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:

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