political attack.
    There is not a better example then blogs to show us why the government should keep it's grubby fingers off. We all understand that most political bloggers have an agenda. I do, but if I thought any blogs that I read were simply making stories to defeat a political candidate, I would stop reading them immediately. Your reputation in this business is everything. People aren't going to waste their time reading lies.

    Eugene Volokh sums it up nicely:
    "He [a blogger in the story] is perfectly free to write the blog. You can criticize him for it but he had a perfect Constitutional right to do what he did," said Eugene Volokh, who teaches free speech law at UCLA Law School and authors his own blog, the Volokh Conspiracy.

    "People are free to say whatever they want to say and not reveal any financial inducements and not reveal in whose pay they are...

    Knife Control

    From Ananova:
    The devastated relatives of stabbing victims traveled to Downing Street in an emotional campaign to put knife crime on a par with gun crime.

    The group - which includes the parents of murdered schoolboy Luke Walmsley - are calling on the Government to equalize penalties for knives and guns, and introduce a five-year minimum jail term for carrying an object with a blade longer than three inches.
    How are you supposed to defend yourself? Why don't these people just come out and support what they are really after, which is the repeal of self-defense laws. At least that is the net result of their agenda. As with all such laws, they aren't going to stop criminals from getting weapons. All they do is to stop law abiding citizens from getting weapons to defend themselves.

    And she said she was "disgusted" with the Government's action on knife crime: "I think if it was one of their children or a member of their family and one of their children had been murdered, I think measures would have been brought in within a year, but of course we are Joe Public."
    I'm sorry for this person's loss, but this is a horrible logical argument. Liberals use this kind of argument on other issues all the time. For example, "What if you were raped and got pregnant? Wouldn't you support abortion?" So, why is this argument so flawed? Well, what is the real question when it comes to abortion? It is whether the child/fetus is an individual human life. If the child/fetus is alive, it is irrelevant ethically how it came into being.

    Justice is Severed

    This isn't the usual function of the this blog. But I'd like to say that I approve of the Peterson verdict. For if killing your wife and child is not dissevering of the death penalty, what is? I haven't posted on this topic before because I don't believe that it is the role of the media, of which I now include myself, to be creating a circus like atmosphere at these trials. The role of the media is to report the important facts of this case. What the media should be reporting is that he has been charged and what the verdict is. What happened everyday for the last number of months wasn't reporting anything important. It was creating sensationalism for the purpose of having something to talk about, and there are much more important things to discuss. I hope this is the last such case that follows the "OJ mold," but I fear that the likelihood of that is slim.

    "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy"

    It's time to debunk this lie. I just turned on MSNBC, and I saw an ad for one of their shows that says so-and-so "believes that there is a right wing conspiracy to control the media." I don't remember his name, but he must be one of those people that will piss on you and tell you it's raining. Just look at the media today. Dan Rather and his fake memos. The mainstream media ignored the Swift Boat Vets and then trashed them. Of course, this is all some conspiracy to get George Bush another term.

    Sunday, December 12

    More Stark News about Freedom in Saudi Arabia

    From Victon Hanson:

    I wish I could report that human rights in the Magic Kingdom had risen to the status of African wild dogs, Longhorn fairy shrimps, or any other endangered species facing extinction. Unfortunately, it's a cold fact of life that something must first come into existence before it can be taken out.

    The phantom seed of human rights was planted in the Kingdom last year in May, when the stroke-stricken King deigned to allow the first-ever independent human rights organization on the Arabian Peninsula.

    Seven months later, on October 15, 2003, this phantasmal seed germinated into the Magic Kingdom's first human rights conference. Dignitaries from fifteen countries, including the United States, flocked to the occasion. After much hoopla and diplomatic hobnobbing, the conference delivered the divine "Riyadh Declaration": a cornucopia of warmth and sunshine guaranteeing freedom and respect for all things, including the planet. Following a lengthy introduction, 23 items are emphatically "declared and stressed." For those inclined, you can read the entire document at the Saudi Embassy website.

    Item three of the "Riyadh Declaration" caught my wandering eye:

    The illegal curtailment of freedom and violation of man's sanctity and morale is unjustifiable and is prohibited in Islamic law.


    The more I read about Saudi Arabia the more I think that nice smiling Saudi Spokesman must be on some kind of drug. If you have watched the news much, you have seen this guy. He wears a suit. He looks right into the camera and smiles. Then, he lies. He says things like "there is no oppression in Saudi Arabia." This guy's the new Baghdad Bob.

    On a more serious note, it looks like things are just getting worse in Saudi Arabia. They apparently believe that no one is going to call them on it, and there probably right, at least for now. But countries like the US, UK, France and Germany should be calling them on these abuses no matter how much oil they have. If they don't, it just going to get worse, and we will be dealing with a war in Saudi Arabia or Iran part II.

    More Facts Less Spin: The Real Story Behide Rumsfeld's Q+A with the Troops

    There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there about Rumsfeld's Q+A with soldiers in Kuwait. I think that some perspective on these issues from the soldier's point of view would be useful. The first quote is from Sgt. Missick, who was there at the Q+A. The second quote is from 2Slick's Forum and is authored by a Black Hawk Pilot who is based in Kuwait.

    Rumsfeld Grilled By Soldiers?
    Almost immediately after returning to camp yesterday after the visit by the SECDEF, I did a google news search and read the AP Wire article and noted that, although the piece was fairly accurate, there was definitely a sense of exaggeration in the tone that presented the townhall meeting as a gripe session. As one of the soldiers in the audience, I felt that presenting the morning in such a fashion was misleading, and with such negative connotations, I wondered how long it may be before the MSM ran with the story and turned a pleasant morning with the Secretary of Defense into a scenario that resembled a defendant being cross-examined by the prosecution in a court room. I knew the story was generating heavy circulation when I saw it headlined on Drudge today (click here for story).

    Before I dig in, I want to address one item in particular from the story linked above that I think was not made clear enough. When it stated:

    Spc. Thomas Wilson had asked the defense secretary, "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?" Shouts of approval and applause arose from the estimated 2,300 soldiers who had assembled to see Rumsfeld.

    Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.

    I believe Secretary Rumsfeld hesitated because it was difficult to hear the first part of the question Spc. Wilson asked. Perhaps because of nerves, he spoke at first very quickly, and the acoustics of the hangar were hardly concert-hall quality. The Secretary asked others to repeat parts of their questions as well apparently because of difficulty hearing the question in its entirety. I do think Spc. Wilson is justified in asking such a question. It is a serious issue, and if logistics or "physics" is the obstacle from accomplishing the tasks of up-armoring vehicles to add to soldier safety, then we need to do our best to overcome that obstacle. The Secretary concluded with an anecdote in which he spoke of the recent terror warning surrounding the election. He said he looked out the windows of the Pentagon one day and saw 6-8 up-armored HMMWV's perched at the perimeter of the building. He then said, "Guess what, they aren't there any more."

    I also want to express that as a person who has worked in politics for years, I was very surprised when we were told there would be the opportunity to ask questions without first having them screened. I would have assumed there would have been some process where those who had questions submitted them prior to asking the Secretary, and had them approved. Instead, everyone in the room was given the option to stand, motion for one of the soldiers holding a microphone, and ask anything they desired. There was no particular order of what kind of questions were asked and the soldiers who asked questions ranged in rank from Specialists to Lieutenant Colonels. When I say I was surprised that this part of the event was not micromanaged, I want to ensure you that I was pleasantly surprised. In my opinion, it shows the attitude that this Secretary has towards the soldiers he is sworn to represent. It shows those in uniform that he does not see us or our concerns as "below his level," but instead sends a signal that we are his concern, and ensuring we can accomplish the mission is his highest priority.

    One more thing I would like to add is this, not one soldier present asked questions about why we were here, or expressed the sort of anti-war sentiment that Michael Moore led some to believe was prevalent in the military. Rather, the concern was about ensuring we would be supplied with all necessary equipment to accomplish the mission and return home safely. Let there be no doubt, this was not a hostile crowd eager to catch the Secretary of Defense off guard by grilling him with questions he has never had to answer. This was a group of truly admirable American's and patriots, receiving confirmation from the man who controls the Department of Defense, that we have the full fledged moral, financial and logistical support, to accomplish the mission.

    Missick's Blog

    Rumsfeld's Visit

    As you know, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld came here for a visit yesterday. The news agencies (all of them- even Fox) have already spun the visit way out of control.

    I just watched a "Fox Live" update (it's 1:36 am EDT as I type this- 9:36 am Kuwait time), and the anchor started with "what was supposed to be a friendly question and answer session turned into a tough grilling for Donald Rumsfeld..." -this is not a true statement.

    I saw another report that indicated that the SECDEF "was slated to give a pep talk" but that it "devolved into a gripe session." -not true.

    I've been sitting through briefings about this visit for the past 6 days- in every case, this visit was billed as a "town hall meeting" in which the SECDEF would open the floor to questions and answer them to the best of his ability- never saw anything that suggested it was supposed to be "friendly" or "peppy." This is nothing new- it's actually something that SECDEF's have been doing for years. When I was a VIP Flight Platoon Leader in Seoul, I picked up Secretary of Defense William Cohen at Osan Airbase, flew him to Seoul Airbase, and watched in stunned disbelief as one of my soldiers asked him why the Clinton Administration thought it was a good idea to keep downsizing the military when deployments like Somalia and the Balkans were "on the up and up." More about that later.

    The only thing unusual about this particular "town hall meeting" was the fact that the press was invited. My coworkers and I wondered aloud about the wisdom of this decision, and I still can't really see the logic there. The only thing I can think of is that the SECDEF intended to show that he has nothing to hide- sort of like a "full public disclosure" kind of thing. The problem with this is obvious. When the cameras are rolling and a soldier stands up and asks why the military isn't doing anything to properly equip him for war, guess what happens? That's right- the media machine immediately establishes a new "truth"- in this case it's that the military is not equipping the force. Absolutely no effort is made to fact-check the soldier- his word is taken as pure gospel. Politicians on Capitol Hill start ranting and raving, the pundits weigh in, and the opposition party gleefully waves the "I told you so" banner. All because of one question from a hard-working well-meaning lower enlisted soldier.

    SPC Wilson is one of those soldiers who likes to take shots at authority figures. His ex-wife said of him- "It wouldn't matter if it was Bush himself standing there. He would have dissed him the same." This does not mean he's a bad soldier. It does mean that he's probably not a good choice to be an Army spokesperson, which is exactly what he became yesterday. As I mentioned earlier, I had a soldier like him working for me in Korea- the guy who unloaded on SECDEF Cohen for downsizing. I thought it was a fair question- I just wish he would have run his question by me before asking my boss's boss's boss's boss. We had a talk about it- my policy was not unusual, and he was well aware of it- if you have a gripe, ask me about it. If you don't like my answer, then go to the next level. If you feel uncomfortable talking to me, then fine- talk to my boss. Of course he didn't feel uncomfortable talking to me (I'm a pretty nice guy), he just said, "Sorry, Sir- I really don't like the Clintonians. I had an opportunity shot and I took it."

    I'm not saying that SPC Wilson has an anti-Bush agenda or anything like that- I think he was probably frustrated about things he either didn't understand or didn't agree with, and just wanted to take a shot. And I can tell you that his platoon leader and everyone else in his chain of command felt betrayed if he didn't voice his complaint to them first- from my experience, I'm guessing he did not.

    I have no doubt that one of SPC Wilson's superiors told him to go through a scrap yard to get more vehicle armor. There's nothing wrong with this- resourceful soldiers are always looking to improve on their equipment, weapons, fighting positions, etc. What SPC Wilson might not be aware of (at his level)- is that all vehicles that drive north into Iraq are required to have "level 3" armor protection. If a vehicle does not meet this standard, it will not be driven up north- it will be carried on a flatbed truck. Once in Iraq, armored vehicles are used for driving off post, and unarmored vehicles are used for driving around on post. This policy is put out to each unit's commanders well before the unit even arrives to Kuwait. The leaders are then charged with disseminating this information down to the soldiers. Obviously, this process of "information dissemination" doesn't always happen like it's supposed to- and so we have uninformed soldiers (who think they're going to drive into Iraq in unarmored vehicles) taking shots at our nation's most powerful leaders. It happens all the time, and it's another reason why America is such a unique country. There are many places in this world where a soldier would not survive asking such a question.

    I wasn't at the event yesterday, but our friend SGT Missick was there. He presents a more accurate picture of how the soldiers received the SECDEF- very much in contrast with the "Spanish Inquisition" that you saw from the MSM:
    I must say that the mood in the hangar was much more of goodwill, with soldiers packing around the Secretary as if he was a movie star to shake his hand or get a picture at the end. There was a great deal of frustration in the voice of the soldier who asked questions regarding vehicles being up-armored, and the hangar did erupt in applause after he spoke, but I wouldn't translate one very tough question into a grill session by American forces.
    My $0.02.

    1) We don't have enough vehicle armor!

    I logged well over 1,500 miles driving around Iraq, and I never even saw an "armored" humvee. I didn't complain- mostly because I was well aware that my father never had any armored humvees in Vietnam, and my grandfather certainly didn't have any armored humvees during WWII.

    As soon as the ground commanders asked for armored humvees, the military industrial complex went into overdrive- read more about it here:
    Furthermore, Di Rita said, since the Army first identified a need for more armored Humvees, in the fall of 2003, the service "has done just a superb job of turning around a component of industrial base that was doing different things" and turning the manufacturers to making both armored Humvees and armor kits for other vehicles.

    At the time, Humvee makers were "producing something on order of 15 armored Humvees per month," Di Rita said.

    Today, that number is 450, he said, with $1.2 billion spent since August 2003 on armor and armored Humvees alone. As a result, "three out of four" Humvees now in Iraq are armored, he said.
    2) Stop the stop-loss!

    [i]"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -JFK[/i]

    3) Active Duty units get "preferential treatment" over Reserve and NG units!

    Absolutely 100% false. The priority of money and equipment goes to the units with "tactical priority." If we had a National Guard unit "fighting it out" in the streets of Baghdad, they would have tactical priority (would get priority of equipment and funding) over an Active Duty unit that's guarding camels in Basra. As it happens, Active Duty units usually (but not always) have tactical priority by virtue of their mission and/or location.

    When I was in Mosul with the 101st, we were always last in line with respect to funding and equipment. 4th ID (in Tikrit) and 1st AD (in Baghdad) had tactical priority, so they received "preferential treatment." They were fully engaged in the Sunni Triangle- we understood this, so we didn't complain.

    As I said earlier, soldiers at the lowest levels do not always understand the concept of "tactical priority"- it's more of an officer thing. Having said that, we officers (and you NCOs out there)obviously need to do a better job of educating our young soldiers about their chosen profession. Secretary Rumsfeld, I'm quite certain, would appreciate it...

    UPDATE:

    I think Rumsfeld handled the whole thing perfectly. I especially liked this quote:

    "I don't know what the facts are, but somebody is certainly going to sit down with him and find out what he knows that they may not know," Rumsfeld said.
    True. And his commander will probably ask him why he used a world stage and a session with the SECDEF as a means to pass this "information" up the chain (he might be standing at attention for that part of the discussion). Who knows? The soldier might have a viable excuse for speaking out in such a forum. I seriously doubt it, but he might. In any case, he won't be punished. He'll probably feel pretty bad when he realizes what he did, though...
    2Slicks

    Saturday, December 11

    Thank You Japan

    Japan is a stand up country. It has extended its mission in Iraq for another year.
    On Friday the White House spokesman thanked Japan:
    ''We appreciate the commitment by Japan to extend the deployment of the Self-Defense Forces in Iraq''
    I'd like to extend my thanks as well.

    One Step Forward; One Step Back: The Story of Saudi Arabia

    From The Economist:

    Forward:
    Is Osama bin Laden gaining the upper hand in his homeland?

    No. Since May 2003, when a series of bombings in Riyadh made plain the seriousness of the jihadist threat, the Saudi state has fought back. The past six months have been particularly hard on the militants, who had failed to score any "raids", as they call them, since they killed 22 people in a rampage on May 29th. Of the 26 most-wanted men named last year, only seven remain at large. Dozens of others have also been taken out of action.


    Nor was the Jeddah attack, for all its boldness, very impressive. Four of the five assailants died, and none penetrated the hardened chancellery within the consular compound. Few Saudis believe such violence will achieve its proclaimed goal of ridding Arabia of "polytheists".

    Dogged police work has whittled down the jihadists' potency, while stricter controls on Islamic charities have reduced the scope of terrorist funding. At the same time, some of the more fanatical interpretations of Muslim scripture have been expunged from Saudi schoolbooks. Perhaps more significantly, the Saudi state has enlisted some persuasive voices to denounce the terrorists. Several once-popular militant clerics have publicly recanted. Earlier this week, Saudi television aired emotional interviews with the parents of several jihadists, who said their sons had been the victims of a deviant death cult.
    Translation: We're not going to see another Iran anytime soon.

    And Back:
    In March, a group of reformists were jailed for calling for a constitutional monarchy. Three are still awaiting trial. In September, the government issued an edict banning all state employees, which means most working Saudis, including academics, from publicly questioning state policy. In October it announced that long-promised elections for 178 town councils, now due in February, would be for only half of their seats, with women entirely excluded.
    Translation: But we're stuck with the a government that is going to continue to produce terrorists and point them toward the United States so that they can take out their anger over being repressed.

    Reassessing Russia

    From The Economist:

    THE drama playing out in the streets of Ukraine in recent weeks has been gripping in its own terms. But its bigger significance for the West lies north-east of Kiev, in Russia. As the tide moves towards a presidential election victory for the opposition leader, Victor Yushchenko, on December 26th, the efforts of Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, to thwart him have looked ever more cack-handed. But they have also depressed those who still hoped that Mr Putin's Russia might move, slowly and tortuously, on to a path leading to political liberalism—and that he might prove an ally not a foe of the West.
    [...]
    The conclusion is inescapable. Far from being a political and economic reformer who runs an admittedly flawed but still recognisable democracy, Mr Putin has become an obstacle to change who is in charge of an ill-managed autocracy.
    Russian again is moving toward dictatorship if it is not there already. This has the potential to turn into a new Cold War. We have won round one in Georgia and round two in Ukraine, but Putin is consolidating his grip on power at home. As we get closer to defeating Islamic Fascism in Iraq and Afghanistan. We will have to turn to defeating Fascism in Russia, and it will not be easy.

    Back on the Offense in Afghanistan

    Form Fox:

    Some 18,000 American troops have started a winter offensive against Taliban rebels in Afghanistan, vowing to eliminate insurgents who could threaten parliamentary elections slated for the spring.

    The U.S. military said Saturday that it hoped the new push, dubbed Lightning Freedom, would persuade insurgents to accept an amnesty offered by President Hamid Karzai that could stabilize the country and allow foreign troops to pull back.

    "It's designed basically to search out and destroy the remaining remnants of Taliban forces who traditionally we believe go to ground during the winter months," spokesman Maj. Mark McCann said. "It's going on throughout the country of Afghanistan."

    The operation was initiated after Karzai's inauguration Tuesday as the country's first democratically elected president, McCann said. He didn't know exactly when it began and gave no details of any specific moves against militant targets.

    But Maj. Gen. Eric Olson, the No. 2 American commander here, told The Associated Press last month that the operation would include a redeployment to tighten security on the border with Pakistan and raids by special forces to snatch rebel leaders.

    Protecting Afghanistan's young democracy has become the most urgent priority for American commander...
    To think a month into the campaign in Afghanistan we heard things like "It's going to be another Vietnam." Now the enemy is on the run and there have been free and fair elections. Yet despite this, you will hear these same people exposing the same flawed opinions about the war in Iraq. Will they ever learn?

    Friday, December 10

    The Real Story behind the Humvee Controversy

    From the World Tribune:

    The United States has satisfied about 70 percent of the military's combat armored vehicle requirements in the Middle East and surrounding regions.
    So, it is not quite the disaster that the media is making it out to be. We still need to do better, but we're working on that.

    The U.S. military set a requirement of 8,100 up-armored Humvees, of which about 6,000 were being produced, officials said. They said that about 22,000 of Central Command's fleet of 30,000 vehicles have received some form of armor.

    Over the last few months, the army has expanded the up-armor effort to include non-combat vehicles in Iraq, officials said. They said the army has added armor to 507 heavy tactical trucks, 492 medium tactical vehicles, two heavy equipment trailers, eight M-915 trucks and 187 palletized load system vehicles that serve in Iraq. The army has operated four depots, two arsenals and one ammunition plant for the production of the armor kits.
    I'm not sure what these rabid critics of Rumsfeld want. They talk about this issue as though he's doing nothing about it.

    Hispanic Dems Are Revolting

    From Yahoo!:

    The Democratic Party has neglected Hispanic voters for a decade and risks severe election losses unless it changes course, Hispanic lawmakers wrote party leaders Thursday.

    "It is time for the leadership of the Democratic Party to face the facts. ... Republicans have been committed, methodical and are clearly winning the battle for the Hispanic voters," said the letter by the leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
    If current trends continue Republicans will win Hispanics next time around. If liberals keep trying to shove Gay Marriage and Abortion down their throats, there will be little doubt about it too.

    You Can Stop Panicking About the Dollar Now

    The Dollar is not going to fall off a cliff. It has rebounded for it's lows this week. Of course, this should have been clear to you just looking at the economy. That is if you haven't been in an ideologically induced hallucination for the last 18 months.

    A Taste of Iraqi "Culture"

    Iraqi culture seems to have a bad sickness, tribalism.

    From Front Page Magazine:

    Unfortunately, the trend seems headed the opposite direction: Islam in Iraq (and elsewhere) is becoming more tribal, more insular, more sunk in a backwards mindset of misogyny, obsession with honor and a kind of bi-polar oscillation between self-loathing and self-importance. We see the effects of this dysfunctionality north and west of Baghdad where Sunni Arabs, disgraced by their fall from power, attempt to kill American soldiers in order to reclaim their "honor" rather than negotiate a future for their children in a democratic Iraq.
    Apparently, Muslim women aren't the only victims of honor killings.
    Nazis, Communist revolutionaries, Islamofascists are warriors and terrorists-all believe in their superhuman will to transcend the ego and possess the Infinite.
    Whether you call it fascism, communism, totalitarianism, or terrorism, it is all the same thing. These groups want the power of god over other people. They want to hold your life, liberty, and happiness in their hands to have the power to crush you if you step out of line.
    My experiences in Iraq, together with what I witnessed in Iran in 2000, led me to wonder why the civilized world doesn't rise up en masse and say Enough! We will no longer tolerate the way that Muslim nations in the Middle East treat women! Alas, in today's multicultural world, such outrage is impossible.
    [...]
    On the street, in restaurants, taxi cabs, mosques, and public place, men (and women) stare at females, waiting-hoping-they will do something that will disgrace themselves and fuel invidious gossip.
    [...]
    It's not surprising, then, that among many segments of Iraqi/Arab/Muslim society, men consider women as little more than delivery systems for male heirs. They see it as natural, and it suits their patriarchal mindset. As you put it, the mere thought of allowing women control of their sexuality raises for men the terrors of emasculation, confused bloodlines, raising children sired by other men, living perpetually in the dark about the true lineage of their offspring.
    This is what is holding back Muslim countries. You can't have a healthy society while half you people are treated like crap.
    FP: From your experiences, you conclude that the terror war and the Iraqi war are linked together. Tell us why.

    Vincent: We are fighting Islamofascism. Whether the enemy takes the form of some soft-spoken "pious" Muslim plotting the destruction of American from the mountains of Tora Bora, or a Baathist thug dreaming of becoming the next Salah-ad-din, doesn't matter. They are twin faces of the same fascist death-cult.

    To the people who protest that Saddam never attacked America, I say-how many Luftwaffe pilots bombed Pearl Harbor? And yet our nation sent the bulk of its war machine against Nazi Germany. To fight Al Qaeda without taking out Saddam Hussein would have been like striking Japan after December 7, but ignoring the Germans. Somehow, FDR and the American people realized that the Japanese, Germans and Italians (and later, the Soviets) were part of the same hydra-headed monster of totalitarianism. I can't understand why our generation can't grasp the same fact.
    People need to start understanding this more clearly. This isn't the "War on Al Qaeda." It's the "War on Terrorism." Saddam was a terrorist. The war includes him.

    Shockingly Canada Moves Left

    From Fox:

    In a landmark opinion, Canada's Supreme Court said Thursday the government can redefine marriage to include same-sex couples.
    [...]
    "This is a victory for Canadian values," said Alexander Munster of Canadians for Equal Marriage


    Speaks for itself really.

    Possible Terrorist Attacks

    Here's an interesting article from Foxnews.

    Terrorists may seek to down aircraft by shining powerful lasers into cockpits to blind pilots during landing approaches, federal officials are warning in a bulletin distributed nationwide.

    The memo sent by the FBI and the Homeland Security Department (search) says there is evidence that terrorists have explored using lasers as weapons, though there is no specific intelligence indicating Al Qaeda (search) or other groups might use lasers in the United States.

    "Although lasers are not proven methods of attack like improvised explosive devices and hijackings, terrorist groups overseas have expressed interest in using these devices against human sight," the memo said.

    "In certain circumstances, if laser weapons adversely affect the eyesight of both pilot and co-pilot during a non-instrument approach, there is a risk of airliner crash," the agencies said.

    In September a pilot for Delta Air Lines reported an eye injury from a laser beam shone into the cockpit during a landing approach in Salt Lake City. The incident occurred about 5 miles from the airport. The plane landed safely.


    There should be some kind of technological solution to this problem. I just hope people don't have to die this time before someone implements it.

    Monday, December 6

    Another Dictator that Needs to Shut up

    Pakistan's Dictator Pervez Musharraf mouthed off on CNN.

    Asked whether he considered the invasion a mistake, the Pakistani leader said: "With hindsight, yes. We have landed ourselves in more trouble, yes."
    Why do we continue to support this guy? He just pulled his troops from looking for bin Leaden and now he comes to the US and says that we are the ones making the world less safe. No Musharraf dictators like you are make the world a more dangerous place .

    Then there's this:
    An Israeli-Palestinian agreement would "pull the rug from under the feet of all the extremist organizations."
    You would think he'd understand this since Al Qaeda tried to kill him too. Their motivation has nothing to do with Israel. They want there brand of 7th century Islam to dominate the world, and they will find any excuse they need to accomplish that

    Sunday, December 5


    A message for the terrorists. Posted by Hello

    Saturday, December 4

    Thank You Black Watch

    I'd like to personally thank the members of the Black Watch for relieving some of our American Soldiers south of Baghdad so they could take the fight to the enemy in Fallujah. Five members of the Black Watch gave their lives while at Camp Dogwood. Words can not express how grateful my country men and I are for their sacrifice.

    Story about the Black Watch's move south.

    Black Watch Home Page

    French Hatred Runs Deep

    Bob Novak wrote an interesting article about the French

    It reads in part:

    One French intellectual described anti-Americanism to me as ''a cancer that is sweeping across the country.'' It may not be as deadly as cancer, but it surely is not healthy for France.

    The chronic nature of French hostility toward the United States contradicts claims by Bush's domestic critics that his unilateral policies caused deterioration of Franco-American relations. It is less the United States with a French problem than France burdened with a serious American problem.

    On his recent visit to London, Chirac pressed for ''multipolarity'': a return to international rivalries that produced the carnage of the 20th century. He also suggested there was no point trying to repair his country's difficulties with Washington and taunted British Prime Minister Tony Blair because ''our American friends'' do not ''pay back favors.'' Mocking Donald Rumsfeld's designation of France as ''Old Europe,'' he pretended not to remember the secretary of defense's name and referred to him, sarcastically, as ''that nice guy of America.''


    It's a sick country whose most important Political issue is how much you can hate another county.

    There is some hope in France thou:

    The lone potential breath of fresh air viewed by internal critics is flamboyant populist Nicolas Sarkozy, who is resigning as finance minister to seek leadership of France's governing party and then perhaps run for president. Although Sarkozy is unabashedly pro-American, it has not hurt him so far. But his opponent is likely to be Chirac, still waving the bloody American shirt and still hard to beat.


    Novak is right, however, Chirac will be hard to beat.

    Democracy Wins in Ukraine

    From Fox:

    The Supreme Court declared the results of Ukraine's disputed presidential run-off election invalid Friday and ordered a new run-off be held on Dec. 26, sparking a burst of cheers and fireworks from tens of thousands of opposition supporters rejoicing in Kiev's main square.

    The ruling, made after five days of hearings by the court's 21 justices, was a major victory for opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, who had rejected the government's demands that an entirely new election be held.

    And it was a stinging blow to outgoing President Leonid Kuchma and his powerful ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who wants to preserve Moscow's centuries-old influence in Ukraine in the face of Yushchenko's followers' desire to move closer to the West. Only a day earlier, Putin had sharply derided the idea of holding a new run-off.

    The opposition had pinned its hopes on the court's ruling in its bid to overturn the results of the Nov. 21 run-off vote, in which Kuchma ally Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych was declared the winner. The opposition said the vote was rigged to cheat Yushchenko of victory.

    "Today Ukraine has turned to justice, democracy and freedom," Yushchenko told the throng of supporters...

    Al Qaeda's next Target: Europe

    Experts are saying that Al Qaeda's next target is likely to be Europe. The experts mention one reason:

    Europe's threat is growing from the inside
    But there's another reason too. The Terrorists know that, if they attack America, we’ll go after them militarily where ever they are, but as we saw in Spain, Europeans will seek appeasement as the first option.

    Friday, December 3

    Shut Up Putin

    From Yahoo

    Russian President Vladimir Putin sharply criticized the United States on Friday, accusing it of a double-standard in fighting terrorism and questioning whether any election in Iraq can be democratic when fighting is raging in the country.


    "Raging" I never thought Putin would join the left wing Propagandists

    Putin, who has been angered by U.S. and European denunciations of the Ukraine election as rigged unacceptable, began a three-day visit to the Cold-War era ally with continued criticism of Washington, saying it seeks a "dictatorship of international affairs."


    What a hypocrat. He's turning Russia into a dictatorship.

    "Even if dictatorship is wrapped up in a beautiful package of pseudo-democratic phraseology, it will not be in a position to solve systemic problems," -Putin


    -cough- Russia -cough-

    Tuesday, November 30

    Infanticide in the Netherlands

    Infanticide is apparently acceptable in the Netherlands now.

    A hospital in the Netherlands — the first nation to permit euthanasia — recently proposed guidelines for mercy killings of terminally ill newborns, and then made a startling revelation


    The problem is not euthanasia per say. It's that the child has no choice in the matter. It's like an abortion after birth.

    Transvestite day for kids?

    It's amazing how low some people's sick minds go. Take this for example:
    a grade (and middle) school in Carrier Mills that held an “Opposite Sex” Day in which students were encouraged to come to schools dressed as members of the opposite sex.
    Of course you can't mention God's existence in a public school, but let’s dress little boys up in skirts for the sake of diversity.

    So the question is which one of these people came up with this idea and who supported it? All those that are involved in this should be fired.

    I Got My First Death Threat!

    From a little Australian piss ant:

    If all americans were like you mate i would agree with OBL, i could even spare a 20c donation for your bit of lead.


    He was my first though. I'll always remember him. LOL

    Monday, November 29

    Bush Derangement Syndrome

    Here's an example of what LGFs calls Bush Derangement Syndrome.

    From turnyourbackonbush.org:

    The election is over. The fight is not.

    Elections are only one part of democracy. We need to think strategically about direct action, learn from a rich history of nonviolent activism, and develop new tactics to take on this administration.

    Let's start from the start: Inauguration Day.

    On January 20th, 2005, we're calling for a new kind of action. The Bush administration has been successful at keeping protesters away from major events in the last few years by closing off areas around events and using questionable legal strategies to outlaw public dissent. We can use these obstacles to develop new tactics. On Inauguration day, we don't need banners, we don't need signs, we just need people.

    We're calling on people to attend inauguration as they are: members of the public. Once through security and at the procession, at a given signal, we'll all turn our backs on Bush. A simple, clear and coherent message.


    OMG these people are geniuses!!

    Can you imagine the conversation that lead to that site?

    "Man, Bush sucks, and he beat our guy Kerry. What are we going to do?"

    "I got a great idea, man. Let's go out in on freezing cold day and then when we see Bush we'll turn around."

    "That's great! It will be like showing him our backs."

    "Isn't it great?"

    "Yeah!"

    "Sweet! Yo man, pass the pot."

    Sunday, November 28

    Why We Are in Iraq

    I found this exteamly interesting article about the War in Iraq and the Left's attempt to revise the history leading up to the war.

    "The interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide in the war against the crusaders." -- OBL

    Their goal was to prevent the United States and Britain from toppling Saddam Hussein. They chanted "no blood for oil"; they called the United States "the world's greatest terrorist state"; they called the American government an "Axis of Evil"; and they compared the American president to Adolph Hitler.

    It was the left's rear guard attempt to produce the result that their protests had failed to accomplish: an American defeat in Iraq. With the resources of the left squarely behind him, Howard Dean was propelled to the front of the presidential pack until his nomination appeared so inevitable that just prior to the Iowa caucuses he was anointed by the titular heads of the Democratic Party, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore. So leftist had the Party become.
    Horowitz is drawing a very interesting nexus here. He is not trying to show that the left and say OBL are meeting in some backroom drawing up plans to attack America, but rather that these to groups have similar interests with respect to Iraq and the War on Terrorism. Namely, they want us to lose.

    In the first place, if the charge of "treason" is really an issue, Democrats are clearly the preemptive aggressors. Al Gore has already called the President a traitor, while President Bush hasn't even mentioned Gore's name. So far, the Democrats' attacks on Bush are that he lied to the American people and misled them into war; and that he is sacrificing American youth to line the pockets of his cronies at Halliburton. These are accusations of treason. And there is almost nobody on the left, high or low, who hasn't made them in some fashion or another.
    This is an observation that I have had in the past. Liberals through a tantrum went someone even suggests that they are undermining the war, but they see no problem accusing the President of the United States of Treason.

    So let's not pretend there is any real threat in the word "treason" that would serve to chill the criticism of current foreign policy. If there were, Michael Moore would be in jail instead of being on the short list for an Academy Award. When leftists complain that their patriotism is being questioned to stifle their criticism, the claim is little more than a red herring designed to stop others from thinking about issues that affect our national security, implicit in the positions they are supporting.
    Red Hearing indeed. If people's freedom of speech is being violated, why are there people on the streets with signs that read "BUSH = HITLER"

    Treason is really not that difficult to define. Treason is when your country is at war and you want the other side to win...

    Michael Moore comes to mind. Moore is on record saying that the terrorists in Iraq who are beheading our citizens and are killing our soldiers are "not terrorists." According to Moore, they are "patriots" and -- in his words -- "they will win."
    That fits the definition nicely.

    It should be self-evident that these are not people for whom "peace" is a high priority. There were no demonstrations at the Iraqi embassy to get Saddam to disarm, just as there were no demonstrations against the genocide the Communists carried out in Indo-China after America withdrew. The priority of the leftists who organized the anti-war demonstrations during Vietnam and the anti-war demonstrations with respect to Iraq is the same: whatever the war, America should lose.
    The Hypocrisy of demonstrating against the US in support of a mass murder is palpable.

    Michael Moore is a self-conceived enemy of America. Michael Moore denies that there is a War on Terror. Of course he does. In his eyes, America is an aggressor responsible for the attacks upon itself. America is the root cause of the War on Terror.
    Moore and people like him will always be enemies of America. That is how they define themselves as people.

    But everyone understands -- or used to understand -- that in time of war there are other considerations that affect (or should affect) the tone of criticism and even the substance. "Loose lips sink ships" was a slogan memorialized on posters during World War II. It was an appeal to Americans to voluntarily restrict their own exercise of free speech to save their fellow citizens' lives. It was a recognition that there are expressions that support and strengthen a democracy at war, and there are those that weaken it and undermine itself defense.

    In a war like the present one, where the enemy walks among us and can kill thousands of civilians at a stroke, it is important to recognize the difference between criticism that supports the war effort and criticism that undermines it, even if the actual line between them is not always easy to discern. Some criticism is maliciously intended, and some criticism in itself can constitute an assault on America that weakens our democracy and undermines our defense.

    ...To portray Iraq -- a country which had invaded two sovereign nations and in which a million people had been murdered -- as Michael Moore did in his film Fahrenheit 9/11, as an idyllic place into which American marauders intruded under false pretenses using their advanced technologies to blow innocent and "defenseless" people to bits is no longer criticism. It is an attack that serves to undermine the authority and credibility of the Commander-in-Chief, sabotage the nation's war on terror, and soften us up for the kill...
    There was another reason that dissent was lessened during WWII, namely the government enforced sedition laws so that individuals couldn't make up lies about the war as they do today.

    ...Among other gestures to the Islamic jihad, Saddam had inserted into the Iraqi flag the proclamation "Allahu Akhbar." Saddam did not adopt the mantra of Islamic martyrs because he had a religious revelation. He did it because Islamic terrorists had adopted the slogan as their war cry and Saddam wanted to join their war.
    Amazing how something as obvious as that is ignored by the media as they dismiss Saddam's connection to terrorism.

    Among other gestures to the Islamic jihad, Saddam had inserted into the Iraqi flag the proclamation "Allahu Akhbar." Saddam did not adopt the mantra of Islamic martyrs because he had a religious revelation. He did it because Islamic terrorists had adopted the slogan as their war cry and Saddam wanted to join their war.
    This is mainly want caused the war in the end. Saddam did think we would attack. So he thought he could do whatever he wanted. He was wrong.

    ...The only reason we haven't been attacked in this country since 9/11 is because George Bush and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have taken the war to the enemy camp.
    I think everyone should think about this and try to come up with another reason. I did, and I couldn't come up with any.

    But in his book he clearly states that UN resolution 1441 was diplomatic language for an ultimatum of war. The deadline for Saddam's compliance was December 7, 2002. On that date, Saddam Hussein delivered a 12,000 page report that was smoke and mirrors. In his book, Hans Blix himself says that it was smoke and mirrors, that the information submitted was from deceptive reports that Saddam had submitted in the past, that thousands of weapons were unaccounted for, and that it did not in fact fulfill the requirements the Security Council had laid down.
    The question is, "How could Blix not support the war?"

    In a world in which terrorists have the means to kill 3,000 Americans in one attack, we can't wait around for the enemy to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that he means us harm.
    This is the guiding principle of foreign policy for a new century.

    It is a curious hatred, suggesting that Democrats have collectively flipped their lids in their zeal to win this election. You may say many things about George Bush, but this is a decent, capable man. You may differ with George Bush, but he is not a "moron" or a bumbling incompetent. No one runs a successful national election campaign and a successful presidential administration without judgment that is fundamentally sound. This is a man you can disagree with, but you can't belittle or hate George Bush without those attitudes reflecting on yourself.
    The hatred of the President is an interesting thing. It's really self-defeating. It's is an impossible task in a democracy get a majority of people to hate their own leader in a time of war.

    The Muslim martyrs in Palestine kill their own children by strapping bombs to them, to 14-year-olds, and telling them if they blow up Jewish 14-year-olds -- and if they are lucky enough to bemale -- they will go straight to heaven and get 72 virgins. They're committing mass murder to get into paradise. That is exactly what the left does. Why does the left want to destroy America? To get into paradise. Call it socialism, call it Communism, call it social justice. It's a dream of paradise that is so enticing it will justify any crime necessary to achieve it.
    The logic of the jihadists is impeccable as usual.