Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Newsday.com: Clinton: Bush re-election would mean loss of freedoms

Hillary Clinton in a fund-raising e-mail:

"'If they get their way, you and I will be living in an America governed not by our hopes, but by our fears,' Clinton wrote. 'We'll be living in an America where we see our freedoms diminished when they ought to be embraced, our rights restricted when they ought to be strengthened.'

'We'll be living in an America that shrinks away from the political and economic challenges of the 21st Century,' she added."

What an idiot. What an evil appeal to the non-thinking. This woman should never be allowed near the White House again.

The Real Home Front

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today - May 25, 2004

American public opinion is now the most important front in the war, and it's high time the president began waging the battle. An American election is approaching, which the Democrats--having lost all three elected branches of government for the first time since before the Baathists seized power in Iraq--are positively desperate to win. With the economy going great guns, disaster in Iraq is the Dems' only hope for defeating President Bush.

The Democratic Party is in a morally hazardous position: Its interests coincide with the interests of America's enemies. We get e-mails from Bush-haters who are positively giddy at every setback in Iraq, which they see as setbacks for President Bush--never mind that they're also, and more importantly, setbacks for America and for the Iraqi people.

The culture of hate that gave us Sept. 11 will not fade away if America withdraws from Iraq. Quite the contrary, if America gives up it will embolden our enemies, just as it did when President Reagan withdrew from Beirut and President Clinton from Somalia. Will it really take another Sept. 11--or more than one--to persuade Americans to stay the course? That is what is at stake as President Bush battles for public opinion.

We cannot afford to lose this war, for political or other reasons. Too many people are viewing the current period as "post-war," when in fact, Saddam's people are fighting on -- and this, as Andrew Sullivan noted a few days ago, is perhaps the war they always planned to fight. A war of attrition, a war in which they simply "wear us out" and most importantly, eventually sway American opinion so much that they affect "regime change" here. This cannot be allowed, or we will be in for more 9/11 type events, more terrorism, and a more dangerous world.

The war on the home front is also between two types of thinking, not just Republican vs. Democrat, Liberal vs. Conservative, etc. It is between the Big Picture vs the Small Picture. The war in Iraq is part of a larger picture, a war on international terrorism, an ideal of strength vs. weakness, freedom vs. slavery. The Big Picture understands the stakes. The Small Picture sees only abuses by some guards and tries to expand the guilt to the entire military. The Big Picture realizes this is STILL a war and that, on balance, it has been wildly successful. The Small Picture sees any setback (in war, no less), as a quagmire and starts harping about "exit strategies." The Small Thinkers were looking for one less than a month after the war started, and were practically praying for quagmire at the first supply-line hiccup (remember?). If Ike were still around he would find the concept of an exit strategy at the start of WWII as laughable. You fight until you win. You stop when the enemy is defeated.

The Big Picture sees the war in context, the Small Picture wants to put lawyers in charge.

The Big Picture sees how terrorism and Iraq are related, and how bringing freedom to a tortured country is part of the solution. The Small Picture NEVER believes America can be right in this situation -- even to the point of ignoring the fact that Al Quaeda is now assisting the insurgency. These are the same folks who wanted us to disarm ourselves when the Cold War ended. As if there were no more threats to freedom in the world.

Small Picture equals small, petty, provincial, self-absorbed, purely political thinking. We can't afford it when lives are at stake. Our lives, our servicemen's lives, and the future of the world require better.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Hi Tech, 1927

Film: How to Use the Dial Phone. Like the challenge of training computer-illiterates today, similar challenges were faced as "newfangled" dial phones came into service. Fascinating little silent film. Need RealPlayer to view.

New York Times Flip-flop?

Today's NYT on the Kerry Delay "Kerry Considers Strategic Delay for Democratic Nomination. . . Such a move could offset what otherwise might be a severe financial disadvantage for Mr. Kerry under the arcane rules for the public financing of campaigns."

Arcane rules? Isn't this the "campaign finance reform" the NYT and other liberal press favored so heavily under McCain-Feingold?

The Kerry Konvention

OpinionJournal - "Kerry's nomination gambit makes a mockery of campaign finance 'reform.'". Maybe now we can see the weasels for what they are. This should backfire. Frankly, I can't see Jennings or Rather having any respect for a nominating convention that doesn't even nominate a candidate. To me, this has Terry McCauliffe's skunky prints all over it.

Key quote:
Of course, the late July date was the Democratic Party's own choice--and it was selected precisely so it would let the nominee accept matching federal campaign funds a month earlier than President Bush, who will be nominated in late August. The assumption had been that the Democratic candidate would have run out of cash by this summer, but Mr. Kerry has been raising more money than he expected. In other words, Mr. Kerry embraced the rules when they helped him but now wants to ignore them when they don't.

Friday, May 14, 2004

More Iraqis Want Democracy

Newsday Reports on a survey done recently in Iraq. More evidence we're doing the right thing and that fundamentalism/dictatorships are not the only thing people in the Middle East understand. Major points:

Richard Burkholder, director of international polling for Gallup, said the type of government Iraqis preferred was a multiparty democracy like those in many Western European countries.

"Very low down the list is an Islamic theocracy, in which mullahs and religious leaders have a lot of influence, such as in Iran," said Burkholder, who polled in Baghdad in August and nationwide in late March and early April for CNN and USA Today.

Boston Globe Farce

The Boston Globe announced today through its ombudsman, that no one will be fired over the hoax photos it published on its pages. blaming "miscommunication among staffers" and "a breakdown of checks and balances", according a story in Editor and Publisher. No kidding. What would have been the reaction if the Globe had gotten hold of fabricated photos FAVORABLE to the Bush administration?

This is just one more indication of the anti-Bush bias and agenda in most of the media -- a bias they continue to deny. The Globe jumped too quickly to run these photos and failed to check them properly, in my opinion because they continue to put fuel on the current prisoner abuse scandal, and away from our larger goals in war on terror.

E & P further states:

The photo, which ran on the second page of the paper's B section Wednesday, accompanied a story about Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner and activist Sadiki Kambon claiming to have pictures of U.S. soldiers raping Iraqi women. While the Globe quickly came under fire from some quarters, including the rival Boston Herald, for lending credibility to these pictures, the paper's original story did indicate that the photos could not be authenticated. Others have revealed that the photos actually came from a pornographic movie.

I've learned that Turner and Kambon are rabid left wing racists, something the Globe must have known. Why didn't this fact send up any red flags about these photos? Again, because the political agenda trumped editorial judgement.

Zell Miller Gets It

Reuters AlertNet - US Sen. Miller decries 'contrition' over inmates

Why is it that there's more indignation over a photo of a prisoner with underwear on his head than over a video of a young American with no head at all?

Why is it that some in this country still don't get that we are at war -- a war against terrorists who are plotting to kill us every day?

Let's get a grip on who the real enemy is.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Black Kettle Watch

Senate minority leader sees 'startling meanness' in politics: "Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle decried Monday what he called the 'startling meanness' of American politics.
The South Dakotan, who has been Senate Democratic leader for nine years and is seeking re-election in November, said campaigns were especially ugly in 2002 and that the ugliness continues.

'Today, enormous new challenges confront each and every one of us,' he said. 'We will not meet those challenges or seize those opportunities if we indulge in the brutal politics of division, if we attempt to silence those who have other ideas.'"

From the Aberdeen News web site, courtesy of Drudge.

Just Curious

How do the atrocities committed in the Abu Ghraib prison compare to those John Kerry admitted to (sort of) in 1971?

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Iraqis living in the US are generally not as "shocked" about the abuses as are our concerned citizens. While the abuses should not have happened and are not to be tolerated, they are generally nothing compared to the kinds of things that were regular occurrences under Saddam. Iraqis here generally feel the more pressing issue is the future of Iraq. Imagine that.

Don't get me wrong, those responsible for violating prisoners' rights in Iraq need to be held responsible and the abuses have to stop. The US military should be, as much as is possible, above reproach on this issue. However, there are a few offsetting considerations:

  • These were bad guys. Not innocents. These are the kind of people that, given the chance, would be out there burning our people to a crisp, hanging them from bridges and playing soccer with their heads. We HUMILIATED them. I don't have much sympathy.
  • There are reports that some of the abuse may have risen to the level of sodomy and in some cases, murder. Well, punish those responsible. They are thugs and cretins and deserve what they get.
  • Too many people are wringing their hands over what "we" are doing in Iraq to poor defenseless prisoners. "We" are not doing this. This was done by a group of out-of-control creeps. The "we" garbage is being trumpeted by those who have no respect for the war or the Bush administration in the first place. It's self-bigotry and anti-American. "We" didn't do this, but "we" ARE doing something about it, which is more than Saddam (and left-wing apologists for dictators everywhere) can say.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

War benefits

Daniel W. Drezner comments in "North Korea talks to Selig Harrison," and yet another positive byproduct of our involvement in Iraq is revealed. Will the major media pick up on this? I'm betting not.

Sunday, May 2, 2004

Commentary by Peggy Noonan

Noonan's commentary about A Raisin in the Sun's revival on Broadway.