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7/26/2005
TERRORISM’S LATEST VICTIM
CATEGORY: War on Terror

This article originally appears in The American Thinker

“Success has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphan” applies to just about every human endeavor with the exception of war. War usually has one father while making orphans galore.

In our current situation, the father of this war is international Islamism and its adherents who seek to reestablish a Muslim Caliphate from the Middle East to Indonesia. They wish to bring the world’s one billion Muslims under one roof and impose Islamic law (Shai’ria) on everyone – Jewish, Christan and Muslim alike.

Only the willfully self-deluded deny this. To them, the War on Terror is a gigantic conspiracy of George Bush who seeks dictatorial powers on behalf of his friends – multi-national corporations and shadowy Christian fundamentalists.

What these fools will do when George Bush gives up his “dictatorial powers” and leaves office in 2008 is open to question. Will they admit they’re wrong? Or simply transfer their unreasoning hatred to the next occupant of the oval office whoever he or she may be?

I can guarantee that it won’t matter one wit to the jihadists. They’re in this war for the long haul and any temporary setbacks in Afghanistan and Iraq matter little to them. The west is the enemy tangentially because of who we are and what we stand for but they really seek to destroy us for a far more simple and basic reason.

We’re in the way.

We are an impediment to their goals. They know we will not sit idly by while several billion people (half of whom would be women) come under the harsh dictums of Shai’ria law with its unyielding strictures against human liberty, its treatment of women as chattel, and its nightmarish transformation of Jews, Christians, and people of other faiths into slaves under the governing system of dhimmitude. We in the west must then be eliminated or neutralized.

Terror, as has been said often but needs to be repeated, is a tactic used by our enemies in this war. This tactic has been most effective not in a military sense but in getting us to question the underlying belief in our civilization. For in order to counter the murderous intentions of our enemies, western countries have had to resort to undemocratic and, in some cases, dictatorial methods in order to avoid the worst that our enemies can do. And that worst is what keeps our leaders awake at nights; the use of a weapon of mass destruction that would quite literally bring western civilization to its knees.

This is not hyperbole. This is a statement of fact. Anyone who has contemplated what would happen with the detonation of a nuclear device in a large American city realizes that the fragile threads that bind our economy, our citizenry, and our government would snap the moment the mushroom cloud blossomed. And the interconnectedness of the world’s economy would spell doom for most of the rest of the planet after the certain collapse of the American economy following such a disaster.

To keep this from happening, western governments have been forced to curtail some liberties and use methods and enact procedures that in peacetime would be grounds for revolution. Unfortunately as is wont to happen in war, innocents get caught in the middle, hemmed in between our necessary desire for security and the free exercise of our liberties.

Recently, we’ve had a horrible example of this “collateral damage” with the tragic death of 27-year-old Jean Charles de Menezes whose inexplicable flight from authorities resulted in an incident that will cause Great Britain to question some basic assumptions regarding civil liberties in an age of terror.

Mr. Menezes, a Brazilian immigrant, was shot dead by police when, after repeated orders to stop, he jumped the turnstile at an underground station and ran into a crowded subway car. Since he was dressed in a fleece jacket in 80 degree weather, police suspected he was a suicide bomber and felt they had no choice but to “shoot to kill.”

Were the officers justified? The fact is that if Mr. Menezes was a suicide bomber, dozens perhaps hundreds of lives were saved. But since he wasn’t, Mr. Menezes ends up a victim of terrorism as much as anyone who died in the London bombs of 7/7. When police have only seconds to make that determination, mistakes are going to be made. And the fact that they will probably be more careful next time may mean that a suicide bomber will succeed in his murderous intent. When that happens, do you think all of the critics who have been so vociferous in their protests over the last 24 hours will praise the police for their restraint? Or, for that matter, if Mr. Menezes had been a suicide bomber, what would their response have been?

I feel for the Muslim community in Great Britain who perhaps for the first time, realize the deadly serious nature of the threat they face. Will they draw the correct conclusions? Or will they continue to condemn terrorist incidents in general terms while playing politics with their supposed victimization? It’s time for them to put up or shut up. If, as a recent poll suggests, 25% of British Muslims sympathize with what the 7/7 bombers were trying to accomplish, then additional tragedies will occur including the very real possibility that they will find themselves even more ostracized and isolated than ever. And in extreme circumstances, their status as citizens could be at risk. How tolerant will the majority of Britains be if a wave of suicide attacks send casualty figures skyrocketing? Anything is possible when fear takes hold in democratic societies – just ask Japanese Americans.

The bottom line is that this tragedy would not have occurred but for the War on Terror. When police shoot first and ask questions later it is right that we ask ourselves how far we’re willing to go in giving up our liberty in order to be safe. The banal quotation from Benjamin Franklin “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security” is totally inappropriate for any argument in the War on Terror. For it’s not a question of “security” we’re talking about but rather a question of “survival” – something Old Ben never had to face and couldn’t possibly understand.

There will be an investigation and debate in Great Britain over this tragedy. This is what democratic societies do and should be viewed in that light. It is one of our strengths that we can discuss these matters and refine and redefine if necessary the basis on which our societies operate. The important thing is that trust be maintained between the governed and the governors. This trust or “consent” is vitally necessary if government is going to be able to take the steps necessary to both protect us from the terrorists and yet allow the exercise of the very freedoms the terrorists seek to take away.

There will never be a definitive answer to the questions posed by the needless death of Mr. Menezes. Rather, like freedom itself, the answers will continue to evolve in response to specific situations as the free peoples of this earth seek to fend off the murderous advances of an enemy that seeks to take our lives, our freedoms, and our way of life. They can’t defeat us on any battlefield. They can only win if we allow their threats to cow our resolve to maintain both security and liberty. For if we give in to the temptation to favor one at the expense of the other, something vital will have been lost that we may find impossible to retrieve; the trust that exists between us all which allows our freedoms to flourish.

By: Rick Moran at 9:11 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (3)

NIF linked with Master Paladin Junior Grade
CARNIVAL OF THE CLUELESS #7

Maybe its the heat.

Record temps across most of the country seems to have brought the cluebats – both right and left – out of hiding. Like roaches scurrying hither and yon who are flushed from underneath the floorboards by applying liberal doses of smoke, the clueless have emerged this week into the light of day, coughing and hacking up their bilious rants and stumbling into one faux pas after another.

My personal favorite would have to be the Lieutenant Governor from the state of Pennsylvania who, not content to waste away in her office enjoying her golden years of senility, wandered the small towns and villages until she found herself at the funeral of a Marine killed in Iraq. Mistaking the gathering of grieving relatives for a Democratic fundraiser celebrating her party’s prospects to maintain control of the state house, she handed out her business card hoping to corral some of the largess being dispensed by the usual suspects at any Democratic party event; mobbed up unions, crooked trial lawyers, and washed up Hollywood actors.

Knowing the best way to get ahead at any event featuring more than two Democrats, she let it be known that the Kingdom of Pennsylvania opposed the war in Iraq. It’s unclear if she ever did figure out that she was at a funeral. She was heard to complain before leaving that the buffet could have been more expansive.

To be fair, she has issued an apology…of sorts. As one wag put it: “When the first words of a personal message are FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, you know it’s a poll-felt communication from a politician.”

Indeedy do.

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
(Albert Einstein)
“Hey Al! You forgot about Michael Moore’s appetite!”
(Me)

Cao of Cao’s Blog (pronounced “key”) sends us something from her “Only in America” department. One of her moonbat commenters, a Stephen Pearcy, has recently received national recognition for one of his less than inspirational pieces of art which depicts a map of the USA and superimposed flag being flushed down a toilet. This “artwork” was not graffiti in some public restroom but rather hung in the cafeteria at the California Department of Justice. Cao has a link to a contest for some counterprotest art in response.

Mr. Satire has done it again. In a definitely not safe for work post (nice pics though) Mr. S. takes a hilarious look at Roman Polanski’s recent libel suit against Vanity Fair. A snip: “After reading the article, I had to re-live the horrible sexual orgies and the decadent culture of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll in the good old days,” said Polanski.

The Peoples Republic of Seabrook gives us our first post about that truly clueless Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo who fancies himself something of a strategic thinker in the War on Terror. How nuking Mecca qualifies as thinking at all escapes me.

More Tancredo from AJ at The Strata-Sphere who wonders whether giving the cluebat this kind of recognition bestows a certain status on his ridiculous comments. Given that most disagree with his sentiments, I have to agree with AJ about his reasons for posting.

The Right Place has a wickedly funny take on a secret meeting held at DNC headquarters last week regarding the nomination of Judge Roberts to the Supreme Court. It’s worth reading if only to hear our illustrious minority leader: NANCY PELOSI: (Steps forward dressed in a ceremonial black robe and holding a tambourine) There is but one “Supreme” power, and SCOTUS is Her Name! {Shakes tambourine}

Don Surbur has some laugh out loud idiocy from his local government. Reading about this kind of cluelessness makes the old saw “He that governs best, governs least” resonate with meaning.

Mark Nicodemo has the honor of being the first to send us a post on Cluebat Hall of Fame member and Special Lifetime Achievement Award winner Jane Fonda whose anti-war “Crisco Tour” of America in a bus that runs on vegetable oil is a joke waiting for a punchline.

Searchlight Crusade has a truly frightening piece on the number and frequency of air space violations since 9/11. Dan Melson takes Congress and the Bureaucracy to task for this failing. Read it and get educated.

The lovely and talented Pamela, the “grrrlll blogger” from Atalas Shrugs wonders what the Iranian Thuggycrats are up to this week and then, in a stroke of inspiration, decides to see what the State of Israel has been up to during the same period. Um…guess who comes out looking like a grown up civilized society and which one looks like a mental institution for paranoids.

The Maryhunter is back from Hoboken and blogging about People for the American Way and their cluelessness about the Roberts nomination. He asks “If not Officially Opposing Roberts, then surely…”
The answer is yes they are opposing Roberts…AND DON’T CALL ME SHIRLEY!

The aforementioned Katherine Baker Knoll, Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, is the target of Van Helsing’s wooden stake this week. What better site to highlight this kind of stupidity than one named “Moonbattery?”

More Knollology from More Than Loans. Tony B. has an excellent riposte to the left who are constantly complaining why Bush never attends the funerals of the fallen.

Flight Pundit has an eye opening blurb on John McCain’s cluelessness regarding the definition of “negligent.” Now if John could only learn how to spell “R-E-P-U-B-L-I-C-A-N and look up in a dictionary what it means he might have a shot in ‘08.

Giacomo of Joust the Facts is in high dudgeon over the way President Bush has been portrayed in a winning entry to a faux William Faulkner contest. Hey! I thought the left didn’t read anything by dead white, anglo-saxon men!

He’s baaaack! Hall of Famer John Kerry is back and Palmetto Pundit has him! In what can only be called a supremely ironic twist of fate, Klueless Kerry is demanding that someone else release documents.

Freedom is busting out all over – and in some of the most unlikely places. Take Yemen for example. Willisms shows why Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh , like most dictators, doesn’t have a clue as to why people should be revolting against his benevolent rule.

Quick! Stop the ACLU! Jay reminds us how this once respected rights group has now degenerated into partisan hackery and support for the enemies of civilization. Does anyone remember Kerensky?

Mean Ole Meany is being…well, mean. To lefties. To “Splodeydopes.”Strike three! Now sit down and shut up.” Yep…that just about covers it.

Parrot Check has a post on some real classy war protesters. Well at least they weren’t dressed in pink underwear while protesting the funeral of a fallen hero. Sayeth Duncan: “And may God convict the souls of those ignorant protesters who, like a flock of vultures, swooped down on a solemn and holy occasion honoring a fallen warrior.” Amen, bruddah.

Mark Coffey at Decision ‘08 has a post about apologists for terror such as Ali Kazak, the head of the General Palestinian Delegation to Australia & New Zealand and Palestinian Ambassador to Vanuatu and East Timor. I think this particular Palestinian has been sipping some of that beetle nut flavored Koolaid.

Minh Duc at State of Flux has a very personal and extremely well written response to John Derbyshire of NRO’s The Corner and his cluelessness about the Army of the Republic of South Viet Nam. Mr. Minh would seem to know of what he speaks. Too bad Mr. Derbyshire doesn’t.

Harvey at Bad Example has a really good example of hate mail gleaned from Blackfive’s site. Harvey: I’m tempted to put a Drink Alert on it – though whether because it’s so funny or because it’s so pig-ignorant, I’ll leave as an exercise for the reader. Grab a brew and enjoy!

Josh Cohen at Multiple Mentality has some ideas for the cluebats who are launching the shuttle today at NASA. Would you go up in a vehicle that had a 1 in 100 chance of blowing up? God how our once mighty space program has fallen!

Finally, here’s my post on the Pentagon’s refusal to turn over Abu Ghraib photographs and tapes to the ACLU and other moonbats.

UPDATE

Don’t forget the Carnival of the Vanities hosted this week at Partie Place.

By: Rick Moran at 7:53 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (15)

Blog Carnival linked with CARNIVAL OF THE CLUELESS #7
Bad Example linked with COURTESY LINKAGE
The Right Place linked with 'Round the 'Sphere: July 29, 2005
Watcher of Weasels linked with Weekly Roundup of Weekly Roundups
Multiple Mentality | www.multiplementality.com linked with Items of Interest #50
NIF linked with Master Paladin Junior Grade
The Palmetto Pundit linked with Carnival Roundup
Don Surber linked with Attention
Mean Ol' Meany linked with This Week's Carnivals, Symphonies, and Bonfires
Decision '08 linked with I Would Never Bring Up My Opponent's Weird...
Brainster's Blog linked with Getcha Popcorn, Getcha Peanuts, Getcha Cotton Cand
7/25/2005
BUSH’S BIGGEST FAILURE
CATEGORY: War on Terror

This article in yesterday’s New York Times mirrors what I’ve been saying for more than two years; the biggest failure of George Bush’s presidency has been his failure to lead the American people as if there’s a war on.

Here’s what I wrote on 5/27/05:

My criticism, however, went back to early 2003 when it became clear that war with Iraq was a necessary adjunct to the war on terror.

My criticism had to do with the President’s entire approach to the coming conflict. I said at the time “it didn’t feel like we were going to war,” that the President didn’t step up to the plate and ask the American people to sacrifice anything, that indeed any sacrificing to be done would be borne by the armed forces and their families.

I realize now that the “cakewalk” theme was in vogue at the White House and the President didn’t think it necessary. But by May of 2004 when it became clear that the terrorists weren’t going away anytime soon, the President could have rallied the American people by abandoning much of his domestic agenda, slashing the budget, perhaps even (gasp! Here’s a novel idea)...) raising taxes to pay for the war.

It’s a good thing Bush didn’t listen to me. He would have been slaughtered in the November election.

That being said, I still feel the burden of this war is falling disproportionately on the military and their families. I think the President should have put everything else on the backburner in order to win this war. If that meant abandoning social security reform, so be it. What we have in Washington is too much “business as usual.” What we need is a sense of urgency. At the moment, we have North Korea and Iran on the horizon. Either one of those problems could lead to some kind of crisis that would involve the military. And with 125,000 of our best troops tied up in Iraq, this severely limits our options.

The President’s failure to rally the people and instead, depend on the 50% of us who couldn’t stomach the idea of Kerry’s wishy-washy internationalist approach to the conflict was the biggest mistake of his Presidency. He could have done better.

As this article points out, at least some in the military feel exactly the same way:

From bases in Iraq and across the United States to the Pentagon and the military’s war colleges, officers and enlisted personnel quietly raise a question for political leaders: if America is truly on a war footing, why is so little sacrifice asked of the nation at large?

There is no serious talk of a draft to share the burden of fighting across the broad citizenry, and neither Republicans nor Democrats are pressing for a tax increase to force Americans to cover the $5 billion a month in costs from Iraq, Afghanistan and new counterterrorism missions.

There are not even concerted efforts like the savings-bond drives or gasoline rationing that helped to unite the country behind its fighting forces in wars past.

“Nobody in America is asked to sacrifice, except us,” said one officer just back from a yearlong tour in Iraq, voicing a frustration now drawing the attention of academic specialists in military sociology.

The question is why this should be so?

Surely one of the reason’s is the very nature of the war we’re fighting. If we were to overturn our lives too much, the terrorists could claim a victory of sorts. This was a fine rationale as far as it went.

But I submit that things have changed to the point that only a Presidential call to arms can now reverse a situation that many whose opinion we should respect are saying includes problems such as military recruitment, our occupation isn’t succeeding fast enough in turning over security responsibilities to the Iraqis, and our enemies are gathering strength to not only hit us again but also take the fight successfully to our allies.

MILITARY PROBLEMS

The fact that army recruiting goals have been met for the last two months cannot hide some alarming trends that, if not fixed, could inhibit our ability to project our power in the near future to places where our national security is threatened.

While recruitment is actually up for the Marine Corps, and the Navy and Air Force are easily meeting their goals, army recruitment is down significantly and worse, enlistment in National Guard units has also fallen off precipitously. And while it’s encouraging that re-enlistment rates among troops serving in Iraq is very high, this doesn’t help if a crisis develops in either Iran or North Korea. The fact is, more than 45% of our combat troops are engaged in Iraq. What would this mean for both the near future and long term?

In order to maintain the current high level of overseas activity many of the previous guidelines and “rules of thumb” for limiting overseas deployments have been set aside. Thus, combat assignments for Army troops have been extended from six months to a year or more, and average time between deployments has been cut. Guard and reserve tours have been extended, too.

Generally speaking, service leaders have sought in the past to routinely deploy one-third or less of warfighting forces overseas at any one time, while permitting relatively brief and infrequent surges to higher levels, such as during Operation Desert Storm. (One-third of the fighting force equals about 20 percent of active personnel overall). This pacing was meant to sustain morale and ensure that training, repair, and modernization cycles could be completed. The point of such guidelines was to strike a balance between current and future requirements.

Recent practice raises the prospect of two types of problems: first, a near-term decline in force cohesion and combat effectiveness while the military is still engaged in current operations; and, second, a long period of force recovery after current operations conclude. During this strategic “reset period” the capacity for large-scale military operations would be lower – perhaps significantly lower – than it was during the pre-war period. According to the Chief of the British Defence Staff, Sir Michael Walker, Great Britain already faces the second of these problems. In March 2004 he reported to the House of Commons Defence Committee that “[w]e are unlikely to be able to get to large-scale [operations] much before the end of the decade, somewhere around 08 or 09.”

With the election in Iran of a hard line ideologue who has already indicated that he wants to go forward with unranium enrichment regardless of what deal he strikes with the EU Three of Great Britain, France, and Germany, and with Israel poised to take military action in the event the enrichment programs are resumed, the middle east is a powder keg ready to explode. And as it stands now, we just do not have the forces available if the region becomes unstable to both police Iraq and protect our vital interests.

Currently (as much as I hate to admit it), the only realistic plan I’ve seen has been proposed by Hillary Clinton to increase the size of the army by 80,000. In order to fill that kind of order, the President is going to have to come before the nation and issue a call for volunteers. And while some would see Hillary’s sponsorship of this measure as her trying to move toward the middle as she prepares to make a presidential run in 2008, it’s still a good idea.

More troops wouldn’t solve all of our problems, but it could be a stop gap measure as we move into the fall and early winter which is when some experts believe the crisis with Iran could come.

THE PACE OF IMPROVEMENT IN IRAQ

As far as Iraqi politics, things are going remarkably well, better than anyone had a right to expect from a country that had never had representative government. However, several recent trends reveal some weaknesses in our strategy that are being exploited by our enemies.

First and foremost is the problem with the number of “boots on the ground.” As it stands now, we’ve painted ourselves into a corner by refusing to up the number of combat personnel in country. It’s clear that the pace of training for the Iraqi military and police is not proceeding as planned. And while the numbers of recruits are encouraging, the fact is that unit cohesion, developing competent officers, and deploying battle ready units is lagging.

This puts us in an almost impossible position. If we increase our troop strength to more effectively fight the insurgency, we undermine the training of the Iraqis. But we can’t draw down our strength because the Iraqis are not coming along fast enough. And since the insurgency is now changing and adapting to new realities, we’re hindered from doing the same. In short, the terrorists are trying their best to keep one step ahead of us.

The biggest change by the terrorists has been the increase in targeting Iraqi civilians on a sectarian basis hoping to ignite a civil war. So far, Shia moderates such as Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani have done a remarkable job of restraining the Shia’s but things are starting to deteriorate. Just a few days ago, we heard this from a close associate of al-Sistani:

“What is truly happening, and what shall happen, is clear: a war against the Shias,” Sheikh Jalal al-Din al-Saghir, a prominent Shia cleric and MP, told the Iraqi parliament.

Sheikh al-Saghir is close to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the supreme Shia spiritual leader and moderate who has so far managed to restrain powerful Shia militias from undertaking any outright attack on Sunni insurgents. His warning suggests that the Shia leadership may be losing its grip over Shias who in private often call for an armed backlash against their Sunni assailants.

A civil war between the Sunnis and Shias would be a nightmare for our forces. One encouraging development has been the inclusion of the Sunnis in drafting the new constitution. It’s devoutly hoped that if the Sunnis feel they have a political stake in the future of a democratic Iraq, that part of the insurgency could subside.

The problem with Zarqawi and al Qaeda is totally separate but once agian reveal a big weakness. Those foreign fighters are still infliltrating through Syria and Iran and we just don’t have enough forces for effective border control. And al Qaeda is playing our national media like a violin, making sure their attacks are spectacular in the numbers of innocent civilians killed which guarantee coverage in our press.

From August.2004 through May, 2005 Iraqi civilian casualties have been estimated at 800 a month. These include several thousand police and army recruits who are routinely attacked as they line up outside recruiting stations. This has had a deterimental effect on Iraqi civilian morale as the people lose faith in the new government to protect them.

AL QAEDA REORGANIZING

While some are saying that the London attacks prove al Qaeda’s reduced operational capabilities, they may also point to a reorganization of the terror network that relies more on small cells for execution while using a top level al Qaeda “overseer” to help plan the attack and be in charge of logistics.

The problems associated with ferreting out these small cells in a free and open democratic society have been demonstrated both here and in Great Britain. But the nightmare scenario is one of these small cells getting a hold of either dangerous chemicals or even a small amount of deadly biologicial material. This is what keeps policy makers awake nights.

But what of the organization’s strategic goals?

Al Qaeda sees the United States not as the primary focus of its long-term goals, but as a challenger to its ultimate goal: the establishment of a pan-Islamic state stretching across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Al Qaeda’s aims are political, and it sees the United States not only in military or ideological terms, but also as a tool to be manipulated to help achieve a desired end.

To build a pan-Islamic state and re-establish the caliphate, al Qaeda requires a social/revolutionary movement stretching across several Muslim states. Stirring such a revolution is not easy, given the fractious nature of the Islamic world and the strength of many of the key Muslim regimes. To bring about a general uprising, al Qaeda needs to produce two initial elements—a common enemy against which to rally the people and a prospect for success. To some degree, the United States serves as the vehicle for both.

By striking at the United States, the security guarantor of many of the Muslim states, al Qaeda can show that Islamist militants are anything but impotent, even when facing down the world’s sole superpower. This, in turn, shows that the United States is vulnerable—and by extension, that the Muslim regimes backed by Washington are equally vulnerable, if not more so.

Using this rationale, al Qaeda wouldn’t have to carry out another 9/11 style attack. But can you imagine a series of bombings in various cities throughout the country on a scale of the London bombings of 7/7? If it’s a strategic goal of the organization to make the United States look impotent, such a demonstration could in fact embolden others to carry out attacks against American interests and our allies in the middle east.

*******************************************
I realize much of this article has been of the “glass is half empty” variety but I did it for a purpose. Too often those of us who support the President automatically reject any bad news coming out of Iraq or the War on Terror as being biased baloney from a bunch of Bush hating reporters and columnists. While this is true some of the time – and goodness knows I’ve debunked enough articles and columns over the last year – the problem as I see it is approaching crisis proportions. Not today. Not next week or month. But certainly within the year as threats materialize elsewhere and perhaps our luck runs out as far as avoiding a terrorist strike here.

Our military is doing a heroic job under extremely trying circumstances in Iraq. And they’re wondering what we here are doing besides giving lip service to their effort.

It’s long past time for the President to put this country on a war footing regardless of what the terrorists, his political opponents, the press, or anyone else may think. There are several things he could do to help our military and I’ve highlighted some of them in this article.

1. He could increase troop strength which would ease both our recruitment woes and shore up our strategic needs for the longer term.

2. He could increase pay and benefits so that the hardships suffered by soldiers families at home would be lessened.

3. He could make a constant effort to remind Americans of the suffering and sacrifices of our military and their families. He could ask Americans to help the families in the hundreds of ways to be found on the americasupportsyou.mil website.

4. He could get more outfront on the war. The President’s speech of June 28 was the culmination of a 10 day media blitz on Iraq. We don’t need media blitzes. We don’t need token references to the war scattered throughout speeches. We need leadership.

5. Raise taxes across the board to pay for the war. No one – not you, not Rumsfeld, not your OMB director – not anyone believed that 2 1/2 years after the cessation of major combat operations that we would still be paying $5.8 billion per month to fund the war. There is no shame in admitting you miscalculated. And such a proposal would wake this country up and let them know there’s a war on.

6. Scale back your reform plans for taxes, social security, and other domestic concerns. Cut entitlement programs while at the same time encouraging young people to enroll in Americorp and other volunteer organizations. Increase funding for your faith based initiative program. Get out front and lead!

These are just a few things the President can do to wake this country out of the slumber we’re in and help us all recognize there’s a war on – a war that will probably get worse before it starts getting better.

Our men and women in uniform deserve no less. And the President is the only one who can lead us in this effort.

By: Rick Moran at 3:03 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (3)

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THE COUNCIL HAS SPOKEN

The votes having been counted, Gates of Vienna won the latest Watcher’s vote with a thoughtful piece entitled Is Britain too Decadent to Survive? Finishing second was “In for the Long Haul: What Needs to Happen in the War on Terror” from The Glittering Eye. Nice chart Eye!

In the non Council category Norm Geras won for his Apologists Among Us while Stephen Green’s “Not Getting It Department” finished in the runner up spot.

If you’d like to participate in this week’s Watcher’s vote, go here and follow instructions.

By: Rick Moran at 11:27 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

CIA PARTISANS: SOME PROFILES
CATEGORY: Politics

Several former CIA officers – many of whom worked in counterintelligence – have recently come out and lambasted the White House for outing Valerie Wilson as an employee of the CIA. And while it’s undeniable that taking Mrs. Wilson’s identity from the routine gossip of Washington cocktail parties and publicizing it in the pages of America’s newspapers is a despicable act deserving of censure and punishment, it may be well to examine the motives of the CIA officers who are the most vociferous in their outrage at the scandal.

These three former agents signed a letter “begging” Congress not to play politics with the identities of intelligence agents. The letter fairly reeks of hypocrisy and hyperbole. Not only are the agents profiled below playing partisan politics as much as the Bush Administration is in this matter, it’s apparent from what these individuals have said in the past that their agenda goes far beyond “protecting” little Mrs. Wilson’s good name and in fact, goes to the heart of the bureaucratic war going on between the unelected government employees who worked or are working for the CIA and the White House.

MELVIN GOODMAN

On the surface, Mr. Goodman has an impressive resume. He was a senior analyst in Soviet affairs at the Central Intelligence Agency, where he worked for two decades (1966-1986). He later served as a Soviet analyst at the State Department, and he currently is professor of international studies at the National War College and a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy. He is the author of three books on Soviet and Russian Affairs.

But dig a little deeper and what you find is someone who worked in a section of the CIA - Soviet Affairs – that got it more wrong, more often, with the subsequent effect on policy that was nearly ruinous. When some intelligence reports from that era were declassified in 2001, it was discovered in a 8 year period between 1978 and 1985 the CIA consistently overestimated the nuclear threat the Soviets posed. From 1982 until 1987 CIA estimates regarding Soviet economic strength were also grossly exaggerated. And in the area of Soviet intentions, we were virtually blind thanks to this attitude Mr. Goodman describes in an interview with CNN:

I think, in looking back at the work of the CIA, we’ve seen the exaggeration of the value of clandestine reporting. ... I think the Cold War would have evolved no differently whether we were doing clandestine reporting or not—that there were no overwhelming successes with regard to clandestine reporting. You can’t say that about satellite photography, and you can’t say that about signals intelligence. Satellite photography and signals intelligence really gave us a means of understanding what the Soviets were doing with very scarce resources in the way of military deployment.

Mr. Goodman’s love affair with satellites and signals intel is admirable except for one small detail. Both the Senate Intelligence Report on Pre-War Iraq Intelligence and the 9/11 Commission excoriated the CIA for their lack of human intel. These two intelligence failures – arguably the biggest failures since Pearl Harbor – along with missing the fall of the Soviet Union, would be puzzling except for this statement by Mr. Goodman that reveals a mindset prevelant at the time in the Soviet Affairs section at CIA about being able to glean Soviet capabilities from satellite and signals intel:

This was extremely valuable material to all American negotiators and policymakers who had any interest in arms control whatsoever. ... [I think this] worked to lessen tensions, because it’s given the United States a very good idea, at the highest levels, of what is actually in the Soviet inventory.

This was the basis for the “war” the CIA waged against the Reagan Administration. To be fair, it was a war that raged across the entire national security establishment; arms control or military build up? There was a suspicion among the William Casey faction at the CIA that people like Mr. Goodman were overstating Soviet nuclear capabilities to push the Administration towards arms control. As we now know, Casey shared President Reagan’s belief that the whole rotten edifice would come crashing down if pushed hard enough.

Guess who was right.

Curiously, Goodman also seems to have joined the tin foil hat brigade on 9/11. Appearing at Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s hearing on Friday that featured panelists who posited theories on 9/11 ranging from the Twin Towers coming down as a result of a “controlled demolition” to the Pentagon being blown up deliberately and not partially destroyed by a hijacked aircraft, Goodman was quoted as saying about McKinney that… “I hope someday her views will be considered conventional wisdom.”

LARRY JOHNSON

Claiming to be a “registered Republican who voted for Bush in 2000,” Johnson has emerged as Valerie Wilson’s #1 defender. His bio is also impressive; CIA, State Department, teacher, analyst, and businessman.

But it appears Mr. Johnson is living proof that brains doesn’t always equal judgement. Here’s what he wrote in July, 2001:

Judging from news reports and the portrayal of villains in our popular entertainment, Americans are bedeviled by fantasies about terrorism. They seem to believe that terrorism is the greatest threat to the United States and that it is becoming more widespread and lethal. They are likely to think that the United States is the most popular target of terrorists. And they almost certainly have the impression that extremist Islamic groups cause most terrorism.

None of these beliefs are based in fact.

I hope for a world where facts, not fiction, determine our policy. While terrorism is not vanquished, in a world where thousands of nuclear warheads are still aimed across the continents, terrorism is not the biggest security challenge confronting the United States, and it should not be portrayed that way.

This was written 60 days before 9/11. Is it any wonder that committee after committee and commission after commission have called our intelligence gathering capabilities dysfunctional?

It’s almost as if our policy makers would be better off without these analysts and pontificators. What’s at work here is institutional blindness brought about by the bureaucrat’s preconcieved notions that when challenged, cause a retreat into a shell of platitudes and conventional wisdom. The fact is that if you hold contrary views to those in ascendancy at the CIA you are punished. People like Johnson represent why the United States government has been surprised so many times in so many parts of the world over the last 50 years.

RAY MCGOVERN

To put it bluntly, Ray McGovern is a moonbat.

A 30 year man at CIA, McGovern has gone off the deep end on the Iraq war. Despite not being in the CIA for nearly 15 years, he has taken the hard left talking points on the reasons for going to war with Iraq and run with them.

In an interview with the Atlanta -Journal, McGovern had this to say about the lead up to the war:

A: We’re trying to spread a little truth around. I’ve just been watching very, very closely how intelligence has been abused in the lead up to the Iraq war and, now, after the war. I fear for what this will mean for a very crucial part of our government. If the president can’t turn to the CIA for straight answers, whether he knows it or not, he’s in bad shape. He has nowhere to turn for a straight answer. He can’t expect [Deputy Defense Secretary Paul] Wolfowitz or [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld to tell him, “Sorry boss, we didn’t think of A or B or C. We thought it would be a cakewalk.” He’s getting slanted advice from the people running the policy toward Iraq.

Sounds like he’s concerned for the President. Guess again:

Q: Do the American people care that they were misled on Iraq? Does Congress? The press?

A: There’s still a lot of torpor, but there are two new elements now. No. 1: The men and women who are being killed every day in Iraq. No. 2: The fact that no one—- not even the press—- likes to be lied to. I’m an American, and I never thought the president would lie so often and so demonstrably.

Which is it? Is the President being ill served or is he lying through his teeth?

Mr. McGovern also has this to say about Iraq and al Qaeda:

The other main thing, of course, was the alleged tie between Iraq and al-Qaida. CIA analysts spent a year and a half poring through each and every report and found none to be persuasive or reliable. Then [Secretary of State] Colin Powell made his speech to the United Nations on Feb. 5, where he produced some cockamamie evidence suggesting that al-Qaida types were roaming around Iraq with Saddam Hussein. In the period leading up to the war, the president would say that we have to go after Iraq because of 9/11. That is the way that the president played on the trauma of 9/11 to persuade the American people that we couldn’t take a chance on Saddam Hussein.

Stephen Hayes has done the best work on this subject and gives the lie to McGovern’s ridiculous assertion there was no Saddam-al Qaeda connection.

McGovern also gave an interview to Alexander Cockburn’s moonbat rag Counterpunch in which he talked about the forged document that outlined the Iraq-Niger yellowcake connection:

In retrospect, the train of thought in the White House at the time is clear: How long can we keep the forged documents from the public? A few months? In that case we can use the documents to get Congress to endorse war with Iraq and then wage it and win it before anyone discovers that the “evidence” was bogus.

The problem for Mr. McGovern is that the Butler Review discovered that the forged memo was not the entire basis for the intelligence estimate regarding Iraq and Niger. In fact, that body found that the President of Niger admitted that representatives from Iraq met with Niger government officials to seek access to yellowcake supplies. And of course, Bush never said that Iraq had purchased yellowcake, only that they “sought” the mineral. This was 100% true as confirmed by both the British and Niger governments.

In recent years, McGovern has worked for a radical left Christain group known as the ecumenical Church of the Saviour. Here’s a recent bio:

Ray McGovern’s 27-year career as a CIA analyst spanned administrations from John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush. Ray is now co-director of the Servant Leadership School, which provides training and other support for those seeking ways to be in relationship with the marginalized poor. The School is one of ten Jubilee Ministries, not-for-profit organizations inspired by the ecumenical Church of the Saviour and established in an inner-city neighborhood in Washington, DC.

The department Ray heads at the School deals with the biblical injunction to “speak truth to power,” and this, together with his experience in intelligence analysis, accounts for his various writings and media appearances over the past year. His focus dovetails nicely with the passage carved into the marble entrance to CIA Headquarters: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”—the ethic mandating that CIA analysts were to “tell it like it is” without fear or favor.

McGovern is also a founder of the radical group Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIP) whose Op-Ed’s, articles, and interviews have been featured in every far left magazine imaginable and who demanded in a “Memorandum to the President” that Bush fire VP Cheney.

These are just three of the former intelligence agents who are agitating against the Administration with regards to the Plame leak. These are not non-partisan casual observers; they are people with an agenda. And that agenda includes not just principled opposition to the Iraq war but unprincipled political opposition to the President. They are part of a group of agents both in and out of government who are at war with the Administration for a wide variety of reasons, not the least of which is the effort by the new DCIA to “clean house.” A good analysis of that effort by Porter Goss can be found here.

It is terribly unfair for the MSM not to give a little background on these agents while lionizing them. But, in this case, it appears that perspective is the last thing the MSM wishes to give to the motives of the opponents who flog the Administration on a daily basis.

UPDATE

Q & O also takes note of the Goodman-McKinney connection as well as his being a signatory of the Plame letter. They also have an interesting unrelated story on what Ted Turner has been up to lately.

UPDATE II

Pat Curley at Brainsters sent me this link to an LA Times article detailing Larry Johnson’s radio address on Saturday.

Oh…did I mention it was the Democrat’s response to the President’s address? Ach! So much for “non-partisan” critique of the Administration’s actions on Nadagate.

By: Rick Moran at 7:45 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (22)

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7/24/2005
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY
CATEGORY: Politics

THE GOOD

Jeff Goldstein has a few words of wisdom for the left: Specifically, Atrios and his constant poison pen posts against conservatives. In this case, Atrios is blaming the right and George Bush for the accidental killing of the young Brazilian at the Underground in London by police who mistook him for a terrorist.

As I noted in the comments at Cole’s place, if, as one of his supporters insists he is doing, Atrios is simply saying that “the Right fosters an atmosphere that makes it difficult to evaluate these situations because the very act of questioning what happened is portrayed as disloyalty,” then the easy rejoinder is that when your “evaluation” consistently begins from the premise that “BUSH LIED! ROVE MANIPULATED! CHENEY EATS BABIES WITH SHARON AND PISSES OIL!”, it signals to your interlocutor that the “questioning” you’re interesting in engaging in springs from a well already so polluted by partisan hyperbole that any subsequent discussion is bound to be rancid.
So Atrios’ contention that it is the “Right” that is fostering the poisonous atmosphere is at best dubious, and at worst willfully blind.

And Goldstein expands on that thought in a comment published by Glenn Reynolds:

I am not blaming ‘the Left’ en masse. But I am blaming those who are actively out to make political hay out of whatever the latest manufactured, ginned up outrage. And I think it’s time we started to forcefully push back against a political and media culture that is at least tangentially responsible for creating terrorists and their sympathizers based on false premises.”

I would say more than “tangentially responsible” for creating terrorists. It brings to mind the opposition Lincoln faced during the Civil War.

As Bruce Catton put it, the Democrats were proceeding with politics as usual, using the standard “grips and handholds” of political warfare. The problem arises when opposition in war time goes beyond the political and enters the realm of the strategic. As the war ground on, Lincoln was forced to fall back on the most radical elements of his party for support because the logical result of the Democrats policies would have bee separation! They could bleat till the ram came home about supporting the troops but when it came right down to it, the only alternative they could offer was peace.

We have something similar today. Democrats say constantly that they want us to succeed in Iraq and that they support the troops. But the logical conclusion to be reached regarding “timetables” for withdrawals and the various side shows with detention centers is that they oppose the war in Iraq. So here’s Bush, forced to fall back on the support of the hard core 45% of the country that will probably stick this thing out till the end. The Democrats are playing the game but the rules have changed and they don’t realize it.

Great stuff from Goldstein lately. Go here and here also. Get educated.

THE BAD

Maybe I’m just imagining it but has anyone else been thinking that Jeff Jarvis has been smirking a lot lately when he’s be on TV?

In fact, he’s becoming downright insufferable at times. Case in point, his ambush of Bernie Goldberg on Ronnie Deutsch’s show on CNBC. Mr. Goldberg has written a book entitled 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America : (and Al Franken Is #37). After the obligatory back and forth between Goldberg and Duetsch, the producer of the show asked Goldberg to stick around for a discussion on “culture.”

What he stuck around for was a mugging by 5 panelists, including Mr. Jarvis, who, according to those watching the show, hardly let Mr. Goldberg get a word in edgewise. I’m not surprised. With 5 camera hogs along with Duetsch, you’d need a 57” screen just to get all their mugs on at once.

At any rate, Bernie got mad. Jarvis got dismissive. And in the end, everything worked out fine. Bernie got publicity for his book and Jarvis cemented his reputation as a new media wizard, the Gandolph of the blogosphere.

All this wouldn’t have gotten me upset except Mr. Jarvis has a post on his new look blog in which he tries to tell conservatives that we should stop whining now, we’ve got all the power we need:

Bernie — and Bill and Rush — still try to play the victims, the underdogs, the little guys fighting them big, bad ol’ liberals. What’s amazing is that they can still pull it off. Look at Bernie’s own list and you see a bunch of losers: Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky haven’t gotten us out of Iraq; Al Franken and Janeane Garolao are nowhere next to Rush and Bill; Dan Rather’s all but unemployed (and Mary Mapes is); Howard Stern has been forced off the air; Phil Donahue defines has-been…. The conservatives are in power, solidly in power, and yet they still hold to the M.O. that got them into power: playing outsider, victim, paranoid.

But it still works. It sells books.

Michael Moore a loser? Moore has done worse than try to get us out of Iraq. In fact, I’d say that his agitation against the war is the least of his sins. Michael Moore makes films seen by millions of people that are passed off as documentaries but in reality are so full of lies and distortions that it does a disservice to even call them “propaganda” films.

As for conservatives being “solidly in power” perhaps if Mr. Jarvis believes the government is the end all and be all of American society he is correct. But the rest of America is still firmly in control of the left.

Consider the entire educational system. From top to bottom, from the primary grades to post graduate studies, the entire rotten structure of education is under the direct control not of the left, but of the hard, far left. This post is too short to cite chapter and verse but if you’re interested see David Horwitz here. Even if you are a centrist or a center left ideologue like Mr. Jarvis, that book will open your eyes as to not only what is being taught, but the theory and practice of the way it’s taught and why.

As for the rest of America society, anyone who thinks the press has suddenly morphed into some kind of bastion of conservatism should have their head examined.

THE UGLY

Catherine Baker Knoll is the Leiutenant Governor of Pennyslvania. She’s also a moonbat of the first magnitude:

The family of a Marine who was killed in Iraq is furious with Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll for showing up uninvited at his funeral this week, handing out her business card and then saying “our government” is against the war.

Rhonda Goodrich of Indiana, Pa., said yesterday that a funeral was held Tuesday at a church in Carnegie for her brother-in-law, Staff Sgt. Joseph Goodrich, 32.

She said he “died bravely and courageously in Iraq on July 10, serving his country.”

In a phone interview, Goodrich said the funeral service was packed with people “who wanted to tell his family how Joe had impacted their lives.”

Then, suddenly, “one uninvited guest made an appearance, Catherine Baker Knoll.”

She sat down next to a Goodrich family member and, during the distribution of communion, said, “Who are you?” Then she handed the family member one of her business cards, which Goodrich said she still has.

“Our family deserves an apology,” Rhonda Goodrich said. “Here you have a soldier who was killed—dying for his country—in a church full of grieving family members and she shows up uninvited. It made a mockery of Joey’s death.”

What really upset the family, Goodrich said, is that Knoll said, ‘I want you to know our government is against this war,’ ” Goodrich said.

Looks like the People’s Republic of Pennsylvania needs to either secede from the Union or get itself a foreign policy more in line with like, you know, Washington, D.C.

Considering Ed Rendell, I’m not optimistic about either.

By: Rick Moran at 7:44 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Calling all bloggers!

You have until Monday night at 10:00 PM to get your entries in for this week’s Carnival of the Clueless.

Last week’s Carnival was the best yet with 26 entries from both the right and left side of the political spectrum hammering those individuals and groups among us who are truly clueless.

Here’s what we’re looking for:

Each week, I’ll be calling for posts that highlight the total stupidity of a public figure or organization – either left or right – that demonstrates that special kind of cluelessness that only someone’s mother could defend…and maybe not even their mothers!

Everyone knows what I’m talking about. Whether it’s the latest from Bill Maher or the Reverend Dobson, it doesn’t matter. I will post ALL ENTRIES REGARDLESS OF WHETHER I AGREE WITH THE SENTIMENTS EXPRESSED OR NOT..

You can enter by emailing me, leaving a link in the comments section, or by using the handy, easy to use form at Conservative Cat.

By: Rick Moran at 9:31 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (2)

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7/23/2005
9/11 CONSPIRACIES AND NADAGATE
CATEGORY: Moonbats

This is just too weird. John Cole calls it “mind numbing.” Any which way you look at it, this represents the strangest turn yet in the Rove-Wilson-Plame affair.

The story starts at a hearing held by soon-to-be-once-again-former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney whose defeat in 2002 was a direct result of her nutty conspiracy theories about Bush and 9/11. Not content to leave well enough alone, on Friday McKinney put on a show for C-Span by holding forth with dozens of witnesses for 8 hours on 9/11 conspiracy theories. These include the theories that no plane hit the Pentagon, that the Twin Towers came down as a result of a “controlled demolition,” and that Flight 93 was shot down by F-16’s over the fields of Pennsylvania.

The hearing featured loons from every corner of the conspiracy spectrum including a former CIA agent Melvin Goodman who was quoted as saying that McKinney’s wacky views on the attack would some day become “conventional wisdom.”

How is this relevant to the Rovian kerfluffle? Mr. Goodman signed this letter along with several ex-CIA agents who were upset about the outing of Valerie Plame. The letter has been widely publicized and passed off as indicative of the way CIA operatives view the publication of Mrs. Wilson’s name.

Okay…so we have a genuine barking moonbat who thinks Cynthia McKinney is a prophet signing a letter criticizing the Bush administration for revealing the name of a covert operative. But dig a little deeper and you find this about the other signatories of that letter:

Ray McGovern, for instance, contributed an article to the ultra-left truthout.org arguing that the Downing Street Memo conclusively proves that Bush deliberately forged intelligence to get us into war in Iraq. Now, are we to believe that he just innocently and in a non-partisan manner became concerned about what happened to poor old Valerie Plame? If you’re still unconvinced, read his hysterical rant at DemocracyNow about what a right-wing rag the WaPo is.

And here’s a quote David MacMichael, another signer of this “non-partisan” letter:

Those were 1981-1983 under Reagan and under William Casey. In fact I embarked on that job the day Casey came in. I can assure you that the way in which the National Intelligence Council and the National Intelligence officers, the directing officers in there were stacked during the Casey years, meant that intelligence was designed, and I focused principally on Central America, the whole Iran Contra thing later, truthful analysis was not the highest priority there. The determination was to produce analyses that would support the previously decided upon policy so for me, getting back involved with Ray McGovern here and VIPS dealing with this current situation, its kind of like déjà vu all over again. It’s a familiar process.

You might recall during the Reagan years that the CIA was at war with the White House over a wide variety of issues, not the least of which was Russian military capabilities which were consistently overstated as was the strength of the Russian economy.

Leon of Red State highlights another signatory to the letter:

Additionally, several of the other signatories had been outspoken critics of the administration’s decision to go to war before the incident with Plame erupted, including Col. Patrick Lang. Vince Cannistraro was part of the group of CIA officials who suspiciously began speaking critically about the Bush administration in the month before the general election, rather than at a time when it might have been practically useful (such as, before the war).

This letter becomes less credible by the minute. We are still looking for a signatory that didn’t have an axe to grind with Bush BEFORE the outing of Plame.

Keep looking Leon but I don’t think you’ll find one.

If Rove or anyone else deliberately or otherwise outed a covert CIA agent he should be fired, even if he didn’t break the law. This should be a given. Hell, I’ve been calling for Rove to leave since the story heated up earlier this month.

But there’s something else I’ve been calling for:

I WANT AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ACTIVITIES OF THESE FORMER CIA AGENTS AND THEIR CONNECTION TO CURRENT INTELLIGENCE PERSONNEL WHO ARE SELECTIVELY LEAKING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION TO DISCREDIT THE ADMINISTRATION AND DELIBERATELY HARM THE WAR EFFORT.

This is what the Rove-Plame-Wilson affair is all about; push back by the White House in their war with the CIA. They may have gone too far. They may have harmed national security. But that doesn’t change the fact that unelected bureacrats in the CIA have opposed the Administration from the start and sought to sway an election last year by leaking cherry picked intel reports that showed the CIA in the best possible light with regards to WMD.

Some of the signatories to that letter may be in the thick of this scandal. Some of them may be conduits for classified information that journalists like Walter Pincus, Bob Novak, and Judith Miller received prior to the election last year. And the whole sordid mess is being ignored by the press in their effort to get Rove.

Fine…get Rove. But when is the MSM going to turn their attention to this clandestine conflict that Mrs. Wilson and her cohorts have been fighting for more than 2 years? This, not the Rovian affair, is the real threat to our country.

By: Rick Moran at 6:08 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (6)

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LIBERALS DENIED ABU GHRAIB DOG AND PONY SHOW
CATEGORY: Politics

The anti-American left has for the time being, at least, been denied a brand new dog and pony show featuring close up pictures and graphic videos of detainees being abused at Abu Ghraib. In a move sure to bring wails of anguish from the moonbats, the Pentagon has refused to turn over the materials to the plaintiffs in the FOIA case on the Abu Ghraib investigation. Plaintiffs in the suit include the ACLU, Veterans for Peace, Veterans for Common Sense, and Physicians for Human Rights – you know, organizations whose job it is to keep the American public “informed.” Curiously, the organizations who really do have the responsibility to keep Americans informed – the press – did not join in the ACLU suit.

Also participating in the suit are international entities that just have to know every single detail of abuse so they can incorporate the information in their anti-American propaganda. These International organizations include:

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

UN Human Rights Committee

Convention Against Torture

Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War

It’s nice to know so many of our friends overseas are eager to see the American people “informed” of something they already know -bad things happened at Abu Ghraib. This begs the question; why then release more pictures and videos?

The government has turned over more than 60,000 pages of documents on the treatment of detainees, some containing graphic descriptions of mistreatment. But the material that the judge ordered released – the A.C.L.U. says there are 87 photographs and 4 videos – would be the first images released in the suit. The judge said they would be the “best evidence” in the debate about the treatment of Abu Ghraib prisoners.

“There is another dimension to a picture that is of much greater moment and immediacy” than a document, Judge Hellerstein said in court.

“Best evidence in the debate?” What debate? Why a political debate of course! In other words, the judge in this case has decided that its up to the courts to help out the anti-American left in their efforts to score points in the political debate over the war in Iraq.

Anyone who doesn’t think that the ACLU hasn’t morphed into a highly partisan, far left advocacy group should examine some of the recent cases the ACLU has taken on. For that, I recommend you go here and browse through some of the eye opening issues the ACLU has decided to advocate recently. It’s very sad to see an organization I once admired for its championing of human liberty degenerate into partisan hackery of the worst kind.

The Pentagon was supposed to turn those pictures and tapes over to the moonbats yesterday. The fact that they filed a “secret brief” detailing the reasons why they haven’t complied will probably not sit well with the judge in this case. Judge Alvin Hellerstein is the same judge that ruled back in 2003 that since the attack on America was “forseeable,” plaintiffs had a right to sue the government. He also ruled that the plaintiffs had the right to sue the Trade Center owners for negligence because they had an inadequate evacuation plan (for a plane flying into the building?) as well as opening the door to sue Boeing, the manufacturer of the airplanes for – get this – negligence due to the inadequate locks on the door to the cockpit.

My guess is that the judge will deny the Pentagon’s motion and once again order them to turn over the graphic material on abuse at Abu Ghraib. At which point, we’ll be treated to a full blown press conference with the ACLU gleefully smacking the Administration around and calling for an “independent” investigation of abuse at all US detention facilities that would include an international component. In other words, representatives from countries where torture is endemic will be sitting in judgment on Americans. The fact that the military itself and the Pentagon has now carried out three separate investigations on abuse of prisoners, including the independent Schlessinger Commission that faulted both the Administration and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld for unclear policies on interrogation as well as a lack of responsibility in the chain of command, will be ignored.

The FOIA suit was politics pure and simple. Evidently, the release of 60,000 documents isn’t enough for the moonbats. In order to really skewer the Administration, we absolutely have to be treated to more pictures of activities at Abu Ghraib. I would guess that the reason the ACLU et. al. want the graphical material above anything else is that nothing will put America in a worse light than videos of the abuse. Still pictures are one thing. Videos will really hammer their points home.

Their points are political ones. It doesn’t have anything to do with our “right to know.” It will do nothing to advance the real debate over Iraq. The only thing it will do is inflame the passions of people worldwide against America and lower the morale of the American people.

All in a day’s work for the ACLU.

By: Rick Moran at 7:15 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (10)

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7/22/2005
THEY’RE APPEASERS NOT TRAITORS
CATEGORY: War on Terror

There was a moment following the 7/7 attacks on London’s subway system where I actually thought that the left’s eyes had been opened to the danger we faced. There were encouraging condemnations of the act from sources such as London Mayor “Red” Ken Livingstone whose notorious coddling of Islamic extremists pegged him as the #2 terrorist apologist right behind the unrepentant and even more noxious George Galloway. There were even liberals in this country who unequivacably condemned the acts as barbaric and unwarranted.

Sadly, the moment passed. Reverting to form, the western left has indulged in an orgy of Bush hating to the exclusion of any kind of rational response to the threat from Islamic extremists. This was made crystal clear yesterday when, following the failed bombing in London, a British reporter asked an accusatory question of Australia’s hard nosed Prime Minister John Howard who was visiting Tony Blair at the time of the attack. The reporter practically blamed Howard and Blair for the attack because of their support for the United States in Iraq. Here is part of Howard’s brilliant response:

Can I just say very directly, Paul, on the issue of the policies of my government and indeed the policies of the British and American governments on Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it’s given the game away, to use the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.

Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq.

And I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq.

Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia’s involvement in liberating the people of East Timor. Are people by implication suggesting we shouldn’t have done that?

When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn’t be in Afghanistan?

(HT: The New Editor. The inspiring video available at Jackson’s Junction)

I’m afraid the courageous Aussie should have saved his breath. The problem isn’t that the British reporter and western left have forgotten any of the litany of Islamist attacks over the past few years. The problem is, they remember but have failed to draw the necessary lessons both from the current scourge of Islamist thuggery and from history.

For I have come to the conclusion that most of the opposition to the Anglosphere policies of pre-emptive war, democractization of the middle east, and securing the home front comes not as a result of any treasonous tendencies on the part of liberals but rather the failed intellecual fallacies of a bygone era; the appeasement initiatives of England and France of the 1930’s.

It may be well to recall that at that time, appeasement was looked on as the only rational response to aggression. It was the perfect marraige of high minded ideals with hard headed reality (or so it was thought). The idea was that the aggressive confrontation with Hitler proceeded from real grievances – in this case the Versailles Treaty – and that in order to avoid war it was necessary to settle those grievances by giving Hitler what he wanted.

Looking at it from our perspective, it seems like folly. But from the perspective of the overwhelming majority of voters and the leadership class in France and England, anything was preferable to reliving the slaughter in the trenches that occurred during WW I.

This rationale seems to have taken control of the left as they desperately thrash about looking for a way – any way – to avoid confrontation with the terrorists. And like their ideological ancestors from the 1930’s, they are seeking to dismiss this agression in favor of what they see as a reasonable justification for it. Ted Lapkin’s article in NRO is instructive in that he shows how this logic has consumed the liberals:

The far Left has similarly proved unable to liberate itself from the web of rose-tinted delusions that it has spun about the nature of Islamic extremism. After each al Qaeda outrage, leftist ideologues are quick to castigate their own countrymen for a catalogue of sins, both real and imagined. With a perverse combination of self-loathing and adoration of the enemy, the radical Leftist mantra preaches that if only we were nicer, the jihadists could not fail to love us. It’s our own fault if Osama bin Laden doesn’t realize what good people we are.

And all the while, these “progressive” academics, pundits, and politicians engage in ridiculous intellectual contortions designed to mitigate the guilt of the terrorist perpetrators. When push comes to shove, some intellectuals believe that Islamism is simply an understandable reaction to what they describe as “Western imperialism.”

Self loathing aside, there are other powerful emotions at work here. The question “Why do they hate us” resonates much more with them than it does with the right or with realists. Writing in the New York Times, Oliver Roy reminds us of the answer to that question; we’re in the way:

Another motivating factor, we are told, was the presence of “infidel” troops in Islam’s holy lands. Yes, Osama Bin Laden was reported to be upset when the Saudi royal family allowed Western troops into the kingdom before the Persian Gulf war. But Mr. bin Laden was by that time a veteran fighter committed to global jihad.

He and the other members of the first generation of Al Qaeda left the Middle East to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. Except for the smallish Egyptian faction led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, now Mr. bin Laden’s chief deputy, these militants were not involved in Middle Eastern politics. Abdullah Azzam, Mr. bin Laden’s mentor, gave up supporting the Palestinian Liberation Organization long before his death in 1989 because he felt that to fight for a localized political cause was to forsake the real jihad, which he felt should be international and religious in character.

From the beginning, Al Qaeda’s fighters were global jihadists, and their favored battlegrounds have been outside the Middle East: Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya and Kashmir. For them, every conflict is simply a part of the Western encroachment on the Muslim ummah, the worldwide community of believers.

For the left however, the reason they want to kill us does not include the re-establishment of an Islamic Caliphate as a result of global jihad. In fact, the goals of our enemies can be safely ignored because they seem so unreal. So rather than deal with the universiality of Islamic terrorism, the left takes a much narrower view. As each new outrage occurs, they seek to “understand” the announced motivations of the terrorists rather than deal with the overarching objectives of our enemies.

A diariest on Daily Kos recently put up a poll on how to “solve” terrorism. Here are the revealing responses:

How should we solve terrorism?

Try to get Israel to act like a better neighbor in middle east. 8 votes – 11 %
Try to get moderate Muslims to discourage terrorism strongly 8 votes – 11 %
We need to work for economic justice for disenfranchised Muslims 23 votes – 34 %
We need a worldwide dialogue on Islam’s association w/ world 11 votes – 16 %
War, war, kill, kill, bomb, bomb, destroy, destroy 1 vote – 1 %
None of the above—you idiot! 16 votes – 23 %

(HT: Museum of Left Wing Lunacy)

Fully 61% of the respondents believe in some kind of dialogue or “economic justice” as if either were in our power to achieve. But it illustrates a way of thinking that seeks to placate our enemies rather than defeat them.

Ace has some serious thoughts about this appeasement impulse on the left:

Note to the left: Osama bin Ladin, Al Zarqawi, and the rest of the Islamofascist killers aren’t even offering you an armistice. Quite the opposite. They have said, multiple times, that they intend to kill you or subjugate you and you cannot buy their peace simply by giving into their demands.

They’re not even trying to lie to you. They are telling you upfront: The world will be under Islamofascist rule or there will be murders until that point.

On that score, they’re more honest than Hitler.

But that makes those on the left worse than Chamberlain

When Chamberlain came back from Munich waving the agreement in which England and Germany agreed to always resolve their differences in “The Spirit of Munich,” little did the deluded British Prime Minister realize the irony in his betrayal of the Czechs. For within two years, the Nazis would overrun most of Europe and his tiny island nation would be left on its own to face the German onslaught.

It remains to be seen if the western left will have the scales fall from their eyes in time to help to save our common civilization from the ravages and hatred of our enemies.

UPDATE

Jeff Goldstein links to the Oliver Roy piece in the Times I highlighted above and then goes deeper by quoting extensively from an extraordinary article by Reuel Marc Gerecht in The Weekly Standard (which I intend to use as a basis for an article that will appear in The American Thinker next week).

Gerecht’s learned thesis is a blueprint for both tactical and strategic moves we should be making in the WoT. Goldstien sums up nicely:

Fortunately, many of us have already reached the conclusion that the spread of democracy in the mideast is the single greatest threat to radicalized Islam—if only as a way, in the Roy / Gerecht paradigm of a radicalized Western Islamism leading the charge of holy war, to disabuse Westernized jihadists of a number of ready made excuses for their fight—something the American people made clear when they reelected President Bush in November.

Now if we can only convince the rest of the world of the need to sign on.

Easier said than done but something we have to keep plugging away at. A good chance may come in September as it appears that Gehard Schoeder will lose bigtime in elections to Angela Merkel’s Christain Democrats. And while Merkel appears to be no Iron Lady in that she has already promised not to help us out very much in Iraq, she may prove easier to work with on combating Muslim extremism than the insufferably anti-American Schroeder.

It’s been said elsewhere; I don’t think it’s an accident that the three strongest proponents of confronting the Islamists – Bush, Blair, and Howard – all won resounding victories in the last year while the political fortunes of their tormentors – Chirac and Schoeder – are in the toilet.

Ah! Sweet irony!

By: Rick Moran at 2:26 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (4)

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