Thursday, July 31, 2008

When will the House of Representatives Craft an Apology to the American People for Legislating Bad History?

Michael Medved points out this bit of bad history in Tuesday's House resolution apology for slavery:
“Whereas slavery in America resembled no other form of involuntary servitude known in history, as Africans were captured and sold at auction like inanimate objects or animals...”

The resolution apologizes to African Americans on behalf of the people of the United States "for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow" and expresses a commitment "to rectify the lingering consequences of the misdeeds committed against African Americans under slavery and Jim Crow and to stop the occurrence of human rights violations in the future."
We haven't rectified slavery and Jim Crow yet?!?! We live in a country where a man who is heralded as "black", stands a good chance of being America's next president. Where a rapper who supports him can make millions of dollars by spouting off racist, hateful remarks. I suppose his hate-spew is white America's fault and part of the "lingering consequences of the misdeeds committed against African Americans under slavery and Jim Crow"? Good grief! How ludicrous ludacris!

Medved:
slavery in the United States strongly resembled all the most common forms of involuntary servitude that have constituted a universal human institution since the beginnings of recorded history. Yale professor David Brion Davis (author of the magisterial and definitive book Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World) suggests that in its very essence, slavery treats its victims like animals. In fact, the practice of enslaving humans began in the mists of pre-history at the same time as the domestication of beasts and pointedly used some of the same cruel techniques to secure unquestioning obedience from man as well as animal.

Davis writes of the hideous abuse of slaves by the Brazilian tribe, the Tupinamba, long before first contact with the Europeans: “It is crucial to realize that such slaves were being treated essentially as animals, a fact symbolized by their ritualistic slaughter and the final cannibal feast. This behavior dramatizes the point that, wholly apart from later economic functions, slaves from the very beginning were perceived as dehumanized humans – humans deprived of precisely those traits and faculties that are prerequisites for human dignity, respect and honor.”

Even among the famously civilized Greeks (more than two-thousand years before the emergence of the United States) Aristotle said the ox was the poor man’s slave and Xenophon “compared the teaching of slaves, unlike that of free workers, with the training of wild animals.”

None of this absolves from guilt the United States (or the British colonies that preceded independence): the institution of slavery wrecked the lives of millions. But the out-of context consideration of that guilt amounts to an irresponsible distortion of its essential nature and its extent. Of the estimated eleven to thirteen million human beings kidnapped from Africa and brought to the New World in the 400 years of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, less than 5% of them went to the British colonies in mainland North America. In other words, some nineteen out of twenty slaves were shipped to the West Indies and Latin America, not to the future United States.


What is obscenely, pathetically humorous, is that Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), who introduced the House resolution, is running against Nikki Tinker, a black American, in a mostly black district of Memphis.

Also blogging: Further Adventures of Indigo Red

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Obama and Maliki Playing Politics While the Fate of Iraq Hangs on the Edge of a Knife

This is last week's news, and Mike's America posted a couple of the best articles on the topic of whether or not Senator Obama and Prime Minister Maliki are on the same page regarding troop withdrawal. Here's another excellent perspective, posted by Omar at Iraq the Model:
Obama is lucky in that his host, Prime Minister Maliki, is also going through an election season. He’s even luckier that Maliki has been convinced by the close circle around him that Obama is going to win the American presidential race.

The state-owned Al-Sabah quoted a senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject, as saying: “The change in the prime minister’s position has to do with his own perception of the political developments in the United States…Maliki thinks that Obama is most likely to win in the presidential election and that he will withdraw his country’s troops from Iraq as he pledged in his campaign.” The official
added that Maliki sees that “he’s got to take preemptive steps before Obama gets to the White House.”

This is why both men have appeared to be in perfect harmony recently; one lending generous support to the other. But this is not solid harmony because both men are acting like this due to mere speculations and/or flawed advice from their aides during critical moments in election seasons. Maliki, for example, knows very well that had Obama’s vision for Iraq been adopted two years ago, he wouldn’t be enjoying the position and power he does today, and the progress in Iraq wouldn’t have been achieved.

The call for disengagement in the way Obama proposes (and Maliki cautiously endorses) is based on a vision that goes no further than the upcoming elections in both countries and thus an indicator of dangerous selfishness. The two men are gambling with victory against true enemies of their nations in the hope of achieving victory against personal electoral foes. The obvious confusion in Maliki’s recent statements forced government spokesmen and top officials to appear several times to correct or retract what he said. This indicates that much of what Maliki is saying these days is for personal/partisan electoral purposes and does not represent the strategy of the state of Iraq.
Do read the pieces linked at Flopping Aces, for more analysis.

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The Inflated Candidate

Anyone else tired of this guy?:
"There are things you can do individually, though, to save energy. Making sure your tires are properly inflated — simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling — if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups? You’d actually save just as much!"






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End in Sight


How do you bring troops home? By winning wars.

Thanks to brave Iraqis along with the best, dedicated military in the world and strong U.S. leaders such as George W. Bush, General Petraeus, and Senator McCain. How do you end a war? By winning it, folks.

Defeat for our side would only breed an endless war. Iraq is merely one battle- and a vital one at that- in a larger war.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

American Roulette?!?


As far as I'm concerned, there's really only one choice.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

When enforcement of "the legal thing to do" is not the same as "the right thing to do"

"They know we're going to fight for their freedom and they don't want to try and help us at all with the situation."- Chessa Horvath



While the government poises to bail out those "homeowners" who made bad decisions, here we have a Texas couple who have been called up by the Texas National Guard to serve a second tours of duty in Iraq. So how are they being treated for the noble act of serving their country? They were forced to pay for breaking their apartment lease. They shipped out last Saturday.

The story:

Army couple upset over apartment lease fees


(Created: Thursday, July 24, 2008 9:14 PM CDT)


Horvaths said they found out they were charged early move-out, maintenance fees during week of deployment to Iraq

BY DANNY GALLAGHER, McKinney Courier-Gazette

Chris and Franchesca Horvath, both of whom are sergeants in the Army National Guard, will ship out to Iraq Saturday to serve their second tours of duty.

Less than a week before they are scheduled to ship out, they had to pay a much smaller price for their service.

The Horvaths lived at the El Lago Apartments on Craig Drive since August 2007 on a year-long lease. Chris and Franchesca were called back to active duty in Iraq and had to break their lease early, something a previous manager said wouldn’t be a problem and that they wouldn’t have to pay any early moving fees.

Always wise to get such agreements in writing.

When Chris checked back with the apartment earlier this week, he said he was told he owed the complex money for early termination, cleaning and maintenance fees.

“They pretty much got us and we can’t do anything,” Chris said. “We just wanted to make it known that we don’t think it’s right and we don’t feel like we were being treated right.”

Chris said he and his wife first received orders from the military in the middle of April that they might be deployed a second time after serving their first tour more than three years ago. Chris said he went to Iraq and his wife served in Afghanistan as a medic. Chris said he could not say where he would be deployed or what his duties will be when he gets there.

Chris received his orders at the beginning of May that he would have to report to duty for training in Fort Polk, La., in two weeks and would have to move out of his apartment early to prepare for his deployment. A manager named “April” told Chris that she would be able to get him out of his lease without any problems as long as provided military documentation to back up his claim. Chris claims he paid April the rest of his lease and was told he would receive half of it back once the paperwork cleared.

Chris and Franchesca left for their training and were relieved on July 2. They took the time off to visit with family and friends in Louisiana and East Texas before their deployment.

He claims he never received a notice or a letter concerning unpaid debts from the time he left the complex until Thursday.

“We went in yesterday (Thursday) to find out where our check was from the rest of our rent check,” Chris said. “They ended up telling us we owed them $200 and they kept the whole month’s rent because we didn’t give them 30 days notice. All I had was two weeks before I had to leave [in May]. I couldn’t give them 30 days.”



He went to the complex to ask about his lease and found a new person sitting in the manager’s office. April had left the company after he left the complex.

He said the old manager claimed it wouldn’t be a problem, but the new manager produced a letter from their corporate office saying April did not have the authority to do that.

“They showed us a letter that [April] wrote to the corporate office asking if she could do that after I had already left and they responded back no, that it’s against corporate policy,” Chris said. “There was no notification. We’re sitting here during the last 20 days at home with our family waiting to see if we would get that check. Now we’re getting billed $200.”

Chris said it would have been difficult to handle credit issues while they were on tour had they not paid the amount that was due.

“Where we’re going, there is no internet access,” Chris said. “We can’t call the credit bureau and explain to them what happened over the phone. We were left with no options. We didn’t want this on our credit. We want to buy a house so we can’t have bad credit when we get back.”

Chris and Franchesca said they paid the money the complex claimed they owed and consider the matter closed, even if they don’t agree with how it ended.

“Had we not paid it, it would have gone to creditors,” she said. “It’s just not right that they don’t contact us.”

Officials at the El Lago Apartments declined the opportunity to comment.
Can anyone dig up a contact number for El Lago Apartments? They should be publicly shamed and raked over the coals for how they've handled this situation.

Hat tip: Bloviating Zeppelin

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Sunday Funnies- The Rock Star's Magical, Mystery Tour

Saturday, July 26, 2008

George W's War


From Investor's Business Daily, sent to me by a friend:

George W.'s War

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, June 20, 2008 4:20 PM PT

No one likes war. War is a horrific affair, bloody and expensive. Sending our men and women into battle to perhaps die or be maimed is an unconscionable thought.


Yet some wars need to be waged, and someone needs to lead. The citizenry and Congress are often ambivalent or largely opposed to any given war. It's up to our leader to convince them. That's why we call the leader "Commander in Chief."

George W.'s war was no different. There was lots of resistance to it. Many in Congress were vehemently against the idea. The Commander in Chief had to lobby for legislative approval.

Along with supporters, George W. used the force of his convictions, the power of his title and every ounce of moral suasion he could muster to rally support. He had to assure Congress and the public that the war was morally justified, winnable and affordable. Congress eventually came around and voted overwhelmingly to wage war.

George W. then lobbied foreign governments for support. But in the end, only one European nation helped us. The rest of the world sat on its hands and watched.

After a few quick victories, things started to go bad. There were many dark days when all the news was discouraging. Casualties began to mount. It became obvious that our forces were too small. Congress began to drag its feet about funding the effort.

Many who had voted to support the war just a few years earlier were beginning to speak against it and accuse the Commander in Chief of misleading them. Many critics began to call him incompetent, an idiot and even a liar. Journalists joined the negative chorus with a vengeance.

As the war entered its fourth year, the public began to grow weary of the conflict and the casualties. George W.'s popularity plummeted. Yet through it all, he stood firm, supporting the troops and endorsing the struggle.

Without his unwavering support, the war would have surely ended, then and there, in overwhelming and total defeat.

At this darkest of times, he began to make some changes. More troops were added and trained. Some advisers were shuffled, and new generals installed.

Then, unexpectedly and gradually, things began to improve. Now it was the enemy that appeared to be growing weary of the lengthy conflict and losing support. Victories began to come, and hope returned.

Many critics in Congress and the press said the improvements were just George W.'s good luck. The progress, they said, would be temporary. He knew, however, that in warfare good fortune counts.

Then, in the unlikeliest of circumstances and perhaps the most historic example of military luck, the enemy blundered and was resoundingly defeated. After six long years of war, the Commander in Chief basked in a most hard-fought victory.

So on that historic day, Oct. 19, 1781, in a place called Yorktown, a satisfied George Washington sat upon his beautiful white horse and accepted the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, effectively ending the Revolutionary War.





Also of related interest, in the same spirit as the above, is this piece by Medved:
The handsome young Democratic nominee is the most spellbinding orator of his generation, promising dramatic change to correct economic injustice and bring an end to a bloody, unpopular war. Republicans deride him as a showboating demagogue with scant governmental experience and place their faith in a gruff, battle-tested veteran who asks for public patience to fight the war till victory. Meanwhile, halfway around the world, anti-American insurgents have recently lost thousands of fighters to desertion and improved U.S. tactics, but they believe they can exploit their enemy's war weariness. The guerrilla fighters, therefore, intensify their gruesome attacks as part of a conscious effort to influence the November election on behalf of the Democratic "peace" candidate.

Though contemporary Americans will assume the above description applies to Iraq and the 2008 campaign, it's also an accurate summary of the situation leading up to the fateful election of 1900 and the darkest days of our four-year war against insurrectionists in the Philippines. This nearly forgotten conflict deserves renewed attention today since the parallels with our present predicament count as both eerie and illuminating.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Some Images from the Global Citizen's One World Tour




The Rock Star Cometh!

July 22, 2008
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, (D-Ill.) arrives at Marka Airport in Amman, Jordan. Obama delivered a speech in Amman calling for a political solution to the Iraq War.
AP



Estimated to have drawn a crowd of 200,000 (oops! My participle's dangling), only that son of a beach, David Hasselhoff might have drawn a larger crowd during his Germany Concert Tour last year. Rock on!


July 24, 2008
Obama greets an excited sea of Berliners.
Jae C. Hong-AP



Apparently, sixty-two percent of Germans want Citizen Barack to be the next U.S. president, this according to a Gallup poll released the other day (even as Germans might have seen that the speech was all hype, airbrushed with the semblance of substance). Just who does he think he is? I mean...c'mon, the black kennedy didn't even address the Berliners in German!



I wonder if Americans will appreciate Obama's deprecation of the United States on foreign soil for his own self-aggrandizing purposes.

As Dean Barnett pointed out on the Hugh Hewitt Show Friday, when Citizen Barack started, "Ours is a partnership that truly began sixty years ago this summer, on the day when the first American plane touched down at Templehof.", it's a bit off-history, as it was America- not "we"- that did the heavy lifting, and Germany benefited.
Now on the one hand, you know you're going to go to Germany and say nice things about the Germans- that's a given, you're going to be diplomatic; there's no question about that. But...there is this other issue that everything in his worldview is funneled down into teammwork; that everyone of his speeches has the same narrative arc. David Brooks pointed this out in today's New York Times, that there's a problem, people come together, people solve the problem, and everybody lives happily ever after. So, in South Africa there's a problem, people come together, they defeat Apartheid, everybody lives happily ever after. But it doesn't work like that in the real world. The problem in Germany in 1948 with the Soviet Union trying to take over all of Germany and trying to suffocate the western half of Germany wasn't overcome by people coming together; it was overcome by President Harry Truman's resolve; it was overcome by Harry Truman risking war to overcome it. And to refer to it as something as nebulous as a partnership is an inaccurate way to think of it. And we face the same sort of dynamics as we go forward into this election season that concerns the war on terror. That whether or not the world comes together, America has to win in Iraq, it has to win in Afghanistan.

Germany is one of our Coalition partners in Afghanistan and again, I don't mean to rag on the Germans, obviously Barack Obama shouldn't have gone there to rag on the Germans; but our Coalition partners- the Germans- in Afghanistan, they aren't allowed to engage the enemy. So that's something worth noting. That the progress we are going to achieve in Afghanistan in all likelihood is not going to be because of "the world comes together". It's not going to be because free countries come together. It's going to be because America leads the way. It's been that way for almost a century. A lot of us are very proud of America, a lot of us believe in America, and the thing that is really noteworthy of Obama's speech is how it veered away from those things; how it didn't acknowledge American exceptionalism. It talks about the Berlin Airlift like it was a partnership, which is a ludicrous way to think of it.
Barnett went on to analogize how Germany and the world benefited from the Cold War policies that Reagan enacted and which were opposed at the time. Hundreds of thousands protested his "tear down this wall" speech.

Read more from John Bolton regarding this. Also, Victor Davis Hanson.

Also, blogger Z has a good friend, Klaus Lewin, who experienced the Berlin Airlift firsthand, as a little boy. Read about his memory and impressions. Here's an excerpt:
Suddenly, unexpected relief came and it came from people who Adolph Hitler had declared our enemies: The Americans and the British. In an ingenious and forward-looking humane decision, the United States administration began to bring West Berlin much needed supplies through the air! The Brits went along with this action and the French, too, agreed to it but their military engagement in Indochina kept them from very actively participating.

On June 26, 1948, the first aircraft took off from Frankfurt and brought supply goods to Berlin. We Berliners could only be amazed and felt such deep thankfulness not only for the necessary help but also for the sign of a democratic new start for us and a return to feeling like one of a family of countries, something the Americans showed us through this wonderful action.

Also, we as children sensed the city starting to breathe again. We followed with gratefulness each announcement of the astonishing performances which our former “enemies” did for us. This was the birth hour of the German/American friendship and partnership which, despite all prophecies of gloom which always come from the same political side of both our countries, has achieved an unbreakable status.
Ok, admittedly, Klaus Lewin used the word "partnership" there; but the point was in highlighting American exceptionalism and the gratitude he feels to this day regarding America. He ends his letter to Z this way:
I had fourteen years to go before I could go to America for the first time. I stood on the Empire State Building, looked down at the city, and wanted to embrace every American. Thank you for your spirit and for being such an incredible role model of aid and friendship.



Obama appeared on large TV screens in front of the massive audience. He warned America could not quell violence in Afghanistan alone, and called on Europe for more troops and funding to defeat the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Sebastian Willnow-AFP/Getty Images


The gall:

"American presidential elections are not ‘home affairs'. American decisions have repercussions all over the globe.... Hence, the world should be given the right to vote."





Barack Obama prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Obama has professed "an unshakable commitment to the security" of Israel, whether the threat comes from terrorists, Iran or elsewhere.
Jae C. Hong-AP






Thanks for coming, Citizen Barack!



Obama leaves the gym after talking to service members at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, on Friday. Obama last visited Iraq in early 2006 but has never previously been to Afghanistan.Sgt.
Jarod Perkioniemi-AP



This part of the email (from the link above) from a soldier who was present for Obama’s visit to Iraq should surprise no one:


95% of base wanted nothing to do with him. I have met three troops who support him, and literally hundreds who regard him as a buffoon, a charlatan, a hindrance to their mission or a flat out enemy of progress. Even when the rumors were publicly admitted, almost no one left their duty sections to try to see him, unless they were officers whose presence was officially required.



More images at The Washington Post

There are actually some nice photos of Senator Obama amongst soldiers in Afghanistan if you check the link; but since I'm a partisan hack, I'll just press my tongue to my cheek and sweep those under the rug, pretending they don't exist.

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A billion burgers flipped....'cept by two McDonald aspirants....


Personally, I'm all for food handlers wearing head scarfs (or should I spell it "scarves"?), hair nets, hats...anything that keeps hair and sweat from falling onto food they are preparing. But I'm also of the belief that businesses should have the freedom to discriminate (for the most part) who they hire. You don't like it? Don't do business there.


By way of Pat Dollard:
Gregg Krupa ( The
Detroit News
)

DEARBORN — Two Muslim women say the manager of a McDonald’s restaurant refused to hire them and insulted them during job interviews because they wear traditional Islamic dress.

Toi Whitfield, 20, of Detroit, and Quiana Pugh, 25, of Dearborn, filed a lawsuit Thursday in Wayne County Circuit Court against McDonald’s, the owner of the local franchise and its unnamed manager. Their representative said they are considering filing civil rights complaints with the federal and state governments.

“I applied for the McDonald’s position maybe two weeks ago and he simply (told me) I had to make a choice and remove my hijab, or I would not be able to establish employment there,” Pugh said. “When I walked away, I was definitely hurt by it and disturbed. I was confused that it could happen here in Dearborn, with so many Muslims.”

Hijab is an Arabic word meaning “cover.” It refers to traditional Islamic dress, intended to encourage modesty, in which women often cover everything but the hands and face. Finley Management Inc., which runs the franchise, said in a statement it has not been notified of the lawsuit.

“Finley Management has a strict policy prohibiting any form of discrimination with regard to race, gender, religion or national origin, in hiring, or in any other aspect of employment,” the statement read. “We would caution anyone from jumping to conclusions without having all the facts.”

McDonald’s publishes a corporate handbook with a chapter titled “Our Commitment to Employees,” which says that the world’s largest fast food chain forbids discrimination in employment.

“Each of our employees throughout the world deserves to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity,” the policy statement reads. “We provide equal opportunity for employees and applicants.”

The restaurant in question sits amid one of the largest concentrations of commercial businesses for Arab-Americans in the country. Like many of the national chain fast-food establishments in the area, it has long served some halal food, which conforms to Muslim dietary requirements. “This manager must have just stepped off of some spaceship to think he can do this in this back yard, in Dearborn,” said Nabih Ayad, a civil rights lawyer who represents the women.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations-Michigan, said that he has eaten at McDonald’s restaurants in Turkey that cater to Muslims and employ them, including numerous women who cover.

“It is extremely disturbing that such discrimination could take place at a location which does not mind collecting Muslim dollars, yet places restriction on Muslim women who wear hijab.” Whitfield said the manager told her she could not wear her headscarf because, “It gets too hot back there.”

“I hope that they learn from their mistakes,” she said. “They should not discriminate against people. Everyone should have an equal chance to work at McDonald’s.”

Traditional Muslim dress doesn't bother me. People should have the freedom to dress how they wish to...on their own time. If business owners want to make accomodations and allowances on behalf of religious sensitivity, more power to them. But I'm sick of people and their lawyers suing for millions, due to "hurt feelings". Just suck it up and go elsewhere. After all....do you folks really want to end up like this guy (he's in Michigan, btw):



Wordsmith Confession: The only reason why I'm doing this post, is it gave me an excuse to post this video on a political blog.

Cross-posted at Flopping Aces

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

This is the Moment....

Taken from the transcript of the prepared text to Citizen Barack's Berlin speech:

Now the world will watch and remember what we do here – what we do with
this moment. Will we extend our hand to the people in the forgotten corners of
this world who yearn for lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security
and justice? Will we lift the child in Bangladesh from poverty, shelter the
refugee in Chad, and banish the scourge of AIDS in our time?

Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the
blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words
“never again” in Darfur?

Will we have the courage to inject credibility in the United Nations by enforcing 12 years of broken U.N. Resolutions? Will we say "regime change", and mean it, as it applies to a brutal dictator who builds lavish palaces to himself, enriching his coffers from the U.N. scam for oil program while 500,000 Iraqi children die from sanctions? Who tortures and murders his own people; harbors, trains, and funds terrorists; do we leave in power a dictator who has a history of invading neighboring countries and starting wars, and who makes no secret about his love and desire to have weapons of mass destruction?


Oh, wait.....he didn't say that last paragraph did he? George W. Bush has already taken that one off the table for him (as well as done more than any other president in fighting AIDS in Africa with U.S. taxpayer money). Instead, Obama's left with this one:

this is the moment when the world should support the millions of Iraqis who seek
to rebuild their lives, even as we pass responsibility to the Iraqi government
and finally bring this war to a close.

Yes, and that's also thanks to George W. Bush's leadership. No thanks, to you, Senator Obama:
"I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is
going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do
the reverse."
- Senator Barack Obama, January 10, 2007


Also blogging Mike at Flopping Aces

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Irena Sendlerowa, 1910-2008


The cartoon is 2 years old, created when Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, diminishing the credibility of the Nobel Committee that worthy recepients like Irena had established for it. She was 98 when she passed away on May 12th. MataHarley has the details...just click on the cartoon.

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With 20/20 hindsight, Senator Obama disagrees with the strategy that has given us victory gains in Iraq


ABC interview:

TERRY MORAN: If you had to do it over again, knowing what you know now, would you support the surge?

OBAMA: No, because, keep in mind that-

MORAN: You wouldn't?

OBAMA: Well, no, keep in mind, these kinds of hypotheticals are very difficult. You know, hindsight is 20/20. But I think that, what I am absolutely convinced of is that at that time, we had to change the political debate because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one that I just disagreed with.
So....let me get this straight: George Bush was right in supporting the troop surge and the strategy built around it, and knowing in hindsight what he knows now (that it worked!), Senator Obama still wouldn't support it because he disagrees with "the view of the Bush administration at that time"....which was Bush's push for the surge?



Cross-posted at Flopping Aces

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NYT to McCain: "Can you sound more like Senator Obama?"

From David Shipley (editor of the NYT op-ed page) response back to Michael Goldfarb of Team McCain:
It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama’s piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq. It would also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory — with troops levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate. And it would need to describe the senator’s Afghanistan strategy, spelling out how it meshes with his Iraq plan.
"Compelling Iraqis to cooperate"?! Iraqis have been bleeding and dying to move things forward. "Timetables"?! Sounds straight out of the Obama-mindset. And how on earth has Senator Obama laid out a "plan for achieving defeat victory" in "concrete terms"?

Curt writes:
Obama’s detailed plans? He detailed the number of Brigades he would withdraw. Thats about it. The rest of it was the same ole’ crap we heard from him before.
From the Drudge Report, here is McCain's submitted essay:
In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80% to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on January 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

Now Senator Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted.

Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s new-found willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City—actions that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.

The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his “plan for Iraq” in advance of his first “fact finding” trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.

Senator Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military's readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Senator Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications, and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his “plan for Iraq.” Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say. During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”

The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq. Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.

I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war—only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.


Sparks from the Anvil will not reprint Senator Obama's essay, My Plan for Iraq (but will link to it for the sober laughs) in its entirety or in its partiality, because I am an anti-Obama right-wing blogger. What's the New York Time's excuse? Oh, yeah: They're an unbiased straight news source and nonpartisan, well-respected newspaper read by millions, spinning into decline.

As Mark Levin's website asks: "How to get your op-ed in the NYT - Label it 'U.S Government: Top Secret'" (hat tip: Freedom Eden)

Unbelievable! (Yet....not surprising).

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Monday, July 21, 2008

"It was a dark, and stormy knight...."


Last night, I saw "Batman Begins" for the first time. Today, I decided to go see The Dark Knight.

I'm not big on going to the movies. I am a hard critic to please, when it comes to fully enjoying everything about a movie; although I am easy to please by keeping my standard for enjoyment relatively low.

Dark Knight has lived up to its hype, and the praise I've been reading about it are well-earned. It has action, lots of explosions, yes; but also story, psychologically-driven character/archetypes, and a complex exploration into morality.

Although the movie isn't political, the line about "it's always darkest before the dawn" struck a chord in me, as I've used the line to describe Iraq. "Things will start to get worse, before it gets better." Same goes for medical treatments- there's that rough moment when surgery puts you through misery and pain in order to heal you.

And in the movie when people were finger-pointing their anger at Batman and those who have tried to protect them, rather than laying blame and responsibility squarely on the shoulders of The Joker....well, you all know where I'm heading with that one.

Anyway, the movie is outstanding on a host of levels. It's the kind of masterpiece moviemaking that takes comic book nerdiness, and elevates it into the realm of graphic novel maturity and dramatic sophistication.

Funny how the movie shattered box office records over the weekend, when we're supposedly in the grips of a recession. But I suppose a movie like this is classified as "must see", moreso than belonging in the category of frivolous "discretionary spending".

This trailer is outstanding, btw....doubt many of you have seen the version.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Are You Wearing Your Obamas to the Beach, Today?


More Sunday Funnies posted over at Flopping Aces. Some will have you Roffafwl (rolling on the floor flipping and flopping with laughter)

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Will the Battle Over Iraq End in a Way and at an Hour of President Bush's Choosing?

"This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others; it will end in a way and at an hour of our choosing."
-President Bush, Sept 14, 2001 from President's Remarks at National Day of Prayer and Remembrance



By way of Michael Totten:

Security incidents, or attacks, are at their lowest level in four years. Civilian deaths are down by almost 90 percent since General Petraeus’ counterinsurgency “surge” strategy went into effect. High profile attacks, or explosions, are down by 80 percent in the same time period. American and Iraqi soldiers suffer far fewer casualties than they have for years. Ethno-sectarian deaths from Iraq’s civil war plunged all the way down to zero in May and June 2008.










As Indigo Red points out, Senator Obama's adopted President Bush's National Strategy for Victory in Iraq:
True success will take place when we leave Iraq to a government that is taking responsibility for its future – a government that prevents sectarian conflict, and ensures that the al Qaeda threat which has been beaten back by our troops does not reemerge. That is an achievable goal if we pursue a comprehensive plan to press the Iraqis stand up.

Nothing quite like jumping on the bandwagon of success, and pretending it's been your position all along, right?

Further news reads:

U.S. & Iraq Negotiating Conditions-Based Troop Withdrawal Timeframe

On Obama, Iraqis Like the Messenger but Not His Message

Obama Visiting Countries He's Insulted to Prove His Foreign Policy Credentials

Maliki Endorses Bush Plan, Not Obama Plan for Withdrawal

What Maliki said…

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Night at the Movies: "Oh, stewardess, I speak jive"

In light of discussions surrounding who and who can't use "the N-word", I'm reminded of this:

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Troublesome Word

The only episode of Boston Public I ever saw, was Chapter 37, which dealt with the "N"-word. Couldn't find a single clip on YouTube, but that episode should have made me a regular watcher (it didn't, although Jeri Ryan is certainly eye-catching). It really was a good episode.

I'd offer my thoughts, but right now I'm just too exhausted; still wanted to blog the following segments from The View, though:



Hat tip/also blogging: Freedom Eden

By the way, this isn't the first time The View covered the topic of the N-word.

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Against the Surge, before it became cool to be for the Surge...while staying hip to the demands of the moveon.orgers

It's tough to be a politician (when you don't stick to core beliefs):



Hat tip to Leah




Hat tip: Scott


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Trading Future Killers for the Bodies of Dead Patriots

"Ehud Barak [Israel's defence minister] made a big promise that Israel would do anything to get any of their soldiers back again,"
-David Chater, reporting for Al Jazeera

Samir Kuntar, one of five Lebanese prisoners released by Israel as part of an exchange deal with Hezbollah, has said he had no regrets over his imprisonment in 1979 for the murder of three Israelis.
~~~
As Kuntar received a hero's welcome in Lebanon on Thursday, Israel buried the remains of two soldiers returned as part of the deal with Hezbollah.

Thousands of people attended the funerals for Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who were captured during a cross-border raid which sparked a 34-day conflict between the Israel and the Lebanese movenment.

~~~

Kuntar was convicted and sentenced to five life terms for killing a police officer, a civilian and a four-year-old child in a raid in the northern Israeli town of Nahariya.

But on Thursday he told the crowds that came out to welcome to his home town: "I haven't for even one day regretted what I did.

"On the contrary I remain committed to my political convictions," Kuntar said.

~~~

Chater also said that Israel had acknowledged that Hezbollah had got the best of the latest deal.

"There is a lot of thought going on. A committee is being prepared by the Israeli government so that some kind of rule can be set for prisoner exchanges," he said.

Hezbollah also received the bodies of almost 200 Lebanese and Palestinian fighters from Israel.
Exchanging live prisoners for a couple of dead bodies.....?.....?......?! And that's going to accomplish what exactly?


A lot of activity going on in the Middle East.

I sense war is brewing.


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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Control of Diwaniyah Province in Iraqi Hands

Perhaps more important than the news coverage over the New Yorker poor-taste satirical cover art and Obama's Iraq speech (also, Curt's post here), is this news of more progress in Iraq:

...another province, Diwaniyah, was handed over to Iraqi government control.

This means that for the first time, a democratically-elected Iraqi government is in charge of a majority of the country (10 of 18 provinces). The largest province and former home of the Sunni insurgency, al Anbar, is on the cusp of being handed over as well.

Is Senator Obama paying any attention? Amy Proctor pointed out that Anbar Province was to be handed over to Provincial Iraqi control back in June:

The predominantly Sunni province of Anbar to the west of Baghdad, once almost a synonym for the insurgency but recently much more peaceful, was to have been handed over last month.

There is reported to be a dispute over to whom exactly the US military would hand over control.

But overall, the violence countrywide is now at its lowest level since 2003.

That, our correspondent says, is in large measure attributed to the US troop "surge", which began last year and is now coming to an end.

It's only a matter of time.

How many more "man-on-the-street" interviews do I have to endure, hearing someone, who bases his opinion on 2005-6 hammered-home negativity, "We need to end the war now and bring all our troops home."

I wonder how many of them still are stuck on the belief that Iraq is in a civil war?

Here's Michael Totten on Michael Yon optimism, and why it deserves credible weight:

Michael Yon infuriated a whole swath of his audience some years ago when he said Iraq was in a state of civil war. Only the most committed anti-war leftists wanted to hear it. Vice President Dick Cheney famously and foolishly said the U.S. was “turning the corner” around the same time. Cheney is a politican. Yon is a straight-shooter. So it means something when Yon writes the following:

The war continues to abate in Iraq. Violence is still present, but, of course, Iraq was a relatively violent place long before Coalition forces moved in. I would go so far as to say that barring any major and unexpected developments (like an Israeli air strike on Iran and the retaliations that would follow), a fair-minded person could say with reasonable certainty that the war has ended. A new and better nation is growing legs. What's left is messy politics that likely will be punctuated by low-level violence and the occasional spectacular attack. Yet, the will of the Iraqi people has changed, and the Iraqi military has dramatically improved, so those spectacular attacks are diminishing along with the regular violence. Now it's time to rebuild the country, and create a pluralistic, stable and peaceful Iraq. That will be long, hard work. But by my estimation, the Iraq War is over.
The way I see it, the Iraq War ended when President Bush declared major combat operations had ended. What we became engaged in next was a different phase. Another chapter. What appears to be the case, is that the insurgency has lost its momentum. It may take years yet, for it to completely dematerialize. But I think our role there is coming to a close. Afghanistan is resurfacing as a problem. Who knows what is in store for Iraq's future? The future is ultimately unknowable, and anything can change on a dinar.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are battles in the long war, just as Vietnam and Korea were battles in a larger war.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why is Congress' Approval Rating So Low? It's Bush's Fault!

"Any time, I repeat, any time you have a president that is down so, so far in poll numbers, it drags down a city council member," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "It drags down any elected official, including us, and we recognize that." -Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)




Hat tip: The New Editor

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With Endorsements Like These.....

Who endorses/supports Senator Barack Obama's race for the White House?

Louis Farrakhan: The endorsement that's not an endorsement:

"This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better," he said. "This young man is capturing audiences of black and brown and red and yellow. If you look at Barack Obama's audiences and look at the effect of his words, those people are being transformed."

Farrakhan compared Obama to the religion's founder, Fard Muhammad, who also had a white mother and black father. "A black man with a white mother became a savior to us," he told the crowd of mostly followers. "A black man with a white mother could turn out to be one who can lift America from her fall."

Damage control:
“I have been very clear in my denunciation” of Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic remarks, Obama said at the Democratic debate in Cleveland, “I did not solicit his support.” Obama said he “can not censor” individual endorsements but said there is no affiliation with his campaign and Farrakhan. “I can’t say to somebody that he can’t say that he thinks I’m a good guy,” Obama said, citing his support among Jewish Americans and stating that he would make it a priority to soothe historically tense ties between the African-American and Jewish communities in the nation. “I have some of the strongest support from the Jewish community in my hometown of Chicago and in this campaign,” he said, describing himself as a “stalwart” on supporting Israel.

Hamas: (by way of Powerline):

On Sunday, Aaron Klein and John Batchelor interviewed Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to the Prime Minister of Hamas, on WABC radio. The interview produced a scoop which, for some reason, has not been widely publicized: Hamas has endorsed Barack Obama for President. Yousef said, "We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election." Why? "He has a vision to change America." Maybe Yousef has some insight into what Obama means by all these vague references to "change."

Of course, Hamas's taste in American presidents is suspect. Yousef also described Jimmy Carter, who was about to pay a call on Hamas when the interview was taped, as "this noble man" who "did an excellent job as President."

Yousef was asked about Obama's condemnation of Carter's visit with Hamas, but didn't seem troubled by it. Hamas, he says, understands American politics; this is the election season, and everyone wants to sound like a friend of Israel. Nevertheless, he hopes that the Democrats will change American policies when they take office.

In other words, "just another politician":
"politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability."- Reverend Wright interviewed by Bill Moyers

Well, after doing a Jeremiah Wright turn on Hamas, the Islamic Terrorist Movement did their own "Wright turn" and unendorsed the
“Obama’s comments have confirmed that there will be no change in the U.S. administration’s foreign policy on the Arab-Israeli conflict,” Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters in Gaza.

“The Democratic and Republican parties support totally the Israeli occupation at the expense of the interests and rights of Arabs and Palestinians,” he said.

“Hamas does not differentiate between the two presidential candidates, Obama and McCain, because their policies regarding the Arab-Israel conflict are the same and are hostile to us, therefore we do have no preference and are not wishing for either of them to win,” Zuhri said.
ABC's Political Punch says Hamas never actually endorsed Senator Obama:
Hamas had never actually endorsed Obama. In April, Hamas political adviser Ahmed Yousef told WABC radio that "we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will [win] the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy, great man with great principle, and he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community but not with domination and arrogance."
What a great non-endorsement, huh?

Hugo Chavez?
“We’re going to need to see who is going to be the strongest candidate against Senator McCain. And I believe that is Senator Obama with his emphasis on change and bringing people together, a fresh voice internationally, somebody that is able, in my judgment..to bring…. at least I just got back from Latin America, from Venezuela, where he has enormous support, where people really want to see a change in American foreign policy and they see Obama as that agent of change.“-Bill Richardson on CNN
As Hot Air says,
When Richardson speaks about Venezuelans who want to see a change in American foreign policy, one has to remember that the only Venezuelans Richardson meets are Chavez and his regime’s diplomats. Richardson certainly isn’t meeting with Venezuelan dissidents while trying to wheedle Chavez into getting his terrorist supporters to release the three Americans.

Fidel Castro: While offering "harsh words" for Senator McCain, Castro called Obama "the most advanced candidate" in the race. But Castro, being the savvy leader he is, cautioned himself,
"I feel no resentment towards him, for he is not responsible for the crimes perpetrated against Cuba and humanity," Castro wrote. "Were I to defend him, I would do his adversaries an enormous favor."
Too late, buddy. You already have.

Muammar Gaddafi:
“Africa and the Arab world are ready to back and finance Barack Obama as long as he helps the oppressed populations”, said the Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, calling however on the US democratic presidential candidate to not always defend Israel at all costs, as all American presidents have done so far.
This comes, in spite of his criticism of "our Kenyan brother":While the rest of Africa is going gaga at the thought that an African-American might live in the White House, Gadhafi said that a black president will have an inferiority complex. "This will make him behave worse than the whites," he said. Case in point? Obama's alleged proposal to give $300 billion in aid to Israel in hopes that the Jewish state doesn't assassinate him like it killed Kennedy. According to Gaddafi, Israeli agents murdered JFK because he tried to investigate their secret nuclear weapons program.

Kim Jong-Il:
We will see a better relationship between the U.S. and the Korean Peninsula with Obama, who sternly criticizes Bush and who would meet the leader of Chosun without pre-conditions, than with the “Bush clone” and scarecrow of the neocons McCain.
More recently.


If any of these "supporters/endorsers" were really clever, they'd publically endorse Senator McCain to help Senator Obama's campaign. After all, we all know that he truly is their preferred candidate.

Anyone care to add to the list? I know I left some out.

Hat tip: This ain't Hell, but you can see it from here

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Monday, July 14, 2008

More Smoke and Mirrors


This time involving Senator Obama and the Colorado Veterans. CJ exposes the illusion. Curt reveals the dishonesty in his NYTimes op-ed.

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AP Stringer: detached obeserver or complicit to murder?

My Pet Jawa asks the question of AP photographer Rahmatullah Naikzad.
STORYLINE:

Taliban militants said they executed two women in central Afghanistan after accusing them of working as prostitutes on a US base.

A spokesman for Ghazni's governor, said the women, dressed in blue burqas, were shot and killed late Saturday just outside Ghazni city in central Afghanistan.

He called the two "innocent local people."

Taliban fighters told Associated Press Television News the two were executed for allegedly running a prostitution ring catering to US soldiers and other foreign contractors at a US base in Ghazni city.

1st Lt. Nathan Perry, a US military spokesman, says he has never heard of allegations "anything close to that nature."

An Associated Press Television News crew was in the vicinity when the women were killed.

The crew heard gunshots and filmed from some distance in the dark.

The following day Associated Press Television filmed the bodies of the two women.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Uh, oh...."


The over-the-top cover is actually a "distraction" from the substance of the must-read article itself. I'm sure the Obama campaign would love supporters to have a Danish cartoon moment, and focus upon the art cover to divert attention away from the piece by Ryan Lizza.

Hat tip: The Strata-Sphere and The New Editor

Also blogging:
American Power
Freedom Eden

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Breaking News



Hat tip: The Generator Blog

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Mixed Nuts

Conan O'Brien:


Hat tip: Freedom Eden

SNL:


And speaking of cutting off nuts....read about ACORN

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

The AP Adds Color Commentary to Their Straight News

Douglas K. Daniel writing for the AP:

With a quick-from-the-lip repartee, broadcaster's good looks and a relentlessly bright outlook — if not always a command of the facts — he became a popular figure around the country to the delight of his White House bosses.

~~~

As press secretary, Snow brought partisan zeal and the skills of a seasoned performer to the task of explaining and defending the president's policies. During daily briefings, he challenged reporters, scolded them and questioned their motives as if he were starring in a TV show broadcast live from the West Wing.

Critics suggested that Snow was turning the traditionally informational daily briefing into a personality-driven media event short on facts and long on confrontation. He was the first press secretary, by his own accounting, to travel the country raising money for Republican candidates.

Yes, because we know that Helen Thomas and company were long on facts and short on confrontation [/sarcasm]

Hat tip: Matt Lewis

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Hollywood at War

In 2007 through to present, we've seen about 8 anti-war movies:
The Jacket (2006)
Home of the Brave (2006)
In the Valley of Elah
Redacted
Rendition

Grace is Gone
Lions for Lambs
Stop-Loss

What did I miss....? Hard to keep tabs on all the rubbish I help to torpedo at the box office by staying home with my hard-earned dollars. Other examples of recent years (anti-war, anti-military, anti-corporation, anti-Republican/conservative, anti-religious) that demonstrates a love of leaning leftward: Three Kings, Courage Under Fire, The Manchurian Candidate, and Jarhead. Stephanie Zacharek, writing for Salon, says of Jarhead's director, Sam Mendes:
And with "Jarhead" he pulls off, effortlessly, what so many pro- and antiwar individuals since Vietnam have tried so conscientiously to avoid: His movie is antiwar and anti-soldier.
Then we have other lefty fantasies, like, September Dawn, Death of a President (ok, not Hollywood, nevertheless....)and HBO's Recount, masquerading as historical dramatized reality.

How did these pictures do? They literally BOMBED at the box office. All of them. Why? Because, as Kevin of Pundit Review put it a year ago,
People don’t want to see this crap. Who are they kidding. It used to be that people like Jason Dunham and Paul Ray Smith would be the subjects of Hollywood movies. You know, actual war heroes.
Instead, Hollywood keeps churning out movies that celebrate Che Guevara, (and lefties always like to point out how big business companies and Hollywood is motivated solely by profit- B***sh***!!!),while condemning Joseph McCarthy, hostility toward religion (or more specifically, to Christianity, such as Jesus Camp and The Golden Compass), and quite simply polluting our culture with shameless liberal beliefs and activism.

Can anyone name a single movie post-9/11 that's come out where Islamic terror is named as the enemy? 24 doesn't count. For one, it's a TV series, and hamstrung by the political correctness police.

I didn't see The Kingdom, but I'm not entirely sure this one counts as a pro-American, pro-war on Islamic terror movie, as I've heard there is a scene toward the end that suggests moral equivalence. Compound it by this NYTimes review:
In some ways it’s an anti-Iraq movie, not because it expresses opposition to the war there but rather because it makes no mention of it. Instead, the film spins a cathartic counternarrative. After a murderous terrorist attack a few of our best people — four, rather than a few hundred thousand — go over to the country that spawned the terrorists, kill the bad guys and come home.
Sounds like a return back to dealing with terrorism as solely a law enforcement issue (given the movie's background, based upon Louis Frei's My FBI, it's probably the case).

LIBERTAS Review:
If you’re looking for a pro-American film this isn’t it. If you’re looking for an anti-American film this isn’t it (sorry, libs, but not to worry, many more coming). But if you’re looking for a film where a bunch of can-do American FBI agents ignore the State Department and unilaterally enter a sovereign nation without so much as a U.N. resolution to kick the unholy ass of a bunch of Islamofascist terrorists, this might be the one.
LIBERTAS does consider it a pro-killing Islamofascists movie; but I'm not entirely convinced (admitting, once again, that I am commenting from a position of ignorance, since I haven't seen the movie). Medved mentions about what he perceived as a moral equivalence copout when toward the end of the movie, Jamie Foxx's character and Abu Hamza are juxtaposed to say "We're going to kill them all".

Peter Berg himself says, "At its core, this film is about FBI agents trying to investigate a series of homicides in a complicated environment. That’s it."

Later in the interview,
Paul: Can you talk about the film’s delay in release?

Berg: I feel really good about that. You know, what happened was we had a series of test screenings a while ago . . . Sacramento . . . and we all went up there and watched the film and it was a pretty bizarre experience. The audience started clapping very intensely and they started responding very aggressively, and I sat there thinking I really f***ed up and had made something that appealed to the most bloodthirsty, violent, militaristic component of our culture, and that was never the intention. And afterwards we had this focus group of 30 people and everyone sort of talking about the film in very emotional terms, and they were responding to Ashraf’s death and to the message at the end, and they said, yeah, there was great action, but that they were finding the film provocative, at which point we were like — maybe we should think a bit more about how we release this film and put a little more thought into it. And the studio was extremely supportive, and said, we want to take more time, figure out exactly what we have, figure out how we want to sell it, and that was followed up by a very intense screening process, which included a European screening with a pretty heavy Muslim population, where we experienced the same reaction. So the bottom line is I’m glad we took the time, I feel great about coming out when we are, and very appreciative of the studio for taking the extra time, and spending the extra money to give it a more thorough release.
So, no: Not a pro-war on Islamic terror movie. Just a straight-up action film. 2006's The Pacifier, like many politically-correct-saddled movies, can't "name the enemy"; in that movie we get "Serbian" terrorists.

Ironman came close also, but not quite there (for reasons explained below, in the Medved review excerpt). Medved, in reviewing September Dawn, points out the confused, liberal mind:

The film's deliberately drawn analogy between Mountain Meadows and 9/11 raises the most puzzling question about this peculiar project: Why frame an indictment of violent religiosity by focusing on long-ago Mormon leaders rather than contemporary Muslims who perpetrate unspeakable brutalities every day?

In fact, Hollywood's reluctance to portray Islamo-Nazi killers remains difficult, if not impossible, to explain. Since 2001's devastating attacks, big studios have released numerous movies with terrorists as part of the plot, including Sum of All Fears, Red Eye, Live Free or Die Hard, The Bourne Ultimatum and many more, but virtually all of them show terrorists as Europeans or Americans with no Islamic connections. Even historically based thrillers downplay Muslim terrorism: Steven Spielberg's Munich spends more than 80% of its running time showing Israelis as killers and Palestinians as victims, while Oliver Stone's World Trade Center highlights the aftermath of the attacks with no depiction of those who perpetrated them. United 93 stands out among recent releases in showing Islamic killers in acts of terror — and it would be hard to tell that story without portraying the suicidal hijackers.

Beyond topicality, Tinseltown's respect for Muslim sensibilities has proved so pervasive that there has been little or no reference to bloody episodes of the Islamic past. In Kingdom of Heaven, Muslim followers of Saladdin appear far more sympathetic than the thuggish, devious Christian Crusaders. Despite the fact that founders of Islam built their religion through centuries of conquest vastly more bloody than incidents at the beginnings of Mormonism, it's unthinkable that filmmakers would ever depict Mohammed and his followers as viciously as they handle Brigham Young in September Dawn.

(In contrast to Medved's movie reviews, especially as it relates to the slate of anti-(Iraq) war films, check out this piece for an example of a liberal reviewer's intellectual sophistry).

Whatever happened to rumors of Bruce Willis' interest in a film project covering the exploits of the Deuce Four? Instead, just around the bend we have Green Zone (Imperial Life in the Emerald City); Sony Pictures bought the rights to Richard Clarke's Against All Enemies. Oliver Stone is making a movie on George W. Bush. Isn't that special? The latest I've heard on the Deuce Four film:
Just heard from Michael Yon on Ed Morrissey’s show, that film about Deuce Four that was rumored in 2005 is still in the works. Yon said he had just sent another “treatment” back to his agent. Three years later it’s still far from being made, but it’s still floating around out there.
If Hollywood wanted to turn a profit, if they wanted to help the world fight Islamic terrorism, maybe they should go back to making pro-American, pro-military films? Michael Medved (Yes, I'm citing him a lot...he is a movie reviewer, after all, as well as a favorite conservative talk show host):
During WWII, there were tons of movies dealing with that war -- and no, the German Nazis were not portrayed as Uruguayans or Fiji Islanders. The truth of the matter is that war movies have changed in a fundamental way, and, I would submit to you, a dangerous way for the health of our culture and for the strength of our republic.

Subversion of the Classic War Film

Three elements were always present in classic war movies -- films like the John Wayne version of The Alamo, or The Longest Day, or A Bridge Too Far or Sergeant York. First, there was great affection for, and indeed glorification of, the American fighting man, who was portrayed as one of us; as representative of the best of what this country is. Second, there was obvious sympathy for the American cause. And third, the wars being dramatized were portrayed as meaning something.


Where's the Hollywood script for this? Do I have to do it myself? Think of the anti-al Qaeda propaganda value of making a movie about Sheik Sattar. His brother, Sheik Ahmad, even suggested as much:
Sheik Ahmad said he wanted Hollywood to make a movie about the life story of his brother, who was so revered after his murder that Iraq’s interior minister dedicated a statue to him on the road from Baghdad to Anbar
Amy Proctor echoes the desire for such a film:
Interestingly, my husband the COIN expert has been saying for some time he’d love to see a Hollywood movie about the Anbar Awakening and how the sheik and his brother helped win it back from al-Qaeda. It is heroic stuff.
I wholeheartedly agree, just on the strength of propaganda purposes, alone. Hollywood, giving Iraqis a hero with an Iraqi face they can be proud of and rally behind. Draw inspiration from. Mythify him; make him larger-than-life! Movements need heroes. America needs to know its war heroes.

Once upon a time, Tinseltown was pro-American, anti-communist, and active in the fight against America's enemies. Today, Hollywood views George W. Bush as the enemy, rather than Islamic terrorists. Hollywood could easily join the fight and exercise their influence for purposes of winning (and shortening) the Long War, rather than in demoralizing the American public and portraying American soldiers as victims and/or murderous monsters. Yes, Hollywood could easily make films that give us something to cheer about, and they could turn a profit while they're at it....

...If only they weren't so far to the left as to be useless idiots.

Reposted from Flopping Aces

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