Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Friday, May 14, 2004

What? The Canadian Prime Minister:

Prime Minister Paul Martin says he believes Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and they've fallen into terrorists' hands. Martin said the threat of terrorism is even greater now than it was following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, because terrorists have acquired nuclear, chemical and biological weapons from the toppled Iraqi leader.

"The fact is that there is now, we know well, a proliferation of nuclear weapons, and that many weapons that Saddam Hussein had, we don't know where they are," Martin told a crowd of about 700 university researchers and business leaders in Montreal. "That means terrorists have access to all of that."

'NOT OUT OF IT YET'

The PM's comments run counter to opinions expressed by leaders in such countries as France and Germany who have accused the U.S. and Britain of fudging evidence of WMDs to justify the war against Iraq.

When asked to assess the threat level since Saddam was captured by U.S. troops, Martin said he believes it has increased.

"I believe that terrorism will be, for our generation, what the Cold War was to generations that preceded us," he said. "I don't think we're out of it yet."

Martin disagreed with former prime minister Jean Chretien, who publicly blamed poverty for terrorism and the Sept. 11 attacks. "The cause of terrorism is not poverty, it is hatred."

He said he'll lead the charge to convince countries to join forces to combat terrorism and make sure the Third World has the tools to stamp it out.

Martin said he's lobbying the international community to set up an informal organization to tackle world issues such as terrorism.

GETS NOD FROM BUSH

He said he got the nod from U.S. President George Bush during his visit last month to Washington, D.C., and will take his idea to the European Union and Latin America next.

Let me get this straight. The leftwing, SOCIALIST, Canadian Prime Minister is declaring that Saddam Hussein had WMD's and that terrorism is the scourge of our generation? This is the sign of the apocalypse, no?

I'm shocked.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Via Instapundit. Leftwing sickness for all to see:
The other day, while taking a break by the Al-Hamra Hotel pool, fringed with the usual cast of tattooed defence contractors, I was accosted by an American magazine journalist of serious accomplishment and impeccable liberal credentials.

She had been disturbed by my argument that Iraqis were better off than they had been under Saddam and I was now — there was no choice about this — going to have to justify my bizarre and dangerous views. I’ll spare you most of the details because you know the script — no WMD, no ‘imminent threat’ (though the point was to deal with Saddam before such a threat could emerge), a diversion from the hunt for bin Laden, enraging the Arab world. Etcetera.

But then she came to the point. Not only had she ‘known’ the Iraq war would fail but she considered it essential that it did so because this would ensure that the ‘evil’ George W. Bush would no longer be running her country. Her editors back on the East Coast were giggling, she said, over what a disaster Iraq had turned out to be. ‘Lots of us talk about how awful it would be if this worked out.’ Startled by her candour, I asked whether thousands more dead Iraqis would be a good thing.

She nodded and mumbled something about Bush needing to go. By this logic, I ventured, another September 11 on, say, September 11 would be perfect for pushing up John Kerry’s poll numbers. ‘Well, that’s different — that would be Americans,’ she said, haltingly. ‘I guess I’m a bit of an isolationist.’ That’s one way of putting it.
That's just sick. I wish the columnist who wrote this article would name the reporter in question. I bet she would insist that all her reports were unbiased and fair. Yea right.

Via Andrew Sullivan:

Special Forces soldiers led teams of Iraqi commandos to the area and drove the insurgents from the shrine during an intense firefight.

The two dozen or so Iraqi commandos who helped the Americans in the battle were part of the Iraqi Counter Terrorist Force, trained in Jordan to combat insurgents. They acted under the supervision of Special Forces, who instructed them on clearing munitions from the Mukhaiyam Mosque and shrine and from the high school. Special Forces soldiers guided much of the battle on the ground, storming the mosque and setting up a base there to direct troops.

The Special Forces soldiers appeared impressed by the weapons caches found in the area. Those included powerful 155-millimeter artillery shells, Italian land mines and sniper rifles. In all, the munitions were the equivalent of more than 100 roadside bombs, one of the most effective killers of American soldiers in Iraq, a military intelligence analyst said. Sappers wired the caches with plastic explosives and detonated them as most of the American troops left the area.

A huge cache in a storage shed at the rear of the mosque compound had been detonated at the start of the battle, resulting in thunderous explosions that continued for more than two hours.

Iraqis are taking over control of their country.

Tech Central Station puts things in Iraq in a little perspective:

For good reason, the Los Angeles Times ran a story on Tuesday titled, "Iraq Cleric Faces Showdown with Moderate Shiites." They want Sadr to go back to where he came from -- namely an embryonic state -- so that they can get back to the lucrative business of servicing the pilgrims who come to those holy places. It's something they can't do while being held hostage in their own cities, and the numbers of devout travelers have dropped to a trickle.

Some Iraqis have even begun to take up arms against al-Sadr. According to a recent story by Knight Ridder Newspapers, scores of young men from Najaf have organized into an anti-Sadr force called Thul Fiqal al Battar. They target a few gunmen at a time, either scaring them off or shooting them.

Other positive things are happening. Earlier this week, the Coalition Provisional Authority transferred power over the strategic resource of water to the Iraqi controlled Ministry of Water Resources. According to Fox News' Kelly Beaucar Vlahos, the Iraqi scouts -- long repressed by Saddam Hussein -- are starting to stage a comeback.

The Tech Central Station article also contains a link to the White House page where the "Iraqi Fact of the Day" lists the numerous achievements we have made. But you won't hear any of the this from the media or from leftists.

Be optimistic. Things are going very well in Iraq no matter what the left or the media would have you believe. Yes, there have been big bumps in the road, but keep a little perspective too.

Hehehe:

Catholic lawmaker Peter King ripped Church leaders as hypocrites Thursday for the Vatican’s foreign minister claim that the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal is worse for America than the Sept. 11 attacks.

“If there’s anyone in the world who has no right to speak on sexual abuse, it’s the Vatican,” said Rep. King, an anti-abortion Republican. “This is the height of hypocrisy.”

More:

King said the Catholic Church should be the last group to claim moral high ground on issues of sexual abuse, given the past several years of revelations about priests abusing children for years while church officials failed to stop such behavior.

“Whatever the United States has done to prisoners in Iraq is nothing compared to what priests and nuns did to Catholic kids for decades while the Catholic hierarchy covered it up,” King said.

“Think of the thousands of kids in the U.S. and Ireland who were abused by priests and nuns — you wonder where the Vatican’s moral compass is.”

The Vatican's foreign minister, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, is probably feeling really embarrassed about now. Can you imagine the look on his face when he reads Rep. King's comments?

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Amy Ridenour features a letter from a soldier in Iraq who is discussing the battle with supporters of Muqtada Al-Sadr.

When I read media accounts of what's happening I'm discouraged. When I read this letter I understand that our military has been preparing for Al-Sadr for a very long time and they're effectively following a plan that is working very well.

Thank God for blogs or I would believe what the media is telling us.

I'm going to make a prediction. Gas prices will fall next year just after the election. Perhaps they will begin to fall this year just before the election, but they will fall.

The reason: Oil inventories are building, the U.S. Strategic Reserve is almost full, prices are so high that people will begin to drive less, gas sipping cars will become more popular, uncertainty over oil supplies will subside (which is a major reason prices are so high right now), and emerging oil producing countries will begin to increase production to take advantage of the high prices.

A hidden reason could be that demand will fall unexpectedly in China. This could happen especially if China experiences the economic problems that many people are concerned about.

Mark Steyn:

The media are happy to show us Iraqi criminals on dog leashes night after night, because they shame Americans. To see the Berg or Pearl videos would anger Americans, and that doesn't suit the media's purposes. The Islamists have begun to figure this out. That AOL headline could just as easily have read "Abuse Scandal Media Overkill's Deadly Fallout".

This goes for the 9/11 pictures. Musn't anger Americans or show what a small number of Arabs are capable of doing, but showing what a small number of Americans are capable of doing in the form of humiliating members of Al Qaeda, well, if those are the choices they will choose to highlight what a small group of those evil Americans do every time.

Which do you think is more worthy of publication? Photos of victims of mass murder falling, still alive, from the Twin Towers or photos of naked Arabs. Actually a principle media would show both with warnings of graphic images.

Damn. Tim Blair is taking a month off.

Andrew Sullivan was one of those more hysterical people I mentioned. If you've been reading his blog for the past year or so you would see that the man can really lose confidence over current events. This whole Abu Ghraib scandal has really caused him to turn into Chicken Little.

Thankfully some of Sullivan's readers have given him a written face slap to calm him down.

Good for them. Sullivan was really getting shrill and hysterical.

Everywhere I look the news is all about Abu Ghraib. Drudge has been all over this story and I know CNN can't get enough of it.

It's time to let this story go. We all know what happened and we all abhor the conduct of the U.S. soldiers involved. With that said, this isn't the devastating event that the politicians and talking heads are making it out to be. If it happens again, THEN it'll be the devastating event they are making it out to be.

Our reaction to this whole episode is the real story. We are ashamed and deeply offended that our sons and daughters would act this way. We expect others to act like this and when we find out that it's us we are humiliated. That's the larger lesson that the Arab people should take away from this mess. They expect their leaders to run their countries that way because they aren't accountable to voters. The Arab people should see and understand that our leaders can be fired for these sort of events.

That speaks volumes about liberal democracy. Torture and abuse aren't even stories in the Arab world. It's a given. It's a fact of daily life. President Bush and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld can actually be voted out of office for this. Can you imagine any Arab leader losing their job for presiding over a prison abuse scandal? Hell, they'd lose their jobs if they didn't preside over prison abuse. More likely, they'd lose their heads in a coup d'etat.

I was in Excite's Soapbox the other night and you should have seen the handwringing and wailing. You would have thought that the world was coming to an end. It ain't folks. As I told those more emotional and hysterical in that chat room: Don't be silly. This isn't going to have much of a longterm negative effect on the liberalization of the Middle East. If anything, it will serve as an object lesson for the Arab people. They are learning more and more about what it means to have a liberal democracy.

Get a grip people.

WTF! Blogger has a new look and it's freaking me out! I'm not crazy about it, but I guess it'll grow on me.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

I'm shocked! Here's the headline: "Prison Torture Common in Mideast, Survey Finds."

Isn't it interesting that CNN never focused this much attention on Saddam and his prisons? Maybe that's because they were too concerned about losing their precious access. They turned a blind eye to Saddam's prison abuses which, btw, were clearly much worse than what we have seen this past week.

CNN has zero credibility when it comes to reporting on American abuses of prisoners especially since Eason Jordan confessed that he sat on stories so that CNN could keep it's Baghdad bureau.

Omar at Iraq The Model relates a conversation he had with an Iraqi doctor who served in Abu Gharib.