Thursday, November 30, 2006

Civil War

It is sectarian violence. By any classical definition I can think of for the term "civil war", it does not fit what is going on in Iraq. But even if that rhetorical point were conceded over to the anti-war left- because that's really the whole point of the label: to delegitimize the war, and reinforce the argument of "cut-and-run"- as Michael Medved says, "So what?"

In his blogpost today, Medved points out why the haggling over defining the current state of affairs is a moot point:
In Afghanistan in 2001, we entered a long running civil war between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance and helped the good guys to decisive victory within a matter of weeks. No one looked at the situation and said, “Uh-oh, there’s a bloody civil war that’s been going on in that country for years, so the U.S. can’t possibly send its forces!” As a matter of fact, there’s another “civil war” raging in Afghanistan right now –-- a conflict that fits the classic “civil war” model far better than the situation in Iraq. In Afghanistan, there are two clearly recognizable sides (the Taliban and the Karzai government) warring for control. In Iraq, there’s no organized, recognizable, anti-government leadership of the insurgency, no program or even ruling clique that the terrorists seek to impose, no prominent leaders with whom the U.S. and our allies can negotiate or around whom the opposition can rally. The real struggle is governmental authority vs. bloody chaos—and the fact that bloody chaos is winning at the moment doesn’t mean that it’s a civil war.
He and the editorial in Opinion Journal, yesterday, also point out our involvement in Bosnia and Kosovo. Medved goes further in examples throughout our history of interjecting ourselves in the midst of civil wars.

Democrat defeatists and war critic quagmirists, for quite some time have long wanted to label the insurgency a "civil war" almost from the very beginning. SNAFU at One Soldier's Perspective (who is still in Iraq) doesn't see anything different, other than the media's brazen attempts to willfully create the perception they wish for. Of course no one in the media would ever admit it- even to themselves! What American journalist wants to believe that he is helping our enemies? Even as many journalists want to think of themselves as "above the fray", believing that excellence in their profession requires of them to be journalists first, and Americans second. The truth is, journalists and their editorial board are anything but detached, impartial observers. They are as much victims of their own biases as we are victims of their own biases.

Helping the enemy is exactly what the news media does, not only when they blatantly print and televise enemy propaganda, and call it "showing both sides" and "their (i.e., insurgents') perspective"; but also when, during a time of war, all they are showing is the sensationalism....the latest car bombing...the latest IED explosion...the latest sectarian violence. Mudkitty (a very popular commentor on conservative blogs [/sarcasm]- *waves to Mudkitty*) writes,
The fact that someone opens a melon stand is not “news.”
Under normal conditions, it might not be. But during a time of war when morale is important as is America's will to succeed and not live up to the "paper tiger" misnomer, reporting the good news that is also going on in Iraq- i.e. highlighting it, frontpaging it, underscoring it, etc.- is a good thing and even necessary propaganda. Propaganda doesn't have to be dishonest and a negative. What it does, is it provides a balance and a fuller picture of what's going on. Violence is not the only thing going on in Iraq. When the media has created the perception in people's minds of widespread violence in Iraq, rather than a concentration of violence in just 2 or 3 of the 18 provinces, that is misleading and that is dishonest; that (mis)perception needs to be countered by showing the "ordinary" and the "normal"; the "business as usual" that is free from violence. This is when the "not newsworthy" does indeed become "newsworthy". That is why there is nothing shameful about our military offering to pay Iraqi newspapers to report positive stories- so long as those stories are true. What is shameful is that our military not only has to fight this war on one front; but a second front as well, doing the work our 4th estate won't do. How is it that they (meaning, our military's attempt to sell positive stories) are accused of presenting only one side, when one side is really all that the dinosaur media ever wants to really talk about? Does it ever occur to the 4th estate when they behave as a fifth column? They think their behavior during Vietnam was noble; and they seem hellbent on repeating it in today's war. Have they learned nothing? Apparently, just all the wrong lessons of that other war.

I am still updating the previous post, so check it out. The story, along with Flopping Aces is gaining traction; MSM is going to be forced to address this.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Wake Up, America! And Smell the Enemy Propaganda!

UPDATE IV 11/30/06 11:15hrs PST Curt's latest is up. It includes a transcript of the Ministry of Interior press conference, in which the AP claims are disputed. And also the news of the capture of Mazer Al-Jubouri, aka the Baghdad Sniper, who is a legend amongst Jihadists.

UPDATE III 11/29/06: Michelle Malkin brings more "mainstream" attention to the "burning six" story by writing a column about it. Mary Katharine Ham also blogged the story here and here. And yesterday, USA Today reported that the AP was sticking by their story.

Charles at Little Green Footballs reports that a reader received a reply from Lt. Dean with Centcom, that the Iraqi government plans to announce that Jamil Hussain is not employed with the Baghdad police or MOI.

And yet the AP stubbornly refuses to admit to their mistake?

Curt's update III is up.

Hat tip for the Day by Day reference to Flopping Aces: Grizzly Mama.

Google is the Jihadists' best friend.

Two more important updates at Flopping Aces here and here. Meanwhile, NBC takes it upon itself to call the escalation of violence in Iraq, a "civil war".

11/27/06 0901
Just got the following from Curt:
Centcom has confirmed this Capt. Jamil Hussein, the one and only source for alot of this mayhem reporting is NOT a employee of the Ministry of Interior nor is he a police Capt.
If you can't get through to Curt's blog because of traffic, he says to redirect yourself to his backup blogger post.

Check out Curt's detective work, regarding enemy propaganda at work in our 5th column, 4th estate dinosaur media. Check my previous post for Patterico's legwork on the recent LA Times reporting.

If you missed "Obsession", here's another video to drive the message on home:

Hat tip to Mike's America for the video. This embed is the entire 40 minute program. I'm not sure how some people are able to bypass the "10 minute length rule". YouTube Pro? I remember that this time constraint wasn't always there.

I blogged on this Iranian cartoon a year ago. Here it is on Youtube:

If the world wants to continue turning a blind eye and sticking its head in the sand, don't let it. Whether people want to hear it or not and whether MSM chooses to report it or not, the dangers of radical militant Islamo-imperialism must be driven home. As well as the "moderate" Muslims in denial who serve as nothing more than enablers and apologists for their violent brethren. You want us to believe that Islam is a religion of peace? Then help the rest of the world in fighting Islamic terrorism and the wahabist extremism. Recognize the problem in your religion rather than deny that it is there. And don't scapegoat blame onto an "intolerant" and "prejudiced" world. If you're not going to be part of the solution, your silence is part of the problem. That is why, "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." There are no sidelines in a struggle for civilization.

Brigitte Gabriel was on Laura Ingraham yesterday (a repeat), and was very well-spoken. I may look into her book, Why They Hate. Jihad Watch has five misconceptions about Islam that could kill democracy. In the comments section, there is a link to a Brigitte Gabriel interview. And of course, it is a simple matter to find more on Youtube through the search function.

Nice Dennis Prager interview with Mark Bowden on his new book, Guests of the Ayatollah.

Yet Again...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Parable for Thanksgiving

The Purse of Gold
A Jewish Folktale

A beggar found a leather purse that someone had dropped in the marketplace. Opening it, he discovered that it contained 100 pieces of gold. Then he heard a merchant shout, "A reward! A reward to the one who finds my leather purse!"

Being an honest man, the beggar came forward and handed the purse to the merchant saying, "Here is your purse. May I have the reward now?"

"Reward?" scoffed the merchant, greedily counting his gold. "Why the purse I dropped had 200 pieces of gold in it. You've already stolen more than the reward! Go away or I'll tell the police."

"I'm an honest man," said the beggar defiantly. "Let us take this matter to the court."

In court the judge patiently listened to both sides of the story and said, "I believe you both. Justice is possible! Merchant, you stated that the purse you lost contained 200 pieces of gold. Well, that's a considerable cost. But, the purse this beggar found had only 100 pieces of gold. Therefore, it couldn't be the one you lost."

And, with that, the judge gave the purse and all the gold to the beggar.

Now go make your stomach into a cemetary for some poor turkey; just don't be too greedy with the gravy, and have yourself a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

More Drive-by Blogging

Sorry, but this weekend's preparations have me busy. Look to this post to be updated, as well as the previous post with the Easter egg funnies. Here's some of what I think are of interest:

The Myths of '06 by Rich Lowry. These two quotes, in particular, I found of interest:
Republican losses were in keeping with typical setbacks for a party holding the White House in the sixth year of a presidency. [myth] Conservatives reassure themselves that the "six-year itch" has cost the party in power roughly 30 seats on average since World War II, so this year's losses aren't remarkable. But as liberal blogger Kevin Drum points out, most of the big "itches" came prior to the past 20 years when gerrymandering got more sophisticated. Reagan lost only five seats in his sixth year, and Clinton gained five (although he had already suffered a wipeout in 1994). For Democrats to win 29 seats despite all the advantages of incumbency enjoyed by the GOP is a big deal.
The following isn't new to me, as I've heard Michael Medved talk about it; but I wasn't sure about a source for his information, before:
President Bush now must give up on the Iraq War [myth]. The rebuke to Bush was unquestionably an expression of voters' frustration with the progress of the war, but they are not ready to give up yet. According to pollster Whit Ayers, less than one-third of voters favor withdrawal. A late-October New York Times poll found that 55 percent of the public favors sending more troops to Iraq, a position now endorsed by the paper's liberal editorial board. Bush still has a window to take decisive action to reverse the downward slide in Iraq.
It seems to reflect similar feelings and myths regarding Vietnam, where Americans dissatisified with the war didn't mean they wanted withdrawal; but to prosecute a more aggressive war.

Jonah Goldberg reports what Tom Elia considers an election myth of the left:
Over at the Huffington Post, EJ Eskow writes,
An hour of vote tabulation reveals a stunning fact: Democrats won the popular vote for the Senate by an overwhelming 12.6% margin - 55%/42.4%.
What Eskow either forgets, or neglects to point out, is that 33 Senate seats are up for election every two years, and that among this year's seats were three in California, New York, and Massachusetts -- seats that Senators Feinstein, Clinton, and Kennedy won by about 4 million votes, most of the Dems' 6.6 million vote margin of victory in the aggregate US Senate vote.

I wonder if this newly minted mandate myth will have the same staying power of that never-realized, but often repeated, $5.8 trillion federal surplus we had at the end of the Clinton Administration?
Hugh Hewitt had a great interview with Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, yesterday. Audio. Transcript.
MM: I will remind your listeners and your readers that it takes 60 votes to do just about everything in the Senate. 49 is the most robust minority. Nothing will leave the Senate that doesn't have our imprint. We'll either stop it if we think it's bad for America, or shape it, hopefully right of center. So the minority leader's job is actually a lot easier. When you're the minority leader, you're looking for 41 votes. When you're the majority leader, you're looking for 60. So Senator Reid can expect all of the cooperation that he extended us in similar circumstances. I think that, coupled with the potential for presidential vetoes, should reassure everyone that we're certainly not going to be run over. We didn't have a good election day, but 51-49 is pretty darned close, and we' know, we've had, Hugh, close Senates in recent years. It was 50-50 in 2000, and then Jeffords went over to the Democrats, and we were down 51-49 for 18 months. And then, back up 51-49 for two years, and then 55-45 for two years, and now 51-49 down. I think the message is that American politics these days is very, very tight. Close.

HH: Well, I can't tell you how wonderful that is to hear you say that they'll get exactly what they gave, Senator McConnell. You have a reputation for tenaciousness earned during the campaign finance reform debates.
Hugh Hewitt considers this to be a key excerpt from the interview:
HH: Senator McConnell, what I would love to hear you or the minority whip, Lott, or someone in leadership say over and over again is that if obstruction is the rule of Senator Leahy's Judiciary Committee, especially as to Supreme Court justices, the next Democratic president, may it be decades away, but when the next Democratic president comes along, there will be payback.

MM: Well, sure. I mean, these precedents that are started in the Senate are almost never stopped. We were able to get the filibuster genie back in the bottle. As you know, Summer a year ago, we were able to get Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor and Priscilla Owen, who had become kind of poster children for the left, we got them all confirmed, not to mention two solid Supreme Court nominees. So I think we've pushed them back on the filibuster. Now the filibuster is considered something that would be done only on rare circumstances. It had become routine. So we'll see whether they honor the most recent precedent. If they don't, they're going to have a lot of problems moving anything on the floor.
Read or listen to the rest.

Good and bad news for House conservatives by Mike Bober.

Sorry for not making my rounds, all but sporadically this week. I'm mostly running drive-bys to your respective blogs. If you have something of particular import, link it in the comments section. I'll check it out.

Things should be less hectic after Sunday.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Click the Funnies

No time to write, so I'll let the cartoons lead you to some posts I've been reading.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

fUNding for Bolton

With the threat of Iran looming large, as roxieamerica writes so deftly about, we need a man of John Bolton's character representing America's best interests, more than ever. He's quite simply the right man, in the right place, at the right time. Claudia Rosett considers him "the best UN ambassador the world has seen in about a quarter century". She and Hugh Hewitt are pulling for a 2nd recess appointment, in which case the American people themselves would need to fund his salary, directly. As Rosett deftly notes,
if you really care about trying to do some good in the world via the UN, stop sending your kids out to collect for UNICEF, and start sending them out to collect donations to keep John Bolton in office. Bolton, from everything I have seen, is far more honest and competent on every level than UNICEF, any of the other UN agencies, or most of the senior staff walking the halls of the UN, let alone many of the UN ambassadors whose limos cruise the streets of New York.
as Joe Biden has made it clear, Bolton's chance of confirmation "is going nowhere". And as for Lincoln there anything this man has ever done in the best interest of usefulness?
“The American people have spoken out against the president’s agenda on a number of fronts, and presumably one of those is on foreign policy. And at this late stage in my term, I’m not going to endorse something the American people have spoken out against.”
Why endorse any decision you have to make at all, then, Senator Chafee? After all, "the American people have spoken out against" you, kicking you to the curb by voting you out of office. Do you support that as well, Senator?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"Log Cabin Conservatives"?! How Gay is that?

"It's so much easier to be openly gay in the Republican Party, than to be a Republican in Hollywood."-Peter Hankwitz
Last Tuesday we lost an election. Perhaps this video holds the key to a better and brighter future for the Republican Party? The secret to winning future campaigns? [/just kidding....maybe]

I don't follow this tv program regularly ("American Dad"), but I did catch last week's episode, know, I don't know how my fellow conservatives will feel about watching it. I thought it was hilarious! And it has something for both sides of the political spectrum to chuckle about. As a social commentary, and just in overall funniness, I think it's very astute and well done. I'm sure liberals like it; but I'm just not sure how my conservative readers will respond to it. I'm curious to find out, if you will humor me, and take the 20 minutes out of your busy Sunday schedule, and watch it (before or after church...doesn't matter).

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

I'm on the fence when it comes to gay marriage. It's just not an issue that I care deeply about, one way or the other. Since I'm aligned with the overall conservative ideology, though, what I do oppose are activist judges legislating from the bench when the people have time and time again rejected it. And it is irksome that the knee-jerk reaction of those on the Left is to label those who are opposed to same-sex marriage as "racist" and bigoted. Those on the Left would argue their case better, if they understood some of the conservative arguments against same-sex marriage. Many of the conservatives that I listen to don't want government interference; but when judges start legislating their own morality, what alternative is there other than to seek a federal amendment (which is not a ban on gay marriage! You might as well call it a ban on "bestial marriage", marriage between a child and adult, etc), defining marriage as between a man and a woman? Time and time again, states have voted on it, and states have rejected it. Let the people continue to decide at the state level.

The following article seems to fit the theme of the post (originally written around the videos as the heart of the post), so...go ahead and read; you know you want to!
Dennis Prager made me a gay Republican Excerpt:
Hankwitz used to be a Democrat but switched parties in the late 1990s after listening to conservative talk radio host Dennis Prager.

"It was something he said," Hankwitz said. "I don't remember exactly what it was, but for the first time I thought, 'Now I understand what Republicans really are about, that they care and they're inclusive.' I was so proud to have gotten it."

Hankwitz said what he likes about the GOP are its principles of "individual responsibility."

"Folks who claim to be family values-oriented are reflecting values that perhaps are not my and my family's values," he said. "Mine are limited government, free trade, a strong national defense…. If we as Americans support those issues, then we're more lined up with Republican values than Democratic values. The fringe right, the religious right has hijacked the name and brand and redefined the party as anti-gay and anti-abortion."

After 20 years in Hollywood, first as a talent manager, now as the owner of a small production company, Hankwitz said people in the entertainment industry often join the Democratic ranks because of peer pressure. Many Republicans in Hollywood, both gay and straight, are too fearful of being shunned or criticized by the liberal majority to admit it, he said.
I, for one, think it's great that there are gays who see the merits of voting GOP.

As an afterthought, in case you really are inclined to believe in the revisionist history regarding Lincoln (not Chafee, you chowderhead- the other one!), as hinted at in the video, take heart and read my post on a recent Abraham Lincoln book.

*UPDATE* 11/13/06 11:30am I happened to catch a thoroughly distasteful Simpsons episode last night, which I mentioned in the comment section; and which I just now discovered is being talked about in the blogosphere. Go to Flopping Aces for starters, including a video excerpt.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Veterans Day

Everything we have in this country, we owe to the brave men and women who have lived- and who have sometimes died- wearing the proud uniform of the U.S. military. Our prosperity is made possible, because they stand in the way of those who would do us harm.

Take nothing we have for granted.

I'd like to share with my readers, a letter written in the tradition of a soldier in wartime, writing to his sweetheart back home. It comes courtesy of Michael Medved. Mr. Medved did not source the letter; and Google has come up empty. So I transcribed it myself, from his radio broadcast. I get choked up everytime I listen to it; the same way my eyes can sometimes water when I look at the American flag for too long.

Dear Angela,

This is by far the most difficult letter I shall ever write; what makes it so difficult is that you'll be reading it in the unhappy event of my death. You've already learned of my death. I hope the news was broken to you gently. God, Angie, I didn't want to die. I had so much to live for; you were my main reason for living. You're a jewel; a treasure. Please don't hate the war because it has taken me. I'm glad and proud that America has found me equal to the task of defending it. Vietnam isn't a far off country in a remote corner of the world. It is Sagamore, Brooklyn, Honolulu, or any other part of the world where there are Americans. Vietnam is a test of the American spirit. I hope I have helped in a little way to pass the test. The press, the television screen, the magazines are filled with the images of young men burning their draft cards to demonstrate their courage. Their rejection is of the ancient law that a male fights to protect his own people in his own land. Does it take courage to flaunt the authorities and burn a draft card? Ask the men at Dak To, Con Thien, or Hill 875: they'll tell you how much courage it takes.

Most people never think of their freedom; they never think much about breathing either, or blood circulating, except when these functions are checked by a doctor. Freedom like breathing and circulating blood is part of our being. Why must people take their freedom for granted? Why can't they support the men, who are trying to protect their lifeblood- Freedom?

WE MUST DO the job that God set down for us. It's up to every American to fight for the freedom we hold so dear. We must instruct the young in the ways of these great United States; we mustn't let them take these freedoms for granted.

I want you to go on to live a full, rich, productive life, Angie. I want you to share your love with someone. You may meet another man and bring up a family. Please bring up your children to be proud Americans. Don't worry about me, Honey; God must have a special place for soldiers. I've died as I've always hoped, protecting what I do hold so dear to my heart.

We will meet again in the future. We will. I'll be waiting for you that day. I'll be watching over you Angie; and if it's possible to help you in some way, I will. Feel some relief with the knowledge that you've filled my short life with more happiness than most men know in a lifetime.

The inevitable? Well, the last one: I love you with all my heart; and all my love for you will survive into eternity.

Your Joey
Joseph E. Santoni (I am doubtful that I have this right; but from listening, it's the closest I could make out; if anyone knows better, please let me know) is one of the 58,000 names on the Wall in Washington. He died less than a year after writing these words.

You can listen to the letter in Part II of Michael Medved's "The 3 Big Lies about the Vietnam Battle". Part I is here. Please take the time this weekend to listen to it. Download it. Burn it to CD. Listen to it in the car. Vietnam and the Iraq battle are two different wars; but there is still much relevance of yesterday's war to the one we fight today.

Important now, as it was then, to shed some light:
The Press at War
Myths and facts on who is volunteering
Who are the Recruits?

Also blogging:

Midnight Blue has the moving letter of Army Capt. Jeffrey P. Toczylowski, killed in action in the current war.

When I think of those in military uniform, I think of heroes. Men and women brave enough to serve in order to protect our way of life, our liberties, our beliefs, our friends and families. Our fellow countrymen. With all our various differences- too numerous to name, we do share a thing in common: and that is, we are united as Americans. As Michael Medved might say, proud citizens of this, the greatest nation on God's, green earth.


Curt's detective work seems to have uncovered the correct name of the author if this letter: Joseph Santori. Thank you, Curt!

In addition, I ran a Google search and found this about him:
Joseph Santori was born March 22, 1947 and lived in Keyport, NJ. He served in the US Army where he attained the rank of Sergeant (SGT).

On April 23,1968 Santori was killed in action. He was 19 years old.
Michael Medved says he's a New Yorker; but everything I find on Joseph Santori lists him as being from New Jersey. So likely it's him; just not with a 100% certainty.

Cross-posted at Flopping Aces

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"It's a vague, it’s a vague nation called terrorists."-Rosie O'Donnell on The View

While Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, had this to say:
"I tell the lame duck (U.S. administration) do not rush to escape as did your defense minister...stay on the battle ground," he said.

He said his group would not rest until it had blown up the presidential mansion in Washington.

"I swear by God we shall not rest from jihad until we...blow up the filthiest house known as the White House," the voice on the recording said.
Rosie O'Donnell offers us her "expertise":
"Don't fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers."
Read more.

Hat tip: The Michael Medved Show

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Media at War

My Veterans Day post will go up tomorrow.

From President Bush's post-Election November 8th Press Conference:
Amid this time of change, I have a message for those on the front lines. To our enemies: Do not be joyful. Do not confuse the workings of our democracy with a lack of will. Our nation is committed to bringing you to justice. Liberty and democracy are the source of America's strength, and liberty and democracy will lift up the hopes and desires of those you are trying to destroy.
Read the entire speech. It's worth the listen.

Now, I don't think our enemies should dictate the will of our people one way or the other. But there is no question that they sought to influence our Election and that they pay close attention to the effect that they have on our media and our media's perception. Now consider the following:
The Republican Party defeat in the US mid-term elections and the resignation of Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld are greeted with delight in the Middle East media.

There is almost universal agreement that Iraq was to blame for what one commentator describes as the demise of "the hawks' dominance".
Did the "Middle East media" forget to pass along to the Jihadists, President Bush's Press Conference speech? The message of November 7th to the terrorists is that America has thrown out of power (supposedly) the political party that is the bane of Al Qaeda's existence; the party of terrorist hunters and Jihadist-killers have been rejected by America. Isn't that such a wonderful message to send to our enemies? I guess Democrats weren't the only ones who ran a brilliant campaign (tie all state and local issues as a referendum on Bush and Iraq): so, too, did the insurgents and Jihadists with every IED explosion and with every sniper attack. To deny that they did not seek to influence the Elections is to be in denial. And the media, such as CNN, were complicit. Useful morons.

Most of my friends are liberal. I think half of them are just victims of bad information. Many of the clients that I work with are older folk who get their news primarily from the NYTimes, LA Times, Washington Post, CNN, and love such programs as The Today Show and 60 Minutes.

Hugh Hewitt often has journalists appear on his radio program. One of the questions he likes to pose to them is "What political party are you registered with? Who'd you vote for in the last election?" It is interesting how all of them seem to cling to this "false tradition", about how journalists don't and should not reveal their political affiliation, lest it influence the way readers perceive their column- as if the tone and rhetoric of their writing doesn't already reveal their partisanship. I agree with Hugh, that it would be more honest for writers to be required to reveal their political allegiance. It doesn't mean you can't write the straight news, in as nonpartisan a manner as possible.

Then you have "journalists in denial" who can't even see how their professionalism is colored by their partisanship:
"I'm a liberal, I was born a liberal, and I will be a liberal till the day I die. That has nothing to do with whether or not this administration is telling the truth. Nor does it have anything to do with the way I presented my stories when I was a news reporter. When I was reporting news, as a person I never bowed out of the human race -- I felt my feelings and had my opinions about things, just as anyone does -- but it never got into my copy. I was never accused of slanting my copy."
Who said it? Why, the first lady of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas.

The Center for Media Public Affairs, yes a "nonpartisan" group, conducted a study that reveals 88% of the negative press went to the GOP; 77% of the good press went to the Dems. For anyone paying attention to MSM, how can you not see the bias?! Note from their study the following:
Three Dominant Storylines: Only three issues received more than sporadic coverage: the Mark Foley scandal, the Iraq war, and terrorism. The Foley scandal produced nearly as much coverage as the other two combined- 59 stories, compared to 33 on Iraq and 31 on terrorism/national security. No other issue was covered in more than six stories.
We are only as knowledgeable as our news sources. And when study after study reveals that MSM is populated by a majority of journalists who lean left of center and/or vote consistently for the Democrats, doesn't it make sense to seek out alternate news outlets? And in a time of war, when the news press is largely anti-war, distorting the overall picture and coverage, forgive me if I'm not more than a little bit pissed. The anti-war drumbeat of the media had a hand in Vietnam's end over 30 years ago, and they are trying to make the Iraq war into another Vietnam today, even though they are two entirely separate wars.

Hat tip: Woman Know Thyself for the BBC link

An Ol' Broad's Rambling for the link trail to al Qaeda's reaction to Rumsfeld's resignation.

Also blogging:

Rob at Flopping Aces

Don't forget to read "The Press at War". It a must-read, and I will probably include it again in tomorrow's post.

Also: Happy Birthday to the Marine Corps! A reminder of where the words, " the shores of Tripoli" comes from.

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Majorities Matter...but only when they behave as a majority

Hugh Hewitt is my political guru. Read his latest column: The Road Not Taken: Forefeiting a Majority. Here is part of his take on what went wrong, in regards to the Republican majority not behaving like a majority:
In the Senate three turning points stand out.

On April 15, 2005 --less than three months after President Bush had begun a second term won in part because of his pledge to fight for sound judges-- Senator McCain appeared on Hardball and announced he would not support the "constitutional option" to end Democratic filibusters. Then, stunned by the furious reaction, the senator from Arizona cobbled together the Gang of 14 "compromise" that in fact destroyed the ability of the Republican Party to campaign on Democratic obstructionism while throwing many fine nominees under the bus. Now in the ruins of Tuesday there is an almost certain end to the slow but steady restoration of originalism to the bench. Had McCain not abandoned his party and then sabotaged its plans, there would have been an important debate and a crucial decision taken on how the Constitution operates. The result was the complete opposite. Yes, President Bush got his two nominees to SCOTUS through a 55-45 Senate, but the door is now closed, and the court still tilted left. A once-in-a-generation opportunity was lost.

A few months later there came a debate in the Senate over the Democrats' demand for a timetable for withdrawal for Iraq led to another half-measure: A Frist-Warner alternative that demanded quarterly reports on the war's progress, a move widely and correctly interpreted as a blow to the Administration’s Iraq policy. Fourteen Republicans voted against the Frist-Warner proposal --including Senator McCain-- and the press immediately understood that the half-measure was an early indicator of erosion in support for a policy of victory.

Then came the two leaks of national security secrets to the New York Times, and an utterly feckless response from both the Senate and the House. Not one hearing was held; not one subpoena delivered. A resolution condemning these deeply injurious actions passed the House but dared not name the New York Times. The Senate did not even vote on a non-binding resolution.

Nor did the Senate get around to confirming the president's authority to conduct warrantless surveillance of al Qaeda contacting its operatives in the United States. Weeks were taken up jamming the incoherent McCain-Kennedy immigration bill through the Judiciary Committee only to see it repudiated by the majority of Republicans, and the opportunity lost for a comprehensive bill that would have met the demand for security within a rational regularization of the illegal population already here.

And while the Senate twiddled away its days, crucial nominees to the federal appellate bench languished in the Judiciary Committee. The most important of them --Peter Keisler who remains nominated for the D.C. Circuit-- didn't even receive a vote because of indifference on the part of Chairman Specter.

(The National Review's Byron York wondered why the president didn't bring up the judges issue in the campaign until the last week, and then only in Montana. The reason was obvious: Senators DeWine and Chafee were struggling and any focus on the legacy of the Gang of 14 would doom DeWine's already dwindling chances while reminding the country of the retreat from principal in early '05.)

As summer became fall, the Administration and Senator Frist began a belated attempt to salvage the term. At exactly that moment Senators McCain and Graham threw down their still murky objections to the Administration’s proposals on the trial and treatment of terrorists. Precious days were lost as was momentum and clarity, the NSA program left unconfirmed (though still quite constitutional) and Keisler et al hung out to dry.

Throughout this two years the National Republican Senatorial Committee attempted to persuade an unpersuadable base that Lincoln Chafee was a Republican. For years Chafee has frustrated measure after measure, most recently the confirmation of John Bolton, even after Ahmadinejad threatened and Chavez insulted the United States from the UN stage. Chafee was a one-man wrecking crew on the NRSC finances, a drain of resources and energy, and a billboard for the idea that the Senate is first a club and only secondarily a body of legislators.

It is hard to conceive of how the past two years could have been managed worse on the Hill.

The presidential ambitions of three senators ended Tuesday night, though two of them will not face up to it.

The Republican Party sent them and their 52 colleagues to Washington D.C. to implement an agenda which could have been accomplished but that opportunity was frittered away.

The Republican Party raised the money and staffed the campaigns that had yielded a 55-45 seat majority, and the Republican Party expected the 55 to act like a majority. Confronted with obstruction, the Republicans first fretted and then caved on issue after issue. Had the 55 at least been seen to be trying --hard, and not in a senatorial kind of way-- Tuesday would have had a much different result. Independents, especially, might have seen why the majority mattered.

CJ at One Soldier's Perspective wrote about some of the accomplishments we don't hear about coming from Iraq. In addition, everyone should check out his book review of Bob Woodward's "State of Denial". It is a great review by an anti-anti-Administration reader of a book hyped as an anti-Administration critique.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Life Goes On...

11/08/06 12:00 *UPDATE*Y' actually doesn't taste as bad as I thought it would this morning....although Rumsfeld's resignation is seasoning I didn't see coming. Wouldn't want to get used to this diet, though.

Congratulations to the Democrats. I may be eating crow this morning for breakfast; but after I wash it down with a nice glass of bourbon, I'm back in the fight!

Upward and onward...


No, I did not follow the Election every step of the way, thank goodness. I know a lot of my fellow conservative voters are disappointed, as am I.

Lieberman will be an interesting Congressman to watch for. On every major issue, beyond the war on terror, Joe Lieberman's voting record is liberal. If this Election was all about President Bush and a referendum on the Iraq War, how is it that Joementum carried Lieberman through to victory? Especially since the reason given by the Democrats is that the former vice presidential candidate for their party was tarred, feathered, and shown the door on account of his staunch support of President Bush when it came to the War on Terror. I'd be curious to know what percentage of his supporters are Democrats and what percentage Republicans.

Yesterday in the Washington Post, Michael Kinsley (who is not a conservative writer) wrote a column discussing the House Democrats 31 page manifesto, "A New Direction for America".
But in the entire document there is not one explicit revenue-raiser to balance the many specific and enormous new spending programs and tax credits.

Competence, of course, brings us back to Iraq. Apparently and unfortunately, President Bush is right that the Democrats have no "plan for victory." (Neither does he, of course. Nor, for that matter, do I. But I don't claim to have one. And I didn't start it.) For national security in general, the Democrats' plan is so according-to-type that you cringe with embarrassment: It's mostly about new cash benefits for veterans. Regarding Iraq specifically, the Democrats' plan has two parts. First, they want Iraqis to take on "primary responsibility for securing and governing their country." Then they want "responsible redeployment" (great euphemism) of American forces.

Older readers may recognize this formula. It's Vietnamization -- the Nixon-Kissinger plan for extracting us from a previous mistake. But Vietnamization was not a plan for victory. It was a plan for what was called "peace with honor" and is now known as "defeat."

Maybe "A New Direction for America" is just a campaign document -- although it seems to have had no effect at all on the campaign. My fear is that the House Democrats might try to use it as a basis for governing.
With Democrats controlling the House, what does this mean for America? Will President Bush and Congress be able to work together in the best interest of our country? Or will nothing get accomplished? President Bush is serious when it comes to the war on terror. Will Democrats get serious? What does it take to get America to wake up and see how crucial it is, that we succeed in Iraq? Many in our military seem to "get it". Why doesn't the liberal establishment in the media? Does the press understand war and the role they play in it? Have we learned nothing but all the wrong lessons from Vietnam? The terrorists certainly know history, and how what they cannot win militarily, they can win through the media.

It's late. Getting back to the Election and in closing this post, the words of Dean Barnett echoes some of my own feelings:
Let's be sure to comport ourselves with dignity and class right now. No shrieks of foulplay, no whining. There's no crying in politics, at least not in public. Let's remember what we want to do more than anything else - better our country. Sore loser antics won't help, and neither will slagging on our countrymen for not seeing things the way we did. We didn't make the sale, and that falls on us.

Losing is part of politics. Part of the Republican Party has forgotten that the past six years. Although it might be hard to see tonight, we can be a better party and a better country because of this setback.

Monday, November 06, 2006

An Important Pre-Election Announcement

Just a note to say I hope my readers (all five of you) have registered to vote. I, in no way, want to influence anyone's vote or try to impose my intellectual views concerning the election. However, I do want to remind you of the change made in the voting schedule due to the unexpectedly large mid-term election turn out that will take place this year.

Republicans will vote on Tuesday, November 7th.

Democrats will vote on Wednesday, November 8th.

Make sure your friends are made aware of this; especially your liberal friends. We wouldn't want them to unnecessarily tie up traffic on Republican Tuesday, and embarrass themselves.

Happy voting, everyone.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Why A Vote for the GOP Matters

For weeks, commentators have speculated that significant numbers of conservatives, alienated by over-spending, the Iraq War, and other perceived GOP disappointments, will stay home on Election Day, giving one or both Houses of Congress to Democrats. But for those who care about reforming the Supreme Court, sitting this one out may soon look like a mistake of historic proportions.

For the past several weeks, there has been a rumor circulating among high-level officials in Washington, D.C., that a member of the U.S. Supreme Court has received grave medical news and will announce his or her retirement by year’s end.
Want to read more? Click the title. Hat tip: Old Soldier

How many more reasons do you need? Eight? Ten? Thirteen? For my thoughts regarding the "mad-as-hell angry conservative all-or-nothing-party-purist voters" who plan to sit on their hands this Election to "get back" at the GOP for not giving them everything they want, go to Gayle's comment stream in this post (just shield your eyes from the Nancy Pelosi photo)...actually, just click here, as it's about where the debate begins...unless you feel inclined to scroll through and read all 159 comments; or see excerpts in a subsequent post.

Also, check out this interesting exchange between Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt. Hewitt has been my guru in making the case for why party purists ruin movements. So it's interesting to read him argue the other side of the debate in the case of Senator Chafee. I suppose there will always be exceptions to rules.

Gayle also blogged on why one of her Democrat commenters will be crossing party lines this Tuesday.

While I have your attention, check out more photos of our military enlisted, terrorizing Iraqi children. Those photos are just quite...appalling.

And of course the big news this morning is Saddam.

11/05/06 UPDATE: For some reason, I recalled this post by Curt, months ago: The Mad as Hell Conservatives. (Check out the comments by "George", who typifies the Michael Savage anger and pessimism).

Sunday School with Mr. Garrison

Today's topic: Unintelligent Design

Hat tip: Ex-Donkey Blog

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hypocrisy, Much?

Flopping Aces appears to be down, at the moment, and I can guess as to why. Curt's been blogging extensively on the Saddam documents, and today we have this from the NYTimes:
Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.

Last night, the government shut down the Web site after The New York Times asked about complaints from weapons experts and arms-control officials. A spokesman for the director of national intelligence said access to the site had been suspended “pending a review to ensure its content is appropriate for public viewing.”

Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency, fearing that the information could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms, had privately protested last week to the American ambassador to the agency, according to European diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity. One diplomat said the agency’s technical experts “were shocked” at the public disclosures.
Does anyone here understand why the hypocrisy? This is the same news rag that has repeatedly and brazenly published leaked information, involving national security. And now, they're concerned? Why, because the Saddam documents might actually lend justification to pre-war intell and the Iraq War? Here's a money quote:
Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq had abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.
Austin Bay recently wrote a piece in regards to the exposure of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) program:
Times enablers greeted all critique with the usual rhetorical parries. We heard "the free press" defense -- as if the intelligence community wasn't engaged in defending the system that permits a free press. The Times and its national media enablers (by innuendo) suggested the Bush administration might be engaged in illegal spying on innocent people, though the June article admitted the program was limited "to tracing transactions of people suspected of having ties to al-Qaida by reviewing records from the nerve center of the global banking industry."

Last week, the Times' "public editor," Byron Calame, issued a lame "mea culpa." He wrote he hadn't "found any evidence in the intervening months that the surveillance program was illegal under United States laws." (Earth to Calame: We told you that in June.)

Calame added: "My original support for the article rested heavily on the fact that so many people already knew about the program that serious terrorists also must have been aware of it. But critical, and clever, readers were quick to point to a contradiction: The Times article and headline had both emphasized that a 'secret' program was being exposed."

Throughout the summer, I read volumes of informed criticism of the Times --criticism the Times' staff pooh-poohed. Now, it seems Calame and Times Editor in Chief Bill Keller were neither informed enough nor concerned enough to understand the criticism, much less understand the damage their clique did to America's ability to conduct multilateral intelligence programs.

Remember the word "multilateral?" That's what John Kerry-type Democrats claim our effort in Iraq is not. The SWIFT program was a meticulously constructed multinational covert operation that had the cooperation of Belgium, Spain and other European nations. The Times' revelation not only damaged the SWIFT program as an individual effort, but damaged the "inside diplomacy" that organized it and ensured its legality.

I've discussed the SWIFT debacle with my contacts in the U.S. intelligence and defense technology communities, and asked for an estimate of what it would cost to reconstitute a SWIFT-type intel program. Gut estimates range from $400 million to $500 million -- a hefty quantity of taxpayer cash. Complete program reconstitution probably isn't necessary. SWIFT may still be operating, but if it is it operates with reduced effectiveness -- the Times' tipped off al-Qaida. Not surprisingly, every source has stressed the qualitative damage done to the political-diplomatic side of multilateral intelligence cooperation.

The New York Times calculates it can defend itself against criminal charges involving the publication of classified material. Times editors intend to play "media martyrs" defending the First Amendment against a "government attack on a fundamental right."
It's no wonder that Bernard Goldberg titled his media bias sequel, "Arrogance". Meanwhile, circulation and subscription rates continue to spiral down the toilet.

I have no doubt Curt's site is down because he is probably linked to the heavy hitters and is experiencing another spike in traffic. So I went to Michelle Malkin's, and you can probably find all the relevant links there.

Ok....I got through, by using the categories link. Here's Curt's post.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

And the "botched" cartoons have begun!

Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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