Monday, March 31, 2008

Run Away! Run Away!

Typical "sky is falling" chickenlittling hysteria from miserable lefties everytime another "setback", challenge, or incident occurs. Basrah will be just another comma in the history books.

According to Bill Roggio:

Sadr’s call for an end to fighting by his followers comes as his Mahdi Army has taken high casualties over the past six days. Since the fighting began on Tuesday, 358 Mahdi Army fighters were killed, 531 were wounded, 343 were captured, and 30 surrendered. The US and Iraqi security forces have killed 125 Mahdi Army fighters in Baghdad alone, while Iraqi security forces have killed 140 Mahdi fighters in Basrah.

From March 25-29 the Mahdi Army had an average of 71 of its fighters killed per day. Sixty-nine fighters have been captured per day, and another 160 have been reported wounded per day during the fighting. The US and Iraqi military never came close to inflicting casualties at such a high rate during the height of major combat operations against al Qaeda in Iraq during the summer and fall of 2007.

US and Iraqi forces are maintaining the high pace of operations against the Mahdi Army and the Special Groups. While the daily reporting from Iraq is far from over, initial reports indicate at least 18 Mahdi Army fighters have been killed and another 30 captured.

US soldiers killed 14 Mahdi fighters in Baghdad during a series of separate engagements. Iraqi security forces killed four Mahdi Army fighters and captured another 30 in Babil province, where a major offensive led by the police has been underway.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

100% Pure Electrifying Charisma

Ah, yes! Another guilty pleasure: WWE. I only watch RAW (is WAR) because of Chris Jericho. I never see their pay-per-views; but Wrestlemania is tonight.....or you can tune into 60 Minutes for another Bush Administration smackdown.


The Immigration & Naturalization Services Refuses to Give a Known "Terrorist" the Green Card

Saman Kareem Ahmad, left, served with then-Capt. Trent A. Gibson. Gibson backs Ahmad's application for permanent U.S. residence.
Credit: Courtesy Of Saman Kareem Ahmad Photo

By way of Michael Totten:
Saman Kareem Ahmad is an Iraqi Kurd who worked as a translator with the Marines in Iraq’s Anbar Province. He was one of the few selected translators who was granted asylum in the U.S. because he and his family were singled out for destruction by insurgents for “collaboration.” He wants to return to Iraq as an American citizen and a Marine, and has already been awarded the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter and General David Petraeus wrote notes for his file and recommended he be given a Green Card, but the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) declined his application and called him a “terrorist.”

The INS says Ahmad “conducted full-scale armed attacks and helped incite rebellions against Hussein’s regime, most notably during the Iran-Iraq war, Operation Desert Storm, and Operation Iraqi Freedom” while a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
He was brought to the U.S. on a Visa with some fifty other persons who had assisted the U.S. in Iraq in the “war on terrorism.” In the case of Mr. Ahmed, he had served our country for four years as a translator for the military, risking his life and very likely the lives of family and friends. The top U.S. military officials have said that Mr. Ahmad’s service was invaluable.
Isn't it great how the INS is protecting America by preventing criminal elements from getting into this great country of ours?

It's hard to imagine a refugee from Iraqi Kurdistan more deserving of residence in the United States than Saman Kareem Ahmad. The 38-year-old Kurd lost his family during Saddam Hussein's genocidal chemical attack against his home town of Halabja in 1988; for the last several years, his de facto family has been the U.S. Marine Corps, for which he bravely served as a translator in Fallujah. Driven out of Iraq by death threats in 2006, he was admitted to the United States under a special visa program for translators and granted asylum. He now provides instruction for Marines headed to Iraq from the base in Quantico.
The deputy director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Jonathan "Jock" Scharfen, acknowledges that his agency's decision "does not appear to make much common sense." Until recently, language in the Immigration and Nationality Act virtually compelled a finding that the KDP and similarly pro-American organizations were "terrorists"; legislation allowing such groups to be cleared was passed in December, but a review of the KDP has not been completed. In the meantime, Mr. Scharfen said, the case of Mr. Ahmad is "on hold." But the homeland security secretary is empowered to grant waivers to individuals; Secretary Michael Chertoff should act immediately in this instance.

The larger story here concerns the Bush administration's shoddy treatment of Iraqis who have put their lives on the line to support U.S. forces during the last five years. Only 50 visas per year for Iraqi and Afghan translators were allocated beginning in 2006; the number was increased to 500 for this fiscal year, but will revert to 50 in 2009, even though 648 translators had applications pending as of December. Not every Iraqi who has helped the United States needs to be admitted to this country or be granted a green card. But cases such as that of Mr. Ahmad shame this country.

I just remembered that 60 Minutes did a piece on this topic. Of course, I think their motive was as much to drive another nail of hurt into the Bush Administration as much as to report on the injustice. Kinda like the story they'll report on tonight. Honestly, has 60 Minutes ever done a positive segment on President Bush? Unless there is a system-wide epidemic of such instances of abuse, shining a magnifying glass on isolated cases like this is what fuels anti-Americanism and turns crazies into terrorists. It creates an imbalanced perception.

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Cinderella Man

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Obama and Democrats Transcending the "Politics of Fear"? Not in 100 Years!

Barack Obama in Greensboro, North Carolina last Wednesday:
John McCain doesn't understand this. I honor John McCain's service to our country but when he starts talking about staying in Iraq for 100 years then that tells me all he wants to do is to continue on the George Bush failed policies of the past. And we don't need more Bush. We don't need a third Bush term and that's what John McCain is promising. He's promising a continuation of Bush foreign policies and he's promising a continuation of Bush domestic economic policies.
Sounds good to me.

Kate Phillips at the New York Times political blog actually wrote up a really good piece, countering the Democratic spin on this cherry-picked, devoid of context quote.

Don't believe it? Just watch the video there.

Also blogging:
American Power

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Saturday Afternoon Guilty Pleasure: Guess the Show and Actor

Friday, March 28, 2008

Basra Will be Just Another Comma

As Scott writes:

troop levels MUST be determined by conditions on the ground, and not by political conditions at home. The entire strategy of an insurgent is to degrade the enemy’s will to fight-not the will of their frontline forces, but that of their supporting populations.
He points out that the British withdrawal from Basra and the subsequent increase in violence demonstrates that the withdrawal strategy doesn't work.

As Curt writes:
You can feel the utter joy coming from the writers at the NYT’s and the tabloid newspaper, Mclatchy, on their reporting of Iraq today. Joy at maybe, just maybe!, the Surge will fail and they can go back to blaming Bush. First, take a look at this doozy of a headline by Mclatchy, written by Leila Fadel and Ali al Basri:

“Battles Wrack Basra, Threatening Success of U.S. Surge.”
And as I wrote:
When the final history is written on Basra, this latest turn of violence will look like just a comma.
For the last 5 years, every step of the way, the media has gone into partisan hysterics for any signs of setbacks, for any show of difficulties, for any dark failure cloud attached to every silver lining of success. They highlight, underscore, embolden, circle, and magnify the negative while under-reporting and burying the positives. The sky is perpetually falling. And the molehill is perceived and propagandized to be a mountain that cannot be climbed.

And when all is finally said and done, in the end, I think history will vindicate the decisions of George W. Bush. And those who opposed him during these difficult times will have to rationalize it to their grandchildren. Those who stood by him when things were darkest, and kept their resolve in the face of so much BDS hysteric opposition, will be able to tell their grand kids how they stood on the right side of history.

One of the new liberal mantras has been to huff about how this Administration is going to leave it up to the next administration to "clean up their mess".

Here’s a juicy tidbit from the 2002 SotU Address that you can use the next time a liberal whines about it:
Our war on terror is well begun, but it is only begun. This campaign may not be finished on our watch- yet it must be and it will be waged on our watch

The fact of the matter is, life doesn't operate on a timeline that is dependent upon U.S. elections. Wars don't come with expiration dates and timetables. Each administration picks up where the previous one left off. I'm sure President Carter would have loved to have seen the resolution to the Hostage Crisis happen under his watch and not President Reagan's. And I'm sure if it wasn't for the 22nd Amendment, President Bush would have loved to see the war that the Islamists began (it didn't begin on his watch) ended on his watch. But given his age, I doubt President Bush has another 50 years in him, as the Decider or as a witness to the long war.

A lot of politicians kick the can down the curb, passing hot political potatoes off for future politicians to deal with. President Clinton did it to Bush 43 with the Kyoto Treaty. But this president has been different.

9/11 transformed President George W. Bush into someone who "thinks big". A fan of Winston Churchill (describing him as 'the best example of how individuals can shape history'), President Bush tried to tackle the big issues, head first.

I think the history books will remember George Bush's place in it as more than occupying just a footnote....or comma. Even if I am wrong about him being vindicated by historians as a good leader, there is no question that he has left an indelible imprint upon the pages of human history. His judicial appointments alone will affect the United States for generations to come.

For good or ill, his presidency mattered, and it is one that changed the landscape of the world to affect the course of human events, for generations to come. Even where he was unable to push through radical change, he clearly wanted to. Bogged down by Iraq, President Bush was unable to invest his political capital into such concerns as social security reform and tax simplification. But he was certainly thinking big. He was thinking "change".

President Bush has been a consequential president who made a dent in the course-flow of history. A leader who mattered; who made a difference. Who wasn't afraid of risk; who didn't concern himself with his popularity; who didn't make the big decisions based upon the fickle nature of the latest gallup polls.

And for that, love him or hate him, I contest that he has been a strong, effective leader.

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Hillary Under Fire

Thursday, March 27, 2008

When is Supporting Our Military "too political"?

Since when is honoring our military heroes, "too political"?

Forest Lake event canceled; too political

March 25, 2008

A national tour featuring decorated veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan won't be stopping at Forest Lake Area High School today as planned, after school leaders abruptly canceled the visit.

Steve Massey, the school principal, said the decision to cancel was prompted by concerns that the event was becoming political rather than educational and therefore was not suitable for a public school.

He said the school had received several phone calls from parents and others, some of whom indicated that they may stage a protest if the event took place.

"The event was structured to be an academic classroom discussion around military service. We thought we'd provide an opportunity for kids to learn about service in the context of our history classes," Massey said. "As the day progressed, it became clear that this was becoming a political event ... which would be inappropriate in a public setting.

"We decided to cancel," Massey said. Organizers of the National Heroes Tour then scrambled to relocate the event to the American Legion building in Forest Lake. The visit, which U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Stillwater, had been scheduled to attend, is sponsored by Vets for Freedom, a national organization run by Pete Hegseth, a 1999 graduate of Forest Lake Area High School who served with the 101st Airborne in Iraq in 2005-06.
"I think it's extremely unfortunate that a school would bow to the political pressure of outside groups and not bring in a veterans organization," Hegseth said. "Are we saying that patriotism and duty and honor have no place in our public schools?" So far, the tour has visited one school, albeit a private school.
The stop in Forest Lake was supposed to involve about 150 social studies students and was going to be closed to the public but open to the media. But the last-minute venue change left Hegseth wondering how many people would actually show up today.
"I don't know if we'll have a crowd," he said. "We changed venues, but we don't have the ability to publicize it." He said he had talked with school officials ahead of time and assured them that the presenters would not make any political statements.
"We had a number of conversations at the beginning of this to make sure our message was in keeping with the traditions of a public school," Hegseth said.
"We have not endorsed a presidential candidate. We're not in the business of doing that." According to the Veterans for Freedom website, the national tour "is about supporting our troops, honoring their commitment and rallying the country to complete the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At this critical juncture in our country, we need Americans, lawmakers and the media to fully recognize -- and appreciate -- the sacrifice of our brave military and the dramatic success they have achieved, especially in Iraq with the new counterinsurgency strategy."
When asked whether the part about "rallying the country to complete the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan" could indeed be construed as political, Hegseth said that the group agreed not to advocate about the "progress made in Iraq and Afghanistan."
"It's Iraq and Afghan veterans talking about what they saw and what they did there, and about what it means to put on the uniform of your country," he said. The veterans started their bus tour in San Diego on March 14 and will end April 9 in New York City.
Hat tip: The Dennis Prager Show

Here is something CJ wrote last March:
before I left I wanted to impart one more piece of wisdom. I motioned towards his encampment and asked him which of the tents before us were collecting letters, cards or care packages for troops. I asked which tent was asking for donation of shoes, clothing, toys, school supplies or other good that Soldiers can hand out to the Iraqi people to make their lives better. I told him I don't have a problem with the peace movement and anti-war movement. But, I DO have a problem with a peace movement and anti-war movement that purports to do it in the name of supporting the troops and yet nothing there makes me feel supported. I told him the reason why his cause will never gain acceptance from Soldiers is because they go about it all wrong. I may feel more inclined to listen to their speeches and read their literature if I actually something there that REALLY supported the troops. I asked him when the last time they went to Walter Reed and brought cookies, movies, music, flowers, letter, cards, drawings, anything to make those Soldiers they supposedly support feel better. NEVER. And that, my tin foil hat wearing friend, is why I don't support you and made an effort to thank that ONE lady standing alone on the side of the road instead of any of the many people mulling about without deodorant. I also thanked him for the civil conversation (up to the point of "chemtrails") and that it's a rare day that I have a conversation with people like him and don't get called names or have to deal with screaming and yelling. We shook hands and departed.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Giving Aid and Comfort to the Enemy

Harvard study finds: Negative war coverage linked to increase in insurgency attacks:

Researchers at Harvard say that publicly voiced doubts about the U.S. occupation of Iraq have a measurable “emboldenment effect” on insurgents there.

Periods of intense news media coverage in the United States of criticism about the war, or of polling about public opinion on the conflict, are followed by a small but quantifiable increases in the number of attacks on civilians and U.S. forces in Iraq, according to a study by Radha Iyengar, a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in health policy research at Harvard and Jonathan Monten of the Belfer Center at the university’s Kennedy School of Government.

The increase in attacks is more pronounced in areas of Iraq that have better access to international news media, the authors conclude in a report titled “Is There an ‘Emboldenment’ Effect? Evidence from the Insurgency in Iraq.”

The researchers studied data about insurgent attacks and U.S. media coverage up to November, tracking what they called “anti-resolve statements” by U.S. politicians and reports about American public opinion on the war.

“We find that in periods immediately after a spike in anti-resolve statements, the level of insurgent attacks increases,” says the study, published earlier this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a leading U.S. nonprofit economic research organization.

In Iraqi provinces that were broadly comparable in social and economic terms, attacks increased between 7 percent and 10 percent following what the researchers call “high-mention weeks,” like the two just before the November 2006 election.

The study also found that attacks increased more in parts of Iraq like Anbar province, where there is greater access to international news media, measured by the proportion of households with satellite TV, which its authors say increases the credibility of their findings.

The researchers conclude that the increases in attacks are a necessary cost of the way democratic societies fight wars and say they are concerned that the research may be seized upon by the Iraq war’s supporters to try and silence its critics.

“We are a little bit worried about that,” Mr. Monten said in an interview. “Our data suggests that there is a small, but measurable cost” to “anything that provides information about attitudes towards the war.”

Isn't it obvious? If the original publishing of Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim Prophet Mohammed drew little attention and outcry, due to modest exposure, whereas greater coverage with republishing the cartoons and with the intention to purposefully incite, inspired rioting followed by death, doesn't it then follow that publishing 31 consecutive frontpage stories on abu Ghraib some Arabs off and create more "jihadists"?

Look at the media-driven hysteria that surrounded the Katrina coverage as another example of how the media can influence the news stories, creating perceptions and misperceptions.

The anti-occupation left may not like it, but the fact of the matter is, the anti-war and anti-occupation movements have interests and common goals, shared by America's enemies. I'm not accusing the left of being in league with the terrorists; just that in many cases, they are "useful idiots" for those who are at war with us.

How can anyone deny that if Islamists could vote in our elections, that in 2004 they would not have voted for Kerry? That in 2008, when Hillary and Obama are talking endlessly about withdrawal dates and failed war policies and mistakes of the Bush Administration, while McCain is talking about keeping the terrorists on the defensive, remaining 100 years in Iraq, and who staked his political career on the success of supporting the Surge, that the Islamic Holy Warriors would not prefer seeing a Democratic presidency than a Republican win, that will continue to engage them on the war-front?

The Left may not be aligned with our enemies, but is there any question that our enemies aren't aligned with them when it comes to criticizing our president, our military, and our foreign policy? How is it that Democratic talking points are sometimes indistinguishable from the rhetoric of bin Laden?

I know liberal critics don't like hearing this disturbing fact, but it's just the way it is. It doesn't mean they should not criticize; that their criticism doesn't have validity; it doesn't mean they are "on the side of the terrorists" if they aren't "with us"; but how can one not see that if liberal anti-war, Bush-hating Democrats oppose the Bush Administration at every turn...and Islamic terrorists oppose the Bush Administration at every turn....?......?......!

And how about perpetuating media myths in the attempt to delegitimize reasoning behind the war?

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Good Karmah for Iraq

Michael Totten writes:

KARMAH, IRAQ – Just beyond the outskirts of Fallujah lies the terror-wracked city of Karmah. While you may not have heard of this small city of 35,000 people, American soldiers and Marines who served in Anbar Province know it as a terrifying place of oppression, death, and destruction. “It was much worse than Fallujah” said more than a dozen Marines who were themselves based in Fallujah.

“Karmah was so important to the insurgency because we've got Baghdad right there,” Lieutenant Andrew Macak told me. “This is part of the periphery of Baghdad. At the same time, it is part of the periphery of Fallujah.”

Here's how the piece ends:

Sabah Danou walked with Commander Summers and Admiral Driscoll. He’s an Iraqi who works for the multinational forces as a cultural and political advisor in Baghdad. “Look,” he said to me and gestured toward a local man with a long beard and a short dishdasha that left his ankles exposed. “He’s a Wahhabi,” Danou hissed. “He is linked to Al Qaeda. That’s their uniform, you know, that beard and that high-cut dishdasha. God, what pieces of shit those fuckers are.”

I never hear soldiers and Marines talk about Iraqis like that, but no one objected to what Sabah Danou said.

To be continued…

Read more...and consider leaving a donation.

Scott Malensek blogs Michael Yon's latest:
McLatchy Newspapers and other Old Media outlets somehow missed the story about Al Queda terrorists in Iraq killing 15 day old babies.
A recent ABC poll has some positive spin to it. But Michael Totten, through citing John Burns of the NYTimes, also reminds us why polls are such a fickle measuring rod, to be taken with a grain of salt:
Opinion polls, including those commissioned by the American command, have long suggested that a majority of Iraqis would like American troops withdrawn, but another lesson to be drawn from Saddam Hussein’s years is that any attempt to measure opinion in Iraq is fatally skewed by intimidation. More often than not, people tell pollsters and reporters what they think is safe, not necessarily what they believe. My own experience, invariably, was that Iraqis I met who felt secure enough to speak with candor had an overwhelming desire to see American troops remain long enough to restore stability.

This feels right to me, not only thanks to my experience in Iraq, but also in places like totalitarian Libya where no one dared criticize the regime in public, and where everyone I spoke to did so in private where they were safe. Saddam Hussein commanded a murder and intimidation regime in Iraq, and today’s insurgents wage a murder and intimidation campaign in the streets. In Fallujah and Ramadi, Iraqi civilians were murdered just for waving hello to Americans, and for accepting bags of rice as charity. Fear should not be ignored when gauging Iraqi public opinion, and that includes fear of American guns as well as fear of insurgents.

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Run for Cover, Hillary!

Violence....the First Resort of a Peacenik

*UPDATE* Today is April 24, 2008. I'm only just now publishing this post (I took it down shortly after initially publishing) , in light of a new post I put up today. I did not want to risk sabotaging skye's legal case, so I thought I should suppress this post, at the time.

John Meicht, 61, of West Chester, an Army veteran who was shot in a leg in a 1966 Vietnam battle,
and retired Downingtown Area School District educator

At last Saturday's West Chester rally, skye of Midnight Blue (and Flopping Aces) was assaulted when a Chester County "Peace" Movement and anti-war Vietnam Vet didn't like the attention he was receiving from skye's video camera. She certainly wasn't capturing his "good" side; but his losing his cool and slapping a woman doesn't exactly come across well on camera, either.

The woman-slapping peacenik was belligerent toward the police as well, and subsequently arrested for it.

Marie's Two Cents
Michelle Malkin
Now for Something Different

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Obama Obscenities?

I don't know how big of a deal to make of this....but since it's something that will probably gain national media attention, I thought I'd mention it in advance of the lumbering dinosaur media.

And since we're on the topic of Senator Obama, from Thomas Sowell:

Someone once said that a con man's job is not to convince skeptics but to enable people to continue to believe what they already want to believe.

Michael Medved's 3 Big Problems with Barack's Speech

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Taliban Declared "Out of Islam"

Sunni tribes had rejected al Qaeda as "not true Muslims" for their depravity and slaughter of innocents. And now we have 73 Muslim sects rejecting Taliban violence by issuing a fatwa.

Sucks to be an Islamist loser.

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Iraqi Detainees Bumming a "Free Lunch" off the Government

Iraqi detainees refusing to go home: US general
Published: March 23, 2008

BAGHDAD (AFP) An increasing number of Iraqi detainees are refusing to leave detention centres despite being eligible for release because they want to complete studies begun behind bars, a US general said on Sunday.

"In the last three or four months we have begun seeing detainees asking to stay in detention, usually to complete their studies," Major General Douglas Stone told a news conference in Baghdad.

The US military offers a wide range of educational programmes to the 23,000 or so detainees -- adults and juveniles -- being held at its two detention facilities, Camp Cropper near Baghdad's international airport and Camp Bucca near the southern port city of Basra.

At U.S. taxpayer's expense, I hope the "wide range of educational programs" doesn't include anti-American lefty history books and politics.

Some parents of juvenile detainees, too, have asked that their children remain behind bars so they can continue their schooling, said Stone, the commanding general for US detainee operations in Iraq.

The US military, he added, was not encouraging the trend.

"We don't want them to remain in detention," he said. "When they are no longer considered a threat we want them to go home."

Teachers at the House of Wisdom school at Camp Cropper told AFP recently that parents of juvenile detainees had asked that siblings be locked up with their brothers so they too could benefit from the educational programmes offered at the camp.

According to Stone, more Iraqis are now being released each day from the two detention centres than are being arrested.

This, he said, was a reversal of the situation from April last year when a "surge" in US troop numbers saw a dramatic increase in the number of people being detained in connection with alleged insurgency operations.

The total number of detainees in Cropper and Bucca has decreased from just under 26,000 in April to around 23,000 now, said Stone.

"The release rate has overtaken the intake rate as of February," he added.

According to figures from his unit, on average 20 Iraqis are being arrested each day by US-led forces in Iraq for suspected involvement in insurgency operations while around 50 a day are being freed.

Since September, said Stone, around 6,000 detainees have been released from Camps Cropper and Bucca.

"Only 12 of these have been recaptured," he said, adding that this represented the lowest rate of recidivism over a seven month period since the US-led invasion five years ago.

Stone, who took over command of US detention operations in April last year, attributed the drop in the number of detainees and the reduced recidivism rates to lower levels of violence, his decision to separate hardliners from moderate prisoners and the involvement of the community in rehabilitating newly-released detainees.

The status of detainees is continually re-assessed and each one appears before a review board every six months.

Where there is enough evidence, detainees are transferred to the Iraqi justice system for trial.

Those detained in US facilities are held within the parameters of the United Nations mandate under which coalition forces in Iraq operate and are deemed to be an "imperative security risk."

Detainees in US facilities, on average, spend 331 days behind bars before being released back into their communities.

Of those still in detention, around 2,000 are confirmed Al-Qaeda members and another 7,000 are ideologically close to Al-Qaeda. There are also around 500 juveniles and some 240 foreign fighters behind bars.

Stone defended the US military's decision not to allow UN staff access to detainees, saying it was US policy to give this role to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

"The Red Cross can come in and engage all detainees. That's the process."

© 2008 Agence France-Presse

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Better Late than Never...

Talk radio is finally starting to pick up on the story.

Wall Street Journal is also weighing in. Scott's most recent post here, taking Isikoff and NewsWeek to the woodshed.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Anti-War Movement is Soooooo 2006

Saturday Morning Cartoon

What happens when Easter meets The Da Vinci Code meets South Park?

Too bad it isn't the whole episode. Brilliant! Of course....not everyone thinks so; but at least they ain't issuing fatwas and rioting in the streets, calling for the beheading of Trey and Parker. can kind of get the gist of it with these clips:

Full video can be viewed here.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Have You Hugged a Protester Today? her/them....I mean this video:

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WTF Friday

This could actually explain a lot.....

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Wright Guilt

Thursday, March 20, 2008

On the Wrong Side of History....Again.

This Ain't Hell has excellent coverage, complete with video clips and photos, of yesterday's D.C. protests against our attempts at making life better in Iraq for Iraqis, and a living hell in Iraq for al Qaeda.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

At 9:34 PM EST on March 19, 2003 (5:34 AM local time in Baghdad on March 20), United States and United Kingdom forces consisting of 40 cruise missiles and strikes led by 2 F-117s from the 8th Fighter Squadron (supported by Navy EA-6B Prowlers) and other aircraft began conducting military operations against the state of Iraq designed to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction and to remove the Iraqi Regime from power. Less than two hours after a deadline expired for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq, the sound of air raid sirens were heard in Baghdad. A short time later, President Bush addressed the American public stating that coalition forces were in the "early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger."

The name of this Operation for British troops is Operation Telic. For Australian Troops involved, it is Operation Falconer.

The military objectives of Operation Iraqi Freedom consist of first, ending the regime of Saddam Hussein. Second, to identify, isolate and eliminate, Iraq's weapons of mass destruciton. Third, to search for, to capture and to drive out terrorists from the country. Fourth, to collect intelligence related to terrorist networks. Fifth, to collect such intelligence as is related to the global network of illicit weapons of mass destruction. Sixth, to end sanctions and to immediately deliver humanitarian support to the displaced and to many needed citizens. Seventh, to secure Iraq's oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people. Finally, to help the Iraqi people create conditions for a transition to a representative self-government.

Operation Iraqi Freedom consisted of the largest special operations force since the Vietnam War. While the vast majority of special operations forces were American, the United Kingdom and the Australian militaries also provided forces. In northern Iraq there was a significant special operations presence. Coalition personnel worked with Kurdish fighters against the regime. SOF helped bring in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and marked and called in coalition air power on regime targets. Special operations forces were also responsible for attacking a number of specific targets such as airfields, weapons of mass destruction sites, and command and control headquarters. In the south, special operations personnel gave aid to conventional forces and did some of the work in the cities to help the Shi'ia elements.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

On Principle not Polls

Doug, who is no fan of Cheney, nevertheless, makes my day with this excerpt of his Flopping Aces comment:
In an interview with Cheney by ABC’s Martha Raddatz finds Cheney’s “principle”:
Raddatz: ‘Tell me what you said to the Iraqi leadership and how far you’re willing to push them.’

V.P.: ‘On the security front, I think there’s a general consensus that we’ve made major progress, that the surge has worked. … That’s been a major success.’

Raddatz: ‘Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.’

Cheney, smiling: ‘So?’

Raddatz: ‘So? You don’t care what the American people think?’

Cheney: ‘No. I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public-opinion polls. … There has, in fact, been fundamental change and transformation and improvement for the better. … That’s a huge accomplishment.’

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Laying the Smack Down

Great comment in David Mamet's piece (although I think he misconstrued Mamet's intent in rehashing all the liberal bds talking points), Why I am No Longer a 'Brain Dead' Liberal, in Village Voice last week:
Gregg Calkins on Wed Mar 12, 2008, 13:21, says:
David Mamet's actually come a long way, but I wonder how much further along he might be without the obligatory Bush-bashing which includes a suspension of rational thought?

For instance, HOW did Bush steal Florida, especially in comparison with the way that Kennedy stole Chicago? If your reflexive answer is via the Supreme Court, isn't this a trifle different than Chicago back-room dead-voters politics? For one thing, Bush didn't even need to go to the Supreme Court in the first place, because he WON the original Florida vote count.

It might seem foolish to some to argue that Bush later stole something he already owned, so what did he do, rig the original count? No, the polls were controlled by Democrats at that time and the infamous 'butterfly ballot' was designed and approved by Democrats. Some claim that he prevented blacks from voting, but the complainers never showed this to actually be the case and finally had to back down on that one.

Let alone asking how, WHY should Bush steal something he already owned, the Florida original count? Why would Bush go to the Supreme Court and ask them to uphold a victory he already had? The answer, of course, is that he didn't. Gore protested the original count, appropriately and sensibly, and also within the rules. The wrangling took place over what votes would be recounted, with the Gore team wishing only a very selective recount, and eventually Gore filed a lawsuit which worked its way all the way up to the Supreme Court before it was finished, the way contentious lawsuits do when lower courts decide this way and that during the proceedings.

And did the Supreme Court rule that Bush won, as Liberals believe? Well, no, it did not. Essentially the USSC said that if Gore wanted a recount, that was fine, but that the Constitution, silly old document, said that if you were going to do that, then ALL of the votes had to be recounted, not just a selected few of those you considered to be your friends. Oh.

In practice, however, the total recount could not be done because time had run out. But this meant the original winner, Bush, remained the winner. Bush was the winner at all times throughout the entire process, from beginning to end.

Since the only way you can get 'stole' out of this is by the application of Liberal Logic, this writer is still a brain-dead liberal despite his protestations.

Nor did Bush "out" a CIA agent, as testimony at the end of the struggle clearly showed that Valerie Plame's identity had first been revealed to the press by a State Department apparatchik who was definitely no friend of either Bush or his administration; in fact quite the opposite. Like losing your virginity, a CIA agent can be outed only once. In fact, one of the reasons that Valerie no longer worked in the field was because she had already been outed years earlier by convicted rogue agent Gary Powers. Oh.

Did Bush 'lie' about his military service? What did he say? He said that he served honorably in the National Guard, completed his obligation, and was honorably discharged afterward. Some argued that he did not put in all of the time required by his obligation, but in the end their argument was never them or anyone else. And the complaint did not argue that Bush did not serve at all, or was not really a qualified fighter pilot, but that he MISSED SOME MEETINGS! Dan Rather's fall came about because in a desperate attempt to substantiate their argument, his people came up with forged documents to support their case.

Now if Bush had come up with forged documents then you'd have a real complaint worthy of being called a 'lie', but as it happened, Bush signed a release allowing all of his military records to be released to the press and the public. All of them. And what did they show? They showed that he fulfilled his obligation, just like he claimed.

Again, it's hard to find a 'lie' in this without the application of Liberal Logic.

(There was a corollary complaint that Bush pulled strings to get to the head of the waiting-line of applicants for the limited number of National Guard openings available. As it turned out, there was no waiting list for pilot applicants, probably because so few were qualified and also because the job was, well, dangerous. National Guard pilots, like all military pilots, get killed all too frequently. Nevertheless, that canard is probably also still part of the Liberal catechism.)

And equating the Saudis, a foreign country and a major source of America's imported oil, with the Mafia, a domestic criminal institution and a major source of America's imported illegal drugs...well...

Well, I'm afraid that our brain-dead liberal is still with us.
Hat tip: The Anchoress

Also from The Anchoress:

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The Failures of the Anti-War Movement will Bring the Success of Peace

Scott Malensek penned another excellent piece, Why has the "Peace Movement" Failed. Here's an excerpt:
  • It failed to prevent the war in Afghanistan.
  • It failed to prevent the war in Iraq.
  • It failed to change power in the executive branch.
  • It failed to end the war in Iraq.
  • It was duped by Democrats in 2006 who promised “A New Direction In Iraq” without ever having even formed a committee to brainstorm ideas until 2 months after being elected.
  • It failed to prevent The Surge offensive.
  • It failed to stop cannibals in the Congo [and was silent while 4-6million died as UN peacekeepers raped and sold children en masse].
  • It failed to stop the bloodshed in Darfur.
  • It speaks out against the efforts (war) of US forces to protect people from terror.
  • It speaks the same rhetoric as the enemy’s propaganda. It is silent in response to terrorist attacks.
  • It is openly embraced by Islamic holy warriors.

What is the “peace movement” doing wrong?

In late 2002 through early 2003, millions and millions of people took to the streets around the world and protested against further military attack on Iraq. They failed to prevent the invasion and removal of Saddam Hussein. Post war investigations and even interviews with many senior level regime leaders (as well as with his interrogator) show that Saddam never believed the U.S. would have the will to go against the world’s anti-war movement. At most, he expected another Operation Desert Fox, and it wasn’t until the last few weeks or days that he finally recognized that the invasion was going to happen. What do you think might have happened if millions of people took to the streets and-instead of trying to deter action (as Saddam believed would be successful)…what if those millions had protested in demand that Saddam answer Blix’ 129pgs of “Unresolved Disarmament Issues”? Could the “Peace Movement” have better achieved peace by protesting against Saddam rather than against those who would later remove the dictator? Would the Peace Movement be more effective if it protested against dictators, warlords, etc rather than representative governments?

American Power also links to Jules Crittenden's excellent read (excerpt):

All wars go through evolutions, and it is unrealistic to expect no missteps. In this case, however, they are cited most frequently not as arguments to improve the war effort, but as excuses for abandonment. The Bush administration has made good at last with a counterinsurgency strategy that has hobbled Al Qaeda in Iraq and has the Shiite militias in a box. Iraqi military capabilities are improving, and the next president appears likely to inherit a somewhat pacified, reconciled Iraq; an enhanced American position of influence in the Middle East; opposing terrorist organizations that are sharply compromised; and a string of nascent democracies. At considerable cost of American blood and treasure, the United States is now in a position of marked if precarious influence in the most dangerous part of the world. The new president will have to consider how much of that he or she wants to throw away or build upon.

The antiwar camp and their candidates hold a childish hope that our problems will just go away if we withdraw. They argue that Iraq was an artificial cause, that our presence fuels violence and our departure will end it, that Iran can be a helpful partner in this process, and that al Qaeda can be fought from afar. They desire nothing but a return to the innocence we enjoyed before September 11, 2001, ignoring the fact that our enemies had been emboldened by decades of American demurring, disengagement, and half measures.

The American people have been allowed to believe that getting out of Vietnam was the best thing we did there, and that there was no penalty for cutting our losses. It should not be surprising that so many believe the same of Iraq. Looking past the immediate victims of that historic abandonment, the Soviet Union was emboldened by our show of weakness, invading Afghanistan and triggering a fateful string of events. Iran, seized by Islamic zealots, staged the 1979 hostage crisis to kick off three decades of support for terrorism and a bid for regional domination. In both cases, the belligerents knew we would do nothing about it. Figures like Osama bin Laden, among others, noted this void, and created the circumstances we are currently compelled to address.

The United States has commitments to Iraq and the larger region and a pressing interest in the defense of free and open societies. If we avoid our responsibilities we simply plant the seeds of further conflict. The pressing question of the 2008 presidential campaign is whether the part of this global war that began five years ago will be prosecuted to a satisfactory conclusion, or whether the effort to end the Iraq war will be marked by a different kind of waffling, whining noise than that one I heard at dawn five years ago, followed by more devastating explosions.

Previous posts:
What the Anti-War Movement is Really Fighting Against
When "Anti-War" Becomes Synonymous with Being "Pro-Peace"

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pentagon Report Confirms, Not Discredits

"Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated."
-President Bush in an address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, United States Capitol, Washington D.C., September 20, 2001.

For the past 7 years, the network of mainstream media has brainwashed itself into the delusion that the Administration made the case for war in Iraq by stating that Saddam had a hand in the planning of 9/11. Where did President Bush say that? I missed that speech. And where did President Bush overstate the concerns of Saddam/al Qaeda links?

I've been going through the Dick Cheney Meet the Press transcripts (often cited by those who misheard what the VP actually said), and am still looking for the "gotcha" moneyquote.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon was scheduled to release a new report, last Wednesday, and the MSM, stating that there is no "smoking gun" on "operational" links between Saddam and al Qaeda. Scott Malensek recommended looking at the exclusive summary and key judgment section, and that alone contradicts the MSM, in how they've characterized the study. Scott comments:

This is interesting because in many ways it is CONTRARY to what the McLatchy reporter claims. He claims there was no “operational relationship,” and that’s only partially true because the report does say Iraq was a state sponsor of terror, and did have operational ties to various groups-including Islamic radicals (another thing the reporter got wrong), and if we look closer anyone who knows anything about AQ knows that 2/3 of its leadership stemmed from Egyptian Islamic Jihad of which there’s plenty of evidence (FBI even confirms this) that Iraq supported EIJ . The report also suggests that Iraq sponsored other AQ affiliates, and it sounds like those groups were the forerunners of the AQ in Iraq coalition which was in Iraq before the war (and before they renamed themselves Al Queda in Iraq).

Honestly, just reading the the summary that I linked to makes it sound like
1) Almost all of the repeated claims from the right re regime ties are correct-NOT wrong
2) the McLatchy newspapers report is a COMPLETELY incorrect characterization of this report

Scott has since penned his own blogpost.

The distinctions that differentiates one Islamic terror group from another are not always clear-cut. The boundaries can get easily blurred, with Islamic holy warriors melting in from one terror cell to the next. You have Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which is Zawahiri's previous group, Ansar al-Islam (a group that belongs to Osama bin Laden), Jemaah Islamiyah, and abu Sayyaf, which is essentially al Qaeda in the Philippines, for instance.

Scott writes:
the report itself is packed with evidence of operational ties between Saddam’s regime and various groups that are components/participants/elements/members of the network. For example the report confirms that Egyptian Islamic Jihad was supported by Saddam’s regime at a time when 2/3 of the al-Qaida network’s leadership (2/3 of the leadership prior to 2003 was comprised of members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The report is also packed with examples of Saddam’s regime recognizing, supporting, and working with Egyptian Islamic Jihad; i.e. with 2/3 of al-Qaida leadership.
The USJFCOM has released more. Volume 1 is the exclusive summary of the Report, and the rest is supporting documentation.

The Iraqi Perspectives Project -- Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents:
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5

Also blogging:
Flopping Aces2
Flopping Aces3
Gateway Pundit
Midnight Blue
Regime of Terror

Weekly Standard:
The New Report on Iraq and Terror
Only Connected

More articles:
Report Details Saddam's Terrorist Ties

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Bill Roggio: Anatomy of an IED

John McCain, 35 Years Ago...

John McCain is pulled out of a Hanoi lake by a mix of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Vietnamese citizens in this October, 1967 file photo. McCain, currently a Republican presidential candidate, was shot down by a Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) and had broken both arms and his right knee upon ejection, losing consciousness until he hit the water. (Photo courtesy of Senator McCain's office/February 23, 2000)

McCain has had a couple of life-threatening situations happen to him before his Skyhawk was shot down on his 23rd combat mission. One of these incidents was the Forrestal fire incident:
By then a Lieutenant Commander, McCain was almost killed in action on July 29, 1967, while serving on Forrestal, operating in the Gulf of Tonkin. He was at the epicenter of the Forrestal fire, when a rocket accidentally fired across the carrier's deck and hit planes, including McCain's which had been waiting to launch. McCain escaped from his burning jet and was trying to help another pilot escape when a bomb exploded; McCain was struck in the legs and chest by shrapnel. The ensuing fire killed 134 sailors and took 24 hours to control.
March 15th is the day McCain finally came home, after spending 5 and a half years as a Vietnam POW. He underwent intensive physical therapy for his injuries. To this day, he can only lift his arms only so high, above his head.
McCain spent another 8 years of honorable service in the Navy: he became Commanding Officer of a large A-7 Corsair II Navy training squadron stationed in Florida. McCain's leadership abilities were credited with turning around a mediocre unit and winning the squadron its first Meritorious Unit Commendation. During this period, the McCains' marriage began to falter; he would later say he was to blame.
The following story appeared May 14, 1973 in U.S.News & World Report. It is John McCain's own account of his years as a POW. Whatever you may think about his qualifications for president, his 25 years service as a U.S. Senator, I think every American should at least appreciate what he and others like him endured as POWs, in service to our country.

The date was Oct. 26, 1967. I was on my 23rd mission, flying right over the heart of Hanoi in a dive at about 4,500 feet, when a Russian missile the size of a telephone pole came up—the sky was full of them—and blew the right wing off my Skyhawk dive bomber. It went into an inverted, almost straight-down spin.

I pulled the ejection handle, and was knocked unconscious by the force of the ejection—the air speed was about 500 knots. I didn't realize it at the moment, but I had broken my right leg around the knee, my right arm in three places, and my left arm. I regained consciousness just before I landed by parachute in a lake right in the corner of Hanoi, one they called the Western Lake. My helmet and my oxygen mask had been blown off.

I hit the water and sank to the bottom. I think the lake is about 15 feet deep, maybe 20. I kicked off the bottom. I did not feel any pain at the time, and was able to rise to the surface. I took a breath of air and started sinking again. Of course, I was wearing 50 pounds, at least, of equipment and gear. I went down and managed to kick up to the surface once more. I couldn't understand why I couldn't use my right leg or my arm. I was in a dazed condition. I went up to the top again and sank back down. This time I couldn't get back to the surface. I was wearing an inflatable life-preserver-type thing that looked like water wings. I reached down with my mouth and got the toggle between my teeth and inflated the preserver and finally floated to the top.

Some North Vietnamese swam out and pulled me to the side of the lake and immediately started stripping me, which is their standard procedure. Of course, this being in the center of town, a huge crowd of people gathered, and they were all hollering and screaming and cursing and spitting and kicking at me.

When they had most of my clothes off, I felt a twinge in my right knee. I sat up and looked at it, and my right foot was resting next to my left knee, just in a 90-degree position. I said, "My God--my leg!" That seemed to enrage them —I don't know why. One of them slammed a rifle butt down on my shoulder, and smashed it pretty badly. Another stuck a bayonet in my foot. The mob was really getting up-tight.

McCain in Hanoi; Hillary Rodham delivering the 1969 student commencement address at Wellesley College. (John McCain 2008; Wellesley College Archives).

Further Reads of Interest:
McCain campaign video, 35 years ago today...
McCain on Family, Fatherhood and Sending a Son to War
John Warner defends John McCain's POW record
10 things you didn't know about John McCain
Bridget McCain the Wonder Child

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