Sean's Blog

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Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, February 14, 2004

The Weekly Standard explains what has become known as the "al-Zarqawi memo:".

Editor's Note: On February 9, the New York Times reported the existence of a memo allegedly from terrorist and al Qaeda affiliate Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi to al Qaeda leaders, in which Zarqawi asks for assistance in fomenting a "sectarian war" in Iraq. The memo, which was discovered in Baghdad on January 23, 2004, has been obtained by The Project for the New American Century.

David Brooks offers his interpretation of the signficance of al-Zarqawi's admissions, or as Brooks calls them, "The Zarqawi Rules."

Robert Kagan and William Kristol in The Weekly Standard recast the reasons for war with Iraq.

The angle on this piece is that Bill Clinton and his administration officials made the case for war many years ago:

Based on American intelligence, the Clinton administration targeted suspected weapons production facilities throughout Iraq. The Air Force and intelligence agencies believed the bombing had destroyed or degraded a number of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction facilities, but they never knew the extent of the damage, because, of course, there were no inspectors left to investigate.

Saddam expelled the U.N. inspectors in response to the attack, and they did not return until November 2002. As Clinton this past summer recalled, "We might have gotten it all; we might have gotten half of it; we might have gotten none of it. But we didn't know." Clinton went on to say about President Bush's actions in the fall of 2002, "So I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don't cooperate the penalty could be regime change, not just continued sanctions."

It was only a couple of weeks ago where I was praising Clinton for defending the president's action regarding Iraq.

I believe that was an actual principled stand by our former president and I would be wrong for not admitting when Clinton does something wonderful and honorable for his country.

Every so often something that I'm reading will affect me. Such is the case with Andrea Peyser's commentary in The New York Post.

The whole article is interesting, but there was one line that made me feel the urge to blog it:

In my Brooklyn neighborhood, the well-regarded elementary school shut down its gifted program a couple of years ago, in deference to parents who screamed that the entrance requirements were "racist."

Programs for gifted students are racist? No wonder some parents want vouchers and school choice. Their children should not be held captive to a mindset that advocates lower standards because high standards are racist. The only people who would possibly make such an idiotic demand are Democrats.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Election Projection 2004 features an essay titled, "Twenty-one Reasons Why Bush Will Win."

Of course it's all speculation and maybe even wishful thinking on the part of the people who run Election Projection, but honestly I couldn't find many arguments against what the author said. It could be very ugly for the Democrats on election day 2004 no matter who they nominate.

Colin Powell gets high marks for his defense of the president at a house committee meeting where he was testifying. Via Kathryn Jean Lopez.

Via Jonah Goldberg.

Woohoo!

I swear I wouldn't it mention it, but I have to. Here's the Drudge headline:

CAMPAIGN DRAMA ROCKS DEMOCRATS: KERRY FIGHTS OFF MEDIA PROBE OF RECENT ALLEGED INFIDELITY, RIVALS PREDICT RUIN

You can see why I had to mention something about it, especially when a rival predicts ruin.

Wow. Now consider how fresh Nipplegate is to the national conscience and this could very damaging for Kerry. The people have recently been outraged by, well, outrageous behavior and this is just one more example.

Kerry's alleged infidelity is bad if true, but that alone is not that destructive for his chance at the presidency especially considering that the American people elected then re-elected Bill Clinton. What is most damaging is the timing. With Janet Jackson's boob still tattoed on our brain these fresh allegations, again, if true, seem like an further erosion of our national moral standards when in reality it's just business as usual.

Bottom line: John Kerry is in deep doo doo.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Wow. Via Tim Blair. The Sydney Morning Herald features a stunning editorial by columnist Paul Sheehan.

In recent days the anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-Howard hunting pack has leapt upon the admission by Dr David Kay, a war hawk sent to Iraq by the Bush Administration as chief investigator for weapons of mass destruction, that "we were almost all wrong" about the threat from such weapons in Iraq.

While his admission has been given prominence, omission syndrome required that other significant observations by Kay be ignored, such as his testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on January 28 when he said: "Let me be absolutely clear about it, Iraq was in clear material violation of [UN Resolution] 1441. They maintained programs and activities, and they certainly had the intentions at a point to resume their [weapons] programs. So there was a lot they wanted to hide because it showed what they were doing that was illegal.

"... I think the world is far safer with the disappearance and the removal of Saddam Hussein. I actually think this may be one of those cases where it was even more dangerous than we thought. I think when we have the complete record you're going to discover that after 1998, it became a regime that was totally corrupt ... in a world where we know others are seeking WMD, the likelihood at some point in the future of a seller and a buyer meeting up would have made that a far more dangerous country than even we anticipated..."

I call it a stunning editorial because Sheehan appears to be a anti-war leftist, although I have to admit I haven't read much of his work.

I just thought it was stunning that a war opponent would admit that people think the war was unjustified because of what the media has omitted telling people.

Instapundit features several links that show other camera angles of events that never make it to the nightly news. Sure you see the rock thrower on Peter Jennings and it looks like a struggle against globalization, but move the camera around to the other side of the oppressed rock thrower and you'll suddenly realize that the cameras have this guy outnumbered 10 or 15 to one.

This? Yes, the U.N. can do that. It's one of the things they do reasonably well.

A U.N. team met with Iraqi leaders Sunday to discuss the feasibility of early legislative elections, and its leader pledged to do "everything possible" to help the country regain its sovereignty.

I really like Eric Burns' Wolf Blitzer smackdown.

By phrasing his question in such insulting terms, Blitzer virtually guaranteed that Kucinich would not provide an answer so much as a defense for himself. The mystery?if it is truly that?of his ongoing efforts to be president would remain.

And cruel for obvious reasons. A person who loses at the ballot box loses only in the political arena. Those defeats do not make him a loser in life; in fact, the ability he has previously demonstrated to attract a certain measure of support and a certain amount of financing indicates that there are thousands of people who think of him as a winner.

See what Wesley Clark told the official NATO historian:

Clark told the historian that he chafed during the war at having to submit individual bombing targets to the White House and the French government for approval. He said Clinton reviewed them directly, apparently because of embarrassment over the U.S. military's 1998 bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan. He also quoted a deputy French defense minister as acknowledging that Paris rejected some of his target choices simply for the sake of "saying no."

Clark is one of the Democratics insisting that we must turn over national security decisions to the French and Germans knowing full well this is how they are. It's in Clark's official NATO historical papers!

We were right to exclude France and Germany. Every serious informed person knew this would be typical French behavior if we had somehow convinced them to allow us to force Saddam to comply with U.N. resolutions. I can see it now. We would have been allowed to hunt for Qusay and Uday, but arresting Saddam would have been forbidden by the French. One palace would have been officially targeted, but another palace would have been off limits. Some Saddam statues would have been destroyed while Sunni Triangle Saddam statues would have been allowed to remain to express sympathy for those people who had lost their beloved leader. Sunni Triangle schools would have kept textbooks that praised Saddam Hussein while the Kurdish and Shiite schools would be allowed to remove references to Saddam Hussein.

Involving France would have been disaster for the Iraqi people.