Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Thursday, June 17, 2004

I woke up early this morning like I always do and I turned on my computer, sat down with my cup of coffee and began my morning reading. Drudge, Instapundit, Frontpage Magazine (Ann Coulter's latest was out today), the New York Post, Fox News, and Andrew Sullivan:

THE INVISIBLE MAN: The story of the Iraqi terrorist who was ordered off the books by Rumsfeld and Tenet makes odd reading. The two reasons given for hiding this captive are a) to make sure his treatment wasn't monitored by the Red Cross (but no one condoned abuse of prisoners, did they?) and b) to keep his location secret (Why? The military cannot keep its own inmate records secret?). Besides, the reason that the suspect was regarded as so important, apparently, was because he "possessed significant information about Ansar al Islam's leadership structure, training and locations." And yet - here's the mind-blowing part - he was only interviewed once in "one cursory arrival interrogation"! Here's a military desperately trying to get information on the insurgency; they go to extraordinary lengths to sequester a key informant; they do something that is "deceptive, contrary to Army doctrine, and in violation of international law," according to the Taguba report; both Tenet and Rumsfeld sign off on this shady business; and then ... nothing! It boggles the mind. Here we have two features of the Iraq occupation that we have slowly come to see close-up: the violation of settled military ethics and international law, authorized by the highest authorities, and complete incompetence. At least that's the only rational explanation I can find for this story as it currently reads. Does Rumsfeld have a better explanation?

My email reply to Andrew:


You are a big part of the reason why the Bush administration seems uncertain and ill prepared to fight this war properly. People like you are second guessing their every move and the result is that they are not making the firm decisions that are necessary to make in wartime.

Don't you ever, and I mean EVER, complain again that Bush seems tentative or that his administration lacks the nerve to do what's necessary to win this war because you a prime example as to why he has become this way.

It's your tone Andrew. Your latest post, The Invisible Man, automatically assumes the worst. There is no question in your mind that the Administration is incompetent or outright evil.

Me? I give them the benefit of the doubt because they are FIGHTING FOR OUR VERY SURVIVAL. Yes, I'm glad you raise the questions, but you go beyond that. You are no different than the New York Times editorial page. You are no different than the Los Angeles Times. I can see your face growing red and I can hear the shrill hysteria in your voice.

Get a grip on yourself Andrew and remind yourself who we are fighting, why, and the very real threats we are facing if we lack the backbone to fight.

Don't forget 9/11 and remember that the next attack may well be a mushroom cloud or the deaths of tens of thousands.

Hell, then you'll probably bash Bush because he wasn't tough enough.


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Let me say that again. Because journalists want Bush to lose:

At the beginning of the year, Bush's economic policies overshadowed all other issues in news coverage. However, since April, the networks have practically abandoned coverage of his economic policy - even as the economy and labor market have shown signs of significant improvement.

ABC focused heavily on the state of the economy in its news coverage at the beginning of the year, and in January, issues such as domestic security, healthcare and education still played a role on World News Tonight, albeit a small one. Since April, however, these four issues have practically vanished from news coverage. The same trend also occurred at the other two networks, and all four issues have ceased to be consistently presented since April. As a consequence, the public does not have a clear picture of either of the candidates' stances on these issues.

At the beginning of the year, it appeared that the economy was going to sink Bush's reelection prospects. But the creation of over a million jobs in just a few months has forced the media to rethink that reason for advocating for the defeat of Bush in November. Now the line is Iraq and the disaster that has become what with Abu Ghraib and the Al Sadr uprising.

I predict it will become harder and harder to ignore the wonderful things that have been happening in Iraq and the media will be panicked to find another reason voters should vote Bush out of office.

Also, the turnover of control to the Iraqi people will remove the face of the occupation from events. It will be harder and harder to blame Bush for anything that is happening in Iraq although I know the media will try. Why would they do that? Because most journalists want Bush to lose.

Deborah Orin in the New York Post:

THE video only lasts four minutes or so — grue some scenes of torture from the days when Saddam Hussein's thugs ruled Abu Ghraib prison. I couldn't bear to watch, so I walked out until it was over.
Some who stayed wished they hadn't. They told of savage scenes of decapitation, fingers chopped off one by one, tongues hacked out with a razor blade — all while victims shriek in pain and the thugs chant Saddam's praises.

Saddam's henchmen took the videos as newsreels to document their deeds in honor of their leader.

But these awful images didn't show up on American TV news.

In fact, just four or five reporters showed up for the screening at the American Enterprise Institute think tank, which says it got the video via the Pentagon. Fewer wrote about it.

No surprise, since no newscast would air the videos of Nick Berg and Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl getting decapitated, or of U.S. contractors in Fallujah getting torn limb from limb by al Qaeda operatives.

But every TV network has endlessly shown photos of the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops at Abu Ghraib. Why?

"Because most [journalists] want Bush to lose," says AEI scholar Michael Ledeen, who helped host the screening of the Saddam video.

Let me say that again: Because journalists want Bush to lose.

The media have repeatedly highlighted the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and have quoted Ted Kennedy when he says the prison has reopened under U.S. management, but if they, the media, were interested in the truth they would show just a smidgeon of what Saddam did in Abu Ghraib.

Nothing that U.S. soldiers did even comes close to what Saddam did, but the left wants Bush to lose so badly that they will morally equate the U.S. with what Saddam did over years and years.

There is no comparison and if the media were truly interested in the facts and truth they would show their readers the difference.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

When I read things like this I just shake my head:

The dictates of the European Union, headquartered in Brussels, have gradually eroded British independence. The EU has increasingly sought to control every aspect of economic life through regulations issued by civil servants, accountable only to themselves. Socialist policies lose at the polls — but the EU bureaucrats seek to roll back the Thatcher-ite reforms in Britain and force high tax and strict labor laws on all the nations of Europe.

Recently, for example, the French and Germans who lead the European Union demanded that the Eastern European countries — who have just joined the union — raise their corporate tax rates to match those legislated in Paris and Berlin so as to avert a drain of corporate resources to Eastern Europe.

The very weakness of the European Parliament is eloquent testimony to the scant value the EU places on democracy. For example, its members are not permitted to introduce legislation. They may only vote "yes" or "no" on the regulations proposed by the unelected EU bureaucracy. (The British people voted in the European Parliamentary election on Thursday of last week, but Brussels declared that the U.K. could not count the votes until Sunday when the other members had their elections. Exit polls were similarly verboten).

Europeans can rationalize, justify and explain this away all they want, but the bottom line is they are choosing a non-democratic, unelected bureaucratic form of government that may or may not be benign. The bureaucrats haven't decided whether they will be nice or not, and I suspect they'll decide in their own time.

If the Europeans ultimately do choose this form of government they will be at the mercy of bureaucrats. How can anyone just turn over their rights and lives to an unelected body that will decide what is best for them? The United Nations should be the model they look at to see what the future has in store for them. Incompetence, corruption and abuse will be the rule rather than the exception.

My disgust for Europeans grows by the day.

Irwin Stetzer in The Weekly Standard:

All of this is a misfortune for John Kerry. His campaign rests on a three-legged stool. The first leg is that Bush is a job-destroyer; but the economy has created almost one million jobs in the past three months, and is probably adding better than 10,000 every day. The second leg is that Bush has antagonized America's allies and is isolated; the 15-0 Security Council vote to recognize the Bush-backed Iraqi government saws that leg off. The final leg is that the Bush tax cuts have been a disaster. Ronald Reagan's death has brought renewed attention to the fact that the late president's tax cuts helped to end the recession he inherited from Jimmy Carter, just as Bush's cuts kept the Clinton recession short and mild.

I'm simply flabbergasted. The Los Angeles Times recently conducted a poll that showed that John Kerry had a 7 point lead in the race.

The problem is, according to this tidbit from the Drudge Report, the Los Angeles Times poll sample consisted of opinions from 38% Democrats and 25% Republicans. No wonder it looked like John Kerry was ahead!

How can anyone ignore this glaring example of media bias? How can the Times rationalize the misleading and deceitful poll? If I was stupid enough to subscribe to the Los Angeles Times I would cancel my membership immediately. There's no telling what else those bastards have fabricated!

I'm sorry, but I'm pissed!

Monday, June 14, 2004

I love this:

On the evening of May 30, 2004, Jassim and his fellow members of 4th Platoon, India Company, Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (ICDC) were jointly patrolling the streets of Al Karmah, near Fallujah, with leathernecks from 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. All at once, the patrol was ambushed from the rear by enemy insurgents. A U.S. Marine was instantly struck down with a gunshot wound to the leg.

Reacting as they had been trained to do by their U.S. counterparts, the Iraqis swung into action.

Jassim, who was standing closest to the Marine when the latter was hit, immediately returned fire.

Sergeant Abdullah Sadoon Isa, Corporal Eiub Muhamad Hussane, and Private Ahmad Lazim Garib raced toward-and-beyond the downed American. Constantly under fire and simultaneously returning fire, Sgt. Isa quickly positioned other members of his platoon between the wounded man and the enemy.

Jassim and another private, Kather Nazar Abbas, stopped shooting long enough to begin dragging the American to a position of relative safety. Bullets and at least one rocket-propelled grenade zinged past their heads as they managed to pull the Marine behind a wall. A U.S. Navy medical corpsman rushed forward to render first aid. The Iraqis and the Americans continued battling the enemy force.

The response to the ambush was textbook. "The ICDC ultimately assaulted through the enemy's position and pushed them out," said 2nd Lt. Charles Anklin III, of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines.

On Friday, Maj. Gen. James N. Mattis, commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, and Col. John A. Toolan, commanding officer of Regimental Combat Team 1; decorated the five aforementioned Iraqi soldiers for their "heroic achievement" during an awards ceremony at Camp India in Nassar Wa Salaam. The awards included two Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medals and three Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medals. Each of the medals included combat "V"s for valor.

I'm shocked. If anyone had asked me before the NBA finals had started who was going to win I would have said the Los Angeles Lakers. I would have bet the farm they would win.

I'm simply stunned that the Detroit Pistons have a three game to one lead in the best of seven series. I can't believe it.

Rumors have indicated since the start of the season that Kobe Bryant will be leaving L.A. at this end of this season and I think that's more than likely. I think it's a certainty now. The question is, where will he go? We'll know sooner than later I think.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

I have added yet another link to my Favorites section.

Matt Rosenberg has a brand new weblog called Rosenblog. I am delighted to add his website to my list of my favorite sites.

I became a fan of his when he was recently featured in National Review with an article titled, "Bill Cosby & the Blogosphere."

I look forward to including Matt's weblog in my daily readings and I can happily recommend his site to my readers.