Sean's Blog

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Saturday, June 05, 2004

Hugh Hewitt:

The Democratic Party has come unhinged.

Yesterday a gathering of liberal activists cheered George Soros' assertion that the prison abuse scandal was the equivalent of the attacks of 9/11, and that the war in Iraq had turned the United States into the the equivalent of the perpetrators of those attacks.

More:

Kerry cannot lead a military that his party believes to be the moral equivalent of the 9/11 terrorists. Although Hillary Clinton introduced Soros, there is no report whether she applauded his insanity along with the crowd. But even silence after such a slander is an endorsement. Where's Kerry?

Al Gore's screams and Ted Kennedy's characterization of Saddam's torture chambers as "under new management, U.S. management," are not aberrations. They are the norm of the leadership of the party that Kerry leads. When Kerry does not condemn such fevers, he endorses them. This is why he is Mr. Implausibility. A party that hates America so much that it cannot see the difference between the 9/11 terrorists and the liberators of Iraq cannot lead a nation in war. It could only hope to lead a nation in surrender.

Finally:

George Soros needs a subscription to National Geographic. I repeat the money quote from the story in the magazine's new issue that I linked to yesterday, "Reaching for Power: The Shiites of Iraq":

"By mid-January of 2004, 270 mass graves had been reported. The Free Prisoners Society estimates that five to seven million people 'disappeared' in the past two decades, the majority of them Shiites."

The Democratic Party is not just whistling past the graveyard, it is whistling past hundreds of graveyards full of millions of bodies. And it is refusing to read e-mails from the front lines like that of Major Bellon's that I posted yesterday. Instead it is cheering George Soros while its candidate postures as a would-be leader of the free world, even as he refuses to lead his party away from the lunacy in its core.

This is the face of the contemporary Democratic party.

Again, via Tim Blair.

Andrew Bolt in Australia's Herald Sun newspaper:

Of course, the ABC likes to claim, as its Media Watch host David Marr smugly puts it, that it has "no systemic political bias".

Really? Consider this: the ABC's three most important current affairs shows ran 135 items on Iraq last month. Only one was clearly a good-news story.

Only one -- the escape of American hostage Thomas Hamill from his captors. Which still reminded you that Iraq was dangerous.

The whole thing is a must read for anyone who thinks the war coverage has been accurately portrayed around the world.

I'll say it again: Iraq's successful transformation to a relatively open and liberal democracy in the heart of the despotic Middle East will come as a complete surprise to leftists all over the world. They'll wonder how the hell it happened when all they were told was what a cesspit of violence and hopelessness Iraq had become.

I can't wait.

Of course, by then the U.N. and leftwing politicians will be taking credit for the miraculous transformation.

The left are horrified when George W. Bush mentions God.

From Tim Blair, a review of some of the things John F. Kennedy said:

Phillip Adams rails against George W. Bush’s use of the G-word:

In declaring his wars on terror, the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, the French, the Germans, the UN and the Democrats, George W. Bush started saying "God" once, twice, even thrice in every sentence ... Replace God, the Almighty and the Lord with Allah, and Bush's dangerous devotions would be appropriate to an Islamic fundamentalist.


Adams wishes Bush was more like John F. Kennedy, who, he writes, "was a tribal Catholic, not a dogmatist, and kept God out of politics."


Really? Here’s JFK’s inaugural address:

Man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe -- the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.


In a 1962 speech on the space program:

As we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.


And an address on the Cuban missile crisis:

Our goal is not the victory of might but the vindication of right-not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this Hemisphere and, we hope, around the world. God willing, that goal will be achieved.

As long as former presidential candidate,"Reverend" Jesse Jackson and former presidential candidate, Reverend Race Baiter Al Sharpton are Democrats, any attachments they may have to religion are okay.

A brilliant comment at Tim Blair:

Mr. Pottinger repeats the myth that Rumsfeld
>somehow compromised himself by shaking the hand
>of Saddam in the 1980s.

Doyne, you're being unfair. Opponents of the administration and its policies and personnel make very valid points, and this is one of them. Rather than going to war, the US should have tried peaceful diplomatic engagement with the ruler of sovereign Iraq, but without shaking hands. Remember, Saddam was brutal dictator who we were wrong for supporting, and it was wrong of us to overthrow him. If this diplomacy failed, we should have continued our policy of economic sanctions against Iraq, rather than the brutal policy of economic sanctions against Iraq. And remember, Saudis were the majority of terrorists on 9/11, so rather than attacking an oil-rich terrorist-supporting Arab nation, it would have made more logical sense to attack an oil-rich terrorist-supporting Arab nation, which of course would be wrong. Also, the war on Iraq diverted us from the war in Afghanistan. And the war in Afghanistan is wrong. And we're being distracted from the War on Terror. And the War on Terror is a straw man.

I know this all sounds very contradictory, inconsistent, and incoherent, so I'll simplify it - whatever the administration or the US does is wrong, and if they do the opposite, that will be wrong, too.

Hehehe.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

President Bush spoke to the graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy yesterday:

In the terrorists' vision of the world, the Middle East must fall under the rule of radical governments, moderate Arab states must be overthrown, nonbelievers must be expelled from Muslim lands, and the harshest practice of extremist rule must be universally enforced. In this vision, books are burned, terrorists are sheltered, women are whipped, and children are schooled in hatred and murder and suicide.

Our vision is completely different. We believe that every person has a right to think and pray and live in obedience to God and conscience, not in frightened submission to despots. (Applause.) We believe that societies find their greatness by encouraging the creative gifts of their people, not in controlling their lives and feeding their resentments. And we have confidence that people share this vision of dignity and freedom in every culture because liberty is not the invention of Western culture, liberty is the deepest need and hope of all humanity.

Saddam Hussein was part of this struggle. Whether the left wants to admit it or not, Saddam was central to the defeat of terrorism.

Next? Iran. Then? Syria.

One size does not fit all and by that I mean we aren't going to invade Iran or Syria, but the leaders of those countries had better be packed for travel.

My guess is that an Iran is next. The mad mullahs are ripe for a popular uprising and overthrow by the oppressed Iranian people. All that'll be needed is a little push.

I hope the best for the Iranian people.

I didn't blog this (scroll down)? Shame on me:

Bill Cosby was anything but politically correct in his remarks Monday night at a Constitution Hall bash commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. To astonishment, laughter and applause, Cosby mocked everything from urban fashion to black spending and speaking habits.

Bill Cosby, ready to let off steam. (Lawrence Jackson - AP)

"Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal," he declared. "These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids -- $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for 'Hooked on Phonics.' . . .

"They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English," he exclaimed. "I can't even talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' . . . And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk. . . . Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. . . . You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth!"

The Post's Hamil Harris reports that Cosby also turned his wrath to "the incarcerated," saying: "These are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake and then we run out and we are outraged, [saying] 'The cops shouldn't have shot him.' What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?"

I was reading Matt Rosenberg's latest in National Review when I realized that I hadn't mentioned it.

Rosenberg's thesis is that this should have been a major story, but since it was not a black victim story and was more a story of black failure, then it was ignored for the most part. Here's an excerpt from an editorial that Rosenberg links to that seems to hit the nail on the head:

Clay wrote, "Cosby openly chastised some black people for our dirty, little secrets. We are exposed.... Cosby broke the black code.... Give Cosby credit for having the guts to voice his displeasure at such a regal event.... Some have said Cosby is pitting lower-income blacks against middle- and upper-class blacks. That's silly. Cosby's central theme simply was this: Better parenting and educational achievement are in black people's best interest, and some have failed miserably. Don't let the Brown case die on the vine. We have to admit this; it's about survival."

The op-ed by Gregory Clay is pretty devastating to the victim culture of the left.

More like this please.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Wow. Frontpage Magazine features the speaker fees of prominent leftists:

Care to hear Noam Chomsky skewer America's soulless, capitalist wealth and privilege? It will set you back $12,000, roughly one-fourth of the average MIT student's tuition.....Princeton's resident race baiter, Cornel West. With an official per-lecture fee of $15,000 plus first-class traveling expenses, West ranks among the priciest academics. Recently he spoke at Denver U. for $35,000. For one hour......Jesse Jackson also demands the big bucks. When not extorting money from Nascar (the "last bastion of white supremacy"), Jackson demands between $10,000 and $20,000 for appearances. This is the same Jesse Jackson who spent the Sixties urging the nation to accept socialism, a "person-centered" rather than a "profit-centered" economy. Today, it seems, he's discovered that profit isn't all that bad.......Michael Moore's speaking fee, like Moore himself is, well, hefty. The left-wing filmmaker asks $15,000 to $20,0000 per speech. Similarly, the fact that "comedian" Al Franken doesn't joke around about his $25,000 fee is unlikely to raise many eyebrows.......Radio lefty Nina Totenberg's NPR salary doesn't prevent her from charging $15,000 a pop to lecture the kiddies. Lefty scribbler Molly Ivins, meanwhile, has been known to ask a very unprogressive $25,000 for an hour of her conspiracy theories.

The list goes on.

I don't care that these people make large sums of money, especially when the market supports these fees. What I do mind is the political views of these people are inconsistent with the speaker fees they demand. They're hypocrites. They're getting rich off the capitalist system while at the same time many of these people are bashing capitalism.

I would call these people con artists. Leftists call them principled, righteous, and moral.

Joshua Murachik in the Los Angeles Times:

For three decades, Middle Eastern terrorists had assassinated our diplomats, brought down our airliners, blown up our servicemen in their bunks and berths. They even bombed the World Trade Center. Yet as long as they were killing us in small batches, we responded with passivity, fearing to stir up more trouble.

Even Reagan, tough as he was, decided to slink away when Hezbollah murdered 241 of our Marines in their barracks in Beirut.

On 9/11, however, the terrorists managed to kill us by thousands at a swoop, and what Bush understood was that our policy of passivity, like the West's efforts to appease Hitler in the 1930s, had only invited more audacious attacks. He saw that we had no choice but to go to war against the terrorists and their backers. If we did not destroy them, the terrorists would set their sanguinary sights higher until they succeeded in killing us by the tens or hundreds of thousands.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Wow. I just got the chance to read Mark Steyn's Memorial Day article. I have to excerpt some of it because the link will grow old and I want to have his words:

Imagine coming home from Sunday worship and finding three caskets waiting on the porch. Imagine being young Caroline Grant, and those caskets contain the bodies of your brother, your cousin and the man to whom you're betrothed.

That's a hell of a story behind the bald dates on three tombstones. If it happened today, maybe Caroline would be on Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric demanding proper compensation, and the truth about what happened, and why the politicians were covering it up. Maybe she'd form a group of victims' families. Maybe she'd call for a special commission to establish whether the government did everything it could to prevent disease outbreaks at army camps. Maybe, when they got around to forming the commission, she'd be booing and chanting during the officials' testimony, as several of the 9/11 families did during Mayor Rudy Giuliani's testimony.

More:

You think Iraq's a quagmire? Lincoln's ''new birth of freedom'' bogged down into a centurylong quagmire of segregation, denial of civil rights, lynchings. Does that mean the Civil War wasn't worth fighting? That, as Al Gore and other excitable types would say, Abe W. Lincoln lied to us?

Finally:

There is something not just ridiculous but unbecoming about a hyperpower 300 million strong whose elites -- from the deranged former vice president down -- want the outcome of a war, and the fate of a nation, to hinge on one freaky jailhouse; elites who are willing to pay any price, bear any burden, as long as it's pain-free, squeaky clean and over in a week. The sheer silliness dishonors the memory of all those we're supposed to be remembering this Memorial Day.

Playing by Gore-Kennedy rules, the Union would have lost the Civil War, the rebels the Revolutionary War, and the colonists the French and Indian Wars. There would, in other words, be no America.

Thank God the left is not running this country at this critical point in history. Thank God.

I love it. The latest economic news in the U.S. is very good for President Bush:

Construction spending rose 1.3 percent in April, the best month ever, while the Institute of Supply Management's index of manufacturing activity rose to 62.8 in May, up from 62.4 in April. Both figures were better than economists had expected.

The jobs numbers are due out Friday. More good news? Probably. Hehehe. Just what the Democrats don't want to happen.

In other news:

BAGHDAD, Iraq — The Iraqi Governing Council was dissolved Tuesday as a new president and prime minister took their positions in Iraq's government.

We will have many more deaths, unfortunately, but the Iraqi people will move forward with a more representative government.

I'm happy for the Iraqi people.

Just remember. Years from now, when you hear leftists (Democrats) mentioning how "we" did this great thing for the Iraqi people and how "we" supported them all along, remind them how they fought so hard to keep Saddam in power. Remind them how they opposed freedom for the Iraqi people. Remind them how they almost succeeded in their attempts to create enough dissent, division, and controversy to get an American withdrawal from Iraq.

Never, ever, let them forget. I won't.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

I bet you had no idea how well things are going in Iraq. Arthur Chrenkoff has a large post on the subject. The post is so big because of all the good news.

Many people will be very surprised by what they're not being told.

Charles Moore has an excellent article in yesterday's British paper, The Telegraph.

Moore explains the narrative that the British public are presented with:

The narrative is that America is bullying and naive about the outside world. It is very keen on killing people. George W Bush is taken to embody these characteristics, since he wears cowboy boots and is inarticulate and prays a lot. (Fine for Muslims to pray, not for Christians.)

There are good Americans who, again, come from the north-east and never talk about religion. You can tell they are good because they are not "unilateralist". Senator John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, is, ex officio, a good American. But the bad Americans, with guns and money and a white God, are in charge.

The narrative Moore presents us with further tells us that the U.N., France, and Russia are good:

Suppose that the reports accusing UN officials of corruption in the oil-for-food programme had been made against America. Suppose that it was Halliburton, the company for whom Vice-President Dick Cheney once worked, which had taken 10 per cent off the oil-for-food contracts. Suppose that America were accused of the sort of behaviour that has been alleged, on the basis of Iraqi official documents, against France and Russia. I think we would have heard of little else. As it is, though, the oil-for-food story has somehow drifted away in a muddle about who's going to run the next bit of the investigation.

Can you imagine? If you thought Abu Ghraib was a scandal, can you imagine the fevered, relentless media reports that would be forthcoming over a Halliburton run Oil for Food scandal? As it is, the massive Oil for Food scandal is nothing. It's not even a blip on the media's radar. Why? Because the U.N. is good. Don't even get me started on Kosovo and the various U.N. led peacekeeping missions around the world. Can you imagine if those were U.S. missions?

See how it works?

I am very optimistic about the future of Iraq. I believe that nation will one day lead the entire region towards more liberal democracy. It won't be a mirror image of the U.S., but I do believe it will be vastly different than anything those people have ever known.

It's been bothering me to see the conservative handwringing over Iraq. I expect the left to breed worry, defeatism and hopelessness, but to see prominent conservatives such as Ralph Peters full of the same defeatism and angst frustrates me. Peters is upset over what is happening in Fallujah and the failure of President Bush to fully defeat Al Sadr.

I think Peters is missing a critical point: The Iraqi people must do these things themselves. We must force them to deal with the Al Sadr's in their midst.

One of our biggest mistakes in Vietnam was for us to fight the war for the South Vietnamese. We can't do this for the Iraqi people. They must take this on and do it for themselves. We can't hand them a democratic society. We can show them how to set up democratic institutions, but the history of Iraq must be written by Iraqis from now on. We can't do it for them.

From time to time I am also dismayed at news from Iraq. Abu Ghraib seemed like a complete disaster until I understood a couple of things.

First of all, the Iraqi people were not nearly as upset as the western media and U.S. politicians. Hell, they'd experienced a hundred times worse treatment at the hands of Saddam Hussein and they knew that the people who were being abused were not saints. Those people were enemies of peace in Iraq. They were captured Al Qaeda and common vicious criminals.

Second, the prisoner abuse story provided a glimpse into liberal democracy that the Iraqi people sorely needed. They have little understanding of what it means to be free and to have their leaders be servants of the people. In their world and experience, it's been the exact opposite. They've always been servants of the leaders. So, to see the most powerful people in the world, George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, having to answer for these events is perhaps the greatest thing that could have happened.

The Iraqi people see that our leaders can be fired or defeated at the polls when the people are disappointed in their leadership. Can you imagine an Arab leader today losing his job over a prisoner abuse scandal? The idea is laughable.

The Iraqi people have just witnessed liberal democracy in action. They've seen our leaders held accountable and a free press able to report the facts as they see fit without the threat of torture or death that would accompany any such report from the Middle East. The Iraqi people are learning what it means to rule themselves in a democratic system.

I don't think the Iraqi people want any sort of replay of Abu Ghraib, but I believe they have learned a valuable lesson about what it means to have a democratic society.

The larger point I would like conservatives to understand is that the trend in Iraq is towards the liberalization of that region.

I'm no great fan of Thomas Friedman at The New York Times, but he has an interesting theory in today's column that he calls, "The Tilt Theory of History." Here's the theory in his own words:

The Tilt Theory states that countries and cultures do not change by sudden transformations. They change when, by wise diplomacy and leadership, you take a country, a culture or a region that has been tilted in the wrong direction and tilt it in the right direction, so that the process of gradual internal transformation can take place over a generation.

I think that pretty well sums up the reason for my optimism.

George Bush and his advisors knew that the Middle East must be tilted, to use Friedman's words, and the only way that was going to happen was by military action. After 9/11 we knew we could not wait for this to happen over the course of 50 or 100 years. We did not have that kind of time to hope that containment and diplomacy would transform that region. Time had run out.

So Iraq has been tilted and the resulting chaos means that we are, as Friedman explains, taking two steps forward and one step back. It won't be a perfect transformation and mistakes will be made. But the bottom line is that a transformation is taking place, albeit an imperfect transformation.

I'm cautiously optimistic that Iraq will lead the Middle East in the next few years. It will indeed be the jewel of that region and a shining example of what a people can achieve.

I wish more people would take this long view of events in Iraq.